30 July, 2007

PAID HOLIDAYS - why do I get so few?

When you see the part of SiCKO whre M. Moore talks with US-americans living in France you must wonder just how many paid holidays do people get in other countries and why.

"Why" is easily answered. Join a labour union. This is how it's done.
All the talk about unemployment, economic ruin and long waiting lists is just crap, as you can see, it works fine for places like Belgium, Portugal, Spain etc.


But as to HOW MANY HOLIDAYS, check this out:

  • The USA are the only country in OECD where workers have no lawful right to paid holidays.
  • In France and many other countries you get the same amount of paid leave EVEN IF YOU ARE WORKING PART TIME.... got that?


In Germany legislated paid holidays were first introduced in 1945.
12 Days. Saturdays were work-days then.
Germany 1963 = 18 days.
Germany today = 20 days. paid days off work.

USA today = on average 9 paid holidays and 6 paid public holidays BUT NO LEGAL ENTITLEMENT!!

Japan = 10 paid days off (public holidays without pay!)
Canada = 10 paid days off plus 8 public paid holidays

HOLIDAYS per year

leave public SUM Unionized
USA 0 0 0 11%
JAPAN 10 0 10
CANADA 10 8 18
GERMANY 20 10 30 about 35%
FRANCE 30 1 31
ITALY 20 13 33
SPAIN 22 12 34
FINLAND 25 9 34 50+%
AUSTRIA 22 13 35
PORTUGAL 22 13 35


AVERAGE LENGTH OF WORKING WEEK in hours

FRANCE 37.6
EU-27 39.9
GERMANY 40.8



Did you see Michel Moore's SiCKO? The sad, sad story is that on talk-shows, where it's all about entertainment THERE the truth can be told. But the news or even Parliament (Congress, people's representation), nah.

Someone saw Jay Leno:

Moore & Leno were cool. I liked when Jay pointed out if even a fraction of what Moore said was true something needs to be done fast. The same point can be made for the truth of 9/11. I was sad to see no time was spent with the first responders.

Many US-americans believe CIA-planted crap. This disables them.

http://rense.com/Datapages/fulfdat.htm
http://cuttingthroughthematrix.com/podsinfo.html

What a con-man.. Wow.. The spokesperson for the 6million-strong secret chinese-japanese mafia that has a lot of hitmen and wants to stop the Illuminati!!

Complete with REVERSE SPEECH... wow.. someone must have spent days and days to flesh out this load of crock.

I got news for you:

I AM THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE TOP 13 HOBBITS OF THE MORMON WORLD DOMINATION PROGRAMME. Their plan is to control the world by video-games. They have left secret hypnotic messages and they can activate a million zombie XBOX gamers.

Jesus fucking Christ on a gibbet ...

Of course there are secret societies... the USA MILITARY is one of them. Of course there are plans to use race-specific diseases... there indeed are mad virologists. Of course the money system is controlled by the super-rich... but these super-rich are bound by a common interest, not by family-bonds.

The capitalist system is a self-fulfiling prophecy.. THE LOGIC OF THE SYSTEM is what drives the USA wars. It is a sound business to controll the media and make certain types of war. The business is good, because the capitalist system is designed for these kind of enterprises... AMMASS CAPITAL - SQUEEZE THE MARKET simple, huh?

If you really believe this NWO crap, here is a question for you to ponder:

The capitalist system needs changing, it is sooo obvious by now. I think DEUTSCHE BANK Alfred Herrhausen was onto it... but not the Rothschilds or the Rockefellers killed him (and Rohwedder) but which other elite assassination team masters???

Ask Tarpley... he studied this TYPE OF network (and even he didn't get very far).

Oh, OK, I answer it before you wander off into the woods to find illuminati.

These networks are the logical extension of the capitalist logic of squeezing the market. In every country there is a temptation to set up false flag teams.. undercover-false-flag stuff is just another BUSINESS SECRET... you profit from the other side not being able to emuloate your trick.

One big reason the EU is a total blessing is that it stops this state-sponsored terrorism. If you have the Swedes, Dutch, Belgians (who have seen it all) and the Germans, French and british ON THE SAME TABLE... they cannot PROFIT FROM THE FEAR BUSINESS because there is always someone who's moral compass is still pointing her/him in the right direction.

Got it?

Now.. you know why the USA is such a fucked up place...

The SYSTEM has no checks and balances.

But the SYSTEM needs to go anyway.

NEGATIVE INTEREST RATE MONEY (Freigeld, FreeMoney) PLUS a universal living allowance is the ticket...

My boyfriend tells me that in Germany they have done the theory ... and it looks promising:

http://tangibleinfo.blogspot.com/2007/07/unconditional-basic-income.html


“No-vacation nation USA.”

The report, written by Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., takes a close look at 21 of the 30 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. They include 16 European countries, plus Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States.

The bottom line: “The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid leave.”
[Image]

The only one.

And as a result, “U.S. workers are less likely to receive paid annual leave or paid public holidays, and those that do generally receive far less than their counterparts in comparable world economies.”

In the other 20 countries, the governments require by law that employers give workers paid holidays and vacations. And we're talking about serious vacation time: “Members of the European Union and other European countries analyzed here all establish a legal right to at least 20 days of paid leave (vacation) per year, with legal requirement of 25 and even 30 or more days in some countries. Australia and New Zealand both require employers to grant at least 20 paid-leave days per year.”

The laggards are Canada and Japan, which mandate “only” 10 paid days off.

On top of paid vacations, “most of the rest of the world's rich countries offer between five and 13 paid public holidays per year.” The United States “offers none.”

I don't blame you if you're feeling a little jealous at this point.

Of course, workers in the United States get paid vacations and holidays. The difference is that here the number of days off (and when) is completely up to the private employer. Some employers are generous; others are not - but if you really need the job (as Moore suggests you might, just for the health insurance), then you take what's offered and shut your mouth.

Some employers add insult to injury by insisting that an employee unhappy at having little or no time off is “lucky to have a job” or should remember that people in other countries “have it much worse.” Actually, they don't.

Ray and Schmitt take a detailed look at the situation in the United States and this is what they find:

€ 77 percent of all American workers get some paid vacation/holidays, including 90 percent of full-time workers, but only 36 percent of part-time workers.



€ For those who do get paid days off, the average is 12 vacation days and eight holidays (compared to 20 or more vacation days and up to 13 holidays in the other countries).

€ For all workers, including those who don't get paid days off, the average in the U.S. is nine vacation days and six holidays.

The hardest hit are those making less than $15 an hour. Only 69 percent of them get vacation days, whereas 88 percent of those making over $15 an hour get paid time off. That's a depressing double - bad pay and no time off.

Workers in companies with 99 employees or fewer do much worse than those in companies with 100 employees or more - only 70 percent of the first group gets paid days off, compared to 86 percent of the second group.

No wonder then that Ray and Schmitt conclude: “The United States is in a class of its own with respect to statutory guarantees of paid time off: It is the no-vacation nation.”

And here's the kicker: An April survey by the New York-based Hudson Highland Group, showed that more than half of U.S. workers fail to take all of their vacation days.

Americans not only get far less time off then people in other “advanced economies,” they are often afraid to take what's offered.

Why?

“A lot of people feel they can't take time off,” Peg Buchenroth, senior vice president of human resources at Hudson, told Reuters. “Either they have too much work to do or they're just concerned about their job security so they don't want to be absent. Or the work environment and the company they work for isn't really supportive of people taking extended vacations.”

That's the American way.

Or, as the headline on the Reuters story about the ETUI study put it: “Europe heads to beach, America heads to work.”

==============

The most astonishing revelations in Michael Moore's Sicko have nothing to do with healthcare. They're about vacation time. French vacation time, to be precise.

Sitting at a restaurant table with a bunch of American ex-pats in Paris, Moore is treated to a jaw-dropping recitation of the perks of social democracy: 30 days of vacation time, unlimited sick days, full child care, social workers who come to help new parents adjust to the strains and challenges of child-rearing. Walking out of the theater, I heard more envious mutterings about this scene than any other.

"Why can't we have that?" my fellow moviegoers asked.

The first possibility is that we already do. Maybe that perfidious Michael Moore is just lying in service of his French paymasters. But sadly, no. A recent report by Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research suggests that Moore is, if anything, understating his case. "The United States," they write, "is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation." Take notice of that word "only." Every other advanced economy offers a government guarantee of paid vacation to its workforce. Britain assures its workforce of 20 days of guaranteed, compensated leave. Germany gives 24. And France gives, yes, 30.

