As always, Caveat Lector! The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the owners of Cassiopaea.org. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers.
The links will open a new window. To return to this page, simply close the new window.
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 17, 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!
WE'LL OUST BLAIR: MPs PLOT AN ANTI WAR REVOLT TO TOPPLE PM: 'He won't listen..he must go' TONY Blair faces a leadership challenge over his plans to attack Iraq. The Daily Mirror has learned of a plot involving disillusioned MPs, peers and union bosses. It would be the first such move against the Premier since he swept to power in 1997. One ringleader said: "These are firm proposals." The Labour MP, who asked not to be named, added: "We have the numbers required to mount a challenge
"It is now a firm view right across the Labour
Party that Tony Blair is finished because of his refusal to listen
to overwhelming opposition to war with Iraq."Our source said: "I
will not speculate on who will be asked to front this challenge. "A
resolution will be constructed and put to a card vote at the
party's annual conference in the autumn. If a majority of the
conference vote for an election then it would be all systems go."
Tony Woodley, deputy general secretary of the TGWU union, warned:
"Mr Blair's in real trouble here." In his speech at Labour's spring
conference in Glasgow, the Premier said unpopularity could be "the
price of leadership and cost of conviction". Ministers yesterday
rallied behind Mr Blair. Deputy PM John Prescott said the job of
the leader was "to take action because it is right and just".
Government Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong admitted that the party
faced a "testing time." Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell insisted
last night that the Government did not have a policy of "regime
change" for Iraq. Comment: You're next Bushy boy!
CNN Leaves 750 Words Out Of Blix Transcript. How in the world do you trust a 'news' organization like CNN, when they offer what purports to be a full transcript of Hans Blix' address to the UN Security Council but they leave out nearly 800 words - and those words just happen to be the ones where Blix refutes Colin Powell's 'smoking gun' presentation from earlier this week? Here is CNN's transcript. - Here is the BBC's.Comment: Have we had our eyes opened yet? Can we see what IS yet? How much evidence do we need to convince us that we are being lied to by Bush and by the spineless media dogs that yap at his heels.
Sharon approves Ethiopian airlift Ariel Sharon's government yesterday approved the immediate airlift of about 20,000 Ethiopians with Jewish roots who have spent years demanding the right to settle in Israel. The group, known as the Falash Mura, were left behind during the mass evacuation of Ethiopian Jews in 1984 because Israel said they had converted to Christianity.But the government has relented under pressure from the ultra-orthodox Shas party - which controls Israel's interior ministry and sets immigration policy - after its spiritual leader ruled that the Falash Mura were forced to convert to stave off persecution. The party compared them to Spanish Jews forced to become Christians to avoid the Inquisition. Israel secretly airlifted tens of thousands of Jews from Ethiopia in 1984, and a second group seven years later. But it turned away thousands of Falash Mura who tried to board the planes, saying they were not Jewish, or, if they had once been Jews, it was so long ago as to be irrelevant.
But over the past decade, about 18,000 Falash Mura have left their homes across Ethiopia for camps near centres run by activists in the capital Addis Ababa, and the northern city of Gondar. There they have agitated to be allowed into Israel. Yesterday's decision was opposed by the housing minister, Natan Sharansky, because some scholars question whether the Falash Mura were ever Jewish or just adopted similar religious rituals. But Mr Sharon is keen to bolster immigration, which has tailed off towards the end of the exodus of nearly a million Jews from the former Soviet Union. He has said he wants another million immigrants before the end of the decade to offset the growth in the Arab population. Comment: We have said it before and it is discussed on this site, Bush's war, which Israel is so strenuously backing, will lead to the fulfillment of a long standing hidden agenda, i.e. the destruction of ALL semetic peoples in Israel, Palestine and beyond. This gathering of the Israeli diaspora is simply a gathering of the lambs to the slaughter. And some Israelis seem to realise it
Kurdish leaders enraged by 'undemocratic' American plan to occupy Iraq The US is abandoning plans to introduce democracy in Iraq after a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, according to Kurdish leaders who recently met American officials. The Kurds say the decision resulted from pressure from US allies in the Middle East who fear a war will lead to radical political change in the region. The Kurdish leaders are enraged by an American plan to occupy Iraq but largely retain the government in Baghdad. The only changes would be the replacement of President Saddam and his lieutenants with senior US military officers. It undercuts the argument by George Bush and Tony Blair that war is justified by the evil nature of the regime in Baghdad. "Conquerors always call themselves liberators," said Sami Abdul-Rahman, deputy prime minister of the Kurdish administration, in a reference to Mr Bush's speech last week in which he said US troops were going to liberate Iraq. Mr Abdul-Rahman said the US had reneged on earlier promises to promote democratic change in Iraq. "It is very disappointing," he