[APR-news] Alternative Press Week in Review - January 8, 2004
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Thu Jan 8 16:38:37 EST 2004
Alternative Press Week in Review
Your Guide Beyond the Mainstream
January 8, 2004
A weekly roundup of news, announcements, articles and other items of interest.
"Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." - Henry Kissinger
War is just a racket. I spent thirty-three years as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. During that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service. I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. - Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by General Smedley Butler, USMC
Blast from the Past
World Scientists' Warning To Humanity - November 1992
Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.
Articles of the Week
An Unnatural Disaster
Paul Brown, The Guardian
Climate change over the next 50 years is expected to drive a quarter of land animals and plants into extinction, according to the first comprehensive study into the effect of higher temperatures on the natural world. The sheer scale of the disaster facing the planet shocked those involved in the research. They estimate that more than 1 million species will be lost by 2050. The results are described as "terrifying" by Chris Thomas, professor of conservation biology at Leeds University, who is lead author of the research from four continents published today in the magazine Nature.
Plan now for a world without oil
Michael Meacher, Financial Times
The implications of this are mind-blowing, since oil provides 40 per cent of all traded energy and no less than 90 per cent of transport fuel. But not only are the motor vehicle and farming industries dependent on oil, so is national defence. Oil powers the vast network of planes, tanks, helicopters and ships that provide the basis of each country's armaments. It is hard to envisage the effects of a radically reduced oil supply on a modern economy or society. Yet just such a radical reduction is staring us in the face.
2004 -- The Year of the Law and of Living Dangerously
Michael C. Ruppert, FTW
FTW has stressed that events in the five years following September 11th 2001 would determine the course of human history for the next five hundred years. In looking at the tectonic pressures building during a presidential election year -- as driven by the emerging reality of Peak Oil and Gas -- it now appears that, of those five years, 2004 may well be marked by some of the greatest political, economic and military changes in history. Much of this upheaval will have been caused by the success of independent journalists, researchers, activists, courts, and congress in challenging the actions of the US Empire at home and abroad since 9/11 and holding it accountable for its own statements, actions and documents.
At year's end, signs of dictatorship abound in Washington
Wayne Madsen, Online Journal
The telltale signs of dictatorship and fascism abound in this city on the Potomac. Some of the signs-concrete barricades and 8-foot walls around monuments-are apparent. Others, like video cameras, although more subtle, are every bit as ubiquitous. For those who have never visited Washington, DC, or who traveled here during better times, the city that is suppose to represent the aspirations of the American people is now a hollow shell of its former self.
An interview with Noam Chomsky
Hawzheen O. Kareem, Komall Newspaper
It has often been pointed out by political scientists that the US is basically a one-party state -- the business party. with two factions, Democrats and Republicans. Most of the population seems to agree. A very high percentage, sometimes passing 80%, believe that the government serves "the few and the special interests," not "the people." In the contested 2000 election, about 75% regarded it as mostly a farce having nothing to do with them, a game played by rich contributors, party bosses, and the public relations industry, which trained candidates to say mostly meaningless things that might pick up some votes.
War, Race and Elections
Stan Goff, CounterPunch
Aside from the US military, stuck there in Iraq as the institution of the military rots internally from Rumsfeld's neglect and stupidity, there are two players who will determine the outcomes in Iraq: the international anti-war movement and the Iraqi resistance. The latter has the dominant role, because of three things; they are there, they have weapons, and they have the battlefield initiative (all preposterous claims to the contrary aside). All they have to do to win... is endure.
Ex-US Marine and Gulf War Veteran burns his US passport in Baghdad
Dahr Jamail, Electronic Iraq
"As a former United States Marine and Gulf War veteran I call on my American
brothers and sisters to put down their weapons and refuse service in Iraq. And lastly I state my love of the American people whether friend or foe and I call on them to support their troops for real; Bring America's sons and daughters home now!" Mr. O'Keefe then raised his fist and stated, "Power to the People!" Mr. O'Keefe doused his US passport with fuel, held it up slowly for the media, then lit it.
