MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
June 30, 2005
The Big Scoop Series #4: Shifting Sands for the US in a Fast Shifting Global Awareness
Another mighty-big compilation for your review with all kinds of amazing, disgusting, inspiring, horrifying and various other mind-boggling stuff.
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"The courage to love: When I first discovered that love was a force that went beyond the physical, I thought no longer does humankind have to leap off into a multitude of directions to find spirituality. That we could bring humankind together and turn swords into plowshares. That in objectively knowing we are all connected would bring us to the realization that we cannot hurt another without hurting ourselves. Realizing that we are so much more then a physical body, we could put a lot of subjectivity to rest therefore gaining a new focus of objective, rational thought in order to solve our world problems. Is it so hard to see because the ego blinds us to it? Is it something the status quo the higher authorities of the world already know and want to keep the masses blind? If just a few of us see and we point others in a direction were they can find it for themselves, we will then be on the way to transforming our world! So many are beginning to see, they are waiting to see how fast the world will realize this before they jump on the bandwagon. Just maybe the leap God wanted us to take was not a leap of faith, but a leap of Love and courage!"
- Larry O. Blevins firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Now you know why you are to continue. Hold the Light. We are so nearly through the density. Many of us want to leave the planet but we want more to ride this planet, this dear Earth, into Ascension and Light. That means we plant our intentions firmly in the area where we are (which is where we are needed and meant to be) and focus on lighting our own small area. This is our Gethsemane. Many feel the same way, but if we leave, if we become discouraged, what will happen to our dear Mother Earth and those other souls that are struggling to find and stay in their own Light? Stay put. Stay anchored. Stay faithful to your calling, to the greater plan. This chance will not come again on this planet. Don't bug out. Stay put and keep those messages coming through."
- Connie Jagodzinski Conniejago@aol.com > Milford, CT, 26 Jun 2005 - in response to material sent to the Focus Group list that included the "Seeds of Transformation" (see below) and Excerpt from Matthew's latest message
"Democracy is buying a big house you can't afford with money you don't have to impress people you wish were dead. And, unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties. ...Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them something to hold onto -- usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeeping, anyone can die owing the government a huge amount of money. ... Democracy means free television, not good television, but free. ... And finally, democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head -- this signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle."
- Johnny Carson - Sent by Katie email@example.com>
"We can assume that the order to use napalm (as well as the other, unidentified substances) came straight from the office of Donald Rumsfeld. No one else could have issued that order, nor would they have risked their career by unilaterally using banned weapons when their use was entirely gratuitous. Rumsfeld's directive is consistent with other decisions attributed to the Defense Secretary; like the authorizing of torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the targeting of members of the press, and the rehiring of members of Saddam's Secret Police (the Mukhabarat) to carry out their brutal activities under new leadership. Rumsfeld's office has been the headwaters for most of the administration's treachery. Napalm simply adds depth to an already prodigious list of war crimes on Rumsfeld's resume'."
- Mike Whitney -- Taken from Incinerating Iraqis: the napalm cover up below
Worthy of Your Attention
Lots of articles on the US government corruption and criminal deceit
The Whispering Campaign: Pass it on! (MUST SEE!)
The Whispering Campaign is your chance to help accelerate the spread of information from the blogosphere to the rest of the country. Our mission: Find the best short pieces on the net and make them available here, in a format suitable for easy printing and distribution. Your mission: Click on the links you see below, and print these pages. Copy them and leave them in public places, where others will find and read them. CLIP
Explore the world's sacred sites - Amazing pictures and excellent, detailed descriptions!
Stonehenge... Machu Picchu... The Pyramids... Jerusalem... Banaras... Mt. Fuji... Mecca... Since prehistoric times, sacred places have exerted a mysterious attraction on billions of people around the world. Ancient legends and modern day reports tell of extraordinary things that have happened to people while visiting these places. Different sacred sites have the power to heal the body, enlighten the mind, increase creativity, develop psychic abilities, and awaken the soul to a knowing of its true purpose in life. While contemporary science cannot explain - and therefore disregards - the seemingly miraculous phenomena which occurs at the holy places, they continue to be the most venerated and visited locations on planet earth. What is the key to the mystery of the sacred sites and how are we to explain their power? Explorer-anthropologist Martin Gray has spent twenty years as a wandering pilgrim visiting, studying and photographing over 1000 sacred sites in 80 countries around the world. CLIP
The Magical World of the Devas
The devas are a parallel kingdom to humanity, and their development ranges over a wide spectrum of consciousness as does ours. The devic kingdom is hierarchical in nature and includes the elementals, fairies, gnomes, garden sprites and nature spirits among others. These are the devic forces who cooperate in the projects at places like Findhorn in Scotland, and Perelandra in Virginia. - Very interesting article! The topics covered are: TRAINING IN DEVIC COMMUNICATION - DEVIC ENSLAVEMENT DURING ATLANTIS - NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEVAS AND HUMANITY - THE BUDDHIC COLUMN - STABILIZING THE SAN ANDREAS FAULT - DEVAS MANIPULATE TIME AND WEATHER - THE DEVAS REQUEST ENERGY TOOLS - STEPS FOR CONSTRUCTING A STANDING BUDDHIC COLUMN. Check also in this same site: Earth Healing at http://www.earthtransitions.com/geomancy.htm
1. A valid thought
2. Seeds of Transformation
3. LIVE8 - THE BIGGEST SPIRITUAL EVENT EVER - JOIN IN
4. Opinion: Live 8: The good, bad & ugly
5. G8 Gets Ultimatum on Climate Change
6. More On Bhagavan, Amma And GAF
7. Break Thru the Summer Daze With the Not In Our Name Statement
8. US caused more deaths in Iraq than Saddam, says anti-war tribunal
9. World Tribunal on Iraq - PRESS RELEASE about JURY STATEMENT
10. The Thing We Don't Talk About
11. Zimbabwe's Secret Famine
12. Incinerating Iraqis; the napalm cover up
13. Another world is possible ... without International Financial Institutions
14. Why withdrawal is possible
15. After Speech Poll
One in six countries facing food shortage (June 30, 2005)
One in six countries in the world face food shortages this year because of severe droughts that could become semi-permanent under climate change, UN scientists warned yesterday. In a stark message for world leaders who meet in Gleneagles next week to discuss global warming, Wulf Killman, chairman of the UN food and agriculture organisation's climate change group, said the droughts that have devastated crops across Africa, central America and south-east Asia in the past year are part of an emerging pattern. "Africa is our greatest worry," he said. "Many countries are already in difficulties ... and we see a pattern emerging. Southern Africa is definitely becoming drier and everyone agrees that the climate there is changing. We would expect areas which are already prone to drought to become drier with climate change." The food and agriculture organisation and the US government, both of which monitor global food shortages, agree that 34 countries are now experiencing droughts and food shortages and others could join them. Up to 30 million people will need assistance because of the droughts and other natural disasters such as the Asian tsunami. The worst affected countries include Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Eritrea and Zambia, a group of countries where at least 15 million people will go hungry without aid. The situation in Niger, Djibouti and Sudan is reported to be deteriorating rapidly. Many countries have had their worst harvests in more than 10 years and are experiencing their third or fourth severe drought in a few years, the UN said. (...) Severe droughts have also badly affected crops in Cuba, Cambodia, Australia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Morocco, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. According to the UN's famine early warning system, 16 countries, including Peru, Ecuador and Lesotho, face "unfavourable prospects" with current crops. In Europe, one of the worst droughts on record has hit Spain and Portugal and halved some crop yields. Both countries have applied to the EU for food assistance. In Morocco the same regional drought has devastated farming and the government fears an influx of people into the cities. (...) The situation in Malawi and Zimbabwe is giving particular cause for concern. In Malawi, where a government report suggests more more than 430,000 tonnes of maize will be needed to avert the second food shortage in three years, one in three people are expected to need help by the end of the year following poor rains. Thousands of people died in 2002-03 in what became known as a "hidden famine", which affected the poorest and remotest people. "It's going to get rapidly worse and we will have to move substantial amounts of food very fast," said one non-governmental group working in the worst-hit southern region of Malawi. In Zimbabwe, where the effects of drought have been exacerbated by a deteriorating political situation, 4 million people may need help this year, the US government's famine early warning system showed. CLIP
Drought and famine in Niger (28 Jun 2005)
Background: A growing food crisis is facing the nation of Niger, in West Africa. Last years poor rains and swarms of locusts decimated many of the crops and killed much of the livestock that the nations subsistence farmers depend upon for survival, and the harvest did not yield sufficient food to get the nation through the lean months of the spring and summer. This food crisis affects about 3.6 million people. Some hungry villagers have even been scavenging ant-hills, hoping to find grains of cereal left behind by the insects. Governments and aid agencies are responding to the most immediate needs with emergency food supplies, but more is needed. CLIP
Nearly 4 Million People In Niger Face Famine (24 June 2005)
United Nations UN Expert Says Nearly 4 Million People In Niger Face Catastrophic Famine - With less than a quarter of the $16 million in requested emergency funds coming in for drought-stricken Niger, one-third of the population, or nearly 4 million people, face a catastrophic famine, according to the United Nations expert on the right to food Jean Ziegler.The persistent drought and the invasion by many thousands of locusts have destroyed an already fragile agriculture and despite the measures taken by the government in Niamey, "catastrophe is imminent," he said in a statement issued yesterday. He noted that the UN had appealed for $16 million for Niger but only $3.8 million had come in so far. Mr. Ziegler said Niger had a rapid response mechanism in place to help the population but needed funds to replenish it.
Former MI5 Agent Says 9/11 An Inside Job (June 27 2005)
Attack Was a 'Coup d'état,' Buildings Were Demolished By Controlled Demolitions - Former MI5 agent David Shayler, who previously blew the whistle on the British government paying Al Qaeda $200,000 to carry out political assassinations, has gone on the record with his conviction that 9/11 was an inside job meant to bring about a permanent state of emergency in America and pave the way for the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and ultimately Iran and Syria. (...) Shayler elaborated by saying the evidence suggests the attack was originally meant to be much wider in scope and was an attempt at a violent coup intended to decapitate the entire government as a pretext for martial law. "So you're looking at a situation in which you almost have a coup d'état because you've got to bear in mind that there were weapons discovered on planes that didn't take off on 9/11. Now people have obviously postulated that they were going perhaps to attack the White House, Capitol Hill. That looks to me like an attempt to destroy American government and declare a state of emergency, in fact a coup d'état, a violent coup d'état." CLIP
WTC Basement Blast And Injured Burn Victim Blows 'Official 9/11 Story' Sky High; Eye Witness Testimony Is Conclusive That North Tower Collapsed From Controlled Demolition (June 24, 2005)
WTC janitor pulls burn victim to safety after basement explosion rocks north tower seconds before jetliner hit top floors. Also, two other men trapped and drowning in a basement elevator shaft, were also pulled to safety from underground explosion.
Former Asst. Sec. Of Treasury Under Reagan Doubts Official 9/11 Story; Claims Neo Con Agenda Is As 'Insane As Hitler And Nazi Party When They Invaded Russia In Dead Of Winter' (June 22, 2005)
A former high-ranking Republican official, also a well-respected author, tells the American people to stop listening to Bush administration lies about Iraqi war and claims the mainstream media will not publish anything he writes against Bush or his policies.
General Admits to Secret Air War (26 June 2005)
The American general who commanded allied air forces during the Iraq war appears to have admitted in a briefing to American and British officers that coalition aircraft waged a secret air war against Iraq from the middle of 2002, nine months before the invasion began.