said. "In every Iraqi ministry they are just going to remove one or two officials and replace them with American military officers." Kurdish officials strongly believe the new US policy is the result of pressure from regional powers, notably Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The US appears to be quietly abandoning earlier declarations that it would make Iraq a model democracy in the Middle East. In Iraq, free elections would lead to revolutionary change because although the Shia Muslims and Kurds constitute three-quarters of the population, they are excluded from power in Baghdad by the Sunni Muslim establishment. Kurdish leaders are deeply alarmed by US intentions, which only became clear at a meeting in Ankara earlier in the month and from recent public declarations by US officials. Hoshyar Zebari, a veteran Kurdish leader, said: "If the US wants to impose its own government, regardless of the ethnic and religious composition of Iraq, there is going to be a backlash." Mr Abdul-Rahman accuses the US of planning cosmetic changes in Iraq. "This is to give the government on a platter to the second line of Ba'athists [the ruling party]," he said. The US appears to be returning to the policy it pursued at the end of the Gulf War in 1991. It did seek to get rid of President Saddambut wanted to avoid a radical change in Iraq. The US did not support the uprisings of Shia Muslims and Kurdsbecause it feared a transformation in Iraqi politics that might have destabilised its allies in the Middle East or benefited Iran.
The two Kurdish parties the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which rules western Kurdistan, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan are at the heart of the Iraqi opposition. Together they rule four million people in an area the size of Switzerland that has been outside President Saddam's control since 1991. The change in American policy means marginalising the Iraqi opposition which has been seeking to unite. In response to the US decision, the Kurds and their allies have accelerated moves to hold a conference of opposition parties in Salahudin, the headquarters of the KDP, now scheduled for tomorrow. "We want to know if we are partners in regime change or not," Mr Zebari said. He spoke scathingly of any attempt by America "to bring in an Iraqi from the United States who has not seen his country for years and impose him by armed force".
The destabilising impact of the impending war is already being felt in the mountains of northern Iraq. Turkey has demanded that its troops be allowed to take over a swath of territory along the border inside Iraq. The ostensible reason is to prevent a flood of Kurdish refugees trying to flee into Turkey, but the Kurdish parties say they are quite capable of doing this themselves. They say the Turkish demand, to which they suspect the US has agreed in return for the use of Turkish military facilities, is the first step in a Turkish plan to advance into Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurds fear that a US-led war against President Saddam might be the occasion for a Turkish effort to end the de facto independence enjoyed by Iraqi Kurds for more than a decade. One Kurdish leader said: "Turkey has made up its mind that it will intervene in northern Iraq in order to destroy us.Comment: Again we see the LIES and HYPOCRACY being spewed by the US administration. As they have done in Afghanistan where after countless thousands of innocent civilan deaths, there is still no peace, no liberation of women, no shining democracy, they will do in Iraq. Afghanistan's "reward" was to have one set of cut-throats (the Taliban) removed from power (and into oppostion), and another (the northern alliance) put in its place. There are no depths to which Bush and Co will stoop to, no deception too henious, no lie too trecherous. The following quote attributed to Jesus was never more applicable than in their case: "Your father is the devil and it is your will to do the lusts of your father...He standeth not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he uttereth a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of lies."
FBI alert triggered by 'Mideast' truckers Two men described as "Middle Eastern" seen driving a semi-truck that made a stop at a Colorado gas station are the focus of a nationwide alert issued by the FBI, according to a report by KUSA-TV in Denver. The men driving the 18-wheeler reportedly stopped at a Hess station Thursday afternoon in the town of Byers, about 40 miles east of Denver. The FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force got involved when an attendant saw the men apparently trying to put unleaded gasoline into the truck. The attendant had to tell the pair to use diesel fuel instead. The men fueled up with the correct gas, paid in cash and then headed toward Interstate 80 in northeastern Colorado. Few details of the FBI alert, which was released Friday afternoon, have been made available to the media. The name on the truck is "Real Transport" and it has a Quebec, Canada, license plate number RS7-116. Authorities reportedly ran a check on the plate and determined it's not currently registered.Comment: uh oh! here we go, which one of these "sightings" of conveniently "middle eastern looking" men is gonna be the "setup" for another "terrorist attack", amazingly right when bush and co need it. Those crazy arab terrorists really have done Bush a lot of favors in the past couple of years. They really are more of an ally to Bush than anything else!
I thought it might be a good time to dig up the below little quote again, it is ironic that the words, written by Hitler, should be so appropriate at a time when he seems to have reincarnated in the body of George "dubya" Bush.
