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Something's A-Brewing

Stuff You Might Like

How Do You Sleep at Night?

Bartering in This Day and Age?

Prison Tactics A Longtime Dilemma For Israel

Wrapping Up


Published June 21, 2004

Newsletter Archive


There's a fantastic new search engine called that clusters results. What that means is if you search for something on the web, the results will be displayed similar to a normal search engine, but in the side bar on the left there will be additional related categories clustered for your convenience.

For example, I performed a search for the term: conspiracy theory. In addition to the relevant links for that search, the search engine clustered:

  • Movie (39)

  • Mel Gibson (23)

  • Assassination, King (20)

  • UFOs (11)

  • History (11)

  • New World Order (7)

  • Your own conspiracy (6)

  • Researching (6)

  • Moon (9)

  • Art (9)

The number after each cluster is naturally how many links there are in that category, and you can drill down into the category of your choice.

This is a handy site to have bookmarked, and is especially useful when you don't have a good idea of the best search term to use to find what you're looking for.

Vivisimo Cluster Engine

Newsletter Issue 9



George Orwell's 1984 fantasy has become today's media reality. He was right all along - It was just his timing that was off.

Orwell said, "War is Peace" - Today, we have perpetual war to "keep the peace." Today, war is peace.

Orwell said, "Freedom is Slavery." Today, we yield civil liberties in the name of domestic security. Today, freedom is slavery.

Orwell said, "Ignorance is Strength." Today, we accuse those asking questions of being unpatriotic. Today, ignorance is strength.

Orwell's "Ministry of Peace" waged war. Today, the U.S. Defense Department initiates and conducts nonstop wars for reasons beyond our grasp.

As for media reporting, we have gone beyond even George Orwell with our version of Newspeak, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to filter the wheat from the chaff.

What does this edition of the 3WW Newsletter have in store for you?

Something's A-Brewing

We are truly living in interesting times, and with so much being reported in the news (and much more not being reported) it may be difficult to stand back and see things in true perspective.

There is currently trouble brewing, and I'm the first to admit it's not 100% clear what form the trouble will take, but something is definitely afoot.

Here is a collection of notable recent world events, which on their own may not be significant, but when considered as part of the larger picture, portends of calamitous times ahead. To avoid cluttering this newsletter with hundreds of links, if you want to check the sources, please see the link at the end of this article, where you'll find all the sources listed.

Economy. Congress' 2005 budget, which has so far stalled because of a disagreement over tax cuts, is now laying the basis for a $US 716 Billion increase in the current US debt limit to $US 8.1 TRILLION. On June 4, Treasury Secretary Snow again urged Congress to hike the government's $US 7.384 TRILLION debt limit, this time saying action should be taken by August. This is so enormous that we will quote him:

"Let me say on that score, I think it would be well for Congress to act before the August recess and I would urge Congress to do that. It's important to get that matter dealt with and dealt with as soon as possible". If "action" has to be taken by August, the US budget is undeniably in crisis.

Right beside this alarming news of a totally out of control US budget comes the news from the US monetary front. From the start of 2004, M3 has increased at an 11% rate, or almost $US 400 Billion. But in the last 4 weeks, M3 has gone up $US 155 Billion. That is an annual rate of about 20%. If the pace of the past four weeks was to continue, the total US money supply would rise by $US 2 TRILLION in ONE year. That is another $US 700 Billion to be borrowed, to which can be added, at current speed, another $US 2 TRILLION to be printed. A "Declaration Of Emergency" might well be needed.

Military Movements. There are a number of significant troop redeployments which are surprising to say the least.

  • The navies of Britain, Australia, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are all sending ships into open seas, instead of keeping them in harbor. The US has more than 90% of her ships at sea. Since the expense of an exercise like this is significant, there must be a valid reason for doing so, but none is being reported.

  • Iran is reportedly amassing troops along the border of Iraq.

