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Saturday, February 15, 2003

European and Pacific Stars & Stripes Capt. Dick Corpus, the battle group’s chief of staff, will serve as acting battle group commander until Kunkle’s relief is identified.
European and Pacific Stars & Stripes Citing “a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Robert Willard took the action following an Article 15 hearing Thursday at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, said Cmdr. Matt Brown, a 7th Fleet spokesman. He added that Kunkle received a punitive letter of reprimand.
The Online Beat "This is a huge statement by the people of Melbourne, and the people of Australia to John Howard: that he's gone the wrong way and should turn around," said Australian Senator Bob Brown, a Green, who last week led a successful effort by senators to censure Australian Prime Minister John Howard for dispatching troops to the Persian Gulf region. "The people of Australia don't see this as our war."
ABC News - 15/02/03 : Rumsfeld rallies support over N Korea Mr Rumsfeld said North Korea was "the world's leading proliferator in missiles," and that Washington needed "contributions" from other nations in combating the threat posed by Pyongyang.
D-day approaches for Crean - theage.com.au None of this is to excuse Schieffer, whose conduct really has only two possible explanations. One is that he knew what he was doing and was using the media to try to shut down domestic debate and silence any public criticism, direct and indirect, of American policy, even if that meant interfering quite visibly in the internal politics of Australia's biggest political party.
The alternative explanation is that Schieffer has not the faintest notion of how a diplomat is supposed to act. Either way, it is a massive show of arrogance by the Americans.
Powell’s Bad Day Powell also paid for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s unfortunate jibe at “Old Europe” at week ago, a remark that turned into a hilarious football at the Security Council, mostly at America’s expense. De Villepin, the first of the permanent five to speak, gave an eloquent defense of the U.N. (and the inspections regime), concluding, “In the temple of the United Nations we are all guardians of an ideal, the guardian of a conscience,” he said. “This message comes from an old country, France, that does not forget ... all it owes to freedom fighters that came from the United States of America and everywhere.” His statement brought a sustained ovation from all parts of the chamber, including the press gallery. The Chinese foreign minister, speaking next, referred to his country as “an ancient civilization,” and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw comically countered with: “Britain is also a very old country. It was founded in 1066—by the French!” Powell, improvising, came back with: “America is a relatively new country, but it is the oldest democracy around this table ...” Unfortunately, that appeared to snub America’s most stalwart ally, Great Britain, which has had an operating parliament that outdates America’s founding by many years.
City Leaders Carry Message Against War to President "This is a movement," said Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, who spoke to the group. "These are not fringe groups or leftovers from Vietnam. This is cutting through the heartland of America."
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Anti-war band dropped from awards A UK folk group with a strong anti-war message has been disqualified from the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music.
Tom's bleating about Bush goes back a way - smh.com.au They are Labor's Big Macs to the Howard Government's McDonald's. The brutal metaphor is obvious. Both groups are wholly owned US political subsidiaries. Or so the Tom Schieffer controversy now marks Australian national politics. The Big Macs is the name given Labor's fiercely pro-US lobby, predominantly Kim Beazley, Kevin Rudd, Robert Ray, Wayne Swan, Stephen Smith and Stephen Conroy, plus assorted lesser lights. Simon Crean is not a Big Mac. Neither is Laurie Brereton nor Mark Latham. Nor, too, most of Labor's left faction. Clearly Schieffer, the Americans' meddling ambassador, thinks so.
Iran out of Bush's new spin on 'axis of evil' - smh.com.au Despite growing concern about Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, its assistance in the "war on terrorism" and the evolution of liberal thought there put it in a different category from Iraq or North Korea, the Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, said.

"The axis of evil was a valid comment [but] I would note there's one dramatic difference between Iran and the other two axes of evil, and that would be its democracy. [And] you approach a democracy differently," he said. "I wouldn't think they were next at all."
Daily Times - Site Edition There’s no escaping the pain that Asia would endure if prices stay high. Goldman Sachs economists Sun-Bae Kim and Enoch Fung estimate Asian GDP growth in 2003 would be reduced by 0.9 percentage points, from their baseline forecast of six percent growth, if oil stays at $35 a barrel for nine to 12 months. That hit underscores Asia’s energy dependency. On average, East Asia’s oil bill equals 2.1 percent of GDP but in Singapore it is 7.6 percent and in South Korea it is 4.8 percent.
Daily Times - Site Edition The other high-profile sticking point is the WTO members’ failure in December to reach a deal to permit poor countries to sidestep patents and import generic pharmaceutical drugs to fight public health scourges.

The US is concerned any new regime agreed by the WTO should not cover non-infectious diseases, such as obesity or asthma, which prompted them to reject a draft text and block consensus at the end of last year.
Flirting With Disaster Surely nukes won't be used in Iraq. But by noisily weighing their options, officials are undermining the taboo against such arms.
"The way they are handling it is very counterproductive," said Spurgeon Keeny, a nuclear expert who held senior posts in both Republican and Democratic administrations. "It harms our efforts to discourage proliferation of nuclear weapons."
BBC NEWS | South Asia | Afghanistan omitted from US aid budget The United States Congress has stepped in to find nearly $300m in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in the latest budget.
HK subversion bill sparks alarm on human rights - smh.com.au It would become a crime to distribute a "seditious" publication advocating treason, subversion or sedition, a category that appears to include the encouragement of violent action to help Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province.
The proposed law would provide extensive protection against the publication of unauthorised information about Hong Kong government activities that are overseen directly by Beijing. If journalists or academics publish unauthorised information, they will not be allowed to use the argument in court that publication was in the public interest.
Full text of the Blix report - smh.com.au
Springer opens door on politics Some might find it incongruous for the Ringmaster to be talking about such weighty matters as health care and foreign policy. Truth is, Springer's been talking about them for 35 years. He cut his teeth politically during the antiwar movement of the late 1960s.
Emergency Campaign on Iraq - Center for Economic and Social Rights CESR obtained these confidential documents from several UN field staff in Iraq who believe that the potential humanitarian impact of war is a matter of global public concern that should be discussed fully and openly. For further information, please contact Roger Normand, CESR Executive Director (tel 718-237-9145 ext. 12, rnormand@cesr.org) or Sarah Zaidi, CESR Research Director (tel 718-237-9145 ext. 19, szaidi@cesr.org) in the US, or Glen Rangwala (07880 665731) in the UK.
ABCNEWS.com : Austria Blocking Movement of U.S. Troops-Rumsfeld Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday accused Austria of blocking the movement of U.S. troops from Germany by rail through that neutral country to Italy, apparently part of a buildup of American forces preparing for possible war against Iraq.
Air strategy for war 'timid' -- The Washington Times "Air Force senior officers believe air power is being used in such a timid way it is unnecessarily exposing ground troops," said one officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He named several generals who do not like the plan but asked that their names not be disclosed.
"There are so many political restrictions placed on the air-plan part of this they should just march the troops and let air power help ground troops wherever they can," the officer said.
War on Iraq will unleash riots in Indonesia: Cleric - FEB 15, 2003 JAKARTA - The chief of Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation has warned that an attack on Iraq would spark street riots and the resurgence of radicalism in the world's most populous nation.
PM Blair faces sliding public support for war - FEB 15, 2003 Though it was well-attended by anti-war activists from the party, only three MPs arrived and only two spoke. Many delegates feared the government's war stand would ad to an exodus of party members.
'I've been in the party for - what - 33 years, and I've never seen the party this close to extinction before,' said one delegate to the meeting.
Another said: 'It's true we have been told that a lot of members are threatening not to renew their membership over this.'
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Friday, February 14, 2003

