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Monday, December 06, 2004

More Women Choosing To Quit Careers To Stay Home With Children

Just for the record, Erin Proko does not relish cleaning her bathroom toilet.

She does not eyeball her teenage gardener once her husband is off to work. And she does not leave her child on the side of the road when he won't stop screaming.

Despite the popularity of a new TV show devoted to a group of oversexed, over-stressed stay-at-home moms, Proko, who lives in Coral Springs, feels little kinship with her Hollywood counterparts on Desperate Housewives. Two years ago, she never would have imagined giving up her 60-hour workweek as a jewelry merchandiser for the privilege of wiping up baby drool. But after unexpectedly becoming pregnant, she is among a growing number of educated, once-career-minded women in the United States who have done just that.

Call them the Not-So Desperate Housewives.

"I just couldn't see him being raised by anyone but me," Proko, 28, says of her toddler, Aidan.

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures in a report released this week, about 5.4 million women in America are stay-at-home moms -- that's more than 2 out of every 10 married women with children under 15 -- up from 4.5 million a decade ago. Their growth, an increase of 19 percent since 1994, has far outpaced that of the general married population, which has grown by about 2 percent.

Karlene Kiminyo of Lake Worth isn't surprised by what she sees as the pendulum starting to swing back on stay-at-home moms. She has a master's degree in chemical engineering and left a lucrative career to raise her daughter.

"People will say, `You went to school for how long? And you have how many degrees? And now you're staying home?'" said Kiminyo, 35, as her 2-year-old cooed nearby. "But I don't miss it right now because I'm enjoying this. I don't think we're going all the way back to the 50s, but I think more women are choosing to stay at home."

Some think the trend might reverse itself because of a faltering economy. Census data show that 20 percent of stay-at-home moms come from families in which the husband's annual income is $100,000 or more.

"When his income goes down, she's going to compensate ... and get back into the work force," said Cathleen Zick, an economist and professor at the University of Utah. "And [for single moms] the only way for them to survive is to work outside the home. They are engaged in two full-time jobs."

Despite this, women who come from median-income families are also making the switch. Denise Jones of Cooper City left her job as a legal secretary and now depends on her husband, an auto mechanic instructor at a local technical school, to pay the bills. "People are starting to realize that if I make less than $50,000 and I have two kids, it doesn't pay for me to have them stay in day care. Day care is expensive, and then there are the clothes, the lunches, the gas," she said.

But the decision to stay home is about much more than money.

It can also be a matter of traditional values, which have recently received so much scrutiny during the reelection of President Bush. Many of the women who helped carry him to victory based on "family and faith" issues did so because they apply the same priorities in their everyday life.

"Your children learn your values and your view of the world," said Maria Lima of Pembroke Pines, who became a stay-at-home mom so she could home-school her daughter, then in second grade and now 14. "Even in second grade, you saw children who were disrespectful and defiant. I didn't want my child to be a part of that ... but we could not afford a private [Christian] school."

So who, exactly, are today's modern-day housewives? And how are they different from previous generations?

They are more educated. According to a survey of a national group of stay-at-home moms called Mothers & More, 84 percent of its members have college degrees. Thirty percent have a master's, Ph.D. or other professional degree. Catalyst, a New York-based research organization that focuses on women at work, reports that a third of American women with MBAs are either out of the workforce or working part-time.

Today's housewife is older. More than four in 10 are between the ages of 35 and 44, including Ruth Martucci of Lake Worth, who had her first son at 40 and, now 42, is pregnant a second time. After earning her master's in health care administration and running a private practice, she no longer feels as if she has to prove herself career wise.

"It's a time for me to enjoy and grow as a person," she said.

And, given these factors, it may not be surprising that many of these older, college-graduate moms are taking the professional skills they used in the workplace and applying them in the home.

Hollywood resident Beth Eiglarsh, 36, recently gave notice at her $85,000-a-year job as a publisher's representative so she could stay home with her children. She plans to work from her house, expanding a business she formed that sells handmade, jeweled accessories. She named the collection after her daughter, Julia Taylor.

"The business is the conduit through which I will get to see my children more," said Eiglarsh, who has already hired some stay-at-home mothers to help her fill orders.

Kirsten Kustin, 35, of Fort Lauderdale, has gone from networking with business bigwigs to being president of a Mom's Club in which mothers swap advice and stories to help each other stay sane.

"At first, I didn't know where my place was. I went from running $2 million accounts, and when I barked people jumped, to sitting here with this kid trying to get him to eat peas," she laughed. "We get together and talk. How did you get rid of the bottle? How did you get them potty trained? How do you keep the flames with the husband aglow?"

Like other once-career-minded moms, Kustin plans to go back to work once her children are older.

"We're hybrid moms -- part mom, part business -- and we'll wear whatever hat is appropriate at the time," she said. "I think of it as a short-term thing. I'm not going to be at home forever. And I'll be able to market myself because I still do consulting projects here and there."

There is even a term for this work-home-work phenomenon: sequencing.

Still, some women report employers continue to be reluctant to rehire them, with a resulting drop in pay and benefits. Proko, the Coral Springs mom, remembers one interview in which the employers asked her what she had been doing the last few years.

"When I said, `Raising a child,' they said, `Oh,' and their eyes just glazed over," she recalls.

