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World Crisis Analysis Archives - Arranged by Month

"When Will We Stop Dying So Senselessly?"

Jay Shaft for the World Crisis Web

Over the Christmas holidays I managed to find two US soldiers who were back from Iraq. They were both somewhat willing to be interviewed and describe their time in Iraq in their own words. You could see the strain in their faces, and an almost haunted look in their eyes. Thoughts of all the troops they had left behind were weighing heavy on their minds. Neither one knew the other before coming back on leave. They had met in the airport and realized they were both returning to the same hometown for leave. On the trip home they got to talking, and shared their experiences as officers leading combat troops on patrols and into battles.

Saturday, January 31st, 2004
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''Why Good Things Happen To Bad People''

John Brand

Let me define my terms. By “good things” I do not mean ideals valued among the noblest of human principles. Included among such majestic goals would be the dispensation of justice based on equity, the rightful distribution of goods, the pursuit of philosophy, the arts, and the profoundly spiritual. By “good things,” in this column, I imply what our materialistic society values most highly: conspicuous consumption, tax evasion by the super rich, awarding non-competitive government contracts, golden parachutes, obscene stock options, off-shore companies, accounting finesses, and sundry other such exploitive gambits. In short, by “good things” I mean the advantage the favorite few exercise over the masses.

Friday, January 30th, 2004
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Slouching Towards Hell

Ahmed Bouzid

Imagine if someone had submitted to the Los Angeles Times a well-crafted op-ed that rationally and calmly argued the following: “If only the Arabs of 1948 had united more tightly, had planned more carefully, and had done a better job enrolling strategic and powerful allies to their cause, Israel as a Jewish state would never have seen the light of day, and we would have never had to endure one of the most thorny and tragic problems in modern history ? the Arab-Israeli conflict.” If such an op-ed were being submitted to the opinion editors at the Los Angeles Times, do you think the newspaper would have published it?

Friday, January 30th, 2004
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No Iraqi Sovereignty If USA Forces Stay

Geoffrey Aronson

USA officials, particularly those in the Department of Defense, have always insisted that the political and security tracks in Iraq proceed independently of one another. The Bush administration may be prepared to recall American administrators from their desks in Baghdad, but the three- and four-star generals and forces under their command will remain for an indeterminate period. The reduction in USA military personnel over the next year to around 120,000 troops (from the current 150,000) is only being achieved by recruiting civilian contractors to do some jobs. In short, the administration envisages no reduction in the ability of USA forces to project their power throughout Iraq.

Friday, January 30th, 2004
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The Truth About Modern Day America

David R. Hoffman for the World Crisis Web

If there is one axiom to define life under the Bush dictatorship, it is that America is dominated and manipulated by individuals without principles, who automatically denounce the policies and practices of people or political parties they oppose, yet openly embrace commensurate policies and practices that serve their own political agendas or selfish interests. Recently, for example, many “conservative” critics expressed indignation over comparisons between George W. Bush and Adolph Hitler.  Yet this outrage is conspicuously absent when right-wing commentators make similar comparisons between Nazis and notable liberals.

Thursday, January 29th, 2004
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The Shadow of Iraq

Seumas Milne

We have been here before. In April 1972, the former brigadier Lord Widgery published his now notorious report into the killing of 14 unarmed civil rights demonstrators by British paratroopers in Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday. The report was so widely seen as a flagrant establishment whitewash, that a quarter of a century later Tony Blair felt compelled to set up another Bloody Sunday inquiry under Lord Saville, still sitting today. In his report of the inquiry into the death of the weapons inspector David Kelly, Lord Hutton - a scion of the Northern Irish protestant ascendancy who himself represented British soldiers at the Widgery inquiry - has, if anything, outdone Widgery in his service to the powers that be.

