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April 29

Sleepwalking to Fallujah
by Joseph Bageant

Each workday I commute toward Washington, D.C. along Route 7, where patriotic war slogans are spray painted on the overpasses, and homemade signs jut from the median in support of our "boys in Iraq." Mud-splattered construction trucks rip by with frayed flags popping in the wind, loaded with burly bearded men and looking very much like the footage of Afghanistan or Angola, minus the 50 caliber gun mounts. Yesterday I saw my first stretch Hummer, painted in desert tan and carrying half a dozen soccer mom types, which rather sums up the point I am trying to make here. There is a distinct martial ethos, the tang of steel and the smell of gun oil in the air around Washington these days, I swear it. Only a blind microcephalic could fail to notice this systemic militarization of the American culture, and the media's hyper-escalation of warrior worship. Reputedly, our national character is supposed to be improved by all this. But I was in the military for a time -- a "young warrior" in Fox Network parlance -- and I can confidently say I was not improved one bit by the experience. . . (full article)

Najaf, Falluja: How Do We Maintain Our Humanity?
by Mina Hamilton

Day by day the violence in Iraq escalates. US marines shoot four Iraqi school children in Baghdad. Gun battles rage around Najaf. For hours, US gunships and howitzers pound Falluja. US snipers target Iraqi ambulances. America's grotesque retribution for the March 31 killing and mutilation of 4 US security guards in Falluja is not over. The punishment -- 600 to 800 Iraqis dead, 1700 injured -- is about to be multiplied many times over. . . (full article)

Staying the Media Course in Iraq
by Norman Solomon

On his way to confirmation as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, the current U.N. envoy John Negroponte was busily twisting language like a pretzel at a Senate hearing the other day. The new Baghdad regime, to be installed on June 30, will have sovereignty. Well, sort of. Negroponte explained: “That is why I use the term ‘exercise of sovereignty.’ I think in the case of military activity, their forces will come under the unified command of the multinational force. That is the plan.” In other words, the Baghdad government will be praised as the embodiment of Iraqi sovereignty while the U.S. military continues to do whatever Washington wants it to do in Iraq -- including order the Iraqi military around. . . (full article)

Glossary of the Iraqi Occupation
by Paul de Rooij

Any time there is war or an occupation of another country, propagandists or their media surrogates require language that mollifies, exculpates and hides the grim reality or sordid deeds. In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of what is really happening in Iraq, this glossary elucidates the terminology commonly used in the media. Its aim is to enable us to peer through the linguistic fog. . . (full article)

England, America, Empire, and Inequality
by Paul Street

Two Sunday mornings ago ABC’s George Stephanopoulos interviewed that dreadful little English rat Tony Blair. In the segment I caught, Blair energetically claimed that the shared goal of the United States (US) and its loyal imperial pit-bull the United Kingdom (UK) in Iraq is the installation of “full democracy.” Not partial democracy, mind you, no…the full self-governing and egalitarian monty. That’s an interesting and preposterous declaration for Blair to make, at various levels. . . (full article)

The Lost Sierra Club
by Josh Frank

Earth Day came and went as usual this year, with the renewed hope that our elected politicians and conservationists are indeed concerned with the environmental welfare of our planet. George W. Bush boastfully exclaimed that his administration, if re-selected, “will expand the wetlands of America.” And his presidential opponent John Kerry, claiming to be greener than Bush, declared that if victorious in November he, unlike GW, will not allow environmental legislation to be “written by polluters in exchange for campaign contributions.” This may all sound satisfying, but in reality Earth Day has turned into the Valentine’s Day of the corporate environmental movement -- where April 22nd has become the token feel good holiday for oily politicians and corporate conservationists to tout their commitment and love for the natural environment. . . (full article)

Catching on to Condi
by Sarah Whalen

This past Easter Sunday, President Bush engaged the press. He couldn’t have done this a week ago, but now he knows what to say. Because Condi Rice, his National Security Advisor, said everything already on TV. . . (full article)

Seeking the Evil One
by John Chuckman

Imagine a fundamentalist tent-meeting somewhere on the dusty plains of Oklahoma or Texas without the Devil? a spluttering preacher at the pulpit with nothing about which to shout and frighten people? Preaching the actual teachings of Jesus -- so far as we know them, about peace and toleration -- wouldn't cover rental payments on the tent and electric organ. That little thought-experiment offers genuine insight into the nature of American fundamentalism as well as insight into the terrible new era of perpetual war ushered in by that fine Christian gentleman, George Bush. . . (full article)

Peacemaking in Kosovo Coming to an End -- for Predictable Reasons
by Jan Oberg

Slowly but surely - and sadly - the efforts of the international community to create peace in Kosovo/a are coming to an end in spring 2004. The reasons are simple: mediation and conflict-resolution in complex conflicts can not be done the way it was between 1989 and 1999. And you won't succeed with peace-making the way it was done by the bombings in 1999 and the efforts since then. Had anyone in the EU and the U.S. had the intellectual will and the political courage to draw conflict-management lessons from the Balkans, we would hardly have experienced the succeeding quagmires called Afghanistan and Iraq where the opportunities for peace and reconciliation are also decaying by the day. . . (full article)

Huge turnout for abortion rights rally, but was it...
A March for Women’s Lives or Democrats’ Votes?

by Nicole Colson

The turnout for the march was impressive -- and showed the depth of disgust that so many people feel about the policies of the Bush administration. But unfortunately, march organizers explicitly refused to connect the dots between the fight for abortion rights and other issues -- like the war in Iraq or the fight for gay marriage. In fact, their overwhelming message wasn’t even that we need to build a new grassroots fight for abortion rights. Their theme -- repeated over and over from the stage, plastered on thousands of placards and handed out at voter registration booths -- was that the only hope for keeping abortion legal is to elect John Kerry. . . (full article)

April 27

April 28: World Day for Safety and Health at Work
Work Kills More than Wars

by Luc Demaret and Ahmed Khalef

One death every fifteen seconds. Six thousand a day. Work kills more people than wars. And it injures and mutilates, too. Almost 270 million accidents are recorded each year, of which 350,000 are fatal. Many of these tragedies could be prevented, the International Labour Organization believes. And yet, twenty years after the Bhopal disaster, which killed 2,500 people and injured 200,000 in the space of a few hours, the situation has scarcely improved. . . (full article)

Some Dare Call It Treason: Wake Up America!
by Dr. Robert Bowman, USAF Ret.

I am a member of Veterans For Peace, an organization of thousands of combat veterans. All of us have put our life on the line for this country. Most of us opposed the recent invasion of Iraq. . . I've been severely criticized for speaking out in opposition to this war. So have you, probably. We're told that we're aiding and abetting the enemy. We're told that we should support the president no matter what. We're told that patriotism demands that we support the war. They say that we're abusing the freedoms that our troops are in the Middle East defending. They say we should be ashamed to be protesting while the troops are in the desert protecting our right to do so. Well I say, Hogwash! . . . (full article)

The Fossil Fools:
Dismissal of Climate Change by Journalistic
Nincompoops is a Danger to Us All
by George Monbiot

Picture a situation in which most of the media, despite the overwhelming weight of medical opinion, refused to accept that there was a connection between smoking and lung cancer. Imagine that every time new evidence emerged, they asked someone with no medical qualifications to write a piece dismissing the evidence and claiming that there was no consensus on the issue. Imagine that the BBC, in the interests of "debate", wheeled out one of the tiny number of scientists who says that smoking and cancer aren't linked, or that giving up isn't worth the trouble, every time the issue of cancer was raised. Imagine that, as a result, next to nothing was done about the problem, to the delight of the tobacco industry and the detriment of millions of smokers. We would surely describe the newspapers and the BBC as grossly irresponsible. Now stop imagining it, and take a look at what's happening. The issue is not smoking, but climate change. . . (full article)

Two Voting Companies & Two Brothers Will Count 80%
of U.S. Election -- Using BOTH Scanners & Touchscreens

by Lynn Landes

Voters can run, but they can't hide from these guys. Meet the Urosevich brothers, Bob and Todd. Their respective companies, Diebold and ES&S, will count (using BOTH computerized ballot scanners and touchscreen machines) about 80% of all votes cast in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. . .
(full article)

"Enemy Combatants" Finally Before Supreme Court

by Jim Lobe

After two years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court is finally set to decide whether the executive branch of the US government may detain alleged "enemy combatants" indefinitely without any judicial review of their status. . . (full article)

Gap in Basic Consumer Safeguards Encourage Offshoring
by Lori Wallach

Tax season generates enough anxiety for many without adding a serious new concern: is your most vital personal financial information about to go public worldwide to be used by who knows whom for who knows what purposes because you had you taxes done professionally? This spring, an estimated 200,000 federal and state tax returns, all of which contain sensitive personal information, were completed offshore. This is not a new phenomenon; over the last few years accounting firms around the U.S. have sent a growing portion of simple tax prep work overseas. . . (full article)

White Whine: Reflections on the Brain-Rotting Properties of Privilege
by Tim Wise

To truly understand a nation, a culture, or its people, it helps to know what they take for granted. After all, sometimes the things that go unspoken are more powerful than the spoken word, if for no other reason than the tendency of unspoken assumptions to reinforce core ways of thinking, feeling and acting, without ever having to be verbalized (and thus subjected to challenge) at all. What's more, when people take certain things for granted, anything that goes against the grain of what they perceive as "normal" will tend to stand out like a sore thumb, and invite a hostility that seems reasonable, at least to those dispensing it, precisely because their unspoken assumptions have gone uninterrogated for so long. . . (full article)

April 26

Inspired by Pat Tillman?
by Mickey Z.

Here's how the New York Times described Pat Tillman: "A graduate of Arizona State University, Tillman, a safety, played for four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. But as an unrestricted free agent in 2002, he turned town a three-year, $3.6 million contract offer from the Cardinals and enlisted in the Army." Thus, when Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan last week, the predictable platitudes followed. . . (full article)

Falluja, Najaf and the First Law of Holes
by William Rivers Pitt

Anyone who believes that April has been the cruelest month of this Iraq war -- 111 Americans killed with the total dead now at 718, hundreds upon hundreds of Iraqi civilians killed -- should gird themselves for the reality that the worst, the very worst, the unimaginably awful, is still yet to come. . .
(full article)

Aftermath of "Humanitarian" Intervention in Kosovo:
Ethnic Cleansing of Roma and Other Minorities Nears Completion

by Carol Bloom, Ann Neel, Śani Rifati and Sunil K. Sharma

In June 12th 1999, 78 days of US/NATO bombing of Kosovo ended. Now, five years later, Kosovo is governed by the United Nations Interim Administration (UNMIK). In the months following the end of the bombing, hundreds of International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), thousands of peace-keepers (45,000-50,000 NATO/US soldiers), more than 5,000 UN police, looked on while a massive ethnic cleansing was committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and extremist Albanians. . . Today, almost five years since the “humanitarian bombing” and the establishment of a UN protectorate, Kosovo is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Roma! Very few Roma, pejoratively referred to as "gypsies," have remained . . . (full article)

The Lethal Stench of Japanese Power
by Leilla Matsui

In Japan, "oyaji kusai" describes the peculiarly unpleasant odor that emanates from "oyaji"; the pejorative term for elderly men, especially those who favor a particularly pungent pomade to arrange their thinning hair into  "bar code" stripes across their scalps.  To get the real essence of "oyaji kusai", just imagine a suit, un-drycleaned for several decades, and doused with bug repellant to cover a feint, yet lingering, latrine odor.  Cosmetic companies have even devoted a significant portion of their research and development budgets towards inventing the deodorant equivalent of  "Smells like Oyaji Spirit".  If their progress could be measured by my mercifully brief ride on an 'oyaji' packed rush hour subway yesterday, then success has so far eluded all pharmaceutical efforts to wipe 'oyaji kusai' off the olfactory map. . . In light of recent political developments here, “oyaji kusai” has a particular resonance since it also describes the stench coming from Kasumigaseki, the general vicinity of the Prime Minister's official residence. Ironically, it was Koizumi's perceived lack of “oyaji kusai” that endeared him to voters in the first place and got him elected by his party elders of the ruling and anything but “Liberal Democratic Party.” . . . The fact that Koizumi's economic stimulus proposals were on direct orders from his immediate superiors in Washington have done little to diminish his popularity. On the contrary, Japan's parasitic alliance with the U.S. is grudgingly accepted as an unfortunate but inevitable price to pay for its eventual emancipation from the constitutional constraints which prevent it from becoming the region's nuclear superpower. . . (full article)

