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

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


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

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

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


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

Signs of the Times

Ark's Jokes

The maker of this flash presentation deserves a medal.

Pentagoon: I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag

International Action Center

United for Peace

Not In Our Name

Iraq Peace Team

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End The War

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Earthquake bulletins

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February 25, 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!

America is not what we have been lead to believe it is. America is not the land of the free. America is not the greatest democracy on earth, it is not the peace keeper of the world. Of course this comes as a shock to many, but that is simply a testimony to the efforts that have been made to keep these truths from the people. There is evidence a plenty, but it is not reported, so naturally how could we have known. We are all guilty of the atrocities that have been carried out by the US and other countries over the past century through our desire to believe the fantasy that all was right with the world and when it wasnt, we were on the side of righteousness. This time has passed, perhaps for the first time there is now an opportunity to see what really IS, however some effort is required on our part, we must be willing to identify and, if for a moment only, suspend the programming we have all unwittingly been subjected to by our governments and media and open our eyes to the reality of the world we live in and the men that are steering it down the road to perdition. Let the truth prevail, for a change

Iraq taking 'new, positive' steps, says Blix - Blair faces revolt in Commons as chief weapons inspector reports signs of co-operation

Unexpected signs of "substantive" Iraqi co-operation were complicating Tony Blair's task last night as he faced a rebellion by more than 100 MPs before a crucial Commons debate. In the past three days UN inspectors in Baghdad have received a flurry of new documentation that the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said indicated a "positive" attitude. Among the details was information about a bomb possibly filled with chemical or biological agents. Iraq's ambassador to the UN, Mohammed al-Douri, said: "As a result of inquiries in Iraq, on a daily basis we are providing Mr Blix with results." Two new letters, which were delivered to the chief inspector yesterday, contained information on "some warheads" and "records of bombs in the ground" that had been destroyed, said Mr Douri. He gave no further details.

Mr Blix said the details of the weapons were "positive steps which need to be explored further". Asked if there was any indication by the Iraqis of "substantive progress or proactive co-operation", he replied "yes". The move will encourage the 102 MPs who appealed to Tony Blair last night to halt the drive to war in Iraq and declared there were no grounds for immediate military action. The MPs signed a Commons amendment saying they found "the case for military action against Iraq as yet unproven". Most of those backing the protest against Mr Blair's strategy were Labour but they were joined by a handful of Conservatives, including the former ministers Douglas Hogg and Edward Leigh. The open rebellion came ahead of a Commons vote on Iraq tonight, when scores of Labour MPs are threatening to defy strong pressure from party whips to support the Government's motion. It calls on Iraq to take its "final opportunity" to disarm and is seen by anti-war MPs as giving the green light to military action.

Graham Allen, one of the organisers of the rebel amendment and a former Labour whip, said: "The numbers are very significant. It is not the 30 or 40 usual suspects. I hope the Prime Minister will listen. It will strengthen his hand in negotiating – with President Bush – a sensible exit strategy that will not involve killing anyone." Mr Allen insisted: "We are supporting Tony Blair's strategy of last week: to threaten and contain Saddam through the inspections regime. This week he has moved on to a strategy of premature war." More than 50 Labour MPs may refuse to support the Government tonight. But the precise scale of the rebellion may be difficult to measure because many critics will be offered a night off by the whips. Others will abstain. The Liberal Democrats decided not to back the rebel amendment. Instead, Charles Kennedy tabled his own, saying weapons inspectors must be given "sufficient time" to complete their work. It said war should be a "last resort" and be sanctioned by the UN Security Council and the Commons.

The new sign of candour from the Iraqi government came after a flying visit to Baghdad by Yevgeny Primakov, a Russian envoy, in which he is believed to have warned Saddam Hussein that failure to co-operate actively with the UN inspectors would almost certainly lead to a military strike by the US and Britain. Mr Blix said one letter from Iraq informed inspectors that "they have found an R-400 bomb containing liquid in a site which is known to us at which they did dispose of biological weapons before". R-400 aerial bombs can be filled with biological or chemical agents. Among the outstanding issues Iraq has not answered is a request to provide documents about the filling of R-400 bombs with aflotoxin. While Iraq is showing greater signs of co-operation on that front, it has not promised to begin destroying its stock of some 120 Al-Samoud II missiles by Saturday, as demanded by the inspectors, who say they exceed the range permitted by the Security Council. During an interview with the American CBS network, in which he challenged Mr Bush to a live television debate, President Saddam appeared to indicate that he would not comply with the ultimatum. "Iraq is allowed to prepare proper missiles, and we are committed to that," he said. Asked whether Al-Samoud II missiles were "proper", he replied: "We do not have missiles that go beyond the prescribed range."

An interview on the war behind the war: Interview with retired propaganda expert Ellis Medavoy.

Q: From your point of view, what is a good place to get a grip on what is happening here?

A: We need to see what conditions have been created, such that the US government feels it has to go through with this war.

Q: But it’s clear that this oil administration that came into power in 2001 has been planning a lot of these operations for some time.

A: I know, but you still have to think of this as a kind of pincer operation that has pushed Bush and his cronies into a corner.

Q: Explain.

A: The Euro currency threatens to become the major currency for global oil transactions. It’s part of the EU-US economic war. Saddam has already gone to the Euro for his oil sales. If the world adopts the Euro for oil business, and deserts the US dollar, the dollar will take a tremendous hit.

Q: But if the US government goes to war and takes over---

A: Takes over the oil fields in Iraq and keeps on going into other OPEC nations—or even threatens to keep going---that might keep the dollar on top.

Q: What else?

A: The war in Afghanistan has done very little to convince the American people that they are safer from terrorism. The US was suckered into that war, which is now falling apart over there. Just as it did when the USSR invaded Afghanistan. So that has created the need for another target. To make America feel safer.

Q: Are you saying that the threat of the Euro and the trap of the Afghanistan war were specifically created to get the US to move against Iraq?

A: You have to realize that events like these are manufactured for more than one reason. So I’m saying one of those reasons was to encourage the US government to move against Iraq---with the purpose of inventing, so to speak, another quagmire for the US. Conquest, and then the very draining occupation of Iraq.

Q: In this pincer operation you are describing, are there any other elements?

A: The decades-long refusal to really support alternative energy sources. This refusal has been partly the fault of successive administrations in Washington, partly the fault of the oil companies, and partly the PLAN of global managers who want the US to lose more of its power---you know, “the oil empire bogged down on the frontiers of conquest.” This is an old story; we just don’t recognize it in action. Behind the scenes, in ancient Rome, there were those who prodded the lust for foreign conquest, knowing that the extension of this lust would bring Rome to its knees, ultimately.

Q: Like prodding and pushing and tempting a lion into a trap.

A: Yes.

Q: As long as government and corporate leaders in the US insist that oil is the basic fuel of the empire---

A: That becomes the Achilles heel. It is foolish to imagine that no one else sees this, that everyone has declined to take advantage of it. Those people we could loosely call the globalist elite are determined to make the US weaker and weaker in every possible respect. So Bush has been given the mantle of a little Napoleon drawn into his Waterloo. It may not come all at once, but the empire beast is tiring by degrees.

Q: In this respect, the oil companies reap their own whirlwind.

A: They keep finding ways to suppress the use of technologies that would put the planet on a firm energy footing, and they are starting to pay the price.

