Albion Monitor Issue 118 JANUARY 2004

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Bush running with the pack
Journalists run with the pack because it's always the safest option. Our top ten list of pack journalism shows how the press failed you in 2003

Iraq War Dominated 2003 TV News
Networks give AIDS a total of 39 minutes, just 15 for global warming

Killing Of Journalists Soared In 2003
Twice as many as last year

Top Iraq Religious Leader Ups The Stakes Against Bush
Calls for civil disobedience if no prompt elections

France Blames U.S. "Hysteria" For Terror Alerts
French officials charge "deliberate misinformation" by Bush Admin

Bush Killed Hope Of Better Iran-U.S. Ties After Quake
Insensitive, undiplomatic remarks on New Year's Day

Growing Charges Of U.S. Abuse In Iraq
Civilian killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions without trial

Ex-Iraqi Soldiers Riot, Saying Pension Promises Broken
Only one payment since occupation began 8 months ago

Bush "Systematically Misrepresented" WMD Threat, Report Says
Carnegie foundation calls for investigation by independent commission

Bush Withdraws WMD Search Team From Iraq
"I am sure that if they had found important evidence, we would know about it"

Venezuela President A Thorn In Bush's Side At Summit
Ridiculed the event as a mere photo-op and "a waste of time"

The coming Iraq civil war
The Kurd Federation
1/19/2004 Baghdad protest
100,000 Iraqis march for prompt elections on Jan. 19, which the Kurds oppose
Kurds in northern Iraq appear to be planning to turn their tactical gains for being unflinching U.S. allies in ousting Saddam Hussein into a strategic and historic advance -- a Kurdish federation that would include one of the world's richest oil reserves in Kirkuk. The Kurdish move revived fears that the country could plunge into ethnic conflict, as Iraqis Sunnis and other ethnic groups are bitterly resentful of being marginalized in post-war Iraq. Kurdish politicians in Iraq say they strongly oppose the demand by the country's Shi'a Muslims for direct elections in selecting an interim local government to assume control from the U.S.-led coalition. They say Iraq is not ready to hold such elections, and criticize Shi'a clerics for taking the debate to the streets.

The Kurd plan falls short of the independent land they have dreamt of for centuries, but it is strong enough to cause alarm both within and outside an unsettled Iraq. The Bush-led Iraqi government cannot let the region seek independence. Kirkuk is quite a prize. The 3,000-year-old city would be the capital of the projected Kurd federation and the surrounding area is source of 40 percent of Iraqi oil production. The area has 10 billion barrels of known oil reserves

 + Kurds want Their Own Federation In Oil-Rich Northern Iraq

 + Iraqi Shiites To Kurds: A United Nation, No Federation
 + Kurds Oppose Call For Quick Iraq Elections FREE!

Congress Asked To Probe Leak Of CIA Agent's Identity FREE!
Demand that intel workers "must never be turned into political punching bags"
Bush Scuttles Plans To Restructure Iraq EconomyFREE!
Once-ambitious initiatives to rapidly introduce market reforms

Iraq War Was Strategic Error, Army War Scholar Says
Sharpest criticism yet from military source

Latest Bin Laden Tape Threatens Arab Regimes, Not U.S.
An important shift on getting rid of "unfit" Arab leaders

U.S. Restricts Demonstrations In Iraq
A lesson in democracy: no public gatherings without a permit
Pakistan Politics, Tribal Law Complicate Hunt For Al-QaedaFREE!
Warlords won't even let military into areas

Pakistan In Turmoil Over Disclosure Of Nuke Deals With Iran
Heroes of bomb program being interrogated like criminals

American Missionaries Pour Into Iraq
"Southern Baptists have prayed for years that Iraq would somehow be opened to the gospel"

Iraq Gas, Electricity Shortages Hit New Lows
But black market flourishing

Israel Set To Resume Assassinations
Sends threat to Hamas spiritual leader

Burma Political Oppression Becoming Worse
Number of political prisoners growing again

Militant Kurdish Group Ansar Al-Islam A Mystery To U.S.
U.S. and occupation government claim ties to terror attacks in Iraq, but no proof

Evidence Said To Show That Saddam Was Captured By Others
Kurd fighters, former aides supposedly delivered ex-dictator to U.S. forces

Mad Cow: The killer among us
Downer cow
There are no laws preventing the beef industry from using meat from "downers," or sick cows


In October 2001, 34-year-old Washington State native Peter Putnam started losing his mind. One month he was delivering a keynote business address, the next he couldn't form a complete sentence. Once athletic, soon he couldn't walk. Then he couldn't eat. After a brain biopsy showed it was Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, his doctor could no longer offer any hope. "Just take him home and love him," the doctor counseled his family.

Many experts now suspect that "Mad Cow" has been in North America for at least a decade, that the beef industry and regulators have fought proper regulation from day one, that the current surveillance system is a don't-look-don't-find model and that the public-health risk from contaminated meat could be greater than most are prepared to admit.

