Novermber 7, 2002

Miscellaneous Subjects #160: Cooked Elections, Killer Drones and More!


Hello everyone

Here is, I think, a very interesting, thought-provoking and quite diversified compilation.

Feel free to network it ;-)

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com

This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2002/MiscelSubjects160.htm


"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. ... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong it's reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

- Abraham Lincoln


"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. What, in its essence, is Fascism, but ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt


"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

- Robert Kennedy

All 3 quotes above sent by "Mark Nemeth" <mark@marknemeth.com>


"The American people just don't have a clue as to what's coming."

- Taken from "On the 2002 Midterm Elections..." (see #1 below)


"Yesterday just under 2 in 10 Americans gave George Bush the public perception of victory."

- From a comment by Fraser Clark <fraser@parallel-youniversity.com> (Actually - and "officially" - only 35% of eligible voters did bother to vote - and nearly 1 billion dollars were spent on ads for this campaign!)


"Addicted To War is must reading for all Americans who are concerned with understanding the true nature of U.S. foreign policy and how it affects us here at home"

- Martin Sheen, from the back cover of Addicted To War, Why The U.S. Can't Kick Militarism by Joel Andreas. To order: http://www.addictedtowar.com


CONTENTS

1. Comment on Wellstone and Bush
2. Michael C. Ruppert On the 2002 Midterm Elections
3. Drones of death
4. I'M A LOSER, BABY
5. Police Join Protesters at Quito FTAA Negotiations
6. Miracle Happens At Wisconsin High School
7. Common Sense Comment
8. The Window


See also:

Bush achieves the impossible (November 6, 2002)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,834573,00.html
A poor Democrat campaign, 9/11 and the president's huge personal appeal helped his party triumph in the mid-term elections. Even Ronald Reagan did not manage this. Even Reagan, revered by Republicans as their greatest ever vote-getter, had to bow to what used to be one of the iron laws of US politics: the president's party always loses seats in mid-term elections. Now George Bush has turned that maxim on its head. He has become only the third president in American history to see his party actually gain congressional seats in an "off-year" election. (...) As a result Bush will now enjoy complete control of the executive branch, in the form of the White House, and both chambers of the legislature. In a system that is designed to prevent a single-party monopoly of power, Bush has won a command and authority denied to all but a handful of his predecessors. Now he can have his way, whether on entrenching tax cuts, appointing conservative federal judges or waging war on Iraq.

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION Corporate Connections
http://www.opensecrets.org/bush/cabinet.asp

"We don't want to be a North American Colony"
http://www.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20021101.html
Thousands rally in Quito, Ecuador to protest the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Personal reporting on FTAA in Quito, Equador (Nov 2)
http://portland.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=31089&group=webcast
I don't know whether I feel like crying because I am so moved by what I saw today, because my mucous membranes are all shot to hell from too much tear gas, or out of sheer exhaustion. But I want to get this out while it is still fresh in my mind, and tomorrow will be another insane day. Tonight I watched some of the most oppressed people in this world confront some of the most influential. Tonight I watched a group of poor farmers, indigenous people, and workers speak, shout, sing truth to power. Tonight, I think, I think, although we will not know for a few days, I watched the terrain of hemispheric politics shift before my eyes. I feel so inspired, and so humbled. CLIP

For The People (October 29)
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/29/opinion/29KRUG.html
(...) Paul Wellstone took risks. He was, everyone acknowledges, a politician who truly voted his convictions, who supported what he thought was right, not what he thought would help him get re-elected. He took risky stands on many issues: agree or disagree, you have to admit that his vote against authorization for an Iraq war was a singularly brave act. Yet the most consistent theme in his record was economic - his courageous support for the interests of ordinary Americans against the growing power of our emerging plutocracy. In our money-dominated politics, that's a dangerous position to take. When Mr. Wellstone first ran for the Senate, his opponent outspent him seven to one. According to one of his advisers, the success of that ramshackle campaign, run from a rickety green school bus, "made politics safe for populists again." If only. Almost every politician in modern America pretends to be a populist; indeed, it's a general rule that the more slavishly a politician supports the interests of wealthy individuals and big corporations, the folksier his manner. But being a genuine populist, someone who really tries to stand up against what Mr. Wellstone called "Robin Hood in reverse" policies, isn't easy: you must face the power not just of money, but of sustained and shameless hypocrisy. CLIP

