[APR-news] Alternative Press Week in Review - February 26, 2004

Dean Thomas deanthomas at comcast.net
Fri Feb 27 00:59:41 EST 2004


Alternative Press Week in Review

Your Guide Beyond the Mainstream 

February 26, 2004 


A weekly roundup of news, announcements, articles and other items of interest.



Website of the Week



Lazy net guide to peak oil



This is "Progress"? Factsheet
The following compilation is meant to help demonstrate the falsity of the common assumption that the development of agriculture and civilization has meant constant "progress" in terms of increasing the human standard of living and quality of life.


Articles of the Week



What to do? Violence reconsidered

Richard Oxman, Dissident Voice

For over a hundred years, well into the 1980s, "more than half of all American Indian children were coercively transferred from their own families, communities and cultures to those of the conquering society." There was a severe foster home/adoption program put in place by the federal government of the United States, excluding native homes, designed to deny children knowledge about their roots.  Was this in the name of assimilation? Dissolution? According to the second article of the United Nations 1948 Convention on Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide such a transfer of
children is considered genocidal. No one was punished.  In fact, to date no one has even apologized.



Forget Terrorism: The Hijacking of Reality


Everywhere across the planet, people were starting to organize themselves, testing their hands at self-directed activities and pushing back when state and corporate interests tried to interfere. As summits of the economic elite were shut down, local collectives assembled, and global networks of resistance linked up, it began to feel like the future was up for grabs. But no one on either side of the barricades had factored in the unsettled accounts U.S. foreign policy had wrought in the third world, and everything changed the day terrorists, directed by a former employee of the C.I.A., brought those chickens home to roost in New York City.



Super Highways
Vandana Shiva, ZNet

Highways are not lines on the palm, they are more like tattoos -- black marks imposed by external design on the landscape - a design that is centralising and excluding, a design used by Hitler to control Germany's destiny in another period. ... The Highway and Automobile culture are symbols of totalitarian cultures which deny people more sustainable and equitable alternatives for mobility and transport.



The oil we eat: following the food chain back to Iraq

Richard Manning, Harper's Magazine

We learn as children that there is no free lunch, that you don't get something from nothing, that what goes up must come down, and so on. The scientific version of these verities is only slightly more complex. As James Prescott Joule discovered in the nineteenth century, there is only so much energy. You can change it from motion to heat, from heat to light, but there will never be more of it and there will never be less of it. The conservation of energy is not an option, it is a fact. This is the first law of thermodynamics. Special as we humans are, we get no exemptions from the rules.


A treesitter's tale: An editorial the Times-Standard doesn't want to print

Amanita, SF Bay Area Indymedia

Throughout my life I have witnessed Maxxam's destruction of our beautiful forests, and seen the direct damage done to Humboldt County residents from PL's liquidation logging that relentlessly tears away the forest above our homes. 



Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya or Cuba
Democracy Now!
The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes which include Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Cuba. Although publishing the articles is legal, editing is a "service" and the treasury department says it is illegal to perform services for embargoed nations. It can be punishable by fines of up to a half-million dollars or jail terms as long as 10 years.



When the 'Big Lie' Becomes the Truth
Michel Chossudovsky and Ian Woods, Global Outlook

We have reached a new phase in the evolution of Bush Senior's 'New World Order' - a functioning global police state is unfolding before our eyes. Freedom of the press is practically dead. The mainstream media has been transformed into an instrument of the State reminiscent of Pravda back in the days of the USSR. More seriously, whoever challenges 'the official version' of the truth, faces jail or 'accidental death'. 



UN Spying and the Evasions of US Journalism
Norman Solomon, CounterPunch

For 51 weeks -- from the day that the Observer newspaper in London broke the news about spying at the United Nations until the moment that British prosecutors dropped charges against Gun on Wednesday -- major news outlets in the United States almost completely ignored the story. The Observer's expose, under the headline "Revealed: U.S. Dirty Tricks to Win Vote on Iraq War," came 18 days before the invasion of Iraq began. By unveiling a top secret U.S. National Security Agency memo, the newspaper provided key information when it counted most: before the war started.



