April 6, 2006

The Empire of Darkness Series #31: Bush/Cheney: War Criminals!

Hello everyone!

It has been almost a month since I last emailed you a compilation. As you may imagine such a respite from this time-consuming task was much welcomed and probably many of you also appreciated having less material to review. In about a month from now, it will be gardening time here and hopefully by then the remaining 3 feet of snow still on the ground will have completely melted... So, as I do every year, starting in mid-May, I'll also be unable to devote as much time to reviewing my emails and preparing compilations for the whole summertime.

Since I've been back from vacation, I've tried to catch up with the 700+ non-SPAM emails I received while I was away, admittedly an impossible task, and I've found the following worthy of your consideration.

As usual, there is much to ponder...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

P.S. Please include the following note and the URL address for the archived copy below along with your forwards, so others may have the opportunity to explore the original copy, if they so choose.

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"I read of a man who stood to speak. At the funeral of a friend, he referred to the dates on her tombstone, from the the end. He noted that first came her date of birth and spoke the following date with tears. But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. (1934 - 1998) For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth... And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth. For it matters not how much we own; the cars...the house...the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard... Are there things you'd like to change? For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel and be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash... Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?"

Forwarded by John Linnell>

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Thursday, April 4, 1968, At 6:01 PM, On The Balcony Of The Lorraine Motel In Memphis, Tennessee The Greatest Orator For Peace And Love Was Assassinated By The U.S. Government. - Sent by "Mark R. Elsis">

"Well, there has been a very serious threat of nuclear war. It's not -- unfortunately, it's not much discussed among the public. But if you look at the literature of strategic analysts and so on, they're extremely concerned. And they describe particularly the Bush administration aggressive militarism as carrying an “appreciable risk of ultimate doom,” to quote one, “apocalypse soon,” to quote Robert McNamara and many others. And there's good reasons for it, I mean, which could explain, and they explain. That's been expanded by the Bush administration consciously, not because they want nuclear war, but it's just not a high priority. So the rapid expansion of offensive U.S. military capacity, including the militarization of space, which is the U.S.'s pursuit alone. The world has been trying very hard to block it. 95% of the expenditures now are from the U.S., and they're expanding. All of these measures bring about a completely predictable reaction on the part of the likely targets. They don't say, you know, ‘Thank you. Here are our throats. Please cut them.’ They react in the ways that they can. For some, it will mean responding with the threat or maybe use of terror. For others, more powerful ones, it's going to mean sharply increasing their own offensive military capacity. So Russian military expenditures have sharply increased in response to Bush programs. Chinese expansion of offensive military capacity is also beginning to increase for the same reasons. All of that threatens -- raises the already severe threat of even -- of just accidental nuclear war. These systems are on computer-controlled alert. And we know that our own systems have many errors, which are stopped by human intervention. Their systems are far less secure; the Russian case, deteriorated. These moves all sharply enhance the threat of nuclear war. That's serious nuclear war that I'm talking about."

— Noam Chomsky - Taken from where you can watch his interview or listen to him.

"Few of us will have the will to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

Robert F Kennedy

On the Bible and the Constitution: On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis, at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at AU, was requested to testify. At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: "Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?" Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." The room erupted in applause.

- Forwarded by Star Light>

"Take what you like and leave the rest. Jean Hudon is an incredible man who puts these together week after week. We get a meditation and then supporting things that suggest what we are meditating on. It is always an incredible compilation. If you don't subscribe you don't know what you are missing."

— Virginia> along with her forward of Meditation Focus #149: Healing Mother Earth

NOTE: This Wednesday, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date was 01:02:03 04.05.06 - That won't ever happen again...

Worthy of Your Attention

Impeachment actions sweep the country! (March 28, 2006)
The Impeach Bush movement has drawn in millions of people in this country. The mass media tried to not cover this story. We have placed full page newspaper ads from in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe and other newspapers and the results from this “media attention” has been overwhelming. A mass movement has been ignited from the grassroots. Now impeachment headlines are being generated daily in response to actions from people at the local level.In the next weeks this momentum will keep growing through more newspaper ads, radio spots, mass rallies, petition gathering, and growing participation in the People's Impeachment Lobby and the Impeach Bush referendum. (...) Every historic mass movement started at the grassroots. The corporate-owned mass media tried to silence the movement by refusing to provide honest coverage. But thousands of people generously donated so that we could purchase full page newspaper ads around the country and tear the down curtain of silence. The huge response is just what we expected as people have learned how to join the movement. Now there is Impeachment activity in every state in the country. If you have never donated to please consider doing so now. CLIP

The Meatrix II: Revolting

Suggested: first watch The Meatrix (1)

The Money Masters (Part I) (2 Hour Video)
How International Bankers Gained Control Of America

The Money Masters (Part 2) (1 hour 35 Minute Video)
MUST SEE videos recommended by "Mark R. Elsis">

Federal Reserve

Celestine Prophecy - movie flash

Hubble shots

Your immediate action needed to save the polar bear!
Thanks to courtroom pressure applied by NRDC, the Bush administration has agreed to consider federal protection for the polar bear, which is mortally threatened by global warming. But now we've really got to turn up the pressure! The Bush administration is taking comments from the public until April 10 before making its decision about whether to protect the polar bear. Go to right now and tell the Bush administration to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. Global warming is rapidly pushing the polar bear to the brink of extinction.Over the past three decades, more than a million square miles of the Arctic sea ice that polar bears depend on for survival has disappeared. And on the western coast of Canada's Hudson Bay, the ice is melting about three weeks earlier in the spring than it used to. Polar bears range over hundreds of miles of sea ice in order to find mates, hunt for seals and fatten themselves up for dormancy. But according to the best available scientific data, global warming could cause the polar bear's sea ice habitat to completely disappear by 2100! No sea ice, no polar bears. It's that simple. If the polar bear receives federal protection, the Bush administration will be required by law to ensure that any new federal actions -- including those affecting global warming -- do not jeopardize the bear's survival or harm its essential Arctic habitat. Go to and tell the Bush administration to ensure that global warming doesn't drive these majestic natives of the far north to extinction. Thank you for all your efforts to protect polar bears and slow global warming.

Revealing News Articles
Big Oil's Big Profits, FBI Monitors Activists, 9/11 in Media, More

Poll Results: MSNBC - Did Bush Lie us into war? LIVE VOTE
Do you believe President Bush misled the nation in order to go to war with Iraq?
* 73930 responses Yes: 94% - No: 6%

New York, 1 April 2006 - The world's first broadband TV channel dedicated to environmental issues called and developed with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is being launched today, aiming to become a "one-stop shop" of broadcast information on the environment covering everything from climate change to children's stories on wildlife. UNEP said would also go live today as a podcast on iTunes as well as having a front-page listing, courtesy of Apple computers. It will carryfilms from around the world produced by non-governmental organizations(NGOs), community filmmakers, public sector bodies and companies with a firm interest in protecting the environment. (...) It will have seven channels covering: air, land, water, climate change, people, species and technologies, in each of which there will be a feature, a news item and a children's story. With the look and feel of a global TV channel, will combine this with the best elements of the internet, giving users access to online chatrooms and the ability to watch video on demand, UNEP said. CLIP - Recommended by Susan Zipp>


1. Government in secret talks about strike against Iran
2. Former Head Of Star Wars Program Says Cheney Main 9/11 Suspect
3. Returning to the Scene of the Crime: War Crimes in Iraq By Noam Chomsky
4. Feds Squelch Capitol Hill Blue
5. March 18 Message from Matthew
6. The US: Rogue Nation
7. The Secret War Against the Defenseless People of West Papua
8. Important message from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
9. World’s Forests Continue to Shrink
10. Caribbean Coral Suffers Record Bleaching, Death
11. Stop AOL Email Tax - Yahoo is evil

See also:

Bush Administration Media Collusion Memos Surface (April 3, 2006),3566,190215,00.htmlFOXNEWS.COM
WASHINGTON — In a disturbing turn of events for an administration already plagued by sagging poll numbers and waning support for the Iraq war, Friday's revelation that the Bush Administration issued direct guidelines for programming to media outlets is troubling even die-hard conservatives. Late Friday a series of memos between senior Bush Administration officials and management at Viacom, Inc. were leaked calling for the media giant to focus on stories and programming choices that "reinforce the Administration's positions" and to "ignore and/or discredit points of view in opposition to the Bush Administration's foreign policy objectives for the purposes of National Security." Democrats and key civil rights figures were quick to comment on this latest chapter of alleged government malfeasance. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer issued a statement calling for a congressional inquiry. "This is it. This is a smoking gun. For years we've been saying that liberal and moderate points of view aren't being accurately reflected in the media and this proves our point. The Bush Administration is clearly out of touch with the American people, and Viacom should be ashamed."Other prominent figures were less forgiving. Rev. Al Sharpton called the memos "treasonous" and "genocidal" and reiterated his desire for impeachment proceedings to commence. CLIP - FORWARDED BY "Mark Graffis"> WHO LATER ADDED: "I apologize for sending this out earlier today. It turned out to be a hoax. The real URL for Fox news is and not - I have to say it is pretty funny. Anyway I should have known better."

Lt. Col. Oliver North, for example, helped draw up a controversial plan to suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis, such as nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad....

Audacity and Mendacity (March issue)
The audacity and mendacity of the Bush Administration mount by the day. This Presidency has become an increasing menace to our constitutional system. Days after the Katrina disaster, and minutes after he woke up to it, Bush promised to cooperate fully with any Congressional inquiry. "Congress is preparing an investigation, and I will work with members of both parties to make sure this effort is thorough," he said. But that was then. Now Bush is buttoning the lips of the entire Administration. (...) All critics want is for Bush to follow the law and go to the FISA court to get a warrant to wiretap that call. The FISA court has granted 99.97 percent of Bush's requests for such warrants. What's so hard about asking for a warrant? The fact that the Bush Administration chose to bypass the court suggests that it was engaging in a vast spying enterprise without probable cause. Bush pretended in his State of the Union address, just as he has in his actions, that the FISA law doesn't even exist. He didn't mention it at all, even as he tried to defend the warrantless spying. He added that "appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed," but the Congressional Research Service studied this and concluded that Bush did not fully inform the intelligence committees and thus acted in a way "inconsistent with the law." That is the trademark of this Administration: "inconsistent with the law." Or, more accurately, scornful of the law.

US Uses Front Companies for "Rendition"
Human rights group Amnesty International accused the United States on Wednesday of using front companies to transfer individuals to countries where they have faced torture or ill-treatment.

Alarm at UK Call on International Law
Politicians and human rights campaigners reacted with dismay Tuesday to British Defense Secretary John Reid's call for international laws, including the Geneva Conventions, to be redrawn.

First Mushroom Cloud in Decades Will Rise Over Nevada (March 30, 2006)
Military Tests New Bunker-Busting Technology

Launch of Iranian oil trading hits wall (15 March 2006)
Oil exchange unlikely to begin till at least midyear - As the nuclear standoff pitting Iran against the West continues, some conspiracy theorists are more focused on another plan that the Middle Eastern nation is pursuing. But they are jumping the gun if they still figure Iran is within days of launching a new international oil exchange that would sell its own and other Middle Eastern oil producers' black gold in euros rather than U.S. dollars -- and which, the theory goes, could ultimately torpedo the greenback and the U.S. economy. Despite repeated reports over the past 18 months or so that the planned bourse would finally open for business on March 20, 2006 -- and go head to head with the New York Mercantile Exchange and the ICE Futures Exchange in London -- the start date has been postponed by at least several months and maybe more than a year. "In the middle of 2006, we are able to start the bourse," Mohammad Asemipur, special adviser on the project to Iran's Oil Minister, said when reached in Tehran. The plan is to trade petrochemical products first, with a crude oil contract coming last, a rollout that likely will take three years, he said. (...) Mr. Cook dismissed the idea that Iran's goal is to use the bourse to sabotage the greenback. "I have a technical term for that," he said. "Bollocks!" As for trading oil in euros, he said the Iranians likely would find it very difficult, at least in the next several years. "Basically, there aren't enough euros in circulation, and nor are there likely to be," he said. Mr. Cook cited a recent article on Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online by William Engdahl, who specializes in the geopolitics of oil. "For the euro to begin to challenge the reserve role of the U.S. dollar, a virtual revolution in policy would have to take place in Euroland," Mr. Engdahl wrote. "First the European Central Bank . . . would have to surrender power to elected legislators. It would then have to turn on the printing presses and print euros like there was no tomorrow." A full challenge to the U.S. dollar as the world central bank reserve currency, Mr. Engdahl added later, would entail a "de facto declaration of war on the 'full-spectrum dominance' of the United States today," and that is something no country or group of countries is yet willing to launch.

Why Iran's oil bourse can't break the buck
A number of writings have recently appeared with the thesis that the announced plans of the Iranian government to institute a Tehran oil bourse, perhaps as early as this month, is the real hidden reason behind the evident march to war on Iran by the Anglo-American powers. The thesis is simply wrong for many reasons, not least that war on Iran has been in planning since the 1990s as an integral part of the United States' Greater Middle East strategy.More significant, the oil-bourse argument is a red herring that diverts attention from the real geopolitical grounds behind the march toward war that have been detailed on this website, including in my piece, A high-risk game of nuclear chicken, which appeared in Asia Times Online on January 31. (...) Since 1979 the US power establishment, from Wall Street to Washington, has maintained the status of the dollar as unchallenged global reserve currency. That role, however, is not a purely economic one. Reserve-currency status is an adjunct of global power, of the US determination to dominate other nations and the global economic process. The United States didn't get reserve-currency status by a democratic vote of world central banks, nor did the British Empire in the 19th century. They fought wars for it.For that reason, the status of the dollar as reserve currency depends on the status of the United States as the world's unchallenged military superpower. In a sense, since August 1971 the dollar is no longer backed by gold. Instead, it is backed by F-16s and Abrams battle tanks, operating in some 130 US bases around the world, defending liberty and the dollar. (...) Since the shocks of September 11, 2001, and the ensuing declaration of a US "global war on terror", including a unilateral decision to ignore the United Nations and the community of nations and go to war against a defenseless Iraq, few countries have even dared to challenge dollar hegemony. The combined defense spending of all nations of the EU today pales by comparison with the total of current US budgeted and unbudgeted military spending. US defense outlays will reach an official, staggering level of US$663 billion in the 2007 fiscal year. The combined annual EU spending amounts to a mere $75 billion, and is tending to decline, in part because of ECB Maastricht deficit pressures on its governments.So today, at least for the present, there are no signs of Japanese, EU or other dollar holders engaging in dollar-asset liquidation. Even China, unhappy as it is with Washington's bully politics, seems reluctant to rouse the American dragon to fury. CLIP

France's Political Crisis Grows as 3 Million Take to Streets (05 April 2006),,1747145,00.html
Police fought running battles with rioters in central Paris last night as youths attacked officers with bangers, bottles and concrete at the end of a mass demonstration against a youth employment law that has caused a political crisis for Jacques Chirac's ruling party. Trade unionists and student leaders said up to three million people took to the streets across France yesterday - the second time in eight days that the country has seen its biggest street demonstrations in almost 40 years. The protests, including one by hundreds of thousands of students and scholars who marched through central Paris,?were mainly peaceful.    They were marked by a carnival atmosphere somewhere between a victory parade for the demonstrators and a funeral march for the "first employment law" as the ruling party prepared to begin negotiating its way out of the crisis. (...) The "easy hire-easy fire" measure at the heart of the protests was pushed through parliament last month, in an attempt by the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, to address France's crippling youth unemployment of 23%. Paradoxically, the law made it easier for businesses to sack workers aged under 26 after two years without explanation. The government believed employers would be quicker to take young workers on if they were spared rigid employment rules that make it difficult to get rid of staff.After two months of protests in which hundreds of schools and universities have been blockaded, closed or occupied and workers joined in a national strike, Mr Chirac signed the law on Sunday but asked for changes: the probation period for workers would be only one year and employers must give a reason for dismissal. He also ordered talks with unions. CLIP

