United States News Digest
21st Century Science & Technology Goes Electronic!
21st Century Science & Technology announced that it is now publishing the quarterly magazine online. The cover story of the first electronic issue is "Nuclear for Fuel and Water." Subscriptions are $25 for six issues and $48 for 12 issues; single issues are $5 each. All can be purchased from the 21st Century website store: http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com.
Subscribers to the print 21st Century magazine may transfer their subscriptions to the electronic version by filling out a form, accessible on the website homepage by clicking on "Subscribers Only." Subscribers will receive a username and password to access the electronic issues.
Among the articles featured in the first electronic issue are:
* Science & the LaRouche Youth Movement We Can Solve the Water Problem! by Creighton Cody Jones
* The World's Water Wells Are Drying Up! by Lance Endersbee
* Freshwater from Nuclear Desalination by Christine Craig
* Hydrogen from Nuclear Power by Masao Hori
* South Africa's PBMR: World's Most Versatile Nuclear System by Jonathan Tennenbaum
* In Memoriam : Gloria S. Farley (1916-2006): A Lifetime of Discovery by Julian Fell
*How Statistics Fail Medicine: The Strange Case of Aspirin by Cathy Helgason, M.D.
* Texas University to Build First HTR Research Reactor! An interview with James Wright
* The Real Chernobyl Folly by Zbigniew Jaworowski
* The Neo-Cons, Not Carter, Killed Nuclear Energy
* A Speculator, a Prince, and a Neo-Con: Who's Sabotaging the PBMR?
Powell on 'Surge': Been There, Done That
"We tried that already," said former Secretary of State Colin Powell, when asked on CBS's Face the Nation on Dec. 17, about the idea of a temporary troop surge of 20-30,000 troops into Baghdad. Powell pointed out that this is what was done over the summer, with Operation Forward Together; thousands of troops were sent into Baghdad, but they haven't been able to stabilize the situation.
"I'm not convinced it will work," Powell said, adding that, if he were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he'd want to know exactly what the mission would be, and whether it is possible to accomplish it. He said that there aren't enough American troops to secure Baghdad. "We shouldn't just grab numbers out of the air," he said, noting that this would just mean keeping the existing troops there longer, and accelerating the arrival of others.
Powell noted that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker said recently that the active Army is broken. "He's absolutely right," Powell declared, adding that of all his contacts tell him that the Army has a serious problem, which has spread to the Guard and Reserve.
Otherwise Powell endorsed the Baker-Hamilton report's assessment, that the situation in Iraq is "grave and deteriorating." He noted that incoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "we are not winning," and, Powell added, if we're not winning, then "we are losing."
Newsweek Editor: Bush Needs a Therapist
Asked on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Dec. 12 about President Bush's response to the Baker-Hamiliton report, Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria said: "If we play the last game of the British Empire, over and over and over again, we're not doing so well.... The problem is that Bush actually believes that it's working. All these consultations [with experts and officials on Iraq] are a charade, that's my sense.... Without being flippant, I think that what Bush needs is not advisors, but a therapist."
GOP Senator: Fight Smart or Change Strategy in Iraq
Is the U.S. doing what British generals did in World War I? Sending troops into battle with little or no protection, guaranteeing needless deaths? This is the question posed by Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon on CNN's "Late Edition" Dec. 17, arguing that the current policy in Iraq is tantamount to being "street cops in a sectarian war.... I didn't vote for that and neither did the American people." British generals sent thousands of soldiers to their deaths in frontal assaults against merciless machine-gun fire, he recalled. They never had a chance.
Smith said that news reports of ten more U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq on Dec. 13 was the last straw for him. "Our strategy is not working ... either we fight intelligently for an objective that is obtainable," or we change strategy. He diplomatically pointed to George Bush's "determined streak," but added that now "is the time to rethink" this situation. "All of us in positions of responsibility are accountable" for what has happened in Iraq, he stressed. While it was important to have removed Saddam Hussein, Smith said, "we could have done it differently" to avoid the current disaster.
Jennings Files Contest in Florida Undervote Case
Democrat Christine Jennings filed the required notice before the Dec. 20 deadline to contest the outcome of the 13th C.D. race in Florida with the U.S. House of Representatives, should the Florida state court fail to order a revote.
The outcome of the race, where there was an 18,000 undervote for the Congress position in Sarasota County, was "wrong," Jennings says, "because they do not include thousands of votes that were cast in Sarasota County but not counted due principally to the pervasive malfunctioning of electronic voting machines."
Jennings' electronic vote expert, Dr. Charles Stewart III, proved that the number of undervotes correlated with the dates the machines were set up, and how many machines were set up on any given day. That is, Stewart found almost a 50% increase in the undervote recorded on machines set up after Oct. 11. Where there was an 11.8%, average undervote on machines set up before Oct. 11, that percent jumped to 17.5% from Oct. 12 on. When multiple machines were prepared on the same day, rather than just one, the undervotes also increased. Forty percent of Americans vote on touch-screen machines.
Even the ES&S (Electronic Systems & Software) expert, Dr. Michael Herron, reported, "There is essentially a 100% chance that Jennings would have won the CD 13 race.... Jennings would have received a net advantage of between 3,068 and 3,359 votes." Jennings trails Republican Vern Buchanan by just 369 votes.
Jennings' filing with the U.S. House asks that it investigate ES&S voting machines, software, and source code, and order a re-vote. Democratic statesman Lyndon LaRouche called for a revote as soon as the massive undervote was reported.
Jennings' filing notes that the House has found the contestant entitled to the seat on numerous occasions128, to be exactand ordered the election voided, and the seat vacated, in another 66 cases.