"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.
Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.
Something therefore always remains and sticks from
the most imprudent of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals
concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and
therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end." ~ Adolph
Hitler, Mein Kampf
Washington shrugs off war protests Millions of protesters rallied at the weekend in Europe, Asia and the US to oppose American plans to attack Iraq, in the largest anti-war demonstrations since the Vietnam war era. The rallies brought out more than 2m people in Italy and 2m in Spain, with similarly large turnouts in the UK, Germany and France.But US officials on Sunday dismissed the growing popular opposition, insisting that the administration of President George W.Bush would continue to prepare for war with Iraq in the coming weeks. Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, said the demonstrations would not alter US determination to confront Saddam Hussein and help the Iraqi people, either with broad international support or with a narrower "coalition of the willing". She acknowledged the right of the protesters to oppose US plans, but said on Fox News: "They're not saying what they think in Baghdad, because that's a regime that cuts people's tongues out if they say what they think." Comment: Well there you have it folks, Condi has ipso facto declared that the US is in fact NOT A DEMOCRACY but a dictatorship which does not listen to or abide by the will of the people that elected it to government. As for Condi's remark about "cutting out tongues", I am sure she is in the best position to talk about such things being a member of an administration that supports and funds the infamous school of the americas Situated in Fort Benning it is an american government sanctioned torture school which engages in and instructs various south american groups (and others) in the art of torture. Again we see proof that this current administration has a full complement of Liars, Hypocrites and most likely Psychopaths
Spy reports 'given pro-war spin' Briefings by the intelligence services have been manipulated by ministers to make a firmer case for war against Iraq, a senior politician says today. Britain's secret services are concerned that their reports have been used "selectively" by the Government to help make a political case for war, Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesman, says in an interview with The Independent. Members of the intelligence community have been unhappy to see "checks and balances" in their reports removed by the time they reach the public, he says.
"There's no doubt that the intelligence services have been
concerned about what they see as the misuse of information - in the
sense that they believe the Government is inclined to use what
supports the Government's political case without taking full
account of the qualifications attached to such information," Mr
Campbell says. The accusation that ministers have failed to include
warnings that evidence of chemical or biological material may not
be clear-cut will reignite allegations of "spin". The Government
was roundly criticised after it emerged that a dossier of evidence
about Saddam Hussein's capabilities was gleaned from a PhD
student's thesis. Mr Campbell says: "The security services are
unhappy at the way some of their products are being used. It's
certainly the case that they feel there has been selective use of
What this really means is that we are being
lied to. The British government is clearly and deliberately
falsifying evidence that Iraq is a threat etc in order to gain our
consent for a war.
February 16, 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!
A monument to hypocrisy It has finally become intolerable to listen to or look at news in this country. I've told myself over and over again that one ought to leaf through the daily papers and turn on the TV for the national news every evening, just to find out what "the country" is thinking and planning, but patience and masochism have their limits. Colin Powell's UN speech, designed obviously to outrage the American people and bludgeon the UN into going to war, seems to me to have been a new low point in moral hypocrisy and political manipulation. But Donald Rumsfeld's lectures in Munich this past weekend went one step further than the bumbling Powell in unctuous sermonising and bullying derision. For the moment, I shall discount George Bush and his coterie of advisers, spiritual mentors, and political managers like Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and Karl Rove: they seem to me slaves of power perfectly embodied in the repetitive monotone of their collective spokesman Ari Fliescher (who I believe is also an Israeli citizen). Bush is, he has said, in direct contact with God, or if not God, then at least Providence. Perhaps only Israeli settlers can converse with him. But the secretaries of state and defence seem to have emanated from the secular world of real women and men, so it may be somewhat more opportune to linger for a time over their words and activities.
First, a few preliminaries. The US has clearly decided on war: there seem to be no two ways about it. Yet whether the war will actually take place or not (given all the activity started, not by the Arab states who, as usual, seem to dither and be paralysed at the same time, but by France, Russia and Germany) is something else again. Nevertheless to have transported 200,000 troops to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, leaving aside smaller deployments in Jordan, Turkey and Israel can mean only one thing.
