January 25, 2005

The Empire of Darkness Series #20: Litanies of Horrors

Hello everyone

This compilation has been in the work since last week, so once again there is much to review (60 pages - 19,200 words and a whopping total of 156 links provided!).

Also exceptionally, you will receive 2 more compilations this week as I also have a Green Holocaust File compilation (46 pages) and a Light Series one (20 pages) now almost ready for you.

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

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"The gigantic catastrophes that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a physical or biological order, but psychic events. To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics. At any moment several millions of human beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we shall have another world war or devastating revolution. Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche."

- C. G. Jung

Sung loosely to the vaudevillian tune of
"You are the Christ" from Jesus Christ Superstar
(with apologies to both the composer and to JC -
let's just call it A Vaude - Villain song... or Inaugural Doggerel)

Oh G double you
Do you have a clue
What history is going to do
with youuuu?

Well Atila the Hun they say was no fun
But I would never dare suggest a comparison
to youuuu.

Cause he and his men
Could kill one by one
whereas you have all the weapons of mass destruction
Yes you monopolised them all
put your opponents to the wall
and then - to add to your historical sum
you utilised depleted uranium
Yes you - oh Gee Double Youuuuu

Perhaps you'd have us all believe your ignorance is bliss
But your crimes against humanity are getting hard to miss
You started out by killing every convict on death row
Then Daddy made you president - now who knows where you'll go
I'd love to turn my back on you but I cannot pretend
Your choices all seem tailor made to hasten the world's end
Perhaps you believe you'll get a better seat in heaven
If you are the mastermind of Arma - ged - don
But what about the rest of your cronies at the helm?
surely torturers and tyrants belong in hotter realms...

O Gee Double You - forget heaven or hell
But what on Earth
Are we going to do about youuuuu?

Jaiia Earthschild


1. Listening to the Inaugural
2. Your Suspicions Were Correct: The Corporate Elite Determined the Election
3. Kennedy: Fascist America
4. Can You Imagine?: Hussein Was Right & Bush Was Wrong
5. Ho Hum, More War And Death
6. The Salvador option
7. MICROWAVING IRAQ: "Pacifying" Rays Pose New Hazards In Iraqi
8. Bird Flu Kills Vietnam Teenager, Virus Fears Rise
9. A televisual fairyland
10. China's risky scramble for oil
11. Ten Things We Learned About 911 In 2004
12. Dear Abby
13. Centers for Disease Control Epidemic WARNING

Worthy of Your Attention

U.S. Use Of Depleted Uranium Weapons (Video 5:08) by Helen Caldicott

The horror of Depleted Uranium is not limited to Iraq – it may well be at our doorsteps. The information which some governments are concealing is presented here. (...) Britain and America not only used DU in this year's Iraq war, they dramatically increased its use - from a minimum of 320 tons in the previous war to at minimum of 1500 tons in this one. And this time the use of DU wasn't limited to anti-tank weapons - as it had largely been in the previous Gulf war - but was extended to the guided missiles, large bunker busters and big 2000 pound bombs used in Iraq's cities. This means that Iraq's cities have been blanketed in lethal particles - any one of which can cause cancer or deform a child. In addition, the use of DU in huge bombs which throw the deadly particles higher and wider in huge plumes of smoke means that billions of deadly particles have been carried high into the air - again and again and again as the bombs rained down - ready to be swept worldwide by the winds. The Royal Society has suggested the solution is massive decontamination in Iraq. That could only scratch the surface. For decontamination is hugely expensive and, though it may reduce the risks in some of the worst areas, it cannot fully remove them. For DU is too widespread on land and water. How do you clean up every nook and cranny of a city the size of Baghdad? How can they decontaminate a whole country in which microscopic particles, which cannot be detected with a normal geiger counter, are spread from border to border? And how can they clean up all the countries downwind of Iraq - and, indeed, the world? So there are only two things we can do to mitigate this crime against humanity. CLIP

This Modern World: What will Republicans ignore next? 1.18.05
Many more such political cartoons at

Hail to the Thief

A Progressive view of Iraq, the Inauguration, etc. from Wm. Rivers Pitt
Recommended by who wrote: "For a view of recent events that is radically different from what you get on CNN or other Mainstream Media. Powerful!" (INDEED!)

Lots of barely reported news

Its creator, Fintan Dunne, was on Meria's show today.

See also:

Dubya's 2nd Inaugural: America Celebrates! A Patriotic Commemorative Photographic Tribute... Recommended by Meria> who wrote: "Real Americans and Real Patriots for Planet Earth" (AN AMAZING COLLECTION OF PICTURES OF PEOPLE PROTESTING THE INAUGURATION ACROSS THE UNITED STATES)
Still Uniting Not Dividing!...From Sea to Shining Sea!...And Beyond! UPDATE: Thanks to all of those who have linked to the following photo essay. Late last night, I was remembering having watched the scenes of protesters during the first... UPDATE: Thanks to all of those who have linked to the following photo essay.Late last night, I was remembering having watched the scenes of protesters during the first inaugural parade in Fahrenheit 9/11. As I watched those scenes I had thought to myself, "I can't believe I had no idea that such protests had even occurred that day!" And I had watched virtually all of the "wall-to-wall coverage" of the inaugural back in 2001! The Mainstream Media failed us then, and I have since learned well how they are failing us now. It would be a travesty for people to remain similarly unaware of the hundreds of thousands who spoke out yesterday against a failed President who had to cheat to "win" and whose claims of having received a "mandate" are as arrogantly fallacious as having claimed to have been "a uniter, not a divider". CLIP

Pictures of some of the day's counter-inaugural protests

Illuminati Devil Hand Signals Prevalent Throughout Inauguration (Jan 21) (MUST SEE PICS!)
We have noticed in the past that the mainstream media would just carry these photos without attempting to whitewash what we were seeing. Bush and his entire family flashed so many of these hand signs today that they had to mention it. (...) "Devil's hand" (or "il cornuti" in Italian) signifies that satan rules. It is a universal hand signal used by politicians, celebrities as well as heavy metal bands, affirming their allegiance to satanic powers and a visual shorthand for "Hail, Satan." The "devil's hand" is familiar to both Bill Clinton and George Bush as evidenced by the photos with the caption "the satanic torch is passed" on Steamshovel Press. ( see at )

Articles of Impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld et al.
See also the related notes on these Articles of Impeachment (January 21, 2005)

Inauguration 2005, the Eve of Destruction (January 18, 2005)
George Bush is getting four more years to remake the world in his image. (Too bad for us, he already started.)

Inauguration: Lifestyles of the Rich and Heartless

Protesters Target Bush's Inauguration (Jan 20)
WASHINGTON - Anti-Bush demonstrators waving signs that said "Worst President Ever" and "the American Nightmare" jeered the president's motorcade during the inaugural parade Thursday. The procession of cars sped up as President Bush neared the designated location for protesters on Pennsylvania Avenue. Two rows of police lined the street in front of the main protest site. Officers stationed atop buildings along the route kept close watch on the crowd. Boos rained down from the crowd and some demonstrators shouted, "No justice, no peace." In some places in the protest area, the crowd was about six rows deep. Three blocks from the White House, protesters tried to rush a security gate and a flag was burned. Police briefly locked down the area, trapping some 400 to 500 spectators. CLIP

Crazy President, Crazy Nation
It is clear that George W. Bush is suffering from a terrible pathology, a sick paranoia. It has been pointed out by people who have known him and should have been noticed by anyone paying even a tiny bit of attention. What is less clear is that the whole nation is quickly catching up with his level of insanity. CLIP Check also

Gonzales: Did He Help Bush Keep His DUI Quiet? (Jan. 31 issue)
Senate Democrats put off a vote on White House counsel Alberto Gonzales's nomination to be attorney general, complaining he had provided evasive answers to questions about torture and the mistreatment of prisoners. But Gonzales's most surprising answer may have come on a different subject: his role in helping President Bush escape jury duty in a drunken-driving case involving a dancer at an Austin strip club in 1996. CLIP

Troops kill Iraqi couple in front of children (20/01/2005)
An Iraqi man and his wife have been shot dead in front of their five children by US soldiers who fired on the car in which the family was travelling. The children survived but emerged from the car spattered with blood, screaming and traumatised. The soldiers tended to them and brought them to hospital. CLIP

Peace Can Spread Freedom Noble Goals Must Be Reached By Honorable Means (Jan 21, 2005)
By Helen Thomas, Hearst White House columnist - I've got news for President George W. Bush. Since its birth, the United States has always been a beacon light of freedom and has spread the good word about democracy and self government through ideas and aid -- but not at gunpoint. Has Bush ever heard of the Marshall Plan, the Peace Corps, the Voice of America and exchange student programs? The United States was the model of freedom for the rest of the world until the president kicked off his new, macho doctrine of preemptive war, with the unprovoked attack on Iraq being the first test of that theory. This arrogant policy has cost us the admiration of a legion of liberty-loving friends and allies. It reversed our long-standing adherence to international law and our historical commitment to use force only when we are attacked -- and then only as a last resort. In his second inaugural address, Bush laid out his vision of a crusade to spread freedom and ultimately end tyranny in the world. His goals are worthy, but he did not say how he planned to achieve them. Iraq is a tragic example of the high price that must be paid in bloodshed and destruction when we use force to try to transform political systems of other nations. To many leaders, Bush's grand plan to topple tyrants and to expand freedom in the world smacks of imperialism. Will Bush go after sovereign nations headed by dictators who oppress their people but are friendly to the United States? Doubtful. They are the only friends he has left. CLIP

America rethinks Iran and Syria adventure as Putin makes Russia and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) alliance ready for military confrontation (January 19, 2005)
Neo-conservatives in America are eager to move into Syria and Iran to complete their “mission”. Every day that theme is reiterated in conservative American talk radio. The plan was to complete “Iraq” fast and then ask Iraqis to complain about insurgency support from Iran and Syria and then use that logic to enter those two nations. But some serious problems have come up. (...) Recently Putin made a world tour visiting China, India and Brazil. He tried to brief the leaderships of these BRIC alliance countries that Russia and BRIC will not put up with American aggression in Iran and Syria. Putin also made it clear to these countries that UN has lost its backbone and EU nations may stand pat. Interestingly, German chancellor Schroder had a very important meeting with Putin in recent weeks and came out with an interesting statement on Iran today. Iran is skeptical on American intentions and may not follow through the deal struck between Europeans and Iran regarding nuclear program of Iran. German chancellor Schroder told the Iranians not to delay the compliance in accordance with the agreement. Germany, France and Britain are informing Americans on what is happening though Bush Administration is not part of the accord. It is becoming clear that Russia and BRIC will not tolerate American adventure into Syria and Iran. Iranian elements in Iraq like Chalabi will not tolerate that either. Neo-conservatives in America are debating on their next move given the strong opposition from the world as such on their moving into Syria and Iran. CLIP