Israeli Myths
by Nick Pretzlik

Two weeks ago George Bush bestowed his public support on Ariel Sharon’s plans for unilateral action in the West Bank and Gaza and dispelled “some longstanding myths” by recognizing “realities on the ground. This disingenuous White House cue provides an opportunity to debunk a few other myths – myths central to decades of Israeli propaganda. . . (full article)

Iraq: Starting From Square One, One Year Later
by Jim Lobe

One year after invading U.S. and British forces consolidated their control over Iraq, the administration of President George W Bush appears to be back at Square One, if not in negative territory, over how to ensure that control in the short to medium term. . . (full article)

Who Would Jesus Occupy?
by Josh Frank

Josh Frank spells out Ten Reasons to Oppose the US Occupation of Iraq . . .
(full article)

Food, Trade and US Power Politics in Latin America
by Toni Solo

The difference between what Bush officials say to Congress and the pap they feed foreign audiences makes interesting reading for anyone trying to figure out US government rhetoric on Latin America. The account rendered by US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick to Congress is very different from the one offered in speeches by US Representative to the Organization of American States John Maisto. Beyond these texts and pretexts, the US acts to dominate events in Latin America combining diplomacy and foreign aid with trade and economic pressure, all ultimately backed up by the threat of ruthless covert or overt military force. . .
(full article)

Two Up From the Tomb: The Skulls and Bones of Bush and Kerry
by John Vorasangian

In his new book Contention and Democracy in Europe, 1650-2000, the historian Charles Tilly confides that, despite his use of the term “democracy,” he knows of “no European national regime, past or present, in which a small number of rich and well-connected men -- I mean men -- did not wield disproportionate influence over the government.” This judgment concerns the countries of Western Europe; the former communist regimes may well be included in it, with just a little qualification for the word “rich.” Tilly continues: "I regard my own American regime as a deeply flawed democracy that recurrently de-democratizes by excluding significant segments of its population from public politics, by inscribing social inequalities in public life, by baffling popular will, and by failing to offer protection to its citizens." The ongoing presidential race is the most blatant example of de-democratizing now taking place in America. . . (full article)

April 24

An Interview With Noam Chomsky
by Simon Mars

A wide ranging interview with Professor Noam Chomsky by Simon Mars of The Dubai Business Channel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on April 2nd, 2004. (full interview)

Fallujah and the Forging of a New Iraq
by Walden Bello

A defiant slogan repeated by residents of Falluja over the last year was that their city would be "the graveyard of the Americans."  The last two weeks has seen that chant become a reality, with most of the 88 US combat deaths falling in the intense fighting around Falluja.  But there is a bigger sense in which the slogan is true: Falluja has become the graveyard of US policy in Iraq. . . (full article)

Niall Ferguson Speaks on the Need for Imperial Ruthlessness
by Paul Street

Behold the moral and intellectual atrocity that is celebrated Anglo-American business historian Niall Ferguson, whose smiling ruddy face can be seen atop his academic website at . . Writing in last Sunday’s New York Times, Ferguson suggested that the terrible recent Iraqi body count is too low. He has nothing but disdain for all this “squeamish” talk of withdrawal, internationalization, and handing back Iraq its sovereignty. “Putting this rebellion down,” he intones, “will require severity.”  (full article)

Iraq: A Deepening Tragedy
by David McReynolds

Former Socialist Party presidential candidate and chair of the War Resisters League talks on Iraq and the logic of withdrawal. (full article)

End the US Occupation of Iraq
by Ralph Nader

Every day our exposed military remains in war-torn Iraq, we imperil U.S. security, drain our economy, ignore urgent domestic needs and prevent Iraqi democratic self-rule. We need to announce a withdrawal of our troops, not increase them. . . (full article)

The Rising Corporate Military Monster
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Corporate military monster is being created in Iraq. The U.S. government is relying on private military contractors like never before. Approximately 15,000 military contractors, maybe more, are now working in Iraq. The four Americans brutally killed and mutilated in Fallujah March 31 were part of this informal army of occupation. . . (full article)

Abortion is Every Woman’s Right
by Sharon Smith

On April 25, tens of thousands of people will descend on Washington, D.C., to tell George Bush and the other politicians that we won’t go back. The anti-abortion bigots--led by the bigot-in-chief in the White House--are on the attack with further restrictions on women’s right to choose abortion. They won’t be satisfied until abortion is outlawed. Stopping them will require building a grassroots movement that defends our right to abortion without apology--and doesn’t rely on "friendly" politicians who have only given up ground to the right. . . (full article)

The CIA Killed Pat Tillman
by Kurt Nimmo

Indirectly, of course. Tillman, an ex-NFL star who threw away his career and a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to fight Bush's war as an Army Ranger, was killed in Afghanistan this week. According to the Bush Ministry of Disinformation, Fox News division, Tillman was killed during a search-and-destroy operation near Khost, Afghanistan. Tillman's unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment, "was acting on intelligence about possible Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters when a firefight erupted. Tillman was the only Ranger killed in his unit, although military officials said two other U.S. soldiers were injured." So, how did the CIA indirectly kill Pat Tillman? (full article)

Country Joe Band, 2004: “Uncle Sam Needs Your Help Again”
by Norman Solomon

Now reconstituted with four of the legendary group’s original five members, the new Country Joe Band has just begun to tour. When I saw them perform, midway through April, the music was as tightly effusive as ever, with poetic lyrics mostly brought to bear on two perennials: love and death. . (full article)

A Realistic Election Strategy the Left Can Really Get Behind

by Stephen Gowans

Seeing as how my campaign to dissuade the US Left from endorsing the wholly un-Left-like candidacy of John F. Kerry has about as much hope of succeeding as my parallel campaign of getting Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake re-united for next year's Super Bowl, I've decided to pursue a new tack. And this one has all the elements the "Oh my gosh, Kerry is an atrocity – Go Kerry Go!" cheerleaders can really feel comfortable with. So, who knows? Maybe it will work. . . (full article)

Rejecting the Virtue of Suffering
by David Edwards and Media Lens

British people are not good at happiness. According to research published in 2002, around one-third of British people suffer from serious depression at any one time. A 25-year-old in 2002 was between three and ten times more likely to suffer a major depression than a 25-year-old in 1950. It seems that young people with the highest living standards since records began are deeply miserable during ‘the best years of their lives’. We can learn a lot about the root causes of this epidemic by comparing Western and non-Western approaches to mental suffering. Doing so, I believe, reveals a remarkable secret at the heart of Western unhappiness. . . (full article)

April 22

Crushing Falluja, Part 2
by David Edwards and Media Lens

Sniping specialists say of Falluja that there may not have been such a “target rich” battlefield for that kind of killing since the World War II battle for Stalingrad. The Los Angeles Times reports that US snipers have been killing hundreds of insurgents: “Sometimes a guy will go down, and I'll let him scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies,” a Marine corporal said, “then I'll use a second shot.” (‘For Marine snipers, war is up close and personal’, Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2004) In nearly two weeks of conflict in Falluja, the unnamed corporal has emerged as the top sniper, with 24 confirmed kills. By comparison, the top Marine Corps sniper in Vietnam killed 103 people in 16 months. "I couldn't have asked to be in a better place," the corporal said. "I just got lucky: to be here at the right time and with the right training." . . . (full article)

Bush's Messianic Complex: With God at his side, President Bush
should be judged by his prosecution of the war in Iraq
by Bill Berkowitz

George W. Bush was at church with his mother when he first heard "the call" to run for president. Before he announced his candidacy, he met with Texas-based evangelist James Robison and told him that he believed God wanted him to be president. As we learn more about what motivates President Bush, it becomes clear how much he -- a Methodist and a fervent born-again Christian -- believes he has been chosen by God to shepherd America through this demanding period. "No one in recent memory has pounded that pulpit for religion's role in government quite like the forty-third president," Stephen Mansfield writes in the introduction to his book The Faith of George W. Bush. Bush's "unapologetic religious tone" and his willingness to "speak of being called to the presidency, of a God who rules in the affairs of men, and of the United States owing her origin to Providence," separate him from recent predecessors. . . (full article)

Again, Why George W. Bush Must be Tried as a War Criminal
by Bob Fitrakis

The new revelations in Bob Woodward’s book, Plan of Attack, provide further evidence to convict President George W. Bush of war crimes. . . (full article)

What Kind of State Deserves to Exist?
by Tanya Reinhart

Amidst the political storm in Israel regarding the "Gaza disengagement" plan, only one really meaningful fact emerges: Sharon received Bush's approval to proceed with his plan for the wall in the West Bank. . . (full article)

Varieties of Barbarism: from Fallujah to “Free Trade” in Latin America
by Toni Solo

Recent US military conduct in Fallujah, murdering civilians, closing hospitals and deliberately targeting ambulances, is the latest example of the barbarism of United States official culture. The bluff flow of US government propaganda about promoting economic progress, democracy and human rights still gushes confidently. But US government and corporate abuse of vulnerable communities and peoples in Latin America has plenty of history to gainsay official protestations of goodwill. . . (full article)

Next on Sharon's Laundry List: Syria
by Kurt Nimmo

According to the far right-wing Moonie nut bars at the Washington Times, "Syria is 'facilitating' the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq and helping supply them with arms... Foreign fighters from Syria have become a major stumbling block to stabilizing Iraq and turning over sovereignty by June 30." In other words, not only are the Bushites setting up Syria for invasion or, at minimum, destabilization, they are also using it as an excuse not to "turn over" Iraq to a fresh crop of hand-picked stooges on June 30. . . (full article)

Plan Haiti Emerges
by Anthony Fenton

The US government, in cahoots with the illegal regime of Gerard Latortue and powerful elements within the Haitian Diaspora, are lobbying to impose punitive legislation on Haitians, paving the way for the entrenchment of neoliberal programs that are guaranteed to enrich the few and further impoverish the many. . . (full article)

Standing Small
by Peter Kurth

Pity poor President Bush, who as recently as 10 days ago imagined he had the leisure to shuffle off to Crawford and pretend to be a Texan. As the descendant of Texans -­ indeed, East Texan farmers who migrated to Dallas looking for a better way of life -­ I’m allowed to say that. Capisce? “President Bush on Thursday opened his expansive central Texas ranch to sporting aficionados and conservation groups, including the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever” -­ this according to a sappy and abruptly outdated press release from the lower colon of the White House, dolled-up as a “Reuters wire report” and published, unfortunately for Bush, just hours before the “post-invasion” Iraqi shit hit the “Coalition” fan in Falluja. . . (full article)

A Street Fighting Man? The Only Way Kucinich Can Win
by Josh Frank

While the sun in Iraq scorches an already turbulent soil, the heat of election season is being felt back in the good ol’ US of A. Polls are indicting Bush is recovering from a slight dip in his approval rating as his rival John Kerry is flying around the country ignoring the rising US death toll in Iraq. The escalation in casualties, claims Kerry, has little to do with him or any of the other Democrat and has everything to do with George W. Bush. “We need to internationalize the effort [in Iraq],” blasts Kerry, “and put an end to the American occupation!” Remember, he is admitting that the occupation will surely continue, it’ll just be administered with more diversity. Call it the new age of affirmative action. Kerry isn’t the only Democrat left in the ring however. Dennis Kucinich, although haunted by a dry bank account and scarce media coverage, says he’s still swinging in the fray. But does the featherweight from Ohio have any fight left in him? (full article)

Hunger Strike Remembers the Victims of World Bank Policies
by Robert Jensen

For tourists interested in democracy, the best attraction in Washington, DC, from April 23-26 will be the World Bank at 1818 H St. NW. It’s not what is inside the building that is worth the stop those days, but the three people who will be across the street on a symbolic hunger strike “to commemorate the forgotten people in the Bank’s 60-year history, those whose right to development has been violated by the very institution that claims to listen to the voices of the poor.” . . . (full article)

John Kerry Tries to Out-Bush Bush
by Elizabeth Schulte

Just a few months ago, the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination were battling for votes in the primaries--and using fiery anti-Bush rhetoric to try to win support. That was then. Now, John Kerry, the lamest of the bunch, has a lock on the nomination--and he’s shed the "fighting for working people" message that he tried on for size in Iowa and New Hampshire for a more comfortable fit. Acting like a carbon copy of George Bush. . . (full article)

Ten Years After: Rwanda and the G Word
by Mickey Z.

