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Recent ZNet

David Mcneill: ‘I just want to make Japan a better place to live’

Chong Hyang Gyun has just written herself into the history books, but not for the reason she wanted.   The 54-year-old spent a decade fighting the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the right to take a promotion exam, from which she was barred because of her South Korean nationality. If she had won, nationality would have Read more…

Clinton Fernandes: Australia Redux

Over the course of a long political career, newly re-appointed federal Labor leader Kim Christian Beazley has demonstrated an impressive consistency in his views on strategic policy. In 1974, he submitted his masters’ thesis to the University of Western Australia on “the evolution of Australian Labor Party attitudes to the United States alliance, 1961-1972″. He Read more…

Motofumi Asai: Primary Responsibility for the Worsening in Japan-China Relations lies with Japan:

Anti-Japanese Sentiment at the Asia Cup Soccer Tournament   Chinese fans subjected the Japanese team to intense booing at the Asia Cup Games held in China in August. They also made their disgust evident when Kimigayo, the Japanese anthem, was sung. Chinese fans vandalized Japanese Embassy cars in Beijing after the final match. These events Read more…

Oil & gas journal editors: Japanese energy profile: the search for security

The Japanese government is working on several fronts to enhance energy security and reduce the country’s reliance on oil from the Middle East.  

Roger Burbach: Tale Of Two Presidents

Porto Alegre, Brazil. Criticized by some for being little more than a debating society and a “one stop shopping center for the left,” this year’s fifth annual World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil marked a major break through for the Forum. It served as a pivotal venue for the discussion and critique of progressive Read more…

William Fisher: Privileged Torture

New York – The Justice Department has again asserted “state secrets privilege” in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit by Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was detained in the United States in 2002 and sent against his will to Syria, where he says he was tortured until his release a year later.   The Read more…

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John Pilger: Not In Our Name

As George W. Bush is inaugurated for a second term, let it not be said that people in the United States silently acquiesced in the face of this shameful coronation of war, greed, and intolerance. He does not speak for us. He does not represent us. He does not act in our name.   No Read more…

Nicole Colson: Abortion Rights?

“WE CAN all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic, choice to many, many women.”   It sounds like something straight out of the mouth of George W. Bush–or some other anti-choice Republican looking to repeal abortion rights. But this was the comment of Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, as she Read more…

Salim Lamrani: U.S. & Cuba

In order to achieve their avowed objective of destroying the Cuban revolution, the USA has several different strings to its bow. Apart from the economic sanctions condemned by the entire international community (1), various acts of violence and sabotage from the realms of international terrorism, or the intensive misinformation campaign minutely detailed in Colin Powell’s Read more…

Kari Lydersen: Despite Poor Civil Liberties Record, DHS Nominee Questioned Mildly

  While President Bush’s initial nominee for director of the Homeland Security Department withdrew himself from consideration amidst questions over numerous scandals, civil libertarians say the administration’s new pick to head the department raises other serious concerns. Michael Chertoff, Bush’s new nominee to replace outgoing Secretary Tom Ridge, faced a congressional hearing today, as lawmakers Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Ballots, Waterboarding, and Bombs

There is something thoroughly inspiring when people, under the threat of death, turn out to vote in a country that has become an armed camp. The urge of a long oppressed people to take back their lives, to act, is always moving and powerful. Certainly, the Iraq vote, as presented in the media here in Read more…

Kanak mani Dixit: Royal Takeover in Nepal: Drastic and Ill-Advised

When King Gyanendra sacked the prime minister and began direct rule on 1 February 2005, he said he did so under a constitutional provision which enjoins the monarchy to uphold and protect the Constitution. While he repeated many times in the royal address his commitment to constitutional monarchy and multiparty rule, the king’s drastic action Read more…

Faheem Hussain: A Historic Judgement

Absolved of international terrorism. A historical judgement by a courageous Italian judge, Clementina Forleo, Giudice di Udienza Preliminare (the Judge for the Preliminary Hearing) that should not go unnoticed. This it how it finished on 24th January at Milan, the case against three of five North African Muslims arrested in 2003 on the charge of Read more…

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Site Administrator: Documenting the Bolivarian Revolution:

Hugo Chavez, the leader of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, was at first kept at arm’s length by many of the progressive movements worldwide. The Left, shy of state power after the collapse of the Soviet bureaucratic bloc, tended to view Chavez’s inauguration in 1999 with skepticism or even contemptuous dismissal. But with experience the pejorative jabs, Read more…

Jeffrey b. Perry: In Memoriam

Theodore W. Allen, a working class intellectual and activist and author of the influential two-volume history The Invention of the White Race(Verso: 1994, 1997), died on January 19, 2005, surrounded by friends in his apartment at 97 Brooklyn Avenue in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He was 85.   The cause of death was Read more…

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Jessica Azulay: Guantanamo Abuses Caught on Tape, Report Details

Nearly nine months after former Guantánamo detainee Tarek Dergoul went public with allegations that a special punishment squad abused him during his incarceration at the Cuba base and that the treatment was videotaped, some of the content on those tapes has been leaked to the press. Last May, Dergoul, a British citizen who had spent Read more…

Julian Borger: US Jets ‘flying Over Iran To Spot Potential Targets’

The US is increasing the pressure on Iran by sending military planes into its airspace to test the country’s defences and spot potential targets, according to an intelligence source in Washington.   The overflights have been reported in the Iranian press and the head of Iran‘s air force, Brigadier General Karim Qavami, declared recently that Read more…

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Phyllis Bennis: Reading the Elections

The millions of Iraqis who came out for the elections were voting their hopes for an end to violence and occupation, and a better life; their hopes are not likely to be met. George Bush will be the major victor in this election, using it to claim legitimacy for his occupation of Iraq . This Read more…

Tom Boogaart: Why Iraq’s Election is a Turning Point

Even before the polls closed in Iraq, the Bush administration declared not only victory, but credited themselves with having orchestrated a historic event. To be sure, an election in which Iraqis could vote for multiple candidates was unprecedented, and its significance was not lost upon neighboring regimes where small elite holds power. Still, Bush’s index Read more…

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Bill Moyers: No Tomorrow

One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Read more…

Muqtedar Khan: A response to the Cowardly Abu Dharr and his Promoter Farid Esack

In a cowardly attempt, some one using the name Abu Dharr has made a vicious, cowardly and ad hominem attack on my person on Znet and on the American Muslim Perspective. This attack titled “Memo to Muqtedar” has been endorsed and marketed by none other than Fareed Esack, the South African educated in Pakistani madrassahs, Read more…

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Ward Churchill: Churchill Replies

In the last few days there has been widespread and grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning my analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, coverage that has resulted in defamation of my character and threats against my life. What I actually said has been lost, indeed turned into Read more…

Satoshi Kamata: A Minamata Verdict and an Administrative Travesty

In a large conference room on the twenty-second floor of the Environment Ministry, Minister Koike Yuriko bowed deeply to the plaintiffs and supporters of the Kansai Minamata Disease Suit. “I am very sorry,” she said and left the room.   Left to bear the burden of the negotiations were six ministry officials, including Takizawa Hidejiro, Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Living Under the Bombs

One of the least reported aspects of the U.S. occupation of Iraq is the oftentimes indiscriminate use of air power by the American military. The Western mainstream media has generally failed to attend to the F-16 warplanes dropping their payloads of 500, 1,000, and 2,000-pound bombs on Iraqi cities -– or to the results of Read more…

Debra Anthony: WSF Consensus?

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, Jan 30 (IPSTerraViva) – In a bold break with the concept of the World Social Forum as a horizontal, open space, a group of personalities draft a programme and urge participants to approve it   The fifth World Social Forum, the giant civil society gathering under way in the southern Brazilian city Read more…

Cleto a. Sojo: Imperialism Is Not Invincible

Caracas, Jan 30, 2005 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was warmly received at the 2005 edition of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he held several meetings with local leaders, intellectuals and activists, and gave the closing speech at the Gigantinho Stadium. Chavez generated great interest among Forum participants, many of whom Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Triumph And Tragedy For Iraq

01/31/05 “The Star” — Baghdad – Even as the explosions thundered over Baghdad, they came in their hundreds, and then in their thousands. Entire families, crippled old men supported by their sons, children beside them, babies in the arms of their mothers.   The Shi’ite Muslims of Baghdad yesterday walked quietly to polling stations, to Read more…

Scott Ritter: Criminals The Lot Of Us

The White House’s acknowledgement last month that the United States has formally ended its search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq brought to a close the most calamitous international deception of modern times.   This decision was taken a month after a contentious presidential election in which the issue of WMD and the war Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: What They’re Not Telling You About the

The day of blood and elections has passed, and the blaring trumpets of corporate media hailing it as a successful show of “democracy” have subsided to a dull roar. After a day which left 50 people dead in Iraq, both civilians and soldiers, the death toll was hailed as a figure that was “lower than Read more…

Uscountvotes.org: Prominent Statisticians Refute ‘Explanation’ of 2004 U.S. Exit Poll Discrepancies

Press Release: Monday, January 31, 2005 Prominent Statisticians Refute ‘Explanation’ of 2004 U.S. Exit Poll Discrepancies in New Edison/Mitofsky Report and Urge Investigation of U.S. Presidential Election Results President Bush won November’s election by 2.5% yet exit polls showed Kerry leading by 3%. Which was correct? “There are statistical indications that a systematic, nationwide shift Read more…

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Uri Avnery: The Stalemate

Perhaps the second intifada has come to an end. Perhaps the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip will develop into a general, mutual cease-fire.   For me, the words “cease fire” have an extra resonance. When I was a soldier in the 1948 war, I twice experienced what it means to wait for a cease- fire. Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Some Just Voted for Food

BAGHDAD, Jan 31 (IPS) – Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations, several voters said after the Sunday poll.    Many Iraqis said Monday that their names were marked on a list provided by the government agency that provides monthly food rations before they were allowed to vote.   ”I went to Read more…

Gene c. Gerard: The U.S. Supreme Court is AWOL on Iraq

In December, the Supreme Court opted not to hear the civil suit Clair Callan Vs. President George W. Bush. The plaintiff in the suit is a senior citizen and former Congressman from Nebraska. The case has slowly made its way through the lower courts, which have rejected it on the grounds that they have no Read more…

Omar iskandar Khan: Democracy in Iraq

When President George Bush announced ten days ago that “the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands,” he drew upon a notion with deeper roots in the history of political thought than perhaps he was aware. This notion, the neo-roman theory of freedom, states that individual Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: McNeill Interview with Noam Chomsky

Jan. 4, 2005 at his office in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.   [Transcript lightly edited by Noam Chomsky for clarity.]   David McNeill: Can you give me your views on the current war in Iraq. As you know, many critics of the war are now saying the invasion was a historic Read more…

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Nick Turse: Bringing It All Back Home

Part II: The Civilian Half   When we last left this story, we were knee-deep in the emerging Homeland Security State, a special place where a host of disturbing and mutually reinforcing patterns have emerged — among them: a virtually unopposed increase in military, intelligence and “security” agencies intruding into the civilian sector of American Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: High Anxiety

Despite a continuing increase in the already draconian security measures imposed across Iraq, the bombs keep coming. Today in the al-Dora district of Baghdad a primary school which had been a designated polling station was struck by a car bomb. Four Iraqi Police (IP) were killed. A GMC packed with explosives rammed a checkpoint at Read more…

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Yves Engler: Haiti Lies

The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, finally decided to report on Canadian operations in Haiti. In Saturday’s paper Marina Jimenez wrote about Canada’s ongoing role in the hemisphere’s poorest nation. But did Jimenez look into the veracity of Paul Martin’s claim that there are no political prisoners in Haiti? Did she discuss why Canada Read more…

Mahmood Mamdani: America and Political Islam

Global Agenda 2005 I was in New York City on 9/11. In the weeks that followed, newspapers reported that the Koran had become one of the biggest-selling books in American bookshops. Astonishingly, Americans seemed to think that reading the Koran might give them a clue to the motivation of those who carried out the suicide Read more…

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Site Administrator: A Note from WSF 2005

[Zeynep Toufe runs the blog Under the Same Sun and is at the World Social Forum 2005 in Porto Alegre. This was taken from her blog.] Just when I was beginning to wonder if all that jet fuel was worth coming to these large meetings, I stumbled onto one of those events that can only Read more…

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Michelle Chen: News Incorporated

Reviewing News Incorporated: Corporate Media Ownership and Its Threat to DemocracyEdited by Elliot D. CohenPrometheus Books, 2005 You don’t have to be an information junkie or a policy expert to get the sense that there is something awry with the American mass media today. On the major networks, news coverage wavers between superficial sound bites Read more…

Abu Dharr: Memo to Muqtedar

[This piece caused some debate. Muqtedar Khan’s response is published here.] Muqtedar Khan is a character who, despite his relentless efforts to promote himself, has not been taken seriously by Muslim scholars.  The foolishness characterizing many of his writings over the past few years is normally ignored on account of his naïveté, intellectual shallowness and Read more…

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Pepe Escobar: Great Wall of Shopping

SHANGHAI – “Adore the world. Be after it. Be in it.” This boardwalk advertisement greets at least half a million passers-by every day on Nanjing Dong Lu, Shanghai’s premier commercial thoroughfare, where almost 40 years ago hordes of vigilant Red Guards waved Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book. It is promoting – what else – a Read more…

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Pepe Escobar: Peasant Time Bomb

“There is chaos under heaven and things could not be better.” – Mao Zedong “The biggest danger to the Party since taking over has been losing touch with the masses.” – Hu Jintao SHANGHAI – Everywhere in developed, urban China – Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou – the message was the same. The next “counterrevolutionary rebellion” – Read more…

Sergei Blagov: RUSSIAN MIX OF OIL AND WEAPONS TO RESOLVE BORDER DISPUTES

Moscow has offered Japan and China different packages to improve bilateral relations. Russia and Japan remain divided by the Kuril territorial dispute, despite recent moves to mend differences through energy cooperation. Meanwhile, Moscow has so far refrained from large-scale commitments in energy ties with China , seemingly trying to compensate with security ties and apparent Read more…

Kevin Pina: Haiti and Dominican Republic

Flashpoints Radio interviews Kevin Pina, Special Correspondent in Haiti January 24, 2005 Bernstein: Let’s talk about the strange circumstances of the arrest, or kidnapping, of two pro-democracy leaders, Paul Raymond and René Civil. Tell us a little bit about what’s going on here, give us some context. Pina: What the Haitian government is saying is Read more…

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Nick Turse: Bringing It All Back Home

Part I: The Military Half   If you’re reading this on the Internet, the FBI may be spying on you at this very moment.   Under provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the Department of Justice has been collecting e-mail and IP (a computer’s unique numeric identifier) addresses, without a warrant, using trap-and-trace surveillance devices Read more…

Suzanne abu Tair: none

Review of Peter Goodchild, Edward Teller: The Real Dr. Strangelove (Harvard, 2004)   Although most people would prefer to forget it, ever since the atomic bombing of Japanese cities in August 1945 the world has lived on the brink of nuclear annihilation. And no individual played a more important role in fostering the nuclear arms Read more…

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Gavan McCormack: War and Japan’s Memory Wars

The Fox-ification of the US media proceeds apace. In Italy, the country’s media mogul doubles as Prime Minister. In Britain public broadcasting is under pressure from Blairite forces. Japan, the world’s No 2 capitalist power, is left out of most discussion on global media trends, but is undergoing the same pressures. Allegations of political intervention Read more…

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Michael Schwartz: The Poll Watcher’s Guide to the Iraqi Election

Most of us are pretty certain that the Iraq elections this weekend will not change much — the U.S. will continue its attempt to pacify Iraq and the resistance will continue resisting it. The level of violence will remain high, together with the unemployment rate; the support for the American presence will remain low, together Read more…

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