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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

THE CHARTER OF THE ISRAELI STATE

THE CHARTER OF THE ISRAELI STATE

October 4, 2010 posted by Debbie Menon ·
By Avigail Abarbanel
Growing up as an Israeli provided me with an intimate understanding of Israeli-Jewish psychology.


I had the privilege of hearing Ali Abunimah speak at a dinner organised by an Australian pro-Palestinian activist group. Abunimah, an author and an editor of the Electronic Intifada website, is a supporter of the one-state solution in Palestine/Israel, and so am I. One democratic and secular state for both peoples with a right of return for the Palestinian refugees is the only just solution to the long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Abunimah is optimistic about what is possible. I would like to be as optimistic but am not so sure I can.
Growing up as an Israeli provided me with an intimate understanding of Israeli-Jewish psychology. Ever since I can remember, we in Israel were told that Jews have nowhere else to go because the world didn’t like Jews. Seventeen years ago, when my former husband and I were about to migrate to Australia, most of the people we knew were dismayed by our decision. I was told by many that I was making a big mistake. My father’s heart surgeon for example, was in complete shock when he heard our news. He took me aside and said that he did not understand how I could leave; that he would never be prepared to live anywhere where there might be even one anti-Semite alive. Like many others he believed that Jews can only safely live in Israel.
This idea that Israel is the only safe place for Jews is critical to understanding the roots of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Israel’s policies and perspective in the present. The majority of Jewish people do not trust non-Jews as life-long compatriots. Experience and cultural narrative have been telling them that since antiquity, rulers and governments as well as populations have become hostile to Jews without warning. This means that no matter how long Jews have lived anywhere, no matter how unobtrusive and well integrated they have been, or how much they contributed to their society, things could turn against them overnight.
With a history of European persecutions, pogroms, discriminatory laws, expulsions, medieval and modern ghettos and a systematic plan of total annihilation in what was considered an enlightened European country, it’s hard to blame people for feeling insecure.
Israel was not born in 1948 or because of the Holocaust. Its origins are with Zionism, the Jewish national movement, which was born in the late 19th century. Zionism was to put an end to the precarious situation of European Jews by creating an exclusively Jewish state. The logic was simple: if Jews could not trust that they could ever be unconditionally welcome or safe in the countries in which they lived, they needed a state of their own. This means a state governed by Jews only, and that was largely free of non-Jewish people. The location of the ‘Jewish national home’ was debated at first but eventually the entire Zionist movement agreed on Palestine because of the spiritual meaning it had for Jewish people. The fact that Palestine was populated was known, and openly recognised by the leaders of the Zionist movement. The mainstream view was that it was unfortunate, but that the plan to create a national home for the Jewish people could not be abandoned, because the Jews were in dire need.
Zionists have always believed that Jewish fear justifies ethnic cleansing. Ideas about transferring the existing non-Jewish population of Palestine — the Palestinians — elsewhere to make room for an exclusively Jewish state existed long before 1948. The word ‘transfer’ entered modern Hebrew, as a euphemism for ethnic cleansing, an idea or a plan to move the Palestinian population en masse elsewhere, as far away as possible from the borders of Israel.
The ethnic cleansing of Palestine started in 1948 behind the smokescreen of war, but it was not completed. It is not only continuing today but Israeli scholars like Ilan Pappé believe that it is escalating. Zionist ideology is directly responsible for the charter of present day Israel. Attempting to understand the dynamic of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or to analyse Israel’s behaviour without understanding this charter is bound to be flawed, and to lead to more confusion and misunderstanding.
Since the foundational belief is that Jewish people can only be safe in an exclusively Jewish state, Israel’s charter is simple. Israel is required to maintain itself as a safe haven for all Jewish people. Based on their past experience and national and religious narratives Jewish people deeply believe that it’s only a matter of time before the tide once again turns against them. When (and not ‘if’) this happens, the state of Israel will be there to take them all in and save them. I am using ‘they’ instead of ‘we’ because I have personally abandoned this narrative, and have chosen not to live my life in its shadow. This is seen by many Israelis as naive or even insane. But I decided to take my chances in the wider world because I do not believe that I can live a full life and make a contribution in the world if I live in a permanent state of fear.
The development of the state of Israel and Israel’s behaviour in the region have always been consistent with its charter. Israel sees that it would need as much land and natural resources as possible (such as water, which is scarce in the region), in order to accommodate the 13 millions Jews who are expected to flock to it from around the world, ‘when’ a new era of Jewish persecution begins. Israel would have to have enough housing, infrastructure and a functional economy. It would have to be a modern state in which Western Jews accustomed to technology, capitalism and affluence can feel comfortable. There is nothing inconsistent or strange in what Israel is doing to the Palestinians if you understand this charter. It surprises me that this is never discussed openly in any political analysis that I see.
At the heart of this conflict is not economics, oil, ‘war on terror’, religion or various regional loyalties. Rather it is an age-old psychology of persecution and survival to which all other considerations are subservient. Israel’s loyalties are utilitarian. There is no great love there for any other peoples or countries. Israelis always think in terms of what is good for the Jews and what isn’t, and they watch the world carefully from within this prism. Israeli children learn to see life from this point of view from a very young age. I was the same when I was growing up.
Only when we grasp this we can understand why negotiations with Israel mean so little; why Israel has never stopped building settlements on Palestinian land and has been consistently expanding its territory; why it’s making life for Palestinians inside and outside of Israel so unbelievably hellish; why it’s brutally restricting them to ever diminishing territories and why Israel is responding to Palestinian resistance with such disproportionate and overwhelming violence. Breaking down Palestinian resistance is critical from Israel’s point of view not only because of the pain that Palestinian armed resistance causes in Israel, but also in order to destroy any aspirations Palestinians might have to return to their ancestral lands. Israel simply cannot afford this if it wants to stay an exclusively Jewish state.
Israel is a country based on racist considerations because of its very charter, and the circumstances through which it came into being. From the point of view of Israelis accepting the one-state idea, would change Israel into just another country where Jews live among non-Jews. The whole idea of a Jewish safe haven would have to be abandoned and there will be no guarantee that the new pluralist state would take in Jews if they were ever in need of rescue. Israeli Jews and many Zionists around the world believe that to ask them to live together with the Palestinian people is to ask them to go back to a state of insecurity and potential victimhood. They simply do not believe that this is reasonable, and therefore would never willingly agree to any solution that compromises their safe haven. This is one of the reasons Zionists counteract any criticism of Israel with persistent cries of anti-Semitism. They really believe that to end the exclusively Jewish state would leave all Jews anywhere in the world, vulnerable to another potential Holocaust.
It is clear to me that if justice is to be achieved for the Palestinians this fear-based, racist and immoral ideology has to be overcome because the fear of one people cannot and must not justify the destruction of another. But I do not believe that the Palestinians can afford to wait until Jewish psychology changed by itself, and Jews felt sufficiently safe in the world to let go of the idea of an exclusively Jewish safe haven.
I believe it will take serious international pressure on Israel, or a real change of heart on the part of Israelis for a one state solution to become a reality. I would like to be optimistic and think that this change of heart will happen eventually but am not sure I can. My doubts come from my own experience — after all it used to be my psychology too. Thus, in order to save the Palestinian people the world must take decisive action in this conflict, as it did in South Africa, or continue sacrificing one people for the sake of another.
Avigail Abarbanel  is a humanist and psychotherapist. Her website: www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk. This article was first published in Electronic Intifada on 26th May 2008 under the title ‘A change needs to come

HOW MERCHANTS OF DEATH RULE THE WORLD

GORDON DUFF: THE MACRO-ECONOMICS OF PHONY TERROR AND CONTRIVED CONFLICT

September 30, 2010 posted by Gordon Duff ·
 
HOW MERCHANTS OF DEATH RULE THE WORLD

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Both elements of “Al Qaeda” along with its clear history as a CIA established organization make every mention of it suspicious.  Whenever there is a need for a “wag the dog”news story, “Al Qaeda” is dragged out as the whipping boy.  Never has any organization, one as mysterious and insubstantial as this one, whose supposed leader, Osama bin Laden,  has not only been dead for years but when he was alive, not only worked directly for the CIA but comes from a family directly tied to, not only the Bush family, but, in fact, close friends and business partners for decades at every level.
Since the end of the Second World War, national intelligence organizations have gained direct control over almost every non-governmental entity working for political and social change.  We aren’t just talking about trade unions and political parties.  We are talking revolutionary groups and, in particular, terrorist organizations.  Israel alone has an estimated 300 agents among the top leadership of Muslim organizations, be they the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hizbollah or Al Qaeda.  When arrests are made or we see drone strikes or even assassinations, are they meant to destroy capabilities or are they simply helping an intelligence organization consolidate control over an operational asset, one used to manipulate world events to serve an agenda.
We know for certain that the latter is the case.
We are now told the CIA has saved American tourists in Europe from being kidnapped, dragged off the Eiffel Tower, bludgeoned at the Tower of London or lassoed at the Louvre.  This isn’t July.  America is in the middle of a depression, kids are back in school, finding an American tourist in Europe would take some work, even for CIA trained terrorists that make up Al Qaeda.  The story would have almost passed muster if it didn’t carry the embellishment of mysterious training camps and personal directions from Osama bin Laden.
This is just another scary story to go out on internet news letters filled with conspiracy tales about Obama the Muslim-Socialist from Kenya.   These are the “good conspiracies,” the ones that frighten, confuse, anger, blind and keep the public from looking “behind the curtain.”
Many experts contend that Al Qaeda is a construct made up for the news, for duping the President, not all that hard according to Bob Woodward, or the fools in congress.   Never has an organization been as ethereal or as timely.
Both elements of “Al Qaeda” along with its clear history as a CIA established organization make every mention of it suspicious.  Whenever there is a need for a “wag the dog”news story, “Al Qaeda” is dragged out as the whipping boy.  Never has any organization, one as mysterious and insubstantial as this one whose supposed leader, Osama bin Laden,  has not only been dead for years but when he was alive, not only worked directly for the CIA but comes from a family directly tied to, not only the Bush family, but, in fact, close friends and business partners for decades at every level.
If we can’t make a decent enemy out of Iran or North Korea, then we can always reinvent Al Qaeda and keep reinventing it, moving it to any part of the world that needs destabilization to promote the interests of powerful multi-national corporations or Israel.  Our current scare, a “pre-election special,”  is based on, we are told, stories received from an “informant” held by the CIA, the same CIA whose “reliable informants” sent 5,000 Americans to their death in Iraq looking for non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
We are told all this information comes from a source being held at the infamous Bagram detention center, a “source” claiming that groups trained in Waziristan under the direct supervision of Osama bin Laden are now all over Europe, top quality passports, probably made in Israel, hunting down Americans.  I don’t buy a word of it.  When CIA Director Leon Panetta said nobody had heard from bin Laden since 2001, do you think he was trying to make a point?  Won’t anyone come out and say it, bin Laden has been dead for nearly a decade.  Why don’t we admit it, keeping the ghost of Osama bin Laden alive is now seen as saving a valuable franchise, in effect, a license to lie, steal and kill.
Even when he was alive, bin Laden worked for the CIA.  He always worked for the CIA, and we are told continually, “Nobody ever quits the CIA.”  We can prove, beyond a doubt, that bin Laden was a major CIA asset in Afghanistan.  What we can’t prove is that he ever quit.  Did he go to work for Israel instead?
This idea of terrorist training camps is also a crock.  Please, load me on a plane, get me a Pakistan visa ( I have one) and fly me into Lahore.  3 ISI agents will follow me out of the airport, one will be driving my cab.
"Hey, this isn't the way to Waziristan!"
“Please take me to Waziristan, either north or south, I don’t care which, just get me to the nearest terrorist training camp as quickly as possible.  See if you can lose the guy following us, yes, the one on the motorbike with the AK-47.  No, the other one on the motorbike with the AK-47, the guy with the blue T-shirt. No, the dark blue shirt, plus, that guy has an MP 5 sub-machine gun and, anyway, I think that one is a girl.”
Driving in Lahore is alot like Detroit.
We aren’t saying there aren’t terrorists.  In fact, there are more terrorists today than ever before, the United States has been running a huge recruiting campaign for terrorists.  Not only do our wars recruit terrorists but our Predator attacks that have killed so many innocent civilians are bringing more and more onboard.  Even more successful is our campaign of wanton slaughter of civilians by death squads, referred to lovingly by the American press as “killing for sport.”  This recruits terrorists.
HOW THE MEDIA RECRUITS TERRORISTS
This is the conventional cover story:  Saudi Arabia gives millions of dollars to extremist Mullahs.  Poor children, boys only, go to these schools, memorize the Koran and bang their heads on the ground all day.  Upon graduation, each student is either given a suicide vest or sent to America to learn to fly aircraft into buildings.
Poor and semi-illiterate children aren’t very “telegenic,” however.  So, when television has to depict terrorists, it picks dark skinned “bad boys” who are both threatening but somehow compelling.  Most TV terrorists have one thing in common.  They are Jews.  After all, these are highly valued roles, playing the “heavy.”  Thus, our “TV terrorists” are tall, well groomed, highly educated, expensively dressed, have the best cars, stay in the best hotels, eat in the best restaurants.
Where do I sign up?
Who are the “real” terrorists then?  They are all educated, speak several languages, fly “first class” only and bounce around the planet like “jet setters.”  Funny thing is, we never find out who pays the bills, helps them through airports, sponsors and co-signs their visa applications, helps them rent apartments.
“What we do know is that none of them come from the primitive border regions of Af-Pak, where America, NATO, Pakistan and dozens of agencies, mercenary armies and assassination teams, not to mention scores of lethal drone aircraft, search day and night for, lets be honest, something that doesn’t exit and never has.”
The “terrorism franchise” driving, not only American TV, but British television as well, is far from entertainment.  Benny Hill is entertainment.  Dancing with the Stars is entertainment.  The tireless selling of terrorism, not only as a threat but, in view of the fact that these TV shows are all seen in the Islamic world as well, as an attractive alternative lifestyle, is both duplicitous and sinister. A few years ago, we learned how TV and movies influenced organized crime in the United States.
During a number of trials of organized crime figures in recent years, it was revealed that the Godfather films and others like them,  supplied the historical context used by real organized crime to establish a distinctive group identity.  Without the movies, they said they wouldn’t know how to talk like gangster, how to stage “hits” (assassinations)  or hold initiation ceremonies.  The movies told them how to organize on the basis of ancient Roman traditions. Problem is, the things they learned were fiction.  The “Mafia” as seen on television never existed and the Italian based crime organizations established to mirror fiction could very well be considered a “construct” of the entertainment industry.
Well, the exact same thing is true for terrorists.  They learn how to dress and act, how to pick out targets, even how to evade authorities from watching TV.
It is probably true that, without American television, most “terrorists” would never have imagined a career in that kind of thing.  After all, it isn’t the first thing that pops into mind after getting a degree from a university.
TERRORISTS WOULD BE HELPLESS WITHOUT “HELP”
We aren’t talking training.  There hasn’t been a credible terrorist attack that doesn’t have the signature of an intelligence agency on it in years.  Even the “Crotch Bomber” and the “Time Square Fizzler” had clear trails, perhaps dual trails, showing them to be “terrorists” but also showing the magic hand of fate, passing through airports, doors mysteriously opening for them, helping hands everywhere.  There are even doubts about Dr. Hassan,  the “Ft. Hood killer.”  When his name was found on the “premium” guest list at a security conference for Bush officials we wondered.  When we contacted the conference and got a lame cover story and then watched the whole thing disappear as though it never happened, as is so often the case, we may have found another “hybrid.”
In a world “gone mad” with security protocols making travel a near impossibility, the only group of people capable of getting anywhere anymore are terrorists.  Is there, perhaps, a special passport they are given, like diplomatic passports but better?  Who has that kind of power?  Does a country that does things like this come to mind?
HYBRID TERRORISTS
The concept of “privatization” is a recent one for terrorists.  Traditionally, most terrorist organizations were organized and financed as part of Cold War initiatives, either under the guise of anti-colonialism or, as with the establishment of the State of Israel, ethnic cleansing.  Little or nothing is allowed to be taught about the Zionist movement and its allegiances to Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia or the infiltration of the corridors of power and finance in London or Washington.  Zionism would be the “third movement,” neither purely communist nor capitalist but both ethnocentric and predatory but largely economic in nature.   Much less is taught about the roots of Israel and the terror war waged against, not only the residents of Palestine but the British administrative forces in the region as well.  Even less is discussed about the efforts to force Jews to relocate to Palestine and how “doors were closed,” not by anti-Semites but Zionists themselves.
In fact, Jews killing other Jews, directly or indirectly, in order to push for the establishment of Israel is one of the best kept secrets of the 20th century.
COLD WAR REALITY
The period of the Cold War, typically 1947 through 1990, is described by most scholars as one during which there were three power bases, the “communist” East, the “capitalist” West and the non-aligned nations.  East and West were seen in a half-century struggle over the ‘hearts and minds” of the former colonial world, Africa, Latin and Central America, the Middle East and Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.
There was a special group of powers seen as both aligned and “non-aligned.”  These were spoken of as “surrogates” or “puppets” or even “rogue states.”  They were Israel, Iraq, Iran, South Africa, North Korea, Libya, Cuba, East Germany, Turkey, Taiwan, Rhodesia, Czechoslovakia and South Africa.  Another of the “great secrets” of the 20th century is that these nations often operated in unison, sharing intelligence services, weapons, jointly spying on the United States in particular, and, in general, making up a real “axis of evil” in much the vein spoken of by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George “W” Bush.
Working closely with them were “off center” groups within the intelligence agencies of the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, Pakistan, India and others.  Helping facilitate the relationships between these nations, the “off center” intelligence groups and a myriad of customers, terrorist groups, revolutionaries and criminal organizations were the arms dealers, including Bush family members, Saudis, Israelis, Rhodesians, South Africans and hundreds of others from around the world including international bankers, diplomats and UN officials.
Osama bin Laden came from this shadowy world.  200 more names could be put behind his, constituting some of the most dangerous people in the world.  Most are still around, many are still active, still in business and growing richer every day.  When a powerful United States Senator vacations on a yacht in the Mediterranean, his host is likely to be one of these 200.  When that same Senator visits a head of state, chances are, the message he is carrying is not an American one, but from his vacation host.  It isn’t just “senators” and it isn’t just one.  These “merchants of death” control more political leaders than any other group, any lobby, even more than the State of Israel, although, and this is no secret, a significant number of these “merchants of death” are Israelis.
Their trade, bio weapons, nuclear centrifuges, German submarines, American cluster-bombs, anthrax, land mines, missiles of all kinds, shapes and sizes, is a 300 billion dollar industry, working hand in hand with global espionage and drug rings, money launderers, “military contracting” companies and, oh yes, the oil industry.
Welcome to reality as it exists, not “TV” reality but one that explains the real world. 
These three great powers, two representing opposing power blocs and the third financing both sides and playing one against the other, all used terrorism extensively around the world to support their aims.  Any populist leader or agrarian reformer would quickly find himself inundated with offers of weapons and training.  Some became dictators and potentates while others strayed and became “axis of evil” cartoon bandits.  All, at one time, served the West, the East, Zionism or all three.
Let’s look at a few names:  Castro, Chavez, bin Laden, Marcos, the Shah, Noriega, Sukarno, Saddam, Karzai, Pinochet, Duvalier, Diem, Ho Chi Minh, Chaing Kai Chek, Pol Pot, Robert Mogabe, Idi Amin, Franco, Suharto, Somoza, Trujillo, Mobutu.
This is the top of a list of those who rose to power, some at the behest of the West, some the East, many both, more than a few financially entangled with our Israeli friends and the mechanisms for generating a control far more pervasive than simple politics or economics through sovereign debt manipulation.  When you add another hundred names to the list, not just the warlords and dictators but the “liberation movements” that have been infiltrated with cash or taken over through “surgery,” assassinations and manipulation, you can develop a clear picture of how revolution, dissent and terrorism are used to support oligarchical agendas.
What is the “oligarchical agenda?”
Oligarchy is about control, about ignorance and about power through centralized wealth through distribution of, not wealth but debt.
Were they hypotheses presented here to be valid, there would have to be a consensus as to whether a historical model of the past 50 years is described, one that seems to fit.  Are people getting poorer, less powerful and is the world increasingly controlled by unseen and unexplained forces capable of creating conflict at will and successfully hiding who they are?  Are we continually bombarded with opposing “conspiracy theory” and yet find the “world view” we are presented, the “official and certified” version,  as unsatisfying  and unable to describe the world convincingly?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ALAN SABROSKY: Zionism Unmasked — The Dark Face Of Jewish Nationalism

ALAN SABROSKY: Zionism Unmasked — The Dark Face Of Jewish Nationalism

October 4, 2010 posted by Debbie Menon · 
The differences between Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and that of other countries and cultures

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu once remarked to a Likud gathering that “Israel is not like other countries.” Oddly enough for him, that time he was telling the truth, and nowhere is that more evident than with Jewish nationalism, whether or not one pins the “Zionist” label on it.
Nationalism in most countries and cultures can have both positive and negative aspects, unifying a people and sometimes leading them against their neighbors. Extremism can emerge, and often has, at least in part in almost every nationalist/independence movement I can recall (e.g., the French nationalist movement had The Terror, Kenya’s had the Mau Mau, etc.).
But whereas extremism in other nationalist movements is an aberration, extremism in Jewish nationalism is the norm, pitting Zionist Jews (secular or observant) against the goyim (everyone else), who are either possible predator or certain prey, if not both sequentially. This does not mean that all Jews or all Israelis feel and act this way, by any means. But it does mean that Israel today is what it cannot avoid being, and what it would be under any electable government (a point I’ll develop in another article).
The differences between Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and that of other countries and cultures here I think are fourfold:
1. Zionism is a real witches’ brew of xenophobia, racism, ultra-nationalism, and militarism that places it way outside of a “mere” nationalist context — for example, when I was in Ireland (both parts) I saw no indication whatsoever that the PIRAs or anyone else pressing for a united Ireland had a shred of design on shoving Protestants into camps or out of the country, although there may well have been a handful who thought that way — and goes far beyond the misery for others professed by the Nazis;
2. Zionism undermines civic loyalty among its adherents in other countries in a way that other nationalist movements (and even ultra-nationalist movements like Nazism) did not — e.g., a large majority of American Jews, including those who are not openly dual citizens, espouse a form of political bigamy called “dual loyalty” (to Israel & the US) that is every bit as dishonest as marital bigamy, attempts to finesse the precedence they give to Israel over the US (lots of Rahm Emanuels out there who served in the IDF but NOT in the US armed forces), and has absolutely no parallel in the sense of national or cultural identity espoused by any other definable ethnic or racial group in America — even the Nazi Bund in the US disappeared once Germany and the US went to war, with almost all of its members volunteering for the US armed forces;
3. The “enemy” of normal nationalist movements is the occupying power and perhaps its allies, and once independence is achieved, normal relations with the occupying power are truly the norm, but for Zionism almost everyone out there is an actual or potential enemy, differing only in proximity and placement on its very long list of enemies (which is now America’s target list); and
4. Almost all nationalist movements (including the irredentist and secessionist variants) intend to create an independent state from a population in place or to reunite a separated people (like the Sudeten Germans in the 1930s) — it is very rare for it to include the wholesale displacement of another indigenous population, which is far more common of successful colonialist movements as in the US — and perhaps a reason why most Americans wouldn’t care too much about what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians even if they DID know about it, is because that is no different than what Europeans in North America did to the Indians/Native Americans here in a longer & more low-tech fashion.
The implications of this for Middle East peace prospects, and for other countries in thrall to their domestic Jewish lobbies or not, are chilling. The Book of Deuteronomy come to life in a state with a nuclear arsenal would be enough to give pause to anyone not bought or bribed into submission — which these days encompasses the US Government, given Israel’s affinity for throwing crap into the face of the Obama administration and Obama’s visible affinity for accepting it with a smile, Bibi Netanyahu’s own “Uncle Tom” come to Washington.
The late General Moshe Dayan, who — Zionist or not — remains an honored part of my own Pantheon of military heroes, allegedly observed that Israel’s security depended on its being viewed by others as a mad dog. He may have been correct. But he neglected to note that the preferred response of everyone else is to kill that mad dog before it can decide to go berserk and bite. It is an option worth considering.
Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D, University of Michigan) is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the US Army War College. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He can be contacted at docbrosk@comcast.net

Dark Secrets of the 7/7 Attacks

Something Evil This Way Comes?

Rixon Stewart – July 24, 2005

Were the recent bombings in London part of a covert operation intended to pave the way for a totalitarian state? No matter how outlandish this may sound, and despite what the mainstream media may say, there is considerable evidence that this may indeed be the case.

The mainstream media first speculated that Muslim fundamentalists were behind the July 7 bombings, then Al-Qaeda was named as the guilty party along with the names of the alleged “suicide bombers”. Then police said that they had no hard evidence that the bombers were actually “suicide bombers” at all; “it is possible that they did not intend to die,” a Scotland Yard spokesman later admitted (1).

Adding to the confusion, Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, is on record as telling the Foreign Press Association: “Al Qaeda is not an organization. Al Qaeda is a way of working” (2).

Indeed the official version of events has changed so much that you could almost believe that a team of scriptwriters were rewriting an ongoing storyline – to keep a bewildered public in suspense and confound genuine investigators.

As if to underline the point, exactly two weeks after the first bombings a series of smaller explosions shook the capitol on July 21.

Yet reports coming in to the Seeker paint a very different picture of events to that being told by officialdom and the mainstream media. For its part the media has described how the four bombers rendezvoused at Luton Station on the morning of July 7, before dispersing to their designated targets. And substantiating this: how police found a car parked at Luton Station with explosives in it.

Adding to the spin the Sunday Times reported on July 16, that one of the alleged bombers Mohammed Sidique Khan, a 30-year-old teaching assistant from West Yorkshire, came under scrutiny last year but was not judged to be a threat by MI5.

Of course this tells us little and will only add to calls for a security clampdown and more powers for the security establishment.

Yet commuters who passed through Luton around the time the bombers were reported to have passed through, an hour before the actual bomb blasts, tell a very different story. Trains passing through Luton were being were being cancelled or sent back from whence they came, one correspondent reports: “the press says that the bombers left Luton at 7.40 but anyone who had been at the station at 7.40 will tell you that is just not possible.”

Bus service employees have also described as "rubbish" (3) claims by London Transport authorities that all 4 cameras on the bombed bus could have failed.

Now commuters who travelled through one of the underground stations attacked, Kings Cross, have emailed us describing scenes of chaos and confusion before the actual bombings, the result London Transport staff explained, of power surges and signal malfunctions.

One commuter explained that as she was about to board a train the public address system announced that commuters should leave the station immediately because of power surges. Instead, she jumped on the train and got off at the next station.

Had she not done so, she believes that she too might have ended up on the bombed bus, along with other commuters, as she left the station and boarded a number 30 bus instead.

Along with drills (4) to simulate bombings on the London Underground on the day of the actual bombings – reportedly carried out at the very stations that were bombed – the fact that the head of London’s transport system is a former Executive Assistant to the Director of the CIA (5), with extensive experience in false flag operations and warnings of attacks on London’s transport system from Israeli intelligence (or given to Israeli intelligence, depending on which version (6) you believe), all indications point to a covert black operation with the mainstream media playing its part by ignoring stories at odds with the official line.

There was even a precedent for the bombings, or depending on how you view it, trials were run. The northern city of Sheffield was buzzing with talk of bomb scares (7) on buses just two days before London was first bombed, however, this was all but ignored by the national media in the aftermath of the London attacks and remained confined to local news instead.

Also given very little prominence, were reports of the shooting of “suicide bombers” on London’s Canary Wharf on July 7th. According to a small inside page report in the New Zealand Herald: “A New Zealander working for Reuters in London said two colleagues witnessed the unconfirmed shooting by police of two apparent suicide bombers outside the HSBC tower at Canary Wharf in London.”

The man who was not prepared to give his name said two English colleagues, whom he also refused to name “witnessed the shooting from a building across the road from the tower.”

Thereafter, the Herald reports that: “the 8000 workers in the 44-storey tower were told to stay away from windows and remain in the building for at least six hours…” (8)

Still, before we take such reports at face value, it should be noted that readers who live in the Canary Wharf area have reported no such events to this website. Leading us to suspect that the above reports are yet more disinformation being used to decieve the public as to the real nature of events. The fact that this website has received reports from a number of eyewitnesses that they saw nothing of the kind at Canary Wharf that day only strengthens this suspicion.

As it happens, there is evidence that the July 7th attacks were not "suicide" bombings at all. Bruce Lait who was in an underground train carriage near London's Aldgate East station when one of the bombs exploded, describes a scene that indicates that the bombs were planted, not carried by "suicide bombers".

According to Bruce, as they made their way out of the wrecked train carriage, a policeman pointed out where the bomb had been. "The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag," he said. (9)

However, just as this and other questions about the attacks began to sizzle on the independent Internet, more blasts shook London’s transport network on July 21, silencing any further speculation, temporarily at least.

Coincidently, or maybe by design, the July 21st attacks occurred just as Tony Blair was meeting his security chiefs on new measures to fight terror. In fact the meeting itself was delayed as a result of the attacks. When it resumed, police chiefs and the heads of MI5 and MI6 recomended new laws allowing them to hold and interrogate suspects for up to 3 months, without charge.

As if to emphasise this, the following day police shot dead what was initially claimed to be “suicide bomber” at a south London underground station and unlike the Canary Wharf shooting, this received publicity. Hours after the shooting, Police Commissioner Ian Blair said the victim was 'directly linked' to the investigations into attacks on July 21 and July 7. But that changed after it became all too apparent that Jean Charles de Menezes was in no way linked to the blasts and the mainstream media conveniently forgot Sir Ian’s earlier claim (10).

Still the questions remain: what do the bombings actually signify and to what end were they carried out?

From Kings Cross to Armageddon?

The events of September 11th 2001 helped pave the way for the invasion of Afghanistan and that ultimately led to the current quagmire in Iraq and a whole raft of new security legislation. Right now we cannot say with any certainty where the events of July 7th are heading but something is definitely in the offing.

At the time of writing, residents near Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the US report tremendous activity there, far more so than usual. Coupled with this we are informed that all leave has been cancelled at some US military bases and with the construction of a huge US military base in Israel (11) scheduled to be operational by September, something big is looming in the months ahead.

So if something is looming, you might ask, where will it happen? Just as the events of 9/11 led to Afghanistan and Iraq, we would suggest that the bombings of July 7 and 21st, are intended to lead to another war somewhere in the Middle East. Like Saddam Hussein’s fabled Weapons of Mass Destruction, it would only require some “evidence” to be unearthed linking the bomb attacks in London with Iran or Syria, to see another chapter open in the “War on Terror”.

Yet even if this does not happen, it will almost certainly lead to more police powers and an ever-encroaching police state. As illustrated by the experiences of a professor of economics who had been visiting Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday, July 7, 2005. As he waited for his train, delayed by events in London, he related to railway staff how the events of that day could be equated to the events of 9/11. Moments later he was approached by two policemen who questioned him for nearly 20 minutes: what was he doing there, what did he do for a living, where did he live? Had he not obviously been a respectable member of the community, had he been a young Asian or Muslim cleric for example, then he might have ended up in police custody. As it was though, he was allowed to continue on his journey but it says something about where we are heading as a society.

It also says something about the dark and truly diabolical nature of these events and how they are the outcome of a longer-term agenda. Over the past few decades Britain has seen a massive influx of immigrants of various faiths and races, creating a truly multi-cultural society, almost by design. Having created a society comprised of various faiths and races, the powers that be are now ready to exploit those differences and further their own power through the principle of “divide and rule”. For this writer believes that the bombings in London were staged, in part, to foment antagonism between Britain’s large Muslim community and its indigenous population.

Adding to the notion that the bombings in London were part of a truly diabolical design, there is even some occult significance for July 7, 2005, a date with genuine numerological import (12).

What happens next is anyone’s guess but in the words of Sherman Skolnick, stay tuned.

References:
(1) The London Attacks – Latest
http://propagandamatrix.com/Pages/Jul05/190705attacks.html
(2) Cops: London Attacks Were Homicide Blasts
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,162476,00.html
(3) London Stagecoach Employee Says Bus Bombing Suspicious
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/150705busbombing.htm
(4) London Underground Bombing ‘Exercises’ Took Place at Same Time as Real Attack
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/090705bombingexercises.htm
(5) London Transport Controlled by Former CIA Executive Director
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=3350
(6) Was Israel Warned Ahead of First Blast?
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=3313
(7) Bomb scare leads to city gridlock
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/south_yorkshire/4654289.stm
(8) ‘Police shot bombers’ reports New Zealander
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=2&ObjectID=10334992
(9) "I was in tube bomb carriage - and survived"
http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/region_wide/2005/07/11/83e33146-09af-4421-b2f4-1779a86926f9.lpf
(10) Jean Charles de Menezes
http://xymphora.blogspot.com/2005/07/jean-charles-de-menezes.html
(11) American Base in Israel
http://www.thegoldenreport.com/asp/jerrysnewsmanager/anmviewer.asp?a=928&print=yes
(12) Dark Secrets of the 7/7 Attacks
*
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=3320

*Dark Secrets of the 7/7 Attacks

North Star Zone July 7, 2005

To those of us aware of how the true sources of terror in the world operate, it's clear to see the political and numerological importance behind the July 7 terror attack in London, and if you read on you will understand why this looks so suspicious. Many of these people are members of satanic secret societies, and are deeply involved in the new age movement and numerology, and their main goal is a "New World Order", with them in charge. On this level there are several instances in recent history that these forces have used numerological signals to send to each other.

Of course the 9-11 attacks have a HUGE number of signals related to numerology. They occurred exactly 11 years to the day after President George Bush Senior gave a major address to Congress entitled, "Toward A New World Order". That address was on September 11, 1990. Precisely 11 years to the day later, American Airlines Flight 11 started the attacks of 9-11-2001 when it slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. The towers, of course, symbolized a huge 11 over the skies of New York. The Pentagon was modeled after the satanic symbol of the pentagram. Another fact about the Pentagon is that it's ground breaking ceremony, and beginning of construction, took place on SEPTEMBER 11th 1941. Why is the Number `11' important? Occultists believe it is an important number of the coming Antichrist. God assigns the Number `11' to Antichrist in Daniel 7:7-8.

How does this relate to London? The date of course was 7/7. Also the year is 2005, 7/7/2005: 7/7/2+0+0+5: 7/7/7 = 777. Also the number the Bible gives the beast from the pit is 666. If you add: 666+111=777.

All of this fits far too neatly into their satanic number code. If you recall it was flight 77 that slammed into the Pentagon. Multiples of 11 are often used by these satanists to send out a secret signal to each other in instances like these, almost like some kind of demonic smoke signal. If you recall; there were 911 days BETWEEN the day of the 9/11 Attacks and the 2004 Madrid Train Bombings on March 11, (again the 11). Why is the Number `11' important? Occultists believe it is an important number of the coming Antichrist. God assigns the Number `11' to Antichrist in Daniel 7:7-8.

On the political side you have the fact that the day before these attacks in London, London was awarded the 2012 Olympics. There were massive celebrations in London. Also, the G8 Summit was being held in nearby Scotland, where Bush, Blair, Putin and the rest of the globalist lizards were assembled. What better timing for them to grandstand and attempt to unify the nations of the world in one big happy globalist family, to present a 'united front against terror'. Of course the objective here is to ramp up the wildly unpopular waste of lives and money called the 'War Against Terror'. This would also enable them to instill fear in the minds of a public already getting fed up with their police state tactics, and give them a pretext to give Big Brother a much needed boost in the arm.

From Nero burning Rome, to Hitler burning the Reichstag. From Pearl Harbor to Oklahoma City, and of course the attack on 9-11, the history of tyrannical governments allowing or committing acts of terrorism on their own peoples and institutions to gain more control over them, and to justify globalist wars to fund the international war machine, is well documented. And now we have the 7-7 attacks to add to the list. The murder and mayhem in London is almost certainly just one more example of governments using mass terrorism as a psychological tool for political purposes.
http://www.geocities.com/northstarzone/LONDON.html

In 'Eisenhower's Death Camps'

In 'Eisenhower's Death Camps': A U.S. Prison Guard's Story

By Martin Brech

In October, 1944, at age eighteen, I was drafted into the U.S. army. Largely because of the "Battle of the Bulge," my training was cut short. My furlough was halved, and I was sent overseas immediately. Upon arrival in Le Havre, France, we were quickly loaded into box cars and shipped to the front. When we got there, I was suffering increasingly severe symptoms of mononucleosis, and was sent to a hospital in Belgium. Since mononucleosis was then known as the "kissing disease," I mailed a letter of thanks to my girlfriend.

By the time I left the hospital, the outfit I had trained with in Spartanburg, South Carolina was deep inside Germany, so, despite my protests, I was placed in a “repo depot”(replacement depot). I lost interest in the units to which I was assigned and don't recall all of them: non-combat units were ridiculed at that time. My separation qualification record states I was mostly with Company C, 14th Infantry Regiment, during my seventeen-month stay in Germany, but I remember being transferred to other outfits also.

In late March or early April, 1945, I was sent to guard a POW camp near Andernach along the Rhine. I had four years of high school German, so I was able to talk to the prisoners, although this was forbidden. Gradually, however, I was used as an interpreter and asked to ferret out members of the S.S. (I found none.)

In Andernach about 50,000 prisoners of all ages were held in an open field surrounded by barbed wire. The women were kept in a separate enclosure I did not see until later. The men I guarded had no shelter and no blankets; many had no coats. They slept in the mud, wet and cold, with inadequate slit trenches for excrement. It was a cold, wet spring and their misery from exposure alone was evident.

Even more shocking was to see the prisoners throwing grass and weeds into a tin can containing a thin soup. They told me they did this to help ease their hunger pains. Quickly, they grew emaciated. Dysentery raged, and soon they were sleeping in their own excrement, too weak and crowded to reach the slit trenches. Many were begging for food, sickening and dying before our eyes. We had ample food and supplies, but did nothing to help them, including no medical assistance.

Outraged, I protested to my officers and was met with hostility or bland indifference. When pressed, they explained they were under strict orders from "higher up." No officer would dare do this to 50,000 men if he felt that it was "out of line," leaving him open to charges. Realizing my protests were useless, I asked a friend working in the kitchen if he could slip me some extra food for the prisoners. He too said they were under strict orders to severely ration the prisoners' food and that these orders came from "higher up." But he said they had more food than they knew what to do with and would sneak me some.

When I threw this food over the barbed wire to the prisoners, I was caught and threatened with imprisonment. I repeated the "offense," and one officer angrily threatened to shoot me. I assumed this was a bluff until I encountered a captain on a hill above the Rhine shooting down at a group of German civilian women with his .45 caliber pistol. When I asked, Why?," he mumbled, "Target practice," and fired until his pistol was empty. I saw the women running for cover, but, at that distance, couldn't tell if any had been hit.

This is when I realized I was dealing with cold-blooded killers filled with moralistic hatred. They considered the Germans subhuman and worthy of extermination; another expression of the downward spiral of racism. Articles in the G.I. newspaper, Stars and Stripes, played up the German concentration camps, complete with photos of emaciated bodies; this amplified our self-righteous cruelty and made it easier to imitate behavior we were supposed to oppose. Also, I think, soldiers not exposed to combat were trying to prove how tough they were by taking it out on the prisoners and civilians.

These prisoners, I found out, were mostly farmers and workingmen, as simple and ignorant as many of our own troops. As time went on, more of them lapsed into a zombie-like state of listlessness, while others tried to escape in a demented or suicidal fashion, running through open fields in broad daylight towards the Rhine to quench their thirst. They were mowed down.Some prisoners were as eager for cigarettes as for food, saying they took the edge off their hunger. Accordingly, enterprising G.I. "Yankee traders" were acquiring hordes of watches and rings in exchange for handfuls of cigarettes or less. When I began throwing cartons of cigarettes to the prisoners to ruin this trade, I was threatened by rank-and-file G.I.s too.

The only bright spot in this gloomy picture came one night when.I was put on the "graveyard shift," from two to four A.M. Actually, there was a graveyard on the uphill side of this enclosure, not many yards away. My superiors had forgotten to give me a flashlight and I hadn't bothered to ask for one, disgusted as I was with the whole situation by that time. It was a fairly bright night and I soon became aware of a prisoner crawling under the wires towards the graveyard. We were supposed to shoot escapees on sight, so I started to get up from the ground to warn him to get back. Suddenly I noticed another prisoner crawling from the graveyard back to the enclosure. They were risking their lives to get to the graveyard for something; I had to investigate.

When I entered the gloom of this shrubby, tree-shaded cemetery, I felt completely vulnerable, but somehow curiosity kept me moving. Despite my caution, I tripped over the legs of someone in a prone position. Whipping my rifle around while stumbling and trying to regain composure of mind and body, I soon was relieved I hadn't reflexively fired. The figure sat up. Gradually, I could see the beautiful but terror-stricken face of a woman with a picnic basket nearby. German civilians were not allowed to feed, nor even come near the prisoners, so I quickly assured her I approved of what she was doing, not to be afraid, and that I would leave the graveyard to get out of the way.

I did so immediately and sat down, leaning against a tree at the edge of the cemetery to be inconspicuous and not frighten the prisoners. I imagined then, and still do now, what it would be like to meet a beautiful woman with a picnic basket, under those conditions as a prisoner. I have never forgotten her face.

Eventually, more prisoners crawled back to the enclosure. I saw they were dragging food to their comrades and could only admire their courage and devotion.

On May 8, V.E. Day, I decided to celebrate with some prisoners I was guarding who were baking bread the other prisoners occasionally received. This group had all the bread they could eat, and shared the jovial mood generated by the end of the war. We all thought we were going home soon, a pathetic hope on their part. We were in what was to become the French zone, where I soon would witness the brutality of the French soldiers when we transferred our prisoners to them for their slave labor camps.

On this day, however, we were happy.

As a gesture of friendliness, I emptied my rifle and stood it in the corner, even allowing them to play with it at their request! This thoroughly "broke the ice," and soon we were singing songs we taught each other or I had learned in high school German ("Du, du liegst mir im Herzen"). Out of gratitude, they baked me a special small loaf of sweet bread, the only possible present they had left to offer. I stuffed it in my "Eisenhower jacket" and snuck it back to my barracks, eating it when I had privacy. I have never tasted more delicious bread, nor felt a deeper sense of communion while eating it. I believe a cosmic sense of Christ (the Oneness of all Being) revealed its normally hidden presence to me on that occasion, influencing my later decision to major in philosophy and religion.

Shortly afterwards, some of our weak and sickly prisoners were marched off by French soldiers to their camp. We were riding on a truck behind this column. Temporarily, it slowed down and dropped back, perhaps because the driver was as shocked as I was. Whenever a German prisoner staggered or dropped back, he was hit on the head with a club until he died. The bodies were rolled to the side of the road to be picked up by another truck. For many, this quick death might have been preferable to slow starvation in our "killing fields."

When I finally saw the German women in a separate enclosure, I asked why we were holding them prisoner. I was told they were "camp followers," selected as breeding stock for the S.S. to create a super-race. I spoke to some and must say I never met a more spirited or attractive group of women. I certainly didn't think they deserved imprisonment.

I was used increasingly as an interpreter, and was able to prevent some particularly unfortunate arrests. One rather amusing incident involved an old farmer who was being dragged away by several M.P’s. I was told he had a "fancy Nazi medal," which they showed me. Fortunately, I had a chart identifying such medals. He'd been awarded it for having five children! Perhaps his wife was somewhat relieved to get him "off her back," but I didn't think one of our death camps was a fair punishment for his contribution to Germany. The M.P.s agreed and released him to continue his "dirty work."

Famine began to spread among the German civilians also. It was a common sight to see German women up to their elbows in our garbage cans looking for something edible -- that is, if they weren't chased away.

When I interviewed mayors of small towns and villages, I was told their supply of food had been taken away by "displaced persons" (foreigners who had worked in Germany), who packed the food on trucks and drove away. When I reported this, the response was a shrug. I never saw any Red Cross at the camp or helping civilians, although their coffee and doughnut stands were available everywhere else for us. In the meantime, the Germans had to rely on the sharing of hidden stores until the next harvest.

Hunger made German women more "available," but despite this, rape was prevalent and often accompanied by additional violence. In particular I remember an eighteen-year old woman who had the side of her faced smashed with a rifle butt and was then raped by two G.I.s. Even the French complained that the rapes, looting and drunken destructiveness on the part of our troops was excessive. In Le Havre, we'd been given booklets warning us that the German soldiers had maintained a high standard of behavior with French civilians who were peaceful, and that we should do the same. In this we failed miserably.

"So what?" some would say. "The enemy's atrocities were worse than ours." It is true that I experienced only the end of the war, when we were already the victors. The German opportunity for atrocities had faded; ours was at hand. But two wrongs don't make a right. Rather than copying our enemy’s crimes, we should aim once and for all to break the cycle of hatred and vengeance that has plagued and distorted human history. This is why I am speaking out now, forty-five years after the crime. We can never prevent individual war crimes, but we can, if enough of us speak out, influence government policy. We can reject government propaganda that depicts our enemies as subhuman and encourages the kind of outrages I witnessed. We can protest the bombing of civilian targets, which still goes on today. And we can refuse ever to condone our government's murder of unarmed and defeated prisoners of war.

I realize it is difficult for the average citizen to admit witnessing a crime of this magnitude, especially if implicated himself. Even G.I’s sympathetic to the victims were afraid to complain and get into trouble, they told me. And the danger has not ceased. Since I spoke out a few weeks ago, I have received threatening calls and had my mailbox smashed. But its been worth it. Writing about these atrocities has been a catharsis of feeling suppressed too long, a liberation, and perhaps will remind other witnesses that "the truth will make us free, have no fear." We may even learn a supreme lesson from all this: only love can conquer all.
Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 161-166.

Also see:
Eisenhower’s Holocaust: His Slaughter of 1.7 Million Germans
http://www.rense.com/general46/germ.htm

Allied War Crimes 1941-1950
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?id=136
Last updated 04/05/2007

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Observed Change in US Annual Average Precipitation, 1958-2008

Observed Change in US Annual Average Precipitation, 1958-2008

 
Observed Change in Annual Average Precipitation, 1958-2008. NOAA/NCDC 20008 via globalchange.gov
US precipitation has increased an average of about 5 percent over the past 50 years. Projections of future precipitation generally indicate that northern areas will become wetter, and southern areas, particularly in the West, will become drier.
While precipitation over the United States as a whole has increased, there have been important regional and seasonal differences. Increasing trends throughout much of the year have been predominant in the Northeast and large parts of the Plains and Midwest. Decreases occurred in much of the Southeast in all but the fall season and in the Northwest in all seasons except spring. Precipitation also generally decreased during the summer and fall in the Southwest, while winter and spring, which are the wettest seasons in states such as California and Nevada, have had increases in precipitation.

Fairbanks Frost-Free Season, 1904-2008

Fairbanks Frost-Free Season, 1904-2008

 
Fairbanks Frost-Free Season, 1904 to 2008. Over the past 100 years, the length of the frost-free season in Fairbanks, Alaska, has increased by 50 percent. The trend toward a longer frost-free season is projected to produce benefits in some sectors and detriments in others. Univeristy of Alaska via globalchange.gov
Over the past 100 years, the length of the frost-free season in Fairbanks, Alaska, has increased by 50 percent. The trend toward a longer frost-free season is projected to produce benefits in some sectors and detriments in others.
Over the past 50 years, Alaska has warmed at more than twice the rate of the rest of the United States’ average. Its annual average temperature has increased 3.4°F, while winters have warmed even more, by 6.3°F. As a result, climate change impacts are much more pronounced than in other regions of the United States. The higher temperatures are already contributing to earlier spring snowmelt, reduced sea ice, widespread glacier retreat, and permafrost warming. These observed changes are consistent with climate model projections of greater warming over Alaska, especially in winter, as compared to the rest of the country.

Rainfall Variability and Drought in Sub-Saharan Africa

Rainfall Variability and Drought in Sub-Saharan Africa

by
R. Gommes,
Senior Officer, Agrometeorology
and
F. Petrassi,
Statistical Clerk,
Environment and Natural Resources Service (SDRN)
FAO Research, Extension and Training Division

(extracted from FAO agrometeorology series working paper No. 9. "Rainfall variability and drought in sub-Saharan Africa since 1960".)

Droughts in general

Rainfall variability at a time scale from years to days is as much a characteristic of climate as the total amounts recorded. Low values, however, do not necessarily lead to drought, nor is drought necessarily associated with low rainfall.
Agricultural drought occurs when water supply is insufficient to cover crop or livestock water requirements. In addition to reduced rainfall, a number of factors may lead to agricultural drought, some of them not always obvious. Much more than the occasional widespread and severe climatological droughts which catch the attention of the media, it is this "invisible" agricultural drought which prevents farmers at the subsistence level from achieving regular and high yields. "Invisible" drought is brought about by environmental degradation as much as by climate.

African droughts

The continent has a long history of rainfall fluctuations of varying lengths and intensities. The worst droughts were those of the 1910s, which affected east and west Africa alike. They were generally followed by increasing rainfall amounts, but negative trends where observed again from 1950 onwards culminating, in West Africa, in 1984.
Since then, starting in 1988, the Sahel has recorded a series of good years (frequently accompanied by floods) which some interpret as the end of the Sahelian drought. The reality is that rainfall will continue fluctuating, and that good and bad years will continue occurring. Some general regional patterns can be recognised, which can be expressed in terms of variability (inter-annual and intra-seasonal rainfall), trends (upward or downward) and persistence, a typical inertia which affects many climatic variables at all time scales (good and bad years do not occur randomly, but tend to be grouped).

Good years and bad years

Even allowing for differences between countries in individual years, the period 1960-93 has experienced widely different conditions from year to year. The years from 1960 to 1969 were among the wettest of the period, while the seventies and eighties mostly recorded lower rainfall. The downward trend from 1960 to 1970 affected the whole continent, but resulted in negative impacts on food production only in the low rainfall areas.
The years 1973, 1984 and 1992 were bad, while 1963, and to a lesser extent 1989, were remarkable years in that almost the whole continent experienced above average conditions. 1973 is interesting in that it constituted the first poor year after a run of good years. As such, it caught most countries unprepared. In contrast, the impact of 1984, which was more severe than 1973 in climatological terms, was relatively less serious as the economies of many countries (especially in the Sahel) had learnt by now how to cope with such extreme situations.
In 1973 (and less so in 1984) almost all African countries suffered, north and south alike. In contrast, the 1992 southern African drought was relatively limited in space since the Sahel had one of its good "after 1988" years (with average or above average conditions).

Regional patterns

In order to allow a more synthetic discussion, the sub-Saharan countries can be classified into eight groups of similar behaviour based on rainfall patterns since 1960. The patterns observed in the different groups are not independent. Part of this behaviour is directly linked with the rain-bringing mechanisms in Africa and explains why continent-wide good and continent-wide bad years are infrequent. Each of the groups is characterised by persistence characteristics, trends and pseudo-cycles.

1. Sahel and Sudan: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Sudan


This group is one of the driest and most variable in Africa. Runs of dry years and runs of wet years are a typical feature of the climate of the countries in this group where extreme years (either good or bad) are more likely than average ones.
The group is characterised by a downward trend of rainfall until 1988, followed by series of about-average years. Worst drought years correspond to 1983 and 1984, but severe drought were also recorded in 1972, 1973 and 1977. In 1984, drought severely affected all countries from Mauritania to Ethiopia, including several bordering countries on the southern edge of the Sahel. In contrast, Mali and Niger were more seriously affected than other countries in 1973.

2. Southern-central Africa and Madagascar: Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe

The rainfall patterns in this second group are uncorrelated with Sahelian ones; total amounts are slightly higher, and the inter-annual variability is somewhat less. There is also no marked negative trend in rainfall, although the years after 1974, and particularly after 1985, have been characterised by marked pseudo-periodic fluctuations, with peaks in 1985 and 1989, and lows in 1987 and 1992.
Most of the area had not experienced serious drought after 1960, except in 1982, until it was hit by the 1991-92 drought (affecting the 1991-92 southern hemisphere summer cropping season). The drought most seriously affected the centre of the group, while Namibia and Madagascar where relatively less affected. Note that several countries outside this group (Zaire, the Central African Republic, Rwanda and Burundi) also experienced reduced rainfall in 1991-92. However, they usually receive rainfall far in excess of their crops' requirements and suffered less than their southern neighbours.
The countries of the second group have so far displayed a remarkably stable persistence structure in that extremely wet and dry years and average years are about equally likely.

3. Central Gulf of Guinea countries and Tanzania: Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Tanzania, Togo

The behaviour of rainfall in this group is not unlike what was observed in the Sahel, with a slight downward trend, and a tendency towards runs of dry years. The lowest rainfall index was recorded in 1977 (which also affected the Sahel), followed by 1992. In contrast, 1984 and 1972, which were drought years in the Sahel, were just slightly below normal in Group 3. The greatest differences, however, are observed during the sixties where group 3 experienced several well above normal rainfall years.
The group is usually not very drought prone, if only because the countries are not very homogeneous from a climatic point of view. Some areas have bi-modal rains (along the coast in the Gulf of Guinea countries, in the north-east for Tanzania), others have only one season (in the north of the Gulf of Guinea states, most of the country in Tanzania). In addition, Tanzania has high elevation climates and, considering the whole country, planting and harvesting takes place throughout the year
In the countries of this group, precisely because of the different rainfall regimes, drought usually affects relatively limited areas, e.g. southern Lake Victoria in Tanzania in 1974-75 and 1975-76.
The mechanism of the West African monsoon also accounts for the relative stability of the countries in the Gulf of Guinea: the monsoon rain belt moves north about February (first rains in the south) and reaches the "Sahelian" north in May, which thus corresponds with the short dry season in the south. When the rains move south again (September), the season ends in the north and the second season starts in the south, to last until November or December. The failure of the monsoon to move north thus leads to poor rains in the north, but unusually good rains in the south. The same type of compensatory mechanisms also plays a part on a continental scale.

4. East and West Gulf of Guinea: Cameroon, Central African republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

This is the wettest (Rainfall index: 1938 mm) and one of the least variable groups of countries in the continent. The northern half of several of the countries has Sahelian features, in particular the downward trend of rainfall. However, in contrast to the Sahel, the East and West Gulf of Guinea countries underwent less irregular rainfall (albeit below normal) than the Sahel during the 70s and 80s, and recent years were very close to normal. Given the high absolute amounts of rain, the countries in this group do not suffer so seriously as the arid countries from a comparable reduction in precipitation. In group IV, runs of good and runs of bad years tend to be longer than in the Sahel.

5. Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland

The Southern African group has a relatively low rainfall index and a variability that exceeds that of the Sahel. There are some common features between this group and Group 2, e.g. dry years in 1973, 1982, 1983 and 1992, but also notable differences, for instance in 1985 and 1993. The countries in this group were severely affected by the 1991-92 drought, which was the most severe after the 1981-85 droughts, the latter having been the worst since the 1920s

6. Horn of Africa and Kenya: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

This area includes some of the driest places in the world. The time series which describes Group VI is almost uncorrelated with all the above mentioned groups, and slightly correlated with neighbouring group 8. The Group is characterised by low rainfall and a high variability (24%). The time series displays a typical pseudo-periodic behaviour with a cycle of 4 to 5 years. The region as a whole experienced good rainfall in 1989, but the last run of good years goes back to 1981-1983. Bad years tend to have less negative effect at the higher elevations which characterise central Ethiopia and parts of southern Kenya. 1973 and 1984 were poor years in parts of the region. Parts of the region have more than one cropping season, and drought does typically affect one of them more seriously than the other.

7. Central-west Africa: Angola, Congo, Zaire

This second wettest group (rainfall index 1489 mm) has shown a very "smooth" behaviour between 1964 and 1984, with a slight positive 1960-93 rainfall trend due to a run of wet and very variable years from 1985 to 1990. This also accounts for the very high frequency of "dry" years following "dry" years in this part of the continent.

8. Great lakes countries: Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda

In this group, rainfall indices are high and not very variable. As indicated, the rainfall patterns have some similarity to those in the Horn of Africa, with an almost-significant cycle of about 7 years. The region recorded some very wet years in the early 60s, and a run of low rainfall years starting in 1987.
http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/sustdev/EIdirect/EIan0004.htm

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

7/7-The "Magic Bomb" Theory

- The "Magic Bomb" Theory   by Mark Faulk

    This is a story about disappearing terrorists, nonexistent bags, and botched investigations, but most of all, this is a story about magic bombs.

    It's Crime Scene Investigation 101. It's the basic law of physics. It's so elementary, my dear Watson, that even a dancer who was dazed from the shock of being seated directly over the spot where one of the bombs was planted in the London tube carriage two weeks ago could figure it out.

    In a seemingly innocuous article in the British newspaper Cambridge Evening News, 32 year-old dance instructor Bruce Lait, in an interview from his hospital bed, said that "The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag."

    Read that last part again, very slowly, and let it sink in. "The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train." "They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag."

And the British authorities on the crime scene missed that, and just assumed that it was a carry-on bomb? C'mon, how many times have you seen that bad TV show where the eccentric detective figures out that the crime was an "inside job" because the glass was outside the broken window, not inside where it should have been. I repeat: Crime Scene Investigation 101. Basic physics.

    While describing the scene, Lait said about he and his dance partner Crystal Main, "Out of that whole carriage, I think Crystal and I were the only ones who were not seriously injured, and I think we were nearest the bomb."

    He went on to describe those sitting closest to him and Main when the bomb went off. "I remember an Asian guy, there was a white guy with tracksuit trousers and a baseball cap, and there were two old ladies sitting opposite me." He described the woman whose body was lying on top of him when he regained consciousness as a "middle-aged woman who had blonde curly hair, was dressed in black, and could have been a businesswoman."

    Again, play close attention here. "We were nearest the bomb." An Asian guy, a white guy, two old ladies, and a blond businesswoman......and two dancers.

    So.....if the bomb was in a bag carried on by the terrorist, how could two dancers be "nearest the bomb"? And why didn't the person who was the closest eyewitness see the bomber, or even ANYONE, sitting where the bomb went off? Why was the metal pushed upwards if the bomb was inside of the train carriage?

    Let's put this in perspective, piece by piece:

    "The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train."

    "I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag."

    "We were nearest the bomb."

    An Asian guy, a white guy, two old ladies, and a blond businesswoman......and two dancers.

    Here we go again. Another terrorist event with more questions than answers, questions that the major media (yet again) aren't even asking.

    Hell, I'll even take a stab at answering them:

    The metal was pushed upwards because THE BOMB WAS UNDERNEATH THE TRAIN.

    Lait didn't remember seeing anyone, or a bag that could be holding a bomb, near the point of detonation because there was no bomber sitting there, there was no bag. THE BOMB WAS UNDERNEATH THE TRAIN.

    An Asian guy, a white guy, two old ladies, and a blond businesswoman......and two dancers. There was no Islamic radical, no Mideastern terrorist sitting in that carriage. THE BOMB WAS UNDERNEATH THE TRAIN.

    Dance partners Bruce Lait and Crystal Main were nearest the bomb.....again, no Islamic radical, no Mideastern terrorist sitting in that carriage. THE BOMB WAS UNDERNEATH THE TRAIN.

     We were praised by some, and criticized by others, for posting an article by Jeff Buckley (entitled "London Calling") the day after the first London bombings two weeks ago that questioned the motives behind the bombings, and that asked readers to view the inevitable "official government response" with a healthy grain of skepticism.

    Here's how Jeff so aptly put it:

    "So, when you see the headlines dominated by this story and the mounting evidence of lies, deception, and treason being forever pushed to the back burner, be sure to ask yourself, 'Who benefits from this?' Before you throw your support behind administrations that only have doublespeak, deceit, and death to show for their efforts, be sure to ask yourself, 'Who benefits from this?' And, before you allow yourself to be steamrolled and swept away by the inevitable surge of jingoistic retaliatory euphoria, be sure to ask yourself, 'Who benefits from this?'"

    "Who benefits from this?"

    So here we are, barely two weeks (and another "symbolic" bombing episode) later, and the voices of the Far Right are busy spinning this as yet another excuse for the war in Iraq.....even though the suspected terrorists are Pakistanis. (Sound familiar? The 9/11 terrorists were mostly from Saudi Arabia, so...."Let's bomb Iraq!")

    "Who benefits from this?"

    Here we are barely two weeks later, and the disciples of doublespeak are busy blaming a group of suicide bombers with carry-on bags, even though those who died are the most unlikely group of "suicide bombers" ever to commit an act of terrorism.

    "Who benefits from this?"

    Here we are barely two weeks later, and Bush and Company is using the London bombings to.....successfully.....push through the renewal of the Patriot Act. "Screw the Constitution, they're bombing us!"

    The official spinmeisters are either ignoring the signs that something is just not right here, or dismissing those of us who are questioning the official response as the usual bunch of fringe conspiracy theorists.

    Well guess what? If we don't keep asking the hard questions, and demanding honest, straightforward answers to those questions, then no one will. They've deceived us a million times before, and if honest Americans....and Englanders....don't continue to hold our public officials accountable for their actions and demand the truth, then they will continue to spoon feed us lie after lie after lie....until we eventually all suffocate under the weight of mass deception. And THAT'S the Faulking Truth.

"I was in tube bomb carriage - and survived"

"I was in tube bomb carriage - and survived"

11 July 2005
http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/region_wide/2005/07/11/83e33146-09af-4421-b2f4-1779a86926f9.lpf
CAMBRIDGE dancer Bruce Lait has spoken of his miraculous escape when a bomb exploded just yards away from him in a Tube train carriage.

The 32-year-old was knocked out by the blast and awoke to a terrible scene of devastation in the underground tunnel near London's Aldgate East station.

Mr Lait, who teaches dance in Cambridge, believes he and his dance partner Crystal Main were the only passengers in the carriage who survived the blast without serious injury - even though they were sitting nearest to where the bomb detonated.

When he came to, there was a body lying on top of him and he was surrounded by the dead and injured. But incredibly, the only wounds the dance coach sustained were facial lacerations and a perforated eardrum.

"I feel extremely, extremely lucky," he said.

The explosion happened just after Mr Lait and Ms Main, 23, got on the train at Liverpool Street on their way to the South Bank for a rehearsal.

He recalled that the carriage had about 20-25 people in it, from all walks of life, and aged from their teens to over 60.

"I remember an Asian guy, there was a white guy with tracksuit trousers and a baseball cap, and there were two old ladies sitting opposite me," he said.

"We'd been on there for a minute at most and then something happened. It was like a huge electricity surge which knocked us out and burst our eardrums. I can still hear that sound now," he said.

The impact of the blast made him pass out. As he came to, he wondered whether he was alive or dead.

"We were right in the carriage where the bomb was. I was knocked out. I did not know what was going on.

"I wondered if I was dead or not. I said to myself, you can't be dead because your brain is having conscious thoughts, so concentrate hard. I was telling myself 'wake up Bruce, wake up'."

Disorientated, he only gradually realised where he was and what had happened.

"When I woke up and looked around I saw darkness, smoke and wreckage. It took a while to realise where I was and what was going on, then my first concern was for Crystal.

"She was okay but she was in shock because she was trying to deal with the person on top of her who had massive head injuries. We have just found out that this person died," said Mr Lait, who lives in Suffolk.

He too was afraid to move because there was a seriously injured woman lying on top of him.

"I realised someone was lying on top of me. I tried not to move her because I didn't know if she was still alive, or I could have made it worse. This person also died, while on top of me."

At the same time, he slowly tried to work out whether he or Crystal had been injured.

"I thought if I can wiggle my toes I'm okay, and I could, and I asked Crystal to do the same."

Describing the scene as they waited for help, he said: "It was just the most awful scene of death and there were body parts everywhere. There was something next to me. I was trying not to look. I couldn't figure out what it was."

When paramedics arrived, they confirmed that the woman on top of him was dead and carefully moved her body. Mr Lait said the middle-aged woman had blonde curly hair, was dressed in black, and could have been a businesswoman.

He and Crystal were helped out of the carriage. As they made their way out, a policeman pointed out where the bomb had been.

"The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag," he said.

They were led through the tunnel to the platform at Aldgate, which was just a few hundred yards away, and taken out of the station to wait for an ambulance.

Mr Lait was taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, where he was visited by the Queen on Friday.

He said: "They asked would I mind if my name were put forward and I said I'd love to meet the Queen, even if the circumstances weren't ideal."

Sitting with his parents, Pat and Tom, Mr Lait told the Queen as she stood at his bedside: "I'm very thankful to still be here."

He said of Her Majesty: "She just seemed very nice and concerned, she seemed very genuine."

Now back at home, he has been trying to recover from the ordeal, with the help of friends and family.

Mr Lait, who teaches the Latin formation team XS, based in Cambridge, and the Cambridge Dancers' Club, said he has been moved by people's care and consideration.

"I've had people who know me phone me from all over the world and ask if I am alright. Those pictures of me and the Queen have gone all over the world."

And he said the terrible experience has given him a new outlook on life.

"It has made me realise how important life is, and that we only get one life, and we've got to be happy with what we've got in our lives."

Reflecting on the ordeal, he said: "Out of that whole carriage, I think Crystal and I were the only ones who were not seriously injured, and I think we were nearest the bomb.

"It makes me thank Him up there. I'm not overly religious but I'm not a disbeliever. I pray now and again. Something like this has just made me think, 'thank you Lord'."