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Maravot News of the World
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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F

Click on image for org. to impeach Bush & Cheney. Click here for talking points paper pdf. file download.

Federal Debt vs GDP– Click image for larger view. (OMB)

Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits with Presidents. Democrat administrations are blue, Republican in Red. Green reflects projected Bush debt. Click chart for larger image.

Interest exceeds Group A outlays. Click chart for larger image.

Gross Domestic Products. Click here for image.

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Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
lead to his destruction
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment



August 1996

Maps of interest
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Bulgaria and neighbors
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Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s interactive map below of its controversial security wall

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view or here for interactive link.

(AP photo) Click photo for story

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Mel West

Maravot's Protest against
Bush consortium:

Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat
Tapestry of One – on the creed of Buddha,
Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993
Quest for Human Dignity, July 1994
What Price Justice? Sept. 1992

I am not responsible for the
content of any links
from this site.

Question: Has Bush caused the US to be outflanked?

The main Trend we have seen at Maravot News is that Bush's hostile policies worldwide have created new alliances among the EU, China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Also, the Monroe Doctrine is being challenged in South America.

News Headlines & Trends

02.20.06 US envoy assails Iran's role in Iraq

BAGHDAD, February 20 – Iran is playing "a negative role" in Iraq by providing weapons, training and other support to militias and insurgent groups that interfere in Iraqi politics, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said at a news conference on Monday. "I have said to Iraqis that we do not seek to impose our differences with Iran on them," Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said. "But we do not want Iranian interference in Iraq." [More>>]

02.20.06 Deadly blasts rock Baghdad, Mosul

February 20 – A bomber strapped with explosives has blown himself up on a bus in central Baghdad killing at least 12 people, while explosions elsewhere in Iraq have killed at least another eight people. The attack on the bus in the mostly Shia Muslim al-Kadhimiya district on Monday wounded at least nine people, sources added. Earlier during the day, an explosion occurred shortly before 8am near Liberation Square in al-Bab al-Sharqi area in Baghdad where a group of men were waiting near stands serving tea and sandwiches. Lieutenant Ali Mutib said the blast killed at least four workers and wounded 14 other people, including one policeman. [More>>]

02.20.06 US seeks Georgian help for Iran strike

February 20, 17:25 – American officials have been quietly probing whether Georgia, situated just northwest of Iran, will be willing to allow Washington to use its military bases and airfields in the event of a military conflict with Teheran, The Jerusalem Post has been told. The Americans have been putting out feelers, a high-ranking Georgian government foreign affairs official told the Post, in advance of a possible military strike to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. [More>>Jerusalem Post ; See story, "Georgia denies bases option for US operation against Iran" : TBILISI (RIA Novosti) February 20, 18:50 – Georgia's top military officer denied a media report Monday that the United States was considering using military bases in Georgia for a possible attack on Iran. "This is utterly absurd," said Levan Nikoleishvili, the chief of the General Staff. The report appeared Monday in Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper, which cited an anonymous source in the Georgian government as saying that Georgia, to the northwest of Iran, could give the U.S. access to its airbases and other facilities if it decided to press ahead with action...]

02.20.06 Update, 02.19.06 Iran recruits suicide bombers to fight "Global Blasphemy"

TEHRAN, Iran, February 19 – A group affiliated to Iranıs Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps launched a new recruitment drive for suicide bombers in Tehran to fight against "Global Blasphemy," state-run news agencies reported. The Mehr news agency carried a report on Saturday saying that an event entitled "Analysis of ways to act against the offensive of Global Blasphemy² was held in Tehran to mark the anniversary of the fatwa, or religious edict, by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for the murder of the Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie. The conference agenda was dominated by the row over the publication of cartoons of Islamıs Prophet Muhammad.

Mohammad-Ali Samadi, spokesman for the Headquarters to Commemorate the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, a government-orchestrated campaign to recruit suicide bombers, told the meeting that more that 52,000 "volunteers for martyrdom-seeking operations" have been registered by his organisation, which also calls itself "Esteshıhadioun," or martyrdom-seekers.

The group was set up by Iranıs Revolutionary Guards in 2004. Those who join have three choices: To carry out suicide attacks against "the infidels occupying Iraq," against Israel, or against Salman Rushdie.
[ ; See update, February 20,, "Iranian students plot anti-US suicide attacks."]

02.19.06 Rallies banned in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, February 19 – The government on Saturday announced a complete ban on organizing "rallies and demonstrations" in Islamabad with the opposition parties in continued protest against blasphemous cartoons are all set to defy the restriction here today (Sunday) despite arrests of activists. "The MMA has been informed about the governmentıs decision in security point of view," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told a news conference here after Interior Ministry formally conveyed the decision to Majlis leadership. On the contrary, the MMA, backed by ARD parties, gave a strong statement to stage the rally in Islamabad at all cost and the government will be responsible for any untoward incident if the activists are stopped.

The MMA Secretary General and Opposition Leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, talking to newsmen, denounced the government decision and demanded that the ban should be lifted immediately otherwise the rulers will be responsible for any untoward situation. With the arrest of 30-35 religious alliance activists from Pindi-Islamabad and enhanced security measures, some of the MMA leaders may also be detained by the law enforcers to avoid a law and order situation.

