January 26, 2006

Received 'TOS' violation notice from Yahoo!

Ok, get a load of this, I received a "Terms of Service" violation notice from Yahoo! today. I have never received one before from them. Here is their letter:

Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 11:51:03 -0800 (PST)
From: "Yahoo!"
To: killtown@yahoo.com
Subject: Yahoo! Administrative Notice

Dear Yahoo! account holder:

By creating and using your Yahoo! account, you agree to abide by
Yahoo!'s Terms of Service (TOS). Pursuant to the TOS, Yahoo! reserves
the right to terminate your account or otherwise prohibit use of your
account in the event that, among other things, Yahoo! believes that you
have violated or acted inconsistently with the letter or spirit of the

It has come to our attention that you may have violated the TOS.
Please reread the TOS and cease any use of your account that may
violate the TOS.

If your use of your Yahoo! account is brought to our attention again,
and we believe that such use violates the TOS, then we may terminate
your account without further notice.

Please do not reply to this email. Any questions concerning Yahoo!'s
Services should be submitted through the on-line form in the help area
( http://help.yahoo.com ).



Is it any coincidence that Yahoo! sends this violation notice to me for the very first time on the eve of this:

This PSA has been approved by Killtown.
Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:08 am [EST]

Keep your eyes on Killtown. He's got something really good, hopefully to be unleashed on the public Friday night or Saturday. You're gonna love it.

LC2E - http://www.loosechange911.com Blog

Yes, I was talking to my good friend Dylan Avery, of the phenomenal Loose Change 9/11 documentaries, last night telling him about some "explosive" news I'm about to post up soon and all of a sudden I receive a TOS violation notice from Yahoo! threatening to TERMINATE my Killtown account at Yahoo!. I sent them a letter asking which of their terms I violated, so I can correct it.

Keep your fingers crossed for me because this might be the end of my geocities homepage that I never had a problem with before. If the worst comes, I will use this blog site as my new homepage.

Peace out and hope for the best.


When I was talking to Dylan last night, we started text messaging via Yahoo! Messenger. We tried to call each other through it, but the calls wouldn't go through which is not unusual with Yahoo's IM service. I told Dylan to download Skype and we were able to call each other through that program, not Yahoo! Messenger.

If the TOS violation noticed I received today from Yahoo! is not just a bizarre coincidence, I'm not necessarily implying that anybody at Yahoo! is behind sending me this notice. Anybody can report abuse to Yahoo! about websites hosted on GeoCities such as mine.

(Also, maybe this notice was sent because of my previous post???)

January 25, 2006

9/11: Pretext for Oil, or Jesus?

(Updated: 02/01/06)

The other week I was at a bar having a couple of drinks and talking about foreign policy with a fellow patron. I was giving him my shpeal about why the U.S. should stay out of all foreign squabbles and adopt a policy of non-intervention. This person thought that the U.S. should intervene in some situations, especially humanitarian crisis or to "liberate a country."

After a while of pounding down a few beers and debating back and forth, I was thrilled that I had seemed to be making some headway when this person started agreeing with me that, although it's a noble idea for our government to liberate another country or help in a humanitarian cause, the U.S. has historically been hypocritical in getting involved in some countries to "liberate it's people," yet totally ignoring other countries that are going through a severe humanitarian crisis.

Then he said something that startled me. He said that, even though he agrees that the U.S. has been hypocritical in its foreign policy stance, "as a Christian" he believes that the U.S. should "support Israel at all cost." I was very curious to know why he thought this and then proceeded cautiously into asking him. He said that the Bible says that Israel must be given back to the Jews, and Christians need to help defend Israel (or something like that).

Upon hearing this, it immediately reminded me about this anonymous e-mail I once received a while ago (hyperlinks are mine):

The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ

We went to war with Iraq because of the administrations devout religious beliefs. Devout Christians believe that God cannot establish His Son in Israel as King of the Jews unless the Jews are living in Palestine, their promised homeland, so it is God's plan to restore the Jews to Palestine before the Second Coming of Christ. Their belief in God influences the decisions and policies within the Middle East and specifically the war with Iraq; based on what the Bible has to say about The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ?

"But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." (Jeremiah 16:15)

"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." (Amos 9:14-15)

This question will never be asked or even addressed, because it would ignite a true religious war between Christians and Muslims. I believe the war in Iraq was not about terrorism, oil, U.S. interests, or the crimes Saddam Hussein has committed against his people. It is clear that today’s administration is driven by Religion and Faith.

When the current administration talks about being “visionary”, they are talking about supporting Israel and the Jews so that the prophecy of “The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ” can be fulfilled. All the main players in the Iraq War have Religious interests at stake.

Fact: George Bush is a Born-Again Christian.

Fact: Condoleezza Rice is a devout Christian that puts her faith in God.

Fact: Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; being Jewish, must support Israel.

Fact: Tony Blair is a devout Christian.

Fact: Saddam Hussein and his sons fully supported the Palestinians.

Fact: In the first Gulf War, the majority of missiles were directed at Israel.

Fact: In the year 2010 the Palestinians will out number the Jews within Israel. When that happens, the Palestinians will demand one man one vote. If they were allowed one man one vote, then the Jews would no longer rule Israel.

Fact: “Israel's demographic time bomb” Professor Sofer testified that unless the demographic problem is solved, "our country is finished in 17 years, and there will be a collapse. Saddam and his sons would have supported and fought (with WMD if they had them by then) for the Palestinians right to one man one vote and the international community would also have to support the one man one vote of the Palestinians. In the end, the Jews would no longer control Israel.

If the Jews no longer control Israel, then the prophecy of “The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ” can NOT be fulfilled according to the Bible and Koran.

Could it be that the real reason that elements of the Bush administration and Israel concocted 9/11 was not so much as a pretext for their "War on Terrorism" to control middle east oil, but to help make way for the second coming of Christ?

Before you scoff at this notion and you don't think the person who wrote the anonymous email knows what the hell they are talking about, just look at what some Christians think must happen before the "second coming" comes (hyperlinks are mine):

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

by James L. Melton (1995)

One only has to read a newspaper or listen to a newscast in order to see Bible prophecy being fulfilled. There have been more prophecies fulfilled in the twentieth century than in any other time in church history. We believe there is a great reason for this. We believe that the time is rapidly approaching for the Lord Jesus Christ to return to this earth and take the kingdoms of this world for Himself.