The Exploitation of the American Soldier, Part I of II: Of Caste Drafts and Society's Complicity
Manuel Valenzuela, Axis of Logic
The story of the American Soldier is much more than a propaganda-laced cover in Time magazine, designed to sell copies, make profits by exploiting patriotism, create acquiescence in BushCo's preemptive warmongering and empire building policies and in fostering approval and support of a most ambiguous war campaign.
The Exploitation of the American Soldier, Part II of II: Of The Vietnam Example, Guinea Pigs and Systemic Abuse
Manuel Valenzuela, Axis of Logic
To fully understand the epidemic that is the exploitation of the American Soldier one need look no further than the 250,000 to 500,000 homeless veterans that on any given day wander the streets of the United States. Up to half a million veterans, mostly those who fought in the terror-filled jungles of Vietnam, have been forgotten in time, left to fend for themselves lost among concrete jungles and steel-glass canyons.
Snipers: No Nuts In Iraq
Mickey Z, ZNet
The alleged liberal media ignores any mention of an illegal invasion and occupation while turning U.S. snipers into rifle-toting gods: "calm, methodical, and disciplined" men, we're told, who undergo psychological screening "to make sure they're not training a nut." A nut? Schmitt quotes a Specialist Wilson who tries not to see his Iraqi victims "as men with families and children" and a Sergeant Davis who has this to say about the eight confirmed kills to his credit: "As soon as they picked up a weapon and tried to engage U.S. soldiers, they forfeited all their rights to life, is how I look at it."
No oil yet for blood
The Wall Street Journal reports US officials have decided it is not politically possible in present circumstances to privatize Iraq's oil industry and are resigned to keeping it under public ownership - for now. The Journal says American and Iraqi oil bureaucrats, understand "that keeping the industry in state hands is crucial to allaying widespread concerns here that the American-led invasion of Iraq was an oil grab." But a perhaps more compelling reason, only alluded to in the report, is that continued guerrilla sabotage of oil pipelines has put foreign interest in taking over the industry on hold, as has uncertainty about the country's political future and how control of its oil resources will be distributed among competing groups. The decision is seen by officials as a "pragmatic" and "short term" one, suggesting privatization will be back on the agenda if and when stability is restored. The large oil multinationals, who have been circling overhead, are used to dealing profitably with state-owned oil companies, and have indicated they are prepared to bide their time in the meanwhile.
Resist the New Rome
Osama bin Laden, The Guardian
The west's occupation of our countries is old, but takes new forms. The struggle between us and them began centuries ago, and will continue. There can be no dialogue with occupiers except through arms. Throughout the past century, Islamic countries have not been liberated from occupation except through jihad. But, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, the west today is doing its utmost to besmirch this jihad, supported by hypocrites.
Thoughts on Terrorist Targets
Jon Basil Utley, Antiwar.com
Despite all the warnings for us to fear indiscriminate killing from Al-Qaeda, thinking about their past targets is the way to understand them. All have been against U.S. military or government, e.g. the embassies, U.S. war ships, or major economic targets, e.g. the World Trade Center.
More Deadly Than Gas
Frederick Sweet, Intervention Magazine
It is estimated that already about 300 tons of radioactive debris from DU weapons were deposited in target areas during the 2003 Iraq War, affecting over 250,000 Iraqis. By comparison, Saddam Hussein -- who Bush had called an evil murderer -- gassed about 5,000 Iraqi Kurds in 1988. But by Bush launching his war on Iraq with DU weapons of mass destruction, he multiplied the casualties to the Iraqis, and also to American troops, by factors of hundreds relative to the infamous gassing of the Kurds.
US Coalition Forces Above the Law, According to the CPA
Dahr Jamail, ICH
How have the Coalition Forces in Iraq been getting away with killing Iraqi civilians, religious leaders, demonstrators, and foreign journalists? It almost appears as though they are above the law. According to CPA Order Number 17, which deals with the status of the coalition personnel, they appear to be just that-above the law.
