Thursday, September 23, 2004


1) Pepper-Spray Case Goes to Jury in California

2) Study Finds Accelerating
Drop in Corporate Taxes
September 23, 2004


1) Pepper-Spray Case Goes to Jury in California

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 - Maya Portugal says the majestic redwood
trees of Northern California changed her forever. Her love for the
sweeping forest canopies and lush old-growth groves has taken her
from child explorer to teenage protester to adult plaintiff in a seven-
year legal battle between the law enforcement officials of rural
Humboldt County and environmentalists opposed to logging the

"I grew up in the woods," she said. "Driving through Humboldt now
you can see all the clear-cuts. I wanted to do something so my kids
wouldn't have to see what I saw."

That is how Ms. Portugal, 22, explained to jurors in federal court
here what moved her, at the age of 16, to join protests against
logging of the trees. She is one of eight anti-logging activists,
known to their colleagues as the Pepper Spray 8, who are the
plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the City of Eureka and Humboldt
County authorities.

The lawsuit, sent to the jury in United States District Court for
Northern California on Tuesday, asserts that a county policy that
allows the authorities to smear pepper spray ointment on the eyes
of protesters constitutes an unnecessary and excessive use of force,
tantamount to torture.

The lawsuit stems from three incidents in 1997 when pepper spray
was daubed in the eyes of Ms. Portugal and at least seven others
after they refused to heed police orders to disperse. Closing
arguments in the trial were presented Tuesday. Judge Susan
Illston instructed the eight jurors that a unanimous verdict was
necessary to find for the protesters, who seek unspecified damages.

"It burned really bad," Ms. Portugal testified last week. "I felt scared.
I felt like I was being violated. I felt like the cops were out of control."

The Humboldt authorities testified Monday that pepper spray was
considered the safest way to make the arrests. The question of
whether the police used unreasonable force in violation of the
Fourth Amendment is at the heart of the trial.

The three incidents attracted attention far beyond Humboldt
in part because television news programs broadcast the protests,
including images of sheriff's deputies daubing the eyes of passive
protesters with cotton swabs soaked with pepper spray.

Since then the incidents have been the subject of numerous
lawsuits resulting in a jury deadlock, a mistrial, a series of
appellate court procedures, the removal of a judge and a United
States Supreme Court ruling remanding the case to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, instructing it to
consider whether the sheriffs were immune from suit. The Ninth
Circuit said the sheriffs had no immunity and ordered the new
trial, now under way.

Lawyers for the protesters include J. Tony Serra, who has
characterized the case as "a political trial." Mr. Serra and the
others argue that the police acted maliciously, using unreasonable
force to intentionally inflict pain, frighten the protesters and silence
the anti-logging movement. "When people are nonviolent they
do not deserve to be treated like wild beasts," he said in closing.

In testimony last week, protesters told the jury that the chemical
caused searing eye pain, gagging, dizziness, hyperventilation and
headaches that in some cases lasted days. To this day, protesters
said, they fear the police and suffer aftereffects, including impaired
vision and recurring growths on their eyelids.

But lawyers for the defendants - Humboldt County, the City of
Eureka and local law enforcement officials - argued that the use
of pepper spray came in response to "organized lawlessness" by
protesters, including the group Earth First, which helped arrange
sit-ins and rallies.

The demonstrators were directing their efforts at the Pacific Lumber
Company and the Texas investor Charles E. Hurwitz, chief executive
of Pacific Lumber's parent company, Maxxam, and their negotiations
with the state and federal governments that resulted in the so-
called Headwaters deal. It was created to preserve 10,000 acres
of redwoods but upset many environmentalists who felt it did not
go far enough.

Nancy Delaney, a Eureka lawyer representing the defendants, said,
"We believe the use of force was reasonable and the safest way for
officers to discharge their lawful duty."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


2) Study Finds Accelerating
Drop in Corporate Taxes
September 23, 2004

America's largest and most profitable companies paid less in
corporate income taxes in the last three years, even as they
increased profits, according to a study released yesterday.

Companies have always used write-offs, depreciation, deductions
and loopholes to lower their taxes, but the study, by Citizens for
Tax Justice and its affiliate, the Institute on Taxation and Economic
Policy, suggested that tax breaks and subsidies enacted during the
Bush administration had accelerated the decline in tax payments.

The study also cited the proliferation of abusive tax shelters and
increasingly aggressive corporate lobbying as fueling the decline in
tax payments by corporations.

The study was done by nonprofit research and advocacy groups that
have been supported in part by labor unions. They contend that the
tax system favors wealthy corporations and individuals.

The study, Corporate Income Taxes in the Bush Years, surveyed
public filings by 275 of the nation's largest and most profitable
companies, based on revenue from the Fortune 500 list of 2004.
The 275 companies reported pretax profits from operations in
the United States of $1.1 trillion from 2001 through 2003, the
study said, yet reported to the Internal Revenue Service and paid
taxes on half that amount.

Robert S. McIntyre, the lead author of the study, wrote, "The fact
that America's companies were allowed to report less than half of
their actual U.S. profits to the I.R.S., while ordinary wage earners
have to report every penny of their earnings, has to undermine
public respect for the tax system."

The 275 companies surveyed include nearly all of the 2004
Fortune 500 companies that were profitable from 2001
through 2003. The list excluded those that reported losses
in any year, including General Motors and Ford ; certain
companies whose finances were considered too opaque to
; and about 25 companies to maintain a balance.

The study cited, among other things, tax breaks enacted in
2002 and 2003 as prompting the decline in corporate payments.
Such tax breaks, as used by the 275 companies, totaled more than
$175 billion over the last three years, including $71 billion last year,
up from $43.4 billion in 2001. That compares, roughly, with $98
billion in tax breaks for the top 250 profitable companies over 1996
through 1998, according to a similar study by Citizens for Tax
Justice in 2000.

Not all experts agreed with the study's findings. William W. Beach,
a tax policy expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative
research group in Washington, said that even though the study
surveyed the top 275 companies, he did not find it "typical of
corporate America," adding that smaller and midsize businesses
were "paying a lot in taxes."

According to the study, some 28 corporations paid no taxes
from 2001 to 2003, despite having profits in the period of nearly
$45 billion.

Industry sectors that paid the lowest taxes or no taxes included
aerospace and military, telecommunications, transportation, and
industrial and farm equipment.

The 2000 study found that from 1996 to 1998, 11 of the 250
largest and most profitable companies paid no taxes, even though
all reported profits. The earlier study found that the 250 companies
showed a 23.5 percent increase in pretax profit, while the tax
payments rose 7.7 percent.

The current study seemed to echo government data. Commerce
Department figures showed that pretax corporate profit rose 26
percent from 2001 to 2003 but that corporate tax payments fell
21 percent.

Corporate taxes as a share of the national economy are at their
lowest sustained level since World War II, the study said, and
financed only 6 percent of government expenses in the last
two fiscal years.

The current study found that nearly one in three companies, or
82, of the 275 examined paid no federal income tax in at least
one year from 2001 to 2003, the period covered by the study.
In the period, 82 companies had pretax profit of $102 billion.

Last year, 46 of the 275 companies surveyed paid no federal
income tax, up from 42 companies in 2002 and 33 in 2001,
according to the study. Over all, the number of companies that
paid no taxes increased 40 percent during the period.

The current study attributed lower corporate payments in part to
legislation supported by President Bush and enacted by Congress
in 2002 that increased accelerated depreciation, an accounting
move that allows profitable companies to write off capital
investments and claim tax deferrals. Accelerated depreciation
was intended in part to encourage capital investment, but the
study argued that it had done the opposite. Capital investment
by corporations dropped 12 percent in 2002 and 3 percent in
2003, the years when Congress enacted the new accelerated
depreciation rules.

As a result, Mr. McIntyre concluded, "the $175 billion in revenues
lost to the 2002- and 2003-enacted tax breaks appears to have
been exceedingly poorly spent."

Mr. Beach disagreed, saying that rates of capital investment were
at historic highs. "We're seeing an investment surge that's so
strong that you have to go back to the 1960's before you see a
comparable one."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company



Come to the
AFSC - First Floor
(1/2 block from Market St., SF)

Help get the word out about Prop. 'N'. Bring your ideas for
community outreach, media, action, and more to make sure
we win by a landslide!

No matter who wins the elections this year, the war will not
be over. This ballot initiative will set the example for cities across
the country to do the same in future elections.

Pick up material to distribute!*


"It is the policy of the people of the City and County of
San Francisco that: The Federal government should take
immediate steps to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and
bring our troops safely home now."


* Material costs money. Already thousands of brochures have
been printed and we need more! We need posters and buttons--
we need to cover the city with YES on 'N' campaign material!

Please send a contribution to help with these costs!
Make your check payable to:

Bring Our Troops Home Now

and mail to :

David Looman, Treasurer
325 Highland Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110


1) The spoils of another war
Five years after Nato's attack on Yugoslavia,
its administration in Kosovo is pushing through
mass privatisation
Neil Clark
Tuesday September 21, 2004
The Guardian - Comment,,1309037,00.html

2) Forgotten Casualties
By Lynn Harris
Wednesday 22 September 2004
Mentally scarred by the horrors they've endured in Iraq,
many returning U.S. soldiers say the military isn't giving
them the help they deserve.


1) The spoils of another war
Five years after Nato's attack on Yugoslavia,
its administration in Kosovo is pushing through
mass privatisation
Neil Clark
Tuesday September 21, 2004
The Guardian - Comment,,1309037,00.html

'Wars, conflict - it's all business," sighs Monsieur Verdoux in Charlie
Chaplin's 1947 film of the same name. Many will not need to be
convinced of the link between US corporations now busily helping
themselves to Iraqi state assets and the military machine that prised
Iraq open for global business. But what is less widely known is that a
similar process is already well under way in a part of the world where
B52s were not so long ago dropping bombs in another "liberation"

The trigger for the US-led bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 was,
according to the standard western version of history, the failure
of the Serbian delegation to sign up to the Rambouillet peace
agreement. But that holds little more water than the tale that has
Iraq responsible for last year's invasion by not cooperating with
weapons inspectors.

The secret annexe B of the Rambouillet accord - which provided
for the military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia - was, as
the Foreign Office minister Lord Gilbert later conceded to the
defence select committee, deliberately inserted to provoke
rejection by Belgrade.

But equally revealing about the west's wider motives is chapter
four, which dealt exclusively with the Kosovan economy. Article I
(1) called for a "free-market economy", and article II (1) for
privatisation of all government-owned assets. At the time, the
rump Yugoslavia - then not a member of the IMF, the World Bank,
the WTO or European Bank for Reconstruction and Development -
was the last economy in central-southern Europe to be uncolonised
by western capital. "Socially owned enterprises", the form of worker
self-management pioneered under Tito, still predominated.

Yugoslavia had publicly owned petroleum, mining, car and
tobacco industries, and 75% of industry was state or socially
owned. In 1997, a privatisation law had stipulated that in sell-offs,
at least 60% of shares had to be allocated to a company's workers.

