OCTOBER 31-25, 02 Archives

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US returns to triple-digit budget deficits 31 October 2002 By Patrick Martin The Bush administration announced October 24 that the federal budget deficit for the fiscal year ending September 30 was $159 billion. If excess receipts for Social Security, supposedly earmarked for paying future benefits, were excluded, the latest federal deficit would top $300 billion. The deficit is a huge shift from the $127 billion surplus in the previous fiscal year, which began while Clinton was still in the White House and ended just before the US launched military action against Afghanistan, on October 7, 2001. The $286 billion year-on-year decline in the net budget balance was the largest ever recorded. The widening deficit is largely the product of the biggest one-year drop in tax receipts since World War II, a decline of 6.6 percent, or $131 billion. The fall in tax collections was only partly the result of the Bush administration’s record tax cut for the wealthy, since the bulk of the $1.35 trillion cut takes place in the latter part of the decade. A bigger factor was the collapse of the stock market bubble, which sharply reduced federal receipts from the capital gains tax and other taxes on wealth. wsws.org

Campaign for America's Future Report Scrutinizes Efforts by Steve Pearce to Mislead Voters About Social Security Privatization Oct. 31 /U.S. Newswire/ The Campaign for America's Future today released a new report exposing basic contradictions in Steve Pearce's position on Social Security.  Throughout his congressional campaign, Steve Pearce has claimed that he opposes privatization of Social Security. For years Republicans have used the word "privatization" to describe private account proposals. But Pearce told the right-wing National Taxpayer's Union (NTU) in their candidate survey for this election that he supports mandatory private investment of Social Security. By supporting mandatory accounts, Pearce takes the idea of privatization to its very extreme-forcing all workers to take a risk with their Social Security money, even if they don't want to. The new report explains why private accounts would cause cuts in Social Security's guaranteed benefits and increased risk for retirees, and it documents how advocates of privatization have used the word to describe their policy proposal. With his blatant deceptions, Pearce appears to be following a national playbook. Just this year, Republican pollsters have ordered candidates, "don't say privatization, say personal accounts," and the CATO Institute, which advocates privatization, changed the name of its "Project on Social Security Privatization" to the "Project on Social Security Choice." usnewswire.com

Campaign for America's Future Report Scrutinizes Efforts by Chip Pickering to Mislead Voters About Social Security Privatization October 31, 2002 /U.S. Newswire/ The Campaign for America's Future today released a new report exposing basic contradictions in Chip Pickering's position on Social Security. Throughout his congressional campaign, Chip Pickering has claimed that he opposes privatization of Social Security. During a debate at the Neshoba County Fair, Pickering stated, "I oppose privatization." (Associated Press, 8/3/02) But Pickering told the right-wing National Taxpayer's Union (NTU) in their candidate survey for this election that he supports mandatory private investment of Social Security. By supporting mandatory accounts, Pickering takes the idea of privatization to its very extreme-forcing all workers to take risk with their Social Security money, even if they don't want to. usnewswire.com

Debate At The UN; Resolution In The Streets October 31, 2002 Following a global day of action against the war, the United Nations Security Council continues its discussions of a resolution on Iraq. But activists are not resting. 2500 marched to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's house in New Mexico on Monday and left a list of charges for war crimes on his gate. And a protest against the corporate media blackout is planned for today in Minneapolis. The New York City IMC's monthly newspaper, The Indypendent, has a new issue focused entirely on Iraq and the coming war./ indymedia.org

U.S. refuses to discontinue special border interrogations Canadians of Middle Eastern descent inappropriately targeted, Graham says Thursday, October 31, 2002 By CAMPBELL CLARK OTTAWA -- Canada's pleas to the U.S. to stop special border interrogations of Canadians born in the Middle East have fallen on deaf ears, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham conceded yesterday. Although he blasted the practice as inappropriate and a violation of the Americans' own Constitution, he said his efforts to raise the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell have not produced results. "I pointed out to my counterpart, Mr. Powell, that in our view, Canadian citizens are Canadian citizens . . . and that it would be inappropriate under both our constitutions -- our Charter and even the U.S. Constitution -- to do this. For-Profit U.S. Schools Sell Off Their Textbooks by Doug Saunders Students already have to worry about exams, essay deadlines and staying awake through math class. In Philadelphia, they have a new worry: What if your school becomes a victim of the stock market meltdown? globeandmail

Facing an educational crisis October 31, 2002 last year, the city handed 20 of its worst-off high schools, in some of the most abject slums in the country, to a private, for-profit company called Edison Schools Inc. Now, those institutions appear to be going the way of Enron, Tyco and WorldCom. Edison, a high-flying firm that was the first school-management company traded on a stock exchange, promised to provide computers, books and new curriculums, and to raise test scores. In exchange, the school board would give the company $881 (U.S.) a student. Then came the crash. Over the summer, Edison's shares slid from the year's high of $21.68 to less than a dollar on the Nasdaq Stock Market. (The company traded yesterday at about 50 cents.) In the classroom, this has had some bizarre effects. Days before classes were to begin in September, trucks arrived to take away most of the textbooks, computers, lab supplies and musical instruments the company had provided -- Edison had to sell them off for cash. Many students were left with decades-old books and no equipment. A few weeks later, some of the company's executives moved into offices inside the schools so Edison could avoid paying the $8,750 monthly rent on its Philadelphia headquarters. commondreams.org

Wellstones To Cheney: Stay Home 30 October, 2002 (CBS) -- MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Many senators, former President Clinton and former Vice President Gore will attend the memorial service for Sen. Paul Wellstone Tuesday evening. But Wellstone's sons reportedly disinvited Vice President Dick Cheney, who planned to represent the Bush administration at the event. A White House spokesman told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis the Wellstones asked Cheney not to attend, though he didn't provide a specific reason. According to a broadcast report, the family was upset with campaign activities by state and national Republicans on Monday. truthout.com

Maryland Community Becomes Latest to Speak Out Against Repressive Bush Administration Measures, USA Patriot Act October 30, 2002 TAKOMA PARK, MD -- In a move hailed by the American Civil Liberties Union as a sign of continuing grassroots unease about the Bush Administration’s response to the terrorist attacks, the Takoma Park City Council last night adopted a sweeping resolution protesting federal measures that violate civil liberties. With its unanimous vote, Takoma Park became the 11th municipality to speak out in recent months against Bush Administration policies. “This resolution is part of an emerging national backlash against the disdain shown by the Bush Administration for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. aclu.org

Picking Olives & Removing Roadblocks as Acts of Resistance: October 30, 2002 An Interview with Ghassan Andoni by IDA AUDEH It is olive picking season in Palestine, and so far about 120 activists from almost a dozen countriesæthe US, England, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italyæhave responded to an appeal by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and arrived to help Palestinians harvest their groves. But the season is not getting off to a good start. Reports from Jayous (near Qalqilya), Aqraba, Inbus, and Awartha and Beit Furik (in the Nablus district) tell of beatings and shootings of Palestinians by the Israeli settlers and at least one shooting death, that of Hani Yousef, a 22-year-old Palestinian from Aqraba. In some instances, the settlers harvest the olives while Palestinians watch, helplessly. The Israeli army does nothing to prevent this. Since October 2000, Israeli soldiers and settlers have bulldozed, uprooted, or set ablaze about 200,000 Palestinian olive trees, at a cost to Palestinian farmers of about $10 million. counterpunch.org

What's Wrong with the News? Posted October 30, 2002 - Independent, aggressive and critical media are essential to an informed democracy. But mainstream media are increasingly cozy with the economic and political powers they should be watchdogging. Mergers in the news industry have accelerated, further limiting the spectrum of viewpoints that have access to mass media. With U.S. media outlets overwhelmingly owned by for-profit conglomerates and supported by corporate advertisers, independent journalism is compromised. fair.org

Democrat, Mel Carahan in 2000, locked in a tight senate race against now Attorney General John Ashcroft was killed in a similar plane crash. That crash coming, as this one, just days prior to the election.The death of US Senator Paul Wellstone: accident or murder? 29 October 2002 By the Editorial Board There is a serious question about the sudden death of Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone that has no doubt occurred to many people: was Wellstone the victim of a political assassination? It is possible that there will emerge a credible explanation of the October 25 plane crash that killed Wellstone, his wife Sheila, daughter Marcia, and five others near Eveleth, Minnesota. Initial reports, however, are disturbing. None of the typical causes of a small plane accident—engine failure, icing, pilot error—appear to be involved. The plane, a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air A100, was apparently in good condition when it hit the ground and exploded into flames about two miles from the Eveleth-Virginia airport in the Minnesota iron range. The Beechcraft model has an excellent safety record, with only two fatal crashes—both in December 1997—in the past six years. Debris recovered from the crash site includes both the plane’s engines, which suffered blade damage, suggesting that the engines were running when the plane crashed. While weather conditions were less than ideal, with some ice and freezing rain, two smaller Beech Queen Air planes had landed at Eveleth without incident two hours before the crash, when temperatures were colder. Wellstone’s plane was reportedly equipped with two separate de-icing mechanisms. wsws.org

Now, More Than Ever, Don't Let the Bush Cartel Take Control of the Senate: October 29, 2002 - If They Do, Democracy May Be Lost The Republicans are incorrigible at trampling on democracy. After stealing the 2000 presidential election (which Bush lost by more than a half a million votes), they are up to the same old tactics of bullying, lying, and deceit.
Take these few reports of Republican behavior worthy of a political crime syndicate:

  • In Arkansas, Republican thugs are, in violation of the law, reportedly forcing minorities who are voting early to produce identification and answer questions while they are waiting in line to vote.
  • George W. Bush is featured on a tape recorded phone message in Illinois urging Republican voters to take an absentee ballot if they want, even though there are only certain circumstances that qualify for taking an absentee ballot.
  • Someone is making calls in Florida, one assumes for Jeb Bush, urging Democrats not to vote until after the election! How do we know this? The head of the Florida Democratic Party received such a call.
  • In New Mexico, the head of the Republican Party admitted that the RNC wanted to finance the Green Party campaign there. buzzflash.com
Please Help The War Effort October 29, 2002 By Mark Morford It is a time of national teeth-gritting and resigned fortitude and wine-infused bouts of very heavy collective sighing. It is a time when one single false war against an already decimated ragtag terrorist opponent is not nearly enough to satiate the delirious military-industrial complex and arouse Cheney's defibrillator and hence we must launch another one. Many ask what they can do, how they can contribute, how they can best aid the faux-war effort and support our troops in a whole new way. I have compiled this short list. Things you can do, right now, this minute, to feel more connected and support the nation, SUV antenna flags not included: 
1. Choose not to believe much of the disinformation spinning forth from the White House at this time. Look at Donald Rumsfeld's shockingly beady and pitch-black eyes and realize this man, these people, they are deeply convoluted and power blinded and do not have your best interests at heart.
2. Choose, furthermore, not to believe the world is really full of these vile power-mad slugs and lizards and prevaricators and fools and Rumsfelds. Stop thinking this is all there is, war and suffering and apparently very pale and egomaniacal and spiritless men running the world into the ground. sfgate.com

US weapons secrets exposed October 29, 2002 Julian Borger in Washington Respected scientists on both sides of the Atlantic warned yesterday that the US is developing a new generation of weapons that undermine and possibly violate international treaties on biological and chemical warfare. The scientists, specialists in bio-warfare and chemical weapons, say the Pentagon, with the help of the British military, is also working on "non-lethal" weapons similar to the narcotic gas used by Russian forces to end last week's siege in Moscow. They also point to the paradox of the US developing such weapons at a time when it is proposing military action against Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein is breaking international treaties. guardian.co

Didn't Bush senior cause enough harm? October 29, 2002 According to a Baltimore Sun editorial by Helen Caldicott, founder of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute in the US, the last war the United States waged on Iraq was in effect a nuclear war. By the end of that 1991 conflict, she says, the US left between 300 and 800 tonnes of depleted uranium238 in anti-tank shells and other explosives on the ground of Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. This uranium238 is pyrophoric. When it hits a tank at high speed, it bursts into flames, producing aerosol particles of less than 5 microns in diameter, making them easy to inhale into the lungs. It is also a radioactive carcinogen. Once it has been inhaled, or it penetrates a wound, it concentrates in the food chain and contaminates water. It can produce cancer in the lungs, bones, kidneys or blood. Its half life is 4.5 billion years. According to Caldicott's editorial, incidences of childhood leukemia since 1991 in the Iraqi city of Basra have increased six to 12 times. Congenital malformations have doubled in exposed areas in the past decade. What is worse than these horrible facts is the fact that the American military's own studies before the Desert Storm conflict warned that aerosol uranium exposure could lead to all the effects seen in both Iraq and in American veterans of the conflict. Does President Bush understand the medical consequences of his father's 1991 war and the likely effects of the next one he is planning, she asks. If he doesn't, his ignorance is breathtaking. bangkokpost.com

Unreal Rally October 29, 2002 While U.S. corporations are publishing one disastrous quarterly report after the other, the Dow Jones Index, just in the four trading days between October 10 and 15, shot up by almost 1,000 points; its biggest rise in such a short time since April 1933. As the sudden surge of American stocks has no substance to it whatsoever, the only conclusion can be that we are dealing with the biggest "Plunge Protection operation" since late-July. The aim is to try to hold up the financial markets until after the US elections on November 5, Similar to the Pre-election period in late 2000. nex.net

Hundreds of thousands in US protest Iraq invasion plans 28 October 2002 By Bill Vann Rallies and marches to oppose the Bush administration’s plan to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators into the streets in Washington DC, San Francisco and several other US cities on October 26. Simultaneous demonstrations opposing a US invasion of the Arab country were held in Rome, Berlin, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Attending the Washington demonstration were delegations from throughout the East Coast, as well as the South and Midwest. The participants included busloads of college students and high school youth as well as professionals, Arab- and Palestinian-Americans, and workers. Demonstrators carried a wide variety of signs and banners opposing US militarism. Among the more popular slogans were “Drop Bush, Not Bombs,” “No Blood for Oil,” “Regime Change Begins at Home” and “War is Bush’s Weapon of Mass Distraction.” There were also signs attacking US Senator Joseph Lieberman and other Democratic Party supporters of war with Iraq. wsws.org

US-British strategy on Iraq close to collapse October 28, 2002 THE six-week effort by Britain and the United States to secure a tough United Nations resolution on Iraq is in danger of collapse because of continued opposition to their threats of military action. With US officials pushing for a decision by the end of the week, the two powers are struggling to enlist the nine votes needed to push their strongly worded draft resolution through the 15-nation UN Security Council. Both France and Russia have circulated rival proposals omitting “trigger language” for the use of force. Seeing strength in numbers, Paris and Moscow hope to draw away enough votes from the US-British draft that they will not have to confront the world’s sole superpower directly by exercising their veto. timesonline

Where the Money Will Come From October 28, 2002 By DAN DVORAK The RIGHT is asking where the money will come from to fund education the way McBride envisions it. Here are my thoughts. First of all, we must agree that bringing Florida ’s education system back from the dead as every measure of it demonstrates must be a priority. To that end I submit that EVERYTHING that ails society today is tied to education or a lack of it. Think about it. Drug use, drug sales, violence, family values, quality of jobs, jobs period, crime, ignorance and we can go on forever. There is NOTHING more important than a good education for all our people. As we improve it we reduce our ills proportionately. We have to look at education as “an investment” in our children and the future. You people understand investment don’t you? thepeoplesvoice.org  

Budget Deficit of $159 Billion Reported October 28, 2002 By Dana Milbank Gephardt Calls 'Incredible Turnaround' a Campaign Issue for Democrats  The Bush administration late yesterday announced a budget deficit of $159 billion for the fiscal year just ended, confirming that the federal government officially returned to the red for the first time since 1997. The announcement of the budget deficit for fiscal year 2002 was not a surprise. The administration had projected a slightly larger deficit for the year, as the surplus was consumed by recession, war spending and tax cuts. Still, Democrats pounced on the official figures -- a $286 billion swing from the previous year -- as evidence that the Bush administration had presided over what the opposition called the largest one-year fiscal reversal in the nation's history. washingtonpost.com

Bush's Lies and Simple Truths October 28, 2002 by ROBERT JENSEN A few weeks ago Jim McDermott, a courageous congressman from Washington state, traveled to Baghdad in pursuit of peace and was sharply criticized, particularly for his comment that George Bush "might mislead" the American public to build support for an attack on Iraq. He got only one thing wrong -- the "might." George Bush HAS misled the American public. He IS misleading the American public, and we can assume he WILL continue to mislead the public. In fact, the entire Bush administration has been misleading the public, sometimes by misdirection, sometimes by fudging the facts, and sometimes by straightforward, outright lies. counterpunch.org

Police State Posted October 28, 2002 by Kelly Patricia O'Meara If the United States is at war against terrorism to preserve freedom, a new coalition of conservatives and liberals is asking, why is it doing so by wholesale abrogation of civil liberties? They cite the Halloween-week passage of the antiterrorism bill - a new law that carries the almost preposterously gimmicky title: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act" (USA PATRIOT Act). Critics both left and right are saying it not only strips Americans of fundamental rights but does little or nothing to secure the nation from terrorist attacks. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, one of only three Republican lawmakers to buck the House leadership and the Bush administration to vote against this legislation, is outraged not only by what is contained in the antiterrorism bill but also by the effort to stigmatize opponents. Paul tells Insight, "The insult is to call this a 'patriot bill' and suggest I'm not patriotic because I insisted upon finding out what is in it and voting no. I thought it was undermining the Constitution, so I didn't vote for it - and therefore I'm somehow not a patriot. That's insulting." police-state

Americans rally against war in Iraq, It was one of the largest such protests since the Vietnam War 27 October, 2002 Tens of thousands of protesters came to Washington from across the United States in one of the largest anti-war demonstrations since the Vietnam War. They filled Constitution  Gardens within sight of the Vietnam War Memorial and spilled out down Mall before marching to the White House. They came from across the country, some traveling all day and night crowded onto buses to attend the rally. They wanted to counter the image and the polls that say a majority of Americans support a war against Iraq. Passionate opposition Jean Hinton and Steve Phlegar flew for 12 hours to make the trip from Yuma Arizona. He said that the administration's new policy of pre-emptive military action is un-American and felt it important to come to the anti-war rally. "It's one thing to sit around in your living room and talk about it, and it's another thing to show some public support and participate," Mr Phlegar said. Four students in the sea of people carried signs saying "Nebraskans for Peace." They left Lincoln Nebraska at 0738 on Friday, and some 26 hours later hit Washington. They might have arrived earlier had their bus not broken down. One of the students, Aaron Price, is 18. He fears a new draft and doesn't want to fight a war he does not support. His friend Jonathan Jones said little will be gained by attacking Iraq and feels such an attack is unjust and immoral. "It's just going to cause a lot more disaster and destruction," he said. Katherine Albrecht came with others on a bus from Manchester, New Hampshire. "We really felt strongly enough about it to spend a night on a bus," she said. "I'm ashamed of what my government is doing. I'm ashamed of our elected leaders," she said. "I wanted to send a message not only to them but to the world that not all Americans are behind this," she added. bbc.co.uk

Pappy Bush on Paul Wellstone: "Who Is This Chickenshit?" October 27, 2002 by WAYNE MADSEN Before we all get sucked into George W. Bush's eulogies of the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone let us not forget what his father, Bush 41, called the Senator at a White House reception for newly-elected members of Congress in 1991. Wellstone, who ran on a progressive platform, did not think Bush 41 cared one wit about education, health care, and workers' safety issues. So when Wellstone met Bush in a typical White House pro forma reception line, he used the occasion to urge Bush on three different occasions to spend more time on issues like education and cautioning him against the Persian Gulf War. Of course, Bush was more concerned about fighting the war against Iraq (sound familiar?) and could care less about Wellstone's issues. After Wellstone violated Bush 41's sanctimonious White House protocol, Bush was overheard saying, "Who is this chicken shit?" Now after Senator Wellstone was tragically killed in a plane crash and "General" Karl Rove is obviously busy trying to figure out how the tragedy can benefit the GOP's chances of winning control of the Senate, I think it's time to answer old man Bush's question. Far from being a chicken shit, Wellstone actually cared for people, unlike your pathetic son who could not even find a few minutes to attend one or two funerals of his Washington, DC area neighbors who were tragically shot and killed by a couple of snipers. No, Mr. Bush 41, Paul Wellstone was not a chicken shit, that epitaph is better reserved for you and your moronic son. counterpunch.org

Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11 Oct 27, 2002 America's most controversial writer Gore Vidal has launched the most scathing attack to date on George W Bush's Presidency, calling for an investigation into the events of 9/11 to discover whether the Bush administration deliberately chose not to act on warnings of Al-Qaeda's plans. Vidal's highly controversial 7000 word polemic titled 'The Enemy Within' - published in the print edition of The Observer today - argues that what he calls a 'Bush junta' used the terrorist attacks as a pretext to enact a pre-existing agenda to invade Afghanistan and crack down on civil liberties at home. Vidal writes: 'We still don't know by whom we were struck that infamous Tuesday, or for what true purpose. But it is fairly plain to many civil libertarians that 9/11 put paid not only to much of our fragile Bill of Rights but also to our once-envied system of government which had taken a mortal blow the previous year when the Supreme Court did a little dance in 5/4 time and replaced a popularly elected President with the oil and gas Bush-Cheney junta.' guardian.co.uk

US: West Coast shippers call for government sanctions against dockworkers 27 October 2002 By Rafael Azul On October 23, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) filed a report with the Justice Department accusing the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) of organizing a “concerted, systematic slowdown” at 29 West Coast ports. The filing initiates a legal attack on the union under the terms of a Taft-Hartley injunction imposed by the Bush administration earlier this month. The White House invoked the anti-union Taft-Hartley law to end a ten-day lockout, ordering a resumption of work under an eighty-day “cooling-off period.” The injunction prohibits workers from engaging in strikes, slow-downs or any other work actions. On October 14, only five days after the longshore workers had returned to work, PMA head Joseph Miniace reported a 22 percent drop in productivity, blaming it on the union. He then declared his intention to file charges against the union with the Justice Department. The PMA’s action underscores what is at stake in this conflict. Bush’s invocation of Taft-Hartley was part of an ongoing conspiracy between the White House and the shippers to cripple the union and destroy gains won by longshore workers over decades of struggle. wsws.org

Global Actions Against Bush's War for Oil Markets Oct 27, 2002 In a pre-emptive strike for peace hundreds of thousands marched throughout the world to protest George Bush's ill-conceived war against the people of `Iraq. Over a hundred thousand marched and surrounded the White House in Washington, DC while on the opposite coast in San Francisco a like number marched through the streets of the city. Including a breakaway contingent of 500+ anti-capitalists which laid seige to the local Armed Forces recruiting station. In Europe, demonstrations were also held in Berlin, as well as Rotterdam, Barcelona and several cities in Italy. Smaller protests also occured in other towns throughout the United States. In Los Angeles Anarchists continue their anti-war conference as they prepare for what may be an inevitable war led by global capitalism. Clearly the fact that these marches are happening before a war begins can only mean that if a war breaks out street conflicts in the US and elsewhere will follow. indymedia.org

TeamBush to abused women: Fuhgedaboutit! October 26, 2002 Right-wing appointees spread their wings across the Beltway - In late August, Attorney General John Ashcroft made two appointments to the Department of Justice's National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. The Advisory Committee, co-chaired by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, provides practical and general policy advice concerning the implementation of legislation related to violence against women. Strangely enough, both of the women Ashcroft nominated, Nancy Ptotenhauer and Margot Hill, opposed the legislation when it was passed in 1994 workingforchange.com

Killed? or murderedSenator Paul Wellstone Killed in Plane Crash 26 October, 2002 by Marc Ash US Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota his Wife and daughter, along with several staff members and flight crew have been killed in a small plane crash near a Duluth Minnesota airport. Senator Wellstone was often the sole voice for women, children, the disadvantaged and disheartened, always speaking out for those who had no voice in the halls of Congress or other corridors of elite power. Wellstone was champion of community issues such as health care, veterans' rights and many causes dear the voters of Minnesota. He was bitterly opposed by the White House and large pharmaceutical industry among others. Details are still emerging, however no one can help but recall the death of Democratic Senatorial candidate Mel Carahan in 2000. Locked in a tight senate race against now Attorney General John Ashcroft, Carnahan too was killed in a similar plane crash. That crash coming, as this one, just days prior to the election. Carnahan's wife Jean stood in for him as allowed under Missouri state law and defeated Ashcroft to become senator. truthout.com

Movement Grows, Despite Differences October 26, 2002 This weekend, major demonstrations against war on Iraq are expected to attract many thousands in San Francisco, Washington DC and across the country, despite a corporate media blackout. Simultaneous anti-war protests will take place in many countries, including Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, India, South Korea, Mexico, Japan, and Puerto Rico. International ANSWER, which is organizing the DC event, has been criticized as Stalinist by some liberal and anarchist anti-war activists. Nonetheless, many groups unaffiliated with ANSWER are planning "creative solidarity" with the October 26 march. http://indymedia.org

A political strategy to oppose war against Iraq 25 October 2002 The thousands of people participating in the October 26 demonstrations in Washington and other cities speak for millions of Americans, ignored by the politicians and the media, who are outraged by the Bush administration’s plans for an unprovoked invasion of Iraq. They know the government is lying when it justifies the war with talk of “weapons of mass destruction” and invocations of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The onslaught that is now being prepared against Iraq represents a revival of colonialism in its most brutal form. Countless thousands of Iraqis will be exterminated in a war of aggression whose purpose is the seizure of oil fields and the establishment of an American imperialist empire based on global terror. Those demonstrating this weekend want to stop the US government from carrying out a horrific crime against humanity. Looming is a war in which the most powerful industrialized nation in the world unleashes its military might against a helpless country that was militarily defeated in 1991 and has since been subjected to constant bombing and sanctions resulting in nearly two million deaths. Bush administration officials have already let it be known that Washington intends to transform Iraq into a US-controlled military protectorate. Recent press reports, moreover, have made it clear that this aim will be achieved through mass murder. The New York Times on October 22 cited a recent document on urban warfare by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that calls for the application of overwhelming firepower to seize control of Iraq’s cities. Despite the war-mongering of the Bush administration and jingoistic propaganda of the media, there is deep and profound opposition among the people to war against Iraq. However, the great task that confronts those participating in the October 26 demonstrations is to transform the widespread but confused opposition to war into a powerful socially-conscious political movement. Protests are important and necessary, to show the world that the American people do not support the predatory policies of the US government. But they are not sufficient... wsws.org

Dead Parrot Society October 25, 2002 By PAUL KRUGMAN A few days ago The Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote an article explaining that for George W. Bush, "facts are malleable." Documenting "dubious, if not wrong" statements on a variety of subjects, from Iraq's military capability to the federal budget, the White House correspondent declared that Mr. Bush's "rhetoric has taken some flights of fancy." Also in the last few days, The Wall Street Journal reported that "senior officials have referred repeatedly to intelligence . . . that remains largely unverified." The C.I.A.'s former head of counterterrorism was blunter: "Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements." USA Today reports that "pressure has been building on the intelligence agencies to deliberately slant estimates to fit a political agenda." nytimes.com

The other side of America In the US, not everyone is an overweight gun fanatic - and not everyone wants a war with Iraq October 25, 2002 Duncan Campbell In his novel, The Château, set in France in 1945, the American writer William Maxwell delicately explored the relationship between a young American couple, Harold and Barbara Rhodes, and the Europeans they encounter on a trip just after the end of the war. Why are they not welcomed as citizens of the nation that liberated Europe, they wonder? In one episode, Maxwell describes Harold's conversation with a French woman: "She admired the British, she said, but she did not particularly like them. 'They dress so badly, in those ill-fitting suits,' she said. He waited, hoping that she would say that she liked Americans, but she didn't." More than 40 years after Maxwell wrote that much-praised novel, there still often seems to be the same sense of puzzlement in the relationship between Americans and Europeans. Almost every week now, an article appears in the American press by a journalist recently returned from Europe about the "anti-Americanism" they have experienced. guardian.co.uk



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