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August 31, 2006

Turning Tide of History #19: Birthing a Brave New World

Hello everyone!

Last week I received the following letter from long-time ERN subscriber Joyce Kovelman:

Dear Jean

Your tireless devotion to truth, human rights and factual information is extraordinary. Thank you for your loving service to all of humanity. It is important to know what is occurring, as well as to envision more positive solutions and responses to our present world predicaments. So thank you for also helping us not to fall into despair and hopelessness, but rather to create a more positive, loving and sustainable world. We need to work as a community of light to birth the new.

... To which I replied (in part)

Dear Joyce

I very much appreciate your supportive comment for my work and have included it in my next compilation. (...) BTW Joyce, I'd like to put you to task by asking you to elaborate on how we may actually "work as a community of light to birth the new"... I feel you'd certainly have much more to say on this and trust that, if you are so inspired, you'll propose me something of high spiritual value for inclusion either in my next Meditation Focus (if I receive it before Saturday evening) or in a coming compilation.

... And here is the highly inspirational piece I received from her on August 29.

Birthing a Brave New World

Joyce A. Kovelman, Ph.D. (© 2006)

This we know: Humanity stands at the precipice. We must quickly decide whether we will continue to desecrate and destroy our planet, or whether we will make the needed changes and sacrifices that allow all of earthly existence to survive and thrive. We are asked to consciously co-create a new reality in which to fulfill our greater, more noble destinies. Indeed it is the very reason that each of us is presently living upon Earth. 

This we know: We are summoned, and how we respond is critical. Do we step up to the plate and begin to make the necessary changes, or do we continue to complain, turn away, and wait for others to change?

This we know: We already recognize where change is needed. We already know what each of us must do to become the change we wish to see in our world. We know that there are needy, sick, poor and homeless; and that every one of us makes a difference. And we all realize that we have come to Earth for just such a moment as this.

We may not fully know how to change, we may not fully know what to do, or even if we can succeed. But begin we must! Humankind will surely perish if we do not try.

This we know: Each world begins with You and Me. All of us are Beings of Energy and Light. We are invited to participate in the most sacred task of creating a new world. We already know that all change and creation begins within. So please take a moment or two, or three or more …. Please enter into the silence and stillness at the very core of your being, and please begin the inner process of creating a sustainable and caring world.

Deep within my heart and soul, there is an absolute certainty that We can create the world we want to dwell within; We can evolve; and We can become a loving, compassionate, sustainable and harmonious humanity. We can make it happen, if we but dare to dream and envision once again. It has always been so.

This we know: A dedicated community of vision and light can bring forth a life sustaining and life affirming humanity. I invite you to become the change you wish to see in your world, to be the action you seek, the inspiration you need, and the love you wish to share. Let us join together in the wonder of conscious co-creation and joy. Let us begin! 

All who wish to respond to Spirit’s Soulful call to help birth a new world – please contact me at Now is the moment to begin. Please join and make it so.

... So as you can imagine, I feel that this wonderfully inspired call deserves our full support and I encourage you all to contact Joyce (with a Cc to me if you'd like to keep me informed of your commitment and reactions to this). Also if you'd like to find out more about her, check her website at (Check also the ADDENDUM below)

Meanwhile, I have another powerful compilation below for your consideration.

May Peace, Love and Harmony prevail on Earth

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

ADDENDUM: In my reply to Joyce I asked her the following:

I'm curious also to know what you intend to do with or offer to the people who will reply to you on this. Consider this as your first such reply. What can you tell me if I ask you "What now?"

And she replied:

"I see my article as a Call to Action - and as yours is my first response - I feel we can each do something daily or weekly, big or small - it adds up. We each know within what we can do and it is not helpful for me to explicitly tell other Light Workers how to proceed. What I feel is unfolding is the need for change through action - not just ideas and words (of course, with integrity) and we need to begin. So my Herald's call is to start a supporting circle of those who will begin to not only make the inner changes, but also start to act change and transformation out in the world. I am open to what will unfold with "A committed, dedicated Community of Light Workers who will respond in the Now." The Light Workers are ready, and all they need is a spark to light the way!"

VERY interesting don't you feel... Now it's up to each one of you to add your unique contribution to this emerging "New Ball Game". Let us initiate a global campaign towards collectively coalescing the New Earth! The Countdown has begun...

NOTE from Jean: I case you would miss it in this large compilation below, here is a comment I was moved to write after reading the article by Israeli peace group Gush Shalom's founder Uri Avnery (see "America's Rottweiler" below):

"Now imagine Israelis being loved by their neighbors because of the good they do - if they were to let go of their current circle-the-wagons warmongering mindset - to all people living around their country, bringing food, economic help, humanitarian succor instead of bombs and mayhem... This is the vision I hold for the future of this reborn country, a future of peaceful love-breeding cooperation with all and meaningful atonement for the sinful deeds of the current generation. So is also the vision I hold for this entire living planet and all her inhabitants - soon to be living in harmony, loving each other as brothers and sister of the wonderfully diverse and rich human family, sustaining a brightly evolving world well into the far future and showing the entire universe that a place that looked like hell can become a heavenly paradise for the evolution of all souls. If it can be imagined... it can be achieved.

The seeds of this visionary future is growing right now in the hearts of all sentient loving beings called humans, earthlings in search of Who They Are, awakening from the nightmare of love-deprivation and fear-domination. One for all... All for One... No soul left behind...
All growing in glorious harmony/living/breathing/sharing/shining/BEING Love for one's Universal Self and thus for all... because All IS One..."

P.S. Your feedbacks are as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer they are not. Circulating this compilation (or any part of it) and personally inviting your correspondents to subscribe to this list would also help enlarge the circle of people who have access to this material. 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.

Free subscription to a large weekly Earth Rainbow Network compilation by simply sending a blank email to

This compilation is archived at

STATS for this compilation: Over 35,900 words and 120 links provided.


To unsubscribe from the Earth Rainbow Network automated listserver, or change your listing on it when you have a new email address, the simplest way is to do it yourself by sending a blank email at> -- IMPORTANT: You MUST do it from the email account you wish to unsubscribe otherwise the system won't recognize your request.

"Millions of people are doing Light Service around the world, most of them doing simply what they feel is the right thing to do, without even labelling themselves as "Lightworkers", a name they probably never heard. By working as countless seemingly uncoordinated agents of change, we act as a leaven in the bread raising the whole world population as we rise spiritually to be Who We Are. The New Earth is being created here and now in the deepest recesses of our soul, collectively and individually, with Light-filled vibes, thoughts, words and actions being spread out rather than through resorting to the "old ways" of the mental frame and rational thinking typical of the dualistic mindset."

- Amanumenoum

"The synergy of like hearts, souls and minds can help create a new world and make the space/time for its manifesting. How each of us do this begins with a heart of peace, rather than war. It begins with what one is most passionate about."

- Joyce A. Kovelman>

"We as individuals and as a society really do need to start taking responsibility for our own actions and to stop passing the buck."


"It's not Israelis who need to go away - it's their current behaviour toward their neighbours. Happy, safe, friendly, open, constructive, collaborative Israelis are undoubtedly welcome in a new Middle East, given a little time, and achieving this would be a key part of the region's transformation, and a potential miracle of our times.

- Palden Jenkins -- Taken from A New Middle East (August 30, 2006)

"It is well to avoid the "magical thinking" that the Star Nations are going to come down and clean up planet Earth for us. That is our proper Human responsibility: to reform and transform our own society. Ethically, the most Star Nations can do is provide a bit of catalyst for such reformation by helping unveil the UFO Cover-Up. What happens next is up to us. There are many lightworkers and Star Seeds embedded in our midst at every level of society. We all need to work in concert to uproot Cabal influence from our midst. Source willing, we shall prevail."

- "Richard Boylan PhD"> -- Excerpted from an email posted to a small group of correspondents on August 26, 2006

"When a long train of abuses and usurpations [...] evinces a design to reduce them [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government."

- Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration of Independence

"The war costs $100 billion a year and it generates an extra $75 billion in annual oil profits. In other words, for every $1 the U.S. government spends on the wars, the owners of the oil companies earn an additional ¢75 in net profit."

- Taken from "Cheap Wars"

"Parapsychology was recognized in 1969, by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as a legitimate scientific field. Originally known as "psychical research" the discipline has been active for over 120 years. A considerable body of research literature exists. Nevertheless, educational offerings in this discipline are appallingly few and far between. The good news is that there is a vast library of literature in parapsychology, metaphysics, consciousness studies, transpersonal psychology and the world's mystical traditions that speaks directly to the yearning of millions for a cognitive framework within which they can begin to interpret and understand their own inner experiences. The bad news is that this wealth of knowledge and wisdom is rarely discussed within our mainstream social institutions. These fields of knowledge are generally regarded as undeserving of attention by educational, scientific, business and religious authorities. As a result, ignorance is widespread - fostering prejudices of many kinds. Furthermore, individuals with psychic talents, or in theological terms, "gifts of the spirit," are too often treated with disrespect, fear and even social contempt. This results in an incredible waste of human talent, that if carefully cultivated and encouraged, could be of great benefit to all of society. The time has come when it must be no more acceptable to prejudicially or contemptuously dismiss a person for claiming to have experienced some psychic event than it is to similarly treat a person due to the color of their skin, their religion, their sex or their sexual orientation."

- Jeffrey Mishlove - Taken from his Manifesto for Psychic Liberation

Worthy of Your Attention

Help Bring the Arctic Refuge into Homes Across America
Watch Robert Redford's video, then forward his message!Watch the Video. You can help mobilize one million Americans in defense of the Arctic Refuge before the showdown vote in the Senate.

2012: Ascension, Rebirth and the Dimensional Shift

Jon Stewart: Bush Debate (And plenty more from Stewart and on Bush through this)

VIDEO: Jon Stewart dissects Bush's latest 'desperate soundbites' (VERY FUNNY!)

Is Bush An Idiot? Dah! (August 15, 2006)

Voted Best Commercial in Europe

Kids with guns

Terror Storm on Google Video
Around 800 of Alex Jones and Jim Marrs' closest friends filled the Dallas Lakewood Theater to near capacity on the evening of August 26, 2006, for the Texas Premiere of "TerrorStorm" and to hear Jim Marrs speak. The crowd was diverse; many races, many different political stripes, and people of all ages were in attendance. Jones opened up the evening with a stirring 30 minute speech, putting the "elite" on notice; people are educating themselves about the existence of state sponsored terror as a political tool, and they're not going to take it anymore. Despite the serious nature of TerrorStorm, the crowd was positive, receptive to Jones' message, and the audience gave the film a rousing ovation at its conclusion. Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts">

How to Brainwash a Nation
An excerpt from "The Century of the Self": In 2002, Adam Curtis and the BBC released a four-part series called "The Century of the Self." The series tracks how American elites have aggressively used the modern behavioral sciences to persuade, coerce and manipulate the American public into accepting the corporate-government world's version of events as their own. This seven-minute video which I call "The Assassin of Democracy" focuses on one of the most skillful and amoral expert of all the experts in mass manipulation, Edward Bernays. Bernays got his first taste of the power of propaganda during World War I. He advised US presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Einsehower and served numerous corporations and business associations. One of his biggest fans was Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, a fact about which Bernays bragged proudly.In this clip, we see a pattern that Bernays used over and over again: turn a harmless entity into a fearsome enemy through lies and manufactured news items. Then use the "threat" to justify attack. The subject of this video is Bernays campaign against the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1953, but you'll have no trouble seeing that this very same method is being used today. Also recommended by "Kathleen Roberts">

American Conspiracy: TV Show Promo
An independent TV producer is working on this project. Imagine seeing this on television...

Come to Ground Zero 9/11/06
(...) Ground Zero Rally for Truth at the corner of Fulton and Church Streets. Monday, September 11 Ground Zero 8:00 am - 2:00 pm St Marks 4:30 pm -- The city's official plan for the September 11 memorial service will include four moments of silence to acknowledge the exact times when each plane hit and when each tower collapsed, as it has for the last four years. The victims' names will be read by friends and family members. Church bells will ring. We will all be wearing black 'Investigate 9/11' T-shirts and carrying cameras, DVD's, and leaflets. Please avoid confrontation and conduct yourself in the spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Louder Than Words will not tolerate or allow themselves to be associated with violence or disruptive behavior. They are bringing 10,000 Loose Change DVDs to hand out. More details through

9/11 Information Center
This page provides links to a variety of sources of reliable, verifiable information dealing with the 9/11 cover-up. (...) Spread the Word on the 9/11 Cover-up. We have no doubt that by working together we can and will build a brighter future. When we step out of fear, secrecy, and polarization, we choose to join with the ever increasing numbers of people dedicated to working for the good of all in our world. You can make a difference right now by sharing this 9/11 information with your family, friends, and colleagues. CLIP


1. Now let's tackle the root cause
2. Working Together During The Great Transition
3. Airline Insanity Merely A Beta Test For Police State Caste System
4. Israel feels US will not attack Iran
5. THE CRISIS FACING ISRAEL: Settling for a Draw with Hezbollah
6. Former US President Carter: US and Israel Stand Alone
7. We Need Fewer Secrets
8. As 'America's Rottweiler' Avnery does not see much of a future
9. Israel Must Win
10. The Lobby and the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon: Their Facts and Ours
11. Why We Fight - Documentary Review
12. Another miserable milestone for Bush's war
14. Cascades' Reddened Forests Signal Threat to Humans Rockies'
15. Forests Fall to a Tiny Foe
16. Oceans in Distress
17. Actual Bumper stickers on US cars
18. Movie: Into Great Silence
19. Ain't it the truth
20. Cheated!

See also:

US Preparing to Go It Alone on Iran
With increasing signs that several fellow Security Council members may stall a United States push to penalize Iran for its nuclear enrichment program, Bush administration officials have indicated that they are prepared to form an independent coalition to freeze Iranian assets and restrict trade.

From Hype To Hysteria: Fox News Selling Preemptive War Against Iran:
Tomorrow marks the deadline for Iran to comply with U.N. demands to suspend portions of its nuclear program. Fox is using the opportunity to sell another preemptive war.

Iran's nuclear programme 'legitimate' if peaceful: Italian FM:
"If Iran is looking to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it is not only legitimate, but can also clear the way for cooperation" with other countries, D'Alema said in an interview on Radio 1.

Rumsfeld: U.S. able to take new fight despite Iraq (August 30)
NAVAL AIR STATION FALLON, Nevada (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned potential adversaries on Monday that the United States remained capable of responding to military threats at home and abroad, despite its troop commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan."We are capable of dealing with other problems were they to occur," he told troops at an airfield in the Nevada desert."It would be unfortunate if other countries thought that because we have 136,000 troops in Iraq today, that we're not capable of defending our country or doing anything that we might need to do," he said in response to a question about military options for dealing with Iran.More than three years into the Iraq war, the military is showing signs of stress. The Army and Marine Corps, in particular, must spend tens of billions of dollars to replace and repair equipment. Army officials have said the combat readiness of many units and their ability to take on new missions have suffered. CLIP

Donald Rumsfeld as the serpent
Russia was asked to support a U.S. proposal to use intercontinental ballistic missiles whose nuclear warheads would be replaced with conventional ones to attack terrorists.

Bush Ensured Iran Offer Would Be Rejected
Even before Iran gave its formal counter-offer to ambassadors of the P5+1 countries Tuesday, the Bush administration had already begun the process of organizing sanctions against Iran. A day later, a Congressional report warned that the US was facing "significant gaps" in its intelligence on Iran that could be as serious as the shortcomings in its pre-war knowledge about Iraq, leaving Washington ill-prepared to assess Tehran's military capabilities.

U.S. built major Iranian nuclear facility (August 23),0,1434982.story?coll=sfla-newsnation-front
In the heart of Tehran sits one of Iran's most important nuclear facilities, a dome-shaped building where scientists have conducted secret experiments that could help the country build atomic bombs. It was provided to the Iranians by the United States.The Tehran Research Reactor represents a little-known aspect of the international uproar over the country's alleged weapons program. Not only did the U.S. provide the reactor in the 1960s as part of a Cold War strategy, America also supplied the weapons-grade uranium needed to power the facility—fuel that remains in Iran and could be used to help make nuclear arms. CLIP

Life Under the Bombs
Rasha Salti writes, " I am haunted by the nameless and faceless caught under rubble. In the undergrounds of destroyed buildings or simply in the midst of its ravages. Awaiting to be given a proper burial."

Paul Krugman | King George's Crumbling Monarchy
"Somehow political power has fallen into the hands of people who want to dismantle everything that works, and conduct business as if they were running a medieval duchy - or a third world tin-pot dictatorship. (Yes, contractors in Iraq really did receive duffel bags filled with $100 bills.) And it turns out that they can do immense damage in a very short time," writes Paul Krugman. "Remember that FEMA was regarded as one of the best agencies in the federal government at the end of the Clinton years."

War Protesters Follow Bush to Maine
At every wedding, it seems, something happens not according to plan. Expect the unexpected, planners warn. But how many brides and grooms expect a peace protest? That is what happens when the president shows up for the ceremony in the midst of a polarizing war. About 700 demonstrators marched past the seaside church where President Bush's second cousin was to be married Saturday and then up to the checkpoint guarding the family summer compound to protest the war in Iraq.

Bush's Miserable Vacation
"Love him or hate him," writes Larry C. Johnson, "President Bush is having a terrible week while trying to catch some downtime in Maine. Watching the self-immolation of the Bush Presidency is certainly a spectacularly sad show. When this week is over and opinion polls are taken, we are likely to see Bush close in on low thirties or high twenties in terms of public support for his presidency. The drumbeat of bad news is incessant."

Lawyers Will Subpoena Bush White House in Phone Company Spying Case
Two lawyers who brought the first lawsuit against the Bush administration, Verizon and AT&T for illegally examining the phone records of virtually every American citizen will announce today that they are serving subpoenas on the Bush White House and on Verizon.

Corporate Globalization and Middle East Terrorism
It is ironic that the people who think they are the freest are the most controlled people on earth. It is equally odd that those who think they are part of the greatest democracy the world has ever known do not participate in a democracy at all; nor do they recognize one when they see it. These facts attest to how thoroughly the American people have been propagandized by the corporate media. CLIP

Bill for depleted uranium screening passes Senate (8/25/2006)
California veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces are one signature away from having mandated access to health screenings to determine their exposure to depleted uranium. SB 1720, the Veterans’ Health and Safety Act of 2006, passed with the unanimous approval of the state Senate on Wednesday and is headed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. The bill, which establishes outreach programs as well as screening tests for veterans, was introduced by state Sen. Wes Chesbro (D-Arcata) in February of this year. It passed the state Assembly with a 61-13 vote on Tuesday. “We feel it’s going to be a great benefit to the many veterans who have been unknowingly exposed,” local Veterans for Peace member Steve Sottong said Thursday. “We’re extremely pleased and very hopeful that the governor will sign it.” (...) “It seems to be a bill that pretty much everybody can get behind,” Sottong noted. “We hope California can become a model for other states on this.”

You Wouldn't Catch Me Dead in Iraq (40,000 US troops have deserted in the Iraq War!)
Scores of American troops are deserting - even from the front line in Iraq. But where have they gone? And why isn't the US Army after them? They are the US troops in Iraq to whom the American administration prefers not to draw attention. They are the deserters - those who have gone AWOL from their units and not returned, risking imprisonment and opprobrium.

Nine US Soldiers Dead in Two Days
At least 100 people were killed across Iraq yesterday in a day of intense gun battles and suicide bombings, contradicting US military claims that the security situation in the war-torn nation was improving. US forces have lost nine soldiers since Saturday, the military said in press releases, making it a lethal weekend for them as well. Eight of the soldiers were killed by roadside bomb attacks and one by gunfire, according to the brief military statements.

