Maravot News of the World
12:55pm San Francisco
Saturday 12.18.04
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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq
(photos and names of the fallen)


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
Worth frequent visits

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

10.29.04
2.23.98

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

RIAN
Pravda.ru
kommersant.com


East Asia Watch

Newspapers

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.


News Headlines & Trends

12.18.04 Afghan warlord assets frozen

Iran has frozen bank accounts belonging to a former Afghan warlord suspected of joining forces with Taleban and al-Qaeda militants, the UN says. The chairman of one of the UN's sanction committees says Iran has frozen "considerable assets" under the control of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. His Hezb-e-Islami group is suspected of carrying out attacks on foreign and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. Iran has also apprehended a number of al-Qaeda operatives, Mr. Munoz says. However, he did not give the names of those arrested or the amount of assets frozen. [More>>BBC.co.uk]


12.18.04 Yukos affair a test of Bush imperialism

This story involves the question whether a foreign nation's courts can preside over the domestic courts of another nation. Daniel Guilleau, a prominent French legal expert, says the Houston court blatantly interfered in Russian domestic affairs with its verdict on the Yukos case. The Houston verdict has no legal force in Russia, but there are concerns that the decision can enable seizure of Yukos assets in the US (if there are any) and may foster a reluctance in future American investment in Russian companies. Guilleau says the Houston verdict does not comply with International legal norms and encroaches on Russia's sovereignty. [More>>rian.ru]
For background click here.

One may wonder how far one country can go to meddle in the affairs of another. If the US can attach funds of foreign companies held in the US by ignoring international laws, it leads to the possibility that foreign companies may be at risk by receiving American investments.


12.18.04 War crimes trials begin with Chemical Ali

BAGHDAD, Dec. 18 – War crimes trials against Saddam Hussein and his closest lieutenants moved forward on Saturday when his feared cousin known as "Chemical Ali" was the first to face a formal interview with the chief investigating magistrate. The trial is in its investigative phase, after which it will proceed to the formal hearing. [More>>Reuters]


12.18.04 Gaddafi waiting for Bush to fulfill promise

The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of an interview to be aired on Italian TV of Libya's Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi complains that he gave up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for forthcoming rewards promised by President Bush that never came. "What kind of example does this set for Korea and Iran?" he asks. He addresses the issue of Palestine and Israel, saying that the land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea is not big enough to support two countries – even if they are friends. He argues that they have to learn to live together as one country. He'd like to be leader of Italy. He says the Italians deserve a true democracy where there are no middlemen, etc. [More>>Jerusalem Post]


12.18.04 Gulf states hold their annual summit next week

The oil-rich Gulf states hold their annual summit next week amid a persistent threat from Islamic militants and growing differences between regional giant Saudi Arabia and its smaller neighbors. Leaders of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, who will convene in Bahrain Dec. 20-21, are also expected to focus on developments in Iraq where landmark elections next month are set to empower the country's long oppressed Shiite majority, reinforcing the influence of Shiite Iran.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia criticized its smaller Gulf neighbors for forging separate economic and security agreements with foreign powers, accusing them of weakening Gulf solidarity.

In September, tiny Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, signed a free-trade agreement with the United States. Kuwait, Oman and the U.A.E. are all also in the process of negotiating free-trade deals with the U.S.
[More>>dailystar.com]


12.18.04 US spent $65 million to fund Ukrainian opposition groups

Kaleem Omar reports that the Bush administration spent $65 million to fund presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko's campaign. The money, according to US officials, is part of the $1 billion the State Department spends each year trying "to build democracy worldwide." An Associated Press news agency report quotes US officials as saying that no US money was sent directly to Ukrainian political parties. In most cases it was funneled through organizations like the Carnegie Foundation or through groups aligned with Republicans or Democrats that organized election training, with human rights forums or with independent news outlets, the report says.

But, the report adds, US officials acknowledge that some of the money helped train groups and individuals opposed to the Russian-backed government presidential candidate, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich – people who now call themselves part of the "Orange Revolution."

