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The most successful tyranny
is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one
that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it
seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the
sense that there is an outside.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--
Faith of consciousness is freedom
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." [Cassiopaea, 09-28-02]
February 19, 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!
US plan for new nuclear arsenal Secret talks may lead to breaking treaties The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", "bunker-busters" and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document. The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary. The leaked preparations for the meeting are the clearest sign yet that the administration is determined to overhaul its nuclear arsenal so that it could be used as part of the new "Bush doctrine" of pre-emption, to strike the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of rogue states. Greg Mello, the head of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear watchdog organisation that obtained the Pentagon documents, said the meeting would also prepare the ground for a US breakaway from global arms control treaties, and the moratorium on conducting nuclear tests. "It is impossible to overstate the challenge these plans pose to the comprehensive test ban treaty, the existing nuclear test moratorium, and US compliance with article six of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," Mr Mello said.
The documents leaked to Mr Mello are the minutes of a meeting in the Pentagon on January 10 this year called by Dale Klein, the assistant to the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to prepare the secret conference, planned for "the week of August 4 2003". The National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for designing, building and maintaining nuclear weapons, yesterday confirmed the authenticity of the document. But Anson Franklin, the NNSA head of governmental affairs, said: "We have no request from the defence department for any new nuclear weapon, and we have no plans for nuclear testing. "The fact is that this paper is talking about what-if scenarios and very long range planning," Mr Franklin told the Guardian. However, non-proliferation groups say the Omaha meeting will bring a new US nuclear arsenal out of the realm of the theoretical and far closer to reality, in the shape of new bombs and a new readiness to use them. "To me it indicates there are plans proceeding and well under way ... to resume the development, testing and production of new nuclear weapons. It's very serious," said Stephen Schwartz, the publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, who added that it opened the US to charges of hypocrisy when it is demanding the disarmament of Iraq and North Korea. "How can we possibly go to the international community or to these countries and say 'How dare you develop these weapons', when it's exactly what we're doing?" Mr Schwartz said. The starting point for the January discussion was Mr Rumsfeld's nuclear posture review (NPR), a policy paper published last year that identified Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya as potential targets for US nuclear weapons.
According to the Pentagon minutes, the August meeting in Strategic Command's bunker headquarters would discuss how to make weapons to match the new policy. A "future arsenal panel" would consider: "What are the warhead characteristics and advanced concepts we will need in the post-NPR environment?" The panel would also contemplate the "requirements for low-yield weapons, EPWs [earth-penetrating weapons], enhanced radiation weapons, agent defeat weapons". This is the menu of weapons being actively considered by the Pentagon. Low-yield means tactical warheads of less than a kiloton, "mini-nukes", which advocates of the new arsenal say represent a far more effective deterrent than the existing huge weapons, because they are more "usable". Earth-penetrating weapons are "bunker-busters", which would break through the surface of the earth before detonating. US weapons scientists believe they could be used as "agent defeat weapons" used to destroy chemical or biological weapons stored underground. The designers are also looking at low-yield neutron bombs or "enhanced radiation weapons", which could destroy chemical or biological weapons in surface warehouses. According to the leaked document, the "future arsenal panel" in Omaha would also ask the pivotal question: "What forms of testing will these new designs require?" The Bush administration has been working to reduce the amount of warning the test sites in the western US desert would need to be reactivated after 10 years lying dormant. Comment: Good God! This is getting farcical! Someone please stop this bunch of bloodthirsty madmen that are at the wheel of the runaway train that is the present US administration! Can we see it yet? Can we see the ridiculousness of the US accusing other countries of producing WMD when they themselves are the ones with the the biggest and most deadly stock pile, and are threatening just about anyone who gets in their way? They are the only ones to have used nuclear weapons on civilians during the second world war, even when they knew that the Japanese were poised to surrender. They just needed to know how they would work in a "live" situation, so they went ahead wiping out 200,000 innocent people. They have also used chemical weapons on civilans in Vietnam which still today blight the health of the Vietnamese, and let us also not forget the almost 1 million rounds of depleted uranium shells that were left scattered throughout Iraq after the last Gulf massacre, which still today bring horrible birth defects, sickness and death to the Iraqi people.
77,000 body bags FEARS that Iraq
will inflict heavy casualties on British and American troops
intensified yesterday when it emerged the Pentagon had ordered
almost five times the number of body bags it requested before the
last Gulf War. Within weeks it will have more than 77,000 bags at
the ready, compared with 16,000 in 1991.In the last conflict, 148
US soldiers were killed in combat, including 35 by "friendly fire",
while Iraqi forces suffered some 30,000 casualties. The increased
order will reinforce concern that Saddam might be preparing to use
chemical or biological weapons. It will also fuel speculation that
planners are expecting to suffer high casualties in street fighting
as the troops try to take major cities such as Basra and Baghdad.
