Saturday, February 08, 2003

CNN.com - China cautions Bush on U.N. authority - Feb. 8, 2003 Chinese President Jiang Zemin has urged U.S. President George W. Bush to tread carefully and safeguard the authority of the United Nations Security Council in dealing with Iraq and North Korea, state media has reported.
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage With so many rallies, walks and protests from which to choose on the Internet, peace proponents are advised to keep the invitations straightforward.
As Sanders said, the best method is a direct e-mail invitation to individuals that have expressed interest beforehand. But never resort to mass mailing, he warned.
"You don't want to bother people with e-mails all the time. I'm not a peace spammer. At least I try not to be," Sanders said.
Losing patience with the left - theage.com.au Is it only in war that the suffering of children is to be condemned? Why is the left not holding protest rallies to save these children? Why no marches on parliament, why no hard questions from left-leaning journalists about the fact that Australia's overseas aid budget is at the lowest level on record? Why not ask John Howard why, if he is so keen to emulate George Bush, he does not follow the recent US example and triple funding to fight AIDS?
Everyman PM represents few - theage.com.au His calculation seemed to be that the bulk of Australian voters would, because of their sense of horror, almost reflexively conclude as he had: that the world was now divided into good guys and bad guys, and that the Bush Administration constituted the latter.
spiked-politics | Article | Powell doesn't wow Powell's evidence may have been weak, but so is the opposition to America and Britain's war. When the 'big clash' between the pro-war and anti-war lobbies is a tactical one over evidence and methods, then even Powell's blurry snapshots with their big yellow arrows might be enough to win over some of the antis.
AlterNet: The Inspections Flap: Both Sides Are Wrong This is what the anti-war activists should decry: We are going to war for American economic and political interests, not national security, and we are doing so by cutting a swath of political damage that might never be repaired. Hypocrisy, falsehoods, venality, lawlessness, bullying and violence? Is this what we've come to? That is the best case against the war, and irrefutable by the warriors.
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Risky business for Howard as he takes to the air - theage.com.au He hinted, however, that the decision would be a formality: "If, in the end, there is a formal request for involvement in a military operation, then I will be getting my Cabinet together and we'll have a quick meeting and make a decision."
Coalition MPs fail to board the peace truck - theage.com.au "The Labor Party is certainly anti-US; they are pro-Iraq and pro-UN," NSW Liberal MP Alan Cadman claimed on Thursday,
Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information.
Radically expand law enforcement intelligence gathering authorities
Reduce or eliminate judicial oversight or surveillance
Authorize secret arrests
Create DNA database on unchecked executive "suspicion"
Create new death penalties
Revoke citizenship of persons belonging to or supporting "disfavored" political groups.
58% of Americans say they believe George W. Bush would lie and/or conceal evidence against his position in order to secure support for risking the lives of Americans in an invasion of Iraq.
How many would trust George W. Bush with the power to:
spy on them without permission from a judge?
"secretly arrest" them?
access their DNA on a "whim"?
invent more reasons for executing more people?
determine whether the groups they belong to are in accordance with the regime's right-wing, Christian fundamentalist world view, and if not, revoke members' citizenship?
Full story from the Center for Public Integrity
(WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2003) -- The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information.
The Courier Mail: Drought shires now qualify for flood relief too [08feb03] HUNDREDS of central Queensland primary producers will be eligible this weekend for both drought and flood relief assistance.

Six of nine central Queensland shires which were declared natural disaster areas yesterday after cyclonic rains are also drought-declared and will remain so until local drought committees recommend their shires be taken off the list.
This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow (WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2003) -- The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information.
ABC Australia News - 08/02/03 : Women want leaders to see stark anti-war message Women have travelled from as far as Brisbane to take part in what some have dubbed the "bush against Bush" protest.
Pentagon's TIA To be under Board Supervision
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2003 -- Two boards will oversee the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Total Information Awareness program, said Pete Aldridge,undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, today.

The program concept is designed to catch terrorists before they strike. TIA uses tracking tools to obtain and analyze information pertaining to the actions of terrorists. The Defense Department said that while the program is promising, it is very much a research concept.

Retired Rear Adm. John Poindexter, a former national security adviser under President Reagan, heads the research effort.

Poindexter explained the program at a DARPA-sponsored conference in California in August 2002. "If terrorist organizations are going to plan and execute attacks against the United States, their people must engage in transactions and they will leave signatures in information space," he said at the DARPATech 2002 Conference. "This is a list of transaction categories, and it is meant to be inclusive."

He said currently terrorists can hide when necessary and find sponsorship for their acts. "We are painfully aware of some of the tactics that they employ," Poindexter said. "This low-intensity, low-density form of warfare has an information signature. We must be able to pick this signal out of the noise."

Civil liberties groups are concerned the program will invade privacy. Some maintain it is an excuse to spy upon American citizens and liken it to the FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr.

DoD is attempting to assuage these concerns by establishing the boards. The internal board, chaired by Aldridge, will oversee and monitor the way Total Information Awareness is handled and how it is turned over to other agencies for their use. The board will hold its first meeting at the end of February.

In addition to Aldridge, the internal board will consist of
David Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness; Doug Feith, undersecretary for policy; John Stenbit, assistant secretary for command, control, communications and intelligence; Powell Moore, assistant secretary for legislative affairs; Victoria Clarke, assistant secretary for public affairs; and William Haynes II, DoD general counsel.

The external board is chaired by Newton Minow, director of the Annenberg Washington Program and the Annenberg professor of communications law and policy at NorthwesternUniversity. Also serving are Floyd Abrams, civil rights attorney; Zoe Baird, director, Markle Foundation (private philanthropic organization); Griffin Bell, former U.S.attorney general and U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judge; Gerhard Casper, president emeritus for Stanford University and professor of law; William T. Coleman, former chairman and CEO of BEA (application infrastructure software company) and now chief customer advocate; and Lloyd Cutler, former White House counsel.

Aldridge said the program cost DARPA $10 million in fiscal 2003 and is forecast to receive $20 million in the president's fiscal 2004 budget request.

ABC News - 08/02/03 : Powell's deputy comments on ALP's US verbal attack "Colin Powell's deputy Richard Armitage says the ALP is entitled to whatever views it likes, but he reiterated the Bush administrations offence at the tone of some recent comments.

"It's not that we're so concerned, we welcome a robust debate, but I just know that some of the comments seem to border on the personal," he said."

Australia to deploy entire Gulf force - theage.com.au The decision was designed to increase pressure on Iraq to disarm, he said. A week ago, Senator Hill said there had been no decision to deploy these forces.

More sneakiness on Iraq.
Paging Mr Vader - theage.com.au This guy's MagicBook interface uses hand-held glasses to overlay virtual imagery on the pages on a real book. Users can see the virtual models from their own perspective and enter the virtual space to interact with each other and the virtual characters.
Peril at the 38th parallel - smh.com.au The former CIA station chief in Seoul and one-time US Ambassador to South Korea, Donald Gregg, visited Pyongyang last November. He said there was "a perfect storm" brewing on the Korean peninsula. With the US distracted by Iraq, North Korea is lunging towards creating a nuclear arsenal. For two months, he has been urging the White House to open "a positive dialogue" with North Korea but until recently he was rebuffed.
Arms inspector dares to check the doomsday clock - smh.com.au "You think they're going to satisfy themselves with annihilating Seoul? No. They won't be satisfied until Tokyo is reduced to a slab of radioactive waste."
Eschaton I mean, regardless of what one thinks about the relevance of this to the war/no war question, it should be a major news story, and it has practically gone unreported. Ibrahim al-Marashi was on Lou Dobbs yesterday and Lou didn't even bring it up. A major "intelligence report," released at a critical moment in the war debate and praised by Colin Powell in a key speech to the U.N., was discovered not to have been the result of any intelligence gathering at all. It has caused major embarrassment for our only real ally in this thing and increases the possibility his government won't survive this decision - and our press has been practically silent on it thus far?
PennLive.com: NewsFlash The Defense Department is preparing new weapons that can loiter over a battlefield or sneak into enemy territory and "sleep" until an appropriate military target blunders into their sights.
Some weapons envisioned are mere concepts and may never be produced. Others, like Lockheed Martin's 5-foot-long Loitering Attack Missile, are already being tested.
Cyber pspd "We are going to raise the flag of Solidarity for the society in which everyone can have a voice and people with diligence and honesty may lead life they deserve. ...We, to be the real sovereign of the country, should become watchdogs of the government screening over daily decision-making process it derives its power from ... let's unite our efforts in bringing a new era where social participation of the people and their human rights are well appreciated and respected" (From PSPD Inaugural Statement, September 10, 1994)
Cyber pspd Youth Village
Explorer's Group, Our Land
Civil Lobby Group
Love for Mountain
People Protecting National Storage
People Protecting Basic Rights
Really Good, Singing Group
Workers for Reunification
Climbing Mountains
People Building Open Society
ChamKae (College Group)
Macksabal (Peasant Music Group)
Wah, Acting Youth'
Love for Cartoon

Friday, February 07, 2003

am not afraid that this war will fail. I am afraid that it will succeed.
I am afraid that it will prove to be the first in an indefinite series of American interventions. I am afraid that it is the beginning of a new empire: an empire that I am afraid Britain may have little choice but to join.
BBC NEWS | Americas | Poor countries raise weapons budgets A report by the US State Department says developing countries are spending a record amount of money on weapons.
The study looks at military spending worldwide at the end of the 1990s, and reveals an 18% increase in expenditure by developing countries over the previous decade.
Asylum seeker commits suicide mmigration Minister Philip Ruddock defended his government's treatment of asylum seekers after the suicide of a man whom authorities asked to return to Afghanistan.
The 46-year-old man committed suicide on Monday at Murray Bridge in South Australia, executive director of Catholic welfare agency Centacare Dale West said.

