default.html Issue 121
Table of Contents

The Rumsfeld Tapes

by Jeff Elliott The Administration's response to the 60 Minutes broadcast was to immediately release its own transcripts of Woodward's two interviews with Rumsfeld. But in the Pentagon's version, there was a critical section removed: Gone was the discussion of Rumsfeld telling Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar in January 2003 that he could "take [it] to the bank" that Iraq would be invaded. In the Pentagon transcript there was no indication that a section had been edited out

U.S. Polarized On Earth Day 2004

Interior Secretary Gale Norton, who heads the department that manages one out of every five acres of land in the United States and provides the resources for nearly one-third of the nation's energy, has not mentioned Earth Day this year. But across the country, organizations large and small are issuing Earth Day warnings to alert the public that the Bush administration is destroying previously protected areas.

Crusader George

by Lawrence Pintak The Pentagon is steadfast in its claim that it continues to win the military battle in Iraq. While that may be debatable, there is no doubt it is losing the PR war -- in Iraq and across the Muslim world

Media Ignoring Coming Money Crisis

by Robert Gelfand We are importing high quality manufactured goods while exporting garbage and a few agricultural products. Even then, only about two-fifths of the containers are sent back loaded with anything at all

U.S. Must Explain Removal of Iraqi Nuclear Equipment, Entire Buildings

The chief of the United Nations nuclear agency has asked the U.S. to explain what has happened to nuclear equipment and entire buildings the agency was monitoring before the Iraq war that now appear to have been removed from the country

USDA Refuses To Let Ranch Test Its Own Cattle For Mad Cow

Since the discovery of one BSE infected cow in Washington state in December 2003, Japan and 57 other countries have banned U.S. beef imports. Creekstone Farms has agreed to meet Japanese requirements by testing each and every one of the carcasses it would export to Japan for BSE. But the USDA refused the license request from Creekstone Farms

Fallujah Horrors Puncture White House Optimism

by Jim Lobe 'This reminds me so much of Vietnam, it's scary,' Lawrence Korb, a senior Pentagon official under President Ronald Reagan (1981-89), told the Washington Post. 'Every time in Vietnam that we kept saying there was light at the end of the tunnel, then something horrible would happen.'

The New American Empire At One Year

by Jim Lobe As U.S. troops prepared to invade Iraq one year ago, the foreign-policy elite's issue of the day was whether the United States had become so dominant that it could and should be compared to the British Empire of a century ago, and accept its responsibilities accordingly

How To Be A Corporate Tax Evader

by Lucy Komisar As states and municipalities reel from service cutbacks caused by lower tax earnings, big corporations pay virtually no taxes on huge profits

Now Target Of Al-Qaeda, Saudis Propose Democratic Reforms

by Peyman Pejman Many Saudis, whether in the government or not, find themselves in a quandary. On one hand, they want to continue to push their government to remain committed to an acceptable pace of reform. On the other hand, they do not want to be perceived as taking those measures because of pressure from the outside world, especially the United States

Pro-choice Washington March Largest In History

by Allison Stevens More than one million pro-choice activists, as counted by organizers, converged in the nation's capital Sunday to protest the government's persistent effort to chip away at women's reproductive and health rights

Haiti Settles Down To Misery As Usual

by Jane Regan The heavily armed street gang-turned-rebel army that patrolled the streets after taking over the city Feb. 5 have put down their guns, at least for now

U.S. Shipping Guns To Haiti's Island Neighbor

by Marty Logan Washington is poised to start shipping 20,000 M-16 rifles to the Dominican Republic, the nation that shares the island with Haiti. Experts predict the new guns could cross the poorly guarded border between the countries. The news comes just days after the commander of the U.S. Marines in Haiti apparently reversed a previous U.S. decision that troops in the multinational force would seek to disarm rebels and other groups in the country, which is awash in small arms.

What Triggered the Shiite Insurrection?

by Michael Schwartz Bremer made it clear that the Bush administration expected to retain a large military force in Iraq, with or without the consent of the new Iraqi government, and intended to retain control of the newly formed Iraqi army as well

Iraq To Have Only "Limited" Or "Restricted" Sovereignty After Handover

by Andrew Tully On April 25, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the still-undefined government set to take power in Iraq will have to 'give up' some of its sovereignty to allow the U.S. military to provide security in the country. A U.S. State Department official last week used the term 'limited sovereignty.'

Europe Sounds Alarm On Bee-Killing Pesticides

by Julio Godoy Gaucho, a broad-spectrum insecticide made by the Germany-based chemical giant Bayer, was banned in France in 1999 due to its toxicity to bees and other forms of life -- including humans. But its replacement, Regent, from another German giant, BASF, is just as dangerous say beekeepers and biologists

Bush Has 3 Options For Leaving Iraq: The Good, Bad, And Ugly

by Franz Schurmann The Good option called for handing the reins of government over to the Iraqis and fashioning an expeditious military exit. The Bad option was the one advocated by Arizona Sen. John McCain -- pouring more U.S. soldiers into Iraq

Neo-Cons Want To Paint Al-Sadr As Iran Stooge

by Jim Lobe Despite the growing number of reports that depict the past week's uprising by the radical Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, and his Mahdi Army as a spontaneous and indigenous revolt, some influential U.S. neoconservatives are insisting that Iran is behind it

LBJ Had Role In 1964 Brazil Coup, Documents Show

by Jim Lobe A newly declassified audiotape and documents release 40 years after the 1964 coup that installed military rule in Brazil show that then President Lyndon Johnson was directly involved in the decision to back the uprising

Journalist Orgs Troubled By Killing Of 26 Reporters In Iraq

by Don Hill With his TV camera on his shoulder, Dana stood near other journalists outside Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad. A veteran war cameraman, he was filming action there in clear view of a number of American soldiers when a newly arrived U.S. tank rumbled around a corner. A soldier on the tank, mistaking Dana's camera for a weapon, shot the journalist dead

Oil-For-Food Blame Game Heats Up

by Thalif Deen The charges of corruption first surfaced several months ago in a Baghdad newspaper that published the names of businessmen, political leaders, heads of state and even a UN official who were apparently privy to kickbacks received by the former government of President Saddam Hussein

Rise of the Machines

by John Gershman A high-tech machine war would allow the U.S. to quickly strike over enormous distances, an important capability in the Bush administration's pre-emptive war strategy

Rwanda Genocide Survivor Reflects On 'Collective Madness'

by Robert McMahon Rwanda's genocide erupted 10 years ago, with a savagery and thoroughness that shocked the international community. In just 100 days, an estimated 500,000 to 800,000 Tutsis were killed. The killing was particularly efficient in the remote western province of Kibuye, where 22-year-old Immaculee Ilibagiza lived with her Tutsi family. Now a UN employee in New York, Ilibagiza shares with her personal tale about the genocide

Violence Threatens To Unravel UN Iraq Plans

by Thalif Deen Growing military attacks on foreign civilians and the violent uprising against the U.S. military occupation are threatening to unravel a UN plan for nationwide elections in Iraq and to jeopardize a proposed role for the world body in stabilizing the country

France Continues To Deny Any Role In Rwanda Massacre

by Julio Godoy Former minister for foreign affairs Dominique de Villepin claimed three weeks ago that 'French intervention in Rwanda saved hundreds of thousands of lives.' But the new Rwandan leader Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, contradicted De Villepin. 'Yes, the French saved many lives -- of those who committed the genocide,' he said.

Many Women Survivors Of Rwanda Massacre Face Grim Future

by Rachel Rinaldo In conservative Rwanda, activists say, it is extremely difficult for women to speak about rape. A number of women who have become aware of their HIV status have started to speak about their genocide experiences more openly. Ingabire says Hutu and Tutsi women have also found common ground through their experiences of rape

Clinton Was Warned Early Of Rwanda Genocide, Papers Show

by Jim Lobe President Bill Clinton's somewhat indirect 1998 apology to Rwandans over Washington's failure to act to stop mass killings in 1994 until it was too late was at best disingenuous, and more likely a deliberate distortion of what he knew and when he knew it, newly released documents indicate

Charges Of U.S. "Conspiracy" To Control Massive S American Water Supply

by Marcela Valente The Guarani Aquifer, an enormous underground reservoir beneath Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, are at the center of a turbulent debate. A conservation project for the aquifer triggered a volley of accusations that warn of an alleged U.S.-led conspiracy to take control of this important freshwater source

Report from Fallujah -- Destroying A Town To Save It

by Rahul Mahajan Among the more laughable assertions of the Bush administration is that the mujaheddin are a small group of isolated extremists repudiated by the majority of Fallujah's population. Nothing could be further from the truth

In Iraq, A Rising Storm

by Jim Lobe Hunkered down in the Baghdad Green Zone and in U.S. bases across the country, the occupation's military and political leadership fails to appreciate how distrustful most Iraqis are about U.S. intentions

One Wicked Week in Iraq

by Jim Lobe By the end of the week, it was clear that military power was, in another Vietnam metaphor, not only losing hearts and minds, but actually building a stronger insurgency

Iraq Now A Free For All

by William O. Beeman Still other violent groups, such as those fomenting attacks in Kirkuk, are fighting proto-ethnic wars that have yet to reach their full explosive power. (Kirkuk is a potentially explosive mix of Kurds, Turkmen, Sunni and Shia.) That conflagration will come later, and here again, the United States will have no moral authority or political suasion to contain it

Pity The Residents in The 19 In-Play States

by Molly Ivins Most of us, in most of the states, will barely be aware there is a presidential election going on -- we're out of this loop, team. Nobody will be talking to us. Because we're not 'in play,' this election is not about us. For reasons established by supposedly skilful polling, none of us even get to be part of this election. We're taken for granted

Tom DeLay's Grand Jury Problem

by Molly Ivins You may be wondering why House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is raising money for a legal defense fund and telling his fellow Republicans in Washington to be prepared to name his replacement in the event he is indicted

Not Vietnam, But A Quagmire All The Same

by Molly Ivins It's the Prince Bandar story that left me whomper-jawed. Do you remember when someone who was connected to someone who was connected to someone who was connected to China was found to have raised money for Bill Clinton? The right wing came completely unglued over it, and all manner of hideous conspiracy theories were advanced. Maybe the Saudis trying to influence our elections shouldn't startle me -- the new book House of Bush, House of Saud is all about that connection. Still, the non-denial denials from the White House and the Saudis smell like rotten meat

Taxing The Bejeezus Out Of Sinners

by Molly Ivins What a way to finance public schools. The state is now in the position of encouraging sin in order to tax it. Where are the Baptists when we need them?

A Historic March

by Molly Ivins The women who organized the march came up with a scheme to count our numbers and announced that there were more than a million of us there and it was the largest demo in the history of the nation. ABC had us down to tens of thousands. Other networks admitted to several hundred thousands. I didn't see FOX News, but I assume we were down a few thousand on that channel, and almost all the news outlets gave either some or equal time to the few hundred anti-choice groups that turned out

Be There At The March for Women's Lives

by Molly Ivins The March for Women's Lives is not just about choice on abortion but literally about life or death for women all over the globe

Bush Living In His Own Little Reality

by Molly Ivins There are always moments of cognitive dissonance in listening to President Bush, when you realize that what he is saying simply does not accord with any known version of reality

The Problem Of Zarqawi's (Non-Missing) Legs

by Molly Ivins We now learn that Abu Musad al Zarqawi has two legs. This will not strike you as a stop-the-presses moment unless you remember that al Zarqawi was one of Osama bin Laden's Number Two men and pre-war, the administration claimed the reason it was so certain Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda was that Zarqawi had gone to Baghdad to get his leg amputated. But now, oops, he has two

Bad And Getting Worse

by Molly Ivins As many others have pointed out, June 30 is just a ridiculous deadline. Even though we're not planning to withdraw on June 30, damned if I can see how we're going to hang onto what was supposed to be the great strategic advantage of this war

Come November, Will Bush Blame The Birders?

by Molly Ivins There's no way to keep up with the Bush administration's assaults on the environment, they're just endless

Nuclear Power Industry Pitches "Micro-Nuke" Plants

by Eric Mack Far north in a mostly Native Alaskan town along the Yukon River, the Toshiba Corp. seeks to build a "super-safe" micronuclear power plant. Residents, eager to lower costly power bills, are interested, but wary

Neo-cons Seek To Create Pro-U.S. "Islamic Progress Institute"

by Jim Lobe 'Islam in America must be American Islam or it will not be integrated; there can be no place for an Islam in America that functions as a seditious conspiracy aimed at wiping out American values, undermining American inter-faith civility, and, in effect, dictating the form of Islam that will be followed in America'

After New Violence, Serbs Want Kosovo Divided

by Vesna Peric Zimonjic In the southern province of Kosovo they are making an inventory of their homes and their medieval churches and monasteries destroyed by ethnic Albanians two weeks ago and vow they will stay in Kosovo, even though personal security is poor and promises of a better life are vague

Backed Into Corner, Bush Throws Condi To 9/11 Panel

by Jim Lobe The administration has insisted that the exemption should apply to the commission as well because it was created by an act of Congress.But with Rice appearing almost everywhere except before the commission, that position became increasingly politically untenable

Pakistan In Bind Over Fighting Islamic Militants

by M B Naqvi The Pakistan government has offered yet another amnesty to 'foreign Islamic militants' in the country's northwestern tribal areas, meaning al-Qaeda elements, if they surrender by April 20. But in truth, authorities find themselves between a rock and a hard place in the military offensive against these fighters

Israeli Nuke Whistleblower Remains Defiant

"To all those who are calling me a traitor, I am saying I am proud and happy to [have done] what I did."

Israel Smears Vananu Before Prison Release

by Ferry Biedermann In the run-up to his release, the authorities seemingly tried to smear Vanunu by releasing what was described as a secretly recorded conversation in which Vanunu said he saw no need for a Jewish state, and that Judaism and Islam were backward religions

Vanunu Was Also Whistle-Blower On U.S. Role In Nuclear Scandal

by Stephen Zunes The European parliament, former President Jimmy Carter, the Jewish Peace Fellowship, the Federation of American Scientists, and many other prominent individuals and organizations have long called for Vanunu's release. By contrast, with few notable exceptions -- such as the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota -- there has been virtually no support in Congress. This lack of U.S. support for Vanunu is just one part of the longstanding U.S. acquiescence of Israel's nuclear program

UN Fears 'Another Rwanda' In Sudan

by Marty Logan Confidential documents from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) show that from October to December 2003, deaths in Darfur rose to 20 people per 10,000 people. The group Doctors Without Borders labels three deaths per 10,000 people catastrophic

U.S. Holding, Abusing 20,000 Prisoners, Iraqis Say

by Aaron Glantz Amnesty International catalogues 15 confirmed incidents of house demolition and notes regular reports of torture and beatings perpetrated against prisoners in U.S. custody. The report also alleges that prisoners are subjected to sleep deprivation, hooding, and bright lights

Haiti Jails One Rebel Murderer -- But For How Long?

by Jane Regan When alleged death squad leader and rebel commander Louis Jodel Chamblain handed himself over to authorities this week, the number of gun-toting criminals on Haiti's streets and hillsides dropped by one

Ground Zero Cleanup Workers Fight For Health Aid

by Katherine Stapp According to the latest figures from Mount Sinai Hospital's occupational health clinic, which has screened more than 9,000 rescue and recovery workers, about half still suffer from respiratory problems and other injuries. More than 40 percent have post-traumatic stress disorder

Wal-Mart Loses A Battle, But Prepares Long Offensive

by Jeff Milchen Wal-Mart Inc. executives aren't used to losing, but the world's largest corporation took a beating from citizens in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood. The company's ballot initiative, which would have negated Inglewood City Council's rejection of Wal-Mart's proposed Supercenter, was crushed by voters last Tuesday despite Wal-Mart spending a mind-boggling $220 for each 'yes' vote it received in the working-class city

WMDs Abound In Russia, But Little Done To Find, Destroy Stockpiles

by Jeremy Bransten Two years ago, the G-8 states announced an ambitious new partnership to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological materials amid increased fears of terrorism. The countries pledged to spend an unprecedented $20 billion over the next decade, mostly in Russia, to help Moscow destroy some of its weapons stockpiles and upgrade security at facilities retaining dangerous materials. But so far, according to experts, results on the ground have yet to match the political promises

Latin Gang Grows To 300,000 Members

by Diego Cevallos The Mara Salvatrucha and other gangs involved in theft and small-scale drug and arms trafficking often target undocumented Central American migrants trying to make their way through Mexico

Troops Kill Journalists From U.S.-Funded Iraq TV

by Marty Logan U.S. soldiers may be at fault for Monday's killings of two Iraqi media workers in the city of Samara north of Baghdad. The International Federation of Journalists has not completed its probe of the killings of Al-Iraqiya correspondents, but 'there is a high-level of suspicion from the reports that we've seen so far that this could be a case of a certain degree of negligence by the troops'

Face it, Senator: We Must Leave Iraq

by Robert Scheer Kerry has to stop angling for position and confront Bush directly on the war

With God on His Side

by Robert Scheer As a self-described messenger of God who was praying for strength to do the Lord's will, Bush was not troubled about shredding a little secular document called the U.S. Constitution

Drug War Led Bush Astray Before 9/11

by Robert Scheer Because the Bush administration's attention was focused on the war on drugs, it praised Afghanistan's Taliban regime even though it was harboring Bin Laden and his terror camps. The Taliban refused to extradite the avowed terrorist even after he admitted responsibility for a series of deadly assaults against American diplomatic and military sites in Africa and the Middle East

Court Demands Cheney Release Energy Task Force Records

The Bush administration has been ordered by a federal judge to open its files and release records of Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force

Big Lie #6: No Exit Strategy

by Robert Scheer It is the beginning of the end for the United States in Iraq. No amount of glib optimism from Bush administration soothsayers can conceal that reality. Sure, the U.S. possesses the military might to hang on indefinitely, but only through the continuous sacrifice of lives in a reckless venture that never had an honestly stated purpose

Bush Puts a Cancer on the Presidency

by Robert Scheer The dark side of the current White House was on full display last week when top officials of the Bush administration took to the airwaves to destroy the credibility of a man who had honorably served presidents Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes

Saudi Arabia Begins Kicking Out Foreign Workers

by Peyman Pejman Although official figures on the subject are hard to come by, of Saudi Arabia's population of about 23 million, about 5 million are Asian guest workers. Many of whom have lived in the kingdom for years

Iraq's Environmental Meltdown

by Stephen Leahy Most of Iraq's sewage treatment plants were only partially operational prior to the conflict, and shortages of electricity, parts and chemicals have exacerbated the situation, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In the past year, billions of dollars have flowed into Iraq, including $3.2 billion from USAID to patch up sewage infrastructure, among other things. But progress has been slow

Oil Theft Is Thriving Business In Nigeria

by Sam Olukoya Thanks to the inability of coastal authorities to monitor the area properly, thieves puncture the lines or open their valves, siphoning off crude and refined oil into barges or trucks

Hostages In Iraq Sparks Political Crisis In Japan

by Charles Recknagel Japan joined the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq with the provision that its soldiers would carry out a purely humanitarian mission by helping with reconstruction. Now, Tokyo finds itself ever more embroiled in Iraq's violence as a group of militants has taken three of its nationals hostage and threatened to kill them unless all Japanese troops leave the country. The kidnappers have given Tokyo three days to decide what to do

Jordan Says It Stopped Terror Plot That Could Have Killed 80,000

The planned attacks in Jordan involved strikes against the U.S. Embassy in Amman and Jordanian government and intelligence targets. Jordan had already reported the plot earlier this month. But the confessions on prime-time television offered graphic details of the alleged attack plans

Will The 9/11 Panel Dare Probe The Bush-Saudi Connections?

by Craig Unger When hearings resume on April 13, we may learn exactly how tough the commission is prepared to be. This time the stars will be Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert S. Mueller III, among others. When they testify -- especially Mueller -- we will see whether or not the commission has the stomach to address what may be the single most egregious security lapse related to the attacks: the evacuation of approximately 140 Saudis just two days after 9/11

U.S. Mercenaries Now Have Key Role In Fighting Iraq War

by Randolph T. Holhut The murder and mutilation of four employees of Blackwater Security Consulting in Fallujah on March 31 brought to light something that the Bush administration would rather you didn't know about -- that it is outsourcing more and more of the occupation of Iraq to mercenaries

On Day of Crucial Pre-9/11 Memo, Bush Had 45-Minute Workday

by Jeff Elliott What President Bush was doing that August has renewed importance because of the emphasis in Rice's testimony on the lack of time for the new administration to prepare. No fewer than five times did she point out that 'We were in office 233 days' when the Sept. 11 attack occurred. What she neglected to say was that Bush had spent nearly half of his presidency on vacation up to that time, and was heavily criticized for it

Bush Hits UN Roadblock On Efforts To Close Nuclear Weapon Club

by Thalif Deen The United States and Britain are facing strong resistance over their attempt to hastily rush through the Security Council a proposed resolution aimed at preventing terrorists and other "non-state actors" from trafficking in and acquiring WMD

Vatican Loves Mel Gibson Movie, Hates 'Da Vinci' Book

by Diego Cevallos The Catholic Church hierarchy in Latin America is riding the success of Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' to promote a conservative religious agenda, while it scorns 'The Da Vinci Code', a best-seller based on a fictional storyline involving centuries-old plots by the Vatican

Fallujah Cannot Even Bury Its Dead

by Aaron Glantz So many Fallujahans have been killed by the U.S. marines that residents have had to dig mass graves. The city's soccer stadium now holds more than 200 bodies

Activists Pressure Bulldozer Shareholders To Stop Sales To Israel

by Emad Mekay Activists are calling on fellow shareholders of U.S. heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar to press officials to probe the sale of company machinery to the Israeli Army, saying it violates an internal code of conduct and a U.S. ban on sales of products that target civilians

Iraqis Shun U.S. Propaganda TV Channel

by Gregory D. Johnsen Al-Hurra, the latest, and most expensive, U.S.-sponsored channel aimed at Arabs, offers up President Bush and Detroit car shows, but is having a tough time countering the news credibility of networks like al-Jazeera and al-Arabiyya. A number of these programs will be in English with only Arabic subtitles, a problem for the large number of Arabs, especially Arab women, who remain illiterate

U.S. Facing Rebellion From Iraqi Troops It Trained

by Aaron Glantz Across the center and south of Iraq, the U.S. trained Iraqi military is refusing to fight an increasingly popular insurgency. This week U.S. officials acknowledged that half of its Iraqi Army refused to fight when the U.S. Marines began a massive assault on Fallujah April 5. The assault was launched to crush rebel supporters of al-Sadr

Honduras Withdrawl From Iraq Welcomed At Home

by Diego Cevallos Groups in Honduras applauded the government's decision to withdraw the country's 370 troops from Iraq, while voices in El Salvador called for a pullout of the Salvadoran forces as well

Islamic Worlds Of Sunni, Shiite Move Closer

by Cam McGrath After 25 years, Egypt and Iran have agreed in principle to restore relations. Egypt is a center for Sunni Islam; Iran is the center of Shia Islam. By cooperating they could dilute any differences

Back To Square One In Iraq

by Jim Lobe U.S. generals in Iraq admitted that as much as 10 percent of Iraqi security forces worked with or joined the rebels, and that an additional 40 percent simply melted away or refused U.S. orders. Other analysts say those estimates are low

Rising Gas Prices May Foreshadow Global Oil Crisis By 2010

by Alejandro Eggers Moreno An accounting scandal at Royal Dutch/Shell has caused the oil giant to slash its petroleum reserve estimates by 20 percent. But the same pressure to pump up estimated gas and oil reserves -- in Shell's case, in order to appear more attractive to shareholders -- exists across companies and nations alike. And that means -- as an increasing number of geologists and ex-oil company employees are saying -- that global oil reserves may be dangerously exaggerated

California's Juvenile Prison System A Snake Pit

by Will Roy It took two suicides in the same Preston, California, facility in January of this year for professionals to finally take a peek at the California Youth Authority's (CYA) faults. What they found were inhumane cages, unjust conditions and an institutional conspiracy to punish and not rehabilitate

Richard Perle's Departure Signals Decline Of Cheney Camp

by Franz Schurmann President Bush's acceptance of Richard Perle's resignation from a Pentagon advisory board represents the president's shift away from neo-conservative ideology. In an election year, Bush might also drop another neo-con: Vice President Dick Cheney

Bush Medicare Ads Blasted As Deceptive PR

by Donal Brown Critics blasted the Bush administration's recent advertisements for Medicare's new prescription drug benefit as self-serving public relations messages

Bush Trying To Appoint Controversial White House Lawyer To Appeals Court

by J.R. Pegg The nomination of White House lawyer Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the D.C. Court of Appeals was never likely to quell the partisan divide caused by the Bush administration's choice of judicial nominees. But when Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the administration does not consider ideology when selecting its nominees, he escalated the controversy

A Frightening Peek At The Real George Bush

by Joyce Marcel That Bush has accepted this maniacal neoconservative reasoning is frightening. That he believes, as he said on Tuesday, that America has the resolve and the resources to carry out this overwhelming job -- a job that other members of his Administration have described as generational -- makes him dead wrong

Karl Rove's Iraq Nightmare

by Ira Chernus It is hard to imagine Karl Rove, the president's political guru, sitting back passively and watching all this happen. Election Day, 2004, is the culmination of his life's work. If, by then, Iraq has dissolved into a Vietnam-like debacle, Rove's man hardly stands a chance. But which path leads toward a Bush victory -- the hawks' iron fist or the doves' negotiated truce? The White House hasn't come to any conclusion yet

The Useful Missle Defense System Bush Won't Fund

by Christopher Brauchli The aircraft system is designed to protect airplane passengers from shoulder-fired missiles costing about $5,000 each on the black market, weighing 35 pounds, and have the capacity to presently inflict great harm are held by terrorist groups around the world

Pentagon Was Determined To Convict "Guantanamo Spy" Of Something, Anything

by Christopher Brauchli After three months of investigation, it was decided that the charges that had warranted keeping Captain Yee in solitary confinement couldn't be proven. Defeated but not beaten, the prosecutors went from the sublime to the ridiculous

Total War vs. Total Faith: Al Qaeda Moves Ahead

by Franz Schurmann U.S. military doctrine emphasizes overwhelming battlefield victory over opponents. But this total warfare appears to be losing against Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic movements, as suicide bombings spread throughout the world, fueled by faith that calls for martyrdom. Bush and Bin Laden must sit down together and begin to find ways to end both types of destruction.

Burma's Generals Meeting Quietly With Nobel Prize Dissident

by Larry Jagan All eyes are now on whether Burma's military rulers and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi are on the verge of agreeing to work together on the country's political future

UN Gives Bush Last Chance To Rescue Iraq

by Peter Dale Scott Neither President Bush nor Senator Kerry has yet isolated the crucial element needed for success in this transition. The administration must itself announce that the United Nations, and not the United States, will have the final word both in selecting the new transitional authority, and in granting it power

When Civil War In Sudan Ends, Religious War Remains

by Chander Mehra in an oil-rich country where Africa meets the Arab world and Christianity confronts Islam, peace can be elusive. What will happen to Sudan's minority Christian population should Africa's oldest civil war finally end?

Bin Laden Probably Hoping For Bush Re-elect

by Paul F. deLespinasse Why would al-Qaida want to bring down George W. Bush? His foreign policies may have actually improved al-Qaida's chances of seizing power, and not just in Pakistan. If Osama bin Laden could vote in his own interest, it is not hard to imagine him casting a vote for Bush.

Taiwan, China Unification Now Seems Impossible

by Antoaneta Bezlova Never before in the five decades of rivalry and belligerence between the island of Taiwan and mainland China, has the gap forged by different consciousness on both sides of the Taiwan Strait loomed this large

Sunni, Shiite Now Allied In Fighting U.S. Coalition

by Peyman Pejman Iraqi groups opposed to the U.S.-led occupation of their country have regained full or partial control of four Iraqi cities and are resorting to the kidnapping of foreigners, a scenario that spells more violence ahead as the country marked on Friday the first anniversary of the fall of Baghdad

Why Condi Won't Apologize For 9/11

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The reasons Rice didn't and probably won't apologize go beyond personal feelings and sympathies. Despite Clarke's testimony that dumped much of the blame at her footstep for the Bush administration's gross failure to heed intelligence warnings of a pending attack, Rice does not make White House policy. Her role is to collect, interpret and advise Bush on intelligence matters. Clarke, not Rice, decides on what action to take. If Bush, as he told Bob Woodward in his book, "Bush at War," felt no sense of urgency about Osama Bin Laden,then the blame for the 9/11 catastrophe lay with Bush, and an apology must come from him

9/11 Panel Is America's Truth Commission

by Amy Ross Truth commissions have appeared all over the world. Societies emerging from a period of bitter and brutal violence establish such commissions as a way to address the past. South Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission is the most widely known example of the genre, but more than 20 truth commissions have sprung up in recent years

John Stossel Spins His Past

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman The LA Weekly ran a story earlier this year about a book party in Los Angeles for Stossel and his new best-selling book.Years ago, when he quit exposing consumer rip-offs, Stossel told a Federalist Society audience, 'I got sick of it. I also now make so much money, I just lost interest in saving a buck on a can of peas.'

U.S. Now Fighting On Both Sunni, Shiite Fronts

by Aaron Glantz U.S. troops are now taking on Shia fighters in Najaf and Sunni insurgents in Fallujah at the same time

Haiti's Armed Groups Refuse To Lay Down Weapons

by Marty Logan 'Due to the state of impunity the number of criminal activities -- hold-ups, kidnappings, robberies, rape, summary executions and acts of looting -- committed by armed gangs is increasing. Aristide's supporters feel threatened,' report says

Blair Tries To Put Best Face On Iraq Meltdown

by Sanjay Suri For a leader riding a whirlwind of public disfavor, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is making a show of exuding confidence. With polls showing support for military intervention in Iraq declining from already low levels, Blair's government was talking to the United States Monday about committing more troops to Iraq

At Ten Years Old, California's "Three Strikes" Law A Failure

by Vincent Schiraldi and Geri Silva 65 percent of those imprisoned under Three Strikes are nonviolent offenders. African Americans are imprisoned for life under Three Strikes at an astonishing 12 times the rate of whites. Those imprisoned under Three Strikes thus far will end up costing Californians an additional $8 billion by the time their sentences are finished. Each person sentenced to life under Three Strikes will cost the state a minimum of $600,000

Memo To George And Dick

by Norman Solomon Dick: Respectfully, the hunched over talking- into- your- wrists thing has just got to go. I don't know if you and Lynne ever watch The Simpsons, but sometimes when I see you on TV you're a dead ringer for Mr. Smithers

Media Papers Over Problem Of Iraq Soverignty

by Norman Solomon The gaping holes in the U.S. stance are being largely papered over in news coverage. Part of the process is for major American media outlets to simultaneously acknowledge and deny fundamental contradictions between the Bush administration's rhetoric about democracy and its actual policies

Country Joe Band, 2004: "Uncle Sam Needs Your Help Again"

by Norman Solomon An old question is also new: What are we fighting for?

Jim Lehrer Needs To Set The Record Straight

by Norman Solomon Lehrer's comment -- ostensibly setting the record straight -- was at odds with the available factual record about Sadr's newspaper. In sync with other news accounts, The New York Times had reported two days earlier that the paper did not print any calls for attacks

Like Vietnam Era, Media Justifying Iraq Violence

by Norman Solomon Despite all the belated media exposure of the Bush administration's prewar lies, we are now seeing a familiar spectrum of response in mainstream U.S. media -- many liberals wringing their hands, many conservatives rubbing their hands -- at the sight of military escalation

Stupid Leaders, Useless Spies, Angry World

by Alexander Cockburn Woodward's airless pages is of a White House utterly secluded from reality. If George Bush had marched out of the front gate into Pennsylvania Avenue, hailed any taxi and asked its driver to give him a briefing on the world situation, he would have done better than with what was served up to him by his staff on a daily basis

Clouds Loom Over Kerry Challenge

by Alexander Cockburn Amid a hail of bad press for the White House surrounding Woodward's book launch and the bad news from Iraq, Bush is pulling ahead in the polls. Can it be true that the Democrats have managed to find a worthy successor to Mondale and Dukakis as their champion?

Bush, Kerry, And Empire

by Alexander Cockburn Behind all liberal hysteria over Bush as a demon of monstrous, Hitlerian proportions, I get the sense of a certain embarrassment, that the man is bringing the imperial office into embarrassment and disrepute

Pulitzers And Prozac

by Alexander Cockburn People are dying in Fallujah and other towns across Iraq in part because the U.S. press didn't do its job and mostly swallowed, hook, line, sinker, reel and rod, the WMD claims of Bush, Powell, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the others. Right now, U.S. forces, either in uniform or disguised as civilian contractors, are hunting for Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric, on the grounds his newspaper is telling lies. There's an idea! Send the troops into The New York Times newsroom and arrest Judith Miller

Kerry In Vietnam II

by Alexander Cockburn U.S. Navy Lieutenant John Kerry won his Silver Star, thus lofting him to the useful status of "war hero," on Feb. 28, 1969. His Swift boat was fired on by a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Here's where accounts of the event diverge markedly, depending on the interests of the various narrators

Bush Shifts WMD Hunt From Seeking Hard Evidence To Vague Intent

by Charles Recknagel As U.S. teams continue to search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, they are increasingly focusing on proving that Saddam Hussein intended to develop such weapons, even if no stockpiles can be found

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