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World Crisis Analysis Archives - Arranged by Month

Welcome to Your Colony

Laura del Castillo Matamoros - Thank you, Mr. President, as you honor us by your presence here today in our country – excuse me, rather, I should say, in YOUR country. Thank you for giving us the president of our dreams, made in your image and likeness. So great is his admiration for you that, in tribute to your “Patriot Act,” he designed the “Plan Patriota,” which has increased our military forces to 350,000 men. Thank you for helping to form Colombia’s flawless, morally righteous, nation-wide informant network, who believe so much in the underprivileged youth of rural areas that they convert them into “peasant soldiers.” Thank you, and the political economic ideological industrial system you lead, for giving us the privilege of being second-class citizens, given the risk that a terrorist hides in each of our hearts. Thank you for bringing your young professionals and white-collar workers here to take charge of directing our companies. Because of all this and more, Mr. President, Colombia is entirely at your disposal.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004
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How America Wages War in Iraq

Firas Al-Atraqchi - The morbid gallery of quotes, facts, and figures contained in this article, printed and published in Western media by verifiable and veritable sources, can stream on endlessly. But the testimonials it contains are enough to conjure the reality of the USA onslaught in Iraq. It is not humanitarian, nor is it compassionate. It bears the mark of skull ‘n’ bones—the more killed the better. It is the taste of hatred and brutality, one that has been equalled by the razing armies of history — the Nazis, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Mongols — but rarely exceeded.

Friday, November 19th, 2004
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Breaking the Trance

Vincent L. Guarisco - Those of us who feel we’re the lonely voices of logic are more important than we may ever realize, those not in-the-know will desperately need our knowledge and guidance to calm the obstinate cries of betrayal. We must be ready, and be there, for them in order to manifest and embolden a unified force that will eventually stop this tyranny. Did any of us really believe that simply understanding the matrix was enough? I certainly hope not! In fact—because we do understand the grand canard, it puts us in the point position of our pivotal platoon to act as a guiding compass to help our lost countrymen and women find their way. We must lead them off the media-induced, war-beaten, fear-mongering path propagated by the Bush regime, and steer them into safer territory, smoother waters—a “higher ground,” where trickery by fear has no magical behavior-modification power.

Friday, November 19th, 2004
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Colin and the Crazies

Sidney Blumenthal - Colin Powell’s final scene was a poignant but harsh exposure of his self-delusion and humiliation. The former general held in his head an idea of himself as sacrificing and disciplined. But the good soldier was dismissed at last by his commander-in-chief as a bad egg. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld regarded him either as a useful tool or a vain obstructionist. They deployed his reputation as the most popular man and the most credible face in the US for their own ends, and when he contributed an independent view he was isolated and undermined. As incompetent as his successor was at her actual job, she was agile at bureaucratic positioning. Early on, Condoleezza Rice figured out how to align with the neo-conservatives and to damage Powell. Her usurpation is a lesson to him in blind ambition and loyalty.

Thursday, November 18th, 2004
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The Wrong Kind of Democracy

Seumas Milne - As Bush and Blair joshed about poodles and Palestine in the White House, USA occupation forces, backed up by British troops, rampaged through the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Mosul, meting out violence in the name of democratic elections - which the USA blocked for well over a year, while its puppet administration banned parties, newspapers and TV stations. As a 21st century Madame Roland might have said: “Oh democracy, what crimes are committed in your name”. In the Palestinians’ case, the crimes stretch back more than half a century - and the USA and Britain have been complicit at every stage. When Bush and Blair call for Palestinian democratic reform, they mean the promotion of politicians and institutions which will entrench western-friendly policies. Hence the effort Britain, the USA, and Israel have put into cultivating and building up local leaders who they hope will play such a role.

Thursday, November 18th, 2004
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Sharon's Gaza Pullout: Not Gonna Happen!