We guarantee zero. Absolutely none. That's why one out of 10 full-time American employees, and more than six out of 10 part-time employees, get no vacation. And even among workers with paid vacation benefits, the average number of days enjoyed is a mere 12. In other words, even those of us who are lucky enough to get some vacation typically receive just over a third of what the French are guaranteed.

This is strange. Of all these countries, the United States is, by far, the richest. And you would think that, as our wealth grew and our productivity increased, a certain amount of our resources would go into, well, us. Into leisure. Into time off. You would think that we'd take advantage of the fact that we can create more wealth in less time to wrest back some of those hours for ourselves and our families.

But instead, the exact opposite has happened. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American man today works 100 more hours a year than he did in the 1970s, according to Cornell University economist Robert Frank. That's 2 1/2 weeks of added labor. The average woman works 200 more hours -- that's five added weeks. And those hours are coming from somewhere: from time with our kids, our friends, our spouses, even our bed. The typical American sleeps one to two hours less a night than his or her parents did.

This would all be fine if it were what we wanted. But that doesn't seem to be the case. One famous 1996 study asked associates at major law firms which world they'd prefer: The one they resided in, or one in which they took a 10% pay cut in return for a 10% reduction in hours worked. They overwhelmingly preferred the latter. Elsewhere, economists have given individuals sets of choices pitting leisure against goods. Leisure doesn't always win out, but it is certainly competitive. Yet we're pumping ever more hours into work, seeking ever-higher incomes to fund ever-greater consumption. Why?

A possible answer can be found in Frank's work. He argues that the U.S. economy has set its incentives up so as to systematically underemphasize leisure and overemphasize consumption. Much of what we purchase are called "positional goods" -- goods whose value is measured in relation to the purchases of others. Take housing. Would you rather live in a land where you had a 4,000-square-foot house and everyone else had a 6,000-square-foot house, or one in which you had a 3,000-square-foot house and everyone else had a 2,000-square-foot house? Given this choice, studies show that most respondents pick the latter. They'd rather have less home in absolute terms if it means more home in relative terms. That makes housing a positional good.

Being concerned with one's relative position rather than one's absolute position is not irrational or merely motivated by envy. In order to retain your relative standard of living, you need to keep up with the purchases of others in your income bracket. Housing works as an example here, too: Part of the use of an expensive home is the nice neighborhood, which gets your child into good schools – what matters, again, is not your square footage, but your relative affluence. Good schools, of course, are also a positional good – your education largely matters in terms of how much better it is than everyone else's. Retaining your relative position also ensures that you don't send the wrong signals when a client comes over for dinner. Houses, cars, clothing -- they all help send those signals. And because the rich in this country keep getting richer, we're caught in what Frank calls "expenditure cascades" in an effort to keep up with them. Their purchases raise the bar for the group right below them, which in turn increases the needs of the next income set, and so on. To retain our position, we're constantly needing to increase our incomes and affluence.

This makes the purchase of positional goods more pressing and urgent than non-positional goods. And so they "crowd out" their less context-contingent cousins. People want to spend less time at work, but they also want to retain and improve their standard of living relative to their neighbors -- and the latter triumphs, time and again.

This isn't because people are stupid, or irrational, or don't know what they want. Rather, it's because the incentives are all fouled up. Frank calls it a "smart for one, dumb for all" problem, but it's really just a classic failure of collective action. [try joining a union, duh] An individual would be made worse off were he to unilaterally opt out of the positional competition. But we would all be better off if we decided collectively to ratchet down the economic one-upmanship and instead devote a bit more time and resources to the leisure goods we claim to desire.

Here in the sweltering D.C. summer, there's nothing worse than wearing a necktie when the thermometer reads 95 and the humidity is so thick you could swim laps. But on your own, there's not much you can do about this state of affairs. If you're the only one who shows up dressed down, you'll look bad for it. But if your office, or meeting, were to collectively decide to ease the dress code, all would be better off.

This is what the European Union just did, imposing new regulations on its bureaucrats barring ties in the summer. Cutting down on air-conditioning costs was the rationale, but centralized action was the only way to end the practice. Otherwise, every individual would still have had the incentive to show his commitment by dressing in a tie. Only the collective could remove that spur.

So too with vacations. Very few individual workers in the United States can ask for four weeks of vacation. It is not only outside the benefits of their job but far outside the culture of our workplace. The incentives for most every individual, particularly if they want to keep their position and amass a reputation as a good employee, is to abide by those norms.

But if the crowd outside Sicko was any indication, most people would love a substantial increase in vacation time. This is what other advanced nations have pursued, using the government's role as an enforcer of collective sentiment to legislate the preferences that individuals could not, on their own, enact.

In this country, we've left it to the individuals, and thus the average American worker only takes 12 days of vacation a year, and many get none. We could do better, but that would require sidestepping American individualism for a moment and engaging in some American collectivism.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on July 15


SiCKO

Reviewed by Lamar Kukuk
7/16/07

**POLITICAL OPINION WARNING: if you're one of those people inclined to write letters to editors demanding that their critic “Just review the movie” rather than offer political opinions, read no further. Michael Moore's documentaries are political Rorschach Tests, and barely even exist outside the personal biases of those viewing them.**

I haven't written a word yet, but since this review already includes the words “Michael Moore” twice, you've probably got a pretty good idea of where you stand on Sicko. I've never met anyone who says “Michael Moore? Ah, I can take him or leave him.” Granted, I know some (even myself to a certain degree) who love his films but would never want to be seated next to America's #1 Self-Promoter on a bus. Either way, just about everybody who knows his work falls into one of two camps. Michael Moore is either: 1)A fat-assed traitor, or 2)A modern day Thomas Payne with the guts to say what nobody else in the media will. Count me in the later camp. I know his methods are pure Propaganda 101, but in a time when our media has boiled almost everything down to tossing out an issue and letting two bought-and-paid-for talking heads call each other names over it, it's excited to see someone really advocate their position on an issue. Say what you will about Sicko, but you won't find too many of the elites in either political party calling for socialized medicine these days. And if even 1/3 of what Moore's got to say is true, they damn well should.

First, Moore (as always, our tour guide) introduces us to a few people with no insurance (the guy doing his own stitches made me want to faint), but assures us that the movie is not about them. Instead, he moves on to interview people with insurance who've been royally screwed. There's the guy whose daughter was approved for a Cochlear Implant in one ear, but told a second would be “experimental”. And the woman whose insurance was retroactively canceled after her surgery had been paid for because she never mentioned on her application that she'd once had a yeast infection. We meet people involved in the process, who tell us that Insurance companies (Moore hits HMOs hard and never really draws a distinction between the different kinds of insurance) have employees specially trained to sort through your history and find unrelated reasons to cancel your coverage rather than pay. Some states even have laws allowing them to cancel coverage if you had symptoms “a reasonable person” would have gone to the doctor for before applying for insurance. He takes us on a few trips back in time, to listen to an old AMA record with actor Ronald Reagan “speaking out” against Socialized Medicine and Nixon tapes that reveal the very origins of the HMO (damning, damning stuff, especially when he contrasts it with Nixon's very different public comments on the same subject the following day). Then, he hops on a few planes and takes us to other countries to look at their health care systems. Nobody pays (well, aside from the taxes that finance these systems), everybody gets treated, and the long lines we're told about don't exist. Canadian and English systems seem pretty cool (and I LOVED the stories about the post-WWII origins of Britain's system). The French are a little over-the-top with their tons of paid vacation, government-provided nannies and public protests to keep “The First Day of the Pentecost” as a paid holiday (more on them later). But why don't we have systems like this? To illustrate the power of insurance lobbyists over our government, Moore tells us two stories. First, there's the Clinton-era attempt at universal health insurance, which died under a mountain of spin and money, money which now makes its' architect Hilary Clinton the #1 Democrat in Insurance campaign contributions. And then there's the Federal Prescription Drug Plan, which he depicts as a direct hand-off of our tax dollars to pharmaceutical companies by way of the insurance industry. But there is one place on US soil, he tells us, with socialized medicine: the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay. So, he loads up a boat full of people we've already met, including some 9-11 First-Responders denied benefits because they weren't US employees when exposed to toxic chemicals at Ground Zero, and heads there to try and get them help. When that doesn't work out, he tries the next best thing, sneaking them into Cuba to be treated by their government health care system.

