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Recent ZNet

Billings gazette: Union Women Unite in Detroit

Detroit — The 600 union members gathered Friday for a national convention in downtown Detroit were buzzing about the nomination of John Roberts to be the chief justice of the Supreme Court — because of his positions on issues such as reproductive rights and pay equity for women.   At the plenary session at the Read more…

Larry Bradshaw: Hurricane Katrina — Our Experiences

[Note: Bradshaw and Slonsky are paramedics from California that were attending the EMS conference in New Orleans. Larry Bradshaw is the chief shop steward, Paramedic Chapter, SEIU Local 790; and Lorrie Beth Slonsky is steward, Paramedic Chapter, SEIU Local 790 (California)]   Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen’s store at the Read more…

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Hilary Wainwright: Lula’s Lament

‘When there is such an overwhelming disaster and you see yourself as part of this disaster, you begin to question your whole life. Why so many years of sacrifice and struggle?’ Congressman Fernando Gabeira expresses the feelings of many petistas – members or supporters of the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) – when they heard Read more…

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Doug Ireland: ‘next Time, They’ll Kill Me’ — A Gay Iranian Torture Victim Speaks

Amir is a 22-year-old gay Iranian who was arrested by Iran’s morality police as part of a massive Internet entrapment campaign targeting gays. He was beaten and tortured while in custody, threatened with death, and lashed 100 times. He escaped from Iran in August, and is now in Turkey, where he awaits the granting of Read more…

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Gary Younge: Please Stop Fetishising Integration. Equality Is What We Really Need

Where race is concerned there are, it seems, some words that just don’t go together. No matter how many young drunken white men beat each other up over the weekend, there is no such thing as white-on-white crime. No matter how many non-white people flee inner-city neighbourhoods for better schools and services, there is no Read more…

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Mike Davis: The Struggle Over The Future Of New Orleans

THE CATASTROPHE on the Gulf Coast was the most widely anticipated “natural disaster” in U.S. history. Yet the response of the U.S. government was universally condemned as a failure. What happened? HURRICANE KATRINA occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act–the culmination of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It Read more…

Camilo Mejía: Problem In Iraq Is US

CAMILO MEJIA was the first U.S. soldier who served in Iraq and went public with his refusal to re-deploy. He spent nine months in military confinement for deciding to follow his conscience. Since his release, he has been a tireless antiwar campaigner–at the side of Cindy Sheehan when she began her antiwar vigil outside George Read more…

Larry Everest: Lessons of History

Should the imperialist power that conspired to put Saddam Hussein in power, that was directly complicit in his regime’s worst crimes, and that—through two wars and 13 years of sanctions—killed far more Iraqis than anything attributed to Hussein, now be entrusted with controlling Iraq and shaping its destiny? Should that power be believed when it Read more…

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Jason Leopold: Fiscal Responsibility?

Republicans like to brag that, as a political party, they are more fiscally responsible than their Democratic counterparts. Well, thanks to President Bush’s four years in office that theory can now take up residence in the urban legend department. If anything, Bush’s tenure as president proves that the Republican tax cuts (which everyone knows truly Read more…

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Fidel Castro: Doctor Aid

Newly graduated doctors of the 2004-5 course;Members of the ‘Henry Reeve’ brigade;Health professionals who have completed glorious international missions;Students in their fourth, fifth and sixth years at the Faculties of Medical Sciences in the Capital;Students of the Latin American School of Medicine;Young students of Nursing and Health Technology;Professors, relatives and guests;Compatriots: The number of Latin Read more…

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Justin Podur: From the Embassy to the Prison

I came to Haiti on a short trip to study a country that doesn’t really understand its place in the world or in the Americas. A country whose people feel too much pride and not enough responsibility for what has been done, what is being done, by their government and elites. A country that it Read more…

Mickey Z: Lords of War

“I hope they kill each other … too bad they both can’t lose.”‹Nobel laureate Henry Kissinger (on the U.S. arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s) “Do not support dictators. Do not sell them weapons.”‹Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta, East Timorese peace negotiator It’s not every day Amnesty International asks me to go see Read more…

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George Galloway: Reply to Greg Palast

Until a couple of days ago I hadn’t heard of Greg Palast in years, the man who claims to have been pursuing me with questions for two months. He has never phoned, written, emailed or made any other contact with me, which is curiously reminiscent of the behavior of the US Senate committee. Having now Read more…

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George Monbiot: A World Turned Upside Down

Climate change denial has gone through four stages. First the fossil fuel lobbyists told us that global warming was a myth. Then they agreed that it was happening, but insisted it was a good thing: we could grow wine in the Pennines and take Mediterranean holidays in Skegness. Then they admitted that the bad effects Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Blood for No Oil

The strangest aspect of media coverage of our invasion and occupation of Iraq involved that country’s oil. Everyone, including the Bush administration, was well aware that Iraq sat on a sea of it. It was obvious that Middle Eastern oil was a global lifeline and an ever more valuable commodity; and yet, unless you were Read more…

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Michael T. Klare: More Blood, Less Oil

It has long been an article of faith among America’s senior policymakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — that military force is an effective tool for ensuring control over foreign sources of oil. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to embrace this view, in February 1945, when he promised King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Read more…

David Mcneill: Building Bridges Over Hate: Thai-Burma Railroad Legacy

Nagase Takashi tortured British POWs during the building of the Thai-Burma railway. He has spent his life since trying to make amends and wants the railway declared a UN World Heritage Site before he dies.   Nagase Takashi still breaks down when he remembers the young British man he helped torture. “I couldn’t bear his Read more…

Joann Wypijewski: Memory’s Revenge

The planners of Operation Iraqi Freedom forgot another thing on the road to Baghdad: how veterans would affect their ability to get new boots on the ground.   “Think about ya life, the choices you make. Recruiters out to get you, don’t make a mistake. Is obvious, right, they target the ‘hood. Take a homeboy Read more…

Cam Simpson: New twist on Iraq aid: U.S. seeks donations

WASHINGTON — (KRT) — From the Indian Ocean tsunami to the church around the corner, Americans have shown time and again they are willing to open their pocketbooks for charity, for a total of about $250 billion last year alone.   But now, amid pleas for aid after Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration has launched Read more…

Juan Soul_sacrifice69: Chavez’ Surprise for Bush

Worried about the skyrocketing cost of gasoline and heating oil this winter? Well, Hugo Chavez, the firebrand president of oil-rich Venezuela, wants to help. Chavez, a former army officer twice elected president in huge landslides, has become a target of the Bush administration for his radical social policies. Last month, right-wing evangelist Pat Robertson openly Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Dodging the Costs of the Warfare State

The New York Times began a new week with an editorial that typified the media mind-set of the warfare state.   The Sept. 19 editorial warned of dire consequences from a growing deficit that has been boosted by tax cuts — in combination with “the pre-Katrina priorities laid down by Mr. Bush.” Those priorities include Read more…

Geoffrey Lean: Bird Flu Could Cause Global Economic Catastrophe

Bird flu threatens to cause a “catastrophic” economic crash in Britain and around the world, unprecedented in modern times, according to new research. Two studies from Nottingham University and the Bank of Montreal in Canada show that a flu pandemic – described by the World Health Organisation last week as inevitable – would slash at Read more…

Simone Bruno: Colombia

The beginning of the trip The flight from Bogotá to Apartadò is more of a teleport than a normal trip. Only one hour and the cold highland of the capital is a memory, the modern city is slowly replaced by the forest. We are now with the warm people of the coast and the composed Read more…

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Anthony Dimaggio: Free Speech Under Fire

It is highly unlikely that most Americans see censorship of the press as protected under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Still, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals clearly had the limitation of students’ right to speak up in mind in a recent ruling promoting the power of college and university administrators to Read more…

Gene c. Gerard: Poverty Increases as Incomes Decline Under President Bush

The day after Hurricane Katrina hit, exposing much of the public to the tragic conditions of poverty in America, the Census Bureau quietly released its annual report entitled, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.” In some respects, it provided a demonstrable backdrop to the pockets of poverty common to New Orleans Read more…

Tom Turnipseed: The March Of the Penguins and Enron

At a recent conference, young Republicans were urged to see the documentary March of the Penguins, according to The New York Times.  Conservative film critic  Michael Medved said the film is “the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing.” It would be great if  political conservatives Read more…

Payman Piedar: Iranian Anarchism

Payman Piedar is the editor of Nakhdar, a Farsi/English-language anarchist-communist magazine with a growing international readership, particularly among Iranian exile communities in North America and Europe. Although he remains very humble of his revolutionary activity over the past three decades, there is a lot to learn from his experiences. We are very proud to have Read more…

Benjamin Ryon: Taiwan Labor

aipei. In the wake of the August 21st uprising by Thai construction workers in Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung, the plight of foreign labor has briefly taken center-stage in Taiwanese politics.  Initially, Taiwan’s mainstream media treated this incident as an insurrection perpetrated by reckless foreigners.  However, after a list of 16 demands was issued via Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: The Can-do Bush Administration Does…

Don’t say they can’t. They can — and they did. Despite every calumny, it turns out that the Bush administration can put together an effective, well-coordinated rescue team and get crucial supplies to militarily occupied, devastated New Orleans on demand, in time, and just where they are most needed. Last Thursday, in a spectacular rescue Read more…

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Hugo Chavez: Chavez at the UN

Your Excellency and Friends The original intention of this meeting has been totally weakened. We have been prevailed upon, as center of our debate, to consider some badly named “reforms”. These reforms relegate as unimportant all that the world’s people are urgently crying out for. This includes the adoption of measures to confront the real Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Religious Terror

In an age when Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara can identify “evil ideologies” and al-Qa’ida can call the suicide bombing of 156 Iraqi Shias “good news” for the “nation of Islam”, thank heaven for our readers, in particular John Shepherd, principal lecturer in religious studies at St Martin’s College, Lancaster. Responding to a comment of Read more…

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Jason Leopold: Funeral Corp.

A funeral services company which recently learned that one of its subsidiaries is negotiating a lucrative contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remove dead bodies in areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, paid $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit several years ago alleging the company desecrated thousands of corpses, and dumped bodies into Read more…

Andy Goodall: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

On a recent visit to Venezuela by VSUK members in August 2005, many local people spoke to me in Spanish, assuming that I could understand them. The lack of comprehension on my part did not matter in the least, since in the eyes of each person there was genuine hope to be seen, since the Read more…

Derrick z. Jackson: Bush’s Changing Tune

President Bush said these things about Hurricane Katrina in his speech to the nation Thursday: “Millions of lives were changed in a day by a cruel and wasteful storm.” “Federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone.” “As all of us saw on television, there Read more…

Steve Connor: Global Warming ‘Past The Point Of No Return’

A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that Read more…

Harold Meyerson: One More Secession

UNITE-HERE has left the AFL-CIO, and what I want to know is whether the name of the union is being changed to UNITE-THERE. On Tuesday, the executive board of the 450,000-member union — the product of a merger last year between UNITE (formerly the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) and HERE (the Hotel Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: Warring on Voters

For the last several days at least 6,000 US soldiers along with approximately 4,000 Iraqi soldiers (Read-members of the Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia Badr Army) were laying siege to the city of Tal-Afar, near Mosul in northern Iraq. It is estimated that 90% of the residents have left their homes because of the violence and Read more…

Martin Schuijt: World Faces Prospect of Teeming Mega-Slums

September 13, 2005, UNITED NATIONS, Sep 13 (IPS) – A new report by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) warns that governments will have to take the lead in building some 96,150 housing units per day if the world hopes to avert a massive urban crisis in the near future. Titled “Financing Urban Shelter”, Read more…

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Leslie Cagan: Interviewing Cagan

[Leslie Cagan is national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of more than 1,300 local and national groups that have “joined together to oppose our government’s policy of permanent warfare and empire- building.” (http://www.unitedforpeace.org/) Leslie was interviewed for portside on September 9, 2005, by Ethan Young. — ps moderator] PORTSIDE: Since the Read more…

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Amira Hass: Workers of Gaza unite!

Another demand was added last week to the list of demands of the Independent Workers Committees in Gaza, which they have been presenting in the past few months to institutions of the Palestinian Authority and its leadership. The new demand is the indictment of whoever ordered that live ammunition be fired over the heads of Read more…

Carl Davison: Chicago City Council Votes 29-to-9 for Iraq Pullout

The Chicago City Council Wednesday passed a resolution demanding the removal of US troops from Iraq. Passing by a Council vote of 29 to 9, with 12 abstaining or not voting, the resolution urges ‘the United States government to immediately commence an orderly and rapid withdrawal’ from Iraq. In addition to the death and suffering Read more…

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Robert Scheer: Culture Of Greed

What the world has witnessed this past week is an image of poverty and social disarray that tears away the affluent mask of the United States. Instead of the much-celebrated American can-do machine that promises to bring freedom and prosperity to less fortunate people abroad, we have seen a callous official incompetence that puts even Read more…

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Kim Scipes: US Labor Leaders: Missing in Action

As one considers developments in and around the main currents of the US labor movement — the recent split in the AFL-CIO, and the reaction of both sides of the split to the ongoing strike by AMFA against Northwest Airlines, most particularly — it is difficult not to get discouraged by lack of leadership. Let Read more…

Sara Khorshid: Chain Of Hatred

*CAIRO* — * A police officer summed up the situation very clearly to political detainee Abdel Moneim Mohammed, who has spent 13 years in the custody of the Egyptian interior ministry: “We can’t release you [regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty]. After spending years in prison, you hate us – and setting you Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: Perils of Normalization With Israel

There should be no doubt regarding the centrality and intensity of the relationship between the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the internal and external politics of Arab and Muslim nations, regardless of their geographic immediacy and level of involvement. By ignoring this intrinsic connection, one also forfeits a chief component in fathoming, thus remedying the entrenched sentiment Read more…

Michael Meacher: Britain’s Blowback

The videotape of the suicide bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan has switched the focus of the London bombings away from the establishment view of brainwashed, murderous individuals and highlighted a starker political reality. While there can be no justification for horrific killings of this kind, they need to be understood against the ferment of the last Read more…

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Sonali Kolhatkar: Giving Democracy a Bad Name

The United States has supposedly created new “democracies” in Afghanistan and Iraq, but these endeavors give democracy a bad name. Sure, the two countries have some ingredients of representative democracy (elected officials, a constitution). But both countries are still beset by grinding poverty, insurgent wars and entrenched militia forces that make the exercise of democracy Read more…

Scott Scottmontreal: Progressives, Firefighters And Nurses Need To Run Disaster Response

Take the huge disaster we saw in the planning for Hurricane Katrina and in providing relief, and imagine an alternative scenario where progressives, firefighters and nurses were in power. While the natural disaster might not have been avoided, the humanitarian disaster could have been completely prevented. First hand experience, interviews with rescue/relief  workers and  managers, Read more…

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Patrick Cockburn: Baghdad: The Bloodiest Day

A suicide bomber sparked Baghdad’s worst day of slaughter since the fall of Saddam 30 months ago when he lured labourers desperate for work towards his van by offering them jobs and then detonated explosives that killed 114 and injured 156 of them. On a day when more than a dozen co-ordinated attacks thundered across Read more…

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Chip Ward: Left Behind

Hurricane Katrina showed us how difficult it has become to distinguish between natural disasters and man-made ones. First, the Army Corp of Engineers decides it can build a better river than Mother Nature and in the process deprives the delta of storm-absorbing wetlands and barrier islands while allowing the ground under New Orleans to subside Read more…

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