Question: Has Bush caused the US to be dangerously compromised?

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. The Monroe Doctrine has been challenged in South America, with realignments away from the US. The disasters of Iraq, spreading Islamic terrorism, Hurricane Katrina and economic blunders represent an incompetence in Bush and his administration perhaps unparalleled in US history.

Mel Copeland


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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
What Price Justice? Sept. 1992


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4.04.06 Iran tests second new radar avoiding missile – updated information

TEHRAN (AP) April 4 – A top Iranian military official said Tuesday the country can now defend against any invasion originating from outside the region - a clear reference to the United States - as it tested a second new radar-avoiding missile. The new surface-to-sea missile is equipped with remote-control and searching systems, state-run television reported. It said the new missile, called Kowsar after the name of a river in paradise, was a medium-range weapon that Iran had the capability to mass-produce.

TV grab of Iranian underwater missile (Xinhua/AFP)
TV grab of Iranian "flying boat," from Khallejtimes.com
It also asserted that the Kowsarıs guidance system could not be scrambled, and that it had been designed to sink ships.

Shortly after the test, the chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, warned that Iran was now able to "confront any extra-regional invasion," referring to the United States without mentioning it by name.

...Safavi also called for foreign forces to leave the region. The US 5th fleet is based in Bahrain, from where it patrols the Gulf...The second torpedo, unveiled Monday, was tested in the Straits of Hormuz, the narrow entrance to the Gulf that is a vital corridor for oil supplies. That seemed designed to be a clear warning to the United States that Iran believes it has the capability to disable oil tankers moving through the Gulf, if it should so choose.

...But military analysts in Moscow said the high-speed torpedoes tested by Iran this week were likely Russian-built weapons and may have been acquired from China or the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. Judging by the fuzzy television pictures showing the tests, the missiles appeared very similar to the Russian-made VA-111 Shkval, the worldıs fastest known underwater missile, they said.

Ruslan Pukhov, an expert with the Center for Strategic Analysis and Technologies, said that he believed the Shkval technology was too sophisticated for the Iranians to produce themselves. Pukhov noted that the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan once had a Soviet top-secret torpedo and naval testing center located on the remote mountain lake, Issyk Kul. He said in the mid-1990s, in the turmoil that followed the Soviet breakup, Kyrgyz authorities had sold Shkvals to the Chinese, a major importer of Iranian oil.
[Full story>>khaleejtimes.com ; See also:

Jerusalem Post, April 4, "Iran tests 2nd radar-avoiding missile"

Maravot News 4.03.06 update,
Iran says it has successfully test-fired a missile able to avoid radar"

aljazeera.net, April 4, "Iran tests 'flying boat" : Iran has successfully tested what it described as a "flying boat," state television has reported. This is the latest in a series of domestically produced weapons that Tehran has tested during a three-day military exercise in the Gulf. "A super-modern flying boat was successfully tested in the 'Great Prophet' war game in Persian Gulf waters, "state television said. State-run radio also reported that Iran had also tested its Kowsar missile – a land-to-sea missile designed to sink ships in the Gulf...

nytimes.com, April 4, "Iran joins the Space Club, but to what end? The spacecraft is small by world standards — a microsatellite of a few hundred pounds. Launched in October by the Russians for an oil-rich client, it orbits the earth once every 99 minutes and reportedly has a camera for peering down on large swaths of land. But what makes this satellite particularly interesting is not its capabilities, which are rudimentary, but its owner: Iran. With last year's launching and another planned in the next few weeks, Tehran has become the newest member of the international space club.

The question now asked in Washington and other capitals is whether Iran's efforts are simply part of its drive to expand its technical prowess or an attempt to add another building block to its nuclear program. In that sense, it is the newest piece of the Iranian atomic puzzle...


Editorial note: In the 4.03.06 Maravot News editorial update linked above a concern was expressed over two different missiles being represented in the "Radar-avoiding missile" story. The Jerusalem Post article linked above carries an image of a missile without boosters with the caption, "Photo released on Monday April 3, 2006 shows a test firing of a Fajr-3 missile fired by Iran in the Persian Gulf on April 1. Photo: AP." The second image appears to be the second radar-avoiding missile. The "underwater missile" was also touted as radar-avoiding. There seems to be some confusion in the press over the number of different missiles tested by Iran. But there appears to be 2 "ballistic missiles," one of which has at least two boosters, extending its range and payload; 1 "underwater missile" (torpedo) and the "flying boat."


Mel Copeland


4.04.06 Scholar: China should cut its US debt holding

(Reuters) April 4 – China should trim its holdings of U.S. debt and can stop buying dollar bonds, a vice chief of the national parliament said, rattling markets on Tuesday, weeks before President Hu Jintao visits Washington. As China is a leading financier of the US current account deficit and holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, the comments from Cheng Siwei sent the dollar lower against the euro and yen and pushed US government bond prices down.

The comments could add to the contentious issues that will come up during Hu's visit, notably what some US politicians and companies see as currency manipulation by China, accused of holding down the yuan to gain an unfair trade advantage. Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po newspaper carried Cheng's comments, made in Hong Kong on Monday. "China can stop buying dollar-denominated bonds, increase buying of US products and gradually reduce its holdings of US bonds," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
[More>>chinadaily.com.cn]


4.04.06 Iraq shelves political talks as Saddam faces genocide charges

BAGHDAD (AFP) April 4 – A car bomb killed seven in Baghdad on Tuesday as Iraqi leaders shelved talks on forming a government despite a warning from US and British leaders against further delays. In other developments Saddam Hussein was charged for genocide for the first time over his Anfal military campaign against Kurds from 1987-88 that left around 180,000 people dead. Eighteen people died on Tuesday in violence around the country, including a car bomb that struck eastern Baghdad. "At least seven people were killed and around 25 wounded in the explosion of a car bomb parked in the Habibiyah neighborhood," a security source said.

On the political front, talks on forming a national unity government were shelved despite stern warnings from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her British counterpart Jack Straw who left Iraq on Monday after an unprecedented two-day visit.
[More>>metimes.com]


4.04.06 West accused of fiddling figures on Iraq aid

BRUSSELS, April 4 – Britain and other Western nations are using huge debt write-offs to Iraq to boost development aid statistics and give a misleading impression of their generosity to the Third World, campaigners say. The UK, France, Germany and Italy have all bracketed debt cancellations to Iraq as part of their assistance to the world's poorest nations.

Figures released today by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development are expected to show that most, if not all, of the 15 nations in the EU before its 2004 expansion increased aid contributions. But the statistics will include massive write-offs to Iraq in 2005 when the UK cancelled €499m (£350m) of debt to Baghdad, France €1.6bn, Germany €1.28bn and Italy €925m. A report released yesterday by non-governmental organizations said that, while the countries were not breaking international rules, they were misleading the public.
[More>>independent.co.uk]


4.04.06 More mass protests as Chirac backs down on jobs law

April 4 – France saw more mass protests today as student and union leaders buoyed by concessions from the embattled President Chirac demonstrated for the repeal of a new youth jobs law. Early reports suggested that the number of protesters could exceed the 1.5 million who took to the streets last Thursday before M. Chirac suspended the First Employment Contract (CPE) and told Nicolas Sarkozy, his Interior Minister, to negotiate amendments to it. Two months of protests have severely dented the authority of both M. Chirac and Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister who pushed through the law. The CPE, designed to reduce youth unemployment, makes it easier for employers to fire younger workers. An estimated 4,000 police were on hand in Paris to avert the violence that has marred previous demonstrations. Some transport workers joined the protests but the Paris Metro continued running, as did most long-distance TGV trains. [More>>timesonline.co.uk ; See also sfgate.com, (San Francisco Chronicle)April 4, "Another nationwide strike disrupts France."]


4.04.06 Record flooding in Central Europe threatens Budapest

April 4 – Hungary and the Czech Republic have declared states of emergency and the city of Budapest is under threat due to flooding from swollen rivers in Central Europe. In the Hungarian capital, the Danube has reached a record 8.58 metres, flooding roads and tramlines around it and paralysing the transport network. The previous high in the capital was 8.48 metres during the catastrophic floods that hit central Europe in 2002. Gabor Demszky, the mayor of Budapest, today called on drivers to use public transport during the flood crisis.

In all, Hungary has evacuated 516 people from their homes and over 11,500 houses are in danger of being flooded along stretches of the Danube and Ipoly rivers, affecting 32,600 inhabitants. The situation is more acute in the Czech Republic, where seven of the 14 regions have declared a state of emergency thanks to the high levels of the river Elbe and other waterways.
[More>>timesonline.co.uk ;

Editorial note: San Francisco has seen record rains in March, with rain continuing well into the month of April.


4.03.06 Bladder grown in lab hailed as breakthrough for organ transplants

April 4 – The world's first organ grown in a laboratory has been successfully implanted in humans, heralding a new era in transplant surgery. Seven patients given new bladders grown from their own cells have functioning organs that have performed as well as those conventionally repaired but with none of the ill effects, scientists reveal.

Experts hailed the "stunning" development, which marks a new frontier in the search for replacement body parts. Scientists behind the breakthrough are now trying to grow up to 20 other organs and tissues. Throughout the Western world, thousands of people die every year waiting for donor organs and thousands more never make it on to the waiting lists, so the potential benefits are enormous.
[More>>independent.co.uk]


4.03.06 Senator Obama hits administration's energy policies

CHICAGO (AP) April 3 – Sen. Barack Obama accused the Bush administration Monday of a "stubborn refusal" to attack the causes of climate change, and said tougher fuel standards, stricter curbs on oil imports and more investment in cleaner energy are essential to avert global catastrophe. "Saying that America is addicted to oil without following a real plan for energy independence is like admitting alcoholism and then skipping out on the 12-step program," the Illinois Democrat said. He referred to one of the principal themes of President Bush's State of the Union address January 31.

...He accused the president of failing to follow up on his State of the Union statement that America is too dependent on foreign oil. "I was among the hopeful. But then I saw the plan," he said. More broadly, he said, the "administration's record on climate change is almost legendary ... Just recently, this is the administration that tried to silence a NASA scientist for letting the rest of us know that, yes, climate change is a pretty big deal."
[Full story>>cnn.com]


4.03.06 Putting Tony Blair, God and Islam in perspective

JAKARTA, April 4 – Endy M. Bayuni wrote this excellent perspective, well worth the read: British Prime Minister Tony Blair could have uttered the same line he used in a British TV interview last month when many of his hosts here criticized his decision to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. "God will be my judge" may have irked the largely secular British public, but such a statement would have gone down very well in Indonesia, particularly among two groups he visited here last week: the Darunnajah Islamic Boarding School in South Jakarta, and the Muslim leaders whom he met at the presidential palace.

Religion and politics still mix in Indonesia.

Many people in this country, Muslims in particular, could have easily related to him if he had told them that he had turned to God in reaching the decision to take Britain to war in Iraq more than three years ago. What Blair did is exactly what any devout Muslim, particularly those in leadership positions, would have gone through in making important decisions that would have a huge impact on people's lives. Muslims call it ijtihad, that is, turning to the use of reasoning in making decisions, and since one can never be 100 percent sure whether it is the right decision or not, one also turns to God for guidance. All leaders like Tony Blair constantly face this inner struggle to find the truth and to come up with the right decision to benefit the well-being of the people.

According to one Islamic school of thought, Blair would still receive pahala (heavenly rewards) for trying, even if it turned out later that it was the wrong decision. He would receive double if Iraq succeeds and does become a peaceful and prosperous democracy.
[More>>thejakartapost.com]


4.03.06 Deadly bomb blasts top Iraq violence

April 3 – Violence in Iraq has claimed the lives of eight Iraqis and four US servicemen. Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad, killing a bystander and wounding half a dozen others on Monday. One detonated in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City, the other in the central district of Karrada, both mostly Shia areas. The Sadr City explosion killed at least one civilian and wounded seven others, including a nine-year-old boy. Two were wounded in Karrada. The intended targets were not known, police said. In Basra, six people were killed in a drive-by shooting in a market area, including a navy officer, two policemen, two workers at an electrical plant, and a boy, police said. [More>>aljazeera.net]


4.03.06 Mines still kill or maim 100 people a month in Afghanistan

DEH ZABZ, Afghanistan (AFP) April 3 – Millions of mines and unexploded pieces of ordnance still kill or maim around 100 people a month in war-ravaged Afghanistan, a demining group said on Monday. Afghanistan remains one of the worldıs most mined countries despite the internationally backed efforts involving 10,000 people employed to destroy the devices, a representative of the Halo Trust told reporters.

Millions of land mines were laid by the Russian military during the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation and during the subsequent civil wars between resistance commanders. The devices still threaten the lives of more than 4.2 million Afghans, or about a quarter of the population, said Farid Homayoun, country director of the British-founded Halo Trust. "There are at least 100 mine accidents per month, which is an unacceptably high figure," Homayoun said at a ceremony to mark the United Nations Mine Action Awareness Day to be observed on Tuesday.
[More>>khaleejtimes.com]


4.03.06 'Iran at least 5 years away from bomb'

OSLO, Norway (AP) April 3 – Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix on Monday said Iran is a least five years away from developing a nuclear bomb, leaving time to peacefully negotiate a settlement. Blix, attending an energy conference in the Western Norway city of Bergen, said he doubted the US would resort to invading Iran. "But there is a chance that the US will use bombs or missiles against several sites in Iran," he was quoted as saying by Norwegian news agency NTB. "Then, the reactions would be strong, and would contribute to increased terrorism."

The former weapons inspector was right in his conclusion that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein did not have the weapons of mass destruction cited by the United States as a main reason for its March 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Swede said there is still time for dialogue over Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which Teheran insists is for peaceful purposes but the West fears is part of a secret nuclear weapons program.
[More>>Jerusalem Post ; See related stories:

jang.com.pk, April 3, "US Defense Department says Iran keeps trying to improve weapons' system" : WASHINGTON: Iran is constantly trying to improve its weapons systems but sometimes exaggerates its capabilities, US Defense Department spokesman said Monday. "Over the past year, Iran has continued testing its medium range ballistic missiles and has also tested anti-ship missiles," said Brian Whitman, the department's spokesman. He said Iran has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East....It's possible that they are increasing their capability and making strides in radar absorbing materials and technology."' However, he said, "the Iranians have also been known to boast and exaggerate their statements about greater technical and tactical capabilities."

Maravot News 3.31.06
Iran says it has successfully test-fired a missile able to avoid radar


4.03.06 Saddam to face new charges

April 2 – An investigative judge will file new criminal charges against Saddam Hussein in the next few days charging him in the deaths and deportation of thousands of Kurds in the 1980s, a government prosecutor has said. Chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi on Sunday said the new charges, which would be announced in the coming days, would involve Saddam's alleged role in "Operation Anfa," which included the 1988 gassing of about 5,000 Kurdish civilians in the village of Halabja. In all, Kurds maintain that more than 180,000 of their people were killed in Anfal, which began in 1987 and ended a year later. Hundreds of Kurdish villages in northern Iraq were destroyed and thousands were forced to leave their homes. [More>>aljazeera.net ; See more details at washingtonpost.com, April 3, "New documents allow Hussein case to proceed."]


4.03.06 Turkmenistan to build pipeline to supply gas to China

BEIJING (RIA Novosti) April 3 – China and Turkmenistan have signed a general agreement on the construction of a pipeline and natural gas supplies, a source in the Turkmen delegation said Monday. The agreement was signed by Turkmenistan's Ministry of Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources and China National Petroleum Corporation as part of Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov's visit to Beijing. The details of the agreement have not been made public yet. The sides also signed an agreement on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism. [rian.ru]


4.03.06 (Maravot editorial update) 3.31.06 Iran says it has successfully test-fired a missile able to avoid radar

TEHRAN (AP) March 31 – Iran successfully test-fired on Friday a missile with the ability to avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously, the airforce chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards said.

Image from Iranfocus.com taken from Iranian state television. Note the booster rockets. Compare this missile to the one presented in the international press below.
A case of the same story but different missile – and certainly different launch facility. This is the missile presented by international media (compare to the Jerusalem Post March 31 report). Image from Khaleejtimes.com.
"Today, a remarkable goal of the Islamic Republic of Iranıs defence forces was realized with the successful test-firing of a new missile with greater technical and tactical capabilities than those previously produced," Gen. Hossein Salami said on state-run television. Salami said the Iranian-made missile, which he did not name, was test-fired as large military maneuvers began in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian sea. [More>>khaleejtimes.com ; See also:

Jerusalem Post, March 31, "Iran test-fires radar-avoiding missile" : Iran successfully test-fired Friday a missile with the ability to avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously, the air force chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards said...

iranfocus, March 31, "Revolutionary Guards: Iran fires stealth missile" : Iran has successfully fired its first stealth missile, according to a top commander in Iranıs Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). "Today, we successfully tested a new-generation missile capable of striking several targets simultaneously," Brigadier General Hossein Salami, who commands the IRGC Air Force, told state television on Friday... The missile was more advanced than those found in the armies of Iranıs adversaries, he said...On July 4, 2004, General Salami called for the destruction of the United States during a ceremony to recruit suicide bombers who were willing to attack Western and Israeli targets.

"Now, America knows that Muslims with their desires for martyrdom have discovered a new technology and are capable of technological production. This has made [the U.S.] fear them," Salami was quoted as saying by the state-run news agency ISNA...

abcnews.go.com, March 29, "Iran just-tested missile can avoid radar."

Update
4.02.06 Iran calls second missile test a success – fires high-speed underwater missile


Editorial note: Updated 4.03.06, reflecting the contents of a letter sent to Senator Diane Feinstein April 3 – It appears that Iran took a large step with the capability to carry several, independently-targeted bombs in one vehicle. If the bombs were nuclear bombs the threat is serious. The vehicle looks like one having intercontinental (ICBM) capabilities, matching US, French, British, Russian, etc. nuclear weapons capabilities (such as MIRV's). One should also be aware of the difference between a nuclear bomb and the far more devestating thermonuclear bomb which technology Western nations fear Iran is developing. The abcnews.go.com report confirms that the missile is a ballistic missile, but its range is unknown. Also its payload weight is unknown. What we do know is that it can carry several individualy-targeted, very accurate bombs. Based upon my knowledge of nuclear weapon technology – which goes back to the early 1960's – one missile could knock out several cities with its nuclear bomb cluster in the payload. (Conventional bomb clusters in a missile have little impact compared to a nuclear bomb cluster.)

This missile is in a different league than the Iraqi SCUD missiles launched against Israel during the time of the First Iraq War. If you want evidence that Iran is developing / intends to develop nuclear weapons technology the image above shows it, since it would not make sense to deploy it with conventional bomb clusters, in my opinion. The small bombs in the bomb cluster could be used to deliver biological and chemical agents, of course. This puts the weapon threat in the category of "weapons of mass destruction."

Another fact that should be disconcerting is that both
Iran's leadership, i.e., General Salami, and Al-Qaeda have the same stated objective: the destruction of the United States. And they both believe in suicide missions to achieve their objective. Those of us who lived through the Cold War era know that the fundamental concept of Nuclear War is founded upon a suicidal mission. During that period the US and Soviet Union alone developed enough nuclear warheads to destroy the world many times over. It was thought during that period that "First Strike" capability involved a suicidal engagement for the sides involved in a Nuclear War. The stakes were too high and themselves served as a deterrent in the use of nuclear weapons. But now we have a new threat from people who appear to be developing nuclear weapons technology (Iran) and seeking it (Al-Qaeda – See Maravot News 3.28.06 comments on Adnan El Shukrijumah ), who believe that suicide in the deployment of such weapons is redeeming.

We must keep in mind the perspective the Bush administration used in unilaterally attacking Iraq, with the foundations of their cause turning out to be false. But in the case of Iran's capabilities the weapons of mass destruction threat appears to be not only real but immediate. Also, there seemed to have been some confusion in the press as to the actual image of the rocket. The image from Iranfocus.com, "copied from an Iranian television broadcast," has booster rockets attached to the fuselage. Booster rockets extend the range and the payload. Images shown in other press accounts, including ABC television, CBS, etc. showed a missile without booster rockets. Today, Chinadaily.com's (Xinhaunet) report concluded with the report that the missile is believed to have a range of 1,200 miles. If their report was based upon the common image (probably a file photo) of an earlier rocket without boosters, then the range of the vehicle should need to be recalculated by the so-called experts and talking heads who have commented on the rocket.


Mel Copeland


4.02.06 Forty-four killed in various Iraq violence incidents

BAGHDAD, April 2 – Insurgents blew up a small mosque northeast of Baghdad on Sunday, while police reported the discovery of nearly 40 bodies in several neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital, evidence of fresh killings. The US military reported the death of four American soldiers bringing the death toll to 44 in Iraq today. The status of the crew of a US helicopter that crashed Saturday southwest of Baghdad remained unclear. The violence came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made a surprise visit to press Iraqi politicians to speed up the formation of the government.

In Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, gunmen planted explosives around the small Guba Shiite mosque and blew it up, police said. No casualties were reported. Three stores selling music CDs also were bombed. Roadside bombs targeted US convoys in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, and the northern city of Mosul, but there were no reports of American casualties. Gunmen assassinated a Sunni Arab sheik, Abdul-Minaam Awad, in his village of Zobaa 40 miles west of Baghdad, a Sunni clerical association announced.
[More>>jang.com.pk ; See update, theaustralian.news.com.au, April 3, "Two US pilots, four troops killed." and aljazeera.net, "US helicopter downed near Baghdad."]


4.02.06 Iran calls second missile test a success – fires high-speed underwater missile

TEHRAN (AP) April 2 – Iran announced its second major missile test in a week, saying Sunday it has successfully fired a high-speed underwater missile capable of destroying huge warships and submarines. The Iranian-made missile has a speed of 223 mph underwater, Gen. Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the Navy of the elite Revolutionary Guards, said.

He called it the fastest underwater missile in the world but it has the same speed as the Russian-made VA-111 Shkval, developed in 1995 and believed to be the world's fastest, three or four times faster than a torpedo.

It was not immediately known if the Iranian missile, which has not yet been named, was based on the Shkval, or if it can carry a nuclear warhead. "It has a very powerful warhead designed to hit big submarines. Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed," Fadavi told state-run television.
[More>>abcnews.go.com ; See related story
3.31.06 "Iran says it has successfully test-fired a missile able to avoid radar" ]


4.02.06 Zarqawi replaced at head of Iraq resistance

AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) April 2 – Iraqıs resistance has replaced Jordanian-born Abu Musab Al Zarqawi as political head of the rebels, confining him to a military role, the son of Osama bin Ladenıs mentor told AFP on Sunday in Jordan. "The Iraqi resistance's high command asked Zarqawi to give up his political role and replaced him with an Iraqi, because of several mistakes he made," said Hudayf Azzam, who claims close contacts with the rebels.

"Zarqawiıs role has been limited to military action," said Azzam, whose late father Abdullah Azzam was the mentor of Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda boss. Zarqawi bowed to the orders two weeks ago and was replaced by Iraqi national Abdullah bin Rashed Al Baghdadi," Azzam said. Azzam, 35, whose father was known as the "prince of mujahedeens," said he regularly receives "credible information on the resistance in Iraq."
[More>>khaleejtimes.com ; See also aljazeera.net, "Zarqawi 'sacked for mistakes.'"


4.02.06 Iraq terror backlash in UK 'for years'

April 2 – Spy chiefs have warned Tony Blair that the war in Iraq has made Britain the target of a terror campaign by Al-Qaeda that will last ³for many years to come.² A leaked top-secret memo from the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) says the war in Iraq has ³exacerbated² the threat by radicalizing British Muslims and attracting new recruits to anti-western terror attacks.

The four-page memo, entitled International Terrorism: Impact of Iraq, contradicts Blairıs public assurances by concluding that the invasion of Iraq has fomented a jihad or holy war against Britain. It states: ³It has reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the West and motivated others who were not.² It adds: ³Iraq is likely to be an important motivating factor for some time to come in the radicalization of British Muslims and for those extremists who view attacks against the UK as legitimate.²
[More>>timesonline.co.uk]


4.02.06 Hamas vows to end armed chaos

April 2 – Hamas has said that its government will prosecute anyone involved in inter-faction fighting after three people were killed in clashes between rival groups. Said Siam, the Palestinian interior minister, said on Sunday: "We will ensure that nobody is above the law and demand an end to the instability and armed chaos." He was speaking in reference to violence on Friday in which 36 people were wounded after the assassination of a commander from the Popular Resistance Committees.

"We are giving the security forces all the authority and power to investigate this ugly crime and also the three killings and other casualties that followed," he said, referring to a commission of inquiry set up on Friday night. The umbrella group of Palestinian factions, the Committee of Islamic and National Forces, also called for an end to instability and armed chaos.
[More>>aljazeera.net]


4.02.06 Report: Zahar says 'There's no room for Israel on this land'

April 2 – Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar was quoted in a weekend interview to a Chinese news agency defending Hamas' declared goal of eventually destroying Israel. Zahar, a prominent Hamas leader sworn into the Palestinian Authority cabinet last week, told the Xinhua news agency that he is certain the goal will be realized, because "There is no place for Israel on this land." According to the interview, Zahar maintained that Palestinians have no problem with the Jewish religion, only with the Israeli occupation, and said he does not rule out the possibility of Jews, Muslims and Christians living together in one Islamic state. [More>>haaretzdaily.com]

Editorial note: The Koran repeatedly asserts that it was written to confirm that the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) are true. If Zahar can accept this truth, then he should be able to agree to the possibility of Jews, Muslims and Christians living together in one nonsectarian state, as suggested in Isaiah 62.4, which involves "marriage of the land to God" and renaming the land, "Beulah," meaning "married." No sect can claim ownership of the land. We learn in another place:

Isaiah 4.2 In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
4.3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called Holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.

4.4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the Spirit of Judgment, and the Spirit of Burning."

In the Old Testament, following the Spirit of Judgment and the Spirit of Burning (i.e., the Holocaust, meaning "whole burnt offering"), comes a process involving the redemption of the children of Israel to the land from whence they had been scattered. The redemption of the children of Israel is viewed in the scriptures as the redemption of all men, bringing peace on earth, and it is viewed as a marriage, the highest relationship between two parties. The marriage in Isaiah offers two things (1) the children of Israel are accepted back and called "Hephzibah," meaning "my delight in her," and following this the land is married to God. If you think about this process it makes a lot of sense.

But what about those that already live on the land, represented by its holy city, Jerusalem? Here the Scripture says, "everyone that lives in Jerusalem shall be called Holy." It's not a bad idea, accepting everyone that lives on the land to be married to God, calling them Holy unto God, and giving the land a new name so that no particular sect or group may claim the land. In truth the Bible envisions embracing all people and overcoming sectarian rivalries, the process of which is exemplified in the precept of Beulah. If this can be achieved in the Holy Land, then it can spread throughout the world. Incidentally, Turkey is an example of a nonsectarian state whose population is mainly Moslem, reassuring us that such a venture is possible. I discuss this in more detail in "Philistia triumph thou because of me."

As in Old Testament wedding ceremonies, a wedding would involve a wedding canopy (The parties are married under the canopy). "Philistia triumph thou because of me" describes the canopy as well and how the Koran confirms the Old Testament and even Christ. The appellation, "Christ," is Greek for the Old Testament name, "Messiah," which is also represented by many other names, including the Redeemer, the Branch, the Word, etc. The works of the Messiah (what is intended to be done) are described throughout the prophecies in the Old and New Testament.

Mel Copeland


4.02.06 Protestors reject Chirac's jobs plan

PARIS, April 2 – President Jacques Chirac's attempt to bob and weave his way out of a deepening crisis in France over a jobs law for the young appeared to have failed spectacularly yesterday. In a televised address to the nation on Friday night, M. Chirac said he would ratify the "first job contract", designed to ease youth unemployment by allowing employers to sack young recruits without explanation during a two-year "trial period," but would make the government pass a new law removing most of its meaning.

His contorted response to a four-week political and social crisis was dismissed yesterday by students and trade union leaders, as well as most of the French press, as an "April Fool's joke," a "confidence trick" and a "piece of failed DIY."

Around 2,000 young people – some students, but many more far-left and anarchist activists – went on a six-hour protest ramble through the streets of central Paris after M. Chirac's speech. During the chaotic march, which ended in the early hours of yesterday morning, the demonstrators threw bottles at riot police and attempted briefly to storm the National Assembly. Violent fringe groups smashed the windows of two McDonald's outlets and sacked the offices of Pierre Lellouche, a Paris deputy for M. Chirac's centre-right party, the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP).
[More>>independent.co.uk]


4.02.06 US company claims to make stem cells from testes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) April 2 – US researchers said on Saturday they had transformed immature cells from men's testicles into powerful stem cells, which they then coaxed into becoming nerve, heart and bone cells. Their work has not been assessed by standard peer-review processes, but was presented at a meeting of stem cell researchers in Valencia, Spain. If other researchers can duplicate their efforts, the study offers a possible new source of valuable stem cells.

The researchers, at Irvine, California-based PrimeGen Biotech LLC, worked with immature cells found in testes and ovaries known as germ cells. Scientists have hoped to use germ cells as a source of tissues for transplant and other medical uses. The findings are certain to be scrutinized before they are accepted. Earlier this year, South Korean researcher Hwang Woo-Suk was disgraced for having faked two studies in which he claimed to have cloned human volunteers and used the resulting embryos as a source of embryonic stem cells. [
More>>thestar.com.my]


4.02.06 Egypt reports two more human bird flu infections

CAIRO (Reuters) April 2 – Two more Egyptians have been infected with the bird flu virus, Egyptian Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali said on Sunday, taking to eight the number of reported human cases in the country. The two were sisters, one aged 18 months and the other six years, from Kafr el-Sheikh province north of Cairo. The pair, who had handled dead birds, were in a stable condition. Blood tests on their immediate family were negative for the virus. An Egyptian labourer working in Jordan was diagnosed with the disease on Friday. [More>>chinadaily.com.cn]


4.02.06 Internet injects sweeping change into US politics

WASHINGTON, April 2 – The transformation of American politics by the Internet is accelerating with the approach of the 2006 Congressional and 2008 White House elections, prompting the rewriting of rules on advertising, fund-raising, mobilizing supporters and even the spreading of negative information. Democrats and Republicans are sharply increasing their use of e-mail, interactive Web sites, candidate and party blogs, and text-messaging to raise money, organize get-out-the-vote efforts and assemble crowds for a rallies. The Internet, they said, appears to be far more efficient, and less costly, than the traditional tools of politics, notably door knocking and telephone banks.

...The percentage of Americans who went online for election news jumped from 13 percent in the 2002 election cycle to 29 percent in 2004, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center after the last presidential election. A Pew survey released earlier this month found that 50 million Americans go to the Internet for news every day, up from 27 million people in March 2002, a reflection of the fact that the Internet is now available to 70 percent of Americans.
[Full story>>nytimes.com]


4.01.06 Fresh clashes rock southeast Turkey

April 1 – One thousand Kurdish protesters have set fire to two banks and youths have set up barricades in a town in southeastern Turkey where violent clashes with security forces this week have killed eight people. Security sources said one protester died in Saturday's clashes and 10 people were injured.

The latest clashes erupted near the Syrian border in Kiziltepe, a town of around 100,000 people south of the mainly Kurdish region's largest city Diyarbakir, where most of this week's violence was focused. About 1,000 demonstrators set fire to the branches of at least two major banks and a building used by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Youths set up barricades with rubbish bins and rocks on one street corner as armored vehicles patrolled up and down the road. A mechanical digger cleared debris from the main street.
[More>>aljazeera.net]


4.01.06 'Westerners are too self-absorbed'

April 1 – Alice thomson Interviews the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala : Tsering Wangmo is shaking uncontrollably as tears pour down her cheeks. Still sobbing, she pulls up her top and slowly turns around to show me a fretwork of scars. They crisscross her body from shoulders to waist.

"My crime," she explains when she is calmer, "was to be found by the police with a picture of the Dalai Lama. I was dragged through the streets of Lhasa by my hair, beaten with electric prongs, then thrown into jail for three years." Her waterlogged, open-air prison in Tibet was shared with around 1,000 other women. "We were tortured, raped, hung upside down for hours," she says. "Many died." On her release, she discovered that her husband had been forced to marry a Chinese woman, so she took her children and fled barefoot across the Himalayas to find solace with the Dalai Lama.

..."What shall we talk about today?" he asks, rubbing his hands together as I tell him about my meetings with Tsering and Heidi. He chooses to discuss the West before Tibet.

"It is fascinating," he says, speaking in slightly stilted English. "In the West, you have bigger homes, yet smaller families; you have endless conveniences – yet you never seem to have any time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don't bother to cross the road to meet your neighbors; you have more food than you could possibly eat, yet that makes women like Heidi miserable."

The West's big problem, he believes, is that people have become too self-absorbed. "I don't think people have become more selfish, but their lives have become easier and that has spoilt them. They have less resilience, they expect more, they constantly compare themselves to others and they have too much choice – which brings no real freedom."
[Full story>>telegraph.co.uk]


4.01.06 Rice, in Britain, admits tactical "mistakes" in Iraq

BLACKBURN, England (AFP) April 1 – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged on Friday the United States had made ²thousands² of tactical errors in Iraq but said history would vindicate the strategic goal of ousting Saddam Hussein. Spending the day in Foreign Secretary Jack Strawıs home constituency in northwest England, Rice was dogged at every turn by small but noisy protests in Washingtonıs staunchest wartime ally. But the chief US diplomat gave new ammunition to critics who contend that the US-led forces botched the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq after invading in March 2003 and quickly capturing Baghdad.

"I know weıve made tactical errors, thousands of them, Iım sure," Rice told some 200 scholars, officials and journalists at a forum organised by Britainıs prestigious Chatham House foreign policy institute.

"This could have gone that way, or that could have gone that way. But when you look back in history, what will be judged is, 'Did you make the right strategic decision?' And toppling Saddam was the correct move, Rice said, since he had been a long-time threat to the international community and ³we were not going to have a different kind of Middle East with Saddam at the centre of it."
[More>>khaleejtimes.com ; See also timesonline.co.uk and related story, independent.co.uk, April 1, "It's grim up north if you're the US Secretary of State."]


4.01.06 US military helicopter crashes in Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) April 1– A US military helicopter crashed Saturday during a "combat air patrol" southwest of Baghdad, but the status of the crew was unknown, according to the American command. Meanwhile, pressure mounted on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to step aside as the Shiite bloc's nominee for a second term, with some fellow Shiites urging him to withdraw to break the deadlock over a new government amid increasing sectarian violence. [More>>abcnews.go.com]


3.31.06 Russian expert says US test explosion is "political" move

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) March 31 – Washington's decision to conduct a large-yield high-explosive test has political overtones, a Russian military expert said Friday, speculating that the United States intended to use the test to intimidate hostile regimes. "It could be a move to threaten Iran, North Korea or any other regimes that the United States is not pleased with," said Anatoly Tsiganok, head of the Center for Military Forecasting, adding that it could be regarded as an attempt to demonstrate US military superiority over Russia and China...Tsiganok said Russia was unlikely to follow the US example, and would not conduct similar tests. "We have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the use of conventional explosives with yield comparable to that of a small nuclear bomb could be regarded as a violation of the treaty," he said. [Full story>>rian.ru]


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

02.08.06 Iran misunderstanding – "Holocaust" means "whole burnt offering"
09.11.05 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
11.24.05
Why the Crusade & Jihad?


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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