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

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural


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

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of the body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease. [Gurdjieff]

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


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IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH! - Articles of Impeachment and the FAX number of your representative. Download, print and FAX.

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February 9, 2003 -Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!

Belgium Says Will Use NATO Veto to Block U.S. in Iraq - Belgium will use its veto power in Nato to block a United States request for the military alliance to support a US-led military strike on Iraq, Foreign Minister Louis Michel said on Sunday. He said on Belgian television that Nato Secretary General George Robertson would be sent a letter by Monday informing him of the veto. He added that he expected France and Germany also to block the US request. Mr Michel said the Belgian representative to the alliance had already been given instructions to block the US request. He told VRT television: 'We are in the process, with France and also, I think, Germany, of preparing this letter to exercise our veto right.'

"We are going to block it between now and Monday - it is settled," Belgium's Foreign Minister Louis Michel said. "When one has to take a slap in the face such as the insulting remarks... by Mr Rumsfeld, who comes to teach a thing or two to 'old Europe', the Europe of democratic values, humanist Europe, the Europe of the Age of Enlightenment, personally I find that this hurts."

Comment: All I can say is HOORAY for Belgium!!!! Finally somebody has stood up to that alcoholic psychopath running America.

AN EXTRAORDINARY schism opened up in the Western alliance yesterday as Washington flatly rejected a Franco-German plan to avert war by pouring UN weapons inspectors — and troops — into Iraq.

President Putin of Russia last night backed the plan to turn Iraq into a de facto UN protectorate, due to be published on Friday, but President Bush and his leading officials bluntly declared that the United States would go it alone if the United Nations Security Council refused to approve military action.

Later today the deepening transatlantic rift over Iraq is expected to plunge Nato into one of the deepest crises of its 54-year history when Belgium, France and probably Germany veto a decision to start contingency planning to defend Turkey in the event of a war.

In an interview with The Times Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, said that such a move to deny Patriot missiles and other Nato hardware to an alliance member would be “breathtaking” and “reverberate” through the alliance. Mr Rumsfeld also said that his preferred solution to the crisis was for President Saddam Hussein to go into exile, and indicated that America would not seek his extradition in those circumstances.

The next key moment in the countdown to war will occur on Friday when Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, reports back to the Security Council on two days of talks with Iraqi officials in Baghdad that concluded last night. Dr Blix secured none of the dramatic concessions required to placate Washington, but said he perceived “a beginning” to the much fuller co- operation with weapons inspectors that the UN has demanded.

At a meeting in Berlin last night Mr Putin, who is visiting Berlin and Paris to co-ordinate Russia, Germany and France’s opposition to war, said that Russia was “almost completely in agreement” with the Franco-German plan. That means it is backed by two of the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council plus the country that chairs it.

Vatican officials said that the plan also had the support of the Pope, who is sending a personal envoy to Baghdad today as part of his one-man campaign to avert war.

But the Franco-German initiative elicited only scorn and defiance in Washington. [...]

President Bush made clear that America would act with or without UN support. “The UN gets to decide shortly whether or not it is going to be relevant in terms of keeping the peace — whether or not its words mean anything,” he said during a visit to West Virginia. “But one thing is certain. For the sake of peace and the sake of security, the United States and our friends and allies, we will disarm Saddam Hussein if he will not disarm himself.”

The Americans were angered not only by the content of the Franco-German plan, but by the fact that it was hatched in secret. The plan was not mentioned to Mr Rumsfeld during a private session with Peter Struck, the German Defence Minister, at a conference in Munich.

“Everything has been played close to the chest,” a chancellery adviser said yesterday. Cautious approval seems to have been gained from China, Greece — which holds the six-month European Union presidency — and from the Pope, who met Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Minister, on Friday. The news magazine Der Spiegel said yesterday, however, that the British, Spanish and Italians were not consulted.

Somewhere tonight in Iraq, a small girl lies sleeping who in a few weeks may be a lump of scorched flesh buried under concrete.  

On a basketball court somewhere in the United States a young man lands a jump shot, who in a few weeks may have no legs, or eyes, or have tumors already brooding in his brain from exposure to the depleted uranium of our own weapons.  

A young boy who is healthy and vibrant today will be racked with cancer. A mother will hear her children crying for food and have nothing to give them but tainted water to quench their thirst. Land that is today rich and fertile will, a short time from now, be contaminated with radioactivity that lasts longer than all the years between ancient Sumer and Babylon and now.  

And young men and women who in the innocence of their hearts volunteered to serve their country will be led to perpetrate unspeakable crimes that will haunt their nights and blight the rest of their lives. When they complain of strange ailments, the Veteran's Administration will admit no connection. And for years afterwards, as has happened since the first Gulf War, they will take their own lives in a steady stream of suicides. They will not be the sons and daughters of the men and women who sit in Congress or the White House. A disproportionate number of them will come from communities in our own land who suffer poverty, dispossession, discrimination.  

And all of this will be done at the command of men who have never themselves faced combat or fought a war, who rob our schools and hospitals to pay for their own weapons of mass destruction, who promote an empire-building agenda of their own that will not provide the security they claim. For the sheer injustice of our attack on a country that has not attacked us will provoke such fear and hatred against us that all our bombs and missiles and cops and spies will not be able to keep us safe.  

The media and the politicians tell us this war is inevitable, that we can't stop it, that our protests and petitions and pleas make no difference. They murmur a constant incantation of our powerlessness, lulling us into a nightmare sleep.   But we can still wake up. We can choose to walk out of the nightmare, and dream a different dream.  

All it takes is for each one of us who cherishes the lives of children to refuse to be silent, to say no to war, to say yes to peace.

And to ask ourselves, how have we abandoned our country, our fate, into the hands of callous men who have no compunction about wasting lives? What spell has been cast that fogs our eyes and binds our hands? What lies have we believed? What power have we let slip away?

Replace the nightmare with this dream: that in the moment when one world power has amassed the unchallenged military might to make its bid for global empire, its own people rise up and say, "No. That is not what we want to be. We don't want to rule the world over the broken bodies of children. We don't want blood on our hands. We want children who are sick to have the best possible care, in Iraq and in our own country. We want schools and jobs and parks and hospitals and food for the hungry. We want to join hands with the people of the world, and strengthen the institutions that are slowly and painfully learning to solve conflicts without bloodshed, and teaching us to respect our differences. We know that peace must be built on justice, and we want peace."

Dream that we wake up, stand up, speak out, not in the thousands but the millions, joining with millions around the world. Dream that soldiers refuse their orders, dockworkers refuse to load ships, secretaries shut off their computers, workers close their factories, and even politicians find the courage to stand for what is right.  

And make the dream real. If you have spoken out before, now is the time to speak again, to make another phone call, write another letter, stand in another vigil. If you have marched before, march again and this time bring more of your friends and neighbors. If you haven't marched, if you have been immersed in the demands of your own life, if you feel that your small voice makes no difference, now is the time to speak anyway, to interrupt your ordinary pursuits, to become the one small drop that just might turn the tide.

If you can get to New York or San Francisco on the weekend of February 15-16 for the big marches and rallies, come--because the numbers are vitally important.  If you can't, there will be marches and rallies and vigils to join all across the country. Find one, or call one of your own. Be public. Be visible. Be the loud, uncomfortable conscience that has disappeared from the halls of power.  

And believe that truth is stronger than lies, love trumps fear, and no cabal of power can contain the multitudes when we awaken and choose life.

Comment: And DO something! FAX your representatives. Go to their offices with all of your friends and demand to be heard. FAX your newspapers. Boycott the products of the sponsors of the News programs if they don't start telling the truth. Educate your friends, family and neighbors. Get creative. If they intend to cut the American people - the people of the world - out of the decision making process, don't allow it. WAKE UP! And most of all: do NOT give up!

On opposite ends of the debate -- U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld with German Foreign Minister Fischer U.S.-European divisions over Iraq deepened as a new Franco-German strategy to disarm Iraq without war came to light. American officials are angy over the lack of consultation.

