28.2.03

"There would additionally be enhanced radiation warheads or neutron bombs emitting intense bursts of neutron radiation that kill living organisms. The claim is that they would be used against stocks of biological warfare agents, but one of the cold war purposes of the neutron bomb was to kill people while limiting the damage to physical structures."

"nice"
A letter to the London Observer from Terry Jones of Monty Python.
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>
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>Letter to the Observer
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>Sunday January 26, 2003
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>The Observer
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>I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's running out of patience. And so am I! For some time now I've been really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street. Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food
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>shop. They both give me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but so far I haven't been able to discover what.
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>
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>I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but he's got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is.
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>As for Mr Patel, don't ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that he is, in reality, a Mass Murderer. I have leafleted the street telling them that if we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one.
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>
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>Some of my neighbours say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police? But that's simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of a crime with which to charge my neighbours. They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and all the while Mr Johnson will be finalising his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be secretly murdering people. Since I'm the only one in the
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>street with a decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult.
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>Now, however, George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want! And let's face it, Mr Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting the US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us. That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way.
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>Mr Bush makes it clear that all he needs to know before bombing Iraq is that Saddam is a really nasty man and that he has weapons of mass destruction - even if no one can find them. I'm certain I've just as much justification for killing Mr Johnson's wife and children as Mr Bush has for bombing Iraq.
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>Mr Bush's long-term aim is to make the world a safer place by eliminating 'rogue states' and 'terrorism'. It's such a clever long-term aim because how can you ever know when you've achieved it? How will Mr Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every single terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's committed an act of
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>terror. What about would-be terrorists? These are the ones you really want to eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being suicide bombers, have already eliminated themselves. Perhaps Mr Bush needs to wipe out everyone who could possibly be a future terrorist? Maybe he
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>can't be sure he's achieved his objective until every Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But then some moderate Muslims might convert to fundamentalism. Maybe the only really safe thing to do would be for Mr Bush to eliminate all Muslims?
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>It's the same in my street. Mr Johnson and Mr Patel are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other people in the street who I don't like and who - quite frankly - look at me in odd ways. No one will be really safe until I've wiped them all out. My wife says I might be going too far but I tell her I'm simply using the same logic as the President of the United States. That shuts her up. Like Mr Bush, I've run out of patience, and if that's a good
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>enough reason for the President, it's good enough for me.
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>I'm going to give the whole street two weeks - no, 10 days - to come out in the open and hand over all aliens and interplanetary hijackers, galactic outlaws and interstellar terrorist masterminds, and if they don't hand them over nicely and say 'Thank you', I'm going to bomb the entire street to kingdom come. It's just as sane as what George W. Bush is proposing - and, in contrast to what he's intending, my policy will destroy only one street.
This is pretty cool - check out "Ari and Me" in particular.

disobedience
marcuse, herbert: one-dimensional man - studies in the ideology of advanced industrial society (1964)
illuminations- CT website

some news on classics, some newer material- had a look at some of the writing re: post-modern condition, didn't like it, though.. suppose reminds me of the kind of "globalisation" literature lacking reflective (epistem) question re wording.

27.2.03

hehe...

Russia’s Decline Damages US’s Interests Directly or Indirectly. Part II

RAND Corporation reacted to PRAVDA.Ru article

PRAVDA.Ru has recently received an email from RAND Corporation. The specialists of this organization substantiated an opportunity of the American military incursion in Russia.

PRAVDA.Ru published an article yesterday entitled “Russia’s Decline Damages US’s Interests Directly or Indirectly.” The article was devoted to the report of the RAND Corporation pertaining to the need to conduct army operations on the territory of the Russian Federation. It goes without saying that operations are to be conducted by the US Army. As it was said in the report, this might happen in case if the Russian government is not able to control the political and economic situation in the country. The article gave an example of the fact, to which extent the American government paid attention to RAND’s conclusions. It goes about Saudi Arabia here, after the country was called “an active member of all levels of the terrorist network” in one of reports.

PRAVDA.Ru received an email signed by David Egner, RAND Director of External Communication. Here is the complete text of the email: “An article in Pravda Online on Feb. 26 by Vasily Bubnov stated incorrectly that the RAND Corporation issued a report last year saying Saudi Arabia was involved with terrorism. In fact, there never was such a RAND report. A RAND researcher simply expressed his personal views on this issue to a non-governmental advisory board. The opinions and conclusions expressed by the researcher, who has since left RAND, were strictly his own and should not be interpreted as representing those of RAND or any of the agencies or others sponsoring RAND research.”

It should be mentioned here that the issue was not actually about the publication of that report. The issue was about the preparation of the report, which was read out loud at a session of the US Council for Defense Policy. It is impossible to get a copy of the report anywhere at present. This is not really important, though. If the RAND Corporation management does not share those conclusions, it is their right.

As a matter of fact, there is something more important about the issue: Mr. Egner did not say a word about the research, to which the mentioned article was actually devoted. It just so happens, that the corporation management completely shares the point of view of their employees regarding an opportunity for the American army to interfere in the affairs of the sovereign state of Russia. As it was said before, any person, who has access to the Internet can read the mentioned research online, or buy a book, which costs $20.

It goes without saying that those plans are rather theoretical. If it were not so, the report would not be available to the public. Yet, it is not clear, where that scrupulousness towards Saudi Arabia comes from and what is the origin of such disregard against Russia. The incumbent American administration stands for partnership relations with Russia. If Mr. Egner talks about “agencies or others sponsoring RAND research,” (governmental agencies are definitely on that list), does it mean that RAND specialists present the general point of view regarding relations with Russia? Does it mean that there is only the language of threats to be used in the conversation with the Russian Federation? If it is really so, any kind of partnership is out of the question.

Vasily Bubnov
PRAVDA.Ru

26.2.03

am alive and well. not bingeing.. too hard

guardian re: labour commons "rebellion"

And Kenneth Clarke went further, saying the timetable for an attack on Iraq had already been set in Washington and that action in the UN was little more than window-dressing.

Leading the case for the rebels, Labour MP Alan Simpson - fresh from a trip to the US where he attempted to inspect America's weapons of mass destruction - said he regarded the government motion and the war rhetoric that surrounded it as a "real low-point" in contemporary British politics.

hihihi
Phil, where art thou? Hope you're not bingeing...
Anti-americanism? Bad word yes...

I think we should call it 'to liberate the American people'.

25.2.03

Good resources on Palme.
"Palme also opposed the nuclear arms race and South African apartheid and championed the Palestine Liberation Army and Castro's Cuba. He was assassinated in 1986; the killer has not been identified."

Have been looking at the Palme issue for some time now, however am surprised by the complete lack of information in media (google it, anything on Palme that is in English is a bad translation from a Swedish site), plus the general public seems more or less unaware that Palme was killed in 1986... found this interesting idea which obviously smells of truth...

Palme was in fact regarded as a great threat to the 80's military agenda, his middle line between capitalism and socialism was enough for him to be branded outright 'communist'...

Could it have been George Bush who assassinated Olof Palme?

Message posted on newsgroups 09/99

There is an ongoing discussion in Sweden about the role of George Bush and the "parallell government" that Bush led during the time of the assasination of Olof Palme in 1986. This discussion deals mainly with the Bush led secret arms- and drugs business that is more known as the Iran/Contras-affair, and the use of mercenaries in this business. More recently (June) a report was published by the "Palme Commission" that also, to some degree, takes up this question. This report is interesting because of two aspects in it. First: that it exonerates the American presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche from the accusation that he, and his Swedish cothinkers in the EAP (European Labour party) murdered Olof Palme, as some journalists, The Bush-crowd and, The Soviet intelligence at the time claimed. Second: because it shows that the Swedish police has had as one of its hypothesis that George Bush and the Bush fraction of the CIA, could have assassinated palme.

In June the Palme Commision gave out a 1000 page document that is an investigation of the Police-investigation that investigates the murder of Olof Palme. This report is in it self a cover up, because major aspects of what happened at the time when Palme was assassinated is not described, but however, there are some aspects which are of interest.

As I already mentioned the first deals with the slander campaign against Lyndon LaRouche. The report quotes the Police Investigation of the assassination which in a secret document concluded that "there is nothing concrete in the substance which would indicate that the EAP as a party or that a group inside the EAP would be involved with the the murder. Further it is said that according to what is known, neither the EAP nor its sister parties around in the world have never unsed violence directed against politicians or other public persons."