Tanya Reinhart - For those who oppose Israeli occupation, it is clear that Sharon’s disengagement is just a plan for maintaining the occupation with more international legitimacy. However, there is one presupposition shared in all discussions of this plan - that in the process, Sharon also intends to dismantle the settlements of the Gaza strip, and return the land they are built on to the Palestinians. I should say that had I believed this might happen, I would have supported the plan. As long as the Palestinians manage to hold on to their land, under even the worst occupation, they will eventually also gain their liberation. In fact, however, the Israeli parliament voted to approve “the revised disengagement plan”, which was previously approved in another “historical meeting” of the Israeli Cabinet, on June 6, 2004. So it is appropriate to check what was actually approved at that Cabinet meeting.

Thursday, November 18th, 2004
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Counterinsurgency Run Amok

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times - Whom are you going to trust: Fallujah civilians who risked their lives to escape, witnesses such as Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, hospital doctors, Amnesty International, top United Nations human-rights official Louise Arbour, the International Committee of the Red Cross; or the Pentagon and US-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi? On the humanitarian front, Fallujah is a tragedy. The city has virtually been reduced to rubble. Remaining residents, the Red Cross confirms, are eating roots and burying the dead in their gardens. There’s no medicine in the hospitals to help anybody. The wounded are left to die in the streets - their remains to be consumed by packs of stray dogs. As Iraqresistance.net, a Europe-wide collective, puts it, “World governments, international organizations, nobody raises a finger to stop the killing.” The global reaction is apathy.

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004
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After Arafat's Death, Still the Occupation

Amira Hass - During the Oslo years, the illusion was spun that the burning task was to “build a state.” All the efforts of the countries of the world and their financial bolstering, the behavior of the PA and the addiction of its senior people to the symbols of sovereignty reinforced the illusion. As a state it was considered the aggressor, because of the outbreak of the uprising. Arafat’s failure since 1993 was not in that he did not become a respected and respectable head of state, of a state that did not exist. His failure was that neither he nor his movement, the Fatah, developed a liberation strategy in the new conditions of Oslo. Now, without Arafat, will there be a reversal of the policy of the accelerated annexation of extensive parts of the West Bank? Clearly it will not.

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004
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Hiroshima Unknown

Andrew Lichterman - For a long-time U.S. peace activist, a first visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is both momentous and paradoxical. Much that might move or shock a casual American visitor already is familiar, from the terrible images of human suffering to the facts and figures about the enormous arsenals of weapons of mass destruction still held by the world’s nuclear powers. But there also is much which remains unknown, and perhaps unknowable, about the horror of the use of an atomic bomb against a city, about the annihilation of a community and its people in an instant, leaving behind a sea of ashes amidst a wider circle of suffering survivors and damaged nature.

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004
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Pray for Fallujah

Sara Khorshid - “Listen, listen, the warplanes,” Abu Mohammed cried. I could hear the planes over the phone. “They are over us, over the house, almost 10 meters away.” Tonight is the last night of Ramadan, and tomorrow is the first day of the Islamic feast `Eid Al-Fitr. Abu Mohammed is currently in Al-Amiriyah neighborhood in Baghdad, with his family, and 4 other families who fled Fallujah a few months ago. Those in Baghdad might be better off than Fallujans still locked inside their home town, which is currently being razed to the ground by the US Army. Everything is being wiped out. “The residential areas, our houses, they are all destroyed. They bombed the hospital, the clinics, the doctors, the infrastructure, everything,” Abu Mohammed said.

Monday, November 15th, 2004
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Staging Armageddon: Your Place or Mine?

Ahmed Amr - To understand Dubya’s ‘landslide’ victory over JFK, one must be conversant with American moral values. After focusing so much attention on the quagmire in Iraq, the November surprise was that the Mess on Potamia didn’t matter. While the Democrats were busy criticizing Bush’s economic record, Karl Rove saved the day with a strategic assault by a ragtag army of evangelicals - driven by a missionary zeal to save America’s very soul. Nothing less than the moral health of the nation was at stake in this election. Domestic and foreign challenges took a back seat to a holy crusade. Concerns about wars abroad and budget deficits in Washington were just diversions to blind us from scrutinizing the devil’s work in our own back yards.