Top Scientist Advocates Mass Culling 90% of Human Population
A top scientist gave a speech to the Texas Academy of Science last month in which he advocated the need to exterminate 90% of the population through the airborne ebola virus. Dr. Eric R. Pianka's chilling comments, and their enthusiastic reception again underscore the elite's agenda to enact horrifying measures of population control.Pianka's speech was ordered to be kept off the record before it began as cameras were turned away and hundreds of students, scientists and professors sat in attendance. (...) At the end of Pianka's speech the audience erupted not to a chorus of boos and hisses but to a raucous reception of applause and cheers as audience members clammered to get close to the scientist to ask him follow up questions. Pianka was later presented with a distinguished scientist award by the Academy. Pianka is no crackpot. He has given lectures to prestigious universities worldwide. One horrified observer was able to make notes on the speech and our gratitude goes to Forrest M. Mims for bringing this sickening display to the attention of the world. (...) Pianka's doomsday warning of the population bomb, for which Mims claims he presented no evidence whatsoever, is complete pseudo-science. Populations in developed countries are declining and only in third world countries is it expanding dramatically. Industrialization itself levels out population trends and even despite this world population models routinely show that the earth's population will level out at 9 billion in 2050 and slowly decline after that. "The population of the most developed countries will remain virtually unchanged at 1.2 billion until 2050," states a United Nations report. Conservation International's own study revealed that 46% of the earth's surface was an untouched wilderness, that is land areas not including sea. It is commonly accepted that the entire world population could all fit into the state of Texas and each have an acre of their own land. Think about the magnitude of Pianka's statements. He wants to kill nine out of every ten members of your family and he wants to kill them in one of the most painful and agonizing ways imaginable. (...) Pianka's ideology is in the same league as Hitler, Pol Pot, and the rest of history's despots who advocated mass extermination and had the temerity to dress it up in a 'noble' Straussian facade. We demand that he be investigated for openly calling for mass murder. CLIP

Pentagon eyeing weapons in space (March 14, 2006)
The Pentagon is asking Congress for hundreds of millions of dollars to test weapons in space, marking the biggest step toward creating a space battlefield since President Reagan's long-defunct ''star wars" project. The Defense Department's budget proposal...includes money for a variety of tests on offensive and defensive weapons. Arms-control specialists fear the tests will push the military closer to basing weapons in space than during Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative in the mid-1980s -- without a public debate of the potential consequences. The descriptions included in the budget request mark only what is publicly known about the military's space warfare plans. Specialists believe the classified portion of the $439 billion budget, blacked out for national security reasons, almost certainly includes other space-related programs. Under President Bush, the White House has emphasized what's known as ! ''space dominance" -- the notion that the United States must command space to defend the nation, but the budget request marks a transition from laboratory theory to reality. The Bush administration has sought to keep the military's options open despite international opposition to weapons in space. CLIP

Bush Administration Unveils Nuclear Weapons Complex Blueprint (April 6, 2006 ),0,5989419.story?coll=la-home-headlines
The Bush administration on Wednesday unveiled a blueprint for rebuilding the United States' decrepit nuclear weapons complex, including restoration of a large-scale bomb manufacturing capacity. The plan calls for the most sweeping realignment and modernization of the nation's massive system of laboratories and factories for nuclear bombs since the end of the Cold War. Until now, the nation has depended on carefully maintaining aging bombs produced during the Cold War arms race, some several decades old. The administration, however, wants the capability to turn out 125 new nuclear bombs per year by 2022, as the Pentagon retires older bombs that it claims will no longer be reliable or safe. CLIP

Add to Bush's follies the rape of his own country (March 12, 2006),,1729154,00.html
The despoilment of the Appalachians is typical of the President's bankrupt environmental policies - Eastern Kentucky is a long way from Britain. What do we care if another million acres of the Appalachian mountain range are lost to strip mining? If the habitat of the flying squirrel and the cerulean warbler is blown up and bulldozed? If one of the oldest temperate forests in the world with some 80 species of trees is destroyed by the greed of a few coal companies? Why should it matter to us? I'll tell you why. First, because this story exposes the pathological destructiveness of the Republican political and religious elite. Not content with the ruin it has caused in Iraq, George W Bush's administration lays waste the great American wilderness in a way that tests your faith in the reason of man.Second, this campaign against nature is being plotted, sanctioned and carried out by men - it is exclusively men - who are on their knees in little, white churches every Sunday praying to a god whom they believe created this earth. The same people who reject Darwin and promote the idea that life on earth is too complex and varied to have been created by evolution, a theory known as intelligent design, are the ones who show such contempt for God's creation.And let's not forget the last crucial point. With the United States accounting for 30 per cent of the world's CO2 emissions, much of it from heavily polluting, coal-burning power stations, we may all to some extent consider ourselves downwind of what's going on in the coal industry of Kentucky and parts of West Virginia. In Britain, we are not exposed to the horrors of 'mountaintop removal', but owing to a new book by Erik Reece, Lost Mountain: A year in the Vanishing Wilderness, which I happened on in a New York bookshop, I learned that it has nothing to do with coal mining in the traditional sense. Mountaintop removal is just that. You blow up the top of the mountain with a mixture of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel, the same combination used by Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing, and bulldoze the millions of tons of debris into the valleys and streams below. A slender seam of coal is then exposed, at which point a fearsome machine called a dragline is deployed to strip out the coal.The result is that local water supplies are polluted with mercury and the chemicals used in the mining process; the uninterrupted habitat of many rare creatures and plants is destroyed; and the landscape is ruined forever. The scars that you are now able to see on satellite pictures will be there until the end of time.In the American media, you will find little mention of this shocking state of affairs. Indeed, people generally know more about the burning of Amazon rainforests than they do about the devastation wrought by their own people in their own country. CLIP

US Bases in Iraq: A Costly Legacy
United States taxpayers have spent an inflation-adjusted $1 trillion to keep military bases in South Korea since the war ended there in 1953. Those bases remain in place, though they are shrinking. Some military analysts wonder if 20 or so years from now the US will still have costly "enduring" bases in Iraq. ("Permanent" is a term the Pentagon generally avoids in referring to the hundreds of bases it has around the globe.)

Government Says Aspartame Is Good For You (April 5 2006)
AP calls study independent, omits previous human studies showing Aspartame danger - The deadly toxin Aspartame which is included in more than 6,000 food and drink products around the world is good for you according to a new government study. The Associated Press falsely labels the results as independent and omits referencing previous human studies undertaken by groups with no corporate or government ties that concluded the opposite. Associated Press health correspondent Marilynn Marchione seems to revel in suggesting the study is beyond reproach because it uses human subjects rather than rats."A huge federal study in people -- not rats -- takes the fizz out of arguments that the diet soda sweetener aspartame might raise the risk of cancer," smarms the article in an attempt to discredit last year's Italian study which linked aspartame to an increased risk of leukaemias and lymphomas in female lab rats "at doses very close to the acceptable daily intake for humans."In putting the study in this context, the Associated Press has lied by omission. Numerous independent controlled studies (not ones conducted by corporations or government) using human subjects have concluded that aspartame is deadly. They are Camfield (1992), Elsas (1988), Gulya (1992), Koehler (1988), Kulczycki (1995), Spiers (1988), Van Den Eeden (1994), Walton (1993). Why doesn't the AP mention any of these studies? Why doesn't the AP mention the fact that "out of 90 independently-funded studies, 83 of them found one or moreproblems caused by aspartame. But out of the 74 studies funded by the aspartame industry (e.g., Monsanto, G.D. Searle, ILSI, etc.), every single one of them claimed that no problems were found?" CLIP

China Risks Environmental Collapse, State Official Warns
BEIJING, March 11 -- China must sharply improve environmental protection or it could face disaster following two decades of breakneck growth that have poisoned its air, water and soil, the country's top environmental official warned Saturday.The director of the State Environmental Protection Administration said that more than half of China's 21,000 chemical companies are near the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, which provide drinking water for tens of millions of people, and accidents could lead to "disastrous consequences." "Facts have proved that prosperity at the expense of the environment is very superficial and very weak," Zhou Shengxian said at a news conference during the annual meeting of China's parliament. "It's only delaying disaster." China's cities are among the world's smoggiest, and the government says its major rivers are badly polluted, leaving hundreds of millions of people without clean drinking water.Protests have erupted throughout the country over farmers' complaints that uncontrolled factory discharges are ruining crops and poisoning water. Environmental protection took on new urgency for Chinese leaders after a Nov. 13 chemical spill in a northeastern river forced a city to shut down its water supply and sent pollutants flowing into Russia.

Pollution soaring to crisis levels in Arctic (March 12, 2006),,1729253,00.html
Scientists plead for action to save poles from 'tipping point' disaster - Researchers have uncovered compelling evidence that indicates Earth's most vulnerable regions - the North and South Poles - are poised on the brink of a climatic disaster. The scientists, at an atmospheric monitoring station in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, have found that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere near the North Pole are now rising at an unprecedented pace.In 1990 this key cause of global warming was rising at a rate of 1 part per million (ppm). Recently, that rate reached 2 ppm per year. Now, scientists at the Mount Zeppelin monitoring station have discovered it is rising at between 2.5 and 3 ppm.'The fact that our data now show acceleration in the rise of carbon dioxide level is really a source for concern,' said Professor Johan Strom, of Stockholm University's department of applied environmental science, which runs the Mount Zeppelin station. 'The increase is also seen at other stations, but our Zeppelin data show the strongest increase.'The news of the latest carbon dioxide figures comes as scientists prepare to announce details of the forthcoming International Polar Year programme, which will involve teams of scientists from around the world making a concerted attempt to understand the impact of global warming in the world's high latitudes. In particular, they will concentrate on the social impact of climate change there and also the threats to the regions' wildlife, such as polar bears and walruses.In the last two decades, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen from 350 to 380 ppm and scientists warn that once levels reach 500, there could be irreversible consequences that would tip the planet toward disaster: glacier melts triggering devastating sea-level rises and spreading deserts across Africa and Asia.Scientists and campaigners are desperate for politicians to reach agreements that will prevent the 500 ppm 'tipping point' being breached in the next half-century. These new data suggest they may have a far shorter period of time in which to act. CLIP

Libby's Lawyers Want Fitzgerald to Step Down
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is narrowing the description of his powers in an effort to counter calls for dismissal of the criminal case he brought against Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.

Internet Freedom of Speech Must Be Preserved, Says U.S. Scholar (24 January 2006)
Washington -- It is critically important that governments and citizens remain committed to the free flow of information on the Internet even if the ideas presented are unpopular or controversial, said Jim Harper of the Cato Institute in Washington during a webchat January 24. “The Internet is a very powerful, open communication tool. Much more good comes from it than bad, and it is important to preserve the good, the freedom that it gives to so many people,” Harper said. “For that reason, I am very suspicious of rules that would tell people what they can and cannot say on the Internet.” (...) Harper expressed concern about corporations divulging online records to governments. “The government should not be able to dip into private databases whenever they want, for whatever reason they want. If you allow that, they will collect more and more data. Before long, the private sector will just be an arm of the government,” he said.It is also dangerous to free speech when governments are the owners of the telecommunications systems, Harper said. “This puts them in a position to monitor and control what people in their country are saying … and it creates power that government officials can abuse.”“One important thing is to have many different communications systems that are not owned by the government,” he said. (Much more on various topics through

'Buddha Boy' Goes Missing in Nepal
Ram Bahadur Bomjon disappears after nearly 300 days of meditation

Omega-News Collection 11. March 2006

Omega-News Collection 18. March 2006

Omega-News Collection 25. March 2006

Omega-News Collection 1. April 2006

A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot bartender. The robot serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, "What's your IQ?" The man replies "150" and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituality, evidence against the official version of 9/11, biomimicry, environmental interconnectedness, string theory, nano-technology, and sexual proclivities of Amazon Basin tribes. The customer is very impressed and thinks, "This is really cool." He decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink. Again, the robot serves him the perfectly prepared drink and asks him, "What's your IQ?" The man responds, "about a 100." Immediately the robot starts talking about football, trucks, NASCAR, baseball, supermodels, favorite fast foods, guns, and women's breasts. Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He goes out and returns, the robot serves him the drink and asks, "What's your IQ?" The man replies, "Er, 50, I think." And the robot says, real slowly, "So....ya gonna vote for Bush again?"



Also from:

Government in secret talks about strike against Iran

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent


The Government is to hold secret talks with defence chiefs tomorrow to discuss possible military strikes against Iran.

A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence at which senior defence chiefs and government officials will consider the consequences of an attack on Iran.

It is believed that an American-led attack, designed to destroy Iran's ability to develop a nuclear bomb, is "inevitable" if Teheran's leaders fail to comply with United Nations demands to freeze their uranium enrichment programme.

A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence

Tomorrow's meeting will be attended by Gen Sir Michael Walker, the chief of the defence staff, Lt Gen Andrew Ridgway, the chief of defence intelligence and Maj Gen Bill Rollo, the assistant chief of the general staff, together with officials from the Foreign Office and Downing Street.

The International Atomic Energy Authority, the nuclear watchdog, believes that much of Iran's programme is now devoted to uranium enrichment and plutonium separation, technologies that could provide material for nuclear bombs to be developed in the next three years.

The United States government is hopeful that the military operation will be a multinational mission, but defence chiefs believe that the Bush administration is prepared to launch the attack on its own or with the assistance of Israel, if there is little international support. British military chiefs believe an attack would be limited to a series of air strikes against nuclear plants - a land assault is not being considered at the moment.

But confirmation that Britain has started contingency planning will undermine the claim last month by Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, that a military attack against Iran was "inconceivable".

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, insisted, during a visit to Blackburn yesterday, that all negotiating options - including the use of force - remained open in an attempt to resolve the crisis.

Tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from US navy ships and submarines in the Gulf would, it is believed, target Iran's air defence systems at the nuclear installations.

That would enable attacks by B2 stealth bombers equipped with eight 4,500lb enhanced BLU-28 satellite-guided bunker-busting bombs, flying from Diego Garcia, the isolated US Navy base in the Indian Ocean, RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and Whiteman USAF base in Missouri.

It is understood that any direct British involvement in an attack would be limited but may extend to the use of the RAF's highly secret airborne early warning aircraft.

At the centre of the crisis is Washington's fear that an Iranian nuclear weapon could be used against Israel or US forces in the region, such as the American air base at Incirlik in Turkey.

The UN also believes that the production of a bomb could also lead to further destabilisation in the Middle East, which would result in Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia all developing nuclear weapons programmes.

See a telling picture at;jsessionid=IAANUYAPCIMTPQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0

A senior Foreign Office source said: "Monday's meeting will set out to address the consequences for Britain in the event of an attack against Iran. The CDS [chiefs of defence staff] will want to know what the impact will be on British interests in Iraq and Afghanistan which both border Iran. The CDS will then brief the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on their conclusions in the next few days.

"If Iran makes another strategic mistake, such as ignoring demands by the UN or future resolutions, then the thinking among the chiefs is that military action could be taken to bring an end to the crisis. The belief in some areas of Whitehall is that an attack is now all but inevitable.

There will be no invasion of Iran but the nuclear sites will be destroyed. This is not something that will happen imminently, maybe this year, maybe next year. Jack Straw is making exactly the same noises that the Government did in March 2003 when it spoke about the likelihood of a war in Iraq.

