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Volume III, Number 10: 17 March 2003

This Week's Articles:

Strange Bedfellows

Paul Corrigan

The old adage about politics making strange bedfellows hit me twice last week as I snuggled up under the covers with both Pat Buchanan and Billy Bulger. I did not seek out these relationships, but I woke up in them. Despite the discomfort that these relationships instill in me, I won't be taking any political walks of shame. A broken clock is right twice a day, and Pat Buchanan and Billy Bulger were right last week in their public statements. Buchanan was right when he exposed the "War Party" in the Bush administration, its exploitation of 9/11, and its failed policies. Bulger was right when he defended the University of Massachusetts against elitism and budget cuts.

The Wrong Man for the Wrong War at the Wrong Time

Tim Francis-Wright

Tonight, President Bush made a televised address outlining the rationale for starting a full-scale war on Iraq. Anyone worried about any deviation from form can relax. In his address, Bush fell back upon his old mainstays of cant, obfuscation, and lies.

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

Last Week's Articles:

Toward a Permanent War Economy

Seymour Melman

Now, at the start of the twenty-first century, every major aspect of American life is being shaped by our Permanent War Economy. Civilian manufacturing industries are being swept away as a war-focused White House and a compliant Congress sponsor deindustrialization of the U.S. They favor production—in Mexico and China, where government powers bar independent unions. As production of both consumer goods and capital goods is moved out of America, unions and whole communities are decimated. Ghost towns are created across the country. That process is far along in industries that once invented machine tools, radios, and even TV's. Now the decay proceeds in "new economy" industries like computers and "Palm" type devices. The U.S. firms that sell such equipment typically assemble components that are manufactured elsewhere.

Lord, Give Me Peace... Just Not Yet

Paul Corrigan

The Roman Catholicism of my youth emphasized duality. I was taught to love God and to fear God. I was taught that there was a Heaven and a Hell. I was taught that we all share a social responsibility for each other, but that I was solely responsible for salvation of my own soul. God was both a mystery and the answer to the mystery of life. Over time I learned that God meant different things to different people. The most important lesson was that the idea of God seemed to be infinitely malleable. How else would one explain President Bush's ability to claim Jesus as his favorite philosopher while at the same time advocating war over peace? Bush's fundamentalism helps him deny that he has discarded the teachings of Christ to support his own beliefs. Bush's faith is in himself, not God. Bush uses God as a powerful tool to sell both the American public and himself on his worldly actions. Bush does not trust in God; he trusts in himself.

Piety for Piety's Sake

Tim Francis-Wright

Earlier this month, Newsweek published an encomium by Howard Fineman on President Bush and his ardent Christian faith. The article described Bush as a man who faithfully reads books of sermons once, even twice, a day, and who relies on religious metaphor and imagery in his most important speeches. One question that Fineman did not deem to ask was whether all the public piety was for show.

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


We were honored to publish an article last week from Seymour Melman, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Engineering at Columbia University.

Older Articles:

Alos two hundred articles from previous weeks are in our archives. If you're not careful, you might learn something.

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Links of the Week

  • In Torture We Trust?: The war on terror may be eroding American distrust of torture of prisoners (Eyal Press, The Nation).
  • The Best Defense: Legitimate use of preemptive war requires meeting some very high hurdles (Neta Crawford, Boston Review).
  • Blair is Plunging Britain into a Crisis of Democracy: In Britain, as in most of the world, public opinion is heavily against the war (Seumas Milne, The Guardian).
  • The Three Strategic Fallacies of the Bush Administration: The strategy of the Bush administration, not just its style, is responsible for America's isolation (Michael Lind, New America Foundation).
  • The Greening of Hate: Some American environmentalists are the new conservatives, attacking the poor for having too many children and harming ecosystems (interview with Betsy Hartmann, New Scientist).
  • Left Behind to Starve: While billions of dollars will be spent on war in Iraq, African countries await relative pittances to prevent famine and pestilence (George Monbiot, The Guardian).
  • Inventing Demons: The radical right in the United States depends on bouts of patriotic mobilisation to maintain its grip on the political sphere (Philip Golub, Le Monde diplomatique).
  • Ready.Gov: It looks like a hack from the folks at RTMark, but it's sadly real (United States Department of Homeland Security).

Links of Previous Weeks are in our voluminous archives.

Check out our Link Library for news, opinion, and just plain interesting stuff!

Fact of the Week

On 17 March 2003, the United States withdrew its resolution from the United Nations Security Council that would have authorized immediate military action to depose Saddam Hussein in Iraq. France and Russia had both threatened to veto the resolution.

Oddly enough, exactly thirty-three years ago today, the United States cast its first veto in the Security council. It joined the United Kingdom in killing a motion to condemn the United Kingdom for not using military force to depose the racist government of Ian Smith in Rhodesia.

Global Policy Forum table of Security council vetoes.


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