This is important because Lyndon LaRouche was unjustly imprisoned for five years due to a political witchhunt that had as its origin a WACO-styled attack on the offices of his associates and the newspaper affiliated with him, New Solidarity, in Leesburg, Virginia. This WACO-styled attack was ordered by George Bush and one of the official reasons to why they made this raid was to get information about if LaRouche had been behind the assassination of Palme. Bush and Oliver North, two of the persons who decided about the attack, off course knew about LaRouches innocence. For them the attack was more a way to get rid of a annoying threath to their political operations.

The second thing I mentioned was that the report shows that the Police did some research (however too little) about the Bush/CIA track. Already in 1986 the question was raised if not the fact that Olof Palme from spring 1985 refused to cooperate with Bush and CIA in their dirty deals in the Middle East could have been one of the reasons behind the murder. The hypothesis was then that Palme stopped the Swedish secret arms export to Iran at a time when USA exported arms to Iran. This is off course something that Bush would not have liked! It is also revealed that the Police has looked into the P2 telegram issue (that an operative of the Italian P2-lodge contacted a member of Bush staff in 1986 about the fact that Palme was to be be assassinated, because he was a troublemaker).

The Police has also investigated the European explosives cartel that around 1985 and 1986 smuggled arms and explosives to Iran and Iraq in cooperation with Bush and Ollie North in the USA. The frightening thing is that Bush and North, as well as the NATO affiliated European cartel worked closely with KGB and STASI that helped them to smuggle weapons to the Middle East and to the Contras in Nicaragua.

The Police has also investigated the South African aparthaid connection of the Bush-gang!

It is interesting in this context that Lyndon LaRouche already the day after the murder pointed out the secret intelligence networks around what later was to be revealed as the Iran/Contras, and STASI/KGB as the most likely assassins in his "Operation Edgar Allen Poe". Could this memorandum have been the reason to why George Bush initiated his vicious attacks against Lyndon LaRouche, and later imprisoned him? Did LaRouche know too much about this dirty business???

What was the role of George Bush Sr behind the murder of Olof Palme and the imprisonment of Lyndon LaRouche and, by the way: what do George Bush jr know about this???
Monbiot on US imperialism
America's imperial ambitions in the Middle East

"Iraq's government-in-waiting held a two-day secret meeting at a Washington military staff college over the weekend with 100 American officials - plus representatives from Britain - discussing plans for post-war reconstruction.

Among those present was believed to have been Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant-general selected by President George Bush to be Iraq's ruler once Saddam Hussein is overthrown.

[...]

Gen Garner is a little-known figure and he has maintained a low profile since his appointment was announced last month. His past experience includes three months in charge of Kurdish resettlement in the months after the 1991 Gulf war.

[...]

He is likely to emerge from obscurity very dramatically in a few weeks' time, although Washington is keen to play down his part and to emphasise that he will mainly be playing a co-ordinating role for work being done by civilians, including UN agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)."

NGO? - General Garner was

a) Ass. Deputy CoS


"Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I am Major General Jay Garner, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans for Force Development. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the performance of the PATRIOT during the Gulf War. With me are Brigadier General Robert Drolet, Program Executive Officer for Air Defense; Colonel Jim Gustine, Program Manager for the PATRIOT system; Colonel David Heebner, Commander of the US PATRIOT Forces in Israel during the war; Colonel Skip Garrett, Commander of the PATRIOT Forces in Saudi Arabia during the war; Chief Warrant Officer Stewart and Staff Sergeant Lopez who operated the system during the war. Our remarks will be unclassified, but we are prepared to provide classified information should you desire to go into a closed hearing.

The Army is here today to tell you the PATRIOT Story - - a terrific success story, tactically, psychologically, and politically. It is a story of emergency deployments, of soldiers and their equipment, and of a tremendous response by government and industry to an unknown threat. It is a story of a weapon system and soldiers that together provided a critical psychological advantage to our forces and our allies. It is a story of a patriotic and responsive industrial base working day and night to serve our nation and protect our soldiers. Together we helped maintain the solidarity of the Multinational Coalition, and defend United States and Allied forces and civilian populations in the theater of operations."

b) The NMD guy

LTGEN Jay Garner,
Commanding General, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command
Near-Term National Missile Defense Options
18 June 1996 - House National Security Committee
Subcommittees on Military Research and Development and Military Procurement

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, for the opportunity to appear at this hearing to discuss the Army's missile defense program. As Commander, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command, I have the distinct privilege of directing the activities of. the U.S. Army Space Command, Colorado Springs, CO--the Army User for National Missile Defense; the Missile Defense and Space Technology Center, Huntsville, AL--the Army's development center for Missile Defense technologies; the Kwajalein Missile Range, in the Marshall Islands--the Nation's only full service test range for Ballistic Missile Defense systems; and the High Energy Laser Test Facility at White Sands, New Mexico-- the Nation's most powerful High Energy Laser in support of DoD laser research, development, test, and evaluation. COL(P) Dan Montgomery, the Army's Program Executive Officer for Missile Defense, oversees the development of both Theater and National Missile Defense systems for the Army.

As Commander, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command, I am charged with the responsibility to serve as the Army's focal point and advocate for Space, Theater, and National Missile Defense. Together, PEO-MD and I share a uniquely comprehensive view of the Army's role and responsibilities in Missile Defense. We welcome this opportunity to share our views with you and hope you will find them useful.

Now, let me focus on NMD which is why you asked us here today. First, let me make it clear that there is only one DoD NMD Program. This is the "3+3" Deployment Readiness Program which develops and demonstrates the elements of an initial system over a 3 year period to enable an informed decision to deploy within 3 years thereafter. The Army continues to play a key role in the planning for and execution of this program. With BMDO funding and guidance, we are currently developing the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), the Ground Based Radar (GBR), and the Site Battle Management/Command, Control, and Communications (Site BM/C3)."

Spain: Everybody against Aznar

300.000 marched in Madrid demanding changes on Prime Minister policies. For the first time in years the Socialist opposition is ahead on the polls.

Wearing oil stained jumpsuits and anti-Aznar banners, hundreds of thousands marched on Sunday to protest Government's handling of the Prestige disaster and country's policy on Iraq. Demonstrations took place in more than 50 cities all over the Kingdom, but the Government insists on supporting Bush on US plans for Middle East.

"Aznar, if you want oil, look in Galicia, not Irak", read a banner, summarizing both main claims: the Prestige oil spillage considered the country's worst ecological disaster and the Spanish policy in the UN Security Council. Demonstrators ridiculed Aznar, calling the Prime Minister and his ministers everything from arrogant to absent.

Notwithstanding, Aznar's will to keep on supporting Washington and London position at the UN Security Council remains undamaged. On Monday, the Spanish Government cooperated with the UK Foreign Minister, Jack Straw, to release the draft of a new resolution to threat Iraq with the use of force if not completely disarmed.

Aznar expects a quick solution on the Iraqi affair, as his popularity slumps while his party, the PP, looses support looking forward the elections on May 25. Actually, for the first time in years, the Socialists of the PSOE are ahead in the polls and their candidate Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is the most popular politician of the country.

Recent surveys reveal that 40% of the Spanish have a negative opinion on Aznar's Government, while only 2.3% of the people support his foreign policy. According to the local newspaper "El Mundo", this shows a "dramatic change" on country's public opinion as the Socialist opposition is now in position to win the next elections scheduled for May.

The ecological tragedy of the Prestige, which still leaks oil, harassed Aznar's Government, as proved by the massive presence of demonstrators from Galicia on weekend's marches. The region was the most seriously affected by the accident that also damaged French and Portuguese coasts.

"Nunca Mais!" or never more, was the slogan of a protest that exceeded all the previous estimations. Even the organizers were taken by surprise by the multitude and had to reschedule the demonstration.

Protesters demanded government officials step down over the disaster. So far, no one in the central government has resigned, and only one official in the regional government has stepped down. "Aznar has to understand that there is no impunity," said protester Alberto Carballo, a 26-year-old travel agent. "In politics, when you make a mistake, you have to assume responsibilities."

Hernan Etchaleco
PRAVDA.Ru
Argentina

23.2.03

There's something happening here.
What it is aint exactly clear.

21.2.03

got to read about this "the Sun" campaign of "Chirac = worm"

"THE Sun handed out a special edition of the paper on the streets of Paris yesterday.

In it we asked the French people if they were ashamed of their spineless President, Jacques 'Le Worm' Chirac.

