Monday, September 24, 2007


(Condensced from "Descent Into Slavery" by Des Griffin, Chapter Five)

For many years the words international banker, Rothschild, Money and Gold have held a mystical type of fascination for many people around the world but particularly in the United States.

Over the years in the United States, the international bankers have come in for a great deal of criticism by a wide variety of individuals who have held high offices of public trust -- men whose opinions are worthy of note and whose responsibilities placed them in positions where they knew what was going on behind the scenes in politics and high finance.

President Andrew Jackson, the only one of our presidents whose administration totally abolished the National Debt, condemned the international bankers as a "den of vipers" which he was determined to "rout out" of the fabric of American life. Jackson claimed that if only the American people understood how these vipers operated on the American scene "there would a revolution before morning."

Congressman Louis T. McFadden who, for more than ten years, served as chairman of the Banking and Currency Committee, stated that the international bankers are a "dark crew of financial pirates who would cut a man's throat to get a dollar out of his pocket... They prey upon the people of these United States."

John F. Hylan, then mayor of New York, said in 1911 that "the real menace of our republic is the invisible government which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over our city, state and nation. At the head is a small group of banking houses, generally referred to as 'international bankers.'"

Were these leading public figures correct in their assessment of the situation, or were they the victims of some exotic form of paranoia?

Let's examine history analytically and unemotionally and uncover the facts. The truth, as it unfolds, will prove to be eye-opening and educational to those who are seeking to more clearly understand the mind-boggling events that have been (and are) taking place on the national and international scenes.

Let's get started.....


Europe, towards the end of the eighteenth century or at the time of the American Revolution, was very different from what we know in the same area today. It was composed oil a combination of large and small kingdoms, duchies and states which were constantly engaged in squabbles among themselves. Most people were reduced to the level of serfs -- with no political rights. The meager 'privileges' that were granted to them by their 'owners' could be withdrawn at a moment's notice.

It was during this period of time that a young man appeared on the European scene who was to have a tremendous impact on the future course of world history; his name was Mayer Amschel Bauer. In later years his name, which he had changed, became synonamous with wealth, power and influence. He was the first of the Rothschilds -- the first truly international banker!

Mayer Amschel Bauer was born in Frankfurt-On-The-Main in Germany in 1743. He was the son of Moses Amschel Bauer an itinerant money lender and goldsmith who, tiring of his wanderings in Eastern Europe, decided to settle down in the city where his first son was born. He opened a shop, or counting house, on Judenstrasse (or Jew Street). Over the door leading into the shop he placed a large Red Shield.

At a very early age Mayer Amschel Bauer showed that he possessed immense intellectual ability, and his father spent much of his time teaching him everything he could about the money lending business, and the lessons he had learned from many sources. The older Bauer originally hoped to have his son trained as a Rabbi but the father's untimely death put an end to such plans.

A few years after his father's death Mayer Amschel Bauer went to work as a clerk in a bank owned by the Oppenheimers in Hannover. His superior ability was quickly recognized and his advancement within the firm was swift. He was awarded a junior partnership.

Shortly thereafter he returned to Frankurt where he was able to purchase the business his father had established in 1750. The big Red Shield was still displayed over the door. Recognizing the true significance of the Red Shield (his father had adopted it as his emblem from the Red Flag which was the emblem of the revolutionary minded Jews in Eastern Europe), Mayer Amschel Bauer changed his name to Rothschild; in this way the House of Rothschild came into being.

The base for a vast accmulation of wealth was laid during the 1760s when Amschel Rothschild renewed his acquaintance with General von Estorff for whom he ran errands while employed at the Oppenheimer Bank.

When Rothschild discovered that the general, who was now attached to the court of Prince William of Hanau, was interested in rare coins he decided to take full advantage of the situation. By offering valuable coins and trinkets at discount prices he soon ingratiated himself with the general and other influential members of the court.

One day he was ushered into the presence of Prince William himself. His Highness bought a handful of his rarest medals and coins. This was the first transaction between a Rothschild and a head of state. Soon Rothschild was doing business with other princes.

Before long Rothschild tried another ploy to secure an 'in' with various local princes -- and to further his own aims! He wrote them letters that played on their princely vanity while asking them for their patronage. A typical letter would read:

"It has been my particular high and good fortune to serve your lofty princely Serenity at various times and to your most gracious satisfaction. I stand ready to exert all my energies and my entire fortune to serve your lofty princely serenity whenever in future it shall please you to command me. An especially powerful incentive to this end would be given me if your lofty princely serenity were to distinguish me with an appointment as one of your Highness' Court Factors. I am making bold to beg for this with the more confidence in the assurance that by so doing I am not giving any trouble; while for my part such a distinction would lift up my commercial standing and be of help to me in many other ways that I feel certain thereby to make my own way and fortune here in the city of Franfurt."

His tactics paid off. On September 21, 1769, Rothschild was able to nail a sign bearing the arms of Hess-Hanau to the front of his shop. In gold characters it read: "M. A. Rothschild, by appointment court factor to his serene highness, Prince William of Hanau."

In 1770 Rothschild married Gutele Schnaper who was aged seventeen. They had a large family consititing of five sons and five daughters. Their sons were Amschel, Salomon, Nathan, Kalmann (Karl) and Jacob (James).

History records that William of Hanau, "whose crest had been famous in Germany since the Middle Ages," was a dealer in human flesh. For a price the Prince, who was closely related to the various royal families of Europe, would rent out troops to any nation. His best customer was the British government which wanted troops for such projects as trying to keep the American colonists in line.

He did exceptionally well with his 'rent-a-troop' business. When he died he left the largest fortune ever accumulated in Europe to that time, $200,000,000. Rothschild biographer Frederic Morton describes William as "Europe's most blue-cold blooded loan shark" (The Rothschilds, Fawcett Crest, 1961, p. 40).

Rothschild became an agent for this 'human cattle' dealer. He must have worked diligently in his new position of responsibility because, when William was forced to flee to Denmark, he left 600,000 pounds (then valued at $3,000,000) with Rothschild for safekeeping.

According to the late Commander William Guy Carr, who was an Intelligence Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, and who had excellent contacts in intelligence circles around the world, the founder of the House of Rothschild drew up plans for the creation of the Illuminati and then entrusted Adam Weishaupt with its organization and development.

