[APR-news] Alternative Press Review - December 16, 2004

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Alternative Press Review - Your Guide Beyond the Mainstream
December 16, 2004

"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original
virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through
disobedience and through rebellion." - Oscar Wilde

5,000 Desertions and Counting - Déja Vu All Over Again
By Dave Lindorff

John Fogerty has it right. "It's déjà vu all over again," except with a
difference. In Vietnam, in the post-Tet period, when it had become clear to
the soldiers on the ground that the war was a lost cause and that they were
risking their lives and limbs just to provide cover to Richard Nixon and the
other politicians in Washington, mutiny, desertion and "fragging" - the
offing of overly aggressive officers who were trying to get you killed
before your tour ended, not to mention the crazed and superstitious offing
of the guys carrying the body bags into battle (if there were no body bags,
nobody could get killed) - became epidemic.

The War is the War Crime: Abused Iraqis, Abused Americans
by M. Junaid Alam

This was a war to transcend all wars - a war fought not for crass interests
or crude motives, but for freedom and democracy. Or so we were told. Once
this grand narrative was felled by reality, however, the story of its basic
actors was twisted to meet new requirements: since it could not possibly be
that the war aims were themselves corrupt, it must be the Iraqis - the
supposed recipients of liberation, and the American soldiers - the
deliverers of that liberation - who were flawed. This twist was to serve as
punishment for those Iraqis who interpreted "freedom" to mean not only
freedom from Saddam but freedom from US control, and as a smear job against
those US soldiers who interpreted "defending the country" to mean something
other than killing innocents and creating more hatred for America.

Torture Scandal Continues to Fester
By Joel Wendland

A series of U.S. government documents obtained by the ACLU through Freedom
of Information Act inquiries reveal the extent to which the U.S.
systematically used torture and other illegal forms of prisoner abuse and
mistreatment during interrogations and detentions like the abuses revealed
last spring at the Abu Ghraib prison facility near Baghdad, Iraq.

Bush in Babylon: The Recolonisation of Iraq
Book review by Scott D. O'Reilly

Tariq Ali's keen historical erudition and analysis cuts through the Bush
administration's hubristic imperial rationalizations like a sharp knife
slicing through melted butter. The trauma of 9/11, Ali argues, was just the
pretext the Bush administration needed to pursue its hegemonic ambitions in
the Middle East, an agenda Bush's Neoconservative advisors had been
promoting since at least 1997. No single factor can be pinpointed that made
war inevitable, but a confluence of factors: Iraqi oil reserves, Israeli
security concerns, the need for U.S. military bases in the region, and a
desire to 'shock and awe' America's competitors and adversaries, all played
a roll in the march to Baghdad.

Other articles of interest

Deserters Are Heroes
Harley Sorensen, SF Gate

According to "60 Minutes" last week (quoting the Pentagon), more than 5,500
servicemen have deserted since the beginning of Mr. Bush's war. That's an
amazing number. And it offers hope that perhaps not all our young people are
locked into caveman mentality. At least 5,500 of them have advanced to the
level of thinking demonstrated at Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945. Nuremberg is
where the Nazi war criminals of World War II were tried. Their common
defense was that they were just following orders. The court refused that
defense, suggesting that soldiers never have an obligation to follow illegal
orders. Aware of that thinking, at least 5,500 of our troops have decided to
desert rather than take part in senseless killing.

Sailor who refused to go to Iraq: "I don't support this war"
Justin Akers & Nicole Colson, Socialist Worker

Pablo Paredes stood on the pier of the 32nd Streeet naval base in San Diego,
Calif., as his ship the USS Bonhomme Richard left for the Persian Gulf
without him. "Like a cabinet member, I resign," read his simple black
T-shirt. Paredes, who is publicly against the U.S. war in Iraq, sent shock
waves up the military chain of command by refusing to board his ship.

Gary Webb: Blacklisted by the White Corporate Media
Yoshie Furuhashi, Critical Montages

Gary Webb shot himself, twice in the head. Coroner Robert Lyons says, "It's
unusual in a suicide case to have two shots, . . . but it has been done in
the past, and it is in fact a distinct possibility" ("Gary Webb's Death
Confirmed as Suicide," Editor & Publisher, December 15, 2004). Conspiracy
theorists suspected that the CIA or Contras killed him, but what drove Webb
to death was far more mundane and insidious: the power of elite orthodoxy
that controls the corporate media, which does not brook any radical
challenge to the dark alliance of money and power that links Washington's
domestic and foreign polices and devastates the Black and Latino working
class at home and abroad.

All the Rage: Mr. Solomon, Say You're Sorry
Joshua Frank, Press Action

Stormin' Norman Solomon recently released his annual "P.U.-litzer Prizes"
for shoddy commentary and wackjob journalism across these glorious United
"Red" States of America. To tell the truth, it ain't all bad. He's got a few
stalwarts of the corporate press in there-like Dan Rather and that racist
radio host Don Imus. Solomon doesn't pull any punches when naming
journalistic abhorrence at the New York Times, either, like Judith Miller
and Thomas Freidman. But Normie left someone off the list that surely made
it this year, himself.

