August 26, 2005

The Big Scoop Series #6: OIL - The Global Addiction Killing Our Planet

Hello everyone!

I know it is perfectly crazy on my part - and bad for my health working at it once again late in the night! - to try to fit in as much as possible of all the material that streamed my way since I sent you my last compilation over a week ago, but as usual I feel compelled to keep you all abreast of the latest developments in the saga of our nearly terminally mad "civilization" - now certainly in GREAT need of a great sweeping cleanup in its corrupted leadership and misguided military, economic, environmental and social policies.

Hopefully some of this material will assist some of you in your own self-appointed mission in this pivotal time of Earth's history.

As for the title of this compilation, it seems to fit quite well with a number of the articles I selected for your review below. See for yourself!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

P.S. A new Meditation Focus will be issued over the weekend as part of a new special 20 week series that will bring is in 2006 with a renewed focus on All That We Are.

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STATS for this compilation: Over 23,700 words and 117 links provided

NOTE: There is so much material - 69 pages! - in this compilation that I've had to annex an additional 83 pages of material on the depleted uranium issue in a separate webpage - you'll find how to access it in the item #9 below

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"Both sorrow and joy are constantly rapping at the door to encourage and arouse man to awaken spiritually. He is then very often freed for a few seconds from the trivialities of everyday life, and in the happiness or grief vaguely senses his affinity with the spirit pulsating through all that lives..."

- Abdruschin

"The new times that are coming will place more importance than in the past on community, family, and connections with loved ones. You may find yourself wanting to network and connect with others of like mind, for much will be accomplished by people working together. Humanity is becoming more inclusive and group orientated. You have already witnessed the beginnings of humanity‚s working together telepathically to create change in your global peace meditations. This collective effort by millions has already had a profound influence on the spiritual awakening of many people and is accelerating the spiritual transformation of humanity."

- Orin through Sanaya Roman - From the book, Spiritual Growth: Being Your Higher Self) -
Sent by "Steve Marsden"> who wrote: “I found this quote that is applicable to your excellent work organizing the global meditation groups. It never dawned on me that this kind of global meditation was helping to bring about the telepathic connection of the collective consciousness of humanity.”

"The world is not, in fact, ruled by global corporations. It is ruled by the global financial system."

- David Korten

"Nowhere is the potential impact of renewed war more threatening than in the camps of refugees -- the 4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), driven from their homes during the North-South civil war, several hundred thousand encamped at the fringes of Khartoum as squatters or crowded into sprawling ghetto neighborhoods. Further west, in Darfur and Chad, another 2.5 million IDPs live in the precarious limbo of makeshift camps, in shelters cobbled together from plastic and sticks -- prevented by the Janjaweed from returning to their villages, wholly dependent on outside aid. In short, Sudan embodies a collision between a failed state and a failed energy policy. Increasingly, ours is a planet whose human population is devoted to extracting what it can, regardless of the human and environmental cost. The Bush energy policy, crafted by oil companies, is predicated on a far different future from the one any sane person would want his or her children to inherit -- a desolate world that few Americans, cocooned by the media's silence, are willing to imagine."

- David Morse - Taken from "War of the Future: Oil Drives the Genocide in Darfur" below.

"We, the people of planet Earth, In recognition of the interconnectedness of all life And the importance of the balance of nature, Hereby acknowledge our interdependence And affirm our dedication To life-serving environmental stewardship, The fulfillment of universal human needs worldwide, Economic and social well-being, And a culture of peace and nonviolence, To insure a sustainable and harmonious world For present and future generations."

Go sign this pledge at

Worthy of Your Attention

Detailed photos of the intricate Marden formation's central circle (STUNNING!)

Newest Celestial Glyphs (ALL UTTERLY ASTOUNDING!)

AWESOME pictures taken with the new Spitzer IR telescope in the infrared

Call for Solidarity with the Prisoners at Guantanamo
An international coalition is calling for a protest and letter-writing campaign for the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With news emerging of a growing hunger strike by prisoners, the Committee of Solidarity with the Guantanamo Prisoners is organizing an indefinite global hunger fast on their behalf, to commence today, August 4th. All people of good will are invited to participate. Each prisoner “deserves to have the charges against him stated clearly, to have adequate legal counsel, and to have due process in court, with recognition that in U.S. jurisprudence a person is innocent until proven guilty,” states the solidarity committee. Highlighting the use of a fast to support these goals, the committee says, “We support those who are fasting in solidarity with the Guantanamo prisoners, and we would like to suggest to those hunger strikers at Guantanamo that they consider the new fasters their replacements in their struggle. Thus we hope that the Guantanamo prisoners may consider the possibility of ending their fast and saving their lives.”In sharing information about this initiative, the Fellowship of Reconciliation also encourages supporters to sign “
Recommended by Connie Fogal>
Lots of other funny animations at

Great Sheehan Video
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts">

Listen Live! Camp Casey in Crawford - all week, Baez & all

Various noteworthy news

Store Wars: The Organic Rebellion

Worldwide Meditation: Opening the Heart to World Service
October 8, 2005 - 10pm GMT - This is the next step in a series of planetary initiations and energetic accelerations that has been taking place since 1997.

University of Manchester's out-of-body experience survey,39579,en.htm
Participate here:

Inspiring rainbow clip on the importance of joining hands
Recommended by Monica Willard> - United Religions Initiative - who also wants to remind us that September 21 is the International Day of Peace. Details at


1. Matthew Ward's reply to question about dikshas
2. Free 'Peak Oil' presentation made available online
3. The Voice of the White House on US Oil Reserves
4. 'Peak oil' spells cataclysm for U.S., oil theorist warns
5. Why Bush Can't Answer Cindy
6. All US military leave has been cancelled ... something big is in the works!
7. War of the Future: Oil Drives the Genocide in Darfur
8. Alive Today, Desperate Tomorrow
9. Radiation Expert Claims High-Radiation Readings Near Pentagon After 9/11 Indicate Depleted Uranium Used
10. The Terrorist of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
11. Chemtrails Out Of The Closet
12. Urgent Crop Circle Message
13. Wave of Marine Species Extinctions Feared
14. Update on Canada's charges against Bush for torture
15. Hitler's Germany Revisited in Canadian Eavesdropping Law, among others

See also:

White House Aides Claiming Bush Has "Flipped-Out" Over Anti-War Protestors
D.C. News Service reporting Bush has been using obscenities when Cindy Sheehan's name is mentioned. Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue News Service claims staffers telling him they are concerned about Bush's tirades and short temper regarding anyone disagreeing with his policies. White House aides are leaking reports that President Bush has finally “flipped his lid” over anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, screaming obscenities and repeatedly “flipping the bird” at the mention of Sheehan’s name or others disagreeing with his policies. Washington insider Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue news service said aides close to the President are becoming increasingly concerned about his “short temper and tirades,” directed especially at anyone who questions his war policy and his honesty. Concerning Cindy Sheehan, the mother who lost her son in Iraq and has camped out near his Crawford TX ranch for two weeks, Thompson reported that Bush told members of his staff: “I am not meeting again with that goddamned bitch,” Bush supposedly screamed to staffers. “She can go to hell as far as I am concerned.” (...) While Bush travels the country trying to garner support for the war, the grieving mother, who has become the central figure in a growing war protest movement, returned to Crawford Wednesday after leaving the protest site to be by her mother who recently suffered a stroke. Although Bush has refused to meet with Sheehan during his five week ranch vacation, Sheehan said he really means the noble cause for the war is “to line the pockets of his rich friends” profiting from an illegal war started without proper justification. Since arriving in Crawford, Sheehan has been the lightning rod for anti-war protestors across the nation, drawing support from numerous peace groups and others disenchanted with the mounting GI death toll now at more than 1,850. For the final weekend of the war protest, numbers are expected to swell into the tens of thousands as protestors on both sides of the war issue converge on the small Texas town, hoping to get their voices heard. CLIP

BUSH INDICTMENT FIXING/BRIBERY GANG - by Sherman H. Skolnick (8/18/5)
Impeaching a U.S. President and putting him on Impeachment Trial is a rareoccurrence.It happened once in the 19th Century. (...) Many federal judgeships are bought with criminal funds. Most of the judgeships in the Chicago Federal Courthouse were bought/arranged by the GOP, by Reagan/Daddy Bush, with Daddy Bush arranging matters for Hollywood-script-memorizer Ronald Reagan, as well as by or for George W. Bush. So, in the Chicago Federal Courthouse, Judge Mark R. Filip has plenty of corrupt helpers acting as supposed Judges having taken an oath to supposedly support the U.S. Constitution. On orders of George W. Bush, the FBI covered up some of the foregoing details of which they became well aware when investigating Mark R. Filip as a presidential nominee to the Chicago federal court bench. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has a difficult task. He has openly tangled with some of the Chicago federal judges regarding Edgewater Hospital against which there have been claims of healthcare fraud done by the doctors/hospital staff. Some of the federal judges in Chicago have for years a secret financial interest in the hospital which has had plaques on the walls praising crooked Chicago federal Judges. One of those who might have assisted Fitzgerald in secretly dealing with grand jury problems was intimidated to keep hands-off as a result of her husband and mother being murdered. That is the matter of Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, the murders having occurred in February, 2005 and falsely blamed by the FBI on a lone assassin instead of the Russian mafiya which is tight with the Chicago FBI. [See earlier parts of this series.] More coming. Stay tuned.

Coup 2004: Citizens For Legitimate Government's Evidence Of The 2004 Coup d'Etats

Thousands Protest Bush, Iraq War in Salt Lake City
2,000 gathered to protest Bush administration policies and the war in Iraq while three blocks away, Bush spoke to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Protesters Will Follow Bush War Tour
President Bush, trying to counter the message of anti-war vigils outside his ranch and growing public discontent with Iraq, leaves Texas on Monday for the first of two speeches on the war and the September 11 attacks, but more protesters await him.

Anti-War Center in Crawford Aided by Link to Grieving Mother
With only $3 in the bank, things looked pretty grim for the Crawford Peace House two weeks ago. Then came Cindy Sheehan. The grieving California mother's quest to talk to President Bush about the war that claimed her 24-year-old son's life inspired thousands of war opponents. More than $150,000 has been donated to the Crawford Peace House since Sheehan's arrival.

Military Families May Once Again Lead Us out of War
In Vietnam itself, the mostly working-class American military of that era made its opposition to the war increasingly clear as the fighting dragged on. By 1972, the military was in shambles.

Could It Be Bush's Watergate?
Karl Rove's favorite president is Richard Nixon. Thomas Pauken wonders what a twist of fate it would be if Rove were driven from power as Nixon was over what both men would consider trivial matters - the leaking of a CIA employee's name to reporters by Rove in 2004, and the Watergate break-in of the Democratic headquarters at the instigation of Nixon campaign officials in 1972.

Bush: Less Popular Than Nixon During Watergate
An American Research Group poll released today shows that George Bush has dropped to staggering new lows: George W. Bush's overall job approval ratings have dropped from a month ago even as Americans who approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president are turning more optimistic about their personal financial situations according to the latest survey from the American Research Group. Among all Americans, 36% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 58% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 33% approve and 62% disapprove. Among Americans registered to vote, 38% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 56% disapprove, and 36% approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 60% disapprove. For a little perspective, recall that Richard Nixon's approval rating in the summer of 1973 (when the Watergate scandal was in full swing) was 39%. Compared to Bush, that's downright sunny.

Blair Expected to Join Carlyle Group (He will soon be cashing in for his good "services"...)
Tony Blair is expected to join one of the most exclusive groups of businessmen in the world after he leaves Downing Street. The PM is being lined up for a highly lucrative position with the Carlyle Group - an American-based investment giant with strong links to the White House and the defense industry.

Is Blair Off To Join $30 Billion World Elite? (August 24, 2005)
He's Eyeing Up £250K Job With Arms Trade Link Firm [The Carlyle Group]

Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela's president
Watch the video at
Pat Robertson, host of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club and founder of the Christian Coalition of America, called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.From the August 22 broadcast of The 700 Club: ROBERTSON: There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

Oil Fat Cats vs. Hugo Chavez (August 25, 2005)
Last year, Exxon/Mobil, the world's largest corporation, posted the highest profits of any company in history - more than $25 billion. The oil giant, based in Irving, Tex., is on track to shatter that mark this year, with revenues that now approach $1 billion per day. Which brings me to Pat Robertson and Hugo Chavez. (...) Even more scandalous for Big Oil, Chavez is using Venezuela's windfall not to fatten his own country's oligarchy but to benefit the Venezuelan poor and help neighboring countries.Yesterday, while Robertson was issuing his half-baked Chavez clarification, the Venezuelan president was in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where he announced a new oil agreement with that country's prime minister, P.J. Patterson. Under the agreement, Venezuela will supply 22,000 barrels of oil a day to Jamaica for a mere $40 a barrel. That's far lower than the current world price of about $65 a barrel. With the price of gasoline in that destitute nation already more than $3.50 a gallon, the Chavez plan means more than half a million dollars a day in savings for Jamaica on oil imports. Chavez also announced his government will provide $60 million in foreign aid to Jamaica and finance the upgrading of that country's oil refineries. The agreement is part of a broader Chavez plan called Petrocaribe, which he unveiled at a Caribbean summit in Venezuela last June.At that conference, Chavez offered the same kind of deal to the leaders of more than a dozen other neighboring nations, including Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez and Cuba's Fidel Castro.Fernandez jumped at the offer because his government is nearly bankrupt from oil prices. Last year, the Dominican Republic spent $1.2 billion on oil imports; this year, it expects to fork out more than $3 billion. The price of gasoline in Santo Domingo has zoomed past $4 a gallon in recent days. Pat Robertson looks at Chavez and sees a devilish danger. He wants our government to "take him out." Over at the White House, Bush and his aides may use more restrained language, but their goals are not much different.But there's a whole different view down in Latin America, where a half-dozen nations have seen liberal and populist governments swept into office in recent years.Down there, Chavez has become the new miracle man of oil. Unlike Exxon/Mobil and the Big Oil fat cats, who wallow in their record profits while the rest of us pay, Chavez is spreading the wealth around.A dangerous man, indeed.

