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Thursday 12.09.04
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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq
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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

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

Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits w/ Presidents. Click chart for larger image.

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

Gross Domestic Products. Click chart for larger image.

Blogs, news & stuff
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Intrnational Agencies – News

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
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

The Scribble Doodle Wall: Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view. Click here, Jerusalem Post map for interactive map.

Middle East Watch

Russia Watch


East Asia Watch


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
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12.08.04; 12.09.04 Update: Military personnel enlistment is for as long as there is war

American troops volunteer for military duty that is open-ended. The contract they sign says that the term of the contract may be extended indefinitely in times of war. Copy of the contract: enlistment.pdf.

Scott Pelley's report Wednesday, CBS 60 Minutes "Deserters:..," dealt with the issue of about 5,500 American deserters, some of whom are in Canada and filing for asylum. The situation recalls the sequence of the Vietnam War, where soldiers becoming more informed about the war began to object to the war on principals involving "non participation in an illegal war." For those of you who are history buffs, the Vietnam War was launched by John F. Kennedy to take up the slack of the French pull-out and based upon what was called, "The domino theory," supposing that Communism was evil and would spread from nation to nation from China and Russia. Korea, Berlin, and Vietnam were the frontiers that the West chose had to be defended against the evil. When an American ship was attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, the President asked for authority to conduct an act of war against North Vietnam, which was invading South Vietnam. The authority the President received was called "The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution." Under the Constitution, Congress, however, did not have the authority to authorize acts of war by the United States via the vehicle of a "resolution." A resolution is an "opinion," and such is not legally an "act of Congress." Thus, the United States did launch an illegal war against Vietnam under the foundation of a "resolution." The war lasted 10 years.

Objectors of the Iraq War have a similar complaint in terms of legality. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan answered the media on the question of George W. Bush's war in Iraq, saying, " It is an illegal war according to UN covenants. The act of war against a member nation requires approval of the Security Council, which George W. Bush did not have. Rushing into war, Bush thumbed his nose at the UN legal body and essentially went it alone with the support of Britain. (See BUSH & War Crimes)

November 29, 2004 on a visit to Canada, George W. Bush was arrested and charged with War Crimes in Iraq by the Canadian Prime Minister. Shortly before that in Germany Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was charged with War Crimes in Iraq. Based upon these international acts of governments, soldiers serving in Iraq now are placed in an odd situation, since they have enlisted for an indefinite period, until the war is declared ended.

At issue in the Iraq War is an act of war by the presidency that has been identified not only as illegal among the international community but also a war that involves War Crimes, filed under the terms of the Nuremberg Trials and covenants signed as a result of them. The Nuremberg Trials were conducted under the auspices of the United States and its allies Britain, Russia and France, who prosecuted the war in Europe and Africa, World War II, against Hitler.

Western Law is founded on the principal of "precedence," following the body of laws inherited from the Roman Empire. To ascertain whether George W. Bush and his administration have conducted an illegal war in Iraq, no doubt the courts – that will now have to hear and judge the charges against him – will refer to any precedence that would indicate what George W. Bush has done is legal under International Law, and if it is judged to be illegal – or even a War Crime –then the remedies provided in International Law and the UN Covenants would have to be applied.

In the mean time our soldiers are engaged in a War in Iraq, and recent sentiments from the experts observing the war conclude that it will continue for several years. International Law and US law governing enlistments forbid American soldiers to serve in activities that have been established as War Crimes.

The Bush administration's argument that no matter how we got engaged in the war in Iraq, the world is better off with Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein, currently in US-Iraqi custody. The argument anticipates the old rules, "might makes right," and "all's well that ends well."

Two recent, similar precedents can be mentioned, of the United States invading a nation and deposing its leader(s). The first can be found in the case of Panama, where President George H. W. Bush conducted an act of war (December 1989) against the sovereign government of Panama, captured its leader, Manuel Noriega, and charged him for drug trafficking and racketeering. Noriega resides in an American prison. An earlier invasion by President Reagan involved the small Caribbean island of Grenada (Oct. 21, 1983) "where Cuban influence was growing." My neighbor – a former UN economics advisor – told me that he was there at the time and felt the attack was unjustified. The invasion received international criticism. "It was popular in the US but nowhere else."
[Encyclopaedia Britannica]

Hero of the West, Andrew Jackson (1829–37) invaded Florida (Dec. 1817) and wrenched it out of the hands of Spain. "He captured two Spanish posts and appointed one of his subordinates military governor of Florida. These bold actions brought an immediate and sharp protest from Spain and precipitated a cabinet crisis in Washington. The staunch defense of Jackson by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams saved Jackson from censure and hastened the U.S. acquisition of Florida. Later, President James Polk, attempting to resolve border disputes with Mexico over the Rio Grande, sent General Zachary Taylor, with a Congressional Act of War, recorded as the "Mexican War," to fight the Mexican army in California and the Mexican border. General Taylor was not excited in pursuing the Mexican army into Mexico, so President Polk ordered General Winfield Scott to take an army to Veracruz, who marched inland and entered Mexico City on September 14, 1847, bringing down the Mexican government. Under the "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo" Mexico ceded to the United States nearly all of the territory included in the states of New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas, and western Colorado for $15 million, with US assumption of its citizens' claims against Mexico. [Encyclopaedia Britannica].

Ultimately the arguments defer to the position of the United States as a Supreme Power, its responsibilities, and acts of war conducted under the auspice of the US Congress as legal "Acts of War." Except for Vietnam there appears to be no precedence (except the "Emergency Powers Act) in US history to justify acts of war without the US Congress issuing an "Act of War."

The UN covenants and International Law do not recognize any preferential treatment for Supreme Power(s), beyond the requirements of the Security Council which is presided over by 5 permanent members: the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China, and 10 nonpermanent members. Procedures for the Security Council are as follows:

Each Security Council member is entitled to one vote. On all ³procedural² matters—the definition of which is sometimes in dispute—decisions by the council are made by an affirmative vote of any nine of its members. Substantive matters, such as the investigation of a dispute or the application of sanctions, also require nine affirmative votes, including those of the five permanent members holding veto power. In practice, however, a permanent member may abstain without impairing the validity of the decision. A vote on whether a matter is procedural or substantive is itself a substantive question. Because the Security Council is required to function continuously, each member is represented at all times at the UN's headquarters in New York City.

Any country—even if it is not a member of the UN—may bring a dispute to which it is a party to the attention of the Security Council. When there is a complaint, the council first explores the possibility of a peaceful resolution. International peacekeeping forces may be authorized to keep warring parties apart pending further negotiations. If the council finds that there is a real threat to the peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression (as defined by Article 39 of the UN Charter), it may call upon UN members to apply diplomatic or economic sanctions. If these methods prove inadequate, the UN Charter allows the Security Council to take military action against the offending country.
[Encyclopaedia Britannica]

These appear to be the main issues and precedents involved in George W. Bush's War in Iraq, and some legal arguments available to soldiers who refuse to participate in the war.
Mel Copeland

12.09.04 North East Asian countries uneasy with Bush administration direction – fear another Iraq

An article posted by Bruce Klingner is of interest. He begins, "Continuing indications that the administration of US President George W. Bush will pursue a firm and potentially more activist policy towards North Korea are exacerbating regional concerns, straining already frayed United States relations with South Korea, and spurring Seoul to seek a more independent role in efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear impasse...Despite US assertions that northeast Asian nations agreed on the need for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programs, Bush's counterparts concurrently emphasized the need for US restraint and a measured diplomatic approach." [More>>]

12.09.04 Panel urges use of Shuttle to help Hubble telescope

After six months of study conducted at the request of Congress, 21 experts urged the use of the Shuttle to maintain Hubble. There were too many uncertainties in using a robotic device for the mission. [More>>]

12.09.04 President Bush rules out hike in payroll tax to fund Social Security

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 – President Bush on Thursday flatly ruled out raising payroll taxes to ensure the solvency of Social Security as he began a push for historic changes in the retirement program. Bush renewed his call for legislation that would let workers create private retirement accounts within the government-run program. "We will not raise payroll taxes to solve this problem," Bush said as he met in the Oval Office with a panel of advisers on the Social Security issue.