Mr West said the man, who had been on a temporary protection visa (TPV) due to expire on April 11, hanged himself.
This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow Yet there's power, wonder-working power, in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people."
As it turns out, the "power, wonder-working power" bit is a reference to an old hymn, "There is Power in the Blood of the Lamb."
Nicholas D. Kristof (Moderated) He has intrinsically instigated the 1980 Kwangju Riot and grabbed the Presidency on the wave of the regionalism.
War and Wisdom As for General Zinni, he said of the hawks: "I'm not sure which planet they live on, because it isn't the one that I travel." In an October speech to the Middle East Institute in Washington, he added: "[If] we intend to solve this through violent action, we're on the wrong course. First of all, I don't see that that's necessary. Second of all, I think that war and violence are a very last resort."
Kurds Puzzled by Report of Terror Camp But Mr. Powell's assertion also produced confusion tonight. One senior Kurdish official, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan who is familiar with the intelligence on Ansar, said he had not heard of the laboratory Mr. Powell displayed.
"I don't know anything about this compound," he said.
Kurds also questioned whether Mr. Powell was mistaken, or had mislabeled the photograph. Khurmal, the village named on the photo, is controlled not by Ansar al-Islam but by Komala Islami Kurdistan, a more moderate Islamic group.
The New York Sun So the New York City police could do worse, in the end, than to allow the protest and send two witnesses along for each participant, with an eye toward preserving at least the possibility of an eventual treason prosecution. Thus fully respecting not just some, but all of the constitutional principles at stake.
ABC News - Uni finds many women, children homeless Homelessness in Australia is on the rise, with women and children becoming a major risk group, according to a Queensland University of Technology study.
ABC News - Crean, ambassador meet over 'US-bashing' The Government has accused the Opposition of promoting anti-American sentiment.

US ambassador Tom Schieffer says comments from some Labor MPs have been unhelpful and emotional.
ABC News - Driver charged with wombat hit-and-runs A man has been charged with running over and killing 12 wombats on a road in a national park.
ABC News - 07/02/03 : Police arrest protesters at Liberal function More than 20 people have been arrested at Sydney's Darling Harbour while protesting against the Federal Government's immigration policy.
Greens surge ahead of Dems The Greens have more MPs now than any minor party for decades. Kris Hanna's defection in South Australia has brought their tally to 16, taking them further ahead of the struggling Democrats who have only 12.

Analysts can't quite get their heads around the size of the shifts that are happening right now.
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall The truth is that the administration has blustered its way into a box, ruling out its two basic options -- talking or fighting -- and giving the North Koreans time to strengthen their hand by advancing their plutonium production. They're putting on a cool demeanor like they've got a master plan, but by not admitting that what's happening is a crisis, they're simply letting the situation drift until a nuclear North Korea becomes a fait accompli.
Calls Build For U.S. Activism In N. Korea (washingtonpost.com) Former Washington Post reporter and Korea specialist Don Oberdorfer warned yesterday that "unless something is done in the next few weeks, my sense is it's going to be too late."
Sri Lankan Rebels Detonate Bomb Aboard Boat (washingtonpost.com) Three Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebels blew themselves up at sea on Friday after Nordic truce monitors boarded their boat for an inspection, just hours ahead of peace talks set to begin in Germany.

This could erase 12 months of peace...the longest spell in the last 20 years in Sri Lanka.
This was posted to the local peace email listserv....

Operation Infinite Stupidity

Go on home Yankee soldiers
We don't want your bloody war
it's a war against the poor.
Go on home.
You can stick your new world order.
You can shove your law and order.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.
We want the war to cease.
We want the world at peace.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.
Go on home and count the cost
of every life that's lost.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

You strut the whole world wide
saying god is on your side.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

But one day you will find
you have no peace of mind.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

You could spend your excess wealth
sharing food and good health,
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

You could be the third world's friend
but greed defeats you in the end.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

Go and fight the war at home
you've got problems of your own.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

The people of Iraq
never want to see you back.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

You've got problems of your own.
Don't spread the lies and fear.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

You've made a lot of bread
In the arms trade it is said
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

And now justice has been done
Pick up your toys and run
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

They don't want you in Sudan
or in Afghanistan.
Go on home Yankee soldiers
Go on home.

Go on home British soldiers
Go on home.
Have you got no bloody homes of your own.
Go on home Aussie soldiers
Go on home.
Go and waltz your matilda at home.

Go on home.
Go and waltz your matilda at home.

Feel free to use this song to stop the war
John Tomlinson 2003

Gate-Crasher Hands Bush 'Message From God' (washingtonpost.com) Weaver told Montgomery that at one point he unhooked a rope in front of the head table, approached the president and handed him the letter, which warned: "If America does not repent, there will be 50,000 casualties and a six-month war" with Iraq.
A Longtime Antiwar Activist, Escalating the Peace She has kept ideological leanings out of the protest. The fliers being distributed are simple and direct, with the slogan "The World Says No to War," along with a list of cities from Copenhagen to Rome that will also see protests on that date. The first call for demonstrations on Feb. 15 was issued by the European Social Forum.
washingtonpost.com: N.Y. Antiwar March Blocked Organizations opposed to a war with Iraq sued the city of New York today after it denied permission for a rally and march past the United Nations next week.
A coalition called United for Peace and Justice asked a federal judge to order the city to issue a permit for a large antiwar march Feb. 15. It accused the city of denying protesters their First Amendment rights.

theage.com.au - The Age During budget submission discussions in the US Congress, no allowance has been made by the Bush Administration for a war with Iraq. If there is a war, the Administration will have to apply for additional sums of $US60 billion ($A101 billion) in the current year and another $US100 billion in the next budget year.
If the US were to pay inspectors instead of making war, they could pay 1000 inspectors (at $US100,000 each) for 1600 years, 10,000 inspectors for 160 years or 100,000 inspectors for 16 years for the same money.
I know which alternative I think is better.
The Australian: ALP attack enrages Washington [February 07, 2003]
The US has formally complained to Opposition Leader Simon Crean's office about Labor's anti-Americanism, suggesting it is damaging the Australia-US alliance.
Bush makes case for energy freedom Within that energy pie, fuel cells and hydrogen research would get a 121 percent increase to $88 million. On the other hand, wind energy research would fall 5.5 percent, while solar energy and hydropower funding would remain the same.
Senate Presses Powell on North Korea Secretary Powell told senators that the administration remains committed to helping the impoverished, starving people of North Korea. "But we have to find a way to do it that does not suggest to the North Koreans that we are doing it because they have this, this tool, this weapon that they use, of nuclearization of the peninsula," he said.
North Korea threatens pre-emptive hit on US - smh.com.au The director of the Asia Pacific Security Program at the Australian National University, Alan Dupont, said that if South Korea asked Canberra for military assistance in the event of a North Korean attack, it would be "extremely difficult for any government to refuse".
channel4.com - news The government's carefully co-ordinated propaganda offensive took an embarrassing hit tonight after Downing Street was accused of plagiarism.
Could co-ops solve telecommunication woes? » ABC New England North West NSW » The Backyard But one expert believes we're approaching the problem of telecommunications in the bush from the wrong angle. Technology commentator, Stuart Fist believes communities should be forming co-operatives to control access to telecommunications,
Past news Moreover, the U.S. can never flee from the blame for having grossly breached the fundamental principle of the NPT which bans nuclear threat to the non-nuclear states by listing signatories to the treaty which are non-nuclear countries as targets of its preemptive nuclear attacks.
English JoongAngIlbo In a draft of a joint resolution to be adopted by the Korea-U.S. and U.S.-Korea business councils on Jan. 19, the American business community suggested language saying, "Anti-U.S. sentiment must not be allowed to hinder cooperation to defuse the tension sparked by the North Korea nuclear issue."

