Against the Current 74

— The Editors
THEY BOMBED IN Columbus, big time. Nonetheless the Clinton administration's wag-the-dog and pony show "Demons of 1998," starring "Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction," continues its theatrical run in the op-ed pages of the elite press.
— Michael Parenti
WHEN A MIDDLE-AGED acquaintance of mine bragged that he weighed the same today as he did in his youth, I reminded him that weight resembles wealth; it's not merely the aggregate accumulation that counts, it's the distribution. And wealth differs from weight in that it tends to accumulate at the top.
— Cary Nelson
AS I SIT at my computer thinking about the future of higher education, I have before me samizdat faxes of a collaborative document with its stunned, startled gaze fixed on the past. They are two versions--draft no. 3 and the final version--of the Modern Language Association's (MLA) Report from its Committee on Professional Employment (CPE).
— Kim Moody
ONLY A MONTH after rejecting a deal backed by both the company and the leaders of the United Auto Workers (UAW) by 58%, union members at Caterpillar ratified the same contract by 54% on March 22--but with one big difference the second time.
— Marian Swerdlow
THE FUTURE DIRECTION of New York City's most potentially powerful union hangs in the balance as Transport Workers Union Local 100faces its second election within six months. The local, which represents workers who operate and maintain the city's buses and subways, brought New York City to a halt with strikes in 1966 and1980.
In December 1997, New Directions, a rank-and-file slate with a dramatically new vision, nearly defeated incumbents led by President Willie James. The official count showed...
— The Editors
— Tod Ensign
A VISITOR FROM another planet might look at America's military budget and ask; “Why does it keep growing if the country has no credible opponents?” Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union seven years ago, the U.S. military continues to pursue the strategic goal of “containment.”
— Catherine Sameh
IT'S GOOD TO be a girl these days. Almost everywhere you look—school, family, sports, culture—girls are supported for being strong, smart and independent.
Slogans like “Girls Kick Ass” or “Celebrate Girls” can be found on everything from bumper stickers to hats, posters and shirts. And if sloganeering seems superficial, a new body of literature that seriously explores girls' lives and the issues they face in the world is growing with each passing day.
How do we...
— R. F. Kampfer
— Dan La Botz
MORE THAN FOUR years since it began, the Mayan Indian rebellion in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas led by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) seems as intractable a political problem as ever. Why has the Mexican government found it impossible to reach some accommodation with the indigenous people of Chiapas?
— Hector Diaz-Polanco
THE MASSACRE IN the town of Acteal on December 22, carried out by an armed group associated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), deeply touched the country of Mexico and had a powerful impact on international public opinion.  Forty-five indigenous people were murdered with unknown cruelty, while others were seriously wounded.
— Phyllis Ponvert
ON A RECENT trip to Chiapas, Mexico, I had the opportunity to witness events that are very different than what I see when I turn on the evening news. On February 16 I traveled with the Chiapas Youth Media Project to Chiapas on a one-week trip to deliver video cameras and conduct training workshops in two indigenous communities.  Despite the illegal abduction, jailing and expulsion from Mexico of one of the project's founders, Tom Hansen, we successfully completed the work.
— Edward Said
IT WOULD BE a mistake, I think, to reduce what is happening between Iraq and the United States simply to an assertion of Arab will and sovereignty on the one hand versus American imperialism, which undoubtedly plays a central role in all this. However misguided, Saddam Hussein's cleverness is not that he is splitting America from its allies (which he has not really succeeded in doing for any practical purpose), but that he is exploiting the astonishing clumsiness and failures of U.S. foreign...
— David Finkel
WHO WON THE diplomatic battle of Baghdad?  Did the resolute willingness to deploy military power enable the United States government to achieve major strategic objectives without having to actually use it?  Or did a weak President throw away an historic chance to impose U.S. will on adversaries and allies alike?
— Stanley Heller
SADDAM HUSSEIN'S GREATEST crime was the invasion of Iran in 1980. The resulting war left an estimated million dead and 1.7 million wounded.
When the war went badly for Saddam and Iranians drove out his troops and attacked Iraq, the noble nations of the West and the peace-loving monarchies of the Gulf aided Hussein. With weapons and loans they helped the “Butcher of Baghdad” in his hour of need. When the war ended Saddam retained some of the land he had conquered.
— Michael Betzold
IN 1991 I was a reporter at the Detroit Free Press. I watched, appalled, as the city room became a war room and the newspaper a propaganda sheet The headlines, the stories, the pictures all cheered on the generals. Television was presenting the war as great entertainment, a glorified video game, and the Free Press wanted to grab a share of this boom market....
— The Michigan Committee on Jerusalem
This statement is initiated by the Michigan Committee on Jerusalem, an intercultural and interfaith Michigan group concerned with issues of the future of Jerusalem and peace in Palestine/Israel. The Committee is seeking signatures and endorsements from clergy and community leaders. For further information on the struggle around Jerusalem we suggest that readers contact the American Committee on Jerusalem, 4201 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 302, Washington DC 20008, Phone (202) 237-0215.
— Tikva Honig-Parnass
IN 1983, ONE year before she died, as part of putting her things in order--and perhaps as part of her preparations for death--my mother presented me with a large plastic bag in which she kept my letters to my family in Hadera, ever since I left home at the age of 16 in order to study at Beit HaKarem High School in Jerusalem.
— Betsy Esch and Nancy Coffin Interview Barbara Harlow
BARBARA HARLOW IS a Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin where she is currently at work putting together an archive of imperialism. Professor Harlow is a longtime Palestine solidarity activist and is responsible for the English translation and publication of many works by the Palestinian revolutionary writer Gassan Kanafani.
Nancy Coffin, a graduate student at Columbia University who writes on revolutionary literature, and Betsy Esch, a graduate student at New York...
— Eddie Hejka
I LIVE IN a racially-mixed, predominantly African American, community-oriented safe neighborhood. We know all our neighbors. Our children attend good public schools. They participate in neighborhood little league, soccer, art classes and various other activities....
— Heather Ann Thompson
I AM QUITE taken aback by Eddie Hejka's response to my review of Tom Sugrue's book. Until only last August (when I had to move for a teaching job) I too grew up and lived in that same "racially-mixed, predominantly African American, community-oriented safe neighborhood" that Hejka describes, called Rosedale Park....
— Tyrone Williams and Alex Lichtenstein
— Morris Slavin
NATHAN “NATIE” GOULD, a founder of the Fourth International and a former secretary-organizer of the Socialist Workers Party's youth group, the Spartacus Youth League (SYL), died November 10, 1997. My impressions of him follow.