Chasing Judith Miller off the Stage
by Derek Seidman, Left Hook
After reaching the heights of hysteria in her response to me, Judith Miller ended the question and answer session prematurely and walked briskly off the stage. Afterwards, I talked to some of the other audience members who spoke up, and we naturally took some pride in chasing Miller off the stage. If there's one lesson I wish to get across in this article, it is this: we can't be intimidated by these high profile, glamour and glitz intellectual-lackeys. Our arguments are stronger than theirs, and if we stand up to them with confidence and tenacity, their posturing will be exposed.



You could get 10 years in prison just for reading this

David Grenier, davidgrenier.com

I have on my desk right now a copy of the new Rhode Island "homeland security" bill proposed by Governor Carcieri. It's an 18 page document, and right on the first page, before talking about weapons of mass destruction or poisoning the water system or anything else that a rational person might consider "terrorism", it says "any person who shall teach or advocate anarchy" will go to prison for ten years. 



Criminal dissent: Are recent tactics in Iowa part of a larger Bush Administration effort to punish dissent?
Bill Berkowitz, WorkingForChange
"This administration is trying to criminalize dissent, characterize protesters as terrorists and trying to intimidate and marginalize those opposed to its policies," Avery said. It has opened the floodgates to all kinds of investigative activities and now "police agencies across the country are actively engaged in spying and compiling dossiers on citizens exercising their constitutional rights."



Scholars attacked for comparing Zionism to Nazism
Jeff Blankfort, SF Bay View
One of the ironies of which most Americans are unaware is that there is far greater freedom to criticize the Israel government and its policies in Israel's Hebrew press than in the United States.



Electronic Intifada 3.0: Interview with Nigel Parry
Rami El-Amine, Left Turn
The Electronic Intifada (EI) website, has become the place to go on the internet to find out what's really happening in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A quarter of a million people visit the site a month. In January 2004, the EI team revamped the website and launced Version 3.0. Rami El-Amine from Left Turn spoke to Nigel Parry, one of the founders and designers of the Electronic Intifada, about the new site and its incredible success over the past three years.



Palestinians and nonviolence
Sherri Muzher, Media Monitors
Undoubtedly, legitimate armed struggle as sanctioned under international law will continue to be supported by the overwhelming majority of Palestinians. But there is also a long history of satyagraha that needs to be acknowledged.



A Wall as a Weapon

Noam Chomsky, ZNet

What this wall is really doing is taking Palestinian lands. It is also - as the Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has described Israel's war of "politicide" against the Palestinians - helping turn Palestinian communities into dungeons, next to which the bantustans of South Africa look like symbols of freedom, sovereignty and self-determination.



Syria and the Double Standards of John Kerry

Mark Hand, Press Action
In his letter, Kerry refers to Syria's use of such methods as "torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, and prolonged detention without trial." The Democratic frontrunner fails to note that these are the same methods used by the Israeli government in its war on the Palestinians since 1948 and by the U.S. government in its war on terrorism since 2001.



Haiti's second coup

Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive

What we're witnessing now in Haiti is the second coup against Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The first one occurred in 1991, shortly after Aristide was elected president in a historic break with the Duvalier dictatorship, which had brutally ruled for generations. The new junta lasted until 1994, and during this time a CIA-funded death squad called FRAPH killed 3,000 supporters of Aristide.



Americans Hear About their 500 Dead Soldiers. What About the 10,000 Dead Iraqi Civilians?
Naomi Klein, Common Dreams
To talk about the price of the Iraq war strictly in terms of U.S. casualties and tax dollars is an obscenity. Yes, Americans were lied to by their politicians. Yes, they are owed answers. But the people of Iraq are owed a great deal more, and that enormous debt belongs at the very center of any civilized debate about the war. 



Disappearing the Dead: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Idea of a "New Warfare"
Carl Conetta, PDA
During the course of the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts the US Department of Defense (DoD) conducted "perception management" campaigns that obstructed the public's appreciation of the wars' human toll. The casualty issue was not alone in suffering such treatment during the prologue to the Iraq conflict. Distortion and miscalculation affected the official discourse on many of the key issues surrounding the war, including: the nature, magnitude, and immediacy of the threat; the likely financial cost of the war; the troop requirement for both the combat and post-war phases of the operation; and the difficulty and expense of post-war reconstruction and stabilization efforts. The casualty issue is one of strategic import. In addition to US and allied losses, approximately 18,000 Afghan and Iraqi combatants and non-combatants were killed during the main combat phases of the two wars.



