Archived News Articles: NMD and Global Policy - 4th Qtr. 2003
From Reuters: Fri Oct 3, 6:25 PM ET
NATO Defense Chiefs Set Secret Debate in Colorado By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense ministers from all 19 NATO nations and seven European states invited to join the alliance will hold an unusual secret seminar in Colorado next Wednesday to debate the use of allied force anywhere in the world, a senior U.S. defense official said on Friday. ...
From Reuters: Tue October 7, 2003 10:00 PM ET
NATO Meets to Plan Role as Agile, Lethal Force By John Chalmers
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - A renewed drive gets under way on Wednesday to transform NATO from a relic of the Cold War into an agile force that can meet post-Sept. 11 security threats. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters as alliance defense ministers gathered at a swanky hotel on the edge of the Rocky Mountains that, in a few years, NATO military officers can expect their "phone to ring." Rumsfeld is pinning his hopes on the creation of a NATO Response Force (NRF), an elite pool of high-readiness forces that can -- as one diplomat put it -- "kick doors down" when crises blow up anywhere across the globe. "The task today is to be able to deal with problems in hours or days, not weeks or months or years," Rumsfeld said. "And the NATO Response Force is going to be designed to do exactly that." ...
From PRAVDA.Ru: 10/08/2003 13:27
Russia Does Not Dismiss the Use Nuclear Weapons in Preventive Strike
Vladimir Putin's recent statement about the nuclear weapons alarms Western media
On the threshold of his 51st birthday, Vladimir Putin has apparently decided to remind the West of his existence. At any rate, foreign mass media outlets were rather alarmed discussing the latest statement from the Russian president. ... Vladimir Putin announced the national nuclear forces should be fundamentally modernized. The president said Russia did not exclude an opportunity to use nuclear weapons for a preventive strike against its "potential enemy." ...
From Reuters: Wednesday October 8, 7:40 pm ET
US gross external debt more than $6 trillion-Trsy
WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. debt owed to foreign governments, central banks, private banks and other investors topped $6 trillion in the quarter ended June 30, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday. ... the $6.357 trillion in external debt is a hefty 58.8 percent of gross domestic product. By comparison, the U.S. government takes in about $2 trillion annually in taxes and fees ...
From The Observer: Sunday October 12, 2003
Israel deploys nuclear arms in submarines
Peter Beaumont in London and Conal Urquhart in Jerusalem
Israeli and American officials have admitted collaborating to deploy US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines, giving the Middle East's only nuclear power the ability to strike at any of its Arab neighbours. ...
Also American Free Press 10/18/03: Israeli Subs Have Nukes Aimed at Iranian Sites
From Reuters at SMH.com.au: October 16, 2003 - 2:11PM
Space set to become war zone, warns US general
Space may become a war zone in the not-too-distant future, a senior US military officer said today, hours after China became only the third country after the US and the former Soviet Union to put a man in space. ...
From The NYT: October 16, 2003
Commission on 9/11 Attacks Issues Subpoena to the F.A.A. By PHILIP SHENON
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 — The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks announced on Wednesday that it had issued its first subpoena, to the Federal Aviation Administration, after discovering that the agency had withheld a variety of tapes and documents that were "highly material to our inquiry." The bipartisan commission also warned that it was considering subpoenas for material from other executive branch agencies and that the resulting delays could force it to extend its investigation beyond May, when it is supposed to complete its work. ...
In a statement, the 10-member commission said it learned within the last few days that "various tapes, statements, interview reports and agency self-assessments highly material to our inquiry inexplicably had not been included" in the materials from the aviation agency. "It is clear that the F.A.A.'s delay has significantly impeded the progress of our investigation," the statement said. ...
Government officials with knowledge of the commission's work said the panel and its staff were particularly alarmed by the discovery that they had not been provided with detailed transcripts and other information about communications on Sept. 11 between the the F.A.A. and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad, the unit of the Pentagon that is responsible for defending American air space. ...
From The NYT: October 17, 2003
Congress Approves $87 Billion Plan for Iraq and Afghanistan
By DAVID FIRESTONE and DAVID STOUT
ASHINGTON, Oct. 17 - Both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to approve an $87 billion package for the military campaigns and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...
From the Oakland Tribune: Sunday, October 19, 2003
Warfare at the speed of light By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER
At Democracy Now: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003
Noam Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance
Professor Noam Chomsky,
speaking at Illinois State University on October 7th, 2003 (52min)
At The Boston Review:
Dominance and Its Dilemmas The Bush administration’s Imperial Grand Strategy
by Noam Chomsky
From The Telegraph: (Filed: 26/10/2003)
Pentagon wants 'mini-nukes' to fight terrorists By Julian Coman in Washington
Influential advisers at the Pentagon are backing the development of a new generation of low-yield nuclear weapons - so-called mini-nukes - in a controversial report to be published this autumn. The document, entitled Future Strategic Strike Force, has been produced by the Defence Science Board, which has a Pentagon brief to "transform the nation's armed forces to meet the demands placed on them by a changing world order". ...
