Thursday, October 12, 2006

600,000 Iraqi War Dead in Newest Scientific Estimate

The School of Medicine at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, Iraq, and The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University--in cooperation with MIT's Center for International Studies--have released a report on the under-examined question of civilian deaths in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. Its central conclusion, based on a population-based survey conducted at some risk by a team of Iraqi and American public health researchers, is that approximately 600,000 people have died violently above the normal mortality rate. Including non-violent deaths that are nevertheless linked to the war, the total is estimated to be more than 650,000.

On October 12, 2006, the survey results will be published in the British medical journal, The Lancet.

The report on the survey findings, methods and implications, is available here. "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq: A Mortality Study, 2002-2006" explains the cluster survey method; discusses how so many fatalities are possible; looks at the overall status of health in Iraq; examines U.S. military casualties and deaths and their long-term consequences, and discusses policy implications of the study.

For questions about the study, contact Tim Parsons, Director of Public Affairs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, (410) 955-7619 or

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

1/3 of earth to become desert by 2100, say climatologists

The century of drought

One third of the planet will be desert by the year 2100, say climate experts in the most dire warning yet of the effects of global warming

By Michael McCarthy, Environmental Editor

Published: 04 October 2006

Drought threatening the lives of millions will spread across half the land surface of the Earth in the coming century because of global warming, according to new predictions from Britain's leading climate scientists.

Extreme drought, in which agriculture is in effect impossible, will affect about a third of the planet, according to the study from the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.

It is one of the most dire forecasts so far of the potential effects of rising temperatures around the world - yet it may be an underestimation, the scientists involved said yesterday.

The findings, released at the Climate Clinic at the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth, drew astonished and dismayed reactions from aid agencies and development specialists, who fear that the poor of developing countries will be worst hit.

"This is genuinely terrifying," said Andrew Pendleton of Christian Aid. "It is a death sentence for many millions of people. It will mean migration off the land at levels we have not seen before, and at levels poor countries cannot cope with."

One of Britain's leading experts on the effects of climate change on the developing countries, Andrew Simms from the New Economics Foundation, said: "There's almost no aspect of life in the developing countries that these predictions don't undermine - the ability to grow food, the ability to have a safe sanitation system, the availability of water. For hundreds of millions of people for whom getting through the day is already a struggle, this is going to push them over the precipice."

The findings represent the first time that the threat of increased drought from climate change has been quantified with a supercomputer climate model such as the one operated by the Hadley Centre.

Their impact is likely to even greater because the findings may be an underestimate. The study did not include potential effects on drought from global-warming-induced changes to the Earth's carbon cycle.

In one unpublished Met Office study, when the carbon cycle effects are included, future drought is even worse.

The results are regarded as most valid at the global level, but the clear implication is that the parts of the world already stricken by drought, such as Africa, will be the places where the projected increase will have the most severe effects.

The study, by Eleanor Burke and two Hadley Centre colleagues, models how a measure of drought known as the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is likely to increase globally during the coming century with predicted changes in rainfall and heat around the world because of climate change. It shows the PDSI figure for moderate drought, currently at 25 per cent of the Earth's surface, rising to 50 per cent by 2100, the figure for severe drought, currently at about 8 per cent, rising to 40 cent, and the figure for extreme drought, currently 3 per cent, rising to 30 per cent.

Senior Met Office scientists are sensitive about the study, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, stressing it contains uncertainties: there is only one climate model involved, one future scenario for emissions of greenhouse gases (a moderate-to-high one) and one drought index. Nevertheless, the result is "significant", according to Vicky Pope, the head of the Hadley Centre's climate programme. Further work would now be taking place to try to assess the potential risk of different levels of drought in different places, she said.

The full study - Modelling the Recent Evolution of Global Drought and Projections for the 21st Century with the Hadley Centre Climate Model - will be published later this month in The Journal of Hydrometeorology .

It will be widely publicised by the British Government at the negotiations in Nairobi in November on a successor to the Kyoto climate treaty. But a preview of it was given by Dr Burke in a presentation to the Climate Clinic, which was formed by environmental groups, with The Independent as media partner, to press politicians for tougher action on climate change. The Climate Clinic has been in operation at all the party conferences.