BBC NEWS | Business | Enron 'bribed tax officials' "The report reads like a conspiracy novel, with some of the nation's finest banks, accounting firms and attorneys working together to prop up the biggest corporate farce of this century," he said.
Bush sabotaging inspectors' work: Democrats - theage.com.au Democrat Senator Carl Levin challenged says the CIA director continued to mislead lawmakers on the extent of the agency's co-operation. Senator Levin cited classified letters from the CIA dated January 24 and 28 in which the CIA said it had not shared information about what he described as "a large number of sites" of "significant" value.

Senator Levin said the CIA told him on Tuesday it planned to hand over more information in the next few days. "When they've taken the position that inspections are useless, they are bound to fail," Senator Levin said. "We have undermined the inspectors since the beginning."

Sharon war-crime ruling icily received - smh.com.au "This decision is a scandal and it legitimises terror and helps those who fight terrorism," Mr Netanyahu said. "Belgium is not only hurting Israel but the entire free world and Israel will respond to it very severely."

Like cockies running from the light.
A New Science of Peace Ashutosh Varshney, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, has a theory that social organisations built on shared values - such as trade unions or political parties - are more likely to strengthen their communities against conflict. As he tells Michael Bond, it might form the basis of a new science
Channel 10 News is reporting 200,000 people marched in Melbourne tonight!
ABC News - 14/02/03 : Indonesia denies request for people-smuggler extradition Indonesian Justice Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra says Australia "asks too much and gives little in return", a reference to Canberra's refusal to extradite an Indonesian banker accused of embezzling millions of dollars worth of bank funds.

Uh-oh. Howard's visit to Jakarta today is not shaping up very well at all.
Double standards on Zimbabwe: PM - theage.com.au The Commonwealth would do itself "great damage" if it lifted the suspension on Zimbabwe, due to expire next month, Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday.
Mr Howard said the Commonwealth would be guilty of adopting double standards if it caved in on Zimbabwe after adopting principled positions on Pakistan and Fiji.
Latest NY Times Poll -- Americans on Iraq

Should the United States take military action against Iraq fairly soon, or should the United States wait and give the United Nations and weapons inspectors more time?

Take action soon 37%
Give inspectors time 59%
Don't know/No Answer 3%


Poll Finds Most in U.S. Support Delaying a War As concurrent crises converge on the White House, including a rancorous conflict within the NATO alliance over Iraq war planning, President Bush's job approval ratings have lost ground across the board. Fifty-three percent of Americans disapproved of the way he is handling the economy, and 44 percent disapproved of his overall management of foreign policy.
Tim Blair JUST IN time for Valentines Day, the first human shields have arrived in Baghdad. We love you, Saddam! Now tell us where to stand so we can protect your tools of mass death!"

Tim Blair finds ways to offend by bending the truth every day, doesn't he? They are actually occupying hospitals, water plants, and electricity facilities of course. His lies show how desperate he really is.
The Chronicle: 2/14/2003: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Connected Age If it is to succeed, the new science of networks must bring together from all the disciplines the relevant ideas, and the people who understand them. The science of networks must become, in short, a manifestation of its own subject matter, a network of scientists collectively solving problems that cannot be solved by any single individual or even any single discipline.
Thoughts on Iraq

Thinking about Moana's essay below.

It's important to note that the Security Council itself is subject to International Law. They are different institutions altogether. Customary International Law is the supreme law of the land when it comes to solving disputes via warfare, and is expressed in the UN Charter, in which states agree to give up the right to launch military attacks, except in self defense.

Basically, this is what the U.S. established as the rules of war after WW2 - at Nuremberg. A preemptive attack now underway in Iraq denies the Nuremberg principles we created to retrospectively hang the Nazis for violating.

I think all agree that the world needs to take action against violations of International law and peace. What those actions are, will determine how the future unfolds, possibly for the rest of our lives.

In the Senate hearings yesterday, I did not hear a sensible, sustainable plan for what happens after the victory parade.

Shrub's policy on Nth Korea has been wildly inconsistent, thereby creating a strategic weakness that Kim Jong-il aims to exploit as far as he can, I believe.

I also believe his space shield plan, as well as being scientifically fraudulent (see the current stink at MIT), has actually encouraged the proliferation of nukes we are now confronting. The Chinese certainly now have MIRVs (multiple warheads on one ICBM) as a direct response to Shrub (and maybe leakage from Lawrence Livermore etc).

To top it all off, no one pushing for war has even thought to plan for the fact that, possibly next week, millions of people (mainly Muslim) in precarious health will suddenly be denied clean drinking water, electricity -- indeed, even a safe place to shelter themselves or their children, if we are to believe the USA intends to implement "shock and awe" as its primary goal in Iraq.

Yet the USA will cry for the U.N. to take over to pick up the pieces, after they have torn Saddam from power and installed their own puppet regime...like Germans are now leading the force in Afganistan.

