ce399 | research archive: (anti)fascism

Mae Brussell’s Picture of the Pentagon: The Spider and the ODESSA

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 27/08/2010



Israeli Universities Accused of anti-Zionism (FT 26/8/10)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 26/08/2010

Israeli Universities Accused of anti-Zionism

Israel’s universities are normally a source of national pride. Widely acclaimed for groundbreaking research in fields ranging from archaeology and chemistry to mathematics and economics, the country’s leading institutions have become serial claimants of Nobel prizes.

Recently, however, the academic community has found itself at the centre of political controversy. The argument focuses on accusations that important departments are dominated by leftwing “anti-Zionists”, whose teachings are geared towards criticism of the government and army.
In depth: Arab-Israel conflict – Jun-28
Opinion: A poisoned process holds little hope – Aug-25
Mideast leaders at odds over peace talks – Aug-22

Ironically, this means that Israel’s universities are under attack from all sides. Foreign critics have repeatedly tried to single out their professors and lecturers for an academic boycott. Last year, the University and College Union in the UK, the largest professional association of British academics, voted to boycott Israeli universities, though the resolution was not implemented because it was held to breach anti-discrimination laws.

Too Israeli for some, and not enough for others, the country’s universities appear to be caught in the middle of a broader conflict.

Accusations about their supposed leftwing bias are not new. But the charges took on a sharper edge when one rightwing pressure group declared it would urge donors to stop funding Ben-Gurion University (BGU) unless its president ended the institution’s alleged leftwing slant.

The ultimatum came in a letter from Im Tirtzu, a small but highly visible group of rightwing activists who say their goal is to “strengthen the values of Zionism”. Erez Tadmor, one of the group’s founders, says the letter was prompted by “dozens of complaints” from politics students at BGU saying they were being “brainwashed” by “professors [who] are there to promote anti-Zionist and radical leftist propaganda”.

Mr Tadmor claims the department is run like an “academic dictatorship”. A survey by Im Tirtzu found that eight out of 11 senior faculty members were “radical leftists who sign petitions against the state”.

The university has rejected the charges, saying that its social sciences department is so popular among students that it has been turning away applicants for months.

Meanwhile, a study by the Institute for Zionist Strategies, a rightwing think-tank, asserts that almost all sociology departments in Israeli universities are dominated by a “severe anti-Zionist bias”. The allegations stem from various sociology syllabuses, which were found to contain only 146 references to sources classified as “Zionist”, but 440 to those considered “post-Zionist”.

University presidents have described the study as a crude attempt to undermine academic freedom. But Joseph Klafter, president of Tel Aviv University, did ask for a review of teaching materials in his sociology department; he later backtracked.

David Newman, dean of the social sciences department at BGU, says the attacks are causing real concern. “We should be alarmed. We have to be very wary of political interference within the debate process and the academic process.” Avishay Braverman, the minorities minister and a former president of BGU, went further, denouncing the assault as “borderline fascism”.

The latest charges echo harsh public attacks on peace activists and human rights groups earlier this year. In both cases the controversy has raised concerns over an Israeli strand of “McCarthyism” that attempts to silence dissent.

Israeli universities, as well as non-governmental organisations of all political persuasions, depend heavily on donations from the US and Europe. The bulk of that funding is almost certainly secure, but universities admit that the charges of leftwing bias have led some donors to rethink. Mr Klafter said last week that one supporter had decided to switch funding to another institution, because of a decision by some academics at Tel Aviv University to support an academic boycott of Israel.

Prof Newman said there had been similar tensions at BGU. Like most academics, he believes the recent accusations are doing more harm to Israel, particularly its international reputation, than any leftwing bias on the country’s campuses. “We have a very clear attempt to shut down voices – and I think that is tremendously damaging to Israel’s image as a pluralistic society.”


How Extensive Is the Brain Drain? (IMF 2004)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 23/08/2010

Perhaps the oldest question in economics is why some countries are rich while others are poor. Economic theory has emphasized that differences in the educational levels of the population are an important part of the answer and that improved schooling opportunities should raise incomes in developing countries. Yet, while there is little doubt that highly educated workers in many developing countries are scarce, it is also true that many scientists, engineers, physicians, and other professionals from developing countries work in Canada, the United States, and Western Europe. This phenomenon, often referred to as the “brain drain,” was noticed as early as the 1960s and has been a contentious issue in the North-South debate ever since. One important implication of the brain drain is that investment in education in a developing country may not lead to faster economic growth if a large number of its highly educated people leave the country. Also, efforts to reduce specific skill shortages through improved educational opportunities may be largely futile unless measures are taken to offset existing incentives for highly educated people to emigrate.

But how extensive is the brain drain? Which countries and regions are especially affected? Do highly educated professionals from developing countries living abroad represent a sizable proportion of the pool of skilled workers in their countries of origin or too small a number to worry about? Unfortunately, attempts to answer these important questions quickly come up against a formidable barrier: there is no uniform system of statistics on the number and characteristics of international migrants. Also, source countries typically do not keep track of emigrants’ characteristics, and, although some receiving countries do, their definitions of immigration differ. Thus, it is difficult to measure precisely the flow and levels of education of immigrants. Further, it has only recently become possible to measure the stock of educated workers in each source country—the pool from which brainpower is drained.

Estimating the brain drain

Despite the lack of systematic data about international migrants, estimates of the stock of migrants by educational level in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) can be constructed using a variety of data sources. The resulting estimates are less than perfect in many respects, but they significantly improve our knowledge of the magnitude of the brain drain. The study on which we based this article (Carrington and Detragiache, 1998) covers migration from 61 developing countries accounting for about 70 percent of the total population of developing countries. Because of the lack of data, we have not attempted to estimate the extent of either the brain drain from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, even though casual evidence suggests that it is substantial, or migratory flows among developing countries. We followed a two-step procedure: first, estimates of the brain drain to the United States were constructed using 1990 U.S. census data and other sources of information. Then, these estimates were used—together with data on migrants to OECD countries other than the United States drawn from the OECD’s Continuous Reporting System on Migration—to estimate the extent of the brain drain to all OECD countries. While the resulting estimates should be reasonably precise for migration to the United States (which accounts for 54.3 percent of the total migration from the developing countries in our sample to all OECD countries), they are much more tentative for the brain drain to all OECD countries.

The U.S. census reports whether individuals polled are foreign born and, if they are, what their country of origin is; the number of years of schooling received is also reported for each individual. After individuals under 25 years of age are eliminated to ensure compatibility with the data on educational attainment described below, all foreign-born individuals in the census are put into one of three broad educational categories: primary (0 to 8 years of schooling), secondary (9 to 12 years of schooling), and tertiary (more than 12 years of schooling). A further adjustment involves subtracting from the group of foreign-born individuals with a tertiary education all graduate students in U.S. universities, using data from the Institute of International Education. This procedure yields, for each developing country in the sample, the number of migrants in the United States in each of the three educational categories. To assess the extent of the brain drain from each country considered, these estimates must be compared with the number of individuals in each educational group who remain in their home country. Doing this requires a breakdown by educational category of the population of each developing country in the sample, for which we rely on a data set recently assembled by Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee (Barro and Lee, 1993), which provides the best estimates available to date of educational attainment for individuals more than 25 years of age in a large sample of countries.

Brain drain to the United States

The first striking feature of the U.S. migration data is that immigration flows of individuals with no more than a primary education are quite small, both in absolute terms and relative to other educational groupings (about 500,000 individuals out of a total of 7 million immigrants). Foreign-born individuals with little or no education, however, may be undercounted by the census if they are in the country illegally or do not speak English. The largest group of immigrants into the United States (about 3.7 million) consists of individuals with secondary education from other North American countries (understood here to include Central American and Caribbean countries), primarily Mexico. Perhaps surprisingly, the second largest group (almost 1.5 million individuals) consists of highly educated migrants from Asia and the Pacific. Total immigration from South America and, especially, Africa is quite small. It is noteworthy, however, that immigrants from Africa consist primarily of highly educated individuals (about 95,000 of the 128,000 African migrants).

Among the countries in Asia and the Pacific, the biggest source is the Philippines, with 730,000 migrants. Of these, the great majority have a tertiary education. The second largest stock of migrants is from China (400,000), which is split almost equally between the secondary and tertiary educational groups. Both India and Korea have seen more than 300,000 people migrate to the United States. It is striking that more than 75 percent of Indian immigrants have a tertiary education, compared with only 53 percent of Korean immigrants.

