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<nettime> ivogram 030406: ex-yugo, ex-usa, ex-vermont [x22]
Ivo Skoric on Sat, 6 Mar 2004 20:23:11 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> ivogram 030406: ex-yugo, ex-usa, ex-vermont [x22]


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"Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
     For those in DC
     Bechtel deals
     where to?
     Yugo is NOT coming back to the US
     Re: Yugo is NOT coming back to the US
     been there
     Political Dissidents in USA
     Chenney dead!
     Head Scarves in Kosovo
     Mostar United?
     Bye bye Balkan Bill
     Computer that speaks Serbian
     Re: URGENT REQUEST: Ivo, Please Read
     croatia breaks
     ngos in the balkans
     US refugees in Canada
     The Rather Complex Deliverer of Human Bads
     U.S. Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles
     DU conundrum
     Bizzare Passion
     Super Tuesday at Killington VT
     Re: Direct Action <<>> The Fire This Time in Haiti was US-Fueled

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 11:45:08 -0500
Subject: For those in DC

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Dear Friends of CRUCIBLE OF WAR,
It is hard to believe that this coming week marks the tenth
anniversary of the market shelling in Sarajevo which made the war in
Bosnia hit home for many Americans.  The month after marks the fifth
anniversary of the NATO bombardment of Serbia in response to the
humanitarian nightmare of Kosovo.  As our attention has moved on to
other hotspots in the world, there are lessons to be learned from the
experience of the Balkans, as much on a personal level as on policy. 
With this in mind, we would like to invite our friends and colleagues
in Washington DC to join us for a sneak preview screening of our
documentary, CRUCIBLE OF WAR, which looks at how ordinary people
attempt to rebuild their lives after war.

What?
Screening and discussion with director Leon Gerskovic and producer
Erica Ginsberg

When?
Wednesday, February 11, 2004  (12:00-1:30 p.m.)

Where?
Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars (Ronald Reagan
Building and International Trade Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 
6th
Floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW  Washington DC.  Closest Metro:
Federal Triangle.  Map and Directions:
http://wwics.si.edu/index.cfm?fuseaction=about.directions)

How to Get In? 
RSVP is not required, but you will need a photo ID to enter the
building.  The screening is free.



OTHER UPCOMING SCREENINGS AND EVENTS

March 25
A special screening and discussion with students and faculty at 
George
Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs in
Washington DC.

Mid-April
A special screening and discussion with scholars at the annual
convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities to be
held at Columbia University in New York.



NEWS OF INTEREST

Congratulations to Pontanima, the inter-religious Bosnian choir
featured in our documentary.  They will be coming to Washington DC in
mid-March to accept an award from Search for Common Ground.  Stay
tuned for more news on public performances.

Erica Ginsberg and Leon Gerskovic traveled to Amsterdam in November
2003 to support the film as part of the catalogue of Docs for Sale, 
an
international documentary market.  Great contacts.  Great films. 
Great fun.  

We are continuing to fundraise for educational outreach.  In addition
to grants, we also accept individual donations.  Tax-deductible
donations can be made by check or credit card.  



Thanks to all of you who have stood by us from the beginning.  We 
look
forward to seeing you soon.

Regards,

Leon Gerskovic, Director
Erica Ginsberg, Producer
Crucible of War project

More info: http://www.crucibleofwar.com

**********************

If you are new to our update list, please be assured that we have no
intentions to spam you with constant messages or to share your e-mail
address with anyone without your permission.  

If you wish to be removed from the list, simply reply to us with
"unsubscribe" in the subject line and your wish is our command.  

On the other hand, if you know someone else who might like to receive
periodic updates on CRUCIBLE OF WAR, please feel free to forward this
message on and ask him/her to get in touch with us at
info {AT} crucibleofwar.com to be added to the mailing list directly.


------- End of forwarded message -------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2004 01:09:07 -0500
Subject: Bechtel deals

EU is looking into the no-bid award of highway building work to 
Bechtel in Romania. This revealed some interesting numbers:

>From Reuters, Feb. 4:
Bechtel is currently working on a $1 billion project to build a 74
mile (120-km) motorway in Croatia. It also completed a 875 mile 
(1,400
km) Trans-Turkish motorway at a cost of $1.4 billion in 1998. Both
contracts were awarded by the Croatian and Turkish governments,
respectively. 

How is it possible that building a 1km of highway in Croatia costs
screaming 8x more than building a 1km of highway in Turkey?
Unfortunately nobody seems to be looking in those contracts...

ivo
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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2004 23:52:13 -0500
Subject: where to?

Following the controversy over Croatian pop-singer Marko Perkovic 
Thompson - and his use of nationalist rhetoric as a marketing tool 
for his music - I found an American variance of MPT: Toby Keith.
http://www.tobykeith.com/

Curiously he headlined Super-Bowl's band line-up. This is the same 
Super-Bowl that CBS TV Network broadcasted to the America public. CBS 
aired Bush's campaign ad and refused to air Move-On "Bush in 30 
seconds" ad during the same event.

This type of partisanship is worthy of Tudjman's and/or Milosevic's 
level of control over the media. Is Clark going to get NATO to strike 
down CBS headquarters as he did with RTS in Belgrade?

Ugly as it looks, Dean is losing and Kucinich never stood a chance. 
This demonstrates that peace candidates do not command the highest 
ratings. Worse, Dean is losing despite all the money he raised. This 
suggests a bad campaign management, and that perception may cause him 
to continue losing.

Interestingly, Dean is singled out as boogey-man in that Republican 
ad that aired during Super-Bowl, as a lunatic from Vermont. This 
dirty, below the waist ad hominem hit, characteristic of cowardly neo-
conservative power-trip-heads, precipitated Dean's fall.

Living in post-Dean Vermont, I can testify that he left the State in 
good shape. It may not be rich, but there is no yawning gap between 
haves and have-nots, there are reasonable, functioning social 
services, and public offices. My experience with health care, 
unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc. is across the board better 
than in New York state.

Liberal, tolerant, and diverse, Vermont looks happier than Texas. Why 
then Dean would not be a better candidate for president than Bush? 
Promising further increase in defense spending, and further tax-cuts 
for the rich, In the manner endemic to the Eastern-European 
communists-turned-nationalists, Bush administration, boldly pushes on 
with its agenda of turning the U.S. into a police state: here, judge 
subpoenaed minutes of an anti-war meeting.

Saturday, February 7, 2004 (AP) University and four peace activists
subpoenaed over anti-war demonstration RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated 
Press Writer


   (02-07) 11:03 PST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) --
   In what may be the first subpoena of its kind in decades, a 
federal judge has ordered a university to turn over records about a 
gathering of anti-war activists.
   In addition to the subpoena of Drake University, subpoenas were
served this past week on four of the activists who attended a Nov. 15
forum at the school, ordering them to appear before a grand jury
Tuesday, the protesters said.
   Federal prosecutors refuse to comment on the subpoenas.
   In addition to records about who attended the forum, the subpoena
orders the university to divulge all records relating to the local
chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a New York-based legal 
activist organization that sponsored the forum.
   The group, once targeted for alleged ties to communism in the
   1950s, announced Friday it will ask a federal court to quash the 
subpoena on Monday.
   "The law is clear that the use of the grand jury to investigate
protected political activities or to intimidate protesters exceeds 
its authority," guild President Michael Ayers said in a statement.
   Representatives of the Lawyer's Guild and the American Civil 
Liberties Union said they had not heard of such a subpoena being 
served on any U.S. university in decades.
   Those served subpoenas include the leader of the Catholic Peace
Ministry, the former coordinator of the Iowa Peace Network, a member
of the Catholic Worker House, and an anti-war activist who visited
Iraq in 2002.
   They say the subpoenas are intended to stifle dissent.
   "This is exactly what people feared would happen," said Brian
Terrell of the peace ministry, one of those subpoenaed. "The civil
liberties of everyone in this country are in danger. How we handle
that here in Iowa is very important on how things are going to happen
in this country from now on."
   The forum, titled "Stop the Occupation! Bring the Iowa Guard 
Home!" came the day before 12 protesters were arrested at an anti-war 
rally at Iowa National Guard headquarters in Johnston. Organizers say 
the forum included nonviolence training for people planning to 
demonstrate.
   The targets of the subpoenas believe investigators are trying to
link them to an incident that occurred during the rally. A Grinnell
College librarian was charged with misdemeanor assault on a peace
officer; she has pleaded innocent, saying she simply went limp and
resisted arrest.
   "The best approach is not to speculate and see what we learn on
Tuesday" when the four testify, said Ben Stone, executive director of
the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, which is representing one of the
protesters.
   Mark Smith, a lobbyist for the Washington-based American
   Association of University Professors, said he had not heard of any 
similar case of a U.S. university being subpoenaed for such records.
   He said the case brings back fears of the "red squads" of the 
1950s and campus clampdowns on Vietnam War protesters.
   According to a copy obtained by The Associated Press, the Drake
subpoena asks for records of the request for a meeting room, "all
documents indicating the purpose and intended participants in the
meeting, and all documents or recordings which would identify persons
that actually attended the meeting."
   It also asks for campus security records "reflecting any 
observations made of the Nov. 15, 2003, meeting, including any 
records of persons in charge or control of the meeting, and any 
records of attendees of the meeting."
   Several officials of Drake, a private university with about 5,000
students, refused to comment Friday, including school spokeswoman
Andrea McDonough. She referred questions to a lawyer representing the
school, Steve Serck, who also would not comment.
   A source with knowledge of the investigation said a judge had
   issued  a gag order forbidding school officials from discussing 
the subpoena.

On the Net:
   Drake University: www.drake.edu/
   National Lawyers Guild: www.nlg.org/

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 2004 AP

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 18:38:56 -0500
Subject: Yugo is NOT coming back to the US

In 2002 James Bricklin (the man who brought both Yugo and Hyundai 
cars to the US) decided to bring re-made Yugo back to the US. Zastava 
weapons factory in Kragujevac, Serbia, which subdivision makes Yugo 
cars, was recovered from the damage it suffered during the 1999 NATO 
bombing, and Yugos were back in production. Bricklin wanted a joint 
venture company and a flashy new name for Yugo in America: ZMW 
(Zastava Motor Works). However, apparently in 2003, BMW (Bayrische 
Motor Werke) threatened to sue, if Yugos were to be marketed under 
that name. On top of that, there were some communication problems 
between Zastava and Bricklin, so he shelved the idea of returning 
Yugo's to America. This might have been a sound business decision, 
given that the last month poll by Forbes magazine, AGAIN declared 
Yugo the worst car ever driven in the US by popular vote. So, for the 
time being, the only Yugo in America is going to be Raccoon's Cyber-
Yugo....
http://balkansnet.org/cyberyugo.html

Articles in Croatian:
http://www.index.hr/clanak.aspx?id=185458
http://www.index.hr/clanak.aspx?id=131324

Forbes poll:
http://www.forbes.com/vehicles/2004/01/26/cx_dl_0126feat.html


ivo---------------------------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 11:24:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Yugo is NOT coming back to the US

True. In the Balkans still the prevailing mentality is to wish your 
neighbor's cow is dead, rather than approaching the neighbor and 
doing business with him. Sad. Obviously, Croatian media delighted in 
the failure of Yugo. And yes, I was in Zagreb last summer, there are 
plenty of Yugos on the streets.

It is also correct that the quality of Yugo cars fell sharply due to 
the quarells within former Yugoslavia. The principal culprit was 
Serbia's decision in 1986 to boycott Slovenian products. That forced 
Zastava Kragujevac to rely for the engine blocks on lower quality 
steel from Serbias Smederevo steel mills - instead of from Slovenian 
Jesenice steel mills. Using the Slovenian steel, Yugo designers were 
able to make engine blocks thiner and lighter, than comparable 
Russian car models had. However, the factory continued with the same 
design, even after they switched to Serbian steel - the results were 
ugly: engine blocks melted, cracked, etc.

Also correct - except for German and Swedish cars, the US buyer 
traditionally does not trust European car makers: there are not many 
French, Italian, or British cars on American roads. Fiat is thought 
to be not much better than Yugo (Zastava models are offshots of Fiat 
models), yet at a far higher price.

As for the ZMW-BMW story - if it is not a hoax coined by the Croatian 
media - it is a sorry trend in the 21st century industry. Of course 
that ZMW could not pose any threat to BMW. They occupy a completely 
different niche of the car market. And truly - this is not a 
copyright or trademark infringement: the names are just similar, not 
identical. But there are more and more examples like that - there is 
a guy that adopted Linux operating system to have more point-and-
click look and feel and called it Lindows - Microsoft is suing him 
now over the name that is too similar to Windows. Corporate 
legislation is biased to protect those who already established strong 
positions in the industry against the upstarts. The result is a world 
where power and wealth is more densely concentyrated in less hands, 
kind of like the world looked like on the eve of the First World War. 
The conclusions are obvious.

ivo

On 12 Feb 2004 at 13:24, melentie wrote:

Hola everyone,
>
>n 2002 James Bricklin (the man who brought both Yugo and Hyundai cars
>to the US) decided to bring re-made Yugo back to the US. Zastava
>weapons factory in Kragujevac, Serbia, which subdivision makes Yugo
>cars, was recovered from the damage it suffered during the 1999 NATO
>bombing, and Yugos were back in production. Bricklin wanted a joint
>venture company and a flashy new name for Yugo in America: ZMW
>(Zastava Motor Works). However, apparently in 2003, BMW (Bayrische
>Motor Werke) threatened to sue, if Yugos were to be marketed under
>that name.

This is ridiculuos. Firstly, if this logic is followed then on a more
general level heaps of companies could sue their competition for
having a similar name ! Secondly, what threat would ZMW possibly pose
to BMW !? I don't get this.

>On top of that, there were some communication problems
>between Zastava and Bricklin, so he shelved the idea of returning
>Yugo's to America. This might have been a sound business decision,
>given that the last month poll by Forbes magazine, AGAIN declared
>Yugo the worst car ever driven in the US by popular vote.

Hey, at least the public remembers the brand! Some PR people would
argue that this is necessarily not a bad thing. Anyway, Yugo might
have been good or bad, but fact is that there are many bigger car
companies who never made it to the American market. And I am not even
talking about East European car companies but about West European.
FIAT would be one of them, if I remeber well.

In fact the achievement wasn't small at all. The car eventhough
assembled and produced in Kragujevac, Serbia had suppliers for the
different parts from all around ex-Yugoslavia. Actually, the quality
of the car fell drastically, once the war started and these supplier
links were being cut. This is also true for the market. Once the war
broke the company couldn't sell any more to the entire territory of
ex-Yu.

>So, for the time being, the only Yugo in America is going to be
>Raccoon's Cyber-
>Yugo....http://balkansnet.org/cyberyugo.html

Good project, right?


>Articles in Croatian:
>http://www.index.hr/clanak.aspx?id=185458
>http://www.index.hr/clanak.aspx?id=131324

  What can one say? The articles certanly do not paint a rosy image
nor prospects for Zastava. It looks as if the idea that everything
coming from Serbia is bad, still seems to be haunting the Croatian
media.  (On the other hand if one drives down the Croatian streets,
one might find quite many Yugos still in use.)

The Balkan drama goes on.

When will people learn that these kind of attitudes only empoverish
the region? You cannot have a prosperous Croatia, or Serbia, or
Macedonia, or whatever once the entire region is not prosperous! You
cannot have a safe country, once all of the region is not safe.