A further row has erupted between the U.S. and Germany over reports that Germany and France have been developing independent plans regarding the disarmament of Iraq. Though France has denied that there is any such plan, German Defense Minister Peter Struck confirmed on Sunday a report by the Spiegel magazine that Berlin and Paris would present to the U.N. Security Council a joint plan to try to avert war in Iraq by reinforcing arms inspectors. "We hope that the initiative will be taken up positively in the Security Council on Feb. 14," Struck told Germany’s Phoenix television.

Struck confirmed that the plan -- which would involve trebling the number of weapons inspectors in Iraq, backing them up by sending thousands of U.N. troops and turning the whole of the Gulf state into a no-fly zone -- was initiated by German Chancellor Schröder and French President Chirac. The German Defense Minister said that the plan was at an advanced stage, but he would leave it to Chancellor Schröder to reveal details in an address to parliament on Thursday. Asked whether Germany would be prepared to participate in the proposed U.N. force, Struck said, "we could well take part in that." On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer too alluded to a common German-Franco initiative that has reportedly been negotiated by Schröder and Chirac in secret meetings over the past weeks. Fischer said that he wanted to strengthen the force of the inspection regime in Iraq and increase the number of weapons inspectors from the present 100 to 2,000.

America has scorned news of the German-Franco initiative to be presented at a crucial U.N. Security Council session on Friday. "More inspectors doesn't answer the question and what France has to do and what Germany has to do... is read 1441 again," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told Fox News Sunday in the United States. Officials from the American delegation who participated in a two-day high-level security conference in Munich over the weekend reacted angrily to news of the Franco-German initiative.

U.S. security expert Richard Perle said, "what do we need more time for?". He said that the initiative had served to strengthen the impression in the American delegation that Germany and France want to isolate America.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Russia would back the Franco-German plan to try to avert war in Iraq if the U.N. Security Council discussed it. "I have no doubt that Russia will adhere to it," he told a news conference at the security council in Munich. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is on a four-day visit to Germany and France, is expected to meet with German Chancellor Schröder on Sunday evening and be briefed of the German-Franco initiative before heading to Paris to meet President Chirac.

On Saturday, sharp differences between the German and American positions over Iraq surfaced as the high-profile security conference got underway in Munich. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a speech that it was hard to believe that sensible people could still doubt the threat that Iraq posed in light of the evidence provided by Secretary of State Colin Powell at the U.N. Security Council last week. [Comment: You mean the plagiarized report, Rummy? Ha ha! You MUST be joking!]

Rumsfeld urged the international community to support the military pressure on Saddam Hussein to avoid a war. "If the international community once again shows a lack of decisiveness, then there’s no chance that Saddam Hussein will voluntarily disarm or flee and thus no chance for a peaceful outcome," he said.

[Comment: Let me get this straight: Rummy and the Bush gang want to have a war - which he has delicately termed "military pressure" - in order to get Saddam to "voluntarily disarm?" Did I get that right??? And then, he also wants to have a war in order to have a "peaceful outcome?" Is there something wrong with this picture? Has this guy just simply gone over the edge and is no longer able to monitor his own speech? Oh! Yeah, I forgot. That's one of the symptoms of psychopathy... Lot of that going around these days. Wonder if there's a vaccine against THAT? Bush could volunteer to be the first to have one!]

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer criticized the U.S. strategy in the war against terror and said he couldn’t see any justification for a war against Iraq. "I am not convinced. That is my problem. I cannot go the public and say that these are the reasons because I won’t believe in them," Fischer said.

[Comment: Not hard to figure out why....]

The German Foreign Minister instead said that the U.N. weapons inspectors should continue their work and be given more time to carry out inspections. Fischer turned down Rumsfeld’s demand for a quick decision. "We shouldn’t just follow the logic of a military attack," he said. [...]

The minister renewed his criticism of the U.S. stance of forcing Iraq to disarm through war if necessary. He said the international community was not yet finished with its responsibilities in Afghanistan and the weeding out of the extremist Al Qaeda. "That’s the first critical question that I ask is why is this being prioritized now? To this day I can't see why. Saddam Hussein is a terrible dictator. But we have known that for a long time," he said. Fischer also reiterated the high risks that a war in Iraq could mean for stability in the Middle East and the war against terror.

Germany and France - dismissed only days ago by Donald Rumsfeld as "Old Europe" - have come up with a comprehensive plan to avoid war...

The entire US media is running a single story line written by Bush propaganda minister Karl Rove: that a US invasion of Iraq is inevitable, since Bush will reject whatever comes out of this weekend's meetings between Iraq and UN inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei - even if Iraq meets every last one of their conditions. In the wake of Colin Powell's bellicose presentation to the UN on Wednesday, the US media's story line has significantly hardened in insisting war is inevitable. Now it is presented as a matter of days, not even weeks.

From the start of Bush's march to war last September, the US media has contemptuously dismissed all opposition from "Old Europe" as irrelevant and certain to collapse under intense and "irresistable" diplomatic and economic pressure from George Bush and Colin Powell. UN Resolution 1441, which resulted from weeks of intense negotiations to prevent "automatic" war following renewed inspections, was falsely presented as a complete capitulation by Europe to Bush's unstoppable will.

Since Powell spoke, the US media has systematically dismissed all of the statements by European leaders. According to the US media, the corrupt French will support Bush after the US makes a side deal to give French oil companies a small stake in Iraq's oil. Germany, which is hopelessly controlled by socialists and greens, is now no more important than Libya or Cuba.

Naturally, Jacques Chirac and Gerhardt Schroeder are not pleased at being dismissed, and as the week progressed they became ever more emphatic in their insistence on further inspections. But the US media wants war now, and doesn't want to hear these tired old objections. So whatever European leaders say is simply shouted down by US leaders, as evidenced by the latest dismissive NY Times headline: "Rumsfeld Rebukes U.N. and NATO on Approach to Baghdad."

(It goes without saying that public opinion is completely irrelevant. The fact that 20,000 Germans protested outside the hall in which Rumsfeld issued his "rebuke" is barely considered worthy of mention. And the fact that MILLIONS of people around the world are preparing for the LARGEST anti-war protest in HISTORY on February 15 is systematically scrubbed from all reports.)

But suddenly this story line is about to change. Germany and France - dismissed only days ago by Donald Rumsfeld as "Old Europe" - have come up with a comprehensive plan to avoid war by sending thousands of UN troops to take effective control of Iraq.

The plan was revealed by Germany's leading weekly magazine, Der Spiegel. While the plan is still in draft form, the plan is ambitious and serious. and in order to counter expected US opposition, Germany and France have enlisted Russia, China, the European Union, and even Pope John Paul. Instead of collapsing in disunity, "Old Europe" is on the verge of uniting all of the world's secondary powers in direct and firm opposition to Bush's War.

Will Bush welcome this peace plan? Of course not - Bush has made it abundantly clear that he wants war, no matter what. Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice have never had a moment's hesitation about war, and Colin Powell has discarded whatever small hesitations he once had.

Still, if Bush is going to dismiss the German-French plan, he will have to offer the world a reason. But what possible reason could he offer? After all, Bush himself has repeatedly insisted that the UN had to demonstrate its "relevance" by taking effective action to eliminate any threat posed by Iraq.

It is now time for the US media to change its story line. With this plan, the UN has proved its "relevance." If a majority of the UN Security Council coalesces around this plan, Bush's forced march to war will be forced to a screeching halt.

The stakes here are larger than Iraq. The question now before the world is whether George Bush will himself support the "relevance" of the United Nations, or whether Bush has truly transformed the US into a "new Rome" that is determined to rule the world through imperial might. If Bush launches an aggressive war in direct defiance of a majority of the UN Security Council, he will destroy the UN and the entire post-war order.

The world is at a tipping point, swinging on the fulcrum between the rule of international law and the raw assertion of US imperialism. The stakes for the future of the world could not be higher.  

Will the US media tell the people? Or will Americans be the last to know?  

Lyndon LaRouche on the Powell Hoax - U.S. credibility is under assault as today's Reuters' "World News" dispatches featured breaking news which strongly suggests that Colin Powell's UNO Security Council address was, in significant part, a hoax based on cooked-up documents of Britain's Blair government. [...] Reuters described the British dossier referenced by Powell: "It claimed to draw upon `a number of sources, including intelligence material.' But Friday, officials admitted whole swathes were lifted word for word--grammatical slips and all--from a student thesis." [...]