The Other Guantánamos: Britain's Dark Places
Kareem Fahim, Village Voice
It's a different island but a disturbingly familiar tale of suspended rights and justice denied. Human rights groups are calling two high-security British prisons that hold at least 14 terrorism suspects the United Kingdom's version of Camp Delta, the detention lockup on the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay. The detainees at Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons are all foreign nationals and asylum seekers, and many have been imprisoned without trial for two years. Arrested after 9-11, the suspects are held on the basis of evidence neither they nor their lawyers have seen.
Bravo To Those Who Refuse!!
The five stated that their sentence will not deter the refusenik movement, despite the fact that the court in their ruling said that the sentence was to serve as a warning to others. Furthermore, according to a report in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, the five "expressed their wonder over how soldiers who carry out "war crimes" are given lenient sentences while they are sent to prison for matters on conscience".
Israeli Soldiers Refuse to Fight
Yshai Kalmanovitch, Global Research
Israel was once again in a big fuss: 13 fighters from one of the most prominent elite commando units of the IDF, "Sayeret Matkal", a unit which took part in some of the most famous Israeli military operations - such as the operation to liberate the Israeli civilians kidnapped in 1976 in Entebbe, and other similar operations - and that among its former soldiers and commanders one can find many leading figures in the political and military establishment - 13 of its fighters declared in a public letter that they are no longer willing to take part in military service in the occupied territories.
Tasks For Our Times: remember, refuse, resist
Renato Redentor Constantino, Today (Philippines)
The greatest examples of the action of the spirit and of reason are in abnegation." The power to deny deadly power. The power of refusal. Governments holding the mightiest of arsenals quake in the face of such power. A power discovered by 100,000 deserters in the US army during its war on Vietnam. A power wielded last month by over 30 Israeli refuseniks -- officers of Israel's air force, the most revered branch of the Israeli military -- 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.
Israeli Forces Continue to Perpetrate Crimes
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
This week, Israeli occupying forces continued to violate the human rights of Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). Human rights violations included the use of extra-judicial assassinations and willful killings. Throughout the
week, the Israeli occupying army also conducted incursions into Palestinian areas; shot at Palestinian civilians, including children; indiscriminately shelled residential areas; demolished houses; and leveled agricultural land.
How Reality is Distorted to Serve an Agenda
Mazin Qumsiyeh, Jordan Times
Words like terrorism and massacre are used when Israeli civilians are killed, but never used when a far larger number of Palestinian civilians are purposely killed by Israeli army actions. And yes, purposely, as documented by every single human rights organisation, from Amnesty International to Physicians for Human Rights and B'Tselem. The reporting frequently dehumanises Palestinians (including the over 2,700 victims killed over the past three years), while going to great length to humanise the Israelis and any Israeli killed. It also shows great empathy for the Israelis, while showing complete lack of sympathy and outright hostility to the native Palestinians who have lost most of their lands.
Israeli official proposes 'ethnic cleansing'
Khalid Amayreh, Al-Jazeera
A member of the Likud party has proposed "massive ethnic cleansing" of non-Jews in Palestine-Israel as a "final solution" of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Uzi Cohen, a member of Ariel Sharon's right-wing party and a deputy mayor of the town of Raanana, told Israeli public radio on Sunday there was widespread support in Israel for "the idea of ethnic cleansing". "Many people support the idea but few are willing to speak about it publicly."
US intelligence was formed from Nazi war criminals
Jared Israel, Emperor's Clothes
The policy of Nazification, pursued by the US establishment starting at the end of World War II, meant that though the Germans lost the war, Nazis came to dominate powerful institutions in many countries. This was truly a world catastrophe. First the US Establishment preserved the deadly plague of Nazism intact. Made it the dominant force in the secret services of the US and Germany and spread the disease around the world.
Information Dominance: The Philosophy Of Total Propaganda Control?
David Miller, Scoop
The concept of 'information dominance' is the key to understanding US and UK propaganda strategy and a central component of the US aim of 'total spectrum dominance'.
Journalists Under Fire: The Death of José Couso in Baghdad
James Hollander, CounterPunch
"The death of José Couso was a premeditated crime, an attack on journalists to prevent us from telling the story of something the US has tried to hide from the start of the war: the slaughter of civilians."
