[Mb-civic] Re: Mb-civic Digest, Vol 3, Issue 47

Jan Burke ldburke at newmexico.com
Thu Sep 23 12:34:27 PDT 2004

please unsubscribe me.
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  Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 1:00 PM
  Subject: Mb-civic Digest, Vol 3, Issue 47

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  Today's Topics:

     1. Powell Denies U.S. Plans to Attack Iran (michael at intrafi.com)
     2. History Can Offer Bush Hope ... (michael at intrafi.com)
     3. ... Unless It's All Greek to Him (michael at intrafi.com)
     4. A washingtonpost.com article from: michael at intrafi.com
        (michael at intrafi.com)
     5. Critique of Bush speech to UN (Michael Butler)


  Message: 1
  Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 10:03:24 -0700 (PDT)
  From: michael at intrafi.com
  Subject: [Mb-civic] Powell Denies U.S. Plans to Attack Iran
  To: mb-civic at islandlists.com
  Message-ID: <5394439.1095959004437.JavaMail.turbine at s74>
  Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

  This story was sent to you by: michael butler

  Powell Denies that US Plans to Attack Iran

  Powell Denies U.S. Plans to Attack Iran 

  The secretary of State says diplomacy is being used to try to halt Iran's nuclear program. But he emphasizes that all options remain open.

  By Maggie Farley
  Times Staff Writer

  September 23 2004

  UNITED NATIONS &#8212; Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Wednesday that there were no plans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, despite the Pentagon's recent agreement to sell Israel 500 "bunker-buster" bombs capable of disabling underground weapons plants. 

  The complete article can be viewed at:

  Visit Latimes.com at http://www.latimes.com


  Message: 2
  Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 10:06:02 -0700 (PDT)
  From: michael at intrafi.com
  Subject: [Mb-civic] History Can Offer Bush Hope ...
  To: mb-civic at islandlists.com
  Message-ID: <11739572.1095959162919.JavaMail.turbine at s74>
  Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

  This story was sent to you by: michael butler

  History can offer Bush Hope

  History Can Offer Bush Hope ... 

  Max Boot

  September 23 2004

  John Kerry is right to accuse President Bush of "colossal failures of judgment" in Iraq. These range from decisions taken in the early days of the occupation, such as the premature disbanding of Iraq's army, to more recent missteps, such as allowing Fallouja to become a terrorist sanctuary. 

  The complete article can be viewed at:

  Visit Latimes.com at http://www.latimes.com


  Message: 3
  Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 10:07:40 -0700 (PDT)
  From: michael at intrafi.com
  Subject: [Mb-civic] ... Unless It's All Greek to Him
  To: mb-civic at islandlists.com
  Message-ID: <11644279.1095959260701.JavaMail.turbine at s78>
  Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

  This story was sent to you by: michael butler

  History: Unless it is All Greek to Him

  ... Unless It's All Greek to Him 

  By Barbara Garson
  Barbara Garson is the author of the 1960s antiwar play "Macbird" and, most recently, "Money Makes the World Go Round" (Penguin, 2002).

  September 23 2004

  During a lull in the war between Athens and Sparta, the Athenians decided to invade and occupy Sicily. Thucydides tells us in "The Peloponnesian War" that "they were, for the most part, ignorant of the size of the island and the numbers of its inhabitants ... and they did not realize that they were taking on a war of almost the same magnitude as their war against the Peloponnesians." 

  The complete article can be viewed at:

  Visit Latimes.com at http://www.latimes.com


  Message: 4
  Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 13:49:33 -0400 (EDT)
  From: michael at intrafi.com
  Subject: [Mb-civic] A washingtonpost.com article from:
  michael at intrafi.com
  To: mb-civic at islandlists.com
  Message-ID: <10543314.1095961773242.JavaMail.wlogic at sane5>
  Content-Type: text/plain

  You have been sent this message from michael at intrafi.com as a courtesy of washingtonpost.com 
   Despite Bush Flip-Flops, Kerry Gets Label
   By John F. Harris
   One of this year's candidates for president, to hear his opposition tell it, has a long history of policy reversals and rhetorical about-faces -- a zigzag trail that proves his willingness to massage positions and even switch sides when politically convenient.
   To view the entire article, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43093-2004Sep22.html?referrer=emailarticle
   Would you like to send this article to a friend? Go to 

  Visit washingtonpost.com today for the latest in:

  News - http://www.washingtonpost.com/?referrer=emailarticle

  Politics - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/politics/?referrer=emailarticle

  Sports - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/sports/?referrer=emailarticle

  Entertainment - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artsandliving/entertainmentguide/?referrer=emailarticle

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  Technology - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/technology/?referrer=emailarticle

  Want the latest news in your inbox? Check out washingtonpost.com's e-mail newsletters:


  © 2004 The Washington Post Company


  Message: 5
  Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 12:16:50 -0700
  From: Michael Butler <michael at michaelbutler.com>
  Subject: [Mb-civic] Critique of Bush speech to UN
  To: Civic <mb-civic at islandlists.com>
  Message-ID: <BD786F32.19A94%michael at michaelbutler.com>
  Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1"

  Tran Africa's Bill Fletcher: Bush's UN Speech Proves He Has "No Moral
  Credibility On International Affairs"

  Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

  We get a response to President Bush's comments before the UN General
  Assembly on Iraq, Palestine, Sudan and AIDS from Phyllis Bennis of the
  Institute for Policy Studies and TransAfrica president Bill Fletcher.
  [includes rush transcript]

   President Bush addressed the United Nations General Assembly yesterday
  marking his fourth appearance before the world body during his term in
  office. And for the third year in a row, the main subject of Bush's speech
  was Iraq.

   The president defended invading Iraq without UN Security Council backing,
  instead speaking about the need for democracy and appealed for help in

   Bush also spoke about Palestine and the crisis in Sudan and listed an array
  of proposed initiatives including Third World debt relief, combating AIDS
  and global trafficking in women and children.

   Bush's remarks drew applause only once -- at the end of his speech. He
  spoke shortly after U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan opened the 191-nation
  gathering with what many saw as a pointed rebuke to the United States.

      ?      Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General addressing the General Assembly,
  September 21, 2004.

   Kofi Annan's comments come a week after he called the invasion of Iraq
  "illegal." Unlike Bush's speech minutes later, Annan directly addressed the
  situation on the ground in Iraq.

      ?      Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General addressing the General Assembly,
  September 21, 2004.

   Today we are going to take a look at some of Bush's comments before the UN
  General Assembly on Iraq, the Palestine-Israel conflict, Sudan and AIDS.

      ?      President Bush, comments on Iraq at the United Nations.
      ?      President Bush, comments on Palestine-Israel at the United
      ?      President Bush, comments on Sudan at the United Nations.
      ?      President Bush, comments on AIDS at the United Nations.

   Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington
  DC, specializing in Middle East and United Nations issues. She is the author
  of the book "Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th
   Bill Fletcher, President of TransAfrica.

  This transcript is available free of charge, however donations help us
  provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV
  broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
  Donate - $25, $50, $100, more...

  AMY GOODMAN: Bush's remarks drew applause only once: at the end of his
  speech. He spoke shortly after U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan opened the
  191-nation gathering with what many saw as a pointed rebuke to the United

   KOFI ANNAN:  As I said a year ago, we have reached a fork in the road. If
  you, the political leaders of the world, cannot agree or reach agreement on
  the way forward, history will take the decisions for you, and the interests
  of your people may go by default. Today I will not seek to prejudge those
  decisions, but to remind you of the all-important framework in which they
  should be taken, namely the rule of law at home and in the world. The vision
  of the government of laws, not of men, is almost as old as civilization

   AMY GOODMAN:  Kofi Annan's comments come a week after he called the
  invasion of Iraq illegal. Unlike Bush's speech, minutes later, Annan
  directly addressed the situation on the ground in Iraq.

   KOFI ANNAN:  In Iraq, we see civilians massacred in cold blood, while
  relief workers, journalists and other non-combatants are taken hostage and
  put to death in the most barbarous fashion. At the same time, we have seen
  Iraqi prisoners disgracefully abused.

   AMY GOODMAN:  Today we're going to take a look at some of Bush's comments
  before the U.N. General Assembly. We're joined from Washington, D.C., by
  Phyllis Bennis, Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington,
  D.C., specializing in Middle East and U.N. issues. She's author of the book,
  Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis. We're
  also joined by Bill Fletcher, the President of TransAfrica. We begin with
  President Bush's comments on Iraq.

   PRESIDENT BUSH: Last meeting of this General Assembly, the people of Iraq
  have regained sovereignty. Today in this hall, the Prime Minister of Iraq
  and his delegation represent a country that has rejoined the community of
  nations. The government of Prime Minister Allawi has earned the support of
  every nation that believes in self-determination and desires peace. And
  under Security Council Resolutions 1511 and 1546 the world is providing that
  support. The U.N. and its member nations must respond to Prime Minister
  Allawi's request, and do more to help build an Iraq that is secure,
  democratic, federal, and free. A democratic Iraq has ruthless enemies,
  because terrorists know the stakes in that country. They know that a free
  Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a decisive blow against their
  ambitions for that region. So, a terrorist group associated with al Qaeda is
  now one of the main groups killing the innocent in Iraq today, conducting a
  campaign of bombings against civilians, and the beheadings of bound men.
  Coalition forces now serving in Iraq are confronting the terrorists and
  foreign fighters so peaceful nations around the world will never have to
  face them within our own borders.

   AMY GOODMAN:  President Bush addressing the U.N. General Assembly
  yesterday. Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, your response

   PHYLLIS BENNIS: This was an extraordinary example, Amy, of using an
  international venue to further Bush's own campaign. As he has been talking
  about in his campaign rhetoric, he completely denied the reality on the
  ground in Iraq. He denied the escalating levels of death and destruction
  going on in that country. The death of U.S. G.I.s, of course, but also most
  particularly the massive increase in the deaths of Iraqis that we have seen
  just in the last ten days or so. This was an example of ignoring reality
  with enormous skill. He spoke of Iraq and Afghanistan as the world's newest
  democracies, ignoring the fact that everyone in the world knows that
  whatever else we may call what's going on in the streets of Iraq, democracy
  is not one of them. He used actually the name of the U.N. Special Envoy of
  the Secretary General, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was killed, of course,
  last year when the United Nations was attacked in Baghdad, because it was
  seen as operating under the terms of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and he
  actually invoked the name of Sergio de Mello saying that the people that are
  now working in Iraq are working under his legacy. It was a breathtaking
  amount of chutzpah, and I can only imagine that people sitting in U.N.
  headquarters in New York who were friends and colleagues of Sergio de Mello
  and the other 21 staff members who were killed must have been absolutely
  appalled at that abuse of his legacy. It stood in very, very sharp contrast
  to Secretary General Kofi Annan's speech, which was a very overt and very
  direct slap in the face to the Bush policy in Iraq. But not only in Iraq.
  Certainly, there was repeated reference to the Iraq war itself being
  illegal, as Kofi Annan had said last week, on the BBC when he said it was
  not in keeping with the terms of the charter, and that it is, quote,
  ³illegal,² but he also referred to other aspects of international law,
  including among other things on the question of disarmament, the Secretary
  General identified with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, although he didn't
  spell it out by name, saying that real disarmament, implying disarmament by
  the countries who have arms is a crucial part of preventing proliferation to
  other countries who don't. And in that way, he was really coming down very
  harshly on the United States and the other official nuclear powers, who are
  obligated by treaty to get rid of other nuclear weapons as the payoff for
  having other countries agree not to get them. Something that the U.S. has
  consistently refused to do. The breadth of Kofi Annan's defense of
  international law as something that explicitly applies to the strong as well
  as the weak stood in sharp contrast to President Bush's sort of blithe
  recitation of false claims about what was happening in the streets of Iraq.

   AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis Bennis, I want to play a clip of President Bush on
  Israel and Palestine.

   PRESIDENT BUSH: This commitment to democratic reform is essential to
  resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Peace will not be achieved by
  Palestinian rulers who intimidate opposition, tolerate corruption and
  maintain ties to terrorist groups. The long suffering Palestinian people
  deserve better. They deserve true leaders capable of creating and governing
  a free and peaceful Palestinian state. Even after the setbacks and
  frustrations of recent months, goodwill and hard effort can achieve the
  promise of the roadmap to peace. Those who would lead a new Palestinian
  state should adopt peaceful means to achieve the rights of their people, and
  create the reform institutions of a stable democracy. Arab states should add
  incitement in their own media, cut off public and private funding for
  terrorism and establish normal relations with Israel. Israel should impose a
  settlement freeze, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end the daily
  humiliation of the Palestinian people and avoid any actions that prejudice
  final negotiations.

   AMY GOODMAN:  Phyllis Bennis, your response?

   PHYLLIS BENNIS: It was really quite extraordinary listening to that
  yesterday, with President Bush saying that Palestinians deserve better, not
  that they deserve an end to occupation, but they deserve a better
  government. That their government must move towards reform. This was the
  only thing that Palestinians deserve, in Bush's view. When he spoke of the
  obligations of Israel, he spoke about removing unauthorized outposts, as if
  some of the outposts are authorized, which is what, of course, the Israeli
  government claims. He did not say there must be an end to occupation. He did
  not say that international law must be applied in the occupied territories.
  He said that Israel should end the daily humiliation. He didn't say anything
  about the daily assaults, about the almost daily murder of occupied
  Palestinians by Israeli military. So, the limitations on his willingness to
  even use the requirements of the United Nations resolutions and
  international law as the basis for what would be the basis of a negotiated
  settlement was simply thrown out the window. This was a -- one more sop to
  the pro-Israeli forces in the United States in a context of the election. It
  was one more use of the U.N. for that purpose.

   AMY GOODMAN:  Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies. [break]

   AMY GOODMAN:  As we continue with President Bush's address to the United
  Nations General Assembly yesterday, our guest, Phyllis Bennis of The
  Institute for Policy Studies and Bill Fletcher President of TransAfrica.
  Let's go to President Bush on Sudan.

   PRESIDENT BUSH: At this hour, the world is witnessing terrible suffering
  and horrible crimes in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Crimes my government
  has concluded are genocide. The United States played a key role in efforts
  to broker a cease-fire and we're providing humanitarian assistance to the
  Sudanese people. Rwanda and Nigeria have deployed forces in Sudan to help
  improve security so aid can be delivered. The Security Council adopted a new
  resolution that supports an expanded Palestinian union force to help prevent
  further bloodshed and urges the government of Sudan to stop flights by
  military aircraft in Darfur. We congratulate the members of the council on
  this timely and necessary action. I call on the government of Sudan to honor
  the ceasefire it signed and stop the killing in Darfur.

   AMY GOODMAN:  President Bush speaking at the U.N. General Assembly. Bill
  Fletcher joining us from Washington studio, President of TransAfrica.
  Welcome, Bill. Can you respond to President Bush's statement about Sudan and
  the U.S. now using the term ³genocide?²

   BILL FLETCHER: Well, thank you. Let me just say, in terms of the
  President's speech, first of all I think we understand when we look and
  listen to that speech why the Bush Administration has no moral credibility
  on international affairs. The manipulative use of this speech for political
  ends was really quite blatant. It's interesting in looking at his remarks,
  listening to his remarks with regard to the Sudan the-- it took a
  considerable amount of international pressure to get the Bush
  Administration, after countless denials, to actually acknowledge the extent
  of the humanitarian crisis that's underway in the Sudan. But when you link
  the President's speech with the crisis in the Sudan, you can understand why
  many countries are a bit skeptical about endorsing any initiative advanced
  by the United States, because they see it as, more often than not, a cynical
  adventure in the international realm.

   AMY GOODMAN:  Bill Fletcher, you were arrested along with Danny Glover,
  Chair of TransAfrica, in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington. Where
  do you see the Bush Administration taking this issue?

   BILL FLETCHER: I actually think, Amy, they're probably not going to take it
  very far, that it will depend, to a great extent, on a few other factors.
  One is the extent to which people in the United States continue to keep this
  issue front and center, particularly as we proceed down the road towards the
  November 2nd elections. But I think that it's also going to be very much
  influenced by what other countries do and the extent to which China and
  Russia, particularly, can be convinced to exert a greater pressure on the
  Sudan to pull back from the genocidal path they're conducting.

   AMY GOODMAN:  I want to go to President Bush speaking about AIDS at the
  U.N. General Assembly.

   PRESIDENT BUSH: Because we believe in human dignity, America and many
  nations have established a global fund to fight aids, tuberculosis and
  malaria. In three years, the contributing countries have funded projects in
  more than 90 countries, and pledged a total of $5.6 billion to these
  efforts. America has undertaken a $15 billion effort to provide prevention
  and treatment and humane care in nations afflicted by AIDS, placing a
  special focus on 15 countries where the need is most urgent. AIDS is the
  greatest health crisis of our time and our unprecedented commitment will
  bring new hope to those who have walked too long in the shadow of death.

   AMY GOODMAN:  President Bush speaking at the U.N. General Assembly. Bill
  Fletcher of TransAfrica, you're shaking your head.

   BILL FLETCHER: It's infuriating, Amy. More people are dying per day as a
  result of AIDS than died on 9/11. And yet the Bush Administration
  manipulates the issue. They talk about contributing to the Global AIDS Fund.
  The U.S. contribution to the U.N. Global AIDS Fund is far less than should
  be its share of contributions to the overall costs. And in the midst of the
  situation, the Bush Administration, supposedly a conservative regime that
  believes in less bureaucracy creates its own bureaucracy to advance the
  global AIDS fight. I mean it's simply unbelievable what is being done, and
  what's not being done. On top of that, this administration has ideologized
  the fight around AIDS where they have penalized those countries that promote
  the use of condoms and believe, out of some myth, that the way that one
  stops the spread of HIV and AIDS is simply through abstinence. I mean, this
  objectively represents genocide on the part of this administration. You add
  onto that that this administration has obstructed the ability of countries
  to buy or produce generic pharmaceuticals in order to confront this
  pandemic. So, one must ask, What are their motives? What are their

   AMY GOODMAN:  Bill Fletcher, as we begin to wrap up this discussion, I
  don't want to leave you without talking about Haiti and Grenada right now.
  Slightly separate issues, but these countries are absolutely devastated by
  the storms, and earthquakes. Ninety percent of Grenada, they say--of the
  homes--are destroyed. And in Haiti, something like 250,000 people left
  homeless. What can be done right now?

   BILL FLETCHER: In part, the Haitian crisis that¹s a result of the hurricane
  has to be understood within the larger crisis of the disruption as a result
  of the coup that overthrew President Aristide. Haiti is a mess. It is a
  complete and utter mess! There is no basic infrastructure to address the
  nature of a hurricane such as Jeanne that struck the country. Where more
  than 700 people are dead; thousands, at least, are missing, and, as you
  said, hundreds of thousands of other people are in despair. I think that the
  United States, as well as the O.A.S. needs to rush in emergency assistance.
  I understand this morning that Venezuela has come forward, and it doesn't
  surprise me, because of the concern that President Chavez has evidenced for
  the country of Haiti, historically.

   AMY GOODMAN:  Also in the headlines today, we read this piece about The
  Scotsman newspaper reporting the Bush Administration facing condemnation for
  failing to join more than 100 countries as part of a new campaign to raise
  an extra $50 billion annually to combat global hunger. The U.S. rejected
  proposals to raise money by introducing global tax on financial transactions
  and a tax on the sale of heavy arms. The Brazilian President Lula responding
  by saying, how many times will it be necessary to repeat that the most
  destructive weapons of mass destruction in the world is poverty.

   BILL FLETCHER: I think that President Lula was absolutely right on target.
  This administration will not accept that. But every so often, it throws a
  bone to the people of the world. So, one of the bones that it threw was that
  there will be some level of debt reduction. Africa has somewhere around $300
  billion of onerous debt, but this administration is not addressing the depth
  of that crisis. The types of steps that were being proposed -- they run
  counter to the way this administration looks at confronting poverty. It
  basically identifies legitimate poverty and illegitimate poverty, much as it
  does here in the United States.

   AMY GOODMAN:  Phyllis Bennis, we have 30 seconds to go. I just wanted to
  wrap up with the overall context of where President Bush spoke yesterday, at
  the U.N. General Assembly--you having been an observer of, correspondent
  from, the U.N. for many years, having written books and numerous articles
  about it.

   PHYLLIS BENNIS: I think this was an example of President Bush using the
  United Nations in an extraordinarily tactical, partisan, political way. It
  was not an expression of recognition of the primacy of the United Nations in
  global affairs. Rather, it was seeing the United Nations as a venue for
  continuing a thoroughly partisan and aggressive campaign: expecting his
  audience to deny reality, expecting his audience to listen to what he said
  without acknowledging that it flies in the face of what is actually going on
  on the ground in Iraq and elsewhere.

   AMY GOODMAN:  Phyllis Bennis, thank you for joining us, from The Institute
  for Policy Studies and Bill Fletcher of TransAfrica. This is Democracy Now!



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