"It is unprecedented that American businessmen address anti-American sentiment here as a major concern," said Jeffrey Jones, former president of the American Chamber of Commerce and a long-time business legal consultant here. The situation was aggrevated further when some Seoul media misinterpreted the passage as calling for the suppression of anti-U.S. sentiment.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea According to last year's US trade statistics obtained by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency), trade with North Korea between January and November amounted to US$23.67 million, more than twice that of 1999 at US$11.29 million.
Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea Shin Joong-shik, head of the Korea Information Service said Thursday he would file a strong complaint to the Wall Street Journal concerning a Wednesday editorial that alleged North Korea was paid to take part in the June 15, 2000 Summit, and consequently President Kim Dae-jung's Nobel Peace Prize was undeserved.
Ananova - Hoffman blasts Bush's war plans
"I don't think, like many of us, that the reasons we have been given for going to war are the honest reasons.
"If they are saying it's about the fact they have biological weapons and might have nuclear weapons and that gives us the liberty to pre-empt and strike because we think they might hit us, then what prevents Pakistan from attacking India, what prevents India from attacking Pakistan, what prevents us from going into North Korea?
"I believe - though I may wrong because I am no expert - that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power and oil".
FDA seeks altered-gene piglets sold as food U.S. says they pose no risk to public, but critics fear 'incidents like this'
US Navy flight tests "drone swarm" “Gung ho” means “work together,” and that’s what Texas-based Geneva Aerospace, Inc. has got its flying robots doing.
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | N Korea threatens US with first strike "The United States says that after Iraq, we are next", said the deputy director Ri Pyong-gap, "but we have our own countermeasures. Pre-emptive attacks are not the exclusive right of the US."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US claim dismissed by Blix He said the choice for the UN was between continued containment and invasion. Both strategies had problems, but an invasion required 250,000 troops and over $100bn while for containment the numbers were 250 inspectors and $80m.
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US claim dismissed by Blix In a series of leaks or previews, the state department has said Mr Powell will allege that Iraq moved mobile biological weapons laboratories ahead of an inspection. Dr Blix said he had already inspected two alleged mobile labs and found nothing: "Two food-testing trucks have been inspected and nothing has been found."
Hillary Bray: more great gossip Is Bob Brown's shadow, the ubiquitous Ben Oquist, about to become a figure in his own right? Ben is number three on the Green Ticket for the New South Wales Legislative Council. If the Greens can poll 10 per cent - not too much of an ask at the moment - he'll have a good chance of getting in with the right preferences.
With the number two on the Democrats' ticket, Peter Furness, being quoted in yesterday's Telegraph as saying "I'm not doing a thing for the division doing its utmost to screw me over" and the party only polling two per cent - less than half of the 4.5 per cent quota needed to win a seat, it doesn't look as if they'll score. An Oquist win would be salt in the Dems wounds.
White Gold: Underwater oddity's odyssey And the Patagonian toothfish (or Chilean sea bass), is certainly not pretty. But, according to scientists in Denmark, it can also travel half way round the Earth, putting it among the most resilient of deep-water fish.
Orcinus Recall that we observed last time out that, even though we identified the Patriots as the main proto-fascist element in America today, they remain “groupuscular,” and thus relatively impotent. Two key components are missing: the alliance with statist/corporatist elements, and allegiance to a single charismatic leader.
Australian IT - Telstra split inquiry dropped (Wires, FEBRUARY 06, 2003) Just hours later, the government announced it would not go ahead with a parliamentary inquiry into structural separation - which has received almost 60 submissions - and ditched tomorrow's first public hearing.

Funny how they are quick to hop to Goldman Sach's tune, yet won't listen to the Australian people's will on Iraq.
Military action legal without UN backing, says Hill - smh.com.au In certain circumstances, action without a specific resolution authorising it by the United Nations can nevertheless be within international law," he said.

It is now clear from Sen. Pork Chop Hill's comments in the Senate tonight that the UN figleaf of "authorisation" under International Law (a la Kosovo) can be summoned into existence by the Howard government's (and any other aggrieved gov't for that matter) self-fiat.If they don't get UN imprimateur directly, they will create their own new system of laws to suit the realpolitik of their Washington masters.
Tim Blair "NUDITY UPDATE. Reader David Griffin wonders why this Saturday's cluster of Australian peace nudists are going to the trouble of writing a whole new song for their unclad protest when he has one already prepared..."

Tim Blair...spreading the antiwar viral meme through the blogosphere....a fine antiwar movement "sneezer"....bwahahahahah!
Science Fiction and Smart Mobs "Ellis depicted a world where voters are benumbed by the challenges of navigating through 2000 cable channels, where our most sacred artifacts are sold as commodities (“Air Jesus” shoes allow you to walk on water), where politicians use nanotech to erase scandals from our brains, where individuals customize their identities through cosmetic surgery and body modification, and where advertisers set off “buy bombs” to implant their messages in our dreams. Here, elite groups use media to distract us from any real democratic participation."

Hey I thought this was supposed to be science fiction.
Case against Saddam iron-clad: Downer - smh.com.au "Personally, I regard Saddam Hussein as one of the most evil dictators that we have seen in many a long year," Mr Downer said.

"His human rights record ... is worse than any other existing leader of earth, it is simply an appalling human rights record."

Since when did Alexander Downer give two cents about human rights? We are one of the only countries to maintain diplomatic relations with the diobolical Burmese junta and even North Korea for God's sake...and Downer's party regularly votes down Human Rights motions condeming, for example, the Chinese government's execution of activists in Tibet. He also supported Libya's bid to get the chair of the UN Human Rights Committee as well as normalised trade ties with this nation, one of the avowed "terrorist states" of the Middle east.
February 5, 2003 - There's No Business Like Snow Business "Having John Snow, a world-class tax dodger and the lamest railroad man since Casey Jones, at the controls of our sputtering economy -- the Disorient Express -- has all the makings of a world-class train wreck. Mr. Conductor, let me off at the next stop."

Arianna Huffington goes for the jugular over Shrub's record-setting budget deficit - under the tutelage of Mr Snow
Dean makes linkage between the war, energy policy "Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean said on Wednesday that U.S. dependence on foreign oil and the lack of a national energy policy have hamstrung the war on terror and threatened national security.
Dean, speaking shortly after Secretary of State Colin Powell made his case against Iraq to the U.N. Security Council, said U.S. reliance on oil limited the nation's ability to take action against Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing nations accused of breeding Islamic militancy."

So far, Dean has got the best response of any of the Democratic hopefuls in the pre-strawpoll debates currently going on around the USA. He doesn't have a prayer, I'm afraid, if he keeps saying things like this. Plus, what does "take action" mean?
WSJ.com - Soldiers Still Confront An Invisible Enemy "Militants have managed to set up a radio station inside Afghanistan that sporadically broadcasts calls for jihad, or holy war, against Americans. The militants also frequently put up intimidating posters in border areas, and they seem able to move arms and ammunition into the country from Pakistan's largely lawless tribal areas along the border. U.S. military officials headquartered at Bagram air base near Kabul announce the capture of caches of arms and ammunition almost every day -- 20% to 25% of which is new material brought in from elsewhere, according to a spokesman, Col. Roger King."

Afganistan war ain't over folks. It's heating up and gathering pace, kept alive in part by Iraq and the view that Shrub wants to attack muslim nations only to get their oil.
Indonesia Officer Says Soldier Killed Independence Leader An Indonesian Army officer told a court-martial today that a soldier killed Theys Eluay, the popular leader of a nonviolent campaign for an independent Irian Jaya, an eastern province also known as Papua.
ABC News - 06/02/03 : N Korea restarts nuclear reactors "The DPRK (North Korea) is now putting the operation of its nuclear facilities for the production of electricity on a normal footing after their restart," said a Foreign Ministry statement carried on the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)."