  • The Pentagon has announced a plan to withdraw its two Army divisions from Germany. In doing so, the US has conceded that it can no longer hold on to the strategic center pivot in Europe. WW1 began the process that would tear Europe apart, not to be reassembled until May 2004 (with the significant expansion of the European Union), and it seems the US is acknowledging Europe's growing significance in 21st Century world affairs.

  • The Pentagon has also announced plans to move the 20,000 Marines presently on the Japanese island of Okinawa to Australia.

  • The US announced in early June the withdrawal of a third of it's troops from South Korea.

Bush Administration Undermined. There appears to be a concerted effort to undermine the Bush administration. So much so, that the fix appears to be in such that Kerry will win the next election.

  • Bush and Cheney have both hired or consulted private criminal defense attorneys in anticipation of possible indictments of them and/or their top assistants in the Plame investigation. On June 3, just hours before Tenet suddenly resigned, President Bush consulted with and may have retained a criminal defense attorney to represent him in the Plame case.

  • George Tenet suddenly resigned on June 3rd, only to be followed a day later by James Pavitt, the CIA's Deputy Director of Operations (DDO). Tenet's resignation, which occurred at night, was the first "evening resignation" of a Cabinet-level official since October 1973 when Attorney General Elliott Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, resigned in protest of Richard Nixon's firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Many regard this as the watershed moment when the Nixon administration was doomed.

  • The 9/11 "investigative panel" seemingly delivered a surprising blow to the credibility of President Bush and his entire Administration when they publicly concluded that no evidence whatsoever exists which would prove a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda terrorists. Of course, Bush originally adamantly stated that such a link was provable and held up this imaginary threat as one of the reasons the US had to invade.

  • 400 legal scholars recently urged members of the House and Senate to consider impeaching the president and any high level administration officials who approved the Iraqi prisoner abuses. Even the use of the 'I' word is significant indeed.

World Leader Gatherings. If, as I suspect, something is afoot, it would be important for world leaders to meet regularly to ensure all their plans are in place before the 'Big Day'. The past month has afforded many such opportunities:

  • June 3-6: World leaders gathering in Italy at the previously reported secret Bilderberg meeting. It's likely that Bush would have visited this group on June 5th, although there are no reports to date of such a visit.

  • June 4: Bush met Italy's Prime Minister, and later the Pope in Rome.

  • June 6: D-Day celebrations in France, where the following leaders would have had the opportunity to meet without arousing suspicion: Bush, Germany's Chancellor (1st time attendance at D-Day celebrations), President of France, Italy's Prime Minister, Australia's Prime Minister, Queen Elizabeth II, UK Prime Minister, Russian President (1st time at D-Day celebrations).

  • June 8: Sea Island (Georgia) where leaders from the United States of America, French Republic, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, Republic of Italy, Canada, and representatives from the European Union met. Interestingly, although Bush had invited many Middle East Muslim powers, the meeting was boycotted by Muslim leaders.

  • June 11: At the first presidential state funeral in more than three decades, many world leaders met to commemorate the passing of Ronald Reagan in Washington, DC.

Interestingly, Russian President Putin has announced he will stay away from the NATO summit meeting in Turkey at the end of June, and will send a lower echelon diplomat instead. If a major conflict is in the offing, Putin will want to be back in Moscow directing his forces. We will have to wait and see.


Ships Leaving Docks

US Troop Withdrawal from South Korea

Iran Forces Building up on Iraq's Border

More links coming soon.


Stuff You Might Like

Let's face it - the subject matter of WW3 News can become pretty depressing at times. I still believe in the basic goodness of man, but because I'm always reporting what's going wrong in the world, perhaps you have the impression that I'm a doomsayer, and nothing could be further from the truth.

While researching for WW3 News, I often stumble across interesting, sometimes bizarre, regularly crazy, often useful and interesting sites which I'd love to share with you, but since it's not related to war news in any way, it wouldn't really make sense to include in this newsletter.

So, just because you deserve to hear about new and interesting things online, I've created a new Interest Category as part of your email subscription called 'Stuff You Might Like'.


How Do You Sleep at Night?

