March 22, 2005

The Writing on the Wall Series #38: Seeing The Darkness And Shining Light On It All

Hello everyone

Trying to take in and assess the content of this compilation, I cannot help but feel acute revulsion at all the countless horrors the U.S. military and everything connected to the Bush administration have done and continue doing around the world.

I'm quite sure most everyone on this list experience the same distress when faced with these reports and critical articles that I've been receiving, discovering and networking for the past 8 years now.

It just now seems this is all are getting worst by the day... Seeing them pathetically going out of their way to save one vegetative life in Florida to please their fanatical religious constituency while considering the millions of lives they have willfully taken and the billions of others they are endangering through their immensely destructive, sometimes abjectly inhumane, and most always environmentally insane deeds is the height of hypocrisy - to say the least...

May the Light of Truth shine mightily in everyone's heart to open the world's eyes to what they have done and who they truly represent, and may God have mercy on their souls...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

P.S. Today March 22 is World Water Day which initiates the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life'. So I have prepared for you a Special Water & Health compilation coming your way in a couple days

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STATS for this compilation: Over 21,500 words and 88 links provided.

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"Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red."

- President G. W. Bush, Tampa, Florida, Feb. 4, 2005... muddling through to explain - without any teleprompter text to read - his new Social Security plan. This is exactly what he said! What a "sharp" mind he has!...

"This is the way of peace: overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."

- Peace Pilgrim - Sent by "Stan Penner">

"The army that will defeat terrorism doesn't wear uniforms, or drive Humvees, or call in air strikes. It doesn't have a high command, or high security, or a high budget. The army that can defeat terrorism does battle quietly, clearing minefields and vaccinating children. It undermines military dictatorships and military lobbyists. It subverts sweatshops and special interests. Where people feel powerless, it helps them organize for change, and where people are powerful, it reminds them of their responsibility."

- Author Unknown

Worthy of Your Attention

Reply to Popular Mechanics re 9/11 (Absolutely must see - very long but top-notch article)
Some magazine by the name of Popular Mechanics recently came out with an issue in which the main story was called 9/11: Debunking The Myths: "PM examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most persistent conspiracy theories of September 11." Really? Upon examination it turns out to be a shoddy piece of disinfo produced in a desperate attempt to defend against the fact that Americans are finally waking up and realizing that 9/11 was an inside job, that about 3000 people died at the hands of elements within their own government. CLIP

The World Court Project Declaration for a nuclear weapon-free world
Please download and circulate widely. Signed declarations can be returned to the PGS office and will be taken to the NPT Review Conference in New York at the beginning of May.
Recommended by "Doreen Agostino"> who wrote: "Please download, print your name, address, sign and mail to Physicians for Global Survival to abolish nuclear weapons under effective international control."

ACTION ALERT: The World Supports the McCain-Lieberman Climate Bill (March 19, 2005)
Time for the United States to Start Addressing Climate Change - The United States government has failed to take part in Kyoto or to develop a climate change policy of its own - despite irrefutable scientific evidence for human caused climate change; and emerging ominous ecological, social and economic impacts. The Climate Stewardship Act (S. 342/H.R. 759) currently before the U.S. Congress is a credible bipartisan first step to addressing the dangers of global warming and the Bush administration's policy of indifference. The bill was recently reintroduced in the Senate after a close vote in 2003. The historic Climate Stewardship Act (CSA) promises to cut heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming to 2000 levels by the year 2010. This would be done by creating a market-based system of tradable allowances, based upon the widely successful system of sulfur dioxide emission permits. An independent study by University economists showed that the CSA would have a modest economic impact of $20 per year per household. The bill would also make the U.S. economy more energy efficient; use free-market incentives to lower costs, grow the economy and promote innovation; and break the logjam of U.S. inaction to fight global warming. The CSA is modest yet not inconsequential legislation, representing the best chance in the short to mid-term to create a legitimate U.S. climate policy. Please encourage wavering United States Senators to carefully consider the CSA legislation, and begin addressing climate change now. Take action now (and forward widely) at:
Networked by Ecological Internet,


1. 9-11 on Trial Cracks Mainstream Media!
2. Stop fake news on local TV
3. Filter Tips
4. The Voice of the White House on China & The Dragon squeezes Taiwan
5. The Practice of Torture by the American Army Was Widespread in Afghanistan
6. Scott Ritter: Iraq Vote Fixed
7. Pentagon Has Far-Reaching Defense Spacecraft in Works
8. Hariri reportedly assassinated to make way for large US air base in Lebanon
9. Memory of the Holocaust
10. Government leaves UK defenceless against flu threatening to kill 500,000
11. 50 million dead: how flu stopped the world
12. Ocean heat store makes climate change inevitable



Hundreds of Thousands Demonstrate in Cities Across the Country and around the World on 2nd Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

March 20, 2005

More than 25,000 March in San Francisco, 20,000 in Los Angeles, tens of thousands more in 700 cities from New York to Fayetteville, NC to Seattle

In more than 1000 cities across the country and around the world, demonstrations today protested on the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In San Francisco, 25,000 marched, and 20,000 marched in Los Angeles. Both demonstrations were sponsored by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) which supported and helped to organize many of the other protests around the U.S. 

The crowd in San Francisco swelled as the rain subsided in the late morning. It took more than 45 minutes for the entire demonstration, marching on very wide streets, to enter the Civic Center plaza. The S.F. march included contingents from the labor movement, Glide Memorial Church, the Palestinian and Arab American community, students, immigrant rights movement and many other organizations and communities.

Many thousands marched from Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem to Central Park in New York City in an event sponsored by the Troops Out Now Coalition. 6,000 people marched in Chicago in an event sponsored by the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, and 5,000 people rallied outside Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in an event sponsored by Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, NC Peace & Justice Coalition and other organizations. 2,000 demonstrated and rallied in New Paltz, NY.

People mobilized around the world on March 19 coming out in a united voice demanding an end to the war and occupation of Iraq. More than 100,000 marched in London, tens of thousands in Rome, and large protests in Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paulo, Madrid, Seoul, Manila, Sydney, Stockholm, Mexico City, Tokyo, and all over the world. In the United States, antiwar actions were organized in more than 735 cities and towns -- twice the number as last year's March 19 protests.

We are asking organizers and participants in the many, many rallies and marches across the country and around the world to send us a short report on the activity in your city. We will collect this information and post it on our website. We will also be sending out a more complete report on the March 19 demonstrations in the next few days. Send reports to

Let's keep building this movement. Come to the National People’s Speak-Out in Washington, DC on Saturday, May 7. Hundreds of organizations have already endorsed in the last few days. We will stand together at the doorstep of Bush and Congress to say “Hands Off Our Social Security! Fund People’s Needs, Not War in Iraq!” Join us!

Protest Stories (Lots of demo stories and an amazing picture from Budapest)

Media Downplay Historic Day of Protests (March 20)
Fayetteville, NC -- The second anniversary of the war was the impetus for major demonstrations throughout the world. In the United States, over 800 communities held events calling for an end to the occupation. CNN, however, reported that in the United States "barely a ripple was made while large protests took place in Europe." The New York Times reported that protests in the United States ranged from 350 people in Times Square to thousands in San Francisco. Later in the same story, the Times reported that several thousand marched from Harlem to Central Park. If thousands marched in New York, why did the Times highlight the 350 in Times Square? CNN's report was worse … nothing about US protests. While they only saw a ripple, a huge wave passed them by. If CNN had been in Fayetteville, North Carolina, they would have seen what could be a major turning point in the anti-war movement. The largest Anti-war protest ever in this heavily military town took place. CLIP

Protests in US, Europe as Bush Defends Iraq War (March 19)

U.S. Rallies Mark Iraq Anniversary, Reflect Anti-War Groups' Growth, Challenges (March 21)
US WASHINGTON, D.C., Mar 21 (OneWorld) - Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in cities and towns across America over the weekend to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and to demand that U.S. troops stationed there be brought home.

Global Coverage of Anti-War Rallies from
Around the world, protests took place in Tokyo, Winnipeg, Istanbul, Copenhagen, London, Bombay, Lahore, Rome, Ankara, Athens, Brasilia, Dublin, Glasgow, Mexico City, Sydney, Aukland, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Santiago, Cairo, Montevideo, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg and many other cities.

"George Bush, Uncle Sam. Iraq Will Be Your Vietnam"


See also:

Soma Nation: A Threat Greater Than Terrorism (March 21, 2005)
Delusion has settled over America. Washington cannot tell fact from fantasy. Neither can sycophantic media nor nothink economists. The Bush administration is the first government in history to initiate a war based entirely on fantasy--fantasy about nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction," fantasy about nonexistent "terrorist links," fantasy about "liberating" a people from their culture, fantasy about a "cakewalk" invasion, fantasy about America's omnipotence. Reality has yet to penetrate the Oval Office or America's "red state" consciousness. The gratuitous invasion of Iraq, the torture and the war crimes have made America despised the world over. Our once formidable alliances are shattered. The Muslim world, which perceives America as Israel's enabler of Palestine's oppression, has uniformly turned against us. $300 billion--red ink to the last cent--has been wasted in a pointless war and occupation that has emboldened Islamic revolutionaries, who will be more successful than the US in changing the face of the Middle East. Bush's invasion of Iraq has proved the limits of America's "hegemonic" military power: Eight heavily armored high tech US divisions are tied down by a few thousand lightly armed insurgents who control most of the roads and many towns and cities. Any Iraqi collaborator with the US occupation who is foolish enough to leave the heavily fortified "Green Zone" is shot down or blown up in the streets. Such an outcome is proclaimed a "success" by the White House, Republican politicians and a cheerleading media. The reality is that an ignorant and blundering Bush administration has created a Shi'ite crescent from Iran to Lebanon that is revolutionizing the Middle East. The reality will not penetrate the Bush administration. Reality contradicts Bush fantasy and is "against us." Facts that don't support Bush fantasy are "liberal" and "anti-American." Truth is dismissed as anti-Bush propaganda. It is America that has undergone regime change. The Bush administration constitutes a Jacobin revolution. Its fanatics have declared world war on political diversity. The first victim of Bush's "war on terror" is the Bill of Rights. In its place we have an incipient police state. One might easily conclude that Bush is first among the deluded, but the more one observes economists' romance with outsourcing, the more one wonders if economists are not the most deluded of all. CLIP

Fallujah, Tent City, Awaits Compensation (13 March 2005)
(...)  Almost all the 300,000 inhabitants of the city fled during the attack. On 11 January, the UN High Commission for Refugees said, as summarized by AFSC: 'Approximately 85,000 residents have passed through Fallujah's checkpoints as of January 9. However, only 3,000 to 8,000 people remain in the city overnight, due to the harsh conditions that include a lack of adequate shelter, electricity, water, and health care, as well as curfews and restrictions on movement. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that only 40 percent of the population in the city is receiving assistance. Returning residents find a city that has been ravaged. Massive destruction to infrastructure and housing has been reported. It is estimated that 40 percent of the buildings were completely destroyed, 20 percent had major damage, and 40 percent had significant damage. The International Committee of the Red Cross reported on December 23 that three of the city's water purification plants had been destroyed and the fourth was badly damaged. The water distribution network was destroyed. It will take a long time to restore basic services. ' (...) Readers often write in for an update on Fallujah. I am sorry to say that there is no Fallujah to update. The city appears to be in ruins and perhaps uninhabitable in the near future. Of 300,000 residents, only about 9,000 seem to have returned, and apparently some of those are living in tents above the ruins of their homes. The rest of the Fallujans are scattered in refugee camps of hastily erected tents at several sites, including one near Habbaniyyah, or are staying with relatives in other cities, including Baghdad. The scale of this human tragedy-- the dispossession and displacement of 300,000 persons-- is hard to imagine. Unlike the victims of the tsunami who were left homeless, moreover, the Fallujans have witnessed no outpouring of world sympathy. While there were undeniably bad characters in the city, most residents had done nothing wrong and did not deserve to be made object lessons--which was the point Rumsfeld was making with this assault. He hoped to convince Ramadi and Mosul to fall quiet lest the same thing happen to them. He failed, since the second Fallujah campaign threw the Sunni Arab heartland into much more chaos than ever before. People forget how quiet Mosul had been. And, the campaign was the death knell for proper Sunni participation in the Jan. 30 elections (Sunnis, with 20 percent of the population, have only 6 seats in the 275 member parliament). However much a cliche it might be to say it, the US military really did destroy Fallujah to save it.
(MORE ON THIS INSANITY IN "Filter Tips" #3 below)