Q: So, from the White House and Pentagon point of view---

A: From that point of view, these people feel they are very much in charge, a new day is dawning, the gloves are off, the US is finally going to flex its muscles, the empire is really on the move. That’s how they see it. You know, they are “doing God’s great work, representing the superior gene pool.” Excuse me for going literary on you, but when you read the old Greek tragedies, you see the pride, the hubris that comes before the fall. And you also see the outer air of confidence in this tale---these current people think they are very much in charge, and no one on Earth is above them. But that’s not true. There are plans afoot to bring them down. To bring them down by playing on their impulses to exercise the very kind of power that will, it so happens, boomerang.

Q: What, if anything, could save the day?

A: An inner core of cowardice and fear and lack of knowledge. That could keep the US government on the brink, could keep them from launching into the quagmire.

Q: Cowardice, not principle.

A: For these guys? Principle? Are you joking?

NY Times Mis-Information on Turkey Subject: NY Times Mis-Information on Turkey

Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 20:22:42 +0200
From: Ayse Gul Altinay
Subject: Your coverage of Turkey

Dear Mr. Filkins,

I have been reading your articles on Turkey's position in relation to Iraq with great surprise and disappointment. I understand that you are based in Turkey, yet there is little evidence of that in your articles. Your piece on February 4, for instance, reads more like the press briefing of 'an anonymous US diplomat in Ankara' than an informed understanding of Turkey's reaction to the current situation. I do not understand journalism to be a one-sided coverage of government policies and statements. Unfortunately, your coverage of the current situation in Turkey has been damaging the credibility of the New York Times --in my eyes and in the eyes of many people I know.

Particularly troubling is the 'misinformation' you provide regarding the anti- war sentiments of Turkish citizens. Here are two quotations from your recent pieces:

"There have been few sizable public demonstrations against war in Iraq. Many Turks say they would like nothing more than to see Saddam Hussein ousted from Iraq, and in recent days, a number of journalists and business leaders warned of lasting damage to the crucial alliance with America."

"Still, opposition to the war has been mostly muted here. There have been relatively few public demonstrations, and even fewer that have drawn sizable crowds. Many Turks say they would like nothing more than to see Saddam Hussein ousted from Iraq, and in recent days, there was a growing chorus among Turkish journalists and business leaders that Turkey was running the risk of seriously damaging its half-century-old alliance with the United States."

Unfortunately, you have missed the very significant point that the 'growing chorus' in Turkey has not been that of mainstream journalists and certain businessmen, it has been that of organized as well as individual opposition to the war. The people you cite in making your claim have remained in the small minority and have faced serious criticism from all fronts.

Are you aware of or have you reported the recent polls which suggest that 94% of the population strongly oppose this war? Have you interviewed ANYONE among this 94%?

Have you reported the fact that there are DAILY protests all around Turkey coming from all sections of the population? The massive protests in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Mersin? The Assembly of the 100s last week where more than 2000 people, among them Turkey's most prominent names (academics, writers, artists, actors- actresses, businesspeople, doctors, lawyers), made a joint peace declaration?

Have you been reading the numerous press statements issued by the Turkish Bar Association, Doctors Association, Academic associations, human rights organizations, labour unions, the Anti-War Platform of 162 NGOs, the Peace Initiative of Turkey, etc.?

Have you reported the four-day visit of your fellow citizen Ryan Amundson who lost a brother in the Sept 11 attacks and represents 'Seprember Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows' in Turkey? He was on at least 3 national televisions (including CNN-TURK, NTV, and TV 8, at least one primetime live interview)and all major newspapers last week. He met with the Deputy Prime Minister Yalcinbayir and the Speaker of the Parliament Arinc in Ankara and asked them to oppose the war IN THE INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, as well as those of Turkish and Iraqi people. Have you interviewed him about his views of the Turkish peace movement and learned about how surprised he was to see the union of such a diverse group of people from all over the country being so active together?

Amundson reads the NY Times regularly. One reason why he was surprised is because none of this has been reported in the NYTimes (by you or anybody else).

Let me go back to your remark regarding anti-war opposition in Turkey having been 'mute': Have you, Mr Filkins, asked the politicians in Ankara how they feel about the thousand messages they have been getting in their mobile phones in the last three days? Or the faxes and emails? Have you asked them what they say to the senders of these messages when they callor write them back? Have you asked them whether they felt like they were representing their voters and the citizens of Turkey as they voted for the modernization of Turkish airports for US use today? Have you asked them about the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of anti-war signatures that were presented to them in the last couple of weeks?

Have you interviewed the telephone operators of the Turkish Grand National Assembly who are overwhelmed with the protest messages they receive via the phone every day? Most importantly, have you asked ANYONE if they have seen such grassroots political activism coming from all sectors of Turkey's diverse population since the military coup in 1980? read more: See also this story on how a Florida judge decided recently that it's technically legal for the media to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

U.S. Threatens France in Struggle Over Iraq The United States fired a warning shot Tuesday across the bows of France, the leading critic of its Iraq policy, saying it would view any French veto of a new U.N. resolution authorizing force as "very unfriendly." The U.S. ambassador in Paris issued the warning after France said it and Germany opposed what it called a shift toward "a logic of war" and circulated a rival proposal that would give U.N. weapons inspectors at least four months to scour Iraq. Even as he spoke, other members of the decision-making U.N. Security Council added their voices to the chorus of skepticism over the resolution, clouding Washington's hopes of winning the nine votes needed to pass it by mid-March. Russia has backed the French proposal as has fellow veto-wielding China, with some reservations. Beijing said it saw no need for a new resolution and believed diplomatic energies should focus on forcing Baghdad to disarm without war. "Obviously, all delegations said they will study the draft, which also has a rather rambling preamble," Russia's U.N. envoy Sergei Lavrov told Russian television. "But few share the conclusion contained in this resolution -- that Iraq has wasted its chance. Most importantly, that conclusion does not stem from the assessments repeatedly presented to the Security Council by the inspectors themselves." Syria, the only Arab country on the 15-member council, said it would vote against while Angola, Cameroon and Pakistan said they had yet to decide what to do. Pakistan, which faces unrest from Islamic militants if it votes for war against Iraq, may abstain, diplomats said. Washington, London and Madrid submitted the draft resolution to the polarized council Monday. It declared that Iraq had squandered its "final opportunity" to disarm. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said the resolution would not be put up for a vote for around two weeks, to allow time to "concentrate the minds" of Security Council members and offer Iraq a last chance to comply. The U.S. ambassador in Paris, Howard Leach, said he hoped France would agree the United Nations had to take action. "I hope there won't be a veto because a veto would be very unfriendly and we would not look favorably on that," he told LCI television, according to a French translation of his remarks in English. Read more Comment: I am becoming more and more convinced that we are being set up, though not just in regards to Bush's phony war. There is I believe another agenda being served, one that is running behind the scenes and will be revealed surrepticiously as the current "war without end" distracts us all. The ramping up of veiled threats by the US towards not only historical boogey men like Saddam but now remarkably in this "modern age" towards traditionally friendly, capitalist, democratic countries like France is a frightening new development and for a third time in less than a century casts the shadow of war over Europe. The question is, what possible agenda could be served by upsetting the applecart on such a global scale?

U.S. Officials Say U.N. Future At Stake in Vote
"You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not," the diplomat said U.S. officials told him. "That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the council will go along with it or not."