Seems like bad plans by demonstrably bad men. (Colin Powell was complicit -- directly -- in coverup of the massacre at My Lai /)

I am therefore encouraging everyone to uphold the norms of International law by opposing anyone who would violate it, whether that be the United States, Iraq, Australia or anyone else.



Why a War Against Iraq Would be Illegal Under International Law
By Moana Cole


“[T]o initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”.

(Robert Jackson, U.S. representative at the Nuremberg trials)

New Zealand must urge General Assembly and Security Council members and all Heads of State to denounce US unilateral action of planning and preparation for warfare against Iraq as contrary to its Charter and Customary International Law. As the judgment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg noted, “resort to a war of aggression is not merely illegal, but is criminal”.

The principle of renunciation of the use or threat of force is now one of the fundamental principles of International law and, as such, is stated with the utmost clarity in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which imposes definite obligations on states participating in international affairs. Sates are bound in their international relations to renounce “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN”. Thus, any use of force by a state must be regarded as unlawful if it is not subject to an armed attack.

The US seeks to justify a pre-emptive strike on Iraq on the basis of self-defence. Self-defence presupposes an attack in which the permissible force must be “be immediately subsequent to and proportional to the armed attack to which it was an answer”. The legality of pre-emptive self-defence has been rejected on the basis that use of force used to deter future use of force constitutes punitive rather than defensive action.

The UK seeks to justify a war with Iraq based on Iraq’s failure to comply with weapons inspectors and thus breaching Security Council Resolution 678 (1990). The Security Council has not identified Iraq as in material breach of the ceasefire resolution for its current failure to comply with the weapons inspectorate; therefore the Security Council cannot condone a pre-emptive military strike as a proportional response to non-compliance with weapons inspectors.

The US and UK claim they are motivated by a concern over Iraq's potential possession of non-conventional weapons. However, Scott Ritter, who personally led the inspections, investigations and destruction of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programmes said on July 23 2002: "There is no case for war. The UN weapons inspectors enjoyed tremendous success in Iraq. By the end of our job, we ascertained a 90-95 per cent level of disarmament. Not because we took at face value what the Iraqis said. We went to Europe and scoured the countries that sold technology to Iraq until we found the company that had an invoice signed by an Iraqi official. We cross-checked every piece of equipment with serial numbers.

That's why I can say that Iraq was 90-95 per cent disarmed. We confirmed that 96 per cent of Iraq's 98 missiles were destroyed”. The international Atomic Energy Agency reported that it had eliminated Iraq's nuclear weapons programme "efficiently and effectively".

The Security Council’s significant power to act in international affairs must be delimited by accepted principles of international law. It is precisely the aim of an international rule of law to restrain the arbitrary use of power in international society. Equally, the legitimization of power via dubious legal processes must not be permitted.
New Zealand should also be concerned about the humanitarian implications of any further military action against Iraq. Article 24 of the Charter directs the Security Council “to act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations” when acting to maintain peace and security.

The promotion of human rights is one of these fundamental “Purposes and Principles.” The Security Council remains always obligated by the UN Charter to “promote and encourage respect for human rights”. Thus, the Security Council may not violate human rights, even when acting to maintain peace and security. Iraq has been subject to numerous violations since January 16, 1991.

The Gulf War
The basic principles of the laws of war are those of distinction and proportionality. Under the principle of distinction, belligerents are required to distinguish between civilians and combatants at all times and to direct attacks only against military targets. This is the fundamental principle of the laws of war. The corollary principle of proportionality is designed to ensure that attacks against military targets do not cause excessive civilian damage. The Geneva Conventions define the principle of proportionality as prohibiting any “attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects ... which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.” Indiscriminate weapons, which cannot be directed solely against military targets, by their very nature, violate the principle of distinction.

The 1991Gulf War subjected Iraq to the most concentrated bombing campaign in history, the Pentagon announcing it conducted 110,000 aerial sorties dropping 88,500 tons of bombs. The war resulted in 67 000 Iraqi deaths as well as grave damage to Iraq’s infrastructure with losses estimated at $170 billion. Deliberate bombing of water treatment facilities during the Gulf War originally degraded the water quality leading to the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and typhoid. The Security Council is under a legal obligation to prevent such flagrant violations.

Sanctions
According to the report, Iraq Sanctions: Humanitarian Implications and Options for the Future, sanctions-based “holds” have blocked the rebuilding of much of Iraq’s water treatment infrastructure. Additionally, sanctions have blocked the rebuilding of the electricity sector that powers pumps and other vital water treatment equipment. This has resulted in 800,000 Iraqi children “chronically malnourished.” Even with conservative assumptions, the total of all excess deaths of the under five population exceeds 400,000. Combined with the deaths of older children and adults, this adds up to a great and unjustifiable humanitarian tragedy.

Continuing Military Strikes
Since the 1991 Gulf War, further military operations have been launched against Iraq, by aircraft and cruise missiles at a rate of one strike per week. Some of these attacks targeted sites in Baghdad or other populated areas and resulted in civilian casualties.
The Security Council’s failure to address the human rights and humanitarian impact of the war and subsequent sanctions has prompted regular expressions of concern from UN agencies, commissions, panels and other bodies. The Security Council is bound to respect the full range of human rights standards in the major international legal instruments as an extension of its underlying obligations under the UN Charter. It must ensure that its actions comply with these standards.
New Zealand must urge the Security Council to resist recent trends in becoming an important political aid in constituting an integrated strategy designed to overthrow the government in Iraq in order to dominate this strategic and oil-rich region by justifying the use of force.

Moana Cole
mmc62@student.canterbury.ac.nz


Moana Cole is currently completing a Masters of Law research paper on the legality of the war against Afghanistan at Canterbury University.




A Sense of Fine Qualities Trampled and of Something 'Terribly Wrong' Johano Strasser, president of the German PEN Center, the international writers' organization that defends freedom of expression, said that if disagreeing with the United States meant being anti-American, "I know many Americans who are also anti-American.
Stews Blog Scott Wickstein is wondering whether term limits might be a good idea for Australian PM's. He's working on the theory that most PM's seem to get worse at the job the longer they are in office. Not a bad observation really, although I think our perception of them getting worse is coloured by being 'sick of the sight of them' after a term or two in office.

