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COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR, AUGUST 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)

FROM PORTSIDE
Portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a
news, discussion and debate service of the Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. It
says it aims to provide varied material of interest to people
on the Left. Heretofore , we were  under the impression that Portside  is the Internet's voice of the Left.  But it turns out to be the Internet's voice of the fundamentalist Far-Left, which, like all fundamentalist organizations, adheres to an orthodoxy and consequently refuses to post dissident or differing opinions from within the Left---such as HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT BUT LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, available to be read in SECTION ONE of COLUMN SEVENTY.  Fundamentalists, like fascists, will not tolerate any disagreements or variations from the fundamentalist orthodoxy.

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BRIEFS

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KISSINGER FACES EXTRADITION\

Subject: Kissinger May Face Extradition to Chile
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 20:51:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: portsideMod <portsidemod@yahoo.com>
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To: ps <portside@yahoogroups.com>

Kissinger may face extradition to Chile

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Judge investigating US role in 1973 coup considers forcing former secretary of state to give evidence

Jonathan Franklin in Santiago and Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles

Wednesday June 12, 2002

The Guardian (UK)

Henry Kissinger may face extradition proceedings in connection with the role of the United States in the 1973 military coup in Chile. The former US secretary of state is wanted for questioning as a witness in the investigation into the events surrounding the overthrow of the socialist president, Salvador Allende, by General Augusto Pinochet.

It focuses on CIA involvement in the coup, whether US officials passed lists of leftwing Americans in Chile to the military and whether the US embassy failed to assist Americans deemed sympathetic to the deposed government.  ##

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NEW EVIDENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING

Subject: Warming world on thin ice
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 18:41:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: portsideMod <portsidemod@yahoo.com>
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Warming World on Thin Ice : Rapidly Melting Glaciers Threaten Death to Millions by Making Huge Areas Uninhabitable

June 9, 2002, The Observer of London via commondreams.org

By Joanna Walters

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0609-02.htm

Ian McNaught-Davis has spent a long time in the mountains. Stocky and affable, the president of mountaineering's international association, the UIAA, is not easily fazed. But when he hiked into the glaciers surrounding the world's highest mountains on a UIAA mission funded by the United Nations Environment Program, he was profoundly shocked.

After hiking through zero visibility and atrocious weather for five days, McNaught-Davis was confronted with a shocking truth: the  glaciers on Everest were melting alarmingly quickly.

The glacier no longer reached to where Hillary's base camp tents were pitched: it had melted three miles up the valley. To check their accounts, McNaught-Davis climbed up to a glacial meltpool at 5,000 meters that 20 years ago was marked on maps as a series of small ponds. He found that the ponds had merged into a vast lake more than a mile long. 'It was huge. I was completely amazed,' he said. 'Further up the glacier you can see more ponds forming.'

The Imja lake did not exist 35 years ago. Experts of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Geneva warned June 5, 2002 of bursting Himalayan glacial lakes, threatening the lives of millions of people, because of ice melt caused by global warming.

And it is happening so quickly that map makers cannot keep up. Locally, the prospect of these glacial lakes bursting their banks and obliterating whole villages is frightening. Globally, McNaught-Davis believes what mountaineers are seeing first is a bellwether for the climate change affecting us all.  ##

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GUATEMALAN DEATH SQUADS ARE BACK

Subject: Return of Guatemalan Death Squads
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 06:15:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: portsideMod <portsidemod@yahoo.com>
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Return of Guatemalan Death Squads

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By Andrew Bounds

Published: June 7 2002 in the Financial Times (UK)

The bullet that killed Guillermo Ovalle as he was eating lunch in a Guatemala City cafe delivered a simple message: the death squads are back.

Mr Ovalle worked for the foundation set up by Nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, one of a number of organisations trying to prosecute generals responsible for atrocities in the country's genocidal civil war. Shadowy armed groups now appear to be trying to intimidate them into silence.

Shortly after Mr Ovalle was killed in what appeared to be a messy hold-up someone called the foundation and played a funeral march down the telephone, confirming the incident was anything but accidental.

The assassination in May was the most serious of a growing wave of attacks on human rights activists in Guatemala, including kidnappings, beatings, break-ins and death threats.

The methods have all the hallmarks of those who prosecuted the dirty war against leftist guerrillas and the indigenous Mayan population, particularly in the 1980s, and who still fear prosecution.

Six years after the conflict ended Hina Jilani, the United Nations' top human rights official last week called on the government to "unmask" the death squads.

President Alfonso Portillo admitted clandestine groups with military links existed but said he was powerless to combat them.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the attacks are increasing as the human rights community celebrates the anniversary of its greatest victory, the conviction on June 8 2001 of three soldiers for involvement in the murder of a crusading bishop. They included a colonel, the highest ranking military officer to be jailed in Guatemala.

Juan Gerardi, the auxiliary bishop of Guatemala City, was bludgeoned to death in his home on April 26, 1998, two days after presenting an exhaustive report detailing the army's role in hundreds of massacres in a war that killed 200,000.

The court found Colonel Byron Lima Estrada, his son Capt Byron Lima Oliva, Jose Obdulio Villanueva and Mario Orantes, Msgr Gerardi's assistant, guilty of involvement in a murder plot hatched by the army.

The verdict came after three months of evidence and three years of investigation marked by incompetence, interference and delays.

It was achieved under incredible diplomatic pressure from the international community, who saw the Gerardi murder as a test case for ending the army's impunity.

However, a year on and with an appeal pending, it looks more like a one-off victory.

"I think it was a historic verdict. But we cannot talk of the end of impunity because there are so many unresolved cases," said Edgar Gutierrez, who worked on the Gerardi report and is now in government. "It is the  exception to the rule."

Such cases include genocide charges laid against former heads of state, including Gen Efrain Rios Montt, head of Mr Portillo's Guatemalan Republican Front and president of Congress.

A recent UN report said the armed forces remained overmighty and prepared more for internal repression than external conflict.

In violation of UN-monitored 1996 peace accords, the two units responsible for the bulk of human rights abuses - the presidential bodyguard, to which Capt Lima and Mr Villanueva belonged, and military intelligence - have not been disbanded.

Nery Rodenas, one of the church's lawyers in the Gerardi case, says it is probable that the soldiers' appeal, scheduled for July, will succeed.  ##

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HUNGER SPREADS IN ARGENTINA

Subject: Hunger Spreads in Recession-wracked Argentina
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 20:50:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: portsideMod <portsidemod@yahoo.com>
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Soup kitchens and Dumpster-diving; hunger spreads in recession-wracked Argentina

============================

Wed Jun 12,
By BILL CORMIER,
Associated Press Writer

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Jose Perez and his wife Maria have 11 hungry mouths to feed. So they travel each week to Argentina's biggest vegetable market to raid the Dumpsters.

Rotten tomatoes, blackened potatoes, rubbery bell peppers --the throwaways from the central market are all the Perez family will eat today. Oblivious to trucks rumbling into the market with loads of fresh oranges, melons and other produce, they fend off the flies and claw through the mushy debris for anything edible.

A four-year-old economic downturn has become the worst recession in Argentine history. The jobless rate has soared to 20 percent, the peso has devalued more than 70 percent against the dollar, and more than one-third of the 36 million people now live in poverty. "My husband hasn't been able to work a decent job in years, and we still have to eat," said Maria, hefting a paring knife in calloused hands as she hacked out black spots in rotting potatoes.

Jose, a laid-off electrician, carried a plastic bucket of water to wash the vegetables that often give his family stomach aches. Nearby, a grizzled man in an old army jacket already had a meager pot of potatoes and cabbage bubbling over a smoky fire. "Tell Mr. Bush we still want to pay back the debt, but give us more time," he said with a laugh. He meant the 141 billion Argentina owes after January's default, when the crisis exploded.

Hunger is becoming evident in Argentina--from the overrun soup kitchens to the streets of the capital where armies of people sift the trash each night for anything to recycle, sell or eat.

Sociologist Artemio Lopez, at the Equis consulting group, said the price for the government's "basic food basket" of essential goods like bread, rice and eggs soared 47.4 percent in the first five months of the year. "With each passing day there is more hunger in Argentina," said Lopez, who estimates the proportion of the population that cannot afford the basics has nearly doubled to 21 percent in a year.

To properly feed a family of four cost 215 pesos in March and 252 pesos in April, government figures show. That's an increase from 61 to 72 dollars, and salaries haven't risen at all.

The cash-strapped government has social programs for the poor, but critics say these can't keep pace with the spreading crisis. On May 17 the government started dispensing 150 pesos (dlrs 42) a month to 1 million unemployed heads of households. The critics say it should be double that amount. Community and religious groups struggle to fill the gap.  ##

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