December 18, 2004 -- Time Out: 8:45 a.m. PT

  Romans 2:5, 8-9: "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God ... unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil."
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Ro 10: 13
1 Corinthians 2:9: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

Pentagon says depleted uranium is harmless: That's baloney to some scientists   By: Helen Thomas
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon claims that American forces and Iraqis are not at risk from contact with depleted uranium, which is used in armor-piercing munitions and protective tank plating.

That's baloney to some scientists, who insist the widespread use of depleted uranium during the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq poses a grave danger.

Despite attempts to reassure the public, the Pentagon remains on the defensive.

Depleted uranium, or DU, is a radioactive byproduct of the industrial process to enrich uranium. It is the leftover uranium-238 that results when scientists seek to transform naturally occurring uranium into uranium-235, which is used to produce nuclear energy.

The Army values munitions manufactured from depleted uranium because, when fused with metal alloys, they are considered the most effective warheads for penetrating enemy tanks. Also, because depleted uranium is twice as dense as lead, the Army uses DU as armor plating.
Once a depleted-uranium round strikes its target, the projectile begins to burn on impact, creating tiny particles of radioactive U-238. Winds can transport this radioactive dust many miles, potentially contaminating the air that innocent humans breathe.

This inhalation might cause lung cancer, kidney damage, cancers of bones and skin, as well as birth defects and chemical poisoning.

The 1991 Persian Gulf War was the first conflict to see the widespread use of depleted uranium, both in armor-piercing projectiles and in the protective armor of the new generation of Abrams tanks.

Studies by the Pentagon and the National Academy of Sciences established no linkage between DU and the "Gulf War Syndrome" ailments after the first Gulf War.

Some 70 people are still under study for the effects of contact with DU, with particular emphasis on what happens when people breathe the air where DU projectiles have vaporized.

Dr. Helen Caldicott has dedicated her life to warning about the hazards of nuclear war and the effects of DU.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, she first became interested in nuclear hazards when she saw the movie "On the Beach" at the age of 15. The film deals with a nuclear accident that leads to a global nuclear war.

Growing up, she led a movement in Australia against the French atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific and tried to win a ban on Australian uranium mining.

She became a medical doctor and later founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. She also has been a nominee for the same prize. She is a strong, vocal anti-war activist.

In her book "The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex" Caldicott claims that DU qualifies as a nuclear weapon because of its low-level radioactivity. She said that huge quantities of DU were created during the Cold War, when the United States made thousands of nuclear weapons.

"Weapon researchers and developers have now succeeded in putting this toxic 'nuclear waste' to use through the creation of depleted uranium bullets and shells," she added.

The weapons can cause enormous damage in Iraq, she said. Depleted-uranium particles are soluble in water, and the waters around the battlefields, as in Iraq and Kuwait, are at risk of radioactive pollution, Caldicott said.

She warned that DU maintains radioactivity for billions of years and can concentrate in the food chain, with children and babies more vulnerable to the carcinogenic effects of ingested radiation than adults.

Medical reports from Iraq indicate that childhood malignancies are seven times more likely than they were before the first Gulf War.

The complaints of the veterans of the first Gulf War are "surprisingly similar in pattern to the various pathologies induced by uranium exposure as described by the U.S. military," Caldicott said.

Some 50,000 to 80,000 veterans were afflicted with Gulf War Syndrome during that war, and there has been no definitive answer -- but a lot of dispute -- as to the cause.

