April 30, 2004 | Reason.com by Jacob Sullum During their opening statement in Sami Al-Hussayen’s trial at the federal courthouse in Boise, Idaho, prosecutors put a new spin on the slippery concept of “links to terrorism.” The Idaho Statesman reports that they “displayed a chart” showing how a Web site that Al-Hussayen had helped maintain “could eventually access 20 other sites with ties to radical organizations.”
[ To follow-up an earlier story, why won’t Disney distribute Michael Moore’s film, Farenheit 911? FAIR speculates that "Disney’s financial involvement with a member of the same Saudi family whose connections to the Bush dynasty are investigated by Moore" might be the most relevant factor yet. From FAIR’s activist alert: Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, a billionaire investor who is a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd, became a major investor in Disney’s Eurodisney theme park when it was in financial trouble, and may be asked to bail out the troubled project again. It’s not unprecedented for Disney to respond favorably […]
[ This must-read by Stan Goff profoundly puts the Abu Ghraib revelations in context. Goff avoids the tendency of those who focus exclusively on the (legitimate) hunt for the specific evil doers, and who thereby miss the institutional causes of evil. He explores the systemic causes of abuse underlying the events at Abu Ghraib, My Lai, and elsewhere, and analyzes the ramifications of the publicity as violations of the "Powell Doctrine" (“which includes a co-opted press and a vigorous attempt to keep things like flag-draped coffins off of those wide screen TVs”). From the piece: Their very humanity – that […]
IRAQ: Victory Rises Above a Mass Grave May 3, 2004 | Inter Press Service by Aaron Glantz A team of local volunteers wearing surgical masks lifts the rotting body of a middle-aged woman from a shallow grave in the front yard of a house. The house owner says the body lay there three weeks. FALLUJAH – A U.S. aircraft bombed her car as she fled the city with her husband. The husband was buried in the garden of the house next door. The destroyed remains of the car are scattered a few metres away. ?We couldn’t give her a proper […]
Rape Rooms: A Chronology What Bush said as the Iraq prison scandal unfolded. Wednesday, May 5, 2004 | Slate (Listen to this story on NPR’s Day to Day) by William Saletan “The Iraqi people are now free. And they do not have to worry about the secret police coming after them in the middle of the night, and they don’t have to worry about their husbands and brothers being taken off and shot, or their wives being taken to rape rooms. Those days are over.” — Paul Bremer, Administrator, [Iraq] Coalition Provisional Authority, Sept. 2, 2003 “Iraq is free of […]
July 1, 2003 | Reuters WASHINGTON – The United States on Tuesday suspended military assistance to nearly 50 countries, including Colombia and six nations seeking NATO membership, because they have supported the International Criminal Court and failed to exempt Americans from possible prosecution. As the deadline passed for governments to sign exemption agreements or face the suspension of military aid, President Bush issued waivers for 22 countries. But the 22 countries did not include Colombia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Colombia, where the government is fighting leftist guerrillas and drug traffickers, has been one of the largest recipients […]
Questioning the New Imperial World Order: A Hearing on the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) [ Below are my excerpts from the Commission’s fascinating website. You can see the list participants on the site; you can listen to audio testimony at the Commission’s audio gallery. –BL ] The BRussells Tribunal is a hearing committee composed of academics, intellectuals and artists in the tradition of the Russell Tribunal, set up in 1967 to investigate war crimes committed during the Vietnam War. The hearing is scheduled for 14-17th April 2004 at The Beursschouwburg and Les Halles in Brussels. It will […]
by Brendan Lalor If you did not see the footage of U.S. troops killing wounded Iraqis in December of 2003, you are not alone. According to the Independent’s Robert Fisk, it was "blacked out" in the U.S. with the exception of an airing by ABC. InformationClearingHouse.info is making a 6-minute clip from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (from May 4, 2004) available on its website. The pattern of violations of international law is symptomatic of a dehumanizing militarism in the U.S.; and this latest addition will, in turn, fuel more hatred against the U.S.
[ Martin’s article is not just an indictment of the Bush Administration’s plan to “use Rumsfeld as a political lightning rod, and thus protect the Bush White House,” nor merely of Kerry’s cowering on Iraq; it’s an indictment of the U.S.’s two-party, “duopolistic” system, which excludes “tens of millions of American working people [who] oppose the occupation of Iraq … from the official debate in the 2004 election.” –BL ] 7 May 2004 | World Socialist Web Site by Patrick Martin The American media and Washington political circles have suddenly begun a discussion of whether Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld […]
May 06, 2004 | ZMag.org by Mark Harris “What’s incredible was the guy who was president then was Richard Nixon, which shows that when you build a big movement from down below, regardless of who’s in the White House, you can bring about change." — Tony Mazzochi, former legislative director of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union, on passage of the first Occupational and Safety Health Act in 1970. (New York Times, Aug. 24, 2002) Some of the more enthusiastic moments at the March 20 antiwar rallies around the country occurred when speakers raised the specter of President Bush […]
May 6, 2004 | Alternet.org by Geov Parrish, WorkingForChange.com Last year in this space, I took the occasion of an upcoming Mother’s Day weekend to reprint the 1870 call by American poet and women’s leader Julia Ward Howe for the establishment of the holiday. The response was astonishing; the awareness was nearly nil — even by peace activists — that what is now widely viewed as a sentimental tribute to family was originally a call for women to wage a general strike to end war.
May 4, 2004 | Save the Children [ “[A] mother in the bottom ten countries is 26 times more likely to see her child die in the first year of life and 750 times more likely to die herself in pregnancy or childbirth than a mother in the top ten countries.” ] May 4, 2004 | Save the Children Westport, CT (May 4, 2004) — Save the Children, a U.S.-based independent global humanitarian organization, released today its State of the World’s Mothers 2004 report that identifies the best — and worst — countries to be a mother. The report’s fifth […]
The Oil Crunch May 7, 2004 | New York Times by PAUL KRUGMAN Before the start of the Iraq war his media empire did so much to promote, Rupert Murdoch explained the payoff: “The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil.” Crude oil prices in New York rose to almost $40 a barrel yesterday, a 13-year high. Those who expected big economic benefits from the war were, of course, utterly wrong about how things would go in Iraq. But the disastrous occupation […]
[ For background on U.S. torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, see this earlier story. –BL ] Limbaugh on torture of Iraqis: U.S. guards were "having a good time," "blow[ing] some steam off" May 5, 2004 | MediaMatters.org by A.S. & G.W. Hours before President George W. Bush announced plans to address the Arab world to condemn the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison, Rush Limbaugh justified the U.S. guards’ mistreatment of the Iraqis, stating that they were just "having a good time," and that their actions served as an "emotional release." As […]