Maravot News of the World
4:30pm San Francisco
Munday 12.27.04
(last post)

About Maravot News

Page best viewed in
Netscape 7.0




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

12.17.04
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.

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


12.27.04 Tsunami watch in the Pacific

The tsunami that struck Sumatra did not have a monitoring system in place like that provided by the US government for its Pacific coast. The Pacific ocean off the western United States is monitored by buoys that can be checked out by anyone.

DART program, National Buoy Data Center, http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart.shtml. Buoy and chart are from location 8.490 S 125.017 W (8°29' 26" S 125°1' 21" W), 6:45pm 12.27.04 San Francisco time. Click on chart to check out its current Water Column Height
(Station 46406 - D125).

The buoy in the South Pacific (Station 46406 - D125), 6:45pm San Francisco time, 12.27.04, has a Water Column Height ~4,479 meters (max.). It is showing a consistent wave pattern – no evidence of a tsunami. One can check out the status of the seas at http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart.shtml by clicking on the red dot marking each buoy.

12.27.04 Massive 9.0 Richter Scale earthquake in Sumatra

Dec. 27 Update – Tsunami toll 25,000; 7,000 in India. Rescuers piled up bodies along southern Asian coastlines devastated by tidal waves that obliterated seaside towns and killed about 25,000 people in nine countries, and officials indicated on Monday that the death toll could climb far higher. Hundreds of children were buried in mass graves in India, and morgues and hospitals struggled to cope with the catastrophe. Somalia, some 4,800 km away, reported hundreds of deaths.

The death toll rose sharply a day after the magnitude 9.0 quake struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia. Walls of water sped away from the quake's epicenter at more than 800 kmph before crashing into the region's shorelines, sweeping people and fishing villages out to sea.
[More>>hindustantimes.com]

Port Blair, Dec. 27 (PTI) The scale of tragedy in the far-flung Andaman and Nicobar islands also came to light today with 2,000 more deaths reported, taking the overall figure to over 3,000. An earlier report said: "It is now confirmed that more than 3,000 persons have been killed in Sunday morning's disaster," IGP Andaman and Nicobar S. B. Deol said adding "another 2,000 people are missing and are believed to have died." He also apprehended the casualty figure might go up as the extent of damage in a number of inhabited islands in the Nancowry group near the Great Nicobar island were yet to be ascertained...According to him the worst hit were the Car Nicobar and Nancowry islands and the majority of those missing were from Nancowry, located very near to the epicenter of the earthquake and bore the brunt of the Tsunami. The islands, with a combined population of 37,000, have been completely washed away.
[More>>Press Trust of India]

Indian Ocean relief @ andaman.org (World Atlas of the Oceans" by Dr. M. Leier, Firefly Books, 2001, Copyright RM Buch und Medienvertrieb, Hamburg, Germany) Click on map for larger view. Map shows undersea of quake area.

The Andaman islands are important from the standpoint of Anthropological research which places their original Negrito population in a unique place. According to a book by George H.J. Weber, The Andaman Association, the population may reflect one of the early populations that moved out of Africa. His site, www.andaman.org, provides a detailed account of these people and, for Anthropology buffs, is quite informative, good reading. The Andaman islands may have at one time been connected to Sumatra.

Dec. 25 – Tsunamis slammed into the shores opposite the center of a 8.9 magnitude earthquake that is reported to have taken 10,000+ lives in South and East Asia, 3,200 in India alone – 1,725 people losing their lives in the state and Andaman and Nicobar, closest to the Sumatra coast. The epicentre of the 8.9 magnitude quake on the Richter Scale, was also equally badly hit accounting for 1,000 deaths and suffering extensive damage. About 5,500 people, including 3,000 in Sri Lanka alone, perished as the tidal waves battered the coasts of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Maldives [More>>Press Trust of India]. 99 dead 1,300 injured in South Thailand. [More>>inq7.net]

