NOVEMBER 24-18, 03 Archives

E-mail this page link

NYPD ATTACKS PEACEFUL GATHERING AT BROOKLYN COMMUNITY SPACE November 24, 2003 People attending a fundraising event in Brooklyn were shocked early this morning by unprovoked and violent assault at the hands of the NYPD. Up to 100 people attending a fundraiser for activists of color were indiscriminately sprayed with chemical agents, beaten with nightsticks, and harassed by a throng of police officers. Witnesses say there was no cause for the assaults and the subsequent arrests following the melee. Witnesses report that no warrant was presented upon police entrance. Organizers responded peacefully to police threats and physical provocation, and cooperated with police. The 77th Precinct, which is where the arrestees were initially held, has been unwilling to provide even the smallest information about the status of those arrested. EMS visited the precinct to attend to those who sustained serious injuries, which include bruised ribs, a spinal injury, and sever blows to the head.

Thousands Protest America's HOME GROWN TERRORISM November 24, 2003 From School of the America's Watch COLUMBUS, Georgia--Thousands are taking nonviolent direct action this weekend to close what they call a terrorist training camp on U.S. soil -- the School of the Americas, renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHISC), a combat-training school for Latin American soldiers. Protestors have gathered at the gates of Fort Benning in Georgia, home of the notorious school.

Kucinich Posts Diebold Memos to His House Web Site; Says Investigating 'Diebold's Legal Abuses' November 24, 2003 Privatized Voting, Private Interests  - Rep. Kucinich House Web Site) Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), 2004 candidate for President, has posted to his official House web site information about serious security problems in e-vote systems produced by Diebold Inc. A statement there says Kucinich is "working to investigate Diebold's legal abuses" in covering up the security problems and ignoring required software certification. The statement also says Kucinich is "working with his Congressional colleagues to draft legislation that would create an open-source design process for voting machine software." / Kucinich Requests House Judiciary Committee Hearing On Diebold’s Abuses Of Digital Millennium Copyright Act

E-Votes Must Leave a Paper Trail November 24, 2003 By Kim Zetter SAN FRANCISCO -- California will become the first state requiring all electronic voting machines produce a voter-verifiable paper receipt. The requirement, announced Friday by California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, applies to all electronic voting systems already in use as well as those currently being purchased. The machines must be retrofitted with printers to produce a receipt by 2006, long after the next presidential selection.

U.S. helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, 5 killed November 24, 2003 WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - A U.S. military helicopter crashed on Sunday in Afghanistan killing five service personnel, U.S. Central Command said. The helicopter crashed near Bagram and early reports indicated that seven members of the U.S. military were injured in addition to the dead, a statement said. "The cause of the crash is unknown and under military investigation," it said.

At Least 17 U.S. Troops Have Committed Suicide in Iraq; Army Seeks Answers November 24, 2003 By Randall Richard The Associated Press The questions may differ, but experts say the desperate search for answers - and the denial - are usually the same. Since April, the military says, at least 17 Americans - 15 Army soldiers and two Marines - have taken their own lives in Iraq. The true number is almost certainly higher. At least two dozen non-combat deaths, some of them possible suicides, are under investigation according to an AP review of Army casualty reports.

US MACHINE-TOOL SECTOR COLLAPSE SIGNS ECONOMIC DEBACLE November 24, 2003 Posted By: Rosalinda "WALMART" STREET JOURNAL FRONT-PAGE ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS DECIMATION OF U.S. MACHINE TOOL SECTOR, at the heart of the nation's once-mighty industrial economy. The National Tooling and Machining Association estimates that 30% of U.S. tool-and-die shops have shut down in just the past three years, and expects many more to close in the next few years. Manufacturers' orders for machine tools have plummeted 63% during 1997-2002; and in the first nine months of 2003, have fallen 16% from the level in the same period last year. Machine tool makers produce the metal-cutting and -forming machines (such as dies and molds), used by manufacturers to make everything from televisions to cups, from car doors to surgical devices. The collapse of the machine tool sector, the Wall Street rag warns, also endangers national security.

Why the Bush "War on Terror" is Fated to Fail November 24, 2003 by John D. Goldhammer What happens when you mix power politics with the Christian strain of religious fundamentalism? You get a toxic stew of arrogance and absolutism; a medieval us-versus-them, God-is-on-our-side mind set that marches right into the jaws of the ideologically-inspired, mass paranoia of Islamic terrorist groups. Thus each group acts and reacts based on the same deadly dynamics, each the other's evil enemy.

Rummy’s Nuclear Weapons Could Trigger World War III November 24, 2003 By Gordon Thomas Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s plan to develop so-called “mini” nuclear weapons has many people across the globe fearing the very worst. Donald Rumsfeld is backing the creation of a new generation of low-yield nuclear weapons—dubbed “mini-nukes.” The weapons could be tested as early as next year.

We are all Jews now November 24, 2003 By GILBERT PORTER BLYTHE Since September 11, 2001, George W. Bush has made no attempt to understand the motives of people who hate us. A few hours after the World Trade Center collapsed, he announced that "America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." Two days later, he spoke of terrorists who "hate our values" and "hate what America stands for." President Bush has never deviated from this theme. He insists that attacks on our soldiers in Iraq are led by people who "hate freedom."

