Friday, May 09, 2003


Test Run
Democratic candidates take their best shots in South Carolina.

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Web Exclusive: 5.8.03
American Prospect

Russia and the Creation of 'Greater Europe'

Russia and Europe appear to be joining forces to counter the United States' increasing global presence by trying to create "Greater Europe" that would consist of the European Union and Commonwealth of Independent States. Russia has changed the vector of the post-Soviet region's integration process from pro-Moscow to pro-Europe. And having Russia as its most important ally, Europe likely will encourage post-Soviet states to unite and join the group -- in an attempt to create the world's new power center.

In the wake of the United States' victory in Iraq, Russia and Europe appear to be joining forces toward a strategic goal of creating "Greater Europe" -- a union consisting of both the European Union and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). And Moscow's newfound willingness to sacrifice part of its control over post-Soviet states in favor of a greater Europe will make this union possible, Stratfor's sources in the Russian government say.
Having abandoned dreams of Russia as a superpower, President Vladimir Putin and his associates appear to be pursuing a more realistic goal: for Moscow -- together with Berlin and Paris -- to become a leading voice within a united Europe, the world's potential second superpower.


"bear in mind that Bush-style tax cuts now have a track record. Of the 2.1 million jobs lost over the past two years, 1.7 million vanished after the passage of the 2001 tax cut.
Nonetheless, the odds are that this scam, like the scam of 2001, will succeed. The tax cut will be passed, and the budget will plunge even deeper into the red. And one day we'll realize that international investors are treating us like a banana republic - that they won't finance our trade deficit unless they are paid very high rates of interest (have I mentioned that the dollar has just fallen to a four-year low against the euro?) - and everyone will wonder why. "

Free Market 101

Jim Crow revived in cyberspace

By Martin Luther King III and Greg Palast

Originally published May 8, 2003


American Fiction


'They Were Here Just a Minute Ago,' Garner Says

U.S. forces in Iraq searching for Saddam Hussein's arsenal of banned
weapons found an enormous cache of the deadly weapons today but then
lost them, retired general Jay Garner revealed.

"They were here just a minute ago," a red-faced Garner told reporters.
"I don't know where they went to."

General Garner said that the constant interruptions of electrical power
service in Iraq, resulting in lights blinking on and off unpredictably,
might have contributed to the loss of the deadly weapons cache, which
was described as "gargantuan."

"We had the weapons before the lights went off, and when they went on
again they were all gone," General Garner said. "I'd be lying right now
if I said I'm a happy camper."

General Garner refused to describe the exact nature of the weapons of
mass destruction that were found, saying only that they were "massively
destructive" and that there were "just loads and loads of them."

Informed of the U.S.'s capture and subsequent loss of the weapons of
mass destruction, President Bush gave reporters on the White House lawn
a jaunty thumbs-up and said, "Mission accomplished."

But White House spokesman Ari Fleischer later tempered the President's
upbeat assessment somewhat, saying that although losing the banned
weapons cache was disappointing, finding them in the first place was "an
important step in the right direction."

"Saddam Hussein designed these weapons to be hard to find and easy to
lose," Mr. Fleischer added. "When we see such palpable evidence of the
unspeakable evil of this man, it should make all Americans very thankful
that we may or may not have killed him."




MKO agents in US uniform deployed close to Iranian border

Tehran, May 6, IRNA -- US troops are closely cooperating with members of
militant Iranian opposition, the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO),
allowing the terrorist group to dress American military uniform for
controlling border checkpoints between Iran and Iraq, press said
The Persian daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami cited a witness which the paper said
had just returned from Iraq, as saying that MKO operatives had been
assigned to search bodies of those who crossed the border.

"The Munafeqin (MKO) forces are disarmed at these checkpoints but they
move around with arms in several other cities such as Samera (which is a
religious city with a major Shiite Muslim population)," the paper

"Some Munafeqin wear Arabic dress at pilgrimage sites and are closely
cooperating with invading forces on security issues," Jomhuri-ye Eslami
cited the witness as saying.

US has reportedly been seeking to use MKO in suppressing opposition to
Iraq's occupation by American-led coalition forces.....


Taliban appears to be regrouped and well-funded
A new hierarchy of leaders has emerged across parts of Afghanistan.

By Scott Baldauf and Owais Tohid

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - As the fiery chief justice of the Taliban's Supreme
Court, Abdul Salam shook the world once, proclaiming the right to execute
foreign aid workers accused of converting Afghans to Christianity.

Today, not only is Justice Salam back, talking to a foreign reporter for the
first time since the Taliban fell a year and a half ago, but he says the
Taliban are back as well. Regrouped, rearmed, and well-funded, they are
ready to carry on guerrilla war as long as it takes to expel US forces from

It's what Afghans want, "because during the Taliban times, there was peace
and security," says Salam, who retains the long gray beard that marks him as
a devout Muslim.

Across the southern portions of Afghanistan, where the Taliban found strong
support among the rural conservative Pashtun populations, there are definite
signs that the Taliban are making a comeback......"

The mayor said: "I think George Bush is the most corrupt American
president since Harding in the Twenties.

"He is not the legitimate president"

From BBC, 5/8/03:

Livingstone attacks President Bush

Livingstone described the Bush administration as "unsupportable"
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has launched an astonishing attack on US
President George W Bush, calling him "corrupt".

Mr Livingstone made his attack during an address to schoolchildren in
a debate on the Iraq war.

He said he would get as much pleasure from Mr Bush being forced out of
office as he had done from the downfall of former Iraq leader Saddam

The outburst was immediately criticised by London politicians who fear
a negative effect on the mayor's efforts to attract American tourists

Mr Livingstone was answering questions on the Iraq war and other
subjects during a two-hour meeting with 200 schoolchildren at City
Hall on Thursday morning..."


From The Independent, 5/9/03

The $1m question: was the President's 'Top Gun' moment an expensive

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

The Bush administration sought yesterday to deflect growing criticism
of the President's "Top Gun" moment when he arrived by jet on a US
warship to declare that the war against Iraq was over.

Democrats have condemned the flying visit as an expensive and
unnecessary political stunt, which cost US taxpayers $1m.

They said he could just as easily have visited the ship by helicopter
and that the vessel, USS Abraham Lincoln, was kept circling offshore
throughout Mr Bush's visit."

The two faces of Rumsfeld

director of a company which wins $200m contract to sell nuclear
reactors to North Korea
2002: declares North Korea a terrorist state, part of the axis of evil
and a target for regime change

Randeep Ramesh
Friday May 9, 2003
The Guardian