"Then the Government said the war was neither inevitable or imminent and then attacked."

The source said that the Israeli attack against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981 proved that a limited operation was the best military option.

The Israeli air force launched raids against the plant, which intelligence suggested was being used to develop a nuclear bomb for use against Israel.

Military chiefs also plan tomorrow to discuss fears that an attack within Iran will "unhinge" southern Iraq - where British troops are based - an area mainly populated by Shia Muslims who have strong political and religious links to Iran.

They are concerned that this could delay any withdrawal of troops this year or next. There could also be consequences for British and US troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran.

The MoD meeting will address the economic issues that could arise if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president - who became the subject of international condemnation last year when he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" - cuts off oil supplies to the West in reprisal.


See also:

Bush and neocons beating war drums for attack on Iran (April 5 2006)
The lunatics have taken over the asylum. Even as most rational people realize that the invasion of Iraq was oiled on the back of fake pretexts and downright lies, the US and its allies are beating their war drums against Iran, using exactly the same pretexts. The really frightening component is that so many of us are willing to be conned all over again just three years on. (...) This follows on from a report in the Aug. 1, 2005, issue of “The American Conservative," beginning: “In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration that brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran.” The report says a plan drawn up by the Pentagon, on instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney, includes a large-air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical weapons. “Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing -- that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack -- but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.” It is believed that small tactical nuclear weapons might be used -- of the type able to destroy facilities deep underground. (...) Some observers contend the US is merely engaged in a complex game of poker and when push comes to shove would not risk endangering the world’s oil market and pushing up prices to unimaginable heights. Are they right? If any other US administration were in the White House, I might feel the same way. But when you have a born-again president, who believes his wars are Creator-inspired, advised by a bunch of “Israel first” neocon ideologues, and others whose pockets are bulging from war-related defense or reconstruction contracts, then the answer to “will they, or won’t they?” is, sadly, anyone’s guess.

US and UK Forces Establish "Enduring Bases" in Iraq (02 April 2006)
Despite talk of withdrawal "when the job is done", there are signs that coalition troops will be there for the long term. The Pentagon has revealed that coalition forces are spending millions of dollars establishing at least six "enduring" bases in Iraq - raising the prospect that US and UK forces could be involved in a long-term deployment in the country. It said it assumed British troops would operate one of the bases. Almost ever since President Bush claimed an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq on 1 May 2003, debate has focused on how quickly troops could be withdrawn. The US and British governments say troops will remain in Iraq "until the job is done". Yet while the withdrawal of a substantial number of troops remains an aim, it has become increasingly clear that the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are preparing to retain some forces in Iraq for the longer term. The US currently has around 130,000 troops in Iraq; Britain has 8,000. Major Joseph Breasseale, a senior spokesman for the coalition forces' headquarters in Iraq, told The Independent on Sunday: "The current plan is to reduce the coalition footprint into six consolidation bases - four of which are US. As we move in that direction, some other bases will have to grow to facilitate the closure [or] transfer of smaller bases." (...) Some analysts believe the desire to establish a long-term US military presence in Iraq was always one of the reasons behind the 2003 invasion. Joseph Gerson, a historian of American military bases, said: "The Bush administration's intention is to have a long-term military presence in the region ... For a number of years the US has sought to use a number of means to make sure it dominates in the Middle East ... The Bush administration sees Iraq as an unsinkable aircraft carrier for its troops and bases for years to come." Zoltan Grossman, a geographer at Evergreen State College in Washington, said: "After every US military intervention since 1990 the Pentagon has left behind clusters of new bases in areas where it never before had a foothold. The new string of bases stretch from Kosovo and adjacent Balkan states, to Iraq and other Persian Gulf states, into Afghanistan and other central Asian states ... The only two obstacles to a geographically contiguous US sphere of influence are Iran and Syria."


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Former Head Of Star Wars Program Says Cheney Main 9/11 Suspect
Date: 4 Apr 2006


Former Head Of Star Wars Program Says Cheney Main 9/11 Suspect
Official version of events a conspiracy theory, says drills were cover for attacks

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones/Prison

April 4 2006

The former head of the Star Wars missile defense program under Presidents Ford and Carter has gone public to say that the official version of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory and his main suspect for the architect of the attack is Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Alex Jones Show aired nationally on the GCN Radio Network, Bowman (pictured below) stated that at the bare minimum if Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were involved in 9/11 then the government stood down and allowed the attacks to happen. He said it is plausible that the entire chain of military command were unaware of what was taking place and were used as tools by the people pulling the strings behind the attack.

Bowman outlined how the drills on the morning of 9/11 that simulated planes crashing into buildings on the east coast were used as a cover to dupe unwitting air defense personnel into not responding quickly enough to stop the attack.

"The exercises that went on that morning simulating the exact kind of thing that was happening so confused the people in the FAA and NORAD....that they didn't they didn't know what was real and what was part of the exercise," said Bowman

"I think the people who planned and carried out those exercises, they're the ones that should be the object of investigation."

Asked if he could name a prime suspect who was the likely architect behind the attacks, Bowman stated, "If I had to narrow it down to one person....I think my prime suspect would be Dick Cheney."

Bowman said that privately his military fighter pilot peers and colleagues did not disagree with his sentiments about the real story behind 9/11.

Bowman agreed that the US was in danger of slipping into a dictatorship and stated, "I think there's been nothing closer to fascism than what we've seen lately from this government."

Bowman slammed the Patriot Act as having, "Done more to destroy the rights of Americans than all of our enemies combined."

Bowman trashed the 9/11 Commission as a politically motivated cover-up with abounding conflicts of interest, charging, "The 9/11 Commission omitted anything that might be the least bit suspicious or embarrassing or in any way detract from the official conspiracy so it was a total whitewash."

"There needs to be a true investigation, not the kind of sham investigations we have had with the 9/11 omission and all the rest of that junk," said Bowman.

Asked if the perpetrators of 9/11 were preparing to stage another false-flag attack to reinvigorate their agenda Bowman agreed that, "I can see that and I hope they can't pull it off, I hope they are prevented from pulling it off but I know darn good and well they'd like to have another one."

A mainstay of the attack pieces against Charlie Sheen have been that he is not credible enough to speak on the topic of 9/11. These charges are ridiculed by the fact that Sheen is an expert on 9/11 who spends hours a day meticulously researching the topic, something that the attack dogs have failed to do, aiming their comments solely at Sheen's personal life and ignoring his invitation to challenge him on the facts.

In addition, from the very start we have put forth eminently credible individuals only for them to be ignored by the establishment media. Physics Professors, former White House advisors and CIA analysts, the German Defense Ministers and Bush's former Secretary of the Treasury, have all gone public on 9/11 but have been uniformly ignored by the majority of the establishment press.

Will Robert Bowman also be blackballed as the mainstream continue to misrepresent the 9/11 truth movement as an occupation of the fringe minority?

Bowman is currently running for Congress in Florida's 15th District.


See also:

Theologian David Ray Griffin Nails Cheney for 911: Audio
David Ray Griffin mentions that an LAX upper management official told Griffin that he overheard members of LAX Security receiving word of a stand-down order on walkie-talkies. The official said he could hear both sides of the conversation. When Griffin asked where the order came from, the official said it came from the highest levels of the White House. Griffin remarks, "That, of course, would mean Cheney." Audio: Guns & Butter, April 5:

The Pentagon Exit Hole - More 9/11 Demolition? (3-29-6)
The Pentagon exit hole is one of the most anomalous features of the Pentagon attack. It is 310 feet away from the impact area, near perfectly round and absolutely inexplicable in terms of the composite nose of a Boeing 757-200 "punching out". The other sore thumb about it is that it is avoided in ALL of the official reports. CLIP

Bush's Paper Trail Grows
John Prados writes: the evidence is overwhelming that Bush hosted the January 31 meeting to manage his move to war, not as an occasion to review progress toward disarming Iraq. The record of the session shows this - with talk of the war plan, the starting date, the justification and the securing of a second UN resolution as a legal cover, but there is more than that.

Scholars Question Cheney's Role in 9/11 (March 13, 2006)
Duluth, MN (PRWEB) -- A society of experts and scholars contends that the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui -- for willfully concealing advance knowledge of the events of 9/11 -- has the status of a Soviet-style "show trial" and functions as a diversion from the real culprits. The nonpartisan group, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, asserts that the evidence implicating Vice President Dick Cheney of that very offense is more obvious and compelling. If they are even remotely correct, then the alleged terrorists appear to have been cast in the role of "patsies." The experts base their conclusion on testimony presented to the 9/11 Commission by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta on May 23, 2003, which was omitted from its final report, and on related events at the Pentagon. Members of the society will present their findings during a press conference to be held at 1 PM on Tuesday at the United States Courthouse in Alexandria, VA, the location of a trial to determine whether Moussaoui, who is called "the 20th hijacker", should serve a life term or receive the death sentence. "Mineta's testimony is devastating," observed James H. Fetzer, Ph.D., McKnight Professor at the University of Minnesota. Fetzer is the founder and co-chair of the scholars' society, which recently joined with Judicial Watch in calling for release of documents, films and videos, and physical evidence withheld from the public by the administration. "It pulls the plug on the Commission's contention there was no advance warning that the Pentagon was going to be hit." According to Secretary Mineta's testimony, which is in the public domain, when he (Mineta) arrived at an underground bunker at the White House (known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center), the Vice President was in charge. "During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon", he stated, "there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, 'The plane is 50 miles out.' 'The plane is 30 miles out.' "And when it got down to, 'The plane is 10 miles out,'" Mineta continued, "the young man also said to the Vice President, 'Do the orders still stand?' And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, 'Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?'" One way to construe these remarks could be that the orders were to shoot down the plane.

Scholars for 9-11 TruthPress Conference: Alexandria, Va.
(Alexandria, Va.) – Once again, 9-11 truth is making every effort to break through into the mainstream arena.On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 14, 2006, the Scholars for 9-11 Truth held a press conference outside of the Albert V. Bryan U.S. District Courthouse in Alexandria, Va. where the trial of accused 9-11 terrorist Zacharias Moussaoui is currently underway. Speakers included Professor James Fetzer, retired Air Force Colonel George Nelson, and attorney Phil Berg.But as their press conference was set to begin before an extensive lineup of mainstream news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, the Associated Press, and local D.C. affiliate stations, attempts were made by law enforcement officials (bearing ID’s that read “POLICE ICE”) to prevent the Scholars from speaking to the press. (ICE = Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security) (...) Following the press conference at an impromptu photo-op, Phil Berg continued, saying that “Bush, Cheney, and others should be put on trial for treason and sent to jail.” In this same vein, 9-11 researcher Webster Tarpley had the following to say about Zacharias Moussaoui: “He’s a psychotic, militant patsy who is several degrees of understanding below Lee Harvey Oswald.” (...) After listening to over thirty minutes of hard-hitting information delivered by Fetzer, Nelson, and Berg, the press corps was invited to ask questions. Remarkably, only one reporter made an inquiry: “Why would they do it? What were their motives?” Professor Fetzer answered with a litany of reasons, including the infamous PNAC missive and the need for a "New Pearl Harbor" which would lead us into Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. After this explanation, no other questions were posed to the Scholars, despite the substantial amount of information they provided. We did notice one journalist with tears in her eyes as she scribbled furiously on a notepad while listening to Professor Fetzer. If we hearken back to what Colonel Nelson said about conscience, the question remains: will members of the mainstream media start following their conscience by exposing the lies of 9-11, or will they continue to aid and abet in the ongoing cover-up of the gravest crime ever committed against this country?

An Inside Job? David Ray Griffin: Theologian scoffed at 9/11 conspiracy theories, then looked closer (March 30, 2006) San Francisco Chronicle
When David Ray Griffin, noted theologian and professor emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology, first heard someone say that Sept. 11 was an inside job, he scoffed. [But later] Griffin began to delve into 9/11 conspiracy theories after looking at a time line of the events of Sept. 11, 2001...on the Internet. He found himself swayed by the catalog of inconsistencies and strange coincidences. Griffin points to historical evidence that the U.S. government would be capable of such a thing. Operation Northwoods, a plan concocted by the Pentagon in the '60s as a way of taking Castro from power, included ideas about how a terrorist attack on U.S. soil could provide a pretext for military action. While many conspiracy th! eories have been passed around, it's been very easy to dismiss many of the theorists as...crazy. But Griffin comes to his controversial conclusions with lucidity and calm. He even sees a connection between his long-standing work as a theologian and his new position as a political writer. "In both cases, the concern is for the good of the world as a whole."

Secret US plans for Iraq's oil (March 17, 2005)
The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed.Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered. In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists". "Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants. Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US. An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant, Falah Aljibury, says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat. CLIP


“Forget Iraq and Sudan-America is the foremost failed state, argues the latest polemic from America's most controversial Left intellectual. Chomsky (Imperial Ambitions) contends the U.S. government wallows in lawless military aggression (the Iraq war is merely the latest example); ignores public opinion on everything from global warming to social spending and foreign policy; and jeopardizes domestic security by under-funding homeland defense in favor of tax cuts for the rich and by provoking hatred and instability abroad that may lead to terrorist blowback or nuclear conflict. Ranging haphazardly from the Seminole War forward, Chomsky's jeremiad views American interventionism as a pageant of imperialist power-plays motivated by crass business interests. Disdaining euphemisms, he denounces American "terror" and "war crimes," castigates the public-bamboozling "government-media propaganda campaign" and floats comparisons to Mongols and Nazis. Chomsky's fans will love it, but even mainstream critics are catching up to the substance of his take on Bush Administration policies; meanwhile his uncompromising moral sensibility, icy logic and withering sarcasm remain in a class by themselves. Required reading for every thoughtful citizen.”

Taken from



Tomgram: Noam Chomsky on War Crimes in Iraq

In the Vietnam era, the subject of war crimes was the last to arrive and the first to depart. When, in 1971 in Detroit, Vietnam Veterans Against the War convened its Winter Soldier Investigation into U.S. war crimes in Southeast Asia, it was roundly ignored by the media. Over 100 veterans gave firsthand testimony to war crimes they either committed or witnessed. Beyond the unbearable nature of their testimony, the hearings were startling for the fact that here were men who yearned to take some responsibility for what they had done. But while it was, by then, possible for Americans to accept the GI as a victim in Vietnam, it proved impossible for most Americans to accept him as a human being taking responsibility for a crime against humanity. There was no place for this in the American imagination, it seemed, no less for the thought that the planning and prosecution of the war were potential crimes committed by our leaders. Evidently there still is none, which is why it's important to follow Noam Chomsky back into the Iraq of recent years to consider the American occupation of that country in the context of war crimes.

The piece that follows is an excerpt from Chomsky's new book, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, which is officially published on this very day. It is Chomsky at his best, a superb tour (de force) of a world in which the Bush administration has regularly asserted its right to launch "preventive" military interventions against "failed" and "rogue" states, while increasingly taking on the characteristics of those failed and rogue states itself. It will be an indispensable volume for any library. (You can check out a Chomsky discussion of it at Democracy Now! -


Also from:

Returning to the Scene of the Crime: War Crimes in Iraq

By Noam Chomsky

04 April 2006

This piece is adapted from Chapter 2 of Noam Chomsky's newest book, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006).

In 2002, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales passed on to Bush a memorandum on torture by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). As noted by constitutional scholar Sanford Levinson: "According to the OLC, 'acts must be of an extreme nature to rise to the level of torture… Physical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.'" Levinson goes on to say that in the view of Jay Bybee, then head of the OLC, "The infliction of anything less intense than such extreme pain would not, technically speaking, be torture at all. It would merely be inhuman and degrading treatment, a subject of little apparent concern to the Bush administration's lawyers."

