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What if America Were Invaded and Occupied?

By Dahr Jamail, The Progressive

Posted on December 21, 2007, Printed on December 21, 2007

Link

"Suppose Iraq invaded America. And an Iraqi soldier was on a tank passing through an American street, waving his gun at the people, threatening them, raiding and trashing houses. Would you accept that? This is why no Iraqi can accept occupation, and don't be surprised by their reactions," says "The Imam," a young man from a mixed Sunni-Shia family, as he explains the genesis of the insurgency in Iraq and its exponential growth.

He is one of the protagonists that Meeting Resistance presents as unmistakable evidence that the root cause of the conflict in Iraq is the occupation itself. The film has resistance fighters themselves tell their story.

Journalists-turned-filmmakers Molly Bingham and Steve Connors were compelled to film this documentary during their early reporting of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. They used the al-Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad to explore and depict an insurgency that has been caricatured by the Bush Administration.

Bingham, who has reported previously from Rwanda, the Gaza Strip, and Iran, was the official photographer to the Office of the Vice President of the United States from 1998 to 2001. She believes that it is imperative to understand the people within the resistance if the United States is to find a solution to the Iraq quagmire.

Bingham teamed up with Connors, a photographer who has covered ten conflicts and is a former British soldier who served in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. Between the two of them they share thirty-three years of experience in covering conflicts around the globe.

In August of 2003, they began working on the film. The project kept them in Baghdad for ten months, as Connors filmed and Bingham wrote the script.

The eighty-five-minute groundbreaking film focuses on ten members of the Iraqi resistance. Interspersed with stunning footage of the aftermath of car bomb attacks, of frightened soldiers aiming their weapons at crowds of Iraqis, and of burning remains of destroyed military vehicles, the meat of the film is the words of the fighters themselves.

"I felt a fire in my heart," one of them recounts. "When they occupied Iraq, they subjugated me, subjugated my sister, subjugated my mother, subjugated my honor, my homeland. Every time I saw them I felt pain. They pissed me off, so I started working [in the resistance]."

The complex nature of their lives speaks to the intricacies of the Iraqi resistance.

"The Teacher," for instance, is married with three children, and always loathed the Ba'ath Party. "The Wife" is a Shiite woman who works as a courier, carrying messages and weapons between groups when she is not watching her two children. Other members, Sunni and Shia alike, work as consultants, weapon producers, and strategists.

In the spring of 2004, a twenty six-year-old photographer in Baghdad told me in an interview that "this is not a rebellion, this is a resistance against the occupation. The media concentrates on the Americans, and does not care about Iraqis." He had been opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein, and had even welcomed the U.S. invasion, but had quickly grown weary of watching his fellow countrymen humiliated and killed by the occupiers. Like the people in Meeting Resistance, he had subsequently taken up arms.

Connors understands this frustration toward Western media coverage of the occupation. "A major weapon in the arsenal of a modern military is the use of information operations," he says. "These operations, which often take the form of misinformation or disinformation, are directed as much at the enemy population as it is at our own population, without whose support the military cannot continue to execute a war."

He aims to counteract this propaganda.

"To place an opponent like the Iraqi resistance in the human space of ordinary people defending their right to self-determination is to challenge our view of ourselves as liberators," says Connors.

While laying bare the motivations of the resistance, the film also does a forceful job of dispelling other myths.

One of the interviewed, referred to as "The Republican Guard" since he was a career officer in Saddam Hussein's military, is a Sunni married to a Shia woman. "The Sunni and Shia are bound together by blood and family ties," he explains. "I am married to a Shia, my sister is married to a Shia. I can't kill my own children's uncles or kill my wife, the mother of my children."

One scene includes a butcher hacking away at a side of beef. "Iraq is our homeland, it's our Iraq," he says. "If you don't defend your land, you will not defend your honor."

The film recognizes that the resistance has the tacit support of a large percentage of the population, even though the Bush Administration doesn't acknowledge this.

"The Administration chooses to portray people who oppose their will in Iraq as terrorists or extremists who live on the fringes of Iraqi society, isolated from their own countrymen," says Bingham. "Without doubt some individuals involved in attacking U.S. troops are 'extreme' in their beliefs, and they are relentless fighters in the pursuit of their goals, but they are very human and very much part of the social structure of Iraqi society, and move within it. If we removed the context of occupation--in all its forms--from Iraq, most of them would stand down and return to their lives."

Aside from screenings at international film festivals and numerous private and public shows, Connors and Bingham screened the film at West Point, the U.S. Marine Corps staff college at Quantico, and Baghdad.

Bingham feels that the film represented a radically different perspective to the military personnel who viewed it.

"The bulk of the people were taking on new information that was a dramatic paradigm shift for them," she says. "To see their enemy as largely fighting for their homeland because of nationalism and religion, rather than being terrorists, is a big deal."

Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who reports from Iraq.

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Putin is Time magazine's 'Person of the Year'

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Time Magazine has named Russian President Vladimir Putin as its "Person of the Year" for 2007, for bringing his country "roaring back to the table of world power."

Mr Putin, a former KGB official who was picked from obscurity in 1999 by then-president Boris Yeltsin, will appear on the cover of Time as the person the editors believe had the greatest impact on events this year, for better or worse.

"He's not a good guy, but he's done extraordinary things," said Time managing editor Richard Stengel, who announced Mr Putin's selection on NBC's Today Show.

"He's a new tsar of Russia and he's dangerous in the sense that he doesn't care about civil liberties; he doesn't care about free speech; he cares about stability.

"But stability is what Russia needed and that's why Russians adore him."

The choice came days after Mr Putin announced a plan to hold onto power after his term ends.

Mr Putin said on Monday that if his close ally, Dmitry Medvedev, wins next year's presidential vote, he would serve as Mr Medvedev's prime minister.

The Russian president beat out several rivals for the Time distinction, including former US Vice President Al Gore, British author J K Rowling, Chinese President Hu Jintao and US Commander in Iraq General David Petraeus.

- Reuters

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NIE, IAEA reports influenced Russia’s approach toward Iran: politicos

Tehran Times Political Desk

Link

TEHRAN - The recent IAEA and NIE reports have made Russia adopt a more realistic approach and finally ship nuclear fuel to Iran, MP Mohammad-Ali Rudaki said here on Wednesday.

The latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report on Iran, which was compiled by sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies, and all the reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency have said that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program.

Iran and Russia reached an agreement last week on a schedule to finish building the Bushehr nuclear power plant after years of delay. The first shipment of nuclear fuel arrived in Bushehr on Sunday.

The vicissitudes in Iran’s nuclear dossier and the United States’ heavy pressure on Russia were the major reasons for Moscow’s delay in fulfilling its promises, but the new developments in the nuclear issue led to a change in Russia’s approach, Rudaki told the Mehr News Agency.

