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20 June 2006
BLIX IN IRAN NUKE ALERT

IRAN will be able to make a nuclear bomb within five years, former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said yesterday.

He claimed the breakthrough would come if the country was allowed to enrich uranium on an industrial scale - in defiance of international pressure.

Iran has so far not responded to a UN offer of a package of incentives in return for halting enrichment - a process that can produce fuel for nuclear power plants or atomic weapons.

Speaking in Jakarta, Indonesia, Blix said: "By 2010 or 2011, they could probably have a nuclear weapon, if they want it."


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Kick Ass Time?

 

Hizbollah commits an act of war against Israel by launching a raid across its northern border and kidnapping two of its soldiers. By way of retaliation, Israel commits an act of war against Lebanon by bombing Beirut's international airport and imposing a naval blockade of the Lebanese coast. The head of the Israeli army follows this up by warning that the air force is prepared to bomb any target it chooses in its pursuit of Hizbollah's leadership. Hizbollah, in turn, responds by threatening to shell the northern Israeli port of Haifa and the surrounding region.

What started as a minor border skirmish appears in serious danger of spiralling out of control into full-scale war. That is certainly how the latest conflagration is being viewed by the world's financial markets, with oil prices soaring and stock prices tumbling. There has even been the reappearance of the familiar transatlantic diplomatic fissures, with President George W. Bush asserting Israel's "right to defend herself" and the French foreign minister condemning Israel's attacks on Lebanon as "a disproportionate act of war".

Proportionality rarely features in the political landscape of the Middle East, and the determination of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert to use all the means at his disposal to recover his country's two kidnapped soldiers has resulted in Israel launching its most devastating assault on Lebanon since its ill-fated invasion in 1982.

There is every possibility that Israel might once again find itself embroiled in the Lebanese mire if Hizbollah continues firing rockets at towns and villages in northern Israel, as it did yesterday, killing two more Israelis.

The primary, almost sacred, duty of an Israeli prime minister is to defend the Jewish people by any means at his disposal, and no prime minister, least of all one with the undistinguished military career of Mr Olmert, can tolerate the constant terrorisation of Israel's northern population.

But whether Israel's assault on Hizbollah's Lebanese infrastructure will lead to open warfare is questionable. To start with, the Lebanese government, newly liberated from its Syrian occupiers, is in no position to defend itself against Israel's military superiority. It has no air force and no army that could compete with the Israelis.

Likewise the Syrians, for all their recent imports of Russian, Chinese and North Korean military hardware, know better than to take on the Israelis, who last month demonstrated their air superiority by "buzzing" the summer palace of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad with their American-made F-16 fighters.

In the absence of any credible military power to oppose them, the Israelis are free to pursue their main objectives with impunity, namely the recovery of the kidnapped soldiers and the destruction of the military network that Hizbollah has been allowed to establish in southern Lebanon since Syria completed its withdrawal last year.

The Israelis' first priority is their soldiers' recovery, which would explain the naval blockade, the bombing of Beirut airport and the threat to bomb the main Beirut-Damascus highway. However much the Hizbollah leadership might claim to be a legitimate, democratically elected political party, the reality is that it is, and always has been, a proxy of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who finance, train and equip the militia as a means of maintaining a permanent security challenge to Israel's northern border.

In the past, captured Israeli soldiers and airmen have been transported via Syria to Iran for safekeeping while Hizbollah undertakes the tortuous negotiating process. By forcibly closing the main exit routes, the Israelis are trying to ensure the soldiers remain in Lebanon.

The Lebanese can protest that the Israelis are guilty of a massive over-reaction in their response to the plight of two kidnapped soldiers, but the Beirut authorities have only themselves to blame for allowing Hizbollah to maintain a permanent armed presence in southern Lebanon.

Lebanon's Sunni Muslim and Christian political establishment received a great deal of international support and encouragement, particularly from the White House, during the heady days of the "cedar revolution", which saw the Lebanese finally succeed in throwing off the yoke of their Syrian oppressors after President Assad's regime was directly implicated in the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

For all the goodwill that attended the emergence of the first truly independent Lebanese government for more than 30 years, the Lebanese have singularly failed to rein in Hizbollah, despite repeated requests from the United Nations and Israel to curb the radical Shia Muslim militia's activities in southern Lebanon.

As a consequence, Hizbollah has been allowed to develop what in effect amounts to a state within a state, with its own well-equipped private army - all of it funded by the Iranians. It was rockets provided by the Iranians that were used in the initial diversionary attack that preceded the kidnapping raid. And senior Israeli military officers are convinced the anti-tank weapon used to destroy their Merkava tank, with the loss of its four-man crew, originated from Iran, not Lebanon.

Additionally, the Iranians have been directly involved in helping to develop the impressive network of control towers and monitoring stations along Israel's border that enabled Hizbollah to mount its audacious kidnap plan in the first place. The real danger of any escalation in the current outbreak of violence in Lebanon lies not in Beirut but in Teheran.

Certainly the Israelis are well within their rights to hold Beirut accountable for Hizbollah's provocative presence on their northern border, which has effectively become Iran's front line in a country it disparagingly describes as "the Zionist entity".

It is also well known in both Beirut and Jerusalem that Hizbollah does not act without first consulting its paymasters in Teheran, whether it is to seize British hostages such as Terry Waite and John McCarthy, as it did in the mid-1980s, or Israeli soldiers today.

Nor can it be coincidence that the Israelis' abduction in southern Lebanon happened to occur the day after a meeting between Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, and the EU over Iran's nuclear programme broke up in Brussels without agreement.

Iran's intransigence over its uranium-enrichment programme, which many experts believe is part of a clandestine effort to develop nuclear weapons, has even resulted in the Chinese and Russians finally agreeing to back Washington's long-standing demand to refer Teheran to the UN Security Council.

For the ayatollahs in Teheran trying to find a way out of their nuclear difficulties, what better way to divert the world's attention from their nuclear-enrichment programme than to provoke a fresh Middle East crisis between Israel and its neighbours?

 


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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK

Israeli soldiers firing artillery gun
Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah militants clash inside Lebanon as aid agencies warn of an impending catastrophe.
Reports and analysis


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Iran decision tree level 4, U.S. attacks Iran

After our nation's easy victories against Iraq, and our ability to bomb any country such as Sudan (Clinton bombed a factory there) and Serbia (Clinton dropped a whole lot of bombs there), people have come to believe that the U.S. military is invincible, a big change from the immediate post-Vietnam era when people thought the opposite about our military.

I believe that Iran will be our most challenging enemy since World War II. Iran clearly has a strategy in which they think they have a chance of hurting us, and it makes a lot more sense than Saddam's non-strategy. As you recall, Saddam just let us bomb him in two successive wars without mounting much of a challenge. Defensive wars don't work very well when modern weapons are involved. The French learned that in WWII. Iran plans to go on the offense.

Naval strategy

Iran's strategy is surely to take control of the Persian Gulf, where the U.S. always maintains an aircraft carrier group. To attack our fleet, Iran has both air launched and surface launched anti-ship missiles, including French Exocet and newer Chinese Silkworm missiles. Iran has dozens of these missiles, several for each U.S. ship that needs to be sunk.

Additionally, Iran has several submarines which will launch torpedoes at our ships. And to top it off, Iran has a fleet of approximately a thousand small attack boats, you may call them "suicide boats." Iran will use these boats to swarm our ships and Iran hopes that some will make it adjacent to a ship to detonate its payload. These boats also have machine guns mounted on them.

Yes, our ships have defenses, but can we simlutaneously defend against dozens of missiles, torpedoes, and a thousand suicide boats? If we are unable to defend, then our Persian gulf fleet will wind up being completely obliterated and Iran will have won the first naval victory against us since WWII. After defeating our Persian Gulf fleet Iran will mine the straights of Hormuz, blocking off the Gulf from both inbound and outbound naval traffic. This will, of course, wreak havoc on the world economy because no oil will be able to get out.

To prevent the above scenario, the U.S. will have to remove its ships from the Gulf, which is not something our military will want to do because they are need to support our Iraqi operations, and we need them to conduct our miliary campaign against Iran. The second way to protect our fleet is to attack first and destroy as much of Iran's military as possible. Once we establish air superiority, we can attack anything we see sailing out of Iran or any airplane we see flying off the ground. Unlike Saddam, who let us attack first, I think that Iran won't be so stupid and that they will launch the first attack. The U.S. will surely give adequate warning, with a vote of Congress authorizing some sort of action, and a lot of ultimatums issued by George Bush.

Long range missiles

Iran has hundreds of long range missiles, including as many as a hundred of the newer Shahab 3 missiles which can deliver a 2000 pount warhead to Israel. These are built with Russian and North Korean technology. Iran will surely want to launch these before we attack and destroy them the way we did Saddam's Scud missiles. These Iranian missiles are much better than Saddam's Scud missiles, they user newer technology and are better designed for long range. Thousands of Iraelis would be killed if Iran simultaneously launched all of its missiles at Tel Aviv. What would Israel do if faced with such an attack? Iran hopes that Israel would somehow get involved in the war and this would unite the Islamic world behind Iran.

I should point out that it will not be easy for Israel to retaliate. Isreal does not possess an armada of conventional missiles, just a few nuclear armed missiles. It would be difficult to launch airstrikes against Iraq becuase it is a long flight, requiring the flyover of unfriendly countries and in air refueling. And Israel faces the danger that its planes might be shot down by Iranian air defense missiles.

Iran can also use its long range missiles against the oil facilities of neighboring countries deemed to be helping the United States. This would include Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and this would have a horrible economic impact because millions of barrels per day of oil production would be taken offline for many years.

Are you scared?

Our own armed forces might indeed be afraid of the consequences of military action against Iran, which is why I deemed it more likely than not that the U.S. will just acquiesce to the Iranian nuclear program, which in my opinion would be a big mistake. The longer we allow Iran to build up its military, the harder it will be to attack them.


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Israel's PM rules out ceasefire
Israeli troops secure an area as armoured vehicles return from Lebanon
Fighting has continued across the Israeli-Lebanese border
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israel is not ready to stop its offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"The fighting continues. There is no ceasefire and there will not be any ceasefire in the coming days," he said.

Mr Olmert apologised "for the pain caused" to Lebanese civilians, but said Hezbollah had suffered a severe blow.

Israel and Hezbollah meanwhile continued to trade fire, less than a day after Israel declared a partial halt to air strikes on south Lebanon.

Israeli warplanes struck several targets, killing a Lebanese soldier near the city of Tyre. Israel expressed regret over the death, saying it believed the vehicle was carrying a senior Hezbollah official.

Israeli officials said the pause was to allow time for an investigation into the Qana attack and for the UN to evacuate civilians from the area. However Israel reserved the right to continue targeting militants preparing attacks.

Map

Fighting has also continued on the ground in southern Lebanon, with the villages of Taibe, Kila and Adasya coming under Israeli artillery fire.

Hezbollah fired two shells which landed on the outskirts of the Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona, causing no injuries.

The Israeli military said Hezbollah also hit an Israeli tank near Taibe, wounding three soldiers.

In other developments:

  • The UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) for one month

  • New York-based group Human Rights Watch accused Israel of committing war crimes by carrying out what it called an indiscriminate bombing campaign in Lebanon

  • Thousands of protesters in the Syrian capital Damascus joined a demonstration against Israel's military offensive, with many declaring their support for Hezbollah

  • Lebanon observed a national day of mourning following the deaths in Qana, with many banks and public buildings closed

'Fighting terrorists'

Speaking in Tel Aviv, Mr Olmert said Israel's campaign would continue until it achieved its goals.

Emergency worker retrieving body of child

"We will end it when the threat over our heads is removed, when our kidnapped soldiers return to their homes and when we can live in security," he said.

Israel began its offensive in Lebanon after Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack on 12 July. It is also fighting Palestinian militants in Gaza to secure the release of an Israeli soldier held captive there since 26 June.

Mr Olmert said Israel was "not fighting against the Lebanese people. We do not want to topple their government.

Later on, a statement from Mr Olmert's office said he told UK Prime Minister Tony Blair a ceasefire could be implemented "immediately" after the deployment of an international stabilisation force in Lebanon.

Mr Olmert's televised comments came hours after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US would seek a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire this week.

We want there to be a long-lasting peace, one that is sustainable
US President George W Bush
US President George W Bush meanwhile said on Monday that the UN had to address the "root causes of the problem".

"We want there to be a long-lasting peace, one that is sustainable," he said after meeting Cuban-American business leaders in Miami, Florida.

BBC's world affairs correspondent Nick Childs says that in the wake of Qana, the window of diplomacy appears to be opening, and that for military action may finally be closing.

But he says this remains a fragile and difficult process, with no guarantee of success.

'Ghost village'

Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz described the 48-hour cessation of air strikes, from 0200 Monday (2300 GMT on Sunday) as a "humanitarian gesture".

HAVE YOUR SAY
Surely the lives of the innocent should take precedence
Nikki, Warwickshire

At least 54 people, many of them children, were killed in Qana on Sunday when the house in which they were sheltering was hit by Israeli warplanes - the deadliest such raid since hostilities began.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Qana says the scene is one of utter desolation. He says Qana has become a ghost village like many others on the road up from the southern city of Tyre, with women and children now a rare sight.

After nearly three weeks of fighting, about 750 people - mainly civilians - have been killed by Israeli action, according to Lebanon's health minister.

 

A total of 51 Israelis, including at least 18 civilians, have also been killed in attacks by Hezbollah.

 




 


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Scotland Yard statement on terror plot
10.59, Thu Aug 10 2006


The following is the statement released by Scotland Yard on the plan

by terrorists to blow up UK flights.

 

Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said: "We are confident that

we have disrupted a plan by terrorists to cause untold death and

destruction and to commit, quite frankly, mass murder.

 

"I would want to join the commissioner who is fully briefed and has been

here at New Scotland Yard since very early this morning in paying tribute

to the Met's counter terrorist branch and the Security Services for the

work that they have undertaken in disrupting these activities.

 

"We believe that the terrorists' aim was to smuggle explosives

onto aeroplanes in hand luggage and to detonate these in flight.

 

"We also believe that the intended targets were flights from the

United Kingdom to the United States of America.

 

I can confirm that a significant number of people are currently in

custody and the operation is ongoing.

 

"The majority of those arrests have been here in London, but we

have also made arrests in Thames Valley and in Birmingham and of

course I am very grateful for the support our colleagues have shown

in backing up this operation, and showing their leadership in those

forces.

 

"We are currently searching a number of addresses and Deputy

Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the anti-terrorist branch -

who is known to many of you" will give a further details about

the investigation later this morning.

 

"As the operation got under way we spoke to a good number of

community leaders to make them aware that a major anti-terrorist

operation was under way but without giving specific details about

locations.

 

"This extensive dialogue will continue. We would like to reassure the

public that this operation was carried out with public safety uppermost

in our minds.

 

"This is a major operation, which will inevitably be lengthy and complex.

 

The United Kingdom is now at the highest possible level of alert.

 

"We will consider the threat in its wider sense and take whatever

action is necessary to protect people here in London and right the

way throughout the United Kingdom.

 

"Measures have already been put in place to restrict hand luggage

taken onto aircraft.

 

This will inevitably cause very significant delays and I know it is doing

that as we speak here.

 

We ask for people's continued help and patience at these very

difficult times.

 

"We are genuinely looking to the public to remain calm, patient and

vigilant.

 

But we cannot stress too highly the severity that this plot represented.

 

Put simply this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale."


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13 August 2006
BLAIR HAS FED THE CESSPIT OF TERROR...

THE war in the Middle East landed right on our doorstep a couple of days ago - but is anyone surprised?

From the second the invasion of Iraq took place, this moment seemed inevitable. It was what I and many millions who marched against the war were afraid of.

The terrible events of 7/7 were the start. And now this... the moment when airports ground to a standstill, when gridlock, fear and frustration were brought into our lives here in the UK.

But that is nothing compared to what is happening in Iraq, Israel, Lebanon or Afghanistan.

We must take notice of what our governments, their allies and their foreign policy are doing to people in other countries.

We have given the terrorists a cause, an enemy for them to unite around.

The more we bomb, supply weapons and have a military presence in these lands, the less likely peace will be. I have no sympathy for those who bring terror to our streets or those who kill innocent civilians... whether it be the Bush administration or Hezbollah.

Terrorism is now a career choice for many Muslim men between the ages of 17 and 25, say security analysts.

But let's try to understand why these young men are so keen to blow themselves - and others - to oblivion.

US and British forces are involved in wars in their countries. Their brothers, sisters and children face danger and death every day - while we merrily book our fortnight in Majorca!

Many people feel guilty - I certainly did - as they look forward to a break in the sun. While I was sunning myself on a beach there were people - my fellow human beings - being blown to pieces.

We should be out on the streets and letting our governments know we want the killing to stop in Lebanon, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq.

And to tell them that we will not vote for a government that wants this type of foreign policy to continue.


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Rockets can't keep Scots from their Israeli roots...

THEY are two proud nations separated by 2,500 miles, 14 inches of annual rainfall and 13 degrees centigrade in annual temperature. And while one enjoys calm and stability, the other is besieged and clinging to a fragile peace.

But the crisis in Israel is not stopping Scottish Jews setting off for a new life in one of the world's most troubled regions.

 

Adam Jacobs, 22, an engineering student from Giffnock, arrived in Israel 10 days ago in the certain knowledge he will be signed up for military service next month.

Jacobs, who quit his degree to make the move, is staying with other young arrivals near Jerusalem, and will head north to a fruit-growing kibbutz called Sasa near the Lebanon border later this month.

"I'm coming here because I feel closer to my Jewish roots," he said. "I want to explore my heritage and I feel at home here. I feel freer and that I can express my Jewishness as I want to. There's a real energy and vibrancy here that I want to be part of and the Jewish community in Glasgow is in decline. Over the past five years, I have felt a growing realisation that I wanted to come to Israel."

And on a flight east last Wednesday was Glaswegian Jack Coutts, 70, with his wife Alice, 66. Both worked for decades in the Scottish newspaper industry, but have now realised their dream of retiring to Israel, even if it means living in a war zone. "I wasn't afraid of the violence. I was actually more stressed about the packing than the rockets," said Jack.

"Every house here has a bomb shelter and we have been visiting Israel a lot over the years and have survived all kinds of scrapes. We have wanted to come to Israel for years and have been planning it and this wasn't going to stop us."

Across the world, migration to the Jewish state is either declining or levelling off - but not in the UK. Figures show that despite the long-running threat of suicide attacks within Israel, endless skirmishes with Palestinian militants and the current hostilities in Lebanon, 480 British Jews took Israeli citizenship last year.

The Jewish Agency - which promotes and organises migration - says that up to the end of July, 328 Britons had arrived in Israel. That figure is expected to rise to 550 by the year end.

Jacobs is unsurprised. "I feel that a lot about Israel doesn't come across in the British media. Israel is actually a very multicultural place, with Jewish people from all over with their distinctive cultures.

"You have Jews from Eastern Europe, the Middle East itself, North America and Britain. You have the Ethiopian Jews here and you have Arab Christians and Muslims. Over a million Arabs are citizens of Israel and they have all the rights to public service that other Israelis have."

Under Israeli law, all Jewish males must serve for three years in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Jacobs said: "I didn't come here specifically to go into the army, but I came here fully realising that I would be called up. It's compulsory here and I think it's only right that I do my duty for the country, just like everyone else does.

"After that, I want to continue my studies. I'm not sure exactly what I want to study, but I think I'd like to do engineering."

On the recent fighting, he said: "I'm as upset as anyone to see the pictures of people being killed on both sides. I want to build bridges between people and I don't want anyone to live under occupation or live in danger of suicide bombs."

He added: "Some of my friends thought I was crazy coming here; they were worried for me. I will miss Scotland, I'll miss my friends, I'll miss the football. I'm a Rangers supporter and I'll be keeping in touch with the football news."

Some emigrants have blamed what they see as growing anti-semitism in the West for their decision to move to Israel. But Jack Coutts, who is staying in temporary accommodation near Jerusalem but will live in Netanya, 60 miles from the border with Lebanon, insisted: "There wasn't anti-semitism. Scotland is a good place, very tolerant, but I am concerned about what I see as support for Hezbollah in Glasgow.

"I was dismayed when someone painted 'Hezbollah' outside the Garnethill Synagogue in Glasgow."

Shira Immerglueck, a spokeswoman for the Jewish Agency, which helped to organise both Jacobs' and the Coutts' immigration, said: "We did worry that some people would change their minds and cancel because of the current situation, but they didn't.

"A lot of Jewish people have the attitude that this is the time Israel needs them."

Meanwhile in Scotland, members of the Jewish community admit many are nervous about being too upfront about their origins and faith. The community is in decline, with about 6,000 Jews north of the Border compared with a peak of 80,000 in the middle of the last century.

Rabbi Nancy Morris, of the Glasgow New Synagogue, said: "I notice that the community feels more compelled to lay low compared to North America and not be very open about their Jewishness.

"Scotland is a friendly place and I have not experienced anti-semitism myself, but some of the commentary around just now is incitement against the Jewish community as well as against Israel."

Rabbi Gerald Levin, of the Garnethill Synagogue, said: "One feels under pressure, apprehensive, that something could happen.

"I personally feel that Scotland is tolerant, but next month will be interesting because we have our annual open doors' event, in common with many other bodies. It will be interesting to see how many people come to the building."

And Fiona Brodie, honorary secretary of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said: "People should remember that not all Jews have the same view of Israel or the government's actions and not all Israelis approve of everything the government does, just like people have different views in this country. It's a democracy.

"I have no plans to move from Scotland; I'm settled here and it's home. It's important for me that Scotland has always been a friendly country. It's never had anti-Jewish legislation, for example."

BIRTH OF A COMMUNITY

SCOTLAND'S modern Jewish community is believed to have begun with migrants from Holland and Belgium who came to settle in Edinburgh in the 18th century.

Many worked in professions connected to the tailoring industry, including furs and leather, as well as jewellery and watchmaking.

The first Jewish congregation in Edinburgh was founded in 1816, and in Glasgow in 1823. The congregation in Aberdeen was founded in 1893.

Scotland's first fully fledged synagogue was set up in Edinburgh 1825.

Prior to that, a small number of Jewish students had come from south of the Border to Scottish universities. Scotland was attractive because students did not have to swear a religious oath to study.

The Jewish community grew dramatically towards the end of the 19th century with waves of migration from the Russian empire to the UK. It was during this period that the focus of Jewish life in Scotland moved decisively from Edinburgh to Glasgow. Scotland's oldest synagogue, at Garnethill, was founded in 1889.

Scotland's Jewish community was not without its own divisions, mostly linguistic. Rather than attend the Garnethill synagogue, which was mainly English-speaking, many Polish Jews opted to found their own synagogue in the Gorbals.

The population peaked at about 80,000 in the mid-20th century and began to decline after the war, as many left for England, the United States or Israel. There are about 6,000 Jews in Scotland today.

Prominent members of the Scottish Jewish community include former Tory Cabinet minister Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Lady Cosgrove, Scotland's first female judge.

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Scary stuff Hammer, but I still believe our old  American sidekicks are going to shine through pretty soon, they reason all the shit is going down in the Middle East is not just because the Arabs have all the oil, but, because we dont want to buy it off them any more, I recently came back from a business seminar in Kansas on renewable energy, and........... the reason Uncle Sam aint joining up with the Kyoto Protocal is because they(and us"Europe") have plans to introduce renewable energy products into mass production, for the last 10 years the Hydrogen plan has been in the research and design phase, from 2010 till 2020 the hydrogen "economy" will be getting put onto the marketplace, from 2020-2030 the hydrogen economy will be reality, America may be up to its eyballs in debt just now but pretty soon they'll be back on top, and we will be behind them every step of the way.

I've got the dealership for the new home krystal hydrogen units as the main distributer in Europe, if you want to know more do Google for Hydrogen it must have about a million links the company I'm in cahoots with is http://www.krystal-planet.com , I will keep you posted on any more interesting links in connection with this subject.

                                                 Giny

GMC, BMW, AND HONDA HAVE HYDROGEN POWERED CARS DUE TO BE MASS PRODUCED, CAN BE FOUND ON GOOGLE TOO.

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Hydrogen on the Cheap?

 

Last month, we took an in-depth look at alternative fuels. Among them was Earth’s the Universe's most abundant element, hydrogen. Although its future looks bright—the only by-product of a hydrogen fuel cell is water, and experts believe they can one day be used to create electricity to fuel cars—the cost and energy required to create hydrogen has taken it out of the running as a near-term energy alternative to oil.

That may be about to change. Researchers at GE’s Global Research lab in Niskayuna, NY, have developed a system that produces hydrogen at a fraction of the cost and could be available commercially in just a few years.

The basic process, electrolysis, is nothing new: Combine water with an electrolyte, and run current through the solution, forcing the water molecules to split into hydrogen and oxygen gases. But electrolysis-formed hydrogen has long been hampered by the high capital cost of the metals used in the process, around “thousands of dollars per kilowatt,” says Richard Bourgeois, GE’s electrolysis project leader. GE’s breakthrough comes from a proprietary material called Noryl, a highly chemical- and temperature-resistant plastic developed by the GE labs, that lowers the cost of hydrogen production to hundreds of dollars per kilowatt, according to Bourgeois.

Although GE has only built a prototype in their lab, Bourgeois believes that demonstrations can come as soon as the end of next year, and commercialization will follow that. The goal of the project, according to Bourgeois, is to bring down equipment costs enough to take the cost of hydrogen from $8 per kilogram to $3 per kilogram—comparable in energy and price to a gallon of gasoline.

Currently, Hydrogen production is also limited to industrial refineries and agricultural areas, where the gas is produced on-site using methane, says Bourgeois. GE’s system—which, at approximately 10’ x 20’, can fit in a small trailer—could be marketed to smaller-scale industries. And one day, Bourgeois sees a future when drivers fill their hydrogen-fuel-cell powered cars from pumps with built-in electrolyzers. If electricity needed to produce the hydrogen is wind- or solar-generated, the entire process is, essentially, emissions-free.—Erin McCarthy
 
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22 August 2006
IRAN BARS UN TEAM

IRAN has banned UN inspectors from viewing an underground nuclear site - breaching the Nonproliferation Treaty.

UN officials said the ban on access to the facility at Natanz could hamper attempts to ensure Tehran is not trying to make nuclear weapons.

Earlier, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran would continue to pursue nuclear technology.

He said: "Arrogant powers and the US are putting their utmost pressure on Iran while knowing Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons."

Last month, the UN Security Council called on Iran to halt uranium enrichment under threat of sanctions.



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Iran reply may herald new confrontation
 

President Ahmadinejad of Iran
President Ahmadinejad: Not afraid of confronting the West

Just as the Middle East reels from the impact of the Hezbollah-Israel war, a new confrontation involving Iran might be about to break out.

Iran is expected to announce on Tuesday its formal reply to an offer by the European Union, backed by the United States, for trade and other concessions if Iran suspends its enrichment of uranium.

The offer has been endorsed by the Security Council which itself has set 31 August as the deadline for Iranian compliance so the Iranian response to the EU is being seen as its effective response to the UN as well.

If past tactics are anything to go, Iran is likely to suggest that it might talk about suspension but will not accept this as a precondition.

A fairly large clue as to Iran's underlying position came from its supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who said on Monday that Iran would "continue on its path".

This new potential crisis has come at a dangerous time, with relations between the West and the Muslim world already extremely sensitive and fraught.

Iran is buoyed by what it sees as its ally Hezbollah's victory against Israel, and in President Ahmadinejad it has a political leader who appears to welcome confrontation with the West.

It is therefore in no mood to compromise over enrichment, though some had hoped that it might be able to announce a so-called "technical pause" to allow talks to start.

If its answer on suspension is "No", the United States will press for diplomatic and economic sanctions. These would need a new vote in the Security Council, and in the past Russia and China, both veto holders, have opposed sanctions.

Possible military action

Beyond the issue of sanctions, however, there are experts who fear that confrontation could in due course mean military action.

Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow in non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said: "This won't drag on for years. There are two deadlines of sorts at the end of 2008. That is the earliest date by which some people think Iran could acquire a nuclear weapon. I think the date is more like 2010.

"And on November 2008, there is the US presidential election. President Bush will be inclined not to let this problem be passed on. There will be a growing mood in the US administration to take other action."

Asked if Israel's problems in disarming Hezbollah showed the limitations of air power and might therefore make an attack on Iran less likely, he replied: "Israel's actions make an attack on Iran more likely as it removes one of Iran's retaliatory tools, an attack on Israel by Hezbollah. This has now been pre-empted."

This view echoes to some extent one put forward in the New Yorker recently by Seymour Hersh, who argued that the attack on Hezbollah was a dry-run for one on Iran. But you do not have to accept that theory to conclude that the military option against Iran is not inconceivable.

Sanctions first

In the shorter term, however, the emphasis will be on sanctions.

On 31 July, the Security Council (in Resolution 1696) gave Iran a month in which to comply with the earlier demands of the UN's nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA said that Iran should suspend enrichment, reconsider the construction of a heavy-water nuclear reactor, ratify and implement a stricter inspection regime already agreed, and co-operate fully with the IAEA inspectors.

Some countries can have access to high nuclear technology, the others are told they can produce fruit juice and pears!
Ali Larijani

The IAEA will report on Iranian compliance at the end of August. If there is none, then the next stage will be reached.

Any sanctions will have to be diplomatic or economic in nature. This is because resolution 1696 states that they would be authorised under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This says that measures cannot be ones "involving the use of armed force".

The US and its allies (including the UK, and on this occasion probably France and Germany as well) fear that Iran will one day use the enrichment technology not just for nuclear fuel but for a nuclear bomb, though Iran says that is not its intention.

The US will press for travel restrictions to be imposed on Iranians involved in the nuclear programme, and for a ban on the sale of goods that could be used in the nuclear field and on dual-use items.

If these do not get through the council, a so-called "coalition of the willing" might be formed by those countries wanting to go further. They might also consider a ban on investing in Iran's oil and gas industry, a restriction the US has itself imposed since 1979.

Sanctions impact minimal

Frankly, few if anyone involved in contacts with Iran over the past few years think that sanctions will be effective. Iran has lived with American sanctions for 27 years and these have made no difference.

It is true that this time, the US and the European Union have offered incentives for Iran in the form of a lifting of some American restrictions and for help with nuclear technology, and even consideration of an end to the enrichment moratorium once confidence is restored.

But Iran seems determined to press on, resting on its rights to enrich under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (known as the NPT) and turning the whole issue into one in which a developing nation is being forced to abandon a modern technology by richer countries that already have it.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, chief Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani put it this way: "We don't see why we should stop the scientific research of our country.

"We understand why this is very sensitive. But they [the West] are categorising countries. Some countries can have access to high nuclear technology, the others are told they can produce fruit juice and pears!"


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Gerry Adams to meet Hamas leaders

Owen Bowcott, Ireland correspondent
Monday September 4, 2006
The Guardian


Gerry Adams
The White House reportedly tried to dissuade Adams from meeting Hamas. Photograph: Guardian
 

Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Féin, is due to fly to the Middle East tomorrow to meet Hamas representatives and lend his support to the search for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The MP for West Belfast was invited by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas, which emerged as the strongest party in the Palestinian elections in January, is banned in both the EU and the US, where it is deemed to be a terrorist organisation. There have long been contacts between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the republican movement in Northern Ireland.

The Israeli government has made it clear it will not receive Mr Adams because of his intention to talk with Hamas. The White House administration reportedly tried to dissuade him from going.

The Sinn Féin initiative is the latest in a series of visits to international conflict zones. Martin McGuinness, the party's chief negotiator, was in Sri Lanka and the Basque country earlier this summer.

"The Sinn Féin leadership has shared [its] experience of the Irish peace process with those seeking peaceful alternatives to conflict," Mr Adams said. "It is imperative that genuine negotiation and dialogue between the representatives of the Palestinian and Israeli people commences as quickly as possible.

"While no two conflicts are identical there are key conflict resolution principles which can be applied in any situation. These include inclusive dialogue, respect for electoral mandates and respect for human rights and international law."

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Mahmoud Abbas (Arabic: ãÍãæÏ ÚÈÇÓ) (born March 26, 1935), commonly known by the kunya Abu Mazen (ÇÈæ ãÇÒä), was elected President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on January 9, 2005, and took office on January 15, 2005.

Abbas is a leading politician in Fatah. He served as the first Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority from March to October 2003 when he resigned citing lack of support from Israel and the United States as well as "internal incitement" against his government [1]. Before being named Prime Minister, Abbas led the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department. He has served as Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee since November 11, 2004, after Yasser Arafat's death. With Hamas now in control of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas is frequently portrayed as the face of Palestinian moderation.

 

1972 Olympic Massacre

The Munich massacre occurred at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September, assumed to be an operational cover for Yasser Arafat's Fatah group. The attack led directly to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes, five of the eight kidnappers, and one German police officer.

Mohammed Daoud Oudeh, one of those believed to have planned or executed the Munich attack, fingered Mahmoud Abbas as responsible for funding the operation. In his autobiography, Memoirs of a Palestinian Terrorist, Daoud writes:

Though he didn't know what the money was being spent for, longtime Fatah official Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, was responsible for the financing of the Munich attack. ― Daoud, M. (Abu Daoud) (New York, 2002) Memoirs of a Palestinian Terrorist ISBN 1-55970-429-2

 

Gerry Adams MP, MLA, (Irish: Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh; born 6 October 1948) is an Irish Republican politician and abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for West Belfast. He is President of Sinn Féin, which became the largest nationalist, republican or pro-Belfast Agreement political party in Northern Ireland in the 2005 UK general election.

 

Adams was generally seen as a spokesman for the Irish republican movement which encompassed Sinn Féin and the paramilitary Provisional IRA, an illegal paramilitary organisation in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Senior political, security and media figures, including the Minister for Justice in the Republic of Ireland assert that, from the 1970s until mid-2005, Adams was a member of the Provisional IRA's governing army council [1], [2]. He has also been accused of being the IRA commander in Belfast during the 1970s. Adams has denied that he has ever been a member of the IRA, although it is widely believed that he was.

From the late 1980s, Adams was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, initially following contact by the then SDLP leader John Hume and subsequently with the Irish and British governments and then other parties. In 2005, the Provisional IRA indicated that its war was over and, barring hard line elements, the republican movement is now exclusively committed to democratic politics. Under Adams, Sinn Féin changed its traditional policy of abstentionism towards Leinster House in 1986 and later to take seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, although the party retains a policy of abstentionism towards Westminster.

For three years, it participated in the power-sharing executive committee (cabinet) in Northern Ireland, where it shared powers with the Ulster Unionist Party and the SDLP. (The Democratic Unionist Party appointed two ministers but did not sit in the committee in protest at the presence of "Sinn Féin".)

Voice Ban...

In popular consciousness in Britain, Adams is primarily remembered during the latter part of this period for the ban on the media broadcast of his voice (the ban actually covered all republican organizations, but in practice Adams was the only one prominent enough to appear regularly on TV). This ban was imposed by the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher on October 19th, 1988, the reason given being to "deny terrorists the oxygen of publicity" after the BBC interviewed Martin McGuinness.

A similar ban, known as Section 31, had been law in the Republic of Ireland since the 1970s. However media outlets soon found ways around the ban, initially by the use of subtitles, but later and more commonly by the use of an actor reading his words over the images of him speaking.

This ban was much lampooned in cartoons and satirical TV shows, notably Spitting Image, and in The Day Today (as being required to inhale helium to "subtract credibility"), and was criticized by freedom of speech organizations worldwide and British media personalties, including BBC Director General John Birt and BBC foreign editor John Simpson. The ban was lifted by Prime Minister John Major on 17 September 1994. It caused a ripple of media attention when people discovered that Adams sounded exactly like the actor who had been voicing over his words in TV broadcasts.


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Bush admits to CIA secret prisons
George W Bush
Bush's policy on terror suspect detainees has been criticised
President Bush has acknowledged the existence of secret CIA prisons and said 14 key terrorist suspects have now been sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The suspects, who include the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have now been moved out of CIA custody and will face trial.

Mr Bush said the CIA's interrogation programme had been "vital" in saving lives, but denied the use of torture.

He said all suspects will be afforded protection under the Geneva Convention.

KEY SUSPECTS
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (above left): Alleged mastermind of 9/11; believed to be the Number 3 al-Qaeda leader before he was captured in Pakistan in 2003
Abu Zubaydah: Alleged link between Osama Bin Laden and many al-Qaeda cells before his capture in Pakistan in 2002
Ramzi Binalshibh (above right): One of the alleged masterminds of 9/11
Hambali (Riduan Isamuddin): Alleged senior leader in Jemaah Islamiah (JI); wanted by Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines in connection with blasts

In a televised address alongside families of those killed in the 11 September 2001 attacks, Mr Bush said there were now no terrorist suspects under the CIA programme.

Mr Bush said he was making a limited disclosure of the CIA programme because interrogation of the men it held was now complete and because a US Supreme Court decision had stopped the use of military commissions for trials.

He said the CIA programme had interrogated a small number of key figures suspected of involvement in 9/11, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 in Yemen and the 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Mr Bush spelled out how the questioning of detainee Abu Zubaydah had led to the capture of Ramzi Binalshibh, which in turn led to the detention of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Mr Bush said the CIA had used an "alternative set of procedures", agreed with the justice department, once suspects had stopped talking.

But he said: "The US does not torture. I have not authorised it and I will not."

He said the questioning methods had prevented attacks inside the US and saved US lives.

"This programme has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they have a chance to kill," the president said.

The CIA programme had caused some friction with European allies. Some EU lawmakers said the CIA carried out clandestine flights to transport terror suspects.

Revised guidelines

Mr Bush said he was asking Congress to authorise military commissions and once that was done "the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11 2001 can face justice".

Guantanamo Bay detainee
All detainees will now have Geneva Convention protection
All suspects will now be treated under new guidelines issued by the Pentagon on Wednesday, which bring all military detainees under the protection of the Geneva Convention.

The move marks a reversal in policy for the Pentagon, which previously argued that many detainees were unlawful combatants who did not qualify for such protections.

The new guidelines forbid all torture, the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners, water boarding - the practice of submerging prisoners in water - any kind of sexual humiliation, and many other interrogation techniques.

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says that in one stroke the Pentagon is moving to defuse all criticism of the way it treats the people it has captured in its war against terrorism.

The US administration has faced criticism from legal experts and human rights activists over the policy on detentions of terrorism suspects.

Mr Bush also said he was asking Congress to pass urgent legislation to clarify the terms under which those fighting the war on terror could operate.

He said the laws must make it explicit that US personnel were fulfilling their obligations under the Geneva Convention.

Mr Bush said those questioning suspected terrorists must be able to use everything under the law to save US lives.


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Key questions answered

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