Today, as in 1928-33 - The challenge posed to U.S. citizens by the alleged Blair dossier, is that no one is competent for nomination as a 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate who does not meet a standard of international leadership posed by comparing today's crisis-situation with the situation in Germany and the U.S.A. over the period from 1928, when the German Mueller government collapsed, through the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Germany's Nazi Chancellor, on Jan. 30, 1933. We must not only recognize the similarities of today's world's economic and military crisis to those of the 1928-29 interval; today's threat is far worse than that of 1928-33. [...]

Once again, as during 1928-33, the world is gripped by an accelerating economic collapse of the world's failed, 1971-2003 international monetary-financial system. In such periods of economic history, a monetary-financial collapse which has already entered its terminal phase, as during 1928-33 or today, is a period in which dictatorships and world wars erupt as a result of the failures of leading governments and political parties. Such is the situation today.

The following are excerpts from news slugs which appeared in the ICLC AM Daily Briefing of Saturday morning, Feb. 8, 2003. [ More...]

Like Father, Like Son or, How to Start a Gulf War - When Iraqi tanks rolled into Kuwait on August 2, 1990, President George Bush Senior compared the invasion to Nazi Germany’s occupation of the Rhineland. Nevertheless, the day before the invasion, the Bush administration approved the sale of $395,000,000 worth of advanced data transmission devices to Iraq, just one item in the 1.5 billion dollars of advanced technology that both the Reagan and Bush administrations sold to Hussein from 1985 to 1990.

The first President Bush, aided by Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Colin Powell, now jumped at the opportunity to justify a more militaristic foreign policy. Bush proposed "a new world order--free from the threat of terror." The United States would lead a coalition against the aggressor. Arab leaders suggested a compromise: allow Iraq to annex a small segment of Kuwait after withdrawal. The administration refused that offer and all others, not because the plans were unreasonable, but because the Bush administration had decided on a war designed to enhance American power in the oil-rich Mideast.

In early January, Hussein’s troops began to withdraw from Kuwait, but the Pentagon claimed to have satellite photographs showing an enormous buildup of Iraqi forces and weapons, 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1500 tanks massing in the desert for their impending attack on Saudi Arabia. This announcements stunned the anti-war protesters, and world opinion gradually shifted, although no one saw the alleged photos, which were, of course, classified. Jean Heller, an ace journalist from the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, persuaded her editors to buy two photos from the Russian commercial satellite, the Soyuz Karta, taken September 11 and September 13. The photos proved that the entire Iraqi airforce was parked in Riyadh and that Iraqi troops were nowhere to be found massing in the desert. The editors asked two former Defense Intelligence Agency analysts to examine the photos. They, too, were surprised that the pictures showed American jets arrayed on the Saudi Arabian border but no troops at all on the Kuwaiti border.

Then a strange thing happened. Major news organizations, including Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, and ABC, perused the photos but decided not to publish a story that would contradict the government’s information. The Iraqi military buildup, which did not exist, was Bush’s justification for dispatching troops, yet the American media refused to expose the government’s lie. The only honest American journalists were in St. Petersburg, Florida. After the war, the House Armed Services Committee concluded that at the beginning of the ground war in February, the Iraqi troops numbered 183,000, not the 250,000 "discovered" by the Pentagon satellite. The alleged Pentagon satellite photos are still classified.

The propagandists for the Gulf War had to reach back to World War I for the ultimate staged outrage--our evil enemy attacks innocent babies. Here is how it unfolded. Kuwaiti citizen Nijirah al-Sabah, wiped her eyes and described a horrifying scene she saw when she was a volunteer in the Al Adnan hospital in Kuwait City. She had witnessed Iraqi soldiers looting incubators to take back to Baghdad, throwing Kuwaiti babies on "the cold floor to die." This story, told and retold, incensed the public and congress as nothing else had done. The Senate resolution to go to war passed by five votes. Six senators said the baby-incubator story had overcome their reluctance to send troops. Months later, Nayirah was exposed as the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington. She had no connection to the Al Adnan hospital, as nurses there would testify. She and several other "witnesses" had been coached by the Hill and Knowlton public relations firm, which had a contract worth over $10,000,000 with the Kuwaiti government.

After the war, Bush’s Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney said that the government did not know and probably would never know how many Iraqi casualties resulted from the Gulf War. Beth Osborne Daponte, a Commerce Department demographer, prepared a report estimating that 13,000 civilians were killed by allied forces, 70,000 civilians died from infrastructure damage, and 40,000 troops were killed in battle. Her supervisors dismissed her, confiscated her report, and issued a new one with much lower estimates of Iraqi mortality rates. Later, after Beth Osborne won her appeal and had been reinstated in her job, U.S. officials provided higher estimates: 100,000 Iraqi soldiers killed, 300,000 wounded, and 2,500 to 3,000 Iraqi civilians killed by bombing. International organizations estimated that the war created 5,000,000 refugees and that sanctions had killed more than 500,000,000 Iraqi children. [...]

John MacArthur, author of Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War, reminds us that both Bush administrations shared many of the same top officials. "These are all the same people who were running it more than ten years ago," he says. "They’ll make up just about anything-- to get their way." It’s the same old crew, all right, the wonderful folks who brought us the too-soon-forgotten Iran-Contra scandal. Obviously, Big Oil is over-represented in Bush Junior’s administration. The Bushistas, including Vice President Dick Cheney (Halliburton Oil), Commerce Secretary Don Evans (Colorado Oil), National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice (Chevron), Secretary of Commerce and State Department official Richard Haas, have served as executives and consultants for international oil firms. They have traded valuable stock in companies that extract, refine, and market petroleum. They have profited from companies that build pipelines, obtain drilling concessions, and provision the industry. Enron used to be busy in all those capacities. [...]

It’s the same old crew, all right, refusing to negotiate, comparing Hussein to Hitler, accusing him of "gassing his own people" although the preponderance of evidence shows that the Iranians gassed the Kurds during the Iran-Iraq War, while the U.S. was supporting the Iraqis. No one should be surprised that the majority of hawks, the men who want to go to war rather than resort to diplomacy, have never seen military service. They managed to avoid the draft during the Vietnam conflict. Vice President Dick Cheney boasts, "I was smart enough to get five deferments." Bush Junior served in the National Guard, went AWOL for most of his enlistment. and somehow avoided imprisonment. Abrams, Card, Perle, Thompson, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Rove, Perle, etc.--none of them served, and all of them are eager to draw blood in Iraq.

The notable exception is Colin Powell, the only Bushista to have credibility in the realm of tactics, strategy, and diplomacy. Unfortunately, he is in the same position he occupied during Bush Senior’s regime when he repeatedly covered up the Iran-Contra crimes. Against what we hope must be his better judgment, he exercises the same function for Bush Junior. How sad, then, we were to see Powell standing before the United Nations Security Council with a pathetic show-and-tell presentation. The incriminating aerial photographs of Hussein’s hidden weapons facilities could have been a Hollywood set or a Bakersfield truck stop as far as the audience was concerned. The photos required, Powell hastened to explain, expert interpretation. Sigh. Maybe the Pentagon should buy its photos from Soyuz Karta, the commercial Russian satellite. [...]

Powell made points when he read earnestly from the thick British intelligence dossier, only to be ridiculed days later when the "intelligence dossier" proved to have been cobbled together from decade-old public sources, such as Jane’s Intelligence Review and an unattributed article from the Middle East Review of International Affairs written by a lecturer at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. No, General Powell. You had your chance and you blew it. Instead of holding up the vial of white powder and announcing that Hussein could do a whole bunch of damage with a teaspoonful of this anthrax stuff, you should have thrown your head back, swallowed it, and declaimed, "It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before." It looks like we’ll be hearing about dead babies pretty soon. [ Full article.. .]

