In the categories under the buttons above, you will find
essays by Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Edward Said and many
others, as well as world news items published by organizations
(with a few exceptions) that are not controlled by U.S. mega-corporations.
Posted May 7, 2002
'Unsigns' War Crimes Treaty
(Jim Lobe, AlterNet, May 6, 2002)
The Bush administration Monday formally renounced its obligations
as a signatory to the 1998 Rome Statute to establish an International
Criminal Court (ICC). Critics say the decision to "unsign"
the treaty will further damage the United States' reputation
and isolate it from its allies. . . . "Driven by unfounded
fears of phantom prosecutions, the United States has hit a
new nadir of isolationism and exceptionalism," . . .
EU leaders warned the United States last week that any deliberate
effort by Washington to destroy the Court could do serious
damage to trans-Atlantic ties . . . Critics and Washington's
own allies have been quick to criticize the administration's
decision, dismissing its concerns as largely unfounded.
. . . All but one of Washington's EU allies have ratified
the Statute (Greece is expected to complete ratification in
the coming months), and several European leaders, including
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have personally lobbied
top administration officials, including Bush, against renouncing
the treaty. . . . But that does not mean Washington's withdrawal
will not have consequences. Apart from damage to Washington's
ties with its European allies or to its image abroad, the
decision may set a dangerous precedent in international law.
. . . "This unprecedented action suggests to the
world that the signature of a U.S. president lacks enduring
meaning," . . . "At the very time, the U.S.
seeks signatures and ratifications of anti-terrorist treaties,
an 'unsigning' by the Bush administration will undermine the
power of the international treaty system." . . .
"Other countries might well use this precedent to justify
backing out of international commitments that are important
to the U.S.,"
Posted May 1, 2002
Dad, Tell Me: How Do I Stop Being Complicit?
(Sarah Shields, CommonDreams.org, April 10, 2002)
You taught me that Jews must never, never, never be silent
when injustice occurs, because our silence makes us complicit.
. . . As a rabbi, you preached against racism in the south,
and had to leave a pulpit in Louisiana when they threatened
to kill our family. . . . It is a heavy responsibility I carry
now. Because now I am complicit. I have not stood in front
of the tanks that are killing other mothers' children in refugee
camps. I have not ridden in ambulances to help them get past
checkpoints so that the injured could be cured. I have not
laid in front of the bulldozers to prevent their destroying
a family's shelter. . . . What can I do about this injustice?
. . . And international law is clear. Occupying countries
have to protect the lives and property of the local population.
It is not legal to establish settlements at all. Why do Israel
and the US pay Israelis to move into them? . . . Israeli
soldiers treat occupied people the same way other armies have
treated occupied people. . . . When people are humiliated,
and have no hope for the future, They see no alternative to
violence. . . . "I am a Jew because Israel places man
and his unity above nations and above Israel itself."
. . . Dad, we have become the oppressors. . . . We are
the oppressors, and we are also the victims. Jews are being
killed, and at the same time, the moral imperative that you
taught me was part of being Jewish seems to be vanishing.
I believe that Jews are being used by an American
administration to accomplish its own ends, ends that have
nothing to do with the ideals of Jews. We need to shout
aloud that 80% of the billions that the US gives Israel in
aid must be spent on weapons, and that more than half of those
weapons are built in Texas. . . . We must act, and
we must act immediately. Jews are being used to legitimize
the slaughter of Palestinians.
Posted April 30, 2002
Tries to Revive Biological Arms Protocol
(Dominic Evans, Reuters, April 29, 2002)
Britain launched a fresh attempt Monday to give teeth to a
global ban on germ warfare, unveiling proposals it said could
overcome U.S. objections which blocked an international verification
protocol last year. . . . In July the United States
rejected an international protocol, 10 years in the making,
to strengthen the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
. . . The protocol would have required signatory countries
to open up sites that could be used to develop biological
weapons, and included spot checks as a means of verification.
