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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]
March 7, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
Today the weapons inspectors reported again to the UN on
the status of Iraqi disarmament, here in brief is what they
A draft copy of the amendment, obtained by CNN, sets a March 17 deadline for Iraq to comply fully with previous Security Council disarmament demands. Unless the United Nations decides that Iraq has shown "full, unconditional, immediate cooperation" on or before that date, the resolution reads, Iraq "will have failed to take the final opportunity" to disarm. Comment: So is it obvious yet? Is it really about WMD? Are the US and British governements lieing through their teeth? Or have I gone completely mad? And on top of it all Jack Straw goes and declares March 17 as "D day". Well there goes my St. Patricks day.
ElBaradei: 'Proof' That Iraq Sought Uranium Is Fake The head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Friday that the documents backing U.S. and British allegations that Iraq had attempted to import uranium from Niger were "not authentic."
"Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded ... that these documents, which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger, are in fact not authentic," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in a report to the U.N. Security Council. Comment: Powell just does not care that he is exposed time and again as a liar, this situation is getting farcical and I am beginning to wonder why they even bother trying to convince anyone or win UN support, perhaps it is an example of pathetic the wolf appears when he attempts to pass himself off as a sheep.
Bush: We will go to war against Iraq without UN The
United States is prepared to go to war against Iraq on its own,
President George Bush told the American people in a televised
address early today. "We really don't need anybody's permission,"
Iraq transports WMD to Turkish, Syrian borders Iraq is said to have transported chemical and biological weapons to the borders with Syria and Turkey.
U.S. officials said an Iraqi intelligence unit was spotted transporting the nonconventional weapons about six weeks ago from facilities in Baghdad to the Syrian and Turkish borders. They said the transfer of the weapons appeared to be part of an effort to conceal them from United Nations inspectors and spare them from any expected U.S. attack.
know that in late January, the Iraqi Intelligence Service
transported chemical and biological agents to areas far away from
Baghdad, near the Syrian and Turkish borders, in order to conceal
them," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday. "And
they have concealed them from the prying eyes of inspectors."
Comment: Of course they have Colin, why would we doubt you since
your previous evidence was so reliable. What else have the Iraqis
got? Shergar perhaps? The downed UFO from
FBI agent Rowley fears war-related terrorist strikes Minneapolis agent Coleen Rowley, who last year exposed FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, has warned bureau Director Robert Mueller that a war with Iraq could provoke new terrorism on a scale that the bureau is not prepared to handle.
In a bluntly worded seven-page letter, she called on Mueller to advise President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft that bureau officials "should be deluding neither ourselves nor the American people that there is any way the FBI . . . will be able to stem the flood of terrorism that will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq."
Compared with the weeks before Sept. 11, she said, the current situation is "of even more consequence for the internal security of our country."
Rowley provided copies of the letter to the Star Tribune and the New York Times, saying she wants to publicize her concerns before the United States commits to a war.
22-year bureau veteran who is the Minneapolis field office's chief
lawyer, Rowley is not a counterterrorism agent, but she said she is
thoroughly familiar with the bureau's operations and the concerns
of fellow agents. (Rowley will speak Friday at 3 p.m. at Hamline
University's Sundin Music Hall.)
more: Comment: So why is the
US attacking then? What justification can there be to put US
civilians at such risk? Unless of course it is part of the plan. By
massacreing thousands of Iraqi civilians the US gov will have
endless free rein to terrorise their own people, thereby
controlling them and have some Iraqi group as a
Arrogance will come to haunt Blair. Tony Blair indicated yesterday that he is about to commit political suicide. He's already far down a very dangerous road, promoting a war that millions of people in this country do not support. His stubborn backing for George Bush's blinkered view of the world and Iraq in particular leaves his own judgment seriously in doubt. His popularity has slumped and the Labour Party is in disarray. His complete failure to make a convincing case to justify an armed invasion against Saddam Hussein and the likely death of thousands of innocent civilians should have made him think again.
But now Blair says he is prepared to go to war even if several countries veto a new resolution authorising military action. It's a stand of breathtaking arrogance. Blair is tossing democracy out of the window and changing the rules just because next week's Security Council decision looks like going against him. He says he will ignore opposition by critical countries such as France or Russia "if I thought they were applying the veto unreasonably". Who is he to say what is reasonable or unreasonable?
these countries - and millions of voters in Britain who share their
concerns about Iraq - have no right to a differing point of view?
