Remember Vice President Dick Cheney's dire warning, in the run-up to war against Iraq: "The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action." I'd like to see Congressional hearings in which the VP is forced to account for that statement, in light of growing evidence that the Bush Administration grossly manipulated intelligence about those weapons of mass destruction.
While we're at it, let's throw Cheney's warning back at him in another context. How about the argument that the risks of inaction on fundamental healthcare reform are much higher than any of the risks associated with a major overhaul of our failing system?
As David Broder noted in a recent Washington Post column, even leading private sector leaders and heads of several of America's major corporations are beginning to make the case that, as the head of California's public employees retirement system known as CalPERS put it, "fixing our dysfunctional health care system...needs to be our top priority."
It's hard to choose which deserves the coarser jeer: the excited baying
in the press about the nondiscovery of weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq, or the wailing about the 3-to-2 decision of t
We can't yet find the nukes and gas,
Though we have looked in every section.
But we may find them in Iran--
And just before the next election.
Even as he condemned the 3-to-2 vote of the Federal Communications
Commission to allow media conglomerates to dramatically increase their
control over newspapers and radio and television statio
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt
that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most
lethal weapons ever devised," George W.
Today, June 5, the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Israeli takeover of the West Bank and Gaza, will see peace and justice activists worldwide protesting what even Ariel Sharon has taken to calling an occupation.
Gush Shalom (translated from Hebrew, the name means "The Peace Bloc") will be one of the chief Israeli groups actively mobilizing. Describing itself as the "hard core of the Israeli peace movement," Gush Shalom has consistently advocated ideas--negotiation with the PLO, acceptance of a Palestinian state, acceptance of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, calls for Jerusalem to be established as a joint capital, insistence on dismantling of the settlements--years, sometimes decades, before the established Israeli parties and peace organizations. Check out its website for info on how you can help.
The International Solidarity Movement, a global group which sends volunteers to the occupied territories to assist Palestinains living under siege and to pay witness to the daily Israeli brutality, could also really use your support. Same for Stop US Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now! SUSTAIN is committed to supporting the Palestinian movement for justice, human rights and self-determination by building a grassroots campaign against US military aid to Israel. SUSTAIN is also helping sponsor the current Caterpillar campaign, which seeks to halt the sales of US-built Caterpillar bulldozers to the Israeli armed forces.
Condoleezza Rice is still lecturing the French for refusing to support war against Iraq. Congress is still serving "freedom" fries for lunch. Donald Rumsfeld has consigned France to the dustbin of "Old Europe." And George W. is withholding the coveted Crawford ranch invitation from French President Jacques Chirac.
So, you'd never know that a majority of American citizens have more in common with Chirac's view of world order than with the Bush Administration's unilateralism. Don't believe me? Check out an April poll by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes. The survey found strong opposition to Bush's "global cop" approach and overwhelming support for a multilateral US foreign policy--with a central role for the United Nations. Most striking is the degree to which the public rejects the kind of international role pushed by neocon hawks in the Pentagon and Vice President Cheney's office.
When asked to choose among three options to describe the role Washington should play in the world, only 12 percent favored the "preeminent" world leader position; 76 percent said "the US should do its share in efforts to solve international problems with other countries;" while 11 percent said Washington should "withdraw from most efforts to solve international problems." With each passing day, it's clearer that this Administration has no mandate to pursue an extremist agenda at home--or abroad?
In these days of defensive shadow boxing, it's a rare world leader who has something visionary to say. But amidst the pompous rituals of the G-8 summit in Evian, France, Brazilian President Lula da Silva's speech reminds that another world is possible. His proposal to create a global anti-hunger fund, which would be funded by a tax on international arms sales, makes both moral and practical sense.
"Hunger cannot wait," Lula said."My proposal is the creation of a global fund capable of feeding those who are hungry and at the same time creating the conditions to eradicate the structural causes of hunger." He also proposed that richer nations could use a percentage of debt repayments from developing nations to help fund the program. Let's hope that Lula's ideas receive more attention when he comes to DC on June 20th for a meeting with President Bush.