Sunday, November 14th, 2004
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How We Got to Abu Ghraib

Justin Raimondo - Of all the critical analyses of Seymour Hersh’s latest book, the best and most telling review appeared before Chain of Command came off the press. The Pentagon press office, in a pre-emptive strike designed to neutralize a blow they knew was coming, claimed that the book was full of “unsubstantiated allegations and inaccuracies” and “based upon unnamed sources”. The release goes on to claim that it was the Department of Defense, “and not Mr. Hersh” that “first publicized the facts of the abuses at Abu Ghraib” - a complete fiction. As the consequences of Rumsfeld’s frantic rush to war continue to roll in, this book could not have come at a better time. It gives us an overview of the war’s dark underside, a periscopic perspective on the depths to which our leaders have sunk in their obsessive quest to remake the Middle East into a pile of “democratic” rubble.

Sunday, November 14th, 2004
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Facing the Challenge to the Global Peace Movement

Walden Bello - The terrible truth is that the Republican victory, while not lopsided, was solid. Another phase of the political revolution begun by Ronald Reagan in 1980, the 2004 elections confirmed that the center of gravity of US politics lies not on the center-right but on the extreme right. But while America marches rightward, it fails to drag the rest of the world along with it. Indeed, most of the rest of the world is headed in the opposite direction. Nothing illustrated this more than the fact that in the very week Bush was reelected, a coalition of left parties came to power in Uruguay, Hugo Chavez, Washington’s new nemesis in Latin America, swept state elections in Venezuela, and Hungary served notice it was withdrawing its 300 troops from Iraq. Although the American Right is consolidating its hold domestically, it cannot halt the unraveling of Washington’s hegemony globally.

Sunday, November 14th, 2004
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The Collective Punishment of Fallujah

James Cogan - The collective punishment of the people of Fallujah by the Bush administration has entered its sixth day. What is taking place is not so much a battle as a homicidal rampage by the US military against every Iraqi male trapped inside the city. Since the assault began on Sunday, Fallujah men aged between 15 and 55 have been prevented from leaving. As American bombs and shells rained down, they were left little choice but to fight for their lives against the advancing US troops. An Iraqi journalist in Fallujah told Associated Press: “The Americans are shooting anything that moves.” The US forces have carried out a massive and indiscriminate bombardment from the air, making no attempt to avoid casualties among the estimated 100,000 civilians still in Fallujah. The city, a Los Angeles Times reporter wrote, is “a tableau of destroyed buildings, burned-out cars, battered mosques and piles of rubble”.

Sunday, November 14th, 2004
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Iraq: The Unthinkable Becomes Normal

John Pilger - “What does it take to shock them out of their baffling silence?” asked the playwright Ronan Bennett in April after the US marines, in an act of collective vengeance for the killing of four American mercenaries, killed more than 600 people in Fallujah, a figure that was never denied. Bennett was referring to the legion of silent Labour backbenchers, with honourable exceptions, and lobotomised junior ministers. He might have added those journalists who strain every sinew to protect “our” side, who normalise the unthinkable by not even gesturing at the demonstrable immorality and criminality. Of course, to be shocked by what “we” do is dangerous, because this can lead to a wider understanding of why “we” are there in the first place and of the grief “we” bring not only to Iraq, but to so many parts of the world: that the terrorism of al-Qaeda is puny by comparison with ours.

Friday, November 12th, 2004
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'We’re Committing Genocide in Iraq'

Jeff Riedel - Former Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey is a 12-year USA Marine veteran. He is one of a growing number of soldiers returning from Iraq who have become outspoken opponents of the war. Massey entered Iraq as part of the initial invasion, but the brutality of the USA military’s retaliation against the growing resistance of the Iraqi people transformed his view of the occupation and changed him for life. In this interview, he talks about the systematic dehumanisation meted out to military recruits, about the callousness of commanders in the one-sided war, about the lack of humanitarian assistance offered by the military to the Iraqi people, and about what it was like to go through the process of wrenching himself from the military system.

