CORRECTION: When this column was originally published, a fact-checking error caused the word "owner" to be removed from a reference to the Jewish "owner-editors" of U.S. News & World Report and The New Republic. This may have made it appear as if Alterman was addressing the issue of Jewish "editors" in general with regard to media coverage and Israel, rather than merely the two men he cited.
We, the undersigned, support legislation to prohibit the cloning of human embryos for either medical experimentation or for giving birth to a human being.
A new website keeping a running tally of civilian deaths in the US war against Iraq is attracting a lot of traffic and attention, and, in the process, is emerging as an authoritative source of information beyond the spin of either the Bush Administration or Saddam Hussein's propaganda ministers.
The Iraq Body Count site is attracting 100,000 visitors a day, many of them journalists, who are increasingly citing the site's reporting in their own accounts. The material is critical given that no goverment, NGO or other organization is currently chronicling this information. As US General Tommy Franks has said: "We don't do body counts."
Launched this past January, IBC is run by 16 researchers, based in the United States and the United Kingdom, who closely analyze reports from a range of both corporate and independent media, including, among many others, the New York Times, Fox News, the BBC, Middle East Online and the Jordan Times.
In the old Soviet bloc states, the official line of the ruling elites did not always come from the government itself. Often it was delivered by journalists who would amplify the party line with "independent" analysis and comment.
Thus, while officials dealt in vapid generalities about programs for the people, the opinion "commissars" would offer rigid defenses of the party line and demonize those who expressed even the slightest doubts.
Washington in 2003 is certainly different from Bucharest in 1953. But Americans seeking to get a flavor of the old inside-outside strategy of matching official "tolerance" for dialogue with semi-official ranting about the dangers of dissent need look no further than William Kristol's recent appearances on the Fox News Channel programs.
The Cities for Peace campaign and numerous other antiwar groups are calling on US citizens to urgently picket, protest, lobby and employ nonviolent civil disobedience at federal buildings, military installations, media headquarters and city halls nationwide to petition the government to bring the war to as timely an end as possible.
The Pledge of Resistance staged a related Die-In at Rockefeller Center this morning with hundreds of chanting antiwar demonstrators lining Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and dozens more laying down in the street in a planned act of mass civil disobedience. 215 people were arrested.
Similar mass actions have been taking place across America. Eighteen people were arrested yesterday for blockading a local air force base in Madison, Wisconsin, while an action at the White House, organized by religious and peace organizations, generated over 60 arrests, two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates--Jody Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire--among them.