Monday, July 30, 2007

Canadians don't want the SPP to "absorbed [Canada] into the U.S.[ and Mexico]"

Continental integration on the march

Jul 10, 2007 04:30 AM
Linda McQuaig

It's a great irony that, while the United States has probably never been less popular among Canadians than in the era of George W. Bush, plans to integrate Canada more deeply into the U.S. have been proceeding at a brisk clip.

The threat of Canada being absorbed into the U.S. has traditionally provoked strong reactions here, as the pitched electoral battles over the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1980s and '90s attest.

But the issue seems to have largely disappeared in recent years, leaving the impression that the push for deeper integration has stopped or that Canadians no longer care about it. Neither is true.

Rather, what's happened is that those pushing for deeper Canada-U.S. integration – principally members of the corporate elite on both sides of the border – have become more sophisticated in their strategy. Rather than loudly trumpeting their agenda, they've made their push largely invisible.

Their latest vehicle is the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Since it was officially launched by the leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico in March 2005, it's operated largely under the radar, even though it deals with some of the most important issues a nation faces – national security and energy, as well as trade.

Given the centrality of these issues, one would have thought that any changes – especially changes that would make Canada more like the U.S. – should involve wide consultation with the Canadian people.

But exactly the opposite is happening. The public has been completely shut out of the SPP process. The key advisory body in the SPP is an all-business group called the North American Competitiveness Council, made up of 30 CEOs from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

It's fine to have input from business, but why only business? Corporations have interests which are not necessarily the same as the broader public interest; indeed, these two sets of interests are often in conflict.

Take the small example of the harmonization of regulations involving pesticides. This harmonizing of standards – in the interest of removing "trade barriers" – has been underway for more than a decade under NAFTA, but it is now being fast-tracked under the SPP.

So, as the Ottawa Citizen reported in May, Canada is raising the limits on pesticide residue permitted on fruits and vegetables, to bring Canadian standards into line with weaker U.S. standards.

As a citizen and an eater of fruits and vegetables, this alarms me. Canada's standards are already weak enough. For example, both Canada and the U.S. permit the pesticide permethrin to be used at levels 400 times higher than the European Union permits; we allow methoxychlor at levels 1,400 times above the European limit, according to a study by Canadian environmental lawyer David Boyd.

Shouldn't our government be tightening our standards, not quietly watering them down further to make things easier for those in the business of selling these – and other – products?

Regulatory harmonization is just one small area that the SPP is working on. I'll deal with the more contentious issues – security and energy – in a later column, all in the interest of setting the stage for next month, when Bush arrives in Montebello, Que., for what he, Stephen Harper and Mexican president Felipe Calderon are no doubt hoping will be an opportunity to quietly discuss the SPP and weigh the advice of their business council.

No public consultations have been planned for Montebello. Indeed, security measures will ensure the leaders hear as little as possible from the people.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Linda McQuaig can be reached at lmcquaig@sympatico.ca

[http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:iQOddKMq6XgJ:www.thestar.com/article/234049+linda+mcquaig+spp+great+irony&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&ie=UTF-8]

"Recently released documents uncover...secrecy surrounding..." the end of the USA

The secrecy surrounding the talks come as no surprise to those who have been following the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The SPP is carrying out a merger of the three sovereign North American nations

A Peek Behind Closed Doors
Recently released documents uncover powerful business influence over SPP process
James Corbett
Corbett Report

July 9, 2007
The Corbett Report has obtained minutes from the highly-secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) Ministerial Meeting held in Ottawa on February 23rd, 2007.

This meeting — attended by political heavyweights from Canada, the United States and Mexico — received much criticism in the Canadian press at the time for being needlessly secretive. This was in fact the main focus of a Canadian Press report from that day headlined "Officials play down criticism that talks too secretive" which noted how "North American ministers deflected criticism that they had consulted only big business for their talks on trade and security rules, suggesting Friday there are 'different venues' for public interest and labour groups to raise their concerns and suggestions." Indeed, the government officials present at the press conference were forced to address issues of secrecy when the press conference was disrupted by protestors who were angry about the secretive nature of the talks. Such criticisms were not without their merit. In attendance were such key government representatives as Peter McKay (Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada), Stockwell Day (Public Safety Minister of Canada), Condoleeza Rice (U.S. Secretary of State), Michael Chertoff (U.S. Homeland Security Chief) and Patricia Espinosa (Mexican Foreign Minister). On their agenda, according to the CP article, were matters traditionally left to elected representatives to debate in legislative settings, including a meeting devoted to "finalizing a North American plan on dealing with a flu pandemic and another on a common regulatory environment in all three countries."

The secrecy surrounding the talks come as no surprise to those who have been following the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The SPP is carrying out a merger of the three sovereign North American nations in what has been euphemistically dubbed a "dialogue" in order to commit an end-run around the legislative process which would have made such a merger politically impossible. The process started when then-Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada, then-President Vincente Fox of Mexico and President George W. Bush of the United States announced the creation of the SPP at Baylor University in Waco, Texas on March 23rd, 2005 at a press conference which was heavy on hyperbole and scant on details. Facts coming out of the subsequent leaders summit in Cancun, Mexico on March 31st, 2006 were similarly sparse. The official websites of the SPP from all three countries (the Canadian the American and the Mexican) provide few details of how government representatives are working to carry out the SPP's initiatives.

Indeed, the SPP completely circumvents the democratic process since it is a "dialogue," not a "treaty" or even an "agreement" between the three governments, meaning government representatives can claim they are attending SPP meetings as private citizens. The office of Stockwell Day refused even to confirm Mr. Day's attendance at the secretive North American Forum meeting in Banff, Canada in September 2006, saying it was a "private meeting and generally I don't confirm private meetings of the minister."

The minutes of the Ferbruary 23rd meeting — obtained under the Access to Information Act and released on June 21, 2007 — show a continuing cloak of secrecy around matters of national importance. The most noticeable aspect of the document are the blacked-out passages. There is not a single section of the document that has not had information excised at the behest of the Ministers, citing the sections of the Act dealing with information obtained in confidence and information which could be "injurious to the conduct of international affairs, [and] the defence of Canada." What little information has not been excised proves what protestors feared at the time: that business interests wield a great deal of influence over the entire process while regular citizens are left out of the discussion, permitted even from learning the details of the SPP's implementation.

The most startling passage of the document concerns the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), which the minutes themselves note was a "body created by Leaders in 2006 to give the private sector a formal role in providing advice on how to enhance competitiveness in North America." The idea that business interests are really in control of the process is suggested in the following passage:

Exchanges following a formal presentation of the [NACC's] report uncovered frustration relating to the private sector's seeming inability to influence the pace of regulatory change "from the bottom up."[...]The subtext was clear: in the absence of ministerial endorsement, bureaucracies are unlikely to act on the more challenging recommendations.[...]The complex and far-reaching nature of the recommendations suggest that governments will need ample time to review and consult internally — and trilaterally — but it seems clear that the NACC will be looking for an early commitment to moving forward quickly.


This shockingly candid passage makes it clear that the business interests are actually in charge of the process, giving the politicians marching orders and demanding that these orders are followed, and followed quickly. Perhaps this is not surprising when one discovers that the SPP in fact did not start life as a governmental "dialogue" at all, but rather as an initiative launched by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCOCE) in January 2003. According to the CCOCE's own documents Council members comprise the CEOs of 150 leading Canadian businesses which "administer in excess of C$2.1 trillion in assets, have annual revenues of more than $500 billion" and, it seems, have a number of ranking governmental officials from all three North American nations in their back pocket.

The other worrying news to come out of the meeting minutes is the revelation that Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day proposed at the meeting "the establishment of a coordinating body on Emergency Management" which like all other SPP initiatives will drastically curtail democracy in each of the three countries by leaving vital matters of national security in the hands of unelected foreign nationals and bureaucrats. The effects of such initiatives have already been felt in other areas, as Canada has already announced plans to lower pesticide standards in order to bring Canada's comparatively high standards in line with America's standards, which rank among the lowest in the developed world. One can only imagine what will result of this three-way race to the bottom in this "body on Emergency Management" which will presumably be tasked with coordinating disaster response.

One thing which emerges very clearly from these documents is that secrecy is not only an unnecessary component of the SPP process but is detrimental to our democracies themselves. Without public representation and input, the corruption of the process by business and political elites is a virtual certainty. There is no accountability where there is no transparency. The citizens of Canada will not stand for such a process, and demand representation at the upcoming leaders summit in Montebello, Quebec on August 21, 2007.

Contact your Member of Parliament by clicking here.

Contact the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.

Email Address: pm@pm.gc.ca

Phone Number: (613) 992-4211

Fax Number: (613) 941-6900

Mailing Address:

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
Canada
K1A 0A2

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Did Mom Who Killed Newborn Babie Kill Her Three Unborn Babies?

Her only crime according to "Republican" Rudy was not having the unborn and newborn babies killed by abortionists. If Rudy wins we are about to see the end of the Republican party.

Fred

Three Fetuses Found in Mom's Home

By RANDALL CHASE,
AP
Posted: 2007-07-30 13:45:06
Filed Under: Crime News, Nation News
OCEAN CITY, Md. (July 30) - Investigators found three tiny bodies wrapped in plastic and hidden at the home of a woman who was charged last week with killing her newborn child, police said Monday.


Peter J. Casey, The Daily Times / AP
Members of an FBI team examine a patch of ground Monday outside the home of Christy Freeman, who was charged with killing her newborn child last week. Police found three dead fetuses at the home over the weekend.


None of the bodies was full-term, and only one of the four deaths was recent, said Ocean City Police spokesman Barry Neeb. "The rest could be a number of years old," he said.

Two of the bodies were found in a trunk in Christy Freeman's bedroom, and another was in a garbage bag found in a motor home parked in her driveway, police said. The remains were sent to the office of the chief medical examiner in Baltimore to determine the causes of their deaths, their ages and if all were related to Freeman.

