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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

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

New paper that could lead to the impeachment of President George W. Bush. Click on image for 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 larger image.

Western News
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Village Voice
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grumpy old man (PG-18)
Democratic Underground

American Politics Journal
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Aral Sea Disaster
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Greg Palast
information please
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IRIN News, Africa & Asia
Power & Interest News Report

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

Click on maps for larger image
Russia, Belarus and neighbors
Iraq and neighbors
Afghanistan & neighbors
Kazakhstan & neighbors

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.

(AP photo) Click photo for story

Middle East Watch

Middle East Times


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Daily Times,com. pk
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Kashmir Times
Press Trust of India

Daily News (Sri Lanka)

LankaPage (Sri Lanka) (Phillipines)


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

Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993

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

08.24.05 Gumpy Old Man seeks help in Iraq

August 24 – Reporting the news is really a challenge these days, because of the many sources of the news and, of course, many points of view (There are a few sources that will provide more than one point of view).

Advertisement from Maravot News rating of is PG18.
Pravda and some American news media (who are self-evident) are under more restrictive journalistic challenges. Sometimes one comes across a jaw-shocking image provided through a news report. The naked little girl running toward a photographer in Vietnam, as clouds of napalm grew behind her, contributed to changing American opinions against the Vietnam war, as it became a sensation in the news media. A not so famous image that has the same profound effect we replicated in Maravot News8.08.05, but it is not an image in today's heart that strikes home. When I saw the ad seeking help in Iraq I [confess] I was moved and compelled to replicate it here, free of charge to the cause. Note that it is the Grumpy Old Man that is seeking help and it is he that ought to be contacted should you wish to respond to the ad (since the ad lacks a contact). The Grumpy Old Man site has an interesting link,, "How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power."

As an aside, this evening's news (abc) quoted Pat Robertson as apologizing for having recommended the assassination of President Chavez of Venezuela, saying "...I said it
out of frustration." This is a good argument Islamic terroristic-preaching imams can use as well, to escape prosecution, I suppose. What's good enough for American radical Christian clerics should be good enough for radical Muslim clerics?
Mel Copeland

08.24.05 Chevron documents show payments for attacks on Nigerian villages

August 24 – This article posted at August 3, 2005 has recently been moving through some blogs: documents show that Chevron paid the Nigerian soldiers who carried out the attacks: a receipt shows a payment of 15,000 Nigerian naira for "Services carried out by Capt. [redacted] and 22 Soldiers whom left from Escravos/Madangho to [illegible] attacks from Opia village" on January 4, 1999. (Escravos is a Chevron facility.) The document is available on ERI's website.

"We now have evidence from Chevron's own records that in response to claims for compensation for environmental damage, Chevron paid soldiers to attack and destroy two villages, provided the helicopter and boats used and had its own security personnel participate," added Cindy Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, co-counsel on the case.

ERI filed a similar human rights suit against Unocal Corp. over abuses related to its Yadana pipeline in Burma, which Unocal settled earlier this year after the court rejected Unocal's attempts to avoid a jury trial. Yesterday, the Chinese oil company CNOOC withdrew its bid for Unocal, leaving Chevron as the only bidder.
[Full story>>;

Editorial note: This article was a blog thread from that led to a posting by Tim Willard at Scrolling down the postings under their category, "j'accuse," one will find another article posted by Willard, "The napalm cover-up" :

June 29, 2005 – One revelation in the Downing Street memos that has not made its way into the mainstream US media is the confirmation that the US had been using napalm against Iraqis.

Defense Minister, Adam Ingram, admitted that the US had misled the British high-command about the use of napalm, but he would not comment on the extent of the cover up. The use of firebombs puts the US in breach of the 1980 Convention on Certain Chemical Weapons (CCW) and is a violation the Geneva Protocol against the use of white phosphorous, ³since its use causes indiscriminate and extreme injuries especially when deployed in an urban area.²

Stories about the use of napalm first began to surface after the siege of Falluja where reports of innocent civilians dying and ³melted² corpses aroused suspicion that the US was using its new generation of incendiary weapons, code named MK77.

At the time the administration vehemently denied the stories, even lying to its British allies. But now the leaked British documents confirm that use. WMDs have finally been found in Iraq – and we are the ones using them.

One has to wonder when the US media will decide that this story is newsworthy.

Tim Willard is a Co-Chair of Montgomery County Greens.