The high priests of neo-liberalism were not happy. At the Davos
summit early in 1999, Tony Blair berated Belgrade, not for its
handling of Kosovo, but for its failure to embark on a programme
of "economic reform" - new-world-order speak for selling state
assets and running the economy in the interests of multinationals.

In the 1999 Nato bombing campaign, it was state-owned companies -
rather than military sites - that were specifically targeted by the
world's richest nations. Nato only destroyed 14 tanks, but
372 industrial facilities were hit - including the Zastava car
plant at Kragujevac, leaving hundreds of thousands jobless.
Not one foreign or privately owned factory was bombed.

After the removal of Slobodan Milosevic, the west got the "fast-track"
reforming government in Belgrade it had long desired. One of the
first steps of the new administration was to repeal the 1997
privatisation law and allow 70% of a company to be sold to foreign
investors - with just 15% reserved for workers. The government then
signed up to the World Bank's programmes - effectively ending the
country's financial independence.

Meanwhile, as the New York Times had crowed, "a war's glittering
prize" awaited the conquerors. Kosovo has the second largest coal
reserves in Europe, and enormous deposits of lignite, lead, zinc,
gold, silver and petroleum.

The jewel is the enormous Trepca mine complex, whose 1997 value
was estimated at $5bn. In an extraordinary smash and grab raid
soon after the war, the complex was seized from its workers and
managers by more than 2,900 Nato troops, who used teargas and
rubber bullets.

Five years on from the Nato attack, the Kosovo Trust Agency (KTA),
the body that operates under the jurisdiction of the UN Mission in
Kosovo (Unmik) - is "pleased to announce" the programme to
privatise the first 500 or so socially owned enterprises (SOEs)
under its control. The closing date for bids passed last week:
10 businesses went under the hammer, including printing houses,
a shopping mall, an agrobusiness and a soft-drinks factory. The
Ferronikeli mining and metal-processing complex, with an annual
capacity of 12,000 tonnes of nickel production, is being sold
separately, with bids due by November 17.

To make the SOEs more attractive to foreign investors, Unmik
has altered the way land is owned in Kosovo, allowing the KTA to
sell 99-year leases with the businesses, which can be transferred
or used as loans or security. Even Belgrade's pro-western
government has called this a "robbery of state-owned land".
For western companies waiting to swoop, there will be rich
pickings indeed in what the KTA assures us is a "very investor-
friendly" environment. But there is little talk of the rights of the
moral owners of the enterprises - the workers, managers and
citizens of the former Yugoslavia, whose property was effectively
seized in the name of the "international community" and
"economic reform".

As the corporate takeover of the ruins of Baghdad and Pristina
proceeds apace, neither the "liberation" of Iraq nor the
"humanitarian" bombing of Yugoslavia has proved Chaplin's
cynical anti-hero to be wrong.

·Neil Clark is a writer and broadcaster specialising in Balkan


2) Forgotten Casualties
By Lynn Harris
Wednesday 22 September 2004
Mentally scarred by the horrors they've endured in Iraq, many
returning U.S. soldiers say the military isn't giving them the
help they deserve.

Mike Lemke, a 45-year-old Army National Guard police sergeant
from Grand Junction, Colo., volunteered for active duty after seeing
the twin towers fall on TV. "I wanted to, you know, kick some tail," he
says. He was sent home from Iraq in August 2003 because of
orthopedic and cardiovascular problems - and with memories and
feelings he couldn't shake. He'd seen what was left of one of Saddam's
prisons, prowled by feral dogs with rotting limbs in their mouths;
he'd mingled constantly with civilians, never knowing if one was
armed. "You never feel completely safe," he says. "That stays with you."

Lemke could not sleep for his first 22 days in the medical barracks
in Colorado's Fort Carson, where he remained for more than a year on
"medical holdover" - a period during which wounded soldiers await
treatment and subsequently either return to duty or get a medical exit
from the Army. He experienced flashbacks and temper surges and
would hit the dirt at the sound of a jackhammer.

No one approached Lemke to inquire about his mental health.
Only when a nurse practitioner happened to ask him how he was
sleeping did the story come out - and even then it took him two
weeks to accept her suggestion that he seek counseling.

Why didn't Lemke ask for help? "There's a culture here of unless
your legs have been torpedoed off or your arm's shot off, then it's
not a combat injury," he says. "I did the same thing that everyone
does in the military: You suck it up. You don't whine."

Lemke is still on medication and in therapy, and is not employed.
He is angry at the Army for many reasons, including his treatment
during the medical holdover. But the issue that will most directly
affect his future is his dispute with the Army over his disability rating.

The Army Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) - the body that works in
concert with the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) to determine wounded
soldiers' medical retirement and disability status according to the
detailed specifications in Army Regulation 635-40 - gave Lemke a
10 percent disability rating for PTSD, which classifies it as "mild"
and as allowing for "adequate" job and social functioning.

Whether a soldier is given a 30 percent rating or a rating less than
that has major financial implications. A 30 percent rating grants a
soldier lifetime disability benefits, along with the military's regular
retirement benefits. Anything less than 30 percent results only in a
one-time severance payment: two times the soldier's base pay times
total years of active duty (up to a maximum of 12 years). Had Lemke
received medical retirement, he estimates that he'd have gotten
$1,200 to $1,600 every month for the rest of his life. His severance
payment is far less. His 12 years of part-time duty convert to six years
of active duty. Result, in his case: "For someone who was available to
the government for 12 years, it's $26K and adios," he says.

The Army, citing privacy regulations, declined to discuss the
particulars of Lemke's or any other soldier's case.

Lemke is one of a number of returning soldiers, mostly Army
National Guard and Reserve, who say they are struggling not only
to heal from physical and psychological wounds, but also to get
proper mental health treatment while in the Army's care - and
adequate financial compensation when their medical condition
forces them to leave the Army.

What was once poorly understood in WWI as "shell shock" (and,
in the Civil War, as "soldier's heart") is now a much discussed,
highly researched condition The Army is now acknowledging -
and devoting a great deal of resources to - the ever growing
incidence of PTSD and other mental health issues within its ranks.

According to a study performed at the Walter Reed Army
Medical Center and published in the July New England Journal
of Medicine, conservative estimates are that 17 percent of soldiers
are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from PTSD,
along with anxiety and depression. For these soldiers (as opposed
to Gulf War vets, whose PTSD rates hover at 9 percent), the strain
and trauma of prolonged urban combat with a hard-to-identify
enemy, and of constant exposure to violent death - including that
of fellow soldiers - have left them with nightmares, flashbacks,
and bouts of numbness and rage.

The study concludes that reducing "barriers to care among
military personnel" - barriers such as the stigma of seeking mental
health care in the first place - must be "a priority for research and
a priority for the policymakers, clinicians, and leaders who are
involved in providing care to those who have served in the armed

However, numerous veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom who
have come home injured say that such "awareness" has yet to
change a deeply engrained military culture in which the only "real"
wounds are physical. Result: Soldiers - especially National Guard
and Army Reserve soldiers in " medical holdover" - say they run
into roadblocks to needed mental health care, severance
arrangements that appear to downplay invisible injuries in
particular, and even attempts to send mentally unfit soldiers
back to Iraq.

"The DOD [Department of Defense] is taking great care of
the acutely injured, the injuries you can see, the burns, the lost
arms and legs that they're treating with state-of-the-art
prosthetics," says Stephen Robinson, executive director of
the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans' advocacy
organization in Silver Spring, Md. "But they're doing a horrible
job with the other injuries that aren't quite so evident." Robinson,
who served in the Army Special Forces in the Gulf, testified in
January before the House Armed Services Total Force Subcommittee
that soldiers in medical holdover receive insufficient mental health
screening and care. The Center for American Progress recently
published his 11-page report criticizing the military's handling
of mental health issues. "There are unseen costs of war that
have dramatic national implications in terms of benefits and
care and reintegration into society," he says. "It is a national
disgrace that front-line and combat soldiers need to fight for
medical care and benefits when they return home from war."

Robinson, who has spoken with thousands of Iraq war
veterans, describes the typical cycle: "When soldiers come
back they have to go through complicated workman's-comp-
type paperwork to prove that something they did in the war
is the reason they're sick," he says. "That can take from four to
16 months. So they come home injured, and rather than being
integrated into society, they're stuck in medical limbo waiting
for their disability rating and then being diagnosed with a
preexisting condition" - which, he adds, implies that they
shouldn't have been sent over in the first place.

He claims, anecdotally, that the MEB is underevaluating
soldiers by a fairly consistent 10 to 20 percent - a key percentage
if it leaves a disability rating under 30 percent. Robinson's hypothesis:
The DOD simply does not want to foot these potentially substantial
bills. That, or given the number of soldiers who will yet come home
injured, it simply can't.

Lemke and many of his colleagues say such problems are particularly
acute among National Guard and Reserve soldiers, who make up about
40 percent of deployed troops. (Of nearly 5,000 soldiers on medical
hold, all but about 860 are Reserve component troops.) "I don't think
they budgeted for the Reserve and Guard component," Lemke says.
"And now they want to make the soldier eat it."

"Soldiers are soldiers," counters Jaime Cavazos, media relations
officer for the U.S. Army Medical Command. "I doubt very seriously
that an injured soldier would be thought less of because he was a
guardsman or member of the Reserve."

The Army also disputes the charges of deliberately stingy severance.
"There is no truth to any such opinions," says Col. Fred Schumaker,
executive officer of the Army Physical Disability Agency at the Walter
Reed Army Medical Center. "The Physical Evaluation Boards fully
review the facts provided [by] the Medical Evaluation Board and then
carefully match, as closely as possible, the compensation to the
impairment in accordance with regulatory guidance. The PEBs don't
just make up disability percentage rates or reduce them arbitrarily.
They give each soldier exactly what he is supposed to be given."
adds: "It would be unusual if soldiers who are not compensated
by the military disability system were happy about results."

Still, Guard and Reserve soldiers say that their low ratings are
the final blow in a series of actions that lead them to question the
Army's true commitment to caring for them, especially when their
injuries are invisible.

"A lot of the people I've had contact with are not doing very
well," says Kaye Baron, a clinical psychologist in private practice
in Colorado Springs. Baron estimates that 60 to 70 percent of
people she sees are in the military, and of that, roughly half have
served in or been affected by the Iraq war. "For one thing, they're
injured psychologically or physically, and on top of that they feel
they're getting disposed of by the military - like no one really cares."

Baron has also been puzzled by military diagnoses of, for
example, personality disorder (which would be a preexisting
condition, not qualifying a soldier for benefits) in soldiers whose
symptoms are, in her estimation, fully explicable by PTSD. "I don't
understand why military mental health is not doing more given that
we know combat takes a toll on soldiers and PTSD is a widely recognized
phenomenon. I don't know why they're not being more thoroughly
examined and diagnosed."

