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Saturday, March 08, 2003

His answer to terrorism lies not in war | csmonitor.com
The phrase "war on terrorism" was, he says, understandable as a response to 9/11, "but if you use a phrase like that, it does create an expectation among some people that there is a solution to terrorism that is entirely military."

Wilkinson is not a pacifist, and says well-trained military forces sometimes must be used to attack terrorists when police forces cannot cope. But the better way to tackle the problem is "by the less glamorous, less dramatic form of counter-terrorism - through intelligence, good intelligence-sharing, getting such good information on the intentions and plans of the group that you can intervene before they carry out their attacks."

These, he argues, "are the patient and ultimately safe ways of dealing with such terrible crimes."


Exactly. Thank you.
Global Public Media The end of cheap oil is upon us. It is the real underlying reason for the US attack on Iraq. This site helps explain why the end of cheap oil will soon be permament, not just another oil shock, and why the only long-term answer is to reduce hydrocarbon consumption radically.



Home » War on Iraq »

An Open Letter to the President
By Toby Barlow, AlterNet
March 7, 2003

Dear President Bush,


Remember back when you were first running for President and you had that interview where you made that joke about the death row inmate who begged you for her life. But then you killed her anyway. Well, some people didn't find that funny, but I found it really funny! I think we sort of have the same sense of humor. It's a little dark, but it's FUNNY, isn't it? Here are some of my favorite jokes of yours:


What I think is really funny is 3,000 cruise missiles being launched into Iraq within the first 48 hours of the war. The idea that you call dropping it "precision bombing" Boy, that's funny.


And this is hilarious, the first Gulf War killed 205,500 Iraqis, three-quarters of the dead were civilians, including 74,000 children. More than a 100,000 died of postwar adverse health effects. That's so funny. I just look at that line that says 74,000 children and I'm laughing again, and I bet you're laughing too. Admit it, you're grinning a little. Come on, 74,000 children killed. Do you feel that smile coming on? Yeah.


And you know that's peanuts compared to the can of whoop-ass you're about to unleash on those kids, what do you call it, "Shock and Awe" as in "Awe there just went my baby girl, I'm covered in her blood, awe there just went my legs." See, that's funny.


Now, it's also sort of funny that in the US-Afghan war, the US military killed 3,400 civilians. That's almost equal to the 3,700 civilians killed in the World Trade Center. I admit, it's more of a dry, ironic kind of humor, but come on, killing innocent people to get back at someone for killing innocent people, that's rich. "Killing innocent people is bad, let's go kill innocent people." If someone said that on Married With Children it would get a real big laugh.


Now, I know this cracks you up because it cracks me up, the UN sanctions against Iraq, begun by your dad and continued by you, didn't do a thing to Saddam, but it did manage to kill 5,000 children under the age of five every month! Every month! 5,000 children dead! It upsets you so much you're launching 3,000 cruise missles and blowing those kids up now. Talk about not leaving a child behind, har, har, har.("Awe, there goes my mom!")


What's really funny is that Kofi Annan estimates that this new war could swell the number of displaced people in Iraq to 2 million and create a million refugees. A million! It doesn't get any funnier than that! What, are they all gonna have little stick and bandanas tied up with food in 'em. Oh, that's right, they won't have any food. And the jokes on them, because they didn't even vote for Saddam.


What's really, really funny is that you even use the word terrorist. Aw, man, you're killing me.


Sincerely,

Toby Barlow





It's Ok To Eat Belgian Chocalates

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Mideast Home

by Uri Avnery
February 23, 2003

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MIDEAST

"Don't eat Belgian chocolate," the Israeli consul in Florida ordered the
large Jewish community there.

In Israel, anti-Belgian curses reached an ear-splitting new crescendo.
Miserable Belgium! Mad Belgium! Megalomaniac Belgium! And again and again:
Anti-Semitic Belgium! Neo-Nazi Belgium!

The Israeli ambassador was, of course, recalled from Brussels. No wonder,
how can Israel keep an ambassador in the world capital of anti-Semitism?

The storm broke when a Belgian court decided that Ariel Sharon can be sued
for alleged war crimes, but only after finishing his term as prime minister
of Israel. Israeli army officers connected with the 1982 massacre in the
Sabra and Shatila refugee camps can be sued even now.

On an Israeli TV programme, the anchorman, a lawyer, put it this way:
"Anti-Semitic Belgium wants to judge the officers of a second country for
crimes committed in a third country, while the accused have no connection at
all with Belgium, are not on Belgium territory and the whole affair does not
concern Belgium. That is megalomania, really a matter for psychiatrists!"

"Strange," I replied on the programme, "I seem to remember a case where
country A kidnapped in country B the citizen of country C for committing in
country D crimes against the citizens of countries E, F and G, all this in
spite of the fact the crimes were committed before country A even existed."

I meant, of course, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, to which we all agreed.

"How can you compare the two!" the other participants on the programme cried
out in outraged unison. And indeed, how can one compare the actions of Jews
with actions of goyim committed against Jews?

Well, it was the Jews who demanded, after World War II, that all countries
put Nazi war criminals and their allies on trial. Eichmann was judged in
Israel according to the Israeli "Law for bringing the Nazis and their
Helpers to Justice", which does not recognize any borders. More recently the
Knesset enacted another law, enabling Israeli courts to judge perpetrators
of any crime committed against Jews anywhere in the world. If so, what's
wrong with the Belgian law of "universal jurisdiction", that allows Belgian
courts to judge war criminals from all over the world?

Immanuel Kant promulgated the Categorical Imperative: "Act as if the
principle by which you act were about to be turned into a universal law of
nature," But then, Kant was probably an anti-Semite.

Hundreds of years ago, the world adopted a legal doctrine that allowed every
country to judge and hang pirates, irrespective of their ethnic identity,
origin and area of activity. The assumption was that the pirate is an enemy
of humanity at large, and that therefore every country has the right -
indeed, the duty - to judge him.

The Belgian law against war crimes is a step in this direction, and I hope
that many other countries will follow suit. Of course, it would be better if
the International Criminal Court in The Hague would fulfil this duty, but
much time will pass before it will be able to. Immense political pressures
are being exerted, many limitations have been imposed, its hands and feet
have been shackled. Worse, the only superpower, the United States, is openly
trying to destroy it (as it destroyed the League of Nations after World War
I).