Friday, November 12th, 2004
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Greater Than Arafat

Sam Bahour - The Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence is larger than the late President Yasir Arafat. The decades-long symbolism that Arafat embodied should not be underestimated. It is this symbolism that Palestinians are mourning. The substance of Arafat’s symbolism has to do with how it has represented Palestinian nationalism and the five decade struggle for justice for a people that were dispossessed in 1948, militarily occupied in 1967, attacked while in exile in 1970 in Jordan and 1982 in Lebanon, and most recently, battered in their own homes in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. A wide spectrum of opinions about Arafat, the man and the leader, will surely outlive the international flurry of media interest in his death. However, the world must be aware that the Palestinian struggle is beyond any single individual.

Thursday, November 11th, 2004
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Die Now, Vote Later

Naomi Klein - A year after Paul Bremer and George W Bush decided that Iraq was too insecure to hold elections - and besides, there were no voter rolls - the country is in grips of yet another invasion, and much of the rest of it is under martial law. As for the voter rolls, the Allawi government is planning to use the oil-for-food lists, just as was suggested and dismissed a year ago. So it turns out that all of the excuses were lies: if elections can be held now, they most certainly could have been held a year ago, when the country was vastly calmer. But that would have denied Washington the change to install a puppet regime in Iraq, and possibly prevented George Bush from winning a second term.

Thursday, November 11th, 2004
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BBC Legitimises Mass Slaughter in Fallujah

Media Lens Guest Editorial - In 1984, Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead described how “demonstration elections” are “organised and staged by a foreign power primarily to pacify a restive home population, reassuring it that ongoing interventionary processes are legitimate and appreciated by their foreign objects.” In the case of Iraq, it is of course vital that domestic audiences in the US and UK be persuaded that their governments are killing Iraqis with the support of, even on behalf of, Iraqis themselves. The possibility that Iraqis might be dying in their tens of thousands for Western power and profit must, of course, be kept so far out of sight that it is barely even thinkable.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004
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The Real Fury of Fallujah

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times - Fallujah is the ultimate asymmetric war - ultra high-tech F-16s, Cobra and Apache helicopters, AC-130 gunships, tanks, Bradleys and awesome firepower against a bunch of youngsters in tracksuits and trainers with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Nobody will know the full extent of the horror inflicted, because this is a war micromanaged by the Pentagon - carefully built up for weeks, timed to set off only after the re-election of Bush, and now conducted with a few embedded journalists on the side duly brainwashed by a barrage of propaganda and spin. But it’s a blatant lie to describe a city of 300,000 as a “militant stronghold”. Even if there were only 100,000 residents left, most of these, tens of thousands, are civilians, and as usual in any war, they are the most vulnerable: the poor, the elderly, the sick, the ones who could not get way because of fate, and the bravest of the brave - nurses and doctors.

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004
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Why They Hate Us

John K. Wilson - From childhood I have been taught that when you have a problem, look for and remove the cause of that problem. A festering splinter or thorn will continue to fester until it is removed. If a small fraction of the billions spent on the war in Iraq had been spent feeding the hungry, demanding justice for the Palestinians, working with the United Nations to stop genocide, we might have more friends and fewer people hating us. When our government and the government of Israel asks the question “Why do they hate us?” and truly starts working to make friends around the world, maybe the ever deepening quagmire in Israel and Iraq will begin to improve. When the occupation of Iraq and Palestine ceases and when the destruction of homes and the killing of innocent civilians stops, maybe we will see a rainbow of hope on the horizon. There will be no peace in the Middle East - or in the world - until the occupations cease.

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004
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Eulogy For America

David R. Hoffman - Ladies and gentlemen, we gather here today to mourn the passing of the United States of America, a nation that once stood as a beacon light of hope for the world. America was betrayed and murdered on November 2, 2004. Also killed during this time of madness were the following virtues: truth, justice, integrity, freedom, compassion, brotherhood, tolerance, faith, hope, charity, peace, and respect for other cultures and nations. These virtues are survived by their antitheses--deceit, injustice, hypocrisy, fascism, selfishness, hatred, fear, hopelessness, greed, perpetual warfare and arrogant hegemony. As I will explain, also murdered were seven platitudes, which parents once used to convince their children that America was a rational and honorable nation.