Oh yeah. Especially if you are Peter Costello.
Human Moths Flit To Baghdad Lightbulb The State Department, however, is less than impressed by their courage.

When asked about their actions, a spokeswoman, reading from language approved by the Department, said, "You might as well ask me why moths fly into porch lights." The spokeswoman was so embarrased by what she described as the "flippant" statement, she refused to give her name to reporters.

PM resolute in face of anti-war sentiment - theage.com.au But Mr Howard declared on ABC radio today his position will not be changed by any display of public opinion. "It doesn't alter the view I have," Mr Howard said.
The Courier Mail: Democrats on brink of extinction [14feb03] DECLINING membership could see the nation's one-time third political force, the Australian Democrats, deregistered in Queensland as a political party because of insufficient members.


In a state which boasts two Democrat senators, including the party's national leader Andrew Bartlett, the Democrats are understood to be struggling to nominate the 500 financial members required to retain state party status.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland, which is reviewing the registration of the six registered parties, has set a deadline of a week from today for final membership numbers and details to be submitted for audit.
Does peace have a chance? - smh.com.au In 1985, more than 300,000 people marched across Australia in Palm Sunday anti-nuclear rallies. The biggest rally was in Sydney, where 170,000 people brought the city to a standstill. (SMH, 1-4-1985, p.1) NSW Premier Neville Wran told protesters the rally reflected the concern people had for the future, and that "the tens of thousands of children in this march should give a message to every politician." Some multinational corporations didn't get it - they helped Saddam and Pakistan with nuclear components. The world's politicians didn't hear - they, and their companies, supplied nations with chemical and biological weapons. Now George Bush won't rule out using nuclear weapons against Saddam. I'd to hear from readers who attended the Palm Sunday rally.
Blix Expected to Report Iraq Not Complying The White House blasted the three nations Wednesday. "What you really have is a case where Germany, France and Belgium to varying degrees are isolating themselves from Europe," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
Murdoch: Cheap oil the prize - smh.com.au "He said the price of oil would be one of the war's main benefits. "The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country."

And more awfulness...


"Mr Murdoch's comments come just a week after he told Fortune magazine in the US that war could fuel an economic boom.
"Who knows what the future holds? I have a pretty optimistic medium and long-term view but things are going to be pretty sticky until we get Iraq behind us. But once it's behind us, the whole world will benefit from cheaper oil which will be a bigger stimulus than anything else," he told Fortune.


This is the moral war we have to fight.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

BBC NEWS | Business | US fuel reserves run to record low Oil prices have topped new 28-month highs in London as fears of war with Iraq rise and the US admitts its fuel reserves have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s Arab oil embargo.

See Hubbard's Peak.
Special Operations Units Already in Iraq (washingtonpost.com)

The war has already begun. Illegal under international law.
Senator Says Enron Tax Report Findings Disturbing (washingtonpost.com) "In addition to the eye-popping account of executive compensation, the report provides for the first time the complete story of Enron's efforts to manipulate its taxes and accounting. The report is very disturbing in its findings," he said.

Tail wags dog?
It's the Dawning Age of the Apocalypse . . . (washingtonpost.com) The Age of Apocalypse will be with us long after the current obsession with Saddam Hussein has passed.

Maybe not that long, if things keep deteriorating under Shrub.
Shrub policy brings Dick's evil fantasy to reality Former CIA analyst Kenneth M Pollack: 'The agency line is that it is basically unlikely that Iraq would give WMDs to terrorists under most circumstances.

The Bush administration is trying to make the case that Iraq might try to give WMDs to al-Qaeda under certain circumstances. But what the agency is saying is that Saddam is likely to give such weapons to terrorists only under extreme circumstances when he believes he is likely to be toppled.'

CIA and MI6 vs Shrub/Poodle The president says the US has to act now against Iraq. The trouble is, his own security services don't agree.
More grist for hate Amerikkka mill "Seventeen civilians have been killed in an American-led bombing in a mountainous region of southern Afghanistan where U.S. special forces troops have been battling rebels this week, Afghan officials said Wednesday."

Imagine this multiplied by a factor of hundreds in the next month or so and you will understand that war is not the answer.
Germany: Bin Laden Tape Doesn't Prove Iraq Link (washingtonpost.com) "From what is known so far we don't think we can conclude that there is evidence of an axis or close link between the regime in Baghdad and al Qaeda," a government spokesman told a news conference.


Yahoo! News - N. Korea Missile Can Hit U.S., CIA Says "Technology and time means regimes like North Korea will increasingly have the ability to strike at the United States," Fleischer said.

He said that is why President Bush supports building an anti-missile shield.

"We do have concerns ... about North Korea's missile development programs.".


Only problem is, what's to stop the DPRK from developing MIRVs (multiple independent re-entry vehicles) for its ICBMs? China now has them too -- the worst possible result for nuclear non-proliferation, as it encourages other states to build far more nuclear bombs than they need.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Deffeyes, K.S.: Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage. "Were the energy concerns of the past year a preview of everyone's future? Will gas lines in the coming years make those of 1973 look short? Is the present chaos in oil prices the leading edge of a more serious crisis that will rock national economies around the world?

According to Kenneth Deffeyes, a geologist with extensive personal experience in the oil industry, the answer to all of these questions is yes. World oil production is peaking and will start to fall for good sometime during this decade."

washingtonpost.com: Bush Decries Attempt to Block War Plans As a Washington Post-ABC News poll indicated a majority of Americans now support military action even without U.N. approval, provided key allies such as Britain and Australia participate.
AlterNet: Green Party "Terrorists" Stuber said after the incident he could only conclude that the Greens, whose values include nonviolence, social justice, etc., are now labeled terrorists by the Ashcroft-led Justice Department.
Yahoo! News - Oil Experts Draw Fire for Warning Global supplies of crude oil will peak as early as 2010 and then start to decline, ushering in an era of soaring energy prices and economic upheaval — or so said an international group of petroleum specialists meeting Friday.

