MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
April 20, 2004
Hybrid Series #21: The Party Could Soon be Over!
Here is what got my attention in the last few days.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
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We could be on the verge of seeing a collapse of 30% or 40% of [Saudi] production in the imminent future, and imminent means sometime in the next three to five years but it could even be tomorrow.
- Matt Simmons, 24 Feb 2004 - Taken from "A Tale of Two Planets: The Saudis versus Simmons (A MUST read!)
"The weaponization of space is not some distant prospect: That dark future is now. And the boys in Space Command are just getting warmed up. They wowed the salivating Bushist faithful in Congress with highly detailed plans for a whizbang space arsenal led by the "Rods From God" -- bundles of tungsten rods fired from orbiting platforms, hurtling toward earth at 3,700 meters per second, accurate within a range of 8 meters and able to destroy even the most hardened targets, the Center for Defense Information reports. They could be launched at only a few minutes' notice at any target on the planet. "God's Rods" will be accompanied by orbiting lasers, "hunter-killer" satellites, and space bombers that needn't bother with silly-billy legal worries about "overflight rights" from other countries, but can descend out of the ether to swoop down on any uppity nation that displeases the world-Caesar in Washington.
- Chris Floyd , taken from "Dark Matter" below
Worthy of Your Attention
The Earth from Space
http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/ or http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov
An astronauts views of the home planet! This is a comprehensive database of low resolution and high resolution images of Earth.
Image Gallery: The Very Large Telescope's Greatest Hits (And MUCH more! )
ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile turns 5 this month. Here are 20 of its best (and awesome!) images.
Earth Day 2004
Find out about all the events planned around the world on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day.
Check also their current ongoing campaigns at http://www.earthday.org/goals/
On the first anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, another brilliant Eric Blumrich production combines powerful music and masterfully edited still photos (all taken in March and April of this year) to create a gut-wrenching testimonial to the horrors of war, the tragedy of human suffering and the spirit of popular rebellion. Many more at http://www.bushflash.com/animation.html
TRAILBLAZING THE POST CARBON AGE
Despite the lack of general awareness and the paucity of mainstream media coverage, we are fast approaching a critical period in the history of humankind. A number of prominent petroleum geologists and energy experts predict a peak in oil production within the decade; natural gas production has already peaked in North America. The end of cheap oil and gas could be our last opportunity to veer off the course of biosphere destruction and climate change upon which we are headed. Unfortunately, industrial civilization is woefully unprepared for the repercussions of permanent declines in oil and gas production, as oil and natural gas are crucial inputs to essential food, transportation, health care, security, and economic systems. Furthermore, if awareness and acknowledgement of Peak Oil and Gas occurs in the context of skyrocketing prices at the pump and heating bills, governments and industry may find it more expedient to accelerate our destructive path than to lighten our load on the planet. In the context of imminent oil scarcity, almost unimaginable stresses on essential systems, and unheralded opportunity, the Post Carbon Institute is trailblazing the transition into the Post Carbon Age. We envision and champion a new path that is restorative for Earth's biosphere and ultimately leads to sustainable local communities. We are developing knowledge to assist and guide the transition and working with individuals and communities to develop skills, infrastructure, and culture that will help prepare them for life with much less (non-renewable) hydrocarbons and chemical feedstocks. Join us in the movement!
ACTION ALERT: Stop the Aegis Destroyer
Helen Caldicott and activists from 10 countries and 20 states are appealing to the owners and workers of Maine's Bath Iron Works to scrap plans to build the Aegis destroyer. This is not a defensive weapon. It is designed to "forward deploy" US military force to protect corporate power and investments around the world.
Lights Out! National Dark-Sky Week Begins Monday, April 19
1. Dreams of Change
2. Planetary Alert for Cyprus
3. The Madness of President George
4. A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO THE WORLD
5. The Crack-Up
6. A Republican's Case Against George W. Bush
7. IRAQ AND THE "WAR ON TERRORISM"
8. Dark Matter - The US will launch its first weapon in space this summer!
9. Oil project 'is death knell for whales'
10. A musical mission
US Envoy Rules Afghanistan (April 17, 2004)
Hamid Karzai may be Afghanistan's President, but US Ambassador Zalmay M. Khalilzad is actually the one running the country, according to the April 17 New York Times. "The genial Mr. Karzai may be Afghanistan's president, but the affable, ambitious Mr. Khalilzad often seems more like its chief executive. With his command of both details and American largesse, the Afghan-born envoy has created an alternate seat of power since his arrival on Thanksgiving," said the Times.
Jo Wilding's second trip to Falluja and the courteous kidnappers (April 17th)
Sergeant Tratner of the First Armoured Division is irritated. "Git back or youll git killed," are his opening words. Lee says were press and he looks with disdain at the car. "In this piece of shit?" Makes us less of a target for kidnappers, Lee tells him. Suddenly he decides he recognises Lee from the TV. Based in Germany, he watches the BBC. He sees Lee on TV all the time. "Cool. Hey, can I have your autograph?" Lee makes a scribble, unsure who hes meant to be but happy to have a ticket through the checkpoint which all the cars before us have been turned back from, and Sergeant Tratner carries on. "You guys be careful in Falluja. Were killing loads of those folks." Detecting a lack of admiration on our part, he adds, "Well, theyre killing us too. I like Falluja. I killed a bunch of them mother fuckers." I wish Sergeant Tratner were a caricature, a stereotype, but these are all direct quotations.