Cheney Says Iran Tops U.S. List of Trouble Spots (Jan 20)
Vice President Dick Cheney said on Thursday that Iran was at the top of the administration's list of world trouble spots and expressed concern that Israel "might well decide to act first" to eliminate any nuclear threat from Tehran. (...) "If, in fact, the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards," Cheney said. Israel set a precedent for such action in 1981 when it sent warplanes to destroy Iraq's French-built Osiraq reactor, seen as the key to President Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions. "We don't want a war in the Middle East, if we can avoid it. And certainly in the case of the Iranian situation, I think everybody would be best suited by or best treated and dealt with if we could deal with it diplomatically," Cheney said. Like Cheney, Bush has stressed the importance of diplomacy in dealing with Iran, but said this week, "I will never take any option off the table." The Bush administration imposed economic penalties this month against Chinese companies it accused of helping Tehran improve its longer-range ballistic missiles. After being sworn in on Thursday Bush admonished what he called "the rulers of outlaw regimes" and said, "We will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary." The New Yorker magazine reported this week that the United States has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran to help identify potential nuclear, chemical and missile targets. CLIP

Israel urged to 'act first' toward Iran (Jan 22, 2005)
US Vice President Cheney is claiming Iran has already developed a 'fairly robust' nuclear program and is urging Israel to act on it. Just hours before being sworn in for a second term, Vice President Dick Cheney publicly raised the possibility on Thursday that Israel "might well decide to act first" to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.In an interview on the MSNBC program Imus in the Morning, a highly unusual forum for Cheney, he appeared to use the danger of Israeli military action as one more reason that the Iranians should reach a diplomatic agreement to disarm, noting dryly that any such strike would leave "a diplomatic mess afterwards" and should be avoided. President Bush, in his inaugural speech on Thursday, appeared to have Iran,among other countries, in mind when he said he was committed to "the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." CLIP

Bush Pulls 'Neo-Cons' Out of the Shadows (22 January 2005)
Washington - In the unending struggle over American foreign policy that consumes much of official Washington, one side claimed a victory this week: the neoconservatives, that determined band of hawkish idealists who promoted the U.S. invasion of Iraq and now seek to bring democracy to the rest of the Middle East. For more than a year, since the occupation of Iraq turned into the Bush administration's biggest headache, many of the "neocons" have lowered their profiles and muted their rhetoric. During President Bush's reelection campaign, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, one of the leading voices for invading Iraq, virtually disappeared from public view. But on Thursday, Bush proclaimed in his inaugural address that the central purpose of his second term would be the promotion of democracy "in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world" - a key neoconservative goal. Suddenly, the neocons were ascendant again. (...) At her confirmation hearings this week, Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice named six countries as "outposts of tyranny" that would get special attention from the second-term Bush administration: Cuba, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Belarus and Zimbabwe. CLIP

US attack 'madness', says Khatami (Jan 20)
President Khatami made his remarks during a visit to UgandaIranian President Mohammad Khatami has described as "madness" the possibility of an American strike on his country. Mr Khatami said while Iran was maintaining "full vigilance", he considered the probability of a US attack to be "very negligible". He said Iran had "plans" to defend itself in the event of the US resorting to military aggression. Tension has been mounting between the two nations as the US suspects Iran of developing a nuclear weapons programme. The Bush administration has said publicly that it will not permit Iran to acquire the nuclear bomb. CLIP

BBC Documentary and Presidential Interpreter Expose Roots of War on Terror (Jan 22)
Both an eye-opening BBC documentary and my own personal experience as a presidential interpreter expose disturbing manipulations in the war on terror.

Nuclear weapons: Can they be stopped? (September 22, 2004)
Nuclear technology is now so widespread that it is only political will which stops many countries from making nuclear weapons. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN's nuclear regulatory body the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said recently that 40 countries could make the bomb if they wanted to. The reason for this is that the technology legally used to enrich uranium to make fuel for nuclear power can easily be developed to make material for nuclear weapons. A country could do this in secret or withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and do it anyway. This is the Achilles' heel of the NPT - an agreement designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons while allowing countries access to nuclear power. But if even only one or two of them go nuclear, or are thought to be doing so, it could bring tension and even war into their regions. CLIP

Bush sparred with Canadians on missile defence in tense meeting, says report (Jan 23)
WASHINGTON (CP) - President George W. Bush tried to bully Canadian officials on missile defence during his visit last month by linking Canada's participation to future protection from the U.S., the Washington Post reported Sunday. The newspaper quoted an unidentified Canadian official who was in the room as saying Bush waved off their attempts to explain how contentious the issue is for Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority government. CLIP

Bush Doctrine Is Expected to Get Chilly Reception (January 23, 2005)
When President Bush flew to Canada in his first international trip following his reelection, the White House portrayed it as the beginning of a fence-mending tour to bring allies back into the fold after a tense first term. But after Bush left, the Canadians were more furious than before.They were stunned when Bush leaned across a table in a private meeting and lectured Prime Minister Paul Martin about opposing the U.S. missile defense system. And they were later taken aback by a speech filled with what they considered the same "old Bush" foreign policy pronouncements that opened the divide with the allies in the first place."If he's going to take that speech to Europe," said a top Canadian official who attended the meeting between Bush and Martin, "he's not going to get a good reception."For all the talk of fresh diplomacy and rebuilding frayed alliances, Bush heads into his second term still demanding that the rest of the world meet him on his terms -- and now he has redefined those terms to an even more provocative degree with an inaugural address articulating a grand vision for spreading democracy and "ending tyranny" in "every nation." With his eye on history, Bush wants to change the world. The rest of the world is not necessarily so eager to be changed. CLIP

Poll: World more dangerous with Bush (Jan 19)
A large majority of people questioned in a BBC World Service global opinion poll think US President George Bush has made the world more dangerous.Almost half of the nearly 21,000 people in 21 countries who responded to the poll published on Wednesday made no distinction between the Bush administration and the US itself. They saw US influence in the world as largely negative and viewed Americans negatively as well. In none of the countries polled was there support for contributing troops to Iraq. "Negative feelings about Bush are high and are generalising tothe American people who re-elected him," said Steven Kull, director of the programme on international policy attitudes at the University of Maryland, which carried out the poll in collaboration with international polling company GlobalScan."This is quite a grim picture for the US," he added. (...) Typically, one British contributor to the World Service website on Wednesday said Bush's re-election "means more pollution, war and social injustice [particularly in America]". "Whatever happened to the freedom-loving, forward-thinking, right-minded people that made America the envy of the rest of us?" he asked. On average across all countries, the BBC poll indicated that 58% of people think Bush's re-election has made the world more dangerous. CLIP

Amnesty International to Bush: Human Rights Not Hollow Words

Torture Still Routine in Iraqi Jails, Report Says (Jan 24)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi authorities routinely torture prisoners, a leading human rights group said Tuesday, citing examples of abuse which will sound all too familiar to those who suffered under Saddam Hussein. Prisoners have been beaten with cables and hosepipes, and suffered electric shocks to their earlobes and genitals, the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch said. Some have been starved of food and water and crammed into standing-room only cells. "The people of Iraq were promised something better than this after the government of Saddam Hussein fell," said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the group's Middle East and North Africa division." The Iraqi interim government is not keeping its promises to honor and respect basic human rights. Sadly, the Iraqi people continue to suffer from a government that acts with impunity in its treatment of detainees."Human Rights Watch said it interviewed 90 Iraqi prisoners between July and October last year, just after the government of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi assumed power from the U.S.-led forces which toppled Saddam. Seventy-two said they had been tortured or mistreated." Detainees report kicking, slapping and punching, prolonged suspension from the wrists with the hands tied behind the back, electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body ... and being kept blindfolded and/or handcuffed continuously for several days," the group said in a report. "In several cases, the detainees suffered what may be permanent physical disability." The report also said Iraq's intelligence service had violated the rights of political opponents. It highlighted the systematic use of arbitrary arrest, pre-trial detention of up to four months, improper treatment of child detainees and abysmal conditions in pre-trial facilities. CLIP

Humans Used as Guinea Pigs By US Government and Military

No Foreign Observers to Monitor Iraq Vote (Jan 22) THIS WILL BE A COMPLETE SHAM!
Only one outsider from international mission may assess elections on site. When 1 million Palestinians voted for a successor to Yasser Arafat, 800 international observers poured into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to monitor the polling. Former president Jimmy Carter and former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt led one team. A former French prime minister led another, and there were two U.S. congressional delegations. When 8 million Afghans voted in October, at least 122 international observers from across Europe and Asia monitored the presidential election - and declared it an "orderly and transparent process." But in Iraq, where 14 million people are eligible to vote, the elections next week may have only one outsider from the hastily organized International Mission for Iraqi Elections to evaluate the balloting. If reluctant governments change their minds at the last minute about letting their officials go to Iraq, a handful of others may show up. But, even then, none is likely to tour polling stations or to be publicly identified, mission and U.S. officials said. The violence in Iraq means that its elections will be the first among dozens of transitional elections over the past two decades - since democracy began to sweep through eastern Europe, the old Soviet Union, Latin America and Africa - that will not have an international observer force touring polling stations to assess the vote's credibility, election experts say. There will be no neutral outside group deployed across Iraq to determine whether voters are impeded, ballot boxes are stuffed, any party tries to interfere with the process or votes are counted fairly. No congressional delegation will monitor the polls, and the European Union announced last week that it had declined an invitation from Iraq to send observers. The Carter Center, which has monitored more than 50 elections overseas, also decided not to send observers. CLIP

Fear Shrouds Iraq's Elections in Secrecy, Confusion
Baghdad - Election centers have been bombed, candidates and electoral officials threatened and even killed. With only a week to go, intimidation is turning Iraq's landmark polls into a new kind of secret ballot. Some Iraqis don't know who to vote for as most candidates keep their identities hidden, fearing for their lives. Those who've made up their minds don't know where to cast their ballots, since the location of polling stations is being hushed up until the last minute to thwart election day attacks. "We don't know these candidates, not their names, not their programs, not where they've come from. I will not vote for people I don't know," said Hussein Ali, a handyman in Baghdad. CLIP

U.S. "Losing the War in Iraq," Knight Ridder Reports

How City of London (British Crown) Runs the World
Conspiracy theorists like myself believe modern history reflects along-term conspiracy by an international financial elite to enslave humanity. Like blind men examining an elephant, we attribute this conspiracy to Jews, Illuminati, Vatican, Jesuits, Freemasons, Black Nobility, and Bildersbergs etc. The real villains are at the heart of our economic and cultural life. They are the dynastic families who own the Bank of England, the US Federal Reserve and associated cartels. They also control the World Bank and IMF. Their identity is kept secret, but Rothschild is certainly one of them.England is in fact a financial oligarchy run by the "British Crown" which refers to the "City of London," not the Queen. The City is run by the Bank of England, a "private" corporation. The City is a sovereign state located in the heart of greater London. Considered the "Vatican of the financial world," the City is not subject to British law. On the contrary, the Bank of England dictates to the British Parliament. (...) According to the "American Almanac," the bankers are part of a network called the "Club of the Isles" which is an informal association of European royalty including the Queen. The Club of the Isles commands an estimated $10 trillion in assets. It lords over such corporate giants as Royal Dutch Shell, Imperial Chemical Industries, Lloyds of London, Unilever, Lonrho, Rio Tinto Zinc, and Anglo American DeBeers. It dominates the world supply of petroleum, gold, diamonds, and many other vital raw materials; and deploys these assets not merely in the pursuit of its geopolitical agenda. Its goal: to reduce the human population from its current level of over 6 billion people to below 1 billion people within the next two to three generations; to literally "cull the human herd'' in the interest of retaining their own global power and the feudal system upon which that power is based. CLIP - Read the rest at