We might expect such brutish behaviour by Bush and his band of
right-wing loonies. The US President has already made it clear he
is no democrat and has no time for the UN. He fully intends to use
America's power to smash Iraq and probably kill its leader, come
what may. But for Blair to follow suit so slavishly is truly
shocking. It's a mess of his own making. He has handcuffed himself
to Bush's coat-tails and is now about to throw away the key. If he
persists, his already divided party could burst apart. And Britain
might deliver its own veto. To Tony Blair.
Sensation or forgery? Researchers hail dramaticFirst Temple period finding An inscription attributed to Jehoash, the king of Judea who ruled in Jerusalem at the end of the ninth century B.C.E., has been authenticated by experts from the National Infrastructure Ministry's Geological Survey of Israel following months of examination. The 10-line fragment, which was apparently found on the Temple Mount, is written in the first person on a black stone tablet in ancient Phoenician script. The inscription's description of Temple "house repairs" ordered by King Jehoash strongly resembles passages in the Second Book of Kings, chapter 12.
Dr. Gabriel Barkai, a leading Israeli archaeologist from Bar Ilan University's Land of Israel Studies Department, says that if the inscription proves to be authentic, the finding is a "sensation" of the greatest import. It could be, he says, the most significant archaeological finding yet in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. It would be a first-of-its kind piece of physical evidence describing events in a manner that adheres to the narrative in the Bible.
According to Dr. Barkai, such a finding, which appears to furnish proof of the existence of the Temple, must be made available for examination by scholars, and can not be kept a virtual secret. Detailed research findings about the inscription are to be disclosed in a collection of articles published by the Geology Survey of Israel, a government research institute. Research studies have been prepared by Dr. Shimon Ilani, Dr. Amnon Rosenfeld and Michael Dvorchik, the institute's chief technician who carried out electronic microscope tests of the inscription that, the three say, were largely responsible for the finding's authentication.
Apart from noting that the discovery was made in Jerusalem, the researchers do not disclose where the inscription was found. But sources have indicated that the writing surfaced in the Temple Mount area as a result of widescale excavation work done in recent years in the area by Muslims, and that Palestinians relayed the fragment to a major collector of antiquities in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem collector is represented by attorney Isaac Herzog, a former cabinet secretary and currently a Knesset candidate on Labor's list. The collector offered to sell the inscription to the Israel Museum, but museum curators who examined the fragment cast doubt on its authenticity, though they did not state categorically that the writing was a forgery. Ilani and Rosenfeld refused yesterday to discuss the Israel Museum's response with Ha'aretz. But officials from the Geology Survey said that results of the battery of examinations that were carried out must be taken as conclusive: It's inconceivable that such extensive testing would fail to reveal a forgery, they said. The inscription is authentic, they insisted, and the finding is an archaeological sensation that could have global repercussions and that effectively vindicates Jewish claims to the Temple Mount.
The inscription lauds repairs carried out by King Jehoash in ways reminiscent of the description in the Second Book of Kings. It includes the king's request that priests collect public money to be used for the repair of the First Temple; and there are references to the purchase of timber and quarried stones for the carrying out of repairs on the Temple. The inscription contains fragments from 2 Kings 12:15: "And they did not ask an accounting from the men into whose hands they delivered the money to pay out to the workmen; for they dealt honestly." The researchers believe that the sandstone used for the inscription was brought from southern Jordan, or the Dead Sea region. Materials that covered the inscription over the years date from 200-400 B.C.E., they suggest.
Ilani and Rosenfeld
speculate that during this period, the inscription began to be
covered up as a buried object. Should this hypothesis be correct,
it would mean that the inscription was exposed to the elements for
hundreds of years, before being buried some 500-600 years after it
was written. In his conversation with Ha'aretz, Dr. Barkai noted
that "the problem here is that circumstances of the finding are not
clear... We should wait for the official scientific publication, at
which time we will be able to probe this finding carefully. Right
now, of course, we can't rule out any possibility. It's too bad
that a matter of this sort was kept under wraps, apparently due to
business concerns." A reader comments:
"I love this one: this thing mysteriously appears from unknown
sourcesm from an unknown location. If one group of experts calls it
a fake, just find another and, Eureka! More propaganda for the
emerging Israeli theocracy."
Seven Newfound Moons of Jupiter Bring Tally to 47 Editor's Note: Within two days of this story's publication, the tally inched up to 48. In what is becoming a routine announcement, the tally of Jupiter's known satellites has grown, this time by seven to a grand total of 47. The moons were announced today. More will surely be discovered as the search continues. Jupiter reigns as king of moons. Saturn has 30, Uranus 21 and Neptune 11. Each of these planets likely harbors more satellites, but because the planets are farther away, their moons are even harder to find than the mere specks of light spotted around Jupiter. Astronomers spot them by noting their movement compared with background stars. Mars has two moons and Earth has just one, although a separate effort recently uncovered a quasi-moon that carves an odd path that is gravitationally bound to our planet. Pluto also has a moon, Charon.