The biggest migratory flows from Africa to the United States are from Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa, with more than 60 percent of immigrants from those three countries having a tertiary education. Migration of Africans with only a primary education is almost nil. The picture is quite different for the migratory flows from the Western Hemisphere: Mexico is by far the largest sending country (2.7 million), with the large majority of its migrants (2.0 million) having a secondary education and fewer than 13 percent having a tertiary education. This pattern is also observed for the smaller countries of Central America, but not for the two Caribbean countries for which we have information, for which migrants with a tertiary education are a more substantial percentage of the total (42 percent for Jamaica and 46 percent for Trinidad and Tobago). Finally, migration from South America to the United States is relatively small in absolute numbers, with immigrants split almost equally between the secondary and the tertiary educational groups.

In each sending country, how do the numbers of emigrants compare with the size of the population with a given educational attainment? For most countries, people with a tertiary education have the highest migration rate, with the exceptions of the Central American countries, Ecuador, and Thailand (in Thailand, people with a secondary education and those with a tertiary one have approximately the same migration rates) (see chart). Thus, migrants to the United States tend to be better educated than the average person in their home (that is, the sending) country, and the proportion of very highly educated people who migrate is particularly high. Also, migration from Central America seems to follow a somewhat different pattern than migration from other developing countries, in that the highest migration rate is for persons with a secondary education, rather than those with a tertiary education.

Migration rates to the United States in 1990, by education category

The brain drain to the United States from many Central American and Caribbean countries is substantial: for persons with a tertiary education, immigration rates for virtually all these countries are above 10 percent, and some appear to be 50 percent or even higher. In South America, the country with by far the largest brain drain is Guyana, from which more than 70 percent of individuals with a tertiary education have moved to the United States; for the rest of the region, the immigration rates for this educational group are much lower. The Islamic Republic of Iran has had a substantial drain of highly educated individuals (more than 15 percent) and so has Taiwan Province of China (8–9 percent).

Brain drain to other OECD countries

To construct estimates of the brain drain from developing countries to OECD countries, we have relied on the OECD Continuous Reporting System on Migration. Unfortunately, unlike the U.S. census, this data source does not report the years of schooling that migrants have received. For lack of any practical alternatives, we have assumed that the distribution of immigrants by educational category from each source country is the same for the United States as for other OECD countries. Although this is the only feasible approach, which often produces numbers that are consistent with anecdotal evidence, there are some instances in which it yields implausible results, particularly for countries with low rates of immigration to the United States but high rates to one or more of the other OECD countries. Immigrants to the United States from such countries are likely to be better educated than immigrants to other OECD countries, who thus may be more representative of the source country’s population.

A second problem with the data for OECD countries other than the United States lies in the different criteria for classifying individuals as immigrants. Although Australia, Canada, and the United States define an immigrant as a person who was born abroad to noncitizens, most European countries define immigrant status based on the ethnicity or immigration status of the parent. A third difficulty with the OECD data is that they did not permit us to exclude immigrants under the age of 25. Finally, the OECD records immigrants from only the top 5 or 10 countries from which they come to each OECD country. Thus, for example, the OECD figures for Canada would include specific information on the numbers of immigrants from China and Mexico, but not those from Jamaica and El Salvador. This is a problem when emigration flows are significant for the source country but small for the receiving country. Thus, particularly for small countries, our estimates of immigration to OECD countries other than the United States may be seriously understated.

If, as a rule of thumb, we consider estimates to be unreliable when migrants to the United States account for less than one-third of the total of immigrants to all OECD member countries, then all estimates for immigration from the Asian and Pacific countries are reliable with the exceptions of those for Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Turkey is also an exception. Among the remaining countries, the extent of the brain drain to all OECD members is substantial—and it increases significantly compared with the U.S. data—for the Islamic Republic of Iran, Korea, and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines. For the Islamic Republic of Iran, the fraction of the population with a tertiary education living in OECD countries is around 25 percent; for Korea, 15 percent; and for the Philippines, about 10 percent. For Pakistan, the migration rate of individuals with a tertiary education is more than 7 percent, while for India it is about 2.7 percent; these figures, however, fail to take into account the sizable flow of professionals from the Indian subcontinent to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates and therefore neglect an important component of the brain drain from the relevant source countries. The migration rate of highly educated individuals from China is about 3 percent.

For Africa, the estimates are unreliable for Algeria, Senegal, and Tunisia, from which migrants go mainly to France. For most other countries in the sample, however, migration to OECD countries other than the United States is quite small, so the results derived for the United States remain essentially valid. There are, however, some exceptions: for Ghana, the migration rate of highly educated individuals is a dramatic 26 percent; for South Africa, it is more than 8 percent; for Egypt, the brain drain includes 2.5 percent of such individuals emigrating to the United States and another 5 percent emigrating to other OECD countries. For countries in the Western Hemisphere, the bulk of migration is to the United States, and inclusion of flows to the rest of the OECD makes little difference. The only exception is Jamaica, which has a considerable stock of migrants living in the United Kingdom. The drain from Jamaica’s population with secondary education is 33 percent, while that from its population with tertiary education is more than 77 percent.


Our estimates show that there is an overall tendency for migration rates to be higher for highly educated individuals. With the important exceptions of Central America and Mexico, the highest migration rates are for individuals with a tertiary education. A number of countries—especially small countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America—lost more than 30 percent of this group to migration. We have also found a sizable brain drain from Iran, Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan Province of China. These numbers suggest that in several developing countries the outflow of highly educated individuals is a phenomenon that policymakers cannot ignore.

More research, especially empirical studies, is needed to evaluate the impact of the brain drain on source economies and on worldwide welfare, as well as the reasons for such migration. In regard to the latter subject, immigration policies in OECD countries tend to favor better-educated people, which may explain why the educational composition of total migration is skewed toward the better educated but cannot explain why so many skilled workers are willing to leave developing countries. Wage differentials may be part of the explanation, but this raises the question of what accounts for such differentials. Differences in the quality of life, educational opportunities for children, and job security may also play a role, as may the desire to interact with a broader group of similarly skilled colleagues. Another important issue is the extent to which the benefits of education acquired by citizens of developing countries are externalities that individuals cannot be expected to take into account when making their private decisions. If such externalities are substantial, as is emphasized by the “new growth theory,” then policies to curb the brain drain may be warranted.

Our research also indicates several ways in which estimates of the brain drain could be improved using existing data. The first would be to use census information for other large immigrant receiving countries, such as Australia, Canada, France, and Germany. Together with the United States, these four countries account for about 93 percent of total migratory flows to OECD countries, so the resulting figures would be a very good approximation of the total. Another promising direction for future research would be to try to obtain, from census data or other sources, more detailed information about the occupational categories of highly skilled migrants, in order to assess whether the brain drain from a given country is especially marked for particular professional groups. This type of analysis could be useful for evaluating the problems that policy programs—such as health sector reform, financial liberalization, or civil service reform—may encounter in developing countries.

Suggestions for further reading:
Robert J. Barro and Jong-Wha Lee, 1993, “International Comparisons of Educational Attainment,” Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 32 (March), pp. 363–94.

William J. Carrington and Enrica Detragiache, 1998, “How Big Is the Brain Drain?” IMF Working Paper 98/102 (Washington).

William J. Carrington is an Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC. The research on which this article is based was carried out while he was a Visiting Scholar in the IMF’s Research Department.

Enrica Detragiache is an Economist in the Commodities and Special Issues Division of the IMF’s Research Department.


Oracle Whistleblower asks for $42M Reward

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 23/08/2010

An ex-Oracle employee who filed a False Claims Act case against Oracle, claiming that it denied discounts to the government generally given to non-government contractors, is seeking 25% of all damages which are expected to be as high as $169 million which would give the former employeee Paul Frascella $42 million. His lawsuit, filed and kept under seal until now was made public after the Dept of Justice decided to join his action against Oracle. According to the suit, the Government Services Office (GSA) allows software companies to list their products in government catalogs after certifying that they have given the United States their most favorable deep discounts, equal or greater than their largest commercial discounts. The False Claims Act is a whistleblower law allowing individuals to file lawsuits on behalf of the United States Government and recover a reward for doing so.


US Homeland Security to Expand ‘Secure Communities’ Nationwide (Epoch Times 18/8/10)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 23/08/2010

Mario Alberto-Lopez (R) waits to be unshackled by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents before being led to the Mexican border and released from custody on May 25. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to broaden its Secure Communities program nationwide by 2013, according to a DHS release. Administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative agency within DHS, Secure Communities aims to identify and possibly remove illegal immigrants with criminal histories from the United States.

The program, which began in October 2008, was expanded on Aug. 10, to all 25 counties that line the Southwest border of the United States In the past 18 months, the program has grown from covering 14 U.S. jurisdictions to 544.