Ten Years After, a long-forgotten 1960s rock band that featured the dynamic guitar work of Alvin Lee, was perhaps best known for its live rendition of “Goin' Home.” Ten years after genocide in Rwanda was purposely ignored by a Democratic president who was perceived as a step forward from a man named George Bush...well, it kinda feels like we're “goin' home” again. . .
(full article)

Bush Admires Blair’s “Cajones” & “Only Seeing Tit in Iraq”
by Gary Corseri

Consummate insider and now persona non grata Bob Woodward spills the beans in his latest tattle book: Bush gave Tony Blair a chance to back out of the Iraq invasion. When Blair stood shoulder to shoulder with his mendacious buddy, Bush went around telling everyone how much he admired Blair’s cajones. What worries me most: I don’t find this hard to imagine. There’s Bush with that goofy smirk winking at Condi: How about them cajones! he shouts. Stone-faced Condi covers her ears, rushes by. . . (full article)

April 20, 2004

Report from Baghdad
by Rahul Mahajan

Baghdad, Iraq -- "Why do you keep asking about the closing of the Fallujah hospital?" my Iraqi translator asks in exasperation. I explain that this is big news, and it hasn't really been reported in English. He looks at me, incredulous; all Iraqis know about it. When the United States began the siege of Fallujah, it targeted civilians in several ways. The power station was bombed; perhaps even more important, the bridge across the Euphrates was closed. Fallujah's main hospital stands on the western bank of the river; almost the entirety of the town is on the east side. Although the hospital was not technically closed, no doctor who actually believes in the Hippocratic oath is going to sit in an empty hospital while people are dying in droves on the other bank of the river. . . (full article)

White Lies, Black Lies
by Larry S. Rolirad

Now that Bob Woodward has published a book, Plan of Attack, surrounding the events that led to the Iraq war, it is obvious that Republicans used any means they could to go to war against another sovereign country with an intent to overthrow its government. In an April 18, 2004 interview on 60 Minutes, Bob Woodward. . . has just laid out a case for the removal of GW Bush. In the 45-minute interview between 60 Minutes' correspondent Mike Wallace and Mr. Woodward there were revelations that should spell doom for the entire Bush regime, and especially Bush, whose very sanity must now be questioned. . . (full article)

We Are the Barbarians: Consequences of Colonialism in Iraq
by M. Junaid Alam

Jaw agape and fangs unsheathed, American colonialism has lashed out with severe brutality against the newly-unified Iraqi resistance, counting on its military might to crush the aspirations of Iraqis who seek to liberate their country from foreign control. Relying so heavily on the force of arms against a people it claims to liberate, the US has inverted Clausewitz’s famous dictum that war is a continuation of politics by other means; our policy now is politics as a continuation of war by other means. But it so happens that this is a double-edged sword -– with both edges thrust firmly into the heart of the occupation. For no matter how many Iraqi patriots America kills, ten more will spring forward for each who has fallen; and no matter how many are silenced by American bullets, the viciousness and arrogance with which those bullets were fired will speak loudly and convincingly to thousands of Iraqis who will be inspired to resist. . . (full article)

Crushing Falluja, Part One
by David Edwards and Media Lens

On April 10, details emerged from aid agencies and hospital sources that fully 600 Iraqis had been killed and 1700 injured in Falluja, many of them civilians. From the smashed slums of the city, Aljazeera broadcast the reality: a child under five with the top of its head missing; a baby with blast burns to its face and a tube draining from its chest. None of this appeared in the UK media, which expressed no discernible outrage at the spectacle of a superpower waging war on residential areas with 70-ton main battle tanks, bombers and helicopter gunships. . . (full article)

Rights Group Says Wiranto Must Stand Trial Not Stand for Office
by The East Timor Action Network

We are dismayed at the Golkar Party's nomination of General Wiranto for President of Indonesia. The people of Indonesia and East Timor deserve better. Wiranto must stand trial not stand for office. We join the people of East Timor in extreme discouragement at the prospects for justice and the future security of the new nation. Wiranto is responsible through acts of omission and commission for the gravest violations of human right in East Timor and Indonesia. . . (full article)

How to Align Your Spiritual Practice and Your Innermost Innards
With the Outer World

by Guru Rammit Enya

In these troubling times, many spiritual seekers are experiencing a deep vibrating rumbling which starts in the lower chakras, and extends upwards through the higher self, all the way out into the cosmic reaches of deep space. In this lesson, I will enlighten you as to the causes of this particular spiritual malady, and suggest some possible courses of action which will enable you to bring your inner emotional, spiritual and political consciousness into alignment with the physical, or outer world. . . .The fact that you are still reading this, indicates that you are a true seeker, and that what you seek is genuine enlightenment. It may also indicate a gullibility in you that I can exploit. Be assured, however, that my motives are pure, and that what I offer you is information your Creator intends you should hear, as a means to insure that you evolve. The Divine Wisdom I intend to impart to you now is GUARANTEED to be superior in quality to any wisdom you may have obtained through expensive seminars and spiritual retreats, and yet it comes to you here ABSOLUTELY FREE! Rest assured that, AS SEEN ON TV, the spiritual Dharma I will outline here is NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES! . . .
(full teaching)

Letter to President Bush
by A Concerned Christian

Dear President Bush: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.  I have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many  people as I can.  When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination & End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them. . . (full letter)

Bush, Kerry and Empire: The Capitulation of the Left
is Almost Unprecedented

by Alexander Cockburn

As one who regards Gerry Ford as our greatest president (least time served, least damage done, husband of Betty, plus Stevens as his contribution to the Supreme Court) I’d always imagined the man from Grand Rapids would never be surpassed in sheer slowness of thought. When a reporter asked Ford a question it was like watching that great sequence in Rossellini’s film about Louis XIV, when a shouted command is relayed at a stately pace through a dozen intermediaries from the kitchen to the royal ear. In Ford’s case, to watch a message negotiate the neural path from ear to cortex was to see a hippo wade through glue. But I think Bush has Ford beat. Had he ever made a mistake, the reporter asked at that White House press conference last Tuesday. The president’s face remained composed, masking the turmoil and terror raging within, as his cerebellum went into gridlock. It should have been easy for him. Broad avenues of homely humility beckoned him on. “John, no man can stand before his Creator as I do each day and say he is without error…” Reagan would have hit the ball out of the park. But the President froze. He said he’d have to think it over. . . (full article)

Apocalypse Please

by George Monbiot

To understand what is happening in the Middle East, you must first understand what is happening in Texas. To understand what is happening there, you should read the resolutions passed at the state's Republican party conventions last month. Take a look, for example, at the decisions made in Harris County, which covers much of Houston. The delegates began by nodding through a few uncontroversial matters: homosexuality is contrary to the truths ordained by God; "any mechanism to process, license, record, register or monitor the ownership of guns" should be repealed; income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax should be abolished; and immigrants should be deterred by electric fences. Thus fortified, they turned to the real issue: the affairs of a small state 7000 miles away. It was then, according to a participant, that the "screaming and near fistfights" began. . . (full article)

An Interview with Michael Hardt
by Benjamin Dangl

Michael Hardt is a professor at Duke University and is the co-author, along with Antonio Negri, of the book Empire, which Harvard University Press described as “Looking beyond the regimes of exploitation and control that characterize today’s world order, Empire seeks an alternative paradigm – the basis for a truly democratic global society.” This interview took place during a forum on the global peace movements against the war in Iraq, held at Columbia University from March 27-28, 2004. In the interview Hardt talks about the possible implications of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the roles of presidents Chavez, Lula and Kirchner in Latin America, the recent US intervention in Haiti and the coordination between activist movements in Latin America and the US. . . (full interview)

The Bin Laden Tapes: Fact or Fiction?
by Jason Kernahan

Osama Bin Laden’s audiotapes have become an extremely important link between that terrorist leader and the outside world. Through them he has been able to convey political rhetoric to his enemies and followers alike, to issue threats, and even claim responsibility for terrorist acts perpetrated by Al Qaeda. Just recently in Spain, for example, an Al Qaeda videotape and letter were used first to claim credit for the 3/11 Madrid bombings, and subsequently to coerce the Spanish government into withdrawing its troops from Iraq. While so doing they added a degree of clarity to the events in Madrid, and helped remove all doubt about the relevance of those bombings to the international fight against terrorism. So while their usefulness can hardly be questioned, how much do we really know about the origins of these Al Qaeda tapes or their authenticity? (full article)

The Madman in the Laboratory

by Jordy Cummings

One year ago, I was of the attitude that Anti-Jewish action was not a big deal, something of which, as per the great Counterpunch essay by Michael Neumann, “far less scary than Icy Roads.” At this point, I feel differently. In the face of the attacks on the twin towers in Sept 2001, an environment was created that gestated a unique and horrifying form of Islamophobia that in many ways, parodied old-fashioned “protocols” type anti-Semitism. The likes of Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson suckered many people, and Bernard Lewis again became a front-of-the-bookstore special. With the actions of Israel going against all commonly understood notions of human values -- even Jewish values , and the perception that most adult Jews support the state of Israel, whether true or not, indeed has created an environment in which Anti-Jewish sentiment can and will flourish. . .
(full article)

April 19

The UN, Iraq and the Bush Administration
by Joel Wendland

Last January, Tareeq Al-Shaab, the newspaper published by the Iraqi Communist Party and the first non-government newspaper to appear in Iraq after the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime, editorialized that "It is well known that the occupation forces did not want, from the start, to give the UN a central and 'vital' role to the international organization for various reasons. Among the most important reasons was the desire to control the progress of the political process and its outcome in accordance with their interests and the objectives they had drawn up for their presence in Iraq." Bush attacked the UN during its apparently successful weapons inspections in the period just prior to the war in order to demonstrate the failure of multilateralism. He claimed that weapons inspections were wasting time and that we couldn't wait for "a mushroom cloud." He convinced many people in the U.S. that an attack form Iraq was imminent. Now even the Bush administration admits that skepticism of the intelligence of WMD and Iraq's supposed connection to Al-Qaeda was warranted. . . (full article)

The Lesser-of-Two Evils
by Kim Petersen

Events now clearly indicate that the corporate political duopoly’s candidates will be President George Bush versus John Kerry.  A choice limited to two such candidates is a soul-crushing blow to progressives’ aspirations. For progressives buying into the conventional wisdom that a vote cast outside of the duopoly would be wasted, that left the unseemly choice of the lesser-of-two evils: Kerry. The damage wreaked by the Bush presidency is great but a Kerry presidency will predictably do little to reverse this. Meanwhile there is a candidate who embraces many policies that progressives hold dear. But so clear and present a danger is Bush that many progressives advocate forming a massive and unified voting bloc to ensure his ouster. Such a tactic entails its own risks. . . (full article)

Bush and Armageddon
by Joel Wendland

Bush may have mental health issues. In his never-ending quest to generate international support for his war on and occupation of Iraq, George W. Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on April 15th. He announced he was reversing over 20 years of U.S. policy by accepting Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. He also flatly stated his opposition to the Palestinian right of return for those who fled or were forced out of Israel in the 1940s. But wait...The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. support for Israel has long been at the heart of much of the conflict between Arab countries and the U.S. In encouraging Sharon's version of unilateralist preemption, Bush thumbed his nose at the concerns raised by Arab states about U.S. policy regarding the Middle East. As the Minneapolis Star Tribune put it in it's April 16th editorial, "Other than the invasion of Iraq, there's hardly anything Bush could have done to muster even greater support for the worldwide jihad." . . (full article)

BuSharon and the Logic of War
by James Brooks

The BuSharon pact announced this week is both ‘more of the same’, to sum up Ali Abunimah’s insightful review, and a ‘catastrophe’ for the Palestinian cause. As Abunimah reminds us, the new US/Israeli deal was heavily foreshadowed by Clinton’s dealings with Israeli PM Ehud Barak. At this stage in the evolution of "the special relationship", the BuSharon pact is little more than an update to make official policy agree with our policy in practice. Nonetheless, it is a defining moment when a simple exchange of letters dissolves the long-standing core of US Middle East policy, and replaces it with a "deal" that violates every applicable international law and UN resolution. . . (full article)

Screwballs for Freedom
by Kap Fulton

Khalil Thabit Greene looked uncomfortable in his quasi-military uniform. Greene is a member of the Bahai faith which preaches universal brotherhood. On this day, Greene was dressed like a Navy Seal from the waste up. From the waste down he wears tight pajama like pants with metal spikes on the bottom of his shoes. Greene's long blonde hair would never cut it in the military. Greene is a professional baseball player. With their state of the art, brand new ballpark overlooking the downtown marina, Greene and his teammates are the cheerleaders for war without end. Actually, Greene has nothing to do with the occasional promotional attire. This decision comes from above. . . (full article)

Back on the Bus
by Tom Matzzie

Every day in America, 85,444 workers lose their jobs. 14.7 million people are jobless, underemployed or have given up looking for work. 43.6 million people have no health insurance. 4,227 people file for personal bankruptcy. 12,878 workers are injured or made ill by their jobs. 6.8 million people are in the workforce but are still poor. 11 million children attend broken-down schools. These are the almost-numbing statistics about the state of America's working families. They are among the most important parts of the case against George W. Bush. How could somebody do so little while so many hurt? (full article)

Car Hegemony
by Yves Engler

What do recent reports about the world’s soon to be third biggest killer, a BMW driver in China killing a peasant bicyclist, a Global Witness analysis on corruption in extractive industries and the World Bank refusing to adhere to recommendations by its own commission have to do with each other? Car hegemony. . . (full article)

Journalism 101
by Mickey Z.