Holy shit.
New fears raised about GM plants - theage.com.au This week's edition of the science journal Nature says University of Adelaide researchers have shown that even if foreign genes are injected elsewhere in a cell, the genes can "hop over" into the nucleus and end up in the pollen.
In theory, the pollen is then free to crossbreed with wild flowers and weeds, creating superweeds resistant to herbicides.
In bed with Bush, and it's hard to sleep - smh.com.au "This part of Iraq was once covered by several thousand square miles of wetlands created by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers ... The most distinctive aspect of the landscape was vast beds of tall reeds, resembling bamboo, with which the marsh dwellers, a tribe called the Madan, built large, vaulted island houses ... What had been pristine swampland teeming with birdlife and water buffaloes has become the vast baked pan of empty desert."
smh.com.au - The Sydney Morning Herald Should the UN now back the use of force?
Yes - 36%

No - 59%

Don't know - 3%

Total Votes: 2376
Elliott Orr passes on this protest idea. "Place 1/2 cup uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-size bag or sandwich bag work fine). Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Romans 12:20. Please send this rice to the people of Iraq; do not attack them." Place the paper and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized or padded mailing envelope) and address them to: Prime Minister John Howard, House of Representatives, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600. He writes:
"In the mid-1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a 'Feed Thine Enemy' campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the bags publicly; certainly, no rice was ever sent to China. What nonviolent activists only learned a decade later was that the campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider U.S. options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu. The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons. President Eisenhower eac
Ananova - Japanese scientist invents 'invisibility cloak' A Japanese scientist has developed a coat which appears to make the wearer invisible.
Yahoo! News - Surfing paradise in southwest France hit by globs of oil from sunken tanker But in recent days, the tide has brought in thick, backbreaking sheets of oil. The areas hardest hit were the beaches around the resort town of Biarritz and nearby Anglet, close to the border with Spain and known for towering waves that draw surfers from around the world.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Iraq letter gives Labor new ammunition The letter, from the mother of a sailor on HMAS Kanimbla, suggested the ship and some of the troops it is carrying were preparing to go to the Gulf as early as last September.

Opposition Leader Simon Crean used the letter, together with a leaked memo of diplomatic discussions about Iraq, to accuse Prime Minister John Howard of failing to tell the public Australian troops were already committed to war.
Los Angeles Times: Building a buzz for peace Wes Boyd, 44, founder and president of MoveOn.org, believes ads allow older, more mainstream Americans who don't want to carry picket signs to express their views. "At $35 a person, for 11,000 people, an ad is a great way for middle-class people to 'march,' to get out and be heard," Boyd said. MoveOn's goal is to show that resistance to war with Iraq is broad, and "nothing is more mainstream than television," he said.
Los Angeles Times: Building a buzz for peace The Bush administration, of course, doesn't have to resort to advertising to get its message out, says Robert McChesney, a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "There is a frustration among peace activists that they feel they have to buy ads to even get news coverage. It ultimately reflects their dissatisfaction and powerlessness, politically and with the press."
The Copenhagen Post Even if the UN supports military intervention - and a massive 87 percent oppose any Danish participation - the poll indicates that voters are not in favour of any US action.
ABCNEWS.com : Danish F-16s Drop Bombs in Afghanistan The announcement came amid a debate in NATO-member Denmark where lawmakers want more openness from the Defense Command that coordinates Denmark's 21,000 military personnel.
Denmark last week offered troops and a submarine for any military action against Iraq, but only if there is a U.N. mandate for such an attack.
Middle East Newsline - The Danish Foreign Ministry said Copenhagen sold $77 million worth of weapons to China, Iran, Libya and Ukraine in 2001. The ministry report said the figure for weapons sales to these countries in 2000 was $31.1 million.

They just bombed their first folks in Afganistan today.
Orcinus Paula raises an important point. Memetics may not necessarily be a key to understanding fascism, but they provide at least a useful tool for coming to terms with it. This argument dovetails into mine (and Griffin's): If fascism is a meme, then it must revolve around the myth of societal rebirth, with all the nationalistic and populist trappings.
Orcinus NASA so far has not publicly acknowledged the existence of radioactive material. But the crash comes at time when the space agency is quickly pushing forward its controversial plans to increase the use of nuclear power in space flights. Experts warn that had the Columbia been powered by nuclear rockets, much of East Texas and the region would have to be evacuated due to radioactive contamination.

Two weeks ago the Los Angeles Times reported that NASA is seeking "significant resources and funding" to design a nuclear-powered propulsion system. The Times reported: "The project, dubbed Project Prometheus, would greatly expand the nuclear propulsion plans that NASA quietly announced last year when it said it may spend $1 billion over the next five years to design a nuclear rocket. NASA and the Bush administration are keeping the lid on the details, including how much more the agency expects to request from Congress, but O'Keefe said the funding increase will be 'very significant.'
An Anti-War Republican, 1/31/2003 - The Texas Observer RP: Yeah, who is the liberal media? From my viewpoint, Fox is a bigger threat than CBS. Fox is the bigger interventionist. All the major media in television are like that. How do you do it? I do it my way. I write articles and give speeches and send out letters. The other thing that I do is to make sure everybody knows up front exactly what I believe in. Because if I get elected, I want to make the claim that they elected me knowing fully well what I believe. Not only do I want to be elected under those conditions, I want to follow those rules, never vote to bend them, and get reelected with a better percentage.
The Truth Laid Bear: Cross-Blog Iraq Debate: Call for Questions A few weeks back I proposed a cross-blog debate on Iraq. I'm pleased to announce that the folks at Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq have agreed to coordinate the anti-war side of the debate. And so: the game is on!
Tim Blair Now some kind words for Adams: his Radio National producer Chris Bullock was generous enough to invite me to join a panel discussion this Thursday at old Parliament House in Canberra, on the subject of war and Iraq. Considering what I've written (and will write) about Adams and Radio National, this invitation was unexpected, to say the least. It was with regret that I declined (deadline commitments, etc).
Australia dragging feet on smuggler's extradition: Jakarta - smh.com.au Indonesia's Justice Minister says Australia has not seriously attempted to extradite the notorious people smuggler Abu Quassey, who organised a trip on which 353 people drowned, and believes there are major questions about the disaster it may not want answered.
Old Liberal hearts in dismay at lackey John - smh.com.au "George Bush jnr is the worst leader of a major democracy I have observed in more than 50 years."

Whoa. The oldest Liberal warhorses on the block have it in for the Prime Miniature.
Bush Support for 2004 Dips Below 50% "Just 45% of registered voters said they are now likely to support Bush for reelection."
05 February 2003

Historic Senate Condemnation of the Prime Minister

“The Senate declares that it has no confidence in the Prime Minister’s handling of this grave matter for nation” – part of the text of today’s motion passed by
The Senate today passed a Labor’s Greens’ inspired motion expressing no-confidence in the Prime Minister for his handling of the Iraq war issue.

“This is an historic condemnation of the Prime Minister. No no-confidence motion in a government or Prime Minister has been put or passed in the Senate’s 102 year history.

“John Howard has let this nation down. His gross mishandling of Australia’s involvement deserved the strongest parliamentary rebuke. This has been delivered.

“The Greens sort to amend the no-confidence motion to condemn any Australian involvement – with or without the United Nations – in an attack on Iraq. This was defeated when the ALP voted with the Government,” Senator Brown said.

Crean is pro-war, so long as the USA successfully browbeats the Security Council into supporting an attack on Iraq.

FT.com Home US "Mr Armitage conceded that North Korea was a worse proliferator than Iraq, selling missiles to Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt "and other places". The US also had "suspicions" that North Korea had spread nuclear weapons technology, indicating that Pakistan and Libya might have benefited."

No "crisis" though. Just another "big problem" waiting for Shrub and Co's "full engagement".
Powell to Charge Iraq Is Shifting Its Illegal Arms to Foil Inspectors "You're going to have to use your mind as well as your eyes and ears to take in the complete picture," a White House official said, alluding to visual materials in the presentation. The example of hard evidence invoked frequently in this case has been the photographs Adlai E. Stevenson showed at the United Nations in 1962 to prove the existence of nuclear missile sites in Cuba."

Use my mind? I guess that is code for my imagination. Sorry that's not proof.
Qld Dems Annual Donation Return: Still 404

"Australian Democrats Queensland Division - QLD
SUITE 14 B 7/421 Brunswick Street

Returns by this party for 2001/2002 not currently available"

Dear Prime Minister & Members of the Australian Parliament,

I demand to know what action is being planned by the Australian government against the following United State-based companies who helped Iraq develop its program of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.

The US-based companies below were named as key suppliers to this program by a leading German newspaper, die Tageszeitung, who reported that they had sighted an unedited copy of some of Iraq's December 7, 2002 Declaration of its WMD programs to the UN Security Council.

As you know, Washington deleted some 8,000 pages from the 12,000 page document before other members of the Council were allowed to see it.

Subsequent articles in the Washington Post, however, confirm close US business involvement by these companies with Iraq's WMD programs throughout the brutal repression of Iraqi dissidents in the 1970s and the murderous Iran-Iraq war of 1980s --- indeed up until Iraq invaded Kuwait.

British officials have also confirmed the below list is accurate, according to the Independent newspaper.

Prime Minister and MPs, our Australian soliders may now be ordered to die trying to retrieve the weapons these US companies profitably sold to Iraq, should the dictator who runs that country not wish to hand them over.

The public has the right to an assurance from the Government that everything possible is being done in order that Australian soliders will not be required to take the weapons made by these private companies away from any "rogue states" of the future.

1)Honeywell (R,K)
2)Spektra Physics (K)
3)Semetex (R)
4)TI Coating (A,K)
6)Sperry Corp. (R,K)
7)Tektronix (R,A)
8)Rockwell )(K)
9)Leybold Vacuum Systems (A)
10)Finnigan-MAT-US (A)
11)Hewlett Packard (A.R,K)
12)Dupont (A)
13)Eastman Kodak (R)
14)American Type Culture Collection (B)
15)Alcolac International (C)
16) Consarc (A)
17) Carl Zeis -U.Ss (K)
18)Cerberus (LTD) (A)
19)Electronic Associates (R)
20)International Computer Systems
21)Bechtel (K)
22)EZ Logic Data Systems,Inc. (R)
23)Canberra Industries Inc. (A)
24)Axel Electronics Inc. (A)

key: A - nuclear K - chemical B - biological R - rockets (missiles)

PARLSEC 08/03 Wednesday 5 February 2003


Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Fran Bailey, will tomorrow, launch the third year of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Parliamentary Program.

The ADF Parliamentary Program will expand this year by providing more attachment opportunities, and, for the first time, the Program will be a true exchange as members of the Australian Defence Force will spend time in Member's and Senator's parliamentary and electoral offices to experience some of the realities of Parliamentarian's working life.

More fascinating political donations The Queensland department of Public Works and Housing gave $21,073.80 to Labor.

And more...Crooked HIH director Rodney Adler gave $5000 to the Queensland ALP
Wired News: To the Moon in a Space Elevator? "Technically it's feasible," said Robert Cassanova, director of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. "There's nothing wrong with the physics."

See my old microdotnews post on this site about Highlift, the company promoting this (via yahoo groups)
Senate to condemn Howard for sending in troops - smh.com.au "Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown, called on Mr Howard to bring Australian defence personnel home.

He asked what steps were being taken by Australia and the United States against the companies who helped Iraq develop weapons of mass destruction.

"Weapons of mass destruction are distributed around the world for money and then we are put in this position where the world goes to war to prevent the mooted use or deployment of those very same weapons," Senator Brown said."

smh.com.au - The Sydney Morning Herald "Who did you think was most convincing in the Parliamentary debate on Iraq yesterday?"

John Howard - 21%
Simon Crean - 65%
Neither - 13%

Total Votes: 1852

Liar or lackey: only UN intervention can save Howard's neck now - smh.com.au For all Howard's "unctuous" words about his desire to find a peaceful solution, Crean said, "he has already committed our troops to war, without a mandate from the Australian people, without a mandate from the Parliament and without a mandate from the United Nations".
Al-Qaeda planning major attack, claims report - smh.com.au "The al-Qaeda network was preparing a major terror strike similar to the September 11 attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in 2001, The Washington Times reported today, quoting US intelligence sources."

The Moonie Times makes the cover of the Sydney Morning Herald
U.S. Delays Challenge to Europe's Ban on Modified Food With war looming in Iraq, the Bush administration has decided against antagonizing its European allies and has postponed filing a case against the European Union for its ban on genetically modified food, according to senior administration officials.
CIA says Iraq-Al Qa'eda link doesn't exist "The intelligence is practically non-existent," one exasperated American intelligence source said. Most of the intelligence being used to support the idea of a link between al-Qa'eda and Saddam Hussein comes from Kurdish groups who are the bitter enemies of Ansar al-Islam, he said.
Off the Moonie Wires: United Press International: Pentagon adviser: France 'no longer ally' "I have long thought that there were forces in France intent on reducing the American role in the world. That is more troubling than the stance of a German chancellor, who has been largely rejected by his own people," Perle said, referring to the sharp electoral defeat suffered by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's party in state elections Sunday.

and more..

"France is no longer the ally it once was," Perle said. And he went on to accuse French President Jacques Chirac of believing "deep in his soul that Saddam Hussein is preferable to any likely successor."

Goebbels called the unelected Perle's tactic "the big lie" -- make the lie as big as possible and people will believe it.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

The Reliable Source (washingtonpost.com) In the new issue of Doublethink, a Washington-based right-wing quarterly, Hitchens reveals that he plans to support President Bush's reelection campaign -- never mind his recent Vanity Fair puff piece about Democratic hopeful John Edwards.

"I don't believe in [Edwards]," Hitchens tells Doublethink interviewer Tom Ivancie. "I mean, I told him I wouldn't vote for him. . . . Because I'd vote for Bush. The important thing is this: Is a candidate completely serious about prosecuting the war on theocratic terrorism to the fullest extent? Only Bush is." Hitchens also scoffs at the Everyman pitch of the millionaire trial lawyer turned North Carolina senator: "Oh, that's all [bleep]. . . . Spare us the false populism."

Hitchens, who famously flailed Mother Theresa, fails to recognise that Shrub, Ashcroft etc. are also engaging in theocratic terrorism
South Korea Calls Off Inquiry Into Payments to North Korea "It would be appropriate to shelve the investigation for the sake of South-North relations and national interests," the prosecutor general's office said through a spokesman."
Worst case of pro-government censorship in a generation
"The worst case of pro-government censorship my generation has seen has been met with a big fat yawn. Neither the president nor Comcast nor CNN have had boo to say about Comcast's decision to pull some inoffensive anti-war ads off CNN the night of the State of the Union. (As for the First Lady, she's too busy muzzling poets to weigh in.)

Now it seems this Back-in-the-USSR moment was far from a fluke. The Washington Post reports that CNN, Fox and NBC have all refused airtime for antiwar groups -- and not just for those controversial "daisy" ads, but for mainstream spots featuring a Methodist Bishop and actresses Susan Sarandon, and Jeanne Garofalo. (If you've seen such ads, that's because peace groups have sometimes gotten around the nationals by buying locally from affiliates and cable operators.) The Post quotes a CNN spokeswoman explaining that "we do not accept international advocacy ads on regions in conflict." (What?)

An NBC spokeswoman tells The Post the network refused an antiwar ad because "It pertained to a controversial issue which we prefer to handle in our news and public affairs programming." (What?) Fox apparently shrugged and smirked."

Space institute opposes Woomera nuke dump. 4/2/2003. ABC News Online
"The Australian Space Research Institute has joined mounting criticisim of the proposed site 52A, which is near launch and target areas, saying its proximity would present a genuine threat to future rocket programs."
On Iraq, Chorus of Criticism Is Loud but Not Clear (washingtonpost.com) "The sound and fury on the streets and op-ed pages reflect deep divisions within the foreign policy establishment over the Bush administration's choice of Iraq as the next target of its war on terrorism. So far, however, there is little sign that the protests will coalesce into a cohesive antiwar movement with sufficient political power to force the administration to reverse or even seriously rethink its Iraq strategy."
Phil Spector Booked in Woman's Death "It had to stop," Spector said of his behavior in a 1977 Los Angeles Times interview. "Being the rich millionaire in the mansion and then dressing up as Batman. I have to admit I did enjoy it to a certain extent. But I began to realize it was very unhealthy."
The Courier Mail: Springborg set for power [04feb03] "It's no laydown misere but I am quietly confident," Mr Springborg said."

Joh's old party - which he now says isn't worth a bucket of pig slop, flatlining at only 9% in the polls -- looks to be off on a new venture with Commander Springborg at the helm. Cmdr. Springborg is especially known for his prowess on law and order, Queensland syle - whatever that is these days.

As thebug once wrote, "You lie awake all night wondering why people describe sure-fire winners as a "laydown misere" when, not only is the object of a laid-down misere to lose every single trick, but that most people who try a laid-down misere do so with a hand that's got more gaps in it than the front row of a French can-can."
Masked gang frees six from Woomera detention centre - theage.com.au Refugee advocates yesterday said they did not know who was responsible for the breakout. The Victorian Greens' refugee spokeswoman Pamela Curr said it was not surprising detainees wanted to escape after a recent incident in which 40 guards subdued asylum seekers with capsicum spray and kicked several of them after an altercation with a nurse.