Revealed: truth behind US 'poison factory' claim - If Colin Powell were to visit the shabby military compound at the foot of a large snow-covered mountain, he might be in for an unpleasant surprise. The US Secretary of State last week confidently described the compound in north-eastern Iraq - run by an Islamic terrorist group Ansar al-Islam - as a 'terrorist chemicals and poisons factory.' Yesterday, however, it emerged that the terrorist factory was nothing of the kind - more a dilapidated collection of concrete outbuildings at the foot of a grassy sloping hill. Behind the barbed wire, and a courtyard strewn with broken rocket parts, are a few empty concrete houses. There is a bakery. There is no sign of chemical weapons anywhere - only the smell of paraffin and vegetable ghee used for cooking. [...]

Ansar al Islam - the Islamic group that uses the compound identified by Powell as a military HQ to launch murderous attacks against secular Kurdish opponents - yesterday invited me and several other foreign journalists into their territory for the first time. 'We are just a group of Muslims trying to do our duty,' Mohammad Hasan, spokesman for Ansar al-Islam, explained. 'We don't have any drugs for our fighters. We don't even have any aspirin. How can we produce any chemicals or weapons of mass destruction?' he asked.

The radical terrorist group controls a tiny mountainous chunk of Kurdistan, the self-rule enclave of northern Iraq. Over the past year Ansar's fighters have been at war with the Kurdish secular parties who control the rest of the area. Every afternoon both sides mortar each other across a dazzling landscape of mountain and shimmering green pasture. Until last week this was an obscure and parochial conflict. But last Wednesday Powell suggested that the 500-strong band of Ansar fighters had links with both al-Qaeda and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. They were, he hinted, a global menace - and more than that they were the elusive link between Osama bin Laden and Iraq.

This is clearly little more than cheap hyperbole. Yesterday Hassan took the unprecedented step of inviting journalists into what was previously forbidden territory in an almost certainly doomed attempt to prevent an American missile strike once the war with Iraq kicks off. Ali Bapir, a warlord in the neighbouring town of Khormal, leant us several fighters armed with machine guns and we set off. [ More....]

The dossier that shamed Britain - Deception can only corrode public trust - Blair told the House of Commons that a dossier of 'intelligence' about Iraq demonstrated 'a huge infrastructure of deception and concealment' in Iraq. Powell even cited it at the UN. Yet a dossier presented as containing prime-cuts of fresh intelligence material turns out to be nothing of the sort - but rather an internet cut-and-paste exercise largely lifted from a Californian post-graduate thesis focused on evidence from the invasion of Kuwait 13 years ago. Even worse, while typographical errors were maintained, a sprinkling of unfounded exaggerations were inserted to strengthen the claims made in the thesis.

The Government has grudgingly admitted a failure to acknowledge sources - while insisting that the information remains valid. This misses the point. Plagiarism is not the main issue. The central issue is that of public trust. At best, this episode demonstrates incompetence and the failure to oversee the most important claims which the Government puts into the public domain. At worst, a deliberate attempt to hoodwink and mislead the public will undermine trust in anything the Government says about the Iraqi threat at this vital time.

Brussels: "Just say NO!" - Irked by U.S. pressure on Iraq, France looks set to veto NATO planning for the protection of Turkey just before a Monday deadline. Diplomats said the standoff is a glaring symptom of the malaise in relations between the United States and countries that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has labeled "old Europe."

Belgium, which has shadowed Paris in the three-week NATO deadlock, has confirmed that it will break a "silence procedure" called by Secretary-General George Robertson under which each of the 19 allies has until 4 a.m. EST Monday to raise objections. "We are going to block it between now and Monday -- it is settled," Foreign Minister Louis Michel said Sunday.

Diplomats said that Germany -- which had until now sought to stall preparations to defend Turkey because it could be seen as sanctioning military action against Iraq before diplomatic initiatives have been exhausted -- is expected to keep silent. But France has all but confirmed it will stall preparations to send Patriot air defense missiles, NATO early warning planes and anti-chemical and biological warfare units to Turkey. "We will not perhaps be the only ones," French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told reporters at a security conference in Munich, where officials from the two sides of the Atlantic repeatedly clashed over how to deal with Iraq.

From Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell told "Fox News Sunday" he found the move "inexcusable. [...] I hope that the Germans and the French and the Belgians will think differently about this over the next 24 hours."

If France and Belgium do veto the military planning, Turkey may act to force their hands by invoking Article IV, a clause never used in the 54-year history of the alliance. As a likely launch pad for a U.S.-led war against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Ankara is nervous about possible counter-attacks on its southern flank. Article IV says "parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence of security of any of the parties is threatened."

Diplomats said Article IV would put massive moral pressure on France and Belgium to fall into line. But Ankara would first seek assurances of solidarity from Paris before invoking the article to avoid what one diplomat dubbed a "NATO train wreck."

Rumsfeld, speaking in Munich, also branded the NATO standoff as "inexcusable." He said if those blocking the Turkey plans do not change course, others will provide the missiles and specialist teams on their own -- and NATO would be the loser.

France was furious when Robertson set a deadline for the allies last Thursday, a move that cut short a debate Paris had -- according to one diplomat -- "hoped to spin out for weeks." France has also been piqued by disparaging comments made by Rumsfeld and other influential U.S. officials over its stand that U.N. weapons inspectors must be given more time in Iraq before military action can be contemplated. Alliot-Marie, in a swipe at Washington, told the Munich conference: "To be an ally means to consult, to find consensus, it is not saying 'my idea is necessarily the right one and all those who don't agree should be pushed aside or excluded."'

A senior NATO diplomat said the wrangling at NATO was all about "who decides, who imposes and who has the last word," and this time France had challenged the United States.

Bernard Jenkin, British opposition defense spokesman, said the crisis at NATO had visibly worsened in the past 24 hours. "The splits among the key allies can only be the fulfillment of Saddam's dearest wish," he told the conference. "We must reassert the primacy of the Atlantic alliance as the foundation of European security. Unless we hang together across the Atlantic we shall all hang separately."

Bush, Rumsfeld Press for Action on Iraq - Defense Chief Rumsfeld Tells Europeans That Further Delay in Disarming Iraq Makes War More Likely - n a jab at major U.S. allies, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Saturday countries such as France and Germany that favor giving Iraq another chance to disarm are undermining what slim chance may exist to avoid war. "There are those who counsel that we should delay preparations" for war against Iraq. "Ironically, that approach could well make war more likely, not less, because delaying preparations sends a signal of uncertainty," Rumsfeld said in the opening address at an international conference on security policy. President Bush said he will not wait much longer before moving against Saddam Hussein, declaring in his weekly radio address that the Iraqi leader is wasting a last opportunity to come clean. [...]

Thousands more American forces are converging on the Persian Gulf region in anticipation of a decision by Bush, within days or weeks, to invade Iraq and oust Saddam. Also, Turkey's top civilian and military leaders reportedly agreed Saturday to let the United States send 38,000 troops to the country to open a northern front should there be war with Iraq. On Munich's snowy streets, as many as 20,000 people staged protests against U.S. policy on Iraq. "Today Munich says yes to peace and no to war," said Roman Catholic Bishop Engelbert Siebler. [...]

In response to Rumsfeld's remarks, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer made an impassioned plea for patience with Iraq and said the German public sees no justification for going to war. "We must not accept the logic of a military campaign," Fischer said. "We must give the inspectors more time." In Berlin, a German government official said his country is working with France on "specific peaceful alternatives to a military solution." The German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the French-German plan includes placing U.N. troops across Iraq, conducting reconnaissance flights over the country and tripling the number of U.N. weapons inspectors. [...]

The split over Iraq among the United States, Britain and numerous other European countries on the one hand and Germany, France and Russia on the other has caused severe strains in diplomatic relations. Some of the harshest words came from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who, with Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., led a U.S. congressional delegation to the conference. McCain hammered France and Germany for blocking a NATO effort to plan for ways of defending alliance member Turkey from potential attacks by Iraq in the event of war. Turkey has requested such assistance, and the United States is strongly in favor of it. The Turks want Patriot anti-missile batteries, surveillance planes and other defensive help. McCain accused the Germans and French of "calculated self-interest." He said their actions had caused a "terrible injury" to NATO and exposed their "vacuous posturing." [...]

