UPDATE Monday 9th Jan: Doctors now claim that Sharon is breathing unaided and responding to pain stimuli, but as the Sharon stroke saga continues, it seems to be driven more by politics than medicine. The politics are transparent if you read between the lines of this Reuters report:"The death or incapacity of Sharon..., would create a void in Israeli politics... Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, also Israel's finance minister, projected a message of business as usual.... World leaders have pledged support for Olmert as he stands in for Sharon. Doctors plan to begin rousing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from a medically induced coma on Monday...That last comment is not a medical statement --it's a political spin. But, brain dead or vegetative -was Sharon first incapacitated in December? -Fintan
"We are all impressed by how strong he is and how much he is fighting," said Hadassah neurosurgeon Jose Cohen. "He is just a real warrior, it is his nature."
by Fintan Dunne, Editor, BreakForNews.com
Friday 6th January, 2006. 22:00GMT
Ariel Sharon may already be clinically dead for weeks --ever since his first reported stroke on December, 18th, 2005.
Having reviewed a number of fishy circumstances around the "sudden" second brain injury allegedly just suffered by the Israeli prime minister, I am unable to eliminate that this is exactly what has happened.
Even as the "Israeli Insider" reports that Sharon is brain dead from the second collapse , I have been examining the possibility that international governments have hushed up the December, 2005 incapication of Sharon to buy themselves time, also to ease the shock to the Israeli people and to smooth the political transition.
Here's what may well have happened. Sharon suffered a massive stroke on Sunday 18th December. He was rushed to hospital, where in a serious condition he was within hours judged likely to be all but brain-dead. Stories of his conversations with two reporters were immediately planted in two Israeli newspapers --as a holding action.
High level contacts were made with the U.S. government and likely some others. It was determined that having Sharon suddenly die would be an unacceptable risk to the management of Israeli public opinion. Furthermore, having him die at the year end --heading into a festive season in Israel and around the world, would create an unacceptable political vaccum. Yet the same festive season would also enable his death to be kept quiet for weeks. Enough time to prepare politically behind the scenes.
Sharon had just launched the Kadima party. Elements of the so-called 'international community' would have been foursquare behind this move to isolate the Israeli political right now opposing the peace process. The prospect of the right --unnerved by the death of Sharon-- becoming newly resurgent before the Kadima party could even get off the ground, would have been in their eyes an unacceptable outcome.
Wheras by managing the "death", Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert could buy time in which to look "leader-like," and time to salvage the Kadima project.
Assuming this scenario, the following happened:
On the basis of "national security" key Israeli newspapers were recruited to the plan to conceal his brain death. A whole series of stories were floated over the following weeks to show a prime minister, resting and/or buzy with the business of setting up his new party. In truth, Sharon was now being kept alive on a respirator.
The story of Sharon being prescribed the blood-thinner Heparin was invented to give credence to "second" stroke which would be announced in the New Year. In actual medical practice, doctors prescribing Heparin at a dosage likely to be dangerous would have insisted on close monitoring in hospital.
On the basis that doctors had asked Sharon to shorten his work hours and rest, meetings were canceled and the lack of public appearances were easily explained away. A deception campaign showed Sharon in photographs apparently in his office, and at cabinet meetings.
Then, just hours before his scheduled "second" collapse, a damaging news story on police inquiries into a $3 million briibery scandal was leaked to provide a smokescreen of possible cause for a second "stress-related" collapse.
An operation was scheduled to supposedly fix a hole in Sharon's heart --thus providing a cover of medical competence and making it easier to explain his "emergency" evacuation to the hospital which had first treated him.
And the story was floated that in the event Sharon would be placed under anesthesia during the procedure, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would assume the role of acting prime minister. 
To muddy the waters further, a controversial "decision" to drive Sharon to the distant Jerusalem hospital instead of one nearer his ranch was yet another "smokescreen" causation ploy.
Finally the "second" collapse took place and the news was soon leaked that Sharon might be brain-dead. At the same time he was "intentionally" placed in a coma --such news easing the transition to a subsequent announcement of what has been a reality since December 18th, 2005: Ariel Sharon is brain dead or vegetative.
But he has been so for weeks.
GILDING THE LILLY
One of the key problems I have with the alleged "second" stroke is the congruence of too many incidents.
The unmonitored blood-thinner; the $3million dollar bribery scandal just the day before; the second surgery scheduled for the day after; the illadvised departure from Jerusalem; the transportation of the PM back to the city by car. It's too many and all too convenient.
But also, in retrospect, much about the saga of Sharon's illness is consistent with a cover-up.
Following the Sunday, December 18th stroke, Sharon was admitted "lying on a stretcher" . He was kept in hospital for two nights. But for Sharon, the last few weeks have "reportedly" been a bundle of laughs, it seems.