Mr Ruddock's spokesman said capsicum spray was used by several officers to get violent detainees off a roof. "Pamela Curr has a history of distorting and exaggerating issues," he said.

Well, it isn't surprising that they want to escape. What is surprising, is that the private company employed by Mr Ruddock's department allowed them to escape, after using capsicum spray on them and increasing the psychological pressure made flight more likely.
Tim Blair ANTI-GRAVITATIONALIST Malcolm Street is exulting in his new-found fame. And he's still not a crank.

Maybe not, according to NASA or Tim Ventura. Biefield Brown certainly is a "crank magnet" however...look at Jane's Defence Weekly...
Australian IT - Facial recognition 'atrociously bad' (Karen Dearne, FEBRUARY 04, 2003) "A biometric system like face or iris recognition might visually recognise most people when they come in, but it is categorically not the answer to verifying a person's identity."

Darn. I thought it was supposed to stop Osama Bin Laden.
ATSIC calls for windfarm moratorium » ABC Western Victoria » The Backyard "The Australian Torres Strait Island Commission has called for a moratorium to be declared on wind energy development in Victoria."

Quite an interesting, in depth web coverage of a demonstration and campaign, with audio clips of demonstrators, nice colour pictures, plenty of background links...far better coverage than the ABC gives the antiwar movement in fact.
Lateline - 3/2/2003: Indonesia skeptical about action against Iraq. Australian Broadcasting Corp

TONY JONES: You're saying that Australia is not in step in some way with South-East Asia on this issue? Is that what you're trying to say?


AEC Funding and Disclosure - Political Party Receipts: Australian Democrats Queensland Branch

Party Name/Grouping: Australian Democrats Queensland Division - QLD
Source of receipt: Donation
Value of receipts: ALL
State: ALL

The results of your search are displayed below.

No Matching Records

Disclaimer: The above information should be verified against the submitted Return document(s).

Looks like the Dems missed the deadline for filing...whoops!
The Australian: Poll shows support for UN-led war [February 04, 2003] "Mr Crean has also claimed Mr Howard has given undertakings to Mr Bush that Australian troops will be committed to a war on Iraq, a claim Mr Howard denies."

This is such a vapid, limp noodle attack Crean has mounted half-heartedly since this whole business started over Iraq. There is no "war" to give undertakings to conduct, so of course Howard is given plenty of room to dodge and twist the real issues - like his "Peace Tour".

This is an escalation of previous UN security council resolutions -- so far Shrub has been forced to go through the UN processes, despite the Hawk pressure for a unilateral, go-it-alone approach. Shub has placated those people for the time being by pledging if the UN won't play along, the attack will still go ahead.

Australians don't mind fighting, especially when it looks like a pile-on. The same people who support the Asylum outrages perceive the world as a totally different place than the antiwar people do -- dominators or conciliators, we are locked in a yin and yang conflict of opposites that looks more daily like a reflection of our own psychological dramas and obsessions with the archetypal demons of our unconcious minds.

Evidence 'Fabricated,' Iraqi Says "Hussein is expected to have more to say about the U.S.-Iraqi confrontation in a rare interview, conducted Sunday with retired British lawmaker Tony Benn. Benn said the taped interview will be televised within a day or two."

Now this will be interesting...wonder how the US media feels about letting Saddam into America's living rooms.
The Australian: Howard to go on 'peace' mission [February 04, 2003] "Ahead of an expected torrid debate in parliament today, the Prime Minister confirmed details of his week-long "peace mission" to argue for a "no holds barred" resolution from the UN Security Council."

War is Peace. By the way, that saying if from George Orwell's 1984, if you didn't already know that.

Howard is a miniature Henry K, a lilliputian shuttle diplomat to meet with Shrub, Megawatti, Blair and -- if he is not doing something better or more important -- Blix. He'll have the same message as Poodle: for god's sake, George, pull the Frenchies and the Chinese and the Russians into line. If you can't we'll still go to show Oz supports our place in the US alliance and mental map of the world, but we'll be out of Dodge before nightfall if you fuck things up. Should be interesting.
It's the economy, stupid, voters remind Schroeder - smh.com.au "Voters have punished Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for Germany's woeful economy by inflicting heavy defeats on his centre-left party in two state elections."

This could give useful cover to right-wingers within the SDP...but their coalition with Greens would come under threat if the SPD openly backs war without solid evidence from Shrub. Given the way the right and the Greens in Austria have tried without much success to work out similar coalition arrangements, the more Left German Greens would be unlikely to try to form a coalition with the CDU I think, though I think it does happen now on a local level in Germany.
US chooses Saddam's successor - smh.com.au "Mohamed al-Jabiri, who has just returned from in talks with Washington, said the White House has given its "blessing" to the head of the Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi, to lead a transitional coalition government in Iraq once Saddam has been deposed."

I think he might be jumping the gun a tad....scroll down to read up on why some in D.C. think Chalabi is becoming more of a problem to be managed.
Carr's big win on the pokies and property - smh.com.au "But the NSW Greens, who have been campaigning for donation reform, said the public will be appalled at the major parties' dependence on certain sectors. "The Greens are very concerned about the influence wielded behind closed doors by corporations dealing in armaments, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, finance and the media," said the MP Lee Rhiannon."

Crikey.com has the whole list of parties and donors. The Greens don't take corporate donations, while our political rivals for the progressive vote the Oz Democrats suck up gobs of cash from the Gambling and Alcohol industries.
Greens prepare for anti-war campaign
Danielle Veldre

ANTI-WAR groups in Australia have confirmed they will consider advertising against Australian involvement in US-led attacks on Iraq.

The NSW Greens party—which has been active in anti-war demonstrations—has briefed its advertising agency Non Stop to create anti-war ads should activity escalate in the run-up to the NSW state election in two months.

NSW Greens MLA Lee Rhiannon said the party would consider making campaign material available to its anti-war coalition colleagues.

“Non Stop has created a very bold palette of concepts for the Greens’ advertising and events in the lead-up to the NSW election on 22 March.

“But Non Stop has prepared striking anti-war ad concepts in case a US invasion of Iraq pushes the election and the state-related issues from the public mind.

“If it becomes feasible to run TV ads then we would be happy to share the advertising copy around, raise the funds and make the messages non-partisan,” Rhiannon said.

US-based organisation Move On has already launched a national television campaign after a fundraising drive yielded enough money to pursue a mainstream campaign.

The ad uses imagery of a girl in a meadow, contrasted with images of war such as an anti-war campaign created by Tony Schwartz in 1964 for the US presidential campaign.

The television campaign was financed by asking Move On members to contribute a total of US$27,000 to the
Greens' members put concerns to pollies. 3/2/2003. ABC News Online "The Federal Member for Hinkler, Paul Neville, has labeled an attempt by two local Greens party members to approach him about the issue of GATS last week as bearing all the hallmarks of a political stunt.

Mr Neville says he considers his office should be used with his constituents' interests as a priority and not as a political platform for any party."

Good old Member for Hinkler is quick on his feet in the media, buying a little time to find out what the hell these crazy greenies are talking about.

Monday, February 03, 2003

From Nanotechnology's Sidelines, One More Warning "Instead, Mr. Mooney fears what he calls green goo: microorganisms that have been manipulated through nanotechnology to take over the function of machines but that begin reproducing out of control. He worries about environmental damage and diseases driven by unexpected responses of people and other living things to the accumulation in their systems of artificial particles the Earth has never seen before."

Making Nuclear Bombs 'Usable' "Robert Nelson, a Princeton University physicist and senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations who has studied nuclear weapons as possible bunker busters, believes they are impractical. Even smaller nuclear devices would throw off enough radioactive dirt and dust to kill tens of thousands of people if they were exploded underground in an urban environment.

Moreover, Nelson said, evidence suggests that a nuclear explosion could not be counted on to destroy chemical, biological or nuclear material stored in a deep bunker.

Instead, it would probably spread such material over a substantial area, he said."

"You would end up doing exactly the opposite of what you wanted to accomplish," he said.
FT.com Home Global Police last week stepped up their rhetoric against Jemaah Islamiyah and Mr Bashir, who faces possible treason charges related to a plan to kill Megawati Sukarnoputri, the Indonesian president, and bombings across the archipelago in December 2000. Investigators have also begun calling him a suspect in the Bali attack.
Telecom: Failure of the WTO’s Poster Child The historical record clearly demonstrates that the advent of competition and deregulation has been anything but the success story its promoters would have us believe. In fact, the introduction of deregulation and competition in this sector have created unprecedented overcapacity in the communications market, with disastrous results. As one industry newsletter put it, "The telecommunications business – from Lucent Technologies, AT&T and Nortel Networks to the many recent start-ups – is clearly in disarray."
Geez, Monbiot can capture the mood of the moment....as he does here in his latest work

Far From Fizzling Out, The Global Justice Movement is Growing in Numbers and Maturity

by George Monbiot

Mr Bush and Mr Blair might have a tougher fight than they anticipated. Not from Saddam Hussein perhaps - although it is still not obvious that they can capture and hold Iraq's cities without major losses - but from an anti-war movement that is beginning to look like nothing the world has seen before.