"Turkey needs to be looked after," Rumsfeld said before returning to Washington. He noted that Turkey shares a border with Iraq, and "the idea that NATO would deny them NATO support in that circumstance, in my view, is inexcusable.' In his speech, Rumsfeld left no doubt that Bush is prepared to act soon on Iraq. The Pentagon chief referred to Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the Security Council last week and said it provided "not conjecture but facts" on the Iraqi threat. "It is difficult to believe there still could be any question in the minds of reasonable people open to the facts before them," Rumsfeld said. "The threat is there to see. ... Really the only question remaining is: what will we do about it?"

Comment: I don't know how this guy manages to still appear in public without a red face after the whole lot of them have been exposed as liars and plagiarists.

Interview with Vladimir Putin - PUTIN: France and Russia share common approaches to the future architecture of international security. Both we in Russia and French President Chirac believe that the future global security architecture must be based on a multi-polar world. This is the main thing that unites us. [...] the quality of relations between Russia and France has allowed us, in spite of the differences in approaches, to gather our common potential to work out joint decisions on problems of the post-war settlement. In conjunction with France, in conjunction with the other members of the UN Security Council, we've arrived at a common decision.

QUESTION: With regard to the danger of the war with Iraq, I would like to ask the following question. President Chirac believes that every opportunity must be used to find a diplomatic solution, before any military operations begin. What will be your final decision, which you, evidently, will have to make in the coming weeks, considering the impatience of Bush and the US administration to deal with Saddam Hussein?

V.V. PUTIN: I think that we have different tasks. We do not have the task of dealing with Saddam Hussein. There is nothing in the United Nations Charter that would allow the UN Security Council to take a decision to change the political regime in one or another country - whether we like this regime or not. Only one task is facing the international community: to make sure that Iraq does not have weapons of mass destruction or to find them and force Iraq to destroy them. And in this connection, we share the position with our American partners that we must do everything possible so that Iraq co-operates completely with the UN inspectors. The difference in our approaches is the following: we believe that this problem can and should be solved through peaceful, political and diplomatic methods. Inspectors are working there, and we trust them. They have not found anything, at any rate, they have not found anything so far. They have not said that the Iraqi authorities have interfered with their work, or prevented them from carrying out their tasks. And, in essence, they themselves have asked for the continuation of their work. I am certain that we should give them this opportunity.

QUESTION: Both Russia and France have huge oil interests in Iraq. Are you concerned about some form of economic repression, sanctions from George Bush and his administration, if you refuse to go to war with them in Iraq?

V.V. PUTIN: Russia, and I am deeply convinced about this, is a reliable partner in international affairs, because we are not guided by instant gain, competition or some kind of emotions. We have certain principles, and we stick to them. We have our interests there, and not only in the oil sphere. But we are not going, like at an Oriental bazaar, to haggle, to sell our position in exchange for some form of economic gain.

If we and other members of the UN Security Council see that the situation needs to be changed, requires a tougher position from us, we shall work with all our colleagues on the UN Security Council. The results of the inspectors' work have not given us so far any reasons to toughen our position.

As far as our economic interests are concerned, then I repeat, they do exist. We do not hide this fact, and, of course, we are intending to fight for them. And the best way to guarantee both the interests of Russia and France, as is the case with any other country, including the United States, is to follow both the spirit and the letter of international law, above all, the United Nations Charter. Then the world will be predictable, understandable and we shall act according to a single set of rules that everybody respects. [...]

QUESTION: What, in your opinion, Mr. President, would be the consequences of the US unilateral action outside the UN? And what would be the consequences of a new war for the Middle East and, naturally, the rest of the world?

V.V. PUTIN: I am certain that unilateral action would be a great mistake. The first basic negative consequence would be the very real threat of a split in the UN Security Council and the anti-terrorism coalition. This could lead to the break-up of Iraq with difficult-to-predict consequences for its neighbours. I think that this would complicate the Middle East peace process and, of course, would radicalise the Islamic world, which could spark off a new wave of terrorist attacks and harm the leaderships of the Muslim countries orientated towards democratic values. Just recently, practically all of Iraq's neighbours met in Turkey and declared that they did not see any threat from this state. They are not supporters of Saddam Hussein's regime, but they are afraid of war. And they have grounds for this.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov says Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder are likely to discuss the recent French-German proposal on settling the situation around Iraq at a meeting in Berlin. At a concluding press conference in Munich Ivanov said that "if the UN Security Council goes as far as to support the idea" he was almost sure that Moscow would favour the proposal. The Russian Defence Minister said that "a group of inspectors, sort of a reserve" had been formed in Russia and that his country was also ready to provide the United Nations with intelligence aircraft to track down weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Sergei Ivanov added that he had discussed the Iraqi problem with French and German ministers. "I now have an impression that these countries have not principally changed their positions on the situation around Iraq," he said.

Germany and Russia said Sunday they hoped Iraq could be disarmed peacefully, with Moscow saying France, Germany, Russia and China were broadly in agreement. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin made the comments after meeting in Berlin. "We want to jointly make sure that there is a peaceful disarmament," Schroeder told a joint news conference. [...] "We are jointly of the opinion that they should continue their work and are of the opinion that whenever it is necessary the control system and sanction system should be expanded," he said. Putin said Moscow saw no reason now for the use of force. "We are convinced that a one-sided use of force would lead to great suffering for the population and increase tension in the whole region," he said. [...] Putin said France, Germany and Russia were working closely in the Security Council and shared similar positions with China on the Iraq issue. Russia, France and China have veto power at the Security Council; as do Britain and the United States, both of whom are preparing for a possible war to disarm Iraq. "I believe that all those who are closely following the situation in Iraq can see that the positions of Russia, Germany and France are almost the same in this question," Putin said. "Based on our estimates the majority of U.N. Security Council members share such an approach," he said.

Germany and France pushed Sunday to boost weapons inspections in Iraq to try to avert a war but U.S. officials said it was too late for such actions to resolve the crisis. German Defense Minister Peter Struck said Paris and Berlin wanted to back up inspections with U.N. troops and would outline the plan to the U.N. Security Council Friday when inspectors are due to report on Iraqi compliance on disarming. Paris rejected reports there was a secret Franco-German plan to disarm Iraq but noted proposals to the Security Council last week by Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin to intensify arms inspections. [...] If the proposal wins wider backing, it could delay any U.N. Security Council resolution on authorizing military action and risk further deepening a cleft between Berlin and Paris on one side and Washington, which says disunity strengthens Baghdad. [...] In another sign that France and Germany were trying to hold up moves to war, Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said his country was working with Paris and Berlin to block NATO plans to protect Turkey in the event of war with Iraq. Struck said ideas Berlin and Paris were discussing built on de Villepin proposals last week, which included an offer of French reconnaissance planes to support inspectors. Germany might contribute to a U.N. force to support inspectors, he said. [...] Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday such proposals would not solve the Iraq crisis, adding time had run out for such action and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had not complied with U.N. resolution 1441 demanding he disarm.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Sunday North Korea may pose a greater threat than Iraq and that he hoped the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear program could be resolved peacefully. "My personal judgment is that the potential threat stemming from that part of the world can potentially outweigh what we are witnessing in Iraq," Ivanov told a news conference on the fringes of a major security conference in Munich. "We want as a minimum for the situation to revert to the status quo as it was a few months ago," he said, speaking through a translator. "We reject any attempts to exert military pressure on a sovereign state." "We are convinced that these problems can be resolved through political, diplomatic and economic means." Russia is the only power in the G8 group of industrialized nations that has good relations with both North and South Korea.

One man was killed and another injured Sunday in a blast at a liquid nitrogen plant which is part of a nuclear research facility at Nilore, 16 miles from the Pakistani capital, the state-run news agency said. The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) said the explosion occurred at the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, an educational wing of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

Powell’s evidence: Unbelievable and Incredible! - These were the “credible intelligence sources” referred to by the US Secretary of State, sources which he claimed were “magnificent” and which were supposed to lay the foundation for a war against Iraq. The documentation in question is a nineteen-page report supplied by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the US administration, which had been ordered from MI6, the British secret services for external operations, by Mr. Blair’s advisor, Alistair Campbell.

