Friday 31 January 2003

Police and MI5 tapping of phones and emails doubles under Labour

Yes I know the piccy is MI6 but who cares because they're just as bad as eachother and the MI6 building has that great ominous, Big Brother quality to it. As for the report, well does it suprise you?

Interception of telephone calls, email and post by police and the intelligence services has more than doubled since Labour came to power and is higher than at any time since the start of the second world war, according to research to be published this week.

The total number of communications surveillance warrants issued in England, Wales and Scotland has risen from 1,370 in 1996 to 3,427 in 2001, in stark contrast to official figures which claim that the number has fallen significantly in recent years. By comparison, the previous peak year was 1940, during the second world war, when 1,682 warrants were issued.

Even these figures massively underestimate the true scale of interception, according to Statewatch, an independent civil liberties group, which conducted the analysis. Changes in the method of counting warrants for the official figures as well as changes in how they are issued mean that the total is likely to be "much, much greater", the research concludes.

Tony Bunyan, editor of Statewatch, said: "The official figures are a travesty. The new method of issuing warrants and changes to them is said to make life easier for officials, but at the same time it hides from public view the true extent of surveillance."

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A Leader Who Has Left Behind His People

Tony Blair has never been so isolated. The politician who - more than any other of his generation - seemed to have a knack for sensing the public mood, seems woefully out of touch.

Today he wakes up as President Bush's guest in America to learn that he has left his people behind - and not just geographically.

Today's ICM/Mirror poll reveals that he and the British people now stand an ocean apart on the great question of our time: whether to fight a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

For months now, and with extra intensity these last few weeks, Mr Blair has made the case for military action.

The Prime Minister has published a dossier of evidence, invoked the bitter memory of September 11, and deployed all his rhetorical gifts to persuade us Saddam is a clear and present danger to Britain and the world.

He has urged us to act now - before it's too late.

Yet he has failed: we are not persuaded. The numbers could not be more damning. Just two per cent of us - a figure no bigger than the poll's margin of error - believe that an attack on Iraq will make us safer.

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Prime Minister Tony Blair's Tough Line on Iraq Stirs Doubt in Britain

Doubt? Doubt!?! I don't think it's doubt that's stirring, I think if Blair pushes his luck he'll have an open revolt on his hands. He can't control everything all of the time, as much as he might like to try. He has neither my support, nor my respect nor my vote; and everyone I know agress with me too!

Fetch Tony Fetch.... Good boy.... Prime Minister Tony Blair's unflinching support for the United States in the conflict with Iraq is getting very different reactions on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Blair's agreement with President Bush that Iraq must be disarmed even if many in his nation and elsewhere in Europe disagree will guarantee the British leader a warm welcome when the two leaders meet Friday at Camp David.

Back home, the view is different. Blair's support for Bush puzzles and disturbs many ordinary Britons, who do not see the need for war.

The governing Labor Party is left of center and scorns much of Bush's conservative agenda. Some of Blair's most senior ministers have chosen to stay quiet on Iraq amid reports the government is divided.

Despite the criticism, Blair shows no doubt about backing the United States. Britain has committed military forces to a possible strike against Iraq, sending some 30,000 troops to the Persian Gulf a quarter of its army.

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Thursday 30 January 2003

Mandela condemns US stance on Iraq

One thing to remember is that Nelson was condemned as a "terrorist" by many Western governements for a very long time. A point conveniently forgotten by those idiotmediawhores who produce most of the mainstream news. Dick Cheney himself voted to block a call for Nelson's release on the grounds that he was a "terrorist". Yeah, and the racist white supremacist bastards were actually right weren't they Dick?

My vote is with Nelson every time, his whisper has more influence over me than Tony Blair screaming himself hoarse or George Bush on a megaphone!

Nelson Mandela Former South African president Nelson Mandela has criticised US President George W Bush over Iraq, saying the sole reason for a possible US-led attack would be to gain control of Iraqi oil.

The US stance on Iraq is "arrogant" and would cause "a holocaust", Mr Mandela, a Nobel Peace laureate and one of the world's most respected figures, told a forum in Johannesburg.

He also said UK Prime Minister Tony Blair - who supports Washington over Iraq - was in fact the "US prime minister".

Mr Mandela, 84, accused both the US and UK governments of undermining the United Nations.

"Why does the United States behave so arrogantly?" Mr Mandela asked.

"Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because it's their ally they won't ask the United Nations to get rid of them.

"They just want the oil," Mr Mandela went on. "We must expose this as much as possible."

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Big Oil pushes the White House for a war with Iraq

Never has there been a better time to be an oil baron. The car-owning masses of the world pay whatever it takes to fill their tanks. The money flows so freely it can buy and sell even the most destructive environmental policy. And if interests are threatened, just ask your old friend George to rally the troops and march into war. We'd just like to ask: after US$200 billion and unknown military and civilian casualties, will the world be a safer place? Or just an even better place to be an oil baron?

Ever since former oil-man George W. Bush came to the White House, well before September 11th, his administration was announcing that the US faced an energy-supply crisis. Although there is little evidence to support this, Bush made it a cornerstone of his policies.

Coincidentally, Iraq has the second largest proven reserves of oil in the world, but its production has been severely reduced since the Gulf War, due to effects of economic sanctions and the destruction of infrastructure. Rebuilding that infrastructure and increasing production will take years. Oil executives hungrily eyeing those reserves are enthusiastic to take on that work.

And they've never had such close ties to the White House. For Vice President Dick Cheney, this may well be round two for his post-war dealings with Iraq. Cheney is a former head of Halliburton, the world's largest oil service contractor. In August 2000 Cheney publicly stated that, as the head of Halliburton, "I had a firm policy that I wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal." And yet, as the Financial Times eventually proved, Cheney oversaw $23.8 million in sales to Iraq in 1998 and 1999.

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Now Sharon can do just what he likes

Now we may get to see the true face of Ariel Sharon. His crushing victory in the early hours of yesterday morning has given the Israeli people, and the wider world, a chance at last to see what this man really wants.

For not only has Sharon become the first incumbent Israeli prime minister since the 1980s to be re-elected, he has been handed a triple mandate: he, his Likud party and the wider "national camp" have all triumphed. Commanding nearly 70 seats in the 120-member Knesset, the Israeli right is now free to do what it likes, unfettered by the need to compromise with the dovish left. For two years it had to share power in a "national unity" government with Labour; now it can be true to itself.

Except Sharon seems oddly bashful about seizing his moment to break free. "Today is not the time for celebrations - no celebrations," he insisted, as he sought to hush cheering supporters at Likud headquarters. It turns out the man they once called "the bulldozer" is fearful of his newly acquired might.

The PM wants instead to return to the previous set-up, ruling jointly with Labour. The Likud faithful booed that idea when Sharon mentioned it, while loyalists of the former, and would-be future, premier, Binyamin Netanyahu, are also in no hurry to reach out. "There is nothing illegitimate about a nationalist government," said one.

So why is Sharon so anxious to cooperate rather than rule alone? Has he genuinely become more moderate than his party, growing into the wise, calm grandfather of his TV commercials? Was the outgoing leftist Yossi Sarid right when he said that the Likud always get frightened and "look for partners to save them from themselves"? Or, a tad more cynically, does Sharon simply want a Labour fig leaf to cover his still-hawkish intentions? The coalition negotiations now under way should give us the answer.