The Coming Righteous Kingdom

The main theme of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the main subject is the Kingdom that His Father has promised Him. There are many Bible prophecies that speak of this coming King and Kingdom.

Such Old Testament verses as these state very clearly that God intends to set the Lord Jesus Christ up as King over the earth. There have been many kings to rise and fall throughout history, but God has in mind a PERFECT King for His promised Kingdom.

During the actual ministry of Christ, He preached mostly to His people, the Jews (Mat. 10:5-6; 15:24), because Israel is the one nation that God chose long ago to be a shining light to this lost and dying world. In Isaiah 62:1 God says, "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." God will not rest until His chosen nation is established in the earth as a BURNING LAMP (Gen. 15:17) to this lost and dying world. Starting with Abraham in Genesis chapter twelve, God begins to focus on ONE CHOSEN PEOPLE to bring forth His King for the coming Kingdom. All of the promises that God made to Abraham and his descendants are still in effect today, and they will soon reach their fulfillment, for the Kingdom WILL come.

Someone says, "If the Jews won't receive their King, then how can God restore the Kingdom? Doesn't this put God in some sort of a jam?" No, God has a master plan. He knows exactly what He will do. In Hebrews 8:8-10, we read some interesting words quoted from Jeremiah chapter 31: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"

The Restoration of Israel

God cannot establish His Son in Israel as King of the Jews unless the Jews are living in Palestine, their promised homeland, so it is God's plan to restore the Jews to Palestine before the Second Coming of Christ:

"But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." (Jer. 16:15)

"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." (Amos 9:14-15)

Because Israel rejected Christ, God allowed the Romans to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and the Jews were dispersed among the Gentile nations of the world. Since then they have wondered from nation to nation suffering bitter persecution. However, in the late 1800's a remarkable thing started happening. In large numbers, the Jews began returning to Palestine, and in 1887 they made formal statements that they intended to REPOSSESS THEIR HOMELAND!

When World War I began in 1914, there were 80,000 Jews living in Palestine. England's Balfour Declaration of 1917 gave strong approval for the Jews to establish a national homeland, but England reneged due to Arab pressure. Nevertheless, 400,000 Jews had settled in the homeland by 1939.

Satan saw what was happening. He knew that the Lord was regathering the Jews for a reason, and he knew the reason: the Second Coming of Christ. So Satan raised up Adolph Hitler to murder six million of God's chosen people as an outright act of hate and revenge. This massive slaughter created enough sympathy for the Jews that the United Nations granted 5000 square miles of Palestinian land to them after World War II. Then in 1948 Israel became an independent nation for the first time in many centuries! The Arabs have fought viciously to destroy Israel, but with no success. God wants His people IN PALESTINE (Amos 9:14-15), because the Lord Jesus Christ is coming very soon. During the Six Day War of 1967, Israel even gained possession of the ancient temple sight, and plans are currently underway to rebuild the temple.

Jesus likens Israel unto a "fig tree" in Matthew 24:32-34, and He likens the restoration of Israel unto a fig tree putting forth leaves. He said that He would return during the same generation which witnesses Israel putting forth leaves as a nation. We are living in that generation! There are some four million Jews living in Palestine today. We have seen the Jews return to Palestine, and we have seen the nation of Israel prosper. Friend, there's a reason for all of this: the Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon!

The Great Tribulation

It will be during this short time period that the wicked Antichrist will rise to power and dictate the world. He will have nearly everyone deceived into believing that he is the answer to their many troubles (Rev. 13:3). Those who reject the truth today will fall for his lies in the Tribulation, because God will send them "strong delusion," causing them to believe a lie (2 Ths. 2:11-12). The Antichrist will have supernatural powers and great charisma. People will gladly follow after him (Rev. 13:5, 13-14; 2 Ths. 2:7-10).

The Soviet Union will continue with their "democratic reform," and the European Communities will also be unified with their "United States in Europe" as they've dreamed of for so long (Rev. 17:12-13). The world will think that universal peace has been achieved. The Antichrist will head up the "New World Order" that so many are talking about today. He will even confirm a seven year peace treaty with the nation of Israel (Dan. 9:27). Everyone will think that peace and safety has arrived at last, but the Bible says, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1 Ths. 5:3) Satan, the "god of this world" is leading this world into a trap that will damn billions to Hell forever (Rev. 12:9).

The Millennial Reign

This will be the great "golden age" which the ancient philosophers only dreamed about. This will be GOD'S New World Order, rather than man's. This will be a time of world peace, for the Prince of Peace will be ruling the world in righteousness (Isa. 9:6; Luk. 1:32; Isa. 2:2-4).

The so-called "lost tribes" of Israel will be fully restored to their proper land divisions (Ezk. 36-48). Jerusalem will be the capital city of the world (Jer. 3:17; Mic. 4:8), and the violent acts of Arab terrorism will not be tolerated.

And if that article isn't "mainstream" enough, then here:

Zion's Christian Soldiers

"This week, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told President Bush that he would start to dismantle some illegal Jewish settlements on the West Bank as part of an agreement with the new Palestinian Prime Minister.

That news has already alarmed those Jewish settlers -- and ultra-Zionist Israelis who believe that the Jewish State should control all of the Biblical Jewish homeland.

But they're not the only group that feels that way. So do Fundamentalist Christian Evangelicals who make up the largest single religious grouping in the United States. Correspondent Bob Simon first reported this story on October 6, 2002.

What's the number one item on the agenda of the Christian Right? Abortion? School Prayer? No and No. Believe it or not, what's most important to a lot of conservative Christians is the Jewish State. Israel: Its size, its strength, and its survival. Why?

There is the alliance between America and Israel in the war on Islamic terror. But it goes deeper. For Christians who interpret the bible in a literal fashion, Israel has a crucial role to play in bringing on the Second Coming of Christ.

American Christian Zionists say they are now a more important source of support for Israel than American Jews or the traditional Jewish lobby.

