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  • Tuesday, November 30, 2004

    ScanEagle can show steam rising from coffee

    According to this article, US marines in Iraq are using a robotic plane called "ScanEagle" to provide intelligence on "insurgents" positions. Apparently the technology is so good, it can detect steam rising from coffee. If US marines have this sort of intelligence technology available to them, then why the need to open fire on "anything that moves"?

    Medact says US invasion has caused a "health disaster"

    The UK charity, Medact has said according to this article, that the effects of the invasion and occupation of Iraq have created an atmosphere where Iraqs health service is in meltdown. It obviously doesn't help when so called "precision guided bombs" drop onto hospitals, the wounded aren't allowed treatment, and ambulances haven't been able to gain access to people when needed either.

    Kerry’s “Early Concession Betrayed the Trust of the Voters”

    In the early hours of the 3rd November John Kerry's camp sent everyone home from their rally saying that they wanted to ensure every vote would be counted before they conceded the 2004 US presidential election. Kerry's camp however did not wait to ensure that every vote counted, conceding election defeat the following day they failed to live up to their promise.

    Bush regime secrecy leads to increased online information

    Yesterday, I posted this to explain why I thought many were turning away from traditional media outlets and looking at alternatives in an effort to find the real news. In this article, there are some links to resources which you might find useful.

    Canadians give Bush a welcome he deserves

    As Bush begins his visit to Canada, i'll be taking a look at the type of welcome he will be/is receiving, and how the media is covering the visit (This will be updated as and when possible throughout the Bush visit to Canada): 10,000 Protesters March Against Bush in Ottawa A large crowd of around 10,000 people rallied at Ottawa city hall, snaking through the downtown and marching on parliament hill. Vancouver joins protests of Bush visit Hundreds of delegates marched from the meeting at Canada Place to the U.S. consulate for a noon-hour rally. Protests mark Bush's visit to Canada The demonstrators plan to topple a large paper statue of Bush, a reference to the role he played in invading Iraq and toppling leader Saddam Hussein in the spring of 2003. The Ottawa rally was one of about 25 planned across the countryto draw attention to Bush's policies and politics during his two-day visit to Canada. Demonstrators greet Bush in Canada Making his first official visit to Canada, Bush arrived Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister Paul Martin. Bush was welcomed by many placards and signs along his motorcade route, including a truck parked nearby that was emblazoned with the phrase "Bush is a war criminal." Another placard branded him an "assassin." Much the anger seemed focused on Bush's decision to invade Iraq. Canada decided against sending troops to Iraq -- a decision supported by more than 80 percent of Canadians. Poll shows wide Canada-U.S. differences With regard to the U.S. plan for a missile defense shield, only 44 percent of Canadians believe their country should join on, while 73 percent of U.S. citizens believe Canada should take part. Protesters mass in Ottawa for Bush visit Ottawa, Canada, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Busloads of protesters began rolling into Canada's capital, Ottawa, before sunrise Tuesday in anticipation of U.S. President George W. Bush's first state visit. Purple pretzel protest planned So, Douglas Mantz says they're planning a purple pretzel picnic in the park in Sackville, New Brunswick Wednesday. The pretzels are in honour of the pretzel Bush nearly choked on a few years ago. Layton calls on his supporters to protest Bush. But NDP leader will cut short his dissent to dine with president Mr. Layton is heard in a pre-recorded message sent Friday to about 2,000 NDP members in the area exhorting them to attend anti-Bush demonstrations, including a candlelight vigil in opposition to the ballistic missile defence program. In the message, he gives locations and times for the anti-Bush rallies and asks supporters to "join me and the NDP caucus to show Canadians we are leading the fight against Star Wars." Activist groups plan peaceful Bush protests Members of the Halifax Peace Coalition told a news conference of their own Monday that they expect about 5,000 to attend their peaceful rally. "We can get thousands of indignant Maritimers on the streets -- regardless of whether we're right up against the gates of Pier 21," organizer John Elmer said. "I must emphasize we expect an absolutely peaceful event,'' added spokeswoman Tamara Lorincz. "We are inviting everybody who is concerned with what is going on with the U.S. administration ... I'm bringing out my five-month-old son and lots of banners.'' At least one Halifax family who hosted Americans during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks told reporters Monday they don't want Bush's thanks. Prominent Halifax lawyer Anne Derrick and her husband Archie Kaiser put up a New Jersey family for several days after 9/11. Derrick says she doesn't like the idea of her city being used as a "photo opportunity'' for a world leader she says has "blood on his hands.'' "We will not be cheerleaders for his administration's brutal foreign policies,'' said Derrick. Canada, Ottawa, Updated Information: Peoples' Global Action (PGA) Bloc Activities Against Bush Date: November 30th (TUESDAY) Time: 12 PM Location: City Hall (Elgin & Laurier) Formation of an Autonomous PGA Bloc within the No to Bush! Coalition "Justice, Freedom, & Equality March" (Family friendly march). The PGA Bloc with rally around "Bush Out of Baghdad! Bush Out of Ottawa!" banners. Date: November 30th (TUESDAY) Time: 3 PM The PGA Bloc is issuing an open invitation to demonstrators to proceed to the Museum of Civilization to 'welcome' Bush and his entourage. Date: December 1st (WEDNESDAY) Time: 6:30 AM SHARP Location: Chateau Laurier (Elgin & Rideau) Greet the day with "Eggs for Bush, Powell and Condi." WALKOUT AGAINST BUSH: highschool walkout november 30th Most Canadians despise George W. Bush and what he stands for, yet the Canadian government has invited him to Ottawa on November 30th. Generally regarded as a war criminal, Bush is openly contemptuous of international law, world opinion, and all people. Paul Martin is receiving him with open arms to discuss increased Canadian cooperation with the Bush administration. How can we stand by and watch such ugly history being made? Massive Large protests will take place on the streets of Ottawa,however the vast majority of those outraged by the Bush visit will not be able to attend these protests. High school walkouts are a way for students across Canada to take part. PEI Anti-Bush In PEI on Tues, Nov. 30 12 noon: Rally and March at PEI Legislature Events will include a symbolic funeral in memory of the countless victims of the Bush Agenda and US foreign and domestic policy.

    Breaking news: Tom Ridge to resign

    It's just been announced on the BBC that Tom Ridge, the US "Homeland Security" chief will be resigning later today.

    German war crimes lawsuit names Rumsfeld

    And it's about time. All these soldiers who have so far been charged with abusing POWs or "detainees" are only at the bottom rung of the ladder which allowed some terrible abuses to be carried out. It's just such a pity that high level Bush regime officials (including Bush himself as the commander in chief) have not yet faced any charges in the US itself. Good luck to the Centre for Constitutional Rights, and the Republican Lawyers Association in their quest for justice.

    Romanias opposition wants new elections

    Can any country hold a fair and democratic election, without voting irregularities or outright fraud taking place? Yesterday, it was reported that Romanias opposition said that vote fraud took place in the weekends elections. Now they want a new poll. Well, if vote fraud has taken place, anywhere in the world there should be new elections.

    Leadership, sound judgement and crisis management are just not Blair

    It seems academics have rated Tony Blair poorly in these 3 essential qualities of a good Prime Minister. A survey by academics recently showed that Blair was in 6th place out of 20, and that is nowhere near where he'd like to be. He's often said he'd like to be remembered by future generations. It doesn't look like he'll be remembered for good reasons though.

    Rape and abuse catalogued at Deepcut

    I've always thought that there was a culture of bullying in the army, whether it be on this side of the Atlantic, or the other side of the "pond". However, I like many others was shocked when reading and hearing about seemingly widespread cases of rape and abuse at the Deepcut barracks. When people enter the army they don't expect to be attacked by people who are supposed to be on their "own side". Whatever happened to "team building" and "discipline" being taught? Something desperately needs to be done about this, and no more inquiries and investigations. This needs to be clamped down on and findings already known about acted upon.

    ID cards a money making scam

    It seems to me that this id card scheme is purely a way of raising more money for Blair & Co. Obviously millions have been spent on the unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq, and they need some more income. Last night it was announced that anyone applying for, or renewing a passport after 2007 will be charged £85 to be registered with the id card scheme. And, it seems quite unfair that those who fail to notify authorities of a change in address will be fined £1000! Those who refuse to sign up to the scheme will be fined £2500.

    Alabama votes for segregation

    The US state of Alabama recently held a referendum on whether or not to get rid of racist wording in their states constitution. Unfortunately, the results appear to show a majority of those who took part in the voting wish the constitution to retain wording such as "Separate schools shall be provided for white and coloured children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race." It's a disgrace in this day and age that people still hold such views. Especially in a so called "civilised society".