Theoretically, based on the unprecedented efforts the Army has
made recently to acknowledge, find and treat combat stress,
soldiers should be getting more thorough examinations and
diagnoses. Teams have traveled to Iraq to assess the mental
health needs of the soldiers there. Partially in response to the
2002 murder-suicides at Fort Bragg by soldiers returning from
Afghanistan, the Army has initiated a Deployment Cycle Support
Program, designed to facilitate soldiers' transition to home life by
addressing their health and personal needs. There's a 24-hour
hotline called Military One Source for service members and their
families. There are new PTSD guides for clinicians. Detailed protocols
and procedures designed to screen for, track and treat soldiers
arriving in medical holdover with mental health needs are in place.
"Before a soldier is considered for retirement, we have ensured that
we have given him the optimum healthcare possible," says Cavazos
of the Army Medical Command.

But individual soldiers in medical holdover suggest that such
improvements to the system have yet to trickle down to them.

One 47-year-old high-ranking military policeman - who,
fearing reprisal, requested anonymity - was medevac'd out of
Iraq late last September for a back injury, but came home with
a host of other problems. He had been on active duty before,
but this was different - and not just because of the scorching
heat and rampant dysentery in his unit's ill-equipped camp.
"You're out in public all the time with people coming up to you
and not knowing if they're armed until they fire at you," he says.
This constant sense of threat meant sky-high stress levels and
hyper-alertness. He only narrowly avoided shooting a kid who
marched up to him saying "Fuck Americans," rock in hand. "I had
a weapon on him and in my state of mind, sad to say, I really
would have put that kid down," he recalls. (The kid, seeming to
realize this, took off.)

When this soldier came back to the States, he figured that his
flashbacks and nightmares were "the normal stress you go through
when you come out of a war zone." But while his back was being
treated, his wife informed him that he "was no longer the man she
married" - uncharacteristically withdrawn, prone to rage, hardly
sleeping or eating - and if he didn't get help she'd leave him.

Eventually, a physician at Kentucky's Fort Knox, where he was
on medical holdover until being allowed to go home for temporary
convalescent leave last week, diagnosed him with severe post-
traumatic stress disorder. The medical report cited, among other
symptoms: insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, disassociation, easy
startling, quick temper, and keeping to his room for fear of hurting
others, all of which were said to cause significant impairment in his
"occupational and social functioning." He has been able to manage
his symptoms somewhat with quite a bit of therapy and medication,
but he still can't tolerate groups of people, or much food.

Just two weeks ago the soldier received word that his PTSD had
received a 10 percent disability rating from the MEB/PEB. (He counters
that his remaining symptoms and resulting disability, as described in
a second medical report, match those described for a 30 percent rating.)
He was also informed that both the PTSD and his slipped disks (rated at
20 percent) were considered chronic, not directly related to combat in
Iraq - where he wore and carried 75 pounds of equipment every day.

"I lived in Iraq, and before I left I was mentally and physically
he says. "I come back and my back's broken and my mind's broken. They
say it's not combat related. The processes that are supposed to be in place
to help us aren't working. They're just not taking care of us."

The Army notes that soldiers have ample opportunity to review their
files both before they go to the board and after initial findings are
returned; should they find anything amiss, they may request a
reconsideration. Still, soldiers who have attempted this describe
a maddeningly muddled, even misleading, bureaucratic process.
Others say they accept insufficient ratings as a means of escaping
the limbo - and often unpleasant environment - of medical holdover.

It has already been documented that the physical conditions in
medical holdover can - due in part to sheer overload by wounded
soldiers returning from Iraq - be less than conducive to healing. A
story by United Press International last fall revealed that soldiers at
Georgia's Fort Stewart were housed in concrete barracks with
insufficient water and no air conditioning and that soldiers at
Fort Knox waited months for medical attention. Sens. Kit Bond,
R-Mo., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., were prompted to investigate
and demand improvements. Many physical problems have since
been addressed, and standards have been implemented to speed
up soldiers' care.

Soldiers still say, however, that despite the Army's efforts,
languishing in medical holdover only compounds one's
psychological issues. "Everything is uncertain, you're denied
care, and you know they don't give a damn whether you get
well or not. It's getting to the point where soldiers will do
anything to get out of here," says a 45-year-old non-
commissioned officer in medical holdover at Fort Knox
who was afraid to give his name. "The stress here is higher
than in Iraq, and I was there."

Some soldiers say they spend as much time as possible
in their rooms, as they fear both crowds and their own temper.
The main picture they paint is one of heavy medication -
"You've got soldiers on so much meds all they do is sleep;
they can't even make formation," says a 37-year-old reserve
soldier in medical hold at Fort Knox - and of maddening red
tape, administrative runarounds, and, at best, indifference.

Also, Fort Knox, for one, is a training post. "They're firing
all the time," says the military policeman now on convalescent
leave, who, like many of his comrades, is startled by a mere
footstep. "That's a trigger for me." (He has addressed this
concern to the inspector general's office on post, who
acknowledged the complaint, but so far no action has
been taken.)

Soldiers do report positive individual experiences with
physicians - the 37-year-old reserve soldier, who didn't
trust his own violent temper, says his psychiatrist saved
not only his life, but likely someone else's as well. While
each soldier in medical holdover is assigned a case manager
to help him work with the medical system, some complain
that not all case managers are as caring or as knowledgeable
as they need to be. In fact, several of the more experienced
soldiers in Fort Knox medical holdover have seen fit to become
de facto experts on the Army's byzantine medical and benefits
systems. The military policeman on convalescent leave is himself
at work on designing a series of flow charts and writing a lengthy
booklet about the disability evaluation system to serve as a guide
for other soldiers.

Beneath the bureaucracy, the matter of military culture runs
even deeper - and is harder to transform. In his report to the
Armed Services subcommittee, Stephen Robinson said extensive
research and tours of medical posts by his organization showed
that soldiers in medical holdover receive "little to no counseling
regarding traumatic events experienced during war." Why not?
More often than not, he says, they're not asking for it - and
they shouldn't have to in the first place.

According to the Army Medical Command, screening for
mental health issues in medical holdover is done via self-
reporting in questionnaires, or ad hoc by physicians treating
soldiers for physical issues. "I'm sure that during the course
of treatment a soldier will give off signs that will suggest that
the individual needs some mental health counseling of some
kind," says Cavazos of the Army Medical Command.

Robinson counters that it's essential for Army medical
personnel to initiate intervention for mental health issues,
even among soldiers coming home for physical injuries.
"Questionnaires are not sufficient to establish physical and
mental fitness," he says, especially given the stigma against
seeking psychological help or admitting "weakness." Indeed,
the Walter Reed study found that the fear of stigma was
"disproportionately greatest among those most in need of
help from mental health services." Says Robinson: "Fear of
stigmatization will remain a problem until the military changes
its culture."

By some soldiers' accounts, their commanding officers will
not be at the vanguard of that change. Their job, after all, is
to get soldiers back to duty.

"I was told [by higher-ups] to 'not worry about it,'" says
the 45-year-old NCO in medical holdover at Fort Knox, of
the insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks that eventually got
him on Zoloft, BuSpar, Ambien, and trazodone. "These
soldiers come here all wired," he said, referring to the
hypervigilance that's typical of PTSD, "and they immediately
start telling them that they're going to try to return them to
Iraq." According to him, they're told by their chain of command:
"Don't settle down because you're going to need that high
intensity when you go back."

Spc. Laurence Kiefer, 30, a crane operator with the
quartermaster combat support unit of the Montana National
Guard, was brought home from Iraq to Fort Carson in May for
reasons both medical and legal: injuries relating to a truck
accident, and charges that he'd stolen grenades. (The judge
advocate general, the prosecuting body of the military, has
since found no evidence to support the charges. Kiefer claims
the accusation came as retaliation for a dispute with his

He was suffering from combat trauma - at one point he'd
had to drive a 22-ton crane at its maximum speed of 10 to
20 mph, for a 17-hour, 350-mile trip, often under fire -
compounded by stress over the charges, the shock of his
wife's announcement that she was leaving him, and the
fear that he'd be sent back to serve in the same unit with
hostile command. However, he didn't get summoned for his
official "outprocessing" exam for nearly three months. In the
meantime, after first "self-medicating" with alcohol, he
eventually sought medication and psychological treatment.

Soon thereafter, he was told to pack up and re-deploy. He
appealed to his psychologist, Jacqueline E. Delano, who felt that
he wasn't ready, and who later asserted in writing that in a
subsequent phone conversation, Kiefer's commanding officer
"made statements indicating that he felt Spc. Kiefer was over-
exaggerating his symptoms to get out of going back to Iraq"
and "was not interested in this psychologist's professional opinion."
Delano was able to delay Kiefer's departure by insisting on further
evaluation; she then diagnosed him with a personality disorder,
a preexisting condition that renders him both unfit to serve and
ineligible for benefits. A civilian psychologist later asserted that
Kiefer's condition was PTSD; Kiefer is currently fighting the
"personality disorder" designation.

What recourse do these solders have? Says the 45-year-old NCO
at Fort Knox: "The attitude here is: I don't trust these people. I'll
wait till I get home and go to the V.A." Vets may apply for benefits
through the V.A., which has a more generous ratings system. Five
thousand veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have gone to the V.A.
with mental health diagnoses already. For those reasons and others,
the V.A. is an appealing resource for soldiers in, and just out of,
medical holdover. "The V.A. has no legal authority. They can't take
what we say and turn it against us," says the NCO. "They can't hurt
you like the Army can."

Now back at home and a civilian, Lemke is still doing his best,
via word of mouth, to help soldiers who are confused or feeling
mistreated by the system, or who are simply struggling with PTSD
themselves. He even gets contacted by soldiers' wives who are
desperate to find out "what's wrong" with their husbands. No
matter what, he knows what his fellow soldiers have been through.
"First I fought the war," Lemke says. "Then I had to fight a war for
my treatment."

Jump to TO Features for Thursday September 23, 2004

(c) Copyright 2004 by

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


(Between 24th & 25th Streets, SF)

Topics: YES ON Prop. N community organizing
Million Worker March
Justice in Palestine conference
BAUAW's new web-site and review
of Yahoo group account
Fund Raising
Possible mass action against U.S. offensive
against Iraq -- possibly Nov. 3rd
Inauguration Day Mass Action in D.C. and
possibly elsewhere.
New Business (that's up to you!)




Come to the
AFSC - First Floor
(1/2 block from Market St., SF)

Help get the word out about Prop. 'N'. Bring your ideas for
community outreach, media, action, and more to make sure
we win by a landslide!

No matter who wins the elections this year, the war will not
be over. This ballot initiative will set the example for cities across
the country to do the same in future elections.

Pick up material to distribute!*


"It is the policy of the people of the City and County of
San Francisco that: The Federal government should take
immediate steps to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and
bring our troops safely home now."


* Material costs money. Already thousands of brochures have
been printed and we need more! We need posters and buttons--
we need to cover the city with YES on 'N' campaign material!