Stop Canada Pension Plan Investments in War!
Did you know that the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is forcing millions of Canadians to invest in businesses that profit from war? Included among these corporations are 15 of the world's top 20 military contractors! Is that how you want your retirement funds invested? CLIP - More on this at

Doom For The Dollar--And Everything Else (January 10, 2005)
NEW YORK - The stock market is up and economic growth has been steady, if unspectacular. But, an increasing number of economists are seeing serious storms build on the horizon. They point to ever-growing federal budget deficits, a record current-account deficit, increased consumer debt, a real estate market that looks like a bubble ready to burst, a surge in personal bankruptcies and the prospect of inflation. Meanwhile, interest rates are on the rise, and if they increase much more, many of these problems could get dramatically worse. Doomsayers tend to be ignored--until it's too late. This week, we give voice to five prophets of doom, starting with Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital. Could the falling dollar mean we're in for a major financial disaster? He thinks so. He has been warning about the currency's fall for a while now. Even though it lost a third of its value in the last two years against the euro, he believes it will decline even further. But, the dollar's fall is more a symptom than a cause. The real problem is that the U.S. is producing too little--and spending too much--and the result is likely to be far worse than the happy-talkers on Wall Street will ever let on. "We are going to go through one of the most trying financial times in U.S. history, including the Great Depression," Schiff says. CLIP

Bush Wants $80B More for Iraq, Afghan Wars (Jan 25)
Middle East - APBy ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON - As Congress started to digest a new Bush administration request of $80 billion to bankroll wars in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites), its top budget analyst on Tuesday projected $855 billion in deficits for the next decade even without the costs of war and President Bush's Social Security plan. Three senior administration officials said the White House would request $80 billion for the wars, or a bit more, soon after Bush submits his budget for fiscal 2006 to lawmakers on Feb. 7. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the program has not yet been announced, said $75 billion of it would be for U.S. military costs, with the rest including funds to train and equip Iraqi and Afghan forces, aid the new Palestinian leadership, build an embassy in Baghdad and help victims of warfare in Sudan's Darfur province. Congress approved $25 billion for the wars last summer. Using figures compiled by the Congressional Research Service, which prepares reports for lawmakers, the newest request would push the totals provided for the conflicts and worldwide efforts against terrorism past $300 billion. That includes $25 billion already provided for rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. CLIP

Postpone Iraq's Elections
The elections in Iraq scheduled to take place this month need to be postponed. Elections are needed, but the timing is wrong, with the insurgency growing with every passing moment and Iraqis bracing themselves for the worst. Few Iraqis feel safe enough to cast a vote and fewer still know who the candidates are or what they stand for.When I speak to relatives in Iraq, they seem far more concerned about the security of their families than the elections. They say the situation is quickly spiraling into chaos. Election officials are being killed, threatened, and kidnapped daily and the entire Electoral Commission in Anbar province west and north of the capital has resigned. CLIP

UFO Sighting and Strange Signals reported again in Indian Ocean (January 24, 2005)

EMF-Omega-News 15. January 2004

EMF-Omega-News 22. January 2004


Forwarded by Paul Prior> on January 20

Listening to the Inaugural

It turns out that many, including myself, continue to underestimate the strength of Bush's commitment to an outright imperial policy unequaled in it's scope and unprecedented in its world-wide impact.

Globalization compels all to have global politics. Bush has declared his in pretty clear cut terms: The whole world needs the Republican Party's idea of freedom. Those who think otherwise: watch out! we're in your face. We will kill you or starve you if don't 'straighten up'; Allies: be careful you're not "divisive" -- that aides the Enemy.

If it wasn't clear before, political movements without a clear global vision will not longer be competitive on the national level. One vision is the strengthening of international governance and institutions capable of reducing the out-of-control and growing world inequality -- arguably the most direct cause of of 'terrorism'. The other is to sieze control of as much territory and wealth as possible before one is compelled, ultimately, if the history of such messianic campaigns is a guide, by catastrophe and cataclysm to adopt the former. The latter is the clear global vision of the Bush Administration as it enters its second term: if there's going to be a global economic and political structure, then its going to be 'ours'!

Bush has articulated his position effectively, even eloquently. The kind of 'idealism' and rhetoric that George Washington once said should make one unfit for high office. I literally gasped at his words, at the staggering un-reality, and thus immense danger, of the Bush global vision. Iraq, to hear his speech, is just a beginning, is a 'success' upon which the spread of 'liberty' will be mounted world-wide. He and his Administration appear to have a sincere, and radically different notion of the 'Iraq success' from the majority of the rest of the world, and, in the latest polls, of the US public as well.

Its troubling for there to be such a disconnect over the real situation on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suppose it means withdrawal for Bush short of outright military defeat, becomes even more unlikely, since, in his view, the fate of Republican Party Liberty now depends on the both 'Iraq success' and its extension throughout the Middle East, to the entire world.

Much more effective articulations of the former vision -- of an internationalism married to a social democratic framework for globalization, are badly needed. Kerry made an effort. It was not good enough.

I heard the pundits debating whether Bush "really meant" it, or merely indulging in "sermon rhetoric". Bush may not know the difference.




Your Suspicions Were Correct: The Corporate Elite Determined the Election

20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the U.S.A.

By Alicia

Did you know....

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.,2645,61640,00.html

13. Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.

14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it. (See the movie here.),2645,63298,00.html

17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. All - not some - but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.,2645,65757,00.html

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.

20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida - again always favoring Bush - have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.,10801,97614,00.html


Draft Dean

By Stephen Dinan

Permanent link:

As evidence mounts that this election was likely stolen, it becomes imperative that the unleashed outrage is channeled into effective political action. I submit that the most important next step for this work is to unify around a nationally-recognized and credible spokesperson who also has access to elite Democratic circles.

We owe a great deal to people like Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, who have led the charge to this point. She will be a key player as this scandal unfolds. But for the full power of the outrage to be harnessed, we need a political leader who is already established on the national stage, especially one with an organizational infrastructure that can be activated. I believe that person is Howard Dean.

I say this not because I supported him in the primaries (I backed Kucinich) but because he has exactly the right assets to turn the undirected outrage of the moment into an unstoppable movement. He ran as an outsider to the Washington establishment but he has access and respect within the halls of power. He effectively channeled the anti-war sentiment into a political force. He has a fighting spirit and balls of steel. He had the courage to air a national special on electronic voting with Bev Harris, so he knows how easily fraud can be accomplished. And he has a loyal base of support that can be re-activated.

Right now, the Democratic establishment is playing this issue very conservatively and that is unlikely to change until the movement reaches a certain level of power. That means the Kerry campaign structures and DNC are effectively out of play. They will be brought online once the movement reaches critical mass, but until that moment, we can’t utilize the vast infrastructure or money the Kerry campaign has at its disposal. We need to build momentum with an “outsider’s” structure until the “insider’s” structure feels safe enough to activate. That’s why we need to focus energy on drafting Dean – he’s the best bridge between the outsiders and the insiders.

Dean himself may start out resistant to the process, but that’s ok. Looking back, it as if the anti-war movement drafted Dean rather than Dean harnessing the anti-war movement. The massive sense of unrest about the war needed to find a focal point within the Democratic Party, a way to exert leverage. And, despite all the other ways that he didn’t carry a strongly progressive message, Dean was drafted for that duty, surprising everyone with the power of his run.

I believe that if we start a strong national movement to re-activate the Dean networks and put positive pressure on Dean himself, the election stealing issue will quickly become front-page news. It takes time to develop relationships of trust and accountability, which is why it is best to mobilize people who have already worked together and learned to become efficient. We don’t have time to cobble together a whole new infrastructure.

Other political leaders will play a role, of course. Representatives John Conyers of Michigan, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Robert Wexler of Florida have all started an investigation into irregularities, although they say they are not seeking to overturn the election results (,2645,65623,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2)

Ralph Nader has come out as a vociferous critic but his credibility is at a lifetime low. As momentum builds, many others will take a stand.

A few thoughts on effectively coalescing a movement:

Evidence gathering - We should channel our support for the legal groundwork to Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, which is doing the largest filing for information under the Freedom of Information Act ever, demanding the computer logs from over 3,000 voting machines around the country. That effort can serve as an important legal wing of operations ( as momentum builds

State Focus - We should focalize our energy on Ohio and Florida, because those two states are the key to overturning the election results and have some of the strongest evidence of vote stealing and manipulation. There is evidence emerging in many other states but Ohio and Florida are key to overturning the election itself.

Language – George Lakoff has written about how masterfully the right wing has used the framing of issues, a lesson we need to learn. Every time you refer to the election, I encourage you to use the word “stealing.” Stealing is more personal than fraud and hits people on a visceral level. It takes time for ideas to penetrate the dominant culture, so hammering away with the same terms is good strategy. Think of how the Bush campaign smeared Kerry with the term “flip-flopper” No one could escape it. Ideally, every time you refer to the election, refer to it as the “stolen election.” If you’re less sure, then phrase it as a question, as in, “Do you think the election could have been stolen?” Fraud is vague and impersonal; stealing is very personal.

Repetition – To build an idea in the public consciousness takes many, many exposures. The more times that people get information in their inbox and the more sources they hear something from, the more credible it becomes. Don’t be shy about sharing your suspicions and forwarding the best material.

Foreign media – One of the best ways that our allies in other countries can help is to put heavy pressure on their own media to cover the evidence that America’s election was likely stolen. As news reports build around the world, it will force American media to start covering. Right now, the American media is so compromised that I don’t think we should focus on it first. England might be the best place to start.

If people in this country rise up powerfully on this, we can create a historic victory. I want to make my prediction right now: this election’s results will not stand and Bush will not serve out four years.

Here are some resources to get you going. At the bottom, I’ve included an analysis by esteemed sociologist Paul Ray of how to go about building an airtight scientific case for fraud that I don’t believe is published anywhere:

Best 30-minute introduction:
Other good orgs: ,

Key articles:

Evidence Mounts that Vote was Hacked, by Thom Hartmann

The Ultimate Felony Against Democracy, by Thom Hartmann

Kerry Won by Greg Palast

More In-depth Article List – Thanks to Prof. Hugh Urbana from Ohio State University for this list.

