"PART 2" OF 2
"ALL IN THE FAMILY"
"On Sept. 12, with all commercial aircraft ordered grounded across the USA, a lone chartered jet was allowed to depart lamenting Logan and whisk 11 members of the bin Laden clan to a Saudi safe haven. [Greg Palast, BBC Newsnight]
"It’s a safe bet that Abdullah bin Laden was onboard. Uncovered by relentless researcher and author Dr. Len Horowitz, FBI file “Secret Case ID - 199-Eye WF 213 589” details an abortive national security investigation into Abdullah’s activities as president and treasurer of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
"WAMY occupies a small room at 5613 Leesburg Pike - just a few blocks away from 5913 Leesburg Pike, where four of the hijackers lived who later commandeered airliners to strike the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the weeks immediately following Sept. 11, Pakistan expelled WAMY fundraisers, India charged that WAMY was funding an organization linked to bombings in Kashmir, and the Philippines military accused WAMY of funding Muslim insurgency.
"The Bush administration refused to freeze WAMY asses or assets, claiming the Muslim youth group is a “charity”. [Tetrahedron.com]"
"BUSH’S BULGING BILLFOLD"
"Other charitable donations from that purloined presidential palace include a nearly $100 billion bonus handed to major American corporations by a son of a Bush, who boasted on at least eight occasions that he had “hit the trifecta” jackpot on unlimited spending. [T r u t h O u t.org May 16, 2002]
"The winner of the year 2000 presidential election called Bush’s gloating over nearly 3,000 dead Americans, “disgusting”. But it took a courageous congresswoman named Cynthia McKinney to ask how much of this presidential windfall went to the bin Ladens and Bush’s father.
"United in war and biowar profiteering through their respective stakes in the world’s biggest war contractor, the Carlyle Group, the Bushes and the bin Ladens counted their take from stockpiling America’s only authorized anthrax vaccine. [Wall Street Journal Sept. 27, 2001]
"Meanwhile federal agents sniffing around the Bush-bin Laden connection were told to “back off” from investigating the CIA and US corporate origins of anthrax spores mailed to outspoken Democratic congressmen - and to ignore anything suspicious that was Saudi.
"The Bush-bin Laden connection is extensive. Take Khaled bin Mahfouz, for example. This prominent Middle East banker is currently under house arrest in a hospital in Taef at the behest of American authorities, who are looking into the $3 million he is alleged to have contributed to Saudi Arabian “charities” linked to Osama Bin Laden.
"Mahfouz was earlier charged in the BCCI banking scandal involving much of the world’s trillion-dollar-a-year narcotics trade, equally lucrative arms sales, international prostitution - and using Mideast oil money to bribe the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations.
"Mahfouz is a banker for Bush. Mahfouz’s sister is one of the wives of Osama bin Laden. [All Fall Down]
"With smoking cannons like this lying around in the Bush-bin Laden bedroom, it’s no wonder conscientious FBI agendas attempting to protect Americans were told to drop their investigations. Wright’s 500 page catalogue of senior FBI “betrayals” was underscored by John O’Neil, who quit his post as head of FBI Counterterror operations just two months before Black Tuesday.
"As O’Neil told the French authors of Bin Laden, The Forbidden Truth, his anti-terror team was forbidden from investigating the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen for fear of upsetting the Saudis - and jeopardizing a multi-billion dollar pipeline project slated to deliver a $4 trillion treasure-trove of Central Asian oil and natural gas across Afghanistan.
"Shortly before his death as newly hired head of security at the World Trade Center, O’Neill charged that “The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it.”"
"COMPLICIT IN ATROCITIES?"
"Back in Virginia, the CIA kept as busy as the FBI in not rounding up terrorists. It turns out that the “Company” first learned of the mysterious Moussaoui in April, 2001. [AP June 3, 2002]
"According to Newsweek, the CIA also became aware of known terrorists Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar - and allowed them to live openly in the United States, using their real names to obtain driver’s licenses, open bank accounts and enter flight schools for 21 months, ending with their participation in the Sept. 11 attacks. [Reuters May 16, 2002]
"“Was the CIA running a terrorist flight school?” asked Daniel Hopsicker in the Washington Post. Shortly after its purchase by a Flying Dutchman named Rudi Dekkers, would-be hijackers Atta and al-Shehhi enrolled at the Huffman flight school in Venice, Florida. In addition to its known Saudi and Mob connections, the busy Venice airfield had been used by the CIA to run guns used by Contra cowards to murder Nicaraguan teachers and aid workers.
"“I’ve always had some suspicions about the way he breezed into town out of nowhere,” said one Venice Airport insider of the remarkable Rudi. “He has absolutely no aviation background as far as anyone can tell.”
"Huffman flight instructor Mark Mikarts checked out Atta and al-Shehhi in the school’s white, single-engine Cessna 172 - and found them incapable of finding the ground with both hands. Both wannabe pilots washed out - as did almost all of the other trainees later alleged to have skillfully piloted heavy, complex, unfamiliar jets into targets approaching at 500 feet per second.
"It turns out that “Mark Mikarts” is really the Mark Wierdak who flew a “Christian missionary group” in and out of South America every week for more than 20 years. That’s a lot of travel time in the service of the Lord. More devious minds might dwell on other “Christians In Action” requiring private transport - and wonder if Mikarts/Wierdak was working for the CIA. [Washington Post Nov. 7 and 25, 2001]
"Dekkers’ direct links to the CIA surfaced after Britannia Aviation began working out of a Huffman hangar. A company with virtually no assets, employees, or corporate history, Britannia had come in under everyone’s radar to land a five-year contract over a much more respected and experienced aviation firm. Never mind that while providing maintenance for Caribe Air, Britannia possessed none of the necessary FAA licenses for airframe and powerplant repair. “Caribe Air” is a CIA air carrier. [All Fall Down]
"A documentary filmmaker who chronicled the exploits of “Cocaine Clinton”, Hopsicker relates how one Caribe aircraft was seized by federal agents at the Mena, Arkansas airstrip “after the company was accused by government prosecutors of having used as many as 20 planes to ship drugs worth billions of dollars into this country” under the watchful gaze (and outstretched palm) of then-governor Bill Clinton.