All of the newfound Jovian satellites are small, estimated by their brightness to be between 1.2 and 2.4 miles (2 to 4 kilometers) in diameter. Jupiter has 17 other moons in this size range and several that aren't much bigger. Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, is about 3,270 miles (5,262 kilometers) wide. The newest known satellites were spotted in early February by a team led by Scott Sheppard and David Jewitt of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, with Jan Kleyna of Cambridge University. Follow-up observations were done before today's announcement.
The team's last big batch of little Jovian moons was announced last May. Jewitt told SPACE.com then that there might be as many as 100 satellites down to 0.62 miles (1 kilometer) in diameter, but he stressed that this was just a guess. He figures there are countless objects even smaller. In an e-mail interview today, Jewitt stuck by his estimate. He also said there could be unfound moons significantly bigger than those announced today, because all possible orbital configurations have not been investigated. He said his team will continue searching.
Of the new objects, two follow what are considered normal "prograde" paths around the gas giant planet, travelling in the same direction as Jupiter spins. The other five travel in backward "retrograde" orbits, as do many of Jupiter's small moons. Astronomers do not know how all of these little satellites formed. Some may be captured asteroids. Others that appear to roam in packs might have resulted from collisions between larger objects. The satellites are named S/2003 J1 through S/2003 J7. In a statement, the astronomers said J1 and J6 are the prograde satellites, but that observations are preliminary and orbital information might change.
discoveries were made using the world's two largest digital
cameras, at the Subaru and Canada-France-Hawaii telescopes on Mauna
Kea in Hawaii. Follow-up observations were done with a smaller
telescope at the University of Hawaii. Brian Marsden at the Harvard
Center for Astrophysics made orbital calculations to aid in the
discoveries. Another lone, small Jovian moon was found on Oct. 31,
2002, and is called S/2002 J1. SPACE.com has not previously
reported that finding. Comment: Here
come the inlaws!
Afghan prisoners beaten to death at US military interrogation base' Blunt force injuries' cited in murder ruling. Two prisoners who died while being held for interrogation at the US military base in Afghanistan had apparently been beaten, according to a military pathologist's report. A criminal investigation is now under way into the deaths which have both been classified as homicides.
The deaths have led to calls for an inquiry into what interrogation techniques are being used at the base where it is believed the al-Qaida leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is now also being held. Former prisoners at the base claim that detainees are chained to the ceiling, shackled so tightly that the blood flow stops, kept naked and hooded and kicked to keep them awake for days on end. The two men, both Afghans, died last December at the US forces base in Bagram, north of Kabul, where prisoners have been held for questioning. The autopsies found they had suffered "blunt force injuries" and classified both deaths as homicides.
America admits suspects died in interrogations American military officials acknowledged yesterday that two prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while under interrogation at Bagram air base north of Kabul ? reviving concerns that the US is resorting to torture in its treatment of Taliban fighters and suspected al-Qa'ida operatives.
A spokesman for the air base confirmed that the official cause of death of the two men was "homicide", contradicting earlier accounts that one had died of a heart attack and the other from a pulmonary embolism.
The men's death certificates, made public earlier this week, showed that one captive, known only as Dilawar, 22, from the Khost region, died from "blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease" while another captive, Mullah Habibullah, 30, suffered from blood clot in the lung that was exacerbated by a "blunt force injury".
US officials previously admitted using "stress and duress" on prisoners including sleep deprivation, denial of medication for battle injuries, forcing them to stand or kneel for hours on end with hoods on, subjecting them to loud noises and sudden flashes of light and engaging in culturally humiliating practices such as having them kicked by female officers.
While the US claims this still constitutes "humane" treatment, human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced it as torture as defined by international treaty. The US has also come under heavy criticism for its reported policy of handing suspects over to countries such as Jordan, Egypt or Morocco, where torture techniques are an established part of the security apparatus. Legally, Human Rights Watch says, there is no distinction between using torture directly and subcontracting it out.
Some American politicians have argued that torture could be justified in this case if it helped prevent terror attacks on US citizens. Jonathan Turley, a prominent law professor at George Washington University, countered that embracing torture would be "suicide for a nation once viewed as the very embodiment of human rights".
Torture is part of a long list of concerns about the Bush administration's respect for international law, after the extrajudicial killing of al-Qa'ida suspects by an unmanned drone in Yemen and the the indefinite detention of "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a number of whom have committed or attempted to commit suicide.
