have a President that is Hell bent on war," said Rev. Al
Sharpton. "I think the President is determined to go to
war no matter what." Only one other Democratic presidential
hopeful comes even close to speaking the unadorned truth about
Bush's warlust - and nobody knows his name. (It's Howard Dean,
the former Governor of Vermont, and the most progressive candidate
that white Democrats have so far offered from their thin-blooded
does oil play in Bush's stampede to war? Sharpton answered New
York TV host Gil Noble with his own rhetorical question: "What
is it that Iraq has that North Korea doesn't have?"
show is named, appropriately, "Like It Is," an oasis
of intelligence where Sharpton was allowed a full hour to explain
his campaign agenda. Sharpton's performance was sterling, his
positions sophisticated and correct in every respect, delivered
with precision and a full grasp of history. "Civil liberties
have been suspended," said the social activist. "What
they did covertly in the Sixties, they are doing overtly, now."
States proclaims the sovereign right to commit crimes against
humanity as a matter of policy. In the presence of such a monumental
affront to civilization, a campaign for presidential impeachment
seems small, timid - but it's all that's available, constitutionally,
until the next election. The anti-war movement counts within
its ranks a former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, who
knows how to draw up such things as articles of impeachment
"setting forth high crimes and misdemeanors by President
Bush and other civil officers of his administration." Sign
up at Vote
to Impeach, while you prepare for.....
expect hundreds of thousands to protest in New York, February
15, and in San Francisco, the day after - and none too soon.
February 15 is the ominous date by which many nations have ordered
their diplomatic missions in Baghdad evacuated in anticipation
of the U.S. blitz.
for Peace and Justice is the point organization for the
two major U.S. demonstrations, under the slogan "The World
Says No to War." Scheduled New York speakers include South
African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, NAACP chairman Julian Bond,
Martin Luther King III and performers Harry Belafonte, Mos Def
and Danny Glover.
millions around the globe will protest in 30 cities during the
weekend, from London to Tokyo and Johannesburg.
truth holds for every nation in the world - with the possible
exception of the United States and Israel: the people do not
want George Bush's war.
Vote Bush Out!
is a man whose powers of diplomacy have rattled history, itself.
Yet conventional diplomatic speech is incomprehensible to Bush's
barbarians. Last week, Mandela spoke plainly, in outrage. "If
there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities
in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't
care for human beings," the Nobel Peace Prize winner told
the International Women's Forum, in Johannesburg.
what A Man said:
power with a president who has no foresight and cannot think
properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."
they (America) are so arrogant, they killed innocent people
in Japan during Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
are they now to pretend that they are the policemen of the
world, the ones that should decide for the people of Iraq
what should be done with their government and their leadership?"
friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because
it's their ally they won't ask the UN to get rid of it. They
just want the (Iraqi) oil... We must expose this as much as
Bush wants is Iraqi oil
The 84 year-old
giant of the 20th century appealed to the American people to
demonstrate against Bush and vote him out of office. Referring
to U.S. bullying of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Mandela
uttered words that resonate in Black America: "Is it because
the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man?"
News, "President Thabo Mbeki has also voiced an increasingly
stronger opposition to U.S. plans of an Iraq invasion"
and endorsed demonstrations for the weekend of February 15.
punk out, Ivoirians grovel
has few peers in modern history - and certainly none among Arab
heads of state. As the American wave breaks over the region,
Arab governments openly and covertly collaborate with the invader,
to the disgust of their own people.
Sun contributing foreign editor Eric Margolis listed the
actions that Arab nations could - but will not - take to preserve
some vestige of honor and national independence:
Arabs do to prevent a war of aggression against Iraq that
increasingly resembles a medieval crusade? Form a united diplomatic
front that demands UN inspections continue. Stage an oil boycott
of the U.S. if Iraq is attacked. Send 250,000 civilians from
across the Arab world to form human shields around Baghdad
and other Iraqi cities. Boycott Britain, Turkey, Kuwait and
the Gulf states that join or abet the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Withdraw all funds on deposit in U.S. and British banks. Accept
payment for oil only in Euros, not dollars. Send Arab League
troops to Iraq, so an attack on Iraq is an attack on them
all. Cancel billions worth of arms contracts with the U.S.
make a token show of male hormones and national pride. But
the Arab states won't. They will cringe, temporize, then join
the vultures who will feed on Iraq's bleeding carcass, while
vying to prove their loyalty to Washington.
adventure counts on cowardice and confusion as much as high-tech
"shock and awe." Wherever Bush's line of march takes
him, he will find pliant natives to welcome the tanks with rose
petals. Or, in the case of the Ivory Coast, cocoa beans.
at French refusal to throw their military might against Northern
forces in the Ivory Coast's civil-ethnic war, more than 100,000
Ivoirians rallied in the capital, Abidjan, to demonstrate their
eagerness to trade in one neocolonial master for another. The
York Times was there to record the degrading spectacle.
for Americans and anger toward the French was on full display
today. Demonstrators waved American flags. One held up a photograph
of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. "We Trust in USA,"
read one placard. Another: "Bush please help Ivory Coast
against French terrorism." R. Kelly and Aaliyah songs
blasted improbably from the stage speakers.
who could speak a few words of English did, whether broken
or polished. "Do you want me to speak French?" the
firebrand leader of the Young Patriots, Charles Ble Goude,
shouted from the stage. The crowd hollered its disapproval.