Under Secure Communities (S-Comm), when an individual is arrested, his or her fingerprints are recorded with a biometric scanner, and all available information about the arrestee is sent to ICE. The agency then checks immigration records and criminal databases for information on the individual, and if a criminal conviction and illegal immigration are found, the person can be deported.

According to the DHS, the program is meant for “identifying and removing convicted criminal aliens who pose a public safety threat to American communities.”

A key concern about S-Comm is that it will encourage racial profiling, and that individuals who are not convicted of crimes will be deported. “Preliminary data confirms that some jurisdictions, such as Maricopa County, Arizona, have abnormally high rates of noncriminal S-Comm deportations,” says a report from several rights groups, including the National Day Laborer Organization Network.
Small Percentage Deported

To date, the program has identified more than 262,900 illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, and more than 34,600 of them were removed from the United States. According to the DHS, more than 9,800 of the individuals removed were convicted of “major violent or drug offenses.”

Although ICE is screening a large number of individuals through S-Comm, only a small percentage of them are being removed, according to Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Vaughan said that after speaking with ICE agents and local law enforcement officers, she has not seen any evidence of racial profiling through S-Comm.

Since the system runs a check on immigration status automatically, police officers will no longer need to make the determination themselves of whether or not to check an individual’s immigration status.

The DHS has a goal to identify 95 percent of those within the illegal immigrant population who have criminal histories by using biometric scanners. The agency hopes to accomplish this sometime beyond 2011, according to a 2009 DHS report. The 2009 goal was to identify 30 percent of the population, and the 2010 goal is to identify 60 percent.

The information will give ICE “data needed to analyze the size, characteristics, and geographic distribution of the criminal alien population across the country; these results will inform future strategic decisions,” says the report.

According to Vaughan, S-Comm could affect not only individuals who are illegal immigrants, but also those on legal visas or green cards who did not disclose criminal convictions. Since it uses biometric scans, it can also catch individuals who try to give an alias.
Border Security

Under S-Comm, close to 10 percent of individuals arrested nationwide could be subjected to deportation, according to Vaughan.

Still, the chances of the program being implemented to its full potential remains unlikely. According to a 2009 DHS report on S-Comm, “The size of the alien population subject to immigration enforcement actions exceeds ICE’s current capacity. Due to these resource constraints, ICE is limited to conducting enforcement actions only against a subset of potential subjects.”

S-Comm is part of the DHS border security operations, which has seen a major increase over the past year.

The expansion of S-Comm was announced just three days before President Barack Obama signed the Southwest Border Security Bill into law, which will provide $600 million to combat the Mexican drug cartels and secure the border.

A portion of the funds, earmarked for illegal immigration, will be focused “where we think the best efforts ought to be,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said during an Aug. 13, press conference.

She added, “And that is making sure we are removing from our country criminal aliens, felony fugitives, gang members who are also in our country illegally, particularly once they’ve served their sentences.”

An ongoing concern among the immigrant population is how border security affects them. According to University of Illinois professor Anthony Sisneros, the effects of border security operations tend to spill over into the entire Mexican immigrant population, ranging from racism to deportation of illegal immigrants who do not have criminal histories.

Sisneros said issues of immigration reform and border security are “complicated by the drug war on the border.” He added that “it is a concern that there is a particular focus on Mexican immigrants.”

“No one is against fighting drugs and engaging on the drug war on the border, but it gets mixed up, and it gets thrown into the pot of discussion on immigration reform,” he said.


An Unabashedly Sexy Celebrity Gets Political (NY Times 31/7/10)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 18/08/2010
“If I steal your money, tomorrow you cannot eat,” said Julia Perez.

Her left hand flitting between the BlackBerry and Starbucks cappuccino on the table before her, Julia Perez spoke with rising urgency into her cellphone at a shopping mall here one recent afternoon. She took no notice of the passers-by who, sneaking glances her way, found confirmation in her tight-fitting, low-cut dress that it was indeed Julia Perez, the singer, actress, model — and soon, perhaps, politician — whose overt use of sex appeal has won her legions of fans in Indonesia but also condemnation from social conservatives.

The next day, though, Ms. Perez needed a traditional dress known as a kebaya, she told her designer at the other end of the line. The traditional ruler of Solo, a city in central Java, was conferring a title on her at a formal ceremony, she explained after getting off the phone.

“Et voilà!” said Ms. Perez, who tends to speak in a mix of Indonesian, English and French. “It’s a big honor for me.”

Since returning to Indonesia three years ago after a decade in France and the Netherlands, Ms. Perez, 30, better known as Jupe (pronounced jew-peh), has quickly become one of this nation’s most sought-after celebrities and a mainstay of television gossip shows.

In a society increasingly polarized between supporters of political Islam and Western-style openness, Ms. Perez has led the charge one way with her sexy shows and music videos, her celebration of female sexuality and frank talk about sex. Her best-selling album, “Kamasutra,” included a free condom, which drew the ire of Islamic organizations and got her banned from performing in several cities outside Jakarta, the capital.

Ms. Perez was rebuked recently after announcing her candidacy in a local election in December in Pacitan, a town in east Java that also happens to be the hometown of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Officials proposed changing regional election laws to forbid candidates with “moral flaws” from running. But critics in the news media and on social-networking Web sites counter-attacked, pointing out that Indonesian politicians are hardly known for their ethics.

“So what if I’m sexy?” Ms. Perez said. “You can still eat tomorrow if you see me and find me sexy. But if I steal your money, tomorrow you cannot eat and tomorrow you cannot go to school and tomorrow you’ll be a hopeless man.”

Ms. Perez has no prior political experience and says that if elected, she simply wants to improve the lives of ordinary people in Pacitan. She was at once excited by the possibilities of Indonesia’s young democracy and aware of its limitations.

“Maybe 30 percent of the people feel this is a democracy,” she said, suggesting that poverty and lack of opportunities still prevent 70 percent of the population from enjoying meaningful options.

If success has brought her into the 30 percent, Ms. Perez made it clear that her roots — and part of her motivation behind her political ambition — lay in the 70 percent group.

Born here as Yuli Rachmawati, she was the eldest of three sisters in a household led by a single mother. With her mother doing odd jobs, the family often ate only rice with fried shallots. Growing up under Suharto, the longtime military ruler who fell in 1998, she saw little for herself here.

“Finding enough to eat was our only dream,” she said. “I had no dreams because I had no money. I never had a dream of becoming anything, someone really high or a politician.”

She joked that she would now be hawking gado-gado, a dish of mixed vegetables with peanut sauce often sold on the street, if she had not befriended a slightly older Indonesian woman as she was about to finish high school. The woman, who worked as a secretary at an international hotel and was married to an Australian, offered to send Ms. Perez to secretarial school. She also advised her to find a bule, as white foreigners are called here.

“She taught me how to be a woman: ‘Yeah, Julia, if you’re with a bule, be like this, be like that,’ ” she recalled. “At first I didn’t like it. I couldn’t speak English very well, so I only said, ‘Yes, mister. Mister, no drink.’ ”

SHE went to work as a junior secretary at a Dutch-owned furniture company here and began dating the owner’s son. “He was such a gentleman, always giving me flowers. So voilà! I’m falling in love, and I’m going to Holland.”

She lived there for three years, studying Dutch, working as a secretary at a related company, eventually drifting away from the owner’s son. On a vacation in Spain, Ms. Perez met her future husband, a Frenchman who gave her his surname, took her to France and introduced her to the fashion business. She soon appeared in men’s magazines like Maxim and FHM.

Back here for a vacation in 2006, Ms. Perez accompanied a younger sister to a casting call for a television soap opera and ended up getting recruited by the director. In a newly democratic Indonesia, she found filmmakers and singers pushing previously rigid boundaries of sexuality in pop culture, even as increasingly powerful Islamic groups, repressed under Suharto, were advancing a strict version of Islam in a country long known for its moderate Muslims.

Ms. Perez, who is Muslim, soon found herself deluged with offers. Deciding to return here for good in 2007, she left her husband behind in France. “I said to my baby, ‘Baby, baby, I’m sorry I want to stay in Indonesia.’ ” The couple divorced later.

IF there is a common thread in her films, music or television appearances, it is her sexuality — which she always wields, the way Madonna, one of her inspirations, also does.

“This is my own choice,” Ms. Perez said. “This is what I want to become. I want to be a free woman.”

A few months ago, though, political leaders from the town of Pacitan arrived unexpectedly with an invitation to run as the district’s deputy leader. Sutikno, the local head of Hanura, an opposition party, said that his party and a coalition of others were searching for a celebrity to attract investors to the region, which has beautiful beaches and other untapped tourist sites. The officials interviewed several actresses but settled on Ms. Perez.