I took a look at the writing gigs at Craig's List today and came across the ad below (all typos are theirs, not mine). "Looking for perverted, inteligent, young, hip, funny writers. Welcome to the Burning Angel Writer's Guild. . . "
(full article)

April 17

Got Juice? California May Be Saddled With
Severe Power Shortages This Summer

by Jason Leopold

Get ready for another jolt this summer. California energy officials are expected to issue a startling report next week warning that the state is going to be terribly short of electricity, which could result in a repeat of the energy crisis that wreaked havoc on consumers and businesses in the Golden State three years ago. . . (full article)

The "Central Hand" of the Resistance
by Kurt Nimmo

We are informed by various corporate ministries calling themselves the free press that there is a "central hand" in the Iraqi uprising against occupation. But there is no "central hand." It is a collective hand, the hand of an ever-increasing number of Iraqis suffering under a brutal and illegal occupation. Sure, the military aspect of the resistance most assuredly has a "central hand" -- as do all military operations -- but the resistance itself is not centrally organized. It is a predictable human response to tyranny and the devastation inflicted by the United States government and the corporations that own Bush and Congress and tell them what to do. . . (full article)

"Sunnis and Shiites are United": The Roots of the Resistance
by Lee Sustar

Lee Sustar looks at the roots of the revolt against occupation in Iraq: Iraq's national movement to liberate the country from U.S. occupation has shown its power -- and will continue to grow until the occupiers are forced to withdraw. That’s the long-term reality that Washington is dealing with in the wake of last week’s armed uprisings across Iraq. The U.S. may regain its footing, either through brute force or a series of deals -- but every bomb dropped on a mosque, every midnight raid in a Baghdad neighborhood, and every civilian killed by U.S. forces generates more recruits for the resistance. (full article)

Undoing the Latches: Recognizing the Gates Around Us
by Mickey Z.

In his brilliant book, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson writes: "I was told by some New Zealand sheep farmers that sometimes a particularly smart lamb will learn to undo the latch of a gate, evidently not an uncommon skill, and the sheep farmer then worries that the lamb might teach his less clever companions to do the same." Masson asked a group of farmers, "What do you do with sheep who can undo the latch?" "We shoot them," came the reply, "so they can't pass on their knowledge." . . .(full article)

Bush's Love of Brown-Skinned People
by Justin Felux

George W. Bush is either a complete idiot or the most masterful ironist since Socrates. Like most who have observed his blank stare during press conferences, I have always assumed the former. However, sometimes Bush makes me wonder if he might actually be an artistic genius playing the lead role in a real-life tragicomedy, with all of us ignorantly assuming the role of supporting cast. For example, are initiatives with names like "Clear Skies," "Healthy Forests," and "No Child Left Behind" just asinine misnomers or clever attempts at self-parody? Another such moment occurred during Bush's recent press conference, in which he suggested his antiwar critics are racist. . . (full article)

My Master's House
by Sheila Samples

He has always been there, barely visible -- his comforting presence more felt than seen.  From ROTC to Vietnam, from Iran-Contra to Desert Storm, from the Joint Chiefs to Foggy Bottom, he has been quietly steady, honest, trustworthy and obedient.  Both in and out of uniform, Secretary of State Colin Powell has served brilliantly. Powell is the crème de la crème of the media's ability to create heroic caricatures, exceeded only by their carefully constructed image of George W. Bush.  Although Powell's military career dates back to Vietnam, he first appeared full blown in America's line of vision during the first Persian Gulf War where, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he is credited with orchestrating that wild and bloody foray that ended in a Feb. 1991 crescendo of bullets in the backs of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians promised safe passage back to Baghdad along what was to become the Highway of Death. . . (full article)

Evil Does Often Triumph
by John Chuckman

It did appear that that mountainous bulk of murder and corruption, Ariel Sharon, was about to leave politics. Much as with Al Capone, authorities only caught up with him through a trail of crooked money. But we have heard less of his retirement lately and rather more about his plan to leave Gaza. Apparently, after killing hundreds of its occupants, including scores of innocent bystanders as Israeli helicopters fired missiles into city streets, Sharon thinks he'll get some good press about leaving Gaza. . . (full article)

On Bush, Drugs and Hypocrisy
by Bob Fitrakis

When President George W. Bush signed the Drug-Free Communities Act in 2002, he asserted, "If you quit drugs, you join the fight against terror in America." During the 2002 Superbowl, in the aftermath of 9/11, Bush's Office of National Drug Control Policy aired two TV ads asking the simple question, "Where do terrorists get their money?" The answer: "If you buy drugs, some of it might come from you." . . . (full article)

Who’s on First?  The Bush-Cheney 9/11 Dog & Pony Show
by Gary Corseri

Hear those lead doors closing behind the 9/11 Commission hearings?  Sound familiar?  A magic bullet that stops and turns in mid air, kills a president, wounds a governor?    We’ll probably never know who said what.  But here follows as reasonable a facsimile as we’re ever likely to get. . . (full play)


April 15

Some People Push Back
by Thomas Wheeler

At least 83 U.S. troops have already been killed in just the first 12 days of April with more than 560 wounded. The 83 dead already makes this April the worst month ever and the number of wounded exceeds the worst month by more than 220 – and we still have two and a half weeks to go. Last week’s indiscriminate slaughter and brutal repression by the U.S. military against the popular resistance forces in Fallujah has meant that Iraqis are dying in much larger numbers. Deaths in the past week range from a conservative estimate of nearly 900 to more than 1,300 killed with thousands wounded. Independent correspondent Dahr Jamail reports that the Americans are slaughtering civilians in Falluja with numerous women and children shot by American snipers and ambulances being shot at by the Americans. . .
(full article)

How the “NewsHour” Changed History
by Norman Solomon

When the anchor of public television’s main news program goes out of his way to tell viewers that he’s setting the record straight about a recent historic event, the people watching are apt to assume that they’re getting accurate information. But with war intensifying in Iraq, a bizarre episode raises some very troubling concerns about the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” Here’s what happened . . . (full article)

Wealthy Taxpayers Bank on Bush
by Holly Sklar

It would take 17 Donald Trumps to match the $43 billion net worth of investor guru Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man. When it comes to federal taxes, though, Buffett pays about the same rate as his office receptionist. “I pay a somewhat higher [federal tax] rate for my combination of salary, investment and capital gain income than our receptionist does,” Buffett wrote last year, “But she pays a far higher portion of her income in payroll taxes than I do.” If President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy keep moving forward, the receptionist will pay a higher overall tax rate than her boss. She already pays a higher rate in state and local taxes. . . (full article)

Why American Troops Commit Atrocities in Iraq
by Dennis Rahkonen

Whether Vietnam or Iraq, what’s a kid from Kansas or Ohio to do when it turns out that everyone hates the Yankees? Very likely, shoot everything and everybody in sight. . . (full article)

The Spinning Grounds
by Bill Berkowitz

Can Team Bush's marketing machine possibly spin the current Iraq war crisis into an upbeat media moment? (full article)

The Seduction and Recruitment of Progressives
by T. Patrick Donovan

Fear is a most amazing energy. It can activate the responses of fight, flight, or freeze. Sadly, among people who consider themselves progressives, fear has recently activated what can only be called Let's Beautify the Empire. Fear of Bush, and the Bush regime's use of fear, seems to be compelling voices formerly critical of imperial adventures overseas, and police-state tactics here at home, to find ways of perfecting the very mechanisms they once railed against. . . (full article)

Why Does Kerry Sound like Bush?
by Elizabethe Schulte

If there was any question about John Kerry being a "liberal," the Massachusetts senator cleared it up during the February debate of Democratic presidential contenders in New York City. No way, Kerry said. "It's absolutely the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in my life," Kerry snapped--before proudly coming up with a long list of his less-than-liberal credentials, including "deficit reduction" and putting "100,000 police officers on the streets of America. After a brief flirtation with populist rhetoric and his uptight version of being a "regular guy" that helped get him the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in primaries earlier this year, Kerry has quickly eased back into a role he seems much more comfortable with. Sounding like his opponent, George W. Bush. . . (full article)

Dangerous Times
by Nick Pretzlik

Until recently it was a mystery to me how in the 1930s on of the most evil regimes in history could usurp power in a country that at the time represented the pinnacle of culture in terms of the arts and sciences, and was thought to be a model of democracy. How could the German populace have permitted such an occurrence? As the Project for the New American Century unfolds and the unholy alliance of Christian Zionists, Neo Conservatives and corporate and Jewish lobbies act in concert to dictate the foreign policy of the world’s only superpower, the global situation deteriorates. It seems inevitable now that the bogeyman of organized international terror will fill the void left by the demise of the Cold War. The fear generated by its intangible tentacles already acts as the catalyst, which is perverting western democracies and eroding established civil rights. When people are sufficiently afraid, they will accept whatever information they are given by those in authority, even if logic indicates that the information is skewed. . . (full article)

Civilizing Clash: The Brain of Empire
by Kap Fulton

First off, let me just say that I am for liberty, freedom, and civilizations. I am against the uncivilized. And furthermore, I will not tolerate nor negotiate with any person unless they are wearing a business suit or a military uniform. Case Closed. Insurgency from Saddam loyalists will be counteracted with collateral damage. Muqtada As-Sadr's militia is illegal. Soldiers must have at least a high school diploma. His fighters do not have health insurance. They do not have a G.I. Bill to pay for college. The illegal fighters in Iraq do not use the necessary equipment to fight the American army. Iraqi militias cannot offer Navy housing or discounts on soaps and other fine products like at our Naval Exchange. Osama bin Laden and Al-Sadr shop at thrift stores. They do not represent the future of a unified and free Iraq. . . (full article)

Interview with Jeffrey St. Clair
by M. Junaid Alam

Recently, co-editor of Left Hook M. Junaid Alam had a chance to interview Jeffrey St. Clair, co-editor of Counterpunch, about his devastating critique of corporate-government ruination of the environment presented in his recent book, Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: The Politics of Nature. . . (full article)

April 13-14

“Submit or Die”: The Siege of Fallujah and Beyond
by Voices in the Wilderness, UK

Roughly 800 Iraqis have been killed in the latest escalation of US/UK repression and killing in Iraq. In the first of series of emergency updates Voices UK looks at what’s likely to happen next and the mind-set of some of the US soldiers fighting in Iraq. . . (full article)

Report from Fallujah: Destroying a Town in Order to Save it
by Rahul Mahajan

Fallujah, Iraq -- On the edge of Iraq's western desert, Fallujah is extremely arid but has been rendered into an agricultural area by extensive irrigation. A town of wide streets and squat, sand-colored buildings, its population is primarily farmers. We were in Fallujah during the "ceasefire." This is what we saw and heard. . . (full article)

Two Ideas of Freedom
by Said Shirazi

The stupidest thing a person can say in three words is the system works. When a person says the system works, what they're really saying is I'm not hurting. When a gang of police are videotaped beating a man to the ground repeatedly, you are sure to hear that the system works. When a company’s board of directors is indicted for dumping their own stock, it also goes to show that the system works. It doesn’t matter whether any of the trials eventually produce a conviction. Once beaten a man can not be unbeaten, nor will any looted pension funds ever be recovered, but this is apparently of no concern. Whenever the ongoing failure of the system becomes noticeable, some commentator will be on hand to guide the public to the happy conclusion that the system has worked yet again. People say the system works precisely when it fails. . . (full article)

Euthanasia in the Context of Sick Societies
by Barbara Sumner Burstyn

In the United States, where euthanasia is also a hot topic, disability rights groups are joining forces to fight euthanasia and change the dialogue that surrounds it, from the religious inference of redemptive suffering to more secular debates, such as the appropriateness of neo-eugenics and the rise of the so-called futile-care theory. . . (full article)