Second, the planners of this war, as Ralph Nader has forcefully said, are chicken hawks, that is, hawks who are too cowardly to do any fighting themselves. Wolfowitz, Perle, Bush, Cheney and others of that entirely civilian group were to a man in strong favour of the Vietnam War, yet each of them got a deferment based on privilege, and therefore never fought or so much as even served in the armed forces. Their belligerence is therefore morally repugnant and, in the literal sense, anti-democratic in the extreme. What this unrepresentative cabal seeks in a war with Iraq has nothing to do with actual military considerations. Iraq, whatever the disgusting qualities of its deplorable regime, is simply not an imminent and credible threat to neighbours like Turkey, or Israel, or even Jordan (each of which could easily handle it militarily) or certainly to the US. Any argument to the contrary is simply a preposterous, entirely frivolous proposition. With a few outdated Scuds, and a small amount of chemical and biological material, most of it supplied by the US in earlier days (as Nader has said, we know that because we have the receipts for what was sold to Iraq by US companies), Iraq is, and has easily been, containable, though at unconscionable cost to the long-suffering civilian population. For this terrible state of affairs I think it is absolutely true to say that there has been collusion between the Iraqi regime and the Western enforcers of the sanctions.
Third, once big powers start to dream of regime change -- a process already begun by the Perles and Wolfowitzs of this country -- there is simply no end in sight. Isn't it outrageous that people of such a dubious caliber actually go on blathering about bringing democracy, modernisation, and liberalisation to the Middle East? God knows that the area needs it, as so many Arab and Muslim intellectuals and ordinary people have said over and over. But who appointed these characters as agents of progress anyway? And what entitles them to pontificate in so shameless a way when there are already so many injustices and abuses in their own country to be remedied? It's particularly galling that Perle, about as unqualified a person as it is imaginable to be on any subject touching on democracy and justice, should have been an election adviser to Netanyahu's extreme right- wing government during the period 1996-9, in which he counseled the renegade Israeli to scrap any and all peace attempts, to annex the West Bank and Gaza, and try to get rid of as many Palestinians as possible. This man now talks about bringing democracy to the Middle East, and does so without provoking the slightest objection from any of the media pundits who politely (abjectly) quiz him on national television.
Fourth, Colin Powell's speech, despite its many weaknesses, its plagiarised and manufactured evidence, its confected audio-tapes and its doctored pictures, was correct in one thing. Saddam Hussein's regime has violated numerous human rights and UN resolutions. There can be no arguing with that and no excuses can be allowed. But what is so monumentally hypocritical about the official US position is that literally everything Powell has accused the Ba'athists of has been the stock in trade of every Israeli government since 1948, and at no time more flagrantly than since the occupation of 1967. Torture, illegal detention, assassination, assaults against civilians with missiles, helicopters and jet fighters, annexation of territory, transportation of civilians from one place to another for the purpose of imprisonment, mass killing (as in Qana, Jenin, Sabra and Shatilla to mention only the most obvious), denial of rights to free passage and unimpeded civilian movement, education, medical aid, use of civilians as human shields, humiliation, punishment of families, house demolitions on a mass scale, destruction of agricultural land, expropriation of water, illegal settlement, economic pauperisation, attacks on hospitals, medical workers and ambulances, killing of UN personnel, to name only the most outrageous abuses: all these, it should be noted with emphasis, have been carried on with the total, unconditional support of the United States which has not only supplied Israel with the weapons for such practices and every kind of military and intelligence aid, but also has given the country upwards of $135 billion in economic aid on a scale that beggars the relative amount per capita spent by the US government on its own citizens.
This is an unconscionable record to hold against the US, and Mr Powell as its human symbol in particular. As the person in charge of US foreign policy, it is his specific responsibility to uphold the laws of this country, and to make sure that the enforcement of human rights and the promotion of freedom -- the proclaimed central plank in the US's foreign policy since at least 1976 -- is applied uniformly, without exception or condition. How he and his bosses and co- workers can stand up before the world and righteously sermonise against Iraq while at the same time completely ignoring the ongoing American partnership in human rights abuses with Israel defies credibility. And yet no one, in all the justified critiques of the US position that have appeared since Powell made his great UN speech, has focused on this point, not even the ever-so- upright French and Germans. The Palestinian territories today are witnessing the onset of a mass famine; there is a health crisis of catastrophic proportions; there is a civilian death toll that totals at least a dozen to 20 people a week; the economy has collapsed; hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are unable to work, study, or move about as curfews and at least 300 barricades impede their daily lives; houses are blown up or bulldozed on a mass basis (60 yesterday). And all of it with US equipment, US political support, US finances. Bush declares that Sharon, who is a war criminal by any standard, is a man of peace, as if to spit on the innocent Palestinians' lives that have been lost and ravaged by Sharon and his criminal army. And he has the gall to say that he acts in God's name, and that he (and his administration) act to serve "a just and faithful God". And, more astounding yet, he lectures the world on Saddam's flouting of UN resolutions even as he supports a country, Israel, that has flouted at least 64 of them on a daily basis for more than half a century.