Much has been made of the notion that Sicko presents a kinder, gentler Michael Moore, and it does. Gone are the ambushes and the stunts (the “visit” to Guantanamo is clearly staged for the cameras, and I'd be shocked if anyone there was ever even aware that he was outside their waters filming): no attempt to get Congressmen to send their sons to Iraq this time. Instead, we get a steady stream of persuasive interviews with likable, sympathetic people and historical background that together build a very strong, very emotional case that the US Health Care system has little concern about whether its' customers live or die just as long as it makes money (And Richard Nixon apparently had none at all). Does it tell a complete, balanced story? Of course not. I'm no expert beyond the fact that I read the newspaper, and even I know that his vision of France as a Worker's Paradise never gets around to mentioning that those perks only apply if you can find a job, which has proven particularly difficult for young and minority job-seekers in recent years precisely because their system pretty much requires dynamite to get someone out of a job they've already got. And it's more than a little disingenuous to suggest that the only problem with Fidel Castro is that he's a dictator we don't like as opposed to one we do. He'd crucify that kind of “The enemy of Bush is my friend” logic if it was coming the opposite way. And it's a good thing he finally gets around to pointing out Hilary Clinton's place in Big Pharm's pocket, because an earlier sequence where he gushes on and on about how she exploded onto the scene upon her husband's election plays like a Clinton 08 campaign commercial (and the part where he calls her “sexy” made me a little ill). But Sicko's devil is NOT in the details, and to focus too closely on them misses a fairly obvious Big Picture.

In fact, I'm not sure the movie's really even all that much about Health Care in the end. Moore goes back again and again to the notion that American workers are increasingly prisoners of debt for things other countries get out of their tax dollars, from their student loans forward. Think about it: when you daydream about quitting your job, what is more likely to stop you, worrying about finding the same salary somewhere else or the same health insurance? And if you “need this job” to stay healthy... what employer could ask for more? Americans spend a lot of their political time obsessing over things that will never touch them personally. How many will ever want an abortion, lose a job based on the presence or absence of affirmative action or participate in a gay marriage compared to the number who will at some time need health insurance? But the things that could unite us, the improvements that would make ALL our lives better, have a way of staying off the radar while we look at the guy across the street, mutter “he wants my stuff!” and look to some oily loser to get elected to Congress and save us from him. Sicko, at the end of the day, is really a call for people to join together, the way people in other countries either do or have in the past, and demand the things from our government that we all need. An American expatriate in France characterizes a difference between the countries: the French government is afraid of its' people, while the American people are afraid of our government.

Content aside, Moore really knows how to present his information in a fast and entertaining manner. He himself is a jocular, easy on-camera presence, with good comic timing and the ability to turn from jokester to sympathetic ear on a dime. And he's really good at using archival footage to underscore his points, particularly when he uses it to mock his subjects. When Reagan's old speech about how socialized medicine will be but the first step in a plan where “soon a whole lot of other things will be socialized” until we're all living under Soviet dictatorship is matched with 50's-era Red Scare images, the result is hilarious. And while it doesn't take much to make politicians look like idiots, he's just as good as Jon Stewart's Daily Show crew at editing together their public statements to show how empty and scripted they really are.

I liked Sicko a lot, it made me laugh, care and think, and for all the horror stories it contains, it made me feel optimistic. And not just because of its' As Good As it Gets-like climax where all the sick people finally get diagnoses and cheap medication, but because of its' overriding sense that it would be so simple to knock our country back on the right track. It's certainly not the end of its' discussion, but a good place to start. And for that reason alone, I'm glad we have Michael Moore. Just as long as he doesn't sit next to me on a bus and start telling me how the government tried to stop the movie from being released because he went to Cuba. Save that story for Hilary, if she's still returning your calls.

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posted by u2r2h at Monday, July 30, 2007 0 comments links to this post

29 July, 2007

911 - weird airplane hitting tower



Funny looking aeroplane, isn't it?

for more info go here:
http://u2r2h.blogspot.com/2006/08/911-tv-fakery.html


original video:




THIS RESEARCH IS MUST_READ!!
taken from http://www.acebaker.com/9-11/ABPlaneStudy/Chopper5Velocity2.html
please check there for an up-to-date version! Or go to:
http://911scholars.org/ because the stuffy professors are finally coming to realize the fact of TV fakery... and they find it, would you know, "disturbing".



Chopper 5 Composite

An analysis of the live WNYW (Fox 5) helicopter video of UA Flight 175 striking the World Trade Center

source Chopper 5 video excerpt (640 x 480 .mov)

full segment (320 x 240 .mov)

Abstract

The WNYW "Chopper 5" video of UA flight 175 flying into the World Trade Center which aired live on 9/11 must be a video composite. The moving plane image must have been recorded separately from the image of the twin towers.

Accoring to Newton's first law of motion, an approaching airliner flying through air will "keep on doing what it's doing". That is, the airplane is either travelling a constant speed, accelerating or decelerating. It cannot speed up and slow down repeatedly. Plotting velocity as a function of time, the approaching airplane must present a smooth line on the graph. Constant velocity would be a straight horizontal line.

The apparent velocity of a jetliner on video can be contaminated by various noise factors including atmospheric interference, video compression artifacts, and, most importantly, camera motion. Simply moving the camera while recording can cause any object to appear to speed up, slow down, stop, go backwards, etc. Being on a helicopter, and also being controlled by an operator, the chopper 5 camera is never still. Rather it moves around, mostly to the left, but also up, down, and to the right. These camera movements appear to be quite smooth, for the most part.

The raw video depicts rapid increases and decreases in velocity of up to 186 mph (a jagged line on the graph), which is assumed to be caused by some combination of noise factors, especially including camera movement, because atmospheric disturbances and video compression artifacts do not appear sufficient to explain the magnitude of such deviations.

Besides the moving airplane, this video contains stationary reference objects, the twin towers. Stabilizing the video effectively removes camera movement from the raw clip. If the variations in apparent velocity were caused by the observed camera movement, stabilization could only have the effect of reducing the apparent fluctuations in airplane velocity (straightening out the jagged line). However, the opposite occurs. Stabilizing the video has the effect of amplifying and randomizing the apparent velocity changes. The line on the graph becomes even more jagged. Other noise factors are judged to be insignificant, so these data are explained by camera motion on the plane, camera motion not present on the twin towers, thus not removed during the stabilization process.

After a 0.3 second disappearance inside the tower, what appears to be the nose of the aircraft exits the building, apparently now coming from behind the tower. Although travelling much slower than the approaching airplane, this "nose cone" also appears to accelerate and decelerate repeatedly. The stabilization process again fails to smooth out the jagged velocity data, and introduces a noticeable spike at frame #41.

Frame #7 shows evidence of having been edited and "painted" around the nose of the aircraft. All of the frames, including #7, show the area behind the engines to be more pink than the surrounding sky.

In an authentic video, these anomalies are not easily explained. However, they can be explained in terms of well-known video layering techniques. The simplest explanation for the data is that the airplane was recorded seperately from the towers, and had its background removed (sloppily on frame #7). This airplane recording had unstable camera motion which introduced the variations in velocity. The observed camera motion in the Chopper 5 twin towers video was negligable by comparison.

The analysis technique used here generates falsifiable predictions. If valid, the same technique used on authentic stabilized videos of comparable quality will produce stable velocity graph lines. Testing, I find that indeed comparable videos do produce very stable graph lines. These are presented as control cases, the predictions are not falsified, and serve to quantify the overall margin of error. Margin of error <>

Introduction

The planes of 9/11 remain a hotly controversial topic within the 9/11 truth movement. Even among those who all readily agree that 9/11 was an inside job, some think real planes were used, while others assert that the plane crashes witnessed by millions on tv were "video fakery".

The "Chopper 5" video aired live on 9/11. It is the live shot which came the closest to actually showing the impact of the plane into the tower, although it did not. In actuality, all of the live "plane impact" videos showed the plane disappearing behind the tower.

