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2001 Australian elections: The political issues facing the working class

By Socialist Equality Party of Australia, 31 October 2001

The two most notable features of the 2001 Australian election campaign are the yawning gulf that exists between the official political apparatus and the majority of the Australian population, and the almost identical policies of the major parties. The Liberal-National coalition parties and the Australian Labor Party (ALP)—which have formed the bedrock of the parliamentary system throughout the past century—are despised by masses of ordinary people, who no longer trust or believe politicians or their promises. Electoral support for the two parties has dropped to all-time lows, with record numbers of people expressing their disgust by voting for Independents or minor parties. If voting were not compulsory, masses of people would abstain.

Too modest by half

By David Walsh, 31 October 2001

Is it really such a daunting task for film writers and directors to depict present-day life more richly and truthfully? There are those who think so, who argue against demanding any more from contemporary filmmaking than that which it currently has to offer. One hears this refrain quite often, “What more can you expect?” To imagine that the present meager offerings of the “entertainment industry” or even the “independent cinema” were the limits of the possible would truly be a discouraging prospect. Fortunately, it’s a mistaken and misguided notion.

Japanese parliament votes for military role in Afghan war

By James Conachy, 31 October 2001

The Japanese government of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has exploited public fears over the September 11 attacks to bypass the country’s post-war pacifist constitution and allow, for the first time since World War II, the military to take part in a war. Legislation passed by the Diet or parliament on October 29 permits the deployment of the Japanese Self-Defence Force (SDF) to provide “logistical support” to US military operations against “terrorism”.

Northern Ireland: How the US told the IRA to begin decommissioning

By Mike Ingram, 31 October 2001

An article in last Sunday’s Observer newspaper gives a revealing insight into how the commencement of IRA weapons decommissioning came about.

New York mayoral race reflects growing social tensions

By Peter Daniels, 31 October 2001

New York’s mayoral election, pitting Democrat Mark Green against Republican Michael Bloomberg, is highlighting the underlying class divisions and social crisis in the city.

Bush "anti-terror" law mandates sweeping attacks on democratic rights

By Kate Randall, 31 October 2001

The bill signed into law last Friday by George W. Bush provides, in the name of combating terrorism, sweeping new powers to US police and intelligence agencies. It marks a major escalation in the assault on civil liberties and democratic rights.

Lloyd’s members insist "very large profits are possible" following September 11

By Richard Tyler, 31 October 2001

An internal newsletter sent to nearly 3,000 Lloyd’s “Names”—rich individuals who pledge their wealth to back insurance risks—says they stand to make huge profits in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks.

Indian government cracks down on Islamic student organisation

By K. Nesan, 31 October 2001

The Indian government’s ban on the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in late September and subsequent police crackdown on its members is a further indication that the ruling Bharathya Janatha Party (BJP)-led coalition is intent on exploiting the war in Afghanistan to stir up communalism and restrict democratic rights.

General Motors plans to axe thousands of jobs in Europe

By Sybille Fuchs, 31 October 2001

In response to the accelerating worldwide recession, General Motors (GM) is planning to press ahead with its “Olympia” restructuring programme, which envisages slashing thousands of jobs. Under conditions where the auto market is shrinking globally, Opel, the German subsidiary of General-Motors, is expected to record losses similar to those of last year, i.e. around one billion marks ($456 million).

2001 Australian elections: The political issues facing the working class

By Socialist Equality Party of Australia, 31 October 2001

The two most notable features of the 2001 Australian election campaign are the yawning gulf that exists between the official political apparatus and the majority of the Australian population, and the almost identical policies of the major parties. The Liberal-National coalition parties and the Australian Labor Party (ALP)—which have formed the bedrock of the parliamentary system throughout the past century—are despised by masses of ordinary people, who no longer trust or believe politicians or their promises. Electoral support for the two parties has dropped to all-time lows, with record numbers of people expressing their disgust by voting for Independents or minor parties. If voting were not compulsory, masses of people would abstain.

