have a President that is Hell bent on war," said Rev.
Al Sharpton. "I think the President is determined to
go to war no matter what." Only one other Democratic
presidential hopeful comes even close to speaking the unadorned
truth about Bush's warlust - and nobody knows his name. (It's
Howard Dean, the former Governor of Vermont, and the most
progressive candidate that white Democrats have so far offered
from their thin-blooded ranks.)
role does oil play in Bush's stampede to war? Sharpton answered
New York TV host Gil Noble with his own rhetorical question:
"What is it that Iraq has that North Korea doesn't have?"
show is named, appropriately, "Like It Is," an oasis
of intelligence where Sharpton was allowed a full hour to
explain his campaign agenda. Sharpton's performance was sterling,
his positions sophisticated and correct in every respect,
delivered with precision and a full grasp of history. "Civil
liberties have been suspended," said the social activist.
"What they did covertly in the Sixties, they are doing
United States proclaims the sovereign right to commit crimes
against humanity as a matter of policy. In the presence of
such a monumental affront to civilization, a campaign for
presidential impeachment seems small, timid - but it's all
that's available, constitutionally, until the next election.
The anti-war movement counts within its ranks a former U.S.
Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, who knows how to draw up such
things as articles of impeachment "setting forth high
crimes and misdemeanors by President Bush and other civil
officers of his administration." Sign up at Vote
to Impeach, while you prepare for...
expect hundreds of thousands to protest in New York, February
15, and in San Francisco, the day after - and none too soon.
February 15 is the ominous date by which many nations have
ordered their diplomatic missions in Baghdad evacuated in
anticipation of the U.S. blitz.
for Peace and Justice is the point
organization for the two major U.S. demonstrations, under
the slogan "The World Says No to War." Scheduled
New York speakers include South African Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, NAACP chairman Julian Bond, Martin Luther King III and
performers Harry Belafonte, Mos Def and Danny Glover.
millions around the globe will protest in 30 cities during
the weekend, from London to Tokyo and Johannesburg.
political truth holds for every nation in the world - with
the possible exception of the United States and Israel: the
people do not want George Bush's war.
Vote Bush Out!
Mandela is a man whose powers of diplomacy have rattled history,
itself. Yet conventional diplomatic speech is incomprehensible
to Bush's barbarians. Last week, Mandela spoke plainly, in
outrage. "If there is a country that has committed unspeakable
atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.
They don't care for human beings," the Nobel Peace Prize
winner told the International Women's Forum, in Johannesburg.
is what A Man said:
power with a president who has no foresight and cannot think
properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."
they (America) are so arrogant, they killed innocent people
in Japan during Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
are they now to pretend that they are the policemen of the
world, the ones that should decide for the people of Iraq
what should be done with their government and their leadership?"
friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because
it's their ally they won't ask the UN to get rid of it.
They just want the (Iraqi) oil... We must expose this as
much as possible."
Bush wants is Iraqi oil
84 year-old giant of the 20th century appealed to the American
people to demonstrate against Bush and vote him out of office.
Referring to U.S. bullying of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan,
Mandela uttered words that resonate in Black America: "Is
it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is
now a black man?"
News, "President Thabo Mbeki has also voiced an increasingly
stronger opposition to U.S. plans of an Iraq invasion"
and endorsed demonstrations for the weekend of February 15.
states punk out, Ivoirians grovel
has few peers in modern history - and certainly none among
Arab heads of state. As the American wave breaks over the
region, Arab governments openly and covertly collaborate with
the invader, to the disgust of their own people.
Sun contributing foreign editor Eric Margolis listed the
actions that Arab nations could - but will not - take to preserve
some vestige of honor and national independence:
could Arabs do to prevent a war of aggression against Iraq
that increasingly resembles a medieval crusade? Form a united
diplomatic front that demands UN inspections continue. Stage
an oil boycott of the U.S. if Iraq is attacked. Send 250,000
civilians from across the Arab world to form human shields
around Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. Boycott Britain,
Turkey, Kuwait and the Gulf states that join or abet the
U.S. invasion of Iraq. Withdraw all funds on deposit in
U.S. and British banks. Accept payment for oil only in Euros,
not dollars. Send Arab League troops to Iraq, so an attack
on Iraq is an attack on them all. Cancel billions worth
of arms contracts with the U.S. and Britain.
least make a token show of male hormones and national pride.
But the Arab states won't. They will cringe, temporize,
then join the vultures who will feed on Iraq's bleeding
carcass, while vying to prove their loyalty to Washington.
imperial adventure counts on cowardice and confusion as much
as high-tech "shock and awe." Wherever Bush's line
of march takes him, he will find pliant natives to welcome
the tanks with rose petals. Or, in the case of the Ivory Coast,
at French refusal to throw their military might against Northern
forces in the Ivory Coast's civil-ethnic war, more than 100,000
Ivoirians rallied in the capital, Abidjan, to demonstrate
their eagerness to trade in one neocolonial master for another.
York Times was there to record the degrading spectacle.
for Americans and anger toward the French was on full display
today. Demonstrators waved American flags. One held up a
photograph of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. "We
Trust in USA," read one placard. Another: "Bush
please help Ivory Coast against French terrorism."
R. Kelly and Aaliyah songs blasted improbably from the stage
who could speak a few words of English did, whether broken
or polished. "Do you want me to speak French?"
the firebrand leader of the Young Patriots, Charles Ble
Goude, shouted from the stage. The crowd hollered its disapproval.
you ready for English?" he shouted again. The crowd
want the United States to come and help my country, which
is being destroyed by the right wing of the French government,"
Mr. Goude, 30, said in an interview later in the afternoon.
love America because America governs peace of the world,"
said Zadi Any Roland, 49, a rally participant.
upper crust slink back to the mall
are straightening up in Latin America. Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez appears to have toughed out a "strike"
organized by the rich and managers of the oil industry. Although
oil production is only half pre-December 2 levels, other commerce
in the nation of 23 million returned to normal as the mostly
white upper classes ultimately found abstention from shopping
unbearable. Chavez has steadfastly resisted local elite and
U.S. demands to subject his popularly elected government to
another vote any earlier than August, when a recall is authorized
by the constitution.
the opposition in disarray, former paratroop colonel Chavez
proclaimed "victory," promising to "continue
with an offensive strategy." The Washington Post's online
Sunday home page sneered, "Chavez Gloats as Strike Fades."
Readers of the Post, a virtual annex of the U.S. State Department,
will remember that the paper joined Condoleezza Rice in gloating
over the U.S.-backed coup that briefly removed Chavez from
office, last April. Then the dark legions from the shantytowns
put him back in the Presidential Palace.
who gloats last...
racial dimensions of the Venezuelan conflict - a clash between
"blonds" and "brunettes," as journalist
Greg Palast describes it - are obvious to African Americans.
The high-rise rich have turned their neighborhoods into armed
camps. According to the February
2 New York Times:
and affluent families said they felt increasingly afraid
that the left-leaning Mr. Chávez was preparing to
install a communist system that would force them from their
homes and businesses. They accuse the government of arming
pro-government groups, called the Bolivarian Circles after
South America's liberator, Simón Bolívar.
The residents said they had every right to defend themselves
sales have soared [to] more than 600,000 registered and
unregistered weapons on the streets. The number of private
security guards doubled in the last few years, newspapers
report, to 200,000. And neighbors who once barely spoke
to one another have formed community war councils.
Arraíz, a poet, spoke of a "middle class turned
hysterical" by the rhetoric of Mr. Chávez, a
former army officer, and the daily predictions of apocalypse
by opposition leaders. "They entrench themselves in
their neighborhoods," he said, "waiting for an
invasion by hordes of revolutionaries."
is the paranoia of the guilty, the classes that cheered when
April's brief dictatorship of the rich sent goons to hunt
the elected leaders of the poor.
Chavez and the poor majority prevail, tense of thousands of
the affluent will resettle in Miami to nurse their wounded
white privilege. Many are already there, fuming and sputtering
about a revolution that has not yet occurred, spinning tales
from a world in which red is a code word for black and brown.
a health symposium during last September's Congressional Black
Caucus Weekend, in Washington, Dr. David Williams addressed
a panel designed to encourage a discourse on health, race
and class. The University of Michigan researcher pointed to
a Kaiser Family Foundation survey finding, that 57 percent
of whites and 53 percent of African Americans were "unaware
that Blacks have shorter life expectancy that the average
white person." What is needed, said Dr. Robinson, is
a "sense of outrage about the crisis in African American
there can be no discourse about a crisis of which the public
is unaware. The Congressional Black Caucus has broadened the
definitions of legislative service, providing a national platform
for discussion of critical issues facing Black America. The
CBC also establishes Brain Trusts comprised of experts in
brains, publicity and discourse are not enough. The core mission
of elected representatives is to craft and fund actual programs
to ameliorate suffering. Through the non-profit Congressional
Black Caucus Foundation, the CBC has created "the
first-ever health policy fellowship designed to give people
of color the opportunity to address critical health issues
affecting their communities, while gaining invaluable policy
experience." A foundation statement explained: "Fellows
will sit in on congressional committee meetings and help to
evaluate and develop policy that will begin to bring about
real solutions to the health crisis."
Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellowship Program, named
for the former Cleveland Congressman, benefits from a five-year,
annual donation from Heineken USA Inc., the nation's largest
launching the LSUHPFP, the CBC with Heineken's help is sounding
the alarm and aggressively pursuing proactive solutions to
address the healthcare crisis that exists in America today,"
said Virgin Islands Rep. Donna Christian-Christensen, Chair
of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust "We
are confident that by implementing this program we can help
to accelerate the effort to bridge the gap and build the leadership
so critical to eliminating health disparities."
disparities are immense, both in fact and public awareness
of the facts. Some examples from the CBC Foundation:
1997, only 45% of the African-American population and 53%
of the Hispanic/Latino population received influenza vaccinations,
compared to 66% of Whites. To date, these percentages remain
deaths are disproportionately high among Latino/Hispanic
Americans and African-Americans.
women are five times more likely to have cervical cancer
while Chinese-Americans are five times more likely to have
incidence of diabetes in African American, Hispanic/Latino,
and Native American communities is one to five times greater
than in White communities.
and Hispanic/Latino groups accounted for 47% and 20%, respectively,
of persons diagnosed with AIDS in 1997.
of HIV/AIDS cases reported are among women and children
occur among people of color.
50% of Native Americans, 44% of Asian-Americans and 38%
of Mexican-Americans have had their cholesterol checked
within the past two years.
fellowship will initially focus on cancer, HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular
Cleveland Congressman Louis Stokes, Rep. Donna Christian-Christensen
(V.I.-D), Chair of the CBC Health Braintrust and Mr. Dan
Tearno, Vice President, Corporate Affairs for Heineken USA.