What’s New September 2004

This page lists changes to this site for September 2004.

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At a recent United Nations conference on disarmament to address nuclear non-proliferation, the US opposed provisions for inspections and verification as part of an international treaty to ban production of nuclear weapons materials, citing high costs, overly intrusive inspections and skepticism as to whether it would work. Yet, there has been concern in recent years that the US is pursuing its own nuclear options and so in that light this might be seen as an excuse to pursue their own nuclear options with less scrutiny.

Codes of Conduct on arms trade such as that of the European Union, have long been criticized as being weak. Furthermore, NATO membership requires a modernized military. New EU countries that are becoming NATO members risk exporting, rather than destroying, their old stock to third world countries while the main European arms dealers make more money from selling new equipment to the new members. In addition, new and old members have long been criticized for selling arms to known human rights abusers. There are many flaws and loopholes in the EU Code that allows this to happen. This page has been mostly updated from its last update in November 2000.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez won a national referendum on whether he should step down or not, convincingly. Despite opposition insistence of fraud international observers repeatedly endorsed the results. Chavez has faced hostility from the opposition and from the U.S for policies that go counter to U.S. interests, counter to oil company interests and because some of his economic policies have included attempts to redistribute wealth to the nation's 80% who are poor.

Journalists embedded with a military, as happened in the Iraq war, are subject to military control in various ways and thus become part of a military propaganda strategy. The success with the Iraq war suggests this will be used more in any future conflict. A small update to the propaganda section made detailing this.

A small update added about how media channels trying to prevent rebroadcasting of interviews with public figures can amount to stifling important democratic debate.

In Iraq, Al Jazeera was temporarily shut down for showing negative images and worsening the impression people have of the U.S. In the U.S. an interview with President George Bush was not permitted to be used in a documentary because it showed Bush in an unfavorable manner, as he did not convincingly defend the decision to go to war. In both cases, the media has been managed to present a certain viewpoint, while preventing another viewpoint from surfacing.

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