Plutocracy defined
http://www.progressiveliving.org/plutocracy_defined.htm
The question of whether or not the United States could be said to be a plutocracy is discussed at length in Who Rules America, by sociologist G. William Domhoff

PLUTOCRATS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER (March 9, 1997)
http://www.truthinmedia.org/Columns/clip4.html
(...) Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the U.S. This is where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the Great American Divide between the relative "haves" and "have nots" has been growing wider and deeper in the last 30 years. The share of the national wealth owned by the top 1 percent of Americans increased from 22 percent to 42 percent between 1979 and 1996, according to Rep. David Obey, Wisconsin Democrat. The top half percent of the U.S. population saw their wealth surge by 24 percent during the 1980s deregulation period - the so-called "Reaganomics" era. The top 1 percent gained 12 percent; the top 5 percent increased 9 percent, while the bottom 60 percent of Americans experienced an overall decline in their net worth. The total compensation of about 30 CEOs of major U.S. corporations surged from 44 times an average worker's wage in 1965, to 212 times in 1995, closely tracking the stock market's spectacular rise, according to a Wall Street Journal survey in April 1996. CLIP

Taking Back Our Country From the Plutocrats
http://hermes-press.com/pollindex.htm
The de facto government of the United States is a plutocracy, the rule by the wealthy. America has never been a complete or true democracy, though it has achieved a large number of democratic features. A small group of wealthy people in America has always ruled the nation for its own benefit, not for the welfare of the people.

Democracy Now - Excellent website, lots of articles
http://www.democracynow.org

Amnesty Accuses Israeli Forces of War Crimes
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/04/international/middleeast/04RIGH.html
JERUSALEM, Nov. 3 - A new report by Amnesty International contends that Israeli forces committed war crimes in Jenin and Nablus this spring during a large-scale offensive in the West Bank, killing Palestinians unlawfully, blocking medical care, using people as human shields and bulldozing houses with residents inside.

Read the transcript of Michael Moore's appearance on MSNBC's Donahue.
http://www.msnbc.com/news/827637.asp
(...) MOORE: Do you know that the day that Columbine happened, the United States dropped more bombs on Kosovo than any other time during that war?

Check also his website at http://www.michaelmoore.com/
Including Operation Oily Residue
http://www.bowlingforcolumbine.com/involved/operationoily.php

The Unseen Conflict (10/18/02)
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/101802_the_unseen.html
War Plans, Backroom Deals, Leverage and Strategy -- Securing What's Left of the Planet's Oil Is and Has Always Been the Bottom Line

Colin Campbell on Oil (10/23/02)
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html
Perhaps the World's Foremost Expert on Oil and the Oil Business Confirms the Ever More Apparent Reality of the Post-9-11

Us Invades Everywhere (Nov 6)
http://dc.indymedia.org/archive/features/2002/11/2002-11.html#3019
US Ships on Way to Iraq




1.

From: "John Owen" <jowen@igc.org>
Subject: Re: Wellstone and Bush
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002

Dear Jean,

I'm a person who usually has no interest in conspiracy theories. The reality we know about is bad enough, why speculate about unknown horrors? However, the Bushes had the motive, means and opportunity to kill Wellstone and family. A reading of history teaches me that "preemptive attack" against those such as Wellstone, has always been the policy of kings. As he ponders killing thousands of innocent Iraqis, Bush's conscience couldn't be too troubled about the loss of a Minnesota jewish ex professor. Wellstone was the only Democrat up for reelection who opposed the war powers act, the only member of the Senate who is not a millionaire or better, and the only Democratic Socialist in the Senate. If Wellstone had decided to run for President in 2004, he would have been the one candidate on the horizon who had the philosophy, principles and intelligence to beat back the war machine. I hope someone independent of the federal govt is going over the
plane.

