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Recent ZNet

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Site Administrator: An Uncertain Peace in Bolivia

Bolivia’s conflicts regarding the proposal to export the nation’s gas to the US through a Chilean port proved to be the spark that fueled a much larger fire of national discontent.  Arising from the din of the Gas War were demands for clarity in coca eradication laws, rejection of the ALCA free trade agreement, rejection Read more…

Odia Ofeimun: Taking Nigeria Seriously (I)

Odia Ofeimun, in this eight part serial, takes a very hard look at the Nigerian nation, its problems, follies and foibles and concludes that unless and until Nigerians institute an abiding faith in their country, dumping short term ethnic interests for the larger, long-term goal of national engagement and development, the road to true nationhood would Read more…

Odia Ofeimun: Taking Nigeria Seriously (II)

THE AREWA CONNECTION October 17, 2003 By way of ending the Southwest segment of this narrative, let me note that the unstated, but motivating, factor in the self-regarding solidarity of the Yoruba is the consciousness of Arewa hegemony and the general competition between nationalities in Nigerian history. In 1953, Sir Ahmadu Bello, leader of the Read more…

Odia Ofeimun: Taking Nigeria Seriously (III)

Conclusion: Doing away with avoidable anarchy October 24, 2003 Odia Ofeimun concludes his analysis of the problem of Nigeria with a contention that except the people of Nigeria get the right type of leadership, true nationhood will continue to elude the people. He hinges his contention on the 4/19 elections of this year and warns Read more…

Suzanne abu Tair: none

Since the inception of the Italian presidency of the Council of the European Union, it’s only too normal that Rome has become the hotspot of international political summits to define the future course of EU foreign and domestic policy. So while media attention was focused on the EU Intergovernmental Conference, inaugurated in Rome on October Read more…

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Eduardo Galeano: The Country that Wants to Exist

A gigantic gas explosion: This was the popular uprising that shook all of Bolivia and culminated in the resignation of President Sanchez de Lozada, who fled, leaving behind him a trail of corpses. The gas was to have been shipped to California–for a minuscule price in exchange for a few miserable gifts–across Chilean land that Read more…

Maxine Frith: Global trade keeps a billion children in poverty, says Unicef

International targets to reduce child poverty are going to be missed because globalized trade and cuts to aid budgets are creating an ever-greater chasm between the richest and poorest countries.   More than one billion young people in the developing world are now living in conditions of severe deprivation, according to a report for the Read more…

Derrick z. Jackson: Barbour’s racist links tar Bush too

AT THE ASIAN economic summit in Bangkok, President Bush condemned the recent anti-Jewish tirade of Malaysia‘s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Bush said it was “wrong and divisive” and “stands squarely against what I believe.”   When Bush gets home, there is more wrong and divisive politicking he should stand squarely against: The good ol’ boy Read more…

Derrick z. Jackson: Barbour’s racist links tar Bush too

AT THE ASIAN economic summit in Bangkok, President Bush condemned the recent anti-Jewish tirade of Malaysia‘s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Bush said it was “wrong and divisive” and “stands squarely against what I believe.”   When Bush gets home, there is more wrong and divisive politicking he should stand squarely against: The good ol’ boy Read more…

Steven Hill: Tom Delay Ambushes Texas — And America

Led by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Bush political mastermind Karl Rove, Texas Republicans have completed their ambush of congressional Democrats. After Delay spent three days huddled in private conferences with bickering Republican legislators, they gerrymandered U.S. House districts in order to knock off as many as seven Democratic incumbents — and help Read more…

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Eric Mann: The MTA Strikes Against the Public Trust

In the strike between 13 MTA board members, chaired by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky on the one side, and 2,000 striking Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) mechanics fighting to retain their health benefits on the other, there are 500,000 bus riders whose daily lives hang in the balance. These are hotel, restaurant and domestic workers, security guards-the Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Cuba in the cross-hairs:

[In his new book, Hegemony or Survival, America’s Quest for Global Dominance, Noam Chomsky continues his powerful analysis of state violence and state terror, reminding us that “terror” isn’t primarily what small stateless bands of fanatics deliver to large and powerful states. Rather, as Chomsky argues, history is, in a sense, a history of state Read more…

: Will the Bombs in Baghdad Explode in Havana?

A car bomb kills six and wounds 35 in Baghdad. Al-Qaeda is reportedly planning new assaults on the United States. Clearly Fidel Castro is in trouble. Fidel Castro? What does he have to do with Iraq and Osama bin Laden? Nothing, of course, but that may just be the point. Bush’s preemptive war on Iraq Read more…

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Tom Hayden: Evidence Of Things Unseen: The Rise of a New Movement

By The chairman of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, has said that “Intelligence doesn’t necessarily mean something is true. That’s not what intelligence is.” Keep that in mind as I discuss what James Baldwin called the “evidence of things unseen.” A few weeks ago in Cancun, I watched at the barricades as a Read more…

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Phyllis Bennis: Madrid Conference

The international donors meeting beginning in Madrid on Thursday, 23 October, will not come close to meeting Washington’s original goals. Initially called to pressure other countries to contribute significant amounts of money to sustain the U.S.-UK occupation of Iraq, public and governmental opposition in virtually all countries forced a radical downsizing of U.S. aims. Washington Read more…

Jacques Delpechin: Resources, Conflicts, Reconstruction

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is haltingly stumbling away from the eleventh war since its Independence in June 1960. The question, which is on the mind of all the Congolese people, is whether this peace – finalized in April 2003 – shall hold; whether, this time, the politicians who agreed to work together in Read more…

Yuli Tamir: The ‘nobody to talk to’ thesis

One of the failures of holistic theories, says Karl Popper, is that they are impossible to refute since any argument against them can be changed to fit the desired world view. The more heated the debate around the Geneva understandings, the more it becomes clear that the assumption that `there’s nobody to talk to’ falls Read more…

Andrew Nowicki: What went wrong in the ‘New South Africa’?

In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected the first black leader of what was hailed as a new multiracial, multicultural and democratic South Africa. Now in 2003 in Soweto, one of the central battlegrounds in the antiapartheid struggle, people get their electricity cut off and no longer have ready access to water. Private security firms evict Read more…

Econoticiasbolivia: Carlos Mesa

Translated by: Latinsol La Paz, October 17, 2003 (hrs. 21:00).- The new President of Bolivia, Carlos Mesa Gisbert, was until recently, a declared “fan of Goni”, a fervent admirer of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. He admired Goni’s intelligence, his political ability, his capacity to invent and recreate neoliberal policies. Today, he must administer the disaster Read more…

Joao Pedro Stedile: Three Directions in Brazil

Talk given in Toronto, Oct 20 2003 [This is a brief talk Joao Pedro Stedile of the Movimento Sem Terra gave to a group of activists during a visit to Toronto.  The address was made in Spanish, and it is reproduced from notes taken by Justin Podur] The MST started as a struggle for land.  Read more…

Joao Pedro Stedile: Brazil’s Social Movements

Joao Pedro Stedile is one of the leaders of Brazil’s Landless Peasant’s Movement, the Movimento Sem Terra or MST.  Writers Naomi Klein and Justin Podur interviewed him while on a speaking tour in Toronto. What do you think will happen in Miami?  It seems that the FTAA is an agreement that no one wants except Read more…

Herbert Docena: Dying for McDonalds in Iraq

MADRID, OCTOBER 23: In London last October 13, an investor’s conference entitled “Doing Business in Iraq: Kickstarting the Private Sector” was agog with reports that McDonalds, among other corporations, may begin selling BigMacs and fries in Iraq by next year. Attracting up to 145 multinational prospectors, the London conference was held less than a month Read more…

Colombia week: Colombia’s Bloody Election Season

After a run-up that has included abstention calls and dozens of assassinations, Colombians will vote this weekend in a 15-point austerity referendum and elections for thousands of local and provincial offices.The referendum, set for October 25, consists of proposals to freeze most public salaries for two years, cap pensions, cut the size of Congress, and Read more…

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Stephen R. Shalom: The Philippine Model

        Addressing a joint session of the Philippine Congress on Saturday, President Bush said to skeptical critics of his Iraq policy, “Some say the culture of the Middle East will not sustain the institutions of democracy. The same doubts were once expressed about the culture of Asia. These doubts were proven wrong nearly six decades Read more…

