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September 28-30

Victims of a Lie
by Thomas M. Braun

I am a Vietnam veteran who served honorably for my country.  I was an air operations supervisor in the US Air Force, and served on Temporary Duty status at Vietnam's Bien Hoa Air Base and Tan Son Nhut Air Base.  I have great compassion and love for every single military person now serving in Iraq.  I know the horrors they wake up to each day. I was the victim of a lie.  They are victims of a vast lie also....(full article)

A Parent's Deep Grief
by Larry S. Rolirad

There is no feeling more profound than the feeling of fear a parent feels when one of their children is serving in the military and in harm's way: On September 17, 2004, a mother of a soldier who died in Iraq appeared at a republican campaign rally at the Colonial Fire Department in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, where First Lady Laura Bush was speaking. When the woman spoke out to Laura Bush by saying "When are YOU going to serve?" "When are YOU going to fight?" she was drowned out by the entire Bush mob of 700 Republicans, who began chanting, "Four more years! Four more years!". So much for a mother's right to free speech. So much for Republicans being for the First Amendment, or our Constitution. The mother, Ms. Sue Niederer, of Hopewell, N.J., was wearing a T-shirt with the words "President Bush, You Killed My Son!" on the front of the shirt, and on the back of the T-shirt was a picture of her dead son. Her son was Army 1st Lt. Seth Dvorin, 24, who was killed in Iraq in February while trying to disarm a bomb. Republicans in the audience tried to cover-up Ms. Niederer's T-shirt with Bush campaign signs. While Laura Bush was talking about the war and the troops, Ms. Niederer yelled out to Laura Bush to get her attention. When Ms. Niederer continued yelling out to Laura Bush asking why her son was killed, the entire mob of seven hundred Republicans kept increasing the volume of their chant of "Four more years! Four more years!" So much for the Republican "compassionate conservatism" for this woman filled with grief over the loss of her son....(full article)

The Tragedy of Haiti: A Tale of Two Storms
by Kevin Pina

A political storm slammed into northern Haiti long before Tropical Storm Jeanne came along. On March 20th, Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue flew into Gonaives where a huge and boisterous crowd of thousands welcomed him. During the festivities Latortue embraced gang elements and the former military that helped overthrow the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as "freedom fighters." Since then, Latortue and his government have done little to take control of Haiti's third largest city and has allowed gang leaders like Butteur Metayer and Wilfort Ferdinand to run it like a private fiefdom. This has had serious consequences for the people of Gonaives since Tropical Storm Jeanne arrived to claim her share of Haiti's misery....(full article)

Applauding Only the “Right” Entertainers
by Walter Brasch

They call themselves Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood, or PABAAH for short. If it was anything but an acronym, PABAAH would be on the Homeland Security “no-fly” list. They believe Sean Penn and Janeane Garofalo are traitors. They want John Ashcroft, defender of some of the Bill of Rights, to charge Michael Moore with treason. They want Americans to boycott movies that feature actors who oppose the Bush administration. They are currently telling people to boycott “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” because Gwyneth Paltrow said she worries about “a weird, over-patriotic atmosphere” in the United States. Apparently, it’s patriotic for people to put two weather-beaten flags on their 15-year-old junkers, push a cell phone to their ear, and weave in and out of traffic to prove how American they are. It’s also patriotic to put portable acrylic signs with removable letters in front of their stores so those motorists can be reinforced with the All–American doctrines of “God Bless America, United We Stand, and french fries $1.49.” And it’s definitely patriotic to attack people who disagree with the Bush administration....(full article)

Human Dignity, Crazy Mike, and Indian Country
by Jim Lobe

The reason why Washington is having such a difficult time persuading others of its good faith and its good works in the "war on terror" was best illustrated Tuesday this week. While President George W. Bush told the UN General Assembly that the U.S. belief in "human dignity" – a phrase he used no less than 10 times – was the main U.S. motivation for pursuing the war, two articles that appeared in two major U.S. newspapers the same morning offered an altogether different subtext....(full article)

Closing California
by Bill Berkowitz

Two new anti-immigration initiatives intend to revive the state's highly divisive Proposition 187....(full article)

Proliferation Treaty
by George Monbiot

Of course Iran wants the bomb, and the international system has given it everything it needs to build one....(full article)

"You Have to Start Working for Change Now"
An Interview with George Monbiot
by Alan Maass

A majority of the left, both in the U.S. and around the world, has climbed on board the Anybody But Bush bandwagon. They say that four more years of George W. Bush represents a catastrophic threat, so opponents of war and injustice must hold their nose and vote for the "lesser evil," John Kerry--no matter how closely he positions himself to Bush. The voices of dissent--those who have stood up for the need to support a left-wing alternative to the corrupt two-party system--have been few. One is George Monbiot, a leading figure in the global justice movement. Monbiot is a columnist for Britain’s left-leaning Guardian newspaper and author of numerous books, including The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order. He talked to Socialist Worker’s Alan Maass about why he calls for activists to challenge the pressure to vote for "the bad against the terrible"--and instead support Ralph Nader’s independent presidential campaign....(full article)

Of Disconnect and Fantasyland
by Manuel Valenzuela

Imagine my surprise, having returned from a research and exploratory sojourn through the mesmerizing beauty of the lands, coasts and peoples of Mexico where the spirit re-energized, mind meditated and appreciation for humanity returned, all of which enabled me to escape, at least for a small respite, from the madness of a troubled world, to see that Iraq had almost overnight been transformed into a nation on the verge of a Renaissance, becoming a new beacon of democracy and security, morphing into an unyielding success, an illuminated positive road devoid of reality. A heap of garbage had suddenly become a Kandinsky, a masterpiece in waiting whose canvas Bush had transformed into a work of art with each new brushstroke of his formula for nation building and democracy creating. As if dark skies pregnant with ominous chaos and certain defeat had suddenly parted and dissipated from the lands of Eden, giving rise to splendorous warmth and radiant success, Iraq was, in the eyes of the Bush administration, their sock puppet Ayad Allawi and almost half the American population, a nation no longer in the grip of utter decay or certain devastation. As if on cue, the plague introduced by Bush into Iraq disappeared in a blink of an eye, no doubt an act of divine intervention brought on by Bush’s Almighty Father. Iraq, it seemed, was once more on the right track, even as carnage hovered above and devastation prospered below....(full article)

Like Dogs in the Night
by Sheila Samples

Sheila Samples on down-and-dirty politics, Texas style: The legacies of LBJ and George W. Bush....(full article)

Putting the Bosses First : How the Democrats Moved
to the Right to Cater to Business
by Lee Sustar

Lee Sustar looks at how and why the Democratic Party shifted to the right and embraced the conservative agenda....(full article)

Fighting For a Union: An Interview with Starbucks Workers
Union Leader Daniel Gross
by Derek Seidman

Daniel Gross is the lead organizer in the ongoing IWW IU/660 effort to establish the only unionized Starbucks in the United States. He's a worker at the 36th and Madison Starbucks in New York City, the immediate focus of the campaign. During a demonstration in front of his workplace during the RNC, Daniel was arrested along with co-worker (and union supporter) Anthony Polanco. He now faces a trial in October, the most serious charge being resisting arrest. Left Hook's Derek Seidman recently had a chance to catch up with Daniel Gross to find out more about his predicament and the state of the union campaign. (You can learn more about the struggle of the Starbucks workers and find a way to help at
(full interview)

A Modest Proposal: Four More Years:
(Why We Should Re-Elect The President)
by Mikel Weisser

I am beginning to wonder whether we should not re-elect George Bush and give him a chance to finish what he has started. Certainly there have been few presidents with a clearer vision for American society and our role in the world. Perhaps instead of resisting his re-election we should embrace it for the long term benefits it might bring to our foreign relations and domestic agendas....(full article)

Bush is History's Top Terrorist
by Harvey Wasserman

As the fourth global-warmed hurricane in two months rips through Florida, we are reminded that George W. Bush is history's top terrorist....(full article)

Undermining the International Court : Sharon Ignores Tragic
Jewish History and Undercuts Impartial Mediator's Vital Role
by Neve Gordon

Even though three years have passed since 9/11, most political leaders have failed to seriously probe the implications of the horrific attacks. One of the key questions that could have been asked following 9/11 is how the absence of certain international institutions helps engender conditions whereby groups and states resort to horrendous violence. Questions like this do not intend in any way to condone terrorism but rather to stimulate an investigation of how the creation and strengthening of international institutions might help prevent terrorism by providing non-violent alternatives through which people can channel their grievances. A few institutions of this kind already exist whereas others still need to be established....(full article)

Welcome to the "New" Republic of Neo-America (Shut up, consume,
work, pay taxes, don't ask questions, enlist, conform and sleep)
by Vincent L. Guarisco

Have you conformed yet? Have you learned how to accept everything at face value the mainstream media tells you? No? Well, haven't you heard -- it's the popular, patriotic thing to do. Welcome to the new gilded age of neo-America where independent thought and informational truthfulness is no longer considered a valuable quality or asset. In fact, just the opposite -- it's now deemed a threat by those who stole the throne of power....(full article)

His Lips Never Moved
by Mikel Weisser

As expected, Bush’s once--so good it couldn’t be true and probably wasn’t--lead over John Kerry in the polls has fallen back to neck and neck, which is when the best jokes get played. For example, this week Bush & Co. managed once again to stop the clock on efforts to get an investigation into his military service, or lack thereof, in the National Guard in the early 1970s. The ensuing “60 Minutes” brouhaha over the CBS report on Bush as a frat-boy deserter totally ignored the bulk of the already proven assertions that Bush was more or less drunkenly AWOL for about a year. Instead America’s enjoyed a referendum on how well Dan Rather apologizes about the two of the numerous military records on Bush’s poor performance which appear to be forgeries. As Paul Alexander’s new Rolling Stone article, “Alabama Getaway: What Dubya was doing when he was supposed to be serving in the National Guard,” makes abundantly clear, whatever documents Dan’d rather or rather not have had his news-show show, the fact is that instead of fighting the Vietnam War like Kerry or getting deferments like Cheney or Tom De Lay, Bush took about one million of our government’s dollars to train to be a fighter pilot in the Texas National Guard, then ditched out to be a slacker in Alabama, ostensibly to work on a gubernatorial campaign, but actually to bag all the booze and babes he could find....(full article)

When the Fiends Cry "Kill"
by Sheila Samples

Nobody "works a crowd" better than Bush.  Make the "lie" pie higher and higher then, after you throw in a few patriotic slogans, tell 'em there's power in the blood and they'll follow you anywhere.  When the fiends cry, "Kill!" it mesmerizes the faithful, and psychologically destroys the enemy's reputation, his will to fight -- his very existence.  Bush is emboldened by the fact that the media will accept, even promote, his lies while parsing and twisting every word uttered by his opponent....(full article)   

Large Dams in India -- Temples or Burial Grounds?
An Interview with Angana Chatterji
by Robert Jensen

How do we measure progress? How are lives improved by progress? Who benefits from -- and who suffers the consequences of -- progress? These are central questions today as nation-states and corporations pursue what are typically called “development” projects. One of the most controversial of these in recent years is a series of more than 3,000 dams in India’s Narmada River Valley. Government officials say these dams and an extensive irrigation system will bring electricity and water to areas of the country suffering from drought, and the technocrats insist that it will work. But other voices challenge this rhetoric of technological triumph....(full article)

Literacy and Child Deaths: The New Hindu Growth Rate
by Devinder Sharma

Literacy and population control have always been considered to be closely inter-related. It is generally believed that more the education level, the higher is the economic status and that automatically translates into a happy and prosperous family based on gender equity and growth. Provisional data from India Census 2001 defies this popular logic. It provides us some shocking evidence that may need the sociologists, demographers and family planning specialists to do some rethinking. After all, how can one explain the steady growth in literacy spread quite evenly throughout the country and an equally inhuman practice of female foeticide keeping pace? Still worse is the fact that female foeticide (or female infanticide or female mortality if you may say so), reflected through the decline in child sex ratio, is alarmingly high in the states and communities that are economically much better off....(full article)

Madonna, Mr. Big and Richard Gere Do Israel
by Am Johal

The Israeli Tourism Authority, thinking of creative ways to lure visitors back to the Holy Land, has taken to organizing the high profile visits of Hollywood stars and pop divas to mixed reaction....(full article)

September 25-27

The Road to the White House is Paved with Red Meat
by Leilla Matsui

With any luck, Bush's double-digit lead in some of the more recent polls merely reflects their dubious role in accurately gauging the nation's flatlining political pulse.  So far they reveal that given a choice between two evils, a growing number of Americans seem to be rejecting the slightly lesser one in favor of the more obvious candidate to be waving from atop Satan's flaming victory float on the November 2nd election parade.  “To save a village, it takes a village idiot to it destroy it first,” seems to be the mangled bumpersticker slogan these voters are quoting to justify their presidential preference. Now that “quagmire” seems a ludicrous understatement when describing the horrors unfolding by the minute in Iraq, you would think that the American electorate would recoil from Bush's name on the ballot like it was anthrax.   If the polls and pundits are to be believed, though, incompetence and failure seems to be resonating with voters, who look upon Bush Corp's bungling Imperial Crusades as part of a noble effort in the “war on terror.”....(full article)

The Democrats Capitulate to the Supply-Siders
by Doug Ireland

This week made it even harder to convince the voters that this country has a genuine, major opposition party. The Congressional Democrats have now completely capitulated to the Republican advocates of supply-side economics -- what the first President Bush once called “voodoo economics” -- by overwhelmingly voting for Dubya's tax cut package. Only one, lone Democratic Senator--retiring octogenarian Fritz Hollings of South Carolina -- had the guts to vote on Thursday against this insane tax cut. And in the House, two-thirds of the Democrats (including a lot of the so-called liberals) voted for the Bush bill, which includes more tax breaks for corporations. Kerry--although he didn't show up for the vote -- issued a statement supporting the tax cuts, even though, as the Washington Post reported, they include “an array of business tax breaks” worth $13 billion to Corporate America....(full article)

An Educator’s Reflections on the Crisis in Education and Democracy
in the US: An Interview with Henry A. Giroux

by Michael Alexander Pozo

According to Henry Giroux, critical pedagogy asks, “whose future, story and interests does the school represent? Critical pedagogy argues that school practices need to be informed by a public philosophy that addresses how to construct ideological and institutional conditions in which the lived experience of empowerment for the vast majority of students becomes the defining feature of schooling.” In May of 2004 Henry Giroux reluctantly left Penn State University after 12 years as a distinguished Professor in the Education Department. Over the years Henry Giroux has been one of the leading advocates for young people, democracy and education in the United States and has arguably been responsible for creating the field of Critical Pedagogy itself. He is considered one of the world’s leading intellectuals and according to Fifty Modern Thinkers in Education and was recently named one of the top thinkers in Education of the 20th century....(full interview)

The Corporate Raiders
by Kamyar Arasteh

In the last 10 years, the excessively wealthy and the private interest groups within a variety of industries have bought the Republican and Democratic candidates alike by bankrolling their campaigns. The financial industry alone spent about $1 billion towards its purchase. Enron, which paid $4 million to Bush, Cheney and the Republicans, got the ear of Cheney’s Energy Task Force and dictated the terms of the energy policy to its advantage, and at great cost to the nation, so that it could continue to bilk Californians unimpeded. Americans’ usual resignation on the eve of elections, then, is not a sign of apathy, but an intuitive grasp of the game that corporate candidates are up to. They have correctly surmised that there is no real distinction between the Republican and Democratic candidates....(full article)

History Repeating: New York, 1832 and Today
by Joshua Frank

In 1832 the overpopulated village of New York, on its heels, was hit with a gruesome epidemic of cholera. The wicked disease had journeyed from Europe and then to Canada where it took its first recorded victim on Western soil. Eventually the disease made its way down to the city, only to inflict a carnal destruction never before seen in the white occupied state. Health officials held back information of the looming pestilence from most New Yorkers. The Corporation, it seemed, was more interested in its own financial well being then the welfare of its citizens....It is hard not to draw parallels between what happened in New York in 1832 and what took place in NYC just three years ago on September 11.  Has the Corporation again withheld valuable information from the people in order to protect its own neck?  Has President Bush and his minions held vital scientific records hostage that indicate Ground Zero and the surrounding area may have enormous health risks for those unfortunate enough to live or work there? (full article)

Bush's Iraq Fallu-cination
by Bill Berkowitz

Will President Bush adopt Richard Nixon's "Madman Theory" and destroy Iraq in order to save it? (full article)

Telling the Truth About the Election
by Asad Haider

I've really got to stop reading the left press. I can't even remember the last time I read an article on the election that came close to operating at a reasonable level of honesty and intelligence, much less articulating any serious strategic analysis. The polarization into a "more-radical-than-thou" camp and a "more-sensible-than-thou" camp is one of the most unfortunate things to happen to the left since the fall of Barcelona. Last year, we were able to unite into the strongest anti-war movement in human history; what the hell happened? (full article)

The Importance of Being Careful of What One Wishes For
by Kim Petersen

Lost in the maddening desire to oust Bush was the answer to who Kerry actually was, or at least how he was portraying himself to be. Some progressives of the Kerry-But-Bush persuasion realized early that Kerry was hardly a dream candidate and called for a nose-holding vote for Kerry. Some even admitted that Kerry was Bush-lite. Yet this designation was soon revealed to be a misnomer. Kerry was actually out-Bushing Bush. He was going to outdo Bush in the imperialist occupation of Iraq and he was going to outdo Bush in his support for Zionist colonialism in Palestine. So far to the right had Kerry been yanked that he was becoming virtually indistinguishable from Bush. At this point even the KBB label is absurd and the movement finds itself caught in a tautological bind. It is actually an absurd BBB (Bush-but-Bush) movement. But the BBBers persist in their self-mocking adherence to the pathetic Bush-clone candidacy of Kerry. But in reality it is much worse because if the pronouncements of Kerry are representative of his actual positions, then Kerry is no Bush-lite but rather Bush-extra. The election of Kerry would result in the replacement of Bush by a hyperbolic version of Bush. The members of the B+BB movement would be confronted by their worst political nightmare, a self-inflicted wound brought about by an obduracy to abandon a candidate who was openly mocking them. Moreover, a sad capitulation to the self-fulfilling prophecy as dictated by Corporate USA is underway....(full article)

Who Are the Progressives in Iraq? The Left, the Right, and the Islamists

by Frank Smyth

Many American leftists seem to know little about their Iraqi counterparts, since understanding the role of the Iraqi left requires a nuanced approach. Unfortunately the knee-jerk, anti-imperialist analysis of groups like International A.N.S.W.E.R. has wormed its way into several progressive outlets. Dispatches and columns in The Nation as well as reports and commentary on the independently syndicated radio program "Democracy Now" have all but ignored the role of Iraqi progressives while highlighting, if not championing, the various factions of the Iraqi-based resistance against the U.S.-led occupation without bothering to ask who these groups are and what they represent for Iraqis....(full article)

How to Avoid Becoming an Anti-American
by M. Junaid Alam

A specter is haunting America – the specter of anti-Americanism. All the powers of patriotic America have entered into a corporate alliance to exorcise this specter: draft-deferrers and women-gropers, grammar-challenged and duel-challengers, oil diggers and grave diggers. It is the duty of all upstanding American citizens to fully understand and identify the leading symptoms of anti-Americanism, so that our homes, homeless shelters, reading chambers, torture chambers, chocolate refineries, weapons factories, and places of worship, such as churches, temples, and Wall Street, are completely free from the poison of anti-war sentiment. The patriotic American must save both himself and others from becoming an anti-American American by learning to be an active, honorable, anti-anti-American American. It is with this pressing obligation in mind that the following signs of anti-Americanism have been compiled and exposed....(full article)

Spinning The Vietnam War: What Goes Around Comes Around
by Harold Williamson

In her Sept. 19 column in the Financial Times, "A new spin on Vietnam," conservative columnist Amity Shlaes observes that the idea is gradually taking hold with many Americans that the U.S. should bring democracy to "troubled places," and that a "moral campaign" (meaning "war") can be a "noble cause."  She notes that,  "The clearest signs that attitudes are changing are coming out  in the presidential campaign.  Everyone expected that the experience of Vietnam would influence the discussion of Iraq policy.  Instead it is turning out to be the other way around." It seems that the failed policies of the Vietnam War era are being perceived in a different light following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the success of the Persian Gulf war in 1991, and the restoration of democracy in Yugoslavia with the demise of Slobodan Milosevic.  Now the thinking is that perhaps the "fight for freedom" was a worthy cause after all, especially if the U.S. can win.  And the historical fictions that were widely perpetrated by the corporate media during the recent lionization of Ronald Reagan served to spur this "patriotic" fervor in the minds of a new generation of young Americans who weren't yet born when Saigon fell....(full article)

None Dare Call Them Neo-cons

by Ahmed Amr

Where have all the neo-cons gone? They’re not visible anymore. It appears they have successfully maneuvered to avoid further detection by launching a preemptive attack against those still tracking their distinctive footprints on America’s disastrous foreign policy. In a frontal assault on their detractors, they have now taken to smearing their adversaries as anti-Semites while regrouping as a new political force under a new banner. They now insist on being called “conservative ideologues” and “Republican hawks.”  None dare call them neo-cons....(full article)

Pass the Smelling Salts: Eric Alterman is Out Cold
by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

Eric Alterman, as many of you know, is a drowsy-smarmy pundit-weasel -- a Bill O'Reilly for confused liberals. If he is not on the cable news networks whining about his meager book sales, or boasting of his Stanford Ph.D., you can find this obnoxious wonk in the pages of The Nation, usually with bi-weekly attacks on Ralph Nader. Recently, in an article for the aforementioned magazine of the bourgeois Morningside Heights liberal elite, Alterman, probably a bit distressed about his candidate's inability to pull his act together, went so far as to call Nader an “idiot.”  Alterman snarls at Nader for refusing to accept any responsibility for the horrors of the Bush Administration. Alterman, like a thumb sucking brat, is still grasping on tightly (and desperately) to the notion that Nader stole the 2000 election from the clutches of Al Gore and the pathetic Democrats. In Alterman's universe, it is all Nader's fault. Forget that hundreds of thousands of registered Democrats voted for Bush. That was Nader's doing. Not the Democrats. Forget that virtually every leading Democrat supported Bush’s war, forest plan, tax cuts, Patriot Act, Homeland Security bill, $87 billion occupation handout, and prescription drug bill. It’s that damn Nader. All Nader. Always Nader! Not the Democrats. Never them....
(full article)

Haiti and the Kerry Campaign
by Ben Terrall

The hundreds killed this week by tropical storm Jeanne provided Haiti another brief appearance in the U.S. media, but with little context or discussion of the murderous regime now in power. Nor did any reporter point out that when U.S.-backed Prime Minister Gerard Latortue said, “We don’t know how many dead there are. 2004 has been a terrible year,” he wasn’t referring to death squads his coup administration unleashed. Haiti provides one of the clearest opportunities John Kerry has to distinguish himself from George W. Bush. Unlike the ill-advised pro-war corner he has painted himself into on Iraq, Kerry never supported the International Republican Institute-orchestrated February 29, 2004 coup that drove President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office. In fact, Kerry provided one of the more perceptive comments about Haiti policy, saying the Bush Administration has “a theological and an ideological hatred for Aristide.”....(full article)

An Interview with Anthony Fenton on Haiti
by Derrick O'Keefe

We hear so little about Haiti in the mainstream media. Most networks don't even have correspondents there right now. Anthony Fenton recently returned from a trip to Haiti. Derrick O'Keefe of Seven Oaks magazine interview Fenton about the situation on the ground there....(full article)

Fear Mongering 101: Progressives Hit the Road for Kerry
by Joshua Frank

Remember in the waning days of the 2000 election when the Democrats bussed around Gloria Steinem to dispense fear that George W. Bush would overturn Roe v. Wade if elected?  I do. In fact she came to Portland State University in Oregon, where I was a student, to convince us Green Party members that our support for Ralph Nader would surely cost Al Gore the election. It didn’t of course. Gore ended up winning the Beaver State. However, Steinem, in her livid style, yapped for an hour about Bush’s Supreme Court appointments. She claimed that back alley abortion clinics would surely spring back in to business if Gore didn’t win.“We must wait until 2004 to challenge the Democrats,” she gasped. “Not now, it is too grave a risk.” Fast forward to 2004. Steinem may not be on the swing-state trail trumping for John Kerry. . . . yet. Perhaps soon, as the Democrats grow more and more weary of their flip-flopping, “I’d vote for the war again ... I am against it now,” candidate. Or maybe she won’t have to, for a few well-known progressives have stepped up to take her place as Democratic fear monger....(full article)

Soviets “R” US
by Zbignew Zingh

There is a popular perception among Americans -- a perception nurtured by our culture conformity machines -- that the Cold War was worth the effort, and that the outcome was a foregone conclusion because “we” had the superior political, economic and social systems and “they” had inferior ones. That is, so goes the popular wisdom, “we” are still here as the Cold War victors, and “they”, the Soviet losers, have disappeared. However, although the Soviet Union is truly gone, has not its DNA gotten into us? (full article)

The “Hottest Place In Hell”
by Philip A. Farruggio

Dante wrote that the “hottest place in Hell is reserved for those, who in time of crisis, remain neutral.” One would ascertain that our America, circa 2001-present, is without a doubt in a terrible time of crisis. Many who know me consistently state how much of a “doom and gloomer” I have become these past four years. Mea culpa. As history, hopefully the “revisionless” kind, looks back at our nation throughout this dawn of the new century, gloom has in fact taken center stage. One can now imagine what transpired in Salem Massachusetts when a cult of overzealous “so called Christians” held sway. More recent in our history, we know, from historical and eyewitness accounts, just how comprehensive was the propaganda of Goebbels and Co. To ponder how that many Germans, rich in such political diversity, could just stand there as the brownshirts and swastikas took control of everything certainly boggles the mind. Yet, look no further than two decades later, when America was held hostage by “witch hunts” and “red baiting”. This climate of irrational aggressive thought was precursor to the fallout shelters and shouts of  “kill a commie for Christ” during the early ‘60s. James Bamford, in his fine work Body of Secrets, states how US Intelligence knew, from the successful use of U2 flights, just how “weaker militarily” the Soviets were to us (hear that Dick Cheney?). John Kerry certainly is not the solution to our “crisis of priorities” -- he is, however, the answer....(full article)

Osama bin Laden vs. Pat Tillman
by Mickey Z.

Odd juxtapositions and musings, regarding waging perpetual war on a tactic....(full article)

The Stupid White Man Quiz: Elites Say the Darnedest Things...
by Mickey Z.

The rules are simple. I provide a quote and you guess which Stupid White Man (or wannabe) is responsible....(full quiz)

Protesters Counter Sacramento Appearance by Rudy Giuliani, Bill O’Reilly
by Dan Bacher

Over 500 protesters “welcomed” Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and stalwart Bushite, and Bill O’Reilly, the notoriously offensive right wing host of FOX TV’s O’Reilly Factor, to the Sacramento Convention Center on the morning of Friday, September 24. The event, sponsored by the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, featured one token liberal, Molly Ivins. Over its 10 years, Perspectives has featured some of the most vile representatives of the corporate and political power elite in the country, including Henry Kissinger, the world’s number one living war criminal. Christine Craft, host of the “Power Hour” on 1240 AM, the local Air America Affiliate, organized the demonstration. “It was the first demonstration I’ve participated in since college,” said Craft. “I decided to organize it after Rudy Giuliani compared George W. Bush to Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. I felt the message that Giuliani was putting out needed to be countered.” Craft was even more outraged when a reporter uncovered how Giuliani, in a corrupt deal that he profited from, forced the New York Fire Department to buy defective Motorola radios. The deal ultimately resulted in the needless deaths of 125 firemen in the Twin Towers on 9-11 because they were unable to communicate with headquarters and one another....(full article)

September 22-24

What’s Holding America Back?
Labor Gets no Love from Bush

by Michelle Chen

Recently, America’s workers went back to work after a weekend of celebrating their contribution to society. Upon returning to their cubicles, counters, stalls and stations, these millions might have felt a bit strange, like things have changed. No wonder. Thanks to subtle tweaks in national labor laws—part of Bush’s plan for economic growth—Americans now indeed find their jobs growing: that is, working more hours and getting nothing in return. For the rest of the workforce who don’t have jobs, it just got a little tougher to find one, and the weeks of scanning job boards and biting nails just got a little more frustrating. But whatever your work situation, rest assured that your president has taken great pains to rearrange your future, because, as he boasted in his convention speech, “I believe in the energy and innovative spirit of America's workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and ranchers … our economy is growing again, and creating jobs, and nothing will hold us back.” So if you felt a little funny when you got back to work after Labor Day—well, that’s the feeling of a new era of prosperity....(full article)

Bush's Ownership Society: No Taxes for Owners, Only for Workers
by Mark Weisbrot

"When you hear them say, tax the rich, be careful," warned George W. Bush in a speech on Thursday. "The rich hire lawyers and accountants for a reason, because they don't want to pay. And you get stuck with the tab. But we're not going to let him stick you with the tab." Well he ought to know about hiring lawyers and accountants. But the rest is pure deception. In fact, the problem is the opposite of what Bush asserts. It is that his tax cuts that are shifting more of the burden of taxes to middle-class and working-class households....(full article)

The Rapture Racket
What if the Book of Revelation doesn’t mandate death,
destruction and the annihilation of all but true believers?

by Bill Berkowitz

“The rapture is a racket,” writes Barbara R. Rossing in the first sentence of her recently published book The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (Westview Press, 2004). Rossing, a New Testament scholar and an associate professor at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, maintains that the Rapture is a fraud of monumental proportions, as well as a disturbing way to instill fear in people. “Whether prescribing a violent script for Israel or survivalism in the United States, this theology distorts God's vision for the world,” Rossing writes. “In place of healing, the Rapture proclaims escape. In place of Jesus' blessing of peacemaking, the Rapture voyeuristically glorifies violence and war. [...] This theology is not biblical. We are not Raptured off the earth, nor is God. No, God has come to live in the world through Jesus. God created the world, God loves the world, and God will never leave the world behind!” What if the Book of Revelation doesn’t spell doom and gloom? What if it doesn’t mandate the death, destruction and annihilation of all but true believers? What will Rapture-mongers do? (full article)

Pass the Ammunition!
by Peter Kurth

Bush doesn’t want you to think about war in any actual or contemporary sense – let’s say, the two “successes” now catastrophically raging in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Dubya wants you to think that both of these operations are going awfully well, that “the Iraqis are defying the dire predictions of a lot of people by moving toward democracy,” as he told New Hampshire’s Manchester Union Leader in a telephone interview, and that “freedom is on the march,” as he says in every stump speech he makes.  But anyone with even half an eye open knows it isn’t true.  Even Republican lawmakers have begun to question Bush’s sanity....(full article)

So Far, You Can Fool Most of the People Most of the Time

by Ivan Eland

Despite all of the death and mayhem in Iraq and counterproductive results in the war on terror, the ever-chipper President Bush soldiers on with upbeat assessments of those efforts in campaign appearances. And the ever-gullible American voter is apparently willing to believe him. Just as it is “unpatriotic” these days to criticize the U.S. military during a war, it is equally politically incorrect to criticize the pitifully uninformed American public. To ingratiate themselves with voters, politicians usually crow about the “inherent wisdom of the American people.” But that wisdom is sorely lacking on national security issues....(full article)

Patterns of Media Bias and its Consequences

by Paul de Rooij

Greg Philo and Mike Berry, researchers at the Glasgow University Media Group, have written an important study about the news media coverage of the Middle East.  Bad News from Israel will have wide ranging repercussions at a time when many people question the interrelationship of the media and political forces, the media’s dulled critical edge and its role in trumpeting recent wars.  The key conclusion of the book is that a public exposed to current day news coverage will be poorly informed on the important issues of the day, and such ignorance often has stark consequences....(full article)

by Zbignew Zingh

After four years, BushMart is going out of business! Everything MUST GO by November 3rd because we have LOST OUR LEASE and NEW MANAGEMENT IS TAKING OVER! Here are just some of our in-stock items that we are selling at once-in-a-lifetime clearance prices:

First Strike Brand Safety Matches. These matches strike first time, every time anywhere around the globe. You don't even need a reason - just use your First Strike Brand matches to start a regional conflagration wherever the mood strikes you. Great for starting Neocon Bar-B-Q fires at Middle Eastern cook-outs, and in France....(full article)

Defending Dan? Rather Not
The Failure of Mainstream Media

by Jack Random

The buzzards are circling, the scent of fresh kill wafts through the newsrooms, trickles down and spreads, engulfing talk radio and sweeping through the internet. The sharks are poised and the operatives sharpen their daggers. Dan Rather, the logical successor to Walter Cronkite at the vanguard of American journalism, is down and bleeding. Move in for a close up. Shall we rise in defense of Dan Rather? Sorry, Dan, rather not....
(full article)

How to Win Enemies and Influence People: Ralph Nader’s
Campaign Victories—A Mid-Campaign Assessment (First in a Series)

by Greg Bates

On September 14, 2004, nearly 80 leaders out of 113 who backed Nader in 2000 signed a petition urging people to vote for John Kerry. Many are luminaries of the left—Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Susan Sarandon, Studs Terkel and many others. But contrary to initial appearances, I believe this signals a major coup for Nader. His efforts may be losing him some friends, but a close analysis of this petition shows how he is nonetheless altering the political landscape for the better. The petition reads: “We, the undersigned, were selected by Ralph Nader to be members of his 113-person national "Nader 2000 Citizens Committee." This year, we urge support for Kerry/Edwards in all swing states, even while we strongly disagree with Kerry's policies on Iraq and other issues. For people seeking progressive social change in the United States, removing George W. Bush from office should be the top priority in the 2004 presidential election. Progressive votes for John Kerry in swing states may prove decisive in attaining this vital goal.”Calling this a Nader victory reminds me of that joke about the Marxist facing the firing squad. As the marksmen took aim, his last words were “This is just a momentary setback for the revo—”. How could such a devastating abandonment of Nader’s efforts be seen as his victory? (full article)

Access of Evil? Ralph’s Right Stuff: The Politics of
Nader’s Republican Support
(Second in a Series)

by Greg Bates

What a zoo. Republicans who oppose Nader’s principles and platform have sued to get Nader on the ballot in the key swing state of Michigan. And Nader’s Republican support is a national phenomenon concentrated in swing states. Their goal is to split liberal voters from Kerry and, so the logic goes, swing the election to Bush. Meanwhile, progressives who agree with Nader’s principles and platform, and who think he would make a wonderful president, have denounced him for not rejecting his Republican support strongly enough. I argue that the best stance is to welcome the Republican support with open arms....(full article)

Kerry and Progressive Party Building

by Ted Glick

Peter Camejo was the first one I heard put it out, back in April: "Kerry will do what Bush wants to do better." In other words, Kerry and the Democrats are the greater evil, not the Republicans which, followed to its logical conclusion, means that Camejo hopes that Bush/Cheney will win re-election....It reminds me of the old socialist saying, "Left in form, right in essence." I don't support John Kerry and never have. The main difference between his plan for dealing with Iraq, put forward Monday, and Bush/Cheney's is that he wants to bring in other countries to help do the job of creating a U.S.-friendly Iraqi government. Neither of them want to see genuine Iraqi self-determination and sovereignty. In that surface respect there's a grain of truth to what Camejo and some others are saying and writing. But a recognition that both Bush and Kerry are about maintenance of the Empire ignores a number of very real differences on policy between them: on civil rights, on abortion rights, on global warming and the environment, on worker rights, the Bush tax cuts, etc. Although they are both "corporatists and militarists," in the words of David Cobb, there are concrete differences that cannot be swept away by purist ideological arguments....(full article)

“If You Harbor Terrorists, You Are a Terrorist”

by William Marina

While delegates to the GOP convention were congratulating themselves for their candidate’s tough stand against terrorism, the Bush administration was creating an international incident—little publicized in the United States—by harboring a notorious group of international terrorists on U.S. soil....
(full article)

September 20-21

Bush’s Hollow Iraq Narrative

by Bill Berkowitz

As US deaths mount, and a new intelligence report details a disastrous future, Team Bush sticks with its story -- and the American people keep buying it....(full article)

The Great Betrayal
by Kim Petersen

Kim Petersen on betrayal and the double standards in America's occupation of Iraq: After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the US government mobilized against what it thought was a possible fifth column. Over 100,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans were interned away from the Pacific coast in remote camps. The US government subsequently apologized four decades later and paid reparations. The Canadian government’s internment of its ethnic Japanese population was harsher than the US case. It also took many years for an official Canadian apology and reparations. The allies denounced and dealt harshly with traitors and what they considered to be potential traitors in WWII. Occupation was anathema and the heroic resistance was lauded. Why then is the terminology of former WWII allies reversed in Iraq? Occupation is legitimate and resistance is terrorism? Collaboration is exemplary? (full article)

The Resort to Force
by Noam Chomsky
Introduction by Tom Engelhardt

As Colin Powell explained the National Security Strategy (NSS) of September 2002 to a hostile audience at the World Economic Forum, Washington has a "sovereign right to use force to defend ourselves'' from nations that possess WMD and cooperate with terrorists, the official pretexts for invading Iraq. The collapse of the pretexts is well known, but there has been insufficient attention to its most important consequence: the NSS was effectively revised to lower the bars to aggression. The need to establish ties to terror was quietly dropped. More significant, Bush and colleagues declared the right to resort to force even if a country does not have WMD or even programs to develop them. It is sufficient that it have the "intent and ability'' to do so. Just about every country has the ability, and intent is in the eye of the beholder. The official doctrine, then, is that anyone is subject to overwhelming attack. Colin Powell carried the revision even a step further. The president was right to attack Iraq because Saddam not only had "intent and capability'' but had "actually used such horrible weapons against his enemies in Iran and against his own people''-- with continuing support from Powell and his associates, he failed to add, following the usual convention. Condoleezza Rice gave a similar version. With such reasoning as this, who is exempt from attack? Small wonder that, as one Reuters report put it, "if Iraqis ever see Saddam Hussein in the dock, they want his former American allies shackled beside him."....(full article)

The Illegal Iraq Invasion
According to the UN Charter, the U.S. Constitution, Resolution 1441,
and the Nuremberg Charter

by Edward Jayne and Ronald Kramer

The invasion of a single nation by another nation or group of nations is only legal under the UN Charter if such an invasion has been sanctioned by the vote of the UN Security Council.  This did not happen in the case of the recent Iraq invasion, since the United States and Great Britain, led by the U.S. Secretary of State Powell, withdrew on March 17, 2003 their resolution to stage such an invasion from consideration by the UN Security Council when they realized that the majority of its members would vote against it.  Instead, Powell and others insisted that this approval was unnecessary, since UN Resolutions 687 and 1441 (the latter of 8 November 2002) had already granted this right.  However, this is simply not true.  As demonstrated by a close examination of the UN Charter and these particular resolutions, there is no possible interpretation that preempts the need for a final decision by the Security Council.  Because the U.S. and U.K. withdrew their resolution, there could be no decision permitting an invasion.  As a result, the invasion of Iraq was illegal, and those who brought it about can be held responsible for war crimes by an impartial international tribunal, for example the International Criminal Court (ICC)....(full article)

Anti-Empire Report: Coke or Pepsi in 2004?

by William Blum

Is it not peculiar to circulate a statement calling upon people to vote for a particular candidate without giving a single reason why that candidate is worthy of support?  Indeed, the statement is critical of the candidate's position on the most important current issue.  Such is what has been sent out by a group of prominent progressives, who were members of Ralph Nader's 2000 Citizens Committee, urging a vote for John Kerry in swing states, even while they "strongly disagree with Kerry's policies on Iraq and other issues."  That is the entirety of what the statement has to say about Kerry's political positions.  What is the principle here?  Defeating George Bush is not a principle unless he's replaced by someone significantly more progressive.  Is there any reason to believe that Kerry is such a person?  Of course not.  If there were such a reason the signers would have expressed it.  What's that?  You think that "significantly more progressive" is asking too much?  How about moderately more?  A bit more?  Anything-at-all more?  Does your own vote mean anything to you?  Are you willing to give it up for next to nothing?  Your vote may not mean as much to you as a young woman's virginity which she is not willing to surrender except to someone she loves, but it does hold some value for you, does it not? (full article)

Pots and Black Kettles: Powell Utters the G-word
by Paul de Rooij

On September 9, 2004, in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, accused the government of Sudan of genocide as follows: “When we reviewed the evidence compiled by our team, we concluded – I concluded – that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility, and that genocide may still be occurring.” Consider the context of this statement. The US conducted a war of aggression against Iraq, and it has therefore committed a supreme international crime. Therefore, American leaders – including General Powell – “are guilty of having committed the supreme international crime in Iraq.” Furthermore, even while Powell was accusing the Sudanese government, the US military in Iraq were engaged in actions that can only be considered war crimes or worse. So here is General Powell, a mass criminal, accusing the Sudanese government of some retail barbarity. It is not an issue of whether or not such crimes are occurring, but what is revolting is to find Powell sanctimoniously accusing the Sudanese. It is another case of the “pot calling the kettle black.”....(full article)

Pakistan Playing Ball with Bush: Pakistan’s Pervez Musharaf has
become George W. Bush’s go-to-guy in the war on terrorism

by Bill Berkowitz

If Joseph Cofer Black, the U.S. State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, is correct, al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden might be in the hands of U.S. authorities sometime before Election Day, thanks to Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf. Black, emerging from a September 2nd/3rd meeting of the Pakistan-U.S. Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement in Islamabad, Pakistan, told the private Geo television network that bin Laden’s time was clearly running out: “Osama bin Laden is probably the most hunted man in the planet now. Osama bin Laden and his associates at that level are primarily defensive, they spend most of their time trying to keep from getting caught. If he (bin Laden) has a watch, he should be looking at it because the clock is ticking. He will be caught. Programs are in place and what I tell people (is) I would be surprised but not necessarily shocked if we wake up tomorrow and he has been caught along with all his lieutenants.”....(full article)

Anti-Americanism: A Clinical Study
by Bernard Chazelle

Last summer, with France on his mind, the British historian Paul Johnson graced the pages of Forbes Magazine with this trenchant observation: "Anti-Americanism is racist envy." Lest anyone miss the point, the best-selling author quickly rephrased it in more accessible language: "France is not a democracy." His novel insight could hardly be dismissed as mere anti-Frenchism for the simple reason that the word does not exist. In fact, neither does anti-Polishism, anti-Spanishism, or even anti-Vaticanism. (Each one googles in the single digits—the modern definition of nonexistence.) With over 115,000 Google hits, anti-Americanism stands alone: a living testament to US exceptionalism. But what is it, anyway? As so often, ingenuousness is of no help. Indeed, if the word were to connote simple, unadorned hostility toward Americans, wouldn't the enslavement of half the population of the Deep South in the mid-19th century constitute its most perfect embodiment? Slavery, lynchings, miscegenation laws... Truly, can anything be more anti-American? Apparently yes. Google the words anti-Americanism, Jim Crow and you get a paltry 390 hits. Substitute Jacques Chirac for Jim Crow and you rake in a much healthier 5,210 hits. Trade the French president for intellectuals and up you soar to 14,000. Paul Johnson understands: "Anti-Americanism is the prevailing disease of intellectuals today," avers the historian, who, leaving Osama off the hook, proceeds to aim his fire at effete gaggles of Gauloises-puffing café intellectuals. What gives? (full article)

Subterranean Homeland Blues
by Adam Engel

While it is possible that no man in America knows the mind of George Bush better than Mark Crispin Miller, it is probable that no man in America knows the mind of George Bush less than George Bush. Hence, Miller's new book, Cruel and Unusual is not about the cipher known as George Bush per se, but as Freud's case studies (“The Rat man” and “Dora”) used particular individuals living in early 20th century Vienna to expound upon general pathologies they exhibited, Miller exhibits George Bush & Co as exemplars of the sickness that has overtaken early 21st Century America. Individuals live their mortal days and disappear, but lunacy endures....(full article)

Swing-Along-With-Ralph: Nader in the Battleground States
by Joshua Frank

John Kerry may as well drop out of the presidential race, as he is getting brow beat by his stocky opponent, George W. Bush. At least Ralph Nader said as much on Thursday, September 9. "There's no strategy by the Democrats," Nader told a gathering in Ohio. "Bush is mocking him, he's taunting him." Ralph Nader claims that the margin by which Kerry will lose in November will be so large that Nader's candidacy will not be seen as a factor in the outcome....(full article)

Remember When Presidential Campaigns Used to Be About The Issues?
by Jason Leopold

Somewhere in between the furor surrounding those dubious National Guard memos that purportedly show how President Bush shirked his military duties some 30 years ago lies the meat of this ferocious, mud slinging presidential campaign; the policies the candidates are promoting that will shape the lives for a majority of Americans over the next four years. Pundits on both sides of the political spectrum have pontificated, for the most part, that Democratic nominee John Kerry and incumbent George W. Bush are virtually one in the same when it comes to issues such as foreign policy and homeland security and as such Bush is the better candidate because he’s already got the experience running the country. But a closer look at Bush and Kerry’s campaign platforms shows that there’s a striking difference between the two candidates, particularly on issues that affect the working-class....
(full article)

Missing: A Media Focus on the Supreme Court
by Norman Solomon

The big media themes about the 2004 presidential campaign have reveled in vague rhetoric and flimsy controversies. But little attention has focused on a matter of profound importance: Whoever wins the race for the White House will be in a position to slant the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court for decades to come....(full article)

Choosing the Last Man to Die
by Ahmed Amr

We have all been weaned on the belief that Republicans and Democrats have hereditary entitlements to the keys of the White House. Third party candidates are viewed as idealistic serfs just a little premature in seeking emancipation. Reasonable men can agree that elections are messy divisive affairs that sap the nation’s energy, turn brother against brother, increase the divorce rate and interrupt regular programming. Common decency demands that we avoid inflicting the burden of a third party candidate on the American public. After all, it would only serve to confuse them. Because of the wisdom of restricting our choices to two parties with indistinguishable platforms, it is now considered perfectly legitimate for Democratic partisans to focus their energies on sabotaging the emergence of any real alternative. This election season, the Kerry camp is sparing no effort to prevent Nader’s name from appearing on the ballot. Nader’s detractors insist that because he can’t win, he shouldn’t be allowed to run. If one accepts that argument, it follows that Carter should have conceded to Reagan in July and left the Republicans to stage a Soviet style referendum in September. And McGovern should have extended the same courtesy to Nixon in 1972. Anti-Nader smear campaigners now entertain us with a ghastly tale of a demon named Ralph who endangers the nation with an “ego” problem and is nothing but a spoiler. Take a close look. What exactly is left to spoil on the Democratic Party shelves? Are we supposed to drool over one last can of stale worms? (full article)

Chickenhawks and Chickenshits: Why Taking the Leadership of
the Two Major Parties Too Seriously Actually Strengthens Them

José M. Tirado

This election season has turned out to be among the most divisive and derisive in my memory. The name-calling, the blame gaming and the Monday morning quarterbacking have fired up a small but extremely vocal band of progressives determined to righteously stake out the higher rhetorical ground and shout from the mountaintops, “its all your fault!”  And what is most remarkable about the entire affair is the fact that most of this fighting is occurring inside the broad opposition to Bush and directed at other progressives. Every apoplectic diatribe written in defense of St. Ralph or against the limpidly criminal electoral shenanigans of the Reps or Dems only makes us sound like the by-and-largely dismissible cry babies we become when we don’t get the attention we feel we deserve.  We sound like losers, people.  We sound, in fact, minor.  Not minor as in representative of a small faction of our country’s electorate, but minor as in insignificant. And all our infighting, nasty, brutish and short of sight, serves to make us appear even more laughable than we already sound, drawing the contempt of many of our potential supporters who see this and wonder aloud if we even deserve to win.  Every time we are seen as tearing each other apart, the potential for truly progressive movement building dies just a little.  And every rhetorical bullet wasted on divisive tactics leaves the majority of voters disillusioned with real change. But look at their choices....(full article)

Bombs Ahoy: Iraq, From Clinton to Bush

by Joshua Frank

Despite what John Kerry may say along the campaign trail, the Democratic Party is largely to blame for laying the groundwork the Republican hawks needed to justify attacking Iraq and waging Bush’s greater “war on terror.”....(full article)

Tribunal Convenes, Convicts Bush
by Carl Doerner

As part of the backdrop for the Republican National Convention, hundreds from around the country and the world assembled August 26th in Martin Luther King auditorium, adjacent to New York City's Lincoln Center, to witness a People's Iraq War Crimes Tribunal concerning George Bush, Dick Cheney and others of their administration. The event began with numerous afternoon workshops on such issues as the impact of imperialism in various regions of the world, the illegal 37-year Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the current administration's threats to our nation's Constitution. The four-hour evening session consisted of a reading of a 19-charge indictment on war crimes and crimes against humanity, presentation of testimony and evidence, a summation by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and a vote by the many who had assembled for the trial. Many other such "people’s tribunals" are being held throughout the world. The Nuremberg tribunal in the aftermath of World War II, presided over by American Prosecutor Robert Jackson and Judge Francis Biddle, held that any war of aggression be, henceforth, considered a violation of international law. The first, irrefutable charge of which George W. Bush stands guilty is that, like Adolph Hitler, he planned and carried out a war of aggression against Iraq - this being the supreme violation of international law....(full article)

An Interview With Leslie Cagan

by Benjamin Dangl and Andrew Kennis

Leslie Cagan is the national coordinator of the anti-war coalition United For Peace and Justice, ( which has been one of the main organizers of anti-war rallies since before the Iraq war began.  We spoke with her on August 30th, the day after the UFPJ-organized march which drew an estimated 500,000 people to protest the Republican National Convention and the Bush agenda. In the interview she talks about the August 29th UFPJ march, civil disobedience and where the peace movement might be headed if John Kerry is elected this November....(full article)

The Brave Posturing of Armchair Warriors

by Norman Solomon

Soon after the American death toll in Iraq passed the 1,000 mark, I thought of Saadoun Hammadi and some oratory he provided two years ago. At the time, Hammadi was the speaker of Iraq's National Assembly. "The U.S. administration is now speaking war," Hammadi said. "We are not going to turn the other cheek. We are going to fight. Not only our armed forces will fight. Our people will fight." The date was Sept. 14, 2002. The venue was an ornate room inside a grand government building in Baghdad. And the gaunt elderly official was determined to make an impression on the four American visitors. So, with steel in his voice, Hammadi added: "I personally will fight." Looking across the room, I tried to imagine this frail man pointing a rifle at American troops. He sounded awfully brave. And who was to say he wouldn't be on the front lines of Iraqi resistance to the invaders? Yet it was hard to picture him wielding a weapon against the armed forces of the world's only superpower. Overall, Hammadi's prediction that "our people will fight" has come true. A large uprising is underway in Iraq, and not only from diehard Sunni supporters of the fallen regime. The current Shiite resistance is debunking the touted expectations from the White House and the Washington press corps....(full article)

Federation  Issues Preliminary Endorsement of Ralph Nader
"With Enthusiasm," Calls for "Wholesale Destruction" of the
Democratic Party and Creation of an "Independent Left"
(Part Two in a Series on "Exploring Electoral Alternatives")

by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

Delegates to a Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers meeting on the Federation's Electoral Stance have decided to endorse with no dissenting votes Ralph Nader's presidency. Federation members dedicated most of the meeting, however, to trashing John Kerry, opening the presentation by noting that veteran political strategist Kevin Phillips has recently pronounced Kerry's campaign finished. Although the Federation housed many Kerry apologists as early as 3 months ago, any good will towards the feeble Democratic nominee has all but vanished. Some of us have tried hard to play disingenuously for too long, but now We simply cannot endorse a candidate responsible for so many of the past 10 years' squalid deeds, including:....(full communiqué)

A Modest Proposal
by John Chuckman

It would be nice to have a moratorium on discussing the American election, at least until something happens that is worth discussing. Just about everyone, except the candidates, understands that Vietnam - ugly scar on America's conscience that it is - should not be the central subject of the current campaign. Actually, the twisted, degrading treatment Vietnam is receiving should not be the central subject of any discussion taking place outside the walls of a psychiatric hospital. A moratorium, however, is not the proposal of my title, but it's a reasonable starting point. America appears firmly committed to reelecting President Crackhead, so I don't see a lot of point in flogging a dead horse like Kerry. He does strikingly resemble a dead horse, or at least a near-dead one, an old dobbin with no sparkle left in his eye, no prance in his step, and no swish in his tail. It is beyond rational explanation why the Democrats have wasted tens of millions running dobbin against an opponent whose sole merit was his determination to finish a story about goats after planes struck the World Trade Center. Except for that single shining moment of holding a steady course, Bush is an opponent who possesses every shortcoming and vulnerability it is possible to imagine - an inarticulate dope who has spent four years running the United States into the ground and reviving anti-Americanism throughout the world. Can anyone now have the slightest doubt about the overwhelming prevalence of insanity in the country? (full article)

September 15-19

None Dare Call It Murder
by Harold Williamson

A 21-year-old British soldier, Kevin Lee Williams, who served in Iraq as a trooper with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, has been charged by the British government with the crime of murdering a civilian in Iraq.  This charge is the first of its kind to be leveled against a British soldier for allegedly killing a civilian in Iraq. Trooper Williams stands accused of shooting Hassan Said in August of last year while arresting him in the town of ad-Dayr in southeastern Iraq, but little has been made public about the incident....
(full article)

A Desertion of Common Sense
by Kim Petersen

Why is it so difficult for Bush to once-and-for-all put to rest the dogged (and what should be presidential-ambition-terminating) accusations that he didn’t complete his National Guard duty and even worse, that he deserted his post? (full article)

Too Many Cameras and Not Enough Truth: John Kerry Dodges the Press

by Joshua Frank

Democratic Presidential nominee John F. Kerry seems to be evading any confrontation with the media. According to journalists who have been tracking Kerry along the campaign trail, the senator has not held a formal press conference since August 9, some two weeks before the last time President Bush met with the press. When Israel ended a six-month lull in violence by striking a suspected Hamas training camp in Gaza and killing 14 with a US-built Apache helicopter in response to the September 2 suicide bombings, Kerry did not take one question. Nor did he speak with the press core when Israeli occupation forces destroyed two large apartment buildings south of Gaza in Khan Younis, leaving nearly one-hundred Palestinians homeless. But perhaps Kerry’s most appalling act of silence came on September 7 when the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq reached 1,000 and Kerry declined to chat with the media....Kerry is seeking the position of the nation’s top public servant, yet he will not step behind a microphone unless the script from which he reads is pre-fabricated. Much like Al Gore in 2000, Kerry, we’re quickly discovering, is wholly uninspired, dull, and brash. His platform and campaign, manufactured by his party’s elites, is a sure loser....(full article)

“Hijacking Catastrophe” Fills a Void Left by Journalists’ Failures

by Robert Jensen

I’m a former full-time journalist turned journalism professor. I continue to commit occasional acts of journalism, and I retain a deep affection for, and commitment to, the craft and its ideals. That’s why it pains me to say this: The performance of the U.S. corporate commercial news media after 9/11 has been the most profound and dangerous failure of journalism in my lifetime. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the void is being filled by other institutions, including the Media Education Foundation with its new documentary, “Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire.”....(full article)

The Hijacking of 9/11: September 11 is not a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Bush Administration

by Bill Berkowitz

For all Americans, life itself changed on 9/11. For those who lost loved ones, that day will never fade into memory. But, as any good spinmeister understands, perception can easily become reality. While everything was changing for all Americans, Republicans saw an opening and seized it. They tried to make 9/11 their own....(full article)

When the Rabbits Get a Gun
by William Rivers Pitt

This is the comforting fiction: Osama bin Laden is a monster who sprang whole from the fetid mire. He had no childhood, no influences, no education, no experiences to form his view of the world. He did not exist, and then he did, a vessel into which the universe poured the essence of evil. It is a simple, straightforward story of a man who hates freedom and kills for the pure joy of feeling innocent blood drip from his fingers. This is the fairy tale by which children are put to bed at night. As frightening and terrifying as bin Laden may be, it is a comfort to imagine him as having been chiseled from the dust. The fiction of his existence, absent of detail, makes him unique, a singular entity not to be replicated. Osama bin Laden becomes truly scary only when the actual context of his life is made clear, where he is from, what he has seen, and why those things motivated him to do what he does....(full article)

Imperialist War Against Terrorism & Revolution in the Philippines
by E. San Juan, Jr.

When U.S. occupation troops in Iraq continued to suffer casualties every day after the war officially ended, academics and journalists began in haste to supply capsule histories comparing their situation with those of troops in the Philippines during the Filipino-American War (1899-1902). A New York Times essay summed up the lesson in its title, "In 1901 Philippines, Peace Cost More Lives Than Were Lost in War" (2 July 2003, B1)), while an article in the Los Angeles Times contrasted the simplicity of McKinley's "easy" goal of annexation (though at the cost of 4,234 U.S. soldiers killed and 3,000 wounded) with George W. Bush's ambition to "create a new working democracy as soon as possible" (20 July 2003, M2). Reviewing the past is instructive, of course, but we should always place it in the context of present circumstances in the Philippines and in the international arena. What is the real connection between the Philippines and the current U.S. war against terrorism? (full article)

Racist Democratic Empire and Atrocity Denial:
"Kerry Was Defending Our Country"

by Paul Street

I can't take it anymore -- the racist warmongering about Vietnam paraded by Democrats in the all-too predictable absence of any willingness on their part to advance a serious peace and justice alternative to the Bush cabal. Here is a lovely, damning quote from Don Plusquellic, the presumably Democratic Mayor of Akron, Ohio, in last Sunday's New York Times: "The simple truth is John Kerry was in Vietnam. George Bush was hiding in the woods in Alabama and John Kerry was defending our country. That's the truth."  "Defending our country," in SOUTH Vietnam, from what, dear Mayor? From the determination of the Vietnamese people North and South to expel an imperialist invader and create a measure of national independence and social justice that US foreign policy makers found inconsistent with their vision of U.S. global domination and the subordinate integrated role the Third World was assigned in that vision. Yes if John Kerry and others hadn't been butchering South Vietnamese teenagers, shooting up South Vietnamese villages and fishing boats (and the people inside those homes and vessels) and ferrying Operation Phoenix death squad operatives from one US-terrorized Vietnamese village to another, then we cringing Americans of the 1960s would have been overrun by barbarian hordes swelling across the Pacific to overtake the glorious American Way of Life....(full article)

Breaking the Impasse
by Am Johal

A friend once remarked that human rights is too important a matter to be left to politics. But the Left is dead in Israel.  And if you hold to the observation that social change related to human rights in Israel will be initiated by the Left, this is a worrisome trend. In the land of home demolitions, military assassinations, movement restrictions, settlement construction, religious and secular strife, collective punishment, military incursions and legal and socio-economic discrimination, and all the psychological and physical damage associated with the Occupation there is a growing chorus of those who believe that the situation will deteriorate before it gets better....(full article)

The Likudization of the World: The True Legacy of September 11
by Naomi Klein

Common wisdom has it that after September 11, a new era of geo-politics was ushered in, defined by what is usually called “the Bush Doctrine”: pre-emptive wars, attacks on “terrorist infrastructure” (read: entire countries), an insistence that all the enemy understands is force. In fact it would be more accurate to call this rigid world-view “The Likud Doctrine.” What happened on September 11 2001 is that the Likud Doctrine, previously targeted against Palestinians, was picked up by the most powerful nation on Earth and applied on a global scale. Call it the Likudization of the world, the real legacy of 9/11....(full article)

Protesting the Wall at Ar-Ram
by Yigal Bronner

With all the excitement and tension most of us Israeli activists did not notice that the place we met our buses following the Ar-Ram rally also serves as another kind of a meeting place. Parents come there from nearby Beit Hanina to wait for their children who are returning home from schools in Ar-Ram. Soon, however, these parents and their children will not frequent the roads leading to and from Ar-Ram. Soon, the meeting place will no longer exist. A wall, seven meters high, is disconnecting Beit Hanina from Ar-Ram, cutting-off the various educational institutions from the pupils. The children will be left on one side of the wall, their schools on the other. Perhaps a bit more information is in order. Ar-Ram is an important Palestinian center. It is the commercial and educational heart of Jerusalem's northern metropolitan area. This 60,000 strong community hosts dozens of schools and has a student population of 20,000. Thirty percent of the students, 6,000 children of all ages, come from other towns and villages in order to receive their education in Ar-Ram. The school year of these 6,000 children who returned to classes on September 1 will soon come to an abrupt end. Moreover, 95 percent of the teachers in Ar-Ram live outside the neighborhood; so once the wall is completed, they to will not have access to the schools. It is not so hard to understand what will be the future of the remaining schools in Ar-Ram: Chaos....(full article)

Resistance and Survival: The Case of Education and Free Software

by toni solo

In one sense what happens in the centers of power is irrelevant. People will take decisions about their lives regardless of what imperial front men like George Bush or any of the other representatives of the global plutocracy say or do. Marginalized rural workers tend not to look over their shoulder and whisper to each other "Golly, but what will Mr. Bush think....?" before they occupy unused land so as to grow food for their families. The same is true for any people dismissed and abandoned in their own countries. As often as not, survival may impose apparent inertia on the impoverished majority. That suits the purposes of empire just fine. However, when people do act, it is not just for effect, but to redeem their humanity and survive as whole as they can. People do what they think is best for their own situation....
(full article)

“If You See Something, Say Something”: Paranoia Rides the IRT

by Mickey Z.

There’s a new sign plastered all over the NYC subway: “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.” It goes on to read: “If you see a suspicious package or activity on the platform or train, don’t keep it to the Terrorism Hotline at 1-888-NYC-Safe.” IF I see suspicious activity on the platform or train? What do they mean “if”? This is the goddamned New York City subway: The subterranean tunnels of transportation voted most likely to host a felony. As Lou Reed droned, “You got a black .38 and a gravity knife; you still have to ride the train.” However, being that the world has changed forever after 9/11, I knew I had to change my attitude, buckle down, and do my part. After all, if I saw something without saying something, the terrorists would win, wouldn’t they? (full article)

“A Descending Spiral Ending in Destruction for All-Too Many”
by Paul Street

I got the following interesting response to my 9/11 retrospective piece that went up a few days ago and is still on the ZNet top page.  The author is a European currently living in NYC:  "Dear Street, Your article on 911 is entirely correct. I am a European living in New York and often get reactions from friends and family from around the world. The 911 attack must be understood from the horrible torture of never being heard.  The victims of America feel like Kafka’s protagonists, being opposed by a stone wall of non-comprehension and brute violence.  That explains the 911 attack. It is a psychological breach into the monolith that is America. The oppressed feel that no other means are ever available to them and if despite obvious warnings, America elects Bush in November, the pure necessity of survival will drive more and more of the world population to seek redress in acts such as 911 and place trust in such as Bin Laden because he had the means and the support to deal a resounding blow to this country. In solidarity, XXX" The writer’s comment about the “horrible torture of never being heard” reminded me of something Martin Luther King, Jr. said in a speech he gave in 1967....(full article)

Leaked White House Transcript:
"Damn! That's sure bad luck for John Kerry!" 

by Lee Waters

(satire) Leaked transcript of Bush cabinet meeting on John Kerry smear campaign....(full article)

September 9-14

The Warlords of America
by John Pilger

Most of the US's recent wars were launched by Democratic presidents. Why expect better of Kerry? The debate between US liberals and conservatives is a fake; Bush may be the lesser evil. On May 6, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution which, in effect, authorized a “pre-emptive” attack on Iran. The vote was 376-3. Undeterred by the accelerating disaster in Iraq, Republicans and Democrats, wrote one commentator, “once again joined hands to assert the responsibilities of American power.” The joining of hands across America's illusory political divide has a long history. The native Americans were slaughtered, the Philippines laid to waste and Cuba and much of Latin America brought to heel with “bipartisan” backing. Wading through the blood, a new breed of popular historian, the journalist in the pay of rich newspaper owners, spun the heroic myths of a supersect called Americanism, which advertising and public relations in the 20th century formalized as an ideology, embracing both conservatism and liberalism....(full article)

The Grinch That Stole Labor Day

by Greg Palast

In celebration of the working person's holiday, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has announced the Bush Administration's plan to end the 60-year-old law which requires employers to pay time-and-a-half for overtime. I'm sure you already knew that -- if you happened to have run across page 15,576 of last year's Federal Register. According to the Register, where the Bush Administration likes to place its little gifts to major campaign donors, 2.7 million workers will lose their overtime pay for a "benefit" of $1.53 billion. I put "benefit" in quotes because, in the official cost-benefit analysis issued by Bush's Labor Department, the amount employers will now be able to slice out of workers' pockets is tallied on the plus side of the rules change....
(full article)

Colored White
by Seth Sandronsky

Seth Sandronsky reviews David Roediger's book Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past. Roediger's essays cover a wide range of topics, from labor history to popular culture. In Roediger’s words, “The essays seek to place race in dialectical relationship to factors such as class, ethnicity, gender, age and sexuality in the belief that doing so enhances our understanding of the pervasive presence of race in the United States.” His special focus is on the causes and consequences of white racial identity under American capitalism. Roediger skillfully uses dialectics, the study of change, to develop, persuasively, the powerful idea of whiteness in the context of white racial domination. For Roediger, American whites have been and are active agents in accepting and perpetuating racism. They are not just dupes of a power elite who use skin color to divide and conquer America’s working class. This is not an academic debating point....(full article)

Revolutionize the Boot Stamping News Media!
A review of Orwell Rolls in His Grave, a Robert Kane Pappas documentary

by Chuck Richardson

Bob Dylan’s right. The pump don’t work cause the vandals took the handle. That was 40 years ago, but it’s still a contemporary analogy. The “pump” is democracy, the “vandals” are corporations, and “handle,” of course, is the free press. Robert Kane Pappas, director of Orwell Rolls in His Grave, could have used that metaphor in his documentary, if he wished, but didn’t need to.  Instead, by mapping how the mainstream news media distort reality by projecting what’s important to their corporate owners, Pappas reveals that American culture has become a world of Orwellian doublespeak in which Big Brother is the political-corporate elite....(full article)

On Civil Liberties Myopia
by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers issued the following statement on what it called a "counter-productive, Bush-centered view on the emerging military-police state" that pervades mainstream and left establishment writing on the topic: "Some people apparently think awful incursions on Americans' civil liberties began after 9/11 and that things were paradise beforehand during the reign of Clinton the Beloved. The Federation, as usual, has no choice but to inject integrity into the foul deluded minds of liberal rot....(full communique)

Current Campaign Comedy, Sept. 4, 2004: Bush-Speak, a Primer

by Mikel Weisser

If you caught the finale of the Republican Convention last week, you saw George Bush lay out his agenda with force and clarity. He held forth for almost an hour and when he was done I knew exactly what he had on his mind. The audience ate it up. Bush threw out applause lines with the frequency and perversity of a 4 year old who’s just learned that stepping on the mat at the grocery store swings the door open. “Tax cuts” Applause. “War on Terror.” Applause. “No Child Left Behind.” Applause. “Kerry flip-flopper.” Applause, etc., with every standing ovation punctuated by the president’s sly grin and wink. There he was, the glorious GOP candidate, swimming in a sea of deliriously happy, nearly uniformly, White people wearing flag splattered clothes, topped with confetti, smothered in balloons. Singing, swaying, dancing, but most of all applauding and chanting they seemed so happy that, you couldn’t help but wonder: What’s wrong with those people? Didn’t they hear what he said in the speech? (full article)

A Brief Look at Cuba's Hardship
by Greg Rosenthal

A U.S. imposed blockade, almost as old as Cuba’s revolution, remains one of Cuba’s greatest obstacles to the full realization of self-determination and their revolutionary goals. The 45-year-old blockade has had extremely debilitating effects on the Cuban population. In the most recent aggression against Cuba, the Bush Administration has tightened the blockade, indiscriminately increasing the suffering of an entire population....(full article)

Racist Discourse in Hostage Butchery in Iraq

by Ramzy Baroud

I would've suggested a "hint of subtle racism" and "unconcealed bias" in the Chicago Sun-Times' article, "Arabs express rare outrage at kidnapping of French journalists." (Sep. 1) But I didn't, for the article's assessment was disturbingly true. The fate of the two French journalists in Iraq has garnered attention, sympathy and outrage even, among ordinary Arabs and Muslims -- let alone worldwide condemnation. It all makes sense, considering the perception that Paris commands a much more balanced foreign policy in the Middle East compared to that of London and especially Washington. Marches and sit-ins were reported in various cities around the world, led by members of Arab and Muslim communities. Arab and non-Arab intellectuals lined up to express solidarity with the hostages and the French people via every sort of media available. A Kuwaiti journalist, reported Radio Mont Carlo, offered to swap himself in exchange with the freedom of Christian Chesnot and George Malbrunot, abducted by militants of the 'Islam Army of Iraq' while on their way to Najaf coming from Baghdad....(full article)

Arbeit Mach Frei
by Adam Engel

One of the Dukes of NYC, either Giuliani or Bloomberg, said a few days ago something to the effect that those who forget George Bush are doomed to repeat him. No, no, it was those who DON'T VOTE FOR BUSH are willfully forgetting the heroes of 9/11.  Look at me, I forgot whose quote I'm paraphrasing. Actually, I just have difficulty telling the two apart.  I know that both are furiously against smoking, though one, Giuliani I think, thinks it's okay as long as you're smoking a cigar in his friend's chic bar and the other one, Bloomberg I think, believes all smoking should be banned except for Marijuana and only if the pot is smoked by him. The rest of us clowns get a fine or jail-time, depending on the size of our stash.  Regardless of who impugned the jingoism of anyone who happens to willfully forget to vote for Bush, I'm pretty sure they're on the same page in terms of being willing to remember.  After all, forgetting George Bush is like forgetting the WTC tragedy because Bush and Terrorism have become synonymous. So closely linked with the events of 9/11 is our unelected Commandant in Chief, that SOME people believe he knew more about the attacks that MOST would want to believe.  SOME people believe George Bush created heroes, or at least knew they'd be created, in advance of their brief, fiery heroism and horrific deaths.  I was almost a hero, once. Almost....(full article)

Medea Benjamin Comes Clean: But David Cobb is Still Dirty

by Joshua Frank

Following a critical article of the inter-workings of the Pacific Green Party in Oregon titled, “The Green Party Unravels from Within”, a suspect rumor was brought to light. After talking to a dozen or so pro-Nader delegates that attended the Green Party Convention in Wisconsin last July, virtually all of them came forward with a similar belief; that the founding director of Code Pink and Global Exchange, Medea Benjamin, funded California delegates to attend the event and support the nomination of David Cobb. The money was rumored to have come from George Soros, the billionaire tycoon who has deep ties to the Democratic Party, and hates Ralph Nader with a visceral fury. Benjamin could not be reached for comment prior to the article’s publication, but she emailed me afterwards to clear her name....(full article)

Stop Facile Attacks on Nader, Says Federation
by The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers

The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers today blasted supposedly "leftist" critics of independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader who accuse Nader of being an "egomaniac" who has done "nothing to build a movement" since his 2000 Presidential run, whose "super rallies" filled stadiums like the Fleet Center and Madison Square Garden. "Ralph Nader is one person. Why are these people placing all responsibility for broad social movements at Ralph's feet?" asked a Federation spokesperson at a press conference. "Perhaps if these people spent less time on tired showboat theatrics -- wearing clown costumes, making paper-mache puppets, and wasting money on flag-draped processions of coffins that are supposed to be 'symbolic' and 'moving' -- that have had no impact whatsoever on public opinion toward Bush, and directed more brains and resources on the kinds of research-intensive campaigns Nader has supported or led for years, they wouldn't constantly be telling Ralph that he ought be doing it as if he weren't already doing his part. Why is it suddenly up to one man to lead a movement?" (full communique)

McBypass Nation: Too Many American Hearts are Diseased
by Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. on Clinton's triple bypass and facts about rampant heart disease here in McBypass Nation....(full article)

America Going Over the Falls
by T. Patrick Donovan

As I sat listening to President Bush on the radio a few nights ago, I could not move from my chair to even turn on a light. Yet it felt like a fitting metaphor: the speech droning on, the shadows lengthening, the rooms darkening. I was tempted to open a bottle of wine and finish it right there.I was even tempted to reconsider voting for Kerry. And here too, another fitting metaphor: get falling down drunk or sign my name to America's plans for empire by helping Kerry “report for duty.” A choice between nihilism or willful ignorance....
(full article)

RNC Protest Roundup
by Yves Engler

Last week I took an activist organized bus from Montreal down to the Republican National Convention protests in New York City. Surprisingly, everyone aboard was allowed to cross the border without even stepping off the bus. The only disruption was a border guard who asked “Why on Earth would you want to protest? George Bush is the greatest president since Ronald Reagan and George Washington.” Sunday’s demonstration was gigantic. 500 000 people according to organizers, at least that many by my estimation. While the numbers were huge, at points, the politics were wanting. Instead of chanting “peace now” at the front of the demonstration I would have preferred “end the occupation” or “occupation is a crime from Iraq to Palestine” (Should we be supporting vague notions of peace during a time of occupation?). Towards the end of the march an anti imperialist people of color contingent brought some clarity to the event. Their chant, “1) we are the people 2) a little bit louder 3) we want justice for the third World” was something I could wholeheartedly endorse....(full article)

September 8

Kerry's Predictable Failure to Make Bush Pay for Rising US Poverty

by Paul Street

2003 was the third straight year that both poverty and the uninsured population rose in "the beacon," the "advanced" world's most unequal and wealth-top-heavy nation by far. Commenting in a page-one Chicago Tribune story, veteran economic correspondent William Neikirk wrote that Thursday's statistics are "sobering news for President Bush just before the Republican National Convention." That judgment strikes me as either naïve or an exercise in wishful thinking. It rests on two false assumptions, holding that: 1. George W. Bush could care less about the plight of America's expanding number of poor. 2. Bush is being challenged by a true opposition candidate who is willing to challenge him on poverty, social justice, and inequality....
(full article)

The Rise of the Homeland Security State:
Fortress Big Apple, Revisited

by Nick Turse

Prior to the Republican National Convention, I thought I knew all about the militarization of Manhattan -- the transformation of the island into a "homeland-security state" -- and about New York City as the paradigm for the security culture that increasingly grips American society. After all, I wrote about it in "Fortress Big Apple." It turns out I didn't know the half of it. Only after writing that piece did I discover that the New York Police Department (NYPD) had purchase two experimental sound weapons known as Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) which I had once described in writing about U.S. experimental weapons research in Iraq. I had then termed the deployment of an LRAD here during the convention "improbable" -- yet there it was out on the very same streets I was walking. I also looked out my window and caught sight of the ultimate blending of corporatism and the police-state -- the Fuji blimp -- now emblazoned with a second logo: "NYPD." This spy-in-the-sky, outfitted with the latest in video-surveillance equipment, had been loaned free of charge to the police all week long....
(full article)

Hurricane #2: Are We Learning?
by Philip A. Farruggio

A storm weary resident of Florida makes the connection between his ravished state and the Iraq war....(full article)

Putin's Sheath

by Kim Petersen

The North Ossetian town of Beslan was the scene of a great tragedy. The involvement of civilians, and especially children, as pawns in violent maneuvers is morally reprehensible. The Caucasus region has been the scene of much blood spilling and the latest death toll has reach at least 338 with many more still missing. Hundreds more are hospitalized and in serious condition. The Russian government came in for much criticism but the Associated Press noted that  “the criticism, which was almost certainly sanctioned by the Kremlin, stopped short of the president himself.” Agence France-Presse headlined au contraire “Putin slammed in Russian media.” The Russian war president Vladimir Putin, who has pursued the violent course against Chechnya, saw fit to criticize Russia’s security agencies for being caught unguarded. Said Putin, “We showed weakness, and weak people are beaten.” These words reveal a man who will assume only partial responsibility and deflect most of the blame elsewhere....(full article)

Chechen Attacks on Russia: A Harbinger for the United States?

by Ivan Eland

Recently, Russia has suffered bloody attacks on airplanes, a subway and a school in response to its harsh suppression of Chechen self-determination. Israel has once again suffered bus bombings in retaliation for its occupation of Arab lands in Palestine. Could the United States be the next victim of another catastrophic strike against its homeland for the occupation of an Islamic nation? (full article)

The United Front to Defeat George W. Bush: Fighting for Democratic
Rights as Part of the Larger Struggle Against Imperialism
by Eric Mann

George W. Bush and his right-wing and strangely mad group of cohorts are deeply and deadly dangerous. Their coherent, aggressive, ideologically driven, ultra-militaristic, unusually racist and undemocratic zealot faction of the ruling class calls for a broad united front and electoral coalition to preserve what is left of democratic rights and to place any constraints we can on U.S. military, corporate, and racist ruling circles, in the U.S. and the Third World. This broad electoral united front to defeat Bush is in need of an organized force inside of it to prioritize the fight for democratic rights, and against U.S. imperialism’s corporate and racist ruling circles. This fight now prioritizes the defeat of George W. Bush, but, after the hoped for election of John Kerry, the force will have to continue its work, energized by the hoped for defeat of Bush....(full article)

A Review of Eric Mann's “The 2004 Elections:
A Turning Point for the U.S. Left”

by Ted Glick

Eric Mann, an organizer for 40 years and author of four other books, has written an important and extremely timely booklet putting forward his strategic thinking about what the political Left should be doing about the November 2 Presidential election. The essence of what he puts forward -- that the Left should go all out in the next two months to help get Kerry elected -- is not a new idea. What is unique is Mann's elaboration of why this is the right thing to do, his placement of that short-term tactic within a longer-range, revolutionary context, his spelling out of who the Left should be reaching out to, and his concrete ideas of how to do anti-Bush work at the grassroots....(full article)

Keep Petting That Goat!
by Peter Kurth

So, which was your favorite moment of the late, unlamented Republican convention in New York? Discounting the sheer size and variety of the protests against Bush, I’d vote for White House aide Andrew Card’s brazen admission that Dubya – “this president,” as Card calls him – “sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child.” That’s right, a 10-year-old child. The President of the United States thinks his country and his subjects are still in 5th grade, bumping up against puberty and at permanent risk of molestation. Hence all the manly rhetoric from that phallus-shaped platform last Thursday night – “43 minutes of sheer wisdom,” as Bush himself described it: “We will extend the frontiers of freedom," “Democracy is coming,” “We have a calling from beyond the stars,” etc. But maybe you missed the story about Card. Probably, you did, because, with the lone exception of The Boston Globe, no one in the major media saw fit to report it....(full article)

$10 Million May Not Be Much for the DNC, But It's Still $10 Million
More Than ... Zilch: The Green Party Unravels From Within

by Joshua Frank

A not so pretty picture of Green Party activity on the state level that raises questions about how progressives may view the vitality and value of the Party....(full article)

Hell in Hebron
by Am Johal and Devorah Brous

A report from Hebron by members of a fact-finding organization led by the human rights organization Bustan L'Shalom: Going south on Rt. 60 from Jerusalem on one of the 29 settler highways in the West Bank, the summer heat is overwhelming. In the distance, you can see the terraced hillsides stacked in the landscape to catch rainfall as it has for centuries. You can see pine trees planted in nature reserves to deter Palestinian encroachment on the land. Flanking either side of the road, you can't help but notice the settlement expansion -- new trailers literally trace the hilltops all along the route to Hebron. Passing the Israeli military bases, you can see the showcase of physical infrastructure required to maintain the Occupation: the military jeeps, the Kalashnikovs, the barbed wire, the checkpoints, the tanks, and the various units of young soldiers....(full article)

Right-Wing Film Fest Targets Michael Moore
by Bill Berkowitz

After a summer of left-of-center and anti-corporate films peppering theater screens across America, conservatives have launched a counter-offensive. At the upcoming American Film Renaissance film festival you won’t find Fahrenheit 9/11 or Bowling for Columbine, but Michael Moore’s presence will be writ large as two Moore-bashing documentaries, Michael Moore Hates America and Michael and Me, which will have their world premieres. A third movie premiering at the festival, George W. Bush: Faith in the White House, “will serve as an alternative” to Moore's anti-Bush Fahrenheit 9/11,” David W. Balsiger, the producer and director of the film told American Film Renaissance -- which will screen more than a dozen other films made for and by conservatives -- is geared toward taking “the offense” in America’s forty-year-old culture wars, says festival organizer Jim Hubbard....(full article)

September 4-7

Stop the Peonization of American Labor!
by Dennis Rahkonen

American workers are deliberately being turned into little more than glorified peons. Their good union jobs have been outsourced to peanut-pay locales overseas, and those lucky enough to find any replacement employment at all must try making ends meet with annual wages averaging $9,000 less than before. Benefits and pensions have broadly been whittled away to uselessness, or eliminated altogether. Recent data disclosed that U.S. poverty climbed for the third straight year, as did the number of our citizens without health insurance. Nearly 45 million of us are medically uninsured, a larger total than the entire population of many world countries. In a high percentage of those countries, however, affordable, single-payer insurance protects everyone. What an embarrassment for America to be so backward in such a key human regard! Our shameful decline is humiliatingly evident in other pivotal areas as well....(full article)

Plutocracy Today, Kleptocracy Tomorrow?
A Look at Corporate America's Latest Megascandal

by Sam Pizzigati

We here in the United States currently have more people behind bars than any other developed nation in the world. In fact, as a percentage of population, we have five times more people in jail than the British, ten times more than the Swedes, and fifteen times more than the Japanese. But here’s the amazing part, With all these people we have behind bars, our biggest crooks are still traipsing around free as the breeze — and figure to stay free forever. Take for instance....(full article)

Republican Conventional Lies
Have you no sense of decency, Karl?

by Ahmed Amr

On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove went public with the GOP’s battle plan. Speaking of Bush, he said, “People know who he is and they know what his beliefs are and they know who he is and they know what his beliefs are.” Is that clear enough? Because if it isn’t, Rove went on to repeat the same redundant lines. “We’re going to be able to remind people of who he is and what he is all about. I mean, this is a person that, whether you agree with his policies or not, people tend to like him. They know that he believes what he believes and says what he believes.”. . . . One must give grudging credit to the GOP for the Stalinist discipline of their party. Starting with Rudy Giuliani’s speech at the Republican National Convention, every line was vintage ‘Rove speak’. McCain, Schwarzenegger, Zell Miller and Cheney echoed much of what Rudy said – especially in regards to the war on terror. What was remarkable about all five speeches was the absence of any reference to Bin Laden, Abu Ghraib, neo-conservatives, non-existent WMDs, the Iraqi insurgency and the fact that Afghanistan remains unfinished business....(full article)

Taking on Dangerous Lies: A Response to Zell Miller’s Speech
by M. Junaid Alam

On September 1st Democratic Senator Zell Miller delivered a speech to the Republican National Convention gushing with praise for the president and venom for his own party’s nominee. He exalted the Republican Party as the only force that can best protect and preserve the future of his “most precious possession” - his family - because of its aggressive stance in the international “war on terror,” and derided the Democrats for making the country “weaker” with their “manic obsession” to unseat Bush. What strikes the conscious American as most disgraceful about the senator is not his betrayal of the party to which he belongs, but his allegiance to the most dishonest set of positions to which justice and reason have never belonged. The promulgation of poisonous myths about the war abroad, like the eagerness of a nervous public to eat up those myths, is the greatest danger confronting America today....(full article)

The Bush Administration's War Against Our Health
by Nicholas Skala

In an attempt to discourage the cross-border flow of reasonably priced pharmaceuticals, the FDA recently announced fears that terrorists might target foreign drugs bound for the U.S. But for millions of needy Americans, the Bush administration’s friendly ties with health industry CEOs constitute a far greater danger. Now that Western intervention has brought Afghanistan boundless prosperity and the Iraqi model of freedom and democracy is inspiring backward Arab nations to abandon their despotic ways, the Bush Administration has seen fit to open up the next front in the War on Terrorism in the world's newest rogue nation: Canada. Our northern neighbor continues to provide safe haven that most loathsome of threats: affordable prescription medications for sick Americans. Good news for patients, but a danger to drug companies with an interest in keeping American drugs the most expensive on the planet and the deep pockets to buy politicians. After sustaining sufficient embarrassment over their charge that Canadian drugs were too “unsafe” for Americans to reimport, the FDA -- who has recently intervened in three lawsuits on behalf of potentially unsafe medical products -- announced a new reason for keeping inexpensive medicine on the far side of the border: terrorists might tamper with them....(full article)

What’s Driving the Attack on Pensions?

by Lee Sustar

Corporate America is rushing to get out of pension payments while the getting is good--before the crisis in retirement benefits eases. And for organized labor, the stakes on pensions are higher than ever. The news that United Airlines is prepared to kill its $8.3 billion pension plan and hand over the remains to the federal Pensions Benefits Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) raised the possibility that other airlines would follow suit....(full article)

“Bandage-gate”: A Rove-Type Escapade

by Bill Berkowitz

Why is Morton Blackwell, a longtime right-wing activist who mentored Karl Rove, and never served in the military, passing out purple-heart bandages to GOP delegates? (full article)

From Protest to Rebellion
by Jeff Milchen and Jeffrey Kaplan

When Tom Paine published his pamphlet “Common Sense” in January of 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed, he had a clear objective: to transform protest into rebellion. Though armed clashes began several months earlier in Massachusetts and the South, colonists generally viewed themselves as English subjects fighting a tyrannical king and government. For all of their anger, colonists were protesting the king and Parliament for disregarding rights, not challenging the government's legitimacy. . . .Common Sense” was wildly successful. By the spring of 1776 newspapers were reporting on "innumerable converts to independence,” including “tens of thousands of common farmers and tradesmen.” Though Paine called with burning urgency for the colonies to break away from Britain, he began by persuading readers that the source of the colonists' problems went far beyond corrupt or abusive English government to the very structure of rule by hereditary kings and nobility. Paine's approach may inform our own strategy as we struggle to halt oppression at the hands of the dominant institution of our time -- the corporation. Today's corporations not only wield immense power over our law and government, they also control many physical conditions of our existence. Agribusiness dominates our food supply; the oil, energy and chemical industries determine what's in the air we breathe; and, to a frightening extent, corporations influence whether we live in peace or in war....(full article)

It Isn't God Who Is Crazy
by Harold Williamson

"I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job."
-- George W. Bush

Mark Twain would not have considered President Bush's piety to be genuine or unique.  In 1905 Twain wrote: "There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity’s mind and were willing to reveal it." In addition to the neocons who are running the Pentagon, it also sounds like Twain had Lt. Gen. William Boykin pegged too.  While describing a battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia in 1993, Boykin said, "I knew my God was bigger than his.  I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." Imagine Mark Twain presiding over a White House prayer breakfast with this petition....(full article)

Corporals Don't Order Nuclear Radiation Weapons, Presidents Do

by Bob Nichols

President George W. Bush's on demand concert performance dubbed "Shock and Awe" hit the Iraqis hard. It was March 20, 2003 and the full court press was totally ON! It was us or them. No Choice! Surprise! The whole world now knows the nation of Iraq was defenseless before the "only remaining" Mighty Super Power War Machine. It was a turkey shoot. Like shooting fish in a barrel. The far superior American weapons guaranteed killing, maiming, cooking, and dismembering Iraqi soldiers and civilians; that much was child's play. The really good part, as far as a beaming President Bush and his Neo-Cons were concerned, was the unseen slaughter of the Iraqi soldiers' and civilian's children and grand children into eternity with great birth defects and fearsome cancers! War Crimes are a good thing to the Neo-Cons. Iraq is a Nuclear Radiation War fought against a long vanquished enemy with Fourth Generation Nuclear Weapons for fun and profit. This is as real as it gets....
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Prisons, Profits, and Prophets: The nation's largest private prison corporation joins forces with conservative faith-based ministries
by Bill Berkowitz

In an era where the Bush administration touts faith-based organizations as engines of individual and social transformation, and is actively recruiting and funding religious organizations to deliver a bevy of social services, it isn't surprising that a high-powered politically-savvy corporation wants in on the action. The Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest owner and operator of private prisons, is trucking out a new product line with a little help from its fundamentalist friends: Prison Conversions to Christ....
(full article)

Neither Kerry’s Critics Nor Supporters Will
Talk About the Real Vietnam

by Alan Maass

Three million Southeast Asians dead. Fifty-six thousand U.S. soldiers killed. Cities flattened by bombs. A countryside devastated to this day by chemical warfare. That’s the reality of the U.S. war on Vietnam. But to judge from the media, the only thing that matters about the Vietnam War today is the record of one U.S. naval officer for a brief period in 1968 and 1969....
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Media Reform Needed for a Continuing Democracy

by Peter Phillips

The First Amendment of the US constitution, guaranteeing freedom of the press, was established to maximize citizen cognition of critical issues in society. It was understood clearly by the founders that Democracy could only be maintained through an informed electorate. A daily newspaper, along with the three major TV networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, are the major sources of news and information for most Americans. News stories and the invidious entertainment segments from these corporate sources generally have similar themes and common frames of understanding. This concentration of access to media sources leaves most Americans with very narrow parameters of news awareness and an almost complete lack of competing opinions. Important questions that impact most Americans are generally ignored. Why are 45 million American without health care? Why is poverty increasing in the US? What happened to the safety net of social programs for the disadvantaged? What are the underlying reasons - other than oil - for the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan? Will the military draft be re-instituted in the US after the 04 election? What is the truth behind global warming and extreme weather conditions? Where have all the living wage jobs gone? Why is minimum wage now at 60% of its value in 1968? Who got rich in the 90s and kept the money? Who owns the electronic voting machine companies? (full article)

Debunking the Republican/Nader Connection

by Forrest Hill

Democrats are infuriated by recent reports of a vast conspiracy by Republicans to help Ralph Nader. After trying every tactic in the book to keep Nader off state ballots, including harassing signature gathers, hiring corporate law firms to scrutinize ballot access efforts and find legal technicalities, and sending threatening letters to volunteer petitioners, the Democratic Party is now accusing Republicans of covertly working to bolster the Nader campaign. Such accusations have lead to cries of foul by Kerry supporters and are causing "Anyone But Bush" voters to go ballistic. Yet are the Republicans really engaged in a full out effort to help Nader or is there some other hidden agenda behind this so-called Republican plot? (full article)

The Florida of the Northwest: Oregon Democrats
Sabotage Nader...Again

by Joshua Frank

Ralph Nader isn't having much fun these days. How could he? Putting up with the Democrat's "dirty tricks" is full time job. The most recent assault by Democrats to the Nader campaign, and perhaps the most egregious, came this week in Oregon where Democrats successfully stopped Nader from attaining ballot access....(full article)

US Broke Ceasefire Immediately: “Truce” Merely a
Stage In The Conflict

by Milan Rai

The Najaf ceasefire did not resolve the conflict in Najaf. Before the ink was even dry on the agreement signed by militant Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the supreme Shia religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the United States and its client forces were breaking the terms of the truce. In particular, US Marines refused to withdraw from Najaf, as required by the Sistani peace deal. Muqtada al-Sadr may wish to move the conflict over the occupation to the political sphere, but the US and the Allawi do not....
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Spy Probe Scans Neocon-Israel Ties
by Jim Lobe

The burgeoning scandal over claims that a Pentagon official passed highly classified secrets to a Zionist lobby group appears to be part of a much broader set of FBI and Pentagon investigations of close collaboration between prominent U.S. neoconservatives and Israel dating back some 30 years. According to knowledgeable sources, who asked to not be identified, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has been intensively reviewing a series of past counter-intelligence probes that were started against several high-profile neocons but never followed up with prosecutions, to the great frustration of counterintelligence officers, in some cases. Some of these past investigations involve top current officials, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, whose office appears to be the focus of the most recently disclosed inquiry; and Richard Perle, who resigned as Defense Policy Board (DPB) chairman last year....(full article)

The Disruptions of Disengagement
by Roni Ben Efrat

On April 14, 2004, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon sent a letter to US President George W. Bush announcing his decision to freeze the "Road Map" and undertake, instead, a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli public read the basic points two days later. Sharon's new plan set off a struggle within the Likud, his party, where it threatens to undermine him. There is a real possibility of new elections. On the Palestinian side too, the prospect of Israeli disengagement has raised the issue of who would rule Gaza. In July the streets of the Strip erupted in a quasi-coup that was aimed against PA President Yasser Arafat – although nominally under the slogan of fighting corruption. The disturbances have since subsided, but the Palestinian arena continues to seethe and roil....(full article)

Federal Judge Says: Let The San Joaquin Flow!
by Dan Bacher

After 15 years of litigation, fish advocates and environmental groups won a huge legal victory on August 27 when a federal court judge ruled that the Bureau of Reclamation illegally dried up the San Joaquin River when Friant Dam was built in the 1940’s. The ruling means that the bureau will have to release water from Friant Dam near Fresno for the first time in 55 years, according to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), the lead plaintiff in a broad coalition of fishing and environmental groups....(full article)

by Marty Jezer

The Republican Party is determined to sell George W. Bush as the indispensable commander-in-chief, the one political leader bold enough to win the war against terror. He’s another Winston Churchill, Rudy Giuliani gushed in his speech at the Republican National Convention. Bush has taken the fight to the terrorists and is going to destroy them, Giuliani promised. Wimpy Europeans and waffling Democrats, by contrast, show weakness preferring diplomacy, he argued. Keynote speaker Zell Miller even suggested that Bush was more than just a mere President. As Commander-in-Chief, Bush stands above criticism, Miller implied. Democrats who dare to denigrate his leadership are unpatriotic. But the rhetoric of the Republican National Convention doesn’t mesh with observable reality. One could argue, and the Democrats should argue, that George W. Bush has been spectacularly inept as commander-in-chief of the war against terrorism....(full article)

September 1-3, 2004

Staring into the Journalistic Abyss:
Disinformation and Propaganda at the New York Times

by Kim Petersen

Given that the corporate media miserably failed to monitor the centers of power and instead functioned as mouthpieces for the government when the US was poised to unleash violence on another nation, one might think that the self-same media would regard the occupation in a more skeptical light and seek to avoid a repetition of the same mistake. Despite the persistent disinformation from Times writer Judith Miller on the mythological Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction, the Times editorial collective opposed the launching of an attack on Iraq. If the initial attack was deemed to be wrong then by logical inference an occupation born of the invasion must be wrong. If one has read recent articles in the Times on the occupation in Iraq, it would be clear that little has changed at the “newspaper of record” on coverage of the Washington regime’s agenda. The expectation of a semblance of impartiality on the recent standoff at the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf suggests otherwise....(full article)

The Keys to the Looted Kindom
by Leilla Matsui

By now, anyone following the US presidential election campaigns can't help but notice how both parties are falling over themselves trying to convince voters that their candidate is more homicidally gung-ho than the other guy's.  As Democrats and Republicans slug it out for yet another round of high octane pissing on the campaign trail, voters are treated to the spectacle of conjoined rivals, Genghis Khan and Genghis “Khan't”, doing battle on the same side of the testosterone divide.  In other words, John Kerry and George Bush pulling out all the stops to prove their “heroism” (which, depending on your party affiliation, could either mean re-opening your war wounds or re-opening your dental records). In the meantime, Americans find themselves in the ensuing media crossfire, ducking for cover as veterans dredged up from an earlier conflict hurl petrified pellets of Mekong Delta mud at each other.  For the media, focusing on the brouhaha over swift boats here at home is a cost effective way of reducing its poorly rated presence in more hostile war zones overseas....(full article)

Fixing the Son of Pollard
by Ahmed Amr

First, consider the timing. The news of an Israeli spy embedded deep in the Pentagon broke on a Friday, the eve of the Republican National Convention. The FBI isn’t exactly jumping for joy that their investigation was prematurely leaked – even before they filed charges or made an arrest. The New York Times reported on Aug. 30 that, “news reports about the inquiry compromised important investigative steps, like the effort to follow the trail back to the Israelis.” This spy affair centers around one Lawrence A. Franklin, an associate of Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz, the Likudnik architects of the Gulf War.  He is suspected of handing classified information to two lobbyists for AIPAC who passed it on to Israeli officials....(full article)

Rove’s Brain and Media Manipulation
by Norman Solomon

I just saw a horror movie -- “Bush’s Brain” -- the new documentary based on a book with the same name by journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater. The book’s subtitle is “How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential.” I’ll spare you the grim details. What matters most now is that Rove’s long record of shady and vicious media operations is not just in the past. Rove is more than a master manipulator of the news media. He’s a stealthy smear artist who does whatever he can get away with. And Rove has gotten away with plenty. That’s how George W. Bush became governor of Texas ... and president of the United States. What remains to be seen is whether Rove’s techniques will again prove successful when this country votes on Nov. 2....(full article)

9/11: The Day the World Ended Three Years On
by John Chuckman

A lot can happen in three years. In the United States since 9/11, about 4,000 children died from child abuse and neglect; in more than 80 percent of cases, parents were the perpetrators. About 36,000 Americans died from unnecessary surgery. Another 21,000 died from medication errors in hospitals, along with another 60,000 from other errors in hospitals. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs killed about 100,000. Roughly 10,000 Americans died from accidental drowning. About 2,100 died from bicycle accidents. Homicidal Americans killing other Americans took another roughly 60,000 lives. Suicide took more than 90,000. Traffic deaths amounted to well over 120,000. Despite all of America's mayhem and death (more than 7,000,000 Americans died in the last three years, including the clearly avoidable ones listed above plus hundreds of thousands not listed that were at least in part avoidable), the subject of 9/11 is never allowed to rest. About 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 in a spectacular act of hatred and vengeance, carried out, so far as we know, by 19 men, all of whom were themselves consumed....(full article)

The Real GOP Goes MIA in NYC

by Bill Berkowitz

With thousands of New York’s finest corralling free speech and hunting for terrorists, it isn’t likely that the NYPD’s Missing Persons Bureau will have time to unravel one of the more intriguing mysteries of the day. This whodunit has nothing to do with: missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; the non-existent link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda; who was responsible for the miserable post-war occupation; how much U.S. taxpayer money has been wasted in Iraq; or who ordered the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. The question that many will be asking by nightfall on Thursday is: Where in the name of Waldo are the Republican Party’s fundamentalist evangelical Christian leaders? (full article)

The War on Terror is a Fraud: Unraveling the Logic of a Lie
by M. Junaid Alam

Recently the president of the United States was asked if the “war on terror” could be won. His response was markedly free from the aggressive and self-righteous rhetoric that usually defines the outlook of his administration: “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.” What happened to the swaggering Texan? Had he suddenly slumped out of a depressing meeting with advisers informing him that Iraq was slipping deviously out of American hands and into the arms of Iraqi nationalists? Was he caught in a rare moment of honest reflection about the true nature of a war he has so zealously advocated? An unlikely prospect, no doubt. But just in case Bush did have an epiphany, the ever-reliable warmongers of the Democratic Party galloped onto the scene to remind America that now was the time for killing, not questioning....(full article)

The Attica of the Americas
by Justin Felux

Both places have a population of several million, mostly dark-skinned people. In both places, those who are able to find work can only obtain poverty wages under conditions that differ from slavery only in name. The right of the people to vote is not respected. The lights only stay on for a few hours a day. People are often raped, beaten, and even killed with impunity. Those who manage to get out of either place are usually apprehended by the authorities and returned, regardless of whether or not their return is warranted. One is the country of Haiti. The other is the U.S. prison-industrial complex. At first glance, the U.S. government's policy of black mass incarceration and its policy of undermining democracy in Haiti don't seem to have much in common, but on a basic level, they have nearly everything in common....(full article)

Curtailing US Hegemony in the Middle East Would Help
Bring World Peace

by Neve Gordon

As Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry formulates his Middle East policy, he would do well to learn from the mistakes of both the Clinton and Bush administrations....(full article)

Why are the Democrats Complaining About Republicans When
They are Pulling the Same Dirty Tricks on Nader?

by Donna J. Warren

The Democrats are outraged that Republicans use dirty tricks to keep their most loyal constituent, the black voter, from voting for Democrats!....No better for the Democrats! The Democrats harass, threaten, and abuse the Nader-Camejo campaign. They’ve threatened Nader-Camejo campaign petitioners; they’ve spoil ballot access; they’ve used Howard Dean to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot; they’ve used state employees, contractors, and interns who work for elected Democrats to review and challenge signatures; they’ve hired corporate law firms to harass Nader-Camejo ballot efforts on frivolous and technical grounds. Why then do Democrats cry foul when Republicans give them a taste of their own medicine? (full article)

Four More Months!

by Ted Glick

It was very heartening to be on the streets of Manhattan yesterday with upwards of half a million people marching past the Republican Convention site. And the generally positive press coverage wasn’t an accident. The organizers of United for Peace and Justice did an excellent job as far as work with the press and setting a positive tone throughout the months of organizing. Good politics combined with decades of experience on the part of many of its day-to-day leaders paid off very handsomely. Hopefully, the on-going actions throughout this week will continue to lift the curtain on the Republican Party’s camouflage act in Madison Square Garden, ripping off the veil to expose the brutality and inhumanity of their policies. But August 29th and the actions this week will count for very little if they are not used as a springboard for intensive and well-organized grassroots organizing all over the country on the part of those of us who understand that getting the Bushites out of office and maximizing the overall progressive vote must be the top political priority of all of us for the next two months....(full article)

Partisan Protests: Not All of New York Rises Up

by Joshua Frank

My girlfriend Jessica and I finalized our move from Brooklyn to Albany, New York last Sunday. We were forced to move and follow the money, as they say. While we filled our UHAUL full of odds and ends, gritty white hipsters from South Williamsburg were convening to protest the neocons arrival to the Big Apple. I was upset that I couldn't join them. I wanted nothing more then to drop the boxes I was carrying and raise my fist in dissent against an administration that has an appetite for the inept. As I watched these protesters amass, however, I noticed something peculiar. Most fellow Williamsburgers on the street seemed unconcerned that George W. Bush was using their city to host the Republican National Convention. They didn’t give a shit that Bush was about to exploit the tragedy of September 11 to promote his re-election campaign. They were not angered by the whole charade. Not in the least. At first I was perplexed. “Why aren’t these people, poor black and Latino minorities, on the front-lines raging against Bush and his band of thugs? They certainly have ample reason.” I thought. “In fact they have more reasons then these twenty-something’s, myself included, who will forever have the gift of white skin as a saving social grace. Why the overt political apathy?” (full article)

Living With the Age of Entropy: Is a Life Without Fossil Fuel Possible?
by George Monbiot

Never again”, the Texas oil baron and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens announced this month, “will we pump more than 82 million barrels.” As we are pumping 82 million barrels of oil a day at the moment, what Pickens is saying is that global production has peaked. If he is right, then the oil geologist Kenneth Deffeyes, who announced to general ridicule last year that he was “99 per cent confident” it would happen in 2004, has been vindicated. Rather more importantly, industrial civilization is over....(full article)

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