MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH


November 12, 2002

Miscellaneous Subjects #162: Bush News, We Could Be All Toast and Genocide in Chechnya


Hello everyone

Coining a title with such diverse subjects is a good way to cristallize what it really is all about. For instance, the word "Bush" is repeated 38 times below.

Your comments are always welcomed ;-)

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


"The important thing is not to think much, but to love much; and so, do that which best stirs you to love."

- Saint Teresa of Avila


CONTENTS


1. Feedback on Bill Moyers' article
2. Sun's Rays to Roast Earth as Poles Flip
3. Invisible light frequencies becoming visible?
4. Environment, Rights Activists Vow Resistance to Bush Agenda
5. Environmentalists Brace for Changes Led by GOP
6. With Friends Like These
7. Activists pledge Europe-wide demos against Iraq war


See also:

Our Visionary Leader (Hilarious!)
http://thewebfairy.com/visionary.jpg

The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How The U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply
http://www.progressive.org/0801issue/nagy0901.html
Summary: Pentagon documents reveal how the United States, contrary to the Geneva Convention, intentionally destroyed Iraq's water supply. Nagy shows that there were extremely serious and still-deadly U.S. violations of international law and human rights in US Defense Department planning for the 1991 US war against Iraq and for the sanctions against Iraq. These Pentagon documents "Strategic Attack" are at http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/pubs/speclist.asp?puborg=AFDC&series=dd
They demonstrate that "the United States knew it had the capacity to devastate the water treatment system of Iraq. It knew what the consequences would be: increased outbreaks of disease and high rates of child mortality. And it was more concerned about the public relations nightmare for Washington than the actual nightmare that the sanctions created for innocent Iraqis...
Recommended by Bill Derau <tanchu@olypen.com>

Dangerous Times Ahead After Election 2002 (Nov. 08)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/11.10A.dean.danger.htm
Despite the Nation's Deep Divisions and Bush v. Gore, The President Plans On Filling The Courts With Right Wing Judges. (...) September 11th sent Bush's approval ratings into the stratosphere, with some polls giving him a ninety percent approval. Bush's Dick Morris, Karl Rove, had found political gold: George W. Bush - war president. Rove advised the president (and everyone else) to start talking war. They did, and it buried every other issue. War presidents automatically win public approval. When Rove ran out of Taliban, he substituted Saddam Hussein. Bush's approval has remained at about sixty percent. Americans will be at war as long as Bush is in office - whether the war is against Iraq, or is the indefinite "war on terrorism." (...) Bush's hard right core constituency wants more than anything else to pack the federal courts with those who share their thinking, and are willing to impose it through the court system. These judges are the most inappropriate conceivable in these times: They are uniform in perspective and activist in imprinting that perspective on the law. (...) Packing the judiciary is going to become a truly high-stakes game when one or more of the aging conservative Supreme Court justices step down. Never has that been more likely to happen than during the next year. (...) The GOP is still far short of a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in favor of its nominations. Will Democrats use the filibuster to prevent Bush from packing the judiciary (and for other conservative initiatives)? I don't know. I do know if they don't, we will have a tyranny of a technical majority, which is - in truth - a minority that has the reins of government in its hands.

No Mandate for War (Nov. 8)
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14509
Apart from the core Republican base, most American voters did not vote for war. They simply stayed home because they could not vote against it, thanks to the Democratic Party.

No Child Unrecruited
http://www.motherjones.com/news/outfront/2002/45/ma_153_01.html
Should the Military be Given The Names of Every High School Student in America?
But when Shea-Keneally insisted on an explanation, she was in for an even bigger surprise: The recruiters cited the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's sweeping new education law passed earlier this year. There, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid. "I was very surprised the requirement was attached to an education law," says Shea-Keneally. "I did not see the link." The military complained this year that up to 15 percent of the nation's high schools are "problem schools" for recruiters. In 1999, the Pentagon says, recruiters were denied access to 19,228 schools. CLIP This story is also at http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/11.10F.mil.spy.edu.htm

Pelosi Declares Victory in House Leadership Race (Nov. 8)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/11.10B.pelosi.htm
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a California liberal, declared victory on Friday in her bid to become Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, which would make her the first woman to head either party in Congress. (...) Pelosi, the most senior congressional Democrat to oppose Bush on the Iraqi war-powers resolution, argued that Democrats need to more aggressively underscore their differences with Republicans CLIP

Support Nancy Pelosi (Nov. 11)
http://www.voice4change.org
We are almost there! Nancy is Pelosi is expected to win the race for Minority Leader. She is now being challenged by Harold Ford who is a member of the Democratic Leadership conference (DLC). The DLC is is the group that has most responsible for moving the party too far to the right.
Call the Capital Switchboard at-1-800-839-5276, ask for your Congressperson, and urge them to support Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader. tell them that the DLC is part of the problem, so Harold Ford is not the solution.