Gonzales further advised President Bush to effectively rescind the Geneva Conventions, which, despite being "the supreme law of the land" and the foundation of contemporary international law, contained provisions Gonzales determined to be "quaint" and "obsolete." Rescinding the conventions, he informed Bush, "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act." Passed in 1996, the act carries severe penalties for "grave breaches" of the conventions: the death penalty, "if death results to the victim" of the breach. Gonzales was later appointed to be attorney general and would probably have been a Supreme Court nominee if Bush's constituency did not regard him as "too liberal."

How to Destroy a City to Save It

Gonzales's legal advice about protecting Bush from the threat of prosecution under the War Crimes Act was proven sound not long after he gave it, in a case far more severe even than the torture scandals. In November 2004, U.S. occupation forces launched their second major attack on the city of Falluja. The press reported major war crimes instantly, with approval. The attack began with a bombing campaign intended to drive out all but the adult male population; men ages fifteen to forty-five who attempted to flee Falluja were turned back. The plans resembled the preliminary stage of the Srebrenica massacre, though the Serb attackers trucked women and children out of the city instead of bombing them out. While the preliminary bombing was under way, Iraqi journalist Nermeen al-Mufti reported from "the city of minarets [which] once echoed the Euphrates in its beauty and calm [with its] plentiful water and lush greenery… a summer resort for Iraqis [where people went] for leisure, for a swim at the nearby Habbaniya lake, for a kebab meal." She described the fate of victims of these bombing attacks in which sometimes whole families, including pregnant women and babies, unable to flee, along with many others, were killed because the attackers who ordered their flight had cordoned off the city, closing the exit roads.

Al-Mufti asked residents whether there were foreign fighters in Falluja. One man said that "he had heard that there were Arab fighters in the city, but he never saw any of them." Then he heard that they had left. "Regardless of the motives of those fighters, they have provided a pretext for the city to be slaughtered," he continued, and "it is our right to resist." Another said that "some Arab brothers were among us, but when the shelling intensified, we asked them to leave and they did," and then asked a question of his own: "Why has America given itself the right to call on UK and Australian and other armies for help and we don't have the same right?"

It would be interesting to ask how often that question has been raised in Western commentary and reporting. Or how often the analogous question was raised in the Soviet press in the 1980s, about Afghanistan. How often was a term like "foreign fighters" used to refer to the invading armies? How often did reporting and commentary stray from the assumption that the only conceivable question is how well "our side" is doing, and what the prospects are for "our success"? It is hardly necessary to investigate. The assumptions are cast in iron. Even to entertain a question about them would be unthinkable, proof of "support for terror" or "blaming all the problems of the world on America/Russia," or some other familiar refrain.

After several weeks of bombing, the United States began its ground attack in Falluja. It opened with the conquest of the Falluja General Hospital. The front-page story in the New York Times reported that "patients and hospital employees were rushed out of rooms by armed soldiers and ordered to sit or lie on the floor while troops tied their hands behind their backs." An accompanying photograph depicted the scene. It was presented as a meritorious achievement. "The offensive also shut down what officers said was a propaganda weapon for the militants: Falluja General Hospital, with its stream of reports of civilian casualties." Plainly such a propaganda weapon is a legitimate target, particularly when "inflated civilian casualty figures" - inflated because our leader so declared - had "inflamed opinion throughout the country, driving up the political costs of the conflict." The word "conflict" is a common euphemism for U.S. aggression, as when we read on the same pages that "now, the Americans are rushing in engineers who will begin rebuilding what the conflict has just destroyed" - just "the conflict," with no agent, like a hurricane.

Some relevant documents passed unmentioned, perhaps because they too are considered quaint and obsolete: for example, the provision of the Geneva Conventions stating that "fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict." Thus the front page of the world's leading newspaper was cheerfully depicting war crimes for which the political leadership could be sentenced to severe penalties under U.S. law, the death penalty if patients ripped from their beds and manacled on the floor happened to die as a result. The questions did not merit detectable inquiry or reflection. The same mainstream sources told us that the U.S. military "achieved nearly all their objectives well ahead of schedule," as "much of the city lay in smoking ruins." But it was not a complete success. There was little evidence of dead "packrats" in their "warrens" or on the streets, "an enduring mystery." US forces did discover "the body of a woman on a street in Falluja, but it was unclear whether she was an Iraqi or a foreigner."?The crucial question, apparently.

Another front-page story quotes a senior Marine commander who says that the attack on Falluja "ought to go down in the history books." Perhaps it should. If so, we know on just what page of history it will find its place. Perhaps Falluja will appear right alongside Grozny [the destroyed capital of Chechnya], a city of about the same size, with a picture of Bush and Putin gazing into each other's souls. Those who praise or for that matter even tolerate all of this can select their own favorite pages of history.

A Burnt-Out Shell of a Country

The media accounts of the assault were not uniform. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera, the most important news channel in the Arab world, was harshly criticized by high U.S. officials for having "emphasized civilian casualties" during the destruction of Falluja. The problem of independent media was later resolved when the channel was kicked out of Iraq in preparation for free elections.

Turning beyond the U.S. mainstream, we discover also that "Dr. Sami al-Jumaili described how U.S. warplanes bombed the Central Health Centre in which he was working," killing thirty-five patients and twenty-four staff. His report was confirmed by an Iraqi reporter for Reuters and the BBC, and by Dr. Eiman al-Ani of Falluja General Hospital, who said that the entire health center, which he reached shortly after the attack, had collapsed on the patients. The attacking forces said that the report was "unsubstantiated." In another gross violation of international humanitarian law, even minimal decency, the U.S. military denied the Iraqi Red Crescent access to Falluja. Sir Nigel Young, the chief executive of the British Red Cross, condemned the action as "hugely significant." It sets "a dangerous precedent," he said: "The Red Crescent had a mandate to meet the needs of the local population facing a huge crisis." Perhaps this additional crime was a reaction to a very unusual public statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross, condemning all sides in the war in Iraq for their "utter contempt for humanity."

In what appears to be the first report of a visitor to Falluja after the operation was completed, Iraqi doctor Ali Fadhil said he found it "completely devastated." The modern city now "looked like a city of ghosts." Fadhil saw few dead bodies of Iraqi fighters in the streets; they had been ordered to abandon the city before the assault began. Doctors reported that the entire medical staff had been locked into the main hospital when the U.S. attack began, "tied up" under US orders: "Nobody could get to the hospital and people were bleeding to death in the city." The attitudes of the invaders were summarized by a message written in lipstick on the mirror of a ruined home: "Fuck Iraq and every Iraqi in it." Some of the worst atrocities were committed by members of the Iraqi National Guard used by the invaders to search houses, mostly "poor Shias from the south... jobless and desperate," probably "fan[ning] the seeds of a civil war."

Embedded reporters arriving a few weeks later found some people "trickling back to Falluja," where they "enter a desolate world of skeletal buildings, tank-blasted homes, weeping power lines and severed palm trees." The ruined city of 250,000 was now "devoid of electricity, running water, schools or commerce," under a strict curfew, and "conspicuously occupied" by the invaders who had just demolished it and the local forces they had assembled. The few refugees who dared to return under tight military surveillance found "lakes of sewage in the streets. The smell of corpses inside charred buildings. No water or electricity. Long waits and thorough searches by US troops at checkpoints. Warnings to watch out for land mines and booby traps. Occasional gunfire between troops and insurgents."

Half a year later came perhaps the first visit by an international observer, Joe Carr of the Christian Peacemakers Team in Baghdad, whose previous experience had been in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territ?ries. Arriving on May 28, he found painful similarities: many hours of waiting at the few entry points, more for harassment than for security; regular destruction of produce in the devastated remains of the city where "food prices have dramatically increased because of the checkpoints"; blocking of ambulances transporting people for medical treatment; and other forms of random brutality familiar from the Israeli press. The ruins of Falluja, he wrote, are even worse than Rafah in the Gaza Strip, virtually destroyed by US-backed Israeli terror. The United States "has leveled entire neighborhoods, and about every third building is destroyed or damaged." Only one hospital with in-patient care survived the attack, but access was impeded by the occupying army, leading to many deaths in Falluja and rural areas. Sometimes dozens of people were packed into a "burned out shell." Only about a quarter of families whose homes were destroyed received some compensation, usually less than half of the cost for materials needed to rebuild them.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, accused US and British troops in Iraq of "breaching international law by depriving civilians of food and water in besieged cities as they try to flush out militants" in Falluja and other cities attacked in subsequent months. US-led forces "cut off or restricted food and water to encourage residents to flee before assaults," he informed the international press, "using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population, [in] flagrant violation" of the Geneva Conventions. The U.S. public was largely spared the news.

Even apart from such major war crimes as the assault on Falluja, there is more than enough evidence to support the conclusion of a professor of strategic studies at the Naval War College that the year 2004 "was a truly horrible and brutal one for hapless Iraq." Hatred of the United States, he continued, is now rampant in a country subjected to years of sanctions that had already led to "the destruction of the Iraqi middle class, the collapse of the secular educational system, and the growth of illiteracy, despair, and anomie [that] promoted an Iraqi religious revival [among] large numbers of Iraqis seeking succor in religion." Basic services deteriorated even more than they had under the sanctions. "Hospitals regularly run out of the most basic medicines… the facilities are in horrid shape, [and] scores of specialists and experienced physicians are leaving the country because they fear they are targets of violence or because they are fed up with the substandard working conditions."

Meanwhile, "religion's role in Iraqi political life has ratcheted steadily higher since US-led forces overthrew Mr. Hussein in 2003," the Wall Street Journal reports. Since the invasion, "not a single political decision" has been made without Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's "tacit or explicit approval, say government officials," while the "formerly little-known young rebel cleric" Muqtada al-Sadr has "fashioned a political and military movement that has drawn tens of thousands of followers in the south and in Baghdad's poorest slums."

Similar developments have taken place in Sunni areas. The vote on Iraq's draft constitution in fall 2005 turned into "a battle of the mosques," with voters largely following religious edicts. Few Iraqis had even seen the document because the government had scarcely distributed any copies. The new constitution, the Wall Street Journal notes, has "far deeper Islamic underpinnings than Iraq's last one, a half century ago, which was based on [secular] French civil law," and had granted women "nearly equal rights" with men. All of this has now been reversed under the U.S. occupation.

War Crimes and Casualty Counts

The consequences of years of Western violence and strangulation are endlessly frustrating to civilized intellectuals, who are amazed to discover that, in the words of Edward Luttwak, "the vast majority of Iraqis, assiduous mosque-goers and semi-literate at best," are simply unable to "believe what for them is entirely incomprehensible: that foreigners have been unselfishly expending their own blood and treasure to help them." By definition, no evidence necessary.

Commentators have lamented that the United States has changed "from a country that condemned torture and forbade its use to one that practices torture routinely." The actual history is far less benign. But torture, however horrifying, scarcely weighs in the balance in comparison with the war crimes at Falluja and elsewhere in Iraq, or the general effects of the U.S. and UK invasion. One illustration, noted in passing and quickly dismissed in the United States, is the careful study by prominent U.S. and Iraqi specialists published in the world's leading medical journal, the Lancet, in October 2004. The conclusions of the study, carried out on rather conservative assumptions, are that "the death toll associated with the invasion and occupation of Iraq is probably about 100,000 people, and may be much higher." The figures include nearly 40,000 Iraqis killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence, according to a later Swiss review of the study's data. A subsequent study by Iraq Body Count found 25,000 noncombatants reported killed in the first two years of the occupation - in Baghdad, one in 500 citizens; in Falluja, one in 136. U.S.-led forces killed 37%, criminals 36%, "anti-occupation forces" 9%. Killings doubled in the second year of the occupation. Most deaths were caused by explosive devices; two-thirds of these by air strikes. The estimates of Iraq Body Count are based on media reports, and are therefore surely well below the actual numbers, though shocking enough.

Reviewing these reports along with the UNDP "Iraq Living Conditions Survey" (April 2005), British analyst Milan Rai concludes that the results are largely consistent, the apparent variation in numbers resulting primarily from differences in the specific topics investigated and the time periods covered. These conclusions gain some support from a Pentagon study that estimated 26,000 Iraqi civilians and security forces killed and wounded by insurgents since January 2004. The New York Times report of the Pentagon study also mentions several others, but omits the most important one, in the Lancet. It notes in passing that "no figures were provided for the number of Iraqis killed by American-led forces." The Times story appeared immediately after the day that had been set aside by international activists for commemoration of all Iraqi deaths, on the first anniversary of the release of the Lancet report.

The scale of the catastrophe in Iraq is so extreme that it can barely be reported. Journalists are largely confined to the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, or else travel under heavy guard. There have been a few regular exceptions in the mainstream press, such as Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn [of the British newspaper The Independent], who face extreme hazards, and there are occasional indications of Iraqi opinion. One was a report on a nostalgic gathering of educated westernized Baghdad elites, where discussion turned to the sacking of Baghdad by Hulagu Khan and his vicious atrocities. A philosophy professor commented that "Hulagu was humane compared with the Americans," drawing some laughter, but "most of the guests seemed eager to avoid the subject of politics and violence, which dominate everyday life here." Instead they turned to past efforts to create an Iraqi national culture that would overcome the old ethnic-religious divisions to which Iraq is now "regressing" under the occupation, and discussed the destruction of the treasures of Iraqi and world civilization, a tragedy not experienced since the Mongol invasions.

Additional effects of the invasion include the decline of the median income of Iraqis, from $255 in 2003 to about $144 in 2004, as well as "significant countrywide shortages of rice, sugar, milk, and infant formula," according to the UN World Food Program, which had ?arned in advance of the invasion that it would not be able to duplicate the efficient rationing system that had been in place under Saddam Hussein. Iraqi newspapers report that new rations contain metal filings, one consequence of the vast corruption under the U.S.-UK occupation. Acute malnutrition doubled within sixteen months of the occupation of Iraq, to the level of Burundi, well above Haiti or Uganda, a figure that "translates to roughly 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from 'wasting,' a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein." This is a country in which hundreds of thousands of children had already died as a consequence of the U.S.- and UK-led sanctions. In May 2005, UN rapporteur Jean Ziegler released a report of the Norwegian Institute for Applied Social Science confirming these figures. The relatively high nutritional levels of Iraqis in the 1970s and 1980s, even through the war with Iran, began to decline severely during the decade of the sanctions, with a further disastrous decline after the 2003 invasion.

Meanwhile, violence against civilians extended beyond the occupiers and the insurgency. Washington Post reporters Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru reported that "Shiite and Kurdish militias, often operating as part of Iraqi government security forces, have carried out a wave of abductions, assassinations and other acts of intimidation, consolidating their control over territory across northern and southern Iraq and deepening the country's divide along ethnic and sectarian lines." One indicator of the scale of the catastrophe is the huge flood of refugees "fleeing violence and economic troubles," a million to Syria and Jordan alone since the US invasion, most of them "professionals and secular moderates who could help with the practical task of getting the country to run well."

The Lancet study estimating100,000 probable deaths by October 2004 elicited enough comment in England that the government had to issue an embarrassing denial, but in the United States virtual silence prevailed. The occasional oblique reference usually describes it as the "controversial" report that "as many as 100,000" Iraqis died as a result of the invasion. The figure of 100,000 was the most probable estimate, on conservative assumptions; it would be at least as accurate to describe it as the report that "as few as 100,000" died. Though the report was released at the height of the U.S. presidential campaign, it appears that neither of the leading candidates was ever publicly questioned about it.

The reaction follows the general pattern when massive atrocities are perpetrated by the wrong agent. A striking example is the Indochina wars. In the only poll (to my knowledge) in which people were asked to estimate the number of Vietnamese deaths, the mean estimate was 100,000, about 5% of the official figure; the actual toll is unknown, and of no more interest than the also unknown toll of casualties of U.S. chemical warfare. The authors of the study comment that it is as if college students in Germany estimated Holocaust deaths at 300,000, in which case we might conclude that there are some problems in Germany - and if Germany ruled the world, some rather more serious problems.


Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works. His latest books are Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy and Hegemony or Survival, both in the American Empire Project series at Metropolitan Books. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, and is a professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Readers who wish to check the sources for information and quotes in this piece are directed to Noam Chomsky's new book, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006).


See also:

When War Crimes Are Impossible (04 April 2006)
Is President Bush guilty of war crimes? To even ask the question is to go far beyond the boundaries of mainstream US media. A few weeks ago, when a class of seniors at Parsippany High School in New Jersey prepared for a mock trial to assess whether Bush has committed war crimes, a media tempest ensued. Typical was the response from MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, who found the very idea of such accusations against Bush to be unfathomable. The classroom exercise "implies people are accusing him of a crime against humanity," Carlson said. "It's ludicrous." In Tennessee, the Chattanooga Times Free Press thundered in an editorial: "That some American 'educators' would have students 'try' our American president for 'war crimes' during time of war tells us that our problems are not only with terrorists abroad." The standard way for media to refer to Bush and war crimes in the same breath is along the lines of this lead-in to a news report on CNN's "American Morning" in late March: "The Supreme Court's about to consider a landmark case and one that could have far-reaching implications. At issue is President Bush's powers to create war crimes tribunals for Guantanamo prisoners." In medialand, when the subject is war crimes, the president of the United States points the finger at others. Any suggestion that Bush should face such a charge is assumed to be oxymoronic. But a few journalists, outside the corporate media structures, are seriously probing Bush's culpability for war crimes. One of them is Robert Parry. During the 1980s, Parry covered US foreign policy for the Associated Press and Newsweek; in the process he broke many stories related to the Iran-Contra scandal. Now he's the editor of the 10-year-old web site, an outlet he founded that has little use for the narrow journalistic path along Pennsylvania Avenue. "In a world where might did not make right," Parry wrote in a recent piece, "George W. Bush, Tony Blair and their key enablers would be in shackles before a war crimes tribunal at The Hague, rather than sitting in the White House, 10 Downing Street or some other comfortable environs in Washington and London." CLIP

Time to Talk War Crimes - By Robert Parry (March 28, 2006)
(...) Beyond more proof that Bush has lied consistently about Iraq, the Jan. 31, 2003, memo represents striking evidence that Bush, Blair and their top assistants violated the Nuremberg Principles and the U.N. Charter by launching an aggressive war against Iraq.While many Americans think of the Nuremberg trials after World War II as just holding Nazi leaders accountable for genocide, a major charge against Adolf Hitler’s henchmen was the crime of aggressive war. Later, that principle was embodied in the United Nations Charter, forbidding armed aggression by one state against another.U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who represented the United States at the Nuremberg Tribunal, made clear that the intent was to establish a precedent against aggressive war.“Our position is that whatever grievances a nation may have, however objectionable it finds the status quo, aggressive warfare is an illegal means for settling those grievances or for altering those conditions,” Jackson said, adding that the same rules would apply to the victors in World War II.“Let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose, it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment,” Jackson said.“We are able to do away with domestic tyranny and violence and aggression by those in power against the rights of their own people only when we make all men answerable to the law. This trial represents mankind’s desperate effort to apply the discipline of the law to statesmen who have used their powers of state to attack the foundations of the world’s peace and to commit aggression against the rights of their neighbors.”The British memos, combined with public statements by Bush and his senior aides, represent a prima-facie case that Bush, Blair and others violated the Nuremberg Principles and the U.N. Charter, to which the United States was a founding signatory. CLIP

Saddam’s Crimes Pale in Comparison to those of the Neocons (April 5 2006)
It would seem the only case the Iraqis and the United States have against Saddam Hussein, or the man they claim is Saddam Hussein, is the alleged mass extermination of the Kurds in the 1980s. However, in the case of the Halabja massacre, as I wrote on September 20, 2003 (Colin Powell in Iraq: Exploiting the Dead of Halabja), it appears Saddam is innocent of gassing Kurds and his innocence was proclaimed by none other than the State Department. Stephen C. Pelletiere stated in early 2003: “We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. (...) Saddam’s alleged massacre of 100,000 Kurds is small when compared to the number of Iraqis killed over the last decade and a half by the United States, the United Nations, and Britain. According to Beth Daponte, a demographer at the Commerce Department in 1992, Bush’s Senior’s invasion of Iraq killed 158,000 Iraqis (Daponte was subsequently fired for releasing this information), but this figure pales in comparison to the numbers who perished in the following decade under sanctions. Numbers vary, but it is commonly believed between 500,000 and 750,000 (the government of Iraq claimed over a million) children died from malnutrition and disease under the sanctions and 1.5 million Iraqis in total lost their lives (see this chart on the Virginia Tech website). According to a study reaching “conservative assumptions” conducted by the Lancet Medical Journal, more than 100,000 Iraqis have died since Bush Junior’s invasion and occupation. The Lancet “estimate excludes Falluja, a hotspot for violence. If the data from this town is included, the compiled studies point to about 250,000 excess deaths since the outbreak of the U.S.-led war,” John Stokes concludes. In short, the United States, United Nations, Britain, and the “coalition of the killing” are responsible for the death of well over two million people in Iraq (and an incalculable number of others are certain to die in the Middle East and elsewhere from the use of depleted uranium and other toxins). Saddam’s crimes are minute in this context and he is little more than a piker when compared to Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Bush Junior, and the perfidious Straussian neocons. One day we may be fortunate enough to witness the trial, conviction, and imprisonment of the above war criminals. However, the way things are going—engineered “civil war” in Iraq and rumblings of a terrible shock and awe campaign launched against Iran, ultimately resulting in possibly a few million more dead people—I am not holding my breath.

The Endgame in Iraq (April 2)
Iraq is becoming a country that America should be ashamed to support, let alone occupy. The nation as a whole is sliding closer to open civil war. In its capital, thugs kidnap and torture innocent civilians with impunity, then murder them for their religious beliefs. The rights of women are evaporating. The head of the government is the ally of a radical anti-American cleric who leads a powerful private militia that is behind much of the sectarian terror. The Bush administration will not acknowledge the desperate situation. But it is, at least, pushing in the right direction, trying to mobilize all possible leverage in a frantic effort to persuade the leading Shiite parties to embrace more inclusive policies and support a broad-based national government. One vital goal is to persuade the Shiites to abort their disastrous nomination of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Mr. Jaafari is unable to form a broadly inclusive government and has made no serious effort to rein in police death squads. Even some Shiite leaders are now calling on him to step aside. If his nomination stands and is confirmed by Parliament, civil war will become much harder to head off. And from the American perspective, the Iraqi government will have become something that no parent should be asked to risk a soldier son or daughter to protect. CLIP

Is This War Worth the Price?
Pittsburghers were captivated this week by the seven-year-old Iraqi boy who arrived here for reconstructive facial surgery at Children's Hospital, having been badly disfigured in an American bombing raid in 2004. Sally Kalson argues that his presence has done more to inform the citizenry than a thousand presidential speeches.

Dahr Jamail: How Massacres Become the Norm
Dahr Jamail writes that Robert J. Lifton's studies on the behavior of those who have committed war crimes led him to believe it does not require an unusual level of mental illness or of personal evil to carry out such crimes. Rather, these crimes are nearly guaranteed to occur in what Lifton refers to as "atrocity-producing situations." Iraq today is most certainly an "atrocity-producing situation," as it has been from the very beginning of the occupation.

NOTE: This troubling comment below casts serious doubts on Chomsky's credibility. But one wonders if this could in fact be to disinform people and discredit Chomsky...

Noam Chomsky: Controlled Asset Of The New World Order (April 6 2006)
Noam Chomsky is often hailed as America’s premier dissident intellectual, a fearless purveyor of truth battling against media propaganda, murderous U.S. foreign policy, and the crimes of profit-hungry transnational corporations. He enjoys a slavish cult-like following from millions leftist students, journalists, and activists worldwide who fawn over his dense books as if they were scripture. To them, Chomsky is the supreme deity, a priestly master whose logic is beyond question. However as one begins to examine the interviews and writings of Chomsky, a different picture emerges. His books, so vociferously lauded in leftist circles, appear to be calculated disinformation designed to distract and confuse honest activists. In fact, since the 1960's Chomsky has acted as the premier Left gatekeeper, using his elevated status to cover up the major crimes of the global elite. His formula over the years has stayed consistent: blame “America” and “corporations” while failing to examine the hidden Globalist overclass which pulls the strings, using the U.S. as an engine of creation and destruction. Then after pinning all the worlds ills on American imperialism, Chomsky offers the solution of world government under the United Nations.In his book “The Conspirator’s Hierarchy,” Dr. John Coleman named Chomsky as a deep cover CIA agent working to undermine social protest groups. Certainly Dr. Coleman’s claims appear validated by an honest review of Chomsky’s role as a Left gatekeeper.Since 9-11, he has steadfastly refused to discuss the evidence of government complicity and prior knowledge. Furthermore he claims that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Bilderberg Committee, and Trilateral Commission are “nothing organizations.” When critiquing poverty, he never mentions the Federal Reserve and their role in manipulating the cycle of debt.Similarly, he claims the CIA was never a rogue organization and is an innocent scapegoat; that JFK was killed by the lone assassin Lee Harvey Oswald; that the obvious vote fraud in 2004 did not occur; and that peak oil is real and good for humanity.What he does advocate is population control, gun control, support for U.N.E.S.C.O., and the end of national sovereignty in favor of a one-world government under the UN. In other words, the major goals of the New World Order. CLIP


Forwarded by "Kathleen Roberts">


Feds Squelch Capitol Hill Blue

Originally published Mar 09, 2006

Willysnout tells you what Doug Thompson can't - Thompson and his crew were under surveillance through his site (the aforementioned Capitol Hill Blue), and forced him to change a column they didn't like.

Thompson is best known for "The Rant" - a regular online column which has lately been highly critical of the current White House. (He's also been critical of the Clinton White House - Thompson just has it out for authority.)

Well, the current authority doesn't like that.

The offending article reported that Thompson, who also owns the web hosting company that puts Capitol Hill Blue online, had received a request under the USA Patriot Act from the FBI for information about the publication, its contributors, its personnel and its readers. It was only through his ownership of the hosting company that Thompson was aware of the government's surveillance.

The FBI's request instructed Thompson not to reveal who had made the information request or what law had authorized it. Thompson refused to provide the information and revealed the letter and its contents in Capitol Hill Blue. At that point, a U.S. attorney threatened Thompson with jail unless he not only removed the information, but revised the article discussing it.

To avoid going to jail, Thompson complied.

Think about it, folks. A publication has been not only censored, but forced to submit new content acceptable to the government.

And now that the Patriot Act has just been signed to another contract extension, we have more of this to look forward to.

Whoops. There's someone at the door. I'll be right


From: "Suzanne Ward">
Subject: Message from Matthew

March 18, 2006

S: Hi, sweetheart! I'm ready, so how would you like to start?

MATTHEW: By wishing you joy, dear soul, and by greeting all with loving energy to uplift the spirit and encourage, guide, comfort and enlighten. Even without that greeting, always it is the nature and purpose of these messages that reach receptive hearts and minds.

Now I would like to address the many questions you receive that are variations of "Where does Matthew get his information?" In this station, which is not a place, but an evolutionary stage, I am many levels of energy—not miles or light years—away from Earth and other worlds emerging from third density awareness and near the most spiritually advanced civilizations. I have an overview of the most important happenings in all, and also an interest because some of my incarnations are in these worlds—yes, are in the timeless continuum where all is NOW. It is the same with your soul experiencing, but I shall return to my point. The three primary sources of the information I share with you are the supreme ruler of this universe; observation of activity on your planet; and "reading" Earth's field of potential, where energy motion indicating possibility, probability and certainty of happenings always is in flux due to the effects of free will choices. My information comes as well from souls in various discarnate and incarnate worlds, the monitors in Nirvana who track events on Earth, and my mother's thoughts and feelings—this is not to say that I echo her ideas about the information she acquires, only that by my awareness of it, I am able to address it.

Although this resource base is indeed expansive, definitely there are limitations to what I know. I am aware of events, persons, organizations, the media, entertainment, books, and such when they are prominent in your collective consciousness, but when awareness is limited—say, within minds that I am not energetically connected with—I cannot speak about those issues. I don't have energy streamer connections to all individuals on the planet, so I cannot answer questions of personal nature either, but I can speak from "general" knowledge that may be applicable to the situations they write about to my mother. Although I cannot ascertain with certainty when the energy in the field of potential will proceed to culmination of specific processes, I do see the activity at any moment, where the momentum is building, and I know the outcome from the continuum, but not all details or the timing— free will rules, and most often the course of events zigzags instead of going in a straight line.

Frequently my mother hears from readers of the books or messages that they believe they are communicating with me or strongly feeling my presence. If you are among them, please be assured that when you think of me, the energy of your thought draws my essence to you; and to you whose telepathic communication channels have opened, yes, you are hearing from me in accordance with your desire. All extraterrestrial beings, in body or spirit, respond to your thoughts or feelings about them, but most of you are not convinced, perhaps because you are asking something of them that by universal law they are not permitted to do. While angels, spirit guides and beloved souls in spirit may nudge you in directions in line with your soul contracts, NEVER may light beings interfere with your choices. In spirit realms, where memories of other lifetimes come to conscious mind, love, the most powerful energy in the universe, bonds and reunites souls in both spirit and physical experiencing anywhere in this universe.

I believe I covered that topic sufficiently, so let us move forward. Mother, I know your initial reaction "What?!" to a reader's 17 questions about me. No, you don't have to type them. Although they presume that I live in Nirvana, and I don't, my answers will offer greater understanding about souls wherever they are—more accurately, wherever ALL of us are in our multiple lifetimes. It never has been my intent to be more a "current events reporter" than a resource for spiritual enlightenment, and these thoughtful questions show there is a need for greater understanding of the high light beings I refer to as "we" and "us," the dark beings, and the differences and similarities in our life in spirit and yours in body.

A major difference is that in spirit, light beings know who they are, and the density of Earth bodies precludes your conscious awareness of your godselves. When you return to a spirit life, you tap into that wealth of knowledge, just as we do. While it is true that not all souls have experienced as much as others and the type of experiencing can differ profoundly with evolutionary stations differing accordingly, it is equally true that each of you is SO much more than you or any other Earth human realizes!

Now then, we are aware of our cumulative experiencing that encompasses varying ranges of knowledge; talents and skills in many fields; and travel to and associates and services in many worlds. The composite is not consciously with us in every moment—having that vast amount of information constantly in our minds would be overwhelming—but rather, it can be likened to a library where all of the reference material ever produced on Earth is available to you. We do have the advantage of speedy and exacting access, whereas you may need considerable research before locating the most helpful resources for your purposes.

Just as you, we have specialty fields of expertise, again from composite lifetimes where interests and inspiration motivated our pursuit of pertinent education and application of the learning. Mass, or universal, consciousness, is the countless thought forms that started with Creator's first expression and were "inherited" by the supreme being of this universe, called by God and other names of reverence. Thus everything in your lives and ours already was—IS—in existence throughout the universe; everything you consider your own ideas, inventions, innovations and creations have come from the limitless knowledge pool of All That Is.