The Haaretz daily reported that one of its reporters spoke to Sharon late on the Sunday night on which he first collapsed. "I'm fine," Haaretz quoted Sharon as saying. "Apparently I should have taken a few days off for vacation. But we're continuing to move forward," he said, making a play on the name of his party, Kadima, which means "forward." 
And the Maariv daily newspaper said one of its reporters also spoke to Sharon on Sunday. "I hear there's already talk about an acting prime minister," the paper quoted Sharon. "Well, maybe it's too early. I'm still here."
However, in Gaza, Palestinians were firing guns in the air, screaming "Sharon is dead" 
His spokesman, Ra'anan Gissin, said that on the Monday morning after that collapse, Sharon got his usual briefings from top aides, who turned his hospital room into a temporary office. Gissin, said he found the prime minister in "high spirits and jovial." 
And although the Prime Minister's Office, was slow Sunday night in responding to inquires , on Monday top aide Dov Weisglass was similarly upbeat about Sharon's condition. "His spirits are high, he feels and looks good and tomorrow he will leave the hospital," Weisglass told Channel 2. "He feels excellent, is functioning excellently and it is as if it all didn't happen." 
But despite those alleged Sunday night conversations, Sharon did not speak to the media Monday .
Chief neurologist Tamir Ben-Hur, reportedly proclaimed that "he could say unequivocally that the incident 'will not leave any damage or residual effects,' adding that there was 'an excellent chance it won't repeat itself.' 
On Tuesday Sharon "reportedly" looked "bright and cheerful"  leaving Jerusalem's Hadassah-Ein Kerem hospital. He even reportedly held a press conference, and thanked the medical staff for their devoted care.
The Jerusalem Post recounted: "It seems that you have missed me," a smiling 77- year-old Sharon told reporters at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital at Ein Kerem in his first public appearance since falling ill on Sunday night.  The newspaper published photos apparently showing Sharon leaving hospital and working at his home. [Photos 1 & 2]
Sharon said he "was touched by concern Israelis have shown over my health." He said he would take it easy for the next few days before resuming his usual grueling schedule. 
After leaving the hospital, Sharon headed to his Jerusalem residence, where he was "reportedly" briefed on affairs of state, and took calls from well-wishers, including US President George W. Bush. It was again, yet more jovial fun.
Bush "reportedly" told Sharon, "I hope that when I see you in two months, you will be a lot thinner after the diet you will begin. Allow me to give you some pointers," the president noted, "first, eat healthy. Second, work out, and third, after reading your busy schedule, I must tell you, please spread it out." 
Staying in Jerusalem would have been a good idea for medical reasons of proximity to the hospital --especially if taking a blood thinner known to raise the risk of brain bleeding. But, Sharon returned to his ranch on Thursday night with permission from his doctors. 
His aides pre-announced Sharon would on the following Saturday invite former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Avi Dichter to come to the Negev ranch to discuss political issues .
Sharon also "reportedly" met with Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni that Thursday to rebuke them for infighting over their position in the new Kadima party. "Stop arguing, shut your mouths, stop dealing with yourselves and focus on your work," an apparently forceful Sharon said --according to aides. 
And the comical mood returned. On December 25th, Sharon was back to a full schedule, and "reportedly" met with ministers and gave them a tongue-in-cheek warning about overeating during the eight-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Sharon says that he hopes they will "all eat doughnuts and potato pancakes," but that he recommends that they "don't overdo it." 
Faking such cabinet meetings and Sharon's claimed meetings with top colleagues would be relatively easy. And faking the photos of the PM at work easier still.
[See our story: Sharon's Hospital Exit Photo Was Faked]
Less easy to dismiss is the Prime Minister's Office ceremony on Wednesday 4th Jan, 2006  marking the transfer of Bank Leumi shares from state to private hands. There is even a photo of Sharon accepting a large cheque from the investors. Yet three different news reports leave it unclear whether the PM appeared at the press conference --not just the claimed cheque-handover photo opportunity [14 15 16]. Wearing his hat as Finance Minister, Ehud Olmert was certainly there.
But in this case also, it would have not been impossible to secure the cooperation of these investors in a deception. J. Ezra Merkin, managing partner of the Gabriel Capital Group(which won the tender for the bank) at the press conference reportedly said: "The well-being of Israel is no small matter for my partners and me." Cooperation from such a party would be no real problem.
Bear in mind that the full national security interests of the United States, the EU and Israel would be brought to bear on such a situation. That kind of geopolitical clout buys a lot of intelligence agency deception power.
And so, I can't rule out Sharon's brain-death on December, 18th, 2005.
Fintan Dunne, 6th Jan, 2006.
Supposedly Sharon still working.
Exit hospital. Very fake-looking photo.
Accepting Bank Leumi investment?
Story References: HERE