News Release

* Bush/Cheney: Cruel and Unusual? * AIDS Protests * Pataki:

MARK CRISPIN MILLER
Professor of media studies at New York University and author of the just-released book Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New World Order, Miller said today: “This regime is not conservative, but represents a radical subversive movement — one now largely in control of all three branches of the government… What ultimately drives them is irrational. Sure, they’re in it for the money and the oil; but that’s not all that’s going on here. They’re neo-Calvinists, quite clearly working toward the imposition of theocracy on the United States, and then on the whole world…. Certainly the administration represents some dark old strains in U.S. history: nativism, white supremacy, theocratic tyranny. But as far as our mainstream political traditions are concerned, the Bush administration is junking them.”

More information
[See Miller’s and other analysts’ comments during the 2000 Republican Convention on an IPA news release: “Compassionate Conservatism?” ]

ASIA RUSSELL
Russell is a member of Act Up Philadelphia. She said today: “On Tuesday, Act Up members staged a non-violent protest — holding a banner and chanting ‘Bush Lies, Drop the Debt, Stop AIDS Now’ during a speech by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card — demanding that the Bush administration reverse its opposition to 100 percent debt cancellation for Third World countries devastated by the AIDS crisis. The protest was met with violence on the part of officials responding to the action, as well as youth delegates attending the convention. Impoverished African countries are paying out billions of dollars each year to pay old debts. This is taking away from desperately needed resources to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa. Meanwhile, Bush is pandering to extremist elements and backing unproven abstinence policies as a way of addressing the AIDS crisis.”
Health Gap Coalition

MADIS SENNER
New York Governor George Pataki is slated to introduce President Bush tonight. Senner is a community activist in Syracuse, New York. He said today: “Pataki has smeared Dr. Rafil Dhafir as a terrorist. Dhafir is an Iraqi-American doctor facing life in prison for violating economic sanctions against Iraq. He has spent the last year and a half in prison awaiting trial and has been denied bail four times. His ‘crime’ is that he was trying to help the people of Iraq with food and medical supplies. He seems to be the only U.S. citizen ever to be held in prison for violating the sanctions, which were hurting the Iraqi people. Dhafir was arrested on Feb. 26, 2003, just three weeks before the invasion of Iraq began. That same day, Attorney General John Ashcroft connected the forthcoming military attack on Iraq with the fight at home against those who he claimed backed Saddam Hussein by sending money to Iraq. The day Dhafir was arrested, 150 predominately Muslim families were interrogated around Syracuse. Dr. Dhafir is just one example of how this administration has oppressed and intimidated the Muslim community in the U.S. This is hardly an attitude that’s friendly towards immigrants…. Recently, the Syracuse Post-Standard editorialized against Pataki’s smear.” Senner has founded Operation Free Dhafir.
More Information
See the Syracuse Post-Standard editorial criticizing Pataki