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Chavez * Preempt Nukes * Warming Crisis


September 19, 2005 - Part 1

"Peace is not merely the absence of tension,

it is the presence of justice."


- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1) Chavez Takes Bush to Task on World Stage Over War in Iraq
- - Summit Failure Blamed on US
- - US-Preemptive New Nuclear Attack Plan
- - Nuclear Power Hearing in Brattleboro, VT, Tuesday
2) US WAR on Iraq and Opposition, Continues
- - Iraq Invasion Radicalized Saudi Fighters: Report
- - Guantanamo protest fast continuing
- - Jose Padilla and The Death of Liberty
3) Global Warming 'Past the Point of No Return'
- - Government Email Plays in the Katrina Blame Game
- - Katrina Relief: It's Iraq Deja vu All Over Again
- - Toxic Waters 'Will Make New Orleans Unsafe for a Decade'
- - Global Warming Hits New Orleans

Editor's Notes:

The world has turned upside down. Whereas, before, the US was a democracy, now a dictatorhip closes its ears to the democratically elected leader of Venezuela, who is taking the fuel-energy crisis seriously, and seeks to benefit people he represents, not those with the most money. Thank you President Chavez! Item 2 deals with Iraq, the suffering and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay under seige by the US.. And things are ugly in the Katrina world.. not a hurricane once in a lifetime, but another era of rising sea temperatures and more storms to come. Is crisis an opportunity to make change.. or to hide in the lies, deceit, and denial?

"The greatest crime since World War II
has been US foreign policy."


– Ramsey Clark



1) Chavez Takes Bush to Task on World Stage Over War in Iraq
by Kim Gamel
Published on Friday, September 16, 2005 by the Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took President Bush to task in front of a global summit for waging war in Iraq without U.N. consent and won rousing applause for his critique.

CHAVEZ GOT THE LOUDEST APPLAUSE OF THE SUMMIT

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela displays a note calling him to terminate his speech after his five-minute allotment expired, at the 2005 World Summit during the 60th session of the General Assembly at the United Nations. Chavez called the United States a 'terrorist state' and said the United Nations headquarters should be moved away from New York. (AFP/Jeff Haynes)

The leftist leader told a U.N. summit on Thursday that fighting the war without U.N. authorization showed Washington did not respect the world body. He recommended moving U.N. headquarters to a country that has more regard for the organization.

"There were never weapons of mass destruction but Iraq was bombed, and over U.N. objections, (it was) occupied and continues being occupied," Chavez said. Bush alleged that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction but none have been found, shattering one of his main arguments for going to war.

"That's why we propose to this assembly that the United Nations leave this country, which is not respectful of the very resolutions of this assembly," Chavez said.

Chavez, a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, suggested moving U.N. headquarters New York to an international city "outside the sovereignty of any state" and said some have mentioned Jerusalem as one possibility. But the Venezuelan leader said the new headquarters has to be in the South, home to most developing countries.

Bush was not in the audience when Chavez spoke to the world representatives. But the U.S. president did address the summit's the opening session on Wednesday morning, then returned to Washington later that day.

World leaders at the summit had been asked to speak for five minutes but Chavez ran long and when the presiding diplomat passed him a note saying his time was up, he threw it on the floor.

He said if Bush could speak for 20 minutes, so could he. When he finally stopped, he got what observers said was the loudest applause of the summit.

Relations between Chavez and Washington have become increasingly strained, though the United States remains the top buyer of Venezuelan oil. Chavez repeatedly has accused the U.S. government of backing plots against him, and recently alleged Washington was preparing to invade his country.

American religious broadcaster Pat Robertson recently suggested the United States assassinate Chavez because he poses a threat. Chavez responded that Robertson had clearly "expressed the wish of the elite that govern the United States." Robertson has since apologized. U.S. officials strongly deny the Venezuelan leader's claims but have expressed concerns about the health of the country's democracy under Chavez, who was first elected in 1998 pledging a social "revolution" for the poor majority.

The two leaders have clashed over a host of other issues as well. Bush criticized Venezuela's government earlier Thursday, saying the South American nation had "failed demonstrably" to make a concerted effort to block shipments of illicit narcotics to the United States and Europe last year. Venezuela could have been subjected to a cutoff of U.S. assistance, but Bush decided to waive the provision because of national security interests. In early August, Chavez accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of using its agents in Venezuela for espionage, and said Venezuela was suspending cooperation with the agency. The Bush administration denied the espionage charge.

Chavez, whose country is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, also warned the world is facing an unprecedented energy crisis. He told reporters later the crisis will keep growing, "not because we the producers want it but because we are running out of oil."

Chavez singled out the United States as the most wasteful country, saying he was shocked when a quarter of all the cars he counted Thursday morning on New York streets had one person in them. "That's crazy, one person with a huge car ... that is using up gas and polluting the atmosphere," he said at a news conference. "The world cannot tolerate this model of development called the American way of life."

In a form of energy diplomacy, Chavez has extended a preferential oil trade deal called PetroCaribe to 13 Caribbean countries in what he says is part of a plan to challenge U.S. economic domination of the region. Under the plan, Venezuela will soon sell up to 190,000 barrels of fuel a day to countries from Jamaica to St. Lucia, offering favorable financing while shipping fuel directly to reduce costs. It is expected to help those countries save millions of dollars.

Associated Press writer Ian James in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press
Article also posted at www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0916-03.htm

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- - Summit Failure Blamed on US
by Mark Townsend in New York
Published on Sunday, September 18, 2005 by the Observer/UK

The failure of last week's United Nations summit to deliver an agreement designed to prevent terrorists acquiring 'weapons of mass destruction' was sabotaged by the US, senior diplomats have told The Observer.

For the complete article see:
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1572824,00.html
or
www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0918-03.htm

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- - US-Preemptive New Nuclear Attack Plan

Draft US Defense Paper Outlines Preventive Nuclear Strikes
Published September 11, 2005 by Agence France Presse

A new draft US defense paper calls for preventive nuclear strikes against state and non-state adversaries in order to deter them from using weapons of mass destruction and urges US troops to "prepare to use nuclear weapons effectively."

Archive picture of a US nuclear bomb exploding over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. A new draft US defense paper calls for preventive nuclear strikes against state and non-state adversaries in order to deter them from using weapons of mass destruction and urges US troops to 'prepare to use nuclear weapons effectively.' (AFP/File)

The document, titled "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" and dated March 15, was put together by the Pentagon's Joint Staff in at attempt to adapt current procedures to the fast-changing world after the September 11, 2001, attacks, said a defense official.

But the official, who spoke to AFP late Saturday on condition of anonymity, said it has not yet been signed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and thus has not been made official policy.

"It's in the process of being considered," the official said.

www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0911-02.htm

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Pentagon Revises Nuclear Plan

--Proposal advocates use of nuclear weapons to preempt attack by a nation or a terrorist group. Strategy includes preemptive use against banned weapons 11 Sep 2005 The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/10/AR2005091001053.html

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- - Nuclear Power Hearing in Brattleboro, VT, Tuesday

Vermont Public Service Board will hold a PUBLIC HEARING on Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant's "dry cask nuclear waste storage on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 at 7 PM in the Auditorium of the Brattleboro Union High School.

Entergy, a $14 billion dollar corporation which owns VY calls the proposed facility, " temporary, passive storage." It is neither. It is not temporary. Once high level nuclear waste is canned and put in place, no one can say when it will be removed. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) opposing Yucca Mtn., told reporters this week that nuclear waste should stay where it is made; that is why, he says, he and Senator Ensign have introduced legislation to (permanently?) leave waste at reactors.

It is not passive.

It is, in fact, self-energized and powered by radioactivity. The proposed "casks" are actually constructed of two layers; a sealed stainless steel cannister of high level waste fuel and an outer cask of concrete in a carbon steel shell. There is space between the two through which air , heated by 36,000 watts of heat emitted by radioactive decay of the waste nuclear fuel , rises. As the air rises, it is expelled from vents near the top of the two story structure; even as cooler air is drawn in at the bottom.

Each proposed storage cannister will contain up to 36 fuel assemblies; each holding about 800 pounds of irradiated nuclear fuel, or, in total for each cask, about 28,800 pounds. Each cannister will contain over 1000 pounds of deadly fission products, such as Cesium 137 and Strontium 90. Each cask will contain more than 145 pounds of Plutonium 239 which will remain lethal for 240,000 years and sufficient to make about 20 nuclear bombs.

It is, as Maine's State Nuclear Safety Advisor said of that state's dry cask facility, "Yucca Mountain...without the mountain."

Raymond Shadis
Staff Technical Advisor
New England Coalition
Post Office Box 98
Edgecomb, Maine 04556
207-882-7801
shadis@prexar.com



2) US WAR on Iraq and Opposition, Continues

- - "End the War on Iraq" Sept. 24th in Washington, DC

From MoveOn:

A solid majority of Americans now believe we should begin to bring troops home from Iraq. And, despite continued calls across party lines for an exit plan from Iraq, President Bush continues to insist on "staying the course." The war has drained the federal budget - forcing us to face Hurricane Katrina with a $352 billion budget deficit, a degraded and de-funded Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and a third of the National Guard in affected areas deployed overseas. To date, nearly 1,900 American and countless Iraqi lives have been lost, with thousands more maimed and injured.

Next weekend on Saturday, September 24, there is a massive "End the War on Iraq" peace march and rally in Washington, DC organized by United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ). The weekend of activities will make it unmistakably clear to President Bush and Congress that the American people want an exit plan with a timeline to end the war in Iraq. Join United for Peace and Justice next weekend.

Saturday, September 24, 2005 :: Washington, DC

10:00 AM All-Day Peace & Justice Festival Begins,
Washington Monument Grounds on the National Mall

Learn more about the March and rally here: www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?i%64=3091 .

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- - Iraq Invasion Radicalized Saudi Fighters: Report
by Dominic Evans
Published September 18, 2005 by Reuters

RIYADH - Hundreds of Saudi fighters who joined the insurgency in Iraq showed few signs of militancy before the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein, according to a detailed study based on Saudi intelligence reports.

The study by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), obtained by Reuters on Sunday, also said Saudis made up just 350 of the 3,000-strong foreign insurgents in Iraq -- fewer than many officials have assumed.

"Analysts and government officials in the U.S. and Iraq have overstated the size of the foreign element in the Iraqi insurgency, especially that of the Saudi contingent," it said.

Article truncated, for complete story, see:.
www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0918-01.htm

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- - Guantanamo protest fast continuing
9 September 2005 (Agence France-Presse)

Some 87 detainees held by the US military at Guantanamo Bay have begun the second month of hunger strikes to pressure authorities into adhering to Geneva Convention standards.

Military spokesman Sergeant Justin Behrens told journalists on Friday that the number of prisoners on strike was decreasing, though ten prisoners had to be fed through nose tubes but were in "stable" condition.

"Ninety-two was the max on hunger strike but it has now dropped down to 87," Behrens said. "Ten of them are being fed through medical assist."

The hunger strike began on 8 August, when the military initially said 76 inmates were refusing food.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said the strike was set off in part by alleged beatings of prisoners, denial of basic needs, and lack of fair trials.

Access difficult

It maintained that lawyers have found that 210 prisoners were taking part in the strike. CCR also said lawyers for prisoners who were on strike were blocked from meeting with their clients.

A federal court late last month ordered the Defence Department to grant attorneys for the firm of Sherman and Sterling access to its clients, it said.

The strike is the latest in a series that have broken out since 2002 amid protests over the treatment of prisoners at the detention centre.

The prison, long a source of international controversy, is located on a remote US naval base forcibly leased from Cuba.

The military has given the International Committee of the Red Cross access to the prison and hosted tours for visiting journalists and lawmakers. But it remains tightly controlled and largely shut off from the outside world.

Previous hunger strike

The most recent previous hunger strike was from late June through to 28 July, according to the CCR, which maintains that up to 200 prisoners participated, almost four times more than reported by the military.

"In fact, from early July through [to] 25 July 2005, the hunger strike became so severe that the [Pentagon] was forced to place approximately 50 men on IV's," or intravenous feeding, the centre's report said.

"Medics could not manage the detention centre's need and elected to stop making their regular medical calls. The prisoners spent 26 days without food," it said.

"The breadth and severity of the June-July 2005 hunger strike forced the [Pentagon] to permit the creation of a prisoners' representative committee to negotiate with prison officials concerning the protesters' demands," it said.

AFP

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- - Jose Padilla and The Death of Liberty
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10223.htm



3) Global Warming 'Past the Point of No Return'
by Steve Connor
Published September 16, 2005 by The Independent / UK

A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.

They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating.

The greatest fear is that the Arctic has reached a "tipping point" beyond which nothing can reverse the continual loss of sea ice and with it the massive land glaciers of Greenland, which will raise sea levels dramatically.

Satellites monitoring the Arctic have found that the extent of the sea ice this August has reached its lowest monthly point on record, dipping an unprecedented 18.2 per cent below the long-term average.

Experts believe that such a loss of Arctic sea ice in summer has not occurred in hundreds and possibly thousands of years. It is the fourth year in a row that the sea ice in August has fallen below the monthly downward trend - a clear sign that melting has accelerated.

Scientists are now preparing to report a record loss of Arctic sea ice for September, when the surface area covered by the ice traditionally reaches its minimum extent at the end of the summer melting period.

Sea ice naturally melts in summer and reforms in winter but for the first time on record this annual rebound did not occur last winter when the ice of the Arctic failed to recover significantly.

Arctic specialists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University, who have documented the gradual loss of polar sea ice since 1978, believe that a more dramatic melt began about four years ago.

In September 2002 the sea ice coverage of the Arctic reached its lowest level in recorded history. Such lows have normally been followed the next year by a rebound to more normal levels, but this did not occur in the summers of either 2003 or 2004. This summer has been even worse. The surface area covered by sea ice was at a record monthly minimum for each of the summer months - June, July and now August.

Scientists analysing the latest satellite data for September - the traditional minimum extent for each summer - are preparing to announce a significant shift in the stability of the Arctic sea ice, the northern hemisphere's major "heat sink" that moderates climatic extremes.

"The changes we've seen in the Arctic over the past few decades are nothing short of remarkable," said Mark Serreze, one of the scientists at the Snow and Ice Data Centre who monitor Arctic sea ice.

Scientists at the data centre are bracing themselves for the 2005 annual minimum, which is expected to be reached in mid-September, when another record loss is forecast. A major announcement is scheduled for 20 September. "It looks like we're going to exceed it or be real close one way or the other. It is probably going to be at least as comparable to September 2002," Dr Serreze said.

"This will be four Septembers in a row that we've seen a downward trend. The feeling is we are reaching a tipping point or threshold beyond which sea ice will not recover."

The extent of the sea ice in September is the most valuable indicator of its health. This year's record melt means that more of the long-term ice formed over many winters - so called multi-year ice - has disappeared than at any time in recorded history.

Sea ice floats on the surface of the Arctic Ocean and its neighbouring seas and normally covers an area of some 7 million square kilometres (2.4 million square miles) during September - about the size of Australia. However, in September 2002, this dwindled to about 2 million square miles - 16 per cent below average.

Sea ice data for August closely mirrors that for September and last month's record low - 18.2 per cent below the monthly average - strongly suggests that this September will see the smallest coverage of Arctic sea ice ever recorded.

As more and more sea ice is lost during the summer, greater expanses of open ocean are exposed to the sun which increases the rate at which heat is absorbed in the Arctic region, Dr Serreze said.

Sea ice reflects up to 80 per cent of sunlight hitting it but this "albedo effect" is mostly lost when the sea is uncovered. "We've exposed all this dark ocean to the sun's heat so that the overall heat content increases," he explained.

Current computer models suggest that the Arctic will be entirely ice-free during summer by the year 2070 but some scientists now believe that even this dire prediction may be over-optimistic, said Professor Peter Wadhams, an Arctic ice specialist at Cambridge University.

"When the ice becomes so thin it breaks up mechanically rather than thermodynamically. So these predictions may well be on the over-optimistic side," he said.

As the sea ice melts, and more of the sun's energy is absorbed by the exposed ocean, a positive feedback is created leading to the loss of yet more ice, Professor Wadhams said.

"If anything we may be underestimating the dangers. The computer models may not take into account collaborative positive feedback," he said.

Sea ice keeps a cap on frigid water, keeping it cold and protecting it from heating up. Losing the sea ice of the Arctic is likely to have major repercussions for the climate, he said. "There could be dramatic changes to the climate of the northern region due to the creation of a vast expanse of open water where there was once effectively land," Professor Wadhams said. "You're essentially changing land into ocean and the creation of a huge area of open ocean where there was once land will have a very big impact on other climate parameters," he said.

2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.
###

www.independent.co.uk/

www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0916-09.htm

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- - Government Email Plays in the Katrina Blame Game
E-mail Suggests Government Seeking to Blame Groups
by Jerry Mitchell
Published September 16, 2005 by The Clarion-Ledger (Mississippi)

Federal officials appear to be seeking proof to blame the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups, documents show.

The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

For complete article, see:
www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0916-10.htm

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- - Katrina Relief: It's Iraq Deja vu All Over Again
by Arianna Huffington
www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/katrina-relief-its-iraq_b_7481.html

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- - Toxic Waters 'Will Make New Orleans Unsafe for a Decade'

From American Progress Action ~ Under the Radar

KATRINA -- FLOODED SUPERFUND SITES POSE LONG-TERM HEALTH RISK: "Overlooked in many news reports about the unfolding storm disaster in the southern United States, especially in the City of New Orleans, in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, is a potentially dramatic pollution issue related to a toxic landfill that sits under the flood waters right in the city's downtown." The Agriculture Street Landfill is one of three Superfund toxic waste sites in the Gulf Coast region that is posing a significant long-term health threat. "The flooded Superfund sites in Louisiana and Mississippi contain a range of contaminants that include heavy metals linked to increased cancer risk and developmental problems and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens." So far, tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency have found "raw sewage, traces of weed killers and toxic lead taint the floodwaters inundating New Orleans."

www.americanprogressaction.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=klLWJcP7H&b=252022&ct=1403219

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Cover-Up: Toxic Waters 'Will Make New Orleans Unsafe for a Decade'
by Geoffrey Lean
Published September 11, 2005 by the lndependent/UK
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article311818.ece

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- - Global Warming Hits New Orleans:
The Controversy After the Storm

by Jeremy Rifkin
Published on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 by The Chosun (Korea)
http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200509/200509060008.html



For FN's resource page, see:

Mounting Evidence of Global Warming!



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