Saturday, May 17, 2003

GlobalNetNews-Summary

Saudi Arabia, West Africa -- Next Stops in the Infinite War for Oil, by Michael C. Ruppert, (Michael Ruppert draws the connections between the Saudi, Iraq, Nigeria, and "peak oil", and notes other sources now vindicating his earlier warnings.) - FTW's previous reporting from last August indicated that the US was likely developing plans to destabilize Saudi Arabia, partition it, and occupy the world's largest oil fields shortly after it had successfully occupied Iraq. Full story ... Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the world's sixth largest oil producer, and throughout western and equatorial Africa, continuing rebel violence is laying the groundwork for NATO and US military intervention. Both developments are in keeping with Dick Cheney's "war which will not end in our lifetimes," a war to control the last remaining oil reserves on the planet.

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UK warns of increased terror threat in six more African countries, Saturday May 17, 2003 The Guardian. A specific al-Qaida terrorist threat against British planes to Nairobi led to the suspension of flights between the UK and Kenya, the east African country's national security minister said yesterday. The Department for Transport in London took the unprecedented step of stopping all British flights between the two countries indefinitely on Thursday after the threat level to UK civil aviation was raised to "imminent". In another development the Foreign Office last night upgraded its travel advice to warn of a "clear terrorist threat" in six neighbouring east African countries. A Foreign Office statement said new advice covering Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda would warn that each is "one of a number of countries in east Africa where there is a clear terrorist threat. It is a reflection of our continuing concern about terrorism in the region."

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In Reversal, Plan for Iraq Self-Rule Has Been Put Off, BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 16 — In an abrupt reversal, the United States and Britain have indefinitely put off their plan to allow Iraqi opposition forces to form a national assembly and an interim government by the end of the month. Instead, top American and British diplomats leading reconstruction efforts here told exile leaders in a meeting tonight that allied officials would remain in charge of Iraq for an indefinite period, said Iraqis who attended the meeting. It was conducted by L. Paul Bremer, the new civilian administrator here.

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Do you want to know who the Americans running Iraq really are, PressInfo # 183 - Part 1 May 14, 2003 By Jan Oberg, TFF director, They are people with a background in the far-right of the Republican Party, the Israel lobby, Perle and Wolfowitz henchmen, central to the war on terror, to the Homeland Defence authorities, to anti-ABM and pro-Ballistic Missile Defence (Star Wars), close to conservative think tanks, affiliated with mercenary companies, the military-industrial complex (MIC) and CIA. They are former "stabilisers" in Bosnia and Kosovo, and Marine Corps-people (many in Vietnam); they are private consulting firm executives affiliated with the inner circles of power in Washington. And, of course, several are associated with the oil industry, the computer industry as well as the media and public relations industry. With a few exceptions they are Pentagon and not State Department people, they are generals and technocrats.

Less than a handful have any prior experience in Iraq or in nation-building, conflict-resolution, reconciliation, post-war trauma healing, civil society empowerment and other quite relevant matters. In short, they are perfectly fit to "do" Iraq for the US and totally unsuitable for the Iraqis. They are not accountable to anyone, except President Bush and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld. Their operations and decisions are not transparent to the world community or any world organisation.

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Sea gates for Venice to shut out floods, ROME - After decades of indecision and bickering over how to protect Venice from increasingly frequent flooding, Italy has started on one of its biggest public works projects in years - a series of 79 sea gates for the city. The gates would rise from the ocean floor whenever high tides in the Adriatic threaten to swell the lagoon in which Venice sits. They would take eight years to build, government officials said, and cost about US$4 billion (S$7 billion). Officials said that was a small price to pay for the preservation of Venice. It is threatened by a combination of rising sea levels and the sinking of the city itself, which is built on a soggy foundation.

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Saskatchewan farmer in battle with Monsanto star of Biodevastation conference, Canadian Press Friday, May 16, 2003, ST. LOUIS (CP) - At 72, lifelong Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser never dreamed he'd be the poster boy in what he calls a worldwide struggle for farmers' rights and autonomy. But five years and $200,000 in legal fees later, the Saskatchewan farmer said he will go down fighting St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. for the right of farmers to plant seed saved from one growing season in the next. Schmeiser barely had heard of Monsanto before 1998, he said Friday at the Biodevastation 7 conference in St. Louis, a three-day gathering of opponents of genetic engineering. He and his wife had scratched out a good life on 567 hectares in Western Canada as farmers and canola seed developers, saving seeds from high-yield harvests year to year, as growers have for centuries.

That year, Schmeiser was sued in federal court by Monsanto for raising herbicide-resistant canola from its genetically modified seed, which the company said is a violation of its patent rights. The suit would cost the couple their life savings and 25 years of seed research, Schmeiser said. Monsanto said canola plants grown from its genetically altered seed had grown along a ditch on the Schmeiser farm in violation of the company's patent. Schmeiser contends the GM seed blew off a truck or came from someone else's field but Monsanto argued that's impossible. Schmeiser said he never bought Monsanto seed. In May 2001, a judge ruled for Monsanto, saying it didn't matter how the genetically modified plant ended up on Schmeiser's property - bees, birds, wind or transport - it became Monsanto's property. Schmeiser said he had to forfeit his profits from his 1998 crop and was forbidden from using his plants or seed again because they were contaminated.

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Harassment of the movement against genetic engineering and corporate agribusiness Mitchel Cohen & Brian Tokar, writing from the BioDevastation Conference against Genetic Engineering in St. Louis, home of Monsanto: At least 20-30 people have been arrested and we need your help Police invaded two known movement homes this morning, apparently in "pre-emptive raids" to prevent their attendance at Sunday's demonstration against the World Agricultural Forum Others were taken into custody while riding their bicycles to the BioDevastation gathering at Forest Park Community College, and the police have left the bicycles lying along the road Sarah Bantz organizer for MORAGE and a speaker at the BioDevastation conference was arrested for having a container of Vitamin C capsules, which police are claiming to be an illegal drug. Police have also entered the Randall Building, office of the Gateway Greens/Green Party USA, St. Louis IndyMedia, the Confluence newspaper, and other organizations, searching for "violations" and who knows what else. For the last two weeks, the St=2E Louis police have been spreading rumors of "Seattle-like violence" in order to ratchet up the levels of tension, rationalizing their procurement of riot gear and new "crowd control" Weapons.

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In Iraq, Water and Oil Do Mix - Wells, Conspicuously missing from the ubiquitous Iraq war critique was the subtle agenda of water rights in the parched Middle East region. Of all the reasons for invading Iraq, securing water rights was never mentioned because it implicates too many countries with volatile connections to Iraq, like Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Israel. Protest signs read, "No Blood For Oil," as American corporations salivated in line for the opportunity to win contracts to rebuild the ravaged infrastructure. Why did no antiwar protesters carry signs saying, "No War for Water"? They should have.

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Iran has other ideas for region, by Robert Fisk, If the Americans expected submission, they didn't get it in Beirut Tuesday. President Mohammed Khatami of Iran -- whose election gave him a far more convincing majority than President Bush received in America -- insisted that Tehran's support for the Lebanese Hezbollah would remain firm, that Israel must leave the last square miles of Lebanese territory and that -- here was the old, familiar Khatami refrain -- there must be a "dialogue" between civilizations. The Shiite Muslims of Lebanon, the largest if largely unacknowledged community in the country, flocked to see their hero in Beirut, chadored women and great bearded men weeping with delight at the mere sight of the thin, ascetic but humane cleric who once offered a real hope of democracy in Iran.

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