Bush sidestepped questions about whether the nation can afford to borrow in order to confront a shortfall in the trillions of dollars. "I will not prejudge any solution," Bush said.

12.09.04 Five dead, including gunman, in Columbus shooting

COLUMBUS, OHIO, Dec. 9 – A gunman charged onstage at a packed nightclub and opened fire on the band and crowd, killing top heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and three other people before a police officer shot him to death, authorities and witnesses said. The gunman was identified as Nathan Gale, 25, of Marysville, 25 miles northwest of Columbus. [More>>(AP)]

12.09.04 Explosions rock Italian embassy in Iraq

ROME, Dec. 9 – Iraqi Defence Minister Antonio Martino announced in Rome, "Several mortar shells fell about 50 metres from the embassy but there were no Italian victims. We don't know if there were Iraqi victims." Martino added: "Our intelligence services have for some time been passing us information that an attack against the embassy may be possible. This time there was no harm done." Italy has 3000 military personnel in Iraq based in the area around the southern town of Nasiriya. [More>>Al-Jezeera]

12.09.04 Israelis suffer from '"anti-Frenchism" according to French ambassador to Israel

The French ambassador to Israel accused Israelis on Thursday of suffering from "a mental disorder of anti-Frenchism," sparking protests from the Foreign Ministry. "I think there is a neurosis that causes anti-Frenchism," the ambassador, Gerard Araud, told Army Radio. "This anti-French neurosis has led to France being so hated in Israel. The relationship between the two countries is very difficult. You simply love to hate us." [More>> and Jerusalem Post]

12.09.04 Powell asks European nations to commit more forces to Iraq and Afghanistan

A statement by NATO foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, said the alliance wanted to enhance and expand its commitments in those countries. But there was no sign the Europeans had come up with the numbers requested. However, amid calls for improved ties between the US and Europe, diplomats said President George W. Bush will visit Brussels on 22 February next year. [More>>Bignewsnetwork]

12.09.04 Asian markets down – consumer confidence reaches four-year low in South Korea

Korea's consumer confidence plunged to its lowest in four years in November, suggesting that domestic demand will continue to be a big drag on Asia's third-largest economy. The consumer confidence index fell to 86.6 last month from 88 in October, the sixth decline in seven months, the National Statistical Office said yesterday in a statement from the government complex in Gwacheon, southern Seoul.

A reading below 100 indicates that more households are pessimistic than optimistic about the nation's economy in the coming six months and therefore intend to spend less.
[More>> and Korea Herald]

12.09.04 EU looking to lift arms ban to China

BEIJING, Dec. 9 – The European Union says it is willing to work towards lifting the arms embargo on China, president of the European Council Jan Peter Balkenende said. Netherlands Prime Minister Balkenende, who holds the 25-nation bloc's rotating presidency, confirmed that work to strengthen the application of the EU Code of Conduct on arms exports was continuing.

"China welcomes this positive signal," said Premier Wen Jiabao, adding it is beneficial to the sound development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides and would not harm the interests of any other third party." In a joint statement released after the summit, China reaffirmed that the EU arms embargo against China is a "political discrimination" and is "not acceptable" and should be "immediately removed."

12.09.04 Coast Guard copter crashes, six missing

(CNN), Dec. 9 – A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crashed Wednesday off Alaska's Aleutian Islands while attempting to rescue crew members from a derelict Malaysian-flagged cargo ship, dumping 10 people into the frigid waters of the northern Pacific Ocean, a Coast Guard spokesman said. [More>>Bignewsnetwork]

12.09.04 Miracle in the Philippines

Three adults and a three-year-old girl were pulled out alive Thursday from the rubble of a two-story building that collapsed in a storm 11 days ago in the town of Real, Quezon province, reports culled by said. Major Bartolome Bacarro said an estimated 50 people were still trapped in the collapsed building in Barangay (village) Tignoan. [More>>]

12.09.04 Export zone on Vietnam-Laos border successful

More than 50 foreign firms have set up in a special export zone established by the Government of Vietnam at Lao Bao, near the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) border at Lao Bao-Dansavanh. Foreign investments in the Lao Bao commercial area have so far created more than 1,000 jobs in one of Vietnam's less developed regions, where 1 in 10 people is from an ethnic minority.

The increased presence of investors in the area owes much to progress on the East-West Economic Corridor, which the Lao PDR and Vietnam are turning into an all-weather highway with assistance from funding agencies including ADB and the Government of Japan. The zone is a mixed blessing, however, since people are being attracted to the area and with the flare-up of AIDS in Asia, the mix of people coming to the area increases the risk of AIDS.

12.09.04 President Karzai of Afghanistan declares Holy War on drug trade

KABUL, Dec. 9 – Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai Thursday declared a holy war on the drugs trade gripping his war-shattered country, which produces nearly nine-tenths of the world's opium. Karzai, who was sworn in on Tuesday as the first democratically elected Afghan leader, told a conference of key figures whom he wants to involve in the crackdown that the trade was more dangerous than terrorism. [More>>]

12.09.04 Moqtada al-Sadr left off Sistani's electoral list

BAGHDAD, Dec. 9 – The electoral list backed by the highest religious authority among Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority includes all the country's Shiite parties except that of radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite party official said Thursday. []

12.09.04 NATO increasing training mission to Iraq

BRUSSELS, Dec. 9 – NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer Thursday announced an increase in the organisation's military training mission in war-wracked Iraq, which would be boosted from 60 to 300 officers. []

12.09.04 China to move to flexible currency (yuan, aka RMB)

China will move gradually toward a more flexible exchange rate. Premier Wen Jiabao said that loosening control requires macro-economic stability, and a sound banking system in the world's fastest-growing major economy. Wen spoke at the 7th China-EU Summit in the Hague. Trading partners like the US, want China to alter the exchange rate system. They argue that the fixed rate gives Chinese exporters an unfair advantage. But Wen said China has always kept the world's interests in mind. During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, China maintained the RMB exchange rate under great pressure, making considerable efforts to maintain world economic stability.

In the future, Wen said "China will also take the global economy into consideration, while reforming its exchange rate system."

12.09.04 Pakistani scientist's link to nuclear technology sales to Iran

A Pakistan-based nuclear proliferation ring has been broken up and its mastermind, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, has been "brought to justice," and is under house arrest. According to a CIA report November 23, Khan not only sold advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges to Iran; he likely sold it an actual nuclear weapon design along with nuclear fuel material. [More>>]

12.09.04 Good news for San Francisco: Chinese tourists may be on the way – but some bad news

BEIJING, Dec. 8; Update Dec.9 – China and the U.S. signed a memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation, which adds the US to China's list of approved destination tours. According to the National Tourism Administration, Chinese citizens will be able to travel to America before next May at the earliest or no later than the end of next year.