Comment: Thats 77,000 american men and
women, sent to their deaths, and that is just the
Is the US serious? When I listen to the American news these days, I feel as though I am watching Iraqi television filled with propaganda. I react the same way as the 23 million Iraqis, reach for the remote and turn it off. Some of the things I hear sound to be completely ridiculous. Is the US serious about what it is saying? Is it really going to defy the wishes of other nation-states in the world and attack Iraq? What does it actually want to do?
Is it just me, or have others begun to notice this ridiculousness as well? Let me use one example: Has anyone heard about the US plan for attack? It is called operation "Shock and Awe," and was conceived at the National Defense University in Washington. This plan calls for 300 and 400 cruise missiles to fall on Iraq each day for two consecutive days. These first few days are going to be called "Air Strikes day." It would be more than twice the number of missiles launched during the entire 40 days of the 1991 Gulf War. Pentagon official strategist told CBS news that "there will not be a safe place in Baghdad. The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before." According to military strategist Harlan Ullman, the planned attack will be "rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima." Air Strikes Day will "take the city down," wipe out the water and power supplies in Baghdad, and leave the Iraqis "physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted." Is that not chilling? Are they talking for real? I want a voice of reason! I want someone to say something constructive to bring about an end to this Iraq nightmare. These days all I hear sounds like it is coming out of a poorly acted action film. I want an end to this, not a part two or three that is to reveal itself five or ten years later. Enough with the slogans, enough with the extreme language and enough of this game! Can we all escape the rhetoric before we do something stupid? This is not about being for or against the war. It is much more complicated than that.
Right now, we are facing two dangers, US warmongering and Iraq's totalitarian system. Warmongering comes largely from the new conservatism that imposes a clash-of-civilizations formula on world politics. The tragic events of 9/11 provided an ideal backdrop to Donald Rumsfeld's "leaning forward" argument for aggression. Second, we have Iraq's totalitarian system that has been a menace to its own people, the region, and the world at large. Leaving these monsters in their place is an invitation to future catastrophe. Dozens of nations have chemical and biological weapons. None has deployed them, except Saddam's regime, first against the Iranian forces, later against Iraqi civilians. Governments should be held responsible for such crimes, right? Yet ironically, the United States let Saddam get away with no punishment for the actual deployment of chemical and biological weapons back in 1988, but it is now, for a plethora of hidden motives and reasons, adamant about confronting him for a possible deployment of such weapons in the future. This is the logic of preemption. Yet there is no law, domestic or international, that permits a prosecutor to go after an ex-convict for a future, would-be offense.
Warmongering is shortsighted. An invasion of Iraq may well prove too costly or degenerate into chaos. The demise of the totalitarian regime, however welcome, will involve and unleash latent, uncontrollable institutional and social forces that many of us cannot even begin to imagine. A civil war may begin nobody knows where and end up in nobody knows what. A palace coup might be convenient for the US Administration, but it would be another tragedy for the Iraqi people. The US now is involved in a military crusade, with diplomacy as a reluctant sideshow. And it is not geared to the interests or participation of the Iraqi people -- which by the way, is the only way the Iraqi story will ever have a happy ending. US warmongering has the danger of causing extreme instability in the Middle East and temporarily masking an ugly array of problems in Iraq. What the world should think about is splitting the ruling group in Iraq, i.e. the Baath and Saddam's clan. I offer this solution only because an intervention is going to happen no matter what, whether or not the US alone is justified is doing so. But at least this suggestion/solution would embolden the people to take matters into their hands. A painfully slow process of regime disintegration has already been going on inside Iraq, and this political pressure would hasten the process along. An invasion, on the other hand, would wrench matters out of Iraqi hands and would risk untold consequences.
There is a line of thinking that calls for this semi-reasonable logical solution. According to this group, Saddam and his top aides should be indicted for war crimes and then offered a safe passage out of Iraq in exchange for a transfer of power. Then, the rest of the clan would be told that it would not be threatened as long as it hands over power slowly to some sort of interim civilian government. Lastly, in lieu of an invasion, Iraq should be offered a mini-Marshall plan while the transition is happening inside the country. All this would cause a re-inception of the rule of law which is a vital necessity for Iraq. It is also a precondition for any viable, emerging democracy. Such an eventuality will be the best safety net for regional peace and stability. This would lead to a long-term solution, sparing thousands of innocent Iraqi lives and solve the problem of the weapons of mass destruction and the regime that controls them. It would also bring about the change needed inside of Iraq. I wonder though, will the US slow down and think this way or will it continue going down this blind path filled with rhetoric and propaganda? Comment: While the above author makes good points it strikes me that many do not see the full picture, many cannot let go of the programing and look objectively at the situation. It is ridiculous to see this stand off with Iraq as an isolated incident or having just recently come about. An honest look at the history of the US and its foreign policy strongly suggests that we are living through the culmination of a century long plan, the final stage of which was introduced with the 9/11 attacks. If people could suspend for one minute what they *want* to believe and just look at the evidence on its own merits they would see that we have been setup, there is a "relly big shew" coming down the pipeline and humanity has been scripted in as the fall guy.