My dream is that before the end of the 21st century a new, binding world
order, headed by a world parliament, will come into being. This order must
include a world court and a world police force that will judge conflicts
between nations the way today'snational courts judge conflicts between
people. The road there is long and full of obstacles, decades will pass
before humanity will reach this stage. But we must strive towards this end.
In the meantime, other countries must follow the Belgian example, in order
to progress along this way. Especially concerning war crimes.

Some will say that we should not extradite our fellow citizens, that it is
the duty of every state to judge its war criminals itself. But this is
utopian: no country in the world has really done so. That is quite natural:
not only are states disinclined to admit to such shameful crimes and try to
hide them, but generally such crimes are committed by agents of the state
itself.

The affair of Sabra and Shatila is a good example. Here, briefly, are the
facts:

In the summer of 1982, the Israeli army invaded West Beirut, violating an
explicit commitment given to the American mediator, Phillip Habib, not to do
so. By that time, the PLO forces had already left the city.

From that moment on, West Beirut, including the Palestinian refugee camps
Sabra and Shatila, became an Israeli occupied territory, making the Israeli
army responsible for everything happening there.

After the occupation, the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] let the Phalangists,
members of an extreme Maronite Christian group, enter the two camps. These
people had already committed heinous massacres in other Palestinian refugee
camps. They were headed by a notorious mass murderer, Eli Hobeika.

All senior Israeli officials involved with Lebanon knew that the Phalangists
were committing atrocities in order to panic the Palestinians into fleeing
from Lebanon.

When the Israeli cabinet was informed of the army's intention of letting the
Phalangists in, Minister David Levy, who was born in Morocco, warned that
this would cause a disaster. His colleagues ignored his warning.

Immediately upon entering the camps, the Phalangists started to butcher men,
women and children indiscriminately.

The commander of the action, Eli Hobeika, oversaw the action from the roof
of the Israeli divisional command post, which was located right next to the
camps. The officers of the Israeli division commander, General Amos Yaron,
overheard Hobeika instructing his men by walkie-talkie to kill women and
children, too. They hastened to inform Yaron, but he ignored the message.
(Later he admitted: "Our senses had become blunted.")

During the night, while the massacre was going on (it lasted altogether
three days), the Israeli chief of staff, General Raphael Eytan, ordered the
army to accede to the Phalangists' request and light the area with flares.
He also provided the Phalangists with a tractor (which served, it is
assumed, to bury the bodies).

A young Israeli officer, who heard the horrible stories of the shocked women
who had succeeded in fleeing from the camps, ran from one officer to
another, begging them to interfere. All of them refused.

After the massacre, the Begin government refused to order an independent
investigation. In a huge demonstration in Tel Aviv (the mythological 400,000
demonstration), we compelled the government to appoint a high level state
investigation committee, headed by Supreme Court judge Yitzhak Kahan. It did
a good job and its report included all the facts mentioned above. In its
conclusions, it found that the minister of defence (Sharon), the chief of
staff and a number of other senior officers bear "indirect responsibility"
for the outrage. Some of us argued even then that the committee had bent
backwards in order to protect the reputation of the state, and that from the
same facts much more far-reaching conclusions could have been drawn.

The committee recommended, inter alia, to dismiss the minister of defence
from his office and to remove Yaron from the active command of troops in the
field. But the committee did not recommend to dismiss Sharon altogether from
the government and from public life. Nor did it dismiss Yaron from the army.
It did not take any step against the chief of staff, because he was about to
finish his term anyhow. Other officers suffered minor penalties.

Today, Sharon is prime minister, practically commanding the army and Amos
Yaron is director-general of the Ministry of Defence. As a matter of fact,
all those accused by the Kahan report have been promoted.

Most importantly, not one of those suspected of responsibility for the
massacre was ever put on trial (as distinguished from a commission of
inquiry).

After the enactment of the Belgian law of universal jurisdiction, the
survivors of the massacre sued Sharon and the officers in Brussels. It is
this case that has caused the present uproar.

Nobody questions the integrity of the Belgian judicial system. If Sharon and
his men are confident of their innocence, why shouldn't they stand trial and
prove it? After all, the Israeli government has put at their disposal its
senior attorneys, paid by the state. (One could ask, of course, why I should
pay for the legal defence of people put on trial for alleged war crimes. But
never mind.)

All this has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. The use of this defamation
against everybody who dares to criticize Sharon and his colleagues reminds
one of Dr Samuel Johnson's sayings: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a
scoundrel."

So you may eat Belgian chocolate. Even if it is of the bitter kind.

*Uri Avnery is an Israeli journalist, writer and peace activist.




News
Song Yongyi, a contemporary of Mr Hu, and now a historian of the Cultural Revolution at Dickinson College in the US, believes Mr Hu participated in the activities of the April 14 Faction of the Red Guards at Qinghua.

U.N. Split Widens as Allies Dismiss Deadline on Iraq
Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that a report — which had earlier been identified as coming from British intelligence — that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Niger was based on fake documents.


We will probably discover the rumor was based on the science project of a teenager in Kent.
Is It Good for the Jews?
The administration prefers not to advertise Israel alongside Bulgaria and Spain on its marquee of allied supporters, for the same reason it has gone to tremendous lengths to keep Israel out of the coming war. No one wants to feed the dangerous idea that this is, as the jihad propagandists claim, a war of Americans and Zionists against Arabs and Islam.


They don't need to feed it. The evidence is overwhelming, and comes from their own mouths. The main "viral carriers" for the idea this article attempts to discredit are not jihadis, but two former CIA officers who have witnessed the agenda in the government shift from balance to strongly pro-Zionist. They call it dual loyalties.
A letter from the SAS? - smh.com.au
So why am I sending you this? Because I am proud to be a professional soldier (not a nazi as I felt on the Tampa) and relish the job that I do, but I am concerned that as a human being that the war we are about to embark on is wrong. As important is the fact that I think that Howard is pandering to the will of that redneck Bush, without considering the long term consequences of this action, not just for Australia but for the whole world. He is lying to Parliament, he is lying to the people of Australia and no doubt he will lie to the dependents of any of us who don't come back. This Government has a history of the latter as Kylie Russell, Jerry Bampton and the next of kin of the Blackhawk disaster can attest to.

