Friday, 31 October 2003

'35-40' Nations Able To Make Nuclear Weapons Now

As a species we are capable of such unbridled stupidity, selfishness and insanity that it's a wonder we haven't completely wiped ourselves out already... The world should have less nukes in it not MORE! Terrorists couldn't get them if there weren't any of the bloody things around, I mean honestly! The only reason that there are nukes is because some cunt out there is making fuckloads of money from it! And they have a nice safe bunker in a mountain to go hide in when their nukes get used, super isn't it.

Up to 40 countries are believed to be capable of manufacturing nuclear weapons, underlining the need to reinforce and update the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei told a French newspaper.

The treaty, which came into force in 1970, has been overtaken by a world in which developing nuclear arms has become attractive not only to many countries, but also to "terrorist groups," ElBaradei told Friday's issue of Le Monde.

The number of countries believed to be able to create such weapons "is estimated at 35 or 40," he said.

"And under the current regime, there is nothing illicit for a non-nuclear state to conduct uranium-enriching activities ... or even to possess military-grade nuclear material," he said.

Should any one of them decide to break their commitment to the non-proliferation treaty, experts believe it "could produce a weapon in just a few months."

He added: "We are already on the verge of catastrophe with North Korea."

Elsewhere in the interview, ElBaradei said his agency was at work verifying Iran's nuclear programme, and said a report would be made at the next UN Security Council meeting.

To cope with the increasing risk of other countries developing nuclear arms, the agency head said a beefed-up version of the non-proliferation treaty was needed, beyond the tweaking that it went through in 1995 after the first Gulf War.

Full story...

Thursday, 30 October 2003

One, two, three, what are they fighting for?

The worst problem facing US forces in Iraq may not be armed resistance but a crisis of morale. Robert Fisk reports on a near-epidemic of indiscipline, suicides and loose talk

by Robert Fisk

click here to visit his website I was in the police station in the town of Fallujah when I realised the extent of the schizophrenia. Captain Christopher Cirino of the 82nd Airborne was trying to explain to me the nature of the attacks so regularly carried out against American forces in the Sunni Muslim Iraqi town. His men were billeted in a former presidential rest home down the road - "Dreamland", the Americans call it - but this was not the extent of his soldiers' disorientation. "The men we are being attacked by," he said, "are Syrian-trained terrorists and local freedom fighters." Come again? "Freedom fighters." But that's what Captain Cirino called them - and rightly so.

Here's the reason. All American soldiers are supposed to believe - indeed have to believe, along with their President and his Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld - that Osama bin Laden's "al-Qa'ida" guerrillas, pouring over Iraq's borders from Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia (note how those close allies and neighbours of Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey are always left out of the equation), are assaulting United States forces as part of the "war on terror". Special forces soldiers are now being told by their officers that the "war on terror" has been transferred from America to Iraq, as if in some miraculous way, 11 September 2001 is now Iraq 2003. Note too how the Americans always leave the Iraqis out of the culpability bracket - unless they can be described as "Baath party remnants", "diehards" or "deadenders" by the US proconsul, Paul Bremer.

Captain Cirino's problem, of course, is that he knows part of the truth. Ordinary Iraqis - many of them long-term enemies of Saddam Hussein - are attacking the American occupation army 35 times a day in the Baghdad area alone. And Captain Cirino works in Fallujah's local police station, where America's newly hired Iraqi policemen are the brothers and uncles and - no doubt - fathers of some of those now waging guerrilla war against American soldiers in Fallujah. Some of them, I suspect, are indeed themselves the "terrorists". So if he calls the bad guys "terrorists", the local cops - his first line of defence - would be very angry indeed.

No wonder morale is low. No wonder the American soldiers I meet on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities don't mince their words about their own government. US troops have been given orders not to bad-mouth their President or Secretary of Defence in front of Iraqis or reporters (who have about the same status in the eyes of the occupation authorities). But when I suggested to a group of US military police near Abu Ghurayb they would be voting Republican at the next election, they fell about laughing. "We shouldn't be here and we should never have been sent here," one of them told me with astonishing candour. "And maybe you can tell me: why were we sent here?"

Little wonder, then, that Stars and Stripes, the American military's own newspaper, reported this month that one third of the soldiers in Iraq suffered from low morale. And is it any wonder, that being the case, that US forces in Iraq are shooting down the innocent, kicking and brutalising prisoners, trashing homes and - eyewitness testimony is coming from hundreds of Iraqis - stealing money from houses they are raiding? No, this is not Vietnam - where the Americans sometimes lost 3,000 men in a month - nor is the US army in Iraq turning into a rabble. Not yet. And they remain light years away from the butchery of Saddam's henchmen. But human-rights monitors, civilian occupation officials and journalists - not to mention Iraqis themselves - are increasingly appalled at the behaviour of the American military occupiers.

Iraqis who fail to see US military checkpoints, who overtake convoys under attack - or who merely pass the scene of an American raid - are being gunned down with abandon. US official "inquiries" into these killings routinely result in either silence or claims that the soldiers "obeyed their rules of engagement" - rules that the Americans will not disclose to the public.

Full story...

Wednesday, 29 October 2003

The "Foxification" of Britain

It's not that I don't like Rupert, it's just that I think he's the most dangerous and immoral person on the whole planet. I mean you only have to look at the bile and garbage that his newspapers and TV "news" channels spew to realise where this quasi-totalitarian is coming from..

First America, now England. Rupert Murdoch first attacked PBS, now he's going after the BBC.

by Dame Anita Roddick

If you live any decent amount of time in the USA, as I do, broadcast media will drive you nuts. So it's been fascinating watching what has been going on in the British media over the past few months. The attacks on the BBC by Tony Blair and his government, joining forces with Rupert Murdoch and his executives at BSkyB, must be viewed in the context of what's already become a fait accompli in the United States -- the diminution of public space, especially public broadcasting space, by the ever more powerful forces of privatization.

The effort in America dates back more than a decade, with attacks on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as a “left-wing” network; with US$300 million in appropriations from Congress being held up by then-Senator Robert Dole; and with carefully coordinated conservative ad hominem blasts against such supposedly “left-wing presences” on public television as Bill Moyers, David Fanning (who produces the pre-eminent documentary strand Frontline,) and Rory O'Connor and Danny Schechter of Globalvision, and their purportedly “hard-line Marxist” human rights series South Africa Now and Rights and Wrongs.

Eventually the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, led by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, went so far as to attempt to get rid of PBS entirely. Although the Gingrich effort failed to destroy public broadcasting, it was left weakened and more vulnerable than ever -- dependent on an increasingly polarized Congress for funding, and prone to staving off extinction and striving for more “balance” by funding explicitly conservative programs, producers and hosts.

Here in Britain, of course, the BBC has one great advantage over PBS in America -- the freedom from such political pressure that is afforded by the annual license fee that TV owners pay to fund BBC programming. This ensures that the BBC is far less vulnerable to political pressures than PBS, which must get its appropriations approved every year from Congress.

The BBC is supported instead by an annual tax of £116 (US$195) paid by every British household that owns one or more televisions. The tax raises as much as $4.2 billion for the BBC every year and nobody in government can reapportion it or redistribute it. Thus the BBC, unlike every other public-broadcasting system in the world, is not only well funded but also well protected from politicians.

In Rupert’s Cross Hairs

Every ten years, though, there's a charter review in which the budget and performance of the BBC is re-assessed. The next one is in 2006 and as the BBC is one of the most influential institutions in British life, the upcoming review will be one of the nation's most profound political battles. As media maven Michael Wolff puts it, it's all “about getting a piece of the pie. Or at least it's a fight about Murdoch's piece of the pie.”

Not surprisingly, then, Rupert Murdoch and his political cronies have begun to lay the groundwork for an all-out assault on the BBC and the annual fee. While they will probably not be able to eliminate it, their endless attacks, slanted polls, and political pressuring may well result in a lessening of the amount the BBC gets annually, thus weakening the BBC as a “public” competitor to all private interests, but especially to the multi-channel Murdochian news and entertainment network BSkyB.

All this must be viewed through the prism of what otherwise appears the oddest of couplings: Rupert and Tony Blair. Blair first became Prime Minister owing in large measure to the endorsements of the traditionally right wing Murdoch press. It now seems apparent that Blair made a devilish pact years ago to garner Murdoch's support, despite their obvious political differences, and Murdoch is now collecting his payback on the installment plan.

Couple this scenario with the BBC’s controversial Iraq War reporting, the drama over reporter Andrew Gilligan’s accusation that the Blair government “sexed up” the WMD dossier, (which led, in turn, to the suicide of weapons expert and BBC source David Kelly,) and the Blair government's resultant assault on the BBC -- and the interests of Blair, Murdoch and the American right-wing can be seen to merge.

Part of the Blair animosity toward the BBC is that he is in partnership with Murdoch, and this is in part Murdoch's war with the BBC. Thus Blair and his then-mouthpiece Alastair Campbell went to war against the BBC with two aims: one, to distract attention from whether the nation and the world was deceived on the road to war against Saddam; the other to soften up the BBC for Rupert down the line, and reduce British broadcasting to what one Labour Party renegade, Claire Short, has termed “the sort of commercially dominated, biased news reporting that controls the US airwaves.”

Full story...

The full truth of 9/11

Do the research and you'll reach the same conclusion I did, something smells really fishy here...