And so, just like your specialty fields, ours also can be in engineering, the various forms of art and music, education, landscaping, technology, child caretaking, communication, the raft of sciences, building design and construction, and so forth. The great difference is your concept of visibility and sound. You perceive yourselves as solid—you're not; everything in the universe is energy fluctuating in an unfathomable range of frequencies—and Earth sounds are audible. You perceive us as invisible and silent. We are discarnate by your definition, which is without physical body, but we spirit beings and our worlds are not invisible or silent except to the limitations of third density vision and hearing. To answer another of the questions: No, spirit realms are not planets and they don't have fixed orbits; they have flexible boundaries and "hover" nearby the embodied populations they serve.

As for what I do most of the time, it is service in my specialty, which is spirit realms, a very small field in comparison with the other areas of light service in the universe. During my first several years in Nirvana after my last Earth lifetime, I progressed from greeting arriving souls to being in charge of the millions who comprise the transition assistance field, and about eight or so years ago by your calendar, the experience led to my present service of evaluating and helping to upgrade the spirit realms of incarnate worlds in a number of galaxies. At this evolutionary station, we never impose our assistance upon anyone, so it is only by invitation that I visit the civilizations that desire my help. In each world I manifest whatever style body fits in comfortably with its inhabitants, and I leave in my etheric body that looks like an older version of the son my mother remembers. Whether of light or dark nature, souls who are advanced in intellectual development have this manifesting ability. ALL souls have the innate capacity for manifesting, but in lower densities, they don't have that awareness, much less the developed ability.

Yes, this service is my choice, not an "assignment." Souls in spirit choose their next physical lifetime within the parameters of karmic lessons for balanced experiencing as well as the world where that can best be realized. I chose a life of travel and becoming acquainted with many hundreds of civilizations instead of a single lifetime of great duration in a spiritually evolved incarnate world. Souls cannot be in a "rut"—each one in this universe progresses or regresses in accordance with free will choices—so continuing in my position in Nirvana was not an option for me as other souls' growth enabled them to take over. Nevertheless, I consider Nirvana my home even though I am there between my frequent travels only for brief visits with the dear souls I think of as my family or when I am summoned to assist in instances of arrivals of souls who departed Earth lifetimes en masse. It is a bonus for me, so to say, that Nirvana is one of the most wondrous and exquisitely beautiful homelands of the many worlds I've come to know. Their spirit realms do differ considerably in accordance with the civilizations they serve, and since your interest is Nirvana, I am speaking primarily but not exclusively about life there.

Am I a male spirit? Just as I was in my Earth lifetime, I am androgynous, which is balanced male and female energies, and so are all other spiritually evolved souls in either physical or spirit worlds. There is an immense difference between these masculine/feminine energies and sexual genders and sexual activity. In spirit realms there are genders because there are etheric bodies, but there is no sexual union or reproduction. Infants and children enter the same as adults, by physical death, and they are nurtured with an abundance of love and guidance that sadly is rare on Earth. The youngsters age and the elderly "de-age" much faster than your linear years until all reach the physical appearance of what you consider "prime" years, approximately 30 to 35 in age. The bodies remain at that point and spiritual and intellectual growth continues. This is one factor that has attracted civilizations to request my visiting their spirit worlds, and another is the proficiency of Nirvana's medical teams in ushering in frail etheric bodies—frail due to the devastated condition of the physical bodies from which they disconnect at the moment of death—and healing traumatized psyches.

Do I still pursue my Earth lifetime recreational interests? When people arrive in Nirvana, understandably their last lifetime experiences are predominant, so their favorite forms of recreation continue for a while unless those were hunting, fishing, bullfighting and the like. No activity that harms any soul exists in the realm, where Earth's domesticated and "wild" animals and marine life who also are souls, live peaceably among themselves and the people. As arrivals adjust—I should say, readjust—to spirit life and their cumulative lifetimes come into focus, their recreational interests and levels of expertise are greatly expanded. This applies as well to employment, associations, living styles, modes of travel and knowledge.

Depending on my destination and urgency of the trip, I travel in the same ways as all other intellectually evolved souls: by spacecraft—and if so, it can be in my "solid" Matthew body or one I manifest to fit in with the other passengers; astral traveling in etheric body; or teleportation by instantaneous thought; and regardless of where I travel, like the other souls, my evolvement station is the same. It bothers me a bit, repeating "intellectual" development, as if I could be implying "See how really smart I am," but the purpose is to show a crucial distinction between dark and lighted souls. Both may be intellectually and technologically advanced, but only lighted souls are spiritually evolved.

Do I work with any galactic forces? Across the board there can be communication and coordination between souls in spirit and souls in body at suitable evolvement levels and within the "like attracts like" universal law—this pertains to both light and dark beings. A personal example with someone whose name you recognize, Hatonn and I work closely in light beaming to Earth and offering information to you, yet our other services diverge considerably. Hatonn and his intergalactic fleet of light warriors are battling the dark forces in physical worlds, and I help civilizations provide the most ideal recovery and learning environment for their souls in spirit. I am not proficient in areas such as advanced technology or astrophysics, so I can't contribute to ventures in those fields, but other souls in spirit do have that expertise and they work in conjunction with incarnate beings. These cooperative efforts are the same in intent as your amiable affiliations for the most efficient productivity.

No, I don't visit Earth leaders to persuade them to help rather than harm Earth, nor do other lighted souls in spirit. What we do is continuously beam light to them, so intensely and relentlessly that it could be called a "love assault." At the other end of the spectrum are the dark souls in spirit who are doing exactly the opposite from us. However, in this unique era in the universe, souls from other civilizations have visited world leaders, and a number have incarnated by natural birth or are walk-ins. They come with clearly defined missions that all know at soul level; some know consciously from the start and others learn when their contributions are needed—these are souls of both light and dark nature, and the darkest are the peak of the Illuminati.

Have I met any spirits who "claim" to be gods or goddesses? The emphasis of quotation marks is mine, not the writer's, and yes, I have met some in spirit and also some in physical form. This begs considerable comment. Each soul is a part of the supreme being of this universe, who is a god. Creator, the supreme being of the cosmos, and the souls of the Christed realm that was Creator's first creation, together made the first life form potentials that include gods and goddesses. Some took form, others did not, and those who did not maintained the essence of Creator in perfection. In Creator's infinite wisdom, It selected the ones among the formless to send forth to co-create and rule over universes. In this universe the ruler's name as given by Creator, a series of tones and light, became lost as manifestations became denser, and the ancient knowledge that a god was in charge led some to refer to that entity as God.

It may appear that god denotes masculinity, however neither the gods nor goddesses without form have genders—they encompass both masculine and feminine energies and exemplify androgyny at its highest light. When Earth reaches her destination in the higher vibrations, where today's religious doctrines will be only history and all souls will understand their shared spirituality, maybe God-ess will become the name for our supreme being. For my ease of speaking, please accept my use of God and know that I am not deferring to Christianity, but in meaning I include all names for The Source within this universe. 

To explain why I stressed the word "claim," declaring oneself to be of god or goddess status, universally speaking, is not necessary—the auras of those in form radiate their high station, and if vanity and power-seeking enter the character of any, even if they keep the designation for self-image, they drop from their former spiritual station and this is reflected in their auras. Clearly those who are ruling universes don't need to proclaim their status! In your awakening to being a part of God and through your eagerness to share this truth, you are claiming your god- and goddess-selves—this is not vanity, it is a hallelujah chorus!

Mother, I know your thoughts, and I do intend to put on the "roving reporter hat" and address the situation that we see is of concern to people throughout the world. But before I do, I say that my prior words have been exceedingly purposeful. Spiritual evolvement of the eternal soul is the goal and core motivation of every one—even in dark souls, the spark of light that is their life force flickers with this recognition—and this truth must not be dimmed by the humanness of pessimism, even despair, about your physical world. The darkness that has been causing everything abhorrent on Earth for eons knows it has lost the battle and is pulling out. With the assistance of benevolent ET civilizations, you have brought your world to this juncture in unprecedented speed—rejoice in this and stay steadfast in the light that is recreating your homeland's Eden self. Please do not let yourselves be pulled backwards into fear about your "future," but focus on your world as you want it. You don't have conscious memory of choosing to participate in this glorious achievement, but by following your intuition and inspiration, you are contributing exactly in accordance not only with your desire, but your capability to do this!

Now then, with eyes globally focused on US President Bush's next move and his low approval ratings in polls, even mainstream media, although still heavily controlled by the Illuminati, has been reporting that his policies are under increasing attack from all corners of the Earth. But Bush never has been the driving force of his administration—the real decision-makers are his father and vice president Cheney, who are key Illuminati members. They control the principals in both parties—partisan politics is an illusion, part of the dark agenda to keep divisiveness of the citizenry alive and well—some of whom accede willingly in their lust for power and others who follow through bribery or threats. It isn't yet public knowledge that legal wheels are churning steadily to topple the most corrupt and depraved in this government, but following the dots of what has been reported to date shows that movement in this direction is making headway and more is soon to be disclosed.

We wish we could tell you exactly when the movement to dislodge all of the major offenders will reach fruition, but we don't know—we can only say that at this moment, it appears to be a matter of months, not weeks or years. In their desperation these betrayers of public trust are seeking delaying tactics via legal means to hold onto their positions, and in their delusion they think they will succeed. They won't. The legal housecleaning will result in the judicial system working as it should, with justice in its purest sense, not as it has been perverted to serve the darkness, and for two vital reasons it is important to honor the legal process. First, impeccably observing those channels preserves the country's constitutional foundation. Second, the people need to adjust psychologically to the inevitable fall of their government; for this to come in one fell swoop would invite panic and chaos, and that energy would permeate your world. This is not meant to happen and it will not. In our love for you, we commiserate with your impatience to see the end of this reign, and as our own soul-selves, we are eager for Earth's complete freedom from eons of dark domination.

I repeat what I have said in many messages: The United States' emergence from its corrupt governing system that started not long after its war of independence is the pivotal step to ridding the rest of the world of tyrannical regimes. The US government appears to be the reckless and arrogant aggressor, but that is because it is the keystone in the power base of the Illuminati's global operations, and this base has been shattered by the in-pouring of light. You could say that only the "mopping up" is left—even though individuals will hold onto their positions for a while longer and continue their mayhem, their influence is fast going the way of their power base. Between the infighting that weakened both of the Illuminati factions and the continuing defection of members from both, their plan for world domination has failed. When the US administration falls, the domino effect that will reverberate around the globe won't be accomplished only by political means, but more so by the intensified light energy that is a combination of your own and the broadening beams of our space family reaching a crescendo. The off-planet dark forces that have been influencing their Illuminati puppets know they are defeated and are leaving planet Earth to the victor—the light.

It is the light that will unify the peoples of your world and heal aching hearts and troubled minds. Think of this analogy: Imagine Earth as a dull green ball encased in a net of thick dark rope so tightly binding that barely any part of the green peeps through—that image dates back sixty or seventy years. Rid yourself of that image and see the net as loose, slender white string with some tiny dim stains scattered about, and the ball as a verdant green beginning to shimmer and rotate and much more visible—this is Earth today. Now see the ball as vibrant glistening green, turning freely within the net whose minute threads are sparkling like crystal and radiating white and golden streamers that blend with the incoming light rays. This is the paradise you are creating—Earth surrounded by a grid of Christed light and glorying in the vibrations of peace and harmony among all of her life forms. Please hold this vision in your thoughts instead of preoccupation with how and when events will unfold as they are predestined in this part of the tapestry of your eternal life.

Mother, before we go back to your list, I have one more comment, something necessary for readers to know but you are reluctant to state yourself: You are very far behind in replying to emails and will be grateful for their understanding that the influx is exceeding your time to respond. Also, we are behind in answering questions. Now then, please choose one.

S: Thank you, Matthew!! Of the many spiritually-based organizations, which are the best for us to align ourselves with to upset the plans of the dark forces?

MATTHEW: By seeing the light emanating from the many groups around your world whose purpose is to achieve and share greater spiritual understanding, I am aware of them but not by name. While it is so that energy toward a shared desire expands exponentially with numbers of contributors, membership in a group isn't required. It is the collective energy generated toward the same goal that manifests it, and the "generators" are the single souls putting forth like thought forms from wherever they are. Throughout the ages some groups that started in purity started feeling superior to others, and their intent to grow in spiritual clarity became the intent to indoctrinate others with their philosophies, often at a monetary sum, and this diminished their ability to reach sources high in the light or tap into their own soul level knowingness. It is the same today, with some groups still in the purity of their origin and others having departed from it. If aligning with a group feels right to you, ask your soul to lead you and follow your intuition, your innate guidance wherein the truth lies. Don't be discouraged if a group doesn't emanate the resonance you seek; simply glean whatever value the affiliation offered and move on, knowing that you are a "generator" and in your steadfastness, nothing or no one can dim your light.

S: Thank you. A lot of questions are about who will or won't ascend with Earth, so I'm just going to type the categories: hardened criminals in prison and ones who haven't been caught; teenagers who acted foolishly and are serving sentences for their actions; religious fanatics whose beliefs motivate them to be suicide bombers or kill innocent people any other way; doctors who perform abortions; doctors or other health care personnel whose incompetence or negligence causes patient deaths; people who know they have a sexually transmissible disease and still are promiscuous; people who do terrible things, feel genuine regret, ask for forgiveness from God, and try hard to live a life of goodness; individuals who can't overcome anger about the state of the world; people who are afraid they aren't worthy of going along with Earth because they haven't discovered their lifetime missions.

MATTHEW: The spiritual destiny of those many individuals is as unique as they are themselves. The soul contracts of everyone in those categories serve them exactly as all other souls' contracts do insofar as determining whether the person will travel with Earth into the higher densities or not. In the complex matching up of "perpetrator" and "victim," each of the prisoners, doctors, religious fanatics, diseased sexual partners, and "atoners" may be strictly adhering to his or her contract; if so, since the contracts are designed to offer the karmic experiencing chosen by all other principals sharing that lifetime, many may be benefiting from what appears to be one person's wrongful act. When an innocent person is convicted of a crime—say, as scapegoat for the more influential real villain, inadequate defense counsel, or a jury's faulty decision—this may or may not be a provision of that innocent person's contract; but either way, there will be the restitution of either freedom or vindication if the person dies prior to release. Some contracts may include a longevity clause that calls for transition during the planet's ascension journey, and in other cases, death may come because the individuals refuse the light that enables physical survival in the higher frequencies. In all cases except the souls that willingly and knowingly reneged on their agreement to join the light after filling "heavy" roles, the individuals in question automatically will go to the appropriate layer of Nirvana, which is traveling with Earth. The reneging souls will be drawn to lower realms where cognition starts "from scratch" and light is constantly beamed to them to aid their fresh start.

To those who are angry about the state of the world, I am suggesting that you adopt the practice of a bright light who recently wrote to my mother that she always reads something spiritual before any "new" reports. This can be helpful to anyone who directs thoughts to be spiritual in nature, which not only lets understanding and compassion replace anger, but adds light to what is playing itself out on Earth.

And to you who haven't yet discovered your life's mission, please do not think this will prevent your traveling with Earth! You are soul searching, clearly desirous of and receptive to spiritual enlightenment—this is moving onward in soul growth whether physically with the planet or in Nirvana, depending on your soul contract's longevity clause. Mission statements don't come with birth certificates, they come into consciousness when the time is right. Intuitively you will know when and what to do.

S: Thank you, dear. Do we need to re-visit how we look at family members whom we've decided are best kept at a distance because their traits are extremely difficult to tolerate?