ABC News - N Korea 'spokesman' gives US ominous warning
Kim Myong-Chol says it is likely the stand-off will soon end.

"This year, most likely by the end of this year, I predict Bush will be in Pyongyang pushing for peace," he said.


The reason? The DPRK says it can and will turn the USA into a lake of fire if it doesn't play along. Thanks, Team Bush and Howard, for your textbook diplomacy.
Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake (washingtonpost.com)


More black propaganda from the White House basement's "Secret Team"? Don't forget, just like Ollie North and Co.'s operations under Reagan, black propaganda -- the most dangerous kind -- is aimed firstly at your own side.

Knowledgeable sources familiar with the forgery investigation described the faked evidence as a series of letters between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of Niger. The documents had been given to the U.N. inspectors by Britain and reviewed extensively by U.S. intelligence. The forgers had made relatively crude errors that eventually gave them away -- including names and titles that did not match up with the individuals who held office at the time the letters were purportedly written, the officials said.
"We fell for it," said one U.S. official who reviewed the documents.

Good Morning, Kuwait!

It seems our hip UK cousins are giving up tight American Armed Forces radio a lesson in keepin' it real. As one who used to listen to the Armed Forces radio in Belgium back in the 80s, I know exactly where this article is coming from.

While BFBS pours out messages from families, friends and pets, and the football results, the American Forces Network laces all its programmes with a liberal assortment of propaganda and embarrassing tips about personal cleanliness.
In the space of ten minutes yesterday, an American presenter droned on about the need for troops to take time to meditate — “Make your mind your ally” — how not to choke your children by feeding them peanuts and more than you should ever need to be told about washing your “private parts”.

GOP Leader Challenges Bush Statements (washingtonpost.com)
"I believe White House statements that Congress only provided $1.3 billion for first responders are factually inaccurate because you have narrowly chosen programs that only you believe will support the first-responder community," House Appropriations Committee Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) Young wrote in the three-page letter accusing the White House of various contradictions and inconsistencies.

Rifts opening between Blair and Bush over post-War Oil Revenues
"A simple way out would make sure if there is a conflict that in any post-conflict Iraq there is a proper UN mandate for Iraq and the oil goes into a trust fund. We don't touch it and the Americans don't touch it without UN authority."

This is the first specific detail of Britain's plans for the "day after" the downfall of Saddam.

But they are likely to be greeted with disdain by influential American figures, especially in the Pentagon, who are hostile to the UN and want either to keep direct control of Iraq or instal their Iraqi allies.

Illegality of War Will Challenge Howard

07 March 2003

There are mounting international concerns that the US-UK-Australia attack on Iraq is illegal and breaches the UN Charter which is the bedrock of global law and order, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

Senator Brown has demanded that Prime Minister Howard make public the government’s legal advice on the deployment of Australian troops to Iraq.

There are two serious causes for concern:

1. That the impending attack is a violation of the UN Charter which allows war only if a nation is defending itself from actual or imminent threat of invasion. Resolution 1441 of the Security Council is not sufficient for war.

2. The Australian Constitution allows our defence forces to be deployed to defend the Commonwealth or any of the states but gives no authority for an attack on another nation, like Iraq, which is not threatening Australia.

“In Britain, Cherie Booth’s own legal chambers, Matrix, advise that there is as yet no UN authority for war and Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, has flown to Washington to consult his US counterpart, John Ashcroft, on the legal ramifications of attacking Iraq,” Senator Brown said.

“Mr Howard must clear the air. He has no right to use Australian defence force personnel in any conflict without clear legal authority. Mr Howard must release the advice giving him such authority if he has it – and I doubt he does,” Senator Brown said.


Further information: Ben Oquist 02 6277 3170 or 0419 704095




UN Reports Destroy Bush’s Legitimacy
08 March 2003

Howard Must Disengage Australia - Senator Bob Brown, The Greens

The Blix report on weapons inspection in Iraq destroys President Bush’s key assertion, repeated yesterday, that Iraq retains underground stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons or mobile weapons laboratories, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

“Blix, the expert on the ground, says there is no evidence to back Bush’s assertion.

“Worse, President Bush’s contention that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger is based on fake documents, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Prime Minister Howard should back out of this patently unjustified and concocted US rationale for invading Iraq.

“It is not the presence of 200,000 troops massed on Iraq’s border, but the absence of justification and legitimacy for this war which Mr Howard must acknowledge. He must disengage. Australia’s honour as well as its future security is at stake here.

“It is time to break from President Bush’s patently illegitimate intention to bomb Baghdad”, Senator Brown said.

More information: Ben Oquist 0419 70 40 95




Friday, March 07, 2003

The Smirking Chimp's Rare Press Conference
an important week in the war on terror

captured the "mastermind" of terror Kalid Sheik Muhammad
arrived at an important moment in confronting Saddam
answer a single question: has the Iraqi regime fully and unconditionally disarmed, or has it not?
Missile destruction is a "public show" -- even as he has destroyed these missiles, he is building more
Iraqi agents are continuing to hide WMD, moving them every 12 to 24 hours
Scientists are continually threatened with harm and forced to wear wires, while hotels are bugged
actions are those of regime engaged in a charade, disarmament not visible
Saddam has produced a few weapons for show
Inspectors don't need more time or people, but the full cooperation of Iraqi regime.
Token gestures not needed, only total disarmament
New resolution saying he is not disarming cannot be denied
Provided safe haven to Terrorists who would use these weapons
Saddam is a direct threat to the USA
USA would assume unacceptable risks if Saddam is not disarmed
USA will not wait to see what might happen
Bush will not leave the USA at "the mercy" of Saddam
USA will protect innocent lives in every way possible
Bring food and medicine and democracy
Form of that government is up to Iraqis. Anything would be better than Saddam
USA goal is peace for Middle East
Allowing Saddam to harbour terrorists is not peace, but pretense
Peace will come when the Dictator is fully and finally disarmed
Nation is grateful to military

End of speech

Q: now that you've called on the world to face war, what is the harm with giving him one last chance?
UNSC must state the facts that Saddam has not disarmed. He had his last chance with UNSC 1441. Important moment for the UNSC. Does its words mean anything? Do words have merit and weight? Bush believes world must work together. Saddam trains terrorists, has "wealth" is part of the war on terror. Resolution is days away.