"The CIA’s role in facilitating the international narco trade - first out of Southeast Asia’s “Golden Triangle”, and more recently from its “Golden Crescent” successor in Afghanistan and Pakistan - is another prime motive behind this latest war against another former Washington ally.
"Referring to the Taliban’s brutal torture, dismemberment and execution of women for wearing bracelets and laughing in public, an American diplomat told veteran British correspondent John Pilger, “We can live with that.” [Z magazine Dec. 27, 2001] But when the Taliban continued to accept substantial White House funding - then refused access to America’s two biggest addictions - something had to be done to secure access to trillions of dollars worth of heroin and oil.
"Was Sept. 11 a set-up? Was bungled Florida flight instruction at a known CIA airfield staged as a diversion? Was Rudi Dekkers doing something naughty for the alphabet agencies? A Drug Enforcement Agency source says that Britannia still has a “green light” at the Venice Airport.
"“A green light for what?” Hopsicker wonders."
"SEE NO EVIL"
"Repeatedly and heatedly accused of stonewalling Congressional inquiries into 9.11, the CIA has much to answer for. Remember Almihdhar? After his US visa expired in July 2001, the CIA made no move to alert the State Department, which unwittingly renewed this terrorist’s visa in July 2001 - “even though,” Reuters remarked, “the CIA had linked him to one of the suspected bombers of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.”
"According to now furious FBI agents, “frequent meetings” between Alhazmi and Almihdhar and at least five other hijackers would have led federal agents to apprehend all of the Sept. 11 plotters - before Sept. 11. But the FBI was not alerted to hunt the two terrorists until August 22, when CIA Director George Tenet finally authorized an “all-points bulletin” to apprehend Alhazmi and Almihdhar. [“CIA Knew Two Sept. 11 Hijackers Were in U.S.” - Reuters June 2, 2002]
"Curiously, if not suggestively, that bulletin never reached airline ticket agents. On the morning of Sept. 11, after showing their ID’s to American Airline staff, Alhazmi and Almihdhar were allowed to board Flight 77.
Less than an hour later, with both Twin Towers in flames, this drastically off-course airliner flew past the White House and several nuclear power plants to circle inside the Pentagon’s “no-fly” zone, as armed interceptors poised to scramble were prevented from taking off just minutes away. At 9:41 am, a stunned airline captain watched a Boeing 757 fly below his hotel room before slamming into the west wing of the Pentagon. [CBC Radio interview Sept. 17, 2001]"
"LEFT OUT OF THE LOOP"
"Fleischer has warned journalists that any question which accuses the President of not acting properly to prevent terrorism “crosses the line”. But what other conclusion is possible when Fleischer admits that the Bush administration knew in May of an impending "spectacular" attack aimed at the USA - and failed to act?
"But the President was not told of impending hijackings by al Qaeda until an Aug. 6 memorandum reached him at his Crawford, Texas Ranch [Washington Times, Reuters May 22, 2002] Senator Diane Feinstein and other prominent senators had been briefed a month before.
"Marveling at a memo he refuses to divulge to Congress, a President with an IQ of 91 and little grasp of geography or perceptions in the other three-quarters of the world, took comfort from a dangerously simplistic “If you aren’t with us, you’re a terrorist” worldview. (The July 19, 2001 Guardian reported that “Dubya's closest rival for the wooden spoon is his father at 98.”]
"G.W.’s vice-president also chose to take an August vacation. At the end of July, Attorney General John Ashcroft simply stopped flying on commercial airliners after a “threat assessment” not shared with the rest of the flying public prompted him to choose taxpayer-chartered jets for his fishing trips. [BushWatch.net May 19, 2002]
"As this story goes to press, a congressional probe into the lessons of 9.11 remains stalled by uncooperative CIA officials. Documents are being withheld, witnesses are being intimidated, and outside investigators are being kept outside. [Los Angeles Times May 6, 2002]
"For nearly 300 days after the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, various military and intelligence agencies and officials paid, sworn and equipped to prevent those attacks have hid behind their own professed “incompetence”. It is time journalists start asking if such stupidity was faked to avoid accusations of active complicity in Black Tuesday.
"God help America if its brightest and best-equipped defenders could not predict and prevent attacks they and many allies knew were coming. If Gen. Myers and the heads of the FBI and CIA are as inept as they claim, what are they doing still commanding the mightiest military and intelligence forces on this planet?
"A sane solution might be to fire them all. Quickly. Before pursuing possible indictments for treason.
"On the other hand, since no official responsible for leaving America vulnerable to airborne terror on Sept. 11 has yet received even the mildest rebuke, the President they answer to must be well-satisfied with their performance leading up to that fateful day.
"Just what services did they perform?
"Extensive evidence already appearing in the mainstream media shows that:
"Senior US intelligence officials actively intervened to block key investigations into known al Qaeda terrorists that would have led to many of the Sept. 11 plotters in time to prevent their attacks.
"On that dastardly day, someone in the military chain-of-command prevented armed "ready alert" interceptors from interdicting aerial attacks they would have otherwise disrupted.
"Did a desperate desire to avoid offending terrorist-supporting Arab bigshots vital to Washington’s interests unwittingly give a green light to the al Qaeda suicide attacks?
"Or did American intelligence officials “in the know” tip big banks with their insider knowledge, while facilitating fanatical strikes that would allow an illegal regime to consolidate control - and pursue a profitable pipeline and poppy war already agreed by the governments of India, Russia, the US and Pakistan the previous June? [All Fall Down]
"Behind the smokescreen of going after a dying terrorist financier tied to a dialysis machine, there is much more at stake than appeasing the false god of Guns, Oil and Drugs. Battening on a perpetual war footing maintained since the end of a World War fought against a Nazi madman financed by Prescott Bush, a self-serving Military-Corporate-Entertainment complex urgently needed his grandson to replace an outmoded communist menace with an Islamic bogeyman. ["Chase Banked on Nazis" NY Daily News Dec. 7, 1998]
"National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice put it plainly when she told a Houston audience in March 2000: “We need a common enemy to unite us. We need a new threat.” [All Fall Down]
"Unfortunately for Americans stripped of their constitutional rights - and at least 60 other nations caught in Bush’s bomb-sights - the biggest terrorist threat may be operating not from a cave in Afghanistan, but behind government desks in Washington. For a President-Select who admits using trumped up “terrorist” threats to deflect critical questions, the made-for-TV spectacle of Sept. 11 was a distraction from the biggest crime of all.