There are many questions that the Bush administration will eventually have to answer with regard to the Iraq War, and it may be that the major media will have to explain why they have not fully reported the allegation(s) – including an inquiry on the Downing Street Memos and the "Rove CIA leak" – against Bush's [illegal] Iraq war.
Mel Copeland

08.24.05 Rescuers look for Peru airliner victims

LIMA, Peru (AP) August 24 – Rescuers combed a jungle marsh Wednesday for victims of a Peruvian airliner that split in two after an emergency landing during a hailstorm, killing at least 41 people. Fifty-seven people escaped the burning wreckage, wading away through knee-deep mud. TANS Peru Flight 204 was the world's fifth major airline accident in August, making it the deadliest month for plane disasters in three years. The Boeing 737-200 was carrying an estimated 100 people on a domestic flight from the Peruvian capital of Lima to the Amazon city of Pucallpa.

In strong winds and torrential rains, the pilot circled the airport, then tried to make an emergency landing about 20 miles away. He aimed for the marsh to soften the impact, but the landing split the aircraft, said Edwin Vasquez, president of the Ucayali region where the city is located

...57 people had survived the crash. The airline initially said the flight was carrying 92 passengers and eight crew. Police Lt. David Mori told The Associated Press that 41 bodies had been recovered, 56 survivors were being treated at hospitals and three people were still missing.
[Full story>>Associated Press]

08.24.05 Republican Congressman breaks ranks, joins demand for documents on Downing Street Memos

August 24 – Congressman Jim Leach (R, Iowa) has informed Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, California) that he will cosponsor her Resolution of Inquiry into Bush Administration communications with the U.K. about Iraq at the time of the Downing Street Memos. Leach is the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support a demand for an inquiry into the Bush Administration's pre-war claims. The 131 congress members who have signed Congressman John Conyers' letter to the President about the Downing Street Memo are all Democrats. The 11 Senators who have asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to do the investigation it committed to in February 2004 but never did are all Democrats.

The Resolution, H. Res. 375, is a privileged resolution which must be brought to a vote in the House International Relations Committee by September 16th, or Lee is permitted to demand a vote of the full House. Fifty-two Democrats, including Lee, have cosponsored the Resolution. Leach is the first Republican to join them, and he is a member of the International Relations Committee..

The International Relations Committee has 27 Republican members and 23 Democratic members. Thus far 10 of the Democrats have cosponsored the Resolution. If the other 13 vote for it as well, then along with Leach, one more Republican vote will be needed for a tie, or two more for passage.

Leach has questioned Bush's war policies for years and was one of five Republicans in May to vote for Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey's amendment requiring an exit strategy. Another of those five, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, also serves on the International Relations Committee.

"Congressman Leach has broken the silence of the Republican Party on the Downing Street Minutes," said John Bonifaz, Cofounder of the After Downing Street Coalition. "His willingness to cosponsor Congresswoman Barbara Lee's Resolution of Inquiry is bound to make the White House nervous. It is not possible for the President to paint this demand for documents as coming solely from his opponents. This is a demand for the truth. Did the president deliberately deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq? We as a people – from Crawford to Des Moines to Washington, DC, regardless of our political persuasion – deserve to know the answer to that basic question."

"Congress returns to Washington from its summer break on September 6," said David Swanson, Cofounder of the After Downing Street Coalition. "The first 10 days will test the Democrats' ability to stand together and challenge the Bush Administration, as well as Republicans' willingness to break ranks on an issue where public opinion has diverged widely from White House policy."

Related efforts involving an inquiry into the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq War are discussed at Maravot News8.20.05. One of the causes, called Camp Casey, which began as a protest by Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost her son in Iraq, is growing and daily causing consternation midst the Bush camp. Today, Sheehan returned to Camp Casey, after visiting her ailing mother in California. In light of allegations that Bush lied to Congress (an impeachable offence) with regard to the invasion of Iraq, she asks Mr. Bush to describe the "noble cause" for which her son died, and the truth of the matter hinges on Congressional hearings on The Downing Street Memos.

08.24.05 Clarke unveils 'hate speech' acts that allow deportation

August 24 – Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, will deport and exclude several "preachers of hate" from the UK within the next few days after the Government published a list of proscribed acts designed to target foreign nationals who promote or glorify terrorism. The list also outlaws the expression of views which encourage serious crime or "foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK". Any foreign national who expresses such views, verbally or in writing, can now be excluded or deported from Britain. Mr. Clarke said that he will now make use of the new rules, which were announced today after a two-week consultation period. "We have a number of names that we are considering at the moment. All our foreign posts throughout the world are looking at their particular country," the Home Secretary told the BBC this afternoon. [More>>]

08.24.05 With eyes on Iraq, Arabs fear spread of federalism

AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) August 24 – As Kurds and Shiites in Iraq push for a federal constitution, fears are rising in the Arab world that the urge to create separate states could spread in countries with religious and ethnic minorities, analysts said.

