Daily Archives: May 3, 2004

15 posts

Rumors of a new draft are swirling

[ From DemocracyNow! (4/3/04): Gov’t Proposes Extending Draft to Women. Hearst newspapers has obtained government documents that show the chief of the Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft, expanding the draft age from 25 to 35, as well as requiring that young Americans regularly inform the government about whether they have training in niche specialties needed in the armed services. The proposal was made by the agency’s acting director Lewis Brodsky prior to the invasion of Iraq. The paper obtained the previously secret proposal through the Freedom of Information Act. –BL ] May 2, 2004 | […]

Who is Killing Iraqi Intellectuals?

[ From the article: [Dr.] Abdul-Latif al-Mayah, a middle-aged political science professor … spoke in favor of holding elections in Iraq by June 30, the date set for America’s planned handover of political power to Iraqis. Less than 24 hours later, he was gunned down on his way to the university. –BL ] Death to those who dare to speak out April 30, 2004 | Christian Science Monitor by Annia Ciezadlo BAGHDAD – Even under Saddam Hussein, Saad Jawad spoke his mind. The mild-mannered, political science professor was one of only four people who dared to sign a petition asking Iraq’s […]

Letter to President Bush from Former U.S. Diplomats

[ According to DemocracyNow! this letter of dissent from former diplomats to Bush has been ignored by most of the press with the exception of the British-run Financial Times. –BL ] April 30, 2004 | available at miftah.org President George W. Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC Dear Mr. President: We former U.S. diplomats applaud our 52 British colleagues who recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair criticizing his Middle East policy and calling on Britain to exert more influence over the United States. As retired foreign service officers we care deeply about our […]

Caribbean Community postpones meeting with U.S. Homeland Security secretary over Haiti differences

27 avril 2004 | Associated Press GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The Caribbean has indefinitely postponed a meeting of its national security ministers with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge because of major differences over Haiti, officials said Tuesday. Caribbean Community Secretary General Edwin Carrington said the May 3-4 meeting in the Bahamas won’t take place because the 15-member regional bloc does not recognize the new U.S.-backed Haitian interim government.

Cuban-Style Health Care System in Venezuela?

[ Volunteer Cuban doctors have been providing health care in Venezuela since March 2003 to the chagrin of the anti-Chavez Venezuelan business class. Cuba’s health-care system “offers medical care as a universal right that is free of charge, eliminating medical practice as a business.” Volunteer Cuban doctors, most of whom have carried out internationalist volunteer missions in other countries … receive a stipend of $250 a month to cover living expenses. They live in workers’ homes in the areas where they serve, operating clinics out of community centers and other facilities. They provide much of the medicine, which is donated […]

Private military companies in Iraq: profiting from colonialism

3 May 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by James Conachy Operating behind a veil of state and corporate secrecy, dozens of private security firms with intimate connections to the American political establishment are playing a crucial role in the US occupation of Iraq. The wholesale contracting of military work to these companies is one of the most outrageous forms of war profiteering taking place under the auspices of the Bush administration. Modern-day mercenaries are amassing vast fortunes assisting the US ruling elite to establish a puppet regime in Iraq, repress the Iraqi people and plunder the country’s resources. Security […]

U.S. Is Losing Its Dominance in the Sciences

May 3, 2004 | New York Times by WILLIAM J. BROAD The United States has started to lose its worldwide dominance in critical areas of science and innovation, according to federal and private experts who point to strong evidence like prizes awarded to Americans and the number of papers in major professional journals. Foreign advances in basic science now often rival or even exceed America’s, apparently with little public awareness of the trend or its implications for jobs, industry, national security or the vigor of the nation’s intellectual and cultural life.

A carnival of unreason: The Anatomy of Fascism

3rd May 2004 | The New Statesman by Terry Eagleton, Reviewer Under review: The Anatomy of Fascism, by Robert O Paxton Allen Lane (the Penguin Press, 336pp, ISBN 0713997206) Nobody knows on which day of the week the Renaissance started, or in what month the Dark Ages came to a halt. The origins of fascism, however, are surprisingly well documented. As Robert Paxton informs us in this lucid, engagingly readable study, the movement began on Sunday morning, 23 March 1919, at a meeting called by Benito Mussolini’s supporters in Milan “to declare war against socialism”. That, at least, was when […]

U.S. Toying With Proposed New “Peacekeeping” Force

[ Hmmm … –BL ] US mulls 75,000-strong foreign peace force Apr 29, 2004 | Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON — US officials are mulling plans to create a 75,000-member international peacekeeping force to intervene in trouble spots around the globe, two senior officials with the George W. Bush administration said Thursday. “What we envision is about a 75,000-person force starting in Africa for training …. people to be available for peacekeeping,” Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told a House of Representatives committee. The pricetag for the program would be “about 100 million dollars the first year and 660 million dollars over […]

A Little Victory for Democracy in California: Diebold Paperless Voting Decertified

[ Recent voting anomalies in California influenced California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley who “on Friday withdrew his approval of electronic voting machines throughout the state.” Further, Diebold, “the state’s leading manufacturer of touch-screen voting machines, had told the state it was nearing federal approval for AccuVote-TSx when it was nowhere close to gaining that approval, Shelley said. The secretary of state said that action amounted to fraud, and he sent a letter Friday asking Lockyer to open a criminal and civil probe of the company.” This follows-up another recent article. Thanks to Alexandra Dadlez for passing along this article. […]

Prison Photos: Temporary Print Media Blackout in the U.S.

US media alibis for torture in Iraq 3 May 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Bill Van Auken Photographs of the sadistic torture of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of US troops became front-page news around the world after their release last week. Only in two countries were they largely suppressed by the media — the United States and Iraq itself. In Iraq, newspapers that can be — and have been — shut down at a moment’s notice by order of the US occupation chief Paul Bremer chose not to publish them. Most Iraqis viewed on Arab television the […]

Biological Weapons Under Development in the U.S.

[ The articles below are about the infusion of federal funds for “‘hot labs’ designed to combat bioterrorism and house the world’s deadliest germs”: A growing number of scientists complain that the $6 billion earmarked by Congress for fighting bioterrorism is excessive, is being doled out with little oversight and is detracting from efforts to combat problems that are much more deadly — for example, AIDS and malaria, which are already killing millions of people. Others worry that the buildup actually threatens national security, by arming more people with the know-how to construct bioweapons, and perhaps even sparking a new […]

Christians Condemn Bush’s Environmental Record

[ From the article: On Earth Day … more than 100 reverends, ministers, and bishops representing more than 2 million American churchgoers sent a letter to the White House condemning President Bush’s environmental record…. “[W]e believe that the administration’s energy, clean-air, and climate-change programs prolong our dependence on fossil fuels, which are depleting Earth’s resources, poisoning its climate, punishing the poor, constricting sustainable economic growth, and jeopardizing global security and peace.” Swing voters? –BL ] Getting in Bush’s Faith April 29, 2004 | Grist Magazine by Amanda Griscom

Saving Ali: Where US snipers fire at ambulances

[ Journalist Lee Gordon saved a four-year old Iraqi’s life, who was among the first Falluja evacuees. –BL ] April 29, 2004 | The Guardian by Lee Gordon in Falluja It was when I saw little Ali’s ruined body that I stopped being just a reporter and became a true embed. The scene was a makeshift field hospital in Falluja. A missile fired at the hospital has left the walls of the room Ali lies in pockmarked with shrapnel. Glass crunches underfoot. Four-year-old Ali is lying in a cot, the mattress matted with dried blood. He is bleeding from a […]

War Profiteers Ranked

April, 2004 | Center for Public Integrity Post-War Contractors Ranked by Total Contract Value in Iraq and Afghanistan From 2002 through March 31, 2004 Archived version of ranking availableContractorContract TotalKellogg, Brown & Root (Halliburton)$3,967,866,240Bechtel Group Inc.$2,829,833,859Parsons Corp.$880,000,000International American Products Inc.$528,421,252Perini Corporation$525,000,000Contrack International Inc.$500,000,000Fluor Corp.$500,000,000Washington Group International$500,000,000Research Triangle Institute$466,070,508BearingPoint Inc.$304,262,668Louis Berger Group$300,000,000Creative Associates International Inc.$217,139,368Chemonics International Inc.$167,759,000Readiness Management Support LC (Johnson Controls Inc.) $111,964,161DynCorp (Computer Sciences Corp.)$93,689,421EOD Technology Inc.$71,900,000Tetra Tech Inc.$66,947,671USA Environmental Inc.$66,947,671Development Alternatives Inc.$49,117,857Vinnell Corporation (Northrop Grumman)$48,074,442Abt Associates Inc.$43,818,278International Resources Group$37,230,000Management Systems International$29,816,328SkyLink Air and Logistic Support (USA) Inc.$27,200,000Science Applications International Corp.$23,486,298Ronco Consulting Corporation$22,458,290World Fuel Services Corp.$19,762,792Stevedoring Services of America$14,318,895Raytheon […]