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Washington pushes for interim regime in order to pump Iraqi oil

By Peter Symonds, 30 April 2003

Washington’s military administrator in Iraq, retired general Jay Garner, held his second gathering of some 250 Iraqi delegates on Monday in Baghdad. It had no more to do with the needs and aspirations of the vast majority of Iraqis than the first meeting held at a heavily guarded air base near the southern city of Nasiriya on April 15.

Aftermath: Unanswered questions from 9/11

By Marge Holland, 30 April 2003

Aftermath: Unanswered questions from 9/11, shown April 21, 2003 at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, sponsored by www.deceptiondollar.com

Sri Lankan SEP May Day meeting to go ahead

By Wije Dias, 30 April 2003

Despite the United National Front (UNF) government’s decision to block the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka from using its allocated venue, the party has rescheduled its May Day meeting for the YMCA Hall, Bristol Street in downtown Colombo at 3 p.m. on May 1. The SEP was forced to make the last minute change after the Interior Minister overrode the existing procedure for allotting May Day venues and routes.

US troops gun down Iraqi demonstrators

By James Conachy, 30 April 2003

US troops opened fire on a night-time demonstration by students and youth in the Iraqi town of Fallujah on Monday, April 28. Thirteen Iraqis are dead, as many as 75 are wounded and there is an outpouring of bitterness and anger. Throughout Tuesday, thousands of people demonstrated through the town, carrying the coffins of the dead, denouncing the US and demanding the withdrawal of American forces.

Obasanjo to be recognised despite rigged Nigerian election

By Trevor Johnson and Chris Talbot, 30 April 2003

The response of the Bush administration as well as media reports makes clear that Olusegun Obasanjo and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will be accepted as the legitimate victor in the recent Nigerian elections, despite widespread vote-rigging.

Russia: School fires in Yakutiya and Dagestan kill 50 children

By Vladimir Volkov, 30 April 2003

The end of spring break and commencement of the final term of the school year in Russia were tragically disfigured by two terrible fires that took the lives of 50 children, aged 5 to 18.

German SPD bows to Schröder on social cutbacks

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 April 2003

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (German Social Democratic Party - SPD) has linked his demand for the implementation of sweeping cuts to the German welfare state system to an ultimatum to his own party. Either the SPD accepts the destruction of basic social rights, many of which date back to the time of Chancellor Bismarck, or Schröder will resign. He is not prepared to stay in office on the basis of any other policy.

Bechtel awarded Iraq contract: War profits and the US “military-industrial complex”

By Joseph Kay, 29 April 2003

On April 17 the US Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a contract worth $680 million to Bechtel Corp., a private company with close ties to the Republican Party and the Bush administration.

Menem, Kirchner in Argentine presidential run-off

By Rafael Azul, 29 April 2003

The result of Sunday’s presidential elections in Argentina indicates no candidate gathered enough votes to win on the first round. Former president Carlos Menem and the governor of Santa Cruz province, Nestor Kirchner—both members of the Peronist party—were the front-runners and will compete in a second round that will take place May 18. Menem, who ruled Argentina between 1989 and 1999, received 24.36 percent of the votes to Kirchner’s 22 percent.

Bush defends Republican senator after attack on gays

By Patrick Martin, 29 April 2003

The Bush White House has come to the defense of Republican Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the number three man in the Senate Republican leadership, after widespread criticism of his remarks in a press interview in which he compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

New York law students honor attorney framed on terrorism charges

By Peter Daniels, 29 April 2003

Members of the graduating class of the City University of New York law school, in a petition signed by more than half of their number, have nominated Lynne F. Stewart to receive their annual award for public interest lawyer of the year.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 29 April 2003

Argentine textile workers reject government mediation

Britain: Family win new inquiry into London police shooting

By Keith Lee, 29 April 2003

The family of Harry Stanley have won the right to a fresh inquiry into his death at the hands of specialist armed police. A High Court ruling overturned a previous inquiry last June because it was an “insufficient Inquiry” and have ordered the case to be re-examined.

