LOVE AND PEACE WILL PREVAIL ON EARTH!


August 22, 2008

The Empire of Darkness Series #38: Tottering on the Edge of Apocalypse (encore!)

Hello everysoul!

Another important one with many articles and issues you won't find in the mainstream media of disinformation... As usual, you'll discover several comments from me in context below...

Should any of this stir you to want to share your feedbacks, suggestions, ideas with all other 3260+ subscribers, by all means send them to me for the next one ;-)

Things are heating up... This is no time to remain aloof - although it is always important to remember to view from the higher soul perspective all that is happening and to derive useful lessons from what our global family is experiencing at this apocalyptic - in the sense of "revelation" - pivotal time in our history...

You chose to be here at this time... Remember?...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com

P.S. Your feedback is as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer it is 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.

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SPECIAL ATTENTION RECOMMENDED TO ITEM #10 TO #15 IN THIS COMPILATION

"Bless you, sailors, may the might and mane of the wind be at your back. David Halpin's "Sailing To Gaza" is a triumph of courage over shame. These small boats go against the Israeli Occupations navy, but go with no guns, nor guile, but with love, which conquers all. (...) Israel has a chance to be brave as well and bring their best behavior out to welcome their Jewish brothers and sisters to the seas and make way for love to be found in Israel's children, unconditional love,which bares gifts to these little ones, their parents and the nation of Israel."

"Bless those good, brave souls sailing on the Free Gaza and the Liberty...
Bless the seas and the fair winds...
Bless the dolphins...
Bless the Palestinians and their endurance...
Bless those Israelis and the Jewish people around the world who work to end the occupation...
Bless David for the article- I was worried that even the alternative media was neglecting this noble action...
and bless "Anonymous"- may his hate-mongering be transformed into compassion and humanity..."

"God bless these wonderful and brave people willing to put their bodies on the line for TRUTH and LOVE. Why aren't the left gatekeeper sites reporting on this. Even Liberty Forum is ignoring this historic and brave act which may, I pray, save the Palestinian people from genocide."

Just some of the numerous comments posted at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20563.htm

GO TO: http://www.freegaza.org to make a desperately needed contribution and read the detailed coverage of this courageous, collective act of peace-making assistance to our long-suffering Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Check also item #10 below if you'd like to send your prayers and healing energy to the thousands of people being tortured during incarceration this Friday afternoon - In North America.



THE QUOTES

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark."

- Rabindranath Tagore


"The Nuremberg Principles says that we in the military have not only the right, but also the DUTY to refuse an illegal order. It was on this basis that we executed Nazi officers who were 'only carrying out their orders'... The Constitution which we are sworn to uphold says that treaties entered into by the United States are the 'highest law of the land,' equivalent to the Constitution itself. Accordingly, we in the military are sworn to uphold treaty law, including the United Nations charter and the Geneva Convention... Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order. I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal." (...) "We in the U.S. military would never consider a military coup, removing an elected president and installing one of our own. But following our oath of office, obeying the Nuremberg Principles, and preventing a rogue president from committing a war crime is not a military coup. If it requires the detention of executive branch officials, we will not impose a military dictatorship. We will let the Constitutional succession take place. This is what we are sworn to. This is protecting the Constitution, our highest obligation. In 2007, this is what is meant by "Duty, Honor, Country."

- Robert M. Bowman, PhD, Lt. Col., USAF, ret. -- Taken from Col Bob Bowman's Open LetterTo US Military Officers - Related to this, it is also highly recommended you read "U.s. Military To Bush: We Will Not Allow A War at http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=222828 - THIS IS EXPLOSIVE, HOT STUFF - if true! which has quite revealing background info on the conflict in Georgia: "PUTIN DESTROYING THE BUSH-CLINTON CRIME RING'S 'DUBAI OPS' IN GEORGIA" (...) WHAT LIES BEHIND THE DESTRUCTION OF POTI - Interests from the United Arab Emirates 'own' 51% of the shares in the Georgian port of Poti, which they purchased for $80 million. A further $200 million had been pledged by UAE interests, according to The Wall Street Journal of today's date, towards the creation of 'a new Dubai on the Black Sea'. TRANSLATION:* Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the two main locations where the Bush-Cheney-Clinton 'Box Gangsters' and their associates have STASHED THE STOLEN TRILLIONS. Why do you suppose that these odd places have sprouted in the desert out of almost nothing in the space of three decades? As also previously reported, the satanic Bush plan to attack Iran has been destabilised by the fact that Iran is a nuclear power. It possesses 12 plutonium warheads according to British intelligence sources special to this service. CLIP


"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead trying to kill me. They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are only doing their duty, as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well-placed bomb, he will never sleep any worse for it. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil."

- George Orwell London. UK. 1941


"I'm finally almost back up and running from the blanking new virus / worm / trojan they managed to roll all into one with my brand new 762.00 computer. I just need to run some software down....beware of the virus ! my techie says he's been doing triple time the last 10 days and since it attaches to your hard drive the only fix is the new hard drive.if you start getting pop ups from the 'spy master' you're already had....please, please do not email me or anyone else ! do not pay spymaster for the fix as it does not work."

- Linda - Note from Jean: Being a Mac fan since the very first hour, it still befuddles me that so many people continue to put up with the inept, virus-attack prone world of Windows-run PCs when the most simple solution stares them in the face. Mac owners don't even need to have any anti-virus software because no virus ever attacks our machines with the latest 0S X operating system. Find out more on this issue through Does The Mac Need AntiVirus?



CONTENTS

1. The New York Times: Making Nuclear Extermination Respectable
2. Are You Ready For Nuclear War?
3. What Has Really Been Occurring In The Russian-Georgian Conflict
4. Winners and losers after Georgia conflict
5. Georgia - humiliating defeat for USA & Israel!
6. The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili
7. Putin's Winning Hand: Once the Atlantic Alliance is shattered, America's lifeline to the world is kaput
8. Honouring the 'unbreakable promise'
9. IT'S TIME!
10. Send your prayers and healing energy to the thousands of people being tortured during incarceration
11. Israeli Government Recognizes “Humanitarian” Mission to Break the Siege of Gaza
12. Free the fetters of mankind, create newer worlds for ourselves
13. Checkpoint and Palestinian youth
14. The Jewish settler pogrom against Palestinians must be stopped now
15. Gaza's Underground Business Booming
16. Excerpts from Revelation: Karma and The Fall



WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION

Barton Le Clay, Barton Springs, Bedfordshire, Reported 14th August - Two absolutely STUNNING glyphs!!
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/barton/barton2008a.html
Pentagram or The Pentagon?

Oliver’s Castle near Devizes, Wiltshire. Reported 16th August
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/oliverscastle/oliverscastle2008a.html

THE HAND OF GOD?
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/Etchilhampton/Etchilhampton2008a.html
Could this be sign of hope from above in these troubled times? This huge Celtic cross appeared in a field on Etchilhampton Hill in Wiltshire. The size is over eight tram lines in width and about twice as long in length. Within the cross is spiral imagery which takes us back to ancient times. Very impressive indeed.

democratic sunlight (Added: 19 August 2008) By Long-time ERN subscriber and Earth Awakener!
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ap3qmSVyBbA
Singer-activist Consuelo Luz's music video uplifts with a powerful, fun message of hope, sustainability and community empowerment. Check also Consuelo's new website-in-progress http://www.democraticsunlight.com for sharing sunny democratic (with a small d) news....

Tallest Skyscraper in the World Almost Completed, Defies Belief
http://gizmodo.com/5038788/tallest-skyscraper-in-the-world-almost-completed-defies-belief
The Burj Dubai tower, the tallest skyscraper in the world, is about to be completed. To celebrate it, David Hobcote has taken a series of amazing high resolution pictures from the air which give an exact impression of the breathtaking, massive scale of this building.

DEADLINE LIVE - Lots of Red Pill info
http://jackblood.netfirms.com/home/headline.html

If Americans Knew AIPAC ADL Zionist control of America (5 min 37 sec) A MUST WATCH!
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FLSdd166Cqg
U.S. foreign policy is dominated by Israel's interests, entirely to America’s detriment. A few informed commentators proffer their insights into a situation that the average American is largely unaware of.

If Americans Knew - What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine - MUST EXPLORE!
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation. It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power – and duty – to bring a resolution.

The Secret Rulers of the World - Present/Past [part 1 of 29] (11 min)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gAcxGD6-c-E
The source of most if not all our woes, revealed (from the present to the past): Connecting the dots through ~3000 years of revisionist human history, spanning from the time of the pharaohs, all the way up to the present dynasties creating the New World Order, in a quest to perfect the enslavement of mankind. From pirates to banksters, to the ruling elite, who run the world's finances, the media and cover both side of nearly every conflict or war: the world may make more sense after watching this.About the Producer: As a child, she had many arguments between her parents over her father's ring, inscribed with "G", a compass and square. At a later age, years of intensive research led her to the identity , history and plans of a power "so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocking, so complete, so pervasive" that even the known 'leaders' of the world are careful not to speak in "condemnation" of it. CLICK on the "more info" link on the right to access all the other 28 parts of this movie covering the following topics: The Secret Rulers of the World - That Morning of September - Only the Start - Profiting from 9/11 - Hidden Empire - Vatican Hoarding - Amen & the Pharaoh - Abraham, a Pharaoh? - Oceans of Blood - The Queen - King of Kings - The Empire - The Cult of Amen - The Committee of 300 / Illuminati - Godfathers / Rothschilds - The New World Order - Freemasonry / M.A.F.I.A - Cheating at Monopoly: control the money - Private Credit Enslavement - The Bushes & their Nazi Buddies - Palestine / Israel - Butcher Banksters - The Corporate Media - Royalty's Drug Running Kingpins - The so-called "War on Terror" - "Iraqi Dates" - The Antichrist? - The Slave Credit System - Silly Slaves: Tax Goes to Banksters - and make sure to watch the last PART (3 min 55 sec) The Power is Yours to End the Nightmare http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjg9Ew6vs-I

Wild dolphins tail-walk on water (19 August 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7570097.stm
A wild dolphin is apparently teaching other members of her group to walk on their tails, a behaviour usually seen only after training in captivity.

Criminalizing natural healing (40 min video)
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/191.html
They made cannabis, an important industrial and food plant, illegal. Now they are on the verge of making ALL plants illegal and /or under corporate control. Codex Alimentarius - an oppressive set of law designed to control the world food supply - was cooked up by an ex-Nazi in 1962. We're on track for it to become the law of the land, here in the US, in 2009. (According to this video, UP to 3 billion people may die worldwide from hunger and malnutrition because of the suppression of natural vitamins supplements beginning in 2009). Details (probably propaganda) through UNDERSTANDING THE CODEX ALIMENTARIUS and Codex Crash Course (the real deal) through http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/ and Sign the Citizen’s Petition at http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?page_id=184

Cliff Richard - It's In Everyone of Us 13 April 2008 from Live in the Park
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=hN7xa8ki9sQ

Cosmic Lighthouse
http://www.cosmiclighthouse.com/
This free online metaphysics magazine published from Singapore since August 2007 "explores spirituality, metaphysics and the new age movement." A cornucopia of spiritual information to discover! Worth recommending to others.

Tibetan Solidarity Committee to hold worldwide Mass Prayers, Fasts on 30 August
http://tibet.net/en/prelease/2008/140808.html
Detail programme of 12-hour long Fasting and Prayer Service to be observed by Tibetans, Tibet supporters and by the peace loving people of the world on 30th August 2008 or Last day of the 6th Month in Tibetan Calendar. More details through http://www.tibet.net/ and http://www.stoptibetcrisis.org/

You're invited to join the global "Peace Intention Experiment" on September 14, 2008.
http://www.theintentionexperiment.com/peace/
The effect of our conscious intentions for a peaceful planet will be scientifically measured by famed Princeton scientists and other researchers. Please tell your networks! This is very cool and promises to be very powerful with hundreds of thousands of participants.

The Orion Project
http://www.theorionproject.org/en/vision.html
The Orion Project is a non-profit foundation created to transform the current energy, environmental and social crisis into a world of sustainability and Enlightened Abundance.Technological progress in the areas of advanced physics and electromagnetic systems, if appropriately supported, will enable humanity to live on the Earth with a minimal footprint with genuine long-term sustainability.For over 100 years, these advanced concepts in energy generation have either been ignored or actively suppressed due to the power of fossil-fuel based economic and industrial interests.Imagine a world where every home and village has its own clean source of electrical energy, free from the cost of fossil fuels, nuclear power or a centralized electric grid.Imagine every means of transportation running off of clean power plants, using no source of fuel and creating no pollution.Imagine the developing world blossoming with these new technologies and the equatorial rain forests protected from slash and burn subsistence farming and logging.Imagine all inter-city transportation above the ground and the millions of acres paved over with highways freed for productive agriculture and recreation.Imagine all manufacturing being clean-fuel sourced, using no-cost or low-cost energy.Imagine the possibility of 100% recycling because the energy cost of transporting recycled materials, processing them and scrubbing pollution out of the air and water approaches zero. CLIP

Democrats! Wake Up!
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/promos/dems_wakeup.jpg

Join our Crusade
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/promos/crusade_1.jpg

Attack Now
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/promos/attack_1.jpg

Military-Industrial complex?
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/promos/MILITARY_INDUSTRIAL.jpg

Bill of Rights
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/promos/firstamendment.jpg

Surrender our freedoms for security?
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/promos/never.jpg

Americans Suffer
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/promos/suffer_1.png

Many more through http://www.oldamericancentury.org/image_gallery/image_gallery.htm

The Power of Conformity (2 minute video - most interesting!)
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/403.html
Candid Camera was a popular television program in the US in the 1960s. The program used the classic methodology of naturalistic experiments in social psychology as the source of its humorous scenarios. The resulting programs were not only entertaining, but also potentially instructive. For example, how independent is the average person when confronted with the all-powerful "consensus of the group?" Not very. CLIP Make sure to read the rest and to click on the short experiment link at the bottom!

As federal agency declares 'new phenomenon' downed WTC 7, activists cry foul (August 21, 2008)
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/BREAKING_NIST_%3CI%3Efinally%3CI%3E_poses_theory_on_0821.html
According to a federal agency report released Thursday, a "new phenomenon" known as thermal expansion was directly responsible for the mysterious collapse of World Trade Center 7 on Sept. 11, 2001. This study, posed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology -- a federal scientific agency which promotes technical industrial standards -- marks the first 'official' government theory on the collapse. The building's demise occurred some seven hours after the twin towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, and has been the source of numerous conspiracy theories key to the "9/11 Truth" movement, most of which argue that the symmetrical, seven-second collapse was brought about by a controlled demolition. Dr. Shyam Sunder, director of Institute's building and fire research laboratory, oversaw the government's three-year research efforts. The report aims to disprove the controlled demolition argument. However, Richard Gage, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth and a member of the American Institute of Architects, doesn't believe a word of the theory. His group, which has swelled to over 400 architectural and engineering professionals, immediately responded to the Institute's claim in a press conference. "Tons of [molten metal] was found 21 days after the attack," said Gage in an interview with a Vancouver, Canada television station. "Steel doesn't begin to melt until 2,700 degrees, which is much hotter than what these fires could have caused." "There are holes in this story that you can drive a truck through," Gage added during the press conference. His group asserts that thermite, a steel cutting agent, was used to bring the building down. CLIP



ALSO RECOMMENDED

Jim Rogers Predicts Bigger Financial Shocks Loom, Fueling a Malaise That May Last for Years (August 19, 08)
http://www.moneymorning.com/2008/08/19/jim-rogers/
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The U.S. financial crisis has cut so deep – and the government has taken on so much debt in misguided attempts to bail out such companies as Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) – that even larger financial shocks are still to come, global investing guru Jim Rogers said in an exclusive interview with Money Morning.Indeed, the U.S. financial debacle is now so ingrained – and a so-called “Super Crash” so likely – that most Americans alive today won’t be around by the time the last of this credit-market mess is finally cleared away – if it ever is, Rogers said. The end of this crisis “is a long way away,” Rogers said. “In fact, it may not be in our lifetimes.”During a 40-minute interview during a wealth-management conference in this West Coast Canadian city last month, Rogers also said that:U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke should “resign” for the bailout deals he’s handed out as he’s tried to battle this credit crisis.That the U.S. national debt – the roughly $5 trillion held by the public– essentially doubled in the course of a single weekend because of the Fed-led credit crisis bailout deals.That U.S. consumers and investors can expect much-higher interest rates – noting that if the Fed doesn’t raise borrowing costs, market forces will make that happen. And that the average American has no idea just how bad this financial crisis is going to get. “The next shock is going to be bigger and bigger, still,” Rogers said. “The shocks keep getting bigger because we keep propping things up … [and] bailing everyone out.” CLIP

US bank 'to fail within months' (19 August 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7569903.stm
The global financial crisis is set to get worse, with a large US bank likely to collapse in the next few months, a former IMF chief economist has warned. Kenneth Rogoff's comments came as shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sank on a report that the home lenders would, in effect, be nationalised. Despite hopes that the US economy had turned the corner, Mr Rogoff claimed it was "not out of the woods". "I would even go further to say 'the worst is to come'," he said. "We're not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months," said Mr Rogoff, who held the IMF role between 2001 and 2004."We're going to see a whopper, we're going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks or big banks." CLIP

The Great Consumer Crash of 2009 (August 19, 2008)
http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/commentary/guestcommentary?art_id=10098
"It is easy to ignore the storm if you look at the opposite horizon. When the storm reaches your location there can be no more ignorance."I hate to tell you, but the storm has reached your location and it is a Category 5 hurricane. The levees are leaking. Ignore it at your own peril. The 6,000 sq ft McMansion buying, BMW leasing, $5 Starbucks latte drinking, granite countertop upgrading, home equity borrowing days are coming to an end. The American consumer will not go without a fight. For the last seven years the American consumer has carried the weight of the world on its shoulders. This has been a heavy burden, but when you take steroids it doesn't seem so heavy. The steroid of choice for the American consumer has been debt. We have utilized home equity loans, cash out refinancing, credit card debt, and auto loans to live above our means. It has been a fun ride, but the ride is over. We can't get steroids from our dealer (banks) anymore. After examining these charts it is clear to me that the tremendous prosperity that began during the Reagan years of the early 1980's has been a false prosperity built upon easy credit. Household debt reached $13.8 trillion in 2007, with $10.5 trillion of that mortgage debt. The leading edge of the baby boomers turned 30 years of age in the late 1970's, just as the usage of debt began to accelerate. Debt took off like a rocket ship after 9/11 with the President urging Americans to spend and Alan Greenspan lowering interest rates to 1%. Only in the bizzaro world of America in the last 7 years, while in the midst of 2 foreign wars, would a President urge his citizens to show their patriotism by buying cars and TVs. When did our priorities become so warped? CLIP

Sharp US money supply contraction points to Wall Street crunch ahead (19/08/2008)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/08/19/cnusecon119.xml
The US money supply has experienced the sharpest contraction in modern history, heightening the risk of a Wall Street crunch and a severe economic slowdown in coming months.Data compiled by Lombard Street Research shows that the M3 ''broad money" aggregates fell by almost $50bn (£26.8bn) in July, the biggest one-month fall since modern records began in 1959."Monthly data for July show that the broad money growth has almost collapsed," said Gabriel Stein, the group's leading monetary economist. On a three-month basis, the M3 growth rate has fallen from almost 19pc earlier this year to just 2.1pc (annualised) for the period from May to July. This is below the rate of inflation, implying a shrinkage in real terms. The growth in bank loans has turned negative to a halt since March. "It's obviously worrying. People either can't borrow, or don't want to borrow even if they can," said Mr Stein.Monetarists say it is the sharpness of the drop that is most disturbing, rather than the absolute level. Moves of this speed are extremely rare. The overall debt burden in the US economy is currently at record levels, raising concerns that a recession - if it occurs - could set off a sharp downward spiral. Household debt is now 131pc of disposable income, compared with 93pc at the top the dotcom bubble, 79pc in the property boom of the late-1980s, and 62pc at the end of the 1970s. The M3 data measures both cash and a wide range of bank instruments. It tends to provide an early warning signal of major shifts in the economy, although the US Federal Reserve took the controversial decision to stop reporting the statistics in 2005 on the grounds that the modern financial system had rendered the data obsolete. Monetarists insist that shifts in M3 are a lead indicator of asset prices moves, typically six months or so ahead. If so, the latest collapse points to a grim autumn for Wall Street and for the American property market. (...) The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment has fallen to the lowest level since the 1980s recession.The US economy is without doubt facing severe headwinds going into the autumn.Richard Fisher, the ultra-hawkish head of the Dallas Federal Reserve, warned over the weekend that growth would be near "zero" in the second half of the year.

July-December 2008: The world plunges into the heart of the global systemic crisis
http://tinyurl.com/6z9xhq
On the occasion of this 26th - Summer 2008 Special - edition of the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin, the LEAP/E2020 team has decided to launch an alert on the July-December 2008 period. Indeed, our team is now convinced that this period will consist for the whole world in a major plunge into the heart of the phase of impact of the global systemic crisis. The upcoming six months are in fact the core of the unfolding crisis. The troubles met in the past six months were mere harbingers. In the next semester indeed, all the components of the crisis (financial, monetary, economic, strategic, social, political… ones) will converge at the height of their intensity CLIP

US inflation fastest since 1991 (14 August 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7561092.stm
US prices rose by 5.6% in the year to July, the fastest inflation rate for more than 17 years, figures show.The rate of inflation was much greater than economists had predicted, driven higher by the 30% increase in energy prices during the period. Food costs were 6% higher than a year earlier, the figures showed. The price rises are squeezing consumers further. Inflation-adjusted average weekly earnings fell by 3.1% in July compared with a year earlier.Despite the high inflation figure, economists predict the rate will begin to slow from next month as a result of recent falls in the oil price. Oil reached a record high of $147 a barrel in July but has fallen significantly since. CLIP

US home foreclosures increase 55% (14 August 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7560113.stm
More than 272,000 people in the US received a foreclosure notice in July, a rise of 55% on a year earlier, according to analysts Realtytrac. Florida and California had the highest rate of foreclosures, figures showed. In a further indication of the severe problems affecting the US housing market, more than 77,000 homes were repossessed in July. As a result of this increase, 17% of all homes for sale in the US are repossessed properties. CLIP

Wholesale Prices Jumped in July
http://www.truthout.org/article/wholesale-prices-jumped-july
Michael Grynbaum, The New York Times: "American businesses faced the biggest annual jump in wholesale prices in 27 years last month, just as the stumbling economy caused consumer spending to drop."

