Monthly Archives: March 2004

58 posts

Growth of the Military Industrial-Complex Under Bush

by Brendan Lalor William Hartung, senior research fellow at the World Policy Institute at the New School, reports in the article below on some of the most prominent welfare recipients: the weapons makers–Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman–which together digested $42 billion in Pentagon contracts in fiscal year 2002 alone. The number and placement of their former executives in government and para-government organizations that directly influence policy, on the one hand, and former government execs in those corporations, on the other, is astounding. And there are, of course, those in both worlds at once. For example, Richard Perle is a […]

Caribbean Community Requests Inquiry To U.S.’s Chagrin

[ The 15-nation Caribbean Community, CARICOM, has not recognized the U.S.-installed replacement leader of Haiti, Gérard Latortue, who arrived in Haiti from Florida in a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter. The rightful president, deposed in a U.S.-backed coup, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, returned to the hemisphere (to Jamaica) on March 15, against protests from Washington, which is pressuring Jamaica to send Aristide to Nigeria.   Could it be that Washington wants the rightful leader out of the hemisphere so it can more smoothly secure a government compliant with U.S. interests? Presumably. But Washington may not get its wish. As reported in the article below, […]

The Bush Administration’s Public Statements on Iraq

[ The new Waxman report, dealing with Administration statements on Iraq, is a welcome sequel to his August, 2003, Politics & Science: Investigating the State of Science Under the Bush Administration. –doclalor ] About Iraq on the Record Iraq on the Record website, presented by Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives On March 19, 2003, U.S. forces began military operations in Iraq. Addressing the nation about the purpose of the war on the day the bombing began, President Bush stated: “The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not […]

Cheney, Oil, and the Invasion of Iraq

[ This article came to my attention due to Robi Sarlos. Thanks! –doclalor ] Cheney, energy and Iraq invasion Supreme Court to rule on secrecy March 21, 2004, San Francisco Chronicle by Larry Everest The case Cheney vs. U.S. District Court is scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court next month and could end up revealing more about the Bush administration's motives for the 2003 Iraq war than any conceivable investigation of U.S. intelligence concerning Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction. The plaintiffs, the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, the conservative legal group based in Washington, argue that Vice President […]

Bush Pays Lipservice to Vets, Then Slashes Their Health Care

December 23, 2003 | Late last week President Bush visited combat veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center. During his visit, he said “We have made a commitment to the troops, and we have made a commitment to their loved ones, and that commitment is that we will provide excellent health care – excellent care – to anybody who is injured on the battlefield.”1 His comments stand in stark contrast to the policies he has pushed – and the record he has amassed – as President. Just this year alone, the President “announced his formal opposition to a proposal to […]

President Bush’s Stated Commitment to Veterans Not Reflected in Budget

November 10, 2003 | President Bush often emphasizes his commitment to veterans, saying in 2001, “My administration understands America's obligations not only go to those who wear the uniform today, but to those who wore the uniform in the past: to our veterans.”1 But the 200,000 veterans waiting six months or more for their first appointment at a VA facility would be denied access to VA health care under Bush's plan. Others would be charged $250 annual enrollment fees, doubled prescription costs and increased co-payments.2 The same day the President met with wounded soldiers and said that America “should […]

Sick, Wounded U.S. Troops Held in Squalor

October 17, 2003, UPI by Mark Benjamin FORT STEWART, Ga. — Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait — sometimes for months — to see doctors. The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers’ living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 — […]

U.S. Troops Buying Own Armor for Iraq Duty

[ The Administration often claims that it considers our troops heroes. That’s hard to square with a number of facts, including the reprehensible treatment of soldiers’ medical needs upon their return from Iraq, the harsh cutting of benefits for veterans after paying vets lip service, and now this: “Nancy Durst recently learned that her husband, a soldier with an Army reserve unit from Maine serving in Iraq, spent four months without body armor. She said she would have bought armor for her husband.” Let’s hope Congress passes a bill to reimburse the soldiers who have purchased their own armor. But […]

Condoleezza Rice’s Credibility Problems

[ Condoleezza Rice's claims about issues pertaining to the Administration's alleged attention to the al Qaeda threat prior to 9/11 have not only contradicted chief counterterrorism official Richard Clarke’s claims, but also Vice President Cheney's, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's, Acting President G.W. Bush's, and even her own previous statements. A public that cares about truth should see this as indicative of a wider pattern of very serious lies. The two articles below originally appeared together on the website. –doclalor ] In Rush to Defend White House, Rice Trips Over Own Words The Washington Post, 26 March 2004 by Walter […]

“We should have had orange or red-type of alert in June or July of 2001”

A former FBI translator told the 9/11 commission that the bureau had detailed information well before Sept. 11, 2001, that terrorists were likely to attack the U.S. with airplanes. – – – – – – – – – – – – By Eric Boehlert, Salon March 26, 2004 | A former FBI wiretap translator with top-secret security clearance, who has been called “very credible” by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has told Salon she recently testified to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States that the FBI had detailed information prior to Sept. 11, 2001, that a terrorist […]

U.S. Use of Depleted Uranium Munitions Kills Civilians

[ The effect of the U.S.’s armor-piercing shells made of depleted uranium (DU) lingers long in Afganistan and Iraq, leaving high levels of radiation, and causing birth defects and cancers. Last year, Congressmember Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced a bill which called for the study of the health effects of DU; to my knowledge, no action has been taken on the bill.  Thanks to Ola Dadlez for the article below.–doclalor ] Silent Genocide March 25, 2004, Tribune Media Services by Robert C. Koehler “After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to […]

Bush Oiling the Draft Machine?

[ In recent months, the Bush Administration has been oiling the draft machine, reactivating draft boards and even entertaining the possibility of drafting those with computer and language skills. Why? The Cochran article below reports that according to a poll conducted by the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, a whopping 49 percent of soldiers stationed in Iraq say they don’t intend to reenlist — even with the Army offering a $10,000 bonus…. the first [draft] lottery could happen as early as June 15th, 2005. –doclalor ] The Coming Draft March 25, 2004, AlterNet by Connor Freff Cochran In 1973, forced conscription […]

Beware of Attempts to Revive Military Draft

December 22, 2003, New York Newsday by Bob Keeler It has been 30 years since the last time an American entered the armed forces through the not-so-tender mercies of the draft, on June 30, 1973. The next time could be just around the corner, if President George W. Bush is re-elected. No, no, no, a thousand times no, say the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. They insist they have no plans for a draft. In any case, take this to the bank: It will not happen before Nov. 2, 2004. Still, the rumors refuse to die, and it was […]

‘Special skills draft’ on drawing board

Computer experts, foreign language specialists lead list of military’s needs by Eric Rosenberg, Hearst Newspapers March 13, 2004, San Francisco Chronicle Washington — The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages. The Selective Service System has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.

Getting the Most Out of the Nation’s Teachers

[ Virginia Postrel reports in the article below that “the chances of getting a really smart teacher have gone down substantially” since the 1960s. The research on which she reports also supports the view that increasing teacher salaries will increase quality of education. Of course, for any of this to matter, we will need to see a shift away from the militaristic and corporate-friendly priorities of the current Administration. –doclalor ] March 25, 2004, New York Times by VIRGINIA POSTREL PUBLIC-SCHOOL teachers just aren’t as smart as they used to be. After all, women have more job opportunities. Bright women who […]

Chemical Weapons Lost in the U.S.

[ The White House has been fixated on the search for chemical weapons in Iraq while ignoring a pressing chemical weapons threat within U.S. borders. From the article below: The Army Corps of Engineers is currently investigating some 200 sites in 35 states where the military and its contractors cannot account for missing chemical-warfare agents…. The military insists that it’s unlikely that terrorists would be able to locate any of the lost chemical weapons, many of which were buried in unmarked and unmapped dumps, but the prospect of such a discovery is horrifying. Less than five miles from the White […]

Addiction to Oil May Cause More Widespread Pain

[ Economist Jeremy Rifkin warns that “As long as the US and global economy are increasingly dependent on an ever-dwindling supply of oil from the Middle East, the conditions for a perfect economic storm will continue to haunt us.” This is all the more reason that “tougher fuel efficiency standards, greater energy conservation measures, support of hybrid vehicles and a switch to renewable sources of energy” should be issues that loom large in the coming election.   Thanks to Matt Miller for forwarding the article below. –doclalor ] The perfect storm that’s about to hit: Rising oil prices and a weak dollar […]

Sudan: Ethnic Cleansing, Again

[ During the mid-90s, as the Hutus attempted to eliminate the Tutsis in Rwanda, the Clinton Administration refused to call the genocide ‘genocide’, perhaps because that would have obligated the U.S. to intervene under the 1948 Genocide Convention. Instead, it reprehensibly chose to hide its eyes behind bureaucracy and failed to save hundreds of thousands of lives at relatively little cost. Has the world learned its lesson yet?   Samantha Power reports In his [careful, semi-apologetic] 1998 remarks in Kigali [President Clinton] pledged to “strengthen our ability to prevent, and if necessary to stop, genocide.” “Never again,” he declared, “must we […]

U.S. on Rwanda: Bystanders to Genocide

[ Samantha Power shows in the article below that “the U.S. government knew enough about the genocide early on to save lives, but passed up countless opportunities to intervene.” Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda, says that after the U.S. had effectively lobbied to reduce the peacekeeping forces from 2,500 to just a few hundred, My force was standing knee-deep in mutilated bodies, surrounded by the guttural moans of dying people, looking into the eyes of children bleeding to death with their wounds burning in the sun and being invaded by maggots and flies. […]

Medicare Cost Analyst Says He Was Ordered to Provide Skewed Figures

March 13, 2004, Knight-Ridder by Tony Pugh WASHINGTON – The nation’s top Medicare cost analyst confirmed Friday that his former boss, Thomas Scully, ordered him to withhold from lawmakers unfavorable cost estimates about the Medicare prescription drug bill. He said the estimates exceeded what Congress seemed willing to accept by more than $100 billion. Richard Foster, the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Friday night that he received a handwritten note from Scully, then the centers’ administrator, in early June ordering him to ignore information requests from members of Congress who were drafting the drug […]

Bush Administration Ordered Medicare Plan Cost Estimates Withheld

[ Also check out the follow-up piece. –doclalor ] March 12, 2004, Knight-Ridder by Tony Pugh WASHINGTON – The government’s top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan. When the House of Representatives passed the controversial benefit by five votes last November, the White House was embracing an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that it would cost $395 billion in the first 10 years. But for months the administration’s own […]

Medicare has Become Problematic Issue for Bush Camp

Friday, March 19, 2004, Knight-Ridder by William Douglas WASHINGTON – Enactment of a sweeping Medicare reform law last year was supposed to be the crowning achievement of President Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” as he readied himself for re-election. By providing a federally subsidized prescription-drug benefit for senior citizens, albeit a limited one, administration officials felt they usurped a major issue from the Democrats and cut into Democratic support among seniors age 65 and over – an especially important voting bloc in key battleground states such as Florida. But less than four months after he signed it into law on Dec. 8, […]

Bush Sought “Way” To Invade Iraq?

Jan. 11, 2004, 60 Minutes (CBS) A year ago, Paul O’Neill was fired from his job as George Bush’s Treasury Secretary for disagreeing too many times with the president’s policy on tax cuts. Now, O’Neill – who is known for speaking his mind – talks for the first time about his two years inside the Bush administration. His story is the centerpiece of a new book being published this week about the way the Bush White House is run. Entitled “The Price of Loyalty,” the book by a former Wall Street Journal reporter draws on interviews with high-level officials who […]

What I Didn’t Find in Africa

July 6, 2003, New York Times by Joseph C. Wilson 4th Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq? Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat. For 23 years, from 1976 to 1998, I was a career foreign service officer and ambassador. In 1990, as chargé d’affaires in Baghdad, I was the last American diplomat to meet with […]

The Man Who Knew

Feb. 4, 2003 This is a 60 Minutes II broadcast from Feb. 4, 2004. In February, Secretary of State Colin Powell made a surprising admission. He told The Washington Post that he doesn’t know whether he would have recommended the invasion of Iraq if he had been told at the time that there were no stockpiles of banned weapons. Powell said that when he made the case for war before the United Nations one year ago, he used evidence that reflected the best judgments of the intelligence agencies. But long before the war started, there was plenty of doubt among […]

New Info.: Bush Ignored 9/11 Warnings

[ Bush Administration former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has come under vindictive attack from the White House for criticizing the Administration’s failure to heed urgent warnings regarding the al Qaeda threat before 9/11. These sorts of counterattacks are nothing new. They are becoming common place necessities for Team Bush, as high-level officials continue to defect, unraveling the fabric of lies which clothes Administration policy. Notable defectors include Richard Foster, the Medicare program’s actuary who blew the cover on Administration lies to Congress; Greg Thielmann, the analyst in charge of assessing the Iraqi weapons threat for Colin Powell’s intelligence bureau, who […]

Clarke’s Take on Terror

60 Minutes, March 21, 2004 (CBS) In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush ordered his then top anti-terrorism adviser to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn’t seem to be one. The charge comes from the adviser, Richard Clarke, in an exclusive interview on 60 Minutes. The administration maintains that it cannot find any evidence that the conversation about an Iraq-9/11 tie-in ever took place. Clarke also tells CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl that White House officials were tepid in their response when he urged them months before Sept. 11 to meet […]

Nuggets from the Recent Slew of Anti-Bush Books

[ The books Hertsgaard reviews below are some good ones. Other important, recent books in the topic area include Craig Unger’s House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World’s Two Most Powerful Dynasties (in which Unger shows that starting between 9/11 and 9/13, 2001, when all other private planes were grounded, 140 Saudis, including dozens of members of the bin Laden family, were given safe passage out of the U.S., unbothered by the FBI, thanks to clearance by the Bush White House … and much more) Richard Clarke’s Against All Enemies (in which then top counterterrorism […]

Bush Misrepresents Kerry’s Position on Intelligence Funding

[ While I am no apologist for John Kerry, it is worth countering the false Bush claims about Kerry’s voting record on defense and intelligence. Even Republican Senator John McCain, who is supporting Bush, defended Kerry’s voting record on defense. –doclalor ] Bush Misrepresents Kerry’s Position on Intelligence Funding Posted on the DBunker section of John Kerry’s website by Peter Daou on March 16, 2004 BUSH FICTION: In 1995, John Kerry proposed “deeply irresponsible” cuts in intelligence spending that “gutted” intelligence funding. FACT: The so-called “deeply irresponsible cuts” mentioned by Bush “represented about the same amount Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), then […]

Small Soldiers: Anti-War Movie

Small Soldiers by Louis Proyect | link It should be recorded that Stephen Spielberg was involved with one solid antiwar film in 1998. That film is Dreamworks’ “Small Soldiers,” not the flag-waving “Saving Private Ryan.” “Small Soldiers” received some praise for the animatronic designs, which give the Small Soldiers life-like motion and three-dimensionality, but the underlying story will last with you much longer than the special effects. “Small Soldiers” is a clever satire on the culture behind the testosterone-laden combat toys hawked to little boys on Saturday morning television. Denis Leary plays the head of a huge conglomerate that began […]

The Catholic Church is Pro-United Nations

by Brendan Lalor It’s worth underscoring a secret about Catholicism that many American Catholics do not know: The Catholic Church is pro-United Nations. Below are numerous passages from encyclicals and other documents, available though the Vatican website or that of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, documenting years of solid Catholic support for the United Nations, from John XXIII to JP II. Often these documents implore peoples and governments to empower and respect the U.N. Pacem in Terris Encyclical of Pope John XXIII promulgated April 11, 1963 On establishing universal peace in truth, justice, charity and liberty 142. As is […]

Backward Christian soldier: An open letter to the Christian General

[ Jim Wallis is the editor of the roughly evangelical justice magazine, Sojourners. Here’s his October, 2003 letter to the right-wing fundamentalist, Lt. General Boykin, who characterized the Iraq war as a spiritual war in which Christian Soldiers take on Islam’s “false god.” Bush did not reprimand Boykin — preserving the possibility for the Christian right that Bush may secretly support Lt. General Boykin’s position. But the Administration denied the General speaks for anyone beyond himself — thus preserving the possibility for the rest of the country that the Administration is sane. –doclalor ] by Jim Wallis Dear Lt. General Boykin, […]

Democrats and the Catholic Vote

[ In the article below, Bill Berkowitz considers how Catholics might view Kerry, given his positions on issues like gay marriage and abortion, particularly in light of the Bishops' “task force aimed at holding Catholic politicians accountable for their political positions.” The task force ought to be aware that its efforts will be manipulated by the right for political advantage against the Democrats. Personally, I think it would be useful to educate Catholics about the lesser-publicized components of Catholic Social Teaching (CST), which would make it clear that even conservative Catholics ought to think hard about the Bush-vs.-Kerry choice. Although […]

Number of hungry families in U.S. rising

From the AP wire through – – – – – – – – – – – – By Emily Gersema Oct. 31, 2003 | WASHINGTON (AP) — About 12 million American families last year worried that they couldn’t afford to buy food, and 32 percent of them actually experienced someone going hungry at one time or another, the Agriculture Department said Friday. It was the third year in a row that the department has seen an increase in the number of households experiencing hunger and those worried about having enough money to pay for food. Based on a […]

Easter Island a Metaphor for Environmental Damage to Our Planet

[ This is from the fascinating review below: Land birds disappeared completely from the diet, for the simple reason that every species became extinct from some combination of overhunting, deforestation, and predation by rats introduced accidentally as stowaways in the colonists' canoes…. Why were Easter Islanders so foolish as to cut down all their trees, when the consequences would have been so obvious to them? This is a key question that nags everyone who wonders about self-inflicted environmental damage. I have often asked myself, “What did the Easter Islander who cut down the last palm tree say while he was […]

International Election Monitors Take on Florida

[ Catholic peace group Pax Christi will bring international monitors to Florida to help ensure fair elections this time around, according to the Reuters. This is especially important, given what happened last time around. –doclalor ] Mon Mar 8, 3:38 PM ET by Michael Peltier TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) – An international group that usually monitors elections in developing democracies said Monday it would take up posts at Florida precincts in November in hopes of averting another debacle when voters pick the next U.S. president. Four years after Florida became the object of international ridicule, officials for the Catholic group Pax […]

Sexual Mores and the Bible

[ Allen H. Brill, founder of “The Right Christians,” is a private citizen and Christian who wanted to see viewpoints of progressive Christians better represented in the public forum. He provides a Weblog on issues involving Christianity and politics that is updated five times a week. Rev. Brill is an ordained Lutheran minister educated at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He is also a member of the South Carolina Bar with a B.A. degree in Government from Harvard College and a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School. –Suzanne Faye ] The Right Christians, February 25, 2004 (reprinted in […]

Chomsky on the History U.S. Policy on Haiti

[ In the article below, Chomsky provides a nice context by reference to which to interpret current events in Haiti. Highlights include (1) “the United States[‘] outrage[] and fright [at Haiti,] the first nation in the world to argue the case of universal freedom for all humankind, revealing the limited definition of freedom adopted by the French and American revolutions’,” (2) the Clinton policies that decimated Haiti’s ability to provide food for itself, (3) the guilt that continues to lie with France, Haiti’s former colonial “master.” –doclalor ] US-Haiti ZMag, March 09, 2004 by Noam Chomsky Those who have any concern […]

Right-Wing Home Schoolers Have Pipe-line to the Bush White House

College for the Home-Schooled Is Shaping Leaders for the Right New York Times, March 8, 2004 By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK PURCELLVILLE, Va. — As one of 12 siblings taught at home by their parents in St. Croix Falls, Wis., Abram Olmstead knew he would fit right in at Patrick Henry College, the first college primarily for evangelical Christian home-schoolers. But what really sold him was the school’s pipeline into conservative politics. Of the nearly 100 interns working in the White House this semester, 7 are from the roughly 240 students enrolled in the four-year-old Patrick Henry College, in Purcellville. An […]

Bush Admin. sides with industry rather than with EPA (again)

[ The Bush Administration continues to pander to corporate interests against the better advice of science. Yes, Bush-appointee Gail Norton’s Interior Department is siding with Newmont Mining Company over the EPA. This is from the article below: The Environmental Protection Agency, which has the most experience with mine cleanups but no direct authority over mining on federal lands, had argued fiercely that $33.5 million would be needed to prevent groundwater pollution, according to official records of the dispute. The mining company countered that a fund of $408,000 would be sufficient. In February, the Bureau of Land Management in the Interior […]

Godfather Colin Powell: The Gangster of Haiti

[ The Black Commentator article below is lengthy. Here are some highlights. (1) It provides an under-reported perspective on the violence against the Haitian poor, citing independent journalist Kevin Pina's report: The poorest of the poor who supported President Aristide and democracy are being slaughtered by the former military and FRAPH. There is a 6 p.m. curfew imposed by the international forces but it does not seem to apply to these killers. (2) The article also chides the corporate media for ignoring the obviously relevant politico-economic context in which the events leading up to the U.S.-backed coup against Aristide took […]

New Nietzschean Diet Lets You Eat Whatever You Fear Most

The Onion, Mar. 3, 2004 (vol. 40: 9) NEW YORK—While dieters are accustomed to exercises of will, a new English translation of Germany’s most popular diet book takes the concept to a new philosophical level. The Nietzschean diet, which commands its adherents to eat superhuman amounts of whatever they most fear, is developing a strong following in America.   Above: The book, which tells dieters to “be truthful about what thinness is.” Fat Is Dead, proclaims the ambitious title of the dense, aphoristic nutrition plan, which was written by Friedrich Nietzsche in the late 1880s and unearthed three years ago. […]

See Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega Dodge the Truth Before Congress

Click here to see and hear Roger Noriega basically lie to House of Representatives’ International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere regarding what he knows about a number of figures who had been in exile from Haiti, but who had returned and helped precipitate the recent U.S.-favored coup. Among the many human rights violations of these anti-democratic forces, Noriega denied knowing about these, presented to him by the Subcommittee: Guy Phillipe: trained by the U.S. military in Ecuador, killed 26 members of the Lavalas party, trafficked drugs Andy Apaid: American citizen and owner of more than 10 Haitian sweatshops, supported […]

Diebold, Electronic Voting and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

[ A trustworthy voting system is a necessary condition of a democracy. John Locke argued that When, by the arbitrary power of the prince, the … ways of election are altered, without the consent, and contrary to the common interest of the people, there … is the legislative altered. (Second Treatise of Government, para. 216) Locke argued that such an alteration renders the resulting government illegitimate and justifies its “dissolution,” as it does not have the authority of the people behind it. He’s on to something important. Hence, Adam Cohen is right when, in the New York Times, he remarks, […]

Scientists counter Bush view: Families varied, say anthropologists

[ In the article below, anthropologists “called Bush’s conception of the history of marriage ‘patently false.’” This fits in nicely with the pattern of disregard for and abuse of science on the part of the Bush Administration, as substantiated by the Waxman Report last August, and the report of the Union of Concerned Scientists last month. –doclalor ] Charles Burress Friday, February 27, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle The primary organization representing American anthropologists criticized President Bush’s proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Thursday and gave a failing grade to the president’s understanding of human cultures. “The results of more than […]

Hussein ties to al Qaeda appear faulty

The administration’s case on ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda relied on intelligence that was weaker than that on Iraq’s illegal weapons programs. Miami Herald; Posted on Wed, Mar. 03, 2004 By WARREN P. STROBEL, JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND JOHN WALCOTT WASHINGTON – The Bush administration’s assertion that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda — one of the administration’s central arguments for a preemptive war — appears to have been based on even less solid intelligence than the administration’s claims that Iraq had hidden stocks of chemical and biological weapons. Nearly a year after U.S. and […]

Analysis: After the would-be coup

[ One of the themes in the commentary below is that the question, “is the United States more concerned with its interests in the region than maintaining the continuity of democratic rule?” emerges time and time again as the U.S. backs coups in Latin America. –doclalor ] The military appear to have come to Chavez’s aid Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK; BBC News By the BBC’s Tom Gibb There will be relief in most of Latin America that President Hugo Chávez is back in power in Venezuela, with many seeing this as important for the development of […]


Greg Palast reporting from Caracas [ link ] Friday, November 28, 2003 It’s as if they were locked in a crypt for the last ten years. The finance ministers of every Latin American nation last week signed on to a resolution in principle to join the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the hemispheric expansion of NAFTA. The walking corpse of Argentina’s economy was there, as well as the long-deceased body of Ecuador and several other South American nations whose economies were long ago murdered and buried by the free trade and free market nostrums of the World Bank […]

U.S. political maneuvering behind the ouster

BY RON HOWELL March 1, 2004, Newsday The departure of Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a victory for a Bush administration hard-liner who has been long dedicated to Aristide’s ouster, U.S. foreign policy analysts say. That official is Roger Noriega, assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, whose influence over U.S. policy toward Haiti has increased during the past decade as he climbed the diplomatic ladder in Washington. “Roger Noriega has been dedicated to ousting Aristide for many, many years, and now he’s in a singularly powerful position to accomplish it,” Robert White, a former U.S. ambassador to El […]

Why Would the U.S. Facilitate Ousters in Haiti and Venezuela?

[ Here I propose a possible explanation as to why the U.S. might have supported coups in Haiti and Venezuela — an explanation of which I hope scrutinizing readers will disabuse me if I am off-base. –doclalor ] by Brendan Lalor, If democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by the U.S., it’s worth asking, Why little Haiti? I propose a two-part explanation here, as to why the U.S. supported or pandered to the anti-government forces in Haiti, and pressured Aristide out — an explanation which will, in turn, be extended to cover Venezuela, too: The minor component […]

U.S. Papers Hail Venezuelan Coup as Pro-Democracy Move

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) April 18, 2002 When elements of the Venezuelan military forced president Hugo Chávez from office last week, the editorial boards of several major U.S. newspapers followed the U.S. government’s lead and greeted the news with enthusiasm. In an April 13 editorial, the New York Times triumphantly declared that Chavez’s “resignation” meant that “Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator.” Conspicuously avoiding the word “coup,” the Times explained that Chavez “stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader.” Calling Chavez “a ruinous demagogue,” the Times offered […]

Venezuela coup linked to Bush team

[ The article below explains the connections between Bush Administration figures and the 2002 coup in Venezuela. They include: Otto Reich — who met with the plotters of the coup beforehand — Elliot Abrams, and John Negroponte. –doclalor ] Specialists in the ‘dirty wars’ of the Eighties encouraged the plotters who tried to topple President Chavez Ed Vulliamy in New York Sunday April 21, 2002 The Observer The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the ‘dirty wars’ of the 1980s, and links to […]

Venezuelan Leader, Battling a Recall, Mocks Bush

[ It’s not just Aristide the Bush Administration has been working to oust, but socialist President Chavez in Venezuela, too. From the article: “Sumate, an opposition group that helped plan the recall effort, received $53,000 from the United States government. The money came from the National Endowment for Democracy, which had funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups opposed to Mr. Chavez.” –doclalor ] March 1, 2004, New York Times By JUAN FORERO ARACAS, Venezuela, Feb. 29 — President Hugo Chávez railed against the Bush administration on Sunday in a speech before tens of thousands of supporters, accusing it […]

Peter, Paul, Mary . . . and God

[ Word on the street in some quarters is that Mel Gibson’s The Passion is noteworthy for its historical accuracy. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Anti-Defamation League commissioned a report that debunks that claim. Nearly as interesting are the uncanonized narratives contemplated below that supply different points of view of the person, Jesus. –doclalor ] February 28, 2004, New York Times By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF For a provocative look at the emergence of Christianity two millenniums ago, skip Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” and examine instead some of the fascinating recent scholarship on the early church. Interest in […]

Don’t fall for Washington’s spin on Haiti

COMMENT: Don't fall for Washington's spin on Haiti By Jeffrey SachsFinancial Times; Mar 01, 2004 The crisis in Haiti is another case of brazen US manipulation of a small, impoverished country with the truth unexplored by journalists. In the nearly universal media line on the Haitian revolt, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was portrayed as an undemocratic leader who betrayed Haiti's democratic hopes and thereby lost the support of his erstwhile backers. He “stole” elections and intransigently refused to address opposition concerns. As a result he had to leave office, which he did at the insistence of the US and France. Unfortunately, […]

Background on Haiti

[ Mary Turck’s piece (below) for the human rights organization, Resource Center of the Americas, supplies some pertinent background information that aids interpretation of media reports about Haiti. Another nice source is the discussion hosted on FAIR’s CounterSpin radio program with Marx Aristide of the Haiti Support Network (he is not related to the Haitian president). Get the mp3 here (it’s 8:56 into the file). –doclalor ] Haiti Q & A by Mary Turck  Resource Center of the Americas, February 23, 2004  As violent gangs invade Haitian towns, murdering police and opening jails, news reports repeat several catch phrases […]

Not Yet Covered in the Corporate Press!: Aristide Kidnapped(?)

by Brendan Lalor, Congresswoman Maxine Waters communicated with Hatian President Jean Bertrand Aristide today, and she reports that — contrary to what we hear in the mainstream media so far — Aristide did not resign, nor did he flee. Instead he was kidnapped, he says by U.S.-supported forces! For the latest, check the website. Meanwhile, ABC news says its top story on NightLine tonight will be Aristide’s “flight” from Haiti. Let’s hope they get the full story before going on the air. As I’ve recently noted, U.S. support for anti-democratic movements in the hemisphere ought to be a […]