News Headlines & Trends
08.20.05 'Pakistan may build up to 50-110 nuclear bombs'
WASHINGTON (PTI) August 20 Pakistan may produce enough weapons grade uranium by the year-end in an attempt to match India's nuclear capability, according to a leading US think tank. Pakistan, in a bid to gain parity with India, could produce "enough enriched uranium to manufacture 50 to 110 nuclear weapons" by the year-end, said the study by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It claimed that both countries possessed components to deploy a small number of nuclear weapons within a few days or weeks, with fighter-bomber aircraft being the most likely delivery vehicle, the media reports said. Pakistan's nuclear weapons were stored in components, with the fissile core separated from the non-nuclear explosives, the study said, adding it was not known where the fissile material and warheads were stored. [More>>expressindia.com]
08.20.05 Environment fund in crisis after US refuses to donate
TOKYO, [Kyodo News] August 20 The Global Environment Facility (GEF), which gives grants to developing countries for projects that benefit the global environment, is facing a crisis after the United States refused to donate $100 million to the international organization in fiscal 2005, an informed source said in Tokyo Saturday. [More>>japantoday.com; See the Global Environment Facility website for details on their activities, including:
€ Biodiversity Between 1991 and 2004, GEF allocated $1.89 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $3.80 billion in cofinance (from recipient countries, bilateral agencies, other development institutions, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations) for biological diversity projects.
€ Climate Change From 1991 to 2004, GEF allocated $1.74 billion to climate change projects and enabling activities, which was matched by more than $9.29 billion in cofinancing.
€ International Waters From 1991 to 2004, GEF allocated nearly $767 million to international waters initiatives and generating additional cofinancing of $2.11 billion.
€ Ozone Depletion Between 1991 and 2004, the GEF allocated more than $177 million to projects to phase out ODS and a cofinance of $182 million.
€ Land Depletion Between 2002 and 2004, GEF has funded more than $72 million worth of projects focused primarily on combating deforestation and decertification. It has also leveraged an additional amount of $155 million in cofinancing.
€ Persistent Organic Pollutants From 2001 to 2004, GET funded more than $141 million POPs projects with cofinancing of $91 million.
Editorial note: "Government policies can provide life or take life Bush's record is the latter." That the Bush administration has refused to continue support of the GEF is no surprise in light of its refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol. George W. Bush may go down in history as the leader who has had the most violent affect on the earth, perhaps making Hitler look like an amateur. Government policies can provide life or take life. Hitler showed the world one madman's way of taking life, through his aggression towards other nations and the extermination of 6 million Jews (and others not filling the Aryan ideal of the Nazis). Bush's war in Iraq, which Annan ruled "illegal," accounts to date over 1,800 US military deaths, nearly 11,000 wounded and about 27,000 Iraqi civilian deaths (See iraqbodycount). The war in Iraq has been a focal point for terrorists who use it as a justification to support their ends. Adding to these affects which can be pinned on Bush are his ruinous economic policies (Reagan set a precedent of running a government without paying for it and George W. Bush has mastered it, raising the US National Debt to a staggering 10 Trillion dollars; the affects of the debt involve rising interest rates, an instability of the dollar and the ongoing fear of an economic collapse, when the world of finance realizes that they will not get their money back which they invested in the US), and Bush's hazardous environmental policies (Global Warming is a fact, resulting in more hurricanes and other adverse weather: droughts spreading in Africa and Asia, excess flooding in other regions, such as the recent floods in India and Pakistan. Lives are lost in these events and, of course, billions of dollars in properties are lost.
The Bush administration has a record of lying and blaming and punishing others when things go wrong. However, there are those who are keeping a full account, for historians, of the Bush wrongs. The complaints against Bush may become such a long list historians will take years to measure his full, adverse impact. And, with regard to Iraq, the prediction of John Paull II has come true: "...that it was unjust and would lead to a "clash of civilizations" between Christians and Muslims." It is going to take a long time to measure this clash, which began as Bush's crusade.
