===== 163935 Fisk on/in Bethlehem ======= 163731 an item on the weather, notably the coolness around the southern hemisphere (from odt.co.nz),  excerpts: Dr Solomon said the ozone hole over Antarctica, and lesser ozone depletions over the Arctic, have now established a pattern in which vortices of extremely cold air are becoming trapped over the polar regions instead of performing their natural function of spreading to lower latitudes and cooling global weather systems. the second half of this item is a comment in the shape of an article by Chossudovsky on Haarp;===== http://www.odt.co.nz/cgi-bin/ search-display-story-online- new?date=02Apr2002&object =FSB34E3716AJ&type=html& WORDS=sandilands&DB=Editorial ======= 164572 Earth remineralization could be the key to healthy ecosystems. from Resurgence issue 211 by David marsch ======= what if (germany had won ww1) ======= Equadorian govt raids eco camp ====== ========== 162713 + 11 (only the first commenter here) no need to discredit the indy community ------- an LBO thread snippet (on the ME)
---- Robert Fisk: No Peace in Bethlehem (english) by Robert Fisk 10:40am Wed Apr 3 '02 (Modified on 1:15pm Wed Apr 3 '02) Yes, the little town of Bethlehem lay still, its dark streets deserted save for the Israelis, but there was no everlasting light, no deep and dreamless sleep. As we huddled in our frightened little room with Norma Hazboun, a professor of social sciences at Bethlehem University, the sight of a Merkava tank crashing towards Qutaa Street, just 600 metres from the place of Christ's birth, was the symbol of the hopes and fears of all the years Armoured invasion brings no peace to Bethlehem By Robert Fisk in Bethlehem 03 April 2002 If this is a war on terror, Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem. The first to die was an 80-year-old Palestinian man, whose body never made it to the morgue. Then a woman and her son were critically wounded by Israeli gunfire. A cloud of black smoke swirled up in the Tempest winds from the other side of Manger Square. A burning Israeli armoured vehicle, they said, although - running for our lives as bullets crackled around us just below the Church of the Redeemer - there was no way of knowing. The air was alive with the sound of shells and rifle fire, the rain guttering in waves across the Israeli tanks which ground between the Ottoman stone houses, smashing into cars and tearing down shop hoardings. Yes, the little town of Bethlehem lay still, its dark streets deserted save for the Israelis, but there was no everlasting light, no deep and dreamless sleep. As we huddled in our frightened little room with Norma Hazboun, a professor of social sciences at Bethlehem University, the sight of a Merkava tank crashing towards Qutaa Street, just 600 metres from the place of Christ's birth, was the symbol of the hopes and fears of all the years. Oslo, "peace" and "mutual respect" had brought us to this. A Closed Military Area had been declared once more by the Israelis. Jesus, one assumes, also had to deal with the Roman version of closed military areas, but he had God on his side. Yesterday, the people of Bethlehem had no one. They waited for some statement from the Pope, from the Vatican, from the European Union. And what they got was an invasion of armour. We watched them all morning, the Merkavas and APCs stealing their way through the ancient streets searching for the "savages" of "terror" Ariel Sharon has told us about. And all the while, on the television set by the window of our Bethlehem room, we watched Palestine collapse around us. The Palestinian intelligence offices had been attacked in Ramallah. The Palestinians said hundreds of women and children were packed inside the besieged and shelled building as well as men. Then shells started falling on Dheisheh camp. We knew that already. Dheisheh was so close that the windows vibrated. The Bethlehem television station was still operating from a few hundred yards away - the Israelis hadn't got there yet - and there was Sharon on the screen. He was offering to let the Europeans fly Yasser Arafat out of Ramallah, providing he never returned to the land he calls Palestine. Back in 1982, Sharon made the same deal with Arafat; back then it was exile from Beirut with the help of the Americans. Not this time. Offer refused. More shooting now from outside our windows. A tank came down the road, its barrel clipping the green awning of a shop and then swaying upwards to point directly at our window. We decamped to the stairwell. Had they seen us watching them? We stood on the cold, damp stairs then peeked around our window. Two Israeli soldiers were running past the house. A second tank shuddered up the street and swivelled its turret to the south. We knew all about these tanks: their maximum speed, the voice of their massive engines. One raced across an intersection while we stood, in blue and black flak jackets marked with 'TV' in huge taped letters, arms spread out like ducks to show we carried no weapons. Each time we found a smaller street, another Israeli tracked vehicle would drive past it. By the time we were close to Manger Square, we had tanks in front of us, APCs and another tank behind. That's when the shooting began, the crack-crack of bullets fired from a few yards away. The Israelis? If it was coming from Palestinians, they were suicidally close. We ran across the road, down a narrow passage. It was then that Professor Hazboun unlocked her iron front door to us. How snug we felt beside her gas fire, how trapped in her little home. How powerless to move. The TV became a monitor of Palestine's disintegration. The newsreader stumbled on his words. Iran and Iraq might stop oil exports to force the Americans to demand an Israeli withdrawal. Arafat's intelligence headquarters in Ramallah were on fire. An Israeli soldier was dead in an APC on the other side of Manger Square, hit by two Palestinian rockets. About 700 prisoners were bound and blindfolded in Ramallah. Colin Powell, the American Secretary of State, was insisting Arafat was "recognised" as the Palestinian leader, and that this recognition would remain whether he was in Europe or anywhere else. The smoke still rose behind Manger Square. The tank up the street backed towards the pavement and collided with the side of a house. The television newscaster, unshaven, exhausted and dressed in a leather jacket, read a statement from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, one of Sharon's most lethal enemies. These are the wicked, cruel suicide bombers who have stricken Israel. "We will stand as Abu Amar (Yasser Arafat) said: For victory of martyrdom, as the enemy knows." Outside, beside a cluster of lemon trees, two armoured carriers pulled up, their Israeli crews desperately trying to pump fuel from one vehicle to the other before Palestinian snipers picked them off. The bullets snapped around them within seconds and the two frightened soldiers threw themselves off the roofs to the shelter of a shop. Then the mobile phone rang. An English voice, a lady from Wateringbury in Kent. My home was once in the next village of East Farleigh. But Liz Yates was not in Kent. She was only two miles away, in the Aida refugee camp with nine other westerners, two each from France and Sweden and five from the United States. They were refusing to leave. The voice had that sharpness born of intense tiredness and fear. "We want to help the 4,000 Palestinian refugees here. Everyone here believes the Israelis will come in and we've promised to stay here when they do. It will be some kind of protection. We are asking our consulates to pressure the Israelis into withdrawing." Some hope. Only a day earlier, an Israeli soldier opened fire on a group of unarmed western protesters near Bethlehem , wounding five of them in front of the BBC's own cameras before trying to shoot television reporter Orla Guerin as well. We were thinking about that when the bullets flew around us on the road in central Bethlehem. We thought about it again when we crept out of the house in the late afternoon. I had another call before we said goodbye to Professor Hazboun, from an American woman working with a Palestinian human rights group in Gaza. She could no longer reach the Rafah refugee camp, she said. She was copying the group's computer files in case the Israelis took the originals as they had in Ramallah. "Everyone thinks they are coming." Yes, they thought that at Aida camp as well. The Israelis are coming. But do the suicide bombers care? We walked like robots back down those dangerous streets. It had been like this when the Israelis, having humiliated Arafat, invaded West Beirut in 1982. Sharon was in control then too. The Israelis were engaged, he told us then, in a "war on terror". Civilians died in their thousands. And then came the massacre of Palestinians by Israeli allies at Sabra and Chatila. So when, I asked myself as we made our way back to Jerusalem, will the massacre start here? news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east... =========== ONE SIDED (english) by TOM R 11:00am Wed Apr 3 '02 The writer takes great pains to transmit to the world the plight of palestinians in Bethlehem. The problem is, he scoffs at the idea that terrorist suicide bombers brought about the incursion into the city. If Israel's concern about the suicide bombers is unfounded, then what exactly has been killing all the Israeli citizens? The CIA? It's terrible that innocent civilians are caught in the cross fire, but war is like that. You simply cannot blame Israel for acting to stop the relentless attacks on their citizens. Perhaps for the sake of balance the writer could stay with the families of those killed by the suicide bombers and give us their heart rending stories. Maybe, but I kind of doubt it. ========== One Sided? (english) by Tired 11:19am Wed Apr 3 '02 For the plight of the Israelis try any of the corporate media services...CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NPR, etc. Have a good look at impartiality there. ======= Agreed (english) by John 11:21am Wed Apr 3 '02 This whole thing stinks. The rest of the world doesn't do either side any good by choosing sides. I can't get around the fact that both have committed acts that have brought