Bush and Blair accused of hypocrisy Tony Blair and George W Bush were today accused by Sinn Fein of ''hypocrisy'' over their response to an Israeli Army raid which killed 11 Palestinians. Dublin South Central TD Aengus O Snodaigh described as "criminal" the Israelis` incursion into Gaza. Israeli soldiers, backed by tanks and helicopter gunships, engaged in fierce street battles with Palestinian militants before dawn. Among the 11 Palestinians killed was a suicide bomber who tried to blow up a tank. It was the bloodiest incursion for three weeks, witnesses said. The raid was the second in Gaza City since the militant Islamic group Hamas killed four soldiers in a bomb attack on an Israeli tank on Saturday. Israelis destroyed several homes and metal workshops, and damaged a school. Electricity was cut to much of the city before the soldiers pulled out at 5am (0200 GMT), about six hours after 40 tanks rolled into the city`s Shajaiyeh neighbourhood, Palestinians said. The Israeli military said soldiers blew up four metal workshops used for manufacturing weapons and exchanged fire with gunmen. There were no Israeli casualties. Soldiers said the operation was aimed at the ``terrorist infrastructure in Gaza`` in response to Saturday`s tank bombing. Palestinians said a huge explosion set one of the invading tanks on fire. Hamas claimed responsibility, saying one of its suicide bombers, Karim Batron, 21, blew up the tank. The Israeli Army said it knew nothing of the incident. In the overnight fighting, seven of the Palestinians killed were militants or members of the security forces, and four were civilians, Palestinian hospital staff said.
It was the highest death toll in a single Israeli operation since January 26, when 12 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli invasion in another part of the city. In addition, 25 Palestinians were wounded, all but two of them militants or members of the security forces, the doctors said. The Israeli army said only militants were targeted, and it had no information on Palestinian casualties. Hamas official Abdel Aziz Rantisi warned Israeli leaders that Gaza would be ``the graveyard for their soldiers``. Sinn Fein`s spokesman on International Affairs Aengus Ë Snodaigh condemned the incursion, claiming Israel had breached UN resolutions. He also argued the muted US and British response to the raid was in stark contrast to their attitude to Iraq. ``The British and US response to the continued criminal attacks on Palestine by Israeli forces which last night left at least eleven people dead and resulted in the demolition of more than 40 buildings shows their hypocrisy on a drive to war with Iraq,`` the Sinn Fein TD said. ``UN resolutions are being flouted openly and with devastating and deadly consequences for the Palestinian people on a daily basis. ``Where is the rush to bring to justice the perpetrators of those acts? Where is the moral outrage about attacks on defenceless civilian populations by a country that possess weapons of mass destruction? ``The hypocrisy of all of this is glaring.`` Mr O Snodaigh also rounded on Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern`s coalition government for not taking a tough stand in Dublin against the US and Britain over a possible war against Iraq. The Dublin South Central TD claimed Mr Ahern`s refusal to take a stand made his government ``party`` to American and British hypocrisy over Israel and Palestine
Anti-war states are afraid, says
'There is probably enough authority in resolution 1441 to take action' "It cannot be a satisfactory solution for inspections just to continue forever because some nations are afraid of stepping up to the responsibility of imposing the will of the international community," Powell said in comments that followed weeks of increasingly irate exchanges across the Atlantic. "And so we are working with our friends and allies to (define) the content of a second resolution and when one would table such a resolution. "I would also point out that many of us believe, and the United States believes, that there is probably enough authority in resolution 1441 to take action," he added. "Iraq must disarm. The question is how much time Iraq should be given to disarm. We believe time is running out.
"It is not a matter of more inspectors or a longer inspection process. French colleagues think that that is the issue. That is not the issue in our judgment," French officials insist that inspections should go on. Powell said Baghdad must provide answers to specific questions such as the fate of banned weapons it previously admitted to having. Some of Chirac's critics accuse him of turning Powell, a fellow advocate of the UN' role in the Iraq crisis within an otherwise sceptical US administration, against Paris by taking too hard a line against war. In a weekend interview with the US magazine Time, Chirac sought to smooth relations with Washington by insisting France was not "pacifist" and did not rule out resorting to force if Iraq failed to co-operate with the inspectors' efforts to ensure that it had no nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. But French officials have maintained a firm line this week in insisting that inspections should go on, possibly for months. Comment: Powell thinks that by simply saying "the sky is not blue" enough times people will cease to believe their eyes in preference for his LIES. Saddam HAS NO WEAPONS of mass destruction, there is NO EVIDENCE COLIN, the truth of this is seen by the fact that you, Bush, Blair and the rest of the chickenhawks are prepared to embarrass yourselves in front of thewhole world by LYING about it repeatedly.
leave Iraq immediately' The Foreign Office has
warned Britons to leave Iraq immediately, citing increasing tension
in the region and the risk of terrorist action. The Foreign and
Commonwealth Office has long advised against travelling to Iraq.