After analyzing various videos, researchers such as Gerard Holmgren, Rosalee Grable (aka the Webfairy), StillDiggin, CB_Brooklyn, Killtown and Morgan Reynolds have concluded that Boeing passenger aircraft did not strike the twin towers as widely reported. This is based upon several mutually supporting lines of evidence and reasoning:

  • In various videos, including the so-called "ghostplane" video, the Boeing 767 appears to penetrate the outer wall of the south tower effortlessly, without crashing, breaking, bending, twisting, or even slowing down (see Rajter 2006). Frames taken during the penetration show no damage to the aircraft at all, nor to the wall of the building (see Grable).
  • Two different videos appear to show flight 175 approaching from two decidedly different angles through 3D space. (see StillDiggin 2006)
  • In several videos, a brief bright flash appears at the tip of the aircraft nose, just prior to entering the building.
  • In the WNYW "Chopper 5" video, a wide angle shot fails to depict flight 175, at a time and place when flight 175 should be in the picture. (see StillDiggin 2006)
  • In the "Chopper 5" video, which aired live, what appears to be the nose of the airplane exits out the opposite (north) side of the south tower, at about the 89h floor, followed by a quick fade down to a black picture.
  • In at least one other video, which did not air live, a similar, silvery cone-shaped object appears to exit the north face of the building, at about the 89th floor, afterwards it is consumed by a flame. This flame is a distinctly yellower, lighter color than the other, more orange parts of the "fireball". (see StillDiggin 2006)
  • In another video, which did not air live, smoke exits the north face of the building, at about the 89th floor, and does not look at all like the nosecone of an aircraft. (see StillDiggin 2006)
  • In the Naudet brothers video, which is the only video to capture the north tower strike with any appreciable resolution, the object which strikes the tower does not appear to be the shape of a Boeing 767, and is not large enough to be a Boeing 767, and creates explosions in the pattern of an "N" rather than a straight line as would be expected. (see Grable)
  • Both towers exhibit a nearly "plane shaped" hole punched clear through the outer walls. It is argued that passenger aircraft, which are mostly lightweight aluminum, could not and would not penetrate the dense grid of steel columns and reinforced concrete floors so completely. Instead, it is thought that on impact a passenger aircraft would break up, large parts would bounce off and fall to the ground. Recall that Newton's third law of motion states that for every force there is an equal and opposite force. Whatever force is felt by the wall, would also be felt by the much weaker aircraft (see CB_Brooklyn).
  • Accepting the overall "inside job" hypothesis, powerful arguments have been advanced that the perpetrators would never risk using real planes (see Holmgren and Killtown).

Other researchers in the 9/11 truth movement have argued in favor of real planes. Steven Jones has opined that there is "hard evidence" to support real planes, and cites the "swaying of the tower", multiple videos, and eyewitnesses. Video engineer Eric Salter has authored a paper in support of real planes, published in Jones' Journal of 9/11 Studies. (see Salter 2006) This came after Salter's email debate on the subject with Gerard Holmgren (see Holmgren/Salter debates).

Premise

If real, flight 175 can be presumed to exhibit one of three velocity patterns as it approaches the tower:

  • holding a constant velocity (most likely)
  • accelerating
  • decelerating

Given Newton's first law of motion, it is simply not possible for an aircraft flying through air to speed up and then slow down within the short (Wikipedia on Newton). There would be no real-world mechanism to explain such behavior. Speeding up and slowing down repeatedly would be thoroughly ridiculous.

Plotting velocity as a function of time, a constant speed would appear as a straight horizontal line on the graph. Acceleration would appear as an upward sloping line, deceleration as a downward sloping line.

I shall rely on the following two facts to propel this investigation:

  • Any amount of camera motion at all is going to affect apparent velocity, by the exact amount, and in exactly the opposite direction as the camera movement.
  • Any such video containing camera motion, and also depicting objects known to be stationary, may be stabilized, and then anaylzed as if it had been recorded with no camera motion.

Objective

Analyze and interpret the velocity of UA flight 175 on approach to WTC2, and the nose cone-shaped "debris" which exited WTC2, as recorded by "Chopper 5".

Methods

Obtain Chopper 5 video in 640 x 480, 30 fps format, also obtain two control case airplane videos - one steady, the other with camera shake. Import videos into Image Ready and Photoshop. Increase image size 200%. Derive plane outline using magic wand tool on suitable frame(s). Position plane outline around plane in each video frame, going for best overall fit. Record velocity readings as change in apparent position from previous frame. Save as two copies.

Stabilize video on copy two, shifting each frame until edges of twin towers match vertical red lines. Record velocity readings as above, this time for stabilized video. Crop videos to include flight path and tower.

Create graph, velocity as a function of time, plotting raw data as blue, stabilized data as red.

Make general observations, noting apparent hierarchy of video elements. Offer discussion and conclusions, based on observations, reasoning, and knowledge of video production techniques. Hypothesize. Include discussion of measurement accuracy, frame rate, and any other relevant issues.

Frame Rate

The present study assumes a constant frame rate during recording. If the Chopper 5 video was not recorded with a constant frame rate, or if there are frames missing from the original recording, this entire paper may be dismissed. Specs for standard broadcast video in the U.S. are given by the NTSC (National Television Standards Committee). A video frame is 480 scan lines tall, and is captured in two passes of 240 scan lines each, first the "odd numbered" scan lines, then the "even numbered" scan lines. Each of these passes is known as a "field", and is recorded in 1/60 of a second. One odd numbered field is combined ("interlaced") with one even numbered field to make one video frame. These interlaced frames are then played at a rate of 30 frames per second. (Actually, 29.97 frames per second, but often referred to simply as 30).

Digital video can be played back at any frame rate. Conversion from NTSC standard to digital with a frame rate other than 30 fps will cause loss of some frames. Conversion to a frame rate of 20 per second, for instance, would involve discarding one out of every three frames.

The copy of the the Chopper 5 video used for this analysis is 640 x 480 pixels, and 30 fps. It was originally digitized from a VHS recording by video engineer Eric Salter, who has confirmed that there is no reason to suspect that any frames are missing, nor that the frame rate of the original recording was anything but stable. Even a single missing frame would cause the plane to move approximately 46 pixels, instead of the 23 that is typical. This doesn't happen, so missing frames are ruled out.

De-Interlacing

Converting NTSC video to digital requires de-interlacing. There are a few different ways this may be done. Making a frame out of each field results in twice the number of frames, each frame now being only 240 scan lines tall. To compensate for the resulting "squashed" appearance, the picture can be brought back up to height by simply repeating each line (line doubling). Software can also interpolate between lines. Since there are now twice as many frames, the frame rate would now be 60 fps. To play back the de-interlaced video at 30 fps, every other frame is discarded. Line doubling and interpolation is the de-interlace method used on Chopper 5, as confirmed by Salter. Note that interpolation is only present in the vertical dimension, and would have no effect on apparent horizontal velocity.

Alternatively, NTSC video may be deinterlaced by combining odd-even pairs into single frames. On any video with significant motion, this method produces a "double vision" effect, as two images recorded 1/60 of a second apart are now displayed simulaneously (see this for example). There are no double vision effects on Chopper 5.

Measurement Accuracy and Noise

The motion of a real plane travelling through air is smooth. Changes in velocity are gradual. Plotting velocity as a function of time, a real plane must present a smooth line on the graph. On video, any instability of the velocity must be attributed to "noise" of some sort.

The atmosphere can cause distortions in the apparent position of real objects, as light is reflected and refracted off of particulate matter in the air between subject and camera. This tends to cause wave-like ripples, apparently bending or stretching the subject. No such distortions are observed in the Chopper 5 video, the plane appears rigid. So this type of noise appears insignificant.

Converting video to digital can cause so-called "compression artifacts", as software attempts to reduce file size by making adjacent pixels the same color. This may cause errors when pixels are already simiar. In Chopper 5, the wing tips may reflect sunlight and become close to the color of the sky, and compression may make them the same color. Where contrast is sufficient, such as on the fuselage, tail, left engine, etc. compression would serve to make plane outline more distinct. Though it might erase wingtips, video compression would not tend to alter the overall size or position of the plane.

The most significant potential source of distorted velocity on any "hand held" camera shot is camera motion. Simply moving the camera around can cause the apparent velocity of any moving or stationary object to go crazy.

The smaller a moving object appears in the frame, the less resolution, and the less accurately velocity can be measured. To investigate the margin of error, I present two control cases.

Control Case - Steady Camera

Camera was positioned on tripod roughly 4 miles from the flightpath, approximating Chopper 5 conditions. Flightpath traverses the sky, perpendicular to the line of sight, then is occluded by a large building. Camera was steady. Analysis shows the apparent velocity to be very stable, never deviating by more than one pixel.

Control Case - Camera Shake

Camera was positioned as in previous control case. Camera was gently shaken during recording. Analysis of the raw video shows the apparent velocity to be highly unstable. After stabilizing the video to hold the building motionless, the apparent velocity becomes very stable, never deviating by more than one pixel.

