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Archives from March 2003
Spring Morning in Baghdad
Here in Baghdad, along the Tigris River, a gentle dawn and the sweetest of birdsongs were more precious than ever following a horrific night of intense bombardment. With the calm morning came relief after learning that the families of friends who work at the hotel...
Iraq’s Liberation in Perspective
Iraq–the cradle of civilization and fabled seat of the Abbasid Khalifa–is about to be liberated for the second time in less than a century. The current military operation represents a major inflection point in its history, perhaps in the history of the...
Blood Sacrifice
Most Americans don’t do blood sacrifice, except for giving blood to the Red Cross. Most Americans don’t kill goats or sheep or chickens ritually. If they drink the blood of Christ it’s wine or grape juice. As we watch the reports ...
Iraq’s Liberation in Perspective
Iraq–the cradle of civilization and fabled seat of the Abbasid Khalifa–is about to be liberated for the second time in less than a century. The current military operation represents a major inflection point in its history, perhaps in the history of the...
On the Road in the West Bank
We’ve been very busy in East Jerusalem and the West Bank since we arrived six days ago, racing against the clock trying to fit in as much as we can in case the Israelis impose a total curfew on the West Bank because of the war or impose a closure that cuts o...
The Grassroots Go Global
The global day of antiwar protests on February 15 was remarkable for several reasons. First and foremost, of course, was the fact that some 12 million people came out in over 600 cities spanning every continent to express their outrage at a potential preem...
The Case of Elizabeth Smart
On June 5, 2002, 15-year-old Salt Lake City resident Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home. Nine months later, on March 12, 2003, Elizabeth was found alive, and apparently in good physical health. In connection with the crime, the police arrested 49-year-old ...
The Threats of Empire
“We’re all Americans!” — Solidarity statement of French President Jacques Chirac after 9/11. “If you’re really Americans, you better do what I say or else!” — George W. Bush, in a private discussi...
Coming to Terms with the Real Havana
My interest in things Latin started as a teenager in the 50’s when I read W. H. Hudson’s 19th century novel Green Mansions. It’s about a young Englishman who lives with an old Indian in the mountains of Venezuela and falls in love with his daught...
Pounding the Life Out of a City
I have just witnessed the Reuters video feed of the bombing of Baghdad. What I h...
Labor’s War at Home
While the war drive against Iraq has focused the world on the Bush Doctrine abroad, there is a domestic equivalent?a dramatic escalation of the 25-year employers’ offensive. With the White House leading the way, Corporate America aims to deal a series of dec...
Baghdad Burns While Bush Does Lunch
America’s great commander George W Bush has surely to be admired for his amazing sangfroid. If he had any worries about the impending ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign, he didn’t show them as he played with his pooch on the White House lawn on the d...
Latinos on the Frontlines, Again
Since the early years of the American war in Southeast Asia, Latino communities have argued that their youth have been disproportionately placed in harm’s way. When Dr. Ralph Guzm?n published his study in which he argued that between 1961 and 1967 19.4% of c...
Suing Seymour Hersh
Seymour Hersh, the celebrated investigative journalist, is no stranger to the pressures of reporting on controversial issues during wartime. After the verdict was handed down in the criminal prosecution of the My Lai massacre, a story he broke during the Vietnam W...
The Battle in San Francisco
Over 1,400 demonstrators were arrested on the streets of San Francisco yesterday, and protests condemning the U.S. military action in Iraq continue to rage across the city Friday. Thursday’s protest was a turning point for San Francisco’s anti-war demo...
Johnny Mack, When Are You Coming Back?
When I was a nineteen-year-old soldier in South Viet Nam, one of the tunes played most often on Armed Forces radio was “Jimmy Mack” by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Although a great pop classic with pulsing bass and a tight horn section underneath M...
From Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan
US Secretary of State (not to mention once and future war criminal) Colin Powell has released his list of the “Coalition of the Willing,” the nations who have pledged to stand by the US in its “struggle against Saddam.” The “Coalition...
A Cauldron of Fire
Baghdad, Iraq. Saddam’s main presidential palace, a great rampart of a building 20 storeys high, simply exploded in front of me–a cauldron of fire, a 100ft sheet of flame and a sound that had my ears singing for an hour after. The entire, massiv...
Down Memory Lane
Long before Genghis W. Bush and his Boardroom Horde launched their campaign of rapine against the clapped-out Iraqi regime, there was a little incident involving hijacked planes, famous buildings and the mass slaughter of innocent people on American soil that caus...
The Lessons of Elizabeth Smart
When Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her home last June, she was taken to a camp only 3 miles from her home, from which she evidently made no attempt to escape. When she was apprehended 9 months later, she had taken a new name and a new identity. Her relatives ...
See Rome
While you were dreaming While you wrapped your mind in silks Bronze Steel Stone Did their work While you breathed the fumes Of the oracle’s fissure Deranged the senses Settled in soft beds Rome Sent agents into th...
The Nightmare Waiting at the Back Door
The Bush and Blair administrations are right about one thing: Terrorism threatens our world as never before. Terrorism is the great game of pain that is now playing out as power politics in many parts of the world.. The "winners" are the ones who can cau...
Patriotic Protest for Professors
A few days ago I wondered what to do if war started. Wear a black armband? Hold a teach-in? Join students nationwide who plan to walk out of class? The suggestion to protest by skipping school made up my mind. I won’t join them. I am teaching my class...
Shutting Down San Francisco’s Downtown
Thursday, the day after start of bombing, was the long-anticipated day of direct-action protest in San Francisco. For weeks, the flyers were circulating from Direct Action to Stop the War, and weekly spokescouncil meetings were held, alternating between San Franci...
A War on Iraqi Dissidents?
The carrot-and–stick strategy at first seemed ingenious, or at least crafty. In the days leading up to the U.S.-led war on Iraq, the "stick" of looming invasion would pressure Iraqi military or political officials into arresting or killing Saddam H...