02.19.06 Iran cracks down on Sufis: hundreds remain jailed

TEHRAN, Iran, February 19 – Iran Focus has obtained a partial list of names of Islamic mystics arrested during a protest in the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran, earlier this week. Islamic mystics, or Sufis, focus on the direct perception of Truth or God through mystic practices based on divine love. Sufism, common to both Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam, has its roots in Iran. Its followers oppose Iranıs ruling theocracy on spiritual grounds. Police arrested some one thousand Sufis as clashes broke out after the place of worship used by the mystics was demolished Tuesday on government orders. Hundreds were injured during the clashes after police fired teargas and used truncheons to attack the demonstrating Sufis. The partial list of those arrested was provided to Iran Focus from a reliable source in Qom. The following individuals are believed to be arrested for taking part in the demonstrations: [More>> ; See earlier story:

02.16.06 Rights group blasts human rights violations in Iran

LONDON, February 16 – A top international rights group blasted on Thursday the hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for failing to address the ³dire human rights situation² in that country. Amnesty International issued a report accusing Tehran of locking up scores of its critics and opponents. It added that "torture was common" and that Tehran used the death penalty following "grossly unfair trials" against such individuals.

"The authorities maintain strict controls on freedom of expression and association, and religious and ethnic minorities are subject to persecution. Women are severely discriminated against in both law and practice and those lawyers, journalists and others who dare speak up in support of human rights – Iranıs community of courageous human rights defenders – do so at constant risk of harassment, imprisonment or other abuses by security authorities who are able to act with impunity," the group said.

02.19.06 Drivers killed in Iraqi ambush; more violence continues

February 19 – Armed men have ambushed a convoy of trucks carrying construction material to a US military north of Baghdad, killing four Iraqi drivers. As violence continued on Sunday, a day after 20 people, including a US soldier, were killed in a spate of bombings and shootings, the Iraqi drivers were not the only victims of violence. In a roadside bombing in northern Iraq, a police general was killed, said police Lieutenant Khalid al-Obaidi, adding that the ambush occurred near Nibaie, about 55km north of the capital. The area has been the scene of several ambushes and roadside bombings in the past few days. Also in Baghdad, a car bomb exploded late on Sunday afternoon near a Shia political office in the Jadiriyah district, killing two people, including one police officer, and wounding five, three of them police, officials said. Minutes later, a bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body at an Iraqi army checkpoint protecting the Defence Ministry in central Baghdad. Three civilians were wounded, police said. [More>>]

02.19.06 Why I published those cartoons

February 19 – Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, filed this story in the Childish. Irresponsible. Hate speech. A provocation just for the sake of provocation. A PR stunt. Critics of 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad I decided to publish in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten have not minced their words. They say that freedom of expression does not imply an endorsement of insulting people's religious feelings, and besides, they add, the media censor themselves every day. So, please do not teach us a lesson about limitless freedom of speech.

I agree that the freedom to publish things doesn't mean you publish everything. Jyllands-Posten would not publish pornographic images or graphic details of dead bodies; swear words rarely make it into our pages. So we are not fundamentalists in our support for freedom of expression. But the cartoon story is different.

Those examples have to do with exercising restraint because of ethical standards and taste; call it editing. By contrast, I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam. And I still believe that this is a topic that we Europeans must confront, challenging moderate Muslims to speak out. The idea wasn't to provoke gratuitously -- and we certainly didn't intend to trigger violent demonstrations throughout the Muslim world. Our goal was simply to push back self-imposed limits on expression that seemed to be closing in tighter.

02.19.06 Protestors throw rocks, burn flag at US Embassy

JAKARTA, February 20 – Hundreds of Muslim protesters brandishing sticks and hurling stones attacked the US Embassy in Indonesia on Sunday, claiming the United States was on a mission to destroy Islam. No one was injured in the melee. The protesters were angry at the publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons in mostly European newspapers, and the rowdy scene showed how America is often blamed for many of the perceived injustices felt in the Islamic world.

The US Embassy condemned the violence, saying it was a "premeditated event" staged for television by a small group that "seeks to disrupt the relationship between the United States and Indonesia."

"This sort of violence is unacceptable and needs to be treated as what it is," US Ambassador to Indonesia B. Lynn Pascoe said in its statement whose copy was sent to The Jakarta Post on Sunday. Like elsewhere in the Islamic world, the cartoons of the prophet have generated anger and protests across Indonesia, which has more Muslims than any other nation. But compared to those in Pakistan and countries in the Middle East, the demonstrations have been peaceful.

02.19.06 China inks oil contract with Equatorial Guinea

(AFP / Xinhua) February 19 – A subsidiary of leading Chinese oil and gas producer China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) has signed a production-sharing contract for an offshore block in Equatorial Guinea. The five-year contract was signed on Friday by Equatorial Guinea's mines ministry, national oil firm GEPetrol and CNOOC Africa Ltd., Xinhua news agency said Saturday, citing CNOOC sources. It covers a block of about 2,287 square kilometres (915 square miles) off the south coast of Equatorial Guinea with the waters ranging from 30 to 1,500 metres (99 to 4,950 feet) in depth.