And you certainly cannot develop a prosperous region by hoping that
your neighbour fails! It is a huge network, damn it!

Melentie

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 15:39:03 -0500
Subject: been there

So, Bush plans to go to Mars? Here is what he is going to find: he 
was not first.
http://balkansnet.org/tito-on-mars.jpg

ivo---------------------------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 12:30:50 -0500
Subject: Political Dissidents in USA

During 20th century we saw stories like these mostly coming from 
behind the 'iron curtain' - are we going to see them coming out of 
the U.S. in the 21st? Are Americans going to seek political asylum in 
Europe now?
ivo

Journalist Detained:

>>
Washington, DC --  John Buchanan, the Miami Beach investigative 
journalist who ran as the 'truth candidate' against President George 
W. Bush in the January 27 New Hampshire Republican primary, has 
issued a formal demand for a Congressional inquiry into his February 
4, 2004 detention by the U.S. Secret Service at Baltimore-Washington 
International Airport.

The incident is now being investigated by Republican staff members of 
the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, with whom Buchanan met 
February 5.

Series of "False Police Reports"

Buchanan, 53, charges in a detailed written presentation to the 
Judiciary Committee that his two hours of questioning at the airport, 
as he was en route to speak at The National Press Club last Wednesday 
evening, were the culmination of a still-unexplained series of false 
police reports filed against Buchanan between October 19, 2003 and 
last week as part of what Buchanan claims is an ongoing program of 
harassment and political dirty tricks.

Buchanan s deputy campaign manager, Mimi Adams of Albuquerque, NM, 
agrees that the long-shot candidate is under attack.  His campaign 
has been sabotaged in every way imaginable, including an 
inappropriately aggressive interrogation by the Secret Service and a 
veiled threat to go back to Miami and keep his mouth shut, says 
Adams, who worked on both Texas gubernatorial campaigns of Ann 
Richards.

"The Bush administration is in for a shock, because John Buchanan won 
t quit until justice is done," said Adams.  "He feels, and I agree, 
that everything this country has ever stood for is at stake right 
now."

Buchanan Broke Bush/Nazi Story into Mass Media

Last September, Buchanan became the first journalist in U.S. history 
to see newly declassified government documents, at the U.S. National 
Archives and Library of Congress, that prove the 27-year history of 
collaboration with the WW II German Nazis by Prescott Bush, the 
grandfather of George W. Bush, and by George Herbert Walker, his 
maternal great-grandfather.  In October and November, Buchanan 
published a series of articles on this topic in The New Hampshire 
Gazette, founded in 1756 and the oldest newspaper in America.  Those 
articles can be read online at:

http://www.nhgazette.com

In mid-October, the Associated Press (AP) ran a story worldwide that
credited Buchanan with his scoop.

Police Harassment Started Shortly Thereafter

On October 19, Miami Beach Police knocked on the reporter's apartment 
door and questioned him based on an alleged "tip" that he was 
plotting to kill the President.  The next day, Miami Beach detectives 
appeared at Buchanan s door, this time on a complaint from The Miami 
Herald that Buchanan might be a terror suspect plotting to blow up 
the headquarters of Knight-Ridder newspapers. Despite a phone 
complaint by Buchanan to the Washington and Miami offices of the FBI, 
no action has been taken to look into his allegations.

Miami Beach Police have apparently made no attempt to investigate the
sources of the false police complaints, nor has Mayor David Dermer 
offered any help, according to Buchanan.

"He has known me and my work for six years," says Buchanan.  "Ever 
since this drama began when I found the Bush-Nazi documents, Mayor 
Dermer has been inexplicably silent.  He has shown no courage, and is 
therefore, in my opinion, unfit for office."  Buchanan is now calling 
for Mayor Dermer s resignation or removal from office by the Florida 
Attorney General.

Buchanan also claims that during the time he was campaigning for 
President in New Hampshire last month, the state chair of the New 
Hampshire Republican Party, Jayne Millerick, "filed a false police 
report against him for harassment".  Buchanan claims that 
eyewitnesses -- including a Buffalo, NY newspaper reporter, a van 
driver, and two members of his campaign team -- saw her instruct two 
individuals to eject him from her Concord office.  Buchanan also 
alleges that Concord Police and the FBI refused to investigate the 
matter.

<<

Protesters kept for up to 12 hours in detention:

>>
February 12, 2004 by Reuters
New York Police Sued Over Anti-War Protest Arrests
  --------------------------------------------------------------------
----
by Grant McCool

NEW YORK - Civil rights lawyers on Wednesday sued the New York Police
Department on behalf of 52 people arrested at an anti-war protest, 
the latest in a series of lawsuits nationwide challenging police 
conduct at rallies opposing the U.S.-led war on Iraq.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court charged the NYPD
"unlawfully arrested peaceful protesters and detained them for
excessively long periods" after the April 7, 2003, rally outside an
investment bank they accused of war profiteering.

A spokeswoman for the city's law department said counsel had not yet
read the legal papers, but "will be reviewing them thoroughly" when 
they do.

Center for Constitutional Rights lawyers said their lawsuit, which
charged the police with violating free speech rights, was also filed
with an eye to demonstrations planned for the Republican National
Convention in New York in August.

"We believe these arrests and detentions were part of a nationwide
pattern ... a concerted effort to keep people off the streets and 
deter people who would protest from coming out," lawyer Nancy Chang 
said.

"We don't want to live in a country where people do not feel free to
express themselves," Chang said.

The suit was filed a day after U.S. prosecutors in Iowa dropped
subpoenas issued last week ordering anti-war activists to testify 
before a grand jury. Under pressure from civil liberties advocates, a 
subpoena was also withdrawn on Drake University to provide 
information on a campus anti-war forum.

Chang said civil rights groups had filed lawsuits against authorities 
over police handling of anti-war rallies in cities such as Oakland, 
California, Washington and Seattle.

CIVIL LIBERTIES DEBATE

These and other cases are part of a raging debate over civil 
liberties as the Bush administration fights its war on terrorism 
following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America. Law enforcement 
officials, free speech advocates and courts have all acknowledged the 
attacks and the U.S. war on Iraq created a different atmosphere for 
policing and security.

At the April demonstration in New York, an ad hoc group of activists
called "M27 Coalition" rallied outside an affiliate of the Carlyle
Group, which has ties to the defense industry.

Officers arrested the activists, who said they followed police
guidelines for the sidewalk demonstration. Some were held for up to 
12 hours, but disorderly conduct charges were dismissed against the 
52 named in Wednesday's lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary compensation and a declaration 
that police actions were "retaliatory and unconstitutional."

New York activists organized one of the largest anti-war 
demonstrations on Feb. 15, 2003, when hundreds of thousands took to 
the streets five weeks before the U.S. and British invasion of Iraq 
over its purported stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. No 
weapons stockpiles have been found.

 Copyright 2004 Reuters Ltd
<<

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:53:05 -0500
Subject: Chenney dead!

http://www.swamp-city.com/archives/04/02/040211_wishful_thinking.php

MSNBC apparently prepared the obituary for the vice-president that 
can die of a heart attack at any time, so that they don't have to 
scramble for it, when the death suddenly happens. It seems though 
that Iraq war works better than Viagra for Chenney, and his health is 
better than ever.

ivo

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:53:08 -0500
Subject: Head Scarves in Kosovo

Dispute over Muslim women wearing head scarves goes beyond Florida 
and France. Here is from Kosovo. Fabulously, there local ALbanian 
Muslim principal is against the scarves, while the internationals are 
defending the scarves. Double standards?! Besides, RFE/RL insists on 
calling Kosov {AT}  by its Albanian name Kosova (the Slavic version is 
Kosovo), while it names the capital by its Slavic name 'Prishtina' 
instead of using the Albanian spelling 'Prishtine'. Political 
correctness? Inconsistency? Indolence? Or ignorance?
ivo

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 28, Part II, 12 February 2004
DISPUTE OVER ISLAMIC HEAD SCARVES IN KOSOVA. Marek Nowicki, 
who is
Kosova's ombudsman, wrote the Education Ministry to protest the
recent ruling by the principal of the Sami Frasheri High School in
Prishtina banning a pupil from wearing an Islamic head scarf in
school, Deutsche Welle's "Monitor" reported on 11 February. Nowicki
called the ban a serious violation of human rights. The principal
told reporters that she is simply enforcing the ministry's policy.
Most of Kosova's ethnic Albanian majority is of Islamic heritage but
highly secular in outlook, as is typical of much of former
Yugoslavia. PM




ivo

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:53:06 -0500
Subject: Mostar United?