Hope you are well and happy.

John Owen




2.

From: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/110602_elections.html

On the 2002 Midterm Elections...

Nov. 7, 2002

by Michael C. Ruppert

There are a multitude of dangling questions about Tuesday's election results. Widespread anecdotal accounts of voting irregularities, disenfranchised voters and absolutely accurate and, in many cases, understated criticisms of abysmal leadership from Tom Daschle and the Democratic Party are not difficult to find. While pundits are trying to spin that the Republicans don't have a blank check, the fact is that they do and will now use every ounce of leverage they can squeeze onto it. I totally agree with James Carville -- a less than likeable, ruthless, crusty, hard-ball operative from the Clinton years -- who said last night, "The American people just don't have a clue as to what's coming."

As I write, the biggest transport ships operated by the Navy have already or are now setting sail for the Middle East, laden with main battle tanks and all the equipment necessary for invasion. At Ft. Hood, Texas elements of the III Armored Corps and the 1st Air Cavalry are quietly leaving in small detachments.

I have no doubt that the Homeland Security bill will be passed -- by any means necessary -- during the lame duck session of Congress which commences on Nov. 12. At that moment the government will enshrine a $37 billion bureaucracy that will have no other mission -- for the rest of its life -- than to find and destroy enemies of the state. For that reason alone -- a law of bureaucratic existence -- the list of enemies of the Homeland is compelled to forever grow as the definition of "enemies" is revised, and new evidence is found to justify their destruction. How else does a bureaucracy justify bigger budgets?

CLIP

As the Empire embarks on the occupation of the Middle East, to control the largest reserves of oil remaining on a planet that is coming to grips with the fact that oil is finite and depleting, the American people are on the threshold of getting a taste of what real sacrifice means.

The military occupation of Iraq (and Saudi Arabia) may come fairly quickly and be hailed as successes. But the prices that will be paid in casualties, economic expense and global hostility will be bitter and permanent pills for this Empire and its people. Homeland Security will provide Caesar with the means to permanently suppress any restlessness at home.

There was one other great message from this election. On Wednesday morning I watched a crawl on the bottom of the CNN news screen. It said, "Proprietary software may make inspection of electronic voting systems impossible." It was the final and absolute coronation of corporate rights over democracy; of money over truth; and of man's self-destructive fears over the best parts of the human heart.

I note with irony the fact that much of the new software to resolve voting issues is either created by Microsoft and/or the companies that own and sell the voting machines, including one with investments from the Rothschild family. These are the same firms connected to the election debacle of 2000. Some even have Bush family connections. And here we see the final purpose of the 2000 Florida voting scandals: In order to prevent the same kind of hanging-chad confusion, we now have electronic machines so the problem won't occur again, and the results have been forever totally removed from public scrutiny.

And wasn't it convenient that Voters News Service decided at the last minute that there would be no exit polling this year. Exit polling was a reliable standard against which the numbers from the voting machines could be compared.

CLIP




3.

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,834306,00.html

Drones of death (Nov 6)

Bush takes the law into his own hands

Zap! Pow! The bad guys are dead. And they never knew what hit them. Living his presidency like Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, George Bush etched another notch in his gun butt this week, blowing away six "terrorists" in Yemen's desert. Their car was incinerated by a Hellfire missile, fired by a CIA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone. Dealing out death via remote-controlled flying robots could be the spooks' salvation after the September 11 and Afghan intelligence flops. It makes the agency look useful. It is quick and bodybag-free. It is new wave hi-tech, a 21st century equivalent of James Bond's Aston Martin. And the hit had full authority, right from the top, judging by Mr Bush's comments. The president is keen on hunting down America's foes, on the ugly old premise that the only good Injun is a dead Injun. For redskin, read al-Qaida. It is part, he says, of his anti-terrorist war-without-end. All the world's a battlefield for Mr Bush. The United States of America, 001: licensed to kill.

