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First, we apologize that our blog system and our Z Magazine online
facility have been having some operational hiccups. We are working on
fixing the problem but slowdowns of those systems may persist for a few
more days. Very sorry!


Second, we would like to bring to your attention two petitions linked
from ZNet's top page.

The first is to support the workers occupying and running the Bauen
Hotel in Argentina. They are under assault. Their efforts are singularly
important. Please check out the petition and consider signing. The link
is http://www.petitiononline.com/bauen/petition.html

The second seeks to assist our friends at Aram publishing house in
Turkey who are under attack, again. You may remember the last round when
it was their publication of a Chomsky book. Now it is another book, but
the same repressive dynamic, and they need support. The link is
http://www.aramyayincilik.org/


Finally, third, in this mailing we also bring to your attention book
interviews regarding two new books by ZNet authors. These follow
immediately below:


Book Interview regarding In the Name of Democracy...

Interviewing Jeremy Brecher about the new book IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY:
AMERICAN WAR CRIMES IN IRAQ AND BEYOND edited by Jeremy Brecher, Jill
Cutler, and Brendan Smith (Metropolitan/Holt, 2005)

Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new book, IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY:
AMERICAN WAR CRIMES IN IRAQ AND BEYOND," is about?  What is it trying to
communicate?

There are a lot of bad things in the world, but a global consensus has
singled out certain of them as war crimes - things like aggressive war,
attacks on civilians, and torture.  And unfortunately, there is massive
evidence that the U.S. is committing war crimes in Iraq and other places
around the world - and that the Bush administration is planning to
commit even more in the future.

The purpose of the book is to help Americans face up to what our country
has been doing in Iraq and more broadly in the war on terror - and to
face up to the responsibilities those realities entail for the rest of
us.  It explores the evidence for U.S. war crimes.  It addresses the
question of who is responsible for them - a few "bad apples" at the
bottom or high officials of the Bush administration?  It examines the
plans to continue them in Iraq and also in relation to countries like
Syria and Iran and in secret detention centers around the globe.

But the book does more than just present an indictment of U.S. policies.
It opens up the historical, legal, and moral questions that American war
crimes pose. It presents the story of those who have refused to
participate in them.  And it looks at the responsibility of ordinary
citizens to halt war crimes and how that responsibility might be met.

 
Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book?  Where does the
content come from?  What went into making the book what it is?

The book draws on a wide range of documents - from the protocols of the
Geneva Convention, to FBI e-mails about treatment of detainees, to
executive branch papers justifying the circumvention of international
law.  It includes eyewitness accounts, victim testimonials, and
statements by soldiers turned resisters and whistle-blowers.  We
prepared introductions to these materials to bring out their
significance for the overall story of American war crimes abroad and
their implications for democracy at home.

What are your hopes for "IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY?  What do you hope it
will contribute or achieve, politically?  Given the effort and
aspirations you have for the book, what will you deem to be a success?
What would leave you happy about the whole undertaking?  What would
leave you wondering if it was worth all the time and effort?

The international law of war crimes provides "red lines" of criminal
behavior that no nation may cross.  We hope the book will help Americans
to hold accountable those who have committed, ordered, and condoned war
crimes in our name.

Justice Robert Jackson, chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg
Tribunal that tried Nazi leaders for war crimes after World War II, said
in his opening statement, "The ultimate step in avoiding periodic wars,
which are inevitable in a system of international lawlessness, is to
make statesmen responsible to law."

The democratic institutions that are responsible for law enforcement
have been paralyzed in the face of the Bush administration.  But we are
now beginning to see their revitalization.  The indictment of Lewis
Libby and the demand of Senate Democrats for investigation of the
intelligence that led the U.S. into the Iraq war are just two examples.

But that is just a beginning.  And further steps will depend primarily
on what we the people do.  As Richard Falk puts it in our book, "global
civil society" must "extend the reach of criminal accountability to
include those leaders acting on behalf of dominant states."  We'll be
happy if the book helps Americans - and people around the world - move
toward that goal.


IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY: AMERICAN WAR CRIMES IN IRAQ AND BEYOND edited
by Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler, and Brendan Smith (Metropolitan/Holt,
2005)

More information at: http://www.americanempireproject.com


---


Book Interview with Betsy Hartmann about Making Threats...


Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new anthology Making Threats:
Biofears and Environmental Anxieties is about?  What is it trying to
communicate?

We live in times of proliferating fears.  Along with daily updates on
the "war on terror", frightening environmental and biological narratives
and images circulate widely in the media, policy circles and popular
culture. Many of them draw on old colonial stereotypes as well as more
current racial and nativist prejudices.   Making Threats looks at how
these narratives and images - from concerns about teeming Third World
populations, to images of exotic and alien species invasions that
threaten native and natural habitats, to portrayals of deadly bacteria
and viruses waiting to strike -- are implicated in the identification
and construction of threats to individual, national and global security.
The contributors come from a wide variety of disciplines, but share in
common the belief that biofears and environmental anxieties need to be
critically examined because they play a such a powerful role in
scapegoating certain people and nations as the 'enemy Other',
naturalizing violence and inequality, and furthering the militarization
of U.S. society in the post 9/11 period.  The book gives readers tools
to understand and unravel contemporary fears as well as to identify the
strategic political and economic interests that deploy them. 


Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book? Where does the
content come from?  What went into making the book what it is?

The three editors - myself, Banu Subramaniam and Charles Zerner - first
came together for a seminar at Hampshire College on "Imaging
Immigration: From Biological Invasions to National Security Threats."
Our goal was to explore negative environmental narratives and images of
migration in the contemporary U.S. where the "war on terror' is
targeting immigrants as national security threats.  As the result of
this collaboration, we came up with the idea of an anthology which would
cross academic disciplines as well as the academic-activist divide to
explore the 'making' of threats. We organized the book around five
themes - security, scarcity, purity, circulation and terror, and
contacted people we knew who worked on related issues and asked them to
write chapters or reflections for the book.  It was a politically and
intellectually exciting process to pull the book together as we felt all
the contributors were breaking out of the box, pushing boundaries,
discovering new tools for analyzing and responding to the escalating
rhetoric of fear that surrounds us. 


What are your hopes for Making Threats?  What do you hope it will
contribute or achieve, politically?  Given the efforts and aspirations
you have for the book, what will you deem to be a success? What would
leave you happy about the whole undertaking?  What would leave you
wondering if it was worth all the time and effort?

First of all, we really hope the book is read widely inside the academy
and out. We purposely designed the book to be accessible to all kinds of
readers. The contributions are eloquent and provocative.  Taken
separately or together, they help people unravel the dense web of
language, ideology and political economy involved in producing fears and
threats.  The insights gained in that process can then be applied to
many other situations.  I can honestly say I don't look at the world the
same way after working on this book.  I am much more discerning about
what I am fearful of and why. The book's main goal is to raise political
consciousness.  Progressives cannot afford to ignore the central role of
fear and anxiety in legitimizing the violence of the national security
state.  Environmentalists in particular need to question the apocalyptic
language and arguments of many environmental groups that deploy fear to
mobilize public support. We hope the book sparks creative thinking and
debate about these issues.  As such, we view it as the beginning of a
much longer political project.  We'll of course be disappointed if the
book isn't widely read, but we learned so much from doing it that it is
already worth all the time and effort we put in.  

Making Threats: Biofears and Environmental Anxieties, edited by Betsy
Hartmann, Banu Subramaniam and Charles Zerner.  Contributions from
Ronnie D. Lipschutz, Heather Turcotte, Jackie Orr, Paul A. Passavant,
Larry Lohmann, Michael Watts, Hugh Gusterson, Alan Goodman, Emily
Martin, Jeanne Guillemin, Anne Hendrixson, and Richard Matthew.  Lanham,
Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005. 

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