"Completed in late August, a $2 million scrutiny of 170,000 uncounted Florida votes by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and CNN was shelved in an embarrassed show of solidarity with the only sitting American President to actually lose his election. [“Bush lost election to Gore” The Telegraph Oct, 22, 2001]
"But in April, the Florida Supreme Court quietly ruled that the election had been rigged, after state governor Jeb Bush blocked legitimate black votes that would have given Gore an overwhelming victory over his brother. [“Quietly Florida Admits 2000 Election Fraud” AP April 26, 2002]
"An illegal take-over of a democratically-elected government by a band of plotters is called a coup. Documents obtained by Dr. Richard Boyland show how Washington’s long-established secret “shadow” government is “a large, organizational network that operates alongside the officially elected and appointed government of the United States.” [“The Secret Shadow Government” by Richard Boyland, Ph.D.]
"Dating back to Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, Dealey Plaza, Wounded Knee, Iran-Contra, Oklahoma City, Ruby Ridge, Waco and the fabricated “incubator babies” of Kuwait, shadow government operations work at cross-purposes to legal agencies, using them as a convenient cover for arms-and-drug running, provocations as a pretext for military attack and invasion, and other “counter-ops” that thrive on the confusion and contradictions they create.
"Spotlighted “shadow warriors” include Oliver North, Richard Secord, Barry Seale and former CIA chief George Bush Sr. By Boyland’s documented reckoning, at least 21 US intelligence agencies are now running back door “black” projects unaccountable to Congress or the American people. [All Fall Down]
"Currently circulating “shadow” agencies include the Soviet-sounding Supreme National Security Council, answerable only to its founder, “Chairman” George Bush Jr. Other “back-door” projects are run by the National Security Council, the 5412 Committee and the PI-40 subcommittee.
"Even the Joint Chiefs of Staff in charge of US defenses has a shadow side called “Special Operations”. In 1962, JCS generals plotted to murder Americans and blame Cuba for their own terrorist acts. One “Project Northwoods” memo explained how, after blowing up a US ship or airliner, “Casualty lists in the US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation” - and support for an invasion of Cuba. [Baltimore Sun April 24, 2001]
"Mad over Marxists, all five Joint Chiefs opted for a walk in the Northwoods. But documents obtained by former ABC investigative reporter James Bamford detail how their plan was rejected by President Kennedy - shortly before JFK was shot by multiple assailants in Texas. [James Bamford, Body of Secrets]
"Fast-forward to Sept. 11, 2001: The heirs of Northwoods are now in charge of air defense over New York City and their nation’s capitol. Their main man to make things happen is acting NORAD head, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers. Unlike his court-martialed counterparts charged with defending Oahu in 1941, the officer responsible for America’s “second Pearl Harbor” escaped censure or even reprimand after admitting that - oops! - he failed to launch interceptors until after the Pentagon and World Trade Center were burning. [“Gen. Richard Myers at Senate hearing” NBC Sept. 16, 2001]"
"AN OFFICER BREAKS RANKS"
"Any coup must have the support of the military. But it is no longer certain that the massively augmented Armed Forces are onboard with their Commander’s agenda. A letter published in the May 26 edition of the Monterey, California Herald might have spoken for many military members when Air Force Lt. Col. Steve Butler called President Bush “sleazy and contemptible” for staying silent over specific Sept. 11 warnings.
"“He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism. His daddy had Saddam and he needed Osama. His presidency was going nowhere,” Butler wrote. “This guy is a joke.” [AP June 4, 2002]
"Butler was instantly suspended for uttering “contemptuous words” about his Commander-In-Thief, as President Bush is sometimes referred to on the Hill.
"As for Gen. Myers, as a result if not reward for his performance, it took only three weeks for this either dangerously incompetent or traitorously complicit commander of US air defenses to be confirmed as head honcho of the US military - “el jefe” of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
"More from All Fall Down:"
Back to Part 1 of: "WHO GAVE THE GREEN LIGHT FOR 9.11?"
Go to Part 1 of: "DON'T DO IT, DUBYA"!
"Order your copy of All Fall Down"
"DON'T DO IT, DUBYA"!
Part One of a Two Part Series "by William Thomas"
[Fifth Essence Publications-Canada Edition Copyright (c) 2002 in Canada, the U.S.A. and Internationally by William Thomas. All rights are reserved.]
"GAUNT with hunger, wracked by coughing and diarrhea, they stared vacantly past their teachers with the fixed, "thousand-yard stares' of veteran combat survivors. Girl or boy, the pictures they drew invariably showed the same scene: a line of child-scale airplanes filling the top of the page, dropping bombs on the houses below.
""The children strive to understand what they saw," reporter Evelyn Leopold told readers of the Manchester Guardian in 1992. "Planes bombing, houses collapsing, blood, mutilated and crushed bodies. The children fight to forget what they heard: people screaming, desperate voices, planes, explosions, crying people. They are haunted by the smell of gunfire, fires and burned flesh."
"Three days after a Desert Storm "cease-fire" reopened Baghdad to outsiders, Canadian physician Dr. Eric Hoskins led a Harvard Medical Study Team into Iraq. Horrified health workers found survivors "like the living dead." Almost six-million children experienced bombing at close range; one in every four children lost their homes in what Hoskins later told me was the "most intensive suburban bombing" in history.
"Psychologists accompanied the Harvard team. Though all were veterans with decades of war experience in Uganda, Sudan and Mozambique, the war-trauma specialists were appalled to find the children of Iraq to be "the most traumatized children of war ever described".
"During 9,000 random household surveys in 30 of Iraq's largest cities and rural areas, the hardened war medics likened the physically and emotionally traumatized survivors of round-the-clock bombing and missile strikes to the survivors of Hiroshima. Entire neighborhoods had been bombed flat. Out in the countryside, crops, barns and grain silos had been strafed. Farm equipment was twisted into scrap by the same radioactive aircraft-fired cannon shells used to destroy tanks.
"Most people in Iraq are under the age of 15. At least 650,000 Iraqi children have died so far from U.S. and U.K. bombs, cancers caused by depleted uranium shell fragments, and epidemics following the Pentagon's repeat bombing raids on that entire country's water, power, sewage and irrigation facilities. Washington admits that a nuclear reactor supplying power to Baghdad was bombed on the city's northeastern outskirts, releasing "elevated levels" of radiation over a country bombed "down to the last outhouse", as one U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal.
"Today, families can buy plenty of food in Baghdad - if they have plenty of dinars. Most do not. After a 12-year embargo, wages remain excruciatingly low.
"Before the carriers turn into the wind to launch Bush's renewed air-strikes against nearly defenseless biblical cities, veteran British war correspondent John Pilger reminds us that "almost every day RAF and American aircraft already bomb Iraq." In northern Iraq, Pilger spoke with a woman whose husband had been tending his sheep with his elderly father and his children when two planes attacked them in an open valley. There were no military targets nearby. "I want to see the pilot who did this," said the widow at the graveside of her entire family."
"SHOULD WE GO TO WAR AGAINST THESE CHILDREN?"
"Now the son of a Bush responsible for so much pain and misery wants to finish a process the City Council of Detroit calls, "genocide".
"The rah-rah ranting is aimed at eliminating one man missed the first time around. But the U.S. corporate media never mentions the agony - or karma - attending one-million corpses collected during the first failure to "get Saddam". Nor is any concern expressed for another 22 million human beings currently caught in the Pentagon’s crosshairs.
"As the mass mesmerizers fill American airwaves with cries for renewed attacks on Saddam, Pilger points to the power of such propaganda by suggesting that the Big Bad Bogeyman picture of Baghdad's glowering generalissimo be replaced with a photograph of stricken Iraqi infants - along with the reality-TV headline: "Should we go to war against these children?""
"SHOWDOWN IN THE NOT-OK CORRAL"
"In France, President Bush II is considered a cowboy. But no range-riding romance is inferred by this contemporary Gallic image of an ignorant redneck gunslinger standing in the blood of his unarmed victims.
"In Germany, mass demonstrations protested the visit of America’s leading fascist, who publicly proclaimed his wish to be dictator after his brother rigged an election the Florida Supreme Court has since ruled "fraudulent". On Aug. 6, the German Chancellor denounced further "American adventures" in Iraq.
"Even the Canadian government, whose troops have fought and died alongside U.S. soldiers since the bloody insanity of the First World War, is telling Bush to back off.
"Over in the U.K., despite Tony Blair's cheerleading, polls show that most British citizens oppose further mass murder in the cradle of Western civilization. More than 122 Members of Parliament have passed repeated resolutions rejecting military action. As MP Ian Gibson suggests, "The cause of terrorism is not fanatics, extremists, fundamentalists but instability, disempowerment, marginalization and the anger generated by these combined factors. If the United States invades Iraq, it will nourish these sentiments in the Middle East.""
"THE VIEW FROM CAIRO"
"He's not kidding. Civilian casualties caused by U.S. and Israeli attacks on suspected terrorist enclaves are fanning Arab anger and resentment already stirred by Washington's multi-billion dollar annual subsidy of Israeli arms, and nightly satellite TV images of bloody civilian casualties in Gaza.
"These new "wars" against mostly-unarmed Arab populaces are coinciding with “news wars” in the Arab world. Revolutionary new satellite news channels in Syria, Lebanon, Oman and Bahrain are broadcasting over the heads of state censors, who can no longer shape events with the zeal exhibited by Saudi religious police cutting offending photos and phrases out of every copy of TIME magazine allowed into the Kingdom.
"While the televised quiz show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" is the current rage throughout impoverished Egypt, other TV images carried live from Gaza and Kabul are fueling a different rage. Unlike viewers of CNN, who saw only clips of Bush saying, "I do believe Ariel Sharon is a man of peace", millions of al-Jazeera viewers heard the same quote played under shots of wounded Palestinian children and Israeli tanks firing into Palestinian homes.
"Reflecting demographics across the Middle East, 60% of Egypt's population is under the age of 25. At '60s style "Teach-Ins" currently taking place on the campus of Cairo’s American University, American TV commentator Bill Moyers found students in the shadows of the Pyramids angry over Sharon's provocations. They also see regimes as repressive as the Saudi and Mubarak governments propped up by the United States.
"Watching the fissure widen between a small rich Arab elite and masses of illiterate unemployed, Cairo university protesters sound like Berkeley radicals when they complain that their government is "antagonistic to our values and beliefs." Some women students have signed up to become suicide bombers. Said one: "The Palestinians are very brave persons. We will always support them."
"Costly consumer boycotts of American products are also spreading throughout the Mideast. In a bid to recover business, Egypt's McDonald's briefly hired the singer of a tune now topping local charts. It's called, "I Hate Israel".
""I hate America" may be the next big hit. Four of the alleged 9.11 kamikazes came from Egypt, where $2 billion in annual bribes from Washington cannot influence popular press sentiment. These payments have continued since Sept. 11, when Egyptian newspapers expressed pleasure at this "first blow against Globalism".
"But according to experts interviewed by Moyers, the events of 9.11 have fractured Islam along fault lines separating modernism from militancy. Learning how Arabia flourished in culture, arts, mathematics and philosophy during its Classical Period, many students are contemptuous of bankrupt and backward regimes, impatient with the corruption caused by spreading Western "materialism".
"In opposing a violent response, many Arab students believe that moderate enforcement of Sharia's strict Islamic laws will result in more rights for more people, real justice and education - especially for women.
"Earlier this month, their nonviolent path to change was blocked when an Egyptian tribunal sentenced prominent democracy advocate, 63-year-old Saad Eddin Ibrahim to seven years hard labor after he was caught teaching Egyptians how to register to vote, how to fill out a ballot and how to monitor elections. Demanding an American response, the New York Times' Thomas Friedman warned on Aug. 4: "If there is no space in Egypt for democratic voices for change, then Egyptians will only be left with the mosque. If there is no room in Egypt for Saad Ibrahims, then we will only get more Mohamed Attas."