Unless there is a change of heart in the White House, the bipartisan federal commission created to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks may well have to issue subpoenas in order to gain access to key intelligence documents being withheld by the Bush administration.

It is dismaying that the administration has stonewalled the commission — and, in effect, the American people — on arguably the most traumatic challenge the nation has faced since Pearl Harbor.

The commission's chairman, Thomas H. Kean, a Republican and a former governor of New Jersey, was right to warn, "I will not stand for it." Americans should hope that Mr. Kean and the members of his commission, which was created by an act of Congress over the objections of the White House, hold their ground.

At the heart of the struggle between the commission and administration appear to be the detailed daily intelligence briefings provided President Bush in the weeks leading up to the 9/11 tragedies.

It is true that such reports are sensitive and highly classified and have rarely, if ever, been shared with Congress or outside agencies. It is also the case that administrations of both parties have long jealously guarded internal documents that advise presidents.

But Mr. Kean argues compellingly that this situation is different. He points out that the commission represents neither Congress nor any other branch of government, and is a unique body toward which traditional defenses of presidential privilege should not apply.

Unfortunately, this administration has a deep aversion to openness. That has been highlighted by the growing unhappiness of some Republican senators over the misleading and selective information given them about Iraq.

It was also evidenced by the need of the Kean commission to subpoena dozens of boxes of documents that had been withheld by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Full story...

Tuesday, 28 October 2003

Monsters In Our Midst

The US, Britain, & Israel

Sometimes, after a long storm, the wind eventually blows the clouds away, and the sunlight shines through, revealing a familiar landscape that has never looked so different to us, which comes as a tragic and emotional shock when we realize the time we've squandered refusing to see the beauty right in front of us and the lives we've wasted believing things that in this new light of day we now know for certain were not true.

As I have said many times before in an inarticulate and unformed way, the great tragedy of the 9/11/2001 debacle - in which thousands of Americans lost their lives in a cynical stratagem designed to increase the bloody profits of the weapons makers - was a failure to see how this evil pattern of treason from within was actually the design template of American political behavior throughout the 20th century.

First, by covert financial assistance followed by widespread aspersion and calculated provocation, we create our desired enemy, always with the ultimate aim of reaping fabulous profits from the sale of weapons and the theft of resources down the line.

This design template realizes itself most recently in the creation of Osama bin Laden and the so-called Muslim terror threat, which has now culminated in the disaster in New York City and a schedule of endless wars, now underway, that threatens to destroy the entire planet with its spread of radioactivity and the reduction of all humans everywhere to economic prisoners of this evil game.

Saddam Hussein as well was a creation of the American CIA, which nourished him as a reliable, dual purpose lackey who when the time was right could either be counted on to assist in the repression of those from whom the Western tyrants wanted to steal, or morphed into an evil villain who could then be conveniently destroyed, each course achieving the same objective - total control of the hapless dupes in possession of the coveted resources.

Though it's crystal clear now to many who realize that American aggression throughout the world is always kindled from the devious minds in Washington who put profit before principle, it is not so clear - owing to the multi-layered media mindlock that forever keeps Americans blocked from seeing objective political reality - how the U.S. has accomplished and perfected this demonic practice of creating conflict as a way to sustain its own affluence.

Again, the great tragedy of 9/11 is that people were afforded the opportunity to look through a window at America's political behavior in real life and in real time, but instead decided to look the other way.

Full story...

Cheney's the One

The image was not an edifying one: the president of the United States a horse, his vice president, the rider.

But that is the image Sen. Joseph Biden, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, used to describe the power relationship between U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in a recent interview with the National Journal.

Secretary of State Colin Powell, according to Biden's account, sometimes talks Bush into pursuing a more conciliatory foreign-policy line, as he has done with North Korea or the United Nations from time to time.

"Like with a horse, Powell is always able to lead Bush to the water. But just as he is about to put his head down, Cheney up in the saddle says, 'Un-uh,' and yanks up the reins before Bush can drink the water. That's my image of how it goes," Biden said.

That is also the image which is gaining currency in power circles in Washington. When it comes to foreign policy, Cheney is increasingly seen as holding the reins.

Full story...

Monday, 27 October 2003



by voxfux

The message is loud and clear, to all nations of the earth, from George W. Bush - Get your weapons ready, aim them all at American people, American soldiers, American interests and America herself. Because we're coming to get you - all of you.

Know this - That this human garbage, George W. Bush and his criminal industrial cartel ONLY cash in when Americans get killed, they NEVER make money when there is not American being killed in war. NEVER!


So American death it is! And American death it is going to continue to be, so long as nothing is done to remove this cancer on America, this scum in the White House. Bush and his criminal military, industrial and energy cartels which buttress his murderous regime want Americans to get killed. That's what they are setting us up for. That is what they do - That is all they fucking do.

That, and loot the US treasury. They have not only successfully looted the massive surplus in the treasury, they have looted your children's treasury and your grandchildren's treasury. That's what they do, that's all they ever intended to do. They are treasury pirates - and murderers. Why the fuck do you think that the Skull and Crossbones is their family crest?

BECAUSE THEY ARE PIRATES. Treasury pirates and looters and murderers. They thought that by looting enough money from the US treasury and giving it to their buddies in the defense establishment and creating an atmosphere of military intimidation and a general police state environment that they could stave off any real challenge to their rule. And with their successful assassination of Senator Paul Wellstone and his family still lurking on every opposition Senator's mind they have sent a chill on the American body politic - watch out, this is not the democracy you are used to. It's a different game since the Bush criminal cartel seized power.

And they have no intention of ever relinquishing power again. And with all this looted money plus the 87 billion more they have just looted form your future (with the help of obese Republican congressman and obese Republican Senators and the media) they may never have to relinquish control ever again.

Perpetual war, perpetual Republican control.

The deal with that 87 billion is as follows: The corporations who receive that money know the protocol. The protocol is that they simply are beholding to Bush and are expected to redirect at least one percent of that money back to Bush. Key employees in those defense and intelligence corporations will be given bonus money and that bonus money is to be earmarked for deposit into the Bush campaign war chest. That's how it's done folks. It's simple. It's easy. It's not written down - so don't ask to see a smoking-gun memo or email of this protocol because you will not find one. It is the shadow government at work. It's a simple game. It is done with a handshake and a nod.

The game is - You are FORCED to pay THEIR tax. and then when all of YOUR money is in THEIR treasury, they spend YOUR money to buy weapons from THEIR own companies. It's easy to do because the checks and balances that are normally found in a democracy no longer exist since the Bush crime cartel snuffed out Senator Paul Wellstone and seized tripartite control of the American government and transformed it into the American death machine that it is these dark days. It's easy for Bush to play this game because there is a majority of these obese Republican pigs in both the Senate and the House. Unless we get rid of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate this feeding frenzy will never end. But with those new and improved republican manufactured ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES there is ZERO chance that you will ever be able to vote out these fat bastards. These machines are designed to install Republicans wherever and whenever necessary. And you cannot audit them because they are designed to not allow auditing and you cannot examine the electronics or software because the Republicans who designed them are citing the primacy of their "Trade Secret" over that of democracy. And Republican Judges will back up the trade secret argument and so democracy is imperiled.

So those who argue that we need to keep our guns ready may be more correct than you would like to believe because, people, it's starting to appear that, short of bloody revolution, there is no way out of this one.

Full story...

Bush is not welcome in Britain

Just so's we're absolutely crystal clear on this:


We do not share his warmongering ambitions and his presence here is an affront to our democracy and an insult to our intelligence.

The president's state visit serves no one's interests but his own

by Roy Hattersley

Fetch Tony Fetch.... Good boy.... Has anyone yet explained why President George W Bush is about to make a state visit to the United Kingdom? In my time at the Foreign Office, the supreme accolade of an invitation from Her Majesty was only awarded after long deliberation had convinced the prime minister and foreign secretary that Britain's national interest would be served by arranging for the king, queen or president in question to perform a number of meaningless ceremonies and eat numerous mediocre meals in the company of the royal family. What do we have to gain by feting President Bush?
According to Downing Street, George Bush's presence in London will provide "an important opportunity to deepen our close relations with a close international partner". How much closer is it possible to get than the closeness that made us follow America into an unjustified war? President and prime minister meet each other almost every month. Clearly, this state visit had been arranged for reasons that do not meet the usual criteria.

I was minister in attendance when the king of Sweden made his state visit to Scotland. We had just confirmed our membership of the old common market and wanted to demonstrate that we still loved the countries of the European Free Trade Area which had chosen to remain outside. Whether or not that object was achieved by the court and cabinet singing Will Ye No' Come Back Again? in the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms is not the point. It was done for a purpose.

The same was true of the state visit of President Ceausescu of Romania. That was after my time. But I did accompany him from Heathrow to Chequers at the beginning of an earlier weekend break. He complained throughout the journey that he was being treated with little respect. The Queen was not there to meet him on the runway. No helicopter had been provided. On the way back (when I was also chaperone) he paid a visit to the duty free shop where he bought large quantities of rubbish which he charged to Her Britannic Majesty. He got his state visit in the end because he was thought to be an anti-Soviet communist who could be flattered into causing trouble for Moscow.