Is Pat Robertson Out of His Mind or in the Loop? (August 24)
(...) One does pause to wonder if he is not a loose cannon but that the direct line to the White House runs both ways. If in fact Venezuela and Iran are considering an oil embargo against the US, this may not be a random Christian perspective from the baby- faced aw-shucks father figure for the consumers of sign-on-the-dotted-line religion. Could this be a request from the top? Either Mr. Robertson is truly out of his mind or he is "useful," a word that Rumsfeld loves to use. When asked about the comment Rumsfeld referred to Robertson as a "private citizen" and rather than condemn the comment he said, "private citizens say all kinds of things all the time. Next question."

The next World War starts in Iran (08/22/05)
"ICH" -- "We consider that it would be counter-productive and dangerous to use force, the serious consequences of which would be barely predictable." - warning from the Russian Foreign Ministry to the Bush Administration about prospective plans to attack Iran There's only one thing that Americans need to remember when they read about the standoff between the Bush administration and Iran. There is no evidence whatsoever that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. But, don't take my word for it. That is the conclusion of Mohammed El Baradei, the chief of the UN's watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency; the most respected nuclear investigative agency in the world today. After conducting 2 years of the most rigorous "go anywhere, see anything" investigations, the agency gave Iran a clean bill of health. No nukes! Not now, not ever! We should recall that it was the IAEA headed by El Baradei that warned the US that Saddam did not have a nuclear weapons program, and tried to save the Bush administration the embarrassment of attacking an unarmed country. That didn't work. As we know now the intelligence was "fixed" to fit the policy, and the policy was aggression. With that tragedy in mind, we should not allow ourselves to be duped by the propaganda that passes as news in the US. We must continue to remind ourselves over and over again; there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. None, Nada, Zippo! This is not a detail that you should expect to see in the western media. Of the hundreds of articles I've combed through on Iran only 1% to 2% even casually mention this salient fact. The reasons for this are fairly obvious to those who watched the media carefully build the case for war with Iraq based entirely on false information. We don't need to go over that appalling story here. We simply need to recognize that the media to large extent has been successfully "embedded" into the political establishment and operates in the interests of ownership. If the elites who control our "privately" owned media want war, you can bet that there will be a torrent of cleverly-written articles supporting that effort. CLIP

Orwellian Europe: "No" Means "Yes" (August 17, 2005)
"You may have gotten the impression that the European constitution was dead -- that the French had felled it, and the Dutch had pounded a stake through its heart," wrote Daniel Hannan, a Conservative Member of the European Parliament from Great Britain, in the London Telegraph on July 17. "If so, think again. The constitution is being implemented, clause by clause, as if the No votes had not happened." Since the resounding defeat of the Soviet-style European Union constitution at the polls in France and The Netherlands, three minuscule European nations — Cyprus, Malta, and Luxembourg — have ratified the pact. This means that the EU constitution has now been ratified by 13 of 25 European governments, a fact that Eurocrats haughtily depict as reflective of a continental consensus on behalf of the new mega-state. Ratification of the constitution by the three mini-states “is a strong signal that a majority of the member states thinks that the constitution correlates to their expectations,” insists European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. Additionally, notes Hannan, all 25 member governments — that is, ruling elites, rather than populations — have ratified the constitution. The way that the project of European integration has operated, writes Hannan, is this: “first, it extends its jurisdiction into a new area and then, often years later, it authorizes its power-grab in a retrospective treaty.” The ruling ideology of the EU, Hannan explains, “is thought to be too important to be left to the ballot box.”

Army Planning Iraq Force Through 2009

What They Did Last Fall
Two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida's ballots; both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore. Paul Krugman notes this was true despite a host of efforts by state and local officials to suppress likely Gore votes, most notably Ms. Harris's "felon purge," which disenfranchised large numbers of valid voters.

US Senators Say Global Warming Obvious in Far North
After a visit to the Arctic, four US senators said that signs of rising temperatures on Earth are obvious and they called on Congress to act. "If you can go to the Native people and listen to their stories and walk away with any doubt that something's going on, I just think you're not listening," said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Climate Model Links Higher Temperatures to Prehistoric Extinction (August 24, 2005)
BOULDER—Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have created a computer simulation showing Earth's climate in unprecedented detail at the time of the greatest mass extinction in the planet's history. The work gives support to a theory that an abrupt and dramatic rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide triggered the massive die-off 251 million years ago. The research appears in the September issue of Geology. "The results demonstrate how rapidly rising temperatures in the atmosphere can affect ocean circulation, cutting off oxygen to lower depths and extinguishing most life," says NCAR scientist Jeffrey Kiehl, the lead author. CLIP

Sustainability Within A Generation: A New Vision For Canada - by David Suzuki

Starvation in Africa set to rise warning (August 12)
TENS of millions of Africans will continue to go hungry over the next 20 years unless major changes in trade and aid policies are made, a new report warned today. More than 38.3 million children will suffer from malnutrition in 2025 if trends continue, and current policies will do little to improve long-term prospects, the International Food Policy Research Institute has predicted. With millions already suffering from severe food shortages in Niger and Mali, the report said the entire continent needed at least £170 billion in new investments to reduce hunger. It comes a month after the G8 summit in Gleneagles agreed to double aid to poor countries by 2010, adding £50 billion a year. Mark Rosegrant, the lead author of the report said, the extra aid was "beneficial" but did not go far enough. "Improved crop, land and water management must be supported," he said. CLIP

Coral Reef Ecosystems Found To Be in Decline in U.S. Waters (August 19, 2005)
WASHINGTON — Coral reef ecosystems, among the oldest and most diverse forms of life, are declining in U.S. waters because of overfishing, climate change, marine diseases, land-based pollution, storms and grounded ships.Such ecosystems "clearly are beset by a wide array of significant threats," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report Thursday. About three-quarters of all the threats to coral reefs have not changed since the agency's last overview three years ago. Nearly half of those are considered medium to high threats.Only in one place, Guam, did a threat level go from low to high, because of coral bleaching from rising ocean temperatures. Coral reefs provide food and shelter to fish and protect shores from erosion. CLIP

Our Reckless Chemical Dependence
New studies show that the widely used pesticide Roundup (glyphosate) has a real but unknown potential to harm wildlife and human health. Rather than risk disastrous consequences we should change farming practices to organic methods.

Monsanto, the epitomy of evil! Biotech Giant Monsanto Applies For Global Patent On Pigs
Greenpeace researchers have uncovered a patent application from the biotech giant Monsanto which, if granted, would give the company world-wide control over breeding of pigs and their off spring. Greenpeace warns that Monsanto's aggressive patent practices covering genetically modified (GM) crops and normal seeds threaten biodiversity, endanger world food security and ruin the livelihoods of farmers and calls for the patent applications to be withdrawn. To control the breeding of farm animals on top of the crops is just too much for the thinking world to tolerate. Please go into action to prevent it.

Rumsfeld’s disease: A politically-induced biochemical disaster of global proportions
Today Donald Rumsfeld is known throughout the world as the zealous U.S. Secretary of Defense who is waging a global "war on terror" in search of "terrorists" and "weapons of mass destruction." Most people, however, are not aware that Rumsfeld himself unleashed a chemical weapon of mass destruction upon the world in 1981—and it’s still out there destroying people all over the world. That "WMD" is aspartame and it has been scientifically and anecdotally linked to millions of chronic illnesses and deaths. (...) Based upon this almost universally-accepted oversimplification of biochemical reality, aspartame has enjoyed 22 years of marketplace success and is now in an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 commonly-consumed products in at least 100 countries. When Searle was absorbed by Monsanto in 1985, Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus. Not surprisingly, the same adverse reactions seen in lab animals in the 60s and 70s are now being seen in the general population. (...) Because Rumsfeld placed politics above public health and safety, hundreds of millions of people throughout the world cannot think clearly and suffer from a variety of chronic illnesses. It is, therefore, fitting that symptoms associated with aspartame use be known as "Rumsfeld’s disease."

Fetal Skin Cells Found to Be a Promising Treatment for Burns (August 18, 2005) AMAZING!
Using human fetal cells, Swiss scientists have developed a new type of "biological bandage" for severe burns, a treatment that speeds and improves the healing process and may prove effective for other serious skin wounds, according to a preliminary study being published today. But because the bandages are derived from the skin cells of aborted fetuses, the novel therapy is likely to generate controversy in countries like the United States and Italy, which restrict the use of human embryos in scientific research. (...) Because fetal cells grow well in the lab, millions of bandages can be created from one small fetal skin sample, Dr. Hohlfeld said, minimizing if not eliminating ethical concerns. "It is true the origin is a terminated fetus, but one biopsy is enough to treat thousands of patients for years," he said.

Omega-News Collection 20. August 2005


Date: 19 Aug 2005
From: Kim Dyrlund>
Subject: Matthew Ward's reply to question about dikshas

Hi dear Jean :o)

One of my dear friends, Lis, recently asked Suzanne Ward to ask Matthew about the "diksha phenomenon". Because there have been different points of view lately in your newsletters regarding this topic, I felt it might be of interest to more readers. I send his reply with LOVE from Lis and me - keep up the light work :o)

Kim -


From: "Suzanne Ward">
Subject: About Dikshas
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005

"Dear soul Lis, this is Matthew to speak to you about dikshas. Enlightenment IS. It is like love or the sunrise or breathing -- it IS. It is not the province of any one person or group or philosophy to impart to another. There are avenues to becoming enlightened, but it is not a spontaneous bestowing upon one or having it bestowed that is enlightenment UNLESS the parties are in such a state of emotion and belief -- believing is what makes it so! The power of the diksha is love-light energy, not the action of "bestowing" -- people cannot "bestow" what God has freely given to all! If "bestowing" enters into this, it is how you LIVE, dear Lis, that is the spreading of this power."


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">

Free 'Peak Oil' presentation made available online

August 19 2005

PowerSwitch, a group campaigning to raise awareness of the imminence of the terminal decline of the rate of global oil production, have made available for free an online presentation by Dr. Colin Campbell about the phenomenon known as 'Peak Oil'.

By combining slides with the audio file from Campbell’s speech at the Peak Oil UK conference in Edinburgh in April 2005, PowerSwitch have created a Flashmedia file that presents very clearly the causes and consequences of 'Peak Oil'. It starts by looking at exactly how oil is formed then looks at the reality of oil discovery and oil depletion in action before moving on to the devastating consequences. It is an all-encompassing talk.

The presentation lasts 45 minutes. James Howard of PowerSwitch said, "I remember seeing the presentation in Edinburgh and it was excellent. I had to make it available to more people so they can learn more themselves and then help educate other people about the stark nature of what we are facing." PowerSwitch has been working since Autumn 2004 to raise awareness of 'Peak Oil'. They have established a nationwide network of people prepared to speak about the issue and have made posters and DVDs such as 'PEAK OIL – imposed by nature' available too.

"With rising oil prices becoming such a hot issue, people are looking to understand what is causing the increase. Many explanations are offered such as refinery limits, terrorism and increasing demand, but underlying them all is that we really are reaching the limit on how much oil we can globally supply in one day," added James Howard, "and after that point it goes into decline. Economic growth is linked with increasing energy usage so it is quite simple to understand what a terminal decline in the availability of oil will mean. What is not so clear is what we should do about it. I hope this presentation will make people think about it."

To view the presentation in full go to and for further information on "Peak Oil" visit


See also:

Oil: The Breaking Point (August 21, 2005)
In the past several years, the gap between demand and supply, once considerable, has steadily narrowed, and today is almost negligible. The consequences of an actual shortfall of supply would be immense. Will such a situation really come to pass? Maass explains why that answer depends on Saudi Arabia, the sole oil superpower. In the political and corporate realms of the oil world, there are few incentives to be forthright. When a crisis comes - whether in a year or 2 or 10 - it will be all the more painful because we will have done little or nothing to prepare for it. (...) Simmons didn't let up. ''We're going to look back at history and say $55 a barrel was cheap,'' he said, recalling a TV interview in which he predicted that a barrel might hit triple digits. He said that the anchor scoffed, in disbelief, ''A hundred dollars?''Simmons replied, ''I wasn't talking about low triple digits.''he onset of triple-digit prices might seem a blessing for the Saudis -- they would receive greater amounts of money for their increasingly scarce oil. But one popular misunderstanding about the Saudis -- and about OPEC in general -- is that high prices, no matter how high, are to their benefit. Although oil costing more than $60 a barrel hasn't caused a global recession, that could still happen: it can take a while for high prices to have their ruinous impact. And the higher above $60 that prices rise, the more likely a recession will become. High oil prices are inflationary; they raise the cost of virtually everything -- from gasoline to jet fuel to plastics and fertilizers -- and that means people buy less and travel less, which means a drop-off in economic activity. So after a brief windfall for producers, oil prices would slide as recession sets in and once-voracious economies slow down, using less oil. CLIP

Expensive Oil: Curse or Cure for Producing Countries?
Central to impoverished populations for at least the last two decades, given the combined impact of the price drop and the demographic boom, the question returns, gnawing: what do you do with oil money?

