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Ever since the U.N. Security Council adopted its resolution about Iraq on Nov. 8, American politicians and journalists have been hailing the unanimous vote as a huge victory for international cooperation instead of unilateral action.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was close to ecstatic. "For a brief, shining moment last Friday," he wrote, "the world didn't seem like such a crazy place." The United Nations had proven its worth -- by proving its value to Washington. Among the benefits: "The Bush team discovered that the best way to legitimize its overwhelming might -- in a war of choice -- was not by simply imposing it, but by channeling it through the U.N."

But if the United Nations, serving as a conduit of American power, is now worthwhile because it offers the best way for the United States to "legitimize its overwhelming might," how different is that from unilateralism?

Behind all the media euphemisms and diplomat-speak, a cold hard reality about Resolution 1441 is already history: The resolution was fashioned to provide important fig leaves for domestic politics and foreign
AUSTIN, Texas -- Readin' the newspapers anymore is eerily reminiscent of all those bad novels warning of the advent of fascism in America. "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis was a bad book, and the genre shades off into right-wing paranoia about black helicopters, including the memorably awful "Turner Diaries." I don't use the f-word myself -- in fact, for years, I've made fun of liberals who hear the approach of jackbooted fascism around every corner. But to quote a real authority on the subject, "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini.

Paul Krugman recently quoted "the quite apolitical website Corporate Governance, which matter-of-factly remarks, ‘Given the power of corporate lobbyists, government control often equates to de facto corporate control anyway.'" It's gettin' downright creepy out there.

The most hair-raising news du jour is about Total Information Awareness, a giant government computer spy system being set up to spy on Americans and run by none other than John Poindexter of Iran-Contra fame.

"Who can doubt that the United States is an imperial power?" Thus writes James Chace in the latest edition of the New York Review of Books. "Empire is back," comes the echo from Professor Alan Wolfe. Suddenly, the word "empire" is everywhere, scattered through the opinion columns like rose petals before a conquering hero.

Of course the United States has been an imperial power for many, many decades, but when Teddy Roosevelt used to blare out the summons to imperial duty like a Roman matron admonishing youth, there was a certain embarrassment at his bluff speech. Congressmen bridled at the thought of ladling out too much gravy to the Army and Navy. Woodrow Wilson substituted more palatable Presbyterian pieties about burdens and duties. Then, FDR founded an even more appealing rhetoric with which to cloak imperial expansion: fighting other empires, a mission that conveniently brought an ever-burgeoning but unacknowledged empire in its wake, some of the most valuable oil-yielding portions ruthlessly excised from the British imperial cadaver after World War II.

But when Shea-Keneally insisted on an explanation, she was in for an even bigger surprise: The recruiters cited the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's sweeping new education law passed earlier this year. There, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid.

"I was very surprised the requirement was attached to an education law," says Shea-Keneally. "I did not see the link."

The military complained this year that up to 15 percent of the nation's high schools are "problem schools" for recruiters. In 1999, the Pentagon says, recruiters were denied access to 19,228 schools. Rep. David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana who sponsored the new recruitment requirement, says such schools "demonstrated an anti-military attitude that I thought was offensive."

To many educators, however, requiring the release of personal information intrudes on the rights of students. "We feel it is a clear departure from
You get what you pay for in life. What are you willing to pay for peace?

With George Bush as president, it doesn't seem to be a problem any of us will ever have to face again, but you can't be a pacifist only in peacetime. You can't be a pacifist by yelling at your tv set, or forwarding a million emails to everyone you know. Pacifism isn't that passive, it isn't that easy. It is, and always has been, by definition, a radical challenge to every element of worldly power and violence.

I'm in Iraq with a handful of other Americans: Eric Edgin, an Indiana college student; Nathan Mauger, a recent journalism graduate from Washington State; Farah Mokhtareizadeh, a Pennsylvania college student; Jon Rice, a history teacher from Chicago; Henry Williamson, a paramedic from South Carolina; and Joe Quandt, a writer from New York. More are joining us. By the end of October, we'll have over 30 people on our team. By December, our numbers will be over 100. We're here to tell the stories of the Iraqi people; to put our lives on the line to stop this war.

Living in Baghdad, you wouldn't know there was a war. The streets bustle
AUSTIN, Texas -- Osama bin Laden is back, and no one gives a damn? What is this??!! The White House spokesman announced, "This is about more than one man." The president now says it "really doesn't matter much" if bin Laden is dead or alive. This is the same president who promised to bring him back "dead or alive," isn't it?

Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post dismissed bin Laden as "a blast from the past." Well, that was a helluva blast, Howard, and I for one haven't forgotten it. I want that son of a bitch dead or alive, and I want him getting him to be this country's top priority in terms of enemies.

Maybe they're downplaying bin Laden because he's so hard to get. I can understand that. It was always more of a complicated international police operation than a matter of bombing poor Afghanistan. But we knew going in that it was "a different kind of war" and that we were in it for the long haul. The one thing I never expected was that we'd just drop the whole thing.

In a Sunday, September 17 Dispatch story, the paper sadly noted in their lead that “a spot on this top 10 list doesn’t necessary earn a university bragging rights.” What could the Dispatch be lamenting? OSU being named by Playboy as a “party” school? Hardly. It was, oh the shame, the fact that Mother Jones Magazine had listed The Ohio State University as one of the “Top 10 Activist Campuses.”

Hell, the Dispatch should’ve been proud that Buckeye students were ranked number 6. Sure beats last year’s 6-6 football team. The muck-raking magazine lauded campus activists for picketing and “successfully halt[ing] construction at Ohio Stadium for a day during the recent strike by the Communication Workers of America.”

Yoshie Furuhashi and I traveled to Japan during the 9-11 anniversary, where we attended seminars, actions, and meetings that questioned the direction the USA and the Asia-Pacific region appear to be going. A seminar planned by the American-Pacific Studies Center at the University of Tokyo gathered six professors from Japan, Malaysia, and Hawai’i to reflect on the meaning of 9-11 and the call to war. All spoke on the reality that war on Iraq would reflect a clash of civilizations not seen or wished for in the past.

We also went to a meeting on the Japanese-Korean relationship, to a petition drive on closing the USA military bases on Okinawa which met at the USA embassy, and to several political discussions with movement leaders. As in the USA, the Japanese justice and peace movement must confront the hysteria around the post 9-11 drive to war.

The Ohio Center for Native American Affairs is sponsoring a Christmas Drive for the new founded Healthy Start program in South Dakota. This program is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation for the Oglala Sioux. They are inviting all good hearts to join in on their circle to extend a gift to this new organization to help new mothers and fathers. They will be making blankets and would like anyone who also sews or crochets to join in. If you do not sew, a store bought blanket or any of the items listed on the web page would be equally appreciated. Wintertime is approaching and all warm items would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to just donate an item and cannot be present for any of our conferences, then please send item direct to the address enclosed on the web page to the attention of Fredrick Cedar Face. List your name on item along with Friends of the Oglala Commemoration. Oglala Commemoration, www.geocities.com/oglala_commemoration, Regina C. Landeros-Thomas. Ohio Center for Native American Affairs, OCNAA_Gina@hotmail.com.
Congress and the White House may soon approve opening a dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada where the nuclear power industry hopes to bury 77,000 tons of radioactive waste. If Yucca Mountain opens in 2010, as scheduled, all that waste must travel American highways or railroads to get there -- some 100,000 shipments over three decades through thousands of American communities. The potential for a serious accident or terrorist hijacking has oppontents to the transport plan calling it “Mobile Chernobyl.” To find out how close you (or your child’s school) are to a proposed route see: www.MapScience.org. (See Nov. 8 calendar event)

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