Below is the front page message and translation with reactions at the bottom of the page.

THE SUN, journal lu quotidiennement par dix millions de personnes, présente ses salutations aux parisiens.

Nous pensons qu’en menaçant constamment de recourir à son droit de veto pour empêcher toute action militaire destinée à faire appliquer la volonté des Nations Unies en Irak, votre président, Jacques Chirac, est devenu la honte de l’Europe.

Nous pensons que cette attitude est d’autant plus hypocrite que tout le monde sait qu’au bout du compte, le président Chirac apportera finalement son soutien à l’ONU, aux États-Unis et à la Grande Bretagne.

Les citoyens du Royaume-Uni estiment que M. Chirac, qui au Royaume-Uni est surnommé le “Ver”, se pavane avec arrogance sur la scène internationale avec pour seul objectif de donner à son pays une importance démesurée par rapport à la réalité.

La vérité c’est que le monde entier, y compris la France, sait qu’il faut régler le problème Saddam Hussein.

Mais seul le Président français semble décidé à faire obstacle à la volonté de la communauté internationale.

Lorsque Saddam Hussein aura disparu, les britanniques et les autres européens se tourneront vers la France et se poseront la question de savoir si ce pays est encore un allié."
Moral Case for War

But, echoing Mr Blair's tight-lipped mentions of a post-Saddam Iraq earlier in the week, the foreign secretary played down expectations of a democratic transition, saying the country had "a long history of tribal conflict".

Mr Straw's speech was a concerted attempt to take on the concerns of the anti-war protestors, as the US announced its troops deployments in the Gulf now meant it was "ready for war".

He admitted that the idea an attack would be to control Iraq's oil supplies was "most pervasive" but called it a "myth".

However, he revealed that troops would "move swiftly to secure Iraqi oil fields" - but claimed that was to ensure they would benefit the Iraqi people.

He pledged to use oil supplies "wholly and exclusively for the benefit of the Iraqi people".

...

Before his talk, Iraqi exiles told the foreign secretary that they back the government's stance on war.

A group of 10 exiles met Mr Straw at the Foreign Office to give him first-hand accounts of life under President Saddam's rule.

its just getting ridiculous
information related to the nobel peace prize

Which word connects Bono, the European Union, Jacques Chirac and George Bush? Peace, apparently. The Nobel Peace Prize committee has announced that they have all been nominated for this year's prize.

But then, this is nothing new for the Nobel peace prize. After all, Adolf Hitler was in the running in 1938. Yes, that's 1938, not 1933 - after the persecution of the Jews had been established under the Nuremberg laws. This was also the same year in which Gandhi was nominated, although the committee agreed that he didn't deserve recognition. Alfred Nobel, incidentally, also invented dynamite.

And there was also the famous comment by the American songwriter Tom Lehrer, who believed that "political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize".

In 1973, Kissinger, then the US secretary of state, was jointly honoured with his Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, for their roles in negotiating the Vietnam peace accord.

There was a certain irony in this, as Kissinger is accused of deliberately scuppering the peace talks in 1968, leading to the unnecessary prolongation of an already pointless war. His "peace efforts" in Cambodia, Chile, Cyprus, Bangladesh and East Timor also failed to win universal praise. Le Duc Tho, quite understandably, declined to accept the award.

The Nobel peace prize, however, is not just for old war criminals. In 2001, Swedish MP Lars Gustafsson nominated football. All right, the beautiful game didn't win, but what was he thinking? Surely such a prize can only be awarded for deliberate actions made by sentient beings (and whatever you think of David Beckham, nobody would accuse him of being that).

You might cite the famous Christmas Day match between German and English soldiers stuck in the trenches during world war one as an example of football's unifying qualities. A brief look at the history books shows, however, that that particular game did not bring war to an end and that the sharing of half-time oranges failed to prevent them from killing each other a day later. What is particularly startling about the peace prize is just how many of its recipients have been men, generally regarded as more the more bloodthirsty of the sexes. Of the 110 prizes that have been awarded, a dismal 10 have gone to women, including Mother Teresa (1979) and Aung San Suu Kyi (1991).

As these awards were met with far less outrage than that which greeted some of the male winners, it leads one to wonder why it is that men, who usually opt for war, are the ones who have generally gained the plaudits for peace.

The prize was inspired by Alfred Nobel's secretary, Bertha von Suttner, who was nominated four times (nothing to do, of course, with Alfred being deeply in love with her) and was the first female winner in 1905.
Hmm... ok, I can see why arguing for a death sentence on the grounds of triple rape and homicide with a fork may be persuasive, even if not valid, but for simply transmitting information... I don't know...

There is something deeply wrong with that society.

Ex-Analyst Guilty of Attempted Spying for Iraq
Thu February 20, 2003 06:47 PM ET
By Deborah Charles

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - A former U.S. intelligence analyst was found guilty on Thursday of attempting to spy for Iraq and China and could face the death penalty for trying to sell top-secret defense information to Iraq.

A 12-person federal jury found Brian Regan, 40, guilty of two counts of attempted espionage and one count of gathering national defense information but not guilty of attempting to spy for Libya.

The former U.S. Air Force analyst, who had pleaded not guilty to all four counts, sat stony-faced and stared straight ahead when the verdicts were read.

The jury, which delivered the partial verdict after deliberating for four days, is still trying to decide if the crime of attempted espionage for Iraq is serious enough to result in a death sentence.

They did not reach a decision on Thursday and will return on Monday morning to deliberate on whether the information Regan tried to provide Iraq included specific secrets.

If the jury decides "yes," Regan would be eligible for the death sentence and a new phase of the trial will begin to determine if he will be executed.

If sentenced to death, Regan would become the first person in the United States to be executed for espionage in 50 years.

19.2.03

HOLD ON! Brothers, isn't this ULTRA-WORRYING?

'Mini-nukes'? Is that like nukes that are 'ok' to use?

US plan for new nuclear arsenal

Secret talks may lead to breaking treaties

Julian Borger in Washington
Wednesday February 19, 2003
The Guardian

The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", "bunker-busters" and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document.

The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary.

The leaked preparations for the meeting are the clearest sign yet that the administration is determined to overhaul its nuclear arsenal so that it could be used as part of the new "Bush doctrine" of pre-emption, to strike the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of rogue states.

Greg Mello, the head of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear watchdog organisation that obtained the Pentagon documents, said the meeting would also prepare the ground for a US breakaway from global arms control treaties, and the moratorium on conducting nuclear tests.

"It is impossible to overstate the challenge these plans pose to the comprehensive test ban treaty, the existing nuclear test moratorium, and US compliance with article six of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," Mr Mello said.

The documents leaked to Mr Mello are the minutes of a meeting in the Pentagon on January 10 this year called by Dale Klein, the assistant to the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to prepare the secret conference, planned for "the week of August 4 2003".

The National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for designing, building and maintaining nuclear weapons, yesterday confirmed the authenticity of the document. But Anson Franklin, the NNSA head of governmental affairs, said: "We have no request from the defence department for any new nuclear weapon, and we have no plans for nuclear testing.

"The fact is that this paper is talking about what-if scenarios and very long range planning," Mr Franklin told the Guardian.

However, non-proliferation groups say the Omaha meeting will bring a new US nuclear arsenal out of the realm of the theoretical and far closer to reality, in the shape of new bombs and a new readiness to use them.

"To me it indicates there are plans proceeding and well under way ... to resume the development, testing and production of new nuclear weapons. It's very serious," said Stephen Schwartz, the publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, who added that it opened the US to charges of hypocrisy when it is demanding the disarmament of Iraq and North Korea.

"How can we possibly go to the international community or to these countries and say 'How dare you develop these weapons', when it's exactly what we're doing?" Mr Schwartz said.

The starting point for the January discussion was Mr Rumsfeld's nuclear posture review (NPR), a policy paper published last year that identified Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya as potential targets for US nuclear weapons.

According to the Pentagon minutes, the August meeting in Strategic Command's bunker headquarters would discuss how to make weapons to match the new policy. A "future arsenal panel" would consider: "What are the warhead characteristics and advanced concepts we will need in the post-NPR environment?"

The panel would also contemplate the "requirements for low-yield weapons, EPWs [earth-penetrating weapons], enhanced radiation weapons, agent defeat weapons".