Controlling what we hear from Iraq
Dahr Jamail, Electronic Iraq
I learned yesterday that one of the main sites which posts the writings of independent journalists and activists in Iraq, electronicIraq.net, has been banned from at least one of the US military bases in Iraq. Celebrate free speech, read a banned website! Like other repressive dictatorships and regimes, the US military has now followed suit in Iraq by attempting to select what its personnel should and should not read. It is happening at home in the US as well.
Two Loud Words
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout
Two words: 'Bush Knew.' It is, frankly, amazing that this has fallen down the memory hole. Recall two headlines from that period. The first, from the UK Guardian on May 19, 2002, was titled 'Bush Knew of Terrorist Plot to Hijack US Planes.'
RNC Plays the Hitler Card: MoveOn Shouldn't Apologize for Those Ads
Dave Lindorff, CounterPunch
The same technique used by Hitler and his National Socialist brownshirts to whip up nationalist fervor in Germany in the early and mid 1930s is being employed today by the Bush Administration and the Republican Party, and to the same end--to get the American public to acquiesce in surrendering its democratic rights, to accept one-party rule, and to agree to a national policy of permanent war in the name of American global hegemony.
Bush Plays with Fire: Launching a Dangerous Space Policy
Bruce Gagnon, Global Network
The ideas of U.S. control of the moon have interesting origins. In the book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, author Jack Manno told the story of former Nazi Maj. Gen. Walter Dornberger (the man who recruited Werner Von Braun to come to work for Hitler to build the V-1 and V-2 rockets.) After the end of World War II the U.S. military recruited Von Braun and 1,500 other Nazi scientists to come to the U.S. under the top secret Operation Paper Clip.
Military Keynsianism: How the war machine is driving the US economy
Andrew Gumbel, The Independent
At the time, Kalecki's best example of military Keynesianism was Nazi Germany. But the concept does not just operate under fascist dictatorships. Indeed, it has been taken up with enthusiasm by the neo-liberal right wing in the United States.
Mad Cow USA: The Nightmare Begins
John Stauber, AlterNet
The United States has spent millions of dollars on PR convincing Americans that mad cow could never happen here, and now the USDA is engaged in a crisis management plan that has federal and state officials, livestock industry flacks, scientists and other trusted experts assuring the public that this is no big deal.
The Troubled Marriage of Environmentalists and Oil Companies
Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero, CorpWatch
The American environmental group Conservation International (CI) and other environmental organizations are actively collaborating with oil corporations in hopes of ameliorating the impact of their activities on local ecosystems. But observers fear that the cozy relationship that these groups have with the US government and oil companies raises serious questions regarding their independence and warn that it can undermine the grassroots work of popular movements and native peoples that aim to stop new oil drilling altogether.
Controversy of the Year: War on Downloading
Greg Milner, Spin
What does Sherman Austin have in common with Brianna LaHara? They both provided access to information deemed proprietary by corporations (in LaHara's case) or dangerous to the state (in Austin's). Their cases underscore that this is the year it became clear that the privacy rights of average Americans were steadily eroding. Whatever you think about radical politics or file trading, the same technology that lets us share music with millions or mobilize those millions to protest also has freed data-mining corporations and the FBI to monitor our daily lives.
This latest policy, lobbied for by members of Congress and implemented by the Bush administration, represents the completion of yet another stage in the internal transformation of the United States into a paranoid state-capitalist version of East Germany.
The Return of ARCAD
Newly-released US government documents indicate that recent Pentagon research on so-called "non-lethal" weapons is a revived version of a weapons program that was cancelled due to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Elements of the decade-old program on incapacitating chemicals, called ARCAD (Advanced Riot Control Agent Device), have been re-initiated by the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.
The International Terror-and-Drug Cop Is On the Beat
Jacob G. Hornberger, FFF
Those who favor the U.S. government's role as international policeman must be ecstatic that the feds are now expanding their jurisdiction in their decades-long war on drugs to include the entire world. How so? Well, despite the fact that U.S. drug laws apply only in the United States, U.S. military forces are now using their "war on terror" and their invasion and occupation of Iraq to search and seize ships in the Persian Gulf and the North Arabian Sea alleged to be carrying illicit drugs and to remove the crew members to the Pentagon's prison camp in Afghanistan for interrogation and punishment.