Sir Walter Scott, in the second volume of his Life of Napoleon, states that the French Revolution was planned by the Illuminati and was financed by the money changers of Europe. Interestingly enough, the above book (which this author has both seen and read) is the only book written by Scott that is not listed under his name in any of the 'authoritative' reference works. It is now a 'non book'!


For an account of what happened next we turn to the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1905 edition, Volume 10, p. 494: "According to legend this money was hidden away in wine casks, and, escaping the search of Napoleon's soldiers when they entered Frankfort, was restored intact in the same casks in 1814, when the elector returned to the electorate. The facts are somewhat less romantic, and more businesslike."

Pay particular attention to the last nine words. They are loaded with significance. Here the leading Jewish authority states that what Rothschild actually did with the $3,000,000 was "more businesslike," from a Jewish point of view, than what was stated in the legend.

The simple truth of the matter is that Rothschild embezzled the money from Prince William. But even before the money reached Rothschild it was not 'clean' (or Kosherl). The vast sum had been paid to William of Hess by the British government for the services of his soldiers. The money was originally embezzled by William from his troops who were legally entitled to it.

With the twice embezzled money as a solid foundation, Mayer Amschel Rothschild decided to vastly expand his operations -- and become the first international banker.

A couple of years earlier Rothschild had sent his son, Nathan, to England to take care of the family business in that country. After a brief stay in Manchester, where he operated as a merchant, Nathan, on instructions from his father, moved to London and set up shop as a merchant banker. To get the operation under way Rothschild gave his son the three million dollars he had embezzled from William of Hess.

The Jewish Encyclopedia for 1905 tells us that Nathan invested the loot in "gold from the East India company knowing that it would be needed for Wellington's peninsula campaign." On the stolen money Nathan made "no less than four profits; (1) On the sale of Wellington's paper [which he bought at 50 cents on the dollar and collected at par; (2) on the sale of gold to Wellington; (3) on its repurchase; and (4) on forwarding it to Portugal. This was the beginning of the great fortunes of the house" (p. 494).

Yes, the Jewish Encyclopedia claims that the great fortune accumulated by the Rothschilds over the years was based on the "businesslike" method of fraud.

With their huge accumulation of ill-gotten gain the family established branches of the House of Rothschild in Berlin, Vienna, Paris and Naples. Rothschild placed a son in charge of each branch. Amschel was placed in charge of the Berlin branch; Salomon was over the Vienna branch; Jacob (James) went to Paris and Kalmann (Karl) opened up the Rothschild bank in Naples. The headquarters of the House of Rothschild was, and is, in London.


An anonymous contemporary described Nathan Rothschild as he leaned against the 'Rothschild Piller' at the London Stock Exchange, hung his heavy hands into his pockets, and began to release silent, motionless, implacable cunning:

"Eyes are usually called the windows of the soul. But in Rothschild's case you would conclude that the windows are false ones, or that there was no soul to look out of them. There comes not one pencil of light from the interior, neither is there one gleam of that which comes from without reflected in any direction. The whole puts you in mind of an empty skin, and you wonder why it stands upright without at least something in it. By and by another figure comes up to it. It then steps two paces aside, and the most inquisitive glance that you ever saw, and a glance more inquisitive than you would ever have thought of, is drawn out of the fixed and leaden eye, as if one were drawing a sword from a scabbard. The visiting figure, which has the appearance of coming by accident and not by design, stops just a second or two, in the course of which looks are exchanged which, though you cannot translate, you feel must be of most important meaning. After these the eyes are sheathed up again, and the figure resumes its stony posture.

During the morning a numbers of visitors come, all of whom meet with a similar reception and vanish in a similar manner. Last of all the figure itself vanishes, leaving you utterly at a loss." (Frederic Morton, The Rothschilds, p. 65)


When he died on September 19, 1812, the founder of the House of Rothschild left a will that was just days old. In it, he laid down specific laws by which the House that bore his name would operate in future years.

The laws were as follows:

(1) All key positions in the House of Rothschild were to be held by members of the family, and not by hired hands. Only male members of the family were allowed to participate in the business.

The eldest son of the eldest son was to be the head of the family unless the majority of the rest of the family agreed otherwise. It was for this exceptional reason that Nathan, who was particularly brilliant, was appointed head of the House of Rothschild in 1812.

(2) The family was to intermarry with their own first and second cousins, thus preserving the vast fortune. This rule was strictly adhered to early on but later, when other rich Jewish banking houses came on the scene, it was relaxed to allow some of the Rothschilds to marry selected members of the new elite.

(3) Amschel forbade his heirs "most explicitly, in any circumstances whatever, to have any public inventory made by the courts, or otherwise, of my estate .... Also I forbid any legal action and any publication of the value of the inheritance .... Anyone who disregards these provisions and takes any kind of action which conflicts with them will immediately be regarded as having disputed the will, and shall suffer the consequences of so doing."

(4) Rothschild ordered a perpetual family partnership and provided that the female members of the family, their husbands and children should receive their interest in the estate subject to the management of the male members. They were to have no part in the management of the business. Anyone who disputed this arrangement would lose their interest in the Estate. (The last stipulation was specifically designed to seal the mouths of anyone who might feel like breaking with the family. Rothschild obviously felt that there were a lot of things under the family 'rug' that should never see the light of day).

The mighty strength of the House of Rothschild was based on a variety of important factors:

(A) Complete secrecy resulting from total family control of all business dealings;

(B) An uncanny, one could almost say a supernatural ability to see what lay ahead and to take full advantage of it. The whole family was driven by an insatiable lust for the accumulation of wealth and power, and

(C) Total ruthlessness in all business dealings.

Biographer Frederic Morton, in The Rothschilds, tells us that Mayer Amschel Rothschild and his five sons were "wizards" of finance, and "fiendish calculators" who were motivated by a "demonic drive" to succeed in their secret undertakings.


From the same authoritative source we learn that "on Saturday evenings, when prayer was done at the synagogue, Mayer would inveigle the rabbi into his house. They would bend towards one another on the green upholstery, sipping slowly at a glass of wine and argue about first and last things deep into the night. Even on work days...Mayer...was apt to tare down the big book of the Talmud and recite from it...while the entire family must sit stock still and listen" (p. 31).