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Wednesday 29 January 2003

No beginning or end to war

by Günter Grass

War is looming. Once again war looms. Or is war only being threatened so as to stop war coming? Does the limiting word "only" mean that this is just a mock threat, this staged build-up of US and British troops and ships on the Arabian peninsula and in the Red sea, with its supply of pictures to the media of overwhelming military might? As soon as one of the world's two dozen dictators has crumbled into exile or preferably is dead, will this all turn out to be a show of force which brought peace and can vanish away again?

Hardly. This looming war is a wanted war. It is already going on in the heads of the planners, in the world's stock exchanges, and in what seem to be forward-dated TV programmes. The enemy target is in the sights. He has been named and - along with other enemies on the stocks who will be targeted and named next - he fits the bill for those who want to conjure a danger so grim that it undermines careful reflection.

We know how people create enemies where none exists. We know, and have plenty of pictures to illustrate it, what happens in war when the target is not quite hit. We are familiar with the words for damage and casualties which we are told to accept as inevitable. We are used to the relatively small number of its own dead that the world's number one ruling power has to count and mourn while the mass of enemy dead, including women and children, go uncounted and are not worth mourning.

So now we wait for the new war and the old repetitions. This time new missile systems will be even more accurate. We can be confident about the choice of pictures from this looming war. The flow of images will be sanitised of every detail of horror. Familiar TV channels will be there to give us a new instalment of war as soap opera, interrupted only by ads for consumers who are living happily in peace.

The only issue for discussion is whether people approach this coming, already happening war as loudmouthed or half-hearted allies, or the sort who may only make a small contribution on the sidelines like the Germans, whose time for making war is over by now, or should be.

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Blair is a Coward

by John Pilger

William Russell, the great correspondent who reported the carnage of imperial wars, may have first used the expression "blood on his hands" to describe impeccable politicians who, at a safe distance, order the mass killing of ordinary people.

In my experience "on his hands" applies especially to those modern political leaders who have had no personal experience of war, like George W Bush, who managed not to serve in Vietnam, and the effete Tony Blair.

There is about them the essential cowardice of the man who causes death and suffering not by his own hand but through a chain of command that affirms his "authority".

In 1946 the judges at Nuremberg who tried the Nazi leaders for war crimes left no doubt about what they regarded as the gravest crimes against humanity.

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Tuesday 28 January 2003

We Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!

Ominous storm clouds have been gathering for some time. There have been a few gusts of wind and a few drops of rain have fallen. An enormous storm is about to strike an unsuspecting world. Only a tiny fraction of people in this nation and the rest of the developed world are prepared physically and financially for what is about to strike their lives.

Our great nation, along with others, have warning systems in place to provide the populace with early warnings for many natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. A very great tragedy, a true disaster, is about to hit the entire globe, but there were no warnings to prepare for it in advance. And, even more tragic, a widespread general alarm has not yet happened a full 3 years after the first signs of grave trouble appeared.

The true understanding of what is now happening and what is to come is held by a tiny fraction of our population. From the top down, neither President Bush, his advisors nor members of our Congress, with the possible exception of Representative Ron Paul of Texas, have a correct and full knowledge of the economic devastation about to strike. There are no signs of recognition of our "once in a century" storm by our corporate leaders in Wall Street or around the nation. The ivory towers of academia have not recognized the scope and magnitude of what they now perceive as a "modest recession." Prof. Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School of Finance, a renowned author and student of the stock market, has recently declared on CNBC that the bear market is over - a brilliant case of the blind leading the blind!

The highly paid executives and the thousands of employees of the large corporations that have declared bankruptcy recently must surely recognize that something quite unusual is occurring. The heads of other companies struggling to keep their business alive and the millions of investors who have lost trillions of dollars from their retirement plans know that there are serious problems with our economy. But no one, from the President and Alan Greenspan on down to our nation’s daily newspapers, are telling the scary truth about the crisis situation threatening America and the rest of the world.

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The Wartime Deceptions - Saddam Is Hitler And It's Not About Oil

by Robert Fisk

click here to visit his website The Israeli writer Uri Avnery once delivered a wickedly sharp open letter to Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister who sent his army to defeat in Lebanon. Enraged by Begin's constant evocation of the Second World War - likening Yasser Arafat in Beirut to Hitler in his Berlin bunker in 1945 - Avnery entitled his letter: "Mr Prime Minister, Hitler is Dead."

How often I have wanted to repeat his advice to Bush and Blair. Obsessed with their own demonisation of Saddam Hussein, both are now reminding us of the price of appeasement. Bush thinks that he is the Churchill of America, refusing the appeasement of Saddam. Now the US ambassador to the European Union, Rockwell Schnabel, has compared Saddam to Hitler. "You had Hitler in Europe and no one really did anything about him," Schnabel lectured the Europeans in Brussels a week ago: "We knew he could be dangerous but nothing was done. The same type of person [is in Baghdad] and it's there that our concern lies." Mr Schnabel ended this infantile parallel by adding unconvincingly that "this has nothing to do with oil".

How can the sane human being react to this pitiful stuff? One of the principal nations which "did nothing about Hitler" was the US, which enjoyed a profitable period of neutrality in 1939 and 1940 and most of 1941 until it was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. And when the Churchill-Roosevelt alliance decided that it would only accept Germany's unconditional surrender - a demand that shocked even Churchill when Roosevelt suddenly announced the terms at Casablanca - Hitler was doomed.

Not so Saddam it seems. For last week Donald Rumsfeld offered the Hitler of Baghdad a way out: exile, with a suitcase full of cash and an armful of family members if that is what he wished. Funny, but I don't recall Churchill or Roosevelt ever suggesting that the Nazi führer should be allowed to escape. Saddam is Hitler - but then suddenly, he's not Hitler after all. He is - said The New York Times - to be put before a war crimes tribunal. But then he's not. He can scoot off to Saudi Arabia or Latin America. In other words, he's not Hitler.

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Israel, American Jews, And Bush's War On Iraq

Most of the vociferously pro-Israeli neo-conservative policymakers in the Bush administration make no effort to hide the fact that at least part of their intention in promoting war against Iraq (and later perhaps against Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Palestinians) is to guarantee Israel's security by eliminating its greatest military threats, forging a regional balance of power overwhelmingly in Israel's favor, and in general creating a more friendly atmosphere for Israel in the Middle East. Yet, despite the neo-cons' own openness, a great many of those on the left who oppose going to war with Iraq and oppose the neo-conservative doctrines of the Bush administration nonetheless utterly reject any suggestion that Israel is pushing the United States into war, or is cooperating with the U.S., or even hopes to benefit by such a war. Anyone who has the temerity to suggest any Israeli instigation of, or even involvement in, Bush administration war planning is inevitably labeled somewhere along the way as an anti-Semite. Just whisper the word "domination" anywhere in the vicinity of the word "Israel," as in "U.S.-Israeli domination of the Middle East" or "the U.S. drive to assure global domination and guarantee security for Israel," and some leftist who otherwise opposes going to war against Iraq will trot out charges of promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the old czarist forgery that asserted a Jewish plan for world domination.

This is tiresome, to put it mildly. So it's useful to put forth the evidence for the assertion of Israeli complicity in Bush administration planning for war with Iraq, which is voluminous, as the following recitation will show. Much of what is presented below could be classified as circumstantial, but much is from the mouths of the horses themselves, either the neo-con planners or Israeli government officials, and much of it is evidence that, even if Israel is not actively pushing for war, many Israelis expect to benefit from it, and this despite their fear that a war will bring down on Israel a shower of Iraqi missiles.

The evidence below is listed chronologically, except for two items grouped separately at the end. Although deletions have been made for the sake of brevity, and emphasis has been added to occasional phrases and sentences, no editorial narrative has been added. The evidence speaks for itself.