Record Prices, Record Profits
Big Oil-With The Help Of Bush & Co.Are Bilking American ConsumersEven As They Experience Record ProfitsAnd CEO Salaries Record Prices… (...) Oil Companies Experienced Record $100 Billion in Profits During 2004. According to the New York Times, "Even though the market values of target companies are near their record highs, that is matched by record profits and cash on hand at big oil companies. With crude oil averaging $41 a barrel in 2004, the world's top 10 oil companies made more than $100 billion in profit [in 2004]. The boom is expected to grow this year. Oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange set a new record [on April 4], rising above $58 a barrel for the first time." [NYT, 4/5/05]Big Oil Companies Have Experienced Record Profits of Nearly $34 Billion Since Bush Took Office. The higher overall gasoline prices have cost the American consumer a net of over $25 billion during Bush's first term in office. This money has gone directly from consumers' pocketbooks into the hands of oil companies and oil producers, including OPEC. The big three oil companies in America have profited $33.6 billion over the past three years alone. CLIP

For This Relief Much Tanks - Grist Summary
Big SUVs likely to keep guzzling gas under forthcoming fuel-economy planThe Bush administration is said to be abandoning efforts to set fuel-economy standards for huge SUVs like the Hummer H2 and Ford Excursion, which fall outside the weight classes covered by current standards. Those concerned about the warming globe, skyrocketing gas prices, and foreign-oil dependence have long chafed at the loophole, but, well, Big Auto has more lobbyists than they do. American automakers say such standards would damage their shaky bottom lines. The administration is poised to release its new plan for auto fuel-economy standards later this month; it will be the first major rewrite of the rules since the 1970s. The plan had been expected to regulate well-hung gas guzzlers weighing in excess of 8,500 pounds for the first time, but insiders now say that's unlikely. Once it's officially released, the plan will be open to public comment. Details at

Carbon emissions from US autos on the rise (August 10, 2005)
WASHINGTON - Emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from U.S. cars and trucks soared 25 percent between 1990 and 2003 as more vehicles hit the roads and consumers flocked to gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles, a U.S. environmental group said on Wednesday.Despite efforts to introduce cleaner hybrid vehicles, the biggest U.S. automakers have failed to reverse growing greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Defense said."Emissions keep rising despite factors that many people think should lower them," said John DeCicco of the group.Vehicles made by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. led the increase in gases linked to global warming. Carbon dioxide emissions from GM's 2003 model year vehicles rose 6.3 percent to 6.4 million metric tons, while Ford's increased 7.7 percent to 5 million metric tons, Environmental Defense said.In 2003, emissions from cars and light trucks topped 317 million metric tons, up 25 percent from 1990, the group said, based on federal government data. Part of the 13-year increase is due to more vehicles on the road. However, Americans also bought more sport utility vehicles and mini-vans during that period, and they get fewer miles per gallon of gasoline. (...) The United States is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which are linked to rising ocean tides, melting glaciers and wildlife extinction.The majority of American carbon emissions are from coal-fired utilities and plants, but cars and light trucks accounted for about 20 percent of the total.

Experimental Hybrid Cars Get Up To 250 MPG

250 Miles Per Gallon? They're Doing It
Tinkerers Fiddle With Hybrids To Increase Efficiency

LOTS of resources on oil depletion!


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: The Voice of the White House on US Oil Reserves
Date: 23 Aug 2005


The Voice of the White House

August 21, 2005: “Aside from the growing catastrophe in Iraq, we are now sinking deeply into a disastrous economic swamp as far as oil is concerned. The world-wide depletion of oil reserves, the failure of the U.S. to get effective control of the huge Iraqi reserves, the growing need for oil in the rest of the world, especially China, Bush’s bullying and threatening attitude towards once-friendly oil producers and worst of all, the dawning realization on the part of Muslim Fundamentalist terrorists that the U.S. is growing every more dependant on oil to prevent serious public eruptions makes refineries, tankers, pipelines etc very tempting and easily attacked targets. Here is some information about our current stocks of oil held by the Government and under the direct control of the President:

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is the world's largest supply of emergency crude oil. The federally-owned oil stocks are stored in huge underground salt caverns along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.

Decisions to withdraw crude oil from the SPR are made by the President under the authorities of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. In the event of an energy emergency, SPR oil would be distributed by competitive sale. Although the SPR has been used for emergency purposes only once (during Operation Desert Storm in 1991), its formidable size (more than 600 million barrels) makes it a significant deterrent to oil import cutoffs and a key tool of foreign policy.

Today, the SPR has the capacity to hold 727 million barrels. It is the largest emergency oil stockpile in the world. Together, the facilities and crude oil represent a more than $21 billion investment in energy security ($4 billion for facilities and $17 billion for crude oil).

On November 13, 2001, President George W. Bush ordered the SPR to be filled to approximately 700 million barrels by continuing to use the Royalty-in-Kind program carried out jointly between the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior. The royalty-in-kind program applies to oil owed to the U.S. government by producers who operate leases on the federally-owned Outer Continental Shelf. These producers are required to provide from 12.5 percent to 16.7 percent of the oil they produce to the U.S. government. The government can either acquire the oil itself or receive the equivalent dollar value

Strategic Petroleum Reserve Inventory for August 11, 2005

Current Inventory
Sweet 284.6 million bbls
Sour 414.9 million bbls
Total 699.5 million bbls
Royalty-in-Kind to be Delivered 1.3 million bbls

While none of this is secret, it is also not generally known to the public. The price of oil to the United States is sharply escalating, partially because of the natural trends of the marketplace but also because of the aura of fear and hatred that Bush has deliberately fostered. He does not understand that if we were not so tied up militarily in Iraq, we would have plenty of troops available to enforce our acquisition of desperately needed oil. Try as he and his supporters may, the resistance in Iraq is far too effective and far too strong to permit U.S. exploitation of the huge Iraqi reserves (one of the main reasons for the war) and we could not invade Venezuela, also a strong desire on Bush’s part, because, frankly we do not have the troops. Bush doesn’t care what the UN or the rest of the world would say about such naked and greedy aggression but the vital troops are not there. In point of fact, governors of mainly Republican states are wailing that Bush has stripped their State National Guards of warm bodies so that in the anticipated civil disturbances (skyrocketing oil, diesel fuel and heating oil prices followed by problems with truckers delivering food and supplies throughout the country because of exorbitant fuel prices) appearing on the horizon, there won’t be any force to deal with them except local police and, maybe, a mobilized fascistic Republican storm troopers made up of right wing nuts. Bush cannot recall troops now, as necessity dictates, because we are literally on the ropes in Iraq and Bush’s weak personality precludes him from taking even one step backwards. He feels, his aides have said repeatedly, that this would make him look “weak” (which he is) and this he will never permit.

All reputable foreign oil industry sources state that oil will certainly go as high as $100 a barrel but even if it does and riots ensue here as outraged citizens can no longer drive to work, to school, to shop, Bush has said categorically that he will never, never release a drop of the oil in the reserves. The military have put a stop to this saying that any future military action plans against Iran or North Korea, now in the works, would be useless without oil reserves to draw upon.”



'Peak oil' spells cataclysm for U.S., oil theorist warns

August 21, 2005

ALEXANDER LANE - The Oregonian

Think high gas prices are bad?

Get a load of what ex-oilman and ex-Princeton professor Kenneth Deffeyes believes are following closely behind:

"War, famine, pestilence and death," he said, eyes wide and voice deep. "We've got to get the warning out."

The threat? Peak oil.

The term, probably unfamiliar to most Americans, refers to the time when the worldwide production of oil peaks and begins a rapid decline. From then on, this incredibly efficient fuel source, which still costs less than most bottled water, will be scarcer and more costly.

Highly respected sources, including the U.S. government, think that day is distant, and most mainstream economists think it won't cause much of a ruckus.

But Deffeyes says peak oil is coming in November, and could bring humankind to the brink.

He is a devotee of former Shell geologist M. King Hubbert, who correctly predicted U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s. Deffeyes is also the author of "Hubbert's Peak" (2001) and "Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert's Peak," which was published last spring.

He is among a cadre of peak-oil proponents who sketch out a frightening near-term future in which the American way of life is upended as the United States, China and other great nations scramble after oil fields like desperate players in a game of musical chairs.

"He comes out of oil. He was born in oil," said Julian Darley, an energy analyst, fellow predictor of an imminent oil peak and founder of the Post Carbon Institute, an Oregon think tank.

Deffeyes' point -- that the peak has either arrived or will very soon -- is serious.

In the long term, the nation will compensate with clean-coal and nuclear energy, along with renewable sources like wind and solar power, Deffeyes says.

"It's the five-year time scale that I'm really scared about." History has demonstrated that the fear of a coming oil shortage, justified or not, can be a powerful determinant of events. U.S. oil experts predicted a "gasoline famine" just after World War I, prompting Britain to combine three former provinces of the Ottoman Empire into a new, oil-rich country that was to remain friendly to England.

It was named Iraq...  



Why Bush Can't Answer Cindy

By Marjorie Cohn - t r u t h o u t | Perspective

18 August 2005

Cindy Sheehan is still waiting for Bush to answer her question: What noble cause did my son die for? Her protest started as a small gathering 13 days ago. It has mushroomed into a demonstration of hundreds in Crawford and tens of thousands more at 1,627 solidarity vigils throughout the country.

Why didn't Bush simply invite Cindy in for tea when she arrived in Crawford? In a brief, personal meeting with Cindy, Bush could have defused a situation that has become a profound embarrassment for him, and could derail his political agenda.

Bush didn't talk with Cindy because he can't answer her question. There is no answer to Cindy's question. There is no noble cause that Cindy's son died fighting for. And Bush knows it.

The goals of this war are not hard to find. They were laid out in Paul Wolfowitz's Defense Policy Guidance in 1992, and again in the neoconservative manifesto - The Project for a New American Century's Rebuilding America's Defenses - in September 2000.

Long before 9/11, the neocons proclaimed that the United States should exercise its role as the world's only superpower by ensuring access to the massive Middle East petroleum reserves. To accomplish this goal, the US would need to invade Iraq and establish permanent military bases there.

If Bush were to give an honest answer to Cindy Sheehan's question, it would be that her son died to help his country spread US hegemony throughout the Middle East.

But that answer, while true, does not sound very noble. It would not satisfy Cindy Sheehan, nor would it satisfy the vast majority of the American people. So, for the past several years, Bush and his minions have concocted an ever-changing story line.

First, it was weapons-of-mass-destruction and the mushroom cloud. In spite of the weapons inspectors' admonitions that Iraq had no such weapons, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, and Bolton lied about chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Bush even included the smoking gun claim in his state of the union address: that Iraq sought to purchase uranium from Niger. It was a lie, because people like Ambassador Joe Wilson, who traveled to Niger to investigate the allegation, had reported back to Cheney that it never happened.

The Security Council didn't think Iraq was a threat to international peace and security. In spite of Bush's badgering and threats, the Council held firm and refused to sanction a war on Iraq. The UN weapons inspectors asked for more time to conduct their inspections. But Bush was impatient.

He thumbed his nose at the United Nations and invaded anyway. After the "coalition forces" took over Iraq, they combed the country for the prohibited weapons. But they were nowhere to be found.

Faced with the need to explain to the American people why our sons and daughters were dying in Iraq, Bush changed the subject to saving the Iraqis from Saddam's torture chambers.

Then the grotesque photographs emerged from Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad. They contained images of US military personnel torturing Iraqis. Bush stopped talking about Saddam's torture.

Most recently, Bush's excuse has been "bringing democracy to the Iraqi people." On June 28, 2004, he ceremoniously hailed the "transfer of sovereignty" back to the Iraqi people. (See Giving Iraqis What is Rightly Theirs). Yet 138,000 US troops remained in Iraq to protect US "interests."

And Iraq's economy is still controlled by laws put in place before the "transfer of sovereignty." The US maintains a stranglehold on foreign access to Iraqi oil, private ownership of Iraq's resources, and control over the reconstruction of this decimated country.

For months, Bush hyped the August 15, 2005 deadline for Iraqis to agree on a new constitution. But as the deadline came and went, the contradictions between the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds over federalism came into sharp focus. The Bush administration admitted that "we will have some form of Islamic republic," according to Sunday's Washington Post.

So much for Bush's promise of a democratic Iraq.

The constitutional negotiations are far removed from the lives of most Iraqis. When journalist Robert Fisk asked an Iraqi friend about the constitution, he replied, "Sure, it's important. But my family lives in fear of kidnapping, I'm too afraid to tell my father I work for journalists, and we only have one hour in six of electricity and we can't even keep our food from going bad in the fridge. Federalism? You can't eat federalism and you can't use it to fuel your car and it doesn't make my fridge work."

Fisk reports that 1,100 civilian bodies were brought into the Baghdad morgue in July. The medical journal The Lancet concluded in October 2004 that at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died in the first 18 months after Bush invaded Iraq.

Unfortunately, the picture in Iraq is not a pretty one.

Bush knows that if he talked to Cindy Sheehan, she would demand that he withdraw from Iraq now.

But Bush has no intention of ever pulling out of Iraq. The US is building the largest CIA station in the world in Baghdad. And Halliburton is busily constructing 14 permanent US military bases in Iraq.

George Bush knows that he cannot answer Cindy Sheehan's question. There is no noble cause for his war on Iraq.

Marjorie Cohn, a contributing editor to t r u t h o u t, is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists.


See also:

"We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We're waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!" So declared Cindy Sheehan earlier this year during a rally at San Francisco State University. Sheehan, who is demanding a second meeting with Bush, stated: "We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now." Sheehan unleashed a foul-mouth tirade on April 27, 2005: "They're a bunch of fucking hypocrites! And we need to, we just need to rise up..." Sheehan said of the Bush administration. "If George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bullshit, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free?" "The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged. If he thinks that it's so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war." "We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog shit in Washington, we will impeach all those people."

The Vigils--All Across America (19 Aug 2005)
by>Tom Matzzie, Political Action
Last night's Vigils for Cindy Sheehan were the largest event we've ever organized. With the help of TrueMajority and Democracy for America, we held 1,627 vigils together in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Well over 100,000 of us attended, from Alaska to Florida, Maine to Mississippi, Oregon to South Carolina and New York to Texas.Here's Cindy's report, from her own vigil in Crawford: "Our candlelight vigil at Camp Casey was beautiful. There were hundreds of people here and we are hearing that hundreds of people were involved in vigils around the country. We at Camp Casey are so amazed and gratified that there were almost 1700 vigils around the country. "You can see pictures from the vigils, read reports, and look at a map of all the vigil locations at:
The vigils were covered by hundreds of media outlets across the nation. (...) You can keep the story about support for Cindy Sheehan going by writing a letter to the editor. Click below to get started.

Bush Won't Answer Cindy, But Has to Answer Congress
Swanson insists that if Casey Sheehan died for a noble cause, Bush can volunteer the documents that the Resolution of Inquiry will require him to produce. Not only has he not done so, but he has illegally refused to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request from 52 members of Congress asking for similar information.