You heard the good news; now here's the not-so-good-news:Thursday the Chinese government revealed that Chinese tourists to America will will have to put down a substantial deposit before booking a trip to America. Group tourists will be required to pay travel agencies a deposit of about 100,000 yuan (US$12,000) before their trips, which is refundable after they return. [More>>Xinhuanet]

12.08.04 Planned cut-back in oil supply by OPEC

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi Wednesday questioned the need to cut back oil supplies. Cut-backs were being proposed as a prelude to Friday's ministerial meeting of OPEC oil producers in Cairo. OPEC is concerned about falling prices in crude oil, though the cartel's reference crude price was still above its official target. [More>>The Daily Star]

12.08.04 China's computer giant buys IBM's computer business

BEIJING, Dec. 8 – China's personal computer giant, Lenovo Group Limited, signed an agreement Wednesday with IBM to take over the latter's personal computer business for 1.25 billion US dollars. According to the agreement, Lenovo will acquire IBM's entire global desktop and laptop computer research and development and manufacturing business. In return, Lenovo will pay IBM $650 million in cash and grant it $600 million worth of Lenovo stocks, which will make IBM an owner of around 18.5 percent of Lenovo's equity stake. [More>>Xinhuanet]

12.08.04 Rumsfeld says, "You go to war with what you have."

Based upon TV broadcasts Wednesday, apparently the need to go to war in Iraq was so urgent President Bush could not plan on supplying the troops with necessary equipment and resources. The strategy revealed Wednesday in an appearance before our troops at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld now is, "You go to war with what you have." He said this in answer to a soldier's complaint at the briefing, having to do with soldiers still not having armor and forced to raid rusted debris to add armor to their vehicles and equipment. Although March will be the second anniversary of Bush's invasion, troops still don't have proper equipment. Rumsfeld explained that it is a matter of logistics. With reference to supplying armored Humvees Rumsfeld said America can't build them fast enough. Let's face it, the 250 tons of ammunition that came up missing – after Bush's army rushed by Saddam Hussein's unguarded armories heading to Baghdad to secure the oil ministry – might possibly be the reason why America can't keep up with the demand for armored Humvees.
Mel Copeland

12.08.04 New missile system about to be tested in Alaska

The first test of a new missile defense system in two years is waiting on the weather. The $85 million test comes as the military is in final preparations to activate missile defenses designed to protect against an intercontinental ballistic missile attack from North Korea or elsewhere in eastern Asia. [More>>]

12.08.04 Israeli soldiers admit having killed 15-year-old Palestinian for sport

According to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth, the incident took place in March when a group of newly graduated soldiers were on a hike near the town of Khan Yunus. According to the report, an undisclosed number of Givati brigade soldiers shot and killed Khalid Sulaiman Mahdi while he was working with his father on their farm. The boy's father, Sulaiman Mahdi, told the paper the killing was "just for the sake of it...Seven bullets pierced my son's head..."[More>>Al-Jezeera]

12.08.04 Chinese Prime Minister arrives in the Hague for summit with EU

THE HAGUE, Dec. 8 – Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao arrived in The Hague Wednesday for a summit with the European Union. Beijing's desire for the EU to lift a 15-year-old arms embargo seems to be part of his mission.

12.08.04 Turkey economically strategic to Russia

The terrorist attack Monday on the US consulate in Jiddah shows that Saudi security is vulnerable. After the attack that killed eight or possibly nine people, Tuesday the US government made announcements for Americans not to travel to Saudi Arabia. One assesment on the attack explained that the American consulate did not have a multiple gate structure as other American consulates. The terrorists attempted to break through a barrier with their vehicle, and failing that got out and attacked the consulate on foot, getting through the gate. Securing American consulates in these perilous times poses the same problems known to builder's of ancient castles. The Mycenneans about 1,500 B.C. used a wall-projection in front of the gate, on the left, that allowed defenders to shoot down on the men attacking the gate. Since soldiers then were right handed and kept their shield in their left hand, they were vulnerable from their unshielded side. During the Middle Ages castle builders went a bit further and installed a "keep" behind the main gate. Also in front of the main gate might have been a moat and other breastworks. The idea behind the keep – which can be seen in American prisons such as San Quentin – involves iron gates that close, front and aft, trapping those attacking in a confined room at the gate. Above the room are windows or parapets from which defenders can shoot down on the trapped men.

While such ideas of defending Bush's consulates may not be appropriate to combat modern attacks, we can say as an overview that Bush's general strategy of protecting US forces and consulates is most definitely light-armed and far below the standards of the Crusaders he emulates. He sends troops into the field with little armor to protect them in the house-to-house combat (which Saddam Hussein warned would occur if the US attacked), losing ground against men equipped with what might be called antique weapons. His fortifications are easily penetrated and he has little control over key supply routes. Another commander-in-chief who made similar strategic mistakes, of not protecting supply lines, was Hitler. History buffs will recall that a key strategy of General Eisenhower, in breaking the back of Hitler, was the bombing of fuel refineries and supply routes. Without fuel Hitler's Luftwaffe could not get airborne and his feared Panzer tanks ran out of gas.

An article by
Breffni O'Rourke posted December 7 examines what happened and why in the Jiddah attack Monday. [Story at Radio Free Europe]
Mel Copeland

12.08.04 US Colin Powell and Russian Sergey Lavrov verbally duke it out over Ukraine – conference scuttled

According to most media sentiments, Bush side-tracked and essentially scuttled much of the economic agenda of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) in Chile, November 20. But that was expected since he had Korean missiles on his mind.

Powell vs Lavrov - Nobody won. Photo courtesy of, at OSCE conference.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov got into an exchange at Tuesday's Council of Ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Sofia. The scuffle between the two distracted the meeting and says Pavel Belov: "As a result, the meeting ended in complete failure – for the first time in many years, the participants were unable to even adopt a final declaration." [More>>]

This method of disrupting economic conferences may be a new diplomatic strategy of the Bush administration.

12.08.04 EU and China sign strategic partnership

THE HAGUE, Dec. 8 – The Chinese government and the European Union (EU) on Wednesday agreed to work together to strengthen the international nonproliferation and arms control regimes.

"The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery poses a serious threat to international peace and security," said a joint declaration signed here after the one-day summit between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and EU leaders, represented by Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Recognizing each other as a major strategic partner in the area of disarmament and nonproliferation, China and the EU will deepen their cooperation in these pursuits and promote close policy dialogues at various levels...China and the EU also commit their support for the international verification agencies including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. They agreed that the specific role and responsibilities of the United Nations Security Council in this area should be fostered...

12.08.04 Elections in Iraq unimaginable under occupation by foreign troops, says Putin

Iyad Allawi, interim prime minister of Iraq, visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Tuesday. Putin told Allawi that he could "not imagine how elections could be organized under a full occupation of the country by foreign troops."

"I also cannot imagine how you on your own will be able to restore the situation in the country and stop it from breaking up," he said. Allawi re-affirmed the election date of 30 January but indicated that the troubled regions could involve two to three weeks longer to vote.

12.08.04 Turkey economically strategic to Russia

What would not have been possible a few years ago, because of historical concerns: Cold War alignments making Turkey the West's first wall of defense against Russia, Turkey's genocide against Armenians (Russia came to the Armenian's aid), the ancient conflict between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire, etc. is now becoming reality. Russia is seeking close economic ties with Turkey. Turkey lies in the crossroads of pipeline routes and Russia needs them.

For delivery of oil and gas, Turkey is geographically strategic to the West like the Kyrgyzstan -Tajikistan - Afghanistan corridor (KTA corridor) are to the East. Plans for pipelines to China and India have to include the KTA corridor just as the Silk Road depended upon that critical geographical passage. Guarding the southern route to India from the West is the Khyber Pass, the location of many battles from the time of Alexander the Great to the British Empire. It guards the frontier of the Peshawar tribal areas where Osama bin Laden was /is believed to be in hiding (see map). Looking at the map, one can follow the route from Kabul, Afghanistan, through the Khyber Pass to Pakistan's city of Islamabad. Adjacent to Islamabad is Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan are in conflict. Peace in Kashmir and Afghanistan are thus essential to the placement of oil and gas pipelines feeding from the Caspian Sea and Russia to China and India. Associated with this is a southern route through Iran, where Iran and Pakistan have entered into an agreement to rebuild a bridge crossing their southern areas, allowing a truck passage directly to Karachi. Associated with this, to handle increasing economic growth and trade with the Central Asian countries, Pakistan and India have agreed to rebuild an old railroad line running north and south.