    Monday, November 29, 2004

    Act now! Lobby your MP over Fallujah napalm

    US forces used outlawed naplam in the Iraqi town of Fallujah according to weekend reports. Demand answers from your MP and Tony Blair here.

    Iran ceases uranium enrichment, US says that's not good enough

    It's quite obvious by all this posturing what the rogue regime in Washington are looking for. They have been talking about Iran for some time now, regardless of the fact that the country really proves no danger to the US whatsoever. As someone living outside America, I honestly cannot believe how the Bush regime can have any supporters left there, let alone millions of them. The world is indeed a dangerous place, with so many believing so readily what they are told by proven liars.

    Hoon won't answer Napalm usage in Iraq questions

    The House of Commons speaker, Michael Martin apparently will not allow an emergency question to be put to defence secretary Geoff Hoon about the use of napalm in Iraq by US forces. I am surprised ITV is actually reporting this, maybe after the "terror plot" to crash planes into Canary Wharf fairy tale they reported on a few days ago, they have decided to report on things which Blair and Co. may not like. It must be said however, none of the mainstream media outlets as yet have widely reported the use of "unusual weapons" in Fallujah.

    Another Bush regime lie uncovered

    Until now the Bush regime has claimed it had no role in the failed Venezuelan coup of 2002, and didn't know one was being planned. Unfortunately for them, newly released CIA documents prove the regime at least knew of the planned coup. Quoted from the article: "The CIA documents, which were heavily censored before being released, were obtained by Venezuelan-American attorney, Eva Golinger. One of those documents, dated April 6, 2002, says explicitly "dissident military factions...are stepping up efforts to organize a coup against President Chavez, possibly as early as this month." The document adds the groups: " may bungle the attempt by moving too quickly." " Oh dear, caught lying yet again.

    US general acknowledges a "moral defeat"

    I suppose if we were all honest, we would say that the types of abuse, torture, humiliation and slaughter seen in Iraq have been anything but a moral victory. However, it is interesting to see a US commander now admitting that fact. It is also interesting to note that while the soldiers are (quite rightly) being charged for any crimes committed, those responsible for advocating these war crimes are literally getting away with murder.

    Vote fraud in Romania?

    There have been claims by Romanias opposition party of vote fraud in the parliamentary and presidential elections which took place over the weekend. Well, I guess it makes a change from vote fraud in the US and Ukraine.

    Why the landmine ban plea won't be answered

    New plea for global landmine ban From the article: Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has opened an international landmine conference with an appeal for more countries to sign up to the treaty banning them. Mr Kibaki told the gathering in Nairobi that the mines were one of the world's most urgent humanitarian problems. The US, China and Russia are among 40 countries that have not signed the treaty, known as the Ottawa Convention, which came into force five years ago. According to this article There are currently 110 million active landmines in 83 countries around the world. Active landmines already exist on every continent and there are 250 million more waiting to be put in the ground. And Landmines kill 72 people a day, 90% of whom are civilians. You would have thought then that a civilised society would be interested in stopping all these deaths wouldn't you? Well, the answer to that is no, unfortunately. Although it is good news that 152 countries have signed up to the mine ban treaty, and more than 37 million mines destroyed, in February this year, the United States abandoned its long-held goal of eventually eliminating all antipersonnel mines and acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty. Instead, following a two and one-half year policy review, it became the first and only nation to assert that it intends to maintain certain types of antipersonnel mines indefinitely. Russia is one of the only countries in the world to have used landmines continuously between 1999 and 2004 according to Landmine monitor, and has approximately 50 million mines stockpiled. China also has a large number of landmine stocks, again, according to Landmine Monitor, it has about 110 million of the mines stockpiled. Some governments appear to believe that their policy goals are ultimately more important than actually taking action to prevent the loss of so many peoples lives. As long as policy goals have the upper hand over international obligations, then the pleas will fall on deaf ears.

    A new years resolution for Blair

    According to this article one in four Brits would like to give up their jobs to celebrate the new year. Go on Blair, you know you want to!

    37 out of 300 English colleges judged "inadequate"

    Ofsted has heavily criticised Englands colleges. According to this report, "the analysis of three years of college inspections found that the national failure rate was 12%. Just 8% of colleges were rated "outstanding"." That's a disgrace really when you think about how Blair was saying his priority was "education, education, education" just a few years ago.

    Mainstream media exists only for the sheeple

    In 2000, there was a huge amount of evidence to show that fraudulent activity had taken place in the US presidential elections, earlier this month once again there appear to have been many voting irregularities in the 2004 US election. But where were the mass media outlets who had a duty to report these issues? Well, it is true that Newsnight, a British late evening news programme showed an excellent film which seemed to prove that vote fraud had taken place in 2000 in Florida; but where were the kinds of reports we are now seeing about Ukrainian electoral fraud? They just did not exist. Considering the number of voting irregularities in the 2004 US elections you would have thought media outlets would have also felt the need to inform the public about those, but no, you turn on the news and what do you see? "Impartial" footage of protests against the pro Russian presidential candidate in the Ukraine. Just a few weeks ago the Bush regime approved the "Hama Rules" tactic in Fallujah. reports have indicated that US snipers opened fire on anything that moved, (there and elsewhere)aid agencies couldn't access the city, people could not get treatment they needed and there have been numerous instances where people have complained about the use of "unusual weapons" being used, as well as reports of humiliating treatment and abuse. So where were the mass media to "impartially", and accurately reflect what was really happening in Fallujah? They were "embedded" with US forces, and subject to "military reporting restrictions". Yesterday I read this report about the EU granting millions of pounds for emergency food aid in the Darfur region of Sudan. It is quite obvious that attrocities are still continuing there, and yet, what do the media decide to report on? The Bush regime war mongering against Iran, North Korea and so on. Well, either that, or some story about what has happened lately on "I'm a Celebritity.." The mass media are failing to do their duty and report on the issues they should be reporting on. Much of the public has relied for years on this mass media for their news, we see it as an important thing in a "civilised society" to keep up to date with changing geo-political situations, is it any wonder then that many are now turning away from those mainstream media outlets in light of the above? I don't think so. It is the duty of the media not to purely pump out government propaganda, and to highlight genuine concerns expressed by the people. As more and more people turn away from these traditional media outlets, the mass media may realise the error of their ways.

    A Blair achievement: Violating human rights

    The chairman of the UN committee on the rights of the child last night called for urgent action to stop abuses of human rights in the UK against minors. He gave the deaths of two children in custody this year as examples, and asked why our country tolerated unnecessary juvenile detentions. Well, that's a good question. Although in Blair's Britain in seems quite a lot is tolerated.

    Sunday, November 28, 2004

    America: Land of the free

    This is a good article which looks at the "free and fair elections" carried out in the USA. Excerpt from the article: "Soon after the polls opened, problems began. "I started getting people from a neighboring precinct coming to vote." Tina explained they had to vote in their own precinct. "They said they'd been called over the weekend and told to come here. Some people had even been told, while waiting in line at their correct precinct, to come here. "That's the first indication we got that people had been deliberately misinformed," Tina says. A second incident made Tina even more angry. "Another nearby voting place was in a synagogue. When people in that precinct went to vote, the polling place was closed. There was no notification of where they should go, and there had been no prior written or telephonic communication. They didn't know what to do."

    US neocons attack Rumsfeld

    Well, this motley crew are hardly known for their peaceful ways. The American neocons, the power behind the rogue regime are the most fundamentalist extremist right wingers you could possibly hope to encounter. It seems they are now tiring of Donald Rumsfeld, and want him replaced by someone else who can work with both the current regime and the military. The lynch mob seem to be donning their gowns and grabbing their nooses according to that article.

    Bush out of Baghdad! Bush out of Ottawa!

    This is the voice of one of tens of thousands who will be taking to the streets of the Canadian capital, Ottawa when Bush visits this week. Troy Cochrane will be protesting against the war criminal visiting his country, and those of us not in Canada will be thinking of him and those others willing to stand up for what they believe in.

    Mandelson wanted for questioning

    Peter Mandelson, a close friend of Tony Blair is tonight wanted for questioning by authorities in South Africa. They are looking to speak to Mandelson because one of the suspects in the attempted coup against the Equatorial Guinean regime said that they twice discussed the plot with him. This appears to bring the issue right to the heart of the British government. Although, this evening there are reports that Mandelson is even rejecting claims police want to question him. I guess whether Mandelson was innocent or guilty of any links to Eli Calil, he would reject any claims really wouldn't he.

    Spinning over the Tories grave?