Why Graft Thrives in Postconflict Zones (17 March 2005)
A report issued Wednesday said Iraq could become 'the biggest corruption scandal in history.' London - Five Polish peacekeepers are arrested for allegedly taking $90,000 worth of bribes in Iraq. Several Sri Lankan officials are suspended for mishandling tsunami aid. US audits show large financial discrepancies in Iraq. Reports of aid abuse taunt Indonesia. Two of the world's biggest-ever reconstruction projects - Iraq and post-tsunami Asia - are facing major tests of credibility, as billions of dollars of aid and reconstruction money pour in. And according to a major report released Wednesday by Transparency International (TI), an international organization that focuses on issues of corruption, the omens are not good. From Iraq and Afghanistan to Cambodia and Bosnia, from the wrecked coasts of Asia to the kleptocratic carve-up in some African countries, crisis zones are proving to be fertile soil for corruption, the report argues. CLIP

U.S. House Backs $81.4 Billion War Spending Bill (March 17, 2005)
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday easily approved an $81.4 billion war spending bill that would slash President George W. Bush's foreign aid request and include nearly $2 billion more than he sought for defense. (...) The Senate must approve its version of the bill and then the two chambers will have to work out differences before it can become law. The Senate is expected to start work on it next month. (...) If approved, the bill would bring to almost $300 billion the amount Congress has authorized in emergency war spending since U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in March 2003.The bulk of the funds -- $77 billion -- would cover defense costs to help pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That money, $1.8 billion more than Bush asked for, would be used to buy new weapons, body armor and medical supplies for troops.Democrats largely supported the Republican-written bill but said Congress was not providing enough oversight of how the money was being spent.They cited a military audit released on Monday that said leading U.S. defense contractor Halliburton Co. HAL.N>, once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, may have overcharged the U.S. government by more than $100 million under a no-bid oil deal in Iraq. CLIP

America's Agenda for Global Military Domination - by Michel Chossudovsky (03/17/05)
The Pentagon has released the summary of a top secret Pentagon document, which sketches America's agenda for global military domination. This redirection of America's military strategy seems to have passed virtually unnoticed. With the exception of The Wall Street Journal (see below in annex), not a word has been mentioned in the US media. There has been no press coverage concerning this mysterious military blueprint. The latter outlines, according to the Wall Street Journal, America's global military design which consists in "enhancing U.S. influence around the world", through increased troop deployments and a massive buildup of America's advanced weapons systems. While the document follows in the footsteps of the administration's "preemptive" war doctrine as detailed by the Neocons' Project of the New American Century (PNAC), it goes much further in setting the contours of Washington's global military agenda. It calls for a more "proactive" approach to warfare, beyond the weaker notion of "preemptive" and defensive actions, where military operations are launched against a "declared enemy" with a view to "preserving the peace" and "defending America". The document explicitly acknowledges America's global military mandate, beyond regional war theaters. This mandate also includes military operations directed against countries, which are not hostile to America, but which are considered strategic from the point of view of US interests. From a broad military and foreign policy perspective, the March 2005 Pentagon document constitutes an imperial design, which supports US corporate interests Worldwide. CLIP

'Preemptive Strikes' Become Policy

Pentagon: Unilateral, Preemptive Strikes Now US Policy (March 19, 2005),1,4290165,print.story?coll=la-news-a_section
Pentagon strategic plan codifies unilateral, preemptive attacks. The doctrine marks a shift from coalitions such as NATO, analysts say - WASHINGTON - Two years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon has formally included in key strategic plans provisions for launching preemptive strikes against nations thought to pose a threat to the United States. The doctrine also now stipulates that the U.S. will use "active deterrence" in concert with its allies "if we can" but could act unilaterally otherwise, Defense officials said. The changes codify the more assertive defense policy adopted by the Bush administration since the Sept. 11 attacks and are included in a "National Military Strategy" and "National Defense Strategy," reports that are part of a comprehensive review of military strategy conducted every four years. "The president has the obligation to protect the country," said Douglas J. Feith, the Defense Department's undersecretary for policy. "And I don't think that there's anything in our Constitution that says that the president should not protect the country unless he gets some non-American's participation or approval of that." Pentagon managers use the strategic plan to guide such decisions as where to place bases, which bases to eliminate, what weapons to buy and where to position them. The heads of the United States' regional commands across the globe, in turn, use the strategy to prioritize spending and form strategies for eliminating threats in their regions. "The potentially catastrophic impact of an attack against the United States, its allies and its interests may necessitate actions in self-defense to preempt adversaries before they can attack," the National Military Strategy states. A previous version, compiled in 1997, did not include plans for preemptive attacks. CLIP

Afghanistan: 'One Huge US Jail' (March 19, 2005) HORRIFYING! REALLY! MUST READ!,1284,1440836,00.html
Afghanistan is the hub of a global network of detention centers, the frontline in America's 'war on terror', where arrest can be random and allegations of torture commonplace. Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark investigate on the ground and talk to former prisoners(...) Outside Kabul, Afghanistan is bleaker, its provinces more inaccessible and lawless, than it was under the Taliban. If anyone leaves town, they do so in convoys. Afghanistan is a place where it is easy for people to disappear and perilous for anyone to investigate their fate. Even a seasoned aid agency such as Médécins Sans Frontières was forced to quit after five staff members were murdered last June. Only the 17,000-strong US forces, with their all-terrain Humvees and Apache attack helicopters, have the run of the land, and they have used the haze of fear and uncertainty that has engulfed the country to advance a draconian phase in the war against terror. Afghanistan has become the new Guantánamo Bay. Washington likes to hold up Afghanistan as an exemplar of how a rogue regime can be replaced by democracy. Meanwhile, human-rights activists and Afghan politicians have accused the US military of placing Afghanistan at the hub of a global system of detention centers where prisoners are held incommunicado and allegedly subjected to torture. The secrecy surrounding them prevents any real independent investigation of the allegations. "The detention system in Afghanistan exists entirely outside international norms, but it is only part of a far larger and more sinister jail network that we are only now beginning to understand," Michael Posner, director of the US legal watchdog Human Rights First, told us. (...) In Kabul, Nader Nadery, of the Human Rights Commission, told us, "Afghanistan is being transformed into an enormous US jail. What we have here is a military strategy that has spawned serious human rights abuses, a system of which Afghanistan is but one part." In the past 18 months, the commission has logged more than 800 allegations of human rights abuses committed by US troops. The Afghan government privately shares Nadery's fears. One minister, who asked not to be named, said, "Washington holds Afghanistan up to the world as a nascent democracy and yet the US military has deliberately kept us down, using our country to host a prison system that seems to be administered arbitrarily, indiscriminately and without accountability." What has been glimpsed in Afghanistan is a radical plan to replace Guantánamo Bay. (...) We have obtained prisoner letters, declassified FBI files, legal depositions, witness statements and testimony from US and UK officials,
which document the alleged methods deployed in Afghanistan - shackles, hoods,electrocution, whips, mock executions, sexual humiliation and starvation - and suggest they are practiced across the network. Sir Nigel Rodley, a former UN special rapporteur on torture, said, "The more hidden detention practices there are, the more likely that all legal and moral constraints on official behavior will be removed." (...) The US army came to
Afghanistan as liberators and now are feared as governors, judges and jailers. How many US marines know what James Madison, an architect of the US constitution, wrote in 1788? Reflecting on the War of Independence in which Americans were arbitrarily arrested and detained without trial by British forces, Madison concluded that the "accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

What the French TV audience gets to see that is hidden from Americans (Mar 15, 2005)
Editor's Comment: The following article describes The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, the film documentary of the 2002 Coup d'etat against Hugo Chavez Frias, President of Venezuela. This description was written and translated into English by Siv O'Neall, Lyon, France who sent it to us with correspondence. Ms. O'Neall points out the flagrant attempts by the U.S. corporate media to hide from the U.S. population the facts about what happened that rueful day in Caracas when the U.S. funded Venezuelan minority of very wealthy people conducted stormed the presidential palace and kidnapped President Chavez, taking him to a prison in the Carribean in a plane registered in the United States. (...) We thank Siv O'Neall for her incisive media-scalpel that exposes the cancer of suppression that infects the U.S. corporate press today - a western media monopoly that has surrendered all pretense of journalist integrity in service to the corporate global empire. CLIP

John Manley, prominent Liberal politician in Canada, has shown a stunning lack of judgment in chairing a private group proposing a new security-economic regime for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. One hopes the proposal is not a feeler for something quietly supported by Paul Martin's government. We do know that Mr. Martin's goal of improving relations with George Bush has been a bit of a runaway train, gone off the tracks. The Prime Minister is almost certainly looking for ways to right the engine and fire up the boilers. I could dwell on the difficulty of anyone's improving relations with a man of Mr. Bush's remarkably unpleasant character. After all, Canada has produced no more affable or charming politician than former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and Mr. Chretien it seems could not entirely disguise a sense of repulsion. I am sure he did not greatly miss his cancelled invitation to share charred cow, root beer, and sermons from the Book of Revelations down in Crawford, Texas. (...) The panel's scheme is a vision of Fortress America scowling at the worldwith its two small neighboring principalities huddled in the shadows of outer works or pens under the massive walls. The scheme is sweetened for Canada and Mexico by offering supposed new certainties in trade access to the world's largest national market. The outer works supposedly have open doors through the looming walls. CLIP

Bottom Dollar (March 21)
The greenback's fall is stoking fears of a global crisis. Behind the slide: a world economy wildly out of balance.

Asian banks offload their greenbacks (March 12, 2005)
The US dollar's status as the world's main reserve currency is under threat as Asian banks back away from the superpower's ballooning twin deficits.

Bush to Recommend Wolfowitz for World Bank (16 March 2005)
Washington - President Bush on Wednesday tapped Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who has been a lightning rod for criticism of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and other defense policies, to take over as head of the World Bank. (...)  The United States is the World Bank's largest member nation. The bank traditionally has had an American president. Its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, traditionally has been headed by a European. (...) The Bush administration has been pushing for major reforms in how the World Bank operates, especially interested in having the development bank dole out aid in the forms of grants, which don't have to be repaid, rather than loans.

Bush's 'shocking' choice of Wolfowitz for World Bank provokes outrage (18 March 2005)
President George Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank has triggered reactions ranging from polite acceptance to outright hostility among foreign governments and aid groups.Some believe he is unqualified for the job while others fear he will be all too effective in using the post to expand America's global dominance.(...) Clare Short, the former international development secretary, described the nomination of the Bush administration's leading neoconservative hawk as the equivalent of sticking up "two fingers to the world". "This is really shocking," she told Channel 4 News. "It's as though they are trying to wreck our international systems." Caroline Lucas, a British Green and member of the European Parliament, described the nomination as "an insult to the world's poor". "As a leader of the neoconservative movement," she added, "[Wolfowitz's] belief in unfettered free markets and a philosophy that what is in the US's interest is thereby in the interest of the entire world spells disaster for many countries in the developing world." Much of the criticism of Mr Wolfowitz is focused on his lack of direct experience of the financial sector and his limited exposure to development issues - for much of his life he has been an academic and a diplomat focussed on military and strategic questions. Many experts and government officials also found it troubling that the Bush administration, in nominating someone for a job dependent on consensus-building, would pick someone who has become a symbol of US resistance to that very consensus. Not only did Mr Wolfowitz push harder than anyone for the invasion of Iraq two years ago - with or without the approval of the rest of the world - he also has a long track record of advocacy of a strong America acting as it sees fit, pre-emptively if necessary, to protect its global interests.