Both routes, to the West through Turkey and the East through the KTA corridor, are important to Russia. Thus, Putin has been courting India and Pakistan. He may have some bridges to repair in Afghanistan, however, since the invasion of Afghanistan by Russia is still fresh in most minds.

Bilateral trade is forecast to reach $10 billion in 2004 between Russia and Turkey. A December 8 article by
Paul de Zardain special to the Daily Star explains the oil connection:

"Turkey is a key piece in Putin's overall strategy to re-establish a sphere of influence. Behind the Kremlin's rhetoric against a unipolar world is not only veiled criticism of U.S. hegemony, but a reminder that Siberian fields hold the largest deposits of natural gas.

This is no idle talk. A global switchover at electricity plants from oil to natural gas has already begun. And Russia is by far the largest source of European gas oil imports (390,000 barrels per day in 2002, or 80 percent of West European imports). Gazprom, Russia's state-owned giant, is responsible for European energy security. But in order to stay competitive, Russian energy firms need full-scale pipeline infrastructure.

Blue Stream, a pipeline through the Black Sea, carried 1.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian natural gas to Turkey in 2003. Exports this year will likely reach 2 bcm. Gazprom's CEO Aleksei Miller is especially interested in Turkish distribution networks. Prior to Putin's visit, Miller met with Mehmed Gueler, Turkey's Energy Minister, to discuss investment opportunities.

For years, Russian investors have placed bids on Turkish electricity plants, oil refineries and LNG projects. But privatization in the 1990's was trumped by political instability in Ankara. As a bargaining tool, the Turkish side never tires of bringing up tanker traffic volume in the Bosphorus. Developing safer pipeline infrastructure is now in both parties' interest.

Russia, like Iran, cannot hide its distaste for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline project. It bypasses both countries on its way from Caspian oil fields to the Mediterranean. BTC also places Anatolia, Turkey's sleepy inland, at the heart of world energy supply.

The Nabucco project, another pipeline route for natural gas deliveries, crosses Turkish territory on its way to Austria..."

Putin's visit also involved the discussion of military equipment sales to Turkey, according to Zardain. This should be a burr in the collar of Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush's new military jacket.
Mel Copeland

12.08.04 President Musharraf of Pakistan meets with French President Jacques Chirac

President Musharraf of Pakistan met with French President Jacques Chirac to discuss a number of global and regional issues, including F-16 fighter planes. Replying to a question about purchasing French F-16 fighter planes, the Musharraf said: ³We would shore up defence cooperation with France in a number of matters.² Both Chirac and Musharraf agreed that tension in the Middle East would never be overcome until the Palestinian issue is resolved. [More>>]

In following Musharraf's tour, Britain's Tony Blair stiff-armed Musharraf on the issue of mediating the India-Pakistan dispute on Kashmir, and it appears that the most he got out of Bush and Blair on the Palestine-Kashmir solution was blank stares – like a deer staring into headlights. Meanwhile, India has vociferously opposed the acquisition of F-16 fighters from the US and has been entertaining Putin for several reasons. Could a future stop of Musharraf's tour be Putin's office?

12.08.04 European Airbus may subcontract subsytems of A350 jetliner to China

BEIJING, Dec. 8 – European aircraft maker Airbus SAS said Tuesday it might let Chinese aviation manufacturers supply up to 5 percent of parts on the proposed A350 jetliner, a day after signing a $1.33 billion deal with Air China. The Chinese companies would join Airbus in research, development and production of its A350 parts. [More>>Xinhuanet]

12.08.04 Japan shelves long-range offensive missiles

The development of Japan's long-range missiles was somewhat cancelled based upon a meeting of the Japanese ruling parties task force Tuesday. Long-range surface-to-surface precision-guided missiles in the next Midterm Defense Program (fiscal 2005-09) were considered to be too offensive. Nevertheless the missile's range of up to 300 kilometers "for counterattacks if remote islands were attacked" could be extended to reach neighboring countries. [More>>Daily]

12.08.04 Oil producing governments in Mideast getting rich while their people starve

Paul Cochrane, The Daily Star staff, posted an article December 8, saying that Mideast stock markets are booming and oil revenues have hit record highs this year, but large sections of the oil producing populace have not benefited economically. Labor productivity has averaged just 0.1 percent growth in the past decade. A new report from the Geneva-based International Labor Organization published Tuesday says that GDP figures among the region's oil-producing countries are close to "three times higher than the average for non-oil-producing countries." [More>>]

12.08.04 Iraq War troops give up jobs at home to serve Bush – become homeless after service

American veterans from Iraq are already showing up in homeless shelters, according to a December 8 article by Mark Benjamin. Advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era. [More>>bignewsnetwork]

12.08.04 US Democratic Transformation of the Middle East coming under attack

Coming under attack is Bush's thesis of waging war – using Iraq as an example – to overthrow Mideast regimes and install a "market-based democracy" (another way of expressing the ambition to overthrow oil-producing regimes to get control of their oil fields). We can compare Bush's methods of establishing trade relations to the new paths being led by the new Big Four: the EU, China, India and Russia, that are [so far] based upon peaceful economic interchange.

An article by
Erich Marquardt, Power & Interest News Report, examines the process which has demonstrated why Bush's War in Iraq has produced an increasing, adverse reaction towards the US. Bush appears to have put his foot in his mouth and endangered American lives when he said in his January 2004 address:

"As long as the Middle East remains a place of tyranny and despair and anger, it will continue to produce men and movements that threaten the safety of America and our friends. So America is pursuing a forward strategy of freedom in the greater Middle East. We will challenge the enemies of reform, confront the allies of terror, and expect a higher standard from our friend."

[More>> via Asia Times Online]

12.08.04 Eritrea in fourth year of drought Somalia suffering from drought; both ignored

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey offered an article Wednesday on the dire circumstances of the drought ridden countries on the horn of Africa whose plight is being ignored by the International Press who are engrossed in, or distracted with, Bush's war on Iraq. Curiously the story was only covered by Pravda. In Eritrea 900,000 people are suffering, a quarter of the population is dependent upon food supplied by the United Nations, and the malnutrition rate is 19% of the population (The UN classifies a rate of 15% as an emergency). Bancroft-Hinchey ends his story on a poignant note: "We apologize for being so disturbing, but there is a humanitarian crisis in these countries and millions of people need help. They do not wish to be bombed, they do not wish to be invaded, they simply request the right to survive." [Story at]

12.08.04 National Geographic gives Persian Gulf new name; infuriates Iranians

In what appears to be typically Bush mentality, the National Geographic Society published its latest issue with a picture of the Persian Gulf now called "Arabian Gulf." What's going on? Is the National Geographic anticipating that the Saudis will own the Persian Gulf area? American Iranians are understandably upset and Iran has banned National Geographic Magazine. [More>>Radio Free Europe]


12.07.04 Interest for 2004 exceeded outlays for essential Bush administration departments

Most people, and it is sad to say, most congress persons, are not aware how much American tax dollars go to service the National Debt, which is now pushing $8 trillion. Group A outlays, comprising 13 out of 22 categories of outlays for the government, are about what Bush spends on interest to service the debt each year. The 13 categories of expenditures include: Legislative, Judiciary, Executive Office, International Assistance, Agriculture, Commerce, Civil Defense, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and the State Department. They total 320 billion, one hundred eighty-three thousand dollars ($320.183 billion). Bush is paying bankers (most of them foreign) about the same amount: $321.566 billion. It pays to be a friend of the Bush family. Click here to view the chart.
Mel Copeland

12.07.04 US CDC forcasts on global warming grim

An article by Linda Heard [Article is at>>] reminds us though we live in perilous times – now dominated with threats by terrorists – data released by the US CDC show Americans have a one in 9,396 chance of death due to excessive heat, as compared to one in 88,000 chance in dying from a terrorist attack or a one in 10,455 chance of dying in the bathtub. We have some comments with regard to her article.