UK Soldier Kills Himself to Avoid Iraq (August 26)
CAIRO — Rejecting his commanders' orders to kill Iraqi children, a British soldier has committed suicide after he was told he could be ordered to shoot dead alleged child suicide bombers in Iraq. (...) Chelsea's death renews concerns about the psychological pressures facing British forces in Iraq. Early August, the Ministry of Defense said that 1,541 British soldiers in Iraq are suffering from psychiatric illness.The BBC said in May that the number of British soldiers deserting military service over the US-led invasion has been on the rise with more than 1,000 personnel absent without leave and failing to return since the war.A recent US study revealed that US troops returning from Iraq have the highest rate of mental health consultation and psychological problems compared to other troops returning from Afghanistan and other trouble spots.

State Department Investigates Israeli Use of US-Made Cluster Bombs
The State Department is investigating whether Israel's use of American-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon violated secret agreements with the United States that restrict when it can employ such weapons. A report released Wednesday by the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Center said it had found unexploded bomblets, including hundreds of American types, in 249 locations south of the Litani River.

Is this Bush's secret bunker? (August 28, 2006),,1859815,00.html
Mount Weather is a top-security underground installation an hour's drive from Washington DC. It has its own leaders, police, fire department - and laws. A cold war relic, it has been given a new lease of life since 9/11. And no one who's been inside has ever talked. (...) The changes to its exterior landscape - not to mention the gossip among local residents - are just one sign that that something very important has been going on at Mount Weather, a level of activity not seen here since the days when Eisenhower and his advisers trooped out here during drills. For some, this is a sign of prudent planning in a world where the security calculus has been for ever altered; for others, it is the symbol of an administration with a predilection towards exercising power in secret. (...) John Staelin, a member of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors, says that on September 11, the county's 911 line received a call from an agitated local woman. "She said, 'I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but the whole mountain opened up and Air Force One flew in and it closed right up. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.' (...) Inquiries to Fema yield little more light. "There's been a general upgrade of security at all federal installations around the country, and Mount Weather is one of them," says spokesman Don Jacks. "I answered your question in a very general way. We're not going to talk about Mount Weather, period. It's not that I can't, we just don't." CLIP

Voice of the White House (August 27, 2006)
“The posting of an intercepted conversation between an official of the Israeli Embassy and a party at AIPAC has drawn an enormous amount of attention. Nearly all of this is positive, I am told, but a number of parties have wondered how it could be authenticated. If they could advise me as to how they feel this conversation, and the many others I am now in the process of working up , can be authenticated, I will be happy to address the issue. Perhaps a signed, notarized statement from the Israeli official involved might suffice but one has the distinct feeling that such a statement would never issue. The initial conversation between an official of the Israeli Embassy in Washington and someone from the AIPAC, also in Washington, has had a tremendous reception, having been looked at over 100,000 times on our website alone, and has subsequently been reprinted on other websites around the world. To date, we have had no comment from the Israeli Embassy proclaiming it to be false and there is a great deal of internal evidence that lends credence to its authenticity. (...) A: Right. That’s why I say you and your family should leave your nice Big Apple place about the ninth of October and go visit your relatives in Arizona. Then you can watch it on CNN. (...) B: Why that target and not something like the Liberty Bell? Or they could blow up a plane with a lot of top Democrats on board, right? A: If the refinery goes, you can see and hear it in your apartment. No damage to New York but plenty of dramatic fireworks. Keep the media busy for months. (...) Oh, and here’s a nice touch. They want to leave a dead raghead behind, like some guard shot him. I mean someone they have in jail, over there, not here, with a long record of militant activity and I mean well-documented. And one of my man’s people will accidentally discover him nice and dead with all kinds of fake evidence in his pockets, for certain putting the blame on bin Laden. And that’s a joke because bin Laden has been dead since ’03. B: Did we ice him somewhere? A: No. Kidney failure in a paki hospital. He makes a good boogeyman. You know the drill: If you don’t vote for us, the rotten, weak faggot Democrats will take over and bin Laden will rejoice and kill all of you. B: It has worked before as I remember. Red Alerts and duct tape. A: And then we can have real Red Alert days, just before elections. CLIP Recommended by

Iraq War Has Bush Doctrine in Tatters
Analysts across the political spectrum say the Bush Doctrine - preventive war, choking the roots of terrorism by planting democracy, and brandishing power to force others into line - has failed. Bush's lofty goals, shared even by his critics, have been set back, perhaps decades, by the Iraq occupation.

The Cheney Presidency
"George W. Bush has been faulted in some quarters for taking an extended vacation while the Middle East festers. It doesn't much matter; the man running the country is Vice President Dick Cheney. When historians look back on the multiple assaults on our constitutional system of government in this era, Cheney's unprecedented role will come in for overdue notice." Yet, Robert Kuttner writes, "Cheney's shotgun mishap, when he accidentally sprayed his host with birdshot, has gotten more media attention than has his control of the government."

New 'Caught Red-Handed' Report
Since the Iraq war began, the Republican-led Congress has spent more than $300 Billion on President Bush's failed policy. $18 billion has been awarded to Halliburton, much of which was in "no bid" contracts and $9 billion is missing.

Bush and Saddam Should Both Stand Trial, Says Nuremberg Prosecutor
A chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg has said George W. Bush should be tried for war crimes along with Saddam Hussein. Benjamin Ferenccz, who secured convictions for 22 Nazi officers for their work in orchestrating the death squads that killed more than 1 million people, told OneWorld that both Bush and Saddam should be tried for starting "aggressive" wars - Saddam for his 1990 attack on Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The Big Lie About 'Islamic Fascism'>ttp://
The latest big lie unveiled by Washington’s neoconservatives are the poisonous terms, "Islamo-Fascists" and "Islamic Fascists." They are the new, hot buzzwords among America’s far right and Christian fundamentalists.President George W. Bush made a point last week of using "Islamofacists" when recently speaking of Hezbullah and Hamas – both, by the way, democratically elected parties. A Canadian government minister from the Conservative Party compared Lebanon’s Hezbullah to Nazi Germany.The term "Islamofascist" is utterly without meaning, but packed with emotional explosives. It is a propaganda creation worthy Dr. Goebbels, and the latest expression of the big lie technique being used by neocons in Washington’s propaganda war against its enemies in the Muslim World.This ugly term was probably first coined in Israel – as was the other hugely successful propaganda term, "terrorism" – to dehumanize and demonize opponents and deny them any rational political motivation, hence removing any need to deal with their grievances and demands.As the brilliant humanist Sir Peter Ustinov so succinctly put it, "Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich." CLIP

The new GOP buzzword: Fascism (August 30, 2006)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a "war against Islamic fascism." Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq.Bush used the term earlier this month in talking about the arrest of suspected terrorists in Britain, and spoke of "Islamic fascists" in a later speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Spokesman Tony Snow has used variations on the phrase at White House press briefings.Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, in a tough re-election fight, drew parallels on Monday between World War II and the current war against "Islamic fascism," saying they both require fighting a common foe in multiple countries. It's a phrase Santorum has been using for months.And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday took it a step further in a speech to an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City, accusing critics of the administration's Iraq and anti-terrorism policies of trying to appease "a new type of fascism." CLIP

Mexico Leftist to Create Parallel Gov't (August 29, 2006)
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, convinced he won't be awarded the presidency, has vowed to create a parallel leftist government and is urging Mexicans not to recognize the apparent victory of the ruling party's Felipe Calderon.While his party lacks the seats in Congress to block legislation, Lopez Obrador can mobilize millions to pressure his conservative rival to adopt the left's agenda — or to clamp down and risk a backlash. Both scenarios are possibilities as the former Mexico City mayor lays out plans to create his own government to rule from the streets, with the support of thousands who are already occupying protest camps throughout downtown Mexico City. Some predict his parallel initiative — which Lopez Obrador's supporters call the "legitimate government" — could turn those protest camps into the core of a violent revolt, especially if the government tries to shut it down. Such violence broke out in the southern city of Oaxaca after Gov. Ulises Ruiz sent police to evict striking teachers. Outraged citizens' groups joined the protests, setting fire to buildings and public buses, seizing radio and TV stations and forcing the closure of businesses in a city known throughout the world as a quaint tourist destination."Everything we do, from property taxes to permits to natural resources, will go through the 'legitimate government,'" said Severina Martinez, a school teacher from Oaxaca camped out in a tent in Mexico City's main Zocalo plaza. "We won't have anything to do with the official government." Some supporters took out a newspaper ad Tuesday, calling on Lopez Obrador to set up his own treasury department and said all Mexicans "should channel federal revenues to the new treasury department." Lopez Obrador is encouraging his followers to disobey Calderon, whose 240,000-vote advantage was confirmed Monday by the country's top electoral court. The seven magistrates stopped short of declaring Calderon president-elect, but they have only a week to declare a winner or annul the election. "We do not recognize Felipe Calderon as president, nor any officials he appoints, nor any acts carried out by his de-facto government," Lopez Obrador said after the court ruling, which he claims overlooked evidence of fraud in the July 2 elections. CLIP

PBS set to ask if voting rights are 'under assault' (August 30, 2006)
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is set to air a segment posing the possibility that the voting rights of many Americans are under attack, RAW STORY has learned. A nation-wide push for laws to target voter fraud is likely to disqualify many who are legally eligible to vote, the PBS program NOW will claim in a segment tomorrow night titled, "Your right to vote -- is it under assault?" A Florida law that could have leveled enormous fines against non-partisan groups organizing voter registration drives, and a Georgia law requiring photo ID at the polls will be put under scrutiny by the program. These laws, NOW will explain, will often prevent legally eligible and registered voters from casting ballots in the upcoming elections--yet many have been approved by the Department of Justice. Minorities, the poor, the elderly and disabled are expected to be hit especially hard. "This is a concerted effort to make sure that certain people don't have the opportunity to vote, that they don't have the opportunity to participate in their own democracy," Georgia state representative Alisha Thomas Morgan will be seen telling the program. CLIP

Al Gore: Democracy Is Under Attack
"Democracy is under attack," Gore told an audience at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. "Democracy as a system for self-governance is facing more serious challenges now than it has faced for a long time. Democracy is a conversation, and the most important role of the media is to facilitate that conversation of democracy. Now the conversation is more controlled, it is more centralized."

Who’s Watching? (2006-08-23)
Big Brother will be watching you for sure by 2008 -- the year a proposed requirement that Event Data Recorders (EDRs) become mandatory standard equipment in all new cars and trucks will become law unless public outrage puts the kibosh on it somehow. EDRs are "black boxes" -- just like airplanes have. They can record a wide variety of things -- including how fast you drive and whether you "buckle-up for safety." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants EDRs to be installed in every new vehicle beginning with model year 2008 -- on the theory that the information will help crash investigators more accurately determine the hows and whys of accidents. But EDRs could -- and likely will be -- used for other purposes as well. Tied into GPS navigation computers, EDRs could give interested parties the ability to take automated ticketing to the next level. Since the data recorders can continuously monitor most of the operating parameters of a vehicle as it travels -- and the GPS unit can precisely locate the vehicle in "real time," wherever it happens to be at any given moment -- any and all incidents of "speeding" could be immediately detected and a piece of paying paper issued to the offender faster than he could tap the brake. That's even if he knew he was in the crosshairs, which of course he wouldn't. (...) But if you get edgy thinking about the government -- and our friends in corporate America -- being able to monitor where we go and how we go
whenever they feel like checking in on us, take the time to write a "Thanks, But No Thanks" letter to NHTSA at

Background on the HAARP Project
(...) It would be rash to assume that HAARP is an isolated experiment which would not be expanded. It is related to fifty years of intensive and increasingly destructive programs to understand and control the upper atmosphere. It would be rash not to associate HAARP with the space laboratory construction which is separately being planned by the United States. HAARP is an integral part of a long history of space research and development of a deliberate military nature. The military implications of combining these projects is alarming. Basic to this project is control of communications, both disruption and reliability in hostile environments. The power wielded by such control is obvious. The ability of the HAARP / Spacelab/ rocket combination to deliver a very large amount of energy, comparable to a nuclear bomb, anywhere on earth via laser and particle beams, are frightening. The project is likely to be "sold" to the public as a space shield against incoming weapons, or, for the more gullible, a devise for repairing the ozone layer.

I want Ruppert to realize this as he sits in Caracas, Venezuela safe and sound.. (August 20, 2006)
As I read Michael Ruppert's piece published here at, I am angry in the way he depicts the citizens of my country since he has basically renounced his citizenship, by stating that he is a citizen of the world. (...) When Ruppert stated "Few have tried to hold the government accountable for 2,500 Americans who have died needlessly, and those who have, have been remarkably ineffective."While the effect may not be instantaneous, those of us who write for progressive and alternative news sites continue to try instead of fleeing our country. We who choose to stay and fight do so in honor of the framers of this country who gave their life's blood in order to give birth to this ideal, this country and democracy itself. Does one see Michael Moore, Arianna Huffington and other more notable progressive writers fleeing this country? No, they soldier on. I am sure that they have been met with their own personal tyrannies for daring to speak out. CLIP

Rock Frontman Invites Viewing Millions To See Alex Jones Movie (August 27 2006)
Critically acclaimed rockers Muse cited Alex Jones' new film as one of their influences as frontman Matt Bellamy scrawled "Terror Storm" on the back of his shirt for the band's Saturday night headline gig at the Reading Festival in the UK. The Reading Festival is famous worldwide amongst music lovers and is regularly screened by the BBC to viewers in the UK. Muse are considered one of the best alternative rock bands in Britain and they have played many large stadiums in the United States, in which their fan base is also large and ever-expanding. Following the performance, Bellamy explained the meaning behind the t-shirt to NME, Britian's top selling music magazine." Go to Google Video, type in Terror Storm and you'll find a nice little surprise. It will shed some light on world affairs, put it that way. I rather point you in the direction then preach about it myself," said Bellamy. A BBC news report also picked up on the story." With "terror storm" written on his T-shirt, singer Matthew Bellamy took to a white piano at one point. Afterwards he said they were getting a vibe from the crowd, and in the words of their own song they really seemed invincible." It is very exciting and a boon for the 9/11 Truth Movement to have a major rock band encourage people to watch Terror Storm in front of 80,000 festival goers and millions watching at home on BBC television. The connection between the cultural zeitgeist and the 9/11 truth movement as well as the wider truth movement in general is evergreen and can only help in spreading awareness amongst those who will inherit the battle to preserve all our freedoms - the youth of today. CLIP

If We Were Smart
"An Israeli-Palestinian peace can be built on the basis of the nearly completed Taba negotiations, which were only aborted by the elections of Prime Minister Sharon and the abandonment of the peace process by the Bush administration in 2001. That framework is still recognized by many Israelis and Palestinians as a desirable and workable solution to the conflict," writes James J. Zogby

Burning Wetlands Unleash Mercury in Wake of Climate Change
Released into the atmosphere most prodigiously with the launching of the industrial age, the toxic element mercury falls back onto Earth, and accumulates particularly in North American wetlands. A new study finds wildfires, growing more frequent and intense, are unleashing this sequestered mercury at levels up to 15 times greater than originally calculated.

Gulf Coast Mourns One Year After Katrina
In the dark of dawn 65 miles south of this shattered city, several hundred people bowed their heads in silence, marking the moment a year ago when the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed overhead at 6:10 a.m. The tiny town of Buras was swept into the Gulf of Mexico by Katrina, and hours later, New Orleans' crucial levees were breached, unleashing one of the worst natural disasters in US history, killing over 1,800 people, most in Louisiana.

Top Hurricane Expert Says Officials Threatened His Job Over Pre-Katrina Warnings

11,000 people flee homes as hot toxic mud engulfs villages and farmland (August 24, 2006),,1856933,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=12
Prospector accused of causing massive eruption· Residents complain of inadequate compensation - Hot mud gushes from the ground in Porong in East Java. Photograph: Eka Dharma/Getty Four villages and 19 factories have been submerged in a 240-hectare (600-acre) sea of mud in East Java that is growing up to 50,000 cubic metres a day in a major environmental disaster triggered during an oil exploration venture.A few rooftops are still visible, along with hastily constructed dykes which could not hold back the flow of toxic mud that began on May 29 around an oil exploration drilling rig.Eleven miles of dykes are being built by 1,500 soldiers and labourers around the clock to contain the growing catastrophe, in which 11,000 people have lost their homes or been forced to evacuate. The company, which is facing daily protests from residents, now accepts its drilling may have caused the world's largest disaster of its kind. A 100 metre-high column of thick white smoke is visible several miles from Porong district, 22 miles south of Indonesia's second largest city, Surabaya, in East Java, and the smell of rotten eggs pervades the hazy tropical air. The mud is up to seven metres deep, and every few seconds the earth jolts and another dollop of hot sediment belches out. Occasionally the mud exits more dramatically, shooting up several metres into the air with a loud "whooosh". The gas stings people's eyes and it is impossible to breathe without taking in the fumes, even with a mask. CLIP

Chemtrails: GAO report admits "chaff" Lab report reveals much more
(...) Over the last several months, The IO has received a significant increase in chemtrail-related calls and letters. Most report a dramatic increase in chemtrail "spraying" activity in their areas; some are reporting the development of chronic flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue and body aches that they have never before experienced. CLIP

Engineers Race to Steal Nature's Secrets (29 August 2006),,1860250,00.html
Giant wind turbines based on a seed, and desalination plant that mimics a beetle. A new generation of small green companies is emerging with radical but proven ideas to revolutionise engineering and create anything from intelligent fridges to colossal wind turbines moored at sea. The designers hope their projects will transform energy supplies and cut carbon emissions in the next 20 years. They include huge wind turbines, more powerful than any seen before, anchored to the seabed 20 miles off the coast; fridges that monitor the national grid to use less power; a desalination plant that is also a theatre; and a tidal lagoon that protects the coast while generating electricity. The new companies are rethinking major infrastructure projects using natural objects as their basis. The aero-generator turbine, now being laboratory tested before sea trials next year, mimics sycamore seeds that spin like propellers in the slightest breeze. Its twin arms could each be as tall as the Eiffel tower, and the structure could be moored like an oil platform in 450 feet of water. Each turbine, said Martin Pawlyn, an architect with Grimshaw - which developed the transparent "biomes" at the Eden Project in Cornwall - could produce 20 megawatts of electricity, nearly five times as much as any existing wind turbine. "A cluster of 100 of them spread over just a few square miles of ocean, each turning at just a few revolutions a minute, could outperform almost all Britain's existing wind farms put together," he said. "We are now learning from natural eco-systems, and are scaling up projects. We are going back to first principles, taking our inspiration from nature." CLIP"

An Environmental Disaster Emerges on Lebanon Coast
Clean up of the fuel oil spilled by an Israeli air strike has barely begun. Experts are calling it the worst environmental disaster ever in the eastern Mediterranean. Health effects of the spill could be dire. Thousands of families on the Lebanese coast depend on fishing for their primary food supply, but surviving fish may contain hydrocarbons and other carcinogens.

Darfur: UN Troops ASAP, Say Rights Workers
Amid fears that escalating violence could unleash another round of humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan's Darfur region, rights advocacy groups are urging the world community to take immediate steps to protect civilians.