Suzanne abu Tair: none

Thomas: Almost every press report says you are not taken seriously as a presidential candidate. Why? Al Sharpton: I think that is the media. Most polls have me in the middle. The guys behind me take me seriously, and the guys ahead of me take me seriously because we are gaining momentum. And if I Read more…

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Tariq Ali: Occupation Fuels Resistance

Arnove: YOUR NEW book Bush in Babylon makes the case that the war on Iraq was based on deception. If the invasion wasn’t about weapons of mass destruction or Iraq’s ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, what was it about? Ali: IF THE weapons of mass destruction in Iraq had been real, rather than Read more…

Satya Sagar: APEC

Picture this scenario. Hardcore terrorist lands in a large Asian metropolis. His mission: to attack a summit of world leaders about to happen in town. However his taxi driver charms him into buying fake jewelry, having a massage and drinking all night long in a karaoke bar instead. Terrorist goes back to the cave he Read more…

Simon Helweg-larsen: Political Violence in Guatemala

On September 25, FRG presidential candidate General Efrain Rios Montt staged a campaign rally in Playa Grande, Quiche, former site of the main military command for the area most affected by state violence during Rios Montt’s 1982-83 dictatorship. Local human rights organizations staged an opposing rally, but were attacked by FRG supporters. After violence broke Read more…

Tanveer Ahmed: Australia’s New Colonialism

With empire and paternalism in foreign affairs the most visible it has been in post-colonial times, Australia is taking its place as a regional parent. It is a role that does not come easily to Canberra. For a number of decades, Australia has adopted a hands-off attitude to foreign aid. Its biggest aid contribution of Read more…

John Bolender: Uzbekistan and the US

 Many living in Muslim countries think that what the United States calls a “war on terror” is a war against their religion.  Many in the West must think that people who hold such views are extremely naïve and deprived of relevant information.  To the contrary, at least sometimes even if not always, the war against Read more…

Deborah James: Venezuela, Ally of the Social Movements

Deborah James is the Fair Trade Director at Global Exchange and has recently become a close observer of the changes happening in Venezuela. I interviewed her during her latest visit to Venezuela, just after the conference on Indigenous and Campesino Solidarity and Resistance ended, at which she gave a talk on the Free Trade Area Read more…

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Site Administrator: Bolivian Government Falling Apart

After a more than a month of intense protests against the exportation of Bolivia’s gas to the US through a Chilean port, many protesting sectors are focusing their demands solely on the resignation of their president, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada. Bolivia’s president is currently left with support from only one coalition party, MIR, the armed Read more…

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Phyllis Bennis: UN SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE ON U.S. OCCUPATION

The U.S.-driven UN resolution about to be passed by the Security Council provides only an internationalist fig-leaf for Washington’s occupation; the occupation remains illegal and in violation of the UN Charter. The new resolution will do nothing to change the fundamental problems of the U.S. occupation of Iraq — the occupation’s illegitimacy, its unilateralism, and Read more…

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Justin Podur: Q & A on Bolivia

What is happening in Bolivia? A massive popular mobilization is demanding the resignation of the President, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, and several ministers, including the Minister of Defense.  On October 16 hundreds of thousands of demonstrators filled the main square in La Paz, Bolivia’s capital.  The presidential palace, guarded by tanks and trenches, is surrounded Read more…

Forrest Hylton: War And Peace In Bolivia

“Like animals they kill us.  They come to surround us with planes and helicopters and tanks; not even animals are killed like this, there are children here …yet they’re entering people’s houses, to look for leaders.  Here’s the proof–the bullets….”                                                                Aymara woman from Rio Seco, El Alto Since October 12, at least fifty-nine civilians Read more…

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Nick Turse: Bringing the War Home:

In his famed 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of a dangerous intertwining of private corporations, the armed forces, and the federal government for which he coined the term “the military-industrial complex.” By then, the Pentagon had long been exercising script control over most war films made in Hollywood and the CIA was Read more…

Sarah Ensor: Reviewing Parecon

The anti-capitalist movement is not what it was. From Seattle to Hyde Park, debate has ranged from the neoliberal agenda and all its implications to imperialist wars. In a global day of anti-war protest we have had an inkling of its potential strength. Now many people are arguing that all this energy and organization must Read more…

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Paul Street: Sell Us a Story

A Truly Terrible Record If there was true democratic decency at the heart of the American political system, George W. Bush’s defeat in 2004 would be practically a foregone conclusion. During its narrowly and illegally attained reign, the Bush White House has overseen the loss of more than three million American jobs – a new Read more…

Sebastiano Maffettone: Participatory Anarchy

By the description of the translator — “a translation of the review of parecon that appeared on `il sole24ore’ on sunday 12 october 2003. il sole is the Italian financial daily (akin to the financial times), expressing mainly the view of confindustria, the italian industrial association.” It’s widespread opinion that there is a crisis of Read more…

Ana Perez: The Sleeping Giant in US Politics

‘You should never talk about politics with your family,’ is common saying that many of us chose to challenge during the last recall election. So, there I was with my family, sitting around a table in a low in-come neighborhood of South East Los Angeles. ‘Don’t tell me who to vote for!’ roared my uncle. Read more…

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David Edwards: Unfinished Business

We receive many interesting, even amazing, responses to our work from the mainstream media. Journalist John Sweeney recently published a letter in the New Statesman in response to one of our articles. The letter began: “David Edwards and David Cromwell of MediaLens – a fancy name for two moonlighting clerks from the White Fish Authority Read more…

Tom Kruse: Massacres in Bolivia

Dear Friends, As you know, Bolivia is in the midst of the most severe political and economic crisis since the country’s return to democracy in 1982.  Social organizations have mobilized to demand a voice in how Bolivia’s strategic resources  in this case natural gas  should be administered and a share in the potential benefits.  The Read more…

Gustavo Guzman: A fictitious president in Bolivia

[Translation by Tom Kruse] Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada is, still, the President of Bolivia.  But viewed from the perspective of popular wrath, he is a president dressed in death and, politically, a President without a Vice-president.  Substantively Sánchez de Lozada is a President who survives, in terms of real power, thanks to the support of Read more…

Tom Kruse: The IMF and the Bolivian Crisis

The current crisis in Bolivia is social, economic and political. Socially, despite improvement in service coverage, poverty and vulnerability have been increasing. The vulnerability of families to shocks and displacement, especially among the rural poor, has worsened dramatically. Economically, growth has been poor, and accompanied by growing structural unemployment and underemployment. Over 7 of 10 Read more…

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George Monbiot: Back to Front Coup

The relationship between governments and those who seek favours from them has changed. Not long ago, lobbyists would visit politicians and bribe or threaten them until they got what they wanted. Today, ministers lobby the lobbyists. Whenever a big business pressure group holds its annual conference or dinner, Tony Blair or Gordon Brown or another Read more…

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Russell Mokhiber: U.s. Bullies Europeans On Chemical Testing

Literally tens of thousands of chemicals on the market have never been tested for their impact on human health. The chemical industry thinks this is a good thing. Safety testing is too expensive, the chemical companies say. Chemical manufacturers and users handle chemicals responsibly to make sure people are not inadvertently exposed to them. And Read more…

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Mark Engler: Activism’s Autumn Harvest

Some people believe that social movements are fueled by misery — that communities only start standing up for themselves when things get really bad. It’s an appealing thought in difficult times. However, fear is historically a lousy engine of solidarity. Progress and optimism go hand in hand. When people are hopeful about the future, they Read more…

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Amira Hass: Palestinians are now ‘illegal residents’

One of the questions raised immediately after it became clear that for the most part, the separation fence would not be built along the length of the Green Line, but in fact somewhere to the east of it, was the fate of the Palestinians living to the west of the fence. As of now, this Read more…

Doug Stokes: Imperial Pretexts

This article explains how we can account for the continuity of US counter-insurgency (CI) in post-Cold War Colombia. I make three main arguments in relation to this continuity. First, I argue that the US has considerable economic interests in South America which necessitates the preservation of “stability” geared to those interests. As part of this Read more…

Maria Tomchick: Iraq: The Money Pit

A mere week after the Bush administration announced it would privatize Iraq’s infrastructure, the plan has been put on hold. Perhaps someone in the administration finally realized that, since there is no Iraqi infrastructure to speak of, there isn’t anything to privatize. More importantly, any future Iraqi infrastructure will have to be built with US Read more…

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