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This is where we place excerpts by historians writing about the news. On occasion this page also includes political scientists, economists, and law professors who write about history. We may from time to time even include English profs.
Last month, Jarek Mensfelt, spokesman for the Auschwitz memorial site, announced plans to preserve the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria in the notorious death camp at Birkenau near the Polish town of Oswiecim."This is an attempt to keep it as it is now -- in ruins -- but not let the ruins go," he said."It was meant to be here forever as a warning."
In the coming weeks, as the Auschwitz preservationists begin their work, they should be guided by the knowledge that these heaps of dynamited concrete and twisted steel are not only historic artifacts but among the few remnants of untainted, forensic evidence of the Holocaust.
Of course, the historical and circumstantial evidence of a premeditated Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe is overwhelming. There are the watch-tower-girded enclosures of Nazi concentration camps and the extensive testimonials of Holocaust survivors, as well as the court protocols of Nazi war criminals, but there is little forensic evidence proving homicidal intent. The Nazis were scrupulous when it came to obscuring the"Final Solution" in bureaucratic euphemism and also dismantling or obliterating their machinery of death. The dearth of hard evidence has fueled a growth industry in Holocaust-denial.
The revisionists' plaint is simple: They demand a proverbial"smoking gun" to prove that the Nazis deliberately and systematically designed an industrial system of extermination. They do not deny that millions of European Jews died from malnutrition, exhaustion and disease. They do not even deny that Zyklon B gas was employed at Auschwitz, but they claim it was used for delousing rather than homicidal purposes. One French critic has denounced them as"assassins de la memoire" -- murderers of memory.
Auschwitz has been a particular target of Holocaust deniers -- in particular, the gas chamber in Auschwitz I, the original base camp a mile east of Birkenau. It was here that some of the first experiments with poison gas were undertaken in a converted air-raid shelter refitted with air-tight doors and special ducts for homicidal purposes. Dynamited by the Nazis in the autumn of 1944, the gas chamber was reconstructed after the war. As one revisionist notes:"The official view holds that the Soviets and Poles created a 'gas chamber' in an air-raid shelter that had been a 'gas chamber.' The revisionist view holds that Soviets and Poles created a 'gas chamber' in an air-raid shelter that had been an air-raid shelter."
While most serious historians refuse to dignify such statements with a response, Polish administrators have taken the bait. In response to revisionist charges, they tested the gas chamber walls for residual traces of cyanide gas but found none. Unlike the delousing chambers, whose walls still show cyanide"staining," the gas chambers betrayed no residual traces of Zyklon B. The homicidal process was so murderously brief that the cyanide never penetrated the interior surface. Similarly, it was found that repeated postwar" cleaning" had leached the last traces of cyanide from the heaps of human hair, one of the most damning pieces of Holocaust evidence.
Four years ago, this evidence was used by the revisionist David Irving in his libel suit against Emory University historian Deborah Lipstadt. Though the judge handed down an unequivocal verdict against Mr. Irving, the Holocaust deniers remain undeterred."While the judgment in the Irving-Lipstadt trial is certainly a heavy blow for Irving personally," a leading revisionist publication observed,"it is only a temporary setback for the ultimately unstoppable march of revisionist scholarship."
In the battle against Holocaust deniers, Birkenau's extermination facilities remain important forensic evidence....
ANCHORS: ALAN MURRAY
BODY: ALAN MURRAY, host:
Americans will celebrate their independence this weekend with fireworks and festivities. There's also fear of terrorism and concern about scores of troops still in harm's way in Iraq. Joining me now with some perspective is presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, also a professor at the University of New Orleans.
And, Douglas, we saw after September 11th once again what a patriotic people Americans are. But when you have a war that some people disagree with, it gets more complicated, doesn't it?
Mr. DOUGLAS BRINKLEY (Presidential Historian): Well, certainly. As you say, after September 11th, it was the American flag everywhere, on lapels, in front yards, bumper stickers, and that's continued. If you watch, most politicians today still wear the American flag pin on their lapel. But clearly, this year, more and more people are getting angry about what's happening in Iraq. They don't think we should be there. The country's clearly divided on that issue. And we've got only a few months until a presidential election, and the poll numbers show Bush and Kerry even, so there's some contention out there this July Fourth.
MURRAY: But, you know, some of this goes back, clearly, to Vietnam, when patriotism began to be equated with sort of 'America, right or wrong' attitudes. There's no particular reason why you can't disagree with some aspect of our foreign policy and wave the flag, and love the Fourth of July, is there?
