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August 29-31

(In case you missed it earlier)
**  The Official Republican Convention Schedule * *

August 30

6 p.m. -- OPENING PRAYER read by Mel Gibson, while being flogged with a spiked leather strap wielded by Ann Coulter, who will enjoy it a little too much.

* TOM RIDGE raises National Alert Level from beige to ecru.

* LEST WE FORGET -- HONORARY ROLL CALL of All Members of (and Friends of) Bush Administration Who Might Very Well Have Been Killed In Vietnam If It Hadn't Been For Nasty Trick Knees, Anal Cysts, Recurrent Headaches, and Highly-Placed, Overly-Protective Parents. (Sponsored by Tyson Chicken)


==> (click here for full schedule) <==

Bloomberg Fails to Intimidate Protesters
by William Hughes

Manhattan: It was a massive sea of people on the streets of New York City, on Sunday, August 29th, protesting the Iraq War and the GOP Convention. On 7th Avenue, in particular, under a scorching sun with the temperature in the low-90s, banners, signs, flags, posters, chanting and parents pushing their infants in strollers dominated. The entire parade lasted for over six hours and the crowd stretched for nearly two miles....(full article)

Souls in the City
by Rachel Olivieri

On the eve of the Republican National Convention, a plethora of activist groups with sharp anti-war axes to grind descend into the net of NY’s finest. Like an approaching angry tropical storm, the world braces for impact. Political weather prognosticators of all stripes presage its momentum, force and effect on the Presidential Campaign. By early Sunday morning 8/29, nearly 400 protesters had experienced the metallic taste of arrest and detention. Although predominately an anti-Bush protest, soft Kerry supporters bear signs scripted with Kerry’s Vietnam-era remark: “How do you ask a soldier to be the last person to die for a lie?” He has forgotten or perhaps he never understood. The week prior to the start of the RNC Convention, DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe, proclaimed, “Let me be crystal clear. I'd like to draw a line in the sand. We (DNC/Kerry) have nothing to do with the (RNC Convention) demonstrators.”....(full article)

Still Unreported: The Pay-off in Bush Air Guard Fix
by Greg Palast

In 1968, former Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush of Texas, fresh from voting to send other men’s sons to Vietnam, enlisted his own son in a very special affirmative action program, the ‘champagne’ unit of the Texas Air National Guard. There, Top Gun fighter pilot George Dubya was assigned the dangerous job of protecting Houston from Vietcong air attack. This week, former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes of Texas 'fessed up to pulling the strings to keep Little George out of the jungle. "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas Air Guard - and I'm ashamed."....(full article)

The Whole World is Watching: The RNC Protests and Beyond
by Max Uhlenbeck

Seemingly far removed from the reactionary political climate immediately following September 11, 2001 disillusionment with the current Bush administration has by now reached a broad base and runs deep, extending well beyond our own national borders. Events over the past 6 months such as the March 20 coordinated day of action against the occupation organized by United for Peace & Justice, the million person strong pro-choice march, back in late April organized by groups like Planned Parenthood and the National Organization of Women, and most recently the unprecedented popularity of Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11, have left many people anticipating a week of historic demonstrations when the Republicans come to New York City from August 29 to September 2. What was originally supposed to be the Republican strategists crowning achievement in their tireless campaign to exploit the tragedy of September 11, the week during the convention has quickly turned into a virtual public relations nightmare for Bush and his crew....(full article)

New York Says No

by Mark Engler

I will defend New York, as a city and as a way of life, when called to do so. This is a week in which we are called. The Republicans are trying to use New York to advance a social agenda that assaults the diversity and tolerance at the heart of the city, and to promote a fiscal program that starves urban centers. New Yorkers are right in refusing to provide a cheerful backdrop for the Party's week of self-promotion....(full article)

Media Declares War on Anti-War Protests (but more Generals, please)
by Mickey Z.

The August 26, 2004 New York Daily News headline blared: ANARCHY, INC. The idea, of course, was to paint the upcoming RNC protests with the broad brush of corporate media propaganda. An influential ingredient of wartime spin is shaping public perception of the anti-war movement. As a result, coverage of demonstrations is usually a tepid combination of low crowd estimates and footage of police arresting “unruly” protestors. “War, and the threat of war, sells newspapers,” says media analyst Danny Schechter. “Peace does not. The 'action' of war builds TV ratings. In contrast, the quieter work of diplomacy and negotiations is boring and not highly visual. War gives journalists a chance to show how brave they are in a macho sport where only the strong survive. Peace is far headier, an intellectual's vocation, a game for lawyers, softies and sissies.”....(full article)

The Hypocrites of

by Shaun Joseph

The Democratic Party’s Nader bashers sunk to a new low with a television ad attacking Republican financial support for Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign--which ends with the Bush-Cheney campaign logo altered to read "Bush-Nader." The ad was paid for by, one of several groups connected to the Democrats that has frantically attacked Nader for daring to offer a left-wing alternative to John Kerry’s Republican Lite campaign. "[Nader] is now at a point where his entire legacy may come down to him helping Bush stay in office for another four years, and him cooperating with the right-wing groups that he’s opposed," Chris Kofnis, an adviser to the group, snarled to the New York Times. Neither Kofnis nor the Times bothered to mention that campaign contributions from known Bush supporters constitute less than 5 percent of the $1 million that the Nader campaign has raised. Still, given their sanctimonious tone, you’d think that the Nader bashers would at least set a squeaky-clean example. But you’d be wrong. According to records,'s largest donor is a regular donor to the Republican Party....(full article)

Swift Intelligent Smokescreen

by Ray McGovern

The president—and his chance for re-election—is particularly vulnerable right now, based on what Bush did and didn't do in Iraq. But the White House isn't worried. Behind the smokescreen that's been created by dueling Swift boaters and clashing proposals for CIA restructure, Bush's people are confident that controversy will be in the cards and in the news, and that the spotlight will stay off the president's failures. Former CIA analyst McGovern explains....(full article)

Progressivism and the Corporate Olympics

by Kim Petersen

The corporate Olympics hardly seem worth the time and effort to watch these days; and I’m not sure that it ever was. With apologies to the “clean” athletes, following millionaire doped-up athletes flying corporate banners in pursuit of victory at any cost is rather a contradictory pastime for progressives. A lack of sportsmanship and the emphasis on competition among countries stirs up fervent patriotism and arguably serves as a springboard for the jingoistic fervor that sees citizens of one country cheering the violent attack of another country. For George Orwell, sport was “war minus the shooting.” Indeed, the original Olympic events and athletes likeliest had their genesis in war and as agents of war....(full article)

The Fall: Olympics (Opiate)/People Power
by Richard Oxman

A few nights ago while watching the Olympics I saw what People Power could do....(full article)

Thought Control, Costas, the Olympics and
Imperial Occupations Past and Present

by Paul Street

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you really want to see how the dominant corporate-state media manufactures mass consent to American racist, capitalist, militarist empire and inequality, you've got to look at sports, entertainment, and (for the lack of a better phrase right now) personal improvement media as well as the news media.  Beyond its functions of mass diversion, distraction, and infantilization, the non-news media is loaded with authoritarian ideology, presented in ways that are every bit as significant (maybe more significant) as what goes on with the more officially propagandistic and openly Orwellian news and commentary wing. Take, for example, the ongoing US Olympics coverage, brought to us by NBC, a subsidiary of leading world “defense” contractor General Electric....
(full article)

November Strategy
by Zbignew Zingh

Here's an election strategy for those who feel abandoned by their political leaders, but who are torn between voting their conscience and getting rid of the Bushies....(full article)

The Green “Implosion”: Why Do Nader Supporters
Attack the Cobb Campaign?

by Blyden Potts

The other day an article by Carl Mayer appeared in Dissident Voice, attacking David Cobb’s campaign and accusing him of taking the Green Party “over a cliff.” It was the most recent in a line of attack articles that have appeared from Nader supporters. Mayer wrote that the Green Party will “implode” if we don’t dump Cobb. A pending implosion seems unlikely, but if the party does implode it won’t be because of David Cobb, but rather because of articles like that by Carl Mayer that deliberately attempt to create divisions in the Green Party and play fast and loose with the facts....(full article)

History is on the Side of a Nader Candidacy
by Carl Mayer

Before progressives and other readers of Dissident Voice spend the next few weeks attacking one another over the Ralph Nader candidacy for President, I hope they will pause and consider some historical points that have not heretofore been made on these pages....(full article)

Greens at the Crossroads: Party Fights for its Future

by Joshua Frank

On Sunday, August 22nd, state delegates of the Pennsylvania Green Party formally rejected the strategy that their presidential candidate David Cobb should run a “safe states” campaign....“The Green Party of Pennsylvania encourages the National Green Party candidates to run vigorously in Pennsylvania and in all states, regardless of projected electoral outcomes; and The Green Party of Pennsylvania rejects any ‘safe states strategy,’ and calls upon the national candidates and all state Green Parties to do the same, and we call upon all voters to reject any candidate that does not oppose the Iraq War.”....(full article)

A March of a Million American Workers

by Seth Sandronsky

Why are some Americans mobilizing to publicly gather and speak out about their working lives? Just ask a top organizer for the Million Worker March (MWM) protest in Washington, DC on October 17. “The MWM is a response to attacks on working people,” said Clarence Thomas, secretary-treasurer of Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), and co-chair of the MWM. Two examples he cited are the outsourcing of jobs abroad and privatizing of public services at home under the Bush White House. American workers have been the losers....(full article)

They’re as Bad as Walmart: Starbucks Workers Get Organized!
by Derek Seidman

Two days after workers at the 36th and Madison Starbucks in New York City turned in their union cards to the NLRB for a certification election, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, sent them a little voice message. In this dispatch from the corporate tower, Schultz—who personally brought in 17 million dollars last year—tried to appeal to the $7.75-per-hour upstarts in words that would impress George Orwell. The multi-millionaire CEO began his message by referring to his poverty-wage employees as “partners”, and stressed how Starbucks and its workers “have built great trust in one another.” He went on to explain that he viewed “treating everyone with dignity and respect as our highest priority”, and stressed the “caring and supportive culture” of the company. He ended with this note of pure authenticity: “I want to conclude by simply thanking you for everything you do each day, and for being the real heart and soul of Starbucks.”  Not surprisingly, the workers saw right through this corporate textbook mumbo-jumbo. Their experience had taught them better. Their story and their ongoing struggle for the first unionized Starbucks locale of the more than 4,000 Starbucks in the United States is vitally important and in need of our support....(full article)

Generation GOP: Dust In The Wind

by Melisande Luna

As a Gen Xer raised by a Boomer I was constantly fed rhetoric about how great the summer of love was, man, and how the people stood together against the man, man, and it was groovy, man. Of course, our parents were never home, man, because they were off looking for truth or Zen or some platform shoes or some such seventies pap that preceded the Yucky Yuppie era when they apparently found themselves (oh, there I am, man!) and discovered that ideology was a shit sandwich without a BMW and a nice big house in a gated community on the white side of town to wash it down with....(full article)

Greg Bates' Ralph's Revolt: The Three Best Reasons to Vote for Nader
by Gary Corseri

A review of Greg Bates' Ralph's Revolt: "Should we abandon third-party efforts to oust George W. Bush?” Greg Bates writes in the introduction to his recently published political tract.  His answer: “To promote and encourage democracy, we must build the third party strategy.  Even during, perhaps especially during, these most dangerous times.”....(full article)

Beyond Hero-Worship
by Norman Solomon

Happy is the country which requires no heroes,” Bertolt Brecht commented. Today, by that standard, the United States is a very unhappy country. These days, the public’s genuine eagerness for heroes is difficult to gauge. If media output is any measure, the hero industry is engaged in massive overproduction. Whether the “products” are entertainers, star athletes or politicians, the PR efforts are unrelenting. Some brands catch on....
(full article)

Americans Need to Connect the Dots

by John Janney

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appointed the members of the Independent Panel to investigate the causes for the infamous prisoner abuse scandals and provide advice for what actions the Department of Defense can take to help prevent such incidents in the future. Rumsfeld can start by firing Lt. Gen. William Boykin....(full article)

Re-fighting Vietnam
by Marty Jezer

The most contentious issue of the upcoming presidential election so far is history. Whoever expected that we’d be re-fighting thirty and forty year old arguments about the Vietnam War? In a sense, John Kerry brought it on himself. Trying to wrest patriotism from its Republican stranglehold, Kerry has over-emphasized his Vietnam record as combat hero. But the Republicans also play “capture the flag” and when they are losing re-write the rules....(full article)