President George W. Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocols only increases the threat level of excessive heat complications, droughts and desserts expanding over more areas, worse storms and flooding in others. Carbon dioxide levels are currently the highest in more than 420,000 years. For reference purposes it is worthwhile to consider that the end of the last Ice Age, the Holocene, was ~14,000 years ago (glacial maximum was ~18,000 years ago). Then you could walk from Siberia to Alaska over a land bridge and probably from the Continent of Europe to Britain.
Since then the earth has been in a warming stage. Whether it will end in another Ice Age – or is near the peak of a warming cycle – is hard to say, but the CDC report shows the situation we are in is quite serious: since several Ice Ages (Ice Age cycles repeat every 20,000 - 40,000 years) have passed since 420,000 years ago.

The earliest known Ice Age took place during the Precambrian Time, dating back more than 570 million years. In the 16th century a Little Ice Age began which advanced and receded intermittently over three centuries. Its maximum development was reached about 1750, at which time glaciers were more widespread on Earth than at any time since the principal Quaternary Ice Ages (the last 1.6 million years, with the exception of the last 10,000 years, which are called the Holocene epoch). Although the precise causes of the Ice Ages that mark the Pleistocene are controversial, it is known that prior to this glaciation northern Europe had risen to a much higher elevation than now and that ice formed to great depths there, as in the rest of the Atlantic landmass and the Alpine areas. The Pleistocene was punctuated by warm interglacial periods separating glacial advances; during its latter part, humans occupied niches in the more southerly parts of the continent.
[Encyclopaedia Britannica]

Heard's article says "the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the Earth average temperature rise will be as much as 5.8 degrees centigrade by 2100. During the past 100 years the Earth's temperature has risen an average of six degrees Centigrade. The UN World Meterological Organization states that last year was the third warmest since records were first kept in the 1860's."

With the US being one of the world's major polluters is Australia which emits one of the highest per capita levels of greenhouse gas pollution in the world. Against the US, attempting to reduce emissions are 30 nations who signed the Kyoto agreement, including Russia whose signature put the pact into effect. Russia is responsible for 17% of the world's greenhouse emissions.

Keeping the comparative data in context, world leaders consider crusader George W. Bush a great threat to international security (he was arrested by the Canadian Prime Minister last week for War Crimes) and a recent statement from Pakistan's President Musharraf agrees with what others have said: that the world is less safe after the Iraq invasion
. Applying the odds quoted by Heard, George W. Bush may be remembered in history as the man that posed the greatest threat to mankind – from both a social and environmental point of view. Here's the problem with this point of view, however: If what Cicero said is true, [sic] " a people tend to resemble their leaders," (see also Hobbes Leviathan and Xenophon) then what Bush has been up to doesn't leave us Americans in an enviable position in the face of future historians.

I leave my commentary on the note Linda S. Heard concluded: "...our once beautiful Earth remains tragically and needlessly under siege." Heard welcomes feedback on her article:
Mel Copeland

12.07.04 Taiwan considering name change
12.06.04 Kurds in southeastern Turkey want their requests met before EU admits Turkey
12.06.04 Eight soldiers plan to sue over Army's Stop-Loss policy
12.05.04 US accused of eliminating witnesses to Iraqi attacks

Dec 6 – The US has been fighting two wars in Iraq: a war to eliminate insurgents and another war to eliminate witnesses, according to a November 26 article by Naomi Klien in London's Guardian newspaper. She wrote, "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies...General Franks said, "We don't do body counts." Her initial concerns were of the pattern of US forces attacking hospitals first and confiscating communicatin devices, non-embedded reporters are shot, etc. Anyone in Iraq - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dared to count the bodies of civilians were killed. The U.S. Embassy in London complained, but the columnist hit back [More>>Big News Network] See also, story by Ashish Kumar Sen, "Confusion over Aids workers in Iraq makes workers sitting ducks."

12.02.04 New meeting for progress in the Middle East and North Africa

The first meeting of G8 nations, Middle East and North African nations will take place in Morocco December 11. The meeting is called, "Forum for the Future," and will explore economic and cooperative ventures among the nations. The Morocco meeting will bring together foreign affairs and finance ministers from more than 20 countries of the Broader Middle East and North Africa region, along with G8 counterparts and representatives from regional and international organizations. [More>>]



12.07.04 Heavy sell-off of US dollar in Shanghai
President Bush plans to borrow $1 trillion more to fund Social Security
12.06.04 Collapse of US dollar may give China's yuan the edge as world currency
12.03.04 US National Debt reduction a priority for Senator Feinstein
12.04.04 Tokyo Finance Minister loses sleep over dollars but still buying
12.03.04 Empty promises – Social Security benefits not sustainable
12.02.04 US moves bases; Bush leaves Koizumi holding the bag for East Asian Security; Franks shrugged
12.04.04 Japanese government studying proposal for offensive "first strike" weapons
12.01.04 Dollar drops, oil prices rise
12.01.04 Morgan Stanley's chief Asian economist warns against devaluing China's currency
11.30.04 "The dollar is depreciating and it is not managed," complains Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
11.30.04 Economic growth in 2005 will be sluggish due to oil prices
11.28.04 Asia complains about falling dollar and US has no savings
11.27.04 Bush administration has new idea on funding American kids' retirement: borrow the money!
11.26.04 US dollar climbed above $1.32 to the euro and fell again against the yen
11.25.04 Russian Central bank concerned over US dollar demise
11.14.04 US September Bond sales a flop
11.14.04 Editorial by Priscilla Penwright, China hogging the oil not fair to America
11.26.04 Anti-dumping law may cut exports of American hogs
11.19.04 "US must cut record budget deficit or face painful consequences," said Greenspan to Bankers
10.30.04 Central Asia and Caucasus conference held October 12-13, 2004 – US "me-only" approach; New Great Game
11.18.04 US unilateralist position may leave it out in the cold
11.01.04 (Trend Story) Central Asian Common Market and the critical role of Afghanistan


12.06.04 President Musharraf of Pakistan says world less safe after Iraq invasion
12.05.04 Bush arrested for War Crimes on November 29 trip to Canada
12.01.04 Fallujah the 21st century Guernica?
11.30.04 Rumsfeld facing war crimes case in Germany & petition for victims filed with OAS
11.28.04 Protesters to attend Bush Inaugural Jan. 20; War Crimes complaint against Bush
11.27.04 Human Rights group accuses Bush administration of genocide in Iraq
11.01.04 Washington has opened a Pandora's box, intensifying ethnic and religious conflicts


12.06.04 Prime Minister Blair refuses to mediate Kashmir dispute
12.04.04 Musharraf says talks with India on Kashmir "moving well"
12.01.04 Musharraf repeats position: Kashmir and Palestine disputes ripe for solution
11.26.04 President Musharraf sees common solutions in the disputes in Kashmir and Palestine
12.04.04 Indian Prime Minister Singh's response to Musharraf


12.07.04 Yawar warns Iran against meddling in Iraqi election
12.07.04 Al-Quaeda members tried and convicted in Iran
12.03.04 US continues to rattle sabres at Iran
12.02.04 Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's office & the "Iran's secrets to Israel" papers
11.30.04 Iran's freezing of uranium enrichment activites verified by IAEA
11.29.04 Bush administration rattling sabers over Iran nuclear agreement
11.28.04 Suicide mission recruiters more active in Iran – 30, 000 recruits
11.14.04 Iran agr
ees to suspend uranium enrichment.
10.31.04 Iran signs $70 Billion energy contract with China


12.06.04 Russian President Putin accuses US of dictatorial foreign policy
12.04.04 Russia and India sign strategic partnership
12.04.04 Russian & American bases in Kyrgyzstan growing
12.01.04 New oil deal between India and Russia in the making
12.01.04 Russia announces ambitious space program
12.01.04 Russia rolls out new naval ships
11.29.04 Russia tests anti-missile system in Kazakhstan


12.05.04 German Chancellor on three-Day trip to China to deepen "strategic partnership"
11.01.04 China's reliance on imported oil grows


12.07.04 Situation deteriorating in Iraq says CIA
12.06.04 US Environmental Protection Agency may become more lenient to polluters
12.05.04 Saudi unified front breaking up
12.04.04 Confusion makes aid workers in Iraq sitting ducks
12.03.04 French Prime Minister acts to stop Hizbullah TV; anti-Semitism increasing in Europe
12.02.04 Austrailia refuses to sign non-aggression pact
12.01.04 Not to forget the hate merchants
12.02.04 Solving the problem in Cyprus is a key to peace in the EU
12.01.04 European heatwaves increasing
12.01.04 Japanese minister wants Security Council over-hauled
11.30.04 United Nations to be restructured
11.26.04 America's soft underbelly, her ports, are enormous targets
11.26.04 India plagued by separatist groups
11.26.04 Japan still miffed over Chinese oil wells off coast
11.26.04 South Korea's nuclear developments a concern to IAEA and China
11.22.04 Saudis expanding Islamic schools in South Asia
11.24.04 Syria wants to have "unconditional" negotiations with Israel
11.17.04 Forty-seven Iraqi groups protest forthcoming January election in Iraq
11.16.04 Bin Laden's mountain fortress?
11.16.04 Wanted militant Mehsud meets with Pakistani commander
11.14.04 Terrorist leader Abdullah Mehsud released from Guantanamo; continues terrorist activity
11.16.04 Kurdistan leaning heavily towards independence from Iraq
11.15.04 US wants to redefine security treaty with Japan
11.15.04 US troops round up prominent imams of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS)
11.13.04 Landmark decision against US-based fund raisers for terrorist organization Hamas
11.11.04 Bush II adopts Hama Rules One thing leads to another. An interesting article by Charles Glass [11.09.04 article in ; also carried by] compares the US assault on Fallujah to the Syrian assault on a rebel stronghold of Hama, Syria in the spring of 1982.
11.01.04 US soldiers pull out of the demilitarized zone (DMZ)


11.22.04 (11.26.04; 11.30.04; 12.08.04 Updates) US twin deficits are causing Japanese jitters: the story behind the collapse of the dollar

This is an ongoing article. We received a response from Senator Diane Fienstein which we cuddled midst a general review of the historic repeat of Deficits from father to son: Bush I to Bush II.

While this story has been breaching for several weeks, it will continue to be a big item in the news until the world press loses interest in the money others are losing. So we're keeping it at the top of the page.

The Bush administration's deficits in both trade and fiscal budget – the Twin Deficits –are dragging down world economies. Both deficits are largely responsible for the plunge in the value of the dollar. In Japan the plunge has lasted 55 months. The Bush administration's policies have caused the yen to appreciate for the past 55 months. While the Bush administration publicly supports a strong dollar, it is reportedly accepting the weakening dollar, since a weakened dollar makes US goods and services better buys on the foreign market.

Says Yomiuri Shimbun,
[] "The yen's sharp appreciation is fueling concerns over the nation's economic recovery. But the market direction is unlikely to change soon as the recent yen appreciation is closely related to U.S. trade and fiscal deficits...According to estimates of the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute Inc., Japan's gross domestic product will drop by 0.4 percent annually if the 100 yen-to-the-dollar level continues for a year."

Decline in dollar to the Japanese yen and euro
* January 1, 2002 the euro was first put into circulation.
© 2004 Mel Copeland
Jan. year
yen to dollar / ($)
euro to dollar / ($)
George H. W. Bush
146.25 ($.0068)
George H. W. Bush
124.5 ($.0075)
George H. W. Bush
125.4 ($.0080)
William J. Clinton
112.5 ($.0079)
William J. Clinton
112.5 ($.0088)
William J. Clinton
100.52 ($.0099)
.816 ($1.22)
William J. Clinton
103.92 ($.0095)
.780 ($1.28)
William J. Clinton
115.49 ($.0086)
.807 ($1.25)
William J. Clinton
132.4 ($.0075)
.913 ($1.10)
William J. Clinton
112.15 ($.0089)
.846 ($1.18)
William J. Clinton
101.7 ($.0098)
.984 ($1.01)
George W. Bush
114.26 ($.0087)
1.05 ($.95)
George W. Bush
132.02 ($.0076)
1.11 ($.90) *
George W. Bush
119.86 ($.0083)
.96 ($1.04)
George W. Bush
106.95 ($.0093)
.79 ($1.26)
George W. Bush
Nov. 18, 2004
104.23 ($.0097)
.77 ($1.29)
In general, based upon the complaints coming in from overseas concerning the decline in the value of the US dollar and comparing rates since 1990 we can see a trend, where the Bush economics (Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush) have not been healthy for the United States, Europe and Japan. The former Bush, in fact, caused a major world-wide recession, beginning in Europe and surfacing in Indonesia. While we experienced years of economic stability under Clinton, the irresponsible deficit spending policies now continued from father to son (George H. W. to George W.) give no promise of prosperity in the coming years.

The US deficit, being the source of the declining dollar, perpetuates further debt and increases interest rates and inflation. About half of the US $6 Trillion debt is owned by foreign investors (primarily banks). When investors redeem their bonds in a period when the dollar is declining, as is the case in the two Bush administrations, they lose money on their investment in US bonds. This causes potential buyers of US bonds to back out of the US bond market. When buyers back away from the US bond market, the US has to raise interest rates to draw them back into the market. Following the increase in the prime rate, mortgages and other loan rates increase.

The greatest fear in international exchange is inflation. Foreign interests who own the US public debt – who cash in five year bonds today– will lose about 35% on their investment. Historic yen and euro rates compiled in the "Decline in dollar to yen" table are from

The National Debt is an exponential debt. The adding of interest, plus continued borrowing / sales of US Bonds, compounds the debt. The debt takes on the form of a "J" curve. President Bush claims that he will "halve the debt," presumably in the next four years. The Clinton years, 1993-2000, represented the most fiscally responsible administration since Nixon (see "Running a government with a credit card" below). During Clinton's term Congress had adapted and applied a "pay as you go" process, preventing further borrowing to fund the government and actually paid down the National debt through their diligence. The dedication of Congress and the President during the Clinton years is not present in the current administration of Bush II, and reducing the deficit, let alone the National Debt, would seem improbable. It appears that the National Debt has reached a point of no return, where interest on the debt alone will consume any efforts to retire the debt. The debt from 1974 through 2009 (the data are current as of 11.22.04, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); the years 2004 - 2009 are OMB estimates) look like this:

"J" Curve of the National Debt through 2009. Years 2004 through 2009 are estimated by the US Government:, and listed below. Inserted in this table is an "Annual Deficit and Surplus" chart (the image curiously resembles a dragon). For charts on expenditures and deficits from President Wilson to the present click here, "Review of the presidencies." The National Debt above can be compared to my 1993 J Curve projection from Duty & Profit, a conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. Total receipts in 2004 were forecasted at just less that $2 trillion – the US income is about 27% of expenditures, using Federal data. Note that a large part of the deficits during the Reagan-Bush I and Bush II years comes from interest on the debt! This compounding debt can only be resolved by paying down the principal of the debt – which Clinton recently attempted and Bush II cannot do. A government that borrows without the intention to pay off the principal of the loan can only be headed one way: the interest on the debt will consume budgeted outlays and represent an ever larger part of expenditures, eventually causing the government to default on the loan. This results in a decline in public and private investment, as happened in the years of Bush I. An example of interest consuming outlays was during the Bush I administration in 1992: the Department of Defense was budgeted ~$270 billion. Interest paid out that year exceeded $292 billion. A comparable situation exists today. Another issue involves "Debt vs % of GDP." The issue is distracting, in my opinion, since all debts reduce to one principle: if one does not pay off the principal of a loan one will be bankrupted. A comprehensive review of the Debt vs percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is at: A good chart on the Federal deficit vs percent of GDP is at: Links on the Public Debt are at the Federal Bureau of Public Debt site:

The National Debt data are as follows: US Office of Budget & Management – National Debt

A forty-year amortization table on a loan of $5 trillion (double everything for a loan of $10 trillion) at 7% interest:

Amortization Table for a loan of $5 trillion over 40 years @ 7% interest. Double the amount for the Bureau of Budget forecast of a $10 trillion debt by year 2009. On $5 trillion the annual payment would be about $1 billion per day; $2 billion per day on $10 trillion. Compare to the actual interest paid on the US debt, i.e., year #1 @ $375,045 billion principal & interest versus the actual interest only payments in 2004 of $321,566 billion. Perhaps the principal that was not paid over the years should be collected from the Bush family and Regean estates who ripped us off so to put a stop to this kind of irresponsible financial leadership.