Environmentalists blast Bush oil plan November 24, 2003 The Associated Press ANCHORAGE - A Bush administration plan to open almost 9 million acres to oil and gas development in Alaska is ill-conceived and misleading, threatening sensitive havens for migratory birds and other wildlife, environmentalists say. ``It's never enough for the Bush administration,'' Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, said Friday. ``They won't be happy until every acre in America's arctic is a wasteland filled with oil, pipelines and roads.''

Wal-Mart Is Not a Business, It's an Economic Disease November 24, 2003 by Richard Freeman and Arthur Ticknor The Wal-Mart department store chain, which employs 1.3 million people at 4,700 stores worldwide, and in 2002 became the largest corporation in the world, is levelling economies of the U.S., industrial nations, and the Third World.

Coroner calls on MoD to stop using cluster bombs November 24, 2003 A coroner is demanding a review of the use of cluster bombs after hearing how a British expert died trying to make safe unexploded devices dropped by American forces and gathered up by Iraqi peasant farmers. After hearing how villagers implored Staff Sgt Chris Muir, 33, to help them to clear their fields of explosives so they could harvest crops, Nicholas Gardiner, the Oxford coroner, said it was "unacceptable" that 30 per cent of the "bomblets" contained in each cluster bomb failed to detonate.

Doctors warn of GBAS November 24, 2003 Farish A Noor Doctors have issued a global warning about a newly detected disease that is rapidly making its way across the world via air travel. The sickness is called the George Bush Association Syndrome (GBAS), is highly contagious and has no known cure. It appears to be a disease that primarily affects politicians and heads of state, and those who become infected show dangerous symptoms of loss of political will and direction which include the inability to form a coherent foreign policy without the approval of Washington; acute fear of losing American aid and diplomatic support; an unhealthy paranoia of Muslims and all things remotely connected to Islam, Arabs and Muslim culture.

"The president ought to be ashamed" November 24, 2003 Former Sen. Max Cleland blasts Bush's "Nixonian" stonewalling of the 9/11 commission, his "lies" about Iraq, and his flight-suit photo op on the USS Lincoln after "hiding out" during Vietnam.

New Clergy Group Opposes Bush Re-Election November 24, 2003 By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press WASHINGTON - Aiming to become the Christian Coalition of the left, liberal and moderate religious leaders are founding a political group to oppose President Bush's re-election and try to turn their congregations into election-year activists.

FBI uses new powers to bug anti-war groups November 24, 2003 Julian Borger in Washington American civil liberties groups yesterday denounced the FBI for using new counter-terrorist powers to spy on anti-war demonstrations.

Lawmakers OK Spending Bill Food Measure November 24, 2003 By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press WASHINGTON - Bargainers tying down the last details of a mammoth $390 billion spending bill agreed to block labels identifying which country food products come from for the next two years, lawmakers and aides said Saturday.

NOW Applauds Democratic Senators' Stand Against Deceptive Medicare Bill November 24, 2003 WASHINGTON,  /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by NOW President Kim Gandy: "While Republicans attempt to shove a bitter pill down the throats of seniors, NOW applauds the bold Democratic senators who have vowed to filibuster the Medicare bill. Our members especially thank Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry for their leadership in mounting the filibuster against the ill-conceived dismantling of the Medicare entitlement.

Alliance For Retired Americans Outraged Over Medicare Bill November 23, 2003 WASHINGTON  /U.S. Newswire/ -- This is a sad day for America's seniors. In the dead of night Tom Delay and the Republican leadership worked against America's seniors. They held the vote on a bad prescription drug benefit, for an unprecedented an disgraceful three hours. Normally votes are taken in fifteen minutes. Just as Newt Gingrich predicted, we saw first hand last night how Tom Delay and the Republicans are allowing Medicare to wither on the vine. Shame on Congress that they didn't take the time to do the work to give seniors a comprehensive prescription drug benefit. Shame on Congress for opening the door to privatize Medicare. Shame on Congress for allowing 2.7 million retirees to lose their existing coverage. Shame on Congress for not allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Shame on Congress for protecting the profits of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries over the needs of older Americans. The Alliance for Retired Americans is outraged that Congress failed to do its work. This is about choices, and Congress has chosen profits over people.

2 Bills Would Benefit Top Bush Fundraisers Executives' Companies Could Get Billions November 23, 2003 By Thomas B. Edsall Washington Post More than three dozen of President Bush's major fundraisers are affiliated with companies that stand to benefit from the passage of two central pieces of the administration's legislative agenda: the energy and Medicare bills. The energy bill provides billions of dollars in benefits to companies run by at least 22 executives and their spouses who have qualified as either "Pioneers" or "Rangers," as well as to the clients of at least 15 lobbyists and their spouses who have achieved similar status as fundraisers. At least 24 Rangers and Pioneers could benefit from the Medicare bill as executives of companies or lobbyists working for them, including eight who have clients affected by both bills.

Army Is Planning for 100,000 G.I.'s in Iraq Till 2006 November 23, 2003 By ERIC SCHMITT WASHINGTON Army planning for Iraq currently assumes keeping about 100,000 United States troops there through early 2006, a senior Army officer said Friday. The plans reflect the concerns of some Army officials that stabilizing Iraq could be more difficult than originally planned.

F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies November 23, 2003 By ERIC LICHTBLAU WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has collected extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators and has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at protests to its counterterrorism squads, according to interviews and a confidential bureau memorandum.

Crimes Against Nature November 23, 2003 By Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Bush is sabotaging the laws that have protected America's environment for more than thirty years George W. Bush will go down in history as America's worst environmental president. In a ferocious three-year attack, the Bush administration has initiated more than 200 major rollbacks of America's environmental laws, weakening the protection of our country's air, water, public lands and wildlife.

Rights group questions house demolitions in Iraq, Pentagon denies collective punishment November 23, 2003 WASHINGTON (AFP) - Amnesty International said US forces appeared to be destroying houses in Iraq as a form of collective punishment for attacks on US troops and warned that it would violate the Geneva Conventions.

Iraqi CPA fires 28,000 Teachers November 23, 2003 By RICHARD SALE, UPI Intelligence Correspondent American's top man in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, last week fired 28,000 Iraqi teachers as political punishment for their former membership in the Saddam Hussein-dominated Baath Party, fueling anti-U.S. resistance on the ground, administration officials have told United Press International.

U.S. Begins Hypersonic Weapons Program November 23, 2003 By Celeste Biever New Scientist: The US military has begun development of an ultra-high speed weapons system that would enable targets virtually anywhere on Earth to be hit within two hours of launch from the continental US. Ten companies have been given grants by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pentagon for six-month "system definition" studies. If the Pentagon likes the results, a three-year design and development phase will begin.

U.S. Detonates 'Mother of All Bombs' in Florida Test
November 23, 2003 By REUTERS WASHINGTON The most powerful conventional bomb in the U.S. arsenal exploded in a huge, fiery cloud on a Florida test range on Friday after being dropped by an Air Force cargo plane in the last developmental step for the nearly 11-ton''mother of all bombs.'' An MC-130E Combat Talon I dropped the 21,700-pound satellite-guided GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, or MOAB, over the test range at Eglin Air Force Base in northwestern Florida, said base spokesman Jake Swinson. A plume of smoke rose more than 10,000 feet in the air and was visible 40 miles away in Pensacola, Florida. ``It looked like a big mushroom cloud filled with flames as it grew and grew and grew,'' Swinson said after the afternoon test. ``It was one of the most awesome spectacles I've seen.''

You Can Tell When Bush is Lying – His Lips Move November 23, 2003 John Pilger The New Statesman 24 November 2003 Shortly before the disastrous Bush visit to Britain, Tony Blair was at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. It was an unusual glimpse of a state killer whose effete respectability has gone. His perfunctory nod to "the glorious dead" came from a face bleak with guilt. As William Howard Russell of the Times wrote of another prime minister responsible for the carnage in the Crimea, "He carries himself like one with blood on his hands." Having shown his studied respect to the Queen, whose prerogative allowed him to commit his crime in Iraq, Blair hurried away. "Sneak home and pray you'll never know," wrote Siegfried Sassoon in 1917, "The hell where youth and laughter go. "

“Meet the people” - Bush and Blair style November 23, 2003 By Chris Marsden One million pounds spent and 1,300 police officers invading a village of 5,000 residents—all so that US President George W. Bush and his host, Prime Minister Tony Blair, could fake a “meet the people” photo opportunity. Bush’s helicopter visit to Blair’s Sedgefield constituency in northeast England was billed as an occasion for the president to wind down and enjoy a pub lunch at the local Dun and Cow Inn, followed by a soccer match at the local sports academy. In the event, the modest lunch of fish, chips and mushy peas turned out to be one of the most expensive meals in history, and the 70 or so carefully vetted guests were about the only “commoners” Bush met during his state visit to Britain.

Bush Is Criticized Over Nuclear Waste Dump November 23, 2003 From Times Wire Reports NEVADA President Bush broke his campaign promise to Nevadans and rushed ahead with plans to develop a national nuclear waste repository in the state, the speaker of the Nevada Assembly said in the weekly Democratic radio address. The decision by the Bush administration to move forward on the Yucca Mountain project has serious consequences not only for Nevada but for the 38 million Americans who live near the highways and rail lines where the waste will be hauled, Speaker Richard Perkins said.

Israeli raids leaving thousands homeless: UN November 23, 2003 By KERRY O'BRIEN: Elsewhere in the Middle East, Israeli tanks, troops and bulldozers have once again moved against suspected Palestinian terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, which separates Israel from Egypt. The United Nations criticised Israel over a similar operation last month, when Israeli forces entered the Rafah Refugee Camp, searching for tunnels used by Palestinian militias to smuggle in arms. According to the UN, the raid left hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands homeless.

A High Price for Speaking Up Pilots in Iraq Face Court-Martial for Voicing Concerns About Aircraft November 23, 2003 By Martha Raddatz Two U.S. Army pilots charged with ferrying American military brass around Iraq decided to speak out about the vulnerability of their aircraft. Their reward: criminal charges. The Army admits that the aircraft has no survivability equipment, but says defensive measures — making steep descents, or spiral takeoffs provide adequate protection. "It's like sending a foot soldier in without an armored vest or a gun. It's nuts." Lesley Barber, whose husband flies with Lovett and Jones in Iraq.