This is the menu of weapons being actively considered by the Pentagon. Low-yield means tactical warheads of less than a kiloton, "mini-nukes", which advocates of the new arsenal say represent a far more effective deterrent than the existing huge weapons, because they are more "usable".

Earth-penetrating weapons are "bunker-busters", which would break through the surface of the earth before detonating. US weapons scientists believe they could be used as "agent defeat weapons" used to destroy chemical or biological weapons stored underground. The designers are also looking at low-yield neutron bombs or "enhanced radiation weapons", which could destroy chemical or biological weapons in surface warehouses.

According to the leaked document, the "future arsenal panel" in Omaha would also ask the pivotal question: "What forms of testing will these new designs require?"

The Bush administration has been working to reduce the amount of warning the test sites in the western US desert would need to be reactivated after 10 years lying dormant.


A lone voice in the wilderness...

Statement by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech
We Stand Passively Mute
Wednesday 12 February 2003

"To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human
experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of
battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors
of war.

Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully
silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the
nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.

We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our
own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only
on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much substantive
discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular
war.

And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple
attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes,
represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning
point in the recent history of the world.

This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary
doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The
doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other
nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening
but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the
traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of
international law and the UN Charter. And it is being tested at a time of
world-wide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if
they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list. High level
Administration figures recently refused to take nuclear weapons off of
the table when discussing a possible attack against Iraq. What could be
more destabilizing and unwise than this type of uncertainty, particularly
in a world where globalism has tied the vital economic and security
interests of many nations so closely together? There are huge cracks
emerging in our time-honored alliances, and U.S. intentions are
suddenly subject to damaging worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism
based on mistrust, misinformation,
suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is fracturing the once
solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11.

Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little
guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family
members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the
duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are
being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other
essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is
grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon
spike higher.

This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be
judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.

In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large
projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken
us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration's
domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition,
under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This
Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic
growth. This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the
crisis in health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to
provide adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration
has been reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.

In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden.
In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces
and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional
alliances,
possibly crippling, for all time, international order-keeping entities like
the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into
question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as
well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the
patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the
sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our
leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.

Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil,
denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant - these types of crude
insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have massive
military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We
need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well
as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our
awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another
devastating attack on homeland which severely damages our economy.
Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the
augmenting support of those nations who
can supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on.

The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is
evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in that
region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the peace
in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that
remote and devastated land.

Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces. This Administration
has not finished the first war against terrorism and yet it is eager to
embark on another conflict with perils much greater than those in
Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we not learned that
after winning the war one must always secure the peace?

And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in Iraq. In the absence
of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize Iraq's oil fields,
becoming an occupying power which controls the price and supply of
that nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we propose to
hand the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?

Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks on
Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will the
Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals,
bolstered by Iran which has much closer ties to
terrorism than Iraq?

Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a world-wide
recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous
disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the
global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even more
lucrative practice for nations which need the income?

In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant
Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous
consequences for years.

One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the
savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of
having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on
which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.

But to turn one's frustration and anger into the kind of extremely
destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is
currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged
with the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the
greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the
pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is
no other word.

Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of
horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation
of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under age 15 --
this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we send
thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical
and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent. On the eve of what could
possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our attack on
Iraq,
it is business as usual in the United States Senate.

We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray
that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a
rudest of awakenings.

To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be
a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any
President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a
nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of
our country". This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to
be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was to put ourselves in a
corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a
box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more
time.
who would have thought it?

18.2.03



Number of U.S. presidents since 1860 whose party controlled both houses of Congress by the third year of their first term : 12

Number of these presidents whose party already controlled both houses : 10

Number whose bid for reelection failed : 1

Chances that a U.S. House or Senate race last year was won by the candidate whose campaign spent the most : 9 in 10

Number of "third" parties whose candidates won state legislative seats last year : 5

Portion of the eight seats they won accounted for by Progressive Party candidates in Vermont : 1/2

Number of states that use nonpartisan commissions to draw new congressional districts : 6

Number of Louisiana's last three elected insurance commissioners convicted of corruption : 3

Percentage change since 1998 in the number of federal convictions for health-care fraud : +43

Chance that a drug dose prescribed to a U.S. hospital patient is either administered improperly or forgotten : 1 in 5

Chances that a Rwandan woman raped during the 1994 genocide is now HIV-positive : 2 in 3

Estimated number of women killed as witches in Tanzania each year : 500

Ratio of Americans killed by Timothy McVeigh and the D.C. snipers to those killed in Gulf War combat : 5:4

Ratio of kilotonnage of U.S. bombs dropped during the Gulf War to that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima : 7:1

Number of countries that supplied both sides during the Iran-Iraq war : 10

Number of these that are among the world's five largest arms-manufacturing countries : 4

Percentage of federal discretionary spending in 2001 devoted to "homeland security" or the Department of Defense : 51

Percentage of the $1.1 trillion in Iraqi oil contracts that are held by French or Russian companies : 69

Price charged by a Ukrainian company for a half-day tour of the Chernobyl nuclear-plant site : $460

Number of years that a former Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, has been leaking toxic chemicals : 18

Estimated number of people who have died there since then as a result : 20,000

Years since criminal charges were filed against him in 1991 that Union Carbide's former CEO has been in hiding : 11

Ratio of net profit earned by U.S. airlines since 1970 to federal subsidies given the industry since September 2001 : 1:1

Minimum number of box cutters taken from U.S. airline passengers since last February : 34,777

Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision in July while he went to deposit a check : 35

Chance that a doctor laughs along with a patient's laughter : 1 in 10

Chances that a doctor shows no response : 7 in 10

Percentage of Gulf War veterans reporting chronic postwar symptoms who share a single bacterial infection : 40

Minimum number of locals hired to act as Arabs heckling U.S. troops during an army war game in California last year : 15

Number of Arabic linguists fired by the U.S. Army since August for being gay : 7

Retail price Mattel suggests that toy stores assign its Lingerie Barbie, dressed in "merry widow" or "peek-a-boo" style : $45

Percentage change since 1990 in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled "disabled" : +37

Percentage of U.S. high schools receiving federal aid whose students' contact information the army sought last fall : 100

Average amount of aid each school district stands to lose if its schools do not supply the information : $762,083

Page of the No Child Left Behind education law passed last year on which this new requirement is noted : 559

Rank of Michael Moore's Stupid White Men among the New York Times's top "business" bestsellers in September : 1

Years after rapper Chuck D called Elvis Presley "straight-out racist" that he claimed "a great deal of respect" for him : 14

Factor by which the number of Americans who have "tried to impersonate Elvis" exceeds the population of Tennessee : 3

Rank of Mom, Dad, and Rudolph Giuliani among those whom recent college graduates say they most wish to emulate : 1, 2, 3

Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances : 2 in 3

17.2.03

excerpts from Marcuse – From Philosophy to Social Theory (1941)

re: Hegelian heritage

"In a totally different form, the Hegelian dialectic also became an integral part of Marxian theory and its Leninist interpretation. Apart from these main lines, certain of Hegel’s concepts found employment in sociology (in Lorenz von Stein’s work, for example), in jurisprudence (the historical school; Lasalle) and in the field of history (Droysen, Ranke).
Such an account as this, though formally accurate, is a little too schematic, and obliterates certain important distinctions. The historical heritage of Hegel’s philosophy, for instance, did not pass to the ‘Hegelians’ (neither of the right nor of the left)-they were not the ones who kept alive the true content of this philosophy. The critical tendencies of the Hegelian philosophy, rather, were taken over by, and continued in, the Marxian social theory, while, in all other aspects, the history of Hegelianism became the history of a struggle against Hegel in which he was used as a symbol for all that the new intellectual (and to a considerable extent even the practical political) efforts opposed.
Hegel’s system brings to a close the entire epoch in modern philosophy that had begun with Descartes and had embodied the basic ideas of modern society. Hegel was the last to interpret the world as reason, subjecting nature and history alike to the standards of thought and freedom. At the same time, he recognised the social and political order men had achieved as the basis on which reason had to be realised. His system brought philosophy to the threshold of its negation and thus constituted the sole link between the old and the new form of critical theory, between philosophy and social theory.
Before we attempt to show how the inner workings of Western philosophy necessitated the transition to the critical theory of society, we must indicate the way in which the historical efforts that distinguish the modern era entered into and shaped the philosophic interest. The social forces at work in this historical surge used philosophy in its predominantly rationalistic form, and the idea of reason might well serve again as the starting point for our discussion."

[...]

re: erkenntnis -> method

"Fifthly, this freedom to act according to reason was regarded as exercised in the practice of natural science. A mastery of nature and of its recently unearthed resources and dimensions was a requisite of the new process of production that strove to transform the world into a huge commodity market. The idea of reason came under the sway of technical progress, and the experimental method was seen as the model of rational activity, that is, as a procedure that alters the world so that its inherent potencies become free and actual. Modern rationalism, as a result, had a tendency to pattern individual as well as social life on the model of nature. We point, for instance, to Descartes’s mechanistic philosophy, Hobbes’s materialist political thought, Spinoza’s mathematical ethics, and Leibniz’s monadology. The human world was presented as governed by objective laws, analogous or even identical with the laws of nature, and society was set forth as an objective entity more or less unyielding to subjective desires and goals. Men believed their relations to each other to result from objective laws that operate with the necessity of physical laws, and their freedom to consist in adapting their private existence to this necessity. A strikingly conformist scepticism thus accompanied the development of modern rationalism. The more reason triumphed in technology and natural science, the more reluctantly did it call for freedom in man’s social life. Under the pressure of this process, the critical and ideal elements slowly vanished and took refuge in heretical and oppositional doctrines (for example, in atheistic materialism during the French Enlightenment). The representative philosophers of the middle class (particularly Leibniz, Kant, and Fichte) reconciled their philosophical rationalism with the flagrant irrationality of the prevailing social relations, and inverted human reason and freedom so that they became ramparts of the isolated soul or mind, internal phenomena quite compatible with external realities, even if these contradicted reason and freedom."

[...]

re: dialectic vs. positivism

"IN the decade following Hegel’s death, European thought entered an era of ‘positivism.’ This positivism announced itself as the system of positive philosophy, taking a form quite different from that which later positivism assumed. Comte’s Cours de philosophie positive was published between 1830 and 1842, Stahl’s positive philosophy of the state between 1830 and 1837, and Schelling began in 1841 his Berlin lectures on the positive Philosophie that he had been elaborating ever since 1827."

[...]

"Positive philosophy was a conscious reaction against the critical and destructive tendencies of French and German rationalism, a reaction that was particularly bitter in Germany. Because of its critical tendencies, the Hegelian system was designated as ’negative philosophy.’ Its contemporaries recognised that the principles Hegel enunciated in his philosophy led him ‘to a critique of everything that was hitherto held to be the objective truth.’ His philosophy ‘negated’-namely, it repudiated any irrational and unreasonable reality. The reaction saw a challenge to the existing order in Hegel’s attempt to measure reality according to the standards of autonomous reason. Negative philosophy, it was claimed, tries for the potentialities of things, but is incapable of knowing their reality. It stops short at their ‘logical forms’ and never reaches their actual content, which is not deducible from these forms. As a result, so the critique of Hegel ran, the negative philosophy can neither explain nor justify things as they are. This led to the most fundamental objection of all, that negative philosophy, because of its conceptual make-up, ‘negates’ things as they are. The matters of fact that make up the given state of affairs, when viewed in the light of reason, become negative, limited, transitory - they become perishing forms within a comprehensive process that leads beyond them. The Hegelian dialectic was seen as the prototype of all destructive negations of the given, for in it every immediately given form passes into its opposite and attains its true content only by so doing. This kind of philosophy, the critics said, denies to the given the dignity of the real; it contains ‘the principle of revolution’ (Stahl said). Hegel’s statement that the real is rational was understood to mean that only the rational is real.
Positive philosophy made its counter-attack against critical rationalism on two fronts. Comte fought against the French form of negative philosophy, against the heritage of Descartes and the Enlightenment. In Germany, the struggle was directed against Hegel’s system. Schelling received an express commission from Frederick William IV to destroy the dragon seed’ of Hegelianism, while Stahl, another anti-Hegelian, became the philosophic spokesman of the Prussian monarchy in 1840. German political leaders clearly recognised that Hegel’s philosophy, far from justifying the state in the concrete shape it had taken, rather contained an instrument for its destruction. Within this situation, positive philosophy offered itself as the appropriate ideological saviour."

[...]

"Comte summarises the contrast between the positivist and the philosophic theory as follows: positive sociology is to concern itself with the investigation of facts instead of with transcendental illusions, with useful knowledge instead of leisured contemplation, certainty instead of doubt and indecision, organisation instead of negation and destruction., In all these cases, the new sociology is to tie itself to the facts of the existing social order and, though it will not reject the need for correction and improvement, it will exclude any move to overthrow or negate that order. As a result, the conceptual interest of the positive sociology is to be apologetic and justificatory.

This has not been true of all positivist movements. At the beginning of modern philosophy, and again in the eighteenth century, positivism was militant and revolutionary. Its appeal to the facts then amounted to a direct attack on the religious and metaphysical conceptions that were the ideological support of the ancien régime. The positivist approach to history was developed then as proof positive that the right of man to alter the social and political forms of life accorded with the nature and progress of reason."

16.2.03

axis of soft-spined evil

scandalous, solicited wall street journal letter- a 'fair' issue, no doubt

United We Stand
Eight European leaders are as one with President Bush.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Messrs. Aznar, Durão Barroso, Berlusconi, Blair, Medgyessy, Miller and Fogh Rasmussen are, respectively, the prime ministers of Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.K., Hungary, Poland and Denmark. Mr. Havel is the Czech president.

The real bond between the U.S. and Europe is the values we share: democracy, individual freedom, human rights and the rule of law. These values crossed the Atlantic with those who sailed from Europe to help create the United States of America. Today they are under greater threat than ever.

Blair quoted extracts from an email received from a 19-year-old Cambridge University student, Rania Kashi, whose parents fled from Iraq 23 years ago, which was handed later to the delegates. Describing the anti-war movement as 'misjudged and misplaced', she argued that distrust of the West should not blind people to 'the bigger truths about Iraq'.

hahaha! desperate! this guy has never even been to iraq!
'I ask the marchers to understand this: I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honour. But sometimes it is the price of leadership. And it is the cost of conviction.'

what the fuck is he thinking?

States developing weapons of mass destruction, proliferating them, importing or exporting the scientific expertise, the ballistic missile technology, the companies and individuals helping them don't operate within any international treaties. They don't conform to any rules.

but wise words
common sense:

'I'm not political, not at all. I don't even watch the news,' said Alvina Desir, queuing on the Embankment for the start of the march at noon. 'I've never been on a march in my life and never had any intention. But something's happened recently, to me and so many friends - we just know there's something going wrong in this country. No one's being consulted, and it's starting to feel worrying - more worrying than the scaremongering we've been getting about the terrorist threat. I simply don't see how war can be the answer and I don't know anyone who does. And, apart from anything else, as a black woman in London, it feels dangerous to spread racial tension after all that's been done.'
Robert Fisk: The case against war: A conflict driven by the self-interest of America

15 February 2003

In the end, I think we are just tired of being lied to. Tired of being talked down to, of being bombarded with Second World War jingoism and scare stories and false information and student essays dressed up as "intelligence". We are sick of being insulted by little men, by Tony Blair and Jack Straw and the likes of George Bush and his cabal of neo-conservative henchmen who have plotted for years to change the map of the Middle East to their advantage.

No wonder, then, that Hans Blix's blunt refutation of America's "intelligence" at the UN yesterday warmed so many hearts. Suddenly, the Hans Blixes of this world could show up the Americans for the untrustworthy "allies" they have become.

The British don't like Hussein any more than they liked Nasser. But millions of Britons remember, as Blair does not, the Second World War; they are not conned by childish parables of Hitler, Churchill, Chamberlain and appeasement. They do not like being lectured and whined at by men whose experience of war is Hollywood and television.

Still less do they wish to embark on endless wars with a Texas governor-executioner who dodged the Vietnam draft and who, with his oil buddies, is now sending America's poor to destroy a Muslim nation that has nothing at all to do with the crimes against humanity of 11 September. Jack Straw, the public school Trot-turned-warrior, ignores all this, with Blair. He brays at us about the dangers of nuclear weapons that Iraq does not have, of the torture and aggression of a dictatorship that America and Britain sustained when Saddam was "one of ours". But he and Blair cannot discuss the dark political agenda behind George Bush's government, nor the "sinister men" (the words of a very senior UN official) around the President.