World Bank Workers Reject Wolfowitz

Now Wolfowitz Is Laughing All the Way to the World Bank (March 20)
The Rules are that the other 183 members are supposed to go along with whomever the United States designates to run the World Bank. It's the perquisite for providing nearly 17 percent of the bank's money - more than twice that of No. 2 Japan. So official grousing about President George W. Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz is at a minimum, even though much of the world sees it as akin to sending Darth Vader to guard the Princess Leia. Our European allies count it a direct affront. You don't like John Bolton at the U.N.? Take Wolfowitz at the World Bank - an even bigger ideologue and one of the Iraq war's main architects. He'll shake up your poverty programs! CLIP

Angry E.U. Calls Wolfowitz to Brussels over World Bank

Getting Away with Murder (March 21, 2005)
(...) The key to the U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia can be found in a 1992 draft of the Pentagon Defense Planning Guidance on post-Cold War Strategy, prepared under the direction of Paul Wolfowitz. It advocated discouraging other advanced industrialized nations "from challenging our leadership" or "aspiring to a larger regional or global role." The document declares, "Our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in [the Middle East and Southwest Asia] to preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil." Bush's wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are consistent with this strategy, as are his appointments of Wolfowitz, architect of the Iraq war and "preemptive war" doctrine, as head of the World Bank, and John Bolton, avowed U.N.-hater, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. After NATO conquered Yugoslavia, Halliburton's Brown and Root constructed Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, the largest foreign U.S. military base built since the Vietnam War. Besides the Great Wall of China, the only other earthly thing visible from outer space is Camp Bondsteel. Brown and Root is also building the 14 permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. Mandel's indictment of the United States' policies in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Rwanda does not ignore the complicity of the other dark forces in those conflicts. He writes, "The fact that the Americans and their allies have been the supreme criminals in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq does not mean their enemies are innocent. The fact that the Americans and the Europeans were directly and indirectly complicit in the atrocities of Rwanda, and the fact that their Tutsi clients in the RPF [Rwandan Patriotic Front] committed them too, does not mean that the Hutu government and militias did not." CLIP

Insane US Experimental Bomb Test, in Attempt to Change Jet Stream

Atomic clock ticks down to fallout with Iran (March 18, 2005),12858,1440433,00.html
Iran and the western powers are on a collision course as the clock ticks towards crucial talks in Paris next week about Tehran's nuclear programme. Iranian diplomats insist that their country's development of nuclear technology is for peaceful, civilian purposes only. They say Iran is merely exercising its right, under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to enrich uranium for reactor fuel. But the EU "troika", comprising Britain, France and Germany, and the Bush administration do not believe them. Brandishing evidence of past concealment gathered by UN inspectors, they suspect that Iran is seeking weapons-grade uranium to build atomic bombs. CLIP

US cancels Agent Orange study in Vietnam (20 March 2005)
Is Agent Orange responsible for deformities in the children and grandchildren of people exposed to it during the Vietnam war? Vietnam claims the herbicide, used by the US to reduce forest cover, is to blame. But the US has never accepted this. The chances of the issue ever being resolved receded last month when the US cancelled a multimillion-dollar research project. CLIP

Now fears grow for ozone layer above Europe (March 7, 2005)
(...) Dr Neil Harris, of the European Ozone Research Co-ordinating Unit in Cambridge, says ozone levels in the Arctic are 40 per cent lower than normal for this time of year. But scientists are divided on the likelihood of a hole developing. The crunch will come in the next few weeks when sunlight - which plays a key role in destruction - returns after the dark Arctic winter. If the hole does form, the risk to people will depend on weather conditions and other local factors, Dr Harris says. For example, clouds will shield people from radiation, while sunny days will expose them to it. But, even at its worst, the depletion is likely to be only half as severe as over Antarctica.
The ozone layer
* Ozone is a scattering of the blue-tinged gas through the 33km-deep stratosphere which screens out harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
* It is so thin that if collected together it would form a girdle round the Earth no thicker than the sole of a shoe.
* Without it life on Earth would be impossible.

Report: Navy Sonar Likely Made Orcas Flee (March 17, 2005)
SEATTLE (AP) -- Sonar pulsing from a Navy guided-missile destroyer during training exercises near the San Juan Islands two years ago was likely loud enough to send killer whales fleeing, according to a government agency report. The National Marine Fisheries Service report backed up local experts who said sonar from the USS Shoup caused a group of orcas to behave abnormally, apparently trying to avoid the sound. It contradicts the Navy's previous findings that orcas in Puget Sound's J Pod seemed unaffected by the sonar coming from the Shoup on May 5, 2003. NFMS' 10-page report, dated Jan. 21 but not released publicly until March 10, said the Shoup's sonar was not loud enough to cause the whales any temporary or permanent hearing damage. Cmdr. Karen Sellers, the Navy's spokeswoman for the Northwest, acknowledged the Shoup's sonar signals were the "dominant noise event'' experienced by the orcas that day. She said the Navy maintains the "biological significance'' was minimal, The (Bremerton) Sun newspaper reported Wednesday. Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor said whether the whales suffered hearing loss is beside the point. "They are trying to get away, and they are stranding and dying. It is irrelevant whether they had hearing loss if they are dead,'' Balcomb said. Marine mammal researchers have also expressed concern about 15 harbor porpoises found dead in northern Puget Sound in the spring of 2003. Sellers said the Navy stands by its conclusions those deaths were not related to sonar. The NMFS report said scientists found no signs the porpoises' ears suffered any acoustical trauma, although decomposition hindered researchers' analysis. Puget Sound's orca population has been proposed for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Degree of Sonar Harm to Marine Mammals Debated (18 March 2005)
Whales, porpoises seen acting strangely - Scientists and whale-watchers in Haro Strait could hear the sonar long before they saw the USS Shoup. As the pings grew louder above and beneath the waves, sounds ricocheting off submerged land forms, onlookers saw a minke whale, Dall's porpoises and killer whales behaving strangely. Whale expert David Bain said a minke, usually wary of research boats, was nearly run over by one. The porpoises panicked, bolting from the unnatural sounds. A pod of orcas swam into an unusual area, hid for a while, then split up, reuniting a day later. But to the chagrin of those hoping for stronger marine mammal protections, a report by the National Marine Fisheries Service shows the difficulties in scientifically proving sonar's impact on denizens of the deep. At a time when scientists and environmentalists increasingly view sonar as a culprit in marine mammal deaths, such as the recent dolphin beachings at Florida's Key West, the federal report effectively concludes that the high-powered sonar used by the Navy in 2003 did not actually harm Puget Sound orcas' hearing. (...) The Fisheries Service assessment includes a detailed analysis of Navy records of sonar activity, decibel levels and reverberations or echoes, hydrophone recordings, videotapes of pod behavior, and the relative distances of the ships to the whales. The report found, for example, that sonar levels received by J-pod whales ranged from 121 to 175 decibels. Bain, a University of Washington professor who has studied whales for 25 years, said Haro Strait would register about 90 decibels if quiet -- no boats, no wind or rain. But because the impact of decibels is calculated exponentially -- by how sound is perceived -- a decibel range of 175 or 180 is actually heard 500 times louder than 90 decibels. CLIP

Monarch butterfly populations see sharp decline this season
Cold, wet weather in the U.S., illegal deforestation in Mexico, and strong herbicides used on genetically altered crops in the U.S. and Canada are, warn scientists, threatening the survival of the monarch butterfly. Researchers say the number of monarchs that made it to their forested, hilly wintering grounds in Mexico this winter was the lowest since record keeping began about 30 years ago, some 75 percent lower than last year. "There used to be rivers of butterflies, but now there are years when there are no butterflies at all," says Homero Aridjis of the area near his village. He helped set up monarch sanctuaries in the 1980s and calls the current decline in population numbers a "trinational crisis," referring to the three countries -- Mexico, the U.S., and Canada -- through which the orange and black insects migrate thousands of miles. Although monarch butterflies are known to be quite resilient following years of die-off, biologists say the continued habitat destruction throughout their migratory path may cause numbers to drop so low that the population will be unable to recover.

Farm animals 'need emotional TLC' (2005/03/18)
Farm animals have feelings which should be respected and catered for, academics at a London, UK, meeting have said.They believe animals should not be dismissed as simple automatons - cows take pleasure in solving problems and sheep can form deep friendships.Delegates from around the globe were speaking at the Compassion in World Farming Trust (CIWF Trust) conference.They shared ways of exploring the minds of animals, as well as monitoring their suffering and alleviating their pain. (...) "I am incredulous that some sceptics actually question whether animals feel anything." Now there is a growing weight of evidence to suggest animal minds probably do house emotions quite similar to our own. (...) "It helps send a message about treating animals in a proper way. A number of dairy farms now have signs up saying 'please don't shout at the cows'."The famous chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall, in her opening speech at the conference, said we needed to re-define the way we viewed animals, both tame and wild.Dr Goodall, 71, who has spent 45 years studying chimps in Africa, told the CIWF Trust delegates that humans and chimps were strikingly similar - that both shared a capacity for barbarity but were also capable of great altruism.She described how she had seen chimps come to the aid of others who had been frightened, orphaned or injured, demonstrating "a care and compassion indistinguishable from our own".She said: "We have to understand we are not the only beings on this planet with personalities and minds."

World Population Grew by 76 Million People in 2004 (22 December, 2004)
During 2004, 133 million people were born and 57 million died, expanding world population by 76 million. This excess of births over deaths was concentrated in the developing countries, which added 73 million people compared with only 3 million in the industrial countries. World population, growing by 1.2 percent annually, is projected to reach 6.4 billion in 2005. (...) U.N. projections of world population growth show several potential trajectories. The low-fertility scenario has population peaking at 7.5 billion by 2040 and then falling to 7.4 billion in 2050. The medium-growth scenario has the world hitting 8.9 billion by mid-century, with growth slowing until population peaks at 9.2 billion around 2075. The high-growth variant brings us to 10.6 billion by 2050 and 14 billion by the end of the century. With water and land in limited supply, whether we move toward the higher or lower number may have more influence on future environmental and social stability than anything else we do. The most humane way to achieve the low-level projections is to improve health and social conditions to promote population stabilization through reduced birth rates, not to allow death rates to climb as a result of negligence.

Road Threatens Central America's Greatest Rainforest Wilderness (March 18, 2005)
OVERVIEW & COMMENTARY by Dr. Glen Barry, - Panama's government is accelerating efforts to build a road through the Darien Gap - one of Central America's last great rainforest wildernesses. There will always be a somewhat reasonable excuse to wipe out the Earth's last rainforests and other vital ecosystems. Money can almost always be made for a select few by liquidating natural ecosystems. At some point destroying terrestrial, oceanic, atmospheric and hydrological ecosystems leads to ecological collapse. It is only after a critical threshold ha been reached - such as has happened in the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere - that the land, water and air can no longer support affluent life for more than a few. Perhaps the Darien gap can be destroyed and the ecosystems of the region remain intact. Or maybe it is the proverbial straw that will break the ecosystem's back, leading to climate change,drought, more deforestation and lack of other critical services provided to humanity by intact rainforests. The well-being of future generations of Panamanians is best served by keeping the Darien gap natural, and stopping road construction. NOTE: Glen Barry's comment was made in response to this news:
In Panama's jungle, new roads pit ecotourism against logging (March 18, 2005)

An Environmental Impact Overview of chemtrails - Recommended by "Stephanie Sutton"> who wrote: "Not everyone can handle this information nor do they wish to be informed. For those of us that are awake and willing, please read the following information and do what you can."

The Killing of Rachel Corrie (16 March 2005)
Washington, DC - Observing the two-year anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie on March 16, 2003, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to support an independent investigation of her death. Corrie, a US citizen, was apparently trying to stop the demolition of a Palestinian building in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip when an Israeli army bulldozer ran her over, crushing her to death. Amnesty International believes that investigations into Corrie's death, conducted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), failed to resolve contradictions between the official IDF position and eyewitness testimonies. Although this year's Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel agreed, stating bluntly that "U.S. officials who have seen the IDF report found inconsistencies among the statements of the people involved in the accident and other witnesses," there is no indication that the US has sought further investigation of these inconsistencies. While the US government has assisted in the investigations into cases of US citizens killed by Palestinian armed groups, it has failed to do so in Corrie's case, raising the appearance of a double standard. CLIP

Dozens of articles on Rachel Corrie's death compiled by "Mark R. Elsis"

Omega-News Collection 19. March 2005

EMF-Omega-News 19. March 2005


From: Sandy Medine>
Date: 18 Mar 2005
Subject: MUST READ: 9-11 on Trial Cracks Mainstream Media!

"If the search for truth and justice doesn't matter to us in regard to 9-11, what does?"

Note: This article appeared in The Centre Daily Times on Thursday, March 10, 2005 and can been seen at

Opening Comments by Lisa Guliani

On Thursday, March 10, 2005, 9-11 truth finally made a breakthrough into the mainstream media when a State College, Pennsylvania newspaper - The Centre Daily Times - owned by Knight-Ridder (the third largest newspaper chain in the United States) published a 650-word Op-Ed article by Victor Thorn. This publication, with a daily circulation of approximately 30,000 readers, allowed Thorn to discuss his latest book, 9-11 on Trial, which lays out a solid, thoroughly-researched case that the government’s “official” story regarding how the WTC towers collapsed could not possibly be true. This article appears below - please disseminate far-and-wide!


Author Searches for Truth on Trade Center Collapse

by Victor Thorn

What if you discovered that the government’s “official” explanation for the World Trade Center collapse on the morning of 9-11 was not exactly true? In addition, what if their “official” version of events could be disproven solely on the basis of physics, mathematical equations, scientific formulas, physical evidence, and expert testimony – without the use of a single “conspiracy theory”? Would your perspective on 9-11 be dramatically altered?

This is precisely what is illustrated in 9-11 on Trial, a book that shreds the government’s official story – and credibility – beyond repair. Did you know, for instance, that never before in the history of the world has a steel building collapsed due to fire? Yet on 9-11, three of them did just that in seven hours – with WTC 7 not even being hit by an airliner.