President Bush appeared to
encourage extra-judicial solutions in his State of the Union
address in January when he talked of al-Qa'ida members being
arrested or meeting "a different fate". "Let's put it this way," he
said in a tone that appalled many, "they are no longer a problem to
the United States and our friends and allies." Comment: Good 'ol USA, peace keeper of the world. This is
SOP for US military and secret service operations. The people of
Panama are still digging up mass graves of thousands of civilians
killed by US forces when they invaded in 1989. The sooner
the US public wakes up to the fact that they are living under a
brutal and insidious dictatorship the better.
Pentagon Wants Mini-Nuke Ban Ended Congress asked to permit US to develop 'more usable' bombs. The Pentagon has asked the US Congress to lift a 10-year ban on the development of small nuclear warheads, or "mini-nukes", in one of the most overt steps President George Bush's administration has taken towards building a new atomic arsenal. Buried in the defense department's 2004 budget proposals, sent to congressional committees this week, was a single-line statement that marks a sharp change in US nuclear policy.
It calls on the legislature to "rescind the prohibition on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons". If passed by Congress, the measure would represent an important victory for radicals in the administration, who believe the US arsenal needs to be overhauled to make it more "usable", and therefore a more meaningful deterrent, to "rogue states" with weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
A Pentagon official said yesterday the research ban on smaller warheads "has negatively affected US government efforts to support the national strategy to counter WMD, and undercuts efforts that could strengthen our ability to deter or respond to new or emerging threats". Democrats fought off earlier Republican attempts to lift the ban on research and development work on nuclear warheads under five kilotons (a third of the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima), fearing that the new weapons would lead to an end to the US moratorium on nuclear testing, and to a new arms race.
But since the Republicans won back control of the Senate last year, the administration believes it is in a strong position to lift the "Spratt-Furse restriction", named after two Democratic congressmen who proposed the ban in 1993. "It's significant because this is the first time the administration - and it comes from the department of defense - has said it wants low-yield weapons," said Kathryn Crandall, a nuclear weapons expert at the British American Security Information Council.
said the policy statement contradicted denials from administration
officials that they had any ambitions to build new weapons. [...]
The Pentagon's request to Congress comes only days after the
disclosure of its plans to stage a conference in Omaha in August at
which a range of new nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", is
due to be discussed, and plans drawn up to develop them, test them,
and persuade the public of the need for them.
Foreign Ministry officials were furious with the British Broadcasting Corporation after a BBC report cast doubt on the authenticity of an Israeli statement that said the suicide bomber in Wednesday's attack carried a letter linking the attack to the September 11 attacks. Foreign Ministry officials said it was unthinkable that the BBC should attribute ulterior motives to the Israeli and question their integrity when the BBC "routinely accepts Palestinian lies."
A BBC spokesman said the news agency had failed to receive proper conformation of the letter's existence from the Israeli side and as such had reacted cautiously to the report. The spokesman also reiterated the BBC's commitment to unbiased fair reporting.However, Foreign Ministry officials said the BBC had long history of anti-Israel bias in covering the conflict with the Palestinians. Comment: Everyone is wrong except the Israelis, even when they produce "evidence" whose "dodgyness" rivals the passport in the rubble of the twin towers. Anyone noticing a common policy here between Sharon and Bush?
Official: Iraqis Plan to Commit Atrocities in U.S. Uniforms Iraq is acquiring military uniforms "identical down to the last detail" to those worn by American and British forces and plans to use them to shift blame for atrocities, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.
The Fedayeen Saddam is a paramilitary force of more than 15,000 founded by Saddam's son Odai in 1994, Wilkinson said. The unit's members are recruited from areas noted for loyalty to Saddam.The Fedayeen Saddam carries out patrols and anti-smuggling duties and is separate from the regular Iraqi Army command, Wilkinson said. He said its members are paid a salary and, while not an elite fighting force, they deal with unrest during domestic emergencies and report directly to Saddam.
"Saddam Hussein is clearly getting ready to wage a campaign of fear and disinformation against those who seek to disarm him," Wilkinson said, referring to the U.S. and British forces who would spearhead an invasion.Efforts to blame U.S. and British invading forces for atrocities committed by Iraqi troops is among the ploys Bush administration officials have predicted for weeks. Wilkinson's statement is the first public mention of a plan by Saddam to outfit his troops in fake uniforms.
