default.html Issue 123
Table of Contents

TED RALL: The Worst Years Of Our Lives

by Ted Rall Millions of Americans cringed at Reagan's simplistic rhetoric, were terrified that his anti-Soviet "evil empire" posturing would provoke World War III, and thought that his appeal to selfishness and greed -- a bastardized blend of Adam Smith and Ayn Rand -- brought out the worst in us

Reagan's Homeless

by Peter Dreier One of Reagan's most enduring legacies is the steep increase in homeless people. By the late 1980s, the number of homeless had swollen to 600,000 on any given night and 1.2 million over the course of a year. A growing number were Vietnam vets, children, and workers laid off by the epidemic of plant shutdowns during the 1980s

Remembering The Real Reagan

by Paul Douglas Newman To remember Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest Presidents of the twentieth century, to replace FDR on the dime with Reagan's profile as Republicans wish to do, we are being asked to forget too much

ROBERT PARRY: The Iran-Contra Coverup

by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! What happened after that was simply a coverup to make Oliver North the fall guy and to protect Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, the Central Intelligence Agency and other entities of the administration that had been deeply involved in this operation

The Man Who Taught The GOP That Image Is Everything

by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber Athough Bill Clinton was clearly a master of showmanship, for the most part Republicans have shown greater mastery of the rules of postmodern politics, in which style is as important as substance and issues are less important than personality. Republican candidates understand these unwritten rules because they and their campaign consultants, some of whom actually started in the entertainment industry, played a big part in inventing them.

Gorby, Not The Gipper, Took Lead Role In Ending Cold War

by Lawrence Martin Gorbachev could have well perpetuated the old totalitarian system. He still had the giant Soviet armies, the daunting nuclear might and the chilling KGB apparatus at his disposal. But he had decided that the continuing clash of East-West ideologies was senseless, that his sick and obsolescent society was desperate for democratic air

"Torture Is Legal," Pentagon Report Argues

by Jim Lobe Excerpts of the report, which was drafted by Defense Department lawyers, were published in the Wall Street Journal on June 7. The text asserts, among other things, that the president, in his position as commander-in-chief, has virtually unlimited power to wage war, even in violation of U.S. law and international treaties

Talk Radio: The Lords Of Loud

by Steve Young What Sean again fails to explain is that he doesn't give you ALL the facts. A half-truth is not the same as the truth.

Talk Radio Rips Moore - For Being Too Much Like Them

by Steve Young No matter what you or I feel about Moore or 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' please, someone, anyone, tell me. What is Talk Radio other than exactly what it calls Moore? I'm not so sure Moore would argue that he isn't doing the same as Talk Radio does...just with pictures...and with a bit more wit

The Outrage Of Selective Outrage

by Steve Young Why do you think the Enron tapes and what they nastily expose in all their bleeped out glory, has not evoked the AM hosts' outrage? It's the perfect topic. Goliath company stealing from Grandma David

Supreme Court Ruling Favors Cheney in Energy Case

by J.R. Pegg The Supreme Court set aside a lower court ruling on June 24 that ordered Vice President Dick Cheney to hand over secret documents related to a White House energy task force. The ruling is only a partial victory for Cheney, as it sends the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reconsider the merits of the dispute

"Overseas America" Presents Face Of Empire, Not Democracy

by Franz Schurmann In overseas America, the Pentagon uses power to get money -- and more power. The Pentagon has hundreds of bases all over the world, and Congress finances them with few questions asked. That alone shows that democracy is waning and empire waxing

Arab Leaders Wary Of New Iraqi Regime

by Peyman Pejman Arab states seem to be adopting a wait-and-see attitude after Iraqi leaders agreed Tuesday with the United States and United Nations on a new interim government that will lead the country towards its first elections next year

Reagan Administration Aided Saddam's Worst Genocide

by Aaron Glantz The Iraq issue today may never have arisen if it were not for the support former U.S. president Ronald Reagan gave Saddam Hussein. The Reagan administration largely ignored reports that Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons against the Iranian army and against domestic Kurdish insurgents

Israel Expected To Resume Gaza Offensive

by Ferry Biedermann The Israeli attack on Rafah in the Gaza Strip, 'Operation Rainbow,' has paused, but all indications are that the struggle that has continued between Israel and the Palestinians along the Egyptian border for more than three years now will resume shortly

On 15th Anniversary, China Still Trying To Ignore Tiananmen

by Antoaneta Bezlova   Even 15 years after the crackdown, Tiananmen still remains such a sensitive topic for communist China that no effort is spared by its leaders to make the nation forget what happened

Afghan Opium And Heroin Causing Drug Abuse Crisis In Central Asia

by Ahto Lobjakas At least 25 percent of the drugs produced in Afghanistan crosses through the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. The UN says those figures are accompanied by a worrying rise in drug use in the region

U.S. Companies Depend On Latins For Iraq Security

by Louis Nevaer As violent attacks continue in Iraq, corporate America is turning to Latin America to outsource protection services, tapping into the hundreds of thousands of soldiers downsized out of their military careers by the return of democratic governments throughout Latin America in the 1990s. Some of these hired soldiers, writes PNS contributor Louis Nevaer, committed human rights violations during the region's dirty wars

Iraqi Ex-Prisoners Sue Two Private Security Companies

by Emad Mekay Lawyers for Iraqis once in U.S. custody have sued two private security companies for allegedly torturing prisoners to extract information from them with the goal of winning more contracts from the U.S. government

Caribbean Nations To Probe Haiti Coup

by Dionne Jackson Miller Aristide continues to insist he was kidnapped and did not resign, as U.S. officials maintain. With the passage this week of an Organization of American States (OAS) resolution that could allow for an investigation, CARICOM's position appears to have been vindicated

Olympics Mean Extra Pressure On Sweatshop Workers

by Stefania Bianchi With less than three months to go for the Athens Olympics, Global Unions, Oxfam International and the Clean Clothes Campaign are saying the plight of thousands of workers is being ignored. The 'Play Fair' report revealed a catalogue of misery workers suffer from Bulgaria to Thailand.

UN Resolution On Iraq Sovereignty A Major Bush Defeat

by Ian Williams Watching the news broadcasts in the U.S., one might not appreciate just how far Washington had been forced to retreat. Resolution 1546 says that U.S. troops lose their mandate as soon as the constitutional process is finished, and that their presence could be reviewed even earlier -- as soon as the Iraqi government wants, and in any case within twelve months. Those sunset clauses are insurance against Bush & Co. changing their minds if re-elected

Islamic Fundamentalism Takes Root In Syria

by George Baghdadi As long as Americans stay with their present policies and Muslims feel humiliated by them, 'we should consider that all scenarios might open to every possibility,' says Samir Taqi, former member of the Syrian parliament, and long time political analyst

No Truth To Saddam- Al Qaeda Link, 9/11 Panel Says

by Jim Lobe In a direct challenge to the frequent assertions by President George W Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, the special bipartisan commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York and the Pentagon has found no credible evidence of any operational link between Iraq and al-Qaeda

Bush Wins Iraq Sovereignty Vote In UN, Now Wants Immunity From War Crimes Court

by Thalif Deen After securing a unanimous UN Security Council resolution supposedly granting "full sovereignty" to Iraqis, the United States is shifting its focus to winning a second decision that would protect its troops from possible war crimes prosecution

Facing Defeat, Bush Withdraws Bid For Exemption From War Crimes Court

by Robert McMahon Even China, who is also not party to the ICC and in the past voted for resolutions providing exemptions to U.S. refused to give Bush a get- out- of- jail- free card because of the abuses in Iraq prisons

Coca-Cola Among Companies Using Sugar Harvested By Child Labor

by Jim Lobe From 5,000 to 30,000 children, some as young as eight years old, work in sugar cane plantations in the Central American nation. Under Salvadoran law, 18 is the minimum age for dangerous work and 14 for most other kinds. But the relevant provisions generally go unenforced in part because the children are hired as helpers

Diplomats Puzzled By Iran Skirmishes With Three Nations In Persian Gulf

by Peyman Pejman A series of escalating naval conflicts in the Gulf waters between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman has cast an ominous shadow over the region

Iraqi Police Force Corrupt, Badly Trained

by Valentinas Mite Officials say many in the police are badly trained, corrupt, and have links to criminals. Iraq's Interior Ministry plans to fire many of them now that the power transfer is complete. But even this move is unlikely to make the police efficient and capable of ensuring security without the help of the coalition forces

Mexico's Oil Company Could Be Bankrupt By 2005

by Diego Cevallos Mexico's state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), is sinking in a sea of debt and overwhelmed by a heavy tax burden, technological backwardness and a dearth of badly needed investment

Israeli Army Storms Rafah Refugee Camp

by Omar Karmi Operation Rainbow -- the biggest Israeli incursion into Gaza since the second intifada erupted in late September 2000 -- officially began on May 18, though forces began moving in the previous day. Ostensibly to locate and seal off arms smuggling tunnels into Egypt and arrest armed Palestinians, the army sent some 100 tanks and APCs into Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza

Venezuela's Chavez And Supporters Gird For Pivotal Vote

by Humberto Marquez The leadership of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and his dream of a revolution in which he has invoked independence hero Simon Bolívar will be put to the test on Aug. 15, the day of a referendum that will either remove him from office or confirm his mandate

Reagan's Legacy Of Woes In Afghanistan, Pakistan

by M B Naqvi Reagan's war destroyed the second Afghan middle class that had grown up under the pro-Soviet regimes in Kabul. In the holy name of anti-communism, Reagan's war decimated the entire secular side of the polity that used to be led, strangely enough, by Marxist-led parties in that country

Waiting For The Death Truck In Nicaragua

by La Segua The most disgraceful assignment for anyone in the Ejercito Popular Sandinista (Sandinista armed forces) was to be the young man on the passenger seat of the Death Truck. His job was to notify the family he was delivering a corpse

Wanted: A Few Sages And Seers

by Franz Schurmann Five great seers of the past -- contemporaries from different parts of the world -- moved their societies out of pessimism and toward the future. All five giants saw around themselves immense wealth, but that wealth was rotting at the core. The priests did their mumbo-jumbo and courted the merchants, who provided the wealth. From China to Greece, the past was morally dead. The present stank. And fear and terror marked the future

Attacks Taper Off In Days Before Iraq "Handover"

by Ferry Biedermann It is not very surprising that the inhabitants of Sadr City have now turned against the Americans. The intense poverty and an ingrained hostility towards authorities have conspired to make the neighborhood a wellspring of gangs and criminals going back to the days of the former regime. Add religious fervor and cultural differences, and it is not hard to see why people here do not take kindly to anybody, especially outsiders, trying to impose order

Bush Loses Any Claim To High Ground By Justifying Torture

by Molly Ivins It has been apparent for some time that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were not isolated instances -- torture from Afghanistan to Gitmo to Iraq has so far resulted in 25 deaths now under investigation

Happy 4th To All Of Us, Grumps And Cheney Alike

by Molly Ivins Ye Olde Fourth of July rolls around again and finds the Great Nation in, frankly, a somewhat pissy mood. Lots of blame game, name-slinging and general unpleasantness. But there's always an upside. The vice president reports that if you go ahead and let fly with the f-word, it makes you feel better. Anything to get that fun Dick Cheney back to his usual sunny self, I always say

Jack Ryan And Repub Family Values

by Molly Ivins When you throw politics into the religious mix, or vice versa, you get some real beauts in the hypocrisy department. Just to take a recent example, Jack Ryan of Illinois, the one who had to drop his campaign for the Senate after his divorce papers revealed he had forced his wife to go to sex clubs with him, was one of the 'family values' crowd who opposes gay marriage because it's such a threat to the institution

Speak Out Now On Electronic Voting

by Molly Ivins Making the software for voting machines both bug-less and hacker-proof simply may not be possible, but as many have observed, the things as they stand are an open invitation to voter fraud

You'd Have Trouble Keeping The Story Straight, Too

by Molly Ivins All in all, I'd say these folks have their act down now. Dick Cheney gets bonus points for Best Lying With a Straight Face

Stealth Attack On Arizona's Clean Election Law

by Molly Ivins We live in a country where 98-plus percent of the members of Congress get re-elected every year with no serious competition. That, my friends, is a dead democracy

Why Don't I Feel Comforted?

by Molly Ivins The first thing one learns about torture is that it gets out of control in no time. Spc. Sean Baker, who had the misfortune to play an uncooperative prisoner at Gitmo during a training exercise and had his head slammed against a steel floor so hard it resulted in traumatic brain injury. He was given a medical discharge and is now on nine medications and still suffering seizures

Bush Goes Out Of His Way To Screw Veterans

by Molly Ivins Just before Memorial Day, Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi said, 'Our active military respond better to Republicans' because of 'the tremendous support that President Bush has provided for our military and our veterans.' The same day, the White House announced plans for massive cuts in veterans' health care for 2006

F------g Over Grandma Millie

by Molly Ivins The nerve of her. Imagine thinking it's wrong to rig a market and overcharge by billions of dollars. But hey, no worries at Enron, because George W. Bush is about to be elected president. 'When this election comes, Bush will f------g whack this s--t, man. He won't play this price-cap bulls--t.'

A $60 Million Fine? No Sweat

by Molly Ivins Despite all the fine work George W. Bush and Co. are doing to convince Americans that the economy is tickety-boo and double jump-up jim dandy, for some reason many Americans remain stubbornly unpersuaded that things actually are getting better

Bolivia Charges Enron, Shell With Illegal Gas Deal

by Franz Chavez Bolivia is investigating companies belonging to Enron and the Dutch-British Shell for allegedly illegal sales of natural gas to the Brazilian city of Cuiaba. If found guilty, the companies would be subject to hefty fines, and their offenses would provide grounds for revoking the concessions under which they operate in Bolivia

Groups Sue Pentagon To Release All Info On Iraq Abuses

by Jim Lobe To date, according to the groups, the only record the government has released in response to the request is a set of talking points used by the State Department in communicating about these issues with the media

Thousands Of Homeless Children Living In Baghdad Streets

by Valentinas Mite Thousands of homeless children are living on the streets of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. They are begging, stealing, selling, or using drugs, rooting through garbage for food, and sleeping on the pavement. Some of them have been living this way for just days, but others have been on the street for more than a year since leaving state-run orphanages after the collapse of the regime

Millions Of Refugees Worldwide Warehoused For Over A Decade

by Jim Lobe More than seven million of the world's nearly 12 million refugees have been warehoused in dangerous border areas or urban slums without regard to their basic human rights for 10 or more years

Medicaid Coverage Disappears For Poor Women

by Molly M. Ginty As state budget cuts whittle away at Medicaid coverage, more and more low-income women are losing the health care on which they have come to rely

The New Neo-Con View: Radical Islam May Be Foe In New Cold War

by Paolo Pontoniere Analysts wonder if the June 30 turnover of power in Iraq is just a prelude to an eventual seizure of power by Islamic radicals. Now, chastened neoconservative proponents of the invasion say that might not be bad in the long run

Independent Baghdad Radio Station Gives Voice To Iraqis

by Valentinas Mite There are many things lacking in newly sovereign Iraq, but freedom of expression isn't one of them. Radio Dijla, a private talk-radio station, offers Baghdadis a chance to participate in frank, open discussions on a variety of topics ranging from electricity blackouts to Iraq's political future. The formula works -- after just two months on the air, Radio Dijla is already the most popular station in Baghdad

Halliburton Under Fire For Iraq Military Deals

by Emad Mekay In statements released by Waxman, David Wilson, a convoy commander for Halliburton, and James Warren, a company truck driver, described instances where brand-new trucks worth $85,000 were abandoned if they got a flat tire or experienced minor mechanical problems

Darfur Region Of Sudan Called World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis

by Gustavo Capdevila Even in the best-case scenario, humanitarian experts estimate that more than 300,000 people will die as a result of violence and starvation

Afghan Situation Grim And Getting Grimmer

by Ricardo Grassi On the flight out of Dubai, an item in the pocket of the passenger seats is a grim reminder of the mortal dangers on the ground below -- along with the laminated sheet detailing aircraft safety procedures is a brochure from the United Nations Landmine Action Service explaining how to avoid death or injury from the explosive devices in Afghanistan

Go-Ahead For Venezuela Recall Election

by Humberto Marquez Chavez has repeatedly stated that he would accept the election council's final verdict, take part in a referendum if enough signatures were collected, and step down if he lost

The Thousands Who Shouldn't Be In Iraqi Prisons

by Aaron Glantz In its report the ICRC, the only organization besides the United States military that has been allowed to inspect the prison wrote that between 70-90% of captives were caught by mistake

International Aid Begins Trickling To Haiti

by Jane Regan Prime Minister Gerard Latortue's cabinet -- a U.S.-created interim team that is supposed to be replaced after elections in 2005 -- have been in office for only about two-and-a-half months. For Haiti's population of eight million, who see food and medicine prices going up, garbage choking streets, criminals still rampaging freely and cities cloaked by nightlong blackouts, that period seems like ages

Saddam Trial Will Indict West For Weapons Sales

by Aaron Glantz Iraq did not make any of the landmines Saddam used in his wars. They were all sold to him by Italy, China, the United States, and the former Soviet Union

Nobel Laureates Endorse Kerry, Blast Bush For Ignoring Science

by J.R. Pegg The Bush administration is undermining the nation's future by impeding medical advances, compromising scientific education within the United States, turning away scientific talent with its immigration practices, and ignoring scientific consensus on global warming and other critical issues

Mafia Kidnapping Sicily's Water

by Francesca Colombo In the past 20 years, more than $1.4 billion have ended up in the hands of the Mafia members involved in the water business in Sicily. Much of that money has been in the form of bribes, funding for dams that were never built or money spent on the continuous repairs of the water distribution system

U.S. Steps Up Pressure On Al-Jazeera

by Emad Mekay 'To say that running false stories if they could inflame the conflict is grounds for ending the media outlets right to report is to say that no major U.S. media outlet should be allowed to report anymore'

Al-Jazeera Top News Source Even In Kurdish Iraq

by Aaron Glantz Since the creation of the Kurdish autonomous area in 1991, Kurds have been doing everything they can to create their own society. But that does not mean they get their news in Kurdish. Kurds of all ages crowd around the television in Arbil's Machko Cafe as al-Jazeera broadcasts news of Iraq's interim constitution

Electorate Is Wising Up To The Iraq Blunder

by Robert Scheer Even the once-cocky neoconservative intellectuals who pushed so hard for this war for a decade are suddenly abandoning ship like rats, claiming the Bush administration ruined their beautiful vision with its incompetence

Born Under a Cloud of Irony

by Robert Scheer When Allawi was first picked for the prime minister post through an opaque selection process ostensibly run by a UN representative, former CIA Iran-Iraq analyst Kenneth Pollack justified the agency's earlier use of Allawi as a terrorist with the comment "send a thief to catch a thief." But the question now is: Do you send a thief to build a democracy?

No Letup From Repeating The Big Lie

by Robert Scheer The reality is that Bush and company have turned the language of lying into a fine art. It's the Big Lie technique -- never flinch in the face of truth.

Justify Torture, Get A Promotion

by Robert Scheer What a revelation to learn that the Justice Department lawyer who wrote the infamous memo in effect defending torture is now a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge. It tells you all you need to know about the sort of conservative with whom George W. Bush is attempting to pack the federal courts

Reagan: A Nice Guy's Nasty Policies

by Robert Scheer For worse, Ronald Reagan was both more and less than he seemed

Bad News Aside, Neo-Cons Demand Bold Attack On Insurgents

by Jim Lobe Despite a tidal wave of bad news from the Iraq occupation they did so much to promote, neo-conservatives are calling for President George W. Bush to pursue a military solution against resistance fighters there

Kurd Unrest Spreads To Syria

by George Baghdadi Kurds within Syria are beginning to demand increasing recognition in the face of the autonomy enjoyed by Kurds within Iraq

Bremer Imposed Last Minute Laws Restricting Iraqi Powers

by Andrew Tully Bremer issued several formal restrictions on Iraq's new interim government and the popularly elected government that is expected to follow. Some are merely updates to Iraq's old legal code. But others are more intrusive, such as one that creates a seven-member electoral commission that is authorized to ban political parties, and their candidates, from the democratic process.

Iraq Turnover Sans Sovereignty

by M.B. Naqvi Allawi does not use the term 'resistance' for the violence that has been happening in many cities of Iraq. Instead, they are suicide-prone 'militants' or remnants' of Saddam's Baath party. But most people in what is the so-called Third World, and many in Europe, now freely acknowledge that a more or less spontaneous resistance comprising all sorts -- Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Islamic militants from nearby states, Baathists and special interest groups -- has taken shape

Call Sudan "Genocide," Rights Group Asks Colin Powell

by Jim Lobe "Nowhere else in the world are so many lives at stake as in Darfur at the moment," said Egeland, UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, adding that as many as two million people displaced by the repression may need food aid, as well as other supplies. "I think it's not genocide yet, and we can prevent it from becoming one"

Pentagon Auditors Urge Cutoff Of Payments To Halliburton

by Emad Mekay Halliburton came under renewed fire May 18 when auditors urged the Defense Department to hold back payments to the company on an Iraq-based contract

Iraqi On Iraqi Violence In Fallujah Signals Trouble After U.S. Retreats

by Charles Recknagel Insurgents have attacked the Iraqi security force entrusted with keeping the peace in Al-Fallujah. The attack is surprising because the security force already includes some insurgents in its own ranks as part of the deal to end fighting with U.S. troops two months ago

Pentagon Needs, But Abuses, "Green Card" Recruits

by Katherine Stapp News accounts describe military recruiters travelling to poor border towns in Mexico and Native communities in Canada to entice people with U.S. green cards -- permanent resident status -- to join the army. And under the Hispanic Access Initiative, recruiters are encouraged to target colleges and high schools with predominantly Latino students

Nuclear Waste Piling Up At Russia's Poorly-Guarded Facilities

The Russian government's three year old program to enter the nuclear waste reprocessing business is failing to attract customers, but even so, the country's inadequate storage and reprocessing facilities cannot handle the radioactive waste that is being sent there

Kurds Threaten to Separate From Iraq

by Aaron Glantz Kurds say that regardless of objections from Shias and neighboring countries, the Bush Adminstration would be wrong to ignore the debt the United States owes to the Kurds. They argue that the United States should remember that Iraqi Kurds supported last year's war

"9/11 Skeptics" Hold Gathering In Toronto

by Paul Weinberg The conference featured videos and presentations of what organizers described as the 'obscuring' and 'obstructing' of the truth behind the attacks. Among the speakers was Ellen Mariani, whose husband was a passenger in the hijacked plane that hit the World Trade Center. She is currently suing the Bush administration for failing to prevent or warn of the disaster to come on Sept. 11

Tensions Grow Over New Bush Embargo On Cuba

by Dalia Acosta Representatives of the most radical factions of the Cuban exile community argue that all of the money and goods sent to Cuba from the United States, even those that merely help support families, only sustain Castro's regime. The new U.S. measures go even farther than that, and include actions to discredit Cuba in third party countries to discourage tourism to this Caribbean island nation, as another way of blocking the inflow of hard currency into Cuban state coffers

Abortion Records Safe From Feds, For Now

by Cynthia L. Cooper Records of abortions like hers are safe for now. An unprecedented legal battle waged since November in five states and seven separate federal courts, including two at the appellate level, has finally turned back the tide of Justice Department demands for women's medical records. But, by no means, is the match over

California Tribes Fight For Water, Salmon Rights

by Julie Johnson Two Northern California tribes are fighting battles in legal, scientific and public spheres to keep precious water flowing through reservation rivers, as an election-year push to sign water contracts looms

Even Without Top Post, Sonia Gandhi Leaves Her Mark

by Ranjit Devraj When Sonia Gandhi led the Congress party to its resounding electoral win this month, she was laying to rest the ghosts of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty that not only steered India to independence but fought for democracy, pluralism and religious secularism

U.S. Proposal To UN: No Real Sovereignty For Iraq

by Thalif Deen The United States and Britain are asking the UN Security Council to transfer political and administrative power to Iraq while holding back real sovereign power that legitimately belongs to the Iraqi people, say critics

Why I Burned My Israeli Military Papers

by Josh Ruebner By doing so, I stand in solidarity with more than 1,300 Israelis who have stated openly, at the risk of jail time, that they refuse to serve Israel's occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem

Chalabi's Downfall Signals Rout Of Neo-Cons

by Jim Lobe In the last month, the neo-con retreat has begun to look like a rout, particularly as reports of Chalabi's alleged cosiness with Iran gained currency and, just as important, senior military officers began claiming that a military victory over the Iraqi insurgency was not possible

Was Tenet Pushed From Office, Or Did He Jump?

by Jim Lobe The abrupt resignation of CIA Director George Tenet adds new grist to Washington's rumor mills, already churning at warp speed due to the ongoing prisoner-abuse scandal in Iraq and reports that the Bush administration's favourite in Baghdad turned over critical information to Iran

Tenet Or Not, CIA Must Learn Mideast's "Secret Language"

by Behrouz Saba All the intelligence failures of the Bush administration reflect a long history of U.S. misunderstandings and missteps in the Middle East that no amount of Arabic and Farsi linguists can correct

U.S. Tries To Convince Worldwide Firms That Iraq Is Open For Business

by Sandip Roy A new PowerPoint presentation taken on the road by the U.S. Commerce Dept. paints Iraq as a profitable, if challenging, place to do business

Bush Must Go, Say 27 Retired Diplomats And Officers

by Jim Lobe In an unprecedented broadside, more than two-dozen top retired U.S. career diplomats and military commanders, many of whom reached their top positions under former President George H.W. Bush, have called for his son, George W. Bush, to be defeated in his re-election bid in November

Israel Arrests Brit Reporter Who Exposed Secret Nuke Program

by Jeffrey Donovan Israeli police have arrested a British journalist who exposed the Jewish state's atomic secrets in a 1986 interview with nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. The arrest of Peter Hounam, who was reportedly preparing a documentary on Vanunu for the BBC, underscores Israel's extreme sensitivity over its nuclear weapons stockpile, the existence of which it has never acknowledged

Spielberg's "Terminal" Trivializes Global Immigrant Problem

by Behrouz Saba Steven Spielberg, who bought Karimi-Nasseri's story, decided to make 'The Terminal' with Tom Hanks as a fake immigrant with a fake accent from a fake country, sugarcoating and trivializing a growing, global immigration problem

"Fahrenheit 9/11" Certain To Be Factor On Voting Day

by Peter Y. Sussman Not only will this be an election campaign to mobilize the partisans; it will also be a tug of war to define the subject matter. Is it the economy, stupid? Is it wounded pride and feel-good patriotism? Is it fear of terrorism? The war on evil? Iraq? Torture? Education? Abortion and gay marriage? Civil liberties? The Ten Commandments?

Troubling Silence Over Beheading In Arab Media

by Mamoun Fandy The beheading of the American contractor from New Jersey and the Saudi response to it point to a broad and dangerous trend: Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world are swimming in a sea of violent language that justifies terrorism and makes it acceptable, especially to the young.

Arab World Outraged By Bush Tepid Response To Rafah Attacks

by Jess Ghannam Why can George Bush only muster the word 'troubling' when asked if he would condemn the Israeli atrocities in Rafah?

Brazillian Families Say Bloody Prison Riot Was Premediated

by Mario Osava Dozens of Brazilian families still do not know if their husbands, sons or brothers are still alive in Benfica jail in Rio de Janeiro, where a prison rebellion left at least 31 inmates dead last weekend

Fear Spreads In California Central Valley Over INS Sweeps

by Elena Shore As U.S. Border Patrol sweeps spread fear in California's Inland Empire, Spanish-language media is striving to soberly and accurately inform the community amid a climate of panic

Heads Should Roll At FDA Over Emergency Contraceptive Ban

by Louise Slaughter In yet another example of the Bush administration playing politics with health care, the U.S Food and Drug Administration last month rejected an application by Barr Laboratories to allow its emergency contraceptive, Plan B, to be sold over the counter without a prescription

Reagan's Destructive Revolution

by Walter Williams Reagan's unshakable conviction that the federal government was the nation's biggest domestic problem, and his efforts to constrain it, severely reduced that government's capacity to serve the American people and undermined representative democracy

Death Of A Patriot

by Joel Hack His obituary did mention that Dellinger protested the U.S. involvement in World War II. Since it was a long time ago, I forgive the obituary writer for simplifying an incident that seared its way into my heart. Dellinger was among the very first of a new class of protester in 1940. As in the war- against- the- war- in- Vietnam and today's protestors against the Iraq invasion, the nation was unprepared to deal with those who opposed war

Bush Wraps Himself In Reagan's Flag As Polls Sink

by Jim Lobe Last weekend's death of former President Ronald Reagan and the pomp and ceremony that followed also helped push continuing revelations about the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq, touched off in late April, off the front pages and evening news casts this week, to the administration's great relief. It also permitted Bush to wrap himself up as tightly as he could in the warm glow of the nostalgia evoked by Reagan's passing that flooded the mass media all week long

Bush & Crew Learned "Class Warfare" Tactics From Reagan

by Jim Lobe Reagan largely paved the way for Bush, in part, observers say, because his tenure both weakened moderate Republicans in the party and strengthened right-wing extremists

Another Florida Election Fiasco Possible, ACLU Warns

by Marty Logan and Lisa Vives The law, not good will, now requires that local voting supervisors do their utmost to verify the information they receive from the new central database, which is collected from a number of other sources, but that the state's elections department has not made that clear

Both Parties See Businesswomen As A Key Voting Bloc

by Marianne Sullivan Both candidates are making special efforts to woo female voters. Kerry has organized Women for Kerry and last week, the Bush-Cheney campaign launched the Bush-Cheney '04 W Stands for Women leadership team. Both campaigns say they will create special teams to mobilize the support of female business owners

Law Of The Sea Treaty Held Hostage By Radical Right Senators

by Jim Lobe Despite overwhelming support for it in the U.S. Senate, ratification of the 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty (LOS) is being held up by half a dozen right-wing Republican senators backed by a coalition of national groups who see the agreement as another step toward global government

U.S. The "Red Thread" That Runs Between Global Rights Abuses, Says Amnesty

by Sanjay Suri "Violating rights at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses has damaged justice and freedom, and made the world a more dangerous place." Khan said that Amnesty had handed a report to the U.S. government highlighting abuses within Iraq, but had received no response. "It seems accountability in Washington D.C. is better generated by Kodak."