It could be said of the Rothschilds that the "family that preys together stays together." And prey they did! Morton states that it is difficult for the average person to "comprehend Rothschild nor even the reason why he having so much, wanted to conquer more." All five brothers were imbued with this same spirit of cunning and conquest.

The Rothschilds formed no true friendships or alliances. Their associates were but mere acquaintances who were used to further the interests of the House of Rothschild, and then thrown on the garbage heap of history when they had served their purpose or outlived their usefulness.

The truth of this statement is demonstrated by another passage from Frederic Morton's book. He relates how, in 1806, Napoleon declared that it was his "object to remove the house of Hess-Cassel from rulership and to strike it out of the list of powers."

"Thus Europe's mightiest man decreed erasure of the rock on which the new Rothschild firm had been built. Yet, curiously, the bustle didn't diminish at the house of the [Red] Shield.... Rothschilds still sat, avid and impenetrable, portfolios wedged between body and arm.

"They saw neither peace nor war, neither slogans or manifestos, nor orders of the day, neither death nor glory. They saw none of the things that blinded the world. They saw only steppingstones. Prince William had been one. Napoleon would be the next" (pp. 38,39).

'Curious'? Not exactly! The House of Rothschild was helping to finance the French dictator and, as a result, had free access to French markets at all times. Some years later, when both France and England were blockading each other's coast lines, the only merchants who were allowed to freely run the blockades were -- yes, you guessed it, the Rothschilds. They were financing both sides!

"The efficiency which powered Mayer's sons brought on enormous economic spring cleaning: a sweeping away of fiscal dead wood; a renovation of old credit structures and an invention of new ones; a formation -- implicit in the sheer existence of five different Rothschild banks in five different countries -- of fresh money channels via clearing-houses; a method of replacing the old unwieldy shipping of gold bullion by a worldwide system of debits and credits.

"One of the greatest contributions was Nathan's new technique for floating international loans. He didn't much care to receive dividends in all sorts of strange and cumbersome currencies.

"Now Nathan attracted him -- the most powerful investment source of the nineteenth century -- by making foreign bonds payable in Pounds Sterling" (p. 96).


As the wealth and power of the Rothschilds grew in size and influence so did their intelligence gathering network. They had their 'agents' strategically located in all the capitals and trading centers of Europe, gathering and developing various types of intelligence. Like most family exploits, it was based on a combination of very hard work and sheer cunning.

Their unique spy system started out when 'the boys' began sending messages to each other through a networh of couriers. Soon it developed into something much more elaborate, effective and far reaching. It was a spy network par excellence. Its stunning speed and effectiveness gave the Rothschilds a clear edge in all their dealings on an international level.

"Rothschild coaches careened down the highways; Rothschild boats set sail across the Channel; Rothschild agents were swift shadows along the streets. They carried cash, securities, letters and news. Above all, news -- the latest exclusive news to be vigorously processed at stock market and commodity bourse.

"And there was no news more precious than the outcome at Waterloo..." (The Rothschilds p. 94).

Upon the battle of Waterloo depended the future of the European continent. If the Grande Armee of Napoleon emerged victorious France would be undisputed master of all she surveyed on the European front. If Napoleon was crushed into submission England would hold the balance of power in Europe and would be in a position to greatly expand its sphere of influence.

Historian John Reeves, a Rothschild partisan, reveals in his book The Rothschilds, Financial Rulers of the Nations, 1887, page 167, that "one cause of his [Nathan's] success was the secrecy with which he shrouded, and the tortuous policy with which he misled those who watched him the keenest."

There were vast fortunes to be made -- and lost -- on the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo. The Stock Exchange in London was at fever pitch as traders awaited news of the outcome of this battle of the giants. If Britain lost, English consuls would plummet to unprecedented depths. If Britain was victorioug, the value of the consul would leap to dizzying new heights.

As the two huge armies closed in for their battle to the death, Nathan Rothschild had his agents working feverishly on both sides of the line to gather the most accurate possible information as the battle proceeded. Additional Rothschild agents were on hand to carry the intelligence bulletins to a Rothschild command post strategically located nearby.

Late on the afternoon of June 15, 1815, a Rothschild representative jumped on board a specially chartered boat and headed out into the channel in a hurried dash for the English coast. In his possession was a top secret report from Rothschild's secret service agents on the progress of the crucial battle. This intelligence data would prove indispensable to Nathan in making some vital decisions.

The special agent was met at Folkstone the following morning at dawn by Nathan Rothschild himself. After quickly scanning the highlights of the report Rothschild was on his way again, speeding towards London and the Stock Exchange.

The Jewish S.H.I.T. List

Self-Hating and/or Israel-Threatening


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jackson backpedals on Obama, 'Jena 6' at issue

Jackson backpedals on Obama, 'Jena 6' at issue


by Christi Parsons and Mike Dorning

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday softened his criticism of Sen. Barack Obama, whom he reportedly criticized earlier in the week for "acting like he's white" on the Jena 6 race case in Louisiana.

Jackson said in an interview Wednesday that "acting white" isn't a phrase he uses regularly, and that it doesn't accurately represent his feelings about Obama, the Illinois Democratic senator whom Jackson supports for their party's presidential nomination.

Obama, meanwhile, sought to take Jackson's comments out of a racial context, saying he thinks the discussion about the case isn't "a matter of black and white," but rather "a matter of right and wrong.

"We should stand as one nation in opposition to this and any injustice," Obama said, not so subtly adding that his previous remarks on the Jena case were advised in part by Jackson's son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.)

See the rest of the story in the Tribune:

The controversy arose this week as the elder Jackson was preparing for a trip to Jena, La., for a Thursday demonstration in support of six black teenagers at the center of a nationwide fight over racial equity in the criminal justice system.

After black students asked officials at the local high school for permission to sit under a tree that was usually a gathering place for white students, three nooses appeared in its branches.

Not long after that, police said that six black students beat up a white student, and they were charged with attempted murder. The case has touched off a nationwide protest set to culminate with the demonstration. The charges were subsequently reduced, and the conviction of one of the youths was overturned last week.

