Friday, November 30, 2001
S a t u r d a y ,    D e c e m b e r  1,  2 0 0 1
Sunday, December 2, 2001

Israel Suffers Day of Carnage

Excerpts from article describing horrific acts of mass murder perpetrated upon Israelis:

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A series of attacks ... have killed at least 26 Israelis, causing carnage on the streets of Jerusalem and the northern town of Haifa.

Fifteen people were killed and 40 wounded by an explosion on a bus in Haifa at lunchtime.

... Witnesses said the force of the blast threw the bus into the air.

... Teenagers killed

The violence began on Saturday night at a shopping centre in the Ben Yehuda precinct of Jerusalem. Ten people were killed and 170 injured, most of them teenage revellers. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres described the attack as "one of the worst... ever seen".

As rescue workers were treating survivors,
there was a third explosion nearby

... A caller purporting to be from the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad told the BBC Jerusalem bureau that the group had carried out the suicide bombings and promised new attacks imminently. ...

(click for video describing the
bombings in Jerusalem and Haifa)

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Secret US Plan for Iraq War

Excerpts from articles describing US plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein and the risks involved in such an effort:

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Bush orders backing for rebels to topple Saddam. America intends to depose Saddam Hussein by giving armed support to Iraqi opposition forces across the country, The Observer has learnt. President George W. Bush has ordered the CIA and his senior military commanders to draw up detailed plans for a military operation that could begin within months.

... It envisages a combined operation with US bombers targeting key military installations while US forces assist opposition groups in the North and South of the country in a stage-managed uprising. One version of the plan would have US forces fighting on the ground.

... Bush is said to have issued instructions about the proposals, which are now at a detailed stage, to his Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, three weeks ago. But Pentagon sources say that a plan for attacking Iraq was developed by the time Bush's order was sent to the Pentagon, drawn up by Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, chairman of the joint chiefs General Richard Myers, and Franks.

The plan is to work with a combination of three political forces: Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq, radical Sunni Muslim groups in and around Baghdad, and, most controversially, the Shia opposition in the south.

The most adventurous ingredient in the anti-Iraqi proposal is the use of US ground troops, Pentagon sources say. 'Significant numbers' of ground troops could also be called on in the early stages of any rebellion to guard oil fields around the Shia port of Basra in southern Iraq.

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Indonesian Christians Under Attack by Muslim Paramilitaries

Excerpts from article describing recent attacks by muslims upon christians in Indonesia:

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Thousands of Christian villagers on Indonesia's Sulawesi island are fleeing attacks by Muslim paramilitaries armed with machine guns and rocket launchers, clerics and media reports said Saturday.

... The Jakarta Post daily reported that hundreds of homes in settlements around Poso, a coastal town in Central Sulawesi province, had been destroyed by uniformed members of the Laskar Jihad militia group.

Fighting between Muslim and Christian villagers in the province, located about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) northeast of Jakarta, has claimed at least 1,000 lives since it first broke out two years ago.

... Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. Nearly 85 percent of its 203 million people are officially registered as Muslims. The remainder are Christians, Hindus or Buddhists.

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  • CNN [link inactive]
Nature of Being

There's what we know, what we can observe, what we can investigate, explore, study, reason about, and then there's the area at the edge of and beyond our ability to comprehend.


Because we're natural beings with limited capabilities, based on processing speeds and limits of individual brains, and all that we perceive is a result of short-term limited comprehension of our physical world, passed on generation-to-generation.

Don't make the mistake of treating the unknown as a substantive reality or an answer for that which is beyond our comprehension. Anyone can imagine or conjecture anything that they wish beyond the edge of the world of objective reality, but all of that is an adventure of fantasy, a world apart from existential knowledge.

If a lady were to approach you and claim she had met the creators of all that is, and she felt whole and complete because of that meeting, and by the way, you must believe that the creators exist and the meeting she mentioned took place, with the reward for your belief being a like-minded wholeness and completeness -and- immortality with the creators, but, if you don't believe her, 'tis a bad deal as she claims you will suffer inordinate and eternal pain, at worst, or death, at best ...

... would you believe?

You see, that's all there is to religion. Promises and threats regarding areas outside
of the known. Believe or else. Anyone can do
it. It takes the mind of a child to offer forth such things, because all of the claims are always surrounded by promises / threats beyond the edge of reality, in the area of unknowns / fears, an area which, due to our natural evolved origins, we are especially vulnerable and susceptible to replacing with "make believe" (as implanted in most of us from a very young age as "The Truth") rather than accepting that we just don't know.

Just as our ancient pre-civilized ancestors feared the unknown, and stories regarding the bogeyman and all sorts of scary things in the dark, we, too, have inherited that fear as part of our survival extinct. It's a frustration of the state of mortality and our inability, as of yet, to explain all that is in a manner by which we can comprehend it. Such is a reflection of our limitations, the revelation of our evolved natural state of being and our short life spans.

We are genetically programmed for both survival and death, and it's the death part that most cannot accept as "the end" because it's antithetical to the survival aspect of our being. It's the ultimate paradox of genetic destiny, with each of us programmed to survive and to die.

This lack of comprehension about all that is?

Many submit to calling the areas of the unknown "heaven / hell / god" and other such things, because they've been taught to do so, because they fear the unknown, because they fear death, and because of the "answers" many would like to be true.

"Answers" many would like to be true?

We will never cease to be (upside promise ... however, on the downside of that is the hell / death threat if one doesn't "believe" in the "right" religion), we're the most important creations in the universe, the next life will be better than this (so much better that we imagine it as a paradise beyond description), the universe is all about us, we'll meet our friends and family in the next life, etc. etc. etc.

These "answers" turn out to be the most self-centered and self-promoting assignation to the unknown that someone could possibly imagine, with the only catch being that you must believe or it all goes away, back into its point of origin which is the human ability to "make believe" regarding the ultimate nature of being beyond the known, treating said efforts as "believe or else" facts rather than fantasies.


A New Breed of Soldier

Excerpts from an article describing the current state of the U.S. military and its impact on the war in Afghanistan:

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More than 1,000 U.S. Marines arrived in
southern Afghanistan last week, taking
up positions at an airbase near the last
Taliban stronghold of Kandahar

The Taliban don’t know what hit them, and for good reason. They’re victims of a revolution in military affairs that could be as important as the introduction of gunpowder, and is changing the way that we, and everyone else think about war.

... Some believe this revolution, which results largely from astounding leaps in information technology, will eventually be as important as the introduction of gunpowder. It could profoundly alter the way the outside world views the United States—as an even scarier hegemony or a more powerful force for stability.

And it could also have an immediate impact on military strategy: if the new “war on terror” is ever taken to Iraq, for instance (as some in the Bush administration insist, but others argue would be hugely impractical), the battle this time will be far different from the massive air and ground campaign fought by 500,000 American troops just a decade ago.

... The ultimate aim of the military revolution is to dispel the notorious “fog of war”.

... Afghanistan has become a testing ground for new technologies. ... “People talk as if the revolution [in military affairs] is in the future... It’s now.” No one knows that better than the Taliban—at least those who are still alive.

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