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Table of Contents

Iraq Debate: "This is Another Gulf of Tonkin"

by Jeff Elliott Whatever happens (or doesn't happen) in a U.S. conflict with Iraq, the historic moment came on the Senate floor on October 4, 2002. On that day, three senior members of the U.S. Senate stood in that chamber and debated what President Bush has recently insisted is the most pressing issue before the nation. The colloquy that unfolded on that Friday afternoon was remarkable -- although the event was scarcely noticed at all by the press

Killing the Chicken to Scare the Monkey

by Joshua Samuel Brown The meaning of the shift in U.S. policy is a hot topic among the politically savvy Beijing public. "Bush's speech was clearly aimed at China" one taxi driver told me during a crawl through rush hour traffic. "We Chinese have a saying -- sha ji, ch'ing ho. (Kill the chicken to frighten the monkey). Iraq is the chicken, and China, the monkey. Don't think we don't see this." One of the aunties who lives in my building believes me to be a conduit to the White House. "Why does your George Bush still want to attack Iraq? Doesn't he know how bad war is?" she told me last week "Tell him that I have lived through war, and it's terrible" I promised to pass her message along should the opportunity arise

1 in 3 of World's Primates Now Endangered

by Cat Lazaroff 1 in 3 of the world's apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates are now threatened with extinction, warns a new report by international conservation groups. The report notes that primate species and subspecies classified as endangered or critically endangered has jumped by almost 63 percent since the last version of the report was issued in January 2000

Bali Terrorism Was Wake-Up Call For Indonesia

by Andreas Harsono Three bomb blasts that killed 216 people, most of them foreign tourists in Bali, were a wake-up call for many Indonesians who may have been slow to recognize that terrorists pose a real and deadly threat in the world's largest Muslim country

U.S. Media Coverage of Bali Terrorism Was Superficial

by Barbie Zelizer Indonesia, in fact, has been held up as a prime example of Islam's moderate face. It is the largest Muslim country in the world, with 170.3 million out of its 220 million people adherents of Islam. The Nahdlatul Ulama, with a membership of 40 million Muslims, encourages the country's faithful to take a moderate path. Yet in the eyes of many, this image has suffered due to Saturday's massive bombing and will place this region's Muslims in a further predicament if investigators link militant Muslims to the bloodshed

Bali Terrorism: History Repeats Itself, We Don't Pay Attention

by Lawrence Pintak Terrorize the West and destabilize weak regimes. The approach is synergistic. Terror breeds instability. Unstable countries are breeding grounds for terror. "Bali is no longer the last paradise," a friend who lives on that tropical island emailed me after the bombing. The terrorists' message is clear: If they can create Hell in Paradise, then nowhere is safe. The bonus: A body-blow to Indonesia's feeble economy, undercutting the already-weak position of the moderate leader of the world's largest Muslim country

Claim Of Al-Qaeda Link To Bali Terror "Reckless," Say Muslims

by Marwaan Macan-Markar Indonesia, in fact, has been held up as a prime example of Islam's moderate face. It is the largest Muslim country in the world, with 170.3 million out of its 220 million people adherents of Islam. The Nahdlatul Ulama, with a membership of 40 million Muslims, encourages the country's faithful to take a moderate path. Yet in the eyes of many, this image has suffered due to Saturday's massive bombing and will place this region's Muslims in a further predicament if investigators link militant Muslims to the bloodshed

Indonesia's Homegrown Extremists

by Andreas Harsono In Jakarta on Monday everybody talked about the Bali bombing, from nice-looking television anchors in their studios to street vendors in the crowded streets of Jakarta. But what surprised me was that many of them subscribed to the conspiracy theory that the bombing was done by "American agents."