As it launches an all-out lobbying campaign to gain United Nations approval, the Bush administration has begun to characterize the decision facing the Security Council not as whether there will be war against Iraq, but whether council members are willing to irrevocably destroy the world body's legitimacy by failing to follow the U.S. lead, senior U.S. and diplomatic sources said. In meetings yesterday with senior officials in Moscow, Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton told the Russian government that "we're going ahead," whether the council agrees or not, a senior administration official said. "The council's unity is at stake here." A senior diplomat from another council member said his government had heard a similar message and was told not to anguish over whether to vote for war. "You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not," the diplomat said U.S. officials told him. "That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the council will go along with it or not." President Bush has continued to say he has not yet decided whether to go to war. But the message being conveyed in high-level contacts with other council governments is that a military attack on Iraq is inevitable, these officials and diplomats said. What they must determine, U.S. officials are telling these governments, is if their insistence that U.N. weapons inspections be given more time is worth the destruction of council credibility at a time of serious world upheaval.

"We're going to try to convince people that their responsibilities as members of the Security Council necessitate a vote that will strengthen the role of the council in international politics," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said yesterday. Rice mentioned North Korea and Iran as issues where "the international community has a lot of hard work to do. . . . And so we're going to try to convince people that the Security Council needs to be strong." Iraq, Rice told reporters in a White House briefing, "is an important issue, a critically important issue for the United States. . . . So nobody should underestimate . . . the importance of America's resolve in getting this done." The lobbying campaign went into full gear last weekend, as the administration prepared for yesterday's introduction by the United States, Britain and Spain of a new council resolution declaring Baghdad in violation of U.N. demands. Although the resolution does not specifically authorize the use of military force, it is understood among all council members that approval is tantamount to agreement on a war. The administration maintains such approval already exists in previous resolutions, but has bowed to the wishes of London and Madrid, its main council allies, who believe a new vote will quell massive antiwar feeling in their own countries. A number of other countries outside the council have said their support for war depends on a new resolution.

While the council will hear an updated assessment of inspections in Iraq by chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix on March 7, senior administration officials said that his report is largely immaterial to the vote-getting process. Now that the new resolution has been introduced, council rules say "we have the right to ask for a vote within 24 hours," an official said. Although it is likely to fall after Blix's report, the moment of choice will be based on the vote count and little else, the official said. The administration holds out scant hope of repeating last fall's unanimous council tally, when all 15 members agreed to demand Iraq submit to a tough new weapons inspections regimen. Three of the five permanent members with veto power -- France, Russia and China -- have called for a war decision to be postponed while inspections continue. Of the 10 non-permanent members, only Spain and Bulgaria currently support the U.S. position; Syria and Germany are considered definite no's, and Pakistan either a no or an abstention.

All five of the others -- three in Africa and two in Latin America -- are crucial to obtaining the nine votes necessary for non-vetoed passage. Last weekend, Bush telephoned Mexican President Vicente Fox and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos to ask for their votes but received no firm commitment, officials said. Bush telephoned Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos earlier this month, and Assistant Secretary of State Walter H. Kansteiner III last weekend began a tour of the capitals of Angola, Guinea and Cameroon. For some, particularly among the key five non-permanent members, there are additional pressure points beyond an appeal to council unity. "They want support for the resolution," said a diplomat from one of the five. "They are not offering anything," or threatening reprisals, he said. "They are anticipating trouble if there is not support . . . [and] quietly sending the message that the United States would consider it an unfriendly act." But another council diplomat said: "There is no mention of any sort of threat or pressure. None whatsoever." Instead, he said, "The conversation is very simple. There is a description of why they've presented a resolution, an objection to the piecemeal approach" of ongoing inspections, and insistence that "the council has to demonstrate that it is capable of taking decisions."

Even France, which has led the current council majority asking for more inspections, has repeatedly spoken of unity as the primary council goal. As it sets out to reverse a potential 11 to 4 vote against the new resolution, the administration is hoping that Paris will ultimately decline to be the spoiler and will opt for abstention. "The argument the Americans are giving us," this diplomat said, "is 'if you support us, that will put pressure on France and they'll dare not apply a veto.' " And if France can be persuaded to abstain, several administration officials said they believe Russia and China will do the same. Although the administration appears willing to declare victory with a 9 to 2 vote, with four abstentions, other council members said it would be a false victory. "Abstention will mean opposition, it will not mean support," a non-permanent council diplomat said. "If the decision to go to war with Iraq is adopted, it has to be adopted . . . with an important majority, including at least Russia and China, even if France doesn't want to go along." "This idea of putting three members with veto power on the outside is not something that sounds much like unity," the diplomat said. "Are they going to declare the Security Council 'relevant' by virtue of submission by the smallest states?" If a nine-vote, no-veto majority cannot be assured, the senior U.S. official said, the administration will make a "tactical decision" as to whether it is better to proceed to war with no vote at all.

A historic moment for peace February 15 produced what has been called the world's Second Superpower: Global public opinion. This has emerged as a force far more powerful than any state or grouping of states. It holds the potential to tame the First Superpower, the United States -- if only President Bush has the wisdom to listen to conscientious citizens, record numbers of whom marched in London (1.5 to 2 million), Rome and Madrid (2 to 3 million each), Berlin and Paris (500,000 each), New York (250,000), and in 750 other cities. This mobilisation was historic -- unprecedented anywhere since World War II, and the greatest-ever in cities like London. It announced civil society's assertive intervention in decisions relating to security, war and peace -- areas which have hitherto been the State's exclusive preserve. [...] The real debate worldwide is no longer about disarming Iraq. It is about the US. Iraq is a tactical issue. The key strategic question is how to tame America's overbearing might. Faced with unprecedented resistance from its allies and the global public, the US has two options. Either it defers to the UN and drops its invasion plans after mobilising 200,000 troops in the Gulf. Or, it unleashes a war without UN authorisation.

The first course would expose America's macho, hawkish leaders as 'wimps,' a term they hate. Mr Henry Kissinger cynically summed up the logic: 'If the US marches 200,000 troops into the region and then marches them back out, the credibility of American power will be gravely, perhaps irreparably, impaired.' So, US leaders want to save face, not human life. The second course would mean the war lacks a moral and political basis. Such a war will be extremely unpopular even in the West, including the US -- where a majority of people wrongly believe that Iraq and Al Qaeda are linked. It will inflict terrible cruelties upon the Iraqi people, without necessarily unearthing and safely destroying such WMD as Mr Saddam Hussein may have stashed away in hard-to-find places.

Apart from human suffering, at stake here is the structure of multilateral global institutions, including the UN, built painstakingly over two centuries. It has not been easy for nation-states, devoted as they are to the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), to accept reduction or limitation of absolute state sovereignty. It has taken countless wars, and the horrors of Hiroshima, to evolve international humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions, and above all, disarmament treaties. The US is threatening to undermine that very structure, unleashing forces that weaken the rules, norms, and restraints that govern the world order. This will legitimise the use of force as the preferred or 'normal' method of resolving disputes. It will reward the mighty at the expense of the weak. The consequences will be profoundly undemocratic for the whole world. [...] more here Comment: Seems like the US has backed itself into a corner. To the overinflated greed-driven egos of the US hawks the concept of withdrawing their troops is unthinkable. War will take place, and at the moment it seems likely it will be without a UN backing. As the author above says, such a war will have no moral or political basis. The result of which, as has been discussed here recently could well be the complete undoing of the USA as a world superpower, leading to the final piece of the puzzle being laid where the world's population is herded into their pen under a one world government and the much touted NWO. Just as it dupes its citizens it seems that the US adminsitration itself has been duped into acting as it has, the Columbia "crash" further inciting Bush to wage war regardless. This of course is fully in keeping with the STS modus operandi, where higher levels maintain their position by withholding information and manipulating those below in the "carrot and stick" style, and in needed dispensing with a minion when they have served their purpose, or as the Cs say:

A: Lord of Serpent promises its followers infinite power which they must seek infinite knowledge to gain, for which they pledge allegiance infinitely for which they possess for all eternity, so long as they find infinite wisdom, for which they search for all infinity.
Q: (L) Well, that is a round robin... a circle you can't get out of!
A: And therein you have the deception! Remember, those who seek to serve self with supreme power, are doomed only to serve others who seek to serve self, and can only see that which they want to see.