But so craven and so ineffective are the Arab regimes today that they don't dare state any of these things publicly. Many of them need US economic aid. Many of them fear their own people and need US support to prop up their regimes. Many of them could be accused of some of the same crimes against humanity. So they say nothing, and just hope and pray that the war will pass, while in the end keeping them in power as they are.
But it is also a great and noble fact that for the first time since World War Two there are mass protests against the war taking place before rather than during the war itself. This is unprecedented and should become the central political fact of the new, globalised era into which our world has been thrust by the US and its super-power status. What this demonstrates is that despite the awesome power wielded by autocrats and tyrants like Saddam and his American antagonists, despite the complicity of a mass media that has (willingly or unwillingly) hastened the rush to war, despite the indifference and ignorance of a great many people, mass action and mass protest on the basis of human community and human sustainability are still formidable tools of human resistance. Call them weapons of the weak, if you wish. But that they have at least tampered with the plans of the Washington chicken hawks and their corporate backers, as well as the millions of religious monotheistic extremists (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) who believe in wars of religion, is a great beacon of hope for our time. Wherever I go to lecture or speak out against these injustices I haven't found anyone in support of the war. Our job as Arabs is to link our opposition to US action in Iraq to our support for human rights in Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Kurdistan and everywhere in the Arab world -- and also ask others to force the same linkage on everyone, Arab, American, African, European, Australian and Asian. These are world issues, human issues, not simply strategic matters for the United States or the other major powers.
We cannot in any way lend our silence to a policy of war that the White House has openly announced will include three to five hundred cruise missiles a day (800 of them during the first 48 hours of the war) raining down on the civilian population of Baghdad in order to produce "Shock and Awe", or even a human cataclysm that will produce, as its boastful planner a certain Mr (or is it Dr?) Harlan Ullman has said, a Hiroshima-style effect on the Iraqi people. Note that during the 1991 Gulf War after 41 days of bombing Iraq this scale of human devastation was not even approached. And the US has 6000 "smart" missiles ready to do the job. What sort of God would want this to be a formulated and announced policy for His people? And what sort of God would claim that this was going to bring democracy and freedom to the people not only of Iraq but to the rest of the Middle East?
These are questions I won't even try to answer. But I do know
that if anything like this is going to be visited on any population
on earth it would be a criminal act, and its perpetrators and
planners war criminals according to the Nuremberg Laws that the US
itself was crucial in formulating. Not for nothing do General
Sharon and Shaul Mofaz welcome the war and praise George Bush. Who
knows what more evil will be done in the name of Good? Every one of
us must raise our voices, and march in protest, now and again and
again. We need creative thinking and bold action to stave off the
nightmares planned by a docile, professionalised staff in places
like Washington and Tel Aviv and Baghdad. For if what they have in
mind is what they call "greater security" then words have no
meaning at all in the ordinary sense. That Bush and Sharon have
contempt for the non-white people of this world is clear. The
question is, how long can they keep getting away with
The case against war: A conflict driven by the
self-interest of America.
Still less do they wish to embark on endless wars with a Texas governor-executioner who dodged the Vietnam draft and who, with his oil buddies, is now sending America's poor to destroy a Muslim nation that has nothing at all to do with the crimes against humanity of 11 September. Jack Straw, the public school Trot-turned-warrior, ignores all this, with Blair. He brays at us about the dangers of nuclear weapons that Iraq does not have, of the torture and aggression of a dictatorship that America and Britain sustained when Saddam was "one of ours". But he and Blair cannot discuss the dark political agenda behind George Bush's government, nor the "sinister men" (the words of a very senior UN official) around the President. Those who oppose war are not cowards. Brits rather like fighting; they've biffed Arabs, Afghans, Muslims, Nazis, Italian Fascists and Japanese imperialists for generations, Iraqis included – though we play down the RAF's use of gas on Kurdish rebels in the 1930s. But when the British are asked to go to war, patriotism is not enough. Faced with the horror stories, Britons – and many Americans – are a lot braver than Blair and Bush. They do not like, as Thomas More told Cromwell in A Man for All Seasons, tales to frighten children.
Perhaps Henry VIII's exasperation in that play better expresses the British view of Blair and Bush: "Do they take me for a simpleton?" The British, like other Europeans, are an educated people. Ironically, their opposition to this obscene war may make them feel more, not less, European. Palestine has much to do with it. Brits have no love for Arabs but they smell injustice fast enough and are outraged at the colonial war being used to crush the Palestinians by a nation that is now in effect running US policy in the Middle East. We are told that our invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a burning, fearsome wound to which Bush devoted just 18 words in his meretricious State of the Union speech – but even Blair can't get away with that one; hence his "conference" for Palestinian reform at which the Palestinians had to take part via video-link because Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, refused to let them travel to London.
