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February 7, 2003 | Issue 439

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

Stop Bush's wars
Bush and his pack of mad-dog Republicans are off the leash--and they're attacking everything in their path, from civil liberties to union rights. But they have billions to burn on the Pentagon war machine and a planned slaughter in Iraq.

Bush's assault on Medicare and Medicaid
Blackmailing the elderly
Blackmail. That's the only way to describe the Bush administration's plan for the federal government's Medicare health program for the elderly.

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SPECIAL FEATURES

What does Washington want from this war?
Socialist Worker looks at two motivations behind the Bush administration's desire for war with Iraq--the thirst for oil profits and Washington's drive to expand its power.

Why discrimination remains at the heart of U.S. society
A system that's racist to the core
Racism returned to the center stage of American politics over the last couple of months. Unfortunately, though, the debate that followed has done little to explain what racism actually is and what can be done about it.

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WHAT WE THINK

Washington's campaign of lies to justify attack on Iraq
They want war no matter what
Do they even care whether we believe this stuff? In the week after the State of the Union address, the Bush gang was spouting a whole pack of lies--both new fibs and recycled whoppers--to back up their case for a war on Iraq.

The space program's real mission
Was the drive for corporate profits behind the Columbia space shuttle disaster? With the media's coverage echoing Bush's themes of patriotism and sacrifice, few mainstream voices were asking that question--but they should have.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Killed for the sake of profit
Violations of safety standards are the likely cause of the North Carolina factory explosion January 29 that killed four and injured 37.

Dismantling restrictions on polluters
A war on the environment
Though its assault on Iraq has grabbed the headlines, the Bush administration has been quietly carrying out a new assault on the environment.

Bush's antigay nominee
Bigots are okay by the White House
Recently, the White House nominated Jerry Thacker--a former employee of the ultra-conservative Bob Jones University--for a spot on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS. Apparently, it didn't matter that its nominee referred to AIDS as a "gay plague."

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

BOLIVIA
The struggle against Washington's anti-coca program rallies resistance
Mass protests paralyze Bolivia
Roadblocks and mass protests against the government of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Losada paralyzed Bolivia in the second half of January.

ISRAEL/PALESTINE
What will Sharon's victory mean?
The victory of his right-wing Likud Party has put Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the position of pursuing his wildest fantasies of attacking the Palestinians.

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COLUMNS

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
New stage in a war on women's rights
Bush's warm greeting to the throngs of anti-abortion protesters massed in Washington, D.C., on January 22--the 30th anniversary of legal abortion in the U.S.--signaled the escalation of a war on women's rights that began with his first day in office.

THE MEANING OF MARXISM
The new "white man's burden"
The U.S. has always projected its own narrow economic and military interests around the world as being in the broad interests of everyone on the planet.

Inside the system
Putin the elf; Pledge allegiance--or get out; Heard it through the grapevine

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ON THE PICKET LINE

Trusteeship aims to head off rank-and-file revolt
AFT takes over D.C. teachers union
The Washington Teachers Union was taken over by its parent union last month following a scandal in which former leaders stole at least $5 million in union funds.

LA County Federation of Labor passes antiwar resolution
The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor unanimously passed a resolution at its January 27 meeting opposing the Bush administration's impending war on Iraq.

Labor in brief
University of Vermont; New York City unions; Portland teachers

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REPORTS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Organizing for the February 15 demonstrations
"We'll send a strong message to Bush"
Protests against the U.S. war on Iraq are planned for cities around the world on February 15 and 16. Socialist Worker talked to activists building for the national mobilization in New York City on the 15th about the issues they face.

Say no to Bush's war on Iraq
While Bush broadcast his message of death and destruction during his State of the Union speech on January 28, activists around the country sent a different message: No to war on Iraq!

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Neutron Jack's new bomb used on NYC education
Budget ax hits our schools
New York Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein says he wants to encourage "cooperative leadership" with teachers--as he told the United Federation of Teachers' delegate assembly recently. But actions speak louder than words.

No place for red-baiting in our movement
Some socialist groups are being smeared--both by people within the antiwar movement and commentators outside of it. This is red-baiting--and is often dressed up in the (incorrect) argument that socialist politics will scare people away.

Do Americans care about war?
While I heartily agree with the article "Why you should oppose Bush's war on Iraq," (SW, January 10), most of the article contained nothing about the impact of war on the lives of Americans.

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REVIEW

The Pianist brings the Warsaw Ghetto to life
Surviving the Nazi horrors
In 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played the last live music heard on Polish radio before the Nazi occupation. Roman Polanksi's new film, The Pianist--based on Szpilman's memoir--begins with that radio session and follows Szpilman as he struggles to stay alive.

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