“It is my belief that the Bible Belt in America is Israel’s only safety belt right now,” says Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of the leaders of the Christian Right. That’s the bulk of Evangelical Christians; Falwell claims to speak for all of them.

“There are 70 million of us,” he says. “And if there’s one thing that brings us together quickly it’s whenever we begin to detect our government becoming a little anti-Israel.”

Falwell began to detect just that in April 2002 when President Bush called on Israel to withdraw its tanks from Palestinian towns on the West Bank. So Falwell shot off a letter of protest to the White House, which was followed by a hundred thousand e-mails from Christian conservatives. Israel did not move its tanks. Mr. Bush did not ask again.

“There’s nothing that would bring the wrath of the Christian public in this country down on this government like abandoning or opposing Israel in a critical matter,” Falwell says. The “Christian public” is, he says, Mr. Bush’s core constituency.

What propels them? Why do they love Israel so much? The return of the Jews to their ancient homeland is seen by Evengelicals as a precondition for the Second Coming of Christ. Therefore, when the Jewish state was created in 1948 they saw it as a sign.

Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 also deepened their excitement and heightened their anticipation. And today’s war between Jews and Arabs was also prophesied, they say. They’ve seen it all before – in the pages of the Bible.

“The Bible does not contain the word of God,” says Ed McAteer. “Listen to me closely. The Bible is the word of God.” McAteer is known as the Godfather of the Christian Right. He’s a former Colgate marketing executive from Memphis, and a founder of the Moral Majority.

McAteer believes that the current situation is the beginning of the final battle. “I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully and, without exaggerating, makes me breathless.”

However, the plot is ripped from the pages of the Bible, so it all winds up here in Israel where, according to the Book of Revelations, the final battle in the history of the future will be fought on an ancient battlefield in northern Israel called Armageddon. It will follow seven years of tribulation during which the earth will be shaken by such disasters that previous human history will seem like a day in the country. The blood will rise as high as a horse’s bridle at Armageddon, before Christ triumphs to begin his 1,000-year rule.

And the Jews? Well, two-thirds of them will have been wiped out by now. But the survivors will accept Jesus at last.

“The Jews die or convert. As a Jew, I can’t feel very comfortable with the affections of somebody who looks forward to that scenario,” says Gershom Gorenberg, who knows that scenario well.

Gorenberg is the author of the “End of Days,” a book about those Christian evangelicals who choose to read the Bible literally. “They don’t love real Jewish people. They love us as characters in their story, in their play, and that’s not who we are, and we never auditioned for that part, and the play is not one that ends up good for us.”

“If you listen to the drama they’re describing, essentially it’s a five-act play in which the Jews disappear in the fourth act.”

“The Jews need conversion,” says Kay Arthur. “They need to know that the Messiah is coming. And the Bible tells us what’s going to happen.” Arthur heads an organization called Precept Ministries in Chattanooga, Tenn. She brings thousands of pilgrims to the Holy Land.

The Christian fundamentalists believe the only Israelis who are really listening to God are the hard line Jewish settlers who live on the West Bank and Gaza and refuse to move.

They believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people. “Every grain of sand, every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, and, and the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the Jews,” says McAteer. This includes the West Bank and Gaza.

What about the three million Palestinians who live on the West Bank and Gaza? McAteer suggests the bulk of them could be cleansed from this God-given real estate and moved to some Arab country. Nothing can come between the Jews and their land.

In fact, many fundamentalists believe that when Prime Minister Rabin signed the Oslo accords and offered to trade land for peace, it was not only a mistake, it was a sin.

They were going against the word of God. You cannot go against the word of God. And I believe that God stopped it ... by the things that happened.” says Arthur. She hints that God punished Rabin by assassinating him. “I think that God did not want that Oslo Accord to go through.”

“God save us from these people,” says political analyst Yossi Alfer, who served 12 years in Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad. Later, he became Israel Director of the American Jewish Committee.

Says Alfer: “When you see what these people are encouraging Israel and the U.S. Administration to do that is, ignore the Palestinians, if not worse, if not kick them out, expand the settlements to the greatest extent possible, they are leading us into a scenario of out and out disaster.”

But many American Jewish leaders who used to shun support from the Christian Right have changed their minds. Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, accepts their support.

“On this specific issue on this day we come together. And what is the issue? The issue is fighting terrorism,” Foxman says.

That is precisely what the Bush Administration and the Israeli Government have been saying since September 11, that they are allies in the war on terror. But the Christian Fundamentalists go further. They say it is not just an alliance between nations but between religions.

“A lot of Muslims feel these days that Christians and Jews are getting together and ganging up on them,” Simon said to Falwell.

“That’s true. I’m sorry, that’s true. I hope it will cease to be so. But I think that is the fact right now,” says Falwell.

Falwell believes most Muslims want to live in peace but, he says, the lines have been drawn. Christians and Jews are on one side, Muslims on the other and, he says, those lines were drawn more than a thousand years ago.

“You wrote an approving piece recently about a book called ‘Unveiling Islam,’” says Simon to Falwell. “And you, the authors of that book wrote, ‘The Muslim who commits acts of violence in jihad does so with the approval of Mohammed.’ Do you believe that?"

“I do,” says Fallwell. “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life, written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war.”

“So, in the same way that Moses provided the ultimate example for the Jews and same way that Jesus provided the ultimate example for Christians, Mohammed provided the ultimate example for Muslims and he was a terrorist,” asks Simon.

“In my opinion,” says Fallwell. “And I do believe that - Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses. And I think that Mohammed set an opposite example.”

What frightens Alfer is that he hears much of Falwell’s world view reflected in the words of the Bush Administration.

“When we hear expressions like “the evil ones,” this kind of black and white view of good guys, the bad guys,” says Alfer.

But as long as Jews are the good guys in this representation, this is good for the Jews, isn’t it?

“It’s not good for the Jews. It’s not good for the Jews," says Alfer. We have to get God out of this conflict if we’re going to have any chance to survive as a healthy, secure Jewish state." - CBS (06/08/03)

And do you remember what Bush did not too long ago?

