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The Lighthouse is the weekly email newsletter of the Independent Institute.
Subscribe now, or browse Back Issues.

Volume 6, Issue 21: May 24, 2004

  1. Why Single Women Voters May Swing November Election
  2. Lack of Realism in Iraq Endangers U.S. Lives
  3. "The Future of Iraq: Democracy or Quagmire?" Next Independent Policy Forum (6/17/04)

1) Why Single Women Voters May Swing November Election

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ban on over-the-counter emergency contraception may contribute inadvertently to the mobilization of one of the largest voting blocs in the American electorate -- single women.

In an op-ed published last week in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Brigid O'Neil, a researcher with the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty, explains that the FDA ban is one of a number of recent government restrictions on reproductive choice that may induce America's 50 million single women (fewer than half of whom vote regularly) to vote in larger numbers this November.

"On the issue of reproductive choice alone, government intrusion into women's health care has reached epic proportions," writes O'Neil. "Many safe and effective abortion procedures performed in the 12th to 15th week of pregnancy, for example, are now prohibited under the deceptively named 'partial-birth abortion' ban" -- despite protestations by, among others, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"Consequently, the available options for family planning have become dangerously narrow, with only 14 percent of all countries in the United States offering any abortion providers at all," O'Neil continues. "More than 30 states now have informed-consent laws, which require women to undergo state-mandated 'lectures' with a typical waiting period of 24 hours. For most women and civil libertarians, it's a law that reeks of state paternalism."

See "Self-Determination and the Single Woman," by Brigid O’Neil (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/18/04)

Order LIBERTY FOR WOMEN: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-first Century, edited by Wendy McElroy (Ivan R. Dee, 2002).

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2) Lack of Realism in Iraq Endangers U.S. Lives

Although the White House appears deluded by its own rhetoric on Iraq, several U.S. military leaders, who recently commanded forces in the Middle East, are more realistic and should be heeded by their civilian superiors, according to Ivan Eland, director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute.

Three U.S. generals -- Gen. Anthony Zinni, Gen. Joseph Hoar, and Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack Jr. -- have stated recently that the U.S. occupation is failing its objectives. Nevertheless, President Bush continues to assert that he expects Iraq to become a democracy that will inspire other Middle Eastern countries to become democratic.

"Unfortunately, the message sent to Syria, Iran, and other “rogue” states by the failed U.S. occupation of Iraq, is that they could be successful fighting a guerilla war against the United States," writes Eland. Rather than stay the course, the United States should give the Iraqi people genuine sovereignty and withdraw U.S. forces, Eland argues.

"The withdrawal of the occupying power and autonomy or statehood for the various ethnic/religious groups could actually take the fire out of the insurgency," writes Eland. "Such a post-occupation arrangement among the groups would likely remove the fear that some would dominate the others in a unified Iraq."

President Bush announced that the toppling of Saddam Hussein was part of the wider "War on Terrorism," but the administration's policies throughout the Middle East have put U.S. popularity there at an all time low, making Americans much less safe than before those policies were implemented, according to Paul Sullivan, Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and economics professor at the National Defense University.

"The policies of the neoconservatives and others have led us down the path toward greater, not reduced danger," writes Sullivan in a recent op-ed. "Peace did not come through taking Baghdad. Al-Qaeda is now dozens of Al-Qaedas. The anger towards the U.S. in the Arab and Muslim worlds is growing by the day."

Rather than attempt a slick "public diplomacy" campaign, Sullivan argues that U.S. leaders should re-think their policies.

"Going on TV to sell the U.S. agenda will not get very far, I am sorry to say. Decades of rebuilding trust and confidence will be required before U.S. credibility returns and America can turn the corner in relations with Arabic and Islamic peoples. A long-term campaign to improve our relations with 1.4 billion people, one-fifth of humanity, is not a choice; it is a requirement."

See:

"Mr. President, What Planet Are You On?" by Ivan Eland (5/24/04)

"Why America Is Not Safer," by Paul Sullivan (5/13/04)

Center on Peace & Liberty

OnPower.org -- Gulf War II: War with Iraq

OnPower.org -- Terrorist War

PUTTING "DEFENSE" BACK INTO U.S. DEFENSE POLICY: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World, by Ivan Eland

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3) "The Future of Iraq: Democracy or Quagmire?" Next Independent Policy Forum (6/17/04)

Although the June 30th deadline for the United States to hand over sovereignty to the Iraqis is fast approaching, the violence in Iraq (including the prison-torture scandal) continues to escalate far beyond U.S. expectations. In that environment, what powers and responsibilities will the new Iraqi government have? Will such powers be real or merely symbolic? How well will the new government represent Iraqi society? In the long run, will the outcome in Iraq be increased chaos and violence, a civil war, an Islamic state, a Western-style liberal democracy, or some other result? Given the deterioration of the security situation, what is the U.S. course of action that would have the greatest chance of giving Iraq peace, self-governance, and economic well-being?

Please join us as GEORGE BISHARAT, IVAN ELAND, JAMES H. NOYES, and ROBERT SCHEER address "The Future of Iraq: Democracy or Quagmire?"

SPEAKERS:

-- George Bisharat is Professor of Law, Middle East Affairs, Hastings College of Law, University of California

-- Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Peace & Liberty, The Independent Institute; Author, Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World

-- James H. Noyes is Research Fellow, Persian Gulf Security, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

-- Robert Scheer is Columnist, LOS ANGELES TIMES, Senior Lecturer, Annenberg School of Communications, University of Southern California; Co-Author, THE FIVE BIGGEST LIES BUSH TOLD US ABOUT IRAQ

WHEN:
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Reception and book signing: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

WHERE:
The Independent Institute Conference Center
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
For a map and directions, see
http://www.independent.org/tii/tii_info/about.html#map

TICKETS: $15 per person ($10 for Independent Institute Members). SPECIAL PRICE: Admission plus a copy of THE FIVE BIGGEST LIES BUSH TOLD US ABOUT IRAQ is $23 per person ($18 for Independent Institute Members). Reserve tickets by calling (510) 632-1366 or ordering online at http://www.independent.org/tii/forums/040506ipf.html.

Praise for Robert Scheer’s book, THE FIVE BIGGEST LIES BUSH TOLD US ABOUT IRAQ
“Highly readable and tightly argued… Scheer and his cohorts present a chilling portrait of the cabal of neo-cons who have commandeered American foreign policy.”
-- ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, author of PIGS AT THE TROUGH

“This broadside reviews the evidence (or lack thereof) for linking Iraq to al Qaeda and 9/11, and reveals what the authors say is the inflation of Iraq’s weapons capabilities and the erroneous assumptions about how long the war would take.”
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“If you ever doubted that George W.’s push for war in Iraq was anything but bushwa -- this book will eliminate your doubts.”
-- JIM HIGHTOWER, author of THIEVES IN HIGH PLACES

More information about the event "THE FUTURE OF IRAQ: Democracy or Quagmire?" featuring George Bisharat, Ivan Eland, James H. Noyes, and Robert Scheer (6/17/04), see

Center on Peace & Liberty

OnPower.org -- Gulf War II: War with Iraq

PUTTING "DEFENSE" BACK INTO U.S. DEFENSE POLICY: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World, by Ivan Eland

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