So much for Blair's influence over Washington – the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, "regretted" that he couldn't persuade Sharon to change his mind. But at least one has to acknowledge that Sharon – war criminal though he may be for the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacres – treated Blair with the contempt he deserves. Nor can the Americans hide the link between Iraq and Israel and Palestine. In his devious address to the UN Security Council last week, Powell linked the three when he complained that Hamas, whose suicide bombings so cruelly afflict Israelis, keeps an office in Baghdad. Just as he told us about the mysterious al-Qa'ida men who support violence in Chechnya and in the "Pankisi gorge". This was America's way of giving Vladimir Putin a free hand again in his campaign of rape and murder against the Chechens, just as Bush's odd remark to the UN General Assembly last 12 September about the need to protect Iraq's Turkomans only becomes clear when one realises that Turkomans make up two thirds of the population of Kirkuk, one of Iraq's largest oil fields.
The men driving Bush to war are mostly former or still active pro-Israeli lobbyists. For years, they have advocated destroying the most powerful Arab nation. Richard Perle, one of Bush's most influential advisers, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton and Donald Rumsfeld were all campaigning for the overthrow of Iraq long before George W Bush was elected – if he was elected – US President. And they weren't doing so for the benefit of Americans or Britons. A 1996 report, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (http://www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm) called for war on Iraq. It was written not for the US but for the incoming Israeli Likud prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and produced by a group headed by – yes, Richard Perle. The destruction of Iraq will, of course, protect Israel's monopoly of nuclear weapons and allow it to defeat the Palestinians and impose whatever colonial settlement Sharon has in store.
Although Bush and Blair dare not discuss this with us – a war for Israel is not going to have our boys lining up at the recruiting offices – Jewish American leaders talk about the advantages of an Iraqi war with enthusiasm. Indeed, those very courageous Jewish American groups who so bravely oppose this madness have been the first to point out how pro-Israeli organisations foresee Iraq not only as a new source of oil but of water, too; why should canals not link the Tigris river to the parched Levant? No wonder, then, that any discussion of this topic must be censored, as Professor Eliot Cohen, of Johns Hopkins University, tried to do in the Wall Street Journal the day after Powell's UN speech. Cohen suggested that European nations' objections to the war might – yet again – be ascribed to "anti-Semitism of a type long thought dead in the West, a loathing that ascribes to Jews a malignant intent." This nonsense, it must be said, is opposed by many Israeli intellectuals who, like Uri Avnery, argue that an Iraq war will leave Israel with even more Arab enemies, especially if Iraq attacks Israel and Sharon then joins the US battle against the Arabs.
The slur of "anti-Semitism" also lies behind Rumsfeld's snotty remarks about "old Europe". He was talking about the "old" Germany of Nazism and the "old" France of collaboration. But the France and Germany that oppose this war are the "new" Europe, the continent which refuses, ever again, to slaughter the innocent. It is Rumsfeld and Bush who represent the "old" America; not the "new" America of freedom, the America of F D Roosevelt. Rumsfeld and Bush symbolise the old America that killed its native Indians and embarked on imperial adventures. It is "old" America we are being asked to fight for – linked to a new form of colonialism – an America that first threatens the United Nations with irrelevancy and then does the same to Nato. This is not the last chance for the UN, nor for Nato. But it may well be the last chance for America to be taken seriously by her friends as well as her enemies.
In these last days of peace the British should not be tripped by the oh-so-sought-after second UN resolution. UN permission for America's war will not make the war legitimate; it merely proves that the Council can be controlled with bribes, threats or abstentions. It was the Soviet Union's abstention, after all, which allowed America to fight the savage Korean war under the UN flag. And we should not doubt that – after a quick US military conquest of Iraq and providing 'they" die more than we die – there will be plenty of anti-war protesters who will claim they were pro-war all along. The first pictures of "liberated" Baghdad will show Iraqi children making victory signs to American tank crews. But the real cruelty and cynicism of this conflict will become evident as soon as the "war" ends, when our colonial occupation of a Muslim nation for the US and Israel begins.