    Well that's certainly what it seems like when you look at some of these "New Labour" policies such as imprisonment without trial, the introduction of id cards etc.. This article makes a valid point that the Labour Party under Blair and Co are using the same tactics employed by the Bush regime, in making "liberal" a frowned upon concept. An excerpt from the article states: "I still believe that this was what the war in Iraq was really all about. It wasn’t so much that Blair was seduced in the chapel by Dubya. Rather, Blair was asking himself: what would be most likely to win the next election: a war against terror, or siding with Europe and the UN? No contest – Sun readers like a bit of blood in the sand, and even after Kosovo, which wasn’t a real war anyway, Blair had never fully demonstrated that he could be as great as war leader as Thatcher in the Falklands. Now he has. It may have been the most unpopular war in British history, but Blair has remained at his post, seen it through, paid the “blood price”. "

    If only.....

    Bush arrested in Canada (30 November 2004 OTTAWA –PKJ) Canadian authorities have arrested US president George W. Bush in Ottawa. He has been charged with several offences under Canada War Crimes Act. Vice-President Dick Cheney has mobilized the American military and all border crossings between the two nations have closed. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has urged for calm in a short radio and television broadcast to the Canadian people immediately after the arrest. Part of the Prime Minister’s broadcast is included here: “This decision was not made lightly. But, it was also a decision that was impossible not to make. The United States is not outside the rule of law, and cannot expect to get an unlimited “free pass”. This decision puts a grave strain upon both our nations, and I urge calm and restraint from our American neighbours, as well as from Canadians. I have met with the cabinet, and with our colleagues in the House. This is a time of great crisis for us as a nation. But as people, we will survive this test. Earlier I enacted the Emergency War Powers Act. This is necessary to guarantee our domestic security. This is not a time for panic, for lawlessness, for anything other than a responsible and sobre focus on what lies immediately ahead.” Prime Minister Martin also said, “President Bush has been arrested under the Canadian War Crimes Act and the charges against him are being processed. He is being treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention and he will be treated fairly.” Reports from the White House say there is absolute chaos as frantic phone calls and meetings are held to deal with this crisis. Speculations on the American response run the spectrum from one analyst’s prediction of an all out American invasion of Canada to a more restrained pin-point rescue mission of the President. Whatever course of action is decided upon all experts are in agreement that the war in Iraq has so weakened the American military that it could be some days before the United States is ready to field a large scale military response. Meanwhile, in New York, the Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Anan has urged for calm, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been in almost constant contact with NATO leaders and President Putin of Russia. A Britney Spears concert which had been scheduled to occur this evening in Ottawa has been postponed. A spokesman for the entertainer said that Ms. Spears was concerned for the President's wife and two daughters. The spokesman also said that Ms. Spears would be praying for the president. President Bush had been due to attend an Ottawa luncheon when the arrest occurred. Witnesses at the scene said that utter havoc erupted as the arrest was carried out. Earlier in the day things seemed to be going smoothly on this first visit to Canada by President Bush. The President’s private jet, Air Force One had landed at the Ottawa International airport amidst intense security. Only a few protestors were on hand at the airport to welcome the President. Authorities had been expecting moderately sized protests in downtown Ottawa, but the fine weather and unseasonably warm temperature brought an estimated three hundred thousand demonstrators out on to the streets. From the airport the President’s motorcade drove directly to the Ottawa Convention Centre. The moment that President Bush stepped from his limousine a group of RCMP officers, who had been standing guard, grabbed the President and proceeded to place him under arrest. A gunfight broke out with the President’s secret service bodyguard. In the short exchange of gunfire two bystanders were killed and another three slightly wounded by flying debris. The RCMP were able to quickly subdue the American agents, and they have been detained in a separate facility. Separate fire arms related charges are pending. According to Canadian Justice Department officials the President faces a lengthy list of offences. Canada’s War Crimes Act was designed to hold foreigners accountable for their complicity or involvement in a vast array of war crimes. George Bush is being charged not only as the civilian head of government of the United States, but also as the commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces. This position could bring with it even more serious consequences, but he will not face the death penalty. Under both Canadian and International War Crimes law George Bush is being charged with genocide, torture, murder, and the most strong of all war crimes, the crime of war of aggression. The United Nations position on the illegality of the Iraq invasion has been known for sometime, but sceptics believed that the UN would fail to be able to bring America to account.

    Of course Straw knew of coup plot

    It is inconceivable to think that the British government wouldn't have known about the attempted coup against the regime in Equatorial Guinea, after all Mark Thatcher is the son of a former Prime Minister, who must have some incredibly helpful links. This article is interesting, it states "Mr Thatcher is accused of stumping up $US275,000 ($351,900), while Lebanese oil tycoon Eli Calil is alleged to have contributed $US750,000 ($959,700). Both deny any involvement. A number of British businessmen are also named in the list handed out in the Malabo court, including a J H Archer. He is alleged to have provided $US240,000 ($307,100) to the coup plotters. Disgraced British politician and best-selling novelist Jeffrey Archer, who spent time behind bars for perjury and perverting the course of justice in relation to a libel case, denied any links to the case. His middle initial is H." Mr Calil, who has British citizenship and lives in a £12 million home off the King’s Road in Chelsea, West London, had been arrested by French police in June 2002 over illegal payments to another African leader, although he was later released on appeal. Mr Calil has not been arrested over this alleged plot and denies any involvement. The people allegedly involved in this plot are hardly low profile individuals, they are among some of Britains elite, and moved in "high society". Simon Mann, a key plotter said that Spain had promised to recognise a new regime in Equatorial Guinea led by an exile, Severo Moto. According to this article, Simon Mann was another schooled at Eton "and served in his family regiment, the Scots Guards - the soldiers who share the ceremonial duty of guarding the queen of England..... ...Mann had meanwhile become involved with South Africa's notorious "private military company" - Executive Outcomes. According to a classified British intelligence memorandum, Mann and British businessman Tony Buckingham registered Executive Outcomes in Britain in September 1993." Of course Straw, and most likely the rest of the British government and most of Britains "elite" would have been aware of some sort of coup plot.

    Blair has put our troops at risk of prosecution

    Now, not only in the International Criminal Court could British troops be tried for breaches in international law, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that European troops who are in control of a foreign country can be prosecuted under human rights law for breaching the civil rights of local people. I put the blame for this fairly and squarely on the shoulders of Bush and Blair. Blair was only too willing for Britain to join Bush's project in Iraq, regardless of the fact that the actions were illegal. Now it seems from this ruling British troops will pay the consequences.

    Voters consider Lib Dems real opposition to Labour

    I've been saying for a while now, the differences between Labour and the Tories are virtually non existant. The Conservatives barely murmured during the whole Iraq debate, and most of them are most likely happy at the draconian legislation the government want to push through on id cards, and anti terrorism measures such as trial without jury and imprisonment without trial. Now, it seems the Conservatives are reaping the rewards of their silence. From a poll in the Independent, Labour is 11 points ahead with 44% of those polled agreeing that Charles Kennedy and the Lib Dems are a more effective opposition to Blair than Michael Howard and the Tories. If the Lib Dems want to continue to capitalise on this, they really need to keep pressing the issues where the Tories have stayed quiet. There is contunued widespread revulsion in Britain at the decision to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Bush. The Lib Dems, if they really want to challenge Blair need to focus on the "special relationship" between Bush and Blair; they need to continue to argue the case for promoting human rights, and pointing out the rogue regime in Washington has advocated the type of torture seen at Abu Ghraib.

    Blunkett helped with visa claim

    There are calls today for an inquiry into claims that Home Secretary, David Blunkett helped to push through a visa application for his former mistress's nanny. Blunkett apparently has denied the allegations, although has admitted he "checked over" the paperwork. Did he not realise when he was doing this that there would be serious questions arising from this concerning a clash between his personal life and political duties?

    Saturday, November 27, 2004

    Won't the Iraqis be pleased at that?

    The only reason close to justifying our leaders invasion of Iraq, the downfall of Saddam Husseins regime has been repeated on many occasions when our leaders are faced with the questions about deceiving the public on the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction. A classic diversionary tactic, when you can't answer one question, answer another instead. However, we must remember regime change just for the sake of it would be illegal in international law. Close to Iskandariya, Iraq US troops are still battling Husseins followers according to this article, with the help of Saddam Husseins former special forces. Yes, that's correct; US forces are working alongside Husseins special forces to stamp on dissent in Iraq. Perhaps the Iraqis would have preferred having a rogue regime in power like that of Saddam Hussein, I suppose they knew where they stood then. The Iraqis must surely be thinking about how Bush and Blair promised that Husseins regime was gone, on the ground they seem to be seeing something else entirely. And no, I don't think they will be pleased.

