Kasha -- Hitchens vs Galloway: The big debate -- David Usborne
Hitchens vs Galloway: The big debate
16 September 2005
Christopher Hitchens, vocal supporter of the Iraq war, against George
Galloway, indefatigable enemy of the war
By David Usborne in New York
Published: 16 September 2005
The George Galloway Tour had arrived in town and things were running a
little late. The queue to get into the 1,000-seat auditorium at Baruch
College near Gramercy Park had stretched more than two blocks and it was
taking time to get everyone in. Apparently not fully apprised of what she
was in for, an American woman turns around to a British reporter sitting
one row behind and innocently inquires: "Is this personal?"
The Respect party MP for Bethnal Green and Bow is on a swing through the US
to promote his new book, Mr Galloway Goes to Washington, about his
blistering appearance at a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill this spring
investigating scams and scandals in Iraq's oil-for-food programme. But the
New York stop always promised to be more entertaining than any other. He
would have company on stage.
Yes, ma'am, you have a ringside seat for the political prize-fight of the
season. Never mind the mayoral elections going on the city right now or that
Messrs Bush and Blair are merely a mile away at UN headquarters charting all
of our futures. What you are about to witness is foreign policy discourse at
its most raw and bloody and - no question about it - most personal. Get
ready for Galloway versus Hitchens.
It was minutes before Galloway's Senate performance in May when he had his
now famous run-in with Christopher Hitchens on the street. Hitchens, the
Vanity Fair columnist and renegade from the left with a new career defending
the 2003 invasion of Iraq, berated Galloway for his anti-war stance and his
past ties to Saddam Hussein, upon which the MP called him "a drink-soaked
former Trotskyite popinjay".
Such insults should not be left unattended, or so thought Hitchens, who
subsequently challenged Galloway to join him in a public debate at a time
and venue of his choosing. That moment came on Wednesday night at Baruch
College. In the audience was the entire beau monde of the New York left,
including the publisher and editor of The Nation magazine, Victor Navasky
and Katrina Vanden Heuvel, and the motion set forward was this: "The war in
Iraq was necessary and just." More than half an hour behind schedule, at
last the bold contenders are brought before us. We quiver with
anticipation, because this is a land where political debate is normally
dreary in its politeness. There is real bad blood here. "No handshakes, no
courtesies," Hitchens growls before the evening even begins.
Pasty-faced, scruffy and slightly coy, Hitchens ambles to his podium. He
lets his jacket fall to the floor from his left hand and his blue shirt is
soaked in patches of sweat. Stage-right, meanwhile (not appropriately),
Galloway is all prosperity with a perfect late-summer tan and perfect beige
suit and tie.
No one is more intrigued - or perhaps more appalled - by the event than the
woman two seats to my left, Oona King. She, of course, is the former Labour
candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow who knows first hand what it is like to
go up against the barking Galloway. Some of us are imagining that Hitchens,
a man of no small intellectual rigour, will surely get the better of the
man from Dundee tonight. But perhaps Oona knows better. She whispers
something to me about Galloway being "brilliant". Oh dear.
There is the small matter of the crowd. Hitchens fears they will not be in
his corner and has been outside working the queue (hence the damp patches),
doling out leaflets casting doubt on the integrity of his opponent. Amongst
tit-bits included were the words allegedly spoken by Galloway to Saddam
during a visit to Baghdad in 1994. "I salute your courage, your strength,
your indefatigability. And I want you to know that we are with you until
victory, until victory, until Jerusalem."
The moderator, Amy Goodman, a left-wing radio personality (a precious
species in the US) gives Hitchens the first 15 minutes. Perhaps unwisely he
opens by asking for a moment's silence for the more than 150 victims of
violence on Wednesday in Iraq. It seems gimmicky and a man yells that he
won't join in silence with someone who has condoned the war in the first
place. Ignoring the interruption, Hitchens begins in earnest, depicting the
kind of world we would live in if the pacifists got their way. From the
reactions around us, it seems he might have a good third of the hall in his
pocket; he should do fine.