"Meanwhile, if Palestinians continue to be persecuted, a peaceful adaptation of Islamic values to the modern world could be hijacked by more extreme sentiments. In late July, households around the Gulf erupted when - less than 24 hours after Yassar Arafat's government and Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin agreed to end all suicide bombings and armed attacks against Israel - the Bush-backed Sharon government sent an American-made F-16 to drop a one-ton "after-supper" bomb on a high-ranking Hamas leader and his family inside a crowded Gaza tenement.
"Hamas predictably responded with a wave of murders in Israel. And anti-American resentment soared. Saudi despots now say they will not support Bush’s attacks on Iraq. Iran also opposes U.S. military action. So does Turkey. Jordan, Egypt and Syria are not onboard. As Russia's Putin put it in so many words, "Don't do it, Dubya.""
""Far be it from the American President to get to decide who leads what country," America's Commander-In-Chief told ITN last April 5. "I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go."
"Where is the proof, the world wonders, that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with Sept. 11? Al Qaeda shares no affinity with Saddam, who has ruthlessly crushed Islamic extremist groups whenever they attempted to set up shop in Iraq.
"U.S. court records of a terrorist financier's phone calls show that Osama bin Laden used a donated satellite phone for several years, until discarding it for fear he was being tracked to number 00873-682-505-331. Phone records available to the Bush administration show that bin Laden and high-ranking al-Qaeda lieutenant, Muhammad Atef used the sat phone to place some 600 calls. After Britain, the country that received the most calls was Yemen, where terrorists bombed the Navy destroyer USS Cole. Other countries receiving repeated al Qaeda calls were Sudan, Iran and Azerbaijan - as well as Bush "allies" Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Over a period of three to five years, Iraq did not receive a single call from Osama bin Laden."
"WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTION"
"Despite the hysteria hyped by American war propaganda, people around the globe - including the leaders of powerful nations - are demanding to see evidence of Saddam-s alleged weapons of mass destruction. In 1998 the UN reported that Iraq had complied with 90% of its inspectors' demands. The rest of the missing weapons were reported destroyed in the war, or by Iraqi officials hoping to deter more bombing. One year later, weapons inspector and 12-year Marine Corps veteran Scott Ritter told Business Week, "Iraq has been disarmed. Iraq today possesses no meaningful weapons of mass destruction."
"Marines on a mission do not fool around. Writing for truthout.com, Boston teacher William Rivers Pitt described how Ritter and his dogged team had spent seven years tracking down:
"(E)very bomb, every missile, every factory designed to produce chemical, biological and nuclear weaponry. They went to Europe and found the manufacturers who sold them the equipment. They got the invoices and shoved them into the faces of Iraqi officials. They tracked the shipping of these materials and cross-referenced this data against the invoices. They lifted the foundations of buildings destroyed in the Gulf War to find wrecked research and development labs, at great risk to their lives, and used the reams of paperwork there to cross-reference what they had already cross-referenced.
"What about chemical weapons? Since Sarin and Tabun have a shelf-life of five years, any undiscovered stocks left over from the "Mother of All Massacres" are by now harmless dust.
"As for longer-lived VX gas, Pitt explains how the fields where VX was manufactured and later buried underwent forensic digging to determine its complete destruction. "All of this, again, was cross-referenced and meticulously researched."
"No inspection teams have been allowed into Iraq since 1998, when Saddam expelled U.S. weapons inspectors after catching those avowedly "neutral observers' gathering CIA intelligence for renewed U.S. attacks on his country. Ritter warns that Iraq could have begun manufacturing mass murder six months after the inspectors' departure, leaving some three-and-a-half years to cook up another batch of bugs.
"But conducting a biological warfare program requires huge fermentation tanks and elaborate technology. As Pitt ponders:
"They would have to start completely from scratch, having been deprived of all equipment, facilities and research because of Ritter's work. They would have to procure the complicated tools and technology required through front companies, which would be detected. The manufacture of chemical and biological weapons emits vented gasses that would have been detected by now if they existed. The manufacture of nuclear weapons emits gamma rays that would have been detected by now if they existed. We have been watching, via satellite and other means, and we have seen none of this.
"Ritter agrees. As the veteran arms inspector declared in Boston on July 23, "If Iraq was producing weapons today, we would have definitive proof, plain and simple."
"What Iraq is producing, is oil. Last March, oil ministry undersecretary Taha Hammud claimed that ongoing exploration had increased Iraq's proven oil reserves to 115 billion barrels. Currently second only to Saudi Arabia's proven reserves of 261 billion barrels, Hammud saw Iraq's oil wealth eventually reaching 300 billion barrels - outstripping America's foremost Middle East oil supplier. But there is no need to purloin Iraq's petroleum. U.S. motorists currently buy and burn some 68% of the oil produced by this 'Axis of Evil'."
"Islamic commentator Tariq Ali writes that angry Arabs see "the United States doing what it wants to do, not caring about who it antagonizes, not caring about the effects on neighboring regions." The author of The Clash of Fundamentalism: Crusades, Jihad, and Modernity calls Bush's warmongering, "essentially a crude war of revenge designed largely to appease the U.S. public."
"U.S. networks that helped stop the carnage in Vietnam by showing corpses on the nightly news, ceased showing casualties from U.S. bombing raids the day after Peter Arnett took a camera crew into the smoking ruins of Baghdad's Amiriyah bomb shelter. But independent news satellites broadcasting live from Afghanistan, Iraq and the West Bank into British, European, Asian and Arabian homes are showing viewers that Bush's "War Against Terror" is itself a terror campaign dwarfing the efforts of all other terrorist organizations combined.
"Not everyone is as ignorant as news-deprived Americans regarding the deeds done by a corporate-military cabal in their name. As Pilger points out, "The U.S. is the only state on record to have been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism" for the illegal mining of Nicaraguan ports. After bombing, rocketing, strafing and burning neighborhoods in nighttime terror attacks that killed more than 2,000 Panamanian people, the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on governments to observe international law.
"In recent weeks, Washington has refused to join the rest of the planet in a World Court to try war criminals for atrocities against civilians. Washington knows its own commanders could soon be trial for executing unarmed civilians in the streets of Panama City, the carpet-bombing of Basra, the ecological devastation of Bosnia from another 27,000 bombing raids, and the massacre of some 800 surrendered prisoners at Mazar-I-Sharif.
