DECEMBER 12-6, 03 Archives

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Some die, others profit December 12, 2003 $2.64 a gallon for gasoline for Iraq? Pay to Haliburton is outrageous December 12, 2003 By Register War profiteering has long been despised by Americans, and Halliburton's outrageous contract in Iraq ought to reopen that vein of moral outrage. Your government is paying Halliburton an average of $2.64 a gallon to import gasoline from Kuwait while Iraq's state oil company pays 96 cents a gallon and the Pentagon's Defense Energy Support Center pays $1.08 to $1.19 a gallon.

Clear Channel Radio Slashes Local News December 12, 2003 By GABE WELLS "In my opinion, Clear Channel Wheeling is the poster child for corporate greed in America," Kellas said. "There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of compassion for the little guy. There are humane aspects to this. I will be fine, but the thing is, for people that I work with, good people born and raised in this valley, they are unemployed. Last year, two weeks before Christmas, two people on the sales staff were fired. ... What about the person who finds themselves unemployed? "I feel as though, as a lifelong member of this community, they have come in here, the corporate suits, and intruded into this community," Kellas added. "They are steamrolling people out of the way and taking a 50,000 watt institution, and taking whatever local orientation there was to it, and eliminated it."

Global Eye -- Bullet Points December 12, 2003 Chris Floyd The brutal essence of the Bushist Era was thus laid bare last week in the unlikely venue of the Army Times, a corporate-owned military newspaper in Washington. In an article detailing the effectiveness of a new kind of ammunition, the paper -- inadvertently, we assume -- stripped away the patriotic tinfoil wrapped around the arms industry and revealed that "patriotism" for what it really is: extortion, crude and thuggish, a raw greed driven by threats -- including the threat of turning their death-wares against the Americans they are purporting to defend.

Disorder Steals Soldier's Mind, Life December 12, 2003
KARNACK, Texas -- Staff Sgt. James Alford can't talk. He doesn't recognize his wife. His head shakes, his hands tremble. He is agitated, restless, diapered and helpless, requiring round-the-clock care from his family. Unable to coordinate his fingers and hands, the former marathon runner can still walk, with assistance. In April, the Green Beret and Bronze Star recipient was sent home from Iraq by the Army. But it wasn't because he badly needed medical care. "They sent him home to be court-martialed," said his mother, Gail Alford, a former Army nurse. "They wanted to strip him of his special forces tab. They wanted him out of the Army. I don't blame the Army for this disease," said his father, retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Alford, who was in the service 34 years. "I blame them for how they treated my son. They treated him like yesterday's garbage. They reduced his rank. They called him an idiot, called him stupid -- this is a wounded soldier. It's no different than if he had taken a bullet to the brain."

Bush laughs off critics of 'spoils of war' bidding December 12, 2003 By Rupert Cornwell in Washington George Bush poured fuel on the flames of the Iraq contracts dispute yesterday with a sneering dismissal of a suggestion by the German Chancellor that the decision to bar Germany, France Russia and Canada from bidding might violate international law. "International law? I'd better call my lawyer," the American President joked in response to a reporter's question at the White House.

The Fallacy of the War on Terror December 12, 2003 By Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez If we were actually engaged in such a war, it would be clearly defined, with unambiguous objectives and parameters. It would first necessarily target despotic governments that threaten humanity and use state terror to torture and systematically deprive their own citizens of their human rights. And it wouldn't force allied nations to act against their own citizens' wishes. A country involved in such a war wouldn't permit the export of torture instruments , wouldn't sabotage international weapons treaties, nor blackmail nations to exempt it from the international war crimes tribunal. It wouldn't proliferate its own weapons of mass destruction, nor research the use of "mini-nuclear bombs."

ElBaradei calls on Israel to give up nukes December 12, 2003 By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, has called on Israel to relinquish its nuclear weapons as part of a general peace agreement in the Middle East.

Orders to kill adopted puppy leave Florida soldiers mourning December 11, 2003 By Roger Roy It's against the rules for U.S. soldiers in Iraq to have pets, but the skinny black puppy that wandered up to the Florida National Guard soldiers at a base in northern Iraq wouldn't go away. So the soldiers from Alpha Co. of the 2nd Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment adopted the mutt and named her Apache after their radio call sign. But Army regulations finally caught up with Alpha Co. and Apache. Family members said Wednesday that the soldiers were eventually forced to obey orders and have the dog killed. "My husband was devastated," said Maggie Ford of Melbourne, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Bill Ford, had hoped to bring the dog back to Florida. "We all cried when we found out."

New Activist Network Slams Growing Abuses Under Bush  December 11, 2003 by Jim Lobe (IPS) More than 50 groups, ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to the New York-based Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), said they had agreed to join forces to address what they said was ”the alarming rate of human rights violations in the U.S.”, particularly as it pursues its ”war on terrorism”. They called for U.S. citizens to speak out against these abuses, as well as to fight ”U.S. exceptionalism”, the view pushed strongly by the administration of President George W. Bush, that the United States should not be constrained by international law or human rights standards, especially relating to economic and social rights.

Bush seeks help of allies barred from Iraq deals December 11, 2003 By DAVID E. SANGER and DOUGLAS JEHL President Bush found himself in the awkward position on Wednesday of calling the leaders of France, Germany and Russia to ask them to forgive Iraq's debts, just a day after the Pentagon excluded those countries and others from $18 billion in American-financed Iraqi reconstruction projects.

"My Son Stepped on an American Cluster Bomb" December 11, 2003 Father of U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Speaks Out Listen to: Segment / Watch 128k stream / Watch 256k stream We speak with Fernando Suarez del Solar whose son, Jesus, was one of the first U.S. servicemen killed in the invasion of Iraq. A new study finds that Jesus may be one of eight U.S. soldiers killed by unexploded bomblet dropped by U.S. forces. Fernando Suarez del Solar recently returned from a week-long trip in Iraq. [Includes transcript] A USA Today study has found that the U.S. dropped or fired nearly 11,000 cluster bombs or cluster weapons on Iraq during the invasion and Britain dropped 2,000 more. It is unknown how many Iraqis died from cluster bombs. One estimate puts the total at 370. And the attacks left behind thousands of unexploded bomblets. At least eight U.S. soldiers and an unknown number of Iraqis have been killed by unexploded bomblets.

The soldiers Bush didn't visit on Thanksgiving December 11, 2003 By Joan Vennochi "My `Bush Thanksgiving' was a little different . . . The ICU has been receiving soldiers for many months now, often unconscious young men on ventilators with wives and parents (our age) bending over the beds, stroking whatever part isn't bandaged, pinned, or burned. It requires a deep breath and strong heart anymore to walk through those swinging doors; I know the photo IDs outside the rooms will bear little resemblance to the men in the rooms. "It's too bad Mr. Bush didn't add us to his holiday agenda.

Bush official urges weapons labs to explore 'range of technical options' in nuke designs December 11, 2003 By Leslie Hoffman ASSOCIATED PRESS A memo from a top Bush official to the nation's nuclear weapons labs celebrating the repeal of a ban on low-yield nuclear weapons research is chest-beating reminiscent of a Cold War-era arms climate, anti-nuclear advocates say. The memo from National Nuclear Security Administration chief Linton Brooks shows top officials in the nuclear weapons complex view the repeal as a broad mandate "to pursue every kind of nuclear weapon that might be feasible," said Greg Mello of the Albuquerque-based Los Alamos Study Group.

Corruptible Voting Machines - Why the Silence? December 11, 2003 by Siva Vaidhyanathan The past few weeks the mainstream media finally awoke to the single largest threat to democracy facing this country: insecure, corruptible, undependable electronic voting machines. Since November 1, Newsweek’s Steve Levy has written about security problems with “black box” voting systems, the Washington Post issued an editorial calling for further testing of machines in Maryland and Virginia, and most significantly, Paul Krugman of The New York Times delivered a scathing indictment of electronic voting on December 2. That these machines invite disaster in the 2004 election is indisputable.

U.S. Arrests Iraqi Union Leaders December 11, 2003 David Bacon Editor's Note: There's another kind of battle being waged in Iraq -- the struggle for worker's rights. Iraqi union organizers say the U.S. authority is working against them. U.S. occupation forces in Iraq escalated their efforts to paralyze Iraq's new labor unions with a series of arrests this weekend. On Dec. 6, according to a union spokesperson interviewed by phone, a convoy of 10 Humvees and personnel carriers descended on the old headquarters building of the Transport and Communications Workers union, in Baghdad's central bus station, which has been used since June as the office of the Iraqi Workers Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). Twenty soldiers jumped out, stormed into the building, put handcuffs on eight members of the Federation's executive board, and took them into detention.

Coalition: Nearly half of new Iraqi army has quit December 11, 2003 BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- About 300 of 700 members of the new Iraqi army have resigned, citing unhappiness with terms, conditions and pay and with instructions of commanding officers, a representative of the U.S.-led coalition said Thursday. "It's a new force, and ... we face some difficulties," the representative said.

Carter: Miller's Senate appointment was 'mistake' December 11, 2003 The Associated Press WASHINGTON -- Former President Jimmy Carter says the appointment of Georgia's Zell Miller to the Senate was a mistake because his fellow ex-governor "betrayed all the basic principles that I thought he and I and others shared."

Well, it's official: I am now deathly afraid of 60% of Americans December 11, 2004 By Steve The results of the latest USAToday/Gallup poll were released today, and 60% of Americans now think that the war in Iraq was a good idea - and the main reason given for this rise in their approval for the war was Bush's 2-hour layover in Baghdad on Thanksgiving! Are you serious? Are there really 60% of Americans who are that easy to manipulate with a photo-op? It's hard to even write anything about how ridiculous an idea that is!

Anti-Bush Drawing Called 'Hate Speech' December 11, 2003 By RON HARRIS Associated Press An award-winning drawing blaming President Bush for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was pulled from a small-town exhibit over "insurance issues" after a businessman withdrew his $300 prize and called the piece a form of "hate speech." Artist Chuck Bowden's drawing, "The Tactics of Tyrants Are Always Transparent," won second place in the Redwood Art Association's annual fall exhibit, held earlier this month in Eureka, Calif. In the 11-inch-by-14-inch drawing, a crown and halo-topped Bush stands on a grave, his hand dripping with blood as bodies fall to the ground from the World Trade Center towers in the distance.

The court case that could reshape US democracy December 11, 2003 By Rupert Cornwell The state's Democrats have challenged what they say is a rigged and unfair plan to redraw congressional districts, a move approved by Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled legislature after the 2000 census. But the case's implications are nationwide. At stake is not only control of the House of Representatives in Washington, but the very health of democracy. "This is hugely important," says Sam Hirsch, an attorney for the Pennsylvania Democrats. "Gerrymandering on this scale is corrupting US democracy. This was not what the framers of the US constitution intended."

Iraq Car Bombing Kills One U.S. Soldier, Wounds 14 December 11, 2003 BAGHDAD (Reuters) - One U.S. soldier was killed and 14 wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on an American military base west of Baghdad Thursday, the U.S. Army said. In a statement, the army said the vehicle was driven by a suicide bomber. The attack occurred outside a base of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division near the flashpoint town of Ramadi.