Bush endorses Sharon plan

"US President George W Bush has backed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "disengagement plan" with some significant shifts in Washington's policy in Israel's favour, although he has tried to allay some Palestinian fears.

Mr Bush has welcomed the essence of the Sharon plan which intends to pull out of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.

(Photo Source)

Mr Bush also went further than any previous US president in recognising Israel's settlements in the West Bank and countering the claim that millions of Palestinian refugees have the right of return to their homes in what is now Israel.

Because of "new realties on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centres", the president said a full withdrawal from land captured by Israeli in 1967 was now "unrealistic".

Past US administrations have said Israeli settlement activity which led to establishing these population centres - illegal under international law - was incompatible with peacemaking.

As for the Palestinian refugees, Mr Bush said a "just, fair and realistic" way to end their five decades in exile was for them to settle in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel.

These positions pre-empt the international peace plan known as the roadmap, which stipulates negotiations to decide all the so-called final status issues - refugees and settlements, as well as permanent borders and the status of Jerusalem.

Palestinians are reeling from Mr Bush's denials of their strongly-held negotiating positions - complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, the illegality of settlements and right of return of refugees under UN resolution 194.

He also spoke at length in support of Palestinian aspirations to gain statehood, calling for "a viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent" state.

But he did not address Mr Sharon's recent assertion that "in the unilateral plan, there is no Palestinian state".

All this will do little to mitigate the fact that President Bush has endorsed a plan which if implemented effectively settles all of Israel's issues, and hardly any of the Palestinians', without the need for further negotiations.

What happens if the disengagement plan is implemented?

Gaza would become a single Palestinian entity, but without controlling its own land or sea borders or airspace.

Palestinians in the West Bank might be enclosed in several cantons divided by the six settlement blocs that Mr Sharon has said he will hold onto.

Hebron might remain a serious flashpoint, with three Jewish settlements in the heart of the southern West Bank's largest Palestinian town.

The status of Jerusalem would be almost impossible for Palestinians to put back on the negotiating agenda as the city would be separated from the West Bank on three sides by the Givat Zeev, Gush Etzion and Maale Adumim settlements." - BBC (04/15/04)

By Endorsing Ariel Sharon’s Plan George Bush Has Legitimized Terrorism

What better recruiting sergeant could Bin Laden have than the President of the United States?

So President George Bush tears up the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and that's okay. Israeli settlements for Jews and Jews only on the West Bank. That's okay. Taking land from Palestinians who have owned that land for generations, that's okay. UN Security Council Resolution 242 says that land cannot be acquired by war. Forget it. That's okay.

Does President George Bush actually work for al-Qa'ida? What does this mean? That George Bush cares more about his re-election than he does about the Middle East? Or that George Bush is more frightened of the Israeli lobby than he is of his own electorate. Fear not, it is the latter.

Heaven spare us all. Give up the puny illegal Jewish settlements in Gaza and everything's okay: the theft of land by colonial settlers, the denial of any right of return to Israel by those Palestinians who lived there, that's okay. Mr Bush, who claimed he changed the Middle East by invading Iraq, says he is now changing the world by invading Iraq! Okay! Is there no one to cry "Stop! Enough!"?

Vast areas of the Palestinian West Bank will now become Israel, courtesy of President Bush. Land which belongs to people other than Israelis must now be stolen by Israelis because it is "unrealistic" to accept otherwise. Is Mr Bush a thief? Is he a criminal? Can he be charged with abetting a criminal act? Can Iraq now claim to Kuwait that it is "unrealistic" that the Ottoman borders can be changed? Palestinian land once included all of what is now Israel. It is not, apparently, "realistic" to change this, even to two per cent?

What Bush has actually done is give way to the crazed world of Christian Zionism. The fundamentalist Christians who support Israel's theft of the West Bank on the grounds that the state of Israel must exist there according to God's law until the second coming, believe that Jesus will return to earth and the Israelis - for this is the Bush "Christian Sundie" belief - will then have to convert to Christianity or die in the battle of Armageddon.

I kid thee not. This is the Christian fundamentalist belief, which even the Israeli embassy in Washington go along with - without comment, of course - in their weekly Christian Zionist prayer meetings. Every claim by Osama bin Laden, every statement that the United States represents Zionism and supports the theft of Arab lands will now have been proved true to millions of Arabs, even those who had no time for Bin Laden. What better recruiting sergeant could Bin Laden have than George Bush. Doesn't he realize what this means for young American soldiers in Iraq or are Israelis more important than American lives in Mesopotamia?
- Independent U.K. (04/16/04)

I don't know if one of the main goals of 9/11 was to "clear the way" for the "Second Coming," but just remember what one Former Prime Minister of Israel said about 9/11:

"Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, "It's very good." - New York Times (09/12/01)

See also:

January 23, 2006

What are the odds?

Is it me, or do you find this very odd too:

North WTC Tower

South WTC Tower

What are the odds that the two Boeing 767's that were said to have crashed into the Twin Towers crashed at practically the same angle?

Flight 11 and Flight 175 said to have crashed into the buildings at 470 and 590 mph respectively.

PS - the "plane" the crashed into the Pentagon tilted to the left too.

Source of pics: gallerize.com

January 10, 2006

Ground Zero - Quick Facts

(partial list)

Initial estimate for clean-up:
$2 billion

Actual cost of clean-up:
$650 million

Final cost to build the Twin Towers in 1972:
about $1 billion

Agency in charge of recovery and clean up:
NYC Department of Design and Construction

Weight of each tower:
600,000 tons

Number of construction firms assigned to clean-up:

Number of buildings completely destroyed:

Number of people killed in the attack at the WTC:

Percent of victims who have been identified:

Number of firemen killed in the attack:

Number of New York Police Officers killed in the attack:

Number of workers who died during the construction of the World Trade Center:

Type of plane that hit the Twin Towers:
Boeing 767, 137 tons

Source: America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero - Quick Facts

