Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Documents seized in Iraq immediately after the US invasion in 2003 point to the presence of al-Qa'ida members in the country before the war, and show there had been moves to hide traces of "chemical or biological materials" from UN weapons inspectors. The documents have been posted on the internet as part of a rolling program by the US Government to make public the contents of 48,000 boxes of untranslated papers and tapes relating to the workings of Saddam Hussein's regime. Saddam is said to have routinely taped talks with cabinet members and intelligence chiefs.

US director of national intelligence John Negroponte was ordered by President George W. Bush to release the material. Hundreds of thousands of previously unseen documents and hundreds of hours of tapes will be placed on the web in the coming weeks. The first documents to be released offer tantalising clues to possible Iraqi contacts with al-Qa'ida. An Iraqi intelligence report dated September 15, 2001 -- four days after the attacks on the US -- says Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were in contact with Iraq, and al-Qa'ida members had visited the country. It claims the US had proof that the Iraqi government and "bin Laden's group" had agreed to co-operate to attack targets in the US and that the Americans might strike Iraq and Afghanistan in retaliation.

However, the information comes from an unidentified Afghan informant who states merely that he heard it from an Afghan consul, also unnamed. According to ABC News, which translated the tapes, the claims are "sensational" but the sourcing is "questionable". Another document from a "trustworthy" source and dated August 2002 claims people with links to al-Qa'ida were in Iraq. There is a picture a few pages later of the Jordanian terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. But the papers suggest Saddam's agents were trying to verify the presence of al-Qa'ida rather than colluding with it.

Documents from 1997 confirm that Saddam was giving UN weapons inspectors the runaround by removing correspondence concerned with "prohibited weapons" and clearing "labs and storages of any traces of chemical or biological materials". The transcript of one tape recording shows an official named as Comrade Husayn expressing concern to Saddam that outsiders would find out about imported material, including some from the US, apparently for chemical weapons. "They have a bigger problem with the chemical program than the biological program," he tells Saddam. "We have not told them that we used it on Iran, nor have we told them about the size or kind of chemical weapons that we produced and we have not told them the truth about the imported material."

In another taped conversation from the mid-1990s, a man called al-Sahhaf -- possibly a former information minister -- says: "On the nuclear file, sir, are we saying we disclosed everything? No, we have uncleared problems in the nuclear field." Apparently confirming that the nuclear program had been abandoned, he adds: "Everything is over. but did they know? No, sir, they did not know, not all the methods, not all the means, not all the scientists and not all the places."

Much more here



Vatican stops apologizing for the Crusades: "The Vatican has begun moves to rehabilitate the Crusaders by sponsoring a conference at the weekend that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the "noble aim" of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity. The Crusades are seen by many Muslims as acts of violence that have underpinned Western aggression towards the Arab world ever since. Followers of Osama bin Laden claim to be taking part in a latter-day "jihad against the Jews and Crusaders".... At the conference, held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Roberto De Mattei, an Italian historian, recalled that the Crusades were "a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands and the Muslim devastation of the Holy Places".... Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II. He said that the Crusaders were "martyrs" who had "sacrificed their lives for the faith". He was backed by Jonathan Riley-Smith, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, who said that those who sought forgiveness for the Crusades "do not know their history". Professor Riley-Smith has attacked Sir Ridley Scott's recent film Kingdom of Heaven, starring Orlando Bloom, as "utter nonsense". Professor Riley-Smith said that the script, like much writing on the Crusades, was "historically inaccurate. It depicts the Muslims as civilised and the Crusaders as barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality."

Former peacenik David Aaronovitch tells here how the brutalities of Serb leader Milosevic turned him off being a peacenik and made him more realistic: "What I want to do is chronicle how the Serbian leader was responsible for the invasion of Iraq. Along a line of logic that runs, crudely, no Slobo, no Bosnia, no Kosovo, no fashion for intervention, no Iraq."

More wacko antisemitism from America's Leftist academe: "A paper recently co-authored by the academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government about the allegedly far-reaching influence of an "Israel lobby" is winning praise from white supremacist David Duke. The Palestine Liberation Organization mission to Washington is distributing the paper, which also is being hailed by a senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization. But the paper, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," by the Kennedy School's Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, is meeting with a more critical reception from many of those it names as part of the lobby. The 83-page "working paper" claims a network of journalists, think tanks, lobbyists, and largely Jewish officials have seized the foreign policy debate and manipulated America to invade Iraq. Included in this network, the authors say, are the editors of the New York Times, the scholars at the Brookings Institution, students at Columbia, "pro-Israel" senior officials in the executive branch, and "neoconservative gentiles" including columnist George Will".

Max Boot rather wittily points out how some George Clooney films make the case for a neocon foreign policy.

Amazing! The mega-incorrect blog "Majority Rights" has logged a million hits in just the last 4 months. It is a blog devoted to the frank discussion of racial matters so the success of the blog does I think show that, despite all the Leftist propaganda, people can see that some racial differences are real and important and want to talk about that -- and generally have few opportunities to do so. Because I am a libertarian, my posts there are founded on the view that people must be judged on their individual characteristics and behaviour -- but that does not mean we have to deny reality. A lot of the other people who frequent the site are always grumbling about how far-Left I am however!

I am rather pleased to see that this blog has made the Hot 500 at blogrolling.com (no. 438 at the moment). To be in the top 500 out of about 30 million blogs (according to Technorati.com) seems pretty good to me. NZ Bear is only a little less cheering -- putting this blog at no. 505 at the time of writing. What it all means is that you are reading stuff that lots of other bloggers approve of or find interesting.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here). I also post several times a week on "Tongue-Tied". There is an archive of my "Tongue-Tied" posts here or here


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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