Bush finally wins battle to revamp overtime rules November 22, 2003 By ALAN FRAM The chief Republican foe, Sen. Arlen Specter, relents on the provision, part of an agency spending package. Opponents of the Bush administration's proposed rules changing which workers qualify for overtime pay abandoned their fight Friday in the face of unrelenting pressure from the White House and the House. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the chief Republican opponent of the new rules, agreed to drop a provision killing the regulations from a massive spending bill, lawmakers, congressional aides and lobbyists said. Critics of the new rules said they could lead to 8 million U.S. employees losing eligibility for overtime pay.

Why Do People Hate You? Reporter Asks Bush November 22, 2003 By Susan Jones ( - "Mr. President, if I could ask you, with thousands on the street...marching today here in London, a free nation, what is your conclusion as to why apparently so many free citizens fear you and even hate you?" "I'd say freedom is beautiful, Bush responded. "It's a fantastic thing to come to a country where people are able to express their views." Pressed on the question of why people hate him "in such numbers," Bush said he doesn't know ...

Patriot Act Expansion Moves Through Congress November 22, 2003 By Jim Lobe WASHINGTON, D.C., (OneWorld) -- Congress is poised to approve new legislation that amounts to the first substantive expansion of the controversial USA Patriot Act since it was approved just after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Acting at the Bush administration's behest, a joint House-Senate conference committee has approved a provision in the 2004 Intelligence Authorization bill that will permit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to demand records from a number of businesses--without the approval of a judge or grand jury.

Gag Rule November 22, 2003 By Chris Floyd Although the "conquest" of Iraq has unraveled into murderous chaos, at least the Bush Regime is winning its ferocious battle against another dangerous foe: American soldiers who were captured -- and tortured -- by Saddam Hussein's forces in the first Gulf War. The Bushists' relentless fight to block the American captives from receiving any compensation from Iraq has eerie echoes of a similar move, more than 50 years ago.

Washington demands “triggers” for attack on Iran November 22, 2003 By Mike Head Even as its occupation of Iraq plunges further into disarray, the Bush administration is stepping up its drive for similar “regime change” in neighbouring oil-rich Iran. Ever since President Bush named Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, as an “axis of evil” in his January 2002 State of the Union address, the White House has maintained a barrage of allegations and threats against the Iranian regime, repeatedly accusing it of conducting a secret nuclear weapons program.

FBI let innocents get death sentences: report November 22, 2003 By Fox Butterfield The FBI used murderers as informants in Boston for three decades, even allowing innocent men to be sentenced to death to protect the secret operation, a government report has found. The FBI's policy "must be considered one of the greatest failures in the history of federal law enforcement" and had "disastrous consequences", the report by the House Committee on Government Reform said. More than 20 people were murdered by FBI informants in Boston from 1965, often with the help of FBI agents, it said.

Blood, Oil, Guns And Bullets November 22, 2003 By Aziz Choudry Terror, invasion, occupation and militarization are hallmarks of the US-led corporate recolonisation of Iraq. But they have long been the hallmarks of colonialism and imperialism the world over. Neoliberal globalization and war are two sides of the same coin. So too are oil and imperialism. Former Shell scientist Claude Ake, described Shell’s activities in Nigeria, as a process of the “militarization of commerce and the privatization of the state”. In 2003, this process is sweeping across the world, perhaps most visibly in Iraq.

America's new game plan for domination rests on success in Iraq November 22, 2003 Owen Harries With the attack of September 11, 2001, America's alleged "holiday from history" came to an abrupt end. In an instant the terrorists had given the country the clear purpose, the central organising principle, that it had previously lacked and that some had been strenuously demanding. One effect of September 11 was that it shifted the balance in favour of those in Washington's foreign policy establishment who saw things in sweeping terms - away from prudence and moderation towards conceptual boldness and an ambitious, assertive use of US power. Within a year the "war on terrorism" had metastasised into something much grander and more radical; something that would give full expression to one of the strongest strands in the history of the American people: the profound belief, that is, that they and their country are destined to reshape the world. (SMH)

Britain: Massive turnout at demonstration against Bush and Iraq war November 22, 2003 By Mike Ingram Upwards of 150,000 people participated in a protest demonstration in London on November 20 against the state visit of US President George W. Bush. The turnout far exceeded the organisers’ predictions of 100,000. Throughout the day police and media had attempted to play down the scale of opposition to the Bush visit, but the police were begrudgingly forced to acknowledge the presence of at least 100,000 protesters.

Russian decree to lift sanctions imposed on Libya November 22, 2003 Libya-Russia, Politics, Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday signed a decree for lifting all sanctions imposed on Libya. The press office at the Kremlin said in a statement yesterday that all public agencies and industrial, trade and financial, transport companies, banks and societies and all legal bodies and persons subjected to rules of the Russian Federation should work on the ground that the sanctions imposed on Libya were lifted as from September 12, 2003.

State sends bad check to peace activist shot by IDF November 22, 2003 By Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondent A Defense Ministry check, sent "without any admission of liability by the State of Israel and/or the Ministry of Defense" to the family of a International Solidarity Mission volunteer shot by an Israel Defense Forces soldier, bounced when the family tried to cash it earlier this week. The ISM volunteer was rendered incapacitated as a result of the gunshot wounds sustained last April. The check for 8,370 pounds was sent to the family of Tom Hurndall, who was seriously wounded after being shot in the head by a soldier in the Rafah refugee camp. His family spent 17,000 pounds to take him home,

Catastrophic consequences for America


Tommy Franks: Martial Law Will Replace Constitution After Next Terror Attack November 21, 2003 Newsmax Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government. Franks, who successfully led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, expressed his worries in an extensive interview he gave to the men’s lifestyle magazine Cigar Aficionado. In the magazine’s December edition, the former commander of the military’s Central Command warned that if terrorists succeeded in using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against the U.S. or one of our allies, it would likely have catastrophic consequences for our cherished republican form of government.

Project for the New American Century: A roadmap for global domination November 21, 2003 "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor... And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." -- from "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century," September, 2000.

Bush surprises Pentagon on Iraq troops November 21, 2003 LONDON, (UPI) -- President George Bush blindsided the Pentagon in London Thursday, saying if more troops were needed in Iraq, they would be sent. That contradicted earlier Pentagon statements claiming the goal was to reduce troop strength, and reportedly startled both National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell at the news conference.

US hid vital war data from allies November 21, 2003 By Marian Wilkinson United States Correspondent November 21, 2003 Australian officers were denied access to critical US intelligence during the Iraq war, potentially putting their lives at risk, under a policy described by a senior US Air Force intelligence officer as "damn silly".

Grim forecast challenges Bush November 21, 2003 By PATRICK COCKBURN American policymakers are studying an unprecedented and bleak assessment of the deteriorating military situation in Iraq which contradicts many claims made by the Bush Administration. The report is based on briefings by Paul Bremer, the US de facto governor of Iraq, military commanders, unnamed intelligence officers and Dr David Kay, the American who leads the hunt for Saddam's alleged weapons of mass destruction. ad slams Bush for job losses November 21, 2003 By LIZ SIDOTI The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's job-loss record is the topic of the first television commercial in a liberal activist group's planned advertising campaign to highlight what it calls Bush's failures as president. The 30-second ad by labels Bush a "misleader" and blames him for the loss of more than 2 million jobs during his tenure. "George Bush is doing something Bill Clinton didn't do ... his father didn't do ... not Reagan, or Carter, or Ford, or Nixon ... Not LBJ, or JFK ... Not Eisenhower, or Harry Truman ... Not in any of FDR's four terms," an announcer says as pictures of the former presidents fill the screen. The ad then says Bush is on track to be the first president since Herbert Hoover to end his term with a net job loss record. "Didn't George Bush say his tax cuts would create jobs?" the announcer asks.

bush Topple

And down comes the statue... but this time it's Trafalgar Square November 21, 2003 Jamie Wilson and Matthew Taylor The Guardian Mass turnout of young and old watches overturn of US president's effigy. At first George Bush gently rocked, then he began to sway, before finally the figure started toppling, slowly but inexorably on to the pavement below. The symbolic end of the five-metre (17ft) tall effigy - a riposte to the pulling down of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad - brought the biggest cheer of the day: louder than the boos when the seemingly never ending procession made its way past Downing Street; bigger even than the shouts and whistles that rang out when Britain's sixth anti-war demonstration in a year began its snaking path through London to Trafalgar Square.

200,000 MARCH AGAINST BUSH IN LONDON November 21, 2003 By Naveed Raja A massive demonstration against George Bush drew up to 200,000 marchers on the streets of London today. Organisers of the march, ending in a rally at Trafalgar Square, said the number was a record for any weekday protest in Britain. With a huge police presence the Met reported no incidents of violence and the march passed off peacefully. "This phenomenal response shows the depth of feeling of the British public towards this visit," said a spokesman for the Stop The War Coalition.

Baghdad Burning November 21, 2003 blog They've been bombing houses in Tikrit and other areas! Unbelievable… I'm so angry it makes me want to break something!!!! What the hell is going on?! What do the Americans think Tikrit is?! Some sort of city of monsters or beasts? The people there are simple people. Most of them make a living off of their land and their livestock- the rest are teachers, professors and merchants- they have lives and families… Tikrit is nothing more than a bunch of low buildings and a palace that was as inaccessible to the Tikritis as it was to everyone else!

US cybercrime push 'imperils personal security' of Americans November 21, 2003 By John Leyden White House plans to ratify a Council of Europe Cybercrime treaty will be a disaster for the privacy and security of Americans, Privacy International (PI), the human rights watchdog, claims. President Bush this week urged Senators to back the adoption of the mutual assistance Treaty into US law. The Treaty, designed to streamline cooperation between signatory countries, will significant expand the power of investigators to access data and prosecute offences ranging from copyright infringement to "hate speech". PI warns that if the Senate ratifies the Treaty, "dozens of countries will have 'on demand' access to the personal information and communications records of any American they may wish to investigate". This data - including full email logs, phone records and mobile phone location data together with account and financial records - could be "cherry picked" by investigating authorities in countries that ratify the treaty.

Defiant Israel vows to ignore UN resolution on roadmap November 21, 2003 JERUSALEM: A defiant Israel vowed to ignore a United Nations resolution endorsing the "roadmap" for peace plan and push on with its West Bank separation barrier despite sharp criticism from US President George W. Bush. Trade Minister Ehud Olmert, the official number two to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said Israel does not feel bound by the Security Council's unanimous resolution on the internationally-backed roadmap.

There's Something Happening Here November 20, 2003 By Robert Scheer The echoes of Vietnam emanating from Iraq are all too clear. Here we go again. Only now it's the "Iraqification" rather than the "Vietnamization" of a quagmire war in another distant and increasingly hostile land. Washington's puppets are once again said to be on the verge of getting their act together, and the American people are daily assured that we are about to turn the corner. Soon we will be able to give Iraq back to the Iraqis, and some distant day the United States will get out. In the meantime, U.S. troops must continue in a "support role" while being maimed and killed with increasing frequency.

In A Party Of Hypocrites, Neocons Are King November 20, 2003 By: Allen Snyder I've never been accused of being optimistic about human nature. Hobbes was right all along; we're selfish, violent, manipulative pigs. So naturally, I distrust all authority figures, most of all the illegally appointed buffoons who, by convenient miracles called "voter fraud", "public ignorance", and "tainted court" woke up one day in Washington with way too much power. As the country swirls around the bowl (is it clockwise or counter-clockwise in this hemisphere?); economic despair, constitutional rights erosion, perpetual lying, unnecessary recalls (CA), illegal redistricting fights (TX), a death or three a day in Iraq, and Presidential scandals that split 2-for-1, there is, believe it or not, some good news.

Bush’s London speech: A defense of aggression and lawlessness November 20, 2003 By Patrick Martin President Bush’s speech Wednesday to a London audience, the highlight of his three-day state visit to Great Britain, was an uncompromising defense of the conquest of Iraq and Afghanistan. He made it clear the US would not hesitate to employ whatever level of violence was necessary to suppress the Iraqi resistance, and left no doubt that his administration remained opposed to ceding political control of the occupied country to the United Nations.

War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal November 20, 2003 Oliver Burkeman and Julian Borger in Washington International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal. In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."

If Tom Daschle Doesn't Crack the Whip, November 20, 2003 A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL and Get His Caucus to Filibuster the "Trojan Horse/Poison Pill" GOP Medicare Bill, the Democrats Will Probably Face a Massive Defeat in 2004. Here is Why. The other day, William Novelli defiantly taunted Tom Daschle by declaring that there would be no revolt against Novelli's use of the AARP to support the Republican/Gingrich plan to dismantle Medicare. Well, many, many of the members of the AARP don't agree with "GOP" Novelli. Judging by the AARP message board, the vast majority of AARP members are in open revolt against Novelli's Benedict Arnold routine. (He may have been a Republican mole all along, judging by his drooling admiration of Newt Gingrich). They know a Republican skunk when they see one. American seniors, with few exceptions, don't want to see Medicare dismantled and the drug and insurance companies enriched at their expense.

Investors Flee US Treasuries - $50bn Down To $4.2bn Dollar Hits Record Low Against Euro November 20, 2003 By Jennifer Hughes in London And Jenny Wiggins in New York Financial Times - UK The dollar fell to a record low against the euro yesterday as data showing sharply weaker capital flows prompted news fears over the funding of the US current account deficit. Treasury figures showed net capital inflows into the US fell from $50bn in August to $4.2bn in September, the lowest since the near collapse and bailout of the Long Term Capital Management hedge fund rattled markets in 1998. The euro rose two cents to $1.1953 against the dollar, beating its previous high of $1.1933, set in May.

Drop-off in Treasury Purchases to Push Gold Higher November 20, 2003 Author: Jim Sinclair Following significant intervention overnight in the Yen and during the morning in Europe for the Euro, profit taking pushed gold lower today by $2.40 after it peaked at $401 in Asia last night. The Euro is clearly headed higher and could reach 1.30 to the dollar. So is the Yen which could trade below 100. Gold is also heading higher - possibly beyond $500 in the near future. The drop-off in non-US purchases of treasury paper is very serious as it is required to finance two of the major components of the triple deficit - the Current Account deficit and the Trade Account deficit. This is the most serious economic development in my career yet it may well be above the heads of those who form the opinions that drive street thinking.

The Predator Class November 20, 2003 by's Dick Meyer The stock market boom of the 1990s, the proliferation of 401(k) plans and the mass use of mutual funds so greatly increased the number of Americans who own equities that a new demographic term was born: the investor class. The emerging accounts of thievery in the world of mutual funds confirm, for me at least, something I have suspected since the go-go 1980s -- the existence of an economic predator class.

Clintontime: Was It Really a Golden Age? November 20, 2003 By ALEXANDER COCKBURN To gauge the level of hatred entertained by liberals for the Bush administration take a look at the bestseller lists. Rubbing shoulders in the top tiers we find the liberal populists Michael Moore, Al Franken, Paul Krugman and Molly Ivins all pouring sarcastic rebukes on Bush2 and, categorically or by implication, suggesting that in favoring the very rich and looting the economy in their interests Bush stands in despicable contrast to his immediate predecessor in the Oval Office.

Shrinking ice in Antarctic sea 'exposes global warming'
November 20, 2003 David Fickling in Sydney Frozen oceans that affect currents such as the Gulf Stream have decreased dramatically, say scientists. Australian scientists yesterday revealed new evidence of global warming, suggesting that sea ice around Antarctica had shrunk 20% in the past 50 years. The research published in the journal Science traced the pattern of sea ice in the Southern Ocean as far back as 1840. "Between 1841 and 1950 there was very little change but there is a marked decline in sea ice distribution since 1950 of around 20%," said the lead author, Mark Curran.

U.S.'s 'Iron Hammer' Code Name 1st Used by Nazis November 19, 2003 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military's code name for a crackdown on resistance in Iraq was also used by the Nazis for an aborted operation to damage the Soviet power grid during World War II. "Operation Iron Hammer" this week launched the 1st Armored Division's 3rd Brigade into the roughest parts of Baghdad to ferret out the attackers who have killed scores of U.S. troops.

GIs razing homes of suspected Iraqi insurgents Families say they were given 5 minutes to get out November 19, 2003 BY JEFF WILKINSON KRT NEWS SERVICETIKRIT, Iraq -- In a tactic reminiscent of Israeli crackdowns in the West Bank and Gaza, the U.S. military has begun destroying the homes of suspected guerrilla fighters in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, evacuating women and children, then leveling their houses with heavy weaponry, tanks and Apache helicopters.

Americans turn Tikrit into Iraq's own West Bank November 19, 2003 By Phil Reeves in Awja It is the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but transported to Iraq. A town is imprisoned by razor wire. The entrance is guarded by soldiers, protected by sand bags, concrete barricades and a machine-gun nest. Only those people with an identification card issued by the occupation authorities are allowed in or, more importantly, out. "Hey, this is just like Gaza, isn't it?" a fiery-eyed young Iraqi policeman shouted at us, "We're not happy. Not happy!"

Jose Padilla is you November 19, 2003 Reader Commentary JOSE PADILLA IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. An American citizen who - on the whim of our esteemed moronic leader, who is know far and wide for his brilliant ability to weigh evidence and Intelligence information in the most incisive manner- has been jailed, incommunicado, for a year and a half, with no legal recourse, and no charges filed against him. The American Revolution was fought precisely against this - the English were arresting people - with no charges or evidence, and jailing them incommunicado for years. We have been invaded. There has been a Regime Change in the US. If this is OK with you, then do nothing.

Opposition to USA Patriot Act Swells November 19, 2003 LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Rebecca Foster couldn't believe it when a bank cited the USA Patriot Act and asked her and fellow homeowners association board members for their Social Security and driver's license numbers. "They said they had to check us against a terrorist list," said Foster, a grandmother whose five-member board oversees a Las Vegas community. "That seemed kind of preposterous. None of us are terrorists."

America can wage war again, alone: Bush November 19, 2003 London, (Reuters): The US would wage war again, and alone if necessary, President George W. Bush said in an interview published today.

Slain troops' parents could be hard on Bush November 19, 2003 By Peter Graff LONDON (Reuters) - Reg Keys, whose son Thomas was killed in Iraq, is not on the list of family members of fallen British servicemen invited to meet George W. Bush this week, but he wishes he was: he has a message for the U.S. president. "I'd love to meet him, but I'd refuse his hand," he said. "I'd say: 'I can't shake that hand. It's stained with the blood of my son.'"

Love, American Style November 19, 2003 By Daniel Patrick Welch Can the Brits feel the love yet? Exporting democracy, it turns out, means more than just showing unfortunate non-westerners the joys of having someone else write a decent constitution for them. We have now advanced to the point where we can tell even the land of the Magna Carta just where they went wrong. Apparently, they are so inept at running their own country that George Bush and his coterie of war criminals need to tell them just how to tailor democracy to American tastes.

Wal-Mart Collapses Cities and Towns U.S. November 19, 2003 by Richard Freeman During the last 20 years, Wal-Mart has moved into communities and destroyed them, wiping out stores, slashing the tax base, and turning downtown areas into ghost-towns. This is accomplished through Wal-Mart's policy of paying workers below subsistence wages, and importing goods that have been produced under slave-labor conditions overseas. Often, communities will even give Wal-Mart tax incentives, for the right to be destroyed.

The Fiddle and The Drum November 19, 2003 A Readers Commentary (ICH) I was reading the Guardian's "Letters to George Bush", and I was struck by how many UK writers made mention of the disappointment they felt that Bush's policies had betrayed much of what the rest of the world admired about America.

Arizona sheriff introduces female chain gangs November 19, 2003 By Elisa Brehm A recent newspaper item provides a horrifying glimpse into an aspect of modern life in the US that is not generally publicized. It describes the phenomenon of female chain gangs. This practice occurs not in a rural southern American town, but Maricopa County, Arizona, which covers an area that includes the 3 million residents of metropolitan Phoenix, one of the country’s largest urban centers.

BUSH: CLAP ME OR NO EU SPEECH November 18, 2003 By Paul Gilfeather GEORGE Bush pulled out of a speech to the European Parliament when MEPs wouldn't guarantee a standing ovation. Senior White House officials said the President would only go to Strasbourg to talk about Iraq if he had a stage-managed welcome. A source close to negotiations said last night: "President Bush agreed to a speech but insisted he get a standing ovation like at the State of the Union address.

Republicans sneak privatization of Medicare into prescription drug benefit bill November 18, 2003 by Joanne Kenen, Reuters News Agency Republicans were gearing up Thursday to begin selling a complex Medicare plan while congressional Democrats assailed it as bringing on the demise of the health program for the elderly. "There is absolutely no way that I would, or would encourage others to, support a bill that undermines Medicare, that gives a windfall to the pharmaceutical industry, a slush fund to the HMOs (health maintenance organizations) and does not give seniors what they deserve," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Bush administration prepares strategy to revamp Social Security November 18, 2003 Leigh Strope Associated Press WASHINGTON - With the stock market climbing and a re-election campaign approaching, the Bush administration is renewing its push to overhaul Social Security with personal investment accounts.
Social Security:
On our side: a broad coalition that believes in Social Security and strives to protect it. On the other side: anti-government and financial interests that would privatize it. Will Social Security be there for the future? That depends on who wins the fight.
"Zogby Misrepresents Public Opinion on Social Security."
By Hans Riemer (02/06/03)
"Democrats Won the Fight on Social Security in 2002."
By Hans Riemer (01/07/03)
National coalition fights Bush's stacked-deck Social Security Commission.
Special collection on Social Security in election 2002: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
. Administrative Costs of Privatization
Bush Social Security Commission
. Money Trail and Wall Street
. Young people and Social Security

Stocks skid to three-week lows on security worries November 18, 2003 By Susan Lerner NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - U.S. stocks fell to a three-week low Monday Morning as security concerns pummeled stocks around the globe following several weekend terrorist attacks.

American Gulag November 18, 2003 No American president should have the absolute power to imprison people at will, even when the nation is at war. That's the unfettered power President George W. Bush has claimed for himself in the war on terrorism. On his authority alone -- unchecked by courts or international convention -- 660 people from 42 nations captured in the Afghanistan war have been locked in a U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for two years. Two others -- American citizens -- have been held in military brigs almost as long, without criminal charges or access to family, lawyers or court. Bush has labeled them "enemy combatants." With those two words, the president says he can lawfully move anyone he chooses beyond the reach of any legal authority other than his own.

The Zero Year Presidential Curse - Might Tragedy Strike? November 18, 2003  By William S. Connery Chief Tecumseh cursed William Henry Harrison before he took presidential office. Does the curse still linger? Bush was elected in the year 2000. Every president elected from 1840 onward in the years ending in 0 either has been shot or has died in office. Indeed, this odd coincidence seemingly fulfills the folk myth of a remarkable Indian curse.

GAO report: Some Army troops unpaid for weeks, denied medical care November 18, 2003 By Sandra Jontz, (Stars and Stripes) WASHINGTON — Army National Guard soldiers activated to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are plagued with pay-and-benefits problems and even denial of medical care to those wounded, auditors reported.

Defense Department Deletes Notice About Draft Boards November 18, 2003 On 23 Sept 2003, the Defense Department Website called "Defend America" posted a notice for people to join local draft boards. In early November, that notice started to receive media attention, with articles from the Associated Press, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer , the Oregonian, the Toronto Star, the BBC, and London Guardian (unsurprisingly, none of the major papers or networks in the US covered it). In a familiar turn of events, the notice suddenly disappeared from the Website. See the mirrored page and posted here.

BRITS ARE NOT ANTI-US, JUST ANTI-BUSH November 18, 2003 By Jonathan Freedland TONY Blair already knows who they are. Before a single demonstrator has taken to the streets to protest at George W Bush's state visit, the Prime Minister is clear what kind of people they are and what they believe. Their creed, he insists, is "anti-Americanism" - opposition to the United States and everything it stands for. But the PM has got it badly wrong.

George W. Bush: The writing on the wall November 18, 2003 The massive security operation in London to protect George Bush, the lies and reiteration of lies and Washington's acts of butchery in Iraq spell a clear message to the President of the United States of America. In three years, George W. Bush and his odious regime have managed to destroy the carefully-built climate of trust between the USA and the international community, to create the most venomous anti-American feeling the planet has ever known.

Editor deemed 'National threat' November 18, 2003 When an Australian magazine editor flew to Los Angeles last week to interview Olivia Newton-John she had no idea she would become the story. New Idea editor Sue Smethurst said she would lodge a formal complaint with US authorities after she was treated as a threat to national security and deported back to Australia after nearly 15 hours of interrogation at Los Angeles airport. "I would have walked across broken glass to get home," Ms Smethurst said today.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted articles and information about environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. This news and information is displayed without profit for educational purposes, in accordance with, Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. is a non-advocacy internet web site, edited by non-affiliated U.S. citizens. editor