We don't know exactly what's happening to the rate of CJD in this country, in part because it is not an officially notifiable illness A number of autopsy studies have shown that a few percent of Alzheimer's deaths may in fact be CJD. Given the new research showing that infected beef may be responsible for some sporadic CJD, thousands of Americans may already be dying because of Mad Cow disease every year

 + Mad Cow Risk Is Global, Will Require Meat Industry RevolutionFREE!
 + Is Mad Cow Already A Silent Epidemic?FREE!

 + Beef Lobby Blocks Action On Mad Cow, Activists Say
 + Will Bush Do The Right Thing To Contain Mad Cow?FREE!
 + Mad Cow Crisis Brewing For 14 YearsFREE!

The Real Issue In Iraq: War Crimes FREE!
Cluster bombs still scattered all over the country

Afghans Living In World Without Law, UN Official Says
Crime, tribal fighting, and drug trafficking

U.S. Sets Up Institute To Employ Iraqi Scientists
Some had earlier complained of death threats from U.S. forces

U.S. Military More Conservative Than Public, Poll Shows
But almost all say "today's military is stretched too thin to be effective"

$4 Billion Missing From Angola Oil Money
Almost 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product

One Out Of Three U.S. Black Males Will Be Jailed, Study Finds
Prison rate for all Americans has tripled in 30 years

Radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Has New Leader
Egypt's largest Islamic fundamentalist group

Iraq Sunni Minority Feels Marginalized, Provoked By U.S. And Shiites
Resentment growing with view that 25% of population is excluded from future plans

No Sign That WTO Talks Will Resume Soon
U.S. and other trade powers showing no interest in renewing discussions

Monsanto's Roundup Blamed For Spread Of Powerful Fungus
Potentially toxic damage in wheat and barley

Israeli Soldiers Refusing Role In "Army Of Occupation"
13 more elite commandos refuse to serve in occupied territories

NAFTA Results "Grim," Rights Group Says
Has displaced 1.75 million Mexican farmers, forcing them to the cities or the U.S.

NAFTA Environmental Watchdog Has Money Woes
Trying to monitor explosive growth in Mexico on 1993 budget

CAFTA Called "Colonization" By Central American Leader
Trade deal would force small farmers to compete with subsidized American ag industry

U.S. Military Bases Growing Worldwide
300+ new bases expected by end of decade

U.S. Interests Buying Up European Arms Makers
Takeovers of major companies in France, Germany, and England

Politics As Usual
The Phony Dean 'Meltdown' FREE!
Press uses rally footage as excuse to echo right-wing media
2004 sotu
Breaking news from CNN
"No One Can Now Doubt The Word Of America" FREE!
Analysis of foreign policy remarks in 2004 State of the Union address

Tough-Talking Bush Ignores Deficit And Joblessness In Speech
Bush appears to be narrowing, rather than expanding, his base
Bush State of the Union Ignores Environment FREE!
But Demos didn't mention it either

Death Penalty Missing As Election Year Topic
Most Demo candidates support execution under conditions
Expect Return Of Military Draft If Bush Reelected FREE!
And why aren't any members of the Bush family in uniform?
Demos Risk Disaster With Southern Strategy FREE!
Don't bother trying to win over Deep South
Howard Dean
The Right's newest Dean smear tactic: He's crazy

Sharpton Not Only Black American Critical Of Dean
Dean's Internet message not heard by minorities
Repubs Launch Insanity Offense Against Dean FREE!
Wild charges to paint Dean as The Angry Man
Demo Attacks on Dean Enhance Bush's Re-election Prospects FREE!
Deliberately misrepresenting a candidate's position, particularly in language that will almost certainly be used against him in the general election by the opposing party, is irresponsible

Bush "Guest Worker" deal a ploy, immigrants say

The coveted "Green Card" has become almost impossible to get since the Sept. 11 attack
Bush's plan is not an amnesty, but a system for recruiting foreign labor power that would require immigrants to provide their personal data, which would be put into a registry -- an aspect not welcomed by wary undocumented workers who are used to covering up their tracks in order to keep a step ahead of the authorities. If the temporary worker quits or gets fired, he is subject to deportation. This makes the workers incredibly vulnerable to exploitation, effectively indentured servants. But even longtime workers would find only small percentage could move up from semi-legal, underclass status. The paralysis that has gripped the immigration system after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is mind-boggling: a report by the GAO released the day after Bush's proposed temporary worker program showed that the backlog of applications pending before immigration authorities grew from 2.3 to 6.3 million in the last two years

 + Undocumented Workers In U.S. See Bush Amnesty Plan As Threat

 + Virtually All Immigration Processing Stopped Since 9/11

 + Latino, Immigrant Media Pick Apart Bush Amnesty Deal

 + Mexican Immigrants Reject Bush "Guest Worker" Plan

Bush 'Marriage For Welfare' Plan Won't Work, Says Researcher FREE!
Poverty is the real issue, not moral approval

Ben Ohau
Ben Ohau was featured in both Two Towers and Return of the King
Pakistan's Glass Bangle Industry Built On Child Labor
30 cents a day working over high-temp burners in unventilated rooms

Florida Woman Has Rare Foreign Accent Syndrome FREE!
Fewer than 20 cases reported worldwide since 1919
Don't Sell Middle Earth, New Zealand Enviros Cry FREE!
Coming soon to those magnificent Lord of the Rings vistas: subdivisions and agribusiness

Indonesia Gives Light Sentence To General Who Directed Atrocities
Unlikely to serve a day in jail, despite crimes against humanity

U.S. Ignoring Indonesia Army Terrorism In Oil-Rich Region, Say Groups
Gruesome accounts of troops "exterminating" dissidents

Indonesia Again Filling Prisons With Political Opponents
Increased repression at the same time that the country claims democratic gains
Each Gallon Of Gas Requires 98 Tons Of Plants FREE!
Study calculates true cost of fossil fuels

U.S. Plays Key Role In Small Arms Proliferation
Two out of five guns illegal
1 Of 4 Animals Predicted For Extinction Within Fifty Years, Study Says FREE!
Climate change will wipe out one million species by 2050

Zimbabwe Crisis As Mugabe Refuses To Step Down
Situation goes from awful to horrible as 8 million near starvation

Iranian Woman Facing Execution For Killing Her Rapist
Self-defense in rape is usually murder under Iran version of Islamic law

Nixon Planned Gulf Invasion in 1973
But feared a possible counter-attack by Iraq
Bush Global Warming Plan Could Devastate Oceans FREE!
CO2 injection in deep sea would alter ocean chemistry

Pakistanis Fleeing U.S. Face Tough Test In Canada
"People are criminalized for the fact they have asked for political asylum"

The Buzz About The Missing Bees Of Nepal
UN worrying about loss of biodiversity worldwide

European Roma Living Conditions Akin To Africa's Worst
One out of six is "constantly starving"

Ten Years Of Privatization Made Argentina's Crisis Worse
Foreign owners bought up public services, sent most profits out of country

Their Media War and Ours in 2004 FREE!
"Embedding" was the most used new word of 2003

The Spirit Of Teddy Roosevelt Stalks The Pentagon
View of the world as merciless, Darwinian competition where force is the only language

2004 May See Widespread Strikes And Lockouts
System for financing union health care benefits breaking down nationwide

Jeb Bush Opens "Faith Based" Prison FREE!
Will a gay, Jewish or atheist inmate risk objecting to religious persecution?

Milosevic Trial May Foreshadow Saddam's
With nothing to lose, he showboats for his tribe, puts America on trial and hopes that history will be kind

Thomas Friedman's Scary Plan For World War III FREE!
Trying to justify a multibillion dollar war against the "savages"

MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + John Kerry's Got No Elvis
 + The Poor State Of The Union's Pocketbook
 + The "So What?" Presidency Of George W. Bush
 + Bush Immigration Deal: Clueless, Or Dishonest?
 + 2003: Rough And Tumble And Crazy Times In Texas
 + Mad Cow A Profoundly Political Issue

 + Baghdad Is Bush's Blue Dress
 + So Now We're Opposing Democracy In Iraq
 + Schwarzenegger's Budget Axe Chops Services For Poor And Needy
 + Lord Knows What Pat Robertson Wants
 + New Documents Show How Rumsfeld And Reagan Armed Saddam

 } Robert Scheer

 + Presidential Candidates: Compared to What?
 + The State of the Media Union
 + Presidential Campaign Fever And "The Vision Thing"
 + Don't Run Again In 2004, Ralph
 + George Will's Ethics: None of Our Business?

 } Norman Solomon

 + Robert McNamara And The Fog Of Cop-Out
 + Havoc In The Cornfields
 + Bush And Iraq: The Truth At Last
 + Comparing Bush To Hitler
 + Count Your Blessings Looking Back At 2003

 } Alexander Cockburn

Toledo Blade

New York Times Ignored, Then Distorted Story Of Vietnam Atrocities FREE!
For at least six months in 1967, an elite unit called Tiger Force rampaged through Vietnam's Central Highlands, murdering -- at the encouragement of their officers -- probably hundreds of unarmed civilians. But The New York Times seem to be arguing that behavior was more the rule than the exception. In the case of Tiger Force, this included cutting off human ears to make necklaces, rape and wanton murder, and in one case, evidently cutting off a baby's head to steal a necklace

Albion Monitor
Issue 118

Editor: Jeff Elliott (
Publisher: Darryl Trujillo (

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