Furthermore, it takes a temperature of 2,795 degrees to melt construction grade steel, yet the highest temperature jet fuel can reach is 1,517 degrees. Plus, all the jet fuel burned off within two minutes of the towers being struck, while two independent studies proved that the fires within each tower never rose above 500-600 degrees. In fact, FEMA revealed in their final report that, “The heat produced by burning jet fuel does not by itself appear to have been sufficient to initiate the structural collapse.”

Also, the WTC towers were designed to withstand the impact from a Boeing 707 (similar to a Boeing 767), and each floor was designed to hold 2,600,000 pounds beyond its own weight. Likewise, the steel used in these structures was rated to hold five-times its normal load. MIT professor Thomas Eager admitted as much when declaring, “The impact of the airplanes would have been insignificant” in toppling the towers.

Also, how do we explain the pools of molten steel which were found bubbling 70 feet beneath the towers five weeks after 9-11? Incidentally, a temperature of 5,182 degrees is needed to transform steel into a liquefied state. Do you think fires that FEMA admitted “would have burned at, or below, temperatures typical in office fires” could have produced such extremes? Even NYFD audiotapes of firefighters who reached the South tower’s impact point reveal that they “judged the blazes to be manageable” and were easily extinguishable in less than an hour.

Even more interesting is the South Tower. Even though it experienced a less forceful hit than the North Tower and had smaller fires, it fell in only half the time of its counterpart (56 minutes). It takes five-times that long to cook a turkey! Plus, the South Tower’s cap, which initially tipped 23 degrees past vertical, suddenly reversed direction, then dropped vertically, defying Newton’s First Law of Motion.

Most incriminating, though, is the resistance-free speed (a mere 10 seconds) at which the towers collapsed. To put this matter into perspective, if you were standing atop the WTC towers, and at the precise moment when they began to fall you dropped a football over the side, you and the football would have hit the ground at nearly the exact same moment. In other words, 200,000 tons of steel, 425,000 cubic yards of concrete, and all the walls, desks and floors provided no resistance whatsoever. Not only does such a collapse defy Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies, it is physically impossible unless all resistance was removed via a controlled demolition.

Of course there’s more (seismographic data, the ridiculous pancake & truss-bolt theories, and the complete vaporization of nearly all the concrete into a fine microscopic dust), but I'll close with this question: considering that 9-11 was the most traumatic event of the 21st century, if there was even a one-percent chance that the government’s official story was false, shouldn't we do everything humanly possible to discover what the truth ultimately is?

Because, if the search for truth and justice doesn't matter to us in regard to 9-11, what does?


Victor Thorn is the author of 9-11 on Trial, the founder of Sisyphus Press, and the co-host (with Lisa Guliani) of WING TV. His website can be found at:


Date: 14 Mar 2005
From: Peter Phillips>
Subject: Stop fake news on local TV


On Sunday, the New York Times reported that at least 20 federal agencies have made and distributed pre-packaged, ready-to-serve television news segments to promote President Bush's policies and initiatives.

Congress' Government Accountability Office determined that these "video news releases" were illegal "covert propaganda" and told federal agencies to stop. But last Friday, the White House ordered all agencies to disregard Congress' directive.

The Bush administration is using hundreds of millions of your tax dollars to manipulate public opinion. Here's how to stop them:

1. Sign our petition and help us get 250,000 people to join our call to Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and local television stations. Tell Congress and the FCC to toughen and enforce laws against "covert propaganda" and demand that broadcasters come clean with viewers about using government-produced news.

2. Join others in your community to create "citizen agreements" with your local TV stations to stop fake news broadcasts. These agreements are official documents filed at the FCC that -- if broken -- can be used to deny license renewals. Free Press will connect you with others in your area working to ensure local broadcasters identify the sources behind the "news."

Unless we speak out now, the White House will continue to act with impunity -- taking advantage of understaffed and incautious local news operations to manipulate public opinion.

Please take a few moments to sign the Free Press petition and forward this message to everyone you know.

Sign our petition at and help us get 250,000 people to join our call to Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and local television stations.


Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press :

John Stauber
Executive Director
Center for Media and Democracy :


See also:

Wanted: 250,000 Americans To Fight Fake News & Government Propaganda (March 17)
The Center for Media and Democracy is working with Free Press to gather a quarter million signatures on our petition mobilizing the American public to fight fake news and government propaganda. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that at least 20 federal agencies have made and distributed pre-packaged, ready-to-serve television news segments to promote President Bush's policies and initiatives. Congress' Government Accountability Office determined that these "video news releases" were illegal "covert propaganda" and told federal agencies to stop. But last Friday, the White House ordered all agencies to disregard Congress' directive. The Bush administration is using hundreds of millions of your tax dollars to manipulate public opinion. Here's how to stop them.CLIP

'Purely Informational' Propaganda (March 17, 2005)
(...) THEY are making us pay to have ourselves brainwashed. All good conspiracy theories begin with "they" — and in this case, it's the usual suspect of the right wing: the ever-evil federal government. Rush Limbaugh, get on this case. Stealth propaganda now goes by the beguiling moniker "pre-packaged news." And our government, the one supposedly run by us, is using our money to secretly brainwash us. Is this gross, or what? No joke, this is seriously creepy: The U.S. government is in the covert propaganda business, and it's not aiming this stuff at potential terrorists, it's aiming it right square at your forehead. CLIP

"White House News Forgeries Widespread"

$226 Million In Government Ads Paved Way For War (March 17, 2005)

The Age of Missing Information (March 17, 2005)
The Bush administration's campaign against openness. - The government does a remarkable job of counting the number of national security secrets it generates each year. Since President George W. Bushe ntered office, the pace of classification activity has increased by 75 percent, said William Leonard in March 2 congressional testimony. His Information Security Oversight Office oversees the classification system and recorded a rise from 9 million classification actions in fiscal year 2001 to 16 million in fiscal year 2004. Yet an even more aggressive form of government information control has gone unenumerated and often unrecognized in the Bush era, as government agencies have restricted access to unclassified information in libraries, archives,Web sites, and official databases. Once freely available, a growing number of these sources are now barred to the public as "sensitive but unclassified" or "for official use only." Less of a goal-directed policy than a bureaucratic reflex, the widespread clampdown on formerly public information reflects a largely inarticulate concern about "security." It also accords neatly with the Bush administration's preference for unchecked executive authority. CLIP


Forwarded by Paul Prior>

From :

Filter Tips

By Chris Floyd

03/18/05 "Moscow Times" - - U.S. President George W. Bush often complains about the "media filter" that distorts the true picture of his administration's accomplishments in Iraq. And he's right. For regardless of where you stand on Bush's policies in the region, it's undeniable that the political and commercial biases of the American press have consistently misrepresented the reality of the situation.

Here's an excellent example. Earlier this month, the American media completely ignored an important announcement from an official of the Iraqi government concerning the oft-maligned U.S. operation to clear insurgents from the city of Fallujah last November. Although the press conference of Health Ministry investigator Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli was attended by representatives from The Washington Post, Knight-Ridder and more than 20 other international news outlets, nary a word of his team's thorough investigation into the truth about the battle made it through the filter's dense mesh. Once again, the American public was denied the full story of one of President Bush's remarkable triumphs.

Dr. ash-Shaykhli's findings provided confirmation of earlier reports by many other Iraqis -- reports that were also ignored by the arrogant filterers, who seem more interested in hearing from terrorists or anti-occupation extremists than ordinary Iraqis and those like Dr. ash-Shaykhli, who serve in the U.S.-backed interim government vetted and approved by President Bush. But while the media elite turn up their noses at such riffraff, the testimony of these common folk and diligent public servants gives ample evidence of Bush's innovative method of liberating innocent Iraqis from tyranny:

He burns them to death with chemical weapons.

Dr. ash-Shaykhli was sent by the pro-American Baghdad government to assess health conditions in Fallujah, a city of 300,000 that was razed to the ground by a U.S. assault on a few hundred insurgents, most of whom slipped away long before the attack. The ruin of the city was complete: Every single house was either destroyed (from 75 to 80 percent of the total) or heavily damaged. The city's entire infrastructure -- water, electricity, food, transport, medicine -- was obliterated. Indeed, the city's hospitals were among the first targets, in order to prevent medical workers from spreading "propaganda" about civilian casualties, U.S. officials said at the time.

Eyewitness accounts from the few survivors of the onslaught, which killed an estimated 1,200 noncombatants, have consistently reported the use of "burning chemicals" by American forces: horrible concoctions that roasted people alive with an unquenchable jellied fire, InterPress reported. They also tell of whole quadrants of the city in which nothing was left alive, not even dogs or goats -- quadrants that were sealed off by the victorious Americans for mysterious scouring operations after the battle. Others told of widespread use of cluster bombs in civilian areas -- a flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions, but a standard practice throughout the war.

The few fragments of this information that made it through the ever- vigilant filter were instantly dismissed as anti-American propaganda, although they often came from civilians who had opposed the heavy-handed insurgent presence in the town. Rejected as well were the innumerable horror stories of those who had seen their whole families -- including women, children, the sick and the elderly -- slaughtered in the "liberal rules of engagement" established by Bush's top brass. Most of the city was declared "weapons-free": military jargon meaning that soldiers could shoot "whatever they see -- it's all considered hostile," The New York Times reported, in a story buried deep inside the paper.

Yet the ash-Shaykhli team -- again, appointed by the Bush-backed government -- confirmed the use of "mustard gas, nerve gas and other burning chemicals" by U.S. forces during the battle. Dr. ash-Shaykhli said that survivors -- still living in refugee camps, along with some 200,000 former Fallujah residents who fled before the assault -- are now showing the medical effects of attack by chemical agents and the use of depleted uranium shells. (American officials have admitted raining more than 250,000 pounds of toxin-tipped DU ammunition on Iraqis since the war began.)

The Pentagon has acknowledged using white phosphorus in Fallujah, but only for "illumination purposes." It denied using napalm in the attack -- but, in the course of that denial, it admitted that its earlier denials of using napalm elsewhere in Iraq were in fact false. And individual Marines filing "After Action Reports" on the Internet for military enthusiasts back home have detailed the routine use of white phosphorus shells, propane bombs and "jellied gasoline" (also known as napalm) during direct tactical assaults in Fallujah.

Dr. ash-Shaykhli's findings -- coming from a pro-American government, buttressed by reams of eyewitness testimony from ordinary Iraqi civilians -- appear to be substantial, credible and worthy of further investigation by the U.S. press. Certainly, the findings are more credible than the pre-war lies and fantasies about Saddam's phantom WMD, which the "media filter" lapped up from the Bush regime and amplified across the nation, rousing support for an unnecessary, illegal and immoral war. Yet these serious new atrocity charges have not even been mentioned, much less examined.

Behind the filter -- with its basic story template of "always moral U.S. policies occasionally marred by a few bad apples" -- a relentless degeneration of American society is taking place. Brutality and atrocity are becoming normalized, systemized and rewarded. The noble American ideal of transcendence -- overcoming the beast within, seeking to embrace an ever-broader, ever-deeper, ever-richer vision of universal communion and individual worth -- is dying at the hands of the resurgent barbarity championed and cultivated by the Bush regime. Old-fashioned citizens are being replaced by "Bush Americans": wilfully ignorant, bellicose zealots, cringingly servile toward the powerful, violently hostile to all "outsiders." Despite Bush's artful complaints, the media filter has served his degenerate purposes very well.