Panama Pardons Anti-Castro Terrorists
by Bill Berkowitz

President Bush has made a point of repeatedly saying “You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists.” In 2001, he told thousands of members of the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky: "If you harbor terrorists, you are a terrorist. If you train or arm a terrorist, you are a terrorist. If you feed or fund a terrorist, you're a terrorist, and you will be held accountable by the United States and our friends." These remarks are at the foundation of the Bush Doctrine and his attempts to enlist other nations in the war against terrorism. What then to make of Panama’s recent decision to pardon four Cuban exiles convicted of plotting a terrorist attack? (full article)

Time to Reassess the Media Coverage of Israel

by Baruch Kimmerling

Recently, the two leading American newspapers, the Washington Post and the New York Times, made serious and sincere efforts to review their editorial and coverage policies regarding the Iraqi war and their uncritical approach to the Bush administration's justification for that war. This trend of self-criticism is very good and encouraging news for American democracy. These two publications, while being directed at and read by a relatively narrow 'intellectual' readership, also serve to 'pull' with them the widely circulated local media, TV reporters, and popular press. As a responsibility of my profession I have been reading a wide spectrum of the American press for many years. Much of the time, I find myself puzzled by the uncritical and biased coverage of the Israeli political scene. American media is uncritical even in comparison to Israel's quality media. All too often, the American media sounds just like a mouthpiece of the Israeli government's propaganda....(full article)

This Week in Conspiracy Intelligence

by Troy Skeels

Troy Skeels looks at the whacko history of  intelligence conspiracist Lyndon LaRouche....(full article)

31 Similarities Between Hitler and President Bush
by Edward Jayne

A revised version of a popular DV article from 2003. hen President Bush decided to invade Iraq, his spokesmen began comparing Saddam Hussein to Adolph Hitler, the most monstrous figure in modern history.  Everybody was therefore shocked when a high German bureaucrat turned the tables by comparing Bush himself with Hitler.  As to be expected, she (the bureaucrat) was forced to resign because of her extreme disrespect for an American president.  However, the resemblance sticks--there are too many similarities to be ignored, some of which may be listed here....(full article)


Parlor Radicals

by Adam Engel

The furniture was confused. It had done no wrong, as far as it could tell, and did not see why it should be punished. We refer to the furniture as a single unit, of course, for the sofa, wisest, oldest piece in the room, naturally serves as duly elected representative and spokespiece for all the furniture in The Parlor. The Stalwart, comfortable old Sofa had hosted human buttocks since the early nineteenth century.....(full story)

* Brothers & Sisters (Bank Your Sperm)
a poem by Susu Jeffrey

* Georgie Boy: An Election Year Ballad by Edward Jayne

August 24-28

Karaoke Night in George Bush’s America -- Another Visit to Burt’s Tavern
by Joe Bageant

Karaoke night at Burt's Tavern really tells you more about American life and politics than a stack of books ever can: I know it makes me a dinosaur, but I still think there is much to be learned in America’s small neighborhood taverns. I call it my “learning through drinking” program. Here are some things I have learned at Burt’s Westside Tavern ....(full article)

The Democratic Art of Listening
by William H. Thornton

The anti-war upsurge of 2003 confirmed two facts: that the world did not buy the Bush war dance, and Bush did not much care. Civil resistance was therefore futile. The Muslim world had suspected that all along. And being more on the receiving end, its revulsion ran deeper. Even before the Iraq invasion, Saudis registered a 97% disapproval of U.S. policies. Islamic antipathy toward the U.S. was most pronounced, in fact, in areas that have shown a real fondness for McValues. In Egypt, for example, there was a sense of betrayal among the 57 percent of the population that is under 25. The fact that these youth are mesmerized by American culture only makes U.S. aggression a more personal blow to them. Many try to resolve the contradiction by distinguishing the U.S. government from the American people; but eventually the fact will sink in that Americans are quite comfortable with the new imperialism so long as it keeps gas prices low and does not trigger tax hikes....(full article)

The Trouble With Electing Caesar
by John Chuckman

America's campaign for Emperor is becoming nasty. What shameful accusations are being tossed around: an ambitious, privileged young John Kerry, who spent a brief stint in Vietnam beefing up the hero section of his resume, never actually did some of the things he claims or at least didn't do them under the circumstances he claims. Since his heroic deeds included chasing after a wounded man and shooting him in the back and skippering a machine gun-mounted speed boat that ran up and down rivers shooting peasants desperate enough to appear in their own fields, there is reason for concern. Polls apparently show the large group of undecided voters already having second thoughts about Kerry. You can't elect a man Emperor who distorts the truth about things like that. Much better if he actually did them....(full article)

The Clash Thesis: A Failing Ideology?
by M. Shahid Alam

The "Clash of Civilization" thesis is the ideology of America’s establishment as it wages its “war against terror.” The Muslims attacked America because they hate who we are. They want to destroy us because they hate our freedom, our opportunities, our democratic institutions, our way of life, our Judeo-Christian heritage. It is a hatred that is civilizational. It is rooted in the illiberal, intolerant, misogynist, anti-modernist, and anti-scientific culture of Muslims and their religion. This thesis is now spun a thousand times every day by America’s politicians, press and pundits. This ideology of the clash of civilizations is multi-layered. First, it seeks to explain to Americans and the rest of the world why the United States and the rest of the world must wage this war against terror. Secondly, the clash thesis – long championed by Zionist ideologues inside and outside Israel – is a device for Americanizing the war Israel has waged against the Palestinians and Arabs. Thirdly, the war against terror is itself a cover which the United States is using to establish a more muscular control over the world. This ideology is problematic....
(full article)

Anti-Terrorism Tip: Quit Spying on Nonviolent Activists

by Jeff Cohen

They're at it again. FBI agents in recent weeks have been visiting and interrogating dozens of young activists believed to be planning or considering protests at the Democrat and Republican conventions. The New York Times exposed the FBI's home visits and intimidating interviews last week in a report headlined "FBI Goes Knocking for Political Troublemakers" -- those last two words tell us more about Times bias than about the activists in question. With Al Qaeda and similar terrorists bent on murdering as many ordinary Americans as possible, why would the FBI divert resources and personnel to protesters and nonviolent civil disobedients? (full article)

Freedom of Speech...and the Right to Remain Silent
by Mickey Z.

Book Review of Beat the Heat by Katya Komisaruk: Magic Words -- “I am going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.” With cell phones surgically attached to their ears and Reagan buttons adorning their golf shirts, the Republicans will come swarming onto Manhattan Island at the end of August evoking images of a Hitler Youth reunion doing a GAP commercial. Joining them in the sweltering late summer heat will be legions of protestors and squadrons of police. This volatile mix guarantees we'll see a sudden evaporation of homeless people, an abundance of street closings, and arrests by the busload. “The cops are here to protect us,” we'll be told...but Katya Komisaruk sees things a little differently....(full review)

Depleted Uranium, Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets:
A Death Sentence Here and Abroad

by Leuren Moret

Vietnam was a chemical war, permanently contaminating large regions and countries downriver with Agent Orange, and environmentally the most devastating war in world history. But since 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation....(full article)

Vive la Difference
by Zbignew Zingh

Najaf. Where have we seen this before? American tanks surround the holy site of a religious sect. Troop commanders and government officials issue bombastic orders to an inferior, out-gunned, faith-fueled adversary to surrender or die. The guardians of the site are armed and determined to fight rather than surrender their charismatic leader. The pusillanimous press obediently label the surrounded ones as dangerous fanatics led by a fiery rebel. The Americans claim that the rebels have rigged the holy site to burn it to the ground. The soldiers demand that the rebels surrender, disarm and submit to “an arrest warrant.” Is this Najaf... or is it Waco? (full article)

New Dogs for the New American Century
by Zbignew Zingh

It's a New World Order and America's families deserve new breeds of genetically engineered dogs for the times we live in today.
The Texas Longnosed Bush Dog. This adorable new house pet has some peculiar traits. It tends to eat very expensive dog food made from petroleum and ground up Muslims, and only when fed by hand by extremely wealthy and powerful elites. In fact, this dog hates living in doghouses and prefers to live in the mansions of the rich and powerful. It will lick the hand of any billionaire and bite clean through the hands of the poor and middle class. The Texas Longnosed Bush Dog is considered by some to be a very handsome show dog, although it does have a reputation for being stupid. It is almost impossible to train because it appears not to understand the English language, it has a hard time running in a straight line, its nose tends to grow longer as it ages (hence the name of the animal), and it has a bad temper that causes it to attack other, smaller dogs for no discernible reason. Nevertheless, the Texas Longnosed Bush Dog continues to be popular among certain conservative segments of the pet-owning public who think that it has “character”. This pet is definitely not recommended for households with school-or draft-age children....(full article)

Driving on the Bones of God
You and I may get smoked, but the fat cats will dine on peacock tongues

by Joe Bageant

Beneath the sandwich and cigarette wrappers on the floor of my truck, beneath this road and down hundreds of feet within the earth gleams a city planned for the Apocalypse. A complete underground city with apartments and dormitories, cafeterias, a hospital, its own transit system, a battery powered subway. It has TV communication, streets and sidewalks, a water purification system, power plant and general office buildings. A small lake fed by fresh underground springs dreams in its artificial lighting. That’s what former government workers who have served inside Mount Weather have said. Others say it is no fancier than your average Army base to be found anywhere in the world, but with a lake. Ever since the Eisenhower administration, this has been the designated place where the important people in government will go in a nuclear emergency or national disaster. Mount Weather is the hub of a nerve center of about 100 other Federal Relocation Centers, which guarantee that the really big players in the game escape even the worst disasters they create with their asses intact. In every likelihood, this “undisclosed location” sheltered Dick Cheney during 911. Employees say it did. To be in charge of the nation from the bowels of this bizarre monument to Cold War thinking would give far saner people than Cheney Doctor Strangelovian delusions. So we can only speculate what a congenitally paranoid old reptile like Cheney must have experienced. He must have had quite a time keeping that reflexive gloved hand in his lap. Throw in the fact that most of the hired help down there in the hidden city are born-again fundamentalist Christian pod people, (mainly because that’s about all we have around here) and I don’t know about you, but I cannot think of a stranger damned place on this earth....(full article)

The Hidden Housing Crisis

by Elizabeth Schulte and Cindy Clumb

Elizabeth Schulte and Cindy Clumb looks at the crisis of affordable housing in Bush’s America....(full article)

WTO: The Dope Trick

by Devinder Sharma

After a ‘truly historic’ agreement, it is now an embarrassing wake-up call for the developing countries. The big boys have done it again. This time, they have successfully managed to apply the dope trick on the developing countries – putting them in a hall of shame for letting the rich and industrialized countries not only walk away with all the trade-distorting farm subsidies but also allowing them to throw a still protective ring around agriculture. It is now official. The United States will not be reducing its huge financial support to farmers (and agribusiness companies) even after the 20 per cent cut in trade-distorting subsidies promised in the first year of implementation. The European Union too has also got a waiver. It does not need to make any cut in agricultural subsidies from the existing level. Nor will the export subsidies be removed for another ten years or so. All that the developing countries have got in return is a lollipop – some imports to be protected under the category of ‘special products’....(full article)

Six Grim Consequences of the Anybody But Bush Plague

by M. Junaid Alam

The Anybody But Bush plague has infected the American left with ruthless speed and efficiency. Descrying how, why, and under what circumstances this or that particular leftist figure has fallen victim to it is a rather cumbersome and tedious task best left to the coroners of history. It seems far more prudent now to identify, in concrete terms, the most important consequences the ABB epidemic will have on our attempts to reshape society along more just and rational lines. Below, I outline six of them....
(full article)

Cobb's Cool-Aid: Why the Green Party Will Implode if the
Green Party Doesn't Dump Cobb Now

by Carl Mayer

David Cobb is serving up his own brand of suicidal Cool-Aid to the Green Party of the United States and if, my fellow Greens and progressives, we do not dump Cobb now, he will take the party over a cliff....(full article)

Conscience and Political Organizing
by Ted Glick

I think I've heard and read the word “conscience” more in the last couple of months than almost any time in my life. This has happened mainly in connection with the position Green Party Presidential candidate David Cobb has been putting forward in battleground states, states where the polls indicate a toss-up between Bush and Kerry on November 2. In those states Cobb articulates the Green critique of both corporate parties and the urgent need for a people's alternative to them, but he then acknowledges that in those very-close states that people should “vote their conscience” as far as the Presidential race, while urging them to register Green and be sure to vote for Greens lower down on the ballot....(full article)

