• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 13 januari 2007

Trouw Misschien Wel 7

Trouw ontdekt internet:

'Internet / De tanden van de waakhond zijn scherp.
Online mediawatchers
door Jaap Meijers.

Er vallen veel meer slachtoffers onder Iraakse burgers dan journalisten u vertellen. Zij halen hun gegevens daarover namelijk meestal van de website iraqbodycount.com.
De cijfers over het aantal burgerslachtoffers in Irak zingen op een bizarre manier rond in de media. Het begint bij de vele correspondenten en verslaggevers in Irak. De aantallen doden en gewonden die zij noemen, worden opgeteld door iraqbodycount.com. De schatting die die website vervolgens presenteert, is waarschijnlijk flink aan de lage kant: als een bepaald bombardement de verzamelde internationale pers ontgaat, worden de slachtoffers dus ook niet meegenomen in de Iraq body count. De cirkel is rond nu journalisten overal ter wereld dat cijfer beschouwen als een betrouwbare bron voor het aantal burgerslachtoffers in Irak.
Een andere website, medialens.org, heeft zich flink druk gemaakt over deze aanpak. Er zijn veel betere manieren om te tellen, vinden de makers van die site, zoals simpelweg turven hoeveel doden er bij de crematoria in Bagdad binnengebracht worden. Wat hen betreft geven journalisten door steeds de Iraq body count te citeren, een sterk vertekend beeld van de oorlog in Irak.
Medialens controleert de Britse nieuwsmedia op verschillende onderwerpen. Elke week sturen de makers mailtjes naar redacteuren en hoofdredacteuren, elke keer met ongeveer dezelfde vraag: waarom zag de berichtgeving er zo uit? Waarom schrijft u dit en niet dat? Waarom schreef u dat Israëli’s ’arresteren’ en Palestijnen ’kidnappen’? De licht geïrriteerde reacties worden gepubliceerd en zijn vaak smakelijk om te lezen.
Er zijn nog veel meer websites die net als medialens.org de gevestigde journalistieke orde kritisch volgen, zoals mediachannel.org en mediawatch.com. Alleen zijn er in Nederland niet echt online mediawatchers. We hebben wel Jaap van Ginneken, maar zijn befaamde boek ’De schepping van de wereld in het nieuws’ krijgt op het web maar weinig navolging. Een paar jaar geleden had je wel Extra!, een ’onafhankelijk blad voor onderzoek en analyse van de Nederlandse media’, maar hun website bestaat inmiddels uit niet meer dan een archief van oude nummers.'
Copy paste
Iraq Body Count:http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
Medialens:http://www.medialens.org/ (bekijk vooral eens /alerts en /links)
Pro-Israëlische controle van de Washinton Post: www.eyeonthepost.org/summary.html
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):http://www.fair.org/
Raad voor de Journalistiek:http://www.rvdj.nl/
As The Media Watches the World, We Watch The Media:http://www.mediachannel.org/
Oude nummers van Extra! zijn terug te vinden op http://www.extra-media.nl/
Jaap van Ginneken:http://users.fmg.uva.nl/jvanginneken
Sommige wereldverbeteraars beginnen zelf een nieuwssite als ze vinden dat hun onderwerpen te weinig aandacht krijgen: http://www.indymedia.nl/ '

lees verder: http://www.trouw.nl/deverdieping/dossiers/article598424.ece/

71 keer heeft u op deze weblog iets over de wijze van berichtgeving van Trouw kunnen lezen. Even zovele keren emailde ik deze berichten aan de redactie van Trouw voor een reactie. Nooit 1 reactie op ontvangen en toch dit schrijven: 'Medialens controleert de Britse nieuwsmedia op verschillende onderwerpen. Elke week sturen de makers mailtjes naar redacteuren en hoofdredacteuren, elke keer met ongeveer dezelfde vraag: waarom zag de berichtgeving er zo uit? Waarom schrijft u dit en niet dat? Waarom schreef u dat Israëli’s ’arresteren’ en Palestijnen ’kidnappen’? De licht geïrriteerde reacties worden gepubliceerd en zijn vaak smakelijk om te lezen.Er zijn nog veel meer websites die net als medialens.org de gevestigde journalistieke orde kritisch volgen, zoals mediachannel.org en mediawatch.com. Alleen zijn er in Nederland niet echt online mediawatchers.'

Opvallend is dat Trouw precies mijn voorbeeld gebruikt over kidnappen en ontvoeren terwijl de krant nooit de moeite heeft genomen om mij een reactie te geven. Daarover zwijgen in dit verband is journalistiek bedrog. Er zijn wel degelijk mediawatchers in Nederland, Daanspeak is er 1 van, http://www.daanspeak.com/, maar die wordt net als ik en iedere andere serieuze criticus maar al te vaak genegeerd door de commerciele massamedia. Dat komt omdat in Nederland de journalistiek nooit een journalistieke traditie heeft gekend, de journalisten in Nederland waren altijd woordvoerders van de zuilen waartoe ze behoorden. Er bestaat ook geen journalistieke kritiek in Nederland, uit eigen ervaring weet ik hoe huiverig mijn collega's daarvoor zijn. In tegenstelling tot de angelsaksische wereld is er ook geen goede journalistieke opleiding. Nederland is kennelijk te klein voor scherpe journalistieke kritiek, iedereen kent iedereen, het is het land van het poldermodel en dat tekent de verhoudingen hier.

The Empire 136

'From: "Tim Murphy"
Subject: Iraqi Death Squads: Just the old 1950s colonial tactic "Gangs and Counter-gangs."

The bloody finger of Negroponte has moved and having done it's task moves on...

We are now seeing "the Salvador option" in action.

"The Plan" was never to change the regime, rebuild Iraq and establish a democratic government. The plan was to completely destroy Iraq as a viable national entity, to establish a permanent presence in numerous military bases and to take physical and economic control of the oil resources and revenues. Of course "The Plan" is merely a subplan of larger plan to dominate the region and the whole planet.

Why, if these wars are to last 60 years as was promised at the outset, do so many people imagine that they are going badly, at least as far as those who want the wars (and benefit from them) are concerned? Protracted wars are a nasty business but they are just a business and being a business they have certain running costs including financial ruination, revenge attacks, the state of fear, the police state, the loss of ancient liberties and the continuing political crises in the nations which wage aggressive resource wars like these to earn their bread. You can add to this the damage to reputation and the loss of the goodwill of other nations. All these are the economic cultural, social and moral price of the business of war as a business or in NeoCon terms "preventative aggressive war as a business/economic strategy".

Surely the recent doubts and pretences at reconsideration are merely crocodile tears and phoney hand wringing? All this soul searching introspection is just for public consumption. The dissimulating media and the liberals are simply playing their traditional role of washing the dirty linen but as usual they seem to have ignored the pile of corpses stacking up in the yard. It is true that there is a public relations problem just now but that can be adjusted until we are saved from further self-examination by new distractions when in due course as a result of our ongoing aggression we are attacked again. This will be taken as proof positive that preventative war is indeed necessary and that the war party was right all along. Then the opposition will be silenced for a while until the next disaster or our latest atrocity comes to light and the whole disgusting cycle of posturing and debate will begin again.

The Iraq war is going well for the NeoCons, they have created, strengthened and amplified inferior enemies that they can do battle with indefinitely, giving themselves continuing and flexible justifications for their militarism. Large permanent garrisons are being constructed in the middle east and in central Asia. Oil has been pumped out of Iraq unmetered. Corrupt US corporations have been paid billions for non-existent reconstruction projects. Mayhem rules and money is being made hand over fist. Politics is adjusted to the present operations, just as "the intelligence is fixed around the policy". CIA aircraft shuttle their often innocent hapless victims from one unregistered dungeon to another. The torturers are stressed out, overworked and worn to a frazzle. Wall Street is content. No one dare challenge the Dollar quite yet. When they do plenty more war can be arranged. For the first time since Hitler blew out his brains the racists are happy and growing more confident.

Elsewhere in central Asia, oil and gas pipeline corridors are mapped, established and guarded. When the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan complained to his bosses that torturing innocent people into admitting membership of terrorist organisations was not only evil, tragic and immoral but did not even produce accurate intelligence, he was told; "yes we know but it is operationally useful". In other words it allows us to keep the game going.

In Iraq the US/UK/Israel have got their special forces, mercenaries and black ops people supplying, directing or training the different groups in the various Kurdish, Sunni and Shia ethnic enclaves that are now being consolidated. These trainees are said to be destined for the army, guard duties or local police but others are simply gangs which are prosecuting the "civil war" and the ethnic/sectarian strife. Weapons and training are also supplied to ethnic militias. Some of them have rampaged like the Waffen SS and are now seemingly out of the reach of their coalition sponsors having even attacked their masters. It puts a new meaning on the term "biting the hand that feeds you", perhaps we should call it "feeding the mouth that bites you".

Overall though things are going according to plan. Iraq is being brutalised, dismembered, debrained and deindustrialised. This explains why the coalition did not preserve the ministries and institutions of the Iraqi government and instead gave power to unsophisticated sectarian fundamentalist religious forces and also why it reorganised weak localised administrations along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.

Of course the real indigenous non-sectarian Iraqi resistance is still the main military issue. It is responsible for 90% of the attacks against coalition forces but we are only allowed to hear about foreign fighters and the ethnic cleansings or sectarian killings. The US can go on taking two or three fatal casualties a day indefinitely. This is similar to the murder rate for California. Meanwhile Iraq is being sent back, not to the stone age but to the age of the dinosaurs.

Iran is next on the list. After that it could be Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or whoever puts their head on the chopping block or trys to acquire nuclear arms. In the case of Pakistan, if the military government is replaced by an Islamacist regime, democratically elected or otherwise, it is doubtful that they will be allowed keep their nuclear weapons.

The general idea behind the US/UK expedition to Mesopotamia is to do to Arabia in particular and Western Asia in general what the Conquistadores and the New England settlers did to the native Americans. Basically having first armed them and trained them we will now to kill them and get their stuff whilst pretending that they are barbarous primitive savages who have brought about their own extinction and losses.

The seizure of the American continent by the Europeans was simply the expropriation of a vast amount of land, the main basis of all wealth at that time. Now the target is the greatest concentration of fossil fuels on the planet, which amounts to the largest economic resource in human history.

As circumstances permit, more of the Palestinians will be removed from what is left of Palestine or driven out by economic privation. According to the game plan of "Full Spectrum Dominance", any nation locally or globally who wants follow an independent policy will be engaged with all economic and military might including nuclear weapons. When deemed necessary more false flag, counter-insurgency or expeditionary operations will be contrived and engineered to achieve further instabilities and reasons for war, unless submission and acquiescence is agreed.

It is all a bit like giving whiskey and guns to the native Americans. As soon as they overstep the line by fighting back, the cavalry will come in with the gattling guns. Then you can kill some more of them, put the rest in reservations and steal more land.

The main issue for those who pretend to be struggling with these problem situations is to foster the illusion that it is all a dreadful mess, forced on us by a chaotic enemy who can't even be relied upon to act in his own interests. We can then even admit honest mistakes. We can jail a few of our low level war criminals to show that we are moral beings after all and then we can say that it is all about life, blind historical forces, the clashes of religions, cultures and civilisations, the human condition and how sometimes life is a tragedy etc. But we can get the oil as well and Israel can get bigger and we can kill or subjugate more brown or black skinned people and take their stuff, which is what we like to do. After all we have subsisted on this tactic for the last 500 years, so why stop now? It works well we know how to do it and how to lie to ourselves and we can blame them!

As for "the insurgency" and "the civil war", people who want to know what is really going on, not so much in the specifics because that is shrouded in secrecy but as regards the policy direction and tactical theory, should read their "Kitson" and see how it is meant to be done...

Google, Kitson Mau Mau, or get his books, "Gangs and Counter-gangs" and "Low intensity operations: subversion, insurgency, peacekeeping".

See here for a review of "Low intensity operations" http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27/054.html

Of course you have to read between the lines, Kitson puts himself across as a highly moral British upper class gentleman soldier but we are talking about situations like that in Kenya where during the independence struggle 60 European settlers died compared with many tens of thousands of Africans most of whom were not even members of the nationalist forces. The British refer to this as the "Mau Mau Rebellion" but basically it was a bloody colonial repression that delayed decolonisation and Kenyan Independence for at least 10 years.

For an essay on pseudo operations see here: http://www.blackwaterusa.com/btw2005/

For more on Mau Mau see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mau_Mau

For more on Kitson see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Kitson

Anti War Movement

'The Washington War Game.
By Eleanor Clift

The fight over Iraq is a clash of governmental branches not seen since Vietnam.
Early rumblings of an anti-war movement sounded in Washington this week as several progressive groups joined forces to press the Democratic Congress to use its power of the purse to stop the latest escalation of the conflict in Iraq. Unlike their predecessors in the Vietnam era, who were often scruffy and unshaven, these activists are well within the mainstream in their appearance as well as their politics.
Polite but persistent, they include labor activist Andy Stern, a savvy organizer, Roger Hickey with Campaign for America's Future, who normally advocates for health care, and Jon Soltz of Vote Vets, an organization that helped elect Iraq vets to Congress. Soltz said Bush's plan of sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq is "kind of like spitting in the ocean," and the president is "too much of a coward to admit a mistake." MoveOn.org added 65,000 new members in the last 48 hours, executive director Eli Pariser reported. The liberal group is funding bus signs to declare in bold black letters, ENOUGH.
The net roots are pushing hard on Democrats to go beyond symbolic resolutions to oppose the war. But Democrats were so thoroughly chastised and blamed for losing Vietnam that they're wary of getting tagged as the party who undermined the troops. In '72, the country overwhelmingly re-elected President Nixon even after four years of his secret plan to end the war. By the time Congress voted to withhold funds for the war, Jerry Ford was president and American troops had left the battlefield. Without its benefactor, the puppet South Vietnamese government promptly fell, and U.S. personnel fled onto helicopters from the rooftop of the embassy in Saigon. The Democrats got tarred with the loss, along with a lasting reputation for being weak on national security.
The freight train is moving faster this time. The Democrats know they're on borrowed time. They wouldn't be in the majority if it weren't for their opposition to the war. Senator Kennedy introduced legislation to prevent Bush from escalating the conflict without congressional approval, but few of his colleagues are with him. Even Illinois Sen. Barak Obama, who sharply criticized Bush's "surge," is not ready to jump on the Kennedy bandwagon. Sen. Hillary Clinton, another likely '08 contender, conspicuously did not endorse Kennedy's bill. Democrats are moving toward a non-binding resolution opposing the build-up that could attract the support of a dozen Republicans, in addition to every Democrat with the exception of Senator Lieberman, who was re-elected last fall as an independent but caucuses with his old party. Lieberman backs the surge.
This fight is no longer about Democrats versus the White House. It's now a confrontation between the two branches of government on a scale not seen since Vietnam. On the House side, Speaker Pelosi is sounding more aggressive, rallying Democrats in a closed caucus meeting with Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, "This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism." She is scheduling a vote on the Bush escalation either next week or shortly after the president's State of the Union address on Jan. 23. An aide said she is looking to Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha, who led the Democratic opposition to the war, and Rep. Ike Skelton, the traditionally hawkish chairman of the Armed Services Committee, to come up with ways to tie Bush's hands short of withholding money from troops in the field.'

Lees verder: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16599348/site/newsweek/ Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011307Z.shtml

vrijdag 12 januari 2007

The Empire 135

'The Architect of Mr. Bush's Plan.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t Report
Thursday 11 January 2007

One of the key architects of President Bush's disastrous Iraq war policy was responsible for writing the president's new plan calling for an increase in US troops in the region.
By relying on the recommendations of neoconservative scholar Frederick Kagan, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, on what steps the White House should take to address the civil war between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, President Bush has once again ignored the advice of career military officials and even some Republican lawmakers - many of whom in recent weeks have urged Bush to resist implementing a policy that would result in escalating the war - and instead has chosen to rely on the proposals drafted by hawkish, think-tank intellectuals that could very well backfire and end up embroiling the United States in an even bloodier conflict.
Perhaps the most alarming element of Bush's "new" plan for stabilizing Iraq is how much it relies upon the recommendations of individuals who have never set foot on a battlefield. Much of what the president outlined in a prime-time speech Wednesday evening - specifically, sending more than 20,000 additional soldiers into Iraq - was culled from the white paper, "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq," written by Kagan last month.
Some of the key points of Kagan's proposal include:
We must change our focus from training Iraqi soldiers to securing the Iraqi population and containing the rising violence. Securing the population has never been the primary mission of the US military effort in Iraq, and now it must become the first priority.
We must send more American combat forces into Iraq, and especially into Baghdad, to support this operation. A surge of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-hold operations starting in the spring of 2007 is necessary, possible, and will be sufficient.
These forces, partnered with Iraqi units, will clear critical Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods, primarily on the west side of the city.
After the neighborhoods have been cleared, US soldiers and Marines, again partnered with Iraqis, will remain behind to maintain security.
As security is established, reconstruction aid will help to reestablish normal life and, working through Iraqi officials, will strengthen Iraqi local government.
But these recommendations itself aren't new. In fact, this "new" plan has actually been collecting dust for two years.
In January 2005, Kagan, who at the time was associated with the controversial Project for the New American Century, signed a letter sent to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate urging lawmakers to deploy an additional 25,000 US troops to Iraq, not so much to quell the violence between Sunni and Shiite factions as to intimidate Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East by maintaining bases. Kagan, his brother Robert, and PNAC founder and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol wrote that the Bush administration had ignored its suggestions, and chose to stick with a plan drafted by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said the Iraq war could be won with fewer ground forces and superior air power.
"We write to ask you and your colleagues in the legislative branch to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps," states the January 28, 2005, letter sent to Senators Bill Frist and Harry Reid, Congressman Dennis Hastert, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. "While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years. The administration has been reluctant to adapt to this new reality."
As US casualties piled up, Kagan publicly criticized Rumsfeld's plan for post-war Iraq and began to peddle his ideas for a substantial increase in US troops.'

Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/printer_011107J.shtml

Het American Enterprise Institute is de neoconservatieve denktank waar ook Hirsi Magan/Ali voor werkt. Het is ook niet verbazingwekkend dat Amerikaanse liberalen met gepaste argwaan reageren op de gedachtewereld van mevrouw Ali.

Iran 75

'The US-Iran-Iraq-Israeli-Syrian War.
Robert Parry
Consortium News
Friday 12 January 2007

At a not-for-quotation pre-speech briefing on Jan. 10, George W. Bush and his top national security aides unnerved network anchors and other senior news executives with suggestions that a major confrontation with Iran is looming.
Commenting about the briefing on MSNBC after Bush's nationwide address, NBC's Washington bureau chief Tim Russert said "there's a strong sense in the upper echelons of the White House that Iran is going to surface relatively quickly as a major issue - in the country and the world - in a very acute way."
Russert and NBC anchor Brian Williams depicted this White House emphasis on Iran as the biggest surprise from the briefing as Bush stepped into the meeting to speak passionately about why he is determined to prevail in the Middle East.
"The President's inference was this: that an entire region would blow up from the inside, the core being Iraq, from the inside out," Williams said, paraphrasing Bush.
Despite the already high cost of the Iraq War, Bush also defended his decision to invade Iraq and to eliminate Saddam Hussein by arguing that otherwise "he and Iran would be in a race to acquire a nuclear bomb and if we didn't stop him, Iran would be going to Pakistan or to China and things would be much worse," Russert said.
If Russert's account is correct, there could be questions raised about whether Bush has lost touch with reality and may be slipping back into the false pre-invasion intelligence claims about Hussein threatening the United States with "a mushroom cloud."
U.S. weapons inspectors concluded in 2004 that Hussein had long ago abandoned his nuclear weapons program. Many experts agreed that continued international sanctions would have prevented its resumption for the foreseeable future.
Indeed, some observers believe Bush's invasion of Iraq has proved counterproductive by spurring Iran and other countries to speed up their development of nuclear and other unconventional weapons in hopes of keeping the United States at bay.
The countries on Bush's "axis of evil" hit list saw that Iraq's WMD disarmament and acceptance of United Nations inspections didn't stop the U.S.-led invasion.
Not only have possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result, but U.S. forces killed Hussein's two sons and turned the deposed dictator over to his enemies so he could hanged like a common criminal on Dec. 30.
So there can be little incentive for Iranian or North Korean leaders to follow the Iraq model of disarmament and inspections. Further, the explosion of anti-Americanism in the Muslim world has increased risks to the pro-U.S. dictatorship in nuclear-armed Pakistan, where Islamic militants with close ties to al-Qaeda are reported to be gaining strength.
While avoiding any overt criticism of Bush's comments about an imaginary Iraqi-Iranian arms race, Russert suggested that the news executives found the remarks perplexing.
"That's the way he sees the world," Russert explained. "His rationale, he believes, for going into Iraq still was one that was sound."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews then interjected, "And it could be the rationale for going into Iran at some point."
Russert paused for a few seconds before responding, "It's going to be very interesting to watch that issue and we have to cover it very, very carefully and very exhaustively."
Reasons for Alarm... '

Lees verder:
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/011107.html En: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011207L.shtml

Irak 155

De nieuwe Amerikaanse militaire tactiek om elk Irakees verzet te onderdrukken, is gebaseerd op het alles vernietigende offensief in Fallujah, waarbij geen enkel onderscheid werd gemaakt tussen burgers en strijders. Deze manier van oorlogsvoering, gefundeerd op het massaal plegen van oorlogsmisdaden, hebben de Amerikanen weer van de Israelische strijdkrachten geleerd. Nadat ik in 2002 vergeefs geprobeerd had Jenin binnen te komen, las ik in de Israelische kranten dat net een Amerikaanse legerdelegatie was gearriveerd die de Israelische bevindingen bestudeerde van het oorlogvoeren in stedelijk gebied.

De World Socialist Web Site bericht:

'US offensive in Baghdad begins surge of killing and repression.
By James Cogan12 January 2007

The escalation of the Iraq war that was outlined by US President Bush on Wednesday night is already well underway. Beginning last Saturday, Iraqi government and US forces have pursued an operation to dislodge anti-occupation resistance fighters from Haifa Street—a major thoroughfare in the heart of Baghdad that follows the west bank of the Tigris River and leads into the “Green Zone” area where the US embassy and offices of the Iraqi government are housed.
A full offensive into the district was carried out on Tuesday. What followed makes clear that the “surge” of US and Iraqi government troops into Baghdad is a prescription for mass killing and repression.
Haifa is a predominantly Sunni Arab neighourhood and the street itself is lined with high-rise offices and the apartments and homes of former public servants and army officers of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime, who were deprived of their jobs and social position by the US invasion. The poorer, working class backstreets have been described by American troops as a “labyrinth” of winding alleys and crumbling homes, and a “perfect place for insurgents who need cover”.
As armed resistance to the US occupation grew throughout 2003, the area became known as one of the most dangerous in Baghdad. While repeated raids have been made and hundreds of locals killed or detained, the US military has thus far failed to terrorise the populace into submission. As soon as American forces have withdrawn from the area, guerilla cells have reformed and resumed their insurgency.
The current operation in Haifa Street, in line with the broader aim of Bush’s surge, is aimed at using overwhelming force to finally suppress opposition. After three days of probing by poorly equipped Iraqi forces—which appear to have been mainly used as cannon fodder to determine the location of insurgents—American troops in Stryker armoured vehicles, supported by F-18 fighter-bombers and Apache helicopter gunships, spearheaded a dawn assault.
Some 1,000 troops were used to secure less than two kilometres of the thoroughfare. Resistance began immediately after US and government forces seized Tala’a Square at the northern end of Haifa Street and began moving south, smashing into homes and offices on both sides of the road and searching for alleged insurgents. By 6:30 a.m., they were being engaged by Iraqi fighters equipped with only small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
The tactics employed by the American commanders against the Iraqi resistance provide a glimpse of what will be carried on a far greater scale as US forces implement Bush’s new plan. American troops made no attempt to storm buildings from which they were taking fire. Instead—in the middle of an urban area where civilians were given no warning of an assault—helicopter gunships and Strykers raked offices and houses with heavy machine guns, while alleged insurgent firing positions were blown apart by Hellcat missiles fired from the air or by anti-tank missiles and grenades launched from the ground.'

Lees verder: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jan2007/iraq-j12.shtml

En nu opletten hoe lang het zal duren voordat de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia ontdekken dat er op grote schaal oorlogsmisdaden worden gepleegd door onze NAVO-bondgenoot! Ik vermoed pas nadat de Amerikaanse kranten erover gaan berichten, maar wie weet, misschien gaan ze dit keer wat beter hun huiswerk doen.

Irak 154

'Media Under Growing Siege.
By Dahr Jamail & Ali al-Fadhily.
12 January, 2007 Inter Press Service

BAGHDAD, Jan. 10 (IPS) - The U.S. administration continues to tout Iraq as a shining example of democracy in the Middle East, but press freedom in Iraq has plummeted since the beginning of the occupation.
Repression of free speech in Iraq was extreme already under the regime of Saddam Hussein. The 2002 press freedom index of the watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranked Iraq a dismal130th. The 2006 index pushes Iraq down to 154th position in a total of 168 listed countries, though still ahead of Pakistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, China and Iran. North Korea is at the bottom of the table.
The index ranks countries by how they treat their media, looking at the number of journalists who were murdered, threatened, had to flee or were jailed by the state.
The end of Saddam's dictatorship had for a while brought hope of greater press freedom. More than 200 new newspapers and a dozen television channels opened. The hope did not last even weeks.
"We were overwhelmed by the change that accompanied what we thought was the liberation of our country," journalist Said Ali who had earlier been arrested many times for criticising Saddam's regime told IPS. "I was arrested then for criticising low-ranking officials, and that was why I did not stay in jail long. The change of system in 2003 brought me hope of a better situation, but it proved false."
First, journalists began to face the danger of getting shot in the streets by nervous U.S. soldiers. Many journalists were killed in such firing. Later they began to face exile, arrest and bans on reporting after they began to expose abuses against Iraqi civilians. Journalists were targeted also for reporting the growing resistance to the occupation.
Order 65 of the "100 Orders" penned by former U.S. administrator in Iraq L. Paul Bremer established a communications and media commission. Under the order passed Mar. 20, 2004 the commission had complete control over licensing and regulating telecommunications, broadcasting, information services and all other media establishments.
On Jun. 28, 2004 when the United States supposedly handed power to a "sovereign" interim government, Bremer simply passed on the authority to U.S.-installed interim prime minister Ayad Allawi, who had longstanding ties with the CIA and the British intelligence service MI6. These orders have since been incorporated into the Iraqi constitution.
Within days of the "handover" of power to the interim Iraqi government, security forces raided and shut down the Baghdad office of al-Jazeera Arabic satellite channel.'

Lees verder: http://countercurrents.org/iraq-jamail120107.htm

The Empire 134

'Bush to America: War!
by Jack Random

Faced with a collapse of popular and political support, the president’s response in an address to the nation was astonishing: Not only will the war effort go on unabated; it will be escalated and expanded.

The first question that arises is: Why was it necessary to dawn the mask of deliberations, dancing silently through two months of weighty consultations, for this?

This did not represent a change in strategy. It did not represent a change in thinking. Rather, it was open defiance: Damn the election; load the munitions! It was a barely discernible rephrasing of the same old tired lines:

“We must not fail” but we have failed.

The war is “noble and necessary” when in fact it was a war of choice founded on repeated lies and deceptions.

We are engaged in “the ideological struggle of our time” when in fact we have prosecuted the oldest imperial strategy in history: a war for greed and dominion.

We are “advancing liberty” by ripping a nation apart at the seams.

“We have to fight them over there so we will not have to fight them here” when in fact we have created more enemies by our actions than we can possibly count.

On and on, the president stands firm, lock-jawed and determined. He will not back down. He is a war president: Once a war president, always a war president.

He will send another 21,500 American warriors into door-to-door, urban battle in the midst of an exploding civil war.

He will push Iraqis to take up arms against Iraqis and position our forces in the crossfire.

He has dispatched a carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf with vague orders to engage Iran on the high seas.

Like the commander who cuts off the head of an emissary and returns it in a box, he has discarded even the hint of real diplomacy and hurled another volley of threats to Iraq’s neighboring nations.

Having replaced every commander and advisor who dared, however belatedly, to speak truth to diminishing power, the president has barricaded himself in a tower of stone. He cannot hear our protests. From his high perch, he can barely distinguish us as human beings.

What is the truth he cannot bear? Spurred on by a radical fringe of power hungry, oil greedy, unconditional Israeli loyalists, he defied the history of the world by attempting to become the first western power to successfully conquer, occupy and establish permanent dominion in the heart of the Middle East.

The most dangerous mythology to have evolved over four years of a catastrophic war is the one that holds: We could have prevailed if only we had committed sufficient troops from the beginning. History instructs otherwise. We could only have prolonged the catastrophe in a rising tide of Iraqi and American blood. To believe that the indigenous powers of the region or indeed the world would stand idly by while we seized the planet’s most illusive treasure is naïve in the extreme.

The second most dangerous myth to have evolved from this river of shame is the one espoused by Democratic spokesperson Dick Durbin (Senator, Ill.): That we have given the Iraqis enough. What have we delivered to the Iraqi people if not a broken nation, a legacy of death and a future as dark as a torture chamber in the basement of Guantanamo Bay?

No one wants an end to the war more than I do but not at a cost of blaming the victims. The Iraqi people did not invite us to invade and destroy their country. That invitation was culled from a corrupt circle of power hungry exiles -- bloodsucking leeches of the neocon dream.

We cannot be absolved from responsibility for committing the cardinal crime of international law (aggressive war) either by prolonging the suffering or by proclaiming our nobility as if by birthright. To promulgate either deception would be to announce to the world that we have learned nothing from our egregious crimes and that we are fully capable of repeating the offense.

The fallacies of the president’s plan for success are too clear for any honest analyst to ignore. Throwing our soldiers into the crossfire, imbedding them with alien forces, engaging the Mahdi army, baiting Iran and threatening Syria can only result in an exponential increase of violence, resistance and civil divide.'

Lees verder: http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan07/Random11.htm

Irak 153

Democracy Now:

'AMY GOODMAN: We go first to Iraq. My next guest, Sergeant Ronn Cantu, is an Army sergeant serving his second tour of duty in Iraq right now. He recently signed a petition to Congress, known as an Appeal for Redress, calling for the withdrawal of US troops. The appeal will be delivered to Capitol Hill next week. Sergeant Cantu is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He started the website forum, soldiervoices.net, to give soldiers a forum to speak about the Iraq war, now joining us on the line from Iraq. It is very brave of you to join us, Sergeant Cantu.
SGT. RONN CANTU: Yeah, but I’m scared out of my mind right now. [inaudible] over here.
AMY GOODMAN: Why are you scared?
SGT. RONN CANTU: I don’t really want to go into that. All I really want to say, because I shouldn’t be doing this -- all I want to say is, right now American soldiers are dying in a Sunni-Shiite civil war, a sectarian civil war -- that’s a fact, based on my personal observations. Soldiers’ hands are tied to defend themselves. Every time a soldier fires his weapon, he has to sign paperwork making sure it was justified. I want to stress that soldiers want to go on the offensive, but everything we’re doing here is on the defense. And it’s a belief of the soldiers I’ve talked to that any troop increase over here, it’s just going to be more sitting ducks, more targets.
Everything we’re doing is reactive. People go out on patrols, and they're sitting ducks until somebody strikes first. There was a story relayed to me by somebody I know -- I don’t want to give his name -- a soldier was shot in the face, and nobody fired back, because they couldn’t see where it was coming from. That’s what this has come down to, and that’s just plain fact. I’m sorry, [inaudible] --
AMY GOODMAN: Sergeant Cantu, can you explain the Appeal for Redress that you’ve signed?
SGT. RONN CANTU: All it is is a -- it’s just that one of the rights that soldiers have is the right to communicate unfettered with their elected member of Congress, and it’s just about a troop withdrawal. I mean, the Appeal for Redress website is pretty straightforward. If anybody’s in there, very straightforward.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you have support in Iraq, where you are, among your cavalry division?
SGT. RONN CANTU: I’m sorry?
AMY GOODMAN: Do you have support in the First Cavalry Division for your call for the troops to come home?
SGT. RONN CANTU: A lot of people still aren’t even aware of it, the appeal.
AMY GOODMAN: Sergeant Cantu, are you there?
SGT. RONN CANTU: I’m here.
AMY GOODMAN: And what are you demanding of the President, of the Congress right now? Sergeant Cantu? Sergeant Cantu, are you there?
You’re listening to an exclusive live broadcast with Sergeant Ronn Cantu. He is one of over 1,000 soldiers who have signed what is called an Appeal to Redress, which will be delivered on Capitol Hill on Martin Luther King's birthday, calling for the troops to be called home. All of the uniformed endorsers are calling on Congress to bring the troops home.
We are turning now to another peace activist, joining us now from Washington D.C., who are calling for President Bush to pull the troops home, as well. Leslie Cagan joins us. She is the head of United for Peace and Justice. Your response, both to hearing Sergeant Ronn Cantu speaking to us from Iraq, as well as President Bush speaking last night from the library in the White House?
LESLIE CAGAN: Yes, hi. Good morning. Well, on one level, we’re not surprised by what the President said. He has been consistent for more than four years now about his commitment to this war. And last night he just reinforced his commitment to this war by actually escalating our involvement by announcing that he’s sending more troops.'

Lees of luister verder: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/11/1536236

Israelisch Expansionisme 38

De ideologische vader van de huidige premier van Israel en van alle andere rechtse zionisten, Vladimir Jabotinsky, verklaarde al in november 1923: 'Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach.'
De Vierde Conventie van Geneve, daterend uit 1949. Artikel 49: 'The occupation Power schall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.'
Zie: http://video.google.nl/videoplay?docid=8598031591119784930&q=The+Iron+Wall

Omdat Hamas weigert deze expansionistische staat, die met terreur haar gebied uitbreidt, te erkennen wordt het door het Westen economisch en politiek geboycot. Israel daarentegen wordt door het Westen economisch, militair en politiek met miljarden dollars gesteund, kennelijk in de overtuiging dat daarmee de vrede in het Midden Oosten wordt verwezenlijkt.

Zapruder Inc

Ik kreeg deze mail opgestuurd van Boudine Berkenbosch:


9 januari 2006 – Zapruder_Inc gaat voortaan verder onder het eigen adres http://www.zapruder.nl. Daarmee wordt Zapruder_Inc hét weblog voor serieuze onderzoeksjournalistiek, controversiële reportages en complotten.
(Zojuist verzonden)
Zapruder_Inc, dat in 2006 van start ging als zelfstandig channel van een groot Nederlands weblog, maakte afgelopen jaar naam met diverse onthullingen over onder meer de complotten rond 9/11 en het gebruik van DU-munitie. Het bood twee petities aan de kamercommissie van de Tweede Kamer en leverde een bijdrage aan de recente 9/11-uitzending van VARA’s Zembla. Gezien het succes van deze acties en de vele positieve reacties op de andere thema’s heeft de redactie van Zapruder_Inc besloten zelfstandig verder te gaan. De site http://www.zapruder.nl is voortaan de portal van Zapruder Inc. Om de inhoud voor iedereen bereikbaar te maken, is een website ontwikkeld die de hoogste standaards in toegankelijkheid en functionaliteit aanhoudt. Verder zal nieuwe content (waaronder podcasts en audio) worden toegevoegd. Zapruder_Inc beschikt over een eigen nieuwsvoorziening, te bereiken op http://www.essentialnews.org. Nieuwe schrijvers zullen het bestaande team versterken.
In de nabije toekomst zal Zapruder_Inc schrijvers en journalisten van buiten het team gaan ondersteunen met website-, weblog-, forum- en podcast-faciliteiten.
Over Zapruder_Inc
Zapruder_Inc is een geheel Nederlandstalige weblog dat zich specialiseert in onderzoeksjournalistiek, controversiële invalshoeken, conspiracy en alternatieve geschiedschrijving. Het begint waar gevestigde media ophouden. Zapruder_Inc streeft ernaar zijn lezers een mix te presenteren van zowel serieuze research naar omstreden thema’s als lichtvoetige artikelen. Daarmee wil het tonen dat een open mind en een sceptische inslag elkaar niet per definitie uitsluiten.'

The Empire 133

De International Herald Tribune:

'Bush plan is calculated gamble.
President bets on the public's patience,

WASHINGTON: By stepping up the U.S. military presence in Iraq, President George W. Bush is not only inviting an epic clash with the Democrats who run Congress. He is also ignoring the results of the November elections, rejecting the central thrust of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and flouting the advice of some of his own generals, as well as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al- Maliki of Iraq.
In so doing, Bush is taking a calculated gamble that, no matter how much hue and cry his new strategy may provoke, in the end the American people will give him more time to turn around the war in Iraq, and Congress will not have the political nerve to thwart him by cutting off money for it.
The plan, outlined by the president in stark, simple tones in a 20-minute speech from the White House library, is vintage George Bush — in the eyes of critics, bull-headed, even delusional about the prospects for success in Iraq. To his admirers, it is resolute and principled. It is the latest evidence that the president is convinced that he is right and that history will vindicate him, even if that vindication comes long after he is gone from the Oval Office.
Bush long ago bet his presidency on Iraq, and to the extent he can salvage the war he can also salvage the remaining two years of his administration. So he is taking a risk, challenging not only the Democratic leaders in Congress but also some members of his own party, who are openly skeptical that the new policy will work and who, unlike the president, will be running for re-election.
But there are no guarantees that Bush's reading of the country and the Congress will prove correct.
"It's more than a risk, it's a riverboat gamble," said Leon Panetta, a Democratic member of the Iraq Study Group and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. "There's no question that under our system he's going to be able to deploy these troops without Congress being able to stop him, but he's going to face so many battles over these next few months, on funding for the war, on every decision he makes, that he's basically taking the nation into another nightmare of conflict over a war that no one sees any end to."
The White House orchestrated an elaborate rollout for the speech, including a presidential briefing for network news anchors before Bush addressed the nation.'

Lees verder: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/11/news/risk.php

Het is een kwestie van marketing, de verkoop van coca cola, cd's, oorlogen. Maar daar is wel de steun van de opiniemakers, dus de commerciele massamedia voor nodig. En dat lukt Bush steeds minder. Misschien moet hij een ander produkt gaan verkopen.

donderdag 11 januari 2007

Irak 152

'Soldier Gets 9 Months for Iraqi Death's.

Associated Press Writer

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - A 101st Airborne Division soldier who had been charged with murder in the deaths of three Iraqi detainees pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to nine months in military jail.
Spc. Juston R. Graber, 21, is accused with three others from the division's 187th Infantry Regiment of killing detainees during a raid of a suspected al-Qaida stronghold near Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.
They also were accused of trying to deceive investigators by saying the detainees were fleeing when they were shot.
Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. William B. Hunsaker and Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard are awaiting courts-martial in the case.
After the sentence was announced, Graber's attorney patted his back and his mother walked toward him smiling.
Graber earlier told the military judge that once the area was secured during the raid, he went back to a helicopter to get a body bag. He said he heard gunshots and saw the three detainees lying on the ground near the house.
Two of the detainees appeared to still be alive, Graber said. He testified that Girouard suggested they put one man ``out of his misery.''
Graber said he then shot the man in the head. Graber told the judge, Col. Theodore Dixon, that he knew Girouard was not ordering him to shoot the detainee and that what he did was unlawful.'

Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,,-6334335,00.html

'Special Report
Soldier was ruled a threat
Private charged in civilian deaths had been given mental health drug.

By Ryan Lenz
Associated Press

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- An Army private charged with the slaughter of an Iraqi family was diagnosed as a homicidal threat by a military mental health team three months before the attack.
Pfc. Steven D. Green was found to have "homicidal ideations" after seeking help from an Army Combat Stress Team in Iraq on Dec. 21, 2005. Green said he was angry about the war, desperate to avenge the deaths of comrades and driven to kill Iraqi citizens, according to an investigation by The Associated Press.
The treatment was several small doses of Seroquel -- a drug to regulate his mood -- and a directive to get some sleep, according to medical records. The next day, he returned to duty in the particularly violent stretch of desert known as the Triangle of Death.
On March 12, Iraqi police reported a break-in at the home of a family in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles from Baghdad. The intruders shot and killed the father, mother and two young daughters. The older girl, 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, was raped, and her body was set afire.'

Lees verder: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070110/LOCAL17/701100471/-1/ZONES04

Verarmd Uranium 5

Slachtoffertjes van de massale inzet van Veramd Uranium wapens door de NAVO-strijdkrachten, van de Verenigde Saten en het Verenigd Koninkrijk.
De BBC bericht:
'Uranium ''killing Italian troops.''
Italian soldiers are still dying following exposure to depleted uranium in the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, their relatives say.
Troops who served during the wars in the 1990s believe they have contracted cancer and other serious illnesses from extended exposure to the munitions.
The US says it fired around 40,000 depleted uranium rounds during the Bosnian and Kosovo conflicts.
A pressure group says 50 veterans have died and another 200 are seriously ill.
Depleted uranium is used on the tips of bullets and shells. Because of its density it can pierce the armour plating on tanks.
But when it explodes it often leaves a footprint of chemically poisonous and radioactive dust.
The Italians who served in Bosnia and Kosovo were involved in the clear-up of battlefields and came into close contact with exploded ammunition.
Children with disabilities
The association representing the soldiers, known as Anavafaf, says many of those who have died or are ill have contracted cancer.
In 2002 the Italian defence ministry published a report compiled by independent scientists which found a higher than average number of servicemen were suffering from cancer.
It said there was an excessive number of Hodgkin's disease victims among Italian Balkan peacekeepers.
A number of children fathered by the soldiers have been born with disabilities.'
In 2003 schreef ik voor het tijdschrift De Humanist:
'Acht jaar geleden zag ik in Irak de gevolgen van de vorige Golfoorlog, waarbij de totale infrastructuur van het land werd vernietigd. Op een middag liep ik zonder begeleiding het grote kinderziekenhuis van Bagdad binnen en liet me door een dienstdoende oncoloog rondleiden langs uitgemergelde kleuters die aan kanker stierven, als gevolg van de grootschalige inzet van Britse en Amerikaanse granaten en kogels. De punten ervan waren bekleed met verarmd uranium, een afvalproduct van de nucleaire industrie. Het voordeel van deze giftige en radioactieve munitie is dat ze tweeënhalf keer zo hard is als staal en daardoor elk vijandelijk object eenvoudig kan uitschakelen. Treffen ze doel dan exploderen ze, waarbij zo'n grote hitte vrijkomt dat bijvoorbeeld een tank ogenblikkelijk in lichterlaaie staat. Tegelijkertijd ontsnappen er radioactieve stofdeeltjes, die indien ze worden ingeademd longkanker veroorzaken. Tijdens die Golfoorlog zijn 944.000 verarmd uraniumkogels en 4.000 verarmd uranium granaten afgeschoten, in totaal 320.000 kilo verarmt uranium. De inzet ervan was zo succesvol dat een expert het vergeleek met de invloed van het machinegeweer op de praktijk van de oorlogsvoering. Het Pentagon was al die tijd op de hoogte van het gevaar. Maar pas een week na het staakt-het-vuren waarschuwde het de Amerikaanse eenheden in het Golfgebied dat 'van elk object dat door een verarmd uranium kogel of granaat is geraakt, aangenomen kan worden dat het met verarmd uranium is besmet.' Die boodschap was evenwel niet gericht aan de Irakese kinderen die in besmet gebied speelden en de neergeslagen radioactieve stofdeeltjes inademden. Sinds 1990 is het aantal gevallen van kanker er onder kinderen vervijfvoudigd. Geboorte afwijkingen en leukemie zijn er verdrievoudigd. Ook onder Amerikaanse veteranen van de Golfoorlog zijn slachtoffers gevallen. Tenminste 50.000 militairen lijden aan ziektes die moeilijk te diagnosticeren zijn. Een van hen die persoonlijke ervaring heeft gehad met verarmd uranium is Doug Rokke, die aan het hoofd stond van een opruimingsteam van het Amerikaanse leger, dat met verarmd uranium getroffen tanks en pantserwagens onderzocht en schoonmaakte. De meeste van de honderd teamleden hebben ernstige gezondheidsklachten. Sommigen zijn gestorven. Doug Rokke was tot voor kort hoogleraar fysica en heeft volgens eigen zeggen '5000 keer het toegestane niveau van straling in mijn lichaam.' De gezondheidsproblemen onder de inwoners van zuidelijk Irak is 'het directe gevolg' van de blootstelling aan verarmd uranium. 'De controverse over de vraag of het al dan niet de oorzaak van deze problemen zijn, is een gefabriceerde. Mijn eigen gezondheid is een testament daarvan.' Bijna 60 procent van de Irakese doden zijn kinderen onder de zeven jaar.'
Inmiddels is het aantal slachtoffers sterk toegenomen door het massaal gebruik van verarmd uranium wapens in het bezette Irak. Het Nederlandse kabinet en de meerderheid van onze volksvertegenwoordigers steunt de westerse bezetting van Irak en is daardoor mede verantwoordelijk voor deze oorlogsmisdaden.


Reuters bericht:

'EXCLUSIVE-Hamas leader says Israel's existence is a reality
(Adds U.S. comment, paragraph 12)
By Sean Maguire and Khaled Oweis

DAMASCUS, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Hamas acknowledges the existence of Israel as a reality but formal recognition will only be considered when a Palestinian state has been created, the movement's exiled leader Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday.
Softening a previous refusal to accept the Jewish state's existence, Meshaal said Israel was a "matter of fact" and a reality that will persist.
"There will remain a state called Israel," Meshaal said in an interview in the Syrian capital, in what appeared to be clearest statement yet by the Islamist group on its attitude toward the state it previously said had no right to exist.
"The problem is not that there is an entity called Israel," said Meshaal, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997. "The problem is that the Palestinian state is non-existent."
Israel and Western governments have put financial sanctions on the Hamas-led Palestinian government for refusing to recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace accords. The embargo has hit the Palestinian economy hard.
Meshaal said Hamas would defy the Western conditions, which he described as blackmail, and would refuse to consider formal recognition of Israel until a viable Palestinian state was established.
Changing the Hamas charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, was also a matter for the future, he said.
"The distant future will have its own circumstances and positions could be determined then," he said in a wide-ranging interview.
Past concessions to Israel by Palestinian negotiators went unrewarded, he argued, and his Islamist group would drive hard bargains over key issues such as recognition.
"For Israel to suck us into bargains in stages and in packages - this road constitutes an attempt to weaken the Palestinian position."
Asked about Meshaal's comments Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev responded that Hamas had said in the past it wanted to wipe Israel from the map and there was no indication it had changed its position.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also said Meshaal's comments did not show change. He said Hamas must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previous agreements, including a U.S.-sponsored "road map" to peace.
Meshaal said Hamas backed Arab demands that a Palestinian state should include Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem and that Israel should accept the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes lost in a 1967 war and before.
"As a Palestinian today I speak of a Palestinian and Arab demand for a state on 1967 borders. It is true that in reality there will be an entity or state called Israel on the rest of Palestinian land," said Meshaal.
"This is a reality but I won't deal with it in terms of recognising or admitting it," he added.
A vast gulf exists between the Hamas goals for a state and Israel's insistence that it will never give up Arab east Jerusalem or allow Palestinian refugees to return from abroad.
Meshaal called for international pressure on Israel to accept Palestinian demands in the interest of regional peace and security. He criticised U.S. financial and political backing for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as interference.
Hamas and Abbas's Fatah are locked in a power struggle that has sparked deadly armed clashes that some fear will lead to a Palestinian civil war. Meshaal called for renewed dialogue between the groups to try to form a national unity government.
In his interview Meshaal did not threaten armed action by his Islamist group against Israel but warned that Palestinian frustration over a stalled peace process could lead to attacks.
Hamas has largely abided by a November 26 truce which has calmed Israeli-Palestinian violence in Gaza. It launched dozens of suicide bombings against Israel during a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000 but halted them in early 2005.
(Additional reporting by Nadim Ladki and Allyn Fisher-Ilan)'

Zie: http://today.reuters.com/misc/PrinterFriendlyPopup.aspx?type=tnBusinessNews&storyID=nL10415075

Nederland en Afghanistan 119

'NATO admits to errors in Afghan civilian deaths.
Associated Press

BRUSSELS -- Poor communications between NATO troops and Afghan authorities led to the death of several civilians during an alliance operation against the Taliban in October, NATO officials said.
NATO officials have said about 30 civilians were killed in the incident in the Panjwaii district of southern Kandahar province; Afghan officials have put the figure has high as 80.
A report on the incident, which followed a joint Afghan-NATO investigation, was presented to 26 NATO ambassadors Wednesday.
"The main conclusion of the report is that this tragic event took place primarily because communications between international forces and local authorities did not work well enough,'' NATO spokesman James Appathurai said.
But he said the report would not be made public and he would not give details, saying disclosure could reveal sensitive information about the operations of the 32,000-strong NATO force in Afghanistan.'

Lees verder: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070110/

'Errors.' Vergissingen. 30 tot 80 vergissingen. Hoe zouden de nabestaanden, voor wie de NAVO Afghanistan bezet, deze vergissingen inschatten?

The Empire 132

'Study: 744,000 Are Homeless in U.S.

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - There were 744,000 homeless people in the United States in 2005, according to the first national estimate in a decade. A little more than half were living in shelters, and nearly a quarter were chronically homeless, according to the report Wednesday by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, an advocacy group.
A majority of the homeless were single adults, but about 41 percent were in families, the report said.
The group compiled data collected by the Department of Housing and Urban Development from service providers throughout the country. It is the first national study on the number of homeless people since 1996. That study came up with a wide range for America's homeless population: between 444,000 and 842,000.
Counting people without permanent addresses, especially those living on the street, is an inexact process. But the new study is expected to provide a baseline to help measure progress on the issue.
``Having this data brings all of us another step closer to understanding the scope and nature of homelessness in America, and establishing this baseline is an extremely challenging task,'' HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said. ``Understanding homelessness is a necessary step to addressing it successfully.''
HUD is preparing to release its own report on homelessness in the coming weeks, Jackson said. In the future, the department plans to issue annual reports on the number of homeless people in the U.S.
Some cities and states have done their own counts of the homeless, providing a mix of trends, said Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. For example, New York City and San Francisco have seen decreases, while the number of homeless in Washington, D.C., has increased, Roman said.
``In the last 12 to 18 months, the homeless population has essentially exploded in Philadelphia,'' said Marsha Cohen, executive director of the Homeless Advocacy Project, which provides free legal services to the homeless in Philadelphia. ``We are seeing big increases in singles and families, both on the street and attempting to enter the homeless system.''
``It's a whole influx of new people, and that's the really scary part,'' Cohen said.
In Columbus, Ohio, workers are scrambling to help an increasing number of people living under bridges and in wooded encampments near rivers and streams, said Barbara Poppe, executive director of the Community Shelter Board.
``We're very concerned about the health and well being of those people being out in the elements,'' Poppe said. ``We had an encampment set on fire, and we had a woman struck by a train.''
California was the state with most homeless people in 2005, about 170,000, followed by New York, Florida, Texas and Georgia, according to the report.
Nevada had the highest share of its population homeless, about 0.68 percent. It was followed by Rhode Island, Colorado, California and Hawaii.'

Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6336489,00.html

The Empire 131

Greg Palast:


George W. Bush has an urge to surge. Like every junkie, he asks for just one more fix: let him inject just 21,000 more troops and that will win the war.Been there. Done that. In 1965, Tom Paxton sang, Lyndon Johnson told the nation Have no fear of escalation. I am trying everyone to please. Though it isn't really war, We're sending 50,000 more To help save Vietnam from the Vietnamese.Four decades later, Bush is asking us to save Iraq from the Iraqis. There's always a problem with giving a junkie another fix. It can only make things worse. Our maximum leader says that unless he gets to mainline another 21,000 troops, "Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons," and terrorists "would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people." Excuse me, but didn't we hear that same promise in 2003? Nearly four years ago, on the eve of invasion, this same George Bush promised, "The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed."Instead of diminishing the threat from terrorists, Bush now admits, "Al Qaeda has a home base in Anbar province" -- something inconceivable under Saddam's rule.Four years ago, Bush promised us, "When the dictator has departed, [Iraq] can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation." Just send in the 82d Airborne and, lickety-split, we'd have, "A new Iraq that is prosperous and free."Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.Here's my question: Who asked the waiter to deliver this dish? Who asked for the 21,000 soldiers?We know the US military didn't ask for the 21,000 troops. (Outgoing commander General George Casey called for a troop reduction.)We know the Iraqi government didn't ask for the 21,000 troops. (Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is reportedly unhappy about a visible increase in foreign occupiers).So who wants the occupation to continue? The answer is in Riyadh. When the King of Saudi Arabia hauled Dick Cheney before his throne on Thanksgiving weekend, the keeper of America's oil laid down the law to Veep: the US will not withdraw from Iraq. According to Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi who signals to the US government the commands and diktats of the House of Saud, the Saudis are concerned that a US pull-out will leave their Sunni brothers in Iraq to be slaughtered by Shia militias. More important, the Saudis will not tolerate a Shia-majority government in Iraq controlled by the Shia mullahs of Iran. A Shia combine would threaten Saudi Arabia's hegemony in the OPEC oil cartel.In other words, it's about the oil.So what's the solution? What's my plan? How do we get out of Iraq? Answer: the same way we got out of 'Nam. In ships.But can we just watch from the ship rail as Shia slaughter Sunnis in Baghdad, Sunnis murder Shia in Anbar, Kurds "cleanse" Kirkuk of Turkmen and so on in a sickening daisy-chain of ethnic atrocities?No. There's a real alternative. And it isn't more troops, George. Let's imagine that somehow we could rip away the strings that allow Cheney and Rove and Abdullah to control our puppet president and he somehow, like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, suddenly grew a brain. His speech last night would have sounded like this:"My fellow Americans. Iraq is going to hell in a handbag. So the whole shebang doesn't collapse into mayhem and madness, we need to send in 21,000 more troops. So I've just wired King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and told him to send them. "My missive to the monarch reads: Dear Abdullah. It's time your 16,000 princelings got out of their Rolls Royces and formed the core of an Islamic Peacekeeping Force to prevent mass murder in Iraq. The American people are tired of you using the 82d Airborne as your private mercenary army. It seems like the Saudi military's marching song is, 'Onward Christian Soldiers.'"Well, King Ab, we're out of here. We're folding tents and loading the wagons. For four years now, Saudis have been secretly funding the berserkers in the Iraqi 'insurgency' while the Iranians are backing the crazies in the militias. Well, we're telling you and the Persians: you're going to have to stop using your checkbooks to fund a proxy war and instead start keeping the peace. It's time you put your own tushies in the line of fire for a change.""If the African Union nations, poor as they are, can maintain a peacekeeping force to stop killings in Sudan and Senegal, you Saudis, with all the military toys we've sold you, can certainly join with your Muslim brothers in Jordan, Iran and Turkey to take responsibility for your region's peace."And when you get to Fallujah, don't forget to drop us a postcard."Well, that's my fantasy. But instead, War Junkie George will get his fix of another 21,000 American soldiers.It reminds me far too chillingly of a Pete Seeger tune written when LBJ was saving Vietnam from Vietnamese. It was based on the true story of a US platoon in training, wading into the rising Mississippi, whose commander order them to keep going, deeper and deeper -- until they drowned. We're waste deep in the Big Muddy. And the big fool says to push on.'

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "Armed Madhouse." His reports on Iraq and oil for BBC-TV and Harper's Magazine can be viewed at http://www.gregpalast.com/mailing_list/lt/t_go.php?i=4&e=MTYzOTM=&l=-http--www.gregpalast.com

De Aarde 3

'The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.
by David Korten

By what name will future generations know our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when profligate consumption exceeded Earth’s capacity to sustain and led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental systems, violent competition for what remained of the planet’s resources, and a dramatic dieback of the human population? Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the time of the Great Turning, when their forebears embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, turned crisis into opportunity, and learned to live in creative partnership with one another and Earth?

A defining choice
We face a defining choice between two contrasting models for organizing human affairs. Give them the generic names Empire and Earth Community. Absent an understanding of the history and implications of this choice, we may squander valuable time and resources on efforts to preserve or mend cultures and institutions that cannot be fixed and must be replaced.

Empire organizes by domination at all levels, from relations among nations to relations among family members. Empire brings fortune to the few, condemns the majority to misery and servitude, suppresses the creative potential of all, and appropriates much of the wealth of human societies to maintain the institutions of domination.

Earth Community, by contrast, organizes by partnership, unleashes the human potential for creative co-operation, and shares resources and surpluses for the good of all. Supporting evidence for the possibilities of Earth Community comes from the findings of quantum physics, evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and religious mysticism. It was the human way before Empire; we must make a choice to re-learn how to live by its principles.

Developments distinctive to our time are telling us that Empire has reached the limits of the exploitation that people and Earth will sustain. A mounting perfect economic storm born of a convergence of peak oil, climate change, and an imbalanced U.S. economy dependent on debts it can never repay is poised to bring a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life. We have the power to choose, however, whether the consequences play out as a terminal crisis or an epic opportunity. The Great Turning is not a prophecy. It is a possibility.

A turn from life
According to cultural historian Riane Eisler, early humans evolved within a cultural and institutional frame of Earth Community. They organized to meet their needs by cooperating with life rather than by dominating it. Then some 5,000 years ago, beginning in Mesopotamia, our ancestors made a tragic turn from Earth Community to Empire. They turned away from a reverence for the generative power of life—represented by female gods or nature spirits—to a reverence for hierarchy and the power of the sword—represented by distant, usually male, gods. The wisdom of the elder and the priestess gave way to the arbitrary rule of the powerful, often ruthless, king.'

Klimaatverandering 74

Ik kreeg vanmiddag deze email van Ace:

'Stan, ik ben het met je eens dat NRC eenzijdig is wanneer ze suggereren dat de extreme temperaturen van de afgelopen periode niets te maken hebben met onze bemoeienissen met het milieu. Maar je kunt ook echt niet volhouden dat we bewijs hebben dat die relatie er wel is. In de tijd van Charles Dickens, anderhalve eeuw geleden, de tijd van A Christmas Carol, zaten we in de naweeën van de laatste ijstijd. Het is heel wel mogelijk dat we nu in een golf de andere kant op zitten. Dat is nu eenmaal wetenschappelijk erg moeilijk vast te stellen. We hebben simpelweg te weinig data om daar statistisch valide uitspraken over te doen, en het is verrotte lastig om experimenten te doen met het wereldwijde weersysteem. We moeten het hebben van hypotheses en modellen, en die zijn per definitie inadequaat. Nou denk ik dat er genoeg reden is om maar eens flink skeptisch naar onze eigen gedragingen te kijken, better safe than sorry, en when in doubt, don't, maar dat is pure voorzichtigheid, en geen zekerheid.

Eerder al mailde Boudine Berkenbosch mij het volgende:

'Uw weblog lees ik nog steeds met genoegen en uiteraard met groeiende bezorgdheid omtrent de toestand in de wereld. U besteedt gelukkig ook veel aandacht aan het milieu.
Daarom wil ik u graag wijzen op het stuk dat onder de klip zit. Het gaat over de rol die CO2 zou spelen bij de huidige klimaatsopwarming. Uit recent wetenschappelijk onderzoek blijkt, dat het verband tussen CO2 en temperatuur wel bestaat, maar dat de relatie oorzaak-gevolg omgekeerd ligt. Een verhoogde concentratie CO2 volgt op een stijging van de temperatuur. De huidige opwarming van het klimaat moet dat ook voornamelijk worden toegeschreven aan de zonnecycli. Aan de voet van het stukje staat de referentie.'

Hier is het stuk dat Boudine Berkenbosch emailde:

'Het CO2 misverstand.

Op 7 oktober 2004 werd in Toronto een conferentie gehouden. Een van de sprekers was dr. R. Tim Patterson, hoogleraar geografie aan de Carleton Universiteit in Ottawa, Canada. Het volgende is een samenvatting van zijn voordracht.
Professor Patterson is als paleo-klimatoloog gespecialiseerd in het klimaat tijdens het Quartair, de periode van 2 miljoen jaar geleden tot heden. Hij onderzoekt het sediment in de fjorden langs de westkust van Vancouver Island. Deze fjorden hebben een hoge drempel, waardoor de oceaan niet kan binnenstromen in de diepe bassins. Het water op de bodem van de fjorden bevat daarom vrijwel geen zuurstof, zodat er geen kleine beestjes rondscharrelen die het sediment verstoren. In de fjorden groeit 's zomers plankton, dat daarna afsterft en naar de bodem zinkt. In de winter regent het vaak, waardoor er sediment van het land in de fjord spoelt en ook dit zakt naar de bodem. Het sediment bestaat daardoor uit duidelijke laagjes.
Uiteraard is het weer niet alle jaren gelijk. In sommige jaren is er daarom meer plankton, terwijl er in andere jaren meer regen valt. De laagjes sediment die ieder jaar worden afgezet, vormen aldus een van de beste klimaatsregisters ter wereld. Deze sedimentlaagjes werden doorgelicht en gescand met computers, die allerlei patronen, trends en cycli kunnen herkennen.
Veel van die cycli bleken overeen te komen met de cycli van de zonnevlekken. De meest bekende zonnecyclus duurt gemiddeld 11 jaar. Eerst verschijnen er zonnevlekken rond de polen van de zon. Hun aantal neemt toe en ze verplaatsten zich dan in de richting van de evenaar van de zon. Dit gaat gepaard met een toename van zonnevlammen, tot de cyclus zijn hoogtepunt bereikt. Ten slotte slaat het magnetische veld van de zon om, de atmosfeer van de zon komt tot rust en de cyclus begint opnieuw. Maar er zijn nog andere zonnecycli, met langere perioden: de Gleissberg Cyclus duurt 75 tot 90 jaar, de Suess Cyclus duurt 200 tot 500 jaar en de Bond Cyclus duurt 1.100 jaar. Al deze cycli werden teruggevonden in het sediment, waarbij de kortere cycli kennelijk worden meegedragen op de rug van de langere cycli, zodat deze cycli elkaar kunnen versterken. Uit deze gegevens bleek duidelijk dat fluctuaties in de zonnestraling het klimaat beïnvloeden.

De bovenstaande grafiek (het lukt me helaas niet de grafiek af te drukken svh) toont het verband tussen de temperatuur op het Noord Amerikaanse continent (blauw), het aantal zonnevlekken (rood) en de concentratie van CO2 in de atmosfeer (groen). De relatie tussen temperatuur en zonnevlekken is duidelijk zichtbaar. Er zijn tegenwoordig honderden studies waaruit dat blijkt.
In deze grafiek is echter geen relatie zichtbaar tussen de concentratie CO2 en de temperatuur. Van 1910 tot 1940 steeg de temperatuur aanzienlijk, terwijl de uitstoot van CO2 pas na de 2e Wereldoorlog drastisch begon te stijgen. Maar vanaf dat moment daalde de temperatuur 30 jaar lang, om pas daarna weer te gaan stijgen. Waarom denken dan toch zoveel mensen dat CO2 de belangrijkste factor is die het klimaat beheerst?
Het grote probleem met die zonnevlekken was tot voor kort, dat elke cyclus slechts leidt tot een variatie in de stralingsenergie van 0,1% en dat is te weinig om de gemeten temperatuurvariatie van 0,6°C te verklaren. Maar er is nu een verband gevonden tussen de cyclus van zonnevlekken, de kosmische straling en het ontstaan van bewolking. Kosmische straling is eigenlijk geen straling, het zijn losse neutronen en elektronen die worden uitgestoten door super-nova's. Ze bestoken ons zonnestelsel en de aarde voortdurend. Het blijkt dat dit op aarde bijdraagt tot de vorming van laaghangende bewolking en als er meer wolken zijn, dan daalt de temperatuur, want wolken weerkaatsen het zonlicht.
De volgende grafiek laat het verband zien tussen de kosmische straling die de aarde bereikt (rood) en de laaghangende bewolking (blauw). De zonnestraling is daarin ondersteboven afgezet (groen), hetgeen blijkt uit de meest rechtse balk (let op de mintekens!).

De grafiek toont een duidelijk verband tussen de kosmische straling en de bewolking. Maar er blijkt ook een omgekeerd evenredig verband tussen de hoeveelheid zonnestraling en zowel de bewolking als de kosmische straling. Neemt de zonnestraling toe, dan neemt de kosmische straling af, hij wordt kennelijk door de zonnestraling weggedrukt. Het resultaat is, dat er minder wolken ontstaan. Neemt de zonnestraling af, dan kan meer kosmische straling de aarde bereiken en dat veroorzaakt meer bewolking! Tijdens iedere zonnecyclus varieert de bewolking met 1.7% en dat is voldoende om de temperatuurschommeling te verklaren. Samen met de grotere zonnecycli (die van Gleissberg, Seuss en Bond) kan dat ook leiden tot grote klimaatsverschillen.

Dit wil niet zeggen dat broeikasgassen geen rol spelen. Zonder broeikasgassen zou de aarde onleefbaar zijn, want het zou overal vriezen. Het meest krachtige broeikasgas is echter niet CO2, maar waterdamp. Zo maakte een krachtige El Niño in de winter van 1997-98 dat er meer waterdamp in de atmosfeer kwam, waardoor de temperatuur wereldwijd omhoog schoot, om weer te dalen toen die golfstroom tot rust was gekomen.
De concentratie CO2 is sinds de 19e eeuw met 30% toegenomen, dit voor het grootste deel ten gevolge van het gebruik van fossiele brandstoffen en van veranderingen in het gebruik van het land. Als we willen weten welke gevolgen dit heeft, dan kunnen we het beste kijken naar de geologische gegevens op de lange termijn. De onderstaande grafiek toont de hoeveelheid CO2 en de temperatuur op aarde tijdens de afgelopen 400.000 jaar. De concentratie CO2 (rode lijn) is afkomstig uit de prehistorische luchtbelletjes in een boorkern uit het ijs van Antarctica. De temperatuur (blauwe lijn) is de gemiddelde temperatuur op aarde.

Op het eerste gezicht lijkt er een duidelijk een verband te bestaan tussen CO2 en temperatuur. Toen de onderzoekers de gegevens nauwkeurig bekeken, zagen ze echter dat de temperatuurstijging voorafgaat aan de stijging van de CO2. In deze grafiek is dit reeds duidelijk zichtbaar voor de dalingen, vooral na de piek rond 125.000 jaar. De blauwe lijn stijgt en daalt steeds iets eerder dan de rode en het verschil blijkt bij hoge resolutie ongeveer 800 jaar te bedragen.
Dat een toename van CO2 zou leiden tot een warmer klimaat, klopt niet met deze feiten. De stijging van de temperatuur gaat aan de verhoogde concentratie CO2 vooraf! Dat de hedendaagse uitstoot van CO2 leidt tot de huidige mondiale opwarming is daarom uitgesloten. Dat een temperatuurstijging wordt gevolgd door een stijging van de concentratie CO2 in de atmosfeer, komt volgens Patterson door een verhoogde biologische activiteit als de temperatuur stijgt.
Naar mijn vermoeden ligt het echter ook aan het simpele feit dat alle gassen beter oplossen in een koude vloeistof, dan in een warme. Als de oceanen warmer worden, dan lost de CO2 er minder goed in op, waardoor er minder CO2 uit de atmosfeer verdwijnt. Dit geldt echter slechts als het gaat om het natuurlijke evenwicht. De huidige uitstoot van CO2 heeft in dat geval een heel ander gevolg, wat ook zeer bedreigend kan zijn. De natuur streef naar een evenwicht en de hoge concentratie CO2 in de atmosfeer verstoort dat evenwicht. Omdat de oceanen nu nog vrij koud zijn, neemt het water veel CO2 op. Dit gas reageert met het water, het wordt koolzuur H2CO3. Daardoor stijgt de zuurgraad van de oceanen.
Zuurstof lost vrijwel niet op in water met een neutrale zuurgraad en in zuur water lost het al helemaal niet op. Alleen als het water basis is, lost de zuurstof er goed in op. De oceanen zijn altijd een beetje basis geweest, maar als de zuurgraad stijgt, dan lost de zuurstof er minder goed in op. Waterplanten, zoals algen en wieren, ademen CO2 in en zuurstof uit. Zij onttrekken CO2 aan het water en brengen zuurstof in het water. Maar als dat gas niet langer goed oplost, dan stijgt het naar de oppervlakte en het ontsnapt in de atmosfeer. Op den duur heeft dat wellicht tot gevolg dat de vissen stikken. Vooral in de tropen zal dit effect het eerste zichtbaar worden! Want in een lauwe oceaan met een verhoogde zuurgraad lost zuurstof per definitie helemaal niet meer op.

Bou Berkenbosch

Bron: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=010405M' (hier kunt u de grafieken bekijken. svh)

Vervolgens mailde ze het volgende: 'En die CO2 en het klimaat? De mondiale opwarming is waarschijnlijk een natuurverschijnsel. Als ik de klimatologen goed begrijp, dan wordt het over enige decennia weer kouder. We naderen een nieuwe ijstijd, dus het klimaat wordt onstabiel. Daarna zullen de ijskappen weer gaan groeien. Dat gaat al 800.000 jaar zo. Een interglaciaal duurde steeds ongeveer 10.000 jaar en het huidige interglaciaal begon 11.700 jaar geleden. Dat CO2 een broeikasgas zou zijn, is een achterhaalde hypothese. Dat wil volgens mij niet zeggen dat het probleem daarmee van de baan is, want CO2 is een zuurvormend oxide. Als de oceanen kouder worden, dan lost er meer CO2 in op, waardoor de zuurgraad van het zeewater stijgt. Zuurstof lost alleen maar op in water dat basis is. De oceanen gaan toch al dood aan alle vergif, maar in de tropen zijn nu inderdaad de vissen aan het verdwijnen. Ik ben bang dat de uitstoot van CO2 niet leidt tot een broeikaseffect, maar tot zuurstofloze oceanen.

Met vriendelijke groet,
Bou Berkenbosch'

Ik heb het gelezen en ik heb verschillende boeken gelezen van deskundigen op dit onderwerp. De overgrote meerderheid van de klimatologen in de wereld gaat er vanuit dat broeikasgassen leiden tot opwarming van de aarde en een klimaatverandering. Precies vijf jaar geleden interviewde ik voor de VPRO-Radio in Washington de Britse wetenschapper Bob Watson die twee maanden na het interview en na een intensieve campagne van ExxonMobil onder zware druk van de regering Bush als voorzitter van de Klimaatscommissie van de Verenigde Naties werd weggewerkt. Bob Watson stond bekend als iemand die waarschuwde voor een klimaatsverandering als gevolg van de almaar toenemende uitstoot van broeikasgassen. Zo waarschuwde hij me - jaren voor de ramp in New Orleans - dat onder andere het zuiden van de Verenigde Staten in toenemende mate door orkanen zou worden getroffen: ‘We verwachten een verandering van extreme weersverschijnselen… intensere cycloonactiviteit… hogere maximale windsnelheden en neerslag.'

Wat betreft het onderzoek van de IPCC, de klimaatcommissie van de VN verklaarde hij:

'De conclusie van de IPCC was dat er geen twijfel over bestaat dat het klimaat op aarde in de afgelopen honderd jaar is veranderd. De temperatuur is met ongeveer 0,6 graden Celsius gestegen. Er treden wereldwijd veranderingen op in het neerslagpatroon en de zeespiegel stijgt. Gletsjers trekken zich terug, de migratiepatronen van vogels veranderen. Veranderingen in de verplaatsing naar het noorden van insecten, planten en dieren, en een langer groeiseizoen in Europa. Het klimaat op aarde is absoluut aan het veranderen, en dat heeft gevolgen voor veel natuurlijke en biologische systemen op aarde. Tegelijkertijd zien we dat de concentratie van broeikasgassen in de atmosfeer, zoals kooldioxide, methaan en stikstofoxide, is toegenomen, zonder meer als gevolg van menselijke activiteit. De vraag is dus of de waargenomen veranderingen in het wereldklimaat het gevolg zijn van natuurverschijnselen, zoals veranderingen in zonnestraling of vulkanische activiteit, of van menselijke activiteit. Als we de afgelopen honderd jaar proberen na te bootsen in onze klimaatmodellen, kunnen we de waargenomen klimaatveranderingen niet uitsluitend aan de hand van zonnestraling en vulkanische activiteit verklaren. Maar als we het effect van menselijke activiteiten in onze modellen verwerken, oftewel de toename van de concentratie broeikasgassen, levert dat een redelijk betrouwbare nabootsing op van de geconstateerde veranderingen in de afgelopen honderd jaar. Op grond daarvan concludeert de IPCC dat de meeste van de waargenomen klimaatveranderingen in de afgelopen honderd jaar het gevolg zijn van menselijke activiteit. Dat is een keiharde uitspraak van de IPCC. We erkennen dat er wetenschappelijke onzekerheden blijven, maar we zijn ervan overtuigd dat de waargenomen klimaatverandering grotendeels door de mens wordt veroorzaakt. We geloven niet dat ze het gevolg zijn van normale fluctuaties, want dat blijkt uit geen enkel wetenschappelijk model. Bovendien hebben we niet alleen de klimaatgegevens van de afgelopen honderd jaar bestudeerd, maar ook die van de afgelopen duizend jaar, en van de afgelopen vierhonderdduizend jaar. De concentratie van kooldioxide in de atmosfeer is nu hoger dan ooit eerder in de afgelopen half miljoen jaar. En de temperatuur op aarde is hoger dan ooit tevoren in de afgelopen duizend jaar. Dat hebben we zeer zorgvuldig bestudeerd. Bovendien hebben we onderzocht welke gevolgen dat voor de toekomst kan hebben. We hebben gekeken welke veranderingen er waarschijnlijk zullen optreden in de bevolkingssamenstelling, economische groei, keuzes voor bepaalde technologieën en de manier waarop de wereld wordt bestuurd. Al die mogelijkheden hebben we bestudeerd. En in alle gevallen voorspellen we dat de concentratie van kooldioxide en enkele andere broeikasgassen in de atmosfeer verder zal toenemen. In het pre-industriële tijdperk bedroeg de concentratie van kooldioxide in de atmosfeer ongeveer 280 deeltjes per miljoen. Op dit moment is dat ongeveer 368 deeltjes per miljoen. In het jaar 2100 zal het volgens ons tussen de 540 en bijna 1000 deeltjes per miljoen liggen. Door de verbranding van fossiele brandstoffen, steenkool, aardolie en aardgas, en de toenemende ontbossing van het tropisch regenwoud, zal de concentratie van kooldioxide in de atmosfeer in de toekomst onvermijdelijk toenemen. Alle klimaatmodellen tonen zonder uitzondering aan dat de wereld nog verder zal opwarmen. We voorspellen een stijging van de temperatuur op aarde van tussen de 1,4 en 5,8 graden Celsius, waarbij het land sterker opwarmt dan de zeeën en gebieden op hogere breedtegraden sterker opwarmen dan de tropische zones. Op de hogere breedtegraden op het noordelijk en zuidelijk halfrond zal de regenval toenemen, en waarschijnlijk ook in de tropen. Maar in de subtropische gebieden op het noordelijk en zuidelijk halfrond zal de regenval waarschijnlijk afnemen. We verwachten een verdere stijging van de zeespiegel van tussen de acht en achtentachtig centimeter, en we verwachten een verandering van extreme weersverschijnselen. Meer hittegolven, meer tropische dagen, minder vorstdagen en minder koude dagen, maar intensere cycloonactiviteit, met hogere maximale windsnelheden en neerslag. We verwachten dat de meeste grote continentale gebieden droger worden in de zomer. Vrijwel ieder klimaatmodel voorspelt dus dat het klimaat in de toekomst nog verder zal veranderen.'

Inmiddels vijf jaar later worden de bevindingen en voorspellingen van de IPCC bevestigd en ondersteund door de Academies van Wetenschappen van alle vooraanstaande naties en is er wereldwijd de consensus ontstaan onder deskundigen dat als gevolg van de broeikasgassen er een klimaatverandering optreedt.

In zijn boek An Inconvenient Truth, dat ook in het Nederlands is verschenen, schrijft Al Gore: 'alongside the study of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that showed 0% in disagreement with the consensus on global warming, another large study was conducted of all the articles on global warming during the previous 14 years in the four newspapers considered by the authors of the study to be the most influential in America: The New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal... Astonishingly, they found that more than one-half gave equal weight to the consensus view on the one hand, and the scientifically discredited view that humans play no role in global warming on the other. The authors concluded that American news media had been falsely "giving the impression that the scientific community was embroiled in a rip-roaring debate on whether or not humans were controbuting to global warming..." The misconception that there is serious disagreement among scientists about global warming is actually an illusion that has been deliberately fostered by a relatively small but extremely well-funded cadre of special interests, including Exxon Mobil and a few other oil, coal, and utilities companies. These companies want to prevent any new policies that would interfere with their current business plans that rely on the massive unrestrained dumping of global warming pollution into the Earth's atmosphere every hour of every day,' aldus de voormalige Amerikaanse vice-president.

Gezien het feit dat er een consensus bestaat onder de betrokken klimatologen ga ik er vanuit dat er inderdaad een klimaatverandering gaande is. De stelling van Ace dat: 'je kunt ook echt niet volhouden dat we bewijs hebben dat die relatie er wel is' is zoals ik aangegeven heb volstrekt onjuist. Het is opmerkelijk dat deze aanname toch nog aanhangers heeft. De feiten zijn voor iedereen te checken, onder andere in de 73 stukjes die ik hierover heb afgedrukt. Of luister naar mijn interview met James Lovelock: http://www.stanvanhoucke.net/audioblog/pivot/entry.php?id=19#body