EMAIL PAGE EIGHT
COLUMN NINETY-FIVE, AUGUST 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 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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BUSH'S SENEGAL PHOTO-OP (THAT AMERICA'S LAME MEDIA NEGLECTED TO TELL US ABOUT)
Subject: Eyewitness Account of Bush's Stop in Senegal
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 23:05:41 -0400
Senegal - Bush brings his own lunch, dogs, cars, 700 agents, tree cutters, reporters and soda pop
SunMt member Joan Herron got this message from a friend in Senegal.
More than 1,500 persons have been arrested and put in jail between Thursday and Monday. Hopefully they will be released now that the Big Man is gone
The US Army's planes flying day and night over Dakar. The noise they make is so loud that one hardly sleeps
About 700 security people from the US for Bush's security in Senegal, with their dogs, and their cars.
Senegalese security forces were not allowed to come near the US president
All trees in places where Bush will pass have been cut. Some of them have more than 100 years
All roads going down town (where hospitals, businesses, schools are located) were closed from Monday night to Tuesday at 3 PM. This means that we could not go to our offices or schools. Sick people were also obliged to stay at home.
National exams for high schools that started on Monday are postponed until Wednesday.
Bush's visit to the Goree Island is another story. As you may know Goree is a small Island facing Dakar where
from the 15th to the 19th century, the African slaves to be shipped to America were parked in special houses
called slave houses. One of these houses has become a Museum to remind humanity about this dark period and has been visited by kings, queens, presidents. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, and before them, Nelson
Mandela, the Pope, and many other distinguished guests or ordinary tourists visited it without bothering the
islanders. But for "security reasons" this time, the local population was chased out of their houses from 5 to 12 AM. They were forced by the American security to leave their houses and leave everything open, including
their wardrobes to be searched by special dogs brought from the US.
The ferry that links the island to Dakar was stopped and offices and businesses closed for the day.
According to an economist who was interviewed by a private radio, Senegal that is a very poor country has
lost huge amount of money in this visit, because workers have been prevented from walking out of their
In addition to us being prevented to go out, other humiliating things happened also. Bush did not want to
be with Senegalese or use our things. He brought his own armchairs, and of course his own cars, and meals
and drinks. He came with his own journalists and ours were forbidden inside the airport and in place he was
Our president was not allowed to make a speech. Only Bush spoke when he was in Goree. He spoke about
slavery. It seems that he needs the vote of the African American to be elected in the next elections, and
wanted to please them. That's why he visited Goree.
Several protest marches against American politics have been organized yesterday and even when Bush was here, but we think he does not care.
We have the feeling that everything has been done to convince us that we are nothing, and that America can
behave the way it wants, everywhere, even in our country.
Believe me friends, it is a terrible feeling. But according to a Ugandan friend of mine, I should not complain because it Uganda one of the country he is going to visit, Bush does not intend to go out of the airport. He will receive the Ugandan President in the airport lounge.
Nevertheless, I think I am lucky, because I have such wonderful American friends. But there are now thousands of Senegalese who believe that for all Americans the world is their territory.
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CLAMOR FOR BUSH IMPEACHMENT GROWS
Subject: Bush Deserves To Be Impeached & Public Ire Over Iraq Is Increasing
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 02:37:41 -0400
Bush Deserves To Be Impeached
by.Eric Margolis -- Toronto Sun Contributing Foreign Editor
Toronto Sun Op-Ed Column - July 20, 200
"Worse than a crime, it was a blunder," was how the cynical Talleyrand famously described Napoleon's murder of the Duke d'Enghien. The same may be said of President George Bush's attempts to murder the leader of a sovereign nation, Saddam Hussein, and his foolhardy eagerness to invade Iraq.
Thanks to Bush's blundering, nearly 50% of U.S. Army combat units are now stuck in a spreading guerrilla war in Iraq , costing $4 billion US monthly, that is becoming the biggest, most expensive, and bloodiest foreign mess since Vietnam. This when the U.S. is threatening military action against North Korea.
As the furor in Washington grows over Bush's admission of now-discredited claims about Iraqi uranium imports from Africa in his keynote state of the union address, administration officials are viciously blaming one another. George Tenet, the CIA's meek director, became the fall guy for the uranium fiasco, though he repeatedly warned the White House its claims were unsubstantiated.
Blame rightly belongs to Bush himself, and to his woefully inadequate national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Either they knew the uranium story was false, or they were unfit for high office.
For one thing, uranium ore is no more threatening than cake mix. To weaponize it, ore must be laboriously transformed into uranium hexafluoride gas, then separated and enriched in huge, highly visible plants, equipped with "cascades" of thousands of high-speed centrifuges. The U.S. knew there were no such nuclear plants in Iraq. French intelligence warned it the Niger story was bogus. Nor had Iraq any means of delivering nuclear or biowarfare weapons. In short, Iraq had zero offensive capability, and posed zero threat.
At the time, Bush's critics, including this column, dismissed as hogwash his claims Iraq was an "imminent threat" to the U.S. We were denounced as "unpatriotic" and "friends of Saddam" in the pro-war press. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who challenged White House lies, was vilified and smeared with loathsome personal attacks by the neo-con U.S. media.
The Niger uranium story may have come from Vice President Dick Cheney's office. Three days before the invasion of Iraq, Cheney actually claimed Iraq "has reconstituted nuclear weapons."
As the Niger uranium scandal grows, it is increasingly clear the White House's campaign to drive Americans into an unjustified, unnecessary war had nothing to do with Iraq's alleged weapons, nor its internal repression.
Bush's crusade against Iraq was designed to assuage Americans' fury and fear over 9/11 by making Saddam Hussein a whipping boy for the attack in which he had no part.
The jolly little wars against Afghanistan and Iraq were also designed to make Americans forget the Bush White House had been caught with its pants down by 9/11, and was asleep at the switch in the Enron financial disaster. Who now remembers that Attorney General John Ashcroft actually cut spending on anti-terrorism before 9/11, or that Washington was giving millions to the Taliban until four months before 9/11?
How better to get Americans to support a war than by insinuating, as did Bush, that Iraq was responsible for 9/11, and claiming Saddam was about to attack the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction? A pre-emptive attack on Iraq was urgent to save America, insisted Bush. A weak-kneed Congress and credulous public went along with White House warmongering, while the spineless UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, and UN arms inspector Hans Blix wriggled like jellyfish. Most Democrats, including some presidential candidates, joined Bush's lynch mob.
A torrent of lies poured from the administration, all aimed at justifying a war of aggression, thwarting the UN Security Council, ending UN inspections in Iraq and grabbing Iraq's oil riches. Virtually all administration claims about Iraq's weapons had been disproved by UN inspectors before Bush went to war. Exposed as fakery are the "drones of death;" aluminum tubes for centrifuges; chemical munitions bunkers; mobile germ labs; hidden Scuds; links to al-Qaida and "poison camps;" Saddam's smallpox; Saddam's secret nuclear program.
And the biggest canard of all: Bush's absurd claims there was "no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised," and that it "threatened all mankind."
Thanks to the shameful complicity of the U.S. media, which amplified White House propaganda, Americans were led to believe Iraq attacked the U.S. on 9/11, and was in league with al-Qaida. Bush's faux war on terrorism was redirected, by clever White House spin, into a hugely popular campaign against Iraq. The failure to kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was covered up by the rush to kill Saddam.
The litany of lies produced by the White House and its neo-con allies would be farcical were it not for the deaths of so many Americans and Iraqis. Of course, all politicians lie. But lying to get one's country into an unnecessary war is an outrage, and ought to be an impeachable offence. ##
Antiwar Groups Say Public Ire Over Iraq Claims Is
By Evelyn Nieves;.Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 22, 2003; Page A03
SAN FRANCISCO -- The letters are pouring in like a water main break---fast and, yes, furious. From Alabama: "We want to know the truth!" From Arizona: "If there's nothing to hide, what's the harm in a
bipartisan inquiry?" From Mississippi: "We must get to the truth---whatever it is!"
About 400,000 people from every state have contacted members of Congress in the past three weeks as part of a MoveOn.org petition that asks Congress to investigate the controversial claims that led to the war on Iraq, with more than 50,000 people signing on to the liberal.activist Web site in the past five days alone.
"It seems more and more people who supported the war are signing on," said Eli Pariser, MoveOn.org's campaigns director. "They're angry. People who in the past couple of weeks before the war decided to
support it are swinging back."
For organizations that opposed the war, these are busy days. Not since hundreds of thousands of people across the country marched in antiwar rallies in the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion has the rationale for the preemptive war come under such fire. The groups hope to galvanize a broad spectrum of the American people, a majority of whom.supported the war, but with reservations. The goal is to persuade public officials to support an independent, bipartisan commission modeled on the panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In the week since the administration admitted that President Bush's State of the Union speech in January should not have mentioned that the British had "learned" Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Africa for a nuclear weapons program, antiwar groups say that more and more Americans have been contacting them,
looking for answers.
"You know an issue has momentum," said Andrea Buffa, co-chair of the United for Peace and Justice coalition, "when people are coming into your office to ask if there's a protest planned about it."
And, with other intelligence claims about an Iraq nuclear program under scrutiny, weapons of mass destruction yet to be found and U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq nearly every day, antiwar coalitions are seizing on the public's growing concerns over the war, as recent polls have indicated, to try to reenergize their movement and force
an examination of the process and the policies that led to the war.
So far, Congress has been split along party lines on the issue of formal reviews and the issue, some in the movement fear, could become a strictly partisan one, diluting its appeal. The.Democratic National Committee.has begun running a television ad accusing Bush of deception---ads the Republicans have asked broadcasters not to air. Last week, Senate Democrats proposed examining the prewar intelligence, while Republicans in the majority voted against the proposals, each side accusing the other of playing partisan politics. (Republicans also say that intelligence reviews are already underway in House and Senate committees.) ##
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DIXIE CHICKS STILL SPEAKING OUT
Subject: Dixie Chicks launch political campaign to make youth voices heard
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 02:39:47 -0400
* Dixie Chicks launch political campaign to make youth voices heard
Yahoo News - July 22, 2003
* Lawmakers blast Dixie Chicks ban - July 8 Senate Hearings on Radio Concentration - Variety.com -- Jul. 8, 2003
* Dixie Chicks launch political campaign to make youth
Yahoo News - July 22, 2003 - 3:32AM ET
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Dixie Chicks, who .sparked a furor when they slammed US President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq, launched a drive to .get youngsters to make their political voices heard.
.The country trio---whose record sales plunged .after lead singer Natalie Maines said she was .ashamed Bush came from the same state as her .during a performance---is trying to entice young .women to vote.
.The "Chicks Rock, Chicks Vote!" campaign is .aimed at luring young women to the ballot box .and boasts a website encouraging young people .to speak out on political issues.
."It is important for young people to know they .have the power to 'Rock the Vote'," the musicians said. "Only 36 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 voted in the last presidential .election."
.It was speaking out on a political issue that got Maines and her fellow .Texans in hot water in March as Washington prepared to invade Iraq. Her comment about Bush sparked a widespread US radio boycott of the
.group's music and prompted some fans to publicly trash their compact .discs. ##
Lawmakers blast Dixie Chicks ban - July 8 Senate Hearings on Radio Concentration
Variety.com -- Posted: Tue., Jul. 8, 2003, 4:53pm PT
Lawmakers blast Dixie Chicks ban
Solons see action as fallout from biz concentration
By SUSAN CRABTREE
WASHINGTON -- Radio company execs who banned the Dixie Chicks from their stations earlier this year got their own feathers ruffled Tuesday at a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Senators grilled Cumulus Media topper Lewis Dickey about his company's decision to ban the group from all its country stations for a month after the group's lead singer criticized President George W. Bush's decision to wage war in Iraq.
The Dixie Chicks' cause dominated the Senate Commerce Committee hearing as lawmaker after lawmaker referred to the controversy as a perfect example of the consequences of too much concentration in the radio biz.
"I was as offended as anyone by the statement of the Dixie Chicks, but to restrain their trade because they exercised their right of free speech is remarkable," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lectured Dickey.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) pointed to Cumulus' decision and a similar move by Cox Communications as a factor in attracting congressional scrutiny.
"You've motivated a lot of us to take a look at this consolidation issue," Boxer told Dickey. "You've hurt yourself in terms of what you want."
Dickey was there to testify against the FCC's decision to change the way it defines local radio markets as part of its June 2 media ownership rules rewrite, making it slightly more difficult for corporate radio behemoths to buy stations in small markets.
"Contrary to much of the self-serving rhetoric, deregulation and the resulting consolidation of the radio industry have revitalized and perhaps saved an industry that I and many fellow Americans alike view as a national treasure," Dickey said.
Simon Renshaw, the Dixie Chicks' manager and a member of the Recording Artists' Coalition's board of directors, passionately dismissed such claims. He argued that greater concentration has given radio companies unprecedented power over artists and record labels and has led to bland, nationwide playlists that make it
difficult for new artists to break into the industry.
"Even the perception of a radio network using power in this way," he said, referring to the Dixie Chicks boycott, "clearly demonstrates the potential danger of a system of unchecked consolidation that ultimately undermines artistic freedom, cultural enlightenment and political dissonance."
Dickey defended the company's decision to ban the Dixie Chicks from its 50 country stations as one motivated by business interests, not politics. He also claimed Cumulus was simply responding to a groundswell of criticism from listeners in local areas, noting the company did not ban the group from stations with Top 40
programming because those listeners were not complaining. ##
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