Bush Finds Suprising Aid From China In Iraq War Plan

by Antoaneta Bezlova Washington has been pleasantly surprised to find that Beijing's position on strong measures against Iraq has been more flexible than it expected. China abstained on almost all votes on the Iraq issue before the 1991 Gulf War and opposed sanctions on that country afterwards. As one of the permanent Security Council members wielding veto power and one that traditionally opposes U.S. "hegemonism," China is a player that could still tip the balance on a tough resolution setting new terms for Iraq to disarm chemical or biological weapons. Noticeably too, state media has been void of the usual condemnation of the U.S. belligerent policy of interference in the "internal affairs of other countries."

Syria Worries: "After Iraq, It Could Be Us"

by George Baghdadi Syria is on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support to the Lebanese resistance group Hizbollah and radical Palestinian factions. Concern for itself is backed by anger over Iraq. There are few signs of any love for Saddam Hussein in Syria. But there is anger that an Arab nation is in the target of President George W. Bush

Bush Infuriates Muslims By Naming Jerusalem Offical Israel Capitol

by N Janardhan The bill -- 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act -- that provides over $4 billion to run the State Department in 2003 called for the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and denied funding for any official U.S. document unless it identifies the city as Israel's capital. Despite Bush's insistence that he reserved the right to override the clause in the bill as he signed it on Monday, the move from a U.S. administration already seen in the Arab world as blatantly pro-Israeli caused an uproar across the region

Acid Rain Far More Hazardous Than Earlier Believed

by Cheryl Dorschner As the EPA and Bush administration plan to make it easy for power plants, oil refineries and chemical factories to expand without installing new pollution controls, a new study revealed that the damage they cause to America's forests may be much more widespread than previously believed. The acid rain that results may actually create conditions in trees similar to compromised immune systems in humans, establishing a vulnerability with grave potential implications

Russia Seeks to Delay Bioweapons Destruction

by Sergei Blagov Although Russia has pledged to destroy all its chemical weapons, Moscow has been slow to implement its commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention, citing lack of funding. Russian officials reportedly informed the ongoing 5th international Chemical Weapons Convention conference in the Hague that now Russia aims to destroy its chemical weapons by April 29, 2012

Russia Hostage Crisis Puts Chechnya Back at Center Stage

by Sergei Blagov The Russian army retook Chechnya in 1999 after it was driven out by separatists in 1996. More than 3,000 Russian servicemen have died in the course of the "second Chechen war," according to official statements. Russian troops repeatedly search Chechen villages in operations known as zachistki, or cleansing. The searches are officially aimed at checking documents and locating rebels. But there have been numerous allegations of murder. other abuses and looting by troops

N Korean Nukes An Open Secret Since 1999

by Ranjit Devraj The newly revealed "missiles-for-nuclear-bombs deal" between Pakistan and North Korea comes as no surprise to India, whose officials have almost monotonously referred to the link between the two countries -- separated by China's expanse -- every time Islamabad has sent up a missile. The question that is being asked by analysts here is how Washington could have missed this proliferation axis that links Beijing to its two closest allies in Asia -- except deliberately

Israeli Siege of PLO Headquarters A Big Win For Arafat

by N. Janardhan For Arafat, who has been facing the most serious challenge to his leadership for the slow pace of reforms or even lack of it, Israel's siege has temporarily hushed his critics and put him back in the limelight

Taliban Are Coming Back In Afghanistan

by Franz Shurmann Tayyib Agha says that when the Americans started their military actions against Afghanistan, the Taliban sustained heavy losses. But now they are "more organized, flexible and in better condition than before." He also said that many Afghan-Arabs are still "with bin Laden" who too is alive and never left Afghanistan. But both Mullah Omar and bin Laden never stay in one place very long. They are always on the move. The Taliban have an image in the West of barbarous cruelty and oppression of women. Nevertheless they did what no other Afghan faction had been able to do. They disarmed the population and provided security

Despite Lack of Evidence, Bush Convinces Most Americans of Saddam Link to 9/11

by Jim Lobe Despite strong pressure from the administration of President George W Bush -- so strong that critics charge that it amounts to an effort to "politicize" intelligence -- U.S. spy agencies appear unanimous that evidence linking Baghdad with the Sept. 11 attacks, or any attacks against western targets since 1993, is simply non-existent. But conservative columnists William Safire, Robert Novak, and other hawks have turned unreliable evidence into damning proof