Q: What about North Korea

This is a regional issue. All countries have a stake in whether or not DPRK has a nuclear weapon. USA must convince these countries it is in their interest to stand up to DPRK. Bilateral negotiations failed because DPRK broke its promise. Jiang Zemin supports nuclear free Korean peninsula. USA working with regional powers to convince DPRK.

Q: Has the USA shared all intelligence to show the imminent threat of Saddam. Why then are allies reluctant to move to war? What about the UK move to set a firm deadline and allow USA more time to build support?

Bush is consulting with allies. This is the last phase of diplomacy. He has had 12 years to disarm. He is deceiving people, he is trying to buy time. Saddam is a threat, September 11 changed the world. Bush is trying to protect the US people. Saddam can't be contained. America is a battlefield. WMD in the hands of terrorists could be deployed at home. Bush thinks the threat is real. If he doesn't disarm, we will disarm him.

90 countries are engaged in Enduring Freedom. We must continue to share intelligence and "smoke these Al Qu'aida types out". A lot of countries realise the credibility of the UNSC is at stake.

Q: What are waiting to hear or see before going to war? Why are so many people taking a different view of Saddam?

(yawn. piss break) We will protect innocent life, blah blah...

Q: How do you answer charges that you are making the world more dangerous?

My job is to protect America. People can describe all kinds of intentions. I believe Saddam is a threat to the American people. Tortures his on people, trained and financed Al Qae'di...blah blah

Q: the price of the war?

Cost of doing nothing is higher than acting.

Q: Opposition around the world is increasing. What went wrong?

If you look back to October UNSC resolution, you would have said the same thing. But we got a unanimous resolution. Blah blah. Repeats line about America and God's gift to humanity.


More like a Goebbels' media briefing. A scripted screed repeating the well-worn soundbites a deeply wounded and divided administration mindlessly repeats like a broken record. As somebody on dailyKos said, Blair faced tougher questions from a bunch of Coldplay fans in a British MTV Q & A.



How Downer Fucked the Timorese: Changes to international dispute resolution (25 March 2002)
Australia has also amended its acceptance of the jurisdiction of the ICJ under the so-called 'optional clause' of the ICJ Statute. Under the changes announced today, Australia will continue to accept the jurisdiction of the Court, subject to the following exceptions. These are:

where the parties have agreed to other peaceful means of dispute resolution;

where disputes involve maritime boundary delimitation or disputes concerning the exploitation of an area in dispute or adjacent to an area in dispute; and

where a country has only accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the court for a particular purpose or has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the court for a period of less than one year. This underpins Australia's view that actions relying on the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ should be undertaken on the basis of a long-term commitment to acceptance of that jurisdiction.

Australia is, and remains committed to the negotiated settlement of disputes. The ICJ and the dispute resolution mechanisms under the Convention on the Law of the Sea play an important role in the settlement of disputes.


And why, pray tell, did Adelaide's flouncy pouncer withdraw from the Court's jurisdiction?

Legal experts say that if East Timor's maritime boundary with Australia is fixed in line with recent changes in international law, it could bring all or the majority of the Greater Sunrise field under East Timor's jurisdiction.

This would give Dili up to $36 billion more in government revenue than the $8 billion it can now expect over the life of the project from 2009 to 2050.


This is what SMH wrote back in May 2002:

But this development can only raise suspicions that Canberra is withdrawing the only avenue of appeal effectively available to East Timor, given the unequal diplomatic weight of the parties. That not only damages Australia's reputation as a world citizen, but fuels the suspicion, however unfair it might be, that Canberra is taking advantage of East Timor's inexperienced leadership on a matter crucial to its survival as a new nation..




Professor Bunyip
Jack Robertson's incomprehensible Web Diary epic on the international oil business begins by claiming that "the American oil industry [calls] Saudi Arabia the 'Kernel of Evil'," when it was actually the Rand Corporation that coined the description. Some 12,000 words later, having veered from error to inspired incoherence, Jabbering Jack concludes that elected leaders Howard, Bush, and Blair are "cowards" for promoting and preparing to prosecute a war that many who voted for them deeply oppose.

In Inner Margolia, every word no doubt makes perfect sense.


Made perfect sense to me, professor. We are fucked.
South Knox Bubba
According to Gallup, 59% of Americans support invasion of Iraq, and 39% oppose invasion of Iraq. Take away U.N. backing, and the numbers reverse. 38% support invasion of Iraq without U.N. backing. 59% oppose an invasion without U.N. backing.

Meanwhile, 87% of Americans age 18 to 24 (who will be fighting the war) could not locate Iraq on a map. 80% of randomly sampled adults could not find Iraq on a map.

Greens say invest in public education, not private rich kid schools
The policy's architect and Greens election campaign co-ordinator, John Kaye, said elite schools charging yearly fees of $8000 or more should not get taxpayer-funded interest subsidies for building works.

He said between 1998-99 and 2000-01, Moriah College at Waverley received $1.6million in state government building interest subsidies, Kambala $1.3million, St Andrew's Cathedral School $726,000 and Trinity Grammar (pictured) $671,800.


From Moriah College's website: "Our Jewish and Zionist ethos permeates every aspect of College life..."

Kambala's web site shows lots of well-groomed white Anglican girls -- each paying around $14, 529 per annum for the priviledge.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales' Teachers Federation reports that "Three separate and independent reports - the NSW Auditor-General's, the Vinson Report and the Productivity Commission - have all identified that NSW under-invests in public education."

Furthermore, "The biggest cheer during the [packed Sydney Town Hall forum for Public Education with 2500 teachers and parents] went to Greens MP Lee Rhiannon who said teachers pay should be raised to 150 per cent of the average weekly wage. she also indicated that the Greens supported the Vinson inquiry recommendations , including maximum class sizes in Kindergarten to Year 3 of 20."

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Britain's dirty secret

Senior officials recorded in writing that Saddam Hussein was actively gassing his opponents and that there was a "strong possibility" that the chlorine plant was intended by the Iraqis to make mustard gas. At the time, Saddam was known to be gassing Iranian troops in their thousands in the Iran-Iraq war.
But ministers in the then Thatcher government none the less secretly gave financial backing to the British company involved, Uhde Ltd, through insurance guarantees.

Paul Channon, then trade minister, concealed the existence of the chlorine plant contract from the US administration, which was pressing for controls on such exports.

He also instructed the export credit guarantee department (ECGD) to keep details of the deal secret from the public.

The papers show that Mr Channon rejected a strong plea from a Foreign Office minister, Richard Luce, that the deal would ruin Britain's image in the world if news got out: "I consider it essential everything possible be done to oppose the proposed sale and to deny the company concerned ECGD cover".

The Ministry of Defence also weighed in, warning that it could be used to make chemical weapons.

But Mr Channon, in line with Mrs Thatcher's policy of propping up the dictator, said: "A ban would do our other trade prospects in Iraq no good".

Daily Telegraph: US economists warn on war [06mar03]
The statement was signed by seven Nobel laureates - Kenneth Arrow, Lawrence Klein, Daniel McFadden, Douglass North, William Sharpe, Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz - and by several other prominent US economists.
"The Bush administration is not playing it straight with the American public as to the potential economic consequences of this war," Professor James Galbraith, of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin, said.
"With its rush to war, the administration is diverting the public's attention away from dire economic problems that we are not working to solve."

Downer the Wild Colonial Boy
Alkatiri: The IUA is very complex.
Downer: No it's not! It's as simple as the rest of it.
Alkatiri: We have analysed the TST, there is no linkage between the TST and the IUA.
Downer: No there is not, but if you don't want to adhere [to it] and want to change and don't accept the 80/20, what's the point of ratifying? I make the point: you are being counterproductive. We want to ratify the TST - we are happy with it, we don't want to renegotiate. The Exchange of Notes keeps the arrangements going. We can renegotiate. Then Phillips will cancel that project. Greater Sunrise will be cancelled. We can live with that. We think it is in your best interests to ratify and sign.
Alkatiri: It is not in our interest to cause collapse.
Downer: I think that might be right.
Alkatiri: This is why we have begun the ratification process [for the TST] regardless of the IUA conclusion. Timor-Leste does not know the outcome of [IUA] negotiations but we have already begun the [TST] ratification process. It is different to Greater Sunrise. Waiting for the conclusion of the IUA will not help Bayu-Undan.
Downer: Why would you say that? Why raise it? For us, we think we should stick to the agreement - stick to the agreement entered into. For you, it is ultimately the revenues that matter. It is not the most important issue - it's a very minor issue. There are other issues that are much more important.

The Smirking Chimp: Pinkerton - International Man of Mystery
Opposition to the U.S. occupation of the former Spanish colony of the Philippines allegedly gave false hope to Washington's enemies, encouraging them to keep fighting. But was it really a good idea for the American military to subdue the Philippines? It took 70,000 U.S. soldiers to crush the insurrectos, a four-year operation that cost 4,234 American lives and caused the deaths of 200,000 Filipinos. One might ask, what was the upside for the U.S.?

And who were the protesters against this American imperialism? They included Mark Twain, philosopher William James, industrialist Andrew Carnegie and union leader Samuel Gompers. Did these people have American blood on their hands? Were they "useful idiots" aiding the Filipinos? Or were they simply preferring peace to war?

Backbench upset over decision to deport Timorese - smh.com.au
The Howard Government is facing dissent from its backbenches over a decision to deport more than 1000 East Timorese refugees.
A delegation of disgruntled Liberals, who are believed to be unhappy with aspects of the Government's refugee policy including the number of children in detention, are due to meet the Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, today. The backbenchers include moderates Bruce Baird, Senator Marise Payne and Petro Georgiou.


Could these Liberals actually grow a pair of balls and stand up to the bully P.M? We'll see.
Water supplies near crisis point, UN warns
The shrinking of the world's limited reserves of clean, fresh water poses serious threats to public health, political stability and the environment, according to a United Nations report.

The 600-page World Water Development Report, the most comprehensive assessment of the world's most essential natural resource, predicts that as many as 7 billion people in 60 countries could face water shortages by 2050.

The report predicts that in 20 years, the average supply of water for each person will have dropped by a third, affecting most countries, especially those already on the economic edge.

PM accuses students of running 'amok' - theage.com.au
"And I don't think it reflects particularly well on some schools that many of them appeared to be running amok and causing a lot of inconvenience to motorists, other members of the public and of the police," he said.


Motorists are more important than the right of youth to voice their objection to being forced to pick up this arsehole's moral failures for decades .
East Timor bows to PM on gas - theage.com.au

The odious, immoral toadies running Canberra are learning from Team Bush how to throw their weight around over future oil contracts.

The pygmy PM has successfully bullied Asia's poorest country to surrender to Australia's desire to plunder the Timor Gap oilfields, against the recognised principles of international law.

The officials told The Age Mr Howard warned that he would stall the treaty legislation, due in the Senate today after passing the lower house last night, unless the Timorese ratified a separate agreement on the longer-term development of the bigger Great Sunrise project, which straddles the treaty zone.

They said Mr Howard had delivered the blunt message in a telephone call yesterday morning to Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who had earlier refused calls from Mr Downer.

"It was an ultimatum. Howard said that unless we agreed to sign the new deal immediately, he would stop the Senate approving the treaty," a senior Timorese official said.


UPDATE: Greens Senator Bob Brown has been thrown out of the Senate for refusing to withdraw comments accusing Prime Minister John Howard of blackmailing East Timor over the deal.
UN might go slow on East Timor withdrawal
"I think the early success of the U.N. mission perhaps created an impression that everything was going better than expected," says Colin Stewart, a U.N. political affairs officer based in Indonesia's capital Jakarta. "I think sort of recent events have caused the U.N. mission in East Timor to re-evaluate its expectations in terms of the security situation in East Timor."

Singing general guns for Indonesia's top job - MARCH 6, 2003 General Wiranto, the accused war criminal who razed East Timor, is running for his nation's top job:
His campaign really began over two years ago when he launched a CD titled For You My Indonesia in October 2000, a collection of folk tunes sung in karaoke fashion that clicked with Indonesians at home and abroad.
The soaring sales countered criticism from Western observers who sniggered at the public relations stunt.

U.S. Said to Be Resigned to a Nuclear Korea
A Senate staff member who is privy to the briefings said the administration was "preparing people up here for a de facto, if not declared, North Korean nuclear state and saying that this is something we can deal with through isolation, sanctions, deterrence and national missile defense."