Zap! Ping! Even as the bullets ricochet, it should be said there are some problems with this approach to international peacekeeping. For a start, it is illegal. The Yemen attack violates basic rules of sovereignty. It is an act of war where no war has been declared. It killed people, some of whom who may have been criminals, but who will never now face trial. It assassinated men who may have been planning attacks. But who can tell? It is, at best, irresponsible extra-judicial killing, at worst a premeditated, cold-blooded murder of civilians. And it is also, and this is no mere afterthought, morally unsustainable. Those who authorised this act have some serious ethical as well as legal questions to answer. That there is no prospect at all that they will, and no insistence by Britain or others that they do so, only renders ever more appalling the moral pit which gapes and beckons.

Zap! Crunch! So where next for the drones of death? What about Georgia or Turkey, where shady Chechens lurk? Russia would approve. Lebanon, Iran, or Gaza, as rehearsed by Israel's gunships? Or Finsbury Park perhaps? How would that feel? Stateless, gangster terrorism is a fearsome scourge. But state-sponsored terrorism is a greater evil, for it is waged by those who should know better, who are duty-bound to address causes not mere symptoms, who may claim to act in the people's name. As Alexander Herzen said in another age of struggle: "We are not the doctors. We are the disease."

---

See also:

Killing probes the frontiers of robotics and legality
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,834311,00.html
The US accused of executing six alleged al-Qaida members - (...) In Washington officials admitted that the CIA had carried out the operation. The Swedish foreign minister, Anna Lindh, told the Swedish news agency TT: "If the USA is behind this with Yemen's consent, it is nevertheless a summary execution that violates human rights. If the USA has conducted the attack without Yemen's permission it is even worse. Then it is a question of unauthorised use of force." (...) "This is the beginning of robotic warfare. There is underlying tension in the military about using it. The CIA does not have any qualms. This is really the first success story of this system." The Predator drone said to have carried out the attack has a range of 400 miles and would not necessarily have been launched in Yemen. CLIP

HERE IS A COMMENT I ALSO RECEIVED ON THIS:

Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002
From: ricgiles@powerup.com.au
Subject: US MISSILE ATTACK IN YEMEN

Hi Jean,

Have a read of this story below... Today's Australian (6th Nov, 2002) reports that the car was targeted by a Predator missile fired from a drone aircraft (unmanned) used in conjunction with a satellite targeting system that had picked the car as a target. The missile was aimed at the car from a long distance away. This technique was used a few times in Afghanistan by the US military.

This targeting of a car in someone else's country is a new step in the US campaign against 'so-called' Al Qaeda members. I say so-called because none of us will ever know who was in that car and what they were about. As a number of incidents in Afghanistan told us, the US can pick what they think is a 'legitimate' target and wind up killing wedding guests, or guys foraging at a rubbish dump or even" friendly" soldiers from the Northern Alliance or villagers going about their daily business.

Whose car will be targeted in this way and in what country will it next happen? Does the US military limit itself to known members of groups whom they want to eliminate. Do they even know who they are targeting? Do we know. What sort of war is this when people in cars in some other country are being destroyed?? Does the US now play 'god' anywhere in the world it feels like......?

Best,

Richard

CLIP

NOTE FROM JEAN: This "method" of eliminating alleged terrorists is reminiscent of the tactic of firing a missile from a helicopter used by the Israeli military to assassinate alleged Palestinian terrorists... and often many of their relatives at the same time, either in their car of by blowing up their house from the air.




4.

WEEKLY GRIST
31 Oct-06 Nov 2002
http://www.gristmagazine.com

1.
I'M A LOSER, BABY
The environment stands to be a big loser now that Republicans have recaptured control of the U.S. Senate and expanded their lead in the U.S. House. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) -- who had a zero percent score (that's right, a goose egg) from the League of Conservation Voters in the last session of Congress -- is widely expected to become chair of the powerful Environment and Public Works Committee, which plays a lead role in debates over such issues as clean air, transportation, and Superfund. Trent Lott (R), soon to be the Senate majority leader, spoke today of an "aggressive" push to advance such GOP goals as passing a major energy bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Environmentalists had hoped that the tragic loss of their champion Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) would be assuaged slightly by a Democratic victory in Minnesota's Senate race; earlier today, however, former Vice President Walter Mondale (D) conceded the close race to Republican Norm Coleman.