At Antiwar: October 27, 2003
A Holocaust in the Making by Paul Craig Roberts
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW: October 28, 2003
Bill Moyers is Insightful, Erudite, Impassioned, Brilliant and the Host of PBS' "NOW"
" ... The fact is that big money and big business, corporations and commerce, are the undisputed overlords of politics and government today. ... "
Russia Ready to Vaporize the Jewish State
And then kick America out of the Eastern Hemisphere’s oilfields
Copyright Joe Vialls, 28 October 2003
" ... About one month ago, Russia discreetly invoked MAD again, but this time in the Middle East in direct response to hysterical Israeli threats to nuke Iran with submarine-launched American Harpoon missiles. Quietly and with the minimum of fuss, Russia deployed its most advanced tactical nuclear missiles and crews to both Syria and Iran, thereby sending an unmistakable diplomatic signal that if Israel attacked Tehran or Damascus with nuclear weapons, Russia would in return instantly and anonymously vaporize the Jewish State.
This is not an idle or exaggerated threat. The Russian missile type deployed in Syria and Iran is the P270 Moskit [Mosquito], known in NATO circles as the SS-N-22 "Sunburn", once described by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher as "the most dangerous anti-ship missile in the Russian, and now the Chinese, fleet.” ... "
From AFP: Tue Nov 4, 2003 3:50 AM ET
Putin reaffirms Russia's right to preemptive strikes
MOSCOW (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed his position that Russia can resort to preemptive military strikes because the policy is also practiced by the United States. "If the principle of preventive use of force continues to develop in international practice, then Russia reserves the right to act in an analogous manner to defend its national interests," Putin said in an interview whose transcript was released Tuesday. "All nuclear powers are improving their nuclear potential and Russia will do the same," Putin said in an interview with Italian journalists ahead of this week's visit to Rome, according to Interfax. ...
From The Independent: 04 November 2003
US will deny aid to countries that refuse court immunity deals
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
The United States aims to secure agreements "with every country in the world" guaranteeing immunity for its citizens from any prosecution from the new International Criminal Court (ICC), and will cut off military aid to countries which do not comply. ...
From Asia Times: Nov. 5, 2003
World Bank backs Caspian pipeline By John Berthelsen
"The World Bank has approved funding of the world's longest pipeline, through the Caspian region, which will have environmental, political and strategic implications well beyond the pipeline itself."
Over the bitter objections of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the World Bank's private funding arm has okayed millions dollars of investment in a massive, controversial US$3.6 billion oilfield and pipeline development stretching across much of Central Asia. The investment by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides the impetus for a 1,760 kilometer pipeline, the world’s longest, snaking from Baku in Azerbaijan through Georgia to a new terminal at Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It also includes funding for the Aeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli Phase 1 oilfield. ... The pipeline, known as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project (BTC), has the potential to deliver a million barrels of crude a day to the Ceyhan terminal over the next 20 years, then to be shipped to global users via supertanker. ... The consortium building the pipeline, led by the British oil giant BP and including Italy’s Eni, Statoil of Norway, the US-based Unocal and France’s Total, is seeking around 70 percent of the total cost in loans. ... Ultimately, according to Berdzenishvili, the US envisaged the creation of a "grandiose communications highway" with oil and gas pipelines along the floor of the Caspian Sea by which Central Asian and Caspian oil and gas were to be transported to world markets. ... Construction has already begun on the Turkish portion of the pipelines. ...
From The White House: November 6, 2003 11:05 A.M. EST
President Bush Discusses Freedom in Iraq and Middle East
Remarks by the President at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, United States Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
" ... Our commitment to democracy is tested in countries like Cuba and Burma and North Korea and Zimbabwe -- outposts of oppression in our world. ... Communism, and militarism and rule by the capricious and corrupt are the relics of a passing era. ... Our commitment to democracy is tested in China. ... Our commitment to democracy is also tested in the Middle East, which is my focus today, and must be a focus of American policy for decades to come. In many nations of the Middle East -- countries of great strategic importance -- democracy has not yet taken root. ... Dictators in Iraq and Syria promised the restoration of national honor, a return to ancient glories. They've left instead a legacy of torture, oppression, misery, and ruin. ... Governments across the Middle East and North Africa are beginning to see the need for change. ... In Bahrain last year, citizens elected their own parliament for the first time in nearly three decades. Oman has extended the vote to all adult citizens; Qatar has a new constitution; Yemen has a multiparty political system; Kuwait has a directly elected national assembly; and Jordan held historic elections this summer. ... In Iran, the demand for democracy is strong and broad, as we saw last month when thousands gathered to welcome home Shirin Ebadi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The regime in Teheran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people, or lose its last claim to legitimacy. For the Palestinian people, the only path to independence and dignity and progress is the path of democracy. ... The Saudi government is taking first steps toward reform, including a plan for gradual introduction of elections. ... The great and proud nation of Egypt has shown the way toward peace in the Middle East, and now should show the way toward democracy in the Middle East. ... Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military -- so that governments respond to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite. ... Successful societies privatize their economies, and secure the rights of property. They prohibit and punish official corruption, and invest in the health and education of their people. They recognize the rights of women. ... These vital principles are being applie(d) in the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq. ... The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution. ... the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. ... the advance of freedom leads to peace. The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country. ... this is, above all, the age of liberty. ... "
From Reuters: Thu November 6, 2003 02:01 PM ET
Bush Challenges Iran, Syria, Egypt on Democracy By Steve Holland
From The Washington Post: Thursday, November 6, 2003; 3:11 PM
Bush: Iraq Part of 'Global Democratic Revolution'
Liberation of Middle East Portrayed as Continuation of Reagan's Policies
By Fred Barbash, Washington Post Staff Writer
From The New Hampshire Gazette Vol. 248, No. 3, November 7, 2003
“Bush - Nazi Dealings Continued Until 1951” - Federal Documents
By John Buchanan and Stacey Michael
From American Free Press: Nov. 7
Countdown to Armageddon? Are the Israelis willing to start World War III?
