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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.
"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--
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 18, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
The Truth of Daily Life in Palestine: These pictures are graphic, they show Israeli military brtuality on a scale almost unimaginable for most of us. This is what the US administration has been funding and sanctioning, and they have the gall to accuse Iraq of torture and oppression. This is what the "land of the free" is all about, exporting suffering, death and destrution. Still proud to be "an American"?
A just war? Watch this video and then decide..
As I sit here a motion in the UK House of commons has been defeated by some 415 votes to 149. Not that any other result would have stopped the US going to war, yet it signifies a full green light to the attack on Iraq. Bush's ultimatum to Saddam expires at midnight (GMT) thursday night (7pm EST). "Shock and Awe" (read death and desrtuction) may come at any time between now and then. We have at most one day, one day left to ponder at the top of the abyss before the coming darkness engulfs us all. As if to mock those who are against this war and the lies and deceit that accompany it, Ari Fleishcer today stated that even if Saddam went into exile now the US would still invade; It is not about WMD, it is about domination. Perhaps Ari feels he can be more truthful now that it is a "done deal", it must have been hard for him to stand up there every day and lie so profusely (or then again maybe not). It is hard for me to describe the feelings I have now, there is an enormous sense of impending doom, mixed with anger at being made to feel so helpless in the face of it all. Who are these men that they can simply decide to throw the world and its inhabitatnts into "war without end", and who are we that they could for so long present us with such pathetic and barely disguised lies and know that we would swallow every word.
Into the Darkness An associate of mine, a former political appointee, recently spoke to a Republican friend of his who serves in a senior position in what has become the Office of Homeland Security. He reports that this official, along with many of his colleagues across the political spectrum within the apparatus of government, are absolutely terrified of George W. Bush. According to this official, the consensus is that Bush has completely lost touch with reality, and is bringing us to a place where politics will no longer matter.
A London newspaper, the Guardian, has quoted a source close to the administration as saying, "This has been the worst diplomatic debacle of our lifetime." A senior White House official is also quoted as saying, in a voice reportedly awash with sarcasm, "There's a recognition that this has not been our finest diplomatic hour." There is no calculating the understatement here. There was never any diplomacy involved here to begin with. This has been a disaster, and it is about to get worse by orders of magnitude.
The weapons inspectors, empowered by UN resolution 1441 to ferret out the weapons everyone is so concerned about, have packed their bags and fled Iraq. They have been betrayed by the Bush administration, by Tony Blair and by Spain, as they worked to protect us from both these weapons and from the dreadful effects of a war in the Middle East. The inspections were working – weapons were being dismantled, Hussein was under control, and no mass destruction materials were found. The fact that the hammer has come down before these inspectors were even half done with their work means, simply, that those pushing for war never wanted the inspections to work in the first place.
Welcome to the timeline.
Very soon now, perhaps within the next 72 hours, the Pentagon's "Shock and Awe" battle plan will be put into effect. 3,000 munitions, including some 800 cruise missiles, will rain down on Baghdad, a city inhabited by some 5 million civilians. This will be done in the hope that the Iraqi army will surrender, thus avoiding the need to send U.S. troops in to fight a ruinous house-to-house battle. The Arab news service Al Jazeera, operating out of Qatar, will capture images of thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians sprawled and shattered and bloody in the Baghdad streets, in a manner quite like the bodies we saw in New York on September 11. The resulting explosion of rage within the moderate and extremist Muslim world will be immediate and ferocious.
The terrorism alert status in America will rise to red. Troops will appear in the streets. Saddam Hussein will not flee, and his forces will stand in Baghdad. American troops will be forced to fight downtown. The oilheads in Iraq will be fired, and the pipeheads will be opened. Israel will be attacked, much to the dismay of Bush administration officials who have pushed this war in the erroneous assumption that such action will serve to protect that nation. Unlike the first Gulf War, this time Israel will strike back.
American homeland security forces – police, fire fighters and emergency rescue personnel – will watch their radios nervously, waiting for the inevitable call. They know, better than anyone, that this country is not ready to defend itself against an attack. Their budgets have been gutted, the promised funding to augment their preparedness has not come. They are not ready, but they stand and wait regardless, because that is what they have pledged to do.
Somewhere in America – perhaps in New York, perhaps in Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, Miami, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Detroit, San Francisco, Cleveland, Atlanta, perhaps in all of them simultaneously – there will be an explosion. A group that cares nothing for the well being of Saddam Hussein will take responsibility, in the name of those thousands of Iraqi Muslims slaughtered in the initial aerial bombardment of Baghdad.
The body bags will come out, here at home and across the sea in Iraq, as Americans begin to die in terrible numbers. Martial law will be declared, habeas corpus will be suspended, posse comitatus will be left aside, and the strictures outlined by both Patriot Acts will come to full bloom. 227 years of constitutional law in America will draw to a close. An oil shock will roll across the global community, ripping through an already precarious economic situation. Here at home, the financial cost of this war will hurl us further into deficit.
More explosions will echo across the streets of America. They could be nuclear or biological or chemical in nature, because in the effort to overthrow Hussein we have ignored completely the fact that al Qaeda certainly possesses the capabilities to attack us with these weapons, having needed no help whatsoever from Hussein. These explosions could come from simple fertilizer, as well. Remember that two men with a sniper rifle and a car held Maryland hostage for a month. It does not take much, considering the shoddy state of affairs in the homeland security realm.
In all likelihood, America will score a decisive military victory. U.S. forces will invest Iraq. The Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root will begin construction on any number of permanent military bases. Administration officials will begin to formulate plans for the removal of other governments in the Middle East, both friendly and unfriendly, by any means necessary. Civil war will break out in Iraq as the Shia majority, the Kurdish and Sunni minorities, go for each other's throats. American constabulary work there will become infinitely complicated.
The United States of America has concluded an incredible, perhaps unstoppable, race to the bottom since January of 2001. The disputed election brought to power a mob of men – Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bolton – who have been planning this war since at least 1997. The attacks of September 11, allowed in no small part by purposeful blinders placed over the eyes of our intelligence services lest they offend petroleum principalities like Saudi Arabia with their prickly questions, gave these men the excuse they needed for war.
The Bush administration's reaction to 9/11 – placing blame on "evildoers" instead of starting an honest dialogue, blocking an independent investigation of the attack for over a year, nominating master secret-keeper Henry Kissinger to chair that investigative panel in what was perhaps the most disgusting insult possible to the families of the lost, ignoring the real terrorist threats in order to focus on the politically expedient annihilation of Iraq, instituting the most ham-fisted diplomatic push ever seen in the history of this nation by utterly ignoring the eleven Security Council members who said no to this war, disrupting international relations vital to the pursuit of true terrorist threats, and all the while underfunding the homeland defenses necessary to protect the American people – has led us to this dismal place.
The destruction of Saddam Hussein will do nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada, to protect America. It will place America and her citizens in further peril. We stand alone and naked today. We will reap the whirlwind. Take to the streets. Scream until your throat bleeds. Call whatever congressional leaders you know, full in the knowledge that you will be contacting a mob of failures, appeasers and political cowards. Make sure you can look at yourself in the mirror as this darkness falls. Above all else, do not succumb to despair.