The US war with Iran has already begun http://www.uruknet.info/?p=12776&hd=0&size=1&l=x
Is This What They Call Democracy? (26 June 2005)
Istanbul, Turkey - Today in Istanbul the jury was taken aback by witness testimony from Iraqi war victims and a US Air Force veteran. "Snipers hunt people in the streets. People attempting to go to health centers are shot at," testified Eman Kmammas, an Iraqi translator. "There are many crippled children. There are thousands of widows and orphans. There are no police for security and there are no courts. Even hospitals are occupied and bombed and burned." Former US Air Force combat veteran Tim Goodrich stunned the jury by revealing his role in the "softening up" of Iraq months before the US declaration of war. "We were dropping bombs then, and I saw bombing intensify," Goodrich explained to a hushed room. "All the documents coming out now, the Downing Street memo and others, confirm what I had witnessed in Iraq. The war had already begun while our leaders were telling us that they were going to try all diplomatic options first." This gripping but unsettling revelation came on the second day of proceedings at the World Tribunal on Iraq, held in Istanbul, Turkey, which is collecting evidence of war crimes in Iraq. Goodrich's testimony had just begun when a 75-foot banner prepared by the Iraqi delegation and composed of harrowing pictures of Iraqi child victims of the war was carried into the courtroom. In the presence of the father of one of the victims shown on the banner, Goodrich and others stood and a moment of silence spread through the room while the banner was carried through the hall. The teeming press contingent rushed to photograph the scene as some members of the audience cried. CLIP
U.S. Has Plans to Again Make Own Plutonium (June 27, 2005)
The Bush administration is planning the government's first production of plutonium 238 since the cold war, stirring debate over the risks and benefits of the deadly material. The substance, valued as a power source, is so radioactive that a speck can cause cancer.Federal officials say the program would produce a total of 330 pounds over 30 years at the Idaho National Laboratory, a sprawling site outside Idaho Falls some 100 miles to the west and upwind of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Officials say the program could cost $1.5 billion and generate more than 50,000 drums of hazardous and radioactive waste.Project managers say that most if not all of the new plutonium is intended for secret missions and they declined to divulge any details. But in the past, it has powered espionage devices."The real reason we're starting production is for national security," Timothy A. Frazier, head of radioisotope power systems at the Energy Department, said in a recent interview.He vigorously denied that any of the classified missions would involve nuclear arms, satellites or weapons in space. CLIP
The London Line : Iraq: The carve-up begins (23 June 2005)
As the costs of the Iraq occupation spiral, British and American oil companies meet in secret next week to carve up the country's oil reserves for themselves. Tom Burgis reports. In the driving seat: with so much clear profit at stake, the question of who owns Iraq's biggest natural resource is hotly contended. The Iraq war has so far cost America and Britain £105billion. But the financial clawback is gathering pace as British and American oil giants work out how to get their hands on the estimated £3trillion worth of oil.Executives from BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old firm, are expected to congregate at the Paddington Hilton for a two-day chinwag with top-level officials from Iraq's oil ministry. The gathering, sponsored by the British Government, is being described as the "premier event" for those with designs on Iraqi oil, and will go ahead despite opposition from Iraqi oil workers, who fear their livelihoods are being flogged to foreigners. CLIP
Castro warns of global energy crisis
CARACAS, June 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Cuban leader Fidel Castro warned Tuesday that the world is close to an energy crisis due to "unbearable waste of energy" in the North. Upon arrival at the Venezuelan city of Puerto La Cruz, some 300km east of Caracas, Castro said the "plundering and destruction trends lead to a crisis for human survival." CLIP
Bush shifts on African poverty (June 30, 2005)
President George Bush is ready to channel more resources towards tackling poverty in Africa - provided the money is well spent, he has indicated. In a pre-G8 summit interview for The Times, the US leader also appeared to shift on climate change, the other major issue on the agenda for the Gleneagles gathering.Mr Bush said he was committed to finding new energy sources to replace fossil fuels and combat greenhouse gases.Speaking in The Oval Office at the White House in Washington, he said on Africa: "We will make some more commitments ... our contribution has been significant and there will be some more."Mr Bush is expected to announce a three-pronged package to fight malaria, fund schools and promote the empowerment of African women. He also said he wanted a partnership with African countries."That is different to the relationship of a cheque-writer. In other words, partnership means that we have got obligations and so do the people we are trying to help."He said Americans wanted assurances that their money is being well spent: "I can't, in all good faith, say, 'let's continue to be generous, but I can't guarantee the money is being spent properly.' It's not good stewardship of our own money, nor is it effective in helping the people."Although Mr Bush has often shied away from endorsing the science of global warming, he acknowledged that greenhouse gases were creating "a long-term problem".On Zimbabwe, he said that despite the behaviour of Robert Mugabe, he would not restrict US aid to the country. "I don't think you ought to punish the people of Africa because of the man who is in power. He has already done that."Mr Bush rejected suggestions that he had failed to return the support Tony Blair gave to him over Iraq.
Bush Says US Seeks to Eliminate Torture Worldwide (June 26, 2005)
In an Alice in Wonderland moment, George Bush claimed he is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture, and to the rule of law. As usual, Bush is in denial about the systematic torture carried out by his administration in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, and myriad secret CIA prisons around the world, in violation of both US and international law.
US Suspected of Keeping Secret Prisoners on Warships: UN Official http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/062905Z.shtml
The UN has learned of "very, very serious" allegations that the United States is secretly detaining terrorism suspects in various locations around the world, notably aboard prison ships, the UN's special rapporteur on terrorism said. While the accusations were rumours, rapporteur Manfred Nowak said the situation was sufficiently serious to merit an official inquiry. "There are very, very serious accusations that the United States is maintaining secret camps, notably on ships," the Austrian UN official told AFP, adding that the vessels were believed to be in the Indian Ocean region. (...) The use of prison ships would allow investigators to interrogate people secretly and in international waters out of the reach of US law, British security expert Francis Tusa said. "This opens the door to very tough interrogations on key prisoners before it even has been revealed that they have been captured," said Tusa, an editor for the British magazine Jane's Intelligence Review. Nowak said the prison ships would not be "floating Guantanamos" since "they are much smaller, holding less than a dozen detainees." Tusa said the Americans may also be using their island base of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean as a site for prisoners. CLIP
Terror Policies Draw Outrage at Home and Abroad (28 June 2005)
United Nations - The George W. Bush administration's policies on indefinite detention and "extraordinary rendition" are coming under heavy fire from a number of institutions and organizations, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, and members of the US Congress itself. "The prohibition of torture is non-negotiable," said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, held annually on Jun. 26. Without naming the United States, he added: "That includes an absolute ban on transferring anybody to another jurisdiction where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is at risk of torture." Currently, the US administration is pursuing a policy of what it calls "extraordinary rendition," which involves seizing suspects and taking them to a third country without court approval. Human rights groups have documented a number of cases in which US authorities secretly transferred individuals to countries where they were held without charge and routinely tortured. (...) The prosecution of CIA agents in Italy is the first-ever such action against US officials in connection with the "war on terrorism." Officials in both countries are tightlipped about the case, but human rights groups and prosecutors in Europe are growing increasingly angry over the US practice of renditions. They are also upset over Washington's refusal to let independent observers visit its military prisons. On Jun. 24 in a statement, Amnesty International demanded the United States open up all of its detention centers around the world to United Nations experts who specialize in monitoring prisoner abuse and torture. "Not only is the US failing to investigate itself fully," said the world's largest human rights group, "it's failing to allow external independent scrutiny by human rights experts." The group endorsed UN human rights experts' criticism of the United States last week for not letting them visit the US military-run prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of people are behind bars on suspicion of having links to terrorist groups. "No country is above the law," said a team of UN experts on Jun. 23, as they tried to remind the US of its legal obligations under international human rights law. Annan said torture, in all its forms and contexts, is "unacceptable and cannot be tolerated." He emphasized Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture, which entails an absolute ban on transferring people to other jurisdictions where they could face torture. CLIP
TO HONOR AMERICAN VALUES ON INDEPENDENCE DAY COALITION CALLS FOR CLOSING OF GUANTANAMO DETENTION CENTER
This July 4th, a diverse coalition including individuals and organizations ranging from Eve Ensler to The Center for Constitutional Rights, and The Culture Project (see full list at http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/gac/) are asking people across the United States to join the call to shut down the Guantánamo prison camp and demand an immediate independent investigation into the widespread allegations of abuse taking place there. Guantánamo has become a world-wide symbol for the current Administration's arrogant disregard of basic human rights. In the past weeks, world leaders including Presidents Carter and Clinton have joined leading human rights groups in calling for the closing of Guantánamo and other illegal prison facilities around the globe. Countless others have joined the call for an immediate independent investigation and/or special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the numerous allegations of torture and abuse taking place on Guantánamo. Torture is not the American way and we as concerned members of the community must take a stance to take back our country and the values it was founded upon over 200 years ago.This Independence Day, American flags declaring: "Torture Is Immoral and Unpatriotic, Shut down Guantánamo" will be distributed across the country and displayed in a show of support for the democratic values outlined in our United States Constitution. Ordinary citizens are mobilizing to read from testimonials of Guantánamo detainees, their families, and their lawyers this July 4th in a show of support for the laws under which this country was founded.Join us as we gather across the country to stage rallies, readings, and other activities in our communities. We will be gathering signatures for a petition to Congress, and following up on Tuesday, July 5th with a massive telephone and online campaign to members of our Congress to call for an end to torture and the closing of all offshore, illegal detention centers. CLIP
The USA: World's Biggest Prison (28 June 2005)
According to a report published on Monday from King's College, London, the United States continues to have the highest incarceration rate in the world. With 714 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants, the United States remains the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Russia and Belarus, according to figures published by the London University King's College International Centre for Prison Studies. The United States has held first place in this ranking since 2000. "In 200 years, the United States has succeeded in creating two million prisoners," frets researcher Anton Shelupanov. "It's a very worrying rate of growth." Of nine million people imprisoned in the whole world, more than two million (22% of the total) are behind American bars. CLIP
Critics Blast Anthrax Vaccine Test (June 23 2005)
NIH to Test Anthrax Vaccine on Children (...) Retired Air Force Col. John Richardson, who has independently researched the vaccine extensively, said that in 2003, there were 16,869 federal adverse reaction reports for all vaccines and of those, 1,068 were for the anthrax vaccine. The anthrax vaccine drew more than 6 percent of all vaccine complaints, said Richardson, even though anthrax vaccinations represented less than 1 percent of an estimated 100 million immunizations of all types> administered that year. For last year, he said, there were 15,488 federal adverse reaction reports> for all vaccines, and 806 for anthrax, or 5.2 percent of the total. CLIP
Energized prospects for a methane-hydrate industry (June 25, 2005)
Energy on Ice: A vast, untapped source of natural gas comes in from the cold - In March 2002, an international team of scientists pumped hot water down a 1,200-meter well located at the edge of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada. The water seeped into the pores of the perpetually frozen sediments, melting ice-like crystals along its path. These were no ordinary crystals, but frozen cages of water molecules filled with methane, the main constituent of natural gas. The structures had formed millennia ago and now reside in layers deep below the permafrost. As the crystals melted, the natural gas escaped and bubbled to the surface to fuel a flame rising high above the white Arctic landscape."It was a landmark effort," says Dendy Sloan of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. It produced the first documented field demonstration that natural gas could be released from the crystalline substances known as methane hydrates.At first glance, this unconventional source of natural gas looks like ordinary ice. But place a match next to the ice and it burns. Over the past several decades, scientists have identified dozens of gas-hydrate accumulations around the world . Some say that worldwide there could be twice as much energy stored in hydrates as in all the other known energy resources combined, including coal, oil, and conventional natural gas deposits. As Timothy Kneafsey of the Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.) National Laboratory puts it, "Hydrates could be a giant source of energy in the future. It's something that's just waiting to happen."The catch is that hydrates are hard to harvest. They sit hundreds of meters below the permafrost in the northern latitudes and, in even greater abundance, in sediments beneath the ocean floor. What's more, the gas is locked in place under low temperatures and high pressures, which make this icy source of energy difficult to tap. In fact, until recently, no one knew whether it was technically possible to recover significant amounts of natural gas from hydrates, let alone do it in an economically feasible manner.The successful effort in the Mackenzie Delta, however, has energized the prospects for a methane-hydrate industry. Results from recent geological surveys of concentrated deposits of gas hydrates in Alaska and off the coast of Japan also suggest that methane hydrates are likely to become a viable future source of clean-burning natural gas."The volume of gas contained in gas hydrates is staggering," says Scott Dallimore of the Canadian Geological Survey in Sidney, British Columbia. "As a source of natural gas over the next several decades, [methane hydrates] now seem more possible." CLIP
"The Day After" by Uri Avnery
(...) The forces are not equal. On the one side, there is a delirious minority in a trance, with an inspiring nationalist-messianic ideology and a strong, united leadership. This camp has a standing army and ample reserve forces that can be called up at a moment's notice. In the settlements there are some 200 thousand men and women, old people and children, a great may of whom (including children and even babies) are available for action at all times. Many of them are ex-soldiers, and most of them are armed to the teeth. In the "arrangement yeshivot", the Habad institutions and other religious seminaries, there is additional manpower, ready to be mobilized. A significant number of individuals are ready to rush to their help. On the other side, no organization and no leadership. People congregate and complain in their living rooms on Friday nights, they wallow in a warm and comfortable jacuzzi of despair. People like myself, who have spent years in a vain effort to get them into the streets, to organize demonstrations, to stiffen their spine and arouse their spirit, certainly entertain no exaggerated hopes. But a democratic public can surprise, as the rightist dictators found out in World War II. Ariel Sharon discovered this after the massacres of Sabra and Shatila, when hundreds of thousands of "apathetic" people streamed into the square in a storm of emotions. If this happens again, the democratic majority will win. The settlers' darkest nightmare will become reality: the call for the removal of the Gush Katif settlements will develop into a campaign for the evacuation of the settlements from the West Bank. Effective American pressure, too, could suddenly materialize. In such a whirlwind, Sharon's intentions and plans and tricks - and perhaps the man himself, too - will become irrelevant. The dynamism of the process will carry him along like a piece of driftwood before the tsunami. CLIP
How to Bury a Mad Cow (June 25, 2005)
Late Friday, June 24, is a perfect time to bury bad news in Washington, DC. That's when Mike Johanns, the United States Secretary of Agriculture held a news conference. He announced that a beef cow suspected last November to be positive with mad cow disease, and finally properly tested, was indeed positive. Even now the USDA is keeping secret which state the cow was from, but Texas has long been mentioned in media articles. The initially-botched finding of a second mad cow in the United States emphasizes the failure of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to protect Americans from the deadly dementia called mad cow disease, the subject of my 1997 book with Sheldon Rampton, Mad Cow USA.The so-called 'firewall feed ban' to prevent cattle from contracting the disease in the United States is a joke, and more like pouring gasoline on a fire. Hundreds of millions of pounds of cattle blood, cattle fat, and the meat, blood, fat and bone meal from pigs and chickens are legally fed to cattle each year on US farms and ranches and feedlots. American cattle are also being fed a million tons a year of chicken litter and feces contaminated with cattle meat and bone meal. These are practices that can spread mad cow disease and are banned in countries like England and Japan where there is a real firewall feed ban.The US mad cow testing system seems designed to cover up mad cow disease rather than find it. Other countries test most or all of their cattle before human consumption for food safety purposes. The United States tests a small percentage of the 36 million cattle a year slaughtered and put into the human and animal feed chain. Most animals infected with mad cow disease will look healthy and be slaughtered and put into the food system without testing. Only testing millions of US cattle a year will reveal how much mad cow disease there really is in the United States. CLIP
Study: Wind Could Meet Global Energy Needs
A new survey of wind power around the globe has found there's ample energy for all humanity blowing around us. By gathering together more than 8,000 wind records on every continent, researchers Christina Archer and Mark Jacobson of Stanford University in California have created a set of world wind-power resource maps that reveal a barely tapped 72 terawatts of power - 40 times the amount of electrical power used by all countries in the year 2000. If just 20 percent of the estimated 72 terawatts of wind power were tapped, said Archer, it would satisfy all the world's energy needs. A single terawatt is enough power to light up 10 billion 100-watt light bulbs. CLIP
Apollo Program' for hydrogen energy needed, Stanford researcher says (June 24)
What if all the vehicles now on the road in the United States were suddenly powered by hydrogen fuel cells? Stanford researchers say in a June 24 article in the journal Science that such a conversion would improve air quality, health and climate--especially if wind were used to generate the electricity needed to split water and make hydrogen in a pollutionless process.Similarly to how gas is pumped into tanks, hydrogen would be pumped into fuel cells, which rely on chemistry, not combustion, to power vehicles. (As hydrogen flows through fuel-cell compartments, it reacts with oxygen to produce water and energy.) Associate Professor Mark Z. Jacobson and graduate student Whitney Goldsborough Colella (both in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department) and Consulting Professor David M. Golden (Mechanical Engineering Department) report that annually such a conversion could prevent millions of cases of respiratory illness and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and save more lives than were lost in the World Trade Center attacks. CLIP
A few years ago, I was surprised to discover a single scientific study that strongly supported the power of prayer in getting well. Because I'd never heard of controlled experiments affirming prayer, I assumed this study stood alone. But did it? Somehow I could not let the matter rest, and I began to probe the scientific literature for further proof of prayer's efficacy. I found an enormous body of evidence: over one hundred experiments exhibiting the criteria of "good science," many conducted under stringent laboratory conditions, over half of which showed that prayer brings about significant changes in a variety of living beings. I was astonished. I had begun my search believing it would turn up little. After all, if scientific proof for the healing effects of prayer existed, surely it would be common knowledge among scientifically trained physicians. I came to realise the truth of what many historians of science have described: A body of knowledge that does not fit with prevailing ideas can be ignored as if it does not exist, no matter how scientifically valid it may be. Scientists, including physicians, can have blind spots in their vision. The power of prayer, it seemed, was an example. CLIP - Recommended by "Nelly Lewin" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Google launches new search tool dubbed Google Earth (June 29, 2005)
Mountain View CA - Google announced the launch of Google Earth, its third new search tool to be brought online this year.Google's new satellite imagery-based mapping product combines 3D buildings and terrain with mapping capability and Google search. Based on Keyhole technology, the search engine described Google Earth as 'enabling users to fly from space to street level views to find geographic information and explore places around the world.'"Google Earth utilizes broadband streaming technology and 3D graphics, much like a videogame, enabling users to interactively explore the world - either their own neighborhood or the far corners of the globe," said John Hanke, general manager, Keyhole, Google Inc. "With many ways to access geographic information, Google provides a very rich local search experience for users worldwide."Among the features being offered to web search users are 3D views of buildings in major cities in the United States as well as 3D views of terrain showing mountains, valleys, and canyons around the world.Google stated that users could also integrate local search with Google Earth to access information on reastaurants, hotels, schools, parks and transportation.Google said that with Earth, users could tilt, rotate and activate 3D views of terraines for a different perspective on a location. CLIP To try Google Earth go at http://earth.google.com/ (not for Mac yet though)
Omega-News Collection 25. June 2005
NOTE FROM JEAN: Stephanie refers below to "Codex Alimentarius is Almost a Fait Accompli" archived near the bottom of http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2005/MiscelSubjects214.htm
From: "Stephanie Rudd" email@example.com>
Subject: A valid thought
Date: 28 Jun 2005
As a result of an email in one of your compilations regarding Codex Alimentarius and the ratification July 4-9th in Rome, I have been spurred into action here in the UK. We have been contacting MP's, MEP, and MSP's, plus health professionals, Soil Association, various organic and alternative health bodies and getting people on the ground all over to pass on info to everyone they can think of in their own areas etc. Supermarkets, local doctors...anyone and everyone because that is who this will affect. By networking we have also caused a stir in Australia and Canada and it is being taken up there. (Several thousand people have now been notified...in two days flat!) That's good news. It may be too late to affect the ratification which is being hidden behind the G8 but at least people will be woken up to what this means and what else is going on right under their noses...
On an email which was circulated one person put this following as a message and you know... I love it. So often people question us when we bring the darker aspects to their attention and maintain that we give it more energy by doing so. I counter this by feeling the following:
If people are not prepared to protect and honour the freedoms that they do have-history shows us that others will take them away. And this following piece puts it in a nutshell of our whole Being...spiritual beings having a physical experience. Hope you like it too.
Thank you so very much for all the hard work you put into your work. I appreciate every single compilation as it comes through and refer back to them time and time again in my own work. God Bless.
"Grant unto us this day, Father, lips which speak the truth,
but which ever speak the truth in love.
Grant unto us minds which seek the truth,
and grant that we may face the truth even when it hurts and condemns us,
and that we may never, ever shut our eyes to that which we do not wish to see."
NOTE from Jean: To receive a new "Seed" to be suggested every week by Maggie - a co-founder of the Global Meditation Focus Group - please contact her directly.
From: "Maggie Erotokritou" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 24 Jun 2005
Subject: [Pan] Seeds of Transformation
Seeds of Transformation
Many of you will have noticed how powerful the energy has been over the last few days with the Full Moon and Summer Solstice. In the midst of the clearing that is taking place, a more subtle energy is beginning to filter through. I believe it is a new aspect of the Divine Feminine. In my meditation a few days ago, I was told to share that now more than ever we are being asked to come into alignment with the sacred that is within and all around us and to transmute and transcend anything that is negative or that creates discord in order to align and embrace this new energy.
In order to do this, we are being asked to focus more clearly. As we pay attention and learn to focus in a more direct and clearer way, so we will be able to cut through the illusions and to recognize the truth of what is in the moment, then many things will become apparent and unfold. Transformation will take place on many levels as the veils of misconception begin to diminish.
During my weekly meditation group, I was asked to engage this focus through a process of planting seeds. (I was thinking to bring the group to a close and take a few months break, but it seems spirit had other ideas, at least for the next year). I was told that one seed will be given each week for a period of a year. Each week, after the group meditation, I will share with those who are interested the seed for the week.
These are simple seed thoughts to be held in meditation and during the course of the day, for a period of a week. These will help shift our consciousness and to gain a clearer perspective It is helpful to keep notes of this process, your insights, any specific revelations and anything particular that comes up for you. You may wish to share your thoughts on this, feedback is welcome as this new meditative process evolves over the next year. There is nothing new in the seeds, we all know them, however it is the group focus and the holding of a specific seed thought together for a period of a week that will make the difference.
I share this with the Pan members because I believe what is being given, is an important tool in the shift of consciousness that is taking place. The members of the Global Spiritual Network, will be participating in this but I will not be sending these out to the Pan list each week, I just wanted to let you know, so if you would like to receive them, please email me and if it feels right pass on the information to your own networks. Love and light,
SEED #1 HARMONY
In meditation, sitting with the spine straight in a comfortable position plant the thought of HARMONY and the colour GREEN in your heart chakra. Allow thoughts or pictures to come and go but don't get attached to them. Keep coming back to the thought of Harmony. What does it mean to you? How do you see the manifestation of HARMONY within the world? How will it change your way of thinking and your life? What vibrations are you giving out - harmonious or inharmonious? What needs to be cleared? Where there is harmony true healing can take place. Even subtle, inharmonious vibrations can disrupt or destruct. Where there is harmony, there is no place for stress or strain.
Throughout every day this week, think about HARMONY both in and out of meditation, keep it in your mind as an important focus throughout the week and at the end of the week reflect on what you have written.
The Planetary Awakening Network
contact Maggie Erotokritou
DON'T MISS THIS SATURDAY!
Forwarded by Ralph Nimmann - Rainbow Network Cambridge - http://www.rainbow-cambridge.org.uk
----- Original Message -----
From: William Bloom email@example.com>
Sent: June 28, 2005
Subject: LIVE8 - THE BIGGEST SPIRITUAL EVENT EVER - JOIN IN
LIVE8 - THE BIGGEST SPIRITUAL EVENT EVER - JOIN IN WITH MEDITATION, PRAYER AND HEALING
This Saturday's Live8 Concert will be the biggest spiritual event that humanity has ever experienced.
This is an extravagant claim, but two things are for certain. First, never before in the history of humanity have so many people been involved in a single shared experience. Second, the core of the experience is both celebratory and moral - 'spiritual' by any other name.
The figures and reality of the event are impressive and worth repeating. Live8 will be the biggest broadcast ever, with more than 5.5 billion people able to tune in through a variety of media. The global population today stands at 6.5 billion which means that 85 per cent of all people will be able to watch or listen to the concert. This surpasses the previous 2004 record of the 3.9 billion people who watched the Olympic Games.
No matter how cynical some may be about its showbiz buzz, the whole happening can be positively described as contemporary collective religion and spirituality at its best. It has all the features of great worship. Song, rhythm and noble ideals.
Whether it is the Gregorian chant of Christian monks, hymn singing, tribal and pagan dance, Buddhist mantras, Islamic song-prayers or one of the many other cultural forms - throughout history, in all times and places, people have come together to share their spirituality through music.
Today the shared music of our globe is rock and pop.
This Saturday the congregation is almost everyone on the planet.
Global, collective worship.
And the event has depth - the depth of true meaning, compassion and relevance. It is concerned with the suffering and deaths of millions of children and adults, condemned by a poverty that can be remedied. It will raise consciousness and open hearts.
It is fully engaged in social and political realities, bringing direct pressure to bear on the 8 world leaders who will meet in Scotland for the G8 summit and who have the opportunity now to increase aid, release debt and create a global trading system that is fair, immediately saving lives that are otherwise slaughtered by our gods of uncaring commerce and power politics.
But as a spiritual event, Live8 will also carry atmosphere and energy. It will call in and transmit love, compassion and connection. Anyone who remembers the LiveAid concert of 20 years ago, or the opening and closing of the last Olympic games, will remember the powerful emotion and energy of those events.
This Saturday, then, is also an opportunity for prayer, meditation and healing.
There is occasion here for everyone to participate. As well as being enthusiastic supporters and spectators, we can also give co-creative spiritual engagement. Whatever the event appears to be on the outside, in the inner world it also has immense power. During the worldwide concert, we can pray and meditate for global healing and justice for all the world's people.
We can call for and send healing.
We can increase our commitment to a life style that harms no one and no being.
Religion by religion there is a common myth that their saviour will return and lead humanity to a better world, to heaven on earth. This is an old model, a hope dependent on a single leader. Today's world is more democratic, less hierarchical. There is the possibility that humanity as a whole can manifest its spirituality and love of freedom. As with the fall of the Berlin Wall or the response to the Tsunami disaster, the heart and passion of humanity can manifest in enormous group events.
As we know every few seconds a child dies of extreme poverty. A lost life, a devastated family. I cannot live with this any more. Most of us cannot bear it.
Linked by the global communications network, linked by our shared prayers and meditations, let this coming Saturday truly be the greatest spiritual event ever. Let it move and transform the hearts of all of us, manifesting practically in a transformed world.
Enjoy the party. Anchor the passion. Heal the world.
Opinion: Live 8: The good, bad & ugly
Toronto Sun Editorial
Let's put aside our natural skepticism about pop stars who lecture us on global politics and look at whether the goals behind Saturday's Live 8 concerts make sense.
Unlike 20 years ago, when Bob Geldof organized the first "Live Aid" concerts to raise funds for famine relief in Africa, Live 8 has a far more ambitious goal.
It's to mobilize public opinion in the eight wealthiest nations on earth (the so-called "G-8") in order to pressure their leaders to make aid to Africa a global priority for the next decade.
Last week, Geldof said Prime Minister Paul Martin should commit Canada to donating 0.7% of its Gross Domestic Product to foreign aid by 2015, or not bother showing up at next week's meeting of G-8 leaders in Scotland. Geldof's delusions of grandeur aside, does it make any practical sense to do that?
For Canada, this would mean hiking our foreign aid budget to $15 billion annually by 2015, compared to $3 billion today.
The added cost to taxpayers could be up to $41 billion over 10 years, equivalent to the amount of new money Martin has pledged to improve our health care during the same period.
Are Canadians ready to spend as much money trying to lift Africa and other parts of the world out of poverty as they are on improving their own health care system?
We think the answer is no, and that a more realistic figure needs to be found. But whatever amount of money Canada and the G-8 ultimately decide to commit to foreign aid, and specifically to Africa, the even bigger issue is how to distribute it.
Given the economic, political and social chaos across much of Africa today, simply promising more money is naive. Much of it will not end up helping Africa's poor, but rather propping up tyrants. That's what happened 20 years ago when money raised and donated by Live Aid didn't always reach Africa's starving poor. Instead, it was diverted into the pockets of bloody dictators like Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia.