Pakistani immigrant dies in US custody

By Shannon Jones, 30 October 2001

The death of a Pakistani immigrant being held by US authorities underscores the serious violations of civil liberties suffered by the hundreds of non-citizens detained without recourse to legal due process in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Britain: Labour MPs oppose bombing--but not war

By Julie Hyland, 30 October 2001

Some fourteen Labour MPs have joined forces to launch a “Labour against the Bombing” group in parliament. This brings together a cross-section of the parliamentary Labour Party—from nominally left MPs such as group leader Alan Simpson, Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway to Tam Dalyell, a veteran critic of past military campaigns, and includes those formerly considered stalwarts of Prime Minister Tony Blair, such as Paul Marsden.

Iranian filmmaker faces death penalty in upcoming trial

By David Walsh, 30 October 2001

Iranian filmmaker Tahmineh Milani faces execution if she is convicted in an upcoming trial. Milani, one of Iran’s best-known women directors (The Legend of a Sigh [1991], What Else Is New? [1992], Two Women [1999]), was engaged in promoting her new film, The Hidden Half —which had been approved by government censors and the Ministry of Culture—when she was arrested in late August on the orders of Iran’s Revolutionary Council. The film, set in the present, depicts in flashback political struggles that took place in Iran in the aftermath of the 1979 coming to power of the Islamic forces. The central protagonist recounts her involvement with left-wing activists, among others.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 October 2001

Unemployed demand jobs in Peru

New Norwegian government relies on far right Progress Party

By Steve James, 30 October 2001

On October 16, Progress Party leader Carl I. Hagen announced on Norwegian television that he would support a Christian Democrat, Conservative and Liberal coalition government led by former Prime minister Kjell Bondevik. Hagen’s announcement was preceded by a phone call to the sitting Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, triggering his resignation.

Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site public meetings in Britain: "Why we oppose the war in Afghanistan"

By , 30 October 2001

Sheffield Thursday 8 November, 7.30pm St Matthews Meeting Rooms Carver St, S1 4FT

Los poderes imperialistas se esconden detrás de la máscara del 'anti terrorismo' para preparar nuevas formas del colonialismo

By , 30 October 2001

WSWS : Español

US propagandists invoke the Cold War

By Bill Vann, 30 October 2001

The Bush administration and its media apologists have repeatedly compared the foreign and domestic measures that are being carried out under the mantle of a “war against terrorism” to the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Earlier this month, on the eve of a visit to the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sounded this theme. “It undoubtedly will prove to be a lot more like a cold war than a hot war,” he said.

Five workers killed in New York City construction accident

By Jeremy Johnson and Peter Daniels, 30 October 2001

Five construction workers were killed and ten injured in a scaffolding collapse in New York City on October 24. The deadly accident took place in the Gramercy Park area, barely two miles from the site of the World Trade Center. A 14-story-tall scaffolding collapsed suddenly at 4 p.m., trapping the workers under a pile of wood and metal. Rescue workers, some called from the site of the World Trade Center disaster, had to work cautiously in extracting the injured from the three-story-high pile of rubble to keep the loose façade above from falling on top of them.

Media witchhunt Australian boxer for opposing US war

By Richard Phillips, 29 October 2001

The treatment meted out in the media to Australian boxer Anthony Mundine over the past week reveals that the political establishment cannot tolerate any criticism of the US-led war in Afghanistan. In the matter of a day, he was transformed from a “role model” for young Australians to persona non grata and subjected to crude insults, political bullying and threats to his career.

Drowned refugees were victims of Australian policy

By Mike Head, 29 October 2001

Among the more than 350 refugees who drowned in the Indian Ocean last week trying to get to Australia, were at least five women and 13 children who perished as a direct consequence of anti-refugee laws introduced by the Howard government with the support of the Labor Party. Yet, despite the tragedy, both Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kim Beazley have vowed to maintain the laws and have stepped up their vilification of asylum seekers in the campaign for the November 10 federal election.