Earlier this week, The State newspaper in South Carolina quoted the elder Jackson as saying that Obama was "acting like he's white" by not being more bold in his response to the case of the Jena 6.

On Wednesday, Jackson told the Tribune in an interview that he doesn't contest the newspaper account but doesn't recall saying the phrase. He said the phrase doesn't reflect his opinion.

"That is not my conviction," Jackson said. "But I will say the Democrats should act with more courage on this. It is one of the defining moments of our time."

Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, said on Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show Wednesday that the situation raises "very serious questions of injustice and inequality," and that it "shines a bright spotlight on the disparate treatment that happens all too often in our country."

‘The Big Con’

Published: September 23, 2007

I have this problem. Whenever I try to explain what's happening in American politics-I mean, what's really happening-I wind up sounding a bit like an unhinged conspiracy theorist. But honestly, I'm not. My politics are actually quite moderate. (Most real lefties, in fact, think I'm a Washington establishment sellout.) So please give let me a chance to explain myself when I tell you the following: American politics has been hijacked by a tiny coterie of right-wing economic extremists, some of them ideological zealots, others merely greedy, a few of them possibly insane. (Stay with me.)

The scope of their triumph is breathtaking. Over the course of the last three decades, they have moved from the right-wing fringe to the commanding heights of the national agenda. Notions that would have been laughed at a generation ago-that cutting taxes for the very rich is the best response to any and every economic circumstance, or that it is perfectly appropriate to turn the most rapacious and self-interested elements of the business lobby into essentially an arm of the federal government-are now so pervasive, they barely attract any notice.

The result has been a slow-motion disaster. Income inequality has approached levels normally associated with Third World oligarchies, not healthy Western democracies. The federal government has grown so encrusted with business lobbyists that it can no longer meet the great public challenges of our time. Not even many conservative voters or intellectuals find the result congenial. Government is no smaller-it is simply more debt-ridden and more beholden to wealthy elites.

And yet the right-wing ascendancy has continued inexorably despite continual public repudiation. The 2006 elections were only the latest electoral setback. The right has suffered deeper setbacks before, and all of them have proven temporary. In 1982, after the country had entered the deepest recession since the 1930s, Republicans were slaughtered in the midterm congressional races, losing twenty-seven seats in the House of Representatives. Ronald Reagan, whose election two years earlier had seemed to augur a new conservative era, trailed his likely 1984 Democratic challengers by double digits in the polls and seemed destined to be a lame duck. "What we are witnessing this January," wrote the esteemed Washington Post reporter David Broder in the first month of 1983, "is not the midpoint in the Reagan presidency, but its phase-out. 'Reaganism,' it is becoming increasingly clear, was a one-year phenomenon." We know what happened the next year.

And the conservative revolution has had its obituary written many times since. In 1986, Republicans lost the Senate, and shortly thereafter Reagan saw his approval ratings sink as he became embroiled in the Iran-Contra scandal. In 1992, Democrats won back the White House along with both chambers of Congress, and there was widespread talk of "a conservative crackup." It happened again after the public turned on the Republicans following their 1995 government shutdown, and once more after the public rebelled against the Clinton impeachment. By the late 1990s, the Republican revolution had again been written off.

And yet the Republican right keeps coming back, and back, and back. Their fortunes rise and then dip, but each peak is higher than the last peak, and each dip is higher than the last dip. Consider the present situation. Things have gone about as badly as they could have in George W. Bush's second term. A Republican administration started and lost a major war in Iraq; presided over an economy that has failed to deliver higher wages for most Americans; contributed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the near-wipeout of a major American city; launched a failed assault on Social Security, the most popular social program in the history of the United States; and saw its members suffer an almost unprecedented string of sexual and financial scandals. Still, Democrats find themselves holding only the slimmest of majorities in the House and Senate. Even if they hold their majorities in Congress and win the White House in 2008, the structural forces in Washington will make it nearly impossible to roll back any significant chunks of the Bush tax cuts, let alone take on crises like global warming or the forty-five million Americans lacking health insurance.


US Treasury to halt state, local securities sales

(Updates with latest debt, slugs issuance figures)

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury on Friday said it would suspend sales of state and local government series securities (SLGS) next week to help prevent the federal government from breaching its statutory debt limit.

The move to close the "slugs" window again is the first of several emergency measures the Treasury can take to gain more precise control of federal finances as it nears the $8.965 trillion debt limit.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson this week said the government will hit the debt limit on Oct. 1 and urged the U.S. Senate to quickly approve an $850 billion increase in borrowing authority. Sales of the state and local securities typically resume when the debt limit is increased.

Next week's closure will be the fifth time that the Bush administration has closed the slugs window to avoid breaching the debt limit before Congress raised its credit authority.

As of Thursday, the federal debt stood at $8.903 trillion, about $62 billion below the limit. If the government exceeds the limit, it could risk a default on its obligations.

The Treasury said it will stop accepting subscriptions for new slugs after 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Sept. 27. It sells them to state and local governments and other municipal borrowers for the temporary investment of proceeds from their tax-exempt bond sales.

The securities are popular because they ensure that municipal borrowers stay within Internal Revenue Service restrictions that limit earnings from bond proceed investments to the original interest rate on the bonds.

But because they are typically issued upon demand from state and local governments, the Treasury has less control of day-to-day borrowing amounts. By closing the slugs window, the Treasury can better estimate its cash flow.

Through Thursday, the Treasury had issued $4.2 billion in slugs during September. It issued $132.2 billion during the first 11 months of fiscal 2007, or an average of $12 billion a month.

U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad on Thursday said Congress would pass legislation lifting the debt limit "in a very timely manner." The North Dakota Democrat said he wanted to avoid uncertainty for jittery financial markets caused by disruptions in government borrowing.

Other emergency measures the Treasury can take to stay under the credit ceiling include temporarily diverting money from several federal employee pension and disability funds and dipping into the Exchange Stabilization Fund, a seldom-used pool of money earmarked to stabilize currency rates.

Americans warned on travel to Syria


WASHINGTON — The State Department has warned Americans against traveling to Syria.