The AP report quotes White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan as saying: "Thereıs accountability in place. We make sure that money is being used for the purpose for which itıs assigned or designated."
[More>>jang.com.pk]


12.18.04 Bugging device found in Salon Français of United Nations

GENEVA, Dec. 17 – The United Nations said on Friday it recently found a bugging device at its European headquarters in Geneva. The device was about 3 to 4 years old and contained parts of Russian and/or Eastern European origin. It was found in the Salon Français (French Hall). The spacious room, with a high ceiling and fancy mirror on one wall, was used by a French delegation during a meeting of foreign ministers in September 2003 from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States to discuss Iraq, the diplomat said. Franceıs President Jacques Chirac also used the room, which is next door to the main Council Chamber where top-level discussions are held, in January when he met his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to discuss famine. The French diplomat, however, dismissed the notion that France had been the target of the listening device, noting that whoever put it there had probably been more interested in UN discussions between New York and Geneva. The Salon Français is often reserved for bilateral meetings between all of the countries because it is the most beautiful room in the "Palais des Nations" the name of the UNıs Geneva headquarters the diplomat said. [More>>jang.com.pk]


12.17.04 Conscientious Objector Witnessed Abuse, Killing of Iraqi Detainees at Abu Ghraib

Dec. 17 – Amy Goodman and Juan Ganzalez interview Aidan Delgado, an army reservist who was enlisting on 9/11, at the moment planes were crashing into the World Trade Center. After arriving in Iraq he filed for Conscientious Objector status and then was reassigned to Abu Ghraib in the Motor Pool. At Abu Ghraib he was also assigned communications duties, through which he came to witness abuse and killings. This is a portion of the interview:

AIDAN DELGADO: Yeah, I had given in my weapon long ago. So, but everyone else in my unit went out there, because there was a prisoner demonstration that had become out of control. They were throwing tent stakes and pieces of stone and debris. And they had struck one of the soldiers with a rock. He wasn't seriously injured, but he was annoyed. And so in response, they had asked for the permission to use lethal force. It was still unclear afterwards, in the military's very cursory investigation, whether they actually got the order to use lethal force-- it was obscure. So, they opened fire with a heavy machine gun and they killed five prisoners-- several of whom took several days to die. This is something that I learned about from the horse's mouth when they came back and told me, ³Oh, here is a photo of the guys we killed. I killed three, I killed two. My guy took three days to die, I shot him in the groin with a machine gun.² And the command had even posted these photographs in our headquarters, and they had been very ghoulishly circulating them. It was very much a trophy-taking thing. And I remember just sort of questioning the guy, saying, ³Do you really feel proud of having shot an unarmed man who threw a stone?² He was like, ³Well, I'm doing my job.² It was a very machismo thing, to have killed someone. I felt this immense loathing and this immense disgust for the whole incident.

The interview is well worth reading and is at democracynow.org.


12.17.04 China, Pakistan to strengthen defense ties

BEIJING, Dec 16 – China assured Pakistan on Thursday of greater defence cooperation, especially in the supply of military hardware. Briefing newsmen on his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People , Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said he also had an important meeting with the Chinese defence minister.

"Traditionally, there has been great cooperation between Pakistan and China in the defence sector. My meeting with the defence minister was also in the same direction. But, significantly, President Hu expressed the desire to further strengthen the defence ties, which already benefit all the armed forces - the army, the navy and the air force - of Pakistan," he said.
[More>>Dawn]


12.17.04 Turkey agrees to recognize Cyprus' Greek-led government

Mark Oliver reports: "EU and Turkish leaders struck a deal today on the vexed question of Turkish recognition of Cyprus that had threatened to derail its membership talks. The Turkish prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, said Ankara would sign an accord extending its existing trade agreement with the EU to the bloc's 10 newest members, including Cyprus.

In doing so, Turkey will effectively recognize the Greek Cypriot-led government in the southern two-thirds of the divided island, though the Dutch prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, insisted it was 'not a formal legal recognition.'"
[More>>guardian.co.uk]


12.17.04 Bush signs 9/11 intelligence reform

WASHINGTON. Dec. 17 — President Bush signed legislation today overhauling the nation's intelligence operations and warned that the United States continues to face new threats from terrorists of "stateless networks" and "killers who hide in our own cities."