'Peace Mom': Spearhead of Peace Movement? (18 August 2005)
What began as one mother's vigil on a country road in Texas two weeks ago has grown into a nationwide protest, putting a grieving human face to the miseries of war and growing misgivings about President Bush's strategies in Iraq. It's still not clear whether Cindy Sheehan's effort was the start of a lasting anti-war movement or a fleeting summertime story fueled by media-savvy liberal interest groups. Sheehan said Thursday she was leaving, rushing to the side of her mother, who had had a stroke in California. She said she would be back if possible before Bush leaves his ranch for Washington on Sept. 3. While her anti-war backers maintain the vigil in Texas, Republican Party leaders are worried that the so-called Peace Mom has brought long-simmering unease over Iraq to a boil by galvanizing anti-war activists. They fear that protests will strike a chord with the large number of Americans who have long felt uneasy about the war yet have been giving Bush the benefit of the doubt. CLIP

TruthOut's coverage of Cindy Sheehan's courageous stand in Crawford, Texas



August 22, 2005

All US military leave has been cancelled ... something big is in the works!


The US military is building a new base and conducting secretive operations in Paraguay ... our Embassy there refuses to acknowledge a base exists and describes the military activity as routine.

The base is in Mariscal Estigarribia, 200 km (127 miles) from the Bolivian border and will handle large aircraft and accommodate 16,000 troops.

There are now 500 of our troops there with planes, weapons, equipment and ammunition. Either before, during, or after the coming presidential election we expect the US to intervene or better put, invade Bolivia to control its natural gas reserves.

Paraguay has approved of the troops being there and given them total immunity, free from Paraguayan law and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. George and the neocons have threatened to withdraw $24.5 million in aid to Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Paraguay if they didn’t grant immunity to the US military.

You cannot believe a word Washington says about the base being a humanitarian undertaking, when they are struggling to fill the ranks in Iraq.

Why would they be on a humanitarian mission in Paraguay?

They said the same thing in Manta, Ecuador, which houses an $80 million US military base. The US is preparing for war in South America -- make no mistake about it.

* In Bolivia if Evo Morales, or someone like him is elected, then you can expect a US invasion.

Paraguay, bordered by Brazil and Argentina is one of the wildest places on earth. This is a very aggressive move by the US and all South American governments should be very concerned. George Bush and the neocons are using international terrorism as an excuse to appropriate natural resources and subject people to their brand of democracy, which is corporatist fascism.

All military leaves for September and October have been cancelled ... something big is in the works ... there is a buildup of material and equipment ... personnel at draft board offices are waiting for the word to activate.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


War of the Future: Oil Drives the Genocide in Darfur

by David Morse

August 19, 2005

A war of the future is being waged right now in the sprawling desert region of northeastern Africa known as Sudan. The weapons themselves are not futuristic. None of the ray-guns, force-fields, or robotic storm troopers that are the stuff of science fiction; nor, for that matter, the satellite-guided Predator drones or other high-tech weapon systems at the cutting edge of today's arsenal.

No, this war is being fought with Kalashnikovs, clubs and knives. In the western region of Sudan known as Darfur, the preferred tactics are burning and pillaging, castration and rape -- carried out by Arab militias riding on camels and horses. The most sophisticated technologies deployed are, on the one hand, the helicopters used by the Sudanese government to support the militias when they attack black African villages, and on the other hand, quite a different weapon: the seismographs used by foreign oil companies to map oil deposits hundreds of feet below the surface.

This is what makes it a war of the future: not the slick PowerPoint presentations you can imagine in boardrooms in Dallas and Beijing showing proven reserves in one color, estimated reserves in another, vast subterranean puddles that stretch west into Chad, and south to Nigeria and Uganda; not the technology; just the simple fact of the oil.

This is a resource war, fought by surrogates, involving great powers whose economies are predicated on growth, contending for a finite pool of resources. It is a war straight out of the pages of Michael Klare's book, Blood and Oil; and it would be a glaring example of the consequences of our addiction to oil, if it were not also an invisible war.


Invisible because it is happening in Africa. Invisible because our mainstream media are subsidized by the petroleum industry. Think of all the car ads you see on television, in newspapers and magazines. Think of the narcissism implicit in our automobile culture, our suburban sprawl, our obsessive focus on the rich and famous, the giddy assumption that all this can continue indefinitely when we know it can't -- and you see why Darfur slips into darkness. And Darfur is only the tip of the sprawling, scarred state known as Sudan. Nicholas Kristof pointed out in a New York Times column that ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of Darfur coverage in its nightly newscasts all last year, and that was to the credit of Peter Jennings; NBC had only 5 minutes, CBS only 3 minutes. This is, of course, a micro-fraction of the time devoted to Michael Jackson.

Why is it, I wonder, that when a genocide takes place in Africa, our attention is always riveted on some black American miscreant superstar? During the genocide in Rwanda ten years ago, when 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in 100 days, it was the trial of O.J. Simpson that had our attention.

Yes, racism enters into our refusal to even try to understand Africa, let alone value African lives. And yes, surely we're witnessing the kind of denial that Samantha Power documents in A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide; the sheer difficulty we have acknowledging genocide. Once we acknowledge it, she observes, we pay lip-service to humanitarian ideals, but stand idly by. And yes, turmoil in Africa may evoke our experience in Somalia, with its graphic images of American soldiers being dragged through the streets by their heels. But all of this is trumped, I believe, by something just as deep: an unwritten conspiracy of silence that prevents the media from making the connections that would threaten our petroleum-dependent lifestyle, that would lead us to acknowledge the fact that the industrial world's addiction to oil is laying waste to Africa.

When Darfur does occasionally make the news -- photographs of burned villages, charred corpses, malnourished children -- it is presented without context. In truth, Darfur is part of a broader oil-driven crisis in northern Africa. An estimated 300 to 400 Darfurians are dying every day. Yet the message from our media is that we Americans are "helpless" to prevent this humanitarian tragedy, even as we gas up our SUVs with these people's lives.

Even Kristof -- whose efforts as a mainstream journalist to keep Darfur in the spotlight are worthy of a Pulitzer -- fails to make the connection to oil; and yet oil was the driving force behind Sudan's civil war. Oil is driving the genocide in Darfur. Oil drives the Bush administration's policy toward Sudan and the rest of Africa. And oil is likely to topple Sudan and its neighbors into chaos.

The Context for Genocide

I will support these assertions with fact. But first, let's give Sudanese government officials in Khartoum their due. They prefer to explain the slaughter in Darfur as an ancient rivalry between nomadic herding tribes in the north and black African farmers in the south. They deny responsibility for the militias and claim they can't control them, even as they continue to train the militias, arm them, and pay them. They play down their Islamist ideology, which supported Osama bin Laden and seeks to impose Islamic fundamentalism in Sudan and elsewhere. Instead, they portray themselves as pragmatists struggling to hold together an impoverished and backwards country; all they need is more economic aid from the West, and an end to the trade sanctions imposed by the U.S. in 1997, when President Clinton added Sudan to the list of states sponsoring terrorism. Darfur, from their perspective, is an inconvenient anomaly that will go away, in time.

It is true that ethnic rivalries and racism play a part in today's conflict in Darfur. Seen in the larger context of Sudan's civil war, however, Darfur is not an anomaly; it is an extension of that conflict. The real driving force behind the North-South conflict became clear after Chevron discovered oil in southern Sudan in 1978. The traditional competition for water at the fringes of the Sahara was transformed into quite a different struggle. The Arab-dominated government in Khartoum redrew Sudan's jurisdictional boundaries to exclude the oil reserves from southern jurisdiction. Thus began Sudan's 21-year-old North-South civil war. The conflict then moved south, deep into Sudan, into wetter lands that form the headwaters of the Nile and lie far from the historical competition for water.

Oil pipelines, pumping stations, well-heads, and other key infrastructure became targets for the rebels from the South, who wanted a share in the country's new mineral wealth, much of which was on lands they had long occupied. John Garang, leader of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), declared these installations to be legitimate targets of war. For a time, the oil companies fled from the conflict, but in the 1990s they began to return. Chinese and Indian companies were particularly aggressive, doing much of their drilling behind perimeters of bermed earth guarded by troops to protect against rebel attacks. It was a Chinese pipeline to the Red Sea that first brought Sudanese oil to the international market.

Prior to the discovery of oil, this dusty terrain had little to offer in the way of exports. Most of the arable land was given over to subsistence farming: sorghum and food staples; cattle and camels. Some cotton was grown for export. Sudan, sometimes still called The Sudan, is the largest country in Africa and one of the poorest. Nearly a million square miles in area, roughly the size of the United States east of the Mississippi, it is more region than nation. Embracing some 570 distinct peoples and dozens of languages and historically ungovernable, its boundaries had been drawn for the convenience of colonial powers. Its nominal leaders in the north, living in urban Khartoum, were eager to join the global economy -- and oil was to become their country's first high-value export.

South Sudan is overwhelmingly rural and black. Less accessible from the north, marginalized under the reign of the Ottoman Turks in the nineteenth century, again under the British overlords during much of the twentieth, and now by Khartoum in the north, South Sudan today is almost devoid of schools, hospitals, and modern infrastructure.

Racism figures heavily in all this. Arabs refer to darker Africans as "abeed," a word that means something close to "slave." During the civil war, African boys were kidnapped from the south and enslaved; many were pressed into military service by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum. Racism continues to find expression in the brutal rapes now taking place in Darfur. Khartoum recruits the militias, called Janjaweed -- itself a derogatory term -- from the poorest and least educated members of nomadic Arab society.

In short, the Islamist regime has manipulated ethnic, racial, and economic tensions, as part of a strategic drive to commandeer the country's oil wealth. The war has claimed about two million lives, mostly in the south -- many by starvation, when government forces prevented humanitarian agencies from gaining access to camps. Another four million Sudanese remain homeless. The regime originally sought to impose shariah, or Islamic, law on the predominantly Christian and animist South. Khartoum dropped this demand, however, under terms of the Comprehensive Peace Treaty signed last January. The South was to be allowed to operate under its own civil law, which included rights for women; and in six years, southerners could choose by plebiscite whether to separate or remain part of a unified Sudan. The all-important oil revenues would be divided between Khartoum and the SPLA-held territory. Under a power-sharing agreement, SPLA commander John Garang would be installed as vice president of Sudan, alongside President Omar al-Bashir.

Darfur, to the west, was left out of this treaty. In a sense, the treaty -- brokered with the help of the U.S. -- was signed at the expense of Darfur, a parched area the size of France, sparsely populated but oil rich. It has an ancient history of separate existence as a kingdom lapping into Chad, separate from the area known today as Sudan. Darfur's population is proportionately more Muslim and less Christian than southern Sudan's, but is mostly black African, and identifies itself by tribe, such as the Fur. (Darfur, in fact, means "land of the Fur.") The Darfurian practice of Islam was too lax to suit the Islamists who control Khartoum. And so Darfurian villages have been burned to clear the way for drilling and pipelines, and to remove any possible sanctuaries for rebels. Some of the land seized from black farmers is reportedly being given to Arabs brought in from neighboring Chad.

Oil and Turmoil

With the signing of the treaty last January, and the prospect of stability for most of war-torn Sudan, new seismographic studies were undertaken by foreign oil companies in April. These studies had the effect of doubling Sudan's estimated oil reserves, bringing them to at least 563 million barrels. They could yield substantially more. Khartoum claims the amount could total as much as 5 billion barrels. That's still a pittance compared to the 674 billion barrels of proven oil reserves possessed by the six Persian Gulf countries -- Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, and Qatar. The very modesty of Sudan's reserves speaks volumes to the desperation with which industrial nations are grasping for alternative sources of oil.

The rush for oil is wreaking havoc on Sudan. Oil revenues to Khartoum have been about $1 million a day, exactly the amount which the government funnels into arms -- helicopters and bombers from Russia, tanks from Poland and China, missiles from Iran. Thus, oil is fueling the genocide in Darfur at every level. This is the context in which Darfur must be understood -- and, with it, the whole of Africa. The same Africa whose vast tapestry of indigenous cultures, wealth of forests and savannas was torn apart by three centuries of theft by European colonial powers -- seeking slaves, ivory, gold, and diamonds -- is being devastated anew by the 21st century quest for oil.

Sudan is now the seventh biggest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, and Equatorial Guinea.

Oil has brought corruption and turmoil in its wake virtually wherever it has been discovered in the developing world. Second only perhaps to the arms industry, its lack of transparency and concentration of wealth invites kickbacks and bribery, as well as distortions to regional economies.

"There is no other commodity that produces such great profit," said Terry Karl in an interview with Miren Gutierrez, for the International Press Service, "and this is generally in the context of highly concentrated power, very weak bureaucracies, and weak rule of law." Karl is co-author of a Catholic Relief Services report on the impact of oil in Africa, entitled Bottom of the Barrel. He cites the examples of Gabon, Angola and Nigeria, which began exploiting oil several decades ago and suffer from intense corruption. In Nigeria, as in Angola, an overvalued exchange rate has destroyed the non-oil economy. Local revolts over control of oil revenues also have triggered sweeping military repression in the Niger delta.

Oil companies and exploration companies like Halliburton wield political and sometimes military power. In Sudan, roads and bridges built by oil firms have been used to attack otherwise remote villages. Canada's largest oil company, Talisman, is now in court for allegedly aiding Sudan government forces in blowing up a church and killing church leaders, in order to clear the land for pipelines and drilling. Under public pressure in Canada, Talisman has sold its holdings in Sudan. Lundin Oil AB, a Swedish company, withdrew under similar pressure from human rights groups.

Michael Klare suggests that oil production is intrinsically destabilizing:

"When countries with few other resources of national wealth exploit their petroleum reserves, the ruling elites typically monopolize the distribution of oil revenues, enriching themselves and their cronies while leaving the rest of the population mired in poverty -- and the well-equipped and often privileged security forces of these 'petro-states' can be counted on to support them."

Compound these antidemocratic tendencies with the ravenous thirst of the rapidly growing Chinese and Indian economies, and you have a recipe for destabilization in Africa. China's oil imports climbed by 33% in 2004, India's by 11%. The International Energy Agency expects them to use 11.3 million barrels a day by 2010, which will be more than one-fifth of global demand.