(Go at for all the links to these articles below)

Napalm, Chemical Weapons Used at Fallujah: Iraqi Official
ILCA Online, March 7, 2005

Stories From Fallujah
Iraq Dispatch, Feb. 8, 2005

Fallujah, Tent City, Awaits Compensation
Informed Comment, March 13, 2005

Another Sad Day for Our Country
The American Independent, March 7, 2005

Iraqi Health Ministry Confirms Use of Prohibited Weapons in Attacks on
Mafkarat al-Islam (Iraq), March 2, 2005

U.S. General From Abu Ghraib Scandal Promoted
Stars and Stripes, March 15, 2005

Odd Happenings in Fallujah
Electronic Iraq, Jan. 18, 2005

U.S. Denies Use of Napalm in Fallujah
U.S, International Information Programs Jan. 27, 2005

The Eyewitnesses Must Be Crazy, March 15, 2005

Life Under the Bombs in Iraq
TomDispatch, Feb. 2, 2005

TV News Turns Myopic: Profits Come First
Houston Chronicle, March 16, 2005

The Media Lobby
CorpWatch, March 11, 2005

Journalism, Infotainment and the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcasting
Buzzflash, March 17, 2005

Handmaiden of the State: The Role of Media in an Age of Empire, March 16, 2005

Extreme Cinema Verite: Soldiers Make Music Videos of Death and Destruction
Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2005

A War Crime in Real Time: Obliterating Fallujah
CounterPunch, Nov. 15, 2004

Inside Fallujah: One Family's Diary of Terror
Scotland Sunday Herald, Nov. 14, 2004

The Marine's Tale: 'I Felt We Were Committing Genocide
The Independent, May 23, 2004

Smoke and Corpses
BBC, Nov. 11, 2004

20 Doctors Killed in Strike on Clinic: Red Crescent
UN Integrated Regional Information Network, Nov. 10, 2004

US Strikes Raze Fallujah Hospital
BBC, Nov. 6, 2004

Ghost City Calls for Help
BBC, Nov. 13, 2004

Let Them Drink Sand: War Crimes in Fallujah
CounterPunch, Nov. 13, 2004

American Heroes
Baghdad Burning, Nov. 16, 2004

Beyond Embattled City, Rebels Roam Free
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 12, 2004

Administration Rejects Ruling on PR Videos
Washington Post, March 14, 2005

$226 Million in Government Ads Helped Pave the Way to War, May 28, 2004


See also:

Journalists tell of US Falluja killings (17 March 2005)
Journalists accuse US soldiers of targeting children - All is quiet in Falluja, or at least that is how it seems, given that the mainstream media has largely forgotten about the Iraqi city. But independent journalists are risking life and limb to bring out a very different story. The picture they are painting is of US soldiers killing whole families,including children, attacks on hospitals and doctors, the use of napalm-like weapons and sections of the city destroyed. One of the few reporters who has reached Falluja is American Dahr Jamail of the Inter Press Service. He interviewed a doctor who had filmed the testimony of a 16-year-old girl. "She stayed for three days with the bodies of her family who were killed in their home. When the soldiers entered she was in her home with her father, mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters. She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly,without saying anything. They beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head. After this her brother was enraged and ran at the soldiers while shouting at them, so they shot him dead," Jamail relates. (...) Allied to this are various reports of the US using napalm and napalm-like weaponry in Falluja. Jamail recounts: "Last November, another Falluja refugee from the Julan area, Abu Sabah, told me: 'They (US military) used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud. Then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them.' "He explained that pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires that burned peoples' skin even when water was dumped on their bodies, which is the effect of phosphorous weapons, as well as napalm." The reports of the use of napalm in civilian areas are widespread, as are many other frightening allegations. The attacks on the hospitals and medical facilities in Falluja are also indirect contravention of the Geneva Conventions. But as Richard Perle, a senior adviser to US President George Bush said at the start of the Iraq war: "The greatest triumph of the Iraq war is the destruction of the evil of international law."


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">
Subject: The Voice of the White House on China
Date: 15 Mar 2005

The Voice of the White House


March 12, 2005:

"The hot topic here today, and probably for a week or so, isn't the Gannon scandal which has more or less died away. Gannon has been quiet and no one here in the White House even remembers who he was. Officially.

The concern here is the PRC. They have been annoyed with Bush for his clumsy and arrogant behavior towards not only them but just about everyone else. Bush is pig-headed and totally devoid of any diplomatic skills. Rice in narrow-minded and clever but inflexible. The problem is that the PRC has always believed that Taiwan was a part of China and must eventually be reunited. This does not sit well with the people of Taiwan and there has been ongoing tension. To show how clever he was, Bush sent US naval units to the area last year and in essence stuck his tongue out at the mainland Chinese. Now, Beijing has retaliated. They have warned Bush, through the DoS that they would no longer tolerate any interference by the Bush Administration in their problems with Taiwan and they went on to demand, not request, that Bush back off.

He was told, again, not asked, that if he did not make a public statement to the effect that the United States believed that the problems between the two entities could be solved between them and wished to remain strictly neutral, they would retaliate against the US. In other worse, if Beijing decided to invade Taiwan, which they are now seriously planning, Bush would have to butt out and stay out. Their threat? Clever. If he keeps up his current nose-thumbing at Beijing, they will repeg their currency and dump all of their US treasury holdings on the market and never again buy any US paper.

This would be a devastating blow to our economy and the Chinese, and the world banking systems know it. If China did this, all the other countries holding American notes would very quickly follow suit so as not to be caught with increasingly worthless paper. I understand from a friend at the DoS that the note was civil but devoid of any of the usual diplomatic bs. In essence, Bush was ordered to butt out and stay out or the Chinese would at once carry out their threats.

Those in the know are horrified but many wonder if Bush is even aware of this (he is told what his handlers want him to hear and nothing else·he never reads any newspapers or watches anything on TV but the sports programs·and no one at Foggy Bottom has any idea what to do.) It is well-known that the Chinese do what they say and if there is no Bush response very quickly, there will be hell to pay economically.

The standard threat from the Bush people is that we would cease doing business with them unless they followed our orders but now, the Chinese have been quickly opening up other markets to compensate for their anticipated loss of American trade and the DoS and CIA people feel that they have found more than enough support in Europe and elsewhere from countries that are outraged by the Bush drumfire of malicious threats. This man is going to destroy the United States economy all by his pin-headed self.!"



The Dragon squeezes Taiwan

March 15, 2005
Asia Times
By Bruce Klingner

China's Anti-Secession Law is neither as inflammatory as many had feared nor as bombastic as Beijing's previous statements on cross-straits issues; nonetheless, it will have significant - and not beneficial - ramifications for the region, as well as for China-United States relations. Washington already had called the legislation a needless escalation of tensions that would threaten the delicate diplomatic balance between China and Taiwan. And residents of self-governing Taiwan have been taking to the streets in protest; most prefer the status quo of no-peace-no-war - and big business for Taiwan on the mainland.

The bill was adopted overwhelmingly on Monday by Beijing's rubber-stamp National People's Congress, authorizing China to use military force if Taiwan moves decisively toward or declares formal independence. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao emphasized that the use of force would be a "last resort", after negotiations had failed. The law, nonetheless, remains a legal justification for war, at least from China's point of view.

The law codifies China's unwavering determination to bring Taiwan into formal unification with the mainland under the "one China" principle, while opposing any manifestation of Taiwanese independence or "separatist" activity. The legislation affirms long-standing policies by defining preservation of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity as a core national interest, and declaring that the accomplishment of "reunifying the motherland is the sacred duty of all Chinese people, including the Taiwan compatriots".

The text carries a clear signal to Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian to cease his pursuit of the island's independence "under any name or by any means". The law also warns the US against interfering in "China's internal affairs". The Anti-Secession Law clearly includes the military option as an overarching threat but seeks to soften the potential regional repercussions by repeatedly emphasizing Beijing's goal of peaceful reunification, to be achieved through phased consultations, conducted on an equal footing for as long as there is a "glimmer of hope" of success in reunification.

Most notably, there is no imminent threat of hostilities, since the legislation does not carry either a specified or implied deadline for achieving unification, nor does it delineate proscribed red lines that would trigger an automatic military reprisal. Some Chinese officials in recent years had advocated establishing a time deadline for unification, after which military action would occur. The actual legislation is less threatening.

The passage of the less provocative language puts the onus on Taiwan to determine the level of cross-strait tension through its actions. At the same time, however, Taipei retains the initiative and can in effect modify the onerous aspects of the law by continuing a protracted pursuit of formal independence, even if the word "independence" is not used.

Taiwan, meanwhile, warned China on Monday that it would pay a price for the Anti-Secession Law, which has triggered angry protests on the island and has raised alarm bells from Tokyo to Washington.

"The Anti-Secession Law is a law that authorizes war," Taiwan's cabinet spokesman Cho Jung-tai told reporters. "It has caused resentment in Taiwan and opposition in the international community. China has to bear the responsibility and pay a price for this law," Cho said.

Premier Frank Hsieh will review Taiwan's economic and trade policies with the mainland on Monday, Cho said. Since 1949, when the Nationalists (Kuomintang) lost a civil war to the communists and fled to the island, they have talked about reclaiming the mainland, but that now is hollow rhetoric. Trade and tourism between the two have boomed since the late 1980s, with massive Taiwanese investment in China.

CLIP - read the rest at



The Practice of Torture by the American Army Was Widespread in Afghanistan

By Eric Leser

Le Monde

15 March 2005

Military reports, cited by Human Rights Watch, detail the treatment undergone by two Afghan prisoners who died in December 2002 at Baghram. The same interrogation techniques were then applied to detainees in Abu Ghraib prison. From our correspondent in New York.

American Army internal reports detailing the conditions under which two Afghan prisoners were beaten to death in December 2002 in Baghram prison, north of Kabul, demonstrate, according to the human rights defense organization Human Rights Watch, that the use of torture was systematic in Afghanistan. Close to thirty American soldiers could be indicted for having participated in the murders. Two of them from the 377th Military Police Company of Cincinnati (Ohio), Sergeant James Boland and Private Willie Brand, have been charged: for abuse and assault in the first case, for involuntary manslaughter in the second.

According to researcher and Afghanistan specialist for Human Rights Watch in New York John Sifton, who has obtained a clandestine copy of the Army's reports, the prisoners died in December 2002, a year before the photographs of tortures and humiliations were taken in the Iraqi Abu Ghraib prison. "These documents are equivalent to police notes. They demonstrate the evolution of the inquiries, the testimonies, the proofs. The Bush Administration and the Pentagon describe the problems of torture as isolated incidents that are not part of an overall plan. The proofs show otherwise," Mr. Sifton explains to Le Monde. "The incidents are not isolated cases. We cannot assert that they were the norm, but Private Brand acknowledges, for example, that he beat some twenty other detainees. Blows and painful positions were used very frequently in Afghanistan. According to our own inquiries, almost all the prisoners who subsequently testified underwent abuse in 2002," he adds. The men of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion who established the interrogation methods at Baghram did the same thing later at Abu Ghraib. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a suit to obtain the army's reports officially under the Freedom of Information Act; however, they have been refused, since the inquiry is not yet terminated and several indictments could still be pronounced. A Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremy Martin, has asserted that "the investigations are being intensively conducted and ... [that] the guilty will be punished appropriately."

The two murdered prisoners were thirty-year-old Mullah Habibullah, the brother of a Taliban commander, and Dilawar, a 22-year-old taxi driver. They died a week apart from one another and had been delivered to American troops by Afghan forces. The New York Times, in its March 12 edition, cites extracts from the reports Human Rights Watch obtained, which detail the treatments undergone.

"Violent Traumas"

The two detainees were "chained in their cells and frequently beaten." The investigators cite "credible information" according to which four guards regularly "kicked them in the groin and the legs," "threw them against walls and tables," "forced them to stay in painful positions during interrogations and poured water into their mouths until they suffocated."

The autopsies completed by doctors and cited in the reports indicate that Dilawar's legs were so damaged that amputations would have been necessary. Dilawar died of "violent trauma to the inferior extremities provoking coronary and arterial complications," according to a document dated July 6, 2004.

Mullah Habibullah died of a pulmonary embolism apparently linked to the presence of clots formed in his legs following blows received to them, according to a June 1, 2004 report.

Among the other soldiers under indictment, one "put his penis alongside the face" of a prisoner" and "simulated sodomization." "There were several other deaths in American prisons in Afghanistan before December 2002, and we would like to have information on this subject," explains John Sifton. He also wonders "the reason why, in this matter, in those at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, no member of American intelligence services, and notably of the CIA, has been indicted, even though they had overall control of the interrogations and the prisoners."



Scott Ritter: Iraq Vote Fixed

March 9, 2005

Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter said Tuesday that January's historic election in Iraq, which set off a wave of democratic reform throughout the Middle East, was fixed.

Claiming he was vindicated when the U.S. failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Ritter insisted that the election results were changed using a "secret recount" held three days after the vote. "It's as obvious as anything," the former weapons expert told WWRL Radio's Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter.

Ritter maintained that in initial election results, the Shia majority won nearly 60 percent of the vote, giving them control of Iraq's National Assembly without having to form a coalition with any other group. However, said Ritter, "Suddenly there's a government-ordered lockdown of the votes, while there is a secret recount - not a public recount - this wasn't Florida where you had people checking chads - this was a secret recount where American troops were escorting ballot boxes into undisclosed locations to be counted by [interim Prime Minister] Allawi's government." Ritter told Malzberg that the secret recount dramatically changed the political landscape, with the Shia vote dropping to 48 percent and Allawi's government picking up nearly 10 points of support, from 4 percent to 13 percent.

Why didn't Allawi just award himself a majority? "You don't want to cook it so that no one will believe it," Ritter explained. "You cook it so that the Shia cannot have a majority in the National Assembly, so that there will not be a democratically elected theocracy."

Ritter also claimed that the White House has already approved plans to attack Iran within the next four months, explaining, "In October of 2004 the president reviewed the Pentagon's plans for military operations against Iran in June 2005 and he signed off on them."

Ritter said the administration is laying the groundwork for an attack in case the U.N. Security Council fails to back economic sanctions against Tehran - the next step in the U.S.'s bid to get the Iranian government to abandon its nuclear weapons program.



