intellectual property rights: This blogger firmly believes in intellectual and other property rights. Links have been given to the material including images and maps used from outside sources. The blogger requests pointing out any material that have escaped this policy.
Today: consumption kills eco-systems; fraud, greed, grand larceny and theft bring down world's finances; deceit, infidelity and instant gratification destroy families; murders and wars have left us without peace or stability. On top we have droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis … has the world gone mad! Submit now to Allah before it is too late - to the One and Only God, the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the universe, Unique in His Person and Actions, without any blemish, weakness or relatives. Follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (the last Messenger and Prophet - upon whom be the peace and blessings of Allah), and join those who will be the really successful ones.

see end of page for buttoned useful links

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What is your excuse?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

to whom does it refer?

what is the following, who wrote this, and to whom does it refer?

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

odious excuses

Here come the odious excuses

The philosophers behind the bloodbath in Iraq are now washing their hands

By Robert Fisk

11/11/06 "The Independent" -- -- "Great news from America!" the cashier at my local Beirut bookshop shouted at me yesterday morning, raising her thumbs in the air. "Things will be better after these elections?" Alas, I said. Alas, no. Things are going to get worse in the Middle East even if, in two years' time, America is blessed with a Democrat (and democratic) president. For the disastrous philosophers behind the bloodbath in Iraq are now washing their hands of the whole mess and crying "Not Us!" with the same enthusiasm as the Lebanese lady in my book shop, while the "experts" on the mainstream US east coast press are preparing the ground for our Iraqi retreat - by blaming it all on those greedy, blood-lusting, anarchic, depraved, uncompromising Iraqis.

I must say that Richard Perle's version of a mea culpa did take my breath away. Here was the ex-chairman of the Pentagon's Defence Policy Board Advisory Committee - he who once told us that "Iraq is a very good candidate for democratic reform" - now admitting that he "underestimated the depravity" in Iraq. He holds the president responsible, of course, acknowledging only that - and here, dear reader, swallow hard - "I think if I had been Delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said: 'Should we go into Iraq?' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies...'"

Maybe I find this self-righteous, odious mea culpa all the more objectionable because the same miserable man was shouting abuse down a radio line to me in Baghdad a couple of years ago, condemning me for claiming that America was losing its war in Iraq and claiming that I was "a supporter of the maintenance of the Baathist regime". This lie, I might add, was particularly malicious since I was reporting Saddam's mass rapes and mass hangings at Abu Ghraib prison (and being refused Iraqi visas) when Perle and his cohorts were silent about Saddam's wickedness and when their chum Donald Rumsfeld was cheerfully shaking the monster's hand in Baghdad in an attempt to reopen the US embassy there.

Not that Perle isn't in good company. Kenneth Adelman, the Pentagon neocon who also beat the drums for war, has been telling Vanity Fair that "the idea of using our power for moral good in the world" is dead. As for Adelman's mate David Frumm, well he's decided that George Bush just "did not absorb the ideas" behind the speeches Frumm wrote for him. But this, I'm afraid, is not the worst to come from those who encouraged us to invade Iraq and start a war which has cost the lives of perhaps 600,000 civilians.

For a new phenomenon is creeping into the pages of The New York Times and those other great organs of state in America. For those journalists who supported the war, it's not enough to bash George. No, they've got a new flag to fly: the Iraqis don't deserve us. David Brooks - he who once told us that neocons such as Perle had nothing to do with the President's decision to invade Iraq - has been ransacking his way through Elie Kedourie's 1970 essay on the British occupation of Mesopotamia in the 1920s. And what has he discovered? That "the British tried to encourage responsible leadership to no avail", quoting a British officer at the time as concluding that Iraqi Shia "have no motive for refraining from sacrificing the interests of Iraq to those which they conceive to be their own".

But the Brooks article in The New York Times was also frightening. Iraq, he now informs us, is suffering "a complete social integration", and "American blunders" were exacerbated "by the same old Iraqi demons: greed, blood lust and a mind-boggling unwillingness to compromise, even in the face of self-immolation". Iraq, Brooks has decided, is "teetering on the edge of futility" (whatever that means) and if American troops cannot restore order, "it will be time to effectively end Iraq", diffusing authority down to "the clan, the tribe or sect" which - wait for it - are "the only communities which are viable".

Nor should you believe that the Brooks article represents a lone voice. Here is Ralph Peters, a USA Today writer and retired US army officer. He had supported the invasion because, he says, he was "convinced that the Middle East was so politically, socially, morally and intellectually stagnant that we (sic) had to risk intervention - or face generations of terrorism and tumult". For all Washington's errors, Peters boasts, "we did give the Iraqis a unique chance to build a rule-of-law democracy".

But those pesky Iraqis, it now seems, "preferred to indulge in old hatreds, confessional violence, ethnic bigotry and a culture of corruption". Peters' conclusion? "Arab societies can't support democracy as we know it." As a result, "it's their tragedy, not ours. Iraq was the Arab world's last chance to board the train to modernity, to give the region a future...". Incredibly, Peters finishes by believing that "if the Arab world and Iran embark on an orgy of bloodshed, the harsh truth is that we may be the beneficiaries" because Iraq will have "consumed" "terrorists" and the United States will "still be the greatest power on earth".

It's not the shamefulness of all this - do none of these men have any shame? - but the racist assumption that the hecatomb in Iraq is all the fault of the Iraqis, that their intrinsic backwardness, their viciousness, their failure to appreciate the fruits of our civilisation make them unworthy of our further attention. At no point does anyone question whether the fact that America is "the greatest power on earth" might not be part of the problem. Nor that Iraqis who endured among their worst years of dictatorship when Saddam was supported by the United States, who were sanctioned by the UN at a cost of a half a million children's lives and who were then brutally invaded by our armies, might not actually be terribly keen on all the good things we wished to offer them. Many Arabs, as I've written before, would like some of our democracy, but they would also like another kind of freedom - freedom from us.

But you get the point. We are preparing our get-out excuses. The Iraqis don't deserve us. Screw them. That's the grit we're laying down on the desert floor to help our tanks .

© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sentencing a murderer isn't enough;

... charge the accomplices, too!

George Bush Senior: In 1992, a congressional inquiry found that Bush as president had ordered a cover-up to conceal his secret support for Saddam and the illegal arms shipments being sent to Iraq via third countries:

Missile technology was shipped to South Africa and Chile, then on sold to Iraq, while US Commerce Department records were falsified. Congressman Henry Gonzalez, chairman of the House of Representatives Banking Com mittee, said: "[We found that] Bush and his advisers financed, equipped and succoured the monster . . ."

Douglas Hurd: In 1981, as UK Foreign Office minister, Hurd travelled to Baghdad to sell Saddam a British Aerospace missile system and to "celebrate" the anniversary of Saddam's blood-soaked ascent to power.

Tony Newton: As Thatcher's trade secretary, Newton, within a month of Saddam gassing 5,000 Kurds at Halabja (news of which the Foreign Office tried to suppress), offered Saddam £340m in export credits.

Donald Rumsfeld: In December 1983, Rumsfeld was in Baghdad to signal America's approval of Iraq's aggression against Iran. HE returned to Baghdad on 24 March 1984, the day that it was reorted by the UN that Iraq had used Mustard Gas laced with a nerve agent against Iranian soldiers. Rumsfeld said nothing. A subsequent Senate report documented the transfer of the ingredients of biological weapons from a company in Maryland, licensed by the Commerce Department and approved by the State Department.

Madeleine Albright: As President Clinton's secretary of state, she enforced an unrelenting embargo on Iraq which caused half a million "excess deaths" of children under the age of five. When asked on television if the children's deaths were a price worth paying, she replied: "We think the price is worth it."

Peter Hain: In 2001, as UK Foreign Office minister, Hain described as "gratuitous" the suggestion that he, along with other British politicians outspoken in their support of the deadly siege of Iraq, might find themselves summoned before the International Criminal Court. A report for the UN secretary general by a world authority on international law describes the embargo on Iraq in the 1990s as "unequivocally illegal under existing human rights law", a crime that "could raise questions under the Genocide Convention". Indeed, two past heads of the UN humanitarian mission in Iraq, both of them assistant secretary generals, resigned because the embargo was indeed genocidal.

By July 2002, more than $5bn-worth of humanitarian supplies, approved by the UN Sanctions Committee and paid for by Iraq, were blocked by the Bush administration, backed by the Blair and Hain government. These included items related to food, health, water and sanitation.

Bush Junior and Blair: charge them with "the paramount war crime", to quote the judges at Nuremberg and, recently, the chief American prosecutor - that is, unprovoked aggression against a defenceless country.

Charges should also be brought against those who spread and amplified propaganda that led to such epic suffering:

The New York Times reported as fact fabrications fed to its reporter by Iraqi exiles. These gave credibility to the White House's lies, and doubtless helped soften up public opinion to support an invasion.

The BBC which all but celebrated the invasion with its man in Downing Street congratulating Blair on being "conclusively right" on his assertion that he and Bush "would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath". The invasion, it is reliably estimated, has caused 655,000 "excess deaths", overwhelmingly civilians.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The missing trillions

When the Democrats vacated the White House, there were 5 trillion dollars surplus in the US Treasury.

Six years later, with bipartisan support, that five trillion is gone. At the end of 2005, the US foreign debt was $3.7 trillion. By the end of 2006 it would be more than $4.6 trillion:

The Outstanding US Public Debt as of 09 Nov 2006 at 12:38:54 PM GMT is:


The estimated population of the United States is 300,183,662
so each US citizen's share of this debt is $28,638.56.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$2.19 billion per day since September 29, 2006!

The US has fought wars in this time to the tune of 1/2 a trillion in direct costs, and much much more in indirect ones. Let us say a cost of one trillion dollars.

Congratulations, US! I am sure anyone with a little common sense would have been able to provide you security at a much, much less price, and instead of you losing world goodwill, would have been able to enhance it.

This of course does not count the loss and destruction:

o of lives,
o of infrastructure,
o of peace,

but then the US doesn't do body counts, nor estimate the cost to others of its wars.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

U.S. vetoes resolutions critical of Israel

Vetoes: 1972-1982

Subject Date & Meeting US Rep Casting Veto Vote

Palestine: Syrian-Lebanese Complaint. 3 power draft resolution 2/10784 9/10/1972 Bush 13-1, 1

Palestine: Examination of Middle East Situation. 8-power draft resolution (S/10974) 7/2/1973 Scali 13-1, 0 (China not partic.)

Palestine: Egyptian-Lebanese Complaint. 5-power draft power resolution (S/11898) 12/8/1975 Moynihan 13-1, 1

Palestine: Middle East Problem, including Palestinian question. 6-power draft resolution (S/11940) 1/26/1976 Moynihan 9-1,3 (China & Libya not partic.)

Palestine: Situation in Occupied Arab Territories. 5-power draft resolution (S/12022) 3/25/1976 Scranton 14-1,0

Palestine: Report on Committee on Rights of Palestinian People. 4-power draft resolution (S/121119) 6/29/1976 Sherer 10-1,4

Palestine: Palestinian Rights. Tunisian draft resolution. (S/13911) 4/30/1980 McHenry 10-1,4

Palestine: Golan Heights. Jordan draft resolution. (S/14832/Rev. 2) 1/20/1982 Kirkpatrick 9-1,5

Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, Jordan draft resolution (S/14943) 4/2/1982 Lichenstein 13-1,1

Palestine: Incident at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. 4-power draft resolution 4/20/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1, 0

Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. Spain draft resolution. (S/15185) 6/8/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1,0

Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. France draft resolution. (S/15255/Rev. 2) 6/26/1982 Lichenstein 14-1

Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. USSR draft resolution. (S/15347/Rev. 1, as orally amended) 8/6/1982 Lichenstein 11-1,3

Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, 20-power draft resolution (S/15895) 8/2/1983 Lichenstein 13-1,1

Security Council Vetoes/Negative voting 1983-present
Subject Date Vote

Occupied Arab Territories: Wholesale condemnation of Israeli settlement policies - not adopted 1983

S. Lebanon: Condemns Israeli action in southern Lebanon. S/16732 9/6/1984 Vetoed: 13-1 (U.S.), with 1 abstention (UK)

Occupied Territories: Deplores "repressive measures" by Israel against Arab population. S/19459. 9/13/1985 Vetoed: 10-1 (U.S.), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK, France)

Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17000. 3/12/1985 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK)

Occupied Territories: Calls upon Israel to respect Muslim holy places. S/17769/Rev. 1 1/30/1986 Vetoed: 13-1 (US), with one abstention (Thailand)

Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17730/Rev. 2. 1/17/1986 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK)

Libya/Israel: Condemns Israeli interception of Libyan plane. S/17796/Rev. 1. 2/6/1986 Vetoed: 10 -1 (US), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, France, UK)

Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored repeated Israeli attacks against Lebanese territory and other measures and practices against the civilian population; (S/19434) 1/18/1988 vetoed 13-1 (US), with 1 abstention (UK)

Lebanon: Draft condemned recent invasion by Israeli forces of Southern Lebanon and repeated a call for the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanese territory; (S/19868) 5/10/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)

Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored the recent Israeli attack against Lebanese territory on 9 December 1988; (S/20322) 12/14/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)

Occupied territories: Draft called on Israel to accept de jure applicability of the 4th Geneva Convention; (S/19466) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)

Occupied territories: Draft urged Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention, rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians, and condemned policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories; (S/19780) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)

Occupied territories: Strongly deplored Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories, and strongly deplored also Israel's continued disregard of relevant Security Council decisions. 2/17/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)

Occupied territories: Condemned Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories. 6/9/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)

Occupied territories: Deplored Israel's policies and practices in the occupied territories. 11/7/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)

Occupied territories: NAM draft resolution to create a commission and send three security council members to Rishon Lezion, where an Israeli gunmen shot down seven Palestinian workers. 5/31/1990 Vetoed 14-1 (US)

Middle East: Confirms that the expropriation of land by Israel in East Jerusalem is invalid and in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions and provisions of the Fourth Geneva convention; expresses support of peace process, including the Declaration of Principles of 9/13/1993 5/17/1995 Vetoed 14-1 (US)

Middle East: Calls upon Israeli authorities to refrain from all actions or measures, including settlement activities. 3/7/1997 Vetoed 14-1 (US)

Middle East: Demands that Israel cease construction of the settlement in east Jerusalem (called Jabal Abu Ghneim by the Palestinians and Har Homa by Israel), as well as all the other Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories 3/21/1997 Vetoed 13-1,1 (US)

Call for UN Observers Force in West Bank, Gaza 3/27/2001 Vetoed 9-1 (US),
with four abstentions (Britain, France, Ireland and Norway)

Condemned acts of terror, demanded an end to violence and the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to bring in observers. 12/14/2001 Vetoed 12-1 (US) with two abstentions (Britain and Norway)

On the killing by Israeli forces of several UN employees and the destruction of the World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse 12/19/2002 12-1 (US) with two abstentions (Bulgaria and Cameroon)

Demand that Israel halt threats to expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat 9/16/03 Vetoed 11-1 (US) ith three abstentions (Britain, Germany and Bulgaria)

Seeks to bar Israel from extending security fence 10/14/03 Vetoed 10-1 with four absentations (Britain, Germany, Bulgaria and Cameroon)

Condemns Israel for killing Ahmed Yassin 3/25/04 Vetoed 11-1 (US) with three absentations (Britain, Germany, Romania)

Calls For Israel To Halt Gaza Operation 10/05/04 Vetoed 11-1 (US) with three absentations (Britain, Germany, Romania)

Calls For Israel To Halt Gaza Operation 7/13/06 Vetoed 10-1 (US) with four absentations (Britain, Peru, Denmark and Slovakia)

Source: U.S. State Department; UN, various news sources