"As Pilger points out, "Al-Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan were kindergartens compared with the world's leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia."
"Notoriously known as the "The School of Coups" and "The School of Assassins," the Fort Benning alumni include some of South America's bloodiest tyrants, trained alongside some 60,000 paramilitaries and death squads who used U.S. Army lessons on torture and terrorism to murder tens of thousands of people dragged from their families and homes.
"The British are not impressed with the results of Bush's bombing - as The Observer observed from London - "...after piling up civilian corpses in Afghanistan, where no one responsible for Sept. 11 has yet been apprehended..."
"Hundreds of prisoners were shipped to an American concentration camp in Cuba, where they have been held against all the conventions of war and international law. No evidence of their alleged crimes has been produced, and the FBI confirms only one is a genuine suspect. In the United States, more than 1,000 people of Muslim background have "disappeared"; none has been charged. Under the draconian Patriot Act, the FBI's new powers include the authority to go into libraries and ask who is reading what.
"Despite the pornographic posturing of American firepower, the big successes in the real war against terrorists have come in Germany, England, France and Italy, where dozens of men linked to al-Qaeda have been arrested since Sept. 11. With a prison sentence of 200 years handed to one convicted terrorist, the rule of law is proving far more effective against al-Qaeda than bombing innocent people in their homes."
"BOMBING MORE VILLAGES TO SAVE THEM"
"For 10 interminable days and nights during Bush’s terror war, cloud-hidden U.S. jets bombed the region of Zhawar. "All the mountains are shaking," said Khali Gul in the small hamlet of Kaskai. "We are very afraid of these planes. We just want this to stop."
"There is nothing "surgical" about a B-52. Mahmat was asleep in his home in Kazikarez when a bomb from an American Stratofortress fell on his village. His son Nourali died, as did Jaber age 10, Janaan eight, Salamo six, Twayir four and Palvasha - the only girl, age two. "The plane flies so high that we cannot hear them," Mahmat told Mirror reporter Robert Fisk.
"Rattling down a dry river bed in a pickup piled with a wheelbarrow, a brass basin, and four baby goats, Noorz Ali joined an exodus of other bombed-out villagers. Shudiaki village "is completely flattened," Noorz noted. "My house was destroyed, and my neighbors were killed. There were so many bombs I lost count. We are very afraid of the bombs, and we are very angry at the Americans. There is no reason for this."
"Najiba Shakar never heard of the World Trade Center before being buried in the rubble of her own home. Her once pretty face criss-crossed with scars, Najiba is in pain and has difficulty standing up or talking. "Her life, all her dreams and ambition, have been destroyed," said Najiba's husband. "No one has ever explained to me why my home, in the middle of a residential area, nowhere near the military, was bombed."
"Shopkeeper Aiman Malai was finishing his morning prayers at 3:45 am when he saw two jets swoop low over Karam, three miles away across a valley. "They came low over it, and then there was a huge explosion and flames reaching high into the air."
"Lal Jand, a 30 year-old Karam farmer, said the planes circled for two more attacks on the village. Jand's wife and two of his sons were killed. An AP reporter described 80% of the village destroyed by U.S. bombs. Villagers digging bodies out of the rubble estimated that 100 people had been killed. As one dazed survivor said, "We didn't feel afraid because everyone said that American bombs were accurate, and that they would bomb the Talibs, but not the innocent people."
"Abdul and Shakila Amiri lost their five-year-old, Nazila, in an American air strike on the morning of Oct. 17. Nazila was playing with her younger brother and sister close to their home when it was hit by a type of bomb glorified on the pages of glossy magazines hawked from newsstands across America.
"Four days later, Washington Post reporter Molly Moore described a night in the hamlet of Thoral when a U.S. missile hit a trailer containing 27 frightened villagers - mostly children - fleeing a bombing raid on a nearby town. Many of the children were ripped apart by the bomb. A half-hour later, after the injured and dead had been taken to a house, two more missiles struck that home. Among at least 21 members of two farming families, all but four were infants or children killed in the attacks.
"Ten months later, shattered families in Uruzgan province have just finished burying a wedding party bombed and strafed by ignorant U.S. fighter and helicopter gunship pilots after joyous shots of celebration were fired into the air. At least 48 celebrants, including the bride, were killed and 100 others wounded in an attack the UN has decried for the American cover-up which followed.
""We have many children who are injured and who have no family," nurse Mohammed Nadir said. "Their families are gone. The villagers brought these children and they have no parents. Everyone says that their parents are dead."
"This is the way to stop terrorism? As the man responsible for ongoing assaults on human lives and dignity explained in Atlanta last June 17: "A country which has been under attack can respond by loving your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself.""
"Please click here for Part 2"
"LEARN MORE - BUY THE BOOK!"
"DON'T DO IT, DUBYA"!
"By William Thomas"
[Fifth Essence Publications-Canada Edition Copyright (c) 2002 in Canada, the U.S.A. and Internationally by William Thomas. All rights are reserved.]
"Part 2 of 2"
"BETWEEN BUSH AND A HARD PLACE"
"Afghan women widowed by U.S. attacks have almost no chance of employment, and no state assistance to care for their children. Advisers familiar with Afghanistan’s hardscrabble economics say that survivors of Bush's "shoot-em-up" approach to international diplomacy could be assured a decent remaining life for just $10,000 each. While dead spouses and children cannot be restored, the total tab for rehabilitating people blown out of their homes and daily lives could be covered by the $58 million cost of one day of U.S. bombing.
"So far, pledges to fully fund Afghanistan's new U.S.-trained military have not included aid for Mahmat, Noorz, Najiba, Lal, Abdul, Shakila and many others. Despite its coveted petroleum riches - and a pipeline and poppy corridor Washington wants to control - Afghanistan leads a starving "Two-Thirds" World in the lowest daily caloric intake. Sustaining a life expectancy of just 43 years, Afghanistan's harsh and heavily mined environment currently holds a half-million widows and a half-million maimed orphans in an existence so tenuous, journalist John Pilger finds something obscene about "the most powerful country on earth pounding into dust one of the poorest."
