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Recent ZNet

Matthew Rothschild: Stripping Rumsfeld and Bush of Impunity

When Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last year, he was asked whether he “ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise, and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison.” Sanchez, who was head of the Pentagon’s Combined Read more…

Houzan Mahmoud: Baghdad Student Congress

[This message has been forwarded by Jo Wilding with the following cover note:   “I thought this message below might interest some people, even if you’re not able to contribute. I wouldn’t advise trying to go to Iraq at the moment to attend though, but if any student groups wanted to send messages of support, Read more…

Jim Lobe: Give Rumsfeld the Pinochet Treatment, Says U.S. Amnesty Chief

WASHINGTON, May (IPS) – If the administration of President George W. Bush fails to conduct a truly independent investigation of U.S. abuses against detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, foreign governments should investigate and prosecute those senior officials who bear responsibility for them, the head of the U.S. chapter of Amnesty International said here Wednesday. Speaking Read more…

Sonia Nettnin: Rachel Corrie: An American Conscience

The late Rachel Corrie (1979 – 2003) was articulate, straightforward and resolute. Her castigation of Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian people and the Israeli Government’s disregard for the safety of Israelis and Palestinians rang with clarity. Through peace activism she ascertained the facts on the ground. She called it as she saw it. The Read more…

Sarah left Wednesday: Amnesty Condemns US Example On Human Rights

May 25, 2005, The US abdicated its responsibility to set a global example in upholding human rights in 2004 and, with the UK, led a “dangerous new agenda” by sanctioning torture in a failed attempt to combat terrorism, Amnesty International warned today. Speaking at the launch of Amnesty’s annual report into human rights abuses, the Read more…

Dru Oja jay: Media Reform and Media Revolution

The dominant evaluation of this year’s National Conference on Media Reform is that it was an overwhelming success. In fact–relative to where the movement could and should be–the conference’s achievements were underwhelming. Political divisions, a dearth of democracy and a short-sighted agenda threaten the future effectiveness of the movement. The following is an analysis of Read more…

Diana Barahona: Reporters Without Borders Unmasked

When Robert Menard founded Reporters Without Borders twenty years ago, he gave his group a name which evokes another French organization respected worldwide for its humanitarian work and which maintains a strict neutrality in political conflicts ­ Doctors Without Borders. But RSF (French acronym) has been anything but nonpartisan and objective in its approach to Read more…

Cleto Sojo: U.S. Denies Venezuela’s Detention Request of Terror Suspect Posada Carriles

The United States denied today Venezuela´s request for the preventive arrest of Cuban terrorist suspect and anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles. Posada is wanted by both Venezuela and Cuba states for masterminding the mid-flight explosion of Cubana Airlines flight 455 in 1976, killing all 73 people on board. Recent declassified documents show that Posada acted Read more…

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Jonathan Schell: Revolution in American Nuclear Policy

A metaphorical “nuclear option” — the cutoff of debate in the Senate on judicial nominees — has just been defused, but a literal nuclear option, called “global strike,” has been created in its place. In a shocking innovation in American nuclear policy, recently disclosed in the Washington Post by military analyst William Arkin, the administration Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Star Wars XXII

Call it Star Wars, parts VII-XXII; but last week, just as Revenge of the Sith was opening galaxy-wide — multiplexes on Tatooine alone were expected to pull in billions — reporter Tim Weiner revealed on the front page of the New York Times that a new presidential directive will soon essentially green-light the future U.S. Read more…

Jorge Martín: Bolivia faces a new revolutionary wave

On Monday, May 16th a new wave of mobilisations of Bolivian workers and peasants broke out, which is increasingly raising the question of power once again. The passing of the new Hydrocarbons Law sparked off this latest round of strikes, road blockades, marches and mass demonstrations. This confirms that the revolutionary uprising which overthrew the Read more…

Britt Bailey: Industry Aims to Strip Local Control of Food Supply

Legislation aiming to prevent counties, towns and cities from making local decisions about our food supply is being introduced in states across the nation. Fifteen states recently have introduced legislation removing local control of plants and seeds. Eleven of these states have already passed the provisions into law. These highly orchestrated industry actions are in Read more…

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Tanya Reinhart: According To Security Sources

May 24, 2005. Translated from Hebrew by Mark Marshall In the 1960s there were many jokes in Israel about the “Voice of the UAR (United Arab Republic) from Cairo”, which broadcasted news in broken Hebrew, written by spokesmen of the Egyptian regime. The absurdity of these broadcasts enhanced the credibility of the IDF spokesmen in Read more…

Gene c. Gerard: Bush Administration Attempts to Influence Global HIV/AIDS Policy

In 2001, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria was established to coordinate international HIV/AIDS policies and distribute funding from many governments, health organizations, and religious institutions. The Global Fund has been successful by matching their programs to the specific needs of the nations most affected by HIV/AIDS. And The Global Fund has Read more…

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Norman Solomon: The Silent Media Curse of Memorial Day

     Memorial Day weekend brings media rituals. Old Glory flutters on television and newsprint. Grave ceremonies and oratory pay homage to the fallen. Many officials and pundits speak of remembering the dead. But for all the talk of war and remembrance, no time is more infused with insidious forgetting than the last days of May. Read more…

Jeffery R. Webber: Nationalization!

Monday morning marked the end of the almost two hundred kilometre, four-day march of around six thousand peasants, coca growers, and others from Caracollo to El Alto. This march was led by the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party, under the leadership of Evo Morales. MAS, and ostensibly all the groups involved in the march, are Read more…

David Miller: Glasgow and Globalization

Everyone, even the most die-hard defender of the established order recognizes that we face serious social and environmental problems. The news media regularly circulate the latest figures on the latest social problems. The country with the worst pollution, highest infant mortality, lowest life expectancy, epidemic rates of drug abuse, poverty, anti-social behaviour. But the mainstream Read more…

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Laura Flanders: What Really Happened at Guantanamo Bay?

In their first article in Newsweek since the magazine received a dressing-down by Scott McClellan, Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas quote Defense Department spokesman Lawrence Di Rita, who alleges that Guantanamo commanders changed prison rules in response to prisoner complaints about treatment of the Qu’ran. But Di Rita’s claims couldn’t be further from the experience Read more…

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Edward Herman: Daniel Okrent’s Revealing Closeout as Public Editor of the New York Times

In his final column as Public Editor of the New York Times, Daniel Okrent discusses "13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did" (May 22, 2005). His list is interesting for what it tells about Okrent’s biases, and indirectly those of  his bosses, who knew what they were doing when they selected him Read more…

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George Monbiot: A Restraint of Liberty

The British government recognises two kinds of freedom. There is the freedom of the citizen, which it appears to perceive as a threat to good order. It has permitted (through the Serious Organised Crime Act) the police or courts to ban any public protest. It is introducing identity cards, restricting immigration, seeking to curb the Read more…

Thomas Feakins: An Excess of Civility

Georgia Governor Zell Miller, most famous for his angry defence of George Bush at the 2004 Republican convention, has released a new book, entitled A Deficit of Decency. Miller rails against secularism, the decline of Christian values, and writes of the need to return to the ethics of previous generations. Of course Miller is not Read more…

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Greg Palast: British Memo Indicates Bush Administration Fixed Intelligence to Justify Iraq Invasion

Just before Britain’s parliamentary elections, the Sunday Times of London published a leaked British government memo that laid out the Bush administration plan for an invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power, justified on intelligence fixed around the policy. The memo, dated July 23, 2002, summarizes a meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Read more…

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Stephen R. Shalom: The Anti-War Movement and Iraq

       A little over two years ago, anti-war demonstrations of unprecedented magnitude rocked the globe and the New York Times termed the anti-war movement “the world’s second superpower.” Unfortunately, no one could mistake the anti-war demonstrations that took place this spring for the “world’s second superpower.”        On some level this fall-off from Read more…

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Howard Zinn: Against Discouragement

[In 1963, historian Howard Zinn was fired from Spelman College, where he was chair of the History Department, because of his civil rights activities. This year, he was invited back to give the commencement address. Here is the text of that speech, given on May 15, 2005.]   I am deeply honored to be invited Read more…

Camilo Mejía: Supporting dissent is not enough

Just about a year a go I was tried by a special Court-Martial at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The charge: desertion with the intent to avoid hazardous duty. My case received a lot of attention from the media, mainly because I was the first Iraq veteran to have been to combat, returned on a two-week furlough, Read more…

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David Edwards: BBC Ignores Evidence of War Crimes

“Professional journalism relies heavily on official sources. Reporters have to talk to the PM’s official spokesperson, the White House press secretary, the business association, the army general. What those people say is news. Their perspectives are automatically legitimate… This is precisely the opposite of what a functioning democracy needs, which is a ruthless accounting of Read more…

Bilal El-amine: The Cedar’s Ashes

All eyes in Lebanon right now are on the parliamentary elections scheduled to start at the end of May and run for 3 weekends, ending sometime in mid-June. A lot has happened since they were declared. A period of dizzying flux followed immediately as each camp moved to claim its piece. Only recently has it Read more…

Frederico Fuentes: New Uprising In Bolivia

In 1967, Che Guevara died at the hands of CIA-backed Bolivian soldiers while attempting to lead a guerrilla struggle in Bolivia. In the small town where his body was uncovered 30 years later, graffiti is scrawled declaring: “Che: Alive as they never wanted you to be.” Almost four decades after Che’s murder, Bolivia’s poor and Read more…

Rohan Pearce: Why the US doesn’t care about Uzbeks

Late on May 12 an armed group stormed a prison in Andijan, a town of 350,000 inhabitants in the east of the former Soviet Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan. The group liberated some 4000 prisoners, including 23 detainees accused of being members of Akramiya, described by the Uzbek government of President Islam Karimov as a Read more…

Mike Whitney: Free Jose Padilla

May 8 marked the third anniversary of the imprisonment of Jose Padilla. Padilla was apprehended at Chicago’s O’ Hare Airport in 2002 by Federal officers under the shaky “material witness” provision and trundled off to prison. In a conspicuous effort to poison public opinion, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced on national TV that Padilla was Read more…

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Norman Solomon: And Now, It’s Time For … “Media Jeopardy!”

The endless show that seems to fill America’s every waking moment — and many of its nightmares — could be called “Media Jeopardy!” Before proceeding, here’s a reminder of the rules: Listen to the answer and then try to come up with the question. Let’s get started. The first category is “Media Untouchables.” They’re an Read more…

Seymour Hersh: Abu Ghraib

It’s been over a year since I published a series of articles in the New Yorker outlining the abuses at Abu Ghraib. There have been at least 10 official military investigations since then – none of which has challenged the official Bush administration line that there was no high-level policy condoning or overlooking such abuse. Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: The Return of the Body Count

On March 19th, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld discussed the “metrics” of measuring success in Iraq with Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” Here is part of that interview:   “NPR: I want to start, Mr. Secretary, with something you said recently. You were at a meeting with troops, taking questions from troops. Read more…

Sonia Nettnin: Jayyous Gate 25 Reopened, Permits Needed For Farming Equipment

Earlier this week, Israeli Forces reopened West Jayyous Gate 25, but Palestinian villagers need Israeli permits for gate access for their farming equipment and donkey carts. The reopening of gate 25 comes after its sudden closure by Israeli Forces the previous week. The 8000 dunums of land is the primary source of sustenance and income Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Daily Life in Baghdad, from Afar

It’s coming apart at the seams now in Iraq. We saw on the news today that members of the Mehdi Army in the south, the militia of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, exchanged gunfire with members of the ING (Iraqi National Guard) who in the south are primarily, if not entirely composed of members of the Read more…

Satoko Kogure: Turning back the clock on gender equality

As the government emphasizes patriotism as part of the national school curriculum and discussion continues apace over revising Article 9, some Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers are calling for changes to the Constitution that may put equal rights and individual freedom at risk.   The ongoing discussion on revising the Constitution has grown to include Read more…

Shuichi Yutaka: ‘Japanese’ war criminals seek redress

[Introduction: The largest number of “Japanese” executed in the B and C Class war tribunals that followed the Tokyo trials after World War II were actually Koreans and Taiwanese, many of them low ranking guards or police in POW camps.   The name “Lee Hyok Rae” referred to below is also commonly written as Yi Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Displaced Iraqis Simmering with Anger in Amman

Amman, Jordan It isn’t difficult to find Iraqis in Amman nowadays. The word on the street is that somewhere around half a million have come to Jordan over the last couple of years, seeking security and/or jobs, since they have neither at home in Iraq. “The American troops have not come for the benefit of Read more…

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Mark Engler: Triumph Over Debt?

How 100% debt cancellation for poor countries-now being debated by wealthy nations- was transformed from an implausible demand into a winning issue, and what barriers lie ahead for the debt relief movement. An old maxim in social movements (adapted from Schopenhauer’s prickly take on the history of great ideas) states: “First they ignore you. Then Read more…

Liz Minchin: Legalizing Torture?

Torture should be legalised and is a “morally defensible” interrogation method, even if it causes the death of innocent people, according to an article by two Victorian academics that has sparked outrage here and overseas. In a paper soon to be published in an American law journal, the head of Deakin University’s Law School, Professor Read more…

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Marjorie Cohn: Navy Judge Finds War Protest Reasonable

“I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal.” — Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant, presiding at Pablo Paredes’ court-martial In a stunning blow to the Bush administration, a Navy judge gave Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes Read more…

Heather Mallick: Galloway in Washington

Such a spectacle it was on TV this week at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on the Iraqi oil-for-food inquiry that those who were abed and did not see it shall think themselves accursed. So said Shakespeare’s Henry V about the sluggards who held their manhoods cheap and missed out on the battle of Agincourt. Read more…

Black Commentator: Black Labor’s Voice Amidst the Madness

May 19, 2005, For the first time since one faction of the AFL-CIO declared war on the other nearly a year ago, Black trade unionists from across the U.S. and Canada will gather later this month in an attempt to force the contenders for control of the labor federation to recognize the interests of African Read more…

Chris Shumway: U.S. Offensive Causes Humanitarian Crisis, Nets Few Rebels

May 19 – US military commanders were quick to declare victory after a massive, weeklong offensive that involved air and ground attacks against villages in Western Iraq, saying that marines had “neutralized” an important haven for insurgents in the region. But local residents, doctors and relief agencies described something more akin to a humanitarian disaster, Read more…

Derrick z. Jackson: A Steeper Ladder For The Have-nots

It is stunning to see the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times simultaneously devote a series to the American class divide. The Journal reported last Friday, “Despite the widespread belief that the US remains a more mobile society than Europe, economists and sociologists say that in recent decades the typical child starting out Read more…

Aruna Uprety: Women’s Health and War in Nepal

To officials who rarely set foot outside Kathmandu Valley, it is difficult to understand how the conflict is affecting the health of women. Going by the child and maternal mortality figures at the number crunchers in the capital, the health status of Nepalis is improving dramatically. Government officials are in a state of denial. I Read more…

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Paul Street: Social Health and Spiritual Death: Empire, Inequality, and the Costs of War

A shortened version of these comments were delivered to the “Health Not War Group” at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing on May 14, 2005 “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”                  – Martin Read more…

Salim Lamrani: Cuba, the US, and the farce of Geneva

Translated by Diana Baharona  The call launched by more than 4,000 writers, artists, academics, members of parliament and other public figures from five continents, among them six Nobel laureates, who urged the Geneva Human Rights Commission not give in to blackmail by the United States and to reject a motion against Cuba, was not successful.  Read more…

Jean St.vil: Haiti Occupation and Solidarity

Vancouver Co-op Radio, May 16, 2005 Tsangarakis: As our listeners know, Haiti has been under military occupation and a de facto dictatorship led by the United States, Canada, and other so-called “friends of Haiti,” since February 2004. Can you characterize, Jean, the present nature of the occupation? Saint-Vil: Well, it is illegal, it is brutal..The Read more…

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