Donnerstag, 28. Dezember 2006

The End of the West as We Know It?

by Anatol Lieven
December 28, 2006
by the International Herald Tribune (Paris)

Every political, social and economic system ever created has sooner or later encountered a challenge that its very nature has made it incapable of meeting. The Confucian ruling system of imperial China, which lasted for more than 2,000 years, has some claim still to be the most successful in history, but because it was founded on values of stability and continuity, rather than dynamism and inventiveness, it eventually proved unable to survive in the face of Western imperial capitalism.

For market economies, and the Western model of democracy with which they have been associated, the existential challenge for the foreseeable future will be global warming. Other threats like terrorism may well be damaging, but no other conceivable threat or combination of threats can possibly destroy our entire system. As the recent British official commission chaired by Sir Nicholas Stern correctly stated, climate change "is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen."

The question now facing us is whether global capitalism and Western democracy can follow the Stern report's recommendations, and make the limited economic adjustments necessary to keep global warming within bounds that will allow us to preserve our system in a recognizable form; or whether our system is so dependent on unlimited consumption that it is by its nature incapable of demanding even small sacrifices from its present elites and populations.

If the latter proves the case, and the world suffers radically destructive climate change, then we must recognize that everything that the West now stands for will be rejected by future generations. The entire democratic capitalist system will be seen to have failed utterly as a model for humanity and as a custodian of essential human interests.

Even the relatively conservative predictions offered by the Stern report, of a drop in annual global gross domestic product of up to 20 percent by the end of this century, imply a crisis on the scale of the Great Depression of the 1930s; and as we know, the effects of that depression were not restricted to economics. In much of Europe, as well as Latin America and Japan, democracies collapsed and were replaced by authoritarian regimes.

As the report makes clear, however, if we continue with "business as usual" when it comes to the emission of greenhouse gases, then we will not have to wait till the end of the century to see disastrous consequences. Long before then, a combination of floods, droughts and famine will have destroyed states in many poorer parts of the earth — as has already occurred in recent decades in Somalia.

If the conservative estimates of the Stern report are correct, then already by 2050 the effects of climate change may be such as to wreck the societies of Pakistan and Bangladesh; and if these states collapse, how can India and other countries possibly insulate themselves?

At that point, not only will today's obsessive concern with terrorism appear insignificant, but all the democratizing efforts of Western states, and of private individuals and bodies like George Soros and his Open Society Institute, will be rendered completely meaningless. So, of course, will every effort directed today toward the reduction of poverty and disease.

And this is only to examine the likely medium-term consequences of climate change. For the further future, the report predicts that if we continue with business as usual, then the rise in average global temperature could well top 5 degrees Celsius. To judge by what we know of the history of the world's climate, this would almost certainly lead to the melting of the polar ice caps, and a rise in sea levels of up to 25 meters.

As pointed out by Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth," this would mean the end of many of the world's greatest cities. The resulting human migration could be on such a scale as to bring modern civilization to an end.

If this comes to pass, what will our descendants make of a political and media culture that devotes little attention to this threat when compared with sports, consumer goods, leisure and a threat from terrorism that is puny by comparison? Will they remember us as great paragons of human progress and freedom? They are more likely to spit on our graves.

Underlying Western free-market democracy, and its American form in particular, is the belief that this system is of permanent value to mankind: a "New Order of the Ages," as the motto on the U.S. Great Seal has it. It is not supposed to serve only the short- term and selfish interests of existing Western populations. If our system is indeed no more than that, then it will pass from history even more utterly than Confucian China — and will deserve to do so.

© Copyright 2006 The International Herald Tribune

Informant: binstock

U.S. manufacturing expected to take hit

The key U.S. manufacturing sector is expected to be hit hard next year, heightening fears a recession is now much more likely than many economists had expected.

From Information Clearing House

UAE Next to Diversify Away From U.S. Dollar

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Central Bank Governor Sultan Bin Nasser al-Suwaidi announced today that the UAE will switch 8% of its foreign-exchange reserves from U.S. dollars into euros before September. Now China, Russia, Italy Switzerland, Sweden, Qatar, New Zealand and UAE are all diversifying away from the dollar.

From Information Clearing House

Hunt for CIA 'black site' in Poland

They confirmed my eyewitness's account - that a well-known CIA Gulfstream plane, the N379P, had made several landings at the airport in 2003.

From Information Clearing House

U.S. Embassy Is Warning Beijing on Iran Gas Deal

The Bush administration and Congress are warning that a proposed $16 billion deal between a Chinese company and Iran could trigger economic penalties under an American law aimed at starving Iran of funding for "terrorism and nuclear weapons".

From Information Clearing House

Shooting the messenger

Shooting the messenger is a war crime

More than 120 reporters and other media workers have been killed in Iraq since the invasion. In August 2003, Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana was filming outside Abu Ghraib prison when a machine-gun bullet tore through his chest. The Pentagon said the soldiers had "engaged a cameraman."

From Information Clearing House


Shooting the Messenger

Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

Another 100,000 Iraqis flee their homes in the last month

More than 108,000 Iraqis have left their homes and registered as refugees in the last month, a senior official has said.

From Information Clearing House

Tale of Two Sisters - New Orleans: HUD Policies Limiting Housing for Poor

By Bill Quigley

Why Is HUD Using Tens of Millions of Katrina Money to Bulldoze 4534 Public Housing Apartments in New Orleans When It Costs Less to Repair and Open Them Up?


New Orleans: HUD Policies Limiting Housing for Poor

Bill Quigley writes: "Gloria Williams and her twin sister, Bobbie Jennings, are both 60 years old. They are two of the more than 4,000 families who lived in public housing in New Orleans before Katrina struck. The families are still locked out of their homes. Their residences are two of 4,534 apartments that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced plans to demolish."

Reality Strikes Back

Timothy Garton Ash writes: "In the coming year, we should not abandon all idealism along with the dangerous illusions of the Bush era."

Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq

Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney - Ford's White House chief of staff - and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

A Sentinel in Time

"Everything we have endured these last six years - the death, the horror, the fear, the anger - was born that afternoon in Washington, DC," writes William Rivers Pitt. "We have already suffered myriad consequences because of it - the shame of Abu Ghraib; the lingering fear of blue skies and airplanes; the ebb tide of freedom as rights become privileges too easily withheld, the bottomless sorrow stitched into nearly three thousand folded American flags while taps played to the wind - and it is a bleak certainty that further suffering born on that day lies in wait."

Ice shelf collapse sends chill

Giant Ice Shelf Breaks Free from Canadian Arctic


Canada's North changing. Global warming suspected cause of huge breakup on Ellesmere Island


CanWest News Service
Thursday, December 28, 2006

An ancient ice shelf has cracked off northern Ellesmere Island, creating an enormous 66-square-kilometre ice island and leaving a trail of icy blocks in its wake.

"It really is incredible," said Warwick Vincent of Universite Laval, one of the few people to have laid eyes on the scene. "It's like a cruise missile has come down and hit the ice shelf."

The breakup was so powerful, earthquake monitors 250 kilometres away picked up the tremors as the 3,000- to 4,500-year-old shelf tore away from its fjord on Ellesmere.

It broke up 16 months ago, but no one was present to see it. The scientists say they are only now making public details after piecing together what occurred using seismic monitors and Canadian and U.S. satellites.

They say the ice shelf collapse, suspected to have been caused by global warming, is the biggest in Canada in 30 years and is indicative of the transformation under way on Ellesmere, Canada's most northern land mass.

"We are seeing incredible changes," said Vincent, whose group is studying the island's disappearing ice shelves and their unique ecosystems. "People talk of endangered animals - well, these are endangered landscape features and we're losing them."

The Ayles ice shelf was one of six ice shelves left in Canada, remnants of a vast icy fringe that used to cover the top end of Ellesmere.

Scientists consider the Canadian shelves, located about 800 kilometres south of the North Pole, sentinels that reflect the accelerating change in the Arctic.

In 2002, one of Vincent's graduate students, Derek Mueller, discovered that Ellesmere's Ward Hunt ice shelf had cracked in half. The researchers have also seen the sudden collapse of ice dams and the draining of
30-kilometre-long lakes into the sea.

The shelves are 90 per cent smaller than they were when Arctic explorer Robert Peary crossed them in 1906. And the Ayles ice shelf can be erased from Canada's maps.

"It no longer exists," Vincent said.

Laurie Weir, of the federal Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, was poring over images from the RADARSAT satellite when she noticed the shelf had broken away. She passed the information on to Luke Copland, head of the new global ice lab at the

University of Ottawa, who led the effort to determine what had happened.

It turned out it took less than one hour for the ice shelf to calve off in the early afternoon of Aug. 13, 2005, Copland said. Low frequency "rumbling" and tremors were picked up on earthquake monitors, and Canadian and U.S. satellites captured images of the shelf cracking and breaking away.