An Antidote to Info Vertigo (28 August 2006)
Remember 1993? Bill Clinton was sworn in for his first term at the beginning of the year, the Mogadishu debacle took place in October, and the fighting in Bosnia was getting worse. You followed these issues in the newspaper, by radio, or on television. It's not likely you received your news on-line. After all, 1993 was the first year of the World Wide Web. By the end of 1993, there were only 623 websites. Ah, those were the days. The world was at your fingertips. With Mosaic, the first web browser, you could visit the entire Web in a couple days of intensive mousework.Now, according to an article I just found through Wikipedia, there are more than 11.5 billion web pages. The Web is reproducing faster than the human population. Wikipedia itself didn't even exist until five years ago. It now has 1,343,574 articles. Weblogs or blogs began back in 2003. For the past three years, the blogosphere has doubled in size every six months. There are now over 50 million blogs. The verb "to google" debuted not too long ago. OhMyNews, the largest grassroots news service, began in 2000 with 737 citizen reporters. It now has over 41,000 throughout the world.So, what's the relationship between foreign policy and the tremendous upsurge in information and opinion available on the Web? Traditional media have not disappeared. We still read newspapers and watch the television news. But the foreign policy content in these traditional sources has declined (except for the occasional spikes around war). U.S. media coverage of foreign affairs has declined by as much as 70-80% over the last two decades. Foreign news bureaus are downsizing (or simply shutting down).That's where the Web comes in. We now have a virtual infinity (a googolplex, to be precise) of sources to learn about the daily slog of war, poverty, and repression. If you don't like The New York Times, you can get your news from hundreds of alternative sources. And if you don't like depressing news, well, you can personalize your news delivery so that you receive Brangelina 24/7.All of this information is enough to make anyone's head spin. And create a new syndrome: info vertigo. Now everyone can be as time-crunched and info-inundated as the average policymaker. CLIP



Date: 28 Aug 2006
From: Ricken Patel - Ceasefire Campaign>
Subject: Now let's tackle the root cause

Dear Friends,

Two weeks ago, over 300,000 of us from 150 countries came together to stop the war in Lebanon. Since we helped to achieve a fragile ceasefire there, we’ve received hundreds of emails from you suggesting that we continue our campaign by focusing on a root cause of problems in Lebanon and the region -- Israel/Palestine. Over a hundred civilians have been killed in this conflict over the last month, and strikes by both sides have residents caught in a desperate situation.

Images of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict have haunted our televisions for decades. Experts agree that the occupation of the Palestinian territories is a root cause of the war in Lebanon, has promoted tensions between Israel and the Arab world, and been a rallying cry for Islamic radicals who commit terrorist attacks on the US and other countries. And yet for years there has been no concerted effort or leadership to restart the peace process, despite some hopeful signs and opportunities. Please click below to call upon the UN Security Council, the Israeli Prime Minister, and the Palestinian President and Prime Minister to immediately implement a ceasefire in Israel/Palestine and re-launch a new and comprehensive peace process:

This is a moment of opportunity in the Middle East. The entire world’s attention is focused on the region, and world leaders like UK Prime Minister Blair and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be visiting in the coming days. In September, almost every world leader will be gathering in New York for a United Nations summit. US President Bush has moved quickly to focus all this attention on his agenda of a wider confrontation with Syria and Iran. We need to act quickly before this moment passes to direct attention towards the right objectives, and ensure that leaders at the UN Summit call for an immediate ceasefire and a new peace effort in Israel/Palestine. Please click below to sign our call to action and send your personalized message directly to key decision makers:

In calling for peace, we stand with ordinary citizens in both Israel and Palestine. Polling consistently shows that a majority of citizens in both places want peace based on a viable “two state” solution that would give Palestine independence and both countries security.

If enough pressure is created, we could help to achieve a ceasefire in Israel/Palestine within days. Restarting the peace process will take more time, but we can take a first step by helping to get this issue higher on the international agenda…

With hope,

Ricken, Priscila, Tom, Alicia, and the rest of the Ceasefire Campaign Team.



Satya Center September Full Moon Eclipse Newsletter

August 31, 2006

by Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry

Working Together During The Great Transition


On an individual basis, this Full Moon Eclipse emphasizes the need for each of us to turn within, to subordinate our egoistic will to the Higher Purpose we each have incarnated to fulfill, and to the Divine Guidance available to us through our connection to Higher Mind.

Self-sacrifice, discipline, endurance, courage and fortitude are the requisite virtues associated with this moment of testing and learning.

On the level of the collective consciousness, this symbol points directly to current issues of war and peace and climate change, and the need for collective co-operation in the face of tremendous danger and difficulties threatening the very existence of our civilization.

A modern observer could easily be forgiven for following in the footsteps of the ancient Athenians, viewing this September lunar eclipse as a foreboding omen during a time of rising global tensions.

After all, this last month has seen tremendous political, military and climactic upheavals escalating around the world.

An uneasy and fragile truce has temporarily halted the war in the Middle East between Israel and Lebanon, but Israeli offensives in the Gaza Strip continue, and Israeli politicians and military leaders are now threatening to widen the war to include Syria, and Iran.

Iran and the United States continue their escalating war of words and the United Nations appears relatively ineffective as a peacemaker in a region where a widening war could escalate into a true war of civilizations while simultaneously disrupting global oil supplies and plunging the global economy into chaos.

Mexico is on the brink of civil war. Manuel Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the left wing PRD, contends that the election was stolen from him by right wing candidate Felipe Calderon, and millions of people have taken to the streets throughout the country. In Oaxaca, the subsequent gubernatorial election has resulted in a mass strike and street protest by the teacher’s unions and other progressive groups who contend that another stolen election resulted in the ascendancy of the right wing candidate.

Although Mexico’s top electoral courts reject Obrador’s claims, Obrador says that on September 16, the day of the presidential inauguration, Mexico will have “two presidents”.

In Pakistan, against the orders of the country’s President, Perez Musharraf, the army has assassinated the head of one of the country’s foremost Islamist leaders, whose Balochistan home base is both the site of Pakistan’s primary oil fields and a well-known refuge for international Islamic terrorist groups. Islamic groups have taken to the streets throughout the country and there is renewed talk of civil insurrection.

A civil war in Pakistan would almost assuredly lead to the ascendancy of hard-line Islamic groups, no matter who became the titular President of the country, and would create extreme tensions between India and Pakistan, who stand toe to toe in a prolonged cold war, armed with nuclear weapons.

In China, prolonged drought has left millions without water and compromised the year’s rice harvest. In India, because of monsoon flooding, “tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Barmer, a sprawling district that borders Pakistan and is known for its sand dunes and widely spread villages,” according to Reuters Environmental News Service.“Dozens of people are missing.”

"The desert looks like a sea. There is no place where one can walk," Captain Saurabh Modi, an army officer who is involved in relief operations in Barmer, told Reuters by telephone.

We must all consider the current multiple global crises as a “simulated assault”, a “dress rehearsal” for the upcoming “long emergency” triggered by peak oil, global warming, economic upheaval, social conflicts pitting the haves against the have-nots, and potential world resource wars.

Lightworkers, meditators, and spiritual seekers are called upon to join together with their community at this time of global testing in group efforts to raise humanity’s consciousness toward the light.

Lightworkers are called upon to become active in their communities. Get to know your neighbors & find out what their concerns are for the future & perhaps share your ideas about what positive steps can be taken to ease the transition in this time of great transformation.

We can all help to implement and support local food production and distribution. We can help with the creation of community based plans to curb runaway development and emissions pollution. We can get to know our neighbors, car pool, reduce our energy footprint, and encourage others to do the same.

Lightworkers are called upon to volunteer in local medical facilities to provide much-needed alternative and complementary medicine programs. Let your elderly or ill neighbors know that you are available if they have an emergency or simply need company.

The good news is that the long-awaited transition to a New Age civilization has finally arrived. This Full Moon Eclipse is only one of several astrological signatures spelling global transformation, written across the late summer night skies for all with eyes to see to understand.


On a social, or collective level, Saturn represents the political and economic leaders of the world, whose actions, rooted in self-interest and power politics, are creating deadly conflict, environmental destruction and economic exploitation everywhere on Earth.

Saturnian forces of dominance and control are being undermined around the world by sea changes in the social, economic, political and environmental arenas in which global elites exercise their power.

Here in America, this was expressed most visibly one year ago during Hurricane Katrina, when we learned that the American government was unable to protect the citizens and infrastructure of the most important port city in the country, and had no desire to do so.

We learned that rampant racism and idiotic free market ideology impelled all levels of government to simply abandon hundreds of thousands of people to their own devices during this devastating event, and then simply scatter the most vulnerable New Orleanians across the country with nothing more than a bus ticket and a few bucks as their recompense for an entire community and way of life lost forever.


To read the unabridged version of this newsletter, please go at



Airline Insanity Merely A Beta Test For Police State Caste System

Draconian surveillance, identification, behavior modification measures being implemented right outside your door

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison | August 25 2006

Escalating security measures, body scans, lie detector tests and behavior analysis now being forced upon unwitting human livestock passing through airports are the first stage of an agenda to create a two tier caste system whereby only government authorized citizens will be able to travel and everyone will be subject to intense airport style harassment on city streets.

Recent incidents that caused delays and diversions on airliners - including the latest example where a flight was turned back due to a group of men using mobile phones - underscore the unmitigated hysteria created by the politically timed release of the alleged foiled plot announcement two weeks ago.

On August 14th a British Airways flight bound for New York was diverted back to Heathrow Airport because a mobile phone rang at the rear of the plane and its owner was not to be found.

Days later, United Airlines 923, bound for Washington from London had to be escorted to Boston by two F-15 fighter jets after a patently mentally ill woman began urinating on the floor and manically talking about having visited Pakistan and making vague references to bombs. Original reports that she had possessed a handwritten note alluding to Al-Qaeda were later dismissed.

Today all 12 suspects who were detained after Northwest Airlines flight 42, bound for Mumbai, had to be diverted , were freed. Passengers grew suspicious when the men began using mobile phones and cheering. On the face of it this is absurd - why would potential hijackers who would in the normal course of events be prepared to face fierce resistance from passengers want to make themselves conspicuous before any hijack attempt was made?

Perhaps the most ridiculous example of fear run amok occurred when passengers on a flight returning from Malaga Spain complained about two Asian men who they thought were potential suicide hijackers. The evidence? They were Asian! To the astonishment of the students they were marched off the plane at gun point before it took off.

Just when we thought airline security was starting to become rational again five years after September 11, one carefully timed PR scam has reversed all that and travelers are again treated worse than cattle as they are shoved around airports, treated as criminals and barked at by poorly trained screeners on little Hitler power trips.

The agenda is clearly to maintain a state of alert and panic until such a time that reverting back to 'normal' and 'reasoned' security measures is forgotten - the new normal becomes the insane and displaying any traits of disobedience to authority figures is taken as a sign of terrorism. Lie detector tests, voice stress analysis technology, advanced screening which produces naked images of passengers along with brain scanner and perspiration tension analysis systems are all being implemented as the notion of innocent until proven guilty is jettisoned without recourse.

The airports are merely a beta test for the exact same measures to be rolled out in major cities, where regular checkpoint officials inspect internal passports and consumers are body scanned to enter a supermarket or any kind of public event as spy drones swoop overhead to catalogue movement and alert authorities to any suspicious body language (remember Poindexter's gait analysis?).

The key to achieving all this on the part of the Neo-Fascists is to carry out more staged terror attacks on soft targets like sports stadiums, schools and large shopping malls. In terms of police state propaganda, these attacks would be more effective than a 9/11 style event because the implications would reach down into the roots of everyday life.

After more soft target terror attacks on buses and trains, citizens will be forced to biometric scan and show ID just to enter the transport station. Resistors who refuse to take a national ID card and eventually an implanted ID chip will be punished by their exclusion from a trusted travelers program that denotes how well a citizen has behaved and compares that score to the criteria of how and when they can travel. Nationwide toll roads snaking across the US and Britain that use RFID signals at toll booths and instant kill switches in private vehicles will see this nightmare extend its tentacles into the personal vehicle of every citizen.

The majority of what I outlined is already being implemented at major transport and police hubs in the US and Britain. When the technology to automate these measures is more widely used, its cost will drop and in turn spread like wildfire outside of the major cities and into local communities - unless we scream bloody murder and stop it before it makes it out of the airport terminal and onto our street corners.

NOTE: Several links are imbedded in this article and can be accesses through



Israel feels US will not attack Iran


There is growing consensus within the defense establishment that the United States will not attack Iran, and that Israel might be forced to act independently to stop the Islamic republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, a high-ranking defense official told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

According to sources within the defense establishment, the Bush administration does not have political support for launching a strike against Iran's nuclear sites. "America is stuck in Iraq and cannot go after Iran militarily right now," the official said.

The defense official blasted the US for "not doing enough" to stop Teheran's race to the bomb. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he said, was leading the State Department in the direction of "appeasement."

"The only way, besides military action, to stop Iran is through tough economic sanctions," the official said. "But the only way to do that is for the US to overcome Russian opposition in the Security Council and to pass a resolution calling for sanctions against Iran."

Israel, meanwhile, was carefully watching international reaction to Iran's failure earlier this week to react positively to the incentives offered to discontinue uranium enrichment. In recent days, sources in Jerusalem have said Israel "could not abide" a nuclear Iran and might have to act to disrupt Teheran's nuclear program if the international community did not act.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, on a visit to Nahariya, said Israel "must be prepared for every scenario." It was not clear whether the reference was to another round of fighting with Hizbullah or to some future confrontation with Iran.

There is no consensus among policymakers on whether the US will act militarily against Teheran, with some ruling out the possibility, and others saying that US President George W. Bush doesn't want to leave the world stage in 2009 with the legacy of a nuclear Iran.

According to sources in Jerusalem, among the key lessons the country needs to learn from the war against Hizbullah was how to better prepare the home front to deal with rocket attacks.

One senior source, asked whether he thought the IDF could take on Iran alone, said it was not necessarily a matter of choice. A nuclear Iran represented an existential threat, he warned, and Israel might have no choice but to prepare for long-range missile attacks from Iran.

Another official warned of the consequences of a nuclear Iran even if Israel was not bombed. "We would have our hands tied," the official said. "They would constantly be threatening us with their nuclear weapons and we would not be able to initiate military operations against Hamas in Gaza or Hizbullah in Lebanon."

Military analysts say the US, whose military is finding it more and more difficult to assemble the forces needed in Iraq, would prefer to avoid a military confrontation with Iran. At the same time, a new report suggests that the US lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's intentions and nuclear abilities.

This week, the US decided to call 2,500 Marines back to active service, to fill the troop shortfall in Iraq. "It is no secret that we are very busy," said US Gen. Michael Barbero, referring to the move.

The US has not formally ruled out military action against Iran if negotiations fail to put an end to Teheran's nuclear program, but senior administration officials have been stressing for months the need to focus on diplomacy and the US is putting all its effort into building an international coalition that would act diplomatically against Iran.

A report compiled by the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee and made public Wednesday stresses that if Iran is allowed to arm itself with nuclear weapons, Israel might decide to take on Iran militarily. "A nuclear armed Iran would likely exacerbate regional tensions. Israel would find it hard to live with a nuclear armed Iran and could take military action against Iranian nuclear facilities," the report states.

It also says that "a deliberate or miscalculated attack by one state on the other could result in retaliation, regional unrest and an increase in terrorist attacks."

The report pointed to "significant gaps" in the information the US has on Iran and its nuclear ambitions and called on the American intelligence community to improve the quality of the information about Iran it provides to policy makers.

"The United States lacks critical information needed for analysts to make many of their judgments with confidence about Iran and there are many significant information gaps," the report reads. It pointed to weapons of mass destruction and Iran's support for terrorism as issues on which the US should have better intelligence.

"American intelligence agencies do not know nearly enough about Iran's nuclear weapons program," the report concluded. It calls on US intelligence agencies to acquire more information from sources in Iran and to recruit more Farsi speakers to try and decipher Iran's intentions and capabilities.

The scathing report draws conclusions similar to those US committees have reached regarding the Iraq war - a lack of reliable intelligence and over-reliance on electronic information gathering instead of human intelligence.

Such criticism, especially in light of America's intelligence failures in Iraq, may further dissuade US policymakers from taking military action against Iran if the diplomatic track proves unfruitful.


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THE CRISIS FACING ISRAEL: Settling for a Draw with Hezbollah

By Ilan Goren

August 25, 2006

The country's leadership promised a clear victory and a destruction of Hezbollah. But that didn't happen. Now, criticism of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government is getting louder. And Israelis are wondering what the future holds.

A few days after the outbreak of hostilities -- when the Israeli military operation against Hezbollah, codenamed "Fitting Retribution," was still in the aerial strikes stage -- a new song was born. A group of young musicians were commissioned by a morning news show to write a funny, frivolous piece of pop -- a sort of anthem that would both unite people and make them laugh. A group called "Frishman and the Pioneers" came up with "Yalla Ya Nasrallah," a war song full of Hebrew and Arabic slang and slurs aimed at the leader of Hezbollah. The song's chorus goes like this:

"Yalla, ya Nasrallah,
we'll screw you, Inshallah
and send you back to Allah
with all your Hezbollah"

The piece was dripping with parody and cynicism -- yet recalled older Israeli ditties that meant every word they said about Israel's effortless defeat of the Arabs in previous wars. And July 2006 was no time for slightly veiled cynicism in Israel. The song was taken at face value and it turned out to be a huge hit -- especially on the Internet. It also became a popular mobile phone ring tone.

Such was the atmosphere in mid-July -- it was all about crushing Hezbollah and teaching it a lesson it wouldn't soon forget. The Israeli public was confidently assured by the country's leadership that a vigorous air campaign would rapidly eliminate the threat posed by Katyusha rockets fired from southern Lebanon at Israeli towns across the border.

The offensive would also, the government explained, bring home the two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah on July 12 -- the move which triggered hostilities. The Israeli chief of staff, General Dan Halutz, threatened that Israel would "take Lebanon back 20 years" if the soldiers weren't returned.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz likewise got into the chest thumping by promising Hezbollah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah that he would "never forget the name Amir Peretz." Liberal journalists, lefty artists and non-political finance managers all underwent a quick about face. The message was that this time, we Israelis really and truly meant business. A bumper sticker issued by the country's second-largest bank and distributed by the country's most popular daily paper summed up the mood: "We Shall Win!" it boldly announced from the back bumper of thousands of cars. It was as if Israelis were on a high -- inebriated by the sweet smell of sure victory in a just cause.

More than a month of sobering up has passed since then. And it has been a month the likes of which Israel hasn't experienced since the 1973 Yom Kippur War -- and not entirely dissimilar. Once again, a feeling of all-encompassing failure is making itself felt. Painful memories have been brought to the fore.

It was as if someone pressed a fast forward button, speeding Israel from calamity to calamity: Promises and pledges from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government were rephrased, minimized, and changed; the precise aerial campaign turned into a prolonged and messy ground operation; Katyusha rockets, despite the Israeli offensive, continued to pour down on Israeli cities and towns. And Olmert said in an interview that the war in Lebanon justified his plan to unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank -- a statement that earned him opprobrium from both the right and the left.

Hezbollah turned out to be well trained, highly motivated and dedicated to punishing Israelis, both civilians and military, with an astonishing firepower. The Israeli army, on the other hand, was exposed as being alarmingly unprepared for the fight in Lebanon -- both in terms of equipment and tactics. The force quickly became bogged down, due primarily to unclear orders issued by a hesitant civilian leadership and the not-always-unobstructed flow of information through the military chain of command.

And in no time, the home front became defined by complaining, bitterness, anger and disbelief. The left claimed that Lebanese civilians were paying too high a price; the right believed that the punishment meted out to Hezbollah and Lebanon should be even more severe. Both accused the government of using the army -- and the lives of soldiers -- to further its political aims.

The result has been a widespread feeling that the operation was a logistical and tactical blunder. In the press, the war was renamed from "Fitting Retribution" to "The Second Lebanon War." Army reservists could hardly believe the out-of-date combat equipment they were issued -- some of them even went so far as to procure their own flack jackets or even batteries. The fabled might of the Israeli army suddenly evaporated like a chimera.

It didn't take long for new bumper stickers to be issued. One from Tel Aviv read: "We'll settle for a draw." Another quickly followed: "It's the participation that counts." The sentence recalls an old saying common within the Israeli sports establishment to ease the pain of constant defeat. The overconfident bumper stickers from the beginning of the war began disappearing.