Freeman, 37, came to authorities' attention on Thursday while she was hospitalized.

Medical personnel called police after determining she had been pregnant but could not account for the child.

After interviewing her, police searched Freeman's home and found the body of an infant wrapped in a blanket. Freeman was charged with murder and manslaughter under a 2005 law allowing charges for the death of a fetus that can live outside the womb.

Officers continued searching the home and property during the weekend and found the other tiny bodies, Neeb said.

Freeman lived in the second floor of the building with her boyfriend and her four other children, all of whom are safe, police said Monday. The building is less than a block off the Coastal Highway, the main north-south route in this resort town.

Freeman, owner of Classic Taxi in Ocean City, was to have a bond hearing later Monday.


Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2007-07-30 11:15:33


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The period following Vatican II reminds Benedict XVI of the "total chaos" after the Council of Nicaea

All Against All: The Postconciliar Period Recounted by Ratzinger, Theologian and Pope

The period following Vatican II reminds Benedict XVI of the "total chaos" after the Council of Nicaea, the first in history. But from that stormy Council emerged the "Credo." And today? Here is the pope’s response to the priests of Belluno, Feltre, and Treviso

by Sandro Magister


ROMA, July 27, 2007 – Like two summers ago in Aosta, again this year Benedict XVI, during his vacation in the Alps, wanted to meet with the local priests and respond to their questions.

He did so on the morning of Tuesday, July 24, in Auronzo di Cadore, in the church of Santa Giustina Martire, against the backdrop of the Dolomite mountains.

The pope responded spontaneously to ten questions on a wide variety of issues.

For example, in relation to the growing presence of non-Christian immigrants in Italy and Europe, he explained how to reconcile the proclamation of the Gospel and dialogue with the other religions, beginning from “agreement on the fundamental values expressed in the ten commandments, summed up in love of neighbor and love of God.”

In regard to divorced and remarried Catholics, he urged first of all that couples be prepared for a “natural marriage, according to the Creator,” freeing them from the current idea according to which “it is normal to get married, divorce, and remarry, and no one thinks that this goes against human nature.” And in the case of a failed marriage, he encouraged that the divorced persons be made to feel that they are always “loved by Christ and members of the Church, even if they are in a difficult situation.”

On the clash between creationism and evolutionism, “as if these were mutually exclusive alternatives,” he explained that “this contrast is absurd, because on the one hand there is much scientific evidence in support of evolution,” but on the other hand “the doctrine of evolution does not respond to the great question: From where does everything come?” And he recommended a rereading of his lecture in Regensburg, so that “reason might be opened further.”

But the most interesting response was the last of the ten. To a priest who told him about his disappointment with the many dreams that were awakened in him by Vatican Council II but then vanished, Benedict XVI replied by recounting his own experience and his own views of the Council and the period after it: the initial enthusiasm, the tension between those who interpreted the true “spirit” of the Council as a sort of cultural revolution and those who instead reacted against the Council itself, the historic upheavals of 1968 and 1989, the Church’s ability to move forward, in spite of everything, along the right path, in silence and humility...

Here follows the complete transcript of Benedict XVI’s response on the Council and its aftermath:


"We had such great hopes, but things proved to be more difficult..."

by Benedict XVI


I, too, lived through Vatican Council II, coming to Saint Peter’s Basilica with great enthusiasm and seeing how new doors were opening. It really seemed to be the new Pentecost, in which the Church would once again be able to convince humanity. After the Church’s withdrawal from the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it seemed that the Church and the world were coming together again, and that there was a rebirth of a Christian world and of a Church of the world and truly open to the world.

We had such great hopes, but in reality things proved to be more difficult. Nonetheless, it is still true that the great legacy of the Council, which opened a new road, is a “magna carta” of the Church’s path, very essential and fundamental.

But why did this happen? I would like to begin with an historical observation. The periods following a council are almost always very difficult. After the great Council of Nicaea – which is, for us, truly the foundation of our faith, in fact we confess the faith as formulated at Nicaea – there was not the birth of a situation of reconciliation and unity, as hoped by Constantine, the promoter of the great Council, but a genuinely chaotic situation of a battle of all against all.

In his book on the Holy Spirit, saint Basil compares the Church’s situation after the Council of Nicaea to a nighttime naval battle, in which no one recognizes another, but everyone is pitted against everyone else. It really was a situation of total chaos: this is how saint Basil paints in vivid colors the drama of the period following the Council of Nicaea.

50 years later, for the first Council of Constantinople, the emperor invited saint Gregory Nazianzen to participate in the council, and saint Gregory responded: No, I will not come, because I understand these things, I know that all of the Councils give rise to nothing but confusion and fighting, so I will not come. And he didn’t go.

So it is not now, in retrospect, such a great surprise how difficult it was at first for all of us to digest the Council, this great message. To imbue this into the life of the Church, to receive it, such that it becomes the Church’s life, to assimilate it into the various realities of the Church is a form of suffering, and it is only in suffering that growth is realized. To grow is always to suffer as well, because it means leaving one condition and passing to another.

And we must note that there were two great historic upheavals in the concrete context of the postconciliar period.

The first is the convulsion of 1968, the beginning – or explosion, I dare say – of the great cultural crisis of the West. The postwar generation had ended, a generation that, after seeing all the destruction and horror of war, of combat, and witnessing the drama of the great ideologies that had actually led people toward the precipice of war, had discovered the Christian roots of Europe and had begun to rebuild Europe with these great inspirations. But with the end of this generation there were also seen all of the failures, the gaps in this reconstruction, the great misery in the world, and so began the explosion of the crisis of Western culture, what I would call a cultural revolution that wants to change everything radically. It says: In two thousand years of Christianity, we have not created a better world; we must begin again from nothing, in an absolutely new way. Marxism seems to be the scientific formula for creating, at last, the new world.

In this – let us say – serious, great clash between the new, healthy modernity desired by the Council and the crisis of modernity, everything becomes difficult, like after the first Council of Nicaea.

One side was of the opinion that this cultural revolution was what the Council had wanted. It identified this new Marxist cultural revolution with the will of the Council. It said: This is the Council; in the letter the texts are still a bit antiquated, but behind the written words is this “spirit,” this is the will of the Council, this is what we must do. And on the other side, naturally, was the reaction: you are destroying the Church. The – let us say – absolute reaction against the Council, anticonciliarity, and – let us say – the timid, humble search to realize the true spirit of the Council. And as a proverb says: “If a tree falls it makes a lot of noise, but if a forest grows no one hears a thing,” during these great noises of mistaken progressivism and absolute anticonciliarism, there grew very quietly, with much suffering and with many losses in its construction, a new cultural passageway, the way of the Church.

And then came the second upheaval in 1989, the fall of the communist regimes. But the response was not a return to the faith, as one perhaps might have expected; it was not the rediscovery that the Church, with the authentic Council, had provided the response. The response was, instead, total skepticism, so-called post-modernity. Nothing is true; everyone must decide on his own how to live. There was the affirmation of materialism, of a blind pseudo-rationalistic skepticism that ends in drugs, that ends in all these problems that we know, and the pathways to faith are again closed, because the faith is so simple, so evident: no, nothing is true; truth is intolerant, we cannot take that road.

So: in these contexts of two cultural ruptures, the first being the cultural revolution of 1968 and the second the fall into nihilism after 1989, the Church sets out with humility upon its path, between the passions of the world and the glory of the Lord.

Along this road, we must grow with patience and we must now, in a new way, learn what it means to renounce triumphalism.

The Council had said that triumphalism must be renounced – thinking of the Baroque, of all these great cultures of the Church. It was said: Let’s begin in a new, modern way. But another triumphalism had grown, that of thinking: We will do things now, we have found the way, and on it we find the new world.

But the humility of the Cross, of the Crucified One, excludes precisely this triumphalism as well. We must renounce the triumphalism according to which the great Church of the future is truly being born now. The Church of Christ is always humble, and for this very reason it is great and joyful.

It seems very important to me that we can now see with open eyes how much that was positive also grew following the Council: in the renewal of the liturgy, in the synods – Roman synods, universal synods, diocesan synods – in the parish structures, in collaboration, in the new responsibility of laypeople, in intercultural and intercontinental shared responsibility, in a new experience of the Church’s catholicity, of the unanimity that grows in humility, and nonetheless is the true hope of the world.

And thus it seems to me that we must rediscover the great heritage of the Council, which is not a “spirit” reconstructed behind the texts, but the great conciliar texts themselves, reread today with the experiences that we have had and that have born fruit in so many movements, in so many new religious communities. I arrived in Brazil knowing how the sects are expanding, and how the Catholic Church seems a bit sclerotic; but once I arrived, I saw that almost every day in Brazil a new religious community is born, a new movement is born, and it is not only the sects that are growing. The Church is growing with new realities full of vitality, which do not show up in the statistics – this is a false hope; statistics are not our divinity – but they grow within souls and create the joy of faith, they create the presence of the Gospel, and thus also create true development in the world and society.

Thus it seems to me that we must learn the great humility of the Crucified One, of a Church that is always humble and always opposed by the great economic powers, military powers, etc. But we must also learn, together with this humility, the true triumphalism of the Catholicism that grows in all ages. There also grows today the presence of the Crucified One raised from the dead, who has and preserves his wounds. He is wounded, but it is in just in this way that he renews the world, giving his breath which also renews the Church in spite of all of our poverty. In this combination of the humility of the Cross and the joy of the risen Lord, who in the Council has given us a great road marker, we can go forward joyously and full of hope.

__________


The links to the complete texts, on the Vatican website, of this and earlier collective question-and-answer sessions with Benedict XVI:

> With the priests of the diocese of Belluno, Feltre, and Treviso, July 24, 2007

> With the priests of Rome, February 22, 2007

> With the priests of the diocese of Albano, August 31, 2006

> With the young people, Rome, April 6, 2006

> With the priests of Rome, March 2, 2006

> With the children receiving their first communion, Rome, October 15, 2005

> With the priests of the diocese of Aosta, July 25, 2005

__________


Benedict XVI’s address to the Roman curia on December 22, 2005, on the interpretation of Vatican Council II:

> "Wake up, o man..."

__________


English translation by Matthew Sherry, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

For the latest articles go to the English home page of > www.chiesa

Sandro Magister’s e-mail address is s.magister@espressoedit.it

__________

27.7.2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some advice as to how to get a landslide victory in the primary and in the election.

I don't agree with Richard Salbato's support for Fred Thomson, but I think his advice could help a real pro-life candidate like Brownback. Many pro-life groups believe Thomson is the real thing.

I agree with Jessica Echard, executive director of the Eagle Forum, who said "The conservative movement is looking for a new conservative rock star, to put it bluntly," she said. "Maybe some are too quick to jump on the [Thomson]bandwagon . . . this is the stage when we need to be asking all these questions."

Thomson needs to be asked some tough questions before we support him. That said here is "some advice as to how to get a landslide victory in the primary and in the election" by Richard Salbato.

Fred


Dear Fred Thomson,

I am so disappointed with those running for President on both the Democratic and Republican sides that I went to your web site to see what you stand for. http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/Fred_Thompson.htm To my surprise your stand on everything, at least on that web site, is the same as mine. As long as this is the truth, then you have my vote.

The next president will be the most important president in America’s history. He can be a Chamberlain or a Churchill and that is very important to me, so I must do more than just vote for you. Let me presume to offer some advice as to how to get a landslide victory in the primary and in the election, which I think might happen since no one running now is stimulating enough now for anyone to even put up a bumper sticker. Your opening speech must be electrifying.

As a Catholic, I approve of almost everything that Bush has done in almost 7 years including the war in Iraq. The problem with Bush is that he was and is a very poor salesman for what he did and did not do. In social issues like Abortion and stem cell research, he was flawless but took a great of heat from the left and did not do a good job in supporting his stance.

After 9-11 Bush did all the right things (everything he could do) but again he did not do a good job in selling these things to the public. The war in Iraq was the right thing to do because we knew Hussein had weapons of mass distruction. He used them on his own people in the past and could, would and maybe did sell them to Radical Islam. The fact that we did not find them means nothing since most of these things came from Russia, and we told Russia before hand that we were going to war with them. We know that Russia pulled these out of Iraq to protect their relationship with the West.

Bush did all he could to get Ben Laden considering the very unstable, pro-American government of Pakistan, which could become a Radical Islamic State with Atomic Bombs very easily - a very hard diplomatic problem.

Why then have we done so poorly in Iraq? The blame can go back to President Clinton, because when he took power we had 19 Military Battalions but when Bush took power we had 10 Military Battalions. We went to war with a drastically undermanned and under equipped Army. If we had gone in with the same force we went in the first time with Bush Senior, the war would have been over in months, with a stable government. But our Military Force was cut in half by President Clinton.

Why are must Americans angry with the President and with Congress? The two main issues today are the War and Immigration. With these two issues sold properly you can win hands down.

The speech I would write for Fred Thomson

The War with Iraq

American people, I have decided to run for President of the United States because I do not see anyone who is facing the real issues in the world today and having solutions for them. Instead everyone running for President today is bowing to the poles without seeing the reasons behind these poles. The public has opinions based on the information they get from the news media, and if that information is false or lacking they will have false opinions. You cannot run a government on poles. You run it on good information and good solutions.

American has been at war with Radical Islam since the end of World War II and Europe has been at war with them for over 1000 years. Our Embassy was invaded by Iran under the Carter Presidency and we did not call it a war. Our Embassy in Lebanon was attacked and we did not call it war. Our Military base was attacked by Radical Islam and we did not call it war. Our civilian Airlines were shot down by Radical Islam and we did not call it war. Radical Islam invaded Sudan and Somalia and we did not call it war. Radical Islam tried to bomb the Twin Towers under President Clinton and we did not call it war. Although born in Egypt, Radical Islam is supported by Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and even people in Saudi Arabia. They received technology from North Korea and Pakistan, especially nuclear technology. They receive weapons from Russia and China. Who financed these Radical Islamists? We did! All the money used to finance our enemies comes from oil money. Every country in the world supporting the war against the west gets their money from us in oil or drugs. Except for England, Canada and Mexico, every oil producing country in the world is our enemy.

Let us face facts, 65% of the world’s oil supply comes from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and all travels through the Straights of Hormuz. When Iraq invaded Kuwait President Bush Sr. went to war with Iraq and pushed them out in just a few days, but we did not finish the job. We did that in a few days because we had a strong army at that time, an army with twice the manpower we have now.

Under President Clinton our military manpower dropped almost in half and then we were attacked on 9-11. Finally, the American people and congress realized we were in a war. We declared that the enemy was those countries that harbored and financed these Terrorists: Iraq, Iran, Korea and Afghanistan. We went to war. Our mistake was that we went after Afghanistan and Iraq instead of Afghanistan and Iran. Now we are faced fighting Iran and Syria in Iraq and fighting Pakistan Terrorists in Afghanistan. The greatest army in the world cannot cross the border into Pakistan and cannot cross the border into Iran but they come after us across both borders with immunity. Are we really supporting our troops?

Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS), it is Oil

So what am I saying? Am I in favor of the war in Iraq? Am I in favor of our troops dying in a war with Iran and Syria that they cannot win? No! But we cannot just get out because we and our allies depend on the oil that comes out of this region. As long as we depend on this oil for the very survival of our economy and even our military, we cannot just get out of Iraq.

Democrats say that Bush went into Iraq because of his relationship to Major Oil Companies. That may be true but who cares. It may be true that Major Oil Companies started World War I and II, but who cares. The mere fact that our dependence on foreign oil is our fault. We could have been totally independent of foreign oil in 1975 if we had a congress that was not beholding to Big Oil Companies. It is not just the President and Congress that have become beholding to big oil, but the entire American population has become beholding to big oil. The West has become blackmailed by the new money of the world, oil.

I want to end the war In Iraq and win the war against the Terrorists but we will never do this until we become totally independent of foreign oil as did Brazil. I’m not talking about independence it 20 years as what was just passed by Congress this year or in 20 to 30 years as proposed by Bush recently. I am realistically talking about total oil independence in 24 months.

First, let me tell you what the President and Congress are not telling you. Then I will show you how to become Oil Independent in 24 months and end the war, not only with Iraq but even the future war with Iran.

What no one is telling you is that Colorado and Utah have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates combined.



That's not science fiction. Trapped in limestone up to 200 feet thick in the two Rocky Mountain states is enough so-called shale oil to rival OPEC and supply the U.S. for over a 100 years.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell are spending $100 million a year testing methods that can bring this oil out for $30 a barrel.. In the 1970s when we had the oil shortage these oil companies started mining this oil, but seeing this OPEC dropped the price of oil making it less profitable and the companies abandoned the project. This is Oil Shale, the same oil we import from Canada and pay them a profit instead of taking the profit ourselves.

The U.S. imports two-thirds of its oil, spending $300 billion a year, or 40 percent of the record trade deficit. Every $10 increase in a barrel of crude costs an American household $700 a year. Oil prices have risen 63 percent since 2004 and now costs every household $2,100 more per year.

Shell and Chevron are working the oil fields of Rifle, Colo. right now but they are not in any rush because they are making so much money on oil from imports at high prices.

Shell and Chevron use the below ground heating method, whereas Canada uses the strip mining method. Although roads, pipe lines and drilling is required, this has a minimum impact on the environment. Remember, Canada is one of our biggest suppliers of oil and their impact on the environment effects us.



Shell, based in the Hague, estimates it can extract oil from Colorado shale for $30 a barrel, less than half the recent price of about $74 to $100 for New York futures.

So how do we get oil independent in 24 months? The next President and Congress must do four things and do them quickly. These four things will not cost one single tax dollar in the long run, although some expense in the short run.

1. First, the next President and Congress must pass a law mandating all gas stations to have at least one Natural Gas pump and one 85% Ethanol pump. We have no shortage of Natural Gas and any car can run on it with a simple $150 change to the car. Iran has done this already.

No matter how much Ethanol we produce, it will not get to the gas stations as long as they are owned by the Oil Companies unless Congress mandates this right now. Once these pumps are installed, the gas stations will find a way to get the Natural Gas and Ethanol. Right now the largest supply of Ethanol gas stations in any state is only 10% and most states are 1% or less. This may require the government to help finance the independent stations but this money will be paid back and most stations are owned by Big Oil. In the long run there will be no cost to taxpayers.

2. Second, with a Manhattan Project type of program to produce Ethanol, we could up our supply to 30% in one year. That means passing laws letting private enterprise plant Ethanol crops in huge quantities and even helping them with roads, water systems, and land. This may cost the Government Tax Money at first but when these companies pay it back, we end up with $2.00 a gallon gas, and we drop our total imports by 40%. We will end up with a balanced budget without new taxes.

3. Third, I would mandate that we mine the Oil Shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. This can be done by forming a tax structure that is different for oil imports and oil from American soil, and an incentive to use oil shale. The government can cut the red tape and even use the Military Core of Engineers to speed up the production of wells and pipe lines.

In less than two years, 30% Natural Gas, 30% Ethanol and 30% Oil from Oil Shale. Better than this is that the three types of fuel will compete with each other for the best share of the market and the prices will go down to below $2.00. Our balance of payments will be in the plus side, we will become an exporter of fuel and technology, and our enemy will not have our money to fight against us.

Believe me, all the automobile companies will build Natural Gas, Ethanol and high breads when people know that they can buy this fuel and use it.

