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THIS ISSUE BOOKS AND THE CULTURE Gaza to Paris 31 Poetry by Ali Abunimah Rebel Without a Car 32 Book Review by Don Graham Among the Dying 34 Book Review by Steven G. Kellman Left-Wing Memoirs 36 Book Review by Chris Garlock Afterword 38 22 Death of a Warrior Neil J. Carman on the Passing of Mark O’Connor 29 Cover art by Michael Krone Molly Ivins 18 Sow What? DEPARTMENTS Dialogue Guest Editorial Killing Children by Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Edward Said & Howard Zinn Left Field Congressional Grazing, Boerne Boutique, Bush Beat, Y2K Mania, Alamo Diaries & Union Lectures FEATURES 2 3 Saint Sickbed by Debbie Nathan 8 James Leininger has parlayed a hospital bed fortune into a rightwing political machine changing the face of state politics. Here’s an introduction to the man and his work. “The Salt on the Wound” Photo Essay by Alan Pogue 24 Photographer Alan Pogue traveled to Iraq during the December U.S. bombing attacks. His photos portray a powerful reality of ordinary people under a terrible and unjust siege. 5 Jim Hightower Golden Leash Award, Sweatshop Coverup & C.E.O. Cronyism James Galbraith Conspiracy to Destroy 19 20 Political Intelligence Media Observer The Press and Iraq By Robert Jensen The Bad Bills Girl 21 GUEST EDITORIAL1 A War on Children t the end of 1998 , the United States once again rained bombs on the people of Iraq. But even when the bombs stop falling, the U.S. war against the people of Iraq continues through harsh economic sanctions. This is a call to action to end all the war. This month U.S. policy will kill 4,500 children under the age of five in Iraq, according to United Nations studies, just as it did last month and the month before that, all the way back to 1991. Since the end of the Gulf War, hundreds of thousands maybe more than one million Iraqis have died as a direct result of the U.N. sanctions on Iraq, which are a direct result of U.S. policy. This is not foreign policy it is sanctioned mass murder that is nearing holocaust proportions. If we remain silent, we are condoning a genocide that is being perpetrated in the name of peace in the Middle East, a mass slaughter that is being perpetrated in our name. The time has come for a call to action to people of conscience. We are past the point where silence is passive consent when a crime reaches these proportions, silence is complicity. There are several tasks ahead of us. First, we must organize and make this issue a priority, just as Americans organized to stop the war in Vietnam, and to protest U.S. policies in Central America and South Africa. We need a national campaign to lift the sanctions. This kind of Alan Pogue work has already begun, and those efforts need our help. For the past several years, individuals and groups have been delivering medicine and other supplies to Iraq in defiance of the U.S. blockade. Now, members of one of those groups, Voices in the Wilderness, which is based in Chicago, have been threatened with large fines by the federal government for “exportation of donated goods, including medical supplies and toys, to Iraq absent specific prior authorization.” Our government is harassing a peace group that takes medicine and toys to dying children; we owe these courageous activists our support. Such a campaign is not equivalent to support for the regime of Saddam Hussein. To oppose the sanctions is to support the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people are suffering because of the actions of both the Iraqi and U.S. governments, but our moral responsibility lies here in the United States, to counter the hypocrisy and inhumanity of our leaders. There is a second embargo the mainstream media’s virtual embargo on news of the effects of the sanctions. For the most part, the American people do not know what evil is being carried out in our name. We must continue to apply pressure on journalists at all levels from our local papers to the network news to cover this tragedy. We should overwhelm media outlets with letters to the editor and pressure journalists to cover the story. And we must realize this could be a long struggle. Preparations should begin for all possible tactics, including civil disobedience once a sufficient number of people are committed. It is likely that direct action that JANUARY 22, 1999 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3