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Archives from December 2003
The Occupation is Damned
The Independent Cigarette sellers don’t have names. They said he was called Fouad but even the shopkeeper whose nephew drove the wounded, screaming man to the hospital didn’t know his family name. There was just a pile of crushed Marlboro bo...
Bogus Terror Threats and Bush’s Police State
Bomb Las Vegas, America’s gambling Mecca and glittery playground built on desert sands by mobsters such as Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lanksy, and Frank Costello? Only al-Qaeda, we are assured, would contemplate such a depraved act — and it stands to re...
This Isn’t an Independent Investigation
It seems it is all too easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit. How else to explain the reaction of the normally astute Senator Charles Schumer to the news that Attorney General Ashcroft has finally done what the New York Times lauds as "the right thing.&...
War, Race and Elections
Two hot little controversies are brewing among progressive and anti-war Americans. One is the question of how much energy we–if there is a "we"–put into the 2004 elections, and in what way. The other is the question of whether t...
A Great Year Ebbed, Another Ahead: So, Count Our Blessings
Count our blessings, an act the eternally pessimistic American left usually shuns, on the grounds it might indicate we’ve made some headway in progress towards the good, the true and the beautiful. First let’s look back. 2003 was a pretty good ...
Mad Cows and "Downer" George
The outbreak of Mad Cow Disease on a farm in Washington State poses a challenge to the Bush Administration and the way it typically conducts business. On the one hand they have approached the dilemma in an entirely predictable manner, treating it as though it was ...
Christmas in Lebanon
Safuriya, Lebanon Just outside of Tripoli in northern Lebanon is Nahr al-Barid Refugee Camp. This was the first refugee camp established for Palestinians in Lebanon, and is still home to these people of great patience and hope, living in exile for fifty-fiv...
Time Runs Out for the Everglades
This has been a terrible year for the environment. In Florida, the fundamental balance has vanished that we hoped would protect the Everglades from the water demands of agriculture and Florida’s exploding population. A 2003 review shows why those who ...
Inside Big Meat
(The following is an excerpt from JEFFREY ST. CLAIR’s new book, Been Brown So Long It Lo...
From GloFish to Frankenfish
The GloFish, a zebra fish genetically engineered to glow in the dark in aquariums, was approved for sale to the public by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on December 9. However, you won’t be able to purchase them in California when they become a...
Criticism of Israel is Not Anti-Semitism
Jewish and non-Jewish commentators alike have deplored a recent upsurge in anti-Semitism. In Europe, journalist Andrew Sullivan says, "Not since the 1930s has such blithe hatred of Jews gained this much respectability in world opinion." Yet, Jews ...
Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?
Willie wrote this song on Christmas, 2003, and will perform it for the first time at the Kucinich for President fundraising concert in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 3, 2004. There’s so many things going on in the world Babies dying Mothers crying How much oi...
Media Omissions in Colombia’s War
Villagarzon, Colombia. Colombian military efforts against drug production and illegal armed actors have focused on the southern border province of Putumayo since 2000, when the U.S. began disbursing a multibillion dollar mostly military aid package known as...
The Politics of Fear and Blood
The broad outlines of the Bush re-election campaign strategy have begun to appear, and they present an ugly picture. From now until next November, we can expect to have a series of dramatically named military actions in Iraq–and occasionally in Afghan...
Israel’s Conscientious Objectors
Some years ago, when the jury for the annual Israel Prize announced its award to Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, I decided to invite him to give a lecture to the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, the group that established the first contacts with the P...
Catellus Development, the Next Octopus?
Thirty-seven years before writer Frank Norris created the fictional Octopus in his 1901 novel, the U.S. Congress gave birth to its real-life counterpart by granting the Southern-Pacific Railway company a checkerboard pattern of right-of-way land parcels lining eit...
The Washington Post in the Dock?
One of the best things I read in 2003 was Matt Taibbi’s piece in the New York Press in which he spanked the Washington press corps for its vulgar behavior at the press conference farce held by Bush Jr. during the early days of the American invasion of Iraq....
Mad Cows and the Market
The recent news of mad cow disease in the U.S. was first reported in the nation’s mass media as a business story. Such coverage led with the countries that had refused imports of American beef. Stories also detailed how these import restrictions ...
Iraq Through the American Looking Glass
ROBERT FISK The Independent
Something very unpleasant is being let loose in Iraq. Just this week, a company commander in the US 1st Infantry Division in the north of the country admitted that, in order to elicit information about the guerrillas who are killing American troops, it was necessary to &#...
The Bad Guys We Once Thought Good
Central Intelligence Agency, Langley Virginia Office of Villains Department of Wayward Clients and Unsavoury Friends Status Report: December 2003 To: George J. Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence Below is the updated report you asked us...
Iraq at the End of the Year
MEDIA: Yippee, "we got `em!" The Dow will soar! Forget the anxious two years since George W. Bush assumed his throne! That’s history! REALITY: The dismissal of history does not help anyone understand the present or plan for th...
Crumblecake and Fish
Christmas. Crumblecake and Fish. At least that’s what I thought they said, though on the table was roast beef, chocolate cake and various pastries, none of them crumbly. No crumblecake. No fish. RelativeShe and RelativeHe had watched a show about Crum...
The Unpardonable Lenny Bruce
No doubt Lenny Bruce would have laughed with at least a tinge of bitterness if — like millions of Americans — he picked up a newspaper the day before Christmas 2003 and read that he’d been "pardoned" by the governor of New York for an o...
an Interview with David Meggysey
David Meggyesy was an All-American linebacker at Syracuse University before playing for the National Football League’s St. Louis (now Arizona) Cardinals from 1963-1969. He was active in the movements for civil rights and opposition to the war in Viet Na...
Bush Doings
Our English language is a first-class language, the language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible. It’s wonderfully diverse, produced by a mix of peoples originally speaking Celtic, Germanic, or Romance languages. So it’s richer in synonyms than som...