Religion in the News
by Peter Kurth

Peter Kurth takes us on a brief excursion through religion, urban legends, the Amish, George Bush and whoopie pie....(full article)

White Supremacist Love Connection
by Bill Berkowitz

William Regnery, the 'famously reclusive' member of the Regnery publishing family, is looking for investors for a whites-only dating service: claims it will "jump start your love life"; eHarmony pledges to be there for you "when you're ready to find the love of your life"; claims it is "the Internet's fastest growing relationship site"; Yahoo! personals allows you to "discover great singles near you"; Great Expectations maintains that since 1976 it has been "the nation's premiere destination for meeting and dating quality singles." If you're a white supremacist, however, none of these services may be right for you. So, if you're having trouble making a love connection and you're uncomfortable at KKK rallies, haven't made your way to a Council of Conservative Citizens confab, or aren't interested in re-locating to a compound in Idaho, William Regnery's new whites-only dating service might be right up your alley. Regnery, one of the lesser-known members of the right wing publishing family, is currently searching for seed money to launch a service that promises to hook clients up with their very own special white supremacist love connection....(full article)

Power Plays
by Mathew Maavak

Were you surprised at the turn of events these past few weeks? Speculations over the imminent capture of High Value Targets (HVTs) sometime around the Democratic National Convention proved to be prophetic. Quite a number were bagged in what looked like a pan-global anti-terror coup. One of them was Qari Saifullah Akhtar, who was arrested in Dubai. He supposedly ran a terror camp near Kabul that once trained “3,500 men in combat skills, assassination and kidnapping.” That would mean a high number of “terrorists” still on the loose. Scores of operatives were nabbed in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, and once again the White House can claim to have thwarted another terror attack. There is a subtle utility about arrests conducted abroad, by independent allies. In the minds of casual observers, they can deflect, at first glance, any linkages with the November presidential polls in the United States, making it more of a genuine cooperative breakthrough than a political ploy. The fact is most of the intelligence in this latest sweep came from stale pre-9/11 data....(full article)

Making the US Safer for Opium Dealers, Terrorists and Neocons

by William Hughes

What, I wondered, have the reckless, Islam-bashing, oil-and-natural-gas deposits-pursuing, Israel-protecting, imperial politicking of Bush and Cheney, and their immediate GOP predecessors in the White House, made America really safer for? It occurs to me they've made America safer for opium dealers, terrorists and the warmongering Neocons....(full article)

Blame the Terrorists Behind That Tree!
by Sheila Samples

George W. Bush once told The Washington Post's Bob Woodward the great thing about being president was that he didn't have to answer to anybody.  “I'm the commander,” Bush bragged.  “See -- I do not need to explain why I say things...Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation...” So that's it, then.  Houston -- we have your problem.  And, like they say in Texas -- anybody with half sense and one eye can see it's out of control.  With this guy, the buck never seems to stop -- just veers crazily around corners, never turns back, thunders through the halls of the administration -- scares the hell out of those who try to corral it.  The few times it has been caught in the glare of truth's headlights, its eyes were so wildly insane that hunters, even scandal-hardened ones like Woodward, quickly backed off. It's time for the buck to stop.  The guilty within this destructive administration must be held accountable for the massive damage they are causing throughout the world.  Someone must pay for the pain and humiliation suffered by human beings under our care whom we so cavalierly torture -- literally -- to death.  Someone must be held to account for the innocent men, women and children who are nothing more than collateral damage and who must die simply because they are there....
(full article)

Being Pro-War Is Not Necessarily Patriotic

by Ivan Eland

As the 21st century dawns, Americans have come to define patriotism as uncritical support of war and the military. In this year’s presidential campaign, John Kerry touts his war exploits in Vietnam, and those with connections to George W. Bush try to rewrite this history decades later. The president dresses up in military garb and lands on an aircraft carrier, pretending to be a war hero to make people forget that he avoided the danger of conflict years earlier. Both Bush and Kerry favored the unprovoked U.S. invasion of a sovereign nation (Iraq)—the same thing Saddam Hussein did to become a world pariah in 1990. And both the president and his challenger said they would have invaded even if they knew in advance that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Such militarization of U.S. society and foreign policy would cause the founders of this great nation to roll over in their graves....(full article)

John Kerry and Veterans for Peace
by Ben Terrall

In his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in Boston, John Kerry reassured the corporate establishment which lavished millions on the festivities that he would restore sanity to the maintenance of empire. (Both parties are swimming in corporate contributions: Money Magazine reports, "More than 125 companies, unions and private foundations, including some 50 members of the Fortune 500, will pump at least $103.5 million into the conventions of both major U.S. political parties this year, thanks to new election rules that help big donors skirt campaign finance limits.") This year's JFK intoned, "We need to make America once again a beacon in the world. We need to be looked up to and not just feared." Kerry proposes to do this by increasing the armed forces by 40,000 troops. He also pledged to double the size of U.S. special forces to fight "terrorist campaigns," then corrected himself and said "anti-terrorist campaigns." Given the behavior of CIA operatives and U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, Kerry's confusion is hardly surprising. His own experiences waging scorched-earth war in the "free fire zones" of Vietnam has given Kerry first hand knowledge of the reality, as opposed to the high flown rhetoric, of U.S. warfare for "national security" and "freedom."....(full article)

Ralph Nader as David Duke? The ADL Wants you to Think so
by Joshua Frank

On Thursday August 20th, the Washington Post reported that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has branded Ralph Nader a "bigot", which is a furtive way of saying they think the independent candidate for president is a vile anti-Semite. Nader has come under attack from the ADL and their executive director Abe Foxman for suggesting that the US should proceed in a new direction regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue....(full article)

What a Scream!

by Richard Oxman

The two masked robbers who ran into Oslo's Munch Museum and threatened the staff with a handgun, forcing people to lie down as they secured Edvard Munch's “The Scream” and “Madonna”, may have done us all a favor....
(full article)

Harsud Lost
by Angana Chatterji

The Narmada Sagar (formally the Indira Sagar Pariyojana), a multipurpose project, has been in construction for decades. It is one of the 30 large dams on the Narmada River as it passes through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Narmada watershed is home to 20 million peasants and adivasi [tribal] people whose subsistence is critically linked to land, forests and water. At 262.19 metres, the Narmada Sagar is located in east Nimar in Madhya Pradesh. It will submerge 249 villages, displace 30,739 families, 91,348 hectares of land, 41,444 of which are forests, to yield 1,000 MW of electricity and irrigate 123,000 hectares of land, a third of which is already irrigated....(full article)

Shooting at Whales: 40 Years after Tonkin 

by Mickey Z.

Upon accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for president, Senator John F. Kerry promised to "bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: The United States of America never goes to war because we want to; we only go to war because we have to." This tradition may indeed be time-honored...but more in the breach. The concept of a nation forced into war is, in fact, a primary component of the inveterate "sleeping giant" spin....
(full article)

August 20-23

Double Speak and the Politics of Dissent
by Henry Giroux

One of the more significant marks of an authoritarian society is its willingness to distort the truth while simultaneously suppressing dissent. For instance, Umberto Eco argues that one element of proto-fascism is the rise of an Orwellian version of Newspeak, or what he labels as the language of “eternal fascism,” whose purpose is to produce “an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax [whose consequence is] to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.” Under the Bush administration, especially since the horrible events of September 11th, we have witnessed an extension of the concept of war to include not only traditional, strategic, defense-oriented objectives, but also to discipline civil society, reproduce all aspects of public life in the image of official power, and inject the ideology of militarism as the very foundation of politics. Accompanying this increasing form of discursive and material repression is an attempt to refashion the tools of language, sound, and image in an effort to diminish the capacity of the American public to think critically. As the critical power of language is reduced in official discourse to the simulacra of communication, it becomes more difficult for the American public to engage in critical debates, translate private considerations into public concerns, and recognize the distortions and lies that underlie much of the current government policies. What happens to critical language under the emergence of official Newspeak can be seen in the various ways in which the Bush administration and its official supporters both misrepresent by mis-naming government policies and simply engage in lying to cover up their own regressive politics and policies....(full article)

Monkeywrench Hope: An Interview with Jeffrey St. Clair
by Joshua Frank

CounterPunch co-editor Jeffrey St. Clair is far and away the best writer on environmental politics. St. Clair talks with DV contributing writer Joshua Frank about the bipartisan war on Nature and the 2004 election....(full article)

Fifth Cavalry or Fifth Column?
Examining Psychiatry’s Role in Our Lives

by Steven Ferry

What do genocide by the Nazis in Europe, by the Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo; suicidal terrorists; shooting rampages in our schools; spiraling crime rates and an increasingly amoral society all have in common? The same group, apparently, that has managed to kill twice as many Americans under its direct care between 1950 and 1990 alone as have died in all the wars we ever engaged in. Although the group is highly visible, it makes itself invisible by engaging in countless activities that are too incredible to be believed. Anyone pointing out that the emperor is wearing no clothes is usually ignored because nothing could be so off base and yet remain in a position of authority today. Explaining his excesses, Adolph Hitler once boasted that the more outrageous the deed, the less people would want or be able to believe it. We are not, today, devastated by economic collapse as the Germans were in 1933; we do not live in a police state where all the media is controlled by the government. Most of us are blessed with a sufficiently high IQ not to fall for the kind of diatribes expressed by Neo-Nazis and similar groups today. So we can surely think for ourselves and see when the wool has been pulled over our eyes. But supposing the data we have been fed as reasonable, and which we use to reach our conclusions, is actually flawed? Would we then necessarily be able to recognize what may be the greatest hoax in the last eight hundred years? (full article)

Why Conservatives are Winning the Campus Wars
by Joshua Holland

In 1973, when Richard Mellon Scaife and Joseph Coors kicked together some seed money to start the Heritage Foundation, the Democrats held the Senate and had a 50-seat majority in the House. As progressives are starting to understand, the funding, planning, and coordination of the conservative movement has led to tremendous success in elections and government policy. But another arena of ideological competition has gone largely beneath the radar. An asymmetric political war is raging at universities across the country, and once again conservatives are running circles around progressives....(full article)

Killers and Kangaroo Courts
by Justin Felux

Many people in Latin America and around the world have spent the past several days celebrating.  On Sunday, the poor people of Venezuela crushed an attempted electoral coup d'état by that country's ruling elite.  The policies of President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian movement received yet another mandate, this one so strong that even Jimmy Carter and the Organization of American States were forced to accept it.  However, only two days in to the celebration we received a grim reminder of the fact that the struggle for justice and democracy in Latin America is far from over.  In Haiti, not far off the coast of Venezuela, the democratic order has not been so fortunate in recent months.  In what may be the government's most despicable act yet, a sham trial in Port-au-Prince acquitted Jodel Chamblain of the murder of a prominent Haitian activist in 1993.  Chamblain, the second in command of the death squad known as FRAPH, has been described by former CIA employees as a “ruthless, cold-blooded killer.”....(full article)

A Clinical Resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
by Ahmed Amr

For the past few years, a number of peace activists have proposed a novel way to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The beauty of their proposal is in its simplicity. Exploiting recent advances in science, they suggest that a little clinical analysis would straighten out the warped minds of many a delusional Zionist and create a psychologically positive environment for a rational resolution to the conflict between the natives of the Holy Land and their European tormentors....(full article)

JF Kerry: “I Am Not A [Redistribution] Democrat”
by Paul Street

A friend e-mailed me to tell me that he recently heard John F. Kerry on television rejecting the redistribution of income, saying: “that's not what I'm about.” I haven't found this quote on the Internet, but my source is impeccable and the Kerry comment he heard is richly (no pun intended) consistent with Kerry's campaign and background.  I've got an April New York Times clipping in which Kerry is quoted announcing that he is “not a redistribution Democrat” This article reported Kerry saying this to super-affluent New York City Democrats “at a $25,000-a-plate breakfast at the 21 Club in Manhattan” last Spring. “We've got to reach out,” Kerry told the select 100 audience members at this $2.5 million breakfast.  “Reach out,” that Republicans, hopefully drawn to his “bipartisan credentials as a fiscal conservative” (the New York Times) and to his claim that he can “manage” the “war on terror” “as effectively, or more effectively, if possible” (Kerry's words) than Bush II.  The advancement of social equity in the “advanced world's” most unequal and wealth-top-heavy state by far (where the top 1 percent owns more than 40 percent of the wealth and the top 10 percent owns two-thirds) “isn't what [Kerry] is about?”  No, it sure isn't.  According to the Detroit News last spring, “Senator John F. Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, with assets of about $1 billion, would be among the richest families to ever occupy the White House, eclipsing even President Kennedy and well ahead of many other moneyed chief executives over the last century”....(full article)