Thursday, January 29th, 2004
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Lies and Beatings in 'Free' Iraq

Dahr Jamail for the World Crisis Web

"Two weeks ago the Americans came and asked me to give them names of resistance fighters. I don?t know any resistance fighters. We were always against Saddam here. They roughed me up some, then said they would come back in a week and I?d better have some names. They came back a week ago, sent my family outside and locked the door. I told them I don?t know any names, so they tied my hands, put a bag over my head, and took me away in an armored vehicle. They beat me on my head, neck, shoulders and chest. They kicked my legs. Then they took me home and told me they could kill me. I told them I just don?t know anyone they are looking for, because I?m not in the resistance. They said they would come back.”

Thursday, January 29th, 2004
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Iraqi Whispers Mull Repeat Of 1920s Revolt

Hannah Allam and Tom Lasseter

Whispers of “revolution” are growing louder in Baghdad this month at teahouses, public protests and tribal meetings as Iraqis point to the past as an omen for the future. Iraqis remember 1920 as one of the most glorious moments in modern history, one followed by nearly eight decades of tumult. The bloody rebellion against British rule that year is memorialized in schoolbooks, monuments and mass-produced tapestries that hang in living rooms. Now, many say there’s an uncanny similarity with today: unpopular foreign occupiers, unelected governing bodies and unhappy residents eager for self-determination. The result could be another bloody uprising.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004
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Manufacturing Public Opinion

Dalia Bedair

After the catastrophe of 9-11, and the subsequent “war on terrorism,” the media?s ability to sway public opinion proved detrimental to American Muslims. The American media?s influence and corruption infiltrated every aspect of news coverage, shaping the nation?s opinion of Muslims. News anchors speculated about terrorist networks. Radio programs propagated false information about the tenets of Islam. Newspaper articles questioned the ulterior motives behind Muslim activism in America. In the end, the media successfully put a face to the vicious enemy behind the destruction of 9-11. Muslim Americans were blamed collectively for the attacks, rather than placing accountability on the few, deranged terrorists that transgressed.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004
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Iraqi Democracy: Lessons From USA History

Sarah Whalen

The USA claims it wants to establish a fair, responsible and democratic system of government in Iraq. Traditionally, this would mean a speedy election of Iraqis, by Iraqis, and for Iraqis. The Bush administration has something different in mind, but in delaying truly democratic elections in Iraq, the USA reveals how far removed it has become from its own democratic origins, which commenced not with the colonial revolution or its 1776 Declaration of Independence, but much earlier - 1620, to be precise, when a small group of conservative religious fanatics, hated and reviled in their own European countries, crossed the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004
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Two-State Solution Again Sells Palestinians Short

George Bisharat

It is a tragic irony that, more than 55 years ago, one desperate people seeking sanctuary from murderous racism decimated another - and continue to oppress its scattered survivors to this day. Today, many assume that to achieve Middle East peace, we Palestinians must surrender our right to return to our homes and homeland. Millions of Palestinians - with memories and photographs of our stolen properties, keys to our front doors, and an abiding sense of injustice - are expected to swallow our losses in order to facilitate a “two-state solution.” But it’s not that simple.

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004
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Bush vs. Hitler, Part II

David R. Hoffman for the World Crisis Web

A popular saying proclaims that there are three types of criticism. The first, and most welcome, is positive criticism. The second, and equally welcomed, is negative criticism, since it confirms that one’s work has been noticed. The third, and worst, is no criticism at all, because it signifies that one’s work is irrelevant or unworthy of being critiqued. But before an individual becomes too elated by positive criticisms, or too deflated by negative ones, it must first be determined whether such criticisms are legitimate or illegitimate.  The essential question to be asked is, “Are the critics acting with sincerity and integrity, or are they motivated by agendas that make their words biased at best and hypocritical at worst?”

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004
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The Mingling of Blood and the Occupation

Dahr Jamail for the World Crisis Web

This morning, a huge blast shakes my hotel, rattling my windows, as a bomb explodes at the front entrance of the CPA, killing 23 Iraqis, 2 Americans, and wounding at least 180 others. One thing I?ve noticed since I?ve been here is to be wary of the periods of relative calm; for they are inevitably followed by extreme violence in one form or another. Each time I?ve allowed myself to become lulled into a sense of feeling that the resistance is slowing down, there are fewer attacks now, blah blah blah, a terrible strike like this morning occurs to remind me. To remind me that the USA has no idea what it has gotten itself into here. That they are swimming as hard as they can just to keep their nose above water.

Sunday, January 18th, 2004
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Then They Came For Us

Muslims in America Post 9-11

First, it was the Indigenous Americans. They were forced off their own land in an unimaginable genocide, their way of life altered forever. Then came the turn of the African Americans. Forced into slavery, they became part of an enduring cycle of social oppression, which continues to this day. The Japanese became the target of choice during World War II. Their internment was merely another log in the burning fire of racial discrimination practiced by the government. As thousands of Muslims sit behind bars without due process, we come to the painful realization that now, it’s the Muslims’ turn?

Saturday, January 17th, 2004
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Shiites Gaining Power In Post-Saddam Iraq

Hamza Hendawi

A 22-year-old Shiite cleric wields vast power in the impoverished Iraqi city of Kut, overseeing a network of social and security services, collecting taxes and even administering a court of law - all independent of the U.S.-backed local government. Abdul Jawad al-Issawi is an example of the eroding influence of the U.S.-led coalition and of how Shiite clerical power is spreading outside the mosques, partly to fill that gap. It is a pattern that is taking hold in other Shiite Muslim areas as the religious establishment challenges U.S. plans for transferring power to the Iraqis.

Saturday, January 17th, 2004
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Lost Chances

Mohamed Hakki

In a little less than 10 days, President George W Bush will deliver his annual State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. One of the central points will be to declare victory in Iraq. The capture of Saddam Hussein, he will say, is only the beginning of the transformation of the Middle East and the triumph of freedom and democracy. The other piece in this scenario will probably be the change of attitude in Libya towards more accommodating policies to the USA and Israel. The chances are, as he speaks, Iraq may be moving from a simple botched occupation, based on Israel’s failed colonization of Palestine, into a generalised multidimensional war, which the occupiers will not be able to control.

Saturday, January 17th, 2004
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I Believe In Conspiracies

John Laughland

Believing in conspiracy theories is rather like having been to a grammar school: both are rather socially awkward to admit. Writing in one UK national newspaper last week, the columnist Melanie Phillips even attacked conspiracy theories as the consequence of a special pathology, of the collapse in religious belief, and of a ‘descent into the irrational’. The implication is that those who oppose ‘the West’, or who think that governments are secretive and dishonest, might need psychiatric treatment. In fact, it is the other way round. British and American foreign policy is itself based on a series of highly improbable conspiracy theories.

Friday, January 16th, 2004
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On Iraq?s Future

Ezequiel Adamovsky

The hidden link between capitalism, social unrest, state violence, and corruption is becoming more and more exposed all over the world. Iraqis do not need to be explained this: George W. Bush is not only killing them on a daily basis, but also privatizing their economy in record time, while giving most contracts to his family?s and friends? companies. Meanwhile, a puppet Iraqi authority, appointed by the USA, provides pseudo-legitimacy, and gets ready for the moment in which the Imperial master decides to leave the country in Iraqi hands. Needless to say, there is nothing extraordinarily new to this. The end of this story is well known ? we have seen it over and over again in many other regions.

Friday, January 16th, 2004
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Different Bottles, Same Wine

Nayef Hawatmeh

Sharon, in his speech, did not budge an inch towards the resumption of negotiations under the roadmap. On the contrary, his purpose was to deliver an ultimatum to his hypothetical Palestinian interlocutors: “We hope the PA abides by its obligations. But if after several months they have still not done their part under the roadmap then Israel will be forced to take a unilateral security step to disengage from the Palestinians.” It hardly takes great effort to read between these lines. Essentially, Sharon is telling the Palestinians, “Either you come to the negotiating table prepared to sign away a large portion of your territory and legitimate rights, or Israel will annex your land unilaterally.”