4. Forth, start building Nuclear Power Plants again. American companies have built hundreds of Nuclear Power Plants all over the world for the last twenty years for other countries, but not one in America. In the long run this is the cheapest energy in the world and the safest for the environment.

Freedom of Religion

Now let us look at another reason we are in a war no one wants. We founded this country to have Religious Freedom, freedom for anyone to belong to any faith he or she wants to and even the freedom to have no religion. We founded this country on the belief that our Creator gave us unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We founded this country on the belief that Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Anyone who does not believe in freedom of religion and a government of the people, does not belong here.

For 1300 years one religion has tried to force its faith on the rest of the world by the sword. In every country they control there is no true religious freedom. Where there is a secular government like ours, there is religious freedom and we are at peace with them: Jordon, Egypt, Lebanon are examples. But even these are under attack to become Theocracies. But those who do not want religious freedom, like Iran, want Islamic Law imposed on everyone in the world.

In America, there is not an unlimited freedom of religion. One cannot advocate the overthrow of our government in the name of religion. One cannot kill their own children in the name of religion. One cannot force their faith on others by force or coercion. Now, I want to advocate something radical here but absolutely necessary.

Part of the requirements for allowing anyone in this country as a temporary worker, on a visa, or as a citizen should be a pledge: “I do not believe that any faith should be forced on anyone and everyone has the right to any faith he wants.”

Illegal Immigration

The federal government, both the President and the Congress, has the lowest approval rating in history. There is no connection to the people at all. The reason is that neither the President nor the Congress can do anything simple. Just look at a typical day in the Senate. Half the day is spent on speeches no one wants to hear and less than 10% of the Senators are present. The other half of the day is spent listening to speeches about some bill that no one has had a chance to read or think about. Someone tells them what the bill says and they vote on it, not knowing that it contains hundreds of other things they know nothing about.

Keep it simple, stupid, KISS. Why can’t they write a bill, let every Senator read it without speeches, let the American public read it, and then vote on it. What is the big deal? The big deal is that they do not want us to read these bills and they make them so big (100s of pages) that they hope the Senators won’t read or understand them. Hollywood has more sanity.

The President and the Congress spent weeks arguing an Immigration Bill that no one understood and if they did, they saw that it would not work. What is the big deal? Keep it simple. We only need do two simple things to fix immigration.

1. First, for those who come for jobs we simply need a tamper-proof Job ID Card with a Bar-Code. This can be scanned into a data base to see if the person is who he claims to be and if he is a citizen or not. If not, he does not get a job, not a job mowing lawns, cleaning houses, or working the fields.

Breaking this law, for the illegals or the one hiring them, must have a penalty.

2, Second, for people looking for jobs we do not need a border fence because if they cannot get a job without coming here legally they will not come. We do need a fence, however, for those who come here for drugs, terror, or gang membership. A fence is simple and cheep considering the price of crime. An earth-grader plows and clears a 30 foot wide space; an 8 foot fence is placed on both sides of the 30 foot wide space. Cameras are placed every 100 yards in this space with censors to show any movement. The border patrol only has to respond to the movement.

However, those caught must be put in jail and not sent back right away – 6 months minimum.

Supply Side Economics

Most pollsters say that the main issue today is the war in Iraq. But the truth is that in every election it is the economy and not the war. The American people today are not thinking about the economy because things have been so good for so long. But think about how we got to this point. It the American people remembered the Carter Presidency they would think that the economy is important. Interest rates went over 20%, gas was rationed and construction died. Ronald Reagan came to Washington with Supply Side Economics and brought us out of depression. Supply Side Economics continued under Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Bush Jr. and we have sustained the largest economic growth in history. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. I bring this up because my Democratic opponents plan to end Supply Side Economics and destroy this economy.

No Socialism

Their ideas can best be called Socialism. Their ideas on Tax, on Welfare, on Medical Care, on SSI on everything they want to do is nothing but Socialism. In every country were any form of Socialism has been tried it has failed. Why would we want to try something that has already proved to fail?

United Nations or American Military

My Democratic opponents want to reduce our military and let the United Nations keep the peace. All I have to say is look at Iran’s Nuclear Program, and Sudan’s ethnic cleansing to see what the United Nations accomplishes. They sent a peace keeping force into Lebanon to keep Hezbollah from re-arming and now they are stronger than ever.

It is time we look to ourselves for our own defense. For this reason I am going to advocate we bring back the numbers of our military back to the force at the time of Ronald Reagan before Clinton cut it in half. It is a crime that we are using the Military Reserves to fight overseas. This must stop.


We can get out of Iraq and all of the Middle East but only when we become Oil Independent. If we don’t we will have to go from Iraq to Iran and this is inevitable if we do not stop supporting them with our Oil money.

Richard Salbato, Publisher - www.unitypublishing.com

Side Notes:

Like Ronald Reagan, the first quality of the leader of the free world is his ability to convince the public of his programs and the only person I see as able to do this is Fred Thomson.

The modern Radical Islam was born in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and much of this was our fault. Its founder spent time in America and saw the vast immorality of American in the way women dress, in the divorces, in the killing of babies, in the priest and ministers pedophile scandals, etc. He went back to Egypt believing the only answer to these problems was to kill anyone not obeying Islamic Law.

We can stop Muslims from attaching us by cutting off their money but we cannot stop Muslims from killing each other. We only hope that moderate Muslims outnumber Radical Muslims.

Fred Thomson 2008

http://fredthompson2008-blogger.blogspot.com/

Fred Hub:

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Fred Thomson on Pacifists

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTM1NTg1YjFhMGE5MzZjZDUzNzNhNzdkMjE2YmEyNTY

Fred Thomson on Issues

http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/Fred_Thompson.htm

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Fred Thompson Doesn’t Lose Ground With Pro-Life Advocates Over Abortion Issue

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Likely Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson hasn’t lost any ground with pro-life advocates over news that billing records show he was hired by a pro-abortion group to lobby the White House on taxpayer funded abortions.

Instead of abandoning the potential presidential candidate, pro-life advocates say his record in the Senate and positions now make up for the work he did 16 years ago. They dismiss the lobbying report saying it’s an effect by a pro-abortion group and the liberal media to create divisions within the pro-life and Republican ranks.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told the Washington Post that there is still “clearly an interest among social conservative leaders in his candidacy." Southern Baptist spokesman Richard Land agreed and said that members of the pro-life Christian denomination They find Fred Thompson to be a tantalizing combination of charisma, conviction and delectability.

He's got a Reaganesque ability to connect with ordinary folk that is powerful." At the same time, Jessica Echard, executive director of the Eagle Forum, warned that pro-life advocates should be cautious. "The conservative movement is looking for a new conservative rock star, to put it bluntly," she said. "Maybe some are too quick to jump on the bandwagon . . . this is the stage when we need to be asking all these questions."

Thompson spokeswoman Burson Snyder told the newspaper that the lobbying was "pretty insignificant" but that pro-life groups understand Thompson has strong pro-life views on abortion and stem cell research. "These organizations get what's going on here," Snyder said. "They've seen his voting record. They've seen he was endorsed by the National Right to Life group. When the rubber met the road, they know where he was."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The only solution is the Iraq Exit Strategy backed by Joe Biden, Michael Savage and Sam Brownback.

‘Let Iraqis kill each other,’ [Iraq] Catholic bishop says, calling for U.S. withdrawal


The Catholic News Service reported Chaldean Catholic Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim said: "'Let the Iraqis kill each other, but let the occupying power get out, because they are not killing each other because they are Sunni or Shiite, but because they are with the Americans or against the Americans.'"

"'Things are worse and worse and worse every single day, even for the Americans. The best thing is to withdraw, and then let the brothers attack each other,' [Iraq] Bishop Ibrahim said."

"U.S. troops should at least withdraw from the cities, and he believes the warring factions would eventually reach some sort of power-sharing arrangement."
(See the whole article below by the Catholic News Service)

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I agree. The only solution is the Iraq Exit Strategy backed by Joe Biden, Michael Savage and Sam Brownback. The strategy they back is Peter Galbraith's exist plan.

I finished “STATE OF DENIAL” and the most important disclosure was of the book was that Bush has no “exit strategy” in Iraq.

Even an ex-aide to Donald Rumsfeld said the only Iraq expert with a "viable" exist plan is Galbraith.

Steve Herbits, long time friend and advisor of Donald Rumsfeld, presented the plan to Rumsfeld. Herbits frankly stated “"It is an exit strategy," Herbits told the secretary, and the administration frankly did not have a viable one” according to “STATE OF DENIAL.”

The only major public figures to support the Galbraith plan are Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, conservative talk show host Michael Savage and Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback.

Biden, in the article below explained, why Bush’s plan is failing and again offers the Galbraith plan which in my opinion is the most reasonable strategy that might work. That is given the fact that the vast majority of the American people want the US military out of Iraq as soon as possible.

The plan is to divide the country into three states for the three main ethnic groups in Iraq. Send the US Army to the safe Kurd state. Allow each group to govern their own state. If chaos comes about the US army can go briefly to the Sunni or Shiite state and restore order then return to the safe haven of the Kurd state.

With this plan the army can eventually reduce the number of units. Eventually only a small presence will remain in the safe Kurd state.



An effective Iraq strategy may exist, but the president hasn't found it yet
By Joe Biden
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:04/13/2007 01:33:05 AM PDT

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is right to warn about the consequences of failure in Iraq. But he is fundamentally wrong when he argues that those potential consequences require us to stick with a failing strategy.

It is precisely because the stakes are so great that we must change course in Iraq, now.

McCain wrote that the president's strategy is beginning to show results but that most Americans don't know it because the media cover the bad news, not the good news. Of course, reporting any news in Iraq is an extraordinary act of bravery, given the dangers journalists must navigate every day. But the fact is, virtually every "welcome development" McCain cited has been reported, including the purported anti-Al-Qaida alliance with Sunni sheiks in Al-Anbar, the establishment of joint U.S.-Iraqi security stations in Baghdad and the decision by Muqtada al-Sadr to go to ground - for now.

The problem is that for every welcome development, there is an equally or even more unwelcome development that gives the lie to the claim that we are making progress. For example:

While violence against Iraqis is down in some Baghdad neighborhoods where we have "surged" forces, it is up dramatically in the belt ringing Baghdad. The civilian death toll increased 15 percent from February to March. Essentially, when we squeeze the water balloon in one place it bulges somewhere else.

It is true that Sadr has not been seen, but he has been heard, rallying his followers with anti-American messages and encouraging his thugs to take on U.S. troops in the south. Intelligence experts believe his militia are simply waiting out the surge.

Closing markets to vehicles has precluded some car bombs, but it also has prompted terrorists to change tactics and walk in with suicide vests. The road from the airport to Baghdad may be safer, but the skies above it are more lethal - witness the ironic imposition of "no-fly zones" for our own helicopters.

The most damning evidence that the "results" McCain cites are illusory is the city of Tal Afar. Architects of the president's plan called it a model because in 2005, a surge of about 10,000 Americans and Iraqis pacified the city. Then we left Tal Afar, just as our troops soon will leave the Baghdad neighborhoods that they have calmed.

This month, Tal Afar was the scene of some of the most horrific sectarian violence to date: A massive truck bomb aimed at the Shiite community led to a retaliatory rampage by Shiite death squads, aided by the Iraqi police. Hundreds were killed. The population of Tal Afar, 200,000 a few years ago, is down to 80,000.

There is an even more basic problem with McCain's progress report, and it goes to the heart of the choice we face in Iraq. Whatever tactical progress we may be making will amount to nothing if it is not serving a larger strategy for success. Alas, the administration's strategy has virtually no prospects for success.

The administration hopes the surge will buy time for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government to broker the sustainable political settlement our military views as essential to lasting stability in Iraq.

But there is no trust within the government, no trust of the government by the people it purports to serve and no capacity on the part of the government to deliver security or services. There is little prospect that the government will build that trust and capacity anytime soon.

In short, the most basic premise of the president's approach - that Iraqis will rally behind a strong central government that looks out for their interests equitably - is fundamentally and fatally flawed.

If the president's plan won't work, what will? History suggests only four other ways to keep together a country riven by sectarian strife:

We allow or help one side to win, which would require years of horrific bloodletting.

We perpetuate the occupation, which is impossible politically and practically.

We promote the return of a dictator, who is not on the horizon but whose emergence would be the cruelest of ironies.

Or we help Iraq make the transition to a decentralized, federal system, as called for in its constitution, where each major group has local control over the fabric of its daily life, including security, education, religion and marriage.

Making federalism work for all Iraqis is a strategy that can still succeed and allow our troops to leave responsibly. It's a strategy I have been promoting for a year.

I cannot guarantee that my plan for Iraq (detailed at www.planforiraq.com) will work. But I can guarantee that the course we're on - the course that a man I admire, John McCain, urges us to continue - is a road to nowhere.

[http://www.mercurynews.com/search/ci_5657638]

Bob Woodard in “STATE OF DENIAL” on page 481 wrote:

Steve Herbits [ a long time friend and advisor of Rumsfeld] went to have a sandwich with Rumsfeld at the Pentagon on Wednesday, June 14. The most important op-ed piece of the year, Herbits told him, was probably the one in The New York Times the previous month by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat and ranking member of the ;enate Foreign Relations Committee, and Les Gelb, the former presi-;ent of the Council on Foreign Relations. Rumsfeld began taking notes.

Biden and Gelb had proposed an option between staying the course definitely and bringing the U.S. troops home on some kind of timetable, Herbits noted. This would be done by establishing three largely autonomous regions, one each for the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, who would make their own domestic laws and be responsible for security in their regions. The central government in Baghdad would control border security, foreign affairs and oil revenues. Iraq was already heading toward partition and this loose federalism of three ethnic states was developing on its own.

Herbits said that the current concept of an integrated national police is not working at all, and the sectarian militias were increasingly powerful and violent. Tens of thousands of Iraqis were migrating on their own to their ethnic regions already, he said, and the voting by foot was more important than any of the highly touted elections. Events were already taking Iraq in this direction and it might be impossible to stop. U.S. policy could effectively embrace it. This, he noted, was the conclusion in a forthcoming book by Peter W. Galbraith, an expert with two decades of experience with Iraq, called The End of Iraq.

Rumsfeld continued to take notes, expressing neither agreement nor disagreement. Set up an A Team and a B Team on the possibility, Herbits proposed. Have each give you a 30-minute argument so you become familiar with the language and issues on each side because it was likely to become the focus of debate.

"It is an exit strategy," Herbits told the secretary, and the administration frankly did not have a viable one. "It would be something this administration could adopt in the name of freedom and self determination. And they could call it victory."

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‘Let Iraqis kill each other,’ Catholic bishop says, calling for U.S. withdrawal
By Robert Delaney
6/27/2007
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

DETROIT, Mich. (CNS) – U.S. troops should withdraw and let Iraqi factions fight it out, the bishop for most Iraqi Catholics in the United States said June 19.


CHALDEAN BISHOP CALLS FOR U.S. WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ – Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, based in Southfield, Mich., calls for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq during his June 19 sermon at Mother of God (Chaldean) Cathedral in Southfield. The eparchy serves Chaldean Catholics in the eastern United States. (CNS/Michigan Catholic)

"Let the Iraqis kill each other, but let the occupying power get out, because they are not killing each other because they are Sunni or Shiite, but because they are with the Americans or against the Americans," said Chaldean Catholic Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.

The head of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle made the comments in an impassioned sermon at a special Mass at Mother of God (Chaldean) Cathedral in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, where the eparchy has its headquarters.

The Mass, which drew close to 1,000 people, was celebrated to memorialize recently slain Chaldean Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and the three subdeacons who were killed with him, as well as to pray for all those who have died in the fighting in Iraq, including U.S. troops, and for the safety of Iraq's remaining Christians.

Bishop Ibrahim said the situation of Christians in Baghdad, Iraq's capital, "is very, very bad," with Islamic terrorists threatening that they must convert to Islam or pay a special tax as protection money.

Even if they choose to leave, they are being threatened to leave any unmarried daughters behind so they can be taken as wives by Muslims and forced to convert to Islam, the bishop said.

But Bishop Ibrahim said he does not believe the Muslims killing and threatening Christians are from either of Iraq's two Muslim groupings – Shiites or Sunnis – but rather al-Qaida terrorists from outside Iraq.

The bishop spoke in Arabic at the Mass, but later provided an English translation of his major points.

"For a Christian to be killed in the Middle East is nothing new – it often happened in the second, third and fourth centuries that Christians were martyred for their faith – but for Christians to be killed in the 21st century, when the world's major superpower has 150,000 troops in that country, is a terrible thing," he said. "Why are they there if they cannot defend human life and human rights?"

Bishop Ibrahim said U.S. troops should at least withdraw from the cities, and he believes the warring factions would eventually reach some sort of power-sharing arrangement.

The current situation puts Christians in the hazardous position of being perceived as being allied with the foreign occupiers, but the Americans provide no special protection for them, the bishop continued.

"We do not have weapons, we do not have a militia, and nobody is supporting us," he said.

And even with some of the additional troops from the planned surge in U.S. forces already in place, there is no security in Baghdad, he noted.

"Things are worse and worse and worse every single day, even for the Americans. The best thing is to withdraw, and then let the brothers attack each other," Bishop Ibrahim said.

When Father Ganni and the three subdeacons were killed June 3 by men wearing masks after leaving a church in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul following Mass, the police did not even come to investigate, Bishop Ibrahim said. "Their bodies lay on the streets for two hours after they were killed."

The bishop said he was about 30 miles from Mosul when the four men were slain.

The best hope for improving the situation in Iraq would probably be for troops from other Arab countries under the auspices of the United Nations to be sent in to replace withdrawing U.S. forces, in Bishop Ibrahim's view.

Remon Samir Jiddou, parish council vice president at Mother of God, said there is not much fellow Chaldeans back in Iraq can do about the dangers they now face. "It's out of our hands; that's why we pray to God. All we have is our faith in God, that he will protect us."
Parishioner Ferial Kishmesh said, "I'm praying for all Iraqis – whether Christian or Muslim. We're all brothers and sisters."

Most Iraqi Christians – both in Iraq and in the United States – are Chaldean Catholics, ethnic Assyrians whose church has been in union with Rome since the 16th century. Smaller groupings of Iraqi Christians include members of the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East, from which the Chaldeans split, and Syriac Catholics.

The Southfield-based Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle is the diocese for Chaldean Catholics living in approximately the eastern half of the United States. Of about 160,000 Chaldeans in the U.S., about 120,000 are in the eparchy, with some 110,000 of them living in metropolitan Detroit.

Bishop Ibrahim said about 120,000 Chaldeans still live in their traditional villages in the north of Iraq or in northern cities such as Mosul, while perhaps 250,000 live in Baghdad. Chaldeans have been leaving Iraq for years, and even more would like to, he said.

"If they have money and the means and a passport, they want to get out," the bishop added.


- - -

Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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Richard Salbato Makes the Best Case for Why the War In Iraq Must Not be Lost

Richard Salbato makes the best case I know of why the war In Iraq must not be lost.

Fred

Keep it Simple, Stupid

Richard Salbato 7-11-07

When I was designing automation machines (robots), I went to up-state New York to add a feeding system to one of their assembly machines. They were by far the best engineering team I have ever met with. Their systems were amazing, fast, reliable, and if you look closely, very simple. If there were ten ways to do something they would always take the simplest way to do it. In fact, they had one sign on every wall of every room in the huge building: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID.

In fact, that is what Einstein said about himself. He said that he reduced everything he thought about to simple terms. Truth is simple and takes few words, whereas error is complicated and requires a lot of words and good salesmanship. Error is often accepted simply because it is expedient and always offers the easy way out of any controversy.

Truth is not easy but it is simple. Truth, even simple truth, requires some basic knowledge about the subject. There is only one type of person that simply aggravates me to the bone and that is someone who has an absolute opinion about something they know nothing about. These people (those who do not investigate), who base their ideas and opinions on nothing but what they want to believe without facts, are the reason for this Newsletter. I was going to call this “Random Thoughts”.

War or No War

Let me give an example. If you think about war, first you need to know the history of the war; then, you need to know the options people may have had regarding it. Then reduce this information to its simplest form. Think about it in relationship to your own family, town or neighborhood. If you see your neighbor attacked by a group of radicals and kill all the men, rap the women and children and take over the house, what do you think? Not my problem? Not my business? Your house is next.
Face it, we are not only our brother’s keepers, we have to be for our own protection. Being a pacifist is the most stupid thing I have ever heard out of anyone’s mouth. Peace, which is what Christ wanted for all of us, requires us to protect ourselves and others, others all over the world. Can we say we have peace, when our neighbor is being attacked? Can we say we have peace when over a thousand Catholics all over the world are martyred each year simply because they are Catholic? Can we even say we are good Catholics when we allow a million and a half Africans to die in ethnic cleansing?

Now, let us think about the Iraq war and what started it. We were attacked by Moslems every three years all over the world for over 70 years, embassies, military bases, ships in the Mediterranean, allies in England, Spain, France, etc. Our Allie, Saudi Arabia, has stopped 180 attempts to attack them since the Second World War. Saddam Hussein of Iraq used chemical weapons to kill tens of thousands of his own people. He went to war with Iran and used chemical weapons. He attacked Kuwait without provocation and destroyed all their oil wells. He intended to go from there to Saudi Arabia, and take over the oil fields. President Bush Sr. pushed him out of Kuwait but did not finish the job. Then we were attacked for the second time at the Twin Towers on 9-11 and the CIA traced the attack to a radical Moslem group started in Egypt but now protected in three countries, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, and supported by China, North Korea and Russia. Bush took the war to the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even now threatens Iran with war.

This is and was the right thing to do, and because of this we have not had another 9-11 in America, and no weapons of mass distruction here or anywhere else in the world. So why is 75% of the world against the war in Iraq? The biggest reason is that 75% of the western world knows nothing about news or even short history and do not care. They listen to hip hop music in their cars, watch movies at home and drown their brains in scotch or drugs. They have absolute opinions about things they know nothing about. The second reason that 75% of the world is against the Iraq war is that President Bush is a very poor salesman for the war. His enemies keep saying over and over that the reason for the war was weapons of mass distruction and they were never found.

First of all, that was not the reason and everyone knows it. It was oil. Half the oil of the world comes from Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and Iraq was on the brink of stopping all that oil, which would not only have bankrupted the entire Western World but could have crippled our armies which run on oil.

We also know that Iraq had weapons of mass distruction and that they got them from Russia and used them before the war. We also know that Russia sneaked them out of Iraq through Syria as we prepared for the war. Everyone in Washington knows this, so why are we not saying it? Keep it simple, stupid.

What if we come out publicly and show what we know, that Russia took out the weapons of mass distruction that they put into Iraq? Now we separate all potential ties with Russia, who has millions of atom bombs that they could give to Moslem countries and maybe have already.

The reasons for the 9-11 attacks on America can be traced back to the stupid deals that President Carter did with Iran. But this is just the mistakes of America and not the real cause. We have been in war with Islam since the Eighth Century when Mohammed declared war on the rest of the world. We forget that Moslems took over all the Middle East and wiped out all Arabs, Jews and Christians in the area. We forget that they invaded Turkey and pushed out the Christians. We forget that they invaded Italy and all the Eastern European Countries all the way to Poland. We forget that they invaded Spain and Portugal all the way to the Northern Mountains of Spain and held them for 800 years. We have never not been in war with Moslems except for the short period of time between World War I a and World War II, when England, France, and Spain occupied the Middle East. This occupation was the only peace in the Middle East since Mohammed, a 1300 year war.

What happens if we pull out of Iraq as most Americans want us to do? First there will be a union of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Look at a map. They will unify it with treaties and then attack Saudi Arabia. By then they will control half the oil of the world. If we can even launch a war then without 50% of our oil supply, we will have a major war. If we choose to just take our loses and appease the peace-nicks, who will probably be in power by then (Carterites), then this federation will take over Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and finally Jerusalem.

By then, with a crashed economy and gas prices at $10.00 a gallon, if the Americans still want to put their heads in the sand, they deserve what will come next. History repeats itself, because people will not be bothered until it hits their own house. Hitler could have been stopped easily when he first invaded his neighbors but we looked the other way because he had not invaded us. We looked the other way and that caused World War III. Only Pearl Harbor (when they invaded us) brought us into a war that we should have gotten into years earlier. The same will happen this time. In 1300 years Moslems have not changed their militant philosophy to take over the world and they will not change tomorrow.

Think about the Knights Templar (now called the Knights of St. John), who controlled Jerusalem but the kings of the world would not come to their aid when attacked. They moved to Acre and held off 100,000 Moslems for over a year with only 800 knights. Then they moved to the island of Rhodes but were pushed off that island. The knights had moved to Malta - and were threatened once more. The Siege of Malta in 1565 by hundreds of ships from the Muslim Ottoman Empire held 40,000 well-trained soldiers. The Knights were 600 strong behind the walls of a Castle in Malta. No one came to their aid and yet the outcome of this battle would determine the course of history and the survival of Christianity, even Rome itself.

The Knights won that battle and 30,000 Muslims were killed, even without the help of the Christian peace-nick Kings and Lords of Europe who put their heads in the sand. Now we American Catholics are doing it again.

Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States … And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Now, keep it simple, stupid. This country was founded on belief in God and relies on His protection for its existence. Why then are 50% of our people wanting all mentioning of God removed from governments and government property? There is no such thing in the American Constitution saying “Separation of Church or State” except that we are not a Theocracy, favoring one religion over another.

First Obligation of the Federal Government

What then is the first obligation of the Federal Government since we are a federation of State governments? In the beginning, the Federal Government had only three obligations, Protection of the federation of states from foreign powers, foreign treaties, and interstate conflicts. The first obligation of this Federal Government is the protection of the States. That means that the primary expenditure of the Federal Government should be the army. The second is infrastructure that cannot be done by the states: roads, the electric grid, natural gas, water rights, etc. The last is foreign treaties and negotiations with other countries. All other rights should be with the states: school, medical, social, etc.

Now, keep it simple, stupid. What percentage of the Federal Government expenditure is given to protection of our country? In 1960, a time of peace in the world, the United States Government spent 6% of its GNP on the Military, 3.5% on Education, and 2% on Health – Federal Monies. In the 90s under Clinton we went from 19 military divisions to what we have now, only 10 divisions. By the year 2007 our Federal Spending on the Military dropped to 3.5% of GNP and Education rose to 5% and Health rose to 5%. Now keeping it simple, since the Federal Government has no right to be involved in Education and Health, which belongs to the states, why do they have three times the budget of the military? Since most of the money for schools and health come from States, how do we spend three times as much money on Health and

Education than we do on the Military?

Laws that govern uniform education rules do not require money. Laws that govern and regulate safe food and drugs crossing state lines take little money. But our military is still using 50 year old C-5 transport planes to fight a world war that will not end and we give them 3.5% of our income. It was President Ronald Reagan’s simple increase in our Military Budget that ended the cold war with Russia They could not keep up with us. Why would the greatest economy in the history of the world have a man-power shortage in the military and as a result be afraid of stretching out military too far?

Breaking the Law

Keep it simple, stupid. What is the big deal about having an Immigration Policy? Why make it so difficult? First and foremost it is against the law of our country and the law of God to violate a just law and the sovereignty of a country.
There are two kinds of people who come to America illegally: those who come for jobs and those who come for crimes (drugs, terrorism, gangs).

Congress tried to pass a “comprehensive” bill that no one bothered to read and no one could understand. Those who understood it knew it could not work. What is the big problem? For those who come for jobs we simply need a tamper-proof Job ID Card with a Bar-Code. This can be scanned into a data base to see if the person is who he claims to be and if he is a citizen or not. If not, he does not get a job, not a job moving lawns, cleaning houses, or working the fields.

Breaking this law, for the illegal or the one hiring him, must have a penalty because without enforcing the law, the law is worthless. For people looking for jobs we do not need a border fence because if they cannot get a job without coming here legally they will not come.

We do need a fence, however, for those who come here for drugs, terror, or gang membership. A fence is simple and cheep considering the price of crime. An earth-grader plows and clears a 30 foot wide space; an 8 foot fence is placed on both sides of the 30 foot wide space. Cameras are placed every 100 yards in this space with censors to show any movement. The border patrol only has to respond to the movement.

However, those caught must be put in jail and not sent back right away – 6 months minimum. This is already being done in one Texas area and those crossing the border went from 20,000 per month to 20 per month.

Now what about Catholic Bishops and priests who are harboring the illegals and using God as their excuse? The Catholic Church, both Benedict XVI and John Paul II, has advocated better laws and justice for immigrants but not illegal immigrants. The Church never advocates breaking the law.

If I went to confession and said that I allowed someone under age to drink in my home, the priest would consider this a sin against a just law of the state and therefore a law against God, who tells us to obey the laws of the state that do not overstep the laws of God. Condoning a violation of the law, even enabling it, is a sin.

Some priests and bishops advocate sin by hiding and protecting illegal immigrants because it is expedient to fill their diminishing congregations. The most vocal of these Bishops just lost a 666,000,000 dollar law suit for violating another law of the state and the Church.

Immigration yes, we need it because of the diminishing birth rate even within the Catholic Church but never can you make good come from evil. You can never sin so that good can come from it. “I let my kids drink so that they will like me.” Like me is good, but to like me because I let them sin is not.

More on a National ID card

Keep it simple, stupid. Do you know that someone can come to your home with false IDs, from SSI cards, Credit Cards, Bank Cards and all under the name of someone who has died many years before? He can buy your home with a false mortgage and then take out a second mortgage and run off with hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money and there is nothing you can do about it.

Why? Do you know that your Credit Card number can be used on the internet to buy thousands of dollars of merchandise without even knowing your name or code number? Why? Do you know that there are criminals out there with 10 or 15 Passports and as many different names, mostly from dead Americans? Why? Do you know that an illegal can vote in many states without an ID? Why? Yesterday I heard of a man who applied for a job with a Plumbing Company. He could not speak English at all. He had no ID at all. Yet, he had 4 years experience with another American Plumbing Company. How is this possible? How do they write checks? How do they pay tax?

The reason for this from a government point of view is all the privacy laws, but this is garbage. When it comes to honest people I can find out everything about anyone on the internet right now including their bank statements and credit reports. What I cannot find is the people who use false identifications. For our own safety and security we need to know who is who and where they are at all times. No one should be able (as it is now) to get a job as a doctor, with false College degrees forged on the open market with ease. A simple national data base could solve all these immigration and crime problems. No ID should be without a National Bar code data base, SSI, Credit Cards, Driver’s Licenses and Death Certificates.

Obedience to Authority

Keep it simple, stupid. Why would Catholics think it is OK to harbor those who break the law? Why not? These same Catholics do not obey the Holy Father on almost anything. They stretch their own ideas of truth and call it the “Spirit of Vatican II” but now we know the thinking and desires of the Holy Father on the sacraments.
Do you think these same people will consider the “Spirit of Pope Benedict XVI”? He wants the old music returned to the Liturgy, and the old architecture returned, and the reverence restored even to the Novus Ordo. Do you think we will lean to his will?
We have had 70 years now of thinking that our conscience is the rule of law and therefore we have thrown out obedience to the laws of the state, the laws of the Church and even obedience to our parents and bosses. It is the age of self rule for the good of the self and not the good of the many.

It’s Oil, Stupid

Can we leave Iraq right now? No! If we do, Iran and Syria will take over that country and soon after Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Then they will control all the economies of the world. We will always be in war in that part of the world until we get rid of our dependence on Oil. If I was president I would have a Manhattan Project, like done for the Atomic Bomb and have us off Oil in just one year. Keep it simple, stupid.

I would first pass a law making it mandatory that every gas station in America have at least one Natural Gas pump and one 85% Ethanol. We have no shortage of Natural Gas and any car can run on it with a simple $150 change to the car. Iran has done this already.

No matter how much Ethanol we produce, it will not get to the gas stations as long as they are owned by the Oil Companies unless Congress mandates this right now. Once these pumps are installed, the gas stations will find a way to get the Natural Gas and Ethanol. Right now the largest supply of Ethanol gas stations in any state is only 10% and most states are 1% or less. Washington DC just got their very first Ethanol gas pump.

When I see every station with Ethanol pumps I will switch to a high-bred car or an Ethanol car right now. But until I know I can get the gas no matter where I go, I am not going to change from Fossil Fuel and no one else will either.
With a Manhattan Project type of program to produce Ethanol, we could up our supply to 30% in one year.

Now let us think about what does not make the news at all. We get 30% of our foreign oil from Canada, who takes it from Oil Shale. Why is that so important? In Colorado, and the four surrounding states, we have the largest deposits of Fossil Fuel in the world, even larger than Saudi Arabia. It is in Oil Shale, like Canada, but that is no big deal.

All it takes to separate the oil from the shale is steam pumped down into the ground and then draw out the oil. Canada and China do this, why can’t we? It’s simple, the oil companies have no control of this and lobby congress to keep this quiet.
In less than two years, 30% Natural Gas, 30% Ethanol and 30% Oil from Oil Shale. Better than this is that the three types of fuel will compete with each other for the best share of the market and the prices will go down to below $2.00. Our balance of payments will be in the plus side, we will become an exporter of fuel and technology, and our enemy will not have our money to fight against us.

The Minimum Wage

Keep it simple, stupid. What about the National Minimum Wage? To me this is a great thing, I think. But I have been watching some old black and white movies and note that most middle class people in those days had live in house-keepers or nannies. These were almost always people from poor countries or uneducated street people. They got free room and board, often complete families, but very little cash per month. Today, only the very, very rich can afford house-keepers, private drivers or live in gardeners. I still believe in the minimum wage but room and board should be a deduction from that price. Want to help immigrants and at the same time help woman who work? Want to help children who come home to an empty house because both their parents work? Change that law.

China and Russia

Is China a military threat to the world? Think about this. In a few years because of their one child policy, china will have over 300,000,000 people over the age of 65 years and no retirement programs. China does not have a future water supply. China has a One Trillion Dollar GDP or $1,000 Dollars per person with four times as many people as the USA. The United States has a Ten Trillion Dollar GDP or $38,000 Dollars per person or ten times that of China. Russia has a $252 Million Dollar GDP or $2,000 Dollars per person. The European Union all together equals America’s GDP but is only $28,000 per person. China is only a threat from their contaminated foods shipped to America. Russia is only a threat to Europe because of Europe’s dependence on their oil and gas. Our only real enemy is non-governments and governments who support them. The USA produces 38% of the world’s GDP with less than 5% of the world’s population. We are very productive.



[http://www.unitypublishing.com/Newsletter/Moral/KeepItSimple.htm]

The Real Reason for the War In Iraq?

The Real Reason for the War In Iraq?

Was a Iraq threat to destroy the US dollar the real reason for the war in Iraq? Is the president of Iran crazy? Is Iran going to be the next country to try to destroy the US dollar? I don't know. I do know that Richard Salbato is a smart man and has many smart contacts around the world.

Fred


War With Iran Has To Happen

By Richard Salbato


When I wrote about and supported the attack on Iraq, I was attacked by even my close friends, saying that even the Holy Father, John Paul II, preached against the war. They also pointed out that the motives for the war were really oil and money and not the threat of Iraq against other countries. I agreed with all that they said, but still supported the war because I have many friends from Iraq who suffered under the dictator and his Eastern European private army. I pointed out that even if the motives were wrong, the results could not be worse than not going in to protect these people. Now that the trial of the dictator is taking place, we are seeing the horrors of his dictatorship. I am not happy with how the war was conducted or even how the democratic elections going on now are progressing but still the people are better off now than before and that is important. Even the Catholic Bishops in Iraq admit this. It is not a perfect constitution but at least it is a constitution.



What now? Peace in Iraq can never take place as long as terrorists in Syria and Iran move across the border terrorizing and disrupting the government for only one reason, to prevent a government of the people and by the people. Syria's dictatorship wants control over Lebanon and Iraq. Iran wants a holy war throughout the entire world.



In previous Newsletters I have tried to show that it was the West that brought us to this point. I did not mean Western Governments, but Western Oil Giants, who (sometimes without governments knowing it) manipulate the actions of governments to protect their oil and money monopoly. I still believe that they (the Oil Giants) brought us to this point by supporting all sides against the middle.



But now, what must President Bush, America, England, France, Germany and all other civilized countries do? Note that I do not include the United Nations, which is a worthless organization. My own opinion is that we must go to war. Sanctions would be the worst thing we could do and would harm the people and not the government. It would harm Western Countries more than the Iranian Government, who wants it to happen because of the 20% oil reserves that Iran has and the switch to other currencies.



Yes! Because of the fear that China would use this as an excuse to attack Formosa (Taiwan), there is the fear of a World War, but this still it has to happen and now. Let me explain why.



War To Save The Dollar



I know this may sound strange, and do not ask me why it is and how it happened, but all oil buying or selling is done with U.S. Dollars and only U.S. Dollars. If China buys oil from Sudan, it must use U.S. Dollars for the trade. Another thing you may find hard to believe is that all these oil transactions go through two (what we might call) oil stock exchange or exchange centers, called the New York Mercantile Index and the London International Petroleum Exchange, both owned by the same bankers that own and control the Federal Reserve Board that prints U.S. Dollars and sells them to the American Government.



These are not US government exchanges but privately owned exchanges just like the Federal Reserve Board. Both these oil exchanges are located in Atlanta, Georgia. They are the oil exchanges for the world's global oil market and there are no others. Obviously, both only accept Dollars. To me, this seems ridiculous that Russia selling oil to Finland must use Dollars and go through a money exchange in Atlanta, GA, USA. But that is the way it is. Do not ask me how it got that way.



Since the dollar is the money needed to purchase oil, every country around the globe must hold U.S. dollars. By having to earn or borrow U.S. currency to purchase oil, the value of the dollar is artificially supported because of the demand for oil. Supporting the value of the dollar is vital to the economy of the United States. If the demand for the dollar overseas would diminish, every country and person holding U.S. dollars would quickly experience the same percent decrease in their monies purchasing power, or what we call huge inflation.



As long as the greenback reigns supreme as the international currency for oil purchases, catastrophic economic collapse of the U.S. economy will be prevented. Even as the United States national debt approaches $8 trillion, and despite the fact that for all practical purposes the federal government of the United States has been legally bankrupt since 1933, the U.S. dollar has survived depressions and recessions, bull and bear markets, inflation and deflation, fluctuating interest rates, and every other pressure and strain placed upon it.



Five years ago, Saddam Hussein of Iraq stopped accepting U.S. dollars for their oil. Saddam Hussein switched the currency required to purchase Iraqi oil to the euro. Selling oil through the U.N. Oil for Food Program, Iraq converted all of its U.S. dollars in its U.N. account to the euro. Shortly thereafter, Iraq converted $10 billion in their U.N. reserve fund to the euro. By the end of 2000, Iraq had abandoned the U.S. dollar completely.



Two months later the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was ended, the country’s accounts were switch back to dollars, and oil began to be sold once again for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with the euro. Universal global dollar supremacy was restored.



Today there’s a greater threat to dollar supremacy in the global oil market. It is Iran’s goal to open their version of the New York Mercantile Index and London’s International Petroleum Exchange. Iran is projected to launch a third oil exchange in March 2006 called the Iran Oil Bourse IOB. This exchange would only accept the euro for oil sales.



This means that the entire world could begin purchasing oil from any oil-producing nation with euros instead of dollars. The Iranian plan isn’t limited to purchasing one oil-producing country’s oil with euros. Their plan will create a global alternative to the U.S. dollar. If opened, the Iran Oil Bourse will further the momentum of OPEC to create an alternate currency for oil purchases worldwide. China, Russia, and the European Union are evaluating the Iranian plan to exchange oil for euros, and giving the plan serious consideration.



If these countries drop the dollar in favor of the euro and support the demise of the U.S. dollar as the international currency for global oil purchasing, America’s debt will end in default, the trade deficit will likely double, and the dollars that we carry in our wallets will be worth less, much less, maybe as much as 50% less.



Come March 2006, Iran will actually be operating an oil exchange and China will be able to purchase oil from Russia through the Iran Oil Bourse, and pay for it with petro-euros. Suddenly, hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars will no longer be necessary for every nation of the world to hold so that they can purchase oil. If nations desire to dump all their dollars, they will be able to do so and still be able to purchase oil.



This Will Not Help The Euro



On Friday, January 20,2006, Iran's Central Bank governor Ebrahim Sheibani said Iran had begun moving its foreign currency reserves from European banks and transferring them to an undisclosed location as protection against possible U.N. sanctions. The transfers are already underway. Estimates put Iranian funds in Europe at as much as $50 billion.



Europe cannot survive if the American economy crashes because they are so tied to each other. Not only that but using Euros as an exchange in Iran is just a first step to converting to an Asian Currency and Europe knows it. Unlike the New York Mercantile Index and London’s International Petroleum Exchange which holds the money on American soil, which Europe trusts, Iran's oil exchange would hold its money on its soil, which Europe does not trust.



Iran probably could not make a real atomic bomb for 3 more years, but giving that her president is quite insane and could take the world economy down with this IOB, I am making my bet on a war before March 1, 2006. This is not about a bomb but about money and Iran's ability to blackmail the economies of the world. The West, Europe and America cannot let that happen considering that this man is very crazy.



Is Iran's President Crazy?



As Iran rushes towards confrontation with the world over its nuclear program, the question uppermost in the mind of western leaders is "What is moving its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to such recklessness?" Political analysts point to the fact that Iran feels strong because of high oil prices, while America has been weakened by the insurgency in Iraq.

But listen carefully to the utterances of Mr Ahmadinejad and there is another dimension, a religious messianism that, some suspect, is giving the Iranian leader a dangerous sense of divine mission.



In November, the country was startled by a video showing Mr Ahmadinejad telling a cleric that he had felt the hand of God entrancing world leaders as he delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly last September.



When an aircraft crashed in Teheran last month, killing 108 people, Mr Ahmadinejad promised an investigation. But he also thanked the dead, saying: "What is important is that they have shown the way to martyrdom which we must follow."



The most remarkable aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad's piety is his devotion to The Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and the president's belief that his government must prepare the country for his return.



One of the first acts of Mr Ahmadinejad's government was to donate about £10 million to the Jamkaran mosque, a popular pilgrimage site where the pious come to drop messages to The Hidden Imam into a holy well. All streams of Islam believe in a divine savior, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days. A common rumor - denied by the government
but widely believed - is that Mr Ahmadinejad and his cabinet have signed a "contract" pledging themselves to work for the return of the Mahdi and sent it to Jamkaran.



Iran's dominant "Twelver" sect believes this will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad. He is said to have gone into "occlusion" in the ninth century, at the age of
five. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.



This is similar to the Christian vision of the Apocalypse. Indeed, The Hidden Imam is expected to return in the company of Jesus. Iran's President, Mr Ahmadinejad, appears to believe that these events are close at hand and that ordinary mortals can influence the divine timetable.



The prospect of such a man obtaining nuclear weapons is worrying. The unspoken question is this: is Mr Ahmadinejad now tempting a clash with the West because he feels safe in the belief of the imminent return of the Hidden Imam? Worse, might he be trying to provoke chaos in the hope of hastening his reappearance?



The 49-year-old Mr Ahmadinejad, a former top engineering student, member of the Revolutionary Guards and mayor of Teheran, overturned Iranian politics after unexpectedly winning last June's presidential elections. The main rift is no longer between "reformists" and "hardliners", but between the clerical establishment and Mr Ahmadinejad's brand of revolutionary populism and superstition.



Its most remarkable manifestation came with Mr Ahmadinejad's international debut, his speech to the United Nations. World leaders had expected a conciliatory proposal to defuse the nuclear crisis after Teheran had restarted another part of its nuclear program in August.



Instead, they heard the president speak in apocalyptic terms of Iran struggling against an evil West that sought to promote "state terrorism", impose "the logic of the dark ages" and divide the world into "light and dark countries". The speech ended with the messianic appeal to God to "hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace".



In a video distributed by an Iranian web site in November, Mr Ahmadinejad described how one of his Iranian colleagues had claimed to have seen a glow of light around the president as he began his speech to the UN. "I felt it myself too," Mr Ahmadinejad recounts. "I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there. And for 27-28 minutes all the leaders
did not blink. It's not an exaggeration, because I was looking. "They were astonished, as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic."



Western officials said the real reason for any open-eyed stares from delegates was that "they couldn't believe what they were hearing from Ahmadinejad".



Their sneaking suspicion is that Iran's president actually relishes a clash with the West in the conviction that it would rekindle the spirit of the Islamic revolution and - who knows - speed up the arrival of the Hidden Imam.

2006 may spell the end for the America Dollar.



The West Is Getting Ready For War Now



The U.S., Great Britain and Israel are preparing to attack Iran. The main reason for invading Iraq is to stop it from selling oil in Euros and then converting these to other currencies, and not as you will be told, a Nuclear threat. Iran has plans to dump the dollar come March 2006 and that is why I am betting that the war will start on or before that date.



U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow issued a warning recently that the U.S. Government is on the verge of collapse - as the statutory debt limit imposed by Congress of $8.184 trillion dollars would be reached in mid-February - the government would then be unable to continue its normal operations. Considering the current total U.S. debt stands at $8.162 trillion dollars, once the official debt ceiling ($8.184 trillion) is reached, the U.S. government’s credit abroad (its borrowing power) is gone. Those countries (mainly China) who presently keep America afloat by holding U.S. Treasury Notes, will most likely no longer continue doing so.



Bank Of America and Compass Bank managers (probably all other U.S. banks too) have been instructing their employees in the last few weeks on how to respond to customer demands in the event of a collapse of the U.S. economy - specifically telling the employees that only agents from the Department Of Homeland Security will have authority to decide what belongings customers may have from their safe deposit boxes - and that precious metals and other valuables will not be released to U.S. citizens. The bank employees have been strictly prohibited from revealing the banks’ new "guidelines" to anyone. However, employees have been talking to friends and family.



The next time you visit your bank, ask them about it - then ask yourself, why is this information being kept secret from customers and the public - what’s really going on?



FEMA has activated and is currently staffing its vast network of empty internment camps with armed military personnel - unknown to most Americans, these large federal facilities are strategically positioned across the U.S. landscape to "manage" the population in the event of a "terrorist" attack, a civilian uprising, large-scale dissent ,or an insurrection against the government. Some of these razor-wired facilities have the capacity of detaining a million people.



The Patriot Act and the US Senate’s vote to ban habeas corpus (Nov 14th) - along with George W. Bush having signed executive orders giving him sole authority to impose martial law, suspend habeas corpus and ignore the Posse Comitatus Act, have together pretty much destroyed any notions of freedom and justice for Americans.



Considering the U.S. Treasury Notes that China currently holds (which keeps the U.S. economy going)...Will China continue to support a country’s economy (the U.S.) whose military launches a strike against Iran?



My guess is that China will do what is good for China, and most of China's wealth comes from America, and she will not bite the hand that feeds her. As for Russia, she is Tiger without teeth. Russia has great Nuclear might, which she will never use, and no other useful military force. In time, China can be too strong to confront but not now.



My opinion is that the only way this could evolve into a World War III is if the West waits too long to go to war with Iran. This would result in a Dollar crash, then a world wide economic crash, then destabilized governments, and then maybe a world war. It may be hard to convince congress or the American people, but then maybe we will see another Pearl Harbor first.



It would be ideal if the West took out the Power Plants and the government without harming the people and the country but that does not seem to be what is being prepared as I watch these government leaders meet behind closed doors.



It Is Too Late Now But ---



We should have become oil independent (and we could have) with Nuclear Power Plants for Electricity, and hydrogen and vegetable fuel for transportation. Iceland is about to become completely free of oil fuel by converting to hydrogen taken from water by using electrodes to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. The Hydrogen electrons then pass through a conductor that creates the current to power an electric engine.



Hydrogen fuel now costs two to three times as much as gasoline, but gets up to three times the mileage of gas, making the overall cost about the same. As an added benefit, there are no carbon emissions — only water vapor. By the middle of this century, all Icelanders will be required to run their cars only on hydrogen fuel, meaning no more gasoline.



In Europe some countries are starting to mix vegetable oil with gasoline to reduce oil dependency. France has almost totally converted all their electric needs to Nuclear. But America has done nothing to reduce oil dependency because of oil lobbyists, who poor millions into political campaigns, and now we are at the verge of war with no other option. If you control oil, what do you care if the dollar crashes, people just pay more for the one thing they have to have in every walk of life, black gold.
[http://www.unitypublishing.com/Government/WarForDollar.htm]