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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq


US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

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



New paper that could lead to the impeachment of President George W. Bush. Click on image for pdf. file download.


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


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


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

Gross Domestic Products. Click here for image.

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

12.17.04
10.29.04
2.23.98

August 1996


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Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s interactive map below of its controversial security wall

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view.

(AP photo) Click photo for story


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Contributors
PriscillaPenwright
Mel West


Maravot's Protest against
Bush consortium:


Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat

Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993


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



Question: Has Bush caused the US to be outflanked?

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

News Headlines & Trends


Historical trend on the New Orleans debacle

09.27.05 Zarqawi's No. 2 shot dead in Baghdad operation

BAGHDAD (Reuters) September 27 – US and Iraqi forces have shot dead the second-in-command of al Qaeda in Iraq, dealing what a U.S. commander called on Tuesday a serious blow to the militant group at the heart of Iraq's insurgency. US and Iraqi forces tracked Abu Azzam, said to be the right-hand man of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq, to a high-rise Baghdad apartment building where he was shot on Sunday, US spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Boylan said. "We got specific information and intelligence that led us to him," Boylan said. "We've been tracking him for a while."

The death suggested progress against the two-year-old insurgency, particularly as the military said Azzam was behind a surge in violence in Baghdad since April that has killed and maimed hundreds. But attacks continued unabated. In the latest act of violence, a suicide bomber blew himself up among a crowd of Iraqi police recruits north of Baghdad, killing at least 10, police said – another in a series of such bombings in past days.
[More>> thestar.com.my (Reuters); See also chinadaily.com.cn (AP) story with review of past incidents in Iraq]


09.27.05 Brown puts blame on Louisiana officials

WASHINGTON, September 27 –Testifying before a congressional committee, former Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown on Tuesday blamed Louisiana's leaders for dragging their heels last month as Hurricane Katrina approached the Gulf Coast. Brown appeared before a House select committee probing the federal, state and local response to Katrina. The storm devastated Mississippi beach towns and left most of New Orleans flooded when the city's protective levees failed at several points. Brown said Mississippi and Alabama had evacuated properly but said New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco were reluctant to order an evacuation. [More>>cnn.com]


09.27.05 New archaelogical site unveiled near Western Wall

(AP) September 27 – Israel unveiled an underground archaeological site near the Western Wall on Tuesday, nearly a decade after the opening of an exhibit in the same area sparked widespread Palestinian rioting. The latest discovery included a ritual bath, or Mikveh, from the period of the second Jewish Temple, destroyed in 70 A.D., and a wall that archaeologists said dates to the first Jewish Temple, destroyed in 586 B.C. The findings strengthen Jewish ties to the shrine also claimed by Muslims.

The new tourist center snakes underground, adjacent to the path of the Western Wall, the last remaining retaining wall of the Temple. When the center is opened in a few weeks, visitors will be presented with a sound and light show of Jewish biblical history, highlighting recent discoveries of artifacts and infrastructure dating back thousands of years, including one of the world's oldest aqueducts. srael has been conducting archaeological digs near the Western Wall since it captured east Jerusalem and its Old City in the 1967 Six Day War. The digs infuriate Palestinians and the Islamic Trust that oversees the mosque complex that now sits on the mountain that once held the biblical temples.

...The shrine, which is adjacent to the Western Wall, is one of the most sensitive in the Mideast conflict, and has often been the catalyst of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capitals. In 1996, then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized the opening of an archaeological tunnel alongside the compound, triggering Palestinian riots in which 80 people were killed...In September 2000, then-opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, visited the mosque compound. The next day, violence erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, evolving into a nearly five-year-long Palestinian uprising.
[Full story>>haaretzdaily.com; See Maravot News, "Temple Mount Controversy," for background information.]


09.26.05 Protestors at the White House: "Will you risk arrest?" "Yes." "Good We'll go together!"

WASHINGTON, September 26 – David Swanson of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition was among a group of Iraq War protestors in front of the White House when many, including Cindy Sheehan, were arrested as a result of their civil resistance. He filed this diary / report which we quote in part:

Cindy Sheehan, Cornel West, Reverend Sekou before being arrested in front of the White House.
Photo: David Swanson (More photos)
I got to the White House around noon and found hundreds of people gathered awaiting the arrival of marchers who planned to get themselves arrested protesting the war.

I ran into Mike Ferner of Veterans for Peace, who showed me the paperwork from his arrest early this morning at the Pentagon. He said he was going for two in one day. He said he'd been one of 41 people arrested between 6:30 and nearly 7:30am at the Pentagon. Three Veterans for Peace members had joined others from the War Resisters League. They'd shut down an entrance and the Pentagon Metro stop. They were swiftly booked and released, charged with "disobeying a lawful order" and given court dates in federal district court in Alexandria in January.

For a while people milled around in the street and the park in front of the White House. Around 12:30 or so, members of Code Pink stretched a giant banner out along Pennsylvania Avenue, reading "Mothers Say No to War." As they did so, the media swarmed and filmed every movement. Code Pink members sang a number of songs, including "The Day the Music Died," but with lyrics something like this:

Bye bye, Mr. President, bye;
You didn't fix the levee
Now the water's too high;
You started a war based on a lie–
You don't care if poor people die...

...An organizer advised people to participate only if they were ready to risk arrest and trained in nonviolence. A woman in the crowd next to me asked another, "Will you risk arrest?"

"Yes."

"Good, we'll be together."

Around 1:00pm a delegation of leaders walked to the gate of the White House to request a meeting with Bush. Cindy Sheehan, Cornel West, and Rev. Sekou were among the leaders, with Sekou shouting at the media to get out of the way. A wall of TV cameras walking backwards slowed the walk and blocked it for awhile from reaching the White House.

A crowd gathered, as the delegation made its fruitless request. There were thousands on hand at this point. The chant was "Liar! Liar! Say it a little louder!"

That and "Media, Step Back!"

The crowd also sang "Give Peace a Chance."

With the delegation at the gate for about 10 minutes, a loud chant of "The Whole World is Watching" caught on.

There was also "Ain't no power like the power of the people, and the power of the people is now!"

At about 1:10, the delegation of potential arrestees moved east along the fence of the White House to the area directly in front of the building. The crowd chanted "Stop the War!" Many more wanting to be arrested moved in behind – clearly there would be hundreds of arrests. Still, the media probably out-numbered the non-media.

At 1:14, Sekou started a chorus of "This Little Light of Mine."

At 1:15, everybody not holding a camera or a gun sat down on the sidewalk.

At 1:16, the police ordered the media to move off the sidewalk and into the street, and warned everyone else they would be arrested.

At 1:18, Code Pink marched in from the east, along the fence, and joined the protest.

By 1:20, there were hundreds of people, some sitting, some standing, most singing, all refusing to leave.

By 1:22, many of the corporate media cameras were gone, and the independent and small media seemed to dominate. But they and onlookers were pushed further out in the street, as the police brought in their horses. The chant from the street then became "Get those animals off those horses!"

By 1:26, the dominant chant was "Arrest Bush." This chant came back again and again over the next 30 minutes. Another was "No more of a class war!"

By 1:30, they moved the horses out and brought in the police vans. But they only had a few teeny little vans. There was no way they could hold everyone.

Chant: "A liar, a coward, say it a little louder!"

One guy with a megaphone shouted "Hey Bushie Boy, we know you¹ve got a lot of oil 'cause your boys are leaving the engines running. Did you fight a war for this oil?"

At a quarter to 2 they brought in a Metro bus – faster by far than they'd gotten busses into New Orleans. As the arrests started, the crowd yelled: "The Whole World Is Watching!"
[More with blog from Sheehan>>afterdowningstreet.org]


09.26.05 Helicopters scour Louisiana floodwaters, Texans stream home as Rita falls short of fears

PERRY, Louisiana (AP) September 26 – People checking their hurricane-hit homes and towns returned with stories of flooding to the rooftops, coffins and refrigerators bobbing in the water, and stilts where their houses once stood. Yet as the misery wrought by Hurricane Rita came into clearer view particularly in the marshy towns along the Texas-Louisiana line officials credited the epic evacuation of 3 million people for saving countless lives.

"As bad as it could have been, we came out of this in pretty good shape," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who called the lack of widespread fatalities "miraculous." By Sunday night, just two deaths had been blamed directly on Rita.

Authorities had trouble keeping people from southern Louisiana from traveling through floodwaters in their boats to discover whether Rita wrecked their homes and livelihoods.
[More>>abcnews.go.com]


09.26.05 Musharraf accuses US of betrayal over India

NEW YORK (PTI) September 26 – Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has criticized United States for leaving his country "high and dry" after ten years as strategic ally in the war against Soviet Union in Afghanistan and then embracing India in a strategic relationship. In an interview with Time magazine being published in its upcoming issue, Musharraf admitted that man on the street did not have good opinion of the US though the vast majority supports his policies because they consider them to be in the national interest. "Before 1989, we were a strategic ally of the US and fought a war in Afghanistan for 10 years. Then we got left high and dry. The United States then started to have a strategic relationship with India, which was in the enemy camp," he charged. "What would the man on the street think?" he asked the interviewer. [More>>expressindia.com]


09.26.05 Spanish court jails 18 in al-Qaida trial

September 26 – The Spanish High Court has jailed the Syrian head of a Spanish-based al-Qaida cell for helping to organize the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US along with an Aljazeera correspondent and 16 others. The verdicts handed down on 24 men accused of links to Osama bin Laden's network brought the curtain down on Europe's biggest al-Qaida trial to date. The court sentenced Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, alias Abu Dahdah, to 27 years in jail for conspiring in the organisation of the September 11 attacks.

It also found Aljazeera television reporter Tayssir Alluni guilty of collaboration with al-Qaida, sentencing the Syrian-born but
naturalized Spaniard to seven years in jail.

Yarkas, regarded as the head of a Spanish-based al-Qaida cell under investigation since 1995, had faced a record jail term of 74,377 years for "active complicity" in the US attacks - 25 years for each of the 2,973 victims - although under Spanish law he would have served a maximum 30.

Alluni, who interviewed Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan weeks after the September 11 attacks in the United States said he was only doing his job as a journalist, but the prosecution alleged he was in league with al-Qaida and its leader and accused of acting as a financial courier to the group while in Afghanistan.
[More>>aljazeera.net]

Editorial note: That a reporter for Aljazeera was found guilty of being a courrier for al-Qaida is no surprise. Aljazeera has been the conduit / publisher of al-Qaida propaganda since the beginnings of the al-Qaida propaganda. The Nuremberg Court set down guidelines for journalists who support terrorists when it hanged Julius Streicher (see sidebar).
Mel Copeland


09.26.05 Gunmen kill 5 teachers in Iraq primary school

Hilla, Iraq (Reuters) September 26 – Gunmen killed five Shi'ite primary school teachers and a driver in a school in Iskandariya, south of Baghhdad on Monday, a spokesman for Babel police said. "These men were terrorists in police uniform," the spokesman told Reuters. He said the gunmen arrived at the school in two civilian cars, led the teachers and the school driver to a part of the school where no children were present, and shot them. Sectarian killings are rife in Iraq, where the Shi'ite and Kurdish-dominated government, backed by U.S. forces, is facing an armed insurgency by Sunni Arabs. But school teachers have rarely been targets for attacks. [thestar.com.my; See related stories, khaleejtimes.com (AFP) "Iraq bombing kills seven, inmates freed from Abu Ghraib" and dailystar.com.lb, "US troops clash with Shiite militia in Iraq – at least 24 Iraqis killed in bomb attacks."]


09.26.05 Dead women elected to council

ISLAMABAD, September 26 – Police in northwestern Pakistan have launched an inquiry after complaints about two dead women being declared elected in a local election held last month, officials said today. The women, one of whom died 13 years ago, were elected as councillors in the Upper Dir district in the North West Frontier Province, according to the News daily newspaper. The other woman died three years ago.

Khushalzada Khan, assistant election officer in Upper Dir, said that if the women were found to be dead, then fresh votes would be ordered in those seats and action could be taken against those who nominated them. Upper Dir is a deeply conservative region where tribal elders backed by radical Islamist clerics in July banned women from standing in the election or casting votes.

But hundreds of women defied the ban after the central government said it was unconstitutional and vowed to support women taking part in the election. Newspapers did not speculate on the reason why two dead women may have been nominated or suggest it was a case of mistaken identity.
[theaustralian.news.com.au; See also khaleejtimes.com (Reuters) article.]


09.24.05 Crowds opposed to Iraq War march on D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) September 24, 6:21pm EDT – Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House on Saturday, shouting "Peace now" in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion. The rally stretched through the day and into the night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that."

Speakers from the stage attacked President Bush's policies head on, but he was not at the White House to hear it. He spent the day in Colorado and Texas, monitoring hurricane recovery. In the crowd: young activists, nuns whose anti-war activism dates to Vietnam, parents mourning their children in uniform lost in Iraq, and uncountable families motivated for the first time to protest. [
More>>ap.org]


09.24.05 Thousands rally against Iraq war

WASHINGTON (AP) September 24 – Opponents of the war in Iraq rallied by the thousands Saturday to demand the return of US troops, staging a day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead in marches through Washington and other cities in the US and Europe. More than 2,000 people gathered on the Ellipse hours before the showcase demonstration past the White House, the first wave of what organizers said would be the largest Washington rally since the war began. President Bush is out of town, monitoring hurricane recovery efforts from Colorado and Texas. [More>>cnn.com]


09.24.05 Rita sends residents to the roof

LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana, September 24, 6:30pm EDT – Some residents in Louisiana towns near the Texas border who holed up at home as Hurricane Rita blew threw are sitting on their shingles, awaiting rides from boats plying city streets. Rescuers have saved a couple of hundred people in Abbeville, and parts of Vermilion Parish are under 8 to 10 feet of water after Rita pushed the Gulf of Mexico several miles inland.

"We're going through a door-to-door effort just like they did over in New Orleans," Abbeville, Mayor Mark Piazza said. "They're finding people on rooftops and in their houses that can't get out." "This is probably some of the most severe flooding that we've had in this area in the past 40 or 50 years," he said.

Rita, now a tropical storm, continues to limp up the Texas-Louisiana border...Meanwhile to the southeast, in Louisiana's Vermilion Parish, emergency officials have been inundated with calls from people trapped in their homes. The mayor of Abbeville – which is in the parish – said a "couple of hundred" people had been rescued from their homes Saturday by boats....David Paulison, acting director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Saturday that storm damage "is not as severe as we expected." Paulison said mandatory evacuations ahead of the storm worked, and there are no reported deaths.

But Valero Energy reported Saturday that recovery teams found "significant damage" to its oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, following the hurricane. Shell reported wind damage to its Motiva facility in Port Arthur.
[Full story>>cnn.com]


09.24.05 Rita causes flooding, fires on Gulf Coast

BEAUMONT, Texas, September 24 – Hurricane Rita slammed into Texas and Louisiana early Saturday, smashing windows, sparking fires and knocking power out to more than 1 million customers, but largely sparing vulnerable Houston and already reeling New Orleans.

Rita made landfall at 3:30 a.m. EDT as a Category 3 storm just east of Sabine Pass, on the Texas-Louisiana line, bringing top winds of 120 mph and warnings of up to 25 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Center said. Within four hours it had weakened to a Category 2 storm, with top winds of 100 mph, as it moved further inland between Beaumont and Jasper.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, or any detailed word on damage to the area's vast oil refinery industry, though rescuers and search teams in many areas had to wait for winds to subside before venturing out. About 3 million people had fled a 500-mile stretch of the Texas-Louisiana coast ahead of the storm, motivated in part by the devastating toll that Hurricane Katrina inflicted on New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast barely three weeks ago.

Radar estimates put Rita's rainfall so far at 4-10 inches, with the highest totals in Texas' Jasper and Newton counties, meteorologist Mark McInerney said, and there was a lingering threat of flooding due to an expected 2 feet of rain in some areas.
[More>>abcnews.go.com]


09.24.05 Iraqi police killed in car bombing

September 24 – A car bomb has exploded near an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baghdad, killing two Iraqi soldiers and wounding five other people, police said. The attack occurred at about 9.45am (0545 GMT) in Karada, a commercial area of the capital, said police Major Abbas Mohammed. Three of the wounded were soldiers, police said. Soldiers at the checkpoint were waving at the driver, trying to get him to stop, when the explosion occurred, smashing windows in nearby buildings and damaging cement walls surrounding some, Mohammed said. Six parked cars were damaged, including one that caught fire. [More>>aljazeera.net]


09.24.05 Bush asks Jordan's king to meet with Sharon and Abbas

September 24 – President George W. Bush has asked Jordan's King Abdullah to visit Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and offer them his "voice of reason" in the peace process. Bush made the announcement after Oval Office talks with Abdullah. Bush said the king had agreed to visit the two leaders.

"I want to thank you, sir, for taking a leadership role. It will be very helpful to have your voice of reason there to talk to both leaders," Bush told Abdullah.

No date for the talks was set. The king last met with Sharon in February at a summit in Egypt where the Palestinian Authority declared a truce with Israel. Bush and Abdullah discussed the Middle East peace process, Iraq, Syria and other topics.

"I know that you want to find a solution that Israelis and Palestinians can meet in peace and harmony and I hope that if we can help in that respect, that is a great honor for us," Abdullah told Bush. Abdullah told Sharon at the United Nations last Friday that Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip must not be the last from land the Palestinians want for a state. Jordan, in 1994, became the second Arab country, after Egypt in 1979, to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
[More>>dailystar.com.lb]


09.24.05 IAF strike on Gaza cars kills four Hamas members

September 24 – The Israel Defense Forces confirmed it carried out an air strike on two vehicles driving in Gaza City on Saturday. Four Hamas members were killed and nine other people were wounded, Palestinian doctors and Hamas officials said. Witnesses and relatives in the morgue identified two of the four dead men as Hamas members Rawad Farhat, 17, and Nafez abu Hussein, 29. The IDF said one of the vehicles was carrying weapons and the other was carrying Hamas members. The air strike came in response to a barrage of Palestinian Qassam rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, the first such attacks since Israel pulled out of Gaza two weeks ago. [More>>haaretz.com]


09.24.05 Bush 'greater threat than bin Laden'

(AFP) September 24 – A panel reporting to the US State Department has warned that US President George W. Bush is seen in some Arab nations as a greater threat than al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, a US newspaper reported today. The report by the congressionally mandated advisory panel, which found that "America's image and reputation abroad could hardly be worse," has been seen by senior officials but not yet released publicly, The Washington Post said.

A fact-finding mission to the Middle East last year found that "there is deep and abiding anger toward US policies and actions," according to The Post. The Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy cited polls that found that large majorities in Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia "view George W. Bush as a greater threat to the world order than Osama bin Laden."

Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes, a longtime presidential adviser, prepares to leave this weekend on a "listening tour" of the Middle East. The panel's report warns that televised images of US policy choices – such as in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and the invasion of Iraq – reverberate across the Arab media and will "long haunt the image of the United States," the paper said.

The committee recommended a series of steps, including increased funding and staffing, to rebuild efforts to promote US culture and ideas – an essential task that it said has been eroded through bureaucratic shuffling and indifference. In much of the world, the report said, the United States is viewed as "less a beacon of hope than a dangerous force to be countered," according to The Post.

The advisory committee was created by the US Congress in 2004 and charged with advising the secretary of state on how to advance cultural diplomacy.
[theaustralian.news.com.au; See also khaleejtimes.com], original story washingtonpost.com, "Report: US image in bad shape."]


09.23.05 Saudi foreign minister says Bush administration ignored warnings about occupying Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) September 23 – Saudi Arabia¹s foreign minister says the Bush administration did not heed Saudi warnings about occupying Iraq, and he doesn¹t believe a new constitution and elections will solve the emerging nation¹s problems.

Prince Saud al-Faisal also said his country was not ready for a peace treaty and diplomatic relations with Israel, saying Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has taken conflicting actions that are hindering peace. "He does something and then immediately goes to the United Nations and makes a speech saying, ' am not going to do this, I am not going to do that,'" Saud told The Associated Press. "We are not establishing relations just for the heck of it," he added. "It would be false, because we are in a state of conflict."

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday, Saud said he¹d like to see oil prices drop about $20 (€16.35) a barrel from its current $60-plus (€49-plus) range, but predicted a lack of refineries will keep consumer prices higher even if crude should become cheaper.

On Iraq, the foreign minister expressed skepticism at Bush administration officials¹ predictions that coming political events in Iraq will heal the country¹s divisions. "Perhaps what they are saying is going to happen," he said. "I wish it would happen, but I don¹t think that a constitution by itself will resolve the issues, or an election by itself will solve the difficult problems."

US policies in Iraq risk dividing the country into three separate parts: Kurdish, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab, he cautioned. "We have not seen a move inside Iraq that would satisfy us that the national unity of Iraq, and therefore the territorial unity of Iraq, will be assured," he said.

He also said the Saudis were skeptical of the outcome before the United States went to war in Iraq, but its concerns were not always heeded. "It is frustrating to see something that is clearly going to happen, and you are not listened to by a friend, and soon harm comes out of it," Saud said. "It hurts."

..."The oil industry does not suffer from a lack of oil," Saud said. He cited a lack of refineries in the United States and elsewhere and said Saudi Arabia had sought to help build a US refinery but had no takers.
[Full story>>khaleejtimes.com; See Maravot News9.22.05 for oil industry report on hurricane impact from Ivan in 2003 to Katrina / Rita. See also Maravot news9.22.05 for a report on corruption involving US aid to Iraq: "What happened to Iraq's missing $1 billion?" It may be as time passes many government officials around the world will come out of the woodwork, revealing what really happened in Bush's rush to invade Iraq.


09.23.05 Fire on bus carrying evacuees kills 24

WILMER, Texas (AP) September 23 – A bus carrying elderly evacuees from Hurricane Rita caught fire and was rocked by explosions early Friday on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing as many as 24 people, authorities said.

"Deputies were unable to get everyone off the bus," Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokesman Don Peritz said. He said he believes 24 people were killed, but that number could change.

The bus, with about 45 people on board, had been traveling since Thursday. Peritz declined to give details on who the passengers were except to say they were from a nursing home in Bellaire, an upscale enclave within Houston. Early indications were that it caught fire because of mechanical problems, then passengers' oxygen tanks started exploding, Peritz said. He said the brakes may have been on fire. The bus was engulfed with flames, causing a lengthy backup on Interstate 45 already congested with evacuees from the Gulf Coast. The bus was reduced to a blackened, burned-out shell, with large blue tarps covering the bodies. About 20 emergency vehicles surrounded it.

Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas has been told to expect nine patients, said hospital spokeswoman Candace White. The most severe cases involved smoke inhalation, she said. No emergency workers suffered major injuries in the blast.
[More>>abcnews.go.com]


09.23.05 This is global warming, says environmental chief

September 23 – Super-powerful hurricanes now hitting the United States are the "smoking gun" of global warming, one of Britain's leading scientists believes. The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Hurricanes were getting more intense, just as computer models predicted they would, because of the rising temperature of the sea, he said. "The increased intensity of these kinds of extreme storms is very likely to be due to global warming."

In a series of outspoken comments – a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration, Sir John hit out at neoconservatives in the US who still deny the reality of climate change.

Referring to the arrival of Hurricane Rita he said: "If this makes the climate loonies in the States realise we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation." As he spoke, more than a million people were fleeing north away from the coast of Texas as Rita, one of the most intense storms on record, roared through the Gulf of Mexico. It will probably make landfall tonight or early tomorrow near Houston, America's fourth largest city and the centre of its oil industry. Highways leading inland from Houston were clogged with traffic for up to 100 miles north.
[More>>independent.co.uk; See also theaustralian.news.com.au, "Aussie climate threat: Greens" : Australia could face natural disasters of the severity of hurricanes seen in the United States unless the federal government takes action on climate change, the Australian Greens have said. The warning comes as one of Britain's leading scientists, Sir John Lawton, said the extreme weather patterns causing hurricanes in the US were likely due to global warming.

Sir John, who chairs the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution in the UK, said people who tried to deny the impact of human activity on climate were like those who denied smoking caused lung cancer.

As the US tries to deal with the fallout from Hurricane Katrina and awaits the arrival of Hurricane Rita, Sir John told Britain's The Independent newspaper he hoped the disasters would serve as a wake-up call. "If this makes the climate loonies in the States realize we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation," he told the paper today.]


09.23.05 North Korea seeking visit by Bush, top US officials

September 23 – North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, is seeking a visit from U.S. President George W. Bush and top U.S. officials as the communist state braces for a fully-fledged negotiation on how to implement agreements reached at the six-party talks on its nuclear dismantlement, sources said yesterday. Kim recently ordered his Foreign Ministry to arrange a high-profile visit to Pyongyang by top U.S. officials, specifically requesting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, President George W. Bush or former President George H.W. Bush the sources said.

In an apparent follow-up move, North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon in New York yesterday said that his country will welcome a visit by chief U.S. delegate to the nuclear talks Christopher Hill in a bid to reach a solution on the nuclear standoff.

With the joint statement of principles signed by the six parties in void of a sequence of nuclear dismantlement and compensations, it is widely viewed that Pyongyang is seeking for a cue on making the first move - a visit by high a level U.S. official being one of the most efficient options, observers here said.
[More>>koreaherald.co.kr; See separate article, bbc.co.uk, North Korea rejects UN food aid" : North Korea has formally told the UN it no longer needs food aid, despite reports of malnutrition in the country. Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon said the country now had enough food, due to a good harvest, and accused the US of using aid as a political weapon. The move comes as the international community continues to urge North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions...]


09.23.05 Bomber's widow says extremists twisted his mind

September 23 – The widow of one of the July 7 suicide bombers told how her ³innocent and naive² husband had been poisoned by elements in radical mosques as she cradled their new born baby daughter in her arms.

Samantha Lewthwaite said that she ³totally abhorred² the actions of her husband Jermaine Lindsay, who killed 26 people on a Piccadilly Line tube train near King¹s Cross; but she said that she still wore the white gold ring her husband had given her and would pass it on to their first child, a son, Abdullah, when he marries. Ms. Lewthwaite, 21, a Muslim convert, said that her husband had been a peaceful man whose behavior changed when he began visiting mosques in London and Luton.

She said: ³His behavior gradually began to change. He turned from the man that I married. In hindsight I can now see exactly what was happening to him and why. How these people could have turned him and poisoned his mind is dreadful. He was an innocent, naive and simple man. I suppose he must have been an ideal candidate.²

She said that Jamaican-born Lindsay started becoming a stranger to her when they moved from Huddersfield to Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. ³I firmly believe if we had stayed up North he would be the same Jamal,² she said in an interview with The Sun newspaper, ³but he got involved in mosques in London and Luton and became a changed person. In October through to November 2004 he met a group who changed his life. He became a man I didn¹t recognize. I have no doubt his mind was twisted in there.²
[More>>timesonline.co.uk]


09.23.05 Civilians killed in Baghdad bombing

September 23 – A car bomb has exploded in a central Baghdad square killing five people and wounding seven, an interior ministry official said. A bomber set off hidden explosives inside a public bus in Al Tayaran square in the Bab-al-Sharji area at about 11.40am (0740 GMT) on Friday, police Major Mohamed Younis said. The blast occurred as the minibus was parked at a bustling bus station in the square.

There were conflicting accounts of the bomber's fate, however. While Younis said the bomber detonated a belt of explosives strapped to his body beneath his clothes, eyewitnesses said they saw the man leave the bus minutes before it exploded.
[More>>aljazeera.net]


09.23.05 Belarus blast wounds 46

September 23 – A bomb explosion at an outdoor cafe in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk wounded 46 people, four of the seriously, in the second blast to hit the city in nine days, the Emergency Situations Ministry said today. Alexei Murzhankov, a duty officer at the Vitebsk city department of the ministry, said 25 of those injured in last night's blast were hospitalized, four of whom were in intensive care.

Murzhankov said the explosion occurred just outside the Eridan cafe, a temporary, partially open-air structure of the sort often set up to attract customers in the summer. The cafe has a dance floor and an outdoor area. The bomb, which had been packed with pieces of metal, had been buried in a flower-bed outside the cafe, the Vitebsk regional police said. The composition of the device, and the fact that the explosion occurred when the square was crowded with customers, accounts for the large number of injured but apparently minimal damage to the cafe tent itself, which was shown intact on television.
[More>>independent.co.uk]


09.23.05 Somaililand arrests al-Qaida suspects

September 23 – Authorities in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland say they have arrested a senior al-Qaida operative allegedly in the region to organize attacks on local leaders and foreigners. Somaliland Interior Minister Ishmael Aden said on Friday that police had arrested "an internationally known", Afghan-trained leader of Osama bin Ladin's network along with a second al-Qaida member after an overnight shootout in the capital Hargeisa.

"We have captured two members of al-Qaida and about four others fled the area," he said. "Their leader, who was among those we arrested, is an internationally known fighter for al-Qaida who has been in Pakistan and Afghanistan." He and other officials declined to name either suspect for security reasons but Aden said he planned to call a news conference on Saturday to announce details of the operation, including the identities of those arrested.
[More>>aljazeera.net; See also bbc.co.uk.]


09.23.05 Afghanistan gunbattle leaves 10 Taliban, soldier dead

KANDAHAR, September 23 – Ten insurgents and an Afghan soldier were killed in an operation to arrest a top Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan, a governor and the US military said Friday. Coalition and Afghan troops came under attack by up to 20 militants firing small arms, heavy machine guns, mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades, the US military said in a statement.

Coalition and US close air support and US attack helicopters arrived at the scene, blasting enemy positions killing 10 enemy combatants, it said. Uruzgan governor Jan Mohammed Khan told a foreign news agency the military operation was launched after a tip-off that the man considered a military chief of the Taliban, Dadullah, was hiding out in the province's Charchino district.
[More>>jang.com.pk]


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:


08.25.05 The photos Washington doesn't want you to see

August 25 – Gary Kamiya offers a report everyone concerned about the cost of Iraq should examine : The grim reality of Iraq rarely appears in the American press. A photo gallery reveals the war's horrible human toll. This is a war the Bush administration does not want Americans to see. From the beginning, the U.S. government has attempted to censor information about the Iraq war, prohibiting photographs of the coffins of U.S. troops returning home and refusing as a matter of policy to keep track of the number of Iraqis who have been killed. President Bush has yet to attend a single funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq. Click here on a disturbing photo gallery, salon.com via spiegel.de; you may wish to compare these photos to this or this: the photo of a girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam (from bbc.co.uk). The photo from the Vietnam era is of "Kim, her skin is burned so badly...


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


EDITORIALS

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


NOTES

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

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