Multinational Monitor

JAN/FEB 2003
VOL 24 No. 1&2


Oil, Security, War: The Geopolitics of U.S. Energy Planning
by Steve Kretzmann

The Military-Industrial-Think Tank Complex: Corporate Think Tanks and the Doctrine of Aggressive Militarism
by William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca

Total Business Awareness: The Corporate Contracting Behind John Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness Program
by Adam Mayle and Alex Knott

Tanks & Toxics, Planes & Pollution: The Ecology of a Military Build-Up
by William Kelly


No Cause For War: Pretexts, Preemption and the Prospects for Peace
an Interview with Phyllis Bennis


Letters to the Editor

Behind the Lines

Why This War

The Front
Pesticide Justice - Biotech Cotton Failure - Enviros Temperature Rising - Stealing From Kids

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Names In the News


Letters to the editor

This letter concerns the Caterpillar piece written in the December 2002 issue ("The Ten Worst Corporations of 2002").

I have been a long time subscriber and supporter of your publication (at least 10 years).

Never have I felt the need to write to you as your reporting has always seemed fair and accurate. Unfortunately, the Caterpillar article is filled with lies, distortions and half truths.

The Israeli army in most cases practices ultimate restraint in dealing with the Palestinian population. I guarantee if Canada with the support of its government was sending terrorist-animals to blow up buses, discos, shopping malls in major U.S. cities, the United States would blow up every hide out and staging area it could find.

To punish Israel for defending itself is nonsensical. The Palestinians are the ones who are targeting civilians, not the Israelis. A case in point is a recent study that showed that the percentage of woman killed since the Intifada started has been 30 percent on the Israeli side and 3 percent on the Palestinian side. This is proof of who's targeting civilians.

The article implies that most of Jenin was bulldozed. In fact only a very small percentage was destroyed and much of that area had to be destroyed due to danger to the population from booby traps laid by the Palestinians themselves. I'm surprised you didn't report on the Palestinian "eyewitnesses" who saw hundreds and thousands of dead civilians being trucked away for mass grave burials or the reports of raping and pillaging.

I am forwarding the article to I'm sure they will have a field day with it.

The truth is that most Americans support the Israelis for having the courage to stand and fight on the front lines against these terrorist-animals. For every Sustain activist, there are 10,000 who stand by and support Israel.

Thanks for an otherwise excellent publication.

- Steve Schwarz
Baltimore, Maryland

I am deeply concerned about the selection of Caterpillar as one of the 10 worst corporations.

Jenin was the subject of extensive lies about a massacre that never took place. The Amnesty International report cited in the article has been disputed by the Israeli government and discredited by eyewitness accounts.

Over 600 civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks since Arafat rejected peace with Israel in September 2002.

Thousands of civilians have been wounded, many maimed for life since September 2002. Babies under a year of age have been killed by Palestinian terrorists. School children have been targeted by Palestinian terrorists. Tourists eating at a pizzeria have been targeted. Shoppers buying food have been targeted. Ambulance personnel responding to the scenes of terrorist attacks have been killed or injured by terrorists who deliberately targeted the rescue workers.

In our own country, approximately 3,000 people were killed by Arab terrorists on September 11, 2001. Many of those killed were civilians working in a office complex known as the World Trade Center. In addition to those killed at the World Trade Center, those who went to rescue them were also killed.

Given the numerous unconscionable acts committed by numerous corporations, it seems that Caterpillar is a poor choice for one of the 10 worst corporations. I would like to suggest other corporations for the honor, perhaps the Wall Street firms that in the words of a Merrill Lynch analyst, pushed crap. Another contender perhaps could be MCI WorldCom, which through massive fraud caused countless small investors to loose money needed for their retirement.

Another nominee worthy of consideration would be the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA used to be the accounting profession's self-regulatory body. The AICPA has degenerated into nothing more then a lobbying organization opposed to accounting reform and protecting the interests of the former Big Five which once included Arthur Andersen in its ranks.

To single out Caterpillar as one of the 10 worst corporations of the year because Israel is in a life-and-death struggle to defend itself and used some bulldozers seems excessive at best, and possibly smacking of anti-Israeli bigotry at worst.

- Gary Konecky, CPA
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

I came across your list of the 10 worst multinationals. Allow me one little comment on the nomination of Shell to that list (I am definitely from a left corner, currently researching in the field of solar energy).

It seems Shell has become the target of choice ever since Brent Spar. However -- they have learnt a little bit since. And true, Shell has a very big green mouth considering the actual allocation as compared to its overall size. However, a 500 million pound investment in renewable energies is not nothing -- compared to zero by companies such as Exxon, or Chevron Texaco.

Unfortunately, the world depends on these companies to invest in renewable energy -- Who else does? Bush?

I guess it's in the nature of the oil business to be dirty, but as far as I know, Shell (and BP) are the two cleanest of the major oil companies.

So, I'm afraid, you're hitting the wrong one here.

- Andy Gebhardt
Zurich, Switzerland


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