And then came the last weekend of the war. The United Nations Security Council had already agreed on the wording of the cease-fire resolution -- but still 33 Israeli soldiers sent into battle returned in body bags. Uncomfortable questions from bereaved families -- "What did they die for?" -- were asked. Just like in 1973 after the Yom Kippur War. And just like 33 years ago, a rudimentary protest movement was formed voicing intense critique against the government.

There are, of course, essential differences from the 1973 debacle. In July 2006, unlike October 1973, Israel was not faced with a threat to its existence. Hezbollah has inflicted great pain, but has never posed a threat to Israel's survival.

The second difference, though, is more crucial: In 1973, there were a number of young leaders waiting in the wings who could fill the vacuum left by the removal of the old guard. After Golda Meir came Yitzhak Rabin and Menahem Begin. Generals were removed, yet replaced with worthy officers.

Now, though, the current leadership is supposed to be the new guard -- the young generation set to govern Israel for years to come. Many -- the prime minister, the foreign minister, the finance minister -- are newcomers. And rather than being former generals, all rose to power in civilian life or within political parties. They were the ones who were supposed to prove that Israel doesn't need military men at the helm.

Even if the new leadership cannot be held responsible for the years of neglect that led to many of the deficiencies of the war in Lebanon, Olmert and his government have cashed in their support early. Only a quarter of Israelis are pleased with the performance of Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz. Thirty-four percent think they should lose their jobs. A startling number of Israelis believe the country lost the war with Hezbollah. And a striking 72 percent now oppose Olmert's disengagement plan -- meaning that his coalition has lost its raison d'etre.

Simply put, Israelis find themselves in limbo. The country fears a much bloodier conflict with Iran and hopes for some sort of agreement with Syria. It has no faith its leadership and little hope for the future. While the country is in turmoil, Hezbollah -- and Israel's other fundamentalist enemies -- has derived a massive increase in self-confidence from the Lebanon conflict.

Israeli radio stations, in the mean time, have returned to playing melancholic oldies. On the popular TV show "Our Song," a military band struck up the anti-war ditty "The Song of Peace." And many Israelis are wondering what will happen next -- whether the country is facing a profound change in direction. There will, no doubt, be some tactical conclusions drawn. But major calls for change, Israeli history shows, will likely be left to the bumper stickers.


Date: 27 Aug 2006
From: Rudolf Schneider>
Subject: Former US President Carter: US and Israel Stand Alone

Der Spiegel, 15 August 2006

Former President Carter:

US and Israel Stand Alone

Former US president Jimmy Carter speaks with DER SPIEGEL about the danger posed to American values by George W. Bush, the difficult situation in the Middle East and Cuba's ailing Fidel Castro.

Former US President Jimmy Carter: "I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon."

Spiegel: Mr. Carter, in your new book you write that only the American people can ensure that the US government returns to the country's old moral principles. Are you suggesting that the current US administration of George W. Bush of acting immorally?

Carter: There's no doubt that this administration has made a radical and unprecedented departure from the basic policies of all previous administrations including those of both Republican and Democratic presidents.

Spiegel: For example?

Carter: Under all of its predecessors there was a commitment to peace instead of preemptive war. Our country always had a policy of not going to war unless our own security was directly threatened and now we have a new policy of going to war on a preemptive basis. Another very serious departure from past policies is the separation of church and state, which I describe in the book. This has been a policy since the time of Thomas Jefferson and my own religious beliefs are compatible with this. The other principle that I described in the book is basic justice. We've never had an administration before that so overtly and clearly and consistently passed tax reform bills that were uniquely targeted to benefit the richest people in our country at the expense or the detriment of the working families of America.

Spiegel: You also mentioned the hatred for the United States throughout the Arab world which has ensued as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Given this circumstance, does it come as any surprise that Washington's call for democracy in the Middle East has been discredited?

Carter: No, as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon.

Spiegel: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?

Carter: I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no.

Spiegel: Do you think the United States is still an important factor in securing a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis?
Carter: Yes, as a matter of fact as you know ever since Israel has been a nation the United States has provided the leadership. Every president down to the ages has done this in a fairly balanced way, including George Bush senior, Gerald Ford, and others including myself and Bill Clinton. This administration has not attempted at all in the last six years to negotiate or attempt to negotiate a settlement between Israel and any of its neighbors or the Palestinians.

Spiegel: What makes you personally so optimistic about the effectiveness of diplomacy? You are, so to speak, the father of Camp David negotiations.

Carter: When I became president we had had four terrible wars between the Arabs and Israelis (behind us). And I under great difficulty, particularly because Menachim Begin was elected, decided to try negotiation and it worked and we have a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt for 27 years that has never been violated. You never can be certain in advance that negotiations on difficult circumstances will be successful, but you can be certain in advance if you don't negotiate that your problem is going to continue and maybe even get worse.

Spiegel: But negotiations failed to prevent the burning of Beirut and bombardment of Haifa.

Carter: I'm distressed. But I think that the proposals that have been made in the last few days by the (Lebanese) Prime Minister (Fuoad) Siniora are quite reasonable. And I think they should declare an immediate cease-fire on both sides, Hezbollah said they would comply; I hope Israel will comply, and then do the long, slow, tedious negotiation that is necessary to stabilize the northern border of Israel completely. There has to be some exchange of prisoners. There have been successful exchanges of prisoners between Israel and the Palestinians in the past and that's something that can be done right now.

Spiegel: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese-Israeli border?

Carter: Yes.

Spiegel: And can you imagine Germans soldiers taking part?

Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.

Spiegel: ... even with their history?

Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.

Spiegel: One main points of your book is the rather strange coalition between Christian fundamentalists and the Republican Party. How can such a coalition of the pious lead to moral catastrophes like the Iraqi prison scandal in Abu Ghraib and torture in Guantanamo?

Carter: The fundamentalists believe they have a unique relationship with God, and that they and their ideas are God's ideas and God's premises on the particular issue. Therefore, by definition since they are speaking for God anyone who disagrees with them is inherently wrong. And the next step is: Those who disagree with them are inherently inferior, and in extreme cases -- as is the case with some fundamentalists around the world -- it makes your opponents sub-humans, so that their lives are not significant. Another thing is that a fundamentalist can't bring himself or herself to negotiate with people who disagree with them because the negotiating process itself is an indication of implied equality. And so this administration, for instance, has a policy of just refusing to talk to someone who is in strong disagreement with them -- which is also a radical departure from past history. So these are the kinds of things that cause me concern. And, of course, fundamentalists don't believe they can make mistakes, so when we permit the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, it's just impossible for a fundamentalist to admit that a mistake was made.

Spiegel: So how does this proximity to Christian fundamentalism manifest itself politically?
Carter: Unfortunately, after Sept. 11, there was an outburst in America of intense suffering and patriotism, and the Bush administration was very shrewd and effective in painting anyone who disagreed with the policies as unpatriotic or even traitorous. For three years, I'd say, the major news media in our country were complicit in this subservience to the Bush administration out of fear that they would be accused of being disloyal. I think in the last six months or so some of the media have now begun to be critical. But it's a long time coming.

Spiegel: Take your fellow Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton. These days she is demanding the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. But she, like many others, allowed President Bush to invade Iraq under a false pretext.

Carter: That's correct.

Spiegel: Was the whole country in danger of losing its core values?

Carter: For a while, yes. As you possibly know, historically, our country has had the capability of self-correcting our own mistakes. This applied to slavery in 1865, it applied to legal racial segregation a hundred years later or so. It applied to the Joe McCarthy era when anti-communism was in a fearsome phase in the country like terrorism now. So we have an ability to correct ourselves and I believe that nowadays there is a self-correction taking place. In my opinion the election results in Connecticut (Eds: The primary loss of war supporter Senator Joseph Lieberman) were an indication that Americans realized very clearly that we made a mistake in going into Iraq and staying there too long.

Spiegel: Now even President Bush appears to have learned something from the catastrophe in Iraq. During his second term he has taken a more multilateral approach and has seemed to return to international cooperation.

Carter: I think the administration learned a lesson, but I don't see any indication that the administration would ever admit that it did make a mistake and needed to learn a lesson. I haven't seen much indication, by the way, of your premise that this administration is now reconciling itself to other countries. I think that at this moment the United States and Israel probably stand more alone than our country has in generations.

Spiegel: You've written about your meeting with Fidel Castro. He appears seriously ill now and Cuban exiles are partying already in the streets of Miami. You are probably not in the mood to join them.

Carter: No, that's true. Just because someone is ill I don't think there should be a celebration of potential death. And my own belief is that Fidel Castro will recover. He is two years younger than I am, so he's not beyond hope.

Spiegel: You sought to normalize relations with Castro, but that never happened. Has anything been achieved through Cuba's isolation?

Carter: In my opinion, the embargo strengthens Castro and perpetuates communism in Cuba. A maximum degree of trade, tourism, commerce, visitation between our country and Cuba would bring an earlier end to Castro's regime.

Spiegel: You've been called the moral conscience of your country. How do you look at it yourself? Are you an outsider in American politics these days or do you represent a political demographic that could maybe elect the next US president?

Carter: I think I represent the vast majority of Democrats in this country. I think there is a substantial portion of American people that completely agree with me. I can't say a majority because we have fragmented portions in our country and divisions concerning gun control and the death penalty and abortion and gay marriage.

Spiegel: As president, your performance was often criticized. But the work you did after leaving office to promote human rights has been widely praised. Has life been unfair to you?

Carter: I've been lucky in my life. Everything that I've done has brought great pleasure and gratification to me and my wife. I had four years in the White House -- it was not a failure. For someone to serve as president of the United States you can't say it is a political failure. And we have had the best years of our lives since we left the White House. We've had a very full life.

Spiegel: Do you feel you achieved even more out of office than you did as president?

Carter: Well, I've used the prestige and influence of having been a president of the United States as effectively as possible. And secondly, I've still been able to carry out my commitments to peace and human rights and environmental quality and freedom and democracy and so forth.

Spiegel: Does America need a regime change?

Carter: As I've said before, there is a self-corrective aspect to our country. And I think that the first step is going to be in the November election this year. This year, the Democrats have good chance of capturing one of the houses of Congress. I think the Senate is going to be a very close decision. My oldest son is running for the US Senate in the state of Nevada. And if just he and a few others can be successful then you have the US Senate in Democratic hands and that will make a profound and immediate difference.

Spiegel: Mr. Carter, thank you for the interview.


Note: When the United States decided to invade Iraq, against the insistence and advice given by some of the best world statesmen, including Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela said from South Africa: "The United States has emerged to become the most dangerous country on earth."

Today Israel has joined the United States' belligerent foreign policies of preemptive strikes and retaliations that go beyond proportion. American belligerent foreign policies and American continued embargo against Cuba and its prevention of its citizens to visit this Island nation, are producing diametrically opposite results. The United States under the current Republican administration has developed the habit of cutting its nose to spite its own face!

This traditionally great nation has increasingly become its own worst enemy! Those interested in the development of a genuine peace on earth should read all of the writings of former US President Jimmy Carter as well as of former US President Dwight Eisenhower who reminded the US Congress in his farewell address saying: "Remember that every dollar spent on weapons and wars is a theft from the hungry and the poor."


See also:

Compliant and subservient: Jimmy Carter's explosive critique of Tony Blair (August 27 2006);jsessionid=Q2BMVQDOW0SZJQFIQMFCFF4AVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2006/08/27/nblair27.xml
Tony Blair's lack of leadership and timid subservience to George W Bush lie behind the ongoing crisis in Iraq and the worldwide threat of terrorism, according to the former American president Jimmy Carter."I have been surprised and extremely disappointed by Tony Blair's behaviour," he told The Sunday Telegraph."I think that more than any other person in the world the Prime Minister could have had a moderating influence on Washington - and he has not. I really thought that Tony Blair, who I know personally to some degree, would be a constraint on President Bush's policies towards Iraq."In an exclusive interview, President Carter made it plain that he sees Mr Blair's lack of leadership as being a key factor in the present crisis in Iraq, which followed the 2003 invasion - a pre-emptive move he said he would never have considered himself as president.Mr Carter also said that the Iraq invasion had subverted the fight against terrorism and instead strengthened al-Qaeda and the recruitment of terrorists. CLIP


This other excellent article by Jimmy Carter was found through the compendium of news summary available through - a website maintained by long-time ERN subscriber Mark Elsis


We Need Fewer Secrets

By Jimmy Carter
Monday, July 3, 2006; Page A21

The U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) turns 40 tomorrow, the day we celebrate our independence. But this anniversary will not be a day of celebration for the right to information in our country. Our government leaders have become increasingly obsessed with secrecy. Obstructionist policies and deficient practices have ensured that many important public documents and official actions remain hidden from our view.

The events in our nation today -- war, civil rights violations, spiraling energy costs, campaign finance and lobbyist scandals -- dictate the growing need and citizens' desire for access to public documents. A poll conducted last year found that 70 percent of Americans are either somewhat or very concerned about government secrecy. This is understandable when the U.S. government uses at least 50 designations to restrict unclassified information and created 81 percent more "secrets" in 2005 than in 2000, according to the watchdog coalition

Moreover, the response to FOIA requests often does not satisfy the transparency objectives or provisions of the law, which, for example, mandates an answer to information requests within 20 working days. According to the National Security Archives 2003 report, median response times may be as long as 905 working days at the Department of Agriculture and 1,113 working days at the Environmental Protection Agency. The only recourse for unsatisfied requesters is to appeal to the U.S. District Court, which is costly, timely and unavailable to most people. Policies that favor secrecy, implementation that does not satisfy the law, lack of a mandated oversight body and inaccessible enforcement mechanisms have put the United States behind much of the world in the right to information.

Increasingly, developed and developing nations are recognizing that a free flow of information is fundamental for democracy. Whether it's government or private companies that provide public services, access to their records increases accountability and allows citizens to participate more fully in public life. It is a critical tool in fighting corruption, and people can use it to improve their own lives in the areas of health care, education, housing and other public services. Perhaps most important, access to information advances citizens' trust in their government, allowing people to understand policy decisions and monitor their implementation.

Nearly 70 countries have passed legislation to ensure the right to request and receive public documents, the vast majority in the past decade and many in middle- and low-income nations. While the United States retreats, the international trend toward transparency grows, with laws often more comprehensive and effective than our own. Unlike FOIA, which covers only the executive branch, modern legislation includes all branches of power and some private companies. Moreover, new access laws establish ways to monitor implementation and enforce the right, holding agencies accountable for providing information quickly and fully.

What difference do these laws make?

In South Africa, a country emerging from authoritarian rule under the apartheid system, the act covering access to information gives individuals an opportunity to demand public documents and hold government accountable for its actions, an inconceivable notion just a decade ago. Requests have exposed inappropriate land-use practices, outdated HIV-AIDS policies and a scandalous billion-dollar arms deal. In the United Kingdom, the new law forced the government to reveal the factual basis for its decision to go to war in Iraq.

In Jamaica, one of the countries where the Carter Center has worked for the past four years to help establish an access-to-information regime, citizens have used their right to request documents concerning the protection of more than 2,500 children in public orphanages. Two years ago there were credible allegations of sexual and physical abuse. In the past year, a coalition of interested groups has made more than 40 information requests to determine whether new government recommendations were implemented to ensure the future safety and well-being of these vulnerable children.

Even in such unlikely places as Mali, India and Shanghai, efforts that allow access to information are ensuring greater transparency in decision making and a freer flow of information.

In the United States, we must seek amendments to FOIA to be more in line with emerging international standards, such as covering all branches of government; providing an oversight body to monitor compliance; including sanctions for failure to adhere to the law; and establishing an appeal mechanism that is easy to access, speedy and affordable. We cannot take freedom of information for granted. Our democracy depends on it.

The writer was the 39th president and is founder of the Carter Center.


See also:

Secret Senator Puts "Secret Hold" on Bill to Open Federal Records
In an ironic twist, legislation that would open up the murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver.



From: "Gush Shalom">
Date: 27 Aug 2006
Subject: As 'America's Rottweiler' Avnery does not see much of a future


Uri Avnery


America's Rottweiler

IN HIS latest speech, which infuriated so many people, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uttered a sentence that deserves attention: "Every new Arab generation hates Israel more than the previous one."

Of all that has been said about the Second Lebanon War, these are perhaps the most important words.

The main product of this war is hatred. The pictures of death and destruction in Lebanon entered every Arab home, indeed every Muslim home, from Indonesia to Morocco, from Yemen to the Muslim ghettos in London and Berlin. Not for an hour, not for a day, but for 33 successive days - day after day, hour after hour. The mangled bodies of babies, the women weeping over the ruins of their homes, Israeli children writing "greetings" on shells about to be fired at villages, Ehud Olmert blabbering about "the most moral army in the world" while the screen showed a heap of bodies.

Israelis ignored these sights, indeed they were scarcely shown on our TV. Of course, we could see them on Aljazeera and some Western channels, but Israelis were much too busy with the damage wrought in our Northern towns. Feelings of pity and empathy for non-Jews have been blunted here a long time ago.

But it is a terrible mistake to ignore this result of the war. It is far more important than the stationing of a few thousand European troops along our border, with the kind consent of Hizbullah. It may still be bothering generations of Israelis, when the names Olmert and Halutz have long been forgotten, and when even Nasrallah no longer remember the name Amir Peretz.

IN ORDER for the significance of Assad's words to become clear, they have to be viewed in a historical context.

The whole Zionist enterprise has been compared to the transplantation of an organ into the body of a human being. The natural immunity system rises up against the foreign implant, the body mobilizes all its power to reject it. The doctors use a heavy dosage of medicines in order to overcome the rejection. That can go on for a long time, sometimes until the eventual death of the body itself, including the transplant.

(Of course, this analogy, like any other, should be treated cautiously. An analogy can help in understanding things, but no more than that.)

The Zionist movement has planted a foreign body in this country, which was then a part of the Arab-Muslim space. The inhabitants of the country, and the entire Arab region, rejected the Zionist entity. Meanwhile, the Jewish settlement has taken roots and become an authentic new nation rooted in the country. Its defensive power against the rejection has grown. This struggle has been going on for 125 years, becoming more violent from generation to generation. The last war was yet another episode.

WHAT IS our historic objective in this confrontation?

A fool will say: to stand up to the rejection with a growing dosage of medicaments, provided by America and World Jewry. The greatest fools will add: There is no solution. This situation will last forever. There is nothing to be done about it but to defend ourselves in war after war after war. And the next war is already knocking on the door.

The wise will say: our objective is to cause the body to accept the transplant as one of its organs, so that the immune system will no longer treat us as an enemy that must be removed at any price. And if this is the aim, it must become the main axis of our efforts. Meaning: each of our actions must be judged according to a simple criterion: does it serve this aim or obstruct it?

According to this criterion, the Second Lebanon War was a disaster.

FIFTY NINE years ago, two months before the outbreak of our War of Independence, I published a booklet entitled "War or Peace in the Semitic Region". Its opening words were:

"When our Zionist fathers decided to set up a 'safe haven' in Palestine, they had a choice between two ways:

"They could appear in West Asia as a European conqueror, who sees himself as a bridge-head of the 'white' race and a master of the 'natives', like the Spanish Conquistadores and the Anglo-Saxon colonists in America. That is what the Crusaders did in Palestine.

"The second way was to consider themselves as an Asian nation returning to its home - a nation that sees itself as an heir to the political and cultural heritage of the Semitic race, and which is prepared to join the peoples of the Semitic region in their war of liberation from European exploitation."

As is well known, the State of Israel, which was established a few months later, chose the first way. It gave its hand to colonial France, tried to help Britain to return to the Suez Canal and, since 1967, has become the little sister of the United States.

That was not inevitable. On the contrary, in the course of years there have been a growing number of indications that the immune system of the Arab-Muslim body is starting to incorporate the transplant - as a human body accepts the organ of a close relative - and is ready to accept us. Such an indication was the visit of Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem. Such was the peace treaty signed with us by King Hussein, a descendent of the Prophet. And, most importantly, the historic decision of Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian people, to make peace with Israel.

