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COLUMN EIGHTY-EIGHT, APRIL 1, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
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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MORE BUSH LIES
By Doug Ireland
[Doug Ireland is a New York-based media critic and
The "powerful odor of mendacity" (to borrow Tennessee Williams' phrase) hung over George Bush's primetime virtual declaration of war Monday night.
When Bush proclaimed that "The Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised," that was a lie. What are the "most lethal weapons ever devised?" Why, nuclear
weapons, of course. That Iraq possesses nukes, or is even close to making them, is something for which Bush has been unable to provide any evidence that would withstand scrutiny. The United Nations' inspectors have found none. And that which the administration has produced turned out to be fraudulent---like the centerpiece
documents about Nigerian uranium shipments to Iraq, which were childish forgeries.
Bush asserted that Iraq "has aided, trained, and harbored terrorists, including operatives of Al Qaeda." The last
part of that was a lie. Pieces of the crucial document of U.S. "proof" that Saddam Hussein has aided his ideological enemy Al Qaeda---a cut-and-paste British report assembled by Tony Blair's public relations
strategist, and recommended heartily as the fundament for this assertion by Colin Powell in his prosecutor's brief at the United Nations--- turned out to have been plagiarized from a paper by a graduate student, based on data a decade old, and augmented by more plagiarizing from press cuttings. ##
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IT'S OUR PLANET
It is, after all, our planet
By Carl Bloice
The February 15, 2003 action was as The Nation described it, "the world's largest anti-war demonstration ever," but it was more than that. Not since the Stockholm Peace Appeal of the 1950s has there been such a project to mobilize and give expression to world public opinion over matters of war and peace. ##
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HOW MANY MUST GET KILLED?
Musicians Against War - From All Over
New York Times
March 12, 2003
Antiwar Song, With Whimsy
By NEIL STRAUSS
"Now how many people must get killed?" begins the latest antiwar refrain from the pop world.
"For oil families' pockets to get filled?" The song is "In a World Gone Mad," which was released yesterday
with no advance fanfare by the Beastie Boys. Though not commercially available as a single, the song is
available free at the Beastie Boys Web site (www.beastieboys.com) and is being distributed to disc jockeys, who were unaware of it until they began receiving copies yesterday.
"We were working on our record, and we realized that by the time we finished a record that it might be a bit
late to get out some of the things we wanted to comment on," said Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, speaking by telephone yesterday. "So we figured we'd finish the song and post it." ##
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NOAM CHOMSKY'S TWO CENTS
Published March 13, 2003
The most powerful state in history has proclaimed that it intends to control the world by force, the dimension
in which it reigns supreme.
President Bush and his cohorts evidently believe that the means of violence in their hands are so extraordinary that they can dismiss anyone who stands in their way.
The consequences could be catastrophic in Iraq and around the world. The United States may reap a whirlwind of terrorist retaliation---and step up the possibility of nuclear Armageddon.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and company are committed to an "imperial ambition," as G. John
Ikenberry wrote in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs---"a unipolar world in which the United
States has no peer competitor" and in which "no state or coalition could ever challenge it as global leader,
protector and enforcer."
That ambition surely includes much expanded control over Persian Gulf resources and military bases to impose a preferred form of order in the region.
Even before the administration began beating the war drums against Iraq, there were plenty of warnings that U.S. adventurism would lead to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as terror, for deterrence
Right now, Washington is teaching the world a dangerous lesson: If you want to defend yourself from us, you had better mimic North Korea and pose a credible threat. Otherwise we will demolish you.
There is good reason to believe that the war with Iraq is intended, in part, to demonstrate what lies ahead when the empire decides to strike a blow---though "war" is hardly the proper term, given the gross mismatch of forces. ##
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BRAZIL'S LAST HUNTERS
Brazil's last hunters tell settlers to leave jungle
By Leyla Linton
London 13 March 2003
Brazil's last hunter-gatherer Indian tribe, the Awa, handed a 40,000-signature petition to the Brazilian
government yesterday, demanding the removal of illegal settlers from their land.
After a 20-year campaign, the mapping-out and marking of their land into a reserve, ordered by a judge last
year, has been completed, but loggers and ranchers remain.
Fiona Watson of Survival International, an organisation that supports tribal peoples, said: "Now this demarcation has finished, the Brazilian authorities have to protect the area and stop the killing of the Awa."
Only 300 Awa still remain and about 60 live uncontacted in nomadic groups in the Eastern Amazon. To'o, an Awa leader, said: "We live in the depths of the forest and we are getting cornered as the whites close in on us.
Without the forest we are nobody. Without the forest, we will be extinct."
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BUSH AND GOD
The "Bush & God" Scam: Don't Buy It by Ira Chernus
Published on Monday, March 10, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
"Bush & God," the cover of Newsweek announces, as if the two were business partners. That's what the White House wants us to think. It is mounting a massive campaign to paint the president as a man on a divine
mission, a man who sees himself as an agent of God.
Some of the reasons for this PR ploy are obvious. It's so much easier to go to war if we believe that God is on our, and our leader's, side. Wrap the flag around God, and who can question your moral credibility? If Bush stands with God, those who actively oppose his war must be down below with Satan. If Bush is so sincerely
religious, those who question his motives must be misguided. Such a spiritual man would never send others to their death for crass motives like power and oil. Surely, he must have higher ethical principles in view.
There is a risk in this strategy. It makes Bush look like a fanatic. That could easily drive some of the undecided into the antiwar camp.
But making Bush look like a fanatic might very well be the point. If he really believes he is on a mission from God, why would he care what the French, the Russians, or even the American people think? Nothing can stop a religious fanatic from doing God's work on earth. As antiwar sentiment mounts, the White House may be using this "Bush and God" gambit as a way to say: Forget it. March and lobby as much as you want. Nothing
can stop this Christian soldier from marching out to war.
This is a new twist on Richard Nixon's famous "madman" theory. Nixon wanted the North Vietnamese to believe that he was so irrational, he could easily nuke them into oblivion if they did not settle the war on his
terms. Now the White House says that George W. is so irrationally sunk in his Christian beliefs, he must have U.S. policy settled on his terms. ##
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