2002 Archived News
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Joe Wilson, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq during the George H. Bush Administration, opposes Iraq policy of regime change & invasion- News Conference, 12/12/02

Joe Wilson makes a strong case for what he terms "muscular [disarmament] enforcement," as opposed to invasion and "decapitation" of the Iraqi regime. Ambassador Wilson dispels much of the Administration rhetoric, including the notion that the Iraqi people will welcome American "liberators;" that a post Saddam Iraq will be easy to govern; that arms inspections will be ineffective unless Iraq "rolls over" to inspectors/provides full disclosure; and that Saddam is irrational and therefore impossible to contain. Ambassador Wilson also believes that an Iraq war will increase, not decrease regional and global terrorism.

Notwithstanding the above, reports are streaming in around the World that the United States may decide to invade Iraq in late January or early February- regardless of opposition from the U.N. security council or UNMOVIC. Whether under these circumstances, the U.S. will have the support of Great Britain, Australia, etc. is unclear.

The U.S. Congress is now completely out of the loop due to their capitulation prior to the 2002 mid-term elections. See: Byrd Pleads to the American people. Also tragically, the American people as a whole seem opposed to war, especially without strong allied support. Even more tragically, the majority of Americans appear uninformed as to the possible consequences of war to U.S. troops, regional allies and the people of Iraq.

My fervent hope is that the above conclusions are incorrect and that reasonable Iraqi compliance with UNMOVIC and U.N. Security Council resolution 1441, will head off war. In this case, the U.S. military buildup in the Gulf will play a positive role in inducing Saddam Hussein to comply with inspectors and further disclose WMD. Finally, the definition of reasonable needs to be left to the body that promulgated 1441- the U.N. Security Council, of which the United States in one of 15 members. See also: Drift Toward War Revives Nightmare of Vietnam: Policymakers preferred their wishful thinking to sound analysis, by Ray McGovern,, Charlotte Observer, 1/03/2002 & U.S. Decision on Iraq Has a Murky Past: Opponents of War Wonder When, How Policy Was Set," by  Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 11/12/03.


White House Budget Office Thwarts EPA Warning on Asbestos-Laced Insulation

"The Environmental Protection Agency was on the verge of warning millions of Americans that their attics and walls might contain asbestos-contaminated insulation. But, at the last minute, the White House intervened, and the warning has never been issued.

The agency's refusal to share its knowledge of what is believed to be a widespread health risk has been criticized by a former EPA administrator under two Republican presidents, a Democratic U.S. senator and physicians and scientists who have treated victims of the contamination." - Andrew Schneider, St Louis Post-Dispatch


Snooping in All the Wrong Places:
Not only would the Administration's plan to centralize every American's records destroy privacy, the security payoff would be minimal

"The outrage over TIA (Total Information Awareness System) doesn't seem to have reached the President's ear, but it should. It's not too late for him to realize the folly of such a plan. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the project would combine every American's bank records, tax filings, driver's license information, credit-card purchases, medical data, and phone and e-mail records into one giant centralized database. This would then be combed through for evidence of suspicious activity. Jane Black, Business Week, 12/18/2002; See also: Electronic Privacy Information Center, Total Information Awareness (TIA)


US Wrecks Cheap Drugs Deal:
Cheney's intervention blocks pact to help poor countries after pharmaceutical firms lobby White House, by Larry Elliott & Charlotte Denny, Guardian/UK

"Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, last night blocked a global deal to provide cheap drugs to poor countries, following intense lobbying of the White House by America's pharmaceutical giants.
 
Faced with furious opposition from all the other 140 members of the World Trade Organization, the US refused to relax global patent laws which keep the price of drugs beyond reach of most developing countries.

Talks at the WTO's Geneva headquarters collapsed last night after the White House ruled out a deal which would have permitted a full range of life-saving drugs to be imported into Africa, Asia and Latin America at cut-price costs." 

 

Mercury Falling: Homeland Security Act inoculates drug makers against autism lawsuits.

"When President George W. Bush signed the Homeland Security Act in the White House on Monday...three thousand miles away, Portland lawyer Mike Williams of the law firm Williams Dailey O'Leary Craine & Love rolled his eyes.

Williams represents hundreds of families who are suing pharmaceutical companies--in particular, Eli Lilly--over a mercury-based preservative [thimersol] used in some childhood vaccines. The families contend that the preservative triggered neurological damage in their children, who have been diagnosed with autism.

Last week, Williams was stunned to learn that an unknown lawmaker had slipped a last-minute rider into the Homeland Security Act, shutting down the lawsuits in the name of the war on terrorism."

"...Congressional sources say the Republican leadership must have OKed the rider. Eli Lilly, which made $1.6 million of political contributions in the last election cycle, has strong ties to the Bush administration. Bush's budget director, Mitch Daniels, formerly worked at Lilly; the company's CEO, Sidney Taurel, sits on the Presidential Homeland Security Council; and the president's father, George Bush, sat on Eli Lilly's board of directors."  

Willamette Week Online, "Mercury Falling: Homeland Security Act inoculates drug makers against autism lawsuits," by  Chris Lydgate, 11/27/02; See also: Safe Minds-Sensible Action for Ending Mercury Induced Neurological Disorders.


Finally Washington columnist Helen Thomas, in a 1/03/03 article provides a perspective on the Bush Administration's "compassionate conservatism" in the article, "Whose Side Are You On, Mr. President?." She writes:

Frist [new Republican Senate Majority Leader] also is the author of a provision in the Homeland Security bill providing liability relief to the makers of Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that recently has been added to various childhood vaccines. The provision is applicable even to pending cases and is expected to result in the dismissal of numerous ongoing cases alleging that Thimerosal has caused autism in children.

In Bush's eyes, the bogeymen, of course, are those trial lawyers.

Trial lawyers are used to being demonized and they are a favorite political target of conservatives

"...The second way to enforce consumer rights is the private lawsuit. Bush's war on the trial lawyers can only please those from the consumer-be-damned school of corporate wrongdoing. In President Bush's "compassionate conservatism," just whom does he feel compassion for?

I fear I know the answer."


Is this how you feel?; See also: George Bush: What's Missing?
 

Treesit Blog

"By Remedy an activist who has been sitting 150 feet up an ancient Redwood in Freshwater, California. She has been in her tree Jerry for over 8 months as part of a community's protest to save their forests and watershed. She uses Debian GNU/Linux on her laptop and a 5 mile 802.11b wireless link to get online."


Bin Laden's 'letter to America'

Recently, a letter, purportedly from bin Laden, sought to answer the questions of why the "Islamic Nation" is fighting and opposing America and what they are calling America to do, i.e., what they want from us. One cannot deny that many citizens of the world, rightly or wrongly, see America as a symbol of oppression, unilateralism and materialism.

However, the answer to oppression cannot, as bin Laden espouses, be violence. The words and actions of Ma
hatma Gandhi serve as a poignant reminder that the courageous application of compassionate non-violence-  is the surest, "most harmless and yet equally effective" means of attaining justice and peace.

It is not always easy to reconcile Gandhi's views with the notion of self-defense when the lives of many are at stake and when it appears that violence, as an act of self defense, is the only means of preserving the life. For example, it would be difficult to argue that Jewish uprisings in Nazi concentration camps, however violent, were not morally justified. It would be difficult to argue, as Gandhi perhaps did, that non-violent resistance would have been effective against the World War II Axis powers. The complete loss of human freedom and mass extermination is an unacceptable price to pay for pursuing a course of non-violence. And yes, the bombing of Hiroshima, justified at the time because it was thought that it would ultimately save more lives than it cost, was still an horrific act of violence and possibly revenge, the morality and necessity of which is debated even today. Use of weapons of mass destruction by any country or group is unconscionable- Hiroshima should be considered a lesson and warning, certainly not a standard to be emulated. Weapons of mass destruction should be abolished. Their use is too tempting for a human race that is still psychologically rooted in fear and violence. Mutually Assured Destruction has the unacceptable risk of success.

I believe the problems of the Palestinians, Israelis, Arab citizens, Chechens, Afghans and the many poor throughout the world can be solved by peaceful means. It is incumbent on the United States and other so-called first world nations to eschew violence and work to promote peace and justice both in their own countries and throughout the world. In many cases, I believe the United States has too narrowly defined its national self interest rather than working for solutions to real problems facing the citizens of the world. At times the United States has supported regimes that oppress their own citizens. At times American corporations have shown an ethically unacceptable double standard in the treatment of their overseas workers and citizens. However, attempting to redress these wrongs through violence, will only lead to more death, destruction and degradation; and embolden and broaden support for those that promote violence as an instrument of foreign and domestic policy. Violence contravenes an emerging global ethic that seeks to build a world community of justice. An eye for an eye mentality is no less reprehensible whether practiced by the oppressed or the oppressor.

The ugly side of religion manifests when it is used to condemn and unfairly judge. I know of no individual, group or country that has a monopoly on morality or a shortage of hypocrisy. No man has the ethical right to judge and condemn another. Human beings must control their impulse to judge and turn away from the temptation to hate.

According to a recent survey done by Zogby for the Arab American Institute and Americans for Peace Now, 85.5% of Jewish Americans believe that Palestinians have a right to live in a secure and independent state of their own and 95.4% of Arab Americans believe the same for Israel. The largest percentage of both groups blame both Israel and the Palestinians for the breakdown in Middle East peace process. What this augers for is the basis of consensus and hope, if a path of non-violence is pursued by both sides. My sense is that people of goodwill also exist in both Palestine and Israel and are equally desirous of a just peace that respects the national rights and aspirations of both countries. Violence however, drowns out their voices and allows extremists to take center stage in the internal and international debate. My belief and hope is that if the suicide bombings ended, the clamor for Palestinian statehood would drown out the voices of extremism and allow both sides to achieve a lasting peace. However for this peace to occur the United States must reverse its policy, as President Carter wrote of, "Tragically ... abandoning any sponsorship of substantive negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Our apparent policy is to support almost every Israeli action in the occupied territories and to condemn and isolate the Palestinians as blanket targets of our war on terrorism, while Israeli settlements expand and Palestinian enclaves shrink." President Carter is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and was instrumental in forging the Camp David Accords in 1978 between Israel and Egypt.

See: The International Solidarity Movement;
Americans for Peace Now & B'TSELEM - The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories 

Finally, it may be instructive to hearken back to Gandhi's writings. Whatever moral ambiguities some may find in his words, they contain the seed of hope and the possibility of peace. Martin Luther King believed this and while Blacks in America are still not treated with justice- significant progress has been made over the last forty years because men and woman of goodwill fought together- non-violently.

"The accumulated experience of the past thirty years, fills me with the greatest hope that in the adoption of non-violence lies the future of India and the world. It is the most harmless and yet equally effective way of dealing with the political and economic wrongs of the downtrodden portion of humanity. I have known from early youth that non-violence is not a cloistered virtue to be practiced by the individual for his peace and final salvation, but it is a rule of conduct for society if it is to live consistently with human dignity and make progress towards the attainment of peace for which it has been yearning for ages past."

"I am not a visionary. I claim to be a practical idealist. The religion of non-violence is not meant merely for the rishis and saints. It is meant for the common people as well. Non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law-to the strength of the spirit.
I have therefore ventured to place before India the ancient law of self-sacrifice. For satyagraha and its off-shoots, non-co-operation and civil resistance, are nothing but new names for the law of suffering. The rishis, who discovered the law of non-violence in the midst of violence, were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves greater warriors than Wellington. Having themselves known the use of arms, they realized their uselessness and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through violence but through non-violence."

"In the past, non-co-operation has been deliberately expressed in violence to the evil-doer. I am endeavoring to show to my countrymen that violent non-co-operation only multiplies evil and that as evil can only be sustained by violence, withdrawal of support of evil requires complete abstention from violence. Non-violence implies voluntary submission to the penalty for non-co-operation with evil."