This was in May 2002. oilcrisis has more.
AlterNet: Moving On: A New Kind of Peace Activism Another of MoveOn's strengths is its ability to connect to people directly and move quickly on their behalf. Legendary union organizer Bob Muehlencamp, creator of Labor Against the War, says what people love about MoveOn is the sense of "a direct line to god. There is no big bureaucracy. You make a contribution, you sign something and you get immediate action."
The Australian: Waste dump risks understated: Hill [February 12, 2003] A REPORT backing the construction of a radioactive waste dump next to a military bombing range was "too dismissive" of defence concerns, Defence Minister Robert Hill admitted yesterday.
Ants' nests stay pine-fresh European wood ants harvest resin to disinfect their nests, say Swiss researchers. They are the first insects to be shown to collect plants for medicinal purposes.
News The experts expect casualties among children to be in the thousands, probably in the tens of thousands, "and possibly in the hundreds of thousands".
The Courier Mail: Battle plans madness, says admiral [12feb03] A FORMER Australian defence chief has accused the Federal Government of "madness" in seeking war with Iraq.


Admiral Alan Beaumont said there was no justification for war without United Nations backing and little justification for war with it.
Los Angeles Times: 'Beverly Hillbillies'? CBS Has Struck Crude, Appalachia Says Critics quickly labeled the search "a hick hunt."
Times Online GERMANY’S coalition Government was on the brink of collapse yesterday as details emerged of a row between Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor, and Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister, who threatened to quit over differences on Iraq. Herr Fischer, the leader of the Green Party, was enraged over weekend press leaks of a Franco-German plan to establish a UN protectorate in Iraq. The leak, to Der Spiegel magazine, appeared to come from the Chancellery or Social Democrat headquarters.
Wetlands Protection Fades Along 1,000 miles of Texas coast, the wetlands over which the corps claims jurisdiction has shrunk, to 1.8 million acres, or 60 percent of what it was in 2000, according to an estimate provided by the district headquarters of the corps in Galveston.
The Courier Mail: Temperature rise another coral enemy [12feb03] CLIMATE change will be so dramatic by the end of this century the ocean in the southern Great Barrier Reef will have reached temperatures now only seen in the tropics, new CSIRO research predicts.
The Courier Mail: QUEENSLAND NEWS MAROOCHY Mayor Alison Grosse's eldest daughter had a sexual relationship with the man who became her mother's third husband, a court was told yesterday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Peacemaker assassinated in Solomon Islands - smh.com.au A leading peacemaker trying to end continuing unrest in the troubled Solomon Islands has been assassinated, National Peace Council chairman Paul Tovua said today.
The dead man, Fredrick Soaki, an NPC councillor and a former commissioner of police, was shot dead last night in Auki, the provincial capital of Malaita where he had been a member of a delegation trying to demobilise special constables, Tovua said.
Scientists genetically manipulate human stem cells - smh.com.au Dr Thomas Zwaka says the team now has a way to help control how the cells develop, so they can direct them to become brain tissue, or perhaps heart cells or pancreatic cells.
Saddam as Stalin: The case for war - smh.com.au The moral principle to my knowledge first put forward by the great Jewish philosopher Hillel (c 100 BC) is relevant here: Do not do to others what you don't want others to do to you. A simple rule for all politicians to observe: If you want the affection of the people of your own or any other country, don't support their oppressors. It has unfortunately been a long time in the learning, and is easily forgotten. Actions taken in this regard by past US administrations are clearly having a deleterious effect on the level of domestic and international political support available to the present one.
Dear Declan,

Stanford prof Dave Dill has been doing a yeoman's job in trying to prevent
Santa Clara County, which is the heart of Silicon Valley, from purchasing
computerized voting machines that have NO voter verifiable ballots. These
touch screen machines store the votes in memory and then, if asked, print
out the ballots in random order when the voting is complete. I don't have
to tell you about the possibilities of malfeasance, election theft, or even
just incorrect software that can result in incorrect election results.

The machines are being purchased all over the country. The state of Georgia
just installed them, and already there are questions about the most recent
election there.

If we can't stop this madness in Silicon Valley, I don't know where we can
stop it. We need for the Santa Clara Supervisors to hear from hundreds of
concerned residents.

This issue is also relevant to readers of your columns who don't live in
Santa Clara County. As I said, this is happening all over the country,
frequently with little to no press coverage. So, by the time that we learn
that machines are being purchased, we frequently are confronted with a done
deal. Fortunately, that's not the case in Santa Clara County, though we are
uncomfortably close to having a contract signed.

Our hope is that we can initiate a national movement, both by raising the
alarm and by sharing our experiences wi
Current Affairs German Defense Minister Peter Struck's visit to Kabul on Monday for the transfer of peacekeeping duties there from Turkey to Germany and the Netherlands was interrupted by two missiles which exploded near the German camp in the Afghan capital just hours after the handover.
U.S. fears Iran has 'pretext' for nukes -- The Washington Times But the Bush administration said it will work with other countries in the region to prevent Iran from producing atom bombs, rather than threaten military action, as it has done in Iraq.
FBI, CIA believe mass-casualty al Qaeda strike more likely -- The Washington Times "It is specifically related to the impending hostilities with Iraq," Mr. Cannistraro said in an interview. "Al Qaeda plans to take advantage of an attack to enlist the support of radical Muslims and foster anti-American hostilities."
Australian Greens - Howard’s Rejection of European Plan Irresponsible -11 February 2003
Prime Minister Howard’s rejection of the plan by France, Germany, Belgium and Russia to subject Iraq to armed surveillance rather than war is irresponsible and causing great dismay in Australia, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

“The Prime Minister is getting further and further out of touch with his own country, his own people,” Senator Brown said.

“His instant rejection of the European plan to avoid war is locking in 2000 Australian services personnel in a potentially horrific attack on Baghdad and locking out the predominant feeling by Australians to resolve the Iraq issue short of war.

“This is a Prime Minister dining in Washington at the President’s table but unable to lift up the phone from his own people. His Liberal party colleagues should urge him to listen and think again.

“Bush and Howard are giving themselves a silver service dinner while, in Iraq, thousands of men, women and children face an unnecessary charcoal death. It is a terrible moment for Australians,” Senator Brown said.