5.

From: "Judith Iam" <judeiam@cwnet.com>
Subject: Police Join Protesters at Quito FTAA Negotiations
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002

From: food-rights-admin@foodfirst.org
Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002

Police join protesters at Quito FTAA negotiations, forcing an unprecedented meeting between protesters and trade delegates.

Food First Coverage of the Protests Against the FTAA Ministerial in Quito:

1. Latest Update -- November 1, 2002: Police Rebel and Anti-Free Trade Protests in Quito End on Positive Note

"The protests against the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) -- and the police violence that rocked Quito during the day yesterday -- ended on a positive note for protesters in the evening, putting the Bush Administration's negotiator, Mr. Robert Zoellick, in an embarrassing and awkward position."

Read the full report:
http://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/trade/quito2002/2002-11-01-update.php

2. Photographs of the Events in Quito:

Photos of the events in Quito can be found here:
http://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/trade/quito2002/photos.php

3. Past Updates from Quito

Throughout Thursday, thousands of protesters were gassed, pushed and shoved away from the negotiations by riot equipped police. Read more here:

"Seattle in Quito? Army Arrives to Quell Protests Against Free Trade Agreement"
http://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/trade/quito2002/2002-10-31-update.php

"As Peasants and Indigenous People Prepare to Protest FTAA, Quito Fills up with Security Forces"
http://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/trade/quito2002/2002-10-30-update.php

4. Links to More Information about the 2002 FTAA Ministerial

Information and articles about the 2002 Ministerial on the FTAA can be found here:
http://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/trade/quito2002

Also, visit the FTAA pages of the Food First Media Quik Stop:
http://www.foodfirst.org/media/index.php?keyword=FTAA


---

See also:

FTAA and Civil Society
http://ecuador.indymedia.org/es/2002/11/867.shtml
At the end of another round of FTAA negotiations, country representatives have emerged with yet another document emphasizing the need for civic participation in the processes of dialogue and formulation of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas. Some of the more fundamental problems with the FTAA were raised by a large delegation of Social Movements and NGOs last Thursday, both on the streets and in an exchange with trade ministers later that evening. By completely ignoring their input in this document, negotiators have shown that their desire for civil society participation in the process is only so long as the society agrees (with 'civility') to the process of trade liberalization itself. CLIP

10,000 Demonstrate Against the FTAA in Montreal
http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=214449&group=webcast

CHECK ALSO THE WEBSITE FOR THIS NEXT BIG GLOBAL ANTI-GLOBALIZATION EVENT IN FLORENCE, ITALY

The World Social Forum (Nov 6 - 10)
http://www.fse-esf.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=1
The WSF is the first continental european meeting, following the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. More than 20,000 people are expected.




6.

Posted on November 1, on the Earth Rainbow Village e-list by Karen Eck <kareneck@eoni.com>

From: http://www.stratiawire.com/article.asp?id=655

Miracle Happens At Wisconsin High School

October 14, 2002

APPLETON, Wisconsin -- A revolution has occurred. It's taken place in the Central Alternative High School. The kids now behave. The hallways aren't frantic. Even the teachers are happy.

The school used to be out of control. Kids packed weapons. Discipline problems swamped the principal's office. But not since 1997.

What happened? Did they line every inch of space with cops? Did they spray valium gas in the classrooms? Did they install metal detectors in the bathrooms? Did they build holding cells in the gym?

Afraid not. In 1997, a private group called Natural Ovens began installing a healthy lunch program.

Huh? Fast-food burgers, fries, and burritos gave way to fresh salads, meats "prepared with old-fashioned recipes," and whole grain bread. Fresh fruits were added to the menu. Good drinking water arrived. Vending machines were removed.