The largest quake in 40 years left a trail of death and destruction in South and South East Asia killing over 6,500 people. Over 5,500 people, including 3,000 in Sri Lanka alone, lost their lives as the 8.9 magnitude undersea earthquake with epicenter off the Sumatra coast hit the region at around 0628 IST battering the coasts of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Maldives. Earlier, at least 3,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka, 408 in Indonesia, 300 in Thailand and 25 in Malaysia as tsunami waves lashed the coastal regions in these nations.
[More>>hindustantimes via Press Trust of India]

In India – Over eighteen hundred people have been killed in tidal waves in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andamand and Nicobar Islands (Tamil Nadu at 800, Andhra Pradesh at 200, Kerala 40 and Andaman and Nicobar Island at 14
[More>>Press Trust of India]). Tamil Nadu was the "worst affected" with possibly over 1500 people killed, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said on Sunday in New Delhi after a meeting of the Crisis Management Group (CMG). In Andhra Pradesh, over 200 people were feared killed, he said. [More>>hindustanitimes via Press Trust of India]

According to the IMGB, the center of the quake was in Molabo, Aceh, the country's westernmost province, at 3.6 degrees of North latitude and 96.28 degrees of east longitude [More>>Xinhuanet]


12.25.04 New York art collector looting Pakistan

NEW YORK, Dec 24 – The United States customs authorities have intercepted a container of valuable Pakistani artefacts destined for an art collector in New York , including several priceless Buddha figurines, busts and other Gandhara art objects, at the Newark port in New Jersey.

The container which arrived here on Wednesday was shipped from Dubai. Sale or smuggling of treasures of national heritage from any country is a crime under the United States law and the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
[More>>dawn.com]


12.25.04 Governors fear Bush is cutting off Medicaid

BOSTON, Dec. 25 – Fearful that President Bush plans to shift more Medicaid costs to the states, the nation's governors are mounting a bipartisan lobbying effort to stave off new federal limits on the program.

Medicaid, the nation's largest health insurance program, is costing the states and the federal government more than $300 billion a year. The growth of the program, which covers the poor and disabled, has outpaced state revenues, and Medicaid is now a larger component of total state spending than elementary and secondary education combined, according to the National Governors Association.
[More>>nytimes.com]

Note to file: Since the purpose of this site is to record history by reporting the news – knowing it is tomorrow's history – it is sad to comment that our legislators have no idea that the $300 billion represents 300 days worth of interest on the US debt. Imagine! American legislators pander to Bush's preference to cut off Medicaid so to pay off those who collect interest on the US debt! Americans this Christmas have been so snowed by Bush their brightest Senators are muffled when it comes to rising interest payments cutting out the daily dole. Sycophants preying on the public debt are more important to our Christian leaders than the poor for whom I pray.
Mel Copeland


12.25.04 Army historian says invasion of Iraq had mediocre planning

Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Staff Writer, reports: "The U.S. military invaded Iraq without a formal plan for occupying and stabilizing the country and this high-level failure continues to undercut what has been a "mediocre" Army effort there, an Army historian and strategist has concluded.

'There was no Phase IV plan' for occupying Iraq after the combat phase, writes Maj. Isaiah Wilson III, who served as an official historian of the campaign and later as a war planner in Iraq. While a variety of government offices had considered the possible situations that would follow a U.S. victory, Wilson writes, 'no one produced an actual document laying out a strategy to consolidate the victory after major combat operations ended.'"
[More>>Washingtonpost.com; also reported in other media]


12.25.04 Truck bomb in Baghdad against Jordanian embassy

BAGHDAD, Dec. 25 – Rescuers dug seven bodies, all of them from the same family, from the rubble of their house on Saturday after an abortive truck bomb attack on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad in which nine people died. [More> Reuters]


12.25.04 French spiderman climbs world's tallest tower

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP), Dec. 25 – A French urban climber who calls himself Spiderman climbed to the top of the world's tallest building on Saturday – Taipei 101. Alain Robert, 42, took almost four hours to reach the top of the 1,679-foot building. The climb took him nearly twice as long as he had expected, partly because of dreary weather. [More>>cnn.com]