You owe that much to yourself, your children and your nation as we fade to black.Comment: Could very well turn out just as described above, there is one thing I must disagree with however, the last line, more precisely the words "and your nation". This concept of "owing something to your nation" is, and always has been pure and utter BS. It has been used by the power brokers to manipulate and deceive the masses, instilling in them allegiance to a neboulous concept that never existed. Nowhere more evident has this been but in the US. The rest of the world has been long suffering in this regards and indeed has bought into the illusion that America was the "land of the free", the "greatest nation on earth". Let it be known that every time that the words "your country" have been used as a means to provoke an emotional "patriotic" response, it has merely served to allow the "powers that be" to further their own nefarious agenda of control and domination, and all with the blessing of the stupid sleeping masses. America is not the land of the free, it is not the greatest country on earth, at present it is the epicenter, the seat of the most extreme form of service to self on the planet.
Israeli police break ancient tablet An ancient stone tablet some experts believe may date to the 9th century B.C., providing rare confirmation of biblical narrative, broke in half while being moved to an Israeli police station, officials said Monday. An antiquities collector turned in the shoebox-sized tablet in Tel Aviv on Monday morning. Police bringing it to Israel's Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem broke it even though it was wrapped in two layers of bubble wrap and inside a box, said Amir Ganor, the head of the authorities' anti-theft division.
Officials didn't say how the break occurred, but a spokeswoman for the Antiquities Authority, Osnat Guez, said it could actually help scientists studying the tablet, since they will be able to check the inner layers to determine how old the stone is. The authority will form a commission to study the tablet, which has fifteen lines of ancient Hebrew inscription that resemble passages from the Book of Kings.
Experts at Israel's Geological Institute, which studied the stone at the request of the collector, believe it is authentic and dates back to the 9th century B.C. Microscopic flecks of gold burned into the stone could mean it was located together with gold objects in a building that burned - possibly the First Temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., officials at the institute said.
But experts on ancient script at the Israel Museum, who also studied the tablet, believe the Hebrew inscription, which resembles passages of Kings II, 12:1-6, 11-17, could be fake. The tablet was shown to the public for the first time at a news conference at the Ministry of Education and Culture on Monday. Its existence was first reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz six months ago.
The collector, Oded Golan, has refused to say where he got the tablet. He has denied he owns it, but is suspected of trying to circumvent Israeli antiquities laws for waiting so long to report its existence. Ganor said the tablet was probably found by Muslims digging under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City last year. Jews believe the mosques sit on the ruins of the first and second Jewish Temples, and revere as their holiest site a nearby wall believed to have surrounded the sanctuaries. Muslims say nothing existed on the hill before the mosques.
If the tablet is found to be authentic, it "would prove the existence of the temple," said Education and Culture Minister Limor Livnat. Hershel Shanks, editor of the Washington-based Biblical Archaeology Review, said the tablet, if authentic, would be "visual, tactical evidence that reaches across 2,800 years." The inscription on the tablet details renovations of the Jewish Temple called for by King Joash in the Old Testament. The king tells priests to take "holy money ... to buy quarry stones and timber and copper and labor to carry out the duty with faith." If the work is completed well, "the Lord will protect his people with blessing," the last line of the inscription reads.
The tablet would have been
placed in the temple as proof that work was carried out as
instructed in the Old Testament, Guez said. Muslim authorities have
denied the tablet was found during the construction of an
underground mosque there. Israeli archaeologists contend the work
there destroyed artifacts when truckloads of earth were dumped
nearby. The case mirrors that of a stone box, or ossuary, believed
to have contained the bones of the biblical figure James, who some
Christians believe was Jesus' brother. The box, whose existence was
made known in November, was owned by Golan, and cracked when it was
shipped to a museum in Toronto, Canada. The Antiquities Authority
is studying it to determine if it is authentic.
The United states' relentless drive to reduce the world to a battle zone, so that it may dominate all, looks set to continue with a recent senate resolution being tabled citing Iran and the next to fall to the rampagin imperialism of the US. Read it here The wording looks very familiar, the same arrogant, imperialist reasons that were used to bomb afghanistan and which are now being used to justify the murder of thousands of Iraqi innocents. While Bush is a liar and a psychopath, we must credit him at least with delivering on his promise of a "war without end"
History's deadliest night of airstrikes will start the war COALITION forces plan to launch the deadliest first night of airstrikes on a single country in the history of air power. Hundreds of targets in every region of Iraq will be hit simultaneously. The aim is to shock the regime of President Saddam Hussein into submission. By the time that more than 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles have hit their targets on the first two nights of the campaign, it is expected that Saddam’s military units will be unable to function.
The “shock and awe” concept is predicated on such overwhelming firepower from the air that the ground forces waiting in Kuwait could be able to advance rapidly to Baghdad in three or four days. In one way, the bombardment of Iraq has already begun — with missives, not missiles. With pinpoint accuracy and mounting intensity, Washington is targeting senior Iraqi commanders with e-mail messages, faxes and even calls on their personal mobile telephones to put pressure on them to defect or rebel against Saddam.
The feedback from these conversations has been so positive and encouraging, according to authoritative sources, that it is already becoming clear that even so-called elite units, such as the Republican Guard, will be ready to surrender without a fight. Western intelligence sources believe that they already have a good understanding of which commanders will fight and who may speedily defect. They say that the sophisticated technical means available to the Americans and the British — the signals intelligence apparatus of the US National Security Agency and GCHQ in Cheltenham — made it easy for them to acquire the commanders’ mobile phone numbers.
The Americans have been particularly keen to find out what Saddam intends to do with his oil wells, and whether he will really use weapons of mass destruction against advancing American and British forces. There have been clear signs that the Iraqi leader has ordered the oilfields to be blown up once the invasion begins, but the contacts have raised expectations that he will be defied. The Americans have also been dropping thousands of leaflets over Iraq, encouraging Iraqi soldiers to stay in their barracks.
The arsenal waiting to be launched includes an inventory of weapons designed to hit their targets with an error margin of a few feet. In the 1991 Gulf War, the coalition dropped 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraq, of which 6,520 tons were precision-guided. In 1999 in Operation Allied Force over Yugoslavia, Nato dropped 6,303 tons of munitions in 78-day campaign, but many missed their target. This time the coalition airstrike planners will have to fulfill the promise that they have made to the American and British political leaders — that the raining of bombs and missiles on Iraq will be so selective and focused that the country and its people will survive . . . and be grateful.
The weapons of war will include the Tomahawk cruise missile, the Joint Direct Attack Munition, guided by satellite, possibly the so-called microwave E-bomb to knock out Iraqi military communications, and the “massive ordnance air blast bomb” (Moab), the 21,000lb successor to the “Daisy Cutter” used in Afghanistan. The key will be precision as well as firepower. “It will have to be tapestry bombing, not carpet bombing,” Andrew Brookes, of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, said yesterday.