It's not just that people have begun to gather in great numbers even before a shot has been fired. It's not just that they are doing so without the inducement of conscription or any other direct threat to their welfare. It's not just that there have already been meetings or demonstrations in almost every nation on Earth. It's also that the campaign is being coordinated globally with an unprecedented precision. And the people partly responsible for this are the members of a movement which, even within the past few weeks, the mainstream media has pronounced extinct.

Last year, 40,000 members of the global justice movement gathered at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This year, more than 100,000, from 150 nations, have come - for a meeting! The world has seldom seen such political assemblies since Daniel O'Connell's "monster meetings" in the 1840s.

Far from dying away, our movement has grown bigger than most of us could have guessed. September 11 muffled the protests for a while, but since then they have returned with greater vehemence, everywhere except the US. The last major global demonstration it convened was the rally at the European summit in Barcelona. Some 350,000 activists rose from the dead. They came despite the terrifying response to the marches in June 2001 in Genoa, where the police burst into protesters' dormitories and beat them with truncheons as they lay in their sleeping bags, tortured others in the cells and shot one man dead.

But neither the violent response, nor September 11, nor the indifference of the media have quelled this rising. Ever ready to believe their own story, the newsrooms have interpreted the absence of coverage (by the newsrooms) as an absence of activity. One of our recent discoveries is that we no longer need them. We have our own channels of communication, our own websites and pamphlets and magazines, and those who wish to find us can do so without their help. They can pronounce us dead as often as they like, and we shall, as many times, be resurrected.

The media can be forgiven for expecting us to disappear. In the past, it was hard to sustain global movements of this kind. The socialist international, for example, was famously interrupted by nationalism. When the nations to which the comrades belonged went to war, they forgot their common struggle and took to arms against each other. But now, thanks to the globalization some members of the movement contest, nationalism is a far weaker force. American citizens are meeting and de bating with Iraqis, even as their countries prepare to go to war. We can no longer be called to heel. Our loyalty is to the principles we defend and to those who share them, irrespective of where they come from.

One of the reasons why the movement appears destined only to grow is that it provides the only major channel through which we can engage with the most critical issues. Climate change, international debt, poverty, the hegemony of the G8 nations, the IMF and the World Bank, the depletion of natural resources, nuclear proliferation and low-level conflict are major themes in the lives of most of the world's people, but minor themes in almost all mainstream political discourse. We are told that the mind-rotting drivel which now fills the pages of the newspapers is a necessary commercial response to the demands of younger readers. This may, to some extent, be true. But here are tens of thousands of young people who have less interest in celebrity culture than George Bush has in Wittgenstein. They have evolved their own scale of values, and re-enfranchised themselves by pursuing what they know to be important. For the great majority of activists - those who live in the poor world - the movement offers the only effective means of reaching people in the richer nations.

We have often been told that the reason we're dead is that we have been overtaken by and subsumed within the anti-war campaign. It would be more accurate to say that the anti-war campaign has, in large part, grown out of the global justice movement. This movement has never recognized a distinction between the power of the rich world's governments and their appointed institutions (the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization) to wage economic warfare and the power of the same governments, working through different institutions (the UN security council, Nato) to send in the bombers. Far from competing with our concerns, the impending war has reinforced our determination to tackle the grotesque maldistribution of power which permits a few national governments to assert a global mandate. When the activists leave Porto Alegre tomorrow, they will take home to their 150 nations a new resolve to turn the struggle against the war with Iraq into a contest over the future of the world.

While younger activists are eager to absorb the experience of people like Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Lula, Victor Chavez, Michael Albert and Arundhati Roy, all of whom are speaking in Porto Alegre, our movement is, as yet, more eager than wise, fired by passions we have yet to master. We have yet to understand, despite the police response in Genoa, the mechanical determination of our opponents.

We are still rather too prepared to believe that spectacular marches can change the world. While the splits between the movement's marxists, anarchists and liberals are well-rehearsed, our real division - between the diversalists and the universalists - has, so far, scarcely been explored. Most of the movement believes that the best means of regaining control over political life is through local community action. A smaller faction (to which I belong) believes that this response is insufficient, and that we must seek to create democratically accountable global institutions. The debates have, so far, been muted. But when they emerge, they will be fierce.

For all that, I think most of us have noticed that something has changed, that we are beginning to move on from the playing of games and the staging of parties, that we are coming to develop a more mature analysis, a better grasp of tactics, an understanding of the need for policy. We are, in other words, beginning for the first time to look like a revolutionary movement. We are finding, too, among some of the indebted states of the poor world, a new preparedness to engage with us. In doing so, they speed our maturation: the more we are taken seriously, the more seriously we take ourselves.

Whether we are noticed or not is no longer relevant. We know that, with or without the media's help, we are a gathering force which might one day prove unstoppable.

The Australian: Defence officials oppose nuke dump [February 03, 2003] DEFENCE Department officials are "violently" opposed to construction of a radioactive waste dump bordering a military weapons target range near Woomera in the South Australian desert.

The Australian understands the officials are concerned that the risk assessment used by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) underestimates the likelihood of a missile hitting the proposed low-level radioactive waste repository, which could be built as early as next year.

Ok. In a week when the government spent $15 m on a antiterrorism awareness kit, we also hear that the government plans to place nuclear materials where they can get blown up. Helloo? Who's koolaid have you been drinking, Mr Howard?
It's not what Simon says, but what he believes - theage.com.au This is a moment when politics takes second place to a fundamental question: is it more right than wrong to go to war, or is it the reverse? This is the moment when convictions must kick in. Howard has all but nailed his colours to the mast. Crean is still circling, almost as if in a holding pattern.

Crean = Blair = Bush. That's all you really know about the ALP leader.
Dangerous splits emerging in S. Korea over Hyundai Loan Issue "The GNP claimed Presidential secretary Park Jie-won, Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs, Security and Unification Lim Dong-won, and National Intelligence Service 3rd Deputy Chief Kim Bo-hyun were the core figures in the case and requested a travel ban on them. The party said it would file a suit against Park for perjury at an inspection of the administration conducted by the National Assembly last October. At the time, Park had said there was "definitely no cost for the North and South summit talks."

President-elect Roh has promised a full investigation, but wants to support current President Kim, against the pro USA forces of the GNP. Roh's top advisors are moving towards a "political" resolution of the crisis over the Hyundai loan of $200 m for its DPRK funparks plan. The Opposition wants a full legal investigation of the loans affair.

The DPRK is using the flare up to divide Roh's administration from Shrub's. We stand perhaps weeks or even days away from a denoument to the first Korean War, yet how many have the attention span to keep track of these critical issues.
Tit-for-Tat? Although the Bush administration has not officially confirmed such a report, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said that such activity would isolate North Korea more from international society, calling for peaceful resolution of the current situation.

"Official confirmation" was last week's order to move the USS Kittyhawk to the Sea of Japan and deploy a sizeable nuke-capable bomber force to the region.
President Kim: Loans to DPRK not subject to judicial review Analysts say that Lee's assertion follows the same logic as that of President Kim Dae-jung, who said last Thursday that it was not right for North Korea to be the subject of judicial judgment in order for continuous development of North and South relations, and the future of the country.
News Release 021125 "The NTT Group has developed the "Vision for a new optical generation -- Broadband leading to the world of resonant communication," which provides an overview of and our vision for the full-scale Broadband Ubiquitous (*1) era that will be brought about by optics in the next five years."

Meanwhile, NTT just recalled a huge batch of video phones for dud batteries...

Sunday, February 02, 2003

ABC Politics - 02/02/03 : Libs launch anti-war group "Liberals Against A War in Iraq" will form a steering committee next week and will seek further support from Liberal members around the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Howard says although he appreciates where the Liberal anti-war group is coming from, there is a bigger issue at stake.

Namely, supporting Shrub's adventurism in the Middle East.
ABC Politics - 02/02/03 : Greens ratify Hanna membership The Australian Greens have formally ratified the membership of their only mainland lower house MP, South Australian Labor defector Kris Hanna.