His signature on the measure capped a contentious, five-month legislative battle to respond to the recommendations of the commission that investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks.
[More>>latimes]


12.17.04 Crystal Cathedral conductor kills himself

GARDEN GROVE, Calif., Dec. 17 – (AP) The Crystal Cathedral, a huge, sprawling structure of glass and steel not far from Disneyland, is home to the Rev. Robert Schuller's international Crystal Cathedral Ministries and claims a congregation of more than 10,000 members. The internationally televised "Hour of Power" is broadcast from there. As the congregation prepared for a Christmas pageant, Conductor Johnnie Carl, 57, had barricaded himself in a bathroom and shot himself. Four shots were fired at the end of a nine-hour standoff between him and police. No one was hit from his gunfire. [More>>http://www.abcnews.go.com]


12.17.04 23 year-old mother murdered, fetus removed from her body

SKIDMORE, Mo. Dec. 17 – Authorities looking for an infant cut from the womb of its mother expanded their search outside of Missouri on Friday as they maintained hope the baby might still be alive. The search for the baby started after a 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant was killed Thursday and the fetus was taken from her body, authorities said. Sheriff's deputies were investigating the afternoon killing of Bobbie Jo Stinnett and they were searching for the baby, who they believe could have survived. [More>>thebostonchannel.com via topix.net]


12.17.04 Antigovernment feeling running high in Uzbekistan

ANKARA, 17 December (IRIN) - This week in Central Asia the BBC reported that anti-government feeling is still running high in Uzbekistan's markets and bazaars after an unprecedented outbreak of violence in the republic last month. In early November, merchants in the Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan's most populous region, set fire to cars and chased customs police out of bazaars after officials tried to impose a series of new trading restrictions.

Now some voices in the international diplomatic community warn that the anger in the markets could spread. Markets and bazaars are a key part of economic activity in Uzbekistan.
[More>>Reuters via tajikistannews.net]


12.17.04 Yukos sale proceeding despite court ruling

MOSCOW, Dec. 17 – The auction of Yukos' major production unit Yuganskneftegaz will go ahead as scheduled despite a US court ruling imposing a temporary injunction to block the sale, an official with the Russian Federal Property Fund said Friday. "We are a specialized state agency and act according to Russian law," Alexander Komarov said, adding that the sale would be held on Sunday as planned, the Itar-Tass news agency reported. "We follow decisions made to this day by Russian authorities," he stressed.

Russia's gas giant Gazprom confirmed on Friday that it would not withdraw from the auction this weekend despite the American court ruling suspending transactions with Yukos assets, Interfax news agency reported.
[More>>Xinhuanet]

Kommersant reports: "Yesterday it was learned that the consortium of creditor banks refused to sign a €10 billion loan agreement with Gazprom for participating in the auction to sell Yuganskneftegaz. The banks, especially the American J.P. Morgan Bank, are awaiting the verdict of the Houston court where YUKOS, the owner of Yuganskneftegaz, has filed for bankruptcy. If the situation with the creditors is not settled today, Gazprom will have to take its chances: it will go to the December 19 auction without guarantees of financing for the future purchase." [More>>kommersant.com]


12.17.04 Neoconservatives on the way to Damascus

Jim Lobe collates recent media reports on a possible invasion of Damascus, Syria by the Bush hawks. Bush's Bible-toting saviors of Fallujah seem intent in spreading their message of peace to Damascus. Lobe begins, "Just when it appeared that Syria was complying in earnest with US demands to secure its border with Iraq, and even making unprecedented peace overtures to Israel, key neoconservative opinion shapers are calling on President George W. Bush to take stronger measures against Damascus, possibly including military action. [Article at atimes.com]


12.17.04 Syria & Iran rebut Iraqi minister's charge

The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Thursday dismissed Shaalan's accusations as "baseless." "Syria sees the repeat of fabricated accusations as reflecting the wish of some people to hide the real reasons behind the deterioration of the situation in Iraq, and to mislead the public opinion," the ministry said in Damascus. The ministry said Syria wanted "to work within our capabilities to control the [Syrian-Iraqi] borders" against foreigners trying to infiltrate into Iraq. "We have already declared our readiness to cooperate and coordinate with the interim Iraqi government in this regard and in other security aspects," it said. Iraq's stability is not only in Iraq's interest, "but also in the interest of Syria and the entire region," it said.

For his part, Iran's Interior Minister Abd al-Wahid Mousavi-Lari said in response to Shaalan's comments: "It seems he has a mission to say such things."