ABC News Primetime interview: Country music group holds its own against right-wing attack

By Kate Randall, 29 April 2003

ABC News’s Primetime interview with the country music group the Dixie Chicks on April 24 was one of the more grotesque examples of the US media’s attempt to intimidate political dissent and distort public opinion. Entitled “Landslide: the Dixie Chicks,” the program set out to vastly exaggerate the right-wing backlash against a comment made by a member of the group, Natalie Maines, at a March 10 concert in London, nine days before the US-led attack on Iraq. Maines said, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

New strategy needed to fight attack on New Yorkers’ jobs and services

By the Editorial Board, 29 April 2003

The following statement is available in as a PDF leaflet and is being distributed by supporters of the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party to an April 29 demonstration called by New York City unions against sweeping cuts in jobs and services in the new budget proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Conventional “economic wisdom” overturned

By Nick Beams, 29 April 2003

In a sign of very changed economic times, a comment published in the Financial Times last week called on the US Federal Reserve Board to abandon its policy of seeking to curb inflation and urged instead a program aimed at boosting prices.

Indonesian military court hands out light sentences for murder of Papuan leader

By John Roberts, 29 April 2003

A military court in the Indonesian city of Surabaya last week sentenced seven Kopassus soldiers to jail terms of between 24 and 42 months for the murder of Papuan leader Theys Eluay in November 2001. Announcing the verdicts, the court martial president Colonel Yamini declared: “The defendants have been legally and convincingly proven guilty of torturing [Eluay] to death.”

Netherlands coalition talks break off

By Jörg Victor, 29 April 2003

It is a foregone conclusion that the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and social democratic Labour Party (PvdA), which emerged as the strongest parliamentary groups from January’s elections in the Netherlands, plan to intensify the attacks on the social and democratic rights of the population. The only question that remains open is the shape of the government that will carry out these attacks following the collapse of weeks of negotiations between the two parties over the formation of a new ruling coalition.

US will provide no estimate of Iraqi war casualties

By Jerry Isaacs, 28 April 2003

Bush administration and Pentagon officials have made it clear they have no intention of providing an official estimate of the number of Iraqi soldiers and civilians who were killed or wounded by US and British forces during the three-week war.

High death toll continues in China’s coal mines

By David Harvey and Terry Cook, 28 April 2003

China’s notoriously dangerous mining industry has exacted a terrible toll in the first four months of 2003. A series of accidents reported in the press have resulted in the deaths of more than 200 miners through cave-ins, flooded mine shafts and gas explosions.

US bullies New Zealand prime minister into apologising over war comments

By John Braddock, 28 April 2003

New Zealand Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, has been bullied into extending a demeaning formal apology to the Bush administration for disparaging comments she made over the conduct of the war in Iraq. The incident underlines the turn by the White House to gangster-style methods in every corner of the world and its repudiation of even the most basic norms of diplomatic protocol.

More evidence of police brutality produced at Toronto "riot" trial

By Henry Michaels, 28 April 2003

Further evidence of systemic police brutality and provocation emerged last week at the trial of three anti-poverty activists charged with riot offences in connection with a June 2000 demonstration at the Ontario legislature in Queen’s Park, Toronto. The trial, which represents a major government attack on the right to protest, has been under way in Toronto for more than three months.

Bush cancels Ottawa visit

By Keith Jones, 28 April 2003

Canada’s right wing has enthusiastically welcomed US President George W. Bush’s cancellation of a May 5 visit to Ottawa, citing it as proof that the Chrétien Liberal government has imperilled Canada’s geopolitical position and economy by failing to join the US-British invasion of Iraq.

American Airlines unions push through concessions after change at top

By Jeremy Johnson, 26 April 2003

American Airlines staved off an imminent bankruptcy filing for the third time in a month on Friday after the union representing the carrier’s flight attendants approved a concessions package.

Greetings to the WSWS/SEP conference by Keith Jones of the Canadian SEP

By , 26 April 2003

Below we are publishing the greetings brought by Keith Jones to the conference held by the World Socialist Web Site and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

Africa hit by aid shortfall as famine worsens

By Barry Mason, 26 April 2003

Aid workers in Africa are attempting to draw attention to the shortage of financial support affecting millions in Africa threatened by famine. A joint statement issued on April 21 by the aid agencies Save the Children, Action Aid, CAFOD and Christian Aid drew particular attention to the worsening crisis in Ethiopia:

The German press and the Iraq war: "Might makes right"

By Peter Schwarz, 26 April 2003

If German editorial writers were to form an association, they might choose the weather vane as their coat of arms. Since the military success of the US in Iraq, they have carried out a complete about-face.