A $100 billion bill
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/14/EDM512BA7J.DTL
Washington is headed toward another dismal milestone in Iraq. With more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead and a conflict that's outlasted World War II, now add a $100 billion bill for private contractors by year's end.

Russia: Poland Risks Attack Because of US Missiles
http://www.truthout.org/article/russia-poland-risks-attack-because-us-missiles
Jim Heintz, The Associated Press: "Russia warned Poland on Friday that it is exposing itself to attack - even a nuclear one - by accepting a US missile interceptor base on its soil, delivering Moscow's strongest language yet against the plan."

US missile shield in Europe prompts arms race: Russia (21 Aug, 2008)
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News_By_Industry/US_missile_shield_in_Europe_prompts_arms_race_Russia/articleshow/3389181.cms
Deploying elements of its missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic provoke an arms race and do not provide for European security, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said. "It is worth stressing that the deployment of the third site in Europe with genuine anti-Russian potential by no means enhances security on the continent," a ministry statement said Wednesday. "Such measures provoke mistrust and prompt an arms race on the continent and beyond its borders," the statement added. The deal to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland was reached Aug 14 and formally signed Wednesday by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. It followed the signing of an agreement July 8 by the Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg to station a US radar in the Czech Republic. Moscow has consistently expressed its opposition to the US missile shield in Europe, saying it threatens its national security. The US says the shield is designed to thwart missile attacks by what it calls "rogue states", including Iran. However, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated last week that Moscow has no doubt the missile shield's third site is aimed against Russia.

Oil firm above $121 on Russia tensions, dollar dive (22 Aug 2008)
http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnSP189148.html
(...) Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter, said on Thursday it would respond with more than just a diplomatic protest to a U.S. deal with Poland to station parts of a U.S. missile defense shield on Polish soil. CLIP

Beware! Don't bait the bear! (22 August 2008)
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=113211&d=22&m=8&y=2008
(...) Russia may have overreacted by warning Poland its decision leaves it vulnerable to a nuclear strike, but Moscow is right to be concerned because those Patriots will be stationed just 100 miles from its borders and, thus, erode its own deterrent capacity.Imagine the reaction of the White House if Moscow were to station its own missiles just 90 miles away in Cuba. But wait! We don't need to imagine. If we cast our minds back to the 1960s, we already know.Last year, Russia's powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tried his best to persuade the EU to oppose the US proposals using that argument. "Analogous actions by the Soviet Union when it deployed rockets on Cuba provoked the Cuban missile crisis. For us, technologically, the situation is very similar..."If the Russian government feels the world is ganging up against Moscow, it's got a point. First, Georgia's pro-American president is egged on to make an attempt at grabbing back a breakaway enclave under the protection of Russian peacekeepers. And when Russia responds, it is painted by the West and its supine mainstream media as the bad guy.Then, after the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his role as current EU president, persuades his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to sign-up to a peace deal, Washington and its European allies hammer nails in the coffin of their détente with Moscow.One after the other Western leaders orchestrated by Washington have been wagging their fingers at Russia for invading poor, innocent Georgia deliberately forgetting that the conflict was triggered when Georgian troops decimated the South Ossetian capital in their efforts to take contro (...) Make no mistake! This is a US-Russian geostrategic power play that has little to do with Georgia or any other European country. The bear is being baited and its neighbors are being told to take sides else risk being pummeled. With most of the former Soviet republics having turned against it along with the US, the EU, NATO and the UN Security Council, the nuclear-armed bear is being cornered and will have to adopt a siege mentality to survive.Putin once accused the Bush administration of trying to take over the world. He might well be right. By callously throwing away the legacy of peace bequeathed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in an attempt to prolong US global hegemony, Bush leaves his successor and the rest of us an omnipresent threat of World War III.

Assad: Syria may host Russian missiles in its territory:
http://tinyurl.com/6zueuk
Syrian President Bashar Assad has pledged to support Russia in its conflict with Georgia and said that Damascus was ready to consider deploying Russian Iskander missile systems in its territory, in response to the US missile shield in Europe.

Russia builds Ossetia 'buffer zone'
http://tinyurl.com/69cxrw
Russian troops are fortifying a "buffer zone" around the disputed South Ossetia region with eight military posts and a ban on Georgian aircraft, a senior Russian commander has said.

Moscow Is Likely to Recognize Breakaway Republics in Georgia
http://tinyurl.com/5wxjm8
Russia moved closer to recognizing the independence of two breakaway republics that helped spark the current conflict in Georgia and outlined plans for a major military presence in and around the contested territories.

Russia continues to withdraw troops from the conflict zone:
http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29215
Russia says it is continuing to withdraw its troops from the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone as stipulated in the six-point peace agreement, despite the Georgian side's not fulfilling the obligation to pull out its troops in turn. The withdrawal is expected to speed up after August 22, but the military says progress will depend on the situation on the ground

Russia, Georgia and the US Info War - Interview on CNN with Mikhael Gorbachev (7 min 10 sec)
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/402.html
What really happened in Georgia? Some basic facts: 1. The citizens of South Ossetia have long expressed a desire to break away from Georgia and, in fact, declared themselves independent from Georgia in the 1990s. 2. On the first day of the 2008 Olympics, Georgia launched an all-out, "shock and awe" attack on numerous civilian targets in Tskhinvali, the capital city of South Ossetia 3. Russia, which shares a border and a long historical connection with South Ossetia, sent troops into the region to fight back the attacking Georgian military. 4. The arms for Georgia's attack on South Ossetia were largely provided by the US. 5. The US and UK news media have successfully managed to portray these events as a random, unprovoked and savage attack on Georgia by Russia. In this video, Mikhail Gorbachev responds.

"We Are All Georgians"? Not So Fast
http://www.truthout.org/article/we-are-all-georgians-not-so-fast
Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post: "It is unclear how the simmering tensions between Georgia and South Ossetia came to the boil this month. The Georgians say that they were provoked by the shelling of Georgian villages from Ossetian-controlled territory. While this may well be the case, the Georgian response was disproportionate. On the night of August 7 and into August 8, Saakashvili ordered an artillery barrage against Tskhinvali and sent an armored column to occupy the town. He apparently hoped that Western support would protect Georgia from major Russian retaliation."

Russia hits back at Nato warning (19 August 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7571104.stm
Russia has dismissed a warning by Nato that normal relations are impossible while its troops remain inside Georgia. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Nato of bias and of trying to save the "criminal regime" in Tbilisi. He insisted Moscow was not occupying Georgia and had no plans to annex the separatist region of South Ossetia. (...) In a televised address, Russia's foreign minister underlined Moscow's view that Russian troops only entered South Ossetia after Georgia tried to reintegrate the breakaway region by force.Sergei Lavrov accused Nato of being "unobjective and biased"."It appears to me that Nato is trying to portray the aggressor as the victim, to whitewash a criminal regime and to save a failing regime," he said.Earlier, the Russian military warned that the withdrawal would be slow until the weekend at least, and that troops would remain in an undefined buffer zone around South Ossetia.It said such a move was permitted under the ceasefire deal which allowed Russia to take additional security measures until international peacekeepers were deployed. CLIP

NATO Freezes Russian Ties Over Georgia
http://www.truthout.org/article/nato-freezes-russian-ties-over-georgia
Mark John and Francois Murphy, Reuters: "NATO agreed after U.S. pressure on Tuesday to freeze regular contacts with Russia until Moscow had withdrawn its troops from Georgia in line with a peace deal."

Most Russians support invasion of Georgia:
http://tinyurl.com/5nmyap
While Western officials are mulling how to punish Russia for invading neighboring Georgia, most Russians view Georgia as the aggressor _ aided and abetted by a hostile West.

Biden Calls For $1 Billion In Emergency Aid To Georgia
http://tinyurl.com/6aoxlp
Biden, who is rumored to be very high on Sen. Barack Obama's list of running mates, met with Georgia's president and prime minister on the trip, further burnishing his foreign policy credentials ahead of Obama's decision.

China lays down the Gauntlet in Energy War
http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/China_Gauntlet/china_gauntlet.html
(...) Beijing-Tehran-Moscow -- At the end of 2004, Beijing signed a $70 billion energy agreement with Tehran, China's largest Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries energy deal to date. China's state Sinopec agreed to buy 250 million tons of LNG over 30 years from Iran, as well as to develop the giant Yadavaran field. That agreement covered the comprehensive development by Sinopec of the giant Yadavaran gas field, construction of a related petrochemical and gas industry including pipelines.As part of the huge Iran-China economic cooperation agreement, China's state-run military construction company, NORINCO, will expand the Tehran Metro underground. A second phase in the Iran-China strategic energy cooperation will involve constructing a pipeline in Iran to take oil some 386 kilometers to the Caspian Sea, there to link up with the planned pipeline from China into Kazakhstan. On signing the deal, Iran's Petroleum Minister announced that Tehran would like to see China replace Japan as Iran's largest oil importer. As well, Iran has what are estimated to be the world's second largest reserves of natural gas after Russia. Iran is a place of enormous strategic importance to China, to Japan, to Russia, to the European Union, and for all these reasons, to Washington as well.Iran supplies about 14% of China's oil. Along with Russia, China has been involved since the late 1990s in supplying nuclear technology to Tehran. In 1997, Beijing, under Washington pressure, nominally agreed to stop nuclear-related shipments to Iran, but the flows are believed continuing as the Iran relation is strategic and critical to China's energy security. China, a veto member of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly called for the issue of Iranian nuclear development to be dealt with by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA's chief, Nobel Peace Prize awardee, Mohamed ElBaradei, has earned the enmity of Washington war hawks for his open declarations of lack of evidence in both Iraq and now of Iranian atomic bomb capability. Given the nature of the Bush administration's rush to war in Iraq in 2003, where China had a major stake in oil development, and the subsequent US blocking of other Chinese attempts at securing energy independence, including Unocal, it is not surprising that Beijing is taking extraordinary measures to secure its long-term oil and gas supply. Energy is the Achilles' heel of China's economic growth. Beijing knows that only too well. So does Washington. A decision by Washington to take military action against Iran now would pull a far larger cast of actors into the fray than Iraq.

Iran gambles over Georgia's crisis (Aug 16, 2008)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JH16Ak01.html
(...) Tehran may have blundered by not forcefully criticizing Moscow's violation of Georgia's sovereignty. Iran and Georgia have strong historical connections: Iran was in possession of Georgia for some 400 years until the humiliating defeats at the hands of tsarist Russia in the early 19th century, culminating in the Russia-Iran Treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmanchai in 1828. Under these, about a third of Iranian territory was ceded to Russia, including Georgia and Armenia. Then and now, Iran remains weary of Russia's imperial intentions and, more recently, this was evident seven years ago when in the aftermath of a failed summit on the division of Caspian Sea, the then-president Vladimir Putin ordered a massive naval maneuver in the Caspian Sea as a stern message to Iran. Should Putin, now premier, succeed with his "splendid little war" in South Caucasus, Russia's neighbors to the east must expect to see more samples of Russian power projection, again a prospect that simultaneously entices and yet terrifies Iran and is bound to have contradictory policy ramifications for Tehran's decision-makers. Thus, on the one hand, no matter how cordial present Iran-Russia relations may be, the big neighbor's power and increasing militarism impacts Iran's national security calculus and may strengthen the arguments of those who are in favor of a nuclear defense strategy. On the other hand, there is no doubt Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's statement that the world "can forget about Georgia's territorial integrity" is unacceptable to Tehran, which has recently submitted a package of proposals focusing on international cooperation. Russia's exercise of power is substantively the same as the US's illegal post-September 11, 2001, invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and, naturally, Iran cannot adopt one set of standards for one and another for the other, irrespective of Moscow's legitimate grievances about the US's and NATO's intentions and actions around it. Rather, Tehran must demonstrate consistency with its own foreign policy criteria, otherwise its international prestige and regional standing will suffer, no matter how the Kremlin may be displeased with a bold, yet principled, Iranian stance on this neighboring crisis. CLIP

Iran improves warplanes flight range (17 Aug 2008)
http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=66822&sectionid=351020101
Iran has revamped its fighter jet fleet to fly distances of 3,000 kilometers without refueling, an Iranian Air Force commander says. Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani said Sunday that the measure was taken to improve the country's defensive capabilities. He, however, did not specify the warplanes types. The report comes after an Israeli long-range air drill in early June that is believed to have been a dress rehearsal for an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Despite the UN nuclear watchdog declaration that Iran enriches uranium to 3 percent, a rate consistent with the development of a nuclear power plant, Israel and the US continue to accuse Iran, a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of pursuing military nuclear program. The two staunch allies have threatened to launch military strikes on Iran's nuclear sites should the country continue uranium enrichment. Tehran has warned that Israel and 32 US bases in the region will be targeted should the country come under attack. Iran's Air Force chief Brig. Gen. Ahmad MiqaniAlthough Brig. Gen. Miqani did not elaborate on the process, it has been suggested that external fuel tanks attached to the wings or fuselage can provide the extra fuel. The achievement comes after Iran announced in July that it started producing radar-evading stealth aircrafts as well as overhauling F-14 fighter jets.

Stop the presses: no naval armada has sailed to blockade Iran! (August 20, 2008)
http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/7842
Summary: For a week rumors about a US armada sailing to the Gulf circulated around the Internet and in Middle Eastern media, despite having almost no supporting evidence. One of the two major sources for the "US fleet sailing to blockade Iran" story now has admitted his error. No word yet from the other (and more high-profile) source, Debkafile (does Debkafile post retractions?) or the blogs which promoted the rumors.

...Yet, the Middle East Times still referred to this naval build up yesterday in the following article:

How Far Can Power Stretch? (August 20, 2008)
http://www.metimes.com/Editorial/2008/08/20/how_far_can_power_stretch/9153/
The United States is the world's hyper-power -- since the collapse of communism, there has been no debate about that: Serbia, Iraq -- twice, and Afghanistan have all proven no match for the awesome high tech power of the U.S. armed forces: But as President George W. Bush concentrates U.S. naval forces ominously close to the shores of Iran, we feel we have to ask: How far can that power stretch? CLIP

Israeli technicians monitoring a secret missile test, archive (August 19, 2008)
http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=575603
Israel's secret missile test goes out live on airAn Israeli TV channel has found out that anyone who has a satellite dish can watch live transmissions of the country's Defence Ministry. No special passwords are needed and transmissions can be easily accessed not only in Israel but all across the Middle East, including countries with which Israel hardly has warm relations. It's not known how many people witnessed Israel's secret missile test. A transmission from a camera at the control was apparently meant to interact with other control sites but became available for all those who were lucky enough to tune in. The footage clearly shows people, computers and other equipment. All conversation, including passwords to the computer of the Ministry of Defence, can be clearly heard. At the time of the launch those that were tuned in could see the whole process from the start of the countdown to a monitor showing all the details of the secret weapon, including speed and geographical location. It still not clear how or why the top secret information was leaked. The Defence Ministry has yet to comment. To watch the programme from Israel's 10th channel, follow this link.

Local Police May Get Broader Spy Powers
http://www.truthout.org/article/local-police-may-get-broader-spy-powers
Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson, The Washington Post: "The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years. The proposed changes would revise the federal government's rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation's 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants. Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months."

New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers (August 20, 2008)
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/21/washington/21fbi.html
WASHINGTON — A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday.The plan, which could be made public next month, has already generated intense interest and speculation. Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations.Congressional staff members got a glimpse of some of the details in closed briefings this month, and four Democratic senators told Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in a letter on Wednesday that they were troubled by what they heard.The senators said the new guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps “without any basis for suspicion.” The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the letter said. CLIP

At JFK Airport, Denying Basic Rights Is Just Another Day at the Office (August 18, 2008)
http://www.alternet.org/rights/95351?page=entire
I was recently stopped by Homeland Security as I was returning from a trip to Syria. What I saw in the hours that followed shocked and disturbed me. Tools EMAIL PRINT 285 COMMENTS (...) To be powerless and mocked at the same time makes one feel ashamed, which leads quickly to rage. Within a few hours of my arrival, I saw at least 10 people denied the right to use the bathroom or buy food and water. (...) As I walked out of the enclosure, some people thanked me, squeezing my arm and putting their hands on my shoulders. It was shocking that briefly standing up to someone overseeing an abuse of civil rights -- in JFK airport, in the United States, where we supposedly have laws and a democratic judicial system -- could be perceived as heroic. I had nothing to lose, but the other people being detained had everything to lose.In the past five years I have worked for human rights and refugee advocacy organizations in Serbia, Russia and Croatia, including the International Rescue Committee and USAID. I have traveled to many different places, some supposedly repressive, and have never seen people treated with the kind of animosity that Homeland Security showed that night. In Syria, border control officers were stern but polite. At other borders there have been bureaucracies to contend with -- excruciating for both Americans and other foreign nationals. I've met Russian officials with dead, suspicious looks in their eyes and arms tired from stamping so many visas, but in America, the Homeland Security officials I encountered were very much alive -- like vultures waiting to eat.

US boasts of laser weapon's 'plausible deniability' (August 12, 2008)
http://technology.newscientist.com/article/dn14520-us-boasts-of-laser-weapons-plausible-deniability.html
An airborne laser weapon dubbed the "long-range blowtorch" has the added benefit that the US could convincingly deny any involvement with the destruction it causes, say senior officials of the US Air Force (USAF). The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) is to be mounted on a Hercules military transport plane. Boeing announced the first test firing of the laser, from a plane on the ground, earlier this summer. Cynthia Kaiser, chief engineer of the US Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate, used the phrase "plausible deniability" to describe the weapon's benefits in a briefing ... on laser weapons to the New Mexico Optics Industry Association in June. As the term suggests, "plausible deniability" is used to describe situations where those responsible for an event could plausibly claim to have had no involvement in it. John Pike, analyst with defence think-tank Global Security, based in Virginia, says the implications are clear. "The target would never know what hit them," says Pike. "Further, there would be no munition fragments that could be used to identify the source of the strike." A laser beam is silent and invisible. An ATL can deliver the heat of a blowtorch with a range of 20 kilometres, depending on conditions. That range is great enough that the aircraft carrying it might not be seen, especially at night. With no previous examples for comparison, it may be difficult to discern whether damage to a vehicle or person was the result of a laser strike.

The Bush Administration's Secret Biowarfare Agenda (July 28, 2008)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9685
(...) On July 31, 2007 the London Guardian reported that the US is "Building (a) Treaty-Breaching Germ War Defence Centre" near Washington, DC" - NBACC. It's to be completed in 2008 and will be a "vast germ warfare laboratory intended to help protect the US against an attack with biological weapons, but critics say the laboratory's work will violate international law and its extreme secrecy will exacerbate a biological arms race (by) accelerat(ing) work on similar facilities around the world."It will house "heavily guarded and hermetically sealed chambers....to produce and stockpile the world's most lethal bacteria and viruses" - forbidden by the 1972 BWC and 1989 US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act. The Fort Detrick facility will be used for the new 160,000 square foot lab, and it's authorization coincided with the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people, and along with 9/11, unleashed everything that followed. (...) Since WW II, America has actively developed, tested, and used terror weapons, including biological ones. Even after Nixon ended the nation's biowarfare programs, they never stopped. The CIA remained active through a loophole in the law, then the Reagan administration reactivated what Nixon slowed down. It acted much like the current regime with many of the same officials espousing similar extremist views - that America must exploit its technological superiority and not let laws, norms, or the greater good deter them.The Bush administration raised the stakes and threatens all humanity. Boyle believes it used 9/11 and the anthrax attacks to stampede Congress and the public into aggressive wars and a menu of repressive laws. He also thinks the FBI knows who's behind the anthrax attacks: criminal US government elements planning a police state and another frightening enterprise - to fight and win a future biowar. A possible nuclear one as well. Boyle sounds the alarm about what may lie ahead and its potential consequences.In October 2003, the National Academy of Sciences did as well. It warned about the "misuse of tools, technology, or knowledge base of (bioweapons) research for offensive military or terrorist purposes." That's the present risk. It makes everyone unwitting subjects of a recklessly endangering experiment.

Preparing for an urban WMD attack (August 16, 2008)
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10018658-52.html?hhTest=1
SAN FRANCISCO--"Weapons of mass destruction multi-agency exercise."If I've ever covered an event with a more stark title, I can't think of it.But there I was Saturday morning, along with several hundred firefighters, police officers, Army National Guard personnel, and members of other local, state, and federal agencies for a large-scale exercise designed to help train all these emergency responders how to deal with a major terrorist attack involving suspected chemical weapons or other bio-hazards.As a bulletin announcing the exercise put it, the goal was for the agencies' personnel to "identify the emergency and work as one large team to protect and save lives and mitigate the hazards." (...) Now that I live in San Francisco, that really is a bizarre thing to see. Most unnerving -- even more than the people face down playing dead -- are the emergency vehicles and the personnel in hazmat suits in the streets where I live. I know it's a safety precaution, but photos like that feel eerily like foreshadowing.

History of Humans Used as Guinea Pigs by US Government and Military
http://www.WantToKnow.info/humanguineapigs
Below is a comprehensive list of the use of humans as guinea pigs in biological experiments. (...) 1986 - A report to Congress reveals that the U.S. Government's current generation of biological agents includes: modified viruses, naturally occurring toxins, and agents that are altered through genetic engineering to change immunological character and prevent treatment by all existing vaccines.1987 - Department of Defense admits that, despite a treaty banning research and development of biological agents, it continues to operate research facilities at 127 facilities and universities around the nation.1990 - More than 1500 six-month old black and Hispanic babies in Los Angeles are given an "experimental" measles vaccine that had never been licensed for use in the United States. CDC later admits that parents were never informed that the vaccine being injected to their children was experimental.1994 - With a technique called "gene tracking," Dr. Garth Nicolson at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX discovers that many returning Desert Storm veterans are infected with an altered strain of Mycoplasma incognitus, a microbe commonly used in the production of biological weapons. Incorporated into its molecular structure is 40 percent of the HIV protein coat, indicating that it had been man-made.1994 - Senator John D. Rockefeller issues a report revealing that for at least 50 years the Department of Defense has used hundreds of thousands of military personnel in human experiments and for intentional exposure to dangerous substances. Materials included mustard and nerve gas, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and drugs used during the Gulf War. CLIP

Ohio's Election Stolen Again?
http://www.truthout.org/article/ohios-election-stolen-again-state-may-face
Advancement Project and Project Vote: "Based on publicly available information nearly 600,000 eligible voters could be placed on a caging list and challenged on Election Day, which could then result in their removal from the voter rolls without due process, in accordance with Ohio law.