Americans around Falluja are Deaf to Humanitarian Emergency (April 19)
With a weary gesture freighted with bitterness, Mohamed Ibrahim Abbas concedes a retreat. The failure of endless discussions. The American troops who seal the Falluja siege don't want to hear their leaders' orders. Humanitarian arguments carry little weight. For the fourth consecutive day, the convoy chartered by the Assistant Secretary General of the Iraqi Red Crescent must turn back, and the medicine, the anesthesia, the operating theater that the rebel city's doctors urgently request will not get past the blockade imposed by occupation forces. "First the Marines barred access to Falluja to non-governmental organizations- which they accused of transporting hidden weapons in their aid cargoes. We remain the only aid organization empowered to cross their blockades," Mohamed Abbas stresses. "We hold our mandate to act within the framework of natural and human catastrophes from the International Federation of Red Cross Societies," he explains, "but the American army has demanded that we lodge our travel requests 24 hours in advance and then it argues the security situation to turn back our trucks." Last week, military outposts were established along all the paved roads and even along the main dirt roads leading into Falluja. Rather than invading the city, the coalition has closed access to it. Entrenched in concrete bunkers reinforced with sand bags, or shut up in their armored vehicles, the soldiers show little kindness to whoever tries to approach them. (...) Ahmed, a Red Crescent volunteer, confirms the very weak protection offered by Geneva Convention symbols to identify non-combatants in a war zone. "We set up a little tent city for the people who wanted to leave Falluja's most dangerous neighborhoods," he testifies. "The first night, we sheltered 12 families and 25 others had signed up to join the following day. But the battle came brutally closer. Bombardments, artillery fire, airplanes, helicopters. And elite sharpshooters. I thought I was going to die. Our camp, however, was clearly labeled." CLIP
11 U.S. Troops, Dozens of Iraqis Killed (18 April 2004)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Five U.S. Marines were killed in a day-long battle and six U.S. soldiers were killed in other clashes during a weekend of bloodletting across Iraq, a U.S. newspaper and the military said. A reporter for the St Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper wrote that dozens of Iraqis were killed along with the five Marines in 14 hours of fighting Saturday in western Iraq near the Syrian border. There was no official confirmation of the deaths.
Bush Legitimizes Terrorism By Robert Fisk (4-17-2004)
"What Bush has actually done is give way to the crazed world of Christian Zionism. . . . His language, his narrative, his discourse on history, has been such a lie these past three weeks that I wonder why we bother to listen. . . . What better recruiting sergeant could Bin Laden have than George Bush." So, President George Bush tears up the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and that's okay. Israeli settlements for Jews and Jews only on the West Bank. That's okay. Taking land from Palestinians who have owned that land for generations, that's okay. UN Security Council Resolution 242 says that land cannot be acquired by war. Forget it. That's okay. Does President George Bush actually work for al-Qa'ida? What does this mean? That George Bush cares more about his reelection than he does about the Middle East? Or that George Bush is more frightened of the Israeli lobby than he is of his own electorate. Fear not, it is the latter. CLIP
Bremer Is Increasing Pressure for a Quick End to Iraqi Uprisings
BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 18 With no sign of a breakthrough in talks with rebels in Falluja and Najaf, the leader of the American occupation appeared to move closer on Sunday to a military showdown, saying that the rebels' failure to submit to American demands would require decisive action against those who "want to shoot their way to power."
Scientist Predicts Earthquake by Sept. 5 (April 16)
A scientist who predicts a magnitude-6.4 or larger quake will strike the Southern California desert by Sept. 5 said his group has made other similar forecasts but that he would not disclose them publicly. UCLA's Vladimir Keilis-Borok said Thursday doing so could trigger "disruptive behavior" while he and other scientists attempt to assess the validity of their largely untested prediction method. (...) Keilis-Borok and his colleagues predict there is a 50-50 chance that an earthquake will occur within a 12,000-square-mile area east of Los Angeles by Sept. 5. The zone includes a large swath of the Mojave Desert, the Coachella Valley, the Imperial Valley and eastern San Diego County. It has experienced nine magnitude-6.4 or larger quakes over the last 70 years. (...) Keilis-Borok's team successfully forecast two earthquakes last year, the magnitude-6.5 San Simeon quake in Central California and the magnitude-8.1 quake off Japan's Hokkaido island. As with the current Southern California prediction, the group had set wide limits in place and time for both quakes. It's "only two, which is emphatically not enough to justify the methodology," Keilis-Borok said. CLIP
Pentagon Plans Heavy Investment in UAV Development
WASHINGTON (March 18, 2003) - On March 18, the Defense Department unveiled a $10 billion-dollar program for building unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during the next 25 years. Plans call for developing joint interoperable UAVs that are capable of everything from surveillance to air strike. About 90 UAVs support military operations around the world. By 2010, the Pentagon hopes to increase its UAV inventory to about 350 and eventually plans deploy more than a thousand.
Robert F. Kennedy | Bush Administration Environmental Record (April 15)
(...) Despite its claims, this administration is retreating from our nation's commitment to environmental protection. To the contrary, this administration is committed to undoing decades of progress in cleaning up our air, water, and lands and safeguarding our health.
New Technology Uses 'Glanceable' Objects (April 16)
It looks like a size-XXXL chicken egg and glows in colors that change and waver in intensity as it tracks qualitative shifts in financial data from the Internet. But the white plastic Orb was designed to be far more than a barometer of the Dow Jones Industrial average, it's programmed out-of-the-box function. Adherents see the glowing $150 device as pioneering a movement where data generated by computers will be increasingly expressed not on video displays but in objects that fit more naturally into our lives. Ambient Devices of Cambridge, Mass. began selling the Orb a year ago. If the Dow average is up for the day, it glows green. On a down day, the Orb reddens. The colors' intensity reflects the extent of the swing; yellow means the market is stable. Provided with that basic information, an Orb owner can decide whether to go online for more detail. Ambient users have programmed Orbs for a remarkable array of tasks: tracking job openings in Atlanta, measuring the flow of visitors to a Boston-based interactive design agency's Web site, gauging energy use in a New York City apartment, tracking eBay auctions, notifying someone when a particular person is online or a certain number of e-mails have filled their inbox. "When you think about the magic of the Orb, it's a thermometer for the rest of your life," said author Seth Godin, who writes on business and social trends. Godin hopes to program his Orb to track sales of his books on Amazon.com to save time and "increase my peace of mind." (...) Ambient Devices delivers information to its products through a nationwide wireless network that the company says reaches more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. Users can register and customize the information their Orbs reflect via the Internet. The Orbs can even be "tuned" to several different data streams. Spinoffs in development include interactive, color-changing picture frames that let people inform loved ones far away know when they are "thinking about them." Each frame has a "proximity monitor" that lets users know how close the person at the other end is. CLIP
THIS IS THE ONLY SUCH CONTRIBUTION I RECEIVED REGARDING RECENT PREMONITORY DREAMS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF AN IMMINENT LARGE "EVENT" IN THE US...