For decades in Mostar, just as in the other cities of former 
Yugoslavia, kids went to school together, studying the same 
curriculum, regardless of their ethnicity.

Then came the war. And for the last decade kids of different ethnic 
groups go to different schools, learning from the different 
schoolbooks.

As it was before, people got used to the new situation, and are 
terrified of change.

Yet, the international community is determined to break the ethnic 
barriers and re-unite Bosnia once again. City of Mostar is the petry-
dish for the country-wide reforms.

Once a Bosnian Muslim majority town, it is now divided between Croat 
part on the West bank of Neretva, and Bosnian Muslim part on the East 
bank on Neretva, with Serbs being mostly expelled. Overall, after the 
war Croats constitute the 60% majority of population.

Paddy Ashdown wants a lean administration of 35 (15 Croats, 15 
Bosnians, 4 Serbs, 1 other) representatives to run the new city after 
the German build "Old Bridge" re-opens next month.

Unsurprisingly, everybody is opposed to the idea: Croats, yammering 
that they are going to lose their violently won majority, Bosniaks, 
scared that they are going to lose their little fief at the East end, 
and Serbs, for whatever reason they find fit (after all in Mostar 
they CAN say they were the victims - but, hey, that's why Ashdown 
lets them be the umpires now).


from: www.iwpr.net

DISCORD OVER MOSTAR UNITY PLANS

Croat and Bosniak politicians fear they will lose out under plans 
unify city administration.

By Maria Vlaho in London Vladimir Maric in Mostar

Bosnia's western governors hope plans to reopen Mostar's ancient 
bridge later this year will crown their efforts to unite the city 
politically, but few citizens expect the resumption of foot traffic 
across the Neretva to herald an end to the divisions.

A unified city administration is expected to start work from March 15 
at the latest. After 12 years of wrangling between politicians from
ethnic-based parties, the High Representative Paddy Ashdown in 
January ordered an end to the political segregation of the city into 
Bosniak and Croat zones.

The Ashdown ruling means one city council will replace the current 
six municipalities - three Croat, three Bosniak - while the total 
number of councillors will fall from 194 to 35.

Though some citizens will rejoice at seeing their parallel city
governments scrapped, nervous parties on either side of the Neretva 
have voiced opposition.

For different reasons, both the main Croat and Bosniak parties worry 
that they will lose power under the Ashdown reforms.

Most discord centres on a complicated system of ethnic "weighting",
designed to ensure that no one community can outvote the rest.

A two-thirds majority will be needed for the council to change 
Ashdown's rules - or even the names of streets -  a sensitive issue 
in former Yugoslavia.

Of the 35 councillors, not more than 15 can come from any one party.
Mostar's Serbian community - a shrunken and marginalised force since 
the Bosnian conflict - will have four, while one will be reserved for 
others.

But what looks like a benign safeguard to some, is viewed by others 
as discrimination. The Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, representing 
the largest ethnic group in the city, says the safeguards attack 
their democratic rights.

"The Croats make up 60 per cent of the electoral body, but will have 
only 42 per cent of seats on the council," complained Josip Merdzo, 
leader of the HDZ caucus on the council.

The Bosniak Party of Democratic Action, SDA, which rules the eastern 
half of Mostar, is equally discontented.

"They stand to lose control over what they now hold," said the editor 
of Start magazine Ozren Kebo. "It's probably the least worst 
solution."

The SDA once demanded a united Mostar. Its stance altered as a result 
of the demographic changes that the city experienced in the 1990s.

Bosniaks were the largest single ethnic group before the Bosnian 
conflict erupted in 1991 but have since lost ground to Croats - now 
an absolute majority.

In the meantime, the HDZ and SDA barons have consolidated their power 
in their respective zones on either side of the Neretva.

Over 12 years, people have got used to living and working in their 
own sector and rarely cross over. A new generation of children has 
been raised in ethnically pure schools and does not even remember 
when mixing was the norm.

After getting used to life in insulated communities, many citizens on
either side of the river now look on the prospect of unity with a 
kind of dread.

"It's a disgrace!" said one Croat.  "The Serbs have gained most [ a
reference to the fact that they could hold the balance of power]. The
Croats are systematically abused. If the international community 
really wants peace here, Mostar should be divided into three."

"The Croats are discriminated against again," agreed another Croat. 
"We are the majority in this city but we will not have majority in 
the city council."

For the exact opposite reason, Bosniaks polled by IWPR took much the 
same line.  "Of course, we are against a unified Mostar," one Bosniak 
said. "The Croats have only become the majority as a consequence of 
war and because they expelled all the Serbs and at least 20,000 
Muslims."

"Because of the High Representative's decision, both the Croats and 
the Bosniaks from now on will have to lobby Serbs to have majority in 
the City Council," another Bosniak said.

Ashdown has warned that his decision was bound to appear 
controversial and to disappoint many.

"Not everyone will be satisfied, but everyone will find something for
himself," he said in a televised appeal on  January 28.

"In the end, whether Mostar succeeds in overcoming its divisions and 
the bitterness of the past is not up to me, but up to political 
leaders, no one else."

Maria Vlaho is an IWPR intern in London and Vladimir Maric a Mostar-
based freelance journalist.
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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:53:00 -0500
Subject: Bye bye Balkan Bill

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/163252p-143110c.html

U.S. ambassadors to Serbia inevitably become a part of the local soap 
opera. In some way at least. It happened to Eagleburger, it happened 
to Zimmerman, and it happened to Montgomery.

William Montgomery ended up cheating on his wife Lynne. His squeeze 
was Serbian blonde Biljana Jovic. Now he is out.

ivo

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:53:03 -0500
Subject: Computer that speaks Serbian

http://www.danas.co.yu/20040213/vojvodina1.html#5

Engineers of the Technology College of the University of Novi Sad 
announced that during the past 5 years they developed a software that 
reads Serbian language - both cyrillyc and roman alphabet.

With small adjustments they hope to be able to adapt it for Croatian 
and Bosnian market as well.

Serbia's Ministry for Culture and Media will distribute the CD with 
the software for free to every legally blind person in Serbia.

ivo 

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 22:32:08 -0500
Subject: Re: URGENT REQUEST: Ivo, Please Read

http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=9186
Well, he is free now. This guys from Sunday Mirror screwed three 
young smart locals up with their irresponsible sensationalism. The 
government is pissed. IFEX is right to protest: what kind of stupid 
charge is that "defamation of Montenegro" - SInisa couldn't possibly 
want to have an article in which he is depicted as a leading 
Montenegro's pimp published in a British tabloid. The defense should 
be able to get them off. Montenegro should demand accountability from 
Sunday Mirror, though. Because if court did not find Sinisa guilty of 
the crimes described in Sunday Mirror, then SM is guilty of 
defamation, slander, libel. Chilling thought of course may be that 
the story is true and the defamation charges are just a part of the 
government cover-up. 
http://www.infowars.com/print/misc/un_child_slaves.htm
http://www.antenam.net/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=23996
picture of sinisa nadazdin:
http://home.no.net/kkahrs/main.html
ivo


On 15 Feb 2004 at 23:34, Kendra Holtzman wrote:

Dear Ivo,

I pray that you might provide some immediate advice for my friend,
Sinisa Nadazdin, who has been falsely accused of human trafficking in
Montenegro.  Perhaps you have read something of his story in the last
two weeks?  I met Sinisa in August, 2002, while conducting my
dissertation research in Croatia.  He was a participant in the
"Renewing Our Minds" conference, where young people from the former
Yugoslavia are brought together for intensive reconciliation work.  
He
is an amazing young man who could not possibly be guilty of the
charges against him.