Hillary Clinton’s rich friend Lady de Rothschild ambushes Barack Obama (August 17, 2008)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article4547425.ece
Diehard Hillary fans plan to protest at the party’s crowning of Obama – and may even vote for John McCain (...) The enduring hostility to Obama is reflected in a Pew poll, published last week, showing that 18% of Clinton supporters intend to vote for McCain. With polling averages close to a dead heat between McCain and Obama, every vote counts. CLIP

Top CEOs Give Ten Times More to McCain Than to Obama
http://www.truthout.org/article/top-ceos-give-ten-times-more-mccain-than-obama
Michael O'Brien, The Hill: "The top executives of America's biggest companies are more willing to open their wallets for John McCain than his Democratic rival, donating 10 times as much to the Arizona senator's campaign as to Barack Obama's."

Afghan women jailed for being victims of rape - NATO troops (including Canadian soldiers) are fighting and dying in part to defend such an unconscionably backward culture...
http://tinyurl.com/576z2g
Violent attacks against women, usually in a domestic setting, are at epidemic proportions - 87 per cent of women complain of such abuse, and half of it is sexual. More than 60 per cent of marriages are forced and, despite laws banning the practice, 57 per cent of brides are under 16.

Friendly Fire May Have Killed French
http://tinyurl.com/5klr76
The French troops quoted by Le Monde claimed that once they fell into the ambush they had to hold up for four hours for assistance. NATO aircraft finally arrived, they said, but some of the bombs missed the enemy and hit the troops.

Painful search for Pakistan's disappeared (13 December 2006)
NOTE: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is now gone but one of his legacies from his cooperation with the torture-mongerers in Washington must now come to the surface and all falsely accused Pakistanis must be freed and compensated for the abuses they endured.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6177057.stm
Hundreds of Pakistanis have disappeared since 2001 -- A small group of protesters marches towards Pakistan's parliament, pushing past nervous police officers. They are carrying banners that say "Lost Souls" and "End Enforced Disappearances". These are the families of the disappeared. They are convinced their sons and husbands have been illegally abducted by the secretive intelligence agencies, and they are finally speaking out. Human rights groups say hundreds have gone missing in this way. (...) People began disappearing in 2001 with the onset of the so-called war on terror. The human rights group Amnesty International says Pakistan's security agencies, particularly the powerful ISI, often picked up suspects with little or no evidence, and sold them to the Americans for bounty. The American embassy in Pakistan had no immediate response to Amnesty's charges. Alleged suspects were 'sold' to the US, campaigners say. But Badr Uz Zaman says that is what happened to him. He and his brother spent three years in Guantanamo Bay, then published a book about their experiences. Shortly afterwards, Badr's brother was rearrested. (...) It is not just alleged terror suspects who are disappearing. Domestic critics of the regime have also been taken, such as writers and nationalists, especially from the troubled province of Balochistan. (...) "After 9/11, the [Pakistani] government feels it can do this with impunity," she says. "Because the Western governments are so keen to see a dictator in Pakistan who they can manoeuvre, there is no voice outside of Pakistan that is even condemning this or showing concern about it." Still, there is growing determination to find the missing.
Court orders and demonstrations have succeeded in freeing a few of the disappeared. But it is a tough battle, appealing to authorities which are formally committed to upholding human rights, but in practice seem to deny them. MUCH MORE on this below in Please send your prayers and healing energy to the thousands of people being tortured during incarceration

India-Pakistan relations in free fall (Aug 15, 2008)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JH15Df01.html
Eleven months ago, the Indian army announced it had plans to open the 72-kilometer long Siachen glacier to regular civilian expeditions. On September 13, 2007, an Indian army spokesman claimed the move to make Kashmir's treacherous Siachen glacier a tourist attraction drew inspiration from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's call in 2005 to turn the glacier into a "peace mountain". Things were looking up in India-Pakistan relations. Kashmir seemed edging closer to a resolution than at any time before. But it all seems light years away now. Within the past few weeks, things have begun unraveling. A local controversy over the donation of government land in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to a Hindu shrine snowballed into protests in the predominantly Muslim state. The government, which was taken aback by the fury of the protests, retracted its decision. In turn, that led to a Hindu backlash and more violence followed, leading to tensions between Muslims and Hindus, forcing the authorities to introduce a curfew. The agitation in the Kashmir Valley has assumed in the meanwhile an old, familiar anti-India overtone, as Muslim protesters resorted to pro-independence rallies, the biggest the valley has seen in the past two decades. In police firings, over two dozen lives have been lost, with scores injured, which triggered further protests, with large numbers of Muslims ignoring the curfew and taking to the streets. In the capital of Srinagar, tens of thousands of people defied the curfew to bury a separatist leader who died in police fire on a huge crowd of Muslims protesting against an alleged blockade - "economic blockade" - of the road linking the valley to the rest of India via the Hindu-dominated southern regions of Kashmir. Kashmir is back on a razor's edge. Muslims say the "economic blockade" leaves them no choice but to resort to trade with Pakistan-administered Kashmir across the heavily guarded Line of Control dividing the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of Kashmir. Enter Pakistan into the turmoil. In a series of calibrated - and seemingly pre-planned - moves, Pakistan has swiftly waded into the situation in J&K. Last week, the Upper House of the Pakistani parliament passed a resolution condemning the Indian government's handling of the situation. On Monday, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing "deep concern" over the situation, which, it said, held "serious humanitarian implications", and called on New Delhi to "address the situation and prevent human-rights violations". CLIP

Peak oil is coming, and we're unready (August 17, 2008)
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/points/stories/DN-dreher_17edi.ART.State.Edition1.adb331.html
Has the world already reached peak oil, a time of permanently high oil prices and shortages that will profoundly change our way of life? The answer, I think, is likely yes, but the proximity of this catastrophe is not the most important question to ask.Oil is a finite natural resource; sooner or later, the supply will peak. Jeroen van der Veer, chief of Royal Dutch Shell, earlier this year predicted 2015 as the year the world reaches peak production. John Hess of Hess Corp. said: "An oil crisis is coming in the next 10 years. It's not a matter of demand. It's not a matter of supplies. It's both."Whether peak oil is already here or on its way, we'll have to deal with it.The more important question, then, is this: Are we ready for the inevitable? The answer, I'm convinced, is no. And our unreadiness is not for lack of information; it's moral and philosophical. Put plainly, it's because we Americans do not recognize limits. We live in a fantasyland whose borders go far beyond the oilfields, whose psychological geography is critical to map out a future our nation is blindly headed for.Andrew Bacevich, the retired Army colonel and conservative academic, describes us this way in his forthcoming book The Limits of Power:If one were to choose a single word to characterize [what it means to be a 21st-century American], it would have to be more. For the majority of contemporary Americans, the essence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness centers on a relentless personal quest to acquire, to consume, to indulge, and to shed whatever constraints might interfere with those endeavors. CLIP

THE SIXTH GREAT EXTINCTION: A Status Report (March 2, 2004)
http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update35.htm
(...)Today nearly 5,500 animal species are known to be threatened with extinction. The IUCN—World Conservation Union's 2003 Red List survey of the world's flora and fauna shows that almost one in every four mammal species and one in eight bird species are threatened with extinction within the next several decades. (For access to IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species database, see www.redlist.org).Of 1,130 threatened mammal species, 16 percent are critically endangered—the highest threat level. This means that 184 mammal species have suffered extreme and rapid reduction in population or habitat and may not survive this decade. Their remaining numbers range from under a few hundred to, at most, a few thousand individuals. For birds, 182 of the 1,194 threatened species are critically endangered. (...) The greatest threat to the world's living creatures is the degradation and destruction of habitat, affecting 9 out of 10 threatened species. Humans have transformed nearly half of the planet's ice-free land areas, with serious effects on the rest of nature. We have made agricultural fields out of prairies and forests. We have dammed rivers and drained wetlands. We have paved over soil to build cities and roads.Each year the earth's forest cover shrinks by 16 million hectares (40 million acres), with most of the loss occurring in tropical forests, where levels of biodiversity are high. Ecologically rich wetlands have been cut in half over the past century. Other freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems have been degraded by pollution. Deserts have expanded to overtake previously vegetated areas, accelerated in some cases by overgrazing of domesticated animals. A recent study of 173 species of mammals from around the world showed that their collective geographical ranges have been halved over the past several decades, signifying a loss of breeding and foraging area. Overall, between 2 and 10 percent of mammal populations (groups of a single species in a specific geographical location) are thought to have disappeared along with their habitat.Direct human exploitation of organisms, such as through hunting and harvesting, threatens more than a third of the listed birds and mammals. Other threats to biodiversity include exotic species, often transported by humans, which can outcompete and displace native species. A recent survey of some 1,100 animal and plant species found that climate change could wipe out between 15 and 37 percent of them by 2050. Yet the actual losses may be greater because of the complexity of natural systems. The extinction of key species could have cascading effects throughout the food web. As John Donne wrote, "no man is an island." The same is true for the other species we share this planet with: the loss of any single species from the web of life can affect many others. CLIP

Two Large Solar Plants Planned in California
http://www.truthout.org/article/two-large-solar-plants-planned-california
Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times: "Companies will build two solar power plants in California that together will put out more than 12 times as much electricity as the largest such plant today, the latest indication that solar energy is starting to achieve significant scale. The plants will cover 12.5 square miles of central California with solar panels, and in the middle of a sunny day will generate about 800 megawatts of power, roughly equal to the size of a large coal-burning power plant or a small nuclear plant. A megawatt is enough power to run a large Wal-Mart store."

Suffocating dead zones spread across world's oceans (August 15 2008)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/aug/14/pollution.endangeredhabitats/print#zoomed-picture
Critically low oxygen levels now pose as great a threat to life in the world's oceans as overfishing and habitat loss, say experts - With more than 400 oxygen-starved dead zones in global coastal waters, scientists are calling for such dead zones to be recognised as one of the world's great environmental problems. Man-made pollution is spreading a growing number of suffocating dead zones across the world's seas with disastrous consequences for marine life, scientists have warned. The experts say the hundreds of regions of critically low oxygen now affect a combined area the size of New Zealand, and that they pose as great a threat to life in the world's oceans as overfishing and habitat loss. The number of such seabed zones – caused when massive algal blooms feeding off pollutants such as fertiliser die and decay – has boomed in the last decade. There were some 405 recorded in coastal waters worldwide in 2007, up from 305 in 1995 and 162 in the 1980s. Robert Diaz, an oceans expert at the US Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, at Gloucester Point, said: "Dead zones were once rare. Now they're commonplace. There are more of them in more places." Marine bacteria feed on the algae in the blooms after it has died and sunk to the bottom, and in doing so they use up all of the oxygen dissolved in the water. The resulting 'hypoxic' seabed zones can asphyxiate swathes of bottom dwelling organisms such as clams and worms, and disrupt fish populations. (...)The number of dead zones reported has doubled each decade since the 1960s, but the scientists say they are often ignored until they provoke problems among populations of larger creatures such as fish or lobsters. By killing or stunting the growth of bottom-dwelling organisms, the lack of oxygen denies food to creatures higher up the food chain. The Baltic Sea, site of the world's largest dead zone, has lost about 30% of its available food energy, which has led to a significant decline in its fisheries. The lack of oxygen can also force fish into warmer waters closer to the surface, perhaps making them more susceptible to disease. The size of marine dead zones often fluctuates with the seasons. A massive dead zone, some 8,000 square miles across, forms each summer in the Gulf of Mexico as floodwater flushes nitrogen-rich fertiliser into the Mississippi River. CLIP

Toxic Algae Bloom in the St. Lawrence Estuary (August 14, 2008)
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/npress-communique/2008/qr-rq46-eng.htm
Mont-Joli – A bloom of toxic algae, known as a red tide, has been present in the St. Lawrence Estuary for several days, with large algae concentrations being observed particularly at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord and on the south shore of the Estuary between Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has closed all of the shellfish harvesting areas in the affected zone and reminded the public that shellfish harvesting is prohibited in all closed areas. Although many dead birds, fish and marine mammals have been sighted over the past several days, a link has not been established between the mortalities and the toxic algae bloom. Field and laboratory work is currently being carried out to determine the cause of the mortalities. This red tide is caused by Alexandrium tamarense, a microscopic algae that occurs naturally in the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Heavy rainfall creates conditions favouring the rapid growth, or bloom, of populations of this algae. CLIP

Vaccines Found to Cause Diabetes in Children (August 19, 2008)
http://www.naturalnews.com/023902.html
Two new studies showing that vaccines increase the risk of diabetes have been published in the Open Pediatric Medicine Journal.In a prior study, published in the journal Autoimmunity, Dr. J. Bartholomew Classen of Classen Immunotherapies and David Carey Classen of the University of Utah compared more than 100,000 children who had received between one and four doses of the hemophilus vaccine with more than 100,000 unvaccinated children. The Classens found that after seven years, children in the vaccination group had a 26 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than children in the non-vaccine group. This amounted to an extra 54 cases of diabetes per 100,000 children vaccinated.The Classens noted that the vaccine itself is only projected to prevent seven deaths and seven to 26 cases of permanent disability per 100,000 children. CLIP




1.

Forwarded by Mark Graffis (mgraffis@gmail.com)

From: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9711

The New York Times: Making Nuclear Extermination Respectable

By Prof. James Petras
Global Research, July 30, 2008

On July 18, 2008 The New York Times published an article by Israeli-Jewish historian, Professor Benny Morris, advocating an Israeli nuclear-genocidal attack on Iran with the likelihood of killing 70 million Iranians – 12 times the number of Jewish victims in the Nazi holocaust:

“ Iran’s leaders would do well to rethink their gamble and suspend their nuclear program. Barring this, the best they could hope for is that Israel’s conventional air assault will destroy their nuclear facilities. To be sure, this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation. But the alternative is an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland.”

Morris is a frequent lecturer and consultant to the Israeli political and military establishment and has unique access to Israeli strategic military planners. Morris’ advocacy and public support of the massive, brutal expulsion of all Palestinians is on public record. Yet his genocidal views have not precluded his receiving numerous academic awards. His writings and views are published in Israel ’s leading newspapers and journals. Morris’ views are not the idle ranting of a marginal psychopath, as witnessed by the recent publication of his latest op-ed article in the New York Times.

What does the publication by the New York Times of an article, which calls for the nuclear incineration of 70 million Iranians and the contamination of the better part of a billion people in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, tell us about US politics and culture? For it is the NYT, which informs the ‘educated classes’ in the US, its Sunday supplements, literary and editorial pages and which serves as the ‘moral conscience’ of important sectors of the cultural, economic and political elite.

The New York Times provides a certain respectability to mass murder, which Morris’ views otherwise would not possess if say, they were published in the neo-conservative weeklies or monthlies. The fact that the NYT considers the prospect of an Israeli mass extermination of millions of Iranians part of the policy debate in the Middle East reveals the degree to which Zionofascism has infected the ‘higher’ cultural and journalist circles of the United States. Truth to say, this is the logical outgrowth of the Times public endorsement of Israel ’s economic blockade to starve 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza ; the Times’ cover-up of Israeli-Zionist-AIPAC influence in launching the US invasion of Iraq leading to over one million murdered Iraqi citizens.

The Times sets the tone for the entire New York cultural scene, which privileges Israeli interests, to the point of assimilating into the US political discourse not only its routine violations of international law, but its threats, indeed promises, to scorch vast areas of the earth in pursuit of its regional supremacy. The willingness of the NYT to publish an Israeli genocide-ethnocide advocate tells us about the strength of the ties between a purportedly ‘liberal establishment’ pro-Israel publication and the totalitarian Israeli right: It is as if to say that for the liberal pro-Israel establishment, the nonJewish Nazis are off limits, but the views and policies of Judeo-fascists need careful consideration and possible implementation.

Morris’ New York Times ‘nuclear-extermination’ article did not provoke any opposition from the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO) because, in its daily information bulletin, Daily Alert, it has frequently published articles by Israeli and US Zionists advocating an Israeli and/or US nuclear attack on Iran . In other words, Morris’ totalitarian views are part of the cultural matrix deeply embedded in the Zionist organizational networks and its extensive ‘reach’ in US cultural and political circles. What the Times did in publishing Morris’ lunacy has taken genocidal discourse out of the limited circulation of Zionist influentials and into the mainstream of millions of American readers.

Apart from a handful of writers (Gentile and Jewish) publishing in marginal web sites, there was no political or moral condemnation from the entire literary, political and journalistic world of this affront to our humanity. No attempt was made to link Morris’ totalitarian genocidal policies to Israel ’s public official threats and preparations for nuclear war. There is no anti-nuclear campaign led by our most influential public intellectuals to repudiate the state ( Israel ) and its public intellectuals who prepare a nuclear war with the potential to exterminate more than ten times the number of Jews slaughtered by the Nazis.

A nuclear incineration of the nation of Iran is the Israeli counterpart of Hitler’s gas chambers and ovens writ large. Extermination is the last stage of Zionism: Informed by the doctrine of rule the Middle East or ruin the air and land of the world. That is the explicit message of Benny Morris (and his official Israeli sponsors), who like Hitler, issues ultimatums to the Iranians, ‘surrender or be destroyed’ and who threatens the US, join us in bombing Iran or face a world ecological and economic catastrophe.

That Morris is utterly, starkly and clinically insane is beyond question. That the New York Times in publishing his genocidal ravings provides new signs of how power and wealth has contributed to the degeneration of Jewish intellectual and cultural life in the US . To comprehend the dimensions of this decay we need only compare the brilliant tragic-romantic German-Jewish writer, Walter Benjamin, desperately fleeing the advance of totalitarian Nazi terror to the Israeli-Jewish writer, Benny Morris’ criminal advocacy of Zionist nuclear terror published in the New York Times.

The question of Zionist power in America is not merely a question of a ‘lobby’ influencing Congressional and White House decisions concerning foreign aid to Israel . What is at stake today are the related questions of the advocacy of a nuclear war in which 70 million Iranians face extermination and the complicity of the US mass media in providing a platform, nay a certain political respectability for mass murder and global contamination. Unlike the Nazi past, we cannot claim, as the good Germans did, that ‘we did not know’ or ‘we weren’t notified’, because it was written by an eminent Israeli academic and was published in the New York Times.

Professor Petras latest book is Zionism, Militarism And the Decline of U.S Power (Clarity Press Atlanta ), August 2008




2.

From: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20555.htm

Are You Ready For Nuclear War?

By Paul Craig Roberts

19/08/08 "ICH " -- - Pervez Musharraf, the puppet installed by the US to rule Pakistan in the interest of US hegemony, resigned August 18 to avoid impeachment. Karl Rove and the Diebold electronic voting machines were unable to control the result of the last election in Pakistan, the result of which gave Pakistanis a bigger voice in their government than America’s.

It was obvious to anyone with any sense--which excludes the entire Bush Regime and almost all of the “foreign policy community”--that the illegal and gratuitous US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s 2006 bombing of Lebanon civilians with US blessing, would result in the overthrow of America’s Pakistani puppet.

The imbecilic Bush Regime ensured Musharraf’s overthrow by pressuring their puppet to conduct military operations against tribesmen in Pakistani border areas, whose loyalties were to fellow Muslims and not to American hegemony. When Musharraf’s military operations didn’t produce the desired result, the idiotic Americans began conducting their own military operations within Pakistan with bombs and missiles. This finished off Musharraf.

When the Bush Regime began its wars in the Middle East, I predicted, correctly, that Musharraf would be one victim. The American puppets in Egypt and Jordan may be the next to go.

Back during the Nixon years, my Ph.D. dissertation chairman, Warren Nutter, was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. One day in his Pentagon office I asked him how the US government got foreign governments to do what the US wanted. “Money,” he replied.

“You mean foreign aid?” I asked.

“No,” he replied, “we just buy the leaders with money.”

It wasn’t a policy he had implemented. He inherited it and, although the policy rankled with him, he could do nothing about it. Nutter believed in persuasion and that if you could not persuade people, you did not have a policy.

Nutter did not mean merely third world potentates were bought. He meant the leaders of England, France, Germany, Italy, all the allies everywhere were bought and paid for.

They were allies because they were paid. Consider Tony Blair. Blair’s own head of British intelligence told him that the Americans were fabricating the evidence to justify their already planned attack on Iraq. This was fine with Blair, and you can see why with his multi- million dollar payoff once he was out of office.

The American-educated thug, Saakashkvili the War Criminal, who is president of Georgia, was installed by the US taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy, a neocon operation whose purpose is to ring Russia with US military bases, so that America can exert hegemony over Russia.

Every agreement that President Reagan made with Mikhail Gorbachev has been broken by Reagan’s successors. Reagan’s was the last American government whose foreign policy was not made by the Isreali-allied neoconservatives. During the Reagan years, the neocons made several runs at it, but each ended in disaster for Reagan, and he eventually drove the modern day French Jacobins from his government.

Even the anti-Soviet Committee on the Present Danger regarded the neocons as dangerous lunatics. I remember the meeting when a member tried to bring the neocons into the committee, and old line American establishment representatives, such as former Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon, hit the roof.

The Committee on the Present Danger regarded the neocons as crazy people who would get America into a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The neocons hated President Reagan, because he ended the cold war with diplomacy, when they desired a military victory over the Soviet Union.

Deprived of this, the neocons now want victory over Russia.

Today, Reagan is gone. The Republican Establishment is gone. There are no conservative power centers, only neoconservative power centers closely allied with Israel, which uses the billions of dollars funneled into Israeli coffers by US taxpayers to influence US elections and foreign policy.

The Republican candidate for president is a warmonger. There are no checks remaining in the Republican Party on the neocons’ proclivity for war. What Republican constituencies oppose war? Can anyone name one?

The Democrats are not much better, but they have some constituencies that are not enamored of war in order to establish US world hegemony. The Rapture Evangelicals, who fervently desire Armageddon, are not Democrats; nor are the brainwashed Brownshirts desperate to vent their frustrations by striking at someone, somewhere, anywhere.

I get emails from these Brownshirts and attest that their hate-filled ignorance is extraordinary. They are all Republicans, and yet they think they are conservatives. They have no idea who I am, but since I criticize the Bush Regime and America’s belligerent foreign policy, they think I am a “liberal commie pinko.”

The only literate sentence this legion of imbeciles has ever managed is: “If you hate America so much, why don’t you move to Cuba!”