12.25.04 Small Texas town sees first white Christmas since 1918

(AP) Dec. 25 – Almost a foot of snow fell overnight to give Victoria, Texas a taste of what the country's midsection has been dealing with the past two days: winter weather. An arctic front that swept through the Midwest hit Indiana and Kentucky particularly hard, bringing record snowfalls that snarled holiday travel and stopped last-minute Christmas shoppers in their tracks. More than a dozen traffic deaths and thousands of auto accidents have been blamed on the storm so far.[ More>>Associated Press via cnn.com et al.]


12.25.04 Another deadly blast in Thailand's Muslim south

Dec. 24 – A bomb hidden in a motorcycle has killed two men and wounded eight other people outside a bank in Thailand's largely Muslim deep south. Police said they believed the bomber, Suelee Jehni, had been killed by the blast on Friday at around 9am (0200 GMT) near the bank's automated teller machine. Three soldiers were among the six men and two women wounded. One soldier was in a critical condition. The bomb shattered windows up to the third floor of the Siam Commercial Bank branch in Sungai Kolok, a tourist town best known for a strip of bars and brothels which lure tourists from neighboring Malaysia. [More>>Al-Jezeera]


12.25.04 Progress-M51 spacecraft to dock with International Space Station Sunday

MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti's Alexander Kovalev) – The Progress-M51 cargo spacecraft is to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, December 26, at 3:05am Moscow time in the automatic mode, a spokesperson for Russia's Mission Control Center told RIA Novosti.

The cargo spaceship is going to deliver containers with Russian and American food for astronauts Salijan Sharipov and Leroy Chiao, Christmas presents, reserve fuel for the attitude control engines, fresh water, research equipment and a new Russian-made tread-mill. In addition, the Progress-M51 will deliver a new "inhabitant" on board – a German-made robot named Rockviss designed to ease astronauts' workloads and cut down operational costs. By the end of January, the robot is to be mounted on the ISS outer surface where it will first have to prove its serviceability in the harsh conditions of outer space.

The Russian-made tread-mill exerciser will replace its American-made counterpart, currently in operation, which keeps breaking down.
[rian.com]


12.25.04 Rafsanjani lashes out at Iran's critics in Iraq

LONDON, Dec. 25 – During the weekly Friday Prayers ceremony in Tehran, former Iranian President Hashemi Rafanjani, referring to Iraq's interim government, lashed out at the "stupid accusations of Iranian interference made by certain mercenaries of the United States." Last week, Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi called on Iraqis to turn out and vote in the scheduled January 30 elections. "We want Shiites, Sunnis, Christians, Turkmens and all the other communities of Iraq to take part in the elections," said Kharazi. Wanting to qualify the statement, Rafasanjani said, "The Iraqis know full well that nobody in Iran is telling them where, how or for whom to vote. But we call on everyone, everywhere in the world, to go and vote to take their own destiny in their hands." [More>>IranMania.com]


12.25.04 Largest turn-out in Bethlehem since 2000

Despite an atmosphere of renewed hope in the aftermath of the death of Yasser Arafat, only a few thousand worshippers attended Christmas Eve celebrations in Bethlehem on Friday night. But on Saturday about 15,000 tourists and pilgrims descended on the city in 130 buses – the biggest turnout since 2000. [More>>Jerusalem Post]


12.25.04 Senior Indian delegation visits Israel on arms trade

On Friday, the senior Indian delegation concluded a secret visit to Israel to discuss the arms trade between the two countries and their fight against terror. The nine-member Indian group, headed by the defense secretary, met with Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and the ministry's director general, Amos Yaron, among other officials. Israel reportedly agreed to upgrade India's fleet of Chita helicopters, as well as its fleet of Topolev-142 reconnaissance airplanes, that serve India's navy. The delegations also discussed tests India is conducting on Israeli-made Lahat anti-tank missiles. India is also considering buying Israeli-made Heron drones, and cooperating with Israel on the production of Barak 2 navy missiles. [More>>haaretzdaily.com]


12.25.04 Zarqawi-linked insurgents arrested in Iraq

BAGHDAD – Two insurgents with links to Iraq's most wanted man, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, have been arrested in the turbulent city of Ramadi, the US Marines said Saturday. "Two key leaders of a terrorist group claiming affiliation with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist network were captured by soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of First Marine Division ... in Al Ramadi recently," the marines said in a statement. [More>>jang.com.pk]


12.25.04 Christians switching back to Hindu beliefs

ROUKERLA, India, Dec. 25 – Amidst Christmas celebrations, 113 Christians belonging to 38 families were reconverted to Hinduism at a function at Ruguda under Bonai block in Orissa's Sundargarh district on Saturday sources said. A 'yagna' was performed at the village and new clothes were gifted to all of them on the occasion. A procession was taken out carrying water in earthen pots and marched up to the 'yagnasthal' for performance of rituals that termed the reconversion as 'home coming.' About two months ago, 336 persons belonging to 80 families were reconverted to Hinduism at Birida. [More>>Press Trust of India via hindustantimes.com]


12.25.04 Huygens successfully separates from Cassini spacecraft

(AFP) The European-made space probe Huygens has successfully separated from the US spacecraft Cassini and headed toward Titan, a NASA official said. "The probe successfully detached from the Cassini orbiter," Rosemary Sullivant, a spokeswoman for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory told AFP. "They received the signal," she said. It will take Huygens 20 days to reach Titan, the only moon in the solar system which has an atmosphere. It is scheduled to arrive at its destination on January 14. [via asianewsnet.net]


12.25.04 Iraq invites Russian help

Hashem Karim Mustafa, the Iraqi ambassador, said in a news conference in Moscow that Iraq would welcome Russian companies to help rebuild the country. A delegation representing Russia's upper house of parliament, Emergencies Ministry and Foreign Ministry would visit Baghdad before the end of the year. [CRI online]


12.24.04 Iraqi Prime Minister Hoshiar al-Zibari visits China

In his visit to China this week Prime Minister Hoshiar al-Zibari said that he appreciates China's support of Iraq's political transition process and he thanked the Chinese Government for its efforts at the UN Security Council in solving the Iraqi crisis. [CRI online]


12.23.04 Palestinians vote for first time in 30 years

Palestinians voted Thursday in the first council elections for three decades amid a row over British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plan to prepare the birth of a Palestinian democratic state at a London conference. [More>>dailystar.com.lb] Because of a high turnout the polls have been kept open later and Hamas appears to have the advantage says the Jerusalem Post.


12.23.04 Mosul suicide bomber may have worn Iraqi uniform

WASHINGTON Dec. 23 – The explosion that killed 22 people in a U.S. military mess hall in northern Iraq was apparently an inside job by a suicide bomber who may have worn an Iraqi military uniform, allowing passage through multiple layers of security, a senior military official said today. [More>>latimes.com]


12.23.04 Battle in Fallujah as people try to return to their homes

Clashes have erupted between US marines and Falluja's fighters as displaced families were set to return to their homes in the battered city on Thursday. It was unclear what caused the clashes, but marine officers said that both sides had suffered casualties. [More>>Al-Jezeera]


12.23.04 Dollar slumps to lowest level; foreigners fear it's Washington's plan

BEIRUT, Dec. 23 – Osama Habib and Michael Glackin write: The dollar slumped to an all time low against the euro in late European trading, tumbling to $1.3502 against the resurgent single currency. The greenback plunged to its record low amid fears Washington won't take measures to counter the dollar's weakness and the publication of a raft of poor U.S. economic data.

Comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow earlier this month, when he spoke of his "deep respect for the way markets perform," have been interpreted as a signal that Washington is content with the weak dollar and given rise to a fresh selling spree. The latest plunge means the euro has risen by almost 15 percent against the greenback over the last year.
[More>>dailystar.com.lb]


12.23.04 US Government releases $100 million in emergency heating aid

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 – (AP) — After lawmakers complained that utilities were cutting off heat for thousands of seniors and low-income families before the worst of winter, federal authorities announced Thursday they would release $100 million in emergency heating aid for the poor. [More>usatoday.com via toxpix.net]


12.23.04 North Korean exodus

China has been quietly helping North Korean refugees relocate to a "third country," which apparently has been South Korea. North Korean refugees have been seeking asylum in Hanoi as well. Last week asylum seekers went to the French and Swedish embassies in Hanoi. This week Forty-four North Koreans who sought asylum at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing in September have been taken to a safe, unnamed third country...In recent years, scores of North Koreans have won political asylum in South Korea after successfully entering diplomatic missions in China. The Beijing government has allowed hundreds of North Korean asylum-seekers to leave for South Korea through this route. Despite a treaty that obliges Beijing to send them home, it has not done so in cases which have become public. [More>>koreaherald.com]


12.23.04 US is losing war of ideas

12.24.04 President Bush invaded Iraq using a false pretense, claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was threatening to use them against the United States. Bush combined the invasion of Iraq with his overall war against terrorism. Had he focused his war against terrorism toward searching out Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, we would not be writing about the ongoing disaster of Iraq, where failed US policies are helping terrorist recruiting campaigns.

Bush confused the matter more by using the word "crusade" when announcing his war against terrorism. This word, "crusade," relates to a historic disaster, leaving Islam with a deep-seated contempt of the West since the 14th century. What George W. Bush brought out was not only past grudges, but also missionary zealously on both sides: Christians and Moslems. Moslem extremists during the Crusades included a group called "Assasins." The Assasins were Moslems who believed that when one kills infidels (unbelievers) through martyrdom the martyr goes instantly to Paradise and is served by seven virgins. This report is in the link in the side bar:
Joinville & Villechardouin, Chronicles of the Crusades.

Bush launched an illegal war against Iraq, he lied to the American people with regard to justifying the invasion of Iraq, he characterized the invasion as a "crusade," insurgents continue suicidal attacks; these reasons alone cause one to wonder whether Bush is operating in a world of reality. He's causing Americans and Iraqis to lose lives in a war he himself does not understand, and lacking any understanding about his purpose, or the reality of the struggle against the US Crusade, he leads us further into a quagmire everyday resembling the historical Crusades. Unlike the Crusades, however, Bush is not attempting to secure the Holy Land, but a land rich in oil (His family are oilmen). It is unfortunate that the land rich in oil (Iraq contains the world's 2nd largest oil reserves) also contains Islam's two major sects and hosts the holiest shrine of the Shi'ah which is in Fallujah. The war in Iraq has turned out to be, in fact, Bush's war against Islam – since he is waging war in Islam's holiest sites.

Baghdad is a city that became heir to the city of Babylon. Biblical passages refer to a crusade against Babylon in terms of historical examples (i.e., 2Kgs. 24:15 – Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon; the conquest of Babylon by the Persians, and prophesies against Babylon:

Isaiah 13.6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
13.7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:
13.8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth; they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
13.9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
13.11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
13.13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
13.14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
13.19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."
13.20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
13.21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.
14.3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee [Israel] rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
14.4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased!
14.5 The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
14.9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee [the king of Babylon; i.e., Lucifer] at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
14.10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us?
14.11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
14.12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations.
14.15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
14.16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
14.17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
14.32 What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation [Israel]? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.

This is one of several Biblical prophesies that lay behind the teachings President Bush hears every Sunday: a belief in a period called the Last Days (the Koran calls the Day of Resurrection) which are compared to the judgment (burden) of Babylon. The Book of Revelation repeats the judgment cited above in the context of a battle between evil and God's Messiah (Christ) [NIV version]:

Revelation 17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.
17:2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries."
17:3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.
17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
17:5 This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
17:6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
17:7 Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
17:9 "This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.
17:10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.
17:11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
17:12 "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
17:13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.
17:14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."
17:15 Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
17:16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17:17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled.
17:18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."
18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.
18:2 With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
18:3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."
18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
18:5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
18:6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
18:7 Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.
18:8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
18:9 "When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.
18:10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: " 'Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!'
18:11 "The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more—
18:12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;
18:13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.
18:14 "They will say, 'The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.'
18:15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn
18:16 and cry out: " 'Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
18:17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!' Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off.
18:18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?'
18:19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: " 'Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!
18:20 Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.' "
18:21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.
18:22 The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again.
18:23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the worldıs great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth."
19:1 After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
19:2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."
19:3 And again they shouted: "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever."
19:4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: "Amen, Hallelujah!"
19:5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!"
19:6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."
19:10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
19:11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.
19:12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.
He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.
19:13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
19:14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
19:15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God,
19:18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."
19:19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.
19:20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
19:21 The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.
20:2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
20:3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

Since the Koran is founded upon the assumption that the Biblical Scriptures are true (see below, "Why the Crusade & Jihad?"), we are witness to a confusing Crusade launched by George W. Bush that conjures up believers of Islam and Christianity, both of whom believe that God is on their side. What George W. Bush has done in his misguided adventure in Iraq is created a great division in the world, and that for which he thinks he may be fighting may not, in fact, be justice. For justice never sides with a liar, and history – in terms of the Biblical issues at hand – may record George W. Bush and his administration having a greater affiliation with the "beast" than with God. After all, George W. Bush launched his war in Iraq for the wrong reason: to control oil, the medium of world commerce. He affronts the idea of justice with his argument that he is bringing freedom to Iraq. Hitler and other beasts used the same argument. The beast Osama bin Laden uses the same argument.

Big News Network.com December 23, 2004, released an interesting article on a recent report by a Pentagon advisory group, the Defense Science Board (DSB). The report titled, "Strategic Communication," deals with the US war of ideas against Islamic extremism. The report concludes that the US is not effectively communicating its message and is losing this contest of ideas. The report can be downloaded as a pdf from: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports.htm. Here is a portion of what it says.

Strategic Communication, 1.2 The New Strategic Communication Environment

Anti-American attitudes. Opinion surveys conducted by Zogby International, the Pew Research Center, Gallup (CNN/USA Today), and the Department of State (INR) reveal widespread animosity toward the United States and its policies. A year and a half after going to war in Iraq, Arab/Muslim anger has intensified. Data from Zogby International in July 2004, for example, show that the US is viewed unfavorably by overwhelming majorities in Egypt (98 percent), Saudi Arabia (94 percent), Morocco (88 percent), and Jordan (78 percent). The war has increased mistrust of America in Europe, weakened support for the war on terrorism, and undermined US credibility worldwide. Media commentary is consistent with polling data. In a State Department (INR) survey of editorials and op-eds in 72 countries, 82.5 % of commentaries were negative, 17.5% positive. Negative attitudes and the conditions that create them are the underlying sources of threats to Americaıs national security and reduced ability to leverage diplomatic opportunities. Terrorism, thin coalitions, harmful effects on business, restrictions on travel, declines in cross border tourism and education flows, and damaging consequences for other elements of US soft power are tactical manifestations of a pervasive atmosphere of hostility.

Although many observers correlate anti-Americanism with deficiencies in US public diplomacy (its content, tone, and competence), the effectiveness of the means used to influence public opinion is only one metric. Policies, conflicts of interest, cultural differences, memories, time, dependence on mediated information, and other factors shape perceptions and limit the effectiveness of strategic communication.

Mel Copeland
[Other views on the report can be read at bignewsnetwork.com]


12.23.04 Rebel violence in Nepal takes 100 lives in the past week

Clashes in Nepal are reported to have killed at least 34 rebels, troops and civilians over the last day. Twenty-two guerrillas and two soldiers were killed in the latest gun battle on Thursday in the western district of Arghakhanchi, the army said. Transport in and out of Kathmandu has been paralyzed by rebel threats.