you ready for English?" he shouted again. The crowd hollered
want the United States to come and help my country, which
is being destroyed by the right wing of the French government,"
Mr. Goude, 30, said in an interview later in the afternoon.
love America because America governs peace of the world,"
said Zadi Any Roland, 49, a rally participant.
upper crust slink back to the mall
straightening up in Latin America. Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez appears to have toughed out a "strike" organized
by the rich and managers of the oil industry. Although oil production
is only half pre-December 2 levels, other commerce in the nation
of 23 million returned to normal as the mostly white upper classes
ultimately found abstention from shopping unbearable. Chavez
has steadfastly resisted local elite and U.S. demands to subject
his popularly elected government to another vote any earlier
than August, when a recall is authorized by the constitution.
opposition in disarray, former paratroop colonel Chavez proclaimed
"victory," promising to "continue with an offensive
strategy." The Washington Post's online Sunday home page
sneered, "Chavez Gloats as Strike Fades." Readers
of the Post, a virtual annex of the U.S. State Department, will
remember that the paper joined Condoleezza Rice in gloating
over the U.S.-backed coup that briefly removed Chavez from office,
last April. Then the dark legions from the shantytowns put him
back in the Presidential Palace.
He who gloats
dimensions of the Venezuelan conflict - a clash between "blonds"
and "brunettes," as journalist Greg Palast describes
it - are obvious to African Americans. The high-rise rich have
turned their neighborhoods into armed camps. According to the
2 New York Times:
and affluent families said they felt increasingly afraid that
the left-leaning Mr. Chávez was preparing to install
a communist system that would force them from their homes
and businesses. They accuse the government of arming pro-government
groups, called the Bolivarian Circles after South America's
liberator, Simón Bolívar. The residents said
they had every right to defend themselves
have soared [to] more than 600,000 registered and unregistered
weapons on the streets. The number of private security guards
doubled in the last few years, newspapers report, to 200,000.
And neighbors who once barely spoke to one another have formed
community war councils.
Arraíz, a poet, spoke of a "middle class turned
hysterical" by the rhetoric of Mr. Chávez, a former
army officer, and the daily predictions of apocalypse by opposition
leaders. "They entrench themselves in their neighborhoods,"
he said, "waiting for an invasion by hordes of revolutionaries."
It is the
paranoia of the guilty, the classes that cheered when April's
brief dictatorship of the rich sent goons to hunt the elected
leaders of the poor.
and the poor majority prevail, tense of thousands of the affluent
will resettle in Miami to nurse their wounded white privilege.
Many are already there, fuming and sputtering about a revolution
that has not yet occurred, spinning tales from a world in which
red is a code word for black and brown.
At a health
symposium during last September's Congressional Black Caucus
Weekend, in Washington, Dr. David Williams addressed a panel
designed to encourage a discourse on health, race and class.
The University of Michigan researcher pointed to a Kaiser Family
Foundation survey finding, that 57 percent of whites and 53
percent of African Americans were "unaware that Blacks
have shorter life expectancy that the average white person."
What is needed, said Dr. Robinson, is a "sense of outrage
about the crisis in African American health."
there can be no discourse about a crisis of which the public
is unaware. The Congressional Black Caucus has broadened the
definitions of legislative service, providing a national platform
for discussion of critical issues facing Black America. The
CBC also establishes Brain Trusts comprised of experts in various
brains, publicity and discourse are not enough. The core mission
of elected representatives is to craft and fund actual programs
to ameliorate suffering. Through the non-profit Congressional
Black Caucus Foundation, the CBC has created "the first-ever
health policy fellowship designed to give people of color the
opportunity to address critical health issues affecting their
communities, while gaining invaluable policy experience."
A foundation statement explained: "Fellows will sit in
on congressional committee meetings and help to evaluate and
develop policy that will begin to bring about real solutions
to the health crisis."
Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellowship Program, named for the
former Cleveland Congressman, benefits from a five-year, annual
donation from Heineken USA Inc., the nation's largest beer importer.
launching the LSUHPFP, the CBC with Heineken's help is sounding
the alarm and aggressively pursuing proactive solutions to address
the healthcare crisis that exists in America today," said
Virgin Islands Rep. Donna Christian-Christensen, Chair of the
Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust "We are confident
that by implementing this program we can help to accelerate
the effort to bridge the gap and build the leadership so critical
to eliminating health disparities."
are immense, both in fact and public awareness of the facts.
Some examples from the CBC Foundation:
only 45% of the African-American population and 53% of the
Hispanic/Latino population received influenza vaccinations,
compared to 66% of Whites. To date, these percentages remain
deaths are disproportionately high among Latino/Hispanic Americans
women are five times more likely to have cervical cancer while
Chinese-Americans are five times more likely to have liver
of diabetes in African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native
American communities is one to five times greater than in
and Hispanic/Latino groups accounted for 47% and 20%, respectively,
of persons diagnosed with AIDS in 1997.
HIV/AIDS cases reported are among women and children occur
among people of color.
of Native Americans, 44% of Asian-Americans and 38% of Mexican-Americans
have had their cholesterol checked within the past two years.
will initially focus on cancer, HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular
Cleveland Congressman Louis Stokes, Rep. Donna Christian-Christensen
(V.I.-D), Chair of the CBC Health Braintrust and Mr. Dan Tearno,
Vice President, Corporate Affairs for Heineken USA.
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