Such is the current state of a Reagan political appointee in today’s Republican Party. He is a “liberal commie pinko” who should move to Cuba.

The Republicans will get us into more wars. Indeed, they live for war. McCain is preaching war for 100 years. For these warmongers, it is like cheering for your home team. Win at all costs. They get a vicarious pleasure out of war. If the US has to tell lies in order to attack countries, what’s wrong with that? “If we don’t kill them over there, they will kill us over here.”

The mindlessness is total.

Nothing real issues from the American media. The media is about demonizing Russia and Iran, about the vice presidential choices as if it matters, about whether Obama being on vacation let McCain score too many points.

The mindlessness of the news reflects the mindlessness of the government, for which it is a spokesperson.

The American media does not serve American democracy or American interests. It serves the few people who exercise power.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the US and Israel made a run at controlling Russia and the former constituent parts of its empire. For awhile the US and Israel succeeded, but Putin put a stop to it.

Recognizing that the US had no intention of keeping any of the agreements it had made with Gorbachev, Putin directed the Russian military budget to upgrading the Russian nuclear deterrent. Consequently, the Russian army and air force lack the smart weapons and electronics of the US military.

When the Russian army went into Georgia to rescue the Russians in South Ossetia from the destruction being inflicted upon them by the American puppet Saakashvili, the Russians made it clear that if they were opposed by American troops with smart weapons, they would deal with the threat with tactical nuclear weapons.

The Americans were the first to announce preemptive nuclear attack as their permissible war doctrine. Now the Russians have announced the tactical use of nuclear weapons as their response to American smart weapons.

It is obvious that American foreign policy, with is goal of ringing Russia with US military bases, is leading directly to nuclear war. Every American needs to realize this fact. The US government’s insane hegemonic foreign policy is a direct threat to life on the planet.

Russia has made no threats against America. The post-Soviet Russian government has sought to cooperate with the US and Europe. Russia has made it clear over and over that it is prepared to obey international law and treaties. It is the Americans who have thrown international law and treaties into the trash can, not the Russians.

In order to keep the billions of dollars in profits flowing to its contributors in the US military-security complex, the Bush Regime has rekindled the cold war. As American living standards decline and the prospects for university graduates deteriorate, “our” leaders in Washington commit us to a hundred years of war.

If you desire to be poor, oppressed, and eventually vaporized in a nuclear war, vote Republican.

---

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is a former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, a 16-year columnist for Business Week, and a columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service and Creator’s Syndicate in Los Angeles. He has held numerous university professorships, including the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by the President of France and the US Treasury’s Silver Medal for “outstanding contributions to the formulation of US economic policy.”

---

Related articles:

Crisis in the Caucasus. What Were They Smoking in the White House? By Eric Margolis
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20556.htm
The Bush administration appears to have pulled off its latest military fiasco in the Caucasus. What was supposed to have been a swift and painless takeover of rebellious South Ossetia by America's favorite new ally, Georgia, has turned into a disaster that left Georgia battered, Russia enraged, and NATO badly demoralized. Not bad for two days work.

The New Cold War Turns Hot - How Washington's encirclement of Russia threatens us all
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20550.htm
The flare-up of hostilities in the Caucasus should bring to mind a similar case of the 'guns of August' almost a century ago. Then, a similar flashpoint (in Serbia) signalled the start of WW1. Fortunately, the nightmare conflagration of a WW3 has (hopefully) yet to be similarly ignited - though, truth to tell, it is not for the want of fuel heaped on the geo-political pyre by the global mafia don and its uncritical, cheerleading mass media.

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20551.htm
The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them.

The US Missile Defence System - The magic pudding that will never run out - By George Monbiot
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20552.htm
Poland is just the latest fall guy for an American foreign policy dictated by military industrial lobbyists in Washington.

Putin Makes His Move - Accident of geography puts Georgia in Russia's way
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20553.htm
The man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the (20th) century" has re-established virtual czarist rule in Russia and is trying to restore his country's dominant role in Eurasia and the world. Armed with wealth from oil and gas; holding a near-monopoly over the energy supply to Europe; with a million soldiers, thousands of nuclear warheads and the world's third-largest military budget, Vladimir Putin believes that now is the time to make his move.




3.

From: http://www.rense.com/general83/dreep.htm

What Has Really Been Occurring In The Russian-Georgian Conflict

A First-Hand Report By An American In Russia

By Byron J. Richards, CCN NewsWithViews.com

8-15-8

Note: This article was written by a retired Lt.-Col. in the U.S. military, who is currently residing in Russia. His article here helps clear up much of the misinformation people have been fed by the sadistic folks in Washington who are trying to promote WWIII.  -ed

In 1991, South Ossetia was promised independence from the Soviet Union, and the Georgian Republic. However, when Georgia became independent it saw an opportunity to grab some land, and the terminals for two major oil pipelines. Since Georgia is essentially bankrupt and an economic basket case, they saw this as a viable option.

It should also be understood that contrary to the 30 years old CIA report that is being circulated, Georgia is now over 60% Moslem, with Moslems controlling the government, and South Ossetia - which is surrounded on three sides by Georgia - is over 80% Orthodox Christian. This is something else that amazes me about Bush's choice of "allies."

They essentially invaded South Ossetia and installed a rather brutal military government. The South Ossetians did not want to be grabbed and they fought back, and in the fighting some Russian cities were damaged just across the border and there were a number of civilian casualties. Russia essentially said "Quit damaging our cities" and sent Russian troops to see that no more Russian cities were damaged. They became the main component in a small international (with Azerbaizhan and Tdjikistan) peacekeeping force in the region.

Comes last Thursday and the Georgians attack the Russians in South Ossetia.  Once again, they are trying to isolate and grab those two oil terminals. As a preparatory move to this, they began shelling the Russian forces stationed in the area as peacekeepers...and once again overshot and hit two small Russian towns across the border.

The Russians come in to evacuate the Russian wounded and put fresh troops in place to keep the Georgians and South Ossetians from tearing up Russian cities and killing more Russian civilians in their own country. They also intended to stop a relentless Katucha rocket bombardment and standard artillery bombardment of the South Ossetian capital (which has no military significance) and has already reduced it to a pile of gravel and fine white powder -- with over 2,000 known civilian casualties, mostly the elderly and children.

The Russians tried to send in relief supplies (for all parties) and the Georgians tried to sink the unarmed, civilian transport ship. A Russian Krivak class frigate that was on a routine patrol out of Sevastopol picked up the SOS and responded. An 120 ft. missile boat is not much of a match for a Krivak class frigate... enough said. The result was splinters and an oil slick but not before the freighter had been seriously damaged and sustained numerous casualties.

The UN is sending in supplies, and no one stops them.

Because there is strong reason to believe that the US has been aiding the Georgians in the fight (just over 1,500 "advisors" on the ground from "Blackwater" that are demonstrable, and massive shipments of US arms and ammunition for the past 18 months) the Russians are suspicious of US aid, especially when it comes aboard military ships and airplanes. Comes the day the US sends aid via civilian vessels, the Russians will have no objections and have made it clear that such aid would be welcomed by all parties.

The French president is involved in hammering out a ceasefire that seems to be holding because the Russians and the Georgians and the South Ossetians all feel that he can be impartial because "he ain't got no dog in this fight." Still the Georgians have not completely ceased their offensive.  They recently began shelling a Russian column that was withdrawing from South Ossetia along the only serviceable road in the region. They waited until the column was dead in the middle of the town of Gori before opening fire.

The US is fully aware of who started this and why. They are completely aware of who the aggressor is. It is inconceivable to me how Bush can go to Peking and bow down to the COMMUNIST Chinese and have "most favored nation status with both COMMUNIST CHINA and COMMUNIST VIETNAM and at the same time provoke proxy nut-cases like the Georgians and Ukrainians to attack Russia with the tacit support of the US.

At the moment, Bush is threatening to send a naval task force into South Ossetia under the guise of "humanitarian aid" and has "warned" Russia, through whose territorial waters it will pass not to be "belligerent." This is rather hollow to me. I tend to think sending a helicopter carrier and escort vessels into someone else's waters is belligerent in its own right.

How would the US feel if Russia did this in the Gulf of Mexico and "warned" the US not to be "belligerent." I seem to recall a similar incident in 1962 in Cuba.

There is currently a US infantry brigade set to deploy in Georgia and an unknown number of US military personnel set to airlift in with the "aid."  The US flew Georgian troops, who took part in the wanton destruction of the South Ossetian capital into Georgia from Iraq on US transport jets. This has all of the makings of a repeat of what happened in Vietnam in '64 when Lyndon used two faked attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin to justify inundating Southeast Asia with US troops. It has "Henry Kissinger" written all over it.

This situation could get dangerous. It seems like Bush is deliberately trying to provoke a major war with Russia and this is a very bad idea. He is obviously believing his own propaganda about how "weak" Russia is and thinks our oil terminals and those in South Ossetia are easy pickings. If the US fires on, or fires at, a Russian vessel of any kind while they're delivering "aid" there is going to be a war. Nothing can stop it. No head of state could sit for it from any country. The same can be said if the reinforced Georgians resume their campaign of laying waste to South Ossetia and one more shell or rocket falls on a Russian town.

The long as short of it is that Russian forces were wantonly attacked and a defenseless city has been severely damaged. It's still going on and yet Russia is being blamed in the US as "over-reacting.

There was NEVER any intent to occupy Georgia or annex any territory for Russia as Condoleeza Rice is trying to have you believe. The entire operation was set off to STOP aggression by Georgia against a legally-mandated peacekeeping force and against defenseless civilians, and that is a demonstrable fact everywhere but in the US.

The US is now "pressuring" Ukraine to "limit" access by Russian naval vessels to a legitimate Russian naval base at Sovastapol and inciting the Ukrainians to further border raids against Russia. This is also demonstrable. It seems that Bush is determined to start a war with the "evil empire" (that only exists in his delusional mind).

US troops are currently landing in Georgia. Estimates are at least one "brigade strength" infantry unit with full equipment. They are joining the

Blackwater and Israeli troops (about 4,000 total) already present. The Bush Naval task force with yet more "aid" is supposedly in route. Whether it will be unchallenged when it enters Russian territorial waters remains to be seen.

---

More through Full Coverage: Georgia
http://news.yahoo.com/fc/World/Georgia;_ylt=AjKWu6EEmoAiq7KUuNjRLZl2y14A




4.

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7557915.stm

Winners and losers after Georgia conflict

By Paul Reynolds - 14 August 200

World affairs correspondent BBC news website

There are some clear winners and losers in the conflict over South Ossetia - and the crisis has shown the need for a fresh start in relations between Russia and the West.

First, the balance sheet:

Winners

Russia: It has emerged strongly, able to impose its will in South Ossetia and sending a clear signal about its readiness to assert itself.

It agreed to a ceasefire plan when its objective - control of South Ossetia - was achieved. The plan basically calls for no further use of force and some kind of return to the position before the conflict. However, Russia's foreign minister said Georgian troops would "never again" be allowed to resume their role as part of the joint peacekeeping force agreed with Russia in 1992. It is not clear whether Russian forces will be reduced to the battalion-sized unit allowed for in that agreement.

This is unlikely. Think more of Cyprus in 1974, when the Turks intervened, making similar claims about protecting their kith and kin. They are still there.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: He confirms that he is the power in the land. He gave strong performances throughout, especially when accusing the West of double standards by ignoring the casualties caused in Georgia's attempt to take over the enclave.

"What is surprising is the sheer scale of the cynicism - calling black white and white black, portraying aggressors as victims," he said. That goes down well at home.

The South Ossetians: The separatist movement will be in greater control now that Russia has taken over completely.

Old Europe: France and Germany, which are cautious about letting Georgia and Ukraine into Nato, will feel vindicated. They think that a country like Georgia with a border dispute should not yet be allowed in.

Losers

The dead and wounded and the refugees, of course: There are no accurate figures, but they might run into the hundreds. One problem has been the lack of reporting from inside South Ossetia. The initial Russian claim that a thousand and more were killed in the Georgian attack cannot be verified.

President Saakashvili of Georgia: He has been championed by the Bush administration but he failed in his attempt to impose Georgian control over South Ossetia and has to pay a price. Harsh words are being said about him by some European governments, where there has been private criticism of what one close observer called his "sudden and emotional" decision.

(Update 14 August: It is interesting however to see how President Saakashvili is trying to turn his position around, by gathering US and Eastern European support as the man who 'stood up' to the Russians. Other leaders have done this successfully before, for example Nasser in 1967 after the war with Israel.)

The truth: This has been a difficult conflict in which to sort out the facts. Russia failed to back up its claims of Georgian atrocities and did not allow reporters and international observers in to check them. Georgia made all kinds of claims that Russia was invading, including a statement that Russian troops had taken over the town of Gori which proved not to be so.

(Update 14 August: this reference was to a Georgian claim during the actual fighting, not to the subsequent Russian presence in Gori after the ceasefire.)

The US and UK at least have chosen to represent this as Russian aggression. Yet it was Georgia that attacked with a rocket barrage which by its nature was indiscriminate.

The West: Once again, the West was taken by surprise. The word in Washington (and London) is that President Saakashvili was warned to exercise restraint. If so, not only has Russia come out on top against a potential Western Nato ally, but that potential ally ignored serious advice from its mentors.

This raises the issue of what happens now.

The need for a new start

The fact is that the West needs Russia and Russia needs the West. Russia wants (or will want) to be better integrated into the world economic system and to be taken seriously as a diplomatic partner.

The West needs Russian support in the confrontation with Iran and Sudan, for example.

And perhaps the West needs to acknowledge that the Russians did have a case. It needs to explain why it helped Kosovo but questioned Russia's right to help South Ossetia.

However, there is already talk in Western capitals about retaliating against Russia for what is seen as its "disproportionate" response to the Georgian attack.

I understand that the following measures are being considered:

Blocking a new Russia/EU agreement: This covers a wide range of issues from trade to human rights. The old agreement is running out and negotiations must start on a new one. It is a symbol of good co-operation.

Restating Nato's commitment to Georgian and Ukrainian membership: This was agreed in principle in April and might be reaffirmed at a Nato meeting in December. However, there is no timetable and realistically, the conflict probably puts this off into the distant future.

Blocking Russian membership of the World Trade Organization: There could also be a questioning of Russian membership of the G8 group of leading industrial countries.

Whatever the outcome, the fortunately relatively small-scale war over South Ossetia has highlighted the present unsatisfactory situation between Russia and what one still has to call the West.




5.

From: Simon Peter Fuller (simonpeter@wwv.me.uk)
Date: Aug 18, 2008
Subject: Georgia - humiliating defeat for USA & Israel!

Once again we find the American Neocons and Israeli Zionists doing what they know best - infiltrating and subverting. This time they have met their match in Russia and its allies, as the heavily defeated Georgian "western" armed forces are routed and forced into a humiliating retreat. Just watch the western media now trying desperately to hide the truth!

Simon Peter Fuller
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/

---

From: http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2867.htm

Voice of the White House August 15, 2008

TBR News.org – August 15, 2008

"Perceiving an opportunity to make mischief with Russia, the American government, through the State Department, the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy and other groups that are partially, or wholly, supported by the American government, fomented the so-called "Rose Revolution" in the former Soviet state of Georgia with cash and weaponry. Mikhail Saskashvili, a highly unstable Georgian politician, was lobbied into office as the president of Georgia . He is essentially very erratic, given to wide emotional swings that can cause him to act in an often dangerous manner.

Once their picked man was in office, the United States, in conjunction with Israel, (many top Georgian political leaders are Jewish) moved to develop as Georgia as a possible base of military operations against Russia, or most especially, Iran;, (a bete noire of Israel), to secure the vital oil pipelines across that country and to further their policy of containment against Vladimir Putin's growing strength in Russia.

A Georgia , being armed and trained by both the United States and Israel , was then put forward as an applicant for membership in NATO. As expected both in Washington and Tel Aviv, this enraged the Russians. The Bush people and their allies have been gleefully gathering into the American-controlled NATO fold as many of former Russian areas as they can, to further annoy Russia .

A fake "missile shield" program was instituted in some of these countries whose dual purpose was to allow American attack, not defense, missiles to be stationed on territory very close to Russia but also to further warn Russia against growing too strong militarily or attempting to interdict their own oil and natural gas into countries, under American control, that Russia might have disputes with.

Eventually, with Putin's upgrading of the Russian military machine, it became obvious to Washington that some kind of a relatively safe military confrontation would be necessary. It was always the public posture of Saskashvili that he intended to take physical possession of former Georgian territories, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, by force. These provinces had broken away from Georgia when it became independent of Russia in the 1990s and Saskashvili was determined not only to reincorporate them into Georgia again (entirely against the will of their inhabitants) but to punish them for their independence..

At the time of the Russia/Georgia conflict, there were over 2000 US military personnel and special forces in Georgia, training and equipping Georgian units with American weaponry, over 1000 Israeli troops, mainly intelligence units directed at Iran, over 150 CIA operatives, and many official intelligence surveillance units designed to spy on Russian and Iranian military and civilian radio, satellite and other internal communications. Given the usual poor security chronically evident in such American units, the Russians were early-on well aware of these hostile, but muted, anti-Russian activities.

The savage Georgian artillery and armored vehicle assault on South Ossetia was not unexpected by the Russian military and armored and armored infantry units had been quietly moved into North Ossetia . American attempts to search for a possible Russian military build-up in the area closest to South Ossetia were thwarted by the maintaining of strict radio silence imposed on all Russian military units and unmanned 'Georgian' reconnaissance drones, supplied by Israel , trying to conduct surveillance were promptly shot down, over Russian territory, by Russian military aircraft.

In essence, the Russians sat and waited for the attack and when the terrified residents of South Ossetia fled to Russian protection when the unannounced cannonading of civilian areas by the Georgian Army (during which Russian military peacekeepers were killed) was in progress, they entered South Ossetia in totally unexpected force, engaged the Georgians and drove them out of the country. The Georgians assumed that the Russians would halt at the border with Georgia but were horrified when Russian armored units crossed the border in hot pursuit. Initially shouting defiance, a chastened Saskashvili fled into hiding and then, foolishly, declared war on Russia (a fact seldom reported in the American media)

In essence, Russia occupied both South Ossetia and Abkhazia,, at the frantic requests of their occupants and then struck deep into Georgia , driving the Georgian military in headlong flight. Also fleeing were American and Israeli military, diplomatic and intelligence personnel, causing Saskashvili to shout that he was being abandoned.

The Americans, and the Israelis, at the higher levels in the field and in Washington, were well aware of the pending Georgian attacks and did nothing to either support or hinder them, but a possible military confrontation by American and Israeli military units with the Russians was completely impossible, hence the American and Israeli frantic withdrawals.

Once this exiting had been accomplished, but not before, both American and Israel shook their fists at Putin and made loud warning speeches to their constituents but in essence, Putin had trumped Bush's ace and he and the war party in America had lost disastrous face. The hitherto monolithic image of the United States as a dominant world military force has been so shattered that a realignment of international thinking is quite certain. And though face-savings pacts and agreements have been signed, in the end, the Russians will retain a large number of well-armed and armored peacekeeping forces in the separatist region of South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, and the forces would have a broader mandate in South Ossetia . Further, there is no prohibition against these area petitioning to become a part of Russia . In point of fact, there is every indication that such requests will be made and certainly will be accepted. Then, any attack by Georgia would be a direct attack on Russia and in that event, the consequences would be monumental in nature.

And if the CIA doesn't give Saskashvili a fatal heart attack, as they have done before in such circumstances, he will recover his wind and again try to attack Russia . But America cannot just write a shattered and militarily helpless Georgia off as an ally, because of the oil situation. An America , starved for oil and now in fierce competition for the world's remaining supplies, has almost no choice but to try to secure the vital Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that is routed across Georgian territory.. This pipeline was constructed, at enormous cost, to bypass Russia and deliver oil to western countries. Now, With Russia armed and militant, the security of this pipeline is in serious question and it is this situation, rather than sticking American tongues out at Putin, that will determine the future. And on a lesser note, Israel has been ousted from its premier anti-Iranian base and is making strong representations to Bush to support their return to Georgia again. "

For more background on the recent Georgian/Russian flare-up see the Harry Brunser Report at http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2866.htm#001

See our Inside the White House archive: http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/category.asp?id=41




6.

From: http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/Saakashvili/saakashvili.html

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili

F. William Engdahl – 12 August, 2008

The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41 year old Mikhail Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. The famous ‘Rose Revolution of November 2003 that forced the ageing Edouard Shevardnadze from power and swept the then 36 year old US university graduate into power was run and financed by the US State Department, the Soros Foundations, and agencies tied to the Pentagon and US intelligence community.

Mihkail Saakashvili was deliberately placed in power in one of the most sophisticated US regime change operations, using ostensibly private NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) to create an atmosphere of popular protest against the existing regime of former Soviet Foreign Minister Edouard Shevardnadze, who was no longer useful to Washington when he began to make a deal with Moscow over energy pipelines and privatizations.

Saakashvili was brought to power in a US-engineered coup run on the ground by US-funded NGO’s, in an application of a new method of US destabilization of regimes it considered hostile to its foreign policy agenda. The November 24 2003 Wall Street Journal explicitly credited the toppling of Shevardnadze's regime to the operations of "a raft of non-governmental organizations . . . supported by American and other Western foundations." These NGOs, said the Journal, had "spawned a class of young, English-speaking intellectuals hungry for pro-Western reforms" who were instrumental laying the groundwork for a bloodless coup.

Coup by NGO

But there is more. The NGOs were coordinated by the US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Miles, who had just arrived in Tbilisi fresh from success in orchestrating the CIA-backed toppling of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, using the same NGOs. Miles, who is believed to be an undercover intelligence specialist, supervised the Saakashvili coup.

It involved US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Georgia Foundation. It involved the Washington-based Freedom House whose chairman was former CIA chief James Woolsey. It involved generous financing from the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy, an agency created by Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s to “do privately what the CIA used to do,” namely coups against regimes the US Government finds unfriendly.

George Soros’ foundations have been forced to leave numerous eastern European countries including Russia as well as China after the 1989 student Tiananmen Square uprising. Soros is also the financier together with the US State Department of the Human Rights Watch, a US-based and run propaganda arm of the entire NGO apparatus of regime coups such as Georgia and Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. Some analysts believe Soros is a high-level operative of the US State Department or intelligence services using his private foundations as cover.