When minority groups feel oppressed or deem that their rights are restricted by the centralized states in which they live, they are drawn to notions of autonomy or federalism so that they can better exercise their rights, Arab experts said. Therefore, the Arab world is keeping a close eye on the outcome of demands for a federalist Iraq as it creates its first constitution since the fall of ex-dictator Saddam Hussein, said Nabil Abdel-Fattah, an analyst from Cairo's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

"The result of the fight – between Sunnis who are against federalism in Iraq and Kurds who are for it – will have a decisive influence on how other countries' crises play out, from west of Asia to the Middle East and Iran," he said.

"Federalism was not one of the concepts in the Arab political dictionary, until now," he said.

The United Arab Emirates is presently the only federal state in the Gulf region. Sudan has applied a mild form of federalism for several years, whose unfulfilled objective was to suppress demands by ethnic groups in the South and in the western Darfur and Kordofan regions.

The trend toward federalism, if it catches on, could incite minorities – from Berbers in North Africa to various ethnic and religious groups in Lebanon to the sizable Kurdish populations in Syria, Turkey and Iran – to seek their own states, said Hassan al-Barari, a researcher at Amman's Center for Strategic Studies.

"In developing countries, federalism amounts to a step toward splitting up," Barari said.

...Kurds were denied a nation of their own when the British drew up the contemporary map of the Middle East more than 80 years ago, and tens of millions were absorbed into Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, where they lived as oft-oppressed minorities for decades.

In Iraq, thousands of Kurds were killed under Saddam's brutal regime and tens of thousands forced from their homes. "Based on their experiences under the centralized Iraqi state, Kurds are striving toward splitting up Iraq. They are currently in an ideal situation. They have a historic opportunity to get out of Iraq by leaning on their good relations with the United States, Israel and the West," Barari said. According to Barari, Iraq's neighbors Syria, Turkey and Iran, which all have sizable Kurdish populations, "won't be able to prevent the birth of a Kurdish state on the ruins of Iraq, which will be recognized by the United Nations and the international community."
[Full story>>]

08.24.05 Sunnis continue to object to Iraq constitution; insurgents attack minister, 4 guards killed

BAGHDAD (AFP) August 24 – Iraqi leaders on Wednesday tried to persuade furious Sunni Arabs to sign the draft constitution, a day before the charter goes to parliament where conservative Shiites and secularist Kurds can ensure its victory. President Jalal Talabani and other senior Iraqi leaders were locked in intense talks with the Sunni Arab negotiators after they expressed anger over the charter with some even calling it ²illegal."

...Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said Tuesday that the charter was nearly complete with consensus on 151 of the 153 articles in the constitution, including the federal status of the government and the status of regions and provinces. He said issues concerning human rights, which included womenıs rights, were also agreed on.

...Gaining the support of this minority community is seen as crucial in ending the insurgency, but the Sunnis warned they would continue to oppose federalism and had reservations over an agreement reached to share oil wealth. The charter in Article 109 stipulates that ³the oil and gas of all the regions belong to the entirety of the Iraqi people,² adding that the resources should be controlled by Baghdad and the oil-producing regions. Sunnis are also likely to oppose provisions in the draft for dealing with former members of Saddamıs Baath party.

...The Sunnis however do not have many options due to their weak position in parliament after largely boycotting the January elections. If they do not budge, the majority Shiites and secularist Kurds will ensure that the draft is approved Thursday as the two groups enjoy a comfortable majority in the legislative body. Iraqıs interim rules stipulate that voting by simple majority in the parliament can pass the draft.

...Iraqıs deputy justice minister Bosho Ibrahim was ambushed by gunmen in Baghdad Wednesday, an interior ministry official told AFP. The Kurdish minister escaped unharmed but his four bodyguards were killed and five others wounded. [Full story>>; See also, "Iraqi Sunnis warn against adopting draft charter" : Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said that almost all issues dogging the draft constitution were resolved, but Sunnis warned it was divisive and would be rejected when put to the nation. As Jaafari expressed confidence, a suicide bomber blasted a U.S.-Iraqi center in the restive town of Baaquba killing seven people, including one US soldier and a contractor. "We have agreed on 151 of the 153 articles in the constitution, including the federal status of the government and the status of regions and provinces," Jaafari said, without specifying where the disputes remained. He said issues concerning human rights, which included women's rights, have also been agreed upon. "We have made an important stride," he said.]