This is among many acts of deception and desperation that Pentagon officials say they fear Saddam will carry out in an attempt to turn international opinion against the United States and Britain.Other acts suggested by U.S. officials include setting Iraqi oil fields ablaze and using chemical or biological weapons against the Iraqi people.
The Pentagon issued a statement Thursday detailing its contentions that Iraq plans to commit acts of "eco-terrorism.""A variety of sources lead the department to believe that the regime has both the capability and the intent to damage or destroy Iraq's oilfields, potentially causing a crisis for both Iraq's people and its neighbors," the statement said.
"Reliable reports indicate that these activities have been planned, and in some cases may already have begun. Recent information revealed that Iraq has received 24 railroad boxcars full of pentolite explosives," it added. The explosives would be used to blow up oil wells, it said.The Pentagon statement did not explain the sources of the information. A defense official said it came from U.S. intelligence agencies. The Pentagon also said it has developed plans to extinguish any oil well fires and assess damage to oil facilities that might occur in Iraq during a war.White House officials said Bush has not yet decided whether to go to war against Iraq, but there are a growingnumber of signs that the U.S. military is nearly ready to launch any attack he may order.
The Navy, for example, said the hospital ship USNS Comfort has moved from the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia to Bahrain. And the last of the ship's 800 additional medical staff members were flying there Thursday. The last time it was deployed to the Gulf was the 1991 Gulf War. Comment: Now no one is saying that Saddam is an angel, but when I read stuff like this I start to smell a rather large and stinky rat and my my mind automatically thinks of the US government's own track record around the world of killing civilians using an array of terrible weapons. Due to the media black on on truth it may come as a surprise to many to know that the US has deliberately bombed killed and maimed innocent civilians in many countries around the world. As regards the "burning the oil fields" allegation, check out this version of the story.
March 6, 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!
Prisoners 'killed' at US base The US is accused of mistreating detainees Two Afghan prisoners were killed while in US custody at their base at Bagram, a military coroner has concluded. The report said "blunt force trauma" had contributed to the deaths. The detainees had spent about a week in the detention facility when they died last December. However, US spokesman Colonel Roger King told BBC News Online the pathologists' verdict was not final - a military investigation had been launched and was due to be completed later this month. There are hundreds of former Taleban and al-Qaeda prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and in various overseas facilities. Last month, human rights groups accused the US Government of subjecting the prisoners to physical abuse leading to a number of deaths and attempted suicides in custody. Washington described the allegations of torture as "ridiculous".
The US spokesman at Bagram said the two men who died there had been under allied custody for about 10 days altogether. The first man died on 3 December after a blood clot in his lungs, and the second died a week later after developing blood clots as well as suffering a heart attack. The homicide entry on the [military death certificate] form is different from the legal meaning of the term US spokesman at Bagram But Colonel King vehemently denied the prisoners had been mistreated by US forces. "They are the first detainees to have required medical treatment at the Bagram facility," he said, and "the only casualties" so far. Pathologists, he said, had a limited choice when filling the military death certificate.
Torture allegations: Specific allegations of prisoner torture were first published in the Washington Post in December last year. According to the paper, interrogators from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been subjecting Taleban and al-Qaeda suspects to "stress and duress" techniques of dubious legality. Suspects at US facilities in Afghanistan and other foreign countries were sometimes held in uncomfortable positions for hours and deprived of sleep, the paper alleged. About 650 men have been at Guantanamo Bay since the detention base was established in January 2002. Many more are held elsewhere. Comment: God Bless America, "the land of the free and the home of the brave". There is no shame is admitting that for your whole life you have been force-fed lies and jingoistic propaganda about the nature of your country. There is shame in rejecting the all to obvious facts as to the existence of the lie and thereby perpetuating it.
The Sounds of
Silence "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter." Those were the words of the Reverend
Martin Luther King Jr. Archbishop Tutu says it another way: "The
truth hurts, but silence kills."
In past days alone, more Palestinians killed per capita than on 9/11 in New York That the U.S. not only does nothing to stop this orgy of killing by a huge army against a nearly defensely occupied population is outrageous. But that the U.S. is so complicitous in this, in fact making it possible, is scandalous. When the Security Council is finished attempting to block the latest American imperial machinations regarding Iraq -- at least the US/Israeli plans will be pursued without U.N. endorsement and against so much world opinion -- it's way past time for the Security Council to take serious steps against Israel. After all, Israel is the single country that has defied the U.N. and blatantly violated the most U.N. Security Council resolutions for the longest period of time than any other; not to mention Israel is the Middle East country armed to the teeth with nuclear and chem/bio weapons of mass destruction...and it has in fact repeatedly threatened to use them. And now at this crucial moment in the history of the Middle East, when even more blatant Israeli crushing of the Palestinians including mass expulsions has been repeated warned about, the silence and inaction of the U.N. is utterly shameful.