Local mothers hope that as the stereotype of the stay-at-home mom changes, so will such treatment. But either way, it is a risk they feel they must take.

"It isn't eating bonbons and watching TV," says Boca Raton mom Summer Faerman, 26, who is working on her second child and a master's degree in management. "I tell people [my daughter] is my job, she is my career."

Jamie Malernee can be reached at jmalernee@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4849.
Dec 6, 2004

Copyright © 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

You Asked For My Evidence, Mr Ambassador. Here It Is !

In Iraq, the US does eliminate those who dare to count the dead

David T Johnson,
Acting ambassador,
US Embassy, London

Dear Mr Johnson, On November 26, your press counsellor sent a letter to the Guardian taking strong exception to a sentence in my column of the same day. The sentence read: "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies." Of particular concern was the word "eliminating".

The letter suggested that my charge was "baseless" and asked the Guardian either to withdraw it, or provide "evidence of this extremely grave accusation". It is quite rare for US embassy officials to openly involve themselves in the free press of a foreign country, so I took the letter extremely seriously. But while I agree that the accusation is grave, I have no intention of withdrawing it. Here, instead, is the evidence you requested.

In April, US forces laid siege to Falluja in retaliation for the gruesome killings of four Blackwater employees. The operation was a failure, with US troops eventually handing the city back to resistance forces. The reason for the withdrawal was that the siege had sparked uprisings across the country, triggered by reports that hundreds of civilians had been killed. This information came from three main sources: 1) Doctors. USA Today reported on April 11 that "Statistics and names of the dead were gathered from four main clinics around the city and from Falluja general hospital". 2) Arab TV journalists. While doctors reported the numbers of dead, it was al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya that put a human face on those statistics. With unembedded camera crews in Falluja, both networks beamed footage of mutilated women and children throughout Iraq and the Arab-speaking world. 3) Clerics. The reports of high civilian casualties coming from journalists and doctors were seized upon by prominent clerics in Iraq. Many delivered fiery sermons condemning the attack, turning their congregants against US forces and igniting the uprising that forced US troops to withdraw.

US authorities have denied that hundreds of civilians were killed during last April's siege, and have lashed out at the sources of these reports. For instance, an unnamed "senior American officer", speaking to the New York Times last month, labelled Falluja general hospital "a centre of propaganda". But the strongest words were reserved for Arab TV networks. When asked about al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya's reports that hundreds of civilians had been killed in Falluja, Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence, replied that "what al-Jazeera is doing is vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable ... " Last month, US troops once again laid siege to Falluja - but this time the attack included a new tactic: eliminating the doctors, journalists and clerics who focused public attention on civilian casualties last time around.

Eliminating doctors

The first major operation by US marines and Iraqi soldiers was to storm Falluja general hospital, arresting doctors and placing the facility under military control. The New York Times reported that "the hospital was selected as an early target because the American military believed that it was the source of rumours about heavy casual ties", noting that "this time around, the American military intends to fight its own information war, countering or squelching what has been one of the insurgents' most potent weapons". The Los Angeles Times quoted a doctor as saying that the soldiers "stole the mobile phones" at the hospital - preventing doctors from communicating with the outside world.

But this was not the worst of the attacks on health workers. Two days earlier, a crucial emergency health clinic was bombed to rubble, as well as a medical supplies dispensary next door. Dr Sami al-Jumaili, who was working in the clinic, says the bombs took the lives of 15 medics, four nurses and 35 patients. The Los Angeles Times reported that the manager of Falluja general hospital "had told a US general the location of the downtown makeshift medical centre" before it was hit.

Whether the clinic was targeted or destroyed accidentally, the effect was the same: to eliminate many of Falluja's doctors from the war zone. As Dr Jumaili told the Independent on November 14: "There is not a single surgeon in Falluja." When fighting moved to Mosul, a similar tactic was used: on entering the city, US and Iraqi forces immediately seized control of the al-Zaharawi hospital.

Eliminating journalists

The images from last month's siege on Falluja came almost exclusively from reporters embedded with US troops. This is because Arab journalists who had covered April's siege from the civilian perspective had effectively been eliminated. Al-Jazeera had no cameras on the ground because it has been banned from reporting in Iraq indefinitely. Al-Arabiya did have an unembedded reporter, Abdel Kader Al-Saadi, in Falluja, but on November 11 US forces arrested him and held him for the length of the siege. Al-Saadi's detention has been condemned by Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists. "We cannot ignore the possibility that he is being intimidated for just trying to do his job," the IFJ stated.

It's not the first time journalists in Iraq have faced this kind of intimidation. When US forces invaded Baghdad in April 2003, US Central Command urged all unembedded journalists to leave the city. Some insisted on staying and at least three paid with their lives. On April 8, a US aircraft bombed al-Jazeera's Baghdad offices, killing reporter Tareq Ayyoub. Al-Jazeera has documentation proving it gave the coordinates of its location to US forces.

On the same day, a US tank fired on the Palestine hotel, killing José Couso, of the Spanish network Telecinco, and Taras Protsiuk, of Reuters. Three US soldiers are facing a criminal lawsuit from Couso's family, which alleges that US forces were well aware that journalists were in the Palestine hotel and that they committed a war crime.