As reported in a newsletter called Pure Facts, "Grades are up, truancy is no longer a problem, arguments are rare, and teachers are able to spend their time teaching." Principal LuAnn Coenen, who files annual reports with the state of Wisconsin, has turned in some staggering figures since 1997. Drop-outs? Students expelled? Students discovered to be using drugs? Carrying weapons? Committing suicide? Every category has come up ZERO. Every year.

Mary Bruyette, a teacher, states, "I don't have to deal with daily discipline issuesI don't have disruptions in class or the difficulties with student behavior I experienced before we started the food program." One student asserted, "Now that I can concentrate I think it's easier to get along with people" What a concept---eating healthier food increases concentration. Principal Coenen sums it up: "I can't buy the argument that it's too costly for schools to provide good nutrition for their students. I found that one cost will reduce another. I don't have the vandalism. I don't have the litter. I don't have the need for high security." At a nearby middle school, the new food program is catching on. A teacher there, Dennis Abram, reports, "I've taught here almost 30 years. I see the kids this year as calmer, easier to talk to. They just seem more rational. I had thought about retiring this year and basically I've decided to teach another year---I'm having too much fun!"

Pure Facts, the newsletter that ran this story, is published by a non-profit organization called The Feingold Association, which has existed since 1976. Part of its mission is to "generate public awareness of the potential role of foods and synthetic additives in behavior, learning and health problems. The [Feingold] program is based on a diet eliminating synthetic colors, synthetic flavors, and the preservatives BHA, BHT, and TBHQ."

Thirty years ago there was a Dr. Feingold. His breakthrough work proved the connection between these negative factors in food and the lives of children. Hailed as a revolutionary advance, Feingold's findings were soon trashed by the medical cartel, since those findings threatened the drugs-for-everything, disease-model concept of modern healthcare.

But Feingold's followers have kept his work alive. If what happened in Appleton, Wisconsin, takes hold in many other communities across America, perhaps the ravenous corporations who invade school space with their vending machines and junk food will be tossed out on their behinds. It could happen. And perhaps ADHD will become a dinosaur. A non-disease that was once attributed to errant brain chemistry. And perhaps Ritalin will be seen as just another toxic chemical that was added to the bodies of kids in a crazed attempt to put a lid on behavior that, in part, was the result of a subversion of the food supply.

For those readers who ask me about solutions to the problems we face---here is a real solution. Help these groups. Get involved. Step into the fray. Stand up and be counted. The drug companies aren't going to do it. They're busy estimating the size of their potential markets. They're building their chemical pipelines into the minds and bodies of the young. Every great revolution starts with a foothold. Sounds like Natural Ovens and The Feingold Association have made strong cuts into the big rock of ignorance and greed.

To subscribe to the Earth Rainbow Village e-list, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EarthRainbowVillage/




7.

COMMENT TAKEN FROM http://www.fpif.org/progresp/volume6/v6n34.html

Re: Looking & Acting American in Texas (available online at http://www.fpif.org/progresp/volume6/v6n32_body.html#looking )

This letter does the service of expressing in plain language an opinion that is probably prevalent in the U.S., but has little resonance elsewhere.

History tells that wars are not always won by the biggest battalions. The extreme example is Gandhi (the "naked fakir" in Churchill's contemptuous language) who won independence for his country against the might of the British Raj without taking arms. How did he do it? Mainly by his grasp of how British democracy worked, and the mindset of British public opinion.

The only source of strength and funding for Al Qaeda is a mindset of hatred. The further this mindset spreads, the greater the reach of the organization. How to exploit this known fact in the war on terrorism?

Were the U.S. to broker a genuine peace deal between Israel and Palestine, securing a lasting, independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders, this would take wind from the sails of Al Qaeda by sabotaging the mindset of hatred.

What, on the other hand, would be the biggest prize the U.S. could present to Al Qaeda, winning it millions of candidates for suicide attacks? Pre-emptive attack on Iraq, with thousands of civilian casualties!

- Barbara Strauss <bstraus@club-internet.fr>




8.

Forwarded by "Violette Ruffley" <wingsoflight@smnet.net>

The Window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
People will forget what you said...
People will forget what you did...

But ... people will never forget how you made them feel...







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