Bush Unveils Lite Prescription Drug Reform

by Emad Mekay Democrats say the move is a Republican political ploy in the run-up to Nov. 5 congressional elections. They say the Bush plan goes too easy on big drug makers, and they favor a Senate bill designed to make drugs more affordable, partly by getting generics to the market faster. Although foreign policy issues have dominated the election campaign, the economy is becoming an increasingly bitter battleground, with the drugs issue at the forefront

I, Rumsfeld

by Jim Lobe Of all the heavyweights in President George W. Bush's cabinet, Rumsfeld has emerged as by far the most aggressive. During his tenure, the Pentagon has been systematically encroaching on the turf of other major national-security bureaucracies. In addition, Rumsfeld, a master bureaucratic operator whom former secretary of state Henry Kissinger once called ”the most ruthless" man he ever confronted, appears to enjoy the unconditional backing of Dick Cheney, who is himself widely considered to be the most powerful vice president in U.S. history

Clinton, Israel Share Blame For Peace Talk Failure, Says Film

by Julio Godoy Charles Enderlin, Israeli correspondent for the French television channel France 2 shows in a 150-minute documentary that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not the only leader responsible for failure of the peace negotiations with Israel at Camp David in July 2001

In Starving Southern Africa, Women Risk AIDS For Food

by Penny Dale More and more women are resorting to bartering sex for food, often without the use of a condom, therefore putting themselves and others at risk. Where food is most scarce, the report warns, HIV prevalence is correspondingly high

Christian Right Agitates For More Israel Support

by Jim Lobe Stand for Israel unveiled a one-minute video which will be run in "tens of thousands" of churches with combined memberships of 3.2 million people on Sunday, Oct. 20, exhorting Christians to pray for Israel whose enemies, it says, "are on the attack again." "God has promised that those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed," says the video, which is filled with recent images of violence in Israel and the West Bank

Secret U.S. Biopharms Growing Experimental Drugs

The experimental application of biotechnology in which plants are genetically engineered to produce pharmaceutical proteins and chemicals they do not produce naturally has been termed "biopharming." Companies engaged in biopharming keep their activities secret, citing the secret plantings as confidential business information. "Just one mistake by a biotech company and we'll be eating other people's prescription drugs in our corn flakes," said Larry Bohlen, director of health and environment programs at Friends of the Earth

Fertilizer From Sewage Linked To Illness, Deaths

by Kim Carlyle Burning eyes, burning lungs, skin rashes and other symptoms of illness have been found in a study of residents living near land fertilized with byproducts of human waste. Researchers found that affected residents lived within approximately one kilometer of land application sites generally complained of irritation after exposure to winds blowing from treated fields. Approximately 25 percent of the individuals surveyed were infected, and two died

N Korean Nukes Make "Axis of Evil" Less Simple

by Robert Scheer Why not engineer a regime change in North Korea and Pakistan before getting around to Iraq, where functioning nuclear weapons, according to our latest CIA intelligence, are only a gleam in Hussein's eyes? For all the loose talk about Hussein's purported chemical and biological weapons threat -- smallpox vaccine, anyone? -- it is nuclear weapons, combined with the missile delivery systems possessed by North Korea and Pakistan, that represent the most serious threat of mass destruction

Truth on Iraq Seeps Through

by Robert Scheer More important than its psychoanalyzing of Iraq's megalomaniacal leader is the CIA's concession that the much-maligned inspections actually worked quite well. What we have here is our top intelligence agency endorsing the past success of a peaceful, enforceable disarmament technique while our president and his Cabinet repeatedly belittle it as a sham

The Sun Can't Set on This Empire Too Soon

by Robert Scheer With the end of the Cold War, we were at a loss for a noble rationale to justify our heavy Mideast presence, which has been enormously profitable to some American corporations and industries that are well represented in this administration. Support democracy? We do subsidize Israel, the region's only functioning democracy, but our motives look less than pure when we fawn over cooperative dictatorships such as the regime in the United Arab Emirates, which forked over $6.4 billion to Lockheed Martin for fighter jets and gives us access to its oil

Mr. Bush, Heed Carter and Learn

by Robert Scheer Bush seems unaware that the Gordian knot of global terrorism pulled tightly in years past by our allies in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will not be cut unless the quest for peace initiated by Carter at Camp David is finally completed. Whether to avenge his father or to "wag the dog" ahead of elections, Bush has undermined the lofty goal of eliminating terrorism

Bush War Plans Undermining UN Credibility

by Thalif Deen If Bush does go to war unilaterally, say diplomats, the Security Council will be reduced to a politically impotent body. The situation is "fraught with dangerous implications extending far beyond the region," says former Indian ambassador Chinmaya Gharekhan, an adviser to one-time UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who was forced out of office by U.S. pressure. "Will the world witness the first authorized or unilateral use of force to topple a head of state?" he asks

Automakers Drop Electric Cars As Sales Sag

by Katherine Stapp The world's biggest automakers are abandoning their experiments with battery-powered cars, saying most drivers are unwilling to give up their cheaper fuel-burning vehicles. Companies like Ford and General Motors (GM) also say they will focus on producing hybrid gas-electric vehicles and other cutting-edge technologies that offer greater versatility than electric vehicles (EVs)

Study Finds Anti-Western Bias Among Arabs Just a Myth

by Jalal Ghazi Breaking long-held stereotypes about the Arab world and its supposed anti-Western sentiment, France, Canada and Germany receive among the highest approval ratings, demonstrating that low approval ratings for the United States and the United Kingdom stem from those countries' foreign policies

New Study Supports India Women Fighting Birth Control Injections

by Ranjit Devraj Armed with reports of 50 women who were injected with contraceptives at a government hospital, women's rights activists have renewed calls to ensure that the controversial drugs are not quietly slipped into the country's coercive population control program

Many Nations Have Ignored UN Resolutions

by Danielle Knight South Africa resisted UN condemnation -- including Security Council resolutions -- of apartheid for decades. India and Pakistan, he added, have failed to comply with a recent Security Council resolution demanding that they end their nuclear weapons programs. For decades, India has ignored a Security Council resolution calling for a UN-supervised plebiscite in the disputed territory of Kashmir. And Israel is in violation of numerous Security Council resolution

Judge in Pooh Case Orders New Accounting

by Joe Shea A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has now ordered a new accounting of royalties paid by the Walt Disney Co. to the owners of commercial rights to Winnie the Pooh, the studio's hottest-selling character. The judge finalized a ruling Friday that accused the accountants appointed by the court of bias against the owners of the Pooh rights. The court also revamped a critical portion of his August 19 ruling to order that a fresh set of auditors be given access to Disney's books -- including some chosen by Stephen Slesinger Inc., the family-owned branding firm that licensed the Pooh rights to Disney in 1961 -- so they can come to their own conclusion about how much money Disney may owe the heirs for retail and theme park sales of Pooh merchandise

Seahorses Join Tigers, Rhinos on Endangered List

by Jim Lobe The Patagonian toothfish and seahorses, for which demand has mushroomed in recent years, have joined tigers and Sumatran rhinos -- perennials on WWF's "most-wanted" list for the past decade -- as increasingly endangered by international commerce

Cigarette Marketing Can Undermine Even Strict Parenting

by Nancy Stringer Marketing themes of tobacco ads, such as independence, coolness, fun, imagination, sex, risk-taking and excitement, may be more "novel, salient and relevant" to children of authoritative parents

Jimmy Carter Emerging As Leading Voice Against Bush War Plans

by Jim Lobe That former U.S. president Jimmy Carter will receive this year's Nobel Peace Prize represents a dramatic challenge to the current president, George W. Bush, and his administration's unilateralist foreign policy. It will also serve to propel the former president, who over the past year has publicly assailed Bush policies on Iraq, the Middle East, Cuba and aid to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, back into the limelight within just hours of Bush receiving congressional authority to wage war against Iraq

Few Women In Zimbabwe Get Land Promised by Reforms

by Nicole Itano When Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe first embarked on his fast-track land-reform program more than two years ago, he promised that the rich, red land that was being taken from the country's white commercial farmers would go to the poor and landless. Female-headed households like Kugoda's were supposed to receive 20 percent of redistributed land. But as Zimbabwe's last white commercial farmers are driven from their homes, their land parceled up and handed to new, black owners, little of the land has gone to the poor and even less to women

Bowling for Baghdad

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman Michael Moore's juxtaposition of government and corporate violence with grainy film from the Columbine school's security camera capturing young children massacring young children drives home Moore's larger point -- that the violence and duplicity in our society starts at the top. Which brings us back to our nation's capital, where both parties' leadership, in part at the urging of the military-industrial-complex, gave the green light last week for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq

Arab Activists Move From Street Protests To Basement Bomb-Making

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Those wondering how the “Arab street“ will react to a U.S. attack on Iraq miss an important shift in the Arab world. American and Israeli ignorance and brutality and repressive Arab governments have driven young Arabs away from open protest and into dark basement bomb factories. Saner and more humane policy -- not an American attack on Iraq -- could bring them out

Arab Activists Move From Street Protests To Basement Bomb-Making

by Rami G. Khouri Those wondering how the “Arab street“ will react to a U.S. attack on Iraq miss an important shift in the Arab world. American and Israeli ignorance and brutality and repressive Arab governments have driven young Arabs away from open protest and into dark basement bomb factories. Saner and more humane policy -- not an American attack on Iraq -- could bring them out

Accused Sniper's Muslim Link Causes Fears Of Witch Hunt

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson While no evidence has yet appeared to link the suspect in the Washington D.C. area sniper case to terrorist or religious fanatic groups, the fact that he is black and reportedly Muslim has many African American Muslims -- they number 2 million -- deeply worried about a witch hunt. Turning Americans against each other is one goal of any kind of terror-monger writes PNS contributor Earl Ofari Hutchinson, and that must not happen now

Why The Waterfront War Will Spread

by David Bacon The companies want to automate shipping, at first using automated scanners and tracking devices to replace waterfront clerks. Eventually, the cranes and dockside machines will be operated by remote control, perhaps by people miles away from the wharves. Again the union has said it won't oppose these moves, so long as its members get to do the new jobs technology creates. But this time, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) wants the union confined to the jobs that will disappear, and non-unionized workers employed in the new jobs

Study Proves EPA Toothless Since Bush Takeover

by Katherine Stapp A new study bolsters charges by environmentalists that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drastically cut back its pursuit of polluters. Using EPA data, researchers in the office of Democratic Congressman Edward J. Markey found that the Bush administration has brought nearly 50 percent fewer administrative actions against polluters than were undertaken under former president Bill Clinton

Bush "War on Terrorism" Stumbles With New Attacks, Lack Of Support

by Jim Lobe While the White House succeeded last week in winning Congress's approval for an assault on Iraq, a spate of attacks on key Western targets has suggested that, despite its defeat in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda and its supporters may be far from finished. Even more distressing, particularly for those running the war against terror, was last Thursday's vote in Pakistan, when a coalition of Islamist parties, some openly sympathetic to al-Qaeda, emerged with much greater support than anyone had predicted

European Left, Muslim Immigrant Forge Alliance Against Bush

by Paolo Pontoniere Just months after neo-Nazi Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked the world with a strong showing in French presidential elections, George W. Bush's aggressive stance toward Iraq seems to have accomplished what European activists could not: a strengthened European left, which is aligning itself with the continent's long-isolated Muslim immigrants

Insurance Companies Turn the Screws

by Molly Ivins There's been a lot of screaming about how the cost of med-mal is driving doctors into retirement, but Public Citizen did a 21-state study that shows insurance premiums are rising at the same rate across the board -- homeowners, car and health.

Bush Guts Corp Reform While You Weren't Looking

by Molly Ivins Congress actually passed the Sarbanes bill, including a new board to oversee the accounting industry and $776 million for the SEC, a 77 percent increase. Bush signed the bill amidst great fanfare and later took credit for solving the corporate corruption problems (even though he had opposed the bill almost until the moment he signed it). And everyone agreed, "What a good first step." Oops. Bush and his man Harvey Pitt at the SEC have already gutted the new accounting oversight board, and last week he urged Congress to appropriate 27 percent less

Bush Hits New Low By Rejecting UN Population Funds

by Molly Ivins So who's in favor of poop on poultry? Surprise, it's the meat and poultry industry! Industry officials have argued for years that food poisoning bacteria are natural constituents of raw meat and poultry, and that they have no obligation to control them. It's up to the consumer to cook them properly. That would be fine except, as CFA points out, cooking doesn't stop cross-contamination

Thank Bush For Your Food Poisoning

by Molly Ivins So who's in favor of poop on poultry? Surprise, it's the meat and poultry industry! Industry officials have argued for years that food poisoning bacteria are natural constituents of raw meat and poultry, and that they have no obligation to control them. It's up to the consumer to cook them properly. That would be fine except, as CFA points out, cooking doesn't stop cross-contamination

Cheap Shots at Jimmy Carter

by Molly Ivins For those interested in high points in the history of Bad Manners, there was rather a breathtaking moment last week when columnist and television pundit Bob Novak chose to use the occasion of Jimmy Carter's winning the Nobel Peace Prize to trash the man

Remember Promises of Corporate Reform? It's Over

by Molly Ivins They've already called off the reform effort; it's over. Corporate muscle showed up and shut it down. Forget expensing options, independent directors, going after offshore shams, derivatives regulation. For that matter, forget even basic reforms like separating the auditing and consulting functions of accounting firms and rotating accounting firms every few years. Bottom line: It's all going to happen again. We learned zip from the entire financial collapse. Our political system is too bought-off to respond intelligently

Pentagon Learns From Its Mistakes -- Sometimes

by Molly Ivins Getting the Pentagon to spend money sensibly, or even keep track of it -- one day it announced it couldn't account for $7 billion -- is apparently a task beyond human resource. For generations, we've been sending beady-eyed bean-counters like Robert McNamara into the Pentagon to straighten things out, and they all stagger out years later with a dazed look about them. There is not an unemployment office or a children's health program in the country run with such insanely loose accounting

Who Owns the Water Owns Everything

by Molly Ivins In the United States, foreign corporations, mostly French, are grabbing up water rights as fast as they can. The major U.S. players include Bechtel, T. Boone Pickens of Texas and Monsanto. The situation in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where the American firm Bechtel bought the public water utility and then doubled prices, led to a general strike and transportation stoppage, mass arrests, violence and several deaths. You don't have to assume that a corporation like Enron might get into the water business: Enron was in the water business

Our Selective View of UN Resolutions

by Norman Solomon While the president claims the right to violently enforce UN Security Council resolutions, Leaver adds, "there are almost 100 current Security Council resolutions that are being ignored, in addition to the 12 or so resolutions that Iraq is ignoring. What the U.S. is saying here is that it has the right to determine which Security Council resolutions are relevant and which are not"

Media Lets D.C. Sniper Bump Off Election

by Norman Solomon Leading the television race to the bottom, national cable outlets fixated on sniper attacks while giving scant coverage to key election issues. Every once in a while, anchors and correspondents -- as though disassociating from their own roles -- paused to marvel at how the sniping story was deflecting public attention from the stretch drive of the 2002 campaign

Polls: When Measuring Is Manipulating

by Norman Solomon We may believe that polls tell us what Americans are thinking. But polls also gauge the effectiveness of media spin -- and contribute to it. Opinion polls don't just measure; they also manipulate, helping to shape thoughts and tilting our perceptions of how most people think

Sen. John Kerry's Unprincipled Change of Heart

by Norman Solomon In recent days -- despite the outspoken and sometimes courageous positions taken by some members of Congress -- leading Democrats have been shamefully deferential to war planners. If there is an afterlife, the late Americans now weeping at events on Capitol Hill this autumn surely include Sen. Wayne Morse and Rep. Patsy Mink, early opponents of the Vietnam War who refused to put their consciences on hold

October Surprises

by Alexander Cockburn If the economy continues to slide, Bush and his circle will face a truly desperate gamble, trying to figure whether a $200 billion war on Iraq will save them or just plunge them into the mother of all messes

Dockers and Capitalists

by Alexander Cockburn The West Coast longshoremen stand as a good symbol of what organized labor can do: get its members a decent wage (after 30 years or so of dangerous, skillful work they can maybe hope to earn what an MBA in his mid-20s, two years out of the Wharton School, would demand on walking in the door at a Wall Street firm); display a social and political conscience; and advertise the unfashionable idea that blue-collar work does not have to mean a starvation wage, looted pension fund and no health care

Don't Expect The U.S. To Ever Grant Prison Amnesty

by Alexander Cockburn Saddam declared amnesty for not only political prisoners but also criminals. Murderers, both convicted and accused, have to get an OK from the mother of the victim, and debtors need a green light from their creditors. Clearly the Iraqi Corrections Officers' Union hasn't much clout in Baghdad. Nor has the prison construction industry. Imagine what would happen in this country if word leaked out that the president was thinking of amnestying ANY violent criminal, let alone almost all of the inmates of the federal Gulag. A blanket amnesty for all non-violent drug offenders? Within 24 hours the prison industry, the prison guards' unions and law enforcement lobbying groups would swamp Congress with e-mails and personal delegations

Jimmy Carter and the D.C. Sniper

by Alexander Cockburn There are a lot of retired, highly trained psychopathic killers out there. And some of them aren't even retired. Ask the relatives of the wives of Fort Bragg, murdered by husbands back from Afghanistan, so highly trained they kill if the vacuum cleaner gets on their nerves

Bush Speech Failed to Make Case for Iraq War

As Congress debated whether to grant President Bush sweeping new powers to wage war, the White House promised that an upcoming speech to the American people would make the case for war against Iraq. Shortly after that Oct. 7 speech, the Institute for Public Accuracy -- a non-partisan consortium that includes top experts on the Middle East -- invited policy researchers to analyze the speech

When One Honest Man Made a Difference

by Carl Jensen Thirty years ago, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was talking peace with the North Vietnamese leaders in Paris. Meanwhile, three of America's top military leaders were expanding the war by launching unauthorized and illegal bombing raids over North Vietnam. It marked the beginning of an untold story of honor versus glory -- a warning that needs repeating today

Senate Panel Says White House May Have Acted Illegally

by Cat Lazaroff "It was wrong for the administration to second guess these final rules," said Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat who now chairs the Governmental Affairs Committee. "It was wrong to discount a well established scientific record. And it was wrong for the administration to use stealth tactics to achieve its ideologically driven ends." The report by the Committee's majority staff argues that by discounting regulatory procedures and the value of public participation, the administration set an antagonistic tone for its approach to environmental and health regulations. By excluding public input from the reviews, the administration may even have violated federal law, the report say

The Spinelessness of the Democrats

by Randolph T. Holhut The mid-term elections that are less than a month away may be the first opportunity to slow down the Bush administration's rush to take this nation into the abyss of war and economic collapse. But this implies that the Democrats have the backbone to stop President Bush

Leashing the Dogs of War

by Paul Findley Even if the consensus of nationwide debate leads Congress to conclude that pre-emptive acts of war can be justified, other fundamental questions demand thoughtful examination. Should Congress limit the president's authority to make pre-emptive strikes by requiring advance congressional approval in each case? If the answer is affirmative, can Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq be considered a sufficient threat to U.S. security to qualify for pre-emptive assault? Congress needs to beware of unintended consequences. Whatever resolution is enacted by Congress must be drafted so carefully that it cannot be construed as a declaration of war, an interpretation that would automatically convey dictatorial powers to the president

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