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Netherlands: New round of job and social service cuts prepared

By Jörg Victor, 30 September 2003

Barely six months after Jan Peter Balkenende’s Christian Democratic government in the Netherlands imposed drastic cuts to the country’s social security system, warnings are already being made about further inroads. “Nearly all citizens will have less purchasing power next year,” Queen Beatrix recently announced in her government-composed royal speech to parliament in The Hague.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 September 2003

Argentine unemployment protest

Grasso and Wall Street’s “governance” crisis

By Jamie Chapman, 30 September 2003

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chairman and chief executive Richard Grasso resigned on Sept. 17 at an emergency meeting of the NYSE board of directors, who voted 13-7 for his ouster. The forced resignation came only three weeks after the board disclosed their earlier payout of $140 million in deferred compensation and retirement benefits to Grasso, at that time lavishing him with praise for his “outstanding leadership.”

The New York Times whitewashes Bush’s lies on Iraq war

By Bill Vann, 30 September 2003

In what amounts to a damning self-indictment, the New York Times admitted in a September 26 editorial that it “never quarreled with one of [the Bush administration’s] basic premises” for launching its war on Iraq—the supposed threat from weapons of mass destruction.

By , 30 September 2003

Correction: The article “London protesters condemn occupation of Iraq and defend Palestinians,” by Mike Ingram, posted September 29, 2003, inadvertently misrepresented the position of environmentalist and antiwar activist George Monbiot. It reported erroneously that in a speech from the platform in Trafalgar Square, Mr. Monbiot “presented the UN role in Iraq as a preferable option to the US occupation.”

Elia Kazan: director, HUAC informer dead at 94

By , 30 September 2003

Hollywood director Elia Kazan died September 28 at age 94. Kazan directed 19 feature films between 1945 and 1976 that garnered a total of 20 Academy Awards. He was a founder and longtime co-director of the prestigious Actors Studio and a co-founder of the first repertory theater at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Peter Camejo and the Greens bid for “respectability” in California recall campaign

By Peter Daniels, 30 September 2003

The gubernatorial campaign of Peter Camejo in the California recall election marks a further turn to the right by the Green Party. The Greens and their candidate have tailored their election statements and appearances to demonstrate their “responsibility”—i.e., subordination—to the political and media establishment and the financial elite.

Dollar fall adds to global turbulence

By Nick Beams, 30 September 2003

The sharp drop in the value of the dollar in money markets last week has pointed to the underlying instability of the international financial system and the ever-present possibility of a major crisis. The dollar’s decline followed a meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers in Dubai which called for exchange rates to reflect “economic fundamentals.”

LTTE joins government strikebreaking against Sri Lankan health workers

By Nanda Wickramasinghe, 30 September 2003

The fact that the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is backing the Sri Lankan government’s attempts to crush an island-wide strike by health workers speaks volumes about its class character and the real purpose of its peace talks with Colombo.

A militarist as “peace” candidate: Retired general Wesley Clark enters Democratic presidential race

By Alex Lefebrve, 29 September 2003

Retired US general Wesley Clark, who commanded NATO forces during the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, entered the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination on September 18. Clark became the tenth Democrat to announce his candidacy for the November 2004 election, and the first new entry since early this year.

London protesters condemn occupation of Iraq and defend Palestinians

By , 29 September 2003

Correction: The article “London protesters condemn occupation of Iraq and defend Palestinians,” by Mike Ingram, posted September 29, 2003, inadvertently misrepresented the position of environmentalist and antiwar activist George Monbiot. It reported erroneously that in a speech from the platform in Trafalgar Square, Mr. Monbiot “presented the UN role in Iraq as a preferable option to the US occupation.”

Britain: National Health Service faces mounting cash crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 29 September 2003

A document prepared by accountants Grant Thornton for Manchester Strategic Health Authority, which holds the budget for healthcare services in Greater Manchester, paints a devastating picture of the state of the city’s healthcare finances. It predicts a deficit of £12 million for Manchester’s 14 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), soon to be responsible for spending 75 percent of the budget on purchasing healthcare on behalf of their patients, by the end of this financial year. Even more importantly, without drastic action, the deficit is set to rise exponentially to £430 million in 2007/8.

Hong Kong government withdraws proposed security law

By John Chan, 29 September 2003

In the face of overwhelming popular opposition, Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa announced at a special press conference on September 5 that his administration was shelving its proposed anti-subversion legislation.