Please send a contribution to help with these costs!
Make your check payable to:

Bring Our Troops Home Now

and mail to :

David Looman, Treasurer
325 Highland Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110


1) U.S. Raid on al-Sadr Office Assailed by Shiite Cleric
By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 by Knight Ridder

2) Eyeing Iran Reactors, Israel Seeks U.S. Bunker Bombs
By Dan Williams
Published on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 by Reuters

3) The Struggle for Palestine:
4th Anniversary of the Intifada
October 2nd 2004.
Horace Mann Middle School - 3351 23rd Street, San Francisco

4) Singer Cat Stevens Denied U.S. Entry, Flight Diverted
Wed Sep 22, 2004 12:59 AM ET

6) SOCIAL SCIENCE: Americans' prejudice against Arabs
demonstrated in experiment

7) Bush Defends Iraq War at U.N., Asks for Help
By Steve Holland
Tue Sep 21, 2004 04:47 PM ET

8) U.S. Blocking Arctic Report
Scripps Howard News Service
From: "Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers"

9) *Celebrate John Lennon's 64th Birthday Party
Sat. Oct. 9, 8:00 p.m.
San Francisco
Club Jazz Nouveau at
The Cannery, 2801 Leavenworth St.,
at Beach, San Francisco
Wheelchair accessible

10) In this message:
· Speak Out Against Racism & Discrimination
· Help Needed on Mass Mailing

11) Please read! We are passing this on. Its very important!
Mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages 18-26)
starting June 15, 2005, is something that everyone should
know about. This literally affects everyone since we all
have or know children that will have to go if this bill
Seth D. King
Teacher - LAUSD
Director - United People 4 Peace


1) U.S. Raid on al-Sadr Office Assailed by Shiite Cleric
By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 by Knight Ridder

NAJAF, Iraq - U.S. forces raided the headquarters of radical Shiite
Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the heart of the holy city of Najaf
on Tuesday and arrested his top advisers in the strongest blow yet
to al-Sadr's nationwide insurgency.

The pre-dawn raid drew an angry rebuke from the country's top
Shiite cleric, whose support is vital to maintaining calm among the
country's Shiite majority.

"We've informed the Iraqi government of our rejection and our
condemnation of American forces for entering the holy city of Najaf
and approaching the holy shrine," said a statement released by the
staff of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani in Najaf. "We
believe there was no justification for such a military measure and
hold the interim Iraqi government responsible for what happened."

U.S. military and Iraqi officials declined to comment.

Al-Sadr remained in hiding Tuesday, as did his remaining advisers.
He has kept a low profile since his gunmen vacated the city and its
holy shrine last month under an agreement brokered by Sistani.

Residents said that dozens of troops supported by helicopters
stormed the office in which al-Sadr's advisers were holed up less
than 200 feet from the Grand Imam Ali Shrine. Arrested were Sheik
Ahmed al-Sheybani, the most visible among al-Sadr's inner circle,
and his main Friday prayers leader and another key adviser, Hossam

The clerics, along with several guards, were taken away to an
undisclosed location. Witnesses said that Iraqi police later hauled
away about 40 Kalashnikov assault rifles from the office.

The raid was the third in five days on al-Sadr's deputies and offices.
In response to an arrest of a Sadr spokesman Saturday in Baghdad,
an Islamist group seized 18 Iraqi national guardsmen and threatened
to execute them. Al-Sadr intervened, and the guardsmen were
released Monday.

Many Iraqis believe the raids on al-Sadr's associates are part of the
U.S. campaign to prevent guerrillas from scuttling Iraqi elections
early next year.

But like the continuing air assaults against the Sunni stronghold of
Fallujah to the north, the attack on al-Sadr is likely to breed more
resentment and violence against U.S. forces and the Iraqi interim
government they support.

Even so, an organized backlash by al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia
would be more difficult now that its office in Najaf is closed and
key advisers are in U.S. custody.

Throughout the day, Iraqi security forces blanketed the streets of
Najaf and neighboring Kufa to prevent anticipated retaliation by
gunmen loyal to the cleric. Non-residents were forbidden from
entering the cities. Kalashnikov-wielding policemen demanded
identification papers from anyone who lingered on the street in
front of al-Sadr's empty Najaf office.

Pressure on al-Sadr and his advisers to clear out of Najaf has
steadily intensified since the occupation and siege of the holy
shrine, although Iraqi police steered clear of arresting any higher-
ranking al-Sadr loyalists.

Like Sistani, many Najaf residents were unhappy with Tuesday's
raid. They object to outsiders treading anywhere near the shrine
without permission. They also resent Americans attacking the
sanctuaries of any of the city's holy men, especially al-Sadr, whose
late father was a revered religious leader.

"We're not happy with the closing of (al-Sadr's) office, even if we are
happy if those people who entered and destroyed the city are
removed," said one merchant, Abu Hassan Naim, 44, referring to
Sadr's fighters.

The Americans can keep al-Sheybani, one of the clerics who were
arrested, the merchant added. He accused al-Sheybani of circulating
a letter two days ago with the names of 32 Najaf residents targeted
for assassination because they had demonstrated this month against

(c) 2004 Knight Ridder


(c) Copyrighted 1997-2004


2) Eyeing Iran Reactors, Israel Seeks U.S. Bunker Bombs
By Dan Williams
Published on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 by Reuters

JERUSALEM - The United States plans to sell Israel $319 million worth
of air-launched bombs, including 500 "bunker busters" able to
penetrate Iran's underground nuclear facilities, Israeli security
sources said on Tuesday.

(Photo of bunker buster not shown, appears at the address provided
The following is the description of the photo.)

[The United States plans to sell Israel $319 million worth of air-
launched bombs, including 500 'bunker busters' able to penetrate
Iran's underground nuclear facilities, Israeli security sources said
on September 21, 2004. The Haaretz newspaper quoted a Pentagon
report as saying the planned procurement sought 'to maintain Israel's
qualitative advantage and advance U.S. strategic and tactical interests.'
A GBU-27 laser guided 'bunker buster' bomb is seen in this undated file
photo. Photo by Reuters]

The Haaretz newspaper quoted a Pentagon report as saying the
planned procurement sought "to maintain Israel's qualitative
advantage and advance U.S. strategic and tactical interests."

The U.S. embassy in Israel had no comment, referring queries to
Washington. Israel's Defense Ministry also declined comment.

But a senior Israeli security source who confirmed the Haaretz
story told Reuters: "This is not the sort of ordnance needed for
the Palestinian front. Bunker busters could serve Israel against
Iran, or possibly Syria."

Haaretz quoted Israeli government sources as saying the sale,
including 4,500 other guided munitions, was not expected to
go through until after the U.S. elections in November. Earlier
this month, Haaretz said Israel sought to obtain the U.S.-made,
one-ton "bunker buster" bombs for a possible future strike
against arch-foe Iran's atomic development program, which
the Jewish state considers a strategic threat.

"This relationship has a long history. The United States
has given Israel more advanced weapons than this," a spokesman
for Iran's Defense Ministry said.

"This could be psychological warfare to test us," he added.

Tehran denies hostile designs, saying its nuclear program
has peaceful purposes only. This week, it rejected international
calls to comply with a U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency
demand that it halt all uranium-enrichment activities.

Among the nuclear facilities that Iran has declared are uranium
mines near the city of Yazd, and a uranium-enrichment plant in
Natanz incorporating large underground buildings that could
accommodate thousands of gas centrifuges.

Western diplomats accuse Iran of having several undeclared
facilities close to Tehran thought to be related to uranium
enrichment, a process the United States and some other
countries believe Tehran will use to produce fissile material
for weapons.

The exiled Iranian opposition group known as the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) says Iran is constructing
numerous secret facilities under its Defense Ministry.

Known by the military designations GBU-27 or GBU-28,
"bunker busters" are guided by lasers or satellites and can
penetrate up to 30 feet of earth and concrete. Israel may
already have some of the bombs for its U.S.-supplied F-15
fighter jets.

"As they are part of the weapon set for the F-15, I would
assume them to be in place," said Robert Hewson, editor of
Jane's Air-Launched Weapons. He said the bombs proved effective
in the 1991 Gulf war and 1990s NATO strikes on Serbian forces.

Israel, which is widely assumed to be the Middle East's only
nuclear-armed nation, wants to stop Iran going atomic, but
officials say diplomatic pressure on Tehran is the best method.

Many believe a military strike, especially by Israel, could kill
off any chance of a diplomatic resolution or efforts by Iranian
opposition groups to achieve internal reform.

"I think (military action) should be a last, last, last resort.
Unlike Iraq and North Korea, there is at least some chance
of bringing about an undermining of the Velayat-e Faqih's
authority," former CIA director R. James Woolsey told Reuters
this month, referring to Iran's ruling Islamic clerics.

Convinced Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons,
Israel bombed Iraq's Osiraq reactor in 1981. While the move
drew international censure, eventually many U.S. experts saw it
as an important blow to Saddam's strategic weapons capabilities.

"The response of the United States was, unfortunately,
negative with respect to Osiraq," Woolsey said. "The Israelis
were right and everybody else was wrong, including us, in

The Osiraq strike did not stop Saddam's quest for the bomb.
Instead, Iraq went underground and worked in secret until the
program was uncovered by the U.N. nuclear watchdog in 1991.

(c) 2004 Reuters


(c) Copyrighted 1997-2004


3) The Struggle for Palestine:
4th Anniversary of the Intifada
October 2nd 2004.
Horace Mann Middle School -
3351 23rd Street, San Francisco

The Justice in Palestine Coalition, a
group of progressive organizations who
have come together to work for a free
Palestine, is hosting a day-long
conference to:

1. Educate ourselves and our allies,
and deepen our knowledge &
understanding of the struggle in Palestine.

2. Link the work of our individual
organizations and strengthen our networks
and activism through discussion,
debate, and collaborative planning.

3. Organize for future solidarity and
develop concrete a concrete plan of
action for the coming months.

4. Support the resistance in Palestine,
and make links with others who are
fighting against the US occupation of
Iraq, and against US Imperialism
around the world.

The conference will include panels,
workshops and cultural performances. A
complete schedule of events is listed below.

Please reply to this email to find out
about the next meeting of Justice in
Palestine and help us build for this
important event.

** Program **

The Struggle for Palestine:
4th Anniversary of the Intifada
October 2nd, 2004
9:00-9:30: Registration

Morning Plenary Session:
The Current Status of Resistance in Palestine

workshops throughout the day include:

-Continuations of Plenary: Status of Resistance
-History of Palestine, The Nekbah and the Right of Return
-Iraq and Palestine: 2 Struggles, One cause
-Women and Resistance
-Direct Action: Skills Development
-The Impact of Palestine on the US Elections
-Political Prisoners, Here and in Palestine
-Globalization in the Arab World
-The Targets of Empire: Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, Iran,
Philippines, Africa
-Arab World Solidarity/Resistance
-US Solidarity Groups
-Repression/Occupation in the US (patriot Act, profiling,
attacks on civil liberties)

Report Back From Workshops
Closing Summation and the Future in Palestine

Cultural Performances

for more information:

or visit


4) Singer Cat Stevens Denied U.S. Entry, Flight Diverted
Wed Sep 22, 2004 12:59 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former pop singer Cat Stevens,
now known as Yusuf Islam, was denied entry to the United States
and his flight from London was diverted to Maine, after his
name turned up on a watch list, a U.S. transportation security
official said.