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for an immediate end to the fighting and for urgent talks, saying he would be ready to help. At least 100 people - soldiers, police, rebels and civilians - are reported to have died in clashes in Nepal in the last week.
[More>>BBCnews via tajikistannews.net]


12.23.04 YUKOS deal ruined Russia's reputation says Richard Boucher

³It seems to me that we clearly stated our attitude towards the sale of YUKOS and the tax claims against this company,² Richard Boucher said. ³We looked for a solution to this problem that would observe tax laws and would not infringe on the rights of the company's shareholders, creditors, and employees. We don't believe that the auction was a step in this direction. The entire course of this affair has raised questions about the independence and transparency of Russian courts and investment and tax laws and is a cause for serious concern.² In Mr. Boucher's opinion, ³the situation with YUKOS has ruined Russia's reputation as a place to do business². [More>> Kommersant.com]


12.23.04 Nigerian pipelines being tapped with explosive results

LAGOS, Dec. 23 – At least 26 people were killed in an explosion as they stole fuel from a damaged pipeline in a fishing community near Nigeria's economic capital Lagos, police said Thursday. But this is not the first incident. Tuesday night 20 people were killed. Four months ago some 50 people were killed at Imore, a Lagos suburb, and In October 1998 in Jesse, a fishing community in Delta State, more than 1,000 villagers were ripped apart by an explosion as they scooped up fuel. [More>>jang.com.pk]


12.23.04 Seven dead in boat off Canary islands

FUERTEVENTURA, Dec. 23 – Rescuers on Thursday found seven bodies and 30 people suffering from severe hypothermia in a boat that had been adrift for two days off the Canary Islands, emergency services officials said. [jang.com.pk]


12.23.04 Where Osama bin Laden went wrong

Vikram Sood, former chief of India's Research and Analysis Wing, wrote an interesting article examining what appears to be a failed strategy on the part of Osama bin Laden. [Well worth reading, at atimes.com via rediff.com]


12.23.04 Russian state oil firm Rosneft bought YUKOS's core unit Yuganskneftegaz

Expanding its sites the Russian state-owned oil firm, Rosneft, who bought Yuganskenftegaz at what has been criticized as a low action price, has now aquired the Baikal Finance Group. Reports say that the Baikal aquisition will transform the company into a balanced national energy corporation. [More>>CRI online]


12.23.04 Russian president accuses US of attempting to isolate Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of trying to isolate Russia from its neighbors among the former Soviet republics. Speaking at an annual press conference Thursday in Moscow, Putin said he heeded Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski's reported comments that the United States preferred a "Russia without Ukraine."

Putin said he would ask US President George W. Bush at a meeting next year whether it is an established policy of the United States to limit the development of Russia's relations with its neighbors.
[More>>CRIonline]


12.22.04 Cassini-Huygens mission set to launch probe to Saturn's moon Titan

A report from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory says, "The highlights of the first year of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn can be broken into two chapters: first, the arrival of the Cassini orbiter at Saturn in June, and second, the release of the Huygens probe on Dec. 24, 2004, on a path toward Titan.

Artist's concept of Cassini releasing the Huygens probe to Titan (JPL)
The Huygens probe, built and managed by the European Space Agency (ESA), is bolted to Cassini and fed electrical power through an umbilical cable. It has been riding along during the nearly seven-year journey to Saturn largely in a "sleep" mode, awakened every six months for three-hour instrument and engineering checkups. In three days, it will be cut loose from its mother ship and will coast toward Saturn's moon Titan, arriving on Jan. 14, 2005.

"As partners with ESA, one of our obligations was to carry the Huygens probe to Saturn and drop it off at Titan," said Robert T. Mitchell, Cassini program manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We've done the first part, and on Christmas Eve we will release Huygens and tension-loaded springs will gently push it away from Cassini onto a ballistic free-fall path to Titan."

