APRIL 30-21, 03 Archives

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This is what U.S. cluster bombs do

Cluster Bombs Used Also in Iraq April 30, 2003 It is an anti-personnel fragmentation bomb that consists of a large bombshell holding 670 tennis ball-sized bomblets, each of which contain 300 metal fragments. If all the bomblets detonate, some 200,000 steel fragments will be propelled over an area the size of several football fields, creating a deadly killing zone. Because the fragments travel at high velocity, when they strike people they set up pressure waves within the body that do horrific damage to soft tissue and organs: even a single fragment hitting somewhere else in the body can rupture the spleen, or cause the intestines to explode. This is not an unfortunate, unintended side-effect; these bombs were designed to do this. During its wars in Indochina, the U.S. dropped enormous amounts of cluster bombs. A B-52 bomber fitted with two Hayes dispensers could drop 25,000 bomblets on a single bombing run. itvs.org

The Next President April 30, 2003 by Geov Parrish WHILE NEWS MEDIA are saturated with field reports from Iraq and Seattle war protesters fume over unprovoked attacks from police, the battle that should concern everyone the most is taking place away from the headlines. Welcome to the 2004 presidential race. It'll be over--except for the voting, of course--before 2004 even begins. For the long-term freedom, health, prosperity, and security of Americans--and the world's other 6 billion people and all its other species, too--there is no more critical task in the coming months than to oust George W. Bush and the lunatics surrounding him in November 2004. seattleweekly.com

Conspiracy Theories April 30, 2003 Americans are now forced to do what they find hardest in life: consider that the world does not revolve around them, that they are secondary players on the global stage. The fate of the United States is in the hands of other peoples, in other nations, whose strategies of resistance to the Bush men's transparent grab for planetary hegemony will determine the general character of the Pirate's inevitable failure. Blacks, other threatened ethnicities, the poor, and political progressives of all backgrounds will have a difficult enough time keeping heads above water and bodies out of prison as the Bush men thrash about in a world they cannot master, and chickens come home to roost. The United States is about to be redlined by the international community, and there is nothing that Americans, pro- or anti-war, can do about it. The good news is, American life as we know it is about to come to an end. The bad news is... American life as we know it is about to come to an end. blackcommentator.com

Strangely, Bush Continues His Visit With the Children April 30, 2003 Word of the tragedy first came to President Bush in the hallway of a school in Sarasota, Florida at 8:46 a.m., soon after the first plane hit New York's World Trade Center. Bush was escorted to an empty room where he spoke by phone with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. Strangely, Bush continues his visit with the children. Then, at 9:04 a.m., while Bush listened to second-graders reading, staff chief Andrew H. Card Jr. whisperered in his ear that a second plane had struck the other trade center tower. Bush continued to listen to the second-graders read, smiling, he joked that they “read so well, they must be sixth-graders.” Click for RealVideo (excerpt 7 megabytes)

Cutbacks Imperil Health Coverage for States' Poor April 30, 2003 By ROBIN TONER and ROBERT PEAR WASHINGTON, April 27 — Millions of low-income Americans face the loss of health insurance or sharp cuts in benefits, like coverage for prescription drugs and dental care, under proposals now moving through state legislatures around the country. State officials and health policy experts say the cuts will increase the number of uninsured, threaten recent progress in covering children and impose severe strains on hospitals, doctors and nursing homes. nytimes.com

Toys that explode for children

Jewish Group Uses Toys To Blast Palestinian Schools (So these are God's chosen people) April 29, 2003 By Maha Abdul Hadi Palestine Correspondent OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, A radical right-wing Jewish group that claimed responsibility for recent explosions rocking a number of Palestinian schools used attractive toy-like explosive devices to cause large numbers of casualties, a Palestinian human rights organization said Saturday, April 26. "An organization calling itself ‘Revenge of the Babies’ that detonated explosives at occupied Jerusalem, al-Khalil and Jenin along with other aggressive activities, planted the load in boxes apparently attractive to the school pupils," Al-Haqq organization said in a report. islam-online.net

Iraqis killed in protest April 29,  2003 Thirteen Iraqis were reportedly killed when US forces opened fire on demonstrators. There are conflicting reports as to what happened on Monday night in the town, which lies 50 kilometres (35 miles) west of Baghdad. A US spokesman said soldiers started shooting after people in the crowd fired on them - but Iraqi witnesses said the protesters were unarmed. American forces are reported to have entered Falluja for the first time two days ago. A local Sunni cleric, Kamal Shaker Mahmoud, said the demonstrators were unarmed and had gone to a local school occupied by US forces to ask them to leave, Reuters news agency reports. "It was a peaceful demonstration. They did not have any weapons. They were asking the Americans to leave the school so they could use it," the cleric is quoted as saying. According to local residents, several children were among the dead. bbc.co.uk

Israeli calls for "regime change" in Iran and Syria April 29,  2003 By Jonathan Wright The Israeli ambassador in Washington has called for "regime change" in Iran and Syria through diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions and what he calls "psychological pressure". Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said on Monday the U.S. invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein helped create great opportunities for Israel but it was "not enough". swissinfo.org

Female workers file bias suit against Wal-Mart April 29, 2003 By Karen Gullo Wal-Mart Stores Inc. female employees said in a lawsuit seeking lost pay and damages on behalf of as many as 1.6 million female workers that they had to visit strip clubs while on business and were called "little Janie Qs" by male managers. Statements from 110 female workers claiming they were denied promotions and paid less than men were filed in a motion requesting class-action status. Wal-Mart denies it discriminates and says the suit is based on isolated events. If approved by a judge, the class action would be the largest employment discrimination suit against a U.S. company. Damages could be in the billions, said San Francisco employment lawyer Cliff Palefsky. detnews.com

I Wonder April 29,  2003 by Bill Chickering I wonder when America will say it's had enough of the lies, the god-posturing, the policy of naked aggression cloaked with moral assurance and certainty, and the destruction of our freedoms. I wonder whether or not people will get tired of the day to day struggle of feeding a family, paying the mortgage or rent and watching their leaders strip away the threadbare benefits they now receive from their employers. I wonder when we will grow tired of the thought of perpetual war for the aggrandizement of the few. And when will we grow weary of our sons and daughters sacrificing their lives on the altar of one man's ego and sense of divine calling. buzzflash.com

It's the same Guy! April 29, 2003 During the same week, the front covers of Newsweek and US News and World Report showed the same Iraqi kissing different soldiers. And the guy also had a prominent spot smashing the statue of Saddam at the stage-managed pull-down in Baghdad. Surely Hollywood will soon be calling for this hot young actor. Enlargement_thememoryhole.org

Top 5 reasons why the Iraqi people should be more like Americans:
April 29, 2003 by: dwilson - Reason # 1: According to a recently published Census Bureau's report on income and poverty in America, the inequality of family incomes, as measured by the Gini index, was at its highest since the Census Bureau started publishing annual figures in 1947. The amount of money required to bring poor American households up to the poverty line is amazingly small: 0.5% of GDP, or just over 3% of the income of the richest fifth of households. Clearly it's much more important that the affluent be able to buy stocks and SUVs than to accomplish this bleeding-heart goal. However, our leaders have made promises and can be trusted to provide food and health care to all of the 25 million Iraqi people. Reason # 2: As the people of Iraq recover from the brutality committed against them by the U.S. military, they can look forward to decades of further death and destruction as they adopt Amercan cultural values and ways. The USA is far and away the Murder Capital of the World. Americans kill more than 15,000 Americans each year. No other major industrialized country comes close. A majority of these murders are committed by family members or friends. Who needs enemies when you have friends like us. Reasons # 3, 4, 5

The Other War The Bush Administration and the End of Civil Liberties April 28, 2003 by ELAINE CASSEL Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.--President George W. Bush, September 20, 2001. It didn't take President Bush to tell Americans that the world changed on September 11, 2001. But it took Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and an unquestioning Congress to change the legal foundation of what it means to be "free" in America. The president declared from the start that it would take more than military might to wage the fight. This war would require a new arsenal of laws and regulations at home. And he got them. If the September 11 suicide hijackers hated us for our freedoms, as the president also said, today there is less to hate. counterpunch.org

US will provide no estimate of Iraqi war casualties April 28, 2003 By Jerry Isaacs Bush administration and Pentagon officials have made it clear they have no intention of providing an official estimate of the number of Iraqi soldiers and civilians who were killed or wounded by US and British forces during the three-week war. According to the military brass, the US no long does “body counts,” a reference to the often-inflated battlefield reports that contributed to galvanizing international and domestic opposition to the Vietnam War. In line with its efforts to sanitize the image of the US military, the Pentagon and the US news media have decided to conceal from the world and the American public the extent of the massacre that has occurred in Iraq. The military is following the precedent established by then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, who declared after the first Gulf War that he was “not terribly interested” wsws.org

Jobless and Hopeless, Many Quit the Labor Force April 28, 2003 By MONICA DAVEY with DAVID LEONHARDT Worn down by job searches that have stretched on for months, demoralized by disappointing offers or outright rejections, some unemployed people have simply stopped the search. As the nation enters a third year of difficult economic times, these unemployed — from factory workers to investment bankers — have dropped out of the labor force and entered the invisible ranks of people not counted in the unemployment rate. nytimes.com

'Peaceful' nuclear power fuels spread of weapons April 27, 2003 Stephen Koff North Korea announces it has nuclear weapons and could make more, and analysts say South Korea, Japan and Taiwan could follow. Iran is building a plant to enrich uranium, possibly for a bomb, and experts say Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria and even postwar Iraq, depending on its new government, could be next. The world is teetering on the brink of a new nuclear arms race. Countries are seeking to get the deadliest of weapons as it becomes clear their neighbors and regional rivals are already doing so, CIA Director George Tenet recently told Congress. The "domino theory of the 21st century may well be nuclear," Tenet said. A major way such a dangerous arms race has become possible is the ready availability of a source of weapons material - ordinary nuclear power reactors. cleveland.com

Biting the (Bush) budget bullet Why raising taxes is the least painful way out of the state's fiscal crisis April 27, 2003 By Peter R. Orszag and Joseph E. Stiglitz LIKE MASSACHUSETTS, STATE governments across the nation are facing budget deficits of historic proportions. Next year, they will face combined projected shortfalls of between $70 billion and $85 billion-or about 15 percent of all the money they spend out of their general funds. In response, they are cutting back on vital services, curtailing school hours, and restricting access to Medicaid, as well as raising tuition at public universities and increasing taxes. boston.com

Can An Entire Country Go Mad? April 26, 2003 By Ernest Partridge Can an entire country go mad? Of course it can! And history provides many examples: the Salem Colony during the witch trials (and its 20th century counterpart, the McCarthy mania), Nazi Germany, Cambodia under Pol Pot, and arguably the United States under George Bush. Worse yet, most people living at a time of national derangement perceive that condition as perfectly normal, and even moral. And pity the poor soul who sees things differently: the "one-eyed person in the land of the blind." If we are even to suggest that the American public has, by and large, gone bonkers, we should begin with a definition of "sanity" and, by implication, of "insanity." Perhaps Sigmund Freud said it best: a sane person is someone with an operating "reality principle" – someone who checks his beliefs against the readily-available promptings of "the real world." democraticunderground.com

Why won’t Washington allow the UN weapons inspectors into Iraq? April 26, 2003 By Peter Symonds There is simply no credible justification for the refusal of the Bush administration this week to allow the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq. In fact, White House spokesmen have not even bothered to try. The US and its military allies invaded and occupied Iraq on the pretext that the Hussein regime had vast stocks of “weapons of mass destruction,” If there were any truth in its claims, Washington would have welcomed the involvement of UN weapons experts to provide independent verification, and thus a veneer of legitimacy, to the US occupation of Iraq. Instead, the Bush administration is now doing everything it accused Saddam Hussein of. It is refusing to abide by the terms of UN resolutions on Iraq. It has arrogantly rejected calls by Russia, France and other countries for the return of UN inspection teams. And it baldly declares that its officials and scientists should be believed without independent corroboration. In short, the US is acting as a “rogue state,” flouting the demands of the “international community”. wsws.org

Bush Shows 'Pattern of Hostility' Toward Civil Rights April 26, 2003 Jim Lobe The administration of President George W. Bush is steadily and systematically working to reverse longstanding civil rights policies and impede the enforcement of U.S. civil rights laws, according to a new report released Thursday by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF). "For defenders of civil rights, this is a perilous time," warned the LCCREF, a coalition of rights and religious groups whose members include the National Council of Churches, the National Organization for Women, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among other grassroots groups. The groups charge that Bush and his aides appear determined to impose what the report called "a radical view of the Constitution in which states' rights are paramount" both through the adoption of policies and regulations that undermine the basis on which federal civil-rights protections stand and by packing the federal appeals courts with "right-wing ideologues." yahoo.com

Stop Congress from Rolling Back Key Civil Rights Protections April 26, 2003 Earlier this month the Senate made clear that it would not allow federally funded religious discrimination.  Despite this, the Bush Administration and several Members of Congress continue to promote religious discrimination with taxpayer funds.  Their most recent legislative attempt would roll-back key civil rights protections and will soon be considered on the House floor. The legislation -- the Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act (HR 1261) -- jeopardizes civil rights and religious freedom because it would roll back protection against discrimination or misuse of government funds by religious organizations.  For the first time ever, it allows religious organizations involved in federal job training programs to discriminate according to religion when hiring staff for these taxpayer-funded services. aclu.org

US Forces Make Iraqis Strip and Walk Naked in Public April 26, 2003 The newspaper Dagbladet (Norway) published photos of armed US soldiers forcing Iraqi men to walk naked through a park. On the chests of the men had been scrawled an Arabic phrase that translates as "Ali Baba - Thief." A military officer states that the men are thieves, and that this technique will be used again. No word yet from the newly liberated Iraqi people about some of them being summarily found guilty of theft, forced at gunpoint to strip, having a racist phrase written on their bodies, and then made to walk naked in public. No doubt the Arab/Muslim world is impressed by this display of "democracy," "freedom," "due process," and "no cruel or unusual punishment." We wonder if the soldiers will be using this technique on their comrades who stole $13.1 million in Iraq. Or the journalists who looted Iraq's art. thememoryhole.org

U.S. Arms Dealer To Run Iraq’s ‘Humanitarian Relief’ April 26, 2003 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Although the overwhelming majority countries agree that the U.N. must be at the heart of the reconstruction and administration of post-war Iraq, the U.S. once again challenged the will of the international community and appointed a retired U.S. arms dealer - whose company helps the U.S. bomb Baghdad - to oversee “humanitarian relief and rebuilding of Iraq”. islamonline.net

British Gulf troops face tests for cancer April 25, 2003 Paul Brown Soldiers returning from the Gulf will be offered tests to check levels of depleted uranium in their bodies to assess whether they are in danger of suffering kidney damage and lung cancer as a result of exposure, the Ministry of Defence said last night. The ministry was responding to a warning earlier in the day from the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific body, that soldiers and civilians might be exposed to dangerous levels. It challenged earlier reassurances from the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, that depleted uranium was not a risk. guardian.co.uk Americans are being told that depleted uranium weapons are safe and pose no health or environmental threats. When U.S. soldiers return home sick with systemic radiation poisoning the government gives the sickness a funny name, 'Gulf War Syndrome,' insinuating a possible psychological disorder. American soldiers have been told that it's all in their heads and they are faking and they should get over it, and when their wives give birth to armless legless children the government is silent. tpv editor

Journalism Under Siege April 26, 2003 In spite of the U.S. corporate media's biased pro-war coverage, outrageous examples of media manipulation and the actual targeting of journalists by the U.S. military in Iraq is mirrored regularly in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. In the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday 19 April, another journalist was murdered by the Israeli military. Such incidents, as well as the limiting of access to the Territories for journalists who might report these atrocities, appears to be standard policy for the forces of repression and empire. http://indymedia.org/

Something deeply corrupt is consuming journalism. A war so one-sided it was hardly a war was reported like a Formula One race, as the teams sped to the chequered flag in Baghdad,  April 26, 2003  John Pilger On 8 April, newspapers around the world carried a despatch from a Reuters correspondent, "embedded" with the US army, about the murder of a ten-year-old Iraqi boy. An American private had "unloaded machine-gun fire and the boy . . . fell dead on a garbage-strewn stretch of wasteland". The tone of the report was highly sympathetic to the soldier, "a softly spoken 21-year-old" who, "although he has no regrets about opening fire, it is clear he would rather it was not a child he killed". The child-killing soldier was allowed uncritically to describe those like his victim as "cowards". There was no suggestion that the Americans were invading the victim's homeland. Perhaps guessing that readers might be feeling just a touch uncomfortable at this stage, the Reuters correspondent added his own reassuring words: "Before - like many young soldiers - he [the soldier] says he was anxious to get his first 'kill' in a war. Now, he seems more mature." pilger.carlton.com

Top US State department official calls Gingrich an "idiot" April 26, 2003 LISBON (AFP) A top US State Department official called former congressman and current Pentagon adviser Newt Gingrich an "idiot" in an interview published here. US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Elizabeth Jones was asked to comment on Gingrich's recent harsh criticism of her department's Middle East diplomacy. "Newt Gingrich does not speak in the name of the Pentagon and what he said is garbage," US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Elizabeth Jones told the Publico daily. "What Gingrich says does not interest me. He is an idiot and you can publish that," she added. yahoo.com

SECRETARY OF THE ARMY THOMAS E. WHITE RESIGNS April 26, 2003 Secretary Thomas E. White today submitted his resignation as Secretary of the Army. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld expressed his appreciation to Secretary White for his long and able service to the country, first as a career U.S. Army officer and then as Secretary of the Army for the past two years. The effective date of his resignation is to be determined. defenselink.mil/news

Fenced off Lafayette Park

High Price of Empire: the new White House bunker mentality April 25, 2003 After beating up on Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush regime is increasingly frightened by the American people. George W. Bush, "Emperor of the World" as the Europeans like to call him, may be swaggering around this week after his forces demolished the poor country of Iraq, but he fears his legitimacy among the American people. As Bush builds his fundamentalist global empire, there are increasing signs that he distrusts the American people, most of whom never voted for him in 2000. These signs are more evident than ever with a new fence that has gone up around the White House compound. Actually, the White House has now completely fenced off Lafayette Park, a public park across from the White House where hundreds of thousands of Americans have protested over the years. The Bush regime may have an arsenal of precision-guided bombs and weapons of mass destruction, but it still relies on high fences to keep out the American people who are interested in democracy, not empire-building. infoshop.org

Russian official predicts 'catastrophic' events April 25 2003 A top Russian Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying yesterday in Tokyo that a "catastrophic" development of events in the US-North Korean nuclear standoff was imminent and could occur within the next day. "It is probable that, as early as tomorrow, there will be a catastrophic development of events," Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov as saying. He added that the standoff had "reached an extreme stage" but did not give a more detailed explanation about his warning. smh.com.au

"War means an intensification of the exploitation of the US working class" April 25, 2003  “War and the social crisis in the United States.” The resolution begins by noting that the turn to unbridled militarism by the Bush administration is a manifestation of the deep-going internal crisis of American society, which finds its most acute expression in levels of social inequality not seen since the 1920s. If one considers the character of the demonstrations that have taken place in the United States and internationally, it becomes clear that this imperialist war has served as a catalyst to draw millions of people into political struggle. But the streams that are contributing to this growth of social dissent and political struggle have many sources—first and foremost, the growth of social inequality, the attack on democratic rights, the inability of broad masses to persuade or influence the capitalist state. wsws.org

Welcome to the Fourth Reich! April 25, 2003 By Sandra Here it is, The Truth. Many have told me you won't care, that you will call it irrelevant. The truth is that we are in the midst of the Fourth Reich. I know it sounds absurd, but it's true. President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a NAZI SYMPATHIZER. He personally financed the building of over 40 concentration camps including Auschwitz. How did he do this and how does this relate to "Junior?" Let me explain. theindependentjournal.com

U.S. Reporter Who Protested Iraq War Fired April 25, 2003 A San Francisco Chronicle reporter suspended after being arrested at a rally opposed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq lost his job on Wednesday, a spokesman for the paper said. The Chronicle suspended technology reporter Henry Norr, 57, last month, after he was among more than 1,300 people arrested for blocking public streets the morning after the Iraq war started. "He no longer works at the Chronicle, effective today," spokesman Joe Brown said. news.yahoo.com

Fund-raiser for GOP pleads guilty in case of child pornography April 24, 2003 By Allison Klein Delgaudio took pictures of a 16-year-old girl  A prominent Republican fund-raiser who once said former President Bill Clinton was "a lawbreaker and a terrible example to our nation's young people" pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to production of child pornography. Richard Anthony Delgaudio, who was sentenced to two years' probation before judgment, admitted to taking lewd photographs of a 16-year-old girl he met in East Baltimore's Patterson Park in 2001. In some of the photos, he was engaged in sex with her, court records show. sunspot.net

America: Too Far Gone? April 24, 2003 by "Axle" When one thinks of how deep the sewage goes and how well the Cenobites of Satan have entrenched themselves. It is very hard to be optimistic. No laws are ever rescinded. A simple mental extrapolation of the current situation provides a very bleak outlook on the future. This once great country, The United States of America, can go nowhere but down... Many say, "we must elect people that will return us to proper Constitutional Government." Yeah, I bought that golden turd at one time, but the idea is laughable to me now. With technology, population size, and World Government, there is no turning back now. It's full speed ahead, straight to Hades. sianews.com

U.S.-led Invasion Morphs into Occupation April 24, 2003 Although the bulk of the fighting in Iraq has subsided, the aftermath of the war is only beginning. The civilian death count has yet to be reported, and the Pentagon announced that it "has no plans" to determine how many civilians were killed or injured during the war. US forces remain firmly entrenched in Iraq, where they are likely to remain for a long-term occupation. But last week, as Iraqi civilians looted hospitals and archaelogical museums, US troops were busy protecting the Ministry of Oil building. The US military continues to impinge on the freedom of the press in Iraq, banning from the Palestine Hotel members of the human rights group Voices in the Wilderness. This occured after VITW released a press release outline US failures in Iraq. http://indymedia.org/

Bush's World War Four Fall of Iraq sets up new "Clashes of Civilizations" April 24, 2003 By Larry Chin According to the Bush administration, the "liberation" of Iraq was an easy US military "cakewalk," warmly greeted by cheering Iraqis who welcome their nation's "reconstruction." The truth is infinitely more grotesque. Iraq, mysteriously given up by its own military, is being erased from the map, replaced by a new US puppet regime. The sequential global war waged under the fabricated pretext of September 11, 2001, and driven by Peak Oil (confirmed by a recent BBC analysis), with Iraq a key prize, continues. The first casualty of war is truth. In Iraq, the truth has been raped, butchered and left for dead. onlinejournal.com

Fox News nailed in Iraq looting charge April 24, 2003 A US Fox television news employee has been charged with smuggling artworks and monetary bonds from Iraq. Benjamin James Johnson - an engineer for Fox news - stands accused of bringing into the US 12 paintings taken from a palace belonging to Saddam Hussein's son Uday and also of making false statements to the police. news.bbc.co.uk

Citizen Groups to Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Integrity of U.S. Constitution, Deny Corporate 'Right to Lie' Claim in Nike Case A broad range of public interest and citizen groups will rally in support of Marc Kasky and the integrity of the Bill of Rights and against Nike's claim to a Constitutional "right to lie." Speakers representing the Sierra Club, ReclaimDemocracy.org, and Educating for Justice, along with a legal expert in corporate personhood, will explain the vast consequences that would result from a Court-sanctioned corporate "right to lie," damages that would affect everything from the environment to human rights to consumer rights to the quality of our democracy. usnewswire.com

Mounting attacks on free speech in US By Henry MichaelsEven as the Bush administration claims to be bringing democracy and political liberty to Iraq, it is spearheading a deepening assault on basic democratic rights at all levels in the United States. Emboldened by the military conquest of Iraq and armed with the Bush administration’s Patriot Act, which authorizes far-reaching restrictions on civil liberties in the name of the “war on terrorism,” officials at federal, state and municipal levels are taking draconian steps to stifle political dissent. In Oregon, for example, right-wing radio show hosts and Republican legislators are pushing a state anti-terrorism bill that would allow authorities to jail street-blocking protesters for at least 25 years. wsws.org

A nation lost By James Carroll EVEN BEFORE conclusions can be drawn about the war in Iraq (Saddam? Weapons of mass destruction? Iraqi stability? Cost to civilians? Syria?) a home front consensus is jelling around a radical revision of America's meaning in the world. Centered on coercive unilateralism, the new doctrine assumes that the United States not only stands apart from other countries but above them. The primitive tribalism of boys at football games -- ''We're number one!'' -- has been transformed into an axiom of strategy. Military force has replaced democratic idealism as the main source of US influence. boston.com

Children held at Camp Xray, US admits The US military has revealed it is holding juveniles at its high-security prison for terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, known as Camp Xray. The commander of the joint task force at Guantanamo, Major General Geoffrey Miller, says more than one child under the age of 16 is at the detention centre. However, Maj Gen Miller has revealed little more about their welfare. Maj Gen Miller says the US is holding "juvenile enemy combatants" at the centre, confirming rumours of children being held. abc.net.au

Empire vs. Republic By Robert Parry George W. Bush’s doctrine of preemptive wars is creating a new deep divide in U.S. politics. On one side, Bush and his backers see the Iraq War as the start of an American global empire built around unparalleled military power. On the other, a scattered grouping of skeptics dig in for what they see as a fight for the soul of the American republic. Yet as imbalanced as this struggle now appears, both sides agree that it holds in its outcome the future of the American democratic experiment. consortiumnews.com

Rumsfeld calls for regime change in North Korea
By David Rennie A secret Donald Rumsfeld memorandum calling for regime change in North Korea was leaked yesterday, opening a fresh foreign policy split in the Bush administration. The classified discussion paper, circulated by the defence secretary, appears to cut directly across State Department plans to disarm Kim Jong-il, the North's dictator, through threats leavened by promises that his regime is not a target for overthrow. telegraph.co.uk

Bush aides discuss 'punishment' for France Senior aides to U.S. President George Bush met this week to consider ways to punish France for its opposition to the war on Iraq, including sidelining Paris at NATO and limiting its participation in transatlantic forums, officials said. japantoday.com

Poor Sean Hannity By Charley Reese Sean Hannity, a radio talk-show host and Fox News whiner, has a one-rut mind. Every criticism or dissent, no matter what the subject, the topic or the source, is a left-wing attack against his hero, George W. Bush. Well, what can you expect from an immature groupie? Every time he tries to think, his face reflects the pain of the effort. But he really showed his emptiness recently when he said that criticism of the United States failing to guard the Iraqi National Museum was — you guessed it — just left-wing soreheads who are mad that President Bush's war has been so successful. reese.king-online.com

Pope puts pressure on US By Owen Bowcott The Pope sent a coded rebuke to Washington yesterday when he urged Iraqis to take charge of rebuilding their country while working closely with the international community. In the Vatican's diplomatic lexicon, the phrase "international community" normally refers to the UN. Before the conflict started, Pope John Paul II vigorously opposed the US-led assault and advocated resolution of the crisis in the UN general assembly. guardian.co.uk

The new dark age The looting and burning of Iraq's museums and libraries has left us all losers April 21, 2003 Ben Okri We are now at the epicentre of a shift in the history of the world. The war against Iraq has unleashed unsuspected forces. The first signs are twofold. The need of the Americans to protect oil fields, but not hospitals, museums and libraries. This is a catastrophic failure of imagination and a signal absence of a sense of the true values of civilization. It does not bode well for the future. The second sign is in the Iraqi people. We ask why have they turned on themselves, looted their own museums, and burnt their priceless National Library. The answer is simple. Some have been dehumanized. They have been broken by sanctions, crushed by tyranny and annihilated by the doctrine of overwhelming force. guardian.co.uk

Schools Not Teaching Pro-Israel Views To Lose Funding Congress To Pass 'Ideological Diversity' Legislation April 21, 2003 By Michael Collins Piper American Free Press Republican members of the Senate are planning to introduce police-state- style "thought control" legislation designed to prohibit criticism of Israel on American college campuses. The third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate, conservative Rick Santorum (Pa.), plans to introduce so-called "ideological diversity" legislation that would cut federal funding for thousands of American colleges and universities if those institutions are found to be permitting professors, students and student organizations to openly criticize Israel, which Santorum considers to be an act of "anti-Semitism." rense.com


Hollywood revives McCarthyist climate by silencing and sacking war critics April 21 2003 By Andrew Gumbel  Hollywood is often depicted in the US media as a hotbed of anti-government dissent and left-wing politics but that is not how it feels to Ed Gernon. Mr Gernon was, until recently, a television producer at CBS responsible for a four-part miniseries on Hitler's rise to power, which will be shown next month. He thought the timing was apt, and said so in an interview with TV Guide magazine. "It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole nation into war," he said. "I can't think of a better time to examine this history than now." independent.co.uk

Welcome To The Pale April 21, 2003 By R. B. Ham I just got through reading an explosive essay by Jackson Thoreau. The U.S. Iran-Contra Secret Government Rears its Ugly Head in Today's Bush Administration raises many issues that are still not being openly debated in the mainstream media, let alone acknowledged. Mr. Thoreau's own newspaper that employs him apparently refused to run this article. Mr. Thoreau is just one of countless others who have run up against the Pale Wall. Journalists and entertainers have been running into this wall with astonishing regularity. This Pale Wall is a well constructed and constantly manned parapet of ideological thought control. shaw.ca

Radio Host Alex Jones Listener Incarcerated For Believing Alex Jones April 21, 2003 This is the first case that I am aware of, of an Alex Jones listener who has been arrested and taken into mental health custody because he has believed in and promoted Alex Jone's tapes and materials. server.co



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