Resigned to the likelihood that North Korea may soon be making weapons-grade plutonium, officials "are trying to prevent Congress from leaping in alarm and either calling for preemptive military actions, which they don't think offers them good options, or criticizing them for being surprised by the North becoming a nuclear power on their watch," the staff member said. "They want to appear witting."


This appears to be confirmation of Powell's quid pro quo with China over Iraq I blogged a couple of days ago (scroll down for link)
The Orcinus PrincipiumDave Neiwert defines the Orcinus Principium for us:
Those who foment war against Islam are objectively furthering the agenda of Osama bin Laden, and are thus an effective Al Qaeda 'fifth column.'

At least 15 dead as suicide bomber blasts Israeli student bus
Palestinian leadership condemned the attack, saying it would divert international sympathy away from the far higher Palestinian civilian death toll.
"We condemn all attacks against civilians including today's attack in Haifa. The attack will only serve to distract attention from the more than 150 Palestinian civilians killed by Israel over the last two months," said information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo.

Iraq Body Count
The worldwide update of civilian casualties in the war on Iraq


We are up to double figures already.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Boston Globe Online / Editorials | Opinions / A war policy in collapse
That the United States of America should be on the brink of such an ill-conceived, unnecessary war is itself a crime. The hope now is that -- even before the war has officially begun -- its true character is already manifesting itself, which could be enough, at last, to stop it.

Tim Blair's Bodycount
Latest radio reports put the death toll ABOVE 50. Updates here as I find them. Fucking Muslim terrorists are suspected, obviously.


How about a bodycount of Palestinian and Iraqi civilians too, Tim? Remember the eye for eye thing you had so much trouble with the other day? This is it -- in living colour.
SBS Television - What's on: BUSINESS BEHIND BARS
This two-part documentary explores the consequences of the privatisation of prisons – the first episode in the US, the second in Australia. Today, in America, the most volatile but powerful industry is the business of private prisons. This program explores a relationship between government and business which affects every American – the business of incarceration.


That's why SBS is showing it at 2.45 AM (it is a repeat I suppose).
Reuters AlertNet - Iraqis wait in fear
“I feel fear every day that we might all die but where shall I go if I am left alone”, said 13-year-old Hind. “I think every hour that something bad will happen to me”, added thirteen year old Hadeel. While five-year-old Assem said: “They have guns and bombs and the air will be cold and hot and we will burn very much”.

These are just some of the comments gathered by a recent pre-conflict research study in Iraq. It concluded that Iraqi children are fearful anxious and depressed, that many have nightmares and forty per cent do not think that life is worth living.

Reuters AlertNet - Turkey considers second motion on U.S. deployment
Turkey's government said on Tuesday it was considering a second try at winning approval for U.S. troops to be based here, but hinted it first wanted a promise from Washington to rein in Kurds in northern Iraq.


How does one "reign in" Kurds inside the democracy that Shrub assures us he is bringing to Iraq? Death squads, a la El Salvador or Guatemala -- Team Bush certainly knows all about those.
Looking Inside the Brains of the Stingy
Researchers at Princeton, for instance, have found that receiving low-ball offers stimulates the part of the brain associated with disgust. "They can predict with good reliability, from looking at the brain, what a person will do," said Colin F. Camerer, an economist at the California Institute of Technology. "People whose brains are showing lots of disgust will reject offers."

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Minister Monsanto to the Rescue

NSW's decision to ban GM crops for at least three years has sent the Libs scrambling. These sneaky bastards imported tons of GM corn into Australia in January when they thought no one was looking. Now the counterspinning is reaching hysterical proportions.


GENETICALLY-modified crops were the future of farming in Australia and would be accepted by the public, Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said.

In his most vocal public defence of GM crops, Mr Truss today said Australia would be left behind by other countries if it failed to adopt genetically-modified crops and products.




When is that Federal election again?

BULK-BILLING of Medicare was never intended for people on high incomes, John Howard declared yesterday, as he defended the Government's refusal to restore free access to doctors for all Australians.


I'd say it's time for this little toadie we call the P.M. to refresh his mandate.



A Voila Kind of Care

Naomi Klein advocates another Pentagon-approved psyop -- mass civil disobedience

What our politicians are carefully assessing before the bombs start falling, is whether the antiwar sentiment is "hard" or "soft." The question is not "do people care about war?" but how much do they care? Is it a mild consumer preference against war, one that will evaporate by the next election? Or is it something deeper and more lasting – a, shall we say, Voilà kind of care?




U.N. Phone Taps: No Surprises

More counterspin from A.P.

At the sprawling U.N. complex, Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov said he expects his phone to be tapped.

"It's a way of life. It comes with the profession, with the job," said Moscow's envoy, whose country has been historically familiar with such issues.

His Bulgarian counterpart, Stefan Tafrov said there was something akin to a "prestige factor" in being spied on. "It's almost an offense if they don't listen," he said.


UPDATE: the LA Times has more



Is Ari losing it?

"Here's the Catch-22 that Saddam Hussein has put himself in," Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, said today. "He denied he had these weapons, and then he destroys things he says he never had. If he lies about never having them, how can you trust him when he says he has destroyed them?"


Ari must be cracking under the strain. The Al Samoud missiles were declared by Iraq back in December.



Those Pesky Canadians, eh?

BRITAIN and the United States are working behind the scenes to squash a Canadian-backed UN compromise.

The Canadian proposal calls for a deadline of March 28 for Iraq to fulfil a list of “key remaining disarmament tasks” drawn up by Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector. If put to a vote, the Canadian plan could win majority support on the Security Council and force the US into a veto.

That would leave Britain in the position of deciding to go to war not just without a new resolution authorising action, but with a US veto overriding a potential compromise.


Like Turkey for the U.S., John Quiggin thinks this turn of events could provide the face saving out Blair needs:

As the focus on Britain indicates, I can't see Blair going ahead under these circumstances, hence the desire to prevent a vote. But, along with the renewed US demand for Saddam's removal regardless of whether he disarms, and the continued failure to do anything concrete the Palestine issue, this may give Blair the push he needs to break away from Bush.




Tim Blair: Fascinated by Skin Colour?

BILL MAHER is undergoing a Michael Jackson-like decolorizing process. Here's Bill a few years ago, with a recognisably human skin tone. A year or so later, and Bill's flesh has turned a weak pink. More recently: the bloodless pallor of the night creeper. And today ... pure albino freakshow.