United Flight 919 enroute to Washington was diverted to
Bangor where Islam was questioned and detained by federal
authorities who planned to put him on a return flight early
Wednesday, the official said.

U.S. Customs and border protection authorities discovered
that the name matched a federal watch list by checking
passenger information transmitted by the airline after the
flight departed from London, the official said.

The Washington Post, citing sources familiar with the event
reported that Islam, whose name is listed as "Usef Islam," is
on several government watch lists, including the no-fly list.

United Airlines spokesman Jeff Green said the carrier was
asked by the Transportation Security Administration to divert
the plane to Maine for security reasons.

The TSA had the flight diverted to Maine to keep it out of
the Northeast corridor airspace, TSA spokesman Nico Melendez

The flight, with the remaining passengers, departed for
Dulles International Airport after about four hours on the
ground and landed at Dulles around 9 p.m., Melendez said.

Cat Stevens had a string of pop hits in the early 1970s
including "Moonshadow" and "Wild World" before converting to
Islam in late 1977.

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004.


6) SOCIAL SCIENCE: Americans' prejudice against
Arabs demonstrated in experiment

[The daily summary of the *Chronicle
of Higher Education* published this
summary of an article from the *Journal
of Experimental Social Psychology* on
Tuesday, demonstrating quantitatively
the extent to which anti-Arab prejudice
can affect the behavior of Americans
(though, come to think of it, couldn't
this be, in the minds of the subjects of
this experiment, anti-Muslim
prejudice?). --Mark]


Chronicle of Higher Education (daily summary)
September 21, 2004


A glance at the November issue of
the *Journal of Experimental Social
Psychology*: Anti-Arab discrimination

People who are prejudiced against
Arabs may not commit assault or other overt
forms of bias against them, but they
will commonly discriminate against them
surreptitiously, say Brad J. Bushman,
a professor of social psychologist at
the University of Michigan's Institute
for Social Research, and Angelica
Bonacci, a graduate student in
psychology at Iowa State University.

In their study, they sent copies of an
ostensibly "lost" e-mail message to 512
students of European descent at Iowa
State whose level of prejudice against
Arab-Americans had been gauged in
earlier surveys. Some messages were
addressed to a person with the surname
"Hameed," and others to someone with
the surname "Brice." The messages
stated that the addressee either had won or
had not won a prestigious scholarship
worth tens of thousands of dollars, and
requested a reply within 48 hours.

The researchers found that participants
who were highly prejudiced against
Arabs were 12 percent less likely to
return a message reporting a win if the
addressee was a Hameed than if it was
a Brice. If the message bore bad news,
that the recipient had not won the
scholarship, highly prejudiced people were
19 percent more likely to return a
message addressed to a Hameed than to a

By contrast, participants with low
prejudice scores in the earlier tests were
just as likely to return a positive or
negative message whether the addressee
had an Arabic or European surname.

"By identifying and understanding
less-visible discrimination techniques
individuals might use," the authors
say, "society might be better able to
protect the rights of innocent Arabs."

The article, "You've Got Mail: Using
E-Mail to Examine the Effect of
Prejudiced Attitudes on Discrimination
Against Arabs," is available online for
Science Direct subscribers at

A copy is also available on Mr. Bushman's Web site at


7) Bush Defends Iraq War at U.N., Asks for Help
By Steve Holland
Tue Sep 21, 2004 04:47 PM ET

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Two years after warning the
United Nations to act against Iraq or risk irrelevancy,
President Bush on Tuesday defended the U.S.-led invasion and
urged skeptical world leaders to help Iraq become a democracy
in the face of a deadly insurgency.

In a U.N. speech with election-year overtones, Bush made no
apologies about his decision to go to war against Iraq in 2003
without U.N. Security Council backing based on claims Iraq
possessed weapons of mass destruction, which were not found.

Instead, he acknowledged the presence of Iyad Allawi, the
interim prime minister of Iraq, and declared, "Since the last
meeting of this General Assembly, the people of Iraq have
regained sovereignty."

Later, he added, "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."

Bush's 21-minute speech was met mostly with stony silence,
save for polite applause at the end.

He appeared at the United Nations at a time of rising
violence in Iraq, with suicide car bombings and beheadings, and
some lawmakers in his own Republican Party are questioning his
Iraq policy. Democrats warn of a quagmire for U.S. troops.

His opponent in the Nov. 2 election, Democratic Sen. John Kerry,
wasted little time in declaring Bush's speech a failure for not
leveling with world leaders about the depth of the situation in Iraq.

"Iraq is in crisis, and the president needs to live in the world of
reality, not in a world of fantasy spin," Kerry told reporters in
Jacksonville, Florida. He said Bush "does not have the credibility
to lead the world."

In his speech, Bush did portray Iraq as a dangerous place,
with militants "conducting a campaign of bombings against
civilians and the beheadings of bound men."

He predicted more violence in the days ahead as both Iraq
and Afghanistan attempt to hold national elections -- next
month in Afghanistan, and in January in Iraq.

"The proper response to difficulty is not to retreat -- it
is to prevail," he said.


Taking a few questions from reporters in a subsequent
meeting with Allawi, Bush all but dismissed a CIA report leaked
last week that offered a gloomy outlook in Iraq with the worst
scenario a civil war.

"The CIA laid out several scenarios. It said that life
could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better. And
they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be
like," he said. "The Iraq citizens are defying the pessimistic

Allawi blamed the media for ignoring good news in Iraq.

Bush's speech was mostly free of the combativeness of his
address in 2002 when he warned world leaders that Saddam
Hussein was a grave and gathering danger and that they must act
to back up past U.N. resolutions or else be irrelevant.

He reminded the General Assembly of the Security Council's
refusal to go along with the U.S.-led coalition in backing up
with action a resolution passed unanimously before the war that
threatened serious consequences for Iraq.

"The commitments we make must have meaning," Bush said.
"When we say serious consequences for the sake of peace, there
must be serious consequences."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said last week the war
was illegal and in a speech before Bush talked, condemned Iraqi
prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

"In hindsight, experience shows that actions taken without
a mandate which has been clearly defined in a Security Council
resolution are doomed to failure," Swiss President Joseph Deiss
said in a speech to the assembly.

Bush cast the Iraq conflict as a moment of opportunity for
transforming the Middle East, and in a direct challenge to
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, urged Israel to impose a
freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and to
dismantle "unauthorized outposts." (Additional reporting by
David Morgan)

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004


8) U.S. Blocking Arctic Report
Scripps Howard News Service
From: "Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers"

Thursday 16 September 2004

Washington - The Bush administration is trying to bury an
international report that contains recommendations on the impact of
globalwarming on the people of the Arctic, an Arctic leader told a Senate
panel yesterday.

State Department officials are blocking the release of one of two
reports that were to be presented to government ministers from eight
Arcticnations at a meeting on Nov. 9 in Reykjavik, Iceland, Sheila
Watt-Cloutier of northern Quebec in Canada told the Senate Commerce
She is chairwoman of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, representing
native people.

Four years ago, the United States and other nations launched the
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. More than 300 scientists participated.

The results are contained in two reports - a scientific analysis and
a report outlining policy recommendations - that were to be presented at
theNovember meeting, Watt-Cloutier said.

The science report will still be presented, but the United States
has succeeded in blocking the release of the policy report at the
meeting and is
attempting to bury its recommendations in a "bureaucratic" report that
will be sent to the governments of the countries involved at a later
date,Watt-Cloutier said.

In its current draft form, the policy report notes that the Arctic
is susceptible to global warming and that there is a limit to how much
the people there can adapt to the changing climate, said Terry Fenge, a
Canadian representative to the conference. The policy document urges a
reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, he said.

"It's politics," Watt-Cloutier said. If the United States followed
the recommendations, it would have to "sign the Kyoto Protocol and the
rest of it. It's short-term thinking pressured by [industry]," she said.

The other nations participating in the climate assessment - Canada,
Russia, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden - want the policy
recommendations released, but are being overruled by the United States,
Watt-Cloutier said.

Sally Brandel, the U.S. Arctic representative, did not respond to a
request for comment.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R- Maine), told Watt-Cloutier that she would
look into the situation.

Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers
Working at the Crossroads of Human & Environmental Rights since 1990
PO Box 7941
Missoula, Montana USA 59807

phone: 406-728-0867

FYI: climatecrisisaction list info -

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9) *Celebrate John Lennon's 64th Birthday Party
Sat. Oct. 9, 8:00 p.m.
San Francisco
Club Jazz Nouveau at
The Cannery, 2801 Leavenworth St.,
at Beach, San Francisco
Wheelchair accessible

Special discount for butterfly calendar recipients.
Please read details below.

Green Aid: The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense & Education Fund proudly
presents: The IMAGINE Party to celebrate John Lennon's 64th birthday!

Special intimate performance with Vince Welnick former keyboardist of The
Tubes & Grateful Dead
A Sing A-Long of Beatles and Dead tunes!
Master of Ceremony, Guru of Ganja Ed Rosenthal
Illusion Magic Theater performed by Technomania Circus Artists


8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Limited seating-order tickets early

Club Jazz Nouveau at
The Cannery, 2801 Leavenworth St.
at Beach, San Francisco
Wheelchair accessible

Tickets: $60 Purchase on line at: or to purchase
tickets direct contact Virginia Resner
at 415-753-6602
If you get a ticket thru us we can can get a block
of 10 for $50.
Please RSVP Alan at

We welcome auction donations
Green Aid is a 501 C (3) corporation ($35 of the
ticket price is tax deductible)
All proceeds benefit our Legal Defense &
Education Fund


10) In this message:
· Speak Out Against Racism Discrimination
· Help Needed on Mass Mailing

A coalition of organizations-including Black Rap, And Castro For
All, ANSWER, the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the SF LGBT Pride
Celebration Committee, GAPA, and others-have come together to
plan a demonstration to raise awareness about racism and other
forms of discrimination within the San Francisco LGBT community.

While many have fought for years to bring greater inclusion inside
the LGBT community, recently there has been a groundswell of
people speaking out. We want to seize this moment to help bring
about real change and make a claim for greater racial, gender, age,
class, and other forms of belonging among San Francisco's LGBT

Please join us by becoming a co-sponsor of a march on Friday,
October 1. It will include a rally, opportunities to express both
frustration and hopes for change, and a celebration of the potential
for inclusion we will strive for our community to achieve.

In just a few days, numerous organizations have already signed on
as co-sponsors: AIDS Emergency Fund, Alice B. Toklas Democratic
Club, the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, the Lavender Caucus of
SEIU, Lesbians Gays of African Decent Democratic Association,
and Pride at Work.

Let us know if your organization can play a part by supporting
this event and turning out participants. Its success depends on
diverse and widespread support. Co-sponsorship should include
promoting the action on your email lists and getting commitments
to attend from 10-25 people. If you want to become an organizer
and participate in planning at a more active level, we'd love to have
you on board that way as well.

If you have any questions, or to add your endorsement contact
415-821-6545 or .

Mon. 9/27 and Tues. 9/28, 11am-6pm
2489 Mission St. Room 30, at 21st St.

Join us for a mass mailing to launch the PeopleÂ’s Anti-War
Referendum. Chat with other activists while helping to spread
the word about this important campaign. Refreshments provided.

To subscribe to the list, send a message to:

To remove your address from the list, just send a message to
the address in the ``List-Unsubscribe'' header of any list
message. If you haven't changed addresses since subscribing,
you can also send a message to:

For addition or removal of addresses, We'll send a confirmation
message to that address. When you receive it, simply reply to it
to complete the transaction.


11) Please read! We are passing this on. Its very important!
Mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages 18-26)
starting June 15, 2005, is something that everyone should
know about. This literally affects everyone since we all
have or know children that will have to go if this bill

Seth D. King
Teacher - LAUSD
Director - United People 4 Peace

The time to act is now. Whether you support the current administration or
not, this bill cannot be passed. Please take a moment, read this email and
go to any and all sites you can so your voice can be heard.

I just read the bill below at please pass it on to
anyone and everyone you know...we all have children in our lives that
shouldn't be burdened this way.

Mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages 18-26)
starting June 15, 2005, is something that everyone should know about.
This literally effects everyone since we all have or know children
that will have to go if this bill passes.

There is pending legislation in the house and senate (companion bills:
S89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can
begin as early as spring, 2005, just after the 2004 presidential election.
The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while
the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed
immediately. Details and links follow.

This plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter and
includes women in the draft. Also, crossing into Canada has already been
made very difficult.


Please send this on to all the parents and teachers
you know, and all the aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents. . .
And let your children know - - it's their future, and they can be a
powerful voice for change!

This legislation is called HR 163 and can be found
in detail at this website:

Just enter in "HR 163" and click search and will
bring up the bill for you to read. It is less than two pages long.

If this bill passes, it will include all! men and
ALL WOMEN from ages 18 - 26 in a draft for military action. In
addition, college will no longer be an option for avoiding the draft
and they will be signing an agreement with the Canada which will no
longer permit anyone attempting to dodge the draft to stay within
it's borders. This bill also includes the extention of military
service for all those that are currently active. If you go to the
selcet service web site and read their 2004 FYI Goals you will see
that the reasoning for this is to increase the size of the military
in case of terrorism. This is a critical piece of legislation, this
will effect our undergradates, our children and our grandchildren.
Please take the time to write your congressman and let them know how
you feel about this legislation.

Please also write to your representatives and ask
them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills and
write to newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're
not covering this important story.

The draft $28 million has been added to the 2004
selective service system budget to prepare for a military draft that
could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective service must report
to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for
decades, is ready for activation.

Please see to view
the Selective Service System annual performance plan, fiscal year
The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to
fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots
nationwide. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military
experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if
Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan
(and permanent state of war on terrorism) proves accurate, the U.S.
may have no choice but to draft. entitled the
Universal National service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common
defense by requiring that all young persons (age 18-26) in the United
States, including women, perform a period of military service or a
period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and
homeland security, and for other purposes." These active bills
currently sit in the committee on armed services. Dodging the draft
will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era. College and
Canada will not be options. In December, 200 1, Canada and the U.S.
signed a "smart border declaration," which could be used to keep
would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign
affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge,
the declaration involves a 30 point plan which implements, among
other things, a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and! departing
each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more
equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher
education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone
service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have
until the end of the academic year.

What to do: Tell your friends, Contact your
legislators and ask them to oppose these bills

Just type "congress" into the aol search engine
and input your zip code. A list of your reps will pop up with a way
to email them directly. We can't just sit and pretend that by
ignoring it, it will go away. We must voice our concerns and create
the world we want to live in for our children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


(Between 24th & 25th Streets, SF)


1) Quinto Sol at Youth & Power Event
@ Cabrillo College, Oct. 2nd!
From: "Jon Previtali"

2) John Kerry: Statement of Principles on U.S. Cuba Policy
June 5, 2004

3) Cost Free Campaigning:
From: "Eric Schiller"
Mon, 20 Sep 2004


5) Here is the story that Scripps Howard covered:
Million Worker March to Voice Labor Movement Concerns
by Rebecca Trela

[Col. Writ. 8/28/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Col. Writ. 8/29/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Col. Writ. 9/4/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Anti-War 4 the Million Worker March

10) Reuters Asks a Chain to Remove Its Bylines
September 20, 2004

11) International Council for Humanity Film showing
Every Wednesday night in October @7pm
The Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street,
Oakland, between Broadway and Telegraph


1) Quinto Sol at Youth & Power Event
@ Cabrillo College, Oct. 2nd!
From: "Jon Previtali"

Youth and Power

EVENTS START @ 1p.m. until 11p.m.
In The College Theater

For more info, hit up:

Live Music by:
quinto sol,EL VUH, Sandfly, Dubwise, Psykoflavor, Silvio

ALSO FEATURING: Activist workshops, Danza Azteca Ixtatutli, Native Drumming, Brazilian Music, Spoken Word ,Open Mic, Dance Performers

Participating Organizations:

Watsonville Brown Berets, Global Exchange, Santa Cruz Cuba
Study Group, Youth Empowerment Project! (YEP!), Resource
Center for Nonviolence, Cabrillo College Student Senate,
Commemoration Committee of the Black Panther Party (CCBPP),
Books Not Bars, 94.1 KPFA- La Onda Bajita, Triangle Speakers,
Barrios Unidos, Cabrillo College MEChA, Youth In Focus, White
Hawk Aztec Danza, Art in Action, FMLN, Code Pink, Free Radio
Santa Cruz 101.1, Santa Cruz Copwatch, and more to be announced!!



2) John Kerry: Statement of Principles on U.S. Cuba Policy
June 5, 2004

I am committed to seeing the end to the Castro regime, which I have
long condemned for its flagrant human rights abuse and political
oppression. There is no excuse for the Castro regime to hold down
over 11 million talented and hardworking citizens of the Americas,
some of our closest neighbors. Let there be no mistake about my
view: I will support effective and peaceful strategies that will hasten
the end of the Castro regime as soon as possible, and enable the
Cuban people to take their rightful place in the democratic community
of the Americas. But the policy of this Administration punishes and
isolates the Cuban people while leaving Castro and his consorts
unharmed, free to blame the United States for their own failures.

I want to work with all Americans, especially the broad and diverse
Cuban-American community, others in the Latino community, the
United States Congress, our neighbors in this hemisphere, and the
international community, to bring about a peaceful transition to
democracy in Cuba, putting the focus on Castro's failures instead
of our policy.

President Bush's recent election-year move to significantly restrict
cash remittances to Cuban families and virtually eliminate family
travel must be seen for what it is -- a cynical and misguided ploy
for a few Florida votes. This move will not pressure Castro. But it
will pressure Cuban-Americans and their often elderly relatives
across the straits. I am not going to pander and promise something
no president in the last 45 years has been able to deliver. I want to
take steps to help all of us, including Cubans and their families in
Cuba, work toward a democratic solution and the ultimate end to
the Castro regime in a peaceful and democratic way. President Bush,
on the other hand, has asked Cuban-Americans to choose between
their government and their families on the island, steps widely
denounced not only by Cuban families, but also by leading
dissidents on the island. When the President's proposals take
effect, the misery of the Cuban people, not of Castro, is sure to rise.

Instead, we should promote the interchanges of ideas that will
begin now to lay the foundations for economic prosperity and an
independent civil society that I believe are so critical to peace and
democracy. I would begin by encouraging principled travel. George
Bush wants to end most travel to Cuba. Cuban-American families
are the most positive force for change in Cuba today. Why limit their
freedom to press for change? Humanitarian trade in food and
medicine is another powerful way to strengthen the foundation
of freedom and democracy. And we have a bipartisan consensus
in the Congress for such steps.

Indeed, I have consistently joined my colleagues on both sides of
the aisle in votes with bipartisan majorities to end the travel ban
and to permit the sale of food and medicine, while voting to censure
Cuba for human rights violations. Last year, both houses of Congress
voted in favor of lifting the travel ban - and only Bush Administration
opposition prevented the bipartisan will of Congress from becoming
law. These votes signal my belief and that of the Congress that selective
engagement, not isolation, is the best way for the American people
to send real, not just rhetorical, hope for a better future to the
Cuban people.

I have also consistently supported remittances because I believe
they can become a powerful tool for all Cuban-Americans and all
Americans to help Cubans on the island not just to survive, but also
to start small businesses and thereby gain a measure of autonomy
from the crushing repression of the Cuban state. We should lift
the remittance cap and allow all Americans to send remittances
to households and humanitarian institutions. The Bush announcement
to curb travel and remittances, will not only hurt Cuban families, but
will also prompt the Castro regime again to blame the United States
for the Cuban people's suffering.

I also support the free flow of information to Cuba. Enhancing
communication through news bureaus, people-to-people contact,
effective support for dissidents and civil society, and an accessible,
soundly managed, fair and balanced Radio and TV Martí can help
reduce the isolation of the Cuban people. But at the end of the day,
the best way to communicate American ideals to Cubans is to let
Americans and Cubans talk face to face.

Let me be clear - I do not support lifting the embargo or
recognizing Castro's dictatorial regime. While reducing the
economic isolation of the Cuban people, I want to work with
the international community to increase political and diplomatic
pressure on the Castro regime to release all political prisoners,
support civil society, and begin a process of genuine political

This effort will come as part of a broader initiative to restore
American credibility with our allies. President Bush on the other
hand is now considering implementing extra territorial aspects
of the Helms-Burton law, aimed at punishing foreign countries
and companies for investing in Cuba. This will further strain
relations with Canada and our European allies when, frankly,
we most need them. With American credibility abroad suffering
from this White House's smug disregard for world opinion, extra-
territorial steps will only make matters worse. Instead, I will work
to craft a policy toward Cuba that our allies can join and support.

Over the last forty-five years our government has tried everything
from invasion and covert operations to economic sanctions and
international pressure to bring about change in Cuba. The American
taxpayer has spent billions of dollars on the cause, to no avail. For
example, under the Bush administration, far more manpower at
the Treasury is dedicated to enforcing the Cuba travel ban than
to tracking down terrorist financing. A policy of isolation and
deprivation sends the wrong message to the Cuban people and
strengthens Castro and the hardliners around him, allowing them
to manipulate information about America's intentions.

As President, I will seek to reverse that equation and show
Cubans on the island that the United States government and
all of its citizens, including Cuban-Americans, can be positive
partners for the island's free and democratic future.

Paid for and authorized by Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc.


3) Cost Free Campaigning:
From: "Eric Schiller"
Mon, 20 Sep 2004

I have a meeting in Berkeley at 5, so might not be able to
get to the meeting.

You might want to circulate my suggestion on cost-free campaigning:

1. Get (or make) a 1-sheet flyer or information sheet against Bush

2. Collect all the postage-paid business reply envelopes
from your junk mail
3. Place flyer in envelope, seal and mail

These envelopes are opened by low-wage workers who tend not to be
politically active.

Many of them live in "swing" states.

Let the corporate goons subsidize this campaign to kick their boy out
of the White House!

Eric Schiller

Dear Eric,

While I don't support "lesser of two evils politics" I think this
is a great way to use those postage-paid mailer envelops for
circulating antiwar information to those we would not
reach otherwise...Bonnie Weinstein



About four dozen protesters endured wet weather Sunday as they
marched and chanted for a mile to the California Youth Authority
facility near Stockton. The march was in response to the latest
death of a ward at the facility and to advocate for the youth prison
to be shut down. "Stop the deaths! Stop the lies! CYA ruins lives!"
said the protesters, who included members of Books Not Bars, a
statewide campaign fighting to redirect California's public
resources away from punishment of young people and toward
opportunity through rehabilitation.

"We are not getting any answers from them (CYA)," Twanisha Brewer,
22, said during the protest. "When he got here, he was healthy, and
that's the way he should have come home. We need to know what
happened to my brother," she said.

Dyron Mandell Brewer, 24, of Berkeley was found dead at 3:45 a.m.
Sept. 5 in his cell at the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional
Facility, southeast of Stockton. Brewer's is the fourth death in CYA
custody this year. Two wards, ages 17 and 18, hung themselves in
January in a cell they shared at a facility in Ione; another,
Roberto Lombana, 18, died later that month at Chad after ingesting
cleaning fluid. The Stockton facility also drew fire in April from
critics pushing for reforms to the youth prisons after California
State Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) released a videotape that
showed prison guards beating two wards at the site.

Jakada Imani, program director of the Ella Baker Center for Human
Rights, said a photograph of Brewer was "deeply alarming" to the
family: They were barred from seeing the body at the coroner's
office, and instead were shown a Polaroid picture of his face. They
could hardly recognize Brewer in the photograph, they said, but they
would not specify what he looked like other than to say his face was
swollen. "We need answers, we need to know why [he died]," said
Twanisha Brewer. "That was my heart, and that was ripped from me,"
she said.

At the CYA in Stockton, Brewer's family and friends said he
complained during phone conversations about being picked on by
guards. He told them the guards were trying to get him in trouble so
they could add time to his sentence. They said he was also confused
about why he was back in CYA and pleaded with them to contact his
parole officer to find out.

Dyron had no history of seizures, heart trouble, asthma, high blood
pressure, drug abuse, or the like. Yet CYA officials claim that
Dyron went to sleep in his cell as a perfectly healthy 24-year-old
and simply never woke up.

Unable to get answers about what had happened, the family teamed up
with Books Not Bars, a human rights advocacy organization that
focuses on incarcerated youth. Together they are demanding that CYA
release any information they have that would add to the coroner's
report. They said they are going to file a freedom of information
request for all documents related to the death and the treatment of
wards in the facilities. "Given the CYA's horrible track record of
neglect, abuse, and cover up, we need a full investigation of how
Dyron lost his life," said Lenore Anderson, the director of Books
Not Bars. "The CYA should release its reports on this incident and
let the family know what happened to their son."

"CYA needs to be shut down," Twanisha Brewer said. "It's not just
our family, but other families need to know why these kids are dead.
They need answers, too."

At the end of Sunday's protest, carnations were placed on the barbed-
wire fence around Chaderjian to memorialize the wards' deaths.
Sources: Books Not Bars, Berkeley Daily Planet, IMC/Bay Area,
Stockton Record

To view the Oread Daily go to
Subscribe to the Oread Daily at
Contact the Oread Daily at


5) Here is the story that Scripps Howard covered:
Million Worker March to Voice Labor Movement Concerns
by Rebecca Trela

(From: "sharon black"
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 8:51:3 -0400)

Americans are expected to gather at the Lincoln Memorial Oct. 17 for the
Million Worker March, mobilizing union workers and anti-war
demonstrators in a show of election-related concerns.

Sept 16, 2004 (AXcess News) Washington - Thousands of Americans are
expected to gather at the Lincoln Memorial Oct. 17 for the Million
Worker March, mobilizing union workers and anti-war demonstrators in a
show of election-related concerns.

"We see the Million Worker March as an integral part of putting this
country back on the right track,"said Chris Silvera, president of the
National Black Teamsters Caucus, at a news conference Thursday.

March organizers cited universal health care, pension plans, the future
of Social Security and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq as key issues
to set before legislators.

Sponsors of the march include the National Education Association; the
Green Party; the Teamsters National Black Caucus; the International
Longshore and Warehouse Union; the American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees; the American Postal Workers Union; and Rep.
Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

Recently, AFL-CIO Field Mobilization Director Marilyn C. Sneiderman was
criticized by some union workers for public remarks discouraging union
members from attending the march.

A spokeswoman for the labor union coalition, however, attempted on
Thursday to clarify its position:

"We've never said that we're against the march," said Lane Windham.
"Certainly we support the goals, but we don't think this is the right
time. We think that all the labor movement's efforts should be going
into battleground states." Windham suggested a Washington event after
the election.

March organizers estimated on their permit application that the march
would draw 100,000 demonstrators, according to Warren Suyderhoud
of the National ! Park Ser vice permit department.

March Co-Chair Clarence Thomas, a Longshore and Warehouse Union
official, said he hopes to achieve that number.

"We're not saying that there will be a million people there, but a
million people will be represented," he said.

Thomas indicated that, although some unions involved in the march have
endorsed candidates for the election, the march organization has
remained neutral to host an all-inclusive event.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. E. Randall Osburn of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference will speak. The event will also include
special interest and advocacy group tents on the Mall.

Source: Scripps Howard Foundation Wire


[Col. Writ. 8/28/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The announcement, and the subsequent retraction, of
the news that US Secretary of State, Colin Powell would,
and then would not attend the closing ceremonies of the
Olympics in Athens gives us some idea of what millions
of people think, not just in Greece, but all around the
world, about the world's sole superpower.'

It also shows that the administration is leery of
showing what the world thinks, and this, with perhaps
the most popular member of the administration.

The world is angry at the US for its imperial
invasion of Iraq on the now-faded pretext, of
'weapons of mass destruction.' This may be seen
at the chorus of boos showered on American
athletes in Athens, something that is quite rare.

If we believe the corporate media, we see the
world in sharp, binary shades; much like Bush
suggested after September 11, 2001:'... they're
either for us, or against us.'

Military dictatorships and quasi-democracies
the world over, are using this simplistic 'for us
or against us' formula to target a slew of domestic
political opponents, in much the same way that
they used it during the Cold War. Today, their
opponents aren't called 'communists', or
'subversives' -- they're called 'terrorists.' Thus
trade unionists, human rights activists, and
various representatives of nationalist, cultural,
and ethnic movements are targeted by their
governments, often with the support of the
US government, as the newest 'enemy':

A recent book on the dark and dangerous
ties between Colombia and the US shows
the latest features of this trend.

Written by scholar and veteran journalist,
Mario A. Murillo, a Colombian-American
who teaches at Hofstra and the NYU, the
picture that emerges of Colombia is of
rampant corruption and sheer opportunism.
Murillo is especially critical of the press,
which, as it has done in the opening of the
Iraq War, routinely serves as an important
ally of the government, often without question.

Murillo has written Colombia and the
United States: War, Unrest and Destabilization
(New York: Seven Stories Press/Open
Media, 2004), which, among other things,
shows us how the major media serves the
power elites (both in the US *and* Colombia!)
by misrepresenting radical, and nationalist
movements, and indeed, by ignoring history
in support of a series of myths.

They do this by the formula of appearing
to be fair and objective, while using the
journalistic technique of slant, to favor the
established, state forces, against those who
oppose that state.

One example of this may be shown quickly
in a reference to the guerrilla movement known
as FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia). While Murillo is critical of FARC's
shortcomings and errors (especially where
peasants and workers were hurt), he points
out that rightist paramilitaries, like the
much lesser-known AUC (*A*utodefensas
*U*nidas de *C*olombia) were responsible
for over 75% of civilian casualties, torture
and rapes. It also goes largely unreported that
they are quite close to the State, and often work
hand-in-glove with them.

Also virtually unreported is the racial
composition of the Colombian people.
Murillo writes: "Colombia has a large black
population, ranging anywhere between 20
and 45 percent of the total, depending on
which figures you read and how you interpret
them." [p. 40] Afro-Colombians, many of
whom dwell in the rural and coastal areas,
are among the poorest, and most violently
repressed people of the country, both by
the state and the paramilitaries.

While most of us who read, hear, or
watch major media may have a skewed
perspective of Colombia, and how the
Colombian people view the US, and their
political leaders, Murillo tells of one
occasion when a Colombian politician
sent a powerful, public message to the
president, Uribe, that leapt the translation
barrier. On the floor of the chamber
of representatives, an independent
politician presented Uribe and his ministers
with a pair of knee pads, emblazoned
with American flags on them.

No one, it seems, loves an Empire.

(Prof. Murillo's book is available from:
Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts St.,
NY, NY 10013. On the web: Seven Stories
has also published some of the writings
of Mr. Jamal.)

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Col. Writ. 8/29/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

"A little matter will move a party, but it must be
something great that moves a nation."
-- Thomas Paine, *Rights of Man* (1791-92)

The name Tom Paine may be known here in America,
but it is not revered.

If he is seen as a so-called 'founding father', he
is a forgotten one, who gets few accolades, when
one compares him to his contemporaries, like
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or
Ben Franklin.

The faces of these men emblazon U.S. currency,
and there are universities, hospitals and other
institutions that proudly bear their names.

There is a state and, of course, the nation's
capital, that bears Washington's name.

If one looks at the counties of this nation's
50 states, at least 30 states have a Washington
County; 25 counties boast a Jefferson County;
and Franklin brings up the rear with 20 counties
named after the Philadelphia scientist.

Thomas Paine, the powerful pamphleteer
who wrote the best-selling *Common Sense*,
and *Rights of Man*, writings which stirred
the hearts of American colonials against
Britain, gets nothing (while Oklahoma has a
'Payne' County, its spelling suggests it has
little to do with the revolutionary).

Paine was a poor man, who, in his 37th
year, was a failure at business, and marriage.
When his pamphlet, *Common Sense* took
off, selling about 120,000 copies in the Colonies,
he found his niche in life. It is from his writings,
that the words 'Declaration of Independence'
were first found in print, and this English-born
scribe coined the phrase, "United States of

He went to France shortly after the
American Revolution, to join in the anti-royal
struggle there, later writing to Washington,
"A share in two revolutions is living to some

Today, almost 200 years since his death,
his words, his brilliance, his clear prose and
true radicalism is little known.