Those who oppose war are not cowards. Brits rather like fighting; they've biffed Arabs, Afghans, Muslims, Nazis, Italian Fascists and Japanese imperialists for generations, Iraqis included – though we play down the RAF's use of gas on Kurdish rebels in the 1930s. But when the British are asked to go to war, patriotism is not enough. Faced with the horror stories, Britons – and many Americans – are a lot braver than Blair and Bush. They do not like, as Thomas More told Cromwell in A Man for All Seasons, tales to frighten children.

Perhaps Henry VIII's exasperation in that play better expresses the British view of Blair and Bush: "Do they take me for a simpleton?" The British, like other Europeans, are an educated people. Ironically, their opposition to this obscene war may make them feel more, not less, European.

Palestine has much to do with it. Brits have no love for Arabs but they smell injustice fast enough and are outraged at the colonial war being used to crush the Palestinians by a nation that is now in effect running US policy in the Middle East. We are told that our invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a burning, fearsome wound to which Bush devoted just 18 words in his meretricious State of the Union speech – but even Blair can't get away with that one; hence his "conference" for Palestinian reform at which the Palestinians had to take part via video-link because Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, refused to let them travel to London.

So much for Blair's influence over Washington – the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, "regretted" that he couldn't persuade Sharon to change his mind. But at least one has to acknowledge that Sharon – war criminal though he may be for the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacres – treated Blair with the contempt he deserves. Nor can the Americans hide the link between Iraq and Israel and Palestine. In his devious address to the UN Security Council last week, Powell linked the three when he complained that Hamas, whose suicide bombings so cruelly afflict Israelis, keeps an office in Baghdad.

Just as he told us about the mysterious al-Qa'ida men who support violence in Chechnya and in the "Pankisi gorge". This was America's way of giving Vladimir Putin a free hand again in his campaign of rape and murder against the Chechens, just as Bush's odd remark to the UN General Assembly last 12 September about the need to protect Iraq's Turkomans only becomes clear when one realises that Turkomans make up two thirds of the population of Kirkuk, one of Iraq's largest oil fields.

The men driving Bush to war are mostly former or still active pro-Israeli lobbyists. For years, they have advocated destroying the most powerful Arab nation. Richard Perle, one of Bush's most influential advisers, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton and Donald Rumsfeld were all campaigning for the overthrow of Iraq long before George W Bush was elected – if he was elected – US President. And they weren't doing so for the benefit of Americans or Britons. A 1996 report, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (http://www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm) called for war on Iraq. It was written not for the US but for the incoming Israeli Likud prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and produced by a group headed by – yes, Richard Perle. The destruction of Iraq will, of course, protect Israel's monopoly of nuclear weapons and allow it to defeat the Palestinians and impose whatever colonial settlement Sharon has in store.

Although Bush and Blair dare not discuss this with us – a war for Israel is not going to have our boys lining up at the recruiting offices – Jewish American leaders talk about the advantages of an Iraqi war with enthusiasm. Indeed, those very courageous Jewish American groups who so bravely oppose this madness have been the first to point out how pro-Israeli organisations foresee Iraq not only as a new source of oil but of water, too; why should canals not link the Tigris river to the parched Levant? No wonder, then, that any discussion of this topic must be censored, as Professor Eliot Cohen, of Johns Hopkins University, tried to do in the Wall Street Journal the day after Powell's UN speech. Cohen suggested that European nations' objections to the war might – yet again – be ascribed to "anti-Semitism of a type long thought dead in the West, a loathing that ascribes to Jews a malignant intent." This nonsense, it must be said, is opposed by many Israeli intellectuals who, like Uri Avnery, argue that an Iraq war will leave Israel with even more Arab enemies, especially if Iraq attacks Israel and Sharon then joins the US battle against the Arabs.

The slur of "anti-Semitism" also lies behind Rumsfeld's snotty remarks about "old Europe". He was talking about the "old" Germany of Nazism and the "old" France of collaboration. But the France and Germany that oppose this war are the "new" Europe, the continent which refuses, ever again, to slaughter the innocent. It is Rumsfeld and Bush who represent the "old" America; not the "new" America of freedom, the America of F D Roosevelt. Rumsfeld and Bush symbolise the old America that killed its native Indians and embarked on imperial adventures. It is "old" America we are being asked to fight for – linked to a new form of colonialism – an America that first threatens the United Nations with irrelevancy and then does the same to Nato. This is not the last chance for the UN, nor for Nato. But it may well be the last chance for America to be taken seriously by her friends as well as her enemies.

In these last days of peace the British should not be tripped by the oh-so-sought-after second UN resolution. UN permission for America's war will not make the war legitimate; it merely proves that the Council can be controlled with bribes, threats or abstentions. It was the Soviet Union's abstention, after all, which allowed America to fight the savage Korean war under the UN flag. And we should not doubt that – after a quick US military conquest of Iraq and providing 'they" die more than we die – there will be plenty of anti-war protesters who will claim they were pro-war all along. The first pictures of "liberated" Baghdad will show Iraqi children making victory signs to American tank crews. But the real cruelty and cynicism of this conflict will become evident as soon as the "war" ends, when our colonial occupation of a Muslim nation for the US and Israel begins.

There lies the rub. Bush calls Sharon a "man of peace". But Sharon fears he may yet face trial over Sabra and Chatila, which is why Israel has just withdrawn its ambassador to Belgium. I'd like to see Saddam in the same court. And Rifaat Assad for his 1982 massacre in the Syrian city of Hama. And all the torturers of Israel and the Arab dictatorships.

Israeli and US ambitions in the region are now entwined, almost synonymous. This war is about oil and regional control. It is being cheer-led by a draft-dodger who is treacherously telling us that this is part of an eternal war against "terror". And the British and most Europeans don't believe him. It's not that Britons wouldn't fight for America. They just don't want to fight for Bush or his friends. And if that includes the Prime Minister, they don't want to fight for Blair either.

15.2.03

Flyvbjerg
the cult of Presidential infallibility, the march of militarism, the executive's routine lying to the other two branches and to the people, and the cancerous growth of official secrecy

The director of Central Intelligence, John McCone, told the President that the North Vietnamese were 'reacting defensively'. Nonetheless, Johnson personally lied to Senator William Fulbright, the highly respected chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in order to get him to sponsor the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in Congress.

14.2.03

following lrb article... 'pretty good, pretty neat...'

Who's in charge?
Chalmers Johnson

The subject of Daniel Ellsberg's memoir is the decadence of American democracy. The conditions he began fighting in 1969 are much worse today and far more dangerous to many more people. Yet central casting could not have produced a more perfect foil for the American imperial Presidency than Ellsberg. An infantry lieutenant in the Marine Corps with genuine battle experience in Vietnam, a PhD in economics from Harvard, and a defence intellectual employed by the Rand Corporation of Santa Monica, with the highest security clearances, Ellsberg is as good as the American system can produce in the way of a male citizen working in the foreign policy apparatus. His odyssey from Pentagon staff officer to the man who spirited 47 volumes of top secret documents out of the Rand Corporation, copied them, and delivered them to the New York Times and a dozen other newspapers is breathtaking.

[...]

Ellsberg returned to Harvard to write his doctoral dissertation - on a typically American subject, game theory - and then accepted a position with the Economics Department of the Rand Corporation. He was put to work on command and control problems in fighting a nuclear war. Disillusionment set in at once. In the autumn of 1961, shortly after Kennedy had effectively exploited the so-called missile gap for his own electoral purposes, Ellsberg read a highly classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the subject and discovered that it had all been a lie: there was a gap but it was ten to one in favour of the US. This, he said, had 'a shocking effect on my professional worldview'. There were many more to come.

[...]

Nixon was never enthusiastic about using legal means to try to stop the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers, or about getting Ellsberg convicted in a Federal court. He was, however, scared to death that Ellsberg had or was receiving more secret documents not just about previous Administrations but about his own. 'Daniel Ellsberg is the most dangerous man in America. He must be stopped at all costs,' Kissinger had said in the presence of the President. In fact, Ellsberg did not have any materials touching on the Nixon Administration, but the President and Kissinger didn't know that. Nixon therefore ordered Charles Colson, an official on his staff, to come up with a plan to 'neutralise' Ellsberg. Colson in turn enlisted the services of a former CIA officer called Howard Hunt, who had been the mastermind behind the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba.

[...]

After the charges against him were dropped, Ellsberg expressed himself satisfied that the United States had reaffirmed its identity as 'a democratic republic - not an elected monarchy - a government under law, with Congress, the courts and the press functioning to curtail executive abuses, as our Constitution envisioned'. I wish that were true. My own conclusion is that it was more like the final surge of a consumptive, the false sense that good health has returned actually signalling that death is near. I believe that the advance of militarism in the United States is irreversible. If I am wrong, I will be forgiven because people will be so glad I was wrong.




fair.org:

Playing the "Terrorism" Card
By Norman Solomon

These days, it's a crucial ace up Uncle Sam's sleeve. "Terrorism" is George W. Bush's magic card.

For 17 months now, the word has worked like a political charm for the Bush administration. Ever since the terrible crime against humanity known as 9/11, the White House has exploited the specter of terrorism to move the GOP's doctrinaire agenda. Boosting the military budget, cutting social programs and shredding civil liberties are well underway.

Like the overwhelming majority of politicians on Capitol Hill, most journalists in Washington are too timid to do anything other than quibble about fine-tuning and get out of the way of rampaging elephants.

The word "terror" has become a linguistic staple in news media. For keeping the fearful pot stirred, it's better than the longer word "terrorism," which refers to an occasional event. The shortened word has an ongoing ring to it. At the end of February's first week, when Attorney General John Ashcroft announced an official hike in the warning code, the cable networks lost no time plastering "Terror Alert: High" signs on TV screens. [no way... jhesos...]

Days later, the administration literally couldn't wait to tell the world about a new audiotape from Osama bin Laden. The eagerness of Colin Powell knew no bounds. He was spinning about the tape at a congressional appearance even before a single moment of the audio had premiered on the Arabic-language Al Jazeera network.

The next day, a White House spokesman did what he could to bolster the thin wisps of supposed links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. "If that is not an unholy partnership, I have not heard of one," said Ari Fleischer, who trumpeted "the linking up of Iraq with Al Qaeda." It was, he said, "the nightmare that people have warned about."

Actually, it was a dream that the Bush team has been yearning for -- some semblance of a public embrace involving Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

You wouldn't know it from the dominant media coverage, but the embrace was not only distinctly one-sided -- it was also riddled with caveats and barbs. In his statement, Bin Laden made clear that he has never stopped viewing Hussein as an infidel. And the Iraqi dictator has continued to keep his distance from longtime foe Bin Laden.

In the propaganda end game prior to an all-out attack on Iraq, the Bush crew is playing a favorite card; as a word, terrorism can easily frighten the public and keep competing politicians at bay. And now, Washington's policymakers are on the verge of implementing a military attack that will, in effect, terrorize large numbers of Iraqi people.

Pentagon war plans, dubbed "Shock and Awe," call for sending many hundreds of missiles into Baghdad during the first day. Numerous articles in the daily British press have been decrying these plans. In contrast, with few exceptions, mainstream U.S. journalists have been shamefully restrained.

The people in control of U.S. foreign policy are now determined to treat 9/11 as a license -- their license -- to kill. Although even the most fanciful statements from the Bush administration have not claimed that the Iraqi regime had anything to do with the events of Sept. 11, the murderous actions on that day are being cited to justify a military attack on Iraq sure to take thousands of civilian lives.

When the sludge of propaganda is afflicting the body politic of our country, news outlets have a crucial role to perform. Media can function as a circulatory system for the nation; the free flow of information and debate is the lifeblood of a democracy. But right now, the USA's media arteries are clogged.

If seeing a "Terror Alert: High" sign on your TV screen makes you feel edgy, imagine what it's like to be living in Baghdad or Basra. For people in the United States, the odds that terrorism will strike close to home are very small compared to the chances that any particular Iraqi family will be decimated before summer.

We desperately need a full national debate on whether we as a society ought to condemn terrorism -- across the board -- no matter who is doing the terrorizing. Clearly, politicians will be the last to initiate such a nationwide discussion. And, sad to say, few journalists show much inclination to ruffle the feathers of the hawkish gang that rules the roost in Washington. So, let's stop waiting for others to rise to the occasion. If we want to get an authentic debate going, we'll need to do it ourselves.
Dual power has come to Bolivia most suddenly: not, as expected, in the form of a coordinated uprising of coca growers, highland Aymara peasants, and Quechua speaking peasants under the direction of Evo Morales, Felipe Quispe, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the People; instead, high school students and the working class of La Paz and its satellite city, El Alto, rose up spontaneously in the largest urban insurrection since the National Revolution of 1952.

[...]

As in the National Revolution of 1952, the police are part of the popular revolt, though it is anyone's guess as to how long the unity will last. What detonated the uprising-which has since spread to Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, and could easily reach Sucre-was the violence that the Military Police unleashed against the police's Special Group, which had marched peacefully on the Presidential Palace to protest proposed tax measures that threaten to further reduce their meager $105/month salaries. By the end of the Wednesday, February 12, there were more than 100 injured, and the death toll was 18, with 13 in La Paz and 5 in El Alto, including a young girl. To put this figure in regional perspective, since Bolivia has just over 8 million inhabitants, a proportionate number of dead in Colombia would be roughly 95 and in Venezuela, 60. To situate it in national historical context, the most violent contemporary administration was that of former IBM executive Jorge Quiroga (2000-2001), which killed roughly forty people in less than a year. In six months the Sánchez de Lozada administration is already responsible for 44 civilian deaths.
However, in an hour of questioning in the Commons at lunchtime, Mr Blunkett said there was a "real and serious threat" of a terrorist attack.

yeah yeah yeah

12.2.03

Amusing little piece, Noraid, btw, is the fundraising wing of the IRA in North America, solicits donations from idiot americans who think they're irish (much like me when i think i might get a free drink out of it... worth pointing out that 120m people worldwide claim irish ancestry although the population of ireland has never exceeded 8m). as liddle says, "There is terrorism directed against the US and terrorism directed elsewhere, you see. " or indeed commited by the US he might have added...

We're their allies - so why aren't they ours?
Rod Liddle
Wednesday February 12, 2003
The Guardian

What a divine pleasure it was to hear the Republican senator Pete King eviscerating the hapless French on our radios yesterday morning. It was a perfect way to begin the day: basking in the happiness of not being French, of not being, as Bart Simpson has it, a "cheese-eating surrender monkey".

The French are, according to Pete, an irrelevance - and useless, to boot. "They don't even have a working aircraft carrier," he kept repeating, between diatribes about France's heroic and longstanding commitment to the principle of capitulation. Garlic-swathed beignet-stuffed sexually dysfunctional trash-pop Petainist belching Gauloise-smoking hypocritical papist bastard haw-hee-haw Johnny bloody Halliday up-yours-Delors coward monkeys, the lot of them. From Biarritz to Lille. Via the town of Vichy. And apart from Emmanuelle Béart, of course.

For people like me, who enjoy a bit of spite and vituperation first thing, just to get the juices flowing, it was magnificent stuff. And there - curiously unspoken - in the background was the knowledge that Pete and other similarly enraged US politicians couldn't say the same thing about us, could they? We're right behind them, the Yanks, and this will ensure us a sliver of love from our transatlantic cousins, if only by the process of disassociation. And this matters, being loved by the US.

And then, rather disconcertingly, it suddenly occurred to me that this was the same Pete King who has spent the past 15 years similarly eviscerating the British, or the "Bruddush", for "centuries of oppression" inflicted upon the Irish people. Pete could always be relied upon to say a few words in support of Martin Galvin's evil Noraid organisation, or to wade into some delicate and confusing conundrum of Northern Ireland politics with his size 12 cowboy boots, ready to give succour to the IRA for the sake of securing a few more votes from his Irish and faux-Irish constituents. He always did so with a mixture of brio and crass ignorance. It is the same Pete King, isn't it?

Of course it is. And many of you may well agree with him about Northern Ireland. But my point is more straightforward. We should not delude ourselves that we get anything from standing four-square beside George W Bush, or any other American president, for that matter. They think we're an irrelevance too, and useless, and antiquated and decadent. And what's more, no matter how loyal we strive to be, they would not so much as bother to cross the road to piss on us were we suddenly to catch fire. This has been the signal lesson of the past 20 years of international politics.

Beginning, of course, with the Falklands "dispute". As the then defence secretary, John Nott, made clear in his strange autobiography, the Americans were a big problem. At least half of the US administration - a section led by the perfidious Jean Kirkpatrick - was vocally supportive of the Argentinian cause and attempted to thwart our attempts to regain the islands by force. Why? Because siding with us disturbed their various, disgusting, machinations in Latin America (please don't believe the US opposition was motivated by moral disgust at the prospect of bloodshed).

