06 May 2004

Please forgive us. 

Published in the West Australian
Print Addition
12 May 2004

I am ashamed. I am ashamed for the country of my birth and for the actions of it's government. I am shocked and outraged at the abuses which have come to light in recent days.

I ask forgiveness for the American People. We have little, if any, control over the actions of our government. This is NOT the kind of behaviour that MOST Americans accept or tolerate. There is NO EXCUSE for the outrages perpetrated on the people of Iraq, for the deaths of thousands of old people, women, children. There is NO EXCUSE for the torture and humiliation which we have witnessed through out this illegal war.

The Muslim and Arab people living in Australia have watched these action from the sidelines and have refrained from reacting in any manner which would give cause for Australian to fear. I beg you to continue to understand that neither the good people of Australia, nor the good people of the United States condone the kind of injustices which we are witnessing.

Please forgive us.

Katherine Juestel
USA Citizen by birth
Australian by choice
Carnarvon WA

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05 May 2004

No free people can lose their liberties while they are jealous of liberty. But the liberties of the freest people are in danger when they set up symbols of liberty as fetishes, worshipping the symbol instead of the principle it represents ~~ Wendell Phillips

They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people ~~ Eugene Debs

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The Cause of Sanity 


Please enter the above site with an open mind. Take the time to look around and see what these people are trying to do. I do not know if it is on any "watch list", but I, personally, find it harmful only in the same way, as was "Radio Free Europe" during the cold war. It brings the truth to those from whom the truth is denied. Is it totally accurate? Is ANY media source totally accurate?

The goal here is to show the word what is truly happening in Iraq. Not just the war, the deaths, the violence, but also the hardships endured by the people of Iraq. And it is to show the world the truth about the massive numbers of Iraqi dead. Here you find those who live the nightmare, and the eyewitnesses to what are "sanitized" for viewing by the United States Military Command.

Please enter carefully, and with open minds.

It is my hope that all of the visitors to The Flea have come to find that there are many, many views on what has been occurring in Iraq, and in the rest of the world. I have endeavoured to give you the majority opinions with each headline that I post on these pages. I have endeavoured to provide a wide variety of news sources from around the world, as I find them in English, and as a story of import is published on their site.

Each occurrence for which a story is posted is a piece of the puzzle. It is up to the reader to find where each piece fits in the picture. In one part of the picture, the pieces tell us why the Muslim world is so fired up against Western Interests. In another part, but connected to this, are the deceits and cover-ups and secret plans going on behind the scenes in the western capitals.

And into this same picture, we find the pieces falling into place to reveal the devious and illegal manipulations of a few select men and women who have no other interests but lining their pockets with as much money and power as they can get their hands on. These people pull the strings of "Free Trade" and "Mutual Values" to persuade a handful of nations to commit a handful of solders to mostly non-hazardous duties to lend their claim to being part of a "Coalition of the Willing!"

The dearth of opposition views is mostly due to the fact that very few of my subscribed news alerts lead to any, and what they do lead to is already filling the airways of CNN and the rest of the main stream media. I have added the link to a Google Search with many of my latest posts, and will continue to do so, where there are dissenting or differing views, when ever possible. That is, as time permits.

As the numbers of casualties mount in Iraq, the truth of WHY our children are off in a far off land killing and dying continues to slither out from under the rocks from where it was conceived.

As the TRUTH of the number of our children, husbands, mothers, brothers, partners who have died and the thousands who have been maimed for life, comes forward, it serves to show us that we are, once again, throwing away an entire generation of our best and brightest! What was left us after Viet Nam? Body bags, paraplegics, drug addicts, mental illness and other illnesses too many to count! The rest? Not fit, or found a way past the draft. Is this what we want to happen again? Do we wish to see, once again, streets and parks full of men, and this time women, returning from a war where they have been vilified as animals in the faces of their own friends and families? Where will be the medical services for these people now that the VA budget has been slashed to help pay for this war?

We only had a few photos of abuses and horror Viet Nam, and look at the outrage those few photos raised! Now we have nearly every solder and "contractor" in Iraq with a digital, or a mobile with a camera, or a vid cam, all emailing photos home to their families and buddies and each other. If only the few photos of abuses could raise such a furore, should not hundreds and thousands raise the whole world?

War is the enemy, wherever it rages. There are areas, countries begging for the aid and support of American and UN troops, where thousands are dying from wars and famine and disease. America cannot help them. Why? Most of them have no oil or other exploitable minerals. And those few that do which are also refused help? A country is must easier and cheaper to take control of when the population is either dead or reduced to a remnant of ill and starving people.

Bush claims that this war is against “terrorism.” That we are making the bad guys pay for 9-11. But is it? Hundreds of lives were lost on that fateful day. Hundreds of families are grieving for those whom they lost. Millions are grieving for the feeling of safety, which they lost on that day. Someone should pay for those lives. But I ask you,
How many must die to pay for the lives lost on 9-11? I ask this in all seriousness. The United States clings passionately to the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. I ask you, Under God, how many eyes must be rendered sightless by a bullet or a tank shell or by torture to pay for each eye lost on 9-11?

The cost of the war in Iraq, to the American People, is not just in lives. As the cost of this war guts the schools and the hospitals and the support programs for the aged and the poor and the homeless in order to pay for both the war and the reconstruction, millions of Americas will find themselves reduced to the same levels of poverty which the Iraqi people endured before the invasion.

Our leaders have always told us that the rest of the world envies America for its freedom and the “American Way of Life.” The events of the past few months have shown us graphically that the rest of the world hates America because of the ruthlessness and greed of it’s government.

The United States, and its allies in Great Britain and Australia, should be leading the world on to peace and cooperation. Instead we are shoving it down the path to total meltdown. We MUST stop the madness. We MUST learn to work together for the cause of sanity.

The Flea

Katherine Juestel
United States Citizen by Birth
Australian by Choice

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The ICRC: monitoring Iraq´s prisons
Under international law, the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is entitled to visit prisoners held by occupying powers. This is also in the case in Iraq, where all places of detention are visited by ICRC delegates.

Iraq: Liberated or damned?
As images of Iraqi prisoners stripped naked and tortured by troops in Iraq triggered a wave of anger, US President Bush said that the country’s scenario is better than the dictatorial Saddam Hussein's reign. Several former detainees are also coming forward with their own stories of abuse and torture. They feel that the captors might have freed them but are becoming "more and more like Saddam".

For continuous news and updates on the War in Iraq and other world news, via your news reader, subscribe to clari.world.mideast.iraq, clari.web.world.mideast.iraq, clari.web.world.organizations.un, clari.web.world.mideast+africa, clari.web.world.organizations. All of these groups are available to anyone who wishes to subscribe.

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China confirms three more SARS cases
China has upgraded three suspected SARS cases to confirmed ones, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to nine so far this year.

N Korea 'building missile bases'
NORTH Korea is building two underground bases for new intermediate ballistic missiles with a range of up to 4000km, according to reports in South Korean newspapers today.

Taiwan on alert after threat targeting foreign embassies
Taiwanese authorities have stepped up security for foreign embassies here after diplomatic staff were threatened against attending President Chen Shui-bian's inauguration, officials said.

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Troops set to stay in East Timor
A reduced number of Australian troops and police are set to stay in East Timor after United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today proposed that the UN extend its mission in the fledgling nation for another year.

Most Australians now oppose Iraq involvement, new poll shows
A majority of voters now believe Australia should not have joined the war in Iraq, according to a new poll, as Prime Minister John Howard plans a pre-election trip to the United States and Europe for talks on the war.For the first time, the Newspoll published by The Australian newspaper showed 5O percent of voters now believe it was not worth going to war against 40 percent who believe it was justified.

Taxpayers' huge bill for detention
TAXPAYERS pay as much as $2230 a night to keep a single asylum-seeker in detention, new figures show.
The exorbitant cost of one night at the remote Port Hedland detention centre in northwest Western Australia is about seven times more expensive than five-star luxury at some of Melbourne's top hotels.

In the wake of last week’s death of a Filipino truck driver in Iraq, the government has stopped the deployment of workers to the strife-torn country. In a business forum in Makati City, Labor Undersecretary Manuel Imson said President Arroyo has ordered a ban on the deployment of new overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Iraq. "We are after the interest of the workers there," he said.

Free Trade Pact:

Claimed benefits of Australia-US trade pact a joke, top economists say
Two leading economists has called for a public inquiry into an Australia-US free trade agreement which they believe will not boost Australia's economy by nearly as much as is being claimed for it.

Blowout in Australia's trade deficit
There's been a large and unexpected blow-out in Australia's trade deficit. Figures just released by the Bureau of Statistics show the deficit between what Australia earns from exports and what it spends on imports widened to nearly $2 billion. This is half a billion dollars higher than market forecasts.

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A Prison State, If Not a Police State
The US has a unique distinction: It is the world’s greatest prison state.
The US, "the land of the free," has the biggest prison population in the world and the highest rate of prisoners per capita of all countries – including countries that President Bush believes need liberating by US armed forces.

U.N. Urges Action on Iraq Prisoner Abuse
GENEVA - The top U.N. human rights agency has opened an investigation into civil rights in Iraq, and on Tuesday it urged the U.S. military to prosecute soldiers alleged to have abused prisoners.

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OPINION: EU's headlong rush toward a flawed constitution "A doomed process"
"Riding for a fall" is a phrase from the fox-hunting world. It describes someone rushing too fast at much too high a fence, stirrups flying, jumping much too late and inevitably taking a nasty tumble.
Just this picture comes to mind watching the European Union's ministers, led by the Irish presidency, press on recklessly with the current draft constitution, determined to rush to agreement by mid-June. The project is bound to tumble, if not at this fence, then at the next one. Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to hold a referendum in Britain, which is certain to vote no, is no more than bowing to the inevitable. With or without the British, it could never really have worked. The Blair decision merely makes rejection certain.

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04 May 2004

The Bush Administration knows about the health and the environmental consequences of using depleted uranium but it doesn't care.  

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When I first heard the term “depleted uranium”, I thought it must be uranium after the radioactivity was gone. I was wrong.

• “Depleted uranium (DU) is the highly toxic and radioactive byproduct of the uranium enrichment process.... Depleted uranium is roughly 60% as radioactive as naturally occurring uranium, and has a half life of 4.5 billion years. As a result of 50 years of enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons and reactors, the U.S. has in excess of 1.1 billion pounds of DU waste material.”-- Dan Fahey, “Metal of Dishonor” (1997)

• “More ordinance was rained down on Iraq during the six weeks of the Gulf War than during the whole of the Second World War. Unknown to the public or the Allied troops at the time, much of it was coated with depleted uranium (DU)”-- Felicity Arbuthnot, New Internationalist, September 1999

• “The Pentagon and the United Nations estimate that the U.S. and Britain used 1,100 to 2,200 tons of armor-piercing shells made of depleted uranium during attacks on Iraq in March and April [2003]--far more than the 375 tons used in the 1991 Gulf War.”-- Seattle Post Intelligencer, 8/4/03

• “Since the U.S. military's widespread use of DU in the Gulf became known in 1991, the Pentagon has struggled to suppress mounting evidence that DU munitions are simply too toxic to use. It has cashiered or attempted to discredit its own experts, ignored their advice, impeded scientific research into DU's health effects and assembled a disinformation campaign to confuse the issue.”-- Environmental Magazine, May/Jun 2003

• “When I spoke out within the military about how bad [depleted uranium] was, my life ended, my career ended. I received threats, warnings, sent to the reserve from full active duty."-- Dr. Doug Rokke, former Army Major, who was in charge of the military's environmental clean-up following the first Gulf War, ABC News, 5/5/03 (Thirty members of Rokke’s cleanup team have already died, and he has 5,000 times the acceptable level of radiation in his body, resulting in damage to his lungs and kidneys, brain lesions, skin pustules, chronic fatigue, continual wheezing and painful fibromyalgia. After the Gulf War, Rokke was assigned to make a training video to teach soldiers how to handle depleted uranium. It was a never shown to the troops.)

• “...General Calvin Waller told NBC's ‘Dateline’ that neither he nor General Norman Schwartzkopf were ever told about the health hazards of DU.”-- Military Toxics Project's Depleted Uranium Citizens' Network, 1/16/96

• ”Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”-- Henry Kissinger, quoted by Bob Woodward in “The Final Days” (1976)

• “Our studies indicate that more than forty percent of the population around Basra will get cancer. We are living through another Hiroshima”-- Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, an oncologist and member England's Royal Society of Physicians, quoted by islamonline.net, 5/15/03

• “The leukemia rate in Sarajevo, pummeled by American bombs in 1996, has tripled in the last five years. But it's not just the Serbs who are ill and dying. NATO and UN peacekeepers in the region are also coming down with cancer.”-- Baltimore Chronicle, 12/5/01

• “Drought-stricken Afghanistan's underground water supply is now contaminated by these nuclear weapons. Experts with the Uranium Medical Research Center report that urine samples of Afghanis show the highest level of uranium ever recorded in a civilian population.”-- Amy Worthington, Idaho Observer, April 2003

• ”By now, half of all the 697,000 U.S. soldiers involved in the 1991 war have reported serious illnesses. According to the American Gulf War Veterans Association, more than 30 percent of these soldiers are chronically ill and are receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration.”-- Sara Flounders and John Catalinotto, Swans Commentary, 2/2/04

• “Gulf War Syndrome not only killed, maimed, and made soldiers sick, they brought it home. In a study of 251 Gulf War veterans' families in Mississippi, 67 percent of their children were born without eyes, ears or a brain, had fused fingers, blood infections, respiratory problems or thyroid and other organ malformations.”-- Leuren Moret, environmental geologist, San Francisco Bay View, 11/7/01

• “In America, war means money - lots of it - and to the corporations which profit from war, our soldiers are nothing more than an expendable item. The Pentagon and the military corporations clearly consider contamination of their own soldiers as an acceptable cost.”-- S.R. Shearer, The End Times Network, 5/10/99

How can we do this to our soldiers, their families and the other victims of war? How can anyone think this is a good idea?
Web site: http://www.interventionmag.com/cms/modules.php?op=modload&

Mick Youther is an Instructor in the Department of Physiology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

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General Suggests Abuses At Iraqi Jail Were Encouraged 

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By Philip Shenon

May 2, 2004 " New York Times" -- WASHINGTON -- An Army Reserve general whose soldiers were photographed as they abused Iraqi prisoners said Saturday that she knew nothing about the abuse until weeks after it occurred and that she was "sickened" by the pictures. She said the prison cellblock where the abuse occurred was under the tight control of Army military intelligence officers who may have encouraged the abuse.

The suggestion by Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski that the reservists acted at the behest of military intelligence officers could be supported in a still-classified Army report on prison conditions in Iraq that documented many of the worst abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, including the sexual humiliation of prisoners.

New Yorker Magazine said in its new edition that the report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba found that reservist military police at the prison were urged by Army military officers and C.I.A. agents to "set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses."

According to the magazine, the Army report offered accounts of gruesome abuse that included the sexual assault of an Iraqi detainee with a chemical light stick or broomstick.

In a phone interview from her home in South Carolina in which she offered her first public comments about the growing international furor over the abuse of the Iraq detainees, General Karpinski, who is still the commanding officer of the 800th Military Police Brigade, said the special high-security cellblock at Abu Ghraib had been under the direct control of Army intelligence officers, not the reservists under her command.

She said that while the reservists involved in the abuses were "bad people" who deserved punishment, she suspected that they were acting with the encouragement, if not at the direction, of military intelligence units that ran the special cellblock used for interrogation. She said that C.I.A. employees often joined in the interrogations at the prison, although she said she did not know if they had unrestricted access to the cellblock.

She said she was speaking out because she believed that military commanders were trying to shift the blame exclusively to her and other reservists and away from intelligence officers still at work in Iraq.

"We're disposable," she said of the military's attitude toward reservists. "Why would they want the active-duty people to take the blame? They want to put this on the M.P.'s and hope that this thing goes away. Well, it's not going to go away."

The Army's public affairs office at the Pentagon referred calls about her comments to military commanders in Iraq.

General Karpinski said in the interview that the special cellblock, known as 1A, was one of about two dozen cellblocks in the large prison complex and was essentially off limits to soldiers who were not part of the interrogations, including virtually all of the military police under her command at Abu Ghraib.

She said repeatedly in the interview that she was not defending the actions of the reservists who took part in the brutality, who were part of her command. She said that when she was first presented with the photographs of the abuse in January, they "sickened me."

"I put my head down because I really thought I was going to throw up," she said. "It was awful. My immediate reaction was: these are bad people, because their faces revealed how much pleasure they felt at this."

But she said the context of the brutality had been lost, noting that the six Army reservists charged in the case represented were only a tiny fraction of the nearly 3,400 reservists under her command in Iraq, and that Abu Ghraib was one of 16 prisons and other incarceration centers around Iraq that she oversaw.

"The suggestion that this was done with my knowledge and continued with my knowledge is so far from the truth," she said of the abuse. "I wasn't aware of any of this. I'm horrified by this."

She said she was also alarmed that little attention has been paid to the Army military intelligence unit that controlled Cellblock 1A, where her soldiers guarded the Iraqi detainees between interrogations.

Information Clearing House

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Abuse allegations a blow to U.S. effort to win Iraqi hearts, minds
Just as the U.S.-led coalition seemed to be turning a corner in resolving the crisis in Fallujah that angered most Iraqis, it faces fresh outrage from the airing of pictures showing detainees stripped naked, forced to simulate sex acts, allegedly threatened with electrocution - all while Americans smiled and pointed mockingly at the humiliated men.

Army report finds worse POW abuse
New Yorker writer Seymour M. Hersh published details on the magazine's Web site yesterday from a 53-page report on the conduct of soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba that accused the soldiers of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" at Abu Ghraib between October and December last year.

Mission impossible?
It is one year since George W Bush proclaimed an end to major hostilities in Iraq, against a backdrop of a banner with the slogan "mission accomplished" draped from the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

Alleged prisoner abuse stirs outrage
A high-level Army investigation of prisoner interrogation techniques in Iraq has found no evidence that abuse by U.S. military police or intelligence officers is widespread, officials said Sunday.


Conservatives blast 'Nightline' over listing of 721 soldiers killed in Iraq
Veteran journalist Ted Koppel devoted his ''Nightline" program Friday to broadcasting the names and photographs of 721 American soldiers killed in Iraq, sparking outrage from conservatives who called it antiwar propaganda.

Refusal to tally war's price costs public needed debate
Back in February, when the White House asked Congress for a record $402 billion defense budget that failed to include any money for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, congressional Democrats cried foul. White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten and defense officials acknowledged openly that they would ask for another $20 billion to $50 billion, but not until next year — after the presidential election.

Congress Ignores 'Dirty War' Past of New Iraq Envoy
John Negroponte, the Bush administration's nominee to become Washington's first ambassador to Iraq since last year's invasion, was talking about how much ''sovereignty'' the country's new government will enjoy after Jun. 30, when U.S. military forces will remain in control of security.

FOR MORE ON John Negroponte

Egypt denounces Iraq prisoners torture
"This is a blunt violation of human rights and Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners in countries under occupation," - Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher

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Sharon: "Israel Will Keep its Nuclear Blackout"
George N. Rishmawi & Agencies, April 30, 2004

The Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday that Israel will maintain ambiguity about its nuclear capacity despite of the international requests of subjecting it to international inspection.

"Our nuclear strategic ambiguity has been proved efficient, and it will continue." Sharon told the Army Radio.

Sharon's statements come in light of the news about the upcoming visit of the UN nuclear Watchdog Chief, Mohammad El-Baradei to Israel in July.

El-Baradei's visit, who earlier called Israel to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, is expected to be a routine one and will not include the Israeli Nuclear reactor in Demona, which some analysts say it has produced at least 200 war heads.

"This is a routine visit that has been in the works for months. We expect Mr. ElBaradei to visit Israel in the summer, probably early July," said Gabriella Gafni, Israel's representative to the IAEA.

Israel was keen in keeping this reactor away from the international inspection by refusing to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The first time the Israeli nuclear power has been uncovered, was in 1986 when the nuclear scientist and whistleblower Mordachai Vanunu, who worked in the Dimona reactor, spoke out to a British newspaper.

Vanunu, who was released after serving 18 years in Israeli jails for great treason, vowed to continue his campaign is subjecting the Israeli nuclear to international inspection.

While Israel refuses to subject its nuclear installations to inspection, it continues to accuse neighboring Arab and Islamic countries of producing nuclear weapons and threatening the security of the state of Israel.

The United States supports Israel's refusal to sign the NPT according to a secret agreement signed 1963.

"Israel should be ready to defend itself from any external threats, and it should own all necessary tools to do so" President George Bush said in the Sharon-Bush summit in two weeks ago.

One of the reasons of the US-led war on Iraq is the allegations of Iraq owning nuclear mass destruction weapons, which is still not proved yet.
Copy Rights © 2004 International Middle East Media Center
Likud humiliates PM in Gaza poll
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last night said he had no intention of resigning after his Likud Party's crushing defeat of his Gaza disengagement plan in yesterday's referendum.

Sharon says he will not resign after stinging defeat in Likud Party
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday he will rework his plan for pulling out of Gaza and four West Bank settlements in an effort to salvage the proposal following its resounding defeat in a ruling party referendum.

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Enlargement May Limit Development
As ten new countries prepare to join the European Union Saturday, developing countries and aid agencies are assessing the effects that an enlarged Europe will have on the bloc's development policy.

Turkey 'foils Nato summit attack'
Police seized various items in the raids last Thursday
Turkish police have arrested 16 people on suspicion of planning to bomb next month's Nato summit in Istanbul.

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Aussie soldiers living in 'Baghdad shag palace'
Australian troops in Baghdad spend their nights sleeping in a lavish and opulent shag palace. Well, that's what the soldiers say - and it may be true

Howard and Bush to talk trade, war
The Prime Minister, John Howard, will meet President George Bush and congressional leaders to discuss Iraq and the Australia-US trade agreement when he visits Washington early next month.

Computer worm hits, and worse may come
All eyes were on Australia yesterday as a new version of the internet worm, Sasser B, which began to spread on Friday night in the US, took off here.

PNG outrage: governor-general for sale
A political party and members of Papua New Guinea's parliament have demanded cash in return for supporting candidates for the post of governor-general.

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West and Islam: Beyond the Apparent Clash of Civilisations
There is a spectre of struggle on the horizon. On the surface, it appears to be a struggle between the western and Islamic blocs for world domination. In reality, antagonists in the apparent conflict between the West and Islam are on the same side. They are both protagonists of unitary power structures. They both advocate the use of force as the determinant of international relations.

Yabunaka to meet soon with North Korea officials in China
Senior diplomat Mitoji Yabunaka is expected to visit China soon for talks with North Korean officials on abductions of Japanese, diplomatic sources said Sunday.

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So, when is right time to protest?
The fact that Sen. John Kerry has to apologize for protesting the Vietnam War 30 years ago offers a sad commentary on the United States.

Politics of denial
The Gettysburg Address was delivered by a president called upon to honor the dead. It is considered the greatest American speech.
It was Lincoln's dedication of a cemetery for soldiers who died in battle at Gettysburg, Pa., for the "new nation" brought forth four score and seven years before.

Kerry questions Bush's wartime moral authority
Says Democrats would have been tough on Cheney
in a rare, unscripted conversation with those gathered, Massachusetts senator Bob Kerry questioned President Bush's wartime moral authority, suggested that Vice President Dick Cheney would face harsher scrutiny for potential war-profiteering if Democrats were in control of Congress, and vented about the tone of the presidential race.

Kerry's Latest Colors
Banner waves: John Kerry's upriver, under siege. Is his plan to take it to Bush on national security a masterstroke, or a fool's errand? The Democrat's path out of the hot zone

Can Kerry prevent an Iraq quagmire?
s John Kerry ready to be president? Not until he pledges to end the war in Iraq and to launch a new era of American diplomacy toward the Islamic world. [ChiTrib-requires registration]

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Secret searches in intelligence cases on rise
Underscoring changes in domestic surveillance allowed under the USA Patriot Act, the Justice Department said in a report Sunday that it conducted hundreds more secret searches in the United States last year under foreign intelligence surveillance laws. [ChiTrib-requires registration]

Covert Searches Are Increasing Under Patriot Act
"They are shifting the government apparatus for surveillance to a much more secret process with much less judicial oversight," said Timothy Edgar, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington. [LATimes-requires registration]


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