Professor Glen Rangwala of Cambridge University, in the United Kingdom, could hardly believe his ears when he heard Colin Powell’s speech and the “evidence” he was presenting. He had heard it all before, in 1991, because it was the thesis of a student of his, Ibrahim Al-Marash, now himself a professor working in California. Ten of the nineteen pages of this “magnificent” intelligence supplied by the British had been copied, complete with spelling mistakes, from the thesis document. The other nine pages are copied and pasted from defence magazines readily available on the Internet, such as Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The text from the copied thesis refers to the practice of hiding weapons of mass destruction in Mosques and private residences, much referred to in Colin Powell’s speech to highlight what Washington understands as Iraq’s policy of cheating the inspections.

The fact that eight European Heads of Government (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, along with the United Kingdom’s Tony Blair) signed a letter this week supporting the American position is proof that they are wholly incompetent to be in their positions, being more motivated by a sycophantic and servile desire to be Washington’s lackeys, in return for spoils, than to render a serious and balanced service to their countries.

The fact that the UK and the USA can base a causus belli, a cause for war, knowingly, on such blatantly contrived, biased and false information is utterly incredible. It is the governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom which are cheating the international community, or in the words of George Bush, “stiffing”.

The greed for Iraq’s oil has led what used to be credible governments into a blind quest for power, through energy, no doubt egged on by the energy lobby pulling the strings in Washington. That the United States of America could, at least, be so careless as to present this case for war against Iraq based upon such pretexts to the UN Security Council is paramount to criminal negligence, total disrespect or utter incompetence. The world’s policeman has been caught red-handed with his fingers in the charity box.

Three Palestinians blew up their explosives-laden car next to a Gaza Strip army post on Sunday, killing themselves and wounding four Israeli soldiers, military sources said. The apparent suicide bombing, in a bloc of Jewish settlements, occurred after news emerged of secret truce talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and a top Palestinian official. [...] Israel's president was due to give Sharon a formal nod at 5 p.m. to form a coalition government led by his right-wing Likud party, which crushed rivals in a January 28 election. He will have up to 42 days to build a coalition. [...] Such deals have collapsed in the past, and Israeli forces reoccupied most of the West Bank in the middle of last year following suicide attacks in Israel. The Palestinian Authority has said the incursions have paralyzed its security forces. [...] The Sharon-Korei meeting, confirmed by Palestinian officials, represented the first high-level talks between the two sides in nearly a year. Sharon has shunned Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, accusing him of fomenting violence -- an allegation Arafat denies. Comment: Again, we have to wonder about these "suicide bombers" who keep shooting the Palestinians in the foot. The only ones who benefit from this sort of thing are the Israelis. After all, so far, at least 1,823 Palestinians and 700 Israelis have been killed since the uprising began in September 2000 after peace talks stalled. Those numbers are a bit lop-sided, don't you think???

Moscow would back a Franco-German plan to try to avert war in Iraq by reinforcing arms inspections if it was put to the U.N. Security Council, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Sunday. Ivanov, speaking on the margins of a security conference in Munich, said that if U.N. arms inspections were bolstered a team of Russian experts could go to Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction and Russia could offer reconnaissance planes. [...] German Defense Minister Peter Struck confirmed on Sunday that Berlin and Paris would present their joint plan to the Security Council and said he hoped it would be "taken up positively" next Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin headed for Germany and France Sunday for meetings with the leaders of the leading opponents of a US military campaign against Baghdad amid reports that Berlin and Paris have prepared a new joint plan to disarm Iraq.

Bush Gang furious over reported Franco-German plan on Iraq - US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld headed back to Washington from a brief European tour Sunday as US officials lambasted France and Germany for allegedly leaving them out of the loop on a joint plan to disarm Iraq. Senior officials made it clear that they were deeply unhappy at being told of the reported plan only hours before Rumsfeld was due to fly out of Munich, where he had been attending a high-level security conference. [...] As Rumsfeld's convoy headed for the airport, a senior US official said the Pentagon chief quizzed German Defence Minister Peter Struck over press reports on the plan during face-to-face talks late Saturday -- only to be told "we're not ready to talk to you about it." [...] While not wanting to confirm the report in Der Spiegel, a German government spokesman said there were "thoughts in common to find peaceful alternatives to a military resolution to the Iraq conflict." The magazine also said UN weapons inspections would be tripled, a new wave of sanctions imposed on Iraq and efforts intensified to combat contraband oil smuggling, a major source of revenue. [...] President George W. Bush said in his regular Saturday radio address that the United States would "welcome and support a new (UN Security Council) resolution making clear that the Security Council stands behind its previous demands. "Yet, resolutions mean little without resolve," Bush added. "And the United States, along with a growing coalition of nations, will take whatever action is necessary to defend ourselves and disarm the Iraqi regime."Comment: So Rumsfeld and buddies get a taste of their own medicine - and they don't like it.

North Korea says UN atomic watchdog applying double standards - North Korea has accused the UN atomic watchdog of applying double standards in dealing with nuclear issues, citing reports that plutonium capable of making 25 bombs was missing in Japan. North Korea's General Department of Atomic Energy said Friday that the "double standards and partial attitude" of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as a US hostile policy toward the North were escalating its stand-off with the United States. [...] "The double standards applied by the US and the IAEA in dealing with the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and the nuclear issue of Japan only make the settlement of the issues more difficult," it said in a statement. A total of 206 kilogrammes (453 pounds) of plutonium was unaccounted for at the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Tokaimura, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Tokyo, which has been operating since 1977.

Korean defiance piles pressure on Bush - The Bush administration this weekend was mounting an intense diplomatic drive to prevent the confrontation over North Korea's nuclear weapon ambitions spinning out of control, even as it makes the final preparations for a war with Iraq.

Pope John Paul will send a senior cardinal to Baghdad on a personal peace mission in an attempt to avert war and convince Iraqi authorities to cooperate with the international community, the Vatican said on Sunday. The Vatican said Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, a Frenchman who has carried out some delicate missions for the pope in the past, would leave on Monday.

Iran denied on Sunday a report that it had met U.S. officials privately last month to discuss cooperation in a possible war against Iraq. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that U.S. officials had met Iranians in Europe to seek a pledge of humanitarian assistance and an assurance that Tehran would not interfere in military operations against Baghdad.

Iraq Shows Facilities Cited by Powell Missiles Within U.N.'s Limits, Officials Assert - The Iraqi rocket-testing workshop here was cited before the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday as a hiding place for banned weapons. Today, journalists brought in by the government saw missile tubes, tailfins and nosecones inside the building, along with four assembled Al Fatah missiles, freshly painted white, that lay outside near a large truck. Nothing at the facility, Iraqi officials asserted as they showed reporters around, constitutes a violation of U.N.-imposed weapons restrictions.

Britain and America are drawing up plans to give Saddam Hussein as little as 48 hours to flee Baghdad or face war, if UN weapons inspectors report this week that the Iraqi dictator is still refusing to disarm fully. The proposals will form the framework of a long-awaited second resolution, which could be put before the Security Council by next weekend. The deadline would be just long enough for Arab neighbours to make a last effort to persuade Saddam to leave the country, according to US officials, or for a coup to take place. The shortest timeframe to emerge from private diplomatic discussions has been two days.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued uncompromising challengesto both the United Nations and NATO over Iraq today, warning that the global body risked ridicule and discredit and cautioning three of America's European partners that delaying plans to defend Turkey weakened the Atlantic alliance. Comment: That is utterly astonishing. Doesn't this guy realize that he, Bush, Cheney, Powell, and the rest of the gang are the laughingstock of the entire planet? Don't they realize that the only ones who don't ridicule them publicly are the ones who expect payola?

Rocker Dave Matthews on Iraq: Bottom line: this war is wrong and this war is un-American.