January 02, 2006

Real Reason WTC was Targeted

"Though this may be hard for some to believe, especially in these sentimental times, the so-called Twin Towers at the World Trade Center were hated by many New Yorkers, who before September 11, 2001 would have been happy if the goddamned things had never been built and after September 11th are glad that they're gone.
Built for an enormous amount of money between 1966 and 1970 by the Port Authority of the State of New York...the Twin Towers were always money-losers as rental properties and required huge subsidies (tens of millions of dollars a year) from the State of New York to remain solvent. Because all of the windows in both towers were sealed up tight...the WTC complex was ludicrously costly to heat and light. Furthermore, visiting business men and women weren't satisfied to remain within the WTC's purportedly self-sufficient universe, and wished to venture (and shop and do business) outside of it. In the 1980s, advances in information and telecommunication technologies decentralized the financial markets, which in turn "rolled back" the necessity for foreign institutions to be in close physical proximity to each other, Wall Street and the rest of lower Manhattan, which is precisely what the gigantic size and centralized location of the Twin Towers were intended to provide.
In New York City, obsolete buildings are infrequently saved, whatever their historical or architectural interest. Most often, they are simply torn down and replaced. The only thing that saved the Twin Towers from demolition was the fact that they were filled with asbestos, which would be released into the air if the buildings were destroyed by controlled explosions. In 2000, the Port Authority calculated that it would cost $1 billion -- i.e., much more money than the Port Authority could afford to
spend -- to remove the asbestos before the buildings were destroyed. And so the Port Authority was stuck with the Twin Towers, that is, until 26 April 2001, when it found a consortium of business interests (Westfield America, led by Larry Silverstein, the owner of the building at 7 World Trade Center) that was willing to lease the property. Supposed to last for 99 years, the $3.2 billion lease mandated that the Port Authority continue to pay taxes on the property. "This is a dream come true," Silverstein said at the 23 July 2001 celebration of the lease's signing. "We will be in control of a prized asset, and we will seek to develop its potential, raising it to new heights."
And so, quite paradoxically, the mass-murdering hijackers who destroyed the Twin Towers by flying fully fueled passenger airplanes into them did Westfield America an immense favor. Even though Westfield America would obviously have preferred that both the planes and the buildings were unoccupied (save for the hijackers themselves) at the time that the former were used to destroy the latter, the terrorists got rid of the towers quickly, efficiently -- the towers fell down instead of over -- and in such a way that Westfield America didn't have to pay for any of it*, including the asbestos, which was "removed" from the site by the wind, the rain and the search-and-rescue teams employed by the City of New York in the months after the buildings exploded, collapsed and gave off thick clouds of toxic dust." - New York Psychogeographical Association/Not Bored (11/30/01)

*FEMA Releases Additional $57 Million For Debris Removal
"The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that the agency is releasing an additional $57 million to assist New York City in debris removal at the World Trade Center site. This brings the total amount to date FEMA has provided for public assistance to more than $339 million.
FEMA public assistance funds are being used to help the city repair damaged infrastructure, restore critical services, cover costs associated with immediate response activities, and the removal, transport and sorting of debris." - FEMA (11/09/01)

Why The World Trade Center Shouldn’t Be Rebuilt As Before
...in your article supporting the rebuilding of the World Trade Center as it was before, you overlook a dirty little secret about the towers that we New Yorkers, mindful of the world’s sympathies, have managed to keep: Almost everyone hated them.
I realize that the WTC has become a symbol of everything good about America that those bastards were out to destroy. But lest anyone be puzzled about why we almost certainly aren’t going to rebuild the WTC the way it was, let’s recall the reasons why on September 10, 2001, no one would have been terribly upset if it had been peacefully replaced by something else:
It was ugly. It may have made a great exclamation point on the skyline for tourists to look at, particularly after the neighboring World Financial Center was designed specifically to make it fit in better with the rest of Lower Manhattan, but approaching it on foot from the street, it was ugly. Most people don’t realize that those two towers were surrounded by a cluster of ugly brown metal buildings less than ten stories high. These were what you saw close-up on ground level. The towers themselves weren’t particularly attractive from the ground, just vertiginous and a little intimidating. They had banal and unimpressive entrances. And the effect on the skyline is debatable: when WTC went up, its square bulk overshadowed the marvelous old ornamented and needle-tipped towers that you can see in old photographs, like 40 Wall Street, the Cities Service building, and the National City building. And it wasn’t much better on the inside: it had narrow recessed windows you couldn’t see out of, resulting in mediocre views. Its lobbies and public spaces were decorated in a kind of high-‘70s pseudo-glamorous kitsch, with white marble, giant chandeliers, and chrome plating everywhere. It was a boondoggle. When I hear people refer to it as a "symbol of capitalism," I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was not built by a private developer, but by government, in the form of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, our local bi-state agency that’s supposed to manage local transportation facilities. Of course, in the ‘60s, when this thing was conceived, they had gotten bored of doing such things and had branched into real-estate development while letting the transportation facilities crumble. It was built as a result of a corrupt deal between liberal Republican governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York and the state of New Jersey, in exchange for the Port Authority’s taking over the money-losing Hudson & Manhattan Railroad. Its other purpose, no better, was to prop up real estate values in Lower Manhattan, an act of absolutely no benefit to the public and geared solely to enriching local property owners at taxpayers’ expense. It wasn’t even effective; development in Lower Manhattan has continued to lag, despite huge subsidies. WTC was a monument to big government, corporatism, incompetence, and megalomania. It lost money. Because it was built in blissful disregard of the collapsing office market in Lower Manhattan, they couldn’t rent all of it when it opened. More than a million square feet of space just sat there, empty. The complex would have gone bankrupt if strings hadn’t been pulled to move state agencies into it. Under reasonable accounting assumptions and leaving out government subsidies of one kind or another, (such as the entire thing’s exemption from local taxes due to its being owned by a government agency) it was a financial disaster, partly because its cost overran estimates by more than 100%. And it never had more than 5% of its tenants in "world trade" related businesses, its intended market. It wrecked the street grid of Lower Manhattan. WTC replaced all that with a vast superblock like something from Brasilia, which disrupted traffic flow and made New York’s notorious traffic jams even worse.
It was shabbily constructed. The inadequate fireproofing that has been reported is just the tip of the iceberg. It is no accident that tower #7, which was actually further from the impact, collapsed, while the older New York Telephone building next door did not. It didn’t have enough fire stairs. The elevator shafts were enclosed in no more than sheetrock in many places, helping the fire to spread. It was a pain to do business in, because it took twice as long to get in and out of as any other skyscraper in New York. Due to that huge plaza, you couldn’t take a cab up to the door, but had to slog through rain, snow, or sweltering heat just to get to the front door. Then you had to take not one but two elevators to get wherever you were going: a bizarre combination of a "local" and an "express" elevator that I’ve never seen in any other building. It was so tall your eardrums hurt if you didn’t continually swallow on the way up. At street level, it was surrounded by a huge concrete plaza that was alternately sweltering (as it was completely unshaded by so much as a sapling) in summer and windswept (due to the vortex effect of the towers) in winter. The rest of the time, it was an open-air zoo of homeless people. The American Institute of Architects Guide to New York City rightly records that the shopping mall underneath it "drains the plaza of any meaningful activity." This mall, which brought the sophistication of Paramus, NJ to the world’s greatest city, killed the retail life of the streets of Lower Manhattan by siphoning off purchasing power. Pigeons got more out of it than people did. To build it, they had to demolish the old Electronics District of New York, destroying thousands of jobs and a good number of homes. It diverted billions in public investment from New York’s real infrastructure needs like the subways and the airports. It failed to provide easy connections between the different subway lines that ran beneath it. It was energy-inefficient. Its windows were untinted glass, leading to huge solar heat gain. It was built with inefficient pre-oil shock technology throughout.
It is no accident that when WTC was in effect expanded by the construction of the World Financial Center next door in the ‘80s, just about every design principle was reversed:
Sick irony or no, al Qaeda has given New York a chance to correct one of its great urban-planning mistakes. If they had blown up our wretched Penn Station, we would not be demanding that it be rebuilt as it was. It would be a pity to waste this opportunity rebuilding something that we know, in our heart of hearts, was a mistake top begin with.
Note: Here’s what New York’s premier architectural critic at the time, Ada Louise Huxtable, had to say about the World Trade Center when it opened:
"The towers are pure technology, the lobbies are pure schmaltz, and the impact on New York... is pure speculation. In spite of their size, the towers emphasize an almost miniature module... The module is so small, and the 22-inch wide windows so narrow, that one of the miraculous benefits of the tall building, the panoramic view out, is destroyed... These are big buildings but they are not great architecture. The grill-like metal facade stripes are curiously without scale... The Port Authority has built the ultimate Disneyland fairytale blockbuster. It is General Motors Gothic." (excerpted from Stern, Mellins & Fishman, New York 1960.)" - Front Page Magazine (06/11/02)