Friday, January 16th, 2004
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Logical Media Lunacy

How The Media Deal With Dangerous Facts

It is vital that we be trained to tolerate absurdity in the media-portrayed myths about nation and society. The media?s self-appointed task of attempting to reconcile our leaders? actions with the libertarian values they claim to uphold requires frequent resort to what can be called Logical Media Lunacy. This involves ignoring known facts and documented history, and violating elementary norms of rational debate to the point of insanity, but in a way that consistently benefits powerful interests. Thus media performance might be likened to a series of insane fits of irrational behaviour ? but with every ?fit? nevertheless manifesting a consistent pattern benefiting the same vested interests in the same way.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004
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Bush Announces Mars Mission

Michael Gillespie

Like his father before him, George W. Bush has discovered Mars. In Greek and Roman mythology the red planet symbolized storms and turmoil in human relationships and hence became the Roman god of war. On the heels of his secret Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad and the capture of Saddam, W has decided to announce a mission to Mars. How appropriate.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004
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The Palestinian Countermeasure

Hasan Abu Nimah

Today, Israel considers that abandoning the idea that Palestinian statehood is the true threat, and seems to be insisting that the Palestinians have a state even if they no longer want one. Now we are told that Israel will cease to exist if there is no Palestinian state! This apparent reversal is baffling. Israelis increasingly realise that you cannot have a “Jewish state” and a “democracy” and at the same time hold on to any of the land occupied in 1967. Israel must choose, and yet it remains incapable of choosing; actually, it is too late. This state of affairs has prompted many serious observers and political leaders, including prominent Israelis, to openly question the viability of the two-state option.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004
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Don't Exclude Palestine

Open Letter from the Arab-American and Muslim Community to the USA Anti-War Movement

In the USA, we, Arab-Americans and Muslims have been maliciously targeted, stripped of our rights, and positioned outside the constitutional framework of this country. A new COINTELPRO has been unleashed against our homes and living rooms, as our fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are plucked away and thrown into unknown prison cells. Thus, in a continuum of history, we stand with African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and all others in the painful struggle for justice. From them all, we take our cue, for they are our predecessors and our partners in this long march.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004
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Okay, So What Happens Now?

Michael Rivero

Americans have long held themselves up as the champions of justice and freedom for the rest of the world. It is our image to the world. It is our image to ourselves. It is how we define ourselves, it is our identity, and it is who we are collectively as a nation. And, if we fail to take action in the face of the lies used to start a war, we must in the process sacrifice that image, not only to the world, but to ourselves. Either one acts like a champion of truth and freedom, or one admits one is just another sheep. There is no other choice left.

Monday, January 12th, 2004
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Cry, Our Beloved Country

Gideon Levy

The pressure on apartheid South Africa began with a decision of the same International Court of Justice that the ‘security fence’ in Israel has now been brought before. From there, it’s a short step to imposing economic sanctions and other boycotts, until the regime collapses and justice is established in the battered country. Had it not been for the economic sanctions and political isolation, apartheid in South Africa might have lasted forever, but South Africa was saved from itself because of international pressure exerted on its government. This could be the narrative of events in Israel’s case too. Anyone who fears for Israel’s moral image should not be afraid of this.

Monday, January 12th, 2004
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What price a life?

Jocelyn Hurndall

In the pensive hours of the night, I am struck by the varying values that mankind chooses to allot to life - as was my son Tom. Earlier this month, I read with mixed feelings the news that local Palestinian militia had dynamited an Israeli defence force watchtower in the town of Rafah, in the Gaza Strip. It was from this watchtower, which has been responsible for untold misery to many innocent families in Rafah, that Tom was shot in the head last April. At the time he was trying to help Palestinian children to safety. He now lies in a vegetative state in a hospital in London with no hope of recovery.

Note: Tom Hurndall died on Tuesday January 13th 2004.

Sunday, January 11th, 2004
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Not in our Back Yard

Manuel Valenzuela

Ten years ago, deep in the Lacondon jungle in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas a movement arose like an early morning fog lifting up from the moist, rich ground.  The Zapatista Revolution began, January 1, 1994, the same day NAFTA was implemented in Canada, the USA and Mexico.  Today, the movement has enveloped almost all Latin American nations, especially those of South America.  The Zapatista ripple is being turned into an Ibero-American tidal wave as hundreds of millions of citizens, mostly poor, indigenous, and living on somewhere near two dollars a day, are beginning to elect leaders with left leaning ideologies.

Sunday, January 11th, 2004
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Genghis Khan Doesn't Do Compensation

Dahr Jamail for the World Crisis Web

The stories of people killed, wounded, or disenfranchised in Iraq are endless. Almost every day that I have been here at least one person or family that has found out I am a journalist writing about how the occupation and illegal invasion are effecting Iraqis has approached me, desperate for someone to hear their story. While they hope I can help them, the little act I can do is to simply journal the injustice, and hope that readers will hold their government accountable for the travesty which is occurring in Iraq on a daily basis?and only growing worse with time.

Sunday, January 11th, 2004
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Leave Change in Saudi Arabia to the Saudis

Amir Butler

Saudi Arabia is not America. The idea that religion should be separated from the affairs of the state is viewed as a heresy. In Islam secularism equates with apostasy ? a fact that clearly shows the fallacy and dangerousness of George W. Bush’s messianic vision of democratizing the region. The fundamental issue for Saudis is not whether their government is a democracy or a monarchy; the fundamental issue is to what extent their government is implementing Islamic law in both its domestic and foreign affairs. A replacement of their Islamic government with a secular government isn’t what they hope for, it’s what they fear.

Saturday, January 10th, 2004
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Guantanamo Bay: A Global Experiment In Inhumanity

Louise Christian

Yesterday, the USA ambassador on ‘war crimes’, disclosed what has been suspected for some time; that the Bush administration has already agreed in principle to allow the nine British citizens held in Guantanamo Bay go back to the UK. Clearly, it is now the British, and not the USA government, that stands in the way of the release of the detainees. In its duplicitous actions over the whole affair, the UK government has betrayed the most fundamental responsibility that any government assumes - the duty to protect the rule of law. It is nothing less than a collusion in an international experiment in inhumanity, which is being repeated and expanded around the world.

Saturday, January 10th, 2004
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History Foretold: What Invaders Have in Common

Ramzy Baroud

At first, the employee at the Iraq National Museum was reluctant to let me in, saying that the building was closed due to constant bombings by American warplanes. Eventually, however, I was allowed to gaze for a few moments at segments of history so unequaled with lessons beyond astute. I witnessed the making and remaking of history set in stone. Every giant block seemed to testify to one unmistakable end: Invaders never prevail. The likeness of history as narrated by images was startling: Invaders, giant and powerful, local inhabitants, tormented and enslaved, a rebellion, rivers of blood, decapitations, screams of agony, joy and victory. Then, a new cycle of history begins, hidden under another white sheet, dusty and battered.

Friday, January 9th, 2004
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Definition Of 'Jew' Confronts Israel

Ben Lynfield

Mikoyet Zighaya is an Israeli with a grievance. Dressed in army fatigues, his black beret tucked onto his shoulder, he joined a protest this week of more than a thousand Ethiopian Israelis. They demanded that their relatives be brought to Israel in keeping with a government decision last year to expedite the immigration of about 20,000 Ethiopians waiting to join previous waves and trickles of Ethiopian immigrants. But the problem is that some leading Zionist politicians don’t think that they’re ‘Jewish’ enough. What’s the real problem here?

Friday, January 9th, 2004
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A Short History Of Apartheid

Azmi Beshara

Rhetoric about demography so dominates Israel’s political discourse that one might be tempted to assume that Israel has abandoned its preferred designation as the Jewish democratic state in favour of the Jewish demographic state. The mania is rooted in the Zionist’s need to maintain a Jewish majority capable of implementing a democracy that will absorb the Diaspora, accommodate pioneer settlement and the assumption of a common history, one that allows for the fetishisation of military service. Without any of the above Israel would have to practice government by the minority, which inevitably leads to apartheid or racial segregation, to government by a national minority that sees the state as the embodiment of its legitimacy.

Friday, January 9th, 2004
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Things To Come

Graham Usher

"The Palestinian dream of achieving an independent state will happen no matter how long it takes,” Yasser Arafat promised on 1 January, the 39th anniversary of his Fatah movement. Three days on - and closer to earth - the Palestinian leader admitted the dream is not imminent. 2004 “is going to be a difficult year” he told reporters outside his bullet-holed headquarters in Ramallah. There are some in the leadership who fear it may prove terminal, if not for the dream then for the political “peace of the brave” they and Arafat have long argued is the only means to realise it. They have grounds for pessimism.

Thursday, January 8th, 2004
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No Camouflage Will Work

Michael Jansen

News reporting that the new USA embassy in Baghdad will be staffed with 3,000 officers reveals that Washington intends to continue exerting indirect control over Iraq after the occupation regime formally transfers “sovereignty” to an Iraqi provisional government at the end of June. While this will not be the largest USA embassy in the Arab world, Washington’s outpost in the Iraqi capital is clearly intended to serve as a base for a USA “governor” and his staff, similar to London’s political installations in countries once ruled by Britain. USA control in Iraq is to be extended by means of the very process designed to effect the “handover of sovereignty”.

Thursday, January 8th, 2004
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The Hope Of Shatila

Karma Nabulsi

All the political luminaries that attended the formal presentation of the Geneva Accords last month are citizens of states imbued with institutions whose creation are due, in no little measure, to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s seminal “Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality”, published in the same city some 250 years ago. The Geneva Accords have been universally welcomed as a moment of great hope; a serious response at last to Sharon, and his bleak enterprise. How, then, to explain that the Accords directly contradict the values shared by those dignitaries at Geneva? Or how to portray the despair it has engendered among the vast majority of Palestinians?

Thursday, January 8th, 2004
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The Fork in the Road

Mike Whitney

It may seem like a minor point, but there is a yawning chasm that divides “liberals-progressives” on the one hand, and “leftists-radicals” on the other. One of the fundamental differences between the two is that liberals-progressives believe that it is possible to affect substantive change within the existing system. That simply is not the case, and Iraq will illustrate that point better than any long-winded treatise. The sad fact is that Iraq is the logical exponent of the system, not some fluke. An insightful observer could have predicted with mathematical certainty that America would arrive at this particular position at precisely this period of time. It was unavoidable.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2004
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World Citizen #321831

Dahr Jamail for the World Crisis Web

On this wet, blustery day, Ken O?Keefe, an ex-USA Marine and Gulf War Veteran, and Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Iraq (TJP) founder chose the infamous Paradise Square in Baghdad for his non-violent act of defiance and solidarity. Standing amidst a cluster of media in the shadow of where the staged toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein by the Americans took place, Mr. O?Keefe somberly, yet angrily stated he was to burn his USA Passport.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2004
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Tasks For Our Times: Remember, Refuse, Resist

Renato Redentor Constantino

Daybreak. The opening verse. The first week of the first month of a new year. What will the rest of it bring? Another epidemic of hostilities on top of the current plague? Who’s to know? Governments holding the mightiest of arsenals quake in the face of the potential power of one dissenter. A power discovered by 100,000 deserters in the USA army during its war on Vietnam.  A power wielded last month by over 30 Israeli refuseniks who denounced the Palestinian occupation as eating at the moral fabric of Israel. The refuseniks who said they would no longer carry out illegal orders to bomb Palestinian cities.

Tuesday, January 6th, 2004
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Lend Me Your Ears

Osama bin Laden - The Full Transcript

As is expected in a state that considers itself at war, little attention has been given to the contents of the recently released audio-tape from Osama bin Laden. However, a reading of the transcript of the tape makes it clear that this was as much a message to western observers, as it was to the world’s Muslim people. Gone are the rather medieval sounding references to the glory of the martyr, and the satanic nature of the Bush regime. In their place, what we find is something that, were it written by anyone else, would pass as a radical, but hardly revolutionary, Islamic political analysis of the present-day Middle East.

Tuesday, January 6th, 2004
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The Family Never Lived Here

George Bisharat

Last May 14th, the 55th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), when one people gained a homeland and another lost theirs, I was thinking of a home in Jerusalem. It was the residence occupied by Golda Meir, author of the famous remark that “the Palestinian people do not exist” when she was Israel’s foreign minister. It was also the family home built in 1926 by my grandfather, Hanna Ibrahim Bisharat, “Papa” to all of us.

Monday, January 5th, 2004
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The Vietnam Example, Guinea Pigs and Systemic Abuse

Manuel Valenzuela

War is that most ignoble of human creations, in which lower classes fight each other to the death for the benefits of the few elite-greed-infected bastards that blink not an eye at the death and maiming of those young “plebeians” they sent to war in far away lands to fight those same brothers being exploited by the powerful on the other side.  In the end, victory or defeat matters not to the dead and injured who have gained nothing and lost everything, returning home to an easily forgetful government that throws veterans into the bowels of indifference, tossing away the key and washing its hands clean of the human catastrophe it created.

Sunday, January 4th, 2004
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An American Dream

Gideon Levy

This is the story of another boy, the seventh in the past few months who was killed for no good reason, this time in the Qalandiyah refugee camp near Ramallah. It’s the story of another Palestinian who was shot with appalling thoughtlessness by Israeli soldiers, just as Gil Na’amati, a kibbutz member, was shot last Friday by Israeli soldiers while demonstrating against the separation fence - only in the case of the boy there was no public furore in Israel. It’s also the story of an American dream, between Qalandiyah and Jelazoun, which was almost realized but finally was brutally shattered.

Sunday, January 4th, 2004
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Broken Promises and Broken Lives in Afghanistan

Nizam Khan

At the January 2002 State of the Union address, George Bush stated, “America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We’ll be partners in rebuilding that country.” He reiterated on October 11th 2002, at an event highlighting US humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, “we want to be a continuing part of the new era of hope in Afghanistan. We are helping the people to now recover from years of tyranny and oppression. We’re helping Afghanistan to claim its democratic future, and we’re helping that nation to establish public order and safety.” More than two years on, where is the help? Where is the reconstruction? Where is the hope?

Saturday, January 3rd, 2004
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Bush vs. Hitler

David R Hoffman

The coup by George W. Bush in the year 2000, coupled with the invasion of Iraq, revealed how easily those in the USA can be manipulated, how willing they are to be lied to, and how vacuous the freedoms of speech and press have become in that country.  But, perhaps most disturbingly, these events demonstrated that even though the words “freedom, democracy and human rights” are chanted like mantras by political leaders, many in the USA have apparently welcomed, or at the very least are blissfully unconcerned about, the erosion of freedom, the abuse of human rights, and their nation’s growing transformation from a democracy into a neo-fascist dictatorship.

Saturday, January 3rd, 2004
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Bush's One Priority for 2004: get America Out of Iraq. Fast.

Robert Fisk

Ever since Daniel Pipes - he of the failed American neo-cons - piped up last summer with his plan to install a “democratic-minded autocrat” (sic) in Iraq, I have been eyeing the Washington crystal ball for further signs of what the designers of this wretched war have in store for the Iraqis whom they “liberated” for “democracy” last year. And bingo, not long before Christmas, another of those chilling proposals for “New Iraq” popped up from the same right-wing cabal. Any predictions for Iraq this year may thus have to be based on the thoughts of Leslie Gelb, a former chairman of the United States Council on Foreign Relations, whose wretched plans for “liberated” Iraq call for something close to ethnic cleansing.

Friday, January 2nd, 2004
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The Geneva Bubble

Ilan Pappe

The Palestinians have been told by the Israeli left-wing that the Geneva Accords are their last chance. The current offer is the best and most generous Israelis have ever made them. The Palestinians, so the argument goes, had better accept the Accords, or suffer the consequences of yet more governments like that of Ariel Sharon. But, as this excellent article shows, Palestinians with any kind of memory at all will have heard the same arguments before, and bereft as the Accords are of any justice for the millions made homeless by previous ethnic cleansing, they would only be used by the Israeli right-wing to further entrench Zionist domination over all of historical Palestine.

Friday, January 2nd, 2004
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Free of Saddam, Jailed by Poverty

Dahr Jamail for the World Crisis Web

Today I went to the Iraqi Air Defense Ministry. Or more precisely, what?s left of it. For what used to be a proud complex of buildings in central Baghdad which housed generals and airmen from the Iraqi Air Force, is no longer. Bombed during the Anglo-American Invasion, many of the buildings have been reduced to large heaps of broken concrete and metal. Today the Air Defense Ministry serves as a makeshift refuge for people and families with little or no income. Children with dirt smeared into their faces and arms run about the area near two swimming pools, which now are filled with one meter of dark brown scum, littered with garbage floating lifelessly above.

Friday, January 2nd, 2004
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Alice Revisits Wonderland

Faiza Rady

Former USA Attorney General, celebrated political activist and founder of the International Action Centre (IAC), Ramsey Clark has a lawyer’s way of getting things done—intelligently, promptly and efficiently. A long term anti-war activist, Clark has initiated procedures to impeach United States President George W Bush and USA Vice-President Dick Cheney for crimes committed against the Iraqi people during the war on Iraq. To get the ball rolling, the IAC has already gathered some 400,000 signatures.

Thursday, January 1st, 2004
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Beware, the USA Exit Strategy

Khilafah.com Journal

Praise be to Allah, the Muslim Ummah is now increasingly aware of the double standards of western policies, but a significant few are still captivated by the elaborate illusion of “democratic free and fair” elections. These people really believe George Bush Jnr.’s claim to be bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East. Besides the fact that the claim is one a long line of lies designed to divert attention from elusive Iraqi WMD, the USA has consistently pursued capitalist interests, and has undermined so-called democracy whenever it obstructed other overriding interests like economic or strategic objectives.

Thursday, January 1st, 2004
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Year Of The Liars

Justin Raimondo

They lied us into war ? and now they’re lying about the lies. Yes, my friends, it’s come to this. Having exhausted, for the moment , their supply of fabrications, the War Party is now rationalizing ? in effect, recycling ? previously exposed lies. Logical reasons for the apparent absence of WMD in Iraq ? that they never existed in the first place, or else were destroyed after Gulf War I, as Hans Blix and Scott Ritter aver ? are completely inadmissible, but logic has little to do with it.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003
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The Triumph of Orthodoxy

Hywel Williams

Systems of belief, once the chilly hand of establishment wisdom descends upon them, lose the power of dissidence. Having once been heresies, they acquire offices, secretaries and expense accounts. The history of religions, like the history of politics, is best seen from the bottom up. And what one sees down there is the power and the obviousness of what orthodoxy calls heresy, because it’s the heretics who point out that the course of subsequent history is not actually what the founders and the original principles intended it to be.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003
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