Maravot News of the World
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Mon, Feb 20, 2006
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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

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

Paper that could lead to the impeachment of President George W. Bush. Click on image for pdf. file download.

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

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

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

Gross Domestic Products. Click here for image.

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


August 1996

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

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view.

(AP photo) Click photo for story

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Mel West

Maravot's Protest against
Bush consortium:

Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat

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 – Page 2

02.16.06 Rights group blasts human rights violations in Iran (continued)

"Since President Ahmadinejadıs election, several people have been killed and scores injured by security forces possibly using excessive force, in the context of ongoing violent unrest in Khuzestan Province." Hundreds of Arabs have been arrested in the volatile region since Ahmadinejad came to power, Amnesty said. [More>> ; See related article,, "Qom authorities crack down on Sufis" : PRAGUE (RFE/RL) February 16 – In what observers say is an unprecedented crackdown, authorities in the Iranian city of Qom have arrested over 1,000 followers of the mystical Sufi tradition of Islam. The Iranian government had been showing signs of increasing antipathy towards Iran's Sufi community, but experts say the scale and violence of the clashes on 13 November is unheard of. The deputy governor of Qom, Ahmad Hajizadeh, said 1,200 worshippers – also known as dervishes – were arrested as police sought to close a Sufi house of worship.

"More than before, people are running away from a totalitarian interpretation of the religion."
Hajizadeh said 100 people, including more than 30 police officers, were injured in the clashes. Officials in Qom say the Sufis had illegally turned a residential building into a center of worship and had refused to leave it. Some of the dervishes were armed, they add.

Representatives of the dervishes deny the charges and say they are being targeted due to the increasing popularity of Sufism. Figures produced by sources close to the Sufi groups and human rights activists also differ from official accounts. They put the number of the arrests at 2,000 and say that 350 people were injured. Following the clashes, the authorities demolished the house of worship as well as the homes of two leaders of the group...]

Editorial note: The Sufi mystic, Rumi, is known world-wide. His work, "Masnavi," can be read at and an assorted collection of his poetry can also be read at]

02.14.06 Barroso defends Denmark's stand (continued)

"Denmark is a country that we respect and that has a long tradition of being an open, tolerant and a free country, and a country known for good dialogue with different civilizations and cultures, and which at the same time is one of Europe's largest contributors when it comes to development aid," Barroso was quoted as saying in comments translated into Danish. He expressed the European Commission's solidarity with Denmark and said he was "upset" by TV pictures showing angry mobs burning Danish flags.

"Nothing justifies violence and we must tell those who do not like the drawings that the freedom of speech is not up for negotiation. It is a fundamental value in our open European society," Barroso was quoted as saying.
[More>> ; See related story,, "Cartoon conflict shows cracks in the EU." : When Danish embassies began going up in flames last week, some in the European Union wanted a firm response. But nothing happened. The most the EU could agree on were a few wishy-washy statements. In the Brussels language school "English Academy," a cultural war has broken out. While Danes and Germans – and even the often contentious Flemings and Walloons – peacefully learn foreign languages together, Belgian Muslims are stirring up a bit of a ruckus. In language class, they don't want to be "discriminated against anymore," they say.

What's their beef? Politics, religion, sex, love and other such topics with their roots in Western decadence are offensive and should no longer be allowed in the classroom. And women teachers? An impertinence. The group has already found a lawyer to represent its offended sensibilities, and the heads of the "English Academy" have no idea how they should respond. Understand and accept? Negotiate a compromise? Or just chuck the rebels out of class?

...Europe's commitment to such fundamental principles as freedom of opinion and the press likewise seems a bit shaky these days. A resolution that the European Parliament intends to pass this week recognizes the value of these rights. But it has to be paired with "responsibility" and a "respect for religious sensibilities." Unfortunately, the Danish caricatures, the resolution says, crossed the line. Even French President Jacques Chirac – head of a country which plays host to 6 million Muslim citizens – suddenly sounded like a spokesman for the religious of the world. Reprinting the caricatures in a French satirical paper was a "provocation," Chirac said.

Watch out for Libya

There were some voices on the other end of the spectrum. The Italian right called for a crusade. Roberto Calderoli, a minister in Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet, called in all seriousness for Pope Benedict XVI to lead the Christian world against the "threat of Islam" just has his predecessors did in the 16th and 17th centuries. Just as a major reaction was necessary then to beat back the Turks from the gates of Vienna, Calderoli said, counter-measures are necessary.