Mr. BRINKLEY: Well, of course. I mean, dissent was what our country was--we were born--we were the cradle of dissent. Our so-called Founding Fathers, be it, you know, Thomas Payne or Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, Ben Franklin--you could read off all those names. They were here breaking away from Great Britain, believing that individuals had the rights of free speech, that we had the right for representation if we were going to be taxed and to speak out. And clearly, that is a great, great tradition, and I can't think of anything more on July Fourth than speaking one's mind as patriotic as blowing off fireworks....
ANCHOR: GABE PRESSMAN
BODY: GABE PRESSMAN, host:
It's the 228th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a day to celebrate the beginning of our nation and the succession of great leaders who've led this country through the generations, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the declaration, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Our guests on this Fourth of July are two Lincoln scholars, former Governor Mario Cuomo, who's written a book called"Why Lincoln Matters: Today More Than Ever," and Harold Holzer, the author of 23 books on Lincoln, including his latest,"Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President." How would Lincoln, a brilliant orator, look at today's America?
Announcer: From Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center, this is a presentation from Newschannel 4, Gabe Pressman's NEWS FORUM. Now your host, senior correspondent Gabe Pressman.
PRESSMAN: Good morning and welcome, Mario Cuomo and Harold Holzer. How do you think Lincoln, whose debates with Douglas became legendary, would look at the presidential election campaign of 2004? Do you think, for example, that he'd appreciate the 30-second or 13-second soundbites?
Former Governor MARIO CUOMO (Author,"Why Lincoln Matters: Today More Than Ever"): The--first, let me clarify your credits. You--you said the--two Lincoln scholars. I would say that Harold Holzer is a true Lincoln scholar. I wouldn't put myself in that category, although I know an awful lot about Lincoln and have read him for longer than Harold has because I'm considerably older. But I think Lincoln would be very uncomfortable with today's politics and I can--I can't imagine any politician doing what Lincoln did at Cooper Union which--which Harold's book, you know, describes so beautifully.
The--that speech, Harold will argue and many of the real scholars will argue, made Lincoln. But it made him by demonstrating his extraordinary in--intelligence, his subtlety, his personal command of ideas and words. It was a--a tour de force by an individual.
PRESSMAN: How long were the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the average debate?
Mr. HAROLD HOLZER (Author,"Lincoln at Cooper Union"): Each one was three hours.
Mr. HOLZER: A 60-minute opening statement and then a 90-minute rebuttal and then a 30-minute re-rebuttal.
PRESSMAN: So how do you think he'd look at 13-second l--TV commercials?
Mr. HOLZER: Well, you know, i--the governor's right about the candidates being able to hold attention for that long, but there was also a different political culture in operation. And one in which people really demanded that candidates and leaders exhausted themselves and challenged them with rhetoric. People came to political events expecting to be entertained, informed, enlightened, convinced. They were prepared to spend a couple of hours of their day listening to politicians.
PRESSMAN: Is it less of a thinking culture today?
Mr. CUOMO: I don't think there's any question about that. I--I don't think in these upcoming conventions you're going to see any really long speeches. I remember a convention or so ago, the Republicans announcing their speeches would all be no longer than 15 minutes, I think. But what was the point of that? And they said, 'Well, people don't pay attention beyond that.' Now I...
PRESSMAN: How long was your famous speech in 1984?
Mr. CUOMO: Oh, much longer than that. It was 45, 46, 47 minutes at least, I guess, maybe. And there were an awful lot of--excuse me--interruptions so--well, it was closer to an hour probably.
PRESSMAN: Interruptions? There were cheers.
Mr. CUOMO: Well, it was closer--I think it was closer to--to an hour, but I--I don't remember. Then, of course, President Clinton, then--then Governor Clinton, gave a speech in '88 that was just as long.
PRESSMAN: It was...
Mr. CUOMO: It didn't go as well, but...
PRESSMAN: It was--it was ponderous.
Mr. CUOMO: Well, yeah. But at least--but the--but the difference was you could get away with long speeches in those years. I don't think you can do it now. I--I wish John Kerry would have--as a Democrat, I wish he'd have an hour to get up and--and describe exactly what he's all about. But I think the assumption is people wouldn't pay attention to that long.
PRESSMAN: Isn't it a fact, though, that 'letters of faith,' that 'right makes might,' those words by Lincoln s--said here in New York at Cooper Union in 1860, that that was a pretty concise summary of his feelings and--and his policy?
Mr. HOLZER: It was--it was concise, but it came at the end of 90 minutes of very careful legal and historical justification for the federal authority exercising its right to stop the spread of slavery. It came at the end of a--of sort of a--an imagined dialogue with the South in which he chastises them for anything they might do in the future to threaten the sanctity of the union and the idea that the country was based on the aspiration for human freedom....