The agreement follows a strategic partnership between the two countries announced by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema during a visit to Beijing in October. Equatorial Guinea is the third biggest producer of crude oil in sub-Sahara Africa. US companies have hitherto developed its oil resources.

02.19.05 Update, 02.18.06 Rescuers search for landslide survivors

(AP) February 18, 10:59 EST, GUINSAUGON, Philippines – Rescue workers searched a sea of mud in vain Saturday for survivors of a landslide that killed up to 1,800 people. People fled nearby villages, heeding warnings that the disaster threatened to repeat itself. Two U.S. warships and 1,000 Marines steamed toward the disaster scene on Leyte island in the eastern Philippines. They were expected to arrive early Sunday.

Eleven villages were evacuated, all in the area of what used to be Guinsaugon. The farming community was wiped out Friday when half a mountain came crashing down after two weeks of torrential rain. Hopes faded for finding anyone else alive in the 100-acre stretch of mud that was 30 feet deep in places. Only 57 people had been rescued - none so far Saturday - out of a population of 1,857. At least 55 bodies had been found, and a child who originally survived died overnight from head injuries. Efforts focused on a swamped elementary school, with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo citing unconfirmed reports that some of the 250 students and teachers sent cell phone text messages to relatives saying they had survived.
[More>> ; See update,, "Philippine rescue teams find more bodies" : GUINSAUGON, Philippines (AP) February 19, 2006 — Weary rescue teams recovered only bodies Sunday at a Philippine village engulfed by a landslide, fearful of sinking beneath the unstable mud and losing hope in the search for survivors. No one has been found alive since Friday, when a mountain slope collapsed on the farming village of Guinsaugon. Nearly its entire population 1,857 was feared dead. Officials had said 57 survivors were pulled from the mud Friday, but on Sunday lowered the number to 20, without immediately providing an explanation. At least 72 bodies have been recovered including 14 on Sunday...

02.18.06 Nigeria cartoon protests kill 16

February 16 – At least 16 people have been killed in northern Nigeria during protests by Muslims over the cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad. Most of the deaths occurred in rioting in Maiduguri, capital of north-eastern Borno state. One person died in similar riots in north-central Katsina state. Witnesses said most of the dead were from Maiduguri's minority Christians. Eleven churches were also torched. These are the first violent protests over the cartoons in Nigeria. The country is nearly equally split between Muslims in the north and Christians. [More>>]

02.18.06 'The Americans are breaking international law' – Archbishop Sentamu on Guantanamo

February 18 – The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, has launched a passionate attack on President George Bush, saying his administration's refusal to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay camp reflected "a society that is heading towards George Orwell's Animal Farm." Dr. Sentamu, the Church of England's second in command, urged the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) to take legal action against the US – through the US courts or the International Court of Justice at The Hague – should it fail to respond to a report, by five UN inspectors, advising that Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay should be shut immediately because prisoners there are being tortured.

The report was published on Thursday, as a senior High Court judge, Mr. Justice Collins, stated that American actions over Guantanamo's Camp Delta do not "appear to coincide with that of most civilized nations." As a result of his ruling, three of eight British inmates held in the camp are to appeal to the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to intervene with the Bush administration on their behalf.

Archbishop Sentamu's comments will strengthen the increasingly insistent international pressure for Guantanamo to be closed. Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for its closure, after similar appeals by Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, and the UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

02.18.06 PA speaker: Hamas will fulfil its 'rightful' duty to resist

February 18 – "From now on, we will define the Palestinian Authority as an enemy," Army Radio quoted a senior Israeli spokesman as saying Saturday, following the swearing-in of Hamas to the Palestinian Legislative Council. During the ceremony, newly elected Palestinian Authority parliament speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik, a geography professor from the West Bank, said Saturday that Hamas would fulfil its "rightful duty to resist occupation." Duaik was handed the gavel by outgoing speaker Rauhi Fattouh, to cheers and applause from Hamas lawmakers.

Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas asked Hamas to form the next Palestinian government as early as possible, but demanded that they recognize existing peace deals, including the Oslo Accords and the US-backed roadmap, and fall in line with his moderate policies, including negotiations with Israel, as the "sole ... strategic choice" of the Palestinians.
[More>>Jerusalem Post]

02.18.06 Germans allegedly helping Iran on nukes

BERLIN (AP) February 18 – Several German companies are under investigation for alleged involvement in Iran's disputed nuclear program, a German magazine reported Saturday. Police searched the premises of eight firms as well as private homes on February 8 as part of the investigation, the Spiegel weekly said in an article released before its publication Monday. Horst Salzmann, a spokesman for federal prosecutors, declined to comment on the report. According to Spiegel, one firm from Cologne was involved in a planned delivery to Iran of equipment to detect radiation contamination on clothes and human skin. [More>>Jerusalem Post]

02.18.06 India's first case of bird flu reported

BOMBAY, India (AP) February 18 – India's first case of bird flu has been reported in a western Indian town where thousands of birds have died, a government official said Saturday. It was not immediately clear if it was the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease. "We will start culling the birds from today,'' said Uttam Khobragade, a top livestock official in Maharashtra state, who said 30,000 birds had died in the town Navapur in the poultry-farming district of Nandurbar over the past two weeks. [More>> ; See related story,, "Indonesia's 19th bird flu fatality confirmed." ; See also (Reuters).