There lies the rub. Bush
calls Sharon a "man of peace". But Sharon fears he may yet face
trial over Sabra and Chatila, which is why Israel has just
withdrawn its ambassador to Belgium. I'd like to see Saddam in the
same court. And Rifaat Assad for his 1982 massacre in the Syrian
city of Hama. And all the torturers of Israel and the Arab
dictatorships. Israeli and US ambitions in
the region are now entwined, almost synonymous. This war is about
oil and regional control. It is being cheer-led by a draft-dodger
who is treacherously telling us that this is part of an eternal war
against "terror". And the British and most Europeans don't believe
him. It's not that Britons wouldn't fight for America. They just
don't want to fight for Bush or his friends. And if that includes
the Prime Minister, they don't want to fight for Blair
US to punish German 'treachery' America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros. The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's 'treachery'. The hawks believe that making an example of Germany will force other countries heavily dependent on US trade to think twice about standing up to America in future. This follows weeks of increasingly angry exchanges between Rumsfeld and Germany, in which at one point he taunted Germany and France for being an irrelevant part of 'old Europe'. Now Rumsfeld has decided to go further by unilaterally imposing the Pentagon's sanctions on a country already in the throes of economic problems. We are doing this for one reason only: to harm the German economy,' one source told The Observer last week. Our troops contribute many millions of dollars. Why should we continue to support a country which has treated Nato and the protection we provided for decades with such incredible contempt?' Another Pentagon source said: 'The aim is to hit German trade and commerce. It is not just about taking out the troops and equipment; it is also about cancelling commercial contracts and defence-related arrangements.' The Pentagon plan - and the language expressed by officials close to Rumsfeld - has horrified State Department officials, who believe that bullying other countries to follow the US line will further exacerbate anti-Americanism and alienate those European countries that might support a United Nations resolution authorising a war.
German industry earns billions of euros every year from supporting the US Army Europe which, although reduced from its Cold War heights, still totals 42,000 troops and 785 tanks - almost three times as many as the British Army owns. Many of these soldiers and their fighting equipment, including Apache helicopters, have already been sent to the Gulf. German industry is heavily involved in supporting the US presence. Among the defence companies which stand to lose out are missile-maker Diehl, aerospace and defence giant EADS Deutschland, armaments maker Rheinmetall and vehicle maker Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. There is also a US Air Force contingent of about 15,000 service people with bases at Bitburg, Frankfurt-am-Main and neighbouring Ramstein, where the commander doubles as part of the Nato command. This force includes nearly 60 F-16 fighter-bombers and a squadron of A-10 tank-buster aircraft. Rumsfeld and his staff have made no attempt to hide their fury at Schröder's 'treachery and ineptitude' over Iraq. Last week Schröder leaked to reporters a Franco-German plan for avoiding war by increasing the number of UN weapons inspectors before informing his American counterparts. 'After this, Germany is finished as a serious power,' one of the sources added. 'This is simply not the way to conduct diplomacy at a moment of international crisis.' One diplomatic source said Rumsfeld was 'furious at Germany. He is a bruiser and it looks as though he means to do it'. Under these plans, the US would move its troops in Europe eastwards to countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states, all of which have strongly supported America's line against Saddam Hussein.
It is likely that the overall size of the deployment would be reduced, as the US military changes its priorities for a long-term and disparate engagement with international terrorism. Although Rumsfeld had already been considering a redeployment of US troops around the world after a war in Iraq to save money and respond to new threats, the plans now under consideration go far beyond what had been discussed. It is likely that future years will see a sharp increase in the proportion of special forces troops able to deploy rapidly across the globe. Germany would suffer considerable financial loss if US forces were withdrawn from the country. The bases provide jobs for local people as everything from administrators to cleaners, and are huge customers for dairy products and bread. Comment: again we see US bully boy tactics which say "Agree with us or else!" The US is day by day fulfilling its seemingly predestined role to become (ironcially in the case of the above) the new Nazi Germany.
So much for the right to free assembly! Cops in new york get heavy with Anti-war marchers. While Cops in Colorado use rubber bullets on protestors.
The great unheard finally speak out. The age of apathy stops here, between a Thomas Cook branch and the Bloomsbury Diner, where the bodies are jammed together too tightly to move. In the minutes before the march begins, anyone will tell you why protest has supplanted politics. Some of these twenty-first century Chartists with mobile phones are veterans of the Vietnam demonstrations. Some are too young to remember the Cold War. What unites them is anger against Bush and Blair, but mainly Blair. Everyone I talk to says that he will not have their vote again. It is odd to think that these are the sloths who could not be prised from their armchairs when elections rolled round and who hit the remote at the first flicker of any BBC political coverage that wasn't Have I Got News For You.These people, in New Labour's analysis, were the inert of the Earth. And here they are, out in their hundreds of thousands, quoting Hans Blix verbatim and defying a Prime Minister who longed to galvanise them and must now regret becoming the Frankenstein of the protesting classes.