“She’s honest about who she is,” said Mr. Sutikno, who uses one name like many Indonesians. “She’s willing to work hard and willing to learn. She’d never been to Pacitan, but, after we approached her, she started researching Pacitan on the Internet. We don’t care if she’s a sex bomb.”

Some were skeptical of the choice.

Julia Suryakusuma, an author who has written about sex and politics, said that the opposition parties’ selection of Ms. Perez was calculated to draw attention to a local race that would otherwise be ignored. Because Pacitan is President Yudhoyono’s hometown, Ms. Perez’s presence could underscore and aggravate the difficulties that the president has faced in trying to straddle the growing divide between Indonesia’s Western-oriented reformers and Muslim conservatives, Ms. Suryakusuma said.

“I have my doubts about Julia Perez since running wasn’t her own idea,” Ms. Suryakusuma said. “This looks like a ploy by opposition parties to cause embarrassment to the president.”

As for Ms. Perez, she said she was still learning about politics. “I’ve only learned about 40 percent now. It really makes me scared. I shouldn’t say this, but I’m confused. Some of them say, in front of me, ‘Yeah, this is right, Julia.’ But afterward, behind my back, they say the next day, ‘No, that’s not good.’ You understand what I mean?” she said.

“Peut-être c’est ça la politique,” she said. “Maybe that’s politics.”


Fidel Castro Fascinated by Bilderberg Group (AP 18/8/10)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 18/08/2010
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Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro is showcasing a theory long popular both among the far left and far right: that the shadowy Bilderberg Group has become a kind of global government, controlling not only international politics and economics, but even culture.

The 84-year-old former Cuban president published an article Wednesday that used three of the only eight pages in the Communist Party newspaper Granma to quote — largely verbatim — from a 2006 book by Lithuanian-born writer Daniel Estulin.

Estulin’s work, “The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club,” argues that the international group largely runs the world. It has held a secretive annual forum of prominent politicians, thinkers and businessmen since it was founded in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland.

Castro offered no comment on the excerpts other than to describe Estulin as honest and well-informed and to call his book a “fantastic story.”

Estulin’s book, as quoted by Castro, described “sinister cliques and the Bilderberg lobbyists” manipulating the public “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”

The Bilderberg group’s website says its members have “nearly three days of informal and off-the-record discussion about topics of current concern” once a year, but the group does nothing else.

It said the meetings were meant to encourage people to work together on major policy issues.

The prominence of the group is what alarms critics. It often includes members of the Rockefeller family, Henry Kissinger, senior U.S. and European officials and major international business and media executives.

The excerpt published by Castro suggested that the esoteric Frankfurt School of socialist academics worked with members of the Rockefeller family in the 1950s to pave the way for rock music to “control the masses” by diverting attention from civil rights and social injustice.

“The man charged with ensuring that the Americans liked the Beatles was Walter Lippmann himself,” the excerpt asserted, referring to a political philosopher and by-then-staid newspaper columnist who died in 1974.

“In the United States and Europe, great open-air rock concerts were used to halt the growing discontent of the population,” the excerpt said.

Castro — who had an inside seat to the Cold War — has long expressed suspicions of back-room plots. He has raised questions about whether the Sept. 11 attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government to stoke military budgets and, more recently suggested that Washington was behind the March sinking of a South Korean ship blamed on North Korea.

Estulin’s own website suggests that the 9/11 attacks were likely caused by small nuclear devices, and that the CIA and drug traffickers were behind the 1988 downing of a jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that was blamed on Libya.

The Bilderberg conspiracy theory has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on just what the group wants to do. Leftists accuse the group of promoting capitalist domination, while some right-wing websites argue that the Bilderberg club has imposed Barack Obama on the United States to advance socialism.

Some of Estulin’s work builds on reports by Big Jim Tucker, a researcher on the Bilderberg Group who publishes on right-wing websites.

“It’s great Hollywood material … 15 people sitting in a room sitting in a room determining the fate of mankind,” said Herbert London, president of the Hudson Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank in New York.

“As someone who doesn’t come out of the Oliver Stone school of conspiracy, I have a hard time believing it,” London added.

A call to a Virginia number for the American Friends of Bilderberg rang unanswered Wednesday and the group’s website lists no contact numbers.

Castro, who underwent emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006 and stepped down as president in February 2008, has suddenly begun popping up everywhere recently, addressing Cuba’s parliament on the threat of a nuclear war, meeting with island ambassadors at the Foreign Ministry, writing a book and even attending the dolphin show at the Havana aquarium.


Occidentalism (NY Times Review of Books 2002)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 18/08/2010

In 1942, not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a group of Japanese philosophers got together in Kyoto to discuss Japan’s role in the world. The project of this ultra-nationalist gathering was, as they put it, to find a way to “overcome modern civilization.” Since modern civilization was another term for Western civilization, the conference might just as well have been entitled “Overcoming the West.” In a complete reversal of the late-nineteenth-century goal of “leaving Asia and joining the West,” Japan was now fighting a “holy war” to liberate Asia from the West and purify Asian minds of Western ideas. Part of the holy war was, as it were, an exercise in philosophical cleansing.

The cleansing agent was a mystical mishmash of German-inspired ethnic nationalism and Zen- and Shinto-based nativism. The Japanese were a “world-historical race” descended from the gods, whose divine task it was to lead all Asians into a new age of Great Harmony, and so on. But what was “the West” which had to be purged? What needed to be “overcome”? The question has gained currency, since the chief characteristics of this Western enemy would have sounded familiar to Osama bin Laden, and other Islamic extremists. They are, not in any particular order, materialism, liberalism, capitalism, individualism, humanism, rationalism, socialism, decadence, and moral laxity. These ills would be overcome by a show of Japanese force, not just military force, but force of will, of spirit, of soul. The key characteristics of the Japanese or “Asian” spirit were self-sacrifice, discipline, austerity, individual submission to the collective good, worship of divine leadership, and a deep faith in the superiority of instinct over reason.

There was of course more at stake in Japan’s war with the West, but these were the philosophical underpinnings of Japanese wartime propaganda. The central document of Japan’s claim to national divinity was entitled Cardinal Principles of the National Polity (Kokutai no Hongi). Issued in 1937 by the ministry of education, this document claimed that the Japanese were “intrinsically quite different from so-called citizens of Western nations,” because the divine imperial bloodlines had remained unbroken, and “we always seek in the emperor the source of our lives and activities.” The Japanese spirit was “pure” and “unclouded,” whereas the influence of Western culture led to mental confusion and spiritual corruption.
Little Bookroom / Go Slow Italy


Western, especially German, ideas inspired some of this. A famous right-wing professor, Dr. Uesugi Shinkichi, began his spiritual life as a Christian, studied statecraft in Wilhelminian Germany, and returned home to write (in 1919): “Subjects have no mind apart from the will of the Emperor. Their individual selves are merged with the Emperor. If they act according to the mind of the Emperor, they can realize their true nature and attain the moral ideal.”[^1] Of such stuff are holy warriors made.

Similar language—though without the neo-Shintoist associations—was used by German National Socialists and other European fascists. They, too, fought against that list of “soulless” characteristics commonly associated with liberal societies …


Misreading “The Arab Mind” (Boston Globe 30/5/2004)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 18/08/2010

AMONG THE STARTLING revelations in Seymour Hersh’s recent articles about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was news of a peculiar scholarly revival. In the May 24 issue of The New Yorker, Hersh wrote that it was the late Raphael Patai, a Hungarian-born cultural anthropologist who taught at Columbia and Princeton, whose work provided the intellectual backdrop for the torture and sexual abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib. Patai’s 1973 book “The Arab Mind,” an unnamed academic told Hersh, had become “the bible of the neocons on Arab behavior.” In his discussion with conservative prowar intellectuals, the same academic told Hersh, two themes predominated: “One, that Arabs only understand force, and, two, that the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation.”

Patai’s book has a curiously checkered history. Though well-reviewed when it appeared in 1973 (The New Yorker itself praised the book as “a sympathetic and wide-ranging study”), it was roundly attacked by the late Edward Said in his landmark 1978 study “Orientalism.” Said’s central idea was that when it came to “the East,” scholarship itself had become a means of serving and legitimating imperial dominance over the Oriental “other.” Though Said concerned himself primarily with 19th-century texts, he did devote a stinging chapter to “contemporary Orientalists,” including Patai.

But Patai’s book continued to be read in diplomatic and military circles. It gained broader currency in November 2001, when Hatherleigh Press released a new edition with an introduction by Norvell B. De Atkine, director of Middle East Studies at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg. “At the institution where I teach military affairs, `The Arab Mind’ forms the basis of my cultural instruction,” writes De Atkine, adding, “Over the past 12 years I have also briefed hundreds of military teams being deployed to the Middle East.”

Patai’s work is emblematic of a bygone era of scholarship focused on the notion of a “national character,” or personality archetype. (A longtime resident of Jerusalem, he also penned a book titled “The Jewish Mind.”) For such scholars, a set of sweeping generalizations about the personality of an entire people could be extrapolated from dubious anecdotal and literary references. In Patai’s case, his methodology was itself based on a fatally flawed set of assumptions — most importantly, that there is one entirely homogenous Arab culture, derived from nomadic Bedouin culture. This ignores both the diversity and history of a people and civilization that extends across dozens of countries, from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, and the deeply rooted Arab culture of cities and agricultural communities.

In his book, Patai paints a lurid portrait of Arab family life and child-rearing practices, supposedly the same across the region. While the crying of girl babies is routinely ignored, he wrote, male infants are picked up immediately and soothed by female relatives. “This comforting and soothing of the baby boy,” Patai states without equivocation, “often takes the form of handling his genitals” — a tactic that was also used “simply to make him smile.” Of the Arab mother-son relationship, Patai observes, “Her breast, his greatest source of pleasure and gratification, was his for the asking.”

The father, meanwhile, must toughen up his pleasure-centered, hedonistic infant son, who savors the “bitter taste of the father’s heavy hand, the rod, the strap, and, at least among the most tradition-bound Bedouin tribes, the saber and the dagger whose cut or stab” will “harden him for life.” Once this has happened, Patai writes, “the boy will have assumed the typical male Arab personality.”

The centerpiece of “The Arab Mind” is Patai’s portrait of Arab sexuality, which he considers uniquely fraught and confused. Patai breezily invokes “the all-encompassing preoccupation with sex in the Arab mind.” Despite public repression, he writes, “in private, it has been found that sexual activity is more intensive among Arab students than among Americans.” On the subject of masturbation, Patai writes authoritatively, but without citing any source, that “Whoever masturbates, however, evinces his inability to perform the active sex act, and thus exposes himself to contempt.”

Such generalizations may seem dubious to many readers, but they provide the backdrop for the idea expressed by some commentators that the Arabs who were victimized in Abu Ghraib were in effect doubly victimized by their own culture. As Andrew Sullivan wrote in his weblog on May 4, “It’s worth realizing that the nakedness and the sexual humiliation might be far more potent in a sexist, homophobic, and patriarchal culture than in less sexually repressed societies. One of the most important things to remember about today’s Muslim extremism is that it has taken what is the submission of women in Islam and turned it into a political pathology.” This comes perilously close to blaming the victims’ suffering on their culture, and deflects scrutiny from the fact of their torture, and the cultural or political pathologies of those who carried it out.

But the manifold shortcomings of Arab child-rearing and sexual practices are not all that is wrong with Arab culture, according to Patai. In his view, the Arabic language itself, with its confusion of eloquence and exaggeration, is to blame for fostering a disconnection with reality and a connection instead with aggression and fantasy. Furthermore, Patai insists, Arab music and art is uncreative and repetitive, reflecting the intrinsic limitations of Arab-Islamic culture.

So what do contemporary anthropologists make of Patai’s work? Mahmood Mamdani of Columbia University, author of the recently published “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror” (Pantheon), dismisses this sort of Orientalist scholarship as “culture talk” that reduces all problems in the Muslim world to culture and neglects actual political experience.

To Dale Eickelman, a professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College, “The Arab Mind” is useful only as a negative example. “Once only, I used it in an introductory class as an anti-text to indicate the pitfalls of using psychological projections to elicit the characteristics of society and nation,” he said in a recent e-mail. Sondra Hale, a professor of anthropology and chair of the women’s studies program at UCLA, seconds the notion. “He can no longer be taken seriously,” she said via e-mail.

For their part, Patai’s two daughters — Daphne Patai, a literature professor at UMass-Amherst, and Jennifer Patai Schneider, a physician in Tucson — have issued a statement defending their father’s scholarship and taking issue with the suggestion that he wrote “a handbook for American torturers.”

But whatever Patai’s intentions, the kind of thinking he engaged in does have real-world consequences, ones that reverberate far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib. In their recent book “Occidentalism” (Penguin), Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit argue that a reciprocal negative stereotype of the West has arisen in the Arab world, one that holds that the West is licentious, amoral, overly sexualized, aggressive, and engaged in a crusade against Islam. Buruma and Margalit trace this stereotype back to thinkers of the Western counter-Enlightenment, but events like the abuse at Abu Ghraib, in which soldiers reportedly not only raped prisoners but forced them to eat pork and drink alcohol, suggest that an Occidentalist worldview has sources much closer at hand, in the actual experience of domination.

In the wake of the Iraq war, mutually reinforcing Occidentalist and Orientalist stereotypes have contributed immeasurably to the fear and apprehension that divides Islam and the West. It should be observed that the human rights violations that took place in Abu Ghraib would have been no less horrific had they taken place in Madison, Wis. But the explosiveness of the situation makes them far more dangerous as we enter an era where each side defines the other only by its worst excesses. Rather than plumbing some mythical “Arab mind,” we should affirm the shared humanity that transcends our differences and binds us all together.

Emran Qureshi is the coeditor, with Michael Sells, of “The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy” (Columbia).
Note: Articles listed under “Middle East studies in the News” provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch’s critique.


Owning the Weather for Military Use (Global Research 2004)

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 14/08/2010

This article is follow-up on an earlier study by the author entitled Washington’s New World Order Weapons Have the Ability to Trigger Climate Change, Third World Resurgence, January 2001, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO201A.html

Environmental warfare is defined as the intentional modification or manipulation of the natural ecology, such as climate and weather, earth systems such as the ionosphere, magnetosphere, tectonic plate system, and/or the triggering of seismic events (earthquakes) to cause intentional physical, economic, and psycho-social, and physical destruction to an intended target geophysical or population location, as part of strategic or tactical war.” (Eco News)

What are the underlying causes of extreme weather instability, which has ravaged every major region of the World in the course of the last few years?

Hurricanes and tropical storms have ravaged the Caribbean. Central Asia and the Middle East are afflicted by drought. West Africa is facing the biggest swarm of locusts in more than a decade. Four destructive hurricanes and a tropical rain storm  Alex, Ivan, Frances, Charley and Jeanne have occurred in a sequence, within a short period of time. Unprecedented in hurricane history in the Caribbean, the island of Grenada was completely devastated: 37 people died and roughly two-thirds of the island’s 100,000 inhabitants have been left homeless; in Haiti, more than two thousand people have died and tens of thousands are homeless. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida have also been devastated. In the US, the damage in several Southern states including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the Carolinas is the highest in US history.

A study released in July 2003, by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) places the blame, without further examination, at the feet of global warming:

“These record extreme events [high temperatures, low temperatures and high rainfall amounts and droughts] all go into calculating the monthly and annual averages which, for temperatures, have been gradually increasing over the past 100 years,” the WMO said in its statement (CNN, July 3, 2003, http://www.cnn.com/2003/WEATHER/07/03/wmo.extremes/ )

While global warming is undoubtedly an important factor, it does not fully account for these extreme and unusual weather patterns.

Weather Warfare

The significant expansion in America’s weather warfare arsenal, which is a priority of the Department of Defense is not a matter for debate or discussion. While, environmentalists blame the Bush administration for not having signed the Kyoto protocol, the issue of “weather warfare”, namely the manipulation of weather patterns for military use is never mentioned.

The US Air Force has the capability of manipulating climate either for testing purposes or for outright military-intelligence use. These capabilities extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes. In recent years, large amounts of money have been allocated by the US Department of Defense to further developing and perfecting these capabilities.

Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence  purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, … and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in US, or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power. (US Air Force, emphasis added. Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report, http://www.au.af.mil/au/2025/ emphasis added)

While there is no firm evidence that the US Air Force weather warfare facilities have been deliberately applied to modify weather patterns, one would expect that if these capabilities are being developed for military use, they would at least be the object of routine testing, much in the same way as the testing of new conventional and strategic weapons systems.

Needless to say, the subject matter is a scientific taboo. The possibility of climatic or environmental manipulations as part of a military and intelligence agenda, while tacitly acknowledged, is never considered as relevant. Military analysts are mute on the subject. Meteorologists are not investigating the matter, and environmentalists are strung on global warming and the Kyoto protocol.

Ironically, the Pentagon, while recognizing its ability to modify the World’s climate for military use, has joined the global warming consensus. In a major study (pdf) , the Pentagon has analyzed in detail the implications of various global warming scenarios.

The Pentagon document constitutes a convenient cover-up. Not a word is mentioned about its main weather warfare program: The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in Gokona, Alaska –jointly managed by the US Air Force and the US Navy.

TABLE 1:  Unusual Weather Patterns (2003-2004)

Alex, Ivan, Frances, Charley and Jeanne (August-September 2004): Four destructive hurricanes and a tropical rain storm occur in a sequence, within a short period of time. Unprecedented in hurricane history in the Caribbean, the island of Grenada is completely devastated: 37 people died and roughly two-thirds of the island’s 100,000 inhabitants have been left homeless, in Haiti, more than two thousand people have died and tens of thousands have been made homeless. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas have also been devastated.

In the US, the damage hitting several Southern states including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the Carolinas is the highest in US history.

Brazil  March 2004:   The first-ever hurricane formed in the South Atlantic, striking Brazil with 90 mph winds and causing up to a dozen deaths. “Meteorologists were left scratching their heads in bewilderment as the familiar swirl of clouds, complete with a well-defined eye, appeared in an oceanic basin where none had been spotted before.” (WP, 19 September 2004, See also http://www.climate.org/topics/climate/brazil_hurricane.shtml )

Japan, China and the Korean Peninsula: “Japan has suffered its highest number of typhoon strikes on record, and the storms — which hit at the rate of one a week for much of the summer — wreaked havoc in Taiwan, China and the Korean Peninsula.” (ibid)

China (August 2004): Typhoon Rananim, the worst in 48 years, has killed at least 164 people and injured more than 1800 in China’s Zhejiang province. Rananim is confirmed by China’s meteorological authorities to be the strongest to hit the Chinese mainland since 1956. It is estimated to have disrupted the life of some 13 million people, http://www.cma.gov.cn/ywwz/englishread.php?recid=39616

United States May 2003 : 562 tornadoes hit the United States, the highest in recorded history, far exceeding the previous monthly peak of 399 in June 1992.(CNN, July 3, 2003, http://www.cnn.com/2003/WEATHER/07/03/wmo.extremes/ )

India, early 2003: a pre-monsoon heat wave caused peak temperatures of between 45 and 49 degrees Celsius (113 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit), killing more than 1400 people.(Ibid)

Sri Lanka, “heavy rainfalls from Tropical Cyclone 01B exacerbated already wet conditions, causing flooding and landslides and more than 300 fatalities.” (Ibid)

Western Europe Summer 2003: experienced extremely high Summer temperatures. “Switzerland experienced its hottest June [2003] in at least 250 years while in the south of France average temperatures were between 5 and 7 degrees Celsius (9 to 13 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the long term average. England and Wales also experienced their hottest month since 1976.” (Ibid)

There are several mainstream explanations on weather and climate change, none of which fully explains, within their respective terms of reference, the highly unusual and erratic weather occurrences, not to mention the human toll and devastation, which have led to the destabilization of entire agricultural and eco-systems. Needless to say these explanations never address the issue of climate manipulation for military use.

Climatic Manipulation by the US Military: The HAARP Program

The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in Gokona, Alaska, has been in existence since 1992. It is part of a new generation of sophisticated weaponry under the US Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Operated by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate, HAARP constitutes a system of powerful antennas capable of creating “controlled local modifications of the ionosphere” [upper layer of the atmosphere]:

“[HAARP will be used] to induce a small, localized change in ionospheric temperature so that resulting physical reactions can be studied by other instruments located either at or close to the HAARP site”. (HAARP website)

Nicholas Begich –actively involved in the public campaign against HAARP– describes HAARP as:

“A super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of the ionosphere  by focusing a beam and heating those areas. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything — living and dead.” (for further details see Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO201A.html )

World renowned scientist Dr. Rosalie Bertell depicts HAARP as “a gigantic heater that can cause major disruptions in the ionosphere, creating not just holes, but long incisions in the protective layer that keeps deadly radiation from bombarding the planet.” (quoted in Chossudovsky, op cit.)

According to Richard Williams, a physicist and consultant to the David Sarnoff laboratory in Princeton

HAARP constitutes “an irresponsible act of global vandalism.” He and others fear a secret second stage where HAARP would “beam much more energy into the ionosphere. That could produce a severe disruption of the upper atmosphere at one location that may produce effects that spread rapidly around the Earth for years.” (Quoted in Scott Gilbert, Environmental Warfare and US Foreign Policy: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction,  http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/GIL401A.html )

HAARP has been presented to public opinion as a program of scientific and academic research. US military documents seem to suggest, however, that HAARP’s main objective is to “exploit the ionosphere for Department of Defense purposes.” (quoted in Chossudovsky, op cit).

Without explicitly referring to the HAARP program, a US Air Force study points to the use of “induced ionospheric modifications” as a means of altering weather patterns as well as disrupting enemy communications and radar. (Ibid)

HAARP also has the ability of triggering blackouts and disrupting the electricity power system of entire regions.

An analysis of statements emanating from the US Air Force points to the unthinkable: the covert manipulation of weather patterns, communications systems and electric power as a weapon of global warfare, enabling the US to disrupt and dominate entire regions of the World.

Weather Warfare: A Corporate Bonanza

HAARP has been operational since the early 1990s. Its system of antennas at Gakona, Alaska, was initially based on a technology patented by Advanced Power Technologies Inc. (APTI), a subsidiary of Atlantic Ritchfield Corporation (ARCO).  The first phase of the HAARP Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI) was completed by APTI.  The IRI system of antennas was first installed in 1992 by a subsidiary of British Aerospace Systems (BAES) using the APTI patent. The antennas beam into the outer-atmosphere using a set of wireless high frequency transmitters.

In 1994, ARCO sold its APTI subsidiary, including the patents and the second phase construction contract to E-Systems, a secretive high tech military outfit with links to the CIA (http://www.crystalinks.com/haarp.html ).

E-Systems specializes in the production of electronic warfare equipment, navigation and reconnaissance machinery, including “highly sophisticated spying devices”:

“[E-Systems] is one of the biggest intelligence contractors in the world, doing work for the CIA, defense intelligence organizations, and others. US$1.8 billion of their annual sales are to these organizations, with $800 million for black projects-projects so secret that even the United States Congress isn’t told how the money is being spent.( http://www.earthpulse.com/haarp/vandalism.html )

“The company has outfitted such military projects as the Doomsday Plan (the system that allows the President to manage a nuclear war) and Operation Desert Storm.” (Princeton Review, http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/profiles/internshipGenInfo.asp?internshipID=998 )

With the purchase of APTI, E-Systems acquired the strategic weather warfare technology and patent rights, including Bernard J. Eastlund’s US Patent No: 4,686,605 entitled “Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere and/or Magnetosphere”.

It is worth mentioning that the Eastlund /APTI patents were based on the research of Yugoslav scientist Nicola Tesla (many of whose ideas were stolen by US corporations). (See Scott Gilbert, Environmental Warfare and US Foreign Policy: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction,  http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/GIL401A.html )

Eastlund described this deadly technology as capable of:

“causing…total disruption of communications over a very large portion of the Earth…missile or aircraft destruction, deflection or confusion… weather modification…” ( http://www.wealth4freedom.com/truth/12/HAARP.htm ),

Not surprisingly, the patent had previously been sealed under a government secrecy order.

Barely a year following the E-Systems purchase of APTI’s weather warfare technology, E-Systems was bought out by Raytheon, the fourth largest US military contractor. Through this money-spinning acquisition, Raytheon became the largest “defense electronics” firm in the World.

Meanwhile, ARCO which had sold APTI to E-Systems, had itself been acquired by the BP-AMOCO oil consortium, thereby integrating the largest oil company in the World (BP).

Raytheon through its E-Systems subsidiary now owns the patents used to develop the HAARP weather warfare facility at Gakona Alaska. Raytheon is also involved in other areas of weather research for military use, including the activities of its subsidiary in Antarctica, Raytheon Polar Services.

“Owning the Weather”: Towards the Expanded Final Stage

The HAARP antenna array and transmitters were slated to be built in several distinct phases http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/phases.html

* Developmental Prototype (DP)
* (See  http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/dp.html ) Filled DP (FDP),
* Limited IRI (LIRI)
* Full size or final IRI (FIRI).

See http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/fdp.html

During the Clinton administration, the “Filled Developmental Prototype” (FDP), namely a system composed of an array of 48 active antenna elements with connected wireless transmitters, was installed and completed at the HAARP facility in 1994. (See Figure 1 below) Under the initial Developmental Prototype (DP), only 18 of the 48 transmitters were connected.

Bernard Eastlund in a 1997 interview described this antenna array in its Filled DP stage as the “the largest ionospheric heater ever built”.

This system of 48 antennas, however, while fully operational, was not according to Eastlund, powerful enough (in 1997) “to bring the ideas in his patents to fruition”:

. “But they’re getting up there”, he said. “This is a very powerful device. Especially if they go to the expanded stage.” (quoted in Scott Gilbert, op cit, see also http://www.emagazine.com/january-february_1997/0197currhaarp.html )

This ‘final expanded stage’ envisioned by Eastlund, which will provide maximum capability to manipulate the World’s weather patterns, has now been reached.

Under the Bush administration, the main partner of Raytheon (which owns the patents) in the construction and development stage of the HAARP antenna array, is British Aerospace Systems (BAES), which had been involved in the initial installation of the antenna array in the early 1990s.

The multimillion dollar contract was granted by The Office of Naval Research to BAES in 2003, through its US subsidiary BAE Systems Advanced Technologies Inc. The contract was signed barely two months before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

Using Raytheon’s technology, BAES was to develop the HAARP Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI) to its maximum capabilities of “Full size or final IRI (FIRI)”.

In April 2003, BAE Systems Advanced Technologies outsourced the production and installation of the antennas to Phazar Corp (http://www.phazar.com/ ), a company specializing in advanced wireless antennas for military use. (Phazar owns Antenna Products Corporation of Mineral Wells, Texas http://www.antennaproducts.com/ ). Phazar was entrusted with producing and installing 132 crossed dipole antennas items for the HAARP facility. (http://www.antennaproducts.com/News%20Release%2004-18-03.pdf )

A year later, in April 2004, the final phase in the expansion of the HAARP facility was launched. (Dept of Defense, 19 April 2004). This phase consisted in equipping all the 180 antennas with high frequency transmitters.  BAE Systems was awarded another lucrative contract, this time for $35 million.

In July 2004, Phazar had delivered and installed the 132 crossed dipole antennas including the antenna support structures and ground screen items at the HAARP facility, bringing the number of antennas from 48 under the FDP stage to 180. (see Table 2).

Meanwhile, BAE Systems had contracted with Jersey based defense electronics firm DRS Technologies, Inc in an $11.5 million outsourcing arrangement, the production and installation of the high-frequency (HF) radio transmitters for the HAARP antenna array. (See http://www.drs.com/press/archivelist.cfm?PRESS_RELEASE_ID=1529&preview=1 and Business Wire, 15 June 2004). DRS specializes in a variety of leading edge products for the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. ( http://www.drs.com/corporateinfo/index.cfm ).

Under its contract with BAE Systems Information and Electronic Warfare Systems in Washington, D.C., DRS is to manufacture and install “more than 60 Model D616G 10-Kilowatt Dual Transmitters” to be used with the HAARP system of antennas. (It is unclear from the company statements whether all the 180 antennas will be equipped with a transmitter, bringing the system up to full IRI capabilities).

Deliveries and installation are to be completed by July 2006. While HAARP is described as a “research project”, the production of the transmitters was entrusted to DRS’ C41 “Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Group”

The diagram and images below describe the HAARP Alaska Facility in 1997.

. FDP layout

Figure 1: The Array of 48 Antenna Elements with the Transmitter Shelters  (FDP stage)

The 48 antenna array is supported by transmitter shelters, each of which contains 6 transmitter cabinets. (See image of shelter below)

Each cabinet contains two transmitters. (image of cabinet below)

The newly installed 132 dipole antennas supplied by Phazar vastly increase the size of the HAARP Alaska facility;  the new transmitters are supplied and installed by DRS

Image 1: Aerial Photo of the HAARP Alaska Site

Source:  http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/ohd.html


Image 2: HAARP Antenna Array

Source: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/HaarpSite.html

Image 3 Transmitter Shelter

Transmitter Shelter containing Six Transmitter Cabinets. Each Cabinet contains two transmitters

Image 4: Inside the Transmitter Shelter

Image 5. Two Transmitters making up a  Transmitter Cabinet

Testing of HAARP Equipment (2003- 2004)

It is worth noting that the expansion of the antenna array (e.g. during 2003-2004) required, as part of the contracts reached with BAE Systems and its various subcontractors, the routine testing of the installed weather warfare equipment. An intermediate stage Limited IRI (LIRI), could be in operation by 2004, following the completion of the 180 antenna array under the Phazar contract and pending the final delivery of the remaining HF radio transmitters.

In this regard, a report published by the Russian parliament (Duma) in 2002, suggests that the US Military had plans to test its weather modification techniques at its Alaska facility, as well as at two other sites:

“The committees reported that the USA is planning to test three facilities of this kind. One of them is located on the military testing ground in Alaska and its full-scale tests are to begin in early 2003. The second one is in Greenland and the third one in Norway.

“When these facilities are launched into space from Norway, Alaska and Greenland, a closed contour will be created with a truly fantastic integral potential for influencing the near-Earth medium,” the State Duma said.

The USA plans to carry out large-scale scientific experiments under the HAARP program, and not controlled by the global community, will create weapons capable of breaking radio communication lines and equipment installed on spaceships and rockets, provoke serious accidents in electricity networks and in oil and gas pipelines and have a negative impact on the mental health of people populating entire regions, the deputies said. (Interfax News Agency, original Russian, BBC Monitoring, 8 August 2002, emphasis added)

Whether this report by the Russian Duma on testing “starting in early 2003” is correct or not, the US administration must be confronted nationally and internationally, at the political and diplomatic levels, at the UN and the US Congress, by the international scientific community, by environmentalists and the antiwar movement. The future of humanity is threatened by the use of weather modification techniques.

Moreover, to wage an effective campaign, it is essential that corroborating scientific investigation of the unusual weather occurrences observed in recent years (and particularly since early 2003) be undertaken. This investigation should be far-reaching, collecting relevant data, correlating specific weather occurrences to recorded antenna activity at the Alaska site as well as at the two other sites, etc.

The Full Size Ionospheric Research Instrument FIRI stage, described as  “a maximum size of 180 antenna elements, arranged in 15 columns by 12 rows” is scheduled to be completed by mid-2006 (assuming the installation of the remaining dual transmitters), at which time the HAARP program will have reached its maximum FIRI capacity, meaning the ability to selectively modify, for military use, weather patterns anywhere in the World.

“The IRI is currently [June 2004] composed of 48 antenna elements and has a power capacity of 960,000 watts. When installed, the additional 132 transmitters will give HAARP a 3.6 mega-watt capacity [see Table 2 below]. The HAARP build-out is jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). (Business Wire, 10 June 2004)

Table 2: Comparison of IRI Phases





Number of Active Antenna Elements





Total Transmitter Power (kW)





Maximum Antenna Gain (dB)





Max Effective Radiated Pwr (dBW)





Min Antenna Pattern Width (degrees)




Frequency Range

2.8 to 10 MHz

Modulation Types


Source http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/phases.html

This advanced stage of full capacity (FIRI) corresponds to what the US Air Force has called “Owning the Weather”:

US aerospace forces [will] ‘own the weather’ by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications… From enhancing friendly operations or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of natural weather patterns to complete dominance of global communications and counterspace control, weather-modification offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary… In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels.(US Air Force, emphasis added. Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report, http://www.au.af.mil/au/2025/ )

Weather Warfare against “Rogue States”

The unusual climatic occurrences in the US and Western Europe have been extensively documented.

However, what the news media has failed to underscore is that a number of unusual and dramatic climatic changes have occurred in recent years in countries which are identified as possible targets under the US Administration’s pre-emptive war doctrine.

Weather patterns in North Korea, for instance, have been marked since the mid-1990s by a succession of droughts, followed by floods. The result has been the destruction of an entire agricultural system. In Cuba, the pattern is very similar to that observed in North Korea. (see Table 3)

In Iraq, Iran and  Syria, a devastating drought occurred in 1999. In Afghanistan, four years of drought in the years preceding the US led invasion in 2001, have led to the destruction of the peasant economy, leading to widespread famine.