Exclusive to American Free Press By M. Raphael Johnson
From AP: Fri Nov 7, 6:51 PM ET
9-11 Commission Votes to Subpoena Pentagon
By LAURENCE ARNOLD, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks voted Friday to subpoena the Pentagon for documents related to the activities of U.S. air defenses on the day of the terrorist hijackings. The independent commission said it was "especially dismayed" by incomplete document production on the part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, the part of the Defense Department responsible for protecting North American airspace. ...
From MoveOn: November 9, 2003
FREEDOM AND SECURITY By Al Gore
" ... I want to challenge the Bush Administration’s implicit assumption that we have to give up many of our traditional freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists. Because it is simply not true. In fact, in my opinion, it makes no more sense to launch an assault on our civil liberties as the best way to get at terrorists than it did to launch an invasion of Iraq as the best way to get at Osama Bin Laden. In both cases, the Administration has attacked the wrong target. In both cases they have recklessly put our country in grave and unnecessary danger, while avoiding and neglecting obvious and much more important challenges that would actually help to protect the country. In both cases, the administration has fostered false impressions and misled the nation with superficial, emotional and manipulative presentations that are not worthy of American Democracy. In both cases they have exploited public fears for partisan political gain and postured themselves as bold defenders of our country while actually weakening not strengthening America. In both cases, they have used unprecedented secrecy and deception in order to avoid accountability to the Congress, the Courts, the press and the people. Indeed, this Administration has turned the fundamental presumption of our democracy on its head. A government of and for the people is supposed to be generally open to public scrutiny by the people -- while the private information of the people themselves should be routinely protected from government intrusion. By closely guarding information about their own behavior, they are dismantling a fundamental element of our system of checks and balances. Because so long as the government’s actions are secret, they cannot be held accountable. A government for the people and by the people must be transparent to the people. ...
Where Civil Liberties are concerned, they have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, “Big Brother”-style government -- toward the dangers prophesized by George Orwell in his book “1984” -- than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of America. And they have done it primarily by heightening and exploiting public anxieties and apprehensions. Rather than leading with a call to courage, this Administration has chosen to lead us by inciting fear. ... Rather than defending our freedoms, this Administration has sought to abandon them. Rather than accepting our traditions of openness and accountability, this Administration has opted to rule by secrecy and unquestioned authority. ... This Administration simply does not seem to agree that the challenge of preserving democratic freedom cannot be met by surrendering core American values. Incredibly, this Administration has attempted to compromise the most precious rights that America has stood for all over the world for more than 200 years: due process, equal treatment under the law, the dignity of the individual, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from promiscuous government surveillance. And in the name of security, this Administration has attempted to relegate the Congress and the Courts to the sidelines and replace our democratic system of checks and balances with an unaccountable Executive. And all the while, it has constantly angled for new ways to exploit the sense of crisis for partisan gain and political dominance. ...
... will we continue to live as a people under the rule of law as embodied in our Constitution? Or will we fail future generations, by leaving them a Constitution far diminished from the charter of liberty we have inherited from our forebears? ... "
From AP: Mon Nov 10, 6:37 PM ET
U.S. Faces Up to $2.2B in EU Sanctions
By NAOMI KOPPEL, Associated Press Writer
GENEVA - The United States is facing up to $2.2 billion in European Union trade sanctions within weeks after a World Trade Organization appeals panel ruled Monday that U.S. tariffs on imported steel are illegal. ... In addition to the European Union, complaints were filed by Japan, South Korea, Norway, Switzerland, China, New Zealand and Brazil. All of those countries also could now seek to impose sanctions on U.S. imports if the duties are not removed, and Tokyo already has warned it may retaliate. ...
From The Independent: 11 November 2003
US goods set to double in price as Europe plans huge trade war
By Stephen Castle in Brussels
American jeans, Florida orange juice and dozens of other US products could double in price from next month because of a growing transatlantic trade war. ... The EU says its sanctions, amounting to $2.2bn (£1.5bn) a year, will come into force on 15 December unless Washington drops its steel duties. The sanctions would be the biggest in the history of the WTO. ... The EU has threatened to impose another set of sanctions against Washington from next spring if it does not repeal tax breaks for American exporters. ...
From LAWeekly: NOVEMBER 14 - 20, 2003
The take-no-prisoners social critic skewers Bush, Ashcroft and the whole damn lot of us for letting despots rule.
by Marc Cooper
Gore Vidal: " ... Ours is a totally corrupt society. The presidency is for sale. Whoever raises the most money to buy TV time will probably be the next president. This is corruption on a major scale. Enron was an eye-opener to naive lovers of modern capitalism. Our accounting brotherhood, in its entirety, turned out to be corrupt, on the take. With the government absolutely colluding with them and not giving a damn. ... Once you have a business community that is so corrupt in a society whose business is business, then what you have is, indeed, despotism. It is the sort of authoritarian rule that the Bush people have given us. The USA PATRIOT Act is as despotic as anything Hitler came up with — even using much of the same language. ... We have a deranged president. We have despotism. We have no due process. ... "
Speaking of elections, is George W. Bush going to be re-elected next year?
"No. At least if there is a fair election, an election that is not electronic. ... If we use old-fashioned paper ballots and have them counted in the precinct where they are cast, he will be swept from office. ... "
How do you think the current war in Iraq is going to play out?
"I think we will go down the tubes right with it. With each action Bush ever more enrages the Muslims. And there are a billion of them. And sooner or later they will have a Saladin who will pull them together, and they will come after us. And it won’t be pretty."