February 24, 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!

Dont it just make ya proud?

The U.S. Needs to Open Up to the World To this European, America is trapped in a fortress of arrogance and ignorance. Europeans have always looked at America with a mixture of fascination and puzzlement, and now, increasingly, disbelief. How is it that a country that prides itself on its economic success could have so many very poor people? How is it that a country so insistent on the rule of law should seek to exempt itself from international agreements? And how is it that the world's beacon of democracy can have elections dominated by wealthy special interest groups? For me, the question has become: "How can a country that has produced so much cultural and economic wealth act so dumb?"

I could fill this page with the names of Americans who have influenced, entertained and educated me. They represent what I admire about America: a vigorous originality of thought, and a confidence that things can be changed for the better. That was the America I lived in and enjoyed from 1978 until 1983.That America was an act of faith — the faith that "otherness" was not threatening but nourishing, the faith that there could be a country big enough in spirit to welcome and nurture all the diversity the world could throw at it. But since Sept. 11, that vision has been eclipsed by a suspicious, introverted America, a country-sized version of that peculiarly American form of ghetto: the gated community. A gated community is defensive. Designed to keep the "others" out, it dissolves the rich web of society into a random clustering of disconnected individuals. It turns paranoia and isolation into a lifestyle.

Surely this isn't the America that anyone dreamed of; it's a last resort, nobody's choice. It's especially ironic since so much of the best new thinking about society, economics, politics and philosophy in the last century came from America. Unhampered by the snobbery and exclusivity of much European thought, American thinkers vaulted forward — courageous, innovative and determined to talk in a public language. But, unfortunately, over the same period, the mass media vaulted backward, thriving on increasingly simple stories and trivializing news into something indistinguishable from entertainment. As a result, a wealth of original and subtle thought — America's real wealth — is squandered.This narrowing of the American mind is exacerbated by the withdrawal of the left from active politics. Virtually ignored by the media, the left has further marginalized itself by a retreat into introspective cultural criticism. It seems content to do yoga and gender studies, leaving the fundamentalist Christian right and the multinationals to do the politics. The separation of church and state seems to be breaking down too. Political discourse is now dominated by moralizing, like George W. Bush's promotion of American "family values" abroad, and dissent is unpatriotic. "You're either with us or against us" is the kind of cant you'd expect from a zealous mullah, not an American President.

When Europeans make such criticisms, Americans assume we're envious. "They want what we've got," the thinking goes, "and if they can't get it, they're going to stop us from having it." But does everyone want what America has? Well, we like some of it but could do without the rest: among the highest rates of violent crime, economic inequality, functional illiteracy, incarceration and drug use in the developed world. President Bush recently declared that the U.S. was "the single surviving model of human progress." Maybe some Americans think this self-evident, but the rest of us see it as a clumsy arrogance born of ignorance.

Europeans tend to regard free national health services, unemployment benefits, social housing and so on as pretty good models of human progress. We think it's important — civilized, in fact — to help people who fall through society's cracks. This isn't just altruism, but an understanding that having too many losers in society hurts everyone. It's better for everybody to have a stake in society than to have a resentful underclass bent on wrecking things. To many Americans, this sounds like socialism, big government, the nanny state. But so what? The result is: Europe has less gun crime and homicide, less poverty and arguably a higher quality of life than the U.S., which makes a lot of us wonder why America doesn't want some of what we've got.

Too often, the U.S. presents the "American way" as the only way, insisting on its kind of free-market Darwinism as the only acceptable "model of human progress." But isn't civilization what happens when people stop behaving as if they're trapped in a ruthless Darwinian struggle and start thinking about communities and shared futures? America as a gated community won't work, because not even the world's sole superpower can build walls high enough to shield itself from the intertwined realities of the 21st century. There's a better form of security: reconnect with the rest of the world, don't shut it out; stop making enemies and start making friends. Perhaps it's asking a lot to expect America to act differently from all the other empires in history, but wasn't that the original idea?

U.S. Might Face Resistance from Iraqi Opposition Iraqi opposition forces are reportedly moving ahead with plans to create their own postwar government in Iraq, against the express wishes of the United States. Far from being natural U.S. allies against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, opposition groups are shaping up to be a wild card that threatens to drag Turkey and Iran into the war, stiffen Sunni Iraqi resistance and catch U.S. troops in the middle.According to multiple sources, Iraqi opposition forces are bridling at being left out of U.S. plans for governing Iraq in the immediate aftermath of war and are moving ahead with plans to craft and declare their own alternative government. In an interview with, Kurdish representatives went so far as to accuse Washington of actively trying to thwart Iraqi opposition parties from meeting to discuss the issue. The opposition summit has been postponed thrice already. It was originally scheduled for Jan. 15, then Feb. 15, then Feb 19. Iraqi opposition spokesman and Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) foreign relations chief Hushair Zebari told reporters that a quorum of opposition groups -- including the KDP, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) -- would meet on Feb. 24 or 25 in Arbil to discuss forming the nucleus of a new government. The discussion would take place against the explicit request of U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, and despite the absence of opposition factions more closely aligned with Washington. Zebari criticized apparent agreements between Ankara and Washington that would restrict the role of Kurds in a post-Hussein Iraq. And he warned, "If the U.S. wants to impose its own government, regardless of the ethnic and religious composition of Iraq, there is going to be a backlash." Kurdish concern is understandable. It is altogether possible that the Kurds could find themselves worse off politically and militarily after a U.S.-Iraq war than they are now. Since 1991, Kurds in northern Iraq have enjoyed effective autonomy. However, Ankara is vehemently opposed to the creation of anything resembling an independent Kurdish state, as that could serve to revitalize the Kurdish opposition in eastern Turkey.

Ankara is reportedly delaying approval for the deployment of U.S. troops in and through Turkey in large part because it wants assurances that Washington will curtail Kurdish aspirations. In the meantime, since Ankara is not convinced that U.S. troops would act forcefully should the Kurds attempt to present independence as a fait accompli, 7,000 troops from the Turkish 2nd Army Corps have deployed into northern Iraq. In January, KDP leader Massoud Barzani told Gulf News that his forces would not attack Iraq, since they were concerned about the country's political organization in a post-Hussein era. Moreover, Stratfor sources in the Russian military reported at the time that negotiations were under way between the KDP and the Iraqi government -- with Baghdad offering arms and explosives for use against an expected Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, in exchange for Kurdish abstention from a U.S.-led war.