If all goes according to plan, the war itself and the downfall of Saddam could be achieved in a week to ten days. Airstrikes in the 1991 Gulf War lasted 39 days before the ground troops of the US-led coalition force crossed the border of Saudi Arabia to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait. Many questions remain unanswered, not least what will Saddam do if he is cornered in his bunker? The Iraqi President has always dreamt of being the new Saladin in the Arab world, and if he sees that this place in history is to be wrested from him what steps might he take?
Those involved in the coalition’s complex plan of
attack assume that Saddam will try to launch artillery shells and
rockets armed with biological warheads. Intelligence from people
inside Iraq will be vital in pre-empting his final gesture of
defiance. Comment: We should keep in
mind that it is very likely that Bush is a dupe, few believe that
Bush actually makes or directs Policy, or indeed that any US
President ever did. There is in truth a "cabal" behind the US
government and all major world governments which makes and directs
policy according to a long established game plan. With this in mind
we should realise that the information in the article above is
hubris, very likely designed to make Bush and public opinion
believe that this war will be a walk in the park. While on the
other hand we have most of the rest of the world ready to cheer the
impending defeat of US forces and the Bush administration. This war
is not going to go smoothly, there is the very real possibility
that it will involve a large number of US military and obligatory,
Iraqi civilian deaths, and will lead directly to attacks on the
mainland USA. The important point being that this is very much part
of the plan of the "backroom boys". Bush will take the fall and the
next piece of the puzzle will be put in
US firms get $1.5bn deal to rebuild Iraq The United States plans to transform the infrastructure of Iraq within a year of a war ending, but has sidelined aid agencies by allocating almost all the funds available to private American firms. Non-governmental organisations and the UN would get just $50m, a tiny fraction of the $1.5bn being offered to private companies, according to more than 100 pages of confidential contract documents leaked to the Wall Street Journal. In the Azores at the weekend, President George Bush emphasised the need for a significant UN role in a postwar Iraq, a stance the administration considers essential to maintaining some degree of multilateral backing for military action and its aftermath.
But Washington's plan - backed by a request for cash that the White House is expected to submit to Congress soon - envisages a rapid reconstruction process led by US corporations, repairing Iraq's infrastructure and reforming its educational, healthcare and financial systems, with many results evident before a year has passed. US administration officials would act as "shadow ministers", keeping a close eye on Iraq's new government.
The UN development programme, which has traditionally coordinated many postwar rebuilding schemes, estimates that reconstruction could cost $10bn a year, over at least three years - whereas the request to Congress is expected to demand a total of $1.8bn for reconstruction in the first year, and $800m for humanitarian assistance, the Journal reported. Washington has restricted the initial bidding process - for contracts worth $900m - to American firms, invoking emergency regulations that allow companies to sidestep the usual open procedures.
A subsidiary of Halliburton, the firm formerly headed by the US vice-president, Dick Cheney, is a member of one of four consortia whose bids were invited in a secret process last month. Several of the firms are major Republican party donors The Bush administration intends to make sure the Iraqi people know that the US has taken the central role in rebuilding, in an effort to shore up public opinion there, the leaked documents suggest.
Officials at USAID, the government department coordinating the plan, believe that a more multilateral approach could see projects getting bogged down. Ellen Yount, a USAID spokesperson, said non-American firms were not excluded from the process because they could serve in subcontract roles, and might be candidates for future bidding rounds.
The USAID plans have been roundly condemned by NGOs and representatives of the EU and UN. Mark Malloch Brown, head of the UN development programme, said the one-year deadline "flies in the face of human history," while Chris Patten, the EU's external affairs commissioner, has called the US approach "exceptionally maladroit". Comment: What a surprise! Further evidence that this phony war has economics as its sole reason. The US war machine goes around generating billions for the US economy by blowing things up and massacring people and then generates even more billions by claiming that they are "rebuilding", not to mention the billions generated by the subsequent control of the oil resources ensuring the continued dominance of the dollar as the currency of international business. The more I look at it the more its seems to be true that the US, since its inception as a nation, has systematically gone about the task of creating global crises and then rushes in to "solve the problem". In this way it has sought and pretty much gained its position of global dominance. In short it has terrorised the world for decades and in true machievllian style it has done so while convincing millions that it is the "greatest nation on earth", and we all bought it. Well the mask is now slipping, it behooves us all to swallow the pride, bear the pain of disllusionment, admit we were wrong and finally open our eyes to the true and decidedly ugly nature of the controllers of this world.
A Letter to George W. Bush on the Eve of WarBy Michael Moore:
Well, cheer up - there IS
good news. If you do go through with this war, more than likely it
will be over soon because I'm guessing there aren't a lot of Iraqis
willing to lay down their lives to protect Saddam Hussein. After
you "win" the war, you will enjoy a huge bump in the popularity
polls as everyone loves a winner - and who doesn't like to see a
good ass-whoopin' every now and then (especially when it 's some
third world ass!). So try your best to ride this victory all the
way to next year's election. Of course, that's still a long ways
away, so we'll all get to have a good hardy-har-har while we watch
the economy sink even further down the toilet! But, hey, who knows
- maybe you'll find Osama a few days before the election! See,
start thinking like THAT! Keep hope alive! Kill
The war of misinformation has begun All across the Middle East, they are deploying by the thousand. In the deserts of Kuwait, in Amman, in northern Iraq, in Turkey, in Israel and in Baghdad itself. There must be 7,000 journalists and crews "in theatre", as the more jingoistic of them like to say. In Qatar, a massive press centre has been erected for journalists who will not see the war. How many times General Tommy Franks will spin his story to the press at the nine o'clock follies, no one knows. He doesn't even like talking to journalists.
But the journalistic resources being laid down in the region are enormous. The BBC alone has 35 reporters in the Middle East, 17 of them "embedded" – along with hundreds of reporters from the American networks and other channels – in military units. Once the invasion starts, they will lose their freedom to write what they want. There will be censorship. And, I'll hazard a guess right now, we shall see many of the British and American journalists back to their old trick of playing toy soldiers, dressing themselves up in military costumes for their nightly theatrical performances on television. Incredibly, several of the American networks have set up shop in the Kurdish north of Iraq with orders not to file a single story until war begins – in case this provokes the Iraqis to expel their network reporters from Baghdad.
The orchestration will be everything, the pictures often posed, the angles chosen by "minders", much as the Iraqis will try to do the same thing in Baghdad. Take yesterday's front-page pictures of massed British troops in Kuwait, complete with arranged tanks and perfectly formatted helicopters. This was the perfectly planned photo-op. Of course, it won't last.
Here's a few guesses about our coverage of the war to come. American and British forces use thousands of depleted uranium (DU) shells – widely regarded by 1991 veterans as the cause of Gulf War syndrome as well as thousands of child cancers in present day Iraq – to batter their way across the Kuwaiti-Iraqi frontier. Within hours, they will enter the city of Basra, to be greeted by its Shia Muslim inhabitants as liberators. US and British troops will be given roses and pelted with rice – a traditional Arab greeting – as they drive "victoriously" through the streets. The first news pictures of the war will warm the hearts of Messrs Bush and Blair. There will be virtually no mention by reporters of the use of DU munitions.