Why won’t Washington allow the UN weapons inspectors into Iraq?

By Peter Symonds, 26 April 2003

There is simply no credible justification for the refusal of the Bush administration this week to allow the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq. In fact, White House spokesmen have not even bothered to try.

WHO report: alarming increase in cancer rates

By Joanne Laurier, 26 April 2003

Global cancer rates are expected to increase 50 percent by the year 2020, according to the latest report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO). The 351-page study, titled World Cancer Report, begins by explaining that 10 million people developed malignant tumors and 6.2 million died from the disease in the year 2000.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 26 April 2003

Rail strike abandoned in Korea

Estados Unidos emprende guerra contra la cultura y la historia

By , 26 April 2003

WSWS : Español

Greetings to the WSWS/SEP conference by Vladimir Volkov, of the Russian bureau of the WSWS International Editorial Board

By , 26 April 2003

Below we are publishing the greetings brought by Vladimir Volkov to the conference held by the World Socialist Web Site and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

La crisis del capitalismo estadounidense y la guerra contra Irak

By , 26 April 2003

WSWS : Español

Austerity and repression overshadow Argentine elections

By Rafael Azul, 26 April 2003

Three candidates are virtually tied for first place in this Sunday’s elections in Argentina. Voters are going to the polls to elect a new president, the first since Fernando de la Rua resigned in December 2001. Whoever wins will be called upon by the International Monetary Fund and Wall Street to fully implement the budget cuts and austerity measures demanded by the IMF and confront the growing popular resistance to the deepening misery and mass unemployment.

Greetings to the WSWS/SEP conference by Chris Marsden of the British Socialist Equality Party

By , 26 April 2003

Below we are publishing the greetings brought by Chris Marsden to the conference held by the World Socialist Web Site and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

Bush cancels Ottawa visit

By Keith Jones, 25 April 2003

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Germany: Push to use military for domestic policing

By Marius Heuser, 25 April 2003

Over the last few years fundamental legal rights in Germany, such as the division of power between the police and secret services, data protection and the use of torture, have been increasingly put into question. Now a traditional demand of the conservative right in Germany—the use of the army for domestic purposes—is being advanced in parliament by parties across the board. In general, fundamental legal issues are being ignored with the debate concentrating on such issues as possible exceptions to the internal use of the army.

Zimbabwe: General strike against fuel price rises

By Chris Talbot, 25 April 2003

A three-day general strike against the increase in the price of petrol began on April 23. It was called by the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) after the government increased fuel prices by 200 percent. The latest figures show that annual inflation in Zimbabwe is 228 percent, with the economy now in steep decline.

SARS outbreak exposes public health decay in Toronto

By Henry Michaels, 25 April 2003

Politicians and public health officials in Toronto and across Canada—from the city’s mayor to the federal health minister—have denounced the World Health Organization (WHO) for advising against travel to the city because of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Words such as “disbelief,” “dismay,” “overreaction,” “gross misrepresentation” and “irresponsible” have been hurled against the UN’s health monitoring agency.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 25 April 2003

Czech steel workers strike over job losses

Greetings to the WSWS/SEP Conference by Linda Tenenbaum of the Australian SEP

By , 25 April 2003

Below we are publishing the greetings brought by Linda Tenenbaum, assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia, to the conference held by the World Socialist Web Site and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

Britain: Blair under pressure over failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

By Chris Marsden, 25 April 2003

Every day that has passed since United States and British forces seized control of Iraq has left the claims that war was waged in order to eliminate the threat from weapons of mass destruction looking more threadbare.

Ten years since the Waco massacre

By the Editorial Board, 25 April 2003

April 19 marked the tenth anniversary of the Waco massacre, one of the most brutal acts of domestic state repression and mass murder in US history.

"War means an intensification of the exploitation of the US working class"

By , 24 April 2003

Below we are publishing the remarks of Jerry Isaacs to the conference held by the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

US recruits Ba’athist police and functionaries for new Iraqi state

By James Conachy, 24 April 2003

The widespread reinstatement by the US military of Iraqi police and functionaries in Baghdad and other cities is further verification that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with “liberation” or democracy. The Bush administration intends to enforce the US occupation of the country with substantial elements of Saddam Hussein’s repressive apparatus.