Corporate media lies, distortions, spin and omissions all serve Bush December 11, 2003 By Bev Conover The word anger is too weak to express what we are feeling as we approach another stolen presidential election that will benefit George W. Bush, unless the US corporate media come to their senses and realize that four more years of Bush is no more in their interests than it is in the interests of the American people or the world and start doing their job.

Dearly deported December 11, 2003 By Eric Boehlert Just months after Zeferino Colunga Sr. lost his GI son in Iraq, the government arrested him and sent him back to Mexico. U.S. Army soldier Zeferino Colunga Jr. died four months ago from a mysterious illness he contracted while serving in Iraq and was buried with full honors in a Texas cemetery. Last week, with the family still in mourning, the soldier's father was deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant. Now family members wonder if the deportation of Zeferino Colunga Sr. was connected to their public demand for an independent investigation into the young soldier's death.

Who Pays When Walmart Keeps Workers Poor December 11, 2003 By Domenico Maceri Five of the richest people in the world are descendants of Sam Walton, founder of the Wal-Mart empire. Recently it was announced that Wal-Mart hired undocumented workers to do the cleaning in some of their stores. In one case, some undocumented workers had been paid 2 dollars a day, according to a USA article. The gap between executives at Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, and their employees is not that huge. However, if the workers currently on strike at these three Southern California supermarkets lose their fight, they'll move closer to being paid like Wal-Mart employees. Striking grocery workers make about five dollars an hour more than those at Wal-Mart ($12 versus $8.50). So why don't they count their blessings? Although all the fine print of the negotiations is not totally clear, management has proposed that given the significant increase in healthcare, workers would have to pay part of it. In addition, newly-hired employees would be paid under a different (lower) scale. In essence, the new proposal would create two classes of workers.

Delivered Into Hell by US War on Terror December 11, 2003 by Maher Arar I recently spent 10 1/2 months in a grave-sized cell in Syria, unsure why I was there, unsure how to get out. Fear paralyzed my wits when I needed them most. I was beaten and I was tortured and I was constantly scared. Every day I worried that I would never be released, that I would disappear into that concrete grave forever. Why was I being held? I still don't really know.

The Joke is No Longer Funny December 11, 2003 by WAYNE SNEEDEN Our professors have joked about it. We joke about it with our friends. But it’s just a joke, a relic from the “bad old days.” The draft is gone forever, isn’t it? Think again. Become acquainted with the Universal National Service Act of 2003, H.R. 163, introduced on January 7, 2003. This act, can be found on the website of the U.S. Congress at ( This act as seen on the website states: Universal National Service Act of 2003 Title: A bill to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.

Trans fats almost everywhere, tests find
December 11, 2003 By ANDRÉ PICARD Trans fatty acids, a man-made oil described by a leading nutritional scientist as a "secret killer," are present in significant quantities in fast foods and other restaurant fare, according to tests commissioned by The Globe and Mail and CTV News.

'Prehistoric man began global warming' December 11 2003 Measurements of ancient air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice offers evidence that humans have been changing the global climate since thousands of years before the industrial revolution. From 8000 years ago, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide began to rise as humans started clearing forests, planting crops and raising livestock, a scientist said on Tuesday. Methane levels started increasing 3000 years later.

Iraq to Stop Counting Civilian Dead December 10, 2003 AP BAGHDAD Iraq's Health Ministry has ordered a halt to a count of civilians killed during the war and told its statistics department not to release figures compiled so far, the official who oversaw the count told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The order was relayed by the ministry's director of planning, Dr. Nazar Shabandar, but the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which oversees the ministry, also wanted the counting to stop, said Dr. Nagham Mohsen, the head of the ministry's statistics department.

US, Israel prepare mass killings in Iraq December 10, 2003 By Bill Vann The Bush administration is about to launch a campaign of wholesale killings in Iraq with the assistance of the Israeli military, according to both US and Israeli sources quoted in several recent news reports. Frustrated over the growing popular resistance to the US military occupation and determined to reduce US casualties in Iraq before next November’s election, the administration has authorized a policy that could well resemble the infamous “Operation Phoenix” assassination program run by the CIA during the Vietnam War. That operation claimed the lives of as many as 41,000 Vietnamese over a four-year period beginning in 1968. In preparation for the new counterinsurgency campaign, the US military has brought urban warfare specialists from the Israeli Defenses Force (IDF) to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the headquarters of the US Special Forces. They are training assassination teams in methods that the IDF has used to suppress Palestinian resistance to the Israel occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Six children die in fresh US blunder December 10, 2003 The US military announced today that six children and two adults were killed during a US attack on a weapons compound in south-eastern Afghanistan, the second bungled operation in the country to leave child victims in as many days.

Operation "Bloody Skulls" December 10, 2003 Andrew Kabannikov Pravda, Russia After arriving to Baghdad with the US troops our correspondent was shocked by the cruelty of the “liberators”.Akhmad’s saving for a gun Fourteen-year-old Akhmad has a treasured dream: to buy a gun and to shoot an American soldier. It’s not easy: Akhmad has no idea how he would get such a huge sum of money – 30 dollars, for which he was promised an old Colt with a full clip. This is the kind of money his father – a shoe shiner – earned in a month. His entire family survived on this money. Now they are all dead: on April 2 an American missile targeted at the Information Ministry went slightly off-course and buried Akhmad’s parents and two sisters under the rubble of their home.

A new low point in this President's dismal record December 10, 2003 David Muhly On Wednesday, President Bush signed the ill-named "Healthy Forests Restoration Act," authorizing sweeping changes in the management of our National Forests. The House had rubber-stamped legislation supported by industry and the administration, and the Senate later passed a "compromise" version of the same bill. In the wake of the California fires, 90 percent of which burned in chaparral and shrubland, supporters of the legislation cynically wasted no time in moving their project forward.

Go-along media ignoring Kucinich December 10, 2003 By John Nichols Dennis Kucinich cannot get a break from big media. The co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus is running a vigorous, intellectually adventurous, policy-based campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is leaping on issues before the other candidates recognize them, bringing broader perspectives to the debates and building a base of supporters nationwide that could play a significant role in debates about the direction of the Democratic Party. Yet, the political punditocracy steadfastly refuses to treat his candidacy with even a measure of the seriousness that is accorded the other members of the House and Senate who are seeking the party's nod.

ABC News Pulls Reporter off Kucinich Campaign December 10, 2003  The day after Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich took ABC debate moderator Ted Koppel to task for avoiding questions that would be useful to voters in favor of questions about endorsements, money, and polls, ABC pulled its fulltime "embedded" reporter from the Kucinich campaign, a reporter who had been given no warning that such a move was coming and who had discussed at length yesterday with the Kucinich campaign staff her plans and her needs for the coming months.

High Payments to Halliburton for Fuel in Iraq December 10, 2003 By DON VAN NATTA Jr The United States government is paying the Halliburton Company an average of $2.64 a gallon to import gasoline and other fuel to Iraq from Kuwait, more than twice what others are paying to truck in Kuwaiti fuel, government documents show.

Campaign launched to appoint 9/11 Widow on 9/11 Commission December 10, 2003 A mass email campaign has begun reaching out to tens of thousands of concerned citizens encouraging them to lobby Senator Daschle to appoint Kristen Breitweiser to take the place of departing Max Cleland, who will likely be confirmed at the Import-Export Bank tomorrow.

This is Your Brain on Propaganda December 10, 2003 By Maureen Farrell Last January, a group of prominent business leaders bought an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal and, in an open letter to George W. Bush, reacted to the impending war. "The candidate we supported in 2000 promised a more humble nation in our dealings with the world," they wrote. "We gave him our votes and our campaign contributions. That candidate was you. We feel betrayed. We want our money back. We want our country back."

U.S. House of Reps. Approves Bill to Censor American Citizens from Voicing Opposition to U.S. War on Drugs December 10, 2003 WASHINGTON A little-known provision buried within the omnibus federal spending bill that the U.S. House of Representatives approved yesterday would take away federal grants from local and state transportation authorities that allow citizens to run advertising on buses, trains, or subways in support of reforming our nation’s drug laws. If enacted, the provision could effectively silence community groups around the country that are using advertising to educate Americans about medical marijuana and other drug policy reforms. Meanwhile, this same bill gives the White House $145 million in taxpayer money to run anti-marijuana ads next year.

17 students file suit over school drug raid December 10, 2003 Group seeks money for damages, injunction against another such raid Seventeen Stratford High School students are suing the city of Goose Creek and the Berkeley County school district in federal court, alleging police and school officials terrorized them in a drug raid last month. In the lawsuit, the 17 students asked for an unspecified amount of money for damages and an injunction against another such raid. They also asked for a declaration that their constitutional rights had been violated. The suit charges the students’ Fourth and 14th Amendment rights were violated. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure; the 14th forbids states from depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The suit also levels charges of assault, battery and false arrest.

A warning from deep inside the Pentagon December 10, 2003 SPINNEY: If you look at the weapons that we're buying, they're not for the war on terrorism. The best you can say about them is that they are not designed for the threats that we face. Some of them may not work at all. ANNOUNCER: The new defense budget is crammed full of high-tech super weapons. But with so many of our men and women now on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, are our tax dollars buying them what they need most? An exclusive interview with a Pentagon insider. MOYERS: You've said it's a moral sewer there on the Potomac. SPINNEY: That's correct. MOYERS: What do you mean, "moral sewer"? SPINNEY: Well, we are, in fact, in effect, undermining the Constitution because we won't address this issue of accountability. ANNOUNCER: And we also could be undermining our national security.

Manuel Valenzuela: 'The stupefaction of a nation' Corporate Media Propaganda and its Weapons of Mass Distraction December 10, 2003 By Manuel Valenzuela He who controls the media controls the masses. Today, America's media is controlled exclusively by fewer than a dozen multinational conglomerates and their many interests. NewsCorp, AOL, Viacom, General Electric, Disney and others have formed a media oligarch that reaches into every American home and most every citizen. These few omnipresent entities hold as paramount the belief in assuring for themselves perpetual loyalty from as many of the masses as possible. Revenue and profit, corporate growth and power, executive pay and ego, these are all determined by us, the masses, and helps explain why the oligarchy has decided to invest and take an interest in all forms of media that reaches and influences us.

Che Guevera — liberation fighter December 10, 2003 BY JORGE JORQUERA  What would people think of Ernesto “Che” Guevara if he were around today? This leader of the 1959 Cuban revolution was anything but a moderate. He believed with extreme passion in the beautiful possibilities of humankind. Many considered him impatient and fanatical, but he simply saw no reason to “moderate” his desire to make the world a better place.

Pentagon: One-third of new soldiers in Iraq army quit just before starting operations December 10, 2003 By Pauline Jelinek WASHINGTON (AP) Plans to deploy the first battalion of Iraq's new army are in doubt because a third of the soldiers trained by the U.S.-led occupation authority have quit, defense officials said Wednesday. Touted as a key to Iraq's future, the 700-man battalion lost some 250 men over recent weeks as they were preparing to begin operations this month, Pentagon officials said.

Nobel winner slams war on terror December 10, 2003 OSLO, Norway This year's Nobel Peace Prize winner says the September 11 attacks have been used as an excuse to violate international law and human rights. Iran's Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the prize, did not mention the U.S. by name but was clearly referring to Washington and its allies in a speech prepared for delivery at the official award ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

Does al-Qaeda exist? December 10, 2003 by Brendan O'Neill Al-Qaeda bombing foiled' says the front page of today's UK Sun. Also this week, media reports claim that al-Qaeda may have developed 'car-bomb capability' in the USA, and that al-Qaeda has compiled a 'kidnappers' manual' and is plotting to snatch American troops from Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. Every day since the 9/11 attacks of 2001 there have been media reports about al-Qaeda - its leaders, members, capabilities, bank accounts, reach and threat. What is this al-Qaeda? Does such a group even exist? Some terrorism experts doubt it.

"What will it take to defeat George Bush and reverse the momentum of darkness engulfing the earth"


What Will It Take To Defeat Bush? December 9, 2003 From Martin LeFevre in California The thought of another four years of the devil's right hand man as "leader of the free world" is too horrible to contemplate. But can Bush, and what he represents, be defeated? It is already too late for America. That's not the issue. The question is: will another four years of rule by these soulless men and women make it too late for humankind? Certainly defeating Bush will not, in itself, change anything. Shrub could easily be replaced by another puppet of the corporate and dark forces that are pulling his strings. The issue goes beyond American hegemony as well. The reason people hate Bush so much is that they see or sense that the disgusting physical and metaphysical entities that rule the world are going for all the marbles in him. The goal of greedy elites is the destruction of the diversity of life and peoples on earth, replaced by a smoothly operating consumeristic political economy. But that too is merely a means to the end of the ultimate metaphysical goal of the darkness in human consciousness. That is to bring about an irrecoverable erosion of the human character and the human spirit.

This President Spoke for the People of the World December 9, 2003 By Nicholas von Hoffman Whenever President George W. Bush ventures abroad to meet foreign officials the question is not what will he get accomplished but whether or not he will be murdered. The man cannot set foot outside the United States without a bodyguard of thousands of armed men and women. He literally cannot make a public appearance for fear of his life. No other world public figure rivals George W. Bush in low esteem. The man is despised everywhere.

The Medicare fraud and the decay of American democracy December 9, 2003 By David Walsh George W. Bush signed the Medicare reform bill amid great fanfare at a ceremony December 8 in Washington D.C. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The ceremony was something of a holiday season party for the legislation’s Republican supporters and leading figures in the health care industry.” The passage of this bill and its signing into law represent a devastating exposure of the state of American “democracy” in 2003. The new bill, passed by Congress last month, marks a significant step toward privatizing and ultimately dismantling Medicare. It places prescription drug coverage for senior citizens entirely in the hands of private insurance companies and health care plans, forbids the government from negotiating drug prices, blocks the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada, and subsidizes private health plans and insurers to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

No Cheer for the Unemployed December 9, 2003 With a perverse sense of holiday timing, President Bush and the Republican leaders of Congress are blithely accepting the expiration of emergency benefits badly needed by the nation's long-term unemployed. This vital program ends on Dec. 21, crushing the hopes of an estimated 80,000 or more jobless Americans each week who will find their state benefits expiring.

We should all thank George Bush for making things so bad Americans can’t ignore it any longer December 9, 2003 By Mick Youther In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I want to thank President George W. Bush and his administration for everything they have done for America. They have taught us the importance of fair elections—free from judicial interference. They have shown us what it is like to live in a nation where the “king” can declare war, break treaties, imprison foreigners and citizens and try them in secret trials with secret evidence. Thanks to Bush & Co. we now know why the Founding Fathers provided checks and balances on government and why they warned us to guard against every attack on the Constitution.

America launches campaign to oust Bush December 9, 2003 SAN FRANCISCO Liberal America, chastened into a cocoon in the face of a dramatic rise of a powerful neo-conservative Republican right, has begun to aggressively reassert itself and launched a campaign to oust President George W. Bush in 2004.

130 Daily Attacks Against Coalition Forces December 9, 2003 by There are now 130 daily attacks against coalition forces, with these forces only comprising one-third of the strength needed to fight the growing guerilla movement, reported The Scotsman. A former U.S. diplomat said the coalition has only a third of the forces needed to combat insurgents, and they still don't know exactly what faction is coordinating the attacks. "So we just go around kicking doors in, which is exactly what the enemy wants us to do," Neil was told. The insurgents themselves are described as focused, forward-thinking operators with unnervingly accurate intelligence information (in one instance, details of Paul Bremer's schedule).

Suicide Bomb Injures 58 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq December 9, 2003 By Seb Walker TAL AFAR, Iraq (Reuters) - A suicide car bomber wounded 58 U.S. soldiers and three Iraqis Tuesday when he charged the gates of an American military base and blew up his explosives-packed vehicle as troops opened fire. In Baghdad, a blast hit a Sunni mosque after morning prayers, killing three Iraqis and raising the specter of further sectarian tension adding to instability in Iraq.

Israel trains US assassination squads in Iraq December 9, 2003 Julian Borger Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and military sources said yesterday. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has sent urban warfare specialists to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the home of US special forces, and according to two sources, Israeli military "consultants" have also visited Iraq. US forces in Iraq's Sunni triangle have already begun to use tactics that echo Israeli operations in the occupied territories, sealing off centres of resistance with razor wire and razing buildings from where attacks have been launched against US troops. But the secret war in Iraq is about to get much tougher, in the hope of suppressing the Ba'athist-led insurgency ahead of next November's presidential elections.