02.17.06 NSA Intelligence Committee Member Senator Feinstein : 'I was not told...'

(Maravot News) February 17 – In a letter received Friday from Senator Feinstein the senator disputes Bush administration claims of complaince with NSA. See also related story,, "Accord in House to hold inquiry on surveillance."

Dear Mr. Copeland:

Thank you for writing to me about recent revelations that the United States Government has engaged in domestic electronic eavesdropping without appropriate legal authority. I welcome the opportunity to respond.

On February 6th, the Senate Judiciary Committee held the first of a series of hearings into this matter, at which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified about the legality of the program.

"I am a member of the Intelligence Committee, and yet I was not told about this program until it was made public."
He provided none of the documents the Committee required for proper oversight, and his assurances alone did not allay my concerns. Instead, he propounded a radical legal theory of presidential power largely unrestrained by either Congress or the courts.

I have carefully reviewed the Constitution and the laws relating to this domestic intelligence activity, along with the President's statements and those of the Attorney General and other Administration officials. I believe that the electronic surveillance program was not conducted in accordance with U.S. law. The program, as described, violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires a court order for surveillance of Americans. Congress has updated FISA many times since 9/11 in order to provide our nation with all the necessary tools to fight terrorism. The Administration has never asked for the authority to conduct this program. I believe the Administration also violated the National Security Act, which requires all members of the Intelligence Committee to be fully and currently informed of all significant intelligence activities other than covert actions. I am a member of the Intelligence Committee, and yet I was not told about this program until it was made public.

There will be further hearings in the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Once the facts are clear, we can decide on appropriate corrective action.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will continue to write to me on issues of importance to you.

Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Editorial note: Senator Feinstein testifies that she was not told about the NSA program. We wonder why, according to a article, that the Bush administration would take such pains to muddle the issue. Senator Feinstein is not a "ranking member" of the "Intelligence Committee," according to her website. So by splitting hairs, the Bush administration claimed:

...Bush and his top aides have repeatedly stressed that "Congress" had been briefed on the program over the past four years, but have often neglected to mention that the briefings were limited to the "Gang of Eight": the speaker and minority leader of the House; the majority and minority leaders of the Senate; and the chairmen and ranking Democrats on the two intelligence committees. And they were barred from taking notes or discussing what they heard with other lawmakers or their staffs.

Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), who as vice chairman of the Senate intelligence panel was briefed in 2003, took the unusual step of sending Vice President Cheney a classified letter voicing his concerns about the program and the lack of oversight on how it was being carried out. Several other prominent Democrats have also questioned the program's legality since it was made public, including Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), ranking minority member of the House intelligence committee. More>>, January 27, 2005, "Varied rationales muddle issue of NSA eavesdropping."

Maravot News wonders whether the Bush Administration selectively prevented Intelligence Committee members from being informed, and why?

Representative Nancy Pelosi is a ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committe and House Minority Leader. That Senator Feinstein has concerns about not being informed can be understood, based upon the report, but Pelosi's role in the matter of Bush administration survelliance on Americans needs more investigation, in my opinion.

Mel Copeland

02.17.06 Bounty offered on cartoonists as protestors rage

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) February 17 – A Pakistani Muslim cleric and his followers offered rewards amounting to over $1 million for anyone who killed Danish cartoonists who drew caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that have enraged Muslims worldwide. The cleric offered the bounty during Friday prayers as Muslim anger against the cartoons flared anew in parts of Asia. Weeks of global protests over the cartoons have triggered fears of a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam, and have led to calls on all sides for calm.

On Friday, thousands rallied in Pakistan, police in Bangladesh blocked demonstrators heading for the Danish embassy in Dhaka and in the Indian city of Hyderabad, police fired teargas shells and batons to beat back hundreds of protesters, who had stoned shops and disrupted traffic. Protests in Pakistan this week have resulted in at least five deaths and hundreds of detentions, and on Friday it became the latest country where Denmark has decided to temporarily close its embassy. The Danish foreign ministry also issued a travel warning for Pakistan, urging any Danes to leave as soon as possible.

In the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, cleric Maulana Yousef Qureshi said he had personally offered to pay a bounty of 500,000 rupees ($8,400) to anyone who killed a Danish cartoonist, and two of his congregation put up additional rewards of $1 million and one million rupees plus a car. "If the West can place a bounty on Osama bin Laden and Zawahri we can also announce reward for killing the man who has caused this sacrilege of the holy Prophet," Qureshi told Reuters, referring to the al Qaeda leader and his deputy Ayman al Zawahri.

02.17.06 Volgograd journalists resist closing paper after cartoon scandal

VOLGOGRAD (RIA Novosti, Irina Ilyicheva) February 17 – Journalists in Volgograd, a major city in southern Russia, protested Friday against closing a local newspaper embroiled in a controversy over the publication of a religious cartoon. "The decision of the Volgograd administration to close down the Gorodskiye Vesti newspaper for publishing a religious illustration casts doubts on the main principle of a democratic state – freedom of speech," journalists said in an open letter.