The US State Department funded the Georgia Liberty Institute headed by Saakashvili, US approved candidate to succeed the no-longer cooperative Shevardnadze. The Liberty Institute in turn created “Kmara!” which translates “Enough!” According to a BBC report at the time, Kmara! Was organized in spring of 2003 when Saakashvili along with hand-picked Georgia student activists were paid by the Soros Foundation to go to Belgrade to learn from the US-financed Otpor activists that toppled Milosevic. They were trained in Gene Sharp’s “non-violence as a method of warfare” by the Belgrade Center for Nonviolent Resistance.

Saakashvili as mafioso President

Once he was in place in January 2004 as Georgia’s new President, Saakashvili proceeded to pack the regime with his cronies and kinsmen. The death of Zurab Zhvania, his prime minister in February, 2005, remains a mystery. The official version—poisoning by faulty gas heater—was adopted by American FBI investigators within two weeks of the killing. That has never seemed credible to those familiar with Georgia’s gangland slayings, crime, and other manifestations of social decay. Zhvania’s death was followed closely by a functionary of the Premier’s apparat, Georgi Khelashvili, who allegedly shot himself the day after his chief’s demise. The head of Zhvania’s research staff was later found dead as well.

Figures allied with Saakashvili reportedly had a hand in the premier’s death. Russian journalist Marina Perevozkina quoted Gia Khurashvili, a Georgian economist. Prior to the fatal incident, Mr. Khurashvili had published an article in Resonans newspaper opposing the privatization and sale of Georgia’s main gas pipeline. Ten days before the prime minister’s body was found, Khurashvili was attacked and his editor-in-chief—citing pressure from ‘security service’ figures he refused to name—issued him a warning.

The late premier’s position on the pipeline issue was believed the direct reason for the murder of Zhvania. Zhvania’s brother, Georgi, also told Perevozkina that not long before Zhvania’s death he received a warning that someone was preparing to kill his brother. Saakashvili was reportedly livid when the US State Department invited Zhvania to Washington to win a Freedom Medal from the US Government’s National Democratic Institute. Saakashvili tolerates no rivals for power it seems.

Saakashvili, who cleverly marketed himself as “anti-corruption,” appointed several of his family members to lucrative posts in government, giving one of his brothers a position as chief adviser on domestic issues to the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline project, backed by British Petroleum and other oil multinationals.

Since coming to power in 2004 with US aid, Saakashvili has led a policy of mass-scale arrests, imprisonment, torture and deepened corruption. Saakashvili has presided over the creation of a de facto one-party state, with a dummy opposition occupying a tiny portion of seats in the parliament, and this public servant is building a Ceaucescu-style palace for himself on the outskirts of Tbilisi. According to the magazine, Civil Georgia (Mar. 22, 2004) until 2005, the salaries of Saakashvili and many of his ministers were reportedly paid by the NGO network of New York-based currency speculator Soros—along with the United Nations Development Program.

Israel US military train Georgian military

The current military assault on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in violation of Saakashvili’s pledge to seek a diplomatic not military solution to the territorial disputes, is backed by US and Israeli military “advisers.” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that on August 10, Georgian Minister of Reintegration, Temur Yakobshvili, “praised the Israel Defense Forces for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might, in an interview with Army Radio. ‘Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers,’ Yakobashvili told Army Radio in Hebrew, referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired.”

One of the targets of Russian bombs near Tbilisi was, according to IsraelNN.com, “a Georgian military plant in which Israeli experts are upgrading jet fighters for the Georgian military… Russian fighter jets bombed runways inside the plant, located near Tbilisi, where Israeli security firm Elbit is in charge of upgrading Georgian SU-25 jets.”

Israeli Foreign Minister and candidate to succeed ousted Israeli Prime Minister, Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, proclaimed on August 10 that “Israel recognizes Georgia’s territorial integrity,” code for saying it backs Georgia’s attempt to take South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The reported 1,000 Israeli military advisers in Georgia were not alone. On July 15, the Reuters news wire carried the following report: “VAZIANI, Georgia - One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise called “Immediate Response 2008,” in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia. The two-week exercise was taking place at the Vaziani military base near the capital Tbilisi, which was a Russian air force base until Russian forces withdrew at the start of this decade under a European arms reduction agreement... Georgia has a 2,000-strong contingent supporting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and Washington provides training and equipment to the Georgian military. The United States is an ally of Georgia and has irritated Russia by backing Tbilisi’s bid to join the NATO military alliance... “The main purpose of these exercises is to increase the cooperation and partnership between U.S. and Georgian forces,” Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett, commander of the U.S. military’s Southern European Task Force, told reporters.”

With Russia openly backing and training the indigenous military in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to maintain Russian presence in the region, especially since the US-backed pro-NATO Saakashvili regime took power in 2004, the Caucasus is rapidly coming to resemble Spain in the Civil War from 1936-1939 where the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and others poured money and weapons and volunteers into Spain in a devastating war that was a precursor to the Second World War.

In a curious footnote to the actual launch of military fighting on the opening day of the Olympics when Putin, George W. Bush and many world leaders were in Beijing far away, is a report in IsraelNN.com by Gl Ronen, stating that “The Georgian move against South Ossetia was motivated by political considerations having to do with Israel and Iran, according to Nfc. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili decided to assert control over the breakaway region in order to force Israel to reconsider its decision to cut back its support for Georgia's military.”

Ronen added, “Russian and Georgian media reported several days ago that Israel decided to stop its support for Georgia after Moscow made it clear to Jerusalem and Washington that Russia would respond to continued aid for Georgia by selling advanced anti-aircraft systems to Syria and Iran.” Israel plans to get oil and gas from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian.

Although as of this writing Russian President Medvedev has announced Russia is halting its military response against Georgian targets, the situation is anything but stable. The insistence of Washington in bringing Georgia into its geopolitical sphere and backing an unstable regime around Mikhail Saakashvili may well have been the straw which broke the Russian camel’s patience if not his back.

Whether oil pipeline disputes or Russian challenges to Israel are the proximate trigger for Saakashvili’s dangerous game, it is clear that the volatile Georgian and his puppet masters may have entered a game where no one will be able to control the outcome.




7.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! SEE MY COMMENT AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE...

From: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20535.htm

Putin's Winning Hand: Once the Atlantic Alliance is shattered, America's lifeline to the world is kaput

By Mike Whitney

16/08/08 "ICH" -- - There are no military installations in the city of Tskhinvali. In fact, there are no military targets at all. It is an industrial center consisting of lumber mills, manufacturing plants and residential areas. It is also the home to 30,000 South Ossetians. When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the city to be bombed by warplanes and shelled by heavy artillery last Thursday, he knew that he would be killing hundreds of civilians in their homes and neighborhoods. But he ordered the bombing anyway.

There was no "Battle of Tskhinvali"; that's another fiction. A battle implies that there is an opposing force that is resisting or fighting back. That's not the case here. The Georgian army entered the city unopposed; after all, how can unarmed civilians stop armed units. Most of the townspeople had already fled across the border into Russia or hid in their basements while the tanks and armored vehicles rumbled bye firing at anything that moved.

What took place in South Ossetia last Thursday, was not an invasion or a siege; it was a massacre. The people had no way to defend themselves against a fully-equiped modern army. It was a war crime.

In less than 24 hours, the Russian army was deployed to the war zone where it chased the Georgian army away without a fight. Journalist Michael Binyon put it like this, "The attack was short, sharp and deadly---enough to send the Georgians fleeing in humiliating panic." Indeed, the Georgians left in such haste that many of their weapons were left behind. It was a complete rout; another black-eye for the US and Israeli advisers who trained the clatter of thugs they call the Georgian army. Soon vendors on the streets of Tskhinvali will be hawking weapons that were left behind with a mocking sign: "Georgia Army M-16; Never used, dropped once."

By the time the army was driven out, the downtown area was in engulfed in flames and the bodies of those who had been killed by sniper-fire were strewn along the streets and sidewalks. Many of people who stayed behind were simply too old or infirm to leave. Instead, they huddled in their basements waiting for the shelling to stop. It was a bloodbath. The city's only hospital was deliberately targeted and destroyed; another war crime. By day's end, over 2,000 people were killed in an operation that was clearly engineered with the assistance of the Bush White House. Bush regards Saakashvilli as his main client in the region; they are friends. He is America's cat's paw in the Caucasus. Saakashvilli's assignment is to try to get Putin to overreact militarily and demonstrate to European allies that Russia still poses a threat to their national security. Fortunately, many Europeans see through the ruse and know that the trouble originates in Washington.

For the most part, Americans are still in the dark about what really happened last weekend. There's a great video circulating on the Internet by a Russian citizen that has been living in USA for the last 10 years. He sums up the role of the US media with great precision. He says, "The western media--especially CNN--is feeding you complete horseshit. Russia did not invade Georgia first." The youtube can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c26Q-qxDEA

The coverage of the western media has been abysmal. Nearly every article and TV news segment begins with accusations of Russian aggression concealing the fact that the Georgian Army bombarded and invaded the capital of South Ossetia one full day before the first Russian even tank crossed the border. By the time the Russians arrived, the city was already in a shambles and thousands were dead.

These facts are not in dispute by those who followed the developments as they took place. Now the media is revising the facts to manage public perceptions, just as they did with the fictional WMD in Iraq. Many people think that the media learned its lesson after they were exposed for using bogus information in the lead up to the war in Iraq. But that is not true. The corporate media--especially FOX News, CNN and PBS (the smug, liberal-sounding channel)---continue to operate like the propaganda arm of the Pentagon. Its disgraceful.

In a 2006 referendum, 99% of South Ossetians said they supported independence from Georgia. The voter turnout was 95% and the balloting was monitored by 34 international observers from the west. No one has challenged the results. The province has been under the protection of Russian and Georgian peacekeepers since 1992 and has been a de facto independent state ever since. If Putin applied the same standard as Bush did in Kosovo, he would unilaterally declare South Ossetia independent from Georgia and then thumb his nose at the UN. (Sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander) But Putin and newly-elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have taken a conciliatory attitude towards the international community and tried to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels. So far, they have conducted themselves with restraint and avoided any confrontation.

Still, Russia's operation in South Ossetia has ignited a firestorm in the US political establishment and Democrats and Republicans alike are demanding that Russia be "taught a lesson". Condoleeza Rice flew to Tbilisi on Friday and ordered Russian combat troops to withdraw from Georgia immediately. Saakashvili topped off Rice's comments by saying that the Russian troops were "cold-blooded killers" and "barbarians". So much for reconciliation.

Saakashvili's hyperbolic rhetoric was followed by a surprise announcement from Poland that they had approved Bush's plans for deploying the Missile Defense Shield in Eastern Europe. The system is supposed to defend Europe from the possibility of attacks from so-called "rogue states" like Iran, but the Kremlin knows that it is intended to neutralize their nuclear arsenal. Political analyst William Engdahl explains the importance of the proposed system in his recent article, "Missile Defense: Washington and Poland just moved the World closer to War":

"The signing now insures an escalation of tensions between Russia and NATO and a new Cold War arms race in full force. It is important for readers to understand...the ability of one of two opposing sides to put anti-missile missiles to within 90 miles of the territory of the other in even a primitive first-generation anti-missile missile array gives that side virtual victory in a nuclear balance of power and forces the other to consider unconditional surrender or to pre-emptively react by launching its nuclear strike before 2012."

The new "shield" will be integrated into the larger US nuclear weapons system placing the world's most lethal weapons just a few hundred miles from Russia's capital. It is a clear threat to Russia's national security and it must be opposed at all cost. It is no different than nuclear weapons in Cuba. The timing of the announcement is particularly troubling as it only adds to the tensions between the two superpowers.

President Medvedev made this statement after hearing of Poland's decision: "This decision clearly demonstrates everything we have said recently. The deployment of new anti-missile forces in Europe is aimed at the Russian Federation."

It was President Ronald Reagan, the darling of the neoconservatives, who decided to remove short-range nuclear weapons from the European theater. Now, ironically, it is his ideological heir, George W. Bush, who is on track to restart the Cold War by putting a high-tech nuclear system on Russia's perimeter. The younger Bush has already broken his father's commitment to Mikail Gorbachev to never expand NATO beyond Germany. Presently, Bush is pushing to gain NATO membership for two former-Soviet states; Ukraine and Georgia. If they are approved, then any future dispute with Russia will pit the United States and Europe against Moscow. It's no wonder Putin is trying to derail the process.

The Bush administration has been planning for a confrontation with Russia for more than a year. In fact, Raw Story reported on operations that were conducted by the military on July 14, 2008 which were probably a dress rehearsal for the current conflict. According to Raw Story:

"US troops on Monday (July 14) began military exercises near the Russian border in ex-Soviet Ukraine and were poised to launch them in Georgia, amid tense relations between Moscow and Washington. A ceremony inaugurating the Sea Breeze-2008 NATO exercise was held off Ukraine's Black Sea coast against anti-NATO protests and a hostile reaction from officials in Russia. Sea Breeze-2008...includes forces from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia and Turkey...'The US-Georgia joint exercises will be held at the Vaziani military base' less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Russian border with a total of 1,650 servicemen taking part."

So, it appears the Bush administration, working in conjunction with the Pentagon, did have contingency plans for dealing with a flare-up with Georgia. The real question is whether or not they planned to initiate those hostilities to advance their own regional agenda? No one knows for sure.

Now that Georgia's American-trained army has been humiliated in front of the world, Bush is trying desperately to save face by demanding that Russia allow the US Air force to deliver humanitarian aid via C-17 military aircraft to the tens of thousands of Georgians who were displaced in the fighting. It is worth noting that, as yet, Bush has never delivered as much as a bag of rice to the 2 million Iraqi refugees living in Jordan and Syria due to his war in Iraq. Bush's magnanimity is not only suspect, it also creates real problems for Putin who will have to decide whether the offer is sincere or just a ploy to open up the ports and airfields so that more weaponry and ordnance can be delivered. As Barry Grey suggests in his article "Bush Dispatches US Military forces to Georgia" the humanitarian operation could be a scam:

"This is a formula for an injection of US military and naval forces into Georgia of indeterminate scope and duration. It will certainly involve the presence of hundreds if not thousands of uniformed US military personnel on the ground, and a substantial number of warships in the region. The US is introducing this military force into a situation that remains highly unstable and combustible, raising the possibility of a direct military clash between the United States and Russia."

Grey is right, but what choice does Putin have? His task is to avoid a military confrontation with the United States while demonstrating to his Europeon partners that their future lies with Russia not America. That's the real goal. To achieve that, he needs to expose Bush as reckless, petulant, and incapable of being a responsible steward of the global system. Maybe Putin will have to back-down at some point and swallow his pride; it makes no difference. What matters, is the endgame; showing that Russia is strong and dependable and will provide its European allies with oil and natural gas in a businesslike manner. That's the winning hand. Meanwhile, the United States will be forced to take a long-overdue look in the mirror and revisit its strategy for perennial war. Unfortunately, once the Atlantic Alliance is shattered; America's lifeline to the world is kaput.

---

Lots of comments are posted at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20535.htm including this one from Maria Kelly: "Vladamir Putin and the great Russian people. They are this world's only hope for true freedom" I wouldn't go quite that far. But I welcome Russia reasserting itself simply as a salutary check on the out-of-control, drunken mayhem in which the "world's only superpower" has been indulging since the fall of USSR, causing the death of millions, the destruction of defenseless countries and the displacement of other millions of innocent people.I also attribute to the US the devastation and war crimes wrought by Israel on Palestine and Lebanon because the tiny but vicious aggressor could not have done it if it had not been perched up on the bloodied backs of the American taxpayers."

NOTE from Jean: Once again the US media are in cahoot with the Bush Crime House to brainwash the gullible and perennially ill-informed US public. Every time the war criminals at the helm of the Pentagon mega-killing machine are about to launch another of their horrific attacks against yet another defenseless "enemy", these despicable, corrupted pseudo journalists working at CNN, FOX, PBS and most other propaganda outlets of the corporate barons spew their biased coverage and round-the-clock lies and orwellian, military-embedded, mind-controlling infotainment to soften the dazed, almost brain-dead dimwits willing to buy into all this disinformation just to keep their sanctimonious American Way of Destroying the world alive.

I think it is about time those who make the effort to get their news from other more reliable sources initiate a vast campaign to denounce for what it is the mass hypnosis US propaganda machine that emulates so well Joseph Goebbel's work when he was the head of Hitler's propaganda machine in Nazi Germany. These master distorters of reality are just as responsible for the war crimes perpetrated by the fiendish Bush/Cheney cabal and must be held accountable. But first, voices need to be raised to tell everyone to boycott these media conglomerates and tune them out so as to stop being mind-weaved into their deliriously maniacal war-mongering matrix.

Here is another telling example of the US media one-sided, biased coverage:

Deadly Distortion
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/ap-report.html
A new If Americans Knew Report Card reveals that Associated Press coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict significantly distorts reality, essentially over-reporting the number of Israelis killed in the conflict and under-reporting the number of Palestinians killed.

And to understand why the media coverage in the US is so slanted take 10 minutes to watch this:

Secret Rulers of the World - Asses of Evil (11 min)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=otrdl-mPXB8

Here is a sobering reminder of how bad it is and what is at stake:

Robert Kennedy Jr. Speaks About the Media (Oct 30, 2005)
http://www.faulkingtruth.com/Articles/LettersToEditor/1019.html
The Media has become a Republican Propaganda Machine - On this foggy Saturday morning in San Francisco, with the Republicans firmly in control of seemingly everything including the media, I am gravely concerned about the deteriorating state of our media that resembles more and more right-wing propaganda. Please take a minute to consider my brief introduction and read Robert F. Kennedy Jr's recent speech. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read and contemplate and maybe someone can do something more about all this aside from restoring honest elections. Thanks in advance if you read all the way to the bottom and bonus points if you click on the link below to Kennedy's speech! I wish more could be done to stop juggernaut of media consolidation into the hands of a few very powerful conservatives who control/influence these corporations. These powerful wealthy conservatives are running (or ruining) this country by choking off balanced, unbiased news reporting. More and more the only way to get a shocking expose' about the abuses of the US government introduced, is to launch this story in the UK or Europe, and then the US domestic mainstream news channels are pressured to finally pick up the story, as with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. We almost lost NPR and PBS earlier this year when major funding cuts were proposed and finally defeated, but not without a battle. We're on the border for completely losing freedom of the press and having our news "locked down". Because of the historic corporate consolidation of the media over the past few decades, six multi-national corporations control something like 85% of what the American public reads, hears on the radio, and watches on Cable/TV news programs. Having a liberal media is a complete myth. CLIP

Not content with censoring, managing and distorting the fake "news" Americans get, the Bush regime distorted science for the sake of higher profits, a legacy that still lives on...

Bad Science and the Bush Record The Junk Science of George W. Bush (March 4, 2004)
http://www.nrdc.org/bushrecord/science/rfk.asp
(...) Today, flat-earthers within the Bush Administration -- aided by right-wing allies who have produced assorted hired guns and conservative think tanks to further their goals -- are engaged in a campaign to suppress science that is arguably unmatched in the Western world since the Inquisition. Sometimes, rather than suppress good science, they simply order up their own. Meanwhile, the Bush White House is purging, censoring and blacklisting scientists and engineers whose work threatens the profits of the Administration's corporate paymasters or challenges the ideological underpinnings of their radical anti-environmental agenda. Indeed, so extreme is this campaign that more than sixty scientists, including Nobel laureates and medical experts, released a statement on February 18 that accuses the Bush Administration of deliberately distorting scientific fact "for partisan political ends."

"In 2001, President Bush named the Justice Department building after RFK. The young Kennedy attended the ceremony. We asked him what he thought of President Bush naming the building after his dad. He said he wouldn't comment on the record. But he did call President Bush "the most corrupt and immoral President that we have had in American history. (...) In the book, Kennedy implies that we live in a fascist country and that the Bush White House has learned key lessons from the Nazis."While communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business," he writes. "My American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as 'a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership together with belligerent nationalism.' Sound familiar?" He quotes Hitler's propaganda chief Herman Goerring: "It is always simply a matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Kennedy then adds: "The White House has clearly grasped the lesson." Kennedy also quotes Benito Mussolini's insight that "fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." "The biggest threat to American democracy is corporate power," Kennedy told us."

- Taken from Kennedy: Fascist America


"That any people or power could allow this cancer to remain is repulsive and shameful."

- Jeffrey Morgan Foss (jmf@royal.net)




8.

AND NOW LET'S HEAR THE WISE AND POWERFUL WORDS OF A REAL UNCORRUPTED JOURNALIST

Forwarded by Edna Spennato (ednaspennato@gmail.com)

From: http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=481

Honouring the 'unbreakable promise'

28 March 2008

Almost fourteen years after South Africa's first democratic elections and the fall of racial apartheid, John Pilger describes, in an address at Rhodes University, the dream and reality of the new South Africa and the responsibility of its new elite.

On my wall in London is a photograph I have never grown tired of looking at. Indeed, I always find it thrilling to behold. You might even say it helps keep me going. It is a picture of a lone woman standing between two armoured vehicles, the notorious 'hippos', as they rolled into Soweto. Her arms are raised. Her fists are clenched. Her thin body is both beckoning and defiant of the enemy. It was May Day 1985 and the uprising against apartheid had begun.

The fine chronicler of apartheid, Paul Weinberg, took that photograph. He described crouching in a ditch at the roadside as the hippos entered Soweto. People were being shot with rubber bullets and real bullets. "I looked around," he said, "and there in the ditch next to me was this bird-like woman, who suddenly pulled out a bottle of gin, took a swig, then went over the top and marched straight into the moving line of vehicles. It was the one of the bravest things I've seen."

Paul's photograph brings to mind one of my favourite quotations. "The struggle of people against power," wrote Milan Kundera, " is the struggle of memory against forgetting." Moments such as that woman's bravery ought to be unforgettable, for they symbolise all the great movements of resistance to oppression: in South Africa, the Freedom Charter, Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia Trial, the heroism of Steve Biko, the women who somehow kept their children alive on freezing hillsides in places like Dimbaza where they had been removed and declared redundant, and beyond, the Jews who rose against the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Palestinians who just the other day smashed down the walls of their prison in Gaza.

Unforgettable? For some, yes. But there are those who prefer we celebrate a system of organised forgetting: of unbridled freedom for the few and obedience for the many; of socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the poor. They prefer that the demonstrable power of ordinary people is committed to what George Orwell called the memory hole. You may ask how we can possibly forget when we live in an information age?

The answer to that is another question: Who are "we"? Unlike you and me, most human beings have never used a computer and never owned a telephone. And those of us who are technologically blessed often confuse information with media, and corporate training with knowledge. These are probably the most powerful illusions of our times. We even have a new vocabulary, in which noble concepts have been corporatised and given deceptive, perverse, even opposite meanings.