MATTHEW: It would be wise, compassionate and advantageous to see if reconciliation can be achieved in harmony. These individuals may have provided exactly the experiencing chosen in the family's pre-birth agreement— our frequent emphasis on DO NOT JUDGE most surely includes family members. If reconciliation efforts made in good faith don't succeed, move forward with forgiveness and fulfillment, knowing that the energy of your attempt does register with all involved.

S: Has the US developed spacecraft capable of shooting down friendly Star visitors, and if so, do they know this and can they defend themselves?

MATTHEW: We joyfully greet the initiatives there to keep space free of warring, and we shall admit our amusement that a few arrogant minds on Earth see their developments as equal, even superior to those of friendly Star visitors. It is true that some craft and weapons systems exist on Earth that are not generally known there, but their capabilities are elementary in comparison with the ET technology that is beyond the comprehension of any Earth scientists, whose developments came from instructions by ETs with limited knowledge of such.   

S: OK, thank you. A few people are questioning the existence of a "hollow Earth" with inhabitants.

MATTHEW: The planet never was "solid," but not always since its formation have souls lived beneath the surface. Some souls who perished physically in Lemurian, Atlantean and prior civilizations chose to return to an Earth lifetime and formed a homeland safe from later residents who it was known would come with cellular patterning with the dark influence that eventually would cause wars, brutality and other ungodly acts. So for millennia these spiritually evolved souls have flourished in their beautiful sanctuary in Earth's interior, always aware of happenings on the surface and sending love energy to the souls in the midst of those lifetimes. Like your extraterrestrial family who have been helping you on and above the planet, the souls in the interior will introduce themselves when it is safe to do so. You will experience the reality of what we have been telling you: From The Beginning, you have been loved, assisted, cared for and honored, and on that loving note, I say farewell for this moment.



Suzanne Ward

Read previous messages in "Matthew's Messages" at



The US: Rogue Nation

by Richard Du Boff

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),, 22 December 2001

1. In December 2001, the United States officially withdrew from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, gutting the landmark agreement-the first time in the nuclear era that the US renounced a major arms control accord.

2. 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention ratified by 144 nations including the United States. In July 2001 the US walked out of a London conference to discuss a 1994 protocol designed to strengthen the Convention by providing for on-site inspections. At Geneva in November 2001, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton stated that "the protocol is dead," at the same time accusing Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan, and Syria of violating the Convention but offering no specific allegations or supporting evidence.

3. UN Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms, July 2001: the US was the only nation to oppose it.

4. April 2001, the US was not re-elected to the UN Human Rights Commission, after years of withholding dues to the UN (including current dues of $244 million)-and after having forced the UN to lower its share of the UN budget from 25 to 22 percent. (In the Human Rights Commission, the US stood virtually alone in opposing resolutions supporting lower-cost access to HIV/AIDS drugs, acknowledging a basic human right to adequate food, and calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.)

5. International Criminal Court (ICC) Treaty, to be set up in The Hague to try political leaders and military personnel charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Signed in Rome in July 1998, the Treaty was approved by 120 countries, with 7 opposed (including the US). In October 2001 Great Britain became the 42nd nation to sign. In December 2001 the US Senate again added an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would keep US military personnel from obeying the jurisdiction of the proposed ICC.

6. Land Mine Treaty, banning land mines; signed in Ottawa in December 1997 by 122 nations. The United States refused to sign, along with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Egypt, and Turkey. President Clinton rejected the Treaty, claiming that mines were needed to protect South Korea against North Korea's "overwhelming military advantage." He stated that the US would "eventually" comply, in 2006; this was disavowed by President Bush in August 2001.

7. Kyoto Protocol of 1997, for controlling global warming: declared "dead" by President Bush in March 2001. In November 2001, the Bush administration shunned negotiations in Marrakech (Morocco) to revise the accord, mainly by watering it down in a vain attempt to gain US approval.

8. In May 2001, refused to meet with European Union nations to discuss, even at lower levels of government, economic espionage and electronic surveillance of phone calls, e-mail, and faxes (the US "Echelon" program),

9. Refused to participate in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-sponsored talks in Paris, May 2001, on ways to crack down on off-shore and other tax and money-laundering havens.

10. Refused to join 123 nations pledged to ban the use and production of anti-personnel bombs and mines, February 2001

11. September 2001: withdrew from International Conference on Racism, bringing together 163 countries in Durban, South Africa

12. International Plan for Cleaner Energy: G-8 group of industrial nations (US, Canada, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, UK), July 2001: the US was the only one to oppose it.

13. Enforcing an illegal boycott of Cuba, now being made tighter. In the UN in October 2001, the General Assembly passed a resolution, for the tenth consecutive year, calling for an end to the US embargo, by a vote of 167 to 3 (the US, Israel, and the Marshall Islands in opposition).

14. Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty. Signed by 164 nations and ratified by 89 including France, Great Britain, and Russia; signed by President Clinton in 1996 but rejected by the Senate in 1999. The US is one of 13 nonratifiers among countries that have nuclear weapons or nuclear power programs. In November 2001, the US forced a vote in the UN Committee on Disarmament and Security to demonstrate its opposition to the Test Ban Treaty.

15. In 1986 the International Court of Justice (The Hague) ruled that the US was in violation of international law for "unlawful use of force" in Nicaragua, through its actions and those of its Contra proxy army. The US refused to recognize the Court's jurisdiction. A UN resolution calling for compliance with the Court's decision was approved 94-2 (US and Israel voting no).

16. In 1984 the US quit UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ceased its payments for UNESCO's budget, over the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) project designed to lessen world media dependence on the "big four" wire agencies (AP, UPI, Agence France-Presse, Reuters). The US charged UNESCO with "curtailment of press freedom," as well as mismanagement and other faults, despite a 148-1 in vote in favor of NWICO in the UN. UNESCO terminated NWICO in 1989; the US nonetheless refused to rejoin. In 1995 the Clinton administration proposed rejoining; the move was blocked in Congress and Clinton did not press the issue. In February 2000 the US finally paid some of its arrears to the UN but excluded UNESCO, which the US has not rejoined.

17. Optional Protocol, 1989, to the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolition of the death penalty and containing a provision banning the execution of those under 18. The US has neither signed nor ratified and specifically exempts itself from the latter provision, making it one of five countries that still execute juveniles (with Saudi Arabia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria). China abolished the practice in 1997, Pakistan in 2000.

18. 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The only countries that have signed but not ratified are the US, Afghanistan, Sao Tome and Principe.

19. The US has signed but not ratified the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which protects the economic and social rights of children. The only other country not to ratify is Somalia, which has no functioning government.

20. UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, covering a wide range of rights and monitored by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The US signed in 1977 but has not ratified.

21. UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948. The US finally ratified in 1988, adding several "reservations" to the effect that the US Constitution and the "advice and consent" of the Senate are required to judge whether any "acts in the course of armed conflict" constitute genocide. The reservations are rejected by Britain, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Estonia, and others.

22. Is the status of "we're number one!" Rogue overcome by generous foreign aid to given less fortunate countries? The three best aid providers, measured by the foreign aid percentage of their gross domestic products, are Denmark (1.01%), Norway (0.91%), and the Netherlands (0.79), The three worst: USA (0.10%), UK (0.23%), Australia, Portugal, and Austria (all 0.26).



Also from:

The Secret War Against the Defenseless People of West Papua

By John Pilger

09 March 2006

In 1993, I and four others traveled clandestinely across East Timor to gather evidence of the genocide committed by the Indonesian dictatorship. Such was the depth of silence about this tiny country that the only map I could find before I set out was one with blank spaces stamped "Relief Data Incomplete." Yet few places had been as defiled and abused by murderous forces. Not even Pol Pot had succeeded in dispatching, proportionally, as many people as the Indonesian tyrant Suharto had done in collusion with the "international community."

In East Timor, I found a country littered with graves, their black crosses crowding the eye: crosses on peaks, crosses in tiers on the hillsides, crosses beside the road. They announced the murder of entire communities, from babies to the elderly. In 2000, when the East Timorese, displaying a collective act of courage with few historical parallels, finally won their freedom, the United Nations set up a truth commission; on 24 January, its 2,500 pages were published. I have never read anything like it. Using mostly official documents, it recounts in painful detail the entire disgrace of East Timor's blood sacrifice. It says that 180,000 East Timorese were killed by Indonesian troops or died from enforced starvation. It describes the "primary roles" in this carnage of the governments of the United States, Britain and Australia. America's "political and military support were fundamental" in crimes that ranged from "mass executions to forced resettlements, sexual and other horrific forms of torture as well as abuse against children." Britain, a co-conspirator in the invasion, was the main arms supplier. If you want to see through the smokescreen currently around Iraq, and understand true terrorism, read this document.

As I read it, my mind went back to the letters Foreign Office officials wrote to concerned members of the public and MPs following the showing of my film Death of a Nation. Knowing the truth, they denied that British-supplied Hawk jets were blowing straw-roofed villages to bits and that British-supplied Heckler & Koch machine guns were finishing off the occupants. They even lied about the scale of suffering.

And it is all happening again, wrapped in the same silence and with the "international community" playing the same part as backer and beneficiary of the crushing of a defenseless people. Indonesia's brutal occupation of West Papua, a vast, resource-rich province - stolen from its people, like East Timor - is one of the great secrets of our time. Recently, the Australian minister of "communications," Senator Helen Coonan, failed to place it on the map of her own region, as if it did not exist.

An estimated 100,000 Papuans, or 10 per cent of the population, have been killed by the Indonesian military. This is a fraction of the true figure, according to refugees. In January, 43 West Papuans reached Australia's north coast after a hazardous six-week journey in a dugout. They had no food, and had dribbled their last fresh water into their children's mouths. "We knew," said Herman Wainggai, the leader, "that if the Indonesian military had caught us, most of us would have died. They treat West Papuans like animals. They kill us like animals. They have created militias and jihadis to do just that. It is the same as East Timor."

For over a year, an estimated 6,000 people have been hiding in dense jungle after their villages and crops were destroyed by Indonesian Special Forces. Raising the West Papuan flag is "treason." Two men are serving ten- and 15-year sentences for merely trying. Following an attack on one village, a man was presented as an "example" and petrol poured over him and his hair set alight.

When the Netherlands gave Indonesia its independence in 1949, it argued that West Papua was a separate geographic and ethnic entity with a distinctive national character. A report published last November by the Institute of Netherlands History in The Hague revealed that the Dutch had secretly recognized the "unmistakable beginning of the formation of a Papuan state," but were bullied by the administration of John F. Kennedy to accept "temporary" Indonesian control over what a White House adviser called "a few thousand miles of cannibal land."

The West Papuans were conned. The Dutch, Americans, British and Australians backed an "Act of Free Choice" ostensibly run by the UN. The movements of a UN monitoring team of 25 were restricted by the Indonesian military and they were denied interpreters. In 1969, out of a population of 800,000, some 1,000 West Papuans "voted." All were selected by the Indonesians. At gunpoint, they "agreed" to remain under the rule of General Suharto - who had seized power in 1965 in what the CIA later described as "one of the worst mass murders of the late 20th century." In 1981, the Tribunal on Human Rights in West Papua, held in exile, heard from Eliezer Bonay, Indonesia's first governor of the province, that approximately 30,000 West Papuans had been murdered during 1963-69. Little of this was reported in the West.

The silence of the "international community" is explained by the fabulous wealth of West Papua. In November 1967, soon after Suharto had consolidated his seizure of power, the Time-Life Corporation sponsored an extraordinary conference in Geneva. The participants included the most powerful capitalists in the world, led by the banker David Rockefeller. Sitting opposite them were Suharto's men, known as the "Berkeley mafia," as several had enjoyed US government scholarships to the University of California at Berkeley. Over three days, the Indonesian economy was carved up, sector by sector. An American and European consortium was handed West Papua's nickel; American, Japanese and French companies got its forests. However, the prize - the world's largest gold reserve and third-largest copper deposit, literally a mountain of copper and gold - went to the US mining giant Freeport-McMoran. On the board is Henry Kissinger, who, as US secretary of state, gave the "green light" to Suharto to invade East Timor, says the Dutch report.

Freeport is today probably the biggest single source of revenue for the Indonesian regime: the company is said to have handed Jakarta $33 billion between 1992 and 2004. Little of this has reached the people of West Papua. Last December, 55 people reportedly starved to death in the district of Yahukimo. The Jakarta Post noted the "horrible irony" of hunger in such an "immensely rich" province. According to the World Bank, "38 per cent of Papua's population is living in poverty, more than double the national average."

The Freeport mines are guarded by Indonesia's Special Forces, who are among the world's most seasoned terrorists, as their documented crimes in East Timor demonstrate. Known as Kopassus, they have been armed by the British and trained by the Australians. Last December, the Howard government in Canberra announced that it would resume "co-operation" with Kopassus at the Australian SAS base near Perth. In an inversion of the truth, the then-Australian defense minister, Senator Robert Hill, described Kopassus as having "the most effective capability to respond to a counter-hijack or hostage recovery threat." The files of human-rights organizations overflow with evidence of Kopassus's terrorism. On 6 July 1998, on the West Papuan island of Biak, just north of Australia, Special Forces massacred more than 100 people, most of them women.

However, the Indonesian military has not been able to crush the popular Free Papua Movement (OPM). Since 1965, almost alone, the OPM has reminded the Indonesians, often audaciously, that they are invaders. In the past two months, the resistance has caused the Indonesians to rush more troops to West Papua. Two British-supplied Tactical armored personnel carriers fitted with water cannons have arrived from Jakarta. These were first delivered during the late Robin Cook's "ethical dimension" in foreign policy. Hawk fighter-bombers, made by BAE Systems, have been used against West Papuan villages.

The fate of the 43 asylum-seekers in Australia is precarious. In contravention of international law, the Howard government has moved them from the mainland to Christmas Island, which is part of an Australian "exclusion zone" for refugees. We should watch carefully what happens to these people. If the history of human rights is not the history of great power's impunity, the UN must return to West Papua, as it did finally to East Timor. Or do we always have to wait for the crosses to multiply?


See also:

Free West Papua Campaign
The forgotten land of West Papua is occupied by Indonesia, against the will of its people. Thousands of Papuans are being killed by the Indonesian military, and the vast rainforest is being destroyed by corporate greed. West Papuans have been resisting this onslaught & struggling for their freedom for over 40 years. The Free West Papua Campaign exists to support their struggle. This site gives you background information about West Papua, as well as updated news and campaigns CLIP

More related news

In Indonesia, "Dirty Gold" Responsible for Pollution and Abuses
American mining company Freeport-McMoRan operates a massive open-pit copper and gold mine in the remote Indonesian province of Papua. There, mine wastes are being dumped directly -- almost 700,000 tons a day -- into what was once a pristine forest river system. The company’s payments to Indonesian military and civilian officials are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible violations of corruption and security laws. And residents of Papua have been protesting that the mine does not share its wealth with local people, and that its dirty practices are destroying their lands and resources. Please share the below news story about Freeport-McMoRan, a company which is violating many of the Golden Rules, with your friends and encourage them to sign the No Dirty Gold pledge.


Date: 21 Mar 2006
From: "Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., NRDC BioGems">
Subject: Important message from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,

The Bush administration wants to sell off an astonishing 300,000 acres of our national forest lands across 35 different states -- to pay for its mismanagement of America's finances.

We need your immediate action to stop this raid on our natural heritage, which would sacrifice some of our nation's most treasured wildlands, including irreplaceable expanses of several NRDC BioGems.

Go to and tell the U.S. Forest Service to withdraw this proposal to sell off any part of our national forests for the sake of funding budget shortfalls.

The Bush administration has cynically put forward this national forest sell-off as a fast way to raise millions to pay for a rural schools program that has run out of funding.

America's rural schools deserve financial support -- but destroying our legacy of national forests to pay the bills is unconscionable.