The Gorodskye Vesti newspaper in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad, the site the largest battle of WWII), carried an article entitled: "No room for racists in power." The article was accompanied by an illustration depicting Jesus Christ, Moses, Buddha and Mohammed in front of a television showing two groups of people about to start a fight. The caption read "We didn't teach you this."

02.17.06 Egypt reports first bird flu cases; central France & German island infected

CAIRO (AFP) February 17 – The first cases of bird flu have been detected in a number of regions in Egypt, state television reported on Friday, without saying if the cases involved the highly pathogenic form of the H5N1 virus. The announcement came as the government held a crisis meeting to discuss the development. Earlier, officials said they had collected samples from chickens found dead on three poultry farms in Manbal village in Minya, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Cairo. [More>> ; See related stories,, "France confirms first case of bird flu" : Bird flu moved a step closer to Britain tonight after it emerged that a wild duck found dead in central France was infected by bird flu thought to be of the lethal H5N1 strain... and, Dead swans litter German island as bird flu spreads."]

02.17.06 China seeks to finalize energy contracts with Iran

(AFP) February 17 – China will soon send its top economic planner to Iran in hopes of finalizing energy contracts worth more than 100 billion dollars. National Developmental Reform Commission chief Ma Kai will lead a delegation to Tehran as early as March to sign agreements for massive exports from the Yadavaran oil fields, finance magazine Caijing said on its website. His trip will be a follow-up to a memorandum of understanding signed in October 2004 between Iran and Sinopec, China's largest refiner, to buy 250 million tons of liquefied national gas (LNG) over 25 years. That arrangement could be worth more than 100 billion dollars.

Friday's Asian Wall Street Journal, citing Iranian oil ministry officials familiar with the China talks, said Iran was trying to conclude any deals before potential sanctions are imposed over its nuclear ambitions. Iran has restarted small-scale enrichment of uranium despite international efforts to stop it. The UN Security Council is expected to debate the issue in March. The gas deal with China also calls for Sinopec to develop the Yadavaran oil fields, where it could tap into billions of dollars of the estimated three billion barrels of recoverable reserves there, Caijing said.

02.17.06 China cyberspace regulator meets the press

February 17 – Liu Zhengrong, deputy director general of Internet Affairs Bureau under the State Council Information Office, met with the press on February 14 to discuss the development and management of the Internet in China. The following is the full coverage of meeting:

Guo Weimin: Good afternoon, everybody. We recently received applications from some media organizations including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, representatives of which are here today, inquiring into the development and management of the Internet in China. We've organized this special news conference to address those issues. We are honored to have present with us Mr. Liu Zhengrong, deputy director general of Internet Affairs Bureau of the State Council Information Office.

Liu Zhengrong : Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Before I take your questions, I'd like to make three points:

First, the Internet has developed very rapidly in China and we now have approximately 110 million Internet users. China ranks second in the world in terms of Internet usage. The Chinese government is fully aware of the advancement and importance of the Internet, and has therefore dedicated itself to promoting its development and wider application in the country. Our attitude towards the Internet is very positive.

02.17.06 Saudi couple in Colorado plead not guilty to charges of enslaving Indonesian woman

CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) February 17 – A Saudi couple pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges including kidnapping and sexual assault stemming from claims that they held as a virtual slave an Indonesian woman who worked for them. Arapahoe County District Judge Marilyn Antrim scheduled a June 13 trial for the couple after denying a defense motion seeking separate trials. Homaidan Al-Turki, 37, and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, face up to life in prison if convicted on the state charges.

Al-Turki is charged with kidnapping, 12 counts of sexual assault, extortion and false imprisonment, while Khonaizan is charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and extortion. The two also face an April 24 trial on federal charges of forced labor, involuntary servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant. A federal indictment released last year said the Indonesian woman was allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted by Al-Turki and was paid less than the equivalent of US$2 a day over four years to cook, clean and care for the couple's five children. It also said she was sometimes loaned out to work for other families when her host family traveled.

02.17.06 Thirteen wounded in bomb attack

February 17 – AT least 13 people were wounded in Thailand's troubled south today when a bomb set by suspected Islamic militants exploded while police were investigating a shooting, security officials said. A civilian couple and 11 police officers were among those injured in the explosion in Narathiwat province which detonated while officers were investigating the shooting of a Buddhist villager. "We suspect Islamic militants detonated the bomb at the crime scene as police officers were checking details and collecting evidence of the shooting," Captain Sornpetch Tanamornchaikul said. "After the injured victim was sent to a hospital, they triggered the bomb," he said, adding that he thought a mobile phone had been used to detonate the explosion. The police all suffered minor injuries, he said. [More>>]

02.16.06 Lebanese prime minister condemns flow of arms from Syria

(Reuters) February 16 – Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Thursday that arms had been shipped into his country from Syria, and denounced the traffic as "unacceptable." The United Nations on Tuesday asked Lebanon to explain reports that truckloads of arms and missiles, destined for the Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah, had been brought over the Syrian border. The Lebanese army had denied the reports, but Siniora said some arms had indeed been carried illegally into his country. "Yes, there has been some infiltration of arms and personnel into Lebanon. This is something that is unacceptable," Siniora told reporters during an official visit to Italy. [More>>haaretzdaily]