Eliminating clerics

Just as doctors and journalists have been targeted, so too have many of the clerics who have spoken out forcefully against the killings in Falluja. On November 11, Sheik Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, the head of the Supreme Association for Guidance and Daawa, was arrested. According to Associated Press, "Al-Sumaidaei has called on the country's Sunni minority to launch a civil disobedience campaign if the Iraqi government does not halt the attack on Falluja". On November 19, AP reported that US and Iraqi forces stormed a prominent Sunni mosque, the Abu Hanifa, in Aadhamiya, killing three people and arresting 40, including the chief cleric - another opponent of the Falluja siege. On the same day, Fox News reported that "US troops also raided a Sunni mosque in Qaim, near the Syrian border". The report described the arrests as "retaliation for opposing the Falluja offensive". Two Shia clerics associated with Moqtada al-Sadr have also been arrested in recent weeks; according to AP, "both had spoken out against the Falluja attack".

"We don't do body counts," said General Tommy Franks of US Central Command. The question is: what happens to the people who insist on counting the bodies - the doctors who must pronounce their patients dead, the journalists who document these losses, the clerics who denounce them? In Iraq, evidence is mounting that these voices are being systematically silenced through a variety of means, from mass arrests, to raids on hospitals, media bans, and overt and unexplained physical attacks.

Mr Ambassador, I believe that your government and its Iraqi surrogates are waging two wars in Iraq. One war is against the Iraqi people, and it has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. The other is a war on witnesses.

Naomi Klein
Saturday December 4, 2004
The Guardian

Doctor: Stem Cell Bill, Media Blowing Smoke in Public's Eyes

A Christian medical group says in the battle to teach the public the facts about stem-cell research, the national media has erected a barricade against the truth.

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations has tried for years to get the truth about stem-cell research before the public, but spokesman Dr. Gene Rudd says it is not easy when the media does not cooperate. As the latest example of this sort of stonewalling, he points to the media's handling of the Stem-Cell Research Act (HB 3589), which is currently before the Illinois House. That measure favors embryonic stem-cell research, or ESCR.

Rudd feels people are being misled and the media is helping to mislead them by failing to report the facts, or to report them using the same deceptive language the pro-ESCR legislation adopts. "Part of it is a strategy of obfuscation," he says. "There some of what we call 'verbicide' -- killing the terms or redefining the terms. The bill doesn't mention cloning; it talks about somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is medical jargon, [the meaning of] which is cloning."

The CMDA spokesman contends that the media helps to perpetuate this lack of clarity, rather than explaining the facts to the public. "The people are left to believe there's just some cellular research going on here," he says, "and they are not led to understand that it's actually the creation of human beings -- and the destroying of those human beings for some hopeful scientific advancement."

Meanwhile, Rudd says the press refuses to publicize research that shows that adult stem-cell research holds great promise, while embryonic stem-cell research is not only destructive and unethical but also unnecessary. In more than 20 years of research, he notes, not one malady or disease has been successfully treated or cured with embryonic stem cells, while more than 50 medical problems are already being treated successfully with adult stem cells.

LifeNews.com recently reported some amazing developments in adult stem-cell research. For instance, scientists doing clinical trials on mice have shown that transplanted adult stem cells can improve vision in eyes damaged by retinal disease. And in another study, researchers used adult stem cells to target and treat cancer cells, and to improve the functioning of damaged heart muscle. Meanwhile, doctors in Brazil have been encouraged by the initial results of treating a stroke victim with adult stem cells from bone marrow. After a number of hopeful indications, they are now planning to try the treatment in other patients as well.

Rudd says the wording of the Illinois Stem Cell Research Act advances the deception that cloning and embryonic stem-cell research will cure Alzheimer's disease, even though no credible scientist on either side of the debate has suggested this. And as for speculations about cures for other diseases, he says they are just that -- speculation. Nevertheless, he says based on this speculation the largely unwitting public is "being asked to walk into ethical quicksand," while the media does little if anything to disabuse people.

"So, yes, there's a lot of deception going on, which makes our job much more difficult," the CMDA spokesman says. He observes that the authors of Illinois' "clone-and-kill" bill were careful to include mention of popular and non-controversial adult stem-cell research in the legislation, a deliberate act he contends "is simply a smokescreen to link ethical adult stem-cell research with its unethical cousin, embryonic stem-cell research."

Rudd says adult stem-cell research needs no such mention in the legislation because the ethically sound work being done with adult stem cells is already producing real results for patients. He believes this nod in the Stem Cell Research Act, which CMDA is calling a "wolf in sheep's clothing," is just one more deception in a bill that encourages abortion for research, condones cloning under another name, and perpetuates ignorance about stem cell science.

Bill Fancher and Jenni Parker
November 22, 2004

© 2004 AgapePress all rights reserved

US Bill Passes Allowing Conscience Rights for Pro-Life Hospitals and Medical Centers

US Bill Passes Allowing Conscience Rights for Pro-Life Hospitals and Medical Centers

WASHINGTON, November 22, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Both the US Congress and Senate approved a measure Saturday ensuring that state and local governments who receive federal health and human services funds cannot discriminate against health care providers because they do not provide abortions, pay for abortions, provide coverage of abortions, or refer for abortions. President Bush is expected to sign the measure into law.