Washington needs Turkish bases and logistics support for any significant action in northern Iraq. Whatever its ultimate intentions, the U.S. government cannot appear to support an expanded Kurdish role in a post-Hussein administration or increased Kurdish autonomy. At the same time, it really cannot afford for war to erupt between Kurds and Turks, with U.S. forces caught in the middle, just as U.S. troops launch their own attacks against Iraqi forces. Complicating matters, Tehran reportedly is supporting opposition efforts to undermine U.S. plans for postwar Iraq. Iran supports the PUK and SCIRI, both central to the current summit on postwar Iraqi leadership. Iran facilitated the movement of some 5,000 Shiite troops, allegedly from SCIRI, to northern Iraq. Stratfor sources indicate that SCIRI has few troops to begin with -- and many of those remain in southern Iraq, meaning some of those 5,000 in the north could be Iranian army or Revolutionary Guard soldiers. Washington does not want a Shiite-dominated government aligned with Iran to emerge in Baghdad, though it needs Shiite cooperation in toppling Hussein. Shiites are the majority in Iraq and are concentrated along the southern approaches to Baghdad. Though their organized and armed resistance forces are small in number, they could play key roles in gathering intelligence, identifying targets and disrupting command, communications, movement and logistics behind the Iraqi lines.

But neither the Shiites nor the Kurds offer enough force to tip the military balance in Washington's favor. Washington needs Sunni generals in the Iraqi military to surrender early in the war or to launch a coup against Hussein. It also prefers that a secular, cosmopolitan, Western-oriented regime ultimately arise in Baghdad. The United States already is having enough fun with sectarian politics in Afghanistan. But any talk of an Iranian-influenced Kurdish/Shiite government emerging in postwar Iraq would only ensure that the Sunni generals dig in and resist. As a result, Washington's options in the north have diminished from a northern offensive, to a holding action against entrenched Iraqi forces, to keeping the lid on a Kurdish pressure-cooker that threatens to overwhelm plans for both war and its aftermath. Open Kurdish defiance of the United States on the topic of postwar governance could spread to other areas of cooperation as well, clouding military plans for northern Iraq with uncertainty. If SCIRI joins the revolt, the southern offensive will become complicated as well. If the opposition moves on its own when the bombing begins and either seizes the government or sparks a Turkish crackdown, it would catch U.S. troops in the middle and create a nightmare for U.S. military and political leaders, who would have to decide whether to support the opposition or a crackdown by the Turks and Sunni Iraqis.
Strange Creature Eating Large Animals In Argentina? The 31st Sheriff's Office at Rosario de la Frontera, kicked off an investigation into the truth behind the existence of a strange bipedal animal standing two meters tall, with a humanoid appearance, accused of having devoured medium and large-sized animals and of attacking an undetermined number of people in the forested area of Arroyo Salado, six kilometers east of the city. According to witnesses, the beast had a hairy body, large ears and eyes, powerful claws in its upper extremities, and issued deafening howls. "As an initial measure, we have started interviewing all those who claim having seen or had an encounter with this specimen," said the officer-in-charge of the delegation, Rene Humberto Tacacho. "We will later request instructions from higher authorities, since if we are faced with an unknown species, the most logical thing [to do] is to capture it alive for subsequent study."

While new details about the case emerged yesterday, after first becoming known for two years ago, when a pair of lovers at Arroyo Salado claimed having been attacked by the unknown creature, Jose Exequiel Alvarez, the local fire chief and member of the "Juan Carlos Rivas" archaeological and paleontological group, made plaster casts of the prints found in the area and found the bony remains of a colt, eventually devoured by the beast. "The bones were examined by veterinarian Luis Calder-n, who confirmed they had been gnawed by an animal with sharp teeth, powerful jaws and sharp incisors which even perforated the horse's bones." Alvarez is preparing an expedition to capture the specimen. "The fact that El Tribuno is interested in the subject has changed people's attitude: they are now more inclined to talk, and I heard two astonishing stories: four young people who were attacked at Arroyo Saldo and two teenagers who saw it running along the river's edge, emitting deafening howls. We must solve this scientific riddle somehow," he concluded.

Iraqi Kurds terrified by prospect of Turkish invasion Kurdish leaders warned Turkish soldiers yesterday against crossing Iraq's northern border as the first step in a plan to end the de facto independence enjoyed by Iraqi Kurdistan for 10 years. "Any intervention under any circumstances will lead to clashes," Hoshyar Zebari, an influential Kurdish leader, said. "It will be bad for the reputations of the US and the UK to see two of their allies – the Turks and the Kurds – at each other's throats." The Turkish parliament is poised to vote on an agreement that would allow thousands of American troops to be deployed in Turkey to spearhead the northern front against Saddam Hussein. But Turkey announced over the weekend that it would launch its own invasion, with the Kurds rather than Saddam Hussein as the target. "Turkey is adamant that it wants a foothold inside Iraq," said a Kurdish leader privy to recent talks with Turkey. "Once they are in it will be very difficult to get them out." Washington, desperate for Turkish military co-operation, has not opposed the operation. The Turkish army would occupy a long tract of territory inside the border of northern Kurdistan, setting a precedent for a further advance.

Mr Zebari said: "It would be a nightmare for us because the Turks could easily cut our communications with the outside world. Our people are terrified by the prospect." A Turkish invasion, even if only partial, would cause turmoil in northern Iraq, and Kurdish leaders claim it would be resisted by local forces. Television pictures of Kurdish villagers in flight from the Turks, allied to America and Britain, would take the sheen off efforts by President Bush and Tony Blair to portray the war as a moral crusade. Turkish generals and officials explained that the purpose of their advance was to prevent Kurdish refugees entering Turkey as they did in 1991. Since the justification for the incursion was humanitarian, not military, the troops would be under Turkish, not US, command. Kurdish leaders see Turkey's humanitarian intentions as a smokescreen. One, who did not want to be named, said: "The Turks have four aims: they want to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish entity with de facto independence; ensure that the rebellion of the Turkish Kurds does not start again; protect the Turkomans in Iraq; and make sure we do not take Kirkuk or Mosul." The Kurds were shocked when Turkey first declared its intentions at a meeting in Ankara this month.

The Kurds reject the idea that a mass exodus of Kurdish refugees is more than an excuse. In 1991 the Kurds were frightened because the Iraqi army had gassed them in Halabja three years before. Today there is a well-organised Kurdish administration with an experienced army to defend them. The Iraqi army is very unlikely to advance north against the Kurds when it is under attack from America. The Kurds have only limited leverage because Washington needs Turkey more than it needs them. America does not want the Kurdish forces to become involved in the war. It may, however, want them to help to persuade some of the key Arab tribes of northern Iraq to withdraw their support for President Saddam. The Kurds are by far the strongest force in the Iraqi opposition. The Kurdistan Democratic Party, which controls western Kurdistan, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan under Jalal Talabani, which rules eastern Kurdistan, together have about 25,000 trained soldiers as well as militia forces. They rule four million people in an area the size of Switzerland. Comment: Bush's war is set to ignite the middle east and the whole world..

Two men driving Bush into war Lurking in the background behind Bush, his Vice-President, Dick Cheney, and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are the people propelling US policy. Behind President George W. Bush's charge to war against Iraq, there is a carefully devised mission, drawn up by people who work over the shoulders of those whom America calls 'The Principals'. Lurking in the background behind Bush, hisVice-President, Dick Cheney, and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are the people propelling US policy. And behind them, the masterminds of the Bush presidency as it arrived at the White House from Texas, are Karl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz.

It is too simple to explain the upcoming war as 'blood for oil', as did millions of placards last weekend, for Rove and Wolfowitz are ideologists beyond the imperatives of profit. They represent an unlikely and formidable alliance forged between the gritty Texan Republicans who took over America, fuelled by fierce conservative Christianity, and a faction of the East Coast intelligentsia with roots in Ronald Reagan's time, devoted to achieving raw, unilateral power. Rove and Wolfowitz have worked for decades to reach their moment, and that moment has come as war draws near. Bush calls Rove, depending on his mood, 'Boy Genius' or 'Turd Blossom'. Rove is one of a new political breed - the master craftsmen - nurturing a 24-year political campaign of his own design, but careful not to expose who he really is.

