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Fall 2000 Front Page edition of

Hanging in the Balance . . .
U.S. Vietnamization of Columbia
Columbia: A Call to Witness

In April 2000, Witness for Peace sent a fact-finding delegation to Columbia to assess the impact of past and future US aid and to begin to evaluate the feasibility of sending International Team volunteers and short-term delegations to the embattled country. This article is a product of that delegation....
    Colombia is mired in a 40 year-old civil war with three factions.... Add to this entrenched conflict the production and marketing of drugs, the trade which funds both guerrilla and paramilitary activities....
    Against this backdrop, the US Congress voted in late June to provide over $ 1 billion in aid to Colombian President Andres Pastrana's national development plan, "Plan Colombia". In the context of the current situation in Colombia, the most important thing to understand about the US aid package is this: every single Colombian organization with which we met was certain that the aid would only escalate the conflict in the country....
    The "push into southern Colombia," a cornerstone of the US aid package, ignores the fact that an estimated 40% of the country's coca cultivation takes place under paramilitary control in northern Colombia.... Subsequent aerial spraying of the region will contaminate the land and water to the point of making present or future agricultural production impossible.
    Combined, these tactics will force thousands from their land and their homes. NGO estimates of displacement run as high as 300,000. The US government expects (and has budgeted for) the displacement of 15,000 people from the south. With southern Colombia thus deserted and desertified, the region will be ripe for "investment" by multinational corporations (MNCs).
    In just what will MNCs invest? Southern Colombia is home to a sizable percentage of the country's undeveloped oil fields. One US company that we know of--Occidental Petroleum--has been playing a major role in shaping current US policy towards Colombia. . . . FULL STORY

Colombia Certification

On July 13, 2000 United States President Clinton signed Public Law 106-246, which included $1.3 billion in aid to Colombia. The bulk of this aid is for Colombia's military. . . . Public Law 106-246 establishes specific human rights conditions for military assistance to Colombia. The following document outlines the evidence presented jointly by WOLA, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. All three organizations concluded that there was overwhelming evidence demonstrating that Colombia has not met these conditions. . . . FULL STORY

Urgent Message From
Our Columbian Partners

We ask you for support to transform this vicious cycle of death and destruction that military aid produces, into a virtuous cycle of abundant life and peace. In this way our people can receive an alternative message from the people of the north, sent by the churches there. This message would show that life, respect and solidarity can also come from the north. . . . FULL STORY

Gore and Occidental Petroleum

Vice President Al Gore has a long-time relationship with Occidental Petroleum that has been enormously beneficial to the company. Occidental's late chairman, the controversial Armand Hammer, liked to say that he had Gore's father, Senator Albert Gore, Senior, "in my back pocket". When the elder Gore left the Senate in 1970, Hammer hired him for $500,000 a year. Personally and professionally the vice president has profited from Occidental largess. To this day he still draws $20,000 a year from a land deal in Tennessee brokered between his father and Hammer. The total amount is more than $300,000. . . . FULL STORY

U'wa Defense Working Group
Response To Occidental's
Public Relations Campaign

In Congressional testimony before the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee, and in various lobbying documents and conversations, Occidental's spokesmen have made several disingenuous and misleading points. They are presented and rebutted. FULL STORY

Ties That Bind: Colombia
Military-Paramilitary Links

Human Rights Watch here presents detailed, abundant, and compelling evidence of continuing close ties between the Colombian Army and paramilitary groups responsible for gross human rights violations....
    Together, evidence collected so far by Human Rights Watch links half of Colombia's eighteen brigade-level army units (excluding military schools) to paramilitary activity. These units operate in all of Colombia's five divisions. In other words, military support for paramilitary activity remains national in scope and includes areas where units receiving or scheduled to receive U.S. military aid operate. . . . FULL STORY

Monopoly Militarism and
The U.S. Monopoly on the
Militarization of the World
by Randall Forsberg

In the 1980s we had audiences like this for disarmament. I'd like to bring some of that back. The 19th and 20th centuries have been the centuries of monopoly capitalism. As we move into the 21st century, there is a new cultural and economic phenomenon arising: monopoly militarism. That is what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the U.S. monopoly on the militarization of the world. The U.S. monopoly control.... The U.S. military is a dinosaur. It is relic of an earlier era. It is overkill. FULL STORY

The Politics Of
New-Energy Technology

Memo by Hal Fox, editor of Journal of New Energy describes how the political fight against a potential new-energy source has been fully supported by the DOE even to the extent of specifying that no funds be made available for "cold fusion" research. "...With the partial success of the Russian Tokamak (one of the configurations for the development of a new type of nuclear power) there became a strong interest in and vast financial support by DOE for the study of "hot fusion."...
    When low-energy nuclear fusion (dubbed "cold fusion" by the media) was first announced, the "hot fusion" community falsely assumed that this low-energy nuclear reaction was a threat to the continuation of $500 million (or more) per year from the DOE....
    These actions [to discredit `cold fusion'] (planned, funded, and promoted by the lobbyists for the "hot fusion" community) have been clever, well-planned, well-orchestrated, and successful....
    The political fight against a potential new-energy source has been fully supported by the DOE even to the extent of specifying that no funds would be made available for "cold fusion" research. FULL STORY