Forwarded by Alfred Lambremont Webre>


Pentagon Has Far-Reaching Defense Spacecraft in Works

Bush Administration Looking to Space to Fight Threats

By Walter Pincus - Washington Post Staff Writer

March 16, 2005

The Pentagon is working to develop a suborbital space capsule within the next five years that would be launched from the United States and could deliver conventional weapons anywhere in the world within two hours, defense officials said.

This year, the Falcon program will test a launcher for its Common Aero Vehicle (CAV), an unmanned maneuverable spacecraft that would travel at five times the speed of sound and could carry 1,000 pounds of munitions, intelligence sensors or other payloads. Among the system's strengths is that commanders could order a CAV -- an unpowered glide vehicle -- not to release its payload if they decided not to follow through with an attack.

The first-generation CAV, expected to be ready by 2010, will have "an incredible capability to provide the warfighter with a global reach capability against high payoff targets," Gen. Lance W. Lord, commander of Air Force Space Command, told the House Armed Services Committee last Wednesday.

Within the next three years, the Falcon program hopes to enter a second stage of the effort: flight-testing two versions of a reusable hypersonic cruise vehicle, sometimes referred to as a space plane, that could travel a suborbital path, about 100,000 feet high, carrying a CAV anywhere in the world. Unlike a missile, the vehicle could return to its base after releasing the CAV to deliver bombs or intelligence sensors.

The Falcon program vehicles "will improve the military's ability to quickly position intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads, while reducing its reliance on forward and foreign basing," Anthony J. "Tony" Tether, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee last week.

While most public attention today focuses on meeting threats abroad with traditional land, sea and air forces, the Falcon program reflects how the Bush administration is increasingly looking to space to meet dangers it anticipates.

The use of space "enables us to project power anywhere in the world from secure bases of operation," says the Pentagon's national defense strategy, which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed on March 1. Among the key goals in the strategy paper are "to ensure our access to and use of space and to deny hostile exploitation of space to adversaries." The strategy paper, done every four years, provides the policy basis on which the armed services plan their research, development and acquisitions of weapons systems. This year's strategy, Rumsfeld wrote, "emphasizes the importance of influencing events before challenges become more dangerous and less manageable."

In congressional appearances over two weeks, Lord, Tether and other senior Pentagon officials have described a variety of new space initiatives for meeting challenges such as updating intelligence and communications satellite programs and even fielding systems that would allow the United States to temporarily silence enemy satellites if the need arose.

Space communications have already become important to U.S. warfighting. As Lord put it, "Our most recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq prove our nation relies on capabilities coming from and through space more than ever before." For example, more than 60 percent of all communications at the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom came through satellites, which also guided munitions to targets and today transmit intelligence from the United States directly to troops fighting in the field.

Looking to the future, the defense strategy calls for the use of space vehicles that provide capabilities beyond the current intercontinental missiles to thwart any future adversaries that move to prevent U.S. use of land or sea bases.

Such abilities, Lord told the House members, are dubbed "prompt global strike" and represent "a top priority for our space and missile forces." Because CAVs, unlike missiles, can be recalled, they could be launched toward a potential target even before a final decision was made to attack. The system could, Lord said, "deliver a conventional payload precisely on target within minutes of a valid command and control release order."

The capability offered by CAV would also reduce the need for overseas bases and enable the United States "to react promptly and decisively to destabilizing or threatening actions by hostile countries and terrorist organizations," according to DARPA's early solicitation for bids put out in mid-2003.

John E. Pike, director of, a nongovernmental defense think tank, said yesterday that the Falcon and CAV programs will allow the United States "to crush someone anywhere in world on 30 minutes' notice with no need for a nearby air base."

In addition to creating attack weapons, the Pentagon is working on new defense systems to protect the ever-more-important satellites the United States has in space.

"I think everybody that I know in the United States military and the Department of Defense understands the important role that our space assets play in our national security," Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday.

Last October, the Pentagon announced deployment of its first mobile ground-based system that could temporarily disrupt satellite-based communications from an enemy satellite. The counter-communications system uses powerful electromagnetic radio frequency energy to silence transmissions from a satellite in a way that is reversible if the need passes. Two more units are due later this year.



Campaign for Cooperation in Space


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Hariri reportedly assassinated to make way for large US air base in Lebanon

By Wayne Madsen

Online Journal Contributing Writer

March 11, 2005 - According to high-level Lebanese intelligence sources-Christian and Muslim-former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was reportedly assassinated in a sophisticated explosion-by-wire bombing authorized by the Bush administration and Ariel Sharon's Likud government in Israel.

There are also strong indications that the Hariri assassination was carried out by the same rogue Syrian intelligence agents used in the 2002 car bombing assassination of Lebanese Christian leader Elie Hobeika, who was prepared to testify against Sharon in a Brussels human rights court. That case involved the Israeli Prime Minister's role in the 1982 massacre by Israeli troops of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Chatilla camps in Beirut. The Hariri assasination used wire-bombing technology because Hariri's security personnel used electronic countermeasures to fend off a remote control bomb using wireless means. It has been revealed that the Bush administration has used Syrian intelligence agents to torture al Qaeda suspects through the program known as "extraordinary rendition."

Hariri, a pan-Arabist and Lebanese nationalist, was known to adamantly oppose the construction of a major U.S. air base in the north of Lebanon. The United States wants Syrian troops completely out of Lebanon before construction of the base is initiated. Hariri's meetings with Hezbollah shortly before his death also angered Washington and Jerusalem, according to the Lebanese intelligence sources.

Washington and Jerusalem media experts spun Hariri's assassination as being the work of Syrian intelligence on orders from President Bashar Assad. However, a number of Middle East political observers in Washington claim that Hariri's assassination was not in the interests of Assad, but that the Bush and Sharon administrations had everything to gain from it, including the popular Lebanese uprising against the Syrian occupation.

Lebanese intelligence sources report that even without a formal agreement with Lebanon, the contract for the northern Lebanese air base has been let by the Pentagon to Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena, California. Other construction support will be provided by Bechtel Corporation.

Jacobs Engineering and Jacobs Sverdrup are currently contracted for work in Saudi Arabia for Aramco, Iraq for the U.S. occupation authority, Bosnia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Lebanese air base is reportedly to be used as a transit and logistics hub for U.S. forces in Iraq and as a rest and relaxation location for U.S. troops in the region. In addition, the Lebanese base will be used to protect U.S. oil pipelines in the region (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Mosul/Kirkuk-Ceyhan) as well as to destabilize the Assad government in Syria. The size of the planned air base reportedly is on the scale of the massive American Al Udeid air base in Qatar.

A number of intelligence sources have reported that assassinations of foreign leaders like Hariri and Hobeika are ultimately authorized by two key White House officials, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams. In addition, Abrams is the key liaison between the White House and Sharon's office for such covert operations, including political assassinations.

"Abrams is the guy they [the Israelis] go to for a wink and a nod for such ops," reported one key source.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based journalist and columnist and the co-author of "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George BushII."



From: "Gush Shalom">
Date: 20 Mar 2005
Subject: Memory of the Holocaust - from Jewish property into human possession (Avnery)

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033

"The time has come to turn the memory of the Holocaust from an exclusively Jewish property into a world-wide human possession"

- Uri Avnery concludes in following article.

Archive of Weekly articles by Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

It was an impressive ceremony: the UN Secretary-General, presidents, ministers, prime ministers and notables from 40 countries gathered in Jerusalem to inaugurate the new Holocaust museum of Yad Vashem - only a few months after the mighty of the earth had gathered to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz.

From the well-chosen - as usual - words from Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Minister, to the tortured - as usual - face of Eli Wiesel, the Holocaust professional, it was an appropriate commemoration of the historic crime.

But it was also a great victory for Israeli diplomacy. The chiefs of our Foreign Office openly boasted of this political achievement. The foreign guests met with the Israeli leaders and thus lent their indirect but clear support to Ariel Sharon's policy.

Altogether, it underlined the ambiguity of the Holocaust commemoration at this time.

When one of the leading Nazis imprisoned in Nuremberg first learned the full dimensions of the Holocaust, he exclaimed: "This will not be forgotten for a thousand years!" He was right. The Holocaust was indeed a unique crime in history.

It is difficult for foreigners to understand that for us in Israel the Shoah is not just a thing of the past. It is a part of the present. An example: at the time of the museum opening, I was flying back from Europe. In the airplane I got into conversation with an Israeli professor I had not known before, and he told me about the various stages of his life. I noticed that he passed quickly over several years of his childhood. When I asked him, be told me that he had been in Theresienstadt. He did not go into detail, so I did not ask what happened to his family.

From the concentration camp of Theresienstadt, most prisoners were sent on to the death camps. My aunt committed suicide there, her husband was sent from there to Auschwitz and was never heard of again. I remember this uncle laughing when my father decided to flee from Germany in 1933. "What can happen to us here?" he asked, "After all, Germany is a civilized country!"

The impact of the Holocaust is not restricted to the generation of the survivors. A young writer once told me that both her parents had spent time in the death camps. "I did not know that," she recounted, "They never spoke about it. But when I was a child, I knew there was an awful secret in our family, a secret so terrible that it was forbidden to ask about it. That filled my whole childhood world with dread. Even now I still feel anxious and insecure."

Almost every day we hear stories that are connected with the Shoah. One cannot escape it. One should not try to escape it, either. Forgetting the Holocaust is a kind of betrayal of the victims.

The question is: HOW to remember? WHAT to remember?

After World War II, the Shoah became the center of Jewish consciousness. Yeshayahu Leibovitz, the philosopher who was an observant orthodox Jew, told me once: "The Jewish religion died 200 years ago. Now there is nothing that unifies the Jews around the world apart from the Holocaust." That is natural, because every Jew knows that if he had fallen into the hands of the Nazis, his life would probably have ended in a gas chamber. We, in Palestine at the time, were quite close to that when the German Afrika Corps under Erwin Rommel approached the gates of our country.

There was no need for a conclave of the Elders of Zion in order to turn the Holocaust into a central instrument in the struggle for the creation of Israel. It was self-evident. The Zionists had argued right from the beginning that in the modern world there can be no existence for the Jews without a state of their own. The Shoah lent this argument an irresistible force.

It caused the Jews in the State of Israel, which was created in war and had to fight for its life, to crave total security, and so we became a military power. It is impossible to understand both the good and the bad in Israel without taking into account the impact of the Shoah on our national and personal consciousness. It was none other than the late Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said, who told this to his compatriots.

The centrality of the Holocaust in Jewish consciousness caused the Jews to insist on its absolute exclusiveness. We are shocked and furious when somebody tries to remind us that the Nazis exterminated other communities too, such as the Roma, the homosexuals and the mentally ill. We get very angry when somebody comes and compares "our" Holocaust with other genocides: Armenians, Cambodians, Tutsis in Rwanda and others. Really! How can one compare?
The Holocaust was indeed unique in many respects. Nothing compares with the organized extermination of a whole people by industrial means, with the participation of all the organs of a modern state. It may be that Stalin murdered no fewer, and perhaps even more human beings than Hitler, but his victims were drawn from all the peoples and classes of the Soviet Union, and were not subjected to a process of industrialized extermination.

But the concept of the exclusiveness of the Holocaust can lead to despicable perversions. Many among us argue that no moral restraints apply to us, because "after what they did to us" nobody can teach us what is or is not permitted. "After the Shoah" we have the duty to do everything to save Jewish lives, even by ignoble means. We are allowed to use the memory of the Holocaust as an instrument of our foreign policy, since Israel is the "state of the Holocaust survivors". We are allowed to stifle all criticism of our behavior, since it is self-evident that all critics are anti-Semites. We are allowed to blow up every insignificant incident, such as the painting a swastika on a Jewish tombstone, in order to prove that "anti-Semitism is on the rise" in the world and raise the alarm.

I want to argue that now, 60 years after the end of the Holocaust, it is time to grow out of all this.

The time has come to turn the memory of the Holocaust from an exclusively Jewish property into a world-wide human possession.

The mourning, the anger and the shame must be turned into a universal message against all forms of genocide.

The struggle against anti-Semitism must become a part of the fight against all kinds of racism, whether directed against Muslims in Europe or Blacks in America, Kurds in Turkey or Palestinians in Israel, or foreign workers everywhere.

The Jews' long history as the victims of murderous persecution must not cause us to wrap ourselves in a cult of self-pity, but, on the contrary, should encourage us to take the lead in the world-wide struggle against racism, prejudice and stereotypes that begin with incitement by vile demagogues and can end in genocide.

Such a people would truly be "a light unto the nations."



Government leaves UK defenceless against flu threatening to kill 500,000

Geoffrey Lean

The Independent on Sunday

London, 6 March 2005

Britain will be largely defenceless against a devastating and ‘imminent’ pandemic of bird flu for more than a year, an Independent on Sunday investigation can reveal. Stocks of flu-busting drugs, ordered by the government in a blaze of publicity last week, will take up to two years to build up.