US seeks new bases in Pakistan, India December 9, 2003 By Zia Iqbal Shahid BRUSSELS: As part of its ‘ambitious plan’ of relocating US troops, posted around the globe, to the regions closer to ‘areas of instability and trouble spots’, the US administration intends to negotiate new military bases in Pakistan, India and several other countries across the globe, a source closely linked to the Nato defence ministers’ deliberations in Brussels told The News.

Activists Gather in DC to Oppose CAFTA December 9, 2003 CAFTA is a trade agreement being negotiated by government representatives from the United States, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. It is modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Bush regime initiated CAFTA in 2002 and hopes to have an agreement sealed as quickly as possible, in part to move the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations forward faster (see the FTAA IMC). All the same problems human, environmental and labor rights organizations have with NAFTA (and the FTAA) are present in CAFTA. These include the negotiations' lack of transparency; probable provisions to allow corporations to sue governments when laws hinder potential profits; privatization of public services and utilities; reduced labor rights; increased economic instability and financial speculation; favoring subsidized agribusiness at the expense of small farmers; and environmental destruction. The little known Plan Puebla Panama is also an integral part of CAFTA.

Schwarzenegger sued by woman claiming dirty-tricks campaign December 9, 2003 FOREIGN STAFF ARNOLD Schwarzenegger is being sued by a woman who claims he launched a dirty-tricks campaign against her on the eve of his election as California governor, it emerged today. Stunt woman Rhonda Miller was one of a number of women who claimed to have been groped by the actor-turned-politician. But the day before Californians went to the polls Schwarzenegger’s office allegedly issued an advisory to the media, detailing information about a convicted criminal called Rhonda Miller. Within hours Ms Miller was branded a criminal on news programmes. Only days after the election, with Schwarzenegger victorious, did it emerge that Ms Miller had no criminal record.

US DOLLAR IMPLOSION - PART II December 8, 2003 By Alf Field In June 2002 I published an article entitled “The Coming US Dollar Implosion”. At that time the Euro was US$ 0.96 and the US Dollar Index 108. The figures today (3rd Dec 2003) are Euro = US$1.20 and a US Dollar index of just under 90. The Euro has gained 25%. The US Dollar index has declined 17%. As Winston Churchill might have put it, in regard to the US Dollar : “We have reached the End of the Beginning and are about to enter the Beginning of the End”. What has taken place during the past 17 months has been no more than Part I of the US$ implosion. We are set to start Part II.

Two Supreme Court Cases Confront Further Erosion of “Right to Remain Silent” December 8, 2003 WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in United States v. Patane and Missouri v. Seibert, two cases in which confessions, information and evidence were obtained by police without fully advising suspects of their “right to remain silent” as required by the landmark Miranda ruling. “The Seibert case highlights the increasingly commonplace practice of questioning suspects ‘outside Miranda,’” said Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the ACLU, which filed friend-of-the-court briefs in both cases. “Rather than instructing their officers to follow Miranda, too many police departments are training their officers to undermine Miranda. The result is an erosion of perhaps the Court’s best-known criminal justice ruling – and an erosion of faith in the justice system that police are sworn to uphold.”

Revealed: how drug firms 'hoodwink' medical journals December 8, 2003 Antony Barnett Pharmaceutical giants hire ghostwriters to produce articles - then put doctors' names on them. Hundreds of articles in medical journals claiming to be written by academics or doctors have been penned by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies, an Observer inquiry reveals. The journals, bibles of the profession, have huge influence on which drugs doctors prescribe and the treatment hospitals provide. But The Observer has uncovered evidence that many articles written by so-called independent academics may have been penned by writers working for agencies which receive huge sums from drug companies to plug their products.

Florida won't require printouts of touch-screen votes December 8, 2003 By George Bennett, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer California will require that its touch-screen voting machines provide paper printouts for each ballot cast, but Florida's top elections official says she does not favor a similar standard here.

BAKER TAKES THE LOAF The President's Business Partner Slices Up Iraq December 8, 2003 By Greg Palast Well, ho ho ho! It's an early Christmas for James Baker III. All year the elves at his law firm, Baker Botts of Texas, have been working day and night to prevent the families of the victims of the September 11 attack from seeking information from Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom's funding of Al Qaeda fronts. It's tough work, but this week the payoff came when President Bush appointed Baker, the firm's senior partner, to "restructure" the debts of the nation of Iraq. And who will net the big bucks under Jim Baker's plan? Answer: his client, Saudi Arabia, which claims $30.7 billion due from Iraq (plus $12 billion in "reparations" from the First Gulf war). Let's ponder what's going on here. We are talking about something called 'sovereign debt.' And unless George Bush has finally 'fessed up and named himself Pasha of Iraq, he is not their sovereign. Mr. Bush has no authority to seize control of that nation's assets nor its debts.

Iraq delays hand Cheney firm $1bn December 8, 2003 Oliver Morgan Key contract decisions postponed again, Blair drawn into row over lack of 'level playing fields' Halliburton, the engineering group formerly run by US vice-president Dick Cheney, has been given $1 billion worth of reconstruction work in Iraq by the US government without having to compete for it, thanks to repeated delays in opening up a key contract to competition.

U.S. offers apologies after deaths of Afghan children December 8, 2003 The Associated Press Shoes and woven hats littered a bloodstained field in this desolate Afghan village Sunday, a day after a U.S. warplane targeting a terrorism suspect mistakenly killed nine children. The United States said the suspect, a former Taliban commander, was killed in the attack, but villagers said he had left the area days ago. The rockets made 30 to 40 small craters in the ground around where the children had died. The 10th victim, an uncle of the two girls, rushed toward the stream after the first plane struck and was cut down beside them, said a woman who identified herself as the man's mother and the dead girls' grandmother.