08.24.05 Gunfights erupt in Iraqi capital

August 24 – Gun battles have erupted in the streets of Baghdad after insurgents attacked an Iraqi police patrol. At least three police officers and two civilians died in the ambush, and dozens more were wounded, police said. Police sealed off the area and fought running battles with masked insurgents in a crowded area of western Baghdad, witnesses said. The gunmen used assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades to launch the heaviest close-range attacks in months. About 40 insurgents could be seen on the streets of the al-Jamia district. At least three police cars and seven civilian vehicles were damaged in the fighting, the Agence France Presse news agency reported. [More>>]

08.24.05 Musharraf says Khan gave centrifuges to North Korea: report

ISLAMABAD (AFP) August 24 – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has confirmed that the countryıs disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan provided North Korea with centrifuges and their designs, a report said on Wednesday. Musharraf, who was speaking to Japanıs Kyodo news agency, said the high-technology equipment handed over by Khan did not play a major role in giving Pyongyang a nuclear weapons capability. ³Yes, he passed centrifuges – parts and complete. I do not exactly remember the number,² Musharraf was quoted as saying when asked to comment on reports that Islamabad told Tokyo that Khan gave about 20 centrifuges to North Korea. [More>>]

08.24.05 Iraq's most wanted fixes sights on homeland

AMMAN, August 24 – After months eluding capture by US forces, Iraq's most wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appears to have opened a new front in his fight against the West with strikes on his pro-US homeland of Jordan. The Jordanian government said on Wednesday the one-legged extremist's group was behind the firing of Katyusha rockets which whizzed over two US warships moored in the Red Sea port of Aqaba, killing a Jordanian soldier. Zarqawi's group, seen as the front operation of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, has also claimed in an Internet statement that its "brothers launched the rockets on the targets which were groupings of American Crusader forces moored in Aqaba." The attack brought back memories of the October 2000 suicide strike on the USS Cole destroyer in Yemen's southern port of Aden which killed 17 US sailors and was claimed by Al-Qaeda. The strike is believed to be the first time his Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Land of Two Rivers has attacked outside Iraq since the insurgency began after Saddam Hussein's ouster in April 2003, a fact sure to worry governments in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Zarqawi has already been sentenced to death by Jordan for planning the October 2002 murder of US AID diplomat Lawrence Foley, who was gunned down at point-blank range outside his home in Amman. He also stands accused of an plotting an attack on Jordan's intelligence agency using trucks loaded with 20 tones of chemicals that officials say could have killed 80,000 people and injured 160,000 others.

08.24.05 Freak weather batters Europe

August 24 – Extreme weather is afflicting Europe, with swaths of Portugal and Spain ablaze in the drought while Austria and Switzerland suffer floods after torrential rain.

Temperatures of 43C coupled with strong winds during the worst drought on record have fanned the flames of the forest fires which have been raging out of control across Portugal for several weeks.

...Meanwhile, heavy rainfall in the Alps has caused a number of rivers to burst their banks, flooding Alpine valleys. Parts of the Swiss capital, Bern, are under several feet of water.

Seven people have died in Switzerland so far and three are confirmed dead in Austria, with a fourth missing, feared drowned. Rescue helicopters plucked stranded people from the roofs of their homes today as strong currents prevented rescue boats from reaching homes. "We just can't get through (with boats) anymore. The current is just too strong," said Thomas Jeuch, a police spokesman in Bern. Roads and railways have been blocked by landslides and floodwaters, communications and power lines are down and airports have been forced to shut.
[Full story>>; See also, "Alpine floods leave trail of woe," with map and film clips.

08.24.05 White House: Bush, Hu Jintao to meet September 7

DONNELLY, Idaho (AFP) August 24 – Chinese President Hu Jintao will meet President George W. Bush on September 7 during his first visit to Washington since becoming his country's supreme leader, the White House said, AFP reported. Hu, who previously travelled to the US capital on a 'coming out' trip in May 2002 when he was vice-president, will arrive as US concern mounts over China's economic posture and at a key stage of the North Korea crisis.

" President Bush will welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House on September 7," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in a statement released after Bush toured this mountain resort. "The president looks forward to holding discussions with President Hu on the full range of issues on the US-China agenda and continuing to build a candid, constructive, and cooperative bilateral relationship," said McClellan.

Relations between the United States and China, pitched into crisis with a spy plane showdown and tensions over Taiwan early in Bush's first term, have stabilized in recent years, bolstered by anti-terror cooperation and efforts to ease the North Korea nuclear crisis. But in recent months, there has been rising concern in Congress and the business community over China's economic policies.

08.24.05 Wal-Mart's Korean stores target of organizing effort

(Bloomberg) August 24 – Labor leaders from around the globe are preparing a union campaign at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s 16 outlets in Korea as part of a broader effort to organize more of the retailer's 1.6 million workers worldwide. Officials from Union Network International, a Swiss-based federation representing more than 15 million workers in 150 countries, plan to visit Korea next month to set up an organizing effort to begin by the year's end, UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings said today.

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer and biggest private employer, has stores in 10 countries. In three of them - Korea, China and the US - employees have no ties to unions or similar groups. UNI is meeting in Chicago this week to craft a strategy aimed at pressuring the company over what it says are unfair and illegal labor practices. ³We are considering Wal-Mart 'days of action' where unions worldwide take coordinated steps to draw attention to the company," Jennings said in a telephone interview. While the efforts might include global work stoppages, there are no plans for strikes at this time, he said.

Good Business Practices Wal-Mart, which entered Korea in 1998 and has 3,600 workers there, considers itself a "premier employer" in all of its markets, spokeswoman Beth Keck said in an interview yesterday.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart said it's received numerous awards for its good business practices, including in Korea. Labor unions say such claims are misleading and contend that Wal-Mart violates labor laws and lowers the standard of other companies by paying workers low wages and offering poor benefits. Along with Korea, UNI plans to initially focus its organizing campaign on China, the UK, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The labor federation also is talking with labor and government officials in Russia and India to prepare for Wal-Mart's possible entry into those markets, Jennings said.

While Wal-Mart has explored expanding into Russia, "we don't feel the timing is quite right yet," Keck said. "We continue to have an interest in Russia for some point in the future." The retailer also would like to be in India, though laws there don't allow foreign investment and Wal-Mart "generally likes owning our own businesses," Keck said.

Wal-Mart Chief Executive H. Lee Scott said earlier this month that the US company is interested in areas abroad where it doesn't have a presence.

He's set a goal of having one-third of the company's total sales and earnings growth from overseas markets. Wal-Mart currently gets about 20 percent of its sales from outside the US

08.23.05 Sean Penn in Iran

August 23 – Sean Penn, Special to the Chronicle, filed a five-day report. In June, Sean Penn and two friends traveled to Tehran. It was Penn's first trip to the country. What he found was a culture in conflict. Although the nation is ruled by a very conservative, tradition-bound government, Penn talked to many younger Iranians who have a strong interest in Western culture and want their own country to liberalize its policies on individual rights...The stadium was hung with banners. One translated, "We shall always support the Palestinians." Another, "Resistance against the conspiracies of America and Israel will disappoint them to predominate over Iran's nation." This phrase is attributed to "the grand, great leader." Bit by bit, the stadium filled until 10,000 worshipers created a sea partially of white and black turbans (the black represents the Seyed or direct descendent of the prophet Mohammed) pale and dark shirts. Chanting echoed throughout the building. Government officials fill the front rows. Military arrived in groups, in the belief that their prayers will be answered in multiples. Many, as simple conscripts, seemed less focused on the proceedings. And behind them, the sea of the devout.

The opening sermon was delivered by a low-level cleric, Ayatollah Mesbehi, and focused on economic morality. With every bow, and only backs showing, the bodies of worshipers created the illusion of an undulating Persian carpet. The women were sequestered in an entirely separate area, all but unseen from the press balcony. The hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati arrived to deliver his sermon. He leads the six-man Guardian Council, the controversial and largely considered fundamentalist body that governs state decisions over and above those made by the president or parliament (Majlis). In an apparently direct targeting of centrist candidate Rafsanjani, he preached against the dangers of nepotism in government. Rafsanjani was known to employ many of his relatives in his cabinets, and represented a power and following that directly threatened that of the Guardian Council.