But in Baghdad, reporters will be covering the bombing raids that are killing civilians by the score and then by the hundred. These journalists, as usual, will be accused of giving "comfort to the enemy while British troops are fighting for their lives". By now, in Basra and other "liberated" cities south of the capital, Iraqis are taking their fearful revenge on Saddam Hussein's Baath party officials. Men are hanged from lamp-posts. Much television footage of these scenes will have to be cut to sanitise the extent of the violence.
Far better for the US and British governments will be the macabre discovery of torture chambers and "rape-rooms" and prisoners with personal accounts of the most terrible suffering at the hands of Saddam's secret police. This will "prove" how right "we" are to liberate these poor people. Then the US will have to find the "weapons of mass destruction" that supposedly provoked this bloody war. In the journalistic hunt for these weapons, any old rocket will do for the moment.
Bunkers allegedly containing chemical weapons will be cordoned off – too dangerous for any journalist to approach, of course. Perhaps they actually do contain VX or anthrax. But for the moment, the all-important thing for Washington and London is to convince the world that the casus belli was true – and reporters, in or out of military costume, will be on hand to say just that.
Baghdad is surrounded and its defenders ordered to surrender. There will be fighting between Shias and Sunnis around the slums of the city, the beginning of a ferocious civil conflict for which the invading armies are totally unprepared. US forces will sweep past Baghdad to his home city of Tikrit in their hunt for Saddam Hussein. Bush and Blair will appear on television to speak of their great "victories". But as they are boasting, the real story will begin to be told: the break-up of Iraqi society, the return of thousands of Basra refugees from Iran, many of them with guns, all refusing to live under western occupation.
In the north, Kurdish guerrillas will try to enter Kirkuk, where they will kill or "ethnically cleanse" many of the city's Arab inhabitants. Across Iraq, the invading armies will witness terrible scenes of revenge which can no longer be kept off television screens. The collapse of the Iraqi nation is now under way ...
Of course, the Americans and British just might get into Baghdad in three days for their roses and rice water. That's what the British did in 1917. And from there, it was all downhill.
Weasel words to watch for
'Inevitable revenge' – for the executions of Saddam's Baath party officials which no one actually said were inevitable.
'Stubborn' or 'suicidal' – to be used when Iraqi forces fight rather than retreat.
'Allegedly' – for all carnage caused by Western forces.
'At last, the damning evidence' – used when reporters enter old torture chambers.
'Officials here are not giving us much access' – a clear sign that reporters in Baghdad are confined to their hotels.
'Life goes on' – for any pictures of Iraq's poor making tea.
'Remnants' – allegedly 'diehard' Iraqi troops still shooting at the Americans but actually the first signs of a resistance movement dedicated to the 'liberation' of Iraq from its new western occupiers.
'Newly liberated' – for territory and cities newly occupied by the Americans or British.
'What went wrong?' – to accompany pictures illustrating the growing anarchy in Iraq as if it were not predicted. Comment: The above article is written by Robert Fisk a well respected English journalist with more than 20 years of direct reporting experience for the UK independent in the middle east.
Iraqi-terror nightmare scenario Saddam has had time to plant weapons of mass destruction. The long delays in getting international support for the war on Iraq have provided Saddam Hussein and terrorist allies a greater opportunity to plant weapons of mass destruction in Israel, the United States and elsewhere around the world, Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin reports this week.
Iraq has long planned to take its revenge on Israel for any attack by U.S. forces, the premium online intelligence newsletter reports. U.S. military intelligence sources have been expressing deep concern for months that Israel is vulnerable to a dramatic attack, not only from missiles but from terrorists planting devices as well, according to the report. Other likely targets for backpack nuclear devices or radiological weapons, reports G2 Bulletin, include the U.S. and military bases in Kuwait. Comment: taking for granted that this information is available to the likes of Mossad and the CIA etc. why are they willingly putting the Israeli people at such a deadly risk? The reason, it seems is that somewhere within the Zionist movement there exists the intention to obliterate the Palestinians AND the Jews, since due to the geographic distribution, in the case of all out war both groups will perish.
Israeli wall to encircle Palestine Sharon accused of turning territories into huge prison. Ariel Sharon has told his cabinet that he plans to extend the "security fence" Israel is building along the length of the West Bank so that it entirely encircles any Palestinian state. The revelation, which follows the Israeli government's decision to oppose full independence for Palestine in favour of a state with "certain attributes of sovereignty", immediately drew fire from the Palestinians who accused the Israeli prime minister of trying to turn the occupied territories into a huge prison.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army killed 10 Palestinians, including a four-year-old girl, in a raid on a Gaza refugee camp yesterday. Hanan Ansar and two teenagers were among those killed as tanks and helicopters led an assault on Nusseirat camp in search of wanted Palestinians and to destroy the homes of "terrorists".
Mr Sharon dropped what is being called a political bombshell on Sunday while taking his cabinet on a secret tour of the fence, which is a six-metre (20ft) wall topped with barbed wire and lined with guard towers in many places. The 230-mile wall and fence already under construction will extend the length of the West Bank, creeping deep inside Palestinian territory for long stretches. It will almost surround at least one, and probably two, cities.
Now Mr Sharon is proposing to link the two ends of the fence already under construction with an additional section along the length of the Jordan valley. But he denied it was intended to define the borders of a Palestinian state ahead of the implementation of the American "road map".
"A fence is not a political border. It is not a security border but rather another means to assist in the war against terror, and greatly assist in stopping illegal aliens," Mr Sharon said. The move was condemned by the Palestinians who said it would effectively turn any future state into a prison with the Israelis controlling access.
"This just confirms that the wall is not to separate the West Bank from Israelis, it's to separate Palestinians into their reservation," said Michael Tarazi of the PLO's negotiations support unit. "It means that the Israelis will take control of our border with Jordan and what remains of the best agricultural land we have. The wall near the green line has already taken a lot of our best land and now they are going to do the same with what remains in the Jordan valley.
"If they think this is going to create a 'fact on the ground' that they don't want to remove, that would kill any chance of a negotiated settlement." The first 80-mile stretch of wall and fence, running north from near the city of Qalqiliya, is nearly complete and expected to be turned over to the control of the army inJuly. By the end of the year a second section enclosing the entire northern border of the West Bank should be finished and work will then concentrate on the southern part of the Palestinian territories around Jerusalem and Hebron.
The new section planned by Mr Sharon would link the wall near Hebron with the barrier in the far north of the West Bank by running the full length of the Jordan valley. Jeff Halper, a respected documenter of Israeli expansion in the occupied territories, said it was hard to justify building a wall through the Jordan valley as a protection against terrorism."If you're talking in terms of terrorism from the Palestinian side, there's not much to attack in the Jordan valley. It's not like the wall on the other side where you've got Israel," he said. "So it's hard not to conclude that they are using the wall to create a de facto border that basically reduces the West Bank to the 45% or 50% that Sharon is talking about giving the Palestinians, all truncated."
The Israeli government portrays the wall as a temporary measure to contain attacks within its 1967 borders until there is a political settlement. But Mr Tarazi questions whether Israel will find the political will to tear down the wall, given that it has the support of all the major parties. "Anything is reversible if you have a will. The question is whether there is any on the part of Israel," he said.