"Democracy" is now the free market – a concept itself berefet of freedom. "Reform" is now the denial of reform. "Economics" is the relegation of most human endeavour to material value, a bottom line. Alternative models that relate to the needs of the majority of humanity end up in the memory hole. And "governance" – so fashionable these days - means an economic system approved in Washington, Brussels and Davos. "Foreign policy" is service to the dominant power. Conquest is "humanitarian intervention". Invasion is "nation-building".

Every day, we breathe the hot air of these pseudo ideas with their pseudo truths and pseudo experts. They set the limits of public debate within the most advanced societies. They determine who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. They manipulate our compassion and our anger and make many of us feel there is nothing we can do. Take the "war on terror". This is an entirely bogus idea that actually means a war of terror. Its aim is to convince people in the rich world that we all must live in an enduring state of fear: that Muslim fanatics are threatening our civilisation.

In fact, the opposite is true. The threat to our societies comes not from Al Qaeda but from the terrorism of powerful states. Ask the people of Iraq, who in five years ago have seen the physical and social destruction of their country. President Bush calls this "nation-building". Ask the people of Afghanistan, who have been bombed back into the arms of the Taliban - this is known in the West as a "good war". Or the people of Gaza, who are denied water, food, medicines and hope by the forces of so-called civilisation. The list is long and the arithmetic simple. The greatest number of victims of this war of terror are not Westerners, but Muslims: from Iraq to Palestine, to the refugee camps of Lebanon and Syria and beyond.

We are constantly told that September 11th 2001 was a day that changed the world and - according to John McCain - justifies a 100-year war against America's perceived enemies. And yet, while the world mourned the deaths of 3,000 innocent Americans, the UN routinely reported that the mortality rate of children dead from the effects of extreme poverty had not changed. The figure for September 11th 2001 was more than 36,000 children. That is the figure every day. It has not changed. It is not news.

The difference between the two tragedies is that the people who died in the Twin Towers in New York were worthy victims, and the thousands of children who die every day are unworthy victims. That is how many of us are programmed to perceive the world. Or so the programmers hope. In the information age, these children are expendable. In South Africa, they are the children of the evicted and dispossessed, children carrying water home from a contaminated dam. They are not the children in the gated estates with names like Tuscany. They are not covered by the theories of GEAR or NEPAD or any of the other acronyms of power given respectability by journalism and scholarship.

It seems to me vital that young people today equip themselves with an understanding of how this often subliminal propaganda works in modern societies – liberal societies: societies with proud constitutions and freedom of speech, like South Africa. For it says that freedom from poverty - the essence of true democracy - is a freedom too far.

In South Africa, new graduates have, it seems to me, both a special obligation and an advantage. The advantage they have is that the past is still vividly present. Only last month, the National Institute for Occupational Health revealed that in the last six years deadly silicosis had almost doubled among South Africa's gold miners. There are huge profits in this industry. Many of the miners are abandoned and die in their 40s – their families too poor to afford a burial.

Why is there still no proper prevention and compensation? And although Desmond Tutu pleaded with them, not one company boss in any of the apartheid-propping industries ever sought an amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They were that confident that for things to change on the surface, things would remain the same.

For young graduates these days, there is a temptation to set themselves apart from the conditions I have described and from the world some have come from. As members of a new privileged elite, they have an obligation, I believe, to forge the vital link with the genius of everyday life and the resourcefulness and resilience of ordinary people. This will allow them, in whatever way you choose, to finish the job begun by Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko and the brave woman in the photograph. In a nutshell, it means standing by one's compatriots in order to bring true freedom to South Africa.

Those who led the struggle against racial apartheid often said no. They dissented. They caused trouble. They took risks. They put people first. And they were the best that people can be. Above all, they had a social and political imagination that unaccountable power always fears. And they had courage. It is this imagination and courage that opens up real debate with real information and allows ordinary people to reclaim their confidence to demand their human and democratic rights.

Oscar Wilde wrote: "Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue". I read the other day that the South African police calculated that the number of protests across the country had doubled in just two years to more than 10,000 every year. That may be the highest rate of dissent in the world. That's something to be proud of - just as the Freedom Charter remains something to be proud of. Let me remind you how it begins: "We, the people of South Africa, declare that our country belongs to everyone...". And that, as Nelson Mandela once said, was the "unbreakable promise". Isn't it time the promise was kept?

This is edited version of an address in March 2008 by John Pilger to graduating students at Rhodes University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in literature.

Click here to read the citation that accompanied the honorary doctorate.

---

For another interesting perspective on path-Breaking new citizen-drive journalism - like this ERN list! - I highly recommend watching this interview with Arianna Huffington on Meet the Bloggers for July 18th, 2008 http://meetthebloggers.org/show_071808.php

On August 22, they'll have Michael Moore who will be joined by bloggers Liliana Segura (AlterNet) and Cheryl Contee (Jack & Jill Politics), as well as nationally syndicated author and blogger David Sirota. Watch Mike talk with host Cenk Uygur about issues he covers in his new book, Mike's Election Guide 2008. "With John McCain admitting that he has no idea how to use a computer," Mike said, "we'll be providing Sen. McCain a step-by-step tutorial on how to turn one on, log onto the internet, and send an e-mail." This is gonna be at 1 pm (ET) at http://meetthebloggers.org/ and the archived copy will be available afterward on the site and as a podcast.




9.

From: Carol Wolman (cwolman@mcn.org)
Subject: IT'S TIME!
Date: 16 Aug 2008

Dear Jean,

This email is going out to many Christians and Christian groups today. We are using the model of Gideon to make lots of noise and defeat the Midianites (Judges 7). We want you to be aware this is happening, and disseminate the information.

IT'S TIME!

In the past couple of weeks, the Decider has done the following:

- Gutted environmental protection by taking EPA scientists out of the loop.
- Pushed for offshore oil drilling
- Made it easier for the FBI to investigate without a warrant.
- Proposed making oral contraceptives harder to obtain.
- Gotten obviously drunk at the China Olympics, embarrassing the US and insulting the Chinese.
- Started a proxy war with Russia via the US client state of Georgia.
- Signed an agreement to place missile defense in Poland, evoking a Russian threat against Poland.
- Cancelled joint military exercises with Russia, essentially restarting the Cold War with the second nuclear superpower.
- Sent a huge armada to blockade Iran, which could start WW III.

It's only August. How much more damage can Bush do in the next 5 months? How can we stop him? It needs to be done NOW! And there's only one way to do it, which is to call a spade a spade.

This article provide proof of who Bush really is.

Many patriotic Americans are pushing hard right now on Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney, before they can start WW III and/or impose fascism. But the political will to make impeachment happen has been lacking. When the Christian support for this administration is removed, Bush and Cheney will fall. It's time.

John Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has called his committee back into session during the August recess, to consider charges against Bush in Ron Suskind's new book. "The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism". Suskind reveals that the Bush administration ordered the C.I.A. to forge a letter from the head of Iraq intelligence to Saddam Hussein to support the notion of a link between Iraq and 9/11. This egregious lie could lead to impeachment. It's time.

Bush lied about the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection. He lied in saying Saddam was buying the uranium ore yellowcake from Niger.- this claim was also based on a forged document. Lying is Bush's modus operandi, and the hallmark of satan.

He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Some right-wingers are now trying to pin antichrist on Obama, who has not lied or murdered anyone to my knowledge. It's much more appropriate to consider Bush the antichrist. Just about everything he has done is destructive to the American people, and the ecology of the American continent. He is a murderer. And he lies continually.

The antidote to lying is truth.

Yet Bush is still supported by many misguided Christians, who refuse to listen to Jesus and face the truth. Without their support, he will be unable to proceed.

What if the Christians who still support Bush suddenly recognize the truth? What if they understand he is "the lawless one", and they have been deceived? Wouldn't they repudiate him, and make it impossible for him to continue wreaking havoc? That's our goal- let's make it happen. It's time.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved.

What if the Christians in the military realized they are serving the wrong master? What if they began to love the truth, and see that lying, torture, murder are wrong? What if they see there is no noble cause, as Cindy Sheehan says, for which they are putting their lives on the line? Will they not refuse to fight Bush's wars? Many in the military, and many veterans especially, feel this way already. Let's persuade them. It's time.

Whether or not one is a believer, it's clear that Bush comes close to fitting the Biblical description of antichrist. And you must see that so labeling him is the only way to undercut his Christian support and render him impotent.

The main thing now is to stop Bush, stop nuclear holocaust, stop fascism. IT'S TIME!

Let's take away his base of deceived Christians, and strip him of power.

In the name of the Prince of Peace,

Carol Wolman




10.

From: http://earthheal.blogspot.com/2008/08/please-send-prayer-and-healing-energy.html

This Friday 22 August, please send your prayers and healing energy to the thousands of people being tortured during incarceration

Special Focus on Aafia Siddiqui and Mohammed Omar
Friday 15 August and Friday 22 August
5 pm - 8 pm GMT Universal Mean Time

The Earth Heal Clinic invites all people everywhere to send prayers and healing energy to support the energy work, starting at 5 pm GMT/UT and continuing until 8 pm GMT/UT on both days. To view the starting time in your own part of the world, go to this link at the World Clock.

DR. AAFIA SIDDIQUI

The treatment will focus on easing the suffering of the 36 year old Pakistani neuroscientist, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, as well as her rapid release and full recovery, on all levels. Dr Siddiqui was kidnapped in Karachi in 2003, together with her three children (the youngest was just a one month old baby at the time) by Pakistani special forces, and was one of more than 1000 people who have "disappeared" since 2001 in Pakistan during Musharraf's regime, and were handed over to the USA for large amounts of money.

Musharraf is said to have boasted about receiving bountymonry for Pakistani citizens: "We have captured 689 [members of Al Qaeda] and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of 'not doing enough' in the war on terror should simply ask CIA how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan," boasts General Musharraf on page 237 of his autobiography..."

UPDATED ON 19 AUGUST: Thousands of people across Pakistan have been protesting the human rights abuses for weeks, and on Sunday 17 August, a crowd of around 4000 in Karachi burnt the US flag and an effigy of George W. Bush in protest at Dr Siddiqui's treatment, leading to the resignation on Monday 18 August of Musharraf, who was facing charges of impeachment for the assassinatin of Benazir Bhutto and human rights abuses, including the kidnapping and trafficking of more than 1000 Pakistani citizens. The politically explosive issue of the "disappeared" is entangled with what has become a drawn-out dispute over the restoration of judges fired last year by Musharraf, including Chief Justice Chaudhry, who had been taking measures to help the missing-persons cases move forward.

Dr. Siddiqui's plight has been brought to world attention by the Cage Prisoner Campaign started by British journalist, Yvonne Ridley, and supported by Pakistan political leader, Imran Khan, Lord Nazir Ahmed of the House of Lords, and British MP and RESPECT Party leader, George Galloway. Lord Nazir reported that Dr. Siddiqui, who is said to have lost her sanity as a result of the trauma, is "physically tortured and continuously raped by the officers at prison...has no separate toilet facilities and has to attend to her bathing and movements in full view of the other prisoners."

Dr. Siddaqui has been held for more than five years at US Bagram prison in Afghanistan. She is also suffering from a recent bullet wound in the abdomen, for which she has not yet received medical treatment, and which has reportedly gone septic. Here is what the Human Rights Commission reported on Aafia's state:"One kidney removed while in captivity; her teeth removed; her nose broken and improperly reset; her recent gun shot wound incompletely bandaged, oozing blood and soaking her clothes in blood."

Saghir Hussain, a lawyer and member of Cageprisoners, has spoken about extent of the "disappeared" from Pakistan, individuals who have been literally kidnapped from the streets: "All...have been illegally abducted by secretive intelligence agencies. They began disappearing in 2001 during the so-called war on terror," he said. "Prisoner 650 is just the tip of a very nasty iceberg of human rights abuses, illegal detentions and rendition flights. It is a shameful episode in Pakistan's history which must be put right."

Please send a prayer for the healing of Dr. Siddiqui any time before or during the treatment process on both days. For more info, see the links at the bottom of this post. To help Dr. Siddiqui at a grassroots level, please take part in the Urgent Appeal to Action called by the Asian Human Rights Commission, and sign the petitions at The Petition Site and IPetitions.

MOHAMMED OMAR

We will also be doing healing work for the courageous 24 year-old Palestinian journalist, Mohammed Omar, who has been reporting from the front lines inside Gaza since the age of 17.

John Pilger writes: "Every day, he reports from a war zone, where he is also a prisoner. His homeland, Gaza, is surrounded, starved, attacked, forgotten. He is a profoundly humane witness to one of the great injustices of our time. He is the voice of the voiceless." The eldest of eight, Mohammed has seen most of his siblings killed or wounded or maimed. An Israeli bulldozer crushed his home while the family were inside, seriously injuring his mother. And yet, says a former Dutch ambassador, Jan Wijenberg, "he is a moderating voice, urging Palestinian youth not to court hatred but seek peace with Israel".

Omar was seized and tortured by Shin Bet at the Allenby crossing into Gaza while on his way back from a European tour in June, after being awarded the Martha Gellhorn prize in London for investigative reporting. He has suffered long-term injuries and a nervous breakdown as a result of the abuse.

Omar wrote after his ordeal: "…They dragged me by my feet, sweeping my head through my own vomit. I lost consciousness. I was told later that they transferred me to a hospital only when they thought I might die.Today, I have difficulty breathing. I have abrasions and scratches on my chest and neck. My hands don't function well; typing is difficult. My doctor informed me that due to nerve damage from one kick, I may be unable to father children and will need to have an operation..."

As horrendous as the treatment of Omar was, his case is just one of thousands. "Israeli human rights groups have documented the routine torture of Palestinians by Shin Bet agents with "beatings, painful binding, back bending, body stretching and prolonged sleep deprivation". Amnesty has long reported the widespread use of torture by Israel, whose victims emerge as mere shadows of their former selves. Some never return…." (Pilger). Alison Weir has documented some of the routine brutal abuse which takes place at Israeli check points, and which is ignored by AP and the mainstream media. For more info, see the links below this post.

Please send prayer and healing energy for Mohammed's full recovery on all levels, any time before or during the treatment process on both days. To help Muhammed and other victims of Israel's human rights abuses at a grassroots level, and have the restrictions on journalists in the occupied territories lifted, please sign the petition here.

PLEASE SEND YOUR LIGHT AND LOVE TO THE "DISAPPEARED" OF THE WORLD

Please extend your prayer to the collective consciousness of all the people suffering in horrendous conditions in detention around the world, including places like Bagram naval base in Afghanistan, Guatanamo in Cuba, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, detention centres in Israel and Burma, and hundreds of other places of incarceration around the world, where the "disappeared" victims of the new inquisition live in conditions worse than hell, including women, children, and even babies.

During the treatments on 15 and 22 August, we will also be facilitating planetary healing work for the Highest Good of All, under guidance from the collective Higher Self for the ongoing situation in Georgia.

The Earth Heal Clinic provides distant healing work on a pro bono basis to those in real need, including refugees, people in war-torn areas, indigent and homeless people, as well as animals.

Please consider making a donation to support the ongoing work of the Clinic, via this link. This post includes a long list of related Links - READ IN FULL HERE: here: http://earthheal.blogspot.com/2008/08/please-send-prayer-and-healing-energy.html

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Related article:

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui declines U.S charges in NY court-immediate release demanded (Aug 7, 2008)
http://www.pak-times.com/2008/08/07/dr-aafia-siddiqui-declines-us-charges-in-ny-court-immediate-release-demanded/
NEW YORK: A Pakistani neuroscientist and mother of three, who is accused of Al-Qaeda links and shooting at US officers in Afghanistan has refused all the U.S allegations leveled against her that she tried to kill U.S. agents and military officers in New York court here on early Wednesday.Wearing a maroon headscarf, she talked very softly and was asked by the judge to speak up. Down with the weakness and having a bullet wound in her leg she refused to admit allegations leveled against her by nodding her head slowly. (...) The FBI and other US agencies have been torturing Dr Aafia Siddiqui mentally and physically for last five years and she should be immediately released, demanded her sister Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui. While Pakistan Professionals Forum (PPF) would hold peaceful protest at Parade Ground opposite Parliament House on Thursday against abduction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui by US on Thursday. Sources told that the protest to be joined by doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, student and civil society activists of twin cities. Meanwhile, Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, sister of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, will address directly whereas Ms. Yvonne Ridley, Patron, Cage Prisoners, and journalist on telephone. Addressing a news conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) along with Iqbal Haider, Co-chairman of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, she said Dr Aafia Siddiqui was taken in custody by the US agencies in 2003. The governments of United States and Pakistan, officially, denied her arrest. An application for the recovery of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from secret agencies was pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan, she said.Dr Fouzia Siddiqui said when some time back her family contacted the US authorities for demanding her release, they were warned by to keep a mum over the issue if they wanted to see her alive. She asked why the US government failed to produce Dr Afia Siddiqui before the court soon after her arrest in 2003 for allegedly keeping chemical and biological weapons. "My sister never committed terrorism. She was never involved in such activities," Fouzia Siddiqui asserted, adding she was an innocent woman and competent professional in her field. Dr Afia was tortured at Bagram Base detention center in Afghanistan by the US agencies along with her three sons for five years, she said adding their family even did not know whether she was dead or alive. CLIP




11.

Israeli Government Recognizes “Humanitarian” Mission to Break the Siege of Gaza

NICOSIA, CYPRUS (18 Aug. 2008) - In a letter today to the Free Gaza Movement, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that the group of international human rights activists attempting to break the siege of Gaza were “humanitarian,” and stated that the Israeli government “assume[s] that your intentions are good.”

Greta Berlin, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement stated that, “Since the Foreign Minister's office responded to our invitation to join us, and said that we have good intentions, we now fully expect to reach Gaza.”

According to recent reports in the Israeli media however, the Israeli military is preparing to use force to stop the nonviolent campaigners from reaching Gaza. It's not clear if the letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signals a change of policy, or is simply an attempt to open up an official dialogue between the state of Israel and the Free Gaza Movement regarding the current blockade.

The Free Gaza Movement is preparing to sail two ships into Gaza carrying 40 human rights workers from 17 different countries. They will also deliver hearing aids for children who have lost some or all of their hearing due to Israeli sound bombs and sonic booms.

The ships have been named the SS Free Gaza, and the SS Liberty - in recognition of the USS Liberty, a U.S. Navy ship, carrying 340 that was attacked by Israeli fighter planes and torpedo boats on 8 June 1967, assassinating 34 American sailors and wounding 170.

The Free Gaza Movement hopes to draw attention to the devastating consequences of the Israeli blockade by actively demonstrating the power of non-violent direct action to change inhumane governmental policies.

For more information, please contact:

Greta Berlin, Cyprus
+357 99 081 767
Iristulip@gmail.com

Angela Godfry-Goldstein, Israel
+972 547 366 393
Angela@icahd.org

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HERE IS THE RECENT RELATED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE FREE GAZA MOVEMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL

5 August 2008
Tzipi Livni
Foreign Affairs Minister, Israel

Dear Foreign Minister Livni:

On behalf of the Free Gaza Movement, we would like to formally invite you to join us on our upcoming voyage from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip. We feel that your presence on this important mission would help alleviate concerns that have been expressed in the Israeli media about our objectives. More importantly, we believe that it would be extremely helpful for you to see firsthand the horrific effects of Israeli policies on the people of the Gaza Strip, as well as to witness firsthand the effectiveness of non-violent action in bringing about positive change.

While we disagree with many of the statements and policies you have made as the Israeli Foreign Minister, we wholeheartedly agree with a portion of something you wrote two years ago when you said:

“For too long, the Middle East has been governed by zero-sum logic. One side's loss was seen as the other's gain. This thinking has brought much suffering to our region” (Tzipi Livni, "The Peace Alternative," Asharq Alawsat, 18 June 2007).

This is absolutely correct. We seek an end to this suffering. We find ourselves, and you must be feeling this intensely yourself, in truly difficult times. The one thing that is clear is that violence has not worked for anyone in this conflict. As a group of avowed non-violent, peace activists, we hope that you will accept this opportunity, move past the zero-sum logic of your government's blockade, and join us on this historic voyage to break the Siege of Gaza.

Your government's siege on the people of Gaza has been deemed illegal by numerous human rights organizations, has lead to the death of over 200 patients in the last year as a result of being denied adequate medical care, and has caused a man-made humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. Clearly this is not the behavior of a civilized government, nor can these policies ever lead to peace for Israel.

Our voyage may seem to be a quixotic endeavor and therefore easily dismissed, but as a group of individuals who fervently believe that such moves can be vitally transforming, and that individuals do indeed each have the power to change our world for the better, we hope that you will take our offer seriously. We set sail for Gaza in the next few days. Please join us.

Sincerely Yours,
The Steering Committee for the Free Gaza Movement, Cyprus
Tel. +357 99 081 767
FriendsofGaza@gmail.com
http://www.FreeGaza.org


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18 August 2008
The Steering Committee for the Free Gaza Movement, Cyprus

Dear Committee Members:

Your letter to Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni as published on your website has been brought to our attention. We assume that your intentions are good but, in fact, the result of your action is that you are supporting the regime of a terrorist organization in Gaza, an organization dedicated to non-recognition of the State of Israel and its right to exist; an organization that sends women and children to commit suicide in order to hurt others; an organization that has committed dozens of terrorist acts against Israeli civilians, including massive attacks of rockets and mortar bombs on Israeli communities in the heart of Israel's sovereign territory. It is this organization that does not allow the Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace. In 2005, Israel withdrew all of its forces and all of its citizens from the Gaza Strip so that the Palestinians could manage their own lives; in return, innocent Israeli citizens were the targets of repeated attacks launched from within Palestinian civilian population centers, turning the Palestinian population into hostages of the terrorist organizations and the Hamas regime. The attacks from the Gaza Strip against Israeli communities continue to this day.

In June 2007, Hamas led a violent coup in Gaza and seized the government illegally, a fact which led to an international boycott and isolation of its government. The international community also set clear conditions that Hamas must fulfill in order to be regarded as a partner for diplomatic contacts and normal economic relations. Hamas is the central player in the Gaza Strip and the address to which you should direct your complaints concerning the situation there. In this protest voyage to Gaza , you seek to remove legitimate pressure on the Hamas government and to violate the conditions of the international community; therefore we cannot cooperate with your efforts.