Keith Bradsher, in a New York Times article, 2 Big Appetites Take Seats at the Oil Table, observes:

"As Chinese and Indian companies venture into countries like Sudan, where risk-aversive multinationals have hesitated to enter, questions are being raised in the industry about whether state-owned companies are accurately judging the risks to their own investments, or whether they are just more willing to gamble with taxpayers' money than multinationals are willing to gamble with shareholders' investments."

The geopolitical implications of this tolerance for instability are borne out in Sudan, where Chinese state-owned companies exploited oil in the thick of fighting. As China and India seek strategic access to oil -- much as Britain, Japan, and the United States jockeyed for access to oil fields in the years leading up to World War II -- the likelihood of destabilizing countries like Sudan rises exponentially.

Last June, following the new seismographic exploration in Sudan and with the new power-sharing peace treaty about to be implemented, Khartoum and the SPLA signed a flurry of oil deals with Chinese, Indian, British, Malaysian, and other oil companies.

Desolate Sudan, Desolate World

This feeding frenzy may help explain the Bush administration's schizophrenic stance toward Sudan. On the one hand, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared in September 2004 that his government had determined that what was happening in Darfur was "genocide" -- which appears to have been a pre-election sop to conservative Christians, many with missions in Africa. On the other hand, not only did the President fall silent on Darfur after the election, but his administration has lobbied quietly against the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act in Congress.

That bill, how in committee, calls for beefing up the African Union peacekeeping force and imposing new sanctions on Khartoum, including referring individual officials to the International Criminal Court (much hated by the administration). The White House, undercutting Congressional efforts to stop the genocide, is seeking closer relations with Khartoum on grounds that the regime was "cooperating in the war on terror."

Nothing could end the slaughter faster than the President of the United States standing up for Darfur and making a strong case before the United Nations. Ours is the only country with such clout. This is unimaginable, of course, for various reasons. It seems clear that Bush, and the oil companies that contributed so heavily to his 2000 presidential campaign, would like to see the existing trade sanctions on Sudan removed, so U.S. companies can get a piece of the action. Instead of standing up, the President has kept mum -- leaving it to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to put the best face she can on his policy of appeasing Khartoum.

On July 8, SPLA leader John Garang was sworn in as vice president of Sudan, before a throng of 6 million cheering Sudanese. President Oman Bashir spoke in Arabic. Garang spoke in English, the preferred language among educated southerners, because of the country's language diversity. Sudan's future had never looked brighter. Garang was a charismatic and forceful leader who wanted a united Sudan. Three weeks later, Garang was killed in a helicopter crash. When word of his death emerged, angry riots broke out in Khartoum, and in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. Men with guns and clubs roamed the streets, setting fire to cars and office buildings. One hundred and thirty people were killed, thousands wounded.

No evidence of foul play in his death has been uncovered, as of this writing. The helicopter went down in rain and fog over mountainous terrain. Nevertheless, suspicions are rampant. SPLA and government officials are calling for calm, until the crash can be investigated by an international team of experts. All too ominously, the disaster recalls the 1994 airplane crash that killed Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, who was trying to implement a power-sharing agreement between Hutus and Tutsis. That crash touched off the explosive Rwandan genocide.

What Garang's death will mean for Sudan is unclear. The new peace was already precarious. His chosen successor, Salva Kiir Mayardit, appears less committed to a united Sudan

Nowhere is the potential impact of renewed war more threatening than in the camps of refugees -- the 4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), driven from their homes during the North-South civil war, several hundred thousand encamped at the fringes of Khartoum as squatters or crowded into sprawling ghetto neighborhoods. Further west, in Darfur and Chad, another 2.5 million IDPs live in the precarious limbo of makeshift camps, in shelters cobbled together from plastic and sticks -- prevented by the Janjaweed from returning to their villages, wholly dependent on outside aid.

In short, Sudan embodies a collision between a failed state and a failed energy policy. Increasingly, ours is a planet whose human population is devoted to extracting what it can, regardless of the human and environmental cost. The Bush energy policy, crafted by oil companies, is predicated on a far different future from the one any sane person would want his or her children to inherit -- a desolate world that few Americans, cocooned by the media's silence, are willing to imagine.

David Morse is an independent journalist and political analyst whose articles and essays have appeared in Dissent, Esquire, Friends Journal, the Nation, the New York Times Magazine, the Progressive Populist, Salon, and elsewhere. His novel, The Iron Bridge (Harcourt Brace, 1998), predicted a series of petroleum wars in the first two decades of the 21st century.



Also from

Alive Today, Desperate Tomorrow

By Jeffrey D. Sachs -

19 August 2005

Niger's food emergency has reached the world's headlines, but the crisis there is only one part of a much larger disaster. On an extended trip this summer through Asia, the Middle East and Africa on behalf of the United Nations, I visited countless villages afflicted with extreme hunger. Whether caused by drought, exhausted soils, locusts or lack of high-yield seeds, the results were the same: desperation, disease and death.

Incredibly, the actions of the richest countries - which promised solidarity with the world's poorest people at the G-8 Summit in July - have intensified the hunger crisis. Even today, donor governments' aid efforts respond to hunger emergencies such as Niger's with food relief, but fail to help with long-lasting solutions.

Expanding hunger reflects growing rural populations and inadequate food yields. Populations are growing because poor rural households choose to have many children, who work as farmhands and serve as social security for their parents. This intensifies poverty in the next generation, as average farm sizes shrink. Food yields are inadequate because these households lack inputs needed for modern and productive agriculture: soil nutrients, irrigation or other water-management techniques, improved seed varieties and sound agricultural advice.

The problem is especially severe in landlocked countries, where high transport costs leave villages isolated from markets, and in regions that depend on rainfall rather than river-based irrigation. Yields, on average, barely support survival, and crop failures are common and deadly, while long-term global climate change, caused mainly by high energy consumption in the rich countries, may be exacerbating the frequency and severity of droughts.

These impoverished villages need help to buy vital inputs for farming and to invest in basic infrastructure such as roads and electrification. Instead, donor governments and the World Bank have insisted for years that poor countries cut financing to these villages, under the guise of promoting “macroeconomic stability" - a polite way of demanding debt repayment - and reflecting the ideological delusion that the private sector will step in.

But these policies have left hundreds of millions of people even more desperately poor and hungry. Millions die each year, either of outright starvation or from infectious diseases that their weakened bodies cannot withstand.

The irony is that donors then respond with very expensive emergency food aid, which typically proves to be too little and too late. A shipment of an equivalent dollar amount of fertilizer and improved seeds from, say, the United States to Africa would yield perhaps five times more food.

If donors would implement this obvious and basic lesson, increased food yields could be turned into sustained economic growth. Rural households would be encouraged to have fewer children, and to invest more in each child's health and education. Child survival rates would rise, reinforcing lower fertility rates. At the same time, increased educational opportunities for girls and women, and low-cost contraceptives provided by family-planning services, would empower them to marry later and have fewer children.

Donors should simultaneously help impoverished countries to invest in roads, ports, rural electricity and diversified production, in order to promote higher productivity and alternative livelihoods in the longer term. Villages currently trapped in hunger and subsistence agriculture would become commercial centers for food processing and exports, and even for rural industry and services supported by electrification, mobile phones and other improved technologies.

This is a year of both widespread hunger and solemn promises by the rich countries. But emergency food aid is not enough. Donors should lend their support by backing long-term solutions aimed at increasing food production, slowing population growth and mitigating long-term global climate change.

Jeffrey Sachs is professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.




Radiation Expert Claims High-Radiation Readings Near Pentagon After 9/11 Indicate Depleted Uranium Used

Claims Missile Used at Pentagon, Not Commercial Airliner Two high profile radiation experts concur Pentagon strike involved use of a missile. Also Geiger counter readings right after the attack shows high levels of radiation 12 miles away from Pentagon crash site.

August 18, 2005

By Greg Szymanski

A radiation expert and high-ranking Army Major, who once headed the military’s depleted uranium project, both contend the Pentagon was hit by missile, not a commercial jetliner, adding high radiation readings after the strike indicate depleted uranium also may have been used.

“I’m not an explosives or crash site expert, but I am highly knowledgeable in causes and effects related to nuclear radiation contamination. What happened at the Pentagon is highly suspicious, leading me to believe a missile with a depleted uranium warhead may have been used,” said radiation expert Leuren Moret in a telephone conversation this week from her Berkeley, CA home.

Moret, who has spent a life time working in the nuclear field, first as a staff scientist at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory in California, is now a member of The Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP), a privately funded group studying the devastating effects of depleted uranium especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Regarding the missile theory, it is also backed up by retired Army Maj. Doug Rokke, a PhD educational physics and former top military expert banished from the Pentagon after the military failed to follow regulations regarding the use, clean up and medical treatment regarding the use of depleted uranium.

“When you look at the whole thing, especially the crash site void of airplane parts, the size of the hole left in the building and the fact the projectile’s impact penetrated numerous concrete walls, it looks like the work of a missile,” said Maj. Rokke from his Rantoul, IL home this week. “And when you look at the damage, it was obviously a missile. Also, if you look at the WTC and the disturbing flash hitting the tower right before the impact of the airplane, it also looks like a missile was used.”

And to prove the government’s jetliner theory is wrong, Moret said the quick actions of a friend near the Pentagon on the morning of 9/11, provide even more suspicion.

Moret recalls on the tragic morning that once she saw the jetliner strike the twin towers and then heard about the Pentagon crash, she immediately called a close friend in Alexandria VA, Dr. Janette Sherman.

Thinking radiation might be involved, she quickly asked Dr. Sherman, 77, a radiation expert and medical doctor who lived about 12 miles from the crash site, to get a Geiger counter reading.

What the pair of experts found is astonishing. What they found is not only astonishing but four years after 9/11, what’s even more incredible is that their findings have been completely ignored by most everyone, including the Bush administration, the 9/11 Commission and the mainstream media, all who appear more interested in rubber stamping the official 9/11 story then getting at the real truth.

“Dr. Sherman was downwind from the Pentagon on 9/11 and her Geiger counter readings show an extremely high reading, a reading of more than eight to ten times higher than normal,” said Moret, also an expert in the cause and effects of depleted uranium.

“Dr. Sherman, who is well-respected radiation expert herself, then went about contacting the proper authorities in order to try and alert emergency responders of the radiation risk at the Pentagon crash site. And we have also kept photos of the Geiger counter readings in order to verify what Dr. Sherman found 12 miles away.”

After notifying the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency (NIRS), experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the FBI were alerted and according to Moret, radiation experts later confirmed high radiation levels at the Pentagon crash site possibly from the presence from depleted uranium or other unknown causes.

But what disturbed Moret most has been the Bush administration’s lack of concern and its failure to mount a thorough investigation into what really caused the high radiation levels, saying perhaps the findings might reveal something contrary to the official story that a jetliner rammed through 12 Pentagon walls of solid concrete.

“Even if there was depleted uranium used, do you think the likes of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld would really care? These are bottom feeders that 20 or 30 years ago wouldn’t have been even allowed to set foot in such high positions of power,” said Moret.

Although Dr. Sherman’s Geiger counter can’t be a conclusive finding, another nuclear radiation expert, Marion Fulk, agrees the positive reading, if anything, is suspicious.

“It definitely looks suspicious but of course many factors have to be considered before a conclusion is reached,” said Fulk in a telephone conversation this week. “The type of Geiger counter used by Dr. Sherman needs to be looked at as well as the possibility of the true source of the radiation, whether it is depleted uranium in a missile, ballast in the airplane or within the structure of the building hit.”

Even though no one can be sure, one thing positive is the Bush administration never really seriously cared about addressing the possibility of depleted uranium at the Pentagon just like it cares little about the same problem at the World Trade Center and in the war fields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, more recently, Moret, Fulk and Maj. Rokke, along with Dennis Kyne, Bob Jones and Mark Zeller, have provided documentation for an explosive video written and produced by Joyce Riley and William Lewis called “Beyond Treason,” providing an in depth look at depleted uranium used in the Gulf Wars and its likelihood of causing numerous civilian and military illnesses.

“It has been determined that the equivalent of more than 400,000 Nagasaki bombs has been released in the middle east since 1991,” said Moret, citing a report and subsequent speech at a 2000 depleted uranium conference given by Professor Yagasaki, a physicist and well-respected nuclear radiation expert.

And in the 89 minute video, exploring a massive government cover up, Riley and Lewis point out the unexplained illnesses in civilians and military personal may be the cause of depleted uranium or perhaps a combination of overlapping causes, including chemical and biological exposure and the use of experimental vaccines.

The writers of Beyond Treason, added:

“The ailing Gulf War heroes from all 27 coalition countries slowly die from of “unknown causes,” they wait for answers from their respective governments, but no satisfying or even credible answers have come forth from the military establishment. Records that span over a decade point to negligence and even culpability on the part of the U.S. Department of Defense and their ‘disposable army” mentality.

“The VA has determined that 250,000 troops are now permanently disabled, 15,000 troops are dead and over 425,000 are ill and slowly dying from what the Department of Defense still calls a mystery disease. How many more will have to die before action is taken?”

And in February, 2004, a conference called “Dialogues with Decision Makers” was held in New Delhi, India, where a group of experts gathered for the prevention of nuclear war and looked closely at the depleted uranium problem in the Middle East.

Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, former chief of the Naval Staff in India, reported the following shocking details about the effects of depleted uranium:

“In the 2003 war, the Iraqi’s were subjected to the Pentagon’s radioactive arsenal, mainly in the urban centers, unlike in the deserts in 1991. The aggregate effects of illnesses and long term disabilities and genetic birth defects will be apparent only 2008 onwards. “By now, half of all the 697,000 US soldiers involved in the 1991 war have reported serious illnesses. According the American Gulf War Veterans Association, more than 30% of these soldiers are chronically ill, and receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration.

“Near the Republican Palace where US troops stood guard and over 1000 employees walked in and out, the radiation readings were the hottest in Iraq, at nearly 1900 times background radiation levels.

“At a roadside stand, selling fresh bunches of parsley, mint, and onions, children played on a burnt out Iraqi tank just outside Baghdad, the Geiger counter registered 1000 times normal background radiation.

