16 January 2003
Dear Colleagues and Friends:
Looking beyond a mountain of ungraded term-papers and exams at the end
this semester, we have seen the clouds of war appearing on the horizon, and
presently American institutions and social movements are mobilizing as never
before in U.S. history.
We have recently received mail from the United States, two items of
will share with you below. (Please see below Item A, by Gabriel Kolko, &
Item B, from Joanna Learner.)
We have also been informed of USEFUL WEB SITES for those of you interested
in conducting research on the different aspects of American Foreign Policy
and Domestic Policy under the Bush/Cheney Admistration (which author Michael
Moore has described as the "COUP D'ETAT" of November 2000).
Does Bush really represent a departure from past U.S. foreign policies?
Are the Interests of the State in conflict with important Corporate
Interests in contemporary America?
What form of government exists today in the United States -can it really be
called a "Democracy"? or is it an "Oligarchy"? or is the U.S. political
system best described as a "Plutocracy"? Are these important distictions to
make? and if so, why?
These are just a few of the questions that our Research Center in Grenoble
will be addressing in the comming months.
A final word on our technology: we have had a lot of problems with access
our email server lately. Very competent technicians here at Stendhal
University are assisting us in continuing our Center's activities, however,
we have lost some addresses, and there have been long periods of silence
(but not indifference) due to technical failures. Unfortunately, no New
Year's resolution will solve these technical problems, as they do not
originate with us.
Wishing you all the best, as always,
Professor/Director of Research
University of Grenoble-III
P.S. Some useful web sites we have recently come across:=20
1) "The Unseen Gulf War: A MultimediaProduction" (Photographs and
Text) By Peter Turnley
2) "LINK TO THE CONFIDENTIAL U.N.
REPORT ON IRAQ"
3) "Film indicts US over 'massacre
4) "Agreement On US 3.2 Billion
Gas Pipeline Project Signed"
5) "U.S. GOVERNMENT CAN HOLD CITIZENS
AS 'ENEMY COMBATANTS'"
6) COLLECTIF FRAN=C7AIS : " PAS
EN NOTRE NOM"
ARTICLE BY GABRIEL KOLKO (research professor emeritus at York University in
Toronto, and associate director of research at the Grenoble Center, CEISMA,
and, most recently, of Another Century of War? (The New Press, 2002):
POLICIES virtually identical to President George W. Bush's national
strategy paper of last September, with its ambitious military, economic and
political goals, have been produced since the late
After all, the US has attempted to define the contours of politics in
part of the world for the past half-century. Its many alliances, from NATO
to SEATO, were intended to consolidate its global hegemony. And Washington
rationalised its hundreds of interventions - which have taken every form,
from sending its fleet
to show the flag, to the direct use of US soldiers - as forestalling the
spread of communism. But that ogre has all but disappeared and US armed
forces are more powerful and active than ever.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks compelled him to create
"coalitions", Bush minimised somewhat the initial aggressive unilateralism
that he and many of his key advisers believe the US's overwhelming military
But his disregard of America's allies in the past year is only the logical
culmination of the much older conviction that Washington must define the
missions of whatever alliance it creates. The world has
changed dramatically, but the US still retains its historical ambitions to
shape the political destinies of any region or nation it deems important to
its interests. Bush's visions are only the logical
culmination of policies that began with president Harry Truman in 1947. The
dilemma that the US has confronted since then is that the political and
social outcome of its interventions cannot be predicted. Vietnam was the
longest war in US history, to cite one of many examples, and in Iran in
1953, as well as Central
America, it seemed able to get its way for decades. Many tyrants it
supported - as in the case of Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-87
or the fundamentalist Muslim mujahidin against the Soviets in
Afghanistan in the '80s - subsequently became its enemies. Others are simply
venal and unreliable - Marcos in the Philippines or Suharto in Indonesia
The US can never attain the world order it idealises. Innumerable successes
notwithstanding, it has also failed to create many of the preconditions
essential to achievement of that goal. The world since 1990 has become much
more fissiparous economically and politically. Bipolarity in world military
relations ended with the demise of
communism but the world is more unstable and dangerous than ever.
More nations have great firepower - aided in part by US exports accounting
for more than two-fifths of the world's arms trade since the late '90s - and
the spread of weapons of mass destruction has continued unabated.
Before September 11, 2001, China was the principal justification for the
US's vast military expenditures. But since then a fear and a sense of danger
from indefinable enemies, now located everywhere, has sufficed to expand
them further. Terrorism is indeed abetted by the necessity of the weak to
find vulnerabilities in the very strong; it is relatively very cheap, and
the religious fanaticism that encourages it has flourished in the misery and
ignorance that prevails in much of the Third World. Terrorism will not
Yet there are innumerable situations where arms are not merely irrelevant
but, as Vietnam proved counterproductive. As we know from a growing number
of memoirs as well as experience, the CIA and various
officials have futilely attempted since the late '40s to make US policies
adapt to facts, however uncomfortable they were.
Conservative former US senior foreign policy leaders and military men
as president George Bush Sr's national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and
Ronald Reagan's navy secretary James Webb - have publicly deplored a war
against Iraq. Things go wrong for every great nation whose ambitions exceed
its power and reality, and the US is no exception.
The war in Afghanistan has destabilised Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Last month's comprehensive Pew Report on public opinion in 42 nations, which
former US secretary of state
Madeleine Albright chaired, revealed that anti-Americanism has grown in at
least 19 countries since 2000 and that the French, Germans, Turks, and
Russians - to name but a few - oppose a war against Iraq. In South Korea and
Pakistan, anti-Americanism has already caused the politics of those nations
to change dramatically. Many of
Washington's traditional allies fear its belligerent unilateralism as much
The US has always had global priorities, but Europe was invariably ranked
the most important. Protracted wars in Korea and Vietnam confirmed that the
US has often lost control of these priorities and
that by attempting too much it not merely accomplishes far less, but also
destabilises crucial areas. A half-century after the fighting ended, 37,000
US troops remain in South Korea and the dangerous security situation there
is still unresolved. And there is mounting political instability in Latin
America, where poverty is rampant. The US now confronts a similar dilemma in
the Persian Gulf. The stakes are awesome and could preoccupy theworld for
years to come. Will the geopolitical consequences of making war against Iraq
far outweigh the world's realisation that the Pentagon still retains
"credible" military power and that the Bush administration is ready to
employ it, whatever the ultimate political, economic, and human costs?
Will the Kurds in Iraq proclaim de facto independence and risk civil
What will the Turks then do? How long
must US troops occupy that nation and how will they relate to its mercurial
political context? Osama bin Laden and his key aides are still free, and
Afghanistan is a highly unstable, divided country. Will Iran,
which is militarily far stronger than Iraq, emerge as strategically dominant
in the oil-rich Gulf - thereby undoing the reasons Washington supported
Hussein in the '80s? And will a US military victory in Iraq have any bearing
on the war against terrorism, not the least because al-Qaida detests
There have always been limits to US power, and the question today is
and how the US will acknowledge this reality.
MESSAGES FORWARDED BY JOANNA LEARNER (BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN):
From: Victoria Cunningham=20
To: Joanna Learner=20
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 1:48 PM
Subject: Women's Peace Vigil update for January 10
Please circulate this information widely!
1) URGENT NEWS!
An Emergency Women's Delegation to Iraq will leave January 30 - Feb.
approximate cost to each participant will be $2,000. Medea Benjamin will be
leading the delegation and will meet wiht other international women in
Baghdad. We will meet with women's organizations, UN inspectors, and visit
clinics, schools, and orphanages. We will do a press conference of
international women against in Baghdad. All interested should contact Maddy
directly at 202 393 5016 or via email at email@example.com immediately
. Must know by January 12! Space is limited.
If you cannot go with delegation but would like to make the trip possible
for another woman, please contact Maddy as well.
2) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2003
CONTACT: DONNA SHEEHAN
NUDE WOMEN PROTEST WAR AGAIN
On December 29th, between storms, on a rocky, wet Pacific Ocean beach, over
100 women got naked again to protest America's policy of naked aggression.
This event is a precursor of what is to come.
"We are inviting 100,000 women (and men) to strip on January 18 in
Washington DC and San Francisco for the huge National Peace March in protest
of the stripping of Constitutional rights by a government intent on war,"
said Donna Sheehan, an Unreasonable Woman Baring Witness, in Pt. Reyes,
California. "Our message to women all over the world, is be bold, be
courageous, be vulnerable for Peace."
"The US government does NOT represent the average American women who
about the sacrificing of husbands, sons, brothers, and lovers. We are the
life and care givers. There is an old Russian saying, "Every bullet finds
its target in a Mothers heart," Sheehan quoted. "We are feeling agony and
frustration. At this time in history, WE WILL BE HEARD."
The women are extraordinary ordinary people. They are Democrats,
Republicans, librarians, attorneys, waitresses, therapists, artists, from 19
years old to 70-somethings. They are as uncomfortable as anyone else at
making themselves vulnerable in this way, yet they are willing to do so,
because peace and justice are the cornerstones of a sustainable society.
They are willing to do so, because they can imagine a future for peace, in
which non-violent resolution is the norm, and the habit of war has been
broken. So powerful is the message that similar actions, naked and clothed,
have taken place in Bolinas, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, Gainesville, Fl, Missoula,
Mt and New York City, with more to come.
The photograph and an article appeared in the Point Reyes Light weekly
newspaper. They can be seen at
Tax-deductible donations to Baring Witness can be sent to P.O. Box 753,
Marshall, CA 94940.
3) Women Rising for Peace and Justice
Friday, January 17, 2003
Women=B9s Anti-War Day of Action
Part of a National Week of Resistance for Justice and Peace in the spirit
Martin Luther King
War, poverty, and racism, the three evils named by Martin Luther King,
intimately linked to the oppression of women. Together they form strands of
a rope binding people worldwide. Untangle that rope by joining in a women=
day of action. In conjunction with a week of resistance to the U.S. war
against Iraq, we weave a multicolored web of peace, to bind and transform
Why a women=B9s action? Because women have a unique stake and
perspective on issues of war and peace. =20
Poverty is a women=B9s issue: The vast majority of people worldwide living=
poverty are women and children. The war against Iraq will divert
desperately needed funds from social programs, health care and education.
Racism is a women=B9s issue: Women of color and women of discriminated=
bear the double burden of race and sex oppression.
War is a women=B9s issue: Women die under the bombs, see their homes,
families, and ability to provide for the next generation destroyed. War
exalts the values of toughness, hardness and aggression that a patriarchal
culture assigns to men, and denigrates compassion, nurturing, tenderness,
Make January 17 a day to express our solidarity with the women of Iraq,
Palestine/Israel, Colombia, and other war-torn areas of the world and call
for a shift of national priorities away from war and militarism and toward a
national agenda that affirms life.
Come to Washington DC for Martin Luther King weekend:
***Hold our women legislators accountable, and support, reward, and
generally cheer on the women of courage among our elected representatives.
***Weave a web of peace in a candlelight vigil and ritual at dusk on Friday,
***Participate as a contingent in the January 18 peace march.
***Form women=B9s affinity groups to participate in the larger, all-genders
nonviolent civil disobedience on January 19<and use our peace web to bind
and transform institutions of war.
***Join the Women=B9s Peace Vigil at the White House. The women=B9s peace=
was initiated on November 17, 2002 and will continue through March 8,
International Women=B9s Day. The vigil is a constant presence directly in
front of the White House and a constant reminder to the decision-makers in
Washington, DC, that millions of people in the U.S. and around the world
oppose a pre-emptive att ack on Iraq. Drop by the women=B9s=
vigil while you=B9re in DC for the MLK Jr. weekend activities or any other
day. For more information, call. (202) 393-5016. Consider extending your
stay in Washington DC so you can to join the vigil. The Vigil can help you
with housing if you are participating in the vigil for at least two days.
All actions are women initiated and women led, but men are welcome to
Organize in your home communities!
***Organize a women-led candlelight vigil in your community at dusk
Friday, January 17. Encourage participation by the diversity of women and
women=B9s groups that make up your community.
***Stand with Women in Black in your community in opposition to the war.
***Organize a meeting, teach-in, speak-out, and/or press conference on how
women in your community are affected by the three evils of poverty, war, and
***Lobby your women Senators and Representatives. Set up meetings with your
women representatives to ask them to speak out against war and push for a
national agenda that reflects the values of peace, compassion, generosity,
and recognition of the interconnectedness of the whole human family. We
need them to use their positions of power to lobby for our agenda!
***Contact the media. Organize localy a women against war press conference
that includes women from the business and labor communities, religious
women, women community leaders, and others. Write opinion pieces and letters
to the editor and call in to radio talk shows to put out the message that
women oppose war and want the $200 billion that would be spend on a war
against Iraq redirected to health, education, housing and the welfare of our
***Put a light in your window to symbolize your commitment to peace.
We ask for your support and solidarity. Please let us know if
you can plan
a vigil or activity in support of our actions, and send us your messages of
Please post your events to www.unitedforpeace.org, and/or
www.codepink4peace.org. For more information, contact the Women=B9s Peace
Vigil at 202-393-5016. You can also join our organizing listserve by
sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
with Osubscribe=B9 in the subject heading.
Mid January is THE crucial time to stop the war against Iraq.
people are expected to come to Washington, DC on the Martin Luther King Jr.
holiday weekend to participate in anti-war protests and commemorate Dr.
King=B9s legacy of organizing against war, militarism, and injustice. =
for Peace, the new national anti-war network, and Black Voices for Peace are
coordinating a week-long calendar of anti-war activities, including a
non-violent civil disobedience on Jan. 19. International ANSWER is calling
for a mass rally on Jan. 18 with a solidarity rally in San Francisco.
Black Voices for Peace is organizing a conference for justice and peace on
Jan. 20 and is encouraging churches throughout the country to incorporate a
peace and justice message into their services that Sunday.
Women Rising for Peace and Justice is a caucus of United for Peace,
includes Unreasonable Women, Code Pink for Peace, many contingents of Women
in Black, and other women=B9s groups.
4) Celebrating Women as Global Peace Makers
A week of women taking action against war and militarism
March 3 - 9, 2003
The centerpiece of this week will be a march to encircle the White House
pink on March 8, International Women's Day. The week begins on March 3rd
with Congresswomen reading The Vagina Monologues at the Lincoln Theatre. Our
vision of the week is to have a film festival, gallery showings of women's
art, poetry readings, nights of music, nights of conversation, women from
Congress sitting at the vigil, a book fare, and a multimedia presentation of
the Women's Peace Vigil.
The weekend will begin with a day of teach-ins on civil liberties, economic
priorities, peace and justice, war and militarism. On Friday night, March
7th, there will be a concert with hopefully talents such as Ani di Franco,
Joan Baez, the Indigo Girls, Sweet Honey in the Rock, among others. Saturday
will begin with a plenary session celebrating women as peacemakers. This
will be followed by a brown bag lunch of conversations stimulated from the
morning. From 2 to 5 we will wrap the White House in pink and as the sun
sets in the American empire we will flood the White House in pink light.
Later that evening, everyone will gather at local homes and restaurants to
listen to a special guest and engage in conversation (hypothetically
speaking you could end up with Alice Walker at Caf=E9 Luna). There will also
be a late night dance with live music. Sunday there will be an ecumenical
gathering sharing international traditions of worship and prayer, and a time
to celebrate the courage and tenacity of women from generation to
generation. The closing will include actions to take home and continue in
your own community.
We hope to flood Washington with a pink presence. All participants should
bring pink and use your own creativity.
If you have any ideas or would like to be involved in creating this
contact Victoria at the CODEPINK Women's Peace Vigil at 202 393 5016 or
5) FYI: GOOD NEWS FOR PEACE
a)THERE'S STILL TIME TO STOP
A U.S.-LED WAR ON IRAQ
The Bush administration has sought a U.N. mandate for war, due in large part
to mounting domestic and international pressure. Despite U.S. pessimism,
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has agreed to U.N. weapons inspections, which
haven't found anything significant so far. It's thus still possible that war
on Iraq can be averted.
In response to the threat of war, the global peace movement continues
grow. Massive demonstrations continue to be held around the world. Some
activists have traveled to Iraq to act as observers and human shields. A
peace group in Canada has even committed to sending a group of citizen
weapons inspectors to the U.S., holding the country accountable for it's
double standards about weapons of mass destruction.
According to a recent poll by the Los Angeles Times, most Americans
believe that a war on Iraq is justified. The poll concluded that "72 percent
of respondents, including 60 percent of Republicans, said Bush has not
provided enough evidence to justify starting a war with Iraq, " and "63
percent of respondents said war would be justified only if the United
Nations finds a pattern of serious violations by Iraq, while just 22 percent
agreed with the administration's position."
Many major U.S. cities are signing resolutions opposing war on Iraq.
list of cities that have passed resolutions, and more information on the
campaigns behind them, see:
The U.S. peace movement is far more diverse and technologically savvy
past peace movements. Perhaps the best news is that massive demonstrations
have already been held before any U.S. soldiers begin dying in Iraq, while
in Vietnam, it took many American deaths to begin fueling opposition.
The antiwar movement in the U.S. has made the leap from the left to
mainstream. The work of groups such as MoveOn has helped make this happen.
(Note: This article is Salon premium content, meaning that unless you're
already a member, you'll need to sign up and pay to read it.)
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in what
been widely interpreted as a direct challenge to President Bush's policies.
Nobel committee chairman Gunnar Berge stated that the award "can and must
also be seen as criticism of the line the current U.S. administration has
taken on Iraq."
b) THE INTERNET
Thanks to the Internet, anyone with a connection can post their opinions, do
research, make a donation, sign a petition, discuss events with others, or
even run a political campaign. The Internet has made it possible for people
to access a wide range of information unavailable on major television
networks, and to connect with others who share their views on current
events. So while there are still many flaws in the system, not the least of
which is the digital divide between the connected and the unconnected, we
believe that the continued growth of the Internet is good news.
Since Sept. 11, the Internet has helped spawn a peace movement that
respond rapidly and on a massive scale. It has given people the ability to
communicate and plan actions in ways that were unheard of in the past.
For information on Knit For Peace, contact Cissy Sims by email at <email@example.com>
Francis McCollum Feeley
Research Center Director <http://www.u-grenoble3.fr/ciesimsa>
and Professor of North American Studies