Iraq "Supermax" Prison No Change From Abu Ghraib

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Abuses are eerily similar to those inflicted on Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Many detainees there had not committed any terrorist acts, or were members of militias fighting against American forces. Many of the prisoners in America's supermaxes also can be held indefinitely, as the Iraqis were. There are virtually no uniform standards, or guidelines that spell out when and under what circumstances a prisoner is no longer considered a behavior threat and can be returned to a regular prison. The warden generally makes that decision, and it's a decision that's fraught with whim, capriciousness and frequently, racial bias

Media's Sin of Omission In Reverent Reagan Coverage

by Norman Solomon President Reagan was in the habit of telling whoppers. His tales ranged far and wide: to deny environmental degradation, or blithely pretend that widespread human rights violations by U.S.-backed regimes didn't exist, or denigrate low-income people in the United States. Yet now, more than ever, he's being hailed as the Great Communicator

Nader and the Green Party's Presidential Choice for 2004

by Norman Solomon This year, Ralph Nader's presidential campaign has two trains running that will collide at an unfortunate intersection -- the Green Party's national convention in Milwaukee. The collision course is bad news for all concerned

Nader Adrift

by Norman Solomon When the Green Party's national convention refused to endorse Nader for president a few days ago, the delegates were not rejecting his strong anti-corporate and pro-democracy politics. On the contrary, the convention was acting on the basis of such principles. Greens from every region of the country recognized that Nader -- proudly unaccountable to any institution but himself -- has steered his campaign into a steadily worsening tangle of contradictions

Fascism Creeps In More Often Than Marching In With Jackboots

by Norman Solomon When a federal judge compares George W. Bush to Benito Mussolini, is that newsworthy?

Supporters Should Stop Painting Kerry, Bush As Perfect

by Norman Solomon Usually the media game is to choose your presidential candidate and then sing that candidate's praises. But for progressive advocates, the most telling -- and honest -- way to support Kerry would be to openly acknowledge his pro-corporate and militaristic positions while pointing out that, overall, Bush is significantly worse

U.S. Pushed Through Decrees That Leave Iraq With Little Cash, Much Debt

by Emad Mekay A barrage of binding decrees passed during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, combined with a lack of resources, heavy debt and the continuing presence of a massive U.S. force, mean that the recent handover of authority to Iraqis may not equal real control over the economy

U.S. Rush For Exit Caught Iraq By Surprise

by Ferry Biedermann Iraq's new minister of the interior Falah al-Nakib and his staff were so taken by surprise by the unexpected handover of purported sovereignty by the U.S.-led occupation Monday that they failed to make it to the brief ceremony

U.S. Protecting Infamous Arms Dealer Who Is Aiding Iraq Occupation

by Julio Godoy Arms dealer Viktor Bout was the merchant of death wanted for feeding conflicts in Africa -- until Iraq was invaded by the U.S.-led coalition. Today the United States and Britain are using his extensive mercenary services in Iraq. The condemnation of his role in the diamond wars and other conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa over the past ten years is being silently buried

Bye-Bye Boonville

by Alexander Cockburn Bruce Anderson is leaving Boonville. The Anderson Valley Advertiser will become The Eugene AVA

Waiting For Kerry To Step Up To The Plate

by Alexander Cockburn With America's debacle in Iraq blaring on every TV channel, Democrats in Oregon tuned in eagerly to Kerry as he toured their state in mid-May, awaiting their champion's robust savaging of the commander in chief, tottering through some of the worst news headlines of his presidency. They waited in vain

The Usual Suspects From El Norte Target Venezuela's Chavez

by Alexander Cockburn Chavez is the best thing that has happened to Venezuela's poor in a very, very long time. His government has actually delivered on some of its promises to the poor. So naturally the United States wants him out, same way the rich in Venezuela do

No Kindly Grandpa, Reagan Was Cold, Indifferent

by Alexander Cockburn Hearing all the cozy talk about the Gipper, young people who were spared the experience of his awful sojourn in office probably imagine him as a kindly, avuncular figure. He was a vicious man, with a breezy indifference to suffering and the consequences of decisions

Reagan's Blur Between Truth And Fiction

by Alexander Cockburn There was no internationally recognized border in Reagan's mind between fantasy and fact, the dividing line having been abolished in the early 1940s, when his studio's PR department turned him into a war hero

As Insurgency Spreads, Value Of "The Bremer Dinar" Dives

by Cam McGrath Egyptian speculators who stashed away 'Bremer dinars' earlier this year in the hope their value would skyrocket have suffered enormous losses as the official Iraqi currency plummets in the midst of the ongoing insurgency

Talk Radio Turned Reagan's Coffin Into Soapbox

by Steve Young In a week of remorse for, and tribute to, Ronald Wilson Reagan, a president who had served us all, those on the AM dial who spoke of the greatness of the man, chose use this past week's homage as just another opportunity to dish out a good heapin' of we so good, you so bad

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