George Orwell's 1984 fantasy has become
today's media reality. He was right all along - It was just
his timing that was off.
Orwell said, "War is Peace" - Today, we have perpetual war to
"keep the peace." Today, war is peace.
Orwell said, "Freedom is Slavery." Today, we yield civil
liberties in the name of domestic security. Today, freedom is
Orwell said, "Ignorance is Strength." Today, we accuse those
asking questions of being unpatriotic. Today, ignorance is
Orwell's "Ministry of Peace" waged war. Today, the U.S.
Defense Department initiates and conducts nonstop wars for
reasons beyond our grasp.
As for media reporting, we have gone beyond even George Orwell
with our version of Newspeak, and it's becoming increasingly
difficult to filter the wheat from the chaff.
What does this edition of
the 3WW Newsletter have in store for you?
We are truly living in interesting times,
and with so much being reported in the news (and much more not
being reported) it may be difficult to stand back and see
things in true perspective.
There is currently trouble brewing, and I'm the first to admit
it's not 100% clear what form the trouble will take, but
something is definitely afoot.
Here is a collection of notable recent world events, which on
their own may not be significant, but when considered as part
of the larger picture, portends of calamitous times ahead. To
avoid cluttering this newsletter with hundreds of links, if
you want to check the sources, please see the link at the end
of this article, where you'll find all the sources listed.
Economy. Congress' 2005 budget, which has so far
stalled because of a disagreement over tax cuts, is now laying
the basis for a $US 716 Billion increase in the current US
debt limit to $US 8.1 TRILLION. On June 4, Treasury Secretary
Snow again urged Congress to hike the government's $US 7.384
TRILLION debt limit, this time saying action should be taken
by August. This is so enormous that we will quote him:
"Let me say on that score, I think it would be well for
Congress to act before the August recess and I would urge
Congress to do that. It's important to get that matter dealt
with and dealt with as soon as possible". If "action" has to
be taken by August, the US budget is undeniably in crisis.
Right beside this alarming news of a totally out of control US
budget comes the news from the US monetary front. From the
start of 2004, M3 has increased at an 11% rate, or almost $US
400 Billion. But in the last 4 weeks, M3 has gone up $US 155
Billion. That is an annual rate of about 20%. If the pace of
the past four weeks was to continue, the total US money supply
would rise by $US 2 TRILLION in ONE year. That is another $US
700 Billion to be borrowed, to which can be added, at current
speed, another $US 2 TRILLION to be printed. A "Declaration Of
Emergency" might well be needed.
Military Movements. There are a number of significant
troop redeployments which are surprising to say the least.
The navies of Britain, Australia, China,
France, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Sri
Lanka and Vietnam are all sending ships into open seas,
instead of keeping them in harbor. The US has more than 90% of
her ships at sea. Since the expense of an exercise like this
is significant, there must be a valid reason for doing so, but
none is being reported.
Iran is reportedly amassing troops along
the border of Iraq.
The Pentagon has announced a plan to
withdraw its two Army divisions from Germany. In doing so, the
US has conceded that it can no longer hold on to the strategic
center pivot in Europe. WW1 began the process that would tear
Europe apart, not to be reassembled until May 2004 (with the
significant expansion of the European Union), and it seems the
US is acknowledging Europe's growing significance in 21st
Century world affairs.
The Pentagon has also announced plans to
move the 20,000 Marines presently on the Japanese island of
Okinawa to Australia.
The US announced in early June the
withdrawal of a third of it's troops from South Korea.
Bush Administration Undermined.
There appears to be a concerted effort to undermine the Bush
administration. So much so, that the fix appears to be in such
that Kerry will win the next election.