“The Pentagon and the United Nations estimate that the US and Britain used 1,100 to 2,200 tons of armor piercing shells made of DU during attacks in March-April 2003, far more than the 1991 Gulf War (this does not include air dispensed DU munitions and missiles),” wrote the Post Intelligencer.

“The long term effects, as Dr Asaf Durakovic elaborates, after the early neurological symptoms are cancer, and related radiation illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, joint and muscle pain, neurological and/or nerve damage, mood disturbances, auto-immune deficiencies, lung and kidney damage, vision problems, skin rupture, increase in miscarriages, maternal mortality and genetic birth defects/deformation.

“For years the US government described the Gulf War Syndrome as a post traumatic stress disorder. It was labeled as a psychological problem or simply as mysterious unrelated ailments much in the same way as health problems of Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange poisoning.”


From: "Nadia McLaren">
Date: 18 Aug 2005
Subject: Depleted Uranium: Creative disposal of nuclear waste?


This is not a nice topic. The issue has been around for years -- denied, sidestepped and covered-up. The use of depleted uranium weapons again in Iraq has reopened it. I've sent material on this before. So if you feel informed, do nothing else but view the online trailer for the film. It says it all. If you want more details, read down.

Since humans are increasingly incompatible with the nuclear and chemical contamination of their weaponry, it is little wonder that the war development machinery is focused on unmanned drones, mobile intelligence bugs, remote and long-distance weapons and space militarization. What is also a concern is that if our politicians and military leaders can be so cavalier about irradiating their own soldiers, not to mention civilians, their use of other nuclear weapons may not be far behind -- think Iran. More on that soon.

But my basic message, as always, is that this information is to empower action, not fear. Awareness is the best mobilizer of peaceful resistance of what is being done in our name.


See the theatrical trailer of "Beyond Treason" at

The text accompanying this is in the body of the message.

CLIP - Read the rest (83 pages) at

High Uranium Levels Found in Troops and Civilians
Civilian populations in Afghanistan and Iraq and occupying troops have been contaminated with astounding levels of radioactive depleted and non- depleted uranium as a result of post-9/11 United States' use of tons of uranium munitions. Researchers say surrounding countries are bound to feel the effects as well. In 2003 scientists from the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) studied urine samples of Afghan civilians and found that 100% of the samples taken had levels of non-depleted uranium (NDU) 400% to 2000% higher than normal levels. The UMRC research team studied six sites, two in Kabul and others in the Jalalabad area. The civilians were tested four months after the attacks in Afghanistan by the United States and its allies. NDU is more radioactive than depleted uranium (DU), which itself is charged with causing many cancers and severe birth defects in the Iraqi population-especially children-over the past ten years. Four million pounds of radioactive uranium was dropped on Iraq in 2003 alone. CLIP



The Terrorist of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue


August 22, 2005

My first reaction to George W. Bush’s all-too-obvious politicizing of the memories of September 11, 2001, in his latest lame attempt to justify his illegal and immoral war in Iraq, was anger.

Then anger gave way to sadness.

Sadness over a morality-challenged politician’s use of the deaths of 3,000 plus Americans for his own political gain.

And even more sadness because there are still people out there stupid enough to fall for this kind of crap.

Bush has pulled this stunt before. He keeps 9/11 in his bag of tricks as a last-ditch effort to save his corrupt political hide when things go bad. And, according to polls, things are bad. An increasing majority of Americans no longer buy his lies about Iraq and oppose the war along with growing numbers who finally realize the President of the United States is a liar who cannot be trusted.

Reality, however, will not stop the dwindling numbers of Bushites from defending their failed leader to the end – and it is that maniacal devotion to Bush that may signal the end to America as we know it.

Sometimes it is difficult to decide who to fear the most – the ethically-bankrupt President whose madness drives what was once the greatest country on earth closer and closer to ruin or the blind, brain-dead lemmings who continue to follow him into the abyss.

In more normal times we might be able to dismiss Bush’s followers as just another gaggle of misguided political miscreants who bet on the wrong horse and now try to justify that mistake.

But these are not normal times and the wild-eyed fanatics who continue to buy this charlatan’s snake oil are, in too many ways, as dangerous as Bush himself.

Bush and his klavern of crooks, con-men and thieves have turned this nation into a monster that threatens world peace, an arrogant bomb-throwing bully who poses a far-greater danger than any Islam-spouting lunatic with a turban.

When you get past the hyperbole and sound bite rants of the rabid right, you are left with one sad fact – the United States of America, a nation that once prided itself in never, ever, being the aggressor in a conflict, invaded another nation on false pretenses, a nation that posed no immediate threat to us or our way of life.

It is no longer Osama bin Laden and his fanatical followers who pose the greatest threat to the future of this country. It is George W. Bush and his equally-fanatical, zoned-out legions who buy into his destructive, anti-American actions.

Osama’s still at large and still planning ways to attack this country but he remains at large because Bush ordered the military to all-but-abandon the search for the Al Qaeda leader and divert resources to an ill-conceived, ill-planned and ill-executed illegal invasion of Iraq.

Now the Army admits it is planning for “at least” four more years in Iraq as the death toll of young American men and women races headlong towards 2,000.

So a desperate George W. Bush goes to the well once more, invoking the memories of September 11, 2001 to try and save his political skin.

We can hope, of course, that this blatant political opportunism won’t work. We can hope that Americans will finally see through the sham that is Bush and the fanatics who follow him.

We can hope that Americans recognize that more than one terrorist seeks to destroy America and that the most dangerous terrorist of all lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


See also:

Will News Media Help Bush Exploit the 9/11 Anniversary Again?
President Bush's ultimate demagogic weapon is to exploit the memory of September 11, 2001 for its "war on terror." And so the media siege has gone, to this day. With the White House now desperate to shore up its sinking political fortunes, Solomon suspects a vast amount of more propaganda is on the horizon.



Chemtrails Out Of The Closet


Nearly seven years after extensive “lay downs” of lingering and spreading white plumes were first reported smearing skies over across North America, Europe is in an uproar and Washington could be closeto coming clean about chemtrails.

At least the Bush White house will soon have a legitimate weather control agency to finally “launder” oneof the biggest cons ever perpetrated.

Introduced in the US Senate on March 1, 2005, Bill S517 calls for a US “Weather Modification Advisory and Research Board” to officially commence operations in October 2005. When passed as expected, this law will make large-scale chemical alteration of the atmosphere legal across a formerly free and beautiful land called America.

It’s already happening.

Less than two weeks before the bill was introduced, Linda wrote from “up here in the mountains of northeast Georgia” of the worst spray day she had ever seen. “Not one day in the past two months have we had a blue sky with normal clouds,” Linda wrote. Even normal clouds “are ‘laced’ with whatever the hell is coming out of those white planes that have no engine sounds, even when they fly low enough to see there is no printing anywhere on the planes.” Several years ago the US Air Force stated that it was repainting its silver aircraft white, and retrofitting its jet tanker fleet with “hush kits” to silence their engines.

Whatever fresh environmental disaster Bill S517 accomplishes, this bill will ease the way for admission of a project suspected by many and confirmed by air traffic controllers at America’s biggest airports. When and if the US public demands that their government “do something” about the extreme weather pummeling their neighborhoods, Washington will be able to officially reply, “We are.”

Intended to “develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated national weather modification policy,” the board is tasked with coordinating state and federal weather modification efforts. It’s direct mandate is stepped-up research and development aimed at developing experimental “models, devices, equipment, materials, and processes” to change or control, “by artificial methods” the development of clouds and/or precipitation in the troposphere. This weather-forming region of the atmosphere lies between Earth’s surface and the stratosphere, starting around 35,000 feet.

The federal weather modifiers will now directly oversee the cloud-seeding operations currently being carried out over dozens of states to increase rain and snowfall for irrigation, electrical power and winter recreation purposes. As droughts intensify under an onslaught of moisture-absorbing chemicals dispensed behind ozone-destroying jet tankers, and future towns wash away in sudden flash floods triggered by rain-inducing atmospheric tinkering, these unnatural disasters and other “inadvertent” effects of weather modification will be closely “studied” by the newly created board.

But no studies have been released on the implications of wide-scale alteration of regional atmospheric heat balances.

Large-scale weather modification is banned under the United Nations Environmental Modification Convention signed by Washington in 1970.

Meanwhile, recent heavy “chemtrail” spraying over Portland, Oregon and Canada’s west coast has eased off once again. Another long-time chemtrail “hot zone”, Santa Cruz, California continues reporting clear blue skies unmarked by the chemplanes’ ugly scrawl.

As recently as May 2005, a Swiss resident sent photographs to Meria Heller’s website, reporting: “Today was one of the heaviest Spraying in Switzerland ever.”

Some Canadians also have their eyes wide open. in June 2005, large graffiti spray-painted on a major overpass in West Vancouver advised motorists: WAKE UP, LOOK UP, CHEMTRAILS ARE EVERYWHERE.

A senior active duty air force insider has described environmental combat missions already being flown by specially-outfitted C-130 Hercules transports, which can be reloaded, refueled and relaunched in just 10 minutes to continue their assault on violent storms afflicting US communities. Flown by regular air force pilots, these “science flights” include onboard meteorologists, who painstakingly log the results of each mission.

Big storm fronts and hurricanes require a vast amount of absorbent chemicals to reduce their destructive power. To achieve the fast turn-around times needed to complete their missions, flights of returning C-130s taxi to a stop and immediately commence refueling as the empty onboard spray canister is removed. as soon as the empty canister is clear of the aircraft, a waiting truck wheels a semi-trailer-size container of sky-seeding chemicals to the plane’s lowered rear ramp, where it is slid inside on rails like a gigantic “soda dispenser”.

The air force insider added that other spray missions spread (barium) chemtrails to facilitate 3D radar mapping of the entire continental United States. He also said that the air force has been spraying storm fronts “for a long time”. The military’s main interest, he added, is experimentation aimed at gaining control of the weather for military use.

Did the air force spray this year’s first Caribbean hurricane, in which the western quadrant disintegrated just before making its Texas landfall? “There’s no reason they wouldn’t,” the air force insider replied.

But C-130 turboprops would not necessarily be used to try to influence hurricanes that typically release more energy than all atomic arsenals combined. Referring to the 757s-767's recently modified for aerial spraying, the air force insider told, “We’ve got them, but I can’t talk about them.”

He added that many people in the air force “are aware of William Thomas” and his reporting on chemtrails. The air force insider confirmed that this reporter “has it mostly right” concerning the application and purposes behind chemtrails. But would not elaborate on my reporting.


Meanwhile, the chemtrails controversy has taken Europe by storm following a series of articles by Swiss freelance journalist Gabriel Stetter in the German popular science magazine Raum+Zeit (Space and Time), circulation circa 50,000.

Stetter’s first article, “White Skies” created a public relations nightmare for Greenpeace when it informed readers in January 2004 how “Thousands of people were thoroughly shocked when they realised, and were informed by Greenpeace in Germany, Switzerland and Austria that—for some reason or other—Greenpeace has no interest in the chemtrail question whatsoever.”

The Swiss government also came under public pressure to explain the checkerboards being painted in its skies. On March 5, 2004 the Environment Department in Berne, Switzerland responded to an inquiry by Rudolf Rechsteiner, a Social Democratic member of parliament, admitting that “A number of ideas exist that show how it would be possible to reduce global warming by technical means, at least in the short term.”

But these ideas, the government office hastened to add, “are no more than theoretical. We are not aware of any practical application of these methods, either at home or abroad.”

Ten days later, Greenpeace Switzerland climate and transport expert Cyrill Studer wrote an internal memo assuring colleagues that while he had “heard of the chemtrails phenomenon,” for the present, Greenpeace “will not be following up the theme of chemtrails.”

Two reasons for inaction by Greenpeace climate change activists were given. First, Studer explained, “There is not a sufficiently solid scientific basis” for Greenpeace to risk its budget and reputation verifying this “supposed phenomenon”. To do so, he added in his memo to Greenpeace staff, “would overstretch our capacities…Important elements of our climate campaign would suffer, particularly the promotion of energy efficiency and of renewable energies, or our active influence in present-day politics.”

But outside Greenpeace’s corporate offices, the controversy continued. On June 11 German Greenpeace spokeswoman Kristine Läger told concerned constituents:

The idea of reducing global warming by putting chemicals in the atmosphere has been around a long time. There are various proposals in this direction, suggesting the chemicals should be independently sprayed and that they should be mixed with the fuel of ordinary passenger aircraft. Whether in Germany such proposals have reached the point of actual realization is highly questionable. So far as we are aware there are no indications from research and observation of weather and climate that these so-called chemtrails exist. Nor are we aware of any project that has been realized in practice.. in all probability this is not happening.

But Gabriel Stetter believes that the Greenpeace “Rainbow Warriors” know all about the rainbows in the sky. They probably also know of geoengineering studies to reduce incoming sunlight and slow global warming issued by the National Academy of Sciences. “And they may even have taken a look at the (*Welsbach Patent - view pdf file*),” he writes. “But they have no idea what conclusions to draw from the chessboard pattern suspended in the Hamburg sky or the aluminium-enriched ‘rainbows’.

“Supposing the word ‘chemtrails’ appeared in print in the Greenpeace Magazine,” Stetter speculates. “How many tens of thousands of people more would look up into the sky and recognize that the supposedly Utopian “proposal” has long moved on via “spraying trials” to a systematic, long-term spreading of cloud cover over the whole of Europe?”

Back in Basel, Gabriel Stetter quoted unsourced opinion polls showing that in this “stronghold” of chemtrails believers, one in ten people “have already heard of them despite the media blackout. Several thousand people in the prosperous town at the bend in the Rhine know that the chemtrails phenomenon suggests that something is seriously wrong.”

Among these Swiss chemtrails activists, he explained, “are well-to-do people, who because of their environmental awareness have been for a long time, in some cases for decades, members of Greenpeace.”

Not any more.

“Veteran anti-nuclear activists, campaigners for animal welfare or against electrosmog—in their alarm they had all turned to Greenpeace because of the chemtrails, which are visible everywhere in the skies above Basel. But a painful experience awaited all of them. They were palmed off with the same unsatisfactory answers that we have by now grown tired of hearing. The consequence drawn by these elderly, well-to-do activists from Greenpeace’s lack of interest was the immediate cancellation of membership of many years, the withdrawal of legacies, and the withholding of payments to Greenpeace until further notice.”

As Brian Holmes notes on his website,, the October 2004 issue #131 of the Raum + Zeit contained many pages of letters from readers responding positively to Stetter’s first article in issue #127. “Many of these letters are illustrated with color photographs supplied by the readers themselves.”


Former six-year board member of Greenpeace Germany, Monika Griefahn chaired the Committee for Culture and Media of the Federal German Parliament when she replied to a letter from two chemtrails dissenters in July 2004, stating, “I am in basic agreement with your concerns. Instead of making a concerted and determined effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the world, experiments of various kinds are being carried out in the earth’s atmosphere in order to cure the symptoms.”

After assuring her correspondents, “I share your concern over the use of aluminium or barium compounds which have a considerable toxic potential,” the parliamentarian went on to say, “however, so far as I am aware the extent of their use is so far minimal.”

“At last!” Stetter announced in the German science magazine. “There we have it. In the skies of Germany, so Social Democratic member of Parliament Monika Griefahn tells us, aluminium and barium compounds are being spread just as tens of thousands of concerned citizens have observed, documented and bitterly deplored.”

Thanking the Honorable Griefahn her for her courage, Stetter suggested, “Maybe one day statues of politicians like Monika Griefahn or the equally plucky US Congressman Dennis Kucinich will adorn in marble splendor the squares of newly verdant German or American cities.”

That would be nice.

But the public outcry in Europe will have to spread to North America if we are to stop this massive, illegal and continuing air and atmospheric pollution.


See also:

Weather Wars Going on in Our Skies
As aired on Coast to Coast, 8/17


Date: 18 Aug 2005
From: Jamara Gruber>
Subject: Urgent Crop Circle Message

Hi Jean

I don't know if this really fits into your compilations, but I find it extremely distressing, albeit interesting.

I don't know who wrote this, but I have met Christina Hollenweger personally, who sent it out. you can write her for more questions if you have any. She speaks English.

Many blessings

Jamara Gruber


From: Christina Hollenweger>
Sate: 16. August 2005
Subject: Urgent Crop Circle Message

Dear friends,

I know you might call me crazy, but it is very important this message is being circulated before it is too late.

Please also use your influence to contact your local politicians and send e-mails to Bern to prevent this happening.

Thank you very much for taking this seriously.

Love and Light from Christina


A mind-boggling visit to the Crop circle Exhibition at Interlaken Mystery Park

14 August 2005

As the weather was rather poor for a mid-Summer day, a friend of mine and I decided to go to Interlaken and have a look at the current special Crop Circles Exhibition at the Mystery Park.

Crop circles have always been fascinating me since their very beginning, particularly those regularly appearing in Southern England. Over the years, I made a point not only to visit some of them but also copy most of the pictures available on the net into a database I regularly go through, trying to understand the hidden message or just to enjoy looking at them.

The visit was quite interesting, though not as enlightening as I would have hoped, but nevertheless contained a number of documents showing that this was not only a modern phenomenon. As I’m always looking for some scientific explanations as well, I hoped to find some literature at the small booth on the exhibition level. There was only little available except for an interesting booklet about the Chilbolton ET crop circle.

As I casually stood at the postcard stand, a particular post-card suddenly attracted my attention. It showed a circle containing a triangular design surrounded by sun rays and some form in the top corner of the triangle (see this crop circle at ). It immediately came to me that this was the exact map of Switzerland. No doubt about it! The picture struck me like a bolt of lightening.

I immediately looked for my friend, showed her the crop circle picture on the postcard and asked her what she though this represented. As every pre-conditioned being in the know, she replied that this was probably a Masonic design with the all Seeing Eye. After asking her whether she had ever seen an eye which such a strange shape, she then only said: “ well then, if it’s not an eye, then it’s the map of Switzerland!”.

Never in all these years had I encountered a crop circle representation clearly showing the map of a specific country. It was like finding a gold nugget in a murky river. What did it all mean and why Switzerland ???

Often in my life have I encountered strange situations which at first I could not explain. This time I had a strong urge to find out what this was all about and not give up my search. Having a excellent friend gifted with clear-sight, I decided to invite her for lunch the following day in order to get her help as I just would not give up before getting to know why this “key” had been given to me.

Following lunch I asked her whether she would be willing to take part in an experiment as she had done many times before. As I got her consent, she prepared herself for the session. Without any explanations, I handed out the postcard to her upside down and she started concentrating on the object with closed eyes. After just a short while, she started shaking as though she was about to get an epileptic attack and mumbled something about a very strong energy. She then proceeded by describing a green rolling hill landscape during summer time. Down below, she could see a very large cornfield displaying a strange geometric form. She then went on describing the exact looks of the crop circle. Then, suddenly, she said: “Oh, this is very strange, and I do not know what this is all about, but I clearly see the map of Switzerland. I have no idea why. I also clearly see a cross as displayed in the Swiss flag somewhere South/East of Berne in the center of the map “.

At that very moment, a flash came through my mind and a name popped up: this must be the birthplace of Niklaus von Flue, Switzerland’s peacemaker and saint from the 15th century. I asked my friend if whether what she saw had any relevance to the name I was about to give her. Since she is not Swiss and knows only little of our history, she had no idea whom I was referring to.

Within seconds, she said she saw a rather skinny and older-looking man with a beard wearing a very simple robe. The man was smiling gently at her and nodded. That could not have been a better confirmation.

(Niklaus von der Flüe was born in Central Switzerland near Lucerne in a very small place called Flüelin in the year 1417. Until the age of 50, he lived a normal earthly life as a peasant, an elderman and a local judge. He was happily married and the father of 10 children. But in his heart, he felt an increasing urge to leave this life and dedicated it to God. He went to see his local pastor and explained his turmoil. The Kriens pastor helped and became his adviser on his new path. From then on, Niklaus left his wife and children to live as a hermit in a remote mountain area nearby. Nevertheless, he never totally gave up working for the community and was very active in setting the legal basis for what is now Switzerland. He is known to have lived 20 years without any food and was already well known to many during his life as a true Christian with a profound knowledge of theology. Brother Klaus died on the 21st of March 1487. His voice is still being heard today. The last heard of Brother Klaus was during WWII when Swiss soldiers on the boarder area between Switzerland and Germany saw his protecting hands in the sky above the border (he was know to have a thin hand with long fingers). Many soldiers stationed near the boarder had seen the vision and were convinced that Brother Klaus protected the country from an invasion from Hitler’s troops.)

After a while, he started talking and said: "This crop circle is not only meant for Switzerland but also for the entire world. It is a message of peace to entire planet. But for Switzerland it is a warning as well! Swiss have to pray for Peace a lot more. You have a duty to work for World Peace and must not give up working towards it."

Then my friend (she is German) started shaking violently and got very nervous. "I see tanks, many tanks…. What does this all mean?" . Brother Klaus again appeared and said something absolutely stunning: "Switzerland is about to commit a big mistake. It wants to export military tanks to Iraq. These tanks will not be used for whatever Switzerland is being told, but for war purposes. Switzerland will give up its neutrality if it does so. You must prevent this! Switzerland must remain neutral. Then appeared a very large sword pointing its tip on the map of Switzerland" and then again she heard the words "Beware and Pray".

After a while, my friend saw a last picture: A very thin and tall Et with grey/bluish skin. standing next to Brother Klaus. Both benevolently smiled. The ET pointed at the circle and said: "We keep sending mankind messages and you must try to understand them". Then she saw a kind of lightening through the sky and the vision ended.

Tears were running on my cheek as I realized the great importance of what I had discovered and heard with the help of my friend. I know this message must go out quickly, or else we will never be the same country again.


See also:

Swiss personnel carriers to go to Iraq (August 23, 2005)
The cabinet has approved the sale of 180 armoured personnel carriers to the United Arab Emirates, which will in turn present them to Iraq. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) justified the decision by saying that Switzerland, like other countries, had "an interest in ensuring that the situation in Iraq stabilised as soon as possible". However, this was only possible when Iraqi security forces were adequately equipped to protect themselves. The M113 tanks [sic] have a value of SFr12 million ($9.4 million) and are part of a Swiss army surplus. They are in good condition, added Seco in a statement. As further justification, it cited a United Nations’ resolution from last year, which called on UN members to help Iraq to preserve law and order. This meant that the latest sale circumvented the international embargo. The rightwing Swiss People’s Party and the leftwing Social Democrats said that the move was contrary to neutrality. People’s Party spokesman Simon Glauser said that it was not possible that Switzerland was delivering weapons to a country, in which it had been trying to establish peace for years. Social Democrat Nicolas Gallade said that the export went against Swiss development policy. The party said in a statement: "If the cabinet approves weapons export to crisis and war-ridden regions such as South Korea, India, Iraq and Pakistan, that means that Switzerland can practically export weapons to any other country." However, the Christian Democrats and Radicals accepted the government’s argument that Switzerland had an interest in stabilising the situation in Iraq. ---- Comments and pictures on this - in French - at



Originally from

Wave of Marine Species Extinctions Feared

By Juliet Eilperin - The Washington Post

24 August 2005

Bimini, Bahamas - The bulldozers moved slowly at first. Picking up speed, they pressed forward into a patch of dense mangrove trees that buckled and splintered like twigs. As the machines moved on, the pieces drifted out to sea.

Sitting in a small motorboat a few hundred yards offshore on a mid-July afternoon, Samuel H. Gruber - a University of Miami professor who has devoted more than two decades to studying the lemon sharks that breed here - plunged into despondency. The mangroves being ripped up to build a new resort provide food and protection that the sharks can't get in the open ocean, and Gruber fears the worst.

"At the end of my career, I get to document the destruction of the species I've been documenting for 20 years," he lamented as he watched the bulldozers. "Wonderful."

Gruber's sentiments have become increasingly common in recent years among a growing number of marine biologists, who find themselves studying species in danger of disappearing. For years, many scientists and regulators believed the oceans were so vast there was little risk of marine species dying out. Now, some suspect the world is on the cusp of what Ellen K. Pikitch, executive director of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science, calls "a gathering wave of ocean extinctions." Dozens of biologists believe the seas have reached a tipping point, with scores of species of ocean-dwelling fish, birds and mammals edging toward extinction. In the past 300 years, researchers have documented the global extinction of just 21 marine species - and 16 have occurred since 1972.

Since the 1700s, another 112 species have died out in particular regions, and that trend, too, has accelerated since the mid-1960s: Nearly two dozen shark species are close to disappearing, according to the World Conservation Union, an international coalition of government and advocacy groups.

"It's been a slow-motion disaster," said Boris Worm, a professor at Canada's Dalhousie University, whose 2003 study that found that 90 percent of the top predator fish have vanished from the oceans. "It's silent and invisible. People don't imagine this. It hasn't captured our imagination, like the rain forest."

Many activists have focused on the plight of creatures such as the ivory-billed woodpecker and the grizzly bear, but relatively few have taken up the cause of marine species. Ocean dwellers are harder to track, and some produce so many offspring they can seem invulnerable. And, in the words of Ocean Conservancy shark fisheries expert Sonja Fordham, often "they're not very fuzzy."

Although a number of previous extinctions involved birds and marine mammals, it is the fate of many fish that worries experts. The large-scale industrialization of the fishing industry after World War II, a global boom in oceanfront development and a rise in global temperatures are all causing fish populations to plummet.

"Extinctions happen in the ocean; the fossil record shows that marine species have disappeared since life began in the sea," said Elliott A. Norse, who heads the Marine Conservation Biology Institute in Redmond, Wash. "The question is, are humans a major new force causing marine extinctions? The evidence, and projections scientists are making, suggest that the answer is yes."

Large-scale fishing accounts for more than half of the documented fish extinctions in recent years, Nicholas K. Dulvy, a scientist at Lowestoft Laboratory in England, wrote in 2003. Destruction of habitats in which fish spawn or feed is responsible for another third. Warmer ocean temperatures are another threat, as some fish struggle to adapt to hotter and saltier water that can attract new competitors.

But nothing has pushed marine life to the edge of extinction more than aggressive fishing. Aided by technology - industrial trawlers and factory ships deploy radar and sonar to scour the seas with precision and drag nets the size of jumbo jets along the sea floor - ocean fish catches tripled between 1950 and 1992.

In some cases, fishermen have intentionally exploited species until they died out, such as the New Zealand grayling fish and the Caribbean monk seal; other species have been accidental victims of long lines or nets intended for other catches. Over the past two decades, accidental bycatch alone accounted for an 89 percent decline in hammerhead sharks in the Northeast Atlantic.

Today, sharks, along with sturgeon and sciaenids (known as croakers or drums for the sounds they make undersea), are among the most imperiled of the species that spend most of their lives in the ocean.

Populations of sharks, skates and rays - creatures known as elasmobranchs that evolved 400 million years ago and have skeletons of cartilage, not bone - have difficulty rebounding because they mature slowly and produce few offspring. Shark-fin soup, an Asian delicacy that sells for more than $100 a bowl, has spurred intensified shark hunting in recent years.

Despite the sturgeon's fecundity, overfishing and habitat destruction have caused that population to dive as well. Beluga sturgeon, the source of black caviar, release 360,000 to 7 million eggs in a year, Pikitch noted, but they have declined 90 percent in the past 20 years. Just this month, scientists in Kazakhstan reported that they failed to find a single wild, reproducing beluga female, leaving them with no eggs for hatcheries.

Croakers' large swim bladders - air-holding sacs that help them maintain buoyancy - account for their imminent demise. Traditional Chinese medicine prizes the bladders, and the sound they make when pressed against vibrating muscles can reveal croakers' location to fishermen through sonar.

"They've been survivors on an evolutionary scale, but they've met their match, and it is us," said Pikitch, who writes about sharks and sturgeon in an upcoming book, "State of the Wild 2006."

Despite scientists' warnings, American and international authorities have been slow to protect marine species. The only U.S. saltwater fish to make the protected list is a ray, the smalltooth sawfish, which was added in 2003.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service is charged with protecting 61 threatened or endangered marine species. Director Bill Hogarth said his agency focuses on protecting vulnerable populations so they will not have to be listed.

"That's our job - to make sure species don't wind up on the endangered species list," he said.

But conservationists said NOAA officials are reluctant to classify fish as endangered because doing so conflicts with the agency's mission of promoting commercial fishing.

Michael Hirshfield, chief scientist at the advocacy group Oceana, said he has repeatedly seen government officials provide shifting estimates of how many threatened or endangered sea turtles can acceptably die each year in eastern scallop fisheries.

"You never get an answer to the question how many turtles would have to be killed before you would say, 'That's not okay,' " he said.

On Bimini, 50 miles from the Florida coast, Gruber is trying unsuccessfully to stave off the golf resort that could bring 5,000 tourists a day. The island has just 1,600 residents but supports more than a dozen shark species.

Based on an 11-year survey starting in the mid-1990s, Gruber documented that between 2000 and 2001, during the heaviest dredging of the ocean floor for the resort's construction, the survival rate for lemon sharks fell 30 percent, and sharks in the dredging area had higher toxin levels. He has yet to assess the impact of the mangrove destruction, which began on a large scale this year.

The president of the Bimini Bay Resort and Casino, Rafael Reyes, said he understands the concern but questions Gruber's statistics and the idea that "sharks and development don't mix."

"We have a vested interest in making sure things remain as they are," Reyes said, adding that he is demolishing mangroves in a place that is "basically not a sensitive area... . I have to make sure the environment's pristine because my clients are fishermen."

But Gruber remains unconvinced.

"I believed when I started the ocean was so vast there was no way you could ever kill off the sharks or anything," he said. When it comes to being a fish, he said, "Now you can run, but you can't hide."


See also:

Overfishing Leads To Decline In Big Fish

Widespread Destruction And Fisheries Mismanagement
In The Northwest Atlantic The Greenpeace Ship, Esperanza, Returned To Halifax Today With Evidence Of Deep-Sea Destruction By High Seas Bottom Trawlers


From: Nattanya>
Date: 25 Aug 2005
Subject: Update on Canada's charges against Bush for torture


August 23, 2005

A Legal Update

Prosecuting Bush in Canada for Torture

By CounterPunch Wire

On November 30 2004 Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War (LAW), filed an Informational Brief in the Provincial Court of B.C. charging George W. Bush as President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces with torture.

When Davidson went to court on December 6th to secure a date for a process hearing, the Attorney General applied to declare the information a nullity on the grounds that, as head of state, Mr. Bush was immune from prosecution. In an extraordinary action and over the objections of the reporter present, the courtroom was sealed and the press and public were excluded. Behind closed doors, the charges against Bush were stopped before any evidence could be heard.

An application for review of that decision was filed in the Supreme Court of B.C. The pre-hearing conference on Thursday is to determine a schedule for the exchange of arguments and authorities and to set a date for the review itself. The Attorney General wants to prevent the public and the press from attending this pre-hearing conference.

Many individuals and organizations around the world allege that George Bush has used his position as President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces to carry out torture that has included among its victims at least one Canadian (a minor) and many, perhaps thousands, of other non-Americans. These allegations and the evidence supporting them are widely available. LAW wants to present this evidence in court.

The Attorney General says that George Bush, as the President of the United States and a sitting head of state, is immune from prosecution. LAW insists that diplomatic immunity is irrelevant to this case of torture. Canadian jurisdiction to prosecute Mr. Bush was triggered when he came to Canada on November 30, 2004 and when a Canadian citizen became the victim of torture under Mr. Bush command.

The law is very clear on torture and LAW simply wants the law to be applied. Under international and domestic law, Canadians have a responsibility to prevent torture and to prosecute those who commit torture. LAW wants the hearing to be public so that Canadians can see justice being done.

Information note on the crime of torture

Torture is a unique international crime. Torture can only be committed by or through state officials. It is a crime universally condemned by Canada and other nations as one of the most egregious violations of both international human right law and international humanitarian law. Torture is a war crime and a crime against humanity. The prohibition against torture is absolute torture cannot be justified by any circumstances. No nation holds torture to be legal.

The right to freedom from torture is universal and non-derogable–it cannot be displaced even temporarily. Criminal law prohibits the torture of anyone.

International law says Canada owes a duty to the whole world to prosecute Mr. Bush for torture. Canada has a duty to act effectively to prevent further torture of the people in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay and to deter other states from using torture.

For further information, contac

Gail Davidson:


See also:

New Abu Ghraib Images Far Worse Than Originals

Abu Ghraib General Lambastes Bush Administration
For the first time since she was made the scapegoat for the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib, Maj. Gen. Janis Karpinski lambastes the Bush administration for its entire Iraq policy. In Marjorie Cohn's exclusive interview with her, Karpinski implicates the White House in setting the torture policy. She describes the cover-up by the administration after the photographs came out, and says that Rumsfeld knowingly prosecuted the Iraq war with less than half the troops he needed.



Date: 24 Aug 2005
From: Connie Fogal>
Subject: Hitler's Germany Revisited in Canadian Eavesdropping Law, among others

August 22, 2005

Hitler's Germany Revisited in Canada?

Connie Fogal, Leader of CAP, says " 'NO' to an impending federal law to give police and national security agencies new powers to eavesdrop on cellphone calls and monitor the Internet activities of Canadians"

"This law is another destruction of Canadian freedom,"insists Fogal. "It moves Canada even further into the realm of a police state. This is an adjunct to our nefarious anti terrorism laws imposed on an uninformed citizenry by our Parliament and Senate. It is another elimination of some of our sovereign rights that were supposed to be guaranteed to us under our Constitution and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is an act of stealth imposed under the guise of national security."

Fogal asks? "Why is this being done? Canada is mirroring recent U.S legislation because our government has committed Canada by stealth and backroom deals to a North American Union: US, Canada, and Mexico under US command and control. Information on this year's meeting by the three national leaders at Bush's ranch in Texas on North American Union has been revealed even in mainstream media."

"This latest piece of liberty stripping legislation is but one more incremental step of stealth because Canadians would not tolerate this if we were allowed to have full information of what is going on. This is an incredible situation," reported Fogal.

She continued, "Many Canadians fought and died in WW2 to stop this very kind of police state activity. What we are witnessing now with these types of laws is an exact pattern of liberty -stripping imposed by Hitler on Germans under the guise of 'National Security'. Good people there who turned a blind eye or failed to resist later discovered it was too late.Their liberty was completely eliminated . Eventually it reached a stage where even Germany's highest court judges were committing crimes by convicting innocent people. See the Nuremburg Trials. Even Judges are corruptible in such regimes. As Harry Rankin, Vancouver's renowned 25 year alderman and criminal lawyer, used to say, 'If you want justice, go to church,not to the courts. The courts are there to apply the law created by politicians.' "

"Fogal, a lawyer, said, "Canada along with many countries has been participating for years in an eavesdropping program called Echelon. That is illegal. What government is trying to do is make it legal. It is illegal because our system as a democracy had built in protections for the good and innocent. Police have to justify any invasion of privacy before a court of law. If the court did not accept the reason for the invasion, it was not allowed. This protection is core to civil liberties. We should not abandon it. We must not abandon it, if we are to be a free and democratic people."

"It is such hypocrisy for Canada to be supporting the US occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq as deliverers of "freedom" when new local draconian laws at home are stripping Canadians and Americans of our liberty. It is time for a reality check," insisted Fogal.

"At a crucial point in 'the tide of the affairs of men' human beings have to take a stand and be counted. Better sooner than later when to do so means imprisonment or death, as happened in Germany. I, for one, say "NO" to another deceitful and wrongful law. I also speak as the leader of a small federal party voicing the view of thousands of Canadians who feel betrayed by the existing Parliamentarians,"said Fogal.

Connie Fogal, lawyer, Director Defence of Canadian Liberty Committee and Leader of Canadian Action Party/parti action Canadienne


New Legislation Threatens Privacy for Canadians Once Again!

OP-ED By Catherine Whelan Costen e mail: Catherine Whelan Costen> Tel: 403 684 3514
Canadian Action Party, Vice President and Candidate

The Globe and Mail report by Bill Curry on Aug.19,2005 states, "The federal government will introduce legislation this fall that would give police and national security agencies new powers to eavesdrop on cellphone calls and monitor the Internet activities of Canadians, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said yesterday." The first question should be why? Is there no longer a presumption of innocence in this county? Have we all become possible criminals as we go about our daily lives?
The article goes on "The bill would allow police to demand that Internet service providers hand over a wide range of information on the surfing habits of individuals, including on-line pseudonyms and whether someone possesses a mischief-making computer virus, according to a draft outline of the bill provided to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada." The Privacy Commissioner should be speaking out loudly against such invasions of Canadians privacy. We ought to be able to go about life without looking over our shoulder constantly. It would appear that Canada is becoming a police state, where everything we do is suspect.
Canadian law enforcement needs the tools to fight crime, but that should not include spying on law abiding citizens, just in case they are thinking about doing something. There are already sufficient laws in place that allow court orders to search property, including computers, but there must be justifiable cause to do so. This new law appears to give the state excessive powers to invade Canadians privacy. It threatens freedom of speech and the ability for citizens to discuss political or other matters in private. How far are they willing to go?

Tie this into the already existing rules, such as, anti-Terrorist legislation (Bill C 36) and Bill C7 which gained Royal Assent: 6 May 2004 and which gives dictatorial powers to a number of Ministers who have the capacity to shut down the country and declare martial law without any checks and balances, and without going to Parliament. Add to that the new Smart Border plans being proposed and the biometric identification cards on the horizon(proposed by the Tri-lateral Task Force which includes the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Mexican Council of Foreign Relations; the business elite of the three countries). Then you can see we are losing our freedom all in the name of some dark shadow that was, created by fear and hate, called terrorism. This new world we live in has become might is right. Clearly the rise of terrorism has coincided with the pre-emptive strike on Iraq, ironically in retaliation for an act by several Saudi's! I believe it is noteworthy to consider that with all the security, spy agencies and technology, the two men who were America's most wanted‚, are still alive, while thousands of innocent people have been murdered. How many more people will be arrested, detained, murdered or falsely imprisoned on the basis of lies, or false intelligence information?

According to a Standing Committee Report by The Ligue des droits et libertes a non-profit, non-partisan group, these proposals come at the request of the United States not because Canada deems them necessary. I quote from their report, In the fall of 2002, Minister Denis Coderre launched the idea of an identity cardto facilitate border crossing for Canadians at the U.S. border. On December 6, 2002 John Manley and Tom Ridge, the director of Homeland Security, agreed on a 30-point Smart Border Action Plan. The first point concerns biometric identification.

The purpose of the plan was to meet the requirements of the United States rather than any need felt in Canada."

Really I ask you, who is being terrorized? After Sept 11, we were inundated with slogans, they will not win‚ and situation normal‚ and please go about your daily affairs, because if we live in fear THEY will have won‚. Today, they‚ are not imposing the fear. It is coming from those who should be creating an environment of calm, reassuring the public instead of creating mass hysteria. Today, we are inundated with a different slogan, The evil must be annihilated‚ and We are fighting this war on terror‚, and reminding us to watch our neighbours and be suspicious of people's activities. Quite frankly it sounds like the war on drugs‚, something which never ends, because the root cause is never addressed.

All of this new security is being done without the consent or request of the Canadian people. It would appear that our government is now taking instructions from someone other than those who have elected them. When the U.S. brought in the Patriot Act, we followed with anti-terrorism laws, (Bill C36). When they started the no fly‚ list for airlines, Canada followed with our own. (Do we have this?? I did not know this) Now they want more power to invade Canadians privacy. Canada's Census, the collection of very private and national security information, will be influenced by Lockheed Martin(a Manufacturer of Weapons), which leaves us susceptible to the Patriot Act's over reaching powers to access information from any company. Why would Canada ever allow a foreign company to be involved in our census at any level?

I ask you, what is the definition of democracy on today's stage and what manner of freedom do we profess to embrace? With all the high tech security we have in place today, and much of what was in place prior to 911, certainly prior to the recent bombings in Britain, did it prevent such attacks? Does spying on the law abiding citizen, give them a sense of security? Civil rights are being eroded fast and furious, and seemingly our Canadian government is succumbing to the law of another nation.

We are inviting the DEA, FBI and other U.S. agencies into Canada on the premise of assisting our law enforcement. Texas troopers are detaining people on B.C. highways, with no legitimate explanation for their boots on Canadian soil! This is the incident as reported, CBC News, Jan. 28, 2005 VANCOUVER – A Vancouver man has won an out-of-court settlement from the RCMP after an incident in which he says he was illegally searched. David Laing says police overstepped the law when they stopped his car, decided he was driving under the influence of marijuana, and searched his vehicle and two-year-old son. Under Canadian law, that kind of search is illegal. What upset Laing even more is that some the officers he tangled with were actually American police officers."

Consultation with the people is a required element to validate a democracy. Canada's very sovereignty is being threatened through the glorification of a global ideology that promises peace, harmony and security, but in reality offers nothing more than colonization. When our government no longer acts independently to create laws, control our monetary supply, health regulations, and security measures suitable and appropriate to the people of Canada, we abdicate our sovereignty. The very real threat to become nothing more than a mere landmass, storage for natural resources, and military bases, grouped within the boundaries of a North American Fortress and under control of a global power is no longer the substance of sci-fi novels.

Canada's ability to remain a nation, separate and distinct, with unique and specific laws, customs and values is being eroded, at an alarming rate. We are indebted to foreign investors and private banks, our military is heavily influenced if not under the control of a foreign power in many ways, we have laws on the books which allow the U.S. to send troops into Canada without our consent. This new legislation is another element added to the decline of our rights as citizens in a sovereign country. The writing is no longer just on the walls. It is on every bar of this symbolic cage we are creating for ourselves in the name of freedom!

Canadian Action Party/ Parti Action Canadienne
Leader, Constance (Connie) Fogal
Telephone (604) 872 2128 home; Fax: (604) 872 1504
Head Office #385- 916 West Broadway, Vancouver B.C. V5Z1K7
Tel: (604) 708-3372;Fax: (604) 872 1504; e- mail:


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