FT.com / World / Middle East & Africa Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, said that even if the Iraqi leader made a last minute decision to abandon Baghdad to save Iraq from war, the "US has to remain committed" to creating a country that maintains its territorial integrity, destroys its weapons of mass destruction and ends the repression of its own people".
FT.com / World / Middle East & Africa Norman Schwartzkopf, the chief combatant commander in the 1991 Gulf war, who just last month said the administration had not yet made a convincing case, said he now supported its argument. The presentation made by Colin Powell, secretary of state, to the UN Security Council last week was "compelling", he said.
United for Peace: New York City Rally and March Permit Status This fight is about far more than one protest march; it's about how much political space for dissent there will be in this country for the forseeable future. We are appalled by this attack on our basic First Amendment rights, and we will continue to fight for the right to march.
eTaiwanNews.com/Japan threarens to ask U.S. to launch pre-emptive attack on North Korea Japan will consider imposing sanctions against North Korea if the secretive Stalinist state, at the center of a nuclear standoff, fires a ballistic missile, a report said Sunday.
If a North Korean missile fell on Japanese territory or waters, the Tokyo government would convene an emergency meeting and consult the United States on counter-measures, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.
What to expect from Mitchell at The Oz The key to understanding Mitchell is to know that he is a right-wing social engineer who happens to be a journalist.
The Courier Mail: Embattled mayor to take time off [11feb03] The moves came at the same time as another councillor, Joe Natoli, said Maroochy was becoming "a laughing stock" over explicit revelations in Cr Grosse's high-profile court case against her former lover and business colleague Rob Purvis.
The Australian: Beattie backs jeopardy law reform [February 11, 2003] Mr Beattie said NSW Premier Bob Carr's promise to scrap the 800-year-old principle that prevented a person acquitted of a crime being retried would "influence" Queensland's review of the law.
Saving the universe - smh.com.au Another scientist explained: "It is like throwing a ball in the air. If gravity were the only force at work, the ball would slow down and then start to fall back. What this shows is that the ball is not slowing down but is in fact accelerating away."
Sunshine Project: US Plans for Use of Gas in Iraq Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons in its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons. T
Belgium to Block NATO Military Aid for Turkey (washingtonpost.com) The Belgian government said today that it would veto a U.S. request that NATO provide military materiel for Turkey to defend itself in the event of a conflict with neighboring Iraq. The announcement exposed raw divisions across the Atlantic and within Europe on the buildup for war and plunged the alliance into a new crisis.
Belgium's green government -- the mouse that roared.
nowar - Insight into George W Bush's mind "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."
--Washington, DC, Dec 18, 2000, during his first trip to Washington as President-Elect

ourbrisbane.com - Oil industry critical of Opp reef protection plan 11/2/2003 "The oil industry has slammed the Federal Opposition's move to further restrict mining near the Great Barrier Reef.

Mining is banned within the Reef Marine Park but a bill proposed yesterday would extend the reef region 200 nautical miles off the coast.

The Australian Petroleum and Production Exploration Association says there is already sufficient protection. The executive director Barry Jones says a blanket ban could be detrimental to the industry.

"Frankly I see it as a bit of grandstanding. I fail to see why further protection is necessary," he said.

"Within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park there is already provision for the Park Authority, for the state Minister for the Commonwealth Minister to ban anything they want to."

Monday, February 10, 2003

Carr to end immunity of second trial - smh.com.au In his first law-and-order pledge of the campaign, the Premier, Bob Carr, said NSW would follow the lead of the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and become the first Australian state to overturn the 800-year-old custom.
smh.com.au - The Sydney Morning Herald Which plan do you think the UN should back?

German-French - 76%
USA - 18%
Undecided - 5%

Total Votes: 1308
Surprising Germany "At a time when the U.S. is painfully closing bases at home, many defense strategists conclude that we should reduce and redeploy our troops in Europe. By cutting the number in half; by rotating the troops every six months, thereby obviating the need for dependents' schools and extensive support facilities; and by moving the bases south and east toward low-cost Hungary, southern Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, the Defense Department could spread our military techniques and equipment throughout the alliance and train with fewer environmental constraints at far less cost."

If Germany is now the enemy, shouldn't the USA be keeping the bases there rather than moving them?
The World Today - 10/2/2003: Local Governments peace letter angers Heffernan Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan says the letter, which the Association has sent to world leaders including the Iraqi President, is "seditious" and "dangerous". And he accuses councils of giving succour to Saddam Hussein's murderous regime.
The Australian: US wants an Iraq post-war coalition [February 10, 2003] "I'm no expert on matters Australian, but certainly if an American were saying such things about anyone in Australia – I mean personal comments rather than keeping it on a business level – then I think people would have cause for some worry," he said.
Saddam on the run better than war: Rumsfeld - smh.com.au Rumsfeld, asked whether the US had failed to sell war with Iraq, said: "You can say we have done a bad selling job. I don't think we have been trying to do a selling job.
"People are used to a different century. People are used to Pearl Harbour. They are used to being attacked and then responding."
BBC NEWS | Europe | Belgium to block US Nato request "When one has to take a slap in the face such as the insulting remarks... by Mr Rumsfeld, who comes to teach a thing or two to 'old Europe', the Europe of democratic values, humanist Europe, the Europe of the Age of Enlightenment, personally I find that this hurts."
ABC News - Killing sharks will not guarantee public safety: lobby group The Humane Society says efforts to catch the shark responsible for a fatal attack on Queensland's Gold Coast yesterday are pointless.
ABC News - China tested ballistic missile equipped with warheads: report It was believed to the first successful test launch of a missile with multiple warheads for China, the report added.

The missile test was seen as a significant breakthrough as the technology was primarily targeted at breaking through missile defences being developed in the United States.
GLOCOM Platform - Tech Reviews - Emerging Technology Report The budget of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace for the first time since funding of the program commenced. NNI's funding will increase by nearly 9.5% next year, totaling $847 million dollars according to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The bulk of the budget will be doled out and utilized by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense.
ABCNEWS.com : Khatami Says Iran Mines Uranium for Nuclear Plant President Mohammad Khatami said on Sunday Iran had mined uranium for nuclear energy, and insisted its nuclear program was solely for civilian use, the official news agency IRNA said.
MATERIAL GIRL IN A POLITICAL WORLD: MADONNA PLANS VIDEO TO PROTEST WAR, BUSH

**Exclusive**

Madonna is hoping to cause maximum controversy with a new video from her forthcoming CD, AMERICAN LIFE, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

Editing is in progress on a musical video concept which insiders say may be the most shocking anti-war, anti-Bush statement yet to come from the showbusiness industry.