New York's most disliked building?
"The World Trade Center represented the essence of American financial power, but critics hated the towers and the public never embraced them.
The towers were acknowledged as a wonder of modern engineering, yet were riddled with quirks, like the way pencils rolled off desktops on the top floors when the wind began to gust. Real estate developers in the '60s and '70s derided the World Trade Center as government-sponsored folly. Yet this past summer the twin towers morphed into the most valuable piece of privately run real estate in New York.
And while the twin towers were embraced worldwide as the symbol of New York's grandeur and prowess, locals, not to mention merciless critics, were cool to the sprawling complex, if not outright contemptuous of the "dreary" creation.
"Even though New Yorkers didn't necessarily love the buildings, they will be remembered with such pain," says Carol Willis, founding director of New York's Skyscraper Museum."
In the 1950s David Rockefeller, co-chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, had recently opened up headquarters downtown and wanted to stimulate the surrounding real estate market. Concerned that most businesses flocked to midtown, and even financial professionals deserted downtown after work, Rockefeller envisioned a world-class complex that would be the center of international trade.
With his brother Nelson serving as New York's governor, Rockefeller lined up support from the bi-state, New York/New Jersey Port Authority agency. A wealthy, quasi-public commission (voting members are appointed by each state's governor), the Port Authority was created at the turn of last century and given "full power and authority to purchase, construct, lease and operate terminal, transportation and other facilities of commerce."
For the most part, that meant operating Hudson River crossings as well as Newark's airport. But at the urging of the Rockefeller brothers, the Port Authority agreed to build the World Trade Center. In the 1970s, critics suggested the towers No. 1 and No. 2 be called by their true names, David and Nelson.
Midtown's real estate developers adamantly opposed the project, afraid the new complex would glut the market with too much new office space and open the floodgates to a downtown migration.
Displaced local businesses located along a now-forgotten downtown section of the city known as Radio Row also protested. But the Port Authority enjoyed the power of eminent domain, giving it free rein to raze buildings for construction. (This was at a time when neighborhood objections to construction were routinely ignored by government-sponsored developers.)
When the towers were officially opened in 1972, New York Gov. Rockefeller again came to the towers' aid, solving a widespread vacancy problem by housing tens of thousands of state employees in the buildings. The state paid just $10 per square foot in rent. When vacancies began to shrink in the mid '80s and new tenants were paying office rents in the $30-$40 range, New York state opted to move its employees out, conveniently freeing up valuable space for the Port Authority to lease.
Although the twin towers were never seen as one of the city's most prestigious business addresses, by the '90s early shipping and merchant marine tenants from the '70s had been largely replaced by multinational banks and investment brokers such as Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. At the time of the attack the towers' occupancy rate was a robust 98 percent. Few if any of its remaining tenants had any real connection to port trade.
How best to remember the World Trade Center? The irony is that over the years many critics wished the towers were never there to begin with. Writing for the New York Times, architectural commentator Paul Goldberger often referred to the twin towers as "banal," and once suggested the World Trade Center represented "New York's most disliked building."
Hardy instead opts for "arrogant." Arrogant in the way the bullying, flat-top towers "gave no recognition to the skyline" around them; "arrogant in their placement." Hardy suggests it wasn't until the nearby Cesar Pelli-designed World Financial Center office complex was constructed in 1985 that the lower Manhattan skyline again began to jell.
The World Trade Center's off-putting, five-acre concrete plaza, created to set the towers off as two jewels, also never made much sense. "The plaza has always been alienating," says skyscraper historian Willis. "It's so vast, so out of scale with human beings. They would try to populate it during the lunchtime hour with outdoor dance performers and set up a stage. But inevitably the stage would look like a toy. Plus, there was always heavy wind swirling around. It was not an oasis, but more like a tundra. It was not the type of place that drew people to it."
And then there were the unusually narrow office windows that robbed tower inhabitants of what should have been an indisputable perk: the view. Yamasaki was afraid of heights and decided in order to make everyone feel secure while they worked in the offices, the windows, set between columns, would be just 18 inches across, narrower than Yamasaki's own shoulder span.
The problem with Yamasaki's window design, says Willis, is the towers offered "no sense of the spectacular panorama" for the workers inside, which is why she, like many professionals, declares the towers' interior "a failure, aesthetically." The irony is that one of the tower's selling points was its unique floor construction of prefabricated trussed steel, only 33 inches in depth. That allowed everyone a chance to look out the windows because the massive office space was uninterrupted by columns, a modernist ideal of the day.
In the end, the views, due to poor design, were a bust.
Not only were the towers obscenely tall, but massively wide as well. The towers' floors were 40,000 square feet, offering up an acre of space per floor; 220 acres between the twin towers.
Together, they boasted 10 million square feet in office space. That's larger than the Pentagon and more space than some entire American downtown business districts, such as St. Louis, Miami and San Diego.
Record-breaking skyscrapers built today, many of them in Southeast Asia, are taller than the twin towers, but much narrower and nowhere near as massive all the way around.
"The professional critics of architecture were never really brought around. They say the towers were boring and unadorned," says Gillespie, who can't point to a single prominent critic or architect who over the years came forward to defend the twin towers.
The World Trade Center reached its financial summit this summer when the Port Authority privatized the complex, selling a 99-year lease to local developer Larry Silverstein for $3.2 billion, the most expensive real estate deal of its kind.
Preparing to take over the lease this summer, Silverstein, suddenly New York's largest commercial landlord, told the New York Times, "I've been looking at the Trade Center for years, thinking what a great piece of real estate, what a thrill it would be to own it. There's nothing like it in the world." - Salon (09/17/01)

