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Archives from February 2004
"We Don’t Want the Army USA"
KHURY PETERSEN-SMITH
The first evidence that I saw of the U.S. invasion of the Middle East came before I had even gotten there. While waiting to get on my last flight, from Amsterdam to Amman, Jordan, I was surprised to hear several voices speaking English with southern U.S. accents....
The Deadly Lies of Reliable Sources
NORMAN SOLOMON
Ninety-five days before the invasion of Iraq began, I sat in the ornate Baghdad office of the deputy prime minister as he talked about the U.N. weapons inspectors in his country. "They are doing their jobs freely, without any interruption," Tariq Aziz sa...
Of Recess and Evolution in Georgia
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. John, Viscount Morley of Blackburn, Voltaire Recess is in; evolution is out. We return to Georgia to see what’s happeni...
Christian Nation? Yeah, Right
TERESA JOSETTE
Stop us, before we kill again. You see, we’re Americans. And, as such, whether we like it or not, we are part of a system of government that supports murder. Some of us do not appreciate this. Every time there’s an execution, millions of America...
The 10 Worst Corporations of 2003
RUSSELL MOKHIBER And ROBERT WEISSMAN
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Why It is Relevant to Iraq
DAVID KRIEGER
In a lecture in late 1967 over the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed the subject of "Conscience and the Vietnam War." His conscience was clearly telling him that this was a war that made no sense and must be stopped. ...
(After All, He Did Win South Carolina)
ALEXANDER COCKBURN And JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Suddenly the field of battle is littered with the dead and the dying. Senator Joe Lieberman had pinned his hopes on Delaware, the state of ten thousand corporations whose motto, "nihil a me alienum puto", translates as "We don’t care if...
Turning NYC into a Patriot Act Free Zone
BENJAMIN SHEPARD
Where do we go after postmodernism? It’s a simple question that writers and critics have debated for decades. Over the last year, I have written a number of dispatches for the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest and Counterpunch that have addressed this topic ...
Howard’s Last Round-Up?
BRIAN McKINLAY
While the problems facing George Dubya and Parson Blair, are receiving world-wide attention,the rising sea of problems surrounding their Australian ally, John Howard haven’t been widely reported outside Australia, although they are now starting to follow a s...
Exonerating the Spooks
KURT NIMMO
Bush’s so-called independent commission looking into "intelligence failures" will be handpicked by the administration. It will be similar to the 9/11 investigative commission — that is to say it will produce results acceptable to Bush and the...
Philly School Workers Fight for Fair Contract
M. JUNAID ALAM
Fed up with their inexcusably low poverty-line wages and bare-minimum medical care, Full-time Food Service Workers and Noon Time Aides working for the Philadelphia school District have been waging a campaign for decent wages and benefits. Recently M. JUNAID ALAM,...
The Imagery of Arabs
JUDITH BROWN
After years of military occupation, Palestinians have many demands on their limited resources. Managing the media gets a low priority when faced with humanitarian demands from a population that needs amongst other things health care, education and replacement hous...
Whose Boob Tube?
FRAN SHOR
When Justin Timberlake ripped off the right outer garment covering Janet Jackson’s chest during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, more was exposed than Jackson’s bare breast with its ornamental nipple ring. Once more the culture wars were revealed with all...
This is Not My Execution & I Will Not Claim It
KEVIN COOPER
I, KEVIN COOPER, am writing this from death row at San Quentin Prison. I am scheduled to be the next Black man executed by the state of California on February 10th, 2004. While I am an innocent man about to be murdered by this state, I realize that innocen...
Ron Wyden and Israel
MARK GAFFNEY
It is not often that we get to hold our elected representatives accountable. And so, I was very happy for the chance when Oregon Senator Ron Wyden recently made a public appearance in Klamath Falls. Wyden fielded questions and generally impressed me as a thoughtfu...
Campaign for Justice or Big Oil’s Junta?
FREDERICK B. HUDSON
On January 15, 2004, former U.S. Senator Carol Mosely Braun announced her withdrawal from the 2004 Presidential campaign. She was embraced by fellow candidate Howard Dean as a new member of his campaign team who would take his message to the people. When asked if ...
Investigating the Meaningless
HAMMOND GUTHRIE
If the FCC can begin investigating Janet Jackson’s right nipple nonsense why not investigate what President Bush was speaking ‘about’ when he recently said: "What we don’t know yet is what we thought, and what th...
Embedded in the Real World, Back in Iraq
NICK HALFINGER
Right now, the Coalition Provisional Authority, or C.P.A., has its hands full trying to run Iraq. There are resistance forces to track down, elections to inhibit, and a multitude of infrastructure problems and social ills to get abreast of. They don’t have t...
NAFTA and the Zapatistas
LAURA CARLSEN
The two events that shook Mexico and the world on January 1, 1994 seemed to have little to do with each other. The first had been carefully planned, laid out over two years by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men on the continent. On that day, the historic...
Our True Intelligence Failure
RAHUL MAHAJAN
In the late 19th-century folk classics of Joel Chandler Harris, there is an episode where the wily Brer Rabbit, his main character, is caught by Brer Fox. He’s stuck to a "Tar Baby," (the racism of this and virtually everything else in the late 19t...
The Only Democracy in the Middle East?
NEVE GORDON
JERUSALEM. Anyone who follows the news has no doubt come across the claim that "Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East." Usually, this claim is followed by its logical inference: "As an island of freedom located in a region controlle...
What They Really Mean by "Electability"
ALAN MAASS
Forget whether they supported the war on Iraq. Doesn’t matter if they voted for USA PATRIOT. Who cares what they say about health care. The only thing that seems to matter in the race for the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination is "electabilit...
The Boobs & Body Parts Fairness Campaign
TERRY LODGE
To the Members of the Federal Communications Commission: I wholly agree that an inquiry into the carefully-rehearsed, staged exposure of Janet Jackson’s surgically-enhanced cleavage is of the highest priority for the FCC. In fact, the bluenoses at the...
The Game of Justice is Rigged
LEONARD PITTS, Jr.
This is an open letter to African-American men. I suppose I could as easily have addressed myself to the broader world, but I know how the response to that would go. Folks denying, rationalizing and arguing that facts are not truly facts. That’...
A Prisoner of Tom Ridge
GARY LEUPP
"I have committed no crime, and yet I am taken prisoner." Lotus Sutra, Chapter 4 I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist, but I’ve been a student of Buddhist thought for a long time, and have high appreciatio...
The Prosecution of Captain Yee
TOM WRIGHT
Of all the lives heedlessly trampled underfoot in the Bush-Ashcroft Stampede On Terror, few stories can compare in their tawdry shabbiness, their sheer petty vindictiveness, to the treatment of U.S. Army Capt. James J. Yee. Perhaps he simply stood out as too much ...
What Janet Jackson Really Did at the Super Bowl
LEE BALLINGER
Yes, it’s true that the NFL refused to let Bono of U2 and Jennifer Lopez sing "An American Prayer," a song about the AIDS crisis in Africa [and it's true that both the Bush AND Clinton administrations blocked the sale of cheap AIDS drugs to Africa]...
Beware the Phony Defense-Budget Prognosticators
WINSLOW WHEELER
Today the Bush administration rolls out its fiscal 2005 defense budget. Many of the things journalists will write about it will be confusing, if not misleading, and many of the prognostications from Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the presidential candidates will b...
Capital Punishment in a Smoke-Free Environment
JUSTIN E.H. SMITH
The third-century historiographer Diogenes Laertius compiled short biographies of ancient thinkers, in which he idiosyncratically focused on just two things about them: their ideas, and the manner of their deaths. For him, the way in which one dies must be interpr...
The Trouble with Howie
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
We find ourselves on the eroding down slope of empire. The titans have fallen. We are now ruled by minor princelings: Al Gore, George W. Bush, John Forbes Kerry, Howard Dean. These are the days of the dauphins. A republic in name, we now rigidly follow the ...
Two-State Solution Sells Palestine Short
GEORGE BISHARAT
It is a tragic irony that, more than 55 years ago, one desperate people seeking sanctuary from murderous racism decimated another–and continue to oppress its scattered survivors to this day. In 1948, about 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homela...
A Speech for Those Who Don’t Read
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Good now, play one scene Of excellent dissembling, and let it look Like perfect honor. Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra The only conclusion one can draw is that the union on whose state Mr. Bush was reporting a...
The Murderous Lies of the Neo-Cons
KURT NIMMO
Like the main character in Christopher Nolan’s noir film Memento, members of the House and Senate intelligence committees seem to have lost their short-term memory. They can’t remember who exactly pedaled Bush’s lies about Saddam’s i...
Bush’s Desolate Imperium
BERNARD CHAZELLE
Ah, the ease with which George W. Bush attracts superlatives! Helen Thomas calls him "the worst president ever." A kinder, gentler Jonathan Chait ranks him "among the worst presidents in US history." No such restraint from Paul Berman, who bran...
Bushfires on the Docks
JACK HEYMAN
Last April 7, just as the morning sun was rising over the hills east of San Francisco Bay, Darth Vader-clad riot police in the port of Oakland opened fire on some 700 people demonstrating peacefully against the war in Iraq. Police fired lead-shot bean bags, wooden...
Nepal, Bush and Real WMDs
CONN HALLINAN
Tucked into the upper stories of the Himalayas, Nepal hardy seems ground zero for the Bush Administration’s next crusade against "terrorism," but an aggressive American ambassador, a strategic locale, and a flood of U.S. weaponry threatens to turn ...
When Mikey Met Wesley
MICKEY Z.
General Wesley Clark is a war criminal. Filmmaker Michael Moore is clueless. This is a love story. Clueless Mikey Moore: "I have met Clark and spoken to him on a number of occasions." War Criminal Wes: "There’s no requirement to ...
Deliberate Undercounting of "Coalition" Fatalities
PAUL De ROOIJ
There is evidence of a concerted effort afoot to obfuscate the number of casualties in the recent crop of US-led wars. May 1st was the day the president Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and declared the end to the war and the start of the occupation of Iraq...
Nothing to Preempt
RAY McGOVERN
Finally, some honesty. But mounting problems for the White House. The CIA’s chief weapons inspector, David Kay, has driven the final nail into the coffin where rests the Bush administration’s policy of preemptive war. It turns out that there was...
A Patriarch of Arab Literature
TARIQ ALI
Abdelrehman Munif: 1933-2004 Abdelrehman Munif, who died, after a protracted illness, in his Damascus exile last Saturday, was one of the most gifted Arab novelists of the 20th century. Together with Naguib Mahfouz, he succeeded in transforming the literary...
Still Preying on the Third World
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The great humorist PG Wodehouse had a theory that if you approached any rich individuals from behind, tapped them on the shoulder, and murmured ‘I know your guilty secret’ they would probably faint. Not from guilt, you understand, but from the knowledg...
Palestine and the Anti-War Movement
LEE SUSTAR
Should the antiwar movement take up the question of Palestine? Or, to put the question another way, can the movement oppose one element of U.S. domination of the Middle East, the occupation of Iraq, while ignoring the other–the increasingly savage Israeli oc...
The High Cost of Throwing Away the Key
MARK SCARAMELLA
"The California Department of Corrections (CDC) parole system is currently a tangled web where parole violations are primarily dealt with by returning parolees to prison, driving institutions’ costs and the crowding of inmates. … The revocation se...
Humiliation in Ramadi
ROB ESHELMAN
I was about to begin the prayer when a Franj threw himself upon me, seized me, and turned my face to the East, telling me, ‘That’s how you pray!’ Usamah Ibn Munqidh, Chronicler (1095-1188) In the 11th and 1...
Don’t Give in to Fear
MICHAEL DONNELLY
My old friend Harry Lonsdale recently produced an opinion piece titled "Urgent Plea to Nader: Don’t Run." First published in The Oregonian January 30th, it has now, thanks to the Internet, made the rounds nationally. In it, Harry’s alm...
Broken Ballots
CHRISTOPHER REED
With the primary election process now firmly under way across the US, we should consider whether the world’s only super-power, so eager to impose democracy on Iraq, should first mend its own broken ballot. Fewer and fewer Americans now vote in a syste...
Illusion of a Land Ethic in Western Canada
JOHN HOLT
(Note: The following is a slightly condensed version of an article that recently appeared in E: The Environmental Magazine.) The widely held notion that Canada is taking excellent care of its wild, pristine lands far better than the gluttonous citizens in t...
Further Setbacks for the "Inevitable Consensus"
PHILLIP CRYAN
With many South American heads of state repeatedly blaming Washington’s economic policies for increased poverty, journalists at the Special Summit of the Americas had an easy time breaking from years of tepid coverage of trade. All they had to do was write d...
Waiter! The Reality Check, Please
BEN TRIPP
It seems like only yesterday that today was tomorrow. It makes a fellow think about the future. I think about what kind of future we would have if there were no short Japanese people, or if everybody woke up one morning and we were all made of gorgonzola cheese. W...