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The coffee table war

by Robert Fisk

American publishers have been churning out glossy memorials to the Twin Towers and bullish pro-war propaganda. But do their arguments stand up?

In Britain, newspapers scream their arguments for war. In America, they do it with books, heaps of them, coffee table books recalling the attacks of 11 September 2001, paperbacks pleading for peace in Iraq, great tomes weighed down with footnotes extolling the virtues of "regime change" in the Middle East. In New York, the publishers as well as the media have gone to war.

Just read the titles of the 9/11 books – many of them massive photo-memorial volumes – on America's newsstands: Above Hallowed Ground, So Others Might Live, Strong of Heart, What We Saw, The Final Frontier, A Fury For God, The Shadow of Swords... No wonder American television networks can take the next war for granted. "Showdown in Iraq", CNN announces. "Prepared for War." No one questions its certainty. I protested during a live radio show earlier this month that the participants – including an Israeli academic, a former Irish UN officer, a Vietnam vet, Tony Benn and others (including myself) – were asked to debate not whether there should be a war in Iraq, but what the consequences of that war would be. The inevitability of conflict had been written into the script.

The most recent and most meretricious contribution to this utterly fraudulent "debate" in the United States is The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (Random House, New York) by Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA spook and an ex-director for "Gulf affairs" at the National Security Council. It's the book that all America is supposed to be talking about and its title (the "Threatening Storm" is, of course, a copy-cat version of The Gathering Storm, the first volume of Winston Churchill's Second World War history) tells you all you need to know about the contents.

Just as George W Bush last year tried to dress himself up as Churchill fighting appeasement, so Pollack twice pretends that the world is confronting the same dilemma that confronted Britain and France in 1938. The Allies could have won in a year, he claims, if they had gone to war against Hitler then. The fact that Britain and France, though numerically stronger in troops, were weaker in modern armaments – whereas the United States today can crush Saddam's forces in a week – is not allowed to interfere with this specious argument. Pollack accepts that Saddam is not Hitler, but once more Saddam is dressed in Hitler's clothes – just as Nasser was the Mussolini of the Nile during the Suez crisis of 1956 – and anyone who opposes war is, by quiet extension, a Nazi sympathiser.

Before and immediately after the start of the Second World War – the real Second World War, that is – British publishers deployed their authors to support the conflict. Victor Gollancz was a tireless defender of British freedoms. By 1941, we were publishing the best-selling Last Train from Berlin by Howard K Smith, the brilliant American foreign correspondent's chilling account of life in Nazi Germany before the US entered the conflict.

But these were often works of literature as well as ideology. What is happening in the United States now is something quite different: a mawkish, cheap-skate attempt to push Americans into war on the back of the hushed, reverent, unimpeachable sacrifice of 11 September.

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Stronger than ever

by George Monbiot

George Monbiot Mr Bush and Mr Blair might have a tougher fight than they anticipated. Not from Saddam Hussein perhaps - although it is still not obvious that they can capture and hold Iraq's cities without major losses - but from an anti-war movement that is beginning to look like nothing the world has seen before.

It's not just that people have begun to gather in great numbers even before a shot has been fired. It's not just that they are doing so without the inducement of conscription or any other direct threat to their welfare. It's not just that there have already been meetings or demonstrations in almost every nation on Earth. It's also that the campaign is being coordinated globally with an unprecedented precision. And the people partly responsible for this are the members of a movement which, even within the past few weeks, the mainstream media has pronounced extinct.

Last year, 40,000 members of the global justice movement gathered at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This year, more than 100,000, from 150 nations, have come - for a meeting! The world has seldom seen such political assemblies since Daniel O'Connell's "monster meetings" in the 1840s.

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Monday 27 January 2003

Why Bush is sunk without Europe

by Will Hutton

When the stock market falls for a record 10 consecutive days, as it just has done, you take notice. Falls like these are usually the portent of something bad, even calamitous, ahead. The worry is obvious; Bush's intentions on Iraq could have potentially disastrous economic repercussions.

The US's economic position is far too vulnerable to allow it to go war without cast-iron multilateral support that could underpin it economically as well as diplomatically and militarily. The multi-lateralism Bush scorns is, in truth, an economic necessity. America may be a superpower that spends more on defence than the next nine countries combined and is preparing to increase defence spending this year by an enormous $48 billion, equivalent to Britain's entire defence budget, but it is a strategic position built on economic sand.

On latest estimates, its net liabilities to the rest the world are more than $2.7 trillion, nearly 30 per cent of GDP, a scale of indebtedness associated with basket-case economies in Latin America.

Its industrial base is so uncompetitive that it consistently imports more than it exports; its current-account deficit, the gap between all its current foreign earnings and foreign spending, is now a stunning 5 per cent of GDP, continuing a trend that has lasted for more than 25 years and which is the cause of all that foreign debt. As a national community, it has virtually ceased to save so that government and individuals alike live on credit.

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Does Tony Blair Have Any Idea What The Flies Are Like That Feed Off The Dead?

by Robert Fisk

click here to visit his website On the road to Basra, ITV was filming wild dogs as they tore at the corpses of the Iraqi dead. Every few seconds a ravenous beast would rip off a decaying arm and make off with it over the desert in front of us, dead fingers trailing through the sand, the remains of the burned military sleeve flapping in the wind.

"Just for the record,'' the cameraman said to me. Of course. Because ITV would never show such footage. The things we see – the filth and obscenity of corpses – cannot be shown. First because it is not "appropriate" to depict such reality on breakfast-time TV. Second because, if what we saw was shown on television, no one would ever again agree to support a war.

That of course was in 1991. The "highway of death", they called it – there was actually a parallel and much worse "highway of death" 10 miles to the east, courtesy of the US Air Force and the RAF, but no one turned up to film it – and the only true picture of the horrors we saw was the photograph of the shrivelled, carbonised Iraqi soldier in his truck. This was an iconic illustration of a kind because it did represent what we had seen, when it was eventually published.

For Iraqi casualties to appear on television during that Gulf War – there was another one between 1980 and 1988, and a third is in the offing – it was necessary for them to have died with care, to have fallen romantically on their backs, one hand over a ruined face. Like those First World War paintings of the British dead on the Somme, Iraqis had to die benignly and without obvious wounds, without any kind of squalor, without a trace of shit or mucus or congealed blood, if they wanted to make it on to the morning news programmes.

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Osama Has Been Found

Likud 'ordered raid to secure votes'

A leader of Israel’s Labour party charged last night that his country’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, had ordered a deadly raid in the Gaza Strip in order to win votes for tomorrow’s election.

Israeli troops killed 12 Palestinian fighters yesterday during the army thrust into Gaza, after Palestinians fired rockets toward the town of Sderot, causing no injuries.

Late yesterday a Palestinian boy, aged seven, was shot dead by Israeli troops, and his brother, six, was injured, at the Rafah refugee camp. Their relatives said they had been playing near an army post. The army said it was checking the matter.

Labour politician Weizman Shiri, a former deputy defence minister, said the raid had no justification and was a "cynical" use of the army for political ends.

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Europe urges restraint, but Bush knows best

by Eric Margolis

Time's European edition asked its readers what nation posed the greatest threat to world peace. Of the 268,000 respondents (as of this writing), 7.8% replied North Korea, 8.9% named Iraq and a shocking 83.3% said the United States. Good work, President Bush.

The Time poll mirrors feeling around the globe, with the exceptions of Israel and Britain. American neo-conservatives, however, will dismiss this poll as just another example of European wimpiness, irrelevance and anti-American prejudice. So will George Bush and his hawkish entourage, who have made it plain they don't care what the rest of the world thinks so long as America and Israel get their way.

Last week, France's able foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, warned his nation would delay, or might even veto, efforts by the Bush administration to strong-arm the UN Security Council into a rushed war vote against Iraq. Germany, China and Russia backed France.

American right wingers harbour particular venom for France. Americans expect their allies to be obedient. While Washington constantly hectors Europe to take more international responsibility, Europeans are not expected to disagree with American policy. To Americans, France often appears downright insubordinate. Ever since Gen. Charles de Gaulle, Paris has refused to take orders or accept being a junior ally of the U.S.

Europeans see the Mideast very differently from North Americans, thanks to their long experience in the region, and their media, which provides far more accurate, balanced and diverse reporting on the region than do ours.

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Sunday 26 January 2003

When will we resist?

by Edward Said

The US is preparing to attack the Arab world, while the Arabs whimper in submission

One opens the New York Times on a daily basis to read the most recent article about the preparations for war that are taking place in the United States. Another battalion, one more set of aircraft carriers and cruisers, an ever-increasing number of aircraft, new contingents of officers are being moved to the Persian Gulf area. An enormous, deliberately intimidating force is being built up by America overseas, while inside the country, economic and social bad news multiply with a joint relentlessness.
The huge capitalist machine seems to be faltering, even as it grinds down the vast majority of citizens. None the less, George Bush proposes another large tax cut for the 1% of the population that is comparatively rich. The public education system is in crisis and health insurance for 50 million Americans simply does not exist. Israel asks for $15bn in additional loan guarantees and military aid. And the unemployment rates in the US mount inexorably, as more jobs are lost every day.

Nevertheless, preparations for an unimaginably costly war continue without either public approval or, at least until very recently, dramatically noticeable disapproval. A generalised indifference among the majority of the population (which may conceal great overall fear, ignorance and apprehension) has greeted the administration's warmongering and its strangely ineffective response to the challenge forced on it recently by North Korea. In the case of Iraq, with no weapons of mass destruction to speak of, the US plans a war; in the case of North Korea, it offers economic and energy aid. What a humiliating difference between contempt for the Arabs and respect for North Korea, an equally grim and cruel dictatorship.

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Solzhenitsyn breaks last taboo of the revolution

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who first exposed the horrors of the Stalinist gulag, is now attempting to tackle one of the most sensitive topics of his writing career - the role of the Jews in the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet purges.

In his latest book Solzhenitsyn, 84, deals with one of the last taboos of the communist revolution: that Jews were as much perpetrators of the repression as its victims. Two Hundred Years Together - a reference to the 1772 partial annexation of Poland and Russia which greatly increased the Russian Jewish population - contains three chapters discussing the Jewish role in the revolutionary genocide and secret police purges of Soviet Russia.

But Jewish leaders and some historians have reacted furiously to the book, and questioned Solzhenitsyn's motives in writing it, accusing him of factual inaccuracies and of fanning the flames of anti-semitism in Russia.

Solzhenitsyn argues that some Jewish satire of the revolutionary period "consciously or unconsciously descends on the Russians" as being behind the genocide. But he states that all the nation's ethnic groups must share the blame, and that people shy away from speaking the truth about the Jewish experience.

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Vialls - The Strategic Brains Behind 9/11

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past"

by Joe Vialls

The events of 11 September 2001 have become a national obsession in America, but no one has ever worked out who the real perpetrators were. No serious analyst believes for a split second that Osama Bin Laden organized or directed this precision operation from a cave in the mountains of darkest Afghanistan, but beyond that obvious reality, most American analysts are incapable of objective analysis for a number of different reasons. If Americans really want to know who attacked New York two years ago, different analytical techniques must be applied.

Twenty years ago a leading professor of forensic psychology smiled and told me, “You are absolutely incapable of objective thought”, and then sat back casually cracking his knuckles waiting for a reaction. The reaction was not long in coming. I was outraged! Probably turning bright pink with carefully suppressed fury, I pointed out forcefully that objectivity lies at the very core of military analysis, and he was therefore talking absolute rubbish.

The Professor remained unperturbed, quietly explaining that every analysis performed by every human on earth is performed within his or her own brain. Each and every step of any analysis is made internally by the individual concerned, rendering the analysis entirely subjective, i.e. the resulting analysis, even if correct, is merely an informed personal opinion. At the very best, he said, we can be as “objective as possible within the severe constraints of personal subjectivity”. And herein, I suspect, lies the main problem for Americans where 9/11 is concerned.

America is a very young country in terms of political and diplomatic evolution, and American tourists overseas frequently display a degree of naivete about international affairs that at times is quite touching. In short, Americans want to be liked by everyone, and fail to see the warning signs when free bottles of Coca-Cola and free Big Macs are not enough to pacify the natives, in what is increasingly seen as the new “American Empire”. With only about 300 years of history behind them, most Americans are babes in the wood.

This “We’re all buddies” international American mind-set, seems to have blinded most Americans who have attempted to rationalize those huge Boeing attack aircraft flying with dazzling precision across the New York skyline two years ago. As previously stated, very few are buying the “official” rubbish about incompetent ab-initio Muslim Cessna pilots suddenly developing the extreme level of skill required to hurl 400,000# airliners around the sky like toys, but the blame has not yet at any stage [so far as I know] been apportioned to any nation external to America herself, perhaps with the sole exception of Israel.

Unwilling or psychologically unable to consider the possibility that America was attacked by one or more of her perceived “buddy” nations overseas [perhaps those with Coca-Cola and Big Macs], many Americans have turned in one of two decidedly different directions. The first group fervently maintain that, “The Jews did it to gain control of America”, while the second group points instead at the U.S. Military establishment, which also wants “to gain control of America.” Both groups are heavily armed with anecdotal hearsay, but neither has even the smallest piece of hard scientific evidence to back its extraordinary claims.

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Blair, Hoon and Straw to be investigated for war crimes

If, as appears likely, the UK is involved in the use of force against Iraq the leaders of the UK Government will be investigated by the prosecutor of the international Criminal Court (ICC) if it breaches international humanitarian law (IHL). So promise a coalition of professors of law and leading NGOs from around the world. The UK,US and Canadian Governments have today been served with letters before action warning them of the consequences of an illegal use of force against Iraq. In the UK, Tony Blair was served at 10 Downing Street during filming for a Channel 4 TV programme on January 31.

The ICC came into being in July 2002 and is shortly to commence work. It will investigate and prosecute those guilty of "genocide," "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes." The definition of "war crimes" is wide and would catch indiscriminate methods of attack or weapon systems used by the UK and US in the 1991 Gulf War, and in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Whereas those wars took place before July 2002 any war in Iraq could be subject to the ICC's jurisdiction. Thus the following which have been used in the past and are in breach of IHL are now prohibited:

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Friday 24 January 2003

Israeli helicopters fire missiles into Anglican hospital in Gaza

Israeli attack helicopters fired 11 missiles at Gaza City early Friday, hitting a chapel in a hospital and several workshops as tanks rolled into the city, after a Palestinian ambush on the West Bank of the Jordan River left three Israeli soldiers dead.

Witnesses said a missile scored a direct hit on an Anglican chapel in the Ahli Hospital compound in the centre of Gaza City, damaging the roof. Palestinians said the other missiles were aimed at workshops and six people were wounded.

The Israeli military would say only an operation was in progress. In the past, Israeli forces have targeted workshops in Gaza, charging Palestinians use them to make weapons, including mortars and rockets. Late Thursday, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded in a village inside Israel, causing no damage or casualties.

The violence came just five days before Israel's elections, where Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is running for re-election with a policy of harsh military reprisals against Palestinians following violent incidents, is favoured over his opponent, Amram Mitzna, who favours negotiations with the Palestinians and withdrawal from most of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip.

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BBC's "Independent Expert" is ex-CIA Station Chief in Iraq

On the influential Today programme the BBC headlined it's 8.00am news bulletin with with the claim to an exclusive story implying that Iraq has chemical weapons, but failed to provide any hard evidence and indeed seriously misled its audience.

The news bulletin said that a document, handwritten in arabic, supplied by the partisan Iraqi National Congress (INC) was pronounced as genuine by "three independent experts", all unnamed. However, none of these "independent experts" is a native arab speaker and one is Bob Bear, ex-CIA Station Chief in Iraq. The BBC also admitted to 911dossier that the experts only agreed that the document "appears" to be genuine.

The other "experts" are Toby Dodge an unknown academic from Warwick University and Bill Tierney, described as a former weapons inspector. It has been accepted that the former weapons inspectors contained several espionage personnel from the UK and the US.

The BBC failed to inform listeners that the INC is a pro-Bush setup which has been promised a share of the spoils following a successful conquest of Iraq. Many key INC figures are ex-Saddam henchmen complicit in chemical attacks on Iran sponsored by the US in the 1980's.

The conduit for this pro-Blair story Gordon Carrera, described as a senior reporter, admitted some of these facts on the much lower profile 7.00am session of the Today Programme, but the news team ignored this revelation and continued describe the experts as independent an hour later when most listeners were tuned in.

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Don't Do It, George

by William Rivers Pitt

With the suddenness of an earthquake in Mexico, the ground under George W. Bush's feet has heaved, cracked and shattered.

In his push for war in Iraq, Mr. Bush has at least pretended to attempt the formation of an international coalition to face the challenge. Such a gathering of support was necessary to paint a veneer of legitimacy over what is seen by many as a hasty and poorly justified advance towards battle. Bush grudgingly presented his case before the UN Security Council, shepherding the passage of Resolution 1441 through that body. British PM Tony Blair has been, since the summer, a totally dependable mouthpiece for the Bush administration. A deal with Turkey to ensure that the Iraqi Kurds do not form an independent state in the aftermath of war locked down a much-needed strategic jump-off point into the region. Back-channel support from Saudi Arabia was present and accounted for, despite nebulous public comments to the contrary.

And then the wheels came off.

The trouble began in earnest with the passage of UN Resolution 1441. The Bush administration crafted the resolution in a manner sure, they believed, to be refused by the Iraqi regime. Such a refusal would have been a neat premise for the opening of hostilities against Iraq. The administration was stunned and momentarily stilled when Iraq accepted the terms of the resolution. Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz discussed this with Norman Solomon, founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, during a delegation trip to Iraq in December of 2002. "You know, sometimes you make an offer and you are planning to get a refusal," said Aziz. "We surprised them by saying, 'OK, we can live with it. We'll be patient enough to live with it.'" This exchange is recounted in Solomon's essential new book, 'Target Iraq.'

Iraq's acceptance of Resolution 1441 opened the door for the return of weapons inspectors to that nation. Those inspectors, and the process they have been engaged in, are now at the center of a stunning collapse of support for the Bush administration's plans. Once the administration became forced to live with the resolution it had created, it waited in eager anticipation for the inspectors to find something.

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Fear stalks world, says Malaysian leader

The escalating tensions between the West and terrorist forces has tipped the globe into World War Three, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has warned.

Victims of the September 11 atrocities in the US, and Afghan villagers killed during the ousting of the Taleban regime, were casualties of conflict fuelled by a global climate of fear, Dr Mahathir said.

"We fear cardboard boxes. We fear white powder. We fear shoes. We fear metal cutlery," Dr Mahathir said.

Citizens in states accused of harbouring terrorists, meanwhile, feared sanctions, starvation and military action.

"We are in the middle of the Third World War. Both sides are convinced that their side is right, that theirs is the fight against evil," he added.

"It's going to be a long war because hatred, anger, bitterness rule our hearts."

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The System Can't be Fixed

This article applies every bit as much to the UK as it does the USA, our leaders are ignoring us. They and their friends will enrich themselves while the blood of innocent men and women is spilled in a faraway desert. Tony has said he's willing to pay the "blood price" but does that mean he or his sons will lie broken and bleeding and dead in the hot dusty desert? These so-called leaders of ours are a disgrace and the sooner they are brought to heel by the people the better. The profession of journalism - with a few notable exceptions - has whored itself to big-business and corrupt-government, their ranks infiltrated by spies and other humans of dubious character. It has become a cruel joke to me when I watch the TV news, even here in Blighty where the supposedly impartial BBC reigns supreme. More often than not the "news" can be boiled down to mere propaganda and I'm always left wondering what they haven't told us and why.

We seem to have reached the ascendency of our arrogance and hypocrisy as a species, something's got to give soon. The people are not arrogant war-mongers, no ordinary person in any of the countries involved wants to go to war. We all have the same dreams and aspirations, those great ideals set out in the -now defunct- US Constitution; "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". It is the Forces of Darkness and their Princes and Lords who require that this war occur. It is their bank accounts that will swell with the profits of human misery, and it is they who will sit in their nice safe bunkers completely removed from the bloody horrors of war. None of them has or will ever see combat, none of their sons will be required to die defending the greed of their fathers. We are not represented among their ranks, we have no voice in their choir, no seat at their table. To them we are just numbers, not even animals - let alone human beings. - ewar

Our future is a dark age of vicious guards and powerless prisoners, unless...

If we had a real attorney general who represented all Americans rather than only the wealthy, he would investigate these charges, and convene a legitimate investigation into the suspicious atrocities of 9/11/2001. But as he was appointed by the same man who is charged with committing all these crimes, no investigation is likely. In fact, the attorney general himself is probably guilty of many of the same charges as the president, as he is conspicuously involved in so many of the instances of obstruction of justice.

So there is no chance that the sitting government is going to act on these obvious crimes, since the entire government is polluted by conspirators of the same political party who are beholden to the criminals who gave them their jobs. This deadlock also applies to virtually all of the judges in America, since most of them have been appointed by the same manipulators and their like-minded predecessors, who must promise to condone this corruption before they are ever appointed to the bench in the first place.

And even the legislative branch is subject to the same polluting influences, since it costs millions to achieve these posts and once elected, collusion in the secret and criminal activities of the power elite is essential to advancing one's career.

As preposterous as it sounds, the entire Congress (excepting a dozen or so idealists) needs to be dismissed and indicted for its corrupt actions. That says something about the direction our future must take if we are to actually be free.

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Random Ideas For A New Society

by John Kaminski

This is a world where we talk about justice but don't really mean it. All the political badinage about helping this segment of society or that poor country is all just doubletalk as cynical aristocrats jockey for position to improve their public image at the expense of millions of anonymous poor people.

These ideas may be fantasy " especially the interrogation of corrupt governments, based on an imaginary viewpoint from the far future that we actually succeeded in creating a civilization to be proud of.

In point of fact, our civilization is something we cannot be proud of. Insincerity and duplicity rule. What appears in our public print little reflects the criminal machinations of a power elite that exploits the poor in every nation. Our most sincere teachers propagate myths that lead our children toward hate and discrimination, and our leaders mumble deliberately false propaganda that lead our impressionable offspring to believe that America is a land of truth and justice, while the most percipient of the older generation eventually come to realize that the basic dynamics of civilization have not really changed in 5000 years, and that the truth is bought and distributed by rich men to minds that have been deliberately shaped to not understand what is actually going on.

In lapsing back from future science fiction to contemporary political reality, I am forced to admit that it would be my fondest wish to see the entire U.S. Congress, all members of the presidential administration, all justices and judges above the level of normal courts arrested and jailed without trial and without access to lawyers for the encyclopedia of crimes they have all committed. I would like to see President Bush, Vice President Cheney, his entire Cabinet and the Department heads Bush has named shipped to and incarcerated at Guantanamo without access to counsel under penalties for aiding terrorists that they themselves created in the Patriot Act.

But I know this won't happen. I know the world is not a noble place where justice does not rule " only money does. And this is why we continue, hellbent and headfirst, on our path to the destruction of own species and most of the other ones, too.

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Zionist lobby: declare war on Muslim world

A recent story in The New York Times confirms that a tight-knit group of Pentagon officials and defense experts outside government is working to mobilize support for a military operation to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as the next phase of the war against terrorism. Times writers Sciolino and Tyler said the group, "which some in the State Department and on Capitol Hill refer to as the 'Wolfowitz cabal,'" (after its leader, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz) has "largely excluded the State Department.. President Bush and Powell are facing an uprising among supporters of Israel in Congress who support the "Wolfowitz cabal."

The Oct. 19 issue of Forward, an influential Jewish weekly, reported that Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) defiantly declared that "Israel is not going to be sacrificed for the war on terrorism" and that Brett Heimov, an aide to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) had charged that while "there hasn't been a real selling out of Israel", "they [Bush and Powell] are waiting for that excuse and it hasn't quite come yet." Forward also reported that an unnamed House staff member alleged that the Bush administration is giving Israel "the cold shoulder" by supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state and by attempting to build bridges to the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The refusal by Bush and Powell to blame Iraq for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has left Israel's supporters in Congress and in the "Wolfowitz cabal" scrambling to generate support by both the public and in government policy-making circles for an all-out attack on Iraq-and then the remaining Muslim states that Israel perceives to be enemies to its survival. While the Times report admitted that "Both Powell and Vice President Dick Cheney have said there is no evidence linking Iraq to the attacks" of Sept. 11, Wolfowitz and his allies, such as Richard Perle, a member of the Defense Policy Board, are promoting "the need to turn to Iraq as soon as the initial phase of the war against Afghanistan and bin Laden and his organization is over." Amazingly, a two-day series of meetings of the Defense Policy Board, which included Wolfowitz and Perle, did not even brief Powell despite the saber-rattling tone underlying the board's efforts. The Times reported that Powell was "surprised" and "quite distressed" to learn that the president's deputy national security advisor, Stephen Hadley, inserted what was described as "a far-reaching sentence" into a letter sent to the United Nations Security Council threatening possible action against Iraq and other nations that Wolfowitz, Perle and their allies are alleging to be sponsors of terrorism.

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Doubting Thomas offers her press veteran's take on state of presidency

As veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas signed my program Thursday evening at the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual awards banquet, I said, “First time I ever asked a reporter for an autograph.”

“Thank you, dear,” she said, patting my arm. “Don’t lose heart.”

Those are words that should be engraved at the bottom of every journalism degree. That’s because I’m not sure that any business can cause a heart to be lost or broken faster than this. And Thomas probably knows this better than anyone because she began reporting in 1943...

There was a lot of that in her speech, this talk of devaluation in the character of leadership. Not surprisingly for an admitted liberal, she held her greatest praise for John Kennedy, the only president in her estimation who made Americans look to their higher angels.

Then came Johnson’s Great Society and Vietnam. Nixon, she said, was a man who would — when presented two roads — “always choose the wrong one.” He was followed by “healing” Ford, well-meaning Carter, Reagan’s revolution, Bush Sr.’s self-destruction and Clinton’s damaging of the presidential myth.

She seemed to have sympathy and affection for everyone but George W. Bush, a man who she said is rising on a wave of 9-11 fear — fear of looking unpatriotic, fear of asking questions, just fear. “We have,” she said, “lost our way.”

Thomas believes we have chosen to promote democracy with bombs instead of largess while Congress “defaults,” Democrats cower and a president controls all three branches of government in the name of corporations and the religious right.

As she signed my program, I joked, “You sound worried.”

“This is the worst president ever,” she said. “He is the worst president in all of American history.”

The woman who has known eight of them wasn’t joking.

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Clonaid, Clonaid, Yawn, CIA, Clonaid

It's been wall-to-wall Clonaid for weeks now. At a time when the most important news in the world is the ramping up of the US and UK military presence in the Gulf for an imminent war, Clonaid trumps the real news with a tale that would take five minutes to discredit as drivel.

Which is hardly surprising, as that is the whole purpose of Clonaid. Are you getting the picture? Good. Welcome to CIA Disinfo Central, where Clonaid is like a #1 pop hit for the misdirection crew at Langley. It's part of a collage of media themes designed to keep your eye off the ball and fill the news columns with anything but opposition to war.

It's the best gambit we have seen since Osama bin Laden became the last Mr. Nasty (Oh.., you must remember him --an Arab-looking guy out of central casting). To hard-nosed observers who view most of the UFO/Crop-Circle phenomenon as CIA disinfo, Clonaid's alien religion is a text-book 'Op.' Now the timing of this latest appearance fits quite nicely.

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Thursday 23 January 2003

Humor Under Occupation

Since the Israeli re-invasion of Palestinian cities last April-2002 has left most of the population confined to their homes, no cases of sunstroke were reported in the Occupied Territories despite the hot Middle Eastern summer.

With drivers hardly ever able to reach even fourth gear thanks to checkpoints, car accidents are way down. We also save on petrol.

Sharon is losing the demographic war with the Palestinians. What do you expect people locked-up in their homes to do, especially when the power is out and no TV?

Outsiders think the Israeli Merkava tank is a formidable machine. But we hear that Israeli soldiers don’t like it. It has small openings so they cannot steal whole computers from Palestinian homes and offices. That is why there are so many reports of them opening up PCs and taking out only motherboards and hard disks.

At the Surda checkpoint, on the road from Ramallah to Birzeit University and other villages, Israeli bulldozers are always busy digging up the asphalt and piling mounds of earth and cement blocks. Every day we find the distance to walk becomes longer. But there are positive aspects to it. The exercise it takes to go across is making us fit, we are using this chance to enjoy nature and the change of seasons, and using the opportunity to meet friends and colleagues, help the elderly and sick across, exchange the latest news and jokes, sympathizing with those arrested by Israeli soldiers and often made to sit on the ground tied up and waiting for ‘processing’, and putting our remaining energy hating the occupation even more.

In spite of the terrible hardship, you still won’t find people sleeping on pavements like in New York or London. There are still a lot of family and neighborhood safety nets. So we guess we still have a long way ! to go before we become an advanced society.

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Once again, U.S. finds itself isolated on Iraq

The endgame has begun -- not only with Iraq, but with America's friends.

By escalating his threats against Baghdad, and insisting he is unwilling to participate in "the rerun of a bad movie," President Bush is serving notice on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that the time for prevarication is over. More immediately, he is signaling U.S. allies that he is prepared to go to war with Iraq without their approval.

The increasingly bellicose White House rhetoric puts the Bush administration sharply at odds with many of its European allies, particularly France, which has threatened to veto a second United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing a war with Iraq over its weapons of mass destruction. Even British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush's most loyal supporter, has called for U.N. weapons inspectors to be given the "time and space" to complete their work.

There remains a possibility that a "smoking gun" will emerge that will persuade the French and other allies of the case for early military action. For now, however, the United States faces the prospect of fighting a major war with little international support. Less than three months after winning a unanimous Security Council vote that gave Hussein one "last chance" to surrender his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, the United States and Britain find themselves diplomatically isolated.

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Ex-Israeli envoy accuses Sharon of escalating Mideast conflict

Former Israeli ambassador to Germany, Avi Primor, on Wednesday accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of intentionally escalating the Mideast conflict, citing Zionist "ideological" motives.

"Sharon's message is clear: There is no solution to the (Palestinian) crisis. We have to hit back," Primor said in an interview with the daily Berliner Zeitung.

"Sharon is of course not willing to relinquish lands. I think Sharon is really ideologically motivated," the ex-envoy added.

Primor pointed out that according to Sharon, all Palestinian territories, occupied after the 1967 war, are "God-given" lands which need to be safeguarded.

He said that Sharon is not interested in a "sovereign Palestinian state".

Primor added that Sharon is pursuing a peace policy "according to "his own conditions, hoping to shape the Middle East the way he wants".

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Selling A War - The Conning Of America

In five weeks it is likely that United States soldiers will be fighting and dying in Iraq. While there is no doubt that we can defeat Sadam Hussein there is much debate on whether we should go to war and what will be the ultimate costs to Iraq and the United States.

Americans want to believe that our government officials tell the truth and don't intentionally mislead us. Other governments manipulate the truth not ours.

It is hard for Americans to accept that at times we are lied to or intentionally misled in order to build support for a foreign policy decision. While this may be disturbing it is our duty as citizens in a democracy to be open to this reality. We are the strongest military in the world and ultimately decide which governments will fall or stand.

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Wednesday 22 January 2003

Russian source: US 'will attack Iraq next month'

A Russian source today claimed to have information that the US plans to launch an attack on Iraq within the next month. The claim came as Germany confirmed that it would not back a UN resolution authorising war.

The Russian news agency Interfax quoted an unnamed, high-ranking source in the Russian general headquarters as saying that the US and its allies would attack once a battle-ready force of 150,000 troops reached the Gulf.

"According to the information we have, the operation is planned for the second half of February. The decision to launch it has been taken but not yet been made public," the source said.

The source claimed that toppling the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, was a pretext allowing the US to acquire control of Iraqi oilfields.

"The military operation against Iraq will be conducted by a combination of means. Strikes will be from the air, land and sea," the source said, claiming that Washington expects the military campaign to last for around a month.

Interfax did not explain how the Russians had obtained the alleged details.

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The myth of the war economy

If you're not going to listen to us "peaceniks" then for the love of whichever God you believe in read what Joe has to say. This war is the worst idea in the Book of Bad Ideas!

by Joseph Stiglitz

BUY THIS BOOK TODAY War is widely thought to be linked to economic good times. The second world war is often said to have brought the world out of depression, and war has since enhanced its reputation as a spur to economic growth. Some even suggest that capitalism needs wars, that without them, recession would always lurk on the horizon.

Today, we know that this is nonsense. The 1990s boom showed that peace is economically far better than war. The Gulf war of 1991 demonstrated that wars can actually be bad for an economy. That conflict contributed mightily to the onset of the recession of 1991 (which was probably the key factor in denying the first President Bush re-election in 1992).

The current situation is far more akin to the Gulf war than to wars that may have contributed to economic growth. Indeed, the economic effects of a second war against Iraq would probably be far more adverse. The second world war called for total mobilisation, requiring a country's total resources, and that is what wiped out unemployment. Total war means total employment.

By contrast, the direct costs of a military attack on Saddam Hussein's regime will be minuscule in terms of total US spending. Most analysts put the total costs of the war at less than 0.1% of GDP, the highest at 0.2% of GDP. Much of that, moreover, includes the usage of munitions that already exist, implying that little or no stimulus will be provided to today's economy.

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Fort Hood Report

On this gigantic military base in Texas, something is boiling under the surface.

Soldiers are refusing their vaccines. They are not being jailed ot forcibly inoculated.

Some soldiers who did take their vaccines are sick.

Two weeks before 9/11, all 60 gates at the facility were blocked with concrete barriers and barbed wire. Guard patrols were stepped up.

At least a few soldiers there believe that 9/11 was a military OP carried out by the US government. They also believe that the imminent war on Iraq has the clandestine purpose of enlarging the borders of Israel.

One could dismiss these latter allegations as random chatter, but the fact that soldiers at Ft. Hood (and other bases?)are volunteering these opinions shows that monolithic and unthinking loyalty is not engraved in stone.

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War journalists should not be cosying up to the military

by Robert Fisk

click here to visit his website It looks like a rerun of the 1991 Gulf War. Already American journalists are fighting like tigers to join "the pool", to be "embedded" in the US military so that they can see the war at first hand – and, of course, be censored. Eleven years ago, they turned up at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, already kitted out with helmets, gas capes, chocolate rations and eyes that narrowed when they looked into the sun, just like General Montgomery. Half the reporters wanted to wear military costume and one young television man from the American mid-west turned up, I recall well, with a pair of camouflaged boots. Each boot was camouflaged with painted leaves. Those of us who had been in a desert -- even those who had only seen a picture of a desert – did wonder what this meant.

Well, of course, it symbolised fantasy, the very quality upon which most viewers now rely when watching "live" war – or watching death "live" on TV.

Thus, over the past four weeks, the massed ranks of American television networks have been pouring into Kuwait to cosy up to the US military, to seek those coveted "pool" positions, to try on their army or marine costumes and make sure that – if or when the day comes – they will have the kind of coverage that every reporter and every general wants: a few facts, good pictures and nothing dirty to make the viewers throw up on the breakfast table. I remember how, back in 1991, only those Iraqi soldiers obliging enough to die in romantic poses – arm thrown back to conceal the decomposing features or face down and anonymous in the sand – made it on to live-time. Those soldiers turned into a crematorium nightmare or whose corpses were being torn to pieces by wild dogs – I actually saw an ITV crew film this horrific scene – were not honoured on screen. ITV's film, of course, couldn't be shown – lest it persuade the entire world that no one should go to war, ever, again.

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Red, White, and Blue Storm Rising

by Michael Rivero

I am a great admirer of the writer Tom Clancy, despite his tendency to portray the CIA as icky-sweet do-gooders who would never dream of doing the sorts of things we know the real CIA actually does do. But Clancy is a good writer and has created plausible scenarios in his books, one in particular of which comes to mind at the present time.

In the book, "Red Storm Rising", World War Three starts when a fictionalized USSR, economically unable to purchase the oil products it needs, simply decides to take them. In order to conceal what is in essence a war of conquest, the fictionalized USSR manufactures a provocation by staging a fake terrorist attack on a symbolically important building in Moscow. Faked evidence is used to pin the blame on a target nation, and the fictionalized USSR starts a war on two fronts; a "just cause" war which masks a second front moving to grab the oil fields. This is a very believable scenario to the public, and the book was a best seller. It's one of my favorites.

Thus it is with some amazement that I watch as the very people who turned that book into a huge commercial success seem oblivious to the parallels in the so-called "War On Terror".

Whereas the fictionalized USSR in "Red Storm Rising" required the plot device of a refinery disaster to kick off the story line, the United States has arrived in precisely the same situation as the fictionalized USSR in the book through chronic mismanagement. It is no secret that the United States is in and has been in serious financial trouble for decades. The total governmental debt of the United States is estimated at $17 trillion (with a "T"). The interest alone on the federal portion of the National Debt now exceeds the entire personal income tax collected from every tax payer in the nation. And, since the full interest payments are not being made, let alone the principle, the debt continues to skyrocket. Claims of an election year budget surplus, which ignored the debt entirely, were little more than a bookkeeping trick in which the government spent Social Security payments as if they were general funds, along with now-failed predictions of ever increasing economic growth.

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God bless America

In a poem written for the Guardian, the distinguished playwright Harold Pinter takes the US to task for its seemingly inexorable march towards war on Iraq

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.

The gutters are clogged with the dead
The ones who couldn't join in
The others refusing to sing
The ones who are losing their voice
The ones who've forgotten the tune.

The riders have whips which cut.
Your head rolls onto the sand
Your head is a pool in the dirt
Your head is a stain in the dust
Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God.

© Harold Pinter, January 2003

The World Can't Trust What America Says

The key to integrity, this old Mayan guy once told me, is admitting our faults. If we don't do that, our whole lives are built on a bed of lies. This is the United States of America 2003 version — built on a bed of lies and disintegrating all around us.

The situation makes some of us think that the Ayatollah (if you're old enough to remember him — the Iranian religious leader who presided over the taking of American hostages in 1979) was right: America is the Great Satan, he said.

But I guess it's not important to Americans anymore to tell the truth. I mean ... just look at everything.

The greatest military attack on American soil has not even been investigated. Three thousand people killed in downtown New York City and it's just swept under the rug as the insane media manipulators rush on to new fabricated crises to cover up the single greatest crime in American history.

Talk about a big lie. Talk about lack of integrity. And the American people, anesthetized as they are with ill-gotten gains, over-the-counter drugs, bad schools and worse TV, don't even raise a collective eyebrow. Telling the truth is just not important to them anymore, if it ever was.

In fact, if there's one thing obvious in the world today, it's that America does not tell the truth. It says one thing but always means something else. It promises to spread democracy but all it distributes is oil-money-crazed dictatorship and prison or death without trial for anyone who dares to stand in its way.

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Tuesday 21 January 2003

Dutch tapping room not kosher

According to anonymous sources within the Dutch intelligence community, all tapping equipment of the Dutch intelligence services and half the tapping equipment of the national police force, is insecure and is leaking information to Israel. How difficult is it to make a back-door in the Dutch Transport of Intercepted IP Traffic system?

The discussion focusses on the tapping installations for telephony and internet delivered to the government in the last few years by the Israeli company Verint.

This company was called Comverse-Infosys until half a year ago, but was quickly renamed when the FBI started several investigations against it and arrested some of its employees in the US on suspicion of espionage. (See pulled FoxNews stories, Politech, Cryptome or Google).

People within the Dutch government got worried too. Especially because they had been warned as early as 1998 about the possible back-doors in the tapping equipment. The ex-ministers of interior ("Binnenlandse Zaken"), Peper and de Vries, could not comment. The minister of Justice at the time, Korthals Altes, was asked to report to parliament in december 2001, where he stated that the security measures meet the required level and that an investigation would be started if this, after all, was not the case. No investigation followed.

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Together We Can Stop Their Immoral War

To register your oppostion to war on Iraq please email The Mirror now with your name and address at tell Mr Blair that you register your opposition to any war with Iraq not justified by unequivocal UN evidence.

So it's war. Whatever the Defence Secretary says, no country despatches 26,000 troops for nothing.

George W Bush and his White House warriors have been determined for months to attack Iraq.

The atrocity of 9/11 was an excuse for President Bush to preach the cause of world peace.

He has other reasons, though - playing to his red-neck voters, distracting attention from a looming economic crisis and securing oil supplies.

Particularly that, as the Daily Mirror reveals today. We are going war to keep the oil flowing.

Tony Blair could not stop the leader of the only superpower, though he did calm down his actions for a while.

But he does not have to join the Americans. And he is.

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War would be insane

Noam Chomsky, a leading American linguist who has been at the forefront of anti-war protests since the 1960s, says the Bush administration is wrong to stress military options in its dealings with Iraq.

You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it. And the arguments that have been given for it are not convincing.

There is no debate about the importance of disarming Iraq and indeed other countries that have the capacity to use weapons of mass destruction. That is very important and everyone agrees on it.

Sane people do not undertake actions when they know that there is reasonable possibility that it may lead to a humanitarian catastrophe

The way to proceed with that is the way that has been done - with careful inspection procedures and efforts to ensure that the US and Britain and others will no longer carry out the policies of the past and provide Saddam with means for developing weapons of mass destruction.

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Monday 20 January 2003

Nuclear Murder

America’s Atomic War Against Its Citizens and Why It’s Not Over Yet

Since early June, newspapers in Australia and Great Britain have published articles about experiments conducted in the 1950s and 1960s by U.S. scientists on the bodies of deceased and stillborn babies.

Documents declassified by the U.S. Department of Energy show that scientists from the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority worked with their American counterparts to take the bodies of 6,000 infants from hospitals in Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, South America and the U.S., then ship them to the United States for the nuclear experiments—without permission from the parents.

It was called Project Sunshine.

Sunshine began in 1955 at the University of Chicago when Willard Libby, later a Nobel Prize laureate for his research into carbon dating, instructed colleagues to skirt the law in their search for bodies.

“Human samples are of prime importance, and if anybody knows how to do a good job of body-snatching, they will really be serving their country,” Libby is quoted as saying.

The reasoning: Nuclear tests released great amounts of Strontium 90 into the atmosphere. Libby and others connected with the American defense industry wanted to know how much radiation was entering the food supply. The bodies and body parts were cremated and the ashes tested with a sophisticated Geiger counter.

Grotesque as Project Sunshine was, it fits the pattern.

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Sharon rubbishes peace plan

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said an international plan for Middle East peace should not be taken seriously.

In an interview with Newsweek magazine, he said he was only ready to accept the concept of a Palestinian state provided that Israel controlled its external borders.

Mr Sharon again stressed that he wanted Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat removed from any position of influence.

Israel has a general election scheduled for 28 January, when Mr Sharon's Likud will be challenged by Labour, whose leader Amram Mitzna favours immediate talks with the Palestinians.

Mr Sharon has adopted a hard line, demanding a full cessation of violence before any moves towards peace with the Palestinians.

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Don't count on the UN to save us from going to war

Within the cabinet, the Labour party and in the country at large, a touching faith is increasingly placed in the ability of the UN to extricate us from the Iraq mess. This sentiment, broadly shared across western Europe, was summed up last week by a British minister: "Stick to the UN and there will be infinitely less trouble and even no trouble at all."

Some people, including leftish MPs and bishops, seem to hope that, in effect, the UN will save us not from our avowed enemy, Iraq, but from our main ally, America. Many others, motivated by a wide range of different concerns, also focus on demands for a second UN security council debate and/or resolution that, unlike last autumn's resolution 1441, would specifically authorise, or block, military action.

Such hopes of salvation or absolution are woefully misplaced from almost every point of view. Those opposed to war have little reason to believe that the security council, having voted unanimously for 1441, will thwart the US now. Although the council's composition has changed since then, political considerations, rather than considerations of justice, remain uppermost for the four other permanent members.

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