default.html Issue 107
Table of Contents

The Facts Behind Bush's State Speech

analysis by Stephen Zunes To invade Iraq without authorization of the United Nations Security Council would be direct violation of fundamental legal norms and would make the United States an international outlaw. A unilateral U.S. invasion and the repercussions of such an act of aggression would be a far greater threat to the safety of Americans and the peace of the world than maintaining the current UN strategy of rigorous inspections, military sanctions and deterrence

The Many Wars of George W. Bush

by Marty Jezer There is a growing realization that far from being a prudent conservative, George W. Bush is a power-hungry reactionary, bent on consolidating power regardless of constitutional constraints, military risk, and public opinion. Extremism in defense of power is more than a vice, itÕs tyranny. WhatÕs needed is a united front of principled conservatives, liberals and progressives to protect the Constitution and contain the anti-democratic political and military ambitions of the Bush administration, ultimately removing it from power. Only then can a rational discussion of politics or priorities occur

Bush Crowd Just Doesn't Get The Message Of Martin Luther King

by Marty Jezer Backers of the Christian Coalition (who will not be celebrating Martin Luther KingÕs birthday), and born-again Administration officials like Attorney-General John Ashcroft oppose -- and have always opposed -- the spirit and substance of what Martin King and the civil rights movement stood for. The division, it needs be emphasized, is not so much about religion as it is about politics disguised as religion

Israel Election 2003: Scandal and Suppression

by Joel Beinin The scandals surrounding the Likud are but one aspect of the general degeneration of Israeli political culture on display in the 2003 electoral season. Public and media preoccupation with political corruption during a critical election for the future of Israel and the Palestinians reflects the incapacity of most Israeli Jews to come to grips with the real problem facing them: the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and its economic and social costs

2002: While The Media Slept

by Jeff Elliott The shame, the shame

Bush Revives Discredited Iraq-Qaeda Link In State Speech

by Jim Lobe Early allegations had already had their desired effect. One poll released last October found that two-thirds of the public had come to believe that "Saddam Hussein helped the terrorists in the Sept. 11 attacks", despite the lack of evidence to support that view

Bush Promised AIDS Funding "Too Little, Too Late"

by Jim Lobe Of the total, only $2 billion is to be appropriated for fiscal 2004, which begins next Oct. 1, according to the White House and only $1 billion will go to the UN-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. "The real measure of the president's sincerity will be in the budget numbers for 2003 and 2004," said Salih Booker, director of Africa Action. "Large numbers for 2007 are meaningless to people who will die this year without access to essential medicines"

Barbie, Symbol of The Next Iran Revolution

by Shahla Azizi Makeup, party drugs and anorexic Barbie dolls have a different meaning in Tehran, where personal expression is strictly regulated by religious police, but youth push the boundaries anyway. The question is, can a revolution for freedom be built on Western cultural values?

Bush Declares War On Women's Rights

by Francoise Girard The White House continues to blatantly pander to its anti-choice base. Among the latest initiatives is the decision to extend coverage to "unborn children" from "conception up to age 19" rather than to pregnant women under the State Child Health Insurance Plus program. For the first time, U.S. policy recognizes a zygote, embryo or a fetus as a "person" eligible for government aid -- But the woman in whose body the fetus is located is not deemed worthy of guaranteed health care

Iraq 2003 May Look Like Lebanon 1982

by Jim Lobe What happened in Lebanon 20 years ago may tell us a lot about the hopes, fears and delusions of U.S. policymakers about what could happen in Iraq

Israel Economy In Worst Recession Ever

by Emad Mekay Military operations in the Palestinian territories, a possible U.S. attack against Iraq and the sluggish world economy combined with a lack of fiscal discipline meant that "macroeconomic conditions deteriorated with external demand stagnant," said the IMF in a statement after consultations with the Israeli government. The report comes only days after Israel sought $14 billion in loan guarantees and new military assistance from the United States

Israel Can't Ban Arab Candidates From Election, Court Says

by Ferry Biedermann A panel of 11 judges lifted a ban on two Arab Israeli members of parliament from contesting the upcoming elections. An Arab party that had been banned was also allowed to contest in the elections due January 28

Hundreds of Species Pressured by Global Warming

Hundreds of plant and animal species around the world are feeling the impacts of global warming, although the most dramatic effects may not be felt for decades, according to new research from a Stanford University team. They predict that a rapid temperature rise, together with other environmental pressures, "could easily disrupt the connectedness among species" and lead to numerous extinctions

America Drifitng Away From "Rule Of Law," Scholar Warns

by Franz Schrmann France's leading newspaper Le Monde has just published a major article warning of the growing use of emergency powers in democratic countries. The author cites President Bush's Nov. 13, 2001 military order on the detention of non-citizens as a prime example of "sovereign" power over the rule of law

UN Cites "Alarming" Damage To Occupied Territory By Israel

Keep the environment out of the conflict, is UNEP's top recommendation. The occupation, policies of closure and curfew and incursions of the Israeli military "have had significant negative environmental impacts," the team writes. Calling many of its findings "alarming," the assessment team says the environmental degradation needs to be addressed "immediately." But the absence of even minimal cooperation between the parties is "worsening the situation on a daily basis, with impacts not only on the environment but also on human health," the team reports

Bush War Strategy Varies Day To Day

by Franz Schurmann With peace moves one day and war noises the next, the Bush administration seems to have turned foreign affairs into a game of make-believe. The one consistent policy, however, is to ensure U.S. access to oil reserves from Sudan to Chad and Libya, making it clear that the real motive driving policy is Bush's 2004 re-election

A Possible Win-Win Scenario For Bush

by Franz Schurmann Arab states that initially opposed a regime change in Iraq now say "wait and see," and the difference likely involves expectation of U.S. steps to break the violent stalemate between Israelis and Palestinians. Bush has skillfully isolated Saddam Hussein and achieved effective victory in Iraq, with or without war. To prevent a rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism, justice for Palestinians must follow.

2003 Outlook Glum For Palestinians

by N. Janardhan Ê With a casualty ratio of three-to-one Palestinians to Israelis in the conflict, complete restrictions on freedom and a shattered economy, Palestinians are yearning for an end to violence and restoration of normalcy like they did in the months prior to the Oslo agreement

S Koreans Donating Bread To Feed N Korean Children

by Ahn Mi-Young Hungry North Korean children race to the table when sweet-coated, milk-rich bread, bought by families and individuals in South Korea, are laid out for them in schools and nurseries each day. This program has been underway since 2001. To many South Korean activists, the success of schemes like this underscore the need to keep North Korea's humanitarian needs separate from political issues such as the North's nuclear program and calls by some for economic sanctions on the already struggling country

N Korea Quits Non-Proliferation Treaty

by Thalif Deen Ambassador Pak Gil Yon of North Korea dismissed the IAEA as "a servant and spokesman of the United States". "The NPT is being used as a tool for implementing hostile U.S. policy towards North Korea. We can therefore no longer remain bound by the NPT," he added. The envoy accused the IAEA of keeping mum over the unilateral U.S. decision to withdraw from a 1994 bilateral agreement under which Washington was expected to provide aid to Pyonyang in return for North Korea freezing its nuclear programs

UN: Unknown If N Korea Diverting Nuke Material

by Thalif Deen Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Monday that his agency is "regrettably" unable to verify whether or not North Korea is diverting nuclear material to the production of nuclear weapons. "This is clearly an unsustainable situation and sets a dangerous precedent, namely that non-compliance with non-proliferation obligations can be tolerated," he said

Hypocrisy Of Bush N Korea Stance Not Lost On Arab Press

by N. Janardhan "The crucial factor that explains the difference in approach is the military capability," said Dr. Ahmed Saif, director of the Gulf Research Centre in Dubai. "Iraq would probably succumb quickly to a U.S. invasion, while North Korea's bigger and mightier military could put up a stiff resistance"

China Influence On N Korea Overstated

by Antonaeta Bezlova China has been looked upon as the only big-power player that could yield influence with its obstinate Stalinist neighbor, North Korea, but Beijing has been reticent to make a clear-cut stand how it could sway Pyongyang to comply with its international obligations. While China shares the desire of United States, South Korea and Japan in averting a nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula, Beijing's leverage over Pyongyang is far less than what appears

N Korea Crisis May Actually Create U.S. Bond

by Franz Schurmann Unthinkable as it may seem, North Korea's current nuclear saber-rattling could end up helping pave the way to a new friendship with the United States

UN Urgently Appeals For N Korea Food Aid

by Thalif Deen "If the United States wants to ensure that the most vulnerable in North Korea receive food, they must publicly separate the humanitarian track from other issues and offer separate unconditional dialogue on how to restart food aid quickly," Lee said. The United States, which has blamed the WFP for faulty monitoring of food aid to North Korea, has also accused the North's government of diverting food to its million soldiers. The North Koreans have denied the charge