Will the cold-blooded murder of an American icon by an Israeli go unpunished? Will Americans continue to send billions to a country where Americans are killed?Comment: An example of the nature of the Israeli way of doing things that has been inspired and funded by the US.
America's soul has been betrayed: Washington shrugs off Israeli murder of US student in Gaza A US citizen, an idealistic young woman who would have graduated from college this spring, was murdered by soldiers in the Middle East Sunday. The crime was cold-blooded. Unarmed, she was killed for standing in the way of a vicious assault on human rights. One can only imagine the uproar had soldiers in Iraq been responsible for this killing. The cable news networks would have carried continuous coverage of the event, broadcasting repeatedly the tragic images of doctors trying to revive the young woman and her friends weeping in shock and disbelief at the savagery of the military.
Such footage exists, but it received scant airtime because it wasn’t taken in Iraq. The military of that nation, the target of an imminent, devastating American attack, has never killed a single American civilian. It was the military of Washington’s most enthusiastic supporter of war against Iraq—Israel—that murdered Rachel Corrie. The Israeli Defense Forces killed her as she and fellow pacifists tried to stop Israeli troops from demolishing a Palestinian family’s home. The instrument of her death was a massive D-9 bulldozer, purchased from Caterpillar Inc. with part of the $3 billion that Washington annually supplies to the Israeli state to cover its military expenses. The driver saw the young woman as she stood in front of the earthmover in a bright-colored jacket yelling at him through a bullhorn. Instead of stopping, he dropped a load of debris upon her, pushed her to the ground with the bulldozer’s blade and then drove the 52-ton vehicle over her body, not once, but twice.
The killing was a deliberate act of intimidation aimed at driving out foreign witnesses before Israel, acting under the cover of the impending US war in Iraq, launches a full-blown assault on Palestinians in the occupied territories. The media’s indifference to Rachel Corrie’s death merely echoed that of the Bush administration. At the State Department a spokesman issued a hypocritical plea that the Sharon regime “undertake all possible measures to avoid harm to civilians,” but declined to condemn the murder of the young American woman. US admonitions about the slaughter of Palestinians—or anyone else who opposes the Israeli occupation—are routinely ignored by the Sharon regime, which knows it has been given carte blanche to carry out whatever form of military aggression or repression it sees fit. Less than two weeks before Rachel Corrie was killed, a Palestinian woman, Nuha Sweidan, nine-months pregnant, was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer smashing down a house next door in a Gaza refugee camp. Buried in the rubble of her home, she bled to death holding her 18-month-old daughter in her arms. Her unborn child also perished.
Even as Washington claims military aggression against Iraq is justified because of Baghdad’s alleged failure to live up to United Nations resolutions, it ignores Israeli war crimes and that nation’s flagrant transgressions of UN resolutions and international law. The Israeli regime holds the world record for violating UN measures, rejecting demands that it halt acts of repression in the occupied territories, cease the illegal expulsion of Palestinians from their land, halt Zionist settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, and end its illegal 36-year occupation of Palestinian territory. Had Washington not repeatedly used its veto power in the UN Security Council to protect Israel, there would double the number of such unfulfilled resolutions.
Rachel Corrie was murdered
on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. The US president insists
that the massive military force assembled in the Persian Gulf is
there to “liberate” the Iraqi people from an evil
dictatorship, bringing them US-sponsored democracy and freedom. The
nature of this “freedom” is on display in Gaza and the
West Bank, where Washington’s closest ally subjects more than
three-and-a-half million people to a nightmare of death,
repression, degradation and poverty. The connection between the
killings in Gaza and the coming bloodshed in Iraq is by no means
abstract. The US Army has purchased a dozen of the Caterpillar
vehicles that took the young American student’s life. It has
sent them to Israel to be fitted out with armor. They will soon see
action, crushing Iraqi soldiers and civilians alike and demolishing
homes in Baghdad.
The defining of international order In the next week, the future of international order will be determined. If the Bush administration chooses to invade Iraq after failing to secure United Nations approval, a precedent will be established encouraging states to pursue unilateralist rather than multilateralist policies. The failure of the U.N. to restrain the United States may spark a new wave of nationalism, where states no longer feel secure under the symbolic umbrella of international treaties and agreements. This will weaken global cooperation and increase the possibility for conflicts around the world.
The United States, formerly a public proponent of U.N. cooperation and multilateral arrangements, has shifted its national policy toward unilateralist action where the perceived interests of the U.S. are held sacred above all else. Withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, rejecting the protocol to the bioweapons treaty, refusing to participate in the International Criminal Court, abandoning the Kyoto protocol and threatening preemptive warfare are all products of U.S. nationalism and unilateralism introduced by the current administration.
The upcoming decision about whether to invade Iraq will be paramount to the future of international order. If the United States invades Iraq without securing a Security Council resolution specifically approving an invasion, it will be following a nationalist, unilateralist policy rather than an internationalist, multilateral policy. Once the United States abandons multilateralism, other states will react in kind in order to secure their interests that are no longer protected by international agreements and alliances.
North Korea's bellicose foreign policy reflects this change. Pyongyang no longer feels secure by international assurances and is now attempting to strengthen its military by producing a large nuclear arsenal capable of deterring the United States from possible aggression. Iran has also reacted to the U.S. threat to operate outside of international restraint institutions like the United Nations. Tehran expressed its desire to control every aspect of its nuclear energy program, including the reprocessing of its spent fuel -- a procedure that can be used to develop nuclear weapons. If other powerful states also abandon multilateralism, global alliances will be replaced by smaller alliances, following the pattern set by the Bush administration's "coalition of the willing."
Larger powers such as France, Germany, Russia and China are against a U.S. invasion of Iraq because they do not want to abandon multilateralism. The reason that powerful states do not want to abandon multilateralism is because the United States stands unprecedented in its level of economic and military supremacy. Other states will have a hard time securing national interests in a world that is dominated by a colossal power that has abandoned international institutions.
However, if the United States actually does abandon multilateralism by invading Iraq without U.N. approval, powers such as France, Germany, Russia and China may also abandon multilateralism in order to secure their interests against a power unrestrained by international agreements.
This danger is already becoming evident in the European Union. The initial plan for European integration was to bond all of Europe together. However, in order to weaken the unity of the European Union's resistance to U.S. plans in Iraq, the Bush administration divided the continent by splitting it into "Old Europe" and "New Europe." By rallying prospective E.U. member states behind American policy, the U.S. undercut E.U. unity, causing these future E.U. states to side with Washington rather than the rest of the Union. This undermined the current member states and caused E.U. policymakers to reassess the idea of further European integration; afraid to lose control over E.U. policy to U.S. interests that are no longer synonymous with their own, a reawakened French nationalism is now attempting to preserve their control over the body.