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004
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Not So Vast As Our Failure

Jeff Berg - Today the world economy is based on an ideology which exalts the virtue of supply and demand, and in practice at least to an extent this mechanism is allowed to operate in global trade. The monkey wrench to this system will come when the reality of oil supply refuses to cooperate with the demands of our economic ‘laws’. When the world hits peak oil, much less terminal decline, and demand outstrips supply our economic world order is forever changed.  Because from that point on it will not matter to oil production what our governments say, what our corporate leaders demand or what laws the economists at the WTO assure us are as ineluctable as the law of gravity. It took hundreds of millions of years to make the oil we have now and when there is no more, well, there is no more, ever.

Monday, November 8th, 2004
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Falluja: The 'Frontlines of Empire'

Mike Whitney - Falluja has taken on a meaning that far exceeds whatever transpires in the battle. It has become an Iraqi Alamo; the definitive symbol of Muslim resistance to the Bush onslaught. The significance of the invasion is greatly enhanced by already knowing the final outcome. The world’s only superpower will crush the resistance, destroying anything in its path and laying large swaths of the city to waste; that much is certain. This understanding increases the stature of those who are bravely fighting within the city; fighting for their country, homes and families against the most prodigious military machine ever assembled. It is David against Goliath, only David has no sling.

Monday, November 8th, 2004
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Arma-geddon Sick of You

Daniel Patrick Welch - Bush’s Sword of Damocles is poised above the people and city of Fallujah , ready to wreak the pent-up wrath his addled brain thinks his tainted election victory permits. Already thinking that they had a mandate from God, the American fascists now think they have one from the American people. However, like true warriors, the election for these crazies is no more than a blip on the screen, a hiccup on the road to world domination. What is the true fascist reaction to the recent news that your invasion has killed 100,000? Why, to prepare to kill another hundred thousand, of course. Remember Kissinger’s chilling exchange on the Nixon tapes where they casually discussed how many would die if they ordered the bombing of the dikes in the north of Vietnam : “…a few hundred thousand… That’s a lot of people.”

Monday, November 8th, 2004
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J'accuse: War Crimes and Iraq

Conn Hallinan - The Bush administration likes to invoke the so-called changed nature of the post-9/11 world as the justification for rendering the Geneva Conventions obsolete, somehow trumping USA adherence to international law. White House counsel Alberto Gonzales dismisses the Geneva Conventions as “quaint,” and the U.S. Justice Department wrote up memos giving the CIA the right to violate both international laws and the U.S. War Crimes Act. But systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions by the USA hardly started with 9/11. Indeed, they are characteristic of virtually every conflict the USA has been involved in since the end of World War II.

Friday, November 5th, 2004
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Succession Politics in Palestine

Daoud Kuttab - My barber, Abu Salah couldn’t wait for me to come to his shop. He had been very concerned this week and wanted an answer to his question. He was searching hard in his mind for a solution to what he felt was a complicated problem: how could Marwan Barghouthi spring out from the Israeli jail he is kept in. Abu Salah felt relieved when I explained that Hizbollah could answer his riddle. The Lebanese resistance group still has bodies of Israeli soldiers that they could trade with the Israelis for the remaining Lebanese hostages, as well as some Palestinian prisoners, possibly Barghouthi. The long-shot hope that many pin on Barghouthi is not limited to my barber. After wanting to know about the health of their president, many Palestinians, both inside and outside the occupied territories, had the issue of succession on their minds.

Friday, November 5th, 2004
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Standing Up For Academic Freedom in the USA

Joseph Massad - The recent controversy elicited by the propaganda film ‘Columbia Unbecoming’ a film funded and produced by a Boston-based pro-Israel organization, is the latest salvo in a campaign of intimidation of Jewish and non-Jewish professors who criticize Israel. All those pro-Israeli propagandists who want to reduce the Jewish people to the State of Israel are the anti-Semites who want to eliminate the existing pluralism among Jews. The majority of Israel’s supporters in the United States are, in fact, not Jews but Christian fundamentalist anti-Semites who seek to convert Jews. They constitute a quarter of the American electorate and are the most powerful anti-Semitic group worldwide. The reason why the pro-Israel groups do not fight them is because these anti-Semites are pro-Israel. Therefore, it is not anti-Semitism that offends pro-Israel groups; what offends them is anti-Israel criticism.