"Bush's Life of Deception" (Nov. 4)
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2002/110402a.html
The Washington press corps has come grudgingly to the recognition that George W. Bush is "malleable" with the truth, as the Washington Post delicately put it. Pressing for war with Iraq, Bush has been exaggerating his case so much that even CIA analysts are complaining, as a number of newspapers have now reported. But the underlying reality about Bush's honesty is far worse. Throughout his adult life, Bush has dodged the truth along with personal responsibility for his actions. Indeed, a remarkable feature of his presidency is the gap between Bush's public image as a straight-talking everyman and the behind-the-curtain Bush whose imperial impulse sometimes flashes into public view. Like a boy emperor convinced of his infallibility, Bush rarely admits errors, 'fesses up' to misstatements or apologizes for inappropriate behavior. Especially since the Sept. 11 attacks and his soaring "united-we-stand" poll numbers, Bush has behaved as an imperious leader, treating others rudely when he's crossed. (...) But Bush's growing record of lies, both big and small, suggest something perhaps more troubling. His personal history of heavy drinking, likely drug use, carousing, disappearances from military duty, repeated business failures and political hypocrisies -- combined with his ability to avoid ever paying a significant price for his deceptions -- may have given him this sense of his own infallibility. That view of invulnerability to consequences at a time the nation is facing an array of complex dangers could prove a hazardous mix. The pressure on Bush to revert to a lifelong pattern of telling lies and half-truths - and getting away with it - will almost certainly lead to more bending of reality to his political needs. CLIP

Tales of A Tyrant
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/05/bowden.htm
What is it like to be Saddam Hussein, the Anointed One, Glorious Leader, Direct Descendant of the Prophet, President of Iraq, Chairman of its Revolutionary Command Council, field marshal of its armies, doctor of its laws, and Great Uncle to all its peoples? In an Atlantic Monthly article, Mark Bowden offers a rare close-up view of the man who sits at the eye of the storm raging over the fate of Iraq. Bowden's wry, incisive, and often tongue-in-cheek essay presents the many faces of Saddam. The insomniac who gets up at three in the morning. The aging patriarch saddled with a bad back. A vain old man who dyes his gray hair black, avoids wearing glasses, and refuses to walk in public lest anyone notice his slight limp. The health-conscious Saddam who prefers fish to meat, swims every day, and eats a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. The voracious reader, Hollywood movie buff, and author of badly-written romantic fables. The polite dictator who rarely raises his voice and yet uses mass public executions to maintain his reign of terror. But for the most part, the picture Bowden paints is that of a paranoid, isolated tyrant who spends every waking moment trying to remain exactly where he is. Bowden writes, "He exists, finally, only to preserve his wealth and power, to build his legacy. Survival becomes his one overriding passion. So he regulates his diet, tests his food for poison, exercises behind well-patrolled walls, trusts no one, and tries to control everything."

Next Stop, Iran
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-469972,00.html
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is busy drawing up a bombing itinerary for the United States. We haven't even attacked Iraq yet, but Sharon has already picked his next target: Iran. In an interview with The Times (London), he said "Iran is a centre of world terror and Iran makes every effort to possess weapons of mass destruction on the one hand and ballistic missiles. That is a danger to the Middle East, to Israel and a danger to Europe." Sharon also mentioned the prospect of Libya developing a nuclear weapon. So we can safely assume that Qaddafi will be the next guy on his wishlist. Right after we're done with those pesky mullahs in Iran, of course.

The Men Who Stole the Show (Nov. 4)
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14450
Policy in Focus, a small group of right-wing strategists, ideologues, and operatives have hijacked U.S. foreign policy, shifting it to the extreme right.