CLIP - See the rest and another article at


See also:

Madsen: End of Year Update on Investigation (Dec 31st, 2004) A MUST READ!
I just received e-mail from Wayne Madsen: [Excerpts] "...clearer picture of how this Election Fraud 04 was done is beginning to emerge... You see, the more the Bushes fire additional government insiders, the more stuff is leaked to me about this election fraud. This smoking gun is...the election voting machine companies (all run by extreme right-wing [Dominionist], "End Timers") conspired with the homeland security and other database firms -- all conveniently located in FL, OH, and TX -- to rig the vote. "...Elections that close with millions of people voting have never happened before in our nation's history..." "Not only this last election but several previous ones were "fixed" by a dangerous group of right-wing [Dominionists] who dominate the election machine industry and various GOP Secretary of State and congressional offices. They (known as "The Fellowship" ) have been planning this coup for a very long time but now that their "man" is in the White House they are not about to leave through a fair electoral process."

Kerry Threw the Election
Kerry's silence indicates complicity with vote fraud. Go to and you will find absolutely nothing about the mounting evidence of vote fraud. Why? There is no mention of the official voting receipts found in the garbage, or about the vote suppression in Ohio, or about the GAO starting an investigation into the 57,000 reported cased of voting ’irregularities’ nationwide. 13 Members of Congress have asked for an investigation into the voting problems, heaven forbid mention that. Why is it that and both address the voting problems right on the front page, but the Democratic ticket of Kerry and Edwards won’t address the issue at all? It seems like Kerry and Edwards didn’t really want to win, almost like they’re ready for a vacation. They’re telling us, get over it, we lost, it’s time to move on and unite behind our leader? What the bleep is that all about? I thought Kerry was our candidate because Bush was so bad we had to get rid of shrubbie. CLIP = Read the rest (VERY INSTRUCTIVE!) at

Bush: The Secret History of a Reelection (20 January 2005)
Week of Traps, marketing, and dirty tricks... Today one of his team's strategists confesses: "In July 2004, we thought we were done for." And yet, in spite of the Iraqi disaster, in spite of abysmal deficits and social breakdown, Bush turned the situation around. And beat Kerry by 3.5 million votes. Vincent Jauvert describes the underbelly of a campaign as incredibly sophisticated as it was devoid of any scruples.

The Orwellian Global State: G.W.Bush's Launches Second Term but Will he Finish It?
By David Icke - January 22, 2005
(...) So, where do they go from here? The Illuminati/neocon attacks of September 11th provided the excuse to invade the strategically-placed Afghanistan and this momentum led on to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. But now they are bogged down and stretched to the limits militarily, and in the light of the lies about weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. and British governments have lost all credibility with vast numbers of their electorate. For Bush or Blair to say they have to invade Iran because of 'weapons of mass destruction' would be met with both hysterical laughter and massive opposition, especially in the UK where Blair and mendacity have become synonymous in the public mind. This leaves them with two options: to drop the agenda for further conquest (no chance); or to orchestrate another 9/11-style 'problem' that they could blame on their next target, almost certainly Iran. I wouldn't expect them to wait too long to begin the process now Bush has launched his second term. This 'problem' could be nuclear or chemical attacks on the United States, maybe Britain and other targets, too. It could be any number of potential horrors (problem) to terrify the people (reaction) that would lead to 'retaliation' against the fall-guy country (solution). This would allow them to justify to the gullible sections of the population the unleashing of 'shock and awe' against yet another nation. It would also be the excuse to introduce the military draft. Bush and Co.denied before the election that they planned compulsory military service, but this was just another blatant lie. They are already at the limit of their capability, using those in uniform by choice and without an enormous influx of battle-fodder they could not possibly 'fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars' as a 'core mission'. To expand into other regions they need the young and not-so-young of America to fight and die for their cause of human enslavement. That means the draft. One event that would pull all these strands together would be the assassination of President Bush and I certainly would not rule it out. It would not change the neocon policy if Bush were removed because he's just a front man for them and if he were killed the next president would be the neocon super-extremist, the brutal and horrific Dick Cheney. The benefits of a Bush assassination would be enormous to the Illuminati and their neocons. It would have such a massive effect on the American collective psyche, that the draft could be introduced and other wars launched with a fraction of the opposition they would otherwise face. It is certainly a possibility in my view.


Forwarded by>


Kennedy: Fascist America

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wants to run for Attorney General of New York State.

He might announce his candidacy within the next two weeks.

He's the son of Robert F. Kennedy, the former Attorney General under his brother, John F. Kennedy.

In 2001, President Bush named the Justice Department building after RFK.

The young Kennedy attended the ceremony.

We asked him what he thought of President Bush naming the building after his dad.

He said he wouldn't comment on the record.

But he did call President Bush "the most corrupt and immoral President that we have had in American history."

Not that he was enamored with Senator John Kerry.

Early in the campaign, Kennedy endorsed Senator John Kerry for President, but last month he expressed disappointment in Kerry's campaign and in the Democratic Party.

"The Republicans are 95 percent corrupt and the Democrats are 75 percent corrupt," Kennedy. "They are accepting money from the same corporations. And of course, that is going to corrupt you."

He has spent the last 18 years as a sort of private attorney general -- suing polluters to clean up the Hudson River.

Kennedy says that in the late 1960s, the Hudson River was "a national joke."

"It was dead water for 20-mile stretches north of New York City and south of Albany. It caught fire. It changed colors," he said. "Today, it is the richest water body in the North Atlantic. It produces more pounds of fish per acre and more biomass per gallon than any other waterway in the Atlantic north of the equator. It is the last major river system left in the North Atlantic, on both sides, that still has strong spawning stocks of all of its historical species of migratory fish."

He is seeking to close down the Indian Point nuclear power plant 22 miles north of New York City.

"After Chernobyl, 1,000 miles around the plant were uninhabitable. One hundred miles around the plant are permanently uninhabitable," he said. "One hundred miles around Indian Point would be all of New York City. So, imagine a world without New York City. Well, the terrorists already have. According to the 9/11 Commission, Mohammed Atta cased Indian Point before deciding to bomb the World Trade Center. But he believed, erroneously as it turned out, that the plant must be so heavily guarded, that it would be impossible to crash an airliner into it."

Kennedy charges that his appearance on MSNBC's Charles Grodin show in November 1996 got Grodin fired.

Kennedy was invited on the show to talk about his book and group by the same name -- Riverkeepers.

On the show, Kennedy ripped into GE, an owner of the network, for polluting the Hudson with PCBs.

On the show, Kennedy claimed that "every woman between Oswego and Albany has elevated levels of PCBs in her milk because of GE."

Grodin was soon thereafter fired.

Kennedy wrote a book last year that he hoped would change the direction of the country.

It didn't.

But it's a great book, nonetheless.

It's called Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and his Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy (HarperCollins, 2004).

For the past couple of years, he's been giving 40 or so speeches a year, mostly in the red zone, mostly to conservative groups.

He speaks about the corporate attack on the country.

"There is no difference between the reaction I get from Republicans and Democrats, because Americans share the same values," Kennedy told us. "If you talk about these issues in terms of our national values, everybody understands it."

In the book, Kennedy implies that we live in a fascist country and that the Bush White House has learned key lessons from the Nazis.

"While communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business," he writes. "My American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as 'a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership together with belligerent nationalism.' Sound familiar?"

He quotes Hitler's propaganda chief Herman Goerring: "It is always simply a matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Kennedy then adds: "The White House has clearly grasped the lesson."

Kennedy also quotes Benito Mussolini's insight that "fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

"The biggest threat to American democracy is corporate power," Kennedy told us. "There is vogue in the White House to talk about the threat of big government. But since the beginning of our national history, our most visionary political leaders have warned the American public against the domination of government by corporate power. That warning is missing in the national debate right now. Because so much corporate money is going into politics, the Democratic Party itself has dropped the ball. They just quash discussion about the corrosive impact of excessive corporate power on American democracy."

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter, Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, They are co-authors of the forthcoming On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press;


Also forwarded by Paul Prior> on January 19


Can You Imagine?: Hussein Was Right & Bush Was Wrong

by Harry Browne

You may remember that in 2002, the year before the Iraq War began, the United Nations Security Council ordered Iraq to produce a report detailing all of its biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons - past and present. Iraqi officials complied and produced an 11,800-page report on Iraq's weapons programs. The report described all the chemical and biological weapons the country once had - where they came from and what was done with them - as well as what had happened to Iraq's nuclear weapons program.

Although the report was prepared for the United Nations, U.S. officials intercepted the report, edited out 8,000 pages [1] (over two thirds) of it, and delivered its _Reader's Digest_ version of the report to the UN.

A German reporter managed to obtain a copy of the original report from Iraq, and then compared it with the truncated copy [2] the U.S. gave to the UN. He found that the missing parts covered the Iraqis' acquisition of chemical and biological weapons from the U.S., the delivery of non-fissionable materials for a nuclear bomb by the U.S. to the Iraqis, and the training of Iraqi nuclear scientists at U.S. nuclear facilities in Los Alamos, Sandia, and Berkeley.

The basic points made in the report were:

* Iraq once had chemical and biological weapons.

* Some of those weapons were destroyed at the end of the Gulf War; the rest were destroyed [3] under the supervision of the UN weapons inspectors.

* Iraq once had a program to develop nuclear weapons.

* Some of the nuclear weapons facilities were destroyed at the end of the Gulf War; the rest were destroyed under the supervision of the UN weapons inspectors.

UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said the conclusions stated in the report were basically true - that Iraq no longer had dangerous weapons.

Colin Powell dismissed the report [4], calling it a "catalogue of recycled information and flagrant omissions." Of course, as we now know, the information was recycled because it happened to be true, and the omissions were flagrant because U.S. officials had done the omitting.

Hussein said he would like to bring the UN weapons inspectors back to Iraq. (They had left for safety reasons [5] in 1998 when President Clinton resumed air strikes against Iraq.) President Bush called Hussein's offer a "cynical ploy" [6] and managed to nip any such idea in the bud.

Hussein also invited the U.S. Congress to send representatives, accompanied by experts, to inspect any facilities in Iraq that they wanted. President Bush said this changed nothing, and he managed to derail the sending of a Congressional delegation.

Over and over, George Bush told us that Saddam Hussein was lying, that he was dragging his feet, that Iraq had dangerous weapons, that Hussein was a threat to the whole world,

Now here we are, over two years later. What have we learned?

* The hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction has turned up exactly nothing [7], and so the hunt has been called off [8].

* Everything Hussein said about the weapons has turned out to be true.

* Everything George Bush said about Iraq's weapons has turned out to be false.

The Bush administration is trying to sugar-coat the above conclusions by saying that the recently concluded weapons hunt by Charles Duelfer and the CIA's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered an "intent" by Hussein [9] to renew his WMD programs if the U.S. would only stay out of Iraq. However, Duelfer has provided absolutely no hard evidence of such an "intent." Once again we're getting firm assertions backed up by nothing.

Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter has summed it all up very well [10]:

One of the tragic ironies of the decision to invade Iraq is that the Iraqi WMD declaration required by security council resolution 1441, submitted by Iraq in December 2002, and summarily rejected by Bush and Blair as repackaged falsehoods, now stands as the most accurate compilation of data yet assembled regarding Iraq's WMD programs (more so than even Duelfer's ISG report, which contains much unsubstantiated speculation). Saddam Hussein has yet to be contradicted on a single point of substantive fact. Iraq had disarmed; no one wanted to accept that conclusion.

In other words, the Butcher of Baghdad was correct; the President of the United States of America was wrong. The Butcher of Baghdad will be put on trial for "war crimes." The President of the United States of America was reelected to "lead" the country for four more years.

It's a sorry state of affairs in America when you can trust the words of Saddam Hussein more than those of your own President.


Harry Browne was 1996 & 2000 Libertarian Party nominee for President. He also has an interesting "journal" (a lot like a blog) at


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Forwarded by "Judith Iam">


Ho Hum, More War And Death

What happens when habitual warmongering and BushCo lies become part of our daily diet?

By Mark Morford, San Francisco Gate Columnist

January 19, 2005

And then you read the appalling little story about how BushCo is now "taking steps" to further the investigation into why their original intelligence on Iraq was so painfully, treasonously, colon-clenchingly wrong, why they thought Saddam had giant Costco-sized warehouses stacked to the rafters with snarling nukes and nasty biotoxins and active warheads when, in fact, he had nothing but a couple Dumpsters full of rusty 20-year-old shell casings and a bucket of stale glue.

And don't forget the part about how Congress allotted hundreds of millions of dollars for the futile WMD search, with no public accounting of the money, and the entire budget and the expenditures are to remain classified, by order of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Ha ha. Sigh.

This is about the time your head spins all the way around and you shudder in disbelief and you stifle a giggle and hold your sides and restrain yourself from gagging, think happy thoughts about sex and love and trees because otherwise you just smash your head with a brick and throw puppies into paper shredders to numb the pain and quiet the screams.

Because if you've been paying any attention at all, this is when you remember that it was at Bush/Cheney's own order that the CIA intelligence reports be intentionally skewed and rewritten, that they doctor their reports to say what BushCo wanted them to say to justify their vicious and unwinnable little war that is quickly shaping up to be one of the most economically debilitating, socially humiliating, deadly quagmires since Vietnam.

And this is when you remember, furthermore, how BushCo forced poor emasculated Colin Powell to stand up in front of the UN Security Council and shake little vials of anthrax and hold up completely bogus proofs, including satellite images of supposed "mobile biological-weapons labs" which were, instead, tanks of hydrogen for weather balloons. New drinking game: replay the video of Powell's testimony, take a shot whenever a final spark of his remaining dignity dies.

And you sit there and just let it all sink into your skin for a few seconds before frantically brushing yourself off, as if you were just hit by a swarm of pissy Republican gnats. I mean, get them off me.

Does it bear repeating? Are we too far gone? Do we even care that the WMD search has been quietly, meekly, officially called off in Iraq after two full years of ardent searching and after 1,200 of BushCo's own highly trained scientists and investigators -- not the U.N., not Democrats, not icky foreigners, not crazy liberals, not gay-marriage advocates -- but Bush's own people, preprogrammed to dig up the absolute tiniest shred of evidence of Saddam's gnarly intentions and hold it up and scream in giddy delight, and who found, well, absolutely nothing at all?

Yes, many Americans are "concerned" about Bush's handling of the war. Yes, his approval rating heading into Nightmare Phase II are the lowest of any two-term president in recent history. But, overall, Americans seemed to like him enough to give him another term and they think he's doing an OK job despite the economy and the deficit and the misogyny and self-righteous Bible thumping, and the nation as a whole seems to have assimilated the lies, the bogus war, the death and pain and economic violence.

Let's spell it out again, one more time, just for old time's sake. There was no "bad" intelligence. There was no evil Saddam plotting an overthrow of the world. There was only BushCo-branded coercion and misprision and traitorous presidential lies the scale of which make Nixon look like a pickpocket. The CIA and the FBI and the Pentagon said it outright: Saddam was harmless. No threat. No WMD. No reason to go to war. Period. Didn't matter.

And Saddam did not, as some Repubs whined and as the new reports -- again from Bush's own people -- prove, Saddam did not hide WMDs in Syria. Or Pakistan. Or New Jersey. He did not bury them underground or paint them over to look like circus tents or stash them in the back of the Winnebago Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were driving in "The Simple Life 2." Bush's WMDs never existed. And he knew it. What's worse? We knew he knew it. And he got away with it anyway.

And now, more than 1,300 U.S. soldiers have died and over 10,000 have been wounded and countless tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, women and children and families, have died, brutally, horribly, and the war is getting uglier, worse, more violent and out of control and increasingly controlled by guerrillas and astoundingly effective Shiite radicals and no one anywhere really knows why we're at war anymore. No one.

We haven't helped Iraq. We haven't furthered "the march of peace." We have done nothing to improve the conditions of the region by cramming Bush's snide version of Christian democracy down their throats. Saddam was indeed a murderous thug. And guess what? We knew it all along, even when he was our ally, even when he used the poison gas we sold to him to kill all those pesky Kurds with our implicit blessing. Remember that nice shot of Donny "Black Eyes" Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam? Exactly.

This, then, is the current upshot: the terrorists are as giddy as schoolgirls. Bush's warmongering agenda has done more to destabilize the Middle East than Osama could have ever dreamed. The U.S. is more loathed and mocked on the global stage than anytime in past 100 years. Our credibility as a peacemaker and a humanitarian force is the lowest in modern history, so much so that Bush had to send out a signed op-ed letter to the international papers, claiming that the American government really does care about all those dead Muslim tsunami victims, no really we do, despite how many of their co-religionists we're killing in our brutal occupation of Iraq.

And now, all outrage has become muted and lethargic. All protests, in the wake of BushCo's nauseating fear-based win last November, have become pale and moot and limp. We are numb and resigned to the steady stream of lie and abuse. This is the sentiment, even among many fear-hammered red staters who insist on seeing Bush as their pseudo-religious dumb-guy Messiah: a sort of national teeth gritting, a dark period in America, a hunkering down and waiting for it to be over and for the light to emerge again.

Term II is under way. The vicious Republican PR machine is of such potent talent that Bush could now walk up to a live TV camera and jam his thumbs in his big monkey ears and wiggle his fingers and stick out his tongue and say Ppppbbbtthhtt, ha ha America, it's my gul-dang war and I knew all along Saddam was an easy mark, a pip-squeak tyrant, never had WMDs, and I lied to the whole stupid nation to make me look manly and to help my buddies in Big Oil, and in the military industry, and in my daddy's Carlyle Group, and for my rich Saudi pals.

And he could say: Too bad about all those dead 'Murkin soldiers. Too bad about all those soldiers who will be dying very soon. Too bad they can't go AWOL and skip out on the war like I did. Too bad they're dying for reasons no one can justify, and never could. Okey doke, I'm off to the ranch for even more vacation, the most of any president in American history. Bye now. Oh, yes, one more thing: ppppbbbtthhtt!

And most of America would apparently sit there and watch him, and sigh, and go, oh that Dubya, such an honest and God-loving man, so simple and plainspoken and not all that bright. Just like the rest of us. He's a Good Man, isn't he? He's sturdy and stalwart and on the side of righteousness. I mean, isn't he, Lord? Hello?


Forwarded by Paul Prior> on January 24


The Salvador option

by Scott Ritter

20 January 2005

By any standard, the ongoing American occupation of Iraq is a disaster. The highly vaunted US military machine, laurelled and praised for its historic march on Baghdad in March and April of 2003, today finds itself a broken force, on the defensive in a land that it may occupy in part, but does not control. The all-out offensive to break the back of the resistance in Falluja has failed, leaving a city destroyed by American firepower, and still very much in the grips of the anti- American fighters.

The same is true of Mosul, Samarra, or any other location where the US military has undertaken "decisive" action against the fighters, only to find that, within days, the fighting has returned, stronger than ever.

And yet, it now appears as if the United States, in an effort to take the offensive against the fighters in Iraq, is prepared to compound its past mistakes in Iraq by embarking on a new course of action derived from some of the darkest, and most embarrassing moments of America's modern history.

According to press accounts, the Pentagon is considering the organisation, training and equipping of so-called death squads, teams of Iraqi assassins who would be used to infiltrate and eliminate the leadership of the Iraqi resistance.

Called the Salvador Option, in reference to similar US-backed death squads that terrorised the population of El Salvador during the 1980s, the proposed plan actually has as its roots the Phoenix assassination programme undertaken during the Vietnam war, where American-led assassins killed thousands of known or suspected Vietcong collaborators.

Perhaps it is a sign of the desperation felt inside the Pentagon, or an underscoring of the ideological perversity of those in charge, that the US military would draw upon the failed programmes of the past to resolve an insoluble problem of today.

The Salvador Option would not be the first embrace of assassination as a tool of occupation undertaken by the United States in Iraq.

In the months following Paul Bremer's taking over of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in June 2003, the streets of Baghdad crawled with scores of assassination squads.

Among the more effective and brutal of these units were those drawn from the Badr Brigade, the armed militia of the Shia political party known as the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI.

Although not publicly acknowledged, the role played by the various anti-Saddam militias in confronting the residual elements of Saddam's former ruling Baath Party offered a glimpse into what was, and is, an unspoken element of the US policy regarding de-Baathification - let the Iraqis do the dirty work.

SCIRI's efforts to exterminate Baath Party remnants still loyal to Saddam Hussein, or who stand accused of committing crimes against SCIRI or its sympathisers, attracted the attention of the "black" side of the CPA-run de-Baathification efforts - covert operations run by the CIA and elite Special Operations units of the United States military.

Of all the various players in this deadly game, the Badr militia stood out as the most willing and able to take the fight to the Baathist holdouts.

Tipped off by the CPA's covert operatives, the Badr assassination squads killed dozens of Baathists in and around Baghdad.

But the assassination of former Baathists did nothing to pacify Iraq.

The ongoing resistance to the American occupation of Iraq was not founded in the formal structure of the Baath Party, but rather the complex mixture of tribal and religious motivations which had, since 1995, been blended into the secretive cell structure of the Baath Party.

While the Americans and their SCIRI allies focused on bringing to heel former Baathists, the resistance morphed into a genuine grassroots national liberation movement where strategic planning may very well be the product of former Baathists, but the day-to-day tactical decisions are more likely to be made by tribal shaikhs and local clerics.

The increasing success of the resistance was attributed in part to the failure of the CPA-ordered de-Baathification policy. In an effort to reverse this trend, Bremer rescinded his de-Baathification programme, and ordered the Badr assassination squads to stand down.

This change of policy direction could not change the reality on the ground in Iraq, however.