Even in a year’s time, Britain will have less than half of what it needs. And ministers have dismissed a call from the World Health Organisation [WHO] to stockpile vaccines that might give protection against the worst effects of the disease, which – experts say – could kill 500,000 Britons.

The facts undermine assurances by ministers and top officials last week that Britain was ‘well prepared’ for a pandemic, which the WHO describes as ‘imminent’ and ‘knocking on our door’. The Secretary of State for Health, John Reid, boasted that the announcement of the order for 14.6 million courses of the drug Tamiflu put the country ‘in the forefront of international preparedness’. But in fact, we are well back in the queue for limited supplies - from France to New Zealand – that put their orders in earlier. And we have not yet even joined the queue for vaccines, even though countries such as the United States, Italy and France have taken steps to assure supplies.

Last week’s announcement followed weeks of dithering and was hurriedly brought forward following intense press and political pressure. Until about 10 days ago the Department of Health was insisting that it would only make its mind up about ordering the drugs “some time in the spring”, despite repeated warnings of increasing danger from international authorities. The WHO warns that “the world is now in the gravest possible danger of a pandemic”, while the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation calls it a “sword of Damocles” hanging over the globe.

A flu pandemic occurs when a new virus, to which no humans are immune, suddenly starts spreading rapidly from person to person. The bird flu - codenamed H5N1 - which is infecting poultry and some people in South-east Asia, has yet to do so, but experts are unanimous that it is only a matter of time. When it does, they expect that it will create the greatest pandemic since the Spanish flu of 1918 -19, the world’s worst ever disaster, and could be even more devastating. So far, more than 70% of the people known to have caught it have died.

Ministers admit that, once a highly infectious virus emerges, it will “spread rapidly” to Britain, thanks to modern air travel - and that, once it has arrived, it will be impossible to stop it sweeping through the country.

Existing flu vaccine offers no protection against it, and a fully effective vaccine cannot be developed until after the emergence of the particular strain that spreads rapidly among humans. Even then, it will take many months to produce enough of it to make a major impact on the pandemic.

In the meantime, the world has two defences: The first are vaccines that are based on the flu now infecting chickens. While not giving full protection, these may blunt its effects; they would not stop people catching the flu, but might prevent them dying from it. 

Several such vaccines are now being developed, and the WHO has urged governments to consider stockpiling them. The United States has placed an order for four million doses, and Italy and France for two million each. But the UK government has refused to follow suit, on the grounds that the perfect vaccine is not yet available. When challenged about the action taken by other countries, it could only offer the response that they would not have been able to place their orders if it had not been for research done in British laboratories.

The second defence is the anti-viral drug oseltamavir - marketed by the Swiss chemical giant Roche under the name ‘Tamiflu’ – which has been specifically designed to tackle flus of this general type. Again, it would not stop people catching the disease, but the government admits that there is “impeccable evidence” that it will mitigate its worst effects. Yet for months the sat on its hands while other countries such as France, Canada, Australia and Japan ordered it.

Ten days ago New Zealand became the 12th country to put in an order. Like Britain, it ordered enough drugs to cover one-quarter of its population – the WHO’s recommendation. Unlike Britain, it is getting them fast: its stocks will be complete by midsummer. But the Government says it will only build up Britain’s supplies “over the next two financial years”, which means that they may not be complete until early April, 2007 - by which time the pandemic may well have already taken place. It adds that it will have only half of them available by April 2006. 

Roche will not say when it will start delivering the supplies, citing “confidentiality”, and the Department of Health says that it does not know.

Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, says that he has been authoritatively informed that the bulk of the first half of the order will not arrive in Britain before the end of this year. He said yesterday, “We are well down the queue because we did not get on with it. The Government did not respond to the threat as quickly as it should have done, or as other countries did. As a result, our defences are down for the next twelve months.”


50 million dead: how flu stopped the world

The pandemic of 1918-19

David Randall

On 21 June 1918, there appeared in the New York Times a small item about “a mysterious sickness now prevalent in Spain. Said to have emanated from Germany, it was caused by poor diet, in particular the consumption, by war-stricken people, of large quantities of turnips.

The paragraph was, in almost every respect, wrong. There was, it was true, a sickness - but it had not started in Germany, and it was most certainly not caused by a surfeit of root vegetables. It was flu, and before the following year was out, it would kill about 50 million people, worldwide, making it the worst disaster in recorded human history.

The newspapers of the day called it ‘Spanish flu’, for that was the country - neutral, and therefore lacking press censorship - where the disease was first widely reported. But it soon became clear that the sickness was not confined to Spain: this was highly mobile virus. By 4 July, the London Times said the flu was spreading across the UK and, two days later, chemists were reported to be running out of cinnamon and quinine, two supposed cures. One correspondent suggested that the sick should use snuff instead.

No remedy was any use - flu virus was not isolated until 1933 - and so, as the summer wore on, the sickness became an epidemic. Millions died in Spain; France and Germany were badly hit and, by September, one in four Americans were infected.

Things were soon so desperate in London that no fewer than 700 staff at the London central telegraph office were off sick. Come October the epidemic had become a global contagion and, in the third week of that month, 4000 died in a Britain which lacked even a ministry of health, never mind a national health service.

Victims collapsed in the street and died within hours. From America came a report of four women playing bridge one evening, three of whom had contracted the disease and died before daybreak. In Britain, nearly all schools were shut and, by the end of the month, there were no fewer than 2,225 flu-related deaths in London alone.

And so it went on, save for a lull in January, for nearly 18 months. It left 230,000 UK dead, 675,000 in the USA, and up to 50 million victims worldwide. One fifth of the world’s population was infected, and the virus turned out to have a mortality rate 25 times that of a normal flu, affecting an unusually high proportion of the young and healthy.

Scientists now believe that it originated in the Far East, in birds.


See also:

Scientist attacks bird flu plans (March 13, 2005)
(...) BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh said Professor Pennington's estimation could be too low. He said, based on WHO estimates that one in four Britons could become infected and a mortality rate of 75%, the figure would be about 11 million.

100m could die in flu pandemic, says WHO (11/29/04)
Up to 100 million people may die within weeks if a bird flu pandemic breaks out, a senior World Health Organisation (WHO) official warned on Monday as he urged nations to make urgent preparations to mitigate its spread. A global outbreak is almost certain and even widescale vaccination programmes will not be enough to halt its inexorable advance, the WHO director for the Western Pacific, Shigeru Omi, said in Hong Kong. "The most conservative estimate is that seven to 10 million people would die, but the maximum range will be more -- 50 million or even in the worst case 100 million people," Omi said in his starkest warning yet of the potential peril from a mutation of avian flu to a form that may be transmitted by humans. "It will come," he said during a flying visit to the city where the H5N1 flu strain first mutated into a strain lethal to humans. Omi said it was impossible to predict when a pandemic will happen but said it would not take long to reach all corners of the globe. "Before it would have taken a year to spread around the world but thanks to globalisation it will take just weeks. If we are not prepared the consequences will be serious."

Military intelligence warns avian flu could be used as weapon: report (March 8, 2005)
Military intelligence warns that avian flu could be used as weapon: report -- The military's intelligence arm has warned the federal government that avian influenza could be used as a weapon of bioterrorism, a heavily censored report suggests. It also reveals that military planners believe a naturally occurring flu pandemic may be imminent. The report, entitled Recent Human Outbreaks of Avian Influenza and Potential Biological Warfare Implications, was obtained under the Access to Information Act by The Canadian Press. It was prepared by the J2 Directorate of Strategic Intelligence, a secretive branch of National Defence charged with producing intelligence for the government. (...) Canada estimates the direct and indirect health-care costs alone of a mild flu pandemic would range from $10 billion to $24 billion. That doesn't start to count societal costs such as lost productivity because of mass illness or the impact on vulnerable industries such as airlines and tourism or the insurance sector that would be hit with business losses and death claims. But influenza expert Dr. Earl Brown suggests that while flu makes a good theoretical bioterror agent, the reality of these "delicate" viruses is that the task would be harder than it appears. "Flu is a wimpy virus, which I think is the one knock against it. It doesn't persist in the environment (outside a human) very long," says Brown, a University of Ottawa scientist who specializes in the evolution of influenza viruses. (...) The report also raises the spectre of a pandemic strain engineered in a laboratory using reverse genetics. That technically challenging process allows scientists to custom tailor a flu virus, taking genes from a virulent but not highly transmissible strain, for instance, and melding them with genes from a virus that transmits well from person to person. The report notes this is a technique scientists have been using to try to decipher why the virus that caused the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 was so deadly. That pandemic, which may have claimed upwards of 50 million lives worldwide, was the worst in known history. CLIP

Recombinomics Commentary (March 18, 2005) More on pandemic/viruses
Commentary: Acute Hemorrhagic Fever in Angola and Bird Flu Similarities - Jose Caetano, a WHO spokesman in Angola, said most of the victims were children with symptoms including fever, vomiting and diarrhea. He said at least 77 of the total of 83 people believed infected had died·..Caetano said Angola's limited laboratory facilities had hampered identification of the disease and that samples had been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the Pasteur Institute of Dakar in Senegal.He said the first case had been detected in November. There are a number of parallels between the mystery Ebola / dengue hemorrhagic fever-like disease in Angola and bird flu. CLIP

Compilation of news on this issue


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Ocean heat store makes climate change inevitable

17 March 2005

Bob Holmes

No matter how well the world controls emissions of greenhouse gases, global climate change is inevitable, warn two new studies which take into account the oceans' slow response to warming.

Even if greenhouse gases never rise beyond their present level, temperatures and sea levels will continue rising for another century or more because of a time lag in the oceans' response to atmospheric temperatures, say researchers.

This time lag means policymakers cannot afford to wait to tackle climate change until its consequences become painful, because by then they will already be committed to further change, they urge. "The feeling is that if things are getting bad, you hit the stop button. But even if you do, the climate continues to change," says Gerald Meehl, a climatologist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. Meehl and his colleagues used two sophisticated computer models of global climate to predict what would happen under various scenarios for greenhouse gas emission controls, taking into account the oceanic time lag. Their most optimistic scenario - in which atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are capped at year 2000 levels - would require severe cuts in CO2 emissions, far beyond those set in the Kyoto protocol.

But even this optimistic scenario predicts that global temperatures would continue to rise by between 0.4°C and 0.6°C over the next century. That increase is comparable to the increase in global temperature during the 20th century of about 0.6°C. A second, independent study using a simpler climate model by Tom Wigley, another climatologist at NCAR, paints the same bleak picture.

Thermal inertia

The time lag occurs because rising air temperatures take time to make themselves felt throughout the immense thermal mass of the oceans. This "thermal inertia" means that Earth has not yet felt the full effect of today's level of greenhouse gases, explains Meehl.

And because water expands as it warms, this time lag in temperature will continue to push sea level higher. Meehl's models predict that thermal expansion alone would make sea levels rise by about 11 centimetres over the next century, even if greenhouse gases were held at 2000 levels. The real rise would almost certainly be more, he says, because his models do not include the effect of melting of glaciers and icecaps, which will be more rapid in a warmer world.

In fact, the climatic time lag may be pushing Earth closer to a catastrophic glacial melting, scientists warn. James Hansen, a climatologist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, US, has estimated that global temperature may need to rise just 1°C more to tip the balance toward abrupt melting. "That's why the warming already 'in the pipeline' is important," he says. "It takes us closer to the slippery slope."

"We have got climate change in store no matter what," agrees Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at the University of Victoria, Canada. "We have to be prepared to assist those who cannot adapt."



Gas-Electric Hybrids and Wind Power Offer Winning Combination

Lester R. Brown - October 13 , 2004-12

With the price of oil above $50 a barrel, with political instability in the Middle East on the rise, and with little slack in the world oil economy, we need a new energy strategy. Fortunately, the outline of a new strategy is emerging with two new technologies.

These technologies—gas-electric hybrid engines and advanced-design wind turbines—offer a way to wean ourselves from imported oil. If over the next decade we convert the U.S. automobile fleet to gas-electric hybrids with the efficiency of today's Toyota Prius, we could cut our gasoline use in half. No change in the number of vehicles, no change in miles driven—just doing it more efficiently. (For data.)

There are now three gas-electric hybrid car models on the market: the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight, and the hybrid version of the Honda Civic. The Prius—a midsize car on the cutting-edge of automotive technology—gets an astounding 55 mpg in combined city/highway driving. No wonder there are lists of eager buyers willing to wait six months for delivery.