His Christian faith is a weapon of devastating cogency, but he never discusses it; no one knows if his politics are religious or politics are his religion. A Christmas Day child born in Denver, as a boy he had a poster above his bed reading 'Wake Up, America!' As a student, he was a fervent young Republican who pitched himself against the peace movement. His first bonding with Bush was not over politics, but the two men's ideological and moral distaste for the Sixties - after Bush's born-again conversion from alcoholism to Christianity. Rove was courted by George Bush Snr during his unsuccessful bid to be the Republican presidential candidate for 1980. But Rove's genius would show later, on Bush senior's election to the White House in 1988, when he co-opted the right-wing Christian Coalition - wary of Bush's lack of theocratic stridency - into the family camp.

Conservative Southern Protestantism was a constituency Bush Jr befriended and kept all the way to Washington, defining both his own political personality and the new-look Republican Party. When Rove answered the call to come to Texas in 1978, every state office was held by a Democrat. Now, almost all of them are Republican. Every Republican campaign was run by Rove and in 1994 his client - challenging for the state governorship - was a man he knew well: George W. Bush. 'Rove and Bush came to an important strategic conclusion,' writes Lou Dubose, Rove's biographer. 'To govern on behalf of the corporate Right, they would have to appease the Christian Right.' Bush's six years as Texas governor were a dry run for national domestic policy - steered by Rove - as President: lavish favours to the energy industry, tax breaks for the upper income brackets and social policy driven by evangelical zeal. Bush had been governor for only a year when, as Rove says, it 'dawned on me' he should run for President; two years later, in 1997, he began secretly planning the campaign. In March 1999, Bush ordered Rove to sell his consulting firm - 'he wanted 120 per cent of his attention,' says a former employee, 'full-time, day and night'.

Rove hatched and ran the presidential campaign, deploying the Bush family Rolodex and the might of the oil industry and unleashing the most vigorous direct-mailing blizzard of all time. 'If the devil is in the details,' writes Dubose, 'he had found Rove waiting to greet him when he got there.' By the time George W. became President, Rove was the hub of a Texan wheel connecting the family, the party, the Christian Right and the energy industry. A single episode serves as metaphor: during the Enron scandal last year, a shadow was cast over Rove when it was revealed that he had sold $100,000 of Enron stock just before the firm went bankrupt. More intriguing, however, was the fact that Rove had personally arranged for the former leader of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed, to take up a consultancy at Enron - Bush's biggest single financial backer - worth between $10,000 and $20,000 a month.

This was the machine of perpetual motion that Rove built. His accomplishment was the 'Texanisation' of the national Republican Party under the leadership of the Bush family and to take that party back to presidential office after eight years. Rove is unquestionably the most powerful policy adviser in the White House. There is a shorthand view of Wolfowitz as a firebrand hawk, but he is more like Rove than that - patient, calculating, logical, soft-spoken and deliberate. Wolfowitz was a Jewish son of academe, a brilliant scholar of mathematics and a diplomat. When he joined the Pentagon after the Yom Kippur war, he set about laying out what is now US policy in the Middle East.

In 1992, just before Bush's father was defeated by Bill Clinton, Wolfowitz wrote a blueprint to 'set the nation's direction for the next century', which is now the foreign policy of George W. Bush. Entitled 'Defence Planning Guidance', it put an onus on the Pentagon to 'establish and protect a new order' under unchallenged American authority. The US, it said, must be sure of 'deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role' - including Germany and Japan. It contemplated the use of nuclear, biological and chemical weaponry pre-emptively, 'even in conflicts that do not directly engage US interests'.

Wolfowitz's group formalised itself into a group called Project for the New American Century, which included Cheney and another old friend, former Pentagon Under-Secretary for Policy under Reagan, Richard Perle. In a document two years ago, the Project pondered that what was needed to assure US global power was 'some catastrophic and catalysing event, like a new Pearl Harbor'. The document had noted that 'while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides immediate justification' for intervention, 'the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein'. At a graduation speech to the Military Academy at West Point, Bush last June affirmed the Wolfowitz doctrine as official policy. 'America has, and intends to keep,' he said, 'military strengths beyond challenge.' At the Pentagon, Wolfowitz and his boss Rumsfeld set up an intelligence group under Abram Schulsky and the Under-Secretary for Defence, Douglas Feith, both old friends of Wolfowitz.

The group's public face is the semi-official Defence Policy Board, headed by Perle. Perle and Feith wrote a paper in 1996 called 'A Clean Break' for the then leader of Israel's Likud bloc, Binyamin Netanyahu; the clean break was from the Oslo peace process. Israel's 'claim to the land (including the West Bank) is legitimate and noble,' said the paper. 'Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights is a solid basis for the future.' At the State Department, the 'Arabist' faction of regional experts favouring the diplomacy of alliances in the area was drowned out by the hawks, markedly by another new unit with favoured access to the White House. And in Rove's White House, with his backing, the circle was closed and the last piece of the jigsaw was put in place, with the appointment of Elliot Abrams to handle policy for the Middle East, for the National Security Council.Abrams is another veteran of Reagan days and the 'dirty wars' in Central America, convicted by Congress for lying alongside Colonel Oliver North over the Iran-Contra scandal, but pardoned by President Bush's father.He has since written a book warning that American Jewry faces extinction through intermarriage and has counselled against the peace process and for the righteousness of Ariel Sharon's Israel. He is Wolfowitz's man, talking every day to his office neighbour, Rove.

Labour out in cold as Sharon shifts to right New pact dashes hopes of talks with Palestinians. The Israeli Labour party last night finally ruled out joining a national unity government with Ariel Sharon after the Israeli prime minister insisted on including a rightwing party as a partner. Amram Mitzna, the Labour leader, said that Mr Sharon had missed a "historic opportunity" by refusing to agree to a framework for peace with the Palestinians.Comment: Of course, why would Sharon even consider a framework for peace with the Palestinians, much better to wipe them all out when Bush does his part by distracting the world's attention by bombing Saddam. Hooray! What a lovely world we live in!

Turkish cabinet agrees to US troop deployment The Turkish cabinet today ended weeks of tense negotiations by agreeing to let tens of thousands of US troops use Turkish bases to launch an attack on Iraq in exchange for billions of dollars in US aid. A government spokesman, Abdullatif Sener, said the measure was being sent to parliament for approval today, after ministers unanimously agreed the deal. A vote is widely expected to take place tomorrow. The announcement followed a cabinet meeting that lasted more than six hours. In a sign of how extremely contentious a US troop deployment is in Turkey, Mr Sener said that many ministers still had reservations.

"An important part of our ministers did not find the developments satisfactory. But after negotiations, the decision of sending the authorisation to the parliament was made," he said. The US has been pushing for weeks to win agreement to base up to 40,000 troops in Turkey, making it possible to open a northern front in any possible war on Iraq. The deadlock was finally broken late last week, when Washington offered Turkey $5bn (£3.15bn) in grants and $10bn in loans to cushion the Turkish economy from the impact of any war. The announcement comes as US ships loaded with tanks and other equipment awaited orders off the Turkish coast. A US official said talks between the two sides on the details of the agreement are expected to continue throughout the day. An overwhelming majority of Turks oppose any war in neighbouring Iraq. Many fear that it would further weaken Turkey's already fragile economy. Turkish leaders have demanded assurances that the fall of Iraq's Saddam Hussein will not lead to the creation of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. A Kurdish state, Turkey fears, will boost the aspirations of Turkey's Kurdish rebels.

To prevent this, Turkey wants to send tens of thousands of troops into northern Iraq in case of war. Ankara also fears that a war will push hundreds of thousands of refugees toward Turkey, but many observers say the aim of the military move would actually be to prevent the creation of a Kurdish state in the autonomous areas of northern Iraq that border Turkey. Kurdish groups living in those areas say they strongly oppose any Turkish deployment. Turkey and the United States are also still discussing command of any Turkish troops in northern Iraq, the disarmament of Iraqi Kurdish groups after a war and the control of two northern Iraqi oil fields. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the governing Justice and Development party, had said that he would not order his ministers to vote in favour of the deployment. A Nato mission to help defend Turkey against a potential Iraqi attack got under way today with the departure of a planeload of equipment and support units from Germany. Turkey, a member of Nato, fears that Baghdad might launch a counterattack if it supports the US. Comment: War at any price? Well not really, from the figures above and the UN estimates of potential casualties it works out at about $4,000 per Iraqi child under 5. What a bargain!

Earthquake kills 257 in China Rescue workers and relatives dug through the rubble of homes and schools in western China today, after a powerful earthquake left at least 257 people and more than 1,000 injured.
The earthquake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, razed buildings in the remote region of Xinjiang, near China's mountainous border with Kyrgyzstan, at 10.03am (0203 GMT). Most victims died when their farmhouses collapsed as they ate breakfast. "The dead included the old and the young, even some babies," said a government official who gave his name as Mimati. "Survivors and injured people were digging in the debris around their collapsed houses with bleeding hands, calling the names of missing relatives." He said he had seen battered bodies of adults and children pulled from the rubble, some missing heads or legs. At least 10 students died when their junior high school collapsed in the county's most badly damaged town, Chongku Qiake, government official Maimai Qiming said. Most of the houses in the town were damaged and a primary school also collapsed, killing two students, said a county government official who only gave his name as Wu.

He said 90% of the town's 30,000 people would have to sleep outdoors in in -10C (14F) weather, even though the town lacked enough tents or blankets. Some heavy equipment had arrived in the isolated area hours after the quake struck, but most rescuers were still working by hand, Wu added. More than 1,000 houses and school buildings collapsed in one village in Bachu, the official Xinhua news agency said. It also said tremors were felt in Kashgar, the most populous city in the area, but gave no details of any damage there. China's cabinet authorised the release of emergency funds, according to state television. It said Communist party general secretary Hu Jintao and other senior leaders had contacted local officials and ordered them to ensure that survivors had adequate water, food and shelter. A team was dispatched from Beijing with special rescue equipment, the report said. The area is about 1,750 miles west of the city. Earthquakes are common in Xinjiang, especially in the west of the province, which covers the eastern foothills of the soaring Pamir and Tianshan mountains of central Asia. They usually cause few injuries and little property damage because the area is so sparsely populated. Comment: The "signs of the times" are really mounting up, and its only going to get worse.

Germany, France, Russia Submit Iraq Plan French President Jacques Chirac announced that France, Germany and Russia have submitted a proposal Monday in the United Nations for step-by-step disarmament of Iraq, part of a European drive to counter U.S. pressure for military action. ``The aim is to establish a timetable for Iraq's disarmament, program by program, relating to weapons of mass destruction,'' Chirac told reporters before talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Over 1 Million Iraqi Children Might Die in War - Secret UN Document
A newly-obtained confidential UN document predicts that 30 percent of children under 5 in Iraq, or 1.26 million, "would be at risk of death from malnutrition" in the event of a war. The draft document, "Integrated Humanitarian Contingency Plan for Iraq and Neighbouring Countries", was produced by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 7 January 2003. Its release comes as aid agencies and government representatives meet urgently in Geneva to discuss humanitarian operations in the event of war."
The document, contains the following key assessments:

"In the event of a crisis, 30 percent of children under 5 would be at risk of death from malnutrition" With 4.2 million children under five in Iraq this represents 1.26 million children under five.

"The collapse of essential services in Iraq ... could lead to a humanitarian emergency of proportions well beyond the capacity of UN agencies and other aid organizations"

"All UN agencies have been facing severe funding constraints that are preventing them from reaching even minimum levels of preparedness"

"The effects of over 12 years of sanctions, preceded by war, have considerably increased the vulnerability of the population".

"WFP [World Food Programme] estimates that approximately 10 million people ... would be highly food insecure, displaced or directly affected by military action"

"In the event of a crisis, only 39 percent of the population would be serviced [with water] on a rationed basis"

"UNHCR estimates that up to 1.45 million refugees and asylum-seekers may seek to flee Iraq in the event of a military conflict"

"Up to 900,000 people may be displaced in addition to the 900,000-1,100,000 existing IDPs [internally displaced persons]"

5,210,000 are highly vulnerable children under five and pregnant and lactating women.

500,000 potential direct and indirect casualties (overall population).

3,020,000 at nutritional risk (overall population).

18,240,000 might need access to treated water.

8,710,000 may need sanitation facilities.

Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) co-ordinator, Jonathan Stevenson, said: "These UN estimates reveal that the people of Iraq are facing a humanitarian crisis of overwhelming severity. The $30m of emergency aid offered to handle this - little more than $1 per Iraqi - is wholly inadequate. Tony Blair talks of a moral case for war, yet once again the indications are that no serious responsibility is being taken for the impact of UK policies on Iraq civilians." The OCHA document is one of three internal UN documents released jointly by the New York-based Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and CASI. The document was obtained by the CESR from UN personnel who believe that the potential humanitarian impact of war is a matter of global public concern that should be discussed fully and openly.

The Ultimate Conspiracy A Geopolitical Analysis "A mind manipulation of international scope heralds the forthcoming terror atrocity and the demise of America and Israel. Patiently, in the wings, the new powerbrokers await. The recent escalation of US security level to 'Orange' is reported in mainstream media as a genuine response to US intelligence data. In the alternative media, the escalation of security is seen as a diversionary tactic to deflect attention from US failure to establish a definitive case for invasion of Iraq. In antigovernment alternative media, there are allegations that unspecified forces --activated by the Bush Presidency and/or US military-industrial complex-- are likely to stage a terror event designed to ensure the Iraq invasion goes ahead. The last view is most correct. There will indeed be a terror incident. But the reasons behind it are much more subtle. One recent event in particular, points to the true nature of current developments: the embarrassment of both the UK Prime Minister and Colin Powell over revelations that their evidence to the UN Security Council was plagarized from publicly available material --rather than arising from competent intelligence gathering.

Which begs the question: how is it that intelligence services are suddenly so inept. The answer: a manipulation of the public mind which has international proportions is unfolding, the seeds of which were sown in the events of 9/11 and continue in other psychological operations such as the anthrax scare and the Columbia "accident." In all this we must be aware that international media have acted in concert. After 9/11, there was a great deal of sympathy for the position of the US. That honeymoon period now seems like a distant dream in these days of rabid anti-Americanism. What is noteworthy is the smooth international coordination of that shift in view. G. W. Bush is now widely regarded as a potential -if not actual- dictator to rival Hitler. If to those on the right of the political spectrum, Saddam Hussein fills the role of ultimate bad guy vacated by Osama binLaden, then to leftist opinion G.W. Bush now occupies a counterpointing role with seeming gusto.