No More Victims!
http://www.nomorevictims.org/PosterDownloads.html
Voice4change and www.NoMoreVictims.org have launched an exciting campaign to make sure that George Bush see's the faces of the victims in Iraq. We will not allow him to see only the face of Saddam, he must see the innocent children and people of Iraq who are suffering and will suffer more if he escilates the war that is already taking place in Iraq. Download the poster and post it all over your Community.




1.

From: "Daniel Kolos" <damilos@bmts.com>
Subject: Re: Meditation Focus #75: Co-creating Peace in Iraq - a boosting response
Date: 11 Nov 2002

Hello Jean,

Having read Bill Moyers' article comparing LBJ with Bush, Moyers missed a golden opportunity to compare an aspect of Viet Nam and Iraq that is being downplayed - if not outright repressed by the government and the media: after all the warnings that Viet Nam is essential to US security, and after all the costs, in Dollars, body-bags and sanity, when the Viet Cong and North Viet Nam took over South Viet Nam, there was no adverse impact to US security!!!

There may have been an impact to US trade in rubber-tree products, but then someone invented synthetic rubber and Viet Nam lost its significance.

We have had Kuwait oil as the object of the First Gulf War, a central Asian Oil pipeline as the unnamed object of the Afghanistan invasion, and now Iraqi oil as the hidden agenda of a proposed Second Gulf War. The Bush Administration would get far less flak from the rest of the world if they called a spade a spade. But calling Iraq a danger American security rings hollow to anyone who has followed the history of American foreign policy.

Both LBJ and Bush knew that those American troops who were killed in Viet Nam, or who are expected to be killed in Iraq, did not or will not lose their lives for America's freedom! The fight is for economic interests of those several industries that would rather spend money on new weapons than on the development of new fuels.

Daniel Kolos
Peace Within Concise News Network
http://www.bmts.com/~damilos/peace.html




2.

IT IS HARD TO CONJURE UP WORDS STRONG ENOUGH TO DESCRIBE THE SHEER MAGNITUDE OF THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS NEWS. SEE FOR YOURSELF...

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

Published on Nov. 10, 2002 by the Observer/UK

Sun's Rays to Roast Earth as Poles Flip

by Robin McKie

Earth's magnetic field - the force that protects us from deadly radiation bursts from outer space - is weakening dramatically.

Scientists have discovered that its strength has dropped precipitously over the past two centuries and could disappear over the next 1,000 years.

The effects could be catastrophic. Powerful radiation bursts, which normally never touch the atmosphere, would heat up its upper layers, triggering climatic disruption. Navigation and communication satellites, Earth's eyes and ears, would be destroyed and migrating animals left unable to navigate.

'Earth's magnetic field has disappeared many times before - as a prelude to our magnetic poles flipping over, when north becomes south and vice versa,' said Dr Alan Thomson of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh.

'Reversals happen every 250,000 years or so, and as there has not been one for almost a million years, we are due one soon.'

For more than 100 years, scientists have noted the strength of Earth's magnetic field has been declining, but have disagreed about interpretations. Some said its drop was a precursor to reversal, others argued it merely indicated some temporary variation in field strength has been occurring.

But now Gauthier Hulot of the Paris Geophysical Institute has discovered Earth's magnetic field seems to be disappearing most alarmingly near the poles, a clear sign that a flip may soon take place.

Using satellite measurements of field variations over the past 20 years, Hulot plotted the currents of molten iron that generate Earth's magnetism deep underground and spotted huge whorls near the poles.

Hulot believes these vortices rotate in a direction that reinforces a reverse magnetic field, and as they grow and proliferate these eddies will weaken the dominant field: the first steps toward a new polarity, he says.

And as Scientific American reports this week, this interpretation has now been backed up by computer simulation studies.

How long a reversal might last is a matter of scientific controversy, however. Records of past events, embedded in iron minerals in ancient lava beds, show some can last for thousands of years - during which time the planet will have been exposed to batterings from solar radiation. On the other hand, other researchers say some flips may have lasted only a few weeks.

Exactly what will happen when Earth's magnetic field disappears prior to its re-emergence in a reversed orientation is also difficult to assess. Compasses would point to the wrong pole - a minor inconvenience. More importantly, low-orbiting satellites would be exposed to electromagnetic batterings, wrecking them.

In addition, many species of migrating animals and birds - from swallows to wildebeests - rely on innate abilities to track Earth's magnetic field. Their fates are impossible to gauge.

