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World Crisis Analysis Archives - Arranged by Month

How to Avoid Becoming an Anti-American

M. Junaid Alam - The most irksome and identifiable feature of the anti-American American is his flagrant abuse of the First Amendment. He deviously twists and distorts his constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech by exercising this right – at a time when an important event is underway, no less: the war in Iraq, and more broadly, the so-called war on terror. It should be obvious to the reasonable American that, in times of war, speaking one’s mind is quite a dangerous and reckless act: there is, after all, only so much free speech to go around, and, as our soldiers are busily bringing it to inferior races via cruise missiles and cluster bombs abroad, there is little left for consumption at home.

Thursday, September 30th, 2004
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The Leader the Labour Party Deserves

Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland - The reception accorded to Tony Blair at his party’s national conference this week says more about the Labour Party than it does about the prime minister. If ever a party got the leadership it deserved, British Labour is that party. By any normal criteria, Blair would be considered an electoral liability. Since taking office in 1997, Labour’s membership has halved to a 70-year low; most Britons opposed the war in Iraq and want their troops brought home; Labour’s social policies have no popular support, and it stands in opposition to its traditional constituency on every major issue - be it the National Health Service, education, or public services. But Blair has the support of big business, and that is all he needs, as far as Labour’s apparatus is concerned.

Thursday, September 30th, 2004
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Truths Worth Telling

Daniel Ellsberg - Like Robert McNamara, under whom I served, Mr. Rumsfeld appears to inspire great loyalty among his aides. As the scandal at Abu Ghraib shows, however, there are more important principles. Mr. Rumsfeld might not have seen the damning photographs and the report of Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba as soon as he did - just as he would never have seen the Pentagon Papers 33 years ago - if some anonymous people in his own department had not bypassed the chain of command and disclosed them, without authorization, to the news media. And without public awareness of the scandal, reforms would be less likely.

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004
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Why Florida Won't Play Fair on Election Day

Jimmy Carter - After the debacle in Florida four years ago, former president Gerald Ford and I were asked to lead a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes in the American electoral process. After months of concerted effort by a dedicated and bipartisan group of experts, we presented unanimous recommendations to the president and Congress. The government responded with the Help America Vote Act of October 2002. Unfortunately, however, many of the act’s key provisions have not been implemented because of inadequate funding or political disputes. The disturbing fact is that a repetition of the problems of 2000 now seems likely, even as many other nations are conducting elections that are internationally certified to be transparent, honest and fair.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004
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Bush, Iraq, and Demonstration Elections

Rahul Mahajan - When Vladimir Putin engineered the election of his hand-picked subordinate Ahmad Kadyrov as president of Chechnya through tactics such as pressuring candidates to withdraw, forcing the leading candidate, Malik Saidullayev, out with a court injunction, and appointing another candidate to his staff to remove him from the election, Western punditry was not slow to condemn the election as a farce and a sham. Ever since 9/11, however, the Bush administration has been treating us to a series of equally farcical “elections” with minimal or no comment from the same sources. The matter has now come to what should be a crisis point over plans to engineer the upcoming elections in Iraq.

Monday, September 27th, 2004
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A Visit to the Settlements

Kim Bullimore - For settlements like Ariel to exist, Israel must repress, terrorise and displace the indigenous people of Palestine. It must steal their natural resources, it must use force and it must use collective punishment to terrorise the local Arab population into submission. While settlers in Ariel enjoy well-paved roads and lush parks, almost unlimited access to water, modern schools, cultural centers and health clinics, the Palestinian people in the villages surrounding Ariel must endure constant surveillance and harassment and restrictions on their movement. They must also endure contaminated water, ruined roads and having their land stolen and their homes and olive trees destroyed.

Monday, September 27th, 2004
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Of Disconnect and Fantasyland

Manuel Valenzuela - Imagine my surprise, having returned from a research and exploratory sojourn through the mesmerizing beauty of the lands, coasts and peoples of Mexico where the spirit re-energized, mind meditated and appreciation for humanity returned, all of which enabled me to escape, at least for a small respite, from the madness of a troubled world, to see that Iraq had almost overnight been transformed into a nation on the verge of a Renaissance, becoming a new beacon of democracy and security, morphing into an unyielding success, an illuminated positive road devoid of reality. A heap of garbage had suddenly become a Kandinsky, a masterpiece in waiting whose canvas Bush had transformed into a work of art with each new brushstroke of his formula for nation building and democracy creating.

Sunday, September 26th, 2004
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An Open Letter to Most Americans

Omar Barghouti - Dear Americans. After four years of having the almost perfect, nearly credible alibi, “we did not really elect him,” come November, you shall have to finally look the entire world in the eye and defend why you’ve chosen as your leader a time-tested racist, ruthless, semi-intelligent, religious fanatic who has committed enough war crimes to warrant being locked up for life at the Hague. Just this past week, Iraqis had the equivalent death toll of 9/11. In fact, they have one every week or two, on average, thanks to your sickening and utterly irrational support for the neo-con gang at the helm of power in Washington. I, and I bet most people around the earth, cannot take it any more!

Sunday, September 26th, 2004
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Non-Humanitarian Intervention in Sudan

Angie Todd - The stage has been set, and the forces are being marshaled against the government of Sudan. Both the corporate media and several respected NGOs have claimed that the Khartoum government is carrying out ethnic cleansing by proxy against Sudanese rebel supporting villages, by arming and protecting the now notorious Janjawid militia. Earlier this month the UN Security Council threatened sanctions if the violence does not come to a swift end. Amid all this, Tony Blair and George W Bush are preparing yet another military operation under the guise of a humanitarian intervention. This article provides a rarely-found exploration of the real motives of those in London and Washington, whose actions so far have hardly been characterised as humanitarian.

Sunday, September 26th, 2004
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The Cost of Killing

Jean Stimmell - New studies show that soldiers who killed in combat suffer higher rates of PTSD. Certainly, I saw Vietnam vet clients who experienced multiple stressors from combat but were most traumatized by the killing they had done, even when against clearly identifiable enemy combatants. And now it is happening all over again. The war in Iraq, like Vietnam, is a counterinsurgency conflict becoming more controversial and unpopular over time. And in Iraq — even more than Vietnam — most combat soldiers have shot at people and many have killed. Quoting one soldier: from the New Yorker article “There’s just too much killing. They shoot, we return fire, and they’re all dead.”

Saturday, September 25th, 2004
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Human Dignity, Crazy Mike, and Indian Country

Jim Lobe, Asia Times - The reason Washington is having such a difficult time persuading of its good faith and its good works in its “war on terror” was best illustrated on Tuesday. While President George W Bush told the United Nations General Assembly that the US belief in “human dignity” - a phrase he used no fewer than 10 times - was the main US motivation for pursuing the war, two articles that appeared in two major US newspapers the same morning offered an altogether different subtext.

Saturday, September 25th, 2004
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Every Day Is Waco Day in Allawi’s "Liberated" Land

Sarah Whalen - Allawi has spoken in America, and his news is good. Iraqi democracy is on track, and Iraqi police and military forces, homegrown, are routing insurgents. Any contradiction is the product of biased Western journalists who want to see Iraq’s bold new democracy fail, Allawi assured a special joint session of the US Senate and Congress in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. After Allawi called journalists reporting unenthusiastically about Iraq’s daily slaughter liars, almost the entire legislative and executive branches of the US government gave the CIA-trained, neocon-selected Iraqi interim prime minister a standing ovation, and Wolfowitz kissed him. Twice.