Fred Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado, and the co-author of the forthcoming Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000, in the NYT (July 3, 2004):
Because the Fourth of July commemorates the birth of our Republic, we might easily imagine that the holiday had a central importance in the lives of the men who made the Revolution. For many, it did. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, mortally ill, clung to life until July 4, 1826, in order to see the 50th anniversary of independence. Jefferson's last words bespoke his determination:"Is it the Fourth?"
An intense focus on"the Glorious Fourth" characterized the 1820's, when the passing of the revolutionary generation gave Independence Day the kind of emotional resonance we have lately seen in World War II commemorations. Yet for George Washington, at least, the Fourth of July seems never to have been as significant a date as the third.
Indeed, in a letter Washington wrote on July 20, 1776, as he awaited the British invasion of New York, he made no mention of the independence proclaimed two weeks earlier, but noted only his"grateful remembrance" of"escape" at the battle of Fort Necessity on July 3, 1754. That defeat, in which a French and Indian force wiped out a third of Washington's Virginia Regiment, helped precipitate the 18th century's greatest conflict, the Seven Years' War.
Because France and Britain and their allies fought in North America, the West Indies, Europe, Africa, India and the Philippines, some have called it the first world war. Today Americans barely remember it, and know it (if they speak of it at all) only as the French and Indian War.
In fact this great war was a watershed in North American history. It began when Washington, acting in the name of King George II (and also on behalf of the land-speculating gentry of Virginia), tried to exert military control over the forks of the Ohio River, where Pittsburgh now stands. Because the river represented the main avenue to the heart of the continent, the empire that controlled the forks would in all likelihood determine North America's future.
The French, whose fragmented settlements stretched from the St. Lawrence River to the Mississippi River, understood this only too well. They also understood wilderness warfare much better than Colonel Washington, and had little trouble trapping him and his men in Fort Necessity, a pathetic stockade near what is now Farmington, Pa. At the end of a murderous day, Washington had no choice but to accept the terms of surrender that the enemy commander dictated in the rain-drenched dusk of July 3, 1754.... [Eventually, the British prevailed after a hard-fought war.]
The French and Indian War had convinced the colonists that they had achieved full partnership in a British empire that stood for liberty and individual rights — especially property rights — under the rule of law. When Parliament tried to impose order on the colonists between 1763 and 1775, however, it treated them not as partners but as mere subjects.
The colonists' sense of betrayal was palpable not because they understood themselves as Americans at the time, but because they saw themselves as British patriots who had shed their blood to preserve the rights that Parliament now seemed determined to destroy. ...
The 250th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Necessity reminds us that imperial victories can endanger the victor as much as the vanquished. Success in the Seven Years' War convinced Britain's leaders that their nation possessed the world's greatest military power. From that accurate perception, they drew the fatal inference that they had nothing to lose by using force against colonists whose genuine affection for British institutions, rights and liberties had hitherto constituted the empire's strongest bond.
In this light, the Revolution can be seen as an unintended and perhaps paradoxical consequence of imperial victory: an empire shattered when leaders, backed by tremendous military might, failed to understand that their only enduring basis of control lay in the consent of the governed.
Simon Sebag Montefiore, the author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, in the NYT (July 2, 2004):
...Aristotle said men do not become tyrants"to keep out the cold." They are motivated by forces that are as unfathomable as they are impractical. While we cannot say for sure what forces drove Mr. Hussein to achieve the rank of tyrant, we can say something about the man on whom he modeled himself: Stalin. By looking at how Stalin fared in Russian popular opinion after his death, we might also hazard a guess as to how Mr. Hussein and his image will fare during and after his trial.
Saddam Hussein admired, studied and copied Stalin, the paragon of modern dictators. Here's one story. Stalin had 15 scenic seaside villas, some of them czarist palaces, on the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia. In 2002, I visited and photographed these extraordinarily well-preserved Stalinist time capsules. At one point, I asked an old caretaker if any other Westerners had visited them."No," she replied,"but there was an Arab gentleman in 1970's who insisted on visiting every one!" His name?"Saddam Hussein."
According to Mr. Hussein's courtiers, he was obsessed with Stalin. Kurdish politicians who visited his apartments recall seeing shelves of Stalin biographies, translated just for him into Arabic.
Small wonder. The parallels are powerful: Gori, Stalin's Georgian birthplace, and Tikrit, Mr. Hussein's hometown, are barely 500 miles apart. Both men were raised by strong ambitious mothers, abused by useless fathers, inspired to greatness by stepfatherish patrons. Both found absolutist belief and personal respect in radicalism: Bolshevism and Baathism respectively. Neither seized power overnight; instead, both eased into supremacy through a mixture of patronage and personality within a tiny one-party oligarchy. Both were promoted by revered potentates whom they ultimately crossed.