I am terribly frightened for his safety.  Please read his letter
below, written on 2/13/04.  Do you know of anyone who could help with
either legal advice or political process?  Could anyone on the
JUSTWATCH-L list help?  I know from reading your posts on JUSTWATCH
and CERJ that you have deep convictions on matters such as this.

My deepest thanks for your help, Ivo,

Kendra

Dear friends

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  I hope 
you
are all well and that God is blessing you and leading you in your
lives!

It has been a while since I have addressed you. I could say many
excuses, but non of them seems good enough.  The truth is that people
usually remember their friends at the bad moments, in crises and when
they need help.

The truth is that I truly need help in next couple of months. What I
am going through in last two weeks is still very hard for me to
believe that is really happening.  But let me go from beginning ...

I don't know how well you remember me from ROM 2002.  Those that I
have spent more time with know that I was working occasionally with
foreign journalists who were coming to Montenegro.  I was working for
them as a fixer -- a person who arranges contacts, interviews,
interpreting, guiding and doing all the necessary logistics.

That is something that I was doing in January this year. I was 
working
with British journalist Dominic Hipkins (who was working for the
Sunday Mirror, a British tabloid), doing a story on a children
trafficking in Montenegro.  As you may see this is very sensitive
topic that already caused a big affair in Montenegro, because
allegedly some of the high Government officials were involved in sex
trafficking a year and a half ago.

During a period from 7-9th of January, Hipkins and I were trying to
get some information about these activities.  Together with us, there
was another guy doing the same thing like me, by the name of Jovo
Martinovic.

In this period I was giving my best to find some true information
about this subject, arranging two interviews.  One of them was about
ways of trafficking, and another was with a lady whose granddaughter
was allegedly kidnapped and transported to Italy.

Besides this work, I myself gave interview to Hipkins about the
position and living conditions of the Roma community in Podgorica and
Montenegro.  The reason I gave an interview to him was that my NGO
"Philia" had some projects within Roma community in the previous 
year.
 Those projects consisted of humanitarian aid relief, supporting a
single mother with seven children, supporting some other families,
plus the distribution of Shoeboxes to the Roma and other 
disadvantaged
families.

The largest project we had was a kindergarten we organized from
February to July 2003.  35 children attended that kindergarten from
Roma, Albanian, Bosniak/Moslem and Orthodox families.

During the few days I worked with Hipkins, I noticed that he was 
ready
to do anything to "get his story done", including lying and inventing
different things.  Nevertheless, in my wildest dreams I couldn't
imagine what he is capable of.

On Sunday 25th of January this article was published in the Sunday
Mirror, in which I was accused of being the biggest child trafficker
in Montenegro, who uses his NGO just as a cover up for selling
children and arranging illegal adoptions.  I was also accused of
working closely with mafia bosses and organized crime generally.

It is unnecesssary to say that when I read the article, I was shocked
and I almost fainted away.  The accusations were so horrible that it
seemed like a nightmare. 

This news echoed in the local newspapers on Tuesday, the 27th of
January, and since then I gave several interviews, including to
including Radio Free Europe and national TV.  But unfortunately this
went much further than Montenegro.  It was shown by VOA on Serbian,
RAI UNO, Canadian TV, etc.  I have received many phone calls from
Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Norway, England, etc.

All these accusations made me extremely interesting to police and
State Security Service.  I spent many hours in police answering many
different questions.  I was detained for 24 hours in police (28/29th
of January).  Everything went well, the investigation showed my
innocence and I was hoping that things will settle down. 

Unfortunately, it turned out that I was celebrating too fast.

On Tuesday 3rd of February, I was called to come to police station
once again.  They told me on the phone that "we need to clarify few
more things".  When I came there it showed that they don't want to
talk, but that their intention was to arrest me.  The accusation was
that in the process of writting the story we made "defamation of the
Republic of Montenegro".

First of all I couldn't believe what they are saying.  I thought it
was another police trick they are using during interrogation when 
they
want to find out something new.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I was
arrested and taken into custody.

But while doing this they didn't tell me that they are arresting me. 
They said that they will let me go in the evening, "tommorow morning
latest" and that what I have said to my parents.  Again unfortunately
that was not truth.

They locked me up in a cell where I was freezing for the next 24
hours.  I had two stinky blankets and a bed that I needed to share
with two other guys that night.  There was no toilet in the cell and
we needed to call guard each time when we wanted to use one. 

After 24 hours instead of taking us to the judge, they took us to a
prison where me, Martinovic, and two of his friends spent almost 48
hours in solitary cells.  In my cell there was no electricity, the
toilet was broken, and there was no window.

Then they took us to the judge and then turned us back to prison for
next 4 days.  Later we found out that 7 days custody was because of
great public and political preasure on the judge. We got out on last
Tuesday.  We thought it is the end but on Thursday the public
prosecutor made a suit against us and now we are expecting a trial at
the beginning of March.

In the meantime, while we were in custody, there was tremendous media
lynch, mainly caused by police press release where they accused us
that we have "betrayed Montenegro deliberately working against it". 
They said many lies about us which was once again hard to believe.  
We
are accused of being "enemies of the state who defamed the image of
Montenegro in the world".

After being defamed by the Sunday Mirror, I faced another defamation,
but this time by police.  To anyone who was following this case from
the beginning it was easy to notice some unlogical things written in
newspapers released by police, but I don't want to go into the
details.

Simply put, the story that we did came in a very bad momment for
political leaders of Montenegro.  Almost at the same time they were 
in
Washington visiting Congress and "presenting national strategy on
fighting against human trafficking".  They wanted to show that they
did good job in the past and that there is no trafficking in
Montenegro (which is very unlikely, actually not a truth) and that
Montenegro doesn't have problem with it.  The accusations against
Government and some politicians conerning trafficking -- they want to
proove that all of that was a lie -- which is not truth once again.

I claim that we are victims of political process, just like those 
that
were going on during Stalin time in Soviet Union and other Communist
regimes.  They want to lock us up for telling the truth, so that they
may look good in front of international community and donors.

I urge to all of you who have contacts in organizations who deal with
human rights, press freedoms, monitoring of trials, etc., to alarm
them about our case.  If you can not do it by yourself I beg you to
give me their contacts.

Also, if you know people in positions where they could make some
positive influence on Montenegrin Government concerning our case,
please give me their contact or to inform them about our case by
yourself.  Any kind of assistance would be extremely helpful to us in
these moments when we feel that the whole system has turned against
us.

Usually, Montenegrin courts are not this quick, and that tells that
they want to do this so quickly that international organizations 
don't
have time to react to what is going on.

For any further information you can contact me on this email or on 
the
phone numbers +381 67 570 003 and +381 67 512 877

May God bless you all! Please pray for us!!!

Sincerely yours

Sinisa Nadazdin
Podgorica, Montenegro

---------------------------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 22:04:56 -0500
Subject: croatia breaks

http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Croatia-Breaks-lyrics-U-S-
Bombs/0500C8BDA454CED648256CCA000FABE4

US punk band writes a song "Croatia Breaks" - obviously about Croatia 
under Tudjman - only 5 years too late.

ivo---------------------------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 21:08:21 -0500
Subject: ngos in the balkans

An interesting and useful link and run by the military - lists all 
international ngo-s doing something in the Balkans:
http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/ngos/organizations.html
ivo---------------------------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:51:20 -0500
Subject: US refugees in Canada

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1152989,00.html

Just as it was during the Vietnam War era, young Americans today are 
seeking refuge in Canada from the oppressive militarism of the Bush 
administration.

ivo

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 13:55:49 -0500
Subject: The Rather Complex Deliverer of Human Bads

Since Le Pen might not be allowed to run in France because of a legal 
technicality, Serbian Radical Party may remain the only fascist 
political group effectively holding the majority in a parliament of 
any European country. Reasonably, Kostunica, who now may be the 
Serbia's next prime minister, is nervous about showing willingness to 
co-operate with ICTY. This letter is to remind him that as a 
statesman he needs to put the international legal obligations above 
the temporary political concerns.
ivo

date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 20:47:51 +0200
from: "Youth Initiative"
Molerova 78/4
Tel: +381 11/ 344 59 47, 344 59 48
e-mail: office {AT} yi.org.yu
subject: 	Open Letter on Prime Minister's Stand on the Hague Tribunal
addressee: 	Vojislav Kostunica, President of the DSS and Prime 
Minister Designate of the new Government of Serbia 
sender: 	Andrej Nosov, Executive
Director of the Youth Initiative


Dear Mr. Kostunica,

I direct this letter to your attention, prompted by a recent 
statement of yours expressed in the latest interview to the American 
Agency AP. As mentioned in the interview, cooperation with the Hague 
Tribunal will not be a top priority of the new government, which is 
to say that "military and police generals indicted by this Tribunal 
will not be extradited". AP also quotes your remark about Serbia 
refusing to be "a simple deliverer of human goods to the Hague 
Tribunal", as well as your statement that arrest and extraditions of 
the Hague indictees would only "strengthen the ultranationalist 
Serbian Radical Party, consequently contributing to deterioration of 
situation in the whole region."

Such a statement, announcing the future course and decisions on the 
part of the new government, of which you are presently the Prime 
Minister Designate, clearly expresses this government's tendency 
toward violations of the law and international obligations previously 
accepted by our country. Allow me to remind you that your public 
appearances, always solemnly dedicated to the rule of law and the 
respect of the law, seriously collide with the mentioned statement, 
which in essence announces a clear breach of the Law on Cooperation 
with the ICTY, along with numerous other international obligations. 
Your statement is an insult to the human dignity of those citizens in 
the region, who had suffered the most horrible experiences, murders, 
torture and expulsions. Above all, your statement is a slap in the 
face to the victims of gravest crimes currently processed before the 
Hague Tribunal.

As the future Prime Minister of Serbia you are obliged to ensure that
international obligations undertaken by this country are duly 
respected.
On the other hand, you must show an unambiguous willingness to create
discontinuity with the previous political period filled with the 
horrors of war. It is your duty to work in line with the Statute of 
the Hague Tribunal and the present Law on Cooperation with the ICTY, 
ensuring that all the indictees residing on the territory of our 
country are immediately extradited. Only through such decisions and 
actions will you be able to demonstrate that your political agenda is 
indeed different from the one enacted by your predecessors.

One of the top priorities of the new government of Serbia must be the
prosecution of all those responsible for committing the criminal acts
described in domestic criminal laws as grave violation of 
international humanitarian law. It is not rationally possible to 
advocate for the rule of law and legalism, and at the same time to 
challenge the Hague Tribunal.

With regard to your remark that Serbia should not act as "a deliverer 
of human goods", it should perhaps be noted that this statement 
expresses an irresponsible stand of a political leader. Serbia must 
be fully committed to punishing all those responsible for mass 
violations of human rights, regardless of where the crime took place. 
This is the only road to restoring dignity on victims and to 
establishing the rule of law.

You must know that Serbian Radical Party (SRS) will not be 
additionally strenghtened by the extradition of the Hague indictees, 
but by your reluctance to bring to justice the members of the SRS who 
had been involved in the persecutions, forced expulsions and killings 
of civilian population, or by your hesitation to create the 
neccessary conditions for the domestic judiciary to independently 
prosecute those responsible for committing criminal acts.

Should the new government and you as the future Prime Minister refuse 
to cooperate with the Hague Tribunal, certain explanations must be 
given to the citizens of this country. You and all the members of 
your cabinet will be held accountable for the consequences of this 
stand. Above all, it will be your duty to explain when will justice 
be done in this ocuntry and who will be the one pursuing 
accountability for all violations of the law and international 
standards.

Immediately after assuming the role of the Serbian Prime Minister, as 
a leader advocating for cooperation in the region, you are expected 
to do all you can to ensure that persons responsible for committing 
war crimes and other criminal acts in the past are duly prosecuted. 
However, these obligations should not be confined to domestic 
judiciary. Together with Montenegro, Serbia is a member of the United 
Nations. Apart from many privileges, this membership entails a very 
clear obligation of every member-state to cooperate with the United 
Nations insitutions and bodies.
In this sense, the government of Serbia is obliged to fully cooperate 
with the Hague Tribunal.


Andrej Nosov
Youth Initiative
Executive Director

---------------------------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 18:31:24 -0500
Subject: U.S. Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles

that's a nice one for the freedom of thought
ivo

------- Forwarded message follows -------
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/02/24/1557214

Tuesday, February 24th, 2004
Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles from Iran, Iraq, Sudan,
Libya or Cuba

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control
recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored
in nations under trade embargoes which include Iran, Iraq, Sudan,
Libya and Cuba.

Although publishing the articles is legal, editing is a "service" and
the treasury department says it is illegal to perform services for
embargoed nations. It can be punishable by fines of up to a
half-million dollars or jail terms as long as 10 years.

       Robert Bovenschulte, president of the publications division 
of
the American Chemical Society, which decided this week decided to
challenge the government and risk criminal prosecution by editing
articles submitted from the five embargoed nations.

TRANSCRIPT
This transcript is available free of charge, however donations help 
us
provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV
broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution. [Find links to
donate at URL above. -sw]

AMY GOODMAN: The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets
Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works
authored in nations under trade embargoes, which include, Iran, Iraq,
Sudan, Libya and Cuba. Although publishing the articles is legal,
editing is a, quote, service, and the Treasury Department says it's
illegal to perform services for embargoed nations. It can be
punishable by fines of up to half a million dollars or jail terms as
long as ten years. Robert Bovenschulte is with the American Chemical
Society, which decided this week to challenge the government and 
risks
criminal prosecution by editing articles submitted from these five
embargoed nations. Can you talk more about this decision?

ROBERT BOVENSCHULTE: Certainly. Let me make clear first of all that 
we
are by no means alone in taking this position. In fact, there are 
very
few publishers that have decided to restrict their normal publishing
activities as a result of the OFAC ruling, which was issued in late
September. The difference for the American Chemical Society, which, 
by
the way, is the largest professional society in the world with 
160,000
members, was to take a moratorium and put that in place in November
while we studied the impact of the ruling, and the legal situation 
and
sorted out our options. Because, therefore, we have now lifted the
moratorium, we have actually have more attention paid to us than
perhaps is necessary, because in fact, major commercial publishers 
and
other society publishers like the American Chemical Society are in
fact continuing to publish just as they have. Most of them never
stopped. We simply took a pause to reassess the situation. It is very
peculiar. You can divide the so-called services into two categories;
one is the traditional peer review function whereby noted scientists
in given fields are asked by our editors, who are also experts, to
review a given article and make a judgment about it, whether it is
publishable or not, whether it's important work, and also to offer
comments that might improve the work. The second category has to do
with what is regarded as copy editing and this means, of course,
correcting grammar, rewriting some sentences in minor ways, changing
punctuation, and conforming the material to a given style guideline.
Curiously, the OFAC ruling when it came out in late September seemed
to permit peer review, but very definitely prohibited this copy
editing function. We had clarification from OFAC that probably peer
review is indeed permissible and does not violate the trade embargo.
We believe however, that this needs to be cleared up in its entirety.
And the copy editing matter is particularly curious because --
basically, they are alleging that some important service is being
provided by a person who sits there and makes sure that the language
of the paper -- these are highly technical papers, by the way, that
the language has appropriate English and conforms to publishers' 
style
guidelines. This is curious to us and we cannot understand really 
what
the rationale for that prohibition is. So, publishers under the
auspices of the Association of American Publishers, which is our 
trade
association, have in fact formed a litigation task force. We haven't
yet taken action and haven't even decided that we will take action.
But we believe we are on very good grounds, legally, on two bases. 
One
is the first amendment, our right to publish, because what OFAC is
doing is a classic example of prior restraint; the second is the
so-called Berman amendment, which was passed in 1988 by Congressman
Howard Berman, who is still in the Congress. His amendment exempted
information materials from the items that would be applicable under
trade embargo. So, we believe we're on good legal grounds. We have
lifted the embargo - sorry - we have lifted the moratorium, because 
we
do not want to restrict publication since this is a worldwide 
activity
and we believe the only basis for deciding what to publish should be
the merits of the science.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you can public articles, research papers from Iran,
Iraq, Sudan, Libya, and Cuba, as long as they have mistakes in them?

ROBERT BOVENSCHULTE: That's one way of looking at it. The mistakes
that we would catch in a copy editing process would be relatively
minor in terms of the substance of the article. We were very 
concerned
that the -- if peer review was denied or peer review could be done,
but the comments from the peer reviewers could not be sent to the
authors for correction, that would involve then potentially really
substantive errors or mistakes in those papers. And of course, we did
not want to be publishing something that might contain errors that we
could have caught through the peer review process.

AMY GOODMAN: Is there a specific article right now that you are
working on that you are editing from a particular embargoed country?

ROBERT BOVENSCHULTE: We are working on a number of papers at the
moment. I believe most, if not all of them, are from Iran. There have
been a few from Cuba, but I don't know where they are in the process
right now. But, yes, we are definitely working on multiple papers. We
had 195 subcommissions from Iran in 2003, and published 60 of those
papers.

AMY GOODMAN: And what does the government contend is the danger of
these reports?

ROBERT BOVENSCHULTE: The OFAC logic appeals to a concept of providing
services.

AMY GOODMAN: I just want to explain OFAC, of course, Office of 
Foreign
Assets Control in the Treasury Department.

ROBERT BOVENSCHULTE: Right. And they have said, while peer review is
probably okay, but if we edit material, we as American citizens are
providing a service to the authors in those countries, and that is
prohibited. We find this an absolutely bizarre ruling because there 
is
-- we cannot see that there is any risk at all to national security 
or
on any other grounds that would lead any reasonable person to 
prohibit
copy editing, And furthermore, we don't see why they would make such
an issue out of this. One straw in the wind is - and very bothersome 

this all began, as a matter of prologue, this all began because the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ran into a problem
in a conference that they ran in Iran about two years or so ago. And
they had difficulty then bringing funds back from Iran and that's
where this issue first arose, and then it cascaded into questions
about publication. The IEEE, I just mentioned, has applied for a
license because OFAC has said that if you apply for a license to do
this prohibited activity, we will consider it on the merits of the
individual case and render a judgment whether we will permit you to 
go
ahead and do your normal activities, or some subset of those normal
activities. Now, IEEE is still waiting on their license application,
which they submitted in October. What worries us as publishers
generally about this, is that we are in the position, if we apply for
a license, asking permission of the government as to what we ought to
publish, and how we ought to publish it. We believe that is a
fundamental violation of the first amendment. And so, our principled
stance at the American Chemical Society is, we are not going to apply
for a license. If we must fight this legally in concert with other
line-minded publishers, of which there are many, that's what we will
have to do.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you all for joining us and finally ask
Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists where you go from
here. You have published this major report. You have more than 70
scientists. 20 of them Nobel laureates, who are now protesting the
Bush White House's politicizing of science. What happens next?

ALDEN MEYER: Well, there's several things that are going on, Amy. 
One,
we are opening the statement that was issued last week to signature 
by
the general scientific community, engineering community, medical
community and then the week since it was issued without much effort 
on
our part, there has been over 1,000 scientists that have signed on to
the statement via our website. We will be taking that out
systematically to associations and networks of scientists and doctors
and engineers around the country to try to demonstrate the breadth 
and
depth of the concern about this process. Of course, we are continuing
to investigate and pursue leads to document additional examples of
abuse. I should say this is not just a pattern at individual 
agencies.
There's actually a proposal that's been made by the Office of
Management and Budget to centralize control over the peer review
process at federal agencies across the government. And in a rather
Orwellian twist on conflict of interest, their proposed rule would 
ban
most independent academic scientists who may receive funding or
government grants for the research from federal agencies from -- in
most cases serving on independent peer review panels on scientific 
and
technical studies, but would permit scientists whose funding is from
the industries regulated by the agencies to serve as peer reviewers,
as long as they did not have a direct personal financial conflict of
interest. So it sort of turns the notion of special interest on its
head. So that's another process we are following quite actively, and
trying to encourage the OMB to drop this proposed rule. We're also
talking with people up on Capitol Hill, both Democrats and
Republicans. There's obviously broad concern about this problem. 
We're
trying to get the relevant committees up there to do their own
investigations, hold some oversight hearings, and consider the need
for either legislation or rule makings that would put some guidelines
in place to prevent this kind of abuse from happening in the future.
That would include looking at conflict of interest rules. That could
include recreating some kind of independent scientific advisory
capacity within the Congress itself, such as it had before, the 
Office
of Technology Assessment was disbanded in 1995. It could include
reviewing the Federal Advisory Committee Act guidelines for
appointments to independent scientific advisory committees across the
government. There's a host of areas that we think Congress ought to
look at and consider the need for action to prevent these abuses in
the future.

AMY GOODMAN: The Union of Concerned Scientists' website is --

ALDEN MEYER: It's www.ucsusa.org.

AMY GOODMAN: Alden Meyer, with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Thanks for being with us.




______________________________________________________
Justice & human rights have no borders!
    No immunity for perpetrators of war
    crimes & crimes against humanity!
Shebar Windstone <shebar {AT} inch.com>
CHMOD http://www.inch.com/~shebar/
At-Home with Joan Nestle http://www.JoanNestle.com/
Vision of Tibet http://www.VisionofTibet.com/
Chushi Gangdruk http://www.ChushiGangdruk.org/
GLOW Tibet Archives http://www.tibet.org/glow/
TibetanIssues.org http://www.TibetanIssues.org/
(Un)Covering Tibet: Journalists & activists discuss news/media
http://www.mediachannel.org/views/roundtables/tibet_intro.shtml
______________________________________________________

------- End of forwarded message -------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 11:24:45 -0500
Subject: DU conundrum

http://www.sundayherald.com/print40096

World Health Organization blocks inquiry into whether depleted 
uranium used in US weapons systems causes cancers in the target 
population.---------------------------------------------------------

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 22:33:22 -0500
Subject: Bizzare Passion

Ok. I watched the Passion. I was excited to see that I understood 
most of the dialogue in Latin without reading subtitles. Although my 
high school grades would not suggest such proficiency. It may be that 
the Latin dialogue was actually very simple, like: "go" or "you, 
idiot" or "king of jews" (rex iudeorum). Which should be consistent 
with who spoke Latin in the movie: uneducated brutes in the imperial 
army. Those who joined because it was an easy way out of poverty. As 
Romans in an occupied province they could overcome their inferiority 
complex by getting off on flogging local transgressors to death. 
Because that's what the film is really all about. And as it is in all 
Mel Gibson movies (regardless whether he is an actor, director, ot 
both) the torture is depicted with the most gruesome realism, and 
meticulous attention to the detail. The guy simply gets off on pain. 
"Braveheart" at least had some story besides the torture. "Passion" 
is all about torture. Main charcter (Jesus) is tortured from the very 
beginning (when we see him painfully worried - he tortures himself 
thinking about what is about to happen to him) to the very end of the 
film. So, if you are into whipping scenes, Passion offers some of the 
best shots in Hollywood history. What perplexes me, nevertheless, are 
the clean-cut people in nice clothes outside the theaters that are 
distributing fliers, cards, using the opportunity to proselitize and 
preach. They come in droves to see the film, dressed as if they are 
going to a mass. They come as families with children. And they would 
absolutely never allow their children to see such a movie under any 
other circumstances. No. They would fight to get that movie banned 
from the theaters for the blood and gore. But here this is allegedly 
the real story of Christ, so they are blinded by the purpose and do 
not see the actual graphic violence of the movie. Pain is at the root 
of faith. Love is a distant cousin, that faintly appears only in 
memories. And the message is devoured by the right as a gospel. I've 
heard there are groups that buy blocks of tickets to see the movie 
together. There is something uncanny spectacular with two guys 
literally panting exhausted from flaying a man, isn't it?

ivo

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 22:20:56 -0500
Subject: Super Tuesday at Killington VT

http://www.iht.com/articles/132091.html

Residents of Killington VT will vote tommorrow whether to secede from 
Vermont and join New Hampshire. They complain that they pay too much 
in taxes while getting too little in benefits from the state, because 
they are rich. The largest ski-resort on eastern seabord is located 
in their county, resulting in higher priced real-estate.

ivo

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2004 11:42:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Direct Action <<>> The Fire This Time in Haiti was US-Fueled

While there was no bombing campaign and costly ground operation, 
there is no doubt that Aristide was removed by the US. In fact, the 
fate of the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere is determined by 
the US for the past hundred or so years.

Republicans never liked Aristide. Despite being democratically 
elected, he got to rule Haiti only with the US support, that was 
granted to him under Clinton. Bush promptly witheld that support, 
setting him to fail. When their favorite rebels approached the city, 
Americans packed Aristide on Boeing 757 and sent him off to Africa, 
putting US Marines on the streets to control the rebels.

There is nothing new in the news that the US is policing Haiti like 
any poor US inner city neighborhood. What is interesting though is:
1) there seems to be US-French co-operation in ousting Aristide - 
strange, given the rift over Iraq, and definitely intriguing
2) Aristide was destroyed by Bush economically - Bush's 
administration simply withdraw all support to Haiti, that Clinton had 
pledged, and the international financial institutions followed giving 
Aristide cold shoulder.

The observed mechanism that is dangerous here is that the 
international financial institutions, which should act independently 
on behalf of all nations, follow the American lead so sheepishly and 
unquestionably, becoming the victims, and making their beneficiaries -
 poor nations of the world - victims of the US special interests and 
inner political struggles.

ivo

March 1, 2004 by the Taipei Times / Taiwan

The Fire This Time in Haiti was US-Fueled
  --------------------------------------------------------------------

The Bush Administration Appears to have Succeeded in its Long-Time
Goal of Toppling Aristide Through Years of Blocking International Aid
to his Impoverished Nation

by Jeffrey Sachs

Haiti, once again, is ablaze. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is
widely blamed, and he may be toppled soon. Almost nobody, however,
understands that today's chaos was made in Washington -- 
deliberately,
cynically and steadfastly. History will bear this out. In the
meantime, political, social, and economic chaos will deepen, and
Haiti's impoverished people will suffer.

The Bush administration has been pursuing policies likely to topple
Aristide since 2001. The hatred began when Aristide, then a parish
priest and democracy campaigner against Haiti's ruthless Duvalier
dictatorship, preached liberation theology in the 1980s. Aristide's
attacks led US conservatives to brand him as the next Fidel Castro.?

They floated stories that Aristide was mentally deranged. 
Conservative
disdain multiplied several-fold when then-president Bill Clinton took
up Aristide's cause after he was blocked from electoral victory in
1991 by a military coup. Clinton put Aristide into power in 1994, and
conservatives mocked Clinton for wasting America's efforts on "nation
building" in Haiti. This is the same right wing that has squandered
US$160 billion on a far more violent and dubious effort at "nation
building" in Iraq.?

Attacks on Aristide began as soon as the Bush administration assumed
office. I visited Aristide in Port-au-Prince in early 2001. He
impressed me as intelligent and intent on good relations with Haiti's
private sector and the US. No firebrand, he sought advice on how to
reform his economy and explained his realistic and prescient concerns
that the American right would try to wreck his presidency.

Haiti was clearly in a desperate condition: the most impoverished
country in the Western Hemisphere, with a standard of living
comparable to sub-Saharan Africa despite being only a few hours by 
air
from Miami. Life expectancy was 52 years. Children were chronically
hungry.

Of every 1,000 children born, more than 100 died before their fifth
birthday. An AIDS epidemic, the worst in the Caribbean, was running
unchecked. The health system had collapsed. Fearing unrest, tourists
and foreign investors were staying away, so there were no jobs to be
had.

But Aristide was enormously popular in early 2001. Hopes were high
that he would deliver progress against the extraordinary poverty.
Together with Dr. Paul Farmer, the legendary AIDS doctor in Haiti, I
visited villages in Haiti's Central Plateau, asking people about 
their
views of politics and Aristide.? Everybody referred to the president
affectionately as "Titid." Here, clearly, was an elected leader with
the backing of Haiti's poor, who constituted the bulk of the
population.

When I returned to Washington, I spoke to senior officials in the 
IMF,
World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and Organization of
American States. I expected to hear that these international
organizations would be rushing to help Haiti.

Instead, I was shocked to learn that they would all be suspending 
aid,
under vague "instructions" from the US. Washington, it seemed, was
unwilling to release aid to Haiti because of irregularities in the
2000 legislative elections, and was insisting that Aristide make 
peace
with the political opposition before releasing any aid.

The US position was a travesty. Aristide had been elected president 
in
an indisputable landslide. He was, without doubt, the popularly
elected leader of the country -- a claim that President George W. 
Bush
cannot make about himself.

Nor were the results of the legislative elections in 2000 in doubt:
Aristide's party had also won in a landslide.? It was claimed that
Aristide's party had stolen a few seats. If true -- and the 
allegation
remains unproved -- it would be nothing different from what has
occurred in dozens of countries around the world receiving support
from the IMF, World Bank, and the US itself. By any standard, Haiti's
elections had marked a step forward in democracy, compared to the
decades of military dictatorships that America had backed, not to
mention long periods of direct US military occupation.

The more one sniffed around Washington the less America's position
made sense. People in positions of responsibility in international
agencies simply shrugged and mumbled that they couldn't do more to
help Haiti in view of the Bush veto on aid. Moreover, by saying that
aid would be frozen until Aristide and the political opposition
reached an agreement, the Bush administration provided Haiti's
un-elected opposition with an open-ended veto. Aristide's foes merely
had to refuse to bargain in order to plunge Haiti into chaos.?

That chaos has now come. It is sad to hear rampaging students on BBC
and CNN saying that Aristide "lied" because he didn't improve the
country's social conditions. Yes, Haiti's economic collapse is 
fueling
rioting and deaths, but the lies were not Aristide's. The lies came
from Washington.

Even now, Aristide says that he will share power with the opposition,
but the opposition says no. Aristide's opponents know that US
right-wingers will stand with them to bring them violently to power.
As long as that remains true, Haiti's agony will continue.

Jeffrey Sachs is professor of economics and director of the Earth
Institute at Columbia University.

--

______________________________________________
Nemo me impune lacessit. No one strikes me with impunity.

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