The department has urged Americans to stay away from Syria amid threats of Islamic insurgency attack. Officials said the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad might be unable to stop attacks on Americans in the country.

"Travelers are advised to thoroughly consider the risks before travel to Syria and to take adequate precautions to ensure their safety if traveling to Syria," the department said in a travel warning on Sept. 18.

Officials said Syria's harboring of groups deemed terrorists poses a threat to Americans. The Assad regime has maintained the presence of Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, all groups financed by Iran.

The State Department has urged Americans in Syria to exercise caution and take measures to maintain their security. The measures include avoiding crowds and demonstrations, maintaining a low profile, revising travel times and routes, and ensuring valid travel documents.

In September 2006, the U.S. embassy in Damascus was stormed by assailants armed with bombs and assault weapons. The strike was attributed to an Al Qaida cell, but the Syrian regime, claiming that all of the attackers were killed, refused U.S. access to suspects.

"This attack underscores the danger posed by the continued presence of terrorist groups in Syria," the State Department said. "The embassy is working with the Syrian authorities to address these threats and the security issues raised by the attack on the embassy. While the authorities have taken measures since then to crack down on local extremists, self-contained groups with no links to external terrorist organizations will remain inherently difficult to detect and disrupt."

US gives 'strategically important' Ethiopia $97 million

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - The United States said Friday it is donating 97 million dollars (69 million euros) to Ethiopia in recognition of the Horn of Africa country's "strategic importance."

The money, channeled through USAID, is to fund agricultural and private sector development, health care, primary education and good governance, a statement said.

Ethiopia received US backing last year when it deployed troops to neighbouring Somalia to overthrow an Islamist movement accused of harbouring extremist elements.

USAID mission director Glenn Anders said: "The agreements ... fulfill and even exceed the commitments in our five-year strategic development plan ..."


Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

The Protocols of the
Learned Elders of Zion

Note: this document is the original translation from a hundred years ago.

You can find the Protocols into modern English, which makes it easier to understand here: Protocols-in-Modern-English.htm

The Protocols is also available in Spanish at this web site
The drawing from the Spanish version is below. It shows that Zionists control the Christians, the Nazis, the Communists, the Masons, and the banks. Makes ya' "think" huh?

Protocol I The Basic Doctrine
Protocol II Economic Wars
Protocol III Methods of Conquest
Protocol IV Materialism Replace Religion
Protocol V Despotism and Modern Progress
Protocol VI Take-Over Technique
Protocol VII World-Wide Wars
Protocol VIII Provisional Government
Protocol IX Re-education
Protocol X Preparing for Power
Protocol XI The Totalitarian State
Protocol XII Control of the Press
Protoco XIII Distractions
Protocol XIV Assault on Religion
Protocol XV Ruthless Suppression
Protocol XVI Brainwashing
Protocol XVII Abuse of Authority
Protocol XVIII Arrest of Opponents
Protocol XIX Rulers and People
Protocol XX Financial Programme
Protocol XXI Loans and Credit
Protocol XXII Power of Gold
Protocol XXIII Instilling Obedience
Protocol XXIV Qualities of the Ruler

Friday, September 14, 2007

Iranian Leader Lashes Out at Bush, US

By VOA News
14 September 2007

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, leads a Friday prayer at the Tehran University campus, in Tehran, Iran, 14 Sep 2007

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says U.S. President George Bush will one day stand trial for the war in Iraq.

Ayatollah Khamenei's sharp criticism of Mr. Bush and the United States was punctuated by cries of "Death to America" from worshippers during Friday prayers in Tehran.

The ayatollah said Mr. Bush should be held responsible for the violence in Iraq, and he claimed that U.S. policies in the Middle East and towards Iran are failing.

During his televised address Thursday, President Bush accused Iran and Syria of trying to undermine the Iraqi government, and said they must end their subversive activities.

U.S. officials have repeatedly accused Iran of supplying weapons and training to Shi'ite insurgents in Iraq. Iran denies the charge

USAF Stand down September 14 and a “Broken Arrow”?

Although there is very little news available from the mainstream media concerning the stand down by the USAF this Friday, some areas of the internet are positively buzzing about the decision and the possibility of a “Broken Arrow”

For those of you who saw the 1996 film (or are not familiar with the term already), a “Broken Arrow” refers to a missing nuclear device.

You may remember (approximately 2 weeks ago) reading about a B-52 Stratofortress bomber “transporting” nuclear warheads from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana? Normally, such devices are transported in specially modified planes and decommissioned at a different location (not Barksdale), and they are NEVER attached to the wing of a plane unless there is some special reason to do so (a combat situation for example).

The information about this flight was leaked to the press and the Air Force have apologized for the mistake and promised an immediate investigation. According to official reports, errors were made and it seems as if we are expected to accept the “Oops, sorry. There was never any danger” version and forget all about it.

Unfortunately, some things don’t seem to add up. How could the Air Force, who probably require requests for toilet paper in triplicate, make such an incredible mistake, seeing as the missiles are so clearly marked? And knowing how good the military and US government are at concealing secrets, how did this news become public, unless that was the intention?

Perhaps more worrying is the fact that there seems to be some dispute on the number of nuclear devices being transported. Some reports claim that six devices left Minot AFB, but only five arrived at Barksdale? A report in the Washington Post reveals that the nuclear devices were sitting “on a runway in Louisiana for nearly 10 hours before workers noticed that the nuclear warheads were inside.”

Has a nuclear device been stolen and what was the real purpose of the B-52 flight? Was this some message to Iran, as one writer has suggested? Or will we shortly discover the whereabouts of this “missing?” nuclear device when it is dropped on some American City?

Some will recall the catastrophic consequences of a “stand down” by the Air Force on 9/11, in which Dick Cheney was involved. With this in mind, is it really wise to advertise to the world when this is going to take place? The US government have displayed an almost obsessive attitude to security since the WTC “attack”, yet have effectively given the “enemy” an invitation to carry out an attack at a time when they are least able to respond. Is this just plain stupidity, or is there some method in their madness?

With the appearance of Osama bin Laden in a new video (sporting a new beard and face!), the governments desire to find an excuse to attack Iran, the possibility of a missing nuke and a stand down on the 14th of September, it might not be a bad idea to take a trip into the country (or maybe another country?) on Friday. For those who choose to stay in the Cities another film comes to mind (the first Jurassic Park) and the words spoken by Samuel L. Jackson “Hold on to your butts!”