Ford has just released a hybrid model of its Escape SUV. Honda is about to release a hybrid version of its popular Accord sedan. General Motors will offer hybrid versions of several of its cars beginning with the Saturn VUE in 2006, followed by the Chevy Tahoe and Chevy Malibu. Beyond this GM has delivered 235 hybrid-powered buses to Seattle with the potential to reduce gasoline use by up to 60 percent. Other cities slated to get hybrid buses are Philadelphia, Houston, and Portland. Hybrid engines are catching on.

With gas-electric hybrid cars now on the market, the stage is set for the second step to reduce oil dependence, the use of wind-generated electricity to power automobiles. If we add to the gas-electric hybrid a plug-in capacity and a second battery to increase its electricity storage capacity, motorists could then do their commuting, shopping, and other short-distance travel largely with electricity, saving gasoline for the occasional long trip. This could lop another 20 percent off gasoline use in addition to the initial 50 percent cut from shifting to gas-electric hybrids, for a total reduction in gasoline use of 70 percent.

The plug-in capacity gives access to the country's vast, largely untapped, wind resources. In 1991, the U.S. Department of Energy published a National Wind Resource Inventory in which it pointed out that three of our 50 states—Kansas, North Dakota and Texas—have enough harnessable wind energy to satisfy national electricity needs. Many were astonished by this news since wind power was widely considered a marginal energy source.

Yet in retrospect, we know that this was a gross underestimate simply because it was based on the wind turbine technologies of 1991. Advances in design since then enable turbines to operate at lower wind speeds, to convert wind into electricity more efficiently, and to harness a much larger wind regime.

The average turbine in 1991 was roughly 120 feet tall, whereas new ones are 300 feet tall—the height of a 30-story building. Not only does this more than double the harvestable wind regime, but winds at the higher elevation are stronger and more reliable.

In Europe, which has emerged as the world leader in developing wind energy, wind farms now satisfy the residential electricity needs of 40 million consumers. Last year, the European Wind Energy Association projected that by 2020 this energy source would provide electricity for 195 million people—half the population of Western Europe. A 2004 assessment of Europe's offshore potential by the Garrad Hassan consulting group concluded that if European governments move vigorously to develop this potential, wind could supply all of the region's residential electricity by 2020.

Wind power is growing fast because it is cheap, abundant, inexhaustible, widely distributed, clean, and climate-benign. No other energy source has all of these attributes.

The cost of wind-generated electricity has been in free fall over the last two decades. The early wind farms in California, where the modern wind industry was born in the early 1980s, generated electricity at a cost of 38¢ per kilowatt-hour. Now many wind farms are producing power at 4¢ per kilowatt-hour, and some long-term supply contracts have recently been signed at 3¢ per kilowatt-hour. And the price is still falling.

Unlike the widely discussed fuel cell/hydrogen transportation model, the gas-electric hybrid/wind model does not require a costly new infrastructure. The network of gasoline service stations is already in place. So, too, is the electricity grid needed to link wind farms to the storage batteries in cars. For this new model to work most efficiently, we would need a strong integrated national grid. Fortunately, the need for modernizing our antiquated set of regional grids, replacing them with a strong national grid, is now widely recognized—especially after the blackout that darkened the U.S. northeast in 2003.

One of the few weaknesses of wind energy—its irregularity—is largely offset with the use of plug-in gas-electric hybrids, as the batteries in these vehicles become a part of the storage system for wind energy. Beyond this, there is always the tank of gasoline as a backup.

Some 22 states now have commercial-scale wind farms feeding electricity into the grid. Although there is occasionally a NIMBY problem, the PIIMBY response ("put it in my backyard") is much more pervasive. This is not surprising, since a single turbine can easily produce $100,000 worth of electricity in a year.

The competition among farmers in Iowa or ranchers in Colorado for wind farms is intense. Farmers, with no investment on their part, typically receive $3,000 a year in royalties from the local utility for siting a single wind turbine, which occupies a quarter-acre of land. This quarter-acre in corn country would produce 40 bushels of corn worth $120 or in ranch country perhaps $10 worth of beef.

Communities in rural America desperately want the additional revenue from wind farms and the jobs they bring. In addition, money spent on electricity generated from wind farms stays in the community, creating a ripple effect throughout the local economy. Within a matter of years, thousands of ranchers could be earning far more from electricity sales than from cattle sales.

Moving to the highly efficient gas-electric hybrids with a plug-in capacity, combined with the construction of thousands of wind farms across the country feeding electricity into a national grid, will give us the energy security that has eluded us for three decades. It will also rejuvenate farm and ranch communities and shrink the U.S. balance-of-trade deficit. Even more important, it will dramatically cut carbon emissions, making the United States a model that other countries can emulate.


See also:

Arctic Gold: How Big Oil Bought the Votes to Drill

Worries Swell Over Oil (21 Mar 2005)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In the space of a couple of hours last week, crude oil prices hit a record $56 a barrel, President Bush fretted publicly over world oil shortages and the Senate voted to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to drilling. The converging events drew attention to what administration officials call a temporary global energy crunch. Bigger worries also are bubbling to the surface -- fears of a day of reckoning over world oil reserves.Even as China and India are joining the grab for oil, most experts agree that world production will peak sometime in the next several decades -- more likely in the next couple of years, say a gaggle of academics. If the falling supply loses out to rising demand before new energy sources are ready, government officials say, a world that runs on oil could face consequences ranging from recessions to famine and even war. (...) "If things get bad enough, and somebody gets desperate enough," he said, an oil peak scenario could lead to war. Amos Nur, a Stanford University geophysicist, all but predicts a war with China over oil. He notes that each American consumes an average of 25 barrels of oil each year, while the Chinese average 1.3 barrels and the people of India use less than a barrel. If Chinese and Indian consumption reached a quarter or a third of that of Americans', he writes, it would require 50 percent more oil, and tensions could "slide into a military conflict."

Iraq Invasion May Be Remembered as Start of the Age of Oil Scarcity (20 March 2005)
Production tumbles in post-Hussein era as more countries vie for shrinking supplies - Instead of inaugurating a new age of cheap oil, the Iraq war may become known as the beginning of an era of scarcity. Two years ago, it seemed likely that Iraq, with the world's third-largest petroleum reserves, would become a hypercharged gusher once U.S. troops toppled Saddam Hussein. But chaos and guerrilla sabotage have slowed the flow of oil to a comparative trickle. The price of crude on global markets hit an all-time record Friday, and oil experts say U.S. consumers are likely to keep feeling the pinch. Global supply hasn't kept up, and it isn't likely to in the near future, and one of the causes is Iraq," said John Lichtblau, chairman of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation in New York. The war coincided with the start of a sharp rise in oil imports by booming China and India, and experts say this alignment of factors may keep prices permanently high. Iraq's oil production averaged about 3 million barrels a day before the war and now lags below 2 million, while prewar projections had pegged production to have hit at least 4 million by now. This missing production would have covered much of the annual growth in global oil demand, which is expected to increase by 1.8 million barrels a day this year, to 84.3 million barrels. "If it weren't for the insurgency, Iraq would produce at least another million barrels day -- and maybe two," said Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington. "Iraq is very much missing from the market, and it's one of the reasons why prices have risen so much." Iraq has earned only about $31 billion from oil exports in the two years since the U.S. invasion, far below the prewar predictions by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who claimed that Iraqi oil would generate $50 billion to $100 billion in the same period. Foreign oil companies have withdrawn almost all their staff from Iraq because of the dangers. "The risk to operate there is a very serious risk, and it's not about to go away," Lichtblau said. "People are killed and kidnapped, and those pipelines are being blown up a week after they're repaired, again and again." CLIP

Learning From China: Why the Western Economic Model Will not Work for the World (9 March, 2005)
Could the American dream in China become a nightmare for the world? For China's 1.3 billion people, the American dream is fast becoming the Chinese dream. Already millions of Chinese are living like Americans - eating more meat, driving cars, traveling abroad, and otherwise spending their fast-rising incomes much as Americans do. Although these U.S.-style consumers are only a small fraction of the population, China's claims on the earth's resources are already becoming highly visible. CLIP

How to deceive friends and influence people: Oil crisis lies (13 Mar 2005)
(...) However, there is a simple explanation for the steady rise of oil prices and the curious obfuscations of OPEC spokesmen. We are nearing the phenomenon of global Peak Oil. We're probably not there yet, just bumping along near the top of the Hubbert Curve. OPEC has only a limited capacity to pump any more oil. "One does not have to be a convert to the "Peak Oil" concept to be aware that outside the FSU [Former Soviet Union] oil production appears to be very near peaking, with output from new discoveries just barely offsetting depletion in mature producing conventional oilfields." (7 February, 2005 Herman Franssen, The End of Cheap Oil: Cyclical Or Structural Change in the Global Oil Market?) High technology extraction is dangerous: if you extract oil from a field too fast, you damage it, causing dramatic declines such as seen recently in the North Sea (up to 9% per year instead of the expected 3% norm). Energy Banker Matthew Simmons stated: "The faster you pull a reservoir, the faster you pull out all of the easy-to-produce oil. What happens is that you lose massive amounts of what the oil industry calls 'oil-left-behind' still inside the field." (20 February, 2005) If this is so, why don't they say so? Probably because they are unstable régimes with booming populations, like Saudi Arabia, and fear that if they told the truth the US might invade them to grab the remaining oil. Or their people might revolt if they found out that their already declining standard of living was about to drop further. If we have hit the structural production peak of oil worldwide, then the trajectory of prices will be relentlessly upward, with only temporary respites. The spokesmen will blather on about 'terrorism' or 'refinery fires', but the prices will tell the real story. If the increasing prices start a recession that reduces demand, there will be another temporary 'respite' as production continues a relentless decline after we have gone over the peak. "Oil prices will rise through 2008 and stay high thereafter as demand increases and concern mounts that global production is nearing its peak," according to analysts at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (March 8, 2005) When Lehman Brothers admits oil is peaking on Bloomberg, its time to fasten your seatbelts. The ride is going to be rocky.

U.S. Using Anti-Terror War to Gain World Oil Reserves (21.03.2005)
On the pretext of fighting international terrorism the United States is trying to establish control over the world's richest oil reserves, Leonid Shebarshin, ex-chief of the Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service, who heads the Russian National Economic Security Service consulting company, said in an interview for the Vremya Novostei newspaper. Using the anti-terrorist cause as a cover the United States has occupied Afghanistan, Iraq and will soon move to impose their "democratic order" on the Greater Middle East, Shebarshin said. "The U.S. has usurped the right to attack any part of the globe on the pretext of fighting the terrorist threat," Shebarshin said. Referring to his meeting with an unnamed al-Qaeda expert at the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization in the U.S., Shebarshin said: "We have agreed that [al-Qaeda] is not a group but a notion." "The fight against that all-mighty ubiquitous myth deliberately linked to Islam is of great advantage for the Americans as it targets the oil-rich Muslim regions," Shebarshin emphasized. With military bases in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Shebarshin said, the United States has already established control over the Caspian region - one of the world's largest oil reservoirs.

The Most Important Thing You Don't Know About "Peak Oil" (March 16, 2005)
(...) regardless of whether Peak Oil has any reality to it or not, what is important now is that the powers of the world are absolutely steering the course of the planet by this star. As such, the events now destined to unfold over just the next year or so are acquiring an inertia of their own, setting us on an intractable course of global conflict and warfare. This is the reality, as I see it, of what is happening right now, regardless of when any theoretical "Peak Year" may have been reached. Should the oil markets themselves begin to 'connect these dots', then all our lives are going to be impacted violently and immediately. The commodity traders for various interested firms live solely by anticipating conditions and events, not by debating them and verifying them. The old mantra is, you "buy the rumor, sell the news". This is the reason you'll never see "Peak Oil" covered by a respected media outlet. Because as soon as it is recognized that for all practical purposes the situation is already upon us, then a fast and viscious "resource grab" will be initiated. The price of oil in the markets will begin to rise dramatically. This will initiate a circular hedging / hording mentality in large end-users, governments, and multi-nationals. This will then have a myriad of devastating effects, but all average Joe Consumer is going to notice is that the price at the pump will experience a brief and dramatic blip upward, gas lines will form for a short time at the corner-stations, and then suddenly the corner gas-stations will go dry altogether... perhaps getting a few sporadic deliveries, but more likely simply for good. Gasoline will not be available to individual drivers, as precedence is given to heating oil, critical government and commercial uses, public transportation, transport of food and goods, etc. How the situation unfolds after that you can imagine just as well as I.... If this scenario sounds over-dramatic, keep in mind that what I'm talking about is a dawning recognition of something that many analysts have already come to realize: that the "oil grab" is in fact already on, that it's not a temporary 'bottleneck' or passing 'shock', and that the losers in this game will not survive. A global game of 'blind man's bluff' is underway, with all the players pleading ignorance of the issue for as long as possible so they can get their pieces in place...all the while anxiously watching for the first itchy-trigger finger that's going to set the whole thing off. CLIP


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