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
"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
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).
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
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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
Ties That Bind: Colombia
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. . . .
Monopoly Militarism and
The U.S. Monopoly on the
Militarization of the World
by Randall Forsberg
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.
The Politics Of
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
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
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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
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
CANDIDATE LAYS OUT THE FACTS
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. . . .
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. . . .
Challenging Autocratic Governance
That Serves The Interests Of Global Corporations
RALPH NADER DETAILS THE SITUATION
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.
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
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?
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. . . .
The Tropics Move North -
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....
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." . . .
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. . . .
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.
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. . . .
Darkness in El Dorado
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.
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. . . .
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." . . .
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.
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.
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