    Calls for "terror suspects" trials

    There have been calls by the UNs anti torture body to charge any terror suspects being held. I quite agree, it is appauling in a so called "civilised society" for people to be held indefinitely without any charges whatsoever being brought against those deemed to be "terrorist suspects".

    A war criminal will be inaugurated on January 20...

    ..and the people will protest 4,000+ endorsers for the counter-inaugural protest Over 4,000 have already endorsed A.N.S.W.E.R.'s call for a mass demonstration on January 20, 2005, at the site of the Bush inauguration. This is a legally permitted demonstration. The Bush administration, fully exposed for its destruction of Fallujah and fearing the embarrassment of a mass demonstration at the Inaugural route, is now following the usual script to intimidate the people: publicly announcing that there is an unprecedented security threat on January 20 and that the government is mobilizing 4,000 army combat soldiers to be in the streets of DC that today. There has never been a more important time for the people of the United States to take a clear and powerful stand. The events of the past two weeks again unmasked the criminal nature of the administration. The government asserts that more than 1,200 "insurgents" have been killed in the last week alone. How many are really civilians? Donald Rumsfeld insists at his press conferences that civilians in Fallujah had only themselves to blame for not fleeing their homes but the truth is that Bush and Rumsfeld blocked people from leaving.

    Jesse Jackson to support Ohio recount efforts

    WHAT’S THE LATEST ON THE RECOUNT? On Sunday, November 28, the Reverend Jesse Jackson will speak in Columbus, Ohio to publicly voice his support for the Ohio recount and other challenges to the controversial Ohio vote. Rev. Jackson will be speaking at the Mt. Herman Baptist Church on 2283 Sunbury Road in Columbus at 3:30 p.m. For more information, read the press release.

    Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

    Isn't it interesting while the Bush regime are warning of "serious consequences" in relation to vote fraud in Ukraine, they continue to ignore continued reports of voting irregularities in the US. Following on from the Voting in the "beacon of freedom and democracy" post I made a few days ago, here are a few more articles to chew on: More voting questions raised Meanwhile, attorneys for various citizen action groups that plan to contest the results said they are puzzled that vote totals in the presidential race in Warren County far exceed totals in most other statewide and countywide races. For example, the total of 94,415 votes cast there for President Bush or Sen. John Kerry is 3,000 more than all those cast in the U.S. Senate race and a constitutional amendment about same-sex marriage. Further, 20,000 to 24,000 fewer votes were cast in three Ohio Supreme Court races and 13,000 to 24,000 fewer were cast in various countywide races. In Warren County, which reported a 33 percent increase in voter turnout from the 2000 elections, election officials had banned observers at the polls for "homeland security" concerns. Clifford O. Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the Alliance for Democracy, said he has testimony from poll worker Liz Kent, of Warren County, asserting, "There was no way the actual vote could have been as reported." Widespread election fraud in Cleveland? Attached is my recent precinct by precinct analysis of the 2004 presidential election in Cleveland. There are wholesale shifts of scores of votes from the Kerry column to other candidates, and astonishingly low turnout in certain precincts and entire wards. The Ohio recount will prove these numbers to be fraudulent. Wyoming reports 106% turnout! Out of 232,396 registered voters in the state, 245,789 of them came out to vote this year. 1 in 5 Provisional votes rejected About one of every five of the nearly 14,000 provisional ballots cast Nov. 2 in Hamilton County were rejected by elections officials this week in the official count. Congress to investigate complaints of voting irregularities GAO officials said the investigation was not triggered by a request from several House Democrats, who wrote the agency this month seeking an investigation. The effort, led by senior Judiciary Committee Democrat John Conyers of Michigan, was not joined by any Republicans. Walker said in a statement that some of the election work is under way. The probe will cover voter registration, voting machine problems and handling of provisional ballots, which were given to voters who said they were eligible to cast votes although their names were not on the rolls. He cautioned that the GAO cannot enforce the law if voting irregularities are found, noting that state officials regulate elections and the Justice Department prosecutes voting rights violations and election fraud. Most provisional ballots tossed out ''In hundreds and hundreds of cases … people were being told, 'Just go anywhere and cast a provisional ballot,''' Berks County Election Director V. Kurt Bellman said. The county is processing the 2,580 ballots it received. ..... Bush's edge on Kerry was thinned from 38 to 4 votes because of the provisional ballots, Taylor said. Presidential Recount Efforts Gaining Steam So on Monday, November 22, votersunite.com officially launched their presidential recount effort between George Bush and John Kerry, and like many other sites around the country they have experienced a boost in traffic. Since promoting the recount their traffic has tripled and they have received countless emails of praise and thanks. "More than anyone we want to put this election to rest, and hope that this recount will help several of our readers to have some closure. Our goal is to have 100,000,000 votes by January 1, 2005." Citizens take action to clean up elections Volusia County resident Susan Pynchon, with the help of Volusia County attorney Daniel R. Vaughen, P.A., filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, Nov. 23, seeking to set aside the Nov. 2, 2004 Volusia County election due to irregularities. Election company has long criminal history One of America's two major election companies, Sequoia Pacific, has a felony 'rap sheet' an arm-long. In the endless news coverage of the recent Presidential Election, this news has somehow failed to surface, perhaps because if it had, people might start pouring into the streets here, too. Yet even as Sen. Lugar and the unnamed White House official were making their righteous statements about the virtues of democracy in foreign countries, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley were announcing their findings of irregularities in three Florida counties using electronic voting machines from Sequoia Pacific and industry giant Election Systems & Software, the U.S.'s two largest election services companies. Kerry Won. Here are the Facts. Most voters in Ohio thought they were voting for Kerry. At 1:05 a.m. Wednesday morning, CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53 percent to 47 percent. The exit polls were later combined with—and therefore contaminated by—the tabulated results, ultimately becoming a mirror of the apparent actual vote. Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51 percent to 49 percent. Unless a third gender voted in Ohio, Kerry took the state. So what's going on here? Answer: the exit polls are accurate. Pollsters ask, "Who did you vote for?" Unfortunately, they don't ask the crucial, question, "Was your vote counted?" The voters don't know. Here's why. Although the exit polls show that most voters in Ohio punched cards for Kerry-Edwards, thousands of these votes were simply not recorded. This was predictable and it was predicted. [See TomPaine.com, "An Election Spoiled Rotten," November 1.]

    Blair & Co's incompetence leads to loss of £600 million

    It has been revealed that Britain will receive less than half the amount in compensation claimed from the EU, following the foot and mouth crisis. Blair & Co made a claim for £1 billion, but will receive only £400 million of that. The EU auditors report states that government mishandling of the crisis is behind the loss of £600 million worth of compensation.

    Eyewitness reports from Fallujah

    Fallujah Breaking News: eyewitness reports Some excerpts from the article: Hay Julan – residents of the Hay Julan area who were able to flee Fallujah described an apple smelling chemical with which they were exposed to before the main onslaught into Fallujah. There was a break of about half a day between the presence of the gas/chemical and when the main assault started. The chemical created open wounds on the skin which were very hard to treat. After a while all exposed areas on the skin were cracked and bleeding. People came out of Fallujah with these injuries. They described smoke, a sweet smell and when they were exposed to the smoke, they coughed up blood and had cracked bleeding skin. Most of these families were hiding. When they smelled the gas they thought this was a gas attack and fled their homes and made their way through small backroads unoccupied by Occupation Forces. This happened at the beginning of the attack on Fallujah – around 2 weeks ago. ....... There are systematic arrests by Occupation Troops of boys aged 14-years and upwards are taking place in Heed, Baquba, Ahmeriyat Fallujah, Saqlaawiya and Ramadi. House to house searches. Ahdemeeya in Baghdad is a no-go zone. Pitched battles are taking place between the resistance and occupation forces. British troops are carrying out house-to-house searches in properties along the Euphrates River edging towards Baghdad. .......

    Sanctions should target cause of problems

    Yesterday, the World Trade Organisation finally gave the go ahead for trade sanctions on US products. Although I am not a big fan of generally imposing tarriffs on a countrys products, I do believe carefully selected products should be targetted to help US citizens to see that their regime has made the country look like a pariah state in international terms. The Bush regime has flouted international law, and tore up numerous treaties in its continual two finger salute to the rest of the world. When other nations have flouted international law they have been subject to tough sanctions imposed through the UN, why then should the US not face such sanctions? Let me say here, I am not arguing in favour of the kind of sanctions imposed upon Iraq which crippled their country, and left its citizens destitute. On the contrary, I am saying that if tough sanctions are imposed, they should specifically target the interests of a rogue regime. Why can't the international community press for sanctions against US companies which have donated to Bush for example. Such sanctions could target companies like Hotpoint, Maxwell House, AOL etc.. In fact a list of Republican party donors is available here, perhaps someone could pass this list onto a member of the UN security council and remind them that when countries have flouted international law in the past, the US regime has been one of the first to call for sanctions.

    Peace and Progress party launched

    A new political party has been launched today. Peace and Progress is their name, and their website says they are "For a government of peace. In defence of international law, Democratic and Human Rights", and "For peace and disarmament". It certainly seems like a commendable attempt to hold our "civilised societies" leaders to account. You can visit their website here.

    Please Canada, indict Bush for war crimes

    It would after all be in the interests of peace and security in the world. This article titled "Should Canada indict Bush for crimes against humanity?" makes a compelling case for charges being brought against the rogue regime, when Bush makes his visit there in just a few days time. Perhaps upon entering the country he could have all his possessions taken away from him and never returned, then he could be imprisoned in a tiny cage, go without food for 2 days then face humiliating treatment and torture at the hands of his guards? After all his regime has advocated that sort of treatment for detainees in Iraq.

    More than 70 countries refuse US blood money

    As you may know, the rogue regime in Washington did not sign the International Criminal Court treaty, and ever since the build up to the attack on Iraq began they have been desperately trying to force countries to sign agreements which would guarantee US citizens immunity from prosecution. So far more than 70 countries have refused to sign agreements with Washington to protect any war criminals. The US has already cut off military aid worth £26 million to over 30 countries, and a Republican congressman is now attempting to put through a measure to cut off development aid to any country which fails to protect any potential war criminals.

    Tessa Jowell holds up ITV and Sky news as examples of impartiality

    In this article, titled "Government lays down law to BBC on reporting news" in todays Independent, Tessa Jowell (the minister for culture, media and sport) has responded to claims that Blair & Co want the BBC to report what the government tell them to report by saying "Commercial broadcasters, such as ITV and Sky, have to meet standards of impartiality and accuracy as a condition of their licence." Maybe the culture, media and sports minister needs to be reminded of the accuracy of reports only the other day on both ITV and Sky about a so called "terrorist plot" to crash planes into Canary Wharf. Also, perhaps Ms. Jowell is aware of a man called Rupert Murdoch. Hardly impartial on his media outlets reporting.

    Lancashire MP says US, Britain must not violate international law

    I quite agree, but unfortunately it's too late for that warning. International law has already been violated. PENDLE MP Gordon Prentice has warned the British and American governments that their actions in Iraq must not breach international humanitarian law. It follows concerns expressed by the International Committee of the Red Cross that it may be being breached by the allied forces . Mr Prentice is one of eight MPs to sign a Commons Motion on the issue. The motion reminds the government that "complying with international humanitarian law in Iraq is an obligation not an option". It adds: "We endorse the ICRC view that killing of non-combatants or those no longer fighting, torture of non-combatants and combatants and the taking of hostages whether Iraqi or foreign, are all prohibited."

    Memo seized linking Thatcher to coup plot

    Just a few days ago, investigators working on the failed attempt to overthrow the regime in Equitorial Guinea discovered phone records linking Mark Thatcher to one of the coup plotters. Mark Thatcher denied there was any linkage. Now authorities in South Africa have unearthed yet another piece of the jigsaw, a memo from Simon Mann, (a key plotter) which appears to name Thatcher, it says that Thatchers role must be kept secret; and that "If involvement becomes known, rest of us, and project, likely to be screwed as a side-issue to people screwing him". Interestingly US oil interests are also mentioned in the memo. "We must follow plan to ensure that neither US government nor oil companies feel that their interests are threatened."

    Retiring MP brands constituents as "tedious"

    Tony Banks, a Labour party MP is well known for his sometimes controversial comments. In an interview broadcast today on BBC Radio 4, the MP who will be quitting his seat at the next general election said of his constituency work "It's 22 years of the same cases, but just the faces and the people changing. I found it intellectually numbing, tedious in the extreme." He also said his work made him feel like a "high powered social worker". I'm sure then that he has made the right decision to step down at the general election. After all, usually when people don't like their jobs they don't publicly slate their clients and bemoan the fact they have had to deal with them for 22 years do they?

    Friday, November 26, 2004

    Kerry says count all votes, Bush says embrace results

    John Kerry has, through a web issued statement admitted for the first time that the 2004 US presidential election may not be over. According to this article, "The usage of the word 'regardless' in the carefully parsed statement was the first indication Kerry has offered that, in his mind, the official election results might be inaccurate enough to tilt the election in his favor." Meanwhile, Bush regime officials are telling the people of America they should believe results already announced rather than await any recounts. According to a Dr Stephen Freeman from the University of Pennsylvania "the odds of just three of the major swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania all swinging as far as they did against their respective exit polls were 250 million to one." Now, let me put those odds into context. The odds of someone playing a game of golf getting two holes in one in the same round are 67 million to 1. You can even make a bet that Elvis is still alive at odds of 1000 to 1, and if you put a bet on hard evidence of the Loch Ness monsters existence you can get reasonable odds of 250 to 1. So, anyone for some Elvis spotting then? Or maybe you'd like to join an underwater adventure in the depths of a Scottish Loch to search for a non existant "Loch Ness monster"? Seems there's more chance of you seeing either of those alive, than there is that Bush actually won that election legitimately.

    Questions for the Bush regime

    Republican Senator Richard Shelby, a senior member of the Joint Intelligence Committee investigating the events of the 11th September 2001 stated that the Bush regime had all the available evidence necessary to prevent what happened that day, but did nothing to prevent it. Comments like these from a senior Republican certainly raise important points about the validity of the argument expressed by Bush, Rice, Fleischer etc.. that those events could not have been prevented. On the 27th October 2004, an alliance of 100 prominent Americans and 40 family members of those killed on that dreadful day released a "911 truth statement", calling for immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur. I certainly agree that an inquiry such as this should have been allowed well before now if the regime had nothing to hide. There are 12 important questions the signatories to the statement want answering, these are: 1. Why were standard operating procedures for dealing with hijacked airliners not followed that day? 2. Why were the extensive missile batteries and air defenses reportedly deployed around the Pentagon not activated during the attack? 3. Why did the Secret Service allow Bush to complete his elementary school visit, apparently unconcerned about his safety or that of the schoolchildren? 4. Why hasn't a single person been fired, penalized, or reprimanded for the gross incompetence we witnessed that day? 5. Why haven't authorities in the U.S. and abroad published the results of multiple investigations into trading that strongly suggested foreknowledge of specific details of the 9/11 attacks, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of traceable gains? 6. Why has Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who claims to have knowledge of advance warnings, been publicly silenced with a gag order requested by Attorney General Ashcroft and granted by a Bush-appointed judge? 7. How could Flight 77, which reportedly hit the Pentagon, have flown back towards Washington D.C. for 40 minutes without being detected by the FAA's radar or the even superior radar possessed by the US military? 8. How were the FBI and CIA able to release the names and photos of the alleged hijackers within hours, as well as to visit houses, restaurants, and flight schools they were known to frequent? 9. What happened to the over 20 documented warnings given our government by 14 foreign intelligence agencies or heads of state? 10. Why did the Bush administration cover up the fact that the head of the Pakistani intelligence agency was in Washington the week of 9/11 and reportedly had $100,000 wired to Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader of the hijackers? 11. Why did the 911 Commission fail to address most of the questions posed by the families of the victims, in addition to almost all of the questions posed here? 12. Why was Philip Zelikow chosen to be the Executive Director of the ostensibly independent 911 Commission although he had co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice? It would be interesting to hear the answers don't you think?

    2000 More Iraqis "liberated"

    Thanks to the Bush regime, it seems that 2000 more Iraqis have been "liberated" since the slaughter in Fallujah began. As of Thursday, the death toll was more than 2,085. He also said more than 1,600 people have been arrested, Dawoud told reporters. U.S. officials had said 54 U.S. soldiers and Marines were killed in the offensive that began Nov. 8. Troops still are fighting small pockets of insurgents holding out in southern parts of the city. I say slaughter because of reports like this. Apparently "unusual weapons" have been used there, including, according to eyewitnesses "poison gas". One eye witness stated "I watched them roll over wounded people in the street with tanks."

    $200,000 reward for US election fraud evidence

    Well, $200,000 would probably be more than a US election official would earn in a couple of years I would guess. Specifically, the reward will be given to the person or persons who provide concrete evidence of hacking, tampering, implanting improper software codes, miscounting votes, or vote rigging in one or more states that would change the result of the election. JTM is seeking evidence from insiders, whistleblowers and others in the know who have information about vote fraud. There have been over 30,000 documented instances of voting irregularities in the election, which include improperly tested voting machines and people having access to the machines in unsecure areas. Why haven't these documented cases of voting irregularities been reported on more widely?