But in a revision to its travel advice, the FCO said: "We advise
any British nationals already there to leave immediately. "We are
giving this advice because of the increasing regional tension and
the risk of terrorist action." It warned also of the danger of
British citizens being used by Saddam Hussein as human shields. The
FCO said: "If you are considering going to Iraq you should be aware
that British nationals were used as hostages during the 1990/1
crisis by the Iraqi regime, being held where their safety was at
most risk. "You should also be aware that there is no British
diplomatic presence in Iraq to offer consular assistance." The FCO
also advised against non-essential travel to Kuwait, again because
of growing tension and the possibility of terrorist action. In a
further move, it revised its travel advice on Israel and the
Occupied Territories. It advised against all non-essential travel
to Israel and urged British nationals to leave the West Bank and
Gaza. Comment: Good advice but the
guilty party is not Saddam, it is Bush Blair and the warmongers who
are going to turn the middle east into a graveyard, and after that
Bill of Rights under a new assault. Patriotism perverted: The Bush administration's hostility to our fundamental liberties is unrelenting. Not content with ramming the contemptibly named ``USA Patriot Act'' through a sadly compliant Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the White House and its forces are lining up for another whack at the Bill of Rights. Draft legislation from Attorney General John Ashcroft's law-enforcement gnomes is making the rounds. It's apparently being called the ``Domestic Security Enhancement Act,'' but think of it as ``UnPatriot II.'' Read the draft on the Center for Public Integrity's Web site. Then read the FindLaw Web site's analysis by Anita Ramasastry, an assistant law professor at the University of Washington School of Law and associate director of the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce & Technology.
legislation, Ramasastry warns, is "a wholesale assault on privacy,
free speech and freedom of information.'' She does not exaggerate.
A week ago, members of a congressional conference committee agreed
to stop, at least for now, the Pentagon's ``Total Information
Awareness'' program, a privacy killer that aimed to scoop up and
filter every bit of available information about everyone in the
hopes of finding a potential terrorist. UnPatriot II would push
ahead with this kind of Big Brother scheme. The government would
collect DNA from a widening circle of Americans. It would add to
government surveillance authority -- not that there's all that much
keeping the official snoops out of innocent people's lives at this
point in any event. And, reviving an anti-privacy notion that
Ashcroft himself once denounced -- that is, before he got a taste
of the overweening state power he professed to fear -- it would
criminalize some uses of encryption, the scrambling of digital
information. Government snoops, who have never, ever failed to
misuse this kind of authority, would know everything about you.
This is a one-way mirror. The Bush administration's fanatical
devotion for secrecy, preventing citizens from knowing what
government is doing in their name and with their money, would get a
boost. The most astonishing suggestion in this anti-freedom
smorgasbord is what Ramasastry calls a ``Citizenship Death
Penalty.'' ``Suppose you, as a citizen, attended a legal protest
for which one of the hosts, unbeknownst to you, is an organization
the government has listed as terrorist,'' she writes. Under this
legislation, ``you may be deported and deemed no longer an American
citizen.'' Even more amazing, she says, ``if you are simply
suspected of terrorist activity, this can occur.'' We are not
living under tyranny in the United States. A few more laws like
UnPatriot II, and we could be. Comment:
I beg to differ, tyranny is
already here, we are just going through a process of
Anti-America rhetoric angers Blair Tony Blair voiced his concern yesterday over growing anti-America rhetoric, which he said was sometimes more savage than criticism of Saddam Hussein. The Prime Minister claimed that the image of President George W Bush in sections of the British and continental media was a "parody". He said that after the September 11 atrocities Mr Bush did not act in haste but waited and acted deliberately. "When last summer everyone was convinced we were about to rush to war he did not," Mr Blair said. "He went to the UN and gave peace an additional chance." His comments followed an emergency summit of European leaders in Brussels on Monday night when President Jacques Chirac claimed that US-led military action against Iraq could lead to thousands of deaths. Mr Blair is concerned that Mr Chirac may be using the Iraq crisis to position France at the head of an anti-American coalition, setting up Europe as a rival power bloc to the United States. "People who want to pull Europe and America apart are playing the most dangerous game of international politics I know," he said.
"If you set up these rival poles of power where people are being pulled one way or another, I sincerely believe it is so dangerous for the security of our world." He said America should be looked upon as an ally, "not as some alien power acting against our interest". The credibility of the United Nations would be at stake if it did not enforce its own resolutions requiring Saddam to disarm.
If the West failed to deal with Iraq, then it would not be able to face up to any further threats from other dictators. At the White House yesterday Mr Bush hailed Mr Blair as a man "of vision" who was prepared to lead his country despite the risks of short-term unpopularity. "Tony Blair understands that Saddam Hussein is a risk," Mr Bush said. "Tony Blair sees that a weakened United Nations is not good for world peace. And he is a courageous leader, and I'm proud to call him friend." He described Mr Blair and Jose Maria Aznar, the Spanish prime minister - the two leaders who initiated the letter backing America over Iraq that was endorsed by eight European countries - as "men of vision". "They see the task at hand and I'm proud to call them allies," he said. "And we'll work together for the sake of peace." White House officials have made clear their patience with the search for a second UN resolution is running out but emphasised they recognise the huge importance securing one would have for Mr Blair. Mr Bush indicated that he would make a concerted push to get France to abstain at least so that Mr Blair would have domestic political cover from the UN. "A second resolution would be useful," he said. But it was not essential. Comment: There is a definite plan taking shape here, Blair more or less states it above i.e. the "setting up of rival poles of power", and yes, it is a very dangerous game that may well result in the deaths of vast numbers of people on the planet, and Bush and Blair are the puppets through whose actions the plan is being realised. Are we seeing the reinactment of Plato's story of the destruction of Atlantis by the Athenians? From Ancient Science: "In all of this searching high and low for Atlantis, and comparing the paleontogical records and geological records and archaeological records with the story of Plato, the one major thing that everybody seems to be forgetting is this: Plato's tale was about a WAR followed by cataclysm. According to Plato's story, Atlantis was the center of a country of extreme economic wealth and military power that sought to enslave all of Europe. The Atlanteans were quite successful in defeating many European countries; however, the great civilization of Athens repelled their attacks and eventually succeeded in driving them back out of Europe. Unfortunately, almost all records of this great achievement were lost due to a very powerful flood that wiped out most of Athens and the whole continent of Atlantis in one day and one night. Over and over again, what we see is the fact that something terrible happened on the earth around 12000 years ago. This time period comes up repeatedly in many disciplines having to do with the study of the past. And it just happens to be the period designated by Plato's characters as the time of the destruction of Atlantis following a terrible war in which Atlantis was defeated after attempting to conquer the entire world at the time of what is remembered as the greatest deluge in human history: The Flood of Noah.
As for the reason why "someone" would want to implement this plan, to trap us in a time loop to repeat the past, to destroy vast numbers of humans, a plan in which we seem to find ourselves in the final stages of at present:
07-25-98Q: (L) I read the new book by Dr. David Jacobs, [The
Threat] professor of History at Temple University, concerning his
extensive research into the alien abduction phenomenon. [Dr. Jacobs
wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the history of the UFOs.] Dr. Jacobs says
that now, after all of these years of somewhat rigorous research,
that he KNOWS what the aliens are here for and he is afraid. David
Jacobs says that producing offspring is the primary objective
behind the abduction phenomenon. Is this, in fact, the case?
February 18, 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!
appeal for Palestinian gas masks. The Israeli High Court
on Tuesday dismissed a petition demanding that Israel be ordered to
supply gas masks to all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip in the event of a U.S. war on Iraq. The Israeli army, in
charge of gas mask distribution, has said it would issue 60,000
masks to Palestinians who live in West Bank areas designated by
interim peaceaccords as under total Israeli control. But Israel's
Physicians for Human Rights said that since Israel reoccupied the
West Bank cities given self-rule under those accords after a spate
of suicide attacks in June, it was responsible for the safety of
their Palestinian residents. The non-partisan organisation set up
in 1988 also sought gas masks to be distributed free of charge to
Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. Some 3.5 million
Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A court
spokesman said that a three-judge panel rejected the petition.
Israel Radio quoted one judge as saying that funds such as
collected taxes, which Israel transfers to the Palestinian
Authority, could have been used to buy gas masks. "If Israel was
preventing the distribution of gas masks by the Palestinian
Authority, there would be a reason for the petition," the judge was
quoted as saying. Mohammed Dahleh, an attorney for the Physicians
for Human Rights, told Israel Radio he was disappointed with the
ruling. "The state of Israel, as an occupying force, cannot ignore
its responsibility for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza
only because there is some kind of authority that Israel does not
allow to function properly," said Dahleh. Palestinians say that
Israel's military presence in West Bank cities and punitive
measures imposed by Israel have paralysed the Palestinian
Authority. The army has been handing out gas masks to all Israelis
since the run-up to the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraq fired 39 Scud
missiles at Israel in attacks that caused heavy damage in
residential areas but only one fatality. With war clouds gathering
in the Gulf, Israel has stepped up preparations for possible Iraqi
missile attack, although Israeli officials have said the
probability of a Scud strike is low. Comment: Most likely part of Sharon's plan to "cleanse"
niece warned off trip to UK
In the kind of gaffe George Bush has been famed for, the governor of Florida temporarily forgot King Juan Carlos as he complimented Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister whose title, in Spanish, is president of the government. Speaking in Madrid he said: "I would like to finish by thanking the president of the republic of Spain for his friendship with the United States." Sadly for Mr Bush, Spain has not been a republic since the late 1930s, when General Francisco Franco crushed Republican troops in the Civil War. His nationalist dictatorship, on paper a kingdom for most of its life, lasted until his death in 1975, when Spain became a constitutional monarchy. But the Spanish government is unlikely to be too upset by the slip. As prime minister, Mr Aznar has been a firm backer of Mr Bush’s stand against Iraq and even appears to have forgiven his inability to pronounce his name - Mr Bush called him Anzar instead of Aznar - before his first visit to Spain as US president in 2001, but it did not prevent the two becoming personal friends and close allies. However, a Spanish historian, Juan Pablo Fusi, was less forgiving of Jeb Bush’s slip-up, calling it a "foolish and grotesque error". "It’s an offence to Spain and its democratic monarchy," Mr Fusi said. "It further ridicules the Bushes in general." Comment: I wonder if Bush has some inside info as to where the next "terrorist" attack will be.
The Blood As the world protests against war, we hear again the lies of old. "A painful decision," say the supporters of an invasion. But it is not they who will feel the pain: it will be the Iraqi infants writhing in the dust when the cluster bombs fall
In "Dulce et decorum est", his classic poem from the First World War, Wilfred Owen described young soldiers, doomed to die, "like old beggars under sacks", and a man's "hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin".
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
What has changed since Owen wrote those words, not long before his own death in the trenches? In the Gulf war in 1991, the slaughter of Iraqi conscripts was conducted in a similar industrial way. Three brigades of the United States 1st Mechanised Infantry Division used snow ploughs mounted on tanks and combat earth movers, mostly at night, to bury terrified Iraqi teenagers, many of them still alive, including the wounded, in more than 70 miles of trenches. A brigade commander, Colonel Anthony Moreno, said: "For all I know, we could have killed thousands."
The policy of General Norman Schwarzkopf, the American field commander, was that the Iraqi dead were not to be counted. "This is the first war in modern times," said one of his aides, "where every screwdriver, every nail, is accounted for." As for human beings, "I don't think anybody is going to come up with an accurate count for Iraqi dead."
In fact, Schwarzkopf did provide figures to Congress, indicating that at least 100,000 Iraqi soldiers had been killed. He offered no estimate of civilian deaths. Almost a year later, the Medical Education Trust in London published a comprehensive study of casualties. Up to a quarter of a million men, women and children were killed or died in the aftermath of the American-led attack.
As in 1914-18, the war was a bloodfest, with one difference. Almost all the casualties were on one side, and as many as half of them were civilians. A quarter of the 148 American soldiers who died were killed by other Americans. Most of the British who died were also killed by Americans, including nine blown to bits by an American tank. Little of this was reported at the time. The massacre of conscripts and the wounded was revealed six months later by one tenacious reporter, Knut Royce, in New York 's Newsday. Although journalists sent to report the Gulf war enjoyed extraordinary communications, their editors allowed them to be corralled in a censorial "pool" system.
Little had changed since 1914-18 when the Times correspondent Sir Philip Gibbs (compliant media stars were knighted then; nowadays it's more likely to be an OBE) wrote: "We were our own censors . . . some of us wrote the truth . . . apart from the naked realism of horrors and losses, and criticism of the facts which did not come within the liberty of our pen." When the Gulf war was over, the BBC's foreign editor, John Simpson, reported from Baghdad: "As for the human casualties, tens of thousands of them, or the brutal effect the war had on millions of others . . . we didn't see much of that." If the Gulf war was the most "covered" war in history, it was also the most covered-up. With honourable exceptions, the massacre of so many human beings was not considered news.
Every effort is now being made to repeat this travesty, this "old lie". In his interview on 6 February with the Prime Minister, the BBC's Jeremy Paxman's only reference to the human cost of the Bush/Blair adventure was to repeat a question from a woman in his audience. "She asked you," said Paxman to Tony Blair, "about the deaths of innocent people. I mean, as a Christian, how do you feel about innocent people dying?" He then allowed Blair to get away with a self-serving answer that included the lie that, prior to Nato's attack on Yugoslavia , he "let the peace negotiations go on for several more weeks in order to try and get them sorted".
Paxman made no mention of a United Nations estimate, based on World Health Organisation figures, that "as many as 500,000 people could require treatment as a result of direct and indirect injuries" and that an attack was "likely to cause an outbreak of diseases in epidemic if not pandemic proportions". Neither did he ask Blair how he could justify attacking a nation where almost half the population were children, and a large proportion of them were stricken from the consequences of an American and British-driven blockade. If the American and British governments had no quarrel with the Iraqi people and wished to liberate them, Paxman might have asked, quoting Blair himself, why was the United States currently blocking more than $5bn worth of humanitarian supplies approved by the Security Council?
No, the BBC's inquisitor was more concerned with the complexities of a second UN resolution, a fig leaf, an amoral contrivance. The clear implication was that as long as the killing of large numbers of innocent human beings was backed by a second resolution, "the problem" was solved. That the Security Council's principal members were themselves the sources of numerous human rights crimes was not deemed relevant.
Suppressing the human cost of war is the "old lie" in Wilfred Owen's wonderful poem. Yet in 2003, a privileged establishment journalist paid large amounts of public money ensured that the prime minister did not have to justify the old lie, just as he ensured that Blair did not have to explain the hypocrisy and double standards of Britain 's long and cynical role in Iraq . He even allowed Blair contemptuously to dismiss "the oil thing" as a "conspiracy theory". With the lives of thousands in the balance, he asked Blair if he prayed with George W Bush.
The opposition of the great majority of the British people, and of people all over the world, to an unprovoked attack on another country has illuminated the indecency of those who claim to speak for and share the public's essentially liberal values. From behind a humanitarian mask, they promote killing. To this "liberal" lobby, it is wrong to kill innocent people if you are Saddam Hussein (evil) and right to kill them if you are Tony Blair (good). The actual deaths and the crime of killing are irrelevant; the attitude of their killers is what matters.
On 3 February, I pointed out that the Observer, in its editorial of 19 January, had finally buried the principled "freethinking" legacy of its great editor, David Astor. The paper that had stood against British imperialism's attack on Egypt in 1956 announced it was for attacking Iraq . Coming to the defence of the Observer's betrayal of its history and readers was the Guardian group's latest right-wing provocateur, David Aaronovitch, who exemplifies the mask-wearers. Promoting himself as a "liberal", Aaronovitch is a former apparatchik of the Communist Party that supported the crushing of the Hungarian uprising in 1956. The transition from Party hack to pro-Bush warmonger is a smooth road trodden by many. The obscenity of those like Aaronovitch is crystallised in three words in his Observer column of 2 February. The attack on Iraq , he wrote, will be "the easy bit".
"The easy bit" will be an onslaught of hundreds of missiles on a defenceless population, resulting in countless, and uncounted, civilian casualties. Defending the right of rapacious power to do what it likes when it likes, from Hungary to Iraq , Aaronovitch's "easy bit" is the callous dismissal of the lives of innocent people who will be cut to pieces by cluster bombs, dropped by American and British pilots from a safe height. "Shooting fish in a barrel", the American aircraft carrier pilots called it in 1991.
Unlike the witness-nothing windbags, who appear almost to yearn for war, I have seen the victims of cluster bombs. From many snapshots, here is one. Two children writhe on a dirt floor, their bodies displaying hundreds of small open wounds. They have been showered with tiny plastic objects from an American "pellet bomb", the prototype of the cluster bomb. As the darts move through their vital organs, they die a terrible death, the equivalent of swallowing acid.
"For many of us [supporting an attack on Iraq ]," wrote Aarono-vitch, "this has become the most difficult and painful judgement to make." Painful? What pain will he feel? Pain is what the children on the dirt floor felt. Pain is what dying Iraqi infants, who are denied painkillers by the Anglo-American blockade, feel. Ask Denis Halliday, the former UN assistant secretary general and UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq , who watched them die and demanded that the embargo's enforcers, such as Blair, join him and hear the children's screams.
Who among the "liberals" who say their motive for backing Bush and Blair is to "liberate" the Iraqi people has spoken out against this medieval siege that has "liberated" hundreds of thousands of Iraqis from life? Their specious compassion is like that of the man who stands besides a torturer, reassuring the victim that his ordeal will end if he accepts the torturer's terms. "Nothing about Iraq is
hard for Pilger," wrote Aaronovitch. "He was opposed to the containment of Saddam through the enforcement of the no-fly zones, dismissive of the threats to the Kurdish people of the north." Once again, the unworthy victims are airbrushed. The fishermen, farmers, shepherds and their families and sheep, slaughtered by marauding "coalition" aircraft, are simply omitted. Their deaths are documented in a United Nations security section report and verified by the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq .
As for "the threats to the Kurdish people of the north", year after year, Kurdish villages in northern Iraq have been viciously attacked by the Turkish military, guardians of Nato. They carry out their atrocities under cover of the illegal "no fly-zones" and with the complicity of the US and Britain , which routinely ground their own planes so that their Turkish allies can get on with killing the Kurds. This is rarely reported. In his seminal essay "The Banality of Evil", Edward S Herman described the important state function of certain journalists and commentators as "normalising the unthinkable for the general public". What it is wonderful to see these days is that they have failed. There has never been a time of such overwhelming popular opposition to a war before it began. What Aaronovitch calls "the left" are people of decency and common sense from right across the political spectrum.
I read a letter recently by a former conservative Australian politician, Bob Solomon, writing on behalf of other Australian Tories. Its deeply offended and angry tone is representative of the feelings of millions. He wrote: "Wilful mixing of the 'war against terrorism' with alleged threat from Iraq is an insult to our intelligence, and if there's one thing I like less than mindless war, it's being treated like an idiot by people not bright enough to know we know or too full of their own importance to care. George Bush Junior is the worst leader of a major democracy I have observed for more than 50 years."
Today, all over the world, the common decency of the majority of humanity is ranged against Bush and Blair and their suburban propagandists, who can either listen and draw back and save countless lives - or they can do as Bertolt Brecht suggested in "The Solution":
Secretary of the Writers' Union
U.S. lies shouldn't be leading us into battle
again So you wonder why
so many Canadians are opposed to the U.S. plans to attack Iraq?
It's not that we're weak-kneed wimps of Canuckistan, or
bleeding-heart pacifists, or saps who actually believe Saddam, to
repeat some of the more boorish epithets. Whatever our other
reasons for opposing the war, we're also skeptics, remembering the
long history of official lies that have served as a smokescreen for
U.S. government adventurism in other places and times. Some of us
remember Cuba, and how mighty America and its CIA planned an
invasion of that little island after Fidel Castro came to power.
Their tragically botched attack in 1961, when more than 100
commandoes died senselessly at the Bay of Pigs, is not forgotten.
I've been browsing some of the declassified documents that record
the actual top-secret conversations of the most powerful men in
America, then and afterward, in their obsessive and ludicrous
attempts to invent a plausible reason to launch a major military
attack on Cuba. In March, 1962, for example, the top officials of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff met in Washington to come up with ideas
"which would provide justification for U.S. military intervention
in Cuba." Operation Mongoose, it was called. (Presumably, Castro
was the cobra). To destroy Castro was a government obsession.
"...All else is secondary, no time, money, effort or manpower is to
be spared" said a White House memo. They plotted to destroy Cuba's
sugar crop or to contaminate food supplies, in order to provoke the
lamentably "apathetic" Cubans to rebel, rise up and call in
American troops to help them overthrow Castro. They thought of
creating "at least the illusion of a popular [anti-Castro]
movement," for want of a real one. According to these archived
documents, the Americans were prepared to do anything: invade
Guatemala with soldiers disguised as Cubans, blow up one of their
own warships in Guantanamo Bay and stage a fake funeral for the
`victims', and even rig up an elaborate phoney attack on a tourist
charter flight (complete with airplane debris floating in the
ocean) to persuade the United Nations and world public opinion that
the U.S. was "suffering justifiable grievances". They went so far
as to consider mounting a terrorism campaign against Cuban exiles
in Miami, even wounding some people and "widely publicizing" the
incidents as caused by Castro. Or — and please listen to the
jaunty language — "We could sink a boatload of Cubans en
route to Florida (real or simulated)." These covert operations,
including "a build-up of seemingly unrelated incidents", would,
they vowed, create an image of the Cuban government as "rash and
irresponsible...an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace
of the Western Hemisphere". Does any of this sound hauntingly
familiar? Is there any echo with the current depiction of Iraq as
much of the last half of the 20th century, American presidents and
their chief advisers and military leaders were directly involved in
elaborate schemes of drug-running, manipulating public opinion
through planted editorials and news stories, and illicit campaigns
of what they themselves called "White propaganda," like the
now-notorious episode of the hoked-up Iraqi atrocities against
incubator babies in Kuwait, a crime invented by a powerful public
relations firm and used to sway Congress to support the Gulf War. I
needn't remind Star readers about the government crimes of the
Iran-Contra gun-running scandal, ruthlessly designed to overturn
the elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua by organizing and
arming the Contra opposition. Browse the National Security Archives
and you can eavesdrop directly on these ruthless conspirators as
they plotted to use the U.S. media to vilify their enemies and
whitewash their chosen henchmen.But don't stop there. Go ahead and
read the transcript of the meeting at the White House in September,
1970.They were all there: Nixon, his vice-president, the heads of
the CIA and the military. Henry Kissinger spelled out how they must
"bring down" Salvador Allende, the newly elected democratic
socialist president of Chile. They all agreed to subvert Allende by
sabotaging the Chilean economy, while (and Nixon insisted on this)
behaving publicly "in a cool and correct manner". Allende, of
course, was duly murdered three years later in a coup orchestrated
by the CIA, which ushered in the 17-year bloody dictatorship by
mass murderer Augusto Pinochet.
The history of U.S. foreign policy is paradoxical: so much bush-league covert action, so many lies, so many failures, so little understanding of consequences, so many botched interventions. And yet, such openness. What other regime would make its top secret documents available through freedom of information laws, to be read on the Internet by anyone with an inquiring mind? Perhaps U.S. leaders can afford to be so open because they believe their citizens to be infinitely manipulable through the obligingly docile media. The patriotic American public, after all, bought the lies about the Gulf of Tonkin (a supposed attack on U.S. warships that actually never happened), precipitating the disastrous Vietnam War. They believed the TV version of the Gulf War, with "smart bombs" zipping through windows to kill only bad guys. And for all I know, they believe the charade that Saddam Hussein is linked to Al Qaeda. The U.S. media have almost turned themselves into an arm of government propaganda. They're still repeating the mantra that "Saddam gassed his own people," even though the senior CIA political analyst in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war has recently written — in the New York Times, no less — that the Kurdish civilians who died in that attack were killed by a poison gas that only Iran had at that time. They even believe that Saddam wilfully marched into Kuwait as some sort of unprovoked Hitlerian aggressor, despite the well-documented history of the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait that goes back at least to the time of World War I. Most Canadians, however, don't buy the idea that Saddam, however vicious a dictator, poses an imminent threat to world peace or safety, any more than Fidel Castro did. History is just too heavy with fateful lies — lies that led to too many millions of needless deaths — for skeptical Canadians to agree to go to war at the behest of George Dubya Bush.
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