Once freed from Cassini, the Huygens probe will remain dormant until the onboard timer wakes it up shortly before the probe reaches Titan's upper atmosphere on Jan. 14. Then it will begin a dramatic plunge through Titan's murky atmosphere, tasting the chemical makeup and composition as it descends to touch down on its surface.
[More>>jpl.nasa.gov]


12.21.04; 12.23.04 Update – US base in Mosul attacked; 22 killed

An attack on a mess-hall, which occurred about noon, killed 22 US and Iraqi troops and wounded 72. It is the deadliest single attack against the US since the start of the Iraqi War. The attack was by a suicide bomber. [Associated Press; Update at defenselink.mil]


STILL IN THE NEWS

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]
12.10.04 Japan ends decades-old ban on military exports
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


TRENDS: NEWS TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON

US DEBT & ECONOMICS

12.16.04 President Bush looking at deficit as cause of weak dollar
12.16.04 Bush urges Social Security reform
12.14.04 US Trade Deficit hits new record
12.12.04 Feds are expected to hike rates up for the fifth time this year; won't be enough though
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 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

12.22.04 Iraqi children freezing; hospitals raising fees, have broken windows, no heat, no water, lots of corruption
12.20.04 2001 "Yoo memo" justifies war on Iraq & unlimited presidential power
12.17.04 Conscientious Objector Witnessed Abuse, Killing of Iraqi Detainees at Abu Ghraib
12.16.04
British judge says holding detainees without trial violates human rights laws
12.16.04 Rumsfeld under attack from right
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

12.21.04 World Bank offers carrot to Palestinians
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 & SYRIA

12.21.04 Bush renews threats against Syria
12.21.04 UN General Assembly criticizes Iran's human rights violations
12.18.04
Afghan warlord assets frozen
12.17.04
Neoconservatives on the way to Damascus
12.17.04 Syria & Iran rebut Iraqi minister's charge
12.16.04 Iraq accuses Syria and Iran of backing terror
12.16.04 US man involved in smuggling arms to Israel and possibly Iran
12.14.04 US War games to invade 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

12.21.04 Yukos auctioned to 2-day-old company; owners unknown
12.18.04
Yukos affair a test of Bush imperialism
12.17.04 Yukos sale proceeding despite court ruling
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

12.19.04 China to build nuclear power plant in Pakistan; stronger economic ties
12.17.04
China, Pakistan to strengthen defense ties
12.14.04 China arresting internet news reporters
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

EUROPEAN UNION VERSUS UNITED STATES

12.19.04 EU moves to more independent role
12.18.04 Bugging device found in Salon Français of United Nations
12.14.04
Friends of the Earth Europe ask EU to get rough with US over Kyoto Treaty

OTHER

12.22.04 Saddam bids to challenge case in US
12.21.04 Terror victims sue Arab bank
12.21.04 India joins the US and Russia in supersonic missile technology
12.18.04
US spent $65 million to fund Ukrainian opposition groups
12.17.04
Bush signs 9/11 intelligence reform
2.14.04 Crown Prince of Dubai says "change or lose power"
12.06.04 Kurds in southeastern Turkey want their requests met before EU admits Turkey
12.13.04 Convention on Climate Change starts in Buenos Aires
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)

EDITORIALS

12.21.04 United States attacking itself from behind


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 chart for larger image.) 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. As it is said: Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD (Psalm 118.19). See Hidden Pavilions for the Biblical & traditional explanations of this concept.
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 between Christians and Moslems:

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 "Come now, let us reason together," 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
Maravot's Homepage


Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
Updated: 12.23.04; 12.24.04; 12.25.04; 12.26.04; 12.27.04

Visitors since 10.25.04

Copyright © 1981-2005 Maravot. All rights reserved
Copyright © 1981-2005 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved
Painting of Apple by Mel Copeland, early 70's
Background: tile from Cicero's villa (Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)