But after every huge step forward, there came an Israeli step backward. It is as if the transplant rejects the body's acceptance of it. As if it has become so accustomed to being rejected, that it does all it can to induce the body to reject it even more.

It is against this background that one should weigh the words spoken by Assad Jr., a member of the new Arab generation, at the end of the recent war.

AFTER EVERY single one of the war aims put forward by our government had evaporated, one after the other, another reason was brought up: this war was a part of the "clash of civilizations", the great campaign of the Western world and its lofty values against the barbarian darkness of the Islamic world.

That reminds one, of course, of the words written 110 years ago by the father of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, in the founding document of the Zionist movement: "In Palestine…we shall constitute for Europe a part of the wall against Asia, and serve as the vanguard of civilization against barbarism." Without knowing, Olmert almost repeated this formula in his justification of his war, in order to please President Bush.

It happens from time to time in the United States that somebody invents an empty but easily digested slogan, which then dominates the public discourse for some time. It seems that the more stupid the slogan is, the better its chances of becoming the guiding light for academia and the media - until another slogan appears and supersedes it. The latest example is the slogan "Clash of Civilizations", coined by Samuel P. Huntington in 1993 (taking over from the "End of History").

What clash of ideas is there between Muslim Indonesia and Christian Chile? What eternal struggle between Poland and Morocco? What is it that unifies Malaysia and Kosovo, two Muslim nations? Or two Christian nations like Sweden and Ethiopia?

In what way are the ideas of the West more sublime than those of the East? The Jews that fled the flames of the auto-da-fe of the Christian Inquisition in Spain were received with open arms by the Muslim Ottoman Empire. The most cultured of European nations democratically elected Adolf Hitler as its leader and perpetrated the Holocaust, without the Pope raising his voice in protest.

In what way are the spiritual values of the United States, today's Empire of the West, superior to those of India and China, the rising stars of the East? Huntington himself was compelled to admit: "The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do." In the West, too, women won the vote only in the 20th century, and slavery was abolished there only in the second half of the 19th. And in the leading nation of the West, fundamentalism is now also raising its head.

What interest, for goodness sake, have we in volunteering to be a political and military vanguard of the West in this imagined clash?

THE TRUTH is, of course, that this entire story of the clash of civilizations is nothing but an ideological cover for something that has no connection with ideas and values: the determination of the United States to dominate the world's resources, and especially oil.

The Second Lebanon War is considered by many as a "War by Proxy". That's to say: Hizbullah is the Dobermann of Iran, we are the Rottweiler of America. Hizbullah gets money, rockets and support from the Islamic Republic, we get money, cluster bombs and support from the United States of America. 

That is certainly exaggerated. Hizbullah is an authentic Lebanese movement, deeply rooted in the Shiite community. The Israeli government has its own interests (the occupied territories) that do not depend on America. But there is no doubt that there is much truth in the argument that this was also a war by substitutes.

The US is fighting against Iran, because Iran has a key role in the region where the most important oil reserves in the world are located. Not only does Iran itself sit on huge oil deposits, but through its revolutionary Islamic ideology it also menaces American control over the near-by oil countries. The declining resource oil becomes more and more essential in the modern economy. He who controls the oil controls the world.

The US would viciously attack Iran even it were peopled with pigmies devoted to the religion of the Dalai Lama. There is a shocking similarity between George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, The one has personal conversations with Jesus, the other has a line to Allah. But the name of the game is domination.

What interest do we have to get involved in this struggle? What interest do we have in being regarded - accurately - as the servants of the greatest enemy of the Muslim world in general and the Arab world in particular?

We want to live here in 100 years, in 500 years. Our most basic national interests demand that we extend our hands to the Arab nations that accept us, and act together with them for the rehabilitation of this region. That was true 59 years ago, and that will be true 59 years hence.

Little politicians like Olmert, Peretz and Halutz are unable to think in these terms. They can hardly see as far as the end of their noses. But where are the intellectuals, who should be more far-sighted?

Bashar al-Assad may not be one of the world's Great Thinkers. But his remark should certainly give us pause for thought.

GUSH SHALOM p.o.b. 3322 Tel Aviv 61033 

NOTE FROM JEAN: Now imagine Israelis being loved by their neighbors because of the good they do - if they were to let go of their current circle-the-wagons warmongering mindset - to all people living around their country, bringing food, economic help, humanitarian succor instead of bombs and mayhem... This is the vision I hold for the future of this reborn country, a future of peaceful love-breeding cooperation with all and meaningful atonement for the sinful deeds of the current generation. So is also the vision I hold for this entire living planet and all her inhabitants - soon to be living in harmony, loving each other as brothers and sister of the wonderfully diverse and rich human family, sustaining a brightly evolving world well into the far future and showing the entire universe that a place that looked like hell can become a heavenly paradise for the evolution of all souls. If it can be imagined... it can be achieved.

The seeds of this visionary future is growing right now in the hearts of all sentient loving beings called humans, earthlings in search of Who They Are, awakening from the nightmare of love-deprivation and fear-domination. One for all... All for One... No soul left behind...
All growing in glorious harmony/living/breathing/sharing/shining/BEING Love for one's Universal Self and thus for all... because All IS One...


See also:

Humbling of the supertroops shatters Israeli army morale (August 27, 2006),,2089-2330624,00.html#
HUNDREDS of feet below ground in the command bunker of the Israeli air force in Tel Aviv, a crowd of officers gathered to monitor the first day of the war against Hezbollah. It was July 12 and air force jets were about to attack Hezbollah's military nerve centre in southern Beirut. (...) In five weeks, their critics charge, they displayed tactical incompetence and strategic short-sightedness. Their much-vaunted intelligence was found wanting. Their political leadership was shown to vacillate. Their commanders proved fractious. In many cases the training of their men was poor and their equipment inadequate. Despite many individual acts of bravery, some of the men of the IDF were pushed to the point of mutiny. CLIP

Wounded cameraman tells of Gaza blast (Aug 27, 2006)
GAZA (Reuters) - The missile struck the "P" of the bright red "PRESS" sign on the roof of the armour-plated Reuters car as Gaza cameraman Fadel Shana hurried to film an Israeli raid. Shana saw only a sheet of flame and the doors of the vehicle fly open. He regained consciousness in hospital on Sunday, hours after the missile strike, with shrapnel wounds in his right hand and leg. He could not hear in one ear because of the explosion. His eyes were swollen and red. CLIP

A New Middle East (August 30, 2006) EXCELLENT ARTICLE by Palden Jenkins
What's So Funny About Peace, Love & Understanding? The talk is of a new Middle East. But what new Middle East? And whose new Middle East? A Middle East designed in Washington DC or, for that matter, Teheran, built to suit the needs of foreigners? Or a Middle East evolved by the locals, built to suit their needs? Much of the thinking on the Middle East is predicated on the past, or on issues with more past than future, such as the oil and arms trades, the Holocaust, the holy books, foreign interests, who was here first or who has the right to return. But this is no new Middle East - it is a continuation of the old, ridden with problems we all know so well, or new complexities leading out of them. (...) Outside intervention: Two factors influence the Middle East's future: the impending decline of oil as a source of income and power for ruling elites, and the impending decline of the West, specifically USA. These are enormous in their implications, and the coming decades will see this unfolding. Denial of this lies behind USA's 'war on terror': an anxious attempt to hold the reins of the Middle East agenda as it slips out of its grasp. Oil and the West's fortunes are intimately connected - a strategic error made thirty years ago. Alternative, sustainable ideas and technologies were pioneered in the West in its potential cultural revolution in the 1960s-70s, but it chose to squash them because small-scale, organic, low-consumption, home-grown, people-driven solutions do not equate with the power and dominance of the few over the many. Since then the West has repeatedly miscalculated its position - and Israel is part of the West. The miscalculation is huge, demonstrating how much the West fails to perceive the unfolding agenda. USA invades Iraq on a false pretext, causing massive destruction and failing in its objectives. Israel bombards South Lebanon on a thin pretext, killing a thousand people and displacing a million to save two soldiers who shouldn't have been sitting where they were. They were beaten on points by a theocrat in a turban, with his volunteers, using relatively primitive equipment bought for it by a minor power. These are massive errors by two countries, USA and Israel, who nominally possess the world's best intelligence and military forces. Smacks of the Roman empire, beaten by mere barbarians - the Romans too lost their grip on reality, so dangerously accustomed were they to being top dog. What makes 'barbarians' and 'terrorists' powerful? Their economy of action and lack of decadence, their power to improvise and survive, and their single-minded clarity of intent. Terror actions cost a thousand while anti-terror actions cost a billion. Terrorists are not just misguided, despicable criminals: they represent something relevant, and some have their fingers right on the pulse of things. Even for the many Arabs who dislike violence and mayhem, terrorists vent a body of unexpressed frustration, so there is a volatile mix of feeling both for and against them. There will be no disarming of Hezbollah until Hezbollah feels the need no longer to bear arms. They will cease armed action when the odds are evened, and when the military madness of the Middle East, greatly fuelled by the West, subsides. Thus was the case with the IRA, who stopped only when their usefulness was exhausted - and also when the Old Guard grew too old and American funding for them dried up after 9/11. The birth of a new Middle East rests on a key factor: the end of unquestioning American support for Israel. It enables Israel, with the size and population of Denmark, to assert itself on the whole region, as if a major power. As soon as American support dies down, Israel will be obliged to make friends with its neighbours, as a matter of necessity. USA is geopolitically changeable and it has its own problems - not least its indebtedness and reliance on Chinese and Arab money to prop it up. Israel might also one day gladly cease being a pawn in USA's geostrategic game. CLIP



Israel Must Win

"You Cannot Promise Victory, Produce a Humiliating Defeat and Stay in Power"


“The ceasefire in Lebanon was holding by a thread last night after Israel sanctioned a commando raid in the east of the country. Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary General, said Israel had violated the truce, and he was 'deeply concerned' about it.” - The Guardian

08/22/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- For those familiar with Israeli aggression, the IDF violation was no surprise at all. For a week or so, every Israeli cabinet member and military official promised publicly that it is just a question of time before there is a ‘second round’. Indeed, they must come up with something. Since the end of the hostilities, all Israeli political analysts and polls suggest that Israel’s political and military leadership failed completely. If elections were to be held soon, both Labor and Kadima would simply disappear. It is no secret that with each passing day, Olmert’s and Peretz’s popularity continually slumps to new lows. Jerusalem Post.

One may wonder whether the Israelis are changing their spots, do they stop approving Olmert’s policies just because peace is what they really prefer? The influential political commentator Ari Shavit provided an answer two weeks ago. Mr Olmert, so he says, had ‘failed shamefully’ and should resign. Shavit continues, "You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeat and remain in power." As I mentioned more than once before, the Israeli politician has to cope with a demanding, bloodthirsty crowd.

This realisation throws some light over the reasons behind the failed Israeli operation in Lebanon just three days ago. Israelis are simply desperate to win. But it may also explain why Israeli government decided to expand its military operation pretty much at the same time it accepted the UN ceasefire resolution. Olmert knew that he must serve his voters with what they interpret as a clear-cut victory. This would mean either some severe form of revenge with lots of Arab casualties or a significant land invasion. Olmert, his ‘national unity’ government and the army leadership have to do something that would cover up four weeks of disastrous military campaign that failed to serve the Israeli public with even a single second of glory.

Indeed, the IDF military offensive doctrine is grounded on one basic axiom that was defined by David Ben Gurion in the early fifties: whatever it takes, Israel must always win! This axiom is indeed very powerful, yet, in reality, the Israeli army can’t provide the goods anymore. In the last three decades the Israeli army is constantly being beaten time after time by enemies that are getting smaller and smaller.

Yet, one may mention that the IDF isn’t very original in being defeated. The IDF fails exactly where the American army has been failing since Vietnam. Shockingly, the IDF has managed to copy every possible American mistake. It religiously adopted the new American military philosophy of a ‘compact highly sophisticated fighting force’. Undeniably, this very doctrine is very effective in producing some gigantic collateral damage i.e., war crimes. Yet, in the long run, it fails miserably in wining wars. The new American military doctrine may win a battle or two but no more than that. In the most recent years it has been totally beaten in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and obviously in Lebanon.

Though the early stages of the Israeli campaign in Lebanon looked very much like the first few days of the second Gulf War (major air assault on civilian infrastructure and populated areas), there is at least one major noticeable difference. While America can stand and even ignore international criticism referring to its own war crimes, it isn’t willing to suffer much international criticism for Israeli atrocities. While in the early stages of the war America was rushing to provide Israel with air convoys loaded with its most lethal conventional arsenal, we have learned towards the last week of the war that the American administration changed its mind, it suddenly refused to provide the IDF with a shipment of cluster bombs because it “would endanger the civilian population”. Seemingly, there is a limit to what the Americans are willing to do for their ‘closest friend’ in the Middle East.

This is exactly where the Israeli limbo is. In order to maintain its status as a winning regional super power, Israel needs the blind support of America (politically, financially and logistically). Yet American blind support can be grunted to Israel only if the Jewish State is indeed a regional super power to start with. Olmert and his government are fully aware of this very complexity. They know that without being a regional super power in the first place, they have nothing to offer their almighty American brothers. Israel is crucial for the strategy of the Americans as long as it can wipe out all its enemies in six days at the most. The way things appear now, the Israeli Army is basically defeated by the two smallest nations in the Arab world, the Palestinian and the Lebanese ones.

As much as it clear to the Israelis, it is clear to the Americans that unlike the bold Hezbollah, the IDF soldier has lost his will to fight. The IDF is a spoiled, confused and tired army that is specializing solely in terrorizing civilian populations while being engaged in constant tactical withdraw. This Israeli Army is not trained to win wars anymore. Instead, its tank battalions are mainly engaged in daily shelling of schools and hospitals. Its Air Force uses the best American fighter planes to flatten neighborhoods and shoot deadly rockets at cars in the streets of Gaza. Its command units are expert in abducting democratically elected middle-aged Palestinian politicians. The IDF is basically a heavy army specializing in merciless regional bullying. Yet, it cannot win a war, and as such it has nothing to offer the American empire.

But the Israeli military defeat has some further implications. Israel without a victorious army, has nothing to offer to world Jewry either. It can never present itself as the ultimate cosmic Judeo bunker. It is pretty shocking to prospect the relative silence of the infamous Zionist media shield. While just six weeks ago the loud supporters of Anglo-American interventionism were still pushing for democracy in the Arab world and beyond, they were enthusiastic about killing in the name of human rights and about Israel being the only democracy in the Middle East. Somehow, since the war began, since Israel revealed once again its murderous tendencies and Hezbollah proved to be the new Robin Hood, these voices are caving in. Many among the global Zionists do already understand now that the Anglo-American assault on the Arab world just suffered a major blow. Some of them probably grasp that it is just a question of time before more and more Europeans and Americans join the sacred battle against the Americanized Global Zionism, i.e., neo-conservatism.

The recent victory of the Hezbollah therefore must be realized as a major event with some global implications. While the Hezbollah regards itself a paramilitary organization concerned mainly with some local issues having to do with Israeli expansionism, it has managed to cause a serious blow to neo-conservatism as a political praxis as well as a philosophy. It has beaten the Zionized Anglo-American worldview. Standing up to Zionism and Americanism, it is the Lebanese, the Palestinians, the Iraqis, the Afghanis and the Iranians who happen to be at the vanguard of the war for humanity and humanism. For those who are yet to be convinced that this indeed the case, I will mention that the fact that it is Iran who rushed to pay 3 billion dollars to rebuild Lebanon after the destruction made by ‘American interventionism’ leaves no room for interpretation. While America spreads destruction and death all over the world, it is Iran and the Hezbollah that offers a new beginning.

Olmert knows very well that if Israel doesn’t win this war, it is global Zionism that is defeated, he knows as well that without the backing of global Zionism, Israel is basically a dead entity. Olmert knows that without America, it won’t take long before Israel turns into an historic event. Israel will have to win its mighty regional power status whatever it takes. Israeli is indeed in the very eye of the neo-conservative storm. And the Hezbollah is threatening something far greater than just the Jewish State. As the Israelis keep telling us, the fight in Lebanon will resume soon and every European leader knows it.

Even now, they all know who is going to be the aggressor when violence spreads again in the region. They are all clever enough to hesitate about whether they want to send their soldiers to the region. They know that if Israel must win, it is better to stay out of its way.


Among the numerous (88) comments posted to this article above, the following stand out:

Israel's Double Standard

Why is Israel not held to the same standards as other nations?Why is it that those who resist an illegal occupation of their land are considered freedom fighters except for those who resist an illegal Israeli occpation? In that case they are considered terrorists. Why is it that when Israel abducts more than 9000 Palestinians this is called an arrest but when Hamas or Hezbollah abducts 2 Israeli soldiers it is called a kidnap? Why is it when Hamas or Hezbollah fires a rocket into Israel it is considered an act of provocation but when Israel deliberatelly shells a Palestinian beach and kills 7 members of one family it is considered an act of self-defense? Why does there exist such a double-standard? Why is that? Why is it okay for the United States to supply Israel with cluster bombs and precision guided missiles and billions more of military weapons but wrong for Iran or Syria to supply Hezbollah with Kytusha rockets? Why is it wrong for Iran to cultivate nuclear weapons when its neighbor, Israel, has hundreds of nuclear weapons aimed at it on land and on sea? Why is it that U.N. Security Resolutions against Hezbollah must be complied with but those against Israel are ignored? Why the double standard?




The Lobby and the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon: Their Facts and Ours

By James Petras

08/30/06 "Information Clearing House"

All the national, state and local Jewish organizations have launched a $300 million fundraising and propaganda campaign in support of the 21 Jewish civilians and 116 soldiers killed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (but not the 18 Israeli Arabs who were excluded from Jews-only bomb shelters). As adjuncts of the Israeli foreign office not a single one of the 52 organizations which make up The Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations in the US voiced a single public criticism of Israel’s massive destruction of civilian homes, hospitals, offices, supermarkets, refugee convoys and churches and mosques, and the deliberate killing of civilians, UN peacekeepers and rescue workers with precision bombing. On the contrary the entire Jewish lobby echoed in precise detail the Israeli lies that the Lebanese deaths were caused by the Lebanese resistance’s “use of human shields”, despite the total devastation of the heavily populated southern suburbs of Beirut, completely out of range of any Hezbollah rockets.

The magnitude of the Jewish Lobby’s cover-up of Israel’s massive military assault can be measured in great detail.

The Israeli Armed Forces (IDF) launched 5,000 missiles, 5-ton bunker-buster bombs and cluster bombs as well as anti-personnel phosphorus bombs each day into Lebanon for 27 days – totaling over 135,000 missiles, bombs and artillery shells. During the last 7 days of the war Israel launched 6,000 bombs and shells per day – over 42,000, for a grand total of 177,000 over a heavily populated territory the size of the smallest state in the US. In contrast, the Lebanese national resistance launched 4,000 rockets during the entire 34-day period, an average of 118 per day. The ratio was 44 to 1 – without mentioning the size differentials, the long-term killing effects of the thousands of un-exploded cluster bombs (nearly 50 killed or maimed since the end of hostilities) and Israel’s scorched earth military incursion.

The Jewish Lobbyists publish the number of Israel’s civilian dead as 41, forgetting to mention that only 23 were Jews, the remaining 18 were members of Israel’s Arab Muslim and Christian minority who constitute around 20% of the population. The disproportionate number of Israeli Arabs killed was a result of the Israeli government policy of providing shelters and siren warning systems to Jews and ignoring the security needs of its Arab citizens. The proportion of civilian deaths to soldiers was 41 to 116 or 26% of the total Israeli dead (but if we only consider Jewish Israelis and IDF members the proportion 23 to 116 or 16% of the Jewish dead were civilian.) Clearly the Lebanese resistance was aiming most of its fire at the invading IDF. In contrast, in Lebanon, of the 1,181 so far known to have been killed, 1088 were civilians and only 93 were fighters. In other words 92% of the Lebanese dead were civilians –over three times the rate of civilians killed by the Lebanese resistance and almost 6 times the rate of Jewish civilians killed (the only ones who count in the Lobby’s propaganda machine). To put it more bluntly: over 47 Lebanese civilians were slaughtered for each Jewish Israeli civilian death.