Bush and Cheney have both hired or
consulted private criminal defense attorneys in anticipation
of possible indictments of them and/or their top assistants in
the Plame investigation. On June 3, just hours before Tenet
suddenly resigned, President Bush consulted with and may have
retained a criminal defense attorney to represent him in the
George Tenet suddenly resigned on June 3rd,
only to be followed a day later by James Pavitt, the CIA's
Deputy Director of Operations (DDO). Tenet's resignation,
which occurred at night, was the first "evening resignation"
of a Cabinet-level official since October 1973 when Attorney
General Elliott Richardson and his deputy, William
Ruckelshaus, resigned in protest of Richard Nixon's firing of
Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Many regard this
as the watershed moment when the Nixon administration was
The 9/11 "investigative panel" seemingly
delivered a surprising blow to the credibility of President
Bush and his entire Administration when they publicly
concluded that no evidence whatsoever exists which would prove
a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda terrorists. Of
course, Bush originally adamantly stated that such a link was
provable and held up this imaginary threat as one of the
reasons the US had to invade.
400 legal scholars recently urged members
of the House and Senate to consider impeaching the president
and any high level administration officials who approved the
Iraqi prisoner abuses. Even the use of the 'I' word is
World Leader Gatherings. If, as I
suspect, something is afoot, it would be important for world
leaders to meet regularly to ensure all their plans are in
place before the 'Big Day'. The past month has afforded many
June 3-6: World leaders gathering in Italy
at the previously reported secret Bilderberg meeting. It's
likely that Bush would have visited this group on June 5th,
although there are no reports to date of such a visit.
June 4: Bush met Italy's Prime Minister,
and later the Pope in Rome.
June 6: D-Day celebrations in France, where
the following leaders would have had the opportunity to meet
without arousing suspicion: Bush, Germany's Chancellor (1st
time attendance at D-Day celebrations), President of France,
Italy's Prime Minister, Australia's Prime Minister, Queen
Elizabeth II, UK Prime Minister, Russian President (1st time
at D-Day celebrations).
June 8: Sea Island (Georgia) where leaders
from the United States of America, French Republic, Russian
Federation, United Kingdom, Federal Republic of Germany,
Japan, Republic of Italy, Canada, and representatives from the
European Union met. Interestingly, although Bush had invited
many Middle East Muslim powers, the meeting was boycotted by
June 11: At the first presidential state
funeral in more than three decades, many world leaders met to
commemorate the passing of Ronald Reagan in Washington, DC.
Interestingly, Russian President Putin has
announced he will stay away from the NATO summit meeting in
Turkey at the end of June, and will send a lower echelon
diplomat instead. If a major conflict is in the offing, Putin
will want to be back in Moscow directing his forces. We will
have to wait and see.
Ships Leaving Docks
US Troop Withdrawal from South Korea
Iran Forces Building up on Iraq's Border
More links coming soon.
Stuff You Might Like
Let's face it - the subject matter of WW3
News can become pretty depressing at times. I still believe in
the basic goodness of man, but because I'm always reporting
what's going wrong in the world, perhaps you have the
impression that I'm a doomsayer, and nothing could be further
from the truth.
While researching for WW3 News, I often stumble across
interesting, sometimes bizarre, regularly crazy, often useful
and interesting sites which I'd love to share with you, but
since it's not related to war news in any way, it wouldn't
really make sense to include in this newsletter.
So, just because you deserve to hear about new and interesting
things online, I've created a new Interest Category as part of
your email subscription called 'Stuff You Might Like'.
How Do You Sleep at Night?
I was chatting to a friend recently who
asked how I'm able to sleep at night, considering all the
conspiracy theories, bad news and other nightmarish articles
that cross my desk almost daily. He also wanted to know how I
managed to work a 10-12 hour day in a salaried position, build
and maintain 3 websites in my spare time (more coming soon!),
conduct research for this newsletter, gym 5 times a week,
travel the world (this issue is sent from Taiwan, the next
will be sent from Thailand, and who knows where the next will
be conceived), and maintain an active social life, which
includes wining and dining at least 4 times a week, often with
well-to-do expatriates in Taipei.
The secret is I seldom sleep more than 5 hours a night - 4
hours is the norm. And those few hours are deep, refreshing
and completely invigorating power sleep. In fact, I awake
feeling more refreshed than if I sleep the traditional 8 hours
Bartering in This Day and Age?
I recently had to
visit a chiropractor for trouble I had with my back. After a
superb treatment, using traditional Chinese methods, I paid
for the service with... wait for it...
a used oil-filled heater (and that in the middle of summer!)
It reminded me how important the long-lost art of bartering
is, and I'd encourage you to start practising the art now,
before it becomes the only way to acquire much needed
essentials, like food and water. See the link below for the
history of bartering, and in particular read the article
entitled 'Cashless and hopeless on the streets of Buenos
Aires'. As you read it, ask yourself what you would do if the
same thing happened to you in your city. And remember, this
article was written a mere two years ago.
The History of Bartering
Prison Tactics a Long Time Dilemma for
By Glenn Frankel
Wednesday 16 June 2004
Nation faced issues similar to Abu Ghraib.
Nablus, West Bank - The accounts of physical abuse of Iraqis
by American guards at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad
sounded achingly familiar to Anan Labadeh. The casual
beatings, the humiliations, the trophy photos taken by both
male and female guards were experiences he said he underwent
as a Palestinian security detainee at an Israeli military camp
in March of last year.
There was, he added, a significant difference: The Israelis
have rules, he said, and their techniques for breaking down
prisoners are far more sophisticated. "What the Israelis do is
much more effective than beatings," he said. "Three days
without food and without sleep and you're eager to tell them
anything. It just shows us the Americans are amateurs. They
should have taken lessons from the Israelis."
Many of the questions raised by the Abu Ghraib scandal, and by
the United States's self-declared war on terrorism, are the
kinds that Israel has been wrestling with for decades. Where
is the line in a democracy between coercion and torture? What
kinds of interrogation techniques are morally acceptable when
dealing with a suspect who may have knowledge of a "ticking
bomb" - an imminent attack? And what about the damage those
techniques inflict on relations between an occupying power and
"Unfortunately, when you're fighting a war against terror
there are many difficult issues you face every day," said a
senior Israeli government lawyer who defended Israel's policy
on interrogating suspects. "Maybe the United States is
beginning to discover what Israel has had to deal with for a
Although its officials never use the word "torture," Israel is
perhaps the only Western-style democracy that has acknowledged
sanctioning mistreatment of prisoners in interrogation. In
1987, following a long debate in legal and security circles, a
state commission established a set of secret guidelines for
interrogators using what the panel called "moderate physical
and psychological pressure" against detainees. In 1999,
Israel's Supreme Court struck down those guidelines, ruling
that torture was illegal under any circumstances.
But after the second Palestinian uprising broke out a year
later, and especially after a devastating series of suicide
bombings of passenger buses, cafes and other civilian targets,
Israel's internal security service, known as the Shin Bet or
the Shabak, returned to physical coercion as a standard
practice, according to human rights lawyers and detainees.
What's more, the techniques it has used command widespread
support from the Israeli public, which has few qualms about
the mistreatment of Palestinians in the fight against
terrorism. A long parade of Israeli prime ministers and
justice ministers with a variety of political views have
defended the security service and either denied that torture
is used or defended it as a last resort in preventing
While the issue surfaces periodically, with a small but vocal
minority of Israelis advocating an end to all physical
coercion, fears of a new outbreak of terror inevitably take
"We are not Holland, and we do not live in the environment of
Benelux," Ehud Barak told the parliament four years ago, when
he was prime minister, referring to the economic grouping of
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. "We are a state that
is faced with a constant threat of terror. Yet on the other
hand, we are a democratic state that is part of the
international community. There must be sensitivity to both
Broad Public Support
When she first saw cases of alleged torture cross her desk at
the Association for Civil Rights in Israel in the late 1980s,
staff worker Hannah Friedman said it was very difficult to get
human rights advocates to deal with them. Eventually, she and
Hebrew University law professor Stanley Cohen, who immigrated
to Israel from South Africa, set up their own organization,
the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, to deal
exclusively with the allegations.
Shabak interrogators in those days were bound by the 1987
guidelines. While never made public, the procedures were well
known to virtually every Palestinian security detainee.
Prisoners were forced to stand for days at a time or were
shackled in tightly contorted positions on low stools, in a
procedure known as shabah. They were violently shaken,
deprived of sleep, bombarded with loud, continuous music,
exposed to extremes of cold and heat and forced to relieve
themselves in their clothing. Their heads were often covered
with canvas hoods that reeked of urine or vomit.
These techniques had widespread public support. A 1996 poll
commissioned by the human rights group Btselem found that 73
percent of Israelis condoned the use of force.
Sometimes interrogators went beyond the guidelines. In October
1994, after militants abducted a 19-year-old Israeli army
corporal, Nachshon Waxman, Yitzhak Rabin, then the prime
minister, acknowledged that the suspected driver of the kidnap
car had been tortured.
"If we'd been so careful to follow the Landau Commission, we
would never have found out where Waxman was being held," Rabin
said, referring to the 1987 guidelines. (Waxman was killed by
his captors during an Israeli commando raid.)
Over time, interrogation techniques became less brutal and
more refined. Ziad Arafeh, 40, a political activist who lives
in the Balata refugee camp outside the West Bank city of
Nablus, estimated he had been arrested 14 times over the past
two decades. Each time, he said, his interrogators seemed to
have mastered a new technique.
In the early days, he said, crude physical and sexual abuse
was commonplace. When he was first arrested, in 1983, an
interrogator put on rubber gloves and squeezed his testicles
until he cried out in pain. On another occasion Arafeh, who
was suspected of involvement in the killings of alleged
Palestinian collaborators, said he was kept in his underwear
in a small, cold cell and splashed with water every few hours.
Now the emphasis is on psychological pressure. During his
arrest a year ago, Arafeh said, he was deprived of sleep for
several days but not beaten.
There is a big difference between soldiers who make arrests
and Shabak interrogators, Arafeh said. The soldiers are often
casually cruel, he said, kicking and humiliating detainees in
ways similar to the behavior reported at Abu Ghraib. But once
the interrogators take over, treatment is far more calculated
"Their strategy is much improved," he said. "They give you
food without salt that makes you weak, and they prevent you
from sleeping. They're more clever and more experienced."
A turning point in Israel's treatment of detainees came in
September 1999 when the Israeli Supreme Court, after a year
and a half of deliberations, banned all forms of physical
abuse. "Violence directed at a suspect's body or spirit does
not constitute a reasonable investigation practice," the court
The justices left open several loopholes. Interrogators who
used force preemptively to prevent a terrorist attack could
invoke the "defense of necessity" if faced with prosecution.
The court also made allowances for "prolonged" interrogation,
even if it involved sleep deprivation, and shackling, "but
only for the purpose of preserving the investigator's safety."
Nonetheless, the ruling was a landmark. Shabak officials
complained that the decision stripped them of the tools they
needed to combat terrorism. An opposition lawmaker introduced
a bill allowing interrogators to use force in "ticking bomb"
cases. Barak supported the idea at first but later reached a
compromise that gave the agency a bigger budget, a larger
staff and more tools to help it solve cases without cracking
Most of the specific methods used before the 1999 decision all
but vanished after the ruling. Yet slowly but surely, human
rights lawyers said, new techniques took their place.
The latest report by the committee against torture, covering
the period from September 2001 to April 2003, alleged that
detainees faced a new regime of sleep deprivation, shackling,
slapping, hitting and kicking; exposure to extreme cold and
heat; threats, curses and insults; and prolonged detention in
"Torture in Israel has once more become routine, carried out
in an orderly and institutional fashion," concluded the
report, which was based on 80 affidavits and court cases.
The committee accused the Israeli legal system of effectively
sanctioning torture by routinely rejecting petitions seeking
to grant detainees access to lawyers. Not one Shabak
interrogator has been prosecuted despite hundreds of
allegations, the report said.
In retrospect, said Habib Labib, an Israeli Arab lawyer who
has handled dozens of security cases, the Supreme Court
decision was a brief, shining moment that quickly faded. "It's
like many things in this country," he said. "The theory is one
thing, but on the ground things are done differently."
The case of Anan Labadeh, 31, became a cause célèbre because
he is a paraplegic who has used a wheelchair since he fell
from a third-story balcony while being chased by Israeli
soldiers during a stone-throwing incident in the late 1980s.
Labadeh was arrested in February of last year in his home town
of Nablus on suspicion of helping militants who had set up a
network of suicide bomb factories in the city. He was held for
a month and released without being charged.
Labadeh said he was routinely punched and kicked by the
soldiers who escorted him to a military detention center at
nearby Hawara and then by other soldiers at the center itself
over three days. He said he was blindfolded, denied food and
water, left outside in the rain and cold, deprived of sleep
and forced to urinate and defecate in his clothing.
"I was exhausted," he recalled. "Time became irrelevant. In
the second day, it continued to rain and I couldn't tell if it
was morning or afternoon."
Each night, a group of soldiers, men and women alike, held
social gatherings in the courtyard where he was being held. On
the second night, they took turns posing with him while he sat
blindfolded and handcuffed to his wheelchair, he said.
"For a person like me to be surrounded by a group of soldiers,
punched, insulted, peeing on myself, my dignity was insulted,"
he recalled. "Here I was, a handicapped person, and not one
soldier came to say stop this, not even one."
The experience increased Labadeh's contempt for Israelis. But
for all his complaints about the way he was treated, Labadeh
believes the Israelis have higher standards than their
American counterparts. He recalls a case when an Israeli
military officer was accused of sexually abusing young
Palestinians. Another officer turned him in, and the accused
man was arrested immediately.
A government lawyer designated to discuss the questions raised
by this article insisted that internal safeguards protect
Palestinian detainees from random abuse, and he characterized
Israel's treatment of suspected terrorists as a matter of
self-defense. "The first priority of the government is keeping
people safe," said the lawyer, who insisted on anonymity.
"That's the basic social contract between a government and its
A key moment, he said, was the spate of suicide bombings in
March 2002 that killed 135 Israelis and injured hundreds more.
"It became a question of a ticking bomb - how do you balance
the need to find that bomb before it goes off at a restaurant
or a pizza shop or a checkpoint with the need to respect human
rights?" Israelis understood, he said, "there has to be a
balance - you can't just do whatever you want."
What is most striking, the lawyer added, is how united the
Israeli public is on the subject. "For most people it's not
the central story here," he said. "It's not even one of the
top ten questions I get asked about the Supreme Court."
But for many Palestinians, torture is the heart of the matter.
Labadeh said abuses like those that took place in Abu Ghraib
or in Hawara were inevitable when people were subjected to
military occupation. That is why the photos from Abu Ghraib
did not shock or surprise him.
"In the end, when you put a person in jail because of
political reasons and you give someone power over him, you can
expect to see such films," he said. "The camera is always
Go to Original
When I originally launched the ThreeWorldWars website, I was
determined to maintain it as a free service, unhindered by
external advertisers. Regrettably the high cost of maintaining
the site (just over $1,200 per year) has meant the recent
introduction of advertisements on the site.
The products chosen are all carefully screened by me, and I
will only advertise products or services I have personally
used and can recommend. So feel free to try them yourself -
you'll be helping a good cause (I hope you agree!). And if
you're really feeling generous, I'm always open to
That's all folks.
Live Free and Keep Thinking!
Permission is granted to circulate among
your friends and acquaintances, and to post on all Internet
sites in full (including this paragraph).
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