Control Case - Camera Shake - Stabilized

Control Case - Camera Shake - Not Stabilized

These control case videos are comparable to, but of slightly worse quality than, the Chopper 5 video. Thus proof of concept is shown. The control cases demonstrate that apparent airplane velocity on authentic, stable videos at this magnification must be stable to within 1 pixel. Authentic videos of better quality must be even more stable than that.

Unit Conversions

Width of tower = 182 px = 208 feet

Scale = 1.14 feet/pixel

Distance from edge of picture to tower = 392 px = 446 feet

Nose travels from edge of picture to tower in 17 frames = 17/30 of a second

446 feet in 17/30 second = 788 feet / second = 537 mph

Largest variation in apparent velocity = 8 px/frame = 274 ft/sec. = 186 mph

Typical variation in apparent velocity = 5 px/frame = 182 ft/sec = 124 mph

Raw video, click thumbnail for large version


Observations - Raw Video

On first viewing, the video appears to be a typical news helicopter shot, albeit of an extraordinary news event. It originates from WNYW in New York, and is being fed to a local Channel 11 station on the west coast. It appears to be a live helicopter shot of the twin towers, with graphics overlays of the WNYW logo, Channel 11 logo, time, temperature, etc. Studying the Chopper 5 video reveals several curious observations.

The helicopter is over New Jersey, about 4 miles west of the twin towers. Already the "plane crash" at the twin towers is the news story of the year, but evidently the pilot is happy with his location, as the helicopter does not appear to be heading toward the towers at all. The full segment begins with a wide angle shot, then zooms in, almost all the way. After holding this zoom setting for a moment, the camera operator then zooms the rest of the way in. Within 3 frames of this final zoom, flight 175 enters the picture from the right side. This is quite a coincidence in timing. The actual plane impact is not visible, as the south (impact) face of the tower is angled slightly away from the camera. The plane disappears into the building with no apparent damage to itself or the tower, then appears to begin exiting from behind the tower on the opposite side. The video feed (but not the graphic overlay) fades to black very quickly after this.

On one particular frame, frame #7 in my study, the airplane appears to show clear signs of having been edited. Notice the "digital paint" around the nose.

Here is the same frame with brightness and contrast adjusted, and the editing becomes even more obvious. In fact, it appears that a portion of the fuselage, under the tip of the nose, was covered up. Also notice that the air behind the wings is considerably more pink than the background.

On approach, the plane appears to speed up and slow down repeatedly before hitting the tower. We know that the plane cannot speed up and slow down so quickly in reality, according to Newton's first law. However, the apparent changes in velocity could be explained by camera motion. In the Chopper 5 video, the plane travels from right to left, but during this time, the camera angle also pans from right to left, mostly, with a somewhat random action. This would have the effect of reducing the apparent velocity of the airplane, in a somewhat random fashion. Fortunately, the video contains fixed objects, the twin towers, so it is possible to stabilize the video, and then analyze it as if there had been no camera movement to contaminate the motion of the plane.

Stabilized video, click thumbnail for large version
Stabilized wireframe, click thumbnail for large version


Observations - Stabilized Video

Stabilizing the video amplified the instability of the airplane velocity.

The plane appears to speed up and slow down repeatedly. It varies from a maximum of 27 pixels/frame (629 mph) down to a minimum of 19 pixels/frame (443 mph). Upon hitting the tower, the plane appears to slow down drastically. Then, during the entry into the building, it appears to speed up just as drastically.

Following entry the plane disappears inside the tower. The disappearance lasts for 9 frames (.3 sec), after which what appears to be the nose of the airplane begins to exit the opposite side of the building, coming from behind the building. This event has become known as "Pinocchio's Nose".

Pinocchio's nose also appears to slow down and speed up. An initial velocity of 10 pixels/frame (233 mph) is measured, after which the nose decelerates down to 4 pixels/frame (93 mph). Then, it appears to accelerate back up to 8 pixels/frame (186 mph), decelerate again, and accelerate again.

There are two fade-out frames, the first being about 10% faded down, the second about 50% faded down to black. The second fade frame depicts the airplane nose-cone and an explosion flame. This flame appears in front of the airplane nose-cone. The fade-out frames are followed by many frames (about 1 second) of complete black. When the video fades back up to picture, no trace of the plane remains.


Conclusions and Discussion

The Chopper 5 video is a composite. The video of the plane must have been shot separately from the video of the twin towers. In both the raw and stabilized versions, the plane appears to accelerate and decelerate, repeatedly. This is an impossible feat in reality, and is explained as camera motion affecting the apparent velocity. This camera motion is present on the plane, and is amplified on the stabilized video which holds the towers motionless.

On a legitimate video, stabilizing the video frames could only serve to stabilize the motion of the plane, straightening out the jagged graph line, as in the camera shake control case. The fact that the opposite occurs is proof that the apparent motion of the plane was influenced by camera movement, camera movement not present on the twin towers. The camera motion on the twin towers was insignificant by comparison.

In a real crash, a plane could not possibly accelerate while entering the tower. Yet in this video, the plane appears to do just that.

"Official" sources state that what appears to be the exiting nose of the airplane is actually "debris". As an exercise, try to identify which ones are noses, and which are debris.

How the debris would form itself into a size and shape indistinguishable from the airplane nose is not clear. Exploding debris would not tend to converge toward a single point. In any event, whether debris or airplane nose cone, it appears to slow down, then speed up, slow down, and speed up again. Other than camera motion, there is no explanation for this behavior. Again, this must be camera motion separate from whatever motion was present in shooting the twin towers, as this motion has been removed from the video.

Frame #7 reveals tell-tale signs of having been "cut-and-pasted". The area around the nose of the aircraft is a different color than the sky, more pink, and pixels around the nose appear to have been altered in what looks to me like the swipe of a digital paintbrush. Perhaps this was an inadvertant mistake, perhaps it was a deliberate clue.

All the other frames have the same kinds of problems. I would venture to say that the plane was recorded on a day when the sky was considerably more pink than it was on 9/11. This subject warrants a study of its own.

CGI vs. Video

Due to the camera motion, the realistic blending of the airplane into the sky, and the sloppy photoshopping (particularly on frame #7), I do not believe this is a computer generated airplane, as others have suggested. Rather, I think it is real video of a real 767. I believe the masterminds of 9/11 chose crystal clear days to carry out their deeds for very important reasons: it is the easiest type of atmospheric condition to repeat, and the easiest on which to remove sky from video. (They may have required a crystal clear day on 9/11 for other reasons as well, see Judy Wood). I suspect that a real 767 was videotaped flying north and banking to the left, then leveling out, on a similar crystal clear day, at around 9 a.m.

On the video which eventually became the overlay for the Chopper 5 video, the plane entered the frame from the right, at around 24 pixels/frame. Camera unsteadiness caused the apparent velocity to fluctuate. The camera began tracking the plane, reducing the apparent velocity down to around 10 pixels/frame, as the plane began to level out. It is this phase that eventually became Pinocchio's Nose.

Multiple videos were made from multiple cameras by multiple camera operators, capturing the flight from a great number of different angles and distances, including helicopter shots from above. The backgrounds from these videos were removed, leaving just a plane flying against a transparency. These multiple videos became overlays for the many "amateur" videos which emerged later.

Locations were then scouted around the twin towers, locations with a view of the towers, which most closely approximated the viewing angles of the 767 flight already recorded. Overlaying the prepared flying plane images onto another video source (live or recorded) is easy, as the background has already been removed.

Chroma Key

It is also possible to remove a particular color from a video source in real time, and make that color become transparent. The technique is known as "chroma key", and has been standard TV studio trickery since the 1960's. One color (usually green or blue, but could theoretically be any color) is chosen as the "key". Two separate video images, A and B, are combined together, with A on top, and B underneath. Any area in video A which is the key color becomes transparent, revealing video B underneath. Everyone has seen chroma key overlay when the TV weathercaster appears to stand in front of a giant satellite map. In reality, she is standing in front of a well-lit green wall, and the satellite map is combined with the live camera shot in the control room.

Luminence Key

Similar in concept to chroma key, but differentiates on the basis of overall brightness instead of color value. Luminence key and chroma key can be used in concert for very specific object identification.

How Did They Create the Chopper 5 Shot?

In creating the illusion of a plane entering a tower, 3 video layers are required (not counting all the TV station logo graphics, which I ignore). The airplane needs to appear in front of the live video, then the world trade center tower needs to appear in front of that. This could have been done one of two ways, "old school" or "new school".