Victims Of The Nuclear Age
by Dr. Rosalie Bertell

Up to 1,300 million people have been killed, maimed or diseased by nuclear power since it's inception. The industry's figures massively underestimate the real cost of nuclear power, in an attempt to hide its victims from the world. Here, the author calculates the real number of victims of the nuclear age. . . .
    The main way in which the "radiation protection industry" has succeeded in hugely underrating the ill-health caused by nuclear power is by insisting on a group of extremely restrictive definitions as to what qualifies as a radiation-caused illness statistic. . . .
    "Despite the authorities' attempt at concealment, we can still begin to enumerate the real victims of the nuclear age. Although the calculations and statistics which I have brought to bear below do not include all of the human suffering that has been caused by the nuclear age, a closer look will show that the methodology is adequate for a first estimate of major damage. The magnitude of the harm already caused is startling, and even more so when we realise many types of damage have been omitted from this first estimate. . . .
    "Statistics are the people with the tears wiped away" stated one of the Rongelap people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, who `hosted' the United States Bikini nuclear testing in the 1950s. This is the story of many tears, and of a hard hearted mindset that laid down the degree of suffering and ill-health that would be the `acceptable' price to pay for the world `benefitting' from nuclear technology. . . .
    Another century of nuclear power, and this carnage would continue with more than 10 million victims a year. An industry which has the potential to kill, injure and maim that number of innocent people -- and all in the name of `benefitting' society -- is surely wholly unacceptable. FULL STORY

Free the Speech
Open the Debates!

Sign the Petition to help Get Nader into the Presidential Debates. Challenge the Duopoly to give democracy a chance! A reasonable criteria would be that any candidate with support of 5% or more in five selected national polls should be let in. Alternatively, if more than 50% of the population when asked directly wants the candidate to participate, the CPD should listen to the American electorate and allow the candidate to debate.

Ralph Nader In Santa Cruz

August 23

Do you want to waste your vote? You can waste your vote by voting for two political parties that are wasting our democracy and the great opportunities of our country. . . .
    We have plenty of these ideas and many, many more. But only if we strengthen the roots of our democracy by our mind, our spirit, and our resolve never to allow a brief, euphoric moment of civic enthusiasm to wither away. . . . FULL STORY

Challenging Autocratic Governance
That Serves The Interests Of Global Corporations


All of this increasing critique of corporate globalization--we should always use the adjective--comes from a long overdue pattern of research to discern the systems of control. Make no mistake about it. Although the shibboleths of free trade are tossed in front of an often misinformed media, the issue with the IMF and World Trade Organization and World Bank is governance. It's the governance systems for global corporations that we're really dealing with.
    The fundamental issue we face is the autocratic systems of governance that undermine democracy, that subordinate human rights and the rights of people for decent standards of living and for decent standards of justice. This is what is at stake here: Challenging international systems of autocratic governance that serve, overwhelmingly, the interests of giant global corporations who dominate and seek to dominate everything in their path.
    They want to dominate governments. They want to dominate the workplace. They want to dominate the marketplace. They want to dominate the universities by corporatizing them. They want to dominate the very concept of childhood with their brazen commercial

exploitation of small children. They want to dominate the shaping of the environment. They want to control the genes of the natural world. They want to control the human genes. They want to control the seeds. They want to control the future.
    We have to make sure that this relentless drive for control by the commercial instinct--which every major religion in the world has warned us about for two thousand years--should never be given excessive power. Because in its singular focus and drive and lack of respect for other values, it destroys these other values in a paroxysm of greed that implodes on itself. . . .
    Now, when are these companies ever going to lose their credibility? Every major social movement in United States history was opposed by the dominant business firms. Whether it was the abolition of slavery, the trade union movement, the farmer progressive populist movement, even the women's suffrage movement, the environmental consumer movements (the more recent vintage) -- all were opposed by the dominant business community. When are these people in the business community going to lose their credibility? FULL STORY

Biotic Feedbacks: Will Global
Warming Feed Upon Itself?

Human-induced warming of the Earth may be working in tandem with several natural feedback mechanisms to accelerate climate change through biotic feedbacks. The possibility that human-induced warming may feed upon itself produces a special

sense of urgency in many climate scientists public statements. Along with a sense of urgency, the possibility of biotic "surprises" infuses a high degree of uncertainty into all forecasts of global warming's possible effects. . . . FULL STORY

The Tropics Move North -
The Prospects
Aren't Pretty

We are already experiencing some of the health effects of living in a warmer (and often more humid) world. Most of these effects are negative. The world of the future will not only be hotter and more humid, but more disease-ridden as well....
    Dr. Paul Epstein on the Harvard School of Public Health supported the Sierra Club's conclusions as he stated that "If tropical weather is expanding it means that tropical diseases will expand. We're seeing malaria in Houston, Texas." . . . FULL STORY

Global Warming:
The Essential Facts

While a lively debate in political circles and the press questions whether human activity is significantly warming the earth, scientific evidence has been accumulating in support of the idea. Atmospheric scientists such as John Houghton (author of Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, Cambridge University Press, 1997) have been developing historical analyses of rises in "greenhouse gasses" during the last two centuries. The evidence, unobscured by special economic interests that sometimes cloud popular debate, is not at all ambiguous. . . . FULL STORY

Stolen Wombs
Indigenous Women
Most at Risk

While coerced sterilization of Native American women seems to have largely ended in the United States, sterilization continues to be practiced as a eugenic prescription for the reduction of indigenous populations in Latin America. At least some of this is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The largest such program to date has stirred protests in Peru. . . . As sterilization abuse declines on U.S. Indian reservations, the U.S. government continues to fund sterilization abuse on indigenous lands in Latin America -- and forcibly repatriate migrants back to these very lands. FULL STORY

Native Languages:
The New Phoenix

The emphasis on language revival is arriving barely in time for some Native American languages, particularly those which have reached "stage eight" of Joshua A. Fishman's "eight stages of language loss." Stage eight is a critical stage of loss when only a few elders speak the tongue which once served an entire people. . . .
    These two books are a treasure-trove of linguistic innovation, describing how Native languages are being revitalized in some ways which are very old, and in others which use modern technology to extend the reach of oral cultures. . . . FULL STORY

Darkness in El Dorado
Yanomami, Anthropology
and Eugenics

Nightmarish Story - A Real
Anthropological Heart of Darkness

One of Tierney's more startling revelations is that the whole Yanomami project was an outgrowth and continuation of the Atomic Energy Comission's secret program of experiments on human subjects. James Neel, the originator and director of the project, was part of the medical and genetic research team attached to the Atomic Energy Commission since the days of the Manhattan Project. . . There is thus a genealogical connection between the human experiments carried out by the AEC, and Neel's and Chagnon's Yanomami project, which was from the outset funded by the AEC. . .
    Tierney presents convincing evidence that Neel and Chagnon, on their trip to the Yanomami in 1968, greatly exacerbated, and probably started, the epidemic of measles that killed "hundreds, perhaps thousands" (Tierney's language--the exact figure will never be known) of Yanomami. . . .
    As another reader of Tierney's manuscript commented, Mr. Tierney's analysis is a case study of the dangers in science of the uncontrolled ego, of lack of respect for life, and of greed and self-indulgence. It is a further extraordinary revelation of malicious and perverted work conducted under the aegis of the Atomic Energy Commission. . . .
    This nightmarish story--a real anthropological heart of darkness beyond the imagining of even a Josef Conrad (though not, perhaps, a Josef Mengele)--will be seen (rightly in our view) by the public, as well as most anthropologists, as putting the whole discipline on trial. As another reader of the galleys put it, This book should shake anthropology to its very foundations. It should cause the field to understand how the corrupt and depraved protagonists could have spread their poison for so long while they were accorded great respect throughout the Western World and generations of undergraduates received their lies as the introductory substance of anthropology. This should never be allowed to happen again. FULL STORY

The Dark Side of Genetics
And The Implications of
the Biotech Revolution
by David Suzuki

I knew from personal experience what most geneticists either don't acknowledge or don't even know about. And that is the dark side of this very young science. . . .
    I would like to quote just one of these eminent geneticists, a professor at Harvard University. He became president of the Genetics Society of America, Edward East, who wrote in his textbook on Eugenics, "In reality the Negro is inferior to the white. This is not conjecture or speculation. It is a crude statement of scientific fact." . . .
    Now, these are all statements of a hereditarian belief; that things like deceit or treachery in fact, can be related to hereditary makeup. Scientists, we have found very clearly from history, have been quite willing to extrapolate the wonders of their discoveries and the implications for humankind.
    Because the kind of thinking that resulted in the incarceration of Japanese-Canadians and Japanese-Americans was reflected as well in the very progressive policies of the NAZI Party in Germany that led to the race purification acts and ultimately to the horror of the holocaust. I want to remind you that Josef Mengele, the infamous scientist at Auschwitz, was a geneticist who at the time he was doing his twin studies at Auschwitz, was carrying two peer-reviewed grants.
    That is something, I think, that if geneticists don't know -- and even though I had gone to an undergraduate liberal arts college, I never knew about this history of genetics -- then, it is very easy to overlook the possible dangers and continue to ride the bandwagon of excitement and exuberance over what is truly a revolutionary, new stage in this infant field that is biotechnology. . . .
    We learned very expensively that research experiments were done with members of the general public in the '50s and '60s without their being informed and without getting consent. We know today that informed consent is an absolute minimum before people become a part of any kind of experiment. We are part of an experiment with no informed consent. FULL STORY

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