Americans See Through the Media Reaction to Iraq Chaos . . .
But Only So Far

by Nico Pitney

"Where is Bush? Let him come here and see this!" one Iraqi boy yelled while grinding his heel into the charred skull of one of the American dead. So went Iraq's "Mogadishu moment," as four contracted security personnel hired by the US military were murdered and mutilated in the Iraqi town of Fallujah while large crowds watched and celebrated. The boy's wish was essentially granted. George W. Bush and most everyone else in the United States did see images of the events -- and those images only. The six Iraqi civilians in Fallujah gunned down by Marines in a firefight five days prior merited little press attention. . . (full article)

Bush: While Nero Fiddled…
by Mina Hamilton

Meltdown in Iraq.  In the Falluja uprising and elsewhere in Iraq the bloody toil is appalling.  In a week, 60 US soldiers die.  It's one of the bloodiest periods for American forces since the war began.  The toll for Iraqis is, as usual, not known.  Some estimate 600 Iraqis dead in Falluja, with 1200 injured, mostly women and children. Kut and Kufa are taken over by the national resistance, the militia army of Moktada al-Sadr, or "thugs" depending upon who's talking.  Najaf falls. Meanwhile, President Bush is silent. . . (full article)

Bush Lite: Chomsky's Low Carb Poison
by Kap Fulton

As the situation in Iraq becomes worse each day, the world can only ponder what instructions George W. Bush will find scribbled in his neo-Scripture. (Hey! Is that Karl & Dick's handwriting in the margins?) Except, I'm not sure which world I am living in. I had a dream the other night that Donald Trump jumped out of the TV and handed me that beaver burrowing on his head. When I awoke, I entered the “real world”: Chomsky's world. Careful not to endorse Kerry by name, American foreign policy expert Noam Chomsky has advocated a vote for "Bush-Lite" in the November 2004 presidential election. While I agree that four years of George W. Bush will certainly be Shocking and Awing, electing John Kerry brings the promise of Shock & Yawn. Instead of the neo-con cluster bomb, Bush-Lite wields a dull, yet dutiful machete. . . (full article)

Pain in the Groin: Anarchist Dilemma
by Kim Petersen

Respected linguist Noam Chomsky has prioritized the removal of the President George Bush-led US government. It is not surprising the anarcho-syndicalist professor has identified the strategy of choosing the lesser evil of the corporate political duopoly that dominates American politics. . .
(full article)

Condi Rice Wouldn't Admit Mistakes
by Robert Jensen

Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission didn't resolve questions about what the Bush administration could, or should, have done to prevent the attack, but her comments made it clear how Bush policies since 9/11 have made Americans radically less safe. . . (full article)

Laziness in the Face of Mortal Danger
by Ivan Eland

The release of the classified intelligence briefing to President Bush entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S,” which was given to the president more than a month before September 11, illustrates the U.S. government’s failure at what should be its primary purpose: ensuring the security of its citizens. . . (full article)

Wal-Mart Loses a Battle, But Why Was It Allowed to Fight?
by Jeff Milchen

Wal-Mart Inc. executives aren't used to losing, but the world's largest corporation took a beating from citizens in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood. The company's ballot initiative, which would have negated Inglewood City Council's rejection of Wal-Mart's proposed "Supercenter," was crushed by voters last Tuesday despite Wal-Mart spending a mind-boggling $220 for each "yes" vote it received in the working-class city. . . Regardless of one's opinion of Wal-Mart, all of us who value democracy should be pleased that citizens rejected the company's blatant attempt to simply buy its way out of an unfavorable decision by local officials. The Inglewood result was the exception to the rule, however. So we might question why we allow any corporation to employ ballot initiatives -- theoretically democracy in its purest form -- as weapons to overturn decisions of our democratically elected representatives. . . (full article)

Republicans Walk Out Of Federal Hearing On Voting Machines,
While Some Civil Rights Groups Support 'Paperless' Elections

by Lynn Landes

As the battle over voting machines rages across the country, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights met on Friday, April 9th, to examine the "Integrity, Security and Accessibility in the Nation's Readiness to Vote." Two scientists and four representatives of civil rights organizations were invited to brief the Commission. But, before the panelists had a chance to share their views, three Republican commissioners and one (notably conservative) Independent commissioner walked out, ostensibly over a personnel dispute. But, others are not so sure. . . (full article)

April 12

The Iraq Occupation One Year Later
by Phyllis Bennis

Almost one year from President Bush’s announcement of the end of "major combat operations" in Iraq, the U.S. drive towards empire faces new and serious challenges. One year to the day since U.S. military forces pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein, the front page of the Washington Post features a photograph of another U.S. soldier pulling down a poster of Shia’ a cleric Moqtada al-Sadr from a pillar in the same Baghdad square. Certainly the most important challenge is seen in the widening military confrontation now facing U.S. troops in cities across Iraq. But there is a further challenge internationally. The "second super-power" is on the rise, and it now has broadened to include not only social movements and global civil society protests but as well a new assortment of governments prepared to defy U.S. pressures, inter-governmental organizations and groups (some of them newly formed, such as the G-21). And new developments may point to a potential to reclaim the United Nations itself as part of the global resistance to U.S. war. . . (full article)

One, Two, Many Messes
by Jim Lobe

While the United States does not look quite yet like the ''pitiful, helpless giant'' that tortured Richard Nixon's imagination during the Vietnam War, the past week's events seem to have moved it very much in that direction. The week, which was supposed to culminate in celebrations of the first anniversary of Baghdad's ''liberation'' by U.S. forces, ended instead with Marines engaged on several fronts in precisely the kind of urban warfare that they blissfully avoided a year ago, with U.S.-trained Iraqi police and security forces deserting their posts in the face of insurgent challenges, the seizure of at least a half-dozen foreign hostages and the assumptions that underlay a year's worth of "nation-building" in Iraq in a shambles. . . (full article)

Bob Dylan: Victoria's Dirtiest Secret Yet
by Leilla Matsui and Seth Sandronsky

Since learning from a creationist website that the world is only 6,000 years old, (God made dinosaurs and then he made the baby Jesus) life suddenly seems less complicated, blissful even.  With a few billion years shaved off our planetary lifetime, we can revel in the neo-Neanderthalism of the here and now, and focus our scientific curiosity on more astounding revelations like Bob Dylan being named official spokesman for “Victoria's Secret.”  “Gotta Serve Somebody” has proved prophetic, after all.  Since he embraced the baby Jesus as his savior and tour manager a couple of decades ago, Bob Dylan has made the slippery-slope descent into his own fossil pit and, not surprisingly, corporate America has not only dug him up, but kept him to his word. . . But whether corporate America's spokesman is Bob Dole or Bob Dylan, the underlying political message is still the same: monkey business should be conducted in the nation's boardrooms and hot tubs -- not in its classrooms.  For neo-Neanderthals of the Christian right, the big bang describes what happens on your wedding night and not what happened in the universe. . . (full article)

A Beautiful Mindset: The Left Attacks From the Right
by Mickey Z.

As South African activist Steven Biko said: "The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed" and this mindset of denial pervades both Right and Left these days. How else can we explain all the beautiful minds bestowing importance upon doublespeaking distractions like the 9/11 Commission hearings and the infamous August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (PBD)? (full article)

A Perfectly Good Train Wreck
by William Rivers Pitt

[. . .] These are the American soldiers who have been identified as having been killed in Iraq in the first twelve days of April, 2004, one year after our tanks rolled into Baghdad and knocked down the statue of a man who had no weapons of mass destruction, no connections to al Qaeda, no connection to the attacks of September 11, and no ability to threaten the United States. (full article)

Intifada, Iraqi Style
by Naomi Klein

April 9, 2003 was the day Baghdad fell to U.S. forces. One year later, it is rising up against them. Donald Rumsfeld claims that the resistance is just a few "thugs, gangs and terrorists." This is dangerous, wishful thinking. The war against the occupation is now being fought out in the open, by regular people defending their homes and neighborhoods — an Iraqi intifada. . . (full article)

Civilian Militia
by Jason Kernahan

The recent violence in Fallujah stems from an incident last week when four Americans, identified in the media as "civilian contractors" were killed, dragged from their vehicles and their bodies burnt and dismembered. Now outrage over this incident in the US has been overwhelming with few pundits concealing the true motive behind the military response as being one of revenge. . . (full article)

"Today's Special: Chicken Hawk w. Side of Condi Rice"
by Douglas O'Rourke

Have you noticed the Bush Bandwagon has thundered right past "Wag the Dog," and is headed straight on toward "Screw the Pooch?" The White House image folks can usually out "Riefenstahl" any reality, but a rush of 'good news' from Iraq has them re-reading "Sun Tzu for Dummies." The Bush "Truth on the Cheap" policy is still evolving. Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice spent a few reluctant hours Thursday under oath before the members of the independent National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Dr. Rice's Republican version of 9/11 is so utterly compelling she makes you wish the Bush Administration had been in office when the Twin Towers fell so they could have protected us. (full article)

State Department Report Delivers a False Positive
by Garry Leech

On March 1, the U.S. State Department reported dramatic reductions in coca cultivation in Colombia during 2002 and 2003. According to the figures, cultivation dropped to 293,000 acres last year from 436,000 in 2001. Bush administration officials are now claiming that Plan Colombia is working and that U.S. drug policy is on the right track. What the report fails to explain is how such a dramatic reduction in supply over the past two years has not translated into significant changes in the availability, price and purity of cocaine on the streets of U.S. cities. As a result, the report doesn’t address the possibility that its data might not be entirely accurate, nor does it account for shifts in coca cultivation techniques or the impractical costs of Plan Colombia. . . (full article)

Iraq, Uzbekistan and Hypocrisy
by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

After the capture of Saddam Hussein, Mister Bush said to Iraqis: "You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again. All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side." With all this talk of liberation and freedom in contrast to tyranny and brutality, it is a wonder to the Federation, then, why Mr. Bush continues to cozy up to the dictatorial-despotic regime of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov. . . (full article)

John Chuckman: Victims of the American assault on Fallujah (from Al Jazeerah picutres)

April 10-11

Can Bullets and Bombs Establish Justice in Iraq?
by Robert Higgs

President George W. Bush has said on many occasions that he seeks to “bring to justice” those responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the United States. On September 20, 2001, he told a joint session of Congress: “Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” Later, he associated the U.S. invasion of Iraq with that same quest for justice. Today, however, as violent resistance to the U.S. occupation increases throughout Iraq and as the Shiites as well as the Sunnis fight pitched battles with the occupation forces, the Bush administration’s devotion to justice stands clearly revealed as declaration without substance. (full article)

The Etiology of Hate
by Kim Petersen

Canada’s largest metropolis, Toronto, has seen a wave of vandalism targeted at its Jewish community. This is deplorable and steps must be taken to expunge it. Canada’s national daily, the Globe and Mail, opines that the problem is ineradicable. “The vandalism has confronted the city with the problem of how to deal with a hatred that will not die.” These acts can correctly be labeled as anti-Judaism since they blatantly indicate hostility to Jews. Anti-Judaism, in recent times, has seen Jewish cultural icons vandalized in countries such as France, Russia, and Turkey. The Globe and Mail asks, “Yet how to confront an anti-Semitism so cowardly that it conceals itself in the dark, in hope of stoking not only hatred but fear?” This is a very important question and the solution likeliest lies in understanding the root causes of anti-Judaism. To deny an underlying environmental motivation is to define hatred as a hereditary manifestation. This, however, is not supported by the scientific and psychological literature. Therefore, it behooves humans to identify the sources of hatred. . . (full article)

Moqtada al-Sadr: the Latest Neocon Excuse to Kill Iranians
by Kurt Nimmo

Somebody needs to tell Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, and Reuel Marc Gerecht to shut the hell up. In fact, they need to be arrested and tried as traitors for their part in the illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. AEI needs to prosecuted as a criminal organization and shuttered for good. So does JINSA and the Hoover Institute and all of the other neocon criminal organizations. If there was any justice in the world, Bush would be impeached and Dick Cheney would be wearing an orange jumpsuit. Instead, these guys influence and run US foreign policy, they are millionaires, they are allowed to publish books and papers filled with criminal conspiracies against international peace. The American people either don't know, don't care, or are too busy watching television to do anything about it. . . The above mentioned are now "pushing for retribution against Iran for, they say, sponsoring this week's Shiite uprising in Iraq led by radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Despite the growing number of reports that depict the fighting as a spontaneous and indigenous revolt against the U.S.-led occupation, the influential neo-cons are calling on Bush to warn Tehran to cease its alleged backing for al-Sadr and other Shia militias or face retaliation, ranging from an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities to covert action designed to overthrow the government." . . . (full article)

