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Volume III, Number 617 February 2003

This Week's Articles:

Bush's Character

Paul Corrigan

President Bush has failed the true test of character. Handed the American presidency, Bush has abused the power bestowed upon him. A man with character uses power discreetly. A moral man chooses patience over war. A man with ethical strength favors the needs of the many over the wants of the rich. A man of character is competent and dependable. Bush fails every one of these tests.

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Tim Francis-Wright

If the Bush administration starts a full-blown war on Iraq, it will engender a dilemma that will shape American foreign policy for the foreseeable future. Is Iraq an exception or an exemplar? If Iraq is exceptional, what makes it special in the eyes of the United States? And if it is exemplary, what makes this war such a good blueprint for other countries?

[Click on a title to read a particular article.]

Last Week's Articles:

Catch Any Black Man If You Can

Paul Corrigan

Why do Americans cheer for the white con artist in Stephen Spielberg's film "Catch Me If You Can" and racially profile young black men as criminals? It is an interesting question, but not one Americans want to answer. This is the reality that we are willing to live with, but the truth is something we are not willing to face.

The Era of Irresponsibility

Tim Francis-Wright

During the 2000 presidential campaign, George Bush famously called for a new era of responsibility in American politics. In his own words, "responsible leaders confront problems. They don't pass them along to others." In the State of the Union speech last month, Bush echoed his talk from his campaign. He claimed that his administration "will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations."

The current federal budget deficit is not what makes Bush and his administration irresponsible. Indeed, ever since John Maynard Keynes first urged governments to regulate the economy, deficit spending has been a strategy of governments of all stripes during times of economic distress. The irresponsibility of the Bush administration manifests itself in other ways—in its sudden embrace of long-term deficit spending, and in its disdain for the fiscal plight of state governments.

[Click on a title to read a particular article.]

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Fact of the Week

A ground war in Iraq will almost certainly involve the use of depleted uranium (DU) weaponry by the United States. DU is uranium left over from the process of increasing the amount of fissionable uranium (U235) in uranium used in power plants or nuclear weapons. Depleted of U235, it still remains radioactive thanks to the U238 that makes up most of its mass. The United States uses DU in weapons for its high density and propensity to burn on impact.

In Iraq, leftover DU shells from the 1990 Gulf War have contaminated huge tracts of land. Exposure to DU is linked to birth defects in Iraq, and to a host of symptoms and maladies of American soldiers. The Pentagon has no plans to stop the use of DU, in spite about doubts of its safety.

National Gulf War Resource Center;
The Guardian depleted uranium archive;
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12 November 2002.


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