How Dick Cheney Got Away With $35 Million Right Before
the Govt. Launched a Probe into Halliburton

by Jason Leopold

It’s obvious that no mainstream news reporter has the gumption to seriously question Vice President Dick Cheney’s ethics when he was chief executive of Halliburton, the oil-field services company that is currently embroiled in a scandal with the Pentagon due to its questionable accounting practices related to its work in war-torn Iraq. Pity those journalists because this is the stuff Pulitzer’s are made of. What’s even more remarkable is that there are reams of documents in the public domain showing how Cheney cooked the books when he was CEO of Halliburton, which makes the vice president look like Ken Lay’s twin brother. The evidence is beginning to collect dust. To tell the story of how Cheney’s Halliburton used accounting sleight of hand to fool investors all you need to do is connect the dots, which is what this story will do....(full article)

How the News Media Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Rumsfeld
by Norman Solomon

The nation’s top dog of war is frisky again. Donald Rumsfeld has returned to high visibility -- after a couple of months in the media doghouse following revelations about torture at the Abu Ghraib prison -- now openly romancing the journalistic pack with his inimitable style of tough love as he growls and romps across TV screens....(full article)

Bush's Dubious Terror Alerts:
Is Administration's Political Agenda Driving Warnings of Terrorism?

by Bill Berkowitz

When the going gets tough, the "tough" get to issuing terrorist alerts, announcing high profile arrests, and raising the terrorism threat level. Since January 2002, according to JuliusBlog, an Internet web log, there have been at least fifteen incidents where Team Bush, responding to adverse news or dipping presidential poll numbers, turned either Attorney General John Ashcroft or Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge loose to ramp up talk of terrorism and terrorist attacks....(full article)

After the Venezuela Referendum

by toni solo

For the Venezuelan government the result of the recall referendum last Sunday was a triumphant validation of its legitimacy, its policies and its President, Hugo Chavez. It amounts to an electoral Dien Bien Phu for the United States and its allies who have worked determinedly to destabilize Venezuela's political life in almost every conceivable way since George W. Bush and Dick Cheney took office. In particular, the mainstream international media who have consistently calumnied the Venezuelan State and its constituent entities, although chastened by the referendum victory, remain mealy-mouthed or downright hostile both in their news coverage and in their analysis....(full article)

Birds, Bees and Gays Do It
by Marty Jezer

De-Lovely,” the new film biography of songwriter Cole Porter, has a provocative theme regarding sexual preference and the universality of love. Worth seeing if only for the music (Porter wrote the words and music to dozens of our most familiar and beloved pop standards), the film suggests that some of our greatest and favorite love songs were written from a homosexual perspective....(full article)

August 17-19

Looking for a Death Bed Conversion
by Chuck Richardson

The fact is each of us is who we are because of America’s superpower status. Each and every human being in America has materially benefited from the nation’s military budget in some way, either directly or indirectly, and the price paid for this is made painfully aware to everyone but Americans themselves -- at least so far -- in the form of the primacy of American national interests, politically and economically defined, around the globe....(full article)

Apartheid Without Borders: The New Globalism and Its Enemies
by William H. Thornton

The era of unalloyed globalization lasted roughly a decade, from the end of the Cold War to September 11, 2001. Never before had world affairs been entrusted so completely to “free market” forces. With power politics sidelined, or relegated to the erstwhile Third World, the Treasury and Commerce Departments won out over State and Defense as the chief power brokers for an emerging “Washington Consensus.” Even those who saw through the myth of globalization as a ticket to universal peace and prosperity were often taken in by the lesser god of TINA: “There Is No Alternative.” Clearly there were, however, alternative globalizations. While Europe took the high road of cosmopolitanism, purging foreign policy of power itself, America took the all too effective low road of power economics....(full article)

The Left’s Rotten Rallying Cry of Retreat: Cowardice is Not a Strategy
by M. Junaid Alam

Bracing against a German assault that swiftly and brutally tore through western Russia in the summer of 1941, Josef Stalin remarked, “In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance.” Today many radicals have joined the liberals and chattering classes in imagining themselves as partaking in an equally epic struggle with similar tactics; the Bush regime is Hitlerism reborn, an evil menace that can only be swept away by first retreating from many of the values and causes which they once rallied around in defense of the oppressed and downtrodden. But whereas the Red Army only ceded ground to reorganize and make a stronger stand around defensible positions, the battle cry of ‘Anybody But Bush’ sends its adherents scurrying towards a candidate and party which have – in no uncertain terms - fully endorsed and vowed to continue perpetrating the two most morally indefensible and politically disastrous tragedies of our time: the occupation of Iraq and Palestine. This hardly concerns our ABB intelligentsia: so entranced by their fanatical fear, zealous hatred, and personal demonization of George Bush, they have decided that removing him from power justifies abandoning any actual political position....(full article)

The Importance of Hugo Chávez

by Tariq Ali

The turn-out in Venezuela last Sunday was huge. 94.9 percent of the electorate voted in the recall referendum. Venezuela, under its new Constitution, permitted the right of the citizens to recall a President before s/he had completed their term of office. No Western democracy enshrines this right in a written or unwritten constitution. Chavez' victory will have repercussions beyond the borders of Venezuela. It is a triumph of the poor against the rich and it is a lesson that Lula in Brazil and Kirchner in Argentina should study closely. It was Fidel Castro, not Carter, whose advice to go ahead with the referendum was crucial. Chavez put his trust in the people by empowering them and they responded generously. The opposition will only discredit itself further by challenging the results....(full article)

Does Your Government Really Have an Interest
in Protecting You from Terrorism?

by Ivan Eland

American athletes at the heavily fortified Olympic games in Athens have been assigned bodyguards by the U.S. State Department and have practically had to assume secret identities in an attempt to remain safe. Fearful of a terrorist attack, American spectators have stayed away from the games in droves. Both the Republicans and the Democrats seem to be throwing up their hands and capitulating to the notion that the world has simply become more dangerous. But this more dangerous world is very much one of the U.S. government's making....(full article)

Neo-Con Ideology, Not Big Oil, Pushed for War
by Jim Lobe

Why did the administration of President George W Bush push to invade Iraq? Most left-wing critics - epitomized perhaps by Michael Moore's blockbuster documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11 - have rather reflexively argued that the economic factor, particularly the interests of Big Oil or “the ruling class,” must have been decisive. But many right-wing critics, who know the ruling class from the inside, lean to a different explanation, in part by pointing out that Big Oil, to the extent it took any position at all on the war, opposed it. As evidence, they cite the unusually public opposition to a unilateral invasion voiced quite publicly by such eminent oil and ruling class-related influentials as former president George H W Bush's national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and secretary of state James Baker. While they do not deny that some economic interests -- construction giants, such as Halliburton and Bechtel, and high-tech arms companies -- may have given the push to war some momentum, the decisive factor in their view was ideological, and the ideology, “neo-conservative”....(full article)

Vetted: Lockport Journal & Buffalo News Doing PR Work for FMC Corp
by Chuck Richardson

In this important article, former Lockport Journal reporter/columnist Chuck Richardson looks at how The Journal and the Buffalo News became PR organs for the FMC Corp, betraying the health concerns of the residents of Middleport, NY. Richardson notes that: "Vetted" shows the tip of an iceberg. What I reveal here is going on all across America, where local news media have been bought and sold. You can replace Middleport, NY with a thousand other small company towns across the country....The spotlight is always on the national level, and to a lesser extent on the state level. But the nation never takes a look at how things are working at the local level, where stuff goes on undetected constantly....(full article)

Discussing Hope and Strategy Through Education

by Peter McLaren
with an Introduction by Michael Alexander Pozo

Speech by Peter McLaren: When I was a child growing up in Canada in the 1950s, I shared a fear similar to that of some of my neighborhood friends: that one day all the mannequins in the downtown department stores (the now defunct Eatons and Simpsons) would come to life and take over the world. It seems, a half century later, that my fear was justified. The department store mannequins have indeed taken over the world. They captured the Bush Jr. White House in that notorious stolen presidential election that my UCLA colleague, Doug Kellner, refers to as "grand theft 2000." Having convinced a large segment of the American population that they are the only ones capable of looking after the security and well being of United States citizens, the Bush Jr. junta took advantage of a tragic terrorist attack on the country to create a climate of fear that would rival even the skills of Sauron, a culture of intimidation and hostility that continues to serve as a smokescreen for its empire-building. The right wing hawks of the Bush Jr. administration have transformed the United States into our boy-emperor's private whirligig, spinning across the global playground. Few global leaders refuse to play along, because the stakes are too high. But they are even higher when the game is allowed to continue. It is not the world leaders that will bring the game to a halt, but the people who are suffering the most as a result....(full article)

Don't Trust Anybody Over Thirty
by Harold Williamson

On Sunday, August 15, the Washington Post reported that recent polls show that President Bush's popularity has plummeted among young adults in the past four months because of their concerns over the war in Iraq and the sluggish economy. The article stated, "In the latest Post-ABC News poll, taken immediately after the Democratic Convention, Kerry led Bush 2 to 1 among registered voters younger than thirty.  Among older voters, the race was virtually tied." It is difficult to believe that after four years of screwing all but the rich in this country and bullying the rest of the world, that there could be a single ordinary American with a lick of common sense -- especially older Americans who have seen the likes of this before -- who could vote to re-elect George Bush.  Whatever became of those young people who angrily cried out in protest during the sixties?  "Hell no, we wont go!"  "Power to the people!" "Make love, not war!"  Remember?  Truth is, their daddy's allowance ran out, and they could no longer afford their conscience.  They sold out, condemning yet another generation of young Americans....
(full article)

Hoodwinked, Snookered and Bamboozled:
The Triplets of Democrat-ville

by T. Patrick Donovan

A friend recently asked me why I was so despairing after listening to the Democratic National Convention; had I expected something other than what was delivered? I replied that, no, I had not expected the Democrats to show up any differently. What struck me right in the solar plexus is that the American empire -- whether in its Republican guise or its Democrat guise -- is hell-bent for leather to control the world. That the die is cast is a hard truth to come face to face with. Yet at the same time there is a liberatory quality knowing the real deal, knowing our illusions about America are just that: illusions....(full article)

Pepsi or Coke? Nader is the Healthier Choice
by Ahmed Amr

John Kerry recently stated that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew what he knows today.  If the intelligence community had assured him that Iraq possessed no WMD stockpiles, he too would have ignited a war of aggression that killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and set their country ablaze with a show of “shock and awe”. Even the loss of nearly a thousand young American lives would not have altered his decision. Had the CIA made it perfectly clear that Iraq had no ties to Al-Qaida, the Democratic candidate would have ignored that pesky detail and given a green light for the occupation of Iraq. Kerry would have launched a “pre-emptive” strike even if he was certain that Saddam’s emaciated Iraqi army was barely capable of defending its own borders – which raises the question about what he intended to pre-empt. In the middle of the fight against Bin Laden, he would have diverted resources to attack a vile but feeble dictator who was already well contained by no-fly zones and genocidal sanctions.   Even George Bush won’t go that far....(full article)

Kerry, Nader and the Greens Need to Kill the Circular Firing Squad
by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis

It's time for the Kerry, Nader and Green campaigns to get locked in a room until they disarm the circular firing squad and focus on the real enemy, George W. Bush. Especially in swing states like ours, the endless wrangling and rancor must stop. Every boring, suicidal attack harms our ability to beat Bush....(full article)

August 14-16

Some Economic Results of the Civilizing Mission
by M. Shahid Alam

A wide ranging essay by M. Shahid Alam on the imperial Civilizing Mission, the global economy, its past, and future prospects....(full article)

Critical Stakes in Venezuela's Election
by Yves Engler

It is surprising that the media ­- left media included -­ has been relatively silent regarding Venezuela’s upcoming presidential recall referendum. Little has been reported about the importance of a Chavez win both domestically and internationally. What exactly is at stake in Venezuela’s presidential recall referendum this Sunday? (full article)

Withdrawal of Foreign Troops from Iraq is the Only Solution:
The Media-hyped Fiction of a Handover of Power in Iraq

by Tariq Ali

Most legends contain a small grain of truth, but none is to be found in the fraudulent images being presented each day by the BBC (and the US networks). The print media is not much better. Official propaganda is constantly repeated in sentences such as: "On June 28 the United States and its coalition partners transferred sovereign control of Iraq to an interim government headed by prime minister Ayad Allawi. The transfer of sovereignty ended more than a year of American-led occupation". Meanwhile, US intelligence agencies admit that the size of the resistance increases every day. If Moqtada al-Sadr were to be captured or killed in the fighting taking place in Najaf, the steady trickle of recruits could become a flood. In such a situation and with no official opposition to the occupation in the Commons it should be the responsibility of the media to ensure that some truth, at least, is regularly reported....(full article)

Bush Ignited the Najaf Insurgency, Not Muqtada al-Sadr
by Milan Rai

The United States has launched a war against a large part of the Iraqi people. It is the Bush Administration’s desire for total domination, not the militancy of Shia insurgents, that has triggered this latest uprising. The US is trying to tame the Shia majority....(full article)

The Futility of Revolving Warmonger Regimes: Time for the Revolution

by Kim Petersen

Most sane peace-loving people agree that President-select George W. Bush and his neocon cabal are anathema and must be thrown out of office. Some progressives are defining November 2004 as being exclusively about achieving this aim. These progressives basically contend that Bush is so absolutely abhorrent that he must be disposed of no matter what. These progressives are usually lumped into what is commonly referred to as the Anybody-But-Bush camp. This, however, is not quite a true description of the camp. Truer would be the John Kerry-But-Bush camp. How else would one explain the vehemence exhibited toward presidential candidate Ralph Nader for having the audacity to present Americans with an actual anti-war option for their vote? Progressive writers Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen turned to their articulate and knowledgeable colleague Tariq Ali to buttress the case for lesser-evilism that Kerry represents. It is granted that an expert source often lends credibility to a point-of-view. Nonetheless, quoting a name source and relying on such quotes, unless composed of pertinent facts and logic, is hardly compelling argumentation in itself. In fact it is often referred to as the fallacy of appeal to authority....(full article)

Stupid White Men and Why Segregation Matters
by Paul Street

The bitter white male comments on my old Bill Cosby essay (“Bill Cosby and White America: Cosby Feeds America's 'Can't Do, Won't do Attitude,” ZNet, June 1, 2004) are STILL coming in -- just amazing, these white guys just can't leave it alone and move on.  Cosby validated their racial prejudices and they're just not going to tolerate somebody pointing out that Emperor Bill has no clothes.  Here's one dumb white guy message that arrived today, and my response....(full article)

The War on the Poor: "A Social Risk No Sane Person Would Take"

by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair

Today John Kerry grovels to Wall Street and gives working people the back of his hand. Meet his teachers, the men who invented "triangulation", the art of doing all the things Republicans would be scared to take on. Like ending welfare or privatizing social security. Think John Kerry wouldn't do things like that? Here's a reality check, excerpted from our new book, Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils, hot off the presses....(full article)

The American River’s Hidden Fish Kill:
181,000 Salmon Die Before Spawning

by Dan Bacher

The Klamath fish kill of September 2002, when 68,000 salmon died because of low, warm water conditions on the lower river, is considered the largest of its kind in U.S. history. However, another “hidden fish kill” that took place on the American River in the fall of 2001, 2002 and 2003 is now vying for this dubious distinction. Only a few short miles from the State Capitol, an unprecedented environmental tragedy took place on the American River in the heart of Sacramento metropolitan area over the past three years. Huge numbers of adult chinook salmon returned from the ocean to spawn, but 181,709 of these fish perished before spawning....(full article)

Pity the Iraqis: Tim "Rambo" Spicer is Coming!

by William Hughes

Haven’t the Iraqi people suffered enough? This is the kind of question Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, should be asking himself while reviewing a highly disputed $293 million contract from the Pentagon for coordinating security in Iraq. The British firm that recently won the lucrative cost-plus deal, Aegis Defense Services, is headed by an ex-commando, who had seen service in the British occupied six counties of northeastern Ireland. His name is Tim Spicer. Spicer is the CEO of Aegis. According to the Boston Globe, (06/22/04), he has in the past “been linked to an arms sale to Sierra Leone that violated a 1998 United Nations embargo, and he served as commanding officer over two British soldiers convicted of murdering an unarmed Catholic teenager in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1992.”...(full article)

Full Spectrum Dominance: An Interview with Stan Goff

by Derek Seidman

Stan Goff is a member of the coordinating committee of Bring Them Home Now, a campaign of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists against the war in Iraq. His books include Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti, and Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century. He retired as a Master Sergeant in the US military in 1996 after serving for 26 years, most of them with Special Forces. He lives in Raleigh, NC, and can be reached at Recently, Derek Seidman of Left Hook ( caught up with Stan Goff to get his thoughts on "Fahrenheit 9/11", the situation in Iraq, the possibility of a draft, the upcoming US elections, and more....(full interview)

The Eye of The Storm
by Philip A Farruggio

Philip Farruggio on the shock and awe of Hurricane Charley, and parallel shock and awe in Iraq....(full article)

A Time of Butterflies and Bombers

by Norman Solomon

We saw butterflies turning into bombers. And we weren't dreaming. At the time when the Woodstock festival became an instant media legend in mid-August 1969, melodic yearning for peace was up against the cold steel of American war machinery. The music and other creative energies that drew 400,000 people to an upstate New York farm that weekend rejected the Vietnam War and the assumptions fueling it. Thirty-five years later, the Jimi Hendrix rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner could still serve as an apt soundtrack for U.S. foreign policy, with bombs bursting in air over urban neighborhoods across much of Iraq....(full article)

August 12-13

Bush’s Sweep Stakes: Targeting Latino Workers
by Joel Wendland

It must be their imagination because we aren’t doing anything, say Bush administration officials about reports from across the country of increased immigration sweeps over the last two years. Various reports from local media and human rights activists show that immigration sweeps have occurred in Latino communities from Maine, to Chicago, Washington State, the Southwest, and Southern California. The upsurge in sweeps in Latino communities comes in the larger context of raids and surveillance aimed at immigrant Asian and African communities suspected of harboring terrorists. Under the cover of homeland security, the Bush administration seems to have ordered these sweeps to please his ultra right anti-immigration, racist base with the effect of spreading panic and fear in the Latino community. In response, Latino communities have organized numerous protests demanding an end to secret sweeps and immigration raids. Ultimately, systematic targeting of immigrant working class communities has harmful consequences on non-citizens and citizens alike....(full article)

Fear and Loathing in the Newsroom
by Michael Gillespie

However much some of us might like to see Right-wing hack and hatchet man Robert Novak cooling his expensively-shod ideological heels in the slammer for a few days, weeks, or months, that prospect may not bode well for the future of professional journalism in this country. But then, the standards of professional or, more accurately, corporate journalism, have been in decline for decades, and the occasional bouts public hand-wringing over media deregulation and consolidation offered up by corporate media celebrities claiming to be the conscience of the profession have done little or nothing to impede the steady and enervating erosion of emphasis on public service values in both print and broadcast journalism. So don’t expect Big Media to hand you the information you need in order to understand the importance of what has been called the White House leak scandal, Leak-gate, the Wilson scandal, Affair la Plame, the Wilson-Plame scandal, and the Plame leak case. There are two questions at the center of White House leak scandal, a) which senior Bush administration officials did the leaking? and b) should the journalist’s First-Amendment-based Constitutional right to a confidential relationship with his or her source take precedence over the public’s interest in investigating and prosecuting crime, in this case, a high crime, a federal felony committed, perhaps, by senior Bush administration officials in the context of a leak to a representative of the press? If the Bush administration has its way, the American public will never find out the answer to the first question, but the answer to the second question, to which there will be an answer, may entail consequences far more dire than most American would anticipate....(full article)

On Pointless No-RNC Protests
by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

Next week, an estimated 250,000 people will “descend,” as its organizers hyperbolically term it, into New York City to protest the Republican National Convention.  The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers has minimal interest in the convention protest and wishes to outline its reasoning below....The so-called organizers of the anti-RNC protests have poured much wasted energy into their events without much thought of what happens after the convention and how any momentum from the protest might be sustained over a long period or at least through Election Day....
(full communique)

McProtests R Us, Or: Would You Like Some Fries With Your Black Mask?
by Mickey Z.

In a matter of weeks, politicians, protesters, and police will converge on my beleaguered city...and that is precisely why I'm skipping town for a few days. The police state tactics and color-coded alerts are reason enough...but I'd also rather not witness firsthand the death throes of protest as we know it. It's bad enough that today's breed of subversive didn't deem the Democratic Convention worthy of his or her time (Where was the planned-for-months-in-advance outrage in Boston? The Hitler mustaches? The warnings about fascism? The cataloging of candidate crimes?); now we have hordes of anti-authority types submitting to New York's demands for polite opposition restricted to a pre-determined venue. Sure, a lawsuit is being threatened but it has little to do with freedom of speech being limited to a city-sanctioned site far away from the conventional action. Nah, the progressives in question are in an uproar about the lack of shade near the West Side Highway. No justice....(full article)

Beam Me Up, Mrs. Williams
by Peter Kurth

Well, that should say it all, but somehow I think it won’t. In fact, “these people” are lower than scum at the bottom of a pond, and you can quote me. This week’s column was already half-written, blocked out, all planned, when I saw the lead headline in Monday morning’s local rag: “FORMER ALLIES SOUGHT IN IRAQ.” Funny -- I didn’t know we had any allies in Iraq, if you don’t count Tony Blair’s pathetic band of Merrie Men and the repulsive Berlusconi’s several hundred Italian blackshirts, each of them ready to invade Ethiopia at the drop of a biscotto. Turns out the “allies” in question are the Chalabis, uncle and nephew, Ahmad and Salem. The first, lest we forget, was the Bush administration’s main man when it came to gathering bogus information on which to base the invasion of Iraq (“weapons of mass destruction,” 40 minutes from doom, etc.). The second, raised and groomed in New York City, is – or was – supposed to be heading the official prosecution of Saddam Hussein....(full article)

Bringing Back Saddam (Almost)

by Ivan Eland

The Saddam-al Qaeda connection has fizzled and no nuclear, biological or chemical weapons have been unearthed in post-invasion Iraq. So the Bush administration’s fallback, ex post facto rationale for invading Iraq is that the country is better off without Saddam. But the U.S.-backed Iraqi government seems to be ruling more like Saddam everyday....(full article)

Electoral Pains and Movement Gains:
Why the 2004 Election Pretty Much Sucks
by Joshua Frank

The stench is dizzying.  It’s almost too much to bear.  Progressive voters are having a more than difficult time justifying their support for the rot we call the Democratic Party -- as the John-John ticket has few redeeming qualities, if any. Then again this George W. Bush boob is pretty fricken scary, isn't he? He lied, and drove our country into an unnecessary war.  He hates minorities and despises gays. He cares little for the environment (unless it can turn him and his pals an oily buck of course). He believes the government has the right to spy on its citizens. He thinks the poor and working class deserve their wretched poverty. And the list goes on. You would think that in this polluted neocon atmosphere the Democrats would feel invigorated. Ecstatic even. You would think they’d want to differentiate themselves from their Republican rivals by offering an alternative.  You would think they’d want to win this election. You would think....(full article)

A Global Perspective on Defeating Bush
by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

The US-centric nature of American politics often affects the US left. It’s hard to get out of USA mindsets long enough to grasp the global implications of decisions made here at home. Yet the effects of US government policies are so enormous across the planet that some people have suggested -- with more than a little justification -- that every person on Earth should get to vote in US presidential elections. On the international left, no one has more credibility as an unwavering opponent of US foreign policy than Tariq Ali. Raised in Pakistan, he was a leader of Britain’s Vietnam Solidarity Campaign in the 1960s, and is now a prominent London-based writer and an editor at New Left Review. His recent books include Bush in Babylon and The Clash of Fundamentalisms. As progressives in the United States try to make sense out of the current presidential campaign, Ali’s perspective on the global significance of Bush’s electoral fate deserves serious consideration....
(full article)

Surviving Bush: Kill the Buddha

by Rachel Olivieri

A fascinating analogy originates from a Zen Buddhist Tradition. Everything starts with a story. This is a simple tale of a devout monk who spent his life in deep meditation. Along this journey, he experienced a profound revelation: A vision of nirvana. Enthralled by its insight, he believed he had achieved absolute enlightenment. He shared his revelation with his master. His master was unimpressed yet compassionate. “Indeed,” the master intoned, “this is not a singular event among men.” He told the monk that his vision of enlightenment would draw him away from his spiritual journey. The monk became greatly distressed. Then the master told the monk that if he should meet the Buddha, he should slay him. “Why kill the Buddha?” asked the monk in disbelief. “Because that Buddha will not be the true Buddha,” replied the master. “He will merely be an expression of your longing for what it is you seek. If you do not kill the Buddha, he will only stand in your way.” One can interpret this story many ways. For the purpose of humanity, the metaphor succinctly speaks to moving past the complacency of deeply held progressive principles and moral views. Morals and principles that Mark Twain might say bind us to “prejudice.” Does prejudice of tightly bound principles produce a close election? A world vote would crush Bush and all that he represents in November. Why would our view vary so greatly with the rest of the worlds'? Could we be detracted by the outrage of our enlightenment and our sense of defeat of progressive views? (full article)

by Ben Marcus

Where do I begin to express my frustration with my fellow liberal youth of this country? Every one of us, no matter what age, needs to work for a more progressive and tolerant society. With illegal drug use, inner city crime on the rise and tens of millions of people out of work or earning less than $8.75 an hour, it’s up to the youth of America to step up to the plate....My candidate of choice this election is Ralph Nader....(full article)

Hospital Deaths
by Yves Engler

It was shocking to read that in 18 months 100 people died from the Clostridium difficile superbug at one Sherbrooke, Quebec, hospital. Even more worrying is that between 8,000 and 12,000 Canadian patients die of hospital acquired blood infections, infected surgical wounds and antibiotic resistant organisms every year. And a report by Health Grades Inc., released 2 weeks ago, concludes that there were an astounding 575,000 preventable deaths in U.S. hospitals between 2000 and 2002, many from hospital-acquired infections. But shock, worry and amazement won’t help answer the question; what makes the hospital environment one of North America’s biggest killers? (full article)

Statement on the Idiotic Logic of Michael Moore
by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers blasted sell-out filmmaker Michael Moore today for his recent comments on Bush's prospective Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) appointee, Porter Goss....
(full communique)

Environmental Buck Private
by Marty Jezer

It’s not been hot in Vermont this summer. It’s been wet, but not hot. According to my utility bill, the average temperature was 66 in July, down three degrees from a year ago. As one who hates the sweat and swelter of summer heat, I can live with that. Nor have the thunderstorms been particularly violent. No squall lines or hail stones coming in from the west or up and down the Connecticut River Valley; no downed trees or mangled corn. This may change in the next few days with Bonnie and Charlie moving north. (And don’t the hurricane-namers wish they had named “Charlie” “Clyde”). But so far the summer has been mild and easy. So maybe the Bush administration is right. Global warming is a science fiction fantasy. God loves SUVs. Fossil fuels are good and good for you. There’s no need for government to fund a crash program on clean energy. But wait!....
(full article)

The Ghost of Orwell is Upon Us
by Manuel Valenzuela

A rather sad state of affairs has risen out of the propaganda-laced, nationalism-spewing, draped-in-the flag-espousing and testosterone-filled Democratic National Convention that would have made Joseph Goebbels proud. The party of peace and progress has mutated into one of warmongers and military might, whoring itself to the evils of war and violence in order to regain power, forgetting principles of pacifism and humanism for those espousing death and destruction. The leaders of the Democratic Party know that to once more sit in the White House, to replace lunatics and liars, they must become George W. Bush, albeit with a brain, proclaiming the drums of war and the strength of violence. In a nation addicted to the smells of human blood and of growing hatred for the Arab and Muslim world, only mirages of warmongers and charades of military might can compete with the façade that propels Bush today....(full article)

Venezuela's Election and the American Wolf at the Door
by Yves Engler

Supporters of democracy should be watching Venezuela this weekend. Has respect for the rule of law and constitutional government truly taken root in Latin America or will traditional ruling elites and their backers in Washington bring us more of the same old “respect for the electoral process, but only if you vote the way we want” you to vote? (full article)

US Supports Anti-Democratic Forces in Venezuela Recall

by Robert Jensen

Imagine the scandal if a foreign government had for years funneled millions of dollars to political groups in the United States in an attempt to affect the outcome of a U.S. election. Even worse, what if some of the groups that received money had been involved in a failed coup attempt against a democratically elected U.S. president? Would the U.S. public not have a right to be outraged at the attempt to manipulate our political process? Of course we would -- which is why the people of Venezuela have a right to be outraged at the U.S. government's ongoing attempts to meddle in the electoral process in Venezuela....(full article)

Venezuela Floridated: Will The Gang That Fixed Florida
Fix The Vote In Caracas This Sunday?

by Greg Palast

Hugo Chavez drives George Bush crazy. Maybe it's jealousy: Unlike Mr. Bush, Chavez, in Venezuela, won his Presidency by a majority of the vote. Or maybe it's the oil: Venezuela sits atop a reserve rivaling Iraq's. And Hugo thinks the US and British oil companies that pump the crude ought to pay more than a 16% royalty to his nation for the stuff. Hey, sixteen percent isn't even acceptable as a tip at a New York diner. Whatever it is, OUR President has decided that THEIR president has to go. This is none too easy given that Chavez is backed by Venezuela's poor. And the US oil industry, joined with local oligarchs, has made sure a vast majority of Venezuelans remain poor. Therefore, Chavez is expected to win this coming Sunday's recall vote. That is, if the elections are free and fair. They won't be. Some months ago, a little birdie faxed to me what appeared to be confidential pages from a contract between John Ashcroft's Justice Department and a company called ChoicePoint, Inc., of Atlanta. The deal is part of the War on Terror....(full article)

America’s Exceptional Treatment of the Palestinians
by Ahmed Amr

Search through the archives of the State Department and locate anything remotely close to America’s policy towards the native people of the Holy Land. For starters, the West Bank and Gaza have no natural resources worth mentioning.  The olive trees and aquifers in the West Bank are of no strategic significance.  Being responsible for the overpopulated Gaza strip would only be an economic burden. The three million Palestinians living in the occupied territories have no interest in harming America and the United States gains nothing by tormenting them. A rational cost/benefit analysis of America’s anti-Palestinian foreign policy should disturb even the most indifferent citizen. It is all pain with no gain....(full article)

The Myth of Palestinian Development
by Sam Bahour

The issue of Palestinian development has been in the limelight for sometime now.  For over a decade, billions of taxpayer dollars from countries around the globe have been flooding into one of the smallest yet-to-be countries, the Palestinian Authority (PA).  In year 2004, the Palestinian people have become the largest per capita recipient of foreign aid in the world.  Yet, Palestine is not only unable to move forward in its development process toward statehood, but rather, any achievements that have been made thus far are being unraveled while donor funds continue to flow unabated.  As Dr. Khalil Nakhleh illustrates in The Myth of Palestinian Development, this process of “de-developing” Palestine is not haphazard or a strike of bad fate, but rather an externally planned systematic approach to the Palestinian reality that Palestinians must reverse....(full article)

Get on the Bus: 150 Years After Elizabeth Jennings/
100 Years Before Rosa Parks

by Mickey Z.

In the mornings I board the Q101 bus from Queens to Manhattan, it’s not uncommon for the majority of my fellow riders to be people of color. This is an unremarkable observation in 2004 New York where integrated buses are hardly news...thanks to Rosa Parks and her spontaneous act of bravery. Well, that’s what we’re taught, aren’t we? However, to buy into the Rosa Parks mythology* not only involves ignoring some crucial history about 1955, it erases the name of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings from Big Apple lore....(full article)

August 9-11

Iraqi Women and Torture, Part IV
Gendered Propaganda, the Propaganda of Gender

by Lila Rajiva

Can it be that despite our distance from patriarchy, we still minimize the act of rape, diminish or blame the victim, and excuse the perpetrator? Consider that despite the publicity around the revelation in 1996 that Army drill sergeants were regularly raping trainees at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, things have not gotten better but actually worse, reaching epidemic proportions today in wartime. Since fraternization and adultery are crimes in the military, victims fear that they may eventually be penalized if investigators decide, as they often do, that what happened was consensual. Yet even with an epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the army, most cases are not punished. The armed services are not the only place where sexual abuse is pervasive in the U.S. In jails through out the country, the rape as well as physical torture of men, women, and teens is well documented. At the state prison in Pennsylvania, where one of the guards in the Abu Ghraib photos, Charles Graner, worked as a correctional officer for several years, guards regularly beat prisoners, spat in their food, and heaped racial insults on them. In 1998, two dozen guards there were fired, suspended, demoted or reprimanded. Graner reportedly put razors in a prisoner’s food. Rape among prisoners is rampant. Up to 20% of America’s approximately 2 million prisoners (that is, anywhere between 250,000-600,000) prisoners have been raped or subjected to sexual assault of some kind. Male staff members are the primary abusers of female prisoners at rates that vary from 7%-27% well above those in other industrial nations. The abuse includes rape, voyeurism and the photographing of naked prisoners as well as assaults and verbal abuse, it takes place during prisoners' confinement as well as during routine frisking, and it is strikingly similar to some of the complaints that have been made by Iraqi women about their treatment at the hands of American soldiers and guards at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere....(full article)

Where the Killing Starts
by Media Lens

The statistics of death in Baghdad are now “beyond shame,” Robert Fisk writes in the Independent. In the first three weeks of July there were 506 violent deaths in Baghdad alone: “Even the Iraqi officials here shake their heads in disbelief.” Before last year’s invasion, Baghdad’s morgue investigated an average of 20 deaths a month caused by firearms. In June 2003, that number rose to 389 and in August it reached 518. Where did all this killing begin? We might think it began with the leaders who issued the orders for the invasion of Iraq, and with the pilots and soldiers who pushed the buttons and pulled the triggers. But in truth the killing always starts with you and us ­- the public....The killing, actually, starts with the surreal emptiness and manufactured optimism of party conferences and conventions. Have you noticed how desolate you feel when you see John Edwards’ fake perma-grin, and when you see John Kerry’s carefully rehearsed salute as he declares, idiotically, “I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty”? (full article)

Gulf War Illnesses -- At Home and Abroad
by Janette Sherman, M.D.

Since “Those Weapons of Mass Destruction” was published in Acres USA (0ct. 2003), I had hoped that the mainstream press would have picked up the depleted uranium (DU) issue. Alas, this is not the case. A conservative estimate of the DU used in the 1991 Gulf War is 340 tons. In the most recent war, more than 2200 tons of DU rained down on Iraq. But that is not all, some 34 tons of DU weaponry were used in Bosnia, Kosovo and Herzegovina, contaminating ground water and soil and an additional 1000 tons of DU were used in Afghanistan. Living close to the land, the DU levels in Afghanis after US military intervention are the highest levels measured in a human population. The General Accounting Office (GAO) strongly criticized the Pentagon for failing to accurately study conditions leading to the illnesses suffered by Gulf War veterans. A second GAO report criticized the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the Pentagon for wasting “millions of dollars looking for the mental stress theory [when] it has been conclusively ruled invalid.”....(full article)

Kerry’s Right to Return
by Ahmed Amr

If John Kerry becomes the next president of the United States, he will be the first leader of the free world to instantly qualify for Israeli citizenship. Under the Law of Return, any individual with one Jewish grandparent can land in Tel Aviv and inform the immigration authorities that he intends to settle in the Holy Land for the rest of his life. Because both his paternal grandparents were Jewish, Kerry qualifies for the privilege twice over. His brother, Cameron Kerry, doesn’t even have to depend on his ancestry. As a convert to Judaism, he can automatically become an Israeli national.  Both Kerry brothers can actually declare themselves candidates for the position of Israeli Prime Minister. We can only hope that Cameron would be an improvement on Ariel “Qibya” Sharon. Now, you would think that Kerry would be happy enough to have the right of return to a land that his grand parents never set foot on. But the Democratic candidate wants more. He wants to deny the same privilege to Palestinian refugees, including Palestinian Americans. In Kerry’s estimate, the idea of honoring the internationally recognized Palestinian right to return is a “non-starter”. Since he is so generous in dispensing with other people’s rights, perhaps the Democratic nominee should set an example by renouncing his own entitlement to “return” to Israel....(full article)

De-development Israeli style
by Sam Bahour

Faced with the lopsided Oslo Peace Accords, Palestinians attempted to overcome tremendous odds over the last ten years to sow the seeds of a modern Palestinian economy. However, Israel had different plans, namely to manipulate the uneven balance of power to eliminate any possibility for Palestinian self-sufficiency and the emergence of a Palestinian state. Mixing the greed of the corporate world with the might of the Israeli military, Israel is well on track to undermine Palestinian achievements, and by doing so, Israel has wrecked the Palestinian society with severe consequences that will last for many years....(full article)

A People Behind Walls
by Christine Lane

The road carves out its path like a long silver snake, slithering through virgin mountainsides, turning olive groves into concrete slabs It’s guarded by armed border police squatting on rocky outposts, positioned every 25 meters along the route. Bulldozers roar, churning up savage clouds of red dust, while earthmovers delve into volcanic like ditches that herald the beginning of a 25ft high razor fence. A young donkey with a foal in tow hesitates before the ditch unable to proceed further and obviously confused its familiar journey no longer possible. There is no path for man or beast. Large tracts of fertile land stand marooned, and forcibly abandoned, their owners denied access. Patches of old tattered green canvas once a carpet for the olives lie scattered here and there, together with remnants of perhaps what was once the scene of a picnic celebration. Olives trees harvested for centuries, their upturned roots now bared to the sky, plants and herbs long used in traditional Palestinian cuisine wither in the dry grass. Aside from the presence of Israeli police and Palestinian labourers there is not a villager in sight....(full article)

The Coming Northwest Passage Through the Heart of
the Arctic Nations: Oil, Diamonds and Self-Determination

by Macdonald Stainsby

Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, indigenous sovereignty has gained a wider understanding among progressives and activists across Turtle Island (North America), and in particular in Canada. Many writers and activists have offered insight and support into ongoing struggles over sovereignty for the Shuswap Nation's Secwepemc people at what is commonly referred to as “Sun Peaks” near Kamloops, British Columbia. Also, near Montreal Quebec, the Mohawk Nation's Kanehsatake community continues to be under siege from the Federal government, police and federally appointed “chiefs”. Both of these struggles have ongoing support campaigns among non-First Nations populations: In late August, Vancouver BC will see bus loads of supporters head to the areas being defended against the creation of more resorts, ski hills and other illegal and unauthorized, anti-environmental developments. From Montreal, Kanehsatake continues to ask for and receive support, if limited, in the ongoing camp out against the invasion of the government and “government-Indians”. However, perhaps the single most important battle over sovereignty is also the single most important move by Canadian imperialism since WWII. And it has yet to register on the radar screen, though the battle has been under way for over three decades....(full article)

Kid Gavilan's Grave: Propaganda Scores a TKO
by Mickey Z.

Fact: There is no refuge from the onslaught of corporate media propaganda. It's not just the bold-faced fabrications that make up the's also the lies of omission one can discern in the sports section. As Exhibit A, I offer a short article by veteran sports scribe Bill Gallo in the August 6, 2004 New York Daily item characterized by Gallo as a "rare" positive story about boxing....(full article)

Open Letter to CNN
by Sheila Samples

Dear CNN: I don't want you to think I'm picking on you, but ever since 2000, when Texas Governor George W. Bush and Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney ran through the streets screaming that storm clouds were gathering on the dashboard of our republic, you've been furiously raining on the democracy parade....(full article)

Fabricating Terror in Albany
by Kurt Nimmo

So transparently bogus is the latest turr’ist threat—you know, the turr’ist threat supposedly dreamed up four years ago against neolib loan sharks (IMF, World Bank, various banks) in Washington by al-CIA-duh—that the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement had to do something pronto: for instance, conduct a “sting” (in other words, frame some Muslims) to make it look like we are indeed threatened by people who hate our way of life and despise our freedoms....(full article)

Thinking Past November 2
by Ted Glick

The Nader/Camejo campaign, having failed in their efforts in California either to get the Presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party or to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot as an independent, has launched an effort to take away the ballot line of the Green Party's nominee, David Cobb, and put Nader on instead. They are doing this even though it has been national Green Party policy for years that in order to be affiliated with the national Green Party a state party has to agree to support whoever is chosen as the Presidential nominee by the national party....(full article)

Canadian Liberal Imperialists: Organizers of the
Invasion and Occupation of Haiti
by Charles Boylan

Charles Boylan Interviews Haitian activist Jean Saint-Vil on the situation in Haiti, terrorism, and US-Canadian imperialism....(full article)

August 7-8

Neoliberalism and the Demise of Democracy:
Resurrecting Hope in Dark Times

by Henry A. Giroux

Neoliberalism has become one of the most pervasive, if not, dangerous ideologies of the 21st century. It pervasiveness is evident not only by its unparalleled influence on the global economy, but also by its power to redefine the very nature of politics itself. Free market fundamentalism rather than democratic idealism is now the driving force of economics and politics in most of the world, and it is a market ideology driven not just by profits but by an ability to reproduce itself with such success that, to paraphrase Fred Jameson, it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of neoliberal capitalism....(full article)

My God! My Country Is Using Poison Gas In Iraq:
We've Weaponized Uranium Gas

by Bob Nichols

Radioactive, poison gas made from uranium was recommended to the American Military in 1943 during World War II by atom bomb builders working on the Manhattan Project run by Gen Leslie Groves. Sixty-one years later deadly, radioactive, poisonous, weaponized uranium oxide gas plays a vital role in implementing the "Total Worldwide Domination Plan" as practiced by the NeoCons and President Bush....(full article)

Hollywood an Agent of Hegemony: The War Film
by Tony Kashani

From the early days Hollywood (the institution) has understood that film is a powerful medium, thus movies were created with emotional designs on the individual audience in order to control his/her mind. While war rewrites civil and criminal laws, Hollywood rewrites history. In the war film the good guys (Americans) fight fair and the bad guys (Germans, Japanese, Russians, and Muslim terrorists) do not, and this concept is exported to the rest of the globe. The classic war film rationalizes the necessity of war, the postmodern revisionist film questions war, and the 21st century version manufactures a sense of patriotism. In this essay I argue that the Hollywood war film is but another tool to use for what Noam Chomsky calls “manufacturing consent” and to contextualize a new false consciousness as it helps the world’s only military superpower with its corporate godfathers....(full article)

From Attica to Abu Ghraib -- and a Prison Near You
by Norman Solomon

A recent obituary in the New York Times told about Frank Smith, “who as an inmate leader at Attica prison was tortured by officers in the aftermath of the prisoner uprising of 1971 and then spent a quarter century successfully fighting for legal damages.” Working as a paralegal after his release, Smith was a pivotal force behind a 26-year civil action lawsuit that won a $12 million settlement. Smith’s life changed forever on Sept. 13, 1971 -- the day when New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller ordered 500 state troopers to attack the upstate Attica Correctional Facility, killing 29 inmates and 10 guards held as hostages. The raid wounded at least 86 other people....
(full article)

WTO Framework: Faulty Frame, Savage Reality
by Devinder Sharma

I had just finished a radio discussion on the All India Radio over the World Trade Organization’s multilateral framework agreement that is being projected as a ‘historic breakthrough’, when my phone rang. A seemingly excited owner of an up-market supermarket mall in New Delhi, was curious to know: “You mean the WTO has done exactly what we have been doing for ages?” “You will have to explain what you mean by saying that,” I asked. “Well”, he replied “do you believe that we put up sale signs all over the shops announcing discounts of 20 to 50 per cent on every item and end up running into huge losses?” and then went on to explain: “We first increase the price of our products, and then offer discounts to lure the customers, and the smart fellows actually end up paying more.” He laughed, and added “the WTO has done exactly that, and I think the so called brilliant negotiators from the developing countries have been taken for an easy ride.”....(full article)

The Outsider: A Short Interview with Ralph Nader
by Joshua Frank

Joshua Frank recently had the opportunity to have a quick chat with Ralph Nader about his Independent campaign for president....(full article)

Nader and the Nadir of Democracy?
by Dan Brook

In the contest to evict George W. Bush from the occupied White House, a position he does not legitimately occupy, Ralph Nader is in the race for the presidency, as an independent, while John Kerry is the Democratic nominee. Nearly four painful years after democracy was disenfranchised, it is all-too-common to still hear people griping about Nader’s candidacy from 2000 and how he “spoiled” the election. Although I unfortunately expect it from the corporate media and the mainstream politicians, I can’t believe that intelligent progressive people continue making the same overly simplistic and reactionary claim that Nader cost Gore the election. It should, instead, be extremely clear that Bush and his Gang spoiled the election for all of us and cost us the election....(full article)

The Greens & the Politics of Mendacity, Part II
by Joshua Frank

Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb has publicly said he is not running a "safe-state" campaign. In a rare interview with Steve Curwood of National Public Radio on July 2, when asked if he was running a "safe-state" strategy, Cobb replied, "No, it's not true. What I've said is I'm going to get on every ballot that I can possibly get on." Sounds convincing. The guy is not only running in safe states, he wants to be on the ballot in as many states as possible. Fair enough. But is Cobb simply fabricating his own campaign's motives? (full article)

Political Blaxploitation

by Seth Sandronsky

One view of Hollywood films such as “Superfly” during the 1970s is that they exploited blacks. The term “blaxploitation” was coined to describe this. In 2004, certain high-profile blacks such as Mr. Bill Cosby perpetuate political blaxploitation. He and others like him have access to (m)ass media, pleased to point out the so-called cultural errors and expectations of some African Americans....(full article)

August 4-6

George Bush’s Religious Crusade Against Democracy:
Fundamentalism as Cultural Politics
by Henry A. Giroux

Religion has always played a powerful role in the daily lives of Americans. But it has never wielded such influence in the highest levels of American government as it does under the Bush presidency. Moreover, the religious conservative movement that has come into political prominence with the election of George W. Bush views him as its earthly leader....Considered the leader of the Christian right, Bush is viewed by many of his aides and followers as a leader with a higher purpose. Bush aide, Tim Goeglein, echoes this view: “I think President Bush is God’s man at this hour, and I say this with a great sense of humility.” Ralph Reed, a long time crusader against divorce, single-parent family and abortion and current head of Georgia’s Republican Party, assesses Bush’s relationship with the Christian right in more sobering political terms. He argues that the role of the religious conservative movement has changed in that it is no longer on the outskirts of power since it has helped to elect leaders who believe in its cause. Referring to the new-found role of the religious right, he claims “You’re no longer throwing rocks at the building; you’re in the building.”  Bush has not disappointed his radical evangelical Christian following....(full article)

Iraqi Women and Torture, Part III
Violence and Virtual Violence
by Lila Rajiva

Despite a well-documented picture of under-reported sexualized violence, the major media has not shown any interest in pursuing cases of rape or abuse of Iraqi women by the US military. Instead, two stories about hoaxes or more accurately apparent hoaxes made the rounds earlier this year. They’re worth looking at to better understand what’s behind the seemingly artless way in which hoaxes and allegations of hoaxes creep into the factual history of abuse in Iraq....(full article)

Don’t Believe the Hype: Terrorist Warnings Just Another Way
Bush Will Steal Election
by Jason Leopold

It’s official. I’m a conspiracy theorist. I’m probably one of thousands—maybe tens of thousands—who believe President George W. Bush will do anything to retain control of the White House. It’s not safe to have a healthy dose of skepticism like this these days. But this has to be said. I don’t believe the country is going to be attacked by al-Qaeda anytime soon. I don’t care how specific the so-called threat is. I don’t care how many targets have been identified. I don’t care how solid this new information is. I don’t buy any of it. What I do believe is whenever Bush’s approval ratings start slipping the president’s administration issues a terrorist warning saying an attack is imminent. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Consider the evidence....(full article)

What Color Is the Wolf Today?
by Ivan Eland

Orange is the color currently in fashion in the nation’s capital and its main financial center. The U.S. government has once again raised the terror alert level from yellow to orange—this time in Washington, D.C. and New York City—based on information obtained from the arrest of a computer engineer in Pakistan several weeks ago. Yet by frequently changing its colors, the government has cried wolf too many times....(full article)

The Revolution of 1800 and the USA PATRIOT Act

by William J. Watkins

In this election year, there are significant parallels between the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Enacted in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, the PATRIOT Act has augmented the power of federal authorities to pry into the affairs of innocent Americans. In the summer of 1798, the United States Congress passed and President John Adams signed similar legislation. At base, the Alien and Sedition Acts prohibited criticism of the federal government and gave President Adams the power to deport any alien he viewed as suspicious. Americans found guilty of sedition faced prison terms of up to five years and hefty fines. In certain circumstances, aliens remaining in the United States could be imprisoned “so long as, in the opinion of the President, the public safety may require.”....
(full article)

Greens Endorse Kerry: The Politics of Mendacity

by Joshua Frank

The Green Party of the United States will have a lot of fractures to mend after November’s election. With every passing day the party that used to represent the heart and soul of progressive causes is going weak in the knees, and will inevitably fall right on its boneless ass....(full article)

Invisible Children

by Mike Tikkanen

90% of the children in the U.S. Juvenile Justice system have come from the Child Protection system. Over 90% of the adults in Criminal Justice have come out of Juvenile Justice. Legislators predict the need for new prisons by extrapolating from the number of children in their Child Protection System. America is the only nation in the world to build prisons based on the number of children in Child Protection. America has created a prison feeder system for poor and abused children. Abused children are 66 times more likely to enter Juvenile Justice than children who are not abused. Most of the children in the Child Protection and Juvenile Justice Systems are people of color and poor. Income and color seem to be great un-equalizers....(full article)

Worst Coverage Ever? Reporting on the UN Oil-For-Food Program is Rife With Conservative Talking Points and Glaring Omissions

by Joshua Holland

If you don’t read the conservative press, you may not have heard of the UN oil-for-food scandal. ‘Oil-for-food’ was a United Nations-administered program that allowed Saddam Hussein to sell oil despite the sanctions against him. The proceeds of the sales were for humanitarian relief, but Hussein and his cronies also manipulated the system and skimmed off billions for their own purposes. For conservatives, the story is all about the UN. That’s because the ‘scandal’ confirms the long-held belief that Turtle Bay is occupied by thoroughly corrupt and incompetent bureaucrats. And the affair doesn’t just sully the UN; if the sanctions program proves to have been deeply flawed, the argument to go to war takes on greater weight in hindsight. But the simple and largely unreported fact is that there is no UN oil-for-food scandal....(full article)

Judaeophobia in the Service of Israel
by Shraga Elam

There is an obvious growth of anti-Jewish sentiments worldwide. One cannot disregard anymore the rise in Judaeophobia and always consider it as just propaganda and manipulation. By the way, I prefer the use of the term Judaeophobia to the more common, and in itself racist term “anti-Semitism.” Judaeophobia has to be confronted and rejected as every other form of racism, and for that purpose we have to understand its present reasons and causes and not just stop at the isolated “treatment” of superficial symptoms as propagated by many Zionist organizations and Israel....I’m deeply convinced that the main reasons for the increase in Judaeophobia are basically the Israeli criminal policy against the Palestinians and the wrongdoings of the pro-Israel lobbies. These two serious problems are then combined with the existing anti-Jewish prejudices that are rather harmless as such, at least in most cases. It is the mixture of these Jewish offenses with existing prejudices that Jews are something special that might create a very explosive cocktail....(full article)

August 2-3

Five Questions with Noam Chomsky

by Merlin Chowkwanyun

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky is one of the world's most perceptive social critics. I had the opportunity recently to ask him some questions concerning a range of subject matter....(full article)

Kerry's Hypocrisy on the Vietnam War
by Robert Jensen

In a hyper-patriotic country, it can be difficult to tell the truth about the barbarism of one’s own leaders. But in 1971, John Kerry was among the Vietnam War veterans who did that, telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “[T]here is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom … is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.” If hypocrisy from those seeking high office is inevitable, then we should not be surprised that candidate Kerry ignored his own critique of that war when at the Democratic convention he proudly proclaimed, “I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as president.”....(full article)

Republican Convention Schedule Update

by Republican Party Presidential Committee

Please note the following additions/changes to the previous Convention Schedule

August 30

6 p.m. -- OPENING PRAYER read by Mel Gibson, while being flogged with a spiked leather strap wielded by Ann Coulter, who will enjoy it a little too much.

* TOM RIDGE raises National Alert Level from beige to ecru.

* LEST WE FORGET -- HONORARY ROLL CALL of All Members of (and Friends of) Bush Administration Who Might Very Well Have Been Killed In Vietnam If It Hadn't Been For Nasty Trick Knees, Anal Cysts, Recurrent Headaches, and Highly-Placed, Overly-Protective Parents. (Sponsored by Tyson Chicken)

(click here for full schedule)

Your Ideology Makes Me Less Safe
by Joshua Holland

Free-market ideology, not sound analysis, is why the 9/11 Commission’s report didn’t include recommendations needed to address the hazard of bio-terrorism, considered by many to be the greatest threat to the American homeland. Preparing for a biological attack requires greater federal investment in a deteriorating public health infrastructure, a progressive goal that is anathema to many in corporate America and Washington. Our healthcare system demands profits first and foremost, and that profit imperative means adopting "efficiencies" and just-in-time corporate management techniques unsuited to dealing with sudden public health crises....(full article)

“Can't Blair See that this Country is About to Explode? Can't Bush?”

by Robert Fisk

The war is a fraud. I'm not talking about the weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. Nor the links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'ida which didn't exist. Nor all the other lies upon which we went to war. I'm talking about the new lies. For just as, before the war, our governments warned us of threats that did not exist, now they hide from us the threats that do exist. Much of Iraq has fallen outside the control of America's puppet government in Baghdad but we are not told. Hundreds of attacks are made against US troops every month. But unless an American dies, we are not told. This month's death toll of Iraqis in Baghdad alone has now reached 700 - the worst month since the invasion ended. But we are not told....(full article)

An Open Letter to the 9/11 Panel

by Sibel D. Edmonds

Sibel D. Edmonds worked with the FBI's field office in Washington, DC, translating top-secret documents pertaining to suspected terrorists from shortly after September 11, 2001 until the Spring of 2002. In October 2002, she appeared on "60 Minutes" and charged that the FBI, State Department, and Pentagon had been infiltrated by agents of a Turkish intelligence officer suspected of ties to terrorism. She also accused members of the FBI's translation services of sabotage, intimidation, corruption and incompetence. On October 18, 2002, at the request of FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Ashcroft imposed a gag order on Ms. Edmonds, citing possible damage to diplomatic relations or national security....(full letter)

Hope Is On The Way: The Disturbing Words of John Edwards
by John Chuckman

I heard several lines from John Edwards' convention speech on the radio before I clicked it off. Anymore and I would have vomited. As it was, I experienced a horrible flashback to being a twelve-year old at the Midwest Baptists' Camp Sycamore, sitting in the sweltering cinderblock meeting hall, shirt stuck to the back of a card-table chair, while a strutting little preacher sprayed beads of sweat and globs of spit into the twilight yelling about hell. John Edwards is pure Elmer Gantry.Well, what would you expect from a guy who spent twenty years chasing ambulances, looking for deep pockets to sue, always waving his arms and smiling like a chipmunk? America's litigation lawyers and its evangelists-for-profit have a lot in common, and when they come from places like Dog Bite, North Carolina, it's almost impossible to tell them apart. There's always a syrupy sweet exterior, the beneficent smile -- just think of Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson -- in the ruthless pursuit of things that human society would be better off without....(full article)

Will the Real Barack Obama Please Stand Up?
by Justin Felux

The adjective of choice appears to be "electrifying" when it comes to descriptions of Illinois State Senator Barack Obama's keynote address before the Democratic National Convention.  Obama is clearly a rising star in the Democratic Party.  His political skill can be demonstrated by the fact that his speech not only received nearly universal praise from liberals, but also from conservatives such as David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan, and Rush Limbaugh, among others.  With his former opponent embroiled in an interesting sex scandal, he is expected to win the race for a vacant U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, which would make him only the third black Senator since Reconstruction.  Many are already anointing him the first black president, even though the nation still knows very little about him. Was Obama's speech worth getting excited about? (full article)

Are Democrats Avoiding Reality, or Concealing It?
by Chuck Richardson

Living in a free speech zone can sometimes be brutal, especially when there are no guidelines for discussion or, worse, the wrong parameters. When the wrong rules are in play, what isn’t said is always more important than what is said. And, of course, what is said is dangerously irrelevant and/or wrong. For instance, consider the recently completed Democratic National Convention in Boston....(full article)

Hope Is Not On the Way, But Hopefully Bush Is On the Way Out
by Norman Solomon

No, hope does not gallop in like Paul Revere. And it certainly doesn’t arrive breathless from a corporate party convention. Movements for peace and social justice can bring realistic hope -- not with rhetoric but with the tough daily tedious uplifting work of political organizing. Yes, we’d be better off with John Kerry in the White House instead of the Rove-Cheney-Bush regime. And the only way that’s going to happen is if enough people in swing states ( vote for Kerry on November 2....(full article)

An Open Letter to Progressives: Vote Kerry and Cobb
by Daniel Ellsberg et al

There is no greater political imperative this year than to retire the Bush regime, one of the most dangerous and extremist in U.S. history. As people dedicated to peace, economic justice, equality, sustainability and constitutional freedoms, we are committed to defeating Bush....(full article)

Why the Dems Deserve Nader

by Alexander Cockburn

Always partial to monopolies, the Democrats think they should hold the exclusive concession on any electoral challenge to Bush and the Republicans. The Nader campaign prompts them to hysterical tirades. Republicans are more relaxed. Ross Perot and his Reform Party actually cost George Bush Sr. his reelection in 1992, yet Perot never drew a tenth of the abuse for his presumption that Nader does now. Of course the Democrats richly deserve the challenge. Through the Clinton years the Democratic Party remained "united" in fealty to corporate corruption and right-wing class viciousness, and so inevitably and appropriately, the Nader-centered independent challenge was born, modestly in 1996, strongly in 2000 and now again in 2004....(full article)

Anybody but Bush -- and Then Let's Get Back to Work
by Naomi Klein

Most progressives are already solidly in the Anybody But Bush camp, convinced that now is not the time to point out the similarities between the two corporate-controlled parties. I disagree. We need to face up to those disappointing similarities, and then we need to ask ourselves whether we have a better chance of fighting a corporate agenda pushed by Kerry or by Bush....(full article)

Mugged by Republicans: Why American Workers Are So Angry
by Dennis Rahkonen

In recent decades, members of my generation got married and had precious little babies. We loved them so, and were excited about their futures. After all, they had the American Dream to look forward to. But, because of a rightwing agenda facilitating Big Business profiteering, union-scale manufacturing employment for our country’s wage-earning majority was increasingly outsourced, replaced with a peanut-pay “service economy” that saw typical kids taking jobs at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart as teens...and never rising to positions of much greater purchasing power as adults. There’s nothing sadder than the countless grown-up souls who lead meager existences in rental housing, without worthwhile or affordable healthcare, and no pensions. Toiling as cashiers at big-box retailers defines bleak years of their dead-end work lives....(full article)

Logging is Not Restoration: Forest Battles Escalate in Oregon

by Joshua Frank

Ancient public forests out West are under attack as usual this year. Thankfully, courageous activists in Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest are attempting to fend off the worst of the pillage. On July 16 the US Forest Service placed 1900 acres of public land on the auction block. And by the end of the day the bids were in; 1160 of the 1900 acres were mapped out for demolition. The venture, titled the “Biscuit Fire Recovery Project”, is the largest forest service sale in modern US history. When all is said and done 30 square miles of federal land could be handed over to chainsaw happy timber barons. Not surprisingly, the Forest Service wants us to believe the sale is for “restoration” purposes only, not profit, as the area fell victim to massive natural wild fires in the summer of 2002. But if you don't already know, you shouldn't believe everything the government tells you....(full article)

The Left Must Stand With the Haitian People
by Yves Engler

Canada: Four and a half months ago the Liberal government sent troops to a foreign country without the legally elected host government's permission. Since February 29, Haiti has been occupied by foreign troops and a pro-U.S. government has been installed. The Canadian media, and the rest of us, have been nearly silent. At the end of February, Haiti was front-page news. The Globe and Mail's Paul Knox was there and CanWest's 11 daily papers ran stories from the Montreal Gazette’s once-progressive Sue Montgomery. Both reported on President Jean-Bernard Aristide's authoritarianism, drug connections and “thuggish” supporters, known as the chimères. Neither gave much credence to other side of the story and now that Aristide is in exile in South Africa, the Canadian media have lost all interest. So, what's going on? (full article)

Pinochet: Murderer and Thief
by Tito Tricot

It was a cold and misty day when the clouds unleashed their massive tears of disbelief as three diplomats were killed in the Chilean embassy in Costa Rica. Only a day earlier, a priest was slain by an irate youth in the country’s cathedral. Now, in the middle of the northern desert, an army tank crushed into a school bus. Unusual events indeed, but even more unusual is the fact that General Augusto Pinochet is being investigated, both in the United States and Chile, for holding millionaire secret bank accounts....(full article)

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