From: "Eve Howard" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Dreams of Change
Date: 17 Apr 2004
Thank-you deeply for continuing to bring together so much valuable information. The service you do is immeasurable - you provide the center for an ever growing hub of light workers. Bless you for providing a home base.
When you asked the question regarding dreams of an "event", I thought of the dream my 11 year old told me she had several weeks ago. Strange thoughts for a young child and so in detail. It started in a big room (she thought it could have been at a mall) a lot of people were screaming at one another, she then went outside and saw a gas sign that displays the current days price for gas, the numbers were rising as she watched it - she said they reached close to three dollars. Then she went back into the large room everyone's cell phones and beepers were going off, people started shouting that the stock market had crashed. The room went dark and she was at a different location - she was then at our farm. Everything was quiet, there was a fire burning in the fireplace. She said that we had only limited electric power, only the necessities were in use. My oldest daughter was holding a baby. She said things were peaceful - she was then sitting outside with a cup of hot chocolate and man on horseback rode up. At that point she said I woke her up for school. (Sorry) My oldest daughter is due to have a baby, her current due date is August 1st of this year. With a fire in the fireplace a time perspective on that might be a bit later in the year? -
Blessings to you Jean - may you have a bountiful garden this year - I feel that everyone who is able should put out as much garden as they can this year.
Love and Light,
NOTE from Jean: The global reckoning that worldwide oil scarcity is now a fact of life is most likely to be the tipping realization that will trigger - very soon I'd say - a global market crash as described above. The following might turn out to be a MOST precious resource for those intending to ride unharmed - even happily! - through the coming changes ...
Post Carbon Outposts
Several communities have become Outposts of the Post Carbon Institute: Benicia and Vallejo, California and Takoma Park, Maryland. The Outposts are groups of concerned citizens that are working to relocalize their communities for the Post Carbon Age. Several other communities are in the process of starting up. Outposts are experimenting with local money, local energy and local food. Some projects are garden networks and car co-ops. Find out about starting an Outpost in your community. Check also 'Eating Down the Food Web: Working together to grow local food" at http://benicia-vallejo.postcarbon.org/
From: "Maggie Erotokritou" email@example.com>
Subject: Planetary Alert for Cyprus
Date: 20 Apr 2004
The people of Cyprus will vote this Saturday in a referendum. Both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots will vote on whether to accept the Annan Plan so as to bring about a unification of the island. It is very complicated and for most people not an easy decision, either way compromises have to be made. It is crucial that the right outcome emerges for the island. People will have to vote Yes or No on the plan. Either way, we could be standing on the edge of changing the course of history. After being a divided island for 29 years can there be a reunification? Can there be real peace?
Please hold Cyprus in your thoughts in the next few days and send light to the area. Cyprus has a very important placement strategically, both energetically and politically and that is probably why we have had so much strife and toil over the years. Our neighbours are Greece, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. Is the karma of the island about to change? Please send light and think of Cyprus in your meditations and prayers.
May a just and peaceful solution emerge for all.
Love, light and blessings,
NOTE FROM JEAN: To get all the lest news on Cyprus go at http://story.news.yahoo.com/fc?cid=34&tmpl=fc&in=World&cat=Cyprus
Cypriots who back UN plan face damnation, says bishop (April 20, 2004)
US and Britain offer Cyprus £288m to accept UN plan (April 16, 2004) http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=511866Greek
Cypriots May Pay Price if They Thwart UN Plan http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040415/wl_nm/cyprus_dc_5
(...) Opinion polls point to a resounding rejection from the majority Greek Cypriots, whose place in the European Union is assured, regardless of the outcome of the vote. In the Turkish Cypriot north, polls forecast approval by a large margin. To pass, the plan needs approval from both sides. CLIP
Forwarded by Ken NCEpanacea@aol.com>
April 16, 2004
The Madness of President George
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Bush should hold more press conferences, to provide us with ever more windows into the mind of one of the most dangerous men ever to occupy the White House.
Why must we watch? We don't want to end up like pathetic George blind to reality, muttering clichés, oblivious to the wreckage and evil for which he is responsible. We need to know the truth, and the truth that this man is dangerous came out in spades in his press conference.
Why is he dangerous? He is willfully ignorant of what is going on in Iraq but cocksure that not only is he doing the right thing, but that God is blessing and directing his every decision, even to the point that he imagines himself to be infallible (or, rather, if he is not infallible, he cannot generate any evidence of fallibility when asked).
Why is he one of the most dangerous? Because he autocratically heads the most powerful and well-armed state in the history of the world. He not only has his finger on the button. He has access to many thousands of weapons of mass destruction, and has shown himself to be willing to use them against anyone he regards as a foe. By comparison to his predecessor in the White House, Bush is alarming, the kind of president who seems capable of blowing up the world and calling it good. (I know that articles like this are supposed to be dispassionate in order to be more persuasive. I am supposed to recite the facts without rhetoric to provide a kind of slowly burning buildup in order to convert those who think George is nothing but a godly man heading the free worlds efforts to protect itself against barbaric enemies. But the situation in which we live is so desperate, it seems to call forth more frank talk. People who are still defending George don't need patient argument; they need shock therapy.)
If you doubt that what I say here is true, see the transcript*. In much of what he says, he gets the truth exactly backwards in ways that anyone who reads the news can discern. He admits (for the first time?) that the US is militarily occupying Iraq but claims that those who resist are rejecting "freedom" and "self government." This is like the rapist giving sermons on the need to respect the physical integrity and dignity of his victims.
The occupier who announces to the people through a bullhorn "Submit or Die!" has some chutzpah claiming to be a liberator. This is beyond Orwell. It's evil, crazy, or both. The general who said this ought to have his stars ripped off. The president who ignores this ought to be impeached. The politicians who are ablaze in the face of it ought to be voted out of office. Websites that reviewed that speech the way they review a movie or play (yes, that's you NRO) ought to suffer everlasting disgrace.
We must first deal with the problem that George seems genuinely mad. There was a riddle in nearly every sentence. He spoke like someone dramatically out of touch with what everyone else knows. The whole scene was a bit wacky, as if the uncle who everyone knows is crazy came to the family reunion and was humored because he is family. People were going easy on George just because he seemed like he was speaking about another planet.
Now, here we have a "war" that has proven to be a complete calamity in every conceivable way. The blood and violence are ghastly. It started as a war for democracy and American values and it is ending in body bags, a radicalized population, hundreds of billions wasted, and an emboldened horde of terrorists from all countries. The original rationales for the war are proven hoaxes. The soldiers hate it. The Iraqis hate the soldiers. US trained Iraqis are AWOL. We are talking here about a war disaster of historic proportions, even for the aggressor state.
The press, though, seemed somehow reluctant to point this out, as if George had his finger on a button he could push that would blow them all up. Instead, the press, very gingerly, put him on the couch. What mistakes had he made? Are there things he would do differently? Just asking, George. Not hinting at a thing. Don't take this wrong. Just a normal sort of question every president is asked. Do you think there have been any judgment errors at all? Everyone makes mistakes, you know; nothing to be ashamed of.
Nope, said George, nothing he can think of. It was almost cartoonish. But in real life, it is extremely scary. The press was evidently confused by the whole scene, their eyes darting back and forth to each other in bemusement. The efforts to report on the event the next day were similarly strained. The headlines could have run: "President Bush Has Gone Off the Rails." But since press etiquette demands he be treated with great deference, the stories were all variations of: "George Bush today pledged to continue the offensive in Iraq, while denying his administration has made errors in judgment
George isn't the first and certainly wont be the last crazy president. Power tends to do this to people. The sin of mass murder also does it. It makes them callous, nuts, dangerous. The answer is not to replace him with Kerry, or Clinton, or Carter, or some other person who seems more peaceful in some way. Bush also seemed rather peaceful during the election.
The urgent moral priority of our time is to dismantle the warfare state, disarm the nukes, roll back the empire from every corner of the globe. We want to live in a country even a crazy man can head and not have it be dangerous for us or the world. If George or his successors want to play violent games, someone could just bring them a set of plastic army men and they could have at it all day in the West Wing. Let them live out their fantasies of death and dominion with toys rather than the real world.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com and author of Speaking of Liberty.
* Bush Press Conference: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040413/nytu172_1.html
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO THE WORLD
by Kevin Toolis
The Daily Mirror - UK
16 April 2004
HE is the most dangerous man in the world.
A warmonger. A crackpot fundamentalist. A fanatic and a fool who has only the barest grasp of the killing power of the forces under his command. His name is George W Bush and his main battle plan is to set the world on fire.
September 11 was a crime against humanity but from Afghanistan to Iraq, and now in Israel, Bush has blazed a purposeless trail of destruction and multiplied the dangers of terrorism a thousand-fold.
The War Against Terror has turned into a war of terror in Iraq as American troops butcher their way through the civilian population in pursuit of an enemy that grows stronger daily with each dead Iraqi civilian.
And in Israel Bush has overnight primed the entire region for a new cycle of slaughter by backing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's illegal land-grab of Palestinian territory and offering the Arabs nothing in return only despair.
Bush seems determined to unite the entire Arab world against the West. Already the mass murderer Osama bin Laden has gleefully vowed to avenge the Israeli assassination of Palestinian Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin.
After September 11 Bush promised to fight terror. But the only promise Bush has kept is the promise of more terror, more terrorist atrocities, like the Madrid bombings, to come. As the American President Bush is supposed to protect democracy and make the world a safer place.
Bush is supposed to be the leader of the free world, a man who directly follows in the footsteps of such great statesmen as John F Kennedy, who saved the world from nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban missile crisis. But airhead Bush is no Kennedy.
WATCHING Bush stumble through a live press conference, even when he knows the questions, is like watching a stranded goldfish gasping for air. Bush is not just out of his depth, he is out of his element. If it was not so truly frightening you could almost feel sorry for him.
If I was an American I would be ashamed. Ashamed that the greatest nation on earth is so badly led. Ashamed that their commander-in-chief is without purpose squandering the lives of his men, and Iraqi civilians. And ashamed too of a President who sends men to their death but does not have the courage to attend one single funeral of the 700 US soldiers killed in Iraq.
Iraq and Israel might seem far away but every time you fill up your car you are taking part in the politics of the Middle East. The world economy still runs on petrol and that oil still largely comes from the Arab world.
If anything should ever happen to that flow of oil - civil war in Saudi Arabia or meltdown in Iraq - we would all know about it very quickly by the US$100 a barrel price tag and the three-hour queue down at your local petrol station.
The war against Islamic fundamentalism, the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is a battle for the future of the world. It is a war the West cannot afford to lose. And it is a war in which the clueless Bush is blindly leading us all towards disaster. As if the quagmire in Iraq was not bad enough, Bush has turned his destructive attention to the other regional hot-spot, Israel.
At the White House Bush summarily dismissed 50 years of Palestinian claims for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. Israeli settlements in the West Bank, all illegal under international law, were the "new realities" that the Palestinians would just have to accept, he said.
A couple of months ago I was standing next to one of those realities, an eight-foot high concrete wall, on the outskirts of Jerusalem in the small Arab village of Abu Dis.
Abu Dis is seven miles from the centre of Jerusalem and straddles the 3000-year-old pilgrim road to Jericho. Jesus Christ himself probably walked along the same road on his way into Jerusalem.
But last summer Ariel Sharon decided Abu Dis was no longer part of East Jerusalem and erected an eight-foot high concrete barrier across the middle of the road, cutting the residents off from their homes, their jobs, and their city.
ON the roof of a local garage the Israeli army erected an observation post and threatened to shoot anyone who climbed the wall. The Palestinians ignored the soldiers and round the corner climbed the wall anyway. I was standing on the "Arab" side of the wall chatting to Ahmed Bahar, a street falafel seller, when without warning an Israeli soldier lobbied a tear-gas grenade.
There was no shouting. No mob screaming threats. Ahmed saw the hissing gas canister, which landed about 10 feet away, and took off in the opposite direction. I ran after him but not before getting a choking whiff of the stinging gas in my eyes and lungs.
After 10 minutes the wind blew the gas away and Ahmed went back to his falafel stall. The other Palestinians quietly got back in line to queue for a taxi. And life started up again.
Ahmed said he had been gassed hundreds of times. He was past being angry about it. The real thing that bothered him was the disruption to his trade. He wasn't making enough money to support his family.
Getting tear gassed in Abu Dis for no reason is just one of the new realities that George W Bush wants the Palestinians to live with, along with hundreds of other daily humiliations of Israeli occupation. But is not a sustainable reality. Sooner or later some Palestinian will angrily strike back. There will be more suicide bombings, more killings, more despair.
To save the world from terror you have to have vision, intelligence and the ability to unlock the complex political problems. But the only ability George Bush has is an unerring capacity to make a grim situation worse.
George W Bush is a clear and present danger to the world.
And we are all under threat until this bumbling oaf is removed from office and confined to a remote Texas cow ranch where he truly belongs.
Also forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
By Chris Floyd, Moscow Times
As the red wheel of Operation Iraqi FUBAR continues to roll, spewing hundreds of corpses in its wake, it becomes clearer by the hour that there is only one way for America to end this stomach-churning nightmare it has created: Get out.
That's it. The occupying armies -- including the 15,000 corporate mercenaries -- should leave now. They should never have been sent in the first place on this ghoul's errand, this war of aggression, this mission of murder and plunder -- the perversion of every enlightened value of the civilization that the coalition's "Christian leaders" purport to defend.
And what a sickening spectacle these "leaders" presented last weekend: George W. Bush and Tony Blair piously kneeling in prayer on Easter Sunday, pledging their fealty to Jesus Christ and His teachings of mercy and lovingkindness -- while ordering missile strikes on crowded cities, while filling hospitals with the mutilated bodies of young children, while shoveling fat war profits to their cronies and contributors. Only the most craven, bootlicking sycophant could fail to be revolted at the hypocrisy of these murderous cynics. They're a perfect match in moral idiocy for their crack-brained brother-in-arms, Osama bin Laden.
Their chest-beating pronouncements about "staying the course" and "seeing it through" are just so much rag-chewing nonsense. The way to rectify a crime is not to keep doing it -- or in John Kerry's ludicrous formulations, to keep doing it in some different, "better" way -- but simply to stop doing it. The illegal invasion was a crime, the occupation is a crime, and if you would not be a criminal, you must stop committing crimes.
The reprisal in Fallujah is a perfect example. Late last month, a four-day U.S. military incursion there -- totally ignored in the "coalition" press -- left 18 Iraqis dead. Days later, four American mercenaries were killed and their bodies desecrated -- a savage act by a small, angry crowd. Now, in retaliation for those four deaths, U.S. forces have killed more than 600 people, including many women and children. This isn't justice, this is collective punishment -- disproportionate, indiscriminate, just as the Nazis practiced it during their "liberation" of Europe.
With each new reprisal, each act of repression, each killing of an innocent person -- intentional or not -- Bush is recruiting vast cadres of new fighters, and an even larger pool of passive support, for the armies of Islamic extremism. America -- and the world -- will be reaping this whirlwind for generations.
The only solution that might -- just might -- offer some slim hope would be the immediate withdrawal of coalition forces and their replacement with a much larger United Nations force -- made up of troops from countries acceptable to the Iraqis -- to provide security and stability while the Iraqis themselves reconstruct their society, hold elections, etc. The United States and its war allies would have nothing to do with this stabilization force, beyond helping to fund and supply it.
The departing Americans should then give the $18 billion slush fund now earmarked for Bush's "reconstruction" bagmen to the Iraqi people, as reparations for the coalition's war crime. Iraq's foreign loans, procured by Saddam Hussein from sugar daddies like George Bush I, should be written off -- and all of Little Bush's imperial edicts opening Iraq's economy for despoliation by his cronies should be rescinded. The United States and Britain should also be prepared to take in the vast horde of refugees who will flee the hard-line Islamic regime that will doubtless be created in the ruins Bush has made of the once-secular state.
As for the "leaders" who committed this crime, there is only one thing left for them to do now, only one way for them to serve the people they have betrayed so vilely and stupidly. All of them -- Bush, Blair, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Geoff Hoon, Richard Perle, the whole sick crew -- should pick up a rifle and go to the front lines in Fallujah and Baghdad. Let them take the places of the young men and young women who signed up as soldiers to defend their country or make a better life for themselves -- not to become pawns and killers for the Hitlerite ambitions of the blood-soaked fools who threw them into this quagmire.
Yes, Hitlerite ambitions: dreams of global dominance, fetishes of militarism, fantasies of superiority, and the willingness to impose your self-serving vision of "universal truth" -- in this case, the rapacious crony capitalism that Bush has officially named "the single sustainable model of national success" -- at the barrel of a gun. That's what lies behind this madness.
As we've noted so often here before, the conquest of Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism or liberation or WMD or national security or Arab democracy or Bush family revenge. It has been planned for years by Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and other Bush retainers, planned openly, and for one reason only: to give the United States direct military control of the Middle East in order to dominate global economic and political life for "the New American Century." This need was so great, said the group -- openly, in September 2000 -- that it "transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." It wouldn't have mattered if Saddam had found Jesus, or freed his people, or set himself on fire in Madison Square Garden: The Bushists were always going to invade and occupy Iraq -- always, no matter what.
So they'll never embrace any sensible solution for getting out. The red wheel will just keep rolling on, spewing thousands more unnecessary deaths -- until those rabid Easter Bunnies, Bush and Blair, finally FUBAR themselves into the inevitable, ignominious retreat.
Former Congressman Assess U.S. Foreign Policy
A Republican's Case Against George W. Bush
By Paul Findley
DURING MY LONG life, America has surmounted many severe challenges. As a teenager, I experienced the Great Depression. In World War II, I saw war close-up as a Navy Seabee. As a country newspaper editor, I watched the Korean War from afar. As a Member of Congress, I agonized through the Vietnam War from start to finish. During these challenges I never for a moment worried about America's ultimate survival with its great principles and ideals still intact.
Today, for the first time, I worry deeply about America's future. We are in a deep hole. I believe President George W. Bush's decision to initiate war on
Iraq will be the greatest and most costly blunder in American history. He has set America on the wrong course. He orders the development and production of a new generation of nuclear arms for U.S. use only, meanwhile threatening other nations Iran and North Korea, for example, against acquiring any of its own.
Unleashing America's mighty sword, he brings about regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq, but mires our forces in quagmires from which escape seems unlikely for many years.
He isolates America from common undertakings with time-tested allies. He trivializes the United Nations and violates its charter.
The president offers wars without end, and the Congress shouts its approval. But his use of America's vast arsenal is so reckless that he is regarded widely as the most dangerous man in the world.
Frustrated by Iraqi dissidents who protest the occupation of their country by killing U.S. troops almost daily, the president reverts to war measures. He
orders heavy aerial bombing in wide areas of the countryside.
Even as body bags pile high, the president seems oblivious to war's horror.
The rockets and one-ton bombs may kill a few Iraqi guerrillas and cause others to pull back and pause, but they kill and maim innocent civilians, level homes, turn neighborhoods into rubble, and permanently blight many lives. They create deep-seated outrage, not cooperation.
The Iraqi carnage is piled alongside the simultaneous destruction and blighting of American lives. More than 500 U.S. military personnel have been killed and, according to one estimate, nearly 10,000 have been wounded. Ponder that fact. Ten thousand American families permanently blighted in a war the United States initiated. Mark Twain, writing of war, once asked, "Will we wring the hearts of the unoffending widows with unavailing grief?"
The answer: People worldwide, especially in Iraq and Palestine, are livid over grievances against America. Almost all Iraqis are glad Saddam Hussain is out of power, but many of them the total may be a substantial majority, see America as arrogant, biased, untrustworthy, and bent on world domination.
Here are some of the reasons:
* In the l980s the height of Saddam's cruel treatment of Kurds and other Iraqi citizens the U.S. government served as the dictator's silent, uncomplaining partner, helping him battle Iran by providing intelligence and critical military supplies, even some components of weapons of mass destruction.
* At the end of the 1991 Gulf war, Iraqis had a bitter experience with the president's father. President George Bush, Sr. publicly urged the Iraqis to overthrow Saddam. His call prompted a strong uprising, but Bush refused U.S. support in any form. This bleak rejection prompted Saddam to use helicopter gunships to slaughter dissidents by the hundreds. He had retained use of these lethal aircraft in a provision of the U.S.-approved armistice.
* Iraqis also remembers bitterly that U.S. fighter planes enforced sanctions on the people of Iraq for a decade after the Gulf war. This embargo was so harsh it led to immense civilian suffering, including the death of at least a half-million Iraqi infants.
* Today, Iraqis are wary of the president's motives and dependability. Many doubt that his true objectives are, as he now states, establishing freedom and democracy in their country, or, as he earlier stated, destroying Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Aware that he ignored offers of conciliation from Saddam's emissaries before the invasion, they believe he harbors dreams of an American empire and wanted the war in Iraq, come what may.
* Their greatest and most deep-seated complaint is Bush's failure to make even the slightest move to halt America's anti-Arab bias. For example, the president has made no effort to distance America from Israel's colonialism.
He pays lip-service to statehood as a goal for the Palestinians, but he has done nothing to stop Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's brutality of Palestinians assassinations, military forays that leave vast death and destruction, high fences that confine Palestinians like cattle, and the steady usurpation of more Palestinian land.
Bush seems unconcerned by the worldwide outrage at America's massive, unconditional, uncritical support of Israel, without which the Jewish state could never have carried out its humiliation and devastation of Palestinian society.
Bush is overwhelmed by the influence of religious zealots both Zionist and fundamentalist Christian. He ignores America's own heavy guilt for the plight of Palestinians. He fails to recognize that more than a billion Muslims worldwide, along with many millions of non-Muslims, are deeply aggrieved at this complicity.
Bush offers an exquisite example of close-in hypocrisy. On one side of a Middle East border, he tries to convince Iraqi Arabs that he offers them democracy and freedom, while at the same time, on the other side of the border, he supports Israel's violent denial of these identical rights for Palestinian Arabs.
Iraqis worry that U.S. occupation will become a new colonialism indefinite U.S. control of Iraqi oil reserves, Israeli-style brutality, and a U.S.-forced treaty that will keep Iraq from helping the Palestinians.
President Bush is so befuddled by the awful carnage of 9/11 and rumors of more assaults to come that he does not see what is vivid to most of the world the real ground zero of terrorism is in Palestine, not Manhattan. He ignores the real ground zero at great peril to America.
This issue surmounts all others in the presidential political campaign. It impels me to speak out against what George W. Bush is doing. I am a Republican, and I will remain in the Party of Lincoln. I feel no joy in making this case against the president. He may be sincere in his stewardship, but he is wrong, dead wrong in the direction he is taking our country.
What should be done? Must the president proceed with wars without end?
CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.wrmea.com/archives/April_2004/0404020.html
IRAQ AND THE "WAR ON TERRORISM"
by Michel Chossudovsky
16 April 2004
While the Western media highlights the death and "kidnapping" of paid mercenaries, on contract to Western security firms, there is a deafening silence on the massacre of more than 700 civilians in Fallujah by coalition forces.
The operation in Fallujah is casually described by the Bush administration as "a crackdown" against extremists:
"This violence we've seen is a part of a few people trying to stop the progress toward democracy. Fallujah, south of Baghdad, these incidents were basically thrust upon the innocent Iraqi people by gangs, violent gangs." (President Bush, 11 April 2004)
According to CNN, an unduly high death toll was the unfortunate result of the "rules of engagement", which required leading a military operation against insurgents in a densely populated urban area. The civilians were said to have been caught in the cross-fire.
The US military claims that most of the deaths were insurgents, an assertion which is refuted by statements emanating from the hospitals and by several eye-witness reports:
Coalition forces, using their own snipers equipped with precision rifles on rooftops, are targeting women and children. Ambulances carrying the wounded are being targeted by the US Marines:
The killings were ordered by the US military. Tens of thousands of refugees have fled the city. The various member states of the occupying forces including Italy and Japan, are responsible alongside the US-UK coalition, for these massacres, in accordance with international law and the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal. (See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NUR203A.html ).
The Security firms are also involved in the killing of civilians. Western and Iraqi sources confirm the presence of some 1500 private mercenaries working alongside and/or collaborating with the coalition forces.
THE "WAR ON TERRORISM"
At this critical juncture, the Bush administration desperately needs the "war on terrorism" as a justification for the killings of civilians in Iraq, which it describes as "collateral damage".
THE OSAMA TAPE
Meanwhile, another mysterious Osama tape has emerged (See http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ALJ404A.html ). In the tape, Osama acknowledges responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the 3/11 (2004) train bombing in Madrid:
In other words, Osama bin Laden offers "a truce" if the various European countries involved in Iraq accept to withdraw their troops. In return, Al Qaeda will declare a moratorium on terrorist attacks in Europe.
Without further investigation, the Western media have described the tape as an attempt by "Enemy Number One" to create a rift between America and its European allies.
The tape in all likelihood is a hoax of US intelligence. The propaganda ploy consists not only in upholding the US led-occupation of Iraq as part of the broader "war on terrorism", it also provides a pretext to Western governments, pressured by citizens movements across Europe, to remain in Iraq. In the words of president Jacques Chirac, "nothing can justify terrorism and, on that basis, nothing can allow any discussion with terrorists."
By Chris Floyd
9 April 2004
This summer, the human race will pass a sinister milestone. It will come quietly, creeping like a thief in the night -- a starless night, the sky blanked by a minatory shadow.
For while the world's attention will be turned this July toward the bloody carnage erupting in Iraq after the illusory turnover of "sovereignty" by the still-entrenched occupation force, and riveted by the flood of sewage pouring from the White House as the presidential campaign reaches critical mass, the United States will break a long-held taboo and launch the first weapon into the global commons of outer space.
It's a small step, a test satellite called the "Near Field Infrared Experiment," set for launch -- by a Minotaur missile, no less -- this summer from a NASA base in Virginia. NFIRE is part of the Bush Regime's multibillion-dollar, crony-feeding boondoggle known as "missile defense." The satellite's primary mission is to gather data on the exhaust fumes of rockets in space, information that will then be used to help future space weapons differentiate more clearly between a target and its trailing plume.
But NFIRE is itself weaponized, carrying a projectile-packed "kill vehicle" that can destroy passing missiles -- or the satellites of the United States' military and commercial rivals, as ABC News reported last week. This marks the first time in history that any nation has put a weapon in space, despite America's still-official policy against such a practice. And as Pentagon officials made clear in an eye-opening presentation to Congress in February, NFIRE's test is just the first spark of a conflagration that will soon set the heavens ablaze with American weaponry capable of striking -- and destroying -- any spot on earth. As one top Pentagon official -- opposed to this lunatic proliferation, thus remaining anonymous -- said: "We're crossing the Rubicon into space weaponization."
The ABC report -- largely ignored, except by the Irish Examiner and some specialist web sites -- was strangely incomplete, however. It noted only that there is a $68 million appropriation for NFIRE buried in the 2005 military budget -- leaving the implication that the project is still on the drawing board.
But in fact, NFIRE is already operational. It began in August 2002 and has moved steadily toward its long-established Summer 2004 launch date, according to NASA and press releases from the private contractors involved. The Pentagon's own published specs for the mission state clearly: "The Generation 2 kill vehicle will be integrated into the near-field experiment payload" when the spacecraft launches in summer 2004. The Minotaur missile that will haul the weapon into orbit was ordered by the Pentagon in January 2003, Orbital Sciences Corporation reports. Doubtless there will more NFIREs burning in 2005 as well, but the weaponization of space is not some distant prospect: That dark future is now.
And the boys in Space Command are just getting warmed up. They wowed the salivating Bushist faithful in Congress with highly detailed plans for a whizbang space arsenal led by the "Rods From God" -- bundles of tungsten rods fired from orbiting platforms, hurtling toward earth at 3,700 meters per second, accurate within a range of 8 meters and able to destroy even the most hardened targets, the Center for Defense Information reports. They could be launched at only a few minutes' notice at any target on the planet.
"God's Rods" will be accompanied by orbiting lasers, "hunter-killer" satellites, and space bombers that needn't bother with silly-billy legal worries about "overflight rights" from other countries, but can descend out of the ether to swoop down on any uppity nation that displeases the world-Caesar in Washington.
This belligerent Buck-Rogering, long a gleam in many a militarist's eye, gained relentless momentum with the arrival of Don Rumsfeld as Pentagon war chief. In the late 1990s, while helping Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz plot their "Project for the New American Century" -- wholesale militarization of U.S. policy, aggressive war (including the invasion of Iraq even if Saddam Hussein was no longer there), "global dominance" of "vital energy resources," etc. -- Rumsfeld also headed a "blue-ribbon panel" of the usual Establishment worthies looking into "the role of space in national security." Their conclusion? You guessed it: Rummy said America must garrison the heavens to prevent a -- wait for it -- "space Pearl Harbor." Oddly enough, over at PNAC, at about the same time, Rummy and Cheney were speaking openly about the possibility of a "new Pearl Harbor" that would "catalyze the American people" into supporting their plans, which were published in September 2000. Space weaponization -- via "missile defense" -- was an essential part of the scheme. Once in office, they shoveled billions to their favored defense cartels and fast-tracked space-weapon programs. Indeed, National Security Advisor Condi Rice intended to crown these early efforts with a major speech enshrining the Bush Regime's "top priority" for national security: "missile defense."
Unfortunately, the speech -- scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001 -- had to be canceled due to the "new Pearl Harbor" that struck that day, the Washington Post reported last week. But the plan and its long-standing priorities -- invasion of Iraq, military control of Central Asia, space weaponization -- continued without missing a beat, though clothed now in the expedient rhetoric of a "global war on terror."
Of course, with each passing day, Bush's PNAC centerpiece -- the rape of Iraq -- is actually breeding more terror, more hatred for America, more risk for the people he rules with such ignorant, blood-flecked insouciance. But this doesn't matter; what matters is the plan, the dominance. And so space too must be conquered, at any cost, until the whole world is under cosmic military occupation -- a global Fallujah, seething with chaos and fury.
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Oil project 'is death knell for whales'
Charles Clover (Filed: 17/04/2004)
An oil project in Russia's Far East, in which Shell is the majority shareholder, threatens the last population of western Pacific grey whales, campaigners said yesterday. Environmental groups from around the world gathered in London yesterday to protest about the $10 billion (£6 billion) proposal to extract oil and gas on Sakhalin Island.
They staged a "whale funeral" outside the head office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The bank, set up with taxpayers' money to bring about the reconstruction of Eastern Europe and Russia, is to discuss backing the development at its annual meeting tomorrow.
Sakhalin Energy is asking for about $150 million (£94 million) from the bank, of which the Russian government is a member. The energy consortium includes Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Shell, which has a 55 per cent share. Conservationists on Sakhalin are concerned that four undersea pipelines will cross the foraging grounds of the western Pacific grey whales, of which there are fewer than 100, due to hunting.
It is the only whale to feed on crustacea on the sea bed. Conservationists say that drilling mud from an experimental platform built five years ago could already be affecting the whales. They claim that half of the creatures appear skinnier since the work began.
The conservation group Friends of the Earth Japan is concerned also about the potential effect of oil spills along the coast or in the treacherous La Perouse Strait, which runs between Sakhalin and Hokkaido, Japan. Wildlife migrating in the region include the endangered Steller's sea eagle and Steller's sea lion, which is also under threat.
Dmitry Lisitsyn, chairman of Sakhalin Environment Watch, said he had proposed moving the offshore platforms and the pipeline outside the whale's feeding area but Shell had refused.
His organisation had also proposed to build the overland pipeline, which will cross 1,100 rivers and streams where Pacific salmon go to spawn, on above-ground supports so that leaks could be quickly detected and dealt with, as was done with the Trans-Alaska pipeline. The island is in an earthquake zone with many fault lines. Conservationists say burying a pipeline a yard below ground may mean leaks are not detected until major spills have occurred. Shell had refused to consider an elevated pipeline, he said.
Mr Lisitsyn was also concerned about Shell's plans to dump a million tons of dredge spoil into Aniva Bay where the terminal and the world's largest liquefied natural gas plant will be built, on the south of the island. He said 30 per cent of Sakhalin's 515,000 population depended on salmon, either for personal consumption or as part of a commercial fishery. Local people had initially been enthusiastic about the wealth the project might bring, he said. But they have become disillusioned and protested recently when Shell's heavy machinery destroyed a road.
Doug Norlen, of the American group Pacific Environment, said: "There are fewer than 100 grey whales left and only 20 females capable of bearing calves. Any conflict, whether acoustic, shipping or oil spill, could be the straw that breaks the camel's back and drives the western Pacific grey whale to extinction."
Jeff Hiday, an EBRD spokesman, said the concerns raised by the environmental groups were "valid". The bank was seeking more information from Shell and would be unlikely to decide whether to approve funding, and under what conditions, until the end of this year.
"We are certainly not going to provide finance until we see this project complies with our environmental standards and sound banking criteria." A spokesman for Shell said: "Sakhalin Energy has been operating offshore since 1999. There has been no discernible change of behaviour in or impact from our operations on the grey whale.
"During the design of the pipeline, above-ground construction options were explored, but the current strategy to bury the pipeline is considered superior in the overall protection levels against seismic risks." The spokesman added that sand, gravel and rock from dredging would now be dumped in water about 150ft deep. This would have "no permanent effect on fishing productivity".
Date: 16 Apr 2004
From: Patty-Lynne Herlevi email@example.com>
Subject: A musical mission
Nearly two years ago, I started a world music web site, Cranky Crow World Music to build community among lightworkers and the music industry. At the time I thought I would only be adding a few reviews and interviews to the site once a week. I thought I would find employment elsewhere to support myself.
But of course, my life has taken another path. It's been over two years since I've had steady employment. And the web site has taken a bulk of my time and attention. I also began contributing articles and reviews to World Music Central. (I also feel spiritually-motivated to post articles on WMC).
I do not get paid for work posted on either of the sites and I have been living off the generosity of relatives and friends to get by. The CD's and ideas for articles flow into my life on a daily basis, but my energy is low because I haven't been able to feed myself properly and I am stressed over how to pay my bills each month. I experience both joy and despair.
I love this work. I know it comes from spirit. Spirit asked me to reach out to the community and ask for donations for the work that I perform. So I ask your readers to visit the sites, Cranky Crow World Music, http://www.geocities.com/pherlevi and the non-profit site, World Music Central (http://www.worldmusiccentral.org) and if anyone finds the work I am doing to be of use to bringing peace on this planet, please make a donation (if possible).
If anyone would like to make a donation, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I do not feel comfortable posting my address on the Internet).
Founder of Cranky Crow World Music
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