I have found his works in right-wing and
libertarian book catalogs; yet few leftists quote
him, far fewer seem to study him, and few pore
through his works (outside of occasional
graduate courses).

He, as a man among the poor, wrote and
spoke about the boiling, burning issues of the
day; he opposed slavery; he opposed capital
punishment; he opposed kings and much of
organized religion with equal vigor. During
the French Revolution, he spoke out against
the execution of Louis XVI, and earned himself
a date with the guillotine. By chance, he
survived, until the cold lawyer, Robespierre
was beheaded, and in the euphoria of that
event Paine, and other political prisoners, were
freed. He never forgave his fellow American
rebels, Washington, nor Gouverneur Morris
(then U.S. representative to Paris), for not
lifting a finger to help him during his wait
for the guillotine. He would write a bitter
*Letter to Washington* (1796) where he
accused him of treachery and incompetence:

And as to you, Sir, treacherous in
private friendship (for so you have been
to me, and that in the day of danger) and
hypocrite in public life, the world will be
puzzled to decide whether you are
an apostate or an imposter; whether you
have abandoned good principles, or
whether you ever had any.

Thoroughly radical, a believer in international
revolution, an opponent of slavery, anti-death
penalty, and advocate for the poor, Thomas
Paine embodied some of the most humanistic
movements of his time.

He shouldn't be the 'forgotten founding father',
but a model of radical, and even revolutionary
activism for millions of folks today.

Ultimately, it really doesn't matter if there
are no counties named after him, or universities.
It would mean much if his radical vision lived
in the minds and hearts of young people, in
America and beyond.

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Col. Writ. 9/4/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The horrific images emerging from the shattered,
gaping ruins of a school in southern Russia, and the
catastrophe of over 300 people -- women and
children among them -- dead, has become a graphic
backdrop for the perpetual media search for
reflections of the ephemeral 'war on terror.'

Americans, never comfortable with their own
real, unvarnished history, cares even less about the
history of other nations. If you ask the average
American about 'Chechnya', he'll probably think
you're talking about a dish at the neighborhood
Chinese restaurant.

But, Chechnya is a real place; and like
real places, it has a complex, long history with
Russia, the roots of which exploded on the
world's stage in recent days.

Behind the regional hatreds lie imperial
ambitions, colonialism, and blind, brutal

The *Toronto Star's* Eric Margolis has
written that the Russians have brutally ruled
the various Muslim peoples of the Caucasus
regions for 300 years, among them the
Chechens. Russia has crushed all opposition
"with ruthless ferocity", Margolis writes,
adding Russia has "twice attempted genocide."

According to Margolis, "... [In] the 1940s,
Stalin deported nearly all the 1.5 million
Chechen to Siberian concentration camps,
where 25% died." [*Source*: Enver Masud,
*The War on Islam*, (Arlington, Va.:
Madrasah Bks., 2000), pp. 150-51]

Some 2 million other Soviet Muslims
met similar fates.

According to Margolis, "Hitler used gas;
Stalin used the Russian winter" (p. 126).

This soul-shattering history, of centuries
of foreign colonization, repression, and
attempted genocide, cannot fit into
Washington's facile 'war against terror' -
but if we depend on the Bush Regime,
the corporate media, and the Putin regime,
we would think exactly that.

From the time of the Czars, to the present,
the people of Chechnya have been under
the Russian boot. Their 'leaders' were, as
often as not, hand-picked puppets chosen
in Moscow.

In light of the Bush-proclaimed 'war on
terror', the West now looks approvingly at
virtually any action targeting Muslims, the
world over.

When Chechens seek independence from
the Russian Empire, they are painted as
terrorists, with the West's approval, and
the might of the Russian state may be
arrayed against them.

How are they to respond to their colonizers--
vote for them?

Thus, 250 years disappears into the smoke
of 9-11, and the media prints editorials
against the Great Evil: Terrorism.

Lost in this rubble is the simple, human
right of independence, because those who
seek it are Muslims, and those who opposed
it are U.S. "allies" in this mad war, that
even Emperor Bush has recently admitted
is unwinnable (although, to be fair, he
changed his mind again a few days later).

This mad, quasi-war has empowered
every dictatorship in the world, with the
blessings (and arms sales!) of Washington,
to reduce nationalist and independence
movements to rubble.

We saw Russia's response to the opera
theater takeover in Moscow, in Oct. 2002.
As clumsy, as heavy-handed as the Keystone
Kops. This latest Russian show of force
almost triples the casualties.

There's one sure way of ending this
bloodletting: it's for the Russian empire to
release the Chechens from the imperial

Isn't that 'liberty'?

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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Anti-War 4 the Million Worker March

A new website, "Anti-War for the Million Worker March"
( , has just been
launched as an organizing tool for the thousands who are
planning to go to DC on October 17 to say "Bring the
Troops Home Now! Jobs, Healthcare, and Workers' Rights,
not War!"

At the new website, you can:

1) Sign up to be listed as an organizing center

2) Download PDF's of fliers and help get the word out

3) Donate to help pay for buses, printing fliers, and
many other expenses.

4) View an updated list of endorsers

Also, coming soon:
*Detailed logistical information
*Updated transportation, including bus parking in DC
*Updated organizing centers

***Help Build the Million Worker March!***

Momentum is growing for the Million Worker March!

Organizing centers
are springing up across the country as workers, anti-war
activists, students, veterans, and communities of faith
answer the call to march on Washington, DC and organize in
our own name.

The Growing List of Endorsers includes: Congresswoman
Barbara Lee, Jesse Jackson, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition,
Global Women's Strike, United for Peace & Justice,
District Council 37 AFSCME, the United States Green Party,
American Postal Workers Union International,
and many others.

This historic march and movement needs your help. It is
only by organizing in our own name and building our own
independent mobilization of working people that we can
open the way to addressing our needs and our agenda.

We need your help in the following ways:

Donate! The massive mobilization on October 17 will incur
enormous expenses, including transportation, stage &
sound, and the printing of thousands of leaflets, among
others. You can help with these expenses by donating
online at

Become an Organizer! We need hundreds of local activists
to organize buses and vans. If you are interested in
becoming a local organizer, sign up at

Help Get the Word Out! Download leaflets from
and take them to your workplace, union, community center,
school, or place of worship.

If you are coming to washington on oct 17 in buses, vans
etc - let us know ASAP so that we can list you

Anti-War 4 the Million Worker March

Anyone can subscribe.
Send an email request to

To unsubscribe

Subscribing and unsubscribing can also be done on the Web at


10) Reuters Asks a Chain to Remove Its Bylines
September 20, 2004

Having their bylines appear in newspapers is an unexpected bonus for
news agency reporters. But now Reuters has asked Canada's largest
newspaper chain to remove its writers' names from some articles.

The dispute centers on a policy adopted earlier this year by CanWest
Global Communications - the publisher of 13 daily newspapers
including The National Post in Toronto and The Calgary Herald,
which both use Reuters dispatches - to substitute the word "terrorist"
in articles for terms like "insurgents" and "rebels."

"Our editorial policy is that we don't use emotive words when labeling
someone," said David A. Schlesinger, Reuters' global managing editor.
"Any paper can change copy and do whatever they want. But if a paper
wants to change our copy that way, we would be more comfortable if
they remove the byline."

Mr. Schlesinger said he was concerned that changes like those made
at CanWest could lead to "confusion" about what Reuters is reporting
and possibly endanger its reporters in volatile areas or situations.

"My goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity,"
he said.

According to Mr. Schlesinger, members of Reuters' sales staff in
Canada have asked CanWest to remove writers' names to conform
to its guidelines for the use of "terrorist." Reuters has also asked that
CanWest add its name to that of Reuters as the source of revised
articles and to display that information only at the end of the articles.
Alternatively, Reuters suggests that its name not be used at all.

Scott Anderson, editor in chief of CanWest publications and an author
of the policy, said Reuters' rejection of his company's definition of
terrorism undermined journalistic principles.

"If you're couching language to protect people, are you telling the
truth?" asked Mr. Anderson, who is also editor in chief of The Ottawa
Citizen. "I understand their motives. But issues like this are why
newspapers have editors."

Mr. Anderson said the central definition in the policy was that
"terrorism is the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a
political goal."

The policy has caused Mr. Anderson's paper to issue two corrections
recently as the result of changes it made to articles provided by The
Associated Press. On Thursday, The Citizen changed an A.P. dispatch
to describe 6 of 10 Palestinians killed in the West Bank by Israeli troops
"terrorists," a description attributed to "Palestinian medical officials."
The Associated Press had called those people "fugitives."

The Citizen published a correction on Friday declaring it to be it an
editing error and describing the six dead as "militants." A week earlier,
the newspaper inserted the word terrorist seven times into an A.P.
article about the fighting between Iraqis and United States forces in
the city of Falluja. Mr. Anderson called the two episodes "silly errors."

Late Friday, a spokesman for The Associated Press, Jack Stokes,
issued a general statement about changes to its articles. "We
understand that customers need to edit our stories from time to
time," it said in part. "However, we do not endorse changes that
make an A.P. story unbalanced, unfair or inaccurate."

Mr. Anderson said he did not know how CanWest would deal with
the Reuters request. No one else at CanWest, The National Post or
The Calgary Herald was available for comment.

In an editorial published on Saturday, however, The National Post
said it would continue to follow its current policy.

"Mr. Schlesinger's broader implication - that the substantive
meaning of his reporters' stories are being universally vitiated
by our house style - is one we reject," it said. "The agency's use
of euphemisms merely serves to apply a misleading gloss of
political correctness. And we believe we owe it to our readers
to remove it before they see their newspaper every morning."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


11) International Council for Humanity Film showing
Every Wednesday night in October @7pm
The Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street,
Oakland, between Broadway and Telegraph

Wed. Oct. 6th---To Serve & Protect-----

--------60 Minute documentary produced by UCSC students about
police brutality and the struggle to end it!
Move Confrontation---50 Minute documentary about the police
attack on the Move Organization in Philadelphia in 1978 and the
police bombing of the Move headquarters in 1985. Move is a
30 plus year powerful and liberating organization for the people
and all life

Wed. Oct. 13th-----Vanishing Prayer---15 Minute documentary
honoring the Dineh resistance in Big Mountain Arizona

The ZapatistaÂ’s Mayan Uprising---50 Minute

documentary about the beautiful people in Chiappas, Mexico

who have powerfully risen for the whole people.

Wed. Oct. 20th--The Framing & Execution of Mumia -A 60 Minute
video about the frame up of one of the planetÂ’s most popular
political prisoners.

The Arnold Beverly Confession----a short taped confession of
the man that killed the officer that Mumia is framed for killing

Wed. Oct. 27th-----Fahrenheit 911---Michael MooreÂ’s latest
work of political art regarding the Bush regime and the their
corrupt wars

Sliding scale $3-$5 no one turned away for lack of funds

The Humanist Hall—390 27th Street—Oakland

Between Broadway and Telegraph

Sponsored by International Council for Humanity—510-419-1405