Interest on the Public Debt. Compare interest paid against the Amortization Table on the left.

It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing and not allowed their spendthrift President to get out of hand. Then again, there is hope that Americans will start to pay attention to their accounts and those they elected to manage them. Total receipts estimated in the Federal Budget for 2004 are just short of $2 trillion." Growth in receipts. – Total receipts in 2004 are estimated to be $1922.0 billion, an increase of $85.8 billion or 4.7 percent relative to 2003. Receipts are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.0 percent between 2004 and 2008, rising to $2,520.9 billion. This growth in receipts is largely due to assumed increases in incomes resulting from both real economic growth and inflation." [2004 FEDERAL RECEIPTS AND COLLECTIONS, p. 57]

Actual interest on the US debt since 1996 averages just short of $1 billion per day. While in the administration of Bush I, the deficit each year was essentially the same amount as the interest on the debt (they were borrowing to pay the interest on the debt), under Bush II the $400 billion + yearly deficits exceed the interest on the debt.

Mel Copeland

In the beginning....

Bush taking too long to read "My Pet Goat" reader on 9/11.
Read full text.

Running a government using a credit card

This year's deficit caused by Bush will be a record deficit since Richard Nixon showed a surplus (in 1969). Bush calls Democrats "tax and spend liberals" when he and his father spent other people's money to run their governments! Who is it that has to pay for the deficit run up each year by a fiscally irresponsible President ? You do. You pay in several ways, since borrowed money is a worse tax on you and the economy than a legitimate tax. The National Debt is $7.4 Trillion as of 10.27.04. That debt is financed by the bond market. While the interest rates on bonds go up and down, generally the rates are affected through the Federal Reserve and supply and demand. Most of the debt during George Bush's administration (1989-1993) was carried by the G-7 Central Banks and a few others who could take large positions in the Bond Market like George Soros. Since supply and demand affect prices of bonds, the greater the supply of bonds, as in a period of excessive government borrowing, would ordinarily depress the price of bonds. To attract buyers, the Federal Reserve must raise interest rates. So when your mortgage loan goes up, owing to an increase in interest rates, its because of the Bush Borrowing: running a government on a credit card.

Since the government runs on borrowed money, the amount of the original loan (new in 2001) grows exponentially, in a curve called a "J" curve. During George Bush's years the deficit was essentially equal to the interest accumulated each year on the debt. That interest debt is added to the original loan amount causing the debt to grow [unpaid] until an effort is made to reduce the debt, paying down both principal and interest. Fearing a crash Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced in May 1995 that there would no longer be any borrowing on the debt. We would "pay as we go," a concept George W. Bush recently derided with reference to Kerry's attempt to restore the years of responsible government under President Clinton. Although Clinton was initially following the Bush Borrowing program – of running the government using a credit card – he converted to the Republican plan and paying down the debt became the great cause of his administration. The response from the economy was plain: it grew, became healthy, wealthy and wise. When you have savings you feel secure. When you have no savings and have trouble finding people to loan you money you feel insecure. Clinton stopped the insecurity of the Bush administration.

In 1993 I prepared a mortgage amortization table for the then $5 Trillion debt inherited from George Bush. At 7% interest a 40 year loan of that amount would result in the payment after 20 years of $6.4 Trillion in interest and $90 million in principal. After 40 years the debt would be paid off and total interest paid would be $10 Trillion.

Who makes money from Bush Borrowing are the wealthy. Most of the US Bond Market is owned by foreign governments and major institutional investors like Warren Buffet and Mutual Funds. While it is not likely that the US government will default on its now $7 Trillion debt, it is a debt that is now in an exponential phase where the amount accumulating in interest each year is the major component of outlays each year in the National Budget. Keep in mind the case of Brazil and other nations that defaulted on their debts and required an International Monetary Fund bail-out. If the US government were unable to sell enough bonds to pay off the 2005 interest, for instance, the amount the US would require to bail it out would exceed the financial reserve of the International Monetary Fund. As in the George Bush years, our economy has been staggering under the weight of the National Debt and its rapidly accumulating annual interest. Growth simply slows down under such uncertainties.

The stock market becomes softer when it anticipates a shift from stocks to bonds (when the government is selling a large lot of bonds). In simple terms, when the government has to sell bonds to pay off its creditors, the stock market can expect its investors to shift their positions from stocks to bonds. This causes the stock market to have a small panic attack. From time to time, if the movement from stocks is large enough, the stock market has a stroke.

Foreign markets react to American economic troubles; thus, the growing US National Debt creates insecurity among the international financial markets. This insecurity can be observed in the value of the dollar against other currencies. Not long ago the Euro was worth a little bit more than a dollar. Yesterday, 10.26.04, the Euro was worth $1.38.

When the US is in a recessionary trend the effects are soon seen in Europe. Jobs are lost (Germany now has a 10% unemployment rate; I remember when Germany took pride in having almost no unemployment – before the Reagan-Bush years); and there is a slow-down in the purchase of goods from the United States. The US is now experiencing record deficits in the export market, and part of the cause of the record deficits in exports is owing to the recessionary trend among our European trading partners. If our government were to be set on a firm financial plan – away from the Bush Borrowing credit card madness –the foreign markets would feel more secure in their investments in America and purchase more from us. You would think that if the Euro has increased in purchasing power over the dollar by 25% one would see an equivalent growth in American exports. But exports are down. Something is seriously wrong, n'est pas?

Gingrich should be arguing for fiscal responsibility – along with Kerry –as he did in 1997. The Newt Gingrich concept of paying off the debt reported in US News & World Report in 1997:

"When he sat down to talk policy with House Speaker Newt Gingrich in April, Rep. Mark Neumann didn't mention his plan to pay off the entire $5.38 trillion national debt. But as Gingrich thumbed through Neumann's numbers-laden analysis of the federal budget, he stopped at the last section, titled "Retiring the Debt." Gingrich started asking questions and got visibly more excited with each answer.

Now Gingrich and other Republican leaders have embraced Neumann's proposal – that rather than stopping with a balanced budget, America should go on to pay off its debt – as a defining idea of modern conservatism. If revenue and spending trends point to a balanced budget, the argument goes, the government should stay on that course and use the eventual surpluses to retire the national debt.Gingrich is meeting with conservative activists to rally support for the idea.

See also a detailed article on the Neuman-Gingrich plan by By James K. Glassman, Tuesday, July 15 1997, The Washington Post. The plan evolved out of a continuing crisis over the budget, when the government was threatened with being shut down over the debt (see full report, CNN US News November 13, 1995).

Mr. Gingrich, why aren't you strongly behind Kerry's position of reinstituting the Clinton era of Fiscal Responsibility? Your loyalty to Bush should have some limits. Isn't your position now – against Kerry's debt reduction –somewhat two-faced?

President Bush launches illegal war

9.16.04 Secretary General Kofi Annan declares to the BBC that Bush conducted an illegal war in Iraq: Iraq war illegal, says Annan. The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter. more >>

Why the Crusade & Jihad?

Without rehashing the history of Western Civilization in one paragraph, we can ascribe Christian and Jewish sentiments to defend Israel and to view America as the anointed of God (Allah, (2) in the Koran) to perceptions of pastors who spend more time feeding on the flock than feeding them. If the flock were fed properly it would not believe that it is just to kill on behalf of God. The Christian and Jewish scriptures all agree that vengeance belongs to God (i.e., as in Psalm 94.1), that the Warrior of God is a man of peace, just and charitable. I have always believed (and I know Jesus adhered to this old teaching) that if God wants to kill someone let him kill them himself. You don't need to be his agent, in my opinion. But you can assist in bringing peace to the world.

Sealed Golden Gate with the Dome of the Rock behind and a Muslim cemetery in the foreground may be the gateway to Peace in Jerusalem. It was where the priests and prophets of Israel gathered; called the Gate of Righteousness by the Prophets.

There is no doubt that during the Axis Age (600 B.C.) the great sages, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha and Jeremiah – later followed by Socrates – agreed that doing good and avoiding evil towards your fellow man was the answer. They all believed in the Golden Rule: Don't do to others that which you would not want done to you. Upon this one teaching all the teachings of the Bible rest.

Good news! The Koran says that everything in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) and Gospel (New Testament) are true! As I pointed out many years ago in a conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. in a series of books, including Philistia triumph thou because of me, there are points in the Koran upon which the Jews, Christians and Moslems can reconcile their disagreements, such as:

Koran, The Cow: And now that a Book confirming their own book has come to them from Allah, they deny it, although they know it to be the truth and have long prayed for help against the unbelievers...when it is said to them, 'Believe in what Allah has revealed,' they reply, 'We believe in what was revealed to us.' But they deny what has since been revealed, although it is the truth, corroborating their own scriptures.

Koran, The creator 36.24: Your only duty is to give warning...What we have revealed to you in the Book is the truth confirming previous scriptures.

Koran, Kneeling 45.16 We gave the Scriptures to the Israelites and bestowed on them wisdom and prophethood.

Koran, AL-AHQAF 46.12 Yet, before it the Book of Moses (Torah) was revealed, a guide and a blessing to all men. This Book confirms it.

Koran, Women 4.47 You, to whom the Scriptures were given! Believe in that which we have revealed, confirming your own scriptures...

Koran, The Cow 2:116 The Jews say the Christians are misguuided, and the Christians say it is the Jews who are misguided. Yet they both read the Scriptures. And the pagans say the same of both. Allah (5) will judge their disputes on the Day of Resurrection.

We can see, therefore, that Moslems are taught via the Koran to honor the scriptures and teachings Christians and Jews honor. Also, with respect to the Koran's teachings on Moslem behavior, it is clear that a Moslem cannot wage war against another Moslem, as is currently going on in Iraq and has been so throughout history:

Koran, Women 4.92 It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer except by accident.

To dispel any confusion on the Koran's view of people who do not believe in the Koran (notwithstanding the verses cited above) Mohammed went a bit too far, in my opinion, when he listed the following which confute the Bible (I know on the Day of Resurrection noted above my reading will be upheld).

Koran Repentance 9.20 Those that have embraced the faith and fled their homeland and fought for Allah's cause with their wealth and their persons are held in higher regard by Allah. It is they who shall triumph. Their Lord has promised them joy and mercy, and gardens of eternal bliss where they shall dwell forever. Allah's reward is great indeed.
9.116 ...Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them the Garden. They will figtht for His cause, slay, and be slain. Such is the true pledge which he has made them in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Koran. And who is more true to his promise than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the supreme triumph.

Koran, Women 4.91 Others you will find who seek security from you as well as from their own people. Whenever they are called back to idol-worship they plunge into it headlong. If these do not keep their distance from you, if they neither offer you peace nor cease their hostilities against you, lay hold of them and kill them wherever you find them. Over such men We give you absolute authority.
4.92 It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer except by accident.
4.98 He that flies his homeland for the cause of Allah shall find numerous places of refuge in the land and great abundance. He that leaves his dwelling to fight for Allah and His apostle and is then overtaken by death, shall be rewarded by Allah.
4.104 Seek out your enemies relentlessly.

There are several verses that endorse Jesus – some calling him a prophet of God (as they would have to once they accept the Gospels as truth). But this one is the gem of the lot, since it acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah. The Messiah means "anointed one" and the term was created and applied only in the Bible. Christians know the term as Christ, which is the Greek translation of the word. The fact is, based upon what we have seen in the Koran above, all Moslems must honor the teachings of Jesus the Messiah. If there is any confusion on those teachings it can be simply resolved by opening the Gospels and reading them. They all reduce down to the Golden Rule. And it is not important that you be a Christian, Jew or Moslem to practice the Golden Rule. If you practice the Golden Rule you satisfy the teachings. For if you know those teachings you know God and if you do them you are one with God. The scripture asks, can two walk together except they agree?

The gem in the Koran of Jesus the Messiah, beyond the other verses endorsing the teachings of Jesus, which is a good foundation for some kind of reconciliation:

The Imrans, 3.45, 47 The angels said to Mary: 'Allah bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the next, and shall be favoured by Allah. He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life."

The term Messiah first appeared in the Bible. It means Anointed One and in Greek the term is Christ. Knowing this, then, we should endeavor to find a place of agreement and learn to walk together. A good part of the Old Testament has to do with the Messiah and what is expected of him.

One cannot walk blindly through scriptures and take them for granted however. Applying them for good becomes an art. It takes practice. One cannot apply scripture, for instance, through a rush to judgment. After all is said and done, when understanding has ruled over boiling sentiments, we can point to our results: charity, justice and mercy. Unfortunately, we are a long way from achieving those things in this current age. It may be, in order to achieve a higher level, to at least remove ourselves from a state of chaos, that we need to take account of our leaders. Then we must ask ourselves how it is that we let them lead us into this chaos. This is called, confronting your own failures. Until both sides come to grips with the goodness that is in them, and do some good in order to gain in goodness, the Jihad will probably continue.

Now President George W. Bush would lead us to believe that we can kill off the Jihadists. I don't subscribe to his program and know that an invitation to reasoning together should bear more fruit. Who in the world would ever refuse this offer:

Isa. 1:18 ³Come now, let us reason together,² says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Mel Copeland


(1)The story "The Pet Goat," is written in lower case for our Commander in Chief and teaches how one should be alert and watch for robbers. A girl and her pet goat didn't see what was coming. Since then George W. Bush has been looking for a scapegoat.

Illustration from the pet goat reader

a girl got a pet goat. she liked to go running with her pet goat. she played with her goat in her house. she played with the goat in her yard.

but the goat did some things that made the girl's dad mad. the goat ate things. he ate cans and he ate canes. he ate pans and he ate panes. he even ate capes and caps.

one day her dad said, "that goat must go, he eats too many things."

her dad said, "we will try it."

so the goat stayed and the girl made him stop eating cans and canes and caps and capes.

but one day a car robber came to the girl's house. he saw a big red car near the house and said, "I will streal that car."

he ran to the car and started to open the door.

the girl and the goat were playing in the back yard. they did not see the car robber.

more to come

(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.
(3) I use Edward Tripp's, The Meridian handbook of Classical Mythology (formerly titled Crowell's handbook of Classical Mythology), 1970.


Up-to-date information on the Presidential Race 2004:
Halliburton's major stock holders:
The Bush family and Cheney's financial holdings in Halliburton via Vanguard and other corporations:
Sinclair Broadcast Group advertisers. Help stop Bush and his brown-shirts by boycotting the advertisers that support Sinclair!
Duty & Profit.html, a portion of the correspondence with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. from 1992-1995 on the national debt
Bushwatch:, Link on the Bush bin Laden wheeling and dealings
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