It is still not quite clear to me at what point exactly Hitchens jumped the
rails. Much later in the night, when Hitch and I and a few others have
repaired to a friend's loft in SoHo, I attempt something of a post-mortem
with him. Is there anything, I dare to wonder, that he perhaps wishes in
hindsight he hadn't said to Galloway? Has he any regrets from the evening?
Of course, he says flat-out no. "There are things I didn't say that I wish
I had," he replies instead. We then spend a good time lingering on the
moment that Galloway came close to calling Hitchens a racist, taking issue
with his assertion that most of the insurgent fighters are "foreigners"
from outside Iraq. "If someone calls me a racist, I will sue," Hitchens
says darkly, drinking, but not drink-soaked. "I always sue and I never let
go. I never let go."
In fact, both men tonight had waded into areas they would have better
avoided. Galloway caused paroxysms saying the planes that slammed into the
twin towers four years ago did not come out of "a clear blue sky". Rather it
was the fault of the US and its foreign policies, especially on Israel. "I
believe they emerged out of a swamp of hatred created by us", he said. "I
believe that it's because of the total, complete unending and bottomless
support for General Sharon's crimes against the Palestinian people."
As Hitchens pointed out, this was not entirely sagacious of the MP, who does
not boast sensitivity as a middle name anyway. (Ask Ms King about that). "Mr
Galloway," he said quietly, "you picked the wrong city to say that". In the
meanwhile, he went on, the suggestion that somehow the misery caused by the
terrorists here and in London is somehow our fault in the first place is, he
said, "piffle, dangerous piffle". "Our fault? No, this is masochism. And it
is masochism being offered to you by sadists."
Then there were the moments in the evening where Hurricane Katrina entered
the hall. Galloway could not resist rehearsing the point, why send billions
of dollars to Iraq when you can't help your own people in New Orleans?
Foolishly, Hitchens then took it upon himself to defend President Bush and
the Pentagon's post-Katrina clean-up. The White House, he said, had 200,000
soldiers to send to the devastated Gulf area after the hurricane, but
wasn't able to until it got the say-so from state governors. That was the
problem - it wasn't lack of compassion. Even more rashly, he castigated the
left for making assumptions about the numbers of victims being
disproportionately black "before the bodies were even identified". Sharp
intake of breath from Ms King there, who briefly considers joining the
Rene -- David Harvey -- Last days of the US empire?
Last days of the US empire?
The US-based Marxist David Harvey gave this speech on the new imperialism at the recent Marxism 2005 conference in London.
My method is to see imperialism as the outcome of a tension between two sources of power. One is a territorial source of power lying in state organisations. The other is the capitalist logic of power, which is the control of money and assets, and the flow and circulation of capital.
I argue strongly that you cannot reduce one into the other. One of the mistakes sometimes made is to believe the two are wholly consistent with each other.
In fact they sometimes support each other and sometimes run against each other—and they are always in tension with each other.
At every historical and geographical moment we really need to apply that very general idea of what produces imperialism to analyse the specific situation.
You don’t find the answers in the writings of Lenin and Bukharin. It is fantastic to read what those people said about their time and their situation. But we have to use their insights to analyse our contemporary situation.
Garrett -- Mike Davis -- Poor, Black, and Left Behind
Poor, Black, and Left Behind
By Mike Davis
The evacuation of New Orleans in the face of Hurricane Ivan looked
sinisterly like Strom Thurmond's version of the Rapture. Affluent
white people fled the Big Easy in their SUVs, while the old and
car-less -- mainly Black -- were left behind in their below-sea-level
shotgun shacks and aging tenements to face the watery wrath.