As to humans, our greatest risk would come from intense solar radiation bursts. Normally these are contained by the planet's magnetic field in space. However, if it disappears, particle storms will start to batter the atmosphere.

'These solar particles can have profound effects,' said Dr Paul Murdin, of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. 'On Mars, when its magnetic field failed permanently billions of years ago, it led to its atmosphere being boiled off. On Earth, it will heat up the upper atmosphere and send ripples round the world with enormous, unpredictable effects on the climate.'

It is unlikely that humans could do much. Burrowing thousands of miles into solid rock to set things right would stretch the technological prowess of our descendants to bursting point, though such limitations do not worry film scriptwriters. Paramount's latest sci-fi thriller, The Core - directed by Englishman Jon Amiel, and starring Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart - depicts a world beset by just such a polar reversal, with radiation sweeping the planet.

The solution, according to the film, to be released next year, involves scientists drilling into Earth's mantle to set off a nuclear blast that will halt the reversal.

Given that temperatures at such depths rival those of the Sun's surface, such a task would seem impossible - except, of course, in Hollywood.




3.

From: "Philip David" <pdavid@iolfree.ie>
Subject: Invisible light frequencies becoming visible?
Date: 11 Nov 2002

Dear Jean,

I have not written to you before now, even though I have been receiving your compilations for a long time and with much appreciation for your work, because I know that you have to sift through a vast number of messages every week.

But this is something that I think you should know about, if you don't already, and that is what appears to be a new phenomena in our skies. I have been unable to verify this from any research, so it may not be, but the last seven or eight times that I have seen a rainbow it has had at least one more visible octave inside the main one. Twice there have been three. Once, four!

I am not talking about multiple rainbows, separated by space, but where the violet band on the inside is immediately followed by red, and another complete spectrum somewhat feinter than the primary one.

Conventional science tells us that the human eye is capable of perceiving only one octave (while the ear can perceive seven). Other people, that I have pointed out this penomenon to, can also see it.

Am I seeing a second (and sometimes third, or even fourth) octave that we are not supposed to be able to see? Could this be something to do with the raising of planetary/human conciousness that has been forseen in relation to 2012?

Most sincerely

Phil David

(Ireland)




4.

From: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/oneworld/20021108/wl_oneworld/1032_1036774755&e=5

Environment, Rights Activists Vow Resistance to Bush Agenda (Nov 8)

The future of key United States protections of civil liberties and the environment face a serious threat following elections Tuesday which returned the Senate to Republican control and increased by four the party's narrow margin in the House of Representatives, according to activists.

Groups involved in lobbying the administration of George W. Bush on a range of issues--including civil rights, pollution, and energy policy--have described the "peril" which may ensue if the administration pushes through Congress a number of measures--from tax cuts to judicial nominations--that were previously blocked by Democrats in the Senate.

"We likely are at a time of extreme peril," said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), "With Congress now in the hands of far right ideologues, there is little that stands in the way of the White House's goal of packing the federal courts."

Henderson said he expected the administration to use Congress and the courts to try to weaken the civil-rights laws, minimum-wage legislation, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Civil rights, along with the environment, played a relatively small role in the national Republican campaign led by Bush, who instead stressed tax cuts and impending war against Iraq as he crisscrossed the nation in the two weeks that preceded Tuesday's vote.

"The environment is...under attack via tax cuts and the budget process, with a danger that key agencies will not get adequate funding," said Mark Helm of Friends of the Earth (news - web sites), adding that "The Clear Air and Clean Water Acts have already taken major hits under the Bush administration."

There is also speculation that the administration will mount a larger offensive against those protections by weakening key legislation, such as the pillar of U.S. environmental legislation, the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act.

"If the decidedly pro-polluter, anti-environmental agenda championed by the administration moves forward," said Helm "You're going to see a backlash from the grassroots and across the political spectrum."

Along with other groups, such as Project Underground, that monitors the impact of mining activities by oil and gas companies on the environment, LCCR's Henderson called for more strategic organization of popular campaigns.

If the Bush administration tries to use the election results as a new mandate on these issues, said Henderson, then groups "must...engage new allies, mobilize our constituencies, and fight to defend any further erosion in the progress that has been achieved over the last 50 years."




5.

From: http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/11.10G.env.gop.htm

Environmentalists Brace for Changes Led by GOP

8 November, 2002

WASHINGTON -- With Republicans controlling the House and Senate as well as holding the White House, environmental groups are bracing for an onslaught of business-friendly policies they fear will threaten hard-won environmental protections.

The unease is especially pronounced in the Northwest, environmental groups said, where President Bush supports more liberal logging in national forests and wilderness areas, broader exploration for oil and gas and a less restrictive approach to protecting endangered species.

Environmental lobbyists said Republicans and the Bush administration might try to restrict money for salmon protection and the acquisition of sensitive public lands.

"I think it's very, very bad news for the environment of the West," said Debbie Sease, the Sierra Club's chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill. "I think it's going to result in more timber being cut in our national forests. There'll be attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act."

On the other hand, conservative activists and many business interests are delighted by the changeover. The push is likely to begin next week when Congress convenes for a lame-duck session.

House Republican leaders signaled Wednesday that they would like to revive a major energy bill -- one of the administration's top legislative priorities -- that could reopen the debate about drilling in Alaska.

CLIP

Arthur said the election will bring into the open an agenda that previously had been pursued "in the dark."

"It's not like the agenda has changed," he said, "they just have an opportunity to make a more aggressive run at it. . . . You'll see them moving these initiatives out of the backroom and into daylight."

Arthur conceded that the "aggressive assault" on environmental policies "is not good news," but he said it will energize and unify environmental groups. "A common threat makes it a lot easier to set aside disagreements," Arthur said.

Arthur and others also warned that if Republicans overreach, it could come back to haunt them in future elections. The majority of voters, he said, support strong environmental laws. Tempering businesses' desire, however, may be difficult.

Natural resource companies were one of the biggest donors to Bush's campaign, contributing $6.6 million largely because Bush supported a lighter hand on environmental regulation.

CLIP




6.

From: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14476

With Friends Like These

By Geov Parrish

November 5, 2002

As you read this, Russian soldiers are once again rampaging through Chechnya, exacting what Russian leader (and former Communist Party and KGB boss) Vladimir Putin and his government specifically call "revenge" for the recent hostage crisis in a Moscow theatre.

In that crisis, 119 hostages and at least 70 Chechen rebels died; the problem is, however, that with the exception of one lone hostage -- shot when he attacked an armed Chechen woman -- it was Putin's government, and its use of a lethal, Fentanyl-based gas, that was responsible for the theatre deaths. Putin is taking vengeance for a crime his own government committed.

In the end, it scarcely matters; regardless of who first did what, hapless Chechen civilians and refugees are now paying the price, as they have repeatedly over the past eight years. An endless litany of reports by groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch documents the extent of Moscow's abuses in the conflict; Chechnya is one of several places in the world at the moment where the word "genocide" is being used by reasonable people. It is the Russian government, far more than isolated rebel bands in Moscow, who have reatedly targetted innocent lives during the conflict.

Russia's casual execution of the Moscow hostages was neither surprising nor inconsistent. Opiate gases like Fentanyl have a long history of controversy; many researchers believe they should be banned under the International Chemical Weapons Convention. Beyond the 119 dead, another 145 people, at last report, are still in intensive care, many on respirators because they have no lung function left. That's not the simple error in dosage first claimed by the Russian military.

Such concerns, and a culture of reflective secrecy, led Russian authorities to refuse to even identify the components of the gas when hostages began pouring into Moscow emergency rooms after the attack. It took toxicology reports in blood samples from corpses of foreign nationals -- shipped home to Western Europe -- to begin to make public the presence of not only Fentanyl, but several other lethal elements in the concoction used on the Chechens and their hostages. The pre-dawn attack on them came as rebels were still negotiating with authorities, having already released some of the hostages. At the time, only two hostages had been harmed by the Chechens -- the death mentioned above, and another man wounded in the same incident. The gassing was, by any calculation, unnecessary; it was premeditated murder, in a manner all to familiar to Chechens.

However, that wasn't the general tenor of media coverage of the incident here in the United States. The White House was quick to defend the Russians' actions, and many American networks went so far as to adopt the official Soviet, er, Russian characterization of the incident as not just terrorism, but "Russia's 9/11."