11 killed in Israeli incursion-Eleven Palestinia ns have been reported killed and nearly 100 injured during an Israeli operation near the Jabaliya refugee camp. The latest fatalities come less than a day after a suicide bombing killed 15 Israelis in the northern Israeli port city of Haifa. In the Jabaliya operation, the Israel Defense Forces said its soldiers fired three tank shells, two aimed at a Palestinian gunman who was killed, and the other toward a group of armed Palestinians preparing to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at the forces. The IDF said two of its soldiers were lightly injured and the forces have left the area. They did not list any Palestinian deaths. But Palestinian hospital officials said 11 people were killed in Jabaliya.
Other reports said the Israeli forces fired a tank shell into a crowd of unarmed Palestinians. Some of the reports said the Palestinians had gathered to inspect the damage left behind by the Israeli forces, while others said they were trying to put out a fire. During the incursion near Jabaliya, the IDF said its forces demolished the house of a senior Hamas activist, who was arrested by the forces, as well as an adjacent weapons workshop. The Israeli forces encountered fierce resistance from armed Palestinians, both Palestinian and Israeli sources said. According to the Israel Defense Forces, "massive fire was opened on the soldiers," who were also targeted by hand grenades, anti-tank rockets and more than 10 explosive devices.
No one has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's suicide bombing that gutted a suburban bus in Haifa, killing at least 15 Israelis and badly wounding at least 40 others. The bus was carrying many high school and college students. Among the dead were a 13-year-old boy and girl, and two Israeli soldiers, authorities said. Three of the 15 who died perished en route to the hospital. Israeli police said the identification badge of the suicide bomber was found amid the wreckage, with a letter attached to it praising the September 11 attacks against the United States. The bomber, who also died in the blast, was identified as Mahmoud Alqasma of Hebron. Comment: The above point that in the last days more Palestinians have been killed per capita than on 9/11 says it all. The events of 9/11 were purposely designed to for maximum shock, not maximum deaths, for Americans its seems that it is almost as big a crime that two towers were knocked down as the fact that 2800 (approx) people lost their lives. In such a scenario ask yourself, who benefits? Indeed, who has and is continuing to benefit..hint: Above, amazingly, among the remains of the unclaimed suicide bomber there was found a "badge" and a "letter" praising the 9/11 attacks, what are the odds eh? About the same as finding a pristine passport among the runis of the twin towers? Folks, its time to wake up and smell the coffee, if for no other reason than that it is a massive insult to our collective intelligences that "they" are attempting force feed us 3rd rate propaganda and obvious lies like this. And then Israel has the gall to ask for a 400% increase in US aid , well how else are they gonna afford to keep lobbing tank shells into refugee camps??
But ministers in the then Thatcher government none the less secretly gave financial backing to the British company involved, Uhde Ltd, through insurance guarantees. Paul Channon, then trade minister, concealed the existence of the chlorine plant contract from the US administration, which was pressing for controls on such exports. He also instructed the export credit guarantee department (ECGD) to keep details of the deal secret from the public. The papers show that Channon rejected a strong plea from a Foreign Office minister, Richard Luce, that the deal would ruin Britain's image in the world if news got out: "I consider it essential everything possible be done to oppose the proposed sale and to deny the company concerned ECGD cover". The Ministry of Defence also weighed in, warning that it could be used to make chemical weapons.
But Channon, in line with Mrs Thatcher's policy of propping up the dictator, said: "A ban would do our other trade prospects in Iraq no good". The British taxpayer was even forced to write a compensation cheque for £300 000 to the German-owned company after final checks on the plant, completed in May 1990, were interrupted by the outbreak of the Gulf war. The Falluja 2 chlorine plant, 80 kilometres outside Baghdad, near the Habbaniya airbase, has been pinpointed by the US as an example of a factory rebuilt by Saddam to regain his chemical warfare capability.
Last month it featured in Colin Powell's dossier of reasons why the world should go to war against Iraq, which was presented to the UN security council. Spy satellite pictures of Falluja 2 identifying it as a chemical weapons site were earlier published by the CIA, and a report by Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee, published with Tony Blair's imprimatur last September, also focused on Falluja 2 as a rebuilt plant "formerly associated with the chemical warfare programme". UN weapons inspectors toured the Falluja 2 plant last December and Hans Blix, the chief inspector, reported to the security council that the chemical equipment there might have to be destroyed.
But until now, the secret of Britain's knowing role in Falluja's construction has remained hidden. Last night, Uhde Ltd's parent company in Dortmund, Germany, issued a statement confirming that their then UK subsidiary had built Falluja 2 for Iraq's chemical weapons procurement agency, the State Enterprise for Pesticide Production. A company representative said: "This was a normal plant for the production of chlorine and caustic soda. It could not produce other products".
The British government's intelligence at the time, as shown in the documents, was that Iraq, which was having increasing difficulty in obtaining precursor chemicals on the legitimate market, intended to use the chlorine as a feedstock to manufacture such chemicals as epichlorohydrin and phosphorous trichloride. These in turn were used to make mustard gas and nerve agents. Paul Channon, since ennobled as Lord Kelvedon, was last night holidaying on the Caribbean island of Mustique. He issued a statement through his secretary, who said: "He can't object to the story. So he's got no comment." Comment: Set 'em up and knock 'em down, the US has been doing it for decades all over the world resulting in the deaths of literally millions. So how do Dubya and Tony reconcile this one? How can they justify going to war over chemical weapons that they not only supplied but for which they built the factories!? Let me guess....they'll just ignore incriminating evidence like they always do...?
So Turkey rejects your massive aid payoff, even after you'd sold out your other nominal allies in the region, the Iraqi Kurds. Just insist that a northern front in an invasion of Iraq isn't all that important, really. So your arm-twisting and carrot-dangling at the United Nations nets you only the support of Angola. Simply declare that you're rethinking the necessity of a Security Council vote. After all, you'd always said you'd be willing to go it alone, right?
So what if the reversals keep coming. So what if chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix claims, as he did Wednesday, that the inspections regime in Iraq is beginning to produce " real disarmament." Just change the target. Declare that regime change, not disarmament, is the goal. Then send Secretary of State Colin Powell out to tell the world that Iraq's efforts to comply are " too little, too late gestures." And send Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the über-hawk capable of offending even our closest allies, to stretch the limits of logic by blustering about Iraq's ability to build weapons of mass destruction even as UN arms inspectors crawl over the country.
And, as for the global antiwar movement. Well, just dismiss them as anti-American radicals and communists. That tactic certainly seems to be working for war party pundits, like Amir Taheri. With a bit of name-calling and a dash of red-baiting, Taheri blithely writes off the millions around the world who took to the streets on Feb. 15, and continue to protest virtually every day.
"It is this anti-West, more specifically anti-American, sentiment that provides the glue of the new peace movement. ...Stalin died 50 years ago to the day. But if he were around today he would have a chuckle: His peace movement remains as alive in the Western democracies as it was half a century ago." That's right, the peace protesters, all 12 or 15 million of them, are just America-hating Stalinist stooges. Read more
Pentagon war planners may be gunning for an attack on Iraq
by mid March, heavily armed soldiers have already quietly seized a
strategic position: your Easter basket. National retailers like
Kmart and Walgreens have stocked their shelves with baskets in
which the traditional chocolate rabbit centerpiece has been
displaced by plastic military action figures and their make-believe
lethal paraphernalia. Tri-state Rite Aid, Genovese, and Wal-Mart
stores promise their martial Easter baskets will arrive soon.
One must hunt a little harder to find the Easter sniper at Walgreens, but what lies in wait among the bunnies and chicks there is perhaps even more surreal. The Super Wrriors (sic) Battle Set and Placekeepers (sic) Military Men Play Set bristle with toy assault rifles and machine guns, tanks, troop transports, bomber planes, commanded by armored men with shaved heads and sunglasses. The assortment also includes a space-age ray gun and other imaginary hardware for orbital combat. Packets of jellybeans are tossed in as if an afterthought, nestled in the cellophane underbrush like anti-personnel mines. Comment: If this isnt a sign of the times then I dont know what is.
be on your moustache, Kuwait warned A senior aide to Saddam
Hussein threw diplomatic niceties to the wind yesterday, bringing
disorder to an emergency summit of Islamic states when he yelled
"Shut up, you monkey!" at Kuwait's minister of state for foreign
He called him a monkey and
added: "Curse be upon your moustache!" - an idiomatic phrase
impugning the minister's honour. Sheikh Sabah responded immediately
to Mr Douri, the second-in-command of Iraq's Revolutionary Command
Council, accusing him of "hypocrisy and falsehood". As Mr Douri
then went on to accuse the Kuwaitis of insolence, betrayal, and
being an agent of the US, Kuwait's information minister, Sheikh
Ahmed Fahd al-Ahmed, jumped to his feet and waved a miniature
Kuwaiti flag. But the meeting's chairman told him: "We are not here
for such exchanges."
The country is also one of the prime centers of Islamic art and culture. It is home to some of the earliest surviving examples of Islamic architecture -- the Great Mosque at Samarra and the desert palace of Ukhaidar -- and it is also a magnet for religious pilgrimage. The tombs of Imam Ali and his son Husein, founders of the Shiite branch of Islam, at Najaf and Karbala, are two of the most revered in the Muslim world. During the Persian Gulf war in 1991 at least one major archaeological monument, the colossal ziggurat of Ur, was bombed. Shock from explosions damaged fragile structures like the great brick vault at Ctesiphon, and the 13th-century university called the Mustansiriya in Baghdad. These are among the sites most at risk from war:
* Ur, which flourished in the third millennium B.C. and is identified in the Bible as the birthplace of Abraham. In the 1920's and 30's a British-American team excavated a royal cemetery in which members of a powerful social elite were buried with their servants and exquisitely wrought possessions. Ur's most spectacular feature, though, is its immense ramped ziggurat or tower, the best preserved in Iraq. Although excavation is more advanced here than at most other sites in the country, it is far from complete, with many layers still to be uncovered.
* Babylon (1700-600 B.C.) is rich in historical glamor. Built on the banks of the Euphrates, it was the capital to Hammurabi, Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great. Monumental remains like the Ishtar Gate have been uncovered, and locations for the Tower of Babel and the Hanging Gardens tentatively identified. As home to the captive Israelites, the city is a recurrent and potent symbol in the Judeo-Christian narrative. The site of Nippur, an important religious center of ancient Babylonia dedicated to the god Enlil, is also in this part of southern Iraq, about 100 miles south of Babylon. The spectacular site has yielded an extensive sequence of pre-Islamic pottery.
* Nineveh, far to the north, the imperial seat of the Assyrian kings Sennacherib (about 704-681 B.C.) and Ashurbanipal (668-627 B.C.). Royal palaces with magnificent sculptures have been found, as have more than 20,000 cuneiform tablets from Ashurbanipal's library. The biblical prophet Jonah preached there. After the gulf war the excavated palaces were looted of sculptures. Nineveh is on the World Monuments Watch list of the 100 most endangered sites.
* Ctesiphon (100 B.C. to A.D. 900) is high among architectural wonders. The audience hall is just a shell, but its graceful vault, 120 feet high with an 83-foot span, is intact. The cracks that occurred in 1991 are believed to have been patched by Iraqi archaeologists, but more or heavier shocks from military sites in the area could bring it down.
While untold amounts of Iraq's ancient material past remains buried, its Islamic art is mostly above ground, and monuments carrying profound cultural and religious significance abound.
Baghdad itself is one of them. Once legendary for its wealth, learning and beauty -- many of the tales in the "Thousand and One Nights" are were set there -- it has been devastated many times. And while nothing remains of its original circular design, superb late medieval buildings survive, among them tombs, mosques, minarets, the university and the revered Kadhumain, mosque and shrine. Baghdad also has the country's largest archaeological museum, with a collection of the finest Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian art in the world.
Samarra, once briefly a dynastic capital, has extraordinary early Islamic buildings. The ruins of the ninth-century Great Mosque of Mutawakkil, one of the largest ever built, lies outside the modern city, its intact spiral minaret an icon of Islamic art. The city also has one of the oldest known Islamic tombs, an early caliphal palace and the only brick bridge in Iraq, dating from 1128.
Iraq's third largest city, after Basra, is Mosul, far north on the Tigris and little studied by Western scholars. It is rich in architecture, including the leaning minaret of the now destroyed mosque of Nur ad-Din. The city also attracts pilgrims to the tombs of Muslim saints and has some of the earliest Christian monasteries, dating to the fourth century. Its museum holds important Assyrian antiquities from excavations at Nineveh, Khorsabad and Assur.
Of the many Islamic monuments outside cities, one of the oldest is the eighth-century fortified palace of Ukhaidhar. No one knows why it is in so remote a spot, but the surrounding land was probably irrigated for crops and gardens, and the palace seems to have been a self-sustaining miniature city. Architecturally, it is also an example of the multicultural impulse that has always defined Islamic culture, in this case bringing together Persian, Syrian and Byzantine influences.
any of the holiest Shiite shrines at Karbala, Najaf or Kadhumain
are hit, we can only expect a very angry reaction from Muslims
everywhere," said Zainab Bahrani, who was born in Iraq and teaches
Islamic art at Columbia University. "It would be like bombing St.
Peter's in Rome."
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