And that's because...he's a cheese-eating surrender monkey, Tim?



So much for "appeasement"

Chosun Ilbo has the story of Powell's secret agreement with China on Iraq:

The Chinese government has determined that the North Korean issue is much more critical than the Iraq issue. China would concede Iraq to the US interest, and in quid pro quo, the US would concede China's interest in North Korea. China would quietly support the US moves on Iraq, in return, the US would not mount preemptive strikes on North Korea. This agreement would not apply if North Korea mounted preemptive strikes on US targets.


Powell -- China and North Korea appeaser.



CNN Wolf Blitzer Poll: Torture OK

Should U.S. interrogators torture Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to find out what he knows about al Qaeda plots against the United States?

Yes 51% 4336 votes
No 49% 4207 votes
Total: 8543 votes



U.S. Media: Please Explain?

Check out the scanty coverage of the Observer's weekend bombshell. No wonder Americans are so confused. Their media treats them like mushrooms.

UPDATE: CBS news put a story on their website. This prompted a TV station in Florida and the Baltimore Sun to pick up the thread, but that's about it so far.



Monday, March 03, 2003

Bush and God

MSNBC has the story:

After his speech in Nashville, Bush met privately with pastoral social workers and bore witness to his own faith in Jesus Christ. The prospect of war with Iraq was “weighing heavy” on him, he admitted. He knew that many people—including some at the table—saw the conflict as pre-emptive and unjust. (“I couldn’t imagine Jesus delivering a message of war to a cheering crowd, as I just heard the president do,” one participant, Charles Strobel, said later.)

But, the president said, America had to see that it is “encountering evil” in the form of Saddam Hussein. The country had no choice but to confront it, by war if necessary. “If anyone can be at peace,” Bush said, “I am at peace about this.”




The Autonomous Richard Perle

Spotted on The Register today:

Richard Perle has served as a director of A.I. pioneer Autonomy since February 2000.



Smartmobs get a boost

from Howard

Press Release Source: THINMAIL

THINMAIL Launches Instant Conference Calling at DEMO2003
Sunday February 16, 7:01 am ET


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- THINMAIL, a small communications software company based in Sudbury, Massachusetts, has been selected to launch its new "one-to-many" service at the DEMO 2003 conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, on February 16-18th.
"Real innovation comes from companies of all sizes and stages," said Chris Shipley, Executive Producer of DEMO 2003. "The core THINMAIL technology and its software architecture enables a broad set of messaging applications. Their instant conference calling application is phenomenal. This company isn't likely to stay small for long."

THINMAIL, founded in 1999 by well-known computer scientist Jordan Pollack, has developed an application platform enabling multimedia file-enriched messaging to bridge all modes of communications, including email, phone, fax, and wireless. One example of an application built on the platform is THINPHONE, an enhanced messaging and alerting service that can deliver an email message to any number of phones at once. Either an attached sound file is played, or the text is read by a state-of-the-art electronic voice. Not only is this an efficient way of notifying a group of people, but recipients can reply by voice, rather than having to type on a cell-phone phone keypad as with the short messaging system (SMS). THINPHONE has attracted customers in the health, auto alarm, financial publishing and non-profit sectors.

Following on the success of THINPHONE, the company will demonstrate its next innovative service: MOBCALL. The MOBCALL service enables push-button instant mobile teleconferencing. One click and all the phones ring, but instead of reading an email message aloud, the recipients are invited into a live conference call. A MOBCALL can be triggered by an email message as well as by pager, web form, short message, or a phone call.

Howard Rheingold, author of the best-selling book "Smartmobs" about the power of emerging communications technologies to reshape human society, says "MOBCALL's ability to instantly start a group meeting is an enabler for real- time collective action. Its very cool!"

MOBCALL is available immediately to selected strategic partners.

THINMAIL® is registered trademark.



What is the strong connection between ‘water poverty’ and ‘income poverty?’ This link will be a prime subject of the upcoming 3rd World Water Forum, where some 10,000 government officials, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, industry and water experts will discuss the world water crisis and its solutions. The Forum, to be held in Kyoto, Japan in March of 2003, is expected to be the most important international water conference ever held.



Red Herring starts to smell

Founded in 1993, Red Herring prospered through its coverage of the venture-capital scene as ad pages swelled with business from technology firms. The company tried to sell itself on a number of occasions in the past couple of years as that market evaporated, but never reached a deal. Potential buyers wanted to see the magazine's business performance stabilize, but it never did. In 2000, the magazine sold 3,357 ad pages, according to Publishers Information Bureau. Last year, it managed only 404. During 2002, the company lost key executives from both its business and editorial operations.


Naming your magazine after a dubious, hasty prospectus was probably never a good idea. But you can read the full story here.




Let the Games Begin!



Major parties can't resist lure of drugs issue -- By Paola Totaro, and Robert Wainwright March 3 2003

Ahem, no, that would be the media that can't ignore the lure, as its political thermometor responds only to positive feedback loops. Politicians spin because the media makes its living by digesting that spin and massaging it until it is mostly meaningless. Anyway, read on:

The issue of drug addiction has entered the election campaign, with the major parties tapping into community fears about drugs to score political points.

In the regional seat of Port Macquarie, the National Party has paid for a full-page advertisement accusing the National-turned-independent member, Rob Oakeshott, of supporting heroin injecting room trials, in a desperate bid to win back the seat.

The advertisement, angrily condemned by Mr Oakeshott, is the second incident in the past few days in which the major parties have used the complexity of drug policies to divide voter support.

Yesterday, the Greens candidate for Port Jackson, Jamie Parker, was personally linked with a long-standing Greens policy supporting a harm minimisation approach to drug treatment, in a bid to fuel community fears about drugs and discredit him in his attempt to wrest the seat from Labor's Sandra Nori.

While the State Government denied any involvement in the tactic, the move may affect the flow of preferences to the Greens from the Liberal Party, potentially affecting the Greens' campaign to win their first lower house seat.

The Port Macquarie advertisement, which states it is authorised by the National Party, shows a large syringe and asks: "Do You Support Heroin Injecting Room trials?"

A photograph of the local candidate, Charlie Fenton, flanked by federal National minister Mark Vaile, says "We Don't", while a picture of Mr Oakeshott and the Premier, Bob Carr, says "They Do".