Therefore, the current debate over Iraq is merely a power struggle set on the world stage. Multilateralists such as Colin Powell would rather have the U.S. secure U.N. support, or an otherwise broad coalition before invading Iraq. Powell's purpose for this is that he does not want the U.S. to blatantly abandon multilateralism because it may hurt U.S. interests in the long term. The so-called "hawks" of the administration associated with the Pentagon are indifferent to the U.S.' failing to secure international support. These nationalists would like to see a U.S. unrestrained by international agreements, solely pursuing its own short-term interests even at the expense of other powerful states. As of now, the "hawks" are in control, expressed through U.S. willingness to attack Iraq with or without U.N. support.
If the U.S. continues to
express its nationalism and invades Iraq without U.N. approval,
nationalist sentiment could quickly spread throughout the world. If
this occurs, it will increase the chance of future conflict as
international institutions will be weakened and there will be a
higher potency for the collision of nationalist interests between
While the warmongers relentlessly push us into a war nobody else wants, our troops are scattered far and wide, preparing for the unpredictable and seemingly inevitable confrontations which lie ahead. Some are saying this war will lead to peace. The absurdity of such a statement is apparent. Why must we engage in war to obtain peace? What will be the ultimate price of such peace? How many American lives must be sacrificed as collateral damage to purchase this “peace”? How many of our sons and daughters will die in order for the Controllers to achieve their insidious ends? It’s beyond horrible to consider.
My son recently informed me that he intends to enlist in the Army in November when he turns 17. He has already spoken with an Army recruiter. Like so many other young people his age, my son has bought into the “Illusions of the Machine”. He feels strong, invincible, and is all “gung ho” to go into a combat situation to “protect America” from terrorists. The extent of his misperception is incredible. How many of our young men and women are feeding into this crap? Too many, I imagine. While my son is trained in how to use deadly weapons, will he realize that someday he may be ordered to use them against his own people? Has he considered this possibility? No. My son is not politically aware of how the Machine operates and who is truly in command. He simply sees the opportunity to jump into the fray, travel to distant lands, and dress up like G. I. Joe, probably imagining he is “Rambo”. He envisions excitement and danger and a break from monotony. He likes the idea of being a “hero”.
What I would really like to do is take my son to Washington, D.C. and let him check out the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial Wall. Perhaps some of his perceptions would change if he could look at the faces of war, if he could feel the pain and horror of war, if he could taste the blood of war. The Korean War Memorial has a wall of its own. On it is inscribed a simple sentence: “Freedom Is Not Free.” My son has no concept of this sentence. If he joins the Army in November, he is in for one hell of a rude awakening.
Sadly, it is this feeling of invincibility that is all too prevalent in our society today. Americans do not believe anything can touch them or hurt them. Not really. Many of our people are still disconnected from the big picture simply because nothing horrible is happening in their own backyards. I hearken back to 9/11/2001 and remember the disconnection of some of the people in my life to that unforgettable mass murder. I couldn’t believe it then, and I still have a hard time with it. America, when are you going to realize that what happens to SOME of us happens to ALL of us?
Our young men and women are steadily disappearing into Bush’s War Machine where they will be forever changed. They don’t realize WHO they’re fighting FOR. They don’t know because our fine military leaders aren’t going to tell them. They don’t need to know because our war-crazy leadership isn’t going to tell them either. They are viewed as “dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy,” remember? And still they enlist, never realizing until it’s too late that they’ve put their very lives in jeopardy for the true “evildoers,” the plutocrats designing this war to suit their heinous schemes.
These “dumb, stupid animals” are OUR children and they’re being shipped out and set up to die on foreign soil. How does this sit with you? It makes my blood BOIL. And while I will do my best to dissolve the smoke & mirrors clouding my son’s thinking, the writing is already on the wall. The Machine wants to chew up another “dumb, stupid animal” – my child.
I’d like to ask Henry Kissinger to personally explain his statement to me and all the other American mothers and fathers out there whose children are gearing up to fight this obscene war under false pretenses. My message to George Bush and the rest of the lunatic Machine is: I’ll see you all in HELL. Don’t be late.
March 16, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
UN Warns of Worldwide Threat from Killer Pneumonia The World Health Organization warned on Saturday of a worldwide health threat as a mystery killer pneumonia spread from east Asia to other parts of the globe.Releasing a rare "emergency travel advisory," the United Nations health agency said an ill passenger had been taken to an isolation unit in Frankfurt, Germany, on Saturday after being removed from a plane en route from New York to Singapore. Some 155 other passengers who had been due to change planes or stay in Frankfurt were placed in quarantine there, while the remaining 85 passengers and 20 crew on the Singapore Airlines flight continued their journey, German officials said.
A spokesman for the Geneva-based WHO said there were reports two people had died in Canada, taking the death toll to nine worldwide since the first outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), an atypical pneumonia whose cause is not yet known, was detected in China in February. "This syndrome, SARS, is now a worldwide health threat," WHO director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland said in a statement. Among the dead is an American businessman taken ill in Hanoi after visiting Shanghai. He died on Thursday in Hong Kong where 47 cases have been reported.
Some 40 people were being treated in Hanoi, where one nurse died on Saturday, according to local health officials. Cases have also been reported in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. WHO spokesman Dick Thompson said the passenger taken from the plane in Frankfurt was a Singapore doctor who had visited New York after treating some of the first suspected SARS patients in Singapore.
"If the suspicion (of pneumonia) is confirmed, the transit passengers will have to remain under observation in quarantine for seven days in order to diagnose any possible infection and prevent the disease spreading," the Social Affairs Ministry in the state of Hesse, which includes Frankfurt, said in a statement.
High Attack rate: WHO issued its first global alert for 10 years earlier this week because of the speed at which the disease travels and because patients are not responding to the usual treatments for pneumonia, Thompson said. "As reports of cases are confirmed, you will see that there is a very high attack rate. When they get sick, they get very sick," he said. "We have been doing tests for weeks now in the world's best laboratories and we still do not know whether it is a virus or bacteria," the spokesman added.
Most of the latest cases
have been among hospital workers.The first outbreak was reported in
February in China's southern Guangdong province, where 305 people
were infected and five people died. Singapore and Taiwan have
issued travel warnings after some cases
It was after a visit to Hong Kong, where anxious locals have been sweeping surgical masks off pharmacy shelves, that a Canadian woman died of severe pneumonia on March 5. Her son, who did not travel with her, also fell sick and died. In its alert, WHO said travelers and airline crews needed to be aware of the first symptoms, which include high temperature and difficulty in breathing. It was also likely that anybody taken ill would have been in contact with a person diagnosed with the disease or who had traveled to an area where cases had been reported, the alert said.But WHO said it was not calling for restrictions in travel to any area.
U.S. names Iraqis to face war crimes trial. The Bush administration has identified nine senior Iraqi officials, including President Saddam Hussein and his two sons, who would be tried for war crimes or crimes against humanity after an American-led attack on Iraq, The New York Times reports. The list of names -- compiled, but not published, by American intelligence agencies -- includes members of Saddam's inner circle, the Times said on its website on Saturday, quoting a senior U.S. official. Read more Comment: Classic example of a compulsive liar and hypocrite, accusing others of what they themselves are guilty.
