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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq


US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F



Click on image for org. to impeach Bush & Cheney. Click here for talking points paper pdf. file download.


Federal Debt vs GDP– Click image for larger view. (OMB)


Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits with Presidents. Democrat administrations are blue, Republican in Red. Green reflects projected Bush debt. Click chart for larger image.


Interest exceeds Group A outlays. Click chart for larger image.

Gross Domestic Products. Click here for image.

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Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
lead to his destruction
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment

12.17.04
10.29.04
2.23.98

August 1996


Maps of interest
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Bulgaria and neighbors
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Iraq and neighbors
Afghanistan & neighbors
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Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s interactive map below of its controversial security wall

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view or here for interactive link.

(AP photo) Click photo for story


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Contributors
PriscillaPenwright
Mel West


Maravot's Protest against
Bush consortium:


Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat
Tapestry of One – on the creed of Buddha,
Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993
Quest for Human Dignity, July 1994


I am not responsible for the
content of any links
from this site.



Question: Has Bush caused the US to be outflanked?

The main Trend we have seen at Maravot News is that Bush's hostile policies worldwide have created new alliances among the EU, China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Also, the Monroe Doctrine is being challenged in South America.

News Headlines & Trends


01.19.06 Arab TV airs audiotape said to be from bin Laden

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, January 19 – The Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera broadcast an audiotape today that it attributed to Osama bin Laden, in which he said that more attacks against the United States were being prepared, while offering the possibility of a truce under unspecified conditions. It was not immediately clear when the tape was made, but it was the first tape believed to be directly from the leader of Al Qaeda to be released in about a year, and its release came after the United States launched an airstrike in a Pakistani village aimed at Mr. bin Laden's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Mr. Zawahiri was not at the site, Pakistani officials later said, but the American attack on Jan. 13 killed 18 civilians and four or five foreign militants in the village of Damadola.

The voice sounded short-winded on the tape and lacked the charismatic tone typical of Mr. bin Laden's past recordings. Al Jazeera carried excerpts from the audiotape on its Web site, www.aljazeera.net. According to the tape, Mr. bin Laden threatened the United States with attacks inside the country, saying preparations for them were under way. He also offered a conditional "long-term truce."

The last time that Mr. bin Laden was heard from in a taped message was in December 2004, in which he called for Iraqis to boycott the elections in January 2005. After that tape was broadcast, President Bush took the unusual step of responding to one of the Al Qaeda leader's messages, declaring that the call by Mr. bin Laden made the stakes in the Iraqi elections clear.
[More>>nytimes.com ; See aljazeera.com, "Bin Laden offers Americans truce.' ; cbsnews.com, "Bin Laden vows new attacks" : (CBS/AP) The CIA has determined that the voice on an audiotape warning of new al Qaeda attacks on the United States is indeed that of Osama bin Laden.]


01.19.06 Five Al-Qaeda suspects arrested in Swat

SWAT, January 19 – Security officials raided a house and a mosque in the northwestern town of Swat late and arrested five foreigners on suspicion of links with al-Qaida, security officials said. The suspects appeared to be Afghans and are believed to be involved in various militant activities and are still being questioned, said the officials. The names of the four apprehended suspects are Ammad Uddin, Farooq, Majeed Allah, and Sakhi Allah while the identity of the fifth one was kept confidential. [jang.com.pk]


01.19.06 Fifteen killed in double Baghdad bomb blasts

BAGHDAD (AFP) January 19 – At least 15 people were killed and 46 wounded in a double bomb attack on Thursday in central Baghdad, an interior ministry official said. A suicide bomber walked into a coffee shop where he blew himself up killing 12 civilians and injured scores more, while a car bomb targeted an Iraqi police patrol passing nearby killing at least three, the official said. The almost simultaneous attacks came despite government efforts to tighten up security in the capital ahead of the release on Friday of final election results following last monthšs election. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]


01.19.06 Indonesian tests show toddler died of bird flu

JAKARTA (Reuters) January 20 – An Indonesian toddler who died this week has tested positive for bird flu after initial results were inconclusive, a Health Ministry official said on Thursday. The boy's 13-year-old sister died of the deadly H5N1 virus last week, according to local tests. Both still need to be confirmed by outside laboratories recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). [More>>thejakartapost.com]


01.19.06 Two senior Al Qaeda men killed in Bajaur raid

PESHAWAR, January 18 – At least two senior Al Qaeda commanders and a son-in-law of Osama bin Ladenšs second in command, Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri, are believed to have been killed in last weekšs attack in the Bajaur tribal region, credible sources said. Sources told Dawn that the pre-dawn US aerial assault on three compounds in Damadola, Bajaur, on Friday killed four foreign militants. Eighteen civilians, mostly women and children, were also killed in the deadly attack causing public anger and protest demonstrations. Pakistan condemned the attack and summoned the US ambassador to lodge a formal protest. The government, however, on Tuesday issued an official statement claiming the death of four foreign militants in the attack.

According to the sources, intelligence officials believe that among those killed in the missile attack was Midhat Mursi Al Sayid, Al Qaedašs chemical and explosives expert, who carries a $5 million reward. Born in April 1953, the Egyptian-born Midhat was known as Abu Khabab Al Masri. According to the sources and information available about him on 'Rewards for justice' website, Abu Khabab was a lead explosives and poison expert and served as an instructor for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He operated chemical laboratories and trained militants in explosives at Darunta near Jalalabad in Afghanistan between 1996 and 1998 and later in Kabul until 2001. After the Talibanšs fall, Abu Khabab moved to Pakistan and was widely believed to have lived in Shakai, South Waziristan, till February 2004. According to the website, Abu Khabab produced training manuals containing recipes for crude chemical and biological weapons. Some of these manuals were recovered by US forces in Afghanistan.

Also believed to have been killed in the attack is Abu Obaidah Al Masri, Al Qaedašs chief of operations for Afghanistanšs eastern Kunar province. Abu Obaidah, according to the sources, was leading attacks on US-led coalition forces in Kunar, training and providing material support and liaison between senior Al Qaeda figures, besides providing them with logistic support and security. Some officials believe that he could have been a replacement for Hamza Rabia, Al Qaedašs operational commander, who was killed in a similar missile attack in Asory village in North Waziristan on December 2.

The third figure believed to have been killed in Bajaur is Abdur Rehman Al Maghribi. A Moroccan citizen, Al Maghribi is son-in-law of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri and in charge of Al Qaedašs media department. There are also reports of the death of Mustafa Usman, an Egyptian national. There is little information available about him.
[More>>dawn.com ; See also independent.co.uk story, "'Terror chief killed' in Pakistan missile attack."]


01.19.06 Russia to follow IAEA advice

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) January 19 – Russia will follow advice of the International Atomic Energy Agency on the Iranian nuclear issue when the governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog meet next, Russia's foreign minister said Thursday. As the Iran dispute continues to dominate global affairs, Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his French counterpart, Philippe Douste-Blazy, that the nuclear non-proliferation regime should guide the search for solutions to the Iranian issue and highlighted that it was central to Russia's construction of a power plant in Iran. [More>>rian.ru]


01.19.06 Thirty wounded, one seriously in bombing near old central bus station

January 19 – A suicide bomber blew up near the old central bus station in southern Tel Aviv at around 3:45 P.M. on Thursday, wounding at least 30 people. Islamic Jihad said that it carried out the attack. The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for each of the six suicide bombings in Israel since a truce took effect last February. Police said that the suicide bomber was the only person killed in the explosion. [More>>haaretzdaily.com]


01.18.06 Ukraine detects new case of bird flu

January 18 – Officials in the Ukraine say they have detected new cases of bird flu in the country. Officials say five birds found dead in Sevastopol were infected with the illness. Ukrainian health authorities are urging the public to exercise caution to prevent the sickness from spreading. Meanwhile, in Beijing today, donor countries and organizations pledged $1.9 billion to fight the spread of the bird flu virus. That was above the targeted $1.2 billion -- though most of the pledges were in the form of loans. Bird flu has been blamed for the deaths of some 75 people in East Asia since 2003. Four children died of the illness this month in Turkey -- though none of the deaths were believed caused by human to human transmission. [Radio Free Europe]


01.18.06 Italy hit by Russian gas shortage

January 18 – Italy has had to dip into its gas reserves to make up for a shortfall in supplies from Russia, Italian energy group ENI has said. It says it had to use four million cubic metres of gas from reserves because supplies were 5% below demand. Russia has denied reports that it is holding back gas for its domestic market because of freezing conditions. Italy's Industry Minister Claudio Scajola has called a crisis meeting with energy firms to discuss the issue. The announcement by ENI came after news agencies reported that Russia's state-owned Gazprom had cut supplies by 20% to parts of Europe because of cold weather.

According to the reports, gas flows had been cut on the route to Hungary, which also supplies Bosnia-Herzegovina. But Gazprom spokeswoman Olga Moreva, quoted by AFP news agency, described the reports as "incorrect".

"We are fulfilling all our obligations," she said. Earlier on Wednesday, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel called on the EU to reduce its dependence on Russian gas supplies.
[More>>bbc.co.uk]


01.18.06 Unkosher in Washington

January 18 – An editorial by Eliyahu Sterrn, Jerusalem Post, explains what hides under the curious black fedora worn by Jack Abramoff: The New York Times and ABC News just could not understand why Jack Abramoff, a master of public relations, would walk out of a courtroom – where he pleaded guilty to three felony accounts – wearing a Mafioso-styled black fedora. Whose sympathy exactly was he after? While the Times could not understand the bizarre spectacle, Jews recognized Abramoff's headgear all too well as a sign of Orthodox piety.

It is far from ironic that Abramoff would be wearing such a hat to court. From start to finish his lobbyist carrier and his cover-ups have been cloaked in religious garb...Behind every corner of this investigation there is another right-wing rabbi or "observant Jew" ready to "kasher" Abramoff's actions. If it wasn't one of the Lapins, it was every evangelical's favorite Jew, David Klinghoffer, a writer who, along with Michael Medved, was part of Lapin's group American Alliance of Jews and Christians, which was geared towards promoting morality in American public life.
[Full story>>Jerusalem Post]


01.18.06 Bush administration one of the worst in history: Hillary

WASHINGTON (PTI) January 18 – In what is seen as yet another indication of her being a factor in US presidential polls of 2008, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has ripped the Bush administration terming it as "one of the worst" in history. The Democratic Senator from New York, who is wife of former President Bill Clinton, also condemned the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives comparing it to a plantation where dissent is put down. [More>>expressindia.com ;

The "plantation" comment has been related to one made by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, published in the Washington Post 10.29.1994 :

"I clearly fascinate them," Gingrich said of the Democrats. "Išm much more intense, much more persistent, much more willing to take risks to get it done. Since they think it is their job to run the plantation, it shocks them that Išm actually willing to lead the slave rebellion."

[More>>americablog.com via thinkprogress.org]

See also villagevoice.com editorial by Sydney H. Schanberg, January 17, "Empirical News" : Transfixed as I've become by the new empire spreading out of Washington, I offer some empirical news bits that have recently drawn my attention. President Bush, who for now has resisted accepting the "emperor" title and its crown and scepter, gave a speech last week to a select group of admirers in Lexington, Kentucky. It was one of those unilateral orations about his Iraq war and related subjects, such as the patriotic, secret spying on Americans that he authorized shortly after the 9-11 terrorist attack. Of course, it's no longer secret, because the treasonous New York Times outed the covert operation on December 16. But the president has acted swiftly, ordering a secret investigation into that heinous act. More reporters may be going to jail. The president says no mercy will be shown to those who comfort the enemy. Anyway, I'm watching his speech on CNN and suddenly the president utters one of those giggly little fibs he likes to tease America with. He says of the soldiers he has sent into battle: "When you put these kids in harm's way, we owe them the best equipment, the best training, and a strategy for victory."

It was the "equipment" part that crossed my eyes. Omigod, I thought, his staff has failed him again and made him look like a fool. I guess they didn't tell him about the repeated news stories since the war's start, nearly three years ago, that showed soldiers were being killed and maimed because of outdated body armor and vehicle armor...


Editorial note: This report appeared in major US media January 17 and a subsequent press release from the Bush administration complained that it had no idea what Hillary meant with regard to the plantation reference. We recorded this report from India to stress what other nations are picking up with regard to Bush administration problems. Indians, of course, can appreciate what is meant by a government run as a plantation, since that is how the British ran India and other colonies; the Dutch were particularly good at the practice in exploiting Indonesia.

Maravot News has compared George W. Bush to the Roman emperor Domitian, who was corrupt and incompetent. Other comments are at the link below,
When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush.

Mel Copeland


01.18.06 Official US agency paints dire picture of 'out-of-control' Iraq

January 18 – An official assessment drawn up by the US foreign aid agency depicts the security situation in Iraq as dire, amounting to a "social breakdown" in which criminals have "almost free rein." The "conflict assessment" is an attachment to an invitation to contractors to bid on a project rehabilitating Iraqi cities published earlier this month by the US Agency for International Development (USAid).

The picture it paints is not only darker than the optimistic accounts from the White House and the Pentagon, it also gives a more complex profile of the insurgency than the straightforward "rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists" described by George Bush.

The USAid analysis talks of an "internecine conflict" involving religious, ethnic, criminal and tribal groups. "It is increasingly common for tribesmen to 'turn in' to the authorities enemies as insurgents – this as a form of tribal revenge," the paper says, casting doubt on the efficacy of counter-insurgent sweeps by coalition and Iraqi forces.

Meanwhile, foreign jihadist groups are growing in strength, the report said. "External fighters and organizations such as al-Qaida and the Iraqi offshoot led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are gaining in number and notoriety as significant actors," USAid's assessment said. "Recruitment into the ranks of these organizations takes place throughout the Sunni Muslim world, with most suicide bombers coming from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region."
[More>>guardian.co.uk]


01.18.06 Ambush kills 10 guards in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, January 18 – Ten security guards were killed after an ambush on their cars here today and a Malawian engineer in their convoy was kidnapped during the attack, according to an official from the Interior Ministry. News agencies reported that the guards were Iraqi. More than 400 foreigners and at least 36 journalists have been kidnapped in Iraq since 2003, along with thousands of Iraqis. Most foreigners have been released, but dozens have been killed.

On Tuesday, a kidnapped American reporter, Jill Carroll, appeared in a silent videotape broadcast by Al Jazeera television. It said her captors had threatened to kill her if the United States does not release all women held prisoner in Iraq within 72 hours.
[More>>nytimes.com]


01.18.06 North Korea secures China's support on nuclear issue

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) January 18 – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il secured Chinese support in resolving the international standoff over his regime's nuclear ambitions as he met with President Hu Jintao at the end of an unofficial eight-day visit to China Wednesday. According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Hu pledged help in fostering the resumption of the stalled six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program, which, along with the two Koreas and China, also involve the United States, Japan and Russia. He described the six-party talks as "the correct choice" for settling the nuclear dispute.

Kim reportedly said he remained committed to peacefully resolving the conflict surrounding Pyongyang's nuclear program. KCNA quoted him as saying "there is no change in [North Korea's] basic stand of maintaining the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, implementing the joint statement issued at the fourth round of the six-party talks and pursuing a negotiated peaceful settlement."
[More>>rian.ru]


01.18.06 Indonesia to sell stakes in state-owned companies

JAKARTA (Dow Jones) January 18 – The Indonesian government plans to start selling stakes in state-owned companies in the second half of this year in an effort to cut the budget deficit, a senior minister said on Wednesday. "We will start the privatization program in the second half of this year. We will sell a stake in 15 state owned companies," State Minister of State-owned Enterprises Sugiharto told reporters. He didn't mention the names of the companies, but analysts expect the government to sell stakes in mining and plantation companies, port operators and banks.

Analysts expect tin producer PT Timah, PT Bank Negara Indonesia – the country's third largest bank by assets – and nickel and gold producer Aneka Tambang, or Antam to be among the companies that will be partially sold to private investors.
[More>>thejakartapost.com]


01.18.06 Sixth human bird flu death in China

BEIJING, January 18 – A woman southwestern China has become the country's sixth human fatality from bird flu. The 35-year-old woman, identified only by the surname Wei, died January 11, the Health Ministry said. It said she lived in Jiangyang, a city in Sichuan province. The brief statement, carried by the official Xinhua News Agency, didn't say whether it was known how the woman contracted the disease. It was the ninth human case of bird flu reported in mainland China. [theaustralian.news.com ; See also chinabroadcast.cn]


01.17.06 World powers split over Iran nuclear program

VIENNA (AFP) January 17 – World powers appeared split on how to handle the crisis over Iran's nuclear program, with Russia and China resisting European and US pressure for UN action and Tehran threatening reprisals. In London, Prime Minister Tony Blair's spokesman said he retained hope of a diplomatic solution in what one high-ranking official described as a "gradual sustained build-up" of pressure on Iran that could avert UN sanctions. The official dismissed as "vacuous" an offer by Tehran to resume talks this month, but conceded that there would be a "great deal of diplomacy to pursue" in order to build an international consensus to bring Iran into line. [More>>turkishpress.com]


01.17.06 Flu-hit Turkey reports 21st human case, as boy's health worsens

ANKARA (AFP) January 17 – Turkey announced that another child was diagnosed with bird flu, raising to 21 the total number of human cases in the country, among them four teenagers already dead and a small boy in worsening condition. With the lethal virus now raging at the threshold of Europe, officials from half of the world's nations gathered in Beijing for a two-day meeting aimed at raising 1.5 billion dollars to help fight the disease. The Turkish health ministry identified the new case of H5N1 infection as a child from the remote eastern town of Dogubeyazit, near the border with Iran, from where the four dead also hailed. [More>>turkishpress.com]


01.17.06 Mass grave uncovered in Iraq

January 18 – A mass grave containing the bodies of 22 people believed to have been killed during a failed Shia uprising has been found near one of Iraq's holiest cities, security officials say. Security sources on Tuesday said the remains of 22 people had been uncovered near the holy Shia city of Najaf, where a number of mass graves have been found since the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. They are believed to be victims of a violent repression by Saddam's regime of a Shia uprising in 1991 following the Gulf War which rid Iraqi invasion troops from neighboring Kuwait. "The remains were found by accident at a building site in the Kifl region on the road between Najaf and Karbala," one source said. "A search is ongoing to find other bodies," the source said, adding that at least five mass graves dating back to 1991 have been found in the region in recent years. [More>>aljazeera.net]


01.17.06 US airstrike believed to have killed Qaeda men

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) January 18 – A US airstrike in Pakistan last week killed at least four foreign terrorists, a Pakistani official said on Tuesday. Fahim Wazir, the chief government official in the region where the strike occurred, said at least 10 or 12 terrorists from outside Pakistan had been invited to attend a feast in the village of Damadola. Wazir said in a statement that militants had carted off the bodies of the foreigners before authorities arrived at the scene of the attack. US officials have said the airstrike on Friday was meant to kill al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.

According to intelligence sources, the CIA believed Zawahri was among the foreigners, but Pakistani intelligence officers say the Egyptian-born deputy to Osama bin Laden never turned up for the feast, although he had been invited. The US attack has enraged many Pakistanis and the government of President Pervez Musharraf is having to cope with protests against the deaths of 18 civilians when the missiles hit three houses in Damadola, close to the Afghan border.
[More>>thestar.com.my]


01.16.06 Egypt on Iran: We will not accept a new nuclear power

January 17 – Egypt on Monday said it supported using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but rejected the emergence of a nuclear military power in the region, in its first official reaction to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

"All countries should adhere to their commitments in a way to allow the international community to be sure of the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, as we do not accept the emergence of a nuclear military power," Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement. Aboul Gheit said Egypt was "closely watching" the development of the Iranian nuclear issue "out of its absolute keenness to support all the efforts aimed at consolidating the nuclear nonproliferation (policy) not only at the regional level but all over the world."
[More>>haaretzdaily.com]


01.16.06 CNN banned from Iran

TEHRAN (AFP) January 16 – The US-based news channel CNN has been banned from working in Iran for having quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying his country is seeking nuclear weapons, a government official told AFP Monday. During CNN's live translation of a press conference by Ahmadinejad Saturday, the president was quoted as saying that "we believe all nations are allowed to have nuclear weapons" and that the West should not "deprive us to have nuclear weapons." The president was, however, using a Farsi word that meant "technology" and not "weapons." [More>>iranfocus.com ; See cnn.com, " Reports: Iranian president asks end to CNN ban."]


01.16.06 Turkey, Syria carry out poultry culling

January 16 –Turkey has extended the culling of poultry across the country after a girl died from suspected bird flu and her brother was diagnosed with the deadly H5N1 virus. Three children have already died from avian flu in Turkey, the first human victims reported outside East Asia since H5N1 re-emerged in 2003. The potentially deadly virus has been found in wild birds and poultry over a third of Turkey, especially in villages reaching from Istanbul at Europe's gates to Van near the Iranian and Iraqi borders. Turkish authorities have culled 600,000 wild birds and poultry to try to contain the crisis...If Fatma is confirmed to have died from the virus, it would bring the number of human cases in Turkey to 20...In a related development, Syria culled birds at a market near the Turkish border on Sunday to prevent the spread of bird flu across their 490km border, though the birds showed no sign of illness, a health official said. [Full story>>aljazeera.net]


01.16.06 Uzbekistan suspends US pro-democracy NGO, citing law abuse

TASHKENT (RIA Novosti) January 16 – International NGO Freedom House will have its operations in Uzbekistan suspended for violating the country's law, the Justice Ministry said in a press release Monday. According to the ministry, a civil court in the capital, Tashkent, ordered the suspension after carrying out an inquiry into the ministry's allegations that Freedom House had grossly violated Uzbekistan's registration and licensing laws and failed to provide financial reports to Uzbek authorities. The U.S.-based pro-democracy NGO was accused, among other things, of letting local human rights organizations use its Internet facilities.

Last year, the Uzbek government suspended accreditation of Uzbek journalists working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and closed the local offices of Internews – a US-based NGO providing media support for pro-democracy movements throughout the world. Pressure on international organizations working in Uzbekistan to promote democracy, free speech and free press has escalated since last May's popular uprising in the eastern province of Andijan. Uzbek authorities accused foreign aid and human rights groups of instigating the unrest.
[More>>rian.ru]


01.16.06 Twenty-six die in Afgjan suicide bombings

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, January 16 – Bombers killed at least 26 people in two separate attacks in southern Afghanistan on Monday, further raising fears that militants here were copying the tactics of Iraqi insurgents. An attacker riding a motorcycle blew himself as a crowd left a wrestling match in Spin Boldak, killing 20 people and wounding at least 20 others, provincial governor Asadullah Khalid and witnesses said.

"Twenty people were killed and around 20 others were wounded after a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated himself in Spin Boldak bazaar" as people watched the wrestling after Eidul Azha, Khalid said. The powerful explosion also engulfed three cars, setting them on fire, he said.

A number of police were in the area at the time but it was not known if they were among the casualties. "By the time the wrestling was over and people were starting to go home, a motorcycle approached the area and a big explosion happened," witness Ahmadullah Jan told AFP. "I saw a big fire and a couple of vehicles on fire and I estimate around 30 people were lying either dead or wounded," he added. "There were screams and blood everywhere."
[More>>jang.com.pk]


01.16.06 Saudi police arrest 5 suspected terrorists in capital

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) January 17 – Saudi police arrested five suspected terrorists on Monday in raids in several neighborhoods in the capital and seized large quantities of explosives and money, security officials said. The officials said the five suspects - four Saudis and one foreigner - are believed to be part of a network preparing for a terror attack in Riyadh.

"They were apparently preparing for a terrorist attack, probably soon," one official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Another official said police seized some 20 kilograms of explosives and 1 million Saudi riyals (US $373,000; £308,000) in a raid north of Riyadh. He said police believe the suspects were planning to blow up some government installations. The officials said police first arrested a suspect who had been under security surveillance. He later informed on the others in other hideouts in Riyadh.
[More>> khaleejtimes.com]


01.16.06 Gore says Bush broke the law with spying

January 16 – Former vice president Al Gore accused President Bush of breaking the law by authorizing wiretaps on U.S. citizens without court warrants and called on Congress yesterday to reassert its oversight responsibilities on a "shameful exercise of power" by the White House.

"The president of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and insistently," Gore said in a speech at Constitution Hall in Washington. "A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government." To restore a system of checks and balances to government, Gore proposed appointing a special counsel to look into the domestic surveillance program, developing new whistle-blower protections and not extending the Patriot Act. He urged members of Congress, only one of whom -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) – was present, to "start acting like the independent and coequal branch of government you're supposed to be." [
More>>washingtonpost.com]


01.16.06 Cronkite's Vietnam moment: 'US must leave Iraq'

NEW YORK, January 17 – Walter Cronkite, the former network news anchor they called "the most trusted man in America", has added his voice to those calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, echoing an appeal he made in 1968 to President Lyndon Johnson to cut his losses in Vietnam. It has been 25 years since Mr. Cronkite, now 89, hard of hearing and slow of gait, has presided over the nightly news bulletins for CBS, but he is still employed by the network and his status as an affable and avuncular national sage is intact. So his comments, made at a gathering of television critics in California, will reverberate. They came as the Democrat congressman John Murtha, who shocked the White House in November by advocating a withdrawal from Iraq, reiterated his stance and predicted that all US troops would be out by year's end. [More>>independent.co.uk]


01.15.06 New Zogby Poll shows majority of Americans support impeaching Bush for wiretapping

January 15 – By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,216 US adults from January 9-12. The poll found that 52% agreed with the statement:

"If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

43% disagreed, and 6% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error.

Says Fertik, "The American people are not buying Bush's outrageous claim that he has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Americans believe terrorism can be fought without turning our own government into Big Brother," said
AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik. "Recently White House spokesman Scott McClellan cited a Rasmussen poll that found 64% believe the NSA 'should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects.' Of course, that is exactly what Congress authorized when it created the FISA courts to issue special expedited secret warrants for terrorism suspects. But Bush defied the FISA law and authorized warrantless wiretaps of Americans, which has outraged Americans to the point that a majority believe Congress should consider Bush's impeachment.

"Bush admits he ordered illegal warantless wiretapping, but says it began in response to 9/11 and was limited to a small number of calls to or from Al Qaeda. But recent reports suggest wiretapping affected a much larger number of Americans, and a report in Friday's Truthout says the wiretapping began before 9/11."

"The upcoming Senate hearings on White House wiretapping could be as dramatic as the Watergate hearings in 1973. A majority of Americans already believe Congress should look into grounds for impeachment, yet we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the Corporate Media. If Bush ordered warrantless wiretapping long before the terrorist attack on 9/11, then Americans will realize that George Bush came into office determined to shred the Constitution and take away our rights."
[More>>afterdowningstreet.org]


01.15.06 'Zawahiri was not here'

PESHAWAR, January 14 – Osama bin Ladenšs second-in-command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, was invited to a village in the Bajaur area but was not present there when aeroplanes, in a CIA-supported operation, hit three houses on Friday and killed 18 civilians, official sources said. "There is no indication that he (Zawahiri) was there," a senior official said. "Probably there was an intelligence botch- up." Most of the victims of the air strike on the houses at the foothills of Damadola village, about 25km to the northeast of Bajaur regional headquarters, Khaar, were women and children.

A source said the operation was launched on the basis of an intelligence report that Al-Qaeda No-2 was amongst the few invited to a dinner in one of the three houses at the night of the attack. Besides Zawahiri, the source said, two local clerics, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad and Maulvi Liaqat, both wanted for harbouring foreign militants, had also been invited to the feast. Incidentally, it was Faqir Mohammad who delivered a fiery anti-Pakistan and anti-US speech at the collective funeral of the civilians killed in the Friday action. The clerics left the village at around 12.30am and the air strike came at around 3.15am.

The source said the intelligence reports indicated that the Egyptian surgeon (Zawahiri) had been visiting Bajaur for about a year and security agencies had been trying to keep an eye on his movement over the past few months. Another reason for Zawahirišs visit to the Bajaur village was to meet his family, the source said. "Bin Ladenšs deputy is married to a woman from Mohmand tribe who, with her children, lives with her father in the border area between Bajaur and Mohmand tribal regions," the source said.
[More>>dawn.com via expressindia.com]

Editorial note: This report from dawn.com discloses information not carried by the major western news media linked on this page. The facts in this story show the probability of Zawahiri visiting his relatives in the home(s) hit by the drones. Two clerics who are known to have harbored and defended al-Qaeda were in the houses a few hours before the strike. This story implies that someone tipped the "foreigners" off and the villagers are not being honest about the fact that they appear to have been harboring al-Qaeda, because al-Qaeda family members live in the area. That the CIA had been monitoring the village over a year, that drones had flown over the village for several days before the strike, indicates probable observation of al-Qaeda operatives. Someone ought to point out to the protesting Pakistanis the truth of the matter, and the government of Pakistan should take a more active part in ferreting al-Qaeda operatives out of the villages that have been harboring them. Though Pakistan has caught many al-Qaeda, for some reason Zawahiri and Bin Laden elude them, in spite of the fact that the CIA apparently has known where al-Qaeda family members live. That the CIA knew for a year the whereabouts of these family members and the Pakistani government is reflecting an ignorance of the details is curious.

Mel Copeland


01.14.06 Pakistan hiding Al Qaeda?

January 14 – There are too many inconsistencies in the airstrike on Damadola. I think Musharaff is not playing with a full deck of cards. In the following story one might wonder how the Pakistani official knew the target was not at the house : the star.com.my : QaedaNo. 2 away during attack-Pakistan official."l

Mel Copeland

[Re:>>thestar.com.my : ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A US airstrike on a Pakistani village targeted al Qaeda's second-in-command, U.S. sources knowledgeable with the strike said, but it was not certain that Ayman al-Zawahri was there. Pakistani officials said Zawahri was not at the scene near the Afghan border where a strike on Friday killed at least 18 people, including women and children. Residents said three houses were destroyed. But US sources familiar with the operation cast doubt on Pakistani claims that Zawahri was not among the dead, saying it was too early to determine his fate...]


STILL IN THE NEWS

05.21.05 British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil

LISBON, May 21 – Adam Porter reports: Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher has slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for starting a war, he says, to secure oil interests.

Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."
..."It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.

"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan."
[More>>aljazeera.net; See also gregpalast.com, article March 17, 2005, "Secret US plans for Iraq's oil."

Editorial note: For articles relating to Bush's lying to Congress and the American people with regard to his war on Iraq and other complaints that relate to his abuse of power see:

12.30.05 The future of democracy as we knew it : John Conyers on Bush crimes and Constitutional crisis
11.17.05 The man who sold the war
11.12.05 Asterisks dot White House's Iraq argument
10.16.05 Bush to Blair: First Iraq, then Saudi
10.07.05 BBC: Bush said God told him to invade Iraq
08.25.05 Bush administration hiding affects of the war: photos Washington doesn't want you to see
6.18.05 Update The Downing Street memo: the smoking gun to impeach President Bush
6.17.05 Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes?
6.17.05 Democrats urge inquiry on Bush, Iraq
6.17.05 Update Senator Feinstein against US becoming a 'unilateralist power'
6.19.05 Rice condemns Iran vote – 'the pot calling the kettle black'
6.21.05 British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office
6.28.05 Special Orders in House of Representatives on Downing Street Memos
6.28.05 From memos, insights into ally's doubts on Iraq War
7.11.05 Report: US war has killed 39,000 Iraqis


08.09.05 Understanding terrorists' use of the Koran – what constitutes extremist activity

August 9 – (Maravot News, Mel Copeland) A trend in combatting terrorism has to do with what constitute's extremist activity, including teachings by immams, publication of books and retail book stores, etc. Statements like (8.09.05) Bakri Mohammed's, "...it would be 'against Islam' for him to inform the police of any terrorist attacks that he knew were being planned in Britain..." are better understood through an examination of modern scholastic trends in reinterpreting the Koran. See:

08.07.05 Inside the sect that loves terror with Editorial note: An interesting site by an Islamic scholar defines what "kuffar" (disbelievers) means. His site, renaissance.com.pk – Arguments and Rational – details the Koran's verses and traditional and modern applications of the verses dealing with disbelievers: identifying them, punishing them, preaching to them and "'displaced directives." His argument refers heavily to Old Testament verses that set the foundation for verses of the Koran involving the punishment of disbelievers...
08.07.05 UK to deport 500 Muslim extremists
and article, "Diary of British jihadi unearthed in Pakistan," ...the diary wonders how Muslims can live in London, the "vital organ of the minions of the devil," now that the "kufr," or unbelievers, have transformed the world into "a battlefield for the Muslims."


6.17-05 Federal Debt not a concern of the press

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 Update. While the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, the Exponentially rising Federal Debt is not being reported. What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. This year the deficit is expected to exceed $420 billion, and interest on the debt which exceeds $8.2 trillion, is about $1 billion per day. Because the annual deficits are financed via the bond market, and because the amount of the bonds being sold exceeds demand, it is necessary to raise interest rates to attract investors in the US bonds financing the US debt. This routine of increasing debt on an exponential scale was experienced under the administration of George H. W. Bush. I predicted increasing interest rates "to sell bonds" in my conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. at that time, in 1993, and I have repeated the prediction with regard to the current Bush administration's excesses and need to sell more bonds to finance the extraordinary deficits. The rate increases will continue in order to sell the overabundant US bonds. In a few words, George Bush's debt is causing your mortgage rates to increase, and they will continue to increase until the US assumes fiscal responsibility. Click here for details on this trend.

Postscript: If the EU adopts the practice of allowing large budget deficits, the consequence places a strain on the world bond market, since that market is already flooded with US bonds to the tune of some $9 trillion. Those who are allowing budget deficits also own some of the US debt. It's not a good situation, heralding a world economic collapse. That Greenspan has not reigned in the Bush administration on the US debt is a travesty.

Rising interest rates began with a Federal Reserve declaration of the "fear of inflation":
WASHINGTON, March 22 – The Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation on Tuesday, setting off alarms in the stock and bond markets that the central bank might drive up interest rates faster than investors had been expecting. The Fed nudged up short-term interest rates for the seventh time in the last year, raising the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent. It restated its intention to keep raising them at a "measured" pace in the months ahead.

But in a departure from previous declarations, the central bank said there were rising inflationary pressures beyond those tied directly to the recent jumps in oil prices.
[More>>nytimes.com]

Mel Copeland

Historical trend on the New Orleans debacle


EDITORIALS

09.11.09 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
08.13.05 "Using force the George W. Bush way – Bush's crusade"
07.27.05 New security system for Temple Mount: Why the Dome of the Rock is threatened
03.24.05 Temple Mount controversy
02.19.05 'Dog-Deer' clan seen as common Chinese ancestor – relates to European Paleolithic Lion-Deer
02.15.05 Bush & Rice affects upon Iran's liaisons: it's all about oil and gas
12.23.04 US is losing war of ideas
12.21.04 United States attacking itself from behind


NOTES

(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names. Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.
(5) The Law of the Locrians: "In the legislation of the Locrians, the proposer of a new law, with a halter round his neck, to be instantly tightened if the public assembly did not, on hearing his reasons, then and there adopt his proposition."
[Mill, On Liberty, 2.475].

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