Yesterday, both Mr Carr, and the Opposition Leader, John Brogden, denounced the Greens' drugs policy, which proposes controlled availability of heroin and other drugs under medical supervision.

The Opposition said it would not extend any preferences to the Greens on the basis of the policy and challenged Mr Carr to do the same.

Mr Carr would not be drawn on questions about preferences but said he believed the Greens were taking the "wrong approach" to the problem."I am deeply opposed to the greater ongoing use by Australians of amphetamines and
ecstasy," he said.

" I don't want us to be a pill-popping society with youngsters boiling their brains on amphetamines and marijuana."

****
Under attack over the policy, the Greens yesterday challenged the Police Minister, Michael Costa, to say whether he used drugs. Greens MP Ian Cohen told journalists: "Ask the Police Minister, has he used drugs himself?"

Fellow Green MP Lee Rhiannon then asked: "Does he still use drugs?" A spokesman for Mr Costa said the minister would be happy to undergo a drugs test at any time.

Mr Cohen claimed in Parliament last year that up to one-third of MPs had smoked marijuana and the Greens called on Mr Costa to state whether he had ever used drugs.

Yesterday was the first time the question has been asked without parliamentary privilege.





SMH NSW state election online poll

Which party do you plan to vote for?

Labor - 38%
Liberal - 27%
National - 3%
Green - 18%
Democrat - 3%
One Nation - 3%
Independent - 5%

I wonder if the Green's pledge to change the way party drugs are regulated has something to do with this surge in popularity amongst SMH readers...




The Falcon is Dismissed

As Christopher Boyce returns to society, he talks about the damage he did selling secrets to the former Soviet Union and his wish to put 'The Falcon and the Snowman' behind him forever.

No comment about the Whitlam sacking, which spawned his original caper...



New Zealand Greens tell Howard: ‘Stay home’

First it was the the Canadians, who have dissed Bush Jr's Iraq war. Now the Kiwi Greens are dissing our Australian Prime Miniature!

The Green Party is asking the Government to withdraw the invitation for Australian Prime Minister John Howard to visit New Zealand next week.

“Our Government should be sending the strongest possible message to this warmonger,” said Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today. “Howard’s actions have stripped him of any right to the courtesy normally owed to a visiting dignitary.

“This so-called ‘leader’ has divided his own country by signing-up for Bush’s War for Oil against Iraq without any public consultation or Parliamentary debate.

“This is the Prime Minister who casually dismissed the hundreds of thousands of Australians who have taken to the streets to protest against war as a ‘mob’ and then insulted them further by accusing them of giving ‘comfort to Saddam Hussein.’”

Howard’s arrogant attitude to the Iraqi situation has earned him an unprecedented no-confidence vote in the Australian Senate - the first time in the 102 years of its history that a serving PM has been so censured.

“This man has committed his country to a war that our Government - to its credit, so far - has said is unjustified,” said Green Co-leader Rod Donald. “When the White House unleashes its war machine on Iraq, Australian forces - to their shame - will be active participants in the onslaught.

“It is an obscenity that Helen Clark and her senior ministers would meet with Howard just days before the ‘coalition of the willing’ could launch the first of its thousand missiles on Baghdad.

“The New Zealand government has consistently refused to use its vaunted ‘friendship’ with America to lobby Bush against this war. Now, it has the opportunity to finally make a clear statement for peace, by telling America’s South Pacific proxy that he is not welcome in this country.

“We would welcome a normalisation of relations when Howard commits to a peaceful resolution of the Iraq crisis.”

Jeanette Fitzsimons, MP
http://www.greens.org.nz/office/interest_areas_form.htm




Sunday, March 02, 2003

What's with all the mahogany?

The NY Times op-ed writers Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedmen have elected to go with a plush, plutocratic boardroom metaphor to describe Bush Jr's warroom redecoration of the body politic:

Dowd:
George W. Bush has often talked wickedly about his days as the black sheep of a blue-blooded, mahogany-paneled family.


Friedman:

So here's how I feel: I feel as if the president is presenting us with a beautiful carved mahogany table — a big, bold, gutsy vision.


Read 'em both here. (registration req)



Australia: Paying for our own ticket to Baghdad

While the Turkish Parliament bravely knocks back the latest overfull wheelbarrow of bloody dollars Uncle Bush has pushed into its face, Australians are being told that our purpose in being the loudest supporter of the Cheney crowd outside the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington must be entirely noble.

Some Turks obviously feel their honor is violated by Bush and Rummy's loose talk and idle threats. 50,000 went on the hoof yesterday to let Shrub and their democratically elected representatives know just that. They won the day, by three votes, closing the northern front Rummy hopes to open with Saddam in order to split his massed special forces, the 80,000 elite Republican Guard units. Round one to Saddam.

Here in Australia, there is a similar question of our nation's parliamentarians afoot in the Australian memosphere. "What's in it for Australia's national interest that we have to make ourselves as popular as a fart in the proverbial hotub around the world? If Howard has his doubts about adopting the foreign policy of what the fabled American journalist Helen Thomas has described as "the worst U.S. president, ever" he shoud take the Australian people into his confidence and share those fears. So far, he has not clearly explained either the risks, or the benefits of the war, particularly if the U.N. does not sanction a military enforcement via invasion and "regime change" in Iraq.

Here's one example: Howard briefly voiced his deeply held and oft expressed fear of the terrible destructive power of nuclear weapons once in this debate. After it was pointed out to him the very next day that the U.S. military had already put its nuclear pistol on the table for Saddam's inspection and edification, he retreated like a stunned rabbit, saying flatly that such a thing would not happen.

Under what military scenarios, Prime Miniature, would it happen? Why not share what you know with the Australian people?

Once again, Howard's propensity for lies, hiding and duplicity rules the day as we stagger our way to "Stalingrad on the Tigris", brought to you live on Al Jazeera. In Bob Brown's telling phrase, Howard is on the hotline to the Whitehouse, but he won't lift up the phone for the Australian people. Too right.

In return for this obseqeous, poodle behavior, America will come to our aid against the yellow horde, in more ways than one. Howard's biggest carrot in this regard has been a proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and Australia.

Like Howard's war, there is only one problem. Nobody is buying his lies anymore. [pdf]




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