Israeli Defence Force massacres inhabitants of Beit Rima

By an Israeli correspondent, 29 October 2001

The assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi gave the Israeli Defence Force and the Likud-Labour coalition government a reason to invade the Palestine Authority (PA) territories. The declared aim of the IDF military action was to imprison the assassins of Ze’evi. The Israeli cabinet endorsed the action, even though Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not show any maps of the incursions to his Labour coalition partners. The result was the massacre of innocent people, the demolition of houses, the uprooting of plantations and violence against women and children. Yet the Israeli foreign minister, Labour’s Shimon Peres, and Labour Defence Minister Binjamin Ben-Eliezer both defended the action.

The New York Times and the dirty secret of US-Saudi relations

By David Walsh, 29 October 2001

An editorial in the October 14 New York Times (“Reconsidering Saudi Arabia”) partially lifts the veil on one of the dirtiest secrets of US foreign policy: the sordid nature of the relationship that Washington has maintained for more than half a century with the semi-feudal Saudi Arabian regime.

Letters on the US war in Afghanistan

By , 29 October 2001

Below we post a selection of recent letters on the US war in Afghanistan.

Nigerian soldiers carry out massacres

By Trevor Johnson and Barbara Slaughter, 27 October 2001

This week hundreds of villagers in Nigeria have been massacred by the army. In four ethnic-Tiv villages in Benue, soldiers rounded up and killed over 200 unarmed civilians. Zaki Biam, a town of about 20,000 people, was completely destroyed.

US postal workers denounce government negligence in anthrax attacks

By Jerry White, 27 October 2001

The discovery of anthrax contamination at mail centers in Washington, D.C. and New Jersey and the death of two co-workers have provoked widespread anger from postal employees. Workers are demanding to know why US authorities failed to issue timely warnings or take appropriate measures to protect them from exposure to the potentially deadly bacteria.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 October 2001

Police forced to release arrested Chinese workers

World Socialist Web Site Review: November issue out now

By , 27 October 2001

WSWS : Mehring Books

US anthrax scare: Why the silence on right-wing terrorism?

By Patrick Martin, 27 October 2001

Amid the saturation media coverage of the anthrax attacks in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington, DC, a central political issue is being suppressed. There is every likelihood that those responsible for mailing anthrax spores to media and government targets are right-wing extremists bent on spreading panic and creating the conditions for new attacks on democratic rights. Many such elements have close political links to the Republican Party and the Bush administration.

Britain: Reports admit this is a war for oil

By Chris Marsden, 27 October 2001

Britain’s media has hardly distinguished itself during the US bombing of Afghanistan, other than for its willingness to parrot the official line emanating from Washington and London. But it has proved increasingly difficult for the press barons to maintain a united journalistic front.

Sharp fall in global trade growth

By Nick Beams, 27 October 2001

Figures from the World Trade Organisation released this week are a further indication that the global economy is moving into recession. The WTO said that after increasing by more than 12 percent in 2000, it expected world trade to grow by barely 2 percent this year, and that even this estimate may have to be revised downwards.

Attac conference in Berlin: opportunism and unwavering loyalty to the state

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 October 2001

The anti-globalisation movement Attac* held the first national conference of its German section in Berlin last weekend, under the slogan “Another World is possible”. Bernard Cassen, one of Attac’s founders and a director of the French news monthly Le Monde Diplomatique, and Susan George, vice president of Attac in France and author of a number of books devoted to the consequences of globalisation were among those who addressed the conference. One of the main speakers was Oskar Lafontaine, the former German Social Democratic Party chairman and briefly economics minister in the SPD-Green Party coalition under Gerhard Schroeder.

Remembered horrors of a religious education

By Erika Zimmer, 26 October 2001

Ron Blair’s one-man play The Christian Brothers deals with a significant social issue—education in a religious school and a system of teaching that he exposes as violent and incompetent. First produced in 1975, the work has consistently resonated with audiences who recognise in it their own school experiences. While the play deals with a specific type of schooling, it also raises a number of more universal questions about education.

Britain: Labour government accused of cover-up over BSE experiments

By Paul Mitchell, 26 October 2001

Farming and Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett has been accused of seeking to suppress how vital experiments concerning the safety of British lamb and mutton were botched-up. Scientists had hoped to determine whether deadly Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or BSE) has infected British sheep.

Two revealing comments on the war against Afghanistan

By Nick Beams, 26 October 2001

Two recent newspaper articles—an editorial in the Washington Post and a comment piece in the Financial Times —have pointed to some crucial political issues arising from the US-led war against Afghanistan.

US secretary of state’s visit to Pakistan and India fails to quell tensions

By Deepal Jayasekera, 26 October 2001

US Secretary of State Colin Powell last week visited Pakistan and India in an effort to dampen down sharp tensions between the two nuclear-armed powers. Stepping gingerly through a diplomatic minefield, he attempted to appease both sides and as a result pleased no one. The net result has been that both New Delhi and Islamabad suspect Washington’s motives and the political temperature on the subcontinent, particularly in Kashmir, has risen another few degrees.

"If Attac did not exist, big business would have to invent it"

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 October 2001

As well as being a member of Attac, Jürgen Borchert is a judge specialising in social law, and a founding member of the “New Union of Judges”. He shared the platform on the first day of the conference with Attac founder Bernard Cassen. Borchert is an expert on family and social legal issues and has teaching contracts with organisations ranging from the German Green Party to the union of small businessmen attached to the Christian Democrats.

Mass arrests at anti-war demo in Britain

By Steve James, 26 October 2001

Police arrested 170 people on October 22 at the Faslane naval base near Glasgow, Scotland. The base was blockaded by between 500 and 1,000 demonstrators during a four-hour protest. Though convened by the pacifist Trident Ploughshares campaign prior to September 11, the demonstration became a focus for opposition to the US bombing of Afghanistan. It followed a recent demonstration against the war in Glasgow that attracted up to 3,000 predominantly young people, indicating broad opposition to the ongoing destruction of Afghanistan.

Northern Ireland: IRA decommissions arms

By Mike Ingram, 25 October 2001

On the eve of today’s deadline for the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the possible collapse of the Good Friday Agreement, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) finally began decommissioning its weapons.

Unprecedented police raid on nightclubs in Australia’s largest city

By Richard Phillips, 25 October 2001

On the pretext of combatting drug trafficking, police in the Australian state of New South Wales carried out a massive raid on inner-city Sydney nightclubs in the early hours of October 21. More than 2,000 patrons at five venues were detained for up to two hours while some 300 police officers using 30 sniffer dogs identified suspects, searched them and arrested those found to have illegal drugs.

Berlin elections reveal instability and divisions

By Peter Schwarz, 25 October 2001

Last Sunday’s elections for the Berlin city-state legislature have brought to light the political instability and social gulf that marks the capital and, increasingly, Germany as a whole. Although the last ballot was only two years ago, the electoral fluctuations go far beyond what has so far been usual in Germany. At the same time, divisions between the Eastern and Western parts of the city are deeper than ever before in the twelve years since the fall of the Berlin wall.

The war in Afghanistan: the socialist perspective

By , 25 October 2001

The September 11 attacks on New York and Washington and the US-led war against Afghanistan mark a profound turning point in world affairs. Washington and its allies are seeking to exploit the justifiable revulsion felt over the loss of innocent lives in the US to stampede public opinion into supporting military aggression against one of the world’s most backward countries.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 25 October 2001

Glasgow underground workers take unofficial strike action

la censura, las mentiras y los secretos

By , 25 October 2001

WSWS : Español

Ominous threats from US against Nicaraguan Sandinistas

By Gerardo Nebbia, 25 October 2001

In the wake of September 11, the Bush administration is threatening the Nicaraguan people over the possible election victory of Daniel Ortega, the presidential candidate for the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), in the Central American nation’s November 4 elections. Polls indicate that Ortega has a thin lead over the candidate of the ruling Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC), Enrique Bolanos.

The Taliban, the US and the resources of Central Asia

By Peter Symonds, 25 October 2001

The following is the second article in a two-part series on the history of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. The first part was published yesterday.

US considers use of torture in interrogation of terrorism suspects

By Kate Randall, 24 October 2001

In the five weeks since September 11, US law enforcement agencies have detained more than 800 people in their investigation into the hijack-bombings, and more than 150 remain in custody. To date, none of these individuals have been publicly charged in connection with the terror attacks.

US and Israel clash over West Bank incursions

By Chris Marsden, 24 October 2001

Tensions between the US and Israel have reached a new height, following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s refusal to withdraw troops from Palestinian-controlled areas.

The Taliban, the US and the resources of Central Asia

By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2001

The target of the latest US military aggression in Afghanistan is the Taliban. However, one searches in vain in the extensive media coverage of the “war on terrorism” for any coherent explanation of the origins of this Islamic extremist organisation, its social and ideological base, and its rise to power. The omission is no accident. Any serious examination of the Taliban reveals the culpability of Washington in fostering the current theocratic regime in Kabul.

350 refugees drown trying to get to Australia

By Mike Head, 24 October 2001

Australia’s draconian new anti-refugee measures claimed their first known victims last Friday when more than 350 asylum seekers drowned after their over-crowded boat sank in the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and Australia’s nearby Christmas Island.

Once again on the problem of perspective

By David Walsh, 24 October 2001

“Artistic truth is obtained through tortuous searching.” — Aleksandr Voronsky

More letters on the US war in Afghanistan

By , 24 October 2001

The following is a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.

Britain: Government member says war is "not a matter of conscience"

By Richard Tyler, 24 October 2001

Cabinet member Hilary Armstrong said last week that war was “not a matter of conscience”. The outburst came when Armstrong, Labour’s Chief Whip, responsible for ensuring backbenchers support the government in the House of Commons, called MP Paul Marsden into her office to give him a dressing down.

China, Russia fall in behind Bush’s "war against terrorism" at APEC summit

By Peter Symonds, 23 October 2001

In his first overseas trip since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, US President Bush used the proceedings at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders forum in Shanghai last weekend to consolidate support for his administration’s “war on terrorism”. Despite the fact that the gathering took place in the midst of the continuing US bombardment of Afghanistan, none of the leaders present made even the most muted criticism of Washington.

More letters on "Pacifist moralizers rally behind the US war drive"

By , 23 October 2001

The following is a selection of recent letters on “Pacifist moralists rally behind the US war drive”

Ontario Premier resigns

By Keith Jones, 23 October 2001

Mike Harris announced October 16 that he is stepping down as Premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, and as Ontario Tory leader. The darling of Canada’s right, Harris has epitomized and spearheaded the big business offensive against the working class. Since coming to power in June 1995, the Harris Tories have slashed billions from public services, victimized the poor, gutted workplace and environmental regulations, attacked trade union and democratic rights, and rewritten the tax regime to boost corporate profits and swell the incomes of the rich and super-rich.

Afghan death toll mounts as US warplanes hit civilian targets

By Patrick Martin, 23 October 2001

As many as a hundred people were killed when US and British warplanes bombed and destroyed a hospital in the western Afghan city of Herat, the ruling Taliban government in Kabul claimed Monday. The Pentagon did not initially deny the report, which came after some of the heaviest air raids of the 16-day war, on the night of October 21-22. Doctors, nurses and patients were said to be among the dead.

Police deeply entrenched in Sydney’s drug traffic

By Mike Head, 23 October 2001

Since coming to office in 1995, Bob Carr, the Labor Party Premier of New South Wales, has claimed that his government is cleaning up the Australian state’s notoriously corrupt police force, while boosting police powers and numbers under the pretext of protecting the public from crime and violence, particularly drug-related.

Crisis facing immigrant workers in New York exacerbated by attacks

By Jeremy Johnson, 23 October 2001

There has been relatively little attention paid to the crisis facing immigrant workers in New York City, especially those who are undocumented, in the wake of the events of September 11.

An exchange on "Pacifist moralizers rally behind the US war drive"

By , 23 October 2001

The following is a letter on David Walsh’s October 19 article, “Pacifist moralizers rally behind the US war drive,” and a reply by the author.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 23 October 2001

Chile: Municipal health employees to strike

Academics critical of war face harassment in US

By Shannon Jones, 22 October 2001

Free speech is under attack on university campuses across the United States, with those critical of US policies facing mounting harassment and threats.

South African report shows devastating impact of HIV/AIDS

By Barry Mason, 22 October 2001

South Africa’s Medical Research Council (MRC) has only just released its report drawn up in July, “The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Adult Mortality in South Africa”.

Megawati continues balancing act in Indonesia

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 22 October 2001

Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri continues to walk a fine line over her government’s response to the US attacks on Afghanistan. In late September the leader of the world’s most populous Muslim country flew to Washington and, in return for an economic assistance package, gave her support to the US “war against terrorism”. At the same time, however, she confronts a volatile political situation at home where, despite the relatively small size of the anti-war protests so far, there is wide hostility to US aggression.

OECD slashes growth forecast

By Nick Beams, 22 October 2001

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, comprising the world’s 30 largest economies, has added its voice to the predictions of a far-reaching global economic slowdown. In a preliminary report on the world economy, leaked last week, the OECD warned that growth for this year would be just 1 percent and only 1.2 percent in 2002. The predictions, which are not expected to change significantly when the OECD releases its final draft on November 2, contrast markedly with the figures of 2 percent growth for 2001 and 2.8 percent next year contained in the previous forecast published last May.

Britain: Railtrack collapse sparks political crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 22 October 2001

Five years after the previous Conservative government broke up and privatised Britain’s national rail system, Labour’s Secretary of State for Transport Stephen Byers has pulled the plug on the infrastructure company Railtrack. The debt-laden company, which owns the track, stations and signals, has been dependent upon government subsidies throughout its existence. Byers placed Railtrack into administration, using his powers under the 1993 Railways Act.

Bush protects drug giant’s patent on anthrax medicine

By Jerry White, 20 October 2001

In the light of the recent cases of anthrax contamination, officials from the Bush administration have repeatedly asserted the government’s number one priority is ensuring the health and safety of the American public. Behind the scenes, however, the White House had demonstrated its overriding concern is protecting the profits of giant pharmaceutical companies.

Anti-war protests in Australian cities

By James Conachy, 20 October 2001

Anti-war protests took place in a number of Australian cities last weekend reflecting concerns among wider layers of the population about the implications of the US bombardment of Afghanistan and Australian support for it. The largest protest took place in Sydney on October 13, when around 3,000 people marched from the Town Hall through the centre of the city to Martin Place, where speakers addressed the crowd.

US jobless claims approach nine-year high

By Kate Randall, 20 October 2001

For the week ending October 13, new jobless claims rose by a seasonally adjusted 6,000, to 490,000, the US Labor Department reported Thursday. This was the second largest number of workers applying for unemployment benefits in nine years, trailing only the 535,000 claims filed in the last week of September. The four-week average of new claims reached 491,250 last week, the highest level since April 1991 when the US was in the midst of the last recession.

Protest against Afghan bombings sparks ethnic conflict in Nigeria

By Chris Talbot, 20 October 2001

Dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured in clashes last weekend between gangs of Muslim and Christian youths in Kano, the main city in northern Nigeria.

Bush aides push war with Iraq

By Joseph Kay, 20 October 2001

In the wake of the terror attacks of last month, a section of the Bush administration is working hard—overtly and covertly—to create a pretext for an American invasion of Iraq. The events of September 11, and more recently the anthrax scare, are being exploited by high-level operatives within the American government to promote a program that has long been sought by the military and intelligence establishment: the ousting of the Ba’athist regime of Sadaam Hussein and the transformation of Iraq into a state subservient to American interests.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 October 2001

Indian bus workers take indefinite strike action

Howard plays the war card in Australian elections

By our correspondent, 20 October 2001

Flanked by his defence minister and the armed forces chief, Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced in a national TV broadcast on Wednesday that, having received an overnight request from President Bush, he had decided to boost Australia’s commitment to the war in Afghanistan. He brought forward the contingent’s departure to early November, declaring that he and Labor Party leader Kim Beazley will farewell the troops before the November 10 election.

Sharon utilizes Ze’evi assassination as a pretext for Israeli war-drive

By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2001

Israel’s outrage at the assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi is feigned in character, or at the very least hypocritical.

Britain: Labour government plans to introduce internment

By Richard Tyler, 19 October 2001

Last October, the Labour government incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British law. Its passage was supposed to enshrine certain fundamental civil liberties in Britain’s statue books.

Civilian death toll mounts in Afghanistan

By Julie Hyland, 19 October 2001

The US bombardment of Afghanistan has resulted in an estimated 300 civilian deaths, and hundreds of injuries. Moreover, a United Nations spokesperson described the humanitarian crisis in the country as “the most serious, complex emergency in the world ever”.

German Green Party supports war against Afghanistan

By Dietmar Henning, 19 October 2001

The German Green Party unconditionally supports the US war against Afghanistan. On October 6, immediately before the military attacks on Afghanistan, the Greens executive council, the party’s highest body between conferences, voted by an overwhelming majority to support the war policies of the American government. With 44 votes in favour, 13 abstentions and 8 against, the council agreed a resolution including backing for military support by the German army.

US government steps up press censorship

By Jerry White, 19 October 2001

The Bush administration and the Pentagon are stepping up efforts to block the American public and the world from learning the extent of destruction the US military is exacting on the Afghan population.

Pacifist moralizers rally behind the US war drive

By David Walsh, 19 October 2001

As various commentaries posted on the World Socialist Web Site have explained, the American establishment has seized upon the tragic events of September 11 as an opportunity to implement policies both at home (attacks on democratic rights) and abroad (expansion into Central Asia) it had formulated long before the terror attacks.

Australian unions help destroy thousands of airline jobs

By Terry Cook, 19 October 2001

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and its affiliates are playing a key role in allowing the management of the country’s two main airlines—Qantas and the collapsed Ansett (currently under administration)—to eliminate thousands of jobs and shatter long-standing working conditions in the industry.

Global downturn could set off financial turbulence

By Nick Beams, 19 October 2001

Concerns are growing in international financial circles that the ongoing world slowdown and the insecurities arising in the aftermath of the September 11 events could create global financial problems, possibly set off by a debt default along the lines of the Russian collapse of 1998.

How the US airlines got their $15 billion bailout

By Kate Randall, 18 October 2001

The intimate ties between corporate America, the Bush administration and the two main political parties were illustrated in sharp relief last month by the speed with which Congress passed the bailout of the airline industry. Less than two weeks following the September 11 terror attacks the airlines had secured $15 billion dollars in federal money, with none of it going to the thousands of airline workers who have lost their jobs and seen their benefits slashed.

Vietnam’s Mekong delta suffers third year of flooding

By Alan Leigh, 18 October 2001

For the third year in a row, flooding has inundated large tracts of countryside in Vietnam’s Mekong River delta. Six provinces have been affected and 221 people have drowned or died in mudslides. At least 181 of the victims have been children. Last year, in the worst floods recorded since 1961, 480 people lost their lives.