The theatre hostage-taking was nothing of the sort, of course. Beyond being Muslim, Chechens have virtually nothing in common with the sort of radical fundamentalism represented by groups like Al-Qaeda. (Though Chechnya is right alongside Palestine and Iraq on every Muslim terror group's short list of grievances against the West.) Most obviously, the presence of numerous women fighters among the Chechen hostage-takers suggests a very different culture than that of, say, the Taliban.

More importantly, the Chechen's seizure of hostages in Moscow was not a random incident; it was part of a war for independence, by a culturally distinct region chafing for escape from the control of Imperial Russia. Chechnya is a mostly Muslim slice of real estate in the Caucasus Mountains that, like many other nearby parts of the former Soviet Union, attempted to bolt Moscow's rule when the opportunity arose. Alas, Chechnya is also a small nation, squarely situated between the Caspian and Black Seas -- near any westward route for a pipeline that could deliver Caspian oil to market.

Since the start of the Chechen rebellion, the United States, far from helping the country escape the control of its former Communist rulers, has offered benign support to Moscow, including international credit that has allowed the Russians to continue to bankroll their massively expensive military campaigns. But the dynamics of Washington and Chechnya shifted dramatically after 9/11. Putin has campaigned relentlessly to have America and the West consider his anti-Chechen campaigns as part of any War on Terror. Tacit support -- along with a blind eye to any Russian atrocities -- was widely believed to be part of the price the Bush Administration paid for gaining Moscow's support for last year's U.S. attack on Afghanistan. And Russia, like Israel and India, used the Bush invention of a doctrine of "harboring terrorists" as a rationale for new military offensives. The precedent set by the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan cost Chechen civilians dearly.

That cost, however, turns out to have been much more direct that simply shrough the setting of bad precedent. A report Monday on MSNBC puts the Moscow hostage deaths, and the U.S. response to them, in a troubling new light. According to MSNBC, documents obtained from the U.S. military Central Command show a much tighter relationship between the Americans and Russians in the Afghan campaign than either country has publicly disclosed. In particular, the U.S. has been using Russian rail, from ports in both the Baltic (Murmansk) and Pacific (Vladivostok), as a primary means of supplying U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The troops and supplies have been shipped via the former Soviet rail system, which still connects Russia with the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Pentagon has established massive new U.S. military staging areas in those dictatorships (which also have abysmal human rights records) for its Afghan campaign.

The Pentagon's reliance on direct Russian support for its Afghan operations not only puts it in league with a military committing war crimes in Chechnya, but suggests a more troubling aspect to the agreement, announced earlier this year, to provide U.S. advisors and training to the military of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Specifically, the Pentagon is now assisting in Georgia's efforts to combat Chechen rebels that, according to Moscow, use neighboring Georgia as a staging area for anti- Russian attacks. The Afghan revelation also suggests the complexity and danger of behind-the-scenes negotiations as the Bush Administration offers further concessions to try to gain Russian approval for a tougher anti-Iraq resolution at the U.N. Security Council. How many Chechen lives is Washington willing to sacrifice -- or help kill -- in order to avoid a Security Council veto on invading Iraq?

In short, it's starting to smell like the United States is not simply agreeing to look the other way as Russia rampages its way through the civilian population of Chechnya. With the Pentagon working closely with the Russian military, part of the price may well be a much more active American role in supporting Russia's "anti-terror" campaigns.

Far from being an "anti-terror" war, Moscow's actions in Chechnya much more closely resemble how Saddam Hussein has treated the Kurds. And now, we can add gassing to the list of similarities. American media's glossing over of the context of the recent Moscow tragedy may not simply be a case of lazy journalism and a distant war. As with so many other global flash points these days, it is a dreadful conflict that the U.S. is apparently wading into ever more deeply -- on the wrong side.




7.

From: http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=search&StoryID=1709361#

Activists pledge Europe-wide demos against Iraq war

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Peace activists pledged on Sunday to stage protests across Europe against any war in Iraq, fired by the success of a weekend rally that brought half a million protesters onto the streets of Florence.

They said they were planning to hold a wave of demonstrations in three months' time, but would mobilise supporters sooner if a U.S. attack on Iraq looked imminent.

"We have fixed a date of February 15," said Italian militant Piero Maestri at the end of the Florence meeting of European anti-globalisation groups, adding that the rallies would be staged simultaneously in all major European capitals.




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