From The NYT: November 14, 2003
Deal on 9/11 Briefings Lets White House Edit Papers By PHILIP SHENON
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 — The commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks said on Thursday that its deal with the White House for access to highly classified Oval Office intelligence reports would let the White House edit the documents before they were released to the commission's representatives. The agreement, announced on Wednesday, has led to the first public split on the commission. Two Democrats on the 10-member panel say that the commission should have demanded full access to the intelligence summaries, known as the President's Daily Brief, and that the White House should not be allowed to determine what is relevant to the investigation. An umbrella group of victims' families joined the criticism, saying the terms of the accord should be public. ...
From The Observer: Sunday November 16, 2003
'Shoot-to-kill' demand by US Martin Bright, home affairs editor
Home Secretary David Blunkett has refused to grant diplomatic immunity to armed American special agents and snipers travelling to Britain as part of President Bush's entourage this week. ... The issue of immunity is one of a series of extraordinary US demands turned down by Ministers and Downing Street during preparations for the Bush visit. These included the closure of the Tube network, the use of US air force planes and helicopters and the shipping in of battlefield weaponry to use against rioters. ...
From The Independent: 18 November 2003
Livingstone says Bush is 'greatest threat to life on planet'
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, launched a stinging attack on President George Bush last night, denouncing him as the "greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen". ... "The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction." ...
From Reuters: Wed November 19, 2003 04:51 PM ET
Bush, in London, Defends Iraq War and Chides Europe
By Randall Mikkelsen and Jeremy Lovell
LONDON (Reuters) - President Bush chided his critics in Europe Wednesday and said the United Nations risked extinction unless it showed the sort of Anglo-American backbone that toppled Saddam Hussein. ...
From AP: Wed Nov 19, 3:25 AM ET
Israel Now a Top Defense Exporter By PETER ENAV, Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM - With an arsenal ranging from the Uzi to attack drones and airborne early warning systems, Israel has quietly transformed itself into one of the world's top defense exporters. Defense News has ranked Israel as No. 3 based on 2002 contracts, and an Israeli expert told The Associated Press the country was now considered to be in the top five. Growing sales to Turkey and India, two major new markets for Israel, have driven the surge. ...
From the HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS,
BEFORE THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, November 21, 2003
Conscription- The Terrible Price of War
From NewsMax: Friday, Nov. 21, 2003
Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack
John O. Edwards, NewsMax.com
Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government. ...
From The NYT: November 23, 2003
F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies By ERIC LICHTBLAU
WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has collected extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators and has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at protests to its counterterrorism squads, according to interviews and a confidential bureau memorandum. ...
From Reuters: Sat November 22, 2003 09:20 PM ET
FBI Collecting Data on Anti-War Groups -NYT
From The Independent: 23 November 2003
Sweeping new emergency laws to counter UK terror By Andy McSmith, Political Editor
Sweeping measures to deal with terrorist attacks and other emergencies are to be announced this week, giving the Government power to over-ride civil liberties in times of crisis, and evacuate threatened areas, restrict people's movements and confiscate property. The Civil Contingencies Bill, which covers every kind of disaster from terrorism to the weather, will be the biggest shake-up of emergency laws since the early part of the last century, replacing legislation which saw the UK through a world war and the IRA bombing campaign. Some of the proposals in the draft version of the Bill, drawn up in the summer, have alarmed civil rights activists, notably a clause that gives the Government the power to suspend parts or all of the Human Rights Act without a vote by MPs. Once an emergency has been proclaimed by the Queen, the Government can order the destruction of property, order people to evacuate an area or ban them from travelling, and "prohibit assemblies of specified kinds" and "other specified activities". ...
From The Washington Post: Monday, November 24, 2003; Page A01
Alarms Sounded On Cost of GOP Bills Lawmakers Increase Spending to Win Votes
By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writer
As Congress rushes to conclude its 2003 session, Republican leaders are trying to garner votes for controversial legislation by loading the bills with billions of dollars in added costs that analysts said would expand the budget deficit for years to come. The year-end binge has alarmed analysts in Washington and on Wall Street, coming as it does after three years of presidential and congressional initiatives that have both substantially boosted government spending and shrunk its tax base. "The U.S. budget is out of control," the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs & Co. warned Friday in its weekly newsletter to clients. ...
From The Baltimore Independent Media: 25 Nov 2003
CHERYL SEAL ALERT:
Bush Pentagon Announces Plans to Orbit Monstrous Space Bomber
by Cheryl Seal
On November 17, a page-one story in "Space News International" announced that NASA (in cahoots with the Pentagon) has laid plans to revive the X-37 space plane, which it will now send into orbit for 270 days. This trial period, says SNI, was "originally set by the US Air Force as a way to begin proving the feasibility of orbiting Earth with camera- and bomb-laden space planes for months at a time....The Air Force's 270-day requirement stemmed from a proposed space warfare strategy of global strike that Air Force space planners have pushed hard inside the Pentagon in recent years (read "since the Bush junta took over")." This scheme represents nothing less than a colossally arrogant, power-drunk bid for total global dominance. The scheme calls for the creation of a fleet of unpiloted space planes that would be able to stay in orbit, circling the planet with bombs and spy cameras for months at a time. This scheme represents nothing less than a colossally arrogant, power-drunk bid for total global dominance. The scheme calls for the creation of a fleet of unpiloted space panes that would be able to stay in orbit, circling the planet with bombs and spy cameras for months at a time. ...
From Northrop Grumman at PrimeZone Media Network: Nov. 25, 2003
Northrop Grumman Takes Aim at Hypersonic Weapon Delivery System
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will help the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force develop a concept for a high-speed, unmanned aircraft and related "glide weapons" that could deliver conventional, non-nuclear weapons from the U.S. to anywhere on the globe in about two hours. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Nov 27, 2003
Bombing Anywhere On Earth In Less Than Two Hours
Washington - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the US Air Force share a vision of a new transformational capability that aims to provide a means of delivering a substantial payload from within the continental United States (CONUS) to anywhere on Earth in less than two hours. ...
From The BBC: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 14:33 GMT
Shevardnadze says US betrayed him
Ousted Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze has accused the US of helping to remove him from power. Mr Shevardnadze said he could not understand why he had been abandoned after giving Washington full support in foreign policy, including on Iraq. His comments came as President George W Bush telephoned acting president Nino Burjanadze to say he was sending a delegation "to assess Georgia's needs". He said he wanted to help her democratic and free-market reforms. ...
From Reuters: Dec 2, 7:27 pm ET
Bush Raises Steel Money Before Tariff Decision By Randall Mikkelsen
PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - President Bush picked up $850,000 in campaign contributions in America's steel industry heartland on Tuesday even as he prepared to lift tariffs that have been helping steelmakers. ... Administration officials said they still expected Bush to announce a decision this week, possibly on Thursday, to lift the tariffs, in place since March 2002 and ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization. If he does not, the European Union has vowed to retaliate on $2.2 billion worth of U.S. exports. ... "The American economy is strong, and it is getting stronger," Bush said. ...
Government By Illusion Of Normalcy By Stan Moore 12-2-3
"There can be no doubt that the wealthy, corporate elite expects an
eventual die-off of economies and masses of humans around the world.
They are rigging the situation to survive while the masses perish." ...
"The highest-level participants in the U.S. Government, of both political
parties, are not stupid. They know the depth and breadth of the massive
problems facing our nation and our civilization. And, rather than solve
these systemic problems, they are instead implementing a policy of
illusions of normalcy, security, and prosperity so that the wealthy
ruling elite can siphon and skim the most personal wealth from the
economy until the sh*t hits the fan. Then, it will be every man for
himself, with the wealthy having rigged the national security forces to
protect their own physical interests and security while the "Big
Collapse" of industrial civilization thins out the masses of the "common
people". ... "
At Information Clearing House: 12/02/03
Noam Chomsky, Interview: 'Of course, it was all about Iraq's resources'
Edited excerpts of an interview with Noam Chomsky
by Simon Mars of Dubai's Business Channel
Comment at The Guardian: Tuesday December 2, 2003
Bottom of the barrel By George Monbiot
The world is running out of oil - so why do politicians refuse to talk about it?
From The International Herald Tribune: Wednesday, December 3, 2003
Dismantling U.S. democracy By Charles Levendosky (NYT)
CASPER, Wyoming: There's a disturbing irony in a U.S. administration that claims it intends to establish democracy in Iraq - yet all the while systematically dismantling democracy at home. ...
From AFP at SpaceDaily: Dec 04, 2003
Northrop Grumman Wins Billion Dollar Missile Defense Program
Los Angeles - The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) today awarded a Northrop Grumman and Raytheon team the Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) contract, which is to provide the U.S. with the ability to destroy hostile missiles at their most vulnerable stage, the boost/ascent phase of flight. Led by Northrop Grumman, the industry team will develop and test this critical boost phase element of the Agency's global layered missile defense system. The KEI contract is valued at more than $4 billion over eight years. ...
From AP: Dec 5, 9:28 AM (ET)
Rumsfeld Offers U.S. Support for Georgia By ROBERT BURNS
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pledged full U.S. support Friday for this former Soviet republic and said Russia is obliged to withdraw its troops as promised. Rumsfeld met with Georgia's interim leadership, including the acting president, Nino Burdzhanadze. He was the first member of President Bush's cabinet to come here since election protests forced Eduard Shevardnadze to resign the presidency last month. ... The Bush administration is concerned about what it sees as a growing effort by Russia to exert its influence in Georgia and elsewhere in the Caucasus and Central Asia. ...
At The World Socialist Web Site: 5 December 2003
Georgia’s “rose revolution”: a made-in-America coup
By Barry Grey and Vladimir Volkov
Oil intrigue and US Realpolitik heighten tensions in the Caucasus
Comment at The Guardian: Saturday December 6, 2003
A very Georgian coup By Charlotte Keatley
The people are the biggest losers in the 'democratic revolution'
From The Washington Post: Saturday, December 6, 2003; Page A13
Georgia Asks Rumsfeld for Aid By Bradley Graham, Washington Post Staff Writer
TBILISI, Georgia, Dec. 5 -- Georgia's new leaders appealed to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Friday for U.S. financial aid to help pay the salaries of the country's military, which played a critical role in the peaceful overthrow last month of Eduard Shevardnadze. ... Georgia is strategically important to the United States, both to balance Russian influence in this volatile region and as the location of a planned oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Turkey and Mediterranean ports. ...
From The Washington Post: Saturday, December 6, 2003; Page A01
Army Will Face Dip in Readiness 4 Divisions Need to Regroup After Iraq
By Vernon Loeb, Washington Post Staff Writer
Four Army divisions -- 40 percent of the active-duty force -- will not be fully combat-ready for up to six months next year, leaving the nation with relatively few ready troops in the event of a major conflict in North Korea or elsewhere, a senior Army official said yesterday. ...
