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Race: Untold Stories (5/98)

Our lives are haunted by secrets — things kept from us by society, friends, even our own families. Just when we think the whole story is on the table, another revelation can force us to reconsider how we look at the world, our leaders, and ourselves.

This truism was brought home for me recently during a visit to Kentucky, where I spent several days with one of that state’s most beloved civil rights leaders, Georgia Davis Powers. Invited to discuss a book she’s writing about one of her ancestors, I learned some surprising things not only about the suppressed history of one Black family, but also about the secret life of Martin Luther King. read more

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Latin American Arms Race (2/98)

Twenty-one years ago, responding to concerns about human rights abuses in Latin America, President Carter banned the sale of attack jets and other high-tech items to governments in the region. Other suppliers eventually followed the US lead; as a result, Latin America currently has one of the world’s lowest levels of military technology. But last year, at the insistence of military contractors, the Pentagon, and members of congress who received aerospace PAC funds, the Clinton Administration abandoned this relatively successful moratorium and made plans to sell $1 billion in jet fighters to Chile. read more

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Dellinger: Remembering a Nonviolent Warrior (6/04)


Dave Dellinger’s father was a well-connected Massachusetts lawyer and friend of Republican   Governor Calvin Coolidge. One of his grandmothers was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and his father’s ancestors went back to North Carolina — before the Revolution. In fact, Benjamin Franklin was a direct ancestor, by way of a grandnephew and a full-blooded Cherokee Indian.


With such a pedigree, it was hard to see why Dave would become an all-American radical, an internationally respected nonviolent activist and a leader of peace and justice movements for more than 60 years. But the young man from the Boston suburb of Wakefield took a less traveled path from the start, living with the poor, attending seminary, and refusing to register for the draft at the brink of World War II. Then and later, he went to jail for his beliefs. By the 1960s, he was a legendary figure, able to forge an alliance between anti-war activists and civil rights leaders. He was America’s Gandhi, advancing the theory of pacifist resistance through his words and deeds. read more

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Evil and the Empire (12/03)

Here’s an unpleasant political fact: When leaders feel compelled to MIS-lead, they often tend to declare war on something.

Back in the late 1960s, for example, President Nixon – whose secret plan for "peace with honor" in Vietnam was to bomb Southeast Asia back to the Stone Age – declared war on unemployment. But that was really a way to prematurely end a different war – the "war on poverty." We lost that one, too.

President Ford declared war on inflation, desperately calling his crusade WIN – for Whip Inflation Now. And Reagan declared war on drugs, a move both misleading and ironic in the world’s most drug-dependent society. This one turned into a attack on campesinos and freedom fighters in Latin America, while doing nothing to reduce drug use at home. read more

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Lying at the Top (09/03)

As the rationale for the most recent US intervention abroad unravels, outrage and disbelief have been expressed over the possibility that President Bush and his team "misled" Congress and the public. When Bush asserted in his 2003 State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein was seeking African uranium, was he simply misinformed or purposely deceiving us?

At various points, administration spokesmen also asserted that Iraq was a) responsible for the 9/11 attacks, b) directly linked to al-Qaeda, c) trying to import aluminum tubes to develop nuclear weapons, d) still hiding vast stocks of chemical and biological weapons from the first Gulf War, e) capable of developing smallpox, f) obstructing weapons inspectors, and g) able to deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes. None of this is turning out to be true. read more

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Secrets R Us (3/02)

It was classic spin. When NATO’s US and British troops in Macedonia began evacuating Albanian rebels in June, officials claimed they were merely attempting to help Europe avert a devastating civil war. Most media dutifully repeated that as fact. But the explanation only made sense if you ignored a troublesome contradiction, namely US support for both the Macedonian Armed Forces and the Albanians fighting them. Beyond that, there’s a decade of confused and manipulative Western policies, climaxing with NATO bombing and the failure to impose “peace” through aggression in Kosovo. Together, these moves have effectively destabilized the region. read more