Journalists 'won't be allowed to report during first wave of Iraq raids' Journalists face a total news blackout for up to 24 hours, with the launch of any attack on Iraq. The aim is to stop the Iraqi regime being alerted to the first wave of attacks before they happen, by international news agencies, particularly television. It means the public may only learn the war has started when the blackout has been lifted. This may last from anywhere from two to 24 hours, depending on the situation at the time. Read more: Comment: This "blackout" has little to do with preventing Saddam discovering attack plans and more to do with allowing the US to deal massive death and destruction to the Iraqi people with impunity. They then have the gall to acuse the Iraqi leadership of "war crimes"
The Final Charade Despite the build-up of hopes surrounding today's "peace summit" in the Azores, Tony Blair is expected to admit to George Bush that the hunt for a "UN route" to war has failed, opening the prospect of an American-led assault on Iraq at any time. The admission comes as Mr Blair, President Bush and the Spanish premier, Jose Maria Aznar, meet in mid-Atlantic to consider how to proceed after the failure to achieve a second resolution at the UN.
Washington has signalled that it might prefer to withdraw the text altogether rather than suffer defeat in a vote. And in a remarkable shift, the US, Britain and Spain are now expected formally to state that a second resolution was never necessary under international law. They will argue that an earlier resolution is sufficient justification for war. Officially, the British government maintained yesterday that war was "not inevitable". It insisted that the hastily convened summit should be seen as a last-ditch peace initiative, not a council of war. But the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, admitted: "The prospect of military action is now much more probable and I greatly regret that.
"What we know about Saddam Hussein from all his behaviour is that he only responds to pressure and he only responds at the last minute," he told the BBC's Today programme. "So there is still time for him to comply, but time is running out." There was a sense of resignation inside the UN that efforts to find a compromise were at a dead end. Frantic efforts by Britain to secure passage of a second resolution had crumbled by Friday. The British ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, will continue struggling over the weekend to persuade six undecided members of the UN Security Council to back a British proposal to present Saddam Hussein with a deadline. But privately, British officials admit that the initiative has almost certainly failed, and that negotiations cannot be made to drag on beyond tomorrow.
Iraq tried to head off an attack, inviting chief UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei to visit Baghdad at the "earliest suitable date". And Iraq sent a report to Mr Blix on VX nerve gas, and said another report on anthrax would follow. But there were few signs that this would divert the US from its course. As the allied military presence around Iraq grew, the Pentagon reported that a US B-1 attacked two Iraqi radar sites. The use of heavy bombers is rare, but is likely to be a sign of things to come. President Bush indicated in his weekly radio address to the American public that war is imminent.
He said: "There is little reason to hope that Saddam will disarm. If force is required to disarm him, the American people can know that our armed forces have been given every tool and every resource to achieve victory." Mr Bush spent the day at Camp David, the presidential retreat, while thousands of anti-war protesters were due to mount a vigil at the White House. Demonstrators marched around the world – in Tokyo, Bangkok, Paris and dozens of other cities. Because of the level of opposition to war in Britain, the failure to achieve a second United Nations resolution will have serious consequences for Tony Blair. Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, is reported by friends to be very depressed by the prospect of war without proper UN authority. Insiders now regard Mr Cook's resignation from the Cabinet as even more likely than the departure of the International Development Secretary, Clare Short.
Other members of the
Government such as the Environment minister, Michael Meacher, the
Agriculture minister Lord Whitty, and parliamentary aides Ken
Purchase and Tony Wright, would not say whether they expect to be
in office at the end of the week. Tony Blair has promised MPs
another vote on the war in the coming week. He is likely to face a
rebellion from Labour MPs even bigger than the 121 who voted
against the Government last time. Many Labour MPs who backed
the Government then made it clear they were doing so on condition
that the UN Security Council passed a second resolution authorising
war, as Mr Blair confidently predicted they would.
'Of course they will target us - but we are prepared' A final show of defiance took place yesterday in Tikrit, a town doomed in the war to come. Saddam Hussein's birthplace and powerbase will be the target of the most withering of blitzkriegs, a symbolic target the Americans have threatened to raze. Tikrit was the focal point for demonstrations against the United States and Britain organised by the government throughout Iraq yesterday. Around 10,000 marched, chanting the Iraqi leader's name and vowing loyalty to the end. That end, as many of them knew, may now be just days away.
The most powerful men in the ruling élite, the highest ranking in the military and civil hierarchy, are all Tikritis. The Special Security Organisation, in charge of President Saddam's personal protection, is based here, as well as key armouries and communications centres. And it is here that he is expected to make his last stand. The 250,000 people of the town and its hinterland are only too aware of what is to come. In the 1991 Gulf War, a dozen buildings were destroyed and four people killed, and during Operation Desert Fox in 1998, 28 died and 34 were injured.
This time Washington has made little secret of the fact that the attack will be devastating. The rest of the country, and Baghdad, will be spared as much as possible, say Pentagon officials, but there are no such assurances for Tikrit. "It is quite easy how we run Iraq, we run it just the way we used to run Tikrit," one of President Saddam's inner circle once explained. And for decades the city and its hinterland, 120 miles north of Baghdad, has enjoyed a privileged and special position.
When I met him six months ago, Mohammed Yasin Mahmood, the deputy governor, warned that America would try to destroy Tikrit for psychological reasons as it destroyed Nagasaki for its association with the Japanese imperial family. Does he still think so? "I am more sure than ever," he responded. "They want to obliterate anything in our history which may be threatening to them. They want to create Iraq in their own image." Twirling a cardboard portrait of Saddam, Jawad Majid abu-Rashid, acknowledges both the bounty of the past and the threat the future holds. "The president has been very kind, and we have done well. Of course the Americans will target us because of who we are, but that is the sacrifice we must prepare ourselves for," he said. "We have no choice, as Tikritis we have to face our fate."
Tikrit is also the birthplace of the great Saladin, the victorious Seljuk Turk commander against the Crusaders, whose mantle as a leader against the West President Saddam has sought. But while there are only two statues of Saladin, pictures of Saddam hang from every lamp post. One in three public building bears his name. The most lavish of the eight presidential palaces is here, and the newest mosque, finished six months ago, in blue and cream and shaped like a blancmange, was built in honour of his father, Hussein al-Majid Abdul Ghofar.
Anwar Omar al-Nasr, comes from the same albu-Nasr tribe as President Saddam. He wiped his grizzled face with the chequed dish-dash on his head with one hand, while waving a Kalashnikov with the other. "We are Muslims, and we have to fight for Islam, our home and our honour," he growled. "The president is one of us, he is our family. Of course we shall fight for him, and if necessary, die for him." Mr al-Nasr was in the army for 26 years and declared that he certainly knew how to fight. Everyone in the clan had weapons, he said, shaking the semi-automatic rifle again. The magazine, however, was empty.
"This time it is only for show," he insisted. "Next time it will be for real."
Massive Human Slaughter What George W. Bush and Tony Blair are planning is the greatest act of human slaughter since Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge orchestrated the Cambodian genocide in the mid 1970s. That act killing some 1.5 to 2 million largely defenseless and quite peaceful Cambodians. Civilian Iraq is utterly defenseless and totally unprepared for the carnage that is about to be visited upon them. It is murder plain and simple, murder on an unimaginable scale.