As Jannati transitioned toward international policy, he reminded what was largely considered a reluctant voting public that every vote is a shout of death to America. He goaded the crowd to join the chanting calls for "Death to Israel!", "Death to America!" Ten thousand strong of voice. I was struck by the familiar: a cleric guiding his followers in their politics, and toward particular candidates away from others. It has been my observation that this kind of invective speech is common, not only in Iran but in the Arab states as well. According to many with whom I spoke, it had always been clear from the Iranian point of view, that the call is related to American foreign policy and does not intend to target the death of the American people. However, when the supposed purpose of a 10,000-person rally is in the prayer and scruples of Islam, I can say that as an American (a half Jew, by the way), the chant demeans both intent and any religion that aspires to a core of love and reduces it to a cheap political threat of violence.
[More>>(day one); See day two, : After lunch we had an appointment with Mehdi Rafsanjani, a campaign director and son of former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Heıs an informal man. A little portly, he seemed almost amused at the opportunity not so much to answer our questions but to anticipate them. We spoke on a range of issues, from Iranıs nuclear intentions to the rights of women, the process of elections and the history of our two countriesı tension. In almost all cases, he referred our questions back to us. ³You have less candidates than we do.² ³You develop nuclear energy.²

...Then he said something that really caught my ear. ³There are four or five dissidents only who are currently in prison,² he said with disconcerting ease. ³Even you, in the United States, have journalists in prison, probably the same amount, and some currently under threat. There are some human rights issues, then we have to solve that. In the United States, your Guardian Council are the rich. It is not so different.² In the days to come, the younger Rafsanjaniıs words would be put to the test. He had posed a balance between Iranian treatment of free press and that in the United States. I chose to diligently consider this proposition, and was mindful of the cases against Matt Cooper and Judith Miller, and separately, the suspicious umbrella over Robert Novak back home. (Iranian law demands journalists reveal their sources upon government request. Our own 1972 Supreme Court decision effectively demands the same of journalists in the United States.) While the language of the court decision may have been gray, today Miller sits in jail for refusing to reveal a source...]

Editorial note: The case of Matt Cooper is incremental to Congressional efforts to hold hearings on issues whether President Bush lied to Congress in justifying his invasion of Iraq. See Maravot News8.20.05, Camp Casey.

08.23.05 Islamic group threatens to strike Bangladesh again

DHAKA (Reuters) August 23 – A banned Islamic militant group blamed for hundreds of bomb blasts last week across Bangladesh has threatened to strike again unless the government introduces Islamic rule in the country. If Dhaka authorities failed to establish Islamic law or tried to arrest any member of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, "(we) will take direct action," the group said in a statement on its website "". "Everybody is the enemy of Islam who wants to launch democracy as an institutional form," said the English-language statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday. "Therefore we invite the ruling party and also the opposition to initiate the rule of Islam within a short time in Bangladesh." [More>>]

Editorial note: The site has a clear purpose of glorifying the Islamic jihads, referring to the recent London bombers and many others as "martyrs." Their objective is to destroy democracies to make room for "Islamic" states, to be achieved by murdering innocent people. They call their murderers martyrs. The concept of sending martyrs to assasinate Western people came about during the Crusades and is described in the 12th century memoirs of
Joinville & Villechardouin . The practice – which promised paradise to assasins and originated among some Bedouin tribes in the mountains – stopped when the Crusades stopped. The Palestinians revived it.
Mel Copeland

08.23.05 Hang-gliding heroin smuggler is shot down

August 23 – A hang-gliding heroin smuggler has been shot down by soldiers over the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, one of the world's busiest drug trafficking frontiers. Tajik border guards shot the glider down with machine guns and recovered 18kg (39lb) of heroin from the vehicle, officials said. There are conflicting reports about the nature of the glider, with some sources saying it was a hang-glider and others reporting that it was a para-glider with a small, improvised engine. Tajik authorities said that the pilot escaped when the glider came down about 230km (142 miles) south east of Dushanbe, the capital of the former Soviet republic, whose landscape is almost entirely made up of mountains and deep, narrow gorges...Tajik authorities say they have intercepted more than 800kg of heroin this year, a fraction of the enormous quantities of the drug that are made in Afghanistan, which is thought to supply 90 per cent of the world's opium. [Full story>>]

08.23.05 Arab TV rejects claims of Israeli propaganda

DUBAI (AFP) August 23 – Arab satellite news channels Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyya have been forced to fend off accusations they served up Israeli propaganda with their coverage of the evacuation of the Gaza Strip settlements. "We understand when the international media fall into the trap of the Jewish settlers and run live coverage of the evacuation," said Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor in chief of the London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi.