08.20.05 Wanted Saudi militant killed in clash
RIYADH, August 20 A Saudi militant on a list of most wanted suspects in the kingdom died during a clash with police on Thursday, a security source said on Saturday. Majed al-Hasseri died during a gun battle with security forces in the capital Riyadh, the source said. The clash happened on the same day as another battle in the holy city of Medina, in which top al-Qaeda militant Saleh al-Awfi was killed, the Interior Ministry said. The death of Awfi means authorities have killed or captured all but two men on a list of 26 most wanted suspects published in 2003. In June, officials listed another 36 wanted men they were hunting, including Hasseri. [jang.com.pk]
08.20.05 "Pak, Russian hand in al-Qaeda's N-Arsenal'
WASHINGTON (PTI) August 20 Terror outfit al-Qaeda is paying nuclear scientists from Russia and Pakistan to maintain its existing nuclear arsenal and assemble additional weapons, claims a forthcoming book by a former FBI consultant. Quoting documents purportedly seized in Afghanistan, the author Paul Williams said the terror group also plans to assemble its own nuclear weapons with fissile material it purchased on the black market over a period of ten years.
In the book The Al-Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organied Crime and the Coming Apocalypse, he contends that al-Qaeda has already planted in the US nuclear weapons it obtained from the Soviet Union.
"It has obtained 40 of them from the Soviet Union and these include suitcase nukes, nuclear mines, artillery shells and even some missile warheads," he said...At least half the nuclear weapons in the al-Qaeda arsenal were obtained for cash from Chechen terrorist allies, said a a summary of the book published on the Interrnet by WorldNet Daily. [Full story>>expressindia.com]
08.20.05 Pope calls on Muslims to fight terror.
August 20 Pope Benedict XVI urged Muslim leaders to join Christians to help defeat the intolerance which he said was at the root of the terrorist violence seeking to poison ties between the two religions. At a gathering of Germany's Muslim officials, the leader of the Catholic Church on Saturday decried the "cruel fanaticism" of terrorism and called out to Muslims to join Christians in trying to combat its spread. "I am certain that I echo your own thoughts when I bring up as one of our concerns the spread of terrorism," he said in the most extensive remarks on terrorism so far during his four-month papacy.
"Terrorist activity is continually recurring in various parts of the world, sowing death and destruction, and plunging many of our brothers and sisters into grief and despair," he told the 20 Muslim leaders, including three women, gathered in Cologne to meet with him. [dw-world.de]. Background, from an earlier report: On Saturday evening, the Pope will meet members of the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute of Religion, a body that operates many of Germany's mosques. Germany is estimated to have some three million Muslims, most of whom are of Turkish descent. Pope Benedict has repeatedly voiced his opposition to Turkey's efforts to join the European Union, describing it as a country in "permanent contrast" to Europe. He will diplomatically avoid mentioning Turkish accession to the EU in his meeting with German Muslim leaders, the BBC's David Willey in Cologne says.
On Sunday the Pope will preach at an outdoor Mass for up to 800,000 young people on World Youth Day, the climax of a trip originally scheduled for Pope John Paul II, who died in April. Addressing Jewish leaders on Friday, he said progress had been made in improving relations between Catholics and Jews, but that "much more remains to be done." [Full story>>bbc.co.uk; See also khaleejtimes.com and turkishpress.com article, "Pope to reach out to Muslims before prayer vigil" : Pope Benedict XVI prepared to address Muslim leaders in his latest bid to reach out to other religions during the first foreign visit of his pontificate. The 78-year-old pope was scheduled to meet a delegation of Islamic leaders in Cologne on Saturday for what was to be his seventh major address in three days, following one in a synagogue to leaders of Germany's Jewish community the day before.
The meeting is a key part of his pledge to use his four-month-old pontificate to build "bridges of friendship" with the world's other monotheistic religions.
The Muslim delegation is being led by Ridvan Cakir, leader of Germany's biggest Islamic group, the Turkish-Islamic Union (DITIB). Benedict's election to the papacy in April disappointed many Turkish groups because of his strong opposition to Ankara's candidacy to join the European Union. As the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he told French newspaper Le Figaro last year that "Turkey has always represented a different continent, in permanent contrast to Europe." Germany is home to around three million Muslims, most of them of Turkish descent.
The new pope has so far modelled his pontificate closely on that of his mentor John Paul II, who opposed the US-led war to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on the grounds that it was unjust and would lead to a "clash of civilizations" between Christians and Muslims.]
8.20.05 Update, 08.19.05 Seven Iraqis killed including three Sunni party members
BAGHDAD, August 19 Seven Iraqis were killed in insurgent violence Friday, including three members of the country's main Sunni party who were kidnapped and shot dead in the northern city of Mosul. The three members of the Iraqi Islamic Party were kidnapped in a western neighborhood of Mosul, as they were putting up posters to call for participation in December's scheduled elections, party spokesman Noureddine Hayali said. "They were later executed by gunfire in front of a mosque east of the town, in the presence of many people, none of whom tried to interfere," he added.
After quitting the race for the last January general elections, the Islamic Party decided to call upon its followers to participate in a referendum on a new constitution, slated for October 15, and subsequent elections. In a separate attack, gunmen shot dead Aswad al-Ali, an Arab member of a local council, near the Kurdish-dominated city of Kirkuk, 255 kilometers (160 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
An Iraqi contractor who worked with the US army was also shot dead by gunmen near Kirkuk, police said. And a roadside bomb killed two Iraqis and wounded a third as they travelled on a main road near Tikrit, the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein, 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of the capital, police said.
An Internet statement in the name of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of Two Rivers denied responsibility for Wednesday's bombings in the Al-Nahda district of Baghdad that killed at least 43 people. "We, the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of Two Rivers, declare we are not responsible for the Al-Nahda bombings. We had no hand in them, from near or far," it said, while vowing to continue the "jihad" against "God's enemies." The synchronized attack was the deadliest strike in the capital this year. [jang.com.pk; See Update August 20 dailystar.com.lb article, "Three Sunnis encouraging others to vote assasinated in Iraq" : ...The three members of Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political group, the Iraqi Islamic Party, were seized Friday morning as they were hanging posters on the walls of a Mosul neighborhood urging people to register to vote in the October 15 referendum on the new constitution, said party official Nouredine al-Hayali. They were driven to another neighborhood and shot against a wall near the Dhi al-Nourein mosque, witnesses said. The gunmen then fled in three cars, leaving the bodies behind.
It was the second armed attack in as many days against Sunni Arabs who have chosen to participate in the US-backed political process. Many Sunni Arabs are considering taking part in the constitutional referendum after having boycotted the January 30 national election ballot a move that left the once dominate community with few seats in a Parliament dominated by Shiites and Kurds.]
8.20.05 Gaza's crippled economy shows glimmer of potential as Israeli occupations end
August 20 Khatoun Haidar, Special to the Daily Star, looks at the bright side of the Gaza pullout: While the international community is watching images of settlers being evicted from settlements, the Arab media seems to be fixating on the internal Palestinian bickering over who is to be credited for the Israeli pullout from Gaza that effectively started on August 17th. After the emotional turmoil calms, all will have to face the fact that Premier Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan raises some troubling questions. Will Israel maintain a full-scale land, air, and water siege of Gaza making it the world's largest open-air prison? And in case the disengagement is complete, can Gaza, a 378-square-kilometer piece of land where 1.325 million Palestinians live cut off from their compatriots survive, develop, or even prosper and thrive?
The geopolitical reality is that Sharon's premiership has resulted in a total breakdown of the macroeconomic essentials necessary for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Extensive consecutive World Bank reports confirmed that the decline in the Palestinian economy since 2000 is unprecedented for mid-level economies. GDP dropped by more than 40 percent, unemployment doubled, and poverty rates tripled. In Gaza today 70 percent of the population lives under the poverty income level of less than $2 per day, and 22 percent of children under five years of age are malnourished.
There are historical precedents of countries rising from the abyss of poverty to develop into thriving economies. Why couldn't Gaza be the same?
The fact that Gaza lacks resources and is overpopulated with a density rate of 3,505 persons per square kilometers is not a real obstacle if one looks at the city-state of Singapore. With a population density of 7,118 persons by square kilometer and no mineral resources other than clays and sand, Singapore shows a GDP of $86 billion for 4.6 million inhabitants, and is considered one of the "four Asian tigers." [More.>dailystar.com.lb]
Editorial note: When the disengagement began, Abbas declared, " ...today Gaza, tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem." Turning a blind eye to this hope will bring no fruit. See (AP) haaretzdaily.com article, "Abbas calls on Israel to halt construction in West Bank settlements." :
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Saturday for Israel to halt all construction in West Bank settlements. He also urged Israel to remove all military forces from areas seized since the outbreak of violence in 2000.
Earlier Saturday, Abbas signed a decree that would give his government control over all lands and assets left behind by Israeli troops and settlers. The decree said no one can make personal use the real estate until ownership has been sorted out. Earlier in the day, Abbas announced that Palestinian parliamentary elections will be held on January 25th.
Also on Saturday, dozens of masked Hamas gunmen took over Gaza City's central square in a challenge to Abbas and announced they would not stop attacks on Israel, despite Israel's ongoing withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. [More>>haaretzdaily.com]
See also Jerusalem Post article, "Hamas: the struggle is just beginning" :
"The retreat from the Gaza Strip does not imply an end to the struggle against Israel, but rather the beginning," said the spokesman of the military wing of Hamas Saturday, adding: "We will liberate the West Bank and Jerusalem, just as we liberated Gaza."
Army Radio reported that at a Gaza press conference, the spokesman said that they have no intentions of disarming, and that they will respond with all resources available to every Israeli action once the pullout from Gaza is completed.
The Bush administration ignored the Palestine situation until the death of the Palestinian leader, Arafat (historical note for history buffs: The name, Palestinian, comes from the Egyptian name of a group of Sea Peoples, "Pulusti," invading Egypt ~1,200 B.C., about the time when Troy was sacked. They became known in the Bible as the Phillistines, of Gaza. The Jews of the Exodus, under Moses, and the Pulusti who had a Greek culture, believed to have come from Crete arrived in the land of Palestine about the same time.).
After Secretary of State Rice visited Israel, etc. then came forth the plan of fencing in Gaza, a plan now being realized, leaving the Palestinians in Gaza cooped up in one small cage, like an overpopulated henhouse. Visions of Warsaw under the Nazi occupation come to mind here. While the barrier separating Palestinians from Jews has cut down on Palestinian bombings, it can't be a long term solution for Israelis and Palestinians. Click on the photo of the barrier wall in the sidebar of this page to view some background on it and its affects.
Learning to live together in an unfenced community would seem to be a more practical venture for both Palestinians and Jews. After all, Israel used to enjoy the immigrant labor of the Palestinians until the suicide bombings began. Economic growth has historically seeded peaceful living opportunities. Many years ago the mayor of Bethlehem complained that he did not understand why the Jews and Palestinians could live together peacefully in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and not in Israel. They have shown they can lived together and prosper.
8.20.05 Camp Casey residents continue to ask Mr. Bush, "What exactly is this noble cause?"
August 20 Camp Casey goes on with what they now call, "Operation Noble Cause." While Cindy cares for her mom in Los Angeles, the military parents who joined Cindy in Crawford held their own press conference today to tell George Bush that they want answers, too.
"Mr. President, we are here outside your ranch, and we are staying here. We Gold Star Families, MFSO and Iraq vets will remain encamped here until you meet with us because we all deserve answers. Tell us what exactly is this noble cause?"
- Mimi Evans, whose son is deploying to Iraq within days. [Democrats.com report to Maravot News via email]
The camp is enjoying larger quarters in their new 1-acre location, with a large white tent and two large camp stoves.
Many cities in the US began as camps. What is apparent from the photos of the Camp followers are signs that complain that Bush sent America to war in Iraq using lies. The movement is definitely concerned that following a lying leader is not a noble cause. The Roman philosopher Cicero (before him, Xenophon) and the more recent philosopher, Hobbs, agreed that a leader who does not tell the people the truth what they have a right to know is a disaster for a nation, to put it mildly. These philosophers agreed, a people tend to resemble their leaders, and it is this corrupt leaders can corrupt their people that can be the cause of a nation's downfall. Separating oneself from a lying leader would then be a saving grace to any nation that possesses the noble preference of truthful leaders over those that lie.
Cynics have responded to the allegation, Bush lies, with a standard comment, "Well, all politicians lie..." which leads to the conclusion that lying is essential to good American government. While lying and deception is in order in the conduct of war, as argued in Sun-tzu's The Art of War (~500 B.C.), lying has never been viewed as a means to a lasting government and certainly has little to do with democracy. The
Locrians certainly frowned upon it, and the Romans found that leaders who misled the nation should have their estates leveled. The practice had a down side, however, since corrupt leaders used it to punish adversaries. In the leveling of estates the buildings were leveled to the ground and the property confiscated by the state. Julius Caesar leveled Cicero's estate, for instance. Cicero had objected to Caesar's corruption.
George W. Bush has experience leveling estates, as I recall, and in Iraq 27,000 graves pretty much answer to this fact. Fallujah, of course, was leveled and that act has been compared to what happened to Guernica.
Bush may in fact admit that he lied, going into Iraq, and restate his argument, "But we removed Saddam Hussein..." But then there is always the problem he has to deal with that there were other alternatives in dealing with Saddam Hussein. He was under "allied" control. There were two 'no fly zones" in Iraq, one in the north, where the Kurds had been given autonomy, and one in the south, protecting the Shi'ites who had been persecuted by Saddam Hussein. UN inspectors were looking for weapons of mass destruction, but couldn't find any. They should have been given more time maybe they might have found some mass graves. And the fact is, had Bush II not lied and misled us into the war in Iraq there would be 30,000 Iraqis and 1,800+ American soldiers alive today. There is an argument on behalf of diplomacy, that diplomacy can avoid the destruction of what may become countless numbers of lives. Mr. Bush, the argument will outlive you: you didn't have to kill all those people to control Saddam Hussein.
Links to philosophers' works mentioned herein are in the sidebar of this page.
[Photo by Emily Sharpe, copyright 2005. Emily's report on today's news conference is at crawfordupdate.blogspot.com/; More>>background on Camp Casey]
08.19.05 Ace / XALAN Mobile phone virus a hoax
August 19 Trend Micro advises the recipients of this email, " XALAN Mobile phone virus" a hoax. "Ignore it and do not forward it to anyone else." [More information>>trendmicro.com]
08.19.05 Sharon to Haaretz: Kfar Darom incident is 'criminal'
August 19 Aluf Benn of Haaretzdaily.com reports an interesting telephone call he had with Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: The disturbance on the rooftop of the Kfar Darom synagogue on Wednesday was "criminal," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, adding "all measures must be taken to investigate everyone, to prosecute and punish, and also to check who sent them and who incited them." Sharon also said he would visit the evacuated settlements soon.
In a telephone interview from Sycamore Ranch, with the laughter of his twin grandsons in the background, Sharon said he had followed the live broadcasts from the Gaza Strip. "When I think about this morning, this was one of the hardest days in my public life," he said.
Sharon said the sights from the Kfar Darom evacuation saddened him greatly. "I know the history of Kfar Darom, which was founded in 1946 on land purchased by Jews, and exhibited particular bravery with the invasion of Arab armies [in the War of Independence]. That little community halted the Egyptian advance for several very critical days. "Later, of course, I got to know that area when I was commander of [Unit] 101 and the paratroopers, when we were operating against the Egyptians who were using terrorism against Israel in the days of the fedayeen [suicide troops], and in one of those operations I was badly wounded. "And when we returned to Kfar Darom after the Six-Day War, I helped that community a lot to strengthen it. So I have a connection and a lot of memories from the area
...He said those barricaded on the synagogue roof were "people who were sent there to prevent the evacuation, to work against the decision of the government and the Knesset." Sharon praised the evacuation forces for their restraint. "I see before me those female soldiers, arranging the children's toys in cardboard boxes. Such humane behavior, in the face of a completely unbridled gang," he said. [Full story>>haaretzdaily.com]
08.19.05 German Jewish leader asks Pope to open Vatican archives
(Reuters) August 19 A German Jewish leader touched a sore spot in relations with Catholics on Friday when he urged Pope Benedict to open up all the Vatican's archives dealing with World War Two and the Holocaust. Welcoming him on a historic visit to a synagogue in Cologne, Abraham Lehrer told the German-born pontiff he had a special responsibility to open files that critics say would show how much Pope Pius XII knew about the Nazi slaughter of Jews.
Jewish groups accuse Pius of turning a deaf ear to the Holocaust. The Vatican says he worked behind the scenes to save them and refrained from condemning the Nazis openly for fear of sparking reprisals across Europe. The Vatican has opened its diplomatic archives up until 1939 the year that Pius was elected, but does not plan to unseal its wartime records until at least 2009.
"For us, a complete opening of the Vatican archives covering the period of World War Two, sixty years after the end of the Shoah (Holocaust), would be a further sign of historical conscience and would also satisfy critics," Lehrer said. "You grew up in Germany during a terrible time," he told Benedict during the first papal visit to a synagogue in Germany. "We not only see in you the head of the Catholic Church but also a German who is aware of his historical responsibility."
Benedict did not answer Lehrer's plea, but his pre-written address included a reference to the need to reach "a mutually accepted interpretation of still disputed historical issues." [More>>haaretzdaily.com; See related articles, the australian.news.com.au, "Pope calls for closer Jewish ties" and thestar.com.my, "Pope visits synagogue, warns of new anti-Semitism."]
08.19.05 Iran not interested in nuclear arms
(Reuters) August 19 Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday reiterated that the Islamic state had no interest in atomic arms but would never halt its nuclear program. Addressing worshippers at Friday Prayers at Tehran University, Khamenei accused Western officials of misleading public opinion by suggesting that Iran was secretly building nuclear weapons.
"They talk as if Iran seeks nuclear weapons and that they oppose it," he said in a sermon broadcast live on state radio. "That is lie and they know it. They use it to deceive their own public opinion. There's no talk about nuclear weapons in Iran. We don't want nuclear weapons," he said.
"They make a propaganda lie about a global consensus against Iran," he added. "There is no global consensus against Iran and even if there was, our nation wouldn't abandon its rights."
Iran, which says its nuclear facilities will only be used to generate electricity, upped the ante in its nuclear standoff with the West earlier this month, resuming uranium conversion a preliminary step in the process to make fuel for nuclear reactors or bomb-grade nuclear explosive. The board of the U.N.'s atomic watchdog has called on Iran to halt uranium conversion. Iran says it will not and insists it will soon resume the most sensitive part of the process uranium enrichment. [More>>chinadaily.com.cn; See related (AFP) article, khaleejtimes.com, "Iran regime 'solid' in pursuing nuclear drive: Khamenei."
08.19.05 Shi'ite crowds denounce federalism at Baghdad demo
BAGHDAD (Reuters) August 19 Several thousand supporters of a radical Shi'ite cleric marched through Shi'ite areas of Baghdad after prayers on Friday, denouncing federalism as an attempt to divide Iraq and calling for national unity. It was one of the largest marches in recent months by followers of Moqtada al-Sadr, a young preacher who has led two uprisings against US forces, and came as Iraqi leaders are locked in negotiations over a new constitution. The opposition to federalism expressed by Sadr's supporters mostly poor, urban Shi'ites stands in stark contrast to a recent proposal by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, another Shi'ite leader, for the creation of a separate Shi'ite region in southern Iraq.
Chanting "No! No! to division," "Yes! Yes! to unity," Sadr's supporters moved through at least three neighborhoods, with the biggest crowds around 5,000 people in the poor Sadr City district of northeastern Baghdad.
Police cars drove ahead of the marchers, keeping order. Many marched under umbrellas to stave off the burning sun. Women in black abaya robes covering their bodies and faces carried banners above their heads reading "No to division." The march shows the complexity of the divisions within Iraqi society, which is not only split along ethnic and sectarian lines, but also within sects, with Shi'ites clearly at sharp odds over an issue that has become fundamental to their future.
Federalism granting legislative and other powers to autonomous regions is one of at least three points holding up talks over the constitution, which has to be drafted by an Aug. 22 deadline. [More>>thestar.com.my]
08.19.05 Expert criticizes organization of Jewish settlement withdrawal
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) August 19 The withdrawal of Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip will only cause a new round of confrontation, Moscow-based Middle East Institute President Yevgeny Satanovsky told a press conference Friday. "The situation may only aggravate, up to [the point of] a civil war, which Palestine can start from distribution of property left by Israelis and the fight for money allocated by international organizations for land restructuring," Satanovsky said.
Satanovsky said the withdrawal could provoke a large-scale conflict in the West Bank and the whole region. "A considerable amount of funds allotted by the international community on the establishment of a Palestinian state have disappeared," he said. According to Satanovsky, the evacuation of the Jewish population from the Gaza strip had not been economically and politically prepared either by Israel or by international organizations. "The extraordinary actions of Sharon, who is guided by American policy, taken under tough pressure on the part of the US administration, might split Israeli society," Satanovsky said.
He said Israel is in for a new wave of emigration. "Many people disappointed in the state's policy will leave the country. First in line will be young people disappointed in the authorities' actions, which will inevitably affect the future of the state," he said. [rian.ru; See related story, RIA Novosti, "Palestinian-Israeli settlement should not be restricted to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza Foreign Ministry" : DAMASCUS, July 4 (RIA Novosti, Nadim Zuaui) - A Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement should not be restricted to Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov said Monday. "Progress in the Middle East settlement should not be limited to withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and a few settlements in the West Bank," Saltanov said, adding that Russia and other Quartet members (the United States, European Union, and United Nations) agree that the settlement should not be limited to withdrawal. "The settlement needs continuity and succession," Saltanov said, "This is the only way to move from confrontation to dialog and political solutions."
"We regard the delimitation plan as the start of implementing the road map, to which there is no alternative," he added. [rian.ru]
08.19.05 Rockets kill one, narrowly miss US ships in Jordan
AMMAN (Reuters) August 19 Rockets were fired at two US warships in Jordan¹s Aqaba port on Friday, but missed their targets and hit a warehouse and a hospital, killing a Jordanian soldier, and the Israeli port of Eilat. A Jordanian security source said authorities were searching for three men in the Katyusha missile attack, which was launched from an industrial warehouse area near the entrance to the city. ³We are searching for a Syrian and two Iraqis who are in Aqaba and used Kuwaiti number plates,² the source said. Another source said the warehouse from which the three rockets were launched had been leased a few days ago by three Iraqis and an Egyptian.
A group claiming links to Al Qaeda, the Abdullah al-Azzam Brigades of the Al Qaeda Organisation in the Levant and Egypt, said in a statement it had carried out the attack. The statement, which could not be authenticated, was carried on an Islamist Web site not often used by other groups which say they are linked to Osama bin Laden¹s network.
Jordanian security forces cordoned off Aqaba and its industrial zone, the sources said, but the port was operating as normal.
Immediately after the attack, the two US amphibious assault ships, which had been on a joint training exercise with the Jordanian navy, weighed anchor and headed for the safety of open water. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
08.19.05 Global warming: Will you listen now, America?
WASHINGTON, August 19 Andrew Buncombe reports that two of the leading contenders to contest the next US presidential election have delivered an urgent warning to the United States on global warming, saying the evidence of climate change has become too stark to ignore and human activity is a major cause : On a high-profile and bipartisan fact-finding tour in Alaska and Canada's Yukon territory, Senators John McCain, a Republican, and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic senator for New York, were confronted by melting permafrost and shrinking glaciers and heard from native Inuit that rising sea levels were altering their lives.
"The question is how much damage will be done before we start taking concrete action," Mr. McCain said at a press conference in Anchorage. "Go up to places like we just came from. It's a little scary." Mrs. Clinton added: "I don't think there's any doubt left for anybody who actually looks at the science. There are still some holdouts, but they're fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming."
Their findings directly challenge President George Bush's reluctance to legislate to reduce America's carbon emissions. Although both senators have talked before of the need to tackle global warming, this week's clarion call was perhaps the clearest and most urgent. It also raises the prospect that climate change and other environmental issues could be a factor in the presidential contest in 2008 if Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain enter it. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain, who represents Arizona, are among the leading, and the most popular, likely contenders.
That they chose Alaska as the stage from which to force global warming on to the American political agenda was not a matter of chance. In many ways, this separated US state is the frontline in the global warming debate. Environmentalists say the signs of climate change are more obvious there than perhaps anywhere else in the US. [More>>independent.co.uk]
08.19.05 US rejects Putin's Iraq timetable call
August 19 The United States has rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's call to set a timetable for pulling its troops out of Iraq and withheld comment on his proposal for an international conference. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Thursday echoed President George Bush's refusal to lay out a calendar for withdrawing the 138,000 American troops battling an uprising 28 months after the removal of Saddam Hussein. "As Iraqis stand up their capabilities, we and the multinational forces will be able to stand down," McCormack stated.
"We have a robust training programme for Iraqi police and security forces that's progressing under the leadership of General David] Petraeus working very closely with the Iraqis."
Putin told reporters after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II earlier on Thursday that "we deem it necessary to work out a schedule for the staged withdrawal of foreign troops" in Iraq. [More>>aljazeera.net]
08.19.05 Sheehan leaves antiwar camp
CRAWFORD, Texas, August 19 The mother of a slain soldier who has camped outside President Bush's ranch for nearly two weeks to protest the war in Iraq left Thursday to tend to her ill mother. Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq in April last year, said her 74-year-old mother suffered a stroke. Sheehan said she and her sister were going to Los Angeles "to assess the situation" but that her supporters will continue her protest outside Bush's Texas home.
"If I can, I'll be back. If I can't, I won't be back. But I will be back as soon as possible," Sheehan told reporters outside "Camp Casey," the protest site named for her son.
Sheehan is among the leaders of Gold Star Families for Peace, a group founded by relatives of troops killed in the two-year-old war. Sheehan has stated on the group's Web site that she wants all the U.S. troops brought back from Iraq "immediately." She has kept vigil outside Bush's ranch since August 6 in hopes of meeting with him.
The Californian says she wants to ask the president what her son an Army mechanic who was killed in Baghdad died to achieve...Sheehan's vigil also has drawn occasional counter-protests by Bush supporters, including a caravan organized by the conservative group Move America Forward that plans to arrive in Crawford by late next week.
Sheehan, meanwhile, has drawn support from the liberal group MoveOn.org, an antiwar veterans group, and Ben Cohen, a founder of Ben and Jerry's ice cream...Sheehan's vigil also has drawn occasional counter-protests by Bush supporters, including a caravan organized by the conservative group Move America Forward that plans to arrive in Crawford by late next week.
Sheehan, meanwhile, has drawn support from the liberal group MoveOn.org, an antiwar veterans group, and Ben Cohen, a founder of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. [Full story>>cnn.com]
Camp Casey is moving closer to Bush's Texas ranch. A neighboring rancher, Fred Mattlage, an Army veteran, offered the protesters use of his corner 1-acre lot, following threats from the city of Crawford that parking meters would be placed along the road, restricting the protesters' ability to assemble, and vandalism of the crosses raised to the US soldiers who have died in Iraq.
The protest is growing across the US. Moveon.org organized candlelight vigils the evening of August 17, 2005 across the United States in support of Sheehan's cause. About 1,800 vigils were held. A few photos from afterdowningstreet.org describe what their protest is about:
The image of Bush and Cheney behind bars carries from the argument that involves an inquiry whether President George W. Bush lied with respect to the invasion of Iraq. A Congressional inquiry is being sought to determine whether the President committed an impeachable offence, an offence even that could lead to his incarceration. See Maravot News8.04.05, "Forty representatives blitz House for hearings: Whether US President misled nation to war." A similar complaint has been initiated in Britain against Blair.
AfterDowningStreet.org contains links to ongoing reports and photos from Camp Casey.
Sheehan is waiting for Bush to explain "the noble cause" that led to the invasion of Iraq, in light of Bush's original claim of invasion to rid Iraq of "weapons of mass destruction."
Associated with the "weapons of mass destruction" was the finding that Saddam Hussein was not attempting to buy material from Africa for manufacture of nuclear bombs. This finding by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson led to an alleged release of Classified information, connected to the president's office via White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
The issue opined via several media and cnn.com 7.12.05, article, "White House clams up on CIA leak" : " .... Newsweek reported this week that a July 2003 e-mail from Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper states Rove told him about an agent who was the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had just leveled accusations that the Bush administration had overstated a key piece of intelligence in its arguments for war with Iraq.
Cooper's e-mail does not say that Rove explicitly named Plame. But it states that Rove told him Wilson was not authorized by the CIA to investigate whether Iraq had sought uranium from the African country of Niger, as Wilson had stated in a July 2003 piece in The New York Times. The CIA 'leak' is under continuing investigation."
Congresman Rush Holt has introduced Resolution (H. Res. 363) which has 76 cosponsors so far. It contains an appeal:
"Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Attorney General to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution documents in the possession of the President and those officials relating to the disclosure of the identity and employment of Ms. Valerie Plame."
There have been many comments in the news media since the invasion of Iraq that Americans don't really feel the affects of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq have been hidden by the Bush administration, we occasionally hear the grief of towns that lose a high proportion of their sons. There is no draft, however, to assure a more democratic recruitment of American soldiers, and there is the continuing story of the soldier sent back to Iraq because of low military recruitments, and the cost of the war is funded through the sales of US government bonds (a hidden tax, adding to the public debt). But we are reminded of the war in Iraq a little bit more when the people who lost their loved one(s) speak out. The peaceful occupation of Crawford, Texas is a new twist from a mother speaking out against the loss of her son "due to a lie." It may give the people of Crawford, at least, some idea of what it is like to be (peacefully) "occupied."
The movement plans a march on Washington D.C. September 24-26. More alliances are being formed and the latest effort is a petition, "A people's petition for an Iraq Peace Process."
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:
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]
(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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