02.16.06 China urges diplomacy on Iran issue

(Reuters) February 16 – China urged countries to keep seeking a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear standoff on Thursday, even as the international confrontation over Iran's nuclear enrichment escalated. "We're extremely concerned about the status of the Iranian nuclear issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing. "It's extremely important for the international community to uphold the consensus on resolving the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic means and call on the related parties to maintain calm, restraint and patience." China repeated its general call for negotiations while the gulf between Tehran and its Western critics deepened on Thursday.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said Iran was pursuing a clandestine military nuclear programme. "No civilian nuclear programme can explain the Iranian nuclear programme. So it is a clandestine Iranian military nuclear programme," Douste-Blazy told France 2 television. On Wednesday, the United States threatened sanctions against Tehran for resuming uranium enrichment for nuclear fuel without resolving suspicions it secretly wants to build atomic bombs. Iran resumed small-scale feeding of uranium gas into centrifuge enrichment machines on Tuesday, officials close to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said. Iran says the nuclear fuel is for peaceful power needs, not weapons.

02.16.06 Slovenia confirms its first case of H5N1 bird flu

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) February 16 – Slovenia's government said Thursday that Italian lab tests confirmed a swan found dead last week in northern Slovenia carried the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu – the country's first case. The tests carried out by a laboratory in Padova, Italy, indicated the swan was infected with the H5N1 strain, Cabinet spokesman Gregor Krajc said. Slovenia announced on Sunday that a swan found dead last week was infected with the H5 bird flu virus and the authorities sent its samples to the European Union's lab in England, but also to Padova, to determine whether it carried the deadly H5N1 strain. The swan was found near the city of Maribor in northern Slovenia – just 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Austria. [More>>] ; See related stories,, "Two Indonesians suspected of bird flu infection die: official." ; and, "Virus alert as swans flee the cold." : A sudden cold snap on the Continent this week will raise the risk of the lethal avian flu strain arriving in Britain. Veterinary and wildlife experts are convinced that the mute swans that have been found with H5N1 in Europe have been forced out of the Caspian and Black Sea areas, where the virus is rife, and have flown south and west in search of warmth and food. It is estimated that some 15,000 are now scattered throughout Europe...]

02.16.06 UN panel: US should shut Guantanamo

GENEVA, February 16 – The United States should shut down the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and either release all detainees being held there or bring them to trial, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday. The report, summarizing an investigation by five UN experts, called on the US government "to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." The reportıs findings were based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and a questionnaire filled out by the US government. [More>> ; See related story, (AFP) "New Abu Ghraib images disgust Iraq."]

02.15.06 'Death squad' kills outspoken critic of Kazakh government

MOSCOW, February 15 – The government of oil-rich Kazakhstan has been accused of operating death squads after a prominent opposition politician was found murdered with his driver and bodyguard. Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, 43, was the second opposition leader to be found dead in suspicious circumstances in three months. He had made himself unpopular with the government of President Nursultan Nazarbayev by criticising his daughter and heir apparent, Dariga, for her grip on the country's media.

Though government sources suggested he may have died in a hunting or road accident, the politician's colleagues allege he was killed to order by the former Soviet state's secret police. He was last seen alive on Friday after which his mobile phone went dead. His body was discovered on Monday with that of his driver and his bodyguard in a ravine on the outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan's commercial capital.

02.15.06 School children blown up in Baghdad blast

BAGHDAD (AFP) February 15 – Three Iraqi children were killed by a roadside bomb near their school in a wave of explosive violence in Baghdad that claimed a total of 11 lives, police said. The children were on their way to school Wednesday when they stopped to examine a bag in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Fadel, a lower-income predominantly Sunni area, witnesses said. "I saw the children playing with a bag lying in front of a photography store and suddenly it exploded," said Ali Mahmud, 35, who was driving by in his minibus...The children were believed to be aged about 11.

Five store fronts were destroyed and walls smeared with bits of flesh and blood from the two boys and girl caught in the blast.
Roadside bombs, often hidden in plastic bags or other such innocuous bits of street debris are most often set off early in the morning in Baghdad.

...Four policeman were blown up by a car bomb in the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiya in a blast that also wounded three other policemen and one civilian. Another car bomb in the middle class neighborhood of Karada also targeted a police commando patrol. One civilian killed and eight wounded, including two police officers and two women. In the southern neighborhood of Saidiyah, a police captain and his driver were gunned down on their way to work. Police were also targeted in a bomb attack against a patrol that killed a civilian, and injured two other policeman and two civilians near the technology university in eastern Baghdad, not far from where a bomb went off Tuesday. Corpses continue to turn up in Baghdad, once again in the low income Shiite neighborhood of Al-Shula, where four bodies were found by police, handcuffed, blindfolded and bearing marks of torture. They had each been killed with a single shot to the head. [
Full story>> ; See also]

02.15.06 Terrorism list contains 325,000 names

WASHINGTON, February 15 – The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.