More Planes Being Grounded Friday 14th

Horizon cancels 125 Friday flights

Seattle Times travel writer

Seattle-based Horizon Air will cancel 125 flights around the West Coast and Canada including 55 out of Seattle on Friday as it continues to grapple with the grounding of 19 turboprop planes because of two landing-gear failures involving similar planes in Europe.

About 6,000 passengers' travel plans were disrupted Wednesday after the airline, part of Alaska Air Group, canceled 120 flights, including 31 out of Seattle, to inspect Q400 turboprops made by Montreal-based Bombardier, the world's third-biggest aircraft maker.

The airline canceled 156 flights today, including 56 Seattle flights, but hopes for "significant improvement" by Saturday, pending completion of inspections of its planes, spokesman Ray Prentice said this morning.

"Friday's going to be a bit rough," he said. The airline said earlier it hoped operations would be back to normal on Saturday, but Prentice said it depends on how fast the inspections go. Horizon operates one-third of the 60 Q400 turboprops that Bombardier urged airlines to ground after a second landing-gear failure in a week on planes operated by Scandinavian Airlines.

The grounding Wednesday forced the cancellation of at least 200 flights worldwide, and more Thursday.

SAS grounded all of its Q400s indefinitely and canceled 100 flights within Europe. Its daily flight between Seattle and Copenhagen was unaffected, but passengers with ongoing connections should check with the airline at or 800-221-2350.

Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia's biggest airline, grounded most of its Bombardier Inc. Q400 aircraft amid safety concerns. All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Corp., Japan's largest carriers, canceled 87 flights.

Horizon maintains that the inspections are a precaution and will include only aircraft with higher numbers of flight hours. Of Horizon's 76-plane fleet, 33 are Q400s.

Horizon and its sister carrier Alaska Airlines are the Northwest's major regional carriers, and Seattle is the hub for flights to 48 cities in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and British Columbia and Alberta.

The cancellations affect about a quarter of Horizon's 500 daily flights. Major routes affected were Seattle/Portland, Seattle/Boise and Seattle/Spokane. Flights were also canceled between Seattle and Calgary, Alberta; Bozeman, Mont.; and Medford and Eugene, Ore.

The airline is offering refunds, rebooking passengers on other carriers and waiving fees through Friday for customers to change plans or postpone their trips. But Horizon's phone lines have been jammed, and passengers report not being able to get through.

Repeated calls to the airline's 800 number (800-547-9308) are answered with a message that says "All circuits are busy now. Please try your call later."

"We are working on notifying customers," Prentice said.

Travel agents said they were able to accommodate most passengers Wednesday, either because fliers could change their plans and drive to their destinations or delay travel, switch to another Alaska/Horizon flight or rebook on another airline.

"In general, it could have been a lot worse," said Teresa Willson of Doug Fox Travel in Seattle.

Several airlines fly some of Horizon's major routes, and the chances of finding available seats "is better now than it was this summer," she said.

United, for instance, flies daily nonstops from Seattle to Portland, Spokane and Calgary and also flies to Boise through San Francisco. Delta makes a connection through Salt Lake City to Boise. Air Canada flies nonstop to Calgary. Southwest flies to Boise and Spokane.

Part of the landing gear on a Scandinavian Airlines Q400 plane collapsed on touchdown in Lithuania on Wednesday, according to Bombardier. Three days earlier, a landing-gear glitch involving another Scandinavian Airlines aircraft caused a crash-landing in Denmark. There were no injuries in Wednesday's incident, but five people were slightly injured on Sunday, according to Bombardier.

Bombardier and landing-gear manufacturer Goodrich on Wednesday recommended that Q400 aircraft with more than 10,000 landing-gear cycles — one takeoff and one landing — be grounded until the landing gear is inspected.

Horizon has been flying Q400s since 2001 and has not experienced any problems with the aircraft, the airline said.

"We realize — and greatly regret — that this proactive measure will result in inconvenience to many of our customers as flights are canceled to allow for these unplanned inspections," Jeff Pinneo, Horizon president and CEO, said in a statement released Wednesday morning. "Safety is, of course, our foremost consideration."

Alaska Air Group's stock fell 70 cents, or nearly 3 percent, to $22.88 Wednesday.

This report contains material from The Associated Press. Seattle Times reporter Christina Siderius also contributed to the story.

Carol Pucci:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dollar hits new low versus euro

Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 23:32 GMT 00:32 UK

Dollar hits new low versus euro
Money changer exchanges euros for dollars
The dollar has been weakening against the euro for over a week

The US dollar hit to new record low against the euro as investors fretted about a world credit crunch.

The greenback dropped as low as $1.3927 against the euro, deepening Wednesday's losses, but regained ground later to settle at $1.3886 in New York trading.

The dollar has fallen in the past week, amid hopes that Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in a bid to reassure markets over current credit fears.

Analysts expect the Fed to cut interest rates when it meets next week.

However, as the dollar has weakened, the euro has gained momentum after recent comments from the European Central Bank (ECB) hinting at the possibility of future interest rate rises.

Further gains?

The health of Europe's economy - underlined by strong growth and inflation figures from France - could help push the euro through the $1.40 barrier, some experts suggested.

"The catalyst sending the euro to its latest high against the dollar is the growing expectation that the Fed could trim interest rates by up to 50 basis points at its 18 September policy meeting," said Global Insight economist Howard Archer.

Eurozone consumers could benefit from cheaper prices for some imported goods
Howard Archer, Global Insight

"The euro seems likely to remain well supported against the dollar in the near term at least and could well break through $1.40 imminently."

At the heart of the dollar's decline have been problems in the US housing market, caused by the Fed increasing interest rates in order to slow accelerating inflation.

The increases have led to higher borrowing costs, triggering an increase in the number of people defaulting on loans, especially in the sub-prime mortgage market.

The sub-prime sector specialises in lending to people with poor or non-existent credit histories.

This, in turn, has spread to global credit markets, as many of the sub-prime mortgages were repackaged and sold on to European and UK banks as investment assets.

