Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cosmic Trigger Event, October 17, 2006

Cosmic Trigger Event, October 17, 2006
http://educate-yourself.org/ww/oct2006cosmictriggerevent25sep06.shtmlSeptember 25, 2006
{Editor's Note: Yasmine is one of the psychics with the Wommen Warriors. Some of her articles are found at this web site and others at the Women Warriors web site (http://www.thewomenwarriors.net). ..Ken]
Subject: from YASMINE fatemi:URGENTCosmic Trigger Event 17thOct2006From: Yasmine Date: Mon, September 25, 2006 1:12 pmTo: Editor
Dear Ken,Hope you are doing well, here is an important event coming in the cosmos (very rare), on the 17th oct 2006.
I wondered if you could share this, it could create another vantage point gathering as much GOOD intent as possible on this day.
Thanks (MESSAGE BELOW)
Sincerely,Yasmine
A Cosmic Trigger Event will occur on the 17th of October 2006. This is the beginning, one of many trigger events to come between now and 2013. An ultraviolet (UV) pulse beam radiating from higher dimensions in universe-2 will cross paths with the Earth on this day. Earth will remain approximately within this UV beam for 17 hours of your time.
This beam resonates with the heart chakra, it is radiant fluorescent in nature, blue/magenta in color. Although it resonates in this frequency band, it is above the color frequency spectrum of your universe-1 which you, Earth articulate in. However due to the nature of your soul and soul groups operating from Universe-2 frequency bands it will have an effect.
The effect is every thought and emotion will be amplified intensely one million-fold. Yes, we will repeat, all will be amplified one millions time and more.
Every thought, every emotion, every intent, every will, no matter if it is good, bad, ill, positive, negative, will be amplified one million times in strength.
What does this mean ?
Since all matter manifest is due to your thoughts, i.e. what you focus on, this beam will accelerate these thoughts and solidify them at an accelerated rate making them manifest a million times faster than they normally would.
For those that do not comprehend. Your thoughts, what you focus on create your reality.
This UV beam thus can be a dangerous tool. For if you are focused on thoughts which are negative to your liking they will manifest into your reality almost instantly. Then again this UV beam can be a gift if you choose it to be.
Mission-1017 requires approximately one million people to focus on positive, benign, good willed thoughts for themselves and the Earth and Humanity on this day. Your thoughts can be of any nature of your choosing, but remember whatever you focus on will be made manifest in a relatively faster than anticipated time frame. To some the occurrences may almost be bordering on the miracle.
All we ask is positive thoughts of love, prosperity, healing, wealth, kindness, gratitude be focused on.
This UV beam comes into full affect for 17hrs on the 17th of October 2006.
No matter what time zone you are in the hours are approximately 10:17am on the 17th of October to 1:17am on the 18th of October.
The peak time will be 17:10 (5:10pm) on the 17th October.
You do not need to be in a meditative state through out this time, though that would be beneficial. The main key time no matter what time zone you are in will be the peak time of 17:10 (5:10 pm). Perhaps at this time if you can find a peaceful spot or location to focus. The optimum is out in the vicinity of grounded nature, likened to that of a large tree or next to the ocean waves.
Focus on whatever it is you desire. What is required for the benefit of all Earth and HUmanity is positive thoughts of loving nature.
We call this UV beam trigger event, "818" gateway.
Please forward this message to as many people as you know who will use this cosmic trigger event to focus positive, good willed thoughts.
We require approximately 1-million people across globe to actively participate in this event. Please use whatever communication mediums you have at your disposal. Reach out to as many people as possible. We require 1-million plus people at the least to trigger a shift for humanity from separationand fragmentation to one of unification and oneness.
This is your opportunity to take back what is rightfully yours i.e. Peace and Prosperity for all Earth and Mankind.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Documents disclose 'shadow government' for North America

Documents disclose 'shadow government'
Indicate U.S. far advanced in constructing bureaucracy united with Mexico, Canada
Posted: September 26, 2006
Government documents released by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the Bush administration is running a "shadow government" with Mexico and Canada in which the U.S. is crafting a broad range of policy in conjunction with its neighbors to the north and south, asserts WND columnist and author Jerome R. Corsi.
The documents, a total of about 1,000 pages, are among the first to be released to Corsi through his FOIA request to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, which describes itself as an initiative "to increase security and to enhance prosperity among the three countries through greater cooperation."
"The documents clearly reveal that SPP, working within the U.S. Department of Commerce, is far advanced in putting together a new regional infrastructure, creating a 'shadow' trilateral bureaucracy with Mexico and Canada that is aggressively rewriting a wide range of U.S. administrative law, all without congressional oversight or public disclosure," Corsi said...
(They have plans for a common currency called the'Amero')

This ties in with the 'Euro' of the European Union that the UK is quietly being swallowed into, with its Regions for Europe!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show

Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show
Leaders' Views Out of Step With Public
By Amit R. PaleyWashington Post Staff Writer09/27/06 "Washington Post" -- -- BAGHDAD, Sept. 26 -- A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.Another new poll, scheduled to be released on Wednesday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, found that 71 percent of Iraqis questioned want the Iraqi government to ask foreign forces to depart within a year. By large margins, though, Iraqis believed that the U.S. government would refuse the request, with 77 percent of those polled saying the United States intends keep permanent military bases in the country.

The stark assessments, among the most negative attitudes toward U.S.-led forces since they invaded Iraq in 2003, contrast sharply with views expressed by the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Last week at the United Nations, President Jalal Talabani said coalition troops should remain in the country until Iraqi security forces are "capable of putting an end to terrorism and maintaining stability and security.""Only then will it be possible to talk about a timetable for the withdrawal of the multinational forces from Iraq," he said.Recent polls show many Iraqis in nearly every part of the country disagree.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

'Million bomblets' in S Lebanon

'Million bomblets' in S Lebanon
Up to a million cluster bomblets discharged by Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah remain unexploded in southern Lebanon, the UN has said.
The UN's mine disposal agency says about 40% of the cluster bombs fired or dropped by Israel failed to detonate - three times the UN's previous estimate.
It says the problem could delay the return home of about 200,000 displaced people by up to two years.
The devices have killed 14 people in south Lebanon since the August truce.
The manager of the UN's mine removal centre in south Lebanon, Chris Clark, said Israel had failed to provide useful information of its cluster bomb strikes, which could help with the clearance operation.
Last month, the UN's humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, accused Israel of "completely immoral" use of cluster bombs in the conflict...

..."This is clearly the biggest threat to civilian life," said Arjun Jain, of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Hundreds of bomblets are packed into the cluster bombs, which are fired from the ground or dropped by aircraft.
The bombs detonate in mid-air, dispersing the drinks-can sized bomblets over a wide area. Those which do not explode on impact become like anti-personnel mines.

UN says Gaza crisis 'intolerable'

UN says Gaza crisis 'intolerable'
Standards of human rights in the Palestinian territories have fallen to intolerable new levels, says a UN expert on the Mid-East conflict.
John Dugard said Israel was largely to blame for turning Gaza into "a prison" and "throwing away the key".
But he also criticised the US, Canada and Europe for withdrawing funds to the Palestinian Authority, run by Hamas militants who do not recognise Israel.
An Israeli official said the statement was unrealistic and over-simplified.
Mr Dugard, UN special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, said three-quarters of Palestinians in Gaza now depended on food aid - a result, he added, of Israeli military raids, blockades and demolitions.
"I hope that my portrayal... will trouble the consciences of those accustomed to turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering of the Palestinian people," Mr Dugard told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Unpunished
The South African lawyer was appointed in 2001.
The situation - in the wake of Israel's response to the capture of a soldier by militants from Gaza during a cross-border raid - is worse than at any time during my mandate, Mr Dugard said.
More than 100 civilians have been killed in army raids and bombardments in the Gaza Strip.
"What Israel chooses to describe as collateral damage to the civilian population is in fact indiscriminate killing prohibited by international law," he said.
Mr Dugard also criticised the embargo on funding to the Palestinian Authority since the victory by Hamas early this year.
"Israel violates international law as expounded by the Security Council and the International Court of Justice and goes unpunished," he said.
"But the Palestinian people are punished for having democratically elected a regime unacceptable to Israel, the US and the EU.
"In effect, the Palestinian people have been subjected to economic sanctions - the first time an occupied people has been so treated," he said.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Iran and the World Watch Out after 21st October!

War Signals?
By Dave Lindorff The Nation
Monday 25 September 2006
As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have moved up the deployment of a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1.
As Time writes in its cover story, "What Would War Look Like?," evidence of the forward deployment of minesweepers and word that the chief of naval operations had asked for a reworking of old plans for mining Iranian harbors "suggest that a much discussed - but until now largely theoretical - prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran."
According to Lieut. Mike Kafka, a spokesman at the headquarters of the Second Fleet, based in Norfolk, Virginia, the Eisenhower Strike Group, bristling with Tomahawk cruise missiles, has received orders to depart the United States in a little over a week. Other official sources in the public affairs office of the Navy Department at the Pentagon confirm that this powerful armada is scheduled to arrive off the coast of Iran on or around October 21.
Colonel Gardiner, who has taught military strategy at the National War College, says that the carrier deployment and a scheduled Persian Gulf arrival date of October 21 is "very important evidence" of war planning. He says, "I know that some naval forces have already received 'prepare to deploy orders' [PTDOs], which have set the date for being ready to go as October 1. Given that it would take about from October 2 to October 21 to get those forces to the Gulf region, that looks about like the date" of any possible military action against Iran. (A PTDO means that all crews should be at their stations, and ships and planes should be ready to go, by a certain date - in this case, reportedly, October 1.) Gardiner notes, "You cannot issue a PTDO and then stay ready for very long. It's a very significant order, and it's not done as a training exercise." This point was also made in the Time article.

So what is the White House planning?

"I think the plan's been picked: bomb the nuclear sites in Iran," says Gardiner. "It's a terrible idea, it's against US law and it's against international law, but I think they've decided to do it." Gardiner says that while the United States has the capability to hit those sites with its cruise missiles, "the Iranians have many more options than we do: They can activate Hezbollah; they can organize riots all over the Islamic world, including Pakistan, which could bring down the Musharraf government, putting nuclear weapons into terrorist hands; they can encourage the Shia militias in Iraq to attack US troops; they can blow up oil pipelines and shut the Persian Gulf." Most of the major oil-producing states in the Middle East have substantial Shiite populations, which has long been a concern of their own Sunni leaders and of Washington policy-makers, given the sometimes close connection of Shiite populations to Iran's religious rulers...

...But all these war skeptics may be whistling past the graveyard. After all, it must be recalled that Bush also talked about seeking diplomatic solutions the whole time he was dead-set on invading Iraq, and the current situation is increasingly looking like a cheap Hollywood sequel. The United States, according to Gardiner and others, already reportedly has special forces operating in Iran, and now major ship movements are looking ominous...

The end of privacy as we know it

The end of privacy as we know it
By Philip Johnston
(Filed: 18/09/2006)

What will Tony Blair be remembered for? The post-war debacle in Iraq? Billions largely wasted on unreformed public services? Half-baked constitutional reforms that have threatened the integrity of the United Kingdom?

How about the erosion of privacy and the transformation of Britain into the most snooped-on country in the world this side of Pyongyang? We have more CCTV cameras than the rest of Europe put together. We have thousands of speed cameras linked to numberplate recognition databases. We await with trepidation the arrival of the national identity database from 2008, entry on to which will make it an offence, for the first time, not to inform the "authorities" when we move home.

Again, for the first time, our medical records, perhaps our most intimate personal information, will be available on a national data "spine", rather than kept within the confines of our GP's files. Details of children will be placed on another database, with no obvious limit to how long this information will be kept. Will a classroom transgression pop out of the system 20 years hence to scupper some job application, with the victim unaware why?

Last week, in a significant announcement issued under the guise of an innocuous-sounding "information-sharing vision statement", the Government proposed to reverse the presumptions of confidentiality under which Whitehall has, until now, conducted its relationships with businesses and individuals. Departments will be able to share personal information obtained for one purpose with other departments that might want it for an entirely different reason. In effect, they will be able to gather all this data in one place, something we were always assured would not happen...

...Once you accept that the government has the right to know where you are at all times, to demand that you tell its agents when you move home or to render up your private musings at its behest, then you have changed the nature of the individual's relationship to the state in a way that is totally alien to this country's historic, though ill-defined, covenant between the rulers and the ruled. If enough people say "so what?" to that, as well, then Mr Blair really has left a legacy, and it is a pernicious one.

UK ID Cards

ID cards have worked in Europe before...
Tony Blair says that state management of your identity is 'modern' and beneficial. He is wrong. 21 countries in Europe have ID cards. Almost all got them decades ago. Almost all the systems were imposed by dictatorships or under Nazi or Soviet occupation. Almost all have been used to harass political opposition, bully minorities, or facilitate mass-murder.
Everywhere - without exception - the purpose has been monitoring the people for official purposes.

Tony Blair is not Hitler. But he is building the tools of totalitarianism. The identity scheme he is pushing is more controlling than any Europe has seen before. He can give no guarantee how it may be used in his lifetime, let alone the lifetimes of our children.

Some practical freedoms - personal privacy, confidentiality, anonymity, going about our business without need for official permit - are so familiar to us that they are unnoticed, like breathing. This ID scheme will choke them. It seeks to replace the trust in our society with formal validation by officials.

Numbered, indexed and tagged, your identity subject to approval, the simplest things in life will no longer be under your control. Tony may have faith in the future, but who else will have that power? In 10 years? In 20? In what back room?

The October Surprise

The October Surprise
By Gary Hart HuffingtonPost.com
Saturday 23 September 2006

It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.

Were these more normal times, this would be a stunning possibility, quickly dismissed by thoughtful people as dangerous, unprovoked, and out of keeping with our national character. But we do not live in normal times. And we do not have a government much concerned with our national character. If anything, our current Administration is out to remake our national character into something it has never been.

The steps will be these: Air Force tankers will be deployed to fuel B-2 bombers, Navy cruise missile ships will be positioned at strategic points in the northern Indian Ocean and perhaps the Persian Gulf, unmanned drones will collect target data, and commando teams will refine those data. The latter two steps are already being taken. Then the president will speak on national television. He will say this: Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons; if this happens, the entire region will go nuclear; our diplomatic efforts to prevent this have failed; Iran is offering a haven to known al Qaeda leaders; the fate of our ally Israel is at stake; Iran persists in supporting terrorism, including in Iraq; and sanctions will have no affect (and besides they are for sissies). He will not say: ...and besides, we need the oil.

Therefore, he will announce, our own national security and the security of the region requires us to act. "Tonight, I have ordered the elimination of all facilities in Iran that are dedicated to the production of weapons of mass destruction....." In the narrowest terms this includes perhaps two dozen targets. But the authors of the war on Iraq have "regime change" in mind in Iran. According to Colonel Sam Gardiner (author of "The End of the 'Summer of Diplomacy': Assessing U.S. Military Options in Iran," The Century Foundation, 2006) to have any hope of success, such a policy would require attacking at least 400 targets, including the Revolutionary Guard. But even this presumes the Iranian people will respond to a massive U.S. attack on their country by overthrowing their government. Only an Administration inspired by pre-Enlightenment fantasy could believe a notion such as this.

It does not involve much imagination to understand the timing. The U.S. is poised to adopt a Congressional regime change of its own in November. A political strategy totally based on fear can offer few other options to prevent this. Besides, occupation by Democrats of even one house of Congress in January would make this scheme more difficult (one would certainly hope). Further, time for super-power military conquest may be running short in the emerging age of fourth generation warfare. "...the age of Western military ascendancy is coming to an end." ("No Win," Andrew Bacevich, The Boston Globe, August 27, 2006).

The consequences? The sunny neoconservatives whose goal has been to become the neo-imperial Middle Eastern power all along will forcast few. But prudent leaders calculate all the risks, and they are historic. These include: violent reaction throughout the Islamic world; a dramatic increase in jihadist attacks in European capitals and the U.S.; radicalization of Islamic youth behind a new generation of jihadist leaders; consolidation of support for Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and a rapidly spreading malignant network; escalating expansion of anti-American sentiment throughout the world, including the democratic world; and the formation of WWIII battle lines between the U.S. and the Arab and Islamic worlds.

In more rational times, including at the height of the Cold War, bizarre actions such as unilateral, unprovoked, preventive war are dismissed by thoughtful, seasoned, experienced men and women as mad. But those qualities do not characterize our current leadership. For a divinely guided president who imagines himself to be a latter day Winston Churchill (albeit lacking the ability to formulate intelligent sentences), and who professedly does not care about public opinion at home or abroad, anything is possible, and dwindling days in power may be seen as making the most apocalyptic actions necessary.

Blair ‘turned blind eye to Iraq intelligence’ in Bush meeting

Blair ‘turned blind eye to Iraq intelligence’ in Bush meeting
Monday, September 25th, 2006
Marie Woolf
Tony Blair turned “a blind eye to intelligence” and failed to challenge George Bush over claims that Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons, according to new claims published this week. A note of a private meeting between Mr Blair and President Bush in January 2003 shows that Tony Blair failed to confront Mr Bush when he claimed Saddam Hussein had tried to buy aluminium tubes for nuclear weapons production.

Mr Blair did not contradict the President despite having received “private briefings” which indicated that the aluminium tubes were more likely to be for conventional weapons, according to the new edition of a book by the international lawyer Philippe Sands published tomorrow. The claims in a new US edition of the book, Lawless World, will raise fresh questions about whether Mr Blair played a secondary role to President Bush.“When Bush and Blair discussed the aluminium tubes at their White House meeting on 31 January 2003 they appear to have done so by turning a blind eye to intelligence that had been made available to them but was unhelpful to their chosen course of action,” the book says. “Assuming this to be the case, it can only reinforce the suspicion that mutual convenience caused the two leaders to misrepresent the intelligence to shore up their claim to war.”

Sunday, September 24, 2006

U.S. invasion responsible deaths of over 250,000 civilians in Iraq

U.S. invasion responsible deaths of over 250,000 civilians in Iraq
by John Stokes
New studies make the Bush administration's "liberation" argument for a 'pre-emptive' war against Iraq seem questionable. The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by U.S.-led coalition forces has been responsible for the death of at least 150,000 civilians (not including certain of Iraq), reveals a compilitation of scientific studies and corroborated eyewitness testimonies.
The majority of these deaths, which are in addition those normally expected from natural causes, illness and accidents, have been among women and children, documents a well-researched study, that had been released by The Lancet Medical Journal. The report in the British journal is based on the work of teams from the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University in the U.S., and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.

A similar methodology was used in the late 1990's to calculate the number of deaths from the war in Kosovo, put at 10,000...

...The most common cause of death is as a direct result of a worsening 'culture of violence', mostly caused by indiscriminate U.S. co-ordinated air strikes, and related military interventions, reveals the study of almost 1000 households scattered across Iraq. And the risk of violent death just after the invasion was 58 times greater than before the war. The overall risk of death was 1.5 times more after the invasion than before.

The on-going American Occupation has also created worsened civil strife as well as mass environmental destructions and related public health problems that is associated with American bomb-related released radioactive and other life-threatening pollutions. The American Occupation has also prevailed over the neglect to the repairing of vital public services-related infrastructure, which include U.S.-led destructions of water systems.

The figure of 100,000 had been based on somewhat "conservative assumptions", notes Les Roberts at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, U.S., who led the study.
That estimate excludes Falluja, a hotspot for violence. If the data from this town is included, the compiled studies point to about 250,000 excess deaths since the outbreak of the U.S.-led war...

"Don't Destroy Opium" Orders

EXCLUSIVE: 'DON'T DESTROY OPIUM' ORDERS
24 September 2006
By Rupert Hamer Defence Correspondent
PARAS who found a £500,000 crop of opium in Afghanistan were ordered NOT to destroy it.
They discovered between 50 kilos of the raw material for heroin in a village during operations in lawless Helmand Province but were told to leave it alone. And they revealed it has never been their job to stop opium production. A senior intelligence officer said: "It is rubbish to say that we are here to destroy drugs or poppy fields."

Opium production has actually risen in Afghanistan since British troops were sent there.
(The public version is) the policy has come about because poppies are the main source of income in Helmand. Senior officers fear removing them would plunge thousands of people into poverty and into the arms of the Taliban.

A Para source said: "The whole 'burning poppy fields' and 'destroying drugs caches' is a complete myth. We were never meant to do that. Our role is to provide some kind of security so the reconstruction of Helmand can take place. "We are also training the Afghan National Army and it will be their job to clamp down on the drugs warlords. It may be frustrating for some of the lads, but those are our orders."

Adds evidence to the theory that the Taliban were removed partly because they opposed the drug trade...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ten Questions For 9/11 Coincidence Theorists

Ten Questions For 9/11 Coincidence Theorists
Friday, September 22nd, 2006
Andres Karger
I often visit the CounterPunch.org site because I enjoy reading the many interesting articles I find there. However, on my last visit, I was somewhat surprised to see Alexander Cockburn’s article on “The 9/11 conspiracy Nuts,” which is a brutal assault on those who believe in the complicity of the Bush administration in the 9/11 attacks.
Not that I hadn’t run across the “our-President-would-never-do-that” viewpoint before (which I do not claim are exactly Mr. Cockburn’s words). It’s just that the gullibility [1] of Alexander Cockburn and other such folks, and even more importantly, their total lack of inquisitiveness, about these criminal attacks are always a source of amazement to me.
PERTINENT QUESTIONS FOR THE COINCIDENCE THEORISTS.
With utmost respect for Mr. Cockburn and his journalistic work, I cannot help but ask him, and those who share his viewpoint, the following ten questions:
1) Who are the real 9/11 guilty parties, and exactly how are the “9/11 conspiracy Nuts” letting these guilty parties off the hook? Please explain a little about how these “conspiracy Theory Nuts” are sparing Rudy Giuliani or corporate America. Also, if one believes the U.S. government was in any way involved in the 9/11 attacks, even through passive complicity, is it so strange to be holding the President and the Vice President of that government responsible (on whose watch this occurred)?
2) Are the U.S. government documents on Operation Northwoods [2] “imagined clues” and hallucinatory creations from the minds of “conspiracy Theory Nuts”?
3) Is it a fabrication of the “conspiracy Theory Nuts” that George W. Bush and Tony Blair discussed disguising U.S. jets as United Nations planes in order to get Saddam Hussein to shoot them down as a prelude to the U.S. invasion of Iraq? Would you not, in all honesty, agree that it is quite right to call this a conspiracy [3] [4]?
4) Was the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (even though it was not hit by any planes) the result of the hallucinations of “conspiracy Theory Nuts” or a real event? Would it not in the least bit arouse a grain of curiosity in your mind, and prompt you to ask at least some questions?
5) If the US Secret Service were truly unaware of the nature and source of the 9/11 attacks, would it not have been essential to immediately relocate and hide the President, instead of allowing him to continue with his reading of “goat story”? How did they know some other plane was NOT targeting him at the school, as well as other key targets? [5]
6) For the sake of argument, let us assume the impeccability of the official explanation of the 9/11 attacks. How would you explain the subsequent anthrax attacks, particularly threats against the Democratic opposition in Congress? Were those perpetrated by Osama bin Laden as well, or are they just the fairytales of “conspiracy Theory Nuts”?
Speculating about the objectives of the latter (i.e., the anthrax threats), they potentially posed as serious a threat as the airliner attacks, especially if the anthrax attacker’s objective might have been to intimidate and silence certain members of Congress. Have any of you “sane and reasonable” persons on the “left” ever attempted to question or analyze these events? Are you even in the least bit interested in these questions, or is it safer to avoid them altogether in favor of politically-correct generalities [6]?
7) Is the Pentagon trying to assist the “conspiracy Theory Nuts” by refusing to release anything more than a few frames of the security video, such as the crucial and yet inexplicably withheld frames that actually show Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon [7]?
8) If you have ever heard of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), and I’m sure you have, do you have any reaction to it, to the PNACers’ admission that they would need a “new Pearl Harbor” to carry out their plan for a forcible makeover of Iraq, or to the connections between its members and the current U.S. administration, or is all of that just a coincidence?
9) Do you think that an administration that has slaughtered over a hundred thousand Iraqis, and that indefinitely holds U.S. citizens without any rights as “enemy combatants,” would have any reservations about killing a few thousand Americans if it thought it could get away with it undetected?
10) And finally, I am really curious to know: what political objective are you trying to achieve by writing this piece? And I am asking this as an honest question and not necessarily implying anything. I am simply trying to find out what you think you are achieving by stating an unknown (e.g., that Kennedy was killed by Oswald – why, how) versus the popularly-believed view (e.g., that Kennedy was killed by the ruling class because he did not fit in – no matter how true or false this might be). As a progressive political being, what goal would the assertions in your article achieve?
PERTINENT REBUTTALS TO THE COINCIDENCE THEORIST ATTACKS.
I also have some responses to various points raised, and questions posed, by Mr. Cockburn in his article:
1) Regarding the issue Mr. Cockburn raises about the “Arabs in caves” – I have oftentimes stated that “a fundamentalist zealot on kidney dialysis living in the caves of Afghanistan could not have carried out an operation of this magnitude”. This is a response to accusations from the Bush administration (not us) that the 9/11 culprits were “Arabs, led by Osama bin Laden, residing in the caves in Afghanistan.” Contrary to what Mr. Cockburn is trying to imply, I did not mean that “Arabs live in caves,” or that “Arabs are not smart enough to carry out attacks”. However, I reiterate that an attack of these proportions could not have been carried out by non-governmental Arabs, or any other non-governmental group. And there is nothing racist about such a pronouncement.
2) Mr. Cockburn cites a number of historical events and then asks: were these CONSPIRACIES, too? My response is this: any good detective would view all of these events with an open mind as to the possibility of conspiracies, and then attempt to investigate each event on a case by case basis. Moreover, democracy is not about blind faith in the government but rather about prudent distrust and imposing accountability. Particularly when you are dealing with such a treacherous administration. Would Mr. Cockburn readily accept the Bush regime’s words when it claims it is only targeting “the terrorists” while it eavesdrops on the phone calls of millions of American citizens? If so, then he is too naive to be taken seriously as a progressive pundit.
3) Mr. Cockburn erroneously asserts that “they disdain all answers but their own,” whereas what I really disdain is apathy, lack of curiosity, and intellectual dishonesty. Let’s be real. Isn’t it really you folks who routinely disdain and dismiss the testimony, letters, and reports of myriad FBI and CIA agents, and other governmental whistleblowers, as mere “anomalies” or “coincidences”? It is not so much that we are conspiracy theorists with overactive imaginations as it is that you and your ilk are willfully blind COINCIDENCE THEORISTS, for whom the dots may never be connected.
4) Concerning Mr. Cockburn’s comments about the Kennedy assassination, Jim Garrison posed some very interesting and forceful questions in his final arguments (“Would the mob be capable of … ?”) in response to those who accused Oswald or the mob of being the ultimate culprits. For this, I refer you to Jim Garrison’s book: “On the Trail Of The Assassins.” Interestingly enough, the same questions should be asked about 9/11: Would the 9/11 attackers be capable of … ?
5) Concerning the alleged crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon - wouldn’t it make more sense to publicly publish all of the photos of Flight 77 arriving at the Pentagon that you claim exist, and thus make us all shut up for good?
6) Why blame Osama instead of Saddam? I am surprised Mr. Cockburn asks this question because the answer is very simple. First, Osama is their man but Saddam was not (at least not entirely the way the neocons wanted him to be). Second, the neocons needed to implicate Osama to justify invading Afghanistan. Third, they invaded Iraq by conflating Osama and al-Qaeda with Saddam in their propaganda, and that is not the end of the story. Fourth, they have subsequently made several attempts (and will continue in the future) to conflate al-Qaeda with Iran and Syria. Saddam is gone, but as you can see from the recent videos and pronouncements, Osama is still quite useful to them.
7) “The ‘conspiracy’ is always open-ended as to the number of conspirators, widening steadily … Tens of thousands of people, all silent as the tomb to this day,” states Mr. Cockburn, attempting to ridicule his straw-man “conspiracy Theory Nuts.”
In rebuttal, I need only note that Standard Operating Procedure inside the intelligence community is to “compartmentalize intelligence” [8], which means that a small group of people can manage a project that involves hundreds of people, organized into small teams which know only exactly what they are supposed to be doing, without knowing anything about the overarching big picture. That is how the CIA could be assassinating people and torturing its victims in secret prisons while the majority of the staff at Langley continues to think the Company is busy building “democracy” around the world.
Having stated all of this, I am nonetheless a strong supporter of diverse opinions and healthy polemics, so not everyone has to subscribe to what I believe in, and I don’t have to accept what others have to say. This is how we grow authentic democracy on the left. However, I do try not to lose sight of the big picture, which is the immorality and destructiveness of this system, and I do try not to confuse friend and foe.
Applying those principles to this case, I think it would be a travesty of justice to allow a premature foreclosure of thought [9], and thus not to have a fully independent investigation of the 9/11 attacks (including the anthrax attacks and threats), and not to fully prosecute those who are in fact guilty of the crime. Furthermore, I do believe the ultimate culprits are members of the Bush regime, top echelons of the Pentagon, and heads of the media. Evidently Mr. Cockburn believes the culprits are Rudolph Giuliani, Motorolla, and other contractors and corporations involved in the building of WTC buildings. To which I say: Let’s fully investigate, then let the chips fall where they may!
ENDNOTES:
[1] In the USA, the government’s “official” story is always characterized as “true” (i.e., 9/11, the Kennedy assassination, etc.); so it is wise to take the official 9/11 story with a grain of salt, and realize that those who believe the alternative theories are always defamed as “nutcases”. See Alexander Cockburn’s 9/10/06 CounterPunch article, “The 9/11 conspiracy Nuts”: http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn09092006.html
[2] According to the official U.S. government documents on “Operation Northwoods,” the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff planned to fake terror attacks on U.S. citizens in order to create support for a U.S. war on Cuba: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/northwoods.html
[3] Amazingly, what is reported in the corporate-controlled media is readily accepted (such as this item) and no one there is accused of being a “conspiracy Theory Nut.”
[4] The real meaning of a conspiracy theory is to say that an event takes place as the result of a plan. Obviously, not all plans succeed, and if a plan does not succeed, it does not mean that there was no plan (or conspiracy) behind it. We all plan many aspects of our daily lives, and so do the ruling elites. The mere fact that the ruling elites have resorted to brutal measures to hold on to power does not mean that they don’t plan.
The opposite of the conspiracy theory is the “COINCIDENCE THEORY,” implying the radical view that everything is merely a coincidence, and that elections, wars, coup d’etats somehow just happen without any preconceived plans.
Here in California, when every election rolls around, I go to the polls to vote for or against a number of propositions. Only naive fools (and of course “reasonable leftists”) think that these propositions (such as “English Only” initiatives, those opposing Affirmative Action, those favoring developers, etc.) just fall from the sky and are not the result of careful planning, which is to say conspiracies, by interest groups to have their way with the general public.
[5] I can only speculate on Alexander Cockburn’s response: bureaucratic incompetence. This, however, is mega-incompetence. Airport security was incompetent. The FAA was incompetent. NORAD was incompetent. Fighter jet pilots were incompetent. The DOD was incompetent. The Secret Service was incompetent. The FBI was incompetent. The CIA was incompetent. The White House was incompetent. The entire executive branch was incompetent. And all with complete simultaneity! Seriously now, you think WE are the “conspiracy Theory Nuts”? Or it is YOU who are the Coincidence Theory Nuts?
[6] As I have mentioned previously, the forensic issues concerning the 9/11 attacks are not all that a major section of the left tries to ignore. They also avoid the issue of election fraud like the plague, and there are many other examples. One of the more pathetic reasons for this is that they are scared to death of being discredited by the right-wing’s charge that they are “conspiracy Theory Nuts”! But aside from that moral cowardice, the traditional left has always preferred to deal in the abstract generalities of historical processes and concepts, rather than in tangible specifics like hard evidence that can be comprehended by the general public. Perhaps those are the two reasons for the state of disarray in which they find themselves today.
[7] The Pentagon released only a few frames of videotape (and not the entire video) from a security camera that revealed very little about the allegedly incoming Flight 77. Later they announced the release of “the video” (with a great deal of fanfare); however, that release turned out to be the same few frames (showing only the front tip of a nosecone). Why don’t they make the “conspiracy Theory Nuts” shut up by releasing the full set of frames?
[8] The intelligence community even has a technical term for this practice, which escapes my mind right now. Anyway, this is a quite elementary and common practice in corporate America. Indeed, I myself did this in a corporate management context a few years ago, when I was working with people who complained like hell (e.g., about simple things like the long hours, the top-down management pressure, etc.) in private but would never dare to speak out publicly, despite knowing that if they rattled their cage doors too loudly in corporate America, they would only get fired, and not fried.
[9] The physical evidence alone is enough to justify a completely independent 9/11 investigation. Read BYU Physics Professor Steven E. Jones’ internationally-acclaimed, extremely-popular paper, “Why Indeed Did The WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?”, in which he explains why the physical evidence implicates the use of thermite in what must have been the controlled demolition of the WTC’s Twin Towers and Building 7: http://tinyurl.com/s3jub

The March to War: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks

The March to War: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks
Friday, September 22nd, 2006
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Iran is bracing itself for an expected American-led air campaign. The latter is in the advanced stages of military planning.
If there were to be war between the United States and Iran, the aerial campaign would unleash fierce combat. It would be fully interactive on multiple fronts. It would be a difficult battle involving active movement in the air from both sides.
If war were to occur, the estimates of casualties envisaged by American and British war planners would be high.
The expected wave of aerial attacks would resemble the tactics of the Israeli air-war against Lebanon and would follow the same template, but on a larger scale of execution.
The U.S. government and the Pentagon had an active role in graphing, both militarily and politically, the template of confrontation in Lebanon. The Israeli siege against Lebanon is in many regards a dress rehearsal for a planned attack on Iran.1
A war against Iran is one that could also include military operations against Syria. Multiple theatres would engulf many of the neighbors of Iran and Syria, including Iraq and Israel/Palestine.
It must also be noted that an attack on Iran would be of a scale which would dwarf the events in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Levant. A full blown war on Iran would not only swallow up and incorporate these other conflicts. It would engulf the entire Middle East and Central Asian region into an extensive confrontation...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Colloidal Silver and Feet

Foot Fetish: A Look At The Use Of Silver In Footwear
Posted on September 21, 2006
by James Fowler
While foot odor is rarely discussed around the water cooler, it is an embarrassing problem that affects millions of people. Your feet harbor millions of organisms and bacteria. Our feet can produce over a cup of moisture per day, and the heat and moisture build up in our shoes to create an active source for these organisms to develop and grow...
...There are many “cures” for stopping foot odor from charcoal filters, to scents that mask the odor and other artificial chemical substances. One of the most recent uses of destroying foot odor is the element silver spun into the weave of the fabric. Silver has been used for over 4000 years as an anti-bacterial agent and is still commonplace in hospitals today. Scientists were unable to bond the silver permanently to thread until the last century. With the problems associated with bacteria and the foot, why wouldn’t this natural element find a place in the footwear industry?
So, what is silver? Silver is a chemical element on the periodic table that has the symbol Ag (from the traditional abbreviation from the Latin, Argentum). It is a soft, white lustrous transition metal; silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. Silver has traditionally been used in coins, tableware, and jewelry. In medicine, it is the first medicine introduced to a newborn baby’s eyes (as in silver nitrate), colloidal silver is used as a liquid anti-bacterial, and silver sulfadiazine is used as a topical cream for burn victims.
Silver is now also being used in the footwear industry for shoes, insoles and socks. There are many benefits beyond foot odor that these products offer. Below is a short description of these features:
Anti-Odor: A common misconception is that antimicrobial is synonymous with anti-odor. Silver offers both antimicrobial and anti-odor benefits. Bacteria are only one cause of body odor. Ammonia and denatured proteins are also significant contributors to odor in footwear. Incredibly, both ammonia and denatured proteins bind most readily with silver. Because silver is on the outside of the fiber, this allows for immediate binding with these odor causing agents –resulting in instant odor reduction!
Anti-Bacterial: The antimicrobial performance of silver has proven to have distinct performance advantages. It has been proven to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria on the material in less than one hour of exposure. Silver will also kill bacteria and fungi faster as the temperature in your footwear rises due to activity because its anti-microbial properties are activated with heat.
Temperature Control: The biophysics of footwear has become an area of significant interest in recent years. It is now possible to use the existing energy of the body and the environment to actively regulate temperature through heat transfer. Silver footwear enhances the natural movement of moisture through evaporation. Silver accelerates the evaporation of moisture. As a result, it transports the moisture away from the body faster, allowing for a more comfortable environment and less potential for convective heat loss. In warm weather, silver-lined footwear addresses evaporation by dissipating the amount of moisture in contact with your feet. What’s more, because heat and moisture are being dispersed over the entire surface of the shoe or insole, hot spots and blisters are greatly reduced!
In conclusion, silver in footwear, is a logical response to anyone who might suffer from foot odor, has a specific medical problem – such as diabetes, in which the foot would benefit from bacteria being eliminated, or with people who have problems with blisters and hot spots on their feet. Silver-lined footwear: A new treatment using an old cure.

EU Constitution Part 1: Sovereignty. Summary

EU Constitution Part 1: Sovereignty. Summary

The EU Constitution is a summary of the six EU treaties the Queen has signed since 1972; most of it is already implemented. Rejection by the voters of France and Holland has not slowed it's progress. We may have two years before a seventh and final treaty appears, which can be signed without our consent by the Queen. This Constitution will then be fully implemented. Unlike the other six treaties it is in readable English, and reveals the true nature of the EU.

I-6 The EU Constitution and law has primacy over the law of member states.
I-9-2 Accepts the EU Convention on Protection of Human Rights, but not if it affects the EU's powers.
I-10. We start with both EU and national citizenship. Yes, the EU is to be a nation in its own right.
I-12 Member states may not compete with the EU's powers ("competencies").
I-12-2 In shared powers, member nations may not exercise power unless the EU allows it.
I-12-4 The EU has power over defence.
I-13 The EU has absolute power on: customs, rules on the single market, monetary policy, fishing, commerce, and international agreements, eg treaties. (Absolute power = exclusive competencies)
I-15 Members must make their employment, social and economic policies comply with the EU's.
I-16-1 The EU has absolute power over foreign policy, security and defence.
I-16-2 All states shall comply with 16-1. So there are no useful powers left for Westmister
I-18. If the Constitution forgot powers to achieve its ends, the Council of Ministers can add them.The EU will have absolute power; Westminster will have no powers of its own; not even those of a county council, because Britain’s 12 EU regions will report directly to Brussels. The EU will clearly have the power to close Westminster whenever it so decrees.
I-19 Institutions: The Council of Ministers ("The Council") controls all EU Parliament legislation.
I-20 Maximum 750 EU MP's, five year term. Minimum 6, maximum 96, per State.
I-21 The EU Council, consisting of Heads of State, shall direct the EU and its foreign policy.
I-23 The Council of Ministers, one per state, shall direct legislative and budgetary functions.I-26 The EU Commission is the executive.
I-26-7 The Commission has absolute power. It's only accountability is a censure vote from Parliament.
I-27-1 The Council chooses the President of the Commission, parliament merely ratifies it.
I-27-2 The Council of Ministers appoints Commissioners. Parliament has no say. There is no democratic process in the Commission, which is a dictatorship. Only the Commission may propose legislation, Parliament's function is merely to approve the Commission's legislation.
The EU Parliament, (the only vote we will have left,) is a sham. It's the Soviet system.
I-33 EU laws, decisions and regulations are binding on member states.
I-41 Confirms yet again the EU's powers over defence / armed forces policy.
I-4I-3 Each nation is to build up its armed forces. They clearly want the EU to be a military power.
I-43 The EU has the power to mobilise the military assets of all States if it declares an emergency.
I-46-4 "The principal of representative democracy" "Political parties at the European level contribute to EU political awareness and express the wishes of citizens." Our Lib-Lab-Con parties will be replaced by EU wide parties with names like Party of European Socialists (PES), and European Peoples Party (EPP).
I-47-4 Petitions: One million citizens from many countries (ie with difficulty) may merely invite the Commission to propose that the Constitution be implemented. ie, we can only agree. Soviet style.
I-50. Only the Council sometimes, and Parliament, shall meet in public. (All others meet in secret.)
I-50-3 The right of our access to EU documents, and the right of the EU to limit our access.
I-53-7 "The EU shall counter internal fraud" It protects and fosters fraud! It breaks its own Constitution!
I-59-3 If there is just a "clear risk" of a State breaching I-2 (Human rights), the EU can suspend that State's rights (including voting), but its obligations to the EU remain. (Designed for abuse!)
I-60 "Any State may decide to withdraw from the EU". But terms will be decided by the Council (they keep our oil, fishing, currency reserves, armed forces and nukes?). Requires agreement by the EU Parliament. Article III-325 3 puts more steps in the way. A qualified majority is 72% of the Council. Like Hungary, Poland, or Chechnya, we cannot leave.

In summary, the EU Constitution is similar to the old Soviet Union’s and builds a dictatorship. It starts with human rights platitudes, then conceals its destruction of democracy in its massive 465 pages; while the EU's Corpus Juris legal system steals our rights. Harmonising our laws with the EU over 33 years has given us the laws of a police state, temporarily unenforced. The EU’s 111,000 regulations will control our personal lives more closely than were Soviet Citizens. This Constitution makes the EU become our nation, and as a result Britain is abolished as a nation.
We can only avoid this by repealing the 1972 EU Communities Act before we are imprisoned inside.
Stop the EU dictatorship!

The Abolition of Britain's 48 Counties

The Abolition of Britain's 48 Counties
England's 48 counties are being abolished and replaced with 9 European Regions under the European Regionalisation Plan. We became committed when the Queen signed, without our consent, the 1972 European Communities Act. The Queen's signing of Maastricht and the Amsterdam Treaty has speeded up the process. (Scotland and Wales are separate Regions.)

England's 20,000 town, district and county Councillors will also be abolished. There is no democratic process here; it is being done illegally, but central government does not expect councillors to stand up for their rights, or our’s.

To give two examples, the county of Cornwall will be abolished and replaced by a European Region whose boundaries stretch from Land's End to include the former counties of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. The Regional Capital is Exeter, as that city proclaims on its road signs.

The South Eastern Region includes Hampshire to Kent; its Regional Capital is Calais. The 9 Regional Capitals report directly to the 25 unelected EU Commissioners in Brussels, not to Westminster, which will very effectively eliminate the nation of England.

EU treaties & publications abolishing our 48 Counties.
1971 The European Commission produced the map of England broken up into 9 regions.
1973 EU "Common Regional Policy" was established.
1987 Single European Act expanded Regional Policy

1992 Regionalisation was introduced in Article 198 of the Maastricht treaty, which re-stated much of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its 130 unreadable pages cross refer to other treaties and documents by Article number, so without reading four thousand pages at once, an impossible task, it conceals its true intent and should never have been signed. Article 198 set up the Committees of the regions, which means 444 extra UK representatives to pay for in Europe, plus their staff, travel and other expenses.

1997 Amsterdam Treaty (Articles 263-5) adopts European Regionalisation.

Over a thousand government departments and quangos now use the Euro-Region structure, instead of counties; all new departments do automatically, as do EU constituencies for the powerless European Parliament.

2002 April John Prescott announced the plans to abolish the counties in Parliament to the horror of his backbenchers, who wanted it kept quiet.

2003 3rd Dec. Minister of State for Local Government and the Regions Nicholas Raynsford said in a Commons answer: “It is now quite clear that County and District/Borough Councils will be replaced with Unitary Authorities and Regions.”

And now, at a cost of £600 million, the Police are being forced out of the counties into the 9 Regions, but did you notice no one called it the EU Regions? The EU works by stealth.

But the government and Mr Raynsford attempt to conceal what is happening and even deny they are abolishing the counties. The truth is, with hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats already in the EU Regional structure, the government is lying again.

If you read them (our MP's didn't), the six EU treaties the Queen has signed over the last 33 years define and build an unelected dictatorship that replaces our nation. EU laws the Queen has signed give it the powers of a police state. For 33 years we have been denied the fundamental right to vote against the EU to stop the abolition of our own nation. Please go and see your councillors with this document and show them what's happening. Tell whomever you can.

For more details visit: http://eutruth.org.uk/Call David Noakes: 07974 437 097, 01326 316298

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Israel's cluster bomb use "outrageous": U.N.

Israel's cluster bomb use "outrageous": U.N.
Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:56am ET
By Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Israel dropped at least 350,000 cluster bomblets on south Lebanon in its war with Hizbollah guerrillas, mostly when the conflict was all but over, leaving a deadly legacy for civilians, a U.N. official said on Tuesday.
"The outrageous fact is that nearly all of these munitions were fired in the last three to four days of the war," David Shearer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, told a news conference in Beirut.
"Outrageous because by that stage the conflict had been largely resolved in the form of (U.N. Security Council) Resolution 1701," he said.
The resolution adopted on August 11 halted 34 days of fighting three days later. A truce has largely held since then.
Israel denies using cluster bombs illegally.
Shearer said Israel had not explained why it fired so many cluster bombs across the south as the war drew to a close. Nor had it responded to a U.N. request for the map coordinates of the cluster bomb strikes to hasten clearance efforts.
U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland has called Israel "completely immoral" for using them in residential areas.
The United Nations has so far identified 516 cluster bomb strike locations and says 30 to 40 percent of the bomblets they scattered over the south failed to explode at the time.

Only about 17,000 bomblets have been defused so far and the United Nations says it could take up to 30 months to destroy most of the unexploded sub-munitions. The British-based Land mine Action group has said clearing the south could take a decade.
Shearer said cluster bombs had killed or wounded an average of three people a day since the war ended, with 15 killed, including a child, and 83 wounded, of whom 23 are children...

There Is No War on Terror

There Is No War on Terror
By Robert Dreyfuss TomPaine.com
Wednesday 13 September 2006
President George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney and the entire Republican election team are scrambling to make their so-called war on terror the focus of the next seven weeks. As in 2002 and 2004, they're counting on their ability to scare Americans with the al-Qaida bogeyman. And while the trauma of 9/11 has begun to dissipate and American voters seem less susceptible than ever to the scare tactics used by the White House, for the past five years the Democrats have been singularly unable to develop an effective counter to the Bush administration on terrorism. So, for that reason, here are 10 important facts about terrorism that opponents of President Bush should understand.
Part of what follows is derived from a series of some two dozen interviews I conducted over the summer with leading U.S. counterterrorism officials, many of whom served in top posts during the Bush administration. Not all of them agree with each other, nor with all of my conclusions, which can be found in the Sept. 21 issue of Rolling Stone . But most of them served on the front lines of the so-called "war on terror." If U.S. counterterrorism efforts were run by these officials, instead of Bush and Cheney, those efforts would look radically different than they do today.
I. The threat of terrorism is wildly exaggerated.
A strong and convincing case that the al-Qaida bogeyman is inflated far beyond the real but limited threat that it poses is made in the current issue of Foreign Affairs , in an article by political scientist John Mueller. He and others argue persuasively that the reason the United States has not been attacked since 9/11 is that terrorists are far less powerful than the White House claims. "If al Qaeda operatives are as determined and inventive as assumed, they should be here by now. If they are not yet here, they must not be trying very hard or must be far less dedicated, diabolical, and competent than the common image would suggest," writes Mueller. Why haven't the Democrats picked up this argument?
II. Al-Qaida barely exists at all as a threat.
The organization that attacked the United States on 9/11 has been shattered and pushed to the brink of extinction, despite claims to the contrary of the vast anti-terrorism industrial complex and its journalistic heavy-breathers. I interviewed Carl Ford, the former assistant secretary of state for intelligence, who told me:
We're overstating their capability, because we can't believe that there isn't a more nefarious explanation for the fact that we haven't been attacked. There aren't a lot of terrorists out there, and they're not 10-feet tall. ... One appealing hypothesis is: they've been damaged more than we know.
The Democrats should stop ringing alarm bells about al-Qaida and explain calmly that the terrorist threat, which was small five years ago, has been greatly reduced since 9/11.
III. There is no Terrorist International.
President Bush lumps the remnants of al-Qaida together with states such as Iran and Syria, the resistance movement in Iraq, insurgent political parties such as Hezbollah and Hamas and other assorted entities into one, big "Islamofascist" enemy. Nothing could be more ill-informed or further from the truth. "That's an oversimplification of the task of dealing with the tactic [terrorism] that is used by many different groups, with many different ideologies," Paul R. Pillar, a former top CIA analyst and the author of a respected book on terrorism, told The Washington Post. "It leads to a misunderstanding of the need of what is in fact a different counterterrorist policy for each group and state we are dealing with. ... Hamas is an entirely different entity than al-Qaeda. ... Their objectives are very much different." Pillar said much the same thing to me. Bush claims that al-Qaida and its terrorist allies want to create an "empire than spans from Spain to Indonesia." Not a chance. Larry Wilkerson, the former top aide to Colin Powell, told me: "I don't think there's a soul in the administration, except for Vice President Dick Cheney, who believes that crap about Islamofascism." Why don't Democrats ridicule this specific sort of fear-mongering?
IV. Iraq will not, and could not, fall to al-Qaida.
The Iraqi resistance is overwhelmingly made up of Sunni, former Baathist, nationalist members of Iraq's former military and intelligence services, Sunni tribal leaders and just plain old "pissed-off Iraqis." It is not al-Qaida. When Bush says that by leaving Iraq we would turn Iraq over to the al-Qaida types, he is making the same false argument that he made five years ago. Then, he told us that Saddam Hussein backed Osama bin Laden. Now, he tells us that pro-Saddam Hussein Iraqis back pro-bin Laden al-Qaida types. He lied then and he is lying now.
V. The Taliban is not al-Qaida.
In 2001, the Taliban and al-Qaida may have had a marriage of convenience. But, as in many marriages, it was not a happy one. Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership were suspicious and resentful of al-Qaida, and some Taliban leaders were openly hostile to bin Laden. Today, the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a sad reminder that Bush bungled Afghanistan, too - but the Taliban fighters are Afghan Islamists, like the mujahideen that the CIA supported in the 1980s. They are not Arabs or foreign fighters, and they are not al-Qaida. If the Taliban pose a threat to U.S. interests, it is not a terrorist one.
VI. Neither Iran nor Syria sponsor anti-U.S. terrorism.
Al-Qaida has zero support in Iran and Syria. The Syrian regime is fiercely hostile to al-Qaida-style fundamentalist Islam. Iran, a Shiite theocracy, is bitterly hostile to Sunni fundamentalism and to al-Qaida. Although both countries tactically support Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel and although Iran routinely assassinates opposition leaders abroad, neither country has attacked the United States in decades. The few al-Qaida leaders - including Osama bin Laden's son - reported to be in Iran are under house arrest and do not lead operations for the shattered terrorist group. Yet that hasn't stopped Bush administration officials, such as Nicholas Burns of the State Department, from accusing Iran of "harboring" al-Qaida. Nonsense.
VII. It is not a "war."
Although the Pentagon has garnered 90 percent of the money for the so-called war on terrorism, and although the Pentagon's special operations command is supposedly in charge of the "war," it is not a war. Terrorism cannot be fought with tanks, planes and missiles. The Defense Department cannot invade the London suburbs or mosques in Hamburg or the teeming cities of Pakistan. Cells of angry Muslims will coalesce spontaneously to seek revenge for real or alleged wrongs for decades to come. That is a problem for the CIA, the FBI, and, especially, foreign police and intelligence services, not Donald Rumsfeld's legions. "I hate the term 'global war on terrorism,'" John O. Brennan, who headed the National Counterterrorism Center until last year, told me. "The Department of Defense and others insist very strongly on calling it a war, because that allows the Pentagon to prosecute the military dimension of the conflict. It fits their strategy."
VIII. There were never any al-Qaida sleeper cells in the United States.
In 2002, the Bush administration leaked to the press its assertion that al-Qaida had 5,000 "sleepers" in the United States, dormant agents that could be activated by Osama bin Laden. There were none - at least, not a single one has been found, and no terrorism has occurred in five years. No terrorism at all: In five years, no one in the United States has as much as been punched in the nose by an angry Muslim fundamentalist.
IX. Vulnerabilities are not threats.
The unnecessary, superfluous Department of Homeland Security is tracking countless points of vulnerability. Trains and trucks, buses and subways, chemical plants and factories, airports and ports, skyscrapers and bridges, tunnels and dams - the list of potential targets is endless. But the list of potential terrorists is infinitesimally small. Despite the recently uncovered London plot - details of which have still not been revealed and which is increasingly looking exaggerated - there hasn't even been a single advanced terrorist plot uncovered in the United States since 9/11. President Bush gamely cites 10 supposed plots stopped by U.S. counterterrorism efforts, but on closer examination all 10 are either bogus or were to take place overseas. According to several top counterterrorism officials, the number of serious terrorist plots against the United States in the past five years is: zero.
X. No one is in charge.
After the creation of the DHS, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center, the U.S. Northern Command, the FBI's new intelligence division and other counterterrorism agencies, no one is in charge. "We have a more confusing organization now," Pillar told me. "It's really hard to answer the question 'Who's in charge?'" Every agency, from the Pentagon to the lowliest police department, has used the threat of terrorism to win ever-larger appropriations from federal, state and local governments for the ostensible purpose of fighting terrorism. So far, none of them have found any actual terrorists - but the proliferation of competing agencies continues, and they continue to step on each other's toes.
After 9/11, the Bush administration launched an open-ended war on an ambiguous enemy ("terror") while offering the nation no definition of what victory would look like. Five years later, the nation has spent billions in taxpayer dollars and lost thousands of American lives fighting a threat that should be the province of law enforcement and intelligence services, not the military. And the White House tells us there is no end in sight.
Mr. Bush: Do you still want the November election to be decided on this sorry record?
--------
Robert Dreyfuss is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2005). Dreyfuss is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va., who specializes in politics and national security issues. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, a contributing writer at Mother Jones, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone. He can be reached through his website: www.robertdreyfuss.com.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Britain's Collusion in War Crimes

UK accused of Guantanamo collusion
Monday, September 18th, 2006
David Batty and agencies
More than 100 senior doctors today accused the government of colluding in war crimes by refusing to give medical aid to British residents detained at Guantánamo Bay.
The doctors called for an urgent independent investigation into the medical needs of the detainees at the camp.
In a letter published in The Times newspaper today, the doctors condemn the Foreign Office for its “shameful” refusal to respond to a request from the British Medical Association (BMA) to send a team of doctors to the detention camp in Cuba.
The medics also criticise the failure of the Foreign Office’s medical and legal panels to discuss the plight of the detainees for the reason that they are not British passport holders. Nine British citizens have been released from the camp since 2004, but at least eight men who have British residency rights are believed to still be there.
“Our government’s excuse is that it does not wish to set a precedent to act for British residents, rather than British citizens. We find this morally repugnant,” said the letter, which was signed by 120 medical professionals.
They add: “It is clear that an independent scrutiny is urgently required by physicians outside the US military. The silence of the Foreign Office is shameful and reflects the collusion of this country in a war crime.”

Britain's Food at Risk

GM: The cover-up
Monday, September 18th, 2006
Revealed: Government food watchdog gave green light to supermarkets to sell ‘illegal’ genetically modified rice
Geoffrey Lean
Britain’s official food safety watchdog has privately told supermarkets that it will not stop them selling an illegal GM rice to the public.
Documents seen by this newspaper show that the Food Standards Agency assured major manufacturers and retailers 10 days ago that it would not make them withdraw the rice - at the same time as it was telling the public it should not be allowed to go on sale.
The environmental group Friends of the Earth has already found GM material in two types of own-brand rice sold in Morrisons supermarkets - in direct contravention of food safety regulations - and believes the GM rice is likely to be widespread throughout Britain.
But the agency has not carried out its own tests for modified rice in products on the market, and has not instructed retailers to do so. It says that the rice is safe, but some scientists disagree.
Last night, Peter Ainsworth, the shadow Environment Secretary, described the agency’s conduct as “a massive scandal” and said it “smelt of a cover-up”. He said he would be asking for an official investigation into whether the agency had broken the law..."

Uncovering the Truth about the Death of David Kelly

Uncovering the Truth about the Death of David Kelly
Sunday, September 17th, 2006
Rowena Thursby
The Kelly Investigation Group (KIG) is a loose affiliation of professionals and laypeople from all walks of life; it includes nine doctors, four of them surgeons, and a QC. Medical and legal expertise has ensured our objections to the the official line on Dr David Kelly’s death are taken seriously by the media and public, even if the authorities affect to ignore them. Our aim is to ensure agents of the state do not bury the truth, along with Dr Kelly.
SUSPICIONS FROM THE START
During 2002/3 it was obvious to many that the search for WMD in Iraq was a disingenuous ploy to secure regime change. Blair and his aides had claimed that it would take only 45 minutes for Saddam to launch a CBW attack on British bases, and that mobile laboratories found in Iraq were for the purpose of making chemical/biological weapons. In asides to journalists Dr David Kelly had shot both assertions down in flames. So when he was found ‘dead in the woods’ three days after being hauled before a televised government committee, many of us were highly suspicious.
Why were Thames Valley police labelling Dr Kelly’s death a ’suicide’ before his body had been examined? At the age of 72, judge and law lord Brian Hutton had never before chaired a public inquiry - so why did the prime minister’s old friend Charles Falconer appoint this safe establishment figure at such extraordinary speed*?
As the Hutton Inquiry got underway in August 2003, I pored over the transcripts in an attempt to understand exactly how Dr Kelly had died. I listed aspects of the case that did not add up, and joined an internet forum to correspond with others working in a similar vein. One was IT expert Garrett Cooke.
INITIAL PLEA TO THE CORONER
On 20th November 2003 Garrett and I wrote a letter to coroner Nicholas Gardiner explaining our concern that the inquest had been subsumed into the Hutton Inquiry. In particular, we listed the reasons why we felt a full inquest with powers to subpoena witnesses and hear evidence under oath should be held:
Dr Kelly’s body appeared to have been moved - twicethe knife, bottle of water, glasses, and cap reported beside the body by later witnesses, were not seen by the two volunteer searchers who first discovered itDC Coe was with the body at the time its position changed from sitting to lyingDC Coe claimed he was with one other officer yet five witnesses said he was with twothe primary cause of death was given as haemorrhage from an incised wound to his left wrist, yet the amount of blood at the scene was, according to the paramedics, extremely sparsevomit stains from the corners of his mouth to his ears suggested Dr Kelly had died on his back, yet his position when found was slumped against a treethe puzzling nature of the wound: the severing of a single artery deeply embedded in the left wrist and total avoidance of the more superficial radial arteryWe received no response...

Hydrogen Peroxide in the News

Peroxide sellers to lay off the health promises
By DARREN BARBEE
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
Despite all the warnings, Donald Worden mixes five drops of concentrated hydrogen peroxide in an 8-ounce glass of water every morning.
Then, he drinks up.
The peroxide Worden drinks, adds to his bath, cleans his vegetables with -- and sells -- isn't Walgreens' brown-bottle variety used on scraped knees. It's 10 times more powerful and strong enough to bleach paper and fabric, decontaminate wastewater, and kill.
"I haven't had a cold or flu or seen a doctor for an illness since I've been selling this stuff for about seven years now," he said.
Worden, 71, is part of a strange Internet subculture in which hydrogen peroxide is pushed as a treatment for AIDS, cancer, sinus infections, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and even gangrene.
It also apparently works wonders as a swimming pool cleaner.

The Food and Drug Administration and medical experts says there's no scientific evidence to support claims that peroxide's infusion of oxygen has the power to heal. The agency has long warned of the dangers of drinking or injecting peroxide, but sales of the chemical over the Internet remain vast and dynamic, an FDA spokeswoman said.

...Worden says he did nothing wrong. He ran afoul of the FDA by linking his Web site to information suggesting peroxide relieves allergies, influenza and acute viral infections. He has added disclaimers. But he still likes to tell a story he heard about a horse's damaged hoof that healed after it was put in a bucket of peroxide twice a day for several weeks.
Worden said that he fills 60 to 80 orders per month and that his customers include universities and cleaning professionals. But he said the FDA has reasons for suppressing what he believes peroxide can do: "The FDA is the enforcement arm of the pharmaceutical companies."

...Still, some believe that drinking peroxide, which O'Connell said some veterinarians use to induce vomiting in animals, or injecting it, will help them. The desperate and the famous have latched on to that theory.
Coretta Scott King, for instance, traveled to a clinic in Mexico for a cancer treatment that partly involves intravenous drips of hydrogen peroxide, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She died this year before receiving treatment.
There is no evidence that oxygen therapy is effective in treating cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Despite the criticism, Worden said he has heard accounts of AIDS and cancer patients helped by the chemical he sells.
"I don't know whether they lied to me," he said. "There was no gain to it."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The News Behind the News

No News Is Slow News
The news that doesn't make the front pages or the BBC bulletins is 'slow news'. For example, the resistance to foreign power by the Palestinians, ordinary Iraqis and Afghans is 'slow news' while the internecine machinations of Bush and Blair is 'regular news'.
By John Pilger09/15/06 "Information Clearing House"
-- -- When I began working as a journalist, there was something called "slow news". We would refer to "slow news days" when "nothing happened" – apart from, that is, triumphs and tragedies in faraway places where most of humanity lived. These were rarely reported, or the tragedies were dismissed as acts of nature, regardless of evidence to the contrary. The news value of whole societies was measured by their relationship with "us" in the west and their degree of compliance with, or hostility to, our authority. If they didn't measure up, they were slow news. Few of these assumptions have changed. To sustain them, millions of people remain invisible, and expendable. On 11 September 2001, while the world lamented the deaths of almost 3,000 people in the United States, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation reported that more than 36,000 children had died from the effects of extreme poverty. They were very slow news. Let's take a few recent examples and compare each with the regular news as seen on the BBC and elsewhere. Keep in mind that Palestinians are chronically slow news and that Israelis are regular news.Regular news: Charles Clarke, a spokesman for Tony Blair, "revives the battle of Downing Street" and calls Gordon Brown "stupid, stupid" and a "control freak". He disapproves of the way Brown smiles. This is given saturation coverage. Slow news: "A genocide is taking place in Gaza," warns Ilan Pappe, one of Israel's leading historians. "This morning... another three citizens of Gaza were killed and a whole family wounded. This is the morning reap; before the end of the day many more will be massacred." Regular news: Blair visits the West Bank and Lebanon as a "peacemaker" and a "broker" between the Israeli prime minister and the "moderate" Palestinian president. Keeping a straight face, he warns against "grandstanding" and "apportioning blame". Slow news: When the Israeli army attacked the West Bank in 2002, flattening homes, killing civilians and trashing homes and museums, Blair was forewarned and gave "the green light". He was also warned about the recent Israeli attack on Gaza and on Lebanon. Regular news: Blair tells Iran to heed the UN Security Council on "not going forward with a nuclear programme".Slow news: The Israeli attack on Lebanon was part of a sequence of carefully planned military operations, of which the next is Iran. US forces are ready to destroy 10,000 targets. The US and Israel contemplate the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran, even though Iran's nuclear weapons programme is non-existent. Regular news: "We have been making real progress in areas where the insurgency has been strongest," says a US military spokesman in Iraq.Slow news: The US military has lost all control over al-Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, including the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi, which are now in the hands of the resistance. This means the US has lost control of much of Iraq. Regular news: "It is quite clear that real progress has been made [in Afghanistan]," says the Foreign Office.Slow news: Nato pilots kill 13 Afghan civilians, including nine children, during an attack to "provide cover" for British troops based at Musa Kala in Helmand Province. Regular news: Blair is Labour's most successful prime minister, winning three landslide election victories in a row.Slow news: In 1997, Tony Blair won fewer popular votes than John Major's Tories in 1992. In 2001, Blair won fewer popular votes than Neil Kinnock's Labour in 1992. In 2005, Blair won fewer popular votes than the Tories in 1997. The past two elections have produced the lowest turnouts since the franchise. Blair has the support of little over a fifth of the eligible British voting population. Regular news: In the age of Blair "ideology has surrendered entirely to 'values'... there are no sacred cows [and] no fossilised limits to the ground over which the mind might range in search of a better Britain", wrote Hugo Young, the Guardian, 1997. Slow news: "Nuremberg declared that aggressive war is the supreme international crime. They [Bush and Blair] should be tried along with Saddam Hussein," says Benjamin Ferencz, chief prosecutor of Nazi crimes at Nuremberg.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Labour Party Censorship

Families of British soldiers banned from Labour conference in censorship row
Kirsty Walker Friday, September 15th, 2006
Labour officials have banned the grieving families of the Iraq war dead from staging a peaceful protest outside the party’s forthcoming annual conference in Manchester.
Furious members of Military Families Against The war accused the party of ‘censorship’ after they applied to hold a small peace camp near the conference later this month.
But officials on Labour-run Manchester council told them they could not do so for ‘health and safety’ reasons.
The latest attempt to prevent embarrassing protests came only days after it emerged that potential hecklers had also been banned from the conference.
In what was condemned as a desperate attempt to stifle debate, dozens of members with a record of demonstration have been blacklisted. Rose Gentle, from Glasgow, whose 19-year-old son Gordon died in Iraq in 2004 said the council were “doing the Government’s bidding”.
She said that 20 activists from Military Families Against the war said they were refused permission to pitch tents in the city centre from September 21.
“The Military Families were looking to camp out for about four days in Manchester along with the Labour Party conference but Manchester City Council have told us we can’t do it,” she said.
“We think it’s because it’s Labour conference and they don’t want us going and voicing our opinions because Mr Blair is going to be there.”
She said the families had organised peace camps outside Downing Street and in Trafalgar Square and had no problems. “We’re still going to come down and camp out and if the police come and lift us then they do,” she added.
A source at Greater Manchester Police said they had no security objections to the protest, insisting: “They (the council) are saying it’s a security issue but it’s not. We’re fuming about this. We’ve got no problem with the protest.”
Labour has a long track record of being heavy handed with protesters. Ministers were humiliated last year when 82-year-old Mr Wolfgang, a refugee from Nazi Germany, was manhandled out of the conference by burly Labour Party workers for daring to heckle the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Mr Wolfgang was removed from the conference hall in Brighton last year along with another lifelong Labour Party member. He was arrested by police under the Terrorism Act when he tried to get back in.
But the incident badly backfired on Tony Blair when Mr Wolfgang was last month elected to Labour’s ruling national executive.
The veteran peace campaigner last night accused officials of behaving like ‘heavy handed idiots’. Mr Wolfgang said: “These are people who have lost members of their family who are members of the Armed Forces in a war which should never have taken place.
“They have got every right to protest, and I think we will find they will protest. Whoever responsible for this are idiots. This is very heavy-handed and sounds like it comes from the same people responsible for the treatment given to me last year. They are very foolish to do this.”
Last year, Maya Evans was arrested for reading out a list of 98 British soldiers who have died in Iraq at the Cenotaph, the memorial to Britain’s war dead.
The 25-year-old was found guilty of breaking rules stopping unauthorised demonstrations within 1km of Westminster and ordered to pay £100 costs.
The swingeing rules were originally drawn up to deal with Brian Haw, who has staged an anti-war protest opposite the Houses of Parliament for the last four years.
Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle said Manchester city council’s decision ’smacked of new Labour’ and pointed out that the majority of the British public were also against the Iraq war...


...John Miller, whose son Corporal Simon Miller, 21, was one of six redcaps murdered at Majar-al-Kabir in Iraq in 2003, said it was a conspiracy. He said: “It is outrageous that the protest has been banned. My son, and many others, were killed by a decision the Prime Minister made and it is only fair that we are allowed to make our views known to him.
“Labour are scared because they don’t want the war to come back and haunt them at their party conference.”
He added: “Over the last few years when people have demonstrated over the war they get taken away or dragged off.
“When Walter Wolfgang protested at last year’s conference he was forcibly ejected. We are supposed to have gone to war to impose democracy but it seems we have got less democracy in this country than in many middle eastern countries.
“People are not allowed to have their say - unless they agree with Blair. The Prime Minister talks about democracy a lot but he doesn’t practice what he preaches.”

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hydrogen Peroxide and Rabies

You don't hear about rabies so much anymore, but when I was coming up in semi-rural Georgia, "hydrophobia" was a fairly sizable health concern. Although avoidable if treated quickly after an animal bite with aggressive courses of vaccine, once symptoms develop, there is no cure for rabies. There is only one documented case of a person surviving the disease. And like I said, raccoons are the primary U.S. carrier of the deadly disease.

In the event of a bite or exposure to the saliva of ANY animal, immediately wash out the wound or exposed area with soap and thoroughly flush it out with water. And if you have any hydrogen peroxide available (and everyone should for many reasons), make it your first line of defense in cleaning. You can purchase a three percent solution from the drug store, douse it on, and scrub hard...
William Campbell Douglass II, MD 'Daily Dose' September 15, 2006

War On Terror?

Alan Dershowitz's Sinister Scheme: Paradigm? What Paradigm?
By TIM WILKINSON
September 14, 2006
Alan Dershowitz, like the Neo-cons (they who whisper into Mr Bush's earpiece) is a Hawk, through and through...
...No politician could posture in military garb or claim to act on God's instructions over here. Blair has come close to doing the latter, and will very soon be banished to the US lecture circuit, leaving behind all those ingrates who--in the words of Home Secretary John Reid--"don't get it". As Reid and Blair model their Imperial American robes, we see only two power-hungry men, nude and deluded--and soon to be superseded. We don't "get it", and we are not afraid to say so. When Blair growls, like some gravel-throated Hollywood voice-over, "Make no mistake--the rules of the game have changed", we are unsure whether to be amused or repelled by his facile posturing.

In Britain the Premier is not viewed as the embodiment of the country--to question the man is not necessarily to defame the office. News coverage is less tightly controlled. The climate here is, on the whole, less trusting of authority, less deferential and less given to unthinking patriotism. In Europe, 9-11 (or should that be 11-9?) was regarded as a major catastrophe but did not leave the population stunned and traumatised, as it did in the US. So when Mr Dershowitz dips his febrile fingers into the chilly pool of British scepticism, he is hoping both to test the waters and, gradually, to warm them.
In a recent cover story article published in the British political weekly the Spectator (2nd September 2006) Dershowitz calls for a New Paradigm in our approach to civil liberties. His message is that the "old" model of freedom under law is unworkable. The "relatively new phenomenon of mass-casualty suicide terrorism", we are told, demands a new approach.

But this does not ring true to British ears. Our response to three decades of IRA mass-casualty attacks was a phlegmatic disdain for the killers, combined, crucially if belatedly, with a willingness to address genuine injustice through negotiation. Blair would no doubt have claimed that we faced an irrational death cult driven by a twisted form of Catholicism and motivated only by an unreasoned hatred of our freedoms. But we are well aware that terrorism is a tool intended ultimately to influence public opinion and policy. We know just as well that the strategy aims to instil a degree of fear disproportionate to the actual increase in risk of harm. Even the well-confirmed risk imposed by IRA bombs was dwarfed by the ambient risk we face daily from unscary sources like accidents, disease and Ordinary Decent Criminals. Terrorists achieve this leveraging of low-level risk by their graphic and arresting means of death-dealing. It is our duty to retain a sense of perspective and overcome the temptation to panicky and ultimately counterproductive over-dramatisation. That means resisting the hysterical rhetoric bandied about by politicians irrevocably committed to the increasingly surreal Neo-Con view of the world.
Terrorism is terrorism. The attacks of 9/11 were eye-catching, and the casualties numerous--increased by unpredictable failures of both the rescue mission and the towers' steel frames. But there is no difference in kind between this attack and all the countless other terrorist attacks that Europe has known throughout history. We have seen it all before, and we are not impressed by the American overreaction. We are still less impressed by Blair's connivance in the so-called War on Terror--apparently motivated by his infatuation with the big boys in the White House and Pentagon. That's why in order to persuade 22% of the electorate to vote for him in the 2005 British general election, Blair had to take the bizarre step of pre-announcing his resignation.

The only novel element in adopting a preventive approach would be a reversal of the recent negligent--or worse--failures to maintain basic security precautions. The collapse of the three World Trade Centre towers was, even on the account of the feeble 9/11 commission, possible only due to an incredible failure of routine security and intelligence functions. The attack on the Pentagon involved an incredible degree of apparent incompetence. The '7/7' bombings in London have, oddly one might think, not yet been properly investigated. We know however that there were warnings of such an attack, and that recent efforts of the Joint Intelligence Committee and British police have been at best shamefully incompetent. The unprecedented publicity accorded to details of the supposed aircraft plot in Britain may yet undermine an effective prosecution (assuming that a case could be built at all). If so, the blame will no doubt be laid on the judiciary (that hotbed of reckless anti-authoritarianism) or of course, our ancient liberties (which we are repeatedly assured fail in the imaginary task of balancing the rights of "victim" and "criminal"). But the truth is that the authorities have not made use of the tools they have. Prevention is nothing new, and its failure has not been due to insufficient power, but to insufficient competence. Calls for new powers under these circumstances are quite astonishing. It is as if a gamekeeper were to ignore a fox attack, unload his shotgun into a grouse or two and then announce that what he really needs to do the job properly is a rocket launcher and some dynamite.
So when our self-appointed expert opines that "a new paradigm, relying more on anticipatory and preventive measures, must be considered", we can only assume that it is anticipation rather than prevention that he has in mind as the new ingredient. The recent spate of highly-publicised alerts and arrests in Britain and the bizarre arrival of tanks at Heathrow perhaps typify the anticipatory approach. Bush's dubious claim to have thwarted ten Al Quaeda plots since 9/11 is based on 'anticipatory' action. Expert opinion has suggested that what the US trumpet as a foiled plot is often no more than chatter.
One is reminded of the old joke, in which a psychiatric patient, anticipating the arrival of elephants, hangs bacon from his rhododendrons as a preventive measure."But there are no Elephants in Surrey.""Yes, effective isn't it?"Given his distorted view of the world, the logic is impeccable. To those with some grip on reality, this behaviour is of course ludicrous. Even British police have now started to describe their Muslim-corralling operations as 'intelligence-led'. One suspects that though they cannot take a chance by ignoring the information they are fed, they want their scepticism on the record.
Dershowitz appears to appreciate the risks of such an approach when he adds that anticipatory-preventive measures "carry with them considerable dangers to civil liberties." His concern for freedom cannot, though, be taken at face value. Whatever Dershowitz's agenda may be, his article serves to lay the groundwork for a further assault by the state on individual freedom. That governments should have more power over people is the core message that underlies his call to abandon the 'old model'. But in Europe one cannot define something into extinction by calling it old. That our freedoms are old--indeed ancient--is a matter for pride, not for embarrassment at our unfashionability. We need a little more than to be told that the presumption of innocence is 'soooo last millennium'. We have well-founded doubts about the bona fides and the competence of the regime that is trying to gain yet more power over us, as well as possible successor regimes. And critical British eyes will raise a brow at the worryingly diluted aim of preserving only the "feel of freedom" for "most citizens" except those who fit the "terrorist profile".

So when Dershowitz solemnly asserts that "democracies must adhere to their high moral and legal standards in combating terrorism", we should note that this innocuous statement is immediately equated with the provocative Israeli claim that democracies have to fight terrorism "with one hand tied behind their backs". One wonders which hand was tied during the month-long bombardment of Lebanon. Dershowitz then illustrates the 'both hands' approach by reference to the atrocious Nazi and Stalinist regimes--so apparently establishing his humane credentials. But these horrifying regimes are not used to frame a 'slippery slope' argument, or to point out that lesser oppression is nonetheless oppression. The Hitler/Stalin 'paradigm' is instead praised with faint damnation: "no democracy", we are helpfully informed, "could be, or should be, willing to employ such tyrannical methods." So now the range of potential 'new paradigms' is clearly revealed. At one extreme we have the dubiously 'high moral standards' of the Israeli military, and at the other, the most comprehensively nightmarish brutality ever known. Somewhere in between, we may conclude, lies the New Paradigm. The only certainty seems to be that the high moral and legal standards currently required by international law are, in Dershowitz's learned opinion, too stringent!
After this supposed defence of individual freedom, Dershowitz moves on to the title-conceit of his sinister little essay. He argues that public opinion is the driving force behind demands for immoral or illegal measures in the fight against terrorism. Aside from the fact that this is like recommending more racism to forestall the British National Party vote, the claim is simply untrue. The Bush administration has consistently manipulated public opinion to drum up support for its agenda. To get the public 'onside' for their latest invasion of Iraq, the neo-cons instilled in their Fox-ridden populace a hazy perception of some unspecified link between fundamentalist terrorists and Saddam's regime. On this side of the Atlantic, Blair realised that a sharper focus would be demanded--one which would reveal the ludicrousness of Bush's insinuations. The official picture of Iraqi support for ardently religious terrorists with ill-defined aims and spectacularly provocative methods was incompatible with the known reality of a Western, secular Saddam whose main interests were personal enrichment, retention of domestic power, and avoiding another disastrous war. So instead we had the myth of WMD, which concept is itself a typically Blairite distortion, deliberately conflating as it did short-range chemical weapons, as sold to Saddam by the USA, and the much more scary but obviously absent nuclear weapons.
Dershowitz illustrates the theory of public pressure with the least contentious example of extreme (presumably immoral or illegal) "preventive" measures: the attack on Afghanistan. But this was not a reluctant response to spontaneous public demands, either. The public were told that Bin Laden was holed up there, and quite reasonably expected that something would be done. Certainly going into Iraq while ignoring Afghanistan would under the circumstances have been highly unpopular, but this is hardly an example of the public baying for extreme measures. The half-hearted and massively delayed attack on Afghanistan was, if anything, an under reaction to the reasonable expectation that Bin Laden be hunted down. How the proposed oil pipeline deal with the Taliban influenced the US reaction is unclear. It is also interesting that the FBI is unwilling to assert a link between 9/11 and Bin Laden. But that is part of another story. Very much part of this story, however, is that discussion of a military invasion in pursuit of a known armed aggressor does not appear to have very much to do with the issue of civil liberties.
In any case the myth of spontaneous public demands for loss of civil liberties is somewhat academic. In another ill-advised concession to his recalcitrantly realist European audience, Dershowitz undermines his argument by admitting that only if "mass-casualty terrorism" became "rampant" would such irresistible public pressure arise. So we may take it that until such an apocalyptic fantasy becomes reality, his central argument is entirely irrelevant...