Calderoli didn't have to wait long for a response. "Berlusconi must fire his minister and ask Islam for forgiveness," demanded Seif al-Islam al-Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Otherwise, al-Gadhafi threatened, "Libya, the Arabic world, and Islam would be forced to react." Ful story>>]

02.14.06 Iran's Islamists call for death of Britain's Blair

TEHRAN, Iran, February 14 – Hard-line radicals linked to Iranıs Revolutionary Guards rallied outside the British embassy in Tehran and called for the death of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The protestors, who threw stones and fire bombs at the embassy, were demonstrating against Londonıs stance against Tehranıs nuclear file and the publication of insulting cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in European dailies. "Death to Tony Blair," they chanted, as they set British flags on fire. They also burnt American, French, German, and Israeli flags as they chanted slogans such as "Death to Britain," "Death to France," "Death to Germany," and "Death to Israel." [More>>]

02.14.06 Eleven killed in Iraq farm attack

February 14 – Gunmen have attacked a group of Iraqi Shia working on a farm north of Baghdad, killing 11 and wounding two, a police chief and hospital official said. Also on Tuesday, one coalition soldier was killed and six wounded in two attacks in Baghdad. Authorities in the southern Iraqi province of Basra, meanwhile, severed all ties with Britain amid the furore of the alleged British military abuse of several Iraqi men in Amarah, 290km southeast of Baghdad, two years ago. [More>> ; See related story,, "Basra cuts off relations with British."]

02.14.06 Islamophobia: a second Holocaust in the making (continued)

The wars, bombings and secret prisons where suspect Muslims are tortured and killed are but few aspects of the "crusade" U.S. President George W. Bush launched. Was it not for so much contradictory evidences, we could have passed it for another of his many misfortunate slips of the tongue.

...The French Historian Gerard Nueril reminds us that both Hitler and Mussolini deprived Jews of citizenship, and he warns that "the procedures taken against Muslims in France today strongly remind us of how France treated the Jews in the thirties of last century."

Denmark has become the country heading the spear of hatred against Islam and Muslims. In the 1990s, the Danish Popular Party considered Muslims in Denmark a growing segment of the population – a "troubling problem." After September 11, other Danish parties started sharing the same concern, and talking against "Muslims in Denmark" became a tool in election campaigns. The media started focusing on emigrant problems and accused Muslims of "violence" and "extremism." Even the Queen herself joined the choir and expressed worry over the problems that her "Muslim" subjects represented...
[Full story>>]

02.14.06 Pakistan: Rioters set alight McDonalds'

(AP) February 14 – Thousands of protesters rampaged through two Pakistani cities Tuesday, storming into a diplomatic district, setting fire to Western businesses and a local government building in the country's worst wave of violence against the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, officials said. At least two people were killed and 11 injured. Security forces fired into the air as they struggled to contain the unrest in the eastern city of Lahore, where protesters burned down four three-story buildings housing a hotel, two banks, a KFC restaurant and the office of Norwegian cell phone company, Telenor.

Witnesses said rioters also damaged over 200 cars, dozens of shops, and a large portrait of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Among the businesses targeted were a Holiday Inn hotel, and Pizza Hut and McDonald's restaurants, where windows were broken.
[More>>Jerusalem Post]

02.14.06 Cupid flutters over Saudi Arabia despite ban

JEDDAH (AFP) February 14 – Young Saudis defied on Tuesday the ultra-conservative kingdomıs ban on Valentineıs Day celebrations to exchange sweets, red teddy bears, greeting cards, roses and even kisses. On the night before Valentineıs young men and women strolled up and down the Tahliya upscale shopping avenue in the western city of Jeddah, browsing at heart-shaped chocolate boxes and the red lingerie gracing shop windows.

A few stores down from a lingerie shop called "Female Magic," a veiled woman in a traditional black robe dashed out of a gift shop with 150 blown-up red balloons stuffing them in two cars that sped away in what resembled a bank holdup scene from an American movie. "Those were for her husband," said Mohammed Nabil, 25, the shopıs Saudi manager. "I have customers that spend more than one thousand riyals (265 dollars), but they come in like burglars and we have to whisper to them that our Valentineıs section is at the back to avoid being overheard by someone that would go and report us to the Mutawas," or religious police.

The kingdomıs mufti, or its highest religious authority, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, has branded Valentineıs Day a "pagan Christian holiday" and decreed in a fatwa (religious edict) five years ago that ³no Muslim who believes in God or Judgement Day should celebrate² on this day.

02.14.06 Indonesia records bird flu fatality, family of four in hospital with

JAKARTA (AP) February 15 – A 23-year-old Indonesian man died of bird flu, local tests showed Tuesday, as officials said four members of the same family were being treated in hospital for symptoms of the virus. The family lived in West Java province and lived close to chickens, said Sardikin Giriputro, an official at Jakarta's infectious diseases hospital. Blood and swab tests were being run to see whether they had contracted bird flu. [More>>]

02.14.06 US has royalty plan to give windfall to oil companies

February 14 – The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years. New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.

Based on the administration figures, the government will give up more than $7 billion in payments between now and 2011. The companies are expected to get the largess, known as royalty relief, even though the administration assumes that oil prices will remain above $50 a barrel throughout that period.

02.14.06 US and Israelis are said to talk of Hamas ouster

JERUSALEM, February 14 – The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats. The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement. The officials also argue that a close look at the election results shows that Hamas won a smaller mandate than previously understood. [More>> ; See related story,, "US denies discussions with Israel on ways to destabilize Hamas" : The United States denied on Tuesday it was discussing with Israel ways to destabilize Hamas in an attempt to provoke new elections as the militant Islamic group prepares to take over the Palestinian Authority. "There is no plan, there is no plot," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. White House spokesman Scott McClellan echoed McCormack saying, "there is no plot...

02.13.06 Israel: Iran playing games with international community

September 13 – Israel gave a measured response Monday to reports that Iran had begun a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or bombs, continuing its policy of deferring to the international community to resolve the contentious matter.

A satellite view of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility.( / AP)
"Israel believes that Iran has for too long been playing games with the international community and we support fully the decision to bring the Iranian nuclear program to the UN Security Council," said foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev.

"We believe only if the regime in Tehran understands that the international community is indeed serious, there is a chance that these sort of cat and mouse games played by the regime will cease," Regev said. ran said Monday it was postponing talks with Moscow on a plan to enrich its uranium in Russia to allay concerns it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
[More>> ; See related story,, "Iran crosses 'red line' in nuclear stand-off" : Iran has started to inject uranium feedstock gas into centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear facility, crossing an internationally agreed "red line" on the path to producing the material for atomic weapons. A senior diplomat from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that researchers at the republic's pilot enrichment plant in central Iran had taken the crucial step, signalling a major escalation in the long-running face-off between Tehran and the West. Iran has publicly pledged to resume its suspended nuclear programme before the United Nations' watchdog meets in Vienna next month to discuss possible UN Security Council action, which could include sanctions...]

02.13.06 Outed CIA officer was working on Iran, intelligence sources say

February 13 – The unmasking of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson by White House officials in 2003 caused significant damage to US national security and its ability to counter nuclear proliferation abroad, RAW STORY has learned. According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame's work. Their accounts suggest that Plame's outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for US national security and its ability to monitor Iran's burgeoning nuclear program.

...The revelation that Iran was the focal point of Plame's work raises new questions as to possible other motivating factors in the White House's decision to reveal the identity of a CIA officer working on tracking a WMD supply network to Iran, particularly when the very topic of Iran's possible WMD capability is of such concern to the Administration.
[Full story>> via David Swanson, ; See related story
Maravot News 02.12.06,, 'US plans to attack Iran nuke sites']

02.13.06 Iran's suicide bombers threaten to "burn down" US interests

TEHRAN, Iran, February 13 – A senior commander of Iranıs elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) vowed that following the printing of insulting cartoons of Islamıs prophet Muhammad in European dailies, the Islamic Republicıs suicide volunteers abroad were being placed on readiness alert to attack Unites States and Israeli interests.

Mohammad-Reza Jaafari, the commander of Iranıs "Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison" and a Brigadier General in the IRGC, said, "Now that America is after gaining allies against the righteous Islamic Republic and wants to attack our sanctities, members of the martyrdom-seeking garrisons across the world have been put on alert so that if the Islamic Republic of Iran receives the smallest threat, the American and Israeli strategic interests will be burnt down everywhere." He was speaking to a group of suicide volunteers in Shahr-Rey, on the outskirts of Tehran, on Saturday evening.

Jaafari defended recent comments by Iranıs hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding the Islamic Republicıs suspected nuclear weapons program. "Ahmadinejadıs speech in Bushehr reflected the words of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini], the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei], the beloved martyrs and the victorious, brave, and martyrdom-seeking nation of Iran."

"The only tool against the enemy that we have with which we can become victorious are martyrdom-seeking operations and, God willing, our possession of faithful, brave, trained and zealous persons will give us the upper hand in the battlefield," he said.

"America and any other power cannot win in the unbalanced war against us."
[More>> ; See related stories,, "Iraq arrests two dozen entering illegally from Iran."] and, "Asefi plays down Iran president's NPT warning." and, February 12, "Tehran-Moscow nuclear talks cancelled: source."]

02.13.06 Seven killed in Baghdad attack

February 13 – Seven people were killed and 47 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt as people queued outside a bank in Baghdad. Eight other people were killed in attacks elsewhere in Iraq on Monday, including five members of a Shia religious party shot dead in Baqouba and three policemen who died in separate incidents in Baghdad and Iskandariyah. The attack outside the bank occurred in the eastern district of New Baghdad at 9.40am as people lined up to receive government cheques in compensation for food rations that were incomplete in the last few months. [More>>]

02.13.06 The province where the Taliban were never defeated

February 13 – Justin Huggler, Asia Correspondent,, reports on Helmond province, Afghanistan, the producer of "more raw opium than anywhere else in the world" : The Taliban never really fell in Helmand province. While the outside world was celebrating the end of the Taliban regime after the fall of Kandahar in 2001, the Taliban were still in control of most of Helmand. It was in Helmand that the Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, took refuge after the fall of Kandahar, and from which he is believed to have staged a dramatic escape on the back of a motorcycle in early 2002. There were even claims from the Taliban in 2003 that the world's most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden, had spent some time on the border between Helmand and the neighbouring province of Nimroz, under the noses of US forces.

...Over the past year, Helmand has emerged as one of the main centres of the Taliban insurgency. Although it is only now attracting the attention of the outside world, the Taliban insurgency has been raging in Helmand ever since the original victory of US-led forces in Afghanistan in 2001. As early as 2002, the insurgents tried to assassinate the Afghan intelligence chief in the province. In March 2003, two US special forces soldiers were ambushed and killed by the Taliban in the province.
[Full story>> ; See related story,, "Four US troops killed in Afghanistan."]

02.13.06 US companies play coy over China profits

HONG KONG (Wall Street Journal) February 13 – American companies operating in China enjoyed another year of strong profits in 2005, possibly even setting a record. But you would hardly guess it from company statements or the negative vibes on trade with China coming out of Congress these days. Corporate America often seems to go out of its way to hide its successes in China. That may not be the smartest strategy as US politicians girding for a possible trade war highlight the corporate losers of trade with China, while ignoring the many winners.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S.-affiliated companies in China – companies in which US firms have at least a 10% stake – earned $3 billion in 2004. That's up from zero in 1990. Joseph Quinlan, chief market strategist for Bank of America, says that figure is a good reflection of how US companies are making out in the world's fourth-largest economy. He estimates earnings reached a record $3.2 billion in 2005.

True, corporate profits from China accounted for just a sliver of the $209 billion earned by US affiliates world-wide in 2004. Japan yielded $11.3 billion; Mexico, $7.6 billion. But China is becoming an increasingly attractive market for US companies, even in some of the most competitive industries. Take the auto sector. As its losses piled up in the US, General Motors Corp. reported income from China of $218 million for the first nine months of 2005. This nugget was buried in GM's filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

02.13.06 Musharraf calls for US mediation in Kashmir dispute

ISLAMABAD (AP) February 13 – Pakistanıs leader on Monday appealed to the United States to help mediate in its bitter dispute with India over Kashmir. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Pakistan and India had to resolve the protracted dispute between themselves, and that time was ripe for a resolution, but that the United States had a responsibility as the only superpower to help reach a solution. His call came ahead of a planned visit next month by US President George W. Bush to India and Pakistan, his first to the subcontinent. "This can be resolved now, and the United States must contribute," Musharraf told a group of journalists. "President Bush is coming here. I hope he understands the reality." []

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