And both were avid avengers. In 1937, Stalin orchestrated a terror against erstwhile comrades, making them accuse one another at a Central Committee Plenum, then supervise one another's torture and execution; in 1979, Mr. Hussein parodied this at a filmed Baathist conference in which his"enemies" were named, then shot downstairs by their colleagues.
When such characters find and embrace their creed, self-belief fuses with fanatical ideological devotion. Once Vasily Stalin dropped his father's name:"I'm called Stalin too," insisted Vasily."No," shouted Stalin."You're not Stalin and I'm not Stalin. Stalin is Soviet power." The question today is whether the same will be said of Mr. Hussein and Iraq....
Political Scientist Stephen R. Shalom, in Tom Engelhardt's TomDispatch (July 1, 2004):
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
1. How has the current King George shown his"decent respect for the opinions of mankind"?a. He went to war against Iraq despite overwhelming popular opposition around the world and despite the absence of any UN authorization. (The percentage of the population supporting unilateral war by the United States and its allies was 3% in Argentina, 10% in Britain, 5% in Bulgaria, 8% in India, 3% in Malaysia, 9% in South Africa, 4% in Spain, 5% in Switzerland, and so on.)
b. He has pursued policies that have led huge majorities in many countries to have a negative opinion of him (in March 2004, 85% unfavorable in Germany and France, 55% in Britain, 90% in Morocco, and 96% in Jordan).
c. He dismissed the largest protests in world history in which many millions of people opposed his Iraq war plans, declaring,"You know, the size of protests is like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group."
d. He ignored the United Nations' refusal to authorize war against Iraq by proclaiming that"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people."
e. All of the above.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
2. How has the current King George shown his belief in the consent of the governed?a. He took office after his cronies in Florida disenfranchised tens of thousands of African Americans who were legally entitled to vote in the 2000 election.
b. He handpicked an Iraqi leader -- who had worked for the CIA and had engaged in terrorism on its behalf in Iraq in the 1990s -- even though that leader was disapproved of by 61% of the Iraqi population.
c. After a failed coup attempt backed by Washington against Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, an administration official stated that, although Chavez had been"democratically elected," one had to bear in mind that"legitimacy is something that is conferred not just by a majority of the voters."
d. Bush extended long-standing U.S.-Israeli opposition to self-determination for the Palestinian people by endorsing for the first time Israel's permanent retention of major illegal settlement blocs on the West Bank.
e. All of the above.
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
3. How has the current King George furthered our safety and happiness?a. In the two years since September 11, 2001, less potential nuclear weapons material that might fall into the hands of terrorists has been secured than was secured in the two years prior to the attacks.
b. Significant terrorist attacks were at a 20-year high in 2003 and there were more than twice as many terrorist attacks attributed to al Qaeda-linked or identified groups since 9/11 as in their entire pre-9/11 history.
c. Former CIA director George J. Tenet said in February 2004 that the world was at least as ''fraught with dangers for American interests'' as it was before the Iraq war began.
d. The Bush administration is planning to deploy a national missile defense system later this year, a multi-billion dollar boondoggle that will fuel the global arms race, does not work (the system has been put through only 8 unrealistic tests, and failed 3 of them), ignores real threats (like port security), and, in the words of 31 former government officials, is a"sham" that"will provide no real defense."
e. All of the above.
... He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
4. In the United States there is supposed to be a"volunteer" military. How has the current King George dealt with this force?a. He has ordered some soldiers' tours of duty to be involuntarily extended by as much as 18 months.
b. His White House budget office issued a memo calling for more than $900 million in cuts from veterans programs after the election.
c. His"No Child Left Behind" education law requires high schools to provide military recruiters with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of their students -- which the military hopes will"boost" recruitment.
d. Rather than withdrawing troops from Iraq and saving lives, both U.S. and Iraqi, he has ordered that the media may not show pictures of the flag-draped caskets of dead soldiers.
e. All of the above.
...For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
5. How has the current King George tried to protect soldiers who commit crimes?a. He has refused to permit the United States to adhere to the International Criminal Court and has successfully pressured large numbers of allied countries to agree never to invoke its provisions against US troops.
b. After failing to get his third consecutive Security Council grant of immunity for U.S. troops, he had his top official in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, unilaterally extend Order 17, which immunizes U.S. and other coalition forces from Iraqi legal process.
c. He has blamed"a few bad apples" for the torture and murders that have taken place in our offshore prison system, rather than acknowledging that, as Human Rights Watch has stated,"This pattern of abuse did not result from the acts of individual soldiers who broke the rules. It resulted from decisions made by the Bush administration to bend, ignore, or cast rules aside."
d. He has refused to declassify many relevant documents on the subject of torture deliberations within the administration, but documents that have been leaked or made public show that government lawyers advised: (1) interrogators who torture al Qaeda or Taliban captives could be exempt from prosecution under the president's powers as commander in chief; (2) it's not torture if the interrogator knows that his or her actions will cause severe pain and suffering but doesn't specifically intend to cause severe pain and suffering; and (3) it's not torture unless the level of physical pain inflicted is equivalent to that of"organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."
e. All of the above.
...For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
6. What are the features of the current King George's tax policies?a. Taxes have been cut 12% for the very rich, 7% for the middle class, and 3% for the poor.
b. The middle class and poor will lose more from government spending cuts than they gain from the tax cuts.
c. According to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, when a new tax cut for the rich was proposed, Bush asked his advisers,"Didn't we already give them a break at the top?" -- though the president soon endorsed the cut -- and when O'Neill warned that new tax cuts would be economically unsound, Vice President Dick Cheney told him:"We won the midterms [elections]. This is our due."
d. His administration gave a $10 billion homeland security contract to a subsidiary of Accenture, the former consulting arm of Arthur Anderson & Co. which moved to Bermuda to avoid paying U.S. taxes, and then the administration got the House of Representatives to reverse its ban on giving such contracts to offshore tax avoiders.
e. All of the above.
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
7. Which of the following are characteristics of justice under the current King George?a. He has transported people across the seas to the U.S.-occupied military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to a host of detention facilities around the world, known and unknown, where people have not been tried or even charged with offenses, whether real or pretended.
b. Of the more than 5,000 foreign nationals arrested in the United States since 9/11 in anti-terrorist"preventive detention," only three have been charged with any terrorist crime; of these, two were acquitted and the third was convicted only after the main prosecution witness lied on the stand.
c. According to information U.S. military intelligence officials gave to the Red Cross, 70-90% of the people imprisoned in Iraq were arrested in error.
d. He has turned prisoners over to the custody of foreign governments -- such as Canadian citizen Maher Arar who was arrested in the U.S., denied a lawyer, and sent to Syria for 10 months of torture. As one U.S. official explained,"We don't kick the
s[hit] out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the s[hit] out of them."
e. All of the above.
...He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
8. How has the current King George plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, and destroyed our cities and people?a. He has leased an area for oil and natural gas drilling just 100 miles off the coast of Florida, endangering the state's beaches, and has favored an energy bill that would empower the Secretary of the Interior to allow offshore drilling in areas currently subject to drilling moratoria.
b. He has rejected the Kyoto Protocol which would address to some degree the problem of global warming, a major cause of coastal erosion.
c. His administration is calling for deep cuts in the funding of housing vouchers for the poor and changes in the program that are"more sweeping and threatening to the low-income families and elderly and disabled people whom the program serves [than]... any proposal advanced by any prior Administration" since the voucher program was created under President Nixon. This would devastate low-income families and the cities in which they live.
d. His plan to deal with pollution from coal-burning power plants will lead to 8,000 additional deaths per year compared to a competing plan, according to a study by the mainstream research firm, Abt Associates.
e. All of the above.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
9. How has the current King George, who once said"America must never outsource America's national security," used mercenaries, foreign and domestic?a. There are some 15,000-20,000 private" contract employees" in security roles in Iraq -- mercenaries -- making them the second largest military force in the country, after the U.S. armed forces, and making Iraq the biggest market ever for private military services.
b. Among the tasks assigned by the U.S. to mercenaries has been the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners, which has led to the widespread use of torture, for which private contractors cannot easily be brought to justice. As one commentator noted,"This legal grey zone may well not be entirely accidental, of course. It means that private contractors can be used to do dirty work for the military or the CIA with plausible deniability and relative immunity."
c. Among the mercenaries recruited for service in Iraq have been former assassins for the apartheid regime in South Africa, veterans of the Chilean military under Pinochet and the Serbian military under Milosevic, the commander of a murderous military unit in Northern Ireland, arms smugglers, and coup plotters.
d. Scholar Deborah Avant of George Washington University noted that because of private security firms,"leaders in Washington and other Western capitals now have the freedom to intervene abroad and pay little domestic political price. ...'it's certainly a factor that allows countries, including the United States, to do things when there simply isn't widespread public support.'"
e. All of the above.
...A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
10. Which of the following acts show that the current King George is unfit to be the ruler of a free people?a. He has systematically deceived the American people to lead us into war and for other nefarious purposes.
b. He has raised government secrecy to new heights, denying the people, the Congress, and the courts the ability to oversee the operations of the executive branch.
c. According to Amnesty International,"The global security agenda promoted by the U.S. Administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle. Violating rights at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses has damaged justice and freedom, and made the world a more dangerous place."
d. He has attacked working people (for example, issuing regulations that would allow millions of workers to be deprived of overtime pay), women (appointing judges hostile to reproductive rights), gay men and lesbians (calling for an amendment banning same-sex marriage), and racial and ethnic minorities (opposing affirmative action).
e. All of the above and much, much more.
Answers and Sources
"E. All of the above." is the answer to each question.
a. Gallup International Iraq Poll 2003, Jan. 2003 (zip file). In the U.S., 33% favored war without UN authorization. In no other country surveyed did more than 20% of the population favor unilateral war.
b. Pew Global Attitudes Project,"A Year After Iraq War: Mistrust Of America In Europe Ever Higher, Muslim Anger Persists: A Nine-Country Survey," Washington, DC: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 3/16/04 (pdf).
c."President unbowed by protests," Seattle Times, 2/19/03, p. A1.
d. State of the Union Address, Jan. 20, 2004.
a. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, "Voting Irregularities in Florida During the 2000 Presidential Election," Washington, DC: June 2001.
b. "Public Opinion in Iraq: First Poll Following Abu Ghraib Revelations, Baghdad, Basrah, Mosul, Hillah, Diwaniyah, Baqubah, 14-23 May 2004," 6/15/04, p. 15; Joel Brinkley,"Ex-C.I.A. Aides Say Iraq Leader Helped Agency in 90's Attacks," NYT, 6/9/04, p. A1. Washington likes to pretend that UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi chose Allawi, but, as Brahimi noted, U.S. proconsul Paul Bremer"is the dictator of Iraq." Bremer"has the money. He has the signature. Nothing happens without his agreement in this country." The Washington Post adds:"U.S. officials in Baghdad have denied that the occupation authority exerted pressure or sought to promote certain candidates over others. But Iraqis involved in the process said that Bremer and White House envoy Robert D. Blackwill backed Iyad Allawi for prime minister over other candidates because Allawi was regarded as more sympathetic to the Bush administration's desire to maintain full U.S. control over troops in Iraq." Rajiv Chandrasekaran,"Envoy Bowed to Pressure in Choosing Leaders," Washington Post (WP), 6/3/04, p. A10.
c. Christopher Marquis,"Bush Officials Met With Venezuelans Who Ousted Leader," New York Times (NYT), 4/16/02, p. A1. A Defense Department official summarized the U.S. role in the coup:"We were not discouraging people," the official said."We were sending informal, subtle signals that we don't like this guy. We didn't say, 'No, don't you dare,' and we weren't advocates saying, 'Here's some arms; we'll help you overthrow this guy.' We were not doing that."
d. Elisabeth Bumiller,"In Major Shift, Bush Endorses Sharon Plan and Backs Keeping Some Israeli Settlements," NYT, 4/15/04, p. A6. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry rushed to add his voice of endorsement to the Bush-Sharon announcement: Dana Milbank and Mike Allen,"Move Could Help Bush Among Jewish Voters," WP, 4/15/04, p. A16.
a. Matthew Bunn And Anthony Wier, Securing The Bomb: An Agenda For Action, Project On Managing The Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, May 2004 (pdf).
b. Farah Stockman,"State Dept. Doubles '03 Terrorism Death Toll," Boston Globe (BG), 6/23/04, p. A8; Audrey Kurth Cronin, Congressional Research Service, memorandum to the House Government Reform Committee,"Terrorist Attacks by Al Qaeda," 3/31/04 (pdf).
c. Douglas Jehl,"Tenet Says Dangers to U.S. Are at Least as Great as a Year Ago," NYT, 2/25/04, p. A15.
d. Steven Weinberg,"Can Missile Defense Work?," New York Review of Books, 2/14/02, pp. 41-47; Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation In cooperation with the Center for Defense Information (CDI) and the Union of Concerned Scientists, Briefing Book on Ballistic Missile Defense, May 2004 (pdf); CDI, "On Eve Of Key Defense Authorization Vote, 31 Former Government Officials Call Missile Defense Deployment 'Sham'," 5/7/04.
a. David Lamb,"When the Army Won't Let Go; With stop-loss orders extending tours up to 18 months, GIs banking on going home grapple with heading back to combat in Iraq instead," Los Angeles Times (LAT), 6/17/04, p. A20.
b. Jonathan Weisman,"2006 Cuts in Domestic Spending on Table," WP, 5/27/04, p. A1.
c. Susan Milligan,"Military Recruiters Getting A Foot In Door Federal Education Bill Requires High Schools To Share Student Data," BG, 11/21/02, p. A3. Some school systems have been resisting: see, e.g., Tamar Lewin,"Uncle Sam Wants Student Lists, and Schools Fret," NYT, 1/29/04, p. B10; Fred Alvarez,"Veterans Group Fights Policy That Gives Student Data to Recruiters," LAT, 4/18/04, p. B5.
d. Dana Milbank,"Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins," WP, 10/21/03, p. A23; Sheryl Gay Stolberg,"Senate Backs Ban on Photos of G.I. Coffins," NYT, 6/22/04, p. A17.
a. Human Rights Watch (HRW), "The United States and the International Criminal Court"; HRW, "United States Efforts to Undermine the International Criminal Court: Legal Analysis of Impunity Agreements," Sept. 2002; HRW,"Bilateral Immunity Agreements," 6/20/03 (pdf). Not all of the agreements are publicly announced; for the latest list of bilateral immunity agreements, see Coalition for the International Criminal Court,"Status Of US Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIAs)," as of 6/15/04 (pdf).
b. Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 17 (Revised),"Status of the Coalition Provisional Authority, MNF - Iraq, Certain Missions and Personnel in Iraq, 6/27/04 (pdf).
c. HRW, "The Road to Abu Ghraib," June 2004.
d. Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzalez, Counsel to the President, 8/1/02 (pdf); Working Group Report on Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism, "Assessment of Legal, Historical, Policy, and Operational Considerations," 3/6/03; HRW, "U.S.: Released Documents on Torture Not Sufficient," 6/23/04.
a. Citizens for Tax Justice,"Overall Tax Rates Have Flattened Sharply Under Bush," 4/13/04 (pdf).
b. William G. Gale, Peter R. Orszag, and Isaac Shapiro, "The Ultimate Burden of the Tax Cuts: Once the Tax Cuts are Paid For, Low- and Middle-Income Households Likely to Be Net Losers, on Average," Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and Tax Policy Center (Urban Institute and Brookings Institution), 6/2/04.
c. Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004, pp. 299, 291.
d."House Reverses Bar on Security Project for Accenture," Wall Street Journal, 6/17/04, p. A6.
a. Human Rights First, Ending Secret Detentions, New York: June 2004 (pdf).
b. David Cole,"Outlaws on Torture," The Nation, 6/28/04, p. 8.
c. Frances Williams,"Most detainees in Iraq arrested by mistake, says Red Cross," Financial Times, 5/11/04, p. 10.
d. Christopher H. Pyle,"Torture by proxy: How immigration threw a traveler to the wolves," San Francisco Chronicle (SFC), 1/4/04, p. D1. See also DeNeen L. Brown and Dana Priest,"Deported Terror Suspect Details Torture in Syria," WP, 11/5/03, p. A1; the legal complaint filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Maher Arar v. Ashcroft et al., 1/22/04; and William F. Schulz, et al., Letter to Department of Defense General Counsel Haynes, 11/17/03.
a. League of Conservation Voters (LCV), "Unambiguous Facts: The Bush Record on Florida Offshore Drilling," May 2004. LCV has been criticized by some (e.g., Factcheck.org), but see LCV, "Florida Drilling Ad: Script and Facts," and letter from Mark P. Longabaugh to Brooks Jackson, FactCheck.org, Annenberg Public Policy Center, 5/27/04 (pdf).
b. K. Zhang K., B.C. Douglas, and S.P. Leatherman,"Global Warming and Coastal Erosion," Climatic Change, vol. 64, no. 1-2, May 2004, pp. 41-58; Andrew C. Revkin,"Bush's Shift Could Doom Air Pact, Some Say," NYT, 3/17/01, p, A7.
c Barbara Sard and Will Fischer "Administration Seeks Deep Cuts in Housing Vouchers and Conversion of Program to a Block Grant," revised 3/24/04, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
d. Michael Janofsky,"Study Ranks Bush Plan to Cut Air Pollution as Weakest of 3," NYT, 6/10/04, p. A16.
9 (Bush quoted in Peter W. Singer, "Outsourcing the War,"Salon.com, 4/16/04.)
a. Peter W. Singer, "Warriors for Hire in Iraq,"Salon.com, 4/15/04; Peter W. Singer, "Beyond the Law,"Guardian, 5/3/04; P.W. Singer,"A Privatized Military Industry Is Taking Over the Work of War," BG, 10/19/03, p. L12.
c. Julian Rademeyer, "Iraq victim was top-secret apartheid killer,"Sunday Times (South Africa), 4/18/04; Louis Nevaer, "Here Come the Death Squad Veterans,"Alternet, 6/16/04; Charles M. Sennott,"Security Firm's $293m Deal Under Scrutiny," BG, 6/22/04, p. A1; Jonathan Franklin,"US contractor recruits guards for Iraq in Chile," Guardian, 3/5/04, p. 14; Antony Barnett, Solomon Hughes and Jason Burke,"Mercenaries in 'coup plot' guarded UK officials in Iraq," Observer, 6/6/04, p. 12.
d. Robert Collier,"Global security firms fill in as private armies," SFC, 3/28/04, p. A1.
a. See David Corn, The Lies of George Bush, Mastering the Politics of Deception, updated edition; U.S. House Of Representatives, Committee On Government Reform -- Minority Staff, Special Investigations Division, Iraq On The Record: The Bush Administrations Public Statements On Iraq. Prepared For Rep. Henry A. Waxman, 3/16/04 (pdf).
b. Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Assessing The New Normal: Liberty and Security for the Post-September 11 United States, New York: Sept. 2003, chapter 1: Open Government (pdf).
c. Amnesty International, "Report 2004: War on global values -- attacks by armed groups and governments fuel mistrust, fear and division," press release, 5/26/2004.
d. See Ross Eisenbrey, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, 5/4/04; NARAL Pro-Choice America, "The Real Judicial Selection Crisis: The Bush Administrations Bid to Force an Anti-Choice Majority," 5/1/02; "NARAL Pro-Choice America Releases New Study Detailing the Growing Threat to Right to Choose by Bush Judicial Nominees," 5/9/03; the White House, "President calls for an amendment banning gay marriage," 2/24/04; Citizens' Commission On Civil Rights,"The Bush Administration v. Affirmative Action: Justice Department Drags Feet on Upholding Court Ruling," Washington, DC: 12/9/03 (pdf); Leadership Conference On Civil Rights Education Fund, The Bush Administration Takes Aim: Civil Rights Under Attack, Washington, DC: April 2003 (pdf).
Linda Vergnani, in the Australian (June 30, 2004):
FOR Australian Alison Bashford, the drastic measures taken to control the recent SARS scare and the frightening imagery of people quarantined away were all too familiar.
A senior history lecturer at the University of Sydney, she is at the forefront of research into medical quarantine and border control....
"When it comes to infectious diseases, governments still grapple with the question: Under what powers can states compulsorily detain people so they can't move from one place to another, and what is the difference between that and imprisonment?" Some of these issues will be examined from tomorrow at an international conference on Medicine at the Border, which Bashford has organised at Sydney University. With the toll taken by modern diseases such as HIV and the emergence of illnesses such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, the response to her web-based call for papers was impressive. Sixty speakers from across the globe will deal with topics ranging from mad cow disease to the threats of smallpox bio-terrorism.
Bashford says the gathering is unique in that it will bring historians together with commentators on migration, global movement and health. Among the speakers will be epidemiologists, anthropologists and political scientists. Experts will examine the effect of medico-legal control measures, not only on citizens and travellers but also on asylum-seekers and migrants. For example, former Woomera detention centre nurse Glenda Koutroulis will examine how the Australian Government has associated political asylum-seekers with contagion.
According to Bashford, Australia still has the strictest quarantine policies in the world. But other countries, including the UK, are considering adopting some of our medical border-control policies such as compulsory TB testing of migrants.
Conference keynote speaker Richard Coker, senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, recently came out strongly against the British Government's plan, arguing that such coercive policies contravened the European Convention, were not effective and should be rejected.
Bashford, whose book Imperial Hygiene was released in January, began her research for the tome -- examining quarantine and disease control in Australia until the 1950s -- at the historic Sydney quarantine station at North Head, just minutes from where she lives.
Situated alongside a crescent of golden beach, the complex looks like a disused brick factory with workers' housing. Yet for 521 people, landing at this beach was the last journey they made. Walking through the quarantine station grounds, Bashford points out the memorial tributes carved into the soft sandstone by ships' crews. On a ridge overlooking the bay is the hospital, now a museum, complete with iron bedsteads, bedpans and the rather ghostly suspended uniform of a nurse.
Quarantining began at North Head in 1828, when the smallpox-infected passengers of a convict ship were detained in the cove. As the station grew and the crew and passengers of passing ships were interned, procedures became more institutionalised. On arrival the healthy were separated from the sick, who were immediately hospitalised. Belongings were sterilised in giant autoclaves and inmates forced to shower in the caustic disinfectant phenol. The station had a mortuary and graveyards.
Bashford's book describes the 1881 smallpox epidemic, during which infected Sydney residents and their contacts were first confined to their homes but later forcibly removed to the quarantine station. One case that particularly moved her was of Sydney resident John Hughes who, with other affected men, was confined to a hulk in the bay while his wife and children were detained onshore at the quarantine station.
"He kept escaping from the ship and swimming to shore to see his dying
child," she says. "They ended up putting him in leg irons to stop
him escaping." In between writing chapters of her book, Bashford explored
the dense bushland near her home and stumbled on a neglected cemetery, dating
back to the 1881 epidemic. She was amazed to find the headstone of Hughes's
daughter and other smallpox victims whose poignant stories she had just read
in the archives....