"I have always thought his remarks were because he was young, inexperienced and immature. But now I believe he has been ordered by his masters to say such things," he said. Iran condemned the US-led invasion of Iraq last year, and Iranian officials have accused Iraqi officials of being mouthpieces for their "US masters." Tehran says Iraqis alone should determine the fate of their country and "occupation forces" should leave the nation.
[More>Al-Jezeera]


12.16.04 Iraq accuses Syria and Iran of backing terror

Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan Wednesday accused neighboring Iran and Syria of supporting terrorist activities in Iraq ahead of legislative elections. Shaalan, who already accused Tehran of interfering in Iraq's affairs, described Iran as the biggest enemy of Iraq and all the Arabs. [More>>bignewsnetwork] U.S. President George W. Bush warned Iran and Syria Wednesday against "meddling" in Iraq after that country's defense minister accused them of helping insurgents and terrorists spread deadly chaos. [More>>dailystar.com]

Note to file: Subsequent to Shaalan's announcement, President Bush made a similar announcement, and that announcement was replayed 12.19.04 on George Steffanopolis' program.


12.16.04 President Bush looking at deficit as cause of weak dollar

Washington, Dec. 16 — President Bush pledged Wednesday to work with Congress to reduce the governmentıs huge budget deficit as a key step in assuring the world that his administration supports a strong dollar. ³Weıll do everything we can in the upcoming legislative session to send a signal to the markets that weıll deal with our deficit, which, hopefully, will cause people to want to buy dollars,² Bush told reporters. [More>>denverpost.com via topix.net]


12.16.04 US man involved in smuggling arms to Israel and possibly Iran

HARTFORD, Connecticut, Dec. 16 – (AP) A New York City businessman admitted Wednesday to participating in an arms-smuggling ring that shipped missile and fighter jet components from the United States to Israel and possibly on to Iran. Leib Kohn pleaded guilty to conspiracy, admitting only that he knew the weapons parts were bound for Israel. Investigators allege an Israeli arms dealer may have been relaying the equipment to Iran. "At least some of the parts were ultimately destined for Iran," U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said. "We're not in a position to say definitely which parts or whether the parts ultimately made it there." [More>>haaretzdaily.com]


12.16.04 North Korea threatens Japan with war

North Korea provided false information to the Japanese government concerning Japanese kidnapped by North Korea during the Cold War. The Japanese have responded with the threat of sanctions. North Korea responded that if Japan attempts to apply any kind of sanctions it will regard them as acts of war and answer with an effective physical response. The North Korean Foreign Ministry also threatened to try to exclude Japan from six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear arms programs if a provocative campaign under way in Japan against the communist country continued. [More>>bignewsnetwork; see also economist.com]


12.16.04 Pakistan-India nuclear arms talks end with no resolution

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 15 – Indo-Pakistan talks on nuclear and conventional confidence-building measures (CBMs) ended here on Tuesday without any tangible outcome despite exhaustive negotiations on formalizing an agreement on pre-notification of missile flight-testing.
Although both sides worked hard on the text of the draft agreement, it could not be finalized due to some technical glitches, it is learnt. "Due to varying interpretations of the scope and technical parameters involved, the two delegations decided to reflect further and consult their respective systems," sources told Dawn.
[More>>Dawn.com]


12.16.04 British judge says holding detainees without trial violates human rights laws

Dec. 16 – Detaining foreigners without trial under emergency anti-terror powers breaks European human rights legislation, law lords ruled today. A specially-convened committee of nine law lords upheld an appeal by nine foreigners who have been detained without charge or trial, most of them in Belmarsh prison, south-east London, for around three years. [More>>guardian.co.uk]


12.16.04 Rumsfeld under attack from right

Howard Kurtz writes: "If Don Rumsfeld has lost Bill Kristol, he's losing his conservative base. Kristol, after all, is a leading foreign-policy hawk. Editor of the Weekly Standard and Fox talking head. Former Republican strategist and White House chief of staff for Dan Quayle. Major backer of the war in Iraq. Which is why the town is buzzing about Kristol's Washington Post op-ed yesterday, in which he called for Rummy to be thrown overboard." [More>>washingtonpost.com]


12.16.04 Bush urges Social Security reform

WASHINGTON (AP) Dec. 16 – President Bush said Thursday that "now is the time to confront Social Security" to deal with a projected $3.7 trillion, 75-year shortfall and give younger workers the ability to invest some of their contributions. Bush also promised to send Congress "a tough budget" early next year to hold the line on federal spending. "You will see fiscal discipline exercised inside the Oval Office this coming budget cycle," the president told a White House economic conference. [More>>Freep/AP]