Three million burnt-out Britons abandon their high-flying careers in a search for the good life
Cahal Milmo, The Independent
Such is the drudgery of life in the British workplace that next year 200,000 people will follow in the footsteps of one City trader, who surrendered a six-figure salary this year to become a magician, and "downshift". This will bring to three million - or 10 per cent of the working population - the total number of people who have swapped the urban rat race for a rural idyll or abandoned high-flying careers by demanding to work fewer hours, a study by the market research organisation Datamonitor has found.
Uncharitable Care: How Hospitals Are Gouging and Even Arresting the Uninsured
Like Kankiewicz, many uninsured patients end up with huge medical bills and no way of paying them. Hospitals then hound them for payment using collection agencies and lawyers, who employ such methods as filing lawsuits, slapping liens on homes, seizing bank accounts and garnishing wages to extract payments. Some hospitals now rank among America's most aggressive debt collectors.
BRINGING THE HEAT IN MIAMI: An Analysis of Direct Action
It was almost a miracle, not to mention a victory for our movement, that the mobilization in Miami happened at all. Miami was one of the most repressive police states North America has ever witnessed; the $8.5 million security plan, funded by federal anti-terrorism dollars, fortified an already incredibly brutal police force.
US kidnappings, brutality, and humiliating raids -- Iraqi warns: "If these raids continue we will all become terrorists"
U.S. Army Gunned Down Family
Detained by US Soldiers, Bludgeoned and Electrocuted into a Coma
Troops to stay in Iraq for years
Troops: Forced Extensions Equivalent to Draft
Army preventing troops from leaving military
GIs in Iraq Scoff at Re-Enlistment Bonus: "Man, they can't pay me enough to stay here"
Army calls up more reservists for Iraq
Vets accuse Pentagon of "severely restricting" visits to US wounded
Rate of postwar wounded in Iraq soaring: Troops suffer huge risk of injury
Bulgarian soldiers refuse duty in Iraq after deadly attack
British soldiers 'kicked Iraqi prisoner to death'
U.S. Restricts Demonstrations In Iraq
Inside Guantanamo Concentration Camp: Former Detainee Sues Bush Adminstration
Secret police force to be set up in Iraq
US planned to invade for oil in 1973: secret memo
Iraq's arsenal was only on paper
US quietly withdraws 400 weapons hunters from Iraq
Israel Jails 5 as Dissent on Military Rises
Israeli colonel resigns over army's 'immoral' actions
PM's associate warns: 'It's how the Nazis came to power'
Muzzling a whistleblower: Mordechai Vanunu is scheduled to be freed soon. But will he be?
Shooting Palestinians is "different"
Black Hawk helicopters over Las Vegas, snipers in Times Square: 2004 begins with massive military mobilization in US cities
New Rules Amount to Racial Profiling: They're 'not going to make America more secure'
Bush grabs new power for FBI
Quarantining dissent: How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech
President Bush Served Friday With Personal 9-11 RICO Complaint
Freewheeling bloggers are rewriting rules of journalism
Pentagon to Washington Post Reporter Ricks: Get Lost
Killings of journalists soars in 2003
SF Chronicle settles with fired anti-war reporter
Protesters wary of new tactic by Feds to criminalize dissent
China's Dark Days and Darker Nights: Industrial Growth Exceeds Supply of Electrical Power
The myth of the populist stock market
Consumer Debt More Than Doubles in Decade
Credit-Card Delinquencies Hit Record High
Record percentage of consumers behind on credit-card payments could be ugly result of weakening housing market -- and ominous sign of greater credit pain to come
I.M.F. Says Rise in U.S. Debts Is Threat to World's Economy
Nearly half of New York City's homeless are children
Labor Dept. offers employers tips to avoid overtime pay
Social centers under attack in Italy
Scientists closely monitoring Yellowstone
New Zealand antiwar protester found guilty on flag-burning charge
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