us to this state of affairs. I have no respect for either, and see nothing but a pack of animals tearing into one and other without the ability to see reason. The only way out now is for both sides to take the radical path of non-violence. If even one side holds to this despite the actions of the other, peace might be achieved much sooner with far less bloodshed. As for the European opinion, I invite them to cram it as far up their collective ass as possible. For all their bitching about the way the US is handling this conflict, they neglect to accept any responsibility for the state of affairs. Either for the plight of the Jews after WWII, which came about due to their oh so intelligent experiment with new types of government, or their earlier efforts to colonize the Middle East. Ahem - sorry for that little rant. Regardless, I won't be holding my breath in hope of peace. I doubt either side is capable of thinking outside of this particular box. Especially if morons like Fisk continue to throw fuel on the fire of righteousness. ============ He's there...WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU (english) by frustrated 1:14pm Wed Apr 3 '02 This man is sitting in the heart of todays "warsaw ghettos"Where the fuck are you?YOU chicken shit fuck.Have you ever stepped into the real world,the truth is apparent.One sided... what do you call children throwing stones at tanks,you blind bastard!?!Wake up and smell the shit,because someday it will slap you in the face, like it did the German people after nazi Germay crumbled, and the gas chambers were opened for the world to see.I know you will still retain your opinion and I can do nothing to change that,but don't belittle people with the courage to go into the world and confront the ugly truth,WAKE UP PEOPLE, THE TRUTH IS UGLY,HAVE YOU THE COURAGE TO FACE IT?!? ============ reply to tired (english) by Hypocrite Watcher 1:15pm Wed Apr 3 '02 Are you totally fucking braindead? "For the plight of the Israelis try any of the corporate media services" The article cited above IS A CORPORATE MEDIA SOURCE. You are a moron if you attempt to backpedal now and claim that there aren't leftist views in Corporate sources. Reuters, AP and AFP all regularly publish articles written with a leftist slant and more importantly in these times, a pro-Arab slant. Stop bullshitting yourself, it makes you sound really fucking stupid. If you doubt me, look at 20 pages on this newswire and you'll see 20 Corporate articles posted by leftists because the articles support their viewpoint. If you can't bullshit well, you shouldn't bullshit at all. ------------ Global pattern of extreme weather alarms climate scientists (english) by BEN SANDILANDS - Otago Daily Times (via KD) 4:12am Wed Apr 3 '02 (Modified on 5:59am Wed Apr 3 '02) There may be a single reason for this year's cool summer in Australia and New Zealand, BEN SANDILANDS reports from Hobart, Tasmania, and it lies in the India Ocean. The world's top climate scientists have been told that holes in the ozone layers above the North and South Poles have now established a global pattern of freakish weather. TWO TIGHT vortices of ultra-cold air have started dancing around the North and South Poles, causing unprecedented weather extremes, according to a secret research briefing by a leading American expert on the workings of the world's atmosphere. A video of Dr Susan Solomon briefing a closed session of the world's top climate change scientists was obtained by the Australian Financial Review via a delegate who said the public should be told what the delegates have now gone home to tell their presidents and prime ministers. Dr Solomon said the ozone hole over Antarctica, and lesser ozone depletions over the Arctic, have now established a pattern in which vortices of extremely cold air are becoming trapped over the polar regions instead of performing their natural function of spreading to lower latitudes and cooling global weather systems. Dr Solomon led the 1986-87 research expedition to Antarctica that proved that chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, in aerosol sprays were accumulating above the poles and driving a complex chemical chain reaction that destroyed the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. After hearing from Dr Solomon and other researchers, some delegates said they would advise their governments that the option of waiting for more evidence of climate change was being overtaken by the real thing. Outbreaks of extreme weather would take an unacceptable toll of human life, farm production and social infrastructure, including transport systems and buildings. The very day Dr Solomon was telling the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme how the Antarctic vortex could cause a rapid distintegration of some of its ice shelves, the Larsen B formation collapsed, spawning thousands of gigantic icebergs. However, Dr Solomon's thesis shocked her fellow scientists even more than the satellite images showing such an abrupt change to Antarctic topography. She told them she had established a direct link between the chemical poisoning of the stratosphere and not just the ice shelf collapse, but the increasingly bizarre outbreaks of abnormal hot and cold weather in different parts of the world. That poisoning comes from the thin but potent accumulation of synthetic CFCs and other "halons" that have caused the major ozone hole to form over Antarctica and similar holes above the Arctic. Until now no link has ever been suggested between the very recent disappearance of atmospheric ozone over the poles and rapid, large-scale changes in the vast but slowly moving ice features of Antarctica that have been stable over time scales of tens of thousands of years. Dr Solomon explained that ozone's natural role is to convert ultraviolet radiation into heat as it  absorbs and prevents it from reaching the ground with its full and harmful intensity. Where that ozone has been removed by the complex chain reactions that can only take place in polar air masses, the upper and middle layers of the atmosphere are now much colder than before. This fierce cooling is, in turn, deepening the centres of low pressure over both polar regions around which the weather patterns previously danced in a lazy vortex that circulated cold air to the mid-latitudes. Dr Solomon said these vortices have now shrunk or "tightened" into much faster, colder and smaller patterns of circulation, which, depending on other influences from oceans or land masses, are displacing normal weather patterns. She made a direct link between the spectacular and persistent warming of much of North America and the creation of winter storms paths that have put northeast Canada, much of Scandinavia and parts of southern Europe and the Middle East under unexpectedly heavy snow falls. In Antarctica, the result has been to confine extremely cold air to the centre of the main continent, preventing it circulating over the more northerly reaches of the peninsula. This exposed the Larsen Ice Shelf to the comparative warmth of the adjacent ocean and lifted temperatures so far above freezing that glacial disintegration became swift and inevitable. This summer has been one of the coldest ever recorded in the southern third of Australia and the culprit is a blocking weather system in the southern Indian Ocean of a type never before observed. While it has forced cooler air over the bottom of Australia, it also drove pack ice hard on to sections of the Antarctic coastline that would normally have been open water. The surface of the "wind fast" icebergs became dotted with extensive pools of melt water, a sight never previously recorded along the margins of Antarctica. Delegates said these were massive, unpredicted events, yet other global warming consequences predicted by newer computer modelling of climate change appear to be coming true. Oxygen levels are declining as forecast in the mid-levels of the Antarctic deep ocean currents critical for distributing nutrients rich in dissolved oxygen to warmer waters. Southwest Australia is 26 years into a drought that may be confirmation of predictions that greenhouse-induced warming will turn that part of the continent into a desert. Dr Kevin Trenberth, a delegate from the National Climate and Atmospheric Research Laboratory in Colorado, says that while global warning is real, it is real in ways that do not sit well with the science-by-slogan mentality that turns every hot day into a sign of global melt-down. "The cycles of the past, both cooler or hotter than today, are no guide to the future. Within the next 20 to 50 years, the world will experience weather events for which there is no precedent. "We have changed the chemistry of the atmosphere with a range of compounds that have never occurred in the past," Dr Trenberth said. "What we must do is to map in great detail the origins and distribution of these chemical changes so we can accurately predict what they will do and look at what we can do if we don't like what we see." Dr Trenberth said the true magnitude of global warming had been disguised because "a lot of the extra heating is soaked up by enhanced evaporation". "Where we see an air temperature rise of 1 degree C we are finding a 6% to 7% rise in the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere. This is driving us into situations where the rain falls a lot harder, but in fewer events, making extremes of flooding increasingly likely." Dr Graeme Pearman, chief of atmospheric research at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, said concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide were at their highest levels for at least 400,000 years. "There is nothing we can do to stop those concentrations doubling in the next 50 years. By 2050, the two billion people who currently have no industrial energy cycle will be generating their greenhouse gases because of economic growth and there will be at least another two billion increase in global population." "We have some urgent choices to make." - The Observer Tuesday, 2-April 2002 --------------------- Earth remineralization could be the key to healthy ecosystems. from Resurgence issue 211 back to top THE MINERALS IN our bodies were forged in the nuclear