12.16.04 New bin Laden tape

CAIRO, Egypt, Dec. 16 – (AP) A man identified as Osama bin Laden, speaking on an audiotape posted on an Islamic Web site today, praised an attack earlier this month on a U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia and criticized the Saudi regime as weak and controlled by the United States. The voice sounded like the al-Qaida terror chief's, and the tape, which was more than an hour, was posted on a site known as a clearinghouse for militant Islamic comment. The identity of the voice, however, could not be independently confirmed. [More>>latimes.com]


12.16.04 Saddam Hussein visits with lawyer for 4 hours

Saddam Hussein had a four-hour meeting with a lawyer Thursday after judges confirmed that trials of his lieutenants are to open next week, his defence counsel said. [jang.com.pk]


12.16.04 Putin sends President of Finland in circles

In a long-awaited meeting on the Russian-Finnish border, the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, was kept waiting in the air. Her plane was instructed to land after the President of Russia's plane had landed, and while this would not have been too much of a problem, the fact is Helsinki, Finland and St. Petersberg, Russia are only a few minutes flight-time apart. Russia's President Putin was running about 40 minutes late and thus the protocol required the Finnish president to wait in the air for 40 minutes until Putin's plane had landed. Halonen was more concerned, however, about Putin's future visit to her country. It had been such a long time since he visited Finland. The Finns aren't that excited about Russians, however, and discussions in the Putin-Halonen meeting moved to the subject of the discrimination towards Russians living in the Baltic states. [More>>kommersant.com]


12.14.04 US Trade Deficit hits new record

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 – (AFP) The US trade deficit exploded unexpectedly to a record 55.5 billion dollars in October, sparked by the soaring cost of oil imports, the government said Tuesday. The gap grew from 50.9 billion dollars in September. Wall Street analysts had predicted an October shortfall of about 53 billion dollars. Over the first 10 months of 2004, the US trade deficit amounted to 500.5 billion dollars, already surpassing the entire annual deficit for the previous year. [More>>inq7.net]
See "Concerns," article on twin deficits.


12.14.04 Friends of the Earth Europe ask EU to get rough with US over Kyoto Treaty

BRUSSELS – In a statement coinciding with the 10th annual UN climate change conference in Buenos Aires, Friends of the Earuth Europe said the EU should "get rough" over the US rejection of the Kyoto Protocol. "Substantially deeper (greenhouse gas) emission cuts are necessary to avert a catastrophe," Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Jan Kowalzig said. "Yet the United States, as the world's largest emitter contributing a quarter of all emissions, still refuses to act," he said.

In Buenos Aires, the EU "must get rough with the United States, including threatening to introduce import taxes on energy-intensive US products as long as the US refuses to fight climate change," Kowalzig said.

Some 5,000 scientists, environmental activists and government officials from nearly 190 countries including the United States are attending the UN conference in the Argentinian capital.
[More>>jang.com.pk; also see article, "Convention on Climate Change..."


12.14.04 Former security chief of Taleban captured

Afghan security forces have captured fugitive Taleban leader Mullah Omar's former security chief, officials say. Mullah Naqibullah Toor is reported to have been picked up with another Taleban commander on Monday in the southern city of Kandahar. Provincial government spokesman Khalid Pashtun confirmed the arrests. Officials hope documents found on the men could help find Mullah Omar or Osama Bin Laden, but some observers doubt the significance of the arrests. [More>>BBCNews.com via tajikistannews.net/]


12.14.04 China arresting internet news reporters

Paul Mooney reports the Chinese government's latest attempt to gag intellectuals.: "On Monday, authorities in Beijing detained at least three prominent intellectuals: Yu Jie, Liu Xiaobo, and Zhang Zhuhua. They were held for questioning, presumably about alleged anti-state activities, then released on Tuesday. The message was clear; the media recently were directed not to give publicity to Yu Jie, a well-known writer, and several other intellectuals who published critical views. Liu Xiaobo is a longtime campaigner for democracy and Zhang Zhuhua is a former official of the Communist Youth League. Their detention and release were reported by the international media. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Yu was told to stop posting articles on the Internet.