Political leaders hate crowds. Mass meetings have been supplanted by leaks and soundbites. In the fractious build-up to war, lonely societies are encouraged to become more solipsistic. A fearful population, hiding behind its anthrax-proofed windows, is also tractable. There is nothing threatening to government about citizens bickering over the last roll of duct tape in Wal-Mart.British marchers have spurned isolation for solidarity, and fear for fury. Their momentum came almost from nowhere. Unlike the Jubilee-trippers, the Soham mobsters and even the Countryside Alliance, they bore no social or political barcode.
Theirs was, and is, a movement without a leader. Its members belong to no obvious political caste. Labour voters who march are deracinated from their leaders, and the Tories have none worth worrying about. Their mission, to halt the war, is by definition negative, and their goal unattainable, bar a miracle. Those hoping to recalibrate the Prime Minister's moral compass face disappointment, or even despair. Few predicted weeks ago that so many people would turn out to stop the unstoppable, and I was certainly not among them. The surprise has been the altruism of the protesters, and the size of the vacuum they fill. Blair's natural supporters and opponents have registered their opposition, and seen it spurned. As they get more strident, he digs harder. The hole in democracy grows more cavernous by the day.
The marchers all felt that; the men in deerstalkers and Barbours, the pro-protesters in neon knitwear, the students and the grandmas whose families had persuaded them to take along brand-new Nokia mobile phones they couldn't work. Who will record their assembly when all of this is over? History, perhaps. The War Remnants Museum in Saigon displays yellowed newspaper reports of Western protests against the Vietnam War. Next door, housed in hot sheds, are the napalmed babies and photographs of burnt children. The juxtaposition of press clippings and grim artefacts offers a memento mori. This is what happens when people are right and governments mistaken.
Today's protesters are starved of inspiration and data. In place of a charismatic leader, they have the belief that politicians are lying. They have no great freedom fighter to support; only Saddam. You could not sell washing powder on that basis, let alone a pacifist cause that may crush a Prime Minister. Yet the movement has taken off and its subscribers, on yesterday's evidence, are not a reissued set of hoary peaceniks. These are organised people with clear aims. They want a peaceful solution for Iraq. If that is not forthcoming, Blair will be punished accordingly. They may be wrong. He may be right. But in a war predicated on conviction and conscience, the hunches of the nation also count. As Martin Luther King said, countries should repent citizens' evil deeds almost less than 'the appalling silence of the good'. The unheard have spoken out.
US plan to use illegal weapons While American forces invading Iraq face the threat of chemical attack, they could themselves be using biochemical agents which are banned under international law. The US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, revealed earlier this month that American forces are planning to use "non-lethal" biochemical weapons such as anti-riot gases and crowd control agents if they invade Iraq. Mr Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee they were preparing to ask President George Bush for permission to use these weapons, known in military circles as "calmatives", on Iraqi civilians, in cave systems or to take prisoners. But two of Britain's leading authorities on chemical weapons, Professor Alistair Hay and Professor Julian Perry-Robinson, who are collaborating on an expert guide for the World Health Organisation, said such weapons are illegal under the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention and the 1928 Geneva Protocol, which ban the use of chemical agents against people in wartime. "It would be absolutely outrageous if they did this," said Prof Hay, an epidemiologist at Leeds University. "Surely this war against Iraq is to stop the use of those weapons, not about also using them."
The dangers of such weapons were exposed, the
experts said, when Russian special forces used an opiate-based
crowd control gas, with devastating consequences, on Chechen rebels
holding theatregoers hostage in Moscow in October. Both men said Mr
Rumsfeld's comments also threatened to put the Pentagon on a
collision course with Britain. Ministry of Defence experts have
repeatedly warned their US counterparts that their proposed use of
these weapons in warfare is illegal. Comment: The hypocracy is staggering. Bush,
Rumsfeld and Powell are LIARS, HYPOCRITES and very likely
end of story, do not believe even ONE WORD that comes out of their
February 15, 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!
Today around the world many millions of people marched to send a resounding message to Bush and Blair and other belligerant governments. The message was, if you want to rule under the banner of "democracy" then you must be ready to rule in accordance with its practices. If 70-80% of the population of a country are NOT in favor of something that their democratically elected government is doing, then the natural course of action is that the government is voted OUT of power by the people. This is the message to those leaders that seem to have confused democracy with dictatorship, believing themselves immune to the will of the people. I didnt notice any PRO-war marches did you? The people DO NOT WANT this WAR on the people of Iraq, it will not be conducted in their name. This has been made patently clear. Let the elected leaders ignore it at their peril. We say it again, IMPEACH BUSH NOW! and kick out Blair, Aznar, and Berlusconi.
Fair Use Policy
Contact Webmaster at signs-of-the-times.org