Welcome aboard, Kris! The Australian Greens' very first lower house State MP on the mainland.
The Courier Mail: Horan reign tipped to end [01feb03] "OPPOSITION Leader Mike Horan could be dumped within weeks after a Morgan poll showed his National Party's approval rating floundering at only 9 per cent."

The Big Pineapple is trying to stir up a bit of intrigue....says rival Lawrence Springborg (Cmdr. Springborg) would be a tougher opposition leader than Horan has been. We will see soon I guess.
politechbot.com: Move over, TIA: George W. Bush announces "TTIC" data-mining system Bush used his State of the Union address to announce the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), a mammoth data-collection project intended to fuse information collected domestically by police and internationally by spy agencies.
Orcinus This is way too much power to give to anyone, and George W. Bush has the arrogance that comes with such power. "I do not need to explain why I say things," he told Woodward. "That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Banned pesticides saturate Cambodia Few farmers use boots, gloves and masks because of the cost and heat, and most don't change their clothes after spraying, says the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Pesticide containers sit around fields and houses, often near cooking areas and within reach of children.
Researchers say that besides harming farmers and consumers, the pesticide deluge is beginning to degrade such ecosystems as the Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia's largest lake and a crucial source of protein for Cambodians. The lake harbors some 500 fish species and also is rich in bird life.
Argument Neither the United States, nor Britain, has produced any overwhelming evidence. They have relied instead on Mr Blair shifting ground on what has become an almost daily basis. Last week Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, promised to prove Iraq's culpability. Unless he demonstrates conclusively that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq plans to use them, there is no case for war. We urge members of all political parties, and those outside, not to be deceived by the Prime Minister's games at the UN. He has attached himself to President Bush, with or without a UN resolution. The maximum political pressure should be placed on him in the next few weeks to prevent him from dragging Britain into an unjust war.
Governments walking blind into humanitarian disaster The UK Labor Government has admitted it is no better than Mr Howard's, saying there has been next to no thought about a post-invasion Iraq.

The Independent has the story:

"While the United States announced last week it would make available $15m (£9m) in aid, the British Government has yet to announce any additional funding for the humanitarian effort.

Talks with Iraq's neighbours about the housing of up to a million refugees have been non-existent, the Government has admitted.
And the United Nations High Commission for Refugees said last week that plans are "in terms of scope ... not really on a large scale".

Split at C.I.A. and F.B.I. on Iraqi Ties to Al Qaeda In demonstrating that there are links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, Mr. Powell is expected to focus on intelligence about possible connections between Mr. Hussein, an Islamic militant group that may have produced poisons in a remote region of northern Iraq and a Qaeda terrorist leader, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. Much of the intelligence has been publicly known for months.
Split at C.I.A. and F.B.I. on Iraqi Ties to Al Qaeda "It's more than just skepticism," said one official, describing the feelings of some analysts in the intelligence agencies. "I think there is also a sense of disappointment with the community's leadership that they are not standing up for them at a time when the intelligence is obviously being politicized."
Split at C.I.A. and F.B.I. on Iraqi Ties to Al Qaeda At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network. "We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said.
News Even members of the intelligence community remain sceptical. "What we have is a few strands of highly circumstantial evidence, and to justify an attack on Iraq it is being presented as a cast-iron case," said one insider. "That really is not good enough."
TelecomTV.com Telstra also added, sneeringly, that CompTel had not once aired its complaints in Australia. “In Telstra’s view, special interest organisations such as CompTel that believe that existing Australian regulatory practices are causing harm to US investors with commercial interests in Australia, ought first to lodge their comments with the domestic regulator. If CompTel is genuinely concerned about the status quo, then it should advise the ACCC accordingly. To fail to do so, and then to complain to the US Trade Representative about the regulatory outcome appears somewhat disingenuous,” it said.
Metanoia Jesus preached the need for conversion. Now conversion in Greek is "metanioa." And what is "metanoia"? Unfortunately, in English there's not one word that translates it very well. We could say repentance, but that doesn't catch the meaning of "metanoia." "Metanoia" literally means "beyond the mind." So it's an idea of stretching or pushing beyond the boundaries with which we normally think and feel. Now when we push beyond the boundaries what we are doing is we are allowing God really to take an active role in our formation.

God creates an infinite sense of the possible in the pursuit of peace. Shrub has promised to pursue every avenue for peace...will he go as far for peace as he will for war? That is the only question that remains for most of us.
Australian PM Confident UN Security Council Will Back US Action

Howard on Mandela's attack on Shrub --

"He's wrong on oil and I though his remark suggesting that people are critical of the UN because of Kofi Annan's colour, I thought that was very unfortunate and I don't think it's a worthy remark at all."

Meanwhile, the Federation of Ethnic Communities of Australia:

"We cannot allow states, no matter how powerful, to take unilateral action and thereby set dangerous precedents for future global stability," FECCA chairman Abd Malak said in a statement.
Some rambling thoughts on Crean and the war...

This new Labor position of supporting a preemptive invasion by the US of Iraq if even the smallest of UN figleafs can be produced, as discussed in today's Sydney Morning Herald (scroll down), is crap in my view. However, I've been saying for weeks that Blair's position and Crean's position are in fact one and the same, yet Blair is seen as the Poodle and Crean as a reborn Che Guevara.

I didn't think there could be such an animal as a non-endorsed but "allowable" preemptory invasion of one UN member state by another. (Anybody able to confirm this?. ) The war must be either approved and endorsed by the UN Security Council, or it must be rejected as Crean has promised the Australian people would be Labor policy.

The problem is, the US doesn't see it that way. While the UN Charter reserves the right to declare war to itself, the US Constitution reserves it for the US President only. As Rogue Nation and others have amply pointed out, The US is the only country on the Security Council to vote that International law does not apply to the United States. Who is going to challenge the direct military will of a US President? France?

That's the ALP's big dilemma with its powerful friend. Just as Crean pounds the PM for deploying troops to the Gulf, the ALP's support for a rush to war alongside the US glides over the tremendous costs and risks involved to Australia's own national interest, including dangers for our troops and for Iraqi civilians. In their haste to embarass the PM, they have left themselves a tall order to now get ALP voters to come around to the thinking of the Pentagon warhawks whose plans for war are now inexorably advancing forwards.

The ALP well knows that a war has the potential to cause a massive destabilization of the Middle East. A war would likely derail any remaining glimpse of a Palestinian-Israeli agreement, while setting the "law of the jungle" as an unwelcome international precedent. The ALP knows Australia is talking loudly with a small stick. The ALP knows a war would perversely increase terrorism. Moreover, the ALP knows the war would divert some $400 billion from the US' own collapsing health care, public education systems, etc.

So why are ALP "Party strategists" going to sign up to Shrub's war? So far, I see no real momentum for war in the UN yet, aside from rightwinger governments in Spain, Norway, etc. What is the ALP reacting to?

ALP Strategists are probably thinking this: A "do nothing" approach to the US -- to disregard proper UN processes by the Security Council itself would suit those like we who cling to a US-led economic cargo cult just fine. To a sorry, motley crew of Portugal, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and the like you can now add another US vassel state, Australia.

Of course under these ALP strategists, the UN could offer cover so China could continue on its merry way in Tibet, Russia in Chechnya, Australia in Woomera -- the beneficiaries of future "special exemptions" from the UN Security Council should they feel one is necessary for fig leaf purposes with foreign governments whose own people might object.

And the ALP can be seen to support its big friend and not opposing the Australian military in the field. It's the kind of "new thinking" Labor wants to champion in the community -- except it is Orwellian in its soul. Insecurity is security. War is Peace.

Here in Oz, the main opposition party as well as the party of government are now both "pro-war" as a solution to the question of Iraq -- leaving around 44% of the electorate who promote only a nonviolent solution in Iraq with the UN itself in charge as a neutral monitoring and enforcement agency without a voice except for the Greens.

Our closest ally, the Democrats, have not said under what conditions they would not support a war, only offering up a conscience vote for MPs on the matter. The Democrats say we are "locked in" to war, but not what they are locking on to in their own antiwar stance.

Meanwhile, everything is becoming fuzzy and unreal.

When asked about Iraq, Howard talks up the battle of the Coral Sea. Blix today says Shrub is lying. Russia is still saying "nyet". The Chinese are still inscrutable. Shrub's Poodle now says the issue needs to go back to the Security Council for a second resolution. Or, maybe he didn't Shrub said today that he never claimed a link between Bin Laden's 9-11 crew and Saddam.

Is anyone else feeling slightly dizzy? If so, you too might be experiencing the well-known "fog of war".

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?