The list kept by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) – created in 2004 to be the primary US terrorism intelligence agency – contains a far greater number of international terrorism suspects and associated names in a single government database than has previously been disclosed. Because the same person may appear under different spellings or aliases, the true number of people is estimated to be more than 200,000, according to NCTC officials. US citizens make up "only a very, very small fraction" of that number, said an administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of his agency's policies. "The vast majority are non-US persons and do not live in the US," he added.

Editorial note: The number of suspected terrorists is interesting. Using the smaller number, and dividing it by 20 nations leaves about 10,000 suspected terrorists per country, which appears to be an alarming number! Off hand, I can name about fifteen countries that have been in the press with actual or suspected terrorist [al-Qaeda] activities: Britain, Spain, Italy. the US, Canada, Germany, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. The "drug trafficking tunnel" at the US / Mexican border suggests more possibilities.
Mel Copeland.

02.15.06 NATO allies cut military since 9/11

WASHINGTON, February 15 – America's major NATO allies have cut military manpower and defense funds as a share of their economies since the September 11 attacks, in sharp contrast with the United States, which embarked on deficit spending to boost arms outlays to fight global terrorists. The downward trend is raising alarms inside the Pentagon, which needs the allies' help to battle al Qaeda and other militants in Afghanistan, Iraq and other trouble spots.

A comparison of force structures in 2001 and 2005 showed countries such as Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Germany cut their active-duty forces, according to statistics compiled by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. At the same time, the United States increased its ranks from 1.37 million to 1.42 million. More telling is the share of each countries' gross domestic product (GDP) that is devoted to defense expenditures. The U.S. share has gone from 3 percent to 3.7 percent since September 11, 2001, while other NATO nations collectively have dipped from 2.02 percent to 1.8 percent, according to the Pentagon. Twelve years ago, NATO, excluding the United States, devoted 2.5 percent of GDP to defense.

02.15.06 Quick rise for purveyors of propaganda in Iraq

WASHINGTON, February 15 – Two years ago, Christian Bailey and Paige Craig were living in a half-renovated Washington group house, with a string of failed startup companies behind them. Mr. Bailey, a boyish-looking Briton, and Mr. Craig, a chain-smoking former Marine sergeant, then began winning multimillion-dollar contracts with the United States military to produce propaganda in Iraq.

Now their company, Lincoln Group, works out of elegant offices along Pennsylvania Avenue and sponsors polo matches in Virginia horse country. Mr. Bailey recently bought a million-dollar Georgetown row house. Mr. Craig drives a Jaguar and shows up for interviews accompanied by his "director of security," a beefy bodyguard.

The company's rise, though, has been built in part by exaggerated claims about its abilities and connections, according to interviews with more than a dozen current and former Lincoln Group employees and associates, and a review of company documents.

...The Pentagon's inspector general last month opened an audit of Lincoln Group's contracts there, according to two Defense Department officials. A separate inquiry ordered by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in Iraq, after disclosures late last year that Lincoln Group paid Iraqi publications to run one-sided stories by American soldiers, has been completed but not made public, military officials said. A spokesman for General Casey, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, declined to comment on Lincoln Group, citing the ongoing investigation...
[Full story>>]

02.14.06 Bird flu spreading across Europe

February 14 – Two swans found dead in northern Germany have the virulent H5N1 bird flu virus, officials say, marking the first such cases in the country. The birds were found on the island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea, off Germany. Hours earlier, Austrian officials confirmed their first cases of bird flu, also in a pair of dead swans. The H5N1 strain of the virus, which can kill humans through contact with infected animals, has been found in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria recently. Infected swans have also been found in southern Italy. [More>>]

02.14.06 Barroso defends Denmark's stand

February 14 – The European Commission president has expressed support for Denmark in the dispute over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, saying that freedom of speech cannot be compromised. In an interview with Jyllands-Posten, the Danish paper that first published the drawings, Jose Manuel Barroso has said that freedom of speech is a fundamental value in Europe. "It's better to publish too much than not to have freedom," he said in comments published on Tuesday.

02.14.06 Islamophobia: a second Holocaust in the making

February 14 – Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian Expatriates Minister, expressed the following opinion in the : For the definition of "Holocaust" see "Holocaust" means "whole burnt offering".

As German leaders traditionally do on visits to Israel, Chancellor Angela Merkel recently visited Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust. There she termed the Holocaust "a source of deep shame" for Germany, and spoke of Israel's existence as a pillar of German politics. Germany, once again, apologizes for the Holocaust and is willing to do what it takes to redeem itself – even if it was financing a second Holocaust against the Palestinian people; a typical manifestation of the European guilt-ridden political conscience. And typically, we, Arabs and Muslims are to pay the price.

It seems like a new crusade has started against Arabs and Muslims in the wake of September 11, 2001, led by neo-European Nazism. The victims are no longer the Jews, but Muslims spread over Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, and anywhere around the globe.

02.14.06, 2.13.06 (more stories)


05.21.05 British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil

LISBON, May 21 – Adam Porter reports: Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher has slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for starting a war, he says, to secure oil interests.

Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."
..."It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.

"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan."
[More>>; See also, article March 17, 2005, "Secret US plans for Iraq's oil."

Editorial note: For articles relating to Bush's lying to Congress and the American people with regard to his war on Iraq and other complaints that relate to his abuse of power see:

12.30.05 The future of democracy as we knew it : John Conyers on Bush crimes and Constitutional crisis
11.17.05 The man who sold the war
11.12.05 Asterisks dot White House's Iraq argument
10.16.05 Bush to Blair: First Iraq, then Saudi
10.07.05 BBC: Bush said God told him to invade Iraq
08.25.05 Bush administration hiding affects of the war: photos Washington doesn't want you to see
6.18.05 Update The Downing Street memo: the smoking gun to impeach President Bush
6.17.05 Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes?
6.17.05 Democrats urge inquiry on Bush, Iraq
6.17.05 Update Senator Feinstein against US becoming a 'unilateralist power'
6.19.05 Rice condemns Iran vote – 'the pot calling the kettle black'
6.21.05 British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office
6.28.05 Special Orders in House of Representatives on Downing Street Memos
6.28.05 From memos, insights into ally's doubts on Iraq War
7.11.05 Report: US war has killed 39,000 Iraqis

08.09.05 Understanding terrorists' use of the Koran – what constitutes extremist activity

August 9 – (Maravot News, Mel Copeland) A trend in combatting terrorism has to do with what constitute's extremist activity, including teachings by immams, publication of books and retail book stores, etc. Statements like (8.09.05) Bakri Mohammed's, " would be 'against Islam' for him to inform the police of any terrorist attacks that he knew were being planned in Britain..." are better understood through an examination of modern scholastic trends in reinterpreting the Koran. See:

08.07.05 Inside the sect that loves terror with Editorial note: An interesting site by an Islamic scholar defines what "kuffar" (disbelievers) means. His site, – Arguments and Rational – details the Koran's verses and traditional and modern applications of the verses dealing with disbelievers: identifying them, punishing them, preaching to them and "'displaced directives." His argument refers heavily to Old Testament verses that set the foundation for verses of the Koran involving the punishment of disbelievers...
08.07.05 UK to deport 500 Muslim extremists
and article, "Diary of British jihadi unearthed in Pakistan," ...the diary wonders how Muslims can live in London, the "vital organ of the minions of the devil," now that the "kufr," or unbelievers, have transformed the world into "a battlefield for the Muslims."

6.17-05 Federal Debt not a concern of the press

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 Update. While the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, the Exponentially rising Federal Debt is not being reported. What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. This year the deficit is expected to exceed $420 billion, and interest on the debt which exceeds $8.2 trillion, is about $1 billion per day. Because the annual deficits are financed via the bond market, and because the amount of the bonds being sold exceeds demand, it is necessary to raise interest rates to attract investors in the US bonds financing the US debt. This routine of increasing debt on an exponential scale was experienced under the administration of George H. W. Bush. I predicted increasing interest rates "to sell bonds" in my conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. at that time, in 1993, and I have repeated the prediction with regard to the current Bush administration's excesses and need to sell more bonds to finance the extraordinary deficits. The rate increases will continue in order to sell the overabundant US bonds. In a few words, George Bush's debt is causing your mortgage rates to increase, and they will continue to increase until the US assumes fiscal responsibility. Click here for details on this trend.

Postscript: If the EU adopts the practice of allowing large budget deficits, the consequence places a strain on the world bond market, since that market is already flooded with US bonds to the tune of some $9 trillion. Those who are allowing budget deficits also own some of the US debt. It's not a good situation, heralding a world economic collapse. That Greenspan has not reigned in the Bush administration on the US debt is a travesty.

Rising interest rates began with a Federal Reserve declaration of the "fear of inflation":
WASHINGTON, March 22 – The Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation on Tuesday, setting off alarms in the stock and bond markets that the central bank might drive up interest rates faster than investors had been expecting. The Fed nudged up short-term interest rates for the seventh time in the last year, raising the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent. It restated its intention to keep raising them at a "measured" pace in the months ahead.

But in a departure from previous declarations, the central bank said there were rising inflationary pressures beyond those tied directly to the recent jumps in oil prices.

Mel Copeland

Historical trend on the New Orleans debacle


02.08.06 Iran misunderstanding – "Holocaust" means "whole burnt offering"
09.11.05 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
08.13.05 "Using force the George W. Bush way – Bush's crusade"
07.27.05 New security system for Temple Mount: Why the Dome of the Rock is threatened
03.24.05 Temple Mount controversy
02.19.05 'Dog-Deer' clan seen as common Chinese ancestor – relates to European Paleolithic Lion-Deer
02.15.05 Bush & Rice affects upon Iran's liaisons: it's all about oil and gas
12.23.04 US is losing war of ideas
12.21.04 United States attacking itself from behind
Why the Crusade & Jihad?


(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names. Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.
(5) The Law of the Locrians: "In the legislation of the Locrians, the proposer of a new law, with a halter round his neck, to be instantly tightened if the public assembly did not, on hearing his reasons, then and there adopt his proposition."
[Mill, On Liberty, 2.475].

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