Thousands join renewed antiwar protests around the world

By Mike Head, 29 September 2003

Hundreds of thousands of people in more than 20 countries and 60 cities spanning five continents joined demonstrations last weekend demanding an end to the ongoing US-led occupation of Iraq. While the protests were smaller than the millions-strong demonstrations before the war, the internationally-coordinated day of action marked a re-emergence of global opposition to the militarism of the Bush administration and its allies.

Democratic candidates back Bush’s Iraq war spending bill

By Patrick Martin, 29 September 2003

Last Thursday’s debate among the 10 Democratic candidates for president, held at Pace University in New York City, was a largely undistinguished and unremarkable affair. The seven “major” candidates—those whose campaigns have received sufficient funding from corporate America and the wealthy to be considered viable—traded criticisms of each other, while ignoring the three most liberal candidates, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, former Ambassador Carol Moseley-Braun, and Reverend Al Sharpton, whose lack of financial backing renders them irrelevant to the outcome of the contest.

Striking Sri Lankan health workers defy intimidation

By Ajitha Gunaratna, 27 September 2003

More than 80,000 public sector health workers in Sri Lanka continue to strike after trade union leaders failed in their attempts yesterday to reach a deal with the government to shut down the dispute. The ruling United National Front (UNF) offered none of the concessions expected by the unions, which face mounting opposition from striking workers against any backdown.

California debate travesty shows need for socialist alternative

By John Christopher Burton, 27 September 2003

Socialist gubernatorial candidate John Christopher Burton issued the following statement September 26 on the final televised debate of so-called “major” candidates running to replace Governor Gray Davis in the October 7 California recall election. The debate took place September 24 in Sacramento, California.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 September 2003

Indonesian workers demand reinstatement

An international socialist strategy is needed to oppose war

By , 27 September 2003

The following statement of the Socialist Equality Party of Britain is being distributed today at a demonstration in London as part of protests being held world-wide against the continuing US-British war and occupation in Iraq.

US and UN give tacit backing to Guinea Bissau coup

By Brian Smith, 27 September 2003

A successful coup d’état in Guinea Bissau in West Africa has ousted President Kumba Yala and his Prime Minister Mario Pires. Yala later resigned to give the process a gloss of legality.

German Chancellor Schröder rushes to the aid of Bush

By Ulrich Rippert, 27 September 2003

Iraqi resistance to the US occupation of their country is growing daily. The reasons given by the US and Britain for going to war have been exposed as outright lies; and the Bush government is facing its worst crisis since coming to office three years ago. Under these conditions, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder used his attendance at the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate in New York to demonstratively back the American president.

Argentine judge frees military officers facing extradition

By Paul Mitchell, 26 September 2003

An Argentine judge has freed 39 military officers and one civilian facing extradition to Spain. Federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral told reporters, “I have placed them at immediate liberty unless another court orders their detention. The case has been shelved.”

The US military detains another of its Guantanamo Bay soldiers

By Mike Head, 26 September 2003

Just three days after the Bush administration reported the detention of Captain Youseff Yee, a Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp in Cuba, Pentagon officials on Tuesday revealed that another soldier from the camp, air force translator Senior Airman Ahmad al-Halabi, was secretly arrested and jailed more than two months ago.

US Congress passes $368 billion for Pentagon war machine

By Bill Vann, 26 September 2003

With only seven minutes of debate and a lopsided vote of 407 to 15, the US House of Representatives Wednesday approved a new Pentagon budget that continues an eight-year escalation of Washington’s spending on war.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East & Africa

By , 26 September 2003

Greek veterinarians and agriculturalists strike continues

CIA recruiting Saddam’s secret police

By Julie Hyland, 26 September 2003

The Sunday Times has reported that the CIA is recruiting former agents from Saddam Hussein’s notorious security forces in Iraq.

Latest Australian labour force figures: no cause for celebration

By Terry Cook, 26 September 2003

A fall in the unemployment rate contained in the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force data released earlier this month was hailed by Prime Minister John Howard as “a golden figure for workers”.

Seven films, genuinely concerned with humanity or not

By Joanne Laurier, 26 September 2003

This is the final part in a series of articles on the recent Toronto film festival (September 4-13).

