Socialist Worker

Torture thoughts

Issue No. 1775

Sections of the US media are trying to create a climate where the FBI and CIA can get away with torturing anyone they accuse of terrorism. Jonathan Alter, a columnist on Newsweek magazine, wrote earlier this month, 'In this autumn of anger even a liberal can find his thoughts turning to torture.' He added that he was not necessarily advocating the use of 'cattleprods or rubber hoses'-only 'something to jumpstart the stalled investigation of the greatest crime in American history'.

He was quickly followed by Shepard Smith, a Fox News anchorman, who introduced a news item by asking, 'Should law enforcement be allowed to do anything, even terrible things, to make suspects spill the beans? Jon DuPre reports. You decide.'

'Stop the bombing'

The Scottish Trades Union Congress has joined calls for a halt to the bombing. Its statement deplored the use of cluster bombs, 'which will lead to the death and injury of even more innocent victims'. Delegates to the Unison black members' conference last weekend voted overwhelmingly against the war.

The motion they passed included a demand to stop the war. It said the US was to blame, and the war was about oil and wider interests in the area. The motion called for full support for all local and national anti-war activities.

Celebrities are also speaking out against the war. Damon Albarn, lead singer of Blur, attacked the bombing at the MTV Europe music awards last week. More than 240 sportsmen and women in Italy-including Ronaldo, twice named world footballer of the year-have launched a peace petition.

On strike for peace not profit

The National Union of Namibian Workers in southern Africa staged a 24-hour general strike on Friday of last week. They were protesting against the US-led war on Afghanistan, and against privatisation and mismanagement of state-owned industries. Thousands of workers took part.

They held marches in many towns and cities across the country. In the capital a petition was handed in to the US embassy and British High Commission.

Bush backs 'evil' arms

George W Bush said nuclear bombs and missiles are 'evil weapons' when he claimed Osama Bin Laden might have access to them last week. The US has over 7,000 of these 'evil weapons'.

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Article information

Sat 17 Nov 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1775
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