But how is the national interest - real or imaginary - served by George Bush inspecting a guard of honour from the Household Brigade? Is there a single item of US policy - foreign or domestic - that will be changed by the talks that accompany the visit? Will the two leaders know each other better by the time the cavalcade moves on? Heaven help us, this state visit has all the signs of a genuine tribute. Tony Blair is expressing his admiration and gratitude.

Full story...

Friday, 24 October 2003

How press barons, governments silence dissent

Australian novelist Richard Flanagan was recently asked by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to read a favourite piece of fiction on national radio and explain his reasons for the choice.

“I was unsure what fiction to read to you this morning”, he said. “If we take the work of our most successful spinner of fictions in recent times, [Prime Minister] John Howard, I could have read from the varied and splendid tall tales he and his fellow storytellers have concocted ...”

Flanagan listed Howard's most famous fictions: that desperate refugees trying to reach Australia had wilfully thrown their children overboard, and that faraway Australia was endangered by Iraq's “weapons of hysterical distraction”, as he put it. He followed this with part of Molly Bloom's soliloquy from James Joyce's Ulysses, “because in our time of lies and hate it seems appropriate to be reminded of the beauty of saying yes to the chaos of truth”. This was duly recorded; but when the program was broadcast, the entire preface about Howard was missing.

Flanagan accused the ABC of rank censorship. No, was the response; the producer just didn't want “anything political”. This was followed, he wrote, by “a moment of high comedy: would I, the producer asked, be interested in coming on a program to discuss disillusionment in contemporary Australia?”

In a society that once prided itself on its laconic sense of irony, there was not a hint of it, just a managerial silence. “All around me”, Flanagan later wrote, “I see avenues for expression closing, an odd collusion of an ever-more cowed media and the way in which the powerful seek to dictate what is and what isn't read and heard.”

He may well be speaking for the rest of us. The censorship in Australia that he describes is especially virulent because Australia is a small media pond inhabited by large sharks: a microcosm of what the British people might expect if the current assault there on free journalism is not challenged.

The leader of this assault is, of course, Rupert Murdoch, whose dominance in the land of his birth is now symptomatic of his worldwide grip. Of 12 daily newspapers in Australian capital cities, Murdoch controls seven. Of the 10 Sunday newspapers, Murdoch has seven. In Adelaide, he has a complete monopoly. He owns everything, including all the printing presses. It is almost impossible to escape his augmented team of “Pravdas”.

Like all Murdoch's newspapers, they follow the path paved with his “interests” and his extremism. They echo the tycoon's description of US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “heroes” of the Iraq invasion, and his dismissal of the blood they spilt. For good measure, his Melbourne tabloid, the Herald Sun, invented an al Qaeda terrorist training camp near the Victorian capital; and all his papers promote Howard's parrot-like obsequiousness to Bush, just as they laud Howard's racist campaign against a few thousand asylum-seekers locked away in outback concentration camps.

Murdochism, disguised or not, is standard throughout the media he does not control. The Melbourne Age, once a great liberal newspaper whose journalists produced a pioneering charter of editorial independence, is often just another purveyor of what George Orwell called “smelly little orthodoxies”, wrapped in lifestyle supplements. Flickering beacons are the eternally battered ABC and the visionary Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), which was set up to serve Australia's multi-ethnic society.

The ABC is different from the BBC, its model, in one crucial respect. It has no independent source of income but must rely on government handouts. In Australia, political intimidation of the national broadcaster makes Downing Street's campaign against the BBC seem almost genteel. Howard's minister for communications, a far-right dullard called Richard Alston, recently demanded that the ABC reply to 68 counts of “anti-Americanism”.

Full story...

Wednesday, 22 October 2003

The spy who was thrown into the cold

The conniving violence of the Bush Junta is matched only by their supreme ignorance and inhuman monstrosity.

Who outed Valerie Wilson as a CIA secret agent? Clue: her husband, Joseph, had just criticised the Bush administration. Julian Borger talks exclusively to the man who may have started a new Watergate

It is early autumn in Washington. The leaves are falling, another election season is limbering up, and the nation's capital is once more embroiled in a gale-force scandal. It is an extraordinary affair that combines espionage, political dirty tricks and weapons of mass destruction - a heady mix normally found only in airport thrillers. But fact has had a knack of trumping fiction in Washington lately. In principle at least, this is worse than Watergate and far worse than Bill Clinton's sexual liaisons. According to the claims now under scrutiny by the FBI, senior officials in the Bush administration (possibly including aides close to the president himself) blew the cover of a high-ranking CIA agent in order to punish and discredit her husband, a critic of the administration. In doing so, they endangered the very national security in the name of which the administration has so far invaded two countries. Ironically, the agent in question was a leading player in the monitoring and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction around the world. Her outing has undoubtedly hamstrung that pursuit.

If caught, the culprits could face jail sentences of 10 years. Even if they escape jail, the affair could seriously tarnish a president who, in the early stages of a re-election campaign, has made the restoration of "honour and dignity" to the White House his central goal. What happens in the next few days and weeks will determine the extent of the damage.

Meanwhile, the man at the centre of the row, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, is scarcely 100 yards from the White House, contemplating his epitaph. It was going to be "the last American diplomat to meet Saddam Hussein". Now he prefers "the husband of the CIA agent outed by her own government".

Valerie Wilson, the woman in question, is not talking about her experience. She has authorised her husband to say only "that she would rather cut off her right arm than speak to the press". But her discretion will not bring back her secrecy. Whoever leaked her name did not just jam a spoke into the work that her department was doing, Joe Wilson believes, but also exposed her family to serious danger.

He does not fear the intelligence services so much as terrorists bent on finding soft but valuable targets, or just "just somebody who's a little bit paranoid and thinks somehow that the CIA is responsible for the voices he hears in his head". They are taking their own security precautions, he says, but they have had no help from the state to keep them safe.

Full story...

Tuesday, 21 October 2003

Now Find the Truth

Even when the truth is staring them in the face they refuse to see it...

Talk about tossing a grenade into a millpond. But Paul Burrell has done the correct thing and released that agonised letter in which Diana predicted her own death and even how it would most likely come about.

What agony she must have been in when she wrote her moving words in the autumn of 1996, just 10 months before she died in a Parisian road crash.

Much against her will - and against her better judgment - Diana was by now divorced and feeling, with justification, sorry for herself. Not too surprisingly, she sat and brooded; maybe even plotted. I'd call it self-defence.

She was prepared to expect the worst. The Windsors, she knew, were as ruthless as any Mafia. So she opened up channels whereby she could receive warnings.

What we now need to know - and only a full investigation will give the answers - was whether the Princess got tipped off as to what might happen. Or were her doubts all in the mind and her words full of paranoia?

Does it really matter? The answer has to be a resounding Yes.

Now, there can be a real debate on what happened the night of her death - as detailed an investigation as is necessary and, finally, a conclusion that will satisfy the majority of us that justice has been done.

That has certainly not been the case up until now.

Yes, there has been an exhaustive inquiry by two senior French judges but the subsequent lengthy report was never published for public consumption.

But now maybe we can all get to learn the details of not only the day Diana died but what went on in the preceding months. It will not be a pretty scenario but we need to know. Most of us cared deeply for Diana.

I'm aware that the Surrey Coroner, Michael Burgess, is to conduct a £1million inquiry but when? Blandly, we've been told that this will now happen "sometime after Christmas". Well, thank you very much.

Personally, I'm not a conspiracy theorist and actually believe that Diana and Dodi Fayed died in their Mercedes because the driver, Henri Paul, was drunk, was taking pills for alcoholism, was driving too fast and was not qualified to drive the armour-plated vehicle.

But I don't know this for sure.

A proper inquest must be launched now Paul Burrell has shown the way. Let the bureaucrats do their jobs or the conspiracies will continue - and with justification.

Full story...

Monday, 20 October 2003

The Murder Of Dr. David Kelly

By far the best analysis I have so far seen of the David Kelly murder...

On Thursday, July 17th sometime between 3 and 3:30pm, Dr. David Kelly started out on his usual afternoon walk. About 18 hours later, searchers found his body, left wrist slit, in a secluded lane on Harrowdown Hill. Kelly, the UK's premier microbiologist, was in the center of a political maelstrom having been identified as the 'leak' in information about the 'dossier' Prime Minister Tony Blair had used to justify the war against Iraq.

While the Hutton inquiry appears set to declare Kelly's death a suicide and the national media are already treating it as a given, there are numerous red flags raised in the testimony and evidence at the inquiry itself.

Kelly's body was likely moved from where he died to the site where two search volunteers with a search dog found it. The body was propped up against a tree according to the testimony of both volunteers. The volunteers reported the find to police headquarters, Thames Valley Police (TVP) and then left the scene. On their way back to their car, they met three 'police' officers, one of them named Detective Constable Graham Peter Coe.

Coe and his men were alone at the site for 25-30 minutes before the first police actually assigned to search the area arrived (Police Constables Sawyer and Franklin) and took charge of the scene from Coe. They found the body flat on its back a short distance from the tree, as did all subsequent witnesses.

A logical explanation is that Dr. Kelly died at a different site and the body was transported to the place it was found. This is buttressed by the medical findings of livor mortis (post mortem lividity), which indicates that Kelly died on his back, or at least was moved to that position shortly after his death. Propping the body against the tree was a mistake that had to be rectified.

The search dog and its handler must have interrupted whoever was assigned to go back and move the body to its back before it was done. After the volunteers left the scene the body was moved to its back while DC Coe was at the scene.