In order to cement our perception that we all need a "cavalry" of sorts to come ride to our rescue, a leaked copy of a possible revision of the US Patriot Act is sending shudders across the, until now, quiescent left in the USA and the already alarmed constitutional right. It reads like a tyrant's charter. All of which knee jerk reactions are not only predictable, but carefully predicted. America's usefulness to the New World Order is over. The NWO neither needs or requires the US any longer. In particular, it no longer requires the US military or the conservative American voters - with their almost religious adherence to Constitution and democracy. The current worldwide paedophile cleric scandals are part of the anti-religious theme also seen in the contrived Muslim-Christian clash. The NWO means to sever people from their attachment to religion and supplant this with a feel-good Gaia alternative --to the delight of the non-existant benevolent aliens of the crop-circle arm of its propaganda.

Accordingly, the US is to be led into a war it is designed to lose, with world public opinion already massaged to cheer its demise. Despite appearances to the contrary, the opposition to the US in the UN Security Council are keen to see the US go to war. Their resistance is merely a sham designed to condition world opinion to blame the US for the war. The soap-opera in the UN also serves to establish the UN in the minds of the global public, as the new super-parliament of a global pseudo-democracy. Ignore the seeming public battle between Bush/Powell versus Chirac/Putin/et al.. ALL are playing out the CFR agenda. Just as governments survive by menacing the public with a series of hobgoblins - all imaginary, the nascent world government will come as a savior ridding us of the new US military menace. Finally, to further suspend our critical faculties and in order to ensure the US definitely embarks on a war designed to usher in the New World Order, a provocation will shortly be arranged. A provocation of 9/11 scale or greater. The US will respond; and the trap will be complete. Comment: An interesting article indeed, but the question remains as to how the US is going to loose this war, more EMPs of the sort that took out the Columbia? It seems to me also that the introduction of the alien card is about due. If the goal is the removal of the US and the unification of the entire world population under one belief system and the already clandestinely existant one world government, then there is really only one way to do so. The different faiths of the world, primarily Christianity, Judaism and Islam are so entrenched and at odds with each other that it would take a "messiah" of comological proportions for these beliefs to be given up in favor of another "feel good gaia" faith as the author says. Cue the little green men?

Rumsfeld's Account Book Who Armed Saddam? You have to give Defense Secretary Rumsfeld this credit: he's a risk taker, and he's damned brassy about it. Both were in evidence last week when he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Under criticism for his prior characterizations of France and Germany as "old Europe," Rumsfeld fumed: "We would not be facing the problems in Iraq today if the technologically advanced countries of the world had seen the danger and strictly enforced the economic sanctions against Iraq." The Defense Secretary knew well, naturally, his audience in the Senate Armed Services Committee. As Senator Robert Byrd recently said from the Senate floor, ...."this Chamber is, for the most part, silent--ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing." Still, Rumsfeld's statement was some chutspa! He was well aware that it was the U.S. Senate itself (Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs) which had conducted extensive hearings in 1992 and 1994 on "United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact on the Health of Persian Gulf War Veterans." And he'd probably read the front page Washington Post story ("U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup", 12/30/02) based upon recently declassified documents, which revealed that it was Rumsfeld himself who, as President Reagan's Middle East Envoy, had traveled to the Region to meet with Saddam Hussein in December 1983 to normalize, particularly, security relations. Comment: One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the way that these guys are able to get away with just ignoring the facts. Most people, when faced with evidence which refutes that which they are stating, would tend to back off and admit defeat. Not these guys, they can get up in the morning read that the sky is blue, go outside and see its blue and then stand up in front of the whole world and declare with seeming conviction that the sky is in fact green, and we see that this seeming lack of humility or shame is a classic trait of the psychopath. Of course the really amazing thing is that in reponse to this, millions will scratch their heads and say "well maybe it is, after all if Rummy says so, it must be". "Mundus Vult Decepi" - "The World Wants to be Deceived"

Stars' ovation for anti-war message film. Producer Saul Zaentz won a standing ovation as he blasted President Bush at last night's Baftas (British film and TV awards). The English Patient maker accused Bush of creating the "possibility of absolute government by the few for the betterment of the few". Zaentz, accepting a Bafta fellowship, urged Americans to fight back over war on Iraq, saying: "In the words of Martin Luther King, we shall overcome - and we will." He added later: "We have a leader who wants to go to war because 'Saddam once tried to kill my daddy'." Earlier, rock star Bono also spoke out, saying: "We do not need to make a martyr out of Saddam Hussein." Ex-President Bill Clinton praised Bono at Friday's New York ceremony to give the U2 frontman an award for his charitable work from record industry charity MusiCares.

Palestinians expect Israeli takeover once Iraq war starts Standing on a muddy street flanked by the ruins of small workshops recently blown up or knocked down by Israeli forces, Zaki Fora voiced the common view in Gaza City. "Ninety per cent of Palestinians believe that in the case of a [U.S.-led] war with Iraq, Israel will occupy all of the Gaza Strip," he said. "Israel will take the opportunity while the rest of the world is looking the other way." In a series of spectacular raids in recent weeks, including one yesterday in which 11 Palestinians were killed, Israeli armoured columns have punched deep into the Gaza Strip. Their aim: to destroy factories and workshops allegedly engaged in making mortars and rockets used by Palestinian militants, including the Islamist group Hamas, to attack Israeli targets. Increasingly, Gazans have been gripped with foreboding that these raids are just the precursor to a full-scale reoccupation of their territory.

"Israel has always capitalized on changes in the world order," said Ziad Abu Amr, an independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, sitting in his Gaza City office this week. "What happens to the Palestinians may depend on what happens in Iraq." Just after midnight yesterday, about 40 Israeli armoured vehicles clanked into the Shajaiyeh neighbourhood of Gaza City in what an army spokeswoman called a "pre-emptive, pinpoint, targeted operation against a Hamas stronghold." The Israelis destroyed four metal workshops as they fended off Palestinian police and guerrilla fighters. Palestinian witnesses said that at least four of those killed were civilians, including three men crushed to death as Israeli forces blew up a workshop. Unlike the West Bank, almost all of which has been reoccupied by the Israelisover the past year, the Gaza Strip remains largely under Palestinian control, though subject to Israeli raids and roadblocks. Because it is completely fenced off from Israel, Palestinian militants there have been able to threaten Israeli soldiers and settlers inside the Gaza Strip but not, for the most part, civilians inside Israel itself. Nonetheless, the leadership of Hamas, the deadliest of the Palestinian militant organizations, is concentrated in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has also launched locally made mortars and short-range Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip, some of them at nearby Israeli towns.

Yesterday, several Qassam rockets were lobbed at the Israeli town of Sderot, apparently in retaliation for the Israeli raid. Although most of the missiles and mortars fail to cause even property damage, the Israeli army has retaliated with an escalating campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In addition to the raids on workshops, it has renewed its practice of assassinating militant leaders. Most ominous of all, from the point of view of Gazans, is a terse comment by Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz late last month, that a complete reoccupation of the Gaza Strip had been weighed in the past and was still being considered. "We need to keep all our options open," he told Israeli Radio, "including the option of taking over the [Gaza] Strip." The idea of reoccupying the Gaza Strip is by no means popular among all Israelis. Gaza is among the most densely populated places on Earth, and a large-scale military campaign would invite the unappetizing prospect of house-to-house fighting through mazes of narrow alleyways. It would also entail a huge new expenditure at a time when the Israeli government is sinking deeper and deeper into deficit. Not the least among the arguments against reoccupation is the fact that the United States is firmly opposed to any move that would roil the waters with Arab allies in the runup to a likely war in Iraq.


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