Morning Report: February 2, 2005

Memories of an African genocide. Reflecting on the UN's refusal to recognize the killing in Sudan as "genocide", Mamamontezz recalls an encounter with survivors of another crime against humanity: 'I approached the man and asked him if he wouldn't mind answering a few questions about Rawanda. I didn't have to ask...he said it was all true. His wife showed me what was left of her left hand--her thumb, index, and middle finger. I also noticed sever burn marks on her face, but knew better than to inquire. The man unbuttoned his collar and showed me where a Hutu had tried to slit his throat. The man told me he only survived because he thought that since he was going to die, it was better to fight like a man, than die like a dog.' (Mamamontezz)

Allawi slams ABC insult. Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was "disappointed and insulted" by statements from producers at ABC News, Allawi's office said. ABC had suggested that Allawi's refusal to grant an interview to Peter Jennings ' equates to the prime minister not being caring about American soldiers or being grateful for the United States’ leading role in the coalition', according to this Fox News item. (Fox)

Dean likely to lead Democrats. According to this New York Times article, Howard Dean may succeed in his quest to become the next leader of the Democratic National Committee: 'Dr. Dean's dominance was secured after Martin Frost, a former representative from Texas, whom many Democrats viewed as the institutional counterpart to Dr. Dean, dropped out after failing - in what had become an increasingly long-shot effort - to win support from national labor unions. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. announced instead that it would remain neutral, freeing its affiliate members to do what they wanted, which proved in many cases to be boarding the Dean train. "It's a fait accompli, it's over: Dean's going to be it," said Gerald McEntee, head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, who runs the umbrella political organization for all the unions in the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Actually, the final word rests with the 447 members of the Democratic National Committee, who will vote on Feb. 12 in Washington on a successor to Terry McAuliffe. And Dr. Dean faces a last obstacle, the candidacy of Donnie Fowler Jr., a Democratic operative from South Carolina. Fowler aides said they hoped to benefit from the appearance of this as a two-man race with an opponent with a history of sometimes unorthodox political behavior. Still, they acknowledged that the possibility of a real competition was dimming.' (New York Times via College Republicans)

Debka on Rice, Israel, Palestine. A new analysis by Debka looks at US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's stated policies toward Palestine and Israel. 'New US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s upcoming visit to the Middle East next week has galvanized the region’s leaders into a frenzied round of travel and summit consultations. The centerpiece summit will bring together Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) at Sharm al Sheikh next Tuesday. Jordan’s King Abdullah has also been invited.' Debka notes the points of disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem: 'Amid this flurry of movement, nothing has happened to change the fundamentals at stake between Israel and the Palestinians. Rice made this clear on Monday, January 31, ahead of her visit to the region and at the previous Senate hearings before her confirmation last week: “Without a viable and contiguous Palestinian state that represents the aspirations of the Palestinian people – meaning enough land to function well - there will be no peace for either Palestinian people or Israelis.” This statement does not address the concerns troubling Jerusalem. ... ' Read the full article at the link. (Debka)

New website traces African-American history. A new website by the Schomburg Center of the New York Public Library offers a fresh take on African-American history: 'The transatlantic slave trade has created an enduring image of black men and women as transported commodities, and is usually considered the most defining element in the construction of the African Diaspora, but it is centuries of additional movements that have given shape to the nation we know today. This is the story that has not been told. In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience presents a new interpretation of African-American history, one that focuses on the self-motivated activities of peoples of African descent to remake themselves and their worlds. Of the thirteen defining migrations that formed and transformed African America, only the transatlantic slave trade and the domestic slave trades were coerced, the eleven others were voluntary movements of resourceful and creative men and women, risk-takers in an exploitative and hostile environment. Their survival skills, efficient networks, and dynamic culture enabled them to thrive and spread, and to be at the very core of the settlement and development of the Americas. Their hopeful journeys changed not only their world and the fabric of the African Diaspora but also the Western Hemisphere.' In Motion: the African-American Migration Experience offers access to an enormous database of documents relating to the transatlantic slave trade, the domestic slave trade, Caribbean migration, and other chapters of African-American history. (NYPL via CNN)