The Jewish Lobby’s claims of Israeli moral and military superiority in the Middle East – which is paradoxically combined with warnings that Israel’s survival is at stake – has been shredded to tatters as a result of their failure to annihilate Hezbollah.

The Lobby’s echoing Israeli military claims of the invincibility of the Israeli armed forces is largely based on their ‘fighting’ against rock throwing Palestinian school kids. Today it is clear that they are quite vulnerable when faced with well-armed, veteran Lebanese guerrilla fighters. According to a United Nation Report, from June 26 to August 26, 2006, Israel killed 202 Palestinians, 44 of whom were small children, while losing 1 soldier; while in Lebanon, Israel lost 116 soldiers to 93 Lebanese fighters in 34 days (almost half the time). In other words, 157 times more Israeli’s were killed as a result of the Lebanese invasion in one month – than died in Palestine in 2 months (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, August 26, 2006). The Jewish Lobby’s propaganda campaign in the US Congress, throughout the mass media and even in our small communities in defense of Israel’s “Summer Rain” (raining bombs on civilians) against the Palestinians has been thoroughly exposed as a murderous scorched earth policy by the United Nations Report and summarized in the Israeli daily Haaretz (August 27, 2006). According to Haaretz: “The (campaign)…is still taking a severe toll on 1.4 million Palestinians…thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes following continuing IDF incursions into the Strip (Gaza) and heavy shelling…the Israeli Air Force has conducted 247 aerial assaults in Gaza…more than a million people have been left with no regular supply of water and electricity.” The Lobby, like skilled totalitarians, reverses the roles calling the Palestinian victims (all 202 of them) terrorists and the executioners (the Israeli Defense Force) victims (1 dead soldier who was most likely killed by ‘friendly fire’).

George Orwell would have written a scathing essay on the Lobby’s version of Israel’s Animal Farm where one Israeli death is worth more than 202 Palestinians.

In surveying the Daily Alert, the propaganda sheet prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (a semi-official propaganda arm of the Israeli regime) for the Conference of Presidents of Major America Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO), there is not a single mention of the fact that the Jewish state was killing almost 10 Lebanese civilians for each fighter, while the Hezbollah resistance was killing four times as many Israeli soldiers as Israeli civilians (Jews and Gentiles). Not a single opinion article, editorial or commentary reproduced by the Daily Alert, from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The National Telegraph, the New York Sun, USA Today, Boston Globe, New York Times, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post or The Times (UK) mentions the fact that Israel’s much ballyhooed ‘precision’ bombing succeeded in targeting civilians, while the Lebanese defenders’ far less sophisticated weaponry mainly hit IDF invaders.

These omissions by the Jewish Lobby and its members and supporters in the Anglo-American-Israeli respectable and yellow press and electronic media were absolutely necessary to perpetuate the myth the Israel was waging a ‘defensive’, ‘existential’ (sic) war for ‘survival’ against Islamic ‘terrorists’ embodied in Hezbollah and the Lebanese National Resistance.

Was Israel’s destruction of 15,000 homes up to Beirut and beyond to Northern Lebanon defensive actions as the CPMAJO claims? Do these very smart, very wealthy, highly educated Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Hopkins and Chicago-educated Jewish apologists for the Israeli invasion really believe that bombing hospitals, supermarkets, water treatments plants, churches and mosques in Southern Lebanon, oil refineries and milk, food and pharmaceutical factories in Beirut, transport, highways and bridges in Northern Lebanon were ‘existential’ acts essential for the survival of the ‘Jewish State’? Can’t they understand the simple math presented above? The math of genocide? Do the investment bankers, professors, dentists and armies of rabbis of all Talmudic readings believe that Israel is the innocent victim of aggression – justifying the slaughter of over 90% Lebanese civilians among those it killed? Such well-educated professionals must know that from January 1996 to August 2006, there were weekly incidents all along the Israeli-Lebanese border, involving Israeli raids, killings and kidnapping of Lebanese civilians, as well as rocket firing in both directions. Didn’t the Hollywood moguls who gave so generously to the Israeli war machine know that Elliott Abrams, President Bush’s chief adviser on the Middle East (stern defender of Jewish purity and intimate collaborator with the Israeli high command) gave full support in early summer to an Israeli plan to destroy Hezbollah, at least one month before the border incident (see S. Hersh, New Yorker, August 21, 2006)?

Of course the educated elites know all about the Israeli lust for power and dominance…Unlike the good Germans in the 1940’s, who claimed they didn’t see the smoking chimneys or the grim trains, today images of devastated apartments and slaughtered children were visible, easily accessible and followed by well-publicized reports by all the human rights groups on Israel’s crimes against humanity. They knew and supported Israel’s crimes before and after the ceasefire – and they proudly chose to endorse the war, the policies and the state as true accomplices after the fact.

Yet the Jewish Lobby tells us that Hezbollah’s kidnapping of two soldiers across the Israeli border was the detonator for a full-scale invasion. Numerous sources around the world even dispute the Israeli account of a Hezbollah cross-border attack. According to the big business US magazine Forbes (July 12, 2006), the French news service AFP (July 12, 2006), the respectable Asia Times (July 15, 2006) and the Lebanese police, the Israeli soldiers were captured within Lebanon in the area of Ai’tu Al-Chaarb, a Lebanese village a few kilometers from the Israeli border.

While the Jewish lobby raises funds exclusively for Israeli-Jewish soldiers and civilians, Hezbollah is engaged in a non-sectarian reconstruction program that embraces all Lebanese communities and households, regardless of religious or ethnic preferences. The reason is found in the fact that the Lebanese resistance was a national movement. Contrary to the Lobby’s propaganda, the Lebanese resistance was not exclusively Shia or even Muslim in make-up. Israel’s invasion managed to united Lebanon’s factions in defense of their homeland. Of the 93 Lebanese fighters killed, 20% were from organizations other than Hezbollah, a point ignored by the Lobby’s ideologues, who pursue Israel’s policy of pushing the US to attack Iran, Syria and other Middle East states known to be hostile to Israel’s hegemonic ambitions.

Consequences of Israeli War In both Israel and throughout the pro-Israel Jewish networks, the Israeli military’s failure to achieve its goal of defeating and eliminating the Lebanese resistance, particularly Hezbollah, has had a major impact. In Israel, the major criticism of the Olmert-Perez regime and General Haluz from both soldiers and civilians is that the government was too weak – there was insufficient bombing, lack of sufficient ground troops and too much concern for Lebanese civilians. The cease-fire, they complained, was premature; the territory occupied was too limited. Likud and other parties in the Knesset called for the bombing of Syria and Iran.

While many US and Israeli progressives cited the ‘turmoil’, ‘dissent’ and harsh polemics in the aftermath of the war as typical of the ‘rough and tumble’ of Israel’s democracy, they ignored the savage militarist substance and ultra-rightwing direction of Israeli public opinion. The ‘who lost the war’ polemics in Israel is basically anchored in preparations for a new, more violent attack on Lebanon and other adversaries of Israel.

This militaristic rage is manifested in the brutal daily assaults on the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank where Israeli warplanes bomb homes and ground forces assassinate and injure dozens of civilians – ‘existential’ murders against stone-throwing schoolboys. Israel’s rage has affected Jewish religious notables. The Rabbinical Council of America called for the Israeli military to re-evaluate its military rules of war in light of Hezbollah’s “unconscionable use of civilians, hospitals, ambulances, mosques and the like as human shields”, according to the Jerusalem Post August 21, 2006. The RCA and the modern Orthodox women’s organization, Eminah, represent over one million US Jews. Their call to maximize civilian deaths in order to lessen the ‘risk’ to ‘our’ (Israeli Jewish) soldiers is in the finest spirit of Nazi chaplains egging on the Wehrmacht’s scorched earth policy during World War Two. Their Israeli counterparts, Rabbis Eliyahu and Drori, echoed the RCA’s ‘delicate criticisms’ in more colorful and uninhibited terms: “Our corrupt military, which tells us that our soldiers must endanger their lives to protect enemy civilians, is the reason we lost the war”, according to the gentle Rabbi Eliyahu, who sees all non-Jewish civilians opposing Israeli policy as enemies worthy of incineration. Not to be outdone, the good Rabbi Drori accused the rest of Western humanity as ‘anti-Semites’ for being horrified at Israel’s savage destruction. “Anti-Semites demand that we use Christian morality while our enemies act like barbarians,” (Jerusalem Post, August 21, 2006). Apparently the killing and maiming of over a thousand Lebanese civilians, mostly women and children, does not satisfy this raging bull Rabbi.

Lest one think that these US and Israeli Rabbis are simply loose cannons or isolated psychopaths, three weeks earlier, one Rabbi Dov Lior, in the name of the Yesh Council of Rabbis (with hundreds of thousands of Israeli followers), announced that “when our enemies hold a baby in one hand and shoot us with the other, or when missiles are purposely aimed at civilian populations in the Land of Israel in blatant disregard for moral criteria, we are obligated to act according to Jewish morality, which dictates that ‘he who gets up to kill you, get up yourself and kill him first,” (Jerusalem Post August 25, 2006). The Holy men of the Holy Land are providing a post-factum religious blessing for the more than three hundred Lebanese children killed and urging the future killing of even more children. All this we are told is according to ‘Jewish morality’. Surely many US Jews, especially liberals and even conservatives, object to rabbinical fiats for the slaughter of children, but we are deafened by their polite silence. The Lobby conveniently ignores the Jewish morality spiel, even as it defends the ‘moderate’ secular line of Israeli civilian deaths resulting from Hezbollah using Lebanese babies and old grannies as shields to commit their crimes. So we have a raging debate among the US and Israeli rabbis, and secular and religious apologists over whether killing Lebanese civilians and children is based on tactical military or religious-ethical considerations.

The Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, David A. Harris, puts to the lie the nasty bit of propaganda by the US ‘Left’ Zionists downplaying the role of the Jewish Lobby in securing whole-hearted US White House and Congressional support for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon. In discussing US subservience to Israel, Harris stated, “No other nation has been prepared to define such an intimate relationship with Israel in all bilateral spheres – from arms sales, foreign aid and intelligence-sharing to a free-trade zone, scientific co-operation and diplomatic support. No other nation has the capacity, by dint of its size and stature, to help ensure Israel’s quest for a secure and lasting peace (sic)…In the recent conflict with Hezbollah, once again the United States demonstrated its willingness to stand by Israel, provide vital support and withstand the pressure of many US allies who would have wished for an earlier end to the fighting even if it meant keeping Hezbollah largely intact and in place…Whatever the primary factor, there can be no doubt that American Jewry is an essential element of the equation (yoking the US to Israel). This is all the more reason why American Jewry need to work day in and day out to ensure that the mutually beneficial link (sic) goes from strength to strength,” (Jerusalem Post August 25, 2006).

In plain English, the Jewish networks and lobbies were able to secure 98% support from Congress for a resolution supporting Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, even as 54 percent Democrats and 39% Republicans favor a policy of neutrality as opposed to alignment with Israel (Times-Bloomberg Poll July25-August 1, 2006, published in the Jewish Telegraph Agency – August 15, 2006). The Lobby convinced, pressured and threatened the White House to prolong the Israeli terror bombing as Harris so proudly announced. The Jewish Lobby does work ‘day in and day out’ to make sure that Israel can ethnically cleanse Palestine, drop 5-ton bombs on Lebanese apartment buildings, bulldoze villages and isolate the US from even its closest allies at the expense of the US taxpayers, our democratic ideals and our sovereignty. And the American Jewish Committee has the chutzpah (arrogance) to say that it is ‘our mutually beneficial link’. Now that is a bit of political dishonesty!

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50 year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in brazil and argentina and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed). His new book with Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements and the State: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina was published in 2005.


See also:

Dispatches From The Killing Zone
Channel 4 Video Report - Dispatches reporter Sandra Jordan and producer Rodrigo Vasquez risk their lives to reveal the shocking level of daily violence and murderous hate in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli occupation forces kill 8 Palestinians in Gaza attack:
Among those killed was a 14-year-old boy who was shot dead. A 30-year-old man was killed by a heavy caliber bullet to the head as he was on the rooftop of his house.

Annan: Israel must stop killing Palestinians:,7340,L-3297757,00.html
In meeting with Palestinian President Abbas in Ramallah, UN secretary-general slams Israel, says more than 200 Palestinians killed since the end of June. He also calls on Israel to lift
blockade on Gaza, allow free transfer of goods

The Palestinian Vice-Prime Minister kidnapped by Israel:
Former rector of the Faculty of Law at the National University of Al Najah in Nablus, Mr Shaer is a moderate person. He does not belong to any political party, and is not a member of Hamas as widespread in the nmedia.

Israel spewed cluster bombs over Lebanon in last days of war:
UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said Wednesday that thousands of civilians were at risk in south Lebanon from unexploded cluster bombs dropped by Israeli forces in the last three days of the war against Hezbollah guerrillas.

Uncensored Video News Reports From Across The Middle East
Warning - This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.




Why We Fight - Documentary Review

From Jurgen Fauth

Militarism 101

The "military-industrial complex" has long been one of the bogeymen of the left. Not everybody, however, is aware that the term--which seems to describe some futuristic death machinery straight out of "Star Wars"--wasn't coined by George Lucas, Karl Marx, or Noam Chomsky.

No other than Ike Eisenhower, staunch World War II hero and two-time US President, first employed the words in his farewell speech in 1961. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki uses the blunt warning contained in that now infamous speech to trace the history of the American war machine to the present. His approach is evenhanded and sober, and while the film might actually succeed in winning over undecided minds, "Why We Fight" offers little news for anybody who has been paying a modicum of attention.

When Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex, he meant a structure that consisted of the military itself, the contractors and plants who produced the weapons, and the politicians who stood to reap the benefits of both. In one strand of his carefully woven tale, Jarecki observes how Eisenhower's prediction has become a reality. Congress, Lockheed Martin, Haliburton and the branches of the military all benefit from increases in defense spending, and, the argument goes, "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." A country that spends more than half of its discretionary budget on a gigantic war machine will end up using that machine, one way or another, again and again.

The film's title is derived from a series of Frank-Capra-directed World War II propaganda shorts. Jarecki found that when he tried the question on contemporary Americans, the answers weren't as assured as they had been 60 years ago. Why do we fight? Why are we at war with Iraq? "Freedom" is the best answer people could muster, but as it has become increasingly obvious that the Bush Administration lied about its reasons to invade, many of those asked are at a complete loss. Jarecki suggests a simple answer: "Follow the money." According to him, Eisenhower's warning is proof that there has always been a tendency toward metastasizing militarization; the events of September 11, 2001 merely accelerated it. At a time when, as he puts it, the political elites are becoming identical with financial elites, the military-industrial complex now encompasses lobbyists, think tanks and a complicit media that is happy to be "embedded" with the troops instead of attempting to find an independent point of view. The corrupt system that leads to perpetual war, according to Jarecki's thesis, is now so pervasive that it's becoming more or less invisible.

To engage that system, Jarecki interviews people from all parts of the machinery: a grandmother who pushes missiles around a factory floor but confesses she would rather work in a toy factory, an optionless youngster signing up for the army, a Vietnamese immigrant who escaped one war and now designs bunkerbusting bombs for another, the fighter pilots who proudly delivered the first strikes in a preemptive war, a Pentagon officer who has become entirely disenchanted with the military, and a retired cop who struggles to reconcile his grief for the son he lost on 9/11 with the realization that he has been duped by the administration's lies. Among the talking heads are Gore Vidal, William Kristol, Richard Perle amd John McCain.

As well-argued and well-presented Jarecki's case is, it won't seem particularly earth-shattering to anybody who has been able to look at America's military machinery with any sort of objectivity. In this winter of 2006, with wiretapping scandals, corruption, torture, and a misbegotten war in the center of national attention, it is hard to register too much surprise at any of Jarecki's conclusions. The day's headlines are about all the proof we need to to understand that Eisenhower was right to warn of the "disastrous rise of misplaced power."

While "Why We Fight" does an admirable job at following the money, Adam Curtis' three-hour documentary "The Power of Nightmares," currently playing at Cinema Village in New York and available for free download, is dedicated to ideas: the rise of Islamist fundamentalism on the one hand, and Straussian neo-conservative thought on the other, and the way they interacted over the last half of the previous century. With their different focus, the two films compliment each other perfectly in describing how we ended up in the current predicament.


See also:

What are the forces that shape and propel American militarism? This award-winning film provides an inside look at the anatomy of the American war machine. Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Click Play To View

The Power of Nightmares
This film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today. From the introduction to Part 1: "Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today's nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful. "The Power of Nightmares, Baby It's Cold Outside."

Go at to view this film. Here is one short review on it:
Neoconservatism = integrism - An awesome documentary, and another gem produced by one of the last few respectable news networks in the world, showing in a pale light the ideological roots of what could be understood as the political extremism that destroys today's Western civilisation. The greatest thing about it is how it shows the American neo-conservatives and the muslim integrists as being not only political twins, but being from the same mother. Of course, this is a reductive perspective, and my biggest complaint with this documentary being it's avoidance of the whole issue of corporate control over the US and the rise of military-industrial complex over the US foreign and civil policy. But still it serves wonderfully as an understanding of what, aside from financial interests, drives the US neocons so-hardly in their constant push to create "global villains" and justify State terrorism both domestically and internationally by, well, the false threat of terrorism.

Capitalism and War - The recent flurry of wars – from Afghanistan and Iraq to Gaza and Lebanon – has revived talk of imperialism, military Keynesianism and the military-industrial Complex. Capitalism, many radicals have long argued, needs war. It needs it to expand its geographical reach; it needs it to open up new markets; it needs it to access cheap raw materials; and it needs it to placate opposition at home and pacify rebellious populations abroad.1The common perception is that war serves to boost the economy. According to this argument, military conflict – and high military spending in preparation for such conflict – generates overall growth and helps reduce unemployment. This feature of military spending turns it into an effective fiscal tool. In years of slack, the government can embark on military Keynesianism, increase its spending on weapons and pull the economy out of recession. Over the longer haul, military expenditures are said to undermine the peaceful, civilian outlook of liberal regimes. Spending on the military boosts the business interests of the large armament corporations, hardens the outlook of the security apparatus and emboldens the top army brass. Together, these groups become increasingly fused in an invisible, yet powerful, military-industrial Complex – a complex that gradually comes to dominate policy and pushes society toward foreign aggression and military adventurism. (...) The reversal came with the new millennium and the Bush presidency. With the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the Middle East entered a protracted period of war, oil prices have risen to $65-75, and the share of the oil companies in global profit – although not yet at historical highs – is moving higher and higher. How big are the gains of the oil companies? During the five-year period from August 2001 to July 2006, the average net income of the global oil sector amounted to $108 billion per annum. This figure compares with an annual profit of only $34 billion in the year from August 1999 to July 2000 – a jump of $75 billion if we round the numbers. How much did it cost to generate this jump in profits? For argument’s sake, let’s assume that since 2000 the entire increase in the price of oil – and therefore the whole increase in oil profits – was due to the new Energy Conflicts in the Middle East. Assume further that so far the U.S. government has spent on its Afghanistan-Iraq operation the annual equivalent of 1 percent of its GDP – roughly $100 billion a year. These assumptions, although simplistic and inaccurate, indicate the overall magnitudes involved: the war costs $100 billion a year and it generates an extra $75 billion in annual oil profits. In other words, for every $1 the U.S. government spends on the wars, the owners of the oil companies earn an additional ¢75 in net profit. CLIP



Another miserable milestone for Bush's war

By Rupert Cornwell

08/28/06 "The Independent" -- -- A miserable milestone was passed the other day. America's (and Britain's) disastrous war in Iraq has now lasted longer than the US involvement in the Second World War. Yes, this conflict has outlasted a war that ended with total victory over Nazi Germany. Hitler declared war on the US on 11 December 1941. Exactly 1,244 days later, on 7 May 1945, Germany surrendered. The US invaded Iraq on 19 March 2003, and this weekend it is 1,267 days later, with no end in sight.