"Non-violence is ‘not a resignation from all real fighting against wickedness’. On the contrary, the non-violence of my conception is a more active and real fight against wickedness than retaliation whose very nature is to increase wickedness. I contemplate, a mental and therefore a moral opposition to immoralities. I seek entirely to blunt the edge of the tyrant’s sword, not by putting up against it a sharper-edged weapon, but by disappointing his expectation that I would be offering physical resistance. The resistance of the soul that I should offer would elude him. It would at first dazzle him and at last compel recognition from him, which recognition would not humiliate him but would uplift him. It may be urged that this is an ideal state. And so it is."

(1) Non-violence is the law of the human race and is infinitely greater than and superior to brute force.
   In the last resort it does not avail to those who do not posses a living faith in the God of Love
    Non-violence affords the fullest protection to one’s self-respect and sense of honor, but not always to possession of land or movable property, though its habitual practice does prove a better bulwark than the possession of armed men to defend them. Non-violence in the very nature of things is of no assistance I the defense of ill-gotten gains and immoral acts.
    Individuals and nations who would practice non-violence must be prepared to sacrifice (nations to the last man) their all except honor. It is therefore inconsistent with the possession of other people’s countries, i.e. modern imperialism which is frankly based on force for its defense.
    Non-violence is a power which can be wielded equally by all-children, young men and women or grown up people, provided they have a living faith in the God of Love and have therefore equal love for all mankind. When non-violence is accepted as the law of life it must pervade the whole being and not be applied to isolated acts.
    It is a profound error to suppose that whilst the law is good enough for individuals it is not for masses of mankind.

See: Selections from Gandhi, from the Gandhian Institute Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal. Also: Wendell Berry, "The Failure of War." & an interview of Vandana Shiva by Sarah Ruth van Gelder appearing in Yes! Magazine entitled "Earth Democracy," Winter 2003. 


EPA Eases Clean Air Requirements on Power Plants

"The Bush administration on Friday eased clean air rules to allow utilities, refineries and manufacturers to avoid having to install expensive new anti-pollution equipment when they modernize their plants.

The long-awaited regulation issued by the Environmental Protection agency was immediately attacked by environmentalists, state air quality regulators and attorneys general in several Northeast state who promised a lawsuit to try to reverse the action."

"...Vickie Patton, an attorney with Environmental Defense, said the changes amount to "a sweeping and unprecedented erosion of state and local power to protect the public health from air pollution" by thousands of power plants, oil refineries and industrial facilities.

"They're going to do everything they can not only to roll these rules back at the federal level but to force states to dismantle clean air programs that have been in place for years," she said."
- John Heilprin, Washington Post, 11/22/02

 

The Treaty for the Rights of Women (known as CEDAW, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination)

"CEDAW, is often described as an international “Bill of Rights” for women. Many nations have passed laws supporting women’s basic human rights a result of the Treaty. However the United States is still not a signatory. After approval by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for ratification, the Bush administration has asked Attorney General Ashcroft to review the treaty.


Oppose Demands for Federal Immunity from Laws on Abortion Access!

"On September 25, the House of Representatives passed legislation, by a vote of 229 to 189, that would allow health care entities to refuse to provide abortion services or give information regarding those services."

"This measure is nothing less than a broad and dangerous federal "refusal clause." Sometimes called "conscience clauses," refusal clauses permit a person or entity to refuse to provide abortion and information about abortion services. Although proponents have misleadingly characterized this bill as a "clarification" of existing law, it would in fact radically alter existing law by providing broad license for health care entities -- from hospitals to insurance companies to HMOs -- to avoid basic legal requirements imposed by all levels of government." - ACLU, 10/7/02.



Iraq: What is the Debate Truly About?

The Iraq debate has been clouded with glittering generalities, confusion of fact and opinion, suspect analogies to past events, poor issue definition, conflicting and shifting positions, political infighting, etc.

The President's position is that if Iraq possesses WMD, especially nuclear weapons, it will find a way to use them to further break containment, destabilize the Middle East and pose a threat to the security of the United States directly or through terrorist proxies. The Administration believes that the Iraqi government is capable of great miscalculation and irrational behavior as demonstrated by its invasion of Iran and Kuwait, attempted assassination of the elder Bush, etc. The Iraqi regime's abysmal human rights record is used to further evidence the danger it poses to all peoples. See: "Saddam Hussein: Crimes & Human Rights Abuses," by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London. The sum total of the above invites comparisons with Hitler's and Stalin's governments- both of whom were threats to world peace and directly responsible for millions of needless deaths and untold human tragedies. Further, it appears unlikely Saddam's regime can be overthrown from within.

Given the above, the Administration considers a conflict with Iraq inevitable and wants to engage now, while Saddam's WMD capabilities and military are relatively weak. However, the Administration admits that while a successful U.S. invasion of Iraq may be swift there is a risk of significant military and civilian casualties.

Opposition to the Administration is two-fold. Some agree with the above analysis, but disagree as to strategy and tactics. Others assert that Iraq's possession of WMD does not guarantee its use. The former group is encouraging the Administration to use the UN for (1) building a military coalition in the event Iraq fails to disarm and (2) constructing a post Saddam Iraqi regime in the aftermath of war. Those who hold the later view will not back UN resolutions with military action, unless Iraq engages in or threatens overt military action. This group questions whether there are legitimate reasons why Iraq is being singled out and whether it poses an immediate threat. They emphasize the potential for large civilian casualties, refugees, displacement and a major humanitarian crisis. For example, since 1991 as a result of UN economic sanctions, over 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a result of epidemics and famine. See also: Medact report: "Collateral Damage, the health and environmental costs of war on Iraq."  & Voices in the Wilderness: a campaign to end the economic sanctions against the people of Iraq."

The later group also questions the motives and timing of the Bush Administration, especially in light of Administration statements concerning American supremacy and military preemption. Regarding human rights, they ask why the United States remained largely silent when thousands of unarmed Kurds were killed in Halabja in 1988.

The Administration has not convinced me that there is not a serious risk of large numbers of civilian and military casualties. What preparations are being made in the region to protect our Arab and Israeli allies and the Iraqi people against Saddam's use of chemical and biological weapons? How can Saddam's regime be overthrown without "hand to hand" combat in Baghdad and the potential for a large number of military and civilian causalities? Is our military adequately prepared for such combat? Will our allies contribute the military and economic support essential for the operation's quick success? Will they militarily and economically assist in building a post Saddam regime?

I believe the American people's support for an operation will be weak if it proves lengthy and/or costly in lives and dollars. The ramifications of an aborted operation are almost too frightening to contemplate. All of these considerations bode for caution and use of a variety of economic, diplomatic and as a last resort, military means, to achieve the objective of Iraqi disarmament.

Finally, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's analogy between the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Iraqi situation is weak, it should be pointed out that US intelligence never located the nuclear warheads for the Soviet missiles in Cuba during the crisis. Only 33 of what photography later showed was a total of 42 medium-range ballistic missiles were photographed by U.S. intelligence officials at the time. Further diplomacy, a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba and a quid pro quo in Turkey, not military action are what averted nuclear catastrophe. See National Security Archive: Havana Conference on Cuban Missile Crisis, 10/11/02. & "Projection on Fall Of Hussein Disputed," by Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post, 12/18/02
 

Byrd Pleads to American People

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. quote from Hermann Goering, Nazi wartime criminal and second man in the Third Reich, following the October 10th defeat of his Senate battle against the resolution handing President Bush unprecedented powers to declare pre-emptive war and invade Iraq.
 

U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- The Congressional Draft Resolution on Iraq

After weeks of debate, the Bush administration has failed to adequately and coherently address significant questions regarding a U.S. led military operation against Iraq, see: "U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- Commentary." The administration appears disunited, with key military leaders arguing against the administration's policy and key Bush administration civilian decision makers underestimating the military, political and economic risks/demands of an operation and subsequent nation building effort. One key unanswered question is why the administration didn't make its' case before the United Nations, six months or even a year ago, given the President's oft mentioned comment that "time is ticking" on a UN inspections/sanction resolution. Further the administration has politicized the issue, perhaps hoping that if the Democratic Senate resists the resolution, it will be their undoing- in effect putting the same type of time squeeze on the U.S. Congress that the administration has placed on the United Nations.

Therefore I have concluded that at this time it is unwise for the Congress to grant the Executive branch any authority tantamount to a declaration of war against Iraq.

The Congress should draft a resolution that strongly supports Iraqi disarmament and unconditional arms inspections under the auspices of the United Nations. It should provide a reasonable timetable for Iraqi compliance with current and/or new UN WMD resolutions. If Iraq fails to fully comply with these resolutions, then the administration should be required to report back to Congress and perhaps then make a case for additional military action/economic sanctions. Further, the administration should be strongly encouraged to garner broad regional and international support for the enforcement of any new or current UN resolutions pertaining to Iraq.

Finally, the debate over preemption has been so muddied by the administration that it has even alarmed our allies and former American Presidents and Secretaries of State. Therefore it is incumbent on the administration to clarify its position and the Senate's responsibility to understand and critique what is perceived as a major doctrinal shift in American foreign policy.
 

The Troubling New Face of America

Quoting from a September 5, 2002 Washington Post article, former President Jimmy Carter, Chairman of the Carter Center and a Nobel Prize Laureate in Peace writes:

"Fundamental changes are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates (except, at times, within the administration)."

"Formerly admired almost universally as the preeminent champion of human rights, our country has become the foremost target of respected international organizations concerned about these basic principles of democratic life."

"While the president has reserved judgment, the American people are inundated almost daily with claims from the vice president and other top officials that we face a devastating threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and with pledges to remove Saddam Hussein from office, with or without support from any allies."

"We have thrown down counterproductive gauntlets to the rest of the world, disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated international accords."

"Peremptory rejections of nuclear arms agreements, the biological weapons convention, environmental protection, anti-torture proposals, and punishment of war criminals have sometimes been combined with economic threats against those who might disagree with us. These unilateral acts and assertions increasingly isolate the United States from the very nations needed to join in combating terrorism."

"Tragically, our government is abandoning any sponsorship of substantive negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Our apparent policy is to support almost every Israeli action in the occupied territories and to condemn and isolate the Palestinians as blanket targets of our war on terrorism, while Israeli settlements expand and Palestinian enclaves shrink."

"There still seems to be a struggle within the administration over defining a comprehensible Middle East policy. The president's clear commitments to honor key U.N. resolutions and to support the establishment of a Palestinian state have been substantially negated by statements of the defense secretary that in his lifetime "there will be some sort of an entity that will be established" and his reference to the "so-called occupation." This indicates a radical departure from policies of every administration since 1967, always based on the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories and a genuine peace between Israelis and their neighbors."

"Belligerent and divisive voices now seem to be dominant in Washington, but they do not yet reflect final decisions of the president, Congress or the courts. It is crucial that the historical and well-founded American commitments prevail: to peace, justice, human rights, the environment and international cooperation."

Bold and underline are my own.

Whatever the merits of former President Carter's views (and I believe they have a basis (see: "U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq Commentary," "September 11th and its Aftermath/Civil Liberties at Stake," "The Middle East: U.S. Foreign Policy at its' Worst," "The Bush Administration: Lowering the Nuclear Threshold," "Global Warming" and "Bush Whitehouse Weakens Clean Air Act")), what can the U.S. expect from world opinion if a former American President has such strong foreign policy, ethical and moral concerns? Can U.S. foreign policy be effective without support, at the very minimum, from our traditional allies in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia? See: Pew Research Center report:  What the World Thinks in 2002: How Global Publics View: Their Lives, Their Countries, The World, America
 

U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- Commentary

The foreign policy debate over Iraq brings into sharp focus the need for more discussion at home and abroad that centers on addressing key questions including:

What is the true nature and extent of Iraq's WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) programs? Does Iraq even have, or is it seeking to re-acquire WMD?

What are the political, legal, military, economic and social regional/international repercussions of actions to remove Saddam Hussein from power? Is US active support for a regime change in contravention of international law? What is the level of support in Iraq for a regime change? What groups or parties are likely to replace the Bath? Will the replacement regime be better for Iraq and the region and have the support of the Iraqi people? Will the end result be a fragmenting of the country or a the emergence of a new state built on a federalist model? How embittered are the Iraqi people from over a decade of economic sanctions and how would this effect the stability of a post Saddam regime?
How effective will Iraq's response to US/Israeli military action be? Does it now possess WMD, including nuclear weapons, that can be effectively deployed in the region or even internationally in response to a military threat?  See: "Saddam Hussein's Development of Weapons of Mass Destruction;"  The Iraq Dossier from 10 Downing Street and Presentation by Dr. Khidir Hamza, Author of "Saddam's Bombmaker," with Jeff Stein. What are the implications of military action against Iraq on the Arab-Israeli conflict/peace process and the possibility of a regional conflagration?  What are the world economic repercussions of an invasion of Iraq?

How will the peoples and governments of the world and the region perceive and react (short and long term) to US unilateral (versus international multilateral) preemptive military action against Iraq? What effects will military action against Iraq have on the "war on terrorism," particularly the level of intelligence cooperation from regional and international partners and/or allies that may be opposed to unilateral US action? Is Iraq in fact a terrorist threat? See: the section from the Whitehouse report, A Decade of Deception and Defiance entitled "Saddam Hussein's Support for International Terrorism," versus the perspective from Scott Ritter's speech to the Iraqi Parliament, "Ex-UN weapons inspector addresses Iraqi parliament, urges inspectors' return."

What are the foreign policy implications of an invasion of Iraq? Is it the aim of US foreign policy to invade and topple any government that opposes its policies, is geopolitically significant, militarily vulnerable, represses its own people and may possess and/or is in the process of developing WMD? Does the United States have the legal justification, let alone the military/economic means and political will to affect such a policy? President Bush has defined Iraq, Iran and North Korea as part of the "Axis of Evil," drawing an analogy with the Axis powers during WWII. Are Iran and North Korea next in the US plans? Are the threats to be addressed concurrently?  Does lumping them together in this way suggest that the method of dealing with these nations will be similar? Besides these three nations, what other nations and groups pose significant threats, now and in the near to mid-term? What, for example, would be the US response if Musharraf's government in Pakistan was overthrown by an extremist group? See Newsweek 8/19 article by Roy Gutman and John Berry, "Beyond Baghdad: Expanding Target List- Washington looks at overhauling the Islamic and Arab world."

Given the current heat of US foreign policy discussion is it realistic to assume that Iraq will allow renewed and effective weapons inspections and destruction of existing stockpiles? Is this even a current aim of US foreign policy?  What assurance would Iraq receive that unconditional inspections will not be used as a cover for intelligence gathering and military action by the US and its allies, as was alleged in 1998? Could an honest broker, "an
independent objective outside observer who monitors the work of the weapons inspectors and Iraq in fulfillment of the Security Council's disarmament mandate without interfering in the conduct of such work,"  perhaps outside of the UN, achieve the desired goal- verifying whether Iraq has and/or is re-acquiring WMD? Realistically, what additional Iraqi government actions, short of a regime change, are required to lift economic sanctions?

None of the above issues have been effectively addressed by the Bush administration. Statements such as that the "absence of knowledge of a threat does not mean that there is no threat," are nothing more than sophistry. Characterizing the Iraq "issue" as part of the larger context of how to construct foreign policy in an "Age of WMD," is disingenuous. Sporadic leaks to the press of information (sometimes inaccurate) that would suggest that Iraq possess WMD do little to build a consistent and clear case for military action (see 9/7/02 MSNBC article, "White House: Bush misstated report on Iraq.") Axis of Evil speeches are derided by many allies and are perceived as saber rattling by our "enemies." Name calling with words such as "appeaser," do nothing more than to confuse words with reality and obscure a true examination of the threat.

Notwithstanding the above, Iraqi (outside of the no-fly zone) is ruled by a hideous regime and leader. Its actions can only be ignored at the world's peril. The Iraqi regime, must fully, unconditionally and without delay comply with UN resolutions that prohibit it from possessing and developing WMD. I know of no individual or nation that disagrees with this. The question is how best to bring it about.


Earth Summit 2002

Quoting from a document on the Earth Summit web site entitled, "Earth Summit 2002 Explained."

"Time is short. As individuals, we each have a right, a role and a responsibility to contribute to sustainable development. Clearly the more people and organizations who are willing to contribute to the Earth Summit process, and willing to encourage others to do so, the more likely that the process will begin to build momentum and that the summit can be a starting point for a new level of implementation. Before Rio it was said that; "while the Earth Summit will constitute a test of nations willingness to institute fundamental changes in economic behavior, the challenges ahead will be far more daunting. Change is seldom easy."

"Sustainable development is a dynamic process, and it's one that will continue to evolve and grow as lessons are learnt and ideas re-examined. By reinvigorating the spirit of Rio we can begin to move to a deeper and broader level of sustainability."

Yet was the 2002 Earth Summit in Johannesburg a failure? See the, "Summit fails: Greenpeace's report card on the Summit," and Greenpeace's Earth Summit web site.


The Worldwide Hunger Strike for Bhopal

"At midnight on 2nd/3rd December 1984, deadly toxins at a badly-run Union Carbide (now wholly owned by Dow Chemicals) plant in Bhopal burst into the atmosphere, engulfing half a million of India’s poor in the world’s worst ever industrial disaster. In hours a historic city became a gas chamber. As dawn broke, some 8,000 dead were strewn across the city’s streets in postures of agony. They had died in terror, choking, their eyes, throats and lungs on fire. As they fled in blind panic from the factory, urine and feces ran down their legs. The gases stripped the linings from their lungs and they drowned in their own fluids.

That was 18 years ago. You’d think that by now the survivors would have received proper medical care, that they’d have been adequately compensated for their loss and their suffering, that somebody would have had to answer in court for what was done to them.

On all counts, you’d be wrong."
 

'Asian Brown Cloud' poses global threat

"In the biggest-ever study of the phenomenon, 200 scientists warned that the cloud, estimated to be two miles (three kilometers) thick, is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year from respiratory disease."- CNN News 8/12/2002


"EPA Mulls New Water Cleanup Rule," Michael Grunwald, Washington Post, 7/13/02:
"The Bush administration is considering a plan to reduce federal oversight of a key Clean Water Act anti-pollution program and instead "trust states" to clean up more than 20,000 dirty rivers, lakes and estuaries, internal Environmental Protection Agency documents show."


President Bush's 6/25/02 Rose Garden Speech on Palestinian Statehood

The President underscored his vision for "two states [Israel and Palestine] living side by side, in peace and security." He outlined reforms in the Palestinian Authority that he deemed essential for reaching the goal of full statehood within 3 years. In other respects the speech was short on specifics. The Palestinian National Authority has already indicated that such reforms are underway and that elections will be held soon.

My guess is that the 74 year old Arafat would resign if he felt that by so doing the peace process would move forward. The real impediments to peace appear to be the current Israeli government and the Islamic extremist terrorist groups in the region. Both seem to believe that the only way to end violence is through more violence. However, recent reports of Arafat paying off the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of his Fatah faction that claimed responsibility for one of the two suicide attacks last week that killed 26 Israelis, raises serious questions about his integrity and commitment to a peace process as well. See Washington Post, 6/26/02 article by Glenn Kessler and Walter Pincus, "Bombing Link Swayed Bush: Reported Arafat Payment to Terror Group Shifted Stance."

While the speech may express a combination of the President's vision and carefully hammered out compromises with his chief foreign policy advisors, it seems to ignore the pressing realities of the current crisis. Put simply, for peace to have a chance, not only should there by Palestinian leadership changes and governmental reforms, but Israel must renounce violence in the region and carefully target its military against specific terrorist groups, not the Palestinian people as a whole. Israel and the Palestinian Authority must combine their intelligence and security efforts against the terrorist groups directly responsible for the suicide bombings.

 Are there PLO leaders that support terrorism as a means of "self defense" and defiance? -perhaps. Are there Israeli leaders who have dehumanized Palestinians and fail to recognize their legitimate rights and freedoms? -perhaps. However, there are many Israelis and Palestinians wanting to work together towards peace- let us pray their voices are heard.
 

EPA Proposes To Ease Rules On Clean Air

"The Bush administration announced yesterday a major relaxation of clean air enforcement rules governing older coal-fired power plants and refineries that would effectively preclude future government legal action in all but the most flagrant cases of pollution.

"..This is the most sweeping and radical assault on a Clean Air program and environmental law enforcement since the inception of the EPA," said John Walke, an air quality expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council." - Eric Pianin, Washington Post, 6/14/02; See Also: Bush White House Weakens Clean Air Act.

 

Former Rite Aid Officials Indicted:
U.S. Says Executives Inflated Profits, Diverted Funds


See also: The Enron Scandal: A National Debacle that Reflects Systemic Problems in Our Political-Economic System


Arthur Andersen Found Guilty of Obstructing Justice, 6/15/02


India and Pakistan- Moving towards War

To many questions remained unanswered as two nuclear powers- India and Pakistan- move closer to war. Why hasn't world diplomacy focused over the last 20 years on a collective denuclearization/security agreement between India and Pakistan, given both nations historically volatile relationship? What actions can the United States and other nations take to not only avert an impending war, but bring long term peace and stability? What is the connection between the war in Afghanistan and the apparent escalation in this regional conflict?  Are the nuclear weapons and materials of both countries secure from terrorist threat? Will they remain secure in the event of limited or full scale war? What must be done to ensure that the Kashmiris political and economic rights are respected by all parties?

What responsible actions need to be taken by parties now to prevent a war that could potentially escalate into a regional chemical/biological/nuclear exchange- resulting in many millions of civilian and military causalities and devastating each country's infrastructure? See Also: Peace with Justice, a 7/1/02 article by Patrick Augustine appearing in Kashmir Today.


Climate Action Report 2002:
The United States of America's Third National Communication Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

"Philip Clapp, president of the Washington, DC based group National Environmental Trust, said today this study "undercuts everything President Bush has said about global warming since he took office. He has denied global warming exists, claiming scientific uncertainty justified doing nothing to stop the problem. Now a report from his own administration says global warming is real and will have real impacts on America." - Environment News Service, 6/3/02. Yet despite the recognized threat- the administration will not embrace Kyoto and is failing to take substantive and decisive action. This represents public policy at its absolute worst.
 

Remarks by the President at 2002 Graduation Exercise of the United States Military Academy
West Point, New York , 6/1/02

Sun Tzu (The Art of War) states that:

"Strategy is important to the nation- it is the ground of death and life, the path of survival and destruction, so it is imperative to examine it. There is a way of survival, which helps strengthen you; there is a way of destruction, which pushes you into oblivion."

In a world replete with weapons of mass destruction, this aphorism clearly suggests that great nations with poorly conceived global economic, political, social and military strategies will doom not only themselves, but the world.

The words of the President of the United States are closely scrutinized by other world leaders. According to a 6/2/02 Washington Post article entitled,  Bush: U.S. Will Strike First at Enemies: In West Point Speech, President Lays Out Broader U.S. Policy,"  President Bush's speech to graduating cadets represents a foreign policy shift by the United States. Therefore, it fair to analyze the strategic implications of the speech, especially given the high stakes to world peace. See also 6/10/02 Washington Post article by Thomas E. Ricks and Vernon Loeb, "Bush Developing Military Policy Of Striking First: New Doctrine Addresses Terrorism." 

Excerpting from the 52 minute West Point speech:

"We will defend the peace against threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent."

Commentary: Alliances with strong countries are essential and should be zealously maintained and expanded.


"Some worry that it is somehow undiplomatic or impolite to speak the language of right and wrong. I disagree. Different circumstances require different methods, but not different moralities. Moral truth is the same in every culture, in every time, and in every place. Targeting innocent civilians for murder is always and everywhere wrong. Brutality against women is always and everywhere wrong. There can be no neutrality between justice and cruelty, between the innocent and the guilty. We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America will call evil by its name. By confronting evil and lawless regimes, we do not create a problem, we reveal a problem. And we will lead the world in opposing it."

Commentary: Understanding (knowing) one's adversary requires that one understand their culture, religion, history, politics, economic circumstances and social mores. While few can argue that killing innocent people is right, nations have done so thorough out history in the name of religion, morality and good versus evil. Perhaps as a rallying cry, albeit dangerous, convincing the nation that it is on the side of good brings about unity and alignment, but as the basis for foreign policy, it introduces miscalculation and may cloud the assessment of harm versus benefit. "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." - Luke 6:37.


"America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge - thereby, making the destabilizing arms races of other eras pointless, and limiting rivalries to trade and other pursuits of peace."

Commentary: Advantage is critical and it is always best to win without fighting. What discourages opponents from attacking (in part) is the prospect of harm.


"For much of the last century, America's defense relied on the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment. In some cases, those strategies still apply. But new threats also require new thinking. Deterrence - the promise of massive retaliation against nations - means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend. Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies.

We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. We cannot put our faith in the word of tyrants, who solemnly sign non-proliferation treaties, and then systemically break them. If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.

Homeland defense and missile defense are part of stronger security, and they're essential priorities for America. Yet the war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act."

Commentary: These words speak of actions. They speak of not escaping conflict (until such time when one is at a strategic disadvantage), but confronting enemies (militarily and otherwise) through preparation, adaptability, surprise and decisive action. However, what is also required is foresight- brilliance- the ability to cope not only with present difficulties, but ones that are likely to arise in the future and forestall them. Without foresight and excellent knowledge of the enemy (intelligence), disaster will ensue. For example, isolated military incursions without careful thought to their long term strategic implications and true understanding of the threat can lead to unpredictable and disastrous results.


"And finally, America stands for more than the absence of war. We have a great opportunity to extend a just peace, by replacing poverty, repression, and resentment around the world with hope of a better day. Through most of history, poverty was persistent, inescapable, and almost universal. In the last few decades, we've seen nations from Chile to South Korea build modern economies and freer societies, lifting millions of people out of despair and want. And there's no mystery to this achievement."

Commentary: In a world where a terrorist can strike devastatingly anytime, anyplace and anywhere- addressing the root cause of the threat is as or more important than addressing the threat itself. We have seen in the Middle East that the well spring of terror endures even when the groups responsible are punished. The roots of terrorism are nourished by generations of poverty, hatred and lost hope. These are the true enemies. Imagine what might occur if the full force of strategy was used against these enemies. But of course the issues are deeper, the actions requiring subordination of short term gain, and the level of leadership required such as the world has rarely seen- but most desperately needs. "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil."- Luke 6: 35 and, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."- Luke 6: 38.
 


Bush-Putin Treaty Will Prolong Nuclear Standoff

"President Bush's claim that this agreement will 'liquidate the nuclear legacy of the Cold War' is self-serving political hype," said Thomas Cochran, director of NRDC's  [Natural Resources Defense Council] Nuclear Program. "The proposed treaty imposes no additional permanent limits on either side's nuclear forces, and does not require the destruction of a single nuclear warhead, missile, silo, bomber or submarine. This treaty is a sham, and will do nothing to make Americans or Russians more secure."

NRDC Senior Policy Analyst Christopher Paine called the treaty "political theater." "This administration clearly regards nuclear arms control as just another venue for political theater, designed to grease the skids of Russia's integration into the U.S.-led free market system," he said. "But arms control should be more than fostering the illusion that you're doing something."- Natural Resources Defense Council 5/20/02 press release; See Also: "The Bush Administration, Lowering the Nuclear Threshold."

 

Before Sept. 11, Unshared Clues and Unshaped Policy


Papers Show That Enron Manipulated Calif. Crisis, Contributing to:  45 blackout days, 38 energy emergencies, a tenfold surge in power prices, utility bankruptcies, lost jobs, billions of dollars in excess electricity charges and massive California budget deficits.  See also: The Enron Scandal: A National Debacle that Reflects Systemic Problems in Our Political-Economic System
 

U.S. the Loser by Opposing International Criminal Court


The Middle East : U.S. Foreign Policy at its Worst

"The Bush Administration's Mid-East policy has consisted of stop and go/contradictory measures that have contributed to regional instability... The Administration's infighting and public ineptness, emboldens extremists on both sides of the conflict."  


Bush Energy Policy

"On March 25, 2002, under order from a federal judge, the U.S. Department of Energy released to NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) roughly 11,000 pages relating to previously secret proceedings of the Bush administration's energy task force. President Bush formed the task force in early 2001 to develop a national energy policy, and put Vice President Cheney at its helm. The government removed enormous amounts of information from the documents before supplying them on March 25. Even in their scrubbed form, however, the documents reveal that Bush administration officials sought extensive advice from utility companies and the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy industries, and incorporated their recommendations, often word for word, into the energy plan." - NRDC review of the work of the Cheney Energy Task Force.

 

Environment Resources for Children

Over the next few months, a new web site, Kidsearth.org, will be launched to help children better understand the importance of conservation.

"In the end we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught."
                     -Baba Dioum, Senegalese ecologist



Support Alabama State Bill SB 113: Update on Nick's Crusade to extend home care in Alabama for Medicaid EPSDT recipients after the age of 21.


The Maryland House of Delegates took a first step yesterday toward legalizing the use of marijuana by patients suffering the ravages of cancer, AIDS and other diseases.


Coalition Seeks to Curb Drug Patent Extensions
Federal law grants patent extensions each time a manufacturer claims generic approval would infringe on its patent, lists a new use of a drug, a new chemical property or new drug packaging. Consumers ultimately pay the bill.


Medical Privacy Changes Proposed:
Bush Plan Would Lessen Patients' Say on Records

 

Bias Case Decree May Be Lifted: Adam's Mark Hotel Chain Sought Justice Dept. Review
"Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the case said Kummer [President of Adam's Mark Hotels] had boasted about his ties to [US Attorney General] Ashcroft, saying that he expected better treatment from a department run by Ashcroft than one managed by Janet Reno, who was the attorney general under President Bill Clinton," from 3/21/02 Washington Post article by Thomas Edsall and Ellen Nakashima, "Bias Case Decree May Be Lifted: Adam's Mark Hotel Chain Sought Justice Department Review."

Though the hotel chain made substantial soft and hard money contributions to Ashcroft's Senate campaigns, Ashcroft has not recused himself from the case.


Drilling in Detroit:
"The fuel economy of today's cars and light trucks is at its lowest point in 20 years. A combination of federal inaction on fuel economy policy and the increased marketing of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and minivans as substitutes for passenger cars have led to this point." - From the Union of Concerned Scientists Report, "Drilling in Detroit."  Yet despite this, the Senate resoundingly defeated, by a vote of 62-38, raising CAFE standards from 24 mpg to 36 mpg by 2015. See: Washington Post 3/13/02 article, "Senate Opts Against Setting New Fuel Standards."


The Bush Administration: Lowering the Nuclear Threshold


EU Environment Ministers to move ahead with the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

"After President Bush slammed the door on the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001, and the very bad joke of the launch of the Bush-Exxon climate plan last month, it is now time for the USA to come back to the Kyoto Protocol framework," said Michael Raquet, Greenpeace Climate Advisor. Greenpeace, 3/3/02 press release, "An Historic Moment for Climate." See also: Washington Post, 2/15/02, "Bush Unveils Global Warming Plan: President's Approach Focuses on New Technology, Incentives for Industry."
 

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Secretary of State Colin Powell commented before the House Appropriations Committee on 3/6/2002 that:

"Prime Minister Sharon has to take a hard look at his policies to see whether they will work. If you declare war against the Palestinians thinking that you can solve the problem by seeing how many Palestinians can be killed, I don't think that leads us anywhere."

Later in the House hearing, Powell indicated that despite, house arrest/confinement to Ramallah, Yasser Arafat, "has to do more, can do more and must do more," to quell violence. He said this even as an Israeli helicopter fired a missile at Araft's headquarters! Further, according to a 3/7/02 Washington Times article by Andrew Borowiec entitled, "Palestinian groups plan in secret to succeed Arafat,"

"Radical Palestinian groups, fearful that Israel will succeed in its effort to undermine Palestinian Authority chief Yasser Arafat, have begun clandestine efforts to establish an alternative organization to replace him."

If this article is correct, then Israel's harsh treatment of the PLO may not only "lead nowhere," but may contribute to further radicalization and violence in the region. Hence a more centrist successor to Arafat may become less, not more likely.

Powell has been ineffective in quelling violence in the region- an apparent prerequisite to peace negotiations. Powell should reexamine whether the Administration's foreign policy is truly evenhanded and is contributing to peace. See also:

International Herald Tribune Op-Ed: Palestinian Violence Can End if Israel Resumes Negotiation, by Henry Siegman, April 11, 2001;

Americans for Peace Now; B'TSELEM - The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories  

Washington Post, 3/31/02 article by Alan Sipress : "A Grudging U.S. Policy: Reluctance Has Resulted in Sporadic, Superficial Engagement."


Bush White House Weakening Clean Air Rules


The Enron Scandal: A National Debacle that Reflects Systemic Problems in Our Political-Economic System
 

September 11th and Its' Aftermath


'My Kids Were Used as Guinea Pigs'
Lead Paint Study Adds To Debate on Research

Would the Kennedy Krieger Institute researchers have acted differently if it was their children in their homes that were experimented on? Why?


The Tobacco Pandemic
 

Bill Moyer's PBS Documentary: "EARTH ON EDGE." 

Two-hour documentary aired on PBS on Tuesday, June 19 at 8 pm, which coincided with the launch of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the first report on the earth’s ability to sustain human life. Revealing alarming scientific evidence that we are approaching a key environmental threshold, EARTH ON EDGE explored the most important question of the century: what is happening to earth’s capacity to support us – nature and civilization? While showcasing new data depicting the true scale of human impact on the planet’s life-support systems, Moyers and his team also took us on a journey of hope to meet people from the Midwest to Mongolia who are pioneering sustainable ecological solutions for the Third Millennium.

The locations featured in the broadcast are:

1. South Africa - Moyers visited Working for Water, an innovative government program that has trained 40,000 unemployed people to cut down thousands of invasive trees and restore the precious water that flows from the mountains to the rivers.

2. Vancouver, British Columbia - Moyers’ team told the story of an experimental collaboration with one of Canada’s biggest timber companies. Viewers joined loggers as they flew in and out of the forest by helicopter to harvest trees in a way that mimiced the natural process and allows the ancient rainforests and the wildlife they support to survive.

3. In Mongolia, where the size of the herd determines wealth, Moyers spotlighted the need to train new herders in the ancient techniques of migration to restore the overgrazed and parched landscape. 

4. From the coral reefs and mangroves of Brazil, the program examined a $4 million government project to close off some areas of an endangered reef in hopes that the coral and marine life will recover and allow fishermen and tourists to use and enjoy the coast in a sustainable way.

5. And, finally, the program returned to the Kansas prairies where one farmer is bucking the tide against excessive herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers that are sapping the soil of nutrients and polluting drinking water.


Healing the Children

The plea below is from the Healing the Children Web Site. Healing the Children provides medical care to children around the world, who would otherwise needlessly suffer or even die . They seek volunteers and donors to help further their compassionate work. Another very worthy organization with similar goals is Operation Rainbow.

Give because of those beautiful faces.
Give because these children are so brave.
Give because they touch your heart.
Give because they have mothers and fathers who love them.
Give because you'll help a child to walk.
Give because you'll help a child to see.
Give because you'll help a child to hear.
Give because you'll help to heal the scars.
Give because you'll mend a heart.
Give because of the look in their eyes.
Give because it sets your spirit free.
Give because it sets them free.
Give because they have so much to lose, and everything to give.
Give because you can.
Give because you must.
Give because you will - you truly will -

change the world, one child at a time.


The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

"To create a national grassroots consumer campaign for the purpose of lobbying Congress and the President to pass legislation that will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United States." See also: Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) News.

Monsanto is a leader in herbicide, GMO and hormone products. This is the same company that unabashedly polluted the community of Anniston, Alabama. According to a 1/1/02 Washington Post article by Michael Grunwald:

"For
nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents -- many emblazoned with warnings such as "CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy" -- show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew."

Do you trust them now with your health?; See also:
The Research Foundation for Science,Technology & Ecology


 

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