Posted April 27, 2002
Master Oil Plan
(Michael T. Klare, Pacific News Service, April 23, 2002)
Beneath the surface of day-to-day crisis management,
one can see signs of an overarching plan for U.S. policy:
a strategy of global oil acquisition. . . . In the
Caspian Sea basin the United States is building new military
bases and providing training to local defense forces. In Colombia,
U.S.-equipped government forces will soon be guarding the
Occidental Petroleum Company's Cano Limon oil pipeline. And
in Venezuela U.S. embassy personnel reportedly met with leaders
of an abortive coup against President Hugo Chavez. . . . The
aim of this strategy is simple: to procure as much of the
world's oil for ravenous U.S. markets as possible. With
domestic U.S. production facing progressive decline and national
consumption rising with every passing day, the United States
must obtain more and more of its oil from abroad. . . . The
only way to significantly reduce imports is to increase the
fuel efficiency of U.S. motor vehicles -- but because President
Bush is reluctant to require this, the administration has
instead launched a global effort to expand U.S. access to
foreign sources of petroleum. . . . This campaign was
first laid out in the national energy plan drawn up by Vice
President Dick Cheney in early 2001the Cheney report makes
three key points: 1) The United States must satisfy
an ever-increasing share of its oil demand with imported supplies.
2) The United States cannot depend exclusively on traditional
sources of supply 3) The United States cannot rely on market
forces alone to gain access to these added supplies . . .
In advocating these measures, the Cheney team is well aware
that U.S. efforts to gain access to increasing amounts of
foreign petroleum could provoke resistance in some oil-producing
regions. . . . This means, of course, that American
efforts to obtain increased supplies foreign oil will require
more than trade deals and diplomacy - - it will also require
the threat of or the use of force to dissuade hostile
forces from attempting to obstruct the flow of petroleum to
the United States. . . . And while these efforts have been
accelerated since Sept. 11, it is important to note that they
began well before that date.
Posted April 26, 2002
Prosecute Milosevic for War Crimes but not Kissinger?
(Peter Tatchell, The Guardian, April 25, 2002)
His comments leave open the possibility that he might issue
a warrant in the future - if I can produce stronger evidence
of Kissinger's culpability in the killing, maiming, torture
and forced relocation of civilian populations in Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia in the late 60s and early 70s. . . . Henry
Kissinger was the chief architect of US war policy in Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia. . . . In his own memoirs, White House Years,
he boasts of his huge power and influence over the President,
claiming that nothing happened in Indochina that he did not
know about and authorise. . . . According to the US Senate
sub-committee on refugees, from March 1968 to March 1972,
in excess of three million civilians were killed, wounded
or made homeless. . . . During this same period, most of which
coincides with Kissinger's role as NSA to the President, the
US dropped nearly 4.5m tonnes of high explosive on Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia - more than double the tonnage dropped during
the whole of the second world war. . . . What the US
did in Indochina involved the mass killing of civilians and
the premeditated, wholesale destruction of the environment
using chemical defoliants such as Agent Orange. These are
war crimes under the 1957 Geneva Conventions Act.
. . . Kissinger was a senior party - second only to the president
- to the secret, illegal invasion and bombing of two neutral
countries, Laos and Cambodia, without a declaration war or
any warning to the civilian population. . . . US bombing is
calculated to have killed 350,000 civilians in Laos and 600,000
in Cambodia. Several times more civilians were wounded and
made refugees. . . . During the first 30 months of the Nixon-Kissinger
administration, the US counter-insurgency "Phoenix Programme"
was responsible for the murder or abduction of 35,708 Vietnamese
civilians. . . . Kissinger's role in formulating and implementing
US war policy coincided with the systematic use of chemical
defoliants and pesticides, including Agent Orange. . . . These
caused birth defects and rendered significant areas of Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia too toxic for people to live in or farm
- creating an environmental disaster that will continue to
affect many generations to come. . . . It is implausible
to suggest that Kissinger was unaware of US violations of
the Geneva conventions. He planned, sanctioned and monitored
many of the operations which resulted in these violations.
Posted April 21, 2002
I'm boycotting anything 'made in Israel'
(Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The Independent, 15 April 2002)
Israel has absolutely no right to do what it wants, to use
such overpowering weaponry against mostly unarmed people and
justify that by referring to the horrendous history which
led to the creation of the Jewish homeland. In fact I
would suggest that Ariel Sharon should be tried for crimes
against humanity in Sabra and Shatila, and Jenin and
other occupied areas and be damned too for so debasing the
profoundly important legacy of the Holocaust . . . Sharon
can only carry on with his invasion of the West Bank because
Colin Powell and his master in the White House crumble before
his brutish ways and the US pro-Israeli lobby. He knows too
he has the blind support of Americans and Britons whose anti-Arab
racism has this year reached new lows. . . . I have
already started looking at labels and putting back anything
made in Israel. . . . We should call on unions, especially
Equity, to advise artists and others to cut relations with
the state of Israel. Exchange trips should be off; no holidays
in sunny Eilat, even Christian pilgrims to the holy places
. . . [Universities] have started a boycott of institutional,
cultural, academic and research links with Israel.
. . . As one Jewish South African friend, an artist, who lives
in London put it: "I owe it to my father who fought
against apartheid and my grandfather who died in Germany,
not to let my people turn into fascists.
World War 3 - is being waged inside
The next revolution - World War 3 - is being waged inside
your head. It is, as Marshal McLuhan predicted, a guerrilla
information war fought not in the sky or on the streets, not
in the forests or around international fishing boundaries
on the high seas, but in newspapers and magazines, on the
radio, on TV and in cyberspace. It will be a dirty, no-holds-barred
propaganda war of competing worldviews and alternative visions
of the future.
Thanks for this to Marshal McLuhan, Fraser Clark, Danie, and
Posted April 7, 2002
divides to control. - It's a policy that could make even Bush's
best friend Blair an antagonist
(Nick Cohen, The Observer, April 7, 2002)
Support for Israel, which has no oil and is the enemy of oil
producing Arabs, confuses this simple reasoning. But it can
be explained away as an aberration created by the enormous
influence of the Jewish lobby in Washington. The big picture
stays unclouded. Why is America attacked? Why will it march
Britain into a needless war with Iraq? It's the oil, stupid.
Anyone with half a brain knows that. . . . It won't pull out
because Washington wants to 'discourage' the 'advanced industrial
nations from challenging our leadership', while maintaining
a military dominance capable of 'deterring potential competitors
from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role'. .
. . The quotes don't come from a babbling conspiracy theorist
but from the Pentagon's Defense Planning Guidance, which set
out American strategy after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
. . . If America didn't 'stabilise' the Middle East, Europe,
Japan and China would move in and protect their interests.
Although their interventions wouldn't necessarily bother America,
in the long term they would grow into powers which would challenge
its authority. . . . America's friends are potential enemies.
They must be in a state of dependence and seek solutions to
their problems in Washington. . . . It was written by Paul
Wolfowitz for Bush's father. Wolfowitz is now one of the leaders
of the Pentagon hawks. Dick Cheney fought for it to be adopted
as official policy in the early 1990s, and he is now Bush
junior's vice-president. Their work from a decade ago keeps
coming up when American foreign-policy intellectuals try to
explain why US military bases circle the globe. . . . it was
the key to understanding why the Pentagon wanted military
power which was greater than that of all the forces of all
possible competitors put together. . . . [European leaders]
have all but begged America to be allowed a junior role in
the 'war' against terrorism. Their rejection puts them, somewhat
to everyone's surprise, temporarily on the same side as the
mass of the world's poor. The greatest worry a friend of America
should have is how its insistence that it can leave no part
of the world alone has created anti-Americanism not only in
Muslim countries but in regions such as Latin America where
bin Laden's theology means nothing. If you dream that everyone
might be your enemy, one day they may become just that.
Posted April 6, 2002
Nuclear Weapons Policies Jeopardizing Nonproliferation Regime
(Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association, U.S. Newswire,
5 Apr 2002)
The Bush administration has pursued policies, such as withdrawing
from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, shelving -- at least
for now -- the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and rejecting
irreversible nuclear force reductions, which contradict most
of the agreed steps. . . . Until now, U.S. leaders have recognized
that to preserve the objective of global nonproliferation,
the nuclear-weapon states need to respect and act on their
disarmament commitments," . . . The Bush administration's
do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do nuclear weapons policies contradict
the United States' NPT commitments and jeopardize the future
of the treaty," warned Kimball. "To win international
support for efforts to denuclearize Iraq and North Korea and
strengthen safeguards to ensure compliance with the treaty,
the U.S. must pursue, not postpone, its disarmament obligations.
Posted April 1, 2002
Palestine Chronicle is providing around-the-clock
coverage of Israel's attack on Palestine.
This page is regularly updated with news as it is coming in
from on-the-scene reports. Refresh the page periodically for
Posted March 28, 2002
Capitalism Goes Global - More News About the Carlyle Group
(Tim Shorrock, The Nation, April 1, 2002)
Carlyle has become the nation's eleventh-largest defense contractor,
a major arms exporter to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, one of the
biggest foreign investors in South Korea and Taiwan, and a
key player in global telecommunications, wireless, real estate
and healthcare markets. . . . People on the Carlyle
payroll include: George Bush Sr., John Major, Karl
Otto Pohl, Anand Panyarachun, Thomas Foley, James Baker III
and Frank Carlucci. . . . By hiring enough former officials
to fill a permanent shadow cabinet, Carlyle has brought political
influence to a new level and created a twenty-first-century
version of capitalism that blurs any line between politics
and business. In a sense, Carlyle may be the ultimate in privatization:
the use of a private company to nurture public policy--and
then reap its benefits in the form of profit. . . . it's undeniable
that its stable of statesmen-entrepreneurs have the ability
to tap into networks in government and commerce, both at home
and abroad, for advance intelligence about companies about
to be sold and spun off, or government budgets and policies
about to be implemented, and then transform that knowledge
into investment strategies that dovetail nicely with US military
foreign and domestic policy. . . . "What we're
really talking about is a systematic merging of the private
and public sectors to the point where the distinctions get
lost," . . . On March 12 Carlucci, who is chairman
of the US-Taiwan Business Council, a coalition of US multinationals
doing business in Taiwan, invited Tang Yao-Ming, Taiwan's
Defense Minister, to attend a closed-door summit of US and
Taiwanese defense officials sponsored by the council and key
US military contractors, including Carlyle's United Defense
Industries. Tang's visit, which was capped by a meeting with
US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, marked the highest-level
defense contacts between Taipei and Washington since diplomatic
relations were severed in 1979--and paralleled President Bush's
push to expand arms sales to Taiwan, where Carlyle has significant
investments. . . . [Carlyle] is the majority owner of
United Defense, maker of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and
other weapons systems, and owns Vought Aircraft, the world's
largest supplier of commercial and military airline parts.
. . . [Editor's Note: For Carlyle, war is necessary for profits.
Think about that for a while, keeping in mind who the men
are who run that group.]
the Nobel Prize Committee know you do not support the nomination
of Bush and Blair for the Peace Award . . . unfortunately,
this is not a joke.
This email form-letter you can send reads in part, "I
am writing to protest the nomination of UK Prime Minister
Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush for the Nobel Peace
Prize, and to urge the committee not to award this prestigious
recognition to them. . . . Perpetual war is not peace. Whether
or not Bush and Blair's actions are justified, their extensive
and expanding pursuit of warfare is not the same thing as
working for peace by any definition of the word, and does
not amount to 'fraternity between nations, ... the abolition
or reduction of standing armies and ... holding and promotion
of peace congresses.' "
Muslim Council Concerned about Image of America
Raids of Muslim Families and Institutions Create Furor
(paknews.com, March 21, 2002)
The American Muslim Council, a leading Muslim organization,
today expressed its dismay and concern, at a crowded press
conference here, over raids of American Muslim families and
institutions. These families and institutions were raided
with brandishing guns, and loud shouts asking to raise hands.
In some raids, the ladies were photographed while handcuffed
and without a headscarf that the ladies wear. . . . victims
of the raids, including the representatives of the organizations,
spoke of humiliation that they suffered, and the fearsome
atmosphere, which the law enforcement agencies tried to create.
They termed it inhumane, and un-American. The law enforcement
agencies, which included the Customs; the Secret Service;
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the FBI, the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, confiscated personal
items from the homes of American citizens-American Muslim
citizens-without a proper cause. . . . They took with them
the baby pictures, passports, driver licenses, computers,
and in one case, the wedding card of a Muslim girl who got
married last week. . . . speakers also accused the Justice
Department of using tactics reminiscent of the McCarthy era,
in which many innocent families and individuals were destroyed
under the scare of communism.
Posted March 27, 2002
energy demand to grow 60 percent
(Hil Anderson, UPI, March 26, 2002)
World oil consumption is projected to increase by 2.2 percent
annually to 119 million barrels per day over the course of
the 1999-2020 period used in the EIA forecast; consumption
in 1999 was around 75 million barrels per day. . . . "The
increase in oil use in the industrialized world is expected
to occur predominantly in the transportation sector, where
there are presently few economically competitive alternatives
to oil," the analysis said.
[Editor's Note: See story about U.S.
automakers blocking improvements in energy efficiency.]
Posted March 22, 2002
Globalizer Who Came in from the Cold
(Greg Palast, AlterNet.org, March 19, 2002)
There's an Assistance Strategy for every poorer nation, designed,
says the World Bank, after careful in-country investigation.
But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank's staff "investigation"
consists of close inspection of a nation's five-star hotels.
It concludes with the Bank staff meeting some begging, busted
finance minister who is handed a "restructuring agreement"
pre-drafted for his "voluntary" signature . . .
the Bank hands every minister the exact same four-step program.
. . . Step 1 is Privatization . . . "You could see their
eyes widen" at the prospect of 10 per cent commissions
paid to Swiss bank accounts for simply shaving a few billion
off the sale price of national assets. . . . And the US government
knew it, charges Stiglitz, at least in the case of the biggest
"briberization" of all, the 1995 Russian sell-off.
. . . After briberization, Step 2 of the IMF/World Bank one-size-fits-all
rescueyour- economy plan is "Capital Market Liberalization".
. . . A nation's reserves can drain in days, hours. And when
that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation's
own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest
rates to 30 per cent, 50 per cent and 80 per cent. . . . A
pattern emerges. There are lots of losers in this system,
but one clear winner: the Western banks and US Treasury, making
the big bucks from this crazy new international capital churn.
. . . In the Opium Wars, the West used military blockades
to force open markets for their unbalanced trade. Today, the
World Bank can order a financial blockade that's just as effective
-- and sometimes just as deadly.
Posted March 21, 2002,
Bomb Kills Seven Near U.S. Embassy in Lima
At least seven people were killed on Wednesday when a car
bomb exploded near the U.S. Embassy in Lima three days before
a visit by President Bush . . . The car exploded outside a
bank in a shopping center near the U.S. Embassy, which is
a heavily secured fortress-style building in an upscale district
of the capital. . . . Several nearby buildings were reportedly
badly damaged and three cars were on fire. . . . Bush was
due to make a 17-hour visit to Lima, during which he is to
hold talks with his counterparts from Peru, Colombia and Bolivia
and the vice president of Ecuador on regional trade issues
and the wars on terror and drugs.
bioterror: Bush has pledged to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.
He should start at home
(George Monbiot, The Guardian, March 19, 2002)
Why should you, who claim to want to build "a peaceful
world beyond the war on terror" have done all you can
to undermine efforts to control these deadly weapons? Why
should the congressmen in your party have repeatedly sabotaged
attempts to ensure that biological and chemical agents are
eliminated? . . . In December, your negotiators tore the biological
weapons convention to shreds. . . . So for six years, the
144 signatories had been developing a "verification protocol",
which would permit the United Nations to examine suspected
bioweapons facilities. In July, your government refused to
sign the protocol. In December, you deliberately scuttled
the negotiations by insisting, at the last minute, that the
resolution be rewritten. One European delegate, referring
to the commitments your delegation had made before the meeting,
observed, "they are liars. In decades of multilateral
negotiations, we've never experienced this kind of insulting
behaviour." Your actions have rendered the convention
useless, leaving the world unprotected from the very weapons
you say you want to eliminate. . . . The United States has
also withheld both the money required by the chemicals weapons
inspectorate, and the funds needed to remove and disable the
vast arsenal of warheads loaded with nerve agents in western
Siberia, some of which are lying in warehouses secured only
by bicycle padlocks on the doors. . . . The genetically engineered
fungus you have developed for aerial spraying in Colombia
plainly qualifies as a non-lethal biological weapon. And,
because your strategic aims in that country extend beyond
the simple eradication of drugs to the elimination of the
leftwing rebel forces, the chemical sprays you have been using
in the regions they control have also clearly been deployed
as weapons, much as Agent Orange was in Vietnam.
Posted March 19, 2002
people of England, Germany, and France are turning the tide
Voters say no to Iraq attack: 51% oppose British backing for
(Alan Travis, The Guardian, March 19, 2002)
A majority of voters are opposed to British backing for American
military action against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, according to
this month's Guardian/ICM opinion poll. . . . But the poll
will also encourage even more senior figures in the cabinet,
such as the home secretary, David Blunkett, who has privately
warned fellow ministers that there will be a serious rise
in racial tension in Britain and a danger of riots if Britain
joined the attack on Saddam. . . . Only 35% say they would
support such action. . . . The ICM poll shows that the Germans
and French are more in tune with British public opinion on
this issue than Mr Blair or Mr Duncan Smith. The German defence
minister, Rudolph Scharping, yesterday made clear there was
no majority in the German parliament for intervention in Iraq.
The French have also made clear their reluctance. . . . Opposition
to a new war in Iraq marks a sharp change of mood in British
public opinion in recent months. Last October some 74% said
they supported US and British military action against Afghanistan.
It is also signifies a change in long-term attitude towards
Iraq among the British public.
Carlyle Group's Deep Tentacles
Chaired by former Regean administration defense secretary
Frank Carlucci, The Carlyle Group is a $13 billion private
equity firm based just a few blocks away from the White House
on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. . . . Founded in 1987
by two executives hailing from MCI, Marriott and a corporate
merger attorney, it's attracted the most high-ranking officials
in Washington on their way out of jobs in the Oval Office
or elsewhere in the upper echelon of government. . . . Principals
include former British Prime Minister John Major, former secretary
of state, James A. Baker III, not to mention former chairman
of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arthur Levitt.
Former President George Bush holds the official title of senior
advisor to the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board and gives speeches
at events. . . . After Sept. 11, President George W. Bush
proposed huge increases in military spending now pending before
Congress. . . . The languishing defense sector has heated
up and with it military-flavored IPOs have surfaced from several
players . . . The $400 million United Defense Industries IPO
was the first to debut in the latest salvo of weapons debutantes.
. . . Carlucci is showing a tidy paper profit of $892,000
on his stake in United Defense Industries . . . On Wednesday,
Carlyle filed a $160 million IPO for U.S. Marine Repair, a
Norfolk, Va. specialist in maintaining and refurbishing Navy
ships. . . . With access to folks like Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, Carlyle seems
to have the defense game rigged as one of the biggest military
contractors in the country. . . . Sure it's just good business
to buy low and sell high, but the Carlyle Group seems to be
a bit too well connected. . . . The debate over apparent conflicts
of interest will likely continue, but in the meantime, such
companies are providing a nice payday for outgoing government
officials on many fronts, including the IPO market.
Posted March 17 ,2002
the US lost its way?
(Paul Kennedy, The Observer, March 3, 2002)
Does everybody hate America? Maybe the world is just concerned
at the lack of visionary leadership from such a powerful nation
. . . 'By what right,' an angry environmentalist demanded
at a recent conference I attended, 'do Americans place such
a heavy footprint upon God's Earth?' . . . We comprise slightly
less than 5 per cent of the world's population; but we imbibe
27 per cent of the world's annual oil production, create and
consume nearly 30 per cent of its Gross World Product and
- get this - spend a full 40 per cent of all the world's defence
expenditures. . . . But other Americans I listen to really
do worry about the murmurs from afar. They worry that we are
isolating ourselves from most of the serious challenges to
global society, and that, increasingly, our foreign policy
consists merely of sallying forth with massive military heft
to destroy demons like the Taliban, only to retreat again
into our air bases and boot camps. . . . we cannot escape
back to some Norman Rockwell-like age of innocence and isolationism,
and fear we are alienating too much of a world to which we
are now tightly and inexorably bound. . . . our deepest national
interest lies in taking the fate of our planet seriously and
in investing heavily in its future.
penalty feeds anti-US wave
(Chris White, United Press International, 3/16/2002)
The European Union is flexing its moral muscles in a growing
wave of anti-Americanism. . . . an ideological conflict is
developing firm roots. . . . there is a determination to best
America in a transatlantic tariff war. The powerful European
Commission is apparently, planning to nail key states in the
United States that are being targeted by the Republican Party
in this year's mid-term elections. . . . The move would be
in retaliation for President George Bush's 30 percent import
tariff on steel . . . These measures are in part driven by
a growing distaste for America's global policies which have
moved on from the period of supportive sympathy that followed
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
. . . Two events last week have raised the profile of the
death penalty as a cause celebre against America. The first
was Russian President Vladimir Putin's public toeing the Council
line by affirming he would not reinstate the death penalty.
. . . He reflected a widespread European view that "there
is something profoundly wrong in strapping down a human being
to take his or her life. It does not make it any more right
to do it in accordance with an official procedure, or to do
it in the name of justice. . . . "The death penalty is
cruel, futile and unjust. It does little to prevent new crimes
from taking place. It takes away the perpetrators' lives,
but provides them with a celebrity status in return. The former
does little to console the families of the victims, the latter
adds considerably to their pain." . . . Adding that the
forty-three countries of the Council of Europe have stopped
putting people to death, Schieder declared: "It is time
for the United States to follow suit."
just in: Bin Laden wins Afghan war
(Harry Browne, WorldNetDaily, March 14, 2002)
Osama bin Laden has won the war in Afghanistan - the first
big battle of the War on Terrorism. . . . Americans are claiming
victory because American bombers have devastated Afghanistan,
thousands of Afghans have been killed, and the already-impoverished
country is now almost completely in ruins. . . . But most
likely this is exactly what bin Laden wanted. . . . Do you
think Osama bin Laden cares how many innocent Afghans are
killed? . . . Why would he? Every dead Afghan is another argument
for his crusade. . . . And every bomb that fell on Afghanistan
converted more people into America-haters. The U.S. military
has been confirming bin Laden's argument that Americans are
bullies. . . . The root fallacy in the War on Terrorism is
the idea that we have no choice but to fight people who won't
rest until they destroy us. . . . The truth is that the evil,
malicious, brutal thugs rarely have the ability to make any
real trouble outside their own neighborhoods. . . . And they
can get that support only if large numbers of people have
been mistreated. . . . Today, Osama bin Laden couldn't get
the worldwide support necessary to carry out his evil plans
if there weren't hundreds of millions of people who resent
American troops stationed in their countries; who are appalled
by the American blockade that's starving Iraqis; who don't
like American presidents imposing their decisions on their
countries. . . . And so bin Laden has maneuvered George Bush
into destroying a poor, Islamic country . . . Round 1 goes
to bin Laden by something close to a knockout. . . . The answer
lies not in foreign aid for the world's impoverished. Quite
the contrary. The answer lies in minding our own business.
The answer lies in ending 50 years of foreign-policy failures.
Or are we going to let bin Laden win the rest of the war as
Posted March 8, 2002
Our world is
not for sale.
next clash of civilisations?
(Paul Kingsnorth, openDemocracy.net, 16 January 2002)
In all, I have seen and heard intelligent people driven by
some hatred of the West and of America, symbol of its power,
lauding, defending or justifying the actions of a mass murdering
Saudi millionaire who they had probably never heard of last
August, and still know next to nothing about. . . . Perhaps
you think that what these people, these misled supporters
of a fundamentalist killer, need now is more market access,
more exports, more jobs in maquiladores, more credit, more
televisions. . . . Some of us, in what is unsatisfyingly termed
the 'anti-globalisation' movement, have been talking about
a clash of civilisations for years. . . . we have talked about
a clash of world views - of cultures - that has been sparked
by the new wave of corporate capitalism unleashed over the
last two decades. This clash is between two distinct forces.
. . . One is a fundamentally materialistic world view, driven
by multinational companies, politicians and their handmaidens
in multinational agencies like the World Bank, WTO and IMF.
. . . The other is a vast, massing, often confused but potentially
hugely powerful collection of opponents, numbering tens of
millions around the world, who see life in quite different
terms. . . . This may represent a real clash of civilisations;
a clash between the destructive, homogenising force of the
West's capitalist economic model, and the diverse, varied,
hectic alternatives that every day are destroyed by it. And
this clash must be a major reason that many people across
the world - people with no connection to Islam or support
for the ultimate objectives of Bin Laden - jumped for joy
at the horrific humbling of the USA. It doesn't make them
right. But it does mean that the West and its increasingly
smug politicians had better start realising what they are
up against, before their whole edifice comes tumbling down.
. . . Opponents of the neoliberal machine believe in diversity
- cultural, individual, ecological, economic - over homogeneity.
They believe that one global model can never fit all, and
talk, in the words of Mexico's Zapatista rebels, of "a
world in which many worlds can fit"; the precise opposite
of the McWorld that globalisation is imposing. . . . the tens
of millions of dissenters are not going away anytime soon;
indeed, their numbers are growing all the time. And whatever
the powerful try or say, they will not be shut up or shut
out. They have far, far too much at stake.
Population Fund's Annual World Report Links Environmental
Changes, Poverty Alleviation and Reproductive Health