The military's use of depleted uranium is still being questioned. But one thing is certain: War is dangerous to your health.
 Cuba Erects Billboard Attacking US
HAVANA, Cuba (AP) -- Cuba retaliated for the U.S. diplomatic mission's Christmas display supporting Cuban dissidents by putting up a billboard Friday emblazoned with photographs of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners and a huge swastika overlaid with a "Made in the U.S.A." stamp.
The billboard, erected overnight facing the U.S. Interest Section's offices, stands on the Malecon, Havana's famed coastal highway.
A diplomat at the mission noted the abuse of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison had been widely reported and discussed openly and said those responsible were being prosecuted.
"On the other hand, the Cuban government does not allow a single word of dissent in its media, jails those who dare espouse different ideas and has not allowed (anyone) to visit Cuban political prisoners since the late 1980s," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the mission's diplomatic status.
The U.S. mission, headed by James Cason, rejected a demand this week to remove Christmas decorations that included a reference to dissidents jailed by Fidel Castro's government.
The trimmings included a Santa Claus, candy canes and white lights wrapped around palm trees -- and a sign reading "75," a reference to the 75 Cuban dissidents jailed last year.
Parliament Speaker Ricardo Alarcon called the display "rubbish" on Wednesday and said Cason seemed "desperate to create problems."
No other Cuban officials have commented.
Wayne Smith, who headed the U.S. mission here during the Carter and Reagan administrations and has long advocated restoring normal diplomatic relations with Cuba, said he thought the images of prisoner abuse in Iraq were an appropriate response by Castro's regime.
"If I were in their shoes, this is what I would do -- call attention to the fact that the United States is now guilty of torture, of massive violations of human rights," Smith said by telephone from Washington.
"Yes, I'd like to see the 75 all released, but we're in no position now to criticize anyone," he said.
But the billboard's Nazi reference went too far, Smith added.
A pair of Australian tourists passing by called the billboard tasteless, while a Greek traveler said it simply represented the truth.
"These are the crimes in Iraq, the torture of Iraqi people by the Americans," said Antonio Nankoudis. He then pointed to the U.S. mission, saying, "And there are the assassins."
Cubans also supported the billboard.
"This is well-placed, so the whole world understands that what's most important is humanity," said Evelio Perez, who at first looked startled when he walked past the billboard with his family.
Smaller billboards with photographs of prisoner abuse in Iraq went up in less conspicuous places, including near a back entrance to the U.S. mission and at the neighboring Anti-Imperialist Plaza.
Cuba-U.S. relations, never good during four decades of communist rule on the island, have deteriorated during the Bush administration, which has toughened economic sanctions and publicized its plan for a democratic Cuba after Castro.
The two countries have not had formal diplomatic relations since shortly after Castro's guerrillas seized power in 1959. The U.S. Interest Section provides only consular services and limited official contact.
Cuban officials charged last year that the imprisoned dissidents got money from U.S. officials to undermine the island's government -- a charge the activists and Washington denied. They were sentenced to up to 28 years in prison, but 14 have since been released for medical reasons.
Smith, who headed the Havana mission from 1978 to 1982, said the political Christmas decoration was a deliberate provocation, but a benign one.
"Let's hope that the U.S. Interest Section may realize that two can play at this game and let it go at that," he said. 

North Korea Could Test Long-Range Missile Any Time - U.S. Warns   By Jim Wolf  

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea could flight test at any time a ballistic missile potentially capable of reaching parts of the United States with a nuclear-weapon-sized payload, the State Department's top arms control official said on Friday.

Making the case for President Bush's drive to build a missile shield days after a failed test of the system, Stephen Rademaker, assistant secretary of state for arms control, said North Korea was pushing plans to develop its ocean-leaping, multiple-stage Taepo Dong 2 missile.

"This missile could be flight tested at any time," he told a conference in a congressional office building sponsored by the American Foreign Policy Council, a private research group.

A critic of the U.S. missile-defense plans, however, accused the Bush administration of playing up a North Korean threat "whether or not one exists" as a way to sell the shield program for which it plans to spend more than $50 billion over the next five years.

"They're not going to let technical problems or a less-severe threat prevent them from pursuing" missile defense, said Jon Wolfsthal, an expert on deadly weapons at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The Central Intelligence Agency has said that the Taepo-2 "may" be ready for testing. The report was in an unclassified report to Congress that covered developments to the end of last year.

North Korea's Aug. 31, 1998, test over Japan of an earlier-generation Taepo Dong 1 helped set the stage for Bush's drive to field a missile shield as soon as technologically feasible. Pyongyang has stuck to a voluntary moratorium on flight tests since the launch.

Bush ordered the Pentagon two years ago to have the basic elements of a missile defense system on alert by the end of this month. The Pentagon's prime contractor for the ground-based system is Boeing Co..

However, technical problems -- including a flight test aborted this week when the interceptor shut itself off in its silo -- appear to have delayed a declaration that the system was ready to go on alert.

The setup is initially designed to counter ballistic missiles that could be fired from North Korea and tipped with chemical, nuclear or germ warheads.

If North Korea were to use a third stage on its Taepo Dong 2 booster rocket, as did in the 1998 Taepo Dong 1 test, "such a three-stage missile could deliver a several hundred kilogram payload up to 15,000 kilometers (9,300 miles)," enough to hit parts of the United States, Rademaker said.

Such a missile also had sufficient range to hit all of Europe, he said.

Experts generally says a nuclear warhead built by a new nuclear state would weigh about 1,100 pounds (500 kg). Some suspect the North may have made progress on miniaturization with clandestine help from A.Q. Khan, a Pakistani scientist who secretly headed a global nuclear network.

Rademaker said the North was "nearly self-sufficient" in developing and producing ballistic missiles.

Iran, the other member of what Bush branded "axis of evil" states along with pre-war Iraq and North Korea, also is working on space-launch capabilities along with its suspected nuclear weapons program, he said.

Iranian intercontinental-range ballistic missile systems could be ready for flight-testing in the "middle to latter-part of the decade," he said.

 Taiwan Warns : China forming legal basis for attack
 US warned against weakening UN
  •  Bribery and Threats as UN Exposes Dirty Linen  United Nations investigators looking into charges of rape, pedophilia and prostitution involving peacekeepers in Congo have been threatened with retaliatory attacks, and witnesses have been bribed to change incriminating testimony.
 US Using Phone Taps In Bid To Unseat Head Of IAEA  

 Poll Reveals: 44 percent in U.S. fear Muslims

 Pop Goes The Bush Mythology Bubble - Part 3
 Calls For 'Arrogant' Rumsfeld To Quit  
The Reluctant Anarchist  This classic Joseph Sobran essay is roiling the neocons. See why.
 Webb Article - The Spy Who Was Left Out In The Cold
 Yushchenko 'Given Agent Orange Ingredient'
 Baby cut from slain mom's womb survives: Mother killed so her baby could be stolen
  • Kan. woman charged in slaying, kidnapping MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A baby girl who had been cut out of her mother's womb was found after a frantic search, and authorities arrested the woman they say strangled the mother and stole the child. The baby was in good condition Saturday. The child was found Friday at an ... (more)
 Fear of Intelligence Bill Leading to National ID Card
Privacy advocates worry that provisions buried in the intelligence bill President Bush is to sign today will lead to a national identification card. Little-noted measures included in the legislation that reshuffles intelligence agencies order states to begin issuing new fraud-proof birth certificates, and new driver's licenses with standardized data encoded on them are set for 2006
 The Danger of National Identification
It seems innocuous. What could be so sinister about finding out who people are? But the national ID regime that some in government and the media want to establish in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks would likely do much to threaten individual privacy and security while doing little in itself to prevent terrorism
 Breaking News... Just released Department of Justice document affirms that the Second Amendment is an individual right!

Holy Motives   A.W. Tozer
 . . . All these examples point up to a grave modern evil, permitting temporal consequences to decide eternal issues.

A word of caution should be added. Sometimes an act, though good in itself, may, in a given set of circumstances, be better held in abeyance. Only be sure the reason for waiting is the desire to promote the glory of God and bless mankind. Sometimes a word, though true, would be out of season and injurious to someone. Better be silent than to speak a harmful word. Only let the reason for silence be love and not fear.

To sum up: no act, however noble it may seem to be, done from fear of consequences can be good in itself. A good deed done for earthly gain is an evil deed at bottom. Motive imparts moral quality, and without a holy motive there cannot be a holy act.

     O Father, give me clear understanding of consequences. May I discern the eternal from the temporal and not compromise.

Sharon Speech Reminiscent of Oslo: Using language reminiscent of that which accompanied the 1993 Oslo Accords

Deal lets Turkey go for EU membership: Compromise over Cyprus saves negotiations

Shaky Iraqi forces key to US-British exit strategy

 U.S. forces leave France after decadelong mission  

Is America planning new imperial adventures?

13) "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 
KJV: Matt. 7: 13, 14

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