Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Jan 31 08:46:22 MST 2003

The following items have been posted during the past two weeks on The full text of each article is preceded by a 
short summary.

Debt abyss
Barron’s, the influential US financial weekly, is worried that record 
levels of household and corporate debt may be moving the US “toward the 
abyss of a bust – and then into a depression.”

Blix report assessed
Specialists in chemical, biological, and nuclear warfare polled by the 
Guardian about the detailed list of concerns identified in the UN 
inspection reports evinced little surprise or alarm.

Porto Alegre paradox
When the Workers’ Party state government hosting the previous Porto 
Alegre Social Forum tried to put its theories into practice, it was 
ignominiously voted out of office.

Israel’s internal crisis
It presents itself as a confident military behemoth, but the Financial 
Times finds Israel a fractured and despondent society, its ailing 
economy dependent on its American benefactor.

Surreal torture
Anarchist jailers reportedly used surrealist art techniques to disorient 
and elicit the cooperation of their prisoners during the Spanish Civil 
War, an art historian has discovered.

The end of the IRA
The Irish Republican Army is the most enduring urban guerrilla movement 
in history, but the Irish Times says it will soon dissolve, accompanied 
by widespread resignation and some dismay within its membership.

Internet democracy
The Economist says the use of the Internet by protest groups is a 
harbinger of a new era of direct democracy which will reduce the role of 
political parties, lobbyists, and parliaments.

Multicultural Holland
The Dutch election has again raised the issue of whether it is racist to 
insist that immigrant cultures be subordinated to liberal democratic 
values, especially in relation to women and gays.

Pakistan connection
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, writing in the latest New 
Yorker, reveals intelligence reports describing how US ally Pakistan 
assisted North Korean efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Liberated Kuwait
The Bush Sr. administration promised Kuwaitis it would refashion the 
country into a liberal democracy when it liberated them from Iraq, but 
more than a decade later, they are still waiting.

Liberal America
A New York Times/CBS poll shows American political culture is more 
liberal than often thought, especially concerning reproductive rights, 
the economy, and – surprisingly – affirmative action.

Anderson on Iraq
A prescient analysis written several months ago by the left-wing 
theorist Perry Anderson outlines the Bush administration's objectives in 
Iraq and the likely course of events.

Anthony Lewis reviews two fawning best sellers – Bob Woodward’s Bush at 
War and David Frum’s The Right Man – both of which strain to present the 
US president in a heroic light.

Squeezing Africa’s poor
Another famine crisis in sub-Saharan Africa hasn’t stopped the World 
Bank, IMF and some rich creditor nations from demanding that some of the 
poorest African countries meet their loan obligations first.

US-Europe tensions
Massive antiwar sentiment in Western Europe has contributed to the 
continued reluctance of France, Germany and NATO to engage immediately 
in a US-led war on Iraq, angering the Bush  administration.

Abortion rights
On the 30th anniversary of Roe vs Wade, abortion is still a more 
divisive issue in America than in Europe, not only because of religion, 
but also because of how the right was won, says the Economist.

Farm subsidies
An OECD study is the latest to show farm subsidies benefit US and 
European agribusiness at the expense of consumers and small farmers, 
especially those in developing countries.


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