From The San Francisco Chronicle: Sunday, December 7, 2003
A new era of nuclear weapons Bush's buildup begins with little debate in Congress
By James Sterngold, Chronicle Staff Writer
Congress, with only a limited debate, has given the Bush administration a green light for the biggest revitalization of the country's nuclear weapons program since the end of the Cold War, leaving many Democrats and even some hawkish Republicans seething. "This has been a good year," said Linton Brooks, the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, which develops and manages the country's nuclear weapons arsenal. "I'm pretty happy we essentially got what we wanted." Reversing a decade of restraint in nuclear weapons policy, Congress agreed to provide more than $6 billion for research, expansion and upgrades in the country's nuclear capabilities. While Congress approved large sums to maintain the existing nuclear arsenal even during the Clinton years, this year's increases will finance multiyear programs to design a new generation of warheads as well as more sophisticated missiles, bombers and re-entry vehicles to deliver them. ...
... the administration is seeking a new stockpile of both some Cold War-era warheads and new, smaller weapons that can be used for limited attacks and for destroying caches of weapons of mass destruction, especially in buried bunkers, without causing indiscriminate destruction and loss of life. It has also proposed a policy of possible pre-emptive first use of nuclear weapons in emergencies, even against non-nuclear states. A recent study entitled "Missiles of Empire: America's 21st Century Global Legions," by Lichterman of the Western States Legal Foundation highlights not only the administration's push for new kinds of warheads, but also the billions it is planning to spend on reducing the time it would take to launch a nuclear strike and on a new generation of missile re-entry vehicles, among other things. The re-entry vehicles would allow the military to steer warheads toward targets, even moving targets, entering the atmosphere from space. ...
... the administration succeeded in pushing through the repeal of the law banning the development of smaller, more usable low-yield warheads, and it got approval to begin research into advanced weapons concepts for the future. ...
From The BBC: Monday, 8 December, 2003, 18:09 GMT
Ailing dollar falls to record low
From Tompaine.com: December 9, 2003
Baker Takes The Whole Loaf By Greg Palast
From the Lawyers' Commitee on Nuclear Policy, Inc.: December 9, 2003
The Shameful U.S. Record in 2003 Disarmament Votes at the United Nations
By John Burroughs
On December 8, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly voted on this year’s resolutions on disarmament and security. The United States consistently voted against the most important resolutions on nuclear and space disarmament:
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: The United States cast the only vote against this resolution calling for bringing the CTBT into force. It was adopted by a vote of 173 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
Path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons: The United States and India were the only countries to vote against this resolution. Sponsored by Japan, it calls for compliance with the program for transparent, verified, and irreversible reduction and elimination of nuclear forces agreed by all states (including the United States) participating in the 2000 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference. It was adopted by a vote of 164 to 2, with 14 abstentions.
New Agenda for a nuclear-weapon-free world: Sponsored by Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden and South Africa, this resolution centers on a call for compliance with the 2000 NPT program and also addresses missile defenses, weaponization of outer space, and reduction of non-strategic weapons. It was adopted by a vote of 128 to 6, with 41 abstentions. The negative votes came from the United States, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
Obligation of nuclear disarmament: Paragraph one of the resolution on follow-up to the 1996 opinion of the International Court of Justice underlines the Court’s unanimous conclusion that there is an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations on nuclear disarmament in all its aspects. In a separate vote, the paragraph was approved by a vote of 165 to 4, with 3 abstentions. The four countries voting no were the United States, France, Israel, and Russia.
Prevention of an arms race in outer space: This resolution calling for negotiations to prevent the weaponization of space was overwhelmingly adopted by a vote of 174 to zero. Four countries abstained: the United States, Israel, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.
From AFP at SpaceWar: Dec 10, 2003
US tells Russia of plans for eastward military expansion
MOSCOW (AFP) - A top US official told Moscow on Wednesday that Washington planned to expand its military bases into eastern Europe and ex-Soviet territories and hoped that Russia would not take it as an aggressive act. ... The US military message was delivered by Marc Grossman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, to both the Russian foreign ministry as well as top officials in the country's security council and the general chiefs of staff. ... Grossman said the idea of a US eastward push was formalized by US President George W. Bush on Monday and that he was sent to Moscow for urgent negotiations as a result. ... Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told a meeting of counterparts from former Soviet republics that Moscow had no intention of accepting Washington's military encroachment of its borders. "Any plans for the expansion of NATO military infrastructure up to our border prompts very obvious concern," Ivanov said. ...
From The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 12/11/2003
CONGRESS Democracy crumbles under cover of darkness By SHERROD BROWN
House Republicans bend rules, press for votes during wee hours to escape the light of accountability. - Commentary by U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown, Democrat
From The Associated Press at ABC News: Dec. 12
Trade Deficit With China at Record High
Americans Snap Up Foreign Goods, Push Deficit With China to Record High Despite Rising Exports
WASHINGTON — Americans' demand for imported goods everything from cars and clothing to those hot toys for Christmas climbed to an all-time high in October, in the process creating a record U.S. trade deficit with China. ... Democrats campaigning to replace President Bush have seized on the soaring trade deficits and the 2.8 million jobs lost in manufacturing over the last three years as evidence the administration's economic policies are failing. ...
From The Washington Post: Sunday, December 14, 2003; Page A01
Dean Working to Be Seen as Foreign Policy Centrist
He and Bush Differ Widely on Some Issues, on Others Only in Tone
By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Staff Writer
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said he would offer a package deal to North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programs and he embraced an unofficial peace plan that establishes the borders of a Palestinian state -- breaking dramatically with the approaches of the Bush administration. Dean, who has risen to the top of the Democratic field in part because of his early and vehement opposition to the war in Iraq, also said he favors immediate elections in Iraq to replace the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, which he said is viewed by the average Iraqi as "simply a council of American-chosen puppets." Dean further said he would end funding for the deployment of a missile defense system, a centerpiece of President Bush's presidential campaign four years ago. ...
From Reuters: Monday, December 15, 2003 12:08 p.m. ET
Supreme Court to Hear Cheney Energy Task Force Case By Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear Vice President Dick Cheney's arguments for keeping his energy task force papers secret, a battle he has fought in lower courts for more than two years. ... The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case in the spring next year, with a decision due by the end of June.
From Lyndon LaRouche: Dec. 16
LaRouche: 50% Collapse Of The Dollar Signals Bankruptcy Of The Nation
At a Dec. 12 international webcast from Washington, D.C. Democratic Party pre-candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche began by addressing the accelerating collapse of the U.S dollar and the descent of the nation into bankruptcy ... "Since the new European currency was introduced, the value of the U.S. dollar has dropped by almost 50%, most of that directly under the present Bush Administration. In the most recent period, the rate of collapse of the dollar has accelerated, so that the most recent phase, short-term phase, has been a 20% collapse--and it hasn't stopped collapsing, yet. ... We're on the verge of a total collapse. The breaking point could come at any moment. ... we're on the verge of the greatest financial collapse known to any of you. And it's coming on soon. ... "
From CBS News: Dec. 17, 2003
9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable
NEW YORK, (CBS) - For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented ...
From The Washington Post: Thursday, December 18, 2003; Page A05
White House Web Scrubbing - Offending Comments on Iraq Disappear From Site
By Dana Milbank, Washington Post Staff Writer
It's not quite Soviet-style airbrushing, but the Bush administration has been using cyberspace to make some of its own cosmetic touch-ups to history. White House officials were steamed when Andrew S. Natsios, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said earlier this year that U.S. taxpayers would not have to pay more than $1.7 billion to reconstruct Iraq -- which turned out to be a gross understatement of the tens of billions of dollars the government now expects to spend. Recently, however, the government has purged the offending comments by Natsios from the agency's Web site. The transcript, and links to it, have vanished. This is not the first time the administration has done some creative editing of government Web sites. After the insurrection in Iraq proved more stubborn than expected, the White House edited the original headline on its Web site of President Bush's May 1 speech, "President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended," to insert the word "Major" before combat. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, administration Web sites have been scrubbed for anything vaguely sensitive, and passwords are now required to access even much unclassified information. ...
From The Financial Times (UK): December 20 2003 4:00
Budget auditors warn on soaring US public debt By Alan Beattie in Washington
The US is facing a future of widening government deficits and soaring public debt unless it radically reins in spending or increases taxes, according to a report published yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO, a non-partisan agency of Congress, said that even if recent time-limited tax cuts were allowed to expire in coming years, the growing burden of funding Social Security and Medicare, the federal programmes aimed at retirees, were likely to prove unsustainable. "Unless taxation reaches levels that are unprecedented in the United States, current spending policies will probably be financially unsustainable over the next 50 years," the CBO concluded. ...
From Reuters: Sunday, December 21, 2003 4:09 p.m. ET
U.S. Raises Terror Alert, Threat Could Rival 9/11 By Adam Entous and Donna Smith
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government raised its terror alert to the second highest level on Sunday and warned Americans that terrorists might launch attacks in the United States around the holidays on a scale that could "rival or exceed" Sept. 11, 2001.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, in announcing the change along with plans to bolster security at airports and border check points, said the threat may be "greater now than at any point" since the Sept. 11 attacks. Officials cited intelligence that extremists were still interested in using airplanes -- as al Qaeda did to strike the World Trade Center and Pentagon more than two years ago, killing nearly 3,000 people.
Announcing the shift to "high" risk from "elevated" risk, Ridge did not go into detail on extra protective measures that would be triggered but said, "There is additional risk and we are going to do additional things to combat the risk." He said all federal departments and agencies were implementing "action plans" and said security had also been enhanced at key points including the nation's airports. "We will redeploy agents and other resources at our borders to meet the current threat. There will be more Coast Guard air and sea patrols off our shores, in our ports and escorting ships," Ridge said.
... "If you've got travel plans, travel," he said. ...
From AP: Dec. 21, 2003 4:19PM (ET)
Nation's Threat Level Rising to Orange By JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The government on Sunday raised the national threat level to orange, indicating a high risk of terrorist attack, and said threat indicators are "perhaps greater now than at any point" since Sept. 11, 2001, with strikes possible during the holidays. ... The threat information comes from multiple, credible sources but officials are unaware of a specific target or means of attack, added a senior law enforcement official. Some of the intercepted communications and other intelligence mentions New York, Washington and unspecified cities on the West Coast, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Authorities also are concerned about dams, bridges, nuclear plants, chemical facilities and other public works. ...