Similar views were sounded by political analyst Fayaz Zahed, who said that new developments in regard to Iran’s nuclear dossier caused Russia to fulfill its longstanding commitments to Iran, after many delays.

Zahed said Putin’s visit to Tehran on October 16 also had a direct effect on Russia’s attitude about completing the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

However, Russia called on Iran to freeze its uranium enrichment program as it started to deliver the first fuel shipment.

Rudaki said Russia’s call for Iran to suspend enrichment is illogical, because “in fact, suspension is not on the government’s agenda anymore” and has been consigned to history.

“According to a bill passed by the Majlis, 20,000 megawatts of nuclear electricity must be produced by building 20 nuclear power plants, and to do this, we need to produce the fuel needed for the power plants,” explained the MP, who sits on the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

Demand for enrichment suspension is insulting

The main bone of contention between Tehran and the West is Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and therefore has the legal right to enrichment for civilian purposes.

The chief editor of the Tehran daily Kayhan, Hossein Shariatmadari, asserted that Russia’s call for a suspension of enrichment is an “insult” to Iran.

Iran is a signatory to the NPT and thus has the “legal right” to produce nuclear fuel for its civilian needs, he stated.

According to previous contracts, Moscow agreed to deliver the fuel, but only made the first shipment after a long delay, Shariatmadari noted.

However, the U.S. intelligence report on Iran’s nuclear activities may have influenced Russia’s decision, he added.

“If we agreed to halt indigenous production of nuclear fuel, then we would actually be allowing others to control our nuclear activities,” he said.

Former MP Elyas Hazrati told MNA that the U.S. and its allies have been trying to isolate Iran politically and economically, and since the Bushehr power plant is the symbol of Iran’s access to civilian nuclear energy, the U.S. made great efforts to stop Russia’s cooperation with the country.

However, Moscow understood Iran’s new situation and realized that the United States was revising its policy toward the country and therefore took a positive step by delivering the fuel, he noted.

Strategic partnership

Mohammad Kiarashi, Iran’s former envoy to the IAEA, said Russia has realized that cooperation with Iran as a strategic partner would greatly further its internets.

In recent months, Moscow has made a number of foreign policy moves, he stated, adding that Russia has strengthened its ties with many regional powers, including Iran, and the delivery of fuel can be evaluated in this context.

Commenting on Russia’s delivery of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr power plant, U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday, “If the Russians are willing to do that, which I support, then the Iranians do not need to learn how to enrich.”

Kiarashi said that Iran must produce its own nuclear fuel since Russia has repeatedly delayed the delivery of fuel and the start-up of the Bushehr power plant.

“The process of nuclear negotiations between Iran and Russia clearly shows that Iran must become self-sufficient in the production of nuclear fuel. Of course, the best justification is Russia’s behavior in delivering fuel to the (Bushehr) plant.”

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The Disgraceful Treatment of Our Veterans

by Joseph L. Galloway

Link

As you do your holiday shopping this year and think about a big turkey dinner and piles of gifts and the good life that most Americans enjoy, please spare a thought for those who made it all possible: Those who serve in our military and the veterans who’ve worn the uniform.

There are some new statistics that give us reason to be ashamed for the way that our country has treated those who’ve served and sacrificed for us.

Those statistics damn the politicians who start every speech by thanking the troops and veterans and blessing them. They indict our national leaders who turn up at military bases and the annual conventions of veteran’s organizations and use troops and veterans as a backdrop for their photo-ops.

Consider this:

An average of 18 veterans commit suicide each and every day of the year, according to recent statistics from the Veterans Administration (VA). That’s 126 veterans who kill themselves every week. Or some 6,552 who take their own lives each year. Our veterans are killing themselves at twice the rate of other Americans. One quarter of the homeless people in America are military veterans. That’s one in every four. Is that ragged man huddled on the steam grate in a brutal winter wind a Vietnam vet? Did that younger man panhandling for pocket change on the street corner fight in Kandahar or Fallujah? For the past four years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been insisting that it’s doing everything it needs to for the nation’s veterans. That’s simply not true, particularly when it comes to the VA’s treatment of mental health issues.

As my McClatchy colleague Chris Adams has reported in a series of groundbreaking stories this year, the VA mental health system - even by its own measures - wasn’t prepared to give returning veterans the mental health care they need.

The experts say that between 20 and 30 percent of all troops returning from combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But many of VA hospitals didn’t have the special PTSD programs that experts say are vital. Soldiers returning from Iraq are allowed to slip unnoticed into their old lives, and neither the Department of Defense nor the VA does anything to monitor their mental health.

The VA keeps telling Congress that all is well. That’s not true, either. As Adams reported, the VA has been using fudged or inflated numbers to do so. And after years of promising that it’s getting a growing backlog of disability compensation applications under control, things actually got worse this year.

No matter whether they’ve been wounded and need follow-up care and support, or whether they’re coming apart at the seams and feeling suicidal, they sometimes must wait months for an appointment to be evaluated and treated at VA medical centers.

The same people who don’t blink at spending $3 billion a week on their war of choice in Iraq were the ones who cut the VA budget and privatized maintenance at Walter Reed Army Hospital and opposed every attempt to expand benefits for veterans old and young.

They’re the same people who turned a blind eye as their corporate sponsors and private donors looted billions of dollars from the Treasury with no-compete contracts and bloated bills for everything from food for the troops to fuel for their tanks and trucks.

As a wave of wounded troops suffering brain injuries from the blasts of roadside bombs and landmines poured into military hospitals, these people, posing as fiscally responsible budget makers, were cutting in half the money spent on research into brain injuries.

These frauds who love to pose as wartime leaders sat back and did nothing as a cruel bureaucracy sent bill collectors out to harass double amputee veterans for thousands of dollars because they neglected to turn their armored vests and other gear in to the supply sergeant after they were blown apart on the battlefield.

They did nothing as the Army became ever more conservative, even stingy, in the number of injured and wounded soldiers it judged worthy of full disability pensions. Soldiers who suffered brain injuries and PTSD so severe that they couldn’t function were put on the street with a 30 percent disability pension - $700 a month - to support a wife and three children.

Neglecting our war veterans and the widows and orphans that result from our wars is as American as apple pie. It’s nothing new. But in the past we always waited until after the war’s end to forget those who’d fought the war.

This may be the first time in our history that we began to neglect and forget our troops during a war.

All of this is shameful - shameful for a people whose freedom and prosperity rests on the backs of those soldiers but who’ve forgotten them so completely that they haven’t held their Congress and their president responsible for this stain on our honor.

The next smarmy politician who shouts, “God bless our troops” ought to be tarred and feathered and ridden out of Washington on a rail for sheer hypocrisy.

Joe Galloway writes a regular column for McClatchy.

© 2007 McClatchy

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How To Legally Avoid Unwanted Immunizations Of All Kinds

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As you read this work and put its principles into practice, there are two basic axioms you never want to forget. They are the rock upon which all your actions are based.

1. Nobody, anywhere or any time and under any circumstances has the right or power in this country to immunize you or your children against your will and conviction. If they attempt to do so, you can legally charge them with "assault with a deadly weapon" and have the full resources of our laws behind you.

2. At all times in attempting to avoid unwanted immunization, you have the Law of the Land behind you. Those who would try to vaccinate you against your will are on very shaky ground. Into every compulsory immunization law in America are written legal exceptions and waivers which are there specifically to protect you from the attempted tyranny of officialdom. It is not only your right, but your obligation to use them, if this is what your conscience tells you.

Article I

In all your contacts with any member of the school, public health, or legal establishment, always remain calm, courteous, and humbly reverent toward their position. You are only asking of them that which the law duty binds them to give you. There is no reason, or advantage, to be gained by antagonizing them.

Most of these officials believe they are discharging their trust as outlined by law. If they are overstepping the law, then you must very diplomatically bring the true facts to their attention, but without attempting to belittle them.

The more you can preserve their ego, the more easily and quickly you are likely to get what you desire - a waiver of immunization.

Rule No. 1: Do not harass, belittle, or antagonize officials unnecessarily.

Article 2

All compulsory laws concerning vaccination (including the military) contain exceptions and waivers. It is these protections placed in the laws that you may legally use to exclude yourself and your children. Surprisingly, these exceptions were placed there, not for your sake (although you may take advantage of them), but for the protection of the establishment.

How is this? Let us assume that these exceptions were not there and everyone was actually forced to be immunized. Should a child die or become mentally or physically disabled, the parent would have the perfect case to sue the doctor, the school, the health department, and even the state legislature for enormous damages.

Since they allowed no exceptions, they must accept full responsibility for all the adverse consequences of the law.

However, if exception waivers are placed in the law, the responsibility is then transferred back to the parent. If a child should be injured by immunization, the officials can say, "Well, the parent should have exempted him if they thought there was any danger."

Therefore, there is in truth no such thing as a compulsory vaccination law in this country. They are ALL, in essence, voluntary. The problem is that practically no one in authority will let you know this fact.

Rule No. 2: There are no compulsory vaccination laws. All are voluntary, and you are held responsible for the adverse results upon you or your children.

Article 3

While all immunization laws have exceptions you can use, the wording in each state differs, and you must know the exact wording for your state to make the proper request of waiver. This information can be obtained in one of two ways.

1. Go to the reference section of your local library- look in the State Statute Revised Law Book under Public Health Law or Communicable Disease sections. The list of immunization requirements will appear first and then the exemptions will be given. Usually one or two provisions will be listed: either on religious or medical grounds or both.

2. You may call or write your state representative and ask for a copy of the immunization laws in your state. Making this available is part of his job, and it will be sent promptly.

Rule No. 3: Know your own state law so that you can conform to its exact requirements for exemption.

Article 4

There are two basic reasons for exception - medical or religious. Which one you choose will often depend upon the wording of the law in your state and your personal convictions.

We shall discuss medical exemption first. While laws do vary, nearly all states require that a note or certificate of waiver be submitted by a physician licensed in the state of residence. In some areas where states are small and people continually travel from one to another for business, a statement from a physician in a contiguous state will be accepted.

In this letter it is usually necessary to state the reason for the requested waiver and the length of time it should extend. Many laws limit all such letters to a school year and they must be renewed each fall.

The two most valid reasons for medical waiver are "the fear of allergic reaction in a sensitive child" and "to prevent possible damage to a weakened immune system." Both of these can occur in a child who has been immunized, and since no one but the physician and the parent will be held responsible for their consequences, it is up to them to protect the child.

It is possible that some states may require the letter from an M.D. or D.O., but many will allow an exemption letter from a chiropractor if it is courteously and properly written, as outlined above.

Rule No. 4: Medical waivers are always valid but must be written to fit each state law and often need to be renewed annually.

Article 5

The foregoing may work for school exemptions, but are there any such waivers in the Armed Forces? Yes. All branches of the Service provide "immunization waivers."

Again, if they did not you could sue them for millions of dollars if a reaction occurred from their immunizations. Because of these waiver provisions, you become responsible if you react.

When you first sign up or enlist, you must state your objection to the vaccinations and tell whether it is "religious conscience" or medical reasons, such as allergies or a low tolerance to medication of any kind. If you do not show objection at this time, you have given the military the right to do what they will with you.

If there is any difficulty, the same rules apply here as in the school program. Never forget, even though you may be in the Service, no one has the right to immunize you against your will. You do not give up your constitutional rights when you join the Armed Forces.

Rule No. 5: The rules that govern school vaccination exemption also apply to the military. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. They do not know, or are hiding, the facts of the law.

Article 6

What about international travel? May I go around the world without vaccination?

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva grants American visitors the right to REFUSE shots when traveling internationally. However, if an area you wish to enter is infected, you may be detained until the public health servant gives you the "go" (at his discretion).

Thousands travel world-wide each year without shots - so you may if that is your choice. Many of our co-workers have traveled over much of the world and have never taken any immunizations, nor were they ever detained.

It would be wise to request a copy of Foreign Rules and Regulations, Part 71, Title 42, on immunization when you receive your passport. Never forget the basic rule, "No one will vaccinate you against your will because by doing so they assume full responsibility for the consequences both legal and medical."

Rule No. 7: You may travel wherever you wish in the world without vaccination. The worst that can happen is that in very rare circumstances you may be detained temporarily.

Some Important Details

The above seven articles constitute all the basic rules. However, there are many important little "tricks of the trade" to having your legal requests honored. These will now be discussed.

While waivers and exemptions are written into all laws on immunization, most public health officials, doctors, and especially school officials are loathe to discuss their existence when questioned, and rarely, to our knowledge, volunteer such information.

A top Philadelphia school official was on the radio with the unequivocal statement, "NO SHOTS, NO SCHOOL."

This statement is of course completely counter to state law, with which presumably he is familiar. Such unwarranted dogmatism is common in the people you will encounter. Once the end of their legitimate authority has been reached, they will use their next most powerful weapon - INTIMIDATION.

They will threaten to keep your child out of school, take him from you, or send you to jail. These are all idle threats because they can do none of these thing, if you follow our simple instructions.

The basic rules have been given to you, but there are a few important details to be considered if the officials start on this course of unlawful intimidation.

1. You must send a letter to the school to inform the education officials of your stand. A phone call is not legal. It can be a note from your doctor, minister, or a notarized letter from you stating your sincere objections to the immunization. If you do not do this and fail to have your child immunized, it could be construed as negligence on your part and in some states there is a possibility of legal action against you.

2. If the school should refuse to honor your letter, request that they give you a statement in writing outlining their reasons for refusal. If they won't, their refusal is legally invalid, and your letter stands; they must enroll your child. If they do (they rarely will) they take the risk of incriminating themselves, especially if they are acting contrary (as is common) to what is specified in the law concerning your rights for exemption. Remember they are on tenuous ground, not you. They are your servants, you are not their servant. If worst comes to worst and you have a very knowledgeable official who writes you a refusal and states accurately the lawful reasons for refusal, he will also in a negative way tell you what the accepted exemptions are, and then you can go about meeting them, by one of the routes suggested in this handout.

3. Child neglect is the one legal point you want to avoid at all costs. No legal parent or guardian can be charged with neglect unless he shows complete lack of concern or action to be more informed. Stripped of legal jargon, this simply means that if you can show that you have investigated the situation, have come to a specific decision concerning immunizations, and have informed the authorities of the same, no neglect charge can be brought. Neglect can be brought only when it can be shown that you have failed to have your children immunized, not out of respect for their medical or spiritual integrity, but only because you were too concerned with other matters.

4. At times there may be a question of whether you have given or withdrawn legal consent. Legal consent is dependent upon being properly informed on both the advantages and the risks in any choice or decision you make. In other words, if a physician were to tell you that vaccination is perfectly safe and effective to obtain your consent, such consent would not be legal because he lied and you have not been properly informed. Conversely, it could be argued that non-consent is not legal if you are not fully informed about the risks and advantages of immunizations.

5. What do I do if everyone refuses to give me a waiver?

This would be an extremely rare circumstance. But should it happen, you are not left without resources. Here is where we pull out one of our big guns. Send notarized letters by certified mail to the vaccine laboratory which makes the shot (ask your doctor for the address), to the doctor who is to administer the shot, to your school principal,to the school board, and to your local health department.

In these letters make it clear that since they have refused to give you a duly requested waiver, you can no longer be held responsible for what may happen to your child if they force these shots upon him. You then state that you will allow immunization if each will present you with a written signed guarantee of safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and that they will consent to assume full responsibility for any and all adverse reactions that your child may develop from the required shots. Of course none will give you such a guarantee. They cannot do so because all vaccines are considered potentially highly toxic. We have yet to hear of an instance of further harassment of parents after such letters have been sent.

That's about all that is needed to obtain the necessary exemptions for your children. All that has been said in this last section (1 to 5) is also applicable to the military and international travel, if required.

Potpourri of Ammunition "As long as each individual who opposes vaccines has sincere objections, states them in writing, and signs his name - it is considered legal and proper action and must therefore be honored."

"Since many medical controversies exist surrounding immunization, drugs, and various other medications, it mandates that each individual have the right to control his own decisions and freedom of choice; anything less would be contrary to the constitutional laws that protect the citizens' rights. "

"When you deal with school officials and lawyers, you are playing with legal terminology - move the wrong words around and you get hung." The terminology used in this booklet has worked before and should work again.

"It is important to state your objections in such a way that it complies with your state's exemption provisions. They must then accept your request; if they do not, they are breaking their own law." That is why it is absolutely essential that you know your own state law word for word before submitting your objection.

"According to CDC (the federal Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, Georgia), physicians are required to first inform their patients of the risks involved before they consent to vaccines." If they do not do so, it is prima facie evidence of deceit or negligence on the part of the physician.

This regulation by the federal government would also seem to assume that the patient has the right to refuse if he feels that the risks are too great. If this is so, is not the federal government on record as supporting voluntary immunization and, by obvious implication, against state-enforced compulsory immunization?

Should you ever have to go to court, or what is more likely, to appear before a "kangaroo" court of school and health department officials, here is some class A evidence you might find useful to mention.

. No vaccine carries any guarantee of protection from the laboratory that produced it or the doctor who administered it.

. The U.S. military allows no-nonsense "immunizations waivers."

. There is NO FEDERAL LAW on immunizations. They don't dare. Their lawyers know the consequences.

. Your rights have been infringed upon by officials attempting to use force against your will.

Most state officials like a nice, stress-free job. When you send in your objections and refuse to fit their ordered world by not having your children immunized, you make waves.

This rocks their quiet existence, and there are only two ways their life can become orderly again: either by forcing you to their will or acquiescing to yours. What you must do to obtain an early waiver is to make the latter the easiest path for them.

At first, however, an attempt will usually be made to bend you to their will by some form of intimidation. Many uninformed parents give in to this tack, and so it is tried again and again.

If you are adequately informed, as a reader of this publication should be, you will let the officials know in no uncertain terms that you understand your rights under the law and will not stand for any such shilly-shallying. Invariably, once they discover you are adamant and acquainted with the state law, your waiver will be rapidly forthcoming.

An Acknowledgment

The greatest part of the material on the first four pages is taken from the work of Mrs. Grace Girdwain, of Burbank, Illinois. Our staff has rearranged and edited the information, but we wish the full credit for its existence to go to this courageous woman who has for twelve years worked arduously, without compensation, to help her fellow Americans obtain their legal rights.

The following is an example of the state of Illionois law (where I live) relating to immunizations. Illinois, like most states has no philosophical objection, but does have a religious one. Chapter I: Department of Public Health
Subchapter i: Maternal and Child Health
Part 665 Child Health Examination Code
Subpart E: Exceptions

Section 665.510 Objection of Parent or Legal Guardian

Parent or legal guardian of a student may object to health examinations, immunizations, vision, and hearing screening tests, and dental health examinations for their children on religious grounds. If a religious objection is made, a written and signed statement from the parent or legal guardian detailing such objections must be presented to the local school authority.

General philosophical or moral reluctance to allow physical examinations, immunizations, vision and hearing screening, and dental examinations will not provide a sufficient basis for an exception to statutory requirements.

The parent or legal guardian must be informed by the local school authority of measles outbreak control exclusion procedures per IDPH rules. The Control of Communicable Diseases (77 Ill. Adm. Code 690) at the time such objection is presented.

Section 665.520 Medical Objections

a) Any medical objections to an immunization must be:

1) Made by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches indicating what the medical condition is.

2) Endorsed and signed by the physician on the certificate of child health examination and placed on file in the child's permanent record.

b) Should the condition of the child later permit immunization, this requirement will then have to be met. Parents or legal guardians must be informed of measles outbreak control exclusion procedures when such objection is presented per Section 665.510.

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A good email sent to me.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans Interesting number, what does it mean?

A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans
(every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.

B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D.C .. HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??
Tax his land,
Tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirts,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.

Tax his booze,
Tax his beers,
If he cries,
Tax his tears.

Tax his bills,
Tax his gas,
Tax his notes,
Tax his cash.

Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers,
Tax him more,
Tax hi m until he's good and sore.

Tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me to my doom!'

And when he's gone,
We won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance TAX!!
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Perm it Tax
Gasoline Tax
Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),
Liquor Tax,
Luxury Tax,
Marriage License Tax,
Medicare Tax,
Property Tax,
Real Estate Tax,
Service charge taxes,
Social Security Tax,
Road Usage Tax (Truckers),
Sales Taxes,
Recreational Vehicle Tax,
School Tax,
State Income Tax,
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),
Telephone Federal Excise Tax,
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fe e Tax,
Telephone Federal, State and Local Su rcharge Tax,
Telephone Minimum Usage Su rcharge Tax,
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,
Telephone State and Local Tax,
Telephone Usage Charge Tax,
Utility Tax,
Vehicle License Registration Tax,
Vehicle Sales Tax,
Watercraft Registration Tax,
Well Permit Tax,
Workers Compensation Tax.

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'
And I still have to 'press 1' for English.
I hope this goes around THE USA at least 100 times
What the heck happened????? Now think about a TRILLION $$$

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

An offensive fear mongering advertising campaign by New York University Child Study Center

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability http://www.ahrp.org and http://ahrp.blogspot.com

FYI

An offensive fear mongering advertising campaign by New York University Child Study Center portrays children as hostages to "untreated psychiatric disorders," including autism, Asperger Syndrome, bulimia, depression, ADHD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. http://www.courttv.com/news/ramsey/docs/gifs/ransom1.gif

The ad campaign uses "ransom" notes designed to look like actual ransom notes, as an attention grabber--a hard sell technique in an effort to increase donations and expand the patient roster for the Child Study Center. This is a throw back to snake-oil marketing techniques.

The ransom notes include warnings to parents such as: "Do nothing and see what happens," "it's only going to get worse," "Ignore this and your kid will pay."
The campaign's offensive, threatening rhetoric was sanitized in the New York Times coverage, but not in the more accurate report in The New York Daily News (below).

Each "ransom" note carries the tag line, "Don't let a psychiatric disorder take your child."
We have your son. We will make sure he will no longer be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives. This is only the beginning.Autism.
We are in possession of your son. We are making him squirm and fidget until he is a detriment to himself and those around him. Ignore this and your kid will pay.ADHD
We have your son. We are destroying his ability for social interaction and driving him into a life of complete isolation. It's up to you now.Asperger's Syndrome
We have your daughter. We are forcing her to throw up after every meal she eats. It's only going to get worse.Bulimia
We have taken your son. We have imprisoned him in a maze of darkness with no hope of ever getting out. Do nothing and see what happens.Depression
We have your daughter. We are making her wash her hands until they are raw, everyday. This is only the beginning.OCD

The ads are being tested in New York City using billboards, kiosks and magazines. Plans call for massive expansion nationwide. It is difficult to imagine how parents will be helped by callously framing children's disabilities in a gangster context.

NYU Child Study Center has garnered a roster of high visibility "celebrities" in the media, politics, and corporate merchants. [list below] Not highlighted are the Child Study Center's major sources of support from pharmaceutical companies.
The Dec. 2007 Annual Gala Award Dinner raised $9 million. It was hosted by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).
http://www.med.nyu.edu/communications/news/pr_254.html and
http://www.convergemag.com/story.php?catid=8&storyid=106309

However, families are not amused by the image of "conditions" as kidnappers, abductors, criminals. They are troubled by the offensive insinuation that their children are possessed. Fourteen disability groups throughout North America have signed a letter calling on the N.Y.U. Child Study Center to withdraw its offensive advertising campaign. The letter, written by ASAN President Ari Ne'eman, signed by 705 people tells the NYU Child Study Center:
"By choosing to portray people on the autism spectrum as well as those living with OCD, ADHD and other disabilities as kidnapped or possessed children, you have inadvertently reinforced many of the worst stereotypes that have prevented children and adults with disabilities from gaining inclusion, equality and full access to the services and supports they require."
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/petition-sign.cgi?ransom

Families are also offended by the implication that they are complacent when the real challenge is finding (and paying for) non-pharmacologic interventions.
The NYU Child Center website lists only drugs under "Disorders and Treatments."
http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/guide_psychiatric_medications_children_ adolescents

NYU's shameless ad campaign is but the latest evidence of how children's vulnerability being exploited by an unscrupulous cadre of child psychiatrists who flaunt fundamental professional ethical principles to increase the number of children prescribed psychotropic drugs..

The threats of dire consequences from no treatment apply far more to children who are exposed to the toxic effects of those psychotropic drugs listed on the NYU Child Center website. Self-advocacy network--advocates not funded by pharmaceutical companies--are denouncing the NYU campaign:
http://www.stigmanet.org/ ; www.autisticadvocacy.org; www.autismvox.com;
http://www.autisticadvocacy.org/

The NYU Child Study Center's director, child psychiatrist, Dr. Harold Kopewicz, is a publicity seeker registered with Grabow Biz, which offers his services as follows: "Booking Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz for Corporate Events, Business Meetings and Special Events...How to book Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz for your next Christmas Party Event...Planning your next Convention with Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz as your special guest Plan a Wedding, Birthday or Anniversary....
http://www.grabow.biz/contact-us.html

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
veracare@ahrp.org
212-595-8974

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2007/12/14/2007-12-14_psych_grou ps_fury_over_ransom_ads-1.html
New York DAILY NEWS
Psych groups' fury over 'ransom' ads
BY CHRISTINA BOYLE
December 15, 2007

The words are scrawled in thick black ink and spell out a parent's worst nightmare: "WE HAVE YOUR SON."

Others are typed or cut from the pages of a magazine but all contain the same harrowing message: "This is only the beginning . . . Ignore this and your kid will pay."

These "ransom notes" are being plastered all over town as part of a new ad campaign about the dangers of psychiatric disorders like autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Asperger's syndrome. They are causing outrage among many of the groups they are designed to represent - prompting parents and disability advocates to demand they be taken down.

"I was offended. It's not a helpful way to think about a disorder," said Kristina Chew, who has a 10-year-old son with autism. "It makes you feel like there's some sort of criminal element to the disorder."

"The child has not been 'taken,' they just need a little extra help," said Melissa Ramirez, 26, who has a cousin with autism. "It's basically showing [parents] they have no control over their child. It's inappropriate."

The ad campaign is being rolled out over the next four months by the NYU Child Study Center, which says the posters are designed to highlight the plight of children who suffer from undiagnosed or untreated psychiatric problems.

"I understand some people's feelings are hurt. For that, I apologize. It was never our intention to offend or insult anyone," said Dr.Harold Koplewicz, founder and director of the Child Study Center, who says he has also received e-mails praising the campaign.

"It's harsh and edgy and shocking but I don't think it's nearly as shocking as the diseases themselves, and the lack of treatment," he said. "It's time for psychotic disorders to be equal to physical disorders."

More than 200 ads will appear on construction sites and kiosks across the city. Eleven billboards will display the shocking messages and a handful of newspapers, magazines and Web sites will print the ads, designed for free by the BBDO agency.

Disability advocates including Not Dead Yet and the Autism Acceptance Project have united in protest.

"There needs to be recognition that not all attention is good attention," said Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who suffers from Asperger's syndrome.

"The message that this campaign is sending, specifically that children with disabilities are shells, that somehow we have had our true selves stolen away or kidnapped ... is one that has a lot of terrible consequences."
cboyle@nydailynews.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This may contain copyrighted (C ) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

ASAN - Autism Self Advocacy Network
Dec. 11, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sheryl Bass
Phone: 720-488-1116
E-mail: Sheryl@thesolutionpr.com

DISABILITY ADVOCATES: "WE ARE NOT FOR RANSOM"
National Disability Groups Seek End to N.Y.U. Child Study Center's
Ad Campaign

(New York) - The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) pulled together disability rights advocates to speak with one voice today in protest of an N.Y.U. Child Study Center advertising campaign. The campaign, entitled "Ransom Notes," consisted of a series of phony ransom letters signed by a particular disability, announcing that "your child will pay" if the letter is ignored.

In addition to portraying children as victims of kidnapping, the ads, which launched last week in print and on billboards and kiosks throughout New York City, also contained several examples of inaccurate information about the disabilities it claimed to portray, referring to children with disabilities as detriments to themselves and those around them.

Therefore, ASAN has spearheaded a campaign with a broad coalition of disability rights organizations to send a joint letter to the N.Y.U Child Study Center expressing their discontent with the "Ransom Notes" advertisement. The ASAN also asks people with disabilities, their family members and others affected by disability to contact the N.Y.U. Child Study Center and the sponsors of the "Ransom Notes" campaigns.

"These ads are deeply destructive to individuals with disabilities, our families and our supporters," said Ari Ne'eman, President of the ASAN.

"As a person on the autism spectrum myself, I am deeply offended by how N.Y.U. chose to mischaracterize my disability and those of others in the disability community."

ASAN is a national, grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to increasing the representation of the autistic community in public policy and to increasing acceptance and support for people on the autism spectrum through changing public perceptions.

"There is a broad feeling of outrage about this sort of advertising," said Zosia Zaks, a 38-year old author on the autism spectrum and a volunteer coordinator for ASAN's letter-writing campaign. "I got involved because I feel that the disability community has to ensure that accurate, respectful information is provided to the public. We have to help families, but not by fear and shame."

Fourteen disability groups throughout North America have signed a letter calling on the N.Y.U. Child Study Center to withdraw its offensive advertising campaign. The letter, written by ASAN President Ari Ne'eman, tells the Child Study Center that, "By choosing to portray people on the autism spectrum as well as those living with OCD, ADHD and other disabilities as kidnapped or possessed children, you have inadvertently reinforced many of the worst stereotypes that have prevented children and adults with disabilities from gaining inclusion, equality and full access to the services and supports they require." The organizations listed as signatories to the joint letter are:
the Autistic Self Advocacy Network; ADAPT, the largest national grassroots activist organization of people with disabilities; TASH, a national organization of parents, self-advocates and professionals; the Autism Acceptance Project; Autism Network International; the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey; ADA Watch; the National Coalition for Disability Rights; Not Dead Yet; MOCEANS Center for Independent Living, the Alliance for Disabled in Action, Inc.; Next Step, Inc.; The Family Alliance to Stop Abuse and Neglect; the Asperger Association of New England and the Autism National Committee.

Sue Pniewsky, transition specialist with the MOCEANS Center for Independent Living said, "Children with disabilities deserve respect, understanding and acceptance, as do their "typical" peers, to reach their potential as full members of our community. Those providing services to children with disabilities must avoid outdated stereotypes and scare tactics in their relationships with the children, their families and the greater community."

Parents and professionals have also joined the campaign to protest the Center's offensive advertising. Kristina Chew, university professor and mother to a 10-year old boy on the autism spectrum said, "As a parent of an autistic child, I am deeply offended by this advertising.

Spreading fear and stigma only discourages families from seeking diagnosis. I hope that N.Y.U. pulls the campaign as soon as possible."

###

Celebrities listed as NYU Child Study Center supporters:
http://www.med.nyu.edu/communications/news/pr_141.html

Al Roker; Matt Lauer; Ann Curry; Stone Phillips; Campbell Brown; Diane Neal; B.D. Wong; Dylan Baker; Nathaniel Kahn, Oscar-nominated director of My Architect; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; The Honorable Jon S. Corzine; Dr. Ruth Westheimer; Brooke and Daniel Neidich; Arthur and Linda Carter; Alice and Thomas Tisch; Ann Tenenbaum and Tom Lee; Claude Wasserstein; Klara and Larry Silverstein; Patricia Warburg Cliff and Karl von Frieling; Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer, Bloomingdale's; Dr. Gail Saltz; Erica Jong and Kenneth Burrows; Martin Lipton; Ken and Elaine Langone; and Heather and Steven Mnuchin. Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. was the evening's corporate sponsor. Other supporters of this year's dinner include Beth Rudin DeWoody; Millard Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer, J. Crew & Co; Laura and Robert Sillerman; and Katherine and Jerry Speyer, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Tishman Speyer. Past honorees include: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton; Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Tipper Gore; Governor George E. Pataki; Whoopi Goldberg; Senator Jon S. Corzine and Joanne Corzine; Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D. Ph.D.; Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard University; and Leonard N. Stern.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Putin Agonistes: Missile Defense will not be Deployed

By Mike Whitney

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7659

Global Research, December 20, 2007

It's been a lot of hard work, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally achieved his goal. He's cleaned up the mess left behind by Yeltsin, put together a strong and thriving economy, and restored Russia to a place of honor among the community of nations. His legacy has already been written. He's the man who rebuilt Russia. The last thing he wants now, is a pointless confrontation with the United States. But how can it be avoided? He understands Washington's long-range plans for Russia and he is taking necessary steps to preempt them. He is familiar with the heavyweights of US foreign policy, like Zbigniew Brzezinski, and has undoubtedly read his master-plan for Central Asia, “The Grand Chessboard”. Brzezinski's recent article in Foreign Affairs, (A publication of the Council on Foreign Relations) “A Geostrategy for Eurasia” summarizes his views on America's future involvement in the region:

“America's emergence as the sole global superpower now makes an integrated and comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative.

Eurasia is home to most of the world's politically assertive and dynamic states. All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia. The world's most populous aspirants to regional hegemony, China and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential political or economic challengers to American primacy. ... Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world's population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's.

Eurasia is the world's axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia. What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and historical legacy.”

So, there it is. The US is moving into the neighborhood and has no intention of leaving. The war on terror is a fraud; it merely conceals the fact that Bush is sprinkling military bases throughout Central Asia and surrounding Russia in the process. Brzezinski sees this as a “strategic imperative”. It doesn't matter what Putin thinks. According to Brzezinski “NATO enlargement should move forward in deliberate stages” . The US must make sure “that no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel the United States or even diminish its decisive role”.

This isn't new. Putin has known for some time what Bush is up to and he's been as accommodating as possible. After all, his real passion is putting Russia back on its feet and improving the lives of its citizens. That will have to change now that Bush has decided to install a “Missile Defense” system in Eastern Europe. Putin will have to devote more time to blocking America's plans. The new system will upset the basic balance of power between the nuclear rivals and force Putin to raise the stakes. A confrontation is brewing whether Putin wants it or not. The system cannot be deployed. Period. Putin must now do whatever he is necessary to remove a direct threat to Russia's national security. That is the primary obligation of every leader and he will not shirk his responsibility.

Putin is an elusive character; neither boastful nor arrogant. It's clear now that western pundits mistook his reserved, quiet manner as a sign of superficiality or lack of resolve. They were wrong. They underestimated the former-KGB Colonel. Putin is bright and tenacious and he has a vision for his country. He sees Russia as a key player in the new century; an energy powerhouse that can control its own destiny. He doesn't plan to get bogged down in avoidable conflicts if possible. He's focused on development not war; plowshares not swords. He's also fiercely nationalistic; a Russian who puts Russia first.

But Putin is a realist and he knows that the US will not leave Eurasia without a fight. He's read the US National Security Strategy and he understands the ideological foundation for America's “unipolar” world model. The NSS is an unambiguous declaration of war against any nation that claims the right to to control its own resources or defend its own sovereignty against US interests. The NSS implies that nations' are required to open their markets to western multinationals and follow directives from Washington or accept a place on Bush's “enemies list”. There's no middle ground. You are with us or with the terrorists. The NSS also entitles the United States to unilaterally wage aggressive warfare against any state or group that is perceived to be a potential threat to Washington's imperial ambitions. These so-called “preemptive” wars are carried out under the rubric of the “war on terror” which provides the justification for torture, abduction, ethnic cleansing and massive civilian casualties.

US National Security Strategy articulates in black and white what many critics had been saying for years; the United States owns the world and everyone else is just a guest.

Putin knows that there's no way to reconcile this doctrine with his own aspirations for an independent Russia but, so far, a clash has been averted.

He also knows that Bush is flanked by a band of fanatics and militarists who plan to weaken Russia, install an American stooge (like Georgia and Afghanistan) and divide the country into four regions. This strategy is clearly presented in forward-planning documents that have been drawn up in Washington think tanks that chart the course for US world domination. Brzezinski is quite candid about this in his article in Foreign Affairs:

“Given (Russia's) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia's vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia -- composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic -- would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors. Each of the confederated entitles would be able to tap its local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow's heavy bureaucratic hand. In turn, a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski,“A Geostrategy for Eurasia”)

Partition is a common theme in imperial planning whether its called apartheid in Israel, federalizing in Iraq, “limited independence” in Kosovo, or “loose confederation” in Russia. It's all the same. Divide and rule; undermine nationalism by destroying the underlying culture and balkanizing the territory. This isn't new. What is amazing, is that Bush's plan is going forward despite 7 years of uninterrupted foreign policy failures. Hubris and self-delusion have a longer shelf-life than anyone could have imagined.

Putin is surrounded by ex-KGB hardliners who have warned him that America cannot be trusted. They have watched while the US has steadily moved into the former-Soviet satellites, pushed NATO to Russia's borders, and precipitated regime change via “color coded” revolutions. They point to Chechen war where US intelligence services trained Chechen insurgents through their ISI surrogates in Pakistan—teaching them how to conduct guerrilla operations in a critical region that provides Russia with access to the western shores of the resource-rich Caspian Basin.

Michel Chossudovsky has done some excellent research on this little-known period of Russian history. In his article “The Anglo-American Military Axis”, he says:

“U.S. covert support to the two main Chechen rebel groups (through Pakistan’s ISI) was known to the Russian government and military. However, it had previously never been made public or raised at the diplomatic level. In November 1999, the Russian Defense Minister, Igor Sergueyev, formally accused Washington of supporting the Chechen rebels. Following a meeting held behind closed doors with Russia’s military high command, Sergueyev declared that:

'The national interests of the United States require that the military conflict in the Caucasus [Chechnya] be a fire, provoked as a result of outside forces", while adding that "the West’s policy constitutes a challenge launched to Russia with the ultimate aim of weakening her international position and of excluding her from geo-strategic areas.'” In the wake of the 1999 Chechen war, a new "National Security Doctrine" was formulated and signed into law by Acting President Vladimir Putin, in early 2000. Barely acknowledged by the international media, a critical shift in East-West relations had occurred. The document reasserted the building of a strong Russian State, the concurrent growth of the Military, as well as the reintroduction of State controls over foreign capital....The document carefully spelled out what it described as " fundamental threats" to Russia’s national security and sovereignty. More specifically, it referred to "the strengthening of military-political blocs and alliances" [namely GUUAM], as well as to "NATO’s eastward expansion" while underscoring "the possible emergence of foreign military bases and major military presences in the immediate proximity of Russian borders." (Michel Chossudovsky, “The Anglo-American Military Axis”, Global Research)

That's right; there's been a low-grade secret war going on between Russia and the US for over a decade although it is rarely discussed in diplomatic circles. The war in Chechnya is probably less about “succession” and independence, than it is about foreign intervention and imperial overreach.

The same rule applies to the controversy surrounding Kosovo. The Bush administration and its EU clients are trying to fragment Serbia by supporting an initiative for Kosovo “limited independence”.

But why “limited”?

It's because Bush knows that the resolution has no chance of passing the UN Security Council, so the only way to circumvent international law is by issuing a unilateral edict that is promoted in the media as “independence”. By this same standard, Abraham Lincoln should have granted Jefferson Davis “limited independence” and avoided the Civil War altogether.

Author Irina Lebedeva reveals the real motives behind the administration's actions on Kosovo in her article “USA-Russia: Hitting the same Gate, or playing the same game?”

“The North Atlantic alliance (The US and its EU allies) documents indicate that the bloc aims at the “Balkanization” of the post-Soviet space by way of overtaking influence in the territories of the currently frozen conflicts and their follow-up internalization along the Yugoslavian lines are set down in black and white. For example, a special report titled “The New North Atlantic Strategy for the Black Sea Region”, prepared by the German Marshall Fund of the United States on the occasion of the NATO summit, already refers to Black Sea and South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) as a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland plagued by Soviet-legacy conflicts.” And the “region of frozen conflicts is evolving into a functional aggregate on the new border of an enlarging West.” Azerbaijan and Georgia in tandem, the report notes, provide a unique transit corridor for Caspian energy to Europe, as well as an irreplaceable corridor for American-led and NATO to bases and operation theatres in Central Asia and the Greater Middle East.”

Once again, divide and rule; this time writ large for an entire region that is being arbitrarily redrawn to meet the needs of mega-corporations that want to secure “transit corridors for Caspian energy to Europe”. The new Great Game. Brzezinski has called this area a critical “land-bridge” to Eurasia. Others refer to it as a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland”. Whatever one calls it; it is a good illustration of how bloodthirsty Washington mandarins carve up the world to suit their own geopolitical objectives.

Putin has seen enough and he's now moving swiftly to counter US incursions in the region. He's not going to wait until the neocon fantasists affix a bullseye to his back and take aim. In the last few weeks he has withdrawn Russia from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) and is threatening to redeploy his troops and heavy weaponry to Russia's western-most borders. The move does nothing to enhance Russian security, but it will arouse public concern in Europe and perhaps ignite a backlash against Bush's Missile Defense system.

Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Masorin also announced this week that Russia will move part of its fleet to Syrian ports where “it will maintain a permanent presence in the Mediterranean. Israeli leaders are in a panic over the announcement claiming that the move will disrupt their “electronic surveillance and air defense centers” thus threatening their national security. Putin intends to go ahead with the plan regardless. Dredging has already begun in the port of Tartus and a dock is being built in the Syrian port of Latakia.

Also, Russian officials are investigating the possibility of building military bases in Serbia and have been invited to discuss the issue with leaders in the Serbian Nationalist Radical Party (SRS) The prospective dialogue is clearly designed to dissuade the US from pursuing its present policy towards Kosovo. Russia also delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel to Iran this week which means that the controversial 1,000 watt nuclear plant at Bushehr could be fully operational within three months. Adding insult to injury, Iranian officials announced on Monday their plans to build a second plant in defiance of US orders to halt its nuclear activities.

Also, on Monday, “Russia test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile part of a system that can outperform any anti-missile system likely to be deployed” according to Reuters. “The missile was launched from the Tula nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.”

“The military hardware now on our weapons, and those that will appear in the next few years, will enable our missiles to outperform any anti-missile system, including future systems," Col.-Gen Nikolai Solovtsov was quoted as telling journalists.” (Reuters)

Bush's Missile Defense system has restarted the nuclear arms race. Welcome to the new Cold War.

Finally, Russia Chief of Staff, General Yuri Balyevsky warned:

“A possible launch of a US interceptor missile from Central Europe may provoke a counterattack from intercontinental ballistic missiles....If we suppose that Iran wants to strike the United States , then interceptor missiles which would be launched from Poland will fly towards Russia and the shape and flight trajectory are very similar to ICBMs” (Novosti Russian News Agency)

Balyevsky's scenario of an “accidental” World War 3 is more likely than ever now that Bush is pressing ahead with his plans for Missile Defense. Russia's automated missile warning systems can be triggered automatically when foreign missiles enter Russian air space. Its a dangerous game and potentially fatal every living thing on the planet.

To great extent, the American people have no idea of the reckless policy that is being carried out in their name. The gravity of the proposed Missile Defense system has been virtually ignored by the media and Russia's protests have been dismissed as trivial. But hostilities are steadily growing, military forces and weaponry are being put into place, and the stage is set for a major conflagration. This is every bit as serious as the Cuban Missile Crisis, only this time Russia cannot afford to stand down.

Putin will not allow the system to be deployed even if he has to remove it through force of arms. It is a direct threat to Russia's national security. We would expect no different from our own leaders.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

School Electroshocked students baced on prank call

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION
Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability
http://www.ahrp.org and http://ahrp.blogspot.com

FYI

The Boston Globe reports that a state investigative report has found that two special education students at the controversial Judge Rotenberg Educational Center were wrongfully delivered dozens of punishing electrical shocks in August based on a prank phone call from a former student posing as a supervisor.

School staffers contacted state authorities after they realized they had been tricked on Aug. 26 into delivering 77 shocks to one student and 29 shocks to another. Neither the "prankster's" name nor that of the staff member who administered the brutal punishment were named.

A system that allows brutalizers to be shielded ensures that abuse will continue.

Indeed, Massachusetts officials have tried twice to close the Rotenberg center because of its brutalizing "treatment" methods. The disabled "students" at the center are people with autism, mental retardation, and emotional problems.

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
veracare@ahrp.org
212-595-8974

http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2007/12/18/prank_led_scho ol_to_treat_two_with_shock/?loc=interstitialskip
THE BOSTON GLOBE
December 18, 2007
Prank led school to treat two with shock Special ed center duped, report says
By Patricia Wen

Two special education students at the controversial Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton were wrongfully delivered dozens of punishing electrical shocks in August based on a prank phone call from a former student posing as a supervisor, a state investigative report has found.

School staffers contacted state authorities after they realized they had been tricked on Aug. 26 into delivering 77 shocks to one student and 29 shocks to another, according to Cindy Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Department of Early Education and Care, which drafted the report. Both students were part of a Rotenberg-run group home in Stoughton for males under age 22.

The Judge Rotenberg center, which serves about 250 adults and children from across the country, has been under fire for more than two decades for its unorthodox behavior-modification treatments, including electric shock treatments. Its defenders say that the school takes in troubled students, some with self-damaging behavior, who have been rejected by other schools. The center, which Massachusetts officials have tried twice to close because of its treatment methods, focuses on serving people with autism, mental retardation, and emotional problems.

Ernest Corrigan, a spokesman for the Rotenberg center, said the school contacted law enforcement "within hours" after discovering the prank, and that such an incident has never before happened at the school. Corrigan said they have instituted new safeguards to prevent such occurrences. He also said that while the school regrets the incident, the two male students who received the wrongful shocks did not experience any serious physical harm and did not need medical treatment afterwards.

The shock devices, which are strapped to some students' arms, legs, or torsos, deliver two-second electric jolts to the skin. The devices are controlled remotely by teachers.

State officials said the identity of the prankster is known to law enforcement authorities, but they would not release his name publicly and he has not been arrested. The identity of the staffer who was fooled into administering the shocks has also not been released. State officials indicated that some disciplinary action took place, though they would not specify what it was.

According to records from the Disabled Persons Protections Commission hotline phone log, there are repeated complaints about the incident. One entry said "the caller claimed that the shocks were approved, however, they were not."

Based on the prankster's call, one of the students was also wrongfully placed in four-point restraints, limiting mobility of all four limbs.

Critics of the Rotenberg school say the case shows that school officials have failed to live up to their public promises to deliver electric shocks only sparingly and with great oversight. "This shows a systemic breakdown at the center," said Leo Sarkissian, executive director of ARC of Massachusetts, which represents people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. "It only takes a phone call to instigate shocks to this degree."

Top officials in New York and Washington, D.C., where many of the center's students originate, have called for a stop to the controversial shock treatments at the school. Yesterday, in a prepared statement, state Senator Brian Joyce called on officials to more strictly limit and regulate the use of shock therapy in the state.

"This incident is horrifying and it would be immoral for the Legislature and the Executive branch not to react strongly and swiftly," Joyce said.

Corrigan, the spokesman for the center, said he is confident the August case will not be repeated, and he hopes this episode "will not be used to overshadow the good work that we do for those who have no where else to go."

Patricia Wen can be reached at wen@globe.com.

C Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

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