The ADL and Berlusconi: honoring a “flawed” friend of Zionism

By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2003

On Tuesday, September 23, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the organization founded in the United States 90 years ago with the stated aim of fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, bestowed its Distinguished Statesman Award on a leading European political figure. The recipient of the award, at a gala fund-raising dinner held at New York City’s luxurious Plaza Hotel, was none other than Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister of Italy who made headlines and sparked wide outrage recently when he came to the defense of the former fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

US: $400 billion deficit in pension plan funding

By Jamie Chapman, 25 September 2003

The head of the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) raised the specter of a crisis in the government-insured pension system that could make the savings and loan bailout of the 1980s pale in comparison.

Indian government courts alliance with Israel and US

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 25 September 2003

India’s coalition government, which is dominated by the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), rolled out the red carpet for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during a three-day official visit to India earlier this month, thus further solidarizing itself with Sharon’s ever-widening repression of the Palestinian people.

Britain: Notorious Yarl’s Wood asylum detention centre reopens

By Niall Green, 25 September 2003

One of Britain’s most notorious detention centres for asylum seekers is open to accept new detainees, 18 months after it was closed due to a major fire on February 14, 2002. Two detainees allegedly involved in rioting on the night of the fire at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire have been found guilty of violent disorder following a four-month trial.

US troops slaughter three more Iraqis

By Peter Symonds, 25 September 2003

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the tragic deaths of three more Iraqis were added to the civilian toll that Washington rarely even acknowledges. A patrol of US soldiers surrounded a farmhouse in the small village of Al Saja near the town of Fallujah and a short time later called in air support. The Iraqis died after missiles slammed into the building and surrounding area.

Amnesty International report denounces US treatment of war prisoners

By Ruby Rankin, 25 September 2003

A recent report by Amnesty International (AI) warns that the Bush administration is repudiating basic democratic rights and undermining the entire post-World War II system of international humanitarian law.

US: Millions still without power a week after Hurricane Isabel

By Patrick Martin, 25 September 2003

The devastation left behind by Hurricane Isabel, which struck the mid-Atlantic United States on September 18-19, raises new questions about the decay of the US infrastructure, particularly the electrical power system whose critical weaknesses were already exposed in the blackout that hit eight states in the Northeast and Midwest a month ago.

US soldier asks: “How many more must die” in Iraq?

By Kate Randall, 25 September 2003

A letter from a US soldier in Iraq appeared last month in the Peoria (Illinois) Journal Star, and was reprinted September 17 in the Los Angeles Times. Tim Predmore has been on active duty with the 101st Airborne near Mosul, Iraq, since March, and has served in the military for almost five years.

Bavaria state election: A growing gulf between establishment politics and the people

By Ute Reissner, 24 September 2003

The result of the Bavaria state election held Sunday, September 21 indicates broad public rejection of the measures undertaken by the SPD (German Social Democratic Party)-Green Party government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, aimed at dismantling the German welfare state. The response to the election result by established German political parties and employers organisations has been to declare their determination to press ahead in coming months with further attacks on the social fabric—despite widespread public opposition.

Federal appeals court overturns postponement of California recall election

By Don Knowland and Barry Grey, 24 September 2003

In a cynical and politically motivated decision, eleven judges of the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously ruled that the California recall election should go ahead as scheduled on October 7.

Canberra blackmails Papua New Guinea into accepting Australian overseers

By the Editorial Board, 24 September 2003

Just two months after dispatching an Australian-led military intervention force to the Solomon Islands, the Howard government has bullied Papua New Guinea (PNG) into placing two key state functions—finance and the police—under effective Australian control. The preliminary agreement signed by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and his PNG counterpart Rabbie Namaliu on September 18 underscores just how rapidly Canberra is proceeding to consolidate a neo-colonial sphere of influence in the Pacific region.

How does the artist portray historical tragedy?

By David Walsh, 24 September 2003

Several films at the recent Toronto film festival treated, directly or indirectly, the ongoing tragedy in Afghanistan, Osama (directed by Afghan filmmaker Siddiq Barmak), At Five in the Afternoon (directed by Samira Makhmalbaf, from Iran) and Silence Between Two Thoughts (directed by Babak Payami, also Iranian). The first two were shot in Afghanistan, the third a few miles from its border in eastern Iran.

Candidato socialista en las elecciones para la destitución en California se dirige a estudiantes acerca de la guerra contra Irak

By , 24 September 2003

WSWS : Español

Se intensifican los ataques contra las tropas estadounidenses en Irak

By , 24 September 2003

WSWS : Español

Interview with Babak Payami, director of Silence Between Two Thoughts

By David Walsh, 24 September 2003

The WSWS spoke to Babak Payami, director of Silence Between Two Thoughts, at the Toronto film festival.

Britain: Lessons of the Hutton Inquiry

By Chris Marsden, 24 September 2003

The Hutton Inquiry into the death of whistleblower Dr. David Kelly is heading towards a sordid and entirely predictable conclusion.

Letters to John Christopher Burton, candidate for California governor

By , 24 September 2003

Below we post a selection of letters to John Christopher Burton, the candidate for governor supported by the Socialist Equality Party in the California recall election. To contact Mr. Burton’s campaign, please send email to

Bush at the UN—a war criminal takes the podium

By Bill Vann, 24 September 2003

President George W. Bush’s ignorant and insulting speech to the United Nations General Assembly September 23 made clear that the US administration has all but written off any hope of obtaining significant international support for its colonial venture in Iraq.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 23 September 2003

Panamanian public employees demand raise in minimum wage

Heavy-handed tactics against music fans: the recording industry’s new assault

By James Brewer, 23 September 2003

On September 8, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed the first 261 of possibly thousands of lawsuits against private individuals accused of music piracy. This is the beginning of a legal campaign aimed at the intimidation of music fans themselves. The criterion set by the RIAA for targeting particular persons is suspicion of downloading over 1,000 songs each across the Internet. The organization claims more than a 30 percent drop in revenues from CD sales over the last three years and blames this on the practice of downloading music.

Why has the US government imprisoned Captain Yee?

By Bill Vann, 23 September 2003

The Bush administration’s arrest and jailing of Captain Youseff Yee, who served as the Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp in Cuba, raises a number of disturbing questions.

Reducciones en el presupuesto de California ponen en peligro la atención médica a los residentes del condado de Los Angeles

By , 23 September 2003

WSWS : Español

Britain: Millions of poor without basic utilities

By Robert Stevens, 23 September 2003

This week, the National Consumers Council (NCC) in Britain released a 64-page report authored by Georgia Klein entitled Lifelines. The report documents the misery afflicting millions of people in the UK who are living without basic utilities such as water, gas, electricity or access to a telephone.

Families of Guantanamo Bay detainees address public forum in Sydney

By James Conachy, 23 September 2003

The families of David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, two Australian citizens held without charges for nearly two years by the Bush administration in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, addressed a public forum at the Sydney Trades Hall on Saturday September 20. Attended by around 150 people, the meeting provided them an opportunity to speak out against the wholesale abuse of democratic and human rights being committed by the Bush administration, with the complicity of the Australian government and political establishment. The forum was organised by the Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group and Actively Radical TV, both of which have connections to the Socialist Alliance and Democratic Socialist Party (DSP).

Letters on “Friedman of the Times declares war on France”

By , 23 September 2003

Below we post a recent selection of letters on Bill Vann’s September 20 article, “Friedman of the Times declares war on France”

World growth increasing but imbalances getting worse

By Nick Beams, 23 September 2003

The International Monetary Fund has maintained the forecast it made in April that world economic growth will increase by 3.2 percent this year and by 4.1 percent in 2004. The estimates were contained in its World Economic Outlook published last week at the commencement of the annual IMF/World Bank meetings being held in Dubai.

Spain: Aznar’s Popular Party faces growing criticism over Iraq

By Keith Lee, 23 September 2003

Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar and his right-wing Popular Party (PP) government’s claim that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction represented a military threat to Spain has been undermined by the government’s own head of counterespionage forces.

Studies document housing disaster for millions in US

By Tim Tower, 22 September 2003

Three recent studies have exposed a rapidly worsening housing crisis in the United States. Millions of families are living in substandard conditions, are homeless, or are making choices each day to spend money on housing and do without health care, child care, or other basic necessities. With virtually no affordable housing being built, the crisis can only intensify.

Intimate moments, genuine protest

By Joanne Laurier, 22 September 2003

Directed by Sarah Gavron, screenplay by Rosemary Kay

The Columbia Space Shuttle disaster: science and the profit system

By Joseph Kay, 22 September 2003

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed upon reentry into the earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. Shortly after the incident, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) was set up to investigate the causes of the disaster. The board summarized its findings in a report released on August 26. This series of three articles analyzes the report and the accident itself.

Court of appeals to reconsider postponing California recall election

By Don Knowland, 22 September 2003

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit voted Friday to have an 11-judge panel of the court rehear the case that resulted in a September 15 ruling postponing the October 7 gubernatorial recall election to March 2004. Oral arguments in the case will be televised live on C-Span on Monday at 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Australian manufacturing workers hit by wave of lockouts

By Terry Cook, 22 September 2003

Over the past four months, Australian manufacturing workers involved in a campaign for new enterprise work agreements across 1,100 companies have been hit by a wave of lockouts. The move marks a determination by a large section of manufacturing employers, encouraged by the Federal Liberal government, to resort to aggressive measures to resist any real improvement in wages and working conditions.

Escalating attacks on US troops in Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2003

Despite denials from Washington and the US military, armed resistance to the US occupation of Iraq is expanding both in scope and intensity. Late last week ambushes of US troops in Tikrit and Khaldiyah, to the north and west of Baghdad respectively, turned into pitched gun battles that lasted for hours, notwithstanding the overwhelming superiority of US military firepower.

An interview with Tom Zubrycki, director of Molly & Mobarak

By , 22 September 2003

Tom Zubrycki, director of Molly & Mobarak, was interviewed at the Toronto film festival.

The Columbia Space Shuttle disaster: science and the profit system

By Joseph Kay, 20 September 2003

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed upon reentry into the earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. Shortly after the incident, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) was set up to investigate the causes of the disaster. The board summarized its findings in a report released on August 26. This series of three articles analyzes the report and the accident itself.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 September 2003

Miners strike in Indonesia

Socialist candidate in California recall addresses students on Iraq war

By Rafael Azul, 20 September 2003

John Christopher Burton, a civil rights attorney and the Socialist Equality Party-backed candidate in the California recall election, told an audience of more than 300 students at Santa Monica College September 18 that the problems of California could not be addressed outside of a fight against the war and occupation in Iraq.

Spain: Aznar names successor and reshuffles government

By Vicky Short, 20 September 2003

Spain’s head of government José María Aznar has finally decided to step down and give way to his chosen successor. Mariano Rajoy, the present deputy prime minister and government spokesman, will be the ruling Popular Party’s (PP’s) candidate for the post of prime minister at the March 2004 general elections.

US auto union sanctions mass layoffs and plant closings

By Jerry Isaacs, 20 September 2003

In a previous period, the contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Big Three car companies were an event of national importance. The bargaining between the UAW and General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler was seen as having a potentially major impact on the US economy, and speculation was rife over which of the automakers would be picked as the target for a strike. Workers throughout basic industry, who saw the UAW contract as a new benchmark for improvements in their own labor agreements, also followed the outcome of the negotiations closely.

Friedman of the Times declares war on France

By Bill Vann, 20 September 2003

An atmosphere of disarray pervades the Bush administration as it confronts a debacle in Iraq. US troops are confronting daily and increasingly deadly attacks that Pentagon officials have acknowledged are the work of ordinary Iraqis determined to free their country of foreign military occupation. The costs of the venture are spiraling out of control, with massive public opposition to Bush’s call for another $87 billion to finance US military efforts.

Why Junichiro Koizumi is being retained as Japanese leader

By James Conachy, 20 September 2003

Japanese leader Junichiro Koizumi faces a ballot today to determine whether he keeps the presidency of the governing, right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and thus his position as prime minister. Once its own leadership is settled, the ruling party is expected to dissolve parliament and call national elections for November.

John Christopher Burton: “Transform the recall into a referendum on Bush’s policies of war and social reaction”

By , 20 September 2003

Below is the text of the speech delivered Sept. 18 by John Christopher Burton to an assembly of students at Santa Monica College in Southern California. Burton, a civil rights lawyer, has been endorsed by the Socialist Equality Party as a candidate for governor in California’s recall election. The speech was repeatedly interrupted by applause from the audience of some 300 students, who have faced an increasing financial burden as a result of the recent budget implemented by the Democrats and Republicans in the California state government.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 19 September 2003

Poland’s coal miners protest job losses

The courts, the California recall and the crisis of the US political system

By Bill Vann, 19 September 2003

The ruling by the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals postponing for five months the Oct. 7 recall election in California has touched off a political firestorm. The recall’s right-wing supporters charge that the three judges on the appellate panel—all appointed by Democratic administrations—acted out of political allegiance rather than to uphold the law. The civil rights groups that pushed for the postponement have insisted that their concern was that every vote, and particularly those in counties with large minority populations, is counted.

The Columbia Space Shuttle disaster: science and the profit system

By Joseph Kay, 19 September 2003

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed upon reentry into the earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. Shortly after the incident, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) was set up to investigate the causes of the disaster. The board summarized its findings in a report released August 26. This series of three articles analyzes the report and the accident itself.

Swedish “no” vote on euro deepens crisis in Europe

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 19 September 2003

The rejection on September 14 of the Swedish referendum proposal to join the euro currency zone was a sharp rebuff to the strategic plans of the dominant sections of Swedish and European big business.

Sri Lankan High Court whitewashes massacre of Tamil detainees

By Wije Dias, 19 September 2003

A three-judge bench of a Special High Court in Sri Lanka in early July sentenced five defendants—two police officers and three civilians—to death for their part in a vicious mob attack at the Bindunuwewa rehabilitation camp on October 25, 2000. Of the 41 Tamil detainees at the camp, 27 were hacked or beaten to death and the remaining 14 were injured, in some cases severely.

Families of Guantanamo Bay prisoners launch US Supreme Court appeal

By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2003

Families of four of the more than 660 prisoners held at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have intensified their action against the Bush administration and its flagrant breach of democratic rights. On September 2, their lawyers lodged an appeal with the US Supreme Court over the illegal imprisonment of two Australian citizens, David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, and Safiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal from Britain.

Italy: Berlusconi intensifies his attacks on the judiciary

By Peter Schwarz, 19 September 2003

At the beginning of this month, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi once again hit the headlines with an onslaught against the judiciary. In an interview with the right-wing British magazine the Spectator during his recent holiday in Sardinia, the current chairman of the European Union (EU) council declared: “These judges are mad twice over. First because they are politically that way, and second because they are mad anyway. To do that job you need to be mentally disturbed, anthropologically different from the rest of humanity.”

Reproductions of life

By David Walsh, 19 September 2003

A certain type of intellectual snob or skeptic is taken aback at the thought that art might—or might be expected to—provide objective knowledge of human relationships and social life. Artistic effort, according to such people, ought to be reserved for the consideration of “higher”—or often “lower”—things (the supposedly “darker,” “primal” stuff of life). The physical state in which millions of people live, as well as their moral and mental condition, is of little interest to our snob or skeptic. “It’s all Eros and Thanatos,” he or she mutters, “Eros and Thanatos.”

US vetoes UN resolution opposing Arafat’s murder

By Bill Vann, 18 September 2003

In what can only be interpreted as a green light for its Israeli allies to carry out the coldblooded assassination of the elected president of the Palestinian people, the US Tuesday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution opposing the murder of Yasser Arafat.

Britain: The TUC prepares a rescue mission for Blair

By Chris Marsden, 18 September 2003

The media’s response to last week’s conference of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) was almost hysterical. To judge by the editorial columns and banner headlines of most national newspapers, Britain’s trade union bureaucracy has swung sharply to the left and is hell-bent on a showdown with Tony Blair’s Labour government over every major policy question.

Azerbaijan succession is focus of oil conflict

By Simon Wheelan, 18 September 2003

During a live televised debate this month, brawling broke out between opponents of the ruling New Azerbaijani Party. Glasses and punches were thrown between the warring Azeri politicians. The unedifying melee forced state executives to pull the debate off the air in mid-transmission.

An assault on historical truth

By Nick Beams, 18 September 2003

Below we are publishing the concluding section of the three-part series by Nick Beams reviewing Keith Windschuttle’s The Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Part 1 and Part 2 were published on September 16 and 17, respectively.

California budget cuts imperil Los Angeles County health care

By Shannon Jones, 18 September 2003

The budget cuts carried out by California Governor Gray Davis pose a grave threat to health care for residents of the nation’s largest state. Particularly hard hit are the 6.3 million people in California, including 1.6 million children, who have no health care coverage.

French government tries to quell scandal over heat wave deaths

By Alex Lefebvre, 18 September 2003

Faced with the scandal over its response to the heat wave, the government of French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin—with the aid of the media—is firmly denying that the government received adequate warnings. It hopes to use this lie to hush up the scandal and make people forget that health authorities were largely aware of the crisis as it occurred and did little or nothing to confront it.

France: Day of action greets new school year

By Antoine Lerougetel, 17 September 2003

The first national day of action of the school year on September 10 saw demonstrations in cities and towns across France. The action was a continuation of the massive strike and protest movement in the spring that mobilised some 6 million people against the government’s programme of pension cuts and the “decentralisation”—or dismantling—of the national public education system.

Britain: Another whitewash over Iraq

By Julie Hyland, 17 September 2003

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) last week published its report on whether the government distorted intelligence material to justify its plans to invade Iraq.

Letters on the California recall election

By , 17 September 2003

The following is a selection of letters received by the World Socialist Web Site criticizing the Socialist Equality Party’s call for a “no” vote on the recall of California Governor Gray Davis. See “Why the SEP is opposing the California recall” for a reply by Jerry Isaacs.

An assault on historical truth

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2003

Below we are publishing the second in a three-part series by Nick Beams reviewing Keith Windschuttle’s The Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Part 1 was published on September 16 and the final part will be published tomorrow.

Encouraging signs

By David Walsh, 17 September 2003

This is the first in a series of articles on the recent Toronto film festival (September 4-13).

Candidato socialista John Christopher Burton reprocha el ataque de los Republicanos y Demócratas contra el Programa para la Compensación de Trabajadores de California

By , 17 September 2003

WSWS : Español

John Christopher Burton responde al dictamen del Tribunal Federal de Apelaciones que aplaza las elecciones para la destitución en California

By , 17 September 2003

WSWS : Español

US actions in Iraq building a “well of hatred”

By Barbara Slaughter, 17 September 2003

Felicity Arbuthnot, a freelance journalist, has visited Iraq nearly 30 times since the first Gulf War in 1991 and visited the country again just prior to the recent war. Since the formal declaration of the end of the war she has been able to speak to some of her many contacts in Iraq. She recently spoke to Barbara Slaughter of the World Socialist Web Site.

The lessons of Chile—30 years on

By Mauricio Saavedra and Margaret Rees, 17 September 2003

Thirty years ago on September 11 the Chilean military, with the full backing of Washington and the Pentagon, overthrew the democratically elected government of President Salvadore Allende and installed General Augusto Pinochet’s fascist-military dictatorship, which lasted 17 years.

Why the SEP is opposing the California recall

By Jerry Isaacs, 17 September 2003

The World Socialist Web Site has received several letters criticizing the Socialist Equality Party’s call for a “no” vote on the recall of California Governor Gray Davis. These letters raise fundamental political issues that need to be discussed and clarified.

An interview with Jafar Panahi, director of Crimson Gold

By David Walsh, 17 September 2003

Jafar Panahi, Iranian director of Crimson Gold, was interviewed at the Toronto film festival by David Walsh.

WTO meeting collapses as trading system begins to crack

By Joe Lopez, 17 September 2003

The collapse of World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, has left the so-called Doha round of trade negotiations all but dead and could well herald the break-up of the organisation itself.

John Christopher Burton responds to court ruling delaying California recall vote

By , 16 September 2003

Below is the text of a press release issued September 15 by John Christopher Burton in response to a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals delaying the date of the special California gubernatorial recall election from October 7, 2003 to March 2, 2004. Burton, a civil rights lawyer in Pasadena, is running as an independent candidate in the recall election. A supporter of the Socialist Equality Party, Burton has been endorsed by the SEP. For an analysis of the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling, see “Federal appeals court postpones California recall election until March” [16 September 2003].

An assault on historical truth

By Nick Beams, 16 September 2003

“Great history,” the eminent English historian E. H. Carr explained, “is written precisely when the historian’s vision is illuminated by insights into the problems of the present” [E.H. Carr, What is History? p. 37].

Federal appeals court postpones California recall election until March

By Don Knowland, 16 September 2003

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ordered postponement of the California gubernatorial recall election scheduled for October 7 until March 2, 2004. According to the federal appellate court, the use of inherently unreliable punch-card voting machines in six California counties would likely disenfranchise at least 40,000 voters and thereby violate the constitutionally protected right of those citizens to have their votes counted equally with the votes cast by others.

Britain: Civil rights group challenges illegal use of anti-terror laws

By Julie Hyland, 16 September 2003

The civil rights group Liberty has won permission for a full High Court hearing to challenge the use of anti-terrorism laws against people protesting outside Europe’s biggest arms fair in London.