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Recent ZNet

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George Monbiot: Media Fairyland

On Thursday, the fairy king of fairyland will be re-crowned. He was elected on a platform suspended in mid air by the power of imagination. He is the leader of a band of men who walk through ghostly realms unvisited by reality. And he remains the most powerful person on earth. How did this happen? Read more…

Dr. paul craig Roberts: End-Timers & Neo-Cons

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during 1981-82. He was also Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. I remember when friends would excitedly telephone to report that Rush Limbaugh or G. Gordon Liddy had just read one of my Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Fear and Voting in Baghdad

Journalism yields a world of cliches but here, for once, the first cliche that comes to mind is true. Baghdad is a city of fear. Fearful Iraqis, fearful militiamen, fearful American soldiers, fearful journalists. Jan. 30, that day upon which the blessings of democracy will shower upon us, is approaching with all the certainty and Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Car Bombs

The thundering blast rocks me awake at 7:05am. The first thing my eyes see are the curtains of my room flowing in, as if a strong wind is blowing into my room. ‘Holy shit, they hit the embassy,’ I think to myself, ‘the blast was so close.’ I leave my windows cracked and curtains drawn Read more…

Peter Pritchard: The Fire Shower

It’s a pleasant afternoon in Washington and the main street is being prepared for the President’s motorcade. They’ve all been swept, the cameras and reporters are all in place, as are the barricades. All the protesters have been safely contained, and aren’t within ten blocks of the street in any direction. Pre-approved families line the Read more…

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Jonathan Schell: What Is Wrong with Torture

The war in Iraq has given birth to an issue that may one day be seen as more important than the war, the question of torture. Just as H.J. Res. 114, by which Congress authorized the war, was the key vote for that conflict, so now the vote whether to confirm White House Counsel Alberto Read more…

Lansana Gberie: West Africa: The Curse Of Borders

At the start of VS Naipaul’s acerbic novel A Bend in the River, set in a disrupted post-colonial Central African state, the narrator, an Indian trader on the move, comments waspishly about “all that business at the frontier posts, all that haggling in the forest outside wooden huts that flew strange flags.” Salim is clearly Read more…

Charles Demers: The Nazi formerly known as Prince

It has been a troubling week for the Commonwealth and, accordingly, for the American liberals who’ve looked for hope in us as a still-white, still-Anglo-Saxon exemplar of civility, especially when contradistinguished against the Red-state barbarism of George Bush’s America. Frank McKenna, newly appointed ambassador to Washington from Michael Moore’s utopian socialist constitutional monarchy, Canada, was Read more…

Indymedia: Independent Media Space Opens to Cover Inauguration

For Immediate Release Contact: 202-332-4481  www.inaugurationmedia.org www.dc.indymedia.org   During the events surrounding the Inauguration of President George W. Bush on January 20, 2005, the mainstream media will be buzzing with coverage of the parties, parades, and speeches that will cost the American people tens of thousands of dollars. The media will not discuss how there are Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Destroying Babylon

The onslaught of Mosul has begun, as occupation forces are launching attacks into Iraq’s third largest city. While there are mass resignations of police and elections polling staff there, yet another new police chief has been awarded control of the 1,000 strong police force-which was over 5,000 men just two months ago. In Ramadi fierce Read more…

Martin Smedjeback: Rebuilding a House and Building a Common Future

Young and old came from different parts of the world to the small village of Anata to rebuild a demolished Palestinian house together with Israelis and Palestinians. They wanted to provide a home for 23 people, but there was also a larger motivating factor. Building the house was also an act of resistance to the Read more…

Martin Smedjeback: Israelis challenging Israel’s Militarization

In a deeply militarized society it is not easy to question what is seen as the lifeline for the Israeli State — the military itself. Still there are an increasing number of Israelis who want another kind of society, a society which is not permeated by the military. “We are like mosquitoes that keep buzzing Read more…

Idelber Avelar: Stun The Right, Outrage The Left

Idelber Avelar is a Professor at Tulane University, in New Orleans, where he teaches Latin American literature and culture as well as Brazilian popular music. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, an MA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. He Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Blood is Precious

Family members left behind by those who have died violent deaths amidst the occupation of Iraq, whether they are Iraqi or American, have every reason to be bitter. After all, each death is due to an illegal occupation as the result of an illegal invasion of a sovereign country (although the United States government disputes Read more…

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Robert Fisk: How a flying carpet took me back in time

The brush fires are already being lit but fear not, Bush and Blair will tell us they knew things would get violent on polling day. I tried out the new Beirut-Baghdad air service this week. It’s a sleek little 20-seater with two propellers, a Lebanese-Canadian pilot and a name to take you aback. It’s called Read more…

Fair: CBS ‘Memogate’ Fallout

From the media interest surrounding CBS’s investigation into “Memogate,” one would think that the credibility of 60 Minutes’ report on George W. Bush’s National Guard service was the most pressing media issue facing the nation. Shortly after the report about Bush’s National Guard service aired on 60 Minutes (9/8/04), right-wing commentators and bloggers claimed that Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Iraqis Discuss Voting, Or Not, in Elections Held Amidst Chaos

Despite the continuing escalation of violence here, Iraqi officials insist the country’s first-ever general assembly elections remain on schedule, even if preparations have fallen well off track in many areas where rebels have caused grave disruptions. While most Iraqis are consumed with the ever-present tasks of keeping their families safe, finding fuel for their cars Read more…

Eric Johnston: Japan’s Nuclear Nightmare

In late October 2004, nearly 200 people from around Japan gathered at a public hearing in Osaka to discuss the future of nuclear power. Sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission, which is responsible to the prime minister, members of the “public” who were present included pronuclear power utility company executives on one side of the Read more…

Keiko Sakai: Japan’s Iraq Conundrum

One year ago this month, an advance team from Japan‘s Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) arrived in Iraq on a mission — so the Japanese public was told — to help rebuild the wartorn country. The rest of the main contingent of 600 troops soon followed.   Then, on Dec. 9, 2004, amid simmering debate over Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Thoughts on Fiction-based Reality:

Here’s a strange, small tale of our times, as reported from Washington by Guy Dinmore in the sober British Financial Times (Powell gives bleak assessment of Iraq security problems). According to an anonymous counterinsurgency expert Dinmore evidently interviewed, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has a “brutally accurate” picture of the deteriorating situation in Iraq and Read more…

Silvia Ribeiro: The costs of “Walmartization”.

For the first time in history, demarcating the beginning of the 21st century, the biggest company in the world was not an oil concern or an automobile manufacturer, but Wal-Mart, a supermarket chain. The symbolic value of this fact weighs as much as its crushing implications: it is the “triumph” of the anonymous, the substitution Read more…

Lyn Duff: Killings of Haitian Street Kids Soar

Editor’s Note: Murders of Haitian street children, which had declined after child-welfare campaigns waged by former president Jean Bertrand Aristide, have skyrocketed, according to human rights workers in Haiti. PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti–When I arrived in Haiti in 1995 to help establish a children’s radio station, one of the first people I met was a street child, Read more…

Joao Pedro Stedile: MST Interview

Gazeta Mercantil – Why is the MST starting a new series of actions? João Pedro Stédile – Unfortunately, after two years of the government of president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the agrarian reform continues at a snail’s pace. One of the reasons for this slowness is the incompatibility between the neoliberal economic policies of Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: The Tsunami of Iraq

The morgues at the hospitals of Baghdad are filling to capacity. At Yarmouk Hospital in central Baghdad, the three freezers reek of decaying bodies, despite the temperature. The smell rushes out at us as the doors are opened. I’ve smelled the burning bodies on the funeral pires in Nepal…but this is different. This smell…how do Read more…

Richard Moreno: The Campus Anti-War Movement

When I recently took part in conversations with student anti-war activists from campuses across the nation, I heard them say over and over again, to my disillusionment, how the anti-war movement had fizzled out after the initial invasion of Iraq–and even more so during the presidential election. I thought to myself. . .this cannot possibly Read more…

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Will Braun: Bolivians win Water War II

Another multinational water privatizer is closing shop in South America’s poorest and perhaps boldest country. On Monday neighborhood organizations in the Bolivian city of El Alto launched an indefinite general strike demanding that Aguas del Illimani—a company operated by French giant Suez—immediately return the city’s water system to public control. By Thursday they were marching Read more…

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Jonathan Steele: New War On Terror

The promise of imminent release for four British detainees held at the notorious US prison at Guantánamo Bay is obviously welcome, but it is only a tiny exception in the surge of bad news from the Bush team on the human rights front. The first few days of the new year have produced two shocking Read more…

Ted Rall: American Gulags Become Permanent

New York–A new documentary, “Hitler’s Hit Parade,” runs 76 minutes without narration. Comprised entirely of archival footage, the film prompts its reviewers to remark upon Hannah Arendt’s famous observation about the banality of evil. German troops subjugated Europe and shoved millions of people into ovens; German civilians went to the movies, attended concerts, and gossiped Read more…

James Ridgeway: Mondo Washington

“You’ve probably been at a mall or airport and seen children on tethers. They’re not being abused.” – Guy Womack, attorney for Abu Ghraib guard Charles Graner, defending the practice of putting Iraqi prisoners on tethers, 1.10.05 WASHINGTON, D.C.– A week before the $40 million inauguration, right-wingers are tearing themselves to pieces. A dispute simmering Read more…

Andrew Osborn: Russian pensioners take to the streets in protest at benefit cut

Moscow. Thousands of Russian pensioners staged protests across the country yesterday against the abolition of generous Soviet-era social benefits. Though the demonstrations were peaceful, analysts said the protests were the most serious in Russia since 1998, when disgruntled coal miners blocked railway tracks in protest at unpaid wages. Yesterday was the third consecutive day of Read more…

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Tim Wise: White Like Me, Interview

1. Can you tell ZNet, please, what your book, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, is about? What is it trying to communicate? White Like Me is an examination of what it means to be white, particularly, though not solely in the United States, using personal stories as opposed to statistics Read more…

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Michael Schwartz: Falluja:

In November, after three weeks of “precision” bombing, 10,000 American soldiers and 2,000 Iraqi national guards marched into Falluja. They had five goals:   First and foremost, free Falluja from the grip of the insurgents and allow its citizens to participate in the January 30 elections;   Second, kill or capture the guerrilla leadership in Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: The Possibly Innocent

The other day I posted a Dahr Jamail piece entitled, Iraq: The Devastation, but another word has recently come to mind that, I suspect, might apply no less aptly to Iraq and other areas where the Bush administration is exerting its muscle. That word is “desolation.”   Let’s forget for a minute the recent Newsweek Read more…

Lee Sustar: Social Security Con Job

SAY YOU’RE expecting to rely on a modest retirement fund. Along comes a hotshot stockbroker promising that if he can handle your money, he’ll guarantee you 15 or 40 percent less of a payout than you would have gotten in the first place. It sounds absurd–but that’s the essence of George W. Bush’s Social Security Read more…

Nancy Welch: U.S. Health Care In Critical Condition

HOW DISASTROUS has “free-market” medicine been for most Americans? Consider that in the past 20 years, the United States has gone from first in the world for life expectancy to 19th for women and 28th for men. According to the World Health Organization’s healthy living index–which measures the number of years that someone can expect Read more…

Robert Sheer: Is Al Qaeda Just A Bush Boogeyman?

Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist? To even raise the question amid all the officially inspired hysteria is heretical, especially in the context of the U.S. media’s supine acceptance of administration claims relating to national security. Read more…

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Alex Callinicos: Letter to Gilbert Achcar

                                                                               12 January 2005 Dear Gilbert,   You know how much I respect your judgement – both about revolutionary politics in general and more particularly about the Middle East. Your writings over the past few years have been enormously important as a source of orientation through the tortuous twists and turns of imperialist strategy. Read more…

Dan Berger: Getting to the Roots of Liberation

As radicals, we often speak about the need to go to the root of the problem. We put forward critique after critique about what’s wrong in the world. We present the facts and frameworks for why we need fundamental change in this society. We are against patriarchy, white supremacy, heterosexism, authoritarianism and imperialism. We build Read more…

Man gil Kang: South Korea Between 20th Century Political Forces and 21st Century Governance

Among painters, there is always someone who is good at conveying perspective. Likewise, if we were to talk about a master of our time, who can provide historical perspective by bringing to light obscure matters and explaining them clearly, it would be Kang Man Gil, President of Sangji University. On November 9, 2004, we met Read more…

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Daniel Kovalik: U.S. State Department Intervenes To Protect Occidental Against Lawsuit For Human Rights Crimes

On December 13, 1998, the Colombian Air Force, which has received millions of dollars of assistance from Occidental Petroleum, bombed the small hamlet of Santo Domingo, Colombia, killing 17 civilians, including 7 children. As the LA Times later exposed, this bombing was planned in Room G of Occidental Petroleum’s offices in CaZo Limon; was conducted Read more…

Agence france presse: Russia Oil Pipeline to the Pacific:

Russia said Friday it had ordered the construction of an oil pipeline from its huge Siberian oilfields to the Pacific Ocean opposite Japan, in a move to boost export opportunities throughout East Asia and to the United States.   A “system of pipelines” with an annual capacity of 80 million tonnes would be built from Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Far from Media Spotlights, the Shadows of “Losers”

A system glorifies its winners. The mass media and the rest of corporate America are enthralled with professionals scaling career ladders to new heights. Meanwhile, the people hanging onto bottom rungs are scarcely blips on screens. Far from the media spotlights are countless lives beset with financial scarcity, often in tandem with chronic illness, monotony, Read more…

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Greg Palast: CBS’ Cowardice And Conflicts Behind Purge

“Independent” my ass. CBS’ cowardly purge of five journalists who exposed George Bush’s dodging of the Vietnam War draft was done under cover of what the network laughably called an “Independent Review Panel.” The “panel” was just two guys as qualified for the job as they are for landing the space shuttle: Dick Thornburgh and Read more…

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Yves Engler: Haiti Debt

Last Thursday the World Bank announced it would release $73 million in cash to Haiti’s government of Gerard Latortue that was installed by foreign powers after elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide was forced from office. For Haiti to get the World Bank cash it had to pay $52 million in outstanding arrears. Canada helped out Read more…

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David Edwards: Dwarfing The Tsunami – A Warning

“Civilisation exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice.” (Will Durant, historian) Festive Depression Curious things happen to the British public around Christmas. The weeks and months leading up to December 25 are characterised by a manic focus on consumption, materialism and unrestrained hedonism. The Season of Good Will actually sees more alcohol-fuelled violence Read more…

J. sean Curtin: Japan Seeks Bigger Middle East Role: Economic Diplomacy

As signs of life slowly return to the long-comatose Middle East

Roger Pulvers: The Human Condition after Hiroshima: the world of Inoue Hisashi

What could be said for the human being after Nanking, Dresden, Auschwitz, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Whatever the motivation, this is what we did to each other, and continue to do to this very hour. How can a writer write about goodness when people of all nations, autocratic or democratic, take up murder and torture with Read more…

Renato redentor Constantino: As we grieve

There is no space wider than that of grief, wrote the poet Pablo Neruda. “There is no universe like that which bleeds.” On the planet of sorrow, “there is no street, no one has a door. The sand opens up only to a tremor. And the whole sea opens the whole of silence.”   Poetry, Read more…

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