Your claim that the residents of the Gaza Strip are suffering from hunger is groundless considering the amount of food that passes every day from Israel to the Gaza Strip. There isn't another conflict in the world in which one side supplies all the needs of the other side - food, medicines, water, fuel and electricity. Thousands of Palestinians have crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment at Israeli hospitals.

We would like to point out that the area to which you are planning to sail is the subject of an advisory notice that has been published by the Israeli Navy, which warns all foreign vessels to remain clear of the designated maritime zone off the coast of Gaza in light of the current security situation.

We have received information that you are planning to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. We would like to bring to your attention that the transfer of humanitarian aid to Israel is effected, at present, through agreed-upon channels, and the Israeli authorities will ensure that the shipment reaches its destination via the land crossing points. We will be happy to assist you in this endeavor.

If your intentions are good, please choose this way; if you do not intend to deliver the humanitarian aid via Israel , this proves that your goal is political and constitutes the legitimization of a terrorist organization.

Sincerely,
Noam Katz
Director, Public Relations Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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18 August 2008

Noam Katz
Director, Public Relations Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel

Dear Mr. Katz,

The Free Gaza Movement thanks Foreign Minister Livni for your response regarding our efforts to break the siege of Gaza. We appreciate Israel's formal recognition of our human rights mission, as well as its acknowledgement that our “intentions are good.”

However, several factual errors in your letter need to be addressed. You wrote, “Your claim that the residents of the Gaza Strip are suffering from hunger is groundless…” According to the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “only 43.5% of basic commercial food import needs were met during the period between 3 and 30 December 2007.” Furthermore, in May 2008, several international aid organizations, including CARE International UK, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, and Medecins du Monde UK, stated that, “the stranglehold on Gaza's borders has made ... the work of the UN and other humanitarian agencies ... virtually impossible. Only a trickle of medicine, food, fuel and other goods is being allowed in. [The Israeli Blockade of Gaza] has made people highly dependent on food aid, and brought the health system and basic services such as water and sanitation near to collapse.”

Although, we appreciate your offer to deliver humanitarian supplies for us, Israel's deplorable track record of delivering supplies is, in fact, the very reason for our mission.

Your offer also slights our human-rights mission, which is to break your siege of Gaza. We intend to raise international awareness about the open-air prison called Gaza, where Israel collectively punishes 1.5 million Palestinians. We want to pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for Israel's continued occupation. Finally, we want to uphold Palestine's right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, and journalists.

We would like to, once again, invite Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni to join us on our historic voyage to end the siege of Gaza, and to see first hand the devastating effects of Israeli policies on the men, women, and children of the Gaza Strip.

Sincerely,
Greta Berlin, Ramzi Kysia, Tom Nelson
Free Gaza Movement, Cyprus
+357 99 081 767
FriendsOfGaza@gmail.com

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Latest on Free Gaza Ships

From: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SabbahsBlog/~3/370213963/

ACTION ALERT - Keep in Touch With Free Gaza Ships

20 Aug 2008

A storm has delayed two boats, carrying 40 pro-Palestinian activists, from sailing to Gaza according to the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the vessels. The ships left Nicosia, Cyprus on August 7 and arrived in Chania, Crete, on Saturday, August 9,

The activists (now waiting for clear weather to set sail) and their families back home, are receiving anonymous threats, claiming that the ships will be blown up or destroyed, killing all on board.

Human rights observers, aid workers, and journalists who make up the Free Gaza Movement plan to break the siege in Gaza. Forty passengers from 16 countries are transporting badly needed medicine, hearing aids and other humanitarian supplies on sailing ships named Free Gaza, and Liberty (in honor of the 34 Americans killed aboard the USS Liberty when Israel attacked the American ship during the Six-Day War in 1967).

More than 170 prominent individuals and organizations have endorsed Free Gaza efforts, including the Carter Center, former British Cabinet member Claire Short, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Mairead Maguire and Desmond Tutu.

So far the U.S. media is ignoring this story.

To keep up with the ships' progress, see photos, read the passengers' interesting blogs, or donate to help this vital mission succeed, please visit their Web site: http://www.freegaza.org/

To read Amos Harel's article "Israel may use force to halt boat trying to break Gaza siege" in Haaretz see: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1012171.html

The Free Gaza Movement hopes to draw attention to the devastating consequences of the Israeli blockade by actively demonstrating the power of non-violent direct action to change inhumane governmental policies.

---

Related articles:

Will the Palestinian Authority be there to greet the “freedom” boats when they reach Gaza? (16 August 08)
http://www.redress.cc/palestine/slittlewood20080816
Stuart Littlewood questions the silence of the Palestinian National Authority and its representatives in London about the Free Gaza boats of volunteers that are heading for Gaza to break the criminal Israeli siege. (...) Volunteers are doing in their small way what the European Union – if it had a shred of moral decency – should have done massively with cargo ships, helicopters and the necessary armed escorts when this offence against every code of humanity was first committed. The slightest interference by Israel, or attempt to re-seal Gaza’s borders, should have resulted in the EU-Israel agreements being torn up and consigned to the wastepaper basket of history. That, more than anything else, would have forced the Zionist land-grabbers and hate-mongers back in their box and set the scene for a no-nonsense solution to the 60 year-old conflict in the Holy Land. CLIP

'Gaza siege, collective punishment' says Journalist Lauren Booth (August 10, 2008)
http://www.end-gaza-siege.ps/Events/New%20Events/Gaza%20siege,%20collective%20punishment.htm
British Journalist Lauren Booth says the Gaza siege has nothing to do with security concerns and is an act of collective punishment. Booth, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is now in Cyprus to begin a sea trip to Gaza along with a group of peace activists and journalists in a bid to supply humanitarian aid to 1.5 million people, who struggle with death and poverty in the coastal strip. CLIP

Harsh Words: But True (21/08/08 )
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20570.htm
The language used by al-Aqsa TV shocked me, but there's no denying it reflects the reality of the Palestinian experience - During a recent stay with a Palestinian family in the West Bank, I found myself in their basement, watching the news with two of my host's sons. The week's events had been particularly violent, with fierce clashes between the Israel defence forces (IDF) and villagers in the town of Nilin, where we were now sitting, as well as reports of a home-made rocket being fired by settlers in the direction of a Palestinian community nearby.The mood in the house was tense, with both brothers nervous about the possible repercussions for their village after the morning's hostilities, and they kept a keen eye on the screen as they watched footage of the bloody confrontation being broadcast. For my benefit, the older brother tuned to the English version of al-Aqsa TV, a channel launched by Hamas in 2006 as part of its campaign to counter what it saw as Israeli propaganda in the western media."Zionist colonisers launched a missile [at a Palestinian town]", announced the stony-faced presenter as he reported on the settlers' rocket attack. Moving on, he informed viewers of plans for "the Zionist colony of Har Homa to expand", before relaying news that "Zionist occupying forces wounded seven in Nilin". Suitably gory images of injured Palestinians were beamed out in accompaniment, and we watched in silence as the unending litany of injustices was recounted in the newsreader's sombre tones. The news was interrupted by a commercial break, consisting of a lengthy sequence in which images of Palestine were displayed, with a voiceover delivering an impassioned appeal for viewers to join the resistance. "Palestine calls to you. Support me. Liberate me. I am your mother, and you are my sons", read the narrator, before cutting to a final, heartfelt declaration: "Palestine: the love word; the heart of the world." As the news began rolling once more, all I could concentrate on was the language employed, rather than the stories that were being reported. (...) Much as I flinched initially when sitting in the Palestinian family's lounge hearing my country described in such incendiary language on the news, I could understand why they used those terms in their reports. Settlers are colonisers, just as the IDF is a force engaged in occupation, and any attempt to try to paint the scenario otherwise is both disingenuous and deceitful. Anyone who feels that the western media is incorrigibly biased in favour of the Palestinians would do well to consider the entire spectrum of opinion on what constitutes fair reporting and honest language, before making such sweeping judgments. Because from where the Palestinians are sitting, under the yoke of occupation, the picture looks very different from the one Zionism's supporters would have the world believe.




12.

From: http://www.redress.cc/palestine/dhalpin20080820

Free the fetters of mankind, create newer worlds for ourselves

By David Halpin

21 August 2008

David Halpin contrasts the luxurious lives of Israeli Jews with the abject misery imposed on their Palestinian neighbours in Gaza by the criminal, medieval siege orchestrated by Israel, Britain, the US and their cronies –misery which the Free Gaza expedition hopes to relieve in a small way.
The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. Freedom and slavery are mental states. – Mahatma Gandhi
The rain has ceased for a while. The splendid purples of the heathers are in harmony with the grey of granite and the greens of lichen. Only a few thousand humans share the wide open spaces of the Dartmoor National Park on this sabbath.

Sleek bodies are being oiled against the Mediterranean sun in Netanya. There is music murmuring from iPods; there is affluence and even opulence. But beneath the satisfaction there is deep unease.

Thirty miles southwest along that crescent meeting blue-green sea is Gaza. The briefly clad of Netanya fear this as a nest of black snakes seeking gaps beneath the prison fence. They have little knowledge of this untermenschen cooped up within 360 square kilometres and they care even less. The population of this ghetto is 1.5 million, so their lebensraum is 4000 persons per square kilometre compared with Israel's 270 persons per square kilometre. Some are on the beach but wary for another bomb from wherever came the last. There is a strong whiff of black sludge from south of Gaza City. The fishing boats are making off to be corralled within three miles of the shore by the fast patrol boats of the Israeli navy with sophisticated guns at the ready.

There is foreboding in the families of Gaza. It is now 30 months since the medieval siege first started but, as with torture, the screws have been tightened bit by bit. Sumud – steadfastness – has been the strategy but the determination of Israel to obliterate Hamas (as Mrs Clinton wishes for Iran ) has not lessened. This collective punishment, outlawed by the Fourth Geneva Convention, has been supported without demur by over 40 collaborating nations, including perfidious Albion, which set the whole agony in train. The parents are scraping round for pencils and paper ready for the autumn term. It is a source of shame, you see, if your children are not minimally equipped for school. At the Erez border, Ahmed, aged 22 and with his undiagnosed anaemia, is being interrogated by the Shin Bet. If he wishes to see the Palestinian doctor in the Augusta Victoria hospital in what is left of East Jerusalem, then he must be “tried by ordeal”. Forget international law, he proceeds only if he will tell of the affiliations of his family or undertake to be a stool pigeon on his return to Gaza prison. How long, grandfather, can we be tortured thus?

Khalil, formerly of Jerusalem, is in the Sinai Desert en route to Nuweiba and the ferry to Jordan. The van has broken down. He started out from Edinburgh six weeks ago with 1.5 tons of medical supplies for Gaza. His partner, Linda Willis, was with him until two weeks ago. They arrived at the Rafah gate one month ago in a simple but vital expression of their humanity. Cat and mouse has been the game and the Egyptian mukharabat – intelligence – has held the ring. Egypt is the servant of Israel in this but in step with those same collaborating nations. Entreaties from nine Members of the Scottish Parliament and separately from the First Minister, Mr Alec Salmond, have fallen on deaf and devious ears. British and Egyptian embassies have received entreaties but a shameful silence was the only sound.

Inside Gaza at the Al-Wafa hospital there are several children on ventilators. The disposable plastic tracheotomy tubes have to be reused by washing them in antiseptic solutions and this risks respiratory infection. A senior physician asked for these tubes to be taken from Scotland to Gaza. The Dove and Dolphin charity transmitted that clear request. Those tubes are being returned with the other vital supplies to Scotland. Tell Blair and Olmert and look in vain for shame.

A large motor launch named after the USS Liberty and a 22-metre yacht called Free Gaza are making way from Crete to Cyprus. There have been delays but about 25 crew have waited patiently in Nicosia. They have spent their time in training and communicating so that they hit the sea running when the boats arrive and then head south to Gaza ghetto. The skippers and skeleton crews that took the boats out of the boatyards were joined in Crete by others.

One is a journalist, Lauren Booth. She reports:

On 14 August 2008, an anonymous man called my home in France as my daughters played hide and seek in the garden. This stranger spoke to my husband, warning him that 'your wife is in great danger. These ships will be blown up.' My husband asked how it was this person had obtained our private home number. No response was forthcoming, but the illicit threats carried on.

Such threats spew from the Zionist entity or its supporters club as day follows night.

Another is Professor Jeff Halper. He has lobbied and travelled far and wide as head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition. Seeing temple after temple of the family taken apart by swing shovels as one vicious arm of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the remnants of Palestine has turned his determination from steel to diamond.

The mission is to break the Israeli siege, an absolutely illegal siege which has plunged a million and a half Palestinians into wretched conditions: imprisoned in their own homes, exposed to extreme military violence, deprived of the basic necessities of life, stripped of their most fundamental human rights and dignity. The siege violates the most fundamental principle of international law: the inadmissibility of harming civilian populations.

This is why I, an Israeli Jew, felt compelled to join this voyage to break the siege. As a person who seeks a just peace with the Palestinians, who understands (despite what our politicians tell us) that they are not our enemies but rather people seeking precisely what we sought and fought for – national self-determination – I cannot stand idly aside. I can no more passively witness my government's destruction of another people than I can watch the occupation destroy the moral fabric of my own country. To do so would violate my commitment to human rights, the very essence of prophetic Jewish religion, culture and morals, without which Israel is no longer Jewish but an empty, if powerful, Sparta.

Ordinary people have often played key roles in history, particularly in situations like this where governments shirk their responsibilities. My voyage to Gaza is a statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people in their time of suffering, but it also conveys a message to my fellow citizens.

And he explains why.

Eliza Ernshire from New South Wales:

No one is paying attention to what’s happening in Gaza. No one is listening to Palestinians. They are slowly being strangled by Israel, and no one is even listening... We need to find ways to connect people in the Middle East, particularly young people, to people and groups in wealthier countries. Together we can inspire each other, and together we can be much more than we are alone.

US Presidential candidate Barack Obama often speaks about the “audacity of hope”. But hope can never be a passive emotion. Centuries ago, St Augustine wrote that Hope has two, beautiful daughters: Anger and Courage. To hope for a better world is to be angry at the injustices that prevent that world from emerging, and it requires the courage to stand up and create newer worlds for ourselves.

Tom Nelson, a lawyer from Welches, Oregon, is sailing to Gaza to seek that newer world. According to Tom:
Americans are terribly ignorant of the human effects of what they support. I think this boat is one of the most effective means of raising consciousness – particularly American consciousness – about the problems caused by American “foreign policy” [author's parentheses]. Americans have to know the consequences of these policies... I’m 64 years old, my children are grown, and my affairs are in order.

I think about Rachel Corrie, and about what Israel may do to us. I know it’s risky, but I take a risk when I ride a motorcycle, and I think that if we’re really going to change things then somebody has to begin putting something on the line for that change to happen.
The youngest of the crew at 22 is Adam Qvist from Denmark:
The idea of sailing to Gaza is kind of crazy, but it’s also very straightforward. The whole idea of having just one Palestinian who’s been forced off his land and who is able to return to Palestine – this is something that could demolish the whole Zionist venture. And it just has to be one person. If one person can do it, then others can do it. This project, this boat, is about giving people the freedom to take responsibility. You shouldn’t expect something from others if you can’t do it yourself, and this is true both on a very personal but also on a political level.

This mission is an amazing opportunity to have a huge impact on this hard-locked, heart-locked, crisis. I’ve never been to Gaza myself but I know that Gaza is the forgotten little brother of the Middle East, or at least of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Everything about this crisis is clearer in Gaza. The Israeli occupation strategy is much clearer in Gaza, because it’s not specifically about taking more land. It’s mostly about completely destroying a people.

It is plain these courageous people are passionate humans and that they are not naïve. By the time you will be reading this, they would have set sail south from Cyprus, God willing. An entity with the fourth largest armed forces on our planet will browbeat them with threats. It might use force but it would be unwise to; images can be uploaded to satellites at an instant. They have no arms, no nuclear bombs or thermobaric weapons as used for the assassination of Palestinians in Gaza. But they have principle, will and purpose. May the winds carry them swiftly and safely to the people of Gaza who will crowd on the shores to cheer these sisters and brothers, four of whom are Palestinian.

"For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced."

– Frederick Douglass


David Halpin FRCS is a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon. He founded the Dove and the Dolphin charity, one of whose aims is to promote the health and welfare of Palestinian children.




13.

Date: 21 Aug 2008
From: Palden Jenkins (palden.jenkins@btopenworld.com)
Subject: Checkpoint and Palestinian youth

This is rather interesting. It's from Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Christian Palestinian professor living in USA - his newsletter.

Palden

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I had an appointment at the Sharek Youth Forum in the Ramallah Ghetto. Normal travel distance from the Bethlehem Ghetto is 35 minutes through Jerusalem. Instead it takes at least one hour because we have to go through the roundabout ways through the deserts around Jerusalem (Palestinians cannot go through Jerusalem) and today it took two hours because of a soldier at the checkpoint. You go down through Wadi An-Nar ("valley of fire"), hairpin loops that are killers on clutches and brakes. At the other end of this wadi is an Israeli checkpoint (mahsom in Hebrew) called the container. It separates one Palestinian area from another. I was riding in one of those service taxis (a yellow van) carrying seven people. Two soldiers at the booth. One blond-haired European (Ashkenazi) and and one dark skinned (maybe yemenite Jew or even an Arab Bedouin). The white guy sitting in a chair with feet on top of the concrete enclosure where he sits. Our car approaches, stops the obligatory 50 meters away. The white guy motions with his two fingers to approach. The van pulls up to few feet from where he is. We roll down the windows. He takes his time. He then motions with his two fingers to the guy behind me, a 30 year old guy, to come down to him. He did. He pauses then asks him for his ID card. He looks at it. He mocks his family name "Abu Snina" then tells him to go get all our ID cards. He is still leaning in his chair with his feet up. He looks at each card with a sneer. He asks the young man where he is going. Ramallah. Why? He answers for factory work. He then asks the guy in the car with a beard where he is going. He is an old man with poor hearing and we have to tell him what the question is and then tell the soldier.

The soldier asks the young man a few more questions. He returns all ID's except two: the young man and the bearded old man. He turns over their ID cards to the other guy and asks us to pull over forward about 50 meters to the side of the road. We wait and we wait. Because we are parked forward, we have to keep looking back to see if he motions to give back the IDs. The temperature is 38 C in the shade (some 100 F). I ask if we should go back and ask about the status of the two IDs. I am told this might cause us an extra hour or two! An hour passes by and the two fingers finally move to get the young man back. He goes and soon returns gives the one ID to the old man and closes the door. No one says anything. Five minutes later I start a conversation about what transpired which the young man engages in while the others remain quiet. The young man says it is not a big deal this time. He recites examples of far worse checkpoint stories, longer delays, beatings, and a time when he was delayed at a checkpoint while taking his son to the emergency room for food poisoning. The driver finally jumps into the conversation and recounts a guy who had a heart attack and died at a checkpoint. We proceed to Ramallah. I am late and manage to attend only the last third of the program at the Sharek Youth Forum, a program I was invited to attend by Sharek's Research and Advocacy Coordinater Aia Hijazi whom I had met at Drake University a while ago. The part I do attend is impressive with the program tailored for full participation by youth from refugee camps in the West Bank and included a video uplink with youth from Gaza.

Over 10 refugee camps were represented. I heard young men and women (ages 15-25) express their needs and desires and collectively think what they can do to effect a change in their circumstances. Need for clinical services in Akka refugee camp. Poor schools mentioned by a student from Falasteen camp. Lack of Recreational facilities of any kind by another student from another camp. Stories on movement restrictions. A kid who mentioned he is from Iraq Al Manshiya (one of the depopulated villages that now houses an Intel plant) mentioned the importance of taking matters into their own hands to effect a change in their circumstances. There were young folks I met before including from Al-Rowwad center (Aida Refugee Camp) and Ibdaa Center (Dheishe Refugee camp). When the time for the Gaza video conference came, the Gaza folks emphasized especially their economic plight. Unemployment (Batala) was mentioned several times.

I said a few words at the end and I was pelted with questions and interest from those attending especially about programs to help graduating high school seniors pay for local college costs.

On the way back to Beit Sahour, I started reading the material the center gave me (http://sharek.ps). It included a survey of 1220 young people (15-25) from refugee camps in Gaza and the WB about their perceptions of their conditions and especially their human rights situation. Some stats are rather sad: 54% did not feel secure (more than half cited the Israeli occupation and an alarming 18% cited Palestinian factions as cause of their insecurity) and 81% said they were either very depressed or depressed in the past two weeks.

Other questions and answers that pleasantly surprised me:
-Who is responsible for protecting your human rights? In order of highest percentage: my family, myself, friends, UNRWA or other UN agency, Refugee Camp Committee, lawyers or Palestinian organization..... (self reliance evident here)
- Only 5 % thought voluntary work was not important, 95% thought it important or very important
- 93% oppose using drugs of any kind, only 7% support (13% among smokers)

Others give us pause to think and have obviously changed from the time I was growing up; e.g. 77% oppose birth control and family planning and nearly half the youth now identify themselves with a Muslim identity rather than a national Palestinian or Arab identity (20%).

In the evening, we had a talk by and conversation with Dr. Meir Margalit, a former member of the Jerusalem City Council and field coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. He explained how Israel is systematically and methodically discriminating against non-Jewish citizens and altering the nature of Jerusalem to make it a Jewish city. For example, while Palestinians make up 33% of the city they get about 8-11% (depending on how you count) of the city budget. And while it used to be that the land was 90% owned by Muslims and Christians, the city now allocates a mere 9000 dunums for Palestinian areas (Muslim and Christian) of a total of 124,000 dunums (that is about 7%). Israel is also building settlements/colonies in Silwan and even in the old city itself (Jewish and Muslim quarters).

I will continue sending you more Palestinian stories I witness but here is one inspiring one forwarded by my friend Haitham who read it at ESPN and wrote a note to thank the sports writer.

From: http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/columns/story?columnist=caple_jim&id=3536932

Swimming stories go beyond Phelps, Torres

CLIP

Then there is Zakia Nassar. She's a 21-year-old Palestinian from Bethlehem studying dentistry in Jenin, a city in the West Bank. She said it has been her dream since she was 10 to swim in the Olympics but there is no pool available for training in Jenin. There is an Olympic-sized, 50-meter pool in nearby Nazareth, but the Israeli government did not give her permission to use it.

"Without permission, there is no way to go there," Nassar said. "Many journalists did their best. They talked, they wrote, they talked, they wrote. Our Olympic committee, our swim federation, they said, 'This is sport; let her train.' And they said no. I said, 'I am just going to swim.' And they said no. They didn't say anything. They just ignored me."

Nassar was limited to training only when she returned to her parents' home in Bethlehem, but she did so only about every two months for two days or so, and the pool is only 12 meters long. Yes, she is very good at flip turns.

"My parents always encouraged me," Nassar said. "They said, 'This is your dream, these are the Olympics, you must train as best you can.' And I'm glad. I'm here."

Nassar said she received a lot of supportive text messages from Palestinians back home. "All the Palestinian people always support me. They said, 'We are proud of you. Keep going. Swim your best for Palestinians.'"

She swam the 50 in 31.97, more than seven seconds behind the best time, but it was good enough to win her heat. She will not appear on the cover of Time magazine or a Wheaties box or receive millions of dollars in endorsements, but she can always say she won a race at the Olympics.

"There wasn't a lot of training," she said. "But I tried my best, and that's OK. It has been my dream, and I am excited to be here. I don't think I will keep on swimming. I have to concentrate on dentistry now. But maybe I'll keep on swimming for next time."

By the way, in case you were wondering, Torres qualified for the semifinals and said she feels good.

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You can write the author a note about his article via:
http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/mailbagESPN?event_id=13817

Bonus good news: The Free Gaza and Liberty boats are now together with all the crew in Cyprus and about to set sail for Gaza after unexpected delays.

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Give birth to me again
Give birth to me again that I may know
In which land I will die, in which land
I will come to live again.
Mahmud Darwish

"The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. Freedom and slavery are mental states."

- Mahatma Gandhi

"Palestinians are the largest and longest suffering group of refugees in the world. One in three refugees world wide is Palestinian."

- Al-Awda Refugee Fact Sheet

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Related article:

The Scottish van goes back home
http://palestinethinktank.com/2008/08/20/the-scottish-van-goes-back-home/
Khalil is back home after the Egyptian authorities refused the van entry with the medicine donated from the Scottish people to the people of Gaza.. Watch Khalil's message to the Egyptian government, Palestinians and the world.




14.

THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OF JEWISH SETTLERS AND THOSE WHO SUPPORT THEM IN THE ISRAELI MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT AND ESPECIALLY ABROAD, MAINLY IN THE US, MUST COME TO THEIR SENSE AND REALIZE THAT THEY ARE BEING USED BY THE DARKEST FORCES TO STIR THE MIDDLE EAST CAULDRON INTO A FRENZY OF HATRED, VIOLENCE AND WAR THAT COULD ENGULF THE WHOLE REGION AND MUCH OF THE REST OF THE WORLD IF THESE IGNOMINIOUS, COWARD ACTS OF SENSELESS CRUELTY ARE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE.

From: http://palestinethinktank.com/2008/08/05/the-jewish-settler-pogrom-against-palestinians-must-be-stopped-now/

The Jewish settler pogrom against Palestinians must be stopped now

August 5, 2008

Nazi-like Jewish settlers have of late stepped up their indiscriminate attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property throughout the West Bank.

In some areas, like in the Hebron region, settler attacks have assumed pogrom-like proportions. What is particularly outrageous is that most of these attacks take place in full view of Israeli soldiers who watch passively as heavily armed settlers gang up on helpless Palestinian civilians.

The latest acts of savagery included an assault on a Palestinian wedding party and the attempted lynching of an Arab boy near Hebron, an attack on a civilian car near Nablus that caused a massive brain hemorrhage to a 6-year-old girl who is now fighting for her life, beating up and stoning Arab children near Tuwwani in the southern West Bank and setting fire to Palestinian groves and fields in several parts of the occupied territories.

A Christian Peace-making Team (CPT) member was also assaulted and badly injured by Jewish settlers in southern Hebron hills last week.

"We were driving from our home in Ramallah to a cousin's wedding in Jenin, with our three daughters sitting in the back. We had to turn around because of engine trouble, and as we passed the Yitzhar settlement junction, we saw four people on the road. My wife said, 'watch out!' But it was too late, a large slab had been thrown through our windshield," said Hazem Ma'ali, father of the injured child.

"He (the settler) dropped it right on us. My wife made a sound and began bleeding. I stopped and then decided to continue to Hiwwara checkpoint outside of Nablus. As I opened the car doors, my daughter fell out, injured. The slab had made it all the way to the back windscreens." He added.

A few weeks ago, settler thugs attacked and badly injured several Palestinian peasants and shepherds in the Yatta region. In one instance, settlers beat up a Palestinian man and tied him up to a power pole outside their settlement outpost.

These are not isolated incidents, nor do they represent 'a few rotten tomatoes' as Israeli government spokespersons would claim.

These are deliberate and well-planned acts of terror carried out by settlers who are following general instructions from their rabbis and community leaders. The settlers, who claim to be religious Jews, think they are doing a 'mitzvah' or a good religious deed, when they murder or lynch an Arab child or shepherd or when they burn down or destroy Arab property.

And there is no doubt that the vast bulk of these criminal activities are approved and encouraged by so-called 'Talmudic sages' who inculcate these criminals with the hateful ideology of religious Zionism according to which all means, including genocide, ought to be adopted in order to ethnically cleanse the 'Land of Israel' of all goyim.

This is not a matter of speculation or prognostication. Prominent rabbis from Merkaz Harav (the Central Nervous System of religious Zionism in Israel) have repeatedly issued edicts, or religious rulings, permitting settlers to murder innocent Palestinians and steal or destroy their property. The Israeli press has published numerous reports on prominent religious leaders who call on Jews to adopt a 'no-holds-barred approach' toward the Palestinians. (This is the same approach that the Nazis adopted toward Jews prior and during WWII).

Nonetheless, the Zionist-religious camp is by no means the sole villain in this episode of terror and murder.

The Israeli state and army often connive and conspire with the settlers against the virtually completely unprotected Palestinian civilians, especially in the so-called area C where the army is supposed to provide protection for all inhabitants, including Palestinian inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the Israeli occupation army itself has become very much an army of the settlers, for the settlers, and by the settlers. There are two main expressions of this criminal collusion: first, the army itself deploys settler-soldiers to patrol the vicinity of Arab hamlets and villages. These 'soldiers', who serve as informers and spies for the settlers, regularly brief settler thugs on army patrol movement so that when the army leaves a given area, the settlers attack the nearby Arab community and then flee back to their respective settlements without being noticed by the soldiers.

And when Palestinian victims submit a complaint to the Israeli authorities, they are asked to produce impossible evidence concerning the perpetrators such as their names, descriptions and even their photographs.

Second, settler-soldiers serving in the occupation army themselves indulge in acts of murder against innocent Palestinians such as shooting and killing innocent Palestinian demonstrators, often against specific army instructions.

A few days ago, an Israeli settler soldier shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy who was among a group of boys watching Israeli bulldozers crush Palestinian orchards near Ni'ilin in the West Bank.

Mousa Ahmed Mousa was murdered in cold blood by when the soldier shot him in the forehead at close range.

Unfortunately, the murderer was questioned for five minutes before he was released to house arrest.

In light of past experience, however, it is unlikely that he will be punished for his crime.

Today, the settlers, who really have the mindset of the Gestapo, feel they have a free rein to terrorize, torment and murder Palestinians and vandalize their property with virtual impunity.

The settlers also know that there are powerful politicians, ministers and even army commanders that would get them released in case they were arrested or imprisoned for their crimes.

This explains why the Israeli army and police refrain from carrying out court orders with regard to the settlers, such as forcing them to leave an Arab property they had seized by force.

Protection

The settler reign of terror, along with the Israeli government's apparent connivance with these criminals, poses a challenge to those concerned about the increasingly diabolical treatment meted out to the Palestinians by the Israeli state.

I believe that in order to prevent settler terror from reaching unthinkable levels, thousands of international observers, including conscientious Jews, would have to be permanently stationed all over the West Bank in order to demonstrate to these thugs and those who stand behind them that the Palestinians are not alone.

The presence of international observers may not succeed in stopping all settler crimes; but it can succeed in deterring and discouraging the perpetration of some of the uglier crimes against innocent Palestinians.

The forces of peace from around the world should also provide Palestinians, especially in remote areas, with high-resolution cameras to film and document settler attacks and savagery.

This particular method has been proven effective in exposing the criminal behavior of Israeli settlers and soldiers against innocent Palestinians in recent weeks.

We all know that had it not been for that young girl who filmed an Israeli soldier shooting a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian near Ni'ilin, we probably wouldn't have heard about that incident.

In the end, we must leave no stone unturned until we isolate these thugs who think they are carrying God's instructions by murdering and terrorizing innocent people.

They must not be allowed to win. Because if they do, it is entire humanity that will lose.


Khalid Amayreh is a journalist based in the Occupied Palestinian town of Dura.
Email this author | All posts by Khalid Amayreh




15.

From: http://www.metimes.com/Business/2008/08/13/gazas_underground_business_booming/9693/

Gaza's Underground Business Booming

By MEL FRYKBERG (Middle East Times) August 13, 2008

RAFAH, Gaza -- Gaza's underground smuggling business is booming. Ever since Israel and Egypt, in conjunction with the international community enforced an economic embargo on the Gaza Strip in June last year, preventing the export or import of most commodities, apart from a trickle of humanitarian goods, Gaza's business has been forced underground, literally.

A few weeks ago Egyptian soldiers discovered a 2,400-foot underground pipeline used to smuggle fuel into Gaza. Black market fuel has now become a lucrative business due to the closure of the coastal territory.

This followed a senior Egyptian security official reporting that Egyptian police had recently uncovered 20 underground tunnels and seized thousands of gallons of fuel being smuggled under the border. During the discovery four smugglers were arrested after a heavy exchange of gunfire.

At the beginning of this month, five smugglers were killed when Egypt blew up another tunnel exit, suffocating them inside.

The Egyptian authorities claim they destroy on average one tunnel a day, but the smugglers contend that the destruction might delay shipments but won't halt them as they can quickly dig new tunnel entrances by branching out from the main passages which have been blown up.

Israel assesses there to be more than 100 underground tunnels importing everything from automatic weapons, contraband drugs, clothing and laptop computers to animals and even humans.

The town of Rafah in the southern Gaza strip opened its first zoo, "Heaven of Birds and Animals Zoo" in June of this year.

All the animals including monkeys, lions, gazelles and parrots were drugged, put in sacks, and then smuggled in.

Shadi Fayiz, the 23-year-old manager of the zoo, said the lions were smuggled in as cubs and cost him $3,000 each. Altogether the zoo set him back $40,000.

"Without the tunnels, I couldn't have done this," he said.

In addition to helping ease the economic boycott on Gaza, the tunnel-smuggling business has been good for associated side-industries and enterprising entrepreneurs and middlemen.

Middlemen coordinate demands between Gaza traders and Egyptian suppliers. One trader, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of being caught, told AP that he would receive orders from the traders for specific products and would then relay those orders to Egyptian businessmen.

He would then assess the quickest and easiest way to "import" the goods which included food and other groceries, as prices varied according to tunnel size and how much was transported through them.

"Some tunnels charge $100 a box, some just $70. You have to compare prices," he said. The tunnels also vary in size from 100 feet-long to a mile in length. Some are small enough to only drag boxes through or high enough to allow people to walk through.

Smuggling persons wanted by the Israeli authorities can be particularly lucrative, earning the tunneler up to $10,000.

Although the tunnelers can make up to $12,000 on completion of the tunnels, digging them is hard, dangerous and unpleasant work in hot and stifling conditions with limited supplies of oxygen. And there is always the risk of death from collapses or if the tunnel is blown up by Egyptian or Israeli security forces.

They also face possible arrest from Hamas and Egyptian authorities. Hamas leaders are not against the tunnel smuggling, but want to control it for tax purposes. However, they have outlawed the smuggling of weaponry as only their security forces are permitted to carry arms.

Included in this lucrative business are the people whose houses or property cover the exits and entrances to the tunnels. These points are found in homes, businesses and sometimes even animal corrals.

Smuggling is not new to Gaza and its border crossing with Egypt's Sinai, but it has never been as active or as competitive as currently following the siege on the Strip.

Bedouin tribesmen have been actively engaged in the smuggling for decades as a means of ensuring a livelihood. The Egyptian security sources would use camels to intercept contraband smuggled by the Bedouins, but nowadays they rely on vehicle patrols.

And while this innovative and enterprising way of beating the embargo has helped to somewhat ease the plight of Gazans, it is still a long way from meeting even the most basic needs of most of the impoverished 1.5 million people who live in the Gaza strip.

As Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri put it: "A tunnel can bring in a mobile phone, but it can't bring in raw materials," such as cement, building materials, and sufficient gasoline and other fuel, which are all in short supply. Because of that Gaza is paralyzed."




16.

Note from Jean: There are more and more inspiring channeled information that is becoming available as our world nears the shifting point into a new era and new dimensional experience. Jane Kneen (jkneen@bandoflight.co.uk) has brought the following to my attention which, upon reading, felt like something many of you will enjoy reading as well. What is conveyed will probably be familiar to many of you, but the interesting depiction made by the soul named Joseph of his time in Atlantis portrays a world which we are now in the process to collectively bring back into existence, and it is good to sense what our common future in the omniversal NOW continuum holds for us. I would only add that despite the tragic consequences and sufferings endured to this day by countless souls through the misguided choices that led to our downfall from God consciousness, the accrued experience thus gathered will help us all rebound back to an even higher and keener sense of Oneness with and Love for our common God/Creator Source. Though our freewill choices meant extreme hardships, and a deep sense of disconnection from All That Is, the Return of the prodigal sons and daughters will be both a cause for Universal Celebrations and a profound enrichment of our collective wisdom as One as we will realize - once again! - that we actually never left Home and have been loved and cared for beyond measure throughout this whole learning experience.

Excerpts from Revelation: Joseph's Message - channelled by Michael G. Reccia

Karma and The Fall

Michael's observations: In the following piece, perhaps one of the most important communications transcribed for this book, Joseph also refers at some length here to 'The Fall', a cataclysmic change of vibration that plunged the Earth and its peoples into a darkness from which we, as souls, and the planet, are still recovering.

Joseph speaks: I want to talk further about the Lords of Karma. These great spirits, have evolved to a point where they have been given custody of certain souls 'under' them in the name of love. A sphere exists here that is inhabited by the Lords of Karma, whose grave mission it is to place souls in the circumstances where they can grow the most, both on Earth and on other worlds, in other spheres.

Why is it so important, why is so much care taken over the life - the Earthly existence, or the existence in another sphere - of each soul? Because God wills it for one thing, and because karma is designed to gradually extricate each soul from the darkness that it finds itself in.

You know that souls that exist on the Earth plane are advancing themselves spiritually but are also working out group karma or racial karma that goes back millennia. But God is fair. God gives each soul the ultimate chance to come back to him and will not rest until each of his children is back home. So the karma is worked out to give each soul the optimum opportunity to extricate itself from the lessons of the past that are still being learned and to work out its own personal karma so that it can move forwards in the scheme of things. This is what the phrase, the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, actually means.

The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons... It is the acts of those souls such a long, long time ago, that plunged the consciousness of those souls into darkness, that are still being worked out.

I have to say that this is not a punishment from God. Those souls separated themselves from God because their vibrations differed. God did not cast them out, they cast themselves out. And they cast themselves out of the paradise - the Garden of Eden - that this planet originally was. Therefore God, in compassion, has, since that time, attempted to reach out to those souls and bring them out of their self-imposed darkness.

Many of the key figures around the world who cause so much destruction and chaos, many of the world leaders who appear to be - in your terms - evil, are members of those original Soul Groups that became 'lost' so long ago.

So when you see great cataclysms, when you see people who appear to be causing so much chaos, it is because they are being given an opportunity. At any time during such a life they can change. At any time they can say, 'This is wrong. I'm going to stop doing this... I'm going to evolve. I'm going to turn to the Light. I can see the error of my ways.' Few of them do, but again and again they are given opportunities to do so. And you will find that many of these people rise into powerful positions today because originally, millennia ago, they held powerful positions. Originally there were many souls under their jurisdiction, under their 'love', their guidance; and when that guidance became corrupted, the souls that were under that guidance were also 'punished' in a way, because of that change in vibration. Instead of loving the souls in their care they controlled them, they dishonoured them.

The Earth is working its way back to the paradise that it once was, and the souls that are on the Earth are a mixture. Some of them are souls that have been linked to the Earth for thousands and thousands of years, who go back to the time of The Fall, who were once beings of light and will be again one day. And there is an input of newer souls, but the Earth, as we have said in previous lectures, has a pull, a temptation; it is a place that souls feel compelled to revisit and revisit and revisit, to re-enter the chaos, to relive the chaos, because there is still an echo from The Fall. There is still that magnetic pull, that temptation from the time when things went wrong; from the time when the light was all but extinguished, and souls who come here as new souls, as new incarnations of God, are quite brave, and many of them become lost. This is why the Guidance Network, this is why the Lords of Karma exist, to extricate those souls and to eventually bring back the original souls into the fold.

I know that this sounds biblical, but the story of The Fall has its basis in truth. It is a race memory. What I am saying to you should resonate with you as truth, because it is truth. And every soul knows in its heart, because every soul is part of God, that there was a time when things were different here, when things were better on the Earth.

We have to bring every soul to the point where it chooses not to come back here, where it chooses other levels of evolution, so that the Earth can rest, so that it can lay fallow for a time and then be restored to its former glory.

There have been other civilizations. I was part of one. I was linked with Atlantis. I am showing Michael now a vision of buildings and a seashore and the mountains that were part of a city I visited many times. We had a different technology than you have at the moment. We used particle physics to move objects. We had transportation systems that were not based on crude mineral oils. We were able to move and to rearrange buildings with our minds. We were able to heal people without touching them. We were able to place into objects power, the power of light, so that we had instruments that could build things if we concentrated on them - tools that you would not understand today, because your tools today are based upon material things only; you never incorporate spiritual elements into material objects. We did.

Our emphasis was on the spiritual side. We had light energy that didn't require electricity. We had halls of thought that people could visit to contemplate the situations in their lives, to grow in education, to grow in knowledge and experience; and we had a system that was not based on a government, because a government implies that you are overshadowing people, that you are telling them what to do. There was true democracy. Those who were less able were cared for; those who could not contribute to society were - nevertheless - fed and clothed and given shelter. I know it sounds as though I am describing utopia but such was our civilisation.

This was around the time of The Fall; this was around the time when the only difference in souls was that it was very evident with physical eyes that some men and women were very advanced souls; and they were benevolent, and they would visit us and they would bring us information about God and Creation.

And then the seductive nature of being able to create and to change physical matter changed these people. It didn't change us, but it changed them; and I can only describe it as a submergence of thought. There was a lot of pain, there was a lot of death, which was caused by these people suddenly creating dark things, dark thoughts that previously didn't exist on the Earth. It changed the nature of how animals looked at each other, and the vibrations were absorbed by the flora and fauna. The Earth became a more aggressive place.

Our civilisation disappeared - not in my time - but shortly after I had departed for the spirit worlds, and the knowledge was lost; the ability to work with light - the ability to blend and work with matter and light - was lost, and has still not been rediscovered. The generations that followed suffered greatly because they had no knowledge of God. They had wrapped themselves up in total illusion, and cut themselves off from their own souls; and there followed a very materialistic time. And for a time souls were in limbo. There were no human souls on this planet, and that is the gap that you see, that you regard as history. You regard history as starting with some forms of life and man coming to be, but man came to be for the second time. Such was the darkness that was around the Earth that there had to be a period during which plans, if you like, were formulated as to how to move the souls that had placed themselves in darkness. They were put to sleep, they had no knowledge of time having passed, of experience having passed; but then, slowly, the Earth was repopulated, and into the mix of souls that were incarnating onto the planet were then introduced some of those that were in darkness; only slowly at first. And it took many lifetimes for them to come out of that darkness.

This - I hope - explains why there has been such violence in your history, because the violence comes from the struggles of the souls that 'fell', trying to make sense of who they were; trying, with the help of the Lords of Karma, to come out of that darkness, and for many, many years, always choosing bloodshed and violence instead.

The Earth stands poised for a time of Light, for a time of spiritual enlightenment, but this will not be without cataclysms; and the cataclysms I am talking about are of a natural order, rather than being of a man-made nature. There will be vast changes to the Earth over the next sixty years or so, but as a result of that this time of peace, this time of love, will come.

The plan is, then, that the planet will be populated by people who are spiritually minded, who will rediscover something of what can be done with light; the construction, the sculpting, the changing of matter through the use of God-light, and then, at that point, when the planet has become 'Christed' - and this will not happen in sixty years, this will take much longer than that - the souls that still lie sleeping will be brought out of that darkness. The remaining, if you like, God-men that people talk about, God-men and women who fell, will be brought out of the darkness and the purpose of the planet will then be wound up, and new creative spheres will be brought forth.

I still create in my sphere of existence the backdrop of my background, the Earth that I knew that is vastly different from the Earth that you know. You feel there are changes through global warming, but I tell you that the Earth as you see it now is just a pale shadow of how it used to look, of the beauty this world once had. And thought - mistaken thought - has done all that, has caused the havoc, the chaos.

It is time that the Earth woke up, time that it realised that mistakes had been made before and could be made again. We want an army of love, not an army of chaos; we want souls to be aware, not in darkness. And that is why I am communicating with you. I do not want mankind to make the mistakes that it has made before. It seems at the moment to be sinking further into the dream, to be glorifying its technology that has no basis in Light; to be glorifying its medicine that seeks to corrupt creation, which is hell-bent - literally - on cloning, on experimentation, on changing the order of things physically; when, if it listened to its soul, its heart, it would see that this is not the right thing to do. Such experiments have taken place in the past with disastrous results.

So our message - the reason why I have come back - is to make people stop and think; is to give them their soul history, and to awaken them to possibilities, and say, 'You are far more than you think you are.' Please do not be arrogant, please do not think you are the ultimate race, you are not. Mistakes have been made before and can be made again. There is a plan for this Earth, and it is a move towards the Light and not the darkness.

.....

Professional medium, Michael G. Reccia, from Rossendale, UK has channelled spirit communication for over 23 years and regards his book Revelation: Joseph's Message, as his most important contribution to spiritual awareness to date (see http://www.thespiritguide.co.uk for excerpts and further details).

Note from Jean: You may find out more about the channeler through http://www.michaelandjane.co.uk/
There is also another interesting excerpt from this book at http://www.cosmiclighthouse.com/aug08/channelings/light




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