82nd Airborne Vs. An Elderly Couple: A Case Study of Excessive Force
Ben Granby, Electronic Iraq
"We woke up to the missiles hitting our home," she explains, almost trembling from beneath her hejab. "Then the soldiers came and blew up one of our trucks and attacked our sheep. They then came into the house and took everyone out." Four of her children were hooded, bound and taken away. Afterwards, even though the Americans had the complete compliance of the family, she claims they ransacked the house, confiscating the family's two rifles, their jewelry and their life savings of 25 million Iraqi Dinars (about US$18,000). Some of the soldiers outside came across the three other vehicles owned by various family members, a large truck used for moving produce, a small sedan and a new pickup truck. Each had ever tire systematically shot out, and several bullets squarely placed in the engine blocks in an unmistakably intentional manner.



How Far Will the US Go to Maintain Its Illegitimate Primacy in Iraq?
Tariq Ali, Dissident Voice

The whole world knows that Bush and Blair lied to justify the war, but do they know the price being paid on the ground in Iraq? First, the blood price - paid by civilians and others this week as every week. More than 50 people died on Tuesday [2/12] when a car bomb ripped through Iraqis queuing to join the police force. The US military blamed al-Qaida loyalists and foreign militants for this and other suicide bombings. But occupations are usually ugly. How then can resistance be pretty? 



Depleted uranium: the war crime that has no end
Paul Rockwell, Online Journal

The mounting evidence from the invasion of Iraq establishes what many Americans may not want to face: that the highest leaders of our land violated many international agreements relating to the rules of war. Unless we address the war crimes of the Bush administration-and the prima facie evidence is overwhelming-we betray our conscience, our country, and our own faith in democracy.



Democrats Support Military Draft for Neocon Wars
Kurt Nimmo, Press Action
Here's what S. 89, the Senate bill I call "Draft American Kids for Endless Neocon Wars," says in regard to your freedom if you are between the ages of 18 and 26: "It is the obligation of every citizen of the United States, and every other person residing in the United States who is between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a period of national service as prescribed in this Act unless exempted under the provisions of this Act."
In other words, indentured servitude. Congressional millionaires and whores for large corporations arrogantly telling you to donate your life or any number of your limbs to the plutocracy. It's either that or you can waste away in prison.



The Ultimate Betrayal

Howard Zinn, The Progressive

As the government pours hundreds of billions into war, it has no money to take care of the Vietnam veterans who are homeless, who linger in VA hospitals, who suffer from mental disorders, and who commit suicide in shocking numbers. It is a bitter legacy.

The United States government was proud that, although perhaps 100,000 Iraqis had died in the Gulf War of 1991, there were only 148 American battle casualties. What it has concealed from the public is that 206,000 veterans of that war filed claims with the Veterans Administration for injuries and illnesses. In the dozen or so years since that war, 8,300 veterans have died, and 160,000 claims for disability have been recognized by the VA.



DARPA creating a race of robo-grunts

Thomas C Greene, CRG 
Imagine divisions of grunts able to go without food and sleep for days on end while performing at peak level. That's the perverse dream of the Defense Sciences Office's new Metabolic Dominance Program.



Mush-Minded Liberals
William Blum, CounterPunch

The following is not simply a diatribe against humorist Al Franken. It's a diatribe against all mushy-thinking liberals. Franken tells us he is against the war in Iraq. But he was part of a tour that went to Iraq to entertain the troops, truly a feat of intellectual and moral gymnastics that enables him to oppose terrible military violence and crimes against humanity while honoring those who carry out the terrible military violence and crimes
against humanity.



The America will vote for Bush
Tom Frank, Le Monde diplomatique
Thanks to the rightward political shift of the past 30 years, wealth is today concentrated in fewer hands than it has been since the 1920s; workers have less power over the conditions under which they toil than ever before in our lifetimes; and the corporation has become the most powerful actor in our world. Yet that rightward shift - still going strong to this day - sells itself as a war against elites, a righteous uprising of the little guy against an obnoxious upper class.



