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January 17, 2003 | Issue 436

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

We're telling George Bush
No more blood for oil
"No smoking gun." Last week's announcement from UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix couldn't have been much clearer. But don't think this will stop the White House from trying to launch its war.

VICTORY!
Death row shut down in Illinois
Declaring that the death penalty system was "haunted by the demon of error," Illinois Gov. George Ryan made history last weekend when he emptied death row. He commuted the sentences of all 156 death row prisoners--a decision almost unparalleled in the history of America's killing machine.

NO MORE BLOOD FOR OIL

Voices of the antiwar opposition
We say no to Bush's war
Socialist Worker talks to longtime activists and left-wing writers--including John Pilger, Norman Soloman, Rania Masri and others--about the issues and questions we face in making the case against Bush's war.

Don't buy the criticisms of the ''anti-antiwar'' crusaders
Antiwar with no apologies
The movement against a new war on Iraq has grown more quickly than previous antiwar struggles. But the corporate media regularly devotes more space to critics who question not the war, but the motives and tactics of antiwar activists.

The "opposition" that Bush backs
Thugs, crooks and con men
Bush claims that the U.S. is going to war in Iraq "to liberate, not to conquer." But a quick look at the shadowy cast of characters the White House wants to help carry out "regime change" shows what kind of "liberation" it has in mind.

How UN inspectors became Washington's tools
Many who oppose Bush's war drive against Iraq believe that UN weapons inspectors are "independent" of the U.S. But the opposite is true--and the record of chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix shows why.

Federal government witch-hunt against Arabs and Muslims
Victims of the war at home
The new rule requiring certain immigrant men to register with the federal government is supposed to make the U.S. "safer," while "protecting the rights of individuals coming here," John Ashcroft says. He should ask Bijan Pirazdeh if he feels "safe" or "protected."

Ashcroft's war on our civil liberties
According to John Ashcroft, "freedom requires vigilance and security if it is to flourish." Since September 11, he's been very "vigilant"--about systematically attacking our rights.

The West's long record of betrayal
Will a U.S. war free the Kurds?
We're regularly reminded that Saddam Hussein gassed and killed thousands of Iraqi Kurds in the village of Halabja in 1988. But Washington and the West have a long record of betraying the Kurdish people.

The socialist alternative to a system of violence and poverty
A world without war
The historian Eric Hobsbawm calculates that 187 million people have died from wars in the last century. Given this grim picture, it's tempting to view war as something that is inherent in human nature. But it isn't.

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WHAT WE THINK

The Republicans' class war
The Bush gang is carrying out the domestic equivalent of the "Bush Doctrine" internationally--taking the offensive on many fronts at once, with the goal of establishing power and intimidating the opposition.

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NATIONAL NEWS

White House "stimulus" proposal has nothing for millions of jobless
Left behind by the Bush plan
Just days after proposing "a plan that will help people find work," Bush left 1 million jobless workers without any unemployment benefits--even as the terrible job market gets worse.

Legislation for mandatory military service
Bringing back the draft?
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is cosponsoring legislation to bring back the draft. The proposal would require all U.S. citizens and permanent residents aged 18 to 26 to complete two years of compulsory service, inside or outside the armed forces.

Bush's anti-abortion attack
Charles Pickering, the Mississippi judge known for his racist views and anti-abortion fanaticism, is once again being put forward by the Bush administration to be a federal appeals court judge.

Arizona vigilantes' call to arms
Immigrant bashers have a friend in the Tombstone Tumbleweed, a newspaper based in Cochise County, Ariz.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

NORTH KOREA
Withdrawal from arms treaty is response to Washington's threats
Where is the crisis headed?
Just as the Bush administration started to back out of its confrontation with North Korea, the government of Kim Jong-il turned up the heat January 10 by announcing its withdrawal from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

ISRAEL/PALESTINE
Scandals shake Sharon reelection bid
Just a few weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his right-wing Likud Party looked set to win the upcoming January 28 elections. But Sharon has been engulfed by a string of scandals, and he's now in a fight for his political life.

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COLUMNS

READING BETWEEN THE LINES
Bush's new scheme to make the rich richer
The "stimulus" shell game
If there's one thing you can count on, it's that the Bush administration will always find a way to give government assistance to the rich--and try to make it look like they're giving it to ordinary people.

Inside the system
Back of the Republican bus; Prescription for protest; Sweet smell of Kahlo; Heard it through the grapevine

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ON THE PICKET LINE

Workers walk out over increases in health care costs
National two-day strike hits GE
Some 19,000 workers at General Electric plants around the country began a planned two-day strike January 14 in the first nationwide strike at GE since 1969.

Labor in brief
Labor Against War; Portland teachers

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REPORTS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Organizing in Maryland to keep moratorium
The verdict is in. A two-year study of the Maryland's death row has concluded that the system is racist to the core. But Maryland's new governor couldn't care less.

Say no to Bush's war on Iraq
Some 15,000 people turned out in Los Angeles on January 11 in the largest protest there so far against the war. In cities across the country on January 10, activists protested "special registrations" and detentions of immigrants.

New York City Social Forum
"Another New York City is possible!" That was the spirit of the New York City Social Forum held January 11.

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Wrecking workers' lives for the sake of profit
UPS is the real criminal
I am a job steward at United Parcel Service (UPS), and I am often called into disciplinary hearings. Last month, I had to witness an employee's termination for theft.

Held hostage by the racist injustice system
The justice system here in Chicago is corrupt and racist. I'm a 17-year-old African American prisoner being held hostage at Cook County Jail.

Other letters
We don't need to "rethink" tactics; Why the Democrats won't put up a fight; Killed because of the cops' car chase; How the war abroad hits here at home

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REVIEWS

Hollywood silences The Quiet American
The must-see movie that you can't
The Quiet American is a must-see movie--too bad U.S. audiences will have an impossible time finding a theater that's showing it.

Tossed on the street by the dot-com boom
When luxury housing was constructed for the saviors of the "new economy," the dot-com elite, affordable housing opportunities fell like trees in deregulated old-growth forests. Now, as Boom illustrates, most of these new buildings sit empty.

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