The Bush administration's lengthy list of "Forests For Sale" includes prime habitat in Montana for bears, elk and wolves; popular recreation spots in Alaska's Tongass National Forest; old-growth forests in northern California; wildlife-rich ecosystems in the Appalachians and hundreds of other natural treasures.

Logging companies, real estate developers and other commercial interests are already lining up to start the bidding.

Go to and tell the Forest Service to protect these priceless wildlands for all Americans, present and future.

Thank you for helping to protect the legacy of America's national forests.


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
NRDC Senior Attorney



April 4, 2006

World’s Forests Continue to Shrink

Elizabeth Mygatt

A healthy planet needs healthy forests. Thriving forests regulate the water cycle and stabilize soils. Forests also help moderate climate by soaking up and storing carbon dioxide. In addition to these ecosystem services, forests provide habitat for diverse flora and fauna, offer cultural, spiritual, and recreational opportunities, and provide a variety of food, medicines, and wood.

Nearly 4 billion hectares of forest cover the earth’s surface, roughly 30 percent of its total land area. Though extensive, the world’s forests have shrunk by some 40 percent since agriculture began 11,000 years ago. Three quarters of this loss occurred in the last two centuries as land was cleared to make way for farms and to meet demand for wood.

Over the last five years, the world suffered a net loss of some 37 million hectares (91 million acres) of forest, according to data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. This number reflects the felling of 64.4 million hectares of trees and the planting or natural regeneration of 27.8 million hectares of new forest. Each year the world loses some 7.3 million hectares of forest, an area the size of Panama. Due to extensive reforestation, this net forest shrinkage has slowed slightly from the 8.9 million hectares lost annually in the 1990s. While this is encouraging, it obscures the sobering fact that gross deforestation has not declined significantly since 2000.

World Forest Cover, 1990-2005 -- CLIP

Forest degradation is also cause for concern. Of the world’s 1.4 billion hectares of remaining primary forest—natural forest that shows no sign of human impact—6 million hectares are lost or degraded each year. We are losing not only forest area but some of our best forest stands.

Africa lost 64 million hectares of forest between 1990 and 2005, the greatest decline of any continent. (See Table 1.) Fuelwood gathering drives much of this forest depletion. Timber exports also play a role, with 80 percent of the Congo Basin’s timber production being exported, mainly to China and the European Union.

South America has sustained the second greatest forest loss since 1990—59 million hectares—and deforestation has accelerated somewhat over the last five years, from 3.8 million hectares a year in the 1990s to 4.3 million hectares annually since 2000. This recent acceleration reflects Brazil’s reported net loss of 16 million hectares between 2000 and 2005—three fourths of the regional total. If Amazonian deforestation continues unchecked, the world’s largest rainforest will be cut down to 60 percent of its current size by 2050.

Asia lost a net 8 million hectares in the 1990s but gained a net 5 million hectares between 2000 and 2005. This reversal is due to a massive reforestation effort in China, which reported planting 20 million hectares of trees between 2000 and 2005, with more than a third of this area in plantations. This growth rate, more than double that of the previous decade, is largely a result of China’s logging ban, a policy enacted after widespread deforestation in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River valley left the countryside vulnerable to severe floods in 1998.

Unfortunately, China’s tree cutting ban has simply driven deforestation elsewhere, as China continues to be the world’s largest wood importer and processor. South and Southeast Asia lost over 14 million hectares of forest in the last five years. Indonesia’s natural forests, losing 2 million hectares a year, have suffered some of the heaviest cutting and could disappear within 10 years as they give way to timber and oil-palm plantations.

Apart from China, most of the gains in forest area are in industrial countries, while developing countries bear the brunt of deforestation. Forest area in North America has been stable at roughly 675 million hectares for the past 15 years, with deforestation in Mexico largely offsetting new plantings and reforestation in the United States. Central America has lost over 5 million hectares since 1990, and Europe has gained 12 million hectares. Industrial countries may be leading the way in conserving their own forests, but their demand for wood drives much of the deforestation elsewhere on the globe.

Forests are cleared to grow food and energy crops, graze cattle, and meet demand for wood products. The global wood harvest totaled 3.4 billion cubic meters in 2004, up from 2.3 billion cubic meters in 1961. Fifty-two percent of this is used as fuel, though this varies regionally. (See Figure 2.) Fuelwood accounts for 89 percent of Africa’s wood harvest, where it is often the only accessible and affordable source of energy for heating and cooking, but only 17 percent in North and Central America, where other energy sources are more readily available. 

Much of the world’s wood is harvested illegally. Illegal logging accounts for more than half of timber production in Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, and Cameroon. In addition to devastating forest ecosystems, illegal logging robs forest dwellers of their livelihoods, fuels social turmoil, and deprives timber-producing countries of up to $15 billion of revenue each year.

Forest plantations—planted stands that often consist of single-age monocultures—can alleviate logging pressure on natural forest areas. Worldwide, plantations account for less than 5 percent of global forest area but produce roughly 35 percent of the annual wood harvest. Growth in plantation area has accelerated, increasing by 2.8 million hectares a year since 2000. By 2020, plantation production is projected to meet 44 percent of global wood demand. Close to half of the world’s productive plantations are located in China, Russia, and the United States. Still, plantations cannot offer the same biodiversity and vitality that a natural forest can. Plantation development is most advantageous on lands that are already clear of trees, as a way to offset future deforestation and decrease pressure on natural stands to supply forest products.

Reducing consumption of virgin wood products is integral to protecting the world’s remaining natural forests. This entails curbing the world’s appetite for timber, paper, and other wood products and decreasing wood burning for fuel by developing energy alternatives. In addition, stepping up recycling efforts will temper the need to fell more trees.

Certification emerged more than a decade ago as a way to identify forests that are managed and logged responsibly. Sustainable forestry depends on shifting from clearcutting to selective cutting of mature trees while maintaining the social and economic benefits enjoyed by forest inhabitants and other stakeholders. As of early 2006, the Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s most rigorous accreditation organization, had certified some 68 million hectares in 66 countries as sustainable. Certification has expanded considerably in the past five years, although certified wood products still constitute only a small fraction of the global market.

For consumers, demanding certified wood products spur responsible forest management and help curb illegal logging. If governments, as policymakers and forest product consumers themselves, were to take a stronger leadership role in forest management oversight and enforcement, this would also encourage sustainable forestry practices. Protecting the world’s remaining natural forests, cultivating new forest stands, and reducing consumption of forest resources are all critical steps toward preserving the indispensable services that forests provide. It is in our best interest to keep forests flourishing.


See also:

Once Upon a Forest (05 April 2006)
(...) By the end of 2005, about 70 million board feet had been logged. Meanwhile, a group of graduate students at Oregon State University completed a study of forest regeneration in the Biscuit burn. They found that without logging, forests were beginning to re-grow on their own, but where salvage logging had occurred, new seedlings were killed as heavy equipment scraped the ground and disturbed the soil. The study was submitted to the prestigious journal Science, and accepted for publication. (...)  So, to recap the situation: when a forest engineering study that is funded by timber industry boosters is used to bolster legislation proposed by a congressman who is funded by the timber industry (Greg Walden gets more money from the timber industry than any other House member - over $100,000 in 2004 alone), that is called "sound science." But when a group of independent graduate students studying ecology go out and make observations and measurements on the ground and get their paper accepted for publication by the most prestigious scientific journal in America, and that paper happens to contradict assertions used to justify pending legislation, that is called "junk science." CLIP



Caribbean Coral Suffers Record Bleaching, Death

March 31, 2006 — By Seth Borenstein, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A one-two punch of bleaching from record hot water followed by disease has killed ancient and delicate coral in the biggest loss of reefs scientists have ever seen in Caribbean waters.

Researchers from around the globe are scrambling to figure out the extent of the loss. Early conservative estimates from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands find that about one-third of the coral in official monitoring sites has recently died.

"It's an unprecedented die-off," said National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Miller, who last week checked 40 stations in the Virgin Islands. "The mortality that we're seeing now is of the extremely slow-growing reef-building corals. These are corals that are the foundation of the reef ... We're talking colonies that were here when Columbus came by have died in the past three to four months."

Some of the devastated coral can never be replaced because it only grows the width of one dime a year, Miller said.

Coral reefs are the basis for a multibillion-dollar tourism and commercial fishing economy in the Caribbean. Key fish species use coral as habitat and feeding grounds. Reefs limit the damage from hurricanes and tsunamis. More recently they are being touted as possible sources for new medicines.

If coral reefs die "you lose the goose with golden eggs" that are key parts of small island economies, said Edwin Hernandez-Delgado, a University of Puerto Rico biology researcher.

On Sunday, Hernandez-Delgado found a colony of 800-year-old star coral -- more than 13 feet high -- that had just died in the waters off Puerto Rico.

"We did lose entire colonies," he said. "This is something we have never seen before."
On Wednesday, Tyler Smith, coordinator of the U.S. Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monitoring program, dived at a popular spot for tourists in St. Thomas and saw an old chunk of brain coral, about 3 feet in diameter, that was at least 90 percent dead from the disease called "white plague."

"We haven't seen an event of this magnitude in the Caribbean before," said Mark Eakin, coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Watch.

The Caribbean is actually better off than areas of the Indian and Pacific ocean where mortality rates -- mostly from warming waters -- have been in the 90 percent range in past years, said Tom Goreau of the Global Coral Reef Alliance. Goreau called what's happening worldwide "an underwater holocaust."

And with global warming, scientists are pessimistic about the future of coral reefs.
"The prognosis is not good," said biochemistry professor M. James Crabbe of the University of Luton near London. In early April, he will investigate coral reef mortality in Jamaica. "If you want to see a coral reef, go now, because they just won't survive in their current state."

For the Caribbean, it all started with hot sea temperatures, first in Panama in the spring and early summer, and it got worse from there.

New NOAA sea surface temperature figures show the sustained heating in the Caribbean last summer and fall was by far the worst in 21 years of satellite monitoring, Eakin said.

"The 2005 event is bigger than all the previous 20 years combined," he said.
What happened in the Caribbean would be the equivalent of every city in the United States recording a record high temperature at the same time, Eakin said. And it remained hot for weeks, even months, stressing the coral.

The heat causes the symbiotic algae that provides food for the coral to die and turn white. That puts the coral in critical condition. If coral remains bleached for more than a week, the chance of death soars, according to NOAA scientists.

In the past, only some coral species would bleach during hot water spells and the problem would occur only at certain depths. But in 2005, bleaching struck far more of the region at all depths and in most species.

A February NOAA report calculates 96 percent of lettuce coral, 93 percent of the star coral and nearly 61 percent of the iconic brain coral in St. Croix had bleached. Much of the coral had started to recover from the bleaching last fall, but then the weakened colonies were struck by disease, finishing them off.

Eakin, who oversees the temperature study of the warmer water, said it's hard to point to global warming for just one season's high temperatures, but other scientists are convinced.

"This is probably a harbinger of things to come," said John Rollino, the chief scientist for the Bahamian Reef Survey. "The coral bleaching is probably more a symptom of disease -- the widespread global environmental degradation -- that's going on."
Crabbe said evidence of global warming is overwhelming.

"The big problem for coral is the question of whether they can adapt sufficiently quickly to cope with climate change," Crabbe said. "I think the evidence we have at the moment is: No, they can't.

"It'll not be the same ecosystem," he said. "The fish will go away. The smaller predators will go away. The invertebrates will go away."


Date: 11 Mar 2006
From: riseup collective> To:
Subject: Stop AOL Email Tax - Yahoo is evil

==> Stop AOL Email Tax ==

AOL is adopting a system called CertifiedEmail, which is a threat to a free and open Internet.

The list that you have with Riseup likely has a number of AOL email addresses subscribed to it. Please consider encouraging your group to sign-on to this broad coalition that is fighting this. It is clear that if the AOL email tax is not fought, AOL will make it incredibly difficult to deliver your list email to your subscribers.

We know that your list is critical for your organizing efforts, but AOL is trying to reduce the effectiveness of your work by creating a system where reliable email only is provided to those who can afford to pay for every email sent. Their system is harmful to free speech, and it is designed to extort money from senders in exchange for privileged service. AOL wants us to pay an email tax to get guaranteed delivery, and if we don't pay, then delivery to AOL addresses will increasingly be undelivered.

By creating one class of Internet users who pay for guaranteed email delivery, AOL will leave everyone else (thats us) as a second-class citizen on the Internet. AOL's email tax creates an unlevel playing field online and as a result your online organizing will suffer unless we stop it together. Those who can afford to pay for preferential service will leave behind those of us who cannot, resulting in unreliable email delivery.

Please help us save the free and open Internet by growing our coalition. Please reach out to organizations you are a part of. We can't afford this, nor can you, please encourage your group to sign-on to this broad coalition:

Individuals can sign-on here:

Thanks for your help on this important cause. P.S. Please be sure to sign!

==> Yahoo is evil ==

In addition to being boring capitalists, is in the practice of helping to jail Chinese reporters and dissidents. On December 2003, Chinese dissident Li Zhi was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for inciting "subversion" using evidence provided by yahoo. On April 2005, Shi Tao (a journalist working for a Chinese newspaper) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leaking details of a censorship order, again using evidence provided by yahoo.

This horror is not isolated to yahoo: gmail, hotmail, and aol all make it standard practice to turn over requested documents without even attempting to contest the request. The much reported refusal by google to turn over historical search statistics to the US government misses the fact that they already allow the government to scan all gmail traffic (as do yahoo, hotmail and aol).

We encourage you to stop using yahoo and the other services it owns (flickr,, and geocities, to name a few).


See also:

The Spam Debate and the Internet Censorship It Hides
The debate over how to deal with Spam ignores the most important issue: censorship on the Internet is already an accepted and publicly acknowledged policy and most people don't realize that.------Recently America On Line announced its intention to start charging people a "license fee" to send bulk email to AOL subscribers.The resulting shiver traveling up the spines of mailing list managers and Internet providers all over the world quickly morphed into an all too rare quasi-collective outcry that actually forced AOL into a half-step backwards. Upon reconsideration, the Internet giant announced, it would continue to offer the license but, for those who don't want the license, it would also continue to treat bulk email as it has up to now.Whatever sighs of relief one might discern are, I think, the sounds of an Internet community threatened with a deadly kick to the head and now relieved that it only has to cope with a boot on its throat.In fact, the entire debate over the potential harm in AOL's plan overshadows the fact that large commercial providers' response to the problem of "spam" already represents a dangerous and potentially crippling attack on the culture and functioning of the Internet as a vehicle of free speech. (...) While blocking and destroying your email is clearly an attack on the First Amendment, the timing and political import shouldn't be lost on anyone. Just at the time when the progressive movement is starting to use the Internet effectively, we're faced with measures that could drive us into silence.All of the major, successful Internet campaigns run by progressive activists (from impeachment to health care to anti-war to Katrina) use unsolicited email. How could it be otherwise? How in the world do you communicate with people to get them information they don't have if you only email to people who've told you they want it? We could never build a campaign or expand it that way. Our traditional tools have always included leaflets in the mail, flyers handed out, public speeches, phone calls and now this powerful Internet. We've been able to use those tools because, for a century, we have fought tooth and nail to protect and expand our constitutional right to protected speech.Sure, unwanted email can be a pain. The same is true of bulk postal mail, leaflets activists shove in your face during a rally and the insistence of street organizers that they have a message you should spend minutes of your valuable time listening to.But few of us would ask the post office to stop any of our mail or ask the police to arrest a street organizer. We understand that, in the end, these inconvenient "incursions" benefit us all and sometimes give us information we need. We also understand that repression of these activities would create a far greater problem than the one it solves. CLIP


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