While the study will be seen as a cause for great concern, it is the figure for the increase in extreme drought that some observers find most frightening.

"We're talking about 30 per cent of the world's land surface becoming essentially uninhabitable in terms of agricultural production in the space of a few decades," Mark Lynas, the author of High Tide, the first major account of the visible effects of global warming around the world, said. "These are parts of the world where hundreds of millions of people will no longer be able to feed themselves."

Mr Pendleton said: "This means you're talking about any form of development going straight out of the window. The vast majority of poor people in the developing world are small-scale farmers who... rely on rain."

A glimpse of what lies ahead

The sun beats down across northern Kenya's Rift Valley, turning brown what was once green. Farmers and nomadic herders are waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the "short" rains - a few weeks of intense rainfall that will ensure their crops grow and their cattle can eat.

The short rains are due in the next month. Last year they never came; large swaths of the Horn of Africa stayed brown. From Ethiopia and Eritrea, through Somalia and down into Tanzania, 11 million people were at risk of hunger.

This devastating image of a drought-ravaged region offers a glimpse of what lies ahead for large parts of the planet as global warming takes hold.

In Kenya, the animals died first. The nomadic herders' one source of sustenance and income - their cattle - perished with nothing to eat and nothing to drink. Bleached skeletons of cows and goats littered the barren landscape.

The number of food emergencies in Africa each year has almost tripled since the 1980s. Across sub-Saharan Africa, one in three people is under-nourished. Poor governance has played a part.

Pastoralist communities suffer most, rather than farmers and urban dwellers. Nomadic herders will walk for weeks to find a water hole or riverbed. As resources dwindle, fighting between tribes over scarce resources becomes common.

One of the most critical issues is under-investment in pastoralist areas. Here, roads are rare, schools and hospitals almost non-existent.

Nomadic herders in Turkana, northern Kenya, who saw their cattle die last year, are making adjustments to their way of life. When charities offerednew cattle, they said no. Instead, they asked for donkeys and camels - animals more likely to survive hard times.

Pastoralists have little other than their animals to rely on. But projects which provide them with money to buy food elsewhere have proved effective, in the short term at least.

Steve Bloomfield

Friday, September 08, 2006

WHAT right wing media??


Controversy Over ABC's 9/11 'Docudrama' Hits Fever Pitch

By , Editor & Publisher
Posted on September 7, 2006, Printed on September 7, 2006

For the very latest in the controversy check out the video interview with E&P's Greg Mitchell, HERE.

Just bubbling up from the blogs into the mainstream press -- a New York Times article appears on Wednesday -- is debate over the "The Path to 9/11," the TV movie to be aired on ABC this coming Sept. 10 and 11. Liberals have charged that it reportedly pins most of the blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on President Clinton, often citing conservative bloggers or talk show hosts who made this very point after attending screenings.

Meanwhile, at least three real-life figures portrayed in the movie (Richard Clarke, Madeline Albright and Sandy Berger) have raised factual objections. ABC, and an adviser to the series -- former Gov. Thomas Kean, co-chair of the 9/11 Commission -- have said it is balanced and objective, and a docudrama, not literal truth.

But few of its critics have actually seen the film. E&P obtained an advance review copy on Tuesday, and we summarize the film below. It's possible that some changes may have been, or will be, made in this cut.

The nearly four-and-a-half-hour film, based on a script by Cyrus Nowrasteh and directed by David Cunningham, stars Harvey Keitel. It is ambitious and striking in execution, often relying on handheld cameras, tight close-ups and creative visuals.

The first half, to be aired Sunday, explores the terrorist threat starting with the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center, and there is little question that President Clinton is dealt with severely, almost mockingly, with the Lewinsky scandal closely tied to his failure to cripple al-Qaeda.

"The Path to 9/11" ends with a long segment on the day of the attacks and top officials' response -- though we only see President Bush in his speech to the nation, not in the Florida classroom with "The Pet Goat."

The attention on Clinton's culpability arrives about halfway through Part I, following the successful prosecution of several men involved in the 1993 WTC bombing. Keitel, an FBI security expert and clearly a tough-guy hero in this story, mentions Osama bin Laden (or "the tall one") for the first time. Richard Clarke, the White House terrorism expert and another sage in this story, agrees "we're at war." [CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Clarke was an adviser to the film. He was not. ]

After ABC airs an interview with bin Laden, O'Neill gets the okay to "snatch" bin Laden if he can, with a legal OK from the Justice Dept. U.S. operatives hook up with Massoud, the anti-Taliban leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and he takes them to a village where bin Laden is staying. A 15-man attack team is formed.

Meanwhile, back at CIA headquarters in Langley, the nervous Nellies -- i.e. Sandy Berger, the Clinton national security adviser, and (off and on) CIA director George Tenet -- raise questions, such as how to get money for this program, how covert should it be, aren't women and children in the village at risk? Besides, Massoud is a drug dealer. A decision is put off.

Clarke explains to O'Neill afterward that "they are worried about political fallout" and "legalities." O'Neill complains that terrorism is "perceived by this administration as a law and order problem." A CIA planner angrily declares, "It's not about sitting around a conference room covering your ass."

Right away comes a quick cut to Clinton making his famous statement about not having "sexual relations" with Lewinsky. Clarke tells O'Neill that Clinton won't give the order to get bin Laden in this climate, with Republicans calling for his impeachment. O'Neill says that Clinton wants bin Laden dead -- but not if he has to order it. "It's pathetic," he declares.

Back in Afghanistan, the operatives plan for the snatch job anyway, hoping for approval once it's clear they have their man. One night, they call Langley -- they are ready to get bin Laden, he is nearby. "Do we have clearance?" they ask. Berger says he doesn't have authority, he would have to check, they're not all on "the same page."

A CIA official tells Berger the president has approved snatches in the past. Berger wonders about the quality of the intelligence. The CIA woman says it's never 100%. With that, Berger punts and asks Tenet if HE wants to offer a recommendation to the president. Tenet asks: Why does the buck always stop with me, like with the Waco disaster?

At that point, Berger simply hangs up -- and the operatives abroad pack up and leave. Massoud asks if they are "all cowards in Washington." Again there is an immediate cut to Clinton, parsing sexual terms in his taped testimony on the Lewinsky case -- and then a clip of him hugging Monica. (The New York Times story today -- see below -- notes that Clarke disputes much of this scenario.)

A little later in the film, the U.S. embassy in Nairobi is attacked, with many deaths. A CIA agent in tears yells at Tenet, saying he should have ordered the killing of bin Laden when they had the chance. O'Neill to Clarke: "Clinton has to do SOMETHING."

It's now August 1998. In the White House Situation Room, Tenet and Clarke say we need to move on the Taliban, who are protecting bin Laden. A new character, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, says that is too "major" an operaton, "The president is not willing to go that far." They should focus solely on bin Laden.

Finally Clinton acts. Told that bin Laden is meeting in an isolated location in Afghanistan on Aug. 20, 1998, Clinton orders attacks there, as well as taking out a chemical arms factory in the Sudan. But the chemical warehouse turns out to be a pharmaceutical plant, and bin Laden escapes from the other attacks, only raising his stature among his followers. A reporter notes that Republicans and "pundits" are accusing Clinton of acting only to divert attention from the Lewinsky scandal.

An angry Massoud says that the attacks failed because the U.S. told Pakistan about them in advance. Tenet asks Albright about this and she confirms it, saying regional factors had to be considered. Berger pipes up, saying covert operations usually don't work or backfire -- look at the Bay of Pigs. Now Tenet is steamed and he goes on a rant.

Cut to O'Neill at a bar, praising Tenet for showing "cujones."

Part I ends with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad meeting with bin Laden in 1999 to discuss "the plane operation." Later Mohammad is told that bin Laden approves, but feels 10 planes are too many -- they won't be able to find that many reliable hijackers. He is also told that the target is important, for they need to maximize casualties.


Part II picks up with O'Neill learning of the bombing of the USS Cole in October, 2000. Again Clinton's crew gets hammered in this narrative. Clinton's ambassador to Yemen (a she-devil played by Patricia Heaton) won't let O'Neill do his job.

Clarke is shown advocating massive attacks on al-Qaeda camps but Albright and others say there's not enough proof that bin Laden was behind the Cole attack -- and Clinton has priorities more urgent than a "rogue attack" on some "caves."

Much of the story then shifts to the plans and movements by the hijackers. For some reason, ringleader Atta is about 15 times better looking than the original.

We also see Clarke warning Secretary of State Rice of a "spike" in terror warnings -- he wants to meet personally with Bush -- but she assures him that the president is "on it." Later she tells Clarke that his terrorism job is being "redefined" and he objects.

O'Neill, meanwhile, is thinking about quitting because "despite the red flags no one is taking terrorism seriously." But the script focuses on the CIA and FBI not sharing information, the FBI not acting on warnings about flight schools, and other slip-ups -- not any true lack of interest in the White House. O'Neill partly blames "political correctness."

Tenet complains that there are so many threats coming they are "overloaded," they need more analysts and translators, and more "actionable" tips. O'Neill quits and becomes head of security at -- the World Trade Center. Along the way we get subtle endorsements for the Patriot Act and airport profiling.

But what about the famous Aug. 6, 2001 "PDB" that warned the president about bin Laden's determination to strike within the U.S.? We see Secretary Rice reading it in private and looking concerned, but we never see the president's reaction.

However, on Sept. 4, 2001, Rice tells officials that thanks to the warnings in the PDB, the president is convinced al-Qaeda is a "real threat … the president is tired of swatting flies." She seems to advocate taking some strong action and Clarke agrees, but Tenet argues against it. So in this telling, it appears that President Bush is in the vigilant/aggressive camp, perhaps thwarted by Clinton holdover Tenet.

Finally we see how this plays out tragically on Sept. 11, 2001. O'Neill dies inside the WTC. Much attention is given to the decision to shoot down United flight 93, but the movie's time frame now badly needs fixing given the recent revelations about what officials knew about that flight and when. The president, in any case, seems firmly in control, appearing on TV to promise help for all, and declaring, "terrorism against our nation will not stand."

The film closes with a statement that the 9/11 Commission has given many failing grades on the response to its recommendations.

To state again: This was a review copy of the film and tweaks have possibly already been made. ABC announced Tueday it would air the film without commercials due to its sensitive and controversial nature.


The New York Times story today notes ABC's claims of objectivity but points out that "some critics -- including Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar -- questioned a scene that depicted several American military officers on the ground in Afghanistan. In a posting on, and in a phone interview, Mr. Clarke said no military personnel or C.I.A. agents were ever in position to capture Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan, nor did the leader of the Northern Alliance get that near to his camp.

"It didn't happen," Mr. Clarke said. "There were no troops in Afghanistan about to snatch bin Laden. There were no C.I.A. personnel about to snatch bin Laden. It's utterly invented."

"Mr. Clarke, an on-air consultant to ABC News, said he was particularly shocked by a scene in which it seemed Clinton officials simply hung up the phone on an agent awaiting orders in the field. 'It's 180 degrees from what happened,' he said. 'So, yeah, I think you would have to describe that as deeply flawed.'"

"ABC responded Tuesday with a statement saying that the miniseries was 'a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 commission report, other published materials and from personal interviews.'"

Gov. Kean said the scene in Afghanistan and the attempt to get bin Laden "is a composite."

© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

another prove of my ridiculous intensity

Not an hour after finishing "Everything is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer, I authored these lines. Enjoy the exchange.