The Sunni-based resistance, having been targeted by the Badr assassins, struck back with a vengeance.

In a campaign of targeted assassinations using car bombs and ambushes, the resistance has engaged in its own campaign of terror against the Shia, viewed by the Sunni fighters as being little more than collaborators of the American occupation.

Having started the game of politically motivated assassination, the US has once again found itself trumped by forces inside Iraq it does not understand, and as such will never be able to defeat.

The Salvador Option fails on a number of levels. First and foremost is the moral and ethical one.

While it is difficult at times to understand and comprehend, let alone justify, the tactics used by the Iraqi resistance, history has shown that the tools of remote ambush, instead of a direct assassination, have always been used by freedom fighters when confronting an illegitimate foreign occupier who possesses overwhelming conventional military superiority.

As such, history celebrates the resistance of the French and the Russians when occupied by the Germans during the second world war, the Chinese resistance to Japanese occupation during that same time, or even the decades-long national liberation movement in Vietnam which defeated not only the French and the Americans, but also the illegitimate government these two occupiers attempted to impose on the people of South Vietnam.

History, on the other hand, treats harshly the occupying power which resorts to the use of the tools of terror to subdue an occupied people. Thus, while it is fine for a French resistance fighter to blow up a German troop train, it is not acceptable for the Germans to burn a French village in retaliation. History will eventually depict as legitimate the efforts of the Iraqi resistance to destabilise and defeat the American occupation forces and their imposed Iraqi collaborationist government.

And history will condemn the immorality of the American occupation, which has debased the values and ideals of the American people by legitimising torture, rape and murder as a means of furthering an illegal war of aggression.

Ethics aside, the Salvador Option will fail simply because it cannot succeed. In an effort to confront a Sunni-based resistance, the Pentagon proposes that special assassination squads be recruited from the ranks of "loyal" Kurds and Shia.

In the 30 years of Saddam's rule, the Baathist government and its security organs were very successful in infiltrating the ranks of Kurdish and Shia opposition movements.

The Shia and Kurds, on the other hand, have no history of being able to do the same to the Sunni. If anything has emerged as the undisputable truth in post-invasion Iraq, it is that the Iraqi resistance knows Iraq infinitely better than the American occupiers.

If implemented, the Salvador Option will serve as the impetus for all-out civil war. In the same manner that the CPA-backed assassination of Baathists prompted the restructuring and strengthening of the Sunni-led resistance, any effort by US-backed Kurdish and Shia assassination teams to target Sunni resistance leaders will remove all impediments for a general outbreak of ethnic and religious warfare in Iraq.

It is hard as an American to support the failure of American military operations in Iraq. Such failure will bring with it the death and wounding of many American service members, and many more Iraqis.

As an American, I have hoped that there was a way for America to emerge victorious in Iraq, with our national security and honour intact, and Iraq itself a better nation than the one we "liberated". But it is far too late for this to happen. We not only invaded Iraq on false pretences, but we perverted the notion of liberation by removing Saddam and his cronies from his palaces, replacing them with American occupiers who have not only kept open Saddam's most notorious prisons, but also the practice of torture, rape and abuse we were supposed to be bringing to an end.

Faced with our inability to come to grips with a popular-based resistance that has grown exponentially over the past year, the best the American policy planners can come up with is to embrace our own form of terrorism, supporting death squads we cannot control and which will only further debase the moral foundation of our nation while slaughtering even more Iraqis.

As an American, I hope and pray that common sense and basic morality prevail in Washington DC, terminating the Salvador Option before it gets off the ground. Failing that, I hope that the programme of US-backed death squads is defeated. That is the most pro-American sentiment I can muster, given the situation as it currently stands.

Scott Ritter was a senior UN arms inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. He is now an independent consultant.


From: "Will Thomas">
Subject: MICROWAVING IRAQ: Pacification Project Revealed
Date: 24 Jan 2005

MICROWAVING IRAQ: "Pacifying" Rays Pose New Hazards In Iraqi

By William Thomas - Convergence Weekly

On the rooftop of a shrapnel-pocked building in the ruins of Fallujah, a team of GI's stealthily sets up a gray plastic dome about two-feet in diameter. Keeping well back from the sight lines of the street and nearby buildings, they plug the cable connectors on the side of the "popper" into a power unit. The grunts have no clue what the device does. They are just following orders.

"Most of the worker-bees that are placing these do not even know what is inside the 'domes' just that they were told where to place them by Intel weenies with usually no nametag," reports my source, a very well informed combat veteran I will call "Hank".

The grunts call the plastic devices "poppers" or "domes". Once activated, each hidden transmitter emits a widening circle of invisible energy capable of passing through metal, concrete and human skulls up to half a mile away. "They are saturating the area with ULF, VLF and UHF freqs," Hanks says, with equipment derived from US Navy undersea sonar and communications.

But its not being used to locate and talk to submarines under Baghdad.

After powering up the unit, the grunts quickly exit the area. It is their commanders‚ fervent hope that any male survivors enraged by brutal American bombardments that damaged virtually every building in this once thriving "City of Mosques", displacing a quarter-million residents while murdering thousands of children, women and elders in their homes—will lose all incentive for further resistance and revenge.

A dedicated former soldier, whose experiences during and after Desert Storm are chronicled in my book, Bringing The War Home, Hank stays in close touch with his unit serving "in theater" in Iraq. When I asked how many "poppers" are being used to irradiate Iraqi neighborhoods, he checked and got back to me. There are "at least 25 of these that have been deployed to theater, and used. Some have conked out and been removed, so I do not know how many are currently active and broadcasting."

Hank is still losing friends in Iraq, where front-line soldiers put their current casualty figures from all causes—combat, accidents, psychological crackups and suicides—at 5,000 dead and 22,000 to 30,000 injured.

Hank also blames those at the top for hospital counts of upwards of 65,000 children killed since the 2003 invasion. He is concerned that innocent Iraqi families and unsuspecting GIs alike are being used as test subjects for a new generation of "psychotronic" weapons using invisible beams across the entire electromagnetic spectrum to selectively alter moods, behavior and bodily processes.

"The 'poppers‚ are capable of using a combo of ULF, VLF, UHF and EHF wavelengths in any combination at the same time, sometimes using one as a carrier wave for the others," Hank explains, in a process called superheterodyning. The silent frequencies daily sweeping Fallujah and other trouble spots are the same Navy "freqs that drove whales nuts and made them go astray onto beaches."


The Gulf War veteran observes that occupied Iraq has become a "saturation environment" of electromagnetic radiation. Potentially lethal electromagnetic smog from high-power US military electronics and experimental beam weapons is placing already hard-hit local populationsˆ-particularly children—at even higher risk of experiencing serious illness, suicidal depression, impaired cognitive ability, even death.

American troops constantly exposed "up close" to their own microwave transmitters, battlefield radars and RF weapons are also seeing their health eroded by electromagnetic sickness. It's common, Hank recalls, for GIs to warm themselves on cold desert nights by basking in the microwaves radiating from their QUEEMS communications and RATT radar rigs.

Constant microwave emissions from ground-sweeping RATT rigs and SINGARS mobile microwave networks are much more powerful than civilian microwave cell phone nets linked in many clinical studies to maladies ranging from asthma, cataracts, headaches, memory loss, early Alzheimer's, bad dreams and cancer.

Even more powerful US military radars, radios and "jammers" blasting from ground bases and overflying aircraft add to this electromagnetic din.

This is bad enough. But this is also Iraq, Hank says, where ever-present sand acts as miniature quartz reflectors, unpredictably amplifying the ricocheting electronic smog so thick that if it were visible, every vehicle in Baghdad and the surrounding Sunni Triangle would be driving blind with their headlights on.


This is grim news to friend and foe alike—already overloaded by constant adrenal stress, waterborne pollutants, infectious sand fleas, dehydration, pharmaceutical drugs and exposure to radioactive Uranium-238 fired in "hose 'em down" exuberance by US ground and air cannons and cruise missiles.

As Hank puts it, DU is "the gift that keeps on giving." For the next four billion years, medical investigators say, large populated expanses of Kosovo, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico and Iraq will remain lethally radioactive from Made In America depleted uranium dust.

What kind of people would do this?

Clinical tests have repeatedly shown how microwaves "rev up" incipient cancer cells several hundred times. Triggered by nuclear radiation, and turned rogue by electromagnetic warfare unleashed by US forces, human cancer cells have been found to continue proliferating wildly—even after the power source is turned off.


While the mobile microwave weapons currently deployed in Iraq may or may not lead to lasting harm, rooftop "poppers" and "domes" left to radiate for days at a time are irradiating unsuspecting families already coping with illness, wounds, hunger and the stress of losing homes and loved ones, whose rotting corpses cannot be buried under the sights of marine snipers.

A preview of what lies in store for long-suffering families in Iraq can be gleaned from Greenham Common, where the British Army reportedly used an electromagnetic weapon against 30,000 women who had camped for nearly two decades around that UK military base to protest the deployment of nuclear-tipped US cruise missiles.

One day in the summer of 1984, more than 2,000 British troops suddenly pulled back, leaving the fence unguarded. Peace mom Kim Besley recalls that as curious women approached the gate, they "started experiencing odd health effects: swollen tongues, changed heartbeats, immobility, feelings of terror, pains in the upper body."

Besley found her 30-year-old daughter too ill to stand. Other symptoms typical of electromagnetic exposure included skin burns, severe headaches, drowsiness, post-menopausal menstrual bleeding and menstruation at abnormal times. Besley's daughter's cycle changed to 14 days and took a year to return to normal.

Two late-term spontaneous miscarriages, impaired speech, and an apparent circulatory failure prompted the women to begin monitoring for a directed-energy beam, Using an EMR meter, they measured beams sweeping their camp at 100-times normal background levels.

Another harrowing example involves the sudden illness and cancer deaths of US embassy staff in Moscow after being deliberately targeted with very weak pulsed microwaves by Soviet experimenters and fascinated CIA onlookers running "Project Phoenix" in 1962.

Very Low Frequency (VLF) weapons include the dozens of "poppers" currently deployed in Iraq, which can be dialed to or "long wave" frequencies capable of traveling great distances through the ground or intervening structures. As air force Lt Col. Peter L. Hays, Director of the Institute for National Security Studies reveals, "Transmission of long wavelength sound creates biophysical effects; nausea, loss of bowels, disorientation, vomiting, potential internal organ damage or death may occur."

Hays calls VLF weapons "superior" because their directed energy beams do not lose their hurtful properties when traveling through air to tissue. A French weapon radiating at 7 hertz "made the people in range sick for hours."


Like so many other American blunders among the ruins of Babylon, the intended microwave "pacification" of rebellious neighborhoods is having unintended effects. In actual "field-testing" in the Sunni Triangle, Hank has learned that the hidden, dome-shaped devices "are removing inhibitions". Armed individuals, already highly motivated to kill American forces are reportedly "losing all restraint" when exposed to the electromagnetic beams.

According to Hank's buddies in Baghdad, the frequency-shifting "poppers" "are having some remarkable effects on the locals as well as our own people." But these effects differ. Possibly, Hank surmises, because Americans come from daily domestic and military environments saturated with electromagnetic frequencies, while many Iraqis still live without reliable electricity in places largely free from electromagnetics before the American invasion.

According to members of Hank's former unit, constant exposure to invisible emissions from radar and radio rigs—as well as to their own microwave weapons—is backfiring. "Our people are driven nuts," Hank says. "It makes them stupid for two or three days."

The Desert Storm veteran compared the emotional effects of constant exposure to military microwaves to a lingering low-pressure weather system that never goes away. "You feel way down for days at a time," he emphasizes

As a consequence, AWOL rates among "spaced out" US troops are as high as 15%, Hank reports. For many deserters, it is not cowardice or conscience that is causing them to absent themselves from duty. "They are feeling so depressed," Hank explains. "They don't feel good. So they leave."

According to Hank's front-line buddies, Iraqis exposed to secret beam weapons "get laid back, confused and mellow, and then blast out in a rage, as opposed to our folks going on what could only be called a 'bender' and turning into a mean drunk for a while."

Once they wander away from direct electromagnetic-fire, startled GIs come to their senses. They return to their units, Hank explains, saying, "What was I thinking?"

The recovery rate among US troops "seems to be about a day or so, where the locals are not getting over it in less than a week or more on average," Hank has learned.

It is Hank's hope that his revelations will prompt public debate over the secret use of electromagnetic weapons in Iraq. But lost in the arguments over these supposedly "non-lethal" weapons is a much bigger question: What are Americans doing there?

Whether soldier or civilian at home, it is our imperative duty to stop supporting those responsible for ongoing "weapons tests" in Iraq. As electrochemical "beings of light," the strongest electromagnetic force on Earth is human conscience, acted upon.

Author's Bio:

After resigning his US Navy Reserve commission and refusing to participate in the Vietnam slaughter, William Thomas subsequently served five months with a three-man environmental emergency response team in the Gulf during and immediately after Desert Storm. He has written about military electromagnetics in Scorched Earth and Bringing The War Home, and has documented other microwave hazards in his new ebook, "Dialing Our Cells."

To read more on electromagnetic weapons "tests" in Iraq in the complete 4,500 article, including full references and illustrations, go at



Bird Flu Kills Vietnam Teenager, Virus Fears Rise

VIETNAM: January 21, 2005

HANOI - An 18-year-old girl has died of bird flu in southern Vietnam and the first confirmed human infection in the country's north has raised concerns about possible human-to-human transmission of the virus.

The girl died in a Ho Chi Minh City hospital on Wednesday after battling the highly virulent H5N1 strain for nearly two weeks since she was hospitalised on Jan. 6 from the southern province of Tien Giang, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper said.

Her death takes the Asian bird flu death toll to 38 -- 26 in Vietnam and 12 in Thailand.

In the latest wave of outbreaks, seven Vietnamese people have been confirmed as infected by bird flu. Six of them have died and all the deaths are in the south.

The latest confirmed case of H5N1 infection was a 42-year-old man in the capital, Hanoi, which has raised fears the virus could jump from person to person, state-run Vietnam Television said late on Wednesday.

It said the man had had no contact with sick poultry but that he went to take care of his older brother in a Hanoi hospital earlier this month. The older man died of a respiratory illness on Jan. 9, although tests showed he did not have bird flu.

"The Ministry of Health is conducting epidemiological investigations into these cases and WHO will keep in close contact with the Ministry of Health over the progress and findings of these investigations," the UN's World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a statement on its Web site (

What the WHO fears most is that the virus could mutate if -- and there is no evidence it has -- it got into an animal capable of hosting a human flu virus.

That would probably be a pig, and if the H5N1 were to merge with a human flu virus, it could produce a strain capable of sweeping through a human population without immunity, the WHO says. Millions could die worldwide.

The H5N1 virus already kills a high proportion of the people it infects.

More human deaths are feared. The WHO said in Geneva on Tuesday it had been told by Vietnam that up to 10 more suspected human cases were under investigation.

State media said at least nine cases were now suspected of contracting bird flu, including two who were hospitalised in Ho Chi Minh City from the southern province of Dong Nai on Wednesday. Four are in Hanoi, two of them in critical condition and on a respirator.


See also:

Asia Bird Flu Outbreak Spurs EU to Check Readiness (Jan 24)
ReutersBRUSSELS (Reuters) - The outbreak of deadly bird flu in Asia spurred the EU on Monday to check Europe's preparedness for the spread of a disease that scientists warn may become pandemic.

Thailand, Vietnam brace for bird flu outbreaks as more deaths recorded (Jan 24)
Health - AFPBANGKOK (AFP) - Bangkok warned that bird flu could kill up to two million Thais as it announced an emergency plan to combat the disease, while Vietnam also ordered hospitals to prepare for a larger epidemic after recording its ninth bird flu death this year at the weekend. Thailand's deputy premier Chaturon Chaisaeng said Monday the government committee supervising attempts to control the deadly virus had devised a multi-million-dollar, three-year strategy aimed at saving lives in the event of a massive outbreak. "There will be a stock of 100,000 doses of flu medicine, 10 million masks and preparation to produce vaccines and the preparation of bird flu testing equipment," Chaturon told reporters. The 776 million baht (20 million US dollar) Thai scheme was needed because such an outbreak would likely kill some two million Thais, said Chaturon, without indicating how the government had arrived at the estimated death toll. The virus has been found in a third Thai province, after two outbreaks were detected earlier this month, Thai authorities said Monday. CLIP

Vietnam reports two more human deaths from bird flu (Jan 23, 2005)
HANOI, VIETNAM - Vietnam yesterday reported two more bird-flu deaths, bringing the human toll to nine in three weeks and further raising the threat of the disease emerging as the next global pandemic, officials said.The string of deaths -- which include five this week alone -- has prompted the UN-affiliated World Health Organization (WHO) to ring alarm bells about the high fatality rate -- more than 70 percent of those infected have died. It has also warned that there's a lack of field research to answer critical questions about how it's transmitted, especially since no vaccine or effective treatment exists. CLIP

Evolution of Bird Flu Virus May Favour Pandemic - WHO (January 21)
GENEVA - The bird flu virus endemic in Asia appears to be evolving in ways that increasingly favour the start of a deadly human influenza outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Thursday. The situation "may resemble that leading to the 1918 pandemic", which killed more than 40 million people, it said in its latest report on preparedness for an influenza pandemic. The United Nations health agency -- which fears that the H5N1 bird flu virus could mutate into a deadly human form -- again urged countries and drugs companies to speed development and production of a vaccine. The death toll in Asia stands at 38 -- 26 in Vietnam and 12 in Thailand -- from the latest outbreak, but so far there are no signs that the virus is being transmitted easily between people, the agency's greatest fear. But recent epidemiological and laboratory studies revealed unusual features that "suggest that the virus may be evolving in ways that increasingly favour the start of a pandemic", the agency said in a report to its bi-annual executive board, which is meeting this week. The WHO has forecast a potential death toll of two million to seven million as a "best case scenario" for an outbreak, which it says is overdue. The last one, which claimed between one million and four million lives, was in 1968. The deadly virus has become "hardier", surviving several days longer in the environment. Evidence also suggested that the virus is expanding its range of mammal hosts, including captive tigers and experimentally-infected domestic cats, it added. Migratory birds and domestic ducks show no symptoms but excrete the highly pathogenic virus, indicating an "important silent role in maintaining transmission". CLIP

Outcry over Creation of GM Smallpox Virus (22 January 2005)
Senior scientific advisers to the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recommended the creation of a genetically modified version of the smallpox virus to counter any threat of a bioterrorist attack. Permitting researchers to engineer the genes of one of the most dangerous infections known to man would make it easier to develop new drugs against smallpox, the scientists said. But the man who led the successful global vaccination campaign to eradicate smallpox from the wild said he opposed the move on the grounds that the scientific benefits were not worth the risks to public health. Professor Donald Henderson, of the Centre for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh, said he feared that tinkering with the genetic makeup of the variola virus - which causes smallpox - might accidentally produce a more lethal form of the disease. CLIP




A televisual fairyland

The US media is disciplined by corporate America into promoting the Republican cause

George Monbiot

January 18, 2005

On Thursday, the fairy king of fairyland will be recrowned. He was elected on a platform suspended in midair by the power of imagination. He is the leader of a band of men who walk through ghostly realms unvisited by reality. And he remains the most powerful person on earth. How did this happen? How did a fantasy president from a world of make believe come to govern a country whose power was built on hard-headed materialism? To find out, take a look at two squalid little stories which have been concluded over the past 10 days.

The first involves the broadcaster CBS. In September, its 60 Minutes programme ran an investigation into how George Bush avoided the Vietnam draft. It produced memos which appeared to show that his squadron commander in the Texas National Guard had been persuaded to "sugarcoat" his service record. The programme's allegations were immediately and convincingly refuted: Republicans were able to point to evidence suggesting the memos had been faked. Last week, following an inquiry into the programme, the producer was sacked, and three CBS executives were forced to resign.

The incident couldn't have been more helpful to Bush. Though there is no question that he managed to avoid serving in Vietnam, the collapse of CBS's story suggested that all the allegations made about his war record were false, and the issue dropped out of the news. CBS was furiously denounced by the rightwing pundits, with the result that between then and the election, hardly any broadcaster dared to criticise George Bush. Mary Mapes, the producer whom CBS fired, was the network's most effective investigative journalist: she was the person who helped bring the Abu Ghraib photos to public attention. If the memos were faked, the forger was either a moron or a very smart operator.

It's true, of course, that CBS should have taken more care. But I think it is safe to assume that if the network had instead broadcast unsustainable allegations about John Kerry, none of its executives would now be looking for work. How many people have lost their jobs, at CBS or anywhere else, for repeating bogus stories released by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth about Kerry's record in Vietnam? How many were sacked for misreporting the Jessica Lynch affair? Or for claiming that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons programme in 2003? Or that he was buying uranium from Niger, or using mobile biological weapons labs, or had a hand in 9/11? How many people were sacked, during Clinton's presidency, for broadcasting outright lies about the Whitewater affair? The answer, in all cases, is none.

You can say what you like in the US media, as long as it helps a Republican president. But slip up once while questioning him, and you will be torn to shreds. Even the most grovelling affirmations of loyalty won't help. The presenter of 60 Minutes, Dan Rather, is the man who once told his audience" "George Bush is the president, he makes the decisions and, you know, as just one American, he wants me to line up, just tell me where." CBS is owned by the conglomerate Viacom, whose chairman told reporters: "We believe the election of a Republican administration is better for our company." But for Fox News and the shockjocks syndicated by Clear Channel, Rather's faltering attempt at investigative journalism is further evidence of "a liberal media conspiracy".

This is not the first time something like this has happened. In 1998, CNN made a programme which claimed that, during the Vietnam war, US special forces dropped sarin gas on defectors who had fled to Laos. In this case, there was plenty of evidence to support the story. But after four weeks of furious denunciations, the network's owner, Ted Turner, publicly apologised in terms you would expect to hear during a show trial in North Korea: "I'll take my shirt off and beat myself bloody on the back." CNN had erred, he said, by broadcasting the allegations when "we didn't have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt". As the website has pointed out, it's hard to think of a single investigative story - Watergate, the My Lai massacre, Britain's arms to Iraq scandal - which could have been proved at the time by journalists "beyond a reasonable doubt". But Turner did what was demanded of him, with the result that, in media fairyland, the atrocity is now deemed not to have happened.

The other squalid little story broke three days before the CBS people were sacked. A US newspaper discovered that Armstrong Williams, a television presenter who (among other jobs) had a weekly slot on a syndicated TV show called America's Black Forum, had secretly signed a $240,000 contract with the US Department of Education. The contract required him "to regularly comment" on George Bush's education bill "during the course of his broadcasts" and to ensure that "Secretary Paige [the education secretary] and other department officials shall have the option of appearing from time to time as studio guests".

It's hard to see why the administration bothered to pay him. Williams has described as his "mentors" Lee Atwater - the man who, under Reagan's presidency, brought a new viciousness to Republican campaigning - and the segregationist senator Strom Thurmond. His broadcasting career has been dedicated to promoting extreme Republican causes and attacking civil rights campaigns.

What makes this story interesting is that the show he worked on was founded, in 1977, by the radical black activists Glen Ford and Peter Gamble, to "allow black reporters to hold politicians and activists of all persuasions accountable to black people". They sold their shares in 1980, and the programme was later bought by the Uniworld Group. With Williams's help, the new owners have reversed its politics, and turned it into a recruitment vehicle for the Republican party. Williams appears to have been taking money for doing what he was doing anyway.

These stories, in other words, are illustrations of the ways in which the US media is disciplined by corporate America. In the first case the other corporate broadcasters joined forces to punish a dissenter in their ranks. In the second case a corporation captured what was once a dissenting programme and turned it into another means of engineering conformity.

The role of the media corporations in the US is similar to that of repressive state regimes elsewhere: they decide what the public will and won't be allowed to hear, and either punish or recruit the social deviants who insist on telling a different story. The journalists they employ do what almost all journalists working under repressive regimes do: they internalise the demands of the censor, and understand, before anyone has told them, what is permissible and what is not.

So, when they are faced with a choice between a fable which helps the Republicans, and a reality which hurts them, they choose the fable. As their fantasies accumulate, the story they tell about the world veers further and further from reality. Anyone who tries to bring the people back down to earth is denounced as a traitor and a fantasist. And anyone who seeks to become president must first learn to live in fairyland.



January 20, 2005 edition

China's risky scramble for oil

By David R. Francis

Look at this imbalance: The average American consumes 25 barrels of oil a year. In China, the average is about 1.3 barrels per year; in India, less than one.

So as the 2.4 billion Chinese and Indians move to improve their living standards, they're going to want more oil - likely more than can be produced.

That perceived shortage is setting off an intensifying scramble to tie up oil reserves around the world. So far, China has been the most aggressive player. But the competition is just getting going.

The pattern is clear. China has been weighing buying Unocal, a major US oil firm. Last month in Beijing, Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez promised to open that nation's oil and natural gas fields to China. Russia, in effect renationalizing the giant oil subsidiary of Yukos, may offer China a 20 percent chunk of the new firm.

China's efforts to tie up oil and gas resources - in places such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan - have not been cheap. But it has an unfair advantage, says Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research in Amherst, Mass. Its national oil firms have access to cheap capital from government institutions - and few limits on entering areas seen as sensitive for publicly held Western firms. (Think violence-prone Sudan.)

The challenge is huge. For China and India to reach just one-quarter of the level of US oil consumption, world output would have to rise by 44 percent. To get to half the US level, world production would need to nearly double.

That's impossible. The world's oil reserves are finite. And the view is spreading that global oil output will soon peak.

As a result, "the growing demand for oil is leading to a growing global conflict," warns Amos Nur, a geophysicist at Stanford University. The 1991 Gulf War, the 9/11 attack, and the current war in Iraq are skirmishes that could "pale in comparison with the looming potential conflict over oil with China."

Oil has often influenced history. An American and British oil embargo on Japan, which was close to running out of fuel for its growing navy and empire, was one reason that island nation advanced a plan to attack Pearl Harbor to Dec. 7, 1941. That move brought the US into World War II, at a time when world oil output still was rising. A peak - when it comes - will be a major event shaping geopolitical policy and future prices.

"There is a growing recognition of future oil scarcity, or at least the end of growth," says Jim Meyer, director of The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre in London. "The challenge of producing more and more oil is getting more and more difficult."

Just when it will peak is intensely debated. Conventional oil production could top out in 2022, reckons Leo Drollas, chief economist of the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London. Non-OPEC oil could peak in five or six years. Other experts are more pessimistic.

But many of them, in government or outside, are counting on the market to solve the problem. As prices go up (now at $49 a barrel), the oil industry should increase supply by getting more oil out of old fields or finding new sources, they point out. At some price, Canada's oil sands and Venezuela's heavy oil will become even more commercially feasible.

Last fall, the International Energy Agency in Paris calculated the global oil industry would need to invest $3.1 trillion to keep up with the demand for oil through 2030. That assumes the oil can be found.

At the same time, higher oil prices should discourage the use of SUVs, force people to turn down their thermostats, and cut demand. They could also lower the economic growth that fueled the demand in the first place. Today's uncertainty-related rise in oil prices, up 44 percent in the past two years, will after two or three years reduce world economic growth from what it would be otherwise by a significant 0.8 percentage point, predicts Mr. Drollas.

But Dr. Nur says this faith in market forces is unlikely to pan out in adequate supply.

Nor have efforts to assure supply always worked. In 1970, the seven major international oil companies thought they owned and thus had tied up the huge Middle East reserves beyond the turn of the century. Within five years, the nations there had taken ownership of their own oil - and prices had quadrupled.

So China's best-laid plans may not succeed, especially if other nations outbid it.

"In our business there are no guarantees," says Drollas. Oil is a fungible commodity that is mostly sold to the highest bidder on world markets. "I personally don't buy the idea that this is a battle for resources and that China is going to win."

"The outcome doesn't have to be horrible," Nur adds. "But it will be horrible if we don't pay attention to it." By "attention," he means major conservation efforts, the development of alternatives to oil - now the major fuel used in powering transportation - and the use of diplomacy to avoid conflict.


Fowarded by "Larry Stell"> on 19 Jan 2005


Ten Things We Learned About 911 In 2004

Rigorous Institution


1. The World Trade Center Black Boxes were recovered, though officials perpetuate the lie that they weren't.

2. FEMA really did arrive early in New York City, for the "bioterror drill" Tripod II, and Rudi Giuliani's testimony to that effect before the 9/11 Commission is its only public testimony which remains officially untranscribed.

3. The Total Information Awareness program was ready to roll out before Sept 11, and John Poindexter's office was established in the Pentagon no later than Sept 12.

4. A recording of six air traffic controllers' same-day detailing of their communication with two hijacked planes on September 11 was purposefully destroyed by the FAA.

5. NORAD was conducting a live-fly simulation of multiple hijackings on the morning of 9/11, which effectively hamstrung a fighter response already compromised by exercises which took the bulk of interceptors far from the eastern seaboard.

6. Dick Cheney was running a separate command and control communications system on 9/11, which whistleblower Indira Singh recognized as having "the exact same functionality I was looking to utilize [for] Ptech," the high tech terrorist and intelligence cut-out that "was set up in the basement of the FAA" for two years before the attacks. (Go to this page to download video testimony of Mike Ruppert and Indira Singh on this subject.)

7. George Bush was unwilling to reluctantly meet members of his reluctantly struck 9/11 Commission unless Cheney accompanied him, both were unsworn, their words were unrecorded and untranscribed, the meeting was private and in the White House, and the members' notebooks were confiscated afterwards.

8. That John Ashcroft made the case for Sibel Edmonds' State Secret Privilege gag order by claiming that disclosure of her testimony would "cause serious damage to the national security interests of the United States" suggests he is at least an accessory after the fact (Daniel Ellsberg believes Ashcroft deserving of jail time for his role in obstructing justice), as Edmonds has been able to say that her testimony involves "specific information implicating certain high level government and elected officials in criminal activities directly and indirectly related to terrorist money laundering, narcotics, and illegal arms sales."

9. Donald Rumsfeld confirmed what we knew all along, that Flight 93 was shot down, and the corporate media flew into damage control for the Pentagon, saying the Secretary "misspoke" and "stoked conspiracy theories."

10. As Pakistan wound down the search for Osama bin Laden and "prohibited" American forces based in Afghanistan from making cross-border incursions into the Tribal Areas, Musharraf was rewarded with the approving words that his continuing rule remains an internal matter for Pakistanis. (Afghanistan was, arguably, more cooperative in their attempt to bring bin Laden to justice, and Iraq was not a rogue nuclear state.)

We're getting there. Of course, they are there already, and have been for years.


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Dear Abby
Date: 19 Jan 2005

Dear Abby:

My husband has delusions of grandeur and a long record of money problems. He thinks he's a financial wiz-kid, but he's run a bunch of businesses into the ground, and he runs up huge credit card bills and at the end of the month. If I complain he tells me to relax and believe--it's all under control; all we have to do is pay the minimum and let our kids worry about the rest. But it's already so bad that we can hardly keep up with the interest payments.

Also he has been so arrogant and abusive toward our neighbors that most of them no longer speak to us. The few that do are an odd bunch, to whom he has been giving a lot of expensive gifts, running up our bills even more.

Also, he has gotten religion in a big way, although I don't quite understand it. One week he hangs out with Catholics and the next with people who say the Pope is the Antichrist. And now he has taken to parading around in military uniforms and cowboy boots. I hate to think what it all means. Finally, the last straw: He's demanding that before anyone can be in the same room with him, they must sign a loyalty oath. It's just so horribly creepy!

Can you help?

Signed, Lost in DC

Dear Lost:

Stop whining, Laura. You can divorce the s.o.b. any time you want. The rest of us are stuck with him for the next four years.


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Centers for Disease Control Epidemic WARNING
Date: 22 Jan 2005

Centers for Disease Control Epidemic WARNING

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim (pronounced "gonna re-elect him"). Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the past 4 years, in spite of having taken measures to protect themselves from this especially troublesome disease. Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea Lectim include, but are not limited to: Anti-social personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; uncontrolled facial smirking; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical! theocracies; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or nothing behavior.

The disease is sweeping Washington. Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed and baffled that this malignant disease originated only a few years ago in a Texas Bush.

Secretary of State for Health

Washington D.C.


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