The new measure, the "Hyde-Weldon anti-discrimination amendment," is named for the Republican sponsors of the bill, Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Il.) and Congressman Dave Weldon (R-Fl.). The protection covers doctors and other health care professionals, hospitals, HMOs, and health insurance plans, among others.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, said, "National Right to Life commends the congressional Republican leadership for this important new law, which will prevent state and local government officials from compelling health care providers to participate in killing unborn children."

The amendment was approved last summer by the House Appropriations Committee and the full House, with support from the White House. On Nov. 17 the White House sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young encouraging retention of the amendment in the omnibus funding bill. The letter said that the Administration "strongly supports language added by the House to ensure that health care providers are not discriminated against because they do not provide, pay for, or cover abortions."

The amendment was in reaction to judicial activists compelling health care providers to provide or refer for abortion services regardless of their moral opposition, according to Johnson. "Ten different courts said that no matter what the state constitution says, you have to provide abortions," Johnson said, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Yahoo News


Fukuyama's Moment:

The Iraq war opened a fratricidal split among United States
neoconservatives. Danny Postel examines the bitter dispute between
two leading neocons, Francis Fukuyama and Charles Krauthammer, and
suggests that Fukuyama's critique of the Iraq war and decision not to
vote for George W Bush is a significant political as well as
intellectual moment.
Over the last two years, the term "neoconservative" has come into
sharper focus than at any other point in its roughly 30 year history.
The neoconservative movement has exerted greater influence on United
States foreign policy since 9/11 than it was ever previously able to
do, the Iraq war being its crowning achievement.

Coinciding with this ascendancy has been an unrelenting stream of
criticism directed at neoconservatism from virtually every square on
the ideological chessboard. Such sorties have become something of a
rallyingcry among much of the left. Neoconservatives either ignore
leftwing criticism (a luxury they can well afford) or else chew it up
and spit it out: the more vitriolic it is, the more emboldened it
makes them.

Some of the most savage reprisals against the neocons, however, have
come from the right. I have written elsewhere of the ensemble of
realists, libertarians, and "paleoconservatives" who opposed the Iraq
adventure and the doctrines that justified it, and of other
conservatives who fear that the neocons and their war will sink Bush's

Neoconservatives are no less sanguine about attacks from this
political direction: as if to say "bring it on", neocons are armed
with counterattacks about the variously amoral, isolationist,
nativist, unpatriotic, even antiSemitic nature of the conservative
cases against them.

But the latest salvo against the war and its neocon architects has
stung its targets like none other has done. That's because the
critique Francis Fukuyama has advanced is an inside job: not only is
its author among the most celebrated members of the neoconservative
intelligentsia, but his dissection of the conceptual problems at the
core of the Iraq undertaking appeared on the neocons' home ground.
"The Neoconservative Moment," his 12page intervention into the Iraq
debate, was published in the Summer 2004 issue of The National
Interest, a flagship conservative foreignpolicy journal.

This, in short, is different. Fukuyama is to use a phrase patented
by Margaret Thatcher one of us. He's part of the club. Indeed, he's
played as prominent a role as any of his cothinkers in fostering the
life of the neo-conservative mind since helping define the postcold war
moment 15 years ago with his famous "end of history" thesis.

That's why the neocon world is abuzz about Fukuyama's jab, and about
his decision not to support Bush for reelection. "I just think that
if you're responsible for this kind of a big policy failure," he tells
openDemocracy, "you ought to be held accountable for it."

Breaking Ranks

In "The Neoconservative Moment," Fukuyama turns a heat lamp on the
cogitations of one thinker in particular, Charles Krauthammer, whose
"strategic thinking has become emblematic" of the neo-conservative
camp that envisaged the Iraq invasion. Krauthammer, one of the war's
most vociferous advocates, had somewhat famously fancied the end of the
cold war as a "unipolar moment" in geopolitics which, by 2002, he was
calling a "Unipolar Era." In February 2004 Krauthammer delivered an
address at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in
Washington in which he offered a strident defence of the Iraq war in terms of
his concept of unipolarity, or what he now calls "democratic

Fukuyama was in the audience that evening and did not like what he

Krauthammer's speech was "strangely disconnected from reality,"
Fukuyama wrote in "The Neoconservative Moment." "Reading
Krauthammer,one gets the impression that the Iraq War the archetypical application
of American unipolarity had been an unqualified success,with all of
the assumptions and expectations on which the war had been based fully
vindicated. There is not the slightest nod" in Krauthammer's exposition
"towards the new empirical facts" that have come to light over the
course of the occupation.

Fukuyama's case against Krauthammer's and thus the dominant
neoconservative position on Iraq is manifold.

Social Engineering

Krauthammer's logic, Fukuyama argues, is "utterly unrealistic in its
overestimation of U.S. power and our ability to control events around
the world. Of all of the different views that have now come to be
associated with neoconservatives, the strangest one to me was the confidence
that the United States could transform Iraq into a
Westernstyle democracy," he wrote, "and to go on from there to
democratise the broader Middle East."