Edwards To Announce for 2008
Aides to former Democratic Sen. John Edwards say he will most likely announce his 2008 Presidential candidacy for in the week after Christmas. He is expected to kick off his campaign in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, followed by a brief swing through the key primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina. Edwards has spent the last year traveling throughout the United States, speaking at the grassroots level with citizens about the issues that most concern them. The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which he founded in February of 2005, and of which he is the Director, and his One America Committee, are the vehicles through which he has been addressing those issues and mobilizing Democrats and independents.
Edwards has also traveled internationally, to Africa and China among other locations, to gain some insight into how the U.S. is viewed abroad. He has emphasized that restoring America's leadership in the world should be a top priority of the next President. The United States must recover its "moral position.... The future of the world is at stake," he underscored in a recent address to the Silicon Valley, California Commonwealth Club. Although he states that poverty "is the great moral issue of our time," he has not specified his programmatic solutions to eliminate it.
Suicide Rate in Iraq Indicates Broken Army
In spite of a tone that things are getting better, the Army's Mental Health Advisory Team III report, released on Dec. 19, actually indicates that the mental health situation for soldiers in Iraq has gotten worse, not better, over time. The suicide rate among soldiers in Iraq in 2005 was 19.9 per 100,000, which compares to 8.5 per 100,000 in 2004 and 18.8 in 2003. The report downplays the suicide rate, however, because it compares favorably to the rate for the U.S. civilian population.
A qualified source told EIR that the report's finding that soldiers on multiple deployments suffer from more stress is no surprise. The suicide rate, however, is much more troubling, given that military personnel are routinely screened in ways that most civilians are not. "What this tells me," he said, "is that the long war is taking a toll. The longer we fight, the higher this number will go."
"Even one suicide in this population is troubling," he added, "because this is not some crack addict off the street. These are people who have been screened, these are people who have been trained, they are part of a team, and when they pull the trigger and do something on the battlefield to take their own life, I think that we have to ask ourselves a bunch of questions."
An even bigger issue, the source noted, is what happens to these people when they come home. If the military is broken, as Colin Powell recently said, so is the military's medical system for taking care of its people and the Department of Veterans' Affairs' system for taking care of them when they leave the military. The enormity of the problem is indicated in the VA's own numbers. Out of 631,174 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as of November, 205,097, or 32%, are patients in the VA health care system. Of those, 35.7% are mental health patients, and nearly half of those are PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder) patients.
Is Train Behind War-Provocation Programs for Public TV
"America at a Crossroads," a set of films on the confrontation with the terrorist enemy since the 2001 attacks, will be shown for several consecutive days beginning April 15, 2007 on TV stations throughout the United States. The $20 million series of purported documentary films is sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in 2004-2005.
In 2003, President George W. Bush, apparently at the behest of the cultural warfare clique associated with Mrs. Lynne Cheney, had appointed Michael Pack to be CPB senior vice president. Prior to this appointment, Pack's own career as a maker of rightist propaganda films had been substantially sponsored by financier John Train, whose Northcote Parkinson Fund has devoted a large part of its grant money to Pack's projects over the years.
After the appointment of Michael Pack to the (quasi-Federal) Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Pack initiated and oversaw the "Crossroads" enterprise in its entirety. At the outset, John Train was appointed to the advisory board for the development of the "America at a Crossroads" series. From several hundred film proposals, the advisory panel chose a handful of films to get CPB grants for production.
The Crossroads series is being packaged, for local and national showing, through WETA television in Washington, D.C.
Jihadon the history of Islamic radicalismis slated to lead off the series on April 15. Other scheduled films include:
* The Case for War (Brook Lapping Productions, London), "which follows Richard Perle to various places around the world as he articulates the neoconservative case for an assertive American foreign policy, interventionist when necessary, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks"made by Perle's long-time friend Brian Lapping.
* Soldiers of the Future (Stephen Ives, Insignia Films, New York), "the story of Donald Rumsfeld's recent efforts to transform America's military.... The new military doctrines in the war on terror...."
In 1995, the Public Television Programmers AssociationPBS executives who work up most of the public TV programs showcondemned the Crossroads project as a giant waste of public money. At a total of $20 million in grants, it is the largest single endeavor of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in recent years, which could have gone for programs of actual public interest.
Michael Pack stepped down as CPB senior vice president in 2006. In June 2006, the National Endowment for the Humanitiesrun by the Lynne Cheney apparatusawarded $725,000 to John Train's Northcote Parkinson Fund, to supervise a film to be produced by Michael Pack entitled Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton.
AEI General Pushes 'Stalingrad on the Tigris'
Gen. Jack Keane (ret.), billed as a coauthor of the neo-con American Enterprise Institute/Fred Kagan counter-report to the Iraq Study Group by the Weekly Standardappeared on ABC television Dec. 17 to promote the AEI proposal to send 30-40,000 more troops into Iraq to "establish security." This is a fundamental change in the mission, Keane said, insisting that security of the people of Baghdad is the key to success. The big difference, from what we've done before, is that under this plan, the people themselves will isolate the insurgents and the militias, Keane argued. This is the proven technique for every successful counterinsurgency, he contended, arguing straight out of his employer AEI's playbook. The problem is, Keane declared, we had a political, but not a military, strategy.
Retired Admiral and Congressman-elect Joe Sestak (D-Pa) called the AEI plan being pushed by Keane, "a road to nowhere," and said that even if we were to double or triple the number of troops in Iraq, it would be "just a band-aid." Sestak said that, "We're imposing what we want to do, upon that country," and the Iraqis don't want that." If it could be done militarily, he added, the Army would have done it by now.