Saturday, April 29, 2006

Tens of Thousands march for peace

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters marched Saturday through Manhattan to demand an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq just hours after an American soldier died in a roadside explosion in Baghdad -- the 70th U.S. fighter killed in that country this month.

"End this war, bring the troops home," read one of the many signs lifted by marchers on a sunny afternoon three years after the war in Iraq began. The mother of a Marine killed two years ago in Iraq held a picture of her son, born in 1984 and killed 20 years later.

Cindy Sheehan, a vociferous critic of the war whose 24-year-old soldier son also died in Iraq, joined in the march, as did actress Susan Sarandon and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. One group marched under the banner "Veterans for Peace," while other marchers came from as far off as Maryland and Vermont.

The demonstrators stretched for about 10 city blocks as they headed down Broadway. A police spokesman declined to give an estimate of the size of the crowd, although organizers claimed there were 300,000 people. There were no arrests.

"We are here today because the war is illegal, immoral and unethical," said the Rev. Al Sharpton. "We must bring the troops home."

Along with their call for the return of the troops from Iraq, organizers said, the march was meant to express opposition to any military action against Iran. The event was organized by the group United for Peace and Justice.

"We've been lied to, and they're going to lie to us again to bring us a war in Iran," said Marjori Ramos, 43, of Staten Island. "I'm here because I had a lot of anger, and I had to do something."

Steve Rand, an English teacher from Waterbury, Vermont, held a poster announcing, "Vermont Says No to War."

"I'd like to see our troops come home," he said.

The march stepped off shortly after noon from Union Square, with the demonstrators heading to downtown Manhattan for a rally at Foley Square -- between the U.S. courthouse and a federal office building.

The death toll in Iraq for April was the highest for a single month in 2006 before Saturday's fatality. At least 2,399 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began.

Although that figure is well below some of the bloodiest months of the Iraq conflict, it marks a sharp increase over March, when 31 American service members were killed. January's death toll stood at 62 and February's at 55. In December 2005, 68 Americans died.

Article Source CNN

Friday, April 28, 2006

US policy is bin Laden's 'indispensable ally'

Ex-CIA analyst says US policies in Islamic world have given boost to Al-Qaeda and its leaders.

WASHINGTON - The former head of the CIA unit hunting Osama bin Laden unit said Wednesday that US policy in the Middle East has given a boost to Al-Qaeda and its leader.

"Today, bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and their allies have only one indispensable ally: the US foreign policy towards the Islamic world," said Michael Scheuer, who led the bin Laden unit from 1996-1999.

"Time is not on America's side. We're clearly losing," Scheuer told a government security conference in Washington.

"We're at a point where Al-Qaeda and bin Laden are changing into Al-Qaedism and bin Ladenism - a philosophy and a movement rather than a man and an organization," the former CIA analyst said. "More than any other factor, the US invasion of Iraq and the prolonged occupation of this country has produced this transformation."

Scheuer said bin Laden has focused on US policies in the Islamic world, such as the US military presence of Iraq and Afghanistan, its economic and military support to Israel and its "decades old support for apostate and tyrannical government across the Islamic world."

"The cumulative impact of several events over the past two years have gone a good ways towards increasing Muslim hatred for Americans simply because they are Americans," he said, pointing to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, the treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo prison camp and caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed printed in European and US newspapers.

"Each of these events are unfortunate but not terribly serious for the Western minds. But from the Muslim perspective they are deliberate and vicious attacks against the things that guide their lives and their faiths," he said.

Scheuer, who resigned from the CIA in November 2004, is the author of "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror," which was published with the approval of the CIA despite its damning conclusion that US actions are inflaming a global Muslim insurgency.

Source : Here

At least 58 dead in Baqouba fighting

The death toll in two days of fighting around Baqouba climbed to 58, including seven Iraqi soldiers, Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Awad said today.

Iraqi police continued to fight insurgents in the streets of the city, 30 miles north-east of Baghdad, and witnesses saw at least two wounded police officers being carried to police vehicles for evacuation.

Iraqi soldiers also patrolled the city, which was closed to pedestrians and traffic by a curfew.

The fighting in the Baqouba area erupted yesterday when insurgents using mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire attacked five police checkpoints, a police station and an Iraqi army headquarters, Iraqi and US officials said.

Clashes and raids continued through the night, Iraqi officials said.

Seven Iraqi soldiers are known to have been killed.

Ahmed said most of the dead were insurgents, adding 74 others were arrested.

US officials said two civilians were killed and the wounded included 10 Iraqi soldiers, four policemen and four civilians.

Article Source Here

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Iraq's Vice Presidents sister murdered

The sister of newly appointed Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the capital Baghdad. Meysoun al-Hashemi and her bodyguard were gunned down while driving through the Hai al-Ilam part of the city shortly after leaving her home.

The attack follows the killing of one of Mr Hashemi's brothers on 13 April.

Footage from the scene of the attack here from the BBC (windows media player required)

'CIA commit widespread human rights violations' says European lawmakers

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - European lawmakers said Wednesday they had discovered a ``widespread regular practice'' of human rights violations by the CIA in Europe.

The lawmakers said they had documented a series of incidents in which terror suspects were kidnapped by the CIA in Europe, or handed over to the agency by European officials in violation of human rights treaties.

They said they had also found that the CIA has conducted more than 1,000 undeclared flights over European territory since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks - some carrying suspected terrorists to countries where they could face torture.

The suspects often were transported across Europe by the same planes and groups of people working for the CIA, the lawmakers said in a preliminary report.

``After 9/11, within the framework of the fight against terrorism, the violation of human and fundamental rights was not isolated or an excessive measure confined to a short period of time, but rather a widespread regular practice in which the majority of European countries were involved,'' said Italian lawmaker Giovanni Claudio Fava, who drafted the report.

The CIA declined to comment on the report.

A spokeswoman for Fava said he was referring to ``extraordinary renditions'' of terror suspects by American agents in Europe outside the established system of international law. She said he also was referring to allegations outside his jurisdiction, such as the U.S. treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, U.S. cooperation with Uzbekistan, which is accused of torturing detainees, and American renditions outside Europe.

The European inquiry started in January after media reports that U.S. intelligence officers interrogated al-Qaida suspects at secret prisons in eastern Europe and transported some on secret flights that passed through Europe.

The focus of the inquiry changed as people who said they were abducted by U.S. agents gave detailed accounts of transfers to what they called secret detention centers in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa.

Secret stopovers in Europe en route to countries where suspects could face torture, and extraordinary renditions of detainees would breach the continent's human rights treaties.

As of late December, some 100 to 150 people have been seized in ``renditions'' involving taking terror suspects off the street of one country and flying them to their home country or another where they are wanted for a crime or questioning. Government officials have said the action is reserved for those considered by the CIA to be the most serious terror suspects. Mistakes, however, have been made, and are being investigated by the CIA's inspector general.

Intelligence officials have said that many of the secret flights are more likely to be carrying staff, supplies or Director Porter Goss on his way to a foreign visit, rather than suspected terrorists.

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity.

EU lawmakers based their preliminary report on data from Eurocontrol, the European Union's air safety agency, and three months of hearings that included more than 50 hours of testimony by EU officials, rights groups and individuals who said they were kidnapped by U.S. agents and tortured.

Data showed that CIA planes made numerous stops on European territory that were never declared, violating an international treaty that requires airlines to declare the route and stopovers for planes with a police mission, Fava said.

``The routes for some of these flights seem to be quite suspect. ... They are rather strange routes for flights to take. It is hard to imagine ... those stopovers were simply for providing fuel,'' he said.

He cited the alleged transfer of an Egyptian cleric abducted from a Milan street in 2003, a German who claimed he was transferred from Macedonia to Afghanistan, and the transfer of a Canadian citizen from New York to Syria, among other suspect flights.

Documents provided by Eurocontrol showed Khalid al-Masri, the German, was transferred to Afghanistan in 2004 by a plane that originated in Algeria and flew via Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Skopje, Macedonia, and Baghdad, Iraq before landing in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Al-Masri, who was born in Kuwait, had told the European Parliament committee earlier this year he was arrested by U.S. intelligence agents on the Macedonian border while on vacation, taken to a hotel in Skopje, and imprisoned there for several weeks before being flown to Kabul and imprisoned for five months and tortured. He said he was flown back to Europe in May 2004 and released in Albania.

Fava called it unlikely that EU governments such as Italy, Bosnia and Sweden knew nothing about CIA operations.

The United States has not made any public comment on the allegations and the official line by EU governments and senior EU officials is that there has been no irrefutable proof of such renditions.

``We have no comment. We will wait for the investigation to finish,'' said Friso Roscam Abbing, spokesman for EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini.

Fava provided no evidence of secret CIA prisons on EU territory, saying the committee would turn their attention to alleged detention centers later and may go to Poland and Romania in September.

He said the committee plans to travel next month to Washington to discuss the allegations of renditions and secret prisons with lawmakers from U.S. Congress, top Bush administration officials and non-governmental organizations.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How would Jesus treat a 15 year old peace maker ?

Well I wish this story surprised me but sadly it does not.....

Ava Lowery is a fifteen-year-old who lives in Alabama. She calls herself a peace activist, and for the past year, she’s been producing her own short animations on her website, All in all, she’s made about seventy of them, she says, and most of them oppose Bush and his Iraq War.

“I was just so mad about it,” she explains. “And the media are not showing the real images of the war, so I did a lot research and started my own website.”

She submitted one of her latest creations, “WWJD,”(click to watch) to the monthly “contagious” contest that is running. (It’s an open contest that ranks the number of viewers for each submission.)

“WWJD” (“What Would Jesus Do”) is a powerful animation that features a soundtrack of a child singing “Jesus loves me, this I know” while one picture after another of a wounded, bloody, or screaming Iraqi child fills the screen.

“The object of the animation,” says Lowery, is “to get the following point across: Jesus loves Iraqis, too.”Lowery ends the video with quotations from Beatitudes, including, “Blessed are they who mourn” and “Blessed are the meek” and “Blessed are the merciful” and “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

She says she’s received a lot of positive feedback in short messages back to her site. And she understands that the fact that “people are on the web, and they just let loose.” But she was unprepared for the viciousness of the negative feedback—especially the ugly sexual slurs similar to those that Cindy Sheehan has faced.

(If you can’t stand foul language, stop reading now.)

“It’s people like you who need to fucking die and get raped while your corpse rots in the sun,” said one e-mail Lowery shared with me.

“Fuck you, I would jack off on your parents if I could. If you don’t like the team, get out of the park. That means take ur small dick and get the fuck off of my homeland you faggot chocolate gulper.”

“You are a TRAITOR to your country and should be executed for treason,” another one said. “All you do is bitch about the US. If you hate it so much, why don’t you GET THE FUCK OUT.”

“Why don’t you go masterbate [sic] to a pic of Sheehan and fuck off,” said a third.

“Are you a muslem [sic] terrorist?” asked another.

She says there was a threat against her that was circulating “on the conservative underground.” And she says she received one e-mail from someone who said, “Contact me ASAP. It concerns a danger to your life.”When her mom called the number, the person who answered denied any knowledge of the threat, Lowery says.

She adds: “I was really weirded out by it.”

Article Source : ICS

And those who would abuse a peaceful fifteen year old girl who spends her time caring about the suffering of children would try to inform us that they somehow claim the moral high ground..


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What did hit the Pentagon on 9/11 ?(must watch flash presentation)

This is a well produced flash presentation that brings together many of the unanswered questions from that fateful day. I put forward no opinion on this production I simply present it here for your viewing.


'Zarqawi video' posted on website

A website has posted what it says is a rare video message by the most wanted leader of the Iraq insurgency, al-Qaeda's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It shows a man, described as Zarqawi, saying mujahideen were still fighting despite a three-year "crusade".

Zarqawi had previously issued messages on audiotapes, while US troops obtained photos of him last year. The Jordanian-born militant emerged in Iraq as the leader of an insurgent group that later merged with al-Qaeda.

The authenticity of the video has not been confirmed, but it was posted on a website that Zarqawi's group often uses to issue messages.

One part of the recording shows a man - who bears a strong resemblance with previous pictures of Zarqawi - sitting on the floor and addressing a group of masked men with an automatic rifle at his side.

"Your mujahideen sons were able to confront the most ferocious of crusader campaigns on a Muslim state," the man says.

"By God, America will be defeated in Iraq," he adds.

Source : BBC


Watch a clip of the video Here (Windows media player required)

Fake pregnant bomber kills 8 in Sri Lanka

A female suicide bomber disguised to look pregnant blew herself up in front of a car carrying Sri Lanka's highest-ranking general, killing eight people and badly injuring the top officer.

Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka suffered serious abdominal injuries, underwent surgery and was in stable condition after the brazen attack on the army's heavily fortified headquarters, military and medical officials said.

The army general's driver and escort and 27 people, including a number of civilians, were wounded, spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. It was not clear if any other top Sri Lankan military officials were hurt, or if the eight killed included the bomber.

Police blamed Tamil Tiger insurgents, who often have used women to carry out suicide attacks in their long fight for a separate homeland."A powerful blast activated by a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber claimed the lives of several army and civil personnel," the army said in a statement.

The bombing was certain to put further pressure on the country's 4-year-old cease-fire, which has been threatened by rising violence that has killed at least 83 people this month, including 43 soldiers or police.

Source: USA Today

Bush's approval ratings slip to new low

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's approval ratings have sunk to a personal low, with only a third of Americans saying they approve of the way he is handling his job, a national poll released Monday said.

In the telephone poll of 1,012 adult Americans carried out Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN, 32 percent of respondents said they approve of Bush's performance, 60 percent said they disapprove and 8 percent said they do not know.

That's a significant drop from the way Americans perceived the president a year ago. In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll carried out April 29-May 1, 2005, Americans were split on their assessments of Bush's performance, with 48 percent saying they approved and 49 percent saying they disapproved.

CNN's poll has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points for most questions.

It was one of four conducted within the past 10 days that have yielded similar results: a Pew Center poll carried out April 7-16 gave Bush a 35 percent approval rating; a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll carried out last Tuesday and Wednesday gave him a 33 percent approval rating; and an American Research Group poll carried out Tuesday through Friday gave him a 34 percent approval rating.

Asked whether the term "strong and decisive leader" describes Bush, 46 percent said yes, down from 62 percent who said they felt that way in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey carried out July 22-24, 2005.

Asked whether "honest and trustworthy" describes the president, 40 percent said yes, down from 56 percent in a survey carried out April 1-2 last year.

Many killed in Egypt resort blasts (video)

Source BBC video (windows media player required)

At least 23 people - including three foreigners - have been killed and 62 wounded in three blasts in the Egyptian resort town of Dahab, officials say.The explosions occurred in a bustling area popular with tourists during the early evening when many people would have been out in cafes and restaurants.

Eyewitnesses spoke of seeing debris and body parts in the streets. Southern Sinai peninsula resorts have been hit before. About 60 people were killed in Sharm el-Sheikh last July. The attack on Dahab, a low-key resort popular with Western backpackers, budget Israeli tourists and divers, was swiftly condemned. There were lots of bodies around, people running with blood coming out of their faces

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called the explosions a "wicked terrorist act", and US President George W Bush described it as "heinous". The Hamas-led Palestinian government said it "strongly condemns this criminal act which floutsour religion, shakes Palestinian national security and works against Arab interests".

Israel's ambassador in Cairo urged Israelis in Sinai to leave immediately, and a stream of Israeli cars were reportedly heading to the Israeli border at Taba by late evening. Israel has offered to send emergency teams to the scene, the defence ministry said.

Dahab was full with Egyptians enjoying a Spring holiday and Israelis marking the end of Passover when the three explosions occurred in quick succession at about 1900 (1700GMT). They ripped through two restaurants and a supermarket in the busy shopping and restaurant area close the seafront.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Jawad al-Maliki

Well whats new. There have been so many thousands of stories that this site has missed it becomes almost impossible to pick which stories to cover. So for now I will just pick one ....

Iraq has a new prime minister a certain Jawad al-Maliki. In many ways a change without change. He has spent his time being the loyal number two of Ibrahim al-Jaafari the outgoing interim prime minister so we can expect little to actually change in the way of policy inside the country .

However as with almost all things we are told about the war on terror, it's what we are not told that so often highlights the hypocrisy of the fight taking place. Jawad al-Maliki is a stalwart of Iraq's Dawa party - the Shia political group that for years led an armed underground resistance to the secular Baathist leadership of Saddam Hussein.

In fact "armed underground resistance" is one of those witty little word games that disguises the true meaning of the context within .

The word we are looking for in this case is "terrorists" . Yes Mr Maliki has spent much of his career in support of acts of terrorism. What terrorism you say ?

Well Twenty-one years ago an Iraqi exile crashed a General Motors truck full of propane and the explosive hexogen through the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait and detonated his deadly load, killing five and injuring 37. In the hour that followed, four other bombs exploded in Kuwait City, one at the French Embassy, wounding many more. Those explosions were among a series of terrorist attacks carried out in the 1980s by the Iranian-based Dawa (Call), a radical Islamic group , yes the very same Dawa party that runs Iraq today.

Dawa's terrorism began in 1981, after Hussein declared the party illegal in Iraq and Jaafari (Maliki) and other members fled by the thousands to Iran.

A car bombing by Dawa members at the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut killed 61 people in an incident sometimes cited as the beginning of modern suicide attacks. In 1995, a Dawa suicide bomber tried to assassinate the emir of Kuwait, Sheik Jaber al-Sabah, injuring him and killing four others. All through the 1980s clandestine members set off bombs in public buildings in Iraq and were also accused by Iraq of throwing grenades into crowds during religious services.

Hezbollah (Party of God), the Lebanese group now high on the U.S. terrorist list, merged with the Lebanese branch of Dawa and still has close ties to some of its members, according to Middle East specialists. "Dawa was very active in trying to spread [the Iranian] revolution into Iraq and trying to topple Saddam Hussein with it," said Kenneth Katzman, a congressional expert on the Shia. "There were militant factions conducting assassinations, setting off detonations."

Dawa is one of two major parties in the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shia group that won a thin majority of the seats in the new Iraqi National Assembly. The other, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, is an offshoot of Dawa formed in Tehran in 1982, and is considered even closer to Iran.

So it seems we have removed the evil Saddam and replaced him with a group of (ex) terrorists who having now achieved power can safely refer to their own history as belonging to a simple ""armed underground resistance" group .

We all 'thought' we knew that the thousands of coalition soldiers and the many tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis died in the name of the 'war on terror' but most of us never realised that the objective was to put the terrorists in charge.

It seems whilst this site was dormant the merry go round has just kept on turning.

Site News

Well I have been away a long time so it is probably about time I popped my head above the parapet....

Firstly can I say a big thank you to Djeb for putting a few posts up and keeping a watchful eye over the site whilst I have been indisposed. Djeb has gone(as he stated) to get his hands dirty in Canada doing permaculture work and you can keep up with all his projects over at Permaculture reflections

In the last two months I have been unable to check the site in any way so I am surprised to find it still here and even more surprised to find quite a few people who still check in only to find the same thing as they found the last time they passed through. So it is long overdue for me to give an update on the status of the blog.

Whilst I am at it, I would also like to apologise to those of you who have emailed the site in the last couple of months and not got any reply from me. My intention was to get round to replying but it just became overwhelming.

Since I have been away I have found that many of the excellent sources and sites that I have always found inspiring have also become dormant such as Daily Dissent which has officially and regrettably closed shop and the equally fine Logical Voice which has not been updated for a few weeks now.

On the plus side sites like information clearing house seem to be going from strength to strength and they have now branched out to allow comments from their thousands of readers. Finding so many well informed and educated commenter's in one place is a blessing after living here at terrorism news for so long with what became a constant daily bombardment from those whose only desires seemed to be the wish for mass genocide of the people of Iran and the continued torture and abuse of prisoners at places like Guantanamo bay.

Whats new .... Well Rove and McClellan have gone , Iraq has a new Prime Minister and the war pimps are still hyping the bull shit to the max in preparation of the latest pet project of the American President called Operation Iraqi (oops Iranian) freedom in what will be yet more prime time television for the extreme right wing of the world and a sickening massacre of innocents to the rest of us.

Bin Laden has a new tape out (yawn) just in time to help Monsieur Bush through the lowest possible public approval rating of almost any leader in history. It seems no matter how low the opinions go Mr Bin Laden is always on hand to try and help out his Republican friend in times of need.

What about me ... Well I don't really know. I do know that the constant need to repeat myself (daily) against the constant flow of those who have the energy to leave a comment but lack the basic courtesy to read and apply the sites very simple posting policy was very monotonous so my tolerance for such things has reached zero.

Once was the time where a decent upbringing and manners left me feeling obliged to reply to each and every absurd non sequitur that passed through this site but my view has evolved into one of decency and courtesy will always be returned in kind and personal attacks and hatred of Muslims etc will just simply be placed into the void. Life is too short to spending time dealing with other peoples hatred and anyway freedom of speech means that they are all welcome to create their own blogs to spout out whatever they wish.

So the site is back up and running if not at any where near the intensity that it once was. By the way if any of you out there who share the sites left of centre and global perspective wish to help out with a post a day or a post a month then let me know via the sites email address. I really could do with a hand in trying to take Terrorism News to the next level.

Anyway a big thank you to everyone who has passed through and hopefully all being well we can start to fill the site up with some new content again.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Officials say Iraq motivated London Bombings

Not that we didn't know this already. From the Guardian:

The war in Iraq contributed to the radicalisation of the July 7 London bombers and is likely to continue to provoke extremism among British Muslims, according to reports based on secret assessments by security and intelligence chiefs.


References to Britain's role in the invasion of Iraq and continuing military presence there are made in a section of the report dealing with the radicalisation of the four British suicide bombers.

The draft narrative, ordered by Charles Clarke, the home secretary, after calls for a public inquiry into the bombings, is said to refer to economic deprivation, social exclusion, and disaffection with community leaders as other "motivating factors".

The document echoes views in a top secret report by the Joint Intelligence Committee, leaked yesterday. It states: "Iraq is likely to be an important motivating factor for some time to come in the radicalisation of British Muslims and for those extremists who view attacks against the UK as legitimate."

The report, International Terrorism: Impact of Iraq, was drawn up in April last year - before the London bombings - and sent to senior ministers, including Tony Blair. It warns that Iraq had "reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the west and motivated others who were not".

It adds: "We judge that the conflict in Iraq has exacerbated the threat from international terrorism and will continue to have an impact in the long term."

Reader's, that's it for me for a long while. I'm off to Canada to do permaculture work and won't have the time to contribute to this site. Follow Permaculture Reflections for more details. Thank you _H_ wherever you are.