Hypothesis 1 - Old School

The airplane video on transparency "Layer B" is pre-recorded and waiting to go. Live video of the towers is split into two copies, "Layer A" and "Layer C". The sky color is selected as the key color, and Layer A is chroma keyed to remove the sky in real time. The three layers are combined, C on the bottom, B in the middle, and A on top. Thus the airplane is on top of the sky, yet underneath the twin tower.

A careful examination of the the exiting nose cone provides further evidence that this is a composite video, and does not depict an actual real life event. The west wall of the tower is facing us, and the tower is angled so that we can just see a bit of the north wall (to the left). The south wall (to the right) is angled slightly away from us. If the nose cone (or debris, or anything) exited the north (left) wall of the building, in passing it would eclipse our view of the northeast corner. This does not happen. Instead, the nose cone appears to slip out from behind the building, as we continue to see the northeast corner until the explosion flame comes out.

After the nose cone slips into view, smoke and then flame explode out of the building. I suspect this is a genuine explosion from within WTC2. The explosion appears to be in front of the nose. This requires the software to identify the smoke and flame as "keep". That is, the smoke and flame must not be too close to the same color as the sky, otherwise the software would remove the explosion from layer A, and it would appear behind the nose cone. The fade frame is instructive, clearly showing the the flame as being much more yellow than the sky. Also note the smoke as being much more grey, and much darker than the sky. Chroma and luminence keying would have had no problem keeping the flame while continuing to remove the sky from Layer A. The fact that the smoke is nearly the same color as the plane is irrelevant.

Hypothesis 2 - New School

As with hypothesis 1, the flying plane is pre-recorded, with background removed.

Computer software was used to model the twin tower, and mask it off dynamically in real time. The program uses "find edges" to identify the location of the tower in the picture. Again, the crystal clear weather on 9/11 is important, as there were high-contrast boundaries defining the shape of the towers. This, and the fact that the towers were essentially rectangular solids, makes for an easy shape to model.

This is similar technology to the "First and Ten" system by Sportvision that paints a virtual first down stripe on the football field. First introduced in 1998, the software contains a model of the field, is able to "key" on the color of the turf, "painting" the stripe only on the turf and not on the players. Most innovative, the system is able to follow the tilting, panning, and zooming of the camera, and to resize and move the first down stripe accordingly, in real time (see Sportvision site also "Lying with Pixels").

This technique would eliminate the need to chroma key the sky. Rather, it would model the location of the world trade center tower, and erase pixels in real time from the plane layer at all points corresponding to where the tower is.

However, it is not possible to know the shape of the explosion ahead of time. So, it would still require chroma key to identify the explosion, and erase the airplane accordingly, making the airplane appear behind the explosion. If this new school technique were used, it would have been easier to simply mask off the entire picture to the left of WTC2. This would have prevented the nose cone from ever appearing to exit the building. Yet, the nose cone does come out, apparently from behind the tower, just as it would if it were on a seperate video layer from the tower. For this reason, I prefer the "old school" hypothesis as having the greater explanatory power
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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, July 29, 2007 0 comments links to this post

Bush speech decoded

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/editorials/ci_6494416
Editorial
Article Last Updated: 07/29/2007 12:16:51 PM EDT

Sunday, July 29
President Bush can be confident that military personnel won't heckle him, which is why he confines almost all of his public appearances these days to military bases. Speaking to troops at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina last week, the president continued to spread the big lie that al-Qaida in Iraq is linked to al-Qaida in the mountains of Pakistan, which is as large a fantasy as Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program. Nonetheless, this is the latest among many arguments the president has invented for why U.S. troops must continue fighting and dying in Iraq.

"If we don't defeat them there they will follow us here," or some variation of that phrase, is the popular White House mantra now, succeeding such failed phrases as "Bring 'em on" and "stay the course." Assuming the president doesn't think the Shiites and Sunnis enthusiastically blowing each other up in Iraq will resume their centuries-old battle stateside if we depart, he must be referring to the al-Qaida forces in Iraq who may be inspired by the al-Qaida of Osama bin Laden but don't take marching orders from him. Because Al-Qaida is a relative bit player in Iraq, a labored effort to link it to Mr. bin Laden and the jihadists who brought down the World Trade Center on President Bush's watch is required.

Al-Qaida in Iraq won't follow U.S. forces home, but the al-Qaida lurking in the Pakistan mountains, the one responsible for September 11, is as big a threat to the United States as it was six years ago, according to a U.S. intelligence report issued earlier this month. Getting out of Iraq will actually enable the U.S. to return its focus to the terrorists the White House never should have turned away from in the first place in embarking upon the disastrous Iraqi misadventure.

When the United States makes its inevitable departure from Iraq it will be bloody and messy — not that it hasn't been for more than four years. There will be struggles for regions, cities, neighborhoods and streets, and under a best case scenario, an international force of peacekeepers on a mission of strictly limited duration will protect civilians to whatever extent possible. The talks with Iran that Washington grudgingly opened last week may produce something along those lines.

The plusses, however, will far outweigh the negatives. An intelligence report in 2006 found that the presence of U.S. troops was a "cause celebre" for the jihadist movement. If nothing else, the withdrawal of American troops will deprive al-Qaida — the dangerous one — of a major recruitment tool. There are other positives as well. Among them:

* The killing and crippling of American soldiers will end, and the healing of our military can begin. A White House that thought the Iraq War would be over in weeks has brought the military to its knees, sending some troops back three or four times and leaving states without the National Guard forces they require in emergencies. The Pentagon has been forced to lower its recruiting standards to unprecedented levels because it is so hard to find troops for the Iraqi meat grinder.

* Mr. Bush worries about America's reputation abroad if it withdraws from Iraq but he destroyed that reputation with his unilateral invasion of a sovereign state under false pretenses. By withdrawing, the U.S. can begin rebuilding relations with the allies it needs to combat enemies who have increased in strength since September 11.

* Mr. Bush's war was also the first in U.S. history to be waged without the tax increases needed to fund it — in fact, the president has cut taxes. Because of this folly, combined with a free-spending Republican Congress, the surplus left by President Clinton became the largest deficit in our history. It is time to stop waging a war today's youth will have to pay for.

These are just a few of the good reasons for America's departure from Iraq. Then America can focus upon finding a president who will facilitate the healing, both here and abroad.

Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:25 pm

In a speech in Carolina today, George Bush discussed the war on terror.

The full text is available here

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070724-3.html

But I have taken the liberty of highlighting the important bits.

Quote:

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To summarise, Iraq al qaeda 9/11 Bin laden.

My fellow Merkins ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin


==================

11:50 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Please be seated. Thank you, Colonel. Thanks for the hospitality and kind introduction. I'm proud to be with the men and women of the Air Force, the Navy, the Marines, the Army and the Coast Guard. Thanks for serving. Thanks for wearing the uniform of the United States of America.

President George W. Bush talks with Colonel Mark Bauknight, acting Commander of the 315th Airlift Wing, left, and Colonel John “Red” Millander, USAF Commander of the 437th Airlift Wing, joined by Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman Henry Brown, left, prior to observing cargo loading operations aboard a C-17 aircraft Tuesday, July 24, 2007, during a visit to Charleston AFB in Charleston, S.C. White House photo by Eric Draper I'm proud to be back here in the great state of South Carolina. I'm proud to be with some of the Palmetto State's finest citizens. I'm glad to be eating lunch with you. The food is pretty good, Colonel. (Laughter.) I always like a good barbecue.

I also am proud to be with the military families. You know, our troops are obviously engaged in a tough struggle, tough fight, a fight that I think is noble and necessary for our peace. And so are our families. Our military families endure the separations. They worry about their loved ones. They pray for safe return. By carrying out these burdens, our military families are serving the United States of America, and this country is grateful to America's military families. (Applause.)

I appreciate Colonel Millander leading the 437th Airlift Wing here at the Charleston Airbase. Thank you for the tour. Nice big airplanes carrying a lot of cargo. And it's good to see the amazing operations that take place here to keep our troops supplied.

I'm honored here to be with Deb, as well. That's Red's wife. I call him Red; you call him Colonel. He did a smart thing; he married a woman from Texas. (Applause.) So did I. (Laughter.) And Laura sends her very best to you all.

I'm proud to be here with Mark Bauknight -- Colonel Bauknight -- Acting Commander of they're 315th Airlift Wing, and his wife Leslie.

I am traveling today with one of the true stalwarts of freedom, a man who understands the stakes of the war we're in, and a man who strongly supports the military in accomplishing the mission that we've sent you to do, and that's Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. (Applause.)

This base is represented by Congressman Henry Brown, of South Carolina. (Applause.) He understands what I understand; when we have somebody in harm's way, that person deserves the full support of the Congress and the President. And you'll have the full support of the President of the United States during this war against these radicals and extremists.

I appreciate the Lieutenant Governor of this state, Andre Bauer. Thanks for coming, Governor. I'm proud to be here with the Speaker of the House of Representatives for South Carolina, State Representative Bobby Harrell. Mr. Speaker, thanks for coming.

We've got some mayors with us, and I appreciate the mayors being here today: Mayor Riley, Mayor Hallman, Mayor Summey. I'm honored that you all would take time out of your busy schedule to come by and pay tribute to these men and women who serve our nation so ably.

President George W. Bush meets with military personnel prior to boarding a C-17 aircraft to watch cargo loading operations Tuesday, July 24, 2007, during a visit to Charleston AFB in Charleston, S.C. White House photo by Eric Draper I'm proud to be with Chairman Tim Scott of the Charleston County Council. I'm proud to be with other state and local officials. And I'm really glad to be with you all. Thank you for your courage.

Since the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, the Airmen of Team Charleston have deployed across the globe in support in the war on terror. During the liberation of Afghanistan, air crews from Team Charleston flew hundreds of sorties to transport troops and deliver supplies, and help the liberation of 25 million people.

Team Charleston is playing a crucial role in Iraq. Every day C-17s lift off from Charleston carrying tons of vital supplies for our troops on the front lines. Your efforts are saving lives and you're bringing security to this country. Every member of Team Charleston can take pride in a great record of accomplishment. And America is grateful for your courage in the cause of freedom. And your courage is needed.

Nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks, America remains a nation at war. The terrorist network that attacked us that day is determined to strike our country again, and we must do everything in our power to stop them. A key lesson of September the 11th is that the best way to protect America is to go on the offense, to fight the terrorists overseas so we don't have to face them here at home. And that is exactly what our men and women in uniform are doing across the world.

The key theater in this global war is Iraq. Our troops are serving bravely in that country. They're opposing ruthless enemies, and no enemy is more ruthless in Iraq than al Qaeda. They send suicide bombers into crowded markets; they behead innocent captives and they murder American troops. They want to bring down Iraq's democracy so they can use that nation as a terrorist safe haven for attacks against our country. So our troops are standing strong with nearly 12 million Iraqis who voted for a future of peace, and they so for the security of Iraq and the safety of American citizens.

There's a debate in Washington about Iraq, and nothing wrong with a healthy debate. There's also a debate about al Qaeda's role in Iraq. Some say that Iraq is not part of the broader war on terror. They complain when I say that the al Qaeda terrorists we face in Iraq are part of the same enemy that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001. They claim that the organization called al Qaeda in Iraq is an Iraqi phenomenon, that it's independent of Osama bin Laden and that it's not interested in attacking America.

President George W. Bush, joined by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, watches as USAF military personnel conduct cargo loading operations aboard a C-17 aircraft Tuesday, July 24, 2007, during a visit to Charleston AFB in Charleston, S.C. White House photo by Eric Draper That would be news to Osama bin Laden. He's proclaimed that the "third world war is raging in Iraq." Osama bin Laden says, "The war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever." I say that there will be a big defeat in Iraq and it will be the defeat of al Qaeda. (Applause.)

Today I will consider the arguments of those who say that al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq are separate entities. I will explain why they are both part of the same terrorist network -- and why they are dangerous to our country.

A good place to start is with some basic facts: Al Qaeda in Iraq was founded by a Jordanian terrorist, not an Iraqi. His name was Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Before 9/11, he ran a terrorist camp in Afghanistan. He was not yet a member of al Qaida, but our intelligence community reports that he had longstanding relations with senior al Qaida leaders, that he had met with Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy, Zawahiri.

In 2001, coalition forces destroyed Zarqawi's Afghan training camp, and he fled the country and he went to Iraq, where he set up operations with terrorist associates long before the arrival of coalition forces. In the violence and instability following Saddam's fall, Zarqawi was able to expand dramatically the size, scope, and lethality of his operation. In 2004, Zarqawi and his terrorist group formally joined al Qaida, pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden, and he promised to "follow his orders in jihad."

Soon after, bin Laden publicly declared that Zarqawi was the "Prince of Al Qaida in Iraq" -- and instructed terrorists in Iraq to "listen to him and obey him." It's hard to argue that al Qaida in Iraq is separate from bin Laden's al Qaida, when the leader of al Qaida in Iraq took an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden.

According to our intelligence community, the Zarqawi-bin Laden merger gave al Qaida in Iraq -- quote -- "prestige among potential recruits and financiers." The merger also gave al Qaida's senior leadership -- quote -- "a foothold in Iraq to extend its geographic presence ... to plot external operations ... and to tout the centrality of the jihad in Iraq to solicit direct monetary support elsewhere." The merger between al Qaida and its Iraqi affiliate is an alliance of killers -- and that is why the finest military in the world is on their trail.

President George W. Bush addresses his remarks to military personnel and their family members, thanking them for their service, at a luncheon Tuesday, July 24, 2007, during the President’s visit to Charleston AFB in Charleston, S.C. White House photo by Eric Draper Zarqawi was killed by U.S. forces in June 2006. He was replaced by another foreigner -- an Egyptian named Abu Ayyub al-Masri. His ties to the al Qaida senior leadership are deep and longstanding. He has collaborated with Zawahiri for more than two decades. And before 9/11, he spent time with al Qaida in Afghanistan where he taught classes indoctrinating others in al Qaida's radical ideology.

After Abu Ayyub took over al Qaida's Iraqi operations last year, Osama bin Laden sent a terrorist leader named Abd al-Hadi al Iraqi to help him. According to our intelligence community, this man was a senior advisor to bin Laden, who served as his top commander in Afghanistan. Abd al-Hadi never made it to Iraq. He was captured, and was recently transferred to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. The fact that bin Laden risked sending one of his most valued commanders to Iraq shows the importance he places on success of al Qaida's Iraqi operations.

According to our intelligence community, many of al Qaida in Iraq's other senior leaders are also foreign terrorists. They include a Syrian who is al Qaida in Iraq's emir in Baghdad, a Saudi who is al Qaida in Iraq's top spiritual and legal advisor, an Egyptian who fought in Afghanistan in the 1990s and who has met with Osama bin Laden, a Tunisian who we believe plays a key role in managing foreign fighters. Last month in Iraq, we killed a senior al Qaida facilitator named Mehmet Yilmaz, a Turkish national who fought with al Qaida in Afghanistan, and met with September the 11th mastermind Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, and other senior al Qaida leaders.

A few weeks ago, we captured a senior al Qaida in Iraq leader named Mashadani. Now, this terrorist is an Iraqi. In fact, he was the highest ranking Iraqi in the organization. Here's what he said, here's what he told us: The foreign leaders of Al Qaida in Iraq went to extraordinary lengths to promote the fiction that al Qaida in Iraq is an Iraqi-led operation. He says al Qaida even created a figurehead whom they named Omar al-Baghdadi. The purpose was to make Iraqi fighters believe they were following the orders of an Iraqi instead of a foreigner. Yet once in custody, Mashadani revealed that al-Baghdadi is only an actor. He confirmed our intelligence that foreigners are at the top echelons of al Qaida in Iraq -- they are the leaders -- and that foreign leaders make most of the operational decisions, not Iraqis.

Foreign terrorists also account for most of the suicide bombings in Iraq. Our military estimates that between 80 and 90 percent of suicide attacks in Iraq are carried out by foreign-born al Qaida terrorists. It's true that today most of al Qaida in Iraq's rank and file fighters and some of its leadership are Iraqi. But to focus exclusively on this single fact is to ignore the larger truth: Al Qaida in Iraq is a group founded by foreign terrorists, led largely by foreign terrorists, and loyal to a foreign terrorist leader -- Osama bin Laden. They know they're al Qaida. The Iraqi people know they are al Qaida. People across the Muslim world know they are al Qaida. And there's a good reason they are called al Qaida in Iraq: They are al Qaida ... in ... Iraq.

President George W. Bush spends time meeting with military personnel at a luncheon Tuesday, July 24, 2007, during the President’s visit to Charleston AFB in Charleston, S.C. White House photo by Eric Draper Some also assert that al Qaida in Iraq is a separate organization because al Qaida's central command lacks full operational control over it. This argument reveals a lack of understanding. Here is how al Qaida's global terrorist network actually operates. Al Qaida and its affiliate organizations are a loose network of terrorist groups that are united by a common ideology and shared objectives, and have differing levels of collaboration with the al Qaida senior leadership. In some cases, these groups have formally merged into al Qaida and take what is called a "bayaat" -- a pledge of loyalty to Osama bin Laden. In other cases, organizations are not formally merged with al Qaida, but collaborate closely with al Qaida leaders to plot attacks and advance their shared ideology. In still other cases, there are small cells of terrorists that are not part of al Qaida or any other broader terrorist group, but maintain contact with al Qaida leaders and are inspired by its ideology to conduct attacks.

Our intelligence community assesses that al Qaida in Iraq falls into the first of these categories. They are a full member of the al Qaida terrorist network. The al Qaida leadership provides strategic guidance to their Iraqi operatives. Even so, there have been disagreements -- important disagreements -- between the leaders, Osama bin Laden and their Iraqi counterparts, including Zawahiri's criticism of Zarqawi's relentless attacks on the Shia. But our intelligence community reports that al Qaida's senior leaders generally defer to their Iraqi-based commanders when it comes to internal operations, because distance and security concerns preclude day-to-day command authority.

Our intelligence community concludes that -- quote -- "Al Qaida and its regional node in Iraq are united in their overarching strategy." And they say that al Qaida senior leaders and their operatives in Iraq -- quote -- "see al Qaida in Iraq as part of al Qaida's decentralized chain of command, not as a separate group."

President George W. Bush presents the Congressional Gold Medal to Tuskegee Airman Earl Middleton Tuesday, July 24, 2007, joined by Middleton’s son, Kenny; South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, left, and Middleton family friend Joy Barnes, right, at the Charleston AFB in Charleston, S.C. White House photo by Eric Draper Here's the bottom line: Al Qaida in Iraq is run by foreign leaders loyal to Osama bin Laden. Like bin Laden, they are cold-blooded killers who murder the innocent to achieve al Qaida's political objectives. Yet despite all the evidence, some will tell you that al Qaida in Iraq is not really al Qaida -- and not really a threat to America. Well, that's like watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and a gun, and saying he's probably just there to cash a check.

You might wonder why some in Washington insist on making this distinction about the enemy in Iraq. It's because they know that if they can convince America we're not fighting bin Laden's al Qaida there, they can paint the battle in Iraq as a distraction from the real war on terror. If we're not fighting bin Laden's al Qaida, they can argue that our nation can pull out of Iraq and not undermine our efforts in the war on terror. The problem they have is with the facts. We are fighting bin Laden's al Qaida in Iraq; Iraq is central to the war on terror; and against this enemy, America can accept nothing less than complete victory. (Applause.)

There are others who accept that al Qaida is operating in Iraq, but say its role is overstated. Al Qaida is one of the several Sunni jihadist groups in Iraq. But our intelligence community believes that al Qaida is the most dangerous of these Sunni jihadist groups for several reasons: First, more than any other group, al Qaida is behind most of the spectacular, high-casualty attacks that you see on your TV screens.

Second, these al Qaida attacks are designed to accelerate sectarian violence, by attacking Shia in hopes of sparking reprisal attacks that inspire Sunnis to join al Qaida's cause.

Third, al Qaida is the only jihadist group in Iraq with stated ambitions to make the country a base for attacks outside Iraq. For example, al Qaida in Iraq dispatched terrorists who bombed a wedding reception in Jordan. In another case, they sent operatives to Jordan where they attempted to launch a rocket attack on U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea.

And most important for the people who wonder if the fight in Iraq is worth it, al Qaida in Iraq shares Osama bin Laden's goal of making Iraq a base for its radical Islamic empire, and using it as a safe haven for attacks on America. That is why our intelligence community reports -- and I quote -- "compared with [other leading Sunni jihadist groups], al Qaida in Iraq stands out for its extremism, unmatched operational strength, foreign leadership, and determination to take the jihad beyond Iraq's borders."

Our top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has said that al Qaida is "public enemy number one" in Iraq. Fellow citizens, these people have sworn allegiance to the man who ordered the death of nearly 3,000 people on our soil. Al Qaida is public enemy number one for the Iraqi people; al Qaida is public enemy number one for the American people. And that is why, for the security of our country, we will stay on the hunt, we'll deny them safe haven, and we will defeat them where they have made their stand. (Applause.)

Some note that al Qaida in Iraq did not exist until the U.S. invasion -- and argue that it is a problem of our own making. The argument follows the flawed logic that terrorism is caused by American actions. Iraq is not the reason that the terrorists are at war with us. We were not in Iraq when the terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. We were not in Iraq when they attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We were not in Iraq when they attacked the USS Cole in 2000. And we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001.

Our action to remove Saddam Hussein did not start the terrorist violence -- and America withdrawal from Iraq would not end it. The al Qaida terrorists now blowing themselves up in Iraq are dedicated extremists who have made killing the innocent the calling of their lives. They are part of a network that has murdered men, women, and children in London and Madrid; slaughtered fellow Muslims in Istanbul and Casablanca, Riyadh, Jakarta, and elsewhere around the world. If we were not fighting these al Qaida extremists and terrorists in Iraq, they would not be leading productive lives of service and charity. Most would be trying to kill Americans and other civilians elsewhere -- in Afghanistan, or other foreign capitals, or on the streets of our own cities.

Al Qaida is in Iraq -- and they're there for a reason. And surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaida would be a disaster for our country. We know their intentions. Hear the words of al Qaida's top commander in Iraq when he issued an audio statement in which he said he will not rest until he has attacked our nation's capital. If we were to cede Iraq to men like this, we would leave them free to operate from a safe haven which they could use to launch new attacks on our country. And al Qaida would gain prestige amongst the extremists across the Muslim world as the terrorist network that faced down America and forced us into retreat.

If we were to allow this to happen, sectarian violence in Iraq could increase dramatically, raising the prospect of mass casualties. Fighting could engulf the entire region in chaos, and we would soon face a Middle East dominated by Islamic extremists who would pursue nuclear weapons, and use their control of oil for economic blackmail or to fund new attacks on our nation.

We've already seen how al Qaida used a failed state thousands of miles from our shores to bring death and destruction to the streets of our cities -- and we must not allow them to do so again. So, however difficult the fight is in Iraq, we must win it. And we can win it.

Less than a year ago, Anbar Province was al Qaida's base in Iraq and was written off by many as lost. Since then, U.S. and Iraqi forces have teamed with Sunni sheiks who have turned against al Qaida. Hundreds have been killed or captured. Terrorists have been driven from most of the population centers. Our troops are now working to replicate the success in Anbar in other parts of the country. Our brave men and women are taking risks, and they're showing courage, and we're making progress.

For the security of our citizens, and the peace of the world, we must give General Petraeus and his troops the time and resources they need, so they can defeat al Qaida in Iraq. (Applause.)

Thanks for letting me come by today. I've explained the connection between al Qaida and its Iraqi affiliate. I presented intelligence that clearly establishes this connection. The facts are that al Qaida terrorists killed Americans on 9/11, they're fighting us in Iraq and across the world, and they are plotting to kill Americans here at home again. Those who justify withdrawing our troops from Iraq by denying the threat of al Qaida in Iraq and its ties to Osama bin Laden ignore the clear consequences of such a retreat. If we were to follow their advice, it would be dangerous for the world -- and disastrous for America. We will defeat al Qaida in Iraq.

In this effort, we're counting on the brave men and women represented in this room. Every man and woman who serves at this base and around the world is playing a vital role in this war on terror. With your selfless spirit and devotion to duty, we will confront this mortal threat to our country -- and we're going to prevail.

I have confidence in our country, and I have faith in our cause, because I know the character of the men and women gathered before me. I thank you for your patriotism; I thank you for your courage. You're living up to your motto: "one family, one mission, one fight." Thank you for all you do. God bless your families. God bless America. (Applause.)

END 12:19 P.M. EDT


He mentioned AL QAEDA 95 times in this speech!!

Why does nobody ridicule this farcical fear-mongering??

Because we all agree to send our young men and women to die into Iraq.. and I suppose we don't want to laugh at them, too.

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