This struck Fukuyama as strange, he explained, "precisely because
these same neoconservatives had spent much of the past generation
warning...about the dangers of ambitious social engineering, and how
social planners could never control behaviour or deal with
unanticipated consequences." If the US can't eradicate poverty at
home or improve its own education system, he asked, "how does it
expect to bring democracy to a part of the world that has stubbornly
resisted it and is virulently antiAmerican to boot?"

He didn't rule out the possibility of the endeavour succeeding, but
saw its chances of doing so as weak. Wise policy, he wrote, "is not
made by staking everything on a throw of the dice. Culture is not
destiny," but, he argued in tones echoing his former professor Samuel
Huntington, it "plays an important role in making possible certain kinds
of institutions something that is usually taken to be a conservative


The only way for such an "unbelievably ambitious effort to politically
transform one of the world's most troubled and hostile regions" to have
an outside chance of working, Fukuyama maintained, was a huge,longterm
commitment to postwar reconstruction. "America has been involved in
approximately 18 nationbuilding projects between its conquest of the
Philippines in 1899 and the current occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq," he
wrote, "and the overall record is not a pretty one."

The signs thus far in Iraq? "Lurking like an unbidden guest at a
dinner party is the reality of what has happened in Iraq since the
U.S. invasion: We have been our usual inept and disorganized selves in
planning for and carrying out the reconstruction, something that was
predictable in advance and should not have surprised anyone familiar with
American history." (There are, it should be noted, serious doubts about
whether democratisation is the real agenda of the regimechangers.

But unlike many conservative critics of nationbuilding the
aforementioned realists, libertarians, and paleocons, for example
Fukuyama believes there are cases when it is necessary, indeed vital.
While he argues that America "needs to be more realistic about its
nationbuilding abilities, and cautious in taking on large
socialengineering projects in parts of the world it does not
understand very well," he sees it as inevitable that the US will get
"sucked into similar projects in the future," and America must be
"much better prepared," he warns, for a scenario such as the "sudden
collapse of the North Korean regime."


Krauthammer and other neocon advocates of the war Robert Kagan most
famously have turned antiEuropeanism into a sport, arguing that
Europe's doubts about Iraq reflect a platetectonic shift in
consciousness and signal a cleft in transatlantic relations of epochal

Fukuyama doesn't dismiss this argument entirely, but sees a sleight of
hand at work in its rhetorical deployment in the Iraq debate. If
Krauthammer, rather than summarily spurning continental arguments as
just so much bad faith and responsibilityshirking, had instead
"listened carefully to what many Europeans were actually saying
(something that Americans are not very good at doing these days), he
would have discovered that much of their objection to the war was not a
normative one having to do with procedural issues and the UN, but
rather a prudential one having to do with the overall wisdom of
attacking Iraq."

Krauthammer's almost principled disdain for European sensibilities is
particularly problematic, Fukuyama argued, when one considers that "the
European bottom line proved to be closer to the truth than the
administration's far more alarmist position" visà vis weapons of mass
destruction (WMD). "On the question of the manageability of postwar Iraq, the
more sceptical European position was almost certainly
right." Despite this, Krauthammer proceeds "as if the Bush
administration's judgment had been vindicated at every turn, and that
any questioning of it can only be the result of base or dishonest

Fukuyama, in contrast, exhorts the US to confront these errors headon,
realising that they have "created an enormous legitimacy problem for
us," one that will damage American interests "for a long time to come."
"This should matter to us," he inveighs, "not just for realist reasons
of state (our ability to attract allies to share the burden), but for
idealist ones as well (our ability to lead and inspire based
on the attractiveness of who we are)." The US must "spend much more
time and energy" cultivating "likeminded allies" to accomplish "both
the realist and idealist portions" of its agenda.


Finally, Fukuyama argues, Krauthammer and other neoconservatives
misconstrue the nature of the threat facing the US today, in part
because they view American foreign policy through the prism of the
IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Krauthammer's hard line, Likudnik
position on Israel "colours his views on how the United States should
deal with the Arabs more broadly." Krauthammer once quipped in a radio
interview that the only way to earn respect in the Arab world is to
reach down and squeeze between the legs. (his exact wording was slightly
less delicate.)

Fukuyama questions the logic of transposing this Ariel Sharon style of
thought to US strategy: "Are we like Israel, locked in a remorseless
struggle with a large part of the Arab and Muslim world, with few avenues
open to us for dealing with them other than an iron fist?" In an
argument echoed by Anatol Lieven in his book America Right or Wrong,
Fukuyama asks: "does a strategic doctrine developed by a small, vulnerable
country surrounded by implacable enemies make sense when applied to the
situation of the world's sole superpower…?"

Calling for a "more complex strategy" that "recalibrates the
proportion of sticks and carrots," Fukuyama argues that "an American
policy toward the Muslim world that, like Sharon's, is largely stick
will be a disaster: we do not have enough sticks in our closet to
'make them respect us'. The Islamists for sure hated us from the
beginning, but Krauthammerian unipolarity has increased hatred for the
United States in the broader fight for hearts and minds."

In his response to Fukuyama, published in the current (Fall 2004)
issue of The National Interest, Krauthammer polemically dismisses
Fukuyama's arguments with words like "bizarre," "ridiculous,"
"absurd," "silly," and "odd in the extreme." Fukuyama, he writes, has
"enthusiastically joined the crowd seizing upon the difficulties in
Iraq as a refutation of any forwardlooking policy that might have
gotten us there…" As for Fukuyama's claim that the fecklessness of
the reconstruction effort was "predictable in advance," Krauthammer
writes: "Curiously, however, Fukuyama never predicted it in advance. He
waited a year to ascertain wind direction, then predicted what had
already occurred."