    Early Day Motion 152

    I have just found this one. Early Day Motion 152 titled "IRAN'S NUCLEAR ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME" has been tabled by a group of MPs and calls on Blair & Co to resist attempts to depart from diplomacy and multilateralism on the issue of Iran. The full text of the motion and list of MPs (13 so far) who support this motion are available at the link above. You can also find your own MP and urge them to support this motion through the site linked to above.

    Ukrainians really know how to protest

    Yesterday, I said that the Ukrainians could tech Americans a thing or two about how to protest election fraud. Today, it seems the opposition led by Viktor Yushchenko has upped the anti. Opposition leaders are now calling on people to blockade roads around the country to demonstrate their anger at what seems to be obvious fraudulent activity in the Ukrainian elections. Somehow, I can't see John Kerry asking his supporters to do that.

    Can a leopard change its spots?

    The political climate in Britain could certainly be described as strange, when a Conservate leader is talking about tackling Islamophobia, and the leader of a former left wing party known as Labour maintains a "shoulder to shoulder" stance with a right wing extremist fundamentalist from the US; then it couldn't really be described as anything but strange. Michael Howard today made a speech appealing for "etnic minorities" to join the Conservatives. Is this a sign of a leopard changing its spots? I don't think so, politicians often say things purely to appeal to a wide spectrum of public opinion. Here, Howard is described as a "political chameleon". Now, on the other hand, when looking at Blairs history (in particular his membership of campaigning group CND) you could be forgiven for believing that he'd "changed his spots". However, his nature is that of an egomaniac who positively craves power, and the attention of those with power. Remember the old saying, a leopard never changes its spots.

    Bush running scared

    With tens of thousands of protesters planning to greet Bush in the Canadian capital, Ottawa next week it seems like Bush is running scared. Bush has already cancelled a visit to the parliament for fears of heckling, and now it seems he is cutting short his visit to the capital and travelling to Halifax. A similar thing happened last year on his visit to Britain, his planned speech to parliament was cancelled, a sort of triumphal procession down the mall in London was also cancelled, and after protesters discovered the location of an event attended by Powell, he decided not to turn up. It's looking like the turnout in Ottawa is likely to be huge.

    Thursday, November 25, 2004

    Sorry, your £307 million has gone elsewhere

    If Blair was honest, then his response to this article titled "Dear Mr Blair we need £300 million" would be "I'm afraid we have spent all your money on helping Bush in his pet project to invade Iraq." Just one look at the hole in the ceiling of Cardinal Wiseman RC School in Kingstanding should shame Prime Minister Tony Blair into rubber stamping the money - NOW. And that is one of the better schools on a priority list of 36! In others children are left to shiver as wind whistles through rotting window frames, cladding crumbles from the outside shell and pipes rattle with rust. But that is not good enough in the year 2004 and from a Government which proudly boasted that its priority would be "Education, education, education".

    Oil spoils shared out at WEF?

    Just a few months before Iraq was invaded, the following press release was issued by Friends of the Earth:Secret meet at WEF to share Iraqs oil? It would hardly surprise me if that were the case. The report identifies the following companies as potential beneficiaries [3], who are also participants in this year's WEF meeting: Vagit Alekperov, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lukoil Joint Stock Oil Company (Russian Federation) Nick Butler, Group Vice President, Policy Development, British Petroleum - BP (UK) Thierry Desmarest, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TotalFinaElf SA, (France). Sir Phillip Watts, Chairman and Chief Executive, Shell (UK/Netherlands) Politicians and government officials present at the WEF include: Colin Powell, Secretary of State, United States of America Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister of Turkey Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, United Kingdom Cheng Siwei, vice Chairman of the Standing Committee. National People's Congress, People's Republic of China Francis Mer, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, France Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Saudi-Arabia General (Wesley) Clark former supreme Allied Commander for Europe, NATO is also present at the WEF. Friends of the Earth International held a protest outside the WEF at 1pm this afternoon against the "secret oil meeting". Protestors displayed a meeting "agenda" which included two items; 1) "Meet Powell?" and 2) "Iraq, who gets what". They were gagged and carrying placards saying "Not invited: Human Rights, Environment, Trust, The Public and Oil War victims".

    It's imperialism stupid!

    I've always believed that the Bush regimes adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan had far more to do with Imperialism than a so called "war on terror"this article appears to agree with me. It’s imperialism, stupid! (or, Why Bush won) By MANUEL F. ALMARIO To help us understand why the Americans reelected President George Bush despite his big blunder in Iraq—where hundreds of Americans are dying—we may go back to the Spanish-American war in 1898. The war made Cuba a protectorate of the United States and the Philippines first US colony in Asia. In 1900, when President William McKinley, a Republican like Bush, ran for a second term, the primary issue raised against him by the Democrats was “US imperialism” which, they said, was contrary to America’s Declaration of Independence that proclaimed the right of all men to “Liberty.” The annexation of the Philippines by the United States had become a hot issue especially after the US launched an undeclared war against the Filipinos in February 1899. ..... In his book Against All Enemies, Richard A. Clark, former counterterrorism czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations, wrote that Bush had decided to invade Iraq even before 9/11. In a memorandum submitted to Bush, his chief advisers, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz had reasoned that the invasion of Iraq would “create another friendly source of oil for the US market and reduce dependency upon oil from Saudi Arabia, which might suffer overthrow someday.”..... ...... Americans may eventually learn the bitter lessons of empire, just like Europe, but it will take some time yet. Today, hubris and the arrogance of power propel the American braggadocio as exuded by the famous Bush swagger. As long as the poor American boys and the newest immigrants like the Chicanos and the Asian boys are doing the dying, the American power elite will have their way of empire-building. But wait after another draft like that of the Vietnam war, when American boys from the rich families are being dragooned to a war. Then the Americans themselves may turn back to the ideals of their Founding Fathers who fought colonization and proclaimed the right to liberty of all men.

    Ukraine court won't recognise PM

    Ukrainian news agencies have reported according to this article that the supreme court in Ukraine will not recognise the results of the election there until after it has considered an appeal by opposition leaders. BREAKING NEWS: Ukraine court won't recognize PM as leader Canadian Press Thursday, November 25, 2004 KYIV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's Supreme Court said Thursday that the country's presidential election results would not be published as official until it considers an appeal filed by the opposition, which has claimed the vote was rigged, Ukrainian news agencies reported. The decision could significantly boost supporters of opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, who have flooded the streets of Kyiv since the Sunday run-off and have won significant international backing.

    Indymedia Offline newsletter available to download

    If you are a regular visitor to the Indymedia UK website, you may have heard of their newsletter, Offline. You can now download a copy to print off. Back issues are available to April 2001.

    Transcript of Live Chat with Blair

    Well, it seems my questions have been answered. Apparently, Blair did manage to answer some questions. Here are just a few of the questions and answers: Cleopatra: Mr Blair, when will you be taking action on climate change, Mr Bush seems to think there is no problem what do you think? PM Tony Blair: It's a priority for us and we are meeting our targets in Britain. I don't think the head of Greenpeace agrees with you Blair. Shel: Why can't I get urgent medication that I need as my hospital says there is no money? I'm 33 and need it now, not 2 years later. PM Tony Blair: I am surprised about that. There is though probably something we could do if we had more details. The average waiting time is however way down now, 7-8 weeks. Get in touch. I don't know why he is surprised at the deteriorating situation in public services in this country. We all know where money has gone which could have been used better. Turtle: I am not worried about terrorists; I am worried about burglars, muggers, car jackers and anti social youths. PM Tony Blair: That's why we've got a record number of police and this afternoon I will present new measures to fight drugs. We will for example, test people for drugs who we arrest. It's unsurprising Turtle isn't worried about terrorists considering this type of scaremongering. Rose: Would you stand shoulder to shoulder with George W Bush if he was to invade north Korea? PM Tony Blair: He's not going to do that fortunately. But we shouldn't forget the thousands of people who die there every year. And we mustn't forget the North Korean/US trade balance either must we? Kellykell: Was it really necessary to go to war in Iraq? PM Tony Blair: Yes, I believe it was. We have had difficulties but Iraq will become democratic. Liar, it was not necessary at all. You can email Blair through his website to let him know what you think.

    2nd thoughts for Blair?

    I'm wondering, 1 and a half hours after the live chat with Blair was supposed to start if he has been having second thoughts. At the very least he certainly is late for something which has been organised for some time. According to reports Iraq and fox hunting are high on the list of issues which people have sent in questions about. Could Blair be having second thoughts? Has he chickened out of facing the public? Well, I spoke to someone at O2s customer relations department about the Live Chat scheduled for 1PM who said "As far as we're aware it did go ahead" When I tried to speak to someone at Capital FMs switchboard a bit earlier, they put me through to some answering machine. So no answers there then. I do know I was at that page at 1PM, and several times after that, and saw absolutely no Live Chat with Blair going on.

    Ukrainians show it's not what you do.....

    ...it's the way that you do it! Ukrainians have taken to the streets for the fourth day in a row, and are planning a general strike across the country to protest the vote fraud which election observers say has taken place there. It seems to me the Ukrainians could teach Americans a thing or two about how to protest a thief taking control of the country.

    Why Blair must be impeached

    An excellent article by Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP: Why Tony Blair must be impeached In a carefully argued paper ( www.impeachBlair.net ) , prepared for MPs, academics Dan Plesch and Glen Rangwala document 28 instances where the Prime Minister’s public statements are apparently at variance with the information that he had then received from the intelligence services. Much of the information we have now can be found in the evidence to the two inquiries set up by the Prime Minister, Hutton and Butler. Within the evidence now published lies the information that makes the case against the Prime Minister’s conduct. This is not just a matter of Parliament being misled - as we know now it was. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This is also an issue of whether the Prime Minister was in a position to know that his statements were wrong. I offer just one example of the mass of evidence which can now be deployed. On 17 September 2002 the Prime Minister’s own Chief of Staff - Jonathan Powell - wrote in an e-mail that the government "will need to make it clear that we do not claim that we have evidence that he [Saddam] is an imminent threat". And yet when he presented that very case to the House of Commons one week later, Tony Blair claimed "the threat is serious and current". Perhaps the Prime Minister can explain these and the other 27 discrepancies. However, there is a case to answer. No self-respecting parliament can accept a position where its decisions are reached on the basis of misinformation. All standard parliamentary procedures for holding the government to account have been exhausted and found wanting. It is into this vacuum that impeachment comes back as the final protection of Parliament, and thus democracy itself. There is no more important issue than the question of peace or war. There is no more important bulwark of democracy than the ability of the legislature to hold the executive to account. In reviving the process of impeachment, 23 MPs from across the political spectrum have planted our flag in the ground. We shall see now how many others rally to that standard.

    Labour MP says Bush not welcome here

    Cox wants Bush to stay out of Britain Labour MP Tom Cox has called for the US president George Bush to be barred from making another official visit to the UK. The Tooting MP criticised the British Prime Minister, saying: "Are Tony Blair and his supposedly street-wise observers so out of touch with public opinion that they believe George Bush's presence here will have a positive impact for the Labour Government? "What I know from the ongoing letters I receive from local people is that they are deeply concerned at the closeness of the Blair-Bush alliance."

    Text those burning questions to Blair!

    I'm sure some of us could think of some good questions for Blair. In an event organised by mobile phone company O2, anyone with a mobile phone can text questions to Tony Blair and then send it to 80202. Capital Radio's Margherita Taylor will then select 30-35 questions and the prime minister will answer them live in a chat room on O2's website on the 25th November. From Tony Blair to face SMS Question Time

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Iraqi journalist tells of US captivity

    Iraqi journalist tells of US captivity Abdul-Qader Saadi said he was subjected to multiple searches and interrogations; went unfed the first two days; was blindfolded and handcuffed; and had to sleep for days in a wooden cage buffeted by cold winds at a desert detention camp. Saadi, who has reported part-time for The Associated Press since early in the year, also complained of having to strip naked for a medical examination by doctors he didn't know, a humiliating experience for an Arab. "This was really painful," he said Tuesday, several days after his release on Sunday.

    Security, security, security

    When Blair got to power he promised his focus would be on "education, education, education". Blairs focus now seems to be "security, security, security". Oops, I wonder what happened there then? Three women and a man were arrested after walking into the key building at Whitehall and demanding to speak to "those responsible for the killing in Iraq". The three women were inside for 20 minutes before the alarm was raised at lunchtime yesterday, it is understood. The breach is particularly embarrassing as it came on the day of the Queen's Speech in Parliament when Westminster was packed with armed police.

    Hain slated for opportunism and fearmongering

    And quite rightly so. Although Blair last night tried to play down any claims of trying to make political capital from terrorism, it is hard to see what else they are doing. Former spy chief, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones said today “What we need in society is trust, and trust means you don’t actually try and gain political advantage out of a very serious issue.” Labour peer Baroness Kennedy attacked her party’s “opportunistic” attempts feed people’s fears. “How do we know if Britain will be less safe under the Conservatives?” she asked on the ITV News Channel. “Labour has undoubtedly led the way, but whether we can say that any others would have dealt with it differently, I don’t know. This American-style campaigning is regrettable.”

    Resistance to the empire

    In just a few days time, Bush will be visiting Canada. Protesters are continuing to plan for demonstrations against the rogue regime on the 30th November. It is looking increasingly likely that these protests will be on a large scale. I hope there is a turnout similar to those in London last year, that would definitely send a very powerful message.

    Lawsuit filed for new elections in Volusia, Florida

    They are doing some good work at Black Box Voting to look into election fraud in the US. A lawsuit has been filed in the Volusia county of Florida alleging irregularities. Full text of the lawsuit can be found here.

    Something to hide? Ashamed of the truth?

    Quite mysteriously (or maybe not so mysterious), it has emerged today the website of the Impeach Blair campaign was deleted by the web hosting company, 49pence yesterday with the loss of 500 signatures supporting the campaign. According to this article however, the website is back up and running again thankfully. The 49pence web hosting company had no comment to make when questioned about the deletion of the site by either the Impeach Blair camapign, or by journalists researching the article. Don't you think the timing of this deletion is interesting considering the motion to impeach Blair has been tabled today. Seems to me Blair & Co are ashamed of the truth.

    Bush state visit to Britain in February?

    I was rather surprised when reading this article that there are plans for another state visit by Bush to Britain in February. Authorities managed to keep that one quiet! Mind you, it's no wonder there has been relative silence considering the reception he got when he came over last time. Hidden well within the article are the words "Representatives from the US Embassy in London will visit the exhibition at the church and report back to the White House before President Bush's state visit to Britain in February." I also note that Bush may visit my area of the country, if he does then don't worry, there'll be many of us making our way to Chorley with our go home Bush banners!

    Oxfords impeach Blair bid fails

    Along with the main Westminster bid to impeach Blair, councillors in a number of places throughout Britain are debating the merits of impeaching their own areas MP. Unfortunately a bid to support the campaign to impeach Blair and to impeach their own MP failed at an Oxford City Council meeting. Shame on the 8 Lib Dem councillors who either abstained or voted against the motions. Without their votes Oxford would have been the first place in Britain to have voted to support the bid to impeach both Blair, and their own MP.

    Blunkett says vote Lib Dem if you don't like it!

    David Blunkett, interviewed on Newsnight last night said that if traditional Labour Party supporters didn't like their policies of trial without jury, imprisonment without trial or introduction of id cards, then they could just go and vote Liberal if they wanted to. Interesting to see that while the debate about civil liberties rages between Labour and the Lib Dems, the Tories are being slowly squeezed out of British politics as they really have nothing worthwhile to say. And they can't really argue much against the measures the Labour party is hoping to introduce, as most of them would probably agree with them anyway. Maybe Labour and the Tories could merge, there doesn't seem to be much disagreement between the two main parties anymore following Blair assuming control of Conservative policy areas.

    Greens back Blair impeachment bid

    Good for the Green party. They've always maintained an anti war stance, and have been among the few in British politics questioning and attacking our poodles reasons for invading Iraq.

    Shooting at 4 year old, refusing treatment to injured civilians

    This is what the people of Iraq see when they see US, UK and other troops remain in their country. My guess is that if the US commanders allowed injured Iraqis to receive treatment and not be denied drugs they need, as well as not allowing snipers to shoot at 4 year olds then Iraq would be a much different place now.

    Israeli commander says killing 3 year old is ok

    An Israeli army officer who repeatedly shot at a 13 year old Palestinian girl was charged this week with illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and other relatively minor infractions after emptying all 10 bullets from his gun's magazine. From a tape recording played on Israeli TV it seems obvious this young girl was scared about what was going on around her and was trying to make her way back to the refugee camp, she was no threat to Israeli troops whatsoever. The Captain stated on the tape broadcast quite chillingly "Anything that's mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed." That is disgraceful.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    Turks called on to boycott US, British and Israeli goods

    Well, as a Brit opposed to actions being carried out in my name I can hardly blame people for wishing to protest in this way. Human Rights And Freedoms Humanitarian Aid Foundation Calls On People To Boycott U.S., British And Israeli Goods Anadolu Agency: 11/23/2004

    Amnesty Press Release: Ukrainians right to protest

    Ukraine: Authorities must protect right to freedom of assembly and expression Amnesty International today urged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly and the principle of proportionality of force is respected by law enforcement officers at all times and that demonstrators are not ill-treated or detained for exercising their right to peaceful assembly. Tensions are mounting in the capital, Kyiv, as opposition supporters from all over Ukraine continue to gather in Independence Square to protest the results of the second round of the presidential elections. Viktor Yanukovych has been declared the winner by the Central Election Commission, but the opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko has declared the results to be falsified and, quoting the example of Georgia, has called on his supporters to continue a non-violent struggle to overturn the results. Amnesty International recognizes that the Ukrainian authorities have both a responsibility and an obligation to ensure the safety and security of local inhabitants and property. However, it is also their duty to ensure that people can peacefully exercise their right to freedom of assembly and expression. Amnesty International is reminding the Ukrainian authorities of their obligations under international treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The organization is also asking for assurances that human rights standards relating to the use of force and firearms are fully observed during policing operations. Amnesty International does not oppose the lawful use of reasonable force by police officers. However, the government must ensure that police officers act in accordance with international standards and use force only when strictly necessary in accordance with the Article 3 of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials which states: "Law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty". Background The first round in the presidential elections in Ukraine was held on 31 October and resulted in a narrow win for the opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) the election campaign was marked by overwhelmingly biased media coverage in favour of the government candidate Viktor Yanukovych. There were reports of pressure on voters to vote for particular candidates and irregularities at polling stations. The authorities failed to take remedial action between the two rounds of voting and the International Election Observation Mission reported that "State executive authorities and the Central Election Commission (CEC) displayed a lack of will to conduct a genuine democratic election process." In the months before the second round of elections, on 21 November, Amnesty International received reports that the Ukrainian authorities violated the rights of freedom of expression and assembly and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. These included reports that members of the youth opposition organization PORA were subjected to arbitrary arrest throughout Ukraine, and in Sumy election observers and members of the public who gathered at a polling station to demand the results of the elections on 31 October were subjected to arbitrary arrest.

    Well said Charlie

    I have to say, I have been impressed by Charles Kennedys' stance in relation to the "shoulder to shoulder" approach adopted by Blair. He has questioned the tactics employed in the so called "war on terror", in particular he heavily criticised the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas to obvious robust jeers from Labour Party and Tory MPs in the House of Commons. He has also on numerous occasions pressed the poodle on detainees at Guantanamo and the legitimacy of the current project in Iraq. Today, he has quite rightly attacked Blair & Co for scaremongering following the Queens speech I spoke about earlier. Charles Kennedy has also vigorously opposed ID cards in the past and has pledged he will continue to do so.

    The Blunkett speech

    You might have seen or heard the Queens Speech earlier today. As one BBC reporter viewed it, "Voters could be forgiven for suspecting this was less the Queen's speech and more the home secretary's speech." Indeed. The word "security" is mentioned 3 times, as is "terrorism". The speech also contains references to tackling drug and alcohol abuse, however it is interesting to note that Blair & Co believe that having 24 hour licensing laws, and aiding the increase in methadone (a heroine substitute) addiction will solve these problems. Also, interesting to note in the speech are plans to deal with "harrassment by animal rights activist". Will anyone now protesting against some of the disgraceful practices carried out by researchers now be classed as "terrorists"? And will they under Blunketts proposed new imprisonment without trial policy be classed as "terrorist suspects" I wonder? Also, there is a brief mention of the corporate killing bill I mentioned the other day. However, I won't hold my breath for this to be introduced.

    Blair, scaremonger in chief

    I've long said that Blair & Co have used what happened on the 11th September 2001 to whip the public up into such a frenzy, that they are willing to support anything to help in the so called "war on terrorism". This report, titled "The Politics of Fear" looks at how the government scaremonger. All political parties in Britain need to seriously address the issues raised in this report. Opposition parties in particular need to hold Blair to account far more effectively than they have been up until now.

    Anti War group slams the BBC

    Anti-war group slams the BBC A MUSWELL Hill anti-war group has launched a campaign against the BBC's Iraq coverage. The Muswell Hill Stop The War Group, which counts Victoria Wood and Juliet Stevenson among its backers, has accused the corporation of unfair reporting. Robin Beste, 60, from Muswell Road, complained about Newsnight's coverage on the assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja. Mr Beste said: "The broadcasts are simply a one dimensional justification of the assault. "There was a long cast of pro-war commentators, with no counter-balancing opinion to represent what is, according to all recent polls, the view held by 50 per cent of the British public who oppose the war in Iraq. "They did not show the results of the bombardment on the civilians living there." He also suggested that the corporation has been afraid to criticise the government since the fallout from the Hutton report. The campaign is now urging its 1,000 members to report biased coverage or stories trumpeting allied successes.

    More fearmongering

    Last night, ITV news proudly proclaimed, a terrorist plot to crash planes into Londons Canary Wharf had been foiled they said, according to "sources". However, in this report, anti-terrorist sources say they were unaware of any such plot, let alone a plot like this being foiled. Seems to be a case of more fearmongering on behalf of Blair & Co.

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Pre-election election campaign starts

    It seems that over the past few days the 3 main political parties in Britain have been setting out their stalls ready for the general election widely expected to be called for spring next year. Liberal Democrats, the 3rd placed party in Britain seems to be focussing on its plans to scrap university tuition fees, charging a 50p tax rate for those earning over £100,000 and scrap the Council tax. They are also likely to capitalise from a widely unpopular anti war vote, they were the only one of the 3 major parties who opposed the invasion of Iraq. That has earned them support among voters. The Conservatives under Micheal Howard would, they say improve hospital hygiene, impose stricter classroom discipline and introduce some sort of "points system" for immigrants to Britain. The Tories always supported the invasion of Iraq, they seem 2 faced when they now question anything told to the House of Commons by Blair when they say they would have supported an invasion anyway. The Labour Party is planning on introducing draconian legislation which will allow "terrorists" or "terrorist suspects" to be imprisoned without trial, and face juryless trials. They are also planning on introducing id cards and they claim the Labour Party if re-elected will crack down more on crime.

    Angry Ukrainians protest election

    Over 100,000 Ukrainians have taken to the streets in anger after claims that widespread fraud had taken place. With almost all results counted, the Russian backed candidate appeared to have won the election.

    Husseins lawyers thinking of suing the US

    Apparently Saddam Husseins lawyers are considering a move to sue the US for war crimes carried out in Iraq. What a strange era we are living in when one regime which has violated human rights is suing a regime which invaded their country illegaly! I guess these are the sorts of things which are possible when you breach international law.

    Flashback to 2002

    An article in the Ithica Journal, published on the 25th May 2002 focussed on US soldiers preparing for their second mission at Bagram, Afghanistan. Army Private Matt Guckenheimer was interviewed earlier that year and spoke frankly about orders given to them. Matt stated "We were told there were no friendly forces," said Guckenheimer, an assistant gunner with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. "If there was anybody there, they were the enemy. We were told specifically that if there were women and children to kill them." It seems perverse to me that orders were given to kill women and children. And I am wondering just how many women and children in Fallujah (and indeed the rest of Iraq) have been killed for getting in the way.

    The tail leading the dog?

    A retired senior CIA analyst has stated that the Bush regimes "unqualified support for Israel" is assisting Bin Laden to recruit. It is indeed the case that Britain has in the Israel/Palestine issue remained relatively impartial in comparison to the US, and has, like our European friends and neighbours attempted to persist with dialogue.

    16,000 protest US based terrorist traing camp

    A record16,000 people showed up to protest the School of the Americas. Congratulations to those fighting against the terrorist training camp based in the US, it is unfortunate however that in a "beacon of freedom and democracy" protestors are arrested for wearing masks.

    "Regime change"

    Isn't it strange, when human rights abuses are actually being carried out in other countries our "civilised societies" leaders are silent. Take for example Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai the leader of the countrys main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change yesterday told an audience in London that "We want regime change in Zimbabwe. But we want regime change by through the ballot, not the bullet." Why aren't our leaders pressing more for democracy in Zimbabwe? And why did the Bush regime water down the UN resolution on Sudan if it is so interested in human rights? The Bush regime, backed by their poodle decided to illegaly invade and occupy Iraq based, it is true on allegations of Iraqs so called "WMD programmes". However, they also cited that "regime change" was necessary for the Iraqi people. (this was not the legal justification for invading Iraq though as we all know) Well, exactly where were our "civilised societies" when Saddam Husseins regime was abusing his own people? Of course our leaders at the time were assisting him when it suited.