As The World Burns
Michael C. Ruppert, Axis of Logic

One key to grasping the interrelatedness of these developments is to
understand that dramatic economic collapse, especially in the case of a
super power or an Empire, has historically created a power vacuum which has
resulted in war. If, as von Clausewitz said, "war is a continuation of
politics by other means," then we must also admit that politics is a
continuation of economics; and economics is a continuation of energy.
The US Military Cult is Luring and Brainwashing American Children
Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, ICH

In the only form of enslavement that's legal in the US, the military now
owns them-body, mind and soul. And once they're in Iraq or Afghanistan or
wherever the next war may be, they can be held against their will for as
long as their leaders wish. So much for all the Bush administration's
chatter about faith, morality and family values: It wants to take your
children from you, change their moral values, and transform them into
playing pieces for its global game of Risk.

Squatting options: Sydney on a song or a prayer
Dan Stapleton, Sydney Morning Herald

Joe (not his real name) is one of Sydney's squatters: a shadow group of
students, artists and the poor who have discovered empty buildings and
claimed them as their own. Joe's house is fully functional and the property
is secure and well maintained. "We wanted to make something feel like it was
ours," says Joe of the housemates' motivation. "From a political point of
view, we believe everybody has a right to housing, and if a building is
empty, it's wasteful to not use it.

Bush's Posse Roundup
James Bovard, AlterNet

Over the past three years, the Bush administation has accelerated a trend of
using the military as a tool in our nation's domestic affairs. From its
support of the Total Information Awareness surveillance vacuum cleaner, to
its use of Pentagon spy planes during the Washington-area sniper shootings
in late 2002, to its attempt to empower military officials to seize
Americans' financial and other private information without a warrant, the
Bush administration gives grave cause for concern about the growing role of
the armed forces in our daily life.

The Third Intifada: 'Yes to Peace, No to the Wall'
Ran HaCohen, Antiwar.com

To appreciate the breathtaking magnanimity expressed by this short slogan,
one needs to remember its context. Imagine: a foreign army occupies your
village for decades, reduces you to subjects without any rights, arrests you
arbitrarily, savagely tortures the arrested, and, on top of it all, sends
mighty bulldozers to erect a gigantic wall on your land, locking you up as
in a cage. And your reaction? Peaceful demonstrations, shouting "No to the
Wall" - but "Yes to Peace," to peace with your very oppressor and

Sexx, lies, and videotape: A conversation with adult film star Christi Lake
about reclaiming sex - on and off the camera.
Laura Nathan, In the Fray

"If sex is supposed to be a bad thing, then why did God make it feel so
good?" Christi Lake asks as she puts on her mascara and gets ready for work.
If you didn't know Christi, her remark might sound like the battle cry of
the 1960's sexual revolution rather than the adage of a 21st century woman.
But for Christi, who is readying herself for another day at the office -
that is, nude before a video camera, where she will have sex with one or two
other men or women - this maxim cannot be repeated often enough.


Gary Webb dead from apparent suicide

The cowardice of the mainstream press

New York Art Shuttered After Bush Monkey Portrait

SF politician lets graffiti artist spray paint his City Hall office walls
with the bright orange message: "SMASH THE STATE

Neighbors of Burned Homes Pained by Suburban Sprawl

Dying for Consumption

Methane Burps: Ticking Time Bomb

Climate forecast soars into the red

End of Oil Could Fuel 'End of Civilization as We Know It'

Global warming threatens gas pipeline

Ten percent of bird species will disappear

Dead and Buried: Iraq's civilian body count may go officially undocumented
but the widows and the orphans know the true extent of the toll

Victim of Latin American Torture Claims Abu Ghraib Abuse was Official US
28 Police to Stand Trial for G8 Violence

Pinochet indicted on human rights charges

The Yushchenko 'Poison Plot' Fraud

"Any act of violence in an unjustified conflict is an atrocity" -- US
soldier seeks refugee status in Canada

Navy Sailor Charged As "Deserter and Fugitive" After Refusing Iraq

Strain begins to show as Iraq stretches military thin

Military faces complaints, morale problems: "We are seeing some
unprecedented things. The real fear is that these could be tips of a larger

The pattern of discontent in US ranks

Experts predict a flood of troubled soldiers returning home

Homeless Vets Already Overload Safety Net

Britain: paramedics question suicide verdict on whistleblower Kelly

British MP George Galloway says suicide attacks in Iraq legitimate

US has lost the war in Iraq, and that's a good thing

Fallujah to become giant concentration camp

Controversial U.S. Groups Operate Behind Scenes on Iraq Vote

Peruvian coca growers mobilizing to demand end to forced eradication of
their crops

Oil's legacy in Niger Delta: pollution, anger as locals fault industry for
ruining their land and livelihoods

String of strikes, protests, and riots explode throughout China

Seven-Year Drought Puts Afghanistan on the Brink

Rampant insider selling raises red flags

Hunger, homelessness continue to increase in US

Anarchists' fund-raising project a radical exposure

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