New Orleans had spent decades preparing for inevitable submersion by
the storm surge of a class-five hurricane. Civil defense officials
conceded they had ten thousand body bags on hand to deal with the
worst-case scenario. But no one seemed to have bothered to devise a
plan to evacuate the city's poorest or most infirm residents. The day
before the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast, New Orlean's daily, the
Times-Picayune, ran an alarming story about the "large group…mostly
concentrated in poorer neighborhoods" who wanted to evacuate but
Only at the last moment, with winds churning Lake Pontchartrain, did
Mayor Ray Nagin reluctantly open the Louisiana Superdome and a few
schools to desperate residents. He was reportedly worried that
lower-class refugees might damage or graffiti the Superdome.
Rene -- "Apricot Revolution" anyone?
"Apricot Revolution" anyone? -rg
SCHROEDER IS BRUISED BY CHALLENGER IN TV FIGHT FOR HIS TITLE
By Roger Boyes
September 05, 2005
Chancellor was thrown on the defensive in big debate with Angela
Merkel, his election rival.
ANGELA MERKEL, leader of Germany's conservatives,emerged last night
as the narrow winner of a crucial television debate with Gerhard
SchrÃ¶der, removing the last major obstacle to an election victory
Again and again, Frau Merkel" previously regarded as an uncertain
public performer" threw the Chancellor on the defensive.
Twenty million viewers watched as Herr SchrÃ¶der struggled to
regain the initiative in what increasingly seems to be an unwinnable
election. "You cannot seriously believe that 5 million unemployed
is satisfactory," she blurted into the middle of a long list of the
achievements of the Social Democrat-Green government.
"You are just talking down Germany and that is so dangerous!" replied
an obviously bruised Chancellor. Frau Merkel made a direct appeal to
the German people: "We need a new mentality. We have to say what can
be done instead of why things cannot be done."
Rene -- ORANGE REVOLUTION TURNS BITTER AS CHOCOLATE KING ACCUSED
UKRAINE'S LEADERS FALL OUT OVER CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS
By Tom Warner in Kiev
September 6 2005 03:00
The political team that led Ukraine through last winter's Orange
Revolution was on the verge of splitting yesterday as President
Viktor Yushchenko's chief of staff said he was resigning because of
corruption within the president's inner circle.
Olexander Zinchenko, who headed Mr Yushchenko's election campaign,
called on the president to sack his national security council
secretary, Petro Poroshenko, and his first aide, Olexander Tretyakov,
whom Mr Zinchenko accused of "cynically realising their plan to
utilise authority to their own purposes".
He told a press conference: "I can't and I don't want to put up with
this outrage towards the law."
Rene -- TURKEY'S WAR WITH HISTORY
TURKEY'S WAR WITH HISTORY
Los Angeles Times, CA
Aug 8 2005
ORHAN PAMUK, ARGUABLY TURKEY'S most famous novelist, knew it was
risky to ask what had happened to hundreds of thousands of Armenians
killed during the era of the Ottoman Empire. But the threats didn't
Pamuk wondered out loud about the fate of Turkey's Armenian community,
and the more recent killings of 30,000 Kurds in a war against armed
separatists that began in 1984, during a February interview with a
Seven months later, and one day before European Union ministers were
scheduled to discuss Turkey's bid to join the union, a Turkish public
prosecutor charged Pamuk with insulting his country.
In Turkey, it is a crime to "denigrate" Turkish identity, punishable
by up to three years in prison. It is up to government authorities
to define the meaning of "denigration." Pamuk is scheduled to go to
trial on Dec. 16.
Tomdispatch -- Interview: Howard Zinn, The Outer Limits of Empire
Tomdispatch Interview: Howard Zinn, The Outer Limits of Empire
[Note to Tomdispatch readers: You have to be careful these days about predicting the obvious. In my last piece, Iraq in America, I wrote, "…don't hold your breath about either the Pentagon's or the administration's nation-building skills in the U.S. (But count on ‘reconstruction' contracts going to Halliburton.)" Well, as readers were quick to inform me, I was already behind the times. The first contract -- to repair Katrina storm damage at Gulf Coast naval facilities -- had already been issued to our Vice President's former company. In fact, as National Guards and other troops finally poured into New Orleans, the Iraq-in-America parallels only grew. There was the FEMA attempt to prevent the taking of news photos of dead bodies -- think of those bodies coming home to Dover Air Force Base from Iraq -- and the Army Times piece that referred to "the insurgency" in New Orleans, not to speak of GIs in that city and Iraq who noted eerie resonances between the two situations, or the Louisiana National Guardsman who referred to potential snipers in New Orleans as "terrorists." And let's not forget all those "private security contractors that specialize in supporting military operations in war-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan" now heading for the Big Easy to protect businesses and private residences. Talk about the war coming home...
Then I suggested that the administration's initial moves in the Katrina crisis -- easing pollution standards for gas blends and bolstering the Pentagon's new Northcom command -- did little more than forward their usual agenda. No sooner had I written that than David Rogers and John J. Fialka of the Wall Street Journal reported ("Hurricane Reorders Capitol Hill," September 8) on Republicans in Congress weighing in with plans to ease yet more pollution standards, pursue further tax cuts "to ease the price squeeze," and (doh!) allow "exploration for oil and gas along the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska." Talk about bulldogs in a storm!
In any case, with an urge not to let this site grow either predictable or obvious, and armed with two cheap tape recorders and a reasonable amount of nerve, I'm launching a new feature: the Tomdispatch interview. I often have the feeling that between brief quotes in the newspapers and the normal 12-second comments by "newsmakers" on TV, we seldom hear voices speaking directly to us for long. I also like the idea of watching people think aloud about matters that concern us all. And then, for me, there's just the pleasure of talking to a Howard Zinn. Tom]
Tomgram: Iraq in America
Tomgram: Iraq in America
At the Front of Nowhere at All
The Perfect Storm and the Feral City
By Tom Engelhardt
The headline was: "Direct hit in New Orleans could mean a modern Atlantis," and the first paragraph of the story read: "More than 1.2 million people in metropolitan New Orleans were warned to get out Tuesday as [the] 140-mph hurricane churned toward the Gulf Coast, threatening to submerge this below-sea-level city in what could be the most disastrous storm to hit in nearly 40 years." That was USA Today and the only catch was -- the piece had been written on September 14, 2004 as Hurricane Ivan seemed to be barreling toward New Orleans.
I commented at the time: "When ‘Ivan the Terrible' threatened New Orleans, correspondents there had a field day discussing whether the city might literally disappear beneath the waves -- this was referred to as the ‘Atlantis scenario.'" I was then trying to point out that we might indeed be entering a new, globally warmed world of Xtreme weather and no connections whatsoever were being made in the media. At the time, global warming, if discussed at all, was a captive of the far north (melting glaciers, unnerved Inuit, robins making miraculous appearances in Alaska), and "Atlantis scenarios" were the property of distant islands like the atolls that make up the tiny South Pacific nation of Tuvalu, threatened with abandonment due to rising ocean waters and ever fiercer, ever less seasonal storms And yet just short of a year ago, not only was it well known that New Orleans' levees weren't fit for a class 5 hurricane or that the Bush administration was slashing the budget of the Army Corps of Engineers, but the "Atlantis scenario" was already somewhere on the collective mind. Now, it has been upon us for almost a week.
Rene -- From Iraq, troops see parallels in Katrina
From Iraq, troops see parallels in Katrina
By Pamela Hess
UPI Pentagon Correspondent
Published September 6, 2005
BALAD. Iraq -- From 8,000 miles away, U.S. troops in Iraq are watching footage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with awe, concern and a little shame.
"If anything I'm kind of embarrassed," said an officer. "We're supposed to be telling the Iraqis how to act and this is what's happening at home?"
A senior officer allowed that if he was forced to choose between New Orleans and Baghdad he'd prefer to take his chances in Baghdad.
On Friday, 1,000 National Guard troops and police executed a "clear and hold" mission on the New Orleans convention center. Once host to the 1988 Republican National Convention, the convention center was now unofficial host to thousands of refugees - squatters all - who were mixed in with criminals and thugs. There was no official government presence there.
Clear and hold is a tactic being used across Iraq as troops come across recalcitrant neighborhoods or cities rife with insurgents or terrorists where there is no effective U.S. presence. It's a way to start from scratch.
About 12 hours before the National Guard was clearing the convention center, the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment began a clear and hold operation in the town of Tall 'Afar.
Tall 'Afar is a small city between the Syrian border and Mosul where an entire neighborhood has been mostly off limits to American forces because of the number of insurgent fighters there. Venturing in for standard patrols or reconstruction projects was certain to draw sniper fire and ambush.
Rene -- ISRAELI SOLDIERS TELL OF INDISCRIMINATE KILLINGS BY ARMY AND A CULTURE OF IMPUNITY
Palestine / Israel
ISRAELI SOLDIERS TELL OF INDISCRIMINATE KILLINGS BY ARMY AND A CULTURE OF IMPUNITY
Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Tuesday September 6, 2005
Whistleblowers' testimony shows desire for revenge on Palestinians
>>From a distance of 70 metres and through the sight of his machine
gun, Assaf could tell that the Palestinian man was aged between 20
and 30, unarmed and trying to get away from an Israeli tank. But
the details didn't matter much, because Assaf's orders were to
"fire at anything that moved". Assaf, a soldier in the Israeli army,
pressed the trigger, firing scores of bullets as the body fell to the
ground. "He ran and I started shooting for a few seconds. He fell. I
was a machine. I fire. I leave and that's that. We never spoke about
It was the summer of 2002, and Assaf and his armoured unit had been
ordered to enter the Gaza town of Dir al Balah following the firing
of mortars into nearby Jewish settlements. His orders were, he told
the Guardian, "'Every person you see on the street, kill him'. And we
would just do it." It was not the first time that Assaf had killed
an innocent person in Gaza while following orders, but after his
discharge he began to think about the things he did.
"The reason why I am telling you this is that I want the army to think
about what they are asking us to do, shooting unarmed people. I don't
think it's legal."
Assaf is not alone. In recent months dozens of soldiers, including
the son of an an Israeli general, all recently discharged, have come
forward to share their stories of how they were ordered in briefings
to shoot to kill unarmed people without fear of reprimand.
The soldiers were brought into contact with the Guardian with the
assistance of Breaking the Silence, a pressure group of former
soldiers who want the Israeli public to confront the reality of
army activities. The group insisted on anonymity of its witnesses to
protect the soldiers from persecution and prosecution.
Although those speaking out are a tiny proportion, their testimonies
reflect a widespread culture of impunity, according to Sarit Michaeli
of the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.
"During the first intifada, there were printed rules of engagement. In
the second there are none and what rules exist are kept secret. This
leaves a wide scope for interpretation for officers and soldiers,"
Rene -- Iran's Clerics Keep Wary Eye on 'Enemy'
Iran's Clerics Keep Wary Eye on 'Enemy'
By BRIAN MURPHY
The Associated Press
09/03/05 13:24 EDT
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Every year in early November, a crowd assembles
outside the brick walls ringing the former U.S. Embassy. The script
for the anniversary rarely varies.
They chant against America. Then come cheers for the now-graying
radicals who seized the compound after the 1979 Islamic Revolution
and paraded their blindfolded hostages for the world to see. And - as
always in Iran - there are angry broadsides against other "enemies":
Israel and a lesser cast of perceived Western foes.
Yet there's never a mention of the most direct threat to the world's
only modern-made theocracy: Iran's expanding and restless middle class.
Nearly a decade of social and economic openings have allowed breathing
room for a new type of quasi-dissident. They come in the guise of
educated, ambitious and Western-friendly urban trend setters - from
real estate speculators profiting off demands for high-rise living to
cyber-pioneers satisfying Iran's ravenous Internet appetites. Their
common bond is often a distaste for the all-pervasive controls of
the rulings clerics.
But that's as far as it has gone.
Rene -- Stallman -- Soft sell
The defeat of the EU software patenting directive only provides a breathing space, in which programmers and consumers should gather forces, writes Richard Stallman
Tuesday August 2, 2005
Last July 6, the free-software community and programmers everywhere awaited a showdown in the European parliament over software patents. The outcome was far from predictable.
If we, the free-software proponents, had lost, it would have been a final defeat in Europe. The relevant part of the European commission works hand in glove with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), and a BSA lawyer actually wrote much of the text of the draft directive the commission proposed. (We know this because they were so foolish as to publish it as a Word file, which contained information about who wrote what.)
Most of the national governments voted in favour of software patents at the council of ministers - some in disregard of the explicit instructions of their own parliaments. Some governments ceded to threats from mega-corporations. Danish newspapers reported in 2004 that Microsoft had threatened to move a recently acquired company out of Denmark if the government did not put its hand up for patents. Earlier this year, after we had thanked the Polish government for rejecting patents, it bowed to four European mega-corps that threatened to move a laboratory out of the country where they spent perhaps $15m (£8.5m) a year.
Since EU directives in these areas require agreement of both the council of ministers and the European parliament, our chances of subsequently reversing a bad directive adopted would have been negligible. Defeat on July 6 would have been a disaster for software developers and software users in the EU.
Artnet -- Kuspit -- The Contemporary and the Historical
Art World Stuff
The Contemporary and the Historical
by Donald Kuspit
It has become excruciatingly difficult and even impossible to write a history of contemporary art -- a history that will do justice to all the art that is considered contemporary: that is the lesson of postmodernism. If writing history is something like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, as psychoanalyst Donald Spence suggests, then contemporary art is a puzzle whose pieces do not come together. There is no narrative fit between them, to use Spence's term, suggesting just how puzzling contemporary art is, however much its individual pieces can be understood.
The "contemporary" by definition is not necessarily the "historical," that is, the contemporary is a quantity of events associated in a specious present rather than a consistent narrative integrating some of these events in a system or pattern that simultaneously qualifies and transcends them by giving them some sort of purposiveness, appropriateness and meaning, thus making them seem fated.
Jesal - Contrasts in concern for the poor
Contrasts in concern for the poor By Marjorie Cohn t r u t h o u t | Perspective Saturday 03 September 2005 Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than...
Rene -- Pitt -- Wake of the Flood
Wake of the Flood
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 02 September 2005
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
Thinkin' about my baby and my happy home.
-- Led Zeppelin, "When the Levee Breaks"
This will come as no surprise, but columnist Molly Ivins has again nailed it to the wall. "Government policies have real consequences in people's lives," Ivins wrote in her Thursday column. "This is not 'just politics' or blaming for political advantage. This is about the real consequences of what governments do and do not do about their responsibilities. And about who winds up paying the price for those policies."
Try this timeline on for size. In January of 2001, George W. Bush appointed Texas crony Joe Allbaugh to head FEMA, despite the fact that Allbaugh had exactly zero experience in disaster management. By April of 2001, the Bush administration announced that much of FEMA's work would be privatized and downsized. Allbaugh that month described FEMA as, "an oversized entitlement program."
Valerie -- Local / Alternatives to Red Cross
The email below demonstrates alternate ways that we can aid the survivors of
Katrina, ways that will get very needed items and funds out this week.
Please read below.
--- Danielle Abrams wrote:
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 20:28:40 -0400
From: Danielle Abrams
Subject: Suggestions for things to do locally re:
the hurricane catastrophe -- please reply if interested
The following was sent to me by Barbara Schulman, a friend and activist who
works for the NYC Human Rights Initiative. Below are numerous options for
ways you can offer to aid to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Additionally, a local effort is being organize by Barbara to make personal
care kits which will be sent to Mississippi by truck this Tuesday through an
organization called Black Aid (details below). If you are able to, please
drop off a care kit or send a check so that we can accomplish this task as
efficiently as possible. Her number is *718-499-5336.*
PLEASE DROP PREPARED KITS AT BARBARA SCHULMAN'S HOUSE IN PARK SLOPE BY
THIS MONDAY EVENING. THEY WILL BE BOXED AND DELIVERED TO THE BLACK AID TRUCK
ON TUESDAY. IF YOU CHOOSE THIS OPTION, YOU MUST PHONE US AT *718-499-5336*
FOR AN EXACT ADDRESS and TO SET UP A DROP-OFF TIME. (Danielle will be at
Barbara's to help with the boxing during some of the day)
*If you want to deliver care kits yourselves, the truck will be loading
between 4-7pm Tues night at Harriet Tubman Park on Fulton St. (in front of
Boys and Girls High School).*
Daniel -- Helping New Orleans
My friends from New Orleans are working hard to get donations and volunteers going toward more grassroots, community based organizations rather than FEMA (who channels their funds to Pat Robertson's org among others) or the big NGO's who may not actually take into account what the communities themselves want or need. Please forward this list around because it's harder to get the word out about smaller organizations doing good work.
Hope you are well.
Here are some great resources for giving money or volunteering in the relief and recovery efforts:
The Sparkplug Foundation has a great list of funding and volunteering options with organizations that doing grassroots relief work that focuses on people of color and poor people, especially groups that are run by, or accountable to people of color and economically devastated communities:
Richard -- Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore to George W.
Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush
Friday, September 2nd, 2005
Dear Mr. Bush:
Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.
Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?
Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!
Rene -- BUSH ACCUSED OF AIDS DAMAGE TO AFRICA
BUSH ACCUSED OF AIDS DAMAGE TO AFRICA
Jeevan Vasagar and agencies in Nairobi and Julian Borger in Washington
Tuesday August 30, 2005
_The Guardian_ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)
A senior United Nations official has accused President George Bush
of "doing damage to Africa" by cutting funding for condoms, a move
which may jeopardise the successful fight against HIV/Aids in Uganda.
Stephen Lewis, the UN secretary general's special envoy for HIV/Aids
in Africa, said US cuts in funding for condoms and an emphasis on
promoting abstinence had contributed to a shortage of condoms in
Uganda, one of the few African countries which has succeeded in
reducing its infection rate.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is
being driven by [US policies]," Mr Lewis said yesterday. "To impose a
dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to
Africa." The condom shortage has developed because both the Ugandan
government and the US, which is the main donor for HIV/Aids prevention,
have allowed supplies to dwindle, according to an American pressure
group, the Centre for Health and Gender Equity (Change). In 2003,
President Bush declared he would spend $15bn on his emergency plan
for Aids relief, but receiving aid under the programme has moral
strings attached. Recipient countries have to emphasise abstinence
over condoms, and - under a congressional amendment - they must
condemn prostitution. Brazil announced last month that it would
refuse to accept $40m (£22m) in American aid rather than stigmatise
prostitutes who Brazilian health workers said were essential to their
anti-Aids strategy. Senegal was also cut off from US aid because
prostitution is legal there. Campaigners accuse Uganda's first lady,
Janet Museveni, of being instrumental in the switch towards a policy
of abstinence. Ugandan government officials say that her religious
beliefs, stemming from being a born-again Christian, are central to her
promotion of the message of abstinence. In one poster campaign, signed
by the office of the first lady, the slogan alongside the picture of
a smiling young woman says: "She's saving herself for marriage - how