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January 3, 2003 | Issue 434

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

U.S. buildup for war on Iraq
They don't care how many die
The Bush administration may claim that it hasn't yet decided whether to attack Iraq. But with the Pentagon doubling its deployment of troops to the Persian Gulf, actions are speaking louder than words.

INS rounds up hundreds of Arab men in California
Stop these detentions!
John Aschroft's thugs used a post-September 11 immigration regulation to round up more than 500 Arab and Muslim men and boys in Southern California.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Unemployed cut off for the holidays
Another kick in the teeth
On December 28, 830,000 people got a holiday gift from Washington--their federal emergency unemployment benefits were cut off. But this is the only latest slap in the face for millions facing the nightmare of unemployment.

The Senate's good old boys' club of racists
The mask slips off
Sen. Trent Lott got canned last month for praising arch-racist Sen. Strom Thurmond. But Lott and Thurmond are far from the only politicians in Washington who built their careers on support for racial inequality--whether stated baldly, or with more veiled "code words."

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WHAT WE THINK

Threatening death and destruction around the world
Washington is the real threat
Building up for a savage war on Iraq. Threatening a second war against North Korea. Backing coup-plotters in Venezuela. As the New Year began, Washington was once again using the "war on terror" as a cover to terrorize the world into doing its bidding.

The dead-end Democrats
Just when he was getting interesting for the first time in his political life, Al Gore announced in early December that he wouldn't run for president in 2004.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Judge clears five men in Central Park jogger case
Vindicated at last
Thirteen years ago, the Central Park jogger rape case was the centerpiece of a racist law-and-order hysteria in New York City. Now it's a symbol of police and prosecutorial misconduct.

Beware of the union label
Morgan Stanley, the big Wall Street investment bank, has some advice for investors: Workers' rights are bad for business.

Georgia anti-abortion bigot's "grotesque" bill
Even his fellow anti-choice bigots think Bobby Franklin has gone a bit far. The Georgia lawmaker has submitted a bill to the state House of Representatives that would require any woman seeking an abortion to go through a trial and have a judge issue a death warrant for an "execution."

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

NORTH KOREA
What's behind U.S. war threats?
The Bush administration's confrontation with North Korea reached a new level of crisis last week after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared that the U.S. "could fight and win two wars at once."

VENEZUELA
The new push to topple Chávez
The month-old national "strike" in Venezuela is in fact an employers' lockout--and the latest Washington-backed effort to oust President Hugo Chávez.

AFGHANISTAN
The CIA torturers
"If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job." That's the opinion of a U.S. official who supervised the capture and transfer of accused al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan.

ETHIOPIA
Stealing from the poor
The managers of multinational food giant Nestlé didn't get where they are today by letting money slip through their fingers. Even if they have to extort it from starving Ethiopians.

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COLUMNS

WHAT DO SOCIALISTS SAY?
Are we trying to "win without war"?
The antiwar statement from a group of celebrities last month rejecting Bush's drive to launch a pre-emptive war on Iraq is a welcome development. But it also raises important questions for activists.

READING BETWEEN THE LINES
How politicians use racism for political gain
The controversy over Trent Lott's praise for Strom Thurmond has exposed the ugly underbelly of U.S. politics.

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ON THE PICKET LINE

TWU leader Toussaint bows to pressure from mayor
Givebacks in NYC transit deal
A possible strike by New York's 34,000 bus and transit workers was averted when union leaders reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority December 16, a day after the old contract expired.

CWA knuckles under after promising to fight job cuts
Verizon lays off 2,300
Despite billions in profits and a pressing need to rebuild its infrastructure, Verizon laid off 2,300 unionized employees in New York on December 19.

Labor in brief
United Airlines; West Coast dockworkers; University of California budget cuts; Seattle janitors

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REPORTS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Say no to Bush's war on Iraq
Standing up to FBI harassment
"The FBI versus the People" was the title of the December 11 forum at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst against the FBI's questioning of an Iraqi professor and a union organizer.

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Tanker owners' scam to blame for spill off Spain
Deregulation disaster
Two million gallons of oil poured out of the oil tanker Prestige when its hull broke during a storm November 19. Was this spill an inevitable consequence of transporting large amounts of dangerous material? No.

City councils take stand against Iraq war
One cool October afternoon, well-known political activist A. Robert Kaufman picked up the Baltimore Sun and read about the city council in Santa Cruz, Calif., passing a resolution opposing a U.S. declaration of war against Iraq.

Other letters
Push for oil profits behind Bush's war; Attacked for opposing Israel; We need to unite to stop the right wing

OBITUARY
Philip Berrigan
The death of Philip Berrigan in early December, while sad, also reminded me of why a life of commitment for social justice can be an inspiration.

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REVIEWS

Rai supplies the facts but fails to conclude:
UN paves the way for Iraq war
Through more than a decade of deadly sanctions on Iraq, the U.S. and the UN are guilty of mass murder. And the Bush administration is about to compound that crime with another--a new war on that country's people.

OBITUARY
Joe Strummer
JOE STRUMMER, lead singer of legendary punk band The Clash, died of a heart attack on December 22 at the age of 50.

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