Sticklers among you will have noted that the interval between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender on 2 September, 1945 was 1,364 days. But even that record will tumble at the start of December. And if you do measure Iraq against the longer American war with Japan, the contrast is even starker. Victory in the Pacific was even more conclusive than in Europe. It produced no post-war entanglement with the Soviets and no Berlin airlift. The Iraq war unfolded the other way round: Baghdad fell barely three weeks after the invasion. Since then, however, it's been downhill all the way.

Yes, US casualties have been lighter, some 2,620 dead at the latest count, and four times as many seriously wounded. Adjust for respective populations, and Israel's loss of around 116 soldiers in the Lebanon war translates into 5,800 US dead in barely a month. As for Iraqi civilians, more of them are getting killed per month than all the American troops lost since the very start of the war.

But forget the statistics,the endless terror alerts, the war in Lebanon and the looming showdown with Iran. Iraq is the issue that America keeps returning to. It haunts George Bush and - barring Democratic screw-ups - it will probably send his Republican party to defeat in the mid-term elections this November.

Joe Lieberman's loss in the Connecticut Senate primary this month was just one straw in the wind. One of the seemingly most impregnable Democrats in the land could not even retain his own party's support. He was beaten because of his support for the war by a businessman with a simple campaign mantra: "Bring the Boys Home."

Republicans, of course, pretended to love it. They raised the shade of George McGovern, the anti-Vietnam war candidate thrashed by Nixon in 1972. Once again, they said, the Democrats had turned into a party of left-wing pacifists who could no more be trusted to fight the terrorists than to "see the job through" in Iraq.

Sadly, this argument that worked so well in 2002 and 2004 works no longer. Even the wilfully blind can see that Iraq is a disaster. Bush, who yields to no one in that category, lambasted the Democrats for pusillanimity. But even he could not bring himself to use the word "progress" apropos of events in the country that he once claimed would be a beacon of peace and democracy for the entire Middle East.

Nor does the terror card have the force it once did. True, the President's ratings went up slightly after the foiled UK airliner bomb plot (but they could hardly have sunk much lower). Far more revealing, Chris Shays, a Connecticut Republican who had supported the war, last week broke ranks with the White House and called for a firm timetable for withdrawal. If you're seeking re-election to the House in November, there's really no choice.

Bush's problem is that two-thirds of Americans - according to a recent poll - no longer buy his argument that Iraq has become "the central front in the war on terror". Iraq, they now realise, had nothing to do with 9/11, and the foreign fighters who are now in Iraq went there only after the 2003 invasion. They believe the Mesopotamian adventure has made them less safe. Put another way: if you start a war that lasts as long as the Second World War, you'd better have something to show for it. George Bush does not.


See also:

Number Of Iraqi Civilians Slaughtered In America's War? As Many As 250,000




By Byron J. Richards, CCN

August 24, 2006

On Friday, August 18, 2006, the FDA approved a viral cocktail to be sprayed on foods we eat. This is the first time viruses have been approved for use as food additives. The FDA wants you to believe it will be safe to consume these viruses every day for the rest of your life with no adverse health effects. This is a monumental announcement by the FDA, indicating they are throwing all caution to the wind regarding the safety of our food supply.

Are you willing to stand in line for a virus-laden sandwich? How do you like the idea of buying virus-infested food for your family? The first virally contaminated foods entering our food supply with the blessings of the FDA will be luncheon meat and poultry. Live viruses will be sprayed on foods such as cold cuts, sausages, hot dogs, sliced turkey, and chicken.

At issue is the very real problem of a poor quality FDA-approved food supply that is already full of diseased and sickly animals, many of them imported from other countries. The use of antibiotics during growth and radiation during food processing is required by the fast-food animal farms owned by multi-national companies to cover up the horrendous health of the animals they wish to feed to Americans. Animals in poor health are a friendly place for bacteria to grow and prosper, especially after such meat goes to market. Rather than address the source of the problem, the FDA wants to add another adulteration into our food supply.

The stated goal of the new FDA-approved viruses is to kill a rare bacterium known as Listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium is killed by cooking; however, it poses a problem in meats that are cooked during processing and not cooked again prior to consumption, so it can readily infect foods such as deli meats.

Yes, the FDA plans to use one infectious organism to fight another. The carnage of battle will end up in your digestive tract along with the victorious live viruses, which the FDA assures us will not attack human cells. However, they cannot possibly be certain the viruses will not attack the friendly bacteria that make up the lining of your digestive tract. The FDA approval was based on scant human testing, mostly from unrelated medical experiments. Such safety data is woefully inadequate to determine safe ingestion of a specific product by humans over the course of a lifetime.

Turning Loose the Bacteria-Killing Viruses

The company that produces these biotech viruses is Baltimore-based Intralytix, Inc. The viruses are known as bacteriophages, viruses that kill bacteria, or phages for short. Phages have been around a long time, living as parasites inside many bacteria.

Intralytix uses biotechnology to grow viral phages in a culture with Listeria, in theory teaching the viruses to recognize the bacteria. The FDA-approved cocktail contains six different viruses intended to attack one strain of bacteria.

This concoction is then sprayed on food. If Listeria is present in the food, the bacteria will ingest the viruses. This results in massive viral replication inside the bacteria, until such point as the bacteria simply bursts. This battle results in significant production of bacterial poisons called “endotoxins”, as the bacteria tries to defend itself. When the bacteria burst, these endotoxins are released. These, along with the victorious live viruses, will now be on the food that will be eaten.

The FDA and Intralytix would like us to believe that these viruses will only attack the specified bacteria they are intended to kill and will be harmless to humans. I’m sorry to burst their bubble, but they can’t possibly guarantee such safety. It is true that the viruses, at least at this time, cannot recognize human cells. However, the virus can potentially recognize normal bacterial cells in the human digestive tract and may be able to adapt to infect one or more of these friendly bacteria.

The FDA Certainly Knows There Are Risks

The FDA had some concerns about the amount of bacterial endotoxin in the Intralytix product before it is sprayed; however, FDA tests apparently showed that the product was adequately purified and so they declared it safe if used as approved. Will the FDA diligently monitor the quality of this product once it is on the market, or will it go the path of many FDA-approved drugs that the agency can’t keep track of?

There is certainly a risk that humans will be exposed to excessive amounts of endotoxin. This could come from the manufacturing of the viral cocktail, the interaction of the viruses with bacteria after being sprayed on food, and/or the interaction of the viruses with bacteria in the digestive tract.

The human immune system is highly reactive and sensitive to bacterial endotoxins. They provoke allergy, asthma, autoimmune problems, and elevate cholesterol. They also interfere with the healthy function of cells lining the digestive tract. Researchers have demonstrated that the presence of bacterial endotoxins can start cancer in the colon.

Additionally, the human immune system reacts directly to viral phages. Thus, a person who eats a lot of processed deli meat is certain to evoke an immune reaction to the viruses. What will this reaction be? Allergy? Asthma? Autoimmunity? Cancer? How can the FDA approve a food additive that it knows can induce a variety of human immune responses? Phages are so good at disrupting normal immunity that they are being considered for use as part of organ transplant medicine.

The ingestion of significant amounts of viral phages into the human digestive tract is a wild card full of unknown outcomes. For example, it is certainly possible that these phages, which constantly mutate in order to survive, are likely to find a way to infect bacteria they were not intended to infect. Since phages are parasites, they could hijack the friendly bacteria of the digestive tract and turn them into viral machines, constantly generating viral particles that are likely to confuse the human immune system, if not directly infect the body. We know from history that these viral phages can turn innocuous bacteria into a killer, which is how cholera occurs.

Furthermore, the Listeria bacteria are not going to take the issue lying down. They will develop resistance to the viruses over time, as we have seen with the overuse of antibiotics. Going down this path we are likely to have hundreds of viral food additives in the food we eat, all designed to combat some possible infection coming from poor quality food. Sooner or later we will inadvertently create deadly new super-strains of bacteria and/or parasitically infect the human digestive tract with an untreatable infection.

There is also the very real possibility of unintended viral recombination. What happens when a person with viral stomach flu eats food containing a dose of this viral food additive? It is certainly possible for the genetic material of the flu virus to interact with the genetic material of the viral phages, provoking an undesirable new viral infection.

Let’s not forget that the FDA won’t tell us which foods in the food supply contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). Seventy percent of the packaged food on grocery shelves already contains GMO adulterated food. These foods have viral promoter genes woven into the DNA of every cell, a technique used to implant a pesticide toxin into every cell of this fake food (see Fight for Your Health, chapter 15). What happens when the viral phages interact with the viral promoter genes in GMO food? What new virus will be encouraged to form?

Keep in mind that the FDA wants to conduct this experiment on our food supply to protect a small minority, only about 2500 people, who are made seriously ill by this infection each year. The ill are mostly pregnant women, elderly with compromised immunity, and small children. It would be a lot more to the point if the FDA would simply warn such people that eating these foods, due to their poor quality of production, may be dangerous. What the FDA should really do is improve the quality of our food supply, the true source of the problem. Why expose millions of Americans to an unproven ingestion of live viruses for the benefit of so few?

The FDA has failed miserably for the past century to protect the public from the adulteration of our food supply by vested interests. This is just one more insult added to a long list of injuries.

The Tip of an Iceberg

Intralytix has an agenda for the American food supply, as well as for healthcare in general. This recent FDA ruling allows Intralytix and other similar biotech companies to get their foot in a door that should be slammed shut and bolted closed.

The company is also seeking FDA approval for viral sprays to treat foods that could be contaminated with E. coli and Salmonella, which means that similar “trained” viruses could end up in a majority of the protein foods in our food supply.

Intralytix sees financial opportunity. They have already licensed their now FDA-approved viral spray to an undisclosed multi-national company for use around the world. When the CEO of Intralytix, John Vazzara, was recently asked about this partner company, he refused to disclose their name. The grand profit-driven biotech experiment on the health and well being of all Americans is now in full swing.

John Vazzara also owns stock in, as well as provided seed money to start, SteelCloud Inc. (formerly Dunn Computer Corporation). SteelCloud is a defense contractor with lucrative deals with the Department of Defense, recently landing a 3.4 million dollar contract with the Department of Homeland Security.

Congress should investigate the financial ties and backroom dealings that would allow this bizarre food additive approval by the FDA.

Of course, we will need new wonder drugs to combat the new bio-tech produced infections. Americans will stay sick and the sickness-driven bio-tech industry will flourish. The bio-tech industry will make people sick on the front end and treat them on the back end. It’s a win-win situation for profit on illness.

The FDA is Rapidly Becoming a Public Enemy

Experimenting with viruses being added to the food supply is incredibly dangerous and reckless. It is completely impossible for the FDA to guarantee safety in the near term or the long term. Thus, the FDA has made the bureaucratic decision that relative safety is acceptable to them. What right does the FDA have to tamper with the food supply in this manner?

It is quite clear that the Bush agenda has been to promote American biotech companies as the new future for American prosperity. Administrative opinions have trumped science in virtually every situation wherein safety conflicts with profit. The FDA acts to foster profits for biotech companies and the growth of the biotech industry. This is a betrayal of the public trust.

The leaders of the FDA are personally responsible and need to be held accountable. This means Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., temporary head of the FDA and his chief science officer, Scott Gottlieb, M.D. These men are not only obsessed with approving risky drugs for the benefits of Big Pharma, it is now clear that they are willing to allow obvious adulteration of the food supply. They seek to control what we eat, and they are tampering with survival of the human race.

The FDA does not truly know how safe viral phages are to consume on a regular basis. They have no idea of the cumulative effect over the course of a lifetime, especially as more of these viral cocktails are added to the food supply. They have no way to measure how this new type of adulteration in the food supply will interact with the poor digestive/immune health of half the American population, in combination with all the other serious adulterations already approved by the FDA. The FDA lacks due diligence in honoring its mandate to protect the American public.

Boycott Viral Tainted Foods, Support Your Sustainable Farmers

The only hope Americans have is to resurrect the quality of our food supply. Doing so is against the odds, as there are billions of dollars of profit-mongering taking our food supply in the wrong direction. One day Americans will realize that food security is as important to national security as any other topic. It is now crystal clear that we cannot count on the FDA to do the job that Harvey Wiley, M.D., envisioned one-hundred years ago.

Consumers standing in line to buy a luncheon meat sandwich will have no idea if they are ingesting live viruses as part of their meal. While the FDA will require the ingredient to be listed on packages as “bacteriophage preparation,” most consumers will have no idea that means they are ingesting live viruses. Foods bought at deli counters or prepared in restaurants will not need to warn consumers.

How can any responsible parent feed virus-tainted food to their children? The FDA should be forced to revoke this approval. Every American has an obligation to support food security for our nation. Congress must correct the leadership at the FDA and the FDA itself. Americans must quit buying poor quality toxic food. Your greatest ability to change this problem is based entirely on what you purchase.

Get connected to the sustainable family farms in your community. Buy meat that is range raised without antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones. Demand that the food you are eating is labeled with a country of origin. Buy American; buy locally-produced food whenever possible. Support those who truly believe in being the stewards of our land and food for our people and for future generations. These good people are being squashed out of existence by multi-national agribusiness, companies that could truly care less about the quality of our food supply or the security and health of Americans. How you spend your money is your most powerful vote. Vote for those who care.


Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, is a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist and nationally-renowned health expert, radio personality, educator, and author.

Richards encourages individuals to take charge of their health, stand up for their health rights, and not blindly succumb to propaganda from the vested-interests who profit from keeping Americans sick. Author of Mastering Leptin and Fight for Your Health, Richards is now joining forces with health freedom leaders in the U.S. and throughout the world. Visit his health blog for up to date happenings.


NOTE: Several links are imbedded in this article. To access them please go at

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By Byron J. Richards, CCN - The FDA is now poised to dramatically change the health and well being of all Americans. Unfortunately, they are headed in the wrong direction—straight over a cliff. The FDA is supposed to make sure drugs are safe and effective; they are mandated to protect the public. However, the top two positions at the FDA are now headed by Big Pharma representatives. The Bush-appointed new FDA leadership is intent on removing any brakes being applied to the drug approval process, quite happy to turn ill Americans into human guinea pigs.Piloting this sinking ship is Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., a Bush family friend. Since last October, he has been the temporary head of the FDA. We are now in the midst of his Senate confirmation process to be the permanent head of the FDA (a vote is expected mid September). Von Eschenbach is up to his eyeballs in Big Pharma and elite political connections, making his confirmation likely. Once the Plan B political hurdle is overcome, von Eschenbach plans to transform the FDA into a drug company. To avoid consumer confusion the FDA should change its name to something more fitting, like the Fast Drug Approval organization.Flanking von Eschenbach is the thirty-three-year-old Scott Gottlieb, M.D. Gottlieb has no experience in drug safety and little clinical experience as a physician. Rather, he is an expert at promoting biotech stocks on Wall Street. He has numerous financial connections with drug companies. Standing in the way of Wall Street profiteering is a small group of scientists hiding in a back room at the FDA. Not surprisingly, prior to joining the FDA Gottlieb spent considerable energy lambasting the agency for not approving drugs fast enough.Several years ago, as a member of the neo-con think tank known as the American Enterprise Institute, Gottlieb was invited into the FDA to rewrite its policy! Talk about a Trojan horse. Now that Gottlieb is second in command at the FDA, he has made it clear he doesn’t want the public to know when there are problems with drugs. While the FDA continues to aggressively harass safe and effective nutritional supplements, warning letters to drug companies have dramatically declined. The FDA agenda is favorable to Big Pharma and the sickness industry. It is harmful to the personal health and health options of Americans. Gottlieb represents energized youth willing to implement the von Eschenbach plan to strengthen the sickness industry monopoly for the next fifty years.At von Eschenbach’s recent Senate confirmation hearing he was quick to point out that Scott Gottlieb would be instrumental in implementing the new FDA plan, referring to him and a few other FDA executives as “my greatest asset in leading the FDA.” Frankly, that is an incredibly scary thought. CLIP

By Byron J. Richards, CCN - The United States government and especially the FDA have lost credibility in assisting you with your personal health. Instead, they have placed the vast resources of our federal government behind a twisted public health agenda that perpetuates the profits of the elite and the unspoken primary agenda of eugenics. The daily assault on American freedom is now like living in the twilight zone. Public health policy, under the guise of public benefit, is a primary tool of a despotic regime. It is a system designed to convince Americans to hand over their remaining freedoms, as a decayed government grapples to maintain control over its increasingly restless citizens. (...) Medical care today is rapidly losing touch with patient-centered care. The managed care of the past few decades is a form of cost containment that all but eliminated the doctor-patient relationship. Evidence-based medical training has been replaced with drug dispensing protocols based on numbers on paper and the behavior of cells in a test tube. This disconnected approach kills over 100,000 Americans per year and injures millions of others. This is not a problem when a nation’s healthcare policy is based on eugenics. It is completely fine if many thousands of the weakest are killed.The pubic health drug-dispensing machine is always on the lookout for new target markets. The FDA allows the elite profiteers to poison our children, incapacitate our elderly, and sell billions of dollars of toxic and near-useless drugs to aging baby boomers in the name of prevention (off label use). CLIP

Multiple links as well are embedded in these important articles above

US Cigarettes Have 10% More Nicotine Today Than Six Years Ago
All tobacco brands have been increasing the nicotine dosage in each cigarette steadily during the last six years, says a report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The overall increase has been about 10% during 1998-2004. The higher the nicotine dose, the more hooked you get - it is much more difficult to quit.



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Cascades' Reddened Forests Signal Threat to Humans

By Pat Rasmussen

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

25 August 2006

Signs that our local forests are stressed by global warming recently struck me while traveling over North Cascades passes in Washington state.

The forest is dying near the top on both east and west sides; trees are still partially green but turning red - old trees, young trees, the forest itself. Tents, and campers, in the Lone Fir Campground were surrounded by these dying trees.

The same reddening trees can be seen hiking through the Glacier Peak Wilderness on the trail to Spider Meadow in the Chiwawa River watershed of the Wenatchee National Forest. People are reporting that forests are dying near Mt. Rainier, on Chinook and White passes and down to central Oregon.

Huge expanses of forest in central British Columbia have died and turned red. A friend living in the Quesnel River watershed of central British Columbia said, "It's all red, and next come the fires."

Millions of acres of lodgepole pine have been pushed over the mortality threshold by global warming. There is no longer suitable habitat for the trees that have been growing there.

In northern Canada, forests are showing signs of heat stress. Tracking forest changes between 1982 and 2003 using satellite data, Scott Goetz, an ecologist at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, found that a wide swath of the northern forest was getting browner, not greener as he had expected. Goetz believes this is some of the first evidence that high latitude forests may be in decline following an initial growth spurt associated with warming.

A massive Alaska yellow cedar die-off on 500,000 acres of land in Southeast Alaska has been documented by the US Forest Service. Scientists investigating the dramatic decline in yellow cedar eliminated all other possible causes except climate change. Yellow cedars live in the higher latitudes and altitudes of the coastal temperate rainforest from Alaska to the Olympic Peninsula. The trees that are dying have been living there for up to 1,000 years, in a climate conducive to life.

Forests have an upper heating limit that they can tolerate. When heating goes beyond that limit, trees and other plants go into a rest state, a kind of hibernation, where they rest until conditions might improve. In that state they do not convert carbon to oxygen. Further stressed, they die.

Forests created and maintain the planetary atmosphere. They are having a difficult time maintaining the conditions for life as it is known because humans have removed so many of them.

