MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
October 31, 2006
Veracity Series #16: Halloween Schizophrenia
Why picking "Halloween Schizophrenia" as a title for this 100+ page long compilation? Because I feel split between hope and despair. I don't know if you are like me, but the accrued impact of all the info and news I've reviewed and passed on to you over the past several years is really starting to take its toll on my natural instinctual good feeling about life and our future. Much of what I've read in preparing this one, especially "The Horrors of Extraordinary Rendition" which really hits home as these torments were endured by a fellow Canadian, Maher Arar, but also the Machiavellian The Power of Israel in the United States', and the incontrovertible fact that unless something is done quickly to save the planet from ecosuicide as explained in Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger all add up to a whole lotta mess. While there are always bright spots to points to and great spiritual insights that sometime come to reiterate that we still have the power within us to make things right, with the assistance of our elder spiritual family in the invisible realms and in the space-faring flotillas who can and will do nearly miraculous things to help fix things here, the fact remains, as it has clearly been stated to me in meditation recently, that the universal law of non-interference is very clear that any assistance offered must be within the rigorous constraints of this very wise law designed to ensure that freewill decisions made - or NOT made - by embodied souls, based on their self-chosen tests and earthly circumstances, are fully honored so as to enable the karmically-driven learning experiences so necessary for our soul's spiritual advancement.
So in short, this whole mess is of our own design, and even if we despise the darkly inclined souls who have so much contributed to it, we should in fact be thankful for their unrelenting dedication to achieving their end of the karmic bargain. The question is: Will we uphold our own end of it?... Aid and assistance will be overtly provided only when we have already dealt ourselves with creating the right conditions for such assistance to manifest. There is no way around this one. The buck stops with us or the mess continues if we don't attend to it. But what is that "us"? Is it our megalomaniac ego always striving to be in control, or is it our soul persona, this aggregation of countless lifetimes of searing experiences and unimaginable wisdom that simply KNOWS? That is the crux of the lesson we are here to learn...
Are we an ego lost in a sea of ego-driven greed and madness, forever blind to the miraculous Force that thrives and throbs in us... or are we a soul extension of the Universal One behind, within and beyond All That is?
Shifting to that place in us and staying - deliberately, constantly, unerringly - centered there is the simplest and more bliss-filled of all choices.
A flip-second freewill decision is all it takes...
And from there all doors open, all changes become possible and an irresistible spiritual juggernaut will spring forth from our combined Love to heal all that needs healing...
Here and now...
Now THAT feels better...
Do you come along for the ride?
There NOTHING to do but to BE...
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. Your feedbacks are as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer they are not. Circulating this compilation (or any part of it) and personally inviting your correspondents to subscribe to this list would also help enlarge the circle of people who have access to this material. Please include the following note and the URL address for the archived copy below along with your forwards, so others may have the opportunity to explore the original copy, if they so choose.
Free subscription to a large weekly Earth Rainbow Network compilation by simply sending a blank email to email@example.com
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2006/Veracity16.htm
STATS for this compilation: Over 38,800 words and 158 links provided.
To unsubscribe from the Earth Rainbow Network automated listserver, or change your listing on it when you have a new email address, the simplest way is to do it yourself by sending a blank email at firstname.lastname@example.org -- IMPORTANT: You MUST do it from the email account you wish to unsubscribe otherwise the system won't recognize your request.
"I have to echo the sentiments there regarding The Christ Letters at www.christsway.co.za. They are, I believe, the greatest gift to humanity at this time. I add my intention that everyone will eventually read them, work with the guidance daily and assist in raising consciousness to the level of Christ Consciousness globally. I have shared them with so many people and we are all benefiting immensely already. I have spoken via email with The Recorder who is still available to answer any questions via email. The Recorder would love for people to write about their personal experiences with The Letters and the other Messages from Christ on the website, in the blog. So please let's all share our experiences and create a wave of intention and enthusiasm for this wonderful gift we have been given from the horses mouth so to speak!!"
Craig Cumming email@example.com>, 27 Oct 2006 - He also sent this comment in another email: "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Earth Rainbow Network, your hard work and dedication and for all the wonderful information you share with us all on a regular basis. Your emails are the ones I most look forward to each week. I am like you in that I also have a passion for sharing information and for the Truth. For people to wake up and see what is going on under their noses, to generate enough awareness and create a movement of people who create a collective wave of intention on a daily basis that will manifest the changes we all long for."
"No matter what the results of the upcoming election, the so-called "leadership" of either party cannot take us through the difficult passage that lies ahead -- shifting from a consumer-based, money-based system to an earth-based love-based one. Most of these people are so entrenched in the dominator-victim paradigm that they find it hard to imagine anything else. So we must help them by becoming the leaders we have been waiting for. And we must build that leadership on our founding document, and reaffirm the Declaration of Independence as the Supreme Law of the Land. Keeping in mind the Supreme Law of the Land, what do we do between now and the election on November 7th? With even the mainstream press lamenting the possibility of miscounted votes and votes that don't count, and with the possibility of a pre-election military strike on Iran still on the radar, how do we spend the next ten days? I reiterate what Mark Crispin Miller said just a few weeks ago. The best way to counteract vote fixing is to show up in record numbers and overwhelmingly give this regime a vote of no confidence. Although there was evidence that votes were fixed in Pennsylvania in 2004 (based on discrepancies between exit polls and vote tallies) John Kerry still won the state -- because the margin was too large to overcome by fakery."
- Steve Bhaerman firstname.lastname@example.org>, taken from The Supreme Law of the Land, October 27 (Not archived anywhere)
"What's happening today in Iraq and Palestine is so outrageous and chaotic, Petras refers to a "House of Horrors" in both countries with the Zionist militarists at the Pentagon and their Israeli counterparts in charge of their respective "Horror Shows ... under the big tent of a 'Mid-East Democratic Reform Initiative.' " This is the modus operandi of empire building and colonization -- blast and tear a nation to shreds so it can never again exist as it once did. Then terrorize the people into submission and kill off all the ones who resist. It's a barbaric thumb in the eye to humanity, but this is the way rogue empires do things, especially when they're too powerful to challenge. The US-led killing machine is in full operation in Iraq, and so is the Israeli one in the OPT. Petras calls the one there "Israel's Final Solution" or the "Palestinian Holocaust," and it's focal point is in Gaza which even unoccupied is the world's largest open-air prison for its 1.45 million people in the most densely populated space of its size in the world. Today the Strip and the West Bank are Israeli-directed killing fields targeting Palestinian civilians helpless to stop it beyond their courageous acts of desperation with crude weapons and their bodies against tanks, F-16s, helicopter gunships, and illegal and immoral terror weapons like white phosphorus bombs and shells, cluster bombs that never stop killing and maiming, and experimental new weapons that don't have publicly-known names yet."
- Stephen Lendman - Taken from his outstanding review of James Petras' powerful new book entitled 'The Power of Israel in the United States' available at http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=70829 (see a large excerpt of this review below)
"We can't ignore them lest we pay the supreme price of the loss of our freedom (and maybe our lives) because we didn't know it was being taken from us until it was too late to act to save it."
- Stephen Lendman - Conclusion of his review mentioned above
"Like the proverbial frog in slowly boiling water, we have become inured to what goes on in the name of national security. Recent disclosures about increased government surveillance and illegal activities would be shocking, were it not for the prevailing outrage-fatigue brought on by a long train of abuses. But the heads of the civilian, democratically elected institutions that are supposed to be our bulwark against an encroaching police state, the ones who stand to lose their own power as well as their rights and the rights of all citizens, aren't interested in reining in the power of the intelligence establishment. To the contrary, Rep. Hoekstra and his counterpart in the Senate, Pat Roberts, R-Kan., are running the risk of whiplash as they pivot to look the other way. James Bamford, one of the best observers of the inner workings of U.S. intelligence, warned recently that Congress has lost control of the intelligence community. "You can't get any oversight or checks and balances," he said. "Congress is protecting the White House, and the White House can do whatever it wants."
- Ray McGovern, in "Bowing to the Police State"
"Data from physical oceanography, marine biology, meteorology, fisheries science, glaciology, and other disciplines reveal that the ocean, for which our planet should be named, is changing in every parameter, in all dimensions, in every way we know how to measure it. The 25 years Ive spent at sea filming nature documentaries have provided a brief yet definitive window into these changes. Oceanic problems once encountered on a local scale have gone pandemic, and these pandemics now merge to birth new monsters. Tinkering with the atmosphere, we change the oceans chemistry radically enough to threaten life on earth as we know it. Making tens of thousands of chemical compounds each year, we poison marine creatures who sponge up plastics and PCBs, becoming toxic waste dumps in the process. Carrying everything from nuclear waste to running shoes across the world ocean, shipping fleets spew as much greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as the entire profligate United States. Protecting strawberry farmers and their pesticide methyl bromide, we guarantee that the ozone hole will persist at least until 2065, threatening the larval life of the sea. Fishing harder, faster, and more ruthlessly than ever before, we drive large predatory fish toward global extinction, even though fish is the primary source of protein for one in six people on earth. Filling, dredging, and polluting the coastal nurseries of the sea, we decimate coral reefs and kelp forests, while fostering dead zones.Im alarmed by what Im seeing. Although we carry the ocean within ourselves, in our blood and in our eyes, so that we essentially see through seawater, we appear blind to its fate. Many scientists speak only to each other and studiously avoid educating the press. The media seems unwilling to report environmental news, and caters to a public stalled by sloth, fear, or greed and generally confused by science. Overall, we seem unable to recognize that the proofs so many politicians demand already exist in the form of hindsight. Written into the long history of our planet, in one form or another, is the record of what is coming our way."
- Julia Whitty - taken from The Fate of the Ocean
1. Israel's scandalous siege of Gaza
2. A Jewish Hitler? The rise of Avigdor Lieberman
3. The Power of Israel in the United States
4. Mystery of Israel's secret uranium bomb
5. PUBLIC UNAWARE OF DU THREAT OF CAMP FALCON EXPLOSIONS
6. Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
7. Gulag Ameripelago, Pt. 2 (Knock, Knock, Knock . . . )
8. The Horrors of Extraordinary Rendition
9. Soldiers in Revolt: 125 active-duty troops call to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq
10. Launching a new kind of warfare
11. Sinking the USS Enterprise - False Flag Pretext for War on Iran
12. The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean
13. AMERICA'S ACUPUNCTURE POINTS - PART 1: Striking the US where it hurts
14. Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
15. Stern review offers counsel of hope & UK pushes for new climate change treaty
16. Bring What You Can Carry
WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION
Lord Arcturus on upcoming elections (Oct 26, 2006)
(...) This election has the potential to sever the republican ties to the greater good and begin to allow the infiltration of light into the bodies of representing governance. Your citizenry is one that relies heavily upon the leaders of your countries to pave the way for the betterment of mankind. Therefore, the changes must be implemented from the top down, so to speak. I come before you this day to emphasize the importance of each and every voice. To assist you to understand that the beginning of your long awaited changes starts with impunity and finishes with global freedom. This is not to say that the freedom from governmental shackles will happen overnight, but to ensure that the stage is set with the voices of the people that cry out for change. The coming elections hold this potential and mark the beginning of your new embarkation to the incoming age of awakening.I and others hold the light of source for this very special time and are cascading down the space-time continuum to be at the fore of these very important times ahead. Your roles as wayshowers will be unbridled soon and each of you will begin to journey into total alignment of truth. As you take part in the changeover from despots to light bearers, each of you will come to the fore in your fields of expertise. These fields are vast and each of them must be implemented to procure the energy of change for the forces of light. Now more than ever your voices need to be heard and counted. Stand up and be the one who tells the truth for the others who have little knowledge. CLIP
Dr. David Ray Griffin Interview in Copenhagen and an Appeal to the European Community -- Excellent David Ray Griffin interview on 9/11 and US government criminal duplicity - 25 minutes (Oct. 28, 2006)
NOTE from Jean: This calm and very lucid man is an extraordinary hero. Instead of being interviewed in Europe, he should be interviewed at length and allowed to speak freely as he does in this video but in prime time on American TV with no fake elite-sponsored critic opposing him. The truth needs to come out now! And he has a very good way to express some very important truths.
Rockefeller Predicted "Event" To Trigger War Eleven Months Before 9/11 (Oct 28)
Hollywood director Russo recalls remarkable "forecast" of coming attack
Hollywood director and documentary film maker Aaron Russo, currently receiving a wave of plaudits for his latest release, America: From Freedom to Fascism, told The Alex Jones Show that Nicholas Rockefeller had personally assured him there was going to be an "event" that would trigger the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq eleven months before 9/11 took place. Saying he had been approached many times by the Rockefellers and other members of the CFR elite in an attempt to recruit him, Russo recalled a conversation that would come home to roost on September 11, 2001."Here's what I do know first hand - I know that about eleven months to a year before 9/11 ever happened I was talking to my Rockefeller friend (Nicholas Rockefeller) and he said to me 'Aaron there's gonna be an event' and he never told me what the event was going to be - I'm not sure he knew what the event was going to be I don't know that he knew that," said Russo.Russo related how Rockefeller knew precisely what the event would lead to and which countries would be militarily targeted by the elite."He just said there's gonna be an event and out of that event we're gonna invade Afghanistan so we can run pipelines through the Caspian sea, we can go into Iraq to take the oil and establish bases in the middle east and to make the middle east part of the new world order and we're going to go after Venezuela - that's what's going to come out of this event.""Eleven months to a year later that's what happened....he certainly knew that something was going to happen.""In my relationships with some of these people I can tell you that it's as evil as it really gets - this is it - this is the game," stated Russo - also relating how members of the elite were routinely obsessed by creating a world identification society where people had to carry ID cards and prove who they were at all times. CLIP
Big Brothers' data bases (They have 20 millions records on US citizens!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vgg19J-1XE&mode=related&search=8:37
9/11 : WTC and Controlled Demolition - incontrovertible evidence!! Outstanding video (14 min 35 sec)
Watch also Secret Evil of 9/11 -- Did the Bush administration plan 9/11 ? -- Mike Ruppert-September 11th and the Money Trail Part 1 through the links on the right.
South Tower Flight UA175 Dropped WRONG Engine In NYC Street
In a Nutshell alleged Flight UA175, a Boeing 767-200, with four napalm bombs attached struck World Trade Center work areas as shown in this photo with full force igniting one napalm bomb inside a work area, shooting another napalm bomb and an engine through such a work area and out the back wall. That napalm bomb exploded past the wall and the engine landed in a NYC street (...) In December, 2005, The Power Hour interviewed aircraft experts about the South Tower crash aircraft: Col. George Nelson USAF (ret.), who has 30 years of experience identifying aircraft and aircraft parts stated, The plane that hit the south tower on 9/11 was not United Airlines (UA) flight 175. After reviewing numerous video clips and photographs of the 9/11 attacks, he concluded, That was not a commercial airliner. The planes were substituted. Glen Standish, an airline pilot for over 20 years stated, The plane seen in various video clips of the attack could not have been UA flight 175, due to the extra equipment that appears to be attached to the bottom of the fuselage. Nila Sagadevin, a seasoned airline pilot of over 20 years, examined photos of the engine that was found at the Trade Center site. He stated, The engine found at the Trade Center was a CFM-56, which is not utilized on a Boeing 767, confirming that the south tower was not hit by flight 175, but by another plane that had taken its place. CLIP
The Secret of Attraction - Movie duration 1 hr 29 min http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3441262226663318004&hl=en
Sleek, well-designed promotional piece for "prosperity" mind-set. Links to many interesting other movies on the right section.
What Would Jesus Do - Animation created by a 15 year old teenage girl in Alabama (Ava Lowry - she is now 16) who is doing her part to end the war and return truth to government
Make sure to watch also "No More Broken Promises" at http://peacetakescourage.cf.huffingtonpost.com/animations/brokenpromises.html
Other animations from her through http://peacetakescourage.cf.huffingtonpost.com/
and then DO visit her site and learn more about her at http://www.peacetakescourage.com/page-about.htm
She is a TRUE hero of our times! Check her latest Oct 10 production
Bring Them Home!
Nearly impossible to keep one's eyes dry while watching this...
More outstanding powerful statements by Ava Lowry...
Viral Ad: Support our Troops
Don't Shut Up - Stand Up
Imogen Heap - Headlock MOST excellent music and video
HIDE AND SEEK http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1046446528694266840
Her website: http://www.imogenheap.com
Her amazing life story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imogen_Heap
Pom-Poms for Peace - Pom-Poms Not Bomb-Bombs put some cheer back in activism
Their site is at http://www.pompomsnotbombbombs.org/main.html with pics.
Many such radical cheerleading groups are springing across the US right now! "Joy Rae Freeman" email@example.com> sent this below with great pics! "Pom Poms for Peace. These peace activists from the Lake Forest Park 4 Peace crew - have formed a cheerleading squad. They made their debut today where the larger activist group stands on a busy corner in LFP. Selma - the one in the white jacket - is 83, and is our cheer team leader. We have several chants and Selma has put great movements to go with. Examples:
WE WILL, WE WILL ROCK YOU - GO BACK TO CRAWFORD BUSH - SHAME -- Come and join us or form your own squad for local vigils and activist events. I'll send videos when available, may put up a site and would love to get some of your own when you get your PomPoms for Peace going."
Target: International Whaling Commission - Current Signatures: 272,986 -- Whales Revenge is an ambitious campaign to gather 1 million signatures for a petition to stop whaling. Every year thousands of precious mammals are slaughtered in the name of so-called 'scientific research'. Add your voice by signing this campaign then forwarding it everyone you know. Please help us stop the killing. Recommended by "Nelly Lewin" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jewish rabbi appears on Fox News to say Israel should not exist
This rabbi tells it as he sees it and there is ample evidence below to support his view...
Whitney music box - var. 8 - chromatic - 88 organ pipes - ASTOUNDING!!!
TRY http://www.coverpop.com/whitney/index.php?var=v16 as well...
US Warned of Ballot Box Chaos as Elections Near
Six years after the emergence of the now infamous "hanging chad" in the 2000 presidential elections, monitoring groups warn that technological glitches and hackers could throw next month's mid-term elections into chaos.
Can This Machine Be Trusted?
The US's new voting systems are only as good as the people who program and use them. Which is why next week could be interesting. In one week, more than 80 million Americans will go to the polls, and a record number of them - 90% - will either cast their vote on a computer or have it tabulated that way. When that many people collide with that many high-tech devices, there are going to be problems.
Part II: Pull the Plug on E-Voting
The degree of independent hand-auditing of paper ballot records sufficient to verify the corresponding computerized vote tallies is comparable to the effort required to more accurately count all the ballots by hand in the first place, dispensing with the machines.
Florida E-Voting Machines Already Flipping Votes
After a week of early voting, a handful of glitches with electronic voting machines have drawn the ire of voters, reassurances from elections supervisors - and a caution against the careless casting of ballots. Several South Florida voters say the choices they touched on the electronic screens were not the ones that appeared on the review screen - the final voting step.
Vote and Verify
NO MORE STOLEN ELECTIONS! We need something that creates as much confidence as making a cash deposit at a bank. Vote and Verify does that. Watch 90 sec. Flash Presentation: http://www.designaffect.com/vote/vvpres.html -- Vote and Verify website: http://voteandverify.com/ -- Vote and Verify is an unusual, unique and powerful breakthrough in exposing and/or preventing tampering or errors in the voting system using online verification techiniques.Vote and Verify proposed change to our voting system would make it so you never again have to wonder, "Did my vote get counted?" You would be able to go online and check it yourself. It takes advantage of technology and allows any person the incredible power to actually verify their votes within the official data base using the internet, and if it is incorrect, actually prove an error or tampering took place.This means that regardless of which machines and systems are used to collect the votes, they must ultimately achieve a standardized result-- a requirement to have the votes recorded properly within a data base that is transparent and available to a wide variety of checks and balances. This would include allowing the voter the ability to verify that his/her votes got recorded correctly and if not, the power to prove a discrepancy via the printed receipt.Other proposed systems mention a printed receipt, but Vote and Verify goes far beyond that by providing a voter online internet access to their recorded voting information (only for the receipt holder/voter however, no one else can view it). It also contains sufficient information on the receipt to be able to prove error if the online data differs. Recommended by John Tibayan email@example.com>
What Is The Longhouse Coalition?
Recommended by Daniel Stafford firstname.lastname@example.org>
Too Little, Too Late? (Oct. 28, 2006)
President Bush made a big show this week of reevaluating his Iraq policy. It made a differencebut only with his base and only at the margins. The new NEWSWEEK poll finds likely voters still favoring the Democrats. - As the race for Congress enters the homestretch, the Republicans find themselves limping to the finish line, according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll. President Bushs approval rating continues a slow but steady climbfrom an all-time NEWSWEEK-poll low of 33 percent three weeks ago to 37 percent today. But it may be too little, too late: if the midterm elections were held today, 53 percent of those likely to go to the polls would vote for the Democratic candidate in their Congressional district versus just 39 percent who would vote for the Republican. (...) When all Americans were asked which they would rather see happen: the GOP retain control of Congress or the Democrats win enough seats to take over one or both houses, 50 percent of adults said they want a Democratic takeover while 35 percent said they wanted the Republicans to hold tight the reigns of power; in last weeks poll, 55 percent wanted the Democrats to take over and 32 wanted the Republicans to retain power.
Campaign ads get downright nasty - accessible through
Attacking Michael J Fox Backfires
Rush Limbaugh Smears Michael J Fox
Progress or Not (Oct 25, 2006)
Michael J. Fox's political ads supporting stem-cell research are not only in good taste, they are vital to the public discourse. "The ad was in extremely poor taste, said a spokesman for Michael Steele, Republican candidate for the Senate in Maryland, referring to a TV spot made for his opponent, Rep. Ben Cardin. That will be the line of Republicans under assault from what could become one of the most powerful political advertisements ever made. The new ad features an ailing Michael J. Fox talking about politicians who oppose embryonic stem-cell research. This is not just another celebrity ad, like those cut by the late Christopher Reeve. It's a celebrity shot to the solar plexus of the GOP. Whatever happens in the campaign, the ad is already a classic and will be mentioned in the same breath as LBJ's famous 1964 "Daisy" ad and other unforgettable political moments on television. Rush Limbaugh helped cement the ad's place in history with his astonishingly insensitive remark that Fox "was either off his medication or was acting." Limbaugh quickly apologized but the damage to his own reputation was already done.Fox, star of megahit TV shows and movies like Family Ties and Back to the Future, was for years one of the most popular actors in the United States. He still works, but is clearly debilitated by Parkinson. Throughout the ad, he sways back and forth, showing signs of advanced disease. CLIP
The Morality of Campaign Ads
William Fisher writes: "Lying in politics gives a green light to lying, period. And the more we tacitly buy into this Faustian bargain, the more it helps to destroy the character of our country and the culture of our society."
The Dixie Chicks Ad NBC Doesnt Want You To See
NBC is refusing to air an ad for the new Dixie Chicks documentary, Shut Up & Sing. Variety reports, NBCs commercial clearance department said in writing that it cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush. Harvey Weinstein, who is distributing the movie, issued the following statement: Its a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American. ThinkProgress has obtained the ad NBC doesnt want you to see. Watch it at http://thinkprogress.org/2006/10/27/dixie-chicks-advertisement-nbc/
More on Shut Up and Sing, including when it comes to your city, at http://www.myspace.com/shutupandsing.
Big Media Interlocks with Corporate America - By Peter Phillips
Mainstream media is the term often used to describe the collective group of big TV, radio and newspapers in the United States. Mainstream implies that the news being produced is for the benefit and enlightenment of the mainstream populationthe majority of people living in the US. Mainstream media include a number of communication mediums that carry almost all the news and information on world affairs that most Americans receive. The word media is plural, implying a diversity of news sources. However, mainstream media no longer produce news for the mainstream populationnor should we consider the media as plural. Instead it is more accurate to speak of big media in the US today as the corporate media and to use the term in the singular tenseas it refers to the singular monolithic top-down power structure of self-interested news giants. A research team at Sonoma State University has recently finished conducting a network analysis of the boards of directors of the ten big media organizations in the US. The team determined that only 118 people comprise the membership on the boards of director of the ten big media giants. This is a small enough group to fit in a moderate size university classroom. These 118 individuals in turn sit on the corporate boards of 288 national and international corporations. In fact, eight out of ten big media giants share common memberships on boards of directors with each other. NBC and the Washington Post both have board members who sit on Coca Cola and J. P. Morgan, while the Tribune Company, The New York Times and Gannett all have members who share a seat on Pepsi. It is kind of like one big happy family of interlocks and shared interests. The following are but a few of the corporate board interlocks for the big ten media giants in the US: CLIP NOTE from Jean: The US media is the best brainwashing machine ever devised to hypnotize the gullible public into believing and buying anything that further increase the bottom line of American corporations as well as the political agenda of its elite... Seeing the whole US media for what it is - a huge, ongoing disinfomercial - and shutting them out of your life is a first step in regaining one's sovereign intelligence, discernment and critical ability to make decisions for the highest good of all...
Corporate Media Ignores US Hypocrisy on War Crimes
During the first week of December 03, US corporate media reported that American forensic teams are working to document some 41 mass graves in Iraq to support future war crime tribunals in that country. Broadly covered in the media, as well, was the conviction of General Stanislav Galic by a UN tribunal for war crimes committed by Bosnian Serb troops under his command during the siege of Sarajevo in 1992-94.These stories show how corporate media likes to give the impression that the US government is working diligently to root out evil doers around the world and to build democracy and freedom. This theme is part of a core ideological message in support of our recent wars on Panama, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Governmental spin transmitted by a willing US media establishes simplistic mythologies of good vs. evil often leaving out historical context, special transnational corporate interests, and prior strategic relationships with the dreaded evil ones. (...) It seems that the US government's interest in addressing mass graves and war crimes extends only to our opponents and that we tolerate such inhuman behavior among those who support our political agendas. The corporate media's complicity in this hypocrisy is a glaring example of the need for widespread media reform in the US.
Bush "Upbeat" on Iraq?
While he was discussing the situation in Iraq and explaining the reasons the United States launched a pre-emptive strike against the country, Bush told the journalists that "I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back. And that's what we're doing." Jason Leopold argues that for President Bush to say publicly that the United States attacked Iraq because of 9/11 is an insult to the more than 2,809 men and women who have died in combat in Iraq and tens of thousands of other soldiers who were maimed, believing they were fighting a war predicated on finding weapons of mass destruction.
Where all the US defense money goes - Black Project excluded!
Company Defense Contracts 2004 Total Revenue 2004 % from DOD
Lockheed Martin Corporation $20,690,912,117 $35,526,000,000 58%
General Dynamics Corporation $9,563,280,236 $19,178,000,000 50%
Raytheon Company $8,472,818,938 $20,245,000,000 42%
Northrop Grumman Corporation $11,894,090,277 $29,853,000,000 40%
Halliburton Company $7,996,793,706 $20,464,000,000 39%
Science Applications Intl $2,450,781,108 $7,187,000,000 34%
The Boeing Company $17,066,412,718 $52,457,000,000 33%
The Carlyle Group $1,442,680,446 N/A N/A
Bell Boeing Joint Program $1,539,815,440 N/A
Halliburton Motto - It's Cost Plus, Baby
Evelyn Pringle writes: "Since the minute Dick Cheney authorized the no-bid contracts for Halliburton, the granddaddy of war profiteering has been ripping off American tax payers left, right and center ... On September 18, 2006, Julie McBride, a former Halliburton employee with the company's Morale, Welfare & Recreation Department in Iraq, testified that the mantra at Halliburton camps goes, 'It's cost plus, baby.'"
Presidents Inaction May Equal Pocket Veto
Military Commission Act Not Lawfully Passed - Presidents Inaction Equals Pocket Veto - Talk show host Alex Jones brief interview last week with an unknown caller has sent constitutionalists and legal researchers scurrying for the law books. The Military Commission Act is not law! the man barked. The pocket veto clause of the constitution has already nullified it.He then pointed out to the national radio audience exactly what the part about pocket veto in Article One, Section 7 of the U. S. Constitution means. Indeed, it appears that President Bushs signing of the infamous 6166, which in effect eliminates the 4th Amendment protection of citizens in their homes and a whole lot more, is moot. He was too late. Now Jones and many others are wondering, who in an official capacity is going to point this out and enforce it? Here is what the law says and what happens when a sitting president sticks a bill passed by congress into his pocket instead of signing it and sending it back: A Pocket Veto occurs when the President fails to sign a bill within the 10 days allowed by the Constitution. Congress must be in adjournment in order for a pocket veto to take effect. If Congress is in session and the president fails to sign the bill, it becomes law without his signature. Now to the current specifics. From the U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 7:
If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevents its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law. Since Congress cannot vote while in adjournment, a pocket veto cannot be overridden. A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver in American federal lawmaking. The U.S. Constitution requires the President to sign or veto any legislation placed on his desk within ten days (not including Sundays). If he does not, then it becomes law by default. The one exception to this rule is if Congress adjourns before the ten days are up. In such a case, the bill does not become law; it is effectively, if not actually, vetoed. Ignoring legislation, or putting a bill in ones pocket until Congress adjourns is thus called a pocket veto. Congress passed 6166 on September 29th, presented it to the President on October 10th, and adjourned on October 13th. Bush signed it on October 17th, the week after Congress had adjourned, thereby rendering it vetoed by constitutional standards. CLIP
Report Says Iraq Contractor Is Hiding Data From US
A Halliburton subsidiary that has been subjected to numerous investigations for billions of dollars of contracts it has received for work in Iraq has systematically misused federal rules to withhold basic information on its practices from American officials, a federal oversight agency said yesterday. Although KBR has been subjected to a growing number of specific investigations and paid substantial fines, this marks the first time the federal government has weighed in and accused it of systematically engaging in a practice aimed at veiling its business practices in Iraq.
Military "Lost" Hundreds of Thousands of Weapons
The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces, and has failed to provide spare parts, maintenance personnel, or even repair manuals for most of the weapons given to the Iraqis.
Iran Sounds an Awful Lot Like Iraq
Four weeks ago, Congress enacted and President Bush signed the Iran Freedom Support Act, a resolution that mandates sanctions against any country aiding Iran's nuclear programs, even those to which that country is legally entitled under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. If the confrontation over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program ends in war - initiated by this administration or the next - you can bet this law will be cited as proof that Congress was onboard all along.
Target Iran - This is a must listen
Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh. The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change.
Scott Ritter: Weapons of Mass Delusion
Ritter gives his analysis of the real reasons for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The Rise of the Global Dominance Group: 9/11 Pre-Warnings & Election Irregularities in Context -- By Peter Phillips, Bridget Thornton and Celeste Vogler
The leadership class in the US is now dominated by a neo-conservative group of people with the shared goal of asserting US military power worldwide. This global dominance group, in cooperation with major military contractors, has become a powerful force in world military unilateralism and US political processes. This research study is an attempt to identify the general parameters of those who are the key actors supporting a global dominance agenda and how collectively this group has benefited from the events of September 11, 2001 and irregularities in the 2004 presidential election. This study examines how interlocking public private partnerships, including the corporate media, public relations firms, military contractors, policy elites, and government officials, jointly support a US military global domination agenda. We ask the traditional sociological questions regarding who wins, who decides, and who facilitates action inside the most powerful military-industrial complex in the world. A long thread of sociological research documents the existence of a dominant ruling class in the United States, which sets policy and determines national political priorities. The American ruling class is complex and inter-competitive, maintaining itself through interacting families of high social standing who have similar life styles, corporate affiliations and memberships in elite social clubs and private schools.1 (...) Should the 2006 election bring Democratic control to the House or Senate, we would likely see only a slight slowing of the GDG agenda, but certainly not a reversal. The events over the past couple of decades and especially the first five years of this century suggest that something some would call fascism has taken root in the US and there is little indication that a reversal is evident. Vice President Wallace wrote in The New York Times on April 9, 1944, The really dangerous American fascist,... is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. Wallace then added, They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection. We are past the brink of totalitarian facist-corporatism. Challenging the Neo-cons and the GDG agenda is only the beginning of reversing the long-term conservative reactions to the gains of the 1960s. Re-addressing poverty, the UN Declaration of Human Rights and our own weapons of mass destruction is a long-term agenda for progressive scholars and citizen democrats. Recommended by "Jane Odin" email@example.com> who wrote: "There is a MUST READ article in the Nov/Dec issue of Nexus entitled The Rise of the Global Dominance Group. It's a comprehensive overview of the neo-con, new world order agenda and details the U.S.military-industrial complex since WW2."
Top Government Official Says US on Verge of Economic Disaster
There's a dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows, or at least should. The vast majority of economists and budget analysts agree: The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and will founder on the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done to correct it.
The Dollar's Full-System Meltdown - By Mike Whitney
Everyone in Washington already knew that doomsday was approaching. That's the way the system was designed from the very beginning. It's all part of the madcap scheme to "starve the beast" and transfer the nation's wealth to a handful of western plutocrats.
Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2006
The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year.
U.S. hails airborne laser as weapons milestone
The so-called Airborne Laser has been developed at a cost so far of about $3.5 billion with the aim of destroying, at the speed of light, all classes of ballistic missiles shortly after their launch. If successful in flight testing and deployed, it would become part of an emerging U.S. anti-missile shield that also includes land- and sea-based interceptor missiles. NOTE: This could eventually alter the balance of the Mutually assured destruction situation.
U.S. Predator drone killed 80 In Pakistan Attack
Despite earlier reports that the missiles had been launched by Pakistani military helicopters, Pakistani intelligence sources now tell ABC News that the missiles were fired from a U.S. Predator drone plane.
US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region
Five hundred U.S. troops arrived in Paraguay with planes, weapons, and ammunition in July 2005, shortly after the Paraguayan Senate granted U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction. Neighboring countries and human rights organizations are concerned that the massive air base at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay is potential real estate for the U.S. military.While U.S. and Paraguayan officials vehemently deny ambitions to establish a U.S. military base at Mariscal Estigarribia, the ICC immunity agreement and U.S. counterterrorism training exercises have increased suspicions that the U.S. is building a stronghold in a region that is strategic to resource and military interests.
Niger Delta Bears Brunt After 50 Years of Oil Spills
It was revealed yesterday that up to 1.5 million tons of oil - 50 times the pollution unleashed in the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster - have been spilled in the ecologically precious Niger Delta over the past 50 years.
World oil production may have peaked-executive
World production of crude oil may have already peaked, setting the stage for declining output that could lag demand, a top advocate of the "peak oil" theory said on Thursday.
Dishing Out Power With a Solar Engine
The Infinia company is trying to prove that a 19th-century design known as the Stirling engine has a place in the emerging market for clean energy.
Omega-News Collection 28. October 2006
Israel's scandalous siege of Gaza
By Patrick Seale
10/27/06 "IHT" -- -- Israel has killed 2,300 Gazans over the past six years, including 300 in the four months since an Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, was captured in a cross-border raid by Palestinian fighters on June 25. The wounded can be counted in the tens of thousands. Most of the casualties are civilians, many of them children.
The killing continues on a daily basis - by tank and sniper fire, by air and sea bombardment, and by undercover teams in civilian clothes sent into Arab territory to ambush and murder, an Israeli specialty perfected over the past several decades.
How long will the "international community" allow the slaughter to continue? The cruel repression of the occupied territories, and of Gaza in particular, is one of the most scandalous in the world today. It is the blackest stain on Israel's patchy record as a would-be democratic state.
Some form of intervention is urgently required, perhaps in the form of an international force on the border between Israel and Gaza, to protect each side from the other, to allow some air into the moribund Gaza economy, and to bring relief to a humanitarian catastrophe.
Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain - verbally, at least, a staunch supporter of a two-state solution - must feel a certain sense of guilt at having failed to persuade President George W. Bush to advance the cause of Palestinian self-determination. By joining Bush in the invasion of Iraq, he may have imagined he could persuade the president to advance the Israeli- Palestinian peace process. He had counted without Washington's pro-Israeli neoconservatives, and their influence on Bush's Middle East policy.
Far from reining in the Israeli hawks, messianic settlers, Arab-killers and expansionists, Bush gave them a completely free hand - and continues to do so.
This may explain why Blair, addressing his last Labour Party conference a month ago, announced that he would make resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the priority of his remaining time in office. Alas, no action has followed these brave words, save for a suggestion that Britain would help the Palestinians to build institutions.
Institutions? What fantasy world does Blair inhabit? One and a half million Palestinians, two-thirds of them under the poverty line, suffering 45 percent unemployment, packed into a narrow strip of 360 square kilometers, are being besieged, starved, cut off from the world and bombed on a daily basis, and Blair talks about building Palestinian institutions! How about stopping the killing first? Does Britain's word count for nothing?
I have scoured British government Web sites and have found stirring speeches and statements by the Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and other officials about Iraq, Africa, Afghanistan, climate change and so forth, but not a word about the ongoing criminal subjugation of Gaza.
It has been left to Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian affairs coordinator, to describe Gaza as a "ticking bomb" and to warn of a social explosion. To end the shameful boycott of the democratically elected Hamas government, there are rumors that Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, may appoint Munib al-Masri, a rich businessman from Nablus, to head a government of independent technocrats. At the time of writing, however, Hamas had not agreed to stand aside.
The endurance of Gaza is legendary, but even the bravest man must falter when he can no longer feed his children and his home is reduced to rubble.
The situation is all the more urgent because, according to reports from Israel, something bigger and still more lethal is in prospect. Fresh from the indiscriminate slaughter they unleashed on Lebanon this summer - and no doubt eager to efface the memory of that fiasco - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and the chief of staff, General Dan Halutz, are said to be about to mount a military offensive against Gaza, on a far larger scale than the bombardments and armored incursions of recent months.
Their declared aim is to put an end once and for all to the home-made Qassam rockets that defiant Palestinians still manage to fire from time to time into the Israeli Negev. These are highly irritating but largely ineffectual weapons. Five Israelis have been killed by these rockets in the past six years.
Another wider Israeli aim is to destroy Hamas and root out all armed Palestinian opposition to Israel in the Gaza Strip. General Halutz has been making lurid statements to the effect that Hamas and other Palestinian groups have smuggled millions of dollars worth of weapons into Gaza from Egypt - including antitank and antiaircraft weapons as well tons of explosives - and have built a whole underground city to store their arsenal. Gaza, he declares, cannot be allowed to become another Lebanon.
Israel has already partially reoccupied the so-called Philadelphi corridor on the Gaza-Egyptian border in an attempt to put an end to cross-border tunneling and smuggling.
In the West Bank, the situation is less violent but in its way just as desperate. According to UN officials on the spot, the territory has been fragmented by no fewer than 528 Israeli military checkpoints, a 40 percent rise since August, which severely restrict Palestinian freedom of movement.
Not only has the territory been chopped up into three regions, but even within these zones Palestinian communities are isolated from each other, making it very difficult for people to reach their land or gain access to basic services such as health and education. As the economy stagnates and the population suffers, Israel's separation wall continues to gobble up Palestinian land, while dozens of illegal settlements enjoy a building boom.
Even more disturbing than the silence from London at these developments, and the collusion of Washington, is the entry into the Israeli government of Avigdor Lieberman, as deputy prime minister.
Born in Moldova, Lieberman, a burly 48-year-old, came to Israel at the age of 20. He is the leader of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu ("Israel Our Home") a party composed mainly of Russian immigrants.
Best known for having recommended flooding Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam, he is an ardent champion of the settlers and opposes any withdrawal from Palestinian territory. His solution is the "transfer" of Arabs out of Israel so as to create an ethnically pure country. He has advocated death for any Arab members of the Knesset who dare to meet members of Hezbollah or Hamas. In any truly democratic country he would be denounced and shunned as a dangerous fascist.
Instead, Lieberman is to be given the job of formulating Israeli policy regarding the "strategic threat" facing the country - a code word for Iran's nuclear activities. As Haaretz, the left-of- center Israeli daily, commented: "The choice of the most unrestrained and irresponsible man around for this job constitutes a strategic threat in its own right."
The fact that Lieberman will have access to Israel's atomic secrets - and will serve in fact as a sort of super-defense minister - must be a source of considerable anxiety, seeing that Israeli leaders and commentators have repeatedly hinted that if the United States fails to strike Iran, Israel may feel compelled to do so. With Lieberman's entry into the government, the Israeli- Iranian confrontation, one of the most dangerous in a volatile region, will be ratcheted up a notch or two.
The Labor Party leader, Amir Peretz - already a huge disappointment to the left for his bellicose policies in Lebanon and Gaza - seems quite happy to sit at the same cabinet table with a notorious racist.
With the world's attention focused on the unfolding disaster in Iraq, on the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and on how to how to moderate Iran's nuclear ambitions - three problems for which no credible solutions have yet been proposed - the Palestinians continue to bleed, starve and suffer unimaginable humiliations and hardships under Israel's pitiless rule.
Patrick Seale, a leading British writer on the Middle East, is the author of "The Struggle for Syria," "Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East" and "Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire." Distributed by Agence Global.
Israel occupation forces kills three in West Bank attack
Two men were shot dead in al-Fara refugee camp, near the city of Jenin. Residents said the men were civilians and one had been throwing rocks at troops.
'Hamas doesn't want to destroy Israel'
Hamas wants to "liberate the Palestinians," not to destroy Israel, Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Israel draws up an assassination hit-list of Hamas ministers
If Hamas resumes attacks deep inside Israel, the Israeli army is preparing to assassinate several Hamas leaders, particularly Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, the official Israeli radio reported on Thursday.
Breaking the Silence
Fmr. Israeli Soldier Tours U.S. to Expose Abuse of Palestinians by Israeli Military. A leading Israeli human rights organization accused Israel on Thursday of breaking international humanitarian law by holding thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. According to B'Tselem, international law prohibits the transfer of civilians, including prisoners, from the occupied territories to Israel. On Thursday B'Tselem issued a 53-page report outlining how Israel's prison policies has made it nearly impossible for Palestinians to regularly visit relatives in jail. Meanwhile, a former Israeli soldier named Yehuda Shaul has just begun a tour of the United States to give an inside look at how the Israeli military treats Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Shaul is a co-founder of Breaking the Silence - a group of former Israeli soldiers committed to exposing human rights abuses by the Israeli military. Last year the group revealed that Israel soldiers had been ordered to open fire on unarmed Palestinians. The group has also gathered photographic evidence that proved Israeli soldiers have abused Palestinian corpses. (...) JUAN GONZALEZ: Id like to ask you about all of these thousands of Palestinian prisoners. From your perspective, as someone who's obviously had to participate in the capturing and imprisonment of some of these Palestinian civilians, what is this doing to Palestinian society, to have so many people locked up for such a long period of time under Israeli control? YEHUDA SHAUL: I have no idea. Im not a Palestinian. Just, you know, looking from the outside, seems like breaking all the family structure. I don't know, just trying to think of, you know, all the people that we arrested, bumping in the middle of the night through the windows, through the doors, through the roofs, waking up the family, taking people. No one knows when they're going to get back, why they were taken. You know, this is -- just, you know, almost every night in the Occupied Territories, you do an arrest operation. Every night you come back with what we saw in the pictures before, or you see now, of handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinians, who are just, you know, were now arrested, waiting to be taken to interrogations at the secret services. CLIP
The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
Despite the 2004 International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision that called for tearing down the Wall and compensating affected communities, construction of the Wall has accelerated. The route of the barrier runs deep into Palestinian territory, aiding the annexation of Israeli settlements and the breaking of Palestinian territorial continuity. The World Banks vision of economic development, however, evades any discussion of the Walls illegality. CLIP
Unmasking the Second Palestinian Intifada
What is happening today in the Occupied Territories isn't politics. It is an overwhelming nightmare that plagues 3.8 million people every day.
A VERY OMINOUS SIGN OF VERY DANGEROUS TIMES AHEAD - THINK WORLD WAR III FOR INSTANCE... JUST AS THE US HELPED "CREATE" THE TALIBANS, ANOTHER MONSTER HAS BEEN SPAWN BY THE US, THANKS IN NO SMALL PART TO THE PERVASIVE, POWERFUL JEWISH LOBBY IN THE US - ONLY THIS TIME THE INCREASINGLY FASCIST PEOPLE GOVERNING THIS ROGUE COUNTRY HAVE NUKES AND ALL KINDS OF VERY LETHAL WEAPONS AND APPARENTLY LITTLE MORAL CONSTRAINTS TO USE THEM.
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org> on Oct 27 (Lots of links are imbedded in this article. Go at the URL below to access them)
A Jewish Hitler? The rise of Avigdor Lieberman
by Justin Raimondo
With the entry of Avigdor Lieberman into the government as deputy minister for "strategic threats" essentially in charge of preparing for war with Iran Israel makes a qualitative step toward a regime that increasingly resembles, in all its essentials, a rogue state, and, I might add, potentially a very dangerous one.
Lieberman's views are notoriously racist, and his rhetoric is invariably violent. He called for the execution of Israeli Arab members of the Knesset who met with Hamas or didn't celebrate Israel's Independence Day. His party, Yisrael Beytenu ("Israel is our Home"), accuses Israeli Arabs of "dual loyalty" on account of their ethnicity, and advocates the complete separation of the Israeli and Arab populations in Palestine in effect, forced transfer. Lieberman and his followers vehemently oppose the peace process, support the militant settlement movement, and are proud partisans of ethnic cleansing.
In 2002, Lieberman averred that he wouldn't flinch at ordering the IDF into the occupied territories on the West Bank for 48 hours, an operation designed to "Destroy the foundation of all the [Palestinian] authority's military infrastructure
not leave one stone on another. Destroy everything." Civilian targets included: that same year he also argued the Israeli air force should bomb all Palestinian commercial centers, including banks and even gas stations.
Lieberman's portfolio as minister in charge of strategic threats allowed the editors of Ha'aretz to quip "Lieberman is a strategic threat!" Here, after all, is a man who has threatened to bomb Tehran, the Aswan Dam, and Beirut. His entry into the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in coalition with Kadima and Labor, marks an ominous shift in the stance of the Jewish state. As Ha'aretz put it:
"The choice of the most unrestrained and irresponsible man around for this job constitutes a strategic threat in its own right. Lieberman's lack of restraint and his unbridled tongue, comparable only to those of Iran's president, are liable to bring disaster down upon the entire region."
Up until this point, the stance of the government has always been set forth in the context of the American plan for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, the so-called road map, which includes a freeze on Israeli settlements and the return of some land claimed by the settlers to the Palestinians. No more. With the inclusion of Lieberman in the governing coalition and in such a key post the Israelis are signaling that they've had enough of being dictated to by the Americans. This also dramatizes a sea-change in Israeli politics: ideas that were generally considered out of the mainstream and out of the question, as far as actual implementation are now up for consideration.
Yet the line that separated Lieberman, the Jewish equivalent of David Duke, from the Israeli "mainstream" has been increasingly hard to discern for quite some time. As Arthur Neslen put it in the Guardian recently:
"The most worrying thing about Lieberman is not that his ideas exist on a plane outside Israel's political continuum but that, in many ways, they are close to its dead center. The proposal to transfer 'the triangle,' an area around Um al-Fahm where 250,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel currently live, was first brought into the press spotlight at the end of 2000 at Israel's most prestigious annual policy-making forum, the Herzliya conference.
"The then prime minister Ariel Sharon publicly floated the idea again in February 2004. Opposition from Washington to a de facto violation of international law reportedly took the plan out of the headlines, but it remained in the comment pages.
"In December 2005, Uzi Arad, a former Mossad director, government foreign policy adviser and current head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy, which organizes the Herzliya conference, resurrected the idea in an article for [The] New Republic."
I have covered the growing influence of Israeli extremism for years, and worried over the rise of what seems, at first, a hopeless oxymoron: Jewish fascism. That an ideology that has proved so harmful indeed, near fatal to the Jewish people should gain a foothold in the Jewish state seems too bizarre even for a post-9/11 reality that increasingly resembles Bizarro World. Yet here we are, confronted with the specter of Avigdor Lieberman, the would-be Hitler, currently the second most popular politician in the running for prime minister, right behind Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Jerusalem Post reports Lieberman originally pushed for the internal security post, but this was vetoed by Israel's Attorney General, who told Olmert that Lieberman must be kept entirely out of the realm of law enforcement. The Russian immigrant, a former bouncer in a bar, is being investigated for his ties to Russian underworld figures: money funneled into his political activities from abroad apparently came from some pretty dubious sources.
That a gangster of Lieberman's ilk is now a serious contender for the post of prime minister and his fascist party is rising in popularity are measures of how the Israeli settler colony, originally designed along left-wing Zionist-utopian lines, has hardened into a national socialist Sparta.
Lieberman's prominent position in the Israeli government raises some new considerations when contemplating the future of the long-standing "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel and at least one very disturbing possibility.
To begin with, if Lieberman's views now represent those of his government, at least when it comes to matters related to his portfolio, then it seems clear Tel Aviv is bent on war with Iran. The Europeans are already reacting with distaste to the prospect of having to deal with him: before meeting with him, Javier Solana, the EU negotiator, declared he disagreed with Lieberman about "everything." One presumes the U.S. State Department holds similar views, but others in the Bush administration might prove more tolerant of Lieberman and even sympathetic. In any case, the War Party in the U.S. is likely to find him very useful: Lieberman's fiery rhetoric is sure to set off sparks in a very volatile region of the world, one that is just waiting to explode.
Secondly, what does Lieberman's ascent tell us about the future of Lebanon and the prospects for another Israeli invasion? The minister in charge of strategic threats will not be restricted to just making threats, but will be at least partially empowered to carry them out. If I were a resident of Beirut, I would start packing.
Finally, it must be remembered that Israel is a member of the nuclear club, with at least 400 nukes and perhaps more at its disposal. The chilling question is this: do we really want to see Israel's nukes fall into the hands of a madman like Lieberman?
The image of the "mad mullahs" of Tehran brandishing a nuclear scimitar is routinely conjured to frighten Westerners into supporting military action against Iran, and there is some legitimacy to this fear, although not nearly as much as the War Party would have us believe. After all, Iran doesn't have nukes, yet: Israel, however, does have them, and we have to wonder what use Prime Minister Lieberman will make of them.
Not that I am predicting Lieberman will achieve that office although I wouldn't rule it out, either. The point I'm making is that Israel is moving in a new and very disturbing direction, one that requires us to take a fresh look at U.S.-Israeli relations and reevaluate our level of financial and political support. If the Israeli government is going extremist, the moral and strategic implications of our continued assistance are grave: will we be complicit as Israel "transfers" hundreds of thousands of Arabs, many of them Israeli citizens? As hard-right ideologues embark on a campaign of aggression aimed at creating a "Greater Israel," will U.S. tax dollars continue to fuel the Israeli war machine?
The U.S. has made no comment on Lieberman's elevation. How long we can keep up our embarrassed silence is going to be the measure of the Israel lobby's strength. Their power, once without serious challenge, is waning. As the ongoing investigation into spying on behalf of Israel by AIPAC uncovers the shocking extent to which our "ally" has penetrated our security and probed our deepest secrets, the Israel lobby is facing a major crisis. They aren't just facing a legal challenge, but also an intellectual one from professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, of the University of Chicago and Harvard respectively, whose now famous study of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" is proving almost too much for them to handle. However, what's really undermining the formerly impregnable position of "the Lobby," as Mearsheimer and Walt call it, is the sudden outbreak of honesty, and a growing refusal on the part of many in the intellectual community to kowtow to threats and smears. This has caught the Lobby off guard, and now they are confronted with the horribly unattractive figure of Lieberman, who makes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad often likened to Hitler by Western commentators seem relatively reasonable. What a public relations headache!
Oh, but don't worry: they'll think of something. You can't prettify a man like that, so the strategy will be to downplay Lieberman's importance. Yet his entry into the government is quite significant, for Israel and for the world, in that it marks the end of the honeymoon era in relations between Israel and the West, particularly the United States. Israel and its Western amen corner have always insisted that the Jewish state is part of the West, yet the rise of Lieberman tells us something quite different.
Lieberman's appeal is directed at the large Russian immigrant population: these people are poor, resentful of their low status, and imbued with the same receptivity to authoritarianism that has long afflicted their Russian motherland. The rapid rise of Lieberman's political fortunes means that Israel is turning away from the West and asserting its Asiatic identity. It is no more a Western democracy than, say, Turkey or Lebanon and, if Lieberman rises all the way to the top, considerably less so.
Christian Zionism: An Egregious Threat to U.S. - Middle East Understanding
Christian Zionism, a belief that paradise for Christians can only be achieved once Jews are in control of the Holy Land, is gathering strength in the United States and forging alliances that are giving increasingly weird shape to American policy toward the Middle East.
The Armageddon Lobby: Dispensationalist Christian Zionism and the Shaping of US Policy Towards Israel-Palestine
With nearly 10 per cent of US voters declaring themselves as Zionist or dispensationalist Christians, and another 35 per cent constituting mainstream Christianity, the Christian Zionist lobby has targeted both voting pools for its purpose of assembling a pro-Israel constituency among American voters through the promotion of biblical and dispensationalist doctrine. (...) One of the fundamental teachings of Scofield was the theology of the 'rapture'. The 'rapture' refers to the dispensationalist belief that prior to the coming of the Messiah, God will remove all of his true believers from earth, and this will take place either before, after, or during the reign of the anti-Christ. Dispensationalists believe that this will occur without warning, and all of God's true followers will vanish in an instant and their souls will ascend to heaven while all of those who are non-believers will be 'left behind'. Scofield was known to preach often about the 'rapture' in his sermons, and told his listeners that the present scenario was ripe for a 'rapturing' and that the followers of Christ should welcome this final catastrophe to the world because they would be taken to their father before the world's great suffering would begin (Brownfield 2002: 72). (...) The tragic irony of this alliance lies in the diametrically opposed sentiment of Christian Zionists and the remainder of the world. While much of the world shamefully watched as Palestinians suffered through the collective punishment of incursions and devastation, Christian Zionists benightedly supported Israeli military action and used their influence to extend it. It is apparent that through the influence of the Christian Zionist lobby, Israeli objectives can be achieved despite international law and outcry. Despite studies and reports that have shown that a majority of Israeli citizens would prefer disengaging from West Bank settlements in exchange for peace, Christian Zionists are among the most fanatical advocates for the proliferation of settlements in the West Bank and increased violence against Palestinians. However, Christian Zionism is deaf to the desires of the people which its influence impacts, and does not advocate measures of peace, but rather it seeks the justification of all Israeli action under any pretense and by any means necessary. The evidence presented in this article reveals that while the Christian Zionist lobby is thriving in its mission of advancing hawkish Israeli interests, it is, in actuality, counterproductive to Israel as it is detrimental to the prospect of peace. This policy of violence and suffocation towards Palestinians produces a dangerous byproduct, which will become evident years from now. It breeds a new generation of hate among Israelis and Palestinians because it exacerbates the already dire humanitarian conditions in the Occupied Territories, which result in the escalation of violence towards Israeli and Palestinian civilians. CLIP
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
'The Power of Israel in the United States'
October 25, 2006
By Stephen Lendman firstname.lastname@example.org>
VHeadline.com commentarist Stephen Lendman writes: James Petras is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He's a noted academic figure on the US Left and a well-respected Latin American expert and longtime chronicler of the region's popular struggles. He's also an advisor to the landless workers in Brazil and the unemployed workers movement in Argentina.
Along the way, he managed to find time to write many hundreds of articles and 62 books published in 29 languages including his latest one in which he discusses another vital world region he has extensive knowledge of and has written frequently about -- the Middle East and specifically the state of Israel and its relations with its neighbors, the Palestinians and, most importantly and the subject of this book, the US.
Petras' powerful new book is titled 'The Power of Israel in the United States.'
It's a work of epic writing and essential reading documenting the enormous influence of the Jewish Lobby on US policy in the Middle East. It focuses like a laser to assure that policy conforms with Israel's long-term goal for regional hegemony. The Lobby's influence is broad and deep enough to include officials at the highest levels of government, the business community, academia, the clergy (especially the dominant Christian fundamentalists/Christian Zionists) and the mass media. Petras shows how together they're able to assure the full and unconditional US support for all elements of Israel's agenda going back decades even when that agenda harms our interests such as the unwinnable war in Iraq, any future one against Iran if it's undertaken, and the appalling and brutal subjugation and colonization of the Palestinian people that serves no US interest whatever. In spite of it, the Lobby is able to get the US to go along with Israel unconditionally with no serious opposition to it tolerated.
The book is divided into four parts. This review will cover each one in detail, and what's discussed will likely surprise any reader unfamiliar with the thoroughly documented account presented in it so compellingly. Petras sets the table in his introduction for what's to come in the later chapters. He notes what author JJ Goldberg reported in his book Jewish Power: Inside the Jewish Establishment. Goldberg wrote in the early 1990s that 45% of the Democrat Party's fundraising and 25% of that for the Republicans came from Jewish-funded Political Action Committees (PACS). Petras then updates the numbers using the ones Richard Cohen published in the Washington Post showing them now at 60% and 35% respectively, and that this funding relates to a single core issue -- unconditional US support for Israel's agenda including those parts of it human rights activists and observers of conscience judge most egregious and illegal. Petras stresses that no other single US lobby including Big Pharma, Big Oil, agribusiness, or any other one has this kind of dominant influence over the political process here. He refers to "Zioncon" ideologues and policymakers whose main goal is to make the Middle East into a "US-Israeli Co-Prosperity Sphere" under the fraudulent cover of promoting democracy in the region - but doing it through the barrel of a gun.
Petras explains the root of the Lobby's power lies in the high proportion of Jewish families who are among the wealthiest and most influential ones in the country. He cites Forbes magazine that reported 25-30% of the wealthiest families here are Jewish despite the small percentage of Jews in the population overall. They include billionaires with enormous influence, and along with all others comprising the Jewish Lobby, have created a "tyranny of Israel over the US" with consequences grave enough to threaten world peace and stability, the global economy, and the very future of democracy in this country.
That democracy and our constitutionally protected rights now hang by a thread after the recent passage of the Military Commissions Act (aka the "torture authorization act" or more accurately the "US Constitutional annulment act") that makes everyone everywhere an "enemy combatant" subject to arrest and detention out of sight anywhere in the world without regard for our (no longer) constitutionally guaranteed rights. The new law also applies to US citizens as the Jose Padilla case showed. We've effectively lost our habeas and due process rights even though technically we still have them.
Because of the Lobby's power, Petras reports, the US has unconditionally supported Israel's wars of aggression since 1967. It's influence also led to the US Gulf war in 1991 and the second Iraq war begun in 2003, now raging out of control and seen by some noted analysts as unwinnable and causing potential irreparable economic and political harm to the nation. Nonetheless, it persists with no plan agreed on to end it. The Lobby also guaranteed this country's unconditional support for Israel's illegal wars of aggression against Lebanon and Palestine with all the devastation they caused and the horrendous consequences from them unresolved. The Palestinian conflict still rages under the radar, and the status in Lebanon hangs by a hair trigger ready to erupt again any time Israel decides to resume hostilities. But inflaming the Middle East powder keg to a near boiling point is the strong possibility the US and/or Israel will attack Iran because Israel wants it and the Jewish Lobby put its powerful support behind it. More on this, Palestine and Lebanon below.
Today the situation in the Middle East is so dire, Petras reports a large majority of Europeans and a growing number of Americans believe Israel is the greatest of all threats to world peace and stability. Nonetheless, the Bush administration, in acquiescence to the Lobby, has "bludgeoned" its European partners to go along with its uncompromising support for the Jewish state despite all the obvious perils from it. In this country, open debate is stifled, public figures and academics daring to air one truthfully are pilloried, ridiculed, called anti-semitic and even threatened, and no serious dissent is ever tolerated in the corporate-run media or their funded and controlled so-called public radio or PBS parts of it.
No publication is more servile to, supportive of, or more influential than the nation's so-called "paper of record" publishing "All the News That's Fit to Print" - the New York Times. It's important because the stories it features prominently resonate around the country and the world. This dominant newspaper pledges unconditional support and fealty to the state of Israel whatever it does. The rest of the major media go along unquestioningly putting out regular one-sided pro-Israel uber alles propaganda with no opposition voices allowed to represent other points of view. We call that a free press -- but only for those who own one. The state of the corporate-controlled media in this country is now so pathetic that Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters without Borders -- for press freedom) just ranked the US 53rd in the world in press freedom behind countries like Benin, Namibia, Jamaica, France and Bolivia.
James Petras is a courageous independent voice who bucks this disturbing trend and refuses to go along. He proves it in his powerful and carefully documented new book that gives no quarter countering the mendacity, deceit and danger of the Lobby, its acolytes and hangers-on, and the corrupted major media. In his introduction, he calls for a "counter-hegemonic movement" to free us from our destructive "Israeli entanglements." It's needed to begin rebuilding our democracy and freedoms that are somewhere between life support and the crematorium. This book, he says, is his modest effort toward that goal. Because of the important information in it, it's considerably more than that. It needs widespread exposure so people will know about it. Hopefully this review will help arouse some of them to want to find out in more detail.
Part I - Zionist Power in America
Petras begins with a discussion of who fabricated the lies about Iraq's threat to our security and why. He mentions two competing channels of policy makers and advisors - the long-in-place formal structure of career military and civilian professionals in the Pentagon and State Department and a parallel one Bush administration neocons set up for this one purpose in the Pentagon, staffed by political appointees, and called the Office of Special Plans (OSP). It was the OSP's job to cook the books, come up with the idea of weapons of mass destruction while ignoring the clear evidence to the contrary and contrive a fraudulent case for war against Iraq. The people in it were those in Donald Rumsfeld's and Paul Wolfowitz's chain of command and were closely connected to a number of influential neoconservative and pro-Israel organizations.
They planned a war agenda based on lies because Israel wanted it for its security and hegemony in the region -- beginning with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein followed by regime change in Syria, Lebanon, Iran and even Saudi Arabia.
Petras points out, contrary to popular belief, this war happened largely due to the efforts of the Jewish Lobby representing the interests of Israel. Big Oil opposed the idea because it feared attacking Iraq would jeopardize its business prospects with other oil-producing states in the region. Still, Israel and the Jewish Lobby got their war, and aside from the gain from high oil prices, Big Oil may end up a longer-term loser from it. US oil interests always prefer stability and normal relationships with countries where they operate or wish to and were quite comfortable dealing with Saddam Hussein without wanting to risk a war that might upset an otherwise profitable arrangement. Their fears proved justified as the war they feared created such unresolved turbulence in Iraq, it's become too dangerous and unprofitable to undertake new ventures there except perhaps in parts of the Kurdish-controlled north. Big Oil also chafes at not being allowed to deal with the Iranians for contracts now let to its European and other competitors because US sanctions prevent them from doing business there. It's hard to imagine those interests would ever go along with US-Israeli belligerence in the Middle East, but they dare not oppose it publicly.
Petras observes there's never a public discussion allowed about that relationship in the mainstream nor will there ever be any, especially any hint the US attacked Iraq in service to Israel. There should be plenty of it though because the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have enraged hundreds of millions of Muslims and all people of conscience worldwide. They've caused the US to be seen as a pariah state and George Bush as a dangerous and morally depraved president of a failed administration. He and those closest to him like Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are reviled around the world and increasingly here at home as witnessed by the many thousands who took to the streets on October 5 in over 200 US cities on 'The World Can't Wait Day -- Drive Out the Bush Regime.' The cost of Bush's wars far exceed any possible future benefits from them, our security has been jeopardized, the nation's status has been compromised, and some analysts believe the total dollar cost of the Iraq adventure may eventually top $2 trillion - an amount extremely harmful to the nation's economy that's now worrying key business leaders and responsible people in government.
The only clear beneficiary of the Bush war agenda is Israel. It removed its main adversary in the region and cut off the political and economic support it gave the Palestinians. Petras points out that Iraq along with Iran and Syria comprised the core resistance to Israel's expansionist plans to crush the Palestinians (one down, two to go), ethnically cleanse them from their homeland and seize their land as one part of a long-term goal for a greater Israel and unchallengeable dominance in the region. Israel is the only country in the world with undeclared borders. It's kept that status to give itself maximum latitude to annex all the territory it can toward the goal of a greater "Eretz Israel" Zionists want that includes the ancient lands of "Judea" and "Summaria," the West Bank biblical parts of Israel Palestinians claim as their homeland.
With US help, Israel removed one threat to its plan for regional supremacy, but it still faces determined resistance from the Palestinians in spite of having crushed its democratically elected Hamas government. It also faces a resilient Hezbollah in Lebanon that humiliated the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the summer war there as well as opposition from Iran and Syria. In addition, there's internal opposition within Israel over its war and colonization agenda because of its enormous cost plus the added insecurity it causes. It's resulted in a level of out-migration now exceeding new arrivals as well as an erosion of the nation's social programs because the state needs the resources for its aggression and annexation agenda. It's much like what's happening under the Bush administration where the people pay the price for imperial wars abroad and the moral decay and authoritarianism at home.
Obstacles and setbacks aside, Israel has pursued its goal to "democratize" the region through a belligerent policy of neutralizing its enemies in it by force. The plan they crafted is for a series of wars with its US ally taking the lead and the eventual goal of joint US-Israeli control over the entire region. Making it work depends on getting US administrations to go along, which so far hasn't been a problem and has never been easier with the Bush administration in power and the high-level pro-Zionist officials in it with long-standing ties to Israel. They have the most important policy-making positions in government or are closely associated with the ones who do. These officials have a history of dedication to Israel's interests even when they conflict with those here at home. They're in the administration, the Congress as well as in the most influential Jewish organizations and lobbying groups like the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Anti-Defamation League and what some observers believe is the single most powerful lobby in Washington -- AIPAC.
Committed support for Israel also comes from the "Jewish Diaspora" that comprises thousands of dedicated activists here -- doctors, dentists, philanthropists, key individuals on Wall Street, the major banks and the Federal Reserve and other key segments of business, the major media, the clergy and academics and journalists given special prominence because of their willingness to corrupt their integrity in return for the handsome benefits they get for their unconditional public support and contrived rationalizations for the US -Israeli agenda. This kind of influence and support has made Israel by far the largest recipient in the world of US financial aid that amounts upfront to about $3 billion a year with more forthcoming any time as needed in added funding, weapons transfers and large low or no-interest loans that may never have to be repaid.
Israel also gets the unheard of advantage of receiving the latest and most advanced US arms and technology, unrestricted US market access for its products and services, free entry of its immigrants, unconditional support for its aggressive wars and colonization of the Palestinians and South Lebanese, and guaranteed US vetoes in the Security Council against all UN resolutions unfavorable to its interests. It's also able to get prominent Washington officials and the dominant corporate-run and funded media to label all criticism of Israel anti-semitic and freely uses this ruse whenever it serves its purpose. Israel is allowed to get away with its intelligence operations here as well including its covert penetration of military bases, the FBI, IRS, INS, EPA and many other government agencies. In addition, it's believed its agents knew in advance about the 9/11 attack but withheld the information knowing it would serve its interests to let it happen. There's also considerable evidence high US officials either knew about it themselves or were complicit in carrying it out because they also knew it would allow them the kind of reckless free reign at home and abroad they never could have gotten any other way.
This is a story that won't go away nor should it, and one day we may finally learn all the parts of it we can only speculate about now.
CLIP - Read the (long) missing part of this excellent review at http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=70829
Summation - Confronting Zionism and Reclaiming American Middle East Policy
Petras has written a powerful and important new book that needs broad exposure and resonance. But he'll never get its content past the corporate gatekeepers controlling the major media because of his courage to reveal what others fear to do -- confront Zionism, its agenda of aggressive wars and colonization, and the power of the Jewish Lobby to assure Israel gets the full and unconditional support of every US administration regardless of whether what it does serves the interests of this country. That Lobby power reached its apogee and full fruition with the ascent of the Bush administration neocons that effectively pledge their fealty to the rulers of the Israeli state and prove Ariel Sharon may have been right when he once arrogantly boasted about his relationship with George Bush saying: "We have the US under our control."
The result has been disastrous for this country and the sacred principles on which it was founded. In partnership with Israel, the US began tearing apart the Middle East and Central Asia by attacking and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan.
It now threatens to inflame the whole region enough to make it explode if we go ahead with plans to attack Iran, do it with nuclear weapons, and then move on to Syria and even Saudi Arabia while continuing to hold Lebanon hostage and under siege in a state of interregnum awaiting the next inevitable trigger igniting the whole ugly business there all over again.
The Bush administration "long war" against Islam enraged 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide growing in unity against us.
It's also destroying our freedom and democracy at home in the process threatening everyone with the emerging power of a national security police state that spells tyranny with an out-of-control president usurping the dictatorial power of a "unitary executive" claiming the right to go around the law of the land and its international obligations to govern as he pleases.
Petras sounds the alarm and asks how did we get into this debacle, and who's responsible for it. He stresses the need for a full-scale Congressional investigation to find out, but laments it's not likely to happen as long as the Bush neocons have their way. The central thesis of his book is that the Jewish Lobby serves the interests of Zionism and acts as agents for the state of Israel. It co-opted the Bush administration, all others preceding it, and the key centers of power and influence in the country leading us to the disaster we now face because of our misguided Middle East adventurism. He equates our actions in league with Israel to the Nazi war crimes committed in WW II, saying "These are the highest crimes against humanity."
Referring to the crime of aggression, the Nuremberg Tribunal called it the "supreme international crime," and those Nazis found guilty of it were hanged.
Petras explains that the "worst crimes are committed by those who claim to be a divinely chosen people, a people with 'righteous' claims of supreme victimhood."
He goes on to say: "Righteous victimology, linked to ethno-religious loyalties and directed by fanatical civilian militarists with advanced weaponry, is the greatest threat to world peace and humanity."
Petras makes an impassioned plea for progressives (really all people of conscience) to reject the imperial agenda of all nations, and in the case of Israel, to stand firm against inevitably being labeled anti-Semitic. Scurrilous name-calling is another refuge of scoundrels that shouldn't be tolerated or allowed to deter our committed assault against the forces of darkness that will destroy us unless we stand firmly against them. Petras tells us it won't be easy, and we can expect forceful ideological attacks against us premised on the notion that Israel is the embodiment of "democracy, liberty and justice" and those daring to criticize the Jewish state will be called supporters of "Arab dictatorships, repression, injustice and terrorism."
The stakes are much too high to let them get away with it using scurrilous name-calling in defense of it. In Petras' words: "Israel and its overseas network in the US....(threatens) not only the oppressed people of Palestine (and Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and any other state Israel takes aim at) but the rights of people throughout the world." He stresses we have mass public opinion on our side nearly everywhere outside the US, and it's gaining resonance here as well.
It sees Israel and our actions in support of the Jewish state as the greatest of all threats to world peace and stability.
Petras ends his book with one final impassioned call to arms: "Let's move ahead and de-colonize our country, our minds and politics as a first step in reconstituting a democratic republic, free of entangling colonial and neo-imperial alliances."
Wise thoughts from a wise and courageous man.
We can't ignore them lest we pay the supreme price of the loss of our freedom (and maybe our lives) because we didn't know it was being taken from us until it was too late to act to save it.
Texas Versus Tel Aviv: US Policy in the Middle East - By James Petras
Almost without exception, Israel's ideological soldiers have taken to the opinion columns of all the major newspapers, television and radio shows (as self-reputed Middle East experts) to promote the breaking up of Iraq into mini-states and to pursue the killing fields beyond the over 650,000 slaughtered Iraqi civilians and 3,000 dead US soldiers.
Rove: Military Must Be Flexible in Iraq (October 28, 2006)
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - Presidential advisor Karl Rove blasted Democrats on Friday for even suggesting the U.S. withdraw from Iraq, saying the U.S. can't leave one of the world's largest oil reserves in terrorist hands. However, Rove also said the military must be flexible in its tactics. He did not elaborate."More sacrifice is going to be required,'' Rove, President Bush's chief political strategist, told a ballroom full of Republicans at a fundraiser for Wisconsin candidates. "We will either create a world in which our children and our grandchildren have a hope of an optimistic future or we will leave to them a world with a hateful empire centered in the Middle East.'' CLIP ??? Isn't Israel already this 'hateful empire centered in the Middle East'???
Joe Galloway writes:"If President George Bush's hasty news conference on Iraq this week was the Republican October Surprise - unveiling some sudden presidential flexibility after three and a half years of stubbornly staying a losing course - it didn't work. With the midterm elections now days away, it smacked more of a change in semantics than a serious change in the direction of a war that seems to be spiraling out of control."
Bush Under Growing Pressure to Engage Syria
While never officially named to the "Axis of Evil," Syria has received the same "silent treatment" as Washington has given its two surviving members - Iran and North Korea - since the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.
Will US Attack Iran?
Forwarded by "Nadia McLaren" email@example.com>
Mystery of Israel's secret uranium bomb
Alarm over radioactive legacy left by attack on Lebanon
By Robert Fisk
10/28/06 "The Independent" -- -- Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer in the 34-day assault that cost more than 1,300 Lebanese lives, most of them civilians?
We know that the Israelis used American "bunker-buster" bombs on Hizbollah's Beirut headquarters. We know that they drenched southern Lebanon with cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the war, leaving tens of thousands of bomblets which are still killing Lebanese civilians every week. And we now know - after it first categorically denied using such munitions - that the Israeli army also used phosphorous bombs, weapons which are supposed to be restricted under the third protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which neither Israel nor the United States have signed.
But scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.
Dr Busby's initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. "The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium." A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium.
Enriched uranium is produced from natural uranium ore and is used as fuel for nuclear reactors. A waste productof the enrichment process is depleted uranium, it is an extremely hard metal used in anti-tank missiles for penetrating armour. Depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium, which is less radioactive than enriched uranium.
Israel has a poor reputation for telling the truth about its use of weapons in Lebanon. In 1982, it denied using phosphorous munitions on civilian areas - until journalists discovered dying and dead civilians whose wounds caught fire when exposed to air.
I saw two dead babies who, when taken from a mortuary drawer in West Beirut during the Israeli siege of the city, suddenly burst back into flames. Israel officially denied using phosphorous again in Lebanon during the summer - except for "marking" targets - even after civilians were photographed in Lebanese hospitals with burn wounds consistent with phosphorous munitions.
Then on Sunday, Israel suddenly admitted that it had not been telling the truth. Jacob Edery, the Israeli minister in charge of government-parliament relations, confirmed that phosphorous shells were used in direct attacks against Hizbollah, adding that "according to international law, the use of phosphorous munitions is authorised and the (Israeli) army keeps to the rules of international norms".
Asked by The Independent if the Israeli army had been using uranium-based munitions in Lebanon this summer, Mark Regev, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said: "Israel does not use any weaponry which is not authorised by international law or international conventions." This, however, begs more questions than it answers. Much international law does not cover modern uranium weapons because they were not invented when humanitarian rules such as the Geneva Conventions were drawn up and because Western governments still refuse to believe that their use can cause long-term damage to the health of thousands of civilians living in the area of the explosions.
American and British forces used hundreds of tons of depleted uranium (DU) shells in Iraq in 1991 - their hardened penetrator warheads manufactured from the waste products of the nuclear industry - and five years later, a plague of cancers emerged across the south of Iraq.
Initial US military assessments warned of grave consequences for public health if such weapons were used against armoured vehicles. But the US administration and the British government later went out of their way to belittle these claims. Yet the cancers continued to spread amid reports that civilians in Bosnia - where DU was also used by Nato aircraft - were suffering new forms of cancer. DU shells were again used in the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq but it is too early to register any health effects.
"When a uranium penetrator hits a hard target, the particles of the explosion are very long-lived in the environment," Dr Busby said yesterday. "They spread over long distances. They can be inhaled into the lungs. The military really seem to believe that this stuff is not as dangerous as it is." Yet why would Israel use such a weapon when its targets - in the case of Khiam, for example - were only two miles from the Israeli border? The dust ignited by DU munitions can be blown across international borders, just as the chlorine gas used in attacks by both sides in the First World War often blew back on its perpetrators.
Chris Bellamy, the professor of military science and doctrine at Cranfield University, who has reviewed the Busby report, said: "At worst it's some sort of experimental weapon with an enriched uranium component the purpose of which we don't yet know. At best - if you can say that - it shows a remarkably cavalier attitude to the use of nuclear waste products."
The soil sample from Khiam - site of a notorious torture prison when Israel occupied southern Lebanon between 1978 and 2000, and a frontline Hizbollah stronghold in the summer war - was a piece of impacted red earth from an explosion; the isotope ratio was 108, indicative of the presence of enriched uranium. "The health effects on local civilian populations following the use of large uranium penetrators and the large amounts of respirable uranium oxide particles in the atmosphere," the Busby report says, "are likely to be significant ... we recommend that the area is examined for further traces of these weapons with a view to clean up."
This summer's Lebanon war began after Hizbollah guerrillas crossed the Lebanese frontier into Israel, captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three others, prompting Israel to unleash a massive bombardment of Lebanon's villages, cities, bridges and civilian infrastructure. Human rights groups have said that Israel committed war crimes when it attacked civilians, but that Hizbollah was also guilty of such crimes because it fired missiles into Israel which were also filled with ball-bearings, turning their rockets into primitive one-time-only cluster bombs.
Many Lebanese, however, long ago concluded that the latest Lebanon war was a weapons testing ground for the Americans and Iranians, who respectively supply Israel and Hizbollah with munitions. Just as Israel used hitherto-unproven US missiles in its attacks, so the Iranians were able to test-fire a rocket which hit an Israeli corvette off the Lebanese coast, killing four Israeli sailors and almost sinking the vessel after it suffered a 15-hour on-board fire.
What the weapons manufacturers make of the latest scientific findings of potential uranium weapons use in southern Lebanon is not yet known. Nor is their effect on civilians.
From: Romi Elnagar firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: PUBLIC UNAWARE OF DU THREAT OF CAMP FALCON EXPLOSIONS
Please help us to publicize this article by passing it on to anyone you think will be concerned.
Depleted Uranium Study Team
PUBLIC UNAWARE OF DU THREAT OF CAMP FALCON EXPLOSIONS
The first live reports were aired live on US network TV:
Were getting some amazing pictures, some very dramatic pictures coming out of Iraq to us from Baghdad. You can read the lower third there. "Explosions rock Camp Falcon just outside of Baghdad." It is 11:28 p.m. there right now.
MSNBC News bureau in Baghdad, the bureau chief said there have been a series of explosions near the Camp Falcon area located just outside of Baghdad, and CPIC is confirming that there was an explosion at an ammo dump, which would explain these amazing dramatic pictures in the night sky of Baghdad. It exploded at Camp Falcon. The U.S. military base is south of Baghdad. (MNSBC, 10 Oct, 2006)
They were spectacular explosions because DU in storage all goes off at once. You can see the streamers of DU chunks burning through the cloud and the familiar mushroom cloud. It is not Willie Pete or White Phosphorus because they leave white smoke and wobble.
The public is still ignorant of the Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions threat and the Pentagon and media have been complicit in this blackout.
Perhaps a reminder of the mounting death toll from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU), which was stored at Camp Falcon, is in order.
Allen L Roland
DU Death Toll Tops 11,000
Nationwide Media Blackout Keeps U.S. Public Ignorant About This Important Story
By James P. Tucker Jr.
The death toll from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU) has reached 11,000 soldiers and the growing scandal may be the reason behind Anthony Principi's departure as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department.
This view was expressed by Arthur Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, writing in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter.
"The real reason for Mr. Principi's departure was really never given," Bernklau said. "However, a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of 'Gulf War Syndrome' has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the U.S. military."
The "malady [from DU] that thousands of our military have suffered and died from has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. . . . The terrible truth is now being revealed," Bernklau said.
Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are now dead, he said. By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. More than a decade later, more than half (56 percent) who served in Gulf War I have permanent medical problems. The disability rate for veterans of the world wars of the last century was 5 percent, rising to 10 percent in Vietnam.
"The VA secretary was aware of this fact as far back as 2000," Bernklau said. "He and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret's report, it is far too big to hide or to cover up."
Terry Johnson, public affairs specialist at the VA, recently reported that veterans of both Persian Gulf wars now on disability total 518,739, Bernklau said.
"The long-term effect of DU is a virtual death sentence," Bernklau said. "Marion Fulk, a nuclear chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved in the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers [from the second war] as 'spectacular'and a matter of concern.' "
While this important story appeared in a Washington newspaper and the wire services, it did not receive national exposurea compelling sign that the American public is being kept in the dark about the terrible effects of this toxic weapon. (Veterans for Constitutional Law can be reached at (516) 474-4261)
Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website. He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on Conscious talk radio at http://www.conscioustalk.net/
Allen Roland's weblog: http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/
ONLY THE TRUTH IS REVOLUTIONARY
USUALLY I CONSIDER HAL TURNER AS A DUBIOUS SOURCE AT BEST BUT SOMEONE HAS COMPILED QUITE A BIT OF EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIMS WHICH, TO ME, LOOKS FAIRLY PLAUSIBLE. THE IRAN/SYRIA WAR LOOKS SET TO EXPLODE AS SOON AS THE US MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE STOLEN.
Recommended by "P. Dalton" email@example.com>
Sinking the USS Enterprise - False Flag Pretext for War on Iran
By: TerraHertz on: 03.10.2006
Trial Run - the USS Oriskany reaches for new depths. USS Enterprise not so rusty.
September 30, 2006
IRAN WAR PLAN EXPOSED!
PREPARE FOR THE SINKING OF A U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER
The USS Enterprise CVN-65!
The existence of a hideous plan to sacrifice a U.S. Aircraft Carrier as a pretext for war with Iran is presently being uncovered!
The Hal Turner Show has been told that within the next five (5) weeks, the United States will "suffer" a missile attack upon the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, presently on patrol near the Persian Gulf. This attack will appear to be from numerous "Silkworm" and/or "Sunburn" missiles which will sink the vessel and kill most of the 5,000 crew onboard.
The "attack" will be blamed on Iran and thus provide the Bush Administration with an excuse to go to war with that nation.
The Hal Turner Show has learned that the missiles used to attack the USS Enterprise will not be fired from or by Iran, but rather will be a "false flag operation" made to LOOK as though Iran carried out the attack!
The USS Enterprise is the worlds first nuclear powered aircraft carrier. It was Commissioned in 1961 and is due to be decommissioned in 2014 or 2015. The ship was selected to be the "victim" of this "attack" due to its age.
THOSE PLANNING THE ATTACK ARE INSIDE THE U.S. AND ISRAELI GOVERNMENTS and view the loss of the Enterprise crew as a necessary sacrifice to induce Americans to support war against Iran. Put bluntly, the ship and crew are to be cannon fodder.
Extract from Voice of the White House, September 29, 2006. http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2525.htm
Now, they tell me, Cheney wants the entire National Guard activated and shipped over here along with every reservist or discharged GI with former combat service. They have the orders drawn up there and we have copies. Engineers have been putting up miles of new barracks and the supply services are tipped to expect significant very large shipments of food, clothes, shoes, helmets and so on. A quarter of a million men are supposed to be reactivated and sent over here before Christmas. A general officer said, in my office, that they were just waiting until after the elections in November.
Rumour: The Michigan will be leaving drydock ahead of schedule with a newly developed surface to surface/air weapons system.
U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine USS Michigan SSBN-727 (NUCLEAR-POWERED)
Extract: The Michigan is scheduled to enter Puget Sound Naval Shipyard sometime in late 2003 to begin a Refueling Complex Overhaul and to be converted to an SSGN.
Extract: The Ohio class cruise missile submarine (SSGN) program entails the refueling and conversion of the four SSBNs to dedicated cruise missile launch submarines to support the Land- Attack/Strike mission. Each new Multiple All-Up-Round (AUR) Canister (MAC) launchers contain seven Tomahawk land-attack missiles (TLAMs) and fit within the existing Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) vertical launch tubes. Each SSGN will accommodate up to 22 MACs, for a total of 154 TLAMs.
The SSGN will also support Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions. Two of the large vertical launch tubes will be converted to SOF lockout chambers and the ship will feature dedicated accommodations for SOF personnel and their equipment. The SSGN is capable of hosting the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) and Dry Deck Shelter on its upper deck. In the future, the extensive payload capacity of the SSGN may be used to support other offboard systems, including large unmanned and autonomous underwater vehicles, as well as alternate weapons systems.
The Navy plans to conduct operational evaluation (OPEVAL) of the SSGNs Strike and SOF missions in FY07.
Trident SSGN also provides the CINCs and Battle Group commander a large SOF contingent (4 platoons or 66 SEALs) capable of carrying out a sustained and continuous level of effort of Special Forces missions. Each boat could carry up to 66 SEALs or other commandos, and a minisub currently under development would be affixed to the bow. However, there are not many missions in which such a large force of SEALs would play a significant role.
Extract: BMD Watch: Trident Subs Will Fight Terror
The U.S. Navy is converting some of its prized nuclear strategic submarines to launch precision, conventional munitions strikes against terrorist bases and similar targets. Four ultra-stealth Ohio-class SSBNs are having their 24 Trident II D-5 nuclear ballistic missiles removed and replaced with up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, Defense Industry Daily reported Jan. 18.
Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to deploy
Norfolk, Va. Nearly 6,500 Sailors will leave their homeport in Norfolk when the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) deploys Tuesday, October 3 in support of the on-going rotation of forward-deployed forces.
Commanded by Rear Adm. Allen G. Myers, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8 (CCSG 8), IKE CSG includes the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, embarked Destroyer Squadron (CDS) Twenty-Eight, guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68), guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61), guided missile-destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) along with the fast attack submarine USS Newport News (SSN 750), all homeported in Norfolk.
Plus many recent reports of an already huge naval buildup in the Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean.
Hmmm... Very interesting.
A report (no confirmation) of plans to 'false flag' sink the USS Enterprise.
A nuclear powered carrier, and a strong symbol of American pride. A name of psychological significance. A death toll even bigger than that of 911, and of 'brave American servicemen' - all the better to psyop the public!
This fits very well with the present desperation of the Bushies, their needs, the election timing, and other military movement reports. Not to mention it solves an awkward disposal problem of an outdated hulk, just like with the WTC towers. Wonder if it too is over-insured?
However, there's the fact that surely the Bushies can't want to radioactively contaminate the Gulf so much that the oil stops. Blowing up and sinking a nuclear aircraft carrier would do that. So how...?
Ah! But here's a little hint in the Hal Turner site comments: "My daughter was on the USS Enterprise. She said that it was being decommissioned back in 2000."
Well, well, well! If true, I wonder how far that 'decommissioning' got? As far as removing the reactor fuel, but not the heavily irradiated cores which will cost a heap to safely dismantle to EPA standards? Did/does the Enterprise have backup diesel motive power I wonder? Judging by how multiply redundant naval warships tend to be, I'd expect so. Good enough to get it to the Gulf.
And what a coincidence! The navy recently ran two 'dress rehearsals' of sinking aircraft carriers, so now they can get it just perfect for the cameras.
Take 1 - USS USS America: May 2005
Got it wrong, took 25 days to sink it.
Take 2 - USS Oriskany: May 2006
A little overdone, took 45 minutes instead of the intended 5 hours.
Then we may have the very stealthy, nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine USS Michigan, secretly out of refit way early, lurking close to Iran's shore supposedly to deliver Special Forces & Seals into Iran. But it also happens to have a bunch of cruise missiles capable of submarine launch. They'd look like they came from Iran. We can assume the Michigan will be sinisterly involved here, since we've been told it will 'fight terror' - and we all know what that means.
With the USS Enterprise being 'third time lucky', we can expect a well-timed photogenicly tragic sinking, with no awkward stuffups like the ship not sinking for days; drifting around with obvious demolition charge damage exposed for all to see. Or even worse, doing a USS Liberty - not sinking at all. Much like WTC Building 7 sitting there loaded with explosives but the scheduled plane not showing up. That must have been such an awkward moment.
Now it makes sense. The US sinks the USS Enterprise in the Gulf, claiming Iran blew up a nuclear ship in their own backyard. Thus appearing to demonstrate that Iran is run by a bunch of belligerent loonies, who don't understand the environmental dangers of nuclear power, and most definately can't be allowed their own nuclear reactors. Why, its only by miraculous luck and heroic efforts by the brave but doomed crew that the ship's reactors didn't leak (much) and create a new Chernobyl dead zone in the Middle East oil... uh, Holy Lands!
Insert coin (5000 US naval dead) to begin WWIII. By sheer chance all our forces are in place already! Oh, and incidentally to activate the final stage of Police State America, arrest all those pesky election fraud and 911 conspiracists as enemy combatants, set the November election software to 'win by a mile' (without any troublemakers around to yell 'Fraud!'), bring in the Draft, and save Decider Bush & Co. from trial and execution as war criminals.
Brilliant plan, really. But guaranteed to go wrong to a shocking and awesome degree.
MORE EVIDENCE BUT NO WORD ON WHAT RUSSIA AND CHINA'S REACTION WILL BE. THEY ARE BOTH LIKELY TO BE INVOLVED IN SOME MANNER AS THEY HAVE SIGNED ON SOME KIND OF GEOSTRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH IRAN...
The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
October 1, 2006
We bring to the attention of our readers, this carefully documented review of the ongoing naval build-up and deployment of coalition forces in the Middle East.
The article examines the geopolitics behind this military deployment and its relationship to "the Battle for Oil".
The structure of military alliances is crucial to an understanding of these war preparations.
The naval deployment is taking place in two distinct theaters: the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Both Israel and NATO are slated to play a major role in the US-led war.
The militarization of the Eastern Mediterranean is broadly under the jurisdiction of NATO in liaison with Israel. Directed against Syria, it is conducted under the façade of a UN peace-keeping mission pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1701. In this context, the war on Lebanon must be viewed as a stage of a the broader US sponsored military road-map.
The naval armada in the Persian Gulf is largely under US command, with the participation of Canada.
The naval buildup is coordinated with the planned air attacks. The planning of the aerial bombings of Iran started in mid-2004, pursuant to the formulation of CONPLAN 8022 in early 2004. In May 2004, National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 35 entitled Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/ was issued. While its contents remains classified, the presumption is that NSPD 35 pertains to the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the Middle East war theater in compliance with CONPLAN 8022.
These war plans must be taken very seriously.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a military adventure, "a long war", which threatens the future of humanity.
In the weeks ahead, it is essential that citizens' movements around the world act consistently to confront their respective governments and reverse and dismantle this military agenda.
What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence, expose the media lies and distortions, confront the criminal nature of the US Administration and of those governments which support it, its war agenda as well as its so-called "Homeland Security agenda" which has already defined the contours of a police State.
It is essential to bring the US war project to the forefront of political debate, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Political and military leaders who are opposed to the war must take a firm stance, from within their respective institutions. Citizens must take a stance individually and collectively against war.
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 1 October 2006
The probability of another war in the Middle East is high. Only time will tell if the horrors of further warfare is to fully materialize. Even then, the shape of a war is still undecided in terms of its outcome.
If war is to be waged or not against Iran and Syria, there is still the undeniable build-up and development of measures that confirm a process of military deployment and preparation for war.
The diplomatic forum also seems to be pointing to the possibility of war. The decisions being made, the preparations being taken, and the military maneuvers that are unfolding on the geo-strategic chessboard are projecting a prognosis and forecast towards the direction of mobilization for some form of conflict in the Middle East.
In this context, people do not always realize that a war is never planned, executed or even anticipated in a matter of weeks. Military operations take months and even years to prepare. A classical example is Operation Overlord (popularly identified as D-Day), which resulted in the Battle of Normandy and the invasion of France. Operation Overlord took place on June 6, 1944, but the preparations for the military operation took eighteen months, officially, to set the stage for the invasion of the French coast. It was during a meeting in Casablanca, Morocco in January, 1943 that the U.S. President, F.D. Roosevelt, and the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, outlined a strategy to invade Normandy.1
With regard to Iraq, the Downing Street memo2 confirms that the decision to go to war in 2003 was decided in 2002 by the United States and Britain, and thus the preparations for war with Iraq were in reality started in 2002, a year before the invasion. The preparations for the invasion of Iraq took place at least a entire year to arrange.
The period from 1991 to 2003 has seen continuous military operations against Iraq by the Anglo-American alliance. This period that has lasted for over a decade saw stages of heavy bombardment and major air strikes on a crippled Iraqi republic and its citizens. In reality the conditions for the groundwork and preparations of the invasion and eventual occupation of Iraq took over ten years to materialize. Iraq was weakened and its strength diluted within these ten years.
Even prior to this decade of Anglo-American bombardment and U.N. sanctions, Iraq was caught in an eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s. The war between Iran and Iraq was also fuelled and organized by the United States to weaken both. In retrospect the manipulation of a war between Iran and Iraq to weaken both states seems to be strategic planning in preparation for future military operations against them. In this time preparations were also being made by securing the Balkans for future Anglo-American operations. The Balkans is adjacent to the Middle East and is also a geographic extension of the region. Preparations were made by expanding NATO, shifting military bases eastward, and securing energy routes. Dismantling the state of Yugoslavia was also a part of this objective. Yugoslavia was the regional power of the Balkans and Southeast Europe. This was done through close coordination between the Anglo-American alliance and NATO. Now all eyes are on Iran and Syria. Will there be another Anglo-American initiated war in the Middle East?
Overview of Naval Confrontation against Iran
The Pentagon has already drawn up plans for U.S. sponsored attacks on Iran and Syria.3 Despite the public posturing of diplomacy by the United States and Britain, just like the Iraq Invasion, Iran and Syria sense another Anglo-American war in the horizon. Both countries have been strengthening their defenses for the eventuality of war with the Anglo-American alliance.
A conflict against Iran and Syria, if it were to materialize, would be unlike previous Anglo-American sponsored conflicts. It would be wider in scope, deadlier, and have active aerial and water (naval) fronts.
Sea power would be of greater significance than in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. The United States would covet a quick victory. The chances of this happening are unknown. If there were to be a conflict with Iran, the United States and it partners would want to keep the Straits of Hormuz open for the flow of international oil. The Straits of Hormuz are the energy lifeline of the world.
The United States would without doubt quickly aim for the collapse of the Iranian and Syrian commands and military structures.
It must be noted that the Iranian Armed Forces are characterized by well structured military organization, with advanced military capabilities, when compared to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. Moreover, Iran has been preparing for a scenario of war with the Anglo-American alliance for almost a decade. These preparations were stepped up following the NATO-U.S. led attack on Yugoslavia (1999).
The types of military units and weapons systems being deployed in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea by the United States are considered to be best suited for combat against Iran, also with a view to keeping the Straits of Hormuz open for oil tankers. This also includes forces that would be able to secure bridgeheads on the Iranian coastline. These U.S. forces consist of early warning units, recognizance, amphibious elements, maritime search and rescue units, minesweepers, and rapid deployment units.
U.S. Strike Groups: Cargo intended for War?
The U.S.S. Enterprise a U.S. Navy flagship is under deployment to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. This includes all the warships and vessels that compose Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12) Destroyer Squadron 2 (DESRON 2), and Carrier Air Wing 1 (CVW 1). The stated objective for the deployment of the U.S.S. Enterprise, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, and other U.S. Navy vessels is to conduct naval security operations and aerial missions in the region. The deployment does not mention Iran, it is said to be part of the U.S.-led War on Terror under Operation Enduring Freedom.
CLIP - Read the rest (Very long and VERY comprehensive!) at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20061001&articleId=3361
(With pictures of several carriers and their battle groups)
Preemptive Strikes Part Of U.S. Strategic Doctrine' - The Washington Post (Dec 11, 2002)
All Options' Open for Countering Unconventional Arms - A Bush administration strategy announced yesterday calls for the preemptive use of military and covert force before an enemy unleashes weapons of mass destruction, and underscores the United States's willingness to retaliate with nuclear weapons for chemical or biological attacks on U.S. soil or against American troops overseas.Under Bush, however, Pentagon officials appear to have taken a step closer to the possible, limited use of nuclear weapons by pursuing new and more usable ones. A review of nuclear policy completed by defense officials a year ago put added emphasis on developing low-yield nuclear weapons that could be used to burrow deep into the earth and destroy underground complexes, including stores of chemical and biological arms. This has raised questions about whether the administration is lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons. CLIP
EVEN MORE OMINOUS!!! SHOULD THERE BE MASS PROTESTS FOLLOWING THE COMING EXPECTED MASSIVE ELECTION FRAUD, THE POWERS THAT BE WILL BE ABLE TO "LEGALLY" REPRESS THE OPPOSITION WITH ALL THE MIGHT AND NEW CROWD CONTROL WEAPONRY OF THE PENTAGON. ALL TOGETHER NOW... HEIL BUSH!
From: "Sandra and Richard" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: WHOOPS! Too Late ....
Date: 27 Oct 2006
.... to oil up the muskets - they're already authorized to be in our state, our towns, our communities, our homes - but hey! - they're not coming for us, you say - only for those "disorderly" people that President Bush will tell us are bad (careful, be nice now, take your vaccinations like a good citizen, don't make him mad), or for those "incidents" that President Bush thinks need more than just the police (what a load off our minds, no more protesting, dissenting, arguing, no more need for discussions, political parties or even elections) - what a break for us safe Americans who agree with President Bush, at least the ones who ALWAYS agree - and the rest even get free rides to those comfortable and safe camps - is this a great country or what?
Also from http://www.uruknet.info/?p=27769 and from http://signs-of-the-times.org/signs/editorials/signs20061027_BushMovesTowardMartialLaw.php
Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
October 26, 2006
In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.
Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."
President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."
Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."
For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.
The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.
An article on "recent contract awards" in a recent issue of the slick, insider "Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International" reported that "global engineering and technical services powerhouse KBR [Kellog, Brown & Root] announced in January 2006 that its Government and Infrastructure division was awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to support U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency." "With a maximum total value of $385 million over a five year term," the report notes, "the contract is to be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," "for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) - in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs." The report points out that "KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton." (3) So, in addition to authorizing another $532.8 billion for the Pentagon, including a $70-billion "supplemental provision" which covers the cost of the ongoing, mad military maneuvers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places, the new law, signed by the president in a private White House ceremony, further collapses the historic divide between the police and the military: a tell-tale sign of a rapidly consolidating police state in America, all accomplished amidst ongoing U.S. imperial pretensions of global domination, sold to an "emergency managed" and seemingly willfully gullible public as a "global war on terrorism."
Make no mistake about it: the de-facto repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) is an ominous assault on American democratic tradition and jurisprudence. The 1878 Act, which reads, "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both," is the only U.S. criminal statute that outlaws military operations directed against the American people under the cover of 'law enforcement.' As such, it has been the best protection we've had against the power-hungry intentions of an unscrupulous and reckless executive, an executive intent on using force to enforce its will.
Unfortunately, this past week, the president dealt posse comitatus, along with American democracy, a near fatal blow. Consequently, it will take an aroused citizenry to undo the damage wrought by this horrendous act, part and parcel, as we have seen, of a long train of abuses and outrages perpetrated by this authoritarian administration.
Despite the unprecedented and shocking nature of this act, there has been no outcry in the American media, and little reaction from our elected officials in Congress. On September 19th, a lone Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) noted that 2007's Defense Authorization Act contained a "widely opposed provision to allow the President more control over the National Guard [adopting] changes to the Insurrection Act, which will make it easier for this or any future President to use the military to restore domestic order WITHOUT the consent of the nation's governors."
Senator Leahy went on to stress that, "we certainly do not need to make it easier for Presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes against some of the central tenets of our democracy. One can easily envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited their communities gives the orders."
A few weeks later, on the 29th of September, Leahy entered into the Congressional Record that he had "grave reservations about certain provisions of the fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill Conference Report," the language of which, he said, "subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military's involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law." This had been "slipped in," Leahy said, "as a rider with little study," while "other congressional committees with jurisdiction over these matters had no chance to comment, let alone hold hearings on, these proposals."
In a telling bit of understatement, the Senator from Vermont noted that "the implications of changing the (Posse Comitatus) Act are enormous". "There is good reason," he said, "for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations. Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy. We fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty."
Senator Leahy's final ruminations: "Since hearing word a couple of weeks ago that this outcome was likely, I have wondered how Congress could have gotten to this point. It seems the changes to the Insurrection Act have survived the Conference because the Pentagon and the White House want it."
The historic and ominous re-writing of the Insurrection Act, accomplished in the dead of night, which gives Bush the legal authority to declare martial law, is now an accomplished fact.
The Pentagon, as one might expect, plays an even more direct role in martial law operations. Title XIV of the new law, entitled, "Homeland Defense Technology Transfer Legislative Provisions," authorizes "the Secretary of Defense to create a Homeland Defense Technology Transfer Consortium to improve the effectiveness of the Department of Defense (DOD) processes for identifying and deploying relevant DOD technology to federal, State, and local first responders."
In other words, the law facilitates the "transfer" of the newest in so-called "crowd control" technology and other weaponry designed to suppress dissent from the Pentagon to local militarized police units. The new law builds on and further codifies earlier "technology transfer" agreements, specifically the 1995 DOD-Justice Department memorandum of agreement achieved back during the Clinton-Reno regime.(4)
It has become clear in recent months that a critical mass of the American people have seen through the lies of the Bush administration; with the president's polls at an historic low, growing resistance to the war Iraq, and the Democrats likely to take back the Congress in mid-term elections, the Bush administration is on the ropes. And so it is particularly worrying that President Bush has seen fit, at this juncture to, in effect, declare himself dictator.
(1) http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/091906a.html and http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/092906b.html
See also, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, "The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues," by Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney, August 14, 2006
(3) Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International, "Recent Contract Awards", Summer 2006, Vol.12, No.2, pg.8; See also, Peter Dale Scott, "Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps," New American Media, January 31, 2006.
(4) "Technology Transfer from defense: Concealed Weapons Detection", National Institute of Justice Journal, No 229, August, 1995, pp.42-43.
Some of the comments posted at http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/911/
"Linked to this, I read that Bush has been pushing for an amendment to the MC legislation that would allow the authorities to shoot draft dodgers on sight."
"The fact that Bush signed these Martial Law changes the same day as the Military Commissions Act of 2006, makes it very clear that his Junta is lying when it says the Military Commissions Act was not meant for American citizens. "
MARTIAL LAW 911: RISE OF THE POLICE STATE Information Resource Companion Web Site
Check the links in the left-hand column.
U.S. Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq (10/24/2005)
CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence Personnel ImplicatedNEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom died while being interrogated. The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions."There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal that has rocked our military."The documents released today include 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of individuals apprehended in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents show that detainees died during or after interrogations by Navy Seals, Military Intelligence and "OGA" (Other Governmental Agency) -- a term, according to the ACLU, that is commonly used to refer to the CIA. CLIP
"The President Knows More Than He Lets On"
100 suspected terrorists from all over the world are still being held in secret American prisons. In an interview with Der Spiegel Online, CIA expert Ron Suskind accuses Washington of "running like a headless chicken" in its war against al-Qaeda. He reserves special criticism for the CIA's torture methods, which he argues are unproductive.
Gulag Ameripelago, Pt. 2 (Knock, Knock, Knock . . . )
Part 1 is at http://newpropop.blogspot.com/2006/10/gulag-ameripelago.html)
Atlantic Free Press (AFP) is a new news and opinion blog founded by Chris Floyd and the folks at Empire Burlesque, which has been on my sidebar for quite awhile. This story is a little over two years old, but even more relevant these days:
Death squads in America?
Written by Tom Maertens
Saturday, 12 June 2004
Tom Maertens served as National Security Council director for proliferation and homeland defense in the George W. Bush White House, and as deputy coordinator for counterterrorism in the State Department on 9/11.
Five years after 9/11, it's clear that the Bush administration's costly War on Terror has failed on two counts. It has undermined our civil liberties and made the world more dangerous. The direct cost of the war in Iraq, according to Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel economist, has already exceeded $1 trillion, including long-term veterans' care and similar costs. Along with the war has come enormous destruction and loss of life, and major damage to our international standing.
And there are more terrorists in the world than ever before, a fact the administration plays up to curtail our freedoms. In the aftermath of 9/11, the administration succeeded in passing an extreme version of an internal security law, called the USA Patriot Act. It permits secret arrests, sneak and peek searches, and obtaining bank, credit, library and Internet records, all without a warrant. The administration also instituted wiretaps and intercepts on millions of Americans' e-mail messages and phone calls without warrants, a program recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.
In 2005, Bush quietly created the National Clandestine Service, which authorizes the CIA to operate within the United States -- despite past abuses such as Operation Chaos -- and reinstituted domestic spying by the military through the Counter Intelligence Field Activity (CIFA), in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. He also created the National Security Service, putting elements of the FBI under his direct control, the closest we have had to a secret police agency in our 200-year history. The FBI now sends out 30,000 National Security Letters per year, demanding personal information without benefit of a warrant. It has imposed gag orders on every aspect of NSLs, making it illegal to reveal that one has been received. How does this differ from secret police tactics?
Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union show that the government conducted surveillance on as many as 150 peaceful protest or social groups, including Greenpeace, Catholic Workers, and Quakers in Florida.
The Bush administration has used the threat of terrorism to silence peaceful protest at public events. It has happened all over the country, including to two women in Cedar Rapids who were handcuffed, led off to jail and strip-searched for "disrupting" a Bush rally. Terrorists, perhaps? One was wearing a Kerry/Edwards button; the other carried a small antiwar sign.
Perhaps no event demonstrates more clearly the dangerous authoritarianism of the Bush crowd than the arrest of two American citizens, Jose Padilla and Yasir Hamdi, who were held for 3? years in solitary confinement with no charges, no court appearance and no lawyer. The Bush administration declared them "enemy combatants" -- Enemies of the State -- and threw them in prison indefinitely, just like a Third World dictatorship . . .
This morning, Jason Miller at Tom Paine's Corner posted this (clips):
American Prison Camps Are On The Way
Kellogg Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, is constructing a huge facility at an undisclosed location to hold tens of thousands of Bush's "unlawful enemy combatants." Americans are certain to be among them.
Americans are certain to be among them.
By Marjorie Cohn
Guerilla News Network
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 governing the treatment of detainees is the culmination of relentless fear-mongering by the Bush administration since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Because the bill was adopted with lightning speed, barely anyone noticed that it empowers Bush to declare not just aliens, but also U.S. citizens, "unlawful enemy combatants."
Bush & Co. has portrayed the bill as a tough way to deal with aliens to protect us against terrorism. Frightened they might lose their majority in Congress in the November elections, the Republicans rammed the bill through Congress with little substantive debate.
Anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on Bushs list of terrorist organizations, or who speaks out against the governments policies could be declared an unlawful enemy combatant and imprisoned indefinitely. That includes American citizens...
Subsequent [to the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798] examples of laws passed and actions taken as a result of fear-mongering during periods of xenophobia are the Espionage Act of 1917, the Sedition Act of 1918, the Red Scare following World War I, the forcible internment of people of Japanese descent during World War II, and the Alien Registration Act of 1940 (the Smith Act).
During the McCarthy period of the 1950s, in an effort to eradicate the perceived threat of communism, the government engaged in widespread illegal surveillance to threaten and silence anyone who had an unorthodox political viewpoint. Many people were jailed, blacklisted and lost their jobs. Thousands of lives were shattered as the FBI engaged in "red-baiting." One month after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, United States Attorney General John Ashcroft rushed the U.S.A. Patriot Act through a timid Congress. The Patriot Act created a crime of domestic terrorism aimed at political activists who protest government policies, and set forth an ideological test for entry into the United States.
In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of the internment of Japanese and Japanese-American citizens in Korematsu v. United States. Justice Robert Jackson warned in his dissent that the ruling would "lie about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need."
That day has come with the Military Commissions Act of 2006. It provides the basis for the President to round-up both aliens and U.S. citizens he determines have given material support to terrorists. Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Cheney's Halliburton, is constructing a huge facility at an undisclosed location to hold tens of thousands of undesirables.
In his 1928 dissent in Olmstead v. United States, Justice Louis Brandeis cautioned, "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." Seventy-three years later, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, speaking for a zealous President, warned Americans "they need to watch what they say, watch what they do." . . .
Most people, even among the realist hard Left, believe that massive internment is at best a remote possibility and that the Supreme Court will declare The Military Commission Act unconstitutional. Don't bet on it. Even with a possible Democratic majority in place.
As regular readers here realize, I'm almost convinced of the likelihood of a contrived "false flag" "terrorist event" in the US prior to the 2008 presidential elections, resulting in martial law and the last brick in the blood-red road to a totalitarian police state.
Even if this doesn't happen and there is a Democratic Party victory this November and in 2008, why do think things will change? Looking at the history of Democrats and war, there is no evidence whatsoever to believe they won't use these terrifying laws and other mechanisms to their own advantage.
Heavy hitters among the Dems, such as Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, are already recipients of massive amounts of corporate money. Neoliberalism is no different than neoconservatism in its aims. It is ridiculous to believe that Bill Clinton was much different than the Bushes. That is a fantasy of a pathologically selective memory. And the voting records of most Democatic senators and congresspeople, especially the DLC types who still rule the party in spite of Howard Dean, are more than an adequate clue of what may be coming.
[Go right to Part 3 at http://newpropop.blogspot.com/2006/10/gulag-ameripelago-pt-3-nau.html - and Part 4 is at http://newpropop.blogspot.com/2006/10/gulag-ameripelago-pt-4-new-fall.html
THIS SPEAKS VOLUME ABOUT THE UTTERLY DARK NATURE OF THOSE IN POWER NOW IN THE UNITED CORPORATIONS OF WAR, TORTURE AND PLUNDER.
The Horrors of Extraordinary Rendition
By Maher Arar
Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who is barred from entering the United States, delivered his acceptance speech for the Letelier-Moffitt International Human Rights Award in a pre-recorded videotape. This is a transcript of his speech, which was viewed at the award ceremony hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies on Oct. 18, 2006 in Washington, DC.
10/27/06 "Counterpunch' --- - Hello my name is Maher Arar. Sorry I could not join you for today's ceremony.
All Center for Constitutional Rights Staff and I are humbled to have been chosen this year's recipient for the Letelier-Moffitt International Human Rights Award. This award means a tremendous amount to us. It means that there are still Americans out there who value our struggle for justice.
It means that there are Americans out there who are truly concerned about the future of America. We now know that my story is not a unique one. Over the past two years we have heard from many other people who were, who have been kidnapped, unlawfully detained, tortured and eventually released without being charged with any crime in any country.
My nightmare began on September 26, 2002. I was transiting through New York airport, JFK Airport, when they asked me to wait in a waiting area. I found that to be strange. Shortly after, some FBI officials came to see me and they asked me whether, I was willing to be interviewed.
My first immediate reaction was to ask for a lawyer and I was surprised when they told me that I had no right to a lawyer because I was not an American citizen.
Then I asked for a phone call, I wanted to call my family to let them know what was going on. And they just ignored my request.
Then they told me, we only have couple of questions for you and we'll let you go. So I agreed. I had nothing to hide. And the interrogation started. Soon after, you know, they asked me about people I knew. It was deeper, until the interrogation was going deeper and deeper and deeper.
During this time, they played mind games with me. They would sometimes insult me; say to me something like you're smart. Other times they would accuse me of being dumb.
And, I repeatedly ask for a lawyer, to make a phone call. They always ignored my question.
The interrogation that day lasted about four hours with the FBI officials and another four hours with immigration. At the end of that day, instead of sending me back to Canada, they shackled and chained me and sent me to another, another terminal in the airport where I stayed overnight and in that place, in that room they kept me in, the lights were, were always on. There was no bed in that room and I could not sleep that night.
The next day another set of interrogations started. This time it was about, they asked me about political opinions--I answered openly, I didn't try to hide my political opinions. The asked me about Iraq. They asked me about Palestine and so many other issues. And they also, if I remember correctly, asked me about my emails and some other questions.
Going to Syria
And they told me that day we are about to decide about your fate. At the end of that day, surprisingly, one of the immigration officers came and asked me to volunteer to go to Syria. I said to them: why do you want me to go to Syria, I've never been there for 17 years. And they say, "You are special interest." Of course, back then I did not know what this expression meant. But it was clear that the Americans, the officer did not want me to go to Canada.
When he insisted, I said, let me go back to Switzerland. That was my point of departure before I arrived at JFK and he refused. Eventually they took me into the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal prison, where they kept me for about 12 days. During this time I was interviewed for six hours by INS. It was a very exhaustive interview from 9PM to like around 3AM in the morning. When I asked them to, during this interview to go, to allow me to go back to my cell to perform my prayer, they refused, completely refused.
Also during my stay at the Metropolitan Detention Center I could clearly see that I was being treated differently from other prisoners. For example, they didn't give me toothpaste they would allow me to go for recreation for about a week. They always ignored my demand for making a phone call. Eventually they allowed me to make a phone call. Up until that time, which was a week after I was arrested, no one in my family knew where I was. My wife thought I was disappeared, I was killed. No one knew exactly what happened, until I informed my mother-in-law that I was arrested.
Eventually on October 8th, against my will, they took me out of my cell. They basically read the pieces of document to me saying, that we will be sending you Syria. And when I complained, I said to them, I did explain to you if I'm sent back I will be tortured and they, I remember, the INS person flipped a couple of pages in this document, to the end of this document and read to me a paragraph that I still remember until today, an extremely shocking statement she made to me.
She said something like: The INS is not the body or the agency that signed the Geneva Convention, convention against torture. For me what that really meant is we will send you to torture and we don't care.
So they put me on a private jet, which I found extremely strange. I was the only passenger on that, on that plane. Its a luxurious plane, with leather seats in it. My only preoccupation during this trip is how I could avoid torture. By then, I realized that they were exactly sending me to Syria for torture. And that became very clear to me. Then the plane flew to Washington from Washington it flew to Maine then to Rome, then from Rome to Jordan.
Shackled and Chained
And I remember on the plane I was most of the time I was shackled and chained except the last two hours when they offered me a shish-kabob dinner. Up until this day I do not, I cannot explain why they did that. If I was a dangerous person like they claimed in the beginning, why they would remove my chains and shackles the last two hours of the trip?
During also the trip, whenever I wanted to use the bathroom, one of the team members would go inside with me. Even though I complained that this was against my religious belief.
The plane landed in Jordan on three in the morning October 8th. And a couple of Jordanians were waiting, men, were waiting for me. They took me, they blindfolded me, they put me in a car and shortly after they started beating me on the back of my head. Whenever I complained about the beating they would actually start beating me more. So I just kept silent.
I stayed in Jordan for about 12 hours in a detention center. I still don't know what that place is.
I was always blindfolded whenever they took me from one cell to another or when they took me to see the doctor. But I felt something strange in that prison. I felt, what, that I used an elevator, which is quite strange for a Middle Eastern prison.
After 12 hours of detention, unlawful detention in Jordan I was eventually driven to Syria. And I just didn't want to believe that I was going to Syria. I always was hoping that someone, a miracle would happen--the Canadian government would intervene. A miracle would happen that would take me back to my country Canada.
I arrived in Syria that same day, at the end of the day and I was able to confirm that I was in fact in Syria after my blindfold was removed and I was able to see the pictures of the Syrian President. My feeling then is I just wanted to kill myself because I knew what was coming. I knew that the Americans, the American government send me there to be tortured.
Sometime later the interrogators came in. They started asking questions, routine questions at the beginning, but whenever I hesitated to answer their questions or whenever they thought I was lying one of them would threaten me with a chair, a metallic chair with no seats in it, only the frames. And back then I did not understand or I did not know how they would torture people with it. I later learned that from other prison inmates.
But the message was clear: if you don't speak quickly enough we will torture you. That day, the interrogation lasted about four hours. There was no physical beating; there was only verbal threats. Around midnight, they took me to the basement. In the basement, the guard opened a door for me, a metallic door. I could not believe my eyes. I looked at him and I said, what is that? He didn't answer. He just said to me: Enter.
The cell was about three feet wide, six feet deep and about seven feet high. It was dark. There was no source of light in it. It was filthy. There were only two thin covers on the floor. I was naïve; I thought they would keep me in this place for one, two, maybe three days to put pressure on me. But this same place, the same cell that I later called the grave was my home 10 months and 10 days. The only light that came into the cell was from the ceiling, from the opening in the ceiling. There was a small spotlight and that's it.
Life in the cell was impossible. At the beginning--even though it was a filthy place, it was like a grave--I preferred to stay in that cell rather than being beaten. Whenever I heard the guards coming to open my door I would just think, you know, this is it for me that would be my last day.
The beating started the following day. Without no warning...(long pause as he fights tears) without no warning the interrogator came in with a cable. He asked me to open my right hand. I did open it. And he hit me strongly on my palm. It was so painful to the point that I forgot every moment I enjoyed in my life.
This moment is still vivid in my mind because it was the first I was ever beaten in my life. Then he asked me to open my left hand. He hit me again. And that one missed and hit my wrist. The pain from that hit lasted approximately six months. And then he would ask me questions. And I would have to answer very quickly. And then he would repeat the beating this time anywhere on my, on my body. Sometimes he would take me to a room where I could, where I was alone, I could hear other prisoners being tortured, severely tortured. I remember that I used to hear their screams. I just couldn't believe it, that human beings would do this to other human beings.
And then they would take me back to the interrogation room. Again another set of questions, and the beating starts again and again. On the third day the beating was the worst. They beat me a lot with the cable. And they wanted me to confess that I have been to Afghanistan. This was a big surprise to me because even the Americans who interviewed me, the FBI officials who interviewed me, did not ask me that question. I ended up falsely confessing in order to stop the torture. The torture decreased in intensity.
From that moment on they rarely used the cable. Mostly they slapped me on the face, they kicked me, they humiliated me all the time.
The first 10 days of my stay in Syria was extremely harsh and during that period I found my cell to be a refuge. I didn't want to see their faces. But later on living in that cell was horrible. And just to give you an idea about how painful it is to stay in that place--I was ready after a couple of months, I was ready to sign any piece of document for me, not to be released, just to go to another place where it is fit for human being.
During this time I wasn't aware that my wife launched a campaign with other human rights organizations like Amnesty International and others. My wife lobbied the media, she lobbied politicians and eventually I was released. The Syrians released me and they clearly stated through the ambassador in Washington that they did not find any links to terrorism. I was not charged in any country including Canada, United States, Jordan and Syria.
Since my release I have been suffering from anxiety, constant fear, and depression. My life will never be the same again. But I promised myself one thing, that I will continue my quest for justice as long as I have a breath. What keeps me going is my faith, Americans like yourselves and the hope that one day our planet Earth will be free of tyranny, torture and injustice.
Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was a victim of the U.S. policy known as "extraordinary rendition." He was detained by U.S. officials in 2002, accused of terrorist links, and handed over to Syrian authorities, who tortured him. Arar is working with the Center for Constitutional Rights to appeal a case against the U.S. government that was dismissed on national security grounds.
CIA secret prisons investigated : BBC video report
President Bush has admitted that the CIA is running a secret detention programme for what he termed "al Qaeda leaders". Newsnight's Peter Marshall has been investigating the men in CIA custody, many of whom are unaccounted for.
Torture as a tool of democracy
OF all the dreadful novelties to which we have accustomed ourselves after Sept. 10, 2001, none is more grotesque than our continuing national debate over torture's moral and legal legitimacy.
The Torture Election
The Torture Election The Congressional campaign of 2006 slouches toward election day through a grotesque landscape of torture and excuses for torture, scabrous messages from a Congressman to young boys, a Congressional cover-up of the same, murder and countermurder every day in Iraq (a heart-stopping 655,000 Iraqis have died since the invasion, according to a Johns Hopkins study), and nuclear fallout from North Korea
Soldiers in Revolt:125 active-duty troops call to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq
October 25, 2006
For the first time since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, active-duty members of the military are publicly appealing members of Congress to end the U.S. occupation, RAW STORY has learned.
Under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act (DOD directive 7050.6), active-duty military, National Guard, and Reservists can send a protected communication to a member of Congress regarding any subject without reprisal.
Earlier this week, 65 military service members and National Guardsmen sent appeals for redress to members of Congress to urge an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. That total is now up to 346 service men and women, 125 of whom are on active duty.
Three active-duty servicemen (one of whom spoke under condition of anonymity) held a press conference today, along with a retired Judge Advocate General lawyer, to discuss their appeals.
"Many of us--who have to follow orders and took an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic--[also] have reservations about the orders. And," Jonathan Hutto, a Navy Seaman based in Norfolk, Virginia, concluded, "at this point some of us feel compelled to let our reservations be known and that the occupation should come to an end right now."
Hutto added the group are not pacifists or conscientious objectors and are not urging any actions that might be deemed illegal.
Liam Madden, a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps stationed at Quantico, continued, "The real grievances are, if democracy is our goal than I believe we are going about it all wrong. The occupation is perpetuating more violence and I think is the biggest destabilizing thing we can do to the Middle East."
One service member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity of her recent year in Iraq, said that she "was hit by IEDs, by mortars... I was hit by snipers in my convoy and Ive seen friends injured and affected by deaths in my brigade and my unit. I can tell you that many of them are not quite sure what their purpose or focus is now.
"A lot of people dont want to admit it," she insisted, "but we are stuck in a civil war and its hard for the soldiers seeing the ethnic fighting going on around them and feeling like theyre stuck in the cross fire and not really feeling like theres anything they can do to stop it.
"And its very frustrating to go out in convoys and get hit and not really sure why it is and not seeing any tangible results for their actions," she added. "I think its very important that Congress members and people understand that we do have a voice, and pay attention to our surroundings and whats going on--and listen to what we have to say."
Appealing for redress
Hutto explained that the idea of issuing Appeals for Redress originated in early 2006, when he was deployed off the coast of Iraq on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.
"An old buddy of mine, who was a member of the GI movement back in the early 1970s," Hutto explained, "sent me a 30th anniversary copy of Soldiers in Revolt, written by David Cortwright. The book chronicles the GI movement within the military during the Vietnam War who advocated to end that war and bring the troops home."
Hutto continued, "One of the avenues that they used, which was a legal one, is appealing to their political leaders in Washington. By 1971 over 250,000 of these active duty servicemen had appealed to the Congress people."
"None of the Marines know that there is a policy available to them," Madden added, "and that its everybodys duty to support democracy and do it much more effectively than we are in exercising these rights in Iraq."
J.E. McNeil, a former military JAG lawyer, emphasized that all servicemen and women still have their rights as U.S. citizens and can exercise them when need be.
"When men and women join the military and put on the uniform, they dont give up their rights as U.S. citizens," said McNeil, though "there may be some small limitations to their first amendment rights."
"They are supposed to be very clear," McNeil elaborated, "and they have been, that theyre speaking on their own behalf and not using any of the military resources to make these statements that are their own beliefs, and we should be very proud of them to do that."
Fear of reprisal
Many in the military fear reprisals for coming forth, even though they have the legal right to do so.
One soldier in the Army, who participated anonymously in the press conference, had more information to reveal, saying, "Anyone whos been involved in the military does know there are informal means of punitive actions that circumvent the legal system which are often used in different means to intimidate soldiers."
"Ive talked to numerous soldiers," the anonymous soldier said, "and obviously looking at the numbers now, they obviously havent stepped forward. I will tell you, though--and I dont think the American Public realizes--just how many soldiers and service members in general really do have reservations about the actions going on in Iraq.
"And fear," she added, is a main reason why people arent stepping forward.... I think that once they start seeing momentum going forward and more and more service members come out, that they will be more inclined to come out as well."
"Its costing way too many humans, Iraqi civilians, and American service member lives," Madden concluded, "and brings us no benefits. The only people who benefit in my eyes are corporations like Halliburton. I dont think that war is being paid for in the right manner and I think that if people want to support the troops then they should support us coming home." Appeal for Redress may be contacted via their website at Appealforredress.org.
HIGH TIME TO END WAR AND ALL NEW ROBOTIC WEAPON DEVELOPMENT BEFORE WAR AND ROBOTS END ALL LIFE ON EARTH...
Launching a new kind of warfare
Robot vehicles are increasingly taking a role on the battlefield - but their deployment raises moral and philosophical as well as technical questions, says Pete Warren
October 26, 2006
In November 2004, during the second battle of Fallujah, an American uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) - a robot plane - located a mortar battery that had been hampering the US operation to retake the town.The mortar's position was logged by the UAV's operator, who was sitting at his desk in Nellis Air Force base near Las Vegas, thousands of miles away. Using the internet, the operator contacted the operator of another armed UAV at a desk in central command ("Centcom") - a safe area away from the theatre of war, with centres in Kuwait, Qutar or Iraq.
The two operators swapped information on the mortar in a secure internet chat room, guiding the armed drone to its position to destroy the mortar and its crew.
According to Lieutenant General John Sattler, commander of the coalition forces at the battle, it was a proving ground for the use of remote vehicles. "We learned that UAVs can provide the coordinates required for artillery as well as aviation [targeting]. Our UAVs gave us the grid coordinates of an enemy position and allowed us to clear the area for fires and estimate collateral damage," says Sattler.
The new remote-controlled technology was also tested in 2001 in the Tora Bora caves in Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border, believed to be the last stronghold for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida fighters. Sending soldiers into the caves to try to capture fighters inside would carry huge risks. Instead, the US sent in armed Talon reconnaissance drones - small tanks equipped with camera and sensing equipment, and armed with anything from a sniper's rifle to rocket launchers. They were used to identify caves and positions held by al-Qaida.
Information gleaned from the Talons was used to direct what rapidly became a mopping-up operation - although bin Laden was not caught.
But that is only the beginning. By 2015, the US Department of Defense plans that one third of its fighting strength will be composed of robots, part of a $127bn (£68bn) project known as Future Combat Systems (FCS), a transformation that is part of the largest technology project in American history.
The US army has already developed around 20 remotely controlled Unmanned Ground Systems that can be controlled by a laptop from around a mile away, and the US Navy and US Air Force are working on a similar number of systems with varying ranges. According to a US general quoted in the US Army's Joint Robotics Program Master Plan (http://tinyurl.com/yl7s52), "what we're doing with unmanned ground and air vehicles is really bringing movies like Star Wars to reality". The US military has 2,500 uncrewed systems deployed in conflicts around the world. But is it Star Wars or I, Robot that the US is bringing to reality? By 2035, the plan is for the first completely autonomous robot soldiers to stride on to the battlefield.
The US is not alone. Around the globe, 32 countries are now working on the development of uncrewed systems. In the UK, Qinetiq, the former Defence Research Agency which owns Foster-Miller, manufacturers of the Talon system, confirmed that it has developed remote bulldozers and earthmovers and that its technology could also be installed in tanks - and scientists at Qinetiq told the Guardian two years ago that it had built a robot fighter plane. When flown on test flights, they said, the fighter is accompanied by two crewed fighters, whose role is to shoot it down if it malfunctions.
Among the 37 or so UAVs detailed in the "US Unmanned Aircraft Systems Roadmap 2005-2030" (http://tinyurl.com/ozv78), two projects demonstrated in 2004 - the Boeing X45a and the Northrop Grumman X47a (both uncannily similar to the Stealth fighter) - are listed as Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems. A similar project, the Cormorant, which can be launched from a submerged submarine, can be used by special forces for ground support. A close reading of the UAV Systems Roadmap shows the startling progress the US has already made in this field, with systems ranging from fighters to helicopters and propeller driven missiles called Long Guns on display.
But if this is the beginning of the end of humanity's presence on the battlefield, it merits an ethical debate that the military and its weapons designers are shying away from. Neither of the documents detailing the US military robot plans, for example, mentions the Geneva Convention which sets out the treatment in wartime of the sick, wounded, civilians and prisoners.
Reacting to claims that the deployment of the Talon systems in Iraq and Afghanistan was not fair, Foster-Miller replied that the war on terror was not a fair fight anyway. "These robots will continue to evolve," says Bob Quinn, general manager at Foster-Miller. "The concept now is to introduce a range of human sensors, so that we can convey the impression to the operator that they are actually there, so that they can talk, smell and see. The thinking is that it is very important to have people involved in the loop."
In the fog of battle, some UAVs have already fired on their own side. With the increasing likelihood of more autonomous systems being deployed, some US generals have also raised concerns about the reliability of software and its vulnerability to hacking and viruses, pointing out that a rogue robot could inflict considerable damage on humans on its own side in a battle.
For the FCS project is far more than the use of robots. It also involves the creation of a hugely complex, distributed mobile computer network on to a battlefield with huge numbers of drones supplying nodes and communication points in an environment under continual attack.
For the military, a hacker taking over any part of the FCS is its worst nightmare - and a prospect the US has actively examined. In the mid-90s, hackers from the US Air Force Information Warfare Centre managed to take over the cruise missile system on a US Navy missile frigate, and stray mentions of other covert hacking operations occasionally surface in US military publications. In 1999, one US military source told Aviation Week and Space Technology that "Air Combat Command has been conducting a lot of information warfare activity. By that I mean getting into their computer system and screwing it up. We're trying to use that capability. By getting into the microwave net, you can insert viruses and deceptive computer communications." It's a technique that other US soldiers say was honed against the Serbians during the recent conflicts in the Balkans: "False messages and targets were injected into Yugoslavia's complex computer integrated air defence system."
In fact, cyberspace has been a recognised domain for war by the Air Force since last December; and next month Air Force commanders will meet in Washington to discuss the development of a Cyber Command to "deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States and its global interests - to fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace."
But for generals seeking the certainty of destruction, hacking isn't enough. They want a more concrete back-up; as a result work is now been carried out on futuristic microwave weapons including High Emission Radio Frequency guns, which can knock out individual systems, and the Electromagnetic Pulse, which can be used to knock out a country's electronic infrastructure.
That could take the debate into much deeper territory, says Peter Zimmerman, professor of science and security at the Department of War Studies at King's College in London.
"Sir Arthur C Clarke once wrote a short story about a group of scientists who built a galaxy-wide computer and then asked it whether there was a God," Zimmerman recalls. "The computer fused its power supply into the 'on' position and then told them: 'there is now' - and that's the question that we really need to be thinking about with these systems."
However, the Pentagon is not keen to address the problem, says John Pike, director of global security and spokesman for the Federation of American Scientists. "There is a difference between soldiers and soldiers in the movies. On the battlefield, half of the soldiers don't aim their weapons at people because they don't want to hurt them or they don't want to give them cause to hurt them. The robots that are under development can sense, direct and fire dispassionately and are being pointed by people who don't have to worry about being shot at."
The introduction of robot forces, he says, "is raising some very difficult issues that the DoD has not thought through, and those are about hearts and minds. Warfare until now has been about the sacrifice of blood or treasure and the US has chosen to sacrifice treasure to avoid body bags."
The Pentagon declined to answer questions about the issues raised by the use of robots, saying that the department would "be happy to discuss particular weapons systems under development rather than theoretical issues".
But Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institute, who is an expert on FCS, says that the DoD and other states developing robots will have to address the issue in time. "At the moment we have cubicle warriors sitting a long way away from the action, and in the future we will have completely robot systems," he says. "How the use of those will be reported on al-Jazeera will be interesting to see.
"I think we will see people in al-Qaida pointing out that these are people too cowardly to fight out in the open. In the event of a robot system destroying a hospital in a situation similar to the cruise missile strike in Baghdad, the reaction will be more than interesting. This is a very historic period; we are now determining who will fight wars in the future and how we will fight them. The human monopoly on war is being broken. Science fiction has now become science reality and we are changing the rules of the game. It's something we have to discuss and it's better we talk now than afterwards."
Even though the Pentagon does not want to talk just now, the introduction of robots has already begun one upheaval: a re-evaluation of how it awards medals. After all, should robots' operators receive combat service medals for battles at which they were not physically present?
· If you'd like to comment on any aspect of Technology Guardian, send your emails to email@example.com
Forwarded by David Creighton firstname.lastname@example.org> on Oct 30
Oct 19, 2006
AMERICA'S ACUPUNCTURE POINTS - PART 1: Striking the US where it hurts
By Victor N Corpus
Victor N Corpus is a retired brigadier general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); former chief of the Intelligence Service, AFP; and holds a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
A noted Chinese theorist on modern warfare, Chang Mengxiong, compared China's form of fighting to "a Chinese boxer with a keen knowledge of vital body points who can bring an opponent to his knees with a minimum of movements". It is like key acupuncture points in ancient Chinese medicine. Puncture one vital point and the whole anatomy is affected. If America ever goes to war with China, say, over Taiwan, then America should be prepared for the following "acupuncture points" in its anatomy to be "punctured". Each of the vital points can bring America to its knees with a minimum of effort.
I Electro-magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack
China and Russia are two potential US adversaries that have the capability for this kind of attack. An EMP attack can either come from an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), a long-range cruise missile, or an orbiting satellite armed with a nuclear or non-nuclear EMP warhead. A nuclear burst of one (or more) megaton some 400 kilometers over central United States (Omaha, Nebraska) can blanket the whole continental US with electro-magnetic pulse in less than one second.
An EMP attack will damage all electrical grids on the US mainland. It will disable computers and other similar electronic devices with microchips. Most businesses and industries will shut down. The entire US economy will practically grind to a halt. Satellites within line of sight of the EMP burst will also be damaged, adversely affecting military command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). Land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles will be rendered unserviceable in their silos. Anti-ballistic missile defenses will suffer the same fate. In short total blackout. And American society as we know it will be thrown back to the Dark Ages.
Of course, the US may decide to strike first, but China and Russia now have the means of striking back with submarine-launched ballistic missiles with the same or even more devastating results. But knowing China's strategy of "active defense", when war with the US becomes imminent, China will surely not allow itself to be targeted first. It will seize the initiative as mandated by its doctrine by striking first.
China has repeatedly announced that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons. But as an old Chinese saying goes: "There can never be too much deception in war." If it means the survival of the whole Chinese nation that is at stake, China will surely not allow a public statement to tie its hands and prevent it from seizing the initiative. As another saying goes: "All is fair in love and war."
2 Cyber attack
America is the most advanced country in the world in the field of information technology (IT). Practically all of its industries, manufacturing, business and finance, telecommunications, key government services and defense establishment rely heavily on computers and computer networks.
But this heavy dependence on computers is a double-edged sword. It has thrust the US economy and defense establishment ahead of all other countries; but it has also created an Achilles' heel that can potentially bring the superpower to its knees with a few keystrokes on a dozen or so laptops.
China's new concept of a "people's war" includes IT warriors coming, not only from its military more than 2-million strong, but from the general citizenry of some 1.3 billion people. If we add the hackers and information warriors from Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and other countries sympathetic to China, the cyber attack on the US would be formidable indeed.
So, if a major conflict erupts between China and America, more than a few dozen laptops will be engaged to hack America's military establishment; banking system; stock exchange; defense industries; telecommunication system; power grids; water system; oil and gas pipeline system; air traffic and train traffic control systems; C4ISR system, ballistic missile system, and other systems that prop up the American way of life.
America, on the whole, has not adequately prepared itself for this kind of attack. Neither has it prepared itself for a possible EMP attack. Such attacks can bring a superpower like America to its knees with a minimum of movement.
3 Interdiction of US foreign oil supply
America is now 75% dependent on foreign imported oil. About 23.5% of America's imported oil supply comes from the Persian Gulf. To cut off this oil supply, Iran can simply mine the Strait of Hormuz, using bottom-rising sea mines. It is worthwhile to note that Iran has the world's fourth-largest inventory of sea mines, after China, Russia and the US.
Combined with sea mines, Iran can also block the narrow strait with supersonic cruise missiles such as Yakhonts, Moskits, Granits and Brahmos deployed on Abu Musa Island and all along the rugged and mountainous coastline of Iran fronting the Persian Gulf. This single action can bring America to its knees. Not only America but Japan (which derives 90% of its oil supply) and Europe (which derives about 60% of its oil supply from the Persian Gulf ) will be adversely affected.
In the event of a major conflict involving superpower America and its allies (primarily Japan and Britain) on the one hand and China and its allies (primarily Russia and Iran) on the other, Iran's role will become strategically crucial. Iran can totally stop the flow of oil coming from the Persian Gulf. This is the main reason why China and Russia are carefully nurturing intimate economic, cultural, political, diplomatic and military ties with Iran, which at one time was condemned by US President George W Bush as belonging to that "axis of evil", along with Iraq and North Korea.
This is also the reason why Iran is so brave in daring the US to attack it on the nuclear proliferation issue. Iran knows that it has the power to hurt the US. Without oil from the Gulf, the war machines of the US and its principal allies will literally run out of gas.
A single blow from Iran or China or Russia, or a combination of the three at the Strait of Hormuz can paralyze America. In addition, Chinese and Russian submarines can stop the flow of oil to the US and Japan by interdicting oil tanker traffic coming from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. On the other hand, US naval supremacy will have minimal effect on China's oil supply because it is already connected to Kazakhstan with a pipeline and will soon be connected to Russia and Iran as well.
One wonders: what will be the price of oil if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz. It will surely drive oil prices sky high. Prolonged high oil prices can, in turn, trigger inflation in the US and a sharp decline of the dollar, possibly even a dollar free-fall. The collapse of the dollar will have a serious impact on the entire US economy.
This brings us to the next "acupuncture point" in the US anatomy: dollar vulnerability.
4 Attack on the US dollar
One of the pillars propping up US superpower status and worldwide economic dominance is the dollar being accepted as the predominant reserve currency. Central banks of various countries have to stock up dollar reserves because they can only buy their oil requirements and other major commodities in US dollars.
This US economic strength, however, is a double-edged sword and can turn out to be America's economic Achilles' heel. A run of the US dollar, for instance, which would cause a dollar free-fall, can bring the entire US economy toppling down.
What is frightening for the US is the fact that China, Russia and Iran possess the power to cause a run on the US dollar and force its collapse.
China is now the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world, accumulating $941 billion as of June 30 and expected to exceed a trillion dollars by the end of 2006 - a first in world history. A decision by China to shift a major portion of its reserve to the euro or the yen or gold could trigger other central banks to follow suit. Nobody would want to be left behind holding a bagfull of dollars rapidly turning worthless. The herd psychology would be very difficult to control in this case because national economic survival would be at stake.
This global herd psychology motivated by the survival instinct will be strongly reinforced by the latent anger of many countries in the Middle East, Eurasia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America that silently abhor the pugnacious arrogance displayed by the lone Superpower in the exercise of its unilateral and militaristic foreign policies. They will just be too happy to dump the dollar and watch the lone Superpower squirm and collapse.
The danger of the dollar collapsing is reinforced by the mounting US current account deficit, which sky-rocketed to $900 billion at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2005. This figure is 7% of US gross domestic product (GDP), the largest in US history. The current account deficit reflects the imbalance of US imports to its exports. The large imbalance shows that the US economy is losing its competitiveness, with US jobs and incomes suffering as a result.
These record deficits in external trade and current accounts mean that the US has to borrow from foreign lenders (mostly Japan and China) $900 billion annually or nearly $2.5 billion every single day to finance the gap between payments and receipts from the rest of the world. In financial year 2005, $352 billion was spent on interest payment of national debt alone - a national debt that has ballooned to $8.5 trillion as of August 24.
The International Monetary Fund has warned: "The US is on course to increase its net external liabilities to around 40% of its GDP within the next few years - an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country."
The picture of the US federal budget deficit is equally grim. Dennis Cauchon, writing for USA Today said:
The federal government keeps two sets of books. The set the government promotes to the public has a healthier bottom line: a $318 billion deficit in 2005. The set the government doesn't talk about is the audited financial statement produced by the government's accountants following standard accounting rules. It reports a more ominous financial picture: a $760 billion deficit for 2005. If social security and medicare were included - as the board that sets accounting rules is considering - the federal deficit would have been $3.5 trillion. Congress has written its own accounting rules - which would be illegal for a corporation to use because they ignore important costs such as the growing expense of retirement benefits for civil servants and military personnel. Last year, the audited statement produced by the accountants said the government ran a deficit equal to $6,700 for every American household. The number given to the public put the deficit at $2,800 per household ... The audited financial statement - prepared by the Treasury Department - reveals a federal government in far worse financial shape than official budget reports indicate, a USA Today analysis found. The government has run a deficit of $2.9 trillion since 1997, according to the audited number. The official deficit since then is just $729 billion. The difference is equal to an entire year's worth of federal spending.
The huge US current account and trade deficits, the mounting external debt and the ever-increasing federal budget deficits are clear signs of an economy on the edge. They have dragged the dollar to the brink of the precipice. Such a state of economic affairs cannot be sustained for long, and the stability of the dollar is put in grave danger. One push and the dollar will plunge into free-fall. And that push can come from China, Russia or Iran, whom superpower America has been pushing and bullying all along.
We have seen what China can do. How can Russia or Iran, in turn, cause a dollar downfall? On September 2, 2003, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on oil and gas cooperation. Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed "to exercise joint control over the dynamics of prices for raw materials on foreign markets". The two biggest oil and gas producers, in cooperation, say, with Iran, could control oil production and sales to keep the price of oil relatively high. Sustained high oil prices, in turn, could trigger a high inflation rate in the US and put extreme pressure on the already weak dollar to trigger a more rapid decline.
Russia is now the world's biggest energy supplier, surpassing Saudi Arabia in energy exports measured in barrel oil equivalent or boe (13.3 million boe per day for Russia vs 10 million boe per day for Saudi Arabia). Russia has the biggest gas reserves in the world. Iran, on the other hand, runs second in the world to Russia in gas reserves, and also ranks among the top oil producers. If and when either Russia or Iran, or both, shift away from a rapidly declining dollar in energy transactions, many oil producers will follow suit. These include Venezuela, Indonesia, Norway, Sudan, Nigeria and the Central Asian Republics.
There is a good chance that even Saudi Arabia and the other oil-exporting countries in the Middle East may follow suit. They wouldn't want to be left with fast-shrinking dollars when the shift from petro-dollar to euro-dollar occurs. Again, the herd psychology will come into play, and the US will eventually be left with a dollar that is practically worthless. Considering the strong anti-American sentiments in the world caused by American unilateralism, especially in the Middle East, a concerted effort to dump the dollar in favour of the euro becomes even more plausible.
When the dollar was removed from the gold standard in August 1971, the dollar gained its strength through its use as the currency of choice in oil transactions. Once the dollar is rejected in favour of the euro or another currency for global oil transactions, the dollar will rapidly lose its value and central banks all over the world will be racing to diversify to other currencies. The shift from petro-dollar to petro-euro will have a devastating effect on the dollar. It could cause the dollar to collapse; and the whole US economy crushing down with it - a scene reminiscent of the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. But this one will be a thousand times more devastating.
A successful assault on the US dollar will make America crawl on its knees with a minimum of movements. And this assault can come from China, Russia or Iran - or a combination of the three - if they ever decide that they have had enough of US bullying.
5 Diplomatic isolation
In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed from its own weight, the US emerged as the sole superpower in the world. At that crucial period, it would have been a great opportunity for the US to establish its global leadership and dominance worldwide. With the world's biggest economy, its control of international financial institutions, its huge lead in science and technology (specially information technology) and its unequaled military might, America could have seized the moment to establish a truly American Century.
But in the critical years after 1991, America had to make a choice between two divergent approaches to the use of its almost unlimited power: soft power or hard power. The exercise of soft power would have seen America leading the world in the fight against poverty, disease, drugs, environmental degradation, global warming and other ills plaguing humankind.
It would have pushed America in leading the move to address the debt burden of poor, undeveloped or developing countries; promoting distance learning in remote rural areas to empower the poor economically by providing them access to quality education; and helped poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America build highways, railways, ports, airports, hospitals, schools and telecommunication systems.
Unfortunately, such was not to be. If there was any effort at the exercise of soft power at all, it was minimal. In fact, it is not America which is practicing soft power in diplomacy but a rising power in the East - China. China has been busy in the past decade or so exercising soft power in almost all countries in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, winning most of the countries in these regions to its side. Through the use of soft power, China has created a de facto global united front under its silent, low-key leadership.
The US, on the other hand, decided to employ mainly hard power in the exercise of its global power. It adapted the policy of unilateralism and militarism in its foreign policy. It discarded the United Nations and even the advice of close allies. It unilaterally discarded signed international treaties (such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty). It adapted the policy of regime change and preventive war. It led the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the 78-day bombing of Serbia purportedly for "humanitarian" reasons. It invaded Afghanistan and Iraq without UN sanctions and against the advice of key European allies like France and Germany.
The US-led war in Iraq was a tactical victory for the US initially, but has resulted in strategic defeat overall. The Iraq war caused the US to lose its principal allies in Europe and be isolated, despised and hated in many parts of the world. Without too many friends and allies, the US is likened to an "emperor with no clothes".
So in a major conflict between America and China, isolated America cannot possibly win against a global united front led by China and Russia.
This brings us to the question of alliances, another "acupuncture point" in the anatomy of the superpower, which will be addressed in the second part of this report.
Read also ...
PART 2: The assassin's mace
The topics are...
1 A powerful triumvirate
2 The US's geopolitical disadvantage
3 Asymmetric attack
4 Attack on US's command and control
5 Attack on US aircraft carrier battle groups
And it concludes like this...
A challenge to America
The 10 "acupuncture points" mentioned in this article (See also Part 1: Striking the US where it hurts) are like a 10-stage riddle. It is an "assassin's mace" or war club of olden times with 10 deadly spikes. Any one of those spikes can bring America to its knees. I therefore throw this riddle to the think tanks in the Pentagon, to the US Congress, to the president's men, to US academe, and to every concerned American.
America is in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter of the "great game", and it is behind in points. If America can solve the riddle in time, it wins the game, it can seize global leadership, and the 21st century will truly be the American Century.
On the other hand, failure to solve the riddle will shake America to its very foundation and cause this great nation to collapse - just like that vivid image of the collapsing Twin Towers familiar to each and every American. America loses, and it will be down and out for the rest of this century.
Wake up, America!
NOTE from Jean: If one is to understand correctly the thrust of this article based on its conclusion, it could be construed as an attempt to legitimize aggressive measures that the Pentagon and the elite group controlling it are most certainly planning, and the arguments in this article could thus be designed to create the necessary fear to back their intended pre-emptive attack of China. Nowhere it is stated that through peaceful cooperation and dialogue, world peace and global disarmament could be achieved to prevent any such doom scenario from ever becoming reality... Instead the US is trying hard to assert its military domination everywhere on Earth, even in space, and through the development of ever lethal weapons and exotic technologies, thus fostering the very conflict an otherwise positive, non-confrontational stance would easily achieve...
BY REFUSING TO LISTEN TO WHAT REAL SCIENTISTS HAVE NOW CONFIRMED, THE BUSH JUNTA IS ALSO LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEAR-DEATH OF THE OCEANS AND OF THE PLANET AS WELL...
Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
Source: Mother Jones, March /April, 2006
Title: The Fate of the Ocean
READ THE ORIGINAL 12 PAGE ARTICLE AT http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/03/the_fate_of_the_ocean.html
Author: Julia Whitty
Faculty Evaluator: Dolly Freidel
Student Researcher: Charlene Jones
Oceanic problems once found on a local scale are now pandemic. Data from oceanography, marine biology, meteorology, fishery science, and glaciology reveal that the seas are changing in ominous ways. A vortex of cause and effect wrought by global environmental dilemmas is changing the ocean from a watery horizon with assorted regional troubles to a global system in alarming distress.
According to oceanographers the oceans are one, with currents linking the seas and regulating climate. Sea temperature and chemistry changes, along with contamination and reckless fishing practices, intertwine to imperil the worlds largest communal life source.
In 2005, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found clear evidence the ocean is quickly warming. They discovered that the top half-mile of the ocean has warmed dramatically in the past forty years as a result of human-induced greenhouse gases.
One manifestation of this warming is the melting of the Arctic. A shrinking ratio of ice to water has set off a feedback loop, accelerating the increase in water surfaces that promote further warming and melting. With polar waters growing fresher and tropical seas saltier, the cycle of evaporation and precipitation has quickened, further invigorating the greenhouse effect. The oceans currents are reacting to this freshening, causing a critical conveyor that carries warm upper waters into Europes northern latitudes to slow by one third since 1957, bolstering fears of a shut down and cataclysmic climate change. This accelerating cycle of cause and effect will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.
Atmospheric litter is also altering sea chemistry, as thousands of toxic compounds poison marine creatures and devastate propagation. The ocean has absorbed an estimated 118 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, with 20 to 25 tons being added to the atmosphere daily. Increasing acidity from rising levels of CO2 is changing the oceans PH balance. Studies indicate that the shells and skeletons possessed by everything from reef-building corals to mollusks and plankton begin to dissolve within forty-eight hours of exposure to the acidity expected in the ocean by 2050. Coral reefs will almost certainly disappear and, even more worrisome, so will plankton. Phytoplankton absorb greenhouse gases, manufacture oxygen, and are the primary producers of the marine food web.
Mercury pollution enters the food web via coal and chemical industry waste, oxidizes in the atmosphere, and settles to the sea bottom. There it is consumed, delivering mercury to each subsequent link in the food chain, until predators such as tuna or whales carry levels of mercury as much as one million times that of the waters around them. The Gulf of Mexico has the highest mercury levels ever recorded, with an average of ten tons of mercury coming down the Mississippi River every year, and another ton added by offshore drilling.
Along with mercury, the Mississippi delivers nitrogen (often from fertilizers). Nitrogen stimulates plant and bacterial growth in the water that consume oxygen, creating a condition known as hypoxia, or dead zones. Dead zones occur wherever oceanic oxygen is depleted below the level necessary to sustain marine life. A sizable portion of the Gulf of Mexico has become a dead zonethe largest such area in the U.S. and the second largest on the planet, measuring nearly 8,000 square miles in 2001. It is no coincidence that almost all of the nearly 150 (and counting) dead zones on earth lay at the mouths of rivers. Nearly fifty fester off U.S. coasts. While most are caused by river-borne nitrogen, fossil fuel-burning plants help create this condition, as does phosphorous from human sewage and nitrogen emissions from auto exhaust.
Meanwhile, since its peak in 2000, the global wild fish harvest has begun a sharp decline despite progress in seagoing technologies and intensified fishing. So-called efficiencies in fishing have stimulated unprecedented decimation of sealife. Long-lining, in which a single boat sets line across sixty or more miles of ocean, each baited with up to 10,000 hooks, captures at least 25 percent unwanted catch. With an estimated 2 billion hooks set each year, as much as 88 billion pounds of life a year is thrown back to the ocean either dead or dying. Additionally, trawlers drag nets across every square inch of the continental shelves every two years. Fishing the sea floor like a bulldozer, they level an area 150 times larger than all forest clearcuts each year and destroy seafloor ecosystems. Aquaculture is no better, since three pounds of wild fish are caught to feed every pound of farmed salmon. A 2003 study out of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia concluded, based on data dating from the 1950s, that in the wake of decades of such onslaught only 10 percent of all large fish (tuna, swordfish) and ground fish (cod, hake, flounder) are left anywhere in the ocean.
Other sea nurseries are also threatened. Fifteen percent of seagrass beds have disappeared in the last ten years, depriving juvenile fish, manatees, and sea turtles of critical habitats. Kelp beds are also dying at alarming rates.
While at no time in history has science taught more about how the earths life-support systems work, the maelstrom of human assault on the seas continues. If human failure in governance of the worlds largest public domain is not reversed quickly, the ocean will soon and surely reach a point of no return.
After release of the Pew Oceans Commission report, U.S. media, most notably The Washington Post and National Public Radio in 2003 and 2004, covered several stories regarding impending threats to the ocean, recommendations for protection, and President Bushs response. However, media treatment of the collective acceleration of ocean damage and cross-pollination of harm was left to Julia Whitty in her lengthy feature. In April of 2006, Time Magazine presented an in-depth article about earth at the tipping point, describing the planet as an overworked organism fighting the consequences of global climate change on shore and sea. In her Mother Jones article, Whitty presented a look at global illness by directly examining the ocean as earths circulatory, respiratory, and reproductive system.
Following up on The Last Days of the Ocean, Mother Jones has produced Ocean Voyager, an innovative web-based adventure that includes videos, audio interviews with key players, webcams, and links to informative web pages created by more than twenty organizations. The site is a tour of various ocean trouble spots around the world, which highlights solutions and suggests actions that can be taken to help make a difference.
UPDATE BY JULIA WHITTY
This story is awash with new developments. Scientists are currently publishing at an unprecedented rate their observationsnot just predictionson the rapid changes underway on our ocean planet. First and foremost, the year 2005 turned out to be the warmest year on record. This reinforces other data showing the earth has grown hotter in the past 400 years, and possibly in the past 2,000 years. A study out of the National Center for Atmospheric Research found ocean temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic in 2005 nearly two degrees Fahrenheit above normal; this turned out to be the predominant catalyst for the monstrous 2005 hurricane seasonthe most violent season ever seen.
The news from the polar ice is no better. A joint NASA/University of Kansas study in Science (02/06) reveals that Greenlands glaciers are surging towards the sea and melting more than twice as fast as ten years ago. This further endangers the critical balance of the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, which holds our climate stable. Meanwhile, in March, the British Antarctic Survey announced their findings that the global warming signature of the Antarctic is three times larger than what were seeing elsewhere on Earththe first proof of broadscale climate change across the southern continent.
Since The Fate of the Ocean went to press in Mother Jones magazine, evidence of the politicization of science in the global climate wars has also emerged. In January 2006 NASAs top climate scientist, James Hansen, accused the agency of trying to censor his work. Four months later, Hansens accusations were echoed by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as by a U.S. Geological Survey scientist working at a NOAA lab, who claimed their work on global climate change was being censored by their departments, as part of a policy of intimidation by the anti-science Bush administration.
Problems for the oceans wildlife are escalating too. In 2005, biologists from the U.S. Minerals Management Service found polar bears drowned in the waters off Alaska, apparent victims of the disappearing ice. In 2006, U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center researchers found polar bears killing and eating each other in areas where sea ice failed to form that year, leaving the bears bereft of food. In response, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources revised their Red List for polar bearsupgrading them from conservation dependent to vulnerable. In February, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would begin reviewing whether polar bears need protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Since my report, the leaders of two influential commissionsthe Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policygave Congress, the Bush administration, and our nations governors a D+ grade for not moving quickly enough to address their recommendations for restoring health to our nations oceans.
Most of these stories remain out of view, sunk with cement boots in the backwaters of scientific journals. The media remains unable to discern good science from bad, and gives equal credence to both, when they give any at all. The story of our declining ocean world, and our own future, develops beyond the ken of the public, who forge ahead without altering behavior or goals, and unimpeded by foresight.
Many more censored stories at http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/index.htm
Video: The Fate of the Ocean -- Mother Jones Radio's Angie Coiro interviews Julia Whitty, author of The Fate of the Ocean, on Link TV
The Last Days of the Ocean
Saving the Ocean: It's a Question of Leadership (March 1, 2006)
Two "ocean champions" say the problems of the ocean are fundamentally political--and so are the solutions
Bush's Assault on the Environment
The Bottom Line: Tons of additional air pollutants permitted to be released by 2020 under Bush's "Clear Skies" plan: 42 MILLION -- Estimated number of premature deaths that will result: 100,000 -- Estimated amount that Clear Skies-related health problems will cost taxpayers, per year: $115 BILLION -- Days after Bush took office that he reneged on his campaign promise to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants: 53
Bush Appointee Rejects Advice on Endangered Species
A senior Bush political appointee at the Interior Department has rejected staff scientists' recommendations to protect imperiled animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act at least six times in the past three years, documents show.
Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever
New developments in satellite imaging technology reveal that the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed twice as quickly as previously estimated due to the surreptitious practice of selective logging. A survey published in the October 21 issue of the journal Science is based on images made possible by a new, ultra-high-resolution satellite-imaging technique developed by scientists affiliated with the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University. CLIP
The freshwater boom is over. Our rivers are starting to run dry -George Monbiot (Oct 10, 2006)
We can avert global thirst - but it means cutting carbon emissions by 60%. Sounds ridiculous? Consider the alternative. (...) While climate scientists have been predicting for some time that the wet parts of the world are likely to become wetter and the dry parts drier, they had assumed that overall rainfall would rise, as higher temperatures increase evaporation. At the same time - and for the same reason - soils could become drier. It was unclear what the net effects would be. But the new paper's "drought index" covers both rainfall and evaporation: overall, the world becomes drier. Even this account - of rising demand and falling supply - does not tell the whole grim story. Roughly half the world's population lives within 60 kilometres of the coast. Eight of the 10 largest cities on earth have been built beside the sea. Many of them rely on underground lenses of fresh water, effectively floating, within the porous rocks, on salt water which has soaked into the land from the sea. As the fresh water is sucked out, the salt water rises and can start to contaminate the aquifer. This is already happening in hundreds of places. The worst case is the Gaza Strip, which relies entirely on underground water that is now almost undrinkable. As the sea level rises as a result of climate change, salt pollution in coastal regions is likely to accelerate. As these two effects of climate change - global drying and rising salt pollution - run up against the growing demand for water, and as irrigation systems run dry or become contaminated, the possibility arises of a permanent global food deficit. Even with a net food surplus, 800 million people are malnourished. Nothing I could write would begin to describe what a world in deficit - carrying 9 billion people - would look like. CLIP
African apocalypse: The continent burning into a desert
Nowhere is the effect of global warming more dangerous than in Somalia, where the worst drought in 40 years is affecting the lives of 1.8 million people.
PERHAPS SOME HOPE ON THE HORIZON THAT SOMETHING WILL FINALLY BE DONE TO SLOW AND PERHAPS EVEN STOP THE DESCENT INTO ECOLOGICAL OBLIVION. THIS COULD MARK A KEY TURNING POINT...
Stern review offers counsel of hope
October 30 2006
The science on global warming is now incontrovertible: the climate is changing, man is helping to make that happen, and the damage could be irreversible. But the contest over the economics of what to do about this is open, or at least was until the UK government published its big study chaired by Sir Nicholas Stern. This report rebuts any fatalistic notion that the world would do better to spend its economic resources just adapting to inevitable climate change, a counsel of despair. Instead, the Stern review suggests that the economic benefits of early action to curb greenhouse gases would far outweigh the costs by eventually as much as $2.5 trillion a year.
So for the first time we have, spelt out in copious detail over some 600 pages, an economic rationale for action on climate change. It bills itself somewhat optimistically as a pro-growth strategy, when in fact it is more a strategy to protect growth from the catastrophic fall it could eventually suffer from higher temperatures around the world. But the report will serve a valuable purpose if it can convince the US, China and India the three big economies that lie outside the Kyoto protocol on climate change that growth is compatible with international action to cut carbon emissions. It is by its effect on these three countries particularly that the Stern review must finally be judged.
Key to the Stern review is a relatively pessimistic assumption of eventual climate change damage on unchanged policies, and a relatively optimistic view of what early investment to mitigate climate chance can achieve. On the former, it is gloomier than most previous studies because it differs from them in assuming the possibility of a higher temperature rise (based on more recent data); in incorporating harder-to-measure impacts such as declining human health; and in adding in negative feedback such as melting ice caps releasing methane. As a result, it suggests that the eventual reduction in world gross domestic product could be anywhere from five to 20 per cent a year. However, this is just an estimate of the present value of possible climate damage far into the future, and is an average that could conceal a far greater impact on certain countries, particularly poorer, developing ones.
On the issue of mitigation costs, the review comes up with a relatively modest figure of one per cent of world GDP that would, it believes, stabilise carbon dioxide emissions at 550 parts per million. The relative caution in this estimate lies, in part, in assumptions that much can be done with relatively little economic pain: for instance, improving energy efficiency, halting deforestation and decarbonising the power sector.
One per cent of GDP is not a heavy price for the world to pay, just the equivalent of a one per cent rise in its price level. But stabilising emissions at 550ppm twice the level of the pre-industrial world might not be enough to ward off serious damage. So the Stern review admits that mitigation costs could rise as 3.5 per cent of GDP.
Crucially, keeping mitigation costs as low as one per cent of GDP depends on the world agreeing to cut emissions far quicker and faster than at present. And here is the rub. For amid all the uncertainty about climate change one thing we know is it will take a very uneven toll on the nations of the world, and that the poorer developing countries will suffer most. One reason why the US, or at least the Bush administration, remains infuriatingly relaxed about climate change is that the US mainland is likely to remain relatively untouched by rising sea levels.
For their part, the big developing countries may concede the problem, but they have immediate priorities of poverty to deal with. Moreover, they can argue that it is the industrialised countries that got the world into this mess, and must get it out of that mess. Indeed. But while the industrialised world must set a lead, in the end developing counties must accept the need to follow. For as Tony Blair, the prime minister, points out, if Britain were to cease all its emissions overnight, the beneficial effect for the planet would be wiped out just by the growth in Chinas emissions in two years.
How can more countries be persuaded to join in fighting climate change?
First, they must accept a responsibility to act, but be allowed to choose their actions from a mix of taxes or the trading of permits. The latter has been pioneered by the European Union, but its current emissions trading scheme is in disarray. It needs to be fixed, and extended to other countries. Second, urgent negotiations are needed to prolong the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012; investors require the certainty of a longer term framework if they are to sink their money in low-carbon capital equipment that may last decades. Third, the Kyoto signatories need to secure firm commitments from big polluters outside that protocol.
Kyoto took five years to negotiate. But the world, and its atmosphere, cannot afford to wait that long again. The Stern review is not only a counsel of hope, it is a necessary call for action.
UK pushes for new climate change treaty
By Christopher Adams and Fiona Harvey in London
October 30 2006
A new European push for a successor international treaty to the Kyoto protocol was heralded on Monday with the publication in Britain of a government report calling for rapid action to tackle global warming while the economic cost of doing so was still manageable.
The report for the first time attempts to quantify the economic cost of taking action now which it said would be just 1 per cent of world economic output by 2050 against the cost of a failure to act, which it said would knock between 5 and 20 per cent off world consumption.
Tony Blair, British prime minister, is set to use the review by Sir Nicholas Stern, former World Bank chief economist, to announce a dramatic change to his stance on environment policy by calling for a new treaty that could set binding targets for carbon emissions.
In the past two years, Mr Blair has written off the prospect for signing a Kyoto II treaty, acknowledging strong US opposition to any attempt to impose emission targets.
But he will now try and inject fresh life into stalled talks on a post-Kyoto agreement, believing that George W.?Bush, US president, could back proposals early next year for an international cap and trade market for carbon trading.
Mr Blair will press Angela Merkel, Germanys chancellor, at a meeting in London on Friday to use her presidency of the Group of Eight richest nations next year to reach agreement on the key recommendations in the Stern report.
On Monday, Sigmar Gabriel, Germanys environment minister, sounded a supportive note, saying climate change would rank high on its list of priorities when it takes over the presidency of the European Union and the chair of the G8 in January.
The 700-page report, published on Monday by the UK government, was also well received by José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.
The report said establishing an international price for carbon, through tax, trading or regulation, was an essential foundation for tackling climate change.
Mr Blair said the report showed that the scientific evidence for global warming was overwhelming and its consequences disastrous.
The UK on Monday announced immediate plans for legislation that would give statutory force to projected cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Sir Nicholass report said floods from rising sea levels could displace up to 100m people, melting glaciers could cause water shortages for one in six of the worlds population and droughts might create tens of millions of climate refugees.
£3.68 trillion: The price of failing to act on climate change
Landmark report reveals apocalyptic cost of global warming
Climate change fight 'can't wait'
The UK prime minister urges swift action as a report warns climate change could shrink the global economy by 20%.
UK Signs Gore to Sell Climate Case in US
Britain is to send the author of today's landmark review on global warming to try to win American hearts and minds to the urgent cause of cutting carbon emissions - as it emerged yesterday that the government has already signed up former US vice-president Al Gore to advise on the environment.
Andrew C. Revkin | The Energy Challenge
"Cheers fit for a revival meeting swept a hotel ballroom as 1,800 entrepreneurs and experts watched a PowerPoint presentation of the most promising technologies for limiting global warming: solar power, wind, ethanol and other farmed fuels, energy-efficient buildings and fuel-sipping cars. 'Houston,' Charles F. Kutscher, chairman of the Solar 2006 conference, concluded in a twist on the line from Apollo 13, 'we have a solution.' Hold the applause," cautions Andrew C. Revkin.
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
Bring What You Can Carry
Once there was an old rich man who was afraid of dying and leaving all his wealth behind on earth. So, he took up the matter with God. He pleaded day and night to be able to take all his earthly possessions with him.
Finally, God conceded. He said the man could take as much as he could fit in one suitcase. The old man immediately went out, bought a huge suitcase, sold all he owned and filled the suitcase with gold bars.
Shortly after that, the old man died. Awkwardly dragging the big, heavy suitcase, he approached St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter stopped him, asked him to open his luggage, and then told him he couldn't bring his gold bars into Heaven.The man was irate. "You don't understand," he said. "I got permission directly from God himself for this. He told me whatever I could fit into one suitcase, I could bring with me."
St. Peter, shrugged his shoulders and simply said, "Fine with me. But we've already got plenty of pavement here."
SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EARTH RAINBOW NETWORK E-LIST
If you are not yet a subcriber to the Earth Rainbow Network emailing list and would like to subscribe to its automated listserver and regularly receive similar compilations covering a broad range of subjects, including each new Meditation Focus issued every two week, simply send a blank email at firstname.lastname@example.org from the email account to which you want to receive the material compiled and networked by the Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator. Subscription is FREE!
BACK TO THE FIRST HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE