The rise of people power
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
When all is said and done, there is but one way to describe the present international situation: chaotic. Power-hungry warmongers, reluctant ‘agnostics’ and self-appointed heroes, eager to save the world, struggle to win the support of the people for their various points of view. The voice of the people struggles to be heard amid the tumult but, more and more, is a factor to be reckoned with.
In many countries, vast throngs demonstrate their opposition to a forced and unfair confrontation, and express their fears of a terrible aftermath.
Throughout history, similar situations have arisen again and again, but only very seldom has the will of the people, even when directly involved, been an important factor in the deliberations and decisions made. In recent centuries, only in the great transforming actions of revolution has the people’s voice been central to the action, and made its mark on the time.
These dangerous men, caught up in the glamour of their power, must realize that the time for war is past, that humanity longs for peace and a security quickly vanishing. The little ‘Napoleons’ must be told that their days of power are over; that the times have robbed them of all relevance; and that the power now lies with those who serve the true needs of the people.
Maitreya will address their most urgent needs, their deepest hopes and fears. He will speak for all men, for people everywhere, and will thus make known the quality of the new society which inwardly satisfies the dreams and expectations of all.
Q. (1) Is war with Iraq now inevitable? (2) Do you think Saddam Hussein
will survive the war?
Q. Is there a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda?
Q. Has Saddam Hussein been receiving any contact/advice from Maitreya
during this current crisis?
Q. Many believe that oil is a major factor behind what passes for
foreign policy and also on the world’s stock markets: (1) Is it? (2) And will it play a key role
in bringing the world’s economic structure down?
Q. Was the loss of America’s Columbia space-shuttle and crew on 1
February 2003 a tragic accident, or a karmic event?
Q. I find it incredible that no one on the ground was injured when the
space shuttle broke up. Did the Masters protect the people on the ground from the falling
Q. Are the Space Brothers helping in the clean-up of any toxic elements
in the atmosphere?
Q. There is talk in the media that some toxins may leak into the ground
thus affecting cattle grazing and groundwater. Will toxins from the shuttle pose a problem to
Q. Did Maitreya help the astronauts not to experience any fear of what
Q. (1) During Benjamin Creme’s recent radio interview on Coast to
Coast, some of us experienced a blessing from Maitreya. I also believe that I experienced a
healing of an ear problem. Was Maitreya giving a blessing to the listening audience? (2) Was
this also to give an experience or blessing to those who fear His emergence?
Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. They also appear at Benjamin Creme's lectures and meditations, giving people in the audience the opportunity to intuitively recognise Them. Some people recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the encounters are authenticated by Benjamin Creme's Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, the Masters draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance (for example against smoking or drinking). Many times They act as saving 'angels' in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. The following letters, previously published in Share International magazine, are examples of this means of communication by the Masters.
A few days ago [in January 2003] I had an unusual experience. Someone knocked on my door and when I opened it I saw a rather tall man carrying a box with all sorts of wooden objects, bracelets, carved boxes and so on, to sell. It was very cold so I asked him to enter the hall. I hesitated and then, impulsively, I invited him to come in and have a cup of coffee. It is not my habit to invite unknown men to come in, specially because I live alone and I’m 92 years old, but I had a good feeling about him.
As soon as he was sitting he paid attention to a photo on my table and
asked who that was. So I told him it was Sai Baba. I thought it was a good opportunity to talk
about Maitreya. I asked him if he ever heard about Him. “Maitreya Buddha?” he asked. So I began
telling him about Maitreya and showed him Benjamin Creme’s books, including The Great Approach.
I talked about ‘Declaration Day’ and that at his age he would certainly see and hear Him. He
told me that he was 29 years old, a student and came from Ukraine. Just for a joke I asked him
how old he thought I was. He said without hesitation: 29! (92), the same age as his. A funny
joke of his! Afterwards I wondered how he could know my age so precisely! When he was leaving
and shaking hands, they felt moist (clammy). My question is: can you tell me who this visitor
Children’s party blessing
This photograph was taken
on 8 December 2002 at the warehouse of a toy company who had donated gifts to the charity
Children’s Aid Foundation, of Toronto, Canada. The gift bags were being filled by myself and the
special events co-ordinator Julia, who is in the photo, only blocked by this light. We were
preparing for a Christmas party for children in need.
On 20 December a co-worker and I went to a local magazine’s office to ask the editor about an idea we had to write articles for their monthly magazine — they work with homeless people — where we would like to speak about problems in the world and how to deal with them, and step by step we would write about the World Teacher. Some months before, they had published an interview about Maitreya so we thought the editor might be open-minded. But on this day I had no idea how to speak with him — I was discouraged and had no confidence, and our conversation was not too easy.
Suddenly the situation changed: an elderly woman who sat behind us,
talking with others, turned to us. First she gave a donation for this work with the homeless.
Then with a loud voice she spoke about how the world must change and that everything will be
good, that the Lord is really ‘here’ and that we only need to open our eyes to see his love and
glory. She also spoke about all the signs and miracles that God is sending to us. She was very
engaging and with a big smile she ended her speech: “I would like to speak all day long about
those things!” To me and my colleague she said: “You two understand what I mean!” She also said
to me: “Next year things will change for the better for you.…” In her conversation she said all
the things we had not found the right words for. We wonder if this could have been Maitreya?
Anti-war protests worldwide
Hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world took to the streets on 18 January 2003 to demonstrate against a possible war in Iraq. Some of the biggest demonstrations took place in Washington DC and San Francisco in the US, as well as Japan, Russia, Pakistan, Germany, Paris and London.
In Washington DC and San Francisco, an estimated 200,000 people in each city gathered to protest. Anti-war events took place across the United States, with organizers estimating that people from 220 cities nationwide attended demonstrations.
In Paris, anti-war protesters shouted in English: “Stop Bush! Stop war!” The 6,000-strong march was the third nationwide demonstration since October 2002. In Moscow, about 1,000 Russians chanted “US hands off Iraq!” and “Yankee, go home!” at a march outside the US Embassy. Elsewhere in Europe, 5,000 peaceful demonstrators gathered at a demonstration in Göteborg, Sweden, while thousands marched in the German cities of Cologne, Bonn, Rostock and Tübingen. Protesters in London gathered outside the Permanent Joint Headquarters of the British Armed Forces to voice their opposition. About 100 people from Turkey’s Green Party demonstrated in Istanbul, symbolically throwing toy guns into a trash can. Some 1,000 activists marched in Cairo, while several Pakistani cities had anti-war demonstrations.
Demonstrations also took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, where about 400 people attended a rally organized by the Green Party, and an estimated 4,000 students and union members attended a concert and march in Tokyo. More than 1,500 citizens waved placards and banners, and marched in the Bahraini capital of Manama, saying “No!” to war with Iraq and calling on their pro-Western leadership to expel US forces from the kingdom. The small Persian Gulf state is home to the US 5th Fleet and hosts about 1,000 US military personnel who would be among the forces used in any American-led attack on Iraq. (Source: CNN, USA; BBC, UK; Associated Press, Reuters)
People’s politician appeals to media
Voted overwhelmingly Politician of the Year by the British public for the January 2003 Channel 4 Television News Awards held in London, UK, retired MP Tony Benn said in his acceptance speech: “I feel at the moment a little bit overcome. On Thursday I’m going to Baghdad. I must admit that the thought that I shall see in the streets of Baghdad women and children who may be widowed, who may be killed in a few weeks by British forces sent to war without the consent of the Security Council or the House of Commons appalls me….
“I do believe that the media’s responsibility — at a time when war propaganda is on a scale I have not seen for many, many years — is to remember to think of those who may die in Baghdad with the same sensitivity they showed to those who died, quite innocently, in the Twin Towers in New York. I hope the media will recognize that the viewers are voters, and the voter is a viewer, and democracy depends not just on what we do on polling day but on what we do on every day in the year.” (Source: Channel 4 Television, UK)
US President George W.Bush has come under severe criticism from former South African President Nelson Mandela over Iraq. A Nobel Peace laureate, Mr Mandela said the sole reason for a possible US-led attack would be to gain control of Iraqi oil. Speaking at a forum in Johannesburg Mr Mandela, one of the world’s most respected figures, said the US stance on Iraq is “arrogant” and would cause “a holocaust”. He also said UK Prime Minister Tony Blair — who supports Washington over Iraq — was in fact the “US foreign minister”.