> the subject line: are you jonathan safran foer?
> hello, whoever this is. i have written a letter for jonathan safran foer.
> it
> is short and it is personal. I am hoping this will reach jonathan. it is
> intended as a personal letter for him. i hope it will be treated as such
> and
> accorded the appropriate confidentiality.
> -Adam
> Dear Jonathan,
> I am 21 and a Jew and a man and I am sitting in this empty dorm room with
> your novel in my hands and I am weeping, sobbing, heaving sobbing weeping
> and only tears, and darkness, and the thought of a moment that will last
> forever and always die. I am weeping for nothing and I am breathing deep
> and
> hard to stop but I can't and my sobs turn to heaves, whining groans like a
> child makes, like a child throwing a tantrum, weeping unstoppably heaving
> for this happy moment of madness that will always never end. Soon the
> chapter is done and I am racing to the end and I am getting in bed and
> closing my eyes but sleep is an impossibility as I shake and heave again
> in
> the darkness cursing FUCK YOU JONATHAN FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU snorting
> & wheezing like a child cursing this filthy luck of living in this moment
> of
> existence that is as damned as the rest in a nation learning nothing
> heeding
> nothing always lying killing dying in Washington D.C. where I am briefly
> assisting resident teenagers with bestowed authority, and at this moment
> cold in a burning city alone in the dark weeping heaving like a child and
> cursing hating loving you for writing something filthy and glorious enough
> for my envy and contempt.
> Mazel Tov.

This is the note I got back from the email adress:

Thank you for your kind note. Jonathan is traveling at the moment but I
will pass your email along to him when he returns.

Domestic Wiretaps Ruled Unconstitutional... May Provide Grounds for IMPEACHMENT

From Capitol Hill Blue

Bush Leagues
Judge's ruling could provide grounds to impeach Bush
By CHB Staff
Aug 18, 2006, 07:57

If a judge's ruling that declares President George W. Bush's domestic spying program unconstitutional holds up under appeal, the President will be guilty of violating federal law at least 30 times and that could provide grounds for impeachment, says a leading Constitutional scholar.

President George W. Bush
Jonathan Turley, law professor at George Washington University and a recognized expert on constitutional law, says the ruling Thursday by a federal judge in Detroit raises "serious implications for the Bush administration" and indicates that the President "could well have committed a federal crime at least 30 times."

"This ruling is a bad situation that just got worse for the White House," says Turley. "These crimes could constitute impeachable offenses."

Turley knows a thing or two about the impeachment process. He worked with Special Prosecutor Ken Starr on the investigation that led to impeachment proceedings against former President Bill Clinton.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, in a stinging indictment of Constitutional abuse by the Bush Administration over its use of warrantless wiretaps of American citizens by the National Security Agency, ruled the program violates the Administrative Procedures Act, the doctrine of separation of powers, and the First and Fourth amendments to the Constitution and ordered an immediate halt to the practice.

"There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all 'inherent powers' must derive from that Constitution," Taylor wrote in her lengthy opinion.

The White House went into immediate attack mode, claiming Taylor is an activist judge appointed by a Democratic president (Jimmy Carter) and vowing to appeal the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court.

A Republican National Committee press release declared: Liberal judge backs Dem agenda to weaken national security.

Turley says such tactics are typical for the Bush White House.

"That's what's really distasteful," Turley said Thursday night on MNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann show. "This is not the first judge to rule against the administration. But every time a judge rules against the administration, they're either too Democratic or they're too tall or too short, or they're Pisces. I mean, it, you can, all this spin, this effort to personalize it is really doing a great injustice to our system. If you look at this opinion, it's a very thoughtful opinion. The problem is not the judge. The problem is a lack of authority. You know, when Gonzales says I've got something back in my safe, and if you could see it, you'd all agree with me, well, unless there's a federal statute in his safe, then it's not going to make a difference."

The judge's order to halt the program is stayed during the appeal process and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales vowed the domestic spying program will continue during those appeals, which could extend well beyond the end of Bush's final term in office.

© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bush at Lowest Approval Rating... AGAIN... 33%

Poll: Bush may be hurting Republicans

By DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press WriterFri Aug 11, 12:42 PM ET

Republicans determined to win in November are up against a troublesome trend — growing opposition to President Bush.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections — 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest.

Two years after giving the Republican president another term, more than half of these voters — 57 percent — disapprove of the job Bush is doing.

"The numbers ... are similar to what I'm hearing out in the streets," said Democrat Ed Perlmutter, a primary winner Tuesday in a competitive House race in Colorado. "I talked to so many people and they've had enough and want to see a change."

Democrats need to gain 15 seats in the House to seize control after a dozen years of Republican rule, and the party is optimistic about its chances amid diminishing support for Bush and the GOP-led Congress.

Republicans argue that elections will be decided in the 435 districts and the 33 Senate races based on local issues with the power of incumbency looming large.

"This election will be less about a political climate that is challenging for both parties, and instead about the actual candidates and how their policies impact voters on the local level," said Tracey Schmitt, a Republican National Committee spokeswoman.

But fewer than 100 days before the Nov. 7 election, the AP-Ipsos poll suggested the midterms are clearly turning into a national referendum on Bush.

The number of voters who say their congressional vote this fall will be in part to express opposition to the president jumped from 20 percent last month to 29 percent, driven by double-digit increases among males, minorities, moderate and conservative Democrats and Northeasterners.

"I don't feel like the war was the answer," said Paula Lohler, 54, an independent from Worcester, Mass., who is inclined to vote her opposition to Bush. "It seems like it's going on and on and on and nothing's being done."

That attitude propelled anti-war challenger Ned Lamont to Tuesday's Democratic primary win over Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, a stalwart supporter of Bush on the war.

"I think it's going to be similar to what we saw in 1994 and the tremendous dissatisfaction with Democrats," said Dick Harpootlian, the former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. "Republicans are going to feel the wrath, feel the pain of being associated with President Bush."

In the South, Bush's approval ratings dropped from 43 percent last month to 34 percent as the GOP advantage with Southern women disappeared.

House Republican candidates looking to oust incumbent Democrats seized on the silver lining of the AP-Ipsos poll. Many of the 1,001 adults and 871 registered voters surveyed Aug. 7-9 said they've had enough with the status quo. Only 26 percent of adults said the country was on the right track, and just 29 percent approved of the job Congress is doing.

"It's a good year to be running against an incumbent," said Republican David McSweeney, an investment banker looking to unseat first-term Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean in the Chicago suburbs.

"Approval ratings for Congress are below where the president is," said Jeff Lamberti, a Republican taking on five-term Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell (news, bio, voting record). "It's a real opportunity for a challenger."

On the generic question of whether voters would back the Democrat or Republican, 55 percent of registered voters chose the Democrat and 37 percent chose the Republican, a slight increase for Democrats from last month.

"I'm not too happy with Bush at the moment," said dental lab employee Chrissie Clement, 36, of Poynette, Wis. "I think he could do more for this country. We need to get somebody new in there and get a different party in charge."

Charles Taylor, 56, who works on newspaper presses and lives near Roanoke, Va., said, "I would like to see Republicans keep control of Congress. I vote Republican to support the president."

Republican consultant Kevin Spillane said August polls typically have been filled with bad news for Bush and the GOP, but they eventually turn it around in November. Still, he said, "The bottom line from the numbers is no Republican incumbent should be caught unprepared for November."

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for adults and 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.

Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
Privacy Policy -Terms of Service - Copyright/IP Policy - Ad Feedback

Friday, August 04, 2006

If only... the speech Olmert should give.

this is a copy of the speech written by Israeli commentator Ben Caspit. It is not an actual speech by ehud olmert, but a proposal for a text that would help explain t the world what we are fighting for.
I believe it accurately reflects how myself and most Jews I know feel about the present conflict

Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.

We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time you understood: the Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centers in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you. Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe. In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinjad proclaims.

And you - just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again. Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives. Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction - those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility.

Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all. You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not.

Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.

The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians there a chance to build a new reality for themselves. The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak's peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children. I don't remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya? What can you do - that's the way we are. We don't wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly.

We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy's children - we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behavior of our enemies. Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more. And Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza. What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don't recall you reacting with such alarm. And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on his way to Jerusalem - and from there to Paris and London.

An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees. And make no mistake - we won't go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us.

So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don't recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans - and the world remains silent. And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya. And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population - then you also kept silent. What is it about us, the Jews, the minority, the persecuted, that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don't?

In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize. I will not capitulate. I will not whine. This is a battle for our freedom. For our humanity. For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders. It is also your battle. I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don't, you may regret it later, when it's too late

Follow Me With Google