Patriot Act Part Two: Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Laws... Slow loading, so be patient if you want to read it. Bottom line is: those criminals in the White House are pulling another fast one, lying about what they are up to, and they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. See also Bill Moyers interview with Chuck Lewis, the man responsible for exposing the secret plot of the Bush Administration to finalize the New World Order in America.

MOYERS: Do you see any protection in here against potential abuse?

LEWIS: I don't think there's very much — there's a lot more authority and power for government. There's less oversight and information about what government is doing. That's the headline and that's the theme. And the safeguards seem to be pretty minimal to me.

MOYERS: I just go through here, you know? "Will give the Attorney General the unchecked power to deport any foreigner?"

LEWIS: Right.

MOYERS: Including lawful permanent resident aliens. It would give the government the power to keep certain arrests secret until an indictment is found never in our history have we permitted secret arrests. It would give the government power to bypass courts and grand juries in order to conduct surveillance without a judge's permission. I mean these do really further upend the balance between liberty on the one hand and security on the other.

LEWIS: Well, they do. They reduce judicial oversight with the secret intelligence courts instead of saying the court may do this now it's the court will do this. They can have ex parte conversations where they go into the judge without anyone else around. In terms of information about detainees, not only can they detain anyone they'd like to detain, there is no public information about it. Journalists cannot find out the names of — we detained over a thousand people after September 11th because we thought they might all be terrorists. Not one of them was really found with any criminal charges to be a terrorist. And we don't know the names of almost all those people, still. And so it does appear that everything that folks might be concerned about with the Patriot Act, this is times five or times ten is what I look at it. I see it very serious. [...] the Patriot Act jammed through Congress in six weeks. There was a Congressional — there was a Senate hearing that lasted an hour and a half, there were no questions to the Attorney General by the senators. This is too important for our country. Whatever anyone's point of view, this should be a conversation that the country should have. And if I'm afraid they're waiting for a war or something and then they're gonna pop this baby out and then try to jam it through.

Emerging Police State DataPage - Jeff Rense's archive of articles showing the Fascist takeover of America.

India and Pakistan staged tit-for-tat expulsions of their top diplomats Saturday, deepening a chill between the nuclear-armed neighbors. A total of 10 diplomats were ordered out of the countries, which have fought three wars and were close to a fourth last year over the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan gave India's acting High Commissioner Sudhir Vyas and four colleagues 48 hours to leave for alleged "involvement in activities incompatible with their status." Earlier, India expelled Pakistan's acting High Commissioner Jalil Abbas Jilani, accused of funding separatists in Kashmir, and four other Pakistani high commission staff.

The United States is likely to reject a proposal France and Germany are crafting for beefed up U.N. arms inspections in Iraq, a plan being developed without consulting the United States, U.S. officials said Saturday. An annoyed U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld learned of the proposal Saturday night after it was reported in the German newsweekly der Spiegel. The proposal, to be presented next week to the U.N. Security Council, would send thousands of U.N. troops -- so-called "blue helmets" -- and hundreds, possibly thousands, more inspectors to enforce U.N. resolutions calling for Iraq's disarmament. In comments to reporters, a senior U.S. government official said, "In diplomacy, if you are trying to win friends and influence people the last thing in the world you want to do is to lay on the U.S. government -- on the most important issue facing us -- a major diplomatic proposal through the press. That's not exactly the way to go." Comment: I don't know who this "senior U.S. government official" is, but he is missing an important point: it is the U.S. that needs some lessons in diplomacy. But then Bush and Co live in a completely different reality - the reality of the psychopath.

An opposition member of Lebanon's Parliament says the true axis of evil is one of "oil and Jews," calling President George W. Bush a "mad emperor" and Prime Minister Tony Blair an "imperial servant" with a "peacock appearance."

US pulls out diplomats in final preparation for strike on Iraq - Diplomats' families are also being evacuated, and the Polish envoy who represents US interests in Baghdad has been withdrawn – raising the question of whether anything can now halt the planned US invasion, which is expected to start within a month. The US has ordered a fifth carrier group to the Gulf. Yesterday Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, the two top United Nations weapons inspectors, began two days of vital consultations in Baghdad ahead of their next report to the Security Council on Friday.

Hyde Park demonstration is expected to draw the biggest crowds since VE Day - Because of the expected size of Saturday's demonstration, two separate route marches have been drawn up, converging in Piccadilly and ending in Hyde Park. One will begin on the Embankment, near Blackfriars station. Marchers travelling from the north are being urged to assemble in Gower Street, near Euston Square station. To encourage protesters to arrive in London early, the Stop the War Coalition has organised a series of events on Friday, beginning with a meeting of Poets against the War at the South Bank at 6pm.

An anxious Tony Blair and George Bush were pushing for a new "fig-leaf" United Nations resolution last night to avert a French veto and clear the way for war on Iraq. Senior diplomats told The Independent that the planned resolution would lay down a brief deadline for Saddam Hussein to co-operate fully with UN demands but would fall short of providing an explicit authorisation of force. President Bush would push for a "serious, effective and acceptable" UN resolution, his spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said. The price of securing UN unity and thereby persuading sceptical public opinion throughout Europe and America to back the war was to opt for such a watered-down approach, diplomatic sources said. The news came as Jacques Chirac, the French President, raised the stakes by hinting that his country would use its Security Council veto to block a war.

More than 12,000 peace demonstrators gathered in central Munich on Saturday outside a conference where Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticized Germany's efforts to prevent a U.S. war against Iraq. Munich police said the protest was largely peaceful, though some scuffles broke out between demonstrators and the 3,500 police. Snowballs and bottles were thrown from the crowd. The rally, held under the slogan "No War in Iraq" was organized by trade unions, church groups and politicians. It was the latest in a series of anti-war rallies in Germany. "Osama Bush Laden" read one poster carried through a steady snowstorm in the southern German city. "No Blood for Oil" read another. "No war, Mr. Rumsfeld" and "NATO War -- Stop the Capitalist Terror!" were written on other posters.

Pope John Paul, speaking ahead of a flurry of Vatican diplomatic efforts to avert conflict in Iraq, on Saturday urged the world not to resign itself to war. "We have to multiply efforts. We can't stop when faced with either terror attacks or the threats that are on the horizon. We should never resign ourselves, almost as if war is inevitable," the pope said. The 82-year-old pope made his an appeal in an address to members of Italy's Sant' Egidio peace group, which brokered a deal that ended the civil war in Mozambique 10 years ago. His words also preceded what looks to be an intense period of efforts by the Holy See to avert a possible conflict.

Annan Warns Bush Only UN Can Authorize War On Iraq - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warned the United States that any decision to disarm Iraq through war must be taken by the United Nations -- and only when all alternatives have failed.   At the same time, he reminded Security Council members opposed to the use of force that the UN was not founded by pacifists and said they must face up to their responsibilities if Iraq continued to defy them.   The use of military might to enforce council resolutions "is an issue not for any one state, but for the international community as a whole," Annan said in a speech to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.   The speech, broadcast live by television networks, came only a day after US President George W. Bush said "the UN Security Council has got to make up its mind soon as to whether or not its word means anything."

Early in 1935, a passenger ship bound for Haifa in Palestine left the German port of Bremerhaven. Its stern bore the Hebrew letters for its name, "Tel Aviv," while a swastika banner fluttered from the mast. And although the ship was Zionist-owned, its captain was a National Socialist Party member. Many years later a traveler aboard the ship recalled this symbolic combination as a "metaphysical absurdity."1 Absurd or not, this is but one vignette from a little-known chapter of history: The wide-ranging collaboration between Zionism and Hitler's Third Reich.

Fake Terror Alerts - We're As Stupid As They Think - How stupid do they think we are? Only hours after our much-praised Secretary of State is revealed to have been using material plagiarized from a college student to justify why we're going to kill thousands of people with bombs, our government issues a terror alert and expects us to believe it?  

And how stupid are we? We believe it. - Everybody takes it seriously even though Colin Powell has been shown to have perpetrated a colossal lie before the entire world, sitting in front of the assembled multitude of rectitude at the United Nations, exposed as having tried to pass off a decade-old college post-graduate thesis as supposedly cutting-edge Department of Defense intelligence. Used before the most august leaders of the world, this is supposed to be the best we can do? For all that money in the defense budget?  

I mean, shouldn't we be embarrassed to be caught in such a childish lie? Could the U.S. government have reached a new low in their sluggish and unintelligent efforts to convince the world it should bomb everything that doesn't "love our freedom?"  

But it didn't matter. The American people have become such dullards that apparently nobody made the connection concerning lying about the reasons for bombing Iraq and lying about the terror alert. Certainly not the TV news robots. [...]

The TV anchorpeople, who worry a lot more about their hair than they do the fate of the world, didn't even blink an eye, didn't even make the connection, that if Powell is fabricating evidence culled from the out-of-date research - the grad student's work was assessing conditions in Iraq more than a decade ago - then what possible evidence could this most "humane" member of the Bush Cabal of Death have been using to suddenly whip up a new terror alert - which served no greater purpose than to take the world's focus off his own obvious incompetence and insincerity.

Experts discount 'sprite' theory Shuttle wasn't flying above thunderstorm - On Friday, a Chronicle story reported that federal investigators are reviewing records from ultrasensitive instruments that might have detected a faint thunderclap at the same time a photograph taken by a San Francisco amateur astronomer appears to show a purplish bolt of lightning strike the shuttle. Asked about the electromagnetic phenomena, Ron Dittemore, the NASA shuttle program manager, said in a news conference Friday: "I really have no idea whether we had any static electricity, whether we had any electrical discharge. [...] The Associated Press reported that researchers at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida raised concerns in a 2002 report that shuttles could encounter electromagnetic phenomena or ice crystals from the highest clouds on re-entry. The report estimated a 1-in-100 likelihood of a shuttle flying through a sprite, blue jet or elf during re-entry over a thunderstorm. However, "expert panels so far have concluded that sprites, blue jets and elves do not pose a hazard to the space shuttle, which is designed to withstand a harsh electrical environment," said the report. The Kennedy Space Center researchers sent the report to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Reston, Va.

Joanne Hossack filed a wrongful death suit in December against Amy Viscuso, another poster on, who was on the phone with Hossack's son while he overdosed. ASH, a website that combines discussion groups and detailed instructions for self-annihilation, has been linked to 10 confirmed suicides.

Warning: Probable Disinfo: What’s Behind Latest ‘Orange Alert’ New intelligence reports that point to the possibility of multiple, imminent attacks by Al Qaeda against Jewish groups and Jewish-owned businesses in the U.S. - The Bush administration raised the national threat alert from “yellow” to “orange” Friday after receiving new intelligence reports that pointed to the possibility of multiple imminent attacks by Al Qaeda against Jewish groups and Jewish-owned businesses inside the United States, NEWSWEEK has learned. - ACTING SWIFTLY ON the reports, FBI officials began contacting Jewish leaders and rabbis around the country Friday to warn them to be especially vigilant and to enhance security at Sabbath services and other events over the weekend, law-enforcement sources said. State and local police were also being asked to provide extra patrols for Jewish religious services and other gatherings. Officials said the new intelligence warned about the possibility of attacks on synagogues, Jewish community centers, Jewish hospitals, youth groups, hotels and resorts. Law-enforcement officials stressed that they had no information that could help them identify any specific targets and that it was difficult to stress the credibility of much of the intelligence reporting.

The former Taleban regime of Afghanistan has issued a rare statement urging Afghans to take part in a jihad (holy war) against US-led coalition forces based in the country. It said the Taleban considered the possible US attack on Iraq as a continuation of the crusades against Muslims and an onslaught on Islam. The communique was ordered by Mullah Omar The message was faxed from an unknown location in Pakistan and signed by Mohammad Mukhtar Mujahid, styling himself as a spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name used by the Taleban while they were in power.


February 8, 2003

Barry Chamish on the "Bolt of Electricity" theory: YESTERDAY, I was sent a photo of what was purported to be the electric charge that struck Columbia. After seeing the weird blue looped streak I was all prepared to say, "Case closed. We know what damaged the craft's left wing and caused the crash seven minutes later. Now I can concentrate on my Israeli reports like I was born to do."

I was all ready to prepare a jpg of the streak and send it out. But then I noticed there were clouds, lots of them, above the supposed Columbia: at 212000 feet, a sky full of clouds. This picture was a hoax.

That led me to the next step in logical thinking: this is all too easy. An electric discharge is photographed bolting into Columbus. Proof quickly arrives that electric storms occur in the high atmosphere. Mystery solved. Let's bury the astronauts and go home.

Such an approach is a good idea if you're covering up facts, considering more and more influential people want to know if the blue light was caused by a Star Wars Weapon:

Dallas Congressman, Pete Sessions(R-Dallas), and son for former FBI Director Judge William Sessions, told KLIF-AM talk radio, on Saturday morning, that these electrical flashes are very disturbing. He speculated that America's enemies, citing China, had developed SDI weapons. (Was this an assassination contracted by Iraq to the ChiComms?)

Congressman Pete Sessions, Republican-Northwest Dallas, and son of former FBI Director William Sessions (of San Antonio), has called for an investigation of the mysterious flashes of light seen just before the Columbia accident.

TO PREVENT such calls for a real investigation, the strategy is; let us quickly prepare data that will lead all to one inescapable conclusion; a storm in an unknown part of the high atmosphere released a bolt of lightning which damaged the Shuttle's left wing and caused it to break up and crash. Or, as we shall conjecture shortly, let's have it prepared before the disaster. [...]

From USA Today: "[...] As NASA proceeds with its investigation, scientists will have to ponder the many mysteries of the "ignorosphere." A report by NASA scientists released last fall describes concerns about the impact of upper atmospheric phenomenon on the space shuttle: [...] Blue jets are upward lightning strikes. In 1998, Lyons and a team of scientists reported one that was sparked by a meteor. "The safety implications are just a gaping hole in our knowledge," he says. As the space shuttle streaks through the upper atmosphere, it leaves a wake in the air just as a boat leaves a wake behind it in the water. The shuttle's wake becomes electrified. Lyons says some scientists are speculating that its electrified wake acted as an antenna and drew a blue jet to the Columbia. NASA and the Air Force have been losing interest in studying the uppermost atmosphere. Meanwhile, Lyons says scientists are still discovering unexplained phenomenon. "We're nickel-and-diming to do our research," he says. "And there is all sorts of electrical foolishness going on up there that we still don't know anything about."

SO WHAT is it about that last report that is so bothersome? It's when NASA began its investigation; less than two months before Columbia took off. This is known as establishing an alibi. The next reporter implies that NASA's plan to shut down the Shuttle program and its release of the ignorosphere report just prior to the loss of the Columbia was not accidental [...]

NASA Looking To Shut Down Space Station & Shuttle...02/05/03 by Mitch Battros (ECTV) Sound like breaking news? Well, it is at least two months old. ECTV reported on this event in late November 2002. Could this be a coincidence? I sure hope so, because if it is not, it was at the coast of seven innocent people who died, and countless others who have been betrayed.

This whole incident is beginning to stink. I found it very interesting how many times Sean O'Keefe, head administrator of Nasa stated "it is import for us (nasa) to keep the trust of the American people". Now I am not quite sure who he is trying to convince, the public, or the vast Nasa staff, contractors and consultants. Once again, only time will tell. [...]

Here is the first ECTV article posted which has the tale tell signs of what was to happen to the Space Station and the Shuttle missions: November 25th 2002: "The not so good news; is the same geomagnetic storm that produces beautiful lights in the sky, can also blow out power grids and harm satellites. Not to mention the space station and space shuttle. I wonder if this was behind the reasoning for delaying the space shuttle for two weeks before its blast off Friday night. [...]

SO AFTER forty years in space, when not even one little red sprite has ever hit, let alone felled, a spacecraft, the one that does, emerges not two months after NASA announced the danger it posed. There exists the real possibility that we are being toyed with. And the sophisticated manipulations are going to work. Very shortly, the world will put the Shuttle tragedy to bed, fully persuaded that the craft was brought down by a freak high upper atmosphere electrical discharge. And that will be that. But there is more, much more to the downing of Space Shuttle Columbia.



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