Whales Reveal Man's Damaging Impact On Oceans December 8, 2003 By Nita Bhalla PORT LOUIS, Mauritius (Reuters) - Sailing the world's remotest seas in search of the awesome sperm whale, the steel-hulled Odyssey has been dredging up some dark secrets about mankind's damaging impact on the oceans. A scientific research vessel circumnavigating the globe, the 93-foot sailing boat has been tracking the giant whales in the hope that they may hide in their bulk important clues to the state of the world's seas. The mission is not over, but the early indications are ominous. Pollutants, the debris of man's life on land, have poisoned the waters that dominate the planet.

Russia accuses US over Georgia December 8, 2003 By Tom Warner  Russia accused the US at the weekend of having pressured Georgia's former President Eduard Shevardnadze out of office, partly by helping to organise the demonstrations last month that convinced him to resign. "There are enough facts bearing witness that the events of those days weren't any kind of spontaneous occurrence," Igor Ivanov, Russia's foreign minister, said on his ministry's internet site. Mr Ivanov said Richard Miles, US ambassador, had helped prepare the protest movement in Georgia. He also said it was "becoming more obvious" that James Baker and Gen John Shalikashvili, US emissaries who visited before the protests, had tried to persuade Mr Shevardnadze to quit.

The Echo Chamber as a Political Weapon December 8, 2003 by Rob Kall Great idea, starting an online Fox Watch Group to track Fox news' s media bias. But Fox is only one tentacle of the right-wing policy and position promotion monster. They use an echo chamber that consists of Fox, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, local talk show hosts, the weekly standard, the right wing half of CNN’s Crossfire-- and a slew of neocon think tank pundits who regularly get their articles published in the mainstream print media.

IRAQ: Vietnam replayed December 8, 2003 BY DOUG LORIMER While the White House and Pentagon brass desperately want to avoid the US people drawing any such comparisons, with US troops dying every day at the hands of guerrillas who clearly have popular backing, more and more Americans are coming to realise that the war in Iraq is a replay of the Vietnam War.

NAZI GERMANY’S WAR ON TERRORISM December 8, 2003 Hitler used the 1933 burning of the Reichstag (Parliament) building by a deranged Dutchman to declare a “war on terrorism,” establish his legitimacy as a leader (even though he hadn’t won a majority in the previous election). “You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history,” he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. “This fire,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion, “is the beginning.” He used the occasion – “a sign from God,” he called it – to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their “evil” deeds in their religion.

Top Secret Advisor To 4 Presidents Dies 'Violently' In DC December 8, 2003 By Dave Martin Gus W. Weiss, 72, adviser to four presidents on top secret policy matters, died violently in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2003, of a fall from the Watergate East residential building in the District. The D.C. medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

UN votes 90-8 to ask Hague court for opinion on fence December 8, 2003 By Shlomo Shamir and Aluf Benn, Haaretz The United Nations General Assembly approved Monday a resolution asking the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's construction of the separation fence. Ninety nations voted in favor of the draft, eight opposed and 74 countries abstained. The United States and Israel strongly opposed the resolution.

Student's one-year headache December 8, 2003 An American school with a "zero-tolerance" policy on drugs has suspended a pupil for a year for having headache tablets. Year 10 high school pupil Amanda Stiles, from Louisiana, was suspended after over-the-counter Ibuprofen pills were found in her purse. Head teacher Ken Kruithof said the decision was in line with Parkway High School's tough anti-drugs rules, even though the tablets are legal. Last month armed police stormed a high school in South Carolina and ordered children to the floor at gunpoint so they could conduct a drugs search.

US spending surges to historic level December 8, 2003 Vote on gargantuan bill in Congress caps a year of stunning growth in government. | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor President Bush and the Republican-led Congress are spending money at a rate not seen since World War II

The 9/11 "investigation" – sometimes priorities dictate December 7, 2003 By Kerry Tomasi Now suppose you were a congressman assigned to investigate the 911 terrorist attacks. As you begin, it becomes apparent that certain members of the US government had conspired to allow the attacks to occur. In fact, it's just lying there, slightly below the surface, right out in the open. You immediately realize you're dealing with the kind of people who would—at the very least, and simply to further a political agenda—look the other way while 3,000 civilians were murdered. And if that wasn't troubling enough, you then get a 'friendly' visit from someone you've never met before, inquiring into how well your daughter is doing at that overseas university in Dorm Room 305. As Henry Kissinger once theorized, when a revolutionary power seeks to overthrow an existing and stable system, it begins first by refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of that system, or it's rules. Those living within the system do not realize this, and therefore reject the notion that anyone would, for instance, disobey 'the rules' so blatantly and permit the murder of 3,000 people purely for political gain; even though such an action (or inaction) would hand the conspirators the cover to achieve virtually everything they could have ever dreamed of politically.

EXECUTIVE TYRANNY December 7, 2003 by Jonathan Metcalfe "Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government." - Henry Kissinger With the unearthing of old and newly improved executive orders recently we come to realise that this has been an ideological strategy that was designed long before the present U.S. administration. We are seeing the death throes of the US constitution and any semblance of democracy that may have initially existed with the founding fathers. It seems inevitable that the U.S. will become the epitome of a totalitarian rule with a further mandate to build on its already established cultural "McDonaldization" and geopolitical destruction of the planet.

US child bombing account challenged December 7, 2003 US 'sorry' Patches of dried blood and a pitiful pile of children's hats and shoes are the only evidence that remains of a bombing raid that went dreadfully wrong, our correspondent says. Seven boys, two girls and a 25-year-old man were killed when two A-10 American planes fired rockets and bullets into a group of villagers sitting under the shade of a tree at about 1030 local time (0600 GMT) on Saturday, he says. The United Nations has also condemned the incident as "profoundly distressing " and called for a swift inquiry.