MORE

"She's taking it all the way this time," one source said from Los Angeles over the weekend, "pushing all of the buttons... It is a sweeping political commentary on the modern 'American Dream' and how 'nothing is what is seems.'"

The song will be released to radio next week.

Dressed in commando fatigues, Madonna throws grenades as the techno terror beat pounds, claims a source. Limb-less men and women are reportedly shown, with bloody babies.

One disturbing clip features Iraqi children.

Fashion models are mixed with soldiers; sex, violence and war, and new century sentiment.

Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

The shock film for AMERICAN LIFE comes as Madonna returns to the musical spotlight with a CD of original songs, set for an April release.

"AMERICAN LIFE is about freedom of speech," claims an insider. "It examines not only war, greed and ego, but it's self-reflective also. Madonna rejects her 'Material Girl' image once and for all"
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage Rice bristled at Australian opposition party criticism of Bush as "flaky" and "incompetent."
"I will not dignify that comment," she said briskly.
Armed with everything except moral authority - smh.com.au Of all the arguments for war against the regime of Saddam Hussein, the democratic-humanitarian one is the most honourable. Like the legal and strategic justifications it is, however, quite fatally flawed.
United Press International: Rumsfeld annoyed over secret plan on Iraq German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer made a passionate, defensive response to Rumsfeld's charges.
"We are doing better than the others are!" he said, referring to the German troop contribution to Afghanistan, which now numbers 3,000, he said. Germany is also slated to take over command of the international peacekeeping force with the Netherlands.
Fischer said he personally had pushed Germany, after years of non-militarism, to join the war in Kosovo, and then in Macedonia and then in Afghanistan. But he sees a clear distinction between those situations and Iraq.
"It wasn't just force. It was a last resort," he said.
Germany is not shy about using force when it is necessary, Fischer said from the podium but directly to Rumsfeld, who was at that point seated in the audience.
"Why this priority now? Why now? We've all known what we've known (about Iraq) for years," he said. "We owe our own democracy to America," he conceded, recalling World War II, "but we have to be convinced."
"Excuse me," he shouted, switching to English, "I'm not convinced!"
CIA Veterans Speak Out Indeed, it is our view that an invasion of Iraq would ensure overflowing recruitment centers for terrorists into the indefinite future. Far from eliminating the threat it would enhance it exponentially.
Guardian Unlimited Observer | Special reports | Security role for traffic cameras Gareth Crossman, policy director of Liberty, said: 'There is an issue we are concerned about which is called "function creep".
'This is where we are told that a system is being set up and used for a certain purpose and then we find out it is being used for another totally different one. It is a dangerous precedent.
'We would be concerned that it would be just a "fishing" exercise where large amounts of data are passed over to the police or the security services and they just sift through it.'
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Hoon blasts critics of Iraq stance However NEC member Mark Seddon, a leading anti-war campaigner, said members were voting with their feet: 'There's going to be nobody out there campaigning. What is interesting is how many Labour candidates are likely to stand on an anti-war platform, whatever the leadership says.'
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Anti-war protesters rally to cause
If half a million people pour on to the streets of London next week to protest about the prospect of war in Iraq, as many are now predicting, John Rees will have reason to be pleased with himself. He is among a tiny handful of people behind one of the most rapidly growing and widely based protest movements to emerge in Britain since the war.
Guardian Unlimited Observer | Special reports | Revealed: truth behind US 'poison factory' claim But last Wednesday Powell suggested that the 500-strong band of Ansar fighters had links with both al-Qaeda and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. They were, he hinted, a global menace - and more than that they were the elusive link between Osama bin Laden and Iraq.
This is clearly little more than cheap hyperbole.
[casi] [Aftermath] First casualties in the propaganda firefight (fwd) Downing Street's efforts to sell the case for war have created a tension
with MI6 that has mirrored that between the White House and Pentagon
civilian staff and the CIA, DIA and FBI across the Atlantic. There the White
House has established a shadow, parallel intelligence network staffed, not
by espionage professionals but by favoured political appointees who are
providing answers far closer to what the administration want to hear.
[casi] [Aftermath] First casualties in the propaganda firefight (fwd) Late last Tuesday night, a three-page email started circulating among a
select group of friends concerned about the impact of sanctions on Iraq.