Now, as massive amounts of forest are dying and no longer convert carbon to oxygen, the conditions necessary for our life here are being lost. Which other forests are at or nearing that stress point from global warming?

As I look around, I see humans continuing life as usual, seemingly unaware that the planetary forests that make life possible are more and more stressed, pushed toward death, by our actions.

We stand at the edge of a catastrophic precipice, where life as we know it may no longer be possible.

We don't have to go further down this path of self destruction. We have alternatives. We just need to choose them.

Pat Rasmussen is coordinator of World Temperate Rainforest Network in Peshastin; and



Rockies' Forests Fall to a Tiny Foe

By Stephanie Simon

The Los Angeles Times

27 August 2006

Beetles are killing tens of millions of trees, and there's no stopping them.

Vail, Colorado - For 35 years, Peter Runyon has been photographing the stunning landscapes of this Rocky Mountain resort. His postcards capture winter's showy white and summer's serene green, flecked with wildflowers in yellow, purple and red.

This summer, two new colors streaked the familiar peaks: the orange of dying trees and the ghostly gray of dead ones.

An unprecedented infestation of tiny flying beetles has put the great forests of the Mountain West under siege. Tens of millions of Colorado's mature pine trees will die within the next few years. Millions more are falling in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, and into Canada. Federal and state forest managers have conceded defeat: There is no way to stop the hungry swarm.

Slope after slope will turn the rusty-orange hue of a cheap hair dye. Then the needles will fall from the towering lodgepole pines in Idaho and Colorado and from the ancient white-bark pines in Montana and Wyoming. The trees may stand, skeletal, for a year or two, but eventually they will topple. Millions of acres in treasured national lands, including vast swaths of wilderness in and around Yellowstone National Park, will be affected.

"You're going to see a lot of gray sticks out there," said Cary Green, a timber manager with the US Forest Service.

The deaths of so many millions of trees will create an enormous fire risk across the West. Wildlife habitats will shift, as deer, elk and bear may find it hard to survive on the barren mountains (though rabbits, raccoons and other small animals will thrive). As the dead trees crash down, hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails will likely become impassable.

Homeowners are already noticing a less serious consequence of the beetles' march: Their once-secluded retreats in the woods are no longer shielded by curtains of green.

"We're starting to see little patches where you're able to see your neighbors like you never could before," said Chuck Swanson, the town engineer for the wealthy ski retreat of Winter Park, Colo. "As one guy I know put it, now you have to close your drapes."

The dark-brown mountain pine beetle, about the size of a grain of rice, is a natural part of the alpine forest ecosystem. They tend to make their mark in cycles; every 20 years or so, the beetle population will surge and large numbers of trees will fall.

But this current cycle has broken all the rules.

The beetle population has exploded way beyond expectations in the last few years. Instead of sticking to their traditional favorites - big, old trees at medium elevations - the pests are flying as high as 10,500 feet and burrowing into trees as small as 5 inches in diameter.

California lost more than 400,000 acres of trees to the beetle in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains earlier this decade, but the epidemic seems to be slowing there now. Not so in the interior West.

In the White River National Forest in central Colorado, as many as 90% of the pines across 2.2 million acres are expected to die. In Yellowstone in Wyoming, white-bark pines 700 years old are succumbing.

"Nothing like this has occurred in the last 350 years," said Wayne Shepperd, a researcher with the Forest Service. "Whole landscapes are going to be affected. They already have been."

One culprit may be climate change. The beetle population is best kept in check by cold weather, especially a sharp cold snap in early fall or late spring. But federal research entomologist Barbara Bentz says temperatures in alpine forests have been rising since the 1980s - not sharply, but enough to let the beetle thrive.

The prolonged Western drought has made matters worse by stressing the trees, leaving them more vulnerable to infestation.

Perhaps the biggest factor is the age of the mountain forests. In central Colorado, for instance, decades of fire suppression and logging restrictions have left many slopes densely packed with lodgepole pines 100 to 120 years old. Such trees, which can reach about 70 feet, are the beetles' favorite habitat.

The destruction begins in mid-July, when female beetles pick a pine tree and bore in, leaving behind a tell-tale plug of sap that resembles a wad of bubblegum. Once they've reached the layer of tissue just inside the bark, they release a scent that attracts other beetles. Eggs are deposited inside the tree, and a week or two later, thousands of larvae emerge and begin mining through the pine, cutting the veins that carry water and nutrients to the branches.

Within a month, the tree is dead, though its needles may remain green for up to a year.

Individual trees can often be saved by a chemical spray. But the treatment costs $10 to $15 per tree and must be applied around the entire trunk, from the ground to a height of 40 feet or more. So it's impractical to use on a large scale.

Instead, the Forest Service, local governments and neighborhood associations have focused on removing dying trees.

After years of fighting wilderness logging, policymakers in many areas find themselves wooing timber companies in a bid to reduce fire risk and make way for new growth.

"You've got to accept it," said John Taylor, a longtime resident of Summit County in central Colorado. "There's not much more we can do."

Although the mountain pine beetle has drawn the most attention, other plagues have also been on the march through Western forests.

Different beetles have killed 90% of the piñon pines in southwest Colorado and have infected hundreds of thousands of acres of fir forests in Montana. A disease called white pine blister rust is ravaging forests as far south as New Mexico and could threaten some of the oldest trees on the continent, in California and Nevada.

And scientists are baffled by the mysterious deaths of aspen stands across the West.

The slender, shimmering tree has disappeared from as many as 30,000 acres in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado, and aerial surveys show similar die-offs across the region.

Such trauma can be healthy in the long run, permitting more diverse ecosystems to evolve. That doesn't make them any easier to watch.

"From an intellectual standpoint, I can say it's a natural phenomenon," said Mike Harvey, a Colorado state forester. "From a personal standpoint? I do feel sad."

When tourists take a ski lift to the top of Vail Mountain these days, their views are blotched with ragged patches of orange. Many don't realize they are looking at dying trees; they ooh and aah at the vibrant color.

Within a few years, though, the decay will be unmistakable. The hillsides will not be scoured bare; grass will spring up, and wildflowers and saplings.

But the forests that make the postcard-perfect views will be gone.

State officials say they're confident the graying landscape will not deter the 2 million visitors who come each year to bike, hike and camp in Colorado.

As for Runyon, the photographer, he'll do his best to keep the tourists coming.

"Nature renews," he said, "and that's eminently photographable."


See also:

Clearcutting Continues


Recommended by "Julie Weston"> on August 30, 2006


ISIS Press Release 20/07/06

Oceans in Distress

Pollution, destructive overfishing and increasing commercial exploitation are threatening the planet’s cradle of life, warns the UN. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Overfishing and pollution

Pollution and overfishing are damaging the oceans, especially the deep oceans, the United Nations warns in a new report [1-3]. Time is running out to save them, and urgent legislation is required to halt this wanton destruction of the planet’s “cradle of life”.

More than 90 percent of the earth’s living biomass (weight of living matter) is found in the oceans, and 90 percent of that is made up of single cell and microbial species. With 90 percent of the oceans yet to be explored, the scale of devastation already happening has become all too obvious

In 2005, 84.5 million tonnes of fish were taken from the world’s oceans, 100 million sharks and related species were butchered for their fins, 250 000 turtles got tangled up in fishing gear and 300 000 seabirds including 100 000 albatrosses were killed by illegal long-line fishing. Nineteen out of 21 albatross species are now threatened with extinction.

During the same period, 6.4 million tonnes of litter was thrown into the oceans, and 38 000 pieces of discarded plastic float on every square kilometre. There are up to 6 kg of marine litter to every kg of plankton.

Just one percent of the world’s 3.5 million fishing boats are large industrial vessels, but they trawl 60 percent of all the fish caught on the planet. Industrial fishing has depleted the world’s stock of tuna, cod, swordfish and marlin by as much as 90 percent in the last century.

Adding to the strain on the ocean’s fish stocks, the UN estimated that nearly $10 billion worth of fish are caught illegally each year, up to 30 percent taken from unregulated waters.

The water temperature has risen while its alkalinity fell from soaking up extra carbon dioxide. The coral reefs off Australia and Belize are dying, and newly discovered cold-coral reefs in the Atlantic have already been destroyed by bottom-trawling fishnets.

The UN report covers a wide-range of human activities damaging the oceans including naval sonic radar exercises that kill whales in droves.

Kristina Gjerde, high seas policy adviser of the International Conservation Union’s global marine programme, who wrote the report, said, “Once limited largely to shipping and open ocean fishing, commercial activities at sea are expanding rapidly and plunging ever deeper.”

Deep-sea fishing has more than doubled from five percent of total world catches in 1992 to almost 11 percent in 2002. Deep-water species tend to grow slowly and to have long life cycles; and when over-exploited or destroyed by commercial activities, they take a long time to recover if at all. The deep-sea fish orange roughy matures at around 32 years. A specimen found was approximately 240 years old. Deep-sea fisheries typically peak in less than 5 years and collapse within 15 years. The unregulated orange roughy fishery in the Southwest Indian Ocean collapsed in less than 4 years.

Other commercial exploitation expanding

Other commercial exploitations of the deep oceans are also expanding. Twenty to 30 percent of the oil used in the United States comes from the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf, but 50 percent of leased acreage in the Gulf of Mexico is in deep water. A first exploratory well has been drilled in water over 3 000 m deep. Seven of the top 20 oil fields in the US are now located in federal deep-water areas.

What the report hasn’t said is that as global warming thaws the polar ice caps, oil giants are looking to prospect for oil and gas under the Arctic Ocean [4] (How to be fuel and food rich under climate change).

As there is no international agreement over the area, it is a free for all. Territorial disputes have been growing between the eight countries with a claim to the Artic: Russia, USA, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Greenland and Iceland.

A string of new exploitations of the deep oceans is in train, from deep seabed mining, bio-prospecting for microbes with commercial interests, carbon storage by injecting carbon dioxide into deep seawater or under the seabed, and siphoning deep ocean waters up for air-conditioning, aquaculture, etc. (The blue revolution: air conditioning and energy from deep waters of lakes and oceans, this issue). All threaten the fragile, biodiverse deep-sea communities to different degrees. At least half of the species there remain to be identified, many unique to each of the deep trenches or underwater mounts, not to mention the hydrothermal vents at 450 C harbouring some of the fastest growing and extremely rare species on earth that thrive on chemical energy rather than depend on photosynthesis for their food.

Climate change makes conservation efforts all the more important, as 60 percent of the marine world lies beyond the limits of national jurisdiction and is vulnerable to commercial exploitation. Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN’s environment programme called on governments to develop guidelines, rules and actions that are urgently needed to protect the rich biodiversity of our oceans.

Pollution, overfishing and commercial exploitation are not the only threats our oceans face. There are signs that marine life is failing right at the bottom of the food web as the result of global warming, which could set in train a series of aggravating feedback effects on climate change (Oceans and global warming, Oceans carbon sink or source? this series).

We must save our oceans now to save our planet:


From: "loni">
Subject: Actual Bumper stickers on US cars
Date: 28 Aug 2006
















1999 - $19 BARREL
2006 - $70 BARREL



From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Movie: Into Great Silence
Date: 29 Aug 2006



By Carol Ann Raphael

WIE Issue 33 June-August 2006

There's a buzz in Germany about a movie in which there are barely two minutes of dialogue, no interviews, no voice-overs, no archival footage, and no sound track. In other words, a silent movie. Or, more accurately, a movie about silence.

For nearly three hours, Into Great Silence, directed by Philip Groening, tracks the lives of resident monks in one of the most ascetic monasteries in Roman Catholicism, the Grande Chartreuse. The mother house of the strict Carthusian Order, it was founded nearly one thousand years ago in the French Alps between Grenoble and Chambéry, and little has changed since then. The monks carry out their days in almost complete isolation and silence, each inhabiting a two-story cell where he works, prays, eats alone, and sleeps on a straw bed. The monks leave their cells only three times every twenty-four hours to journey down the corridor to the chapel.

This makes for a film of startling simplicity and unusual concentration. The tolling of the bells announces each activity during the tightly structured day: 8:00pm bedtime, 11:30pm rise for prayer, 12:15am lauds and matins in the chapel for two to three hours, 6:30am rise, 7:00am prayer, and so on throughout the day. A single meal is delivered at midday. There is never a full night of sleep. There is no free time. And there is no fear, according to the filmmaker who shared the monks' rigorous life over a period of six months to make his documentary of this world set apart.

Into Great Silence has become a cult phenomenon in Groening's native Germany, filling theaters and climbing the box office charts since its premiere in November 2005 to reach the rank of fifteen in movie attendance. That's a remarkable achievement for a film in which virtually nothing happens. It was awarded the World Cinema Special Jury Prize in the documentary category at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and distributors are quickly acquiring the rights to show it in other European countries and in North America.

What's attracting these audiences? Unlikely that it's nostalgia for the early days of silent film. Nor does the memory of Andy Warhol's deathly boring eight hours of the Empire State Building seen from a single point of view seem likely to ignite enthusiasm in today's sophisticated cinema buffs. Could it be something akin to a recent trend to convert monasteries into chic hotels that has been sweeping through Italy, or the popularity of staying at convents instead of equally pricey hotels? That too is doubtful, since the preference for cloistered accommodations probably reveals more about the skill and ingenuity of marketers than it does about any real desire on travelers' part to experience a medieval way of life.

Groening explains that he originally wanted to make a movie about the present moment, about that single moment of time that is always now. Only later did he realize that he could do this by documenting life in a monastery, a place where one's relationship to time is completely altered. As he put it, "What is time for someone who knows that he will never leave this building, this cell?" After waiting sixteen years to be granted permission to enter the remote world of the Grande Chartreuse, he moved into one of the cells, participated in all aspects of monastic life, and shot his film in the two to three hours allotted each day for labor. He worked entirely on his own, with no artificial lights, no crew, nothing superfluous.

Reviewers are praising the film's poetic vision, magnificent austerity, visual splendor, and what one critic referred to as nearly "tactile" sound. When all one hears is the occasional rustling of cloth or opening of a door, the quality of sound is essential to revealing the pervasive silence in which the monks conduct their lives. Some have commented that the film becomes a literal extension of the monastery and that the theater itself embodies monastic space. It's this sense of hermetic time, of the eternal, that Into Great Silence seems to be offering moviegoers -- a view into a world where the present moment is all there is.

The recognition that solitude may have a beneficial, even vital function in our busy contemporary lives is beginning to surface in other places as well. A recent internet buzz was created when a University of California neurobiologist named Leo Chalupa proposed a national day of absolute solitude. Chalupa believes an entire day spent without verbal exchange of any kind with another person would be the best antidote for our overtaxed, overstuffed brains and the ideal way to attain optimal brain performance.

A researcher at the University of British Columbia has come to similar conclusions. Psychologist Peter Suedfeld found that people are chronically stimulated, both socially and physically and that we are probably operating at a stimulation level higher than that for which our species evolved. His remedy? More time alone. And what to do during all this time alone? Two French scientists have a suggestion: listen to the silence. In their recent experiments with eleven people who did just that, who listened to the sound of silence, they discovered that such attentive listening can actually help the brain to focus.

The silence of the Carthusian monk clearly is of a different order and gravity altogether. The Carthusian monk listens for God, and silence is the condition in which this can occur; it's not the goal. But as the growing numbers of people wanting to see Into Great Silence attest to, there are rewards for taking the time to pay attention, to see and hear things precisely -- whether it's a few hours of mental freedom at the cinema, improved brain performance, or finding God.

There couldn't be a better reason to go to the movies. 


From: "Kathleen Roberts">
Subject: Ain't it the truth
Date: 27 Aug 2006

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. "Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. "Now it's time to visit heaven." So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning...
... Today you voted." 



Recommended by Katie>



“Cheated!” draws from video and photographs to illustrate the story of the courageous citizens of Columbus, Ohio, who investigated and litigated against the massive voter suppression and fraud they experienced on Election Day, November 2, 2004.

Because these hardy patriots refused to concede, they ignited a Voting Rights movement that spread like wildfire across the grassroots of America.

We begin on Election Day, November 2nd, in urban Columbus. Rain pours on unbelievably long lines of citizens at the polls determined to vote for change. There’s mass confusion as voters discover they’ve been struck from the poll books. Machines are malfunctioning; some are hopping from Kerry to Bush. Frustrated voters are forced to leave for work and family, their votes uncast. Precinct judges beg for more voting machines, but find that Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matt Damshroder and Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell are unreachable - tied up in meetings with George Bush and Karl Rove.

Election Protection attorney Bob Fitrakis, Reverend Bill Moss with his wife Ruth, filmmaker Linda and college student Marlon witness the chaos. Something is terribly wrong. Here is where the White House will be won for John Kerry or George Bush. . . but the people aren’t getting to vote.

That night, the exit polls indicate a Kerry victory, but against all statistical odds, Bush wins. Kerry concedes. Bob and Reverend Bill organize public hearings in Columbus. Crowds of devastated citizens come forth to give sworn testimony. The alternative media are there to spread the word across America: democracy was denied in Ohio.

The money needed for a recount is quickly raised in a few days by passionate citizens from all over the country. A small grassroots army descends on Ohio, and fights against the clock to get a recount underway. SOS Blackwell obstructs their efforts at every opportunity. Reverend Bill and Ruth are front and center in a lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and Blackwell.

On the day that Representative Conyers brings his investigative team from Washington DC to Columbus to hear hair-raising testimony from experts and citizens, Blackwell certifies the Ohio electors.

Reverend Bill and Ruth get up on the bus with other Ohio citizens and ride to Washington D.C. Alongside Bob, Linda, and Marlon they tell their story to the assembled media, walk the halls of the Senate and speak to the Senators. They need at least one Senator to stand with Representative Tubbs and oppose the Ohio electors, or all is lost.

Senator Boxer will contest the Ohio electors. For the first time in over 125 years there will be a congressional debate on the validity of a Presidential election.

What happens next is up to the rest of us: to take this inspiring, cautionary tale to heart and take action.

“Anyone wondering where America’s next electoral meltdown will take place – and it can only be a matter of time - might do well to turn back to the scene of the last one.”

- Andrew Gumbel, The Nation
Go at to see an exclusive online premiere of Cheated!


"Some call me Gaia. Others call me Mother Earth. I am the Spirit of Life on Earth. For billions of years now I have dwelt upon this magnificent planet. You can see me all around you and feel me within you. Without me nothing would exist. I manifest myself everywhere in this mighty Universe and without me nothing would be. I am the light pouring from the stars. I am the water bearing myriads of Life forms. I am the air protecting an infinite number of planets from the cold of outer space. I am the earth nurturing innumerable manifestations of My creativity. I am the fire of Life within you as well as in everything else. I call upon you to listen to me as I speak to you in the innermost secret part of you.

There is a Universal Plan and we are part of this Plan. The Universe is slowly becoming aware of Itself. We are slowly becoming aware that we are the Universe. WE, is all the living beings, on every plane of existence, everywhere, every time. The Illusion is to think, talk and act as if we are apart from the whole Universe. We are not apart. We are a part, a holographic part, a microcosm reflecting and encompassing the macrocosm. Not only are we interconnected, but we are simultaneously the whole Universe. When we think something, the Universe is thinking something. When we say something, the Universe is saying something. When we do something, we know that the Universe is doing it. Not through us, but Itself, directly. What is implied by this is simply phenomenal!... Gaia is the name given to Mother Earth and expresses the same Reality. We are Gaia as everything else: the rock, the leaf, the fly, the bird and the child. We are all this at the same time, simultaneously. And Gaia is a cell of Galactica, our Cosmic Mother, the swirling haze of stars spinning around itself as a true living Being. And Galactica is also a cell of the infinite Universe: Universalia... And the Plan, evolving through countless eons of time, patiently brings awareness of the Unity of all that is to all that IS."

- Amanumenoum -- Taken from


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