Good and bad

The impact on the consumer and businesses may be mixed, analysts said.

According to Howard Archer of Global Insight, "eurozone consumers could benefit from cheaper prices for some imported goods".

At the same time, he said that there is some good news for eurozone companies because oil, metals and many raw material prices are quoted in dollars, and "the strength of the euro should dampen firms' input costs".

However, while the strong euro may cut some import costs, it could also have a negative effect on exports as European-made goods become more expensive. The US is one of Europe's largest trading partners.

"Everything that has a disadvantageous effect on exports is a problem, and the rising euro is part of that," Peter Bofinger, a member of the German government's independent economic advisory panel, was quoted as saying.

Speaking to the Berliner Zeitung, Mr Bofinger said that if the euro gets much stronger, then governments should think about buying the dollar in order to weaken the euro.

Bush pledges Iraq troop reduction


Bush pledges Iraq troop reduction
US soldier in Baghdad watches President Bush's address on TV
Bush spoke live to the nation, and to US soldiers in Baghdad
US President George W Bush has made a televised address backing a limited withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Mr Bush said 5,700 personnel would be home by Christmas, and expected thousands more to return by July 2008.

He said he had accepted the advice of US commander in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, who gave a progress report to Congress earlier this week.

The plan would take troop numbers back to their level before Mr Bush ordered a "surge" at the start of this year.

The Democrats had called for a change of course, accusing the president of giving no plan on how to end the war.

And, says the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington, they reacted to this speech with unusually strong condemnation. One presidential candidate, Joe Biden, called it shameful and bizarre.

Mr Bush's speech followed the news that a key Sunni ally of the US had been killed in Iraq.

'Never too late'

President George W Bush speaks from the Oval Office
It is never too late to support our troops in a fight they can win
President Bush

In his primetime televised address, Mr Bush announced plans to reduce US troops by roughly 30,000 by next summer, if certain conditions were met.

"The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home," he said.

He argued that the gradual pull-out plan bridges the gap between the people who want to bring troops home, and those who believe success in Iraq is essential to US security.

"[The strategy] makes it possible, for the first time in years, for people who have been on opposite sides of this difficult debate to come together."

Addressing the critics of the war, he said: "It is never too late to deal a blow to al-Qaeda. It is never too late to advance freedom. And it is never too late to support our troops in a fight they can win."

Among the key points of Mr Bush's speech were:

  • Troop reductions to start this month with 5,700 fewer personnel in Iraq by Christmas, and the number of combat brigades to fall from 20 to 15 by July 2008
  • The transition to next phase of Iraq strategy to begin in December, with US troops moving towards a support role for the Iraqi army
  • A free Iraq would be an "anchor for stability" in the region, countering the "destructive ambitions" of Iran and denying al-Qaeda a safe haven
  • Sunni Muslims battling the al-Qaeda insurgency can continue to rely on the support of the US

Sectarian violence declined since surge started
30,000 US troops likely withdrawn by mid-2008
Decision on further troop cuts expected in March
Situation in Iraq remains difficult
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Mr Bush's speech comes after the death of Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, who led what was known as the "Anbar Awakening", an alliance of Sunni Arab tribes that rose up against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

He met and was endorsed by Mr Bush when the president visited US troops in Iraq last week. The White House has condemned his killing in a bomb attack.

Correspondents say his death may undermine US efforts against al-Qaeda in Anbar province, or strengthen the tribes' resolve to maintain an alliance with the US and Iraqi government.

Democrat criticism

The withdrawal plan would bring the number of US troops in Iraq down from a current high of more than 160,000, to "pre-surge" levels of about 130,000.

Observers point out that the surge would have had to come to an end next spring anyway, in order to avoid overstretching the military.

The Democrats were critical of Mr Bush's speech, and pledged to "profoundly change" the country's military involvement in Iraq.

Senator Jack Reed said: "Once again, the president failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it."

The Democrats have so far been unable to pass legislation to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq because their majority in Congress is too slim to overturn a presidential veto.

A record 168,000 US troops are now in Iraq after 30,000 arrived in the surge between February and June.

B-52 carried nuclear armed cruise missiles by mistake : US

This article says there were SIX bombs....

B-52 carried nuclear armed cruise missiles by mistake : US

by Jim Mannion Wed Sep 5, 1:56 PM ET


WASHINGTON (AFP) - A B-52 bomber flew the length of the United States last week loaded with six nuclear armed cruise missiles in a major security breach, US military officials said Wednesday. President George W. Bush after the nuclear warheads were discovered when the aircraft landed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, said a military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The US Air Force has relieved the munition squadron commander at Minot Air Base in North Dakota of his duties, and launched an intensive investigation into the incident, a spokesman said.

"At no time was there a threat to public safety," said Lieutenant Colonel Ed Thomas. "It is important to note that munitions were safe, secure and under military control at all times."

The Pentagon would not provide specifics, citing secrecy rules, but an expert said the incident was unprecedented and pointed to a disturbing lapse in the air force's command and control system.

"All evidence we have seen so far points to an isolated mistake," Thomas said. "The error was discovered by airmen during internal Air Force checks."

The Air Force's air combat command "has directed a command-wide stand down to review process at all of our bases."

"The munitions squadron commander has been relieved of his duties, and final action is pending the outcome of the investigation," he said. "In addition, other airmen were decertified from their duties involving munitions."

An air force official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said six cruise missiles with nuclear warheads were loaded on pylons under the wings of a B-52 bomber that flew from Minot to Barksdale on August 30.

Hans Kristensen, an expert on US nuclear forces, said he knew of no other publicly acknowledged case of live nuclear weapons being flown on bombers since the late 1960s.

"It seems so fantastic that so many points, checks can dysfunction," he said. "And we have so many points and checks specifically so we don't have these kinds of incidents."

Kristensen said the air force keeps a computerized command and control system that traces any movement of a nuclear weapon so that they have a complete picture of where they are at any given time.

He said there would be checks and detailed procedures at various points from the time they are moved out of bunkers until they are loaded onto planes, and flown away.

"That's perhaps what is most worrisome about this particular incident is that apparently an individual who had command authority about moving these weapons around decided to so," he said.