"But with the huge U.S. economy dependent on warmaking, it is imperative that fresh targets be found and marketed as threats to Americans, in order to "clear inventories" of munitions meant to maim and kill. "There's a lot of war talk these days, as there should be," Bush assured students in Rochester, Michigan last July 18. "But it's all aimed at making sure the world is peaceful."
"Dubya did not mention that many of the profits from his peaceful wars go directly into the pockets of the bin Ladens, "Poppy" Bush, and his Carlyle cronies."
""THE INTENT IS TO KILL PEOPLE""
"It costs big money to blow somebody out of their living room with enough technology to ensure virtual impunity for the aggressors.
"Each CBU-72 cluster bomb - which ripped apart so many lives in Iraq's former capital, and along the haunted miles I later walked on the Highway to Hell - cost only about $5,000 each to do the same thing in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
"The GBU-28 "bunker-busting" laser-guided bomb proudly pictured in TIME and Newsweek carries a sticker price of $125,000. A single GBU-28 killed more than 400 women, children and elders in Baghdad’s biggest bomb shelter.
"Each air-launched cruise missile costs about $1.6 million; ship-launched versions go for about twice that much. Because of their notoriously poor accuracy, up to two-dozen of these mayhem machines are launched against a single target. At least 63% miss. As a Redstone Arsenal general said, "Defense contractors will get paid as long as the things go off and hit the right country."
"The big bangs listed above are a whimper next to fearsome Fuel-Air bombs, which spread nearly eight tons of volatile vapors overhead before touching them off. The resulting fireball incinerates an area over five football fields, consuming all available oxygen and creating a shockwave that turns the internal organs of all living creatures into jelly. As General Peter Pace, vice-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, helpfully explained, "The intent is to kill people."
"But which people?
"Not former U.S. ally and drug-dealer, Manuel Noriega.
"Not the former recipient of American chemical-biological weapons, Saddam Hussein.
"Not the Chinese rulers responsible for Tiennenman Square and the rape of Tibet.
"Not an Indonesian dictator and U.S. ally who ordered genocide in East Timor.
"Not the U.S. cocaine-financed Contra death squads who murdered aid workers and teachers in Nicaragua.
"Not CIA-trained and financed Osama bin Laden.
"Did somebody say Osama? There is no way that a dying, electronically-isolated fugitive holed up in a region remote as the moon could have been operationally involved in aerial attacks comprising at least seven aircraft and depending on split-second coordination half a world away. Those closest to Osama say that constant exhaustion and pain from life-threatening kidney failure caused him to hand al-Qaeda leadership to his understudy, al-Zawaheri at least 10 months before Sept. 11.
"In stark contrast, a man the FBI recorded using his cell phone to order $100,000 wired to alleged ringleader Atta for the 911 attacks was allowed to resign his post as the head of Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency. Lt-Gen. Mahmud Ahmad was allowed to seek "immediate retirement" in return for shutting up. The ISI is closely tied to its creators, the CIA.
"Meanwhile, Taliban head Mullah Omar purportedly scooted through U.S. military roadblocks on a motorbike and is safe in Pakistan. Until recently financed by Saudi Arabia and Washington, other women-hating Taliban thugs found similar sanctuary after the Paris newspaper Le Temps described an airlift from Kunduz Airport ferrying Taliban fighters back into Pakistan through airspace controlled by the U.S. military."
"THE HIDDEN COSTS OF BUYING BOMBS ON CREDIT"
"Bush's phony "War on Terror” is revealing itself as a naked grab for what a U.S. Air Force policy paper calls "full spectrum dominance" over a dying planet's remaining resources. What's been won? After bombing a lot of people who never heard of the WTC, John Pilger tallies the results: "Not a single al-Q'aeda leader of importance has been caught."
"To achieve this "great victory", the bombing of Afghanistan cost US taxpayers roughly $2 billion a month. Attacking Iraq would be far costlier to taxpayers.
"But they don't have the money.
"So where is it coming from? In a declared war against nearly half the countries on this planet, the money to pay corporate munitions makers - and profiteering members of the Bush and bin Laden family circles - is being conjured by selling U.S. government IOUs called bonds to big banks, including a for-profit private corporation misleadingly called the Federal Reserve Bank.
"In fact, "the fed" which dictates the ups and downs of the U.S. economy by easing or contracting the nation's money supply has nothing to do with the federal government, and almost no reserves.
"Banks rule because they hold the bonds that allow countries like the U.S. to finance costly undeclared wars by plunging deeper into indebtedness. As IndyMedia reports, the interest alone on the national debt exceeds all personal income tax collected from every U.S. taxpayer. With total U.S. debt currently estimated at $17 trillion, is anyone asking what terms banks and foreign investors are dictating to a bankrupt U.S. government?
"For the 40% of American industry devoted to warmaking, the greatest threat to profits is peace. With U.S. weapons purchases currently topping $500,000 a minute, U.S. Army Inc. must find fresh targets to justify removing $380 billion a year from programs that could alleviate poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition, disease and discrimination against Two-Third's World women.
"Every bomb dropped, every missile fired further enslaves indebted Americans. Looking at the $100 billion squandered so far on a "missile defense system" unable to intercept missiles, or even a few fanatics armed with Exacto knives, Spectrazine's Heather Wokusch warns,
"Billions more corporate Star Wars' pork is on the way. This while social and environmental programs are being axed due to lack of funding, and millions of Americans continue to lose their jobs, joining the millions more already languishing in poverty, hunger and homelessness. The administration's response? A $73 billion tax giveaway benefiting the richest 1%.""
"It doesn't have to be this way.
"Four years ago, the United Nations Development Program estimated that it would cost an additional $9 billion above current expenditures to provide clean water and sanitation for everyone onboard Spaceship Earth. An additional $12 billion would provide reproductive health services for all women worldwide. Another $13 billion would be enough not only to give every person on Earth enough food to eat, but also basic health care. And just $6 billion more could provide basic education for all.
"The total tab for eliminating worldwide seeds of hatred, ignorance and despair - while harnessing the urgently needed talents, energy and perspectives of two-thirds of the world's population: just $40 billion.