Saturday, September 25th, 2004
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The Great Allure

David R. Hoffman - While there may be several reason’s why Germany in the 1930’s, one of Europe’s leading cultural and economic nations, managed to succumb so readily to the machinations of a madman like Adolf Hitler, one reality is clear: Hitler’s Germany arose when the perfect combination of anger, bellicosity, fear and hatred coalesced to make the masses receptive to the “allure of fascism.” Flash forward to the year 2004, and the machinations of George W. Bush, and it is not difficult to perceive how this same allure is now engulfing America.  Two fundamental tactics of fascism - scapegoating and the repetition of “great lies” - have been openly utilized by both Bush and the deceitful, venal, hypocritical war criminals that personify his corruptly appointed dictatorship.

Saturday, September 25th, 2004
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Yes I've Killed Innocents - Interview With A Disappeared Soldier

Jay Shaft - A soldier with a heavy heart and a real tragic choice confronting him contacted Jay Shaft, and told him of his horror in Iraq, and how he would not go back again. This moving interview contains his true words, and it gives his reasons for not wanting to go back for a second time to serve in the USA’s war in Iraq. He is a reservist who has been extended at least three times under “stop-loss” measures to maintain troop deployment levels. He was not ever given a choice or a contract renewal option, and has no legal recourse or way out. He was one week from getting out of the Standing Ready Reserves when he was reactivated and sent to Iraq in 2003.

Monday, September 20th, 2004
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Bad Moon Rising

Daniel Patrick Welch - So what’s a thinking American to do? Metaphors from Alice in Wonderland don’t even cut it any more. Bizarro World is too comical, and “Beam me up, Scotty..” too hopeful. At least the good men and women of the Enterprise had somewhere to beam to. Alas, in the current pundit-, oil-, and money-swamp that is the US, there seems truly to be no escape. Daniel Patrick Welch comments on the surreal quality of life in the US during election season. With the Iraq war playing almost no role in the election debate, Welch fears that American voters have become totally unhinged from reality, and wonders if there is any escape from the current crisis.

Sunday, September 19th, 2004
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The Most Important Terrorism

John Pilger - Every day now, a one-way moral mirror is held up to us as a true reflection of events. New threats are given impetus with every terrorist outrage, be it at Beslan or Jakarta. Seen in the one-way mirror, our leaders make grievous mistakes, but their good intentions are not in question. Heretics who look behind the one-way mirror and see the utter dishonesty of all this, are few, but only by recognising the terrorism of states is it possible to understand, and deal with, acts of terrorism by groups and individuals which, however horrific, are tiny by comparison. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied. It is time we stopped denying it.

Friday, September 17th, 2004
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Placing Votes Before Peace in Sudan

David Hoile - USA Secretary-of-State Colin Powell’s decision to describe the conflict in Darfur as a “genocide” is set to damage prospects for peace in the Sudan. This is for several reasons. This action will damage Sudan’s faith in the Bush Administration as an honest broker in securing peace in Sudan, either in southern Sudan or Darfur itself. For Washington to chose to put electoral expediency - diverting media attention away from the Iraq fiasco and pandering to anti-Sudanese and anti-Arab pressure group politics - before the truth of the situation in Darfur, will dramatically undermine its reputation. In putting American votes before Sudanese peace, in both western and southern Sudan, Washington is playing a very dangerous game indeed.

Thursday, September 16th, 2004
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Ban DU Until it is Proven Harmless

Some called it a “dirty bomb” dropped on the Pentagon, namely the report last month that eight out of 20 men who had served in the same unit during the invasion of Iraq now have malignant cancers. That’s 40 percent in 16 months. The soldiers were reportedly exposed only to vaccines and depleted uranium, and vaccines are not known to cause cancer. Until it is proven, beyond a shadow of doubt, that DU is harmless, DU weapons should surely be banned. If the worst-case scenario proves correct, the effects of DU will be felt for years to come - in and around Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia. Dust storms will carry DU particles far and wide, and old DU munitions will retain their radioactivity for all eternity - in wrecked tanks where children play and in cooking pots made from recycled scrap.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004
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Nothing New in the World

"Memory says, ‘I did that’,” Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote. “Pride replies, ‘I could not have done that’. Eventually, memory yields.” Three years ago in the United States, on September 11, airplanes fell from the sky and thousands died. Countless numbers mourned the mass murder. Countless mourn still. On the same day 31 years ago, the sky fell in Chile when the democratically elected Allende government was overthrown in a bloody coup staged by the USA government. Who mourns the Chilean sky? In 1953, the USA engineered a coup in Iran that ousted the government of prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh - an Iranian colossus who had done more for his people than any leader in the country’s history. But what goes around comes around. There is always a day of reckoning.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004
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Revolution is Bloody

"I believe as greater men before me have, that only with this mantra: “Be a friend to the oppressed and an enemy to the oppressor”, of this - the inner and outer chant, can we Born an overstanding with the Knowledge made manifest from Saddiq to Shariati to Sadr to Khomanie & Khamanie, peace to our bruthas, Farrakhan to Nasrallah and Sistani. It is with this do I hope to add on to the strength of the house, and cipher the third degree of reality, that revolution is bloody so everyday is ashura. What else can an island boy do to destroy amerikkka....” Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite, aka Lord Patch, of New Palestine/The Hood, gives a powerful and strikingly original portrayal of life at the frontline between global imperialism and some of North America’s poorest communities.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004
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Haiti: Titide’s Downfall

In the beginning there was Jean-Bertrand Aristide - “Titide”, as he was known locally - preacher of the slums and shantytowns, and voice of the disenfranchised. When the brutal Duvalier dictatorship ended in 1986, Titide was the great hope of a desperate people. Yet, when his third term as president ended on February 29th 2004, the consensus was that he no longer cared about anything but power and money. This assertion was accompanied by a list of the little curé’s misdemeanours: he was thought to be an accomplice to (if not directly responsible for) every crime - drugs trafficking, political assassinations and the dead dogs in the street. Could this be the man who received the 1996 Unesco prize for human rights education? Or is he being unfairly demonised, as popular leaders are, when they have the nerve to upset the established disorder in the US’s backyard?

Monday, September 13th, 2004
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Rumsfeld's Dirty War on Terror - Parts 1 & 2

In the late summer of 2002, a CIA analyst made a quiet visit to the detention centre at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was fluent in Arabic and familiar with the Islamic world. He was held in high respect within the agency, and was capable of reporting directly, if he chose, to George Tenet, the CIA director. The analyst did more than just visit and inspect. He interviewed at least 30 prisoners to find out who they were and how they ended up in Guantánamo. Some of his findings, he later confided to a former CIA colleague, were devastating.… In an explosive extract from his new book, Seymour Hersh reveals how, in a fateful decision that led to the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, the US defence secretary gave the green light to a secret unit authorised to torture terrorist suspects.

Monday, September 13th, 2004
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Allowing Murderers to Change Our World

Hands up those who knew the name of Fallujah on 11 September 2001. Or Samarra. Or Ramadi. Or Anbar province. Or Amarah. Or Tel Afar, the latest target in our “war on terror’’ although most of us would find it hard to locate on a map (look at northern Iraq, find Mosul and go one inch to the left). Three years ago, it was all about Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida; then, at about the time of the Enron scandal ­ and I have a New York professor to thank for spotting the switching point ­ it was Saddam and weapons of mass destruction and 45 minutes and human rights abuses in Iraq and, well, the rest is history. And now, at last, the Americans admit that vast areas of Iraq are outside government control. We are going to have to “liberate” them, all over again.

Saturday, September 11th, 2004
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The Emerging Case for a Single-State Solution

Like many, I long favored a two-state solution. It seemed to me the best of a set of bad solutions to the problem of two peoples living side by side on a small parcel of land. I believe now that I was wrong. The two-state solution is neither moral nor realistic. The only politically and ethically viable approach to the problem of Israel and Palestine is to support a single democratic secular state that provides equal rights for all of its citizens. Furthermore, the failure to recognize this has, I believe, helped underwrite some of the most egregious of Israel’s policies. The most important reason for this has not, to my knowledge, yet been sufficiently addressed. I would like to do so here.

Saturday, September 11th, 2004
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Three Years On, War on Terrorism Looks Like a Loser

Three years after al Qaeda-commandeered planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon, the leaked ruminations of U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seem more pertinent than ever. ”Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror,” he wrote in a memo to his top staff 11 months ago. ”Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?” If that is how success in the Bush administration’s ”war on terrorism” is to be measured, then Rumsfeld would have to conclude that he is failing badly.

Saturday, September 11th, 2004
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The Hidden History of CIA Torture

Those who favor the “lesser evil” of USA “interrogation” techniques in Iraq and elsewhere ignore its problematic history in America, & seem ignorant of a perverse pathology that allows the practice of torture, once begun, to spread uncontrollably, destroying the legitimacy of the perpetrator nation.  In April 2004, the USA was stunned by photographs from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison showing hooded Iraqis stripped naked, posed in contorted positions, and visibly suffering humiliating abuse while U.S. soldiers stood by smiling. Donald Rumsfeld quickly assured Congress that the abuses were “perpetrated by a small number of U.S. military”. These photos, however, are snapshots not of simple brutality or even evidence of a breakdown in “military discipline.” What they record are CIA torture techniques that have metastasized like an undetected cancer inside the U.S. intelligence community over the past half century.

Friday, September 10th, 2004
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The danger we face is to assume that Americans could never be like Nazis, yet human beings are human beings and evil tends to be situational and conditional. It is foolish then, to think that Germans are a different species from the rest of us. Americans tend to think that totalitarianism, state directed murder, genocide and terror are things that only lie within the breast of those who live on the other side of a line drawn on a map. Children learn about those lines in school (or used to) and seem to think that they are set. Yet, anyone who ever looked at an historical atlas knows that these lines are never final. They are like the lines on one’s face. One may not notice them changing, but they are - daily - and like individuals, societies grow, mature, fade and die.

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004
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Manufacturing Bugbears

Do those who think that Islamists attacked the USA because they hate our freedoms, think that they would scrap their terrorist campaign if the USA turns into a fascist state or - try to imagine this - if America’s elites convert to Islam, but continue their present policies towards the Islamic world? Would the course of Palestinian resistance be any different if we could replace the colonial-settler Jews with colonial-settler Germans, colonial-settler Chinese or even colonial-settler Pakistanis? The Islamist resistance does not stem from differences of race or religion that divide Muslims from Americans or Jews. It is a response to US-Israeli violence, systematic and longstanding, that seeks to divide, undermine, control and humiliate Islamic societies.

Friday, September 3rd, 2004
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Do I Spy an Israeli Spy in AIPAC?

For those who believe AIPAC and Israel are at the root of propelling the United States into the misguided Iraq War and subsequent occupation, the Israel spy case involving classified information on Iran is serving as the proverbial string entwining the various conflicts in the Middle East. Once pulled, the garment comes unraveled providing a revealing glimpse into Zionist/Israeli espionage and influence in America and far beyond US borders. AIPAC has its hands in many lands, or so it seems. If the results elsewhere are as catastrophic as they have been to the American political life, its economy and world standing, (as we preemptively strike our way into a moral abyss) God help us all.

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004
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What Does America Have to Fear From Me?

In 20 years of studying and teaching philosophy, I have learned to appreciate the inherent difficulty in defining the truth. Descartes put it simply: “A clear and distinct idea is true,” while Kant aptly added the needed word “consistency.” Over the years, I have also learned that in the world of the mass media, truth is not based on clarity but on frequency. Repeated suspicions become a truth; an assumption said three times imperceptibly becomes a fact. There is no need to check because “it is obvious” - after all, “it is being said everywhere.” I was reminded of this lesson during the past few weeks, when, after having been granted a visa to teach at the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, by the U.S. government, it was revoked without explanation at the last minute, causing grief for my family and me.

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004
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