While there is no proof that these weather occurrences are the result of climatic warfare, Phillips Geophysics Lab, which is a partner in the HAARP project provides a course for military personnel at the Hanscom Air Force Base in Maryland, on “Weather Modification Techniques”. The course outline explicitly contemplates the triggering of storms, hurricanes, etc. for military use. (See his slide show at http://www.dtc.army.mil/tts/1997/proceed/abarnes/ open PowerPoint presentation at http://www.dtc.army.mil/tts/tts97/abarnes.zip )

Weather manipulation is the pre-emptive weapon par excellence. It can be directed against enemy countries or even “friendly nations”, without their knowledge. Weather warfare constitutes a covert form of pre-emptive war. The manipulation of climate can be used to destabilize an enemy’s economy, ecosystem and agriculture (e.g. North Korea or Cuba). Needless to say it can trigger havoc in financial and commodity markets and can potentially be used as an instrument of “insider trade” for financial gain. It has the ability of destabilizing a country’s institutions. Concurrently, the disruption in agriculture creates a greater dependency on food aid and imported grain staples from the US and other Western countries.

The Bush administration has stated that it reserves the right to attack these countries preemptively, with a view to ensuring the security of the American homeland.

Washington –as part of its nuclear posture review– has threatened several countries including China and Russia with pre-emptive nuclear strikes. One would assume that the same targeting of rogue states exists with regard to the use of weather modification techniques”.

While there is no evidence of the use of weather warfare against rogue states, the policy guidelines on “weather intervention techniques” have already been established and the technology is fully operational.

Table 3: Unusual Weather Occurrences: North Korea, Cuba, Afghanistan and Iraq

North Korea

Recurrent flooding and drought often in the same year has hit North Korea since 1995, 220,000 people died in the ensuing famine, according to Pyongyang’s own figures. U.S. figures place the number of deaths resulting from famine at 2 million.

The first major flooding occurred in 1995.

There were floods and drought in 1999. The serious water shortage resulting from the 1999 drought was conducive to the destruction of crops.

“The temperature of water in rice fields goes beyond 40 degrees and the tall rice plants fresh from the rice seedling beds are withering. In particular, nearly all after-crop maize seedlings and seeds are perishing,” it added.

In 2001, in June there was an extensive drought with rainfall just 10% of normal levels, which served to undermine agricultural crops. And then a few months later, in October, there were extensive floodings leading to the further destruction of rice harvests and a crisis situation in food distribution.

“Officials in Kangwon province – an area which already suffers food shortages – say the impact of the torrential rain and flooding has been devastating. The normal recorded rainfall for October should be around 20mm. But in the worst-affected areas 400mm (18 inches) of rain fell in just 12 hours. “It was the worst flooding we’ve had since records began in 1910,” said Kim Song Hwan, head of the government’s Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee for the region. (BBC, 23 Oct 2001, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/1614981.stm )


For several years Cuba has been affected by recurrent droughts. In 1998, rainfall in Eastern Cuba was at its lowest level since 1941.

A United Nations team estimated 539,000 people, 280,000 of them farmers, were directly affected by reduced availability of food or reduced income through production losses. Some reported effects are: hunger in areas; a loss of up to 14% of the sugar cane crop planted last year and a reduction in this spring’s planted crops, since rains were not sufficient for some seeds to germinate (which will reduce next year’s crop); as much as 42% losses in food staples such as root vegetables, beans, bananas, and rice in the five eastern provinces; and livestock, poultry, and egg production losses

(UN Relief,  http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/2975570e60ff2a7685256680005a8e2d?OpenDocument )

In 2003, a devastating drought hit the Western part of Cuba

In 2004  May-June, the country is hit by the worst drought in its history:

“A severe drought enveloping eastern Cuba has eroded 40 percent of the farmland, starved thousands of heads of cattle and has close to 4 million people counting every drop of water they consume.” The drought is described as the worst in 40 years.

“The drought has robbed underground water levels of some 10 feet over the past 10 years, leaving over 5,000 wells across the province dry,” said Leandro Bermudez, a geologist and the second man at Cuba’s National Institute of Hydraulic Resources. (MSNBC, 21 June 2004 http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5262324

The cities are running out of water. According to the Independent,  “Drought is bringing Cuba to its knees

Unnoticed by the world, the longest dry period for decades has brought much of Cuba to its knees. Could this be the crisis that finally destroys Fidel’s revolution?

“All across central and eastern Cuba, farmers, ranchers, city dwellers and government officials are scrambling to deal with a punishing drought that began a decade ago and intensified in the last two years.

Although traditionally arid, the provinces of Holguin, Camaguey and Las Tunas hold some of Cuba’s finest pasture and farmland and have long been crucial to this communist nation’s dairy, beef and agricultural industries.

More than 12,500 cattle have died in Holguin alone in 2004 and milk production has fallen 20 percent. The price of beans, plantains, sweet potatoes and other staples has soared in private markets.

The drought has caused millions of dollars in losses and officials are spending millions more digging wells, building a water pipeline and taking other measures to try to ease the crisis – huge sums in an impoverished nation struggling through tough economic times and a battle with the United States.

Officials also have moved thousands of cattle to more fertile areas and are working furiously to finish a 32-mile pipeline that will draw water to Holguin city from Cuba’s largest river, the Cauto. The $5 million pipeline could be completed next month. (Chicago Tribune, July 29, 2004, http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/world/9271316.htm )

The above report date to September 2004, it was published before, the hurricanes hit the Cuban coastline followed by torrential rains.

Afghanistan and The former Soviet Republics of Central Asia

The worst drought in Afghanistan history occurred in the three consecutive years prior to the onslaught of the US led invasion, from 1999 to 2001. The agricultural recovery of the 1990s, in the wake of the Soviet-Afghan war was brought to a standstill.

In the wake of the US led 2001 invasion,  the United States supplied Afghanistan with genetically modified wheat and appropriate types of fertilizer to be used with the GM wheat, which was said to be high yield drought resistant. The donation of GM wheat, however, also led to destabilizing the small peasant economy because the GM wheat varieties could not reproduced locally. In 2002, famines which were barely reported by the media, swept the country.

Similar although less severe conditions prevailed in the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Like Afghanistan, Tajikistan has had its infrastructure ruined by prolonged civil war with Muslim fundamentalists. Since then, the worst regional drought in 74 years has destroyed food crops over a large part of the nation, rendering almost half of the 6.2 million people in the country vulnerable to the threat of famine and disease, up from 3 million last year. About the only portion of the economy that has been unaffected is the drug trade. Tajikistan is the transit route for 65 to 85 percent of heroin smuggled out of Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer. (http://www.americanfreepress.net/Mideast/Drought__Desperation_Breed_Vio/drought__desperation_breed_vio.html ]

Triggered by the lowest rainfall (2001) in living memory, vast tracts of Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan are being reduced to desert as the water table sinks, long-established wells dry up and herds of livestock perish.

The crisis appears to fulfill alarming climate change predictions suggesting that states along the old Silk Road will experience steeper rises in temperature than any other region on earth. By the end of the century it will be 5C hotter in an area which regularly sees the thermometer soar above 40C.

The study, published last year by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, predicted that Asian countries from Kazakhstan to Saudi Arabia will warm up more than twice as much as others. “Several states,” the report added, “including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran, [are facing] famine.”

In Tajikistan, the United Nations appealed for aid to avert disaster. “Substantial foreign aid is needed or else there will be a large-scale famine,” said Matthew Kahane, the UN’s humanitarian aid coordinator, speaking from the capital, Dushanbe.

“The country has had its lowest rainfall for 75 years. Families who survived last year by selling their cows and chickens now have no other means of coping. Some households have sold the glass out of their windows and the wooden beams from their roofs to raise money for food.”

(The Guardian, 0ct 30, 2001,  http://www.guardian.co.uk/famine/story/0,12128,736902,00.html )


In 1999, Iraq suffered its worst drought of the century, with the effect of triggering an even greater dependence on imported grain under the oil for food program. There was a drop of up to 70  percent in domestic yields of wheat, barley and other cereals, which served to further weaken the country’s economy, crippled by economic sanctions  and the routine bombing by allied aircraft in the no-fly zones.

A similar (although less serious) situation prevailed in Syria and Iran, marked by significant declines in agricultural output.

Related Global Research Articles on Weather Warfare

Michel Chossudovsky, Washington’s New World Order Weapons Have the Ability to Trigger Climate Change, Jan 2001, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO201A.html

Vladimir V. Sytin, Secret Use of Weather Modification Techniques by US Air Force? August 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/SYT308A.html

Interfax,.US Could Dominate The Planet if It Deploys This Weapon In Space, CRG, August 2002,  http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/INT208A.html

Scott Gilbert, Environmental Warfare and US Foreign Policy: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction, January 2004,  http://globalresearch.ca/articles/GIL401A.html

Bob Fitrakis, Rods from Gods: The insanity of Star Wars, 24 June 2004,  http://globalresearch.ca/articles/FIT407A.html

Did a Secret Military Experiment Cause the 2003 Blackout?  7 September 2003,  http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ANA309A.html

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