furnace of the sun. The periodic elements were distributed in varying amounts and at different levels within the Earth’s crust. Because minerals cooled and solidified at different temperatures, they can be found in pockets or seams in different parts of the Earth’s crust and mantle. Ice-floes physically crushed mountains, grinding their rocks slowly for aeons over the land surfaces to produce the rich clays and loams and the multiplicity of soil types we find across the globe. There were abundant amounts of minerals in the early soils, as there are still in afforested areas out of reach of the chainsaw, plough and cultivator. Since trees have deeper roots than cereals or other arable crops, they can tap the subsoils, getting more minerals from the earth, passing them up to their leaves, then shedding them on to the soil beneath, thus recycling the minerals: the perfect cycle. So the food from trees — their nuts, fruit and leaves — generally have a more reliable mineral spectrum than, for example, cereals grown on non-organic soils, which are increasingly depleted. The only fertilizing many prairie farms undertake is nitrogen, phosphate and potash (N, P, K) with the odd application of lime in the form of basic slag. The philosophies of the organic and the non-organic grower vary in a distinctive way. The organic grower focusses on feeding the soil and the microflora within it. With well-fed soil, plants can take up all the nutrients they require and thus have strong defence systems of their own — including waxes on leaf surfaces, strong cell walls, and chemical defences — or immune systems. The one great message that comes with organic produce, apart from it being free of the thousands of chemicals now in use commercially, is that it stands a much better chance of containing the minerals and trace minerals that our bodies have mostly been starved of for years. Non-organic growing, however, believes in supplying the crops (not the soil) with nutrients for growth and yield, and blitzing any diseases or weeds with chemicals, the residues of which are commonly found in our foods, particularly in delicate salad crops like lettuce. Soils in different parts of the world, and in different localities within specific areas, have higher or lower amounts of certain minerals. Specific disease patterns present themselves in definite areas, such as Keshan’s disease in China. Keshan’s is a form of heart disease suffered by people living in a broad swathe across China, running from the south-west up to the north-east, which is an area of known selenium deficiency. There are sixty specific minerals and trace minerals found in human blood. It has been deemed reasonable by senior biochemists that all sixty have some significant function in the body. As we can only obtain these minerals through food and drink, William A. Albrecht was right in 1944 in describing food as "fabricated soil fertility". Mineral deficiencies in the soil due to intensive farming, and consequently in the crops grown on those soils, translate into deficiencies in the human body, preventing our immune systems from performing at full efficiency — thereby weakening our defences against disease. Deficiencies of selenium, magnesium, iron and zinc, amongst other minerals, are known to impair immune response and are implicated in heart disease, cancer, new variant Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease and animal diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and foot-and-mouth (FMD). SO HERE WE have an environmental/nutritional factor which slaloms through the boundary posts of soils and food chain, domestic livestock and human populations, which is rebounding on the environment and on our economy as well (think of BSE, FMD, tourism and collapse of the rural economy). And yet we as a society blunder further down the road of high-input/high-output agriculture, largely ignoring organic production, being pressed by the producers of genetically modified (GM) crops and governments to carry on ignoring the quality of our soil and our daily foods. This death-knell for soil fertility and dilution of the quality of our food has been mirrored and magnified by the rise of the so-called ‘diseases of civilization’. Recent research shows that many of our ordinary everyday foods have taken a significant dip in mineral content over the last half-century. Indeed, in the last three decades the zinc content of seven common foods fell by 59%. Between 1940 and 1991 the mineral content of vegetables and fruit dropped as follows: Vegetables Fruit Sodium: –49% –29% Potassium: –16% –19% Magnesium: –24% –16% Calcium: –46% –16% Iron: –27% –24% Copper: –76% –20% Zinc: –59% –27% The significant loss of these essential trace minerals within the vegetables commonly available to us highlights the fundamental importance of organic food within a well-balanced diet, but raises an ominous question: after the current assault on the heart and vascular system, will the brain be the next to go? THERE IS AN eerie echo in this tragic tale of a possible parallel folly: the one where politicians and bio-tech companies attempt to convince us that GM crops will do us no harm, even though they change the genotype of a common food plant or animal. It could just be that the immune systems of the very young and the not-so-young — being among the most sensitive of us — will rebel at this new genetic structure: these infant immune systems might say "no, we don’t recognize this new dna fingerprint, we will fight it" — and so bring about what is known as an allergic response. The US population, which has lived on genetically mutated food for longer than any other, has also more allergy problems per head. One of the commonest causes of allergies is wheat, which contains a hard-to-digest protein called gliadin, a constituent of gluten. As many soils in the US are mineral-deficient, it would be logical to ask whether genetically mutated foods together with soil mineral paucity are the underlying causes behind the ruined lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the USa. In fact, mineral deficiencies due to soil deficiencies could be behind dozens of common complaints, for without minerals, vitamins don’t work. The body depends heavily on enzymic reactions for the production of many of the living biochemicals needed for full health. Enzymes in turn are heavily dependent on minerals and trace elements. Minerals are the bedrock of life. Scientific knowledge has been slow to understand the role of certain minerals, with selenium only evaluated in 1957, chromium in 1959, tin in 1970, vanadium in 1971, fluorine 1971, silicon 1972, nickel 1974, arsenic 1975, boron 1990, cadmium 1977, and lead in 1977, whilst confusion concerning mineral levels is common, as many of these elements are harmful in excess as well as in deficiency. IN 1976 John D. Hamaker and his co-author Don Weaver described in their book Survival of Civilisation their vision of remineralizing the earth by applying ground rock to the land surfaces. They explained how by remineralization of all land surfaces, the growth of trees and plants could be increased, providing the logical and practical way to produce more food. Soil Mineral Depletion Levels North America 85% South America 75% Europe 72% Asia 76% Africa 74% Australia 55% Soil remineralization is an urgent task, however it is achieved. Organic farming which focusses on the quality of the soil is a logical step towards this end, creating a healthier soil, a healthier society and a less burdened health service, but, ultimately, we need to replenish the soil with the vital minerals it now lacks. Contact: The Maperton Trust, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 8EH, UK; www.mapertontrust.com. In the US, contact: Joanna Campe, 152 South Street, Northampton, MA 01060-4021, USA. David Marsh co-authored The Driving Force; Food in Evolution & the Future (1989) and Nutrition and Evolution (1995), with Professor Michael Crawford. Website: www.nutritionandevolution.com More resurgence weblit (a serious amount of stuff): http://resurgence.gn.apc.org/ADMIN/articles.htm Biography Business & Economics Cooking & Food Development & Land Ecology & Environment Education Genetic slavery Globalization Health and Healing Poetry, Sculpture, Art and Architecture Philosophy Peoples and nations Science Spirituality ====== Response to that post of mine: Organics grow better weed too... by b 2:35am Thu Apr 4 '02  Lawns are a custom hundreds of years old, originating at a time when the amount of land a man could waste was considered an adequate indicator of social success. In feudal Europe the majority of the population had little choice but to grow food on any usable land they may have had. Subsequently, it was mostly the wealthy land-owning minority that was free to undertake this civilian desertification project. I suppose the motives are still the same in our time, only more sub-consciously recessed. Of course, sheep or other ruminants would have mowed the earliest lawns (another reason lawn size indicated the owner’s economic stature) but today our methods of preserving these unnatural, unstable, mono-species habitats are even more problematic. From the tons of fossil fuel and the millions of gallons of lethal toxins we expend to the simple fact that they provide countless children with their first taste of ‘wage-slavery’ - lawns are hazardous to our sustainability as a culture. Where we find it unavoidable to disturb natural ecosystems we need to begin the process of rebuilding our soil, and the diverse biological communities that healthy soil supports, rather than depleting it further.  This was an interesting read and I think posts like this need more exposure and more consideration. If we can't maintain the health of our topsoil then we can't maintain a civilization. Healthy soil is the foundation for all biomass on earth, human or otherwise. Plus, it's widely recognized that organic nutrients grow better tasting marijuana. Weed not lawns!           