There is no "war" looming, no "conflict" with Iraq, and no "standoff." What exists is a vast military force poised to inflict death and destruction on a major population center. Those who live there will attempt to defend themselves, but they will fail, and the dead will cover the ground like a fallen forest. Should this act of insanity proceed, it will stand as one of the greatest crimes against humanity ever recorded.
Know now, it can be stopped.
This deadly drama now playing out on the United Nations stage is not for diplomacy or disarmament or for some vague resolution. They joust for one thing: the hearts of common men. All that stands between Baghdad and unprecedented destruction is our favor, and nothing more. The world does not oppose America; it opposes unbridled aggression. While their leaders disagree on what course to take, the people of France, England, Spain and the United States do not. It is not the collective will of these nations that Baghdad be destroyed and it's sons and daughters slain. We are tolerant and reasonable; we will allow the process of inspections to proceed. Men like Bush and Blair, small in numbers and spirit, beat the drum for invasion in the hopes that many will follow. If those many stand firm, their call will go unanswered.
The blood of innocents once shed cannot be unshed. Should the US military set about killing these people, the deed remains our doing for all time. We are given now a precious moment for reflection. Let us use it wisely. The voices of true American friends all over the world are clearly calling to us: Be patient... work as a group... you are not alone. Let us not taint the American experience for all time by answering, instead, a drumbeat to madness. We hear day after day that "Time is running out." Running out on what, on who? On Saddam Hussein? On a five thousand year old city? On 24 million men, women and children? Or is time running out on the spirit of America? On the soul of our people? Why is it that the world no longer cherishes American values? Could it be because we no longer cherish them ourselves?
The right way is the American way. America's great gift to the world is fair play and due process. Democracy is not a sales slogan. It is a commitment to tolerating dissent and yielding to consensus. Genocide, on the other hand, is true anarchy.
Word is made flesh as God reveals himself... as a fish
An obscure Jewish sect in New York has been gripped in awe by what
it believes to be a mystical visitation by a 20lb carp that was
heard shouting in Hebrew, in what many Jews worldwide are hailing
as a modern miracle.
According to two fish-cutters at the New Square Fish Market, the carp was about to be slaughtered and made into gefilte fish for Sabbath dinner when it suddenly began shouting apocalyptic warnings in Hebrew. Many believe the carp was channelling the troubled soul of a revered community elder who recently died; others say it was God. The only witnesses to the mystical show were Zalmen Rosen, a 57-year-old Hasid with 11 children, and his co-worker, Luis Nivelo. They say that on 28 January at 4pm they were about to club the carp on the head when it began yelling.
Nivelo, a Gentile who does not understand Hebrew, was so shocked at the sight of a fish talking in any language that he fell over. He ran into the front of the store screaming: 'It's the Devil! The Devil is here!' Then the shop owner heard it shouting warnings and commands too. 'It said "Tzaruch shemirah" and "Hasof bah",' he told the New York Times, 'which essentially means that everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is near.' The animated carp commanded Rosen to pray and study the Torah. Rosen tried to kill the fish but injured himself. It was finally butchered by Nivelo and sold.
However, word spread far and wide and Nivelo complains he has been plagued by phone calls from as far away as London and Israel. The story has since been amplified by repetition and some now believe the fish's outburst was a warning about the dangers of the impending war in Iraq. Some say they fear the born-again President Bush believes he is preparing the world for the Second Coming of Christ, and war in Iraq is just the opening salvo in the battle of Armageddon. Local resident Abraham Spitz said: 'Two men do not dream the same dream. It is very rare that God reminds people he exists in this modern world. But when he does, you cannot ignore it.' Others in New Square discount the apocalyptic reading altogether and suggest the notion of a talking fish is as fictional as Tony Soprano's talking-fish dream in an episode of The Sopranos .
Stand-up comedians have already incorporated the carp into their comedy routines at weddings. One gefilte company has considered changing it's slogan to: 'Our fish speaks for itself.' Still, the shouting carp corresponds with the belief of some Hasidic sects that righteous people can be reincarnated as fish. They say that Nivelo may have been selected because he is not Jewish, but a weary Nivelo told the New York Times : 'I wish I never said anything about it. I'm getting so many calls every day, I've stopped answering. Israel, London, Miami, Brooklyn. They all want to hear about the talking fish.'
A devout Christian, he still thinks the carp was the Devil. 'I don't believe any of this Jewish stuff. But I heard that fish talk.' He's grown tired of the whole thing. 'It's just a big headache for me,' he added. 'I pull my phone out of the wall at night. I don't sleep and I've lost weight.'
Mistruths and Manipulation in British and American Media Freedom of the press…a notion much quoted during the Cold War by British and American governments as they derided the Soviets on a range of issues stretching from human rights to freedom of expression. Sky News today gave a telling example of manipulation and lies, presented as…news. Freedom of expression, apparently, for the media of these two countries involves the dissemination of lies. The case of Iraq is a good example. How many times do British and American TV and newspapers refer to Iraq and September 11th in the same breath?
The icing on the cake was the piece shown by Sky News today, in which a group of US marines, supposedly ex-policemen and ex-firemen from New York, some wearing NYC baseball caps, was shown getting ready for battle, while the Sky News reporter, Jeremy Thompson, declared that there was “unfinished business” to be done. “Unfinished business”? Jeremy Thompson is either an idiot or a manipulative liar, in which case Sky News ceases to be a credible news agency and joins the tabloid press as yet another sausage-factory of stodgy, pink, tabloid, sensationalist gossip, relegating its journalists to the category of cheap guttersnipes.
“Unfinished business” in the context of US soldiers from New York on the Kuwaiti border brings an obvious insinuation that a war against Iraq is one and the same thing as a retaliatory attack against Al Qaeda for September 11th. For the sake of Sky News and its team of journalists who purport to be professionals to be better informed, Pravda.Ru is happy to clarify the point. Before the Gulf War, Osama bin Laden had traveled to Saudi Arabia, where he had started to call up his fighters in Afghanistan to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.
So that Sky News does not repeat broadcasts which contain such astonishing lies, Pravda.Ru is happy to inform its team of professional journalists that Osama bin Laden hates Saddam Hussein. For Jeremy Thompson to be better informed, Pravda.Ru can inform him that Osama bin Laden considers Saddam Hussein as an Infidel and that Osama bin Laden requested permission from the Saudi authorities to expel the Iraqis from Kuwait, before Riyadh called on the Americans to do the same, sparking off the hatred bin Laden feels for Washington.
Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda have nothing whatsoever in common. Linking, or insinuating that there is a link between, Saddam Hussein and September 11th, Al Qaeda or bin Laden, is a total mistruth, a construction, a manipulation and in short, a blatant lie. Sky News purports to be a credible news agency when in fact, it relegates itself to the pile of rubbish which is the guttersnipe press. “Unfinished business” indeed. Saddam Hussein was one of the first Arab leaders to express his condolences after September 11th. In future, Jeremy Thompson and the Sky News Team are invited to read Pravda.Ru’s pages to learn the truth before they disseminate their lies so as not to mislead their viewers further.
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