Thursday, November 4th, 2004
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Don't Be American

Danny Dayus - Many times over the last nine hours I’ve thought kindly of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have worked tirelessly over the past four years against the policies of the Bush presidency. To those people I must ask forgiveness for my siding with the world outside America. It is they, as well as the people who voted for Bush, who will have to bear the shame of belonging to a society that democratically elects war criminals to office. However, not all the world’s people will feel the same way. Many will see the election of George W Bush as a signal that America as a whole has chosen a course of confrontation and greed, and for a generation or more afterwards these people will teach their children to hate all that American society stands for.

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
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Confirmed and Confessed

B. Michael - Between September 29th and October 15th, fifteen days in all, I killed thirty children. Two children per day. Two dead children per day is more or less four bereaved parents per day. Why more or less? Because some of them were brothers. So, two dead children for one pair of bereaved parents. Perhaps that’s better, because these parents are bereaved anyway, so they are just bereaved twice, and another pair of parents is released from being bereaved. But perhaps it is less good, because to be bereaved is worse than being dead, and being twice bereaved is twice worse than being dead. So I don’t really know what to decide.

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004
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In God - or Reality - We Trust

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times - Whatever the result of the USA presidential election, at least half of the nation has already rejected Bush as a divider, not a uniter, someone who did not even have a popular mandate to begin with. Bush was not elected by the majority in 2000. If he is really elected now - with or without the majority of the popular vote - this will send a strong signal to the whole world that Americans support the neo-con agenda. The sequence is predictable: more corporate tax cuts, an even more repressive Patriot Act, more wars in the Middle East, more geopolitical chaos. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The crusading armies may legitimize “exporting death and violence to the four corners of the Earth”. Or progressive America may rejoin reality and punish the Bush administration for what it is: an illegitimate aberration.

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004
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Who Would You Rather Brush Your Teeth With?

Michael Saba - According to the American Center for Responsive Politics, spending on US elections this year will total almost $4 billion, including $1.2 billion on the presidential election. Just how much money is that and how much are the candidates spending per vote received? Almost half of the nations in the world have a Gross National Product, GNP (sum of all of the goods and services produced in a country in a year) of less than $4 billion a year. That includes countries like Zambia and Laos. Over 53 nations have a GNP of less than $1.2 billion a year. That group includes countries like Mauritania and Mongolia. Think about it. If we in America said money could no longer be used for funding a candidate’s election, we could use the money raised this year to fund almost half the world’s nations.

Monday, November 1st, 2004
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Executing Another Child in Rafah

Omar Barghouti - Iman al-Hams was a 13-year old refugee schoolgirl who was executed—after being wounded—by an Israeli platoon commander on the sad sands of Rafah. After a bullet hit her leg, and Iman fell, the officer went over to her, saw that she was bleeding from her wounds, and shot her twice in the head to “confirm the killing.”. A cursory army investigation later cleared him of any “unethical” conduct, as is customary. In a flash, Israel proved to the world—yet again—that it is not only intransigent in its patent and consistent violation of international law, but also incapable of adhering to the most fundamental principles of moral behavior. But why, someone may protest, should we judge Israel based on this one incident, as heinous as it may be? A brief look at Israel’s recent record of purposely targeting Palestinian children will provide a compelling response.

Monday, November 1st, 2004
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Empire, Jesus, And The Death Gene

Phil Rockstroh - As doomed as the drought-dessicated cornstalks, the lives of the sons and daughters of moonshine-makers are now decimated by crystal meth and crack cocaine. Dust squalls in the dry fields; the future burns to crack ash. The swamp has receded: Bear and bobcat are gone. Convenience stores, Wal*Mart superstores, strip malls and fast food joints choke the landscape where tenant farmers once struggled to survive. The surrounding swamplands were once astoundingly beautiful. Even strangling vines of wisteria draped their dying hosts in exquisite purple blossoms. But, in the eyes of the human inhabitants of land, the beauty was only incidental - superfluous - only a relentless drive to survive was needed. All else fell away.

Monday, November 1st, 2004
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