Nelson Mandela, 84, said: “One power, with a president who has no foresight and who cannot think properly, wants to plunge the world into a holocaust.” He said war “would be devastating not just to Iraq but also to the whole of the Middle East and to other countries of the world”. A spokesman for President Thabo Mbeki said that higher oil prices brought on by a Middle East war would condemn Africa to deep economic crisis.
Mr Mandela accused both the US and UK Governments of undermining the United Nations. “Is this because the Secretary General of the United Nations [Ghanaian Kofi Annan] is now a black man? They never did that when Secretary Generals were white,” he said. “Why does the United States behave so arrogantly?” Mr Mandela asked. “Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because it’s their ally they won’t ask the United Nations to get rid of them. “They just want the oil,” Mr Mandela continued. “We must expose this as much as possible.” (Source: BBC News Online, The Mirror, UK)
People push against the war
In an article whose headline reads: “W. pushes war, but people push back,” New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez contends that more Americans are opposed to a war with Iraq than is generally acknowledged and that the movement is spreading to mainstream America.
Gonzalez gives several examples of critiques from somewhat unexpected sources of the US Government’s rush to war. He cites a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal taken out by a group of Republican business leaders who gave their votes and hefty campaign contributions to President Bush and now feel betrayed by the candidate they supported in 2000 — a candidate they claim promised a “more humble nation in our dealings with the world”.
Gonzalez also notes that no less a figure than retired US General Norman Schwarzkopf, has voiced criticism of the Bush administration’s willingness to go it alone, and concern regarding certain pronouncements by Defence Secretary Rumsfeld that have made him nervous.
Gonzalez also points out the hundreds of local peace protests being held across the country with little media coverage, as well as the small anti-war newspaper called the War Times that has been inundated with orders. Add to this the city councils of 52 American cities which have passed resolutions against a US attack without UN approval, and it becomes apparent that a broad movement toward peace is developing. (Source: New York Daily News, USA)
Retired US Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the US-led forces in the 1991 Gulf War when George Bush Senior was President, said a new war with Iraq has not yet been justified.
Schwarzkopf, who became a military hero for his role in the last war, has added his weight to calls for UN inspectors to be given more time to uncover any evidence of Iraq’s alleged weapons programmes. “The thought of Saddam Hussein with a sophisticated nuclear capability is a frightening thought,” he said in an interview published in the Washington Post on 28 January. “Having said that, I don’t know what intelligence the US Government has. And before I can just stand up and say: ‘Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we need to invade Iraq,’ I guess I would like to have better information.”
The retired General, who became affectionately known as “Stormin’ Norman”, said he would like to give UN weapons inspectors more time to complete their task.
The general also had concerns about the role of the US army following any conflict to overthrow Saddam. “What is post-war Iraq going to look like, with the Kurds and the Sunnis and the Shiites? That’s a huge question to my mind. It really should be part of the overall campaign plan,” he said.
“I would hope that we have in place the adequate resources to become an
army of occupation, because you are going to walk into chaos.”
On 31 January 2003 celebrities and public figures protested at the Palace of Westminster, in the heart of British Government, against war with Iraq and demonstrated their disapproval by signing a card for Prime Minister Tony Blair. At the press conference a panel of speakers included film director Ken Loach, politicians George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, architect Lord Richard Rogers, Bianca Jagger and musician Damon Albarn.
MP Jeremy Corbyn said: “This is a war with no public support, parliamentary approval, or moral justification … I think Tony Blair has made an enormous mistake. I think there is huge political opposition in this country and the demonstrations we are organizing will quite possibly be the biggest ever public political demonstrations in this country, because nobody supports this war.