www.organja.com ------- =============== op Drawer-Le Maitre Taki What If? Michael Howard, or Sir Michael Howard to give him his due, is one of Britain’s best living military historians. He is also a strategic thinker who writes wittily and in a concise manner. His latest work, The First World War, due in July, is an introduction to the Great War–as World War I is known in Europe–designed for those with no previous knowledge of the subject. At 176 pages it is an easy and pleasurable read, if one agrees with the premise. Which I certainly don’t. Keeping in mind that history is written by the victors, I was nevertheless shocked to see that a double standard where the British Empire is concerned is doing very well, thank you. About five years ago I had the idea to write a "What If" history about that great disaster, and contacted my friend George Szamuely. I needed a collaborator, as the high life does at times intrude where hard work is concerned. I also rang another friend, Lewis Lapham of Harper’s, and asked whether he was interested in running a segment or two. He told me to go ahead. Well, you know how these things are. George and I are not known for burning the midnight oil, and while we kicked the idea around, still another friend, Niall Ferguson, beat us to it. (Ferguson knocked it off while in the middle of writing a two-volume history of the Rothschilds; talk about industry.) With the publication of Michael Howard’s opus, however, I can finally have my say. According to Howard, the first great catastrophe of the 20th century was Germany’s international ambition. "German unification had created a nation that combined the most dynamic economy in Europe with a regime that in many respects had hardly emerged from feudalism." Shock, horror! The Kaiser sought for his nation the status "not only of a Great Power, but of a World Power." Now I ask you: Isn’t it the most natural of things that a nation with the most dynamic economy in Europe would seek an equivalent status internationally? England enjoyed such a status, lording it over half the world through its empire, but what was good enough for the English bulldog was apparently not good for the German shepherd. Ten million lives later, the Franco-British had prevailed, but only once the American Expeditionary Force had come to the rescue. The fact that the Germans threw in the towel with their army intact and in France is still argued by historians. Some insist that the British blockade on the German people was the turning point. Others attribute the collapse to military prowess. I am of both minds. The internal moral collapse of the Kaiser’s society had a lot to do with it. The British, as always, were propagandists par excellence. The Kaiser’s soldiers did no more barbecue Belgian babies–as contemporary propaganda claimed–than the Brits, but it was the German army that got the credit for barbarism. Which brings me to the point I wish to make. What would have happened had Germany won the war? For starters, the most philo-Semitic nation in Europe, Germany, would have remained so. Six million Jews would not have disappeared, as Hitler would have remained a failed artist and nothing more. The dynasties would have survived, which means there would have been no communism with its 20 to possibly 100 million victims. Hungary would not have been chopped up by Romania and Slovakia and Yugoslavia would not have become the unnatural federation it became. The Ottoman Empire would have lumbered along, Iraq would not have been created, nor would’ve Israel, Lebanon or Jordan. Russia would have joined the modern world–eventually. The world would have been led by England, Germany, France and the United States, and Africa would have never become the slaughterhouse it is today. Despite all its horrors, the Brits insist there was a moral case for fighting WWI, but they would say that, wouldn’t they? Britannia did not wish Germany to spread her wings. But that was manifest destiny, pure and simple. So Hitler came to power because of the Versailles Treaty, and I guess you know the rest. Woodrow Wilson, a well-meaning man but criminally responsible for Jimmy Carter-like naivete, has a lot to answer for. Oh yes, I almost forgot, there would never have been a man called Mussolini lording it over the most pleasant land of Europe. Finally, socialism, the great cancer that has befallen us, would have remained a dream among hirsute intellectuals on the Left Bank of Paris. The struggle between good and evil that was WWII would never have taken place. Even in the far Orient, things would have been for the better. Japan was the only combatant nation that achieved its aims by joining the Entente. It gave her a free hand to pursue her ambitions in Asia. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese would not have been slaughtered, and Mao would have remained a chainsmoking peasant, unknown outside his village. There never would have been a Vietnam War. Sure, Churchill said the Germans are either at your throat or at your feet, but that was just war rhetoric. The Kaiser was a civilized man, as were the Germans, and had the Allies humored him and allowed Germany to pursue her destiny, we would today be living in a far, far better place. ------------------------- Ecuadorian government raids environmental camp, faces international incident (english) by Chris Strohm and Yvonne Zimmerman 2:00pm Sun Mar 31 '02 The Ecuadorian government has raided an environmental camp in northwest Ecuador that was established to raise awareness about the OCP oil pipeline, which is being financed by five transnational corporations. Twenty people have been imprisoned, including 14 international travelers. The arrests are being denounced as illegal and the Ecuadorian government now faces the potential of an international incident. Quito, Ecuador -- Twenty people have been arrested and imprisoned by the Ecuadorian government for visitng a camp in northwest Ecuador that was established to raise awareness about a massive oil project that is being financed by a consortium of transnational oil corporations. Six Ecuadorian citizens and 14 people from foreign countries were arrested last week for visiting a camp in the small village of Mindo that was established to raise awareness about the Oleoducto de Crudo Pesado (OCP) oil pipeline, a mega project that will pump oil from the fragile Amazon basin to the Pacific Ocean. The majority of people visiting the camp had only been there four days when they were arrested. Environmental activists are denouncing the arrests as being illegal and orchestrated by the oil companies, and the Ecuadorian government now faces the possiblility of having an international incident on its hands because the majority of those arrested are international travelers. The OCP is being planned and financed by five transnational corporations: Occidental Oil and Kerr McGee from the United States, Repsol from Spain, Agip from Italy and Perez Company from Argentina. About 60 Ecuadorian police raided the camp in Mindo on March 25, arresting four people that were in the camp and another 13 that were on the road between the camp and the village. The next day, three more people were rounded up and arrested. Those arrested include 14 international travelers from Germany, Italy, Colombia, France, the United States, Ireland and Switzerland. The 14 foreigners have all been officially deported by the Ecuadorian government. As of Sunday, March 31, seven had left the country and travel arrangements were being made for the others. The situation for the imprisoned Ecuadorians remains unclear, however, and fears are being raised that they will face harsh sentences once all the foreigners are deported and international attention withers. A support network for those in prison has quickly grown during the last week as supporters make daily visits to the prison and bring those in jail water, food and other items. But the situation is escalating into an international incident for the Ecuadorian government as three members of the German parliament are expected to arrive in Quito on Sunday, March 31, to meet with the arrested and to visit Mindo. The members of parliament also have influence over funding for the OCP. Natalie Arias of Ecological Action, an environmental group in Quito that is leading the opposition to the OCP, says the transnational consortium appears to have orchestrated the arrests. "Our reading of the situation is that this is an operation that has been constructed and financed by the OCP," she says. "The arrested people got transported to Quito in buses paid for by the OCP; the OCP organized buses for the 60 policemen that took part in the operation; and the OCP also paid for the food for the 60 policemen. "While the arrested people only had a limited amount of food, the policemen got well fed by the OCP," she adds. "Also, the way the process was manipulated shows us that there is some political and economic pressure behind this to make sure that the people stay in jail inspite of the irregularities of the arrests." The charges against those arrested are destruction of private property, destruction of the construction of the OCP pipeline, and damage to pipeline roads. Arias says all the charges are false. According to Ecological Action, the camp is located on private property with the permission of the landowner; the construction license for the OCP in Mindo has been suspended; and damage to pipeline roads was caused by soil erosion and faulty construction of the roads. "The whole process has violated the human rights of the arrested people and the legal proceedures of this kind of cases," Arias says. A court hearing is scheduled for the morning of Monday, April 1, in which a petition will be filed to release those in prison on grounds that their human rights have been violated and the arrests were illegal. The camp in Mindo was established in early January as a meeting place to raise awareness about the OCP pipeline, which is planned to stretch 400 kilometers across Ecuador and through fragil ecosystems and indigenous communites. The camp consists of treehouses and a kitchen and was established with the support of the local community in Mindo and environmental activists inside and outside of Ecuador. Mindo is located about two hours northest of Quito and situated next to a protected forest. The people
 of the village primarily make their living off ecological tourism and fear that their survival is threatened by the OCP pipeline. Wilfrido Vaca, a Mindo local, explains that the camp was created to make opposition to the project visible. "People asked us what we were doing. My answer was very simple and very complicated. All the people who are living on this planet have the responsibility to save the planet, so our mission is to defend the forest," he says. Arias says that in a number of cases construction work on the pipeline started before any kind of agreement with landowners was achieved, which is a violation of private property. In other cases, landowners along the route of the pipeline got threatened or blackmailed to allow the OCP to pass through their land, she adds. While the Ecuadorian government has lent support to the ambitious pipeline project, opposition has been growing within communities affected, as well as environmental groups inside and outside of Ecuador. Their argument is not only that biodiversity is in danger and that new oil fields would cause the destruction of natural reserves, but that the pipeline itself is at risk because it is planned to go through an area of volcanic activity and earthquakes. Arias says the pipeline is planned to go through environmentally vulnerable zones and thus will put ecosystems as well as human communities at risk. Also, the pipeline will pass through many geological faults, areas that are geologically unstable and areas of volcanic activity. "To make the OCP work, oil extraction will have to be increased, new oil fields will have to be opened in areas that are environmentally vulnerable and also in protected areas, national parks and indigenous territory of ethnias that have lived there for generations," Arias says. "Oil drilling would provoke the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, pollution of water and air and soil which will also make the conditions for survival of indigenous peoples much more difficult." Although the camp has been raided, reistance to the OCP pipeline continues in Mindo. Protests were held almost everyday in Mindo last week, organized by the local population. And the experience of being arrested for visiting the camp has also been a radicalizing experience for some. A German female who was arrested said from jail that the only way she will leave Ecuador now is by being forced out through deportation. The names and country of origin of those arressted are as follows: Ecuador: Wilfrido Vaca, Boris Murcia and Cristian Vaca (the other three names were not available at press time) Colombia: Carlos Vladimir Rodriguez, Camilo Valbuena, Alejandro Pajon, Juan David Ojeda Germany: Bettina Ritter, Catherina Hrabal, Andrea Klimaschewski Italy: Paola Colleoni, Mateo Giacometti France: Francoise Robert, Cuentin Goye Ireland: Nicolas Jones Switzerland: Bruno Cassies United States: Daniel Randolph ================ No Need For "Campaign To Discredit" Indymedia "Newswire" (english) by Chief Bromden 10:41pm Mon Apr 1 '02 (Modified on 11:09am Tue Apr 2 '02) First, does somebody want to tell me how much real independently sourced stories are ever posted on the "Newswire." Most of what has any news value is stuff being reposted at the whim of the poster and without the knowledge and consent of the copyright owner. Most of the rest of the "newswire" content is infantile nonsense that nobody is going to take seriously, like the current unsourced rumor of a death camp in operation in the Occupied Territories now making the rounds on Indymedia's anything-but-credible newswire. There is a simple reason why there is no need for a campaign to "discredit" Indymedia's badly misnamed newswire: Indymedia simply refuses to edit what gets onto the newswire, like every other Internet site does. Alternet.org does it. YellowTimes.org does it. WorkingForChange.org does it. CounterPunch.org does it. DemocracyNow.org does it. Infoshop.org does it. Of course, the Indymedia concept in theory is a lot more radical in theory than these sites. I like the concept of a place for the amateur journalist, the people who don't have a "name" in the business, to be published. However, what is the point of anybody submitting anything with any journalistic value to Indymedia when just about anything that gets put up on the newswire is pushed off by the crap that gets posted onto the newswire after about an hour or two? It only takes a couple dozen idiots posting nonsense to push something good off the newswire. Now the folks running Indymedia have definitely certified themselves as gullible idiots. Now apparently there is a "campaign" underway to discredit Indymedia's newswire begun in coordination with the new Israeli offensive. I would like to see some real hard evidence that Israeli forces and there leaders in Tel Aviv really give a damn about what is going up on Indymedia. As everybody can see Indymedia has bought into this nonsense in its feature section. What I amusing about it is that Indymedia is purportedly being "hacked." Who needs to "hack" Indymedia to put up the right-wing propaganda, porn and other nonsense that has been getting put up on the newswire? Posting anything on the newswire is just a mouse click away. This pride in being and open publishing forum is really ridiculous. You know, men's bathroom walls are open publishing forums also and they're famous for producing "For A Good Time Call..." messages. That's the perfect analogy for what the Indymedia newswire has devolved into: A wall in the men's room stall. A news site that doesn't want to do filtering and editing is like somebody filing to run for political office and not even bothering to campaign. Why bother to file for office if you're not going to bother to campaign? Why bother to run a news oriented site if you are not going to do the necessary editing to make it a news site? =========== ... (english) by CW 11:17pm Mon Apr 1 '02 I pretty much agree for the most part but who's going to decide what is "newsworthy" and what's not? I like the idea of an open publishing forum because it's truly democratic, but you're right...it has devolved into a "men's public bathroom", but the people who are posting the garbage are RIGHTWING assholes trying to discredit the site. So as people have said, it's a balancing act that needs to be done. Both opposing points make sense, but there needs to be compromise. On one end, there has to be a way to keep it open publishing...but on certain conditions. I like the idea of categorizing the newswire into seperate forums. That by far seems to be the best proposal. Whatever decision that needs to be made, IMC is strong, resilient and persistently growing into a worldwide phenomenon and I'm a proud member. We'll make it through this storm. =============== -------------------------- Subject: Israeli war crimes in Ramallah From: Hakki Alacakaptan (nucleus@superonline.com) Date: Sun Mar 31 2002 - 03:18:01 EST All Israelis, including the wonderful people I know there, are going to pay for this. The knowledge that Israel is guilty of the same crimes as the Khmer Rouge or the Nazis is going to be far more crushing for them than living in fear of bombs. March 30 could be the day that Israel, in open defiance of a UNSC resolution calling for a pullout, finally and clearly became a rogue nation. The question is now, how long can the US fool the world with mild reprobations without materially withdrawing any of its support for Israel? How, in fact, is the EU going to back its support for the PA with sanctions for Israel? The Arabs, the Moslems, and the Third World as a whole is watching to see if the empire is going to punish its rogue offspring with even a fraction of the murderous ferocity it showed towards innocent Afghan, Iraqi, Serbian, Libyan, Panamanian, etc. civilians. Hakki http://www.observer.co.uk/  Print/0,3858,4385097,00.html I saw the bodies, killed by a shot to the head Israeli killings: Troops stormed Arafat's men's base - and Palestinians believe that what followed was an execution Observer Worldview Peter Beaumont in Ramallah Sunday March 31, 2002 The Observer The ambulancemen were carrying the first body out of the Cairo-Amman bank in the centre of Ramallah when I came across them. His knees were doubled up in rigor mortis. One of the legs of his green parachute jumpsuit had been burnt through to the skin by a round fired at such close quarters that the muzzle flash had ignited the fabric. A gaping wound was visible in his chest - also, apparently, from a burst of fire from close range. What killed him, however, was the gunshot to his temple. A few minutes later, the paramedics brought the second body, that of a young man, also in Yasser Arafat's elite guard unit, Force 17. Someone had taken off his boots, revealing his blue socks. The wounds that he had obviously been clutching when he died were also to his upper body. But what must have killed him, like his colleague, was a shot fired at close range to his temple that had demolished the back of his head. The third body was of an older man, perhaps in his forties, grey-haired and with a full moustache. Someone had pulled his parachute suit up above his head to hide the wound. But when the stretcher-bearers put him down, the covering was pulled back. The wound was also to the head. What happened on the third floor of the Cairo-Amman bank at midnight on Friday during Israel's occupation of the Palestinian city of Ramallah can only be surmised. But in the few minutes after Israeli soldiers stormed the Palestinian position, five men were wounded and five men were put to death by the Israelis, each with a single coup de grace to the head or throat. Maher Shalabi, bureau chief of Abu Dhabi television in Ramallah, was in his office in the same building when he heard several bursts of heavy shooting on the floors below. 'I heard heavy shooting; maybe it was an exchange of fire. But I believe this was an execution. This is what I understand.' Hassan Asfour, a senior Palestinian negotiator, added: 'They were executed in cold blood. This is a clear example of the collective execution policy adopted by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people.' According to local residents, the dead men were part of a large group of Palestinian policemen who had taken shelter in the building, which also houses the offices of the British Council, when the Israeli army entered their area of Ramallah. The men had taken shelter in the foyer area on the third floor next to a dentist's surgery. Yesterday bullet holes spattered the walls and the floor was flecked with blood. On one wall were large splashes of blood. Several bloody trails had been marked along the floor where someone had pulled the bodies towards the lift. An Israeli army spokesman said soldiers entered the building after Palestinians opened fire from inside and threw a grenade at the force outside. The coups de grace administered for these five men is a metaphor for what the Israeli incursion is hoping to achieve inside Ramallah. By isolating Arafat within his headquarters, Sharon hopes to decapitate the Palestinian Authority. Yesterday, inside Arafat's compound, it was clear that, for all the claims of Ariel Sharon, Arafat was neither under threat nor under arrest. Arafat, simply, was surrounded by the Israelis. As we approached the compound we could see the tanks and armoured personnel carriers ringing his sprawl of offices and barracks. On every side soldiers were taking positions and aiming their weapons. Here and there was evidence of the desperate fighting that had taken place as Israeli forces stormed the wall and then the buildings. External walls were pocked with gunfire, while scorch marks were visible at third-floor windows. Approaching closer, the Israeli army tried to prevent us following a delegation from the Palestinian solidarity movement into the compound, led by José Bové, the French farmers leader and anti-globalisation protester. In a surreal touch Bové and his colleagues had marched through the ruins of the town, even as fighting continued in some parts. With their hands above their heads, and some carrying palm fronds as Easter symbols of peace, they approached Arafat's compound with two columns of heavily armed Israeli infantry jogging the last few hundred metres behind them. Seeing Bové, who had marched through the town with a small group of fellow protestors bearing a tray of medicines for those injured inside Arafat's compound, the soldiers relented and let us enter with him and approach the offices where Arafat was holed up. Crossing a large car park we could see a three-storey block, its walls splattered with tank fire, two windows blackened by fire with sheets hanging where the occupants had tried to escape the flames. I followed Bové to the entrance to the offices where Arafat was hiding but was grabbed from behind by an Israeli soldier and pulled away. Arafat may not be a prisoner but it is the Israelis who choose who goes to see the Palestinian chairman. On every corner yesterday stood Israeli tanks. The devastation that these tanks have wrought inside the Palestinians' most attractive city has to be seen to be believed. Roads have been dynamited or torn up. Buildings are burnt and shattered. Everywhere there is rubble, spent ammunition and broken glass. A little later, I met Hossam Sharkawi and Mohamed Awad, two senior officials in the Palestinian Red Crescent whom I had met before. Standing by a convoy of ambulances the clearly exhausted Sharkawi, a co-ordinator for emergency services, told me the Israelis had arrested five of his drivers. 'They have them blindfolded and handcuffed. I cannot understand what the Israelis are thinking. They also used one of our ambulances today as a human shield. They sandwiched it inside a convoy.' Sharkawi and his colleagues were able to reveal something of life inside Arafat's compound. 'We know there are injured inside,' he said. 'But they have been blocking ambulances entering to give treatment. 'All that we hear is that there may be between 50 and 100 people trapped with Arafat inside the building, without food, or water or any electricity and no telephone communication.' He shook his head and walked away. =========== I have experienced the criminality of the Israelis first hand when I lived in Lebanon. I am a child of the Lebanese Civil War. I lived in Lebanon from 1972 to 1988 and I witnessed what Isreal did during its invasion of Lebanon. Sharon a blood thirsty murderer. If there is an evil in the world that President Bush should rail about, it is Sharon. I was there when the IDF under Sharon's instruction allowed the phalange militias to go in the refugee Palestinian camps and massacre the innocent. It was an orgy of blood. If Sharon can get away with it, he will do the same in the West Bank and Gaza. 35% of the Israeli public support deporatation and in order to deport you must commit massacres to scare the people into leaving. In 1948 the Israeli forces instituted Plan Delta. The Irgun and Stern gang committed the Dier Yassin massacre and then drove around with loud speakers telling the palestinians to leave unless they want another Dier Yassin done to them. All you have to do is read the work of Simha Flapan or read the autobiography of David Ben Gurion. Naji ============ I'm sure it was, and I do not underestimate the extent of Sharon's brutality and bloodlust. I consider him a war criminal worthy of the Hague. The IDF, under Sharon and others, have indeed committed mass murder and are in the process of spilling even more blood. It is tragic and criminal, and, yes, evil. But to compare the occupied territories to Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge is quite a stretch, and it undermines the harsh and necessary criticism that Israel has abundantly earned. ==== > All you have to do is read the work of Simha Flapan or read the > autobiography of David Ben Gurion. ====== Haven't read Ben Gurion, but have read Flapan's "Birth of Israel," as well as Moshe Sharret, Israel Shahak, Chomsky, Finkelstein, Said, et al. ============= While it might not be comparable right now, it has the real potential of developing into one. My fear is that the US media coverage of the process unfolding in the West Bank and Gaza is allowing Israel to do more damage, than had the media been more vigilant in its coverage. It is a shame that the most "legally" free media in the world is at the same time one of the most self-censored. Now that is what I call market discipline :-) ==== > > All you have to do is read the work of Simha Flapan or read the > > autobiography of David Ben Gurion. > > Haven't read Ben Gurion, but have read Flapan's "Birth of Israel," as well > as Moshe Sharret, Israel Shahak, Chomsky, Finkelstein, Said, et al. ===== I like reading the autobiographies, because the "confessions" by Sharret and Ben Gurion cannot be refuted by the pro-Israel camp in the US. While Chomsky, Said and others are a great read, Israel's "amen corner" can often claim that they are biased to discredit them. I found the work of Flapan irrefutable in that he used de-classified Israeli govt documents and Ben Gurion's own words to prove his point. I wonder how he died? Naji ============== What's the point of these comparisons, anyway? Israel [is/is not] [as bad as/worse than[ the [Nazis/Khmer Rouge]. Seems distracting and unhelpful to me. Israeli behavior has been criminal, and it comes with the full support of the U.S. (including the check I'm going to write on April 15). Where it stands in the hierarchy of state-sponsored crimes hardly matters. Doug ============== Technically speaking what we see at the moment are war crimes. But in terms of Israeli ideology and Israel's image in the west, the descent of a state once thought of as moral and democratic to the present levels of cruelty and barbarism is simply too horrifying for fine distinctions. So in that sense, you're right. Hakki ========== LEARNING FROM THE NAZIS? The following lines appeared last Friday, January 25, 2002, in Haaretz, in an article by the respected military correspondent Amir Oren: "In order to prepare properly for the next campaign, one of the Israeli officers in the (occupied) territories said not long ago, it's justified and in fact essential to learn from every possible source. If the mission will be to seize a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the casbah in Nablus, and if the commander's obligation is to try to execute the mission without casualties on either side, then we mustr first analyze and internalize the lessons of earlier battles - even, however shocking it may sound, even how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto." If this officer believes that the casbah of Nablus resembles the Warsaw ghetto, who, in his mind, resemble the officers of the Israeli army? Gush Shalom ad published in Ha'aretz, february 01, 2001 =========== I'm afraid you've understated the case in one sense, and overstated in another. To me the White House line in response to present events, to wit, "Arafat has to do more" etc. is a total, explicit green light, not any sort of reprobation. I don't think the US is fooling anybody. Where it ends I couldn't say. Comparisons to Nazis and KR are ridiculous. We're in ethnic cleansing mode here, not killing fields. The worst I would expect of Israel is mass transfer, again in emulation of Milosevich or Taliban/OBL. Can't we classify mass murder a little bit more carefully? The Post coverage of all this is pretty bad. Today there was a confessional piece by a 'former' Israeli peace activist. But they did cover the execution of the PA policemen. mbs =========== Comparisons to the Nazis are made every day in Israel. When you've got racist state with a program to eliminate a subhumanized ethnic group, they sort of spontaneously spring to mind. As for your expectations, they are decidedly optimistic. What Sharon can risk doing _now_ and what he would have liked to do from the start is the difference between Ramallah and Sabra & Shatila. As the Israeli death toll mounts, the murders of Tsahal will also multiply. Until now, it hasn't used its heaviest weaponry, but could very well start bombing the WB and Gaza like it did Beirut, killling hundreds of Palestinians every day. =========== 165328 Robert Fisk: A speech laced with obsessions and little else (english) by Robert Fisk 12:02am Fri Apr 5 '02 (Modified on 1:02am Fri Apr 5 '02) The mugger became the victim and the victim became the mugger. What, I wonder, is the exact distance between the Rose Garden and Bethlehem? So the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, is travelling to "the region'' next week. Next week? Why not now? http://news.independent.co.uk/  world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=281726 Robert Fisk: A speech laced with obsessions and little else 05 April 2002 Ariel Sharon could not have done better. The heaping of blame upon an occupied people, the obsessive use of the word terror – by my rough count there were 50 references in just 10 minutes – and the brief, frightened remarks about "occupation" and (one mention only) to Jewish settlements and the need for Israeli "compassion" at the end were proof enough that President Bush had totally failed to understand the tragedy he is supposedly trying to solve. The mugger became the victim and the victim became the mugger. What, I wonder, is the exact distance between the Rose Garden and Bethlehem? So the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, is travelling to "the region'' next week. Next week? Why not now? But of course, the White House, which according to the Israeli press has repeatedly been asking Mr Sharon how long he intends to reoccupy the Palestinian cities of the West Bank, is to give the Israeli Prime Minister more time to finish his invasion, destroy the Palestinian infrastructure and dismantle the Palestinian Authority. The speech was laced with all the "war on terror'' obsessions: Iraq as a sponsor of terror for donating money to a family of Palestinian "martyrs'', and Syria for not making up its mind if it is "for or against terror''. The European Union, fearful of rising oil prices and their effect on the eurozone economy, had earlier dispatched a mission to Israel; with typical contempt, Mr Sharon told its members they could not visit Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. The delegation, which had earlier announced that the Americans had failed in their mission as peacemaker in the Middle East, simply packed up and left Tel Aviv within hours. But will Mr Powell do any better? The dollar has fallen against world currencies because of the Middle East crisis – as good a reason as any for Mr Bush to act – and the possible restrictions on Middle East oil production, though more damaging to Europe, must have helped to prompt the President's decision to dispatch Mr Powell. The Palestinian suicide bombings, however, were the core of Mr Bush's address. He talked of the 18-year-old Palestinian girl who blew herself up and killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl, the Jewish state's "dream'' of peace with its neighbours. "Terror must be stopped ... no nation can negotiate with terrorists ... leaderships not terror ... you're either with the civilised world or you're with the terrorists ... all in the Middle East ... must move in word and deed against terrorists ... I call on the Palestinian Authority to do everything in their power to stop terrorist activities.'' Arafat had agreed to control "terrorism'' – "he failed'.' The reoccupation of the West Bank was a "temporary measure'', Mr Bush announced, trusting the word of the Israeli occupiers. "Suicide bombing missions could well blow up the only hope of a Palestinian state.'' On it went, 11 September-speak applied to the Middle East. Israel's enemies must be eliminated – Al Aqsa, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah, which yesterday beat up a UN observer on the Lebanese border in the most dangerous incident of its kind since the Israeli withdrawal in 2000. The whole Bush speech revolved around Israel's wellbeing, with scarcely three minutes devoted to the Palestinians and their 35 years under occupation. Israel should, Mr Bush decided, show a "respect'' for and "concern'' for the Palestinian people. There was some ritual mention of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which calls for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war but which Mr Sharon has already said he cannot accept, and an appeal to halt settlement building. But Jewish settlements are still being built, at an ever-faster rate, on Palestinian land. Only a heart of stone could not respond to the suffering of those Israeli families whose loved ones have been so wickedly cut down by the Palestinian suicide bombers. But where was Mr Bush's compassion for the vastly greater number of Palestinians who have been killed by the Israelis over the past 19 months, or his condemnation of Israel's death squads, house demolition and land theft? They simply didn't exist in the Bush speech. The money for "martyrs" does not, of course, only go to the kin of suicide bombers – it goes to families of all those killed by Israelis, most of whom have been struck down by American-made weapons. Certainly, America has never offered to make reparations for the innocents killed by the air-to-ground missiles and shells it has sold to Israel. Far more instructive than the Bush speech was the measured, fair way in which Terje Larson, the UN's special Middle East envoy, and Nigel Roberts, the local director of the World Bank, tried to describe the tragedy. In a short press conference they appealed to both sides to end violence and respect international law and cited Israel as well as the Palestinians for breaking it. The so-called Israeli "closed military areas" were, Mr Larson said, "illegitimate and in direct violation of the [Oslo] Agreements". Mr Roberts talked of the surge in violence as a threat that could "consign to history the unique opportunity for reconciliation''. But "closed military areas" achieved another Israeli victory over the Western television satellite stations. Yesterday, the BBC, Sky and CNN, with their own crews largely prevented from filming in the reoccupied Palestinian cities, all ran footage of the Bethlehem battle taken by Israeli soldiers. Rather than refuse to use the tape unless their own crews were permitted access to the carnage, the three channels all dutifully used the film taken by the army of occupation. Another milestone in the collapse of journalism in the Middle East. But not so serious as the collapse of America's peace-making. news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east... =========== Thanks (english) by Harry 12:46am Fri Apr 5 '02 Thanks for posting yet another brilliant analysis by Robert Fisk. Bush had more twisted facts than his pretzels (english) by DLi 1:02am Fri Apr 5 '02 I had the misfortune of waking up to the NPR's airing of the Bush "speech" on the mid-East situation. Containing more twisted facts than the pretzels he choked on, the Bush League oratory was more a rabid diatribe to blame the victim, rather than a genuine plea for peace. Turning legitimate acts of self-defense into the cause for the mid-East conflict, the Commander-in-Thief completely ignores the destruction & killings by U.S.-built and -supplied weapons like the F-16 & Apache gunships used by Sharon's neo-Fascist soldiers on unarmed civilians, W instead launched into a frenzied verbal assault on the oppressed Palestinians. With such a convulsed sense of logic, no wonder George W. nearly flunked out of Yale. With the so-called 'leader of the free world' displaying either his ignorance or shameless hypocrisy, it's no wonder his global policies is pushing the whole planet closer to the Abyss of Evil. --------------------------- 164794 Please Indymedia (english) by Neil 9:04am Thu Apr 4 '02 (Modified on 3:14pm Thu Apr 4 '02) Why all this racist stuff This is a plea to the IndyMedia editorial staff, Please do something to stop all this racist filth allowed on your site. It is putting in Jepordy the idea that you are a responsible alternative to coorporate news. Maybe you can have a newswire and a commentary wire. But something really needs to be done. I am afraid to open some of the stuff on this site anymore. add your own comments =========== How about IP logging and posting? (english) by Smeg 9:13am Thu Apr 4 '02 Each story poster get's their IP posted over the story, that way we can at least now SOMETHING about the assholes who post racist garbage. ========== death of the newswire / failure of liberalism (english) by Uncle Fluffy 9:20am Thu Apr 4 '02 address: http://info.interactivist.net The IMC has built this newswire around a liberal concept of Free Speech instead of a more radical understanding of what it is to be the Free Press This newswire has therefor been taken over by the right-wing, but the IMC does nothing. They think that allowing anyone to post somehow makes the IMC "objective". But we all know that there is no such thing as objective journalism. Free Speech does not equal Free Press Editorial policy does not equal Censorship Editorial policy without Editorial Process is a cop out. Removing articles after many have been insulted, threatened, or worse does not equal editorial policy. Keep the fascists off the newswire--it is less work then trying to kill the stories after the damage is done. the IMC is dead.... long live the independent media! =========== We're working on it (english) by Mike 9:27am Thu Apr 4 '02 See the linked article to see what Indymedia is doing to try to make the global site more usable. www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=... ======== Racsism? Watch a John Wayne Movie (english) by outside the whale 9:29am Thu Apr 4 '02 Neil,How many letters have you written to your Congressman about stopping Rasism? For instance,did you protest when tose white N.Y. cops rammed a broomstick up Louimas ass? Yes, Racsism is for barbarians and the biggest racsists of all is U.S. Consider, John Wayne kills Indians,John Wayne kills Japs, John Wayne kills Vietnamese, If John Wayne was still alive he'd be killing Arabs....Nice Culture we have HUH ========== NOT a rightwing takeover; a sustained attack (english) by marco 9:31am Thu Apr 4 '02 IMC has not been taken over by the right wing. What the right wing HAS accomplished is a sustained attack on the most important newswires in an effort to discredit and disrupt indymedia's goals while they conduct a major war in Israel. At least the newswires THEY believe are the most important. We are fending it off as best we can, but even with each of us taking turns we're very burnt out. This isn't the only job we each do, you know. Something tells me if one out of every ten people who complain about the newswires were to jump in and volunteer 10 or 90 hours a week of their time at the same payscale the rest of us are at, none of us would ever burn out. marco http://www.indymedia.org:8081/  front.php3?article_id=161321 ======== hiding the problem, not dealing with it (english) by Uncle Fluffy 9:31am Thu Apr 4 '02 address: http Mike, All I see is a suggestion to move the newswire off the front page so that you are not embarrassed by the fascist shit on the front page. There is no discussion of creating a real editorial policy. Moving the crap off the front page might make you feel better, but does nothing to address the root of the problem. It all boils down to free speech vs free press. ========== Marco, let's talk (english) by Uncle Fluffy 9:41am Thu Apr 4 '02 address: http://info.interactivist.net info@interactivist.net Marco, I appreciate the effort of the newswire team. But I don't think you are doing all that you can to stop the attack. You are not being attacked. People you don't like are simply using your site in the way that you built it to be used. The falure is in the model that you have created. All you need is a genuine editorial process to go with your edtorial policy. But, let's discuss this off this list. Contact me if you want. maybe I will even find some time in my overloaded schedule to help (although as someone that is involved in multiple media activist projects, I don't have much time, and have to say I find it a bit insulting that every time someone makes a suggestion to the IMC the usual reply boils down to "join our franchise or shut up") ======= about the right wing (english) by Uncle Fluffy 9:45am Thu Apr 4 '02 Marco and others: I do believe that to an extent elements of the right have infiltrated the IMC. I know for fact that a member of the NY State Executive Committee of the (right wing pro capitalism) Libertarian Party is a member of the WWW newswire team and the NYC indymedia tech crew. It is no surprise that the imc allows the right to use the site when the right is inside the collective. ======== It helps if you DON'T respond (english) by why 9:48am Thu Apr 4 '02 I noticed it(i.e. gooftroop postings)is always really bad right after protests and the like. There were a lot right after IMF protest in DC. Then they died down. THEN people started responding to the few A-holes that were still posting. That seemed to pull more in. Ignore their post, don't even read them once you've seen their stupid titles. I think a little self-control on our part can go a long way to shutting down the dorks. Also there needs to be more substantial posts. I think that would really make their posts even more less likely to be read. This way we could keep the newswire open and worthwhile. Just some thoughts.... ========== something seems to be in the works on this (english) by asdf 10:02am Thu Apr 4 '02 indymedia.org:8081/front.php3?article_id=161321 (this is an IMC feature's link, check what it says at "Defending Indymedia Like An Open Fortress") ========= problem with IP's (english) by sysadmin 10:04am Thu Apr 4 '02 while logging peoples IP address may help somewhat it still falls way short of what needs to be done. more and more IP addresses are dynamic (cable, dsl). as a result repeat poster may have different addresses. people can also change their IP's if they want to (and know how to). what about MAC addresses? =========== bullshit (english) by js 10:09am Thu Apr 4 '02 Come on indymedia, most activists are starting to think this is a god damn joke. Do your thing to the global newswire and let locals do the same god damn thing. Dont sit on your hands and make this even less relevant. Let them make fools of themselves (english) by Eagle Night 10:19am Thu Apr 4 '02 As long as we have the freedom to respond, racist, ignorant arguements are easily dismantled. I'd rather not waste much of my time though once I see something is obviously meant to do nothing but foment ignorant hatred. ========== ip logging (english) by kayoss 10:45am Thu Apr 4 '02 kayoss@rworld.com say, for instance, a poster in china witnessed some government abuse that the international community should be informed of. Do you think that their IP should be publically available for the chinese government to huse to track them down? do you want to give the US feds the ip adress of anyone who speaks out against the abuses of the system in our own country? does noone notice the irony of people calling for more restrictions and rules to defend them from the "fascists"? =========== Agree (english) by Nail 10:52am Thu Apr 4 '02 I think people are making good comments and I hope Indymedia realizes the major problem in losing credibilty and legitimacy from this I agree with not responding to the racists. I never do. Some of this stuff is not just ignorant it is genocidal diatribes with nazi artwork to go with it. I hope something happens soon. We in Michigan are trying to set up an Indymedia, and this is the number one concern ========= If you don't like it then don't visit! (english) by Dumb-ass 10:52am Thu Apr 4 '02 ismokecrack@thedopespot.com If you don't like the shit that people post on the site and if you're too 'BUSY' then why are you posting to this site??? What are you trying to accomplish??? If you have the time to post complaints on the site than you obviously have the time to help out... ========== TO MARCO (english) by TOM R 11:08am Thu Apr 4 '02 Marco, let me thank you for the work that you and your cohorts do managing this site. The workload must be staggering. I have to say that limiting the input to this site would be a mistake. Too many sites (left & right) have done this and have become almost bland in their conformity. I consider myself a right of center moderate, but I'm sure that most of the folks who post on this site think I'm a foaming at the mouth Nazi. My point is that if conservatives were censored on this site (and that would certainly be your right to do so)what would be left? (actually every thing would be "left"). Why even bother to go to a site like that? After visiting Freepers a couple of times I never went back. It was too much like an opinion echo chamber. Isolating yourself from differing opinions will never solve anything. Again, thanks for your efforts. -Tom R =========== Also.... (english) by artsygeek 11:35am Thu Apr 4 '02 Also, people should exercise RESTRAINT, in posting what they think may be humorous, in an air of being humorously critical of any political faction. If you want to be critical, at least think it out, and speak it clearly. And make sure folks KNOW it's an opinion before they click on it. That's what separates the Op/Ed section from the News section on a paper, that's what separates the "Editorializing" and the news from the anchor on whatever news program you're watching. They let you KNOW that they're about to give their OPINION. evryone bitches (english) by luther blissett 11:46am Thu Apr 4 '02 everyone bitches so much but I dont exactly see an influx of volunteers to act as clerks and keep check over the newswire. just keep sittin on the fence and bitchin, no dont offer to actually HELP or anything. after all, indymedia isnt open to people helping. right? and of course there is no way to volunteer being that there aernt any contacts on the site right? why dont we get of our fat american asses and join the appropriate mailing lists, and actually offer to help. ======= join the cult or die (english) by blarg 12:18pm Thu Apr 4 '02 Luther, I think that you have made the point for Uncle Fluffy. No one at the IMC wants to hear reasonable criticism. The reply a la luther: "join us or go fuck your self" ========== Hey whiners (english) by Harry 12:49pm Thu Apr 4 '02 Why don't you just stop using IMC if you don't like the racist filth. As for me, I don't have any problem with just simply ignoring the bullshit. I think IMC is just fine the way it is. Sometimes I think the color scheme could be changed a bit. Why do you want to know everyones IP address? What kind of bullshit is that. I don't wan't anyone here to get my IP, and for people with permanent IP's, that spells trouble and retaliation. IP logging = RECKLESS. You fucking little baby whiners, If you don't like an article, you don't have to read it and you don't have to respond. P.S., this "story" was about as worthless as some drunken racists rant. Get off your power trips, assholes. Keep up the great work IMC! Thanks! I've been enjoying IMC ever since the WTO riots in Seattle, Thanks a million! ======== freedom of speech (english) by kinda free 12:53pm Thu Apr 4 '02 i do agree that there is lots of racist bullshit lately. HOWEVER, this is america and we all have the right to free speach. now im not defending racist (and obviously ignorant) comments, but if you REALLY have a problem with a posting, ADD YOUR COMMENT! give some points and back it up with facts! i dont blame indymedia for not censoring (and thats what it really is) certain postings, but fight back you schmuck's! post your ideas and use critical thinking to let others who might be reading the same post that this IS bullshit. i think indymedia is still one of the better newswires out there BECAUSE it is an open publishing site. think if CNN had open publishing or if you could add your own comments on reports and stories? indymedia is true freedom of speech, which is what america is truely about! peace in the middle east! ========== Eyes Turn To Indymedia in Shifting Politik (english) by artsygeek 3:14pm Thu Apr 4 '02 Indymedia is developing a reputation for providing information as an alternative source. The likes of CNN and teh AP will turn to Indymedia when all else fails and they're in the dark, feeling around for details. Like Sean Riordan from Bethlehem on CNN, that was very significant and a major name recognition move for IMC. The problem is folks will try looking into Indymedia, and they'll see this anti-semitic propaganda, and they'll think we're anti-semites. Information is the only way for things to get done, be they by force, or be they peacefully. Disinformation (which is what this crap that clogs up the newswire is) slows down action, inhibits it, and discourages it. There's a difference between filtering out crap, and censorship. It's a fine line and it can only be walked gently on (and not across) by democratic/consensus-based methods (like peer moderation).