The queer argument against marriage
Susan Thompson, Rabble News

Sandell is also careful to point out that the traditional conception of family is tied heavily to capitalism. "Family is the site of social reproduction that supports the market economy," she says. Whether that family is heterosexual or homosexual, it serves the same function. 



Going up in smoke

Andrew Anthony, Observer Magazine
It has its own laws - no hard drugs, no weapons, no bulletproof vests - its own battlesong, and its own Pusher Street. But now after 33 years of uncomfortable co-existence with the rest of Denmark, the anarchist commune of Christiania may finally be forced to join the real world. 



The Anarchist Free University offers students a free alternative to traditional academic institutions
Alison Northcott, Eye Opener
"It started with a group of interested and dedicated left-leaning, activist-oriented individuals who got together and decided that there's a place in Toronto for an alternative form of education," says Chris Smith, one of the school's facilitators and co-founders. He says the idea was to create a school for people who are interested in learning outside of a typical university setting. "The education system in Canada really does alienate and marginalize a high faction of very, very bright and highly intelligent kids who, for one reason or another, refuse to conform to traditional methods of education," he says. 



Low-impact living: Family chooses to live close to the earth
Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Dworschack family left a comfortable life in Germantown in May to settle into a Crawford County cottage that has no water, gas, electricity or phone lines. Their Earth-friendly lifestyle isn't for everyone, they admit, but "we just love it."





Crude Awakening: The world is running out of oil and we're not doing anything to stave off the coming crisis 



Forecast of rising oil demand challenges tired Saudi fields



Gasoline supplies likely to shrink, prices rise



Natural gas supplies: "shaping up for an unmitigated disaster"



West Australia grinds to a halt in new power crisis



Top U.S. generals touching down across Africa in unusual back-to-back trips, interest in African oil



Secret Pentagon report warns climate change will destroy us



Black "Total Information Awareness"-like research revealed



'Ecoterrorism' database plan prompts fear, suspicion



Free Speech Zone? Convention Plan Puts Protesters Blocks Away



Security efforts turning DC into armed camp



Police infiltration of protest groups upsets rights activists



Undercover officers at anti-war meetings



Feds discuss bringing in thousands of US troops for Republican Convention in NYC



Savannah police drill for G-8 protests



Withdrawal of subpoenas targeting NLG is victory for free speech



Artists from all over the world are being refused entry to the US on security grounds



Defiant Downloads Rise From Underground



Radical political student group makes request for arsenal of assault weapons for self-defense



Former ELF spokesperson defends group's efforts



High school visits by National Guardsmen prompt controversy



US Soldier in Battle for Refugee Status: Family moved to Canada after private refused to fight in 'dehumanizing' Iraq war



Fallen soldier's mother says her son 'died for absolutely nothing'



WHO 'suppressed' scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq



Troops accused on Iraq killings



'They were kicking us, laughing. It was a great pleasure for them'



Detained and tortured by the US military



US hired private security company staffed with former henchmen of South Africa's apartheid regime



How a GCHQ translator uncovered an American dirty tricks campaign



Britain spied on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan



Amnesty barred from Guantanamo trials



The horror of one of Saddam's execution methods made a powerful pro-war rallying cry - but the evidence suggests it never existed



Shiite Leader Threatens Intifada Against US



U.S. Marines Preparing for 'Small War' in Falluja



U.S. Commander Sees Troops Staying in Iraq for Years



200,000 Spanish demonstrators call for military withdrawal from Iraq



Afghanistan: Now it's all out war



'No jobs, no hope, no life, no freedom': Palestinians and the 'security' barrier



IDF, settlers are 'cleansing' Hebron's H-2 area



Australia: Riots in Sydney as police blamed for death of 17-year-old Aboriginal boy



Billions missing from US Indian trust fund



Slavery alive and well in Florida



Poor to Put 'Bushville' Tent City at NY Convention



Thousands of Argentines block highways nationwide



Testing Finds U.S. Seed Contaminated by GE Crops



Nader slams The Nation



NYTimes fails to acknowledge its role in WMD hype



Leak reveals Blair plan to split BBC



Al Hurra, a new American satellite TV channel aimed at viewers in the Middle East, receives frosty greeting

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