“Tony Blair should remember that the opposition is very big in this country and Europe, and enormous in other parts of the world. In the United States, where I was a couple of weeks ago, it is absolutely huge, with Vietnam and Gulf War veterans, the black community and ordinary people throughout the country. [This war is for] US commercial and military interests: essentially a war for oil. If we want to live in a peaceful world, and avoid a war in Iraq, we need to assist in the disarmament process of all countries with weapons of mass destruction, including our own and the United States. And we need to address the causes of war, which are poverty and injustice. Otherwise, a war with Iraq today, North Korea tomorrow — goodness knows what will be next.”
Bianca Jagger said: “I ask Prime Minister Blair and President Bush to tell us why, if the weapons inspectors are asking for more time in order to be able to disarm Saddam Hussein, we are not doing it?… Why go alone, without the rest of Europe who has not signed up to these attacks against Iraq? We must not forget that the real reason for this war is because of oil: it will be blood for oil.”
Musician Damon Albarn said: “There is a strength of feeling [against the war] that is across the board. I don’t really believe in what Tony Blair is saying. I don’t believe him because he is not listening to the people who elected him in.”
Spanish actors say: “No to war”
At the recent 2003 “Spanish Oscars night” award ceremony — the Goya Awards — every single actor, actress, producer, director and scriptwriter sported a large black badge on which was printed in bright red letters: “No war.”
All award winners used the opportunity to speak out against the proposed US-led war against Iraq. Spanish actor Javier Bardem, who won the Goya award for best actor for his role in Mondays in the Sun, a film about the social problems of unemployment in Spain, said: “We can’t separate cinema from social matters, because they are the same thing. This ceremony shines a spotlight on an issue which is not sufficiently emphasized — nobody should take the people for granted. Winning the elections doesn’t mean receiving a blank cheque. Politicians must listen to the people, who say ‘No to war’.”
Spanish cinema made itself heard in the highest rating television hours,
voicing what most Spaniards feel about the war in Iraq: 84 per cent answered “No to war” in a
Gallup survey carried out recently — the highest “No war” rate within the European Union.
A group of 41 American Nobel laureates in the fields of science and economics have signed a declaration opposing war with Iraq without wide international support. The group includes men who formerly advised the government on national security issues, and 18 who have received the nation’s highest honour, the National Medal of Science. More signatures are expected as laureates continue to respond.
The four-sentence declaration was organized by Nobel chemist Dr Walter Kohn, in response to his observation that “No voice was speaking against the war”. He contacted all American laureates in science and economics; signatories to date include Democrats and Republicans alike, among them Hans A.Bethe, an architect of the atom bomb; Walter Kohn, a former adviser to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon; Norman F.Ramsey, a Manhattan Project scientist involved with the Hiroshima bomb and who later advised NATO; and Charles H.Townes, former research director of the Institute for Defense Analyses at the Pentagon and chairman of a federal panel that studied how to base the MX missile and its nuclear warheads.
The declaration reads: “The undersigned oppose a preventive war against Iraq without broad international support. Military operations against Iraq may indeed lead to a relatively swift victory in the short term. But war is characterized by surprise, human loss and unintended consequences. Even with a victory, we believe that the medical, economic, environmental, moral, spiritual, political and legal consequences of an American preventive attack on Iraq would undermine, not protect, US security and standing in the world.” (Source: The New York Times, USA; truthout.com)
Pope speaks out against war
The Pope has condemned the threatened war with Iraq as a “defeat for humanity”. His annual ‘State of the World’ address to diplomats at the Vatican voiced his position in strong terms: “No to war.”
“War is not always inevitable,” he said, emphasizing international law and
diplomacy as the only worthy means of resolving differences between nations. “War is never just
another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations.”
As we go to press US Secretary of State Colin Powell is about to present so-called evidence on Iraq’s weapons programme to the United Nations. However, recent reports indicate that “at least some of the evidence Secretary Powell intends to present was derived from interrogations of detainees held by the United States and its allies in the war on terrorism”, according to the US-based Human Rights Watch.
The human rights monitoring organization called on the Bush administration to answer the allegations and renounce torture before Powell puts his evidence before the United Nations. “In his State of the Union address, President Bush said the Iraqi Government is ‘evil’ because it uses torture,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “But torture is evil no matter who is using it. Secretary Powell should not lose this chance to explicitly renounce the use of torture by the US Government and its allies.”
Whatever the truth of allegations printed in a Washington Post article, many people believe that illegal methods are being used to extract evidence from detainees. A letter from Human Rights Watch addressed to Colin Powell and signed by Kenneth Roth challenges the Bush Government: “Until this perception is changed, your presentation to the Security Council — to the extent it relies on detainee interrogations — will not inspire the confidence and trust you are seeking.” (Source: Human Rights Watch Press Release)
World becoming more free
The Freedom House Survey, which has been published as an annual report for
30 years, “is a comprehensive independent study of political evolution, evaluating countries
according to their civil liberties, independent civil institutions and independent media, as
well as their electoral politics”. Despite repeated accusations of a link between Islam and
extremism in the US press, 2002’s survey shows no important link between religious affiliation
to Islam and lack of freedom. In fact, it demonstrates a gradual move towards democratization in
many Islamic countries. As the Washington Post notes, according to the survey: “It seems that
most of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims actually live under democratically elected governments.”
The survey also indicates that countries with less freedom are more likely to export terrorists,
indicating that focusing on developing a more “open” political climate in such countries will
help decrease terrorism.
Member of Parliament George Galloway has been the Glasgow Kelvin representative in the House of Commons for nearly three decades. He has vigorously campaigned to stop the sanctions against Iraq, and is at the forefront of the anti-war movement in the UK. Gill Fry interviewed him for Share International.
SI: Do you think Saddam Hussein is really a threat to the stability of the world or is there another cause, for example oil, for American interest in overthrowing Saddam Hussein?
GG: Time magazine readers voted in a recent poll to decide who was the most dangerous man in the world; almost 80 per cent of them chose George W.Bush, and I agree with them. I think George Bush is one of the world’s worst leaders, in possession of some of the world’s most terrible weapons and, unlike some other leaders, is both in a position, and fully intends, to use them on a suffering civilian population in Iraq which has already been bled for 12 long years by war and economic siege. [This has led] to the death of more than a million children, most of them under five, the great majority of them not even born when the conflict with Iraq and the sanctions began.
I think that fewer and fewer people in the world believe that this [war] is about to be done because Iraq is somehow a threat to anyone else. In truth it is we who are threatening Iraq and the peace and stability in the Middle East region, for a whole number of reasons. Oil is one of them; the blind support of Sharon’s extremist position in Israel is a second; Bush’s wish to complete the unfinished business of his father in some kind of weird Shakespearean way is another. But overwhelmingly it’s about projecting America’s overwhelming power in the world: its control over the world and its warning to the rest of the world that they must bow the knee to the twin features of contemporary US power — globalized savage capitalism, and the new imperialist control over the strategically important areas of the globe.
SI: Do you think America is sincere in its “going to war for the sake of peace”?
GG: When I watched George W.Bush gazing cross-eyed into that telly-prompter, I was reminded of the American televangelist the Reverend Jimmy Swaggart who ended up in prison on several counts of embezzlement and vice charges. I thought that Bush had all the ‘sincerity’ of the Reverend Swaggart! I was astounded that grown men and women elected to the American congress leapt to their feet almost 40 times in the course of the address to give a standing ovation to such imbecilic rantings.
SI: What would be the repercussions of a war for the Middle East and the Arab world in general?
GG: First of all there would be massive bloodshed in Iraq itself. The American military with their auxiliary, Great Britain, intend to launch 800 cruise missiles in the first two days — a blizzard of cruise missiles, more than they fired in the entire 45 days of Gulf War I. This will then be followed by carpet bombardment from B52s — the same aeroplanes that bombarded Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s — raining down on Iraq’s towns and cities. After literally thousands of such bombing raids — and they have plans for 60 days and nights of thousands of sorties a day — they intend to invade the country with 350,000 American and British soldiers, killing everything that stands in their way, then physically occupying the whole of Iraq, a country the size of France. [They will] bring in a puppet government from London, whose first decision to privatize Iraq’s oil industry has already been made for them, installing it in Baghdad and keeping it there. The process of doing that will cost many thousands of lives, not all of them Iraqi and not all in Iraq. The one man who wants this war more than George Bush is Osama bin Laden. He set out to engineer this kind of confrontation between East and West, between the Muslims and the Others, on September 11.
When the war is ‘over’ Iraqi civilian resistance to the occupying army will begin. [There will be] the same kind of dismal, melancholy process of suicide-bombs, car-bombs and drive-by shootings, and all the paraphernalia of a civilian population under foreign occupation that General Sharon’s forces face every day. The ‘earthquake’ in the region will be deeply destabilizing — not least for the puppet-regimes, and the slave-regimes in the Middle East who exist to serve the interests of the big powers, so some of the regime-change may not be confined to Baghdad.
It will be a tremendous windfall for international terrorism. Bin Laden’s whole cause was fuelled by the presence of a few thousand soldiers in tents hidden in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Can you imagine what kind of provocation it will be to Islamic terrorism to have 350,000 Western crusader soldiers occupying an Arab country and looting its wealth for many years to come?
SI: Do you think there is a link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein?
GG: First of all the Americans tried to pin September 11 on Iraq, but they had to back down in the face of the CIA’s testimony that this was false. They then tried to pin the Anthrax attacks on Iraq and it turned out it was a purely American phenomenon. Then for many months they said there was no link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden and now, in the 11th hour, as they more and more desperately try to obtain public support for what they plan to do, they have resurrected a non-existent link. Iraq is at the other end of the political spectrum from Islamic fundamentalism. It is a secular, socialist dictatorship. That is precisely why we backed them in the war against Iran — to try and be a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalist revolution.
SI. What is the UN’s role in solving this crisis?
GG: The UN should resist the bullying, the bribing and the corruption of the United Nations system by Britain and America who are holding a cruise missile to the head of the Security Council and telling them: “Either you endorse what we intend to do or we will do it without you.” The implied point is that, if we have to do that you will not share in the bonanza of oil and reconstruction contracts that will follow this devastating war. It is the most corrupt process that any of us alive have ever seen. So far it has not worked with the Security Council. It might in the last moments of the 11th hour finally work. People must not be fooled — if this war is wrong and hugely counter-productive, it will not become less so because Putin and Chirac are bribed or bullied or threatened enough finally to acquiesce to it.
SI: How can we avoid a war taking place?
GG: By overwhelming numbers of people pouring onto the streets of London on 15 February. Mr Blair is very vulnerable politically in Britain today. If we can cut this axis of evil intent by severing the umbilical cord which seems to connect the Labour leader with the most right-wing, fundamentalist Republican President in living memory — then we can stop the war, because American public opinion is already moving significantly against a war. If they were told that on this one even the British could not join them, then we could stop this madness from happening. That requires hundreds of thousands of people to be on the streets and at demonstrations everywhere that day in 11 European capitals, in the Middle East, Iran and America too. If we can demonstrate the sheer scale of the opposition to this we can make the warmongers think again. However imperfect an instrument, our countries remain democracies and, as Dr Johnson said, “The knowledge that one is to be hanged in the morning concentrates the mind wonderfully.” Elected politicians regularly face the ‘hangman’ who is the electorate, and if they know that their constituents are voting with their feet and with their hearts against this, then they can impose their will on their elected representatives.
An interview with William Rivers Pitt
by Felicity Eliot
William Rivers Pitt is a teacher from Boston, USA. He is the author of two books: the bestseller War On Iraq: what Team Bush doesn’t want you to know (with Scott Ritter), and a new book The Greatest Sedition is Silence*.
Share International: President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are meeting as this interview is taking place. There is a carefully crafted message for public consumption, but what is being said in private, I wonder? Would you care to hazard a well-informed guess?
WRP: I spoke recently to a Labour Party Member of Parliament, and asked him what was going on in Tony Blair’s head. The gentleman had absolutely no idea; it seems Blair’s motives are the biggest mystery in all of England right now. I can hazard a couple of guesses, however. Tony may very well be setting himself up to be a real power-broker in all this.
The Iraq operation is go/no-go on Blair’s word. That gives him enormous pull. Remember, the British have a history of foreign policy wisdom that is approximately 1,000 years older than America’s. There may be wheels within wheels here. It also bears mentioning that British Petroleum has a great number of interests in Alaskan oil-drilling. It could be that Bush has Blair on board in exchange for the opening of Alaska for BP oil drilling. Reports about Blair and Bush’s talk suggest that there was some tension despite the veneer of togetherness. I cannot be sure what they discussed, but I would not be surprised if Blair was flexing his muscles a bit.
Let me refer you to the following passage from The Washington Post: “Bush administration officials acknowledge that Blair is the one world leader who could seriously disrupt US military planning for a war on Iraq. In that sense, Britain remains the indispensable ally because it provides international cover for what would otherwise be virtually an all-American operation. But there seems little prospect of Blair pushing his differences with Bush to breaking point.”
SI: President Bush has said a US-led coalition can move against Iraq without a second United Nations resolution, and no delay over disarmament will be tolerated. He seems to be serving notice that he does not intend to go back to the UN in case he doesn’t get the answer he wants. What are the likely consequences of such a move?
WRP: America could easily become diplomatically isolated in such an instance. In this global economic community, this would be a disaster. It is also a dead certainty that such a move would guarantee more terrorism in America. Iraq’s civilian populace is 97 per cent Muslim, and terrorist organizations that would normally not give a tinker’s damn for Saddam Hussein will rally to the cause of the Iraqi civilians we will inevitably kill by the tens of thousands. The move could cause a disastrous upheaval in the Middle East which is frankly something the Bush administration is likely hoping for.
SI: Doesn’t the Bush regime at least have to go through the motions of appearing to consult with the UN Security Council? Would they not lose potential public support if they were seen to ignore the UN?
WRP: You would think so. Resolution 1441 was basically drafted by the Bush administration, and the UN has been acting with that Resolution as its guiding principle. Resolution 1441, however, was drafted by the Bush administration in a way that, they expected, would cause Iraq to turn it down. Such a refusal would have been a cause for war by their playbook. When Iraq accepted it, Bush was forced to deal with the UN. To a large extent, he still has to. How this will all play out remains to be seen. Norman Solomon’s new book Target Iraq deals with the concept behind 1441 in detail.
SI: How do you read US public sentiment at present?
WRP: Deeply worried and unsettled, unsure of why this all has to happen now, and very much in support of a continuation of the inspection program.
SI: Baghdad “is not disarming” and remains a “danger to the world”, Mr Bush has just warned. But I know both you and Scott Ritter, among others, continue to insist that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction. How come Scott Ritter’s information is ignored and dismissed?
WRP: That is a slight mischaracterization. Ritter and I have asserted that Iraq has no functional weapons program, that a vast majority of their weapons were destroyed by the UNSCOM inspectors, that whatever was left has degraded into junk by now, and that any remaining weapons can best be ferreted out by inspectors. To date, none of these statements have been at all refuted.
These views are being ignored in the American media because the said media is, to be blunt, in love with being big and dumb and simple. The complexities cause the eyes to glaze and the commercials to go unwatched. The administration ignores these views because they do not serve its purposes.
SI: Iraq has asked UN’s chief nuclear arms inspector Mohamed El Baradei and chief inspector Hans Blix to visit before they make another progress report to the Security Council on 14 February. Is Iraq playing games? How do you see this?
WRP: I cannot really speak on this. Iraq will not threaten them, I assume, and will likely implore them to be fair and to ignore American pressure. The chief inspectors will be lathered with propaganda by the Iraqis, but they are professionals and will not be affected.
SI: We’ve been told that US Secretary of State Colin Powell will present new evidence of Iraq’s failure to comply with UN demands. next week. What do you think we can expect?
WRP: There will be no smoking gun. Much of it will be rhetorical, based upon accusations and prove-a-negative rhetorical gamesmanship. We have the definitive ability to definitively conclude whether or not Iraq has these weapons. If such definitive evidence is not presented, Bush’s push for a new war resolution will fail.
SI: European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana has said the case for war against Iraq has not yet been made; and he also insists that “the centre of gravity should continue to be the Security Council”. What is your reaction to that?
WRP: As an American, I believe that America cannot always be tied to the will of other nations when it sees something that needs to be done for the good of the nation. In this case, however, moving on Iraq without UN backing will be a disaster. America has always considered itself to be above and beyond the community of nations. This particular administration takes that to the furthest extreme, equating diplomacy and negotiation with appeasement. This is dangerous folly. If America is to lead, it must on occasion follow, and be that “humble” country Bush promised we would be during his 2000 campaign.
SI: Can public opinion still make a difference? Recent polls indicate that 82 per cent of Europeans asked are against a war with Iraq in the absence of a UN resolution.
WRP: That public opinion is the number one reason why France and Germany are digging their heels in, and why Blair is feeling the heat. It can make an enormous difference.
SI: In your “All I want for Christmas” article you asked some very tough questions: “I want to hear about the end-game for our Iraq war. Who will rule in Saddam’s place, and how will that person be an improvement? How will the Shiites and Kurds be represented and protected? How long will American forces have to be there? How much will it cost? Who gets the payout from the oil fields? How much of this war is based upon business decisions? Will we stop at Iraq, or will we move on to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt in the manner that Richard Perle has often envisioned?” Could I ask you whether, since Christmas, you have found or formulated any answers? And what are they?
WRP: Not one single answer to these questions has been forthcoming from the Bush administration. I do not expect them ever to answer these questions, for they are part of that complexity the administration desperately wants to avoid in the public discourse.
*Scott Ritter and William R.Pitt, War against Iraq: what Team Bush doesn’t want you to know. Profile Books, UK, 2002, and Context Books, New York, USA. (Reviewed by Jos Kuyl in Share International January/February 2003)
William R.Pitt, The Greatest Sedition is Silence. Available in April 2003 from Pluto Press.
Miracle of Theresa Rose
Kathryn Rossi of Freeport, Illinois, USA, was pregnant with her fourth child, but tests during the 20th week of pregnancy revealed that there were chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus and further medical tests were ordered. Rossi prayed to St Thérèse, a saint noted for her love of children. The night before the tests Kathryn discovered that the white paper towels she had purchased were not totally white after all. The roll Kathryn opened had roses on it. “They say when St Thérèse hears a prayer, she sends a rose to let you know,” Kathryn said.
The further tests revealed that the placenta was not delivering the proper nutrients to the baby. The doctor said there was no way Kathryn could carry to term. They would wait as long as possible, “but most babies with this condition are born too small to survive,” the doctor said.
Family and friends began sending flowers and cards, and although Kathryn had not told the story of St Thérèse and the roses to anyone but her husband Robert, in every bouquet and on every card there was a rose. Even the ceramic angel her mother-in-law gave her was holding a rose, a surprise even to Robert’s mother because the box had showed the angel’s hands to be empty.
The infant was born just 25 weeks into the pregnancy, weighing only 14 ounces. Kathryn decided to name her Theresa Rose. But the doctor said her chances of survival were only 5 per cent, and then only if the baby survived an operation to close a major blood vessel in the baby’s heart. The operation was a success, as were further needed operations.
After one of the operations, Kathryn prayed to a statue of St Thérèse for a sign that she was hearing Kathryn’s prayers. The next morning the doctor said that all of Theresa Rose’s vital signs showed a marked improvement. “There’s just no explanation,” he said.
The baby Theresa Rose continued to improve, and after four-and-a-half months was able to go home with her parents. Today, she is a healthy two-year-old baby. (Source: Woman’s World, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the healing miracle was manifested by the Master Jesus.)
Madonna images in Canada
Since September 2002, images of the Madonna have been reported in four villages in the northern reaches of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, spurring hundreds of people to visit.
The most recent images appeared in January 2003 on two homes in Beauval, Saskatchewan. The images appear to glow at night, and have been captured on video, said Bertha Durocher, who owns one of the homes.
Bertha said she did not want to tell others about the image on her window
at first. “I told my mom and she said: ‘Oh you’re probably seeing your own shadow,’ so I thought
people wouldn’t believe me. It was just glowing so beautifully, I had tears in my eyes” said
Bertha, who believes the sightings are some kind of divine message. (Source: Reuters)