"We believe in the power of historically progressive ideas"

By , 24 April 2003

Below we are publishing the remarks of David Walsh to the conference held by the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

Australian government plans to repatriate refugees to war-torn Iraq

By Jake Skeers, 24 April 2003

Even before the Bush administration has officially claimed victory in its criminal war on Iraq, the Australian government is proposing to repatriate Iraqi asylum seekers. The plan, which was revealed 10 days ago by Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock, came as millions of Iraqis confront an unprecedented social catastrophe.

Trial of Islamic cleric accused of terrorism begins in Jakarta

By John Roberts, 24 April 2003

The trial of Islamic fundamentalist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who has been charged with treason, opened in Jakarta yesterday. The 90-minute hearing was held at a special courtroom in the Meteorological and Geophysics Agency, which was ringed by 500 armed police backed by water cannon. Everyone entering the court was searched.

Washington steps up attack on Cuba over dissident trials

By Bill Vann, 24 April 2003

In the wake of a repressive crackdown by the regime of Fidel Castro, the Bush administration is reportedly considering drastic new measures against Cuba. These would include the cutting off of remittances sent by Cuban-Americans to family members on the island and the halting of direct charter flights used principally by US-based Cuban émigrés to visit their homeland. Both sanctions are aimed at tightening the four-decade-old blockade against the Caribbean nation, while increasing economic and emotional hardships for Cubans on both sides of the Florida Straits.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 24 April 2003

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Turkey: Growing poverty and social inequality

By Sinan Ikinci, 24 April 2003

Income differences between social classes are deepening and becoming one of Turkey’s major problems, a recent survey conducted by the Kum Company has shown. Turkey’s richest families have upwards of 10.5 billion Turkish lira (TL) in monthly income—approximately $6,360 at current exchange rates—while the poorest families try to survive on TL 132 million ($80).

Air Canada using bankruptcy proceedings to gut jobs and wages

By David Adelaide, 23 April 2003

With the support of the country’s political, financial and legal establishment, Air Canada is using bankruptcy proceedings to impose massive wage cuts and job losses on its 40,000 employees.

Manufacturing the news: New York Times report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction

By Patrick Martin, 23 April 2003

An article published Monday on the front page of the New York Times reports that a former Iraqi scientist who worked in a secret arms program led a US military team to material that proved to be “the building blocks” of banned weapons.

Argentine police attack workers protest

By Bill Vann, 23 April 2003

Just days before Argentina’s presidential election, Buenos Aires was rocked by violence Monday as heavily armed police attacked a demonstration led by women textile workers. The workers were attempting to reclaim their jobs at a factory they had occupied and run since December 2001. More than 125 people were arrested and scores more injured by police, who, in addition to tear gas and rubber bullets, fired live ammunition at the workers.

Mounting attacks on free speech in US

By Henry Michaels, 23 April 2003

Even as the Bush administration claims to be bringing democracy and political liberty to Iraq, it is spearheading a deepening assault on basic democratic rights at all levels in the United States.

The historic background and content of the struggle for the political independence of the working class

By , 23 April 2003

Below we are publishing the remarks of Barry Grey to the conference held by the WSWS and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

Australia: Unemployment rate climbs as major companies resume layoffs

By Barry Jobson and Beth Cook, 23 April 2003

Following a recent lull in the wave of company collapses and downsizing across Australia, several major industries have begun large-scale layoffs and cutbacks. Indications are that another major round of job shedding is underway. April began with retrenchments by the Australian airline Qantas, the closure of an oil refinery in South Australia and further job cuts by the country’s main communications carrier, Telstra.

Pentagon sabre-rattling prior to US-North Korean talks in Beijing

By Peter Symonds, 23 April 2003

“Provocative,” “reckless” and “irrational” are words commonly used in the international media to describe the actions of the North Korean regime and to vilify its leader Kim Jong Il. But as senior US, Chinese and North Korean officials prepare to meet today in Beijing for three days of talks, the terms apply more appropriately to the menacing stance of Bush administration, which threatens to plunge the Korean peninsula into war if its demands for the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear programs are not met.