"But we do not understand that Arab channels should fall into the same trap and serve (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon's objectives," said Atwan, dubbing the evacuation "a grotesque media circus." "Arab public opinion cannot be fooled by the crocodile tears shed by the settlers on houses built on stolen Palestinian territory in Gaza," he said...Ayman Jaballah, deputy editor in chief of the Qatar-based television Al-Jazeera, said "we were fully aware that Israel could try to benefit from this historical event on the media front. And this is what we explained live." He added: "We tried to cover the event in an objective manner and we allowed all parties to explain their points of views."
[Full story>>]

08.23.05 Britain's biggest Muslim group faces "extremism" charges

LONDON (AFP) August 23 – The most respected voice of Britainıs 1.6 million Muslims is under fire for pandering to radicalism, just as it is being called upon to play a bridge-building role in the wake of the London bombings. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is a coalition of some 400 organizations, making it a privileged dialogue partner for Prime Minister Tony Blairıs government after the July 7 attacks in the capital.

But a BBC documentary last weekend, and an earlier front page report in the Observer newspaper, have pointed an accusing finger at the council for harbouring militants and sympathizing with Palestinian suicide bombers. The BBC programme recalled the presence of MCB secretary general Iqbal Sacranie at a memorial service last year in London for Sheikh Yassin, the spiritual leader of the radical Palestinian group Hamas...³This is the same Sacranie who, in 1989, said that ³Death is perhaps too easyı for the author of ³The Satanic Versesı... If Sir Iqbal Sacranie is the best Mr. Blair can offer in the way of a good Muslim, we have a problem.²
[Full story>>; See Maravot News, 8.16.05r article, "Salman Rushdie: Islam must open its windows."

08.23.05 Robertson: US should 'take out' Venezuela's Chavez – Rumsfeld announces new law?

August 23 – Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has called for the United States to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him "a terrific danger" bent on exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas. "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson told viewers on his "The 700 Club" show Monday. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." [More>>; See update, "US dismisses Chavez assassination call."

Editorial note: The crackdown on Islamic preachers who advocate assassination may extend to a crackdown on Christian ministers who advocate assassination as a means of diplomacy. Apparently speaking for the Bush administration, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld said, with regard to "taking out Chavez, (, cbs television,, etc.) "Our department does not do that kind of thing. It's against the law..."

Taking out Saddam Hussein was not against the law, but taking out Chavez is. "Bush Law" is very confusing. UN Secretary General Annan said that the invasion of Iraq was illegal – which includes taking out Saddam Hussein. It is apparent, therefore, that Rumsfeld was not referring to International Law with regard to "taking out Chavez." We must conclude that the Bush administration follows a law that identifies when it is lawful to assassinate someone and when it is not. It is apparently key to keeping the US powerful in Iraq and the Middle East (Bush said this evening, "...uh, ah, uh, ah, an immediate pull-out of Iraq would weaken the US in Iraq and the Middle East").

May we draw an inference from the Bush Law that Middle Eastern leaders can be lawfully assassinated by the Bush administration?

Mel Copeland

08.23.05 Unfinished draft of constitution submitted in tense Iraq

BAGHDAD / WASHINGTON, August 23 – An incomplete draft of new constitution was submitted minutes before Mondayıs midnight deadline, Iraqi National Assembly Speaker Hajem Al Hassani announced. The 72-member constitution committee will have another three days to debate the unresolved details of the structure of federalism in the document, he said. The interim National Assembly will meet to consider the final draft after the new three-day deadline passes. ³God willing, we will convene within the next three days to finish this issue once and for all,² Al Hassani said. Some Sunni members of the drafting committee remain opposed to the degree of power that the constitution would give to provincial governments. [More>>; See related article,, "Iraq's Sunnis aim to defeat constitution in vote." : Iraq's once-dominant Sunni Arab community was left with a stark choice on Tuesday – rally behind a Shi'ite-Kurdish draft constitution within 72 hours, or try to defeat it at a referendum in October. With all sides digging in their heels, a deal by Thursday looked highly unlikely and a battle loomed over the referendum, in which Sunni "No" votes could block the adoption of the charter. An Iraqi man tears an advertising poster, calling for Iraqis to register for the constitutional referendum, as Iraqi Sunnis demonstrate against the draft constitution in the city of Ad Dawr near Tikrit, 175 km north of Baghdad, August 23, 2005. (REUTERS/Amir Al-Amori)

The Shi'ites and Kurds, who now dominate the government, sent an all-but-final draft to parliament moments before the deadline on Monday, side-stepping Sunni objections. But rather than calling for a vote on the text, which would almost certainly have passed given Shi'ite-Kurdish control of the assembly, the speaker, a Sunni himself, granted three more days of talks to see if the Sunni minority might be won over.]