On Fukuyama's argument about the role of Israel, Krauthammer accuses
his interlocutor of "Humanizing" neoconservatism. "His is not the
crude kind, advanced by Pat Buchanan and Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad,
among others, that American neoconservatives (read: Jews) are simply
doing Israel's bidding, hijacking American foreign policy in the service
of Israel and the greater Jewish conspiracy. Fukuyama's take is more
subtle and implicit."

What makes Fukuyama's argument "quite ridiculous," Krauthammer
contends, is that at the vanguard of the policies in question are
Bush, Blair, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. "How," he asks, "did they come to
their delusional identification with Israel? Are they Marranos, or have
they been hypnotized by 'neoconservatives' into sharing the
tribal bond?"

Inside or out?

Just how deep into the body of neo-conservatism did Fukuyama's knife
go? Is he himself still a neocon? Fukuyama is ambiguous on this
point. Others are less so.

On the one hand, Fukuyama claims he's starting from faithful
neoconservative axioms and simply drawing different conclusions about
their application in the specific case of the Iraq war. "One can start
with premises identical to Krauthammer's… and yet come up with a
foreign policy that is very different from the one he lays out," he writes.

"I still consider myself to be a dyedinthewool neoconservative," he
told an audience in August.

In the same stroke of the pen, however, he writes (in "The
Neoconservative Moment") that "it is probably too late to reclaim the
label 'neoconservative' for any but the policies undertaken by the Bush
administration" and doubts whether the vision he proposes as an
alternative to Krauthammer's "will ever be seen as neoconservative. Then
again, there is no reason why it should not have this title."

In his National Interest response, Krauthammer writes that Fukuyama's
"intent is to take down the entire neoconservative edifice." Indeed,
Krauthammer's counterpunch is shot through with the conviction that,
notwithstanding his interlocutor's pronouncements to the contrary, this is
anything but a family quarrel: Fukuyama's train, he believes,
has pulled out of the neoconservative station.

Why Fukuyama Matters

John Mearsheimer thinks Krauthammer is on to something.

"Fukuyama understands, quite correctly, that the Bush doctrine has
washed up on the rocks," the University of Chicago political scientist
and author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics tells openDemocracy.
Fukuyama's essay provides a "great service," he says, in making plain
that the neo-conservative strategy for dealing with Iraq has "crashed
and burned." Fukuyama is "to be admired for his honesty here. He is
confronting reality."

The significance of Fukuyama's intervention, says Mearsheimer, goes
beyond its being the first inhouse, intraneocon dispute over Iraq.
"It's not only that he's a member of the [neoconservative] tribe going
after another member of the tribe; he's one of the tribe's most
important members." Indeed, he says, Fukuyama and Krauthammer are
without a doubt "the two heavyweights" of the neoconservative
intelligentsia, and their debate is about "terribly important issues,
issues of central importance to American foreign policy."

Mearsheimer agrees with Krauthammer that Fukuyama's critique threatens
to dismantle the neo-conservative project. First, he says, Fukuyama
is challenging "the unilateralist impulse that's hard wired into the
neoconservative worldview." Second, Fukuyama disputes the argument
that the Iraq war would create a democratic domino effect in the
ArabIslamic world. These, says Mearsheimer, are "two of the most
important planks" in the Bush doctrine and in the neo-conservative

Fukuyama also possesses what Mearsheimer calls a "very healthy respect
for the limits of military force." "I think you cannot bring about
democracy through the use of military force," he told the Cairobased
weekly AlAhram. Then there is Fukuyama's point about the limits of
social engineering and his argument regarding the neocon tendency to
conflate Israel's security threats with those of the United States.

Taken together, says Mearsheimer, this band of criticisms makes
Fukuyama's case nothing less than devastating. "This is not just a
minor spat within the camp. This is consequential."

High Stakes, Hard Words

The FukuyamaKrauthammer exchange has generated considerable buzz
within Washington. "The foreign policy establishment are paying
attention," National Interest editor John O'Sullivan tells
openDemocracy. The exchange, he says, is "generating debate and
discussion more generally" as well.

"It was about time somebody out of this circle broke out and dealt
with reality," says Gary Dorrien, author of The Neoconservative Mind
and Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana, of
this "first crack in the dyke. I'm not surprised that he's the one who
did. He was never the hardline ideologue that most of them are."

Though David Frum, a daily National Review Online columnist for and
former Bush speechwriter currently at work on a history of
foreignpolicy decisionmaking in the Bush administration, continues to
support the war and thinks Krauthammer makes "intellectual mincemeat"
of Fukuyama in their exchange, says he "would find it hard to believe"
if the two men were still friends. (Fukuyama tells openDemocracy that
he and Krauthammer have not spoken since the shootout began.) Frum
attributes the rather rancorous tone of the debate particularly, one
must say, in Krauthammer's reply to the magnitude of the issues.
"We're fighting right now over who's going to control the fate of the
[Republican] party. There are large stakes."


Fukuyama does plan to respond to Krauthammer's essay, in a forthcoming
issue of The National Interest. "There's a little bit of an
implication that I'm being antiSemitic and I really do think I need to
talk about that," he tells openDemocracy.

He admits to being "a little bit disappointed" that Krauthammer didn't
employ "a more neutral tone," he says of his old friend. "On the
other hand, that's his style. He does this to everybody. I don't
know why I would be exempted."

What does Fukuyama make of Krauthammer's claim that "The
Neoconservative Moment" amounts to an attempt to raze the Neocon
Palace? "The zealousness of many people who wear the neoconservative
label for the war in Iraq has done more to undermine neoconservatism
than anything I possibly could have said," he rejoins, adding that a dose
of introspection might do them well.

"That's the thing that strikes me it's the same thing that strikes me
about President Bush, as well," he says. "I would forgive a lot if
any of these people who were very strong advocates of the war showed
any reflectiveness about what's happened or any acknowledgement that
maybe there was something problematic in what they were recommending.
Krauthammer doesn't do that, and President Bush doesn't do that. I
take that as a big flaw. It seems to me it's not going to help their case
to keep insisting that they were right about everything."

Absent from Krauthammer's reply, says Fukuyama, "was any
acknowledgement that any of my points had any validity, or that the
way the war developed led to any rethinking of anything."

Neoconservatism faces a test, says Fukuyama. Either it will adapt in
the face of changing realities on the ground or "stick to a rigid set of
principles." The outcome, he says, will "mean either the death or the
survival of this movement."

A Paradigm Shift?

Why didn't Fukuyama voice the doubts he says he had about the war in
the months leading up to it, when the debate was in full stride? "I
didn't think it would do any good for me to come out against it
because everybody was so determined to do it," he says. And so I
thought, 'well, let them have their chance.' I was not certain about
the outcome. I thought the probabilities of it working out were not
sufficient to justify taking that kind of a risk."

While the Bush people "have been much too willing to use force and to
use it recklessly," the Democrats, he says, "still have this big
problem about using it at all. I wish there were someone who had a
better balance between the two positions. "

In April 2005, Fukuyama will give a series of lectures in which he
intends to address "more systematically" his criticisms of the Iraq
adventure and its neoconservative architects.

Does Fukuyama regard the recent turn of events his critique of the
war, his debate with Krauthammer, his opposition to Bush's re-election
as signalling something of a paradigm shift in his selfunderstanding?
"I don't know whether it's going to prompt the shift so much as
reflect the shift," he explains. "I've been moving towards an
interest in development questions over the last few years".

Indeed, he explores the politics and economics of international
institutions at some length in his recent State Building: Governance
and World Order in the 21st Century and will continue to do so in 2005
when he takes over as head of the International Development Program at
SAIS (Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced
International Studies), where he is currently a professor of international
political economy.

"I think one of the big divides in the world is between people who
primarily do security studies and people who do development. And I
think one of the reasons the Bush people got into so much trouble is
they put people who knew security in charge of what was really a big
development project. These are people who had not spent a lot of time
in East Timor or Somalia or Bosnia, watching how these things are
done," he says. "I think that was one of the big problems."

Danny Postel
From Fraser Clark's weekly ezine:


Kerik Is Not Fit To Serve As Homeland Security Chief

A few reasons why Bernard Kerik is not fit to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security...

1. Kerik has furthered the lie that Iraq was involved with 9/11:New York Newsday, 10/20/03 (reposted here)

"Saddam didn't do 9/11. But did Saddam fund, and train al-Qaida? The answer is yes. Then ask yourself, who hit the towers?"

2. Kerik does not believe in the right to free political expression:Also from New York Newsday, 10/20/03 (reposted here)

"Political criticism is our enemies' best friend."

3. Kerik may have perjured himself before the 9/11 Commission:New York Times, 5/20/04

"On Tuesday, the first day of the hearings, Bernard B. Kerik, the former police commissioner under Mr. Giuliani, offered a version of events that conflicted with the accounts of virtually every senior official in the Fire Department. Mr. Kerik testified that he saw police officers serving as liaisons to the Fire Department at the main fire command post on West Street. Mr. Kerik identified only one of those officers, a police sergeant who died in the collapse."

4. Kerik has extensive ties to the terrorist-funding Saudi royal family:

BBC, 5/16/03

"Mr Kerik says he speaks a smattering or Arabic - from four years spent in Saudi Arabia training security staff."

Update: As Michael pointed out in the comments, this is kind of weak as criticism goes. To a certain extent, he's right. However, considering both the Saudi royal family's history of funding terrorists and their history of brutal repression of their own people, the fact that Kerik worked for them in security is pretty unattractive. Were Kerik looking at a job heading up security for a major international corporation, I'd shrug it off. But we're talking about the future Secretary of Homeland Security here. The Saudi ties are not something to be taken lightly.

5. Kerik's tactics as head of security the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority disturbed our British allies and inflamed tensions with Iraqi citizens:

London's Financial Times, 7/10/03

"Some UK officials have been appalled by the language and tactics used by the US security supremo, Bernard Kerik, the former New York police commissioner dubbed the "Baghdad terminator" because of his uncompromising style.

"The Americans need to learn that civil policing is not about 'kicking ass', it is about democracy. There are going to be problems if we continue with our different philosophies and different approaches to law enforcement," one UK official said."

6. Kerik's term as head of security the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority was abruptly cut short, with no explanation, contradicting months of statements Kerik had made about his long-term commitment to the job:

May 2003: "I will be there at least six months - until the job is done."

June 2003: "By the time he leaves -- in three to six months -- Kerik must create a police force that understands, as he puts it, 'the principles of a free and democratic society,' but has enough public respect to maintain order"
"No one, not even Kerik, thinks the task will be complete by then."

August 2003: " 'We've only been here for 100 days and you want what? Come on!'
"He predicts his job will be completed in the next two months, and then he will leave."

September 2003: "The Bush administration's top security adviser in Iraq has completed his stint and is returning to the United States, the Pentagon said Friday.

"Kerik's departure comes amid severe security problems in Iraq."

"[D]efense officials said Friday that Kerik was scheduled to leave this summer and actually had 'extended his stay to finish his ongoing projects."

"A spokeswoman for Kerik in New York said his job was supposed to have lasted only 90 days."

7. During the recent Presidential campaign, Kerik openly employed fear as a political weapon, such as in this op-ed column:

New York Post, 11/1/04

"... the next plot might not be against our skyscrapers but our schools, that the next Madrid could be Penn Station and the next Beslan, Russia could be Bayonne, New Jersey."

8. Kerik's tenure as the head of NYC's Department of Corrections was marked by scandal:

New York Times, 12/3/02

Bernard B. Kerik, the man atop the Correction Department, administered Mr. Giuliani's unapologetic zero-tolerance approach faithfully, and his work in the jails ultimately led to his appointment as police commissioner in August 2000.

But now, a range of investigations into the conduct of some of the top lieutenants credited with the transformation of the city's jail system is threatening to sully one of Mr. Giuliani's accomplishments.

Mr. Kerik's successor, William J. Fraser, who had been one of Mr. Kerik's top officers, resigned last week after reports surfaced that he had used correction officers to do work at his house in Belle Harbor, Queens.

Both the Manhattan district attorney's office and its Bronx counterpart are also looking into concerns about senior officers at the jails.

9. Kerik's tenure as the NYPD Commissioner was also marked by scandal:

New York Post, 7/15/04 (reposted here)

The NYPD has launched an investigation into the purchase and disappearance of four high-tech security doors bought while Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik was in command, a high-ranking police official said yesterday. The $50,000 doors, which were built by Georal International and ordered in June of 2001, were to be placed in the lobby of 1 Police Plaza, but turned out to be too heavy for the floors.

The deal involved some highly unusual practices, including the lightning-like speed with which the doors were ordered and delivered and the decision to not issue specs on the doors to make sure they would work, according to Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.

"Because of the lack of paperwork and apparently incomplete recollections of potential witnesses, the police commissioner decided to direct the Internal Affairs Bureau to investigate the matter," Browne said yesterday.

Alan Risi, the president of Georal, has already been indicted on separate charges after the city Department of Investigation found he was submitting inflated invoices while supplying doors to the Department of Citywide Administration.

After Kerik left as commissioner, he joined the board of the holding company that owns Georal.

Catholic Mass Outside Abortion Center by Pro-Life Priest Prohibited Because of Wine in Public

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, November 25, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Catholic priest is asking for an exception to a city ordinance prohibiting alcohol in an open container in public. Father Bill Carmody was warned by Colorado city police about saying mass in front of an abortuary because the two ounces of wine used during consecration was in violation of the bi-law.

Father Carmody has said mass in front of the Planned Parenthood facility every Saturday for the past 10 years. He has asked city officials to overlook the ordinance in his case. "I do not want to break the law. I'm simply asking for a variance," he said at a City Council meeting Tuesday, as reported by the Associated Press. "This is a religious ceremony."

Fr. Carmody said he believed the complaint was an attempt by Planned Parenthood to bully him and other pro-lifers who participate.

Fr. Carmody was in the news in September for telling legislators to be "the antithesis of John Kennedy" -- to oppose the separation of church and state by allowing their religious beliefs to guide their legislative decisions. The address to the State House was made during the daily invocation.

Placental Cord Blood Shown to Save Adult Leukemia Victims

NEW YORK, November 25, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new study published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, in which scientists from the National Cord Blood Program of the New York Blood Center (NYBC) participated, showed that stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood (normally discarded with the afterbirth when a baby is born) provide an effective transplant treatment for adult patients with leukemia or myelodysplasia.

Patients who received a cord blood unit with a one or two HLA antigen mismatch did as well as those who were given a bone marrow transplant with one antigen mismatch from an unrelated donor. Patients transplanted with bone marrow that was fully matched did better than the other patients, but there were no fully matched cord blood recipients for comparison. Cord blood is already well accepted as a source of hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cell transplants for children.

New York Blood Center's National Cord Blood Program scientists, Pablo Rubinstein, M.D., and Cladd E. Stevens, M.D., were part of a team led by Mary J. Laughlin, M.D., lead author on the study and hematologist/oncologist at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and University Hospitals of Cleveland Ireland Cancer Center, and in collaboration with Mary Horowitz, M.D., Scientific Director of the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry.