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October 20, 2004

Special Addendum to Meditation Focus #118: Protecting Democracy in America


What follows is an addendum to the current Meditation Focus originally suggested for the 4 weeks beginning Sunday, October 3, 2004.

Please note that this Meditation focus is extended for another week - so as to include the Sunday October 31st global 30 minute meditation - and there will be a special Meditation Focus to be issued by the end of next week, specifically for the November 2 U.S. elections and its aftermath.

To review the current Meditation Focus #118: Protecting Democracy in America, please go at

The following material has been compiled to give you a thorough update on some of the latest developments in connection with this current Meditation Focus #118.

As usual, your assistance is welcome to help circulate this material.

Jean Hudon
Focus Group Facilitator
and Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

Free subscription to such compilations by sending a blank email to

This compilation is archived at

"We kill at every step, not only in wars, riots, and executions. We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, suffering, and shame. In the same way all disrespect for life, all hard heartedness, all indifference, all contempt is nothing else than killing. With just a little witty skepticism we can kill a good deal of the future in a young person. Life is waiting everywhere, the future is flowering every-where, but we only see a small part of it and step on much of it with our feet."

- Hermann Hesse

"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

- John Swinton, Chief of Staff New York Times at New York Press Club, 1953

"There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for."

- Clarissa Pinkola Estes -- Taken from "Inspiration" below

"May people see by the light of the soul and may the illusion be dispelled."

- Invocation used by people in New York and elsewhere to help the American people to see clearly through the veils of confusion and illusions created by the Bush camp. Recommended by "Janis Roze"> who also wrote: "This allows for finding within oneself the strength and clarity that is needed for making decisions about the country’s future, beyond the “external” issues of politics and manipulations . It has been said that the deeper Soul of the United States emanates energy for the people to renew the “task of America”, currently obscured and confused."

Worthy of Your Attention

Counter Bias: We Inform You Decide!

Grand Theft America


1. Bin Laden is in China
2. The Making of the Terror Myth
3. A Republican Declares His Independence
4. Ex-Security Adviser Rips Bush Diplomacy
5. Has Bush Lost His Reason?
6. Preview of the Bush Campaign's Media Endgame
7. Vets Come Home to Poverty
8. Wake Up America!
9. Inspiration

See also:

John Kerry for President -- The New York Times | Endorsement (17 October 2004)
Senator John Kerry goes toward the election with a base that is built more on opposition to George W. Bush than loyalty to his own candidacy. But over the last year we have come to know Mr. Kerry as more than just an alternative to the status quo. We like what we've seen. He has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive, not just a modest improvement on the incumbent. We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry's wide knowledge and clear thinking - something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. And while Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam was first over-promoted and then over-pilloried, his entire life has been devoted to public service, from the war to a series of elected offices. He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core. John Kerry for President The New York Times | Endorsement Sunday 17 October 2004 Senator John Kerry goes toward the election with a base that is built more on opposition to George W. Bush than loyalty to his own candidacy. But over the last year we have come to know Mr. Kerry as more than just an alternative to the status quo. We like what we've seen. He has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive, not just a modest improvement on the incumbent. We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry's wide knowledge and clear thinking - something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. And while Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam was first over-promoted and then over-pilloried, his entire life has been devoted to public service, from the war to a series of elected offices. He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core. CLIP

The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket (The Los Angeles Times - 19 October 2004)
The agency is withholding a damning report that points at senior officials. It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago. "It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward." When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned." CLIP

Security or Just Criminalization Under a Different Name? (October 5, 2004)
While attention is focused on the unmitigated disaster the Bush/Cheney war of choice in Iraq has caused, the economy is headed for big trouble as this "war" has caused massive increases in the nations debt load. Additionally, the knee-jerk response by congress with the so-called "Patriot Act" has accomplished nothing in terms of securing the nation. What it has done is heap more criminal law on an already redundant body of criminal law. Criminalization over security, pure and simple. (...) What BushCo and its extreme right compatriots in congress have bestowed upon us, the people of this nation, under the guise of "homeland security," is a string of laws, starting with the so-called "Patriot Act," which have nothing to do with securing the homeland, and everything to do with "securing" the population.What we have is "criminalization" over security.It didn't take much time after the enactment of the "Patriot Act" for people and communities to recognize the inherent dangers in the "Act" and stand in open opposition to it. So when congress drafted "Patriot Act ll" the public's outcry was too great for even the right-wing nuts in congress to ignore-that was May 2003.But, all was not well in the valley, no ho ho ho's, for just a few short months after Patriot ll was laid to rest, a draft of the "Victory Act" was leaked to the press, though it received little attention from "mainstream" media. This would have taken the Patriot Act to a new level, creating entirely new classes of terrorism in the guise of "narco-terrorism."Additionally, the definition of terrorism has been expanded to include "domestic terrorist" the definition of which is so broad that anyone, anywhere, at anytime could be arrested for nothing more than peaceful public protest. Its application could be very arbitrary and capricious-criminalization over security complete with the tools to shut down political dissent. "Laws" have always been a resource for tyrants to use against its own people, this nation is no different.Now, once again another member of the Bush Brigade, Sen. Ron Kyle, has a bill to build once again on the Patriot Act. These people just will not quit. This one has a total of 43 new crimes punishable by the death penalty. CLIP

Feeling the Draft (19 October 2004 - The New York Times | Editorial)
The New York Times | Editorial Those who are worrying about a revived draft are in the same position as those who worried about a return to budget deficits four years ago, when President Bush began pushing through his program of tax cuts. Back then he insisted that he wouldn't drive the budget into deficit - but those who looked at the facts strongly suspected otherwise. Now he insists that he won't revive the draft. But the facts suggest that he will. There were two reasons some of us never believed Mr. Bush's budget promises. First, his claims that his tax cuts were affordable rested on patently unrealistic budget projections. Second, his broader policy goals, including the partial privatization of Social Security - which is clearly on his agenda for a second term - would involve large costs that were not included even in those unrealistic projections. This led to the justified suspicion that his election-year promises notwithstanding, Mr. Bush would preside over a return to budget deficits. It's exactly the same when it comes to the draft. Mr. Bush's claim that we don't need any expansion in our military is patently unrealistic; it ignores the severe stress our Army is already under. And the experience in Iraq shows that pursuing his broader foreign policy doctrine - the "Bush doctrine" of pre-emptive war - would require much larger military forces than we now have. This leads to the justified suspicion that after the election, Mr. Bush will seek a large expansion in our military, quite possibly through a return of the draft. CLIP

U.S. Has Contingency Plans for a Draft of Medical Workers (19 October 2004)
Washington - The Selective Service has been updating its contingency plans for a draft of doctors, nurses and other health care workers in case of a national emergency that overwhelms the military's medical corps. In a confidential report this summer, a contractor hired by the agency described how such a draft might work, how to secure compliance and how to mold public opinion and communicate with health care professionals, whose lives could be disrupted. CLIP

Kerry Warns of Bush Draft

Gallup Polls: Conditioning For Vote Rigging? (October 8 2004 - THIS IS IMPORTANT TO READ AND REMEMBER WHEN HEARING ABOUT POLLS IN THE NEWS!)
The recent polls showing a large Bush lead seem to be designed to either discourage Democratic voters and/or condition the American public for a Bush victory based on vote rigging. The methodology that seems to be in use by Gallup and most other polling firms connected to large corporations are greatly over weighted to give Republicans excessive representation and do not give sufficient weight to Democratic voters based on historical voting trend. Polls by independent polling organizations that are using properly weighted samples (like Zogby, Pew Research, Harris and others) are not showing a significant Bush lead and some have Kerry ahead! While most political analysts predict the largest Democratic voter turn-out in history, Gallup is predicting in their methodology that Republicans will be 7-8% more of the total electorate than Democrats actually voting on election day. Based on the most recent elections, Democrats have usually been 7-8% more of the total electorate when the actual votes were counted. The swing in numbers using Gallup's distorted methodology would tend to give Bush a "fake" lead in the neighborhood of 15%.As voters, we need to ask ourselves "why Gallup would use a methodology that would almost definitely mean that their election predictions would be wrong?" These writers are somewhat baffled in answering that question. Why would Gallup want to give the false impression of a Bush lead? CLIP

The Time Grows Near - Be Aware... Be Very Aware
(...) If you recall, immediately after each debate, all major networks conducted their own independent polling to determine which candidate did the best job. Many people went to these sites and cast their votes. Kerry and Edwards were clearly winners on each one, and by very wide margins. However the networks decided to neither post nor broadcast these results. In fact, soon after each debate, anchors and pundits were blathering either that the candidates were in a dead heat, or Bush was leading "by a slim margin." What are we to think about this? Do we call it a "mass mistake" that was so contagious that all media simultaneously screwed up? If not, then why did they scrub the immediate polling results -- removing them from their websites as if they never existed and then started new ones the next day? Was it hindsight in order to achieve the desired results? (...) For the first time in our proud history, such inconsistencies have resulted in UN monitors being dispatched from other nations to closely watch our election process. The blemish put on this nation by the media's lying and cheating about debates and manipulating the polls will take decades -- perhaps generations -- to overcome. CLIP

Voter fraud in the United States
BBC TV - Newsnight -- Our Washington correspondent Tom Carver has a special report on voter fraud in the United States, where the abuse of absentee voting in West Virginia and Florida, suggests this election will be as bitterly contested as the last.

Stop Shredding Voter Forms Don't Stand For Voter Supression
Act Now: Stop Shredding Voter Forms by -- A shadowy RNC scheme has destroyed thousands of voter registration forms. Tell Bush to renounce this kind of dirty politics. CLIP

Democrats Signing Up More New Voters (18 October 2004)
The Democrats appear to be gaining the upper hand in the battle to sign up new voters in the all-important swing states, an Associated Press analysis suggests. The AP analysis of the most up-to-date figures from across the country found that, in every state where complete data is available, the Democrats have registered more new voters than Republicans. They have the edge in Arizona, Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire. Only in Florida is the story different. Registration tallies from more than half the counties show that the Republicans and the Democrats are virtually tied in the race to increase their share of voters in the state that decided the presidential election four years ago. In those counties, the Republicans have signed up just a few thousand more. CLIP

November 2nd - Vote Your Values - Vote for the forests
Raise your voice We have the right to remain silent. We have a responsibility to speak out. A healthy democracy requires engaged citizens. Engaged citizens participate by making their voices heard. Register your voice, go to the polls. Vote your values. Vote for the forests.Vote on November 2nd. Click here to learn more about how to get involved and stay informed about the upcoming election
Click here to register to Vote!

We will never be silenced (Info and Petition in support of Indymedia)
(...) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, today (Oct 8) called for an investigation into the action by police in Britain in co-operation with other agencies that led to the temporary closure of 21 of the more than 140 Indymedia web sites worldwide.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh spills the secrets of the Iraq quagmire and the war on terror
BERKELEY – The Iraq war is not winnable, a secret U.S. military unit has been "disappearing" people since December 2001, and America has no idea how irreparably its torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has damaged its image in the Middle East. These were just a few of the grim pronouncements made by Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Seymour "Sy" Hersh to KQED host Michael Krasny before a Berkeley audience on Friday night (Oct. 8) CLIP

Bush: The Worst Mexican President Ever (October 14, 2004)
The typical Mexican political boss has an inclination toward violence and cruelty; he despises legality and intellectual activity, has a personal history of alcoholism and dissipation and lies systematically. Sound familiar? Free trade globalization has produced some exceedingly strange phenomena: China, the last socialist power, is glad to provide slave labor to multinationals; a firm in India fills the tax forms of an American corporation that produces vodka in Peru and then sells it to Polish immigrants who are constructing a British-financed building in Madrid; an enterprise which specializes in biotechnology tries to copyright the DNA of an isolated tribe from the Amazon, and George Bush has become the worst Mexican president ever. Globalization tends to blur or erase all economic, geographic, and cultural boundaries, leaving high technology to coexist with primitive forms of exploitation: Taiwan sells watches to the Swiss; Brazil exports technology to Germany; and all evidence suggests that George Bush has stolen his ruling style from old-fashioned Mexican politicians.Mexican political culture has very defined features and the president of the United States has absorbed them all: The classical Mexican political boss usually inherits his power from his father. The typical Mexican cacique has a love for guns as well as an inclination toward violence and cruelty; he despises legality and intellectual activity, has a personal history of alcoholism and dissipation, lies systematically and declares himself a faithful servant of God. (Did we miss anything?) According to Mexican tradition, politicians always reach their positions thanks to a fraudulent electoral process and then surround themselves with a clique which uses its power to conduct "business" on a staggering scale while in office. The Florida electoral thievery and Halliburton's Iraq contract are classic examples of Mexican corruption. CLIP

New York Times’ Safire predicts “major terror attack in the US” on eve of 2004 election
This was posted on 3 January 2004. Will it turn out to be true of false?...

Gore Rips Bush (video)
or read the transcript below...

Al Gore Speaks on Iraq (18 October 2004 - Gaston Hall, Georgetown University)
(...) There are many people in both parties who have the uneasy feeling that there is something deeply troubling about President Bush's relationship to reason, his disdain for facts, an incuriosity about new information that might produce a deeper understanding of the problems and policies that he wrestles with on behalf of the country. (...) It is clear that President Bush has absolute faith in a rigid, right-wing ideology. He ignores the warnings of his experts. He forbids any dissent and never tests his assumptions against the best available evidence. He is arrogantly out of touch with reality. He refuses to ever admit mistakes. Which means that as long as he is our President, we are doomed to repeat them. It is beyond incompetence. It is recklessness that risks the safety and security of the American people. (...) There are now fifteen days left before our country makes this fateful choice - for us and the whole world. And it is particularly crucial for one more reason: The final feature of Bush's ideology involves ducking accountability for his mistakes. He has neutralized the Congress by intimidating the Republican leadership and transforming them into a true rubber stamp, unlike any that has ever existed in American history. He has appointed right-wing judges who have helped to insulate him from accountability in the courts. And if he wins again, he will likely get to appoint up to four Supreme Court justices. He has ducked accountability by the press with his obsessive secrecy and refusal to conduct the public's business openly. There is now only one center of power left in our constitution capable of at long last holding George W. Bush accountable, and it is the voters. There are fifteen days left before our country makes this fateful choice - for us and the whole world. Join me on November 2 nd in taking our country back.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis"> on October 16


Bin Laden is in China

This confirms Gordon Thomas, a journalist with contacts in the most important intelligence services. The terrorist had reached an agreement with China, which now negotiates its surrender with Bush. It is his greatest electoral trick.

Translated from El Mundo

Gordon Thomas

10/13/04 "El Mundo" -- During the home stretch of the Northamerican elections, Osama bin Laden could prove to be the ace in the sleeve of president Bush. As we speak, Washington is negotiating a highly secretive agreement with Beijing, the Chinese capital, for the eviction of bin Laden from his sanctuary in the turbulent Muslim provinces of China, in the Northwest of the Great Wall nation.

More than five million people, many of them fanatic followers of Osama, live in that region, which can be called one of the most volatile regions of Earth. Thousands of them work for the mafias who specialize in the trafficking of humans and drugs to the West. Last summer, Bin Laden sealed an agreement with the authorities in Beijing, in which he was granted asylum in return for his guarantees that the guerilla war of the Muslim Chinese against the Chinese nation would end.

Over the years, tens of thousands of troops of the Popular Liberation Armee had been sent to the region with the intent to squash the insurgents.

Since the arrival of the Saudi Osama Bin Laden, the region has been relatively quiet, and the Muslims who live there are allowed to continue their trafficking of humans and drugs.

However, Bin Laden could now see himself trapped in his refuge, if an extraordinary agreement between Beijing and Washington would come to pass, in which China would hand over to the United States the most wanted terrorist in the world.

The capture of Bin Laden would virtually guarantee the reelection of George Bush Jr., as it would confirm to the millions of undecided voters of the U.S. that the war against terrorism was justified after Bin Laden had authorized the attacks of 9/11 against New York and Washington.

"A new Bush administration would present China as its great new ally in the war against terrorism. China would enjoy in Washington the status of a most favored nation with all of its facets. Contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars would be approved by fast track. The history of human rights violations in China would be ignored," confirmed last week a high-level representative of the Pentagon. He added that only a small number of "members of very high rank" in the Bush administration knew about the plan to "seize Bin Laden in exchange for a special relationship with China." With almost certainty, among them would be the vice-president, Dick Cheney, and the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

Agreeing to speak under anonymity, the functionary offered details of the plan to capture Osama Bin Laden as a means to keep Bush in the White House. He explained that this is not the first time that an American administration has resorted to similar maneuvers during an electoral campaign.

Towards the end of the presidency of Jimmy Carter, a secret deal was signed between the then future president of the U.S., Ronald Reagan, and Iran, in which the American diplomats, who had been kidnapped in Teheran, the Capital of Iran, would be freed the very day that Ronald Reagan would be inaugurated to the White House.

According to Ari Ben-Menashe, the former national security advisor of the Israeli government of Yitzhak Shamir, " they paid an enormous sum of money to the Ayatollas of Iran." Ben-Menashe affirms that this deal formed a pivotal piece in the negotiations that later became known as Reagan's October surprise.

Theresa on the campaign trail

Theresa, the wife of the senator and democratic candidate, John Kerry, gave to understand that another October surprise could be imminent. Two weeks ago, she surprised the political advisors of her husband by declaring in public: "I wouldn't be surprised if, prior to the elections, president Bush were to capture Osama." Since then, Mrs. Kerry rejected to further comment on her explosive declaration. However, there are rumors in the intelligence community that both she and her husband had been advised that any further comments concerning an agreement that would include the capture of Bin Laden could compromise the national security of the U.S.

Furthermore, also the Washington analyst, Al Santoli, the national security advisor and Californian Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, and the editor of the respected bulletin China Monitor, affirmed that "an October surprise wouldn't surprise me in the least."

In his first confirmed sighting in many months, the refuge of Bin Laden has been pinpointed by an NSA satellite, one of many that the supersecret U.S. agency utilizes in their search for him. His hideout is located near a lake at the border between China and Pakistan.

At the other side of the Zaskar mountains, the white summits that majestically look out over Bin Laden's sanctuary, a detachment of special forces of the Pakistani and U.S. armies are awaiting orders to capture Bin Laden, and move him by plane to Pakistan.

CLIP - Read the rest at




The Making of the Terror Myth

October 15, 2004

The Guardian

Since September 11 Britain has been warned of the 'inevitability' of catastrophic terrorist attack. But has the danger been exaggerated? A major new TV documentary claims that the perceived threat is a politically driven fantasy - and al-Qaida a dark illusion. Andy Beckett reports

Since the attacks on the United States in September 2001, there have been more than a thousand references in British national newspapers, working out at almost one every single day, to the phrase "dirty bomb". There have been articles about how such a device can use ordinary explosives to spread lethal radiation; about how London would be evacuated in the event of such a detonation; about the Home Secretary David Blunkett's statement on terrorism in November 2002 that specifically raised the possibility of a dirty bomb being planted in Britain; and about the arrests of several groups of people, the latest only last month, for allegedly plotting exactly that.

Starting next Wednesday, BBC2 is to broadcast a three-part documentary series that will add further to what could be called the dirty bomb genre. But, as its title suggests, The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear takes a different view of the weapon's potential.

"I don't think it would kill anybody," says Dr Theodore Rockwell, an authority on radiation, in an interview for the series. "You'll have trouble finding a serious report that would claim otherwise." The American department of energy, Rockwell continues, has simulated a dirty bomb explosion, "and they calculated that the most exposed individual would get a fairly high dose [of radiation], not life-threatening." And even this minor threat is open to question. The test assumed that no one fled the explosion for one year.

During the three years in which the "war on terror" has been waged, high- profile challenges to its assumptions have been rare. The sheer number of incidents and warnings connected or attributed to the war has left little room, it seems, for heretical thoughts. In this context, the central theme of The Power of Nightmares is riskily counter-intuitive and provocative. Much of the currently perceived threat from international terrorism, the series argues, "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media."

The series' explanation for this is even bolder: "In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power."

Adam Curtis, who wrote and produced the series, acknowledges the difficulty of saying such things now. "If a bomb goes off, the fear I have is that everyone will say, 'You're completely wrong,' even if the incident doesn't touch my argument. This shows the way we have all become trapped, the way even I have become trapped by a fear that is completely irrational."

So controversial is the tone of his series, that trailers for it were not broadcast last weekend because of the killing of Kenneth Bigley. At the BBC, Curtis freely admits, there are "anxieties". But there is also enthusiasm for the programmes, in part thanks to his reputation. Over the past dozen years, via similarly ambitious documentary series such as Pandora's Box, The Mayfair Set and The Century of the Self, Curtis has established himself as perhaps the most acclaimed maker of serious television programmes in Britain. His trademarks are long research, the revelatory use of archive footage, telling interviews, and smooth, insistent voiceovers concerned with the unnoticed deeper currents of recent history, narrated by Curtis himself in tones that combine traditional BBC authority with something more modern and sceptical: "I want to try to make people look at things they think they know about in a new way."

The Power of Nightmares seeks to overturn much of what is widely believed about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. The latter, it argues, is not an organised international network. It does not have members or a leader. It does not have "sleeper cells". It does not have an overall strategy. In fact, it barely exists at all, except as an idea about cleansing a corrupt world through religious violence.

Curtis' evidence for these assertions is not easily dismissed. He tells the story of Islamism, or the desire to establish Islam as an unbreakable political framework, as half a century of mostly failed, short-lived revolutions and spectacular but politically ineffective terrorism. Curtis points out that al-Qaida did not even have a name until early 2001, when the American government decided to prosecute Bin Laden in his absence and had to use anti-Mafia laws that required the existence of a named criminal organisation.

Curtis also cites the Home Office's own statistics for arrests and convictions of suspected terrorists since September 11 2001. Of the 664 people detained up to the end of last month, only 17 have been found guilty. Of these, the majority were Irish Republicans, Sikh militants or members of other groups with no connection to Islamist terrorism. Nobody has been convicted who is a proven member of al-Qaida.

In fact, Curtis is not alone in wondering about all this. Quietly but increasingly, other observers of the war on terror have been having similar doubts. "The grand concept of the war has not succeeded," says Jonathan Eyal, director of the British military thinktank the Royal United Services Institute. "In purely military terms, it has been an inconclusive war ... a rather haphazard operation. Al-Qaida managed the most spectacular attack, but clearly it is also being sustained by the way that we rather cavalierly stick the name al-Qaida on Iraq, Indonesia, the Philippines. There is a long tradition that if you divert all your resources to a threat, then you exaggerate it."

Bill Durodie, director of the international centre for security analysis at King's College London, says: "The reality [of the al-Qaida threat to the west] has been essentially a one-off. There has been one incident in the developed world since 9/11 [the Madrid bombings]. There's no real evidence that all these groups are connected." Crispin Black, a senior government intelligence analyst until 2002, is more cautious but admits the terrorist threat presented by politicians and the media is "out of date and too one-dimensional. We think there is a bit of a gulf between the terrorists' ambition and their ability to pull it off."

Terrorism, by definition, depends on an element of bluff. Yet ever since terrorists in the modern sense of the term (the word terrorism was actually coined to describe the strategy of a government, the authoritarian French revolutionary regime of the 1790s) began to assassinate politicians and then members of the public during the 19th century, states have habitually overreacted. Adam Roberts, professor of international relations at Oxford, says that governments often believe struggles with terrorists "to be of absolute cosmic significance", and that therefore "anything goes" when it comes to winning. The historian Linda Colley adds: "States and their rulers expect to monopolise violence, and that is why they react so virulently to terrorism."

Britain may also be particularly sensitive to foreign infiltrators, fifth columnists and related menaces. In spite, or perhaps because of, the absence of an actual invasion for many centuries, British history is marked by frequent panics about the arrival of Spanish raiding parties, French revolutionary agitators, anarchists, bolsheviks and Irish terrorists. "These kind of panics rarely happen without some sort of cause," says Colley. "But politicians make the most of them."

They are not the only ones who find opportunities. "Almost no one questions this myth about al-Qaida because so many people have got an interest in keeping it alive," says Curtis. He cites the suspiciously circular relationship between the security services and much of the media since September 2001: the way in which official briefings about terrorism, often unverified or unverifiable by journalists, have become dramatic press stories which - in a jittery media-driven democracy - have prompted further briefings and further stories. Few of these ominous announcements are retracted if they turn out to be baseless: "There is no fact-checking about al-Qaida."

In one sense, of course, Curtis himself is part of the al-Qaida industry. The Power of Nightmares began as an investigation of something else, the rise of modern American conservatism. Curtis was interested in Leo Strauss, a political philosopher at the university of Chicago in the 50s who rejected the liberalism of postwar America as amoral and who thought that the country could be rescued by a revived belief in America's unique role to battle evil in the world. Strauss's certainty and his emphasis on the use of grand myths as a higher form of political propaganda created a group of influential disciples such as Paul Wolfowitz, now the US deputy defence secretary. They came to prominence by talking up the Russian threat during the cold war and have applied a similar strategy in the war on terror. [there was never a Russian 'threat', except to the liberties of the American people. The Bolsheviks were ZIONIST JEWS or ZIONIST JEW relatives, just like Wolfowitz and ilk. They were Zionist talking to Zionist... The Russian revolution against the Zars was planned, financed and directed by the Western bankers in NY and Europe... a real bad, sick, criminal, traitorous joke on the American people/taxpayer. Ask the infamous Rockefellers, Warburgs, etc., they know better than most.]

As Curtis traced the rise of the "Straussians", he came to a conclusion that would form the basis for The Power of Nightmares. Straussian conservatism had a previously unsuspected amount in common with Islamism: from origins in the 50s, to a formative belief that liberalism was the enemy, to an actual period of Islamist-Straussian collaboration against the Soviet Union during the war in Afghanistan in the 80s (both movements have proved adept at finding new foes to keep them going). Although the Islamists and the Straussians have fallen out since then, as the attacks on America in 2001 graphically demonstrated [excuse me????], they are in another way, Curtis concludes, collaborating still: in sustaining the "fantasy" of the war on terror.

Some may find all this difficult to swallow. But Curtis insists,"There is no way that I'm trying to be controversial just for the sake of it." Neither is he trying to be an anti-conservative polemicist like Michael Moore: "[Moore's] purpose is avowedly political. My hope is that you won't be able to tell what my politics are." For all the dizzying ideas and visual jolts and black jokes in his programmes, Curtis describes his intentions in sober, civic-minded terms. "If you go back into history and plod through it, the myth falls away. You see that these aren't terrifying new monsters. It's drawing the poison of the fear."

But whatever the reception of the series, this fear could be around for a while. It took the British government decades to dismantle the draconian laws it passed against French revolutionary infiltrators; the cold war was sustained for almost half a century without Russia invading the west, or even conclusive evidence that it ever intended to. "The archives have been opened," says the cold war historian David Caute, "but they don't bring evidence to bear on this." And the danger from Islamist terrorists, whatever its scale, is concrete. [what about the Zionist conspiracy??] A sceptical observer of the war on terrorin in the British security services says: "All they need is a big bomb every 18 months to keep this going."

The war on terror already has a hold on western political culture. "After a 300-year debate between freedom of the individual and protection of society, the protection of society seems to be the only priority," says Eyal. Black agrees: "We are probably moving to a point in the UK where national security becomes the electoral question."

Some critics of this situation see our striking susceptibility during the
90s to other anxieties - the millennium bug, MMR, genetically modified food - as a sort of dress rehearsal for the war on terror. The press became accustomed to publishing scare stories and not retracting them; politicians became accustomed to responding to supposed threats rather than questioning them; the public became accustomed to the idea that some sort of apocalypse might be just around the corner. "Insecurity is the key driving concept of our times," says Durodie. "Politicians have packaged themselves as risk managers. There is also a demand from below for protection." The real reason for this insecurity, he argues, is the decay of the 20th century's political belief systems and social structures: people have been left "disconnected" and "fearful".

Yet the notion that "security politics" is the perfect instrument for every ambitious politician from Blunkett to Wolfowitz also has its weaknesses. The fears of the public, in Britain at least, are actually quite erratic: when the opinion pollsters Mori asked people what they felt was the most important political issue, the figure for "defence and foreign affairs" leapt from 2% to 60% after the attacks of September 2001, yet by January 2002 had fallen back almost to its earlier level. And then there are the twin risks that the terrors politicians warn of will either not materialise or will materialise all too brutally, and in both cases the politicians will be blamed. "This is a very rickety platform from which to build up a political career," says Eyal. He sees the war on terror as a hurried improvisation rather than some grand Straussian strategy: "In democracies, in order to galvanize the public for war, you have to make the enemy bigger, uglier and more menacing."

Afterwards, I look at a website for a well-connected American foreign policy lobbying group called the Committee on the Present Danger. The committee features in The Power of Nightmares as a vehicle for alarmist Straussian propaganda during the cold war. After the Soviet collapse, as the website puts it, "The mission of the committee was considered complete." But then the website goes on: "Today radical Islamists threaten the safety of the American people. Like the cold war, securing our freedom is a long-term struggle. The road to victory begins ... " [BS!]

- The Power of Nightmares starts on BBC2 at 9pm on Wednesday October 20.


See also:

(...) In Crossing the Rubicon you will read an excruciatingly detailed account of how Wall Street (yes, the biggest banks) are knowingly laundering a trillion dollars a year in dirty drug money for the CIA. Since the mid-70s to date, Congress has turned a blind eye while feeding the American people dung about "the war on drugs," while allowing the CIA to flood this country with them. It is beyond an outrage, it's outright criminal and no one in the U.S. government seems to care - especially Congress whose responsibility it is to rein in this kind of flagrant lawlessness. Crossing the Rubicon isn't just about the terror attacks that day. Ruppert masterfully presents the genesis of September 11th and moves the reader through the early years regarding high expectations for massive oil sources, exposing what's known as "peak oil" production and into the future. Most Americans are oblivious to what oil really means to the world. They only equate "Bush went to Iraq for oil" as it relates to an increase at the pump. They are woefully ignorant about oil, why it's called "black gold" and why the industrial world can't live without it. Many wonder why the White House fought all the way to the Supreme Court to keep Dick Cheney's energy policy meetings secret from the American people. That truth is revealed in stark clarity in Crossing the Rubicon. CLIP


Forwarded by Joey> on 17 Oct 2004


A Republican Declares His Independence

By Robert L. Black -- The Cincinnati Enquirer

13 October 2004

When in the course of a lifetime, it becomes necessary for a born Republican to refuse to support the re-election of the party's incumbent president, to exercise his discretion, and in all good conscience, to vote for an opponent (even a Democrat), a decent respect to the opinions of his fellows requires that he declare the causes that impel him to switch.

I am grateful to the Republican Party for the support it gave me on each of three elections as judge. I respect many of the party leaders in Ohio. Nevertheless, my loyalty to the pa! rty must give way to my love of this country. I consider it a patriotic duty to speak up when the future of our democracy is at stake.

It is self-evident that everyone has certain unalienable rights endowed by the Creator, and that among these are the right to his/her own conscience and the right to pursue his/her sense of justice. Whenever in the field of politics the party to which he has belonged, and that party's president, become destructive of his vision of what is not only right and fair but also good for our future, it is his duty to call the tune as he hears it. When that future is endangered by the present policies of the administration, it is time to act. The record of this incumbent president is a history not only of repeated violations of the key principles underlying our democracy, but of the core values of the Christian faith to which he claims commitment. Let his actions be stated candidly.

He has taken us into a pre-emptive war, misleading the country ! by alleging without qualification that there was an immediate threat to our safety. No weapons of mass destruction have been found despite the president's unconditional declarations that he had to pre-empt Saddam Hussein's use of weapons of mass destruction.

He engaged in this war without any workable plan to win the peace. While the ultimate outcome of this adventure is unknown, the loss of human life and the imposition of human suffering weigh heavily against us.

The effect of this adventure is to solidify the deadly opposition of radical Muslim extremists, who are currently leading of the Muslim world. He has exacerbated a dangerous confrontation, a conflict of religious dimensions.

The result of the arrogant way the war was handled is that the president has alienated our long-established allies: and it will take decades to re-establish friendly working relations with these other powers.

He acted unilaterally in pulling the nation from internatio! nal treaties designed to move toward a more livable and a more just world, such as the Kyoto Treaty and the treaty creating the World Court of Law.

At the same time, he has cut the taxes owed by the richest 1 percent or 2 percent of the population, giving meaningless decreases for all the rest, and with no resulting benefit to the job market or the economy. He has presided over the largest loss of jobs since the Great Depression.

He has appointed or sought to appoint to the federal judiciary persons who hold extreme right-wing views, views that are driven by political bias and that ignore established legal precedent. (He threatens to appoint such a person to the Supreme Court.)

He has ignored or denied widely accepted scientific findings. For example, with respect to stem cell research, captured by a religious minority, he limited this research to a degree that radically restricts research leading to benefits for hundreds of thousands of persons subject to ! major disabilities and early death.

He has re-emphasized abortion as a political issue, when it is a purely personal decision for the woman.

He has allowed an increase in the number and type of media organizations any one company can acquire, thus permitting a further concentration of power over the news.

He has again and again reversed the regulations and policies designed to protect the environment, always adopting a policy that favors those manufacturers and industrialists whose actions have clearly fouled the air and water. He pushes for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and throughout northern Alaska. He is allowing the logging of our national parks. He ignores scientific findings that the world is being subjected to a warming climate change that is man-made and that could otherwise be forestalled or radically slowed down.

He has adopted or proposed regulations that endanger the safety of persons, when a Republican two-house legislat! ure will not act in his favor. His regulations would prevent the release to the public of car safety information, such as warranty claims, consumer complaints and individual rights on safety issues; he would relax the rule on allowable coal dust in mines; he would eliminate the rule requiring employers to keep records of employees' ergonomics injuries; he has cut 77 personnel from the staff of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; he has raised the allowable mercury content in the air.

I am, as American citizens ought to be, free to express my deeply held convictions, derived from my conscience and sense of justice, and to vote for candidates who in my opinion will act in the best interests of the country. In this, as in other life actions, my prayer is I am in line with the will of God.


Robert L. Black is a retired judge of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court and the Ohio First District Court of Appeals.
Care, Speak, Vote



Ex-Security Adviser Rips Bush Diplomacy

Oct 17

WASHINGTON - The national security adviser under the first President Bush says the current president acted contemptuously toward NATO and Europe after Sept. 11 and is trying to cooperate now out of desperation to "rescue a failing venture" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brent Scowcroft, a mentor to the current national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, also said in an interview published in England that Bush is inordinately influenced by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "Sharon just has him wrapped around his little finger," Scowcroft told London's Financial Times. "I think the president is mesmerized."

Scowcroft said the Bush administration's "unilateralist" position was partly responsible for the post-Sept. 11, 2001, decline of the trans-Atlantic relationship. "It's in general bad," he said. "It's not really hostile, but there's an edge to it." Early on, he said, "We had gotten contemptuous of Europeans and their weaknesses. We had really turned unilateral."

Although slightly diminished since then, the unilateralist policies remain fundamentally little changed, Scowcroft said. Recent overtures to cooperate in Afghanistan and Iraq with the United Nations and NATO were "as much an act of desperation as anything else ... to rescue a failing venture."

On Israel and Sharon, the former security adviser said Sharon calls Bush after strongly retaliating for a Palestinian suicide attack and says: "`I'm on the front line of terrorism,' and the president says, `Yes, you are.'" Scowcroft said Sharon "has been nothing but trouble."



Has Bush Lost His Reason?

By Andrew Stephen -- The Observer U.K.

17 October 2004

The President's apparent mental fragility should give US voters pause for thought at the ballot box.

It will, we are confidently told, be the most important American election for generations. In the words last week of Dick Cheney, the voice of what passes for gravitas in the Bush Administration, Americans will have to make 'about as serious a decision as anybody is ever asked to make' when they go to the polls in 17 days' time.

The prophets of doom, whom Cheney exemplifies, are precisely right about the importance of this election. But the momentous decision awaiting Americans is not whether they return to power a President who is uniquely qualified to protect the US against terrorism, as Cheney et al would have us believe. It is whether they re-elect a man who, it is now clear, has become palpably unstable.

The evidence has been before our eyes for some time, but only during the course of this election campaign has it crystallised - just in time, possibly, for the 2 November election. The 43rd US President has always had a much-publicised knack for mangled syntax, but now George Bush often searches an agonisingly long time, sometimes in vain, for the right words. His mind simply blanks out at crucial times. He is prone, I am told, to foul-mouthed temper tantrums in the White House. His handlers now rarely allow him to speak an unscripted word in public.

Indeed, there are now several confusing faces to the US President, and we saw three of them in the live, televised Presidential debates with John Kerry that culminated last Wednesday night in Tempe, Arizona. In the first debate on 30 September, watched by more than 62 million viewers, we saw Bush at his most unattractive: slouching, peevish, pouting, pursing his lips with disdain at what his opponent was saying. But he was unable to marshal any coherent arguments against Kerry and merely spewed out prepared talking points - in what, even his ardent supporters concede, was Bush's worst-ever such performance.

In the second debate on 8 October in St Louis, Bush could not stay on his stool and leapt up to dispense what were - certainly in contrast to Kerry's cogent recital of statistics and arguments - frequently defensive, shouting rants. I assume that he was told by his handlers not to show displeasure at Kerry's words this time around, but, instead, he revealed his anger by blinking repeatedly.

The moderator tried to stop him talking at one point (both campaign organisations had agreed the order in which the candidates could speak, with time limits imposed on both), but Bush insisted on riding roughshod over the briefly protesting moderator, Charles Gibson. (What, I wonder, would have happened if Gibson had kept to the rules and insisted that Bush stop talking? We will never know.)

By the time of the third debate on 13 October, this one witnessed by more than 50 million people, Bush had adopted yet another baffling persona. This time, he was peculiarly flushed, leading a colleague to speculate whether he was on something. He had clearly been told to look positive - that was his main thrust of the evening, with frequent assertions that 'freedom is on the march' - and spent the evening with a creepy, inane grin on his face, as though he was red-faced after a festive Christmas dinner.

So what is up with the US President, and why is this election so crucial not only for America but for the world? I have been examining videos of his first 1994 debate with Ann Richards, the Governor of Texas, who he was about to supplant, and of his 2000 debates with Al Gore. In his one and only debate with Richards a decade ago, Bush was fluent and disciplined; with Gore, he had lost some of that polish but was still articulate, with frequent invocations of his supposed 'compassionate conservatism'.

It is thus hard to avoid the conclusion that Bush's cognitive functioning is not, for some reason, what it once was. I am not qualified to say why this is so. It would not be surprising if he was under enormous stress, particularly after the 9/11 atrocities in 2001, and I gather this could explain much, if not everything.

But I have heard wild speculation in Washington that he is suffering from a neurological disorder, or that the years of alcoholism might finally be taking their toll on his brain.

I think it unlikely that Bush was wearing a bug so that he could be fed lines in at least one of the debates, but it is indicative of how his capabilities are regarded these days that the suggestion that he needed advice is given credence, as well as passing mentions in the powerful Washington Post and New York Times .

It does not help that Bush now lives in a positively Nixonian cocoon. He does not read newspapers; he sees television only to watch football; he makes election speeches exclusively at ticket-only events, and his courtiers consciously avoid giving him bad news. When he met John Kerry for their first bout on the debating platform, it was almost a new experience for the President to hear the voice of dissent.

A senior Republican, experienced and wise in the ways of Washington, told me last Friday that he does not necessarily accept that Bush is unstable, but what is clear, he added, is that he is now manifestly unfit to be President.

This, too, is a view that is widely felt, but seldom articulated and then only in private, within the Republican as well as Democratic establishments in Washington. Either way, the choice voters make on Tuesday fortnight should be obvious: whether he is unstable or merely unfit to be President - and I would argue that they amount to much the same - he should speedily be turfed out of office.

But Bush and his handlers like Cheney are driven, if nothing else, by a primal and overriding need to win, to destroy enemies who are blocking their way (shades, again, of Nixon?). Thus the speeches Bush now reads to the Republican faithful at his campaign meetings reflect their intent to demonise and annihilate Kerry's character in the eyes of the electorate; policy statements made by Kerry are wilfully distorted and then endlessly repeated so that, in the end, the distortions gain a credence among the majority who do not follow such matters closely.

Whether the American electorate choose to see the mounting, disturbing evidence about their President or whether they rally to Cheney's obscenely manipulative appeals for their patriotic support is still up in the air.

Kerry is a poor candidate who has only recently woken to the need to fight. Bush manages to maintain a peculiarly American, ordinary bloke image - mystifyingly so, given that he is the privileged product of Andover, Yale and Harvard - that still contrasts well, in the eyes of many Americans, with Kerry's patrician manner.

The polls taken since Wednesday night's debate are infuriatingly contradictory, too. The only consoling thought is that soon we should know the result of that very serious decision the American people have to make on polling day. There are not many occasions when I agree with anything that Dick Cheney says, but this is one of the rare moments when I concur totally with those chilling words.


Date: 16 Oct 2004
From: Christopher Rudy>
Subject: MUST READ: Preview of the Bush Campaign's Media Endgame


Preview of the Bush Campaign's Media Endgame

By Norman Solomon

With the presidential debates now behind us, the struggle for the White House will tilt even more toward decentralized media battles for electoral votes. Between now and Election Day, vast resources will go toward spinning local news coverage in swing states while launching carefully targeted commercials on radio and television.

For the Bush campaign and its allies, the media endgame will include these components:

* Smearing John Kerry

For months already, paid advertisements and interviews with pro-Bush operatives have portrayed Kerry as a betrayer of American troops in Vietnam. President Bush gained a temporary lead in the polls thanks largely to deceptive commercials aimed at discrediting Kerry's bravery under fire. Next came a fierce propaganda assault on the most laudable actions of Kerry's life -- his antiwar efforts as a Vietnam veteran.

In 1971, Kerry gained national prominence as an eloquent leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War because he expressed the thoughts and feelings of so many veterans. Today, the media attacks on his activism are efforts to sway voters by rewriting history, as though the Vietnam War amounted to some kind of noble undertaking instead of the illegal and immoral crime against humanity that it was.

The TV chain that owns more stations than any other firm in the country, the Republican-allied Sinclair Broadcast Group, has ordered its stations to preempt usual programming to air a 42-minute film, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," in late October. The movie is devoted to bashing Kerry for his antiwar activism. Conveniently, more than a dozen of Sinclair's stations are in pivotal swing states -- Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Especially in battleground states, such defamation of Kerry is likely to intensify until the last votes are cast on Nov. 2.

* Exploiting anti-gay prejudices

It has become a media truism that ballot measures against gay marriage in some states will boost the turnout of Bush voters. The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign has winked and nodded at virulent anti-gay bigotry on the ground.

It's part of a dual-track strategy: While the Republican ticket avoids overt anti-gay comments, and Dick Cheney uses high-profile media venues to express personal support for his lesbian daughter, the GOP campaign is avidly working to gain votes by capitalizing on anti-gay prejudice.

* Inverting realities of class warfare

All four men on the major-party tickets are rich. But the positions taken -- and constituencies represented -- by Bush-Cheney and Kerry-Edwards aren't the same. Typically, Bush has denounced the Democrats' call to raise taxes for Americans earning more than $200,000 a year.

To obscure their own ultra-elite loyalties, Bush and Cheney will keep trying to portray Kerry and Edwards as tools of wealthy trial lawyers and Hollywood snobs. In reality, however, as reflected by the delegates to the Republican and Democratic national conventions, the base of the GOP is far more wealthy, corporate and non-union.

* Making use of Ralph Nader's 2004 campaign

In a little-noticed GOP maneuver during the last days of the 2000 campaign, Republican forces poured money into commercials boosting Nader in some battleground states. This time, we can expect pro-Bush forces to do the same -- but on a much larger scale.

"In a pre-election twist," the Associated Press reported on Oct. 27, 2000, "Republicans are buying TV ads featuring Ralph Nader in states where votes for the Green Party candidate might tip the outcome to George W. Bush. ... Republicans hope the commercials will help Bush by persuading would-be Gore voters to back Nader instead." A Republican group targeted three closely contested states in 2000 -- Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin -- with ads that featured film clips of Nader attacking Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee. AP reported that the Republican Leadership Council earmarked at least $100,000 for those commercials, airing just days before the election.

The official Bush campaign of 2000 was glad to leave such Nader advertising endeavors to unofficial Republican allies. The Associated Press reported four years ago (on Nov. 4) that the Republican Leadership Council "ran ads last week to help GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush. The ads were designed to induce Democrats to defect to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader." The executive director of the Republican Leadership Council, Mark Miller, said: "I don't think he (Bush) could have gotten away with it the way we did."

This year, Nader wasn't able to get an endorsement from the Green Party. But he'll be on the ballot in most states -- including most swing states. And it would be surprising if Republicans don't flood the airwaves in many of those states with commercials featuring Nader in the final days of this election campaign.


Norman Solomon is co-author, with Reese Erlich, of "Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You." His columns and other writings can be found at


Forwarded by Star Light>

I am reading "Crimes Against Nature" by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and I have to admit that I am finding it difficult to read because of my anger. It was the same thing with "Trance-formation"

Kennedy is in a position to know. His father, Bobby and his uncle, JFK were assassinated. Robert Jr. has worked for preserving our environment and now his book tells what has happened to our resources and our country. The power-brokers have seduced America and their crowning achievement has been to place Bush and Cheney in office illegally. Money buys cooperation. This book is a MUST read for anyone who really cares about our country and our environment.

The news media apparently has been bought off by the power-brokers and the American public has been duped over the years. If you care at all about your country, the resources, your family, children, grandchildren, please DO NOT vote for Bush/Cheney. If you do, you will be as guilty as they are. If you don't believe me, read "Crimes Against Nature". As Governor, Bush destroyed the environment in Texas and he has just about done it in the U.S.

Look at the number of cars in the hospital, outpatient, medical clinics parking lots all over the country. Our people are getting sicker instead of healthier. It isn't just Iraq or 9/11 - its about a quality of life that is being polluted and poiisoned.

Also read the reply I received below re the vets.



From: Bruce Smith>
Bettye Johnson>
Sent: October 17, 2004
Subject: Re: Vets Come Home to Poverty

Blowing off disabled vets is normal for the military and the VA. General Hagenbeck is lying. Or is totally stupid, or was given his rank and office to smokescreen the real activities of the VA. Visit any VA hospital and you'll see DAV offices integrated into the system.  The DAV, Disabled American Veterans, is a private organization outside the formal bureaucracy of thte VA and military, but because of the government's unwillingness to supply appropriate treatment for vets, the DAV is not only alive and well, it has offices in most VA hospitals- watching out to make sure the hospitals do their job.

An organization like the DAV is necessary because abuses and neglect have been so rampant and for so long- check the archives of Life magazine at he beginning of the Vietnam war and what was happening at the Bronx VA, or read Born on the Fourth of July, and you'll see the same stories as the ones you just emailed. Just the names and dates change. 2004, or 1964. Same difference, or should I say indifference.

Any soldier bitching about his condition is a smuck for not reading the above books and magazines before he enlisted. Any soldier who enlists during a Republican administration is a fool. A soldier who doesn't realize he serves a the whim of politicians is naive.

Nor reads the papers: Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, all denied and untreated for years by the VA, etc., etc......

59,000 men and women died in Vietnam, but even my bosses at mental health in the VA admitted to me that the official VA assessment was 250,000 Vietnam vets killed themselves after they came home. And that doesn't even begin to count the number of killed, tortured, and abused spouse and kids from returning vets who freaked out when they come home. Fort Lewis already has had a few murdered wives from guys coming back freaked.

Wanna serve your country dudes? Spend a little time on a back ward in a VA hospital. Do some good where it'll really count.

Keep telling the world Bettye.

Bruce A. Smith
GS-9 Therapist, Psychiatry
Northport Veterans Medical Center, Northport, NY 1980-1982

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

Make sure to check:

Injured Iraq Vets Come Home to Poverty (October 18, 2004)
Injured Soldiers Returning from Iraq Struggle for Medical Benefits, Financial Survival



Wake Up America!

By Jacques Julliard - Le Nouvel Observateur

18 October 2004

George W. Bush is now naked, but most Americans don't see it: an invisible film separates them from reality.

The United States today has a problem with reality. That is the dominant impression I bring back from a three week trip across the country. It's as though a thin membrane, an invisible film, comes between reality and a portion of the citizenry, making communication impossible. The facts have not disappeared because the film is transparent, but they have stopped exercising an influence on people's judgment. There's not an obfuscation of the truth; it's worse than that: there's an immunization to it. The Iraqi affair is exemplary. Today, apart from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, no one seriously contests the scope of the disaster, the growing isolation of the United States, the impossibility of an honorable withdrawal.

No one any longer denies the lack of preparation for an undertaking that nonetheless had been planned long in advance, the blind trust placed in an international crook wanted in several countries, Ahmed Chalabi, and then in former CIA agent Iyad Allawi. No one dares anymore to evoke the democratic contagion that was supposed to win over the whole region in the wake of the American offensive, still less, after Abu Ghraib, the humanitarian Messianism that was supposed to permeate the whole undertaking.

George W. Bush is naked. His three debates with John Kerry succeeded in undressing him. And yet, he is proof against reality. With the record I have just outlined, the polls continue to see him as the man best placed to finish off the Iraqi affair and protect the United States. The protection of the United States is the major theme of the campaign and demonstration of power the sovereign remedy. Is this war a disaster? Undoubtedly, but it has the merit of keeping the theatre of operations far from the United States...

Last week's publication of Chief American Inspector in Iraq Charles A. Duelfer's report threw a harsh light on this feeling of unreality that has invaded America.

The report shows that Saddam Hussein, hoping to escape from sanctions, had dismantled his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction right after 1991. Consequently, the sanctions were effective and the inspectors had been correct. Yes, but, Bush retorts, Saddam had undoubtedly not given up his intention of rebuilding such an arsenal, so we had to act quickly! It's in the name of reasoning like this that the outgoing president bold-facedly maintains the good grounds for his policy without suffering any loss in public opinion.

It's to describe just such a situation that "The New York Times" brilliant chronicler Paul Krugman recently (Oct. 10, 2004) evoked the Orwellian concept of "reality control". Reality is no longer a given that everyone must accept as a precondition to any analysis. It's one parameter among many for political action, a matter for appropriate treatment. In the same way, Krugman continues, Bush and his administration have succeeded in convincing a portion of the public that reducing taxes on the richest (about 1% of the population, according to Kerry) is in fact a populist measure designed to help small businesses and the middle class.

Thus, the introduction of methods that properly belong to totalitarian propaganda as described by Hannah Arendt into the heart of a democratic country is a great novelty here. It allows us to explain how a people viscerally attached to their freedoms remain numb overall to the Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib scandals, or to the police encroachments permitted by the "Patriot Act". Let us be neither Pharisees nor amnesiacs at the heart of another democratic country: France experienced a similar situation during the war with Algeria.

The failures of the American press and media during the Iraq war bear a large responsibility for this persistent bewitchment of a part of American public opinion, indifferent to the lessons of reality.

The "New York Review of Books", which has had an exemplary attitude during the whole period, recently published a collection entitled "Now They Tell Us" of articles by Michael Massing on the attitude of the best American newspapers during the war in Iraq. Thus it was that the "Washington Post" (which has corrected itself since) on the day after Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations Security Council (February 5, 2003) - during which the whole world saw a hodgepodge of baloney - could title its editorial "Irrefutable!" Beyond any doubt, Thomas Jefferson's aphorism remains entirely timely: "If I had to choose between a government without newspapers and newspapers without a government, I would choose the latter without hesitation."


Jacques Julliard is Executive Director of the Nouvel Observateur

Translation: t r u t h o u t French language correspondent Leslie Thatcher.



From: "Fred Burks">
Date: 18 Oct 2004
Subject: Inspiration

Dear friends,

I found the following piece by Clarissa Pinkola Estes to be extremely inspiring. It resonates deep in my soul. We are here to help lead the way through these difficult times. May these words help to inspire us to do what we are here to do. I thank each and every one of you for being here and for doing all that you are to make this world a better place. Please help to spread this inspiring message by forwarding it to those you think might appreciate it. May you have a rich and meaningful day and week ahead.

With much love and many warm wishes,



from: these_time_041503.htm


by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement...

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind... Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency too to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?...

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take "everyone on Earth" to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

This comes with much love and a prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D
Author of the best seller Women Who Run with the Wolves


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