Full of academic outrage, it explained how the so-called 'secret spy
dossier' published last week by the Government as a crucial plank in the
argument for why the West should go to war was largely cribbed from an
American postgraduate's doctoral thesis - grammatical mistakes and all -
based on evidence 12 years out of date.
News The CIA procrastinated, but finally produced a report after Senator Graham threatened to accuse them of obstruction. The conclusions were so significant that he immediately asked for it to be declassified. The CIA concluded that the likelihood of Saddam Hussein using such weapons was "very low" for the "foreseeable future". The only circumstances in which Iraq would be more likely to use chemical weapons or encourage terrorist attacks would be if it was attacked.
News The mounting tension is mirrored in Washington. "We've gone from a zero position, where presidents refused to cite detailed intel as a source, to the point now where partisan material is being officially attributed to these agencies," said one US intelligence source.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Mirror.co.uk - REAL AUTHORS OF IRAQ DOSSIER BLAST BLAIR
JOURNALIST Sean Boyne and student Ibrahim al-Marashi have attacked Tony Blair for using their reports to call for war against Iraq.
Mr Boyne, who works for military magazine Jane's Intelligence Review, said he was shocked his work had been used in the Government's dossier.
Articles he wrote in 1997 were plagiarised for a 19-page intelligence document entitled Iraq: Its Infrastructure Of Concealment, Deception And Intimidation to add weight to the PM's warmongering.
He said: "I don't like to think that anything I wrote has been used for an argument for war. I am concerned because I am against the war."
Nude protests - theage.com.au Around 1000 women lie nude on a hillside at Byron Bayon, on the New South Wales north coast about 200 km miles south of Brisbane, in the shape of a heart with no war spelled inside.
Picture: Icon Images
Dalai Lama's exile may end - theage.com.au Secret negotiations between China and the Dalai Lama will resume next month amid growing signs that Tibet's spiritual leader is preparing to cut a historic deal allowing him to return to Tibet after almost half-a-century in exile.
How our forces will go to war - theage.com.au While the Howard Government insists that it has made no final decision on whether Australian troops will be involved in a war in Iraq, the US planners have allocated a role to the Australians that is set out in considerable detail.
Rome resists Bush's plea for a blessing on aggression - theage.com.au From the Pope down, every significant official in the Vatican has insisted, in accordance with a long tradition of Christian teaching about a just war, that the conditions for such a war cannot be said to exist in the standoff with Iraq.
The Australian: US has 'no better friend' than Aust [February 09, 2003] THE United States had no better friend than Australia as it prepared to launch military strikes against Iraq, US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said today.
The Courier Mail: Nationals to put positive spin on poll [08feb03] Mr Springborg also announced he would be taking on the role as environment spokesman, replacing Vince Lester who will retire at the next election.
Mr Springborg said environment was an important role and it sent a positive message to voters if it was the responsibility of the leader.
"When dealing with youth, when dealing with the community at large on a whole range of issues including resource management, quality of life and lifestyle issues, people want to know that we have that up there as something that underpins a lot of our thinking," he said.
The Wilderness Society's land clearing campaigner Barry Traill welcomed Mr Springborg's announcement he would become environment spokesman.
"But the real test will be his land clearing policy, when he delivers it," Mr Traill said.
The Courier Mail: Nationals to put positive spin on poll [08feb03] THE National Party's state management committee has backed a plan by new leader Lawrence Springborg to ban negative advertising during the next state election campaign.

Mr Springborg said the National Party would instead concentrate on "positive politics" and would not resort to low tactics of personally attacking opponents.
The Courier Mail: Union bids to cut out Quinn [08feb03] But Transport Workers Union state secretary Hughie Williams said yesterday the Right's Mark Nolan appeared to be the perfect candidate.
"Tim Quinn – nice bloke, but Roy Harvey number two," Mr Williams said, alluding to the 1986 council elections which in which the Labor lord mayor was outed by a Liberal-led Sallyanne Atkinson.
"I find Nolan terribly impressive. He was an ALP state secretary, he's a barrister . . . I would prefer him.
"If the ALP aren't careful, they'll end up with Quinn."
The Courier Mail: Solicitor tells of stalking fixation [08feb03] The court was told that in 1994, Mr Purvis showed Mr Wilkinson what he claimed to be a private investigator's report into Cr Grosse's then home-based massage business, saying it was "proof" she was operating a prostitution service.
Newsday.com - Civil rights lawyer: City cites terrorist threats to ban protest marches "The First Amendment right is not absolute. The plaintiffs do not have a right to march or protest any way they want, wherever they want and how they want," Goldman said.
Newsday.com - Civil rights lawyer: City cites terrorist threats to ban protest marches Chris Dunn, a staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the city was using "a theoretical possibility something terrible is going to happen to cancel the right of people to participate in peaceful protest."
Saudis Plan to End U.S. Presence Saudi Arabia's leaders have made far-reaching decisions to prepare for an era of military disengagement from the United States, to enact what Saudi officials call the first significant democratic reforms at home, and to rein in the conservative clergy that has shared power in the kingdom.
Rumsfeld Rebukes U.N. and NATO on Approach to Baghdad Despite Mr. Rumsfeld's lengthy public criticism of the United Nations, he spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergei B. Ivanov, of the important role that one of its organs, the International Atomic Energy Agency, must play in defusing the nuclear crisis in North Korea.
During a closed-door bilateral meeting, they agreed that North Korea posed a threat to the entire world, and that it should be dealt with as a "international problem," according to a senior Defense Department official.
Rumsfeld Rebukes U.N. and NATO on Approach to Baghdad "That's not the way to have a winning hand with the United States," said a senior American official. In fact, the official said, Mr. Rumsfeld asked the German defense minister, Peter Struck, about the report, and was told, "We're not ready to talk yet." The American official indicated that the United States would not support the plan, citing the failure of United Nations forces to prevent massacres in Bosnia.
Slacktivist The lawmakers put new pressure on the Bush administration to explain its decision to leave the facility, which it has known about for months, unharmed.

"Why have we not taken it out?" Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) asked Powell during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Thursday. "Why have we let it sit there if it's such a dangerous plant producing these toxins?"

Powell declined to answer, saying he could not discuss the matter in open session.

"I can assure you that it is a place that has been very much in our minds. And we have been tracing individuals who have gone in there and come out of there," Powell said.

Absent an explanation from the White House, some officials suggested that the administration has refrained from striking the compound in part to preserve a key piece of its case against Iraq.

"This is it, this is their compelling evidence for use of force," said one intelligence official, who asked not to be identified. "If you take it out, you can't use it as justification for war."
German Demonstrators Oppose War, Not U.S. Mr. Ude's well-known opposition to the war prompted the American ambassador to Berlin, Daniel R. Coates, to call on American participants not to attend the reception where the mayor made his welcoming speech. But most of the Americans, including Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat who has already announced his intention to run for president next year, did attend.
albawaba.com: Report: Germany, France work on new Iraq plan; U.S. says it has no information about this Rumsfeld quizzed German Defence Minister Peter Struck over press reports on the plan during face-to-face talks late Saturday -- and was told "we're not ready to talk to you about it."
Desert Spring, Sprung "Network anchors are packing their bespoke flak jackets and zooming off to Turkey, Syria and Kuwait. The new chic thing here is an "embed" — a journalist slated to be "embedded" with the troops in the gulf."

How can anyone with even a whisp of journalistic ethos left be proud to claim the army has bedded them?
Eschaton But the Bush administration sees Mitchell, a Democrat, as too much of a dove. It favours Norman Schwarzkopf, who led coalition forces in the first Gulf war and is now, as a civilian, a vigorous campaigner for the Bush family.
News of the World By CLIVE GOODMAN, ROYAL EDITOR

A SERIOUS rift has opened up between Prince Charles and the government because he is seen to be AGAINST a war on Iraq and AGAINST America.

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