Feb 02

More on the Saudi Peace Plan

After writing about my ideas about the well-timed Saudi peace initiative I came across this article in the New York Times with more information from the horse’s mouth which supports some of my conclusions.

    “This is the first time we’ve heard any nation in the region talk about full normalization between Arab nations and Israel at the end of the peace process,” one senior administration official said. “The president decided that he had to embrace the moment.”

    Other officials and outsiders noted a series of possible benefits for Mr. Bush.

    Embracing the emotion of the Saudi plan, though not its details, helps the president counter critics who say that Washington’s hands-off approach to the Middle East for much of its first year only worsened the current violence.

    Moreover, with Vice President Dick Cheney scheduled to leave for the Middle East in two weeks to describe the president’s reasons for wanting to change regimes in Iraq, an embrace of the Saudi initiative could give Mr. Bush some diplomatic leverage. It could help soften Saudi objections to increasing the pressure on Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein.

    It could also change the tone of the next Arab League summit meeting, scheduled for March 27 and 28 in Beirut, Lebanon. The Saudi proposal is expected to be debated there, and one American official said that “this gives them something more positive to talk about than just condemning Ariel Sharon.”

The timing on this could not be better for the US. I am almost certain it was their idea.

Feb 02

US Biological Attacks Against Cuba?

Castro recently implied that the US may be responsible for biological attacks against Cuba by spreading dengue and other viruses and diseases. The US says that Castro is just being paranoid and flatly denies spreading disease, but I think they have scant credibility. The US has admitted to past attempts to assassinate Castro and to overthrow the government of Cuba by all means. Why is this so far fetched? The US is not above destroying civilian infrastructure and killing innocent people as long as it gets them closer to their goal. The past has proven that the US has little regard for human life unless the public starts to make a stink. When the public is behind them they are capable of annihilating entire cities. The United States is the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons against civilians. In Vietnam they dropped napalm and agent orange on innocent people and there is some evidence that they may have even used nerve agents against the Vietnamese. More recently, the US has stockpiled supplies of anthrax and other biological agents while funding research into an anthrax vaccine. Why are they making anthrax and developing vaccines against it at the same time? I have no faith in anything that our government says any longer. It is troubling when you find someone like Fidel Castro more credible than your own government.

Feb 02

The Timely Saudi Plan

Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has shown a notable interest in the recent ‘peace initiative’ proposed by Saudi Arabia. The Saudis proposal would require Israel to withdraw its forces to the borders before the 1967 Middle East War in exchange for some goodies the Saudis can deliver. Namely full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, ‘normalised trade’, and closer security ties to Arab states. Predictably all of the principals have shown a marked interest in the idea. I would not be surprised if it had not been designed by people within the American and Israeli governments. It is a shrewd plan that presents the possibility of a win win situation for all parties involved in the decision-making process.

Israel would love to have the partial backing of the Arab states. As long as Israel maintains a hardline position against the Palestinians no Arab leader will fully support them. It would be political suicide. On the other hand, Ariel Sharon is learning that long-term hostilities are making him an enemy of his own citizens. His support has plummetted as Israelis grow tired of endless civilian casualties and more pointless destruction. Sharon is as hard as they come on ‘terrorism’ and it has gotten him absolutely nowhere. Around six hundred Israeli army reservists have signed petitions opposing the occupation of Palestinian territory. Clearly, it would be in Sharon’s immediate interests to pursue this plan. It makes him look like he’s willing to compromise and willing to seek a peaceful settlement if one is available.

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Feb 02

NATO World Order

NATO, which is de facto controlled by the US, has offered Russia a small voice inside the organization. Nothing more than a political gesture. It will bring Russia more fully under the wing of the United States which will continue to run the show. The new body will be called the NATO-Russia council and will exist parallel to NATO’s so-called North Atlantic Council which will continue to make all the real decisions. The Russian government has little choice but to accept as the United States is set to become head of the New World Order. With former Soviet Bloc countries like Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, and Macedonia set to join NATO and the United States setting up house in Central Asia Russia is left with very few options. The US has made their intentions very clear by invading the former Soviet state of Georgia to look for terrorists. If the Russians interfere or balk at further intrusions they risk being branded as supporters of terrorism. I expect this announcement of the new NATO council is merely a small token for behaving properly.

Feb 02

The Last President

I just finished The Last President by Michael Kurland. It was amazing. If you can find a copy you should check it out. It’s an alternate history based on Watergate and the Nixon administration. What if the Watergate story was squashed and the president effectively became a dictator? It doesn’t seem like this would be all that difficult especially if whoever wished to seize power were backed by business and the people with power and influence. Some careful historians see evidence of multiple coup d’etats throughout American history. The plan to remove FDR and replace him with General Smedley Butler and the assassination of JFk are two large examples.

Even though The Last President was written before it reminded me of Ferris F. Fremont in the Valis books by Philip K. Dick. Fremont was also based on the paranoid Nixon. Fremont always accused people of being part of a conspiratorial group he called Aramchek. Also, the idea of an alternate history reminded me of the other Dick novel, The Man in the High Castle, which deals with the idea of what if the Second World War had been won by the Japanese and the Nazis.

Someone was kind enough to put up a few good passages from the book.

Feb 02

The Problem of Paul

The Apostle Paul was not one of the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth (Yahoshua Ben Yosef). Even by the earliest timelines, he didn’t show up on the Christian scene till ten years after the execution of Jesus. He was, however, the father of Christianity. Without Paul there is no Christianity. Modern Christianity owes more to Paul than to Jesus. In this sense, most modern Christians are followers of Paul rather than followers of the example of Christ. Paul expresses ideas which directly contradict the message of Christ. Paul introduced meat eating, the divinity of Jesus, non-equality of women, belief instead of holiness, acceptance of slavery, and harmony with Roman law.

Many people have found it difficult to reconcile the Christian message of love with all the other garbage in the Bible. The glaring contradiction between the messages of Paul and Jesus creates a cognitive dissonance that is impossible to accept until you reject one way or the other. Thomas Jefferson cut Paul almost entirely out of his edition of the bible. In his words, “Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” The Quakers with their egalitarian sensiblities rejected the misogyny of Paul. Maybe it’s time to abolish the authority of Paul.
The Apostle Paul was a counter-revolutionary, who twisted the legend and doctrines of Jesus completely around. Consider the following biblical passages:

    In the words of Jesus:

    And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

    In the words of Paul:

    For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

Here are a few good quotations about the conflict between Paul and Jesus:

    “Where possible Paul avoids quoting the teaching of Jesus, in fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Jesus taught in parables, had delivered the sermon on the mount, and had taught His disciples the ‘Our Father.’ Even where they are specially relevant, Paul passes over the words of the Lord.”
    — Albert Schweitzer

    “Paul substituted faith in Christ for the Christlike life.” — Walter Kauffman

    “Fundamentalism is the triumph of Paul over Christ.” — Will Durant

Feb 02

Secret NATO Stuff

I’ll pay two dollars for an ISO of this CD of NATO secrets that was accidently sold as part of an online auction.

    Stern said the disk carried a “Nato secret” classification. It suggested that American forces were preparing for the conflict almost a year before the first bomb was dropped. Stern said the CD contained plans, aerial photographs and the geographical coordinates of 53 potential military targets in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Feb 02

We Are Legion

The campaign against ‘piracy’ continues. In this article, The Pirates of Prime Time, the so-called napsterization of television programming is explored. As a proud off and on tv ‘capper’ it is neat to see a depiction of the capping subculture:

    While the legal battles drag out in court, pirates are enjoying a virtual free-for-all. Necratog (who asked to be identified by his screen name only) is the first link in a chain that supplies digitized copies of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to an online chat room and a website that get as many as 1,500 downloads a week. Not to be confused with the many “leechers” (people who only download shows), he’s a “capper” (someone who captures a TV show, digitizes it and sends it out to others).

    His PC is connected to a TV cable; an inexpensive video card allows him to watch TV on his monitor. Using a free application called VirtualDub, he digitizes any show he wants and saves it to his hard drive. He then spends about five minutes editing out the commercials and an hour compressing the file until it is small enough to swap online. Then he uploads it to a friend who makes it available for others to download.

    Like many other TV freaks, Necratog, 21, also downloads favorite programs and burns them onto CDs. His archives include 400 CDs that hold more than a thousand Buffy, Babylon 5, South Park and Star Trek shows. But Buffy is his favorite. “I’ll watch the same episode three or four times in a row,” he says. “I’ve watched some over 20 times altogether.”

Feb 02

Big Brother on the Internet

From Cryptome comes this story, G8 Gov-ISP Plan for Cyberspace Spying:

    A second anonymous source has told Cryptome that covert Internet interception and collection of data far more comprensive than described in this paper is underway in the United States (and perhaps elsewhere) as a consequence of 9/11. That government authorities have arranged with ISPs to implement and operate this system without public disclosure of its extent. The operation is claimed to be nationwide (perhaps global) and far more extensive than the individually-targeted Carnivore and similar systems. Unusually powerful computer arrays are said to be deployed on ISP backbones and central nodes for sifting and searching all Internet traffic for patterns and types of communication — one type cited is encryption. It is not known if the operation is based on court orders or is an induced patriotic service of ISPs — or even disinformation to demonize the Internet and encryption.

    See related:

    White House Advisor Richard
    Clarke Briefs Senate Panel on

    Electronic Surveillance of

    CIA, FBI developing
    intelligence supercomputer

Feb 02

The New Propaganda Intitiative

The Pentagon and the Bush administration are planning a new disinformation and propaganda campaign because of concerns that they are ‘losing the information war’ abroad. In other words, the idea that some people do not support their plans to be the fourth reich is really annoying the American war machine. In their thinking, anyone who doesn’t support war hasn’t been manipulated or lied to enough. It is galling that they feel they can be so open and frank about their plans to purposefully mislead and deceive people around the world. They seem to be under the impression that they can do anything regardless of any moral, ethical considerations. The US government is officially barred from planting domestic propaganda and lies, but this rule has been violated repeatedly in recent history. The new initiative is to be spearheaded by the obliquely named Office of Strategic Influence.

    According to the New York Times, “one of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence” is the U.S. Army’s Psychological Operations Command (PSYOPS). The Times doesn’t mention, however, that PSYOPS has been accused of operating domestically as recently as the Kosovo war.

    In February 2000, reports in Dutch and French newspapers revealed that several officers from the 4th PSYOPS Group had worked in the news division at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters as part of an “internship” program starting in the final days of the Kosovo War. Coverage of this disturbing story was scarce (see FAIR’s “Why Were Government Propaganda Experts Working on News at CNN?” 3/27/00), but after FAIR issued an Action Alert on the story, CNN stated that it had already terminated the program and acknowledged that it was “inappropriate.”

    Even if the PSYOPS officers working in the newsroom did not directly influence news reporting, the question remains of whether CNN may have allowed the military to conduct an intelligence-gathering mission against the network itself. The idea isn’t far-fetched– according to Intelligence Newsletter (2/17/00), a rear admiral from the Special Operations Command told a PSYOPS conference that the military needed to find ways to “gain control” over commercial news satellites to help bring down an “informational cone of silence” over regions where special operations were taking place. One of CNN’s PSYOPS “interns” worked in the network’s satellite division. (During the Afghanistan war the Pentagon found a very direct way to “gain control”– it simply bought up all commercial satellite images of Afghanistan, in order to prevent media from accessing them.)

    It’s worth noting that the 4th PSYOPS group is the same group that staffed the National Security Council’s now notorious Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), which planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration’s Central America policies during the 1980s. Described by a senior U.S. official as a “vast psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in enemy territory” (Miami Herald, 7/19/87), the OPD was shut down after the Iran-Contra investigations, but not before influencing coverage in major outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post (Extra!, 9-10/01).

It is a bad omen that our government has demonstrated a hatred for American ideals. This has been particularly true lately. Recently John Ashcroft instructed the Justice Department to refuse Freedom of Information Act requests and the government has been removing public scrutiny across the board. Just the other day, Donald Rumsfeld cut government oversight over the agency in charge of missile defense. This comes at a time when the Pentagon has admitted to somehow misplacing 2.3 trillion dollars and when nearly all of the missile defense tests have failed. In the only test that was successful the target missile was equipped with a GPS homing beacon. This is a little like hunting down a cow with a bell tied around its neck.

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