Incidentally, who were our real allies then, according to Nott? The cowardly French, who provided us, sotto voce, with invaluable intelligence on the Super Etendard fighter aircraft.

A year later the US invaded (ineptly, of course) the British sovereign territory of Grenada without so much as a by-your-leave or bud, do you mind if we sort this problem out? On this occasion, according to Denis Healey, what irked our prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, most "was not so much the overthrow of the (Grenadian) dictatorship ... as the fact that he (President Reagan) deliberately and successfully deceived her on his intentions, though he had often told her she was his personal friend and closest ally. Moreover, he did so as part of a conspiracy with certain commonwealth governments in the Caribbean, which also kept Mrs Thatcher in the dark." Plus ça change, huh.

More recently, within weeks of September 11 2001, the US failed, astonishingly, to outlaw Noraid, despite having proscribed and seized the assets of every other terrorist fundraising organisation in the known universe. There is terrorism directed against the US and terrorism directed elsewhere, you see.

And a little later, as Britain incurred a good deal of wrath for sticking its head above the parapet to support, unequivocally, financially and with our own servicemen, America's War Against Terror and immediate adventure in Afghanistan, the US whacked illegal tariffs on our steel exports, desperately injuring a beleaguered British industry.

Of course, the two issues are not remotely related, as US trade representatives, blank-faced and unrepentant, frequently pointed out. And it may well be that the US was "right" in all of the above little contretemps with Britain. But my point is more simple - and I suppose, fairly crass: that in every case where Britain may have expected, or even just desired, a degree of loyalty from our "closest allies", that loyalty has not been remotely forthcoming. It was last forthcoming, in fact, in about 1942.

None of this should deflect Tony Blair from supporting the US in a war against Iraq if he believes it is morally the right course of action and, further, that it is in our best interests. He may well think both of these things. But increasingly the debate is being seen as a question of where we stand; are we part of Europe or do we append our allegiance to the US? And, further, what do we gain as a result?

The French are perpetually accused of pursuing a selfish foreign policy and it is a charge which is hard to deny. But it is rather less selfish and small-minded than that pursued by the US, a country for which the concept "ally" works only, it would appear, in one direction.

10.2.03

in objection to rose, humans may be animals, but they are unlike any other, and exponentially superior.... and with the threaded veins of jungian collective unconscious in there i dont believe that it is a theory that is either grounded in the rational or attainable.

8.2.03

In Continental Philosophy Since 1750: The Rise and Fall of the Self, Robert Solomon argues that German idealism represents a premature, presumptuous and ultimately inhumane attempt to identify necessary and universal -- i.e. transcendental -- conditions of human existence. The tradition of 19th-century idealism is characterized by what Solomon calls "the transcendental pretense," which, he suggests, "is a political weapon of enormous power" (p. 6).
Evolutionary psychology: "fashionable ideology" or "new foundation"?

human nature- was reading Fromm essay re: Marx vs Freud- human behaviour conditioned by social environment or social environment reflection of inherent cognitive structures-

Steven Rose seems to accept the basic premise of evolutionary psychology. He writes: "The declared aim of evolutionary psychology is to provide explanations for the patterns of human activity and the forms of organisation of human society which take into account the fact that humans are animals and, like all other currently living organisms, are the present-day products of some four billion years of evolution. So far so good."13 Rose continues: "Because humans are as subject as any other organism to evolutionary processes, we should therefore expect to find such adaptations among our own kind just as much as amongst the others that we study. Individual aspects of being human -- from our body shape to our eyes and capacity for binocular vision -- are clearly evolved features and fit us to the environment in which we live."14

However, the Roses object to using this adaptationist approach to illuminate the psychological mechanisms that underpin human social behaviour. This is because, the Roses claim, not enough is known about the conditions under which our ancestors evolved to make claims about the problems that they faced, or to test whether or not particular features of human psychology are adaptations. The Roses also claim that the period of pre-history that evolutionary psychologists focus upon -- the Pleistocene or 'Stone Age' -- is the wrong one because there has been sufficient time since the end of the Pleistocene for significant evolutionary change in the design of the human mind. In addition, the Roses argue that evolutionary psychology's claims about universal features of human social psychology are contradicted by cultural and historical variability, and neglect the role of emotion in human mental life. Finally, the Roses use Daly and Wilson's research on step-parents to exemplify what they see as the empirical short-comings of evolutionary psychology. This review will look at each of these 'arguments against evolutionary psychology' in turn.

[...]

The Roses' third argument against evolutionary psychology is that cultural and historical variability in cultural forms refutes the claim that humans share a universal, species-typical psychology. Referring to historically-recent changes in female mate-preferences, levels of violence, and fecundity in various hunter-gatherer populations, Steven Rose remarks "Each of these societies has undergone rapid economic, technological and social change in the last decade. What has happened to the evolutionary psychology predictions? Why have these assumed human universals suddenly failed to operate?"26

but what's this?

Nevertheless, mud sticks, and so in the short term the Roses will no doubt succeed in misleading the public and the media about evolutionary psychology. But, fortunately, the Roses have had little effect on the current research programme of evolutionary psychology, and in the long term seem destined to have no effect whatsoever.56 Darwin's theory of evolution has revolutionised our understanding of the natural world. And by placing psychology on "a new foundation", Darwin's theory is set to revolutionise our understanding of ourselves, and of our place in that world. Despite their best efforts, the Roses will not be able to delay this revolution.

cock.
Highly entertaining- War in Iraq Flash Game

7.2.03




Action Plan



... for something that isn't supposed to be for USE at all. Listening to Hoon though, the UK might hafta pay for a warhead reload.


This is why the schools are crap, the hospitals dirty, the tube fare 20% of a zone 4 resident's income and cigarettes more expensive than caviar. Either that, or someone is getting too much... (ie. both really... - the people labour in order to secure capital they don't own => slavery)
Bit of fun, more here
Dirty, dirty...

On this day, 7th Feb. 1987: S Korea clashes over student death
South Korean police have made hundreds of arrests in the country's biggest demonstrations for six years.

Rallies went ahead across the country to commemorate the recent death in custody of student Park Chong-choi, in spite of yesterday's warnings by President Chun Doo Hwan.

Mr Park, 21, a linguistics student at Seoul National University suffocated during police interrogation for alleged pro-communist activities on 14 January.

The ruling Democratic Justice Party claimed dissidents were using the memorial services as an excuse for violent and illegal political rallies.

Organisers of the demonstrations - including church, labour and student groups as well as the political opposition - claimed they just wanted to honour Mr Park.

The government had ordered the country's 120,000 police to tighten security in readiness for the memorials.

Police arrested 2,400 suspects and placed a dozen leading dissidents under house arrest last night.

In response to the police mobilisation a spokesman from the main opposition party, the New Korea Democratic Party, said: "Our anger at the present regime has reached a point no longer bearable."

Up to 30,000 riot police lined up to face as many as 20,000 demonstrators in the streets of the capital, Seoul, in three hours of confrontations.

Police were trying to prevent the crowds from reaching the main memorial mass at the Catholic Myongdong Cathedral.

Smaller demonstrations took place in 17 provincial cities including Pusan, Kwangju and Taegu.

No major incidents were reported but there were sporadic outbreaks of violence as protestors threw petrol bombs and stones at the police, who responded with tear gas.

Official sources said 34 police were injured and they made 799 arrests nationwide - 740 people were detained for further questioning.

There were no figures available about how many civilians were injured.
A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down.

After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply (actual letter):

"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral proper back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows (actual letter):

"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the U.S. from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the then reigning monarch, Isabella. The good queen, being a pious woman and careful about titles, almost as much as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to fund Columbus' expedition.
Now the Pope, as I'm sure you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that He also made that part of the world called Louisiana. He, therefore, would be the owner of origin. I hope to hell you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?"

They got it.
Everywhere you look, money isn't enough... probably a fraction of the defense budget would suffice to resolve this issue...

Limited pay offer to teachers 'demoralising'

Rebecca Smithers, education correspondent
Friday February 7, 2003
The Guardian

Hundreds of thousands of teachers in England and Wales will learn today that they will receive an inflation-only pay rise of 2.9%, in a move criticised by one union leader yesterday as likely to further demoralise the profession. More