Liu is president of China PEN, which in October bestowed the Free Writing Award on Zhang Yihe, author of the banned best-seller, The Past Is Not Like (Dissipating) Smoke, about Mao Zedong's 1957 anti-rightist purge of intellectuals. At that time, Mao had encouraged intellectuals to speak out and freely air their constructive criticism. Many were jailed and severely punished for their audacity."
[More>>atimes.com; see also topix.net]


12.14.04 Israel and Egypt sign trade accord

CAIRO, Dec. 14 – Nearly twenty years after signing their peace treaty at Camp David, Israel and Egypt entered an agreement to establish trade zones in Egypt with duty-free import status in the US on articles produced through their partnership. [More>>Jerusalem Post]


12.14.04 Crown Prince of Dubai says "change or lose power"

The crown prince of the Gulf emirate of Dubai warned Arab rulers they risk losing power if they fail to introduce wide-ranging reforms in their countries. Speaking at the opening of the three day Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum said: "I say to my fellow Arabs in [power]: if you do not change, you will be changed."

His stark warning was delivered to an audience of leading Arab and world figures, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Washington's former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The forum is aimed at discussing various challenges facing Middle East governments but is primarily focused on the issue of political reform.
[More>>The Daily Star.com]


12.14.04 Demonstrations planned against Saudi monarchy

Anti-monarchy protest marches planned for Riyadh and Jedda are expected to draw tens of thousands of supporters, according to their Saudi dissident organiser. Saad al-Faqih told Aljazeera.net on Tuesday that his radio stations – that reach over two thirds of the Saudi population - have been preparing for the demonstrations for over six weeks. "The Saudi regime is unreformable. This event will involve a series of civil activities whose purpose is clear – to remove the current regime," al-Faqih told Aljazeera.net. [More>>Al-Jezeera]


12.14.04 Google to scan libraries for internet

Google announced Tuesday that it had entered into agreements with some of the nation's leading research libraries and Oxford University to begin converting their holdings into digital files that would be freely searchable over the Web. [More>>New York Times]


12.14.04 Trains collide in India, 34 dead

MUKERIAN, INDIA, Dec. 14 – In the second major train accident in six months, 34 people, including 11 women and a child, were today killed and about 50 injured, 16 of them seriously, when Ahmedabad-bound Jammu Tawi Express collided head-on with a local train here, about 40 kms from Jalandhar. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who visited the accident site, termed the collision as a "murder" and said station masters of Chak Kalan and Bangara would be charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder under IPC on the charge of allowing the two trains to travel on the same track. [More>>Press Times of India via CRI online]


12.14.04 Six bird species with avian flu found in Thailand

Six species of birds have contracted avian influenza, the Livestock Department said Monday. The six are pigeons, Asian hornbills, a dove known as ³nok khao fai², and three local species: ³nok kratib khee moo², ³ka nam lek² (small cormorant) and ³sang seao² (drongo). Wire reports on Tuesday, however, said there were at least nine bird species that contacted the deadly strains. The reports quoted an unnamed source. [More>>asianewsnet.net]


12.14.04 Aide to Zaqawi killed, 2 arrested

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 14 – An aide to Iraq's most-wanted man, Jordanian Islamist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been killed in Iraq and two others captured, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said Tuesday. "I have been told that an individual by the name of Hassan Ibrahim Farhan Zyda from Zarqawi's group has been killed and that two of his deputies have been arrested," Allawi told the interim national assembly.
The two detainees were suspected to have "beheaded innocents," he added, in a possible reference to the murders of hostages that have been claimed by Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda linked group.
[Agence France Presse (AFP), inq7.net]


12.14.04 US War games to invade Iran

The U.S. Defense Department reportedly held simulations to determine the effectiveness of an attack on Iran, the Middle East Newsline reported Sunday. The Atlantic Monthly revealed the Pentagon held simulations of a U.S. military strike on Iranian bases and nuclear facilities. The war games also included a ground invasion. [Middle East Newsline via bignewsnetwork.com]


STILL IN THE NEWS

12.13.04 Convention on Climate Change starts in Buenos Aires

1500 experts and politicians from 189 countries are meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina to discuss global warming. The conference will proceed through December 17. This follows the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Russia. The Kyoto Protocol – which President George W. Bush refused to sign – will take effect February 16, 2005. The United States – the worst polluter on earth – is being sharply criticized by attendees. Argentina has been experiencing unusual rains as well as increased solar radiation, and in protest of Global Warming. Environmentalists have installed a Noah's Ark in the center of Buenos Aires. Demonstrating against Washington environmentalists scheduled a "singing in the rain" characterization of George W. Bush, reminding Argentineans that most of the heavy rains they are suffering are related to climate change due to global warming. The focus of the conference will be to reduce gas emissions by 60 percent, and support from developing nations will be necessary to achieve that goal. Attendees have complained that efforts to cut pollution by participants in the Kyoto Protocol are undermined by the US. [More>>pravda.ru]

12.13.04 Vladimir Sivkovich commission to investigate Yushchenko poisoning

An ad hoc parliamentary commission to investigate the poisoning of Victor Yuschenko is scheduled to gather in Kiev, Ukraine Tuesday, said the press service of MP Vladimir Sivkovich, the commission chair. [More>>rian.ru]

12.13.04 Chinese workers trapped in Chinese mine

Thirty-six workers have been trapped in a flooded mine in southwestern China's Guizhou province with rescuers pumping water out of the shaft in an effort to save them, officials said.

Water rushed into the Xujiaba Tianchi mine in Sinan county on Sunday afternoon when 80 miners were in the shaft, said Wu Ming, an official at the mine. Forty-four workers got out safely, but the fate of the others was still not clear on Monday morning, he said.
[More>>Al-Jezeera]

12.12.04 Feds are expected to hike rates up for the fifth time this year; won't be enough though

In Tuesday's meeting of the Federal Reserve interest rates are expected to be raised for a fifth time this year. Although the ongoing rhetoric from Greenspan would be expected to be something on the order of "to reduce the possibility of inflation," the real need for the rate hikes is to finance the out-of-control debt under which President Bush has buried this nation. To pay off bond-holders on the US debt, when the bonds are redeemed, the Treasury has to print and sell more bonds. The higher the debt the more bonds needed to be sold in the market. The problem is the debt is so high the size of the lots of bonds offered for sale overwhelms the bond market. The number of buyers of US bonds is limited (half of them being foreign banks, including China, Japan and South Korea). To attract the buyers interest rates on the bonds need to be jacked up. But, Japan is in a recession that has been going on for several years, South Korea is in an economic slump, Japan is cutting off financial aid to China, and China is evaluating what to do with the yuan. Record declines in the US dollar, caused by international fears of excessive US debt and trade imbalance, don't make it more encouraging for buyers to rush to buy American bonds to continue financing failed US policies. Why Greenspan did not at least put a verbal sanction on Bush for his spendthrift economics – running a government on a credit card, believing creditors will always be there to loan more money – is something historians may ponder for years. Greenspan's lack of diligence with regard to the US economy is the current cause of declining economies around the world. Expect more hikes, for there is no way out of this one for Greenspan except up: higher rates. Can he hike up interest rates enough to offset declines in the value of the dollar? [Click here to view a chart on the US debt; for the report: Reuters]
Mel Copeland

12.10.04 Japan ends decades-old ban on military exports
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."[More>>]

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

12.06.04 Kurds in southeastern Turkey want their requests met before EU admits Turkey


TRENDS: NEWS TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON

US DEBT & ECONOMICS

12.07.04 Interest for 2004 exceeded outlays for essential Bush administration departments
12.09.04 President Bush rules out hike in payroll tax to fund Social Security
12.09.04 Asian markets down – consumer confidence reaches four-year low in South Korea
12.09.04
China to move to flexible currency (yuan, aka RMB)
12.08.04 Iraq War troops give up jobs at home to serve Bush – become homeless after service
12.07.04 Heavy sell-off of US dollar in Shanghai
12.06.04
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

BUSH & WAR CRIMES

12.10.04 Ex-CIA agent says sacked for not faking Iraq WMD reports
12.05.04 US accused of eliminating witnesses to Iraqi attacks
12.08.04 US Democratic Transformation of the Middle East coming under attack
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
9.16.04 President Bush launches illegal war
11.01.04 Washington has opened a Pandora's box, intensifying ethnic and religious conflicts

PALESTINE AND KASHMIR SOLUTION

12.12.04 Latest talks on Kashmir hold promise
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

IRAN

12.13.04 UN atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei says Iran's nuclear program not a threat
12.12.04 Iran looking to Russia to build nuclear power-plants
12.10.04 Singapore and Iran looking to closer ties
12.09.04 Pakistani scientist's link to nuclear technology sales to Iran
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

RUSSIA

12.12.04 Cold War being revisited by Bush administration?
12.12.04 Russian-Chinese strategic partnership
12.10.04
Russia and Spain partnership prospects
12.08.04 US Colin Powell and Russian Sergey Lavrov verbally duke it out over Ukraine – conference scuttled
12.08.04 Elections in Iraq unimaginable under occupation by foreign troops, says Putin
12.08.04 Turkey economically strategic to Russia
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

CHINA

12.12.04 China miffed over Japan's new military focus; 32 years of Sino-Japanese relations at stake
12.12.04 Japan cutting capital cooperation projects in China
12.09.04 EU looking to lift arms ban to China
12.09.04 Good news for San Francisco: Chinese tourists may be on the way – but some bad news
12.08.04 Chinese Prime Minister arrives in the Hague for summit with EU
12.08.04 EU and China sign strategic partnership
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

OTHER

12.13.04 FBI in disorder
12.13.04 US forces detain Khan of Kalat and his "hunting party"
12.12.04 Korea uneasy over Japan's new military focus; fears of arms race
12.12.04 Saddam's illegal oil trade to Syria, Jordan and Turkey
12.10.04 Fatwas – edicts issued by Islamic clerics – getting out of hand
12.09.04
North East Asian countries uneasy with Bush administration direction – fear another Iraq
12.09.04
President Karzai of Afghanistan declares Holy War on drug trade
12.09.04 Moqtada al-Sadr left off Sistani's electoral list
12.08.04 Israeli soldiers admit having killed 15-year-old Palestinian for sport
12.06.04 Eight soldiers plan to sue over Army's Stop-Loss policy
12.08.04 Oil producing governments in Mideast getting rich while their people starve
12.08.04 Eritrea in fourth year of drought Somalia suffering from drought; both ignored
12.07.04 US CDC forcasts on global warming grim
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 belfasttelegraph.co.uk ; also carried by kurdistanobserver.com/] 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)


CONCERNS

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,
[http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/index-e.htm] "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
President
Jan. year
yen to dollar / ($)
euro to dollar / ($)
George H. W. Bush
1990
146.25 ($.0068)
x
George H. W. Bush
1991
124.5 ($.0075)
x
George H. W. Bush
1992
125.4 ($.0080)
x
William J. Clinton
1993
112.5 ($.0079)
x
William J. Clinton
1994
112.5 ($.0088)
x
William J. Clinton
1995
100.52 ($.0099)
.816 ($1.22)
William J. Clinton
1996
103.92 ($.0095)
.780 ($1.28)
William J. Clinton
1997
115.49 ($.0086)
.807 ($1.25)
William J. Clinton
1998
132.4 ($.0075)
.913 ($1.10)
William J. Clinton
1999
112.15 ($.0089)
.846 ($1.18)
William J. Clinton
2000
101.7 ($.0098)
.984 ($1.01)
George W. Bush
2001
114.26 ($.0087)
1.05 ($.95)
George W. Bush
2002
132.02 ($.0076)
1.11 ($.90) *
George W. Bush
2003
119.86 ($.0083)
.96 ($1.04)
George W. Bush
2004
106.95 ($.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 http://www.x-rates.com.

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: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/, 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: http://www.marktaw.com/print/culture_and_media/TheNationalDebt.html. A good chart on the Federal deficit vs percent of GDP is at: http://www.harvardmagazine.com/lib/04jf/images/budg.jpg. Links on the Public Debt are at the Federal Bureau of Public Debt site: http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opd.htm#history.

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. (Click on image for larger view.) 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. www.publicdebt.treas.gov/

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. [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
10.28.04


NOTES

(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.


INFORMATION ON SOME LINKS

Up-to-date information on the Presidential Race 2004: http://www.race2004.net/
Halliburton's major stock holders: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=HAL
The Bush family and Cheney's financial holdings in Halliburton via Vanguard and other corporations: http://marc.perkel.com/archives/000067.html
Sinclair Broadcast Group advertisers. Help stop Bush and his brown-shirts by boycotting the advertisers that support Sinclair! http://www.boycottsbg.com/advertisers/default.aspx
Duty & Profit.html, a portion of the correspondence with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. from 1992-1995 on the national debt
Bushwatch: http://www.bushwatch.net/binladens.htm, Link on the Bush bin Laden wheeling and dealings
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