"If you were standing right on the edge of the shelf, there'd have been this huge 15-kilometre crack as far as you could see in both directions," Copland said.

"And then the ice drifted off."

Within an hour, the giant ice island was one kilometre offshore. It travelled west about 50 kilometres during the next few weeks and then moved east before freezing into sea ice about 15 kilometres offshore.

Copland has reconstructed what happened with Weir and Mueller, who is now at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

"We have a really good sequence of the ice shelf breaking up and then floating away," Copland said.

Vincent flew out from his base camp on northern Ellesmere by helicopter this year to have a first-hand look at the scene of the collapse.

"There was a huge amount of rubble associated with this breakup," Vincent said, explaining how the fjord is now full of ice blocks, "and then this vast ice shelf floating offshore."

The ice island is about 37 metres thick and measures roughly 15 kilometres by five kilometres. That's the size of a small city, or larger than 11,000 football fields. The island is now stuck in winter ice, but the researchers say it is only a matter of time before it is freed and floats away. They say the ice island could become a potential hazard to navigation and oil and gas extraction if it sails south toward the Beaufort Sea.

But for now, it is a monument to change.

"This is the biggest event since the '80s in terms of ice shelf loss," Copland said. He said two key factors appear to have triggered the breakup - the exceptionally warm temperatures on Ellesmere in summer last year,

3 degrees Celsius above normal, and unusually brisk winds that blew the summer pack ice offshore, exposing the Ayles shelf to waves and open water. Normally, the prevailing winds blow summer pack ice up against Ellesmere's ice shelves, where it acts as a buffer, protecting them from the sea.

The scientists say they can't prove human-induced climate change caused the Ayles shelf to break off, but they suspect global warming might be responsible.

"We can say it is consistent with the larger body of evidence indicating the climate is warming and predictions that the greatest effects are likely to take place at high latitudes," Vincent said. He noted that the Ayles disintegration is the most recent of several abrupt changes on Ellesmere.

"Suddenly, lakes that existed aren't there any more, ice dams collapse, ice shelves break up," Vincent said.

"These are big changes."

Researchers say there are many more changes in store. Last week, a Canada-U.S. team predicted that the Arctic Ocean could be devoid of summer ice as early as 2040 and possibly sooner.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2006

Informant: binstock



By Steve Lillebuen
Canadian Press
December 28, 2006

A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada's Arctic, leaving a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.

The mass of ice broke clear from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800 kilometres south of the North Pole. Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions, travelled to the newly formed ice island and couldn't believe what he saw. "It was extraordinary," Vincent said Thursday, adding that in 10 years of working in the region he has never seen such a dramatic loss of sea ice.

"This is a piece of Canadian geography that no longer exists."

The collapse was so powerful that earthquake monitors 250 kilometres away picked up tremors from it.

Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor.

"We think this incident is consistent with global climate change," Vincent said, adding that the remaining ice shelves are 90 per cent smaller than when they were first discovered in 1906.

"We aren't able to connect all of the dots, but unusually warm temperatures definitely played a major role."

The ice shelf actually broke up 16 months ago, but no one witnessed the dramatic event.

Laurie Weir, who monitors ice conditions for the Canadian Ice Service, was poring over satellite images when she noticed that the shelf had split and separated.

Weir notified Luke Copland, head of the new global ice lab at the University of Ottawa, who initiated an effort to find out what happened.

Using U.S. and Canadian satellite images, as well as data from seismic monitors, Copland discovered that the ice shelf collapsed in the early afternoon of Aug. 13, 2005.

"These ice shelves can break up really quickly, perhaps more quickly than we thought they could do in the past," he said.

"Within an hour we could see this entire ice chunk just disconnect and float away."

Within days, the floating ice shelf had drifted a few kilometres offshore. It travelled west for 50 kilometres until it finally froze into the sea ice in the early winter.

Derek Mueller, a polar researcher with Vincent's team, saw that Ellesmere's Ward Hunt Ice Shelf had cracked in half in 2002. He also saw that sea ice, which creates a buffer zone around ice shelves, was approaching lower and lower levels.

"These ice shelves get weaker and weaker as the temperature rises," he said.

"And the summer of 2005 had a combination of high temperatures and strong winds that probably blew the sea ice away, making this ice shelf much more vulnerable."

The Ayles Ice Shelf, roughly 66 square kilometres in area, was one of six major ice shelves remaining in Canada's Arctic.

They are packed with ancient ice that dates back over 3000 years, and scientists like Vincent treat their loss as a sign that the global climate is crossing an unprecedented threshold.

"We're seeing the tragic loss of unique features of the Canadian landscape," he said.

"There are microscopic organisms and entire ecosystems associated with this ice, so we're losing a part of Canada's natural richness."

Meanwhile, the spring thaw may bring another concern as the warming temperatures could release the ice shelf from its Arctic grip.

Prevailing winds could then send the ice island southwards, deep into the Beaufort Sea.

"Over the next few years this ice island could drift into populated shipping routes," Weir said.

"There's significant oil and gas development in this region as well, so we'll have to keep monitoring its location over the next few years."

Informant: NHNE


Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Go Green

Laurie David, who produced Al Gore's documentary about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," says saving the planet isn't about everyone doing everything: "It's about everyone doing something."

Atomares Wettrüsten

Die vielen Tests von Trägerraketen für Atomwaffen in diesem Jahr, die von acht Ländern durchgeführt wurden, weisen auf zunehmende Instabilität hin.

Die neue Angst vor afghanischem Heroin: pur und todbringend

Elektrizität, Wärme und Wasser für alle

End the use of Sow Stalls

This is so sad!

Deadline is 1/2/07, and only 370 signatures!

Please sign for these mother pigs,who are enduring unimaginable suffering,and forward and crosspost. Please!

US Government Pressures Banks to Stop Dealing With Iran

Dozens of banks have stopped or scaled back their businesses with Iran and other "rogue states" after informal pressure from the US government aimed at sidestepping the need for international sanctions.

Ex-Gitmo Detainee Held Again After Book Critical of Pakistan

In his chronicle of life as an inmate at Guantanamo Bay, Afghan writer Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost describes his three years of humiliating detention for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. Now, he has lost his liberty again - this time believed jailed by the Pakistani intelligence service for the book's fierce criticism of the agency's role in the US-led war on terrorist groups.

No More Victims Group Continues to Aid Iraqi Children

Ashley Severance writes about her experiences spearheading a medical relief project in Orlando. Due to her efforts and the assistance of No More Victims, a three-year-old, war-injured Iraqi child was spared a life of permanent blindness.

Memorization, Standardized Tests, and Official Policy

Jack Blatherwick writes: "Better we teach our children no answers - only questions and suspicions, courage and insight to detect official ideology. They will need wisdom beyond ours to rebuild our trusted position of leadership in a peaceful world - to restore environmental health to a wounded planet - and to redefine concepts like patriotism, democracy, and morality. They will need an extraordinary education, not short answers. Testing and retesting is no substitute for investment in education."

Prosperity's Potholes

Judith Bell writes: "Doubled and tripled up in cramped studios. Scrunched into uninsulated garages disingenuously dubbed 'family apartments.' Sneaking a few hours of sleep between shifts cleaning hotel rooms and slinging fast food. The realities of poverty in America are far from our minds as we primp for our neighbors' New Year's party or watch our kids play with their new Nintendo Wiis. The sobering truth just doesn't carve a place in polite conversations over celebratory champagne. But as a new report by the Brookings Institution shows, poverty is now increasingly a major problem on the brightly lit lanes of our nation's suburbs, not just in the urban areas. For the first time ever, there are now more people living in poverty in America's suburbs than in her cities."

Meat and the planet: cows, pigs and sheep environment's greatest threats?

"When you think about the growth of human population over the last century or so, it is all too easy to imagine it merely as an increase in the number of humans," writes the New York Times. "But as we multiply, so do all the things associated with us, including our livestock. With pigs and poultry, they form a critical part of our enormous biological footprint upon this planet."


The New Scientist
December 12, 2006

Cows, pigs and sheep: Environment's greatest threats?

By Catherine Brahic

Cows, pigs, sheep and poultry have been awarded the dubious honour of being among the world's greatest environmental threats, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The report, entitled Livestock's long shadow, says the livestock industry is degrading land, contributing to the greenhouse effect, polluting water resources, and destroying biodiversity. In summary, the sector is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale".

The authors say the demand for meat is expected to more than double by 2050 and therefore the environmental impact of production must be halved in order to avoid worsening the harmful impacts of the industry.

Perhaps the report's most striking finding is that the livestock sector accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions - more than transport, which emits 13.5%.

Entire cycle

The FAO's estimate of livestock emissions surpasses previous ones because this time researchers looked at the entire production cycle. This includes emissions generated by fertiliser and feed production, deforestation to open up pastures, manure management, and emissions from the livestock themselves and from transporting them and their feed.

Livestock require a lot of land, occupying 26% of Earth's ice-free land. Their pastures account for 70% of deforested areas in the Amazon, and their feed occupies one-third of global cropland.

Not only does deforestation increase greenhouse gas emissions by releasing carbon previously stored in trees, it is also a major driver in the loss of biodiversity. The report goes so far as to say that the livestock sector, which accounts for about 20% of terrestrial animal biomass, "may be a leading player in the reduction of biodiversity".

Livelihoods in livestock

Encouraging the global population to become vegans is not a viable solution, however. For starters, says the lead author of the FAO report, Henning Steinfeld, it is quite simply not an option for many of the one billion people whose livelihoods rely on livestock production.

Moreover, vegetable production is not devoid of environmental problems either. And recent studies have shown that global fish stocks are not sustainable at current levels of exploitation.

Steinfeld says the crux of the livestock problem is the sheer bulk of land the sector occupies: "We need to discourage indiscriminate deforestation for pasture, a large part of which takes place because of land speculation."

Convenient occupation

In the Amazon, where governments struggle to enforce legal systems, settlers occupy swathes of "no-man's land" and wait 15 years, after which time practice, though not law, dictates that they own the land. Using the land for pasture is simply a convenient tool to occupy the land, explains Steinfeld.

Ultimately, the authors argue, environmental services such as sustainably managed land and clean water, need to be given a price. "Most frequently, natural resources are free or underpriced, which leads to overexploitation and pollution," write the authors, concluding that "a top priority is to achieve prices and fees that reflect the full economic and environmental costs".

Steinfeld says negotiations of the next step of the Kyoto Protocol might be a good opportunity to do this.

Want to do something for the environment?
by Do not eat pigs.

[Do not eat dead pigs (bacon, ham, pork chops). Below is a piece from another list about Smithfield pigs. Read it! Jean]

The current, December 14, edition of Rolling Stone magazine includes a lengthy piece, by contributor Jeff Tietz, about Smithfield pork producers. It covers the conditions the animals are kept in, and the environmental impact. The article is headed, "BossHog" and sub-headed, "America's top pork producer churns out a sea of waste that has destroyed rivers, killed millions of fish and generated one of the largest fines in EPA history. Welcome to the dark side of the other white meat." (pg 89.)

The lead photo is of a huge pile of pig carcasses, with the caption, "Pork producers generate millions of tons of hog waste each year including millions of dead pigs."

The article opens: "Smithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pig processor in the world, killed 27 million hogs last year."

It tells us that hogs produce three times more excrement than humans do, and that "The best estimates put Smithfield total waste discharge at 26 million tons a year." We read, "So prodigious is its fecal waste, however, that if the company treated its effluvia as big-city governments do -- even if it came close to the same standard -- it would lose money."

It explains that the "pig shit" is so toxic because of the concentrated conditions the pigs are kept in:

"Smithfield's pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouselike barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around. Forty full grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens....

"The temperature inside hog houses is often hotter than ninety degrees. The air, saturated almost to the point of precipitation with gases from shit and chemicals, can be lethal to the pigs. Enormous exhaust fans run
24 hours a day... If they break down for any length of time, pigs start dying....

"Taken together, the immobility, poisonous air and terror of confinement badly damage the pigs' immune systems. They become susceptible to infection..."

So they are infused with antibiotics and doused with insecticides.

We read about the huge excrement holding pens, called lagoons, which often overflow: "Major floods have transferred entire counties into pig shit bayous."

The lagoons are so toxic, workers have been overcome by them and fallen in and drowned in pig shit.

The article tells us that according to the EPA, Smithfield dumps more toxic waste into the nation's water each year than all but three other industrial facilities in America. But, "The industry has long made generous campaign contributions to politicians responsible for regulating hog farms." We read, "In 1998 corporate hog farms in North Carolina spent $1 million to help defeat state legislators who wanted to clean up open-pit lagoons."

Tietz writes, "Studies have shown that lagoons emit hundreds of different volatile gases into the atmosphere, including ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. A single lagoon releases many millions of bacteria into the air per day, some resistant to human antibiotics."

With an environmentalist, he flies in a small plane over the Smithfield area, and watches as "several farmers spray their hog shit straight up into the air as a fine mist." He writes, "It looks like a public fountain. Lofted and atomized the shit is blown clear of the company's property. People who breathe the shit-infused air suffer from bronchitis, asthma, heart palpitations, headaches, diarrhea, nosebleeds and brain damage."

He writes that the ascending stench can nauseate pilots at 3,000 feet, and He goes into some detail about the suffering of people whose homes are down-wind of the farms. He visits a lagoon to take a good whiff, and writes that even as he thinks about the smell he fights an urge to vomit.

We read some specifics of Smithfield's environmental impact in North Carolina. In a span of four years its lagoons have spilled: "2 million gallons of shit into Cape Fear River, 1.5 million gallons into its Persimmon branch, one million gallons into the Trent River, and
200,000 gallons into Turkey Creek."

The waste kills plants and animals outright and also consumes available oxygen and suffocates fish. We read about various disastrous spills. For example: "The biggest spill in the history of corporate hog farming happened in 1995. The dike of a 120,000 square foot lagoon owned by a Smithfield competitor ruptured, releasing 25.8 million gallons of effluvium into the headwaters of the New River in North Carolina. It was the biggest environmental spill in United States history, more than twice as big as the Exxon Valdez oil spill six years earlier. The sludge was so toxic, it burned your skin if you touched it, and so dense it took almost two months to make its way sixteen miles downstream to the ocean. From the headwaters to the sea, every creature living in the river was killed. Fish died by the millions."

He describes dead fish covering the riverbanks, and the article includes a shocking photo of that phenomenon.

Please share this with everyone you know!

Informant: Scott Munson

Farmers and Conservationists Form a Rare Alliance

The standoff here between farmers and environmentalists was familiar in the modern West. With salmon and wildlife dwindling in the Skagit River Delta, some environmentalists had argued since the 1980s that local farms should be turned back into wetlands. Farmers here feared that preachy outsiders would strip them of their land and heritage. This year, though, the standoff ended - at least for three longtime farmers in this fertile valley, who began collaborating with their former enemies to preserve wildlife and their livelihoods.

Two Timber Firms Pretending to Be "Green," Groups Allege

Two of the nation's largest timber companies, Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek Timber, have polished their public images for years by participating in a program that certifies that their logging is environmentally friendly. But in separate challenges this month from the far corners of the United States, environmental groups in Washington state and in Maine are accusing Weyerhaeuser Corporation and Plum Creek Timber of using the forest industry's green-labeling program as a cover while they log in ways that harm endangered spotted owls in Washington and violate forestry laws in Maine.

Somalia: Tragedy and Opportunity

"The tragedy unfolding in Somalia has the potential to destroy thousands of innocent lives and livelihoods," remarks Michael McClennen. "At the same time, it holds within it the seeds of international peace. We must urgently decide which side of the conflict to support, and our decision may well have immense repercussions for international relations in the 21st century."

UN Envoy Calls Somalia Situation Grim

The conflict between Somalia's transitional government and Islamic militants has escalated dangerously, as Islamist leaders threaten a "holy war" against advancing government troops and allied Ethiopian forces, a UN special envoy told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Tell Congress: Stop Funding War, Start Investigations

Stop Bushing the envelope

The American Spectator
by Jeremy Lott


Bush's half-hearted attempts to control spending have been laughable. The financial hit of September 11 temporarily reversed government surpluses but increases in both defense and domestic spending brought back dreaded structural deficits. Americans hate deficits and the president could have appealed to this revulsion to get Congress to spend less. By vetoing a few bills, he would have told Congress he was serious about spending -- and told the American people he was willing to stand up to big spenders, regardless of party. Instead, Bush tried to talk Congress into spending what he considered the 'just right' amount, and then signed every huge spending bill that crossed his desk...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Great Game on a razor's edge

Asia Times
by M K Bhadrakumar


Over the past year, it has become clear that the US will not be able to become the single dominant power in Central Asia and thereby control oil and gas and their transportation routes. Russia and China have together put up dikes delimiting US influence, though they are far from being a tight couple. The death of Turkmenistan's president Saparmurat Niyazov, however, could dramatically shift the center of gravity of the Great Game...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Our Next Big Mess

By Ted Rall

Chances are that you heard more about Rosie O'Donnell's flame war with Donald Trump than the passing of Sapamurat "Turkmenbashi" Niyazov. As seems to occur with increasing frequency, America's media ignored the most important story of the year.

World's biggest employer bankrupt

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Biden wants Rice to testify on Iraq policy



Sen. Joseph Biden, the incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he has invited Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to testify during three weeks of hearings in January about the Iraq war. Biden, a Delaware Democrat, told reporters Tuesday that the proponents of different plans for Iraq will be invited to the hearings that are to begin on January 9. He also will call former secretaries of state, academics, Iraq Study Group members and other witnesses from outside the administration as the committee examines various approaches to the war...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Stress of Violence Leads to More Suicides

The number of suicides in war-ravaged Iraq is increasing due to psychological stress caused by relentless violence, medical experts said. "We see more cases of suicide each month and all evidence shows that the main reason for the suicides has been the stress and pressure caused by the continuing violence," said Dr. Muhammad Hamza, a specialist in suicide medical investigation at the Ministry of Health. Hamza said that he found that 70 percent of suicide victims chose to poison themselves using rat and cockroach poison. Others either shot or hanged themselves. "Some of them leave letters to their parents and the most common excuse given for their act is that they can no longer bear the violence," Hamza said.

3000 Deaths Too Many

Join CODEPINK and many others in a national march on Washington, D.C., on Saturday, January 27

Why we must fight plan for new TETRA mast

Will this proposed planning application, now at consultation stage, cause uproar in Bognor Regis or will it simmer and die? We shall see as it progresses.

A TETRA mast was removed from the centre of Bognor in May 2004 and in excess of 200 people gradually recovered until two more TETRA masts were put up in neighbouring areas. One at Felpham secretly and a temporary one at Church Norton.

See attachment of two letters in the Bognor Observer today



LA TIMES - President Bush quietly appointed television sitcom producer Warren Bell to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting this week, overriding opposition from public broadcasting advocates who fear the outspoken conservative will politicize the post. Bell's nomination had been stalled since September because of concerns about his qualifications among several members of the Senate Commerce Committee, which must approve nominees to the board of the CPB, the private nonprofit that distributes federal funds to public television and radio stations.

But Bush was able to circumvent the need for Senate approval by naming Bell to the board as a recess appointee. His term will last about a year, unless a permanent nominee for the seat is confirmed before then.

. .

As a contributor to the online edition of the National Review, Bell has made no secret of his political views, writing in one piece that he is "thoroughly conservative in ways that strike horror into the hearts of my Hollywood colleagues."

His comments alarmed some public broadcasting advocates, who worry he would plunge the system back into the kind of rancorous debate that erupted last year when Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, then chairman of the CPB board, sought to promote more conservatives in the system. Tomlinson resigned last fall after an internal investigation concluded his actions broke federal law.,1,1016415.story?coll=la-headlines-politics

Informant: bigraccoon

Hacker basteln sich Big Brother,1518,456792,00.html

Überwachung: Gruseln beim Chaos Congress

Bees dying and vanishing in many countries

Bees and GM-crops: Is this the lethal combination?

Wild Bees Reject Genetically Engineered Crop--Potential Major Impact on Pollination

* Ecological Society of America, Dec 23, 2006

From Ecological Society of America Referring to a Sept. 2004 peer-reviewed article

Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada

Abstract. The ecological impacts of agriculture are of concern, especially with genetically modified and other intensive, modern cropping systems, yet little is known about effects on wild bee populations and subsequent implications for pollination. Pollination deficit (the difference between potential and actual pollination) and bee abundance were measured in organic, conventional, and herbicide-resistant, genetically modified (GM) canola fields (Brassica napus and B. rapa) in northern Alberta, Canada, in the summer of 2002.

Bee abundance data were collected using pan traps and standardized sweep netting, and pollination deficit was assessed by comparing the number of seeds per fruit from open-pollinated and supplementally pollinated flowers. There was no pollination deficit in organic fields, a moderate pollination deficit in conventional fields, and the greatest pollination deficit in GM fields. Bee abundance was greatest in organic fields, followed by conventional fields, and lowest in GM fields. Overall, there was a strong, positive relationship between bee abundance at sampling locations and reduced pollination deficits. Seed set in B. napus increased with greater bee abundance. Because B. rapa is an obligate outcrossing species, the lack of pollination deficit in the organic (B. rapa) fields likely was due to the high bee abundance rather than a lower dependence of B. rapa on pollinators than B. napus canola. Our study illustrates the importance of wild bees to agricultural production and suggests that some agroecosystems may better sustain wild bee abundance, resulting in greater seed production.

Further research on why some cropping systems, such as genetically modified, herbicide-resistant canola, have low wild bee abundance would be useful for management of agroecosystems to promote sustainability of food production. Key words: agriculture; bees; Brassica rapa; Brassica napus; canola; conventional; genetically modified; organic; pollination; sustainable development.

Manuscript received 3 September 2003; revised 3 September 2004; accepted 8 September 2004. Corresponding Editor: C. R. Linder © Copyright by Ecological Society of America 2005

Informant: binstock


Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous.


Bees and GM-crops: Is this the lethal combination?
Olle Johanssonn wrote:

Dear All,

Yet another important theory:

Best regards

Olle Johansson, assoc. prof.
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm

Dear Olle, Dear All,

Thanks for your message & attachments. Well, sure there is a lot of explanations on those articles. They just forgot to say that maybe the fault is because the sky is blue (well, less with all those airplanes...) or the water is liquid... Sorry, just joking ! More seriously, if we consider the Koblenz study and the one in the attached file untitled: Cell death induced by GSM 900-MHz and DCS 1800-MHz mobile telephony radiation? by Dimitris J. Panagopoulos & col. [ ]we should reach the same conclusion. That means that we all die soon, from the bottom to the top of the chain. Ostrich (which could be the symbol of all our politicians) will die in blindness. But how humans will support his own disappearance ? Take care !

Best Regards

Philippe Hug
Chairman of ARA CP 17
CH 1454 L'Auberson

Dear Philippe,

"But how humans will support his own disappearance ?" That is exactly the question I have been asking myself for the last 30 years!

Best regards
Olle Johansson, assoc. prof.
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm

Hi All,

Der Spiegel International Article - Are GM crops killing bees - is attached.,1518,473166,00.html

Best regards,

Hi Margaret, Hi All !

It's seems that the Koblenz study is unknown, so I sent it to you in attached file.

This study shows that a simple DECT phone under a beehive has a catastrophic result! We all have to rouse every people about that! Regarding the article in the Spiegel, I conclude that all around the world, people are not looking in the right direction, because they are looking either for chemical causes or GM cause. If GM is largely spread in USA, it is not the case in Germany (0,06 %), nor in Switzerland and France where the bees problematic is the same. And chemical are less employed. We just have to stop EMF. Quick! One year more and it will be too late! If people don't care about their own health, maybe they will about bees and consequently the humanity! I suggest we all have to think about a letter we have to write and send to our mutual Government, with a copy to the media! Mayday, mayday, mayday! Please do some!

Best Regards.
Philippe Hug

Re: Der Spiegel International Article - Are GM crops killing bees

Dear Don, Dear All !

Unfortunately, I haven't an English version of the study and I only have a pdf version of it. Nevertheless, I can give you this abstract:

2 beehives were not exposed and 2 beehives were exposed with a DECT phone. They catch 25 bees in all beehives and released them 800 meters away. On the non exposed beehives, 16 & 17 bees came back after respectively 28 & 32 minutes. On the exposed ones, only 6 came back after 38 minutes and the other beehive were totally deserted ! An other fact is that on the exposed beehives, there were 21 % less of cells construction in the frames of the beehive after 9 days. Unfortunately, there is no explanation. Just FACTS ! Do we really have to wait to get the formal evidence? In Science, nothing is never proved. That the accumulation of studies and evidences who could reach something plausible or possible. But do we really have the time to wait for a confirmation of the Science which can take several years before acting, if the humanity disappear before the results ???

Be the way, if somebody understand German (I do not), he can visit this website:
[English machine translation under: ]

Keeping bees seems not possible at 2000 uW/m2, it means 0,87 V/m.

We all know that bees are one of the best kind of bio-indicator. If they disappear, the humanity will follow in the 4 or 5 years. Isn't it wonderful? WE HAVE TO ACT NOW! ANYBODY OWNING A MOBILE PHONE HAS TO CANCEL IT ! NOW ! Again, I repeat: Mayday, mayday, mayday... Please do some !

Philippe Hug
Chairman of ARA Switzerland

RE: Der Spiegel International Article - Are GM crops killing bees

We already have the Koblenz study and Dr. Warnke promised to give me the phone numbers of the researchers. I have to speak to them asap. I am in total agreement with Philippe Hug. The bees need to be our priority. I have seen this coming for quite some years now and everyone laughed at me when I voiced my fears regarding the bees and the birds. It now seems that my nightmare is coming true. Let's not be mislead by reports of other possible causes. I am alerting UK government ministers and defra. We all must do our best to alert the media and our government representatives, otherwise Einstein's prediction will come true and mankind will only have four years left after the demise of the honey bee.


Re: Der Spiegel International Article - Are GM crops killing bees

Dear Philippe, Don and All: Philippe makes the point re "the facts" surrounding close exposure to DECT phone in the same way I have been emphasizing for years (and Olle has been trying to obtain funding for....) -- that we must inform the public of dangers of EMF exposures that are close to one's body before common sense can be applied to the more distant exposures!!!

We should be asking for what reason did the American Cancer Society send me a copy of the "USA Today" article back in 1993 when I made a query as to whether they had any information on EMF's. The file number on this item clearly indicates the American Cancer Society considered EMF's due to electrical appliances close to beds as "radiation."

I am preparing another email re the bees and EMF exposures........ Take care - Joanne

Joanne C. Mueller
Guinea Pigs R Us
731 - 123rd Avenue N.W.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55448-2127 USA
Phone: 763-755-6114
Email: jcmpelican (3-28-07)

All truth goes through three stages: first it is ridiculed:
then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

RE: bees

Dear all,...this is my rough/quick content of the Koblenz study translated.

If I am wrong somewhere, please correct me.

Hans Karow.

Content of Koblenz study:

It's a pilot study and they found differences between the radiated and non-radiated bee hives with regards of (filled)honeycombs’ weight, and time of bee’s return flights to the hive, both cases have been illustrated in the figures.

Re honeycomb weight: a difference of 21.1 % less with the radiated bee hives.

Re: return to the bee hive: numbers of returning non-radiated bees are definitely higher compared to radiated bees;

Return flight-time of radiated bees is definitely longer than compared to non-radiated bees.

That's roughly what the study says.

At the end of that paper they suggest variation/recommendations for future studies.

Re: Der Spiegel International Article - Are GM crops killing bees

Inverter....EMF problems in mountainous forests of Arizona..... heat, stress, etc.

Re: bees

Electric and magnetic fields ---
6.4 Bees

6.4.1 It is clear that the electric fields created by transmission lines do affect the health and mortality of honey bees inside wooden hives(9). The most likely explanation for this is that the bees receive small, but frequent, shocks from the currents induced in the hives. If a hive is placed near transmission lines, this adverse effect can be mitigated by screening the hive. No-one who made a sub-mission to the Inquiry suggested that he or she wished to keep hives on or near to a transmission line easement and the adverse effect of the lines on bees in hives does not appear to create any practical problems.

Informant: Joanne C. Mueller


Re: Bees and GM-crops: Is this the lethal combination?

Hi All

In relation to

All these theories reminds me of the poem "The Blind Men and the Elephant" by American poet John Godfrey Saxe.

We all are taking a blind stab at what we think is the bee killer based on our particular experiences or interest. Perhaps "all of the above" is the right answer but I think the microwave factor should be right up there with the other main contenders. There is some good research that could be done here but as Professor Kaatz said in the first article. "Those who have the money are not interested in this sort of research, and those who are interested don't have the money."

Sound familiar?

Anyone know if a new wireless system was rolled out in the US around November last year?

Don Maisch

Excellent comment, dear Don, so very true! Particular the part by Professor Kaatz: "Those who have the money are not interested in this sort of research, and those who are interested don't have the money."

Best regards
Olle Johansson, assoc. prof.
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm

With regard to the bees issue, two points to add:

* Our work suggests that the informations carrying radio waves would disrupt intercellular communication in the bees and cause them to become spatially disoriented. Thus, no way home to the hive and certain death.

* Regarding Don's question about any new rollout in the U.S., we do know that for the past two years, there has been a very rapid increase in the density of satellite radio repeaters installed throughout North America. It seems to be under the FCC's radar screen -- I suppose that is no surprise. Although not the same frequencies as mobile phones, there are wave patterns within that technolgoy that are in the range that would trigger adverese cell membrane reactions.

Dr. George L. Carlo
Science and Public Policy Institute
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW -- 7th Floor Washington, D.C. 20004

Re: Bees and GM-crops: Is this the lethal combination?

Very interesting, dear Robert! Will this moving be followed in the future by humans seeking similar shelter...?

Olle Johansson, assoc. prof.
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm


Are genetically modified crops a cause of disappearing bees?

Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news



A "sharp decline" in the U.S. population of honey bees is examined in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

"This phenomenon first became apparent among commercial migratory beekeepers along the East Coast during the last few months of 2006, and has since been reported nationwide," the CRS report said.

Various potential causes have been postulated, including parasites, pathogens, chemical contaminants, poor nutrition, and "stress."

The declining bee population is the subject of a hearing today before the House Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture.

See "Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines," Congressional Research Service, March 26, 2007:


And where are the bees?

Informant: Alfonso Balmori


Bee disease also a threat to U.S. crops

Apiarists buzzing about soaring rate of honeybee deaths

What's happening to the bees?

Informant: binstock


Bees dying and vanishing in many countries

Bees: news reports

Bees and GM-crops: Is this the lethal combination?


A little more info on what may be making the bees disappear...High Fructose Corn Syrup!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Posted by Jim Hightower

Listen to this Commentary

Bees are dying. Dying all across America. Lots and lots of bees.

Starting in Florida last fall, the great bee die-off has spread to 24 states. Whole colonies are dying. In Western states, commercial beekeepers report up to a 60 percent loss of their bees, with losses 70 percent in Texas and on the East Coast. It's unprecedented.

Who cares? Well, few people realize that many of America’s food crops – from almonds to watermelon – rely heavily on commercial honeybees for pollination. No bees, no fruit. One study finds that these bees pollinate every third bite of food that we consume.

Another little known fact is that bee pollination is increasingly a highly concentrated industry. Rather than a dispersed system of local hives, a few commercial operators now haul tens of billions of bees from coast to coast, trucking their hives in 18-wheelers.

"Colony Collapse Disorder," as it's now called, could be the result of this industrialized model of pollination. First, the bees themselves have been bred into single-purpose super-pollinators, rather than bees with multiple functions (make honey, feed the queen, maintain the hives, and extend the species). The industrial bees have lost the diversity and natural traits of wild bees.

Second, constant trucking puts stress on the bees, suppressing their immune systems and making them vulnerable to viruses, mites, and diseases. Also as part of their forced migration, the bees are fed a limited diet of high fructose corn syrup – about as healthy as humans trying to live on Cokes. Other research is indicting certain pesticides and genetically altered organisms that have been artificially spliced into many field crops.

This is Jim Hightower saying... Once again, we have the heavy hand of mankind messing with Mother Nature in ways that come back to mess with us – big time. It's not just bees these food industrialists are messing with – it's our food supply.

"Honeybees, Gone With the Wind, Leave Crops and Keeprs in Peril," New York Times, February 27, 2007

"What's Happening to the Bees?", April 5, 2007

Informant: Bob Banner

World's `Worst' Visa System Scares Business Away From the U.S.

For growing numbers of international business travelers, visa and customs regulations are making trips to the U.S. a thing of the past.

From Information Clearing House

Dollar Declines on Speculation U.S. Consumer Confidence Dropped

The dollar had its biggest drop this month against the yen on speculation waning consumer confidence in the U.S. will increase the likelihood for a cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve in the first quarter.

U.S. Recession Ahead, Researcher Forecasts

The United States will slide into a "systemic recession" influenced by high consumer debt and low incomes in 2007, a leading trends researcher predicted.

Homeowners' losses are others' gains

Profits from defaulted loans are soaring as lawyers, listing agents, property managers, investors and auctioneers get a piece of the pie.

From Information Clearing House

Climate change at crisis level

The United States produces about one-fourth of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, yet we're the only major nation that officially denies there's a problem. This is the year for all of us -- government, business, individuals -- to aggressively attack global warming.

From Information Clearing House

The Good Shepherd": When Patriotism Murders Humanity

I heard one reviewer describe the film as an attempt to “take on” the CIA, yet I came away on the one hand in awe of its psychological depiction of Edward Wilson, but also aware of the film’s paucity of information regarding the agency’s sordid machinations before, during, and after the Cold War.

Absence of US diplomacy blamed for Somalia 'flare-up"

US support for Ethiopia's incursion into Somalia highlights another failure by Washington to use diplomacy rather than military might in dealing with Islamist threats to its moderate allies, analysts say.

From Information Clearing House

The renewed US campaign about the Iran nuclear issue camouflages a struggle for the domination of the Gulf and the Middle East region

War pimp alert: U.S. says evidence links Iran military to plots in Iraq

The U.S. military said it had credible evidence linking Iranians and their Iraqi associates, detained here in raids last week, to criminal activities, including attacks against U.S. forces.

The gathering Gulf storm

One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the renewed US campaign about the Iran nuclear issue camouflages a struggle for the domination of the Gulf and the Middle East region that set the tempo of the Cold War in the last century and will significantly determine the contours of the world order struggling to be born.

Iran summons UK ambassador over Blair remarks

Iran summoned Britain's ambassador in Tehran to its foreign ministry to hear its "strong objections" to British Prime Minister Tony Blair's claim that the Islamic republic poses a threat to the region.

From Information Clearing House

Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.,,2087-1650822,00.html

The real menace

The public, seeing through the tissue of Bush administration lies told to justify an invasion that never had anything to do with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 or weapons of mass destruction, now has begun a national questioning: Why are we still in Iraq?

From Information Clearing House

The execution of Saddam Hussein

Electronic Iraq is covering the global response to the Saddam Hussein hanging. Visit eIraq to hear from human rights organizations, journalists, Iraqi bloggers and more.

A full index of our coverage of Saddam Hussein's hanging, including frequently updated news headlines, can be found here:

Don't miss John Collins' analysis of the mainstream media's handling of the Saddam Hussein hanging. "Reading and watching the kind of mainstream coverage provided by CNN and the New York Times during the last 48 hours," Collins writes, "one could be forgiven for believing that the relationship between Saddam and the U.S. had always been one of enmity and violence. Yet as Juan Cole and others have tirelessly pointed out, the U.S. government began 'enabling' Saddam as early as 1959 when the CIA enlisted his help in undermining the government of Abdul Karim Qasim."

Our coverage of the global response to the Hussein hanging continues today with a piece by Hasan Abu Nimah, former Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations.

"Many truths which the world deserved to know have perished forever with that savage execution," writes Abu Nimah. "Yet, even if Saddam's trial had been impeccably handled, the fundamental principle of justice is equality before the law. Such "justice" has no chance of winning over the masses in this region when they observe that punishment is so swift and brutal when the accused is an Arab, Muslim head of state, while other accused former leaders, like Slobodan Milosevic, receive elaborate trials in The Hague."

And Thalif Deen reports: "The swirling controversy over the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is threatening to trigger a backlash at the United Nations. Italy, which has condemned the death penalty as "barbaric", is trying to bring the issue before a sharply divided world body by calling for a "universal moratorium" on capital punishment. If Italy -- which became a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council on Jan. 1 and will hold office during 2007-2008 -- decides to take the initiative, a resolution on the proposed moratorium could go before the 192-member General Assembly."


Saddam Hussein's Baath party threatens to retaliate if their leader is executed

Saddam Hussein's Baath Party threatened Wednesday to retaliate if the ousted Iraqi leader is executed, warning in an Internet posting it would target U.S. interests anywhere.

Reverse Decision to Execute Saddam

The Iraqi government should not implement the death sentence against Saddam Hussein, which was imposed after a deeply flawed trial for crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today.

Saddam's Death To Be Videotaped

The date of the deposed dictator's execution will not be made public, to avoid possible unrest from Saddam's supporters, but everything from the signing of the final orders by the judge, to the hanging itself will be recorded.

Hussein is “a prisoner of war”, says chief lawyer

Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer implored world leaders on Thursday to prevent the United States from handing over the ousted leader to Iraqi authorities for execution, saying he should enjoy protection from his enemies as a “prisoner of war.”

Saddam's Hanging Verdict Is Illegal And Unjust

Are we now going to compound our illegal preemptive attack and occupation of Iraq, where we set up and implemented a U.S. controlled coalition government, where we stage managed a flawed election and judicial system and where we now have condoned the hanging of this sovereign country's leader after a mock U.S. managed monkey trial ?

The trials of occupation

Executing Saddam will not bring peace to Iraq. That can only come when US forces leave

By Burhan al-Chalabi

The US and its allies should apologise to the Iraqi people for the suffering the war has caused. It should offer compensation based on criteria used in Kuwait after the first Gulf war. Under the auspices of the UN, it must end the occupation and hand over power to a sovereign Iraqi government mandated to respect human rights.

The Black Bull died today

By Mirza Yawar Baig

Are we, the people of the world saying that it is the right of America or anyone with the power to do so, to take by force what they want from whoever they want? Are we, the people of the world, saying that it is the right of the rapist to rape? Are we, the people of the world, saying that it is the right of the bandit or the highway robber to hold you up and take from you what he wishes by force? Because in my opinion, by remaining silent, that is exactly what we will be saying. You decide what you want to do. I have already made my decision..

And the Empire Mourned…

By Jason Miller

In the wake of the United States’ recent facilitation of Saddam Hussein’s hanging, we in the self-proclaimed “bastion of human rights” are in the midst of six days of mourning for a man would have swung from the gallows long ago had he been judged by the same standards as Saddam.

Video Shows Saddam at the gallows

Dec. 30 - Iraqi state television and Al Arabiya television have shown footage of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein being led to the gallows and a noose being placed around his neck.

Video - Saddam's body displayed on TV

Dec. 30 - Biladi, a Shi'ite-run channel in Iraq has showed Saddam Hussein's body lying with his neck twisted and with what appeared to be blood or a bruise on his left cheek.

3 Minute Video: Ramsey Clark reacts to the execution of Saddam Hussein

"A tragic assault on truth and justice"

Juan Cole: Saddam: The death of a dictator

Through the bumbling of the U.S.-backed regime, justice becomes revenge, and a despot becomes a martyr.

Saddam: The questions that will live on

"It takes remarkable obedience to authority to believe that the US would have 'liberated' Iraq - or taken revenge - if its main exports were lettuce and pickles, and the major petroleum resources were in the South Pacific."

Arab haj pilgrims outraged at Saddam execution

The death could harden hatred for Shi'ite Muslims in Saudi Arabia, a bastion of Sunni Islam whose Islamic orthodoxy -- known as Wahhabism -- regards Shi'ites as virtual heretics.

Hanging Saddam ‘barbaric’ says top EU official

Hanging former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was 'barbaric' and may turn him into a martyr, the European Union's aid and development Commissioner said.

Arabiya says Saddam half-brother, ex-judge executed

Arabic satellite channel Arabiya said Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and former judge Awad al-Bander were also executed by hanging on Saturday.

Libya declares national mourning for Saddam

LIBYA declared three days of national mourning today after the execution of Iraqi ex-president Saddam Hussein who had been a "prisoner of war," official media said.

Tariq Ali: Saddam at the End of a Rope

He takes his secrets to the grave: our complicity dies with him

By Robert Fisk

How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his 'enemies', equipped him for atrocities - and then made sure he wouldn't squeal.

Unofficial Video Of Saddam Hanging

Officials taunted Saddam on the gallows

After he falls through the trap, abruptly cut off in his recitation of the Muslim profession of faith, someone in the room cries "The tyrant has fallen!" and the film shows the 69-year-old former strongman swinging on the rope, his eyes open and his neck twisted at a 90-degree angle to his right.

3 Minute Video


Some viewers may find the video disturbing. It should only be watched by a mature audience.

Hold these grotesque executioners to account

By Iain Macwhirter

The execution of Saddam may have brought "closure" to the White House, but it left a bitter taste in the mouths of the rest of us. He was executed under the auspices of an Anglo-American occupation that has brought little but death and destruction to Iraq.

Selective Justice And The Execution Of Saddam Hussein

By Gregory Elich

It is impossible to avoid concluding that the trial of Saddam Hussein was little more than a case of selective justice, meant to provide post-justification for an invasion that was itself a grave violation of international law.

The Executioner's Face is Always Well Hidden

By Jerry Ghinelli

How Washington and London helped to create the monster they went to war to destroy

The dealings between the US and Saddam's Iraq over the quarter of a century before 2003 are a story of deceit, miscalculation and strategic blunders by both sides. And they began, as they would end, in the shadow of a common enemy: Iran.

Pledging revenge, hundreds flock to Saddam's tomb

In an outpouring of grief and anger from Saddam's fellow Sunni Arabs at the Shi'ite-led government that rushed through the execution, mourners knelt and prayed by the tomb in Awja over which the Iraqi flag had been draped.

'He is already history'

In this remarkable dispatch, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, one of the few journalists who can still move freely about Baghdad, watches the execution with Sunni insurgents,,1980557,00.html

Death of One Tyrant a Coverup of Crime by Another

Once again the barbarians have succeeded in professing human dignity while ignoring human life's sanctity. My thoughts are filled with disgust as the so called civilized world revels in the hanging of Saddam Hussein yesterday.

Victor's justice

The deliberate taking of a human life is a crime. It cannot be right, therefore, to punish a crime by committing another. Ultimately, nothing can resist the force of that argument and eventually the death penalty will be outlawed all over the world. But not, yet, in Iraq, or in most southern states of the US.

In Search of a Criminal

Donald Rumsfeld's Name Tops the List of Accused of War Crimes

A Lynching...

The Barbaric Lynching of Saddam Hussein

Conveniently Forgotten

By Tariq Ali

It was symbolic that 2006 ended with a colonial hanging - most of it shown on state television in occupied Iraq. It has been that sort of year in the Arab world. The trial was so blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch had to condemn it as a travesty.

The Conscience Of The Conqueror

The western anti war movement - the left boot of imperialism?

By Kola Odetola

The silence of the western antiwar movement on the lynching of Saddam Hussein is deafening and is increasingly beginning to prove what a lot of discerning people have suspected all along – that the mainstream anti-war movement (including large parts of its left wing) in the west is the well concealed left boot of western imperialism, the conscience of the conqueror.

Former Saddam judge says execution violates Iraqi law

The first chief judge who presided over Saddam Hussein's trial for crimes against humanity has said that the late dictator's execution by the Iraqi government was illegal.

Saddam's illegal execution is part of US war plan

When will the people stand trial who have used cluster bombs and white phosphorous against the Iraqi people; those who are guilty of the siege of Fallujah and Najjaf that bombed and starved these cities' population to death; those who are responsible for the anarchy and chaos the Iraqi people had to endure after the "liberation"?

Saddam tended birds and plants in jail, nurse says

Master Sergeant Robert Ellis was under orders to prevent the former Iraqi dictator from dying in US custody.

Did the U.S. Help Saddam Acquire Biological Weapons

It is hard to believe that, during most of the 1980s, America knowingly permitted the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission to import bacterial cultures that might be used to build biological weapons. But it happened. [Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) ]

'Illegal' Execution Enrages Arabs

Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

Saddam Hussein was hanged on what is held to be a day of mercy and feasting in the Islamic world. It is usually celebrated with the slaughter of a lamb, which represents the innocent blood of Ishmael, who was sacrificed by his father, the prophet Abraham, to honour God.

Angry Muslims slam Iraq, US for Saddam death

Muslims in their thousands, both inside and outside war-torn Iraq, have lashed out at the country's Shiite leaders as well as the United States for executing Saddam Hussein during one of Islam's holiest periods.

Saddam Hussein Hanged for the Wrong Reason

It was not the Iraqi government but its American masters that chose to execute Saddam Hussein in a great rush as soon as the first sentence was confirmed, thus canceling all the other trials on far graver charges that awaited him. The current Iraqi government had nothing to hide if those trials went ahead; the United States government did.

Short video explains the CIA's role in Saddams rise to power

Saddam: From monster to martyr?

How Bush and Blair's choices have led to disaster in Iraq, culminating in a chaotic execution that is fuelling civil war.

Reports Saddam executed by militia

An Iraqi official says the hanging was supposed to be carried out by hangmen employed by the Interior Ministry, but that militias infiltrated the executioners' team.

Moqtada al-Sadr may have been present at the execution of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein

"I saw al-Sadr wearing the black hoods inside the room – the eyewitness said – and there was also Abdulaziz al-Hakim [leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq – SCIRI]. They were among the six men wearing hoods that one can see in the images aired by the TV".

Guards did not even allow Saddam to sleep

Baghdad: In the middle of the night, hours after Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki signed the death warrant on Friday evening, Saddam Hussain was moved from US custody at Camp Cropper, near Baghdad airport, and handed to the Iraqi authorities.

Hussein: terrorist or terrorized?

SOMEONE has to say it: The hanging of Saddam Hussein was an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of President Bush's claim it was "an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy."

Hanging will haunt Bush

I am taken aback by the reaction in India to Saddam Hussein's hanging. The anger cuts across religious and political divides.

Saddam key in early CIA plot

While many have thought that Saddam first became involved with U.S. intelligence agencies at the start of the September 1980 Iran-Iraq war, his first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim.

The whole bloody thing was obscene

By Robert Fisk

The lynching of Saddam Hussein - for that is what we are talking about - will turn out to be one of the determining moments in the whole shameful crusade upon which the West embarked in March of 2003.

Crimes Against Humanity From Ford to Saddam

If we do not limit our analysis of Ford to his role as a U.S. "statesman," and instead examine his behavior through an internationalist lens similar to that employed to judge Saddam Hussein and concerned with crimes against humanity, we find that Ford, too, was responsible for mass murder-in East Timor.

The Unmentionable Hypocrisy: Hussein Hanged, Bush and Blair Remain in Power

By Sean M. Madden

Saddam Hussein was hanged a week ago, today, for executing 148 people. Yet, even by conservative estimates, George W. Bush and Tony Blair are responsible for hundreds, or thousands, of times more deaths due to their war of aggression — the supreme international crime — in Iraq.

A drop into the abyss

Saddam jailed me but his hanging was a crime. Iraq's misery is now far worse than under his rule.,,1982309,00.html

New leader with the $10m bounty

The 64-year-old fighter, stricken with leukaemia, who befriended Saddam as a young man, supposedly cried and read the Holy Koran when he heard that his comrade had been executed early Saturday morning, a senior Baath official said.,,7374-2530419,00.html

Body of Saddam in the Morgue


Warning - This video should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Fresh Saddam pictures 'released'

The new video reportedly shows the former Iraqi dictator with a gaping neck wound.

Saddam aides hanged
swissinfo [Switzerland]


Two of Saddam Hussein’s aides were hanged before dawn on Monday, the Iraqi government said. But despite its efforts to avoid the uproar that marred the execution of the former president two weeks ago, news that the noose ripped the head from Saddam’s cancer-stricken half-brother as he plunged from the gallows appalled international critics of the process and fuelled fury among Saddam’s fellow Sunni Arabs. … The hangings took place at 3 a.m. (midnight British time) at the same former secret police base where Saddam was hanged on December 30, an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said. Officials tried to impose a media blackout for some hours but word leaked out...

From Information Clearing House


An Imperfect Trial

Le Monde evaluates the trial and pending execution of Saddam Hussein.

The Rush to Hang Saddam Hussein

The New York Times writes: "Toppling Saddam Hussein did not automatically create a new and better Iraq. Executing him won't either."

Saddam Hussein Executed at US Base in Baghdad

Hussein was hung around 6 a.m. local time (10 p.m. Friday EST) in the American-controlled Green Zone in central Baghdad. Hussein was executed before a small group of observers.

A Dictator Created Then Destroyed by America

Robert Fisk revisits the circumstances that resulted in Saddam Hussein's rise to power, and asks, "Who encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in 1980, which was the greatest war crime he has committed for it led to the deaths of a million and a half souls? And who sold him the components for the chemical weapons with which he drenched Iran and the Kurds? We did. No wonder the Americans, who controlled Saddam's weird trial, forbad any mention of this, his most obscene atrocity, in the charges against him. Could he not have been handed over to the Iranians for sentencing for this massive war crime? Of course not. Because that would also expose our culpability."

An Execution Will Not Quell Iraq Violence

The Independent UK writes: "Saddam Hussein awaited his imminent end last night, sentenced to hang for crimes against humanity. His last hours were punctuated by the necessary rituals: the signature on the death warrant from Iraq's Prime Minister; the leave-taking from his closest relatives; the handover of his last will and testament, the release of a valedictory letter to Iraqis, and, at the last, his transfer from US into Iraqi custody, so that his own people could do the deed. That the US and British invasion of Iraq would entail the death of Saddam Hussein had a grim inevitability."

On the Gallows, Curses for US and "Traitors"

The final hour of Iraq's former ruler began about 5 a.m., when American troops escorted him from Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad airport, to Camp Justice, another American base at the heart of the city. Two American helicopters flew 14 witnesses from the Green Zone to the execution site - a former headquarters of the Istikhbarat, the deposed government's much feared military intelligence outfit, now inside the American base.

History of Bushes and Hussein Is Hard to Ignore

The history of animosity between the Bushes and Hussein is hard to ignore. The relationship actually began as one of pragmatic friendship in the 1980s, when Hussein was at war with the main US enemy in the region, Iran, and George H.W. Bush was vice president in an administration that offered him help. A 1992 New Yorker article suggested that Bush, through Arab intermediaries, advised Hussein to intensify the bombing of Iran. Hussein soon became too much to handle.

Hussein the Rabbit

"My cell phone has been buzzing with regularity all day, alerting me to the arrival of text messages from my conservative friends. 'Saddam is dead woohoo' reads the latest one, and that pretty much describes all the others. Somehow, a lot of people are finding meaning or gratification in the fact that Hussein met his fate at the end of a rope Saturday morning. I just can't get there," says William Rivers Pitt.

Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness

"Like a blue-blood version of a Mob family with global reach, the Bushes have eliminated one more key witness to the important historical events that led the US military into a bloody stalemate in Iraq and pushed the Middle East to the brink of calamity," writes Robert Parry. "The hanging of Saddam Hussein was supposed to be - as the New York Times observed - the 'triumphal bookend' to George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. But now with nearly 3,000 American soldiers killed and the Iraqi death toll exceeding 600,000 by some estimates, Bush may be forced to savor the image of Hussein dangling at the end of a rope a little more privately."

Timing of Saddam Execution Risks Arab Backlash: Analysts

Images of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein being led to the gallows on one of Islam's most important feast days risk further alienating public opinion in an Arab world already bristling at perceived Western insensitivity, analysts have warned. Even the West's leading Middle East allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, publicly spoke out against the choice of the first day of the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice to put Saddam to death.

Puppet Kills Puppet

Truthout Executive Director Marc Ash examines the hypocrisy that led the US to prop up Saddam Hussein in the early 1980s, writing that "as long as Saddam obediently protected and facilitated the economic and territorial interests of the American (and European) colonialists who backed him, his ruthlessness was their profit, and clearly tolerable."

Sunni Grief, Anger Flow at Funeral

A video of Saddam Hussein's execution, which appears to have been recorded with a cellphone, showed onlookers taunting Hussein with chants of "Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada!" - a reference to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr, whose Al Mahdi militia is accused of hunting down Sunni Arabs and killing them. As the trapdoor snapped open beneath Hussein, some in attendance cheered, "The tyrant has fallen!" The shocking spectacle appeared to deepen the deadly sectarian divide between Sunnis and the Shiite majority that now leads Iraq's government.

Saddam Video Inquiry Promised

Hundreds of Sunni Arabs gathered to show their anger and grief for Saddam Hussein on Tuesday as the Iraqi government promised an investigation into illicitly filmed footage of Shiite officials taunting him on the gallows.

An Unbelievable Gift

Laurent Joffrin wonders why the US and Iraqi governments gave Saddam the unbelievable gift of martyrdom ...

Saddam Hussein's Execution Is a Mistake

France's interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy - a sort of combined attorney general and head of the Department of Homeland Security and Intelligence - and a clear favorite to win the ruling UMP center-right party's nomination as presidential candidate in the 2007 elections, comments on the Saddam Hussein execution.

Egyptian President Mubarak Slams Hussein Execution
Saddam Hussein was made into "a martyr" by the manner of his execution, the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, warned today, saying he had urged Washington not to hang him during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Images of Hanging Make Hussein a Martyr to Many

In the week since Saddam Hussein was hanged in an execution steeped in sectarian overtones, his public image in the Arab world, formerly that of a convicted dictator, has undergone a resurgence of admiration and awe. At the heart of the sudden reversal of opinion was the symbolism of the hasty execution, now framed as an act of sectarian vengeance shrouded in political theater and overseen by the American occupation.

The Timely Death of Gerald Ford

"The very strange and very long Gerald Ford funeral marathon was about many things, but Gerald Ford wasn't always paramount among them," says Frank Rich. "Forty percent of today's American population was not alive during the Ford presidency. Despite the lachrymose logorrhea of television anchors and the somber musical fanfares, the country was less likely to be found in deep mourning than in deep football. It's a safe bet that the Ford funeral attracted far fewer viewers than the most consequential death video of the New Year's weekend, the lynching of Saddam Hussein. But those two deaths were inextricably related."


The execution of Saddam Hussein

Informant: SIUHIN


The misguided execution of Saddam Hussein

Informant: Henry D.


Hanging Saddam

Informant: Jennifer Van Bergen

Saddam execution insulted 'the entire Muslim community'

Comment on Saddam's execution

Sunni protests 'building' in aftermath of Saddam's
humiliating death


Informant: jensenmk

Saddam's illegal execution is part of US war plan

Informant: Dave

From: ufpj-news


‘I Saw Fear, He Was Afraid’

Informant: rafeswhiterose


Iraq's Shallow Justice

Saddam Execution Set to Destabilize Iraq Further

Enraged Sunnis Protest Saddam Spectacle

Saddam's Demise, Like His Rule, Was a Travesty of Justice

A Monster of Our Creation

The Fatal Hazing of a Dictator

US-Ordered Rush Job

Blair Fails to Condemn Hanging as Bush Ducks the Question

A Question of Justice

Hanging 'Makes Martyr of Saddam'


With the hasty exekution Husseins one covers much


Bush calls for Saddam execution


Who's Guilty? The Fatal Handshake in Baghdad


Hang Times: A Whitewash of White House Complicity

US Buries Truth

CYA for the USA: The Coverup of Complicity Continues


Execution 'should not have happened on our holy day'


Ein zweites Video zeigt die ganze Hinrichtung Saddams

"See how Saddam Hussein was executed. He is peeing in his pants."

Saddams Exekution und das Video

Die inszenierte Exekution oder: Wollen wir Wirklichkeit oder eine gesäuberte Simulation?

Victor's revenge at last


Saddam: The death of a dictator
by Juan Cole


The body of Saddam, as it swung from the gallows at 6 a.m. Saturday Baghdad time, cast an ominous shadow over Iraq. The execution provoked intense questions about whether his trial was fair and about what the fallout will be. One thing is certain: The trial and execution of Saddam were about revenge, not justice. Instead of promoting national reconciliation, this act of revenge helped Saddam portray himself one last time as a symbol of Sunni Arab resistance, and became one more incitement to sectarian warfare...

"Gruesome" ... "Barbaric" ... "Politicized" ... "Farcical"

The Nation
by John Nichols


While much of U.S. media coverage of Saddam Hussein's execution has strained to echo the Bush administration's suggestion that 'justice' was done, the international reaction to the hurried hanging of the former dictator has recognized what one of the world's top experts on the Middle East refers to as the 'gruesome, occasionally farcical' nature of the process that led to the execution. 'It's tawdry,' Rosemary Hollis, the director of research at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London, said of the execution. 'It's not going to achieve anything because of the way the trial was conducted and the way the occupation was conducted. Life in Iraq has become so precarious that many people are saying it was safer under Saddam Hussein -- it makes the whole thing look like a poke in the eye as opposed to closure or some kind of contribution to the future of Iraq...

Appetite for destruction

by John Stanton


The two images from the Vietnam War and the photos and video of the hanging of Hussein capture in vivid detail the end results of strategies and tactics designed and executed by incompetent American leaders. Failure is everywhere in the stills and video. Failure to manage risk, failure to anticipate, failure to understand, failure to have compassion for human life, failure to accept change, failure to realize that perception is often not reality. Title, rank or advanced degree have never been a barrier to poor decision making or the maniacal drive for power to ensure a lasting place in world history. On what basis can one make such an outrageous claim?

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Saddam Hussein was lynched by one of the sectarian death squads that rule Iraq

Saddam's Death Squad Hanging


Saddam Execution: More Staged Propaganda


Saddam Hussein's Execution and the Iraq War

Informant: Cort Greene



Behind The Scenes Of Saddam Hussein's Execution

Informant: NHNE


What has long been a catastrophic tragedy is also now a horrific farce

The British occupation army's assault on its own police force in Basra confirms Iraq as a far greater disaster than Suez.,,329671150-103677,00.html

From Information Clearing House

A Look Back and Ahead In An Age of Neocon Rule

By Stephen Lendman

The US ranks 41st in infant mortality, and the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the country 37th in the world in "overall health performance" and 54th in the fairness of health care despite spending at a current level overall of around $2 trillion a year or about double the amount per capita of the OECD countries that deliver superior health care overall to their citizens as a national priority.

Freedom's prize in disturbing war


U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins' revelation Maher Arar is still considered a threat to his nation and is barred from entering it should be seen in the context of the Bush administration's rap sheet on abduction, torture, rendition, false imprisonment and kangaroo justice.

Will Bush Explain Why War Continues?

Informant: ranger116

Would You 'Support the Troops' in Bolivia?

Über das Wesen des Geldes

Nachricht von Ulrich Weiner

Save the desert-dwelling Yuma Puma from trophy hunters now!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to begin trophy hunting of mountain lions in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in western Arizona.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, cooperating with the Arizona Department of Game and Fish, proposes to permit the killing of one cougar per year on the Refuge or elsewhere in the region where cougar hunting is already permitted. Only five cougars are known to live on the Refuge—including a mother and two kittens. The agencies acknowledge that if the breeding female is killed her kittens might die also. Please tell the Service to back off from this reckless course and not allow this inaugural mountain lion hunt on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

These five animals constitute a significant portion -- perhaps a majority -- of the widely scattered mountain lions living throughout western Arizona.

Cougars in this region have adapted to extreme heat and aridity. These hardy survivors probably maintain home ranges several times greater in size than cougars elsewhere in order to find enough prey. With so few cougars in the desert and no reliable population count, until now the various national wildlife refuges in Arizona have not allowed hunting of these lofty predators.

Cougars in western Arizona are threatened by loss of habitat, government predator control, permitted hunting, poaching, and vehicular collisions. Cougars in this desert are also increasingly cut off from genetic interchange with cougars in the mountains of central and eastern Arizona and the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. To the extent they survive and reproduce, they may also serve as part of a cougar corridor between these widely separated mountain ranges.

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