Richard A. Clarke, Rwanda, and “Narcissistic Compassion”:
Curious Backdrop for the 9/11 Hearings
by Paul Street

In the first chapter of his excellent The Clash of Barbarisms: Sept 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder, Gilbert Achcar reflects on the depressing contrast between the “exceptional intensity of the emotions elicited worldwide by the destruction of Manhattan’s Twin Towers” and the comparative paucity of global concern for victims of much larger – if less spectacular and instantaneous – catastrophes in the Middle East and Africa. Among the latter, Achcar includes three million people killed by war in Congo-Kinshasa between 1998 and 2001 and 2,300,000 sub-Saharan Africans who died from AIDS in the year 2001 alone. Achcar finds it “indecent” and “revolting” that “the white world” is “thrown into convulsions of distress over the ‘6,000’ victims in the United States, while it can hardly gives a thought to Black Africa in its horrible agony.” Achcar describes this phenomenon as a form of what he calls “narcissistic compassion.” This is “a form of compassion evoked much more by calamities striking “people like us,” much less by calamities attacking people unlike us. The fate of New Yorkers in this case elicits far more of it than the fate of Iraqis or Rwandans ever could, to say nothing of Afghanis.” And the “white world” largely sets the tone of disparate global caring capacity through its domination of corporate-planetary media! For a curious example of what Achcar is talking, consider the case of celebrated (and ghost-white) White House defector Richard A. Clarke. . .
(full article)

Rushing to Judgment: Conservatives Call for Investigating
Democrats' Alleged Ties to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq

by Bill Berkowitz

Since 9/11, “terrorist alert” has become the new “red alert” -- a term historically associated with reckless accusations and the abuse of power. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the witch hunt for communists and their sympathizers during the late 1940s and early 1950s, was eventually exposed as a demagogue. Later, with the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, “Red Alert” lost its anti-communist reference point. The smearing of Army Capt. James Yee at the hands of the U.S. government, right wing partisans, and the insatiable cable news networks is an example of the Bush Administration’s “terrorist alert” run amuck. . . (full article)

Economic Recovery: Losers and Winners
by Marty Jezer

The American economy, indeed capitalism itself, has always gone through boom and bust cycles. Like night dawning into day, cyclical recessions followed by economic recoveries are inevitable, no matter what the policies of the party in power. Where political policy has an impact is on the nature of the cycle: which sectors of the economy are losers and which sectors do best in the recovery. A new study by economists at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, titled “The Unprecedented Rising Tide of Corporate Profits and the Simultaneous Ebbing of Labor Compensation: Gainers and Losers from the National Economic Recovery in 2002 and 2003”, gives a statistical underpinning to what is readily observable. Corporations and their executive officers are making-out like bandits. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of working people have nothing to show for their workaday efforts. . . (full article)

"Underground Music is Free Media"
An Interview with Twiin

by Mickey Z

When my wife Michele and I hosted a Health and Sustainable Living Expo at the ARROW Community Garden in Astoria a few years back, we were contacted by a local roots/reggae band offering to provide a live soundtrack. The Uplifters, it turned out, were very much in tune with what was being offered...the perfect vibe for an afternoon of sunshine, yoga, alternative health, organic food, and critical thought. The members of The Uplifters have since gone their separate ways...but I've remained in touch with David Linhart and Jonathan Siegel, the duo who make up Twiin ( We often share our thoughts and concerns and ideas-via e-mail-on current events, social issues, pop culture, and life. With the release of Twiin's debut CD, "Call to the Sun," I thought I'd ask David (guitar and voice) and Jon (a.k.a. Jon the Bassist) a few questions. With David in Ithaca, New York and Jon in Holyoke, Massachusetts, it was interesting to check out the divergence and the common ground in their responses. . . (full article)

April 8-9

Regime Change, Resistance-Style: Iraq's Intifada Begins

by M. Junaid Alam

Barely a year after America closed its eyes to reason, its greatest nightmare has arrived. The neoconservative elites who launched America into war with lofty rhetoric about overthrowing Arab tyranny are now witnessing mass resistance against the most brutal tyranny in the region today - their own. The combination of a renewed insurgency in the Sunni center and an explosive popular rebellion in the Shiite center and south presents a damning indictment of America's colonial occupation of Iraq. As children in rags run in the streets to hurl stones at American tanks and as those tanks fire furiously into homes and buildings to crush a growing two-pronged rebellion, one thing above all seems clear: Iraqis demand real liberation, not Bush's farce. And they are willing to challenge the most powerful army in the world to win it. . . (full article)

The New York Times’ Search for Missing Friends
by Kim Petersen

The editors at the New York Times pose a question, remarkable for breeching new bounds of audacity: “Americans watching the frightening escalation of combat across Iraq must be asking themselves where, exactly, are our Iraqi friends?” What kind of minds could ask such a question?  Most Americans are watching from afar. The Iraqis are living the horrors of violence and occupation. If someone litters your landscape with depleted uranium, imposes crippling economic sanctions against you for a dozen years, and then unleashes a barrage of cruise missiles, more depleted uranium, and morally repugnant weapons such as daisy cutters and cluster bombs, takes over the country’s resources while allowing the plunder and destruction of the history of a land known as the cradle of civilization, establishes an arrogant occupation on people now with a dysfunctional power grid, sullied water supply, debased sewer system, and deprived of jobs and a once vaunted social and health care system, installs a US-appointed leadership council at the veto-wielding whim of an American viceroy, then what does one expect from people subjected to such suffering? Friendship? The Times wonders where its Iraqi friends, besides the convicted swindler Ahmed Chalabi, are!? (full article)

The Quest for a Monopoly on Violence
by Norman Solomon

With warfare escalating in Iraq, syndicated columnist George Will has just explained the logic of the occupation. “In the war against the militias,” he wrote, “every door American troops crash through, every civilian bystander shot -- there will be many -- will make matters worse, for a while. Nevertheless, the first task of the occupation remains the first task of government: to establish a monopoly on violence.” A year ago, when a Saddam statue famously collapsed in Baghdad, top officials in Washington preened themselves as liberators. Now, some of the tyrant’s bitterest enemies are firing rocket-propelled grenades at American troops.. (full article)

The Threat from Made-in-USA WMDs
by Mina Hamilton

Iraq's alleged nuclear threat sinks into the dustbin of history. Americans can stop worrying about atomic perils? Wrong. Americans are at risk from American-as-apple-pie, Stars-and-Stripes, and made-in-USA, WMDs. A just-released study, Danger Lurks Beneath: The Threat to Major Water Supplies from US Department of Energy Nuclear Weapons Plants, details the danger. Written by Dr. Marvin Resnikoff, a high energy, nuclear physicist, who has been studying nuclear hazards for 28 years and published by the public interest group, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, this book will curl your hair. . . (full article)

Responding to the Iraqi Intifada: Will Bush Flatten Fallujah?
by Kurt Nimmo

Imagining the probable future of places such as Fallujah, Sadr City, Nasiriyah, Karbala, Kut, and Ramadi, I recall the photographs of Grozny (Djohar), Chechnya, taken by the Gamma Press Agency photographer Eric Bouvet. "In February [2000] when I entered Grozny, it was as if I was hit by an apocalyptic vision," Bouvet writes. "In 20 years of covering wars I never had the occasion to feel like a astronaut landing on another planet. I had visited Grozny four times in the last war, but this time I couldn't even be sure where I was. Where Minutka Square -- with it imposing buildings that lead to Lenin Avenue -- once was nothing remained, just a huge, imposing void. The Russians had dynamited the city, leaving it totally in ruins." Sooner or later, in desperation, Bush will surely order the destruction of wide swaths -- inhabited by "bad guys" -- of Iraqi cities in response to the undefeatable Shia and Sunni uprisings against the occupation. It is inevitable. Like Sharon and the Likudites, Bush's ideological mentors, the US military will eventually repeat the atrocities and violations of human rights and international law the Israelis eagerly committed in the Jenin refugee camp in April of 2002. Civilians always pay the price for any "up tick" in support for the resistance -- be they Palestinians, Chechens, or Iraqis. . . (full article)

What's Next in Iraq?: An Interview with Tariq Ali
by Eric Ruder

Tariq Ali is a veteran political activist since the 1960s, and a filmmaker, novelist and author. His most recent books include The Clash of Fundamentalisms and Bush in Babylon: The Recolonization of Iraq. Tariq spoke to Socialist Worker’s Eric Ruder about the aims of the U.S. occupation and the growing Iraqi resistance. . .  (full article)

What are YOU doing about Afghanistan?
An Open Letter to Anti-War Activists

by Sonali Kolhatkar

Afghanistan has been devastated by the US military and neglected by the antiwar movement. I am writing to appeal antiwar activists to seriously incorporate Afghanistan into their work. The US’s war in Afghanistan was clearly fought to maintain imperial credibility after the 9-11 attacks and to provide a stepping-stone to Iraq. And yet, I was saddened that activists in the US and other countries did not rise up in significant numbers to resist the Afghanistan war which began on October 7th 2001. While I was heartened with the rising up of millions against the Iraq war in 2003, the situation in Afghanistan continued to be sidelined by activists in the recent demonstrations against occupation on March 20th 2004. . . (full article)

Remember the Alamo?
by Justin Felux

I'm glad the Mexicans won at the Alamo. Yeah, I said it. I don't know how people in other states would react to such a statement, but around here [Texas], it is an unspeakable act of heresy. In fact, scholars who have even had the audacity to question whether or not Davy Crockett "went down fighting" at the Alamo have been faced with death threats, so I can only imagine what I'm going to hear. Every year around this time in Texas, especially in San Antonio, people celebrate the "heroes" of the Alamo. The patriotic fervor is whipped up by numerous newspaper articles, events, and celebrations. This year, the flag-waving will be intensified by the release of yet another high-profile movie about the Alamo. . . (full article)

Dear Citizens of Empire . . .
by Rachel Mendoza

The time has come to support our brothers and sisters fighting for truth in Iraq. The media cannot tell us the truth. For the story tellers cannot experience the life of the oppressed. Right now in Iraq the strongest military the world has ever seen is being held back by a rebellion for truth. As brave young men and women fight for freedom and life, you, the citizens of Empire question their reality. You watch the nightly news and find justifications for the pain America is causing. You blame the media for distorting the truth. The liberal media as you call them. Is it the pilot who flicks his thumb to destroy a neighborhood who is brave? Or is it the young people who resist the dominance of high tech military warfare with their passion for life? (full article)

Monuments To The New American Century
by Zbignew Zingh

Historians and archaeologists know ancient empires by their monuments. Egypt had its pyramids, Rome its Coliseum, the Moguls had their Taj Mahal, the Chinese built their wall. What, then, will be the monuments of the New America as scholars look back from the perspective of the 22nd Century? (full article)

Fun With Dick and George
by Douglas O'Rourke

It's times like these that make you wish they'd developed a reality-based version of the Bush Presidency. If Nixon lied and Reagan-Bush dissembled, then these folks have done nothing less than shape shift the truth to their own will, much as primitive man once learned to work metal to make tools. With a desperate election coming in just over 200 days, Mr. Bush and his boss, Dick Cheney, have been very busy translating unpleasant actual events into soft patriotic newspeak. Consider Baghdad.  Everything's going great in Saigon on the Tigris. . . (full article)

Kurt Nimmo on Bush, Empire, and the 2004 Election
by Mickey Z.

When reporting on the infamous New York School of abstract expressionist painters in 1947, art critic Clement Greenberg pondered, "What can fifty do against one hundred and forty million?" It wasn't so much an entire population stacked against a band of radical painters that Greenberg was contemplating...rather it was 140 million Americans essentially ignoring a movement that would eventually change the face of art. The U.S. population has doubled in the fifty-plus years since Jackson Pollack dripped his way onto the cover of Life magazine...and there are still plenty of movements being ignored by the majority. In fact, I get the feeling there's a new wave of writers, thinkers, artists, and rabble-rousers out there...operating under the radar to change the face of activism. A fine example is Kurt Nimmo, author of Another Day in the Empire: Life in Neoconservative America. . . (full article)

BushCo Has A "Tell"
by Allen Snyder

In poker-speak, a "tell" is an unconscious habit some players exhibit that lets anybody in the know read that player like a cheap dime novel. Maybe it’s a scratch on the ear, a twirl of the hair, a twist of the ring, or the drumming of the fingers, but whatever it is, the habit "tells" everyone that you’re lying or bluffing. High-stakes political poker is a rough game and each side’s always looking out for something that’ll give the opposition away ­ their political "tell". Knowing when the other guy’s full of crap, pulling a fast one, or talking out his ass is invaluable. If you see the "tell", it’s safe to call the bluff, make him show his cards, expose him as a fraud and a liar. The executives at BushCo have a "tell". . . (full article)

The Bones of the Saint
by George Monbiot

Remarks at the launch of Scott Lucas's book The Betrayal of Dissent: Beyond Orwell, Hitchens and the New American Century, at the London Review bookshop, Bury Place, 7th April 2004 . . . (full article)

Stossell Tries to Scam His Public
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

In a world where young Americans are being hunted down, burned to death, and hung from bridges in faraway lands, a story of a network reporter trying to weasel out of something he said many years ago is admittedly no big deal. But the reporter in question has a network television show that influences millions of Americans on the issue he cares about deeply -- protecting and preserving corporate power in America. And he has a book on the New York Times bestseller list defending his thesis. And he questions whether he said what we said he said. . . (full article)

God's 401k Plan
by John Anhalt

As the starving slaves tend away at their cubicle farms, multi-national companies get fat on consumer desires. Investors fortify their crops for the season ahead garnering internal nutrients from CEO’s to assure their successful growth. Wait a minute, who is really benefiting from this? Only about five percent of the world population is according to recent studies. The rest of us are left fighting for scraps from the new harvest each year. . .
(full article)


April 6-7

The Long Ignominious Slide to Defeat in Iraq
by Ivan Eland

The worst nightmare for the American occupation has occurred. Portions of the Iraqi Shiite majority have risen in revolt. Full-scale civil war may be just around the corner. The armed uprising by Shiite militias in four Iraqi cities, including the Baghdad metropolitan area, was well coordinated and deadly. The rebellion cost the lives of eight American soldiers and countless Iraqis. The revolt consisted of followers of militant cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who has militias numbering in the tens of thousands across Iraq, Although the American occupation had forbidden the bearing of arms, the militants brandished many weapons, including rocket propelled grenade launchers. They took over the streets, occupied police stations and attacked American forces. . . (full article)

Bible Time

by Peter Kurth

Sometimes, you need to “interpret” the Bible, or “read between the lines,” in order to know what it means. For example, when God says, “Thou shalt not kill,” He makes an exception for wars. Thou shalt kill all you want to in a war and No One On High has a problem with that -- unless, of course, your enemies think like you do, in which case thou shalt “pacify” them with “overwhelming force.” . . . (full Revelation)

by Kim Petersen

By and of itself, the word anti seems innocuous. Etymologically it derives from Greek meaning opposite. Nowadays it is more at against. So when anti prefixes another word it denotes opposition to what the word represents. Sometimes the meaning is benign, such as with antacid: an agent that neutralizes excess acid. Oft the word expresses opposition to pernicious forces and hence we have antiwar, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, and anti-globalization. The term anti-globalization is an unfortunate one in that very few people actually oppose globalization. . . (full article)

by John Chuckman, April 2004.

Shi'ite Uprising Signals Double Trouble for US
by Jim Lobe

With U.S. Marines effectively locking down the defiant city of Fallujah in the rebellious "Sunni Triangle," other US military forces in Iraq opened a new front Monday to quash an apparent uprising by a Shiite militia in Baghdad and the south, in what some experts warn could be a major turning point in the year-old occupation. US officials appear to believe that the two shows of force – coming in the wake of some of the worst US losses since the official end of major hostilities in Iraq 11 months ago – will remind both rebellious Sunnis and increasingly impatient Shiites that Washington remains very much in charge of the ongoing "transition" that is supposed to end in a US transfer to power to Iraqis by Jun. 30. But some experts believe that both actions could well trigger even greater resistance in the Sunni heartland of north-central Iraq, and, more dangerously, among the Shiite community, which, with roughly 60 percent of the country's total population, could create overwhelming problems for an increasingly beleaguered occupying force. . . (full article)

Freedom Fires
by Naomi Klein

BAGHDAD -- I heard the sound of freedom yesterday in Baghdad's Firdos Square, the famous plaza where the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled one year ago. It sounds like machine-gun fire. On Sunday, Iraqi soldiers, trained and controlled by coalition forces, opened fire on demonstrators here, forcing the emergency evacuation of the nearby Sheraton and Palestine hotels. As demonstrators returned to their homes in the poor neighborhood of Sadr City, the U.S. army followed with tanks and helicopters. As night fell, there were unconfirmed reports of dozens of casualties. In Najaf, the day was equally bloody: 19 demonstrators dead, more than 150 injured. . .
(full article)

Born-Again Hawks: Many Liberals Now Cheering Richard Clarke
are Also Embracing the Doctrine of Pre-emption

by Russ Baker

It's one thing to intensely dislike George W. Bush. It's another thing entirely to want to defeat him so bad, you are willing to adopt his own bring-'em-on worldview. But that is exactly the position in which many progressives and the "liberal media" find themselves. . . (full article)

The Ethics of Bioethics
by Yves Engler

There seems to be a single question driving bioethics today, a question that never considers alternatives, never doubts whether or not to proceed with medical technologies, but rather focuses its agenda specifically on how best to proceed. . . ethically, that is, of course. With the medical industrial complex expanding rapidly this is something that should concern us. Already U.S. health expenditures are the size of France's entire economy. Canada’s health bill recently reached a tenth of the economy. Around the world medicine is seen as an "economy of the future." This expansion means a lot of money to some big companies. Similarly a lot of doctors and scientists have economic and status stakes in this medical expansion. Yet who does the consumer -- often allowing her/his body to be "worked on" -- have to rely on for protection? (full article)

Faking Democracy: Americans Don't Vote, Machines Do, &
Ballot Printers Can't Fix That

by Lynn Landes

Machines will produce 99.4% of the election results for the upcoming 2004 presidential election. With all the hoopla over voting machine "glitches," porous software, leaked memos, and the creepy corporations that sell and service these contraptions, and with all the controversy that surrounds campaign financing, voter registration, redistricting issues, and the general privatization of the election process - we are missing the boat on the biggest crisis facing our democracy. Americans aren't really voting. Machines are. Call it faking democracy. . . (full article)

Jump on our Bandwagon: The corporations’ Achilles heel is the environment. It’s time for the left to hit it.
by George Monbiot

Beside the disaster in Iraq, the new Islamic terror campaign and the battle over immigration policy, the survival of the black-browed albatross may not look like the most pressing political issue. For many of those on the left, environmentalism is at a best a distraction, at worst a regression. As Christopher Hitchens said in a debate last week, "Environmentalism and ecology ... are conservative positions. They may be honourable ones, they may be defensible ones, they are not radical ones." . . . (full article)

April 5

Rice Never Spoke About Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden
Before 9/11, Investigation Shows

by Jason Leopold

Richard Clarke was right. So was Paul O’Neill. During the six months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks the Bush administration paid little attention to the threat from al-Qaeda and instead set the stage for a war with Iraq. Two weeks before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, national security wasn’t even a top priority for the Bush administration. Security—job security, health security and national security—was last on a list of major issues Bush planned to deal with in the fall of 2001, according to a transcript of a speech Bush gave on Aug. 31, 2001 to celebrate the launch of the White House’s new website. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, who is scheduled to testify Thursday before the commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks, says Clarke, President Bush’s counterterrorism specialist, is a liar after Clarke told the commission two weeks ago that the Bush administration failed to deal with al-Qaeda seriously before 9/11. . . As early as January 2000, Rice was trying to sell a war with Iraq. It was then that she wrote an article for Foreign Affairs magazine titled Campaign 2000 -- Promoting the National Interest in which she promotes regime change in Iraq, but fails to mention threats from Islamic fundamentalist groups such as al-Qaeda. . .  (full article)

If Royko Were Here . . .
On Going Nowhere With the 9/11 Commission

by Sheila Samples

I often wonder what Chicago's late, great Mike Royko thinks about "Boss" Dick Cheney literally snickering up his sleeve at the direction he's managed to steer the Independent (sic) 9-11 Commission to effectively cover up what he and others in the administration knew before 9-11. I suspect the acerbic renegade columnist would be quick to point out that the Commission is working pretty hard on its own to make Cheney's job easier. . . . The Cheney White House has gone from angrily resisting an independent investigation, to sabotaging it via curtailing funds and imposing unrealistic cut-off dates and, finally, to blatant manipulation. Distractions, such as public outrage over selecting Henry Kissinger to be in charge of anything even remotely honorable, gave Cheney the cover he needed, for example, to install as Commission executive director Philip Zelikow, a Condoleezza Rice buddy and former member of the 2000 Cheney/Bush transition team. . . (full article)

Bush to Clarke: Bring it On
by James Brooks

Former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke’s absorbing public testimony to the 9/11 Commission triggered an avalanche of sound bites and ink, yet the implications of his comments remain largely unexplored. . . (full article)

Sharon: Israel Will Expel Tens of Thousands of “Illegal” Palestinians
by Ira Glunts

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported today that it will publish an interview with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday evening in which he states that Israel will expel tens of thousands of Palestinians after it completes its “security fence.” Mr. Sharon said in the interview that “[Israel has] a difficult problem with those who are illegally exercising [what they perceive] as their right of return, by infiltrating into Arab cities and villages within Israel.” The Israeli prime minister is referring to areas within the 1967 borders which are populated mostly by Palestinian Arabs who are Israeli citizens. . . (full article)

Canada’s Political Hypocrisy on the Palestinian Right to
Live in Their Homeland

by Kim Petersen

Ha’aretz reports that after completing the “separation fence” the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon will push the government to “act vigorously to expel Palestinians living illegally within Israeli Arab communities.” Ha’aretz lackadaisically provides no background on the declamations by President George Bush’s “man of peace,” otherwise known as a war criminal drenched with the blood of Palestinian civilians slain in massacres perpetrated under his command, such as at Qibya, and Sabra and Shatila. It is more than puzzling to refer to people who have lived on the land for millennia as “living illegally within Israeli Arab communities.” It is difficult to know what to make of this. Would it be okay if the Palestinians lived within Jewish communities? Obviously not; otherwise there would be no need for an apartheid wall. So when Sharon says, “We have a difficult problem with the fulfillment of their desire to return by infiltrating Arab cities and villages in Israel,” what Sharon really has difficulty with is the internationally recognized Right of Return -- the Palestinians’ desire to live in, what is indisputably, their homeland. It is a right that, if exercised, turns out to be life threatening for Palestinians. . .
(full article)

Air America Radio is a Joke
by Justin Felux

A while back I listened to a recording of a teach-in at Colombia University in which Cornel West was giving a speech.  At the beginning he said, "I'd like to thank that group that made September 13th an upbeat day for me, even given the death of brother Tupac Shakur."  He was referring to the group of prisoners who took part in the Attica prison uprising on September 13, 1971, the same day that Tupac died in 1996.  Some of the white liberals in the audience responded by laughing, thinking that West was making a joke.  They were so clueless that they didn't realize West was expressing genuine remorse over Tupac's death.  I was reminded of that incident when I started learning about this new "liberal radio network."  I thought that a lot of black folks must be laughing right now, because although white liberals don't seem to realize it yet, Air America Radio is a joke. . . (full article)

Mercenaries 'R' U.S.
by Bill Berkowitz

On March 31, four retired Special Operations forces employed by the private security firm Blackwater Security Consulting were ambushed, killed, and their bodies mutilated in Fallujah. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, an estimated 15,000 "private security agents" are currently operating in Iraq. With the U.S. casualty toll ticking ever upward, and its troops stretched thin on the ground, the Bush administration is looking to mercenaries to help control Iraq. These soldiers-for-hire are veterans of some of the most repressive military forces in the world, including that of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and South Africa's apartheid regime. . . (full article)

Fallujah Deflates Washington's Optimism
by Jim Lobe

April Fools' Day is traditionally one of good-natured mischief, but not this year. Indeed, U.S. President George W. Bush's trademark smirk, which normally fits the day's spirit almost to a T, was nowhere to be seen Thursday. The reason was clear enough: Iraq suddenly, if gruesomely, recaptured the headlines with Wednesday's horrific killings of four private US security contractors, whose fiery and grisly end at the hands of an angry mob in the chronically rebellious city of Fallujah was caught on videotape. . . (full article)

Some One Else’s Filthy Backyard
by Barbara Sumner Burstyn

One morning recently I woke up and read through my usual array of international media. In the middle of the lead story from the Washington Post about mercury levels in seafood, I began to feel a deep wash of shame. The article warned women of childbearing age to limit their intake of fish from species such as white tuna. Issued by the Food and Drug Administration, the advisory was immediately criticized for understating the risks of eating fish. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group of environmental investigators, said the FDA was misusing scientific data and withholding information regarding the true level of mercury in seafood. Senior vice-president Richard Wiles said the coal and seafood industries' interests beat out the health interests of America's children. And here's where New Zealand comes in. . . (full article)

Hey, Brother, Can You Spare a Million? How Neil Bush Succeeded
in Business Without Really Trying

by Jeffrey St. Clair

His mother still calls him Neilsie. He refers to his dad, the former president, as Gampy. Neil Bush may be the black sheep of the Bush family, but his relatives have never let him down. Whenever he's been mired in financial, legal or marital imbroglios, someone in the Bush family entourage has always reached out a helping hand and often that hand has slipped Neil a fat check. Neil Bush, the fourth child of George and Barbara, was long thought to be the rising star of the family. He had the looks, the convivial demeanor, middle-of-the-road politics and, despite suffering from a severe case of dyslexia that made him the laughing stock of St. Albans, the stuffy DC prep school that groomed Al Gore, the brainpower. At least he seemed brighter than Jeb or George Jr. And, most important of all, he was the favorite son of Barbara Bush, the Agrippina of American politics. All those lofty political aspirations came to a fatal crash in the fall of 1988, at the precise moment his father was poised to ascend to the presidency, when the Silverado Savings and Loan went belly up with Neil in the driver's seat. . . (full article)

Selective Indignation
by John Chuckman

Cartoon comment: some atrocities are more worthy of attention and indignation than others. . . (cartoon)

April 3-4

African American Idol?
by Justin Felux

I am guilty of being an American Idol fan. For someone who is supposed to be politically radical, it just doesn't feel right. It started out innocently enough. I'd watch it with my little sisters every now and then. After a while, however, I wasn't just watching it on weekends. It was almost every day. Before long, I was watching it alone. I even visited the show's official message boards to see what other fans were saying about the contestants. It was there that I got an interesting glimpse in to the racist underside of mainstream America. . (full article)

Be Careful What You Say on Campus
by Beshara Doumani

The most ominous threat to academic freedom in decades looms in a seemingly innocuous Senate bill expected to come up for vote shortly. A short but critical clause would rob our society of the open exchange of ideas on college campuses that is vital to our democracy. . . (full article)

Let's Make Enemies
by Naomi Klein

US occupation chief Paul Bremer hasn't started wearing a hijab yet, and is instead tackling the rise of anti-Americanism with his usual foresight. Baghdad is blanketed with inept psy-ops organs like Baghdad Now, filled with fawning articles about how Americans are teaching Iraqis about press freedom. "I never thought before that the Coalition could do a great thing for the Iraqi people," one trainee is quoted saying. "Now I can see it on my eyes what they are doing good things for my country and the accomplishment they made. I wish my people can see that, the way I see it." Unfortunately, the Iraqi people recently saw another version of press freedom when Bremer ordered US troops to shut down a newspaper run by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr. The militant Shiite cleric has been preaching that Americans are behind the attacks on Iraqi civilians and condemning the interim constitution as a "terrorist law." So far, al-Sadr has refrained from calling on his supporters to join the armed resistance, but many here are predicting that the closing down of the newspaper--a nonviolent means of resisting the occupation--was just the push he needed. But then, recruiting for the resistance has always been a specialty of the Presidential Envoy to Iraq: Bremer's first act after being tapped by Bush was to fire 400,000 Iraqi soldiers, refuse to give them their rightful pensions but allow them to hold on to their weapons--in case they needed them later. . . (full article)

Reading al-Qaeda into Madrid
by Kurt Nimmo

It's almost laughable the way our corporate media reads the shadowy presence of al-Qaeda into nearly every terrorist incident around the world. I said almost. Fact is, the often absurd claims made by Fox News, CNN, and other alphabet corporate news organizations effectively demonstrate how eagerly a supposedly free press has bought into the preposterous idea of an international Islamic terrorist network symbolized by Osama bin Laden and his intrepid cave dwellers with satellite phones. . . (full article)

Terrorism in Focus
by Marty Jezer

The barbaric bombing of a Spanish passenger train followed by the public hearings of the commission investigating the events of 9-11 has refocused attention on the so-called “war” on terrorism. The Spanish tragedy reminds us that the terrorist enemy does not fit the tightly structured and organized paradigm that the U.S. associates with the terrorist threat. Spanish police accuse members of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group as responsible for the attack. Some members have ties to al Qaida. But whether the plot was hatched by bin Laden in the mountain caves of Pakistan or Afghanistan is doubtful. . . (full article)

Media Strategy Memo to George and Dick
by Norman Solomon

Some of the most closely guarded documents in the White House are sure to be the ones written by the president's top media strategist. The public will never get to see the key memos from Karl Rove, but a typical one these days might read something like... (full memo)

Hegemony and Exceptionalism: How US Foreign Policy Created
the Most Powerful Country in the World

by David Gonzales

America’s role in the stability of globalization reached a new level when in 1990 President George H. W. Bush declared the “new world order.” His political rhetoric symbolized a) a notion of progress in United States history; b) a proclamation of American success in the battle against worldwide communism; and c) the global parameters by which America would now dictate its expansion. But the language also invoked something much older; an implication that America was embarking on a journey, bringing with it the terms of peace and prosperity that have been idolized in the United States since its conception. Just over a decade later, rhetoric surrounding the most recent Gulf War continues to invoke similar language that has paradoxically extended from father to son. Moreover, both Bush administrations’ mission to protect and defend American interests has subsequently come about during a historical period where the US has possessed absolute global superiority. That the US now operates under this context is not the sole accomplishment of coincidence. . . (full article)

Nader and/or Death: The Weather Above Ground
by Richard (The Ox) Oxman

The rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, the delays in addressing imminent environmental catastrophe, on the part of both Bush and Kerry --that alone-- warrants a thumbs down for both candidates. As per Mickey Z's heartfelt article, "Don't Turn Off, Turn ON", I urge everyone to vote for Ralph Nader in the upcoming election. If you don't act to make certain that neither Bush nor Kerry gets in, you're signing the planet's death warrant. If you have any doubts, look at Kerry the Lesser's statement below: "When John Kerry is president, the U.S. will reengage in the development of an international climate change strategy to address global warming, and identify workable responses that provide opportunities for American technology and know-how." . . . (full article)

April 1-2

Kosovo and Iraq: Same Bombs, Different Lies
by David Edwards and Media Lens

The truth about the invasion of Iraq was perhaps best summed up by Ray McGovern, one of the CIA's most senior analysts: "It was 95 per cent charade. And they all knew it: Bush, Blair, Howard." One might think that exposés of this kind would lead the media to take a fresh look at some of the US-UK governments’ earlier claims justifying war. . . (full article)

Clarke, Watergate Echoes Prompt Rare Bush Reversal
by Jim Lobe

Tuesday's White House decision to permit National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly under oath before the so-called 9/11 Commission marks an unusual reversal by an administration that has fiercely resisted taking any moves that suggests it is capable of making mistakes. . . (full article)

Uzbekistan's Terrorism: Who to Blame?
by Simon Jones

On March 28-30, a series of attacks on militia posts and several explosions rocked the city of Tashkent and a village near Bukhara. At least twenty militia and bystanders were killed and many wounded. The explosions involved women suicide bombers, one of whom detonated her tragic load near the beautiful Kukaldash mosque in the old part of Tashkent. A sad first for the Uzbek nation. President Karimov denounced the events on Uzbek TV, explaining that they "were carried out by those forces that hate in their very souls our country, the peaceful life of our citizens and their achievements. Their aims are to disrupt peace, destabilize the situation, sow fear and panic, disrupt faith in our policies, disrupt our good thoughts and creative work." True, they were carried out to "destabilize the situation" and "disrupt faith in our policies", but as for the rest...(full article)

Why OPEC Is Cutting Its Production
by Sam Hamod

Many have asked why OPEC is cutting its production when the price is already over OPEC’s projected market design price. This has caused consternation in the Bush administration, upset Kerry and allegedly puzzled many American financial analysts who think the price is already too high for America’s and the world’s economies. The answer is simple: the OPEC countries are tired of Bush and his administration trying to tell them how to run their countries—from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait to Venezuela—they are all tired of Bush trying to be the dictator and government framer of the world. . (full article)

Tortured at Guantanamo Bay: Washington’s Concentration Camp
by Nicole Colson

Jamal al-Harith made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And for that, the last two years of his life have been one long nightmare. The 37-year-old British Web site designer went to Pakistan in October 2001 to study Muslim culture. Jamal says that on his way to Turkey, he mistakenly entered Afghanistan. Once there, he was arrested as a suspected spy and turned over to U.S. authorities. Then the real horror began. Jamal was transported to Camp X-Ray--and later Camp Delta--the notorious U.S. prisons located at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay. (full article)

The Regime of Poison: Bush Administration's Pro-Chemical Lobbying
Aims to Undermine International Regulatory Efforts

by Yves Engler

Monday’s Financial Times had two reports about the Bush administration’s pro chemical lobbying that should alarm all those concerned about human health and the environment. The first was titled “US diplomats to lobby EU on chemicals rules” and second “US wins deal over Montreal Protocol.” The FT reports: “Colin Powell, US secretary of state, has directed US diplomats to lobby European governments against controversial European Commission plans for new regulations on the chemicals industry.” Why is Powell anxious? (full article)

Do the Iraqis Want the US to Stay?
by Sharon Smith

"Seven in 10 Iraqis say things overall are going well for them -- a result that might surprise outsiders imagining the worst of life in Iraq today," ABC News reported on March 15, touting the results of an opinion poll marking the anniversary of the U.S. invasion. Headlines trumpeted the poll’s claim that nearly half of all Iraqis believe the U.S. was right to invade Iraq, while only 15 percent want the occupation forces to leave now--the vast majority preferring troops to stay and help with the transition to a new Iraqi government. These headlines seem to offer evidence to those peace activists who are reluctant to call for an immediate end of the U.S. occupation, fearing that Iraq would descend into "chaos." . . . (full article)

Air America Radio: Democratic Party Business as Usual
by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

Scholars at the Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers's Research Bureau announced their Preliminary Federation Assessment of Air America Radio, the new self-described "liberal" radio network that debuted today. "It sounded like an 11-hour ad for the Democratic Party," said one Senior Federation Research Analyst. . . (full article)

From ABB (anyone-but-Bush) to ON (only-Nader) in 2004
by Mickey Z.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be on Sonali Kolhatkar's excellent radio show, Uprising. My fellow guests were Michael Albert of ZNet and Rania Masri, director of the Southern Peace Research and Education Center at the Institute for Southern Studies and the Associate Editor of Southern Exposure. We were there to discuss the 9/11 hearings and how they had become (surprise, surprise) yet another partisan politics dog-and-pony show. . . In 2000, there were 195,027,520 eligible voters in America of which 156,421,311 were registered. Of that number, only 110,604,647 actually hit the polling booths. That's 56.7% of eligible voters participating. Almost 85 million more Americans could have voted in the 2000 presidential election...but didn't. After the radio show, I was speaking with friend and colleague Richard Oxman about those numbers when he hit upon the idea of ON (only-Nader) to run parallel with the ABB (anyone-but-Bush) craze sweeping the nation. . . (full article)

Drug Money: The Medicare Bill Shouldn't be Called "Public Policy"
by David Donnelly

Let's not mince words: President George W. Bush's Medicare plan benefits private interests over public good. The pharmaceutical corporations, HMOs and insurance companies got what they paid for, and then some. . .
(full article)

The Equality Index
by Ralph Nader

The civil rights movement of the 1960s raised high hopes among African American citizens that they were at last on the road to true equality with the opportunity to share fully in the nation's prosperity. Now, nearly a half century later, there are big questions about just how far we have come to meet those high hopes, particularly in the economic arena. Yes, there has been progress, but for many minority citizens the advances have been painfully slow. . . (full article)

The Pitts: A 9/11 Burrow of the American Family
by Richard (the Ox) Oxman

In his epic theater, Bertolt Brecht sought to illuminate the historically specific features of an environment in order to show how that environment influenced, shaped, and often battered and destroyed the characters. Unlike dramatists who focused on the universal elements of the human condition and fate, Brecht was interested in the attitudes and behavior people adopted toward each other in specific historical situations. . . (full article)