Five witnesses said in their testimony that two men accompanied Coe. Yet, in his testimony, Coe maintained there was only one other beside himself. He was not questioned about the discrepancy.

Researchers, including this writer, assume the presence of the 'third man' could not be satisfactorily explained and so was being denied.

Additionally, Coe's explanation of why he was in the area is unsubstantiated. To the contrary, when PC Franklin was asked if Coe was part of the search team he responded, 'No. He was at the scene. I had no idea what he was doing there or why he was there. He was just at the scene when PC Sawyer and I arrived.'

Franklin was responsible for coordinating the search with the chief investigating officer and then turning it over to Sawyer to assemble the search team and take them to the assigned area. They were just starting to leave the station (about 9am on the 18th) to be the first search team on the ground (excepting the volunteers with the search dog) when they got word the body had been found.

A second red flag is the nature of the wounds on Kelly's wrist. Dr. Nicholas Hunt, who performed the autopsy, testified there were several superficial 'scratches' or cuts on the wrist and one deep wound that severed the ulnar artery but not the radial artery.

The fact that the ulnar artery was severed, but not the radial artery, strongly suggests that the knife wound was inflicted drawing the blade from the inside of the wrist (the little finger side closest to the body) to the outside where the radial artery is located much closer to the surface of the skin than is the ulnar artery. For those familiar with first aid, the radial artery is the one used to determine the pulse rate.

Just hold your left arm out with the palm up and see how difficult it would be to slash across the wrist avoiding the radial artery while severing the ulnar artery. However, a second person situated to the left of Kelly who held or picked up the arm and slashed across the wrist would start on the inside of the wrist severing the ulnar artery first.

A reasonably competent medical examiner or forensic pathologist would certainly be able to determine in which direction the knife was drawn across the wrist. That question was never asked nor the answer volunteered. In fact, a complete autopsy report would state in which direction the wounds were inflicted. The coroner's inquest was never completed as it was preempted by the Hutton inquiry and the autopsy report will not be made public. Neither will the toxicology report.

Two paramedics who arrived by ambulance at the same time as Franklin and Sawyer (some time after 9am) and accompanied them to where the body was located. After checking the eyes and signs of a pulse or breathing, they attached four electro-cardiogram pads to Kelly's chest and hooked them up to a portable electro-cardiograph. When no signs of heart activity were found they unofficially confirmed death. One paramedic (Vanessa Hunt) said the Police asked them to leave the pads on the body. The other paramedic (David Bartlett) said they always left the pads on the body.

Both paramedics testified that DC Coe had two men with him. Curiously, both also volunteered that there was a surprisingly small amount of blood at the scene for an artery having been severed.

When the forensic pathologist (Dr. Nicholas Hunt) who performed the autopsy testified, he described copious amounts of blood at the scene. He also described scratches and bruises that Kelly 'stumbling around' in the heavy underbrush may have caused. He said there was no indication of a struggle or Kelly having been forcibly restrained.

However, the police made an extensive search of the area and found no indication of anyone, including Kelly, having been in the heavy underbrush.

Strangely, none of the witnesses mentioned anything about rigor mortis (stiffening of the body) which is useful in setting the approximate time of death. Even Dr. Hunt, when was asked directly what changes on the body he observed that would have happened after death, failed to mention rigor mortis. He only named livor mortis. Hunt set the time of death within a range of 4:15pm on the 17th to 1:15am the next morning. He based the estimate on body temperature which he did not take until 7:15pm on the 19th, some seven hours after he arrived on the scene.

A forensic biologist (Roy James Green) had been asked to examine the scene. He said the amount of blood he saw was consistent with a severed artery. Green works for the same private company (Forensic Alliance) as Dr. Hunt. A majority of the company's work is done for police organizations.

The afternoon of the 18th DC Coe turned up at the Kelly residence accompanied by a man identified only as 'an attachment,' who acted as an 'exhibits officer' presumably collecting documents in behalf of some other government agency.

Detective Constable Coe and those accompanying him are somewhat of a mystery. There are no corroborating witnesses to any of his actions to which he testified (other than 'just being there' at the scene where the body was found).

However, on a listing of evidence provided to the Hutton inquiry by Thames Valley Police is a reference to a document described thusly, 'TVP Tactical Support Major Incident Policy Book·Between 1430 17.07.03 and 930 18.07.03. DCI Alan Young. It is labeled "not for release - Police operational information.' Many of the exhibits are labeled that way or are not to be released as personal information.

The police took over 300 statements from witnesses but less than 70 were forwarded to the Hutton inquiry. Witness statements were not to be released (even to the inquiry) unless the witness signed an authorization permitting it. TVP also withheld witness interviews they did not consider 'relevant' to the inquiry. Witnesses were not put under oath so it is impossible for the public to know if their public statements are at variance with what they told police. The 'tactical support' document must have been considered relevant to the inquiry on Kelly's death or it wouldn't have been forwarded.

So this 'tactical support' began at 2:30pm on the 17th, about one hour before Dr. Kelly left the house on his final walk. It ended at 9:30am the following morning about the time DC Coe and his men left the death scene. The obvious question is, to what was TVP giving tactical support? The name given the effort was 'Operation Mason.'

In 1984 Dr. Kelly was invited by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) to take the position of chief microbiologist at its secret facility at Porton Down. Kelly had been working in the NERC Institute of Virology in Oxford. He brought a number of scientists with him from there to Porton Down.

At the Hutton inquiry, Brian Jones testified as to Kelly's involvement, with the highest security clearance, in analyzing top-secret information regarding biological weapons of the U.K. and other governments. Jones was director of a department on the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS). That involvement, beginning in 1987, presumably continued until his death and through his several other jobs as weapons "inspector" in Russia and (for UNSCOM) in Iraq.

It was before and during Kelly's tenure at Porton Down that it became involved with South Africa's bioweapon program named Project Coast. A cardiologist named Wouter Basson who was the personal physician of South African Prime Minister Botha headed the project.

After the apartheid government fell, there was a nearly two-year trial of Basson who was charged with numerous crimes including murder and misappropriation of project funds. During the trial several astounding revelations came out. (Basson was acquitted of all charges by a judge who would not let him take the fall for an official government program.)

Basson was said to have had entre not only to Porton Down but the U.S. Army facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland (the U.S. counterpart of Porton Down). The two main thrusts of Project Coast were developing genetically altered diseases that would affect only groups with similar DNA characteristics, e.g. blacks, and weapons to be used in assassination of individuals. Two (as yet unidentified) scientists working at Porton Down were also paid consultants to Basson's projects.

The CIA in the U.S. contributed to Basson's efforts through Dr. Larry Ford. Ford was set up as co-president of a laboratory supposedly developing a feminine birth control device that would also protect against AIDS. The company never had a product or any sales.

According to an undercover FBI informant, Ford did develop an "anti-black" product he delivered to an attach of the South African government in California. Ford was later killed by a shotgun blast that was ruled a suicide. At the time he was under suspicion of involvement in the attempted assassination of his partner in the CIA front. Ford had made several trips to South Africa in connection with Project Coast.

In 1989, Vladimir Pasechnik, head of the Soviet bioweapons program at its Biopreparat facility, defected to the U.K. His revelations of Soviet activity created a diplomatic uproar over violations of the 1972 treaty banning such activity that had been pushed and signed by the U.K., U.S. and USSR.

Dr. Kelly and Christopher Davis of the U.K and U.S. microbiology experts debriefed Pasechnik. Davis, who comes out of MoD Intelligence, was at the time an employee of Veridian Corp., which has an interesting history.

According to mind control researcher David Hoffman, in 1946 Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory was founded including the "Fund for the Study of Human Ecology." The "fund" was a CIA financing conduit for mind control experiments by migr Nazi scientists and others under the direction of CIA doctors Sidney Gotttlieb, Ewen Cameron and Louis Jolyn West. Gottlieb, of course was the director of the CIA's infamous MK-ULTRA mind control program.

Cornell was later absorbed into Calspan Advanced Technology Center in Buffalo, NY. The company continued experiments in mind control and artificial intelligence. In 1997 Calspan was in turn absorbed by Veridian Corp. Veridian (Calspan) is deeply involved in artificial intelligence. In August of this year giant defense contractor General Dynamics acquired Veridian-Calspan.

Here is a strange "coincidence." After Timothy McVeigh left the army, he joined the Army National Guard in Buffalo. He landed a job with Burns International Security and was assigned to guard the premises of (you guessed it) Calspan. McVeigh had told friends the army had implanted a microchip in him during the Gulf war. (We now know that a number of soldiers were implanted with microchips explained as an experiment to keep track of their locations during battle.) The CIA doctors at Calspan were experimenting with merging brain cells with microchips.

Pasechnik was put to work at Porton Down where he remained until set up with his own company. Three weeks after the mailed anthrax attacks in the U.S., He died, "apparently" of a stroke. Strangely, the death was announced by Christopher Davis. His death began a string of mysterious deaths and obvious murders of world-class microbiologists, which continues to this day. Dr. Kelly's death is one of those but not the latest.

One of the most disturbing deaths is that of Harvard scientist Don C. Wiley. Wiley was one of America's preeminent researchers into infectious diseases and HIV in particular. After years of meticulous research, Wiley had just scored a breakthrough by identifying the properties of the HIV virus that make it infectious and how it avoids destruction by the antigens in the human immune system.

In theory, the discovery has application to other viruses that cause diseases. Viruses, as opposed to bacteria, seem to be immune to treatment by antibiotics.

The dark side of the discovery, as Wiley himself discussed, is that the same information could be used to change relatively benign viruses into killers. **(See footnote on this author's three-part series on "Anthrax, GOCO's and Designer Germs.")

In 1991, a team of U.S. and U.K scientists, including Kelly and Davis, made a trip to the USSR to inspect Biopreparat facilities at four locations. Their host was deputy chief of the program, Kanatjan Alibekov, who would later "defect" to the U.S. and change his name to Ken Alibek. Kelly made several inspection trips to Russia.

Dr. Kelly was described by his contemporaries as an iron-willed individual who did not hesitate to challenge Russian and Iraqi authorities and scientists. However, he may have been a bit nave concerning three individuals with whom he had extensive communications, all three women.

Judith Miller of the New York Times (NYT) exchanged numerous e-mails with Kelly. The Pulitzer Prize winner is a long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and through her articles in the paper the most prominent of those warning of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The second "confidant" of Kelly's was Olivia Bosch, a senior research fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA). The RIIA, also known as Chatham House, is the U.K counterpart of the CFR. Both organizations were set up by the financial elite to work for a one-world government. Both wield inordinate influence on the governments in their respective countries. Kelly had recently joined the RIIA.

The third woman is a real-life Mata Hari. Mai Pederson met Kelly in Iraq where her cover was as a translator. She is a U.S. Army intelligence agent. Mai was instrumental in Kelly's conversion to the Baha'i faith.

The first inspection trip was dramatized in a Frontline production in 1998 entitled "Plague War" shown on PBS in the U.S. and BBC in the U.K. Its main theme was that only Russia had violated the 1972 treaty but the U.S. and U.K. had abated their programs. Co-author of the script for the program was Tom Mangold, a sometime author and until very recently a BBC employee (propagandist?). Mangold was one of the earliest writers to proclaim Kelly's death as a suicide and has written articles "explaining" why Kelly killed himself. He bills himself as a "best friend" of Kelly but had to admit to the Hutton inquiry that his contacts with Kelly had been relatively few and mostly by e-mail.

When Alibek defected to the U.S. in 1992 he underwent extensive debriefing by, among others, Davis and William Patrick ("father" of the U.S. bioweapons program and a CIA consultant). He was then rewarded with a job at BMI and became a CIA consultant. He is currently president of a subsidiary of Hadron, the defense contractor that peddled the PROMIS software to various governments (with a backdoor in the software) that resulted in an intelligence bonanza for the U.S.

According to author Gordon Thomas, Kelly maintained close communications with Alibek, Patrick and other scientists in the U.S. Thomas reports that Kelly had contacts only weeks before two of the scientists died violent deaths. One was Dr. Don Wiley.

In the months before his death, Dr. Kelly became embroiled in a shouting match between the British government and BBC. Andrew Gilligan, a reporter for BBC claimed that Kelly had given him and other reporters information that proved the government had exaggerated the Iraqi danger in its "dossier" justifying the war against Iraq and that Kelly had not been completely honest in telling his MoD superiors what he had disclosed to them. Writer Tom Mangold (it's not clear when he left the employ of BBC) used this to reason that Kelly's loss of integrity at being exposed as a "liar" was what led him to suicide.

Mangold was not the only one to push the suicide angle. After Kelly's death, Foreign Office diplomat David Broucher made headlines around the world when he claimed Kelly had said if Iraq was attacked he might be "found dead in the woods." Broucher testified the remark was made at the end of a meeting he had with Kelly in February of this year in Geneva where they discussed the WMD "dossier." He said he didn't think much of it at the time but in retrospect Kelly may have been considering suicide then.

When Kelly's daughter Rachel testified at the inquiry, she proved through her father's diaries that the only time he had been in Geneva, and the only time he ever met Broucher, was a year earlier in February of 2002. There was not even a draft of the "dossier" in existence at that time suggesting that Broucher's story was fiction.

Actually, the opposite of the Mangold thesis appears to be the truth. Kelly was treated badly by MoD over the last three years of his life. He had not had a salary increase in three years as he approached retirement where his pension would be a function of salary. At one time he was told there would be reorganization within the intelligence operation and he would get a sizeable increase in salary. That didn't happen. Kelly had written several letters about his position and, according to his widow, was quite upset and frustrated about it (not despondent and suicidal).

Kelly had voluntarily disclosed to MoD his contacts with the media. To his dying day, he maintained that he had not provided all the information Gilligan attributed to him. Nevertheless, Kelly was hauled before the Joint Intelligence Committee for a grilling.

The final affront came in a mandated one-on-one session with MoD Personnel Director Richard Hatfield. MoD, with the approval of Tony Blair, had devised an orchestrated charade to "out" Kelly as the source of the "leak. Hatfield, head of the department that had been jerking Kelly around for three years, was supposed to get Kelly's acquiescence in the plan. Somehow, he never got around to the subject.

Subsequently, at an MoD press conference, through a series of disclosures to the press, the MoD confirmed Kelly as the leak (as previously planned) when a reporter asked if Kelly was the one.

Understandably, this treatment would have made Kelly a resentful employee. In intelligence circles, resentful employees are considered "unstable" and security risks. Kelly had for years maintained his silence about his extensive knowledge of the bio-warfare weapons of at least four countries. Had it become imperative that the silence be made permanent?

Full story...

Diana 'feared car accident plot'

Diana died in an accident, Kelly committed suicide, the Moon is made of cheese and Iraq had loads of WMD nasties! When even our Queen is talking about stuff happening in this country which she "knows nothing" about then I think we should be just a tad concerned! If you ask me Diana was offed by the establishment because she was a threat to their plans for continuing to make money from the suffering of people in other countries.

There are evil bastards doing evil things and using this country, and us, as a cover. They sell weapons to bad people, engage in the subversion of democracy in the 3rd world countries and generally go around acting like a bunch of selfish greedy pricks. They need to be stopped and this just may be the way of doing it, except that they own the system including all the judges, politicians, media pukes and just about anyone else in a position to do something about it - or tell the rest of us what's really going on. It makes my blood boil to think about what those inhuman monsters get away with, and any time someone decent tries to stand up to them they end up dead. It happens in all the countries of the world even supposedly peaceful places like the Netherlands and Sweden.

Look people, you have to stop living under the illusion that we live in a "free" society! You are free only to do as you're told by the corporate pricks who own our government, Liz isn't in charge and neither is Tony; they are figureheads and mouthpieces who do as their told and have, themselves, no real idea of what's going on. None of us want to believe any of this is true but unfortunately we can't ignore the evidence any longer. How many more good and decent people are going to have to die before We the People take a stand against the corruption and deciet being perpetrated every day by anonymous suits in plush offices with no regard whatsoever for those whose lives they destroy.

Princess Diana feared the brakes of her car were going to be tampered with, 10 months before she died in a crash in Paris, her former butler has claimed.

The princess allegedly wrote in a letter to Paul Burrell: "This phase in my life is the most dangerous".

She reportedly named someone who was "planning an accident in my car, brake failure and serious head injury."

The alleged letter, which Mr Burrell kept secret until now, has been published in the Daily Mirror.

The name of the alleged person has been blacked out by the newspaper for legal reasons.

Diana and Mr Fayed were killed early on the morning of 31 August, 1997 when a Mercedes driven by chauffeur Henri Paul crashed in the Pont D'Alma tunnel in Paris.

In the alleged letter, Princess Diana reportedly believed the plot was "in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry".

It was reportedly written a couple of months after her divorce from Charles was finalised in October 1996.

A French inquiry in 1999 blamed Mr Paul, concluding he had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs and was driving too fast.

In August, Surrey Coroner Michael Burgess announced he would conduct inquests into the death of Diana and Mr Fayed, but did not specify a date.

Full story...


Britain cancels royal procession for Bush amid protest fears: report

It's bad enough that the man is coming here in the first place, to want to have a victory parade is not only stupid, it's obscene. This government has stooped so low that it couldn't climb out of the hole even if it had a fucking crane to help! I can predict lots and lots of protests nationwide because


The fact that Her Royal Majesty is having him over for dinner is an absolute and unmitigated disgrace, shame on her!

Fetch Tony Fetch.... Good boy.... Plans for US President George W. Bush to make a triumphant procession during his state visit to Britain next month have been abandoned by the British government for fear of anti-war protests, the British Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported on Sunday.

The decision, taken by Downing Street after consultations with Buckingham Palace, the White House and Scotland Yard, has disappointed Bush and his senior aides, the paper said.

"We are liaising with the White House and they have made no attempt to hide their disappointment. They saw it, obviously, as agreat photo opportunity," an unnamed senior Buckingham Palace official was quoted as saying.

Although detailed plans had been made for the royal parade which is traditionally the public high point of a state visit, "Downing Street, anxious about possible anti-war protests from the start, has now decided to pull the plug on it," the official said.

According to the paper, Bush would instead travel by helicopterto avoid protesters who line road routes and would not address theBritish parliament for fear of a boycott by some British lawmakers.

The report comes after British anti-war campaigners this week voiced determination to make a protest during the first full statevisit of an American president since the British Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne 52 years ago.

Stop the War Coalition, one of various groups planning protestsduring Bush's visit from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, said that "wherever he is, from the moment he arrives to the moment he goes, there will be protests of one sort or another."

Earlier reports said some protesters have planned to topple anddance on a mock statue of Bush in the center of London as part of demonstrations to "blight" his visit to Britain, which joined the US-led war against Iraq.

Bush is coming to Britain at the invitation of the British Queen and reportedly will spend time with his close ally British Prime Minister Tony Blair reviewing the problems in Iraq's reconstruction.

Full story...

Friday, 17 October 2003

Beware Mad Max world of US

Any time you give a bunch of religious nutters too much power you end up with the ignorant bastards wanting to covert everyone and kill anyone they can't covert. Religion is NOT the solutiohn, it's the fucking problem because it encourages people not to ask questions and get their answers from some bogus corrupt authority figure!

Uncle Sam wants YOU to die for big business United States foreign policy would lead Australia into a "Mad Max world" where the US would shield itself behind missiles, the former prime minister, Paul Keating, said yesterday.

He criticised the US policy of pre-emptive strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan, which he said was giving other countries the signal to walk away from multilateral agreements and treaties.

He said small nations like Australia had a vested interest in a rule-based system around multilateral agreements.

"There is every chance that the American policy will lead us into a Mad Max world, while the US seeks to cocoon itself behind a screen of national missile defence," Mr Keating told the 2003 CPA Australia congress in Melbourne.

He also warned against sole reliance on the US for security and trade. It was not a "smart policy" because China would soon eclipse the US as a superpower.

"China is a phenomenon and it's in our backyard and it is one of the reasons why we should look long and hard at free trade agreements with the United States. Back-lane, backdoor agreements never work in trade. They are always for the stronger party," he said.

Full story...

Thursday, 16 October 2003

Splitting Atoms

So it came to pass in the opening years of the 21st century
that the children of earth did make war upon one another.
Tearing limb from limb with terrible weapons of fire and steel.
Splitting atoms in a concert of fearful destruction.
Darkness made as day and the earth shakes,
a frightening vibration ripping their fragile lives to pieces
and then nothing remains but wisps of vapour
where once children played there is only air.

The fire and death surround all like a dark black cloak,
a cloak stained with the blood of humanity.
The futility apparent only when nothing more can be done,
the war began by greedy fools safe in bunkers underground.
All at once the violence in movies is happening next door,
neighbour killing neighbour while friends kill their foes.

The survivors, what few remain continued the carnage,
in desperation they rampaged, burning and killing
slaying one another as their leaders slay the earth,
splitting atoms making people dissappear, and for what?

Do you really think all this impossible?

-= ewar

Jack Straw refuses to rule out military action in Iran

Suprise suprise, Mr Straw speaking on behalf of the rest of us once again. Only problem is that this guy doesn't actually represent anyone except himself. I do wish he'd just shut the fuck up and stop getting us involved in wars we want no part of. Jack Straw and his boss, and his boss, are more of a threat to peace and security than Iran!

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he wanted the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme resolved peacefully but did not rule out possible military action.

Asked in parliament if he ruled out such action if Iran did not cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, Straw said: "We wish to see this matter resolved peacefully. I'm not going to predict what is going to happen except to say we have adopted a consistent approach in respect of Iran."

Straw was speaking as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, was preparing to leave Wednesday for Iran, which faces an October 31 deadline to allay fears it is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

"The UK government has frequent contact with the government of Iran on this subject and we've made clear our serious concerns," Straw told parliament.

Full story...

Bush - Nazi Link Confirmed

How much do you want to bet this story doesn't make it out of the Depths? Down here we see all sorts of things, some completely wacky; this isn't one of them. Take note, the people controlling the Whitehouse are allied to the same people who paid for World War 2. If you think Hitler was evil thnk again, without people like Fritz Thyssen and Prescott Bush Hitler would have probably have died a poor and insignifican painter somewhere in a ghetto in Austria. How do you like them apples?

WASHINGTON - After 60 years of inattention and even denial by the U.S. media, newly-uncovered government documents in The National Archives and Library of Congress reveal that Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, served as a business partner of and U.S. banking operative for the financial architect of the Nazi war machine from 1926 until 1942, when Congress took aggressive action against Bush and his "enemy national" partners.

The documents also show that Bush and his colleagues, according to reports from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and FBI, tried to conceal their financial alliance with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, a steel and coal baron who, beginning in the mid-1920s, personally funded Adolf Hitler's rise to power by the subversion of democratic principle and German law.

Furthermore, the declassified records demonstrate that Bush and his associates, who included E. Roland Harriman, younger brother of American icon W. Averell Harriman, and George Herbert Walker, President Bush's maternal great-grandfather, continued their dealings with the German industrial baron for nearly eight months after the U.S. entered the war.

No Story?

For six decades these historical facts have gone unreported by the mainstream U.S. media. The essential facts have appeared on the Internet and in relatively obscure books, but were dismissed by the media and Bush family as undocumented diatribes. This story has also escaped the attention of "official" Bush biographers, Presidential historians and publishers of U.S. history books covering World War II and its aftermath.

The White House did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

The Summer of '42

The unraveling of the web of Bush-Harriman-Thyssen U.S. enterprises, all of which operated out of the same suite of offices at 39 Broadway under the supervision of Prescott Bush, began with a story that ran in the New York Herald-Tribune on July 30, 1942. By then, the U.S. had been at war with Germany for nearly eight months.

"Hitler's Angel Has $3 Million in U.S. Bank," declared the headline. The lead paragraph characterized Fritz Thyssen as "Adolf Hitler's original patron a decade ago." In fact, the steel and coal magnate had aggressively supported and funded Hitler since October 1923, according to Thyssen's autobiography, I Paid Hitler. In that book, Thyssen also acknowledges his direct personal relationships with Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Rudolf Hess.

The Herald-Tribune also cited unnamed sources who suggested Thyssen's U.S. "nest egg" in fact belonged to "Nazi bigwigs" including Goebbels, Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, or even Hitler himself.

Business is Business

The "bank," founded in 1924 by W. Averell Harriman on behalf of Thyssen and his Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V. of Holland, was Union Banking Corporation (UBC) of New York City. According to government documents, it was in reality a clearing house for a number of Thyssen-controlled enterprises and assets, including as many as a dozen individual businesses. UBC also bought and shipped overseas gold, steel, coal, and U.S. Treasury and war bonds. The company's activities were administered for Thyssen by a Netherlands-born, naturalized U.S. citizen named Cornelis Lievense, who served as president of UBC. Roland Harriman was chairman and Prescott Bush a managing director.

The Herald-Tribune article did not identify Bush or Harriman as executives of UBC, or Brown Brothers Harriman, in which they were partners, as UBC's private banker. A confidential FBI memo from that period suggested, without naming the Bush and Harriman families, that politically prominent individuals were about to come under official U.S. government scrutiny as Hitler's plunder of Europe continued unabated.

After the "Hitler's Angel" article was published Bush and Harriman made no attempts to divest themselves of the controversial Thyssen financial alliance, nor did they challenge the newspaper report that UBC was, in fact, a de facto Nazi front organization in the U.S.

Instead, the government documents show, Bush and his partners increased their subterfuge to try to conceal the true nature and ownership of their various businesses, particularly after the U.S. entered the war. The documents also disclose that Cornelis Lievense, Thyssen's personal appointee to oversee U.S. matters for his Rotterdam-based Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V., via UBC for nearly two decades, repeatedly denied to U.S. government investigators any knowledge of the ownership of the Netherlands bank or the role of Thyssen in it.

UBC's original group of business associates included George Herbert Walker, who had a relationship with the Harriman family that began in 1919. In 1922, Walker and W. Averell Harriman traveled to Berlin to set up the German branch of their banking and investment operations, which were largely based on critical war resources such as steel and coal.

The Walker-Harriman-created German industrial alliance also included partnership with another German titan who supported Hitler's rise, Friedrich Flick, who partnered with Thyssen in the German Steel Trust that forged the Nazi war machine. For his role in using slave labor and his own steel, coal and arms resources to build Hitler's war effort, Flick was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to seven years in prison.

The Family Business

In 1926, after Prescott Bush had married Walker's daughter, Dorothy, Walker brought Bush in as a vice president of the private banking and investment firm of W.A. Harriman & Co., also located in New York. Bush became a partner in the firm that later became Brown Brothers Harriman and the largest private investment bank in the world. Eventually, Bush became a director of and stockholder in UBC.

However, the government documents note that Bush, Harriman, Lievense and the other UBC stockholders were in fact "nominees," or phantom shareholders, for Thyssen and his Holland bank, meaning that they acted at the direct behest of their German client.


On October 20, 1942, under authority of the Trading with the Enemy Act, the U.S. Congress seized UBC and liquidated its assets after the war. The seizure is confirmed by Vesting Order No. 248 in the U.S. Office of the Alien Property Custodian and signed by U.S. Alien Property Custodian Leo T. Crowley.

In August, under the same authority, Congress had seized the first of the Bush-Harriman-managed Thyssen entities, Hamburg-American Line, under Vesting Order No. 126, also signed by Crowley. Eight days after the seizure of UBC, Congress invoked the Trading with the Enemy Act again to take control of two more Bush-Harriman-Thyssen businesses - Holland-American Trading Corp. (Vesting Order No. 261) and Seamless Steel Equipment Corp (Vesting Order No. 259). In November, Congress seized the Nazi interests in Silesian-American Corporation, which allegedly profited from slave labor at Auschwitz via a partnership with I.G. Farben, Hitler's third major industrial patron and partner in the infrastructure of the Third Reich.

The documents from the Archives also show that the Bushes and Harrimans shipped valuable U.S. assets, including gold, coal, steel and U.S. Treasury and war bonds, to their foreign clients overseas as Hitler geared up for his 1939 invasion of Poland, the event that sparked World War II.

That's One Way to Put It

Following the Congressional seizures of UBC and the other four Bush-Harriman-Thyssen enterprises, The New York Times reported on December 16, 1944, in a brief story on page 25, that UBC had "received authority to change its principal place of business to 120 Broadway." The Times story did not report that UBC had been seized by the U.S. government or that the new address was the U.S. Office of the Alien Property Custodian. The story also neglected to mention that the other UBC-related businesses had also been seized by Congress.

Still No Story?

Since then, the information has not appeared in any U.S. news coverage of any Bush political campaign, nor has it been included in any of the major Bush family biographies. It was, however, covered extensively in George H.W. Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin. Chaitkin's father served as an attorney in the 1940s for some of the victims of the Bush-Harriman-Thyssen businesses.

The book gave a detailed, accurate accounting of the Bush family's long Nazi affiliation, but no mainstream U.S. media entity reported on or even investigated the allegations, despite careful documentation by the authors. Major booksellers declined to distribute the book, which was dismissed by Bush supporters as biased and untrue. Its authors struggled even to be reviewed in reputable newspapers. That the book was published by a Lyndon LaRouche's organization undoubtedly made it easier to dismiss, but does not change the facts.

The essence of the story been posted for years on various Internet sites, including and, but no online media seem to have independently confirmed it.

Likewise, the mainstream media have apparently made no attempt since World War II to either verify or disprove the allegations of Nazi collaboration against the Bush family. Instead, they have attempted to dismiss or discredit such Internet sites or "unauthorized" books without any journalistic inquiry or research into their veracity.

Loyal Defenders

The National Review ran an essay on September 1 by their White House correspondent Byron York, entitled "Annals of Bush-Hating." It begins mockingly: "Are you aware of the murderous history of George W. Bush - indeed, of the entire Bush family? Are you aware of the president's Nazi sympathies? His crimes against humanity? And do you know, by the way, that George W. Bush is a certifiable moron?" York goes on to discredit the "Bush is a moron" IQ hoax, but fails to disprove the Nazi connection.

The more liberal Boston Globe ran a column September 29 by Reason magazine's Cathy Young in which she referred to "Bush-o-phobes on the Internet" who "repeat preposterous claims about the Bush family's alleged Nazi connections."

Poles Tackle the Topic

Newsweek Polska, the magazine's Polish edition, published a short piece on the "Bush Nazi past" in its March 5, 2003 edition. The item reported that "the Bush family reaped rewards from the forced-labor prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp," according to a copyrighted English-language translation from Scoop Media ( The story also reported the seizure of the various Bush-Harriman-Thyssen businesses.

Still Not Interested

Major U.S. media outlets, including ABC News, NBC News, The New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times and Miami Herald, have repeatedly declined to investigate the story when information regarding discovery of the documents was presented to them beginning Friday, August 29. Newsweek U.S. correspondent Michael Isikoff, famous for his reporting of big scoops during the Clinton-Lewinsky sexual affair of the 1990s, declined twice to accept an exclusive story based on the documents from the archives.


After the seizures of the various businesses they oversaw with Cornelis Lievense and his German partners, the U.S. government quietly settled with Bush, Harriman and others after the war. Bush and Harriman each received $1.5 million in cash as compensation for their seized business assets.

In 1952, Prescott Bush was elected to the U.S. Senate, with no press accounts about his well-concealed Nazi past. There is no record of any U.S. press coverage of the Bush-Nazi connection during any political campaigns conducted by George Herbert Walker Bush, Jeb Bush, or George W. Bush, with the exception of a brief mention in an unrelated story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune in November 2000 and a brief but inaccurate account in The Boston Globe in 2001.
John Buchanan is a journalist and investigative reporter with 33 years of experience in New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Miami. His work has appeared in more than 50 newspapers, magazines and books.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2003

Why do some people not get cancer?

As with a lot of things, you are not being told the truth. Ask any "doctor" and they will tell you Laetrile is a poison; WRONG! The multinational drug companies want you to think it is so you won't take it, then you'll get cancer and the NHS has to spend untold on chemo drugs and radiation therapy all of which make HUGE profits for those same immoral corporate scumbags. Eat a good diet, get loads of exercise and you won't need any of the nasty chemical shit your doctor will try and prescribe for you.

The best way to prove or disprove the vitamin B17 theory of cancer, would be to take several thousands of people, over a period of many years, expose them to a consistent diet of B17 rich nitriloside foods and then check the results. Fortunately this has already occurred by the study of the following cultures; The Hunza, aboriginal Eskimos, Hopi and Navajo Indians, Abkhazians and members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

These people do not get Cancer

What are they doing that is different?

In the remote recesses of the Himalayan Mountains, between West Pakistan, India and China there is a tiny Kingdom called Hunza. These people are known world over for their amazing longevity and health. They live well beyond 100 years and have commonly been known to still father children at the age of 110. One of the first medical teams to study the Hunza was headed by world-renown British surgeon Dr Robert McCarrison. Writing in the AMA Journal Jan 7, 1922 he reported:
"The Hunza has no known incidence of cancer.
They have an abundant crop of apricots.
These they dry in the sun and use largely in their food".
It is interesting to note that the traditional Hunza Diet contains over 200 times more nitriloside (B17 Rich food) than the average American or Australian Diet. There is no such thing as money in Hunza. A mans wealth is measured by the number of apricot trees he owns. And the most prized of all foods was considered to be the apricot seed. It is very common for the Hunza to eat between 30 - 50 (ie. about 30mg of B17) apricot seeds as an after lunch snack. The thousands of seeds they do not eat they store or grind them very finely and then squeezed under pressure to produce a very rich oil used in cooking and to apply to the skin. The apricot is staple food in Hunza. They use the apricot, its seed and the oil for practically everything. In addition to the ever-present apricot, the hunzahuts eat mainly grain and fresh vegetables. These include buckwheat, millet, alfalfa, peas, broad beans, turnips, lettuce, sprouting pulse and berries of various sorts. All of these with the exception of lettuce and turnips contain vitamin B17.
It is important to know when the Hunza leave their secluded land and adopt the menus of other countries, they soon succumb to the same diseases and infirmities including cancer as the rest of man kind.

The Indians of North America are another people who are remarkably free from cancer. The AMA went as far as conducting a special study in an effort to discover why there was little to no cancer amongst the Hopi and Navajo Indians
The February 5, 1949 issue of the journal of the American Medical Association declared that they found 36 cases of malignant cancer from a population of 30,000. In the same population of white persons there would have been about 1800. Dr Krebs research later found that the typical diet for the Navajo and Hopi Indian consisted of nitriloside-rich foods such as Cassava. He calculated that some of the tribes would ingest the equivalent of 8000mg of Vitamin B17 per day from their diet !!!

The Eskimos are another people that have been observed by medical teams for many decades and found to be totally free of cancer. The traditional Eskimo diet is amazingly rich in B17 nitrilosides that come from the residue of of the meat of caribou and other grazing animals, and also from the salmon berry. Another Eskimo delicacy is green salad made out of the stomach contents of caribou and reindeer, which are full of fresh tundra grass. Tundra grasses such as Arrow are have shown to be contain the highest content of B17 than any other grasses.
Alaska's most famous doctor Dr Preston A Price claims that, in his 36 years of contact with these people he had never seen a single case of malignant disease among the truly primitive Eskimos, although it frequently occurred when they were modernized.
An interesting point to note is that when an Eskimo leaves his traditional way of life and begins to rely on a western/modern diet he becomes even more cancer prone than the average American.

The Abkhazians are found deep in the Caucasus Mountains on the Northwest side of the Black Sea. They are a people with almost the exact same health record and longevity as the Hunzakuts. Their food and lifestyle having to live in a harsh rugged terrain are almost identical. They follow a diet, which is low in carbohydrates, high in vegetable proteins and rich in minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin B17.

Many argue that the above races and cultures are the result of primitive groups not being exposed to the same carcinogens that modern man is exposed to. Many argue let them breathe the same polluted air we breathe, smoke the same cigarettes, swallow the same chemicals added to their food and water or use the same soaps and deodorants and then see "how they fare"?
Studies on the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church have found that Seventh Day Adventists have more than 50% less chance of the incidence of cancer. This is a well known fact today. Just do a search in an internet search engine such as "yahoo" and search under Adventists less cancer and see all the hits you'll get from various sources supporting this.
SDA's have the same sex, age, socio-economic, educational, occupational, ethnic and cultural profile as the rest of the modern man, yet they have greater than 50% less chance of cancer because they follow the Bible Health Principles for an Abundant Life by ingesting a vegetarian diet and living a happy wholesome lifestyle. As a result on average they also live 12 years longer than the average modern man today today.
The reason why SDA's are not 100% cancer free like the Hunza is because of the following reasons:
1) Many members join the church from living a modern lifestyle eating modern western foods even after they become SDA's and choose to continue eating these foods.
2) The vegetables and fruits eaten are not specifically chosen for vitamin B17 content.
3) Not all SDA's adhere to a vegetarian diet.
As Krebs points out, "Tribes in the Karakonims of West Pakistan, [the Hunzas], the aboriginal Eskimaux, tribes of South Africa and South America living on native foods, the North American Indian in his native state, the Australian aborigines and other native or so-called primitive peoples rely upon a diet containing as much as 250 to 3000 mg of nitriloside in a daily ration. Civilized, Westernized... man, on the other hand relies on a diet that probably provides on average less than 2 mg nitriloside a day". Among these people, cancer tends to be rare compared to the high rates present in America and Europe. For example, Sir Robert McCarrison, famed medical nutritionist in the 1920s - 30s, failed to discover a single case of cancer among the Hunzas during a 20 year period, while John dark, M.D., a later medical missionary among the Hunza, also failed to find cancer among them.
The Hunza diet is based in significant part upon the apricot kernel, a rich source of Laetrile, which typically provides them with at least 150 - 250 mg "B17"/day.
Among the Eskimaux living on their native diet, cancer was also so rare that it prompted famed anthropologist/explorer V. Steffanson to write a book on the subject: Cancer: Disease of Civilization? Krebs notes that the salmon-berry is a rich nitriloside source, and is used by traditional Eskimaux to make pemmican, which is eaten year-round. The contents of caribou stomachs, partially-digested grasses unusually rich in nitrilosides, are a prized delicacy among the Eskimaux.
Dr. M. Navarro of Santo Tomas Univ. of Manila, was a world-famed oncologist who was also an early Laetrile clinical pioneer. "By 1977 he had linked the low incidence of cancer in the native populations of Mindanao [the Philippines] to the continual ingestion of many sources of vitamin B17. That rate, about I per 100,000 [less than 1% of the U.S. cancer rate], is even smaller than the low rate of cancer in the non-urban Filipino north, where generations of Filipinos have subsisted on [nitriloside-rich] cassava, wild rice, wild beans, berries and fruits of all kinds."
Krebs wrote concerning North American Indians: "I have analyzed from historical and anthropological records the nitriloside content of the diets of... carious North American tribes....
Some of these tribes would ingest over 8,000 mg of vitamin B17 (nitriloside) a day.
My data on the Modoc Indians are particularly complete." (12) As an example of the low cancer incidence among Indians eating their high "B17" native diet, Krebs cited a report on the Navajo-Hopi Indians from JAMA. Feb. 5, 1949: "...the doctors wondered if [the Indians' diet] had anything to do with the fact that only 36 cases of malignant cancer were found out of 30,000 admissions to Ganado, Arizona Mission Hospital... In the same population of white persons, the doctors said that would have been about 1800." (12)
In his preface to A. Berglas' book Cancer: Cause and Cure. medical missionary Dr. Albert Schweitzer wrote that "On my arrival in Gabon [Africa] in 1913, I was astonished to encounter no cases of cancer. I saw none among the natives two hundred miles from the coast.... I can not, of course, say positively that there was no cancer at all, but, like other frontier doctors, I can only say that, if any cases existed they must have been quite rare. This absence of cancer seemed to be due to the difference in nutrition of the natives compared to the Europeans...." (13). Of course, such high nitriloside foods as cassava, millet, maize and sorghum are staples of the traditional African diet. Cassava may contain from 225 to 1830 mg/kg of the nitriloside linamarin (10)
The world wide epidemiological picture is consistent. Wherever "primitive peoples" eat their traditional natural diet, their intake of nitrilosides is high, and their cancer incidence is low. And when, as among many modern Eskimaux, they gain easy access -to and become reliant upon the "civilized" Western diet of sugar, white flour, and refined/preserved foods, their cancer incidence shoots up and approximates the high incidence of Euro-American people.

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US Hawk Perle Does Not Rule Out Syria Attack

I'm really starting to come to the conclusion that Perle is in fact the anti-Christ, if you look in the dictionary under the definition of "psychotic Zionist" it'll say; "See Richard Perle."

Richard Perle - Evil Incarnate Pentagon adviser Richard Perle said the recent Israeli attack in Syria was long overdue and expected US military action against Damascus.

Perle, a close adviser to US President George Bush and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, was speaking on Tuesday at a Jerusalem conference of conservatives from the United States and Israel.

"I was happy to see that Israel has now taken a similar step in responding to acts of terror that originate in Lebanese territory by going to the rulers of Lebanon in Damascus," said Perle, a Washington hawk.

Israel launched an attack on Syria earlier this month, on what it claimed was a training camp for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.

The resistance group strongly denied it maintained training camps outside the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, saying Israel attacked a civilian area.

It was Israel's first deep attack in Syria since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Everything's possible

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Tuesday, 14 October 2003

Why Sharon is dangerous

The reason I keep bleating on about Sharon and his psycho Israeli government is simple, if you saw that a neighbouring house was on fire, wouldn't you try to warn everyone and put it out before it burned your own house down? The middle east is not just "over there" if we're not careful it'll end up embedded sixteen inches up our own arseholes!

Why? Because he doesn't even try to keep his promise of peace, and has made his promise of security worthless. Because he is a bloody adventurer who scoffs at dangers, even if you pay the price. Because this week he revived the incitement against the left over a memorandum of understanding that was drafted together with senior Palestinian figures. Because the moves of an especially skilled tactician are especially dangerous.

Plenty of familiar reasons for Sharon being a political ticking bomb spring immediately to mind. Here are several more that occur upon second, and third, thought.

* They believe him: The incredible and dangerous thing is that despite everything, most Israelis still believe him and believe in him. Sharon has honed the art of political deception to such precision that its victims become passive, and even satisfied, observers. This is the Sharon paradox: The situation under his leadership is so terrible that the majority, which yearns for some illusion of an achievement, prefers not to believe that the situation is as abominable as it is.

* The success of failure: This is why Sharon is still able to plant the empty hope that things will get better - if you'll all just wait a little bit, and then some more. Under normal circumstances, this tactic would collapse after three years of such dissonance between hope and despair. But Sharon is very dangerous because of his tremendous ability to get the public, ordinarily known for its cranky skepticism, to suspend its disbelief in direct proportion to the gravity of the national predicament. Paradox number two promises to keep the Sharon danger alive: As the country's plight worsens, Israelis' dependence on a "strongman" who will rescue them from their troubles grows in equal measure - even if the purported savior is largely responsible for getting them into the mess in the first place. Sharon deserves a Nobel Prize for his discovery of "The Success of Failure."

* He has a sense of humor: The aforementioned contradiction also has a comic effect, as if directed by Eli Yatzpan. Abba Eban used to say that Israel is not a banana republic, but a republic that slips on bananas. Sharon manages to make his repeated banana-slipping amusing, while you just keep bruising your backside. He knows how to giggle just like Yatzpan, how to be as amiable as blooper impresario Yigal Shilon. He's even shed his tic. When a dangerous leader also has a sense of humor, it's time to put on the flak jackets.

* The enemy as collaborator: Another dangerous leader who has lost his quiver, Yasser Arafat, is actually an important ally along Sharon's twisted road. From Lebanon until today, Arik has been pursuing Yasser like Sherlock Holmes on the trail of Moriarty. But there is cause to suspect that he is not really interested in Arafat's elimination. If his legendary rival were gone, Sharon would have to invent a new one.

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Monday, 13 October 2003

Israeli airstrike puts secret deal in jeopardy

Israel’s military attack on Syrian soil is threatening to derail secret European and U.N. diplomatic efforts to bring the two Mideast enemies back to the negotiating table and could stall a planned Israeli-Hezbollah prisoner swap, the Associated Press has learned from officials involved.

The exploratory diplomatic efforts, which until now have been kept quiet, are the results of a yearlong negotiation for the prisoner swap and an offer this summer from Syrian President Bashar Assad to restart peace talks with Israel that fell apart in March 2000, diplomats said on condition of anonymity.

The United States, while not taking part in bringing the parties together, could offer incentives to Jerusalem and Damascus, such as security guarantees and the possibility Syria could be removed from the U.S. State Department’s list of countries that sponsor terrorism, the diplomats said.

Israel has been willing to listen to ideas but has made no commitment to renewing a dialogue with Syria, diplomats said. If the sides do agree to some kind of contact, U.S. involvement could increase, a move which could help the Bush administration’s goal of bringing peace to the Middle East.

Last week’s Israeli bombing of a purported Palestinian militant camp in Syria has hurt both the diplomatic efforts and the prisoner swap, U.N.

diplomats said. European diplomats had been hopeful the exchange would go through in the coming days but that assessment changed after U.N. envoy Terje Larsen visited Damascus and met with Syria’s foreign minister on Thursday.

For Syria, allowing Hezbollah to go through with a prisoner deal now — even a lopsided one in which Israel would give up hundreds of prisoners, including Palestinians, in exchange for a former Israeli colonel and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers — could be seen by its neighbors as a sign of weakness. Israel also would free two Lebanese guerrilla leaders it kidnapped during the 1990s, diplomats said. The Israeli soldiers were abducted in October 2000.

Diplomats had hoped the swap would generate good will that could be exploited and turned into an Israeli-Syrian peace initiative. Now, the diplomats say their efforts are centered on de-escalating tensions caused by the Israeli airstrike.

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