Loved, hated, center's profile was towering
"The twin towers were not beautiful, or poetic. They had not the art deco grace of Manhattan's Empire State Building nor the Chrysler Building. The towers were sheer power expressed in steel, concrete, aluminum and glass, bearing in their staggering ascension a certain arrogance, too.
These towers -- part of a seven-building complex -- were two gigantic boxes, forcing themselves upon the quirky rhythms of the Manhattan skyline.
When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey leased the towers in the spring to a Paramus, N.J., real estate firm for $3.25 billion, the biggest such deal ever, the New York Times ran a piece headlined: "Learning to Love the World Trade Center."
It had never been easy.
From the beginning, the towers were considered an unfortunate example of urban renewal, an unsightly answer to the question of how to improve conditions in a shabby section of lower Manhattan. Sixteen acres of neighborhood were sacrificed to the project. According to the Times, the towers disrupted flight patterns of birds, which crashed into the towers by the dozens and fell dead to the pavement." - Baltimore Sun (09/12/01)

Official Reasons why we were attacked on 9/11

  • "THE PRESIDENT: Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." - White House (09/20/01)

  • "On September 11, 2001, there was an attack on America.
    There are some men that decided that they didn’t like what America stands for: freedom, liberty, and the rights of men and women of all races, backgrounds, and beliefs. So on the morning of September 11, 2001, they hijacked four planes and attacked America in a terrible way.
    The men that arranged this terrible attack want Americans to feel afraid and disorganized. They want to make people who live in this country do what they say by threatening us. Basically they’re big bullies." - Class Brain.com

White House Child-Sex Ring

"On the morning of June 29, 1989, pandemonium erupted in the corridors of power in the nation's capital. "Homosexual Prostitution Probe Ensnares Official of Bush, Reagan,'' screamed the front-page headline of the Washington Times with the kicker "Call Boys Took Midnight Tour of White House.''

The Times reported, "A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close ties to Washington's political elite.''

The exposé centered on the role of one Craig Spence, a Republican powerbroker known for his lavish "power cocktail'' parties. Spence was well connected. He celebrated Independence Day 1988 by conducting a midnight tour of the White House in the company of two teenage male prostitutes among others in his party." - George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography

(Click photo for hi-res.)


Nick Berg decapitation staged?

Berg beheading: No way, say medical experts
"American businessman Nicholas Berg's body was found on May 8 near a Baghdad overpass; a video of his supposed decapitation death by knife appeared on an alleged al-Qaeda-linked website (www.al-ansar.biz) on May 11. But according to what both a leading surgical authority and a noted forensic death expert separately told Asia Times Online, the video depicting the decapitation appears to have been staged." - Asia Times (05/22/04)

Videos of the Nick Berg decapitation (Warning: Graphic!)

Friend: Berg said he was in U.S. custody
"Slain American Nicholas Berg told a friend that he had been arrested by Iraqi police, detained briefly, and then handed over to U.S. troops who held him in a coalition facility for almost two weeks, the friend said.
Chilean freelance journalist Hugo Infante told CNN that weeks before the videotape of Berg's grisly death emerged on the Internet, "Nick told me, 'Iraqi police caught me one night, they saw my passport and my Jewish last name and my Israeli stamp. This guy thought I was a spy so they put me with American soldiers and American soldiers put me in a jail for two weeks.'"