From The LA Times: Tue Dec 23, 2:54 AM ET
Observers Fault U.S. for Pursuing Mini-Nukes By Douglas Frantz, Times Staff Writer
VIENNA — Research on a new generation of precision atomic weapons by the Bush administration threatens to undermine international efforts to stop the spread of nuclear arms and to tarnish recent successes, according to diplomats and nonproliferation experts. The criticism focuses on the administration's decision to lay the groundwork for developing low-yield weapons — known as mini-nukes — while pursuing President Bush's doctrine of preemptive strikes against rogue states. The diplomats and independent experts said Washington's strategy weakens support for more stringent controls at a time when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty faces serious challenges from North Korea and Iran and amid widespread fears of terrorists acquiring atomic weapons. The U.S. strategy, critics say, may cause other countries to pursue nuclear arms. "The U.S. follows a double standard that allows it to develop and threaten to use nuclear weapons while denying them to smaller countries," said Hussein Haniff, Malaysia's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. "We do not know whether the nuclear nonproliferation treaty can survive with these U.S. policies." ...
At NBC, MSNBC and news services: 8:57 p.m. ET Dec. 23, 2003
Intelligence: Bin Laden behind new terror threat
U.S. ferreting out plot in significant detail, officials tell NBC News
New intelligence information indicates that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his top deputy personally approved the suspected terrorist attack plan that led the government to raise the nation's terror threat assessment this week, U.S. officials told NBC News on Tuesday. ...
From CBS.MarketWatch.com: 6:57 AM ET Dec. 24, 2003
Japan bans imports of U.S. beef Seven Asian areas take steps following mad cow case
By Allen Wan
TOKYO (CBS.MW) -- Japan, America's biggest beef export market, has decided to ban imports of U.S. beef and beef products following a case of mad-cow disease in Washington state, an official from Japan's agriculture ministry said Wednesday. "We decided this already in the morning," he told CBS MarketWatch. "We will continue the ban until the U.S. proves that its beef is safe." In Asia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong all followed suit. And Russia also announced that it would ban imports of U.S. beef, according to a report from Russian news agency Interfax. The European Union said it was not taking any additional measures in part because a partial ban on U.S. beef already exists due to growth hormone concerns, Dow Jones reported. ...
The Asian import restrictions will be a huge blow to the U.S. beef industry, whose overall exports totaled $3.2 billion last year, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. ...
A Comment at Rense.com: 12-25-03
A Truly Wide-Awake American (From Name Wittheld)(sic)
" ... As a free nation, the United States is done. Via the pre-planned "inside job" 9-11, and the subsequent Patriot Acts, Dept of Homeland Security, Presidential Executive Orders, and new "enforcement" laws buried deep in legislation passed by our "zombied" Congress, the peoples of the United States are being placed under increased "lockdown", and, with another pre-planned 9-11 looming on the horizon, the endgame is total lockdown. Hitler's concentration camps for the Jews and other undesirables will pale in comparison for what the U.S. government has in store for its "undesirables". ...
" ... For 9-11 to have happened was more than whatever Bin Laden could have dreamed up or even financed. Bin Laden, as powerful as he certainly is in his own right, does not, however, have the power to cause the United States Air Defenses to "stand down" and "delay" during the aircraft hijackings and subsequent attacks. That kind of power could only come from "within" the United States and would take enormous amounts of money to plan 9-11 and to guarantee the cooperation and silence of the many players and participants, at whatever levels of their respective operations. ...
" ... The deaths of 2700+ U.S. citizens (via the felling of the Twin Towers) was but nickel-and-dime for what would be gained by the conspirators - oil, drugs, and continued world dominance of Federal Reserve Notes as the world's reserve and oil-exchange currency. ...
" ... The parallels between pre-Nazi Germany to Nazi Germany, and pre-"9-11" America to "9-11" America, are striking. Hitler may have been defeated, but Nazism has lived on in, and has finally conquered, the "land of the free and home of the brave". (If you have any doubts about Nazism in America, do a Google on "Operation Paper Clip" and "Operation Keelhaul", and Prescott Bush.) ...
" ... Another 9-11 is unavoidable, as the first was carefully planned by insiders, so too will the next, in order to finish the final stages of the "coup" against the one nation on earth which could stop the NWO in its tracks, but now no longer can. Any who resist will be "terminated"! ... "
At The Propaganda Matrix:
THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS
Prior Knowledge and Government Involvement in the
Terrorist Attacks of September 11th 2001, By Paul Joseph Watson
At Rense.com from The Telegraph: 12-31-3
US Hawks Present War Manifesto To Bush
Tell Bush How To Win War On Terror, By David Rennie
"WASHINGTON -- President George W Bush was sent a public manifesto yesterday by Washington's hawks, demanding regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites. The manifesto, presented as a "manual for victory" in the war on terror, also calls for Saudi Arabia and France to be treated not as allies but as rivals and possibly enemies. The manifesto is contained in a new book by Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser and "intellectual guru" of the hardline neo-conservative movement, and David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter. They give warning of a faltering of the "will to win" in Washington. ...
" ... the book urges a Cuba-style military blockade and overt preparations for war, including the rapid pullback of US forces from the inter-Korean border so that they move out of range of North Korean artillery. Such steps, with luck, will prompt China to oust its nominal ally, Kim Jong-il, and install a saner regime in North Korea, the authors write. The authoritarian rule of Syria's leader, Bashar Assad, should also be ended, encouraged by shutting oil supplies from Iraq, seizing arms he buys from Iran, and raids into Syria to hunt terrorists. The authors urge Mr Bush to "tell the truth about Saudi Arabia". Wealthy Saudis, some of them royal princes, fund al-Qa'eda, they write. ... The book calls for tough action against France and its dreams of offsetting US power. "We should force European governments to choose between Paris and Washington," it states. ... "
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At Information Clearing House:
9-11: Road to Tyranny By Alex Jones (RealOne Video, 2hr22min)