US-Uzbekistan pact sheds light on Washington’s war aims in Central Asia

By Patrick Martin, 18 October 2001

The United States and Uzbekistan issued a joint statement October 12 confirming an agreement in which US forces will be based in Uzbekistan during the current conflict with Afghanistan, and for an indefinite period thereafter. In return, the Bush administration is committed to support the security and territorial integrity of the former Soviet republic.

Letters on "The media and Mr. Bush"

By , 18 October 2001

Below we post a selection of letters on “The Media and Mr. Bush” by Barry Grey.

Behind the “anti-terrorism” mask: imperialist powers prepare new forms of colonialism

By Nick Beams, 18 October 2001

From the outset of the military assault against Afghanistan, the World Socialist Web Site has explained that this is not a war for justice or security against terrorist attacks but is bound up with the geo-political aims of United States imperialism.

War in Afghanistan gives rise to tensions in France

By Peter Schwarz, 18 October 2001

France, alongside Britain, Germany and Australia, is one of the four countries that has offered unlimited support to the US government in its “war against terrorism”, including military assistance.

Del Grupo de los Siete: Silbando en la oscuridad

By , 18 October 2001

WSWS : Español

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 18 October 2001

Air traffic controllers in Siberia begin hunger strike over new labour law

Britain: Parliamentary debate reveals growing dissent in "war against terrorism"

By Julie Hyland, 18 October 2001

The fourth emergency parliamentary debate on the “war against terrorism” on Tuesday revealed the tension and nervousness among sections of the political establishment, concerned at the international and domestic implications of Prime Minister Blair’s commitment to the US-led campaign.

Suben desmesuradamente los despidos en la economía de Los Estados Unidos

By , 17 October 2001

WSWS : Español

El plan económico de Bush: buen regalo de guerra para las corporaciones estadounidenses

By , 17 October 2001

WSWS : Español

Chronic power shortages in Sri Lanka

By Vimal Fernando, 17 October 2001

Large parts of Sri Lanka, including the capital Colombo, have been afflicted with power blackouts and rationing since early July. The energy crisis has severely disrupted public life and added to the economic crisis of the country. Most affected have been ordinary workers, who cannot afford private power generators like the wealthy elite, and now face increased unemployment as companies shed staff and scale back production.

An exchange on the land occupations in Zimbabwe

By , 17 October 2001

Comrades,

More unanimity than conflict in Australian election debate

By Laura Tiernan, 17 October 2001

Sunday night’s election debate between Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Labor leader Kim Beazley was in name only. Billed as one of the election campaign’s main events, the outcome was an unprecedented display of bipartisanship as the two leaders outlined a series of reactionary measures for cracking down on “illegal” immigrants, supporting the US war against Afghanistan and maintaining their pro-market economic agenda.

US foreign policy shift destabilises Israeli government

By Chris Marsden, 17 October 2001

This week’s visit to London by Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat is the latest manifestation of a US-led drive to renew efforts to secure a negotiated settlement in the Middle East in order to maintain Arab support for Washington’s war against Afghanistan.

The media and Mr. Bush

By Barry Grey, 16 October 2001

In its efforts to portray George W. Bush in the most flattering possible light, the liberal press in the US has jettisoned whatever shreds of decorum and journalistic integrity it previously retained. In the course of the past month, testimonials to Bush’s astounding metamorphosis from mediocrity to greatness have become almost commonplace in the pages of such journals as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 16 October 2001

Brazil: public university employees demand raises

Union officials accept deal to end Minnesota state workers strike

By Eric Anderson, 16 October 2001

Minnesota state government and union officials reached tentative agreements Sunday, October 14, as 24,000 state workers concluded their second week in the largest strike in Minnesota’s history.

Australian economy reveals trend to global recession

By Nick Beams, 16 October 2001

In election campaigns, the major parties routinely cover up the actual state of affairs in their efforts to manipulate public opinion. Nowhere can this be more clearly seen than in the discussion over the Australian economy in the lead-up to the federal election on November 10.