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President Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation - My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned. (White House)
Pope issues strong appeal against war Pope John Paul II, in one of his strongest appeals yet against war, today implored Saddam Hussein to avoid giving the West reason to attack and warned the United Nations Security Council that military intervention could trigger an explosion of extremism (Associated Press)
Chinese try mobile death vans equipping its courts with mobile execution vans as it shifts away from the communist system's traditional bullet in the head, towards a more "civilised" use of lethal injection (The Age)
Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984 The Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) was one of a series of crises during an era of upheaval in the Middle East: revolution in Iran, occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by militant students, invasion of the Great Mosque in Mecca by anti-royalist Islamicists, the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan, and internecine fighting among Syrians, Israelis, and Palestinians in Lebanon. The war followed months of rising tension between the Iranian Islamic republic and secular nationalist Iraq. In mid-September 1980 Iraq attacked, in the mistaken belief that Iranian political disarray would guarantee a quick victory. - Although official U.S. policy still barred the export of U.S. military equipment to Iraq, some was evidently provided on a "don't ask - don't tell" basis. In April 1984, the Baghdad interests section asked to be kept apprised of Bell Helicopter Textron's negotiations to sell helicopters to Iraq, which were not to be "in any way configured for military use" [Document 55]. The purchaser was the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. In December 1982, Bell Textron's Italian subsidiary had informed the U.S. embassy in Rome that it turned down a request from Iraq to militarize recently purchased Hughes helicopters. An allied government, South Korea, informed the State Department that it had received a similar request in June 1983 (when a congressional aide asked in March 1983 whether heavy trucks recently sold to Iraq were intended for military purposes, a State Department official replied "we presumed that this was Iraq's intention, and had not asked.") (National Security Archive)
World gets together for peace Several million demonstrators took to the streets of Europe and the rest of the world on Saturday in a vast wave of protest against the prospect of a US-led war against Iraq (Indian Express)
Privacy Commissioner of Canada's Appearance before the Legislative Committee on Bill C-17, Public Safety Act I very much appreciate this opportunity to meet with you this morning. I really have only one privacy concern in this bill that I want to raise with you. It's a large bill with a great many facets, but there's only one privacy issue I want to raise with you.
It is in fact, of the various concerns you have heard and will hear as a committee, probably the easiest to fix, because it has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on either transportation security or national security against terrorism, which of course are the objects of this bill. And yet, it is also a concern that is crucially important because of the precedents the provision in question would set and the doors it would open, which are of grave concern from a privacy point of view.
I want to emphasize, in addressing this issue, as I emphasized in my annual report, which was made public last week, that since September 11, I have not once objected to a single actual anti-terrorism measure. I regard it as of course unthinkable that, as Privacy Commissioner, I would for a moment seek to stand in the way of any measures that are genuinely and legitimately necessary to protect Canadians against terrorism. I have not done so and I would not do so. (Canadian Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)
CaFCP Comments on President Bush's State of the Union Announcement on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles; Invites the President to Visit California Fuel Cell Partnership Chairman Alan Lloyd today released the following statement following President Bush's State of the Union speech, and his reference in support of hydrogen fuel and fuel cell vehicle development:
"It's heartening to hear the positive words of President Bush in support of hydrogen and fuel cell development. Federal support is timely and valuable, as we confront the remaining hurdles to commercialization. We're making great strides here in California, where the California Fuel Cell Partnership is already demonstrating fuel cell-powered cars in real-world use. I invite the president to come out and see what our auto and energy partners are doing here, and how our progress will lead to environmental improvement, energy efficiency, energy diversity, and new economic opportunity." (Business Wire)
2003 State of the Union speech
Thank you very much.
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished citizens, and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.
You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence. During this session of Congress, we have the duty to reform domestic programs vital to our country and we have the opportunity to save millions of lives abroad from a terrible disease. We will work for a prosperity that is broadly shared and we will answer every danger and every enemy that threatens the American people. In all these days of promise and days of reckoning, we can be confident. In a whirlwind of change, and hope, and peril, our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is strong. - Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment. I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote energy efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner technology, and to produce more energy at home. I have sent you Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70 percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years. I have sent you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, and burn away millions of acres of treasured forest.
I urge you to pass these measures, for the good of both our environment and our economy. Even more, I ask you to take a crucial step, and protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined. In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about, not through endless lawsuits or command and control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I am proposing 1.2 billion dollars in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. A simple chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car -- producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom -- so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free. Join me in this important innovation -- to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy. Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country -- the homeless, the fatherless, the addicted -- the need is great. Yet there is power -- wonder-working power -- in the goodness, and idealism, and faith of the American people. (George W Bush)
9/11 Commission Meets Behind Closed Doors "The victims' families feel very strongly that there are questions that have never been answered, and any serious report on the events of that day and what led to them must be answered," Kean said (FOX)
John le Carré, Opinion: The United States of America has gone mad America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War.
The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. The combination of compliant US media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square is confined to the loftier columns of the East Coast press.
The imminent war was planned years before bin Laden struck, but it was he who made it possible. Without bin Laden, the Bush junta would still be trying to explain such tricky matters as how it came to be elected in the first place; Enron; its shameless favouring of the already-too-rich; its reckless disregard for the world’s poor, the ecology and a raft of unilaterally abrogated international treaties. They might also have to be telling us why they support Israel in its continuing disregard for UN resolutions.
But bin Laden conveniently swept all that under the carpet. The Bushies are riding high. Now 88 per cent of Americans want the war, we are told. The US defence budget has been raised by another $60 billion to around $360 billion. A splendid new generation of nuclear weapons is in the pipeline, so we can all breathe easy. Quite what war 88 per cent of Americans think they are supporting is a lot less clear. A war for how long, please? At what cost in American lives? At what cost to the American taxpayer’s pocket? At what cost — because most of those 88 per cent are thoroughly decent and humane people — in Iraqi lives? (London Times)
Iraq and weapons of mass destruction During the Presidency of Saddam Hussein, the nation of Iraq used, possessed, and made efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Hussein was internationally known for his use of chemical weapons in the 1980s against Kurdish civilians during and after the Iran–Iraq War. It is also known that in the 1980s he pursued an extensive biological weapons program and a nuclear weapons program, though no nuclear bomb was built. - During the lead-up to war in March 2003, Hans Blix had found no stockpiles of WMD and had made significant progress toward resolving open issues of disarmament noting "proactive" but not always the "immediate" Iraqi cooperation as called for by UN Security Council Resolution 1441. He concluded that it would take “but months” to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks. The United States asserted this was a breach of Resolution 1441 but failed to convince the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution authorizing the use of force due to lack of evidence. Despite being unable to get a new resolution authorizing force and citing section 3 of the Joint Resolution passed by the U.S. Congress, President Bush asserted peaceful measures couldn't disarm Iraq of the weapons he alleged it to have and launched a second Gulf War, despite multiple dissenting opinions and questions of integrity about the underlying intelligence. Later U.S.-led inspections agreed that Iraq had earlier abandoned its WMD programs, but asserted Iraq had an intention to pursue those programs if UN sanctions were ever lifted. President Bush later said that the biggest regret of his presidency was "the intelligence failure" in Iraq, while the Senate Intelligence Committee found in 2008 that his administration "misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq". (Wikipedia)
Profile: Johnelle Bryant: Late April-Mid-May 2000: Atta Leaves Numerous Clues While Seeking Crop-Dusting Airplane Loan Mohamed Atta reportedly has a very strange meeting with Johnelle Bryant of the US Department of Agriculture (incidentally, one month before the official story claims he arrived in the US for the first time). According to Bryant, in the meeting Atta does all of the following:
bullet He initially refuses to speak with one who is “but a female.”
bullet He asks her for a loan of $650,000 to buy and modify a crop-dusting plane.
bullet He mentions that he wants to “build a chemical tank that would fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting.” (History Commons)
Security and Prosperity Toward A New Canada-United States Partnership in North America: Profile of the North American Security and Propserity Initiative (NASPI) Canadian business leaders believe that the time has come for the next big step forward in the Canada - United States relationship. The Canada - United States Free Trade Agreement marked a fundamental change in the management of our trading relationship. Economic integration is now irreversible, but in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it also has become clear that North American economic and physical security are indivisible. Our two countries have no choice but to take a more comprehensive approach to managing our relationship.
The North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (NASPI)* launched in January 2003 by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives calls for action on five fronts:
• Reinventing borders by eliminating as many as possible of the barriers to the movement of people and goods across the internal border and by shifting the emphasis to protection of the approaches to North America;
• Maximizing economic efficiencies, primarily through harmonization or mutual recognition across a wide range of regulatory regimes;
• Negotiation of a comprehensive resource security pact, covering agriculture and forest products as well as energy, metals and minerals, based on the two core principles of open markets and regulatory compatibility;
• Rebuilding Canada's military capability both to defend our own territory and to do our share in ensuring continental and global security; and
• Creating a new institutional framework based not on the European model but on cooperation with mutual respect for sovereignty, perhaps using joint commission models to foster co- ordination and to prevent and resolve conflicts. (Canadian Council of Chief Executives)
US Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces, FM 31.20-3, 2003 Insurgent Strategies.
There are three general strategies of insurgency: foco, mass-oriented, and traditional.
A foco (Spanish word meaning focus or focal point) is a single, armed cell that emerges from hidden strongholds in an atmosphere of disintegrating legitimacy. In theory, this cell is the nucleus around which mass popular support rallies. The insurgents build new institutions and establish control on the basis of that support. For a foco insurgency to succeed, government legitimacy must be near total collapse. Timing is critical. The foco must mature at the same time the government loses legitimacy and before any alternative appears. The most famous foco insurgencies were those led by Castro and Che Guevara. The strategy was quite effective in Cuba because the Batista regime was corrupt and incompetent. The distinguishing characteristics of a foco insurgency are The deliberate avoidance of preparatory organizational work. The rationale is based on the premise that most peasants are intimidated by the authorities and will betray any group that cannot defend itself. The development of rural support as demonstrated by the ability of the foco insurgency to strike against the authorities and survive. The absence of any emphasis on the protracted nature of the conflict.
In 1952, Fidel Castro began his revolutionary movement in Cuba. After an unsuccessful attack of Ft. Moncada, he was imprisoned. Upon release in 1955 he fled to Mexico to train a new group of guerrilla warriors. In 1956, Castro and 82 of his followers returned to Cuba on a yacht. Of this group, only 12 of Castro's followers made their way to the Sierra Maestra mountains. From his remote mountain base, he established a 100to 150-man nucleus. As Castro's organization grew, small unit patrols began hit-and-run type operations. While Castro continued to expand his area of influence, the popularity of the corrupt Batista government waned. In May of 1958, the government launched an attack on the Sierra Maestra stronghold. Castro withdrew deeper into the mountains, while spreading his message on national reform. Batista's continuing repression of the country led to general strikes and continuing growth in popular support for Castro's small cell of revolutionaries. Finally, Batista fled the country on 1 January 1959, and Castro established a junta and became the Prime Minister and President. (US Special Forces)
Israel 'faked al-Qaeda presence' Officials from the Palestinian Authority have accused the Israeli spy agency Mossad of setting up a fake al-Qaeda terrorist cell in Gaza.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said that Israel had set up the mock cell in order to justify attacks in Palestinian areas.
Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, called the allegation "sheer nonsense".
We are sure that Israel is behind this and that there are absolutely no groups such as al-Qaeda operating here
Colonel Rashid Abu-Shbak
On Thursday Mr Sharon said that members of Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network were at work in the Gaza Strip, aiming to attack Israel.
Israel has named al-Qaeda as the prime suspect in a suicide bombing at a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya that killed 16 people last week and an unsuccessful missile attack on a nearby Israeli passenger jet.
"It is a big, big, big lie to cover (Sharon's) attacks and his crimes against our people everywhere," Mr Arafat said at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (BBC)
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