This is why critics of these so-called "relief" concerts argue that pop stars simply don't know what they're talking about, and would be better advised to "shut up and sing".
This is not to suggest that Live 8 is not well-intentioned, nor that its organizers do not make a valid point about the West's exploitation of Africa, the major reason, along with internal corruption, that the continent is an economic basket case.
The problem with Live 8 is that it ignores the key issue, which is how economic assistance to Africa can be most effective.
Past experience has shown that simply raising money for distribution inside corrupt regimes won't work, and indeed can make a bad situation worse. Nor is trusting the United Nations to do it a viable option, as recent experience with the disastrous Oil for Food program in Iraq has shown.
To have aid to Africa do any good, the G-8 leaders will not only have to commit more money, but create an entirely new system for distributing it, perhaps similar to the Marshall Plan used to rebuild Europe after World War II. Anything less will simply mean pouring more money down a bottomless pit.
Glastonbury a warmup for Geldof, Live 8
LONDON Bob Geldof seems to be gearing up for his Live 8 concerts next week: At another festival, he got a crowd of 100,000 to join hands and yell the slogan, "Make poverty history." Geldof, an organizer of Live 8 and its predecessor, the Live Aid concerts 20 years ago, appeared Saturday at the Glastonbury Festival.Producers of the Live 8 concerts said Saturday the shows will be shown around the world in what they billed as the largest-ever broadcast of a live event.Broadcasts on television, radio, the Internet and even mobile phones will be accessible to a potential audience of 5.5 billion people, or 85 percent of the world's population, the producers said.The 2004 Olympic Games in Athens captured a global audience of 3.9 billion people and 2.5 billion people watched or heard Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.The eight July 2 concerts, in cities including London, Paris, Tokyo, Rome and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will be broadcast in more than 140 countries. Artists scheduled to perform include Madonna, U2, Paul McCartney and Coldplay.The shows are meant to pressure leaders gathering for the Group of Eight summit of the G-8 group of wealthy nations to take action to reduce poverty in Africa.
Live 8 bans charities from collecting money at concert (June 30, 2005)
TORONTO -- Collecting food for the homeless and hungry is taking a back seat to poverty in Africa as organizers for Saturday's Live 8 concert ban charities from collecting donations at the event. Organizers have said local fundraising could "dilute the focus" of the concerts, which includes encouraging the world's G8 leaders to eliminate the debt owed by African countries. "That decision came right from Sir Bob Geldof, himself," said Live 8 spokeswoman Katherine Holmes, referring to the Irish rocker fronting the Live 8 concerts. The musician's decision to ignore local charity needs isn't sitting well with those who work with the impoverished and homeless in Barrie, Ont., the city hosting the Canadian leg of the landmark concerts. "We are very disappointed," said Paula King, the executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society, an organization that collects and distributes food, in addition to providing shelter for homeless women in the Barrie area.
G8 Gets Ultimatum on Climate Change
29 June 2005
Tony Blair and other G8 leaders have been be urged to deliver meaningful action to address climate change when they meet next week in Gleneagles.
The call comes from Labour former Cabinet minister Stephen Byers, and US Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, co-chairs of the International Climate Change Taskforce.
The pair strongly welcome Mr Blair's commitment to making climate change a priority for the G8 Presidency.
But they warn that sufficient progress will not have been made if the G8 fails to recognise the urgency of the problem and the need for immediate action.
The Taskforce co-chairs warn that a package of voluntary measures on technology alone will not solve this problem and should not be characterised as an alternative to binding limits on emissions at the G8.
They say momentum is building in the US for mandatory action on climate change and there are further opportunities for global action through the UK's Presidency of the EU and the start of UN climate negotiations later this year. The G8 should not undermine but support such efforts.
The consensus of scientific opinion is that unless climate change is addressed, millions more people in Africa and the rest of the world will experience poverty, crop losses, water scarcity and disease, and lose their homes and livelihoods in coming decades, jeopardising the impact of any new G8 pledges on aid and debt.
Mr Byers said: "People throughout the world know that something strange is happening to the weather and they are worried.
"They know that our climate is changing and that they are witnessing the often devastating effects of global warming. We are running out of time. Action to tackle climate change can be delayed no longer. That is why it is so important for the G8 to respond positively and constructively to the climate change challenge that we issue."
Ms Snowe said: "As the US Senate officially recognised for the first time last week, there is no doubt that greenhouse gases are irrevocably impacting our climate and that mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions are necessary."
G8 Leaders' Cars to Use Eco-Fuel made from Straw (June 29, 2005)
OTTAWA - When leaders of the world's major industrialized nations meet next week, their cars will run on a blend that contains a fuel made from straw, which its Canadian makers say can help in the battle against climate change.Ottawa-based Iogen Corp. uses enzymes to produce cellulose ethanol from straw or other agricultural waste, while conventional ethanol, widely used in the United States, Canada and Brazil, is made from corn or sugar.Iogen says its ethanol reduces greenhouse gases emissions by 90 percent compared to gasoline, and is a good way to reduce dependence on imported oil. "The message we're trying to send is that cellulose ethanol is really ready to go," Iogen CEO Brian Foody told Reuters."This is an excellent illustration of changes that can be made that don't have to change peoples' lifestyles, don't change the kinds of cars they drive, but can yet make significant improvements." CLIP
ANOTHER INVALUABLE PERSPECTIVE THAT SHEDS A NEW UNCOMPROMISING LIGHT ON A THORNY ISSUE THAT I FEEL MANY WILL WANT TO READ. BARRY IS A LONG-TIME ERN SUBSCRIBER AND HAD PREVIOUSLY CONTRIBUTED A COUPLE GEMS (see my note on this below). I TRUST HIS JUDGEMENT ON THIS ONE.
From: Barry Snyder firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 29 Jun 2005
Subject: More On Bhagavan, Amma And GAF
I recently read your conversations with Janneke and Kiara regarding Kalki Bhagavan and Amma. By virtue of the fact that I have been to the Golden City on two occasions and am currently giving diksha (the oneness energy transfer) I feel called to offer another perspective which hopefully will result in a more complete and understanding for all of us. I invite your response and am very interested in dialoguing with you in hopes of evolving our understanding.
During the past 20 months of having been in contact with Bhagavan and Amma I have gone through many different issues and considerations about them, the Golden Age Foundation (GAF) and the gift they bring to the planet. Having done so, what I have come to is a much greater realization of my own shadow projections, certain areas in which their way of doing things isnt completely resonant and an absolute sense of gratitude and awe for the reality of the gift that they have brought to the planet from the Source of All That Is.
I have considered many of the same issues that Janneke has wrestled............. What about all the money involved and the high prices? How can you charge for enlightenment? Isnt this just another guru trip with people giving themselves away on every level? What about all the security and personal body guards they employ? This just to name a few. I would be willing to dialogue with you on any of these in particular or others you have mentioned if you would like to do so for the furthering of both our understandings. In the end, what I have found so often is that I have held deeply unconscious images and concepts that resulted in judgments which when unconscious are projected. And, there are areas where I do believe their shadow is showing. What I want to share with you most of all is where I always wind up at the end of these inner consideration sojourns...that the immense power and grace of the diksha to accelerate the movement into states of oneness is far beyond anything I have experienced in this lifetime. This does not preclude or deny the existence of shadow issues with GAF. But what is important to me is see that ones does not deny the other. Both exist simultaneously as reality in this consciousness.
Maybe some of our experiences will help here. I offer them to transmit the essence so you might feel the reality of them for yourself. If you would just open to experience the reality of them, it might open new dimensions in your perception of the phenomena of Bhagavan and the diksha.
On the first visit to the Golden City in march of 2004 we were in a group of around 250 people from all over the planet. The first experience of Bhagavan was when he walked into the room to empower the dasajis(monks) to give the diksha. He said nothing, no bhajans, no prostrations, nothing overt to entrain us into a group psychic field. His presence simply spoke for itself. The immense spiritual love and power brought me to tears of joy, as I instantly knew that this was for real and what I had been waiting for. Upon receiving the diksha the bliss became so great that it easily allowed the letting go of the psychic contraction which we identify with as our separate self sense. Everything just expanded into infinity and the me sense disappeared. No mind, beyond bliss, perfect pure beingness. I saw most of the 250 people in various versions and levels of this state. Karen and I have done spiritual awakening work with individuals and groups for the past 16 years, and have been witness to many profound spiritual awakenings. We feel comfortable in stating that what we saw at that time, and again in February of this year had nothing to do with trance induced states, just the opposite. They were states truly free of the trance of the illusion of separation. We witnessed the most powerful demonstrations of ego dissolution and oneness states we have ever experienced. And, never did we hear anyone questioning whether the states were genuine. Some judged their states against those of others, some wondered why the peak states did not last. Some hoped for much more and felt disappointed, and still others were pushed to their edge by the process of purification. Most of the issues people surfaced that I was witness to had more to do with their images and concepts which were shattered by the reality of the true awakening experience. This seems to be one of the hallmarks of awakening.
During the February 21 day this year, Karen and I were gifted with the experience that we have waited lifetimes for. My experience of it was that I was watching a video in which Bhagavan said two things which popped the bubble of separation.... The search is the self (separate self) is suffering. Postponing awakening is the height of hypocrisy. Suddenly I saw that the spiritual ego I had spent the last 30 years constructing and how even while I was on the path to awaken, unconsciously the ego was using the search to continue its existence. Not a new concept, but the living experiential reality of it hit me like a ton of bricks through grace. I found every part of my being calling out for deliverance from this deeply embedded pattern of identity. I prayed to God, Bhagavan and Christ for assistance. Then the shift happened. I heard the still small voice say, The search is over. A peace so deep, so palpable, so beyond understanding descended and I felt the gnawing hole in the center of the soul disappear and I knew with absolute certainty that I was home, in the place that I had always hoped I would arrive at, yet it did not feel like going any where at all. It was were I always had been but just wasnt aware of. After a few minutes of basking in this indescribable feeling of wholeness and completeness the desire to share this with my beloved Karen arose. I looked across the room to where she was sitting and found her staring directly at me. As our eyes met it was instantly apparent that she had arrived at the same place I was experiencing. The joy..the happiness..the gratitude...After the session ended we walked across the room toward each other and as we touched she said the first words. The Search is over, the very same words I had heard inside. If there was even the slightest shreds of doubt remaining within, they were totally shattered. We hugged and cried and rejoiced, and we still do so till this day. The state remains, even in the dissonance of the world, for the peace is beneath, through around and beyond it all. Still thoughts and feelings arise, but they have no place to stick. They glide across the sky of awareness like distant clouds, and we only very rarely and fleetingly experience a moment of being in the fog. On the contrary everything seems clear, understood, without conflict or mental effort. An underlying feeling of peace, joy and happiness without cause or conditions pervades experience. It is not a trance state. It has stood up to the intensity of dealing with the death of a dear friend and close neighbors and the death process of Karens father, not to mention the every day issues of sick pets, jobs, illness and all the other challenges of third dimensional existence.
Since coming home we have been giving dikshas to others. Most of the time we barely mention Bhagavan and Amma. We do not hide our gratitude nor do we set them up as gurus, for they truly are not for us. We instead, make the diksha about the experience of the person, their journey of consciousness, so as not to separate them from their essence. Again and again, we see people experience states of profound peace, love, joy and oneness. More importantly, their lives go through changes for the positive. The most common report is that the mind has become quiet in daily life. Peace is an every day experience. They find it easier to love and accept themselves and others. Synchronicity increases as life is filled with grace. Some who haven't experienced much joy, now experience it coming without cause or condition. Almost all express gratitude for the gift. And, more deep and profound experiences of the oneness also appear spontaneously and naturally.
When we transfer the diksha, the energy is very powerful. It is always an experience of profound joy, bliss, divine love and gratitude. I have never found myself feeling anything but a resounding yes to the energies. And,I am very clear that ultimately the source is beyond Amma and Bhagavan. It comes directly from source. They themselves say it doesnt matter that we mention them and that is better to put up a picture of Christ Jesus if we are in a Christian country.
And, all this said, there seems to be the shadow stuff also. As we all know many spiritual teachers and masters have demonstrated very clearly that they have the ubiquitous human trait of having a shadow. Certainly, the organizations that form around them often become bastions of distortion....power, sex, money, fame, etc... I have gone through lots of consideration about the amount of money GAF is charging which excludes many who would like to go, the immense temple being paid for by the tuition of those who are going out into the world to assist them in awakening the planet. Their inability or unwillingness to provide receipts for the course tuition despite numerous letters, phone calls and e-mails from many participants and even Kiara. This raises many questions especially with the purported newspaper article about financial misdealing(I have not personally seen them). Perhaps it is all explainable and ultimately innocent, but there is also a lot of smoke for there to be no fire somewhere. We are questioning all this deeply. And most importantly, I like Janneke would like more emphasis on connecting with ones own God Self within, even while I understand the power of connecting with Amma and Bhagavan.
For most of these issues, I have heard other perspectives, some which site obvious cultural differences. An example you mentioned is the long heritage of the guru model in the hindu culture. The principle is that surrender to the guru is seen as the means to transcend the ego which ultimately results in the realization of ones true Self..not subjugation and loss of Self, which is how a westerner often interprets it. Some claim they have been manipulated. Many others do not feel this way at all, just the opposite. Karen and I decided to totally surrender to Amma and Bhagavan and be totally absorbed in the process. It was a good decision, as I feel it was very important to our awakenings. Now that we are back home, we are naturally grounding back into ourselves and integrating the experience, and coming to the conclusions that we will do things in some ways very differently. There are a number of ways in which they teach and present material that we are not comfortable with, and there are also many others that we totally resonant with and feel or powerfully address the roots of the illusion of separation. Always a mixed bag, like most things in life.
What I experience in this state is the awareness of the perfection of the imperfection. God is a work in process, especially at this level. The shadow is everywhere and it too is ultimately a part of the process of the emerging oneness. The moment I judge Heaven and Earth are put infinitely apart as the Hsin Hsin Ming says. And, at the same time karma is karma and must be dealt with. If greed and power trips are occurring they must be exposed. Mirrors are being raised both by the participants and GAF, with both parties lovingly serving each other through the process. My sincerest hope is that the all involved look deeply within to see the aspects of self that are being denied and projected on the other.
And in this, Jean, I ask you to take a deeper look at what is going on within when you find yourself placing the label of False Profit on Bhagavan and Amma. This is a very condemning categorical statement to make, especially without having done some research with others who have experienced them directly. I realize it resonates a lot with your experiences with Simon, and while it is important not to cast aside the wisdom gained from that experience, it is also important to realize categorizing is one of the things the ego mind does constantly. More importantly, is the pain healed? Is the experienced truly finished and brought to peace?
So, does GAF and Kalki and Amma have a shadow? Who or what doesnt to at least a small degree? Is the gift they bring one of enormous assistance in the planetary awakening? Most certainly in the experience of many. Is it possible to open our hearts and minds to the possibility of holding it all in the oneness, not needing to judge or categorically reject...the oneness by definition without exclusion, where gifts of grace can coexist with shadow and imperfection.
I hope this stimulates consideration resulting in greater oneness and love for all involved. Love,
Barry Martin Snyder
Note from Jean: I checked in my computer files to see what else I have from Barry and found two very inspiring texts already networked previously (in 2002 and 2004) which I've archived for your convenience at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2005/MoreFromBarry.htm
They are certainly worth reading again! There is also a new related comment that has been posted on the ERN guestbook at http://two.guestbook.de/gb.cgi?gid=456912&prot=ccbcsw
Forwarded by "Nelly Lewin" email@example.com>
From: "Not In Our Name" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: June 25, 2005
Subject: Break Thru the Summer Daze With the Not In Our Name Statement
Post to friends, family, co-workers:
Dear Friends of the Not In Our Name Statement of Conscience:
Torture. Guantanamo. On-going war and occupation of Iraq. Global warming. George W. Bush - He does not speak for us. He does not represent us. He does not act in our name.
The Not In Our Name message is a statement of conscience http://www.nion.us signed by many prominent people respected for their beliefs and their actions, and by over 15,000 people. It is a moral and political compass for the millions in society who are looking for ways to express how they feel about what's going on. But, right now, not enough people know that this statement exists.
We can change the political reality of this country by reaching out to and mobilizing those tens of millions who know in their heads and hearts that the Bush Regime's "reality" is nothing but a nightmare for all of humanity - here and abroad.
This summer there will be many opportunities to do this - starting this coming Sunday. You can download the NION statement http://www.nion.us/NSOC/NewNIONflyer.pdf to distribute at the events or to post on bulletin boards.
1. June 26th, Amnesty International Day of Action Against Torture. Distribute the Statement of Conscience, post it in store windows, cafes, and read it at church services. Take photos of your activities with the statement, and send them to us and we'll post a virtual protest on our web site. This way people all across the country can act collectively even if we're not all together in one spot.
Check out Amnesty USA for Denounce Torture events in your area http://www.amnestyusa.org/stoptorture/events.html
2. July 4th. Pass out the statement of conscience at events, protests, picnics, etc. At each event, take photos with the statement on display, and of other similar gatherings and send them to us so we can post them on our web site. NION@cloud9.net Let us know what events are going on in your local area and we'll spread the word.
July 4th Actions -- Call To Shut Down Guantanamo Detention Center NYC: 10am - 12pm; 34th Street and 6th Ave., New York, NY. Check for info about actions in your city.
Guantanamo has become a world-wide symbol for the Bush Administration's arrogant disregard of basic human rights. An ad hoc coalition of individuals and organizations (including Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, The Center for Constitutional Rights, Code Pink, Not In Our Name, the ACLU, The Culture Project, WEDO, United for Peace & Justice) is asking people across the country to join the call to close down Guantanamo, and all offshore illegal detention centers, starting with actions on July 4th. Info: Guantanamo Action Center http://www.ccr-ny.org/gac/
3. July 2nd Live8 concert in Philadelphia, PA Join us in distributing the NION statement in Philadelphia on July 2nd at LIVE8 http://www.live8live.com. A million people are expected at this free outdoor concert - the line up includes artists from many different music scenes. It will be a great opportunity to reach out to an important audience who might not otherwise see our statement, including a lot of young people, to popularize our web site, to sign our e-mail list, and to call on people to join in getting out the statement. Also, there is an Elton John concert in Philly on July 4. Contact NION@cloud9.net for directions and meet up location in Philly. Or make copies of the statement and head to Philly to distribute them with your friends.
4. July 20-23, 2005 Tikkun Conference on Spiritual Activism at the University of California, Berkeley Just say "no" to the religious right. A Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP), will be talking about how to: 1. Challenge the misuse of God and religion by the Religious Right 2. Challenge the religio-phobia and fear of spiritual discourse in some sectors of the Left 3. Support a New Bottom Line for American society so that institutions and social practices are judged to the extent that they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical and ecological sensitivity. For info & complete list of sponsors: http://www.tikkun.org, call 510.528.6250 or email Joe@tikkun.org.
Update on USA Today Effort
Thanks to all of you who contributed money to publish the NION statement in USA Today. We were unable to reach the full amount needed to run the ad in this coming Sunday's paper. The money donated will be held for that purpose. We are continuing to fundraise so that we can publish the statement in USA Today when it will be most effective, e.g., in September when important events will be taking place or in November to mark the one year anniversary of Bush's re-election.
We look forward to hearing from you and working with you.
Janet, NION SOC Staff
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
US caused more deaths in Iraq than Saddam, says anti-war tribunal
ISTANBUL (AFP) Jun 24, 2005
The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), a grouping of NGOs, intellectuals and writers opposed to the war in Iraq, on Friday accused the United States of causing more deaths in Iraq than ousted president Saddam Hussein. "With two wars and 13 years of criminal sanctions, the United States have been responsible for more deaths in Iraq than Saddam Hussein," Larry Everest, a journalist, told hundreds of anti-war activists gathered in Istanbul.
Founded in 2003, the WTI is modelled on the 1960s Russell Tribunal, created by the British philosopher Bertrand Russell to denounce the war in Vietnam. It has held about 20 sessions so far in different locations around the world.
A symbolic verdict was to be handed down on Monday by the 14 "jurors of conscience" -- including the militant Indian novelist Arundhati Roy, winner of the 1997 Booker Prize for "The God of Small Things."
The tribunal has for the past two years been gathering what it says is evidence that the war launched in March 2003 to oust Saddam was illegal, and it has also been gathering evidence of exactions allegedly committed by coalition troops.
Its verdict on Monday after its final session is expected to condemn both the United States and Britain.
Roy told the gathering here: ""The evidence collated in this tribunal should ... be used by the International Criminal Court -- whose jurisdiction the United States does not recognize -- to try as war criminals George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, Silvio Berlusconi, and all those government officials, army generals, and corporate CEOs who participated in this war and now benefit from it."
She added that the tribunal was "an act of resistance," "a defense mounted against one of the most cowardly wars ever fought in history."
Hans von Sponeck, former director of the UN's so-called oil-for-food programme for Iraq, told the Istanbul gathering that the humanitarian programme "was totally irrelevant."
Von Sponeck ran the programme until 2000 when he resigned because he said it failed to meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.
The oil-for-food programme ran from 1996 to 2003. It allowed Baghdad to sell oil in exchange for humanitarian goods the country lacked due to international sanctions imposed in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait.
Critics said the sanctions led to the deaths of tens of thousands of children and a drastic decline in living standards for almost the entire Iraqi population.
The Iraqi government under Saddam swindled millions of dollars from the 64-billion-dollar scheme, and the scandal has become a huge embarrassment for the United Nations.
"The UN handling of Iraq will be listed as a massive failure," von Sponeck said. "We didn't speak out despite knowing what the economic sanctions had created as a human disaster."
He singled out the United States and British governments for allegedly blocking projects that would, he said, have allowed more people to survive. Some 200 non-governmental organisations -- including the environmentalist group Greenpeace, the anti-globalization ATTAC and Vietnam Veterans Against the War -- as well as a number of prominent intellectuals such as US linguist Noam Chomsky and Egyptian sociologist Samir Amin are involved in the WTI.
The World Tribunal on Iraq
The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) aims to record the severe wrongs, crimes and violations that were committed in the process leading up to the aggression against Iraq, during the war and throughout the ensuing occupation, that continue to be widespread to this day. The Tribunal intends to also record the social, political, environmental and cultural devastation. In the end, the evidence gathered and presented will serve as a historical record that breaks the web of lies promulgated by the war coalition and its embedded press. WTI is a horizontal network of local groups and individuals worldwide that work together in a non-hierarchical system. The project consists of commissions of inquiry and sessions held around the world investigating various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media. The culminating session is taking place in Istanbul from June 23rd to the 27th, 2005, at the start of the third year of the occupation of Iraq. This session will reach a decision following an examination of the results of the previous sessions as well as new reports and testimonies, while evaluating the implications of the aggression against Iraq for the world at large.
Arundhati Roy | The Most Cowardly War in History (Jun 25, 2005)
(...) The Jury of Conscience at this tribunal is not here to deliver a simple verdict of guilty or not guilty against the United States and its allies. We are here to examine a vast spectrum of evidence about the motivations and consequences of the US invasion and occupation, evidence that has been deliberately marginalized or suppressed. Every aspect of the war will be examined - its legality, the role of international institutions and major corporations in the occupation, the role of the media, the impact of weapons such as depleted uranium munitions, napalm, and cluster bombs, the use of and legitimation of torture, the ecological impacts of the war, the responsibility of Arab governments, the impact of Iraqs occupation on Palestine, and the history of US and British military interventions in Iraq. This tribunal is an attempt to correct the record. To document the history of the war not from the point of view of the victors but of the temporarily - and I repeat the word temporarily - vanquished. (...) The assault on Iraq is an assault on all of us: on our dignity, our intelligence, and our future. We recognize that the judgment of the World Tribunal on Iraq is not binding in international law. However, our ambitions far surpass that. The World Tribunal on Iraq places its faith in the consciences of millions of people across the world who do not wish to stand by and watch while the people of Iraq are being slaughtered, subjugated, and humiliated.
World Tribunal for Iraq, Culminating Session Testimony - By Dahr Jamail (June 25)
(...) The security situation is, needless to say, horrendous. With over 100,000 Iraqis killed thus far and the number of US soldiers killed approaching 2,000, the violence only continues to escalate. Since the new Iraqi so-called government was sworn in two months ago, well over 1,000 Iraqis and over 165 US soldiers have died in the violence. These numbers will only continue to escalate as the failed occupation grinds on. As the heavy handed tactics of the US military persist, the Iraqi resistance continues to grow in its number and lethality. As I mentioned before, potable water remains in short supply. Cholera, typhoid and other water-borne diseases are rampant even in parts of the capital city as lack of reconstruction continues to plague Iraq's infrastructure. Raw sewage is common across not just Baghdaut other cities throughout Iraq. With 70% unemployment, a growing resistance and an infrastructure in shambles, the future for Iraq remains bleak as long as the failed occupation persists. While the Bush Administration continues to disregard calls for a timetable for withdrawal, Iraqis continue to suffer and die with little hope for their future. With each passing day, the catastrophe in Iraq resembles the US debacle in Vietnam more and more. Dr. Wamid Omar Nadhmi, a senior political scientist at Baghdad University who was invited to this tribunal, told me last winter, "It will take Iraqis something like a quarter of a century to rebuild their country, to heal their wounds, to reform their society, to bring about some sort of national reconciliation, democracy and tolerance of each other. But that process will not begin until the US occupation of Iraq ends." And it is now exceedingly clear that the only way the Bush Administration will withdraw the US military from Iraq in order for Iraqis to have true sovereignty is if they are forced to do so.
Mete Çubukcu | Moral Responsibility of War Journalism (Jun 24, 2005)
(...) This exodus of the journalists had a single meaning: the US did not want it to be known what was going on in Baghdad which very soon would be made into hell. The presence of many journalists meant a lot of news. This news could easily stain the "clean" war promised by the US. Naturally, lots of journalists yielded to this threat. But it was not the journalists who were originally responsible, but the directives which enforced them to go. However, according to the Geneva Convention, journalists, as well as civilians and soldiers captured in war, are exempt from battle and are considered to be out of the war as much as possible. But it is naive to expect the US to abide by the Geneva Convention when even UN resolutions are ignored. This is the situation in which the biggest destruction and most deadly attack in recent years has been carried out by the American bombardment. In the first days of the war, a few journalists, no more than a hundred in number, were able to report the early attacks. The US government did not want anyone anywhere to understand the destruction of the war by seeing the death and the corpses torn into pieces. The occupying government, who opted to report the war only through their "own" journalists, started to use "embedded" journalists, a strategy which marks a turning point in the history of journalism. This institution is still working today. For this reason, we were not able to know what was going on during the first days of the war, when the forces of the occupation were proceeding; the massacre in Fallujah, the suffering of the Iraqi people, the collapse of a country and a civilization were not accessible in the news. CLIP
Statement of Richard Falk at Press Conference for WTI (23 Jun 2005)
The World Tribunal on Iraq is an undertaking of historic importance. It is the culmination of a process of tribunal sessions on the legal dimensions of the Iraq War that have been held in all parts of the world. This kind of spontaneous initiative of concerned people around the world has never taken place before. It represents an expression of what might be called "moral globalization," acting on the belief that no state and no leader is above the law when it comes to matters of war and peace. And it expresses the overwhelming sentiments of peoples throughout the world that the Iraq War was against international law and morality. This initiative here in Istanbul has a quality of urgency as people are dying and suffering every day in Iraq as we speak. This is not an academic gathering of experts to find out the relevance of law. It is primarily an expression of popular democracy, of ethical conscience about what is right and wrong in world politics, and an expression of resistance to what is understood around the world as an American project to achieve world domination. The Iraq War is the eye of the storm at the moment. But the wider concern of the WTI is with America's hegemonic global ambitions that is bringing danger, violence, and exploitation to many parts of the world at present. CLIP
The "Tribunal Movement"
Truthout's special coverage of this tribunal
Jayan Nayar | Media Wrongs against Truth and Humanity (Jun 24, 2005)
(...) The culpability of much of the media, in conjunction with the 'governments' that we accuse, arises from their parroting of government claims, and their silences and silencings on the following substantive issues:
* The real reasons for the claim to war, and the implications of the claim to the unilateral right to so-called 'preventive' and 'pre-emptive' violence without question or challenge.
* The celebration of 'Coalition' goodness and the silence of the realities of suffering caused by human and socio-economic destruction.
* The silence on the prevalent spirit of resistance within Iraq.
* The impact of so-called 'anti-terror' and other 'security'-based laws which create structures and processes of state terror across the global political landscape.
* The human, social and economic consequences of the spiraling militarization of polities in the name of security.
* The realities of human insecurity, the role of institutions of power in inflicting such conditions of impoverishment and insecurity and the vitality of peoples' other visions against war, and for peace.
In following and pandering to power, rather than serving to scrutinize and call to account power on these issues, those sectors of the media may be seen, perhaps, to have succeeded to serve as the ideological frontline for imperial violence. For this, we must name them complicit, and therefore guilty, in every crime committed as a consequence of the war on Iraq. CLIP
One Year After Sovereignty Restored, Nation is in Crisis (25 June 2005)
Car bombers have struck Iraq 479 times in the past year, and a third of the attacks followed the naming of a new Iraqi government two months ago, according to a count compiled by the Associated Press news agency and based on reports from police, military and hospital officials. The unrelenting attacks, using bombs that can cost as little $17 (£9.30) each to assemble, have become the most-favored weapon of the government's most determined enemies, Islamic extremists. The toll has been tremendous: From 28 April through 23 June, there were at least 160 vehicle bombings that killed at least 580 people and wounded at least 1,734. For the year from the handover of sovereignty on 28 June 2204, until 23 June, 2005, there were at least 479 car bombs, killing 2,174 people and wounding 5,520. CLIP
Despicable Deception - DOD Body Count Fraud (June 22)
Even as one is continuously numbed by the steady flow of lies, fraud, deception and misspeak emanating from the Bush administration as concerns the need for the war in Iraq, and proven as such by the recently-discovered Downing Street and related memos exposing President Bush's personal desire to bring down Saddam as the sole justification for the invasion, reports of a more sinister and despicable deception are beginning to surface. I was told of this Bush program by an acquaintance that offered that a former Marine who had served in Vietnam had just attended the funeral of the son of a friend and called the Bill O'Reilly radio show to relate his story. Apparently, the young man had been killed in Iraq and the former Marine overheard a conversation involving some military officers who were at the funeral. What he heard disturbed him so that he called the show and O'Reilly offered that he "would look into the matter." This latest Department of Defense outrage exposes the total callousness of the neoconservative cabal that continues to control our military under Bush. It helps to explain the heavy secrecy surrounding the news reporting and statistical accuracy of the number of our fallen and injured heroes who have been needlessly placed in harm's way. (...) Bush and Sharon are pushing for an invasion of Iran and/or Syria, and deliberately low-balling the casualties would help drive the secret objective of launching a draft as well as blunting a growing public renunciation of the war in Iraq. Unquestionably, Bush administration policies and actions constitute war crimes, and are certainly impeachable. But as Karen Kwiatkowski points out, impeachment, given the Republican majority in American government today, is at best a pipedream. CLIP
The Smoking Bullet in the Smoking Gun (June 24)
It was a huge air assault: Approximately 100 US and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace. At least seven types of aircraft were part of this massive operation, including US F-15 Strike Eagles and Royal Air Force Tornado ground-attack planes. They dropped precision-guided munitions on Saddam Hussein's major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan. Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers and mobile air-defense systems. The Pentagon's goal was clear: Destroy Iraq's ability to resist. This was war. But there was a catch: The war hadn't started yet, at least not officially. This was September 2002 - a month before Congress had voted to give President Bush the authority he used to invade Iraq, two months before the United Nations brought the matter to a vote and more than six months before "shock and awe" officially began. At the time, the Bush Administration publicly played down the extent of the air strikes, claiming the United States was just defending the so-called no-fly zones. But new information that has come out in response to the Downing Street memo reveals that, by this time, the war was already a foregone conclusion and attacks were no less than the undeclared beginning of the invasion of Iraq. The Sunday Times of London recently reported on new evidence showing that "The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war." The paper cites newly released statistics from the British Defense Ministry showing that "the Allies dropped twice as many bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001" and that "a full air offensive" was under way months before the invasion had officially begun. The implications of this information for US lawmakers are profound. It was already well known in Washington and international diplomatic circles that the real aim of the US attacks in the no-fly zones was not to protect Shiites and Kurds. But the new disclosures prove that while Congress debated whether to grant Bush the authority to go to war, while Hans Blix had his UN weapons-inspection teams scrutinizing Iraq and while international diplomats scurried to broker an eleventh-hour peace deal, the Bush Administration was already in full combat mode - not just building the dossier of manipulated intelligence, as the Downing Street memo demonstrated, but acting on it by beginning the war itself. And according to the Sunday Times article, the Administration even hoped the attacks would push Saddam into a response that could be used to justify a war the Administration was struggling to sell. CLIP
World Tribunal on Iraq - PRESS RELEASE about JURY STATEMENT
27 June 2005
The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all - The Jury of Conscience
Istanbul, 27 June, 2005 - With a Jury of Conscience from 10 different countries hearing the testimonies of 54 members of the Panel of Advocates who came from across the world, including Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom, this global civil initiative came to an end with a press conference at the Hotel Armada where the chair of the Jury of Conscience, Arundathi Roy, announced the Jury's conclusions.
The Jury defined this war as one of the most unjust in history: 'The Bush and Blair administrations blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history. The Anglo-American occupation of Iraq of the last 27 months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi state and society. Law and order have broken down completely, resulting in a pervasive lack of human security; the physical infrastructure is in shambles; the health care delivery system is a mess; the education system has ceased to function; there is massive environmental and ecological devastation; and, the cultural and archeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been desecrated.'
On the basis of the preceding findings and recalling the Charter of the United Nations and other legal documents, the jury has established the following charges against the Governments of the US and the UK:
* Planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.
* Targeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure
* Using disproportionate force and indiscriminate weapon systems
* Failing to safeguard the lives of civilians during military activities and during the occupation period thereafter
* Using deadly violence against peaceful protestors
* Imposing punishments without charge or trial, including collective punishment
* Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment
* Re-writing the laws of a country that has been illegally invaded and occupied
* Willfully devastating the environment
* Actively creating conditions under which the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded
* Failing to protect humanity's rich archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq
* Obstructing the right to information, including the censoring of Iraqi media
* Redefining torture in violation of international law, to allow use of torture and illegal detentions
The Jury also established charges against the Security Council of United Nations for failing to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity among other failures, against the Governments of the Coalition of the Willing for collaborating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, against the Governments of Other Countries for allowing the use of military bases and air space and providing other logistical support, against Private Corporations for profiting from the war, against the Major Corporate Media for disseminating deliberate falsehoods and failing to report atrocities.
The Jury also provided a number of recommendations that include recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq.
The Istanbul session of the WTI lasted three days and presented testimony on the illegality and criminal violations in the U.S. pretexts for and conduct of this war. The expert opinion, witness testimony, video and image evidence addressed the impact of war on civilians, the torture of prisoners, the unlawful imprisonment of Iraqis without charges or legal defence, the use of depleted uranium weapons, the effects of the war on Iraq's infrastructure, the destruction of Iraqi cultural institutions and the liability of the invaders in international law for failing to protect these treasures of humanity.
The session in Istanbul was the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. Sessions on different topics related to the war on Iraq were held in London, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Brussels, New York, Japan, Stockholm, South Korea, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon and Spain.
They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence on the illegality of the invasion and occupation that will be recorded in a forthcoming book.
The Thing We Don't Talk About
By William Rivers Pitt --- t r u t h o u t | Perspective
23 June 2005
With the revelation of the secret Downing Street Minutes, which exposed the fact that George Bush and Tony Blair had decided to invade Iraq in April of 2002, a heated debate has blown through media, congressional and activist circles. The decision to go to war in Iraq was made before any public debate was initiated, before the United Nations was brought into the conversation, confirming that Bush's blather about wanting peace and leaving war as the last resort was just that: blather.
So why did we go?
It had been suspected, and has now been confirmed by the Minutes, that Bush took us to war on false pretenses and by way of a whole constellation of lies and exaggerations. First it was the weapons of mass destruction that were not there. Then it was connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda that did not exist. Finally, it became about bringing freedom and democracy to the region, which has emphatically not happened.
Threaded through the discussion was the belief that Bush and his petroleum-company allies lusted after Iraq's oil. There was also the idea that Bush wanted Saddam's head because of the "unfinished business" left by his father in 1991. Some whispered that Iraq had intended to change the monetary basis of its petroleum dealings from the dollar to the Euro, an action that would have spelled financial disaster for the boys in Houston. Finally, many believed Bush ramped up a war push in order to give Republicans a flag-waving platform to run on in the 2002 midterms.
All of these were on the table as reasons for an invasion, though most of them were not included in public debate. Yet the real reasons behind this war, the real reasons for many of our military actions over the years, were never discussed. As with almost everything we deal with today in the foreign policy realm, the real reasons we invaded Iraq harken back to World War II and the Cold War.
When the United States jumped into World War II, President Roosevelt ordered the American economy be put on a wartime footing. This was a sound decision: the country had to speed its industrial capabilities up to a sprint in order to manufacture a huge fighting army out of whole cloth. The action was successful beyond measure. The economy was invigorated, the war was won, and in the process the military/industrial complex, so named by President Eisenhower, was established as a power player in the American economy.
In 1947, President Harry Truman put forth the Truman Doctrine, a broad policy of foreign intervention to combat the feared spread of Communism around the world. The Doctrine was essentially created by a small band of men like Paul Nitze, who were the precursors of what we now call neo-conservatives. Nitze, it should be noted, was the mentor of Paul Wolfowitz, who went on to be the mentor of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
The establishment of the Truman Doctrine, the establishment of the "permanent crisis" that was the Cold War, required that the American economy remain on a wartime footing. There it has remained to this day, despite the fall of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the threat of a global communist takeover. Ten thousand books have been written on this subject, on the impact of our wartime economic footing upon domestic policy, the environment, global affairs and politics. In the end, however, the fact that our economy is set on a wartime footing means one simple thing.
We need wars.
Without wars, the economy flakes and falls apart. Without wars, the trillions of dollars spent on weapons systems, military preparedness and a planetary army would dry up, dealing a death blow to the economy as currently constituted. Without wars or the threat of wars, the populace is not so easily controlled and manipulated.
Let us be clear, however. When I say "we," I do not refer to your average working man and woman on the street. The man running the shoe store or the woman managing the bar does not need war to remain economically viable. The "we" I speak of is that overwhelmingly wealthy and powerful few who have wired their fortunes into the manufacture of weapons, the plumbing of oil, and the collection of spoils through political largesse.
These are the people who need war. They need it to pile up the contracts from the Pentagon, to enrich the banking institutions that protect them, to pay the lawyers who defend them, to pay the lobbyists who sustain them, to purchase the politicians who champion them, and to buy up the media that hides them from sight.
Yet though this group is small in number, they are "we," for they are our leaders and our myth-makers. They have convinced the majority of this population that war is a necessity. They create the premises for combat and invasion, they convince and cajole and, when necessary, frighten us into line. All too often, almost every time, we buy into the fictions they manufacture, thus sustaining the "permanent crisis" mentality and the need for war after war after war.
The economic need for war creates the required excuses for war. The "permanent crisis" of the Cold War motivated the United States to support the Shah in Iran, a decision that led to the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of Iran as a permanent enemy. The Cold War motivated us to support Saddam Hussein financially and militarily as a bulwark against Iran. The Cold War motivated us to establish the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia to ensure a steady supply of oil. The Cold War motivated us to support Osama bin Laden and the so-called "Jihadists" in Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviet invaders.
Now, we prepare to invade Iran. We have invaded Iraq for the second time in 15 years. We will never invade Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that this nation's vast wealth and Wahabbist extremists make it the birthing bed of international terrorism. We lost two towers in New York City at the hands of a group that we created in the 1980s to fight the Soviets. Put plainly, the "permanent crisis" of the Cold War created a cycle of military self-justification. We build enemies with arms and money, and then we destroy them with arms and money, thus keeping our wartime economy afloat.
The Cold War ended more than ten years ago, but we still need war, and we need that "permanent crisis" to continue the cycle of military self-justification. If a legitimate war is not available, we will create one because we have to. We have our new "permanent crisis," which we call the War on Terror, another turn of the cycle created by an attack that our foreign policy and war-justifications of the last 50 years made almost inevitable.
We need wars. That's why we are in Iraq. This invasion and occupation of that nation has given our economy the war it needs, and has also created the justification for future wars by creating legions of enemies in the Mideast and around the world. Our wartime economy will tolerate no less.
Talking about Bush's lies regarding weapons of mass destruction, or about bringing democracy to the region, or about the dollar-to-Euro transfer, or about the midterm elections, is window-dressing. We invaded Iraq because we had to. This is the elephant in the room, the foreign policy reality nobody talks about.
If you want peace, work to change the underpinnings of our economy. Until that change is made, there will always be wars, invasions, and lies to brings such things about. It is what it is.
"Average life expectancy in Zimbabwe has plummeted to just 33." HELL ON EARTH! ONCE AGAIN THE WESTERN WORLD IS LOOKING AWAY WHILE THE MAD TYRANT EXTERMINATES HIS OWN PEOPLE...
Also from: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/062705P.shtml
Zimbabwe's Secret Famine
By Daniel Howden - The Independent UK
27 June 2005
As a UN envoy arrives to investigate Mugabe's 'Operation Drive Out Trash', thousands of people are dying in rural poverty.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a hidden famine and as a United Nations envoy begins a tour of the country today, The Independent can reveal a deadly nexus of Aids, starvation and depopulation of the cities that is sending tens of thousands to a silent death in rural areas.
One month into President Robert Mugabe's brutal campaign of demolition and displacement, which has cost at least 400,000 people their homes and livelihoods, the scale of the humanitarian disaster is emerging. The victims of this forced expulsion - which has been compared to the devastating policies of Pol Pot in Cambodia - are arriving in the already famine-stricken countryside, where, jobless and homeless, they are waiting to die. Unofficial estimates obtained by The Independent suggest the death rate is already outstripping the birth rate nationwide by 4,000 a week.
The UN has responded by dispatching a special envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, who arrived in Zimbabwe last night, to assess the position. The Tanzanian official, head of the UN habitat programme, is expected to be taken on a carefully organised visit to urban areas where evidence of the pogrom has been hastily cleared. The St Anne's Catholic mission in Brunapeg will not be on her government-controlled tour. The remote outpost, south of Bulawayo, has found itself on the front line of this new battle for survival. A grinding two-hour drive along a rocky dirt track from the main road linking Bulawayo to the Plum Tree border crossing into Botswana, the mission provides the only prospect of medical help for a hundred miles in all directions.
Each day scores of starving and sick people come trekking out of the bush in search of a doctor. Many barefoot and exhausted after walking for up to 12 hours through the night, they form a queue outside the spartan concrete compound and wait.
Pedro Porrino, a Spanish physician who has been working at the mission for three years, says that what is unfolding is an unprecedented crisis. "For the first time I am seeing people who are literally starving to death," he says. "There are people coming to the mission asking to be admitted just so they can eat... Out in the bush families are living on one meal a day."
HIV infection rates in Zimbabwe have soared to the highest in the world and in combination with the growing impact of malnourishment - in a country where the United Nations World Food Programme estimates that four million people need immediate food aid - the effects are devastating.
"Ninety per cent of the people I see are HIV-infected," says Dr Porrino. "Most of the time I wouldn't even need to perform the test; I can see as soon as I look at them that they have HIV. I am seeing men of 25 and 35 weighing 45 kilograms and it's because they have Aids but it's also because they don't eat at all."
With proper nutrition and medical care, HIV sufferers in the West typically take up to 10 years to develop full-blown Aids. For the starving Zimbabweans, their immune systems already weakened by malnutrition, the transition is now a matter of months.
"The speed of the transition is related to malnutrition. Every day I am seeing the evidence of malnutrition among non-HIV patients so you can imagine what is happening to HIV-infected people," Dr Porrino says.
According to one senior consultant surgeon in Bulawayo, who preferred not to be named, the scale of the Aids epidemic has so far masked the extent of the famine. "Put simply, people are dying of Aids before they can starve to death," he said.
Brunapeg is typical of the drought-ravaged areas into which Mr Mugabe is driving the urban poor. The hospital and school rise out of the low scrub, the only buildings of any kind for miles around. Rusting petrol pumps stand idle at the filling station, there hasn't been a fuel delivery in Brunapeg for years.
"Now that people are being forced to come out here what's here for them? Nothing," says the Spanish doctor.
"There are so many people here who have never been into town. The only thing they know is to eat and to survive and now they can't even do that."
With the rural famine gaining lethal momentum, the gap between the political rhetoric of Mr Mugabe, in the capital, Harare, and the situation on the ground has reached surreal proportions. Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980, has pronounced himself pleased with the results of the campaign that he has titled Murambatsvina, which means "drive out the rubbish" in Shona.
The wholesale destruction of shantytowns, squatter camps and street markets from the outskirts of Harare to the majestic Victoria Falls, is hailed by the ruling Zanu-PF as an overdue clampdown on illegal settlements and the criminal element on the fringe of society. The Education Minister, Aeneas Chigwedere, has insisted "people had been moved to an appropriate place", adding that there is "nobody in Zimbabwe who does not have a rural home".
But David Coltart, an MP with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said what had happened was nothing short of a pogrom against the government's opponents.
The state now exercises total control over media and movement inside Zimbabwe. The last two dissenting voices, SW Radio Africa and the Daily News, have been forced to close. A recent headline in The Chronicle, a government mouthpiece, told its readers that Britain was following Zimbabwe's lead and demolishing up to 400,000 homes in a similar clean-up campaign.
Foreign reporters have been expelled and millions of pounds have been spent on strengthening the secret police force, the CIO, in order to infiltrate civil society and opposition groups. In this atmosphere of intimidation and misinformation many Zimbabweans have little idea of what is happening outside their immediate surroundings.
In the hospitals of Bulawayo there are no queues to speak of. But the reason is that people are dying before they can reach a city hospital, according to Dr Mike Cotton, a consultant surgeon. "People have lost confidence in the health service. They don't believe it's worth the time and money to get to a hospital where there is little that can be done for them. They'd rather stay and die where they are," he said.
In antenatal clinics, HIV infection rates are running at 50 per cent. Tests conducted in army barracks show infection rates in excess of 80 per cent.
Zimbabwe, alone among the countries of southern Africa is seeing negative population growth. According to official figures the population stands at 12 million. A senior health official, speaking on condition of anonymity said the real figure could be as low as 9.5 million. Average life expectancy in Zimbabwe has plummeted to just 33.
In Brunapeg, Dr Porrino says: "People ask me why they should bother to be tested for HIV. They ask what I can do for them if they are infected. And I have to tell them the truth: nothing."
And the doctor has a question of his own: "Does anyone in the outside world know what's going on here? What are people waiting for? CLIP
YET ANOTHER SMOKING NAPALM GUN! HORRENDOUS DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE IS THE HALLMARK OF THE BUSH REGIME OF GLOBAL TERROR! A MUST READ!
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Incinerating Iraqis; the napalm cover up
by Mike Whitney
*06/27/05 "ICH"* - - "You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Robert Duvall, "Apocalypse Now" (1979)
Two weeks ago the UK Independent ran an article which confirmed that the US had "lied to Britain over the use of napalm in Iraq". (06-17-05) Since then, not one American newspaper or TV station has picked up the story even though the Pentagon has verified the claims. This is the extent to which the American "free press" is yoked to the center of power in Washington. As we've seen with the Downing Street memo, (which was reluctantly reported 5 weeks after it appeared in the British press) the air-tight American media ignores any story that doesn't embrace their collective support for the war. The prospect that the US military is using "universally reviled" weapons runs counter to the media-generated narrative that the war was motivated by humanitarian concerns (to topple a brutal dictator) as well as to eliminate the elusive WMDs. We can now say with certainty that the only WMDs in Iraq were those that were introduced by foreign invaders from the US who have used them to subjugate the indigenous people.
"Despite persistent rumors of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm" the Pentagon insisted that "US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq." (UK Independent)
* The Pentagon lied. *
Defense Minister, Adam Ingram, admitted that the US had misled the British high-command about the use of napalm, but he would not comment on the extent of the cover up. The use of firebombs puts the US in breach of the 1980 Convention on Certain Chemical Weapons (CCW) and is a violation the Geneva Protocol against the use of white phosphorous, "since its use causes indiscriminate and extreme injuries especially when deployed in an urban area."
Regrettably, "indiscriminate and extreme injuries" are a vital part of the American terror-campaign in Iraq; a well-coordinated strategy designed to spawn panic through random acts of violence.
It's clear that the military never needed to use napalm in Iraq. Their conventional weaponry and laser-guided technology were already enough to run roughshod over the Iraqi army and seize Baghdad almost unobstructed. Napalm was introduced simply to terrorize the Iraqi people; to pacify through intimidation. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Negroponte are old-hands at terrorism, dating back to their counterinsurgency projects in Nicaragua and El Salvador under the Reagan Administration. They know that the threat of immolation serves as a powerful deterrent and fits seamlessly into their overarching scheme of rule through fear. Terror and deception are the rotating parts of the same axis; the two imperatives of the Bush-Cheney foreign policy strategy.
* Napalm in Falluja *
The US also used napalm in the siege of Falluja as was reported in the UK Mirror ("Falluja Napalmed", 11-28-04) The Mirror said, "President George Bush has sanctioned the use of napalm, a deadly cocktail of polystyrene and jet-fuel banned by the United Nations in 1980, will stun the world.. Reports claim that innocent civilians have died in napalm attacks, which turn victims into human fireballs as the gel bonds flames to flesh. Since the American assault on Falluja there have been reports of 'melted' corpse, which appeared to have napalm injuries."
"Human fireballs" and "melted corpses"; these are the real expressions of Operation Iraqi Freedom not the bland platitudes issuing from the presidential podium.
Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, who was the head of the Iraqi Ministry of Health in Falluja, reported to Al Jazeera (and to the Washington Post, although it was never reported) that "research, prepared by his medical team, prove that the US forces used internationally prohibited substances, including mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals in their attacks on the war-torn city."
Dr Shaykhli's claims have been corroborated by numerous eyewitness accounts as well as reports that "all forms of nature were wiped out in Falluja" as well as "hundreds, of stray dogs, cats, and birds that had perished as a result of those gasses." An unidentified chemical was used in the bombing raids that killed every living creature in certain areas of the city.
As journalist Dahr Jamail reported later in his article "What is the US trying to Hide?", "At least two kilometers of soil were removed.. exactly as they did at Baghdad Airport after the heavy battles there during the invasion and the Americans used their special weapons."
*A cover up?*
So far, none of this has appeared in any American media, nor has the media reported that the United Nations has been rebuffed twice by the Defense Dept. in calling for an independent investigation into what really took place in Falluja. The US simply waves away the international body as a minor nuisance while the media scrupulously omits any mention of the allegations from their coverage.
We can assume that the order to use napalm (as well as the other, unidentified substances) came straight from the office of Donald Rumsfeld. No one else could have issued that order, nor would they have risked their career by unilaterally using banned weapons when their use was entirely gratuitous. Rumsfeld's directive is consistent with other decisions attributed to the Defense Secretary; like the authorizing of torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the targeting of members of the press, and the rehiring of members of Saddam's Secret Police (the Mukhabarat) to carry out their brutal activities under new leadership. Rumsfeld's office has been the headwaters for most of the administration's treachery. Napalm simply adds depth to an already prodigious list of war crimes on Rumsfeld's resume'.
* Co-opting the Media *
On June 10, 2005 numerous sources reported that the "U.S. Special Operations Command hired three firms to produce newspaper stories, television broadcasts and Internet web sites to spread American propaganda overseas. The Tampa-based military headquarters, which oversees commandos and psychological warfare, may spend up to $100 million for the media campaign over the next five years." (James Crawley, Media General News Service) It's clear that there's no need for the Defense Dept. to shore up its "strategic information" (propaganda) operations in the US where reliable apparatchiks can be counted on to obfuscate, omit or exaggerate the coverage of the war according to the requirements of the Pentagon. The American press has been as skillful at embellishing the imaginary heroics of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman as they have been in concealing the damning details of the Downing Street Memo or the lack of evidence concerning the alleged WMDs. Should we be surprised that the media has remained silent about the immolation of Iraqis by American firebombs?
The US "free press" is a completely integrated part of the state-information system. Its meticulously managed message has been the most successful part of the entire Iraqi debacle. By providing the requisite cheerleading, diversions and omissions, the media has shown itself to be an invaluable asset to the men in power; perpetuating the deceptions that keep the public acquiescent during a savage colonial war. Given the scope of the media's culpability for the violence in Iraq, it's unlikely that the use of napalm will cause any great crisis of conscience. Their deft coverage has already facilitated the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people; a few more charred Iraqis shouldn't matter.
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: email@example.com
From: "Teresa Perez" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 27 Jun 2005
Subject: WRM Bulletin 95
WORLD RAINFOREST MOVEMENT
Maldonado 1858; Montevideo, Uruguay
Web page: http://www.wrm.org.uy
Editor: Ricardo Carrere
W R M B U L L E T I N 95
June 2005 - English edition
This bulletin is also available in French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Please let us know if you wish to receive it in some of these languages.
THE FOCUS OF THIS ISSUE: INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Forest destruction does not simply happen. A web of actors and policies can always be identified as responsible for initiating processes leading to deforestation and forest degradation. Prominent among those actors are International Financial Institutions which promote and make possible activities which result in massive forest loss and in the violation of the rights of forest and forest-dependent peoples. However, the negative role of these institutions is not easily perceived by the general public, as their loans and policies are presented under the disguise of "development assistance". For that reason, the World Rainforest Movement and Friends of the Earth International decided to produce a joint bulletin on this issue, aimed at shedding some light over the obscure dealings of these institutions. We hope that the articles below will contribute to that aim.
In this issue:
* OUR VIEWPOINT
- Another world is possible ... without International Financial Institutions
* SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON IFIs
- International Financial Institutions: The "development" business
* FINANCING GLOBAL DESTRUCTION
- The IMF's role in the destruction of tropical forests
- The World Bank, Forests and Forest Peoples: Policies, Impacts and Implications
- "Open for business": How the International Finance Corporation subsidises the pulp and paper industry
- The destructive role of Export Credit Agencies
* THE REGIONAL ACTORS
- Secrets and lies: The Asian Development Bank's new forest policy
- The Inter-American Development Bank, Forests and Plantations
- The European Investment Bank: Surrounded by secrecy
* IMPACTS ON THE GROUND
- IMF and deforestation in Indonesia
- Laos: Did The World Bank Fudge Figures to Justify Nam Theun 2?
- Peru: IDB funds the Camisea gas project that endangers biological and cultural forest diversity
- Uruguay: Campaign against IFC funding of pulp mill projects
* BUILDING ALTERNATIVES
- The Mumbai-Porto Alegre Forest Initiative as a real alternative for forests and forest peoples
* OUR VIEWPOINT
- Another world is possible ... without International Financial Institutions
Until the 1950s, countries were just that: countries. During the US presidency of Harry Truman, countries were classified into "developed" and "underdeveloped", depending on how close or distant they were from the US model. Since then, the negative adjective "underdeveloped" has been replaced by the more positive "developing". The fact that most of the so-called "developing" countries are now in a worse social, economic and environmental situation than they were when they were classified as such is not even a matter of much debate.
What's important - for the "developed" countries - is to maintain the illusion that "developing" countries CAN become similar to Western countries. That is also one of the illusions International Financial Institutions (IFIs) seek to maintain.
The IFIs' unstated aim, of course, is different: to ensure that "developing" countries' resources keep flowing to the economically rich "developed" nations, which in the process become even richer -while the "developing" become poorer. Unfortunately, IFIs have until now been highly successful both in achieving this aim and in maintaining the illusion of a Western future for the South.
The two best known IFIs are the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They are assisted by the regional African, Asian and Inter-American Development Banks, as well as by the European Investment Bank and a large number of Northern Export Credit Agencies.
Funding from all those institutions - falsely claimed to be assisting countries to "develop" - has resulted in widespread impoverishment and environmental destruction, while at the same time increasing foreign debt and dependence in Southern countries. That dependency is then used by IFIs to impose favourable conditions - which clearly affect the countries' sovereignty - for northern investment and resource appropriation.
The footprint of IFIs is visible in most processes leading to deforestation. Take the case of the Amazon. Deforestation was first made possible through IFI lending for road-building deep into the forest. This made industrial logging, cattle-ranching, large- scale agriculture, mining, dams and oil exploitation possible, resulting in extensive forest destruction and human rights violations. Most of those activities were themselves made possible through IFI lending. In spite of the plunder of their resources, Amazon countries became indebted and IFI conditionalities forced them to increase resource exploitation for export still further in order to service the external debt. At the same time, structural adjustment programmes opened up the countries' riches to northern corporations even further. A similar pattern can be easily identified in tropical Africa and Asia.
Even now, when the finance ministers of the world's seven richest nations have recently promised to cancel the debts the poorest countries owe to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, they are pursuing the same aims as before. This is made clear in paragraph 2 of the finance ministers' statement (11 June 2005), which says that to qualify for debt relief, developing countries must "... boost private- sector development" and eliminate "impediments to private investment, both domestic and foreign". This means opening up the doors even wider to transnational corporations as well as privatizing whatever can be privatized, including basic peoples' needs (such as water, health care, social security, education), state-owned assets of all types and even the atmosphere (through climate change-related carbon trading).
It is clear that what people and the environment need is exactly the opposite: among other things, to boost community development, to establish clear impediments to destructive private investment, to ensure free access by people to water, health care, social security, education. While pushing in the opposite direction, IFIs are thus clearly not part of the solution to the world's problems but a major actor in increasing them. They are tools used by the powerful against the disempowered. Their funding and conditionalities result in socially and environmentally destructive activities. Another world is possible without these institutions.
World Rainforest Movement - Friends of the Earth International
CLIP - The rest will soon be posted at http://www.wrm.org.uy
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
Why withdrawal is possible
By Mark LeVine
As calls to set a timetable for withdrawing American troops from Iraq grow with each new casualty, President George W Bush and other critics of such a move argue vigorously that announcing such a deadline would grant the insurgents a major political and strategic victory: the former by vindicating the violent, even terroristic methodology of the insurgency itself, the latter by allowing rebels to bide their time and overwhelm government troops once American forces depart.
However convincing at face value, these arguments raise the question: are the only options in Iraq maintaining an unpopular and costly occupation, or handing the country over to "former members of Saddam Hussein's regime, criminal elements and foreign terrorists" (as Bush describes them)?
The answer is manifestly no, and the fact so few people within the corridors of power can imagine an alternative policy reveals a powerful yet fallacious line of reasoning at the heart of arguments to "stay the course" in Iraq: that a US troop withdrawal would automatically leave a security vacuum in its place.
But such an outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion; the problem is that few Americans, especially politicians, are willing to consider the alternative: apologize to the Iraqi people for an invasion and occupation that (whatever our intentions) has gone terribly wrong; ask the United Nations to take over the management of the country's security, lead negotiations to end the insurgency, and oversee redevelopment aid; and leave as soon as a sufficient number of replacement forces are in place.
There are four reasons why such a development, however distasteful to the Bush administration and many Americans, is the best hope for achieving the peace and democracy most everyone wants to bring to Iraq.
First, it is increasingly clear that the insurgency is unwinnable as long as the US remains in Iraq. Even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld now admits that it could take a dozen years to defeat it. Given such a forecast, he explains that "Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency. We're going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency."
Is this our gift to the Iraqi people, what 1,700 American soldiers have died for - a cancerous insurgency that will devour the energy, revenue and personnel of the Iraqi government for the foreseeable future? In most any other country, such an admission by one of the war's chief architects would lead to his resignation, or even indictment for what former senior Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) official Larry Diamond describes (in his new book Squandered Victory) as the "criminal negligence" of the US-led occupation.
The fact that US diplomats have had secret talks with insurgents confirms that the Bush administration is worried that it cannot defeat the insurgency and is exploring the option of a "peace with honor" to extricate America from what even the president (jokingly, no doubt) calls the Iraqi "quagmire". Must we repeat rather than learn from the disastrous history of our withdrawal from Vietnam a generation ago?
Indeed, if the US is talking to insurgents, others can too - particularly others who haven't been involved in the occupation of Iraq and all the disastrous consequences it has led to in so many areas of life in the country. While some elements of the insurgency (particularly the criminals, Ba'athists and foreign jihadis cited by the president) want to transform Iraq into some sort of neo-Taliban state, the clear majority of insurgents are ordinary Iraqis who see themselves as patriots defending their country and will lay down their arms once coalition forces have left, as long as their leaders are involved in negotiating the temporary presence of peacekeeping forces necessary to maintain order.
Second, while Republicans have rightly criticized systematic corruption at the United Nations, the oil-for-food scandal pales in comparison with the level of corruption in post-invasion Iraq. Whether it's $9 billion in cash literally gone missing from CPA offices, repeated no-bid contracts to Halliburton and even the managers of the Abu Ghraib prison, or the smaller-scale but ubiquitous corruption infecting every sector of the Iraqi economy under our tutelage, the US has proven itself incapable of managing the reconstruction and development of the country or supporting an environment in which Iraqis can do it themselves.
A new international regime, which separates the management of the country's security from its reconstruction and the immense profits (and potential for malfeasance) tied to both is the sine qua non for establishing a democratic future for the country. The UN system can't do it alone, but with a sufficient level of supervision and expertise by donor countries and Iraqi professionals, it can help Iraqis rebuild the country with their own skill, labor and resources. In such a scenario it will be much easier to persuade countries such as France, Germany and others who largely stayed clear of involvement in the invasion and occupation to contribute the necessary funds and personnel to enable Iraq's stability and reconstruction. More important, it will give Iraqis a working stake in the peaceful development of their country.
Third, most Iraqis and other critics of the occupation believe the US has no intention of withdrawing its troops from Iraq or relinquishing its de facto control of the country's all-important petroleum resources. Bush declared in his speech on Tuesday night that "as Iraqis stand up, we will stand down", but such blithe declarations are belied by the massive construction going on at US bases across the country and remarks by senior US officials, who have admitted that we intend (with Iraq's "permission" of course) to station tens of thousands of troops in more or less permanent bases across the country for the foreseeable future.
All that's needed is a Status of Forces Agreement signed by an Iraqi government that could not survive without a continued US presence - or in lieu of that, a security situation which makes asking us to leave practically impossible in the foreseeable future - to realize the grandest aspirations of neo-conservatives and security hawks alike: a large and long-term US presence in the heart of the world's major oil producing region as we enter the age of peak oil.
Such a situation might seem ideal in the context of a new cold war with an energy-hungry China, but it would likely fuel a much hotter war against a mushrooming pan-Islamic insurgency across the Muslim world. The US would be much more secure if it took the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent in Iraq and devoted them to developing sustainable alternative energy technologies and transforming the global economic system so that our standard of living no longer depends on billions of people living on $2 a day or less, and entire world regions such as Africa and the Middle East structurally marginalized from the formal flows of money and goods in the globalized economy.
Fourth, an insurmountable collection of evidence is emerging that American forces have systematically committed war crimes in Iraq and continue to violate international law in their actions across the country. The longer the US remains, the greater the chances that senior officials will face criminal charges, or at least international censure, for the conduct of the invasion and occupation of the country.
While it is perhaps unlikely that senior officials will ever stand trial for their actions in an international venue, the loss of American prestige and respect across the world that our actions have brought on is incalculable. Moreover, when tied - quite naturally - by people across the global south to our support for the policies associated with the dominant neo-liberal model of globalization, the Iraqi occupation and the increasingly open imperial endeavor it represents has contributed to the victories of populist anti-American candidates across Latin America, and now Iran.
Even those who support a timetable for withdrawing American troops might respond negatively to the suggestion that America apologize for its invasion and occupation of Iraq. Certainly, the president's speech before the troops at Fort Bragg offered no hint of remorse for the pain and suffering the invasion brought to Iraq.
Such knee-jerk patriotism disappears, however, when you actually visit Iraq, as I did (that is, without a massive security detail and living with Iraqis), and see the disaster that the occupation has produced first-hand. Observed close up, without the filter of an obsequious news media, the overwhelmingly negative consequences of the occupation become impossible to ignore: the 100,000 dead (the majority of them civilians); wide-scale violations of human, political and civil rights; the destruction of the country's health, education and other crucial social systems; the massive unemployment; a violent and destabilizing insurgency that is likely to last a generation or more; the rending of a delicate social fabric that managed to survive a bloody British occupation, several wars, and the even bloodier rule of Saddam Hussein (which we should never forget was made possible in good measure by decades of support from administrations as far back as President John F Kennedy).
In Alcoholics Anonymous, apologizing and making amends for the hurt one has done to others are among the most important steps in the long path toward sobriety. Clearly, Bush, who believes Iraqis should "put the past behind them", isn't about to engage in soul searching about the mission and consequences of our Iraq adventure. But if Americans can admit to - and in doing so, comprehend - the damage our government has wrought in Iraq in our name and with our consent, we will take an important first step in ending our addiction to an unsustainable corporate-led, consumer-driven culture, and the wars and systematic violence, oppression and exploitation it requires world-wide. In doing so we will begin the long but necessary task of building a sustainable and peaceful future, for Iraq, for ourselves, and for the world at large.
Mark LeVine, professor of modern Middle Eastern history, culture, and Islamic studies at the University of California, Irvine, and author of Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil, Oneworld Publications, 2005.
Bush Criticized over Speech about Iraq War
From: "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: After Speech Poll
Date: 29 Jun 2005
AOL By The Numbers:
How would you rate Bush's speech?
How concerned are you about the situation in Iraq?
Not at all 8%
Total Votes: 190,457
Are you satisfied with the progress in Iraq?
Total Votes: 99,449
Will the U.S. ultimately defeat the insurgents?
Total Votes: 99,086
Is the war in Iraq worth the human cost?
Total Votes: 99,799
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