"The math is easy. Do American taxpayers wish to continue spending $30 million an hour building more bombs to impoverish their grandchildren, while creating more enemies to justify building more bombs to make a President-select, his dad and a few corporations very rich.
"(W)ould they rather invest less money than the first post-911 arms purchases to ensure the water, nutrition, medicine, education and emancipation needed to effectively dry up the wellsprings of terrorism?
"The answer is growing homeland opposition to Dubya's declaration of "permanent war". Echoing courageous congressional compatriots Cynthia McKinney and Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich thundered last March over repeated standing ovations:
""We did not authorize an eye for an eye. Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan. We did not authorize the Administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases. We did not authorize war without end. We did not authorize a permanent war economy.""
"DIM LIGHT FROM A BURNING BUSH"
"With the clock ticking down on Iraq's plight and a growing Bush backlash, it's hard to say which will detonate first. When asked what a mid-October attack on Iraq might have to do with the next month's Congressional elections, Ritter replied with a marine's directness: "Everything."
"But with no time or bases to quickly amass and supply the forces required for a full-scale invasion, Bush's obsession with sacking Saddam could unleash more massive air attacks.
"It didn't work before. In his dad's bombardment of Iraq, United States warplanes alone flew 110,000 attacks, dropping 88,000 tons of bombs on a country the size of California.
"Saddam survived, while a hostage population suffered and died.
"What exactly is the point of more heavy bombing? If Saddam is deposed, his son is said to be even worse. Alternately, if the "Butcher of Baghdad" is forcibly replaced by a puppet party answerable to Washington, the resulting rioting - joined with unchecked Shiite and Sunni turf wars - could transform the Middle East into one big Beirut.
"Is a smirking G.W. aware of the world outside Texas? Last Nov. 8, "Boy George" asked an astonished Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, "Do you have blacks, too?" Following up this insult, on Aug. 1 America's President explained to the King of Jordan how "we must collectively get after those who kill in the name of some kind of false religion."
"Hopefully, 1.6 billion people currently practicing a "false religion" will soon get the True Word. (Otherwise they might get sore.) In the meantime, Muslims and Christians can only pray that G. Dubya is more up to speed on a region teetering on a nuclear knife-point than he was on Nov. 3, 1999 when reporter Andy Hiller quizzed his candidacy for WHDH-TV:
"HILLER: "Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?"
"DUBYA: "General. I can't name the general. General."
"HILLER: "And the prime minister of India?"
"DUBYA: "The new prime minister of India is - (pause) No."
"What G. Dubya does understand is that money can be made, and flag-waving "patriotism" converted into approval ratings and votes, by taking overwhelming aim at defenseless "enemies".
"But this time, he may have "misunderestimated" the mood of Americans. Stung by corporate fraud of preposterous proportions, Americans are beginning to ask what other scams are being run on them by a president caught in illegal Harken Corp. accounting procedures, in which, according to Bush, "things aren't exactly black and white."
"What about right and wrong?
"The whole world is no longer watching. It is shouting, "No more!" The last time U.S. carriers prepared to launch waves of jets against Baghdad, bomb-laden warplanes were being hooked to the catapults when President Clinton canceled the raids. Like Bush today, Clinton desperately needed the distraction of renewed mass attacks on Iraq. But in November 1999, a deluge of faxes, emails and phone calls from concerned global villagers stayed his hand.
"It CAN happen again:"
"Excerpted in part from All Fall Down: The Politics of Terror and Mass Persuasion, and Bringing The War Home by William Thomas."
"See also: The New Rulers of the World by John Pilger and the upcoming, The Greatest Sedition is Silence by William Rivers Pitt."
"More from All Fall Down:"
Back to Part 1 of: "WHO GAVE THE GREEN LIGHT FOR 9.11?"
Back to Part 1 of: "DON'T DO IT, DUBYA"!
"Order your copy of All Fall Down"
CLICK HERE TO GO TO A GREAT NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE BY SAM HAMILL OF POETS AGAINST THE WAR, AND PART NINE (9) OF MY ESSAY RESPONSE(S) TO THE 9-11-01 DISASTER AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS, FOR ONE OF MY OWN VERY LATEST ESSAYS IN RESPONSE TO SAME, ALONG WITH MORE OF MY VERY IMPORTANT, VERY LATEST FAMOUS QUOTES CONCERNING SAME, ON MY "MORE COMMENTS, PART 11" PAGE
AND/OR CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO PART EIGHT (8) OF MY ESSAY RESPONSE(S) TO THE 9-11-01 DISASTER AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS, FOR MANY MORE OF MY OWN VERY LATEST ESSAYS IN RESPONSE TO SAME, ON MY "MORE COMMENTS, PART 9" PAGE
AND/OR CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE VERY LATEST POEMS I'VE WRITTEN AND UPLOADED; AND A GREAT PROTEST POEM BY KEN AND JENNY LEVENS, AS WELL AS MORE OF MY VERY LATEST FAVORITE QUOTES; ON MY "MORE POETRY, PART 4" PAGE
CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO THE TOP OF THIS PAGE, OR SCROLL DOWN AND CHECK OUT MY SPONSORS BELOW
Postscript: I'm looking for someone to go 50/50 with me and move to either Ecuador, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, or Mexico where we can make a very low income go much further with a lower cost, and higher standard, of living (than living in the States on such a low income). This includes an only income of Social Security Disability (SSDI) and/or Retirement benefits. The Social Security Administration most definitely DOES allow SSDI and/or Retirement benefits, but not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, to be sent to recipients in most other countries! There are many books about moving and living abroad available at the public library and/or at Amazon.com . Naturally, I realize we would probably have to spend some time getting to know eachother, and finding out if we're compatible, before moving abroad together. We could even have our own separate "spaces" by choosing to rent or purchase a house or apartment with separate quarters, and still save considerable money in monthly costs compared to living in the States on the same income. If you might be interested, want to ask me some questions, and/or want to discuss it, please e-mail me at the address below.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR VISITING MY SITE! NOW, PLEASE CHECK OUT MY SPONSORS, AND/OR GO TO MY NEXT PAGE WITH THE LINKS ON THE RIGHT, OR AT THE END OF MY SPONSORS, BELOW: