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Noam Chomsky: East Timor Questions & Answers

    This issue of Z was being prepared as the situation worsened in East Timor. The following Q&A is intended to give readers background information on the situation and U.S. interests in the area.     1. What was U.S. policy toward Indonesia before 1975? In the aftermath of World War II, U.S. policy Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Mary Daly vs. Boston College

Michael Bronski The message in all of the news and editorial coverage of Mary Daly’s newest battle in her ongoing war with Boston College (BC) to teach all-women classes is clear: The woman may be well intentioned, but wrong. The smug, self-congratulatory tone of this reporting masks a deeply ahistorical attitude toward social change, feminism, Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: World Order and its Rules

Chomsky Despite the desperate efforts of ideologues to prove that circles are square, there is no serious doubt that the NATO bombings further undermine what remains of the fragile structure of international law. The U.S. made that clear in the debates that led to the NATO decision. The more closely one approached the conflicted region, Read more…

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Don Fitz: Genetic Engineering

Fitz Monsanto claims that genetic engineering is necessary to feed the world’s growing population. But a growing coalition of environmentalists, farmers, and scientists is exposing this claim as a cover for grabbing control of world agriculture. If genetic engineering (GE) proponents have their way, up to a billion poor farmers will be thrown off their Read more…

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Edward Herman: The “Permanent Interests” Budget

S. Herman What James Madison in the Federalist Papers referred to as the "permanent interests" of society—i.e., property owners, or Veblen’s "substantial citizens"—are doing extremely well in the New World Order. They underwrite elections, so that the two party system is one in which both parties and their candidates must first sell themselves to sets Read more…

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John M. Laforge: A European Walk for Disarmament

M. LaForge Calling itself "an international citizens inspection team to prevent war crimes," 500 nonviolent activists from around the world who had walked more than 100 miles from The Hague, converged on the beleaguered NATO headquarters, where we were met with water cannons and hundreds of baton-wielding riot police. The marchers, protesting NATO’s illegal nuclear Read more…

Lillian Nurmela: Why Are We Still Researching Nuclear Weapons?

Lillian Nurmela In all the furor over insufficient security at our nuclear weapons labs and the claim that China has stolen our secrets, neither the media nor Congress has questioned why the U.S. is continuing to research nuclear weapons. There are 8,400 operational warheads, of 12 types, in the U.S. arsenal. The first nuclear weapon Read more…

James Petras: NATO in Kosova

James Petras Tony Blair, Madeline Albright, and Javier Solano all returned to Kosova to cheering Albanian crowds, praising NATO and the KLA for their efforts on behalf of peace and democracy. The triumphal returns and euphoric rhetoric of the NATO leaders covers up the brutal reality of massive ethnic cleansing, systematic assassinations, pillage and destruction Read more…

Peter Phillips: Untold Stories of U.S./NATO War

Peter Phillips The mainstream media in the United States were aware that the Pentagon and NATO were releasing biased and false information regarding the war in Kosovo yet they continued to pass on the information to the American public as if it were gospel. "…the media were once more asked to sort out a few Read more…

Andy Pollack: Nasdaq Japan

Andy Pollack Last week the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), operator of New York’s Nasdaq exchange, announced it would open a new "electronic stock market" in Tokyo in the last quarter of the year 2000, in alliance with Japan’s Softbank Corporation. This new extension of the world’s financial markets around the clock and across Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Battery Powered Bras

Lydia Sargent Welcome to Hotel Satire where men are people and gals are their bra size. Yes, Gals, it’s important that we focus constantly on our breasts— when we’re not obsessing about our looks/weight/ crotches. To this end, Janie, Susie, Mary, and I decided  to have coffee in the Hotel Satire coffee shop to share Read more…

Claudia Whitman: The New South 1999

Claudia Whitman Brian Baldwin took his final steps to Alabama’s electric chair on Thursday night, June 17, 1999. Twenty-two years earlier, on arriving on death row at the Holman Unit in Atmore, guards had pushed him in front of this ominous device and taunted him about the horrible death he would suffer. Brian was 18, Read more…

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Manning Marable: Race-ing Justice: The Prison-Industrial Complex

Manning Marable Several months ago, 650 people attended the "Race-ing Justice" Conference in New York, sponsored by the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. In more than two dozen panels and workshops, black people examined the destructive impact of the police, the courts and the prison system upon the African-American community. Our Read more…

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Mark Weisbrot: The Looting of Russia

Mark Weisbrot What were they thinking? When executives at the Bank of New York saw billions of dollars floating in from the home computer of a Russian businessman with ties to organized crime there, did they really believe that these were just ordinary profits? The biggest money-laundering scandal in history has prompted calls for a Read more…

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Edward Herman: The Western Betrayal of East Timor

Edward Herman  and David Peterson Led by Australia, U.N.-sponsored peacekeepers continue to arrive in East Timor, where they are finding a staggering level of destruction. Reconnaissance flights over the half-island territory report scenes of Biblical dimensions, where the "Lord rained down fire and brimstone from the skies." The departing Indonesian forces have burned virtually every Read more…

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Saul Landau: The APEC Meeting

Saul Landau I just returned from New Zealand, the host of the APEC and anti-APEC conferences over last week. Until Indonesian army thugs started their violent cleansing in East Timor, New Zealand wits had called the Asian Pacific economic cooperation group All Politicians Enjoy Cocktails. New Zealanders face serious trade issues like a $1.7 billion Read more…

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Site Administrator: Nazi Nostalgia in Croatia

Diana Johnstone When I visited Croatia three years ago, the book most prominently displayed in the leading bookstores of the capital city Zagreb was a new edition of the notorious anti-Semitic classic, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". Next came the memoires of the World War II Croatian fascist Ustashe dictator Ante Pavelic, responsible Read more…

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Mark Weisbrot: Growing Concerns Over WTO

Mark Weisbrot In just a couple of months thousands of environmentalists, steel workers, longshoremen, AIDS activists, farmers, and others will descend upon Seattle in a "mobilization against globalization." They will hold marches, protests, teach-ins, and conferences. The occasion? The World Trade Organization is holding a meeting of ministers from its 134 member countries, to talk Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Big Media Applaud Big Media Merger

Norman Solomon When the story about Viacom and CBS broke a few days ago, news accounts quickly depicted a match made in corporate heaven — at more than $37 billion, the largest media merger in history. With the public kept outside the frame, it was a rosy picture. "Analysts hailed the deal as a good Read more…

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Betsy Hartmann: Cross Dressing Malthus

Betsy Hartman October 12, 1999 has the dubious distinction of being both Columbus Day and ‘Day of 6 Billion,’ ostensibly the day world population will pass the six billion people mark. A well-funded media campaign, organized by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the Communications Consortium Media Center and others is already revving Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Educational Philosophies and Power in the Classroom

Cynthia Peters It’s that time of year. The yellow school buses are back on the road. The stores are stocked with Disney-theme lunch boxes, pencil cases and loose-leaf paper. Kids are wondering about their teachers. Parents are worrying about the quality of education. And educators are arguing about educational philosophies. One of the controversies is Read more…

Clark Kissenger: Summary of Mumia’s Current Situation

C. Clark Kissenger Because many people have requested an explanation of Mumia’s legal situation, let me explain concisely why Mumia’s case is at a critical point as we go into the September Mumia Awareness Week. All appeals by Mumia Abu-Jamal in the Pennsylvania court system have been denied, and he is about to begin his Read more…

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Nikos Raptis: European Labor

Nikos Raptis The Building The German word "Reichstag" means parliament. In colloquial German it also means the parliament building. It is not an exaggeration to say that this building, the Reichstag, is a very important part of the history of the 20th century. On the evening of February 27, 1933 Putzi Hanfstaengl, a Harvard educated Read more…

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Manning Marable: The Battle for Ideas

Manning Marable Political power always expresses itself as a body of ideas. If you can create and popularize the key ideas that define the general perceptions about public issues, you will largely determine what happens politically. It matters less who gets elected, than what policies and programs that person implements once in office. Politics is Read more…

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Site Administrator: International Labor Solidarity Puts Pressure on Indonesia

Elaine Bernard In contrast to organized labor’s division over what should be done about the Kosovo crisis, the current mayhem and mass killing in East Timor has galvanized a powerful and unified response from unions internationally. Organized labor, and most especially unions in Australia, Canada, and Europe have not only fired off press statements, but Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: East Timor Activism in Boston

Cynthia Peters The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Tuesday, September 14, 1999 that "Piles of bodies were burnt on the streets of Dili at the weekend and tens of thousands of refugees were without food or water as they fled the militias and the Indonesian Army. . . Dr Andrew McNaughton, spokesman for the Darwin-based Read more…

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Russell Mokhiber: Moving Gently on East Timor

Russell Mokhiber  and Robert Weissman The Clinton administration’s shamefully slow response to the savagery unleashed by the Indonesian military and militia on the people of East Timor allowed a vicious slaughter to take place. East Timor’s capital, Dili, now lies in ruins, hundreds or quite likely thousands of Timorese have been killed since they voted Read more…

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Mark Weisbrot: Washington Fiddles While East Timor Burns

Mark Weisbrot The violence and crisis in East Timor has raised pointed questions about U.S. foreign policy and what we stand for in the world. It was only months ago that we bombed Serbia for 78 days, killing hundreds and perhaps thousands of innocent civilians, supposedly to stop the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. Now we Read more…

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Stephen R. Shalom: The State of the World

    This summer, the United Nations Development Programme issued its annual Human Development Report. The document is a stinging indictment of globalization and its horrific impact on the well-being of so many of the world’s people. According to the Report, in developing countries nearly 1.3 billion people do not have access to clean water, Read more…

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Saul Landau: Zany U.S. Rafting Policy

Saul Landau It’s hurricane time in the Caribbean, so we’ll have a temporary respite from Cubans floating to Florida on inner tubes from that red island 90 miles away, and even from Cubans brought over in speedboats. Smugglers earn up to $8,000 per person they bring illegally into the United States. Unlike all other migrants, Read more…

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Edward Herman: Russian Corruption

Edward S. Herman With the discovery of the massive laundering of Russian money– some of it compliments of the IMF, and U.S. taxpayers–through the Bank of New York, the issue of Russian corruption is now "in." But it presents the establishment with a problem. After all, didn’t we help put into power and encourage people Read more…

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Russell Mokhiber: An Outsider’s View of the One-Sided Class Warfare in the U.S.

Russell Mokhiber  and Robert Weissman "While in theory U.S. law provides for workers to have freedom of association, the right to join trade unions and participate in collective bargaining is in practice denied to large segments of the American workforce in both the public and the private sectors." That is the central conclusion of a Read more…

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David Peterson: Genocide 2?

David Peterson With the United Nations seriously considering the final evacuation of the last members of its international staff from the capital city of Dili any day now, East Timor is threatened with being plunged into a black hole from which virtually no news could any longer escape. But no news is better than bad Read more…

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Edward Herman: Inhumanitarian Nonintervention in East Timor

Edward Herman Coming so soon after the NATO devastation of Yugoslavia in the alleged interest of humanitarianism and protection of human rights, the performance of the NATO powers in the East Timor crisis strikingly confirms the views of those who questioned the moral basis of NATO’s intervention in Kosovo. In the Kosovo case, NATO insisted Read more…

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Clarence Lusane: Clinton Escapes Again

Clarence Lusane Each Summer the major civil rights organizations hold their annual gatherings. Attended by thousands, these events include workshops, plenaries, and major addresses by civil rights leaders, trade union officials, representatives from women and youth organizations, and high-level government officials up to and including the President and Vice President of the United States. The Read more…

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Vandana Shiva: Stopping Biopiracy

Vandan Shiva The patents on the anti-diabetic properties of karela, jamun, brinjal once again highlight the problem of Biopiracy – the patenting of indigenous biodiversity related knowledge. U.S. Patent No. 5,900,240 was granted recently to Cromak Research Inc. Based in new Jersey. The assignees are two non-resident Indians. Onkar S. Tomer and Kripanath Borah, and Read more…

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Brian Dominick: An Appeal for Continued Anti-War Efforts

Brian Dominick Did I just see what I think I saw? Has a growing anti-war movement suddenly become dormant, for the umpteenth time in the past few decades – in this case before the war at hand was even over? Has the US Left once again turned its back, or at least its side, to Read more…

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Vijay Prashad: REd Salute: Comrade Uncle Ho

Vijay Prashad In the late 1960s, the communists in Bengal allied with the left Congress to form a United Front government in the state. These were heady times for a region buffeted by two drought years, by the cataclysmic pressures of international finance, and down-wind from the U. S. bombardment of Vietnam. Nevertheless, the resoluteness Read more…

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Mark Weisbrot: What Everyone Should Know About the Budget Debate

Marc Weisbrot This commentary is for those who really want to understand the debate that has been raging over what to do with the projected Federal budget surpluses over the next 10 years. It’s not as difficult as it seems. What makes it so confusing is that politicians in both parties are generating a lot Read more…

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Howard Zinn: Beyond the Soviet Union

Howard Zinn In the spirit of killing two obligations with one effort, I offer as my Commentary a response I just made to a letter by a retired professor in California, who wrote: "As a great admirer of Howard Zinn [should he have said "as a former great admirer…"?] I was profoundly disappointed by some Read more…

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Manning Marable: Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Manning Marable Immediately following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X was asked by the media for his response. Malcolm was not surprised by this tragic event, because white America had long fostered violence and racism throughout society. Kennedy’s murder, Malcolm believed, was an example of the "chickens coming home to roost": by Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Gay Lit and the Pulitzer

Early on the afternoon of April 12, a joyful buzz spread through the queer literary community: Michael Cunningham’s The Hours had just been awarded the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Earlier that month it had been a runner-up for the National Books Critics Circle Prize Award, and it had won the Pen/Faulkner Award and the Read more…

Sandy Carter: Move On Up: The Politics Of Gospel

I have never seen anything to equal the fire and excitement that sometimes, without warning, fill a church, causing the church, as Leadbelly and so many others have testified, to "rock." Nothing that happened to me since equals the power and the glory that I sometimes felt when, in the middle of a sermon, I Read more…

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E. Wayne Ross: Resisting Test Mania

The use of "high-stakes" standardized tests as the primary tool of school reform is sweeping the United States. Proponents of standardized tests-including most state legislatures, the President, Governors, boards of education, and the leadership of the American Federation of Teachers-wrap themselves in the rhetoric of higher, tougher standards. No one advocates low standards, but this Read more…

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Danny Schechter: China on My Mind

Danny Schechter In less than two months, on October 1st, the People’s Republic of China turns fifty. Mao’s long march liberated a country which in a half century has gone from championing world revolution to building "socialism with Chinese characteristics." For many, that means turning the Great Wall into the Great Mall, the biggest market Read more…

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Sean Gonsalves: America’s Civilizing Efforts

Sean Gonsalves "Reflecting growing alarm in Washington about leftist rebels strengthened by the cocaine trade, a leading US diplomat met with (Colombian) President Andres Pastrana (last week) to discuss drug trafficking and the country’s civil war," Associated Press writer Jared Kotler reports. The "leading" US diplomat is Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, who has vowed Read more…

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David Peterson: Between the Guns and the Wall

David Peterson Shortly before noon on April 6, several truckloads of the Red And White Iron militia rolled up outside a church where hundreds of people had fled seeking sanctuary. "Get out of the church!" the gun- and machete-wielding gangsters shouted. Then mayhem. The crackle of automatic weapons firing into the crowd. Cries of agony Read more…

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Site Administrator: Hitler Analogies Betray Past and Present

Diana Johnstone The war was launched to protect an oppressed ethnic minority, to punish a massacre, and to secure a New World Order. Which war was that? Why, Hitler’s war of course, which came to be known as World War II. The ostensibly oppressed ethnic minority was the Germans in Slavic countries, the aggression was Read more…

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Michael Bronski: GOP = Gay Old Party

Michael Bronski It is no news that the "news" appearing in the mass media is often manufactured. No where was this clearer than a front page story in The New York Times of August 11, 1999 whose headline announced: "Gay Voters Finding G.O.P. Newly Receptive to Support." After a moderately careful lead – "Prominent Republican Read more…

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Tim Wise: The Kids are all White

Tim Wise Let me get this straight: if people of color respond to an unjust verdict in a police brutality trial, not to mention years of racial and economic oppression, by taking to the streets, burning stuff, looting stores and engaging in assorted violence, it’s called a riot. But if white kids get angry at Read more…

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