Impassive resistance: Protest songs for today

By Mike McHone, 23 April 2003

“I cannot be a vegetarian just between meals”—Nanci Griffith, folk artist

"The turn to authoritarian methods is a symptom of the failure of American capitalism"

By , 23 April 2003

Below we are publishing the remarks of Lawrence Porter to the conference held by the WSWS and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

Brazil: Lula’s first 100 days—austerity for the poor, tax cuts for the rich

By Rafael Azul, 22 April 2003

Since he took office 107 days ago, Brazilian President Luis Inacio da Silva (Lula) has carried out austerity policies in the interest of the international banks, in many cases outdoing his predecessor, Fernando Enrique Cardoso. In addition to pushing through legislation that would place the country’s Central Bank out of the control of the elected government and the country’s voters, he has cut public spending and increased interest rates, curtailing the Brazilian government’s ability to create jobs and provide social benefits.

"Internationalism stands at the center of the history of the working class"

By , 22 April 2003

Below we are publishing the remarks of Ulrich Rippert to the conference held by the WSWS and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

What happened to Iraq’s "weapons of mass destruction"?

By Patrick Martin, 22 April 2003

Tens of thousands of liters of anthrax. Thousands of liters of botulinium toxin. Hundreds of tons of mustard gas. Tons of nerve gas. Illegally extended missiles and hundreds of bombs and artillery shells to deliver these deadly toxins. Mobile bio-weapons labs. Even secret facilities for the development of nuclear weapons. All these and more were alleged by the Bush administration during the months of diplomatic posturing leading up to its attack on Iraq.

Contradictions and lies in the US case for war against Iraq

By , 22 April 2003

Below we are publishing the remarks of Patrick Martin to the conference held by the WSWS and the SEP in Ann Arbor, Michigan March 29-30, 2003 entitled “Socialism and the Struggle Against Imperialism and War: the Strategy and Program of a New International Working Class Movement.”

Jobless figures point to deepening problems for US economy

By Nick Beams, 22 April 2003

A recent note published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has highlighted growing problems in the US economy and, by implication, the rest of the world. Commenting on the March jobs figures, which showed payrolls had contracted by 108,000 following a fall of 357,000 in February, the EPI pointed out that since the recession began in March 2001 the total number of jobs is down by 2.1 million, with a fall in the private sector of 2.6 million.

US administration plans for long-term military occupation in Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 22 April 2003

Despite public claims to the contrary, the Bush administration is preparing for a permanent military presence in Iraq as part of broader plans to strengthen US strategic and economic interests in the Middle East, Central Asia and beyond.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 22 April 2003

Sao Paulo workers protest dismissal of transit workers

US imposes sanctions on Pakistani nuclear firm

By Vilani Peiris, 21 April 2003

In an unexpected move, the Bush administration has imposed two-year sanctions on Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), a Pakistani company, accusing it of importing missiles from the state-owned Changgwang Sinyong Corp of North Korea (CSCNK). Similar sanctions were imposed on the North Korean company last August, which have now been extended to March 2005.

Leonardo da Vinci: the drawings and the public response

By Clare Hurley, 21 April 2003

“Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman,” an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, January 22—March 30, 2003. With an additional 30 drawings by artists relevant to his development, particularly Andrea del Verrochio

US seizure of Baghdad provokes political crisis in France

By Alex Lefebvre, 21 April 2003

American military successes in Iraq have provoked severe factional conflict within the French ruling elite. The government, mostly backed by the official left parties, faces violent feuding within its own right-wing UMP (Union for a Popular Majority). The foreign policy of President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin is itself in disarray, seeking simultaneously to appease the US and build up an independent European position.

New Iraq sanctions debate bares US-European tensions

By Bill Vann, 21 April 2003

The US and Britain launched their illegal war against Iraq under the pretext that it was a crusade to eliminate the threat posed by Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction.” The goal of “regime change,” now realized through the devastation of Iraq and the slaughter of thousands of poorly armed soldiers and defenseless civilians, was sold as the only means of disarming Iraq.

Iraqis demand end to American occupation

By James Conachy, 19 April 2003

Friday’s prayer sessions in Baghdad were followed by a mass demonstration of the Iraqi people’s hostility toward the US invasion. As many as 20,000 worshippers left the city’s Abu Haneefa al-Nu’man mosque and marched through the streets waving Korans and carrying banners in Arabic and English reading “Leave our country, we want peace.”

US culture advisers resign in protest over looting of Iraqi museums

By Barry Grey, 19 April 2003

Three members of the White House Cultural Property Advisory Committee have resigned in protest over US complicity in the looting of the Iraqi National Museum of Antiquities.

New York City mayor presents "doomsday" budget

By Jeremy Johnson, 19 April 2003

On April 15 New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled plans to ruthlessly slash city services and jobs in order to fill a projected $3.8 billion gap in the city’s $45 billion budget. The cuts were presented in two tiers. The first, cutting $620 million in services and 4,800 jobs, was characterized as inevitable. The second, described as the “doomsday” budget, adds an additional $1 billion to the service cuts along with 10,231 more layoffs. The “doomsday” plan was presented as what would be necessary in the event that the city fails to obtain all of the $2.7 billion in state aid it is requesting, as well as $600 million in concessions from the city’s unions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 19 April 2003

Government threatens legal action against Korean rail strike

US government implicated in planned theft of Iraqi artistic treasures

By Ann Talbot, 19 April 2003

As the full extent of the looting of Iraq’s National Museum in Baghdad emerges, it becomes clear that there was nothing accidental about it. Rather it was the result of a long planned project to plunder the artistic and historical treasures that are held in the museums of Iraq.

European Union summit: France, Germany seek rapprochement with US

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 19 April 2003

Europe’s heads of state are continuing their policy of conciliation with the Bush administration in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. A statement by the European Union (EU) issued at its Athens summit on April 17 in effect legitimizes Washington’s war.

Massive wage cuts imposed on American Airlines workers

By Paul Sherman, 18 April 2003

Using the threat of bankruptcy as a hammer, union officials and American Airlines executives this week collaborated to push through $1.8 billion in wage cuts and other concessions on employees at the world’s largest airline. The deal reached by the unions representing pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, baggage handlers and other ground workers will cut wages between 16 and 23 percent, impose further benefit and work rule concessions and slash thousands of jobs.

Henry Ford: American anti-Semitism and the class struggle

By Nancy Russell, 18 April 2003

Henry Ford and the Jews: the Mass Production of Hate by Neil Baldwin, Public Affairs. New York. 2001, paperback release December 17, 2002

Australia: NSW government covers-up unsafe rail system

By Terry Cook, 18 April 2003

The New South Wales Labor government has been caught out covering-up the state’s chronically unsafe railway infrastructure. Newspaper reports last week revealed that the Rail Infrastructure Corporation (RIC), which maintains almost all NSW’s rail tracks, bridges, signalling and wiring, had ignored expert recommendations at the beginning of March to close the 140-year-old Menangle Bridge. The rail bridge, just southwest of Sydney on the busy main line to Melbourne, carries heavy passenger and goods traffic.

"Supporting the troops": a crisis of perspective

By Noah Page, 18 April 2003

It doesn’t take much more than few minutes of watching a network news program or a quick read of virtually any newspaper’s editorial page to recognize that the level of political discourse in the United States approximates the intellectual maturity and insight of a cartoon scrawled on the door of a public bathroom stall.

Mass social disaffection reflected in electoral rout of Quebec separatists

By Keith Jones, 18 April 2003

With 46 percent of the popular vote, the Quebec Liberal Party won a large majority of the seats in Monday’s provincial election and ended nine years of rule by the pro- indépendantiste Parti Québécois (PQ).

A revealing glimpse of Washington’s "free and democratic Iraq"

By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2003

What the Bush administration means by “freedom” and “democracy” in Iraq was on display at a US-sponsored meeting of selected Iraqi “representatives” held Tuesday in southern Iraq. The thoroughly contrived character of the gathering at the heavily-guarded Tallil air base demonstrates that, having invaded and occupied Iraq, Washington has no intention of permitting the Iraqi people any say in running the country.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 18 April 2003

Italian airline workers protest attacks on jobs and working conditions

Media giant headed by Bush cronies promotes Iraq war

By Joseph Kay, 17 April 2003

One of the most striking examples of the integration of the American media into the political and military establishment is the series of pro-war rallies recently organized by radio stations associated with the media conglomerate Clear Channel, a company with close ties to the Bush administration.

Como llevar hacia adelante la lucha contra la guerra imperialista

By , 17 April 2003

WSWS : Español

The German government and the Iraq war

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 April 2003

Dear Günter Grass:

Letters on the war against Iraq

By , 17 April 2003

Below we post a selection of recent letters on the war against Iraq.

Japan’s part in the "coalition of the willing"

By Joe Lopez, 17 April 2003

Despite overwhelming opposition in Japan to the US-led war on Iraq, the Koizumi government has been one of the Bush administration’s firmest backers from the outset. While restricted by its constitution from openly providing military support to the US, Japan was nevertheless listed as part of the so-called “coalition of the willing” that formally supported the invasion.

How Britain’s Blair government denies university education to working class students

By Simon Wheelan, 17 April 2003

No sane person would consider making an attack on the Labour government of Tony Blair for waging a class war against Britain’s privileged elite. It is, after all, the most “business-friendly” administration imaginable and boasts of its break with social reformism at every opportunity. Yet recently much of Britain’s media have portrayed the Blair government as a bunch of closet crypto-communists intent on destroying the very foundations of British society.

The fight against imperialist war: the socialist perspective

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2003

On April 13, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia convened a public meeting entitled “The fight against imperialist war: the socialist perspective” at the University of Technology in Sydney to discuss the political lessons of the US-led invasion of Iraq. SEP national secretary Nick Beams, a member of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, delivered the main report to the well-attended meeting that was followed by an extensive question-and-answer session. His address is published below.

"To heighten our awareness of humanity"

By Kaye Tucker, 16 April 2003

Morris Gleitzman, author of Boy Overboard , a children’s novel based on a fictional account of the journey of Afghan child refugees [See: Nurturing a sense of fairness and humanity], spoke with Kaye Tucker last month about his work.

The sacking of Iraq’s museums: US wages war against culture and history

By Patrick Martin, 16 April 2003

The looting of Iraq’s museums and National Library, with the destruction of much of Iraq’s cultural heritage, is a historic crime for which the Bush administration is responsible.

British activist in critical condition after being shot by Israeli military

By Chris Marsden, 16 April 2003

British peace activist Tom Hurndall is the third member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to be severely wounded or killed by the Israeli Defence Forces. He is in a critical condition in a hospital in southern Israel, after being shot in the head by an Israel sniper in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.

American troops massacre Iraqi protesters in Mosul

By Henry Michaels, 16 April 2003

American troops opened fire on anti-US protesters in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, killing at least 10. Hours earlier, 20,000 people marched through the southern city of Nasiriyah to oppose Washington’s plans to install a puppet government. In Baghdad, the US military tried to prevent journalists from reporting on the third straight day of anti-US demonstrations.

Bush administration puts Syria in its gunsights

By the Editorial Board, 16 April 2003

Flush with its initial success in occupying Baghdad and reducing much of Iraq to chaos and ruin, the Bush administration is already setting its sights further afield—on Syria in particular. While US tanks may not be immediately heading for Damascus, a string of recent statements by Bush and his senior officials carries the unmistakable threat: unconditionally bow to US demands or face the same fate as Iraq.

The Nuremberg tribunal and the role of the media

By David Walsh, 16 April 2003

The ongoing US aggression in the Middle East raises the most serious questions about the role of the mass media in modern society. In the period leading up to the invasion, the American media uncritically advanced the Bush administration’s arguments, rooted in lies, distortions and half-truths, for an attack on Iraq. It virtually excluded all critical viewpoints, to the point of blacking out news of mass antiwar demonstrations and any other facts that contradicted the propaganda from the White House and Pentagon.

Thousands face electricity cutoffs in Ontario

By Mary Beadnell, 16 April 2003

In a heartless attempt to recoup over $150 million in overdue electricity bills, Ontario electricity companies threatened more than 50,000 of their 4.4 million residential consumers with disconnection on April 1, if accounts were not paid in full.

Belgian parliament guts "genocide law" to appease Bush administration

By Richard Tyler, 15 April 2003

The Belgian parliament has effectively gutted the country’s 1993 “genocide law”, allowing the government to dismiss a series of cases against foreign political leaders including Ariel Sharon and George Bush senior.

How and why the US encouraged looting in Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 15 April 2003

The widespread looting in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and other Iraqi cities, following the collapse of the Ba’athist regime of President Saddam Hussein, was not merely an incidental byproduct of the US military conquest of Iraq. It was deliberately encouraged and fostered by the Bush administration and the Pentagon for definite political and economic reasons.