08.23.05 Triple car bombs hit US troops in Iraq

RAMADI, August 23 – Three car bombs exploded in quick succession near US forces in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, on Tuesday in an apparently coordinated strike by insurgents, police and witnesses said. In the first blast, a car blew up as a U.S. convoy was passing through the center of the Sunni Arab city, police said. One U.S. army vehicle was damaged in the explosion and three Iraqi bystanders were wounded, the police said. It was not clear if any U.S. troops were wounded or killed in the attack. [More>>]

08.23.05 Exclusive: Illegal settlements are next

August 23 – Israel is likely to begin dismantling unauthorized settlements in the West Bank within 90 days of the evacuation of the northern Samaria settlements, a senior government official told The Jerusalem Post. According to the official, the evacuation of the Gaza settlements has "changed the rules of the game," both in regard to Israel's expected reaction to any Palestinian terrorist attacks – which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said would be harsher than in the past – and also in regard to the unauthorized settlements. The official referred to a "momentum" that had been established over the last few days that the IDF was keen to capitalize upon. A few months ago, before the Gaza evacuation, dismantling the outposts appeared to some as an almost inconceivable task.[ More>>Jerusalem Post]

08.23.05 China's $4.18 billion bid for oil firm accepted

August 23 – The nation's largest oil and gas producer, China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), yesterday reached an initial agreement with PetroKazakhstan Inc. to buy the Canadian-registered company for $4.18 billion, topping the bid from an Indian rival. "CNPC, through its wholly owned subsidiary China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI), has participated in acquiring PetroKazakhstan (PK)," the Beijing-based oil giant said in a statement yesterday...The deal is expected to close in October, said the Calgary-based oil company, which produces 7 million tons of crude oil annually. [Full story>>]

08.23.05 Southern China on high alert as pig disease spreads

August 23 – China's far south is on high alert after one person was killed and three were infected by a pig-borne disease that has killed nearly 40 in the southwest, Reuters cited Xinhua News Agency as reported. The latest victim of the disease, caused by the Streptococcus suis bacterium, had handled infected pork, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday. The three infected patients, all butchers, also likely had contact with tainted meat. [More>>]

08.23.05 Camp Casey, Texas – New War Memorial or what?

The movement begun by Cindy Sheehan's establishment of Camp Casey neighboring the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas is at a new crossroad.

Camp Casey, Texas : A new National Memorial?
Photos courtesy
Whether Camp Casey continues as an ongoing rock concert of protesting parents, or a memorial – or morphs into a new form – is the question of the moment. A background on the movement "against Bush's lies" is at Maravot News 8.20.05. "Just how bad is Bush" can also be read in that issue. The memorial at Camp Casey is for US soldiers, but there are also about 27,000 Iraqi civilians who have been killed in the cause of bringing freedom to Iraq. President Bush's latest remarks addressed the point of view that when Iraq passes its Constitution it will have set a precedent, being the first democracy in the region. Apparently in the Bush administration's view Turkey – a nation predominately Moslem which has a separation between "church and state" – does not qualify as having already set the precedent.

An opposing group, "Against Cindy Sheehan," just departed in a caravan from San Francisco to tour California and then lodge against Sheehan. There is some question as to whether lying by the president of the United States is an acceptable model of democracy. It may be that the "Against Cindy Sheehan" caravan will have some new precepts justifying deception as a normal means of leadership in America and how that example will bring freedom to the world. In the
Maravot News8.20.05 issue we also address the consequences of deception by leaders elected by the people. The foundation acknowledged by Cicero, " Leaders have an obligation to tell the people what they have a right to know," is the crux of the issue here.

The Camp Casey movement plans a march on Washington D.C. September 24-26. More alliances are being formed and the latest effort is a petition, "A people's petition for an Iraq Peace Process."
Mel Copeland

08.23.05 Bush: Iraq withdrawal would weaken US

DONNELLY, Idaho (AP) August 23 – President Bush charged Tuesday that anti-war protesters like Cindy Sheehan who want troops brought home immediately do not represent the views of most U.S. military families and are "advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."

In brief remarks outside the resort where he is vacationing, Bush gave no indication that he would change his mind and meet with Sheehan after he returns to his Texas ranch Wednesday evening. Sheehan lost a son in Iraq and has emerged as a harsh critic of the war...Recent polls have shown growing public dissatisfaction with the president's handling of the war in Iraq in the face of a persistent insurgency and the mounting U.S. death toll. An AP-Ipsos poll taken earlier this month showed that the percentage of Americans who approve of Bush's handling of Iraq _ a number that had been hovering in the low- to mid-40s most of the year _ dipped to 38 percent.
[Full story>>]


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:

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


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


(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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