"The question is did he just plug in the information that he was moving these to Barksdale, or something else. Who knows?"

"So it's a command and control issue and it's one that calls into question the system, because if one individual can do that who knows what can happen," he said.

Ike Skelton, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that the reports that nuclear weapons were mishandled "are deeply disturbing."

"The American people, our friends, and our potential adversaries must be confident that the highest standards are in place when it comes to our nuclear arsenal," he said.

The weapons were among 400 advanced cruise missiles that the Defense Department quietly decided to retire in March over the course of this year.

The advanced cruise missile is a stealthy, longer range version of the air launched cruise missile first deployed in the early 1980s.

They carry W-80 warheads of up to 150 kilotons, ten times the destructive force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Nuclear weapons are normally transferred on cargo planes, never on the wings of bombers, Kristensen said. Bomber flights with live nuclear weapons were ended in the late 1960s after accidents in Spain in 1966 and in Greenland in 1968.

The military official said the discovery was reported to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, "and higher." The official said the notification goes as high as the president.

"There are procedures in place and they kicked in and worked," the official said.

US B-52 in nuclear cargo blunder

This article from the BBC News that was published on Sept 5th, 2007 says that only FIVE nuclear warheads were unaccounted for during the B-52 Bombers flight, but several reports AFTER this are claiming that there were six.


Read the article below:

US B-52 in nuclear cargo blunder
A B-52 bomber at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. File pic
The missiles were mounted on the wings of a B-52 bomber

The US Air Force has launched an investigation after a B-52 bomber flew across the US last week mistakenly loaded with nuclear-armed missiles.

It follows reports in the Army Times that five missiles were unaccounted for during the three-hour flight from North Dakota to Louisiana.

The air force said the cruise missiles were safe at all times.

Army Times said the missiles were to be decommissioned but were mistakenly mounted on the bomber's wings.

The W80-1 warhead has a yield of five to 150 kilotons, the paper said.


The flight took place on 30 August, from the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to the Barksdale Air Force Base, near Bossier City, in Louisiana.

Air force spokesman Lt Col Ed Thomas said although this was an "isolated incident", Air Combat Command had directed a "command-wide stand down to review process at all of our bases".

Col Thomas said a general had been appointed to investigate the incident and would report by 14 September.


"At no time was there a threat to public safety. It is important to note that munitions were safe, secure and under military control at all times," Col Thomas said.

"The air force takes its mission to safeguard weapons seriously. No effort will be spared to ensure that the matter is thoroughly and completely investigated."

Army Times quoted the colonel as saying the loading crew involved had been temporarily "decertified" pending retraining and the investigation.

A military official told AFP news agency that President George W Bush had been informed of the mix-up.

"There are procedures in place and they kicked in and worked," the official said.

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says experts have made it clear that if the plane had crashed there would not have been a nuclear explosion but there could have been a threat from plutonium leakage.

Union sues over U.S. raids at meat plants

Striking back at federal officials' stepped-up raids at meatpacking plants in search of undocumented immigrants, the food workers union filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to halt similar seizures in the future.

"It is unconscionable that our government would round up hundreds, sometimes thousands, of innocent workers in an effort to target a few select individuals," Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, said in a statement.

"They shouldn't be carrying out enforcement actions the way they did," said Gening Liao, an attorney for the union. She said the union hopes to permanently block the government from such wide-sweeping efforts.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Amarillo, Texas, claims that raids carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in December at meat plants from Minnesota to Texas were "excessive, illegal and unnecessary." In raids at six Swift & Co. plants, the union said, several thousand of its members were held by federal officials, and ultimately 1,139 workers were arrested. Of these about 250 were later convicted on various criminal charges, including 65 for identity theft, according to union officials.

Union officials could not say how many were deported for violating immigration laws. The union represents workers at all but one of the plants.

An ICE spokesman said government attorneys have not yet reviewed the lawsuit but added that the raids "were conducted lawfully and in full accordance with policy and procedures. Each person was treated with respect." But Liao said workers at the plants were "held at gunpoint, blocked from moving around and detained even after they were cleared."

One worker, who is a legal resident, was not allowed to call his family to produce documents proving his claim, said Liao. "He was held for 12 hours until they verified who he was," she added.

In its lawsuit the union claims that a number of its members were not allowed to contact union attorneys while they were detained.

Aftershocks rock earthquake-hit Sumatra

Aftershocks rock earthquake-hit Sumatra

By Thomas Bell, South East Asia Correspondent, and Richard Holt

Powerful aftershocks have hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra the day after a massive deadly earthquake toppled buildings and triggered a full-scale tsunami alert around the Indian Ocean.

Bengkulu, Sumatra: Buildings collapsed as an earthquake measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale hit the Indonesian island
Many buildings collapsed and large cracks appeared in the ground on the island of Sumatra

At least six people have been confirmed dead and officials fear the number could rise.

The region has been on heightened alert ever since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which was caused by a quake which also struck off Sumatra.

Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and the Maldives all issued tsunami warnings after the quake which measured 8.4 on the Richter scale, but these were later lifted.

The aftershocks peaked at 7.7 on the Richter scale.

A small tsunami was reported to have hit the town of Padang, the provincial capital of West Sumatra, where buildings also collapsed in the initial quake.

More buildings in the town, weakened by the first earthquake, were brought down by the aftershocks and large cracks have appeared in the ground.

Mukomuko, on the west coast of Sumatra, was also severely damaged.

"Those with cracks are many, buildings of three floors or more are either fissured or collapsed," resident Budi Darmawan said after fleeing inland.

The first quake struck during prayer time in the predominantly Muslim nation, which is preparing for the holy month of Ramadan.

Tremors were felt in the national capital Jakarta and on the neighbouring island of Java, where offices were evacuated.

"After praying I felt the earthquake. I panicked, threw away my shoes and ran," one witness said.

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, said in a statement that a UN assessment team would be sent to the area.

Many of the affected areas are remote, making it difficult to ascertain the full extent of the damage

Tremors from the first quake were felt as far away as southern Thailand.

In Singapore, people fled in panic as high-rise buildings shook.

The 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, which killed 131,000 people, was triggered by a huge quake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale which struck deep in the sea bed off Sumatra.