> I was chatting to a friend recently who asked how I'm able to sleep at night, considering all the conspiracy theories, bad news and other nightmarish articles that cross my desk almost daily. He also wanted to know how I managed to work a 10-12 hour day in a salaried position, build and maintain 3 websites in my spare time (more coming soon!), conduct research for this newsletter, gym 5 times a week, travel the world (this issue is sent from Taiwan, the next will be sent from Thailand, and who knows where the next will be conceived), and maintain an active social life, which includes wining and dining at least 4 times a week, often with well-to-do expatriates in Taipei.

The secret is I seldom sleep more than 5 hours a night - 4 hours is the norm. And those few hours are deep, refreshing and completely invigorating power sleep. In fact, I awake feeling more refreshed than if I sleep the traditional 8 hours a night.

Bartering in This Day and Age?

I recently had to visit a chiropractor for trouble I had with my back. After a superb treatment, using traditional Chinese methods, I paid for the service with... wait for it...
a used oil-filled heater (and that in the middle of summer!)

It reminded me how important the long-lost art of bartering is, and I'd encourage you to start practising the art now, before it becomes the only way to acquire much needed essentials, like food and water. See the link below for the history of bartering, and in particular read the article entitled 'Cashless and hopeless on the streets of Buenos Aires'. As you read it, ask yourself what you would do if the same thing happened to you in your city. And remember, this article was written a mere two years ago.

The History of Bartering


Prison Tactics a Long Time Dilemma for Israel

By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post

Wednesday 16 June 2004

Nation faced issues similar to Abu Ghraib.
Nablus, West Bank - The accounts of physical abuse of Iraqis by American guards at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad sounded achingly familiar to Anan Labadeh. The casual beatings, the humiliations, the trophy photos taken by both male and female guards were experiences he said he underwent as a Palestinian security detainee at an Israeli military camp in March of last year.

There was, he added, a significant difference: The Israelis have rules, he said, and their techniques for breaking down prisoners are far more sophisticated. "What the Israelis do is much more effective than beatings," he said. "Three days without food and without sleep and you're eager to tell them anything. It just shows us the Americans are amateurs. They should have taken lessons from the Israelis."

Many of the questions raised by the Abu Ghraib scandal, and by the United States's self-declared war on terrorism, are the kinds that Israel has been wrestling with for decades. Where is the line in a democracy between coercion and torture? What kinds of interrogation techniques are morally acceptable when dealing with a suspect who may have knowledge of a "ticking bomb" - an imminent attack? And what about the damage those techniques inflict on relations between an occupying power and its subjects?

"Unfortunately, when you're fighting a war against terror there are many difficult issues you face every day," said a senior Israeli government lawyer who defended Israel's policy on interrogating suspects. "Maybe the United States is beginning to discover what Israel has had to deal with for a long time."

Although its officials never use the word "torture," Israel is perhaps the only Western-style democracy that has acknowledged sanctioning mistreatment of prisoners in interrogation. In 1987, following a long debate in legal and security circles, a state commission established a set of secret guidelines for interrogators using what the panel called "moderate physical and psychological pressure" against detainees. In 1999, Israel's Supreme Court struck down those guidelines, ruling that torture was illegal under any circumstances.

But after the second Palestinian uprising broke out a year later, and especially after a devastating series of suicide bombings of passenger buses, cafes and other civilian targets, Israel's internal security service, known as the Shin Bet or the Shabak, returned to physical coercion as a standard practice, according to human rights lawyers and detainees. What's more, the techniques it has used command widespread support from the Israeli public, which has few qualms about the mistreatment of Palestinians in the fight against terrorism. A long parade of Israeli prime ministers and justice ministers with a variety of political views have defended the security service and either denied that torture is used or defended it as a last resort in preventing terrorist attacks.

While the issue surfaces periodically, with a small but vocal minority of Israelis advocating an end to all physical coercion, fears of a new outbreak of terror inevitably take precedence.

"We are not Holland, and we do not live in the environment of Benelux," Ehud Barak told the parliament four years ago, when he was prime minister, referring to the economic grouping of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. "We are a state that is faced with a constant threat of terror. Yet on the other hand, we are a democratic state that is part of the international community. There must be sensitivity to both needs."

Broad Public Support
When she first saw cases of alleged torture cross her desk at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel in the late 1980s, staff worker Hannah Friedman said it was very difficult to get human rights advocates to deal with them. Eventually, she and Hebrew University law professor Stanley Cohen, who immigrated to Israel from South Africa, set up their own organization, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, to deal exclusively with the allegations.

Shabak interrogators in those days were bound by the 1987 guidelines. While never made public, the procedures were well known to virtually every Palestinian security detainee. Prisoners were forced to stand for days at a time or were shackled in tightly contorted positions on low stools, in a procedure known as shabah. They were violently shaken, deprived of sleep, bombarded with loud, continuous music, exposed to extremes of cold and heat and forced to relieve themselves in their clothing. Their heads were often covered with canvas hoods that reeked of urine or vomit.

These techniques had widespread public support. A 1996 poll commissioned by the human rights group Btselem found that 73 percent of Israelis condoned the use of force.

Sometimes interrogators went beyond the guidelines. In October 1994, after militants abducted a 19-year-old Israeli army corporal, Nachshon Waxman, Yitzhak Rabin, then the prime minister, acknowledged that the suspected driver of the kidnap car had been tortured.

"If we'd been so careful to follow the Landau Commission, we would never have found out where Waxman was being held," Rabin said, referring to the 1987 guidelines. (Waxman was killed by his captors during an Israeli commando raid.)

Over time, interrogation techniques became less brutal and more refined. Ziad Arafeh, 40, a political activist who lives in the Balata refugee camp outside the West Bank city of Nablus, estimated he had been arrested 14 times over the past two decades. Each time, he said, his interrogators seemed to have mastered a new technique.

In the early days, he said, crude physical and sexual abuse was commonplace. When he was first arrested, in 1983, an interrogator put on rubber gloves and squeezed his testicles until he cried out in pain. On another occasion Arafeh, who was suspected of involvement in the killings of alleged Palestinian collaborators, said he was kept in his underwear in a small, cold cell and splashed with water every few hours. Now the emphasis is on psychological pressure. During his arrest a year ago, Arafeh said, he was deprived of sleep for several days but not beaten.

There is a big difference between soldiers who make arrests and Shabak interrogators, Arafeh said. The soldiers are often casually cruel, he said, kicking and humiliating detainees in ways similar to the behavior reported at Abu Ghraib. But once the interrogators take over, treatment is far more calculated and professional.

"Their strategy is much improved," he said. "They give you food without salt that makes you weak, and they prevent you from sleeping. They're more clever and more experienced."

New Techniques
A turning point in Israel's treatment of detainees came in September 1999 when the Israeli Supreme Court, after a year and a half of deliberations, banned all forms of physical abuse. "Violence directed at a suspect's body or spirit does not constitute a reasonable investigation practice," the court declared.

The justices left open several loopholes. Interrogators who used force preemptively to prevent a terrorist attack could invoke the "defense of necessity" if faced with prosecution. The court also made allowances for "prolonged" interrogation, even if it involved sleep deprivation, and shackling, "but only for the purpose of preserving the investigator's safety."

Nonetheless, the ruling was a landmark. Shabak officials complained that the decision stripped them of the tools they needed to combat terrorism. An opposition lawmaker introduced a bill allowing interrogators to use force in "ticking bomb" cases. Barak supported the idea at first but later reached a compromise that gave the agency a bigger budget, a larger staff and more tools to help it solve cases without cracking heads.

Most of the specific methods used before the 1999 decision all but vanished after the ruling. Yet slowly but surely, human rights lawyers said, new techniques took their place.

The latest report by the committee against torture, covering the period from September 2001 to April 2003, alleged that detainees faced a new regime of sleep deprivation, shackling, slapping, hitting and kicking; exposure to extreme cold and heat; threats, curses and insults; and prolonged detention in subhuman conditions.

"Torture in Israel has once more become routine, carried out in an orderly and institutional fashion," concluded the report, which was based on 80 affidavits and court cases.

The committee accused the Israeli legal system of effectively sanctioning torture by routinely rejecting petitions seeking to grant detainees access to lawyers. Not one Shabak interrogator has been prosecuted despite hundreds of allegations, the report said.

In retrospect, said Habib Labib, an Israeli Arab lawyer who has handled dozens of security cases, the Supreme Court decision was a brief, shining moment that quickly faded. "It's like many things in this country," he said. "The theory is one thing, but on the ground things are done differently."

The case of Anan Labadeh, 31, became a cause célèbre because he is a paraplegic who has used a wheelchair since he fell from a third-story balcony while being chased by Israeli soldiers during a stone-throwing incident in the late 1980s. Labadeh was arrested in February of last year in his home town of Nablus on suspicion of helping militants who had set up a network of suicide bomb factories in the city. He was held for a month and released without being charged.

Labadeh said he was routinely punched and kicked by the soldiers who escorted him to a military detention center at nearby Hawara and then by other soldiers at the center itself over three days. He said he was blindfolded, denied food and water, left outside in the rain and cold, deprived of sleep and forced to urinate and defecate in his clothing.

"I was exhausted," he recalled. "Time became irrelevant. In the second day, it continued to rain and I couldn't tell if it was morning or afternoon."

Each night, a group of soldiers, men and women alike, held social gatherings in the courtyard where he was being held. On the second night, they took turns posing with him while he sat blindfolded and handcuffed to his wheelchair, he said.

"For a person like me to be surrounded by a group of soldiers, punched, insulted, peeing on myself, my dignity was insulted," he recalled. "Here I was, a handicapped person, and not one soldier came to say stop this, not even one."

The experience increased Labadeh's contempt for Israelis. But for all his complaints about the way he was treated, Labadeh believes the Israelis have higher standards than their American counterparts. He recalls a case when an Israeli military officer was accused of sexually abusing young Palestinians. Another officer turned him in, and the accused man was arrested immediately.

A government lawyer designated to discuss the questions raised by this article insisted that internal safeguards protect Palestinian detainees from random abuse, and he characterized Israel's treatment of suspected terrorists as a matter of self-defense. "The first priority of the government is keeping people safe," said the lawyer, who insisted on anonymity. "That's the basic social contract between a government and its people."

A key moment, he said, was the spate of suicide bombings in March 2002 that killed 135 Israelis and injured hundreds more. "It became a question of a ticking bomb - how do you balance the need to find that bomb before it goes off at a restaurant or a pizza shop or a checkpoint with the need to respect human rights?" Israelis understood, he said, "there has to be a balance - you can't just do whatever you want."

What is most striking, the lawyer added, is how united the Israeli public is on the subject. "For most people it's not the central story here," he said. "It's not even one of the top ten questions I get asked about the Supreme Court."

But for many Palestinians, torture is the heart of the matter. Labadeh said abuses like those that took place in Abu Ghraib or in Hawara were inevitable when people were subjected to military occupation. That is why the photos from Abu Ghraib did not shock or surprise him.

"In the end, when you put a person in jail because of political reasons and you give someone power over him, you can expect to see such films," he said. "The camera is always rolling."

Go to Original


Wrapping Up

When I originally launched the ThreeWorldWars website, I was determined to maintain it as a free service, unhindered by external advertisers. Regrettably the high cost of maintaining the site (just over $1,200 per year) has meant the recent introduction of advertisements on the site.

The products chosen are all carefully screened by me, and I will only advertise products or services I have personally used and can recommend. So feel free to try them yourself - you'll be helping a good cause (I hope you agree!). And if you're really feeling generous, I'm always open to gifts!

That's all folks.

Live Free and Keep Thinking!

Copyright ©2004,

Permission is granted to circulate among your friends and acquaintances, and to post on all Internet sites in full (including this paragraph).
Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

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Today is World War 3 on March 20, 2003 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.