Hunger In Paradise December 7, 2003 By William A. Collins Jobs aplenty, On the street. Just don't earn, Enough to eat. There's bad news out there for the president about America's rising poverty rate. It seems that all too often Junior and Sis, having lost their jobs, are coming home to live with Mom and Dad. Yes, voters may be able to overlook homeless data and food bank shortfalls, but when the kids want to reclaim their old rooms, now that's getting personal.

Russian Deputy Drug Czar: US Soldiers Becoming Drug Addicts in Afghanistan December 7, 2003 MOSCOW US soldiers are developing a drug addiction problem in Afghanistan, said Deputy State Drug Controller Alexander Mikhailov. He said that there have already been several occurrences of drug addiction among US soldiers in Afghanistan, but the US leadership is keeping it quiet. 'They don't have control of the situation.

Denial of Purple Heart Medals Raises Questions About Casualty Count December 7, 2003 by Patrick Peterson GULFPORT, Miss. - An influential Mississippi congressman has raised the possibility that the Pentagon has undercounted combat casualties in Iraq after he learned that five members of the Mississippi National Guard who were injured Sept. 12 by a booby trap in Iraq were denied Purple Heart medals.

USA may send US military to Georgia December 7, 2003 According to a source in the Georgian State Office, today's talks between US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the new Georgian authorities touched upon the presence of US military in Georgia. Rumsfeld said at a briefing after the talks that the USA was thinking about deploying direct-action corps in the region. The US official also reported that the program of military assistance to Georgia was approaching completion. Under the program, 2,750 special Georgian servicemen should be trained and equipped by the end of this year. The USA has already spent $64m for the program, and the US Defense Department and the Georgian Defense Ministry have just agreed that the program of military assistance would be continued.

Poland ready to consider US bases on its territory: defense minister December 7, 2003 WARSAW (AFP) Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said Friday that Poland, a former Soviet satellite, was ready to consider allowing US bases on its territory if such a request was made. "US Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith arrives in Poland Monday to discuss the issue of US bases overseas," defense ministry spokesman Colonel Adam Stasinski told AFP without elaborating.

Melting Ice 'Will Swamp Capitals' December 7, 2003 By Geoffrey Lean The Independent - UK Measures to fight global warming will have to be at least four times stronger than the Kyoto Protocol if they are to avoid the melting of the polar ice caps, inundating central London and many of the world's biggest cities, concludes a new official report. The report, by a German government body, says that even if it is fully implemented, the protocol will only have a "marginal attenuating effect" on the climate change.

Complacent Canadians Forfeit Their Freedom December 7, 2003 Henry Makow Ph.D. "Terrorism" Ploy to Create Police State Canada took a step closer to tyranny Thursday when a lawyer who defends suspected "terrorists" received a death threat from a Canadian government agency. Rocco Galati referred to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) but seemed afraid to make the accusation outright. "I'm on the verge of tears because it means we now live in Colombia, because the rule of law is meaningless, " Galati told a news conference Dec. 4. If this is happening in Canada, you can bet it's happening in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere. Galati said that he would no longer represent about a half dozen accused "terrorists." The death threat, left on his answering machine said Galati was a "dead wop" for defending Abdulrahman Khadr, "a punk terrorist." Galati recognized the voice from another death threat involving CSIS in which his client "disappeared". He characterized the threat as "institutional" rather than "individual."

These are photos of things made by the Russian people. Now try and imagine a war with Russia...


Georgia’s rose revolution a made in America coup December 6, 2003 By Barry Grey and Vladimir Volkov The United States has followed its successful regime change in the strategic Caucasian nation of Georgia with a series of moves aimed at pressing its advantage over its major rival in the region, Russia. US-backed successors joined with the American secretary of state, Colin Powell, to publicly criticize Russia and demand the removal of troops from Georgia and another former Soviet territory, Moldova. Washington’s aggressive stand toward Moscow coincided with the announcement that US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld would visit the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on December 5. Georgian parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for January 4. will be little more than a formality, as the US-backed forces that seized power over the weekend of November 22-23 have coalesced around the current mayor of Tbilisi and most prominent leader of the insurgency. Earlier in the week, President George Bush telephoned acting Georgian president Burdzhanadze and promised to intervene, if necessary, to uphold Georgia’s “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

U.S. eyeing bigger foothold in the Caucasus? December 6, 2003 By Vladimir Radyuhin MOSCOW The United States is planning to establish a major military presence in Azerbaijan to win a bigger foothold in the former Soviet part of the Caucasus, safeguard oil and gas pipelines in the region and step up pressure on Iran. The U.S. Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, discussed the plan with Azerbaijan's newly-elected President, Ilham Aliyev, during his visit to Baku on Wednesday, Azerbaijani media reports said. Mr. Rumsfeld ducked questions about possible American bases in Azerbaijan, but confirmed Washington's resolve to expand defence cooperation with the oil-rich former Soviet republic in the Caucasus.

Government Lies About US Economy December 6, 2003 From Bill Conn I also have an internet retail site. This year my sales have dropped to 50% of what they were a year ago at this time. I also know of other people who have retail websites, they are all telling me the same thing that I say. Sales are way down this year compared to last year on the internet. I also have friends who work at street front retail shops, all of the retail shops are complaining about how piss poor sales are this season compared to last year at this time. However the media is saying that retail this year is way up for street front stores........way up where I ask? I don't see this at all, in fact I see it to be just the opposite. Sales suck this year!

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