Infante said Berg told him that Iraqi police were suspicious of the electronics equipment he was carrying for his work on radio communications towers when he was arrested in Mosul.
Coalition spokesman Dan Senor said Berg was visited three times by FBI agents while he was in custody of Iraqi police. He said the agents concluded Berg was not involved in terrorist or criminal acts and referred other questions relating to Berg's detention to Mosul police.
The FBI confirmed its agents met with Berg, and also said the Coalition Provisional Authority offered Berg safe passage out of Iraq upon his release.
FBI agents "encouraged him to accept CPA's offer to facilitate his safe passage out of Iraq. Mr. Berg refused these offers," the FBI said in a statement.
Berg's father Michael said it was the family's understanding that Nicholas was in U.S. custody.
Berg's brother David told reporters Wednesday that the family received e-mails from Berg after his release in which he made clear he had been held by U.S. forces.
Infante said he thought Berg was intending to go to Baghdad Airport the following morning and take a flight back to the United States.
The next he heard of Berg was when he heard news of his death.
"I thought he was back in the States. And I thought, my God, this is the guy. A different guy. More skinny, more pallid," Infante said." - CNN (05/13/04)

Berg's encounter with 'terrorist' revealed
"When Nicholas Berg took an Oklahoma bus to a remote college campus a few years ago, the American recently beheaded by terrorists allowed a man with terrorist connections to use his laptop computer, according to his father.
Government sources told CNN that the encounter involved an acquaintance of Zacarias Moussaoui...
According to Berg, his son was taking a course a few years ago at a remote campus of the University of Oklahoma near an airport. He described how on one particular day, his son met "some terrorist people -- who no one knew were terrorists at the time."
At one point during the bus ride, Berg said, the man sitting next to his son asked if he could use Nick's laptop computer.
"It turned out this guy was a terrorist and that he, you know, used my son's e-mail, amongst many other people's e-mail who he did the same thing to," Berg said.
Government sources said Berg gave the man his password, which was later used by Moussaoui, the sources said." - CNN (05/14/04)


PNAC behind 9/11?

"The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle; and that too few political leaders today are making the case for global leadership."

Removing Saddam and protecting Israel and Mid-East oil...

"It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, the safety...of our friends and allies like Israel ...and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard.
In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power." - Jan. 1998

Increasing U.S. military budget by way of a "new Pearl Harbor"...

"To preserve American military preeminence in the coming decades, the [DoD] must move more aggressively to experiment with new technologies and operational concepts, and seek to exploit the emerging revolution in military affairs.
...the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor." - Sept. 2000

PNAC who's who:

Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz - PNAC Statement of Principles

Were Neo-Conservatives’ 1998 Memos a Blueprint for Iraq War?

"Years before George W. Bush entered the White House, and years before the Sept. 11 attacks set the direction of his presidency, a group of influential neo-conservatives hatched a plan to get Saddam Hussein out of power.

The group, the Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, was founded in 1997. Among its supporters were three Republican former officials who were sitting out the Democratic presidency of Bill Clinton: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz.

In open letters to Clinton and GOP congressional leaders the next year, the group called for "the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power" and a shift toward a more assertive U.S. policy in the Middle East, including the use of force if necessary to unseat Saddam.

And in a report just before the 2000 election that would bring Bush to power, the group predicted that the shift would come about slowly, unless there were "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."

That event came on Sept. 11, 2001. By that time, Cheney was vice president, Rumsfeld was secretary of defense, and Wolfowitz his deputy at the Pentagon.

The next morning — before it was even clear who was behind the attacks — Rumsfeld insisted at a Cabinet meeting that Saddam's Iraq should be "a principal target of the first round of terrorism," according to Bob Woodward's book Bush At War.

What started as a theory in 1997 was now on its way to becoming official U.S. foreign policy.

Links to Bush Administration

Some critics of the Bush administration's foreign policy, especially in Europe, have portrayed PNAC as, in the words of Scotland's Sunday Herald, "a secret blueprint for U.S. global domination."

The group was never secret about its aims. In its 1998 open letter to Clinton, the group openly advocated unilateral U.S. action against Iraq because "we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition" to enforce the inspections regime.

"The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power," they wrote, foreshadowing the debate currently under way in the United Nations.

Of the 18 people who signed the letter, 10 are now in the Bush administration. As well as Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, they include Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; John Bolton, who is undersecretary of state for disarmament; and Zalmay Khalilzad, the White House liaison to the Iraqi opposition. Other signatories include William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, and Richard Perle, chairman of the advisory Defense Science Board.

According to Kristol, the group's thinking stemmed from the principles of Ronald Reagan: "A strong America. A morally grounded foreign policy ... that defended American security and American interests. And understanding that American leadership was key to not only world stability, but any hope for spreading democracy and freedom around the world."

Pushing for a More Assertive Foreign Policy

After the 1991 Gulf War ended with Saddam still in position as a potential threat, Kristol told Nightline, he and the others had a sense that "lots of terrible things were really being loosed upon the world because America was being too timid, and too weak, and too unassertive in the post-Cold War era." In reports, speeches, papers and books, they pushed for an aggressive foreign policy to defend U.S. interests around the globe.

Clinton did order airstrikes against Iraq in 1998, but through the rest of his presidency and the beginning of Bush's, America's "containment" policy for Saddam lay dormant — until September 2001.

"Before 9/11, this group ... could not win over the president to this extravagant image of what foreign policy required," said Ian Lustick, a Middle East expert at the University of Pennsylvania. "After 9/11, it was able to benefit from the gigantic eruption of political capital, combined with the supply of military preponderance in the hands of the president. And this small group, therefore, was able to gain direct contact and even control, now, of the White House."

Like other critics, Lustick paints PNAC in conspiratorial tones: "This group, what I call the tom-tom beaters, have set an agenda and have made the president feel that he has to live up to their definitions of manliness, their definitions of success and fear, their definitions of failure."

Kristol dismisses the allegations of conspiracy, but said the group redoubled its efforts after 9/11 to get its message out. "We made it very public that we thought that one consequence the president should draw from 9/11 is that it was unacceptable to sit back and let either terrorist groups or dictators developing weapons of mass destruction strike first, at us," he said.

Predicting Vindication

Now that American bombs could soon be falling on Iraq, Kristol admits to feeling "some sense of responsibility" for pushing for a war that will cost human lives. But, he said, he would also feel responsible if "something terrible" happened because of U.S. inaction.

Kristol expressed regret that so many of America's traditional allies oppose military action against Iraq, but said the United States has no choice. "I think what we've learned over the last 10 years is that America has to lead. Other countries won't act. They will follow us, but they won't do it on their own," he said.

Kristol believes the United States will be "vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction and when we liberate the people of Iraq." He predicts that many of the allies who have been reluctant to join the war effort would participate in efforts to rebuild and democratize Iraq." - ABC (03/10/03)

PNAC Watch: