Albion Monitor Issue 121 APRIL 2004

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Mehdi army
A member of the rebel Mehdi Army near a burning Humvee in Al-Sadr city, April 4
While U.S. officials downplayed any sense of crisis over the situation in Fallujah or the unprecedented crackdown against the Mahdi, and Bush insisted that Washington would "stay the course" on Iraq, including handing over sovereignty to an interim government June 30, others -- both for and against U.S. designs in Iraq -- depicted a much more dire scenario.

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. Months of waterless, electricity-less days did little to help win Iraqi hearts and minds, and helped break whatever fragile social bond might have given the United States the social capital it needed to govern

 + U.S. Facing Rebellion From Iraqi Troops It Trained

 + Back To Square One In Iraq

 + One Wicked Week in Iraq
 + Report from Fallujah -- Destroying A Town To Save ItFREE!

 + Violence Threatens To Unravel UN Iraq Plans

 + Sunni, Shiite Now Allied In Fighting U.S. Coalition
 + In Iraq, A Rising Storm FREE!

 + Iraq Now A Free For All

 + Fallujah Horrors Puncture White House Optimism

U.S. Mercenaries Now Have Key Role In Fighting Iraq War FREE!
Up to 15,000 "private military contractors" in Iraq

On Day of Crucial Pre-9/11 Memo, Bush Had 45-Minute Workday FREE!
Public disapproved in 2001 of Bush spending over 40% of presidency on vacation

Will The 9/11 Panel Dare Probe The Bush-Saudi Connections? FREE!
As 9/11 hearings resume, 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

the rumsfeld tapes
FREE! When the Pentagon released its own transcripts of Bob Woodward's interview with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, they deleted a key, incriminating passage. But they forgot one crucial fact: Reporters also record interviews

1,150,000 overflow capitol mall for women's reproductive and health rights

U.S. Now Fighting On Both Sunni, Shiite Fronts
Najaf and Fallujah become potent symbols to each group
Iraq To Have Only "Limited" Or "Restricted" Sovereignty After Handover FREE!
Senate grills ambassador that will take over from Bremer

Now Target Of Al-Qaeda, Saudis Propose Democratic Reforms
Too little, too late for monarchy?

Fallujah Cannot Even Bury Its Dead
Mass graves in city soccer stadium
The insurrection in Shiite areas of Iraq was not a sudden explosion, nor was it primarily inspired by the events in Falluja. It was, instead, the result of a long series of actions and reactions between the Coalition's armed forces and increasingly organized and anti-American Shiite militias. The most important single event was the immensely important, but barely reported, announcement that the United States had "found a legal basis for American troops to continue their military control over the security situation in Iraq" even if the Iraqis ask the U.S. to leave after June 30
U.S. Must Explain Removal of Iraqi Nuclear Equipment, Entire Buildings FREE!
Unclear if massive looting or U.S. dismantling responsible

UN Gives Bush Last Chance To Rescue Iraq
Has to immediately give UN power to appoint new government

Court Demands Cheney Release Energy Task Force Records FREE!
Judge rules that White House can't legally withhold documents

Blair Tries To Put Best Face On Iraq Meltdown
UK support for the war has slumped to 41%
Hostages In Iraq Sparks Political Crisis In Japan FREE!
Nation already had anguish over assisting Iraq occupation later this year
Neo-Cons Want To Paint Al-Sadr As Iran Stooge FREE!
Convinced that Iran was to destabilze Iraq and take over

Total War vs. Total Faith: Al Qaeda Moves Ahead
Iraq unlike any other war, including Vietnam

Rising Gas Prices May Foreshadow Global Oil Crisis By 2010
Scientists warning that official estimates of remaining oil reserves are dangerously over-exaggerated

U.S. Holding, Abusing 20,000 Prisoners, Iraqis Say
"The major problem that Iraqi people suffer from is random capture by the U.S. military"

Bush Has 3 Options For Leaving Iraq: The Good, Bad, And Ugly
The "Ugly" option -- a faux exit -- appears increasingly likely

Rwanda's genocide erupted 10 years ago, with a savagery and thoroughness that shocked the world. In just 100 days, up to 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates were killed by Hutu extremists as the international community did nothing. By most accounts, Rwanda is remarkably peaceful these days, and the government is now releasing thousands who confessed to the killings after a brief stint in a so-called reeducation camp. They are returning to villages where they live next to families whose relatives they killed. Africa expert Gregory Salter says Rwanda's policy might be a new time bomb: the government has aggressively spread a version of history that blames former colonial powers for the country's problems. These efforts to ignore ethnic divisions could cause Rwanda to again explode

 + Many Women Survivors Of Rwanda Massacre Face Grim Future
 + Rwanda Genocide Survivor Reflects On 'Collective Madness' FREE!

 + France Continues To Deny Any Role In Rwanda Massacre

 + Clinton Was Warned Early Of Rwanda Genocide, Papers Show

Street child
Rwanda homeless child living in the streets (PHOTO:

Jordan Says It Stopped Terror Plot That Could Have Killed 80,000 FREE!
Al-Qaeda reportedly planned bomb, chemical attack on capitol

Iraq and Haiti become showcases of not-quite democracy

Bush Shifts WMD Hunt From Seeking Hard Evidence To Vague Intent FREE!
Now looking for intention to have a "breakout production capacity"

Bush Hits UN Roadblock On Efforts To Close Nuclear Weapon Club
Fails in attempt to rush WMD resolution through Security Council

Taiwan, China Unification Now Seems Impossible
Reverse of opinion in both countries before Taiwan election

Haiti Jails One Rebel Murderer -- But For How Long?
But human rights observers are not overly optimistic

Haiti's Armed Groups Refuse To Lay Down Weapons
Gangs target Aristide supporters

Haiti Settles Down To Misery As Usual
New prime minister promises housing, a paved highway

U.S. Shipping Guns To Haiti's Island Neighbor
Expected to be smuggled across border to arm militants behind Haiti coup

Birth of robotic weapons
Rise of the Machines

The press had lots of fun with the recent robot debacle in the Mojave Desert. Competing for $1 million in prize money, 15 vehicles headed off on a 142-mile course through some of the most forbidding terrain in the country. None managed to navigate even eight miles. The robots hit fences, caught fire, rolled over, or sat and did nothing. However, the purpose of the event was not NASCAR for nerds, but a coldly calculated plan to construct a generation of killer machines

Bin Laden Probably Hoping For Bush Re-elect FREE!
Poll shows terrorist "October Surprise" would swing election to Bush

Mazen Dana
Pentagon chiefs admitted its troops had mistaken Mazen Dana's camera for a grenade launcher being aimed at them and opened fire, killing him
Journalist Orgs Troubled By Killing Of 26 Reporters In Iraq FREE!
Two more reporters killed by U.S. forces in April

Troops Kill Journalists From U.S.-Funded Iraq TV
A pattern of reporters being killed since U.S-led invasion

Honduras Withdrawl From Iraq Welcomed At Home
Followed announcement of Spain pullout within hours

Islamic Worlds Of Sunni, Shiite Move Closer
Egypt and Iran near ending 25-year long disputes

Neo-cons Seek To Create Pro-U.S. "Islamic Progress Institute"
To promote "American Islam" and undercut existing Islamic groups
U.S. Polarized On Earth Day 2004 FREE!
Bush message on reclaimed wetlands aimed at picking up votes from hunters, anglers

Iraq's Environmental Meltdown
Raw sewage still flows into rivers, despite $3.2B spent by U.S.

Burma's Generals Meeting Quietly With Nobel Prize Dissident
Aung San Suu Syi still under house arrest

Ground Zero Cleanup Workers Fight For Health Aid
"Nobody knows what people were exposed to"

Oil Theft Is Thriving Business In Nigeria
Well-organized crime syndicates include Russians and others from former Soviet bloc

After New Violence, Serbs Want Kosovo Divided
Diplomat hopes for reconciliation with ethnic Albanians all but abandoned

Pakistan In Bind Over Fighting Islamic Militants
Many amnesty offers, but no takers

Activists Pressure Bulldozer Shareholders To Stop Sales To Israel
Protesters focus on Caterpillar, maker of the bulldozer that crushed the activist

Vatican Loves Mel Gibson Movie, Hates 'Da Vinci' Book
Church urges Catholics not to read "blasphemous" novel

How To Be A Corporate Tax Evader
New GAO explains "transfer pricing," shifting income to other countries

Politics As Usual
Bush Trying To Appoint Controversial White House Lawyer To Appeals Court FREE!
"If Bush wanted to truly unite us and not divide us, this is the last nominee he would send us"
A Frightening Peek At The Real George Bush FREE!
Press conference slips show he really believes in invincible neo-con world view

Karl Rove's Iraq Nightmare
Time is running out, and choosing the wrong path could spell defeat in Nov
The Useful Missle Defense System Bush Won't Fund FREE!
But has budgeted nearly $4 billion for untested ICBM system

Why Condi Won't Apologize For 9/11
The blame for 9/11 lies with Bush, and he must be the one to apologize

Richard Perle's Departure Signals Decline Of Cheney Camp
Was the VP's main adviser on the wars in the Middle East

Backed Into Corner, Bush Throws Condi To 9/11 Panel
Recognition that Dick Clarke may have inflicted serious damage to Bush's re-election

Bush Medicare Ads Blasted As Deceptive PR
Feel-good TV ads leave out vital information about changes

Mordechai Vanunu
Vanunu released
Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was freed after serving an 18-year jail term for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets to the British media.

Despite severe restrictions clamped upon him by Israel's security establishment even after his release, Vanunu immediately spoke out against the state, and made clear he intends to pursue his campaign against Israel's weapons of mass destruction.

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

His evidence demonstrated that Israel had developed up to two hundred nuclear weapons of a highly advanced design, making it the world's sixth-largest nuclear power.

For his efforts, agents from the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, kidnapped him from Rome and brought him to Israel to stand before a secret tribunal that convicted him on charges of espionage and treason. Much of his prison time was spent in solitary confinement.

Supporters and opponents gathered outside the prison to witness Vanunu's release. Vanunu waved and flashed "V-for-victory" signs as he walked through the gates of the Shikma prison in the coastal Israeli town of Ashkelon. Before a crowd of reporters, he defiantly proclaimed that he remained proud of his actions The 49-year-old former nuclear technician today described his treatment by Israeli security agents while in prison as "cruel and barbaric." "I say to the [Israeli security services], you didn't succeed to break didn't succeed to make me crazy," he said. "The [goal] of 18 years of isolation is to make me crazy."

 + Israeli Nuke Whistle-blower Remains Defiant FREE!

 + Israel Smears Vananu Before Prison Release
 + Vanunu Was Also Whistle-Blower On U.S. Role In Nuclear Scandal FREE!

Nuclear Power Industry Pitches "Micro-Nuke" Plants
Toshiba tries to sell Alaska on "4S" -- Super-Safe, Small and Simple
USDA Refuses To Let Ranch Test Its Own Cattle For Mad Cow FREE!
Had sold most of its beef to Japan before international boycott of U.S. meat

Oil-For-Food Blame Game Heats Up
NY Times, Wall Street Journal have led pursuit of possible UN corruption

When Civil War In Sudan Ends, Religious War Remains
Islamic Sharia laws imposed on Christian minority

UN Fears 'Another Rwanda' In Sudan
Government forces and ethnic Arab militias have murdered thousands

Saudi Arabia Begins Kicking Out Foreign Workers
Bitter complaints of harsh treatment by police of long-time residents

Europe Sounds Alarm On Bee-Killing Pesticides
Up to 40% of bees killed by German-made treatment for corn, sunflower seeds

Charges Of U.S. "Conspiracy" To Control Massive S American Water Supply
Aquifer for Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay

Iraqis Shun U.S. Propaganda TV Channel
Detroit car shows and other English language programs
WMDs Abound In Russia, But Little Done To Find, Destroy StockpilesFREE!
No nations have followed through on 2002 plege to secure "loose" nuclear weapons

LBJ Had Role In 1964 Brazil Coup, Documents Show
U.S. Aircraft carrier off coast if needed by right-wing forces overthrowing government

Media Ignoring Coming Money Crisis FREE!
Importing high-quality goods, exporting garbage and raw materials

9/11 Panel Is America's Truth Commission
Truth commissions are forums of struggle to establish the official version of history

John Stossel Spins His Past FREE!
Tries to deny 1996 speech explaining why he stopped exposing consumer rip-offs

Pentagon Was Determined To Convict "Guantanamo Spy" Of Something, Anything FREE!
Charges finally and quietly dropped, after trying for porn, adultery prosecution

California's Juvenile Prison System A Snake Pit
CYA's recidivism rate at 90 percent, and it's no surprise

At Ten Years Old, California's "Three Strikes" Law A Failure
1 out of 4 inmates is now a three-striker

Wal-Mart Loses A Battle, But Prepares Long Offensive
"Supercenter" voted down in what was called a key test of public acceptance

MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + Taxing The Bejeezus Out Of Sinners
 + A Historic March
 + Not Vietnam, But A Quagmire All The Same
 + Be There At The March for Women's Lives
 + Bush Living In His Own Little Reality
 + The Problem Of Zarqawi's (Non-Missing) Legs
 + Tom DeLay's Grand Jury Problem
 + Bad And Getting Worse
 + Pity The Residents in The 19 In-Play States
 + Come November, Will Bush Blame The Birders?

 + Face it, Senator: We Must Leave Iraq
 + With God on His Side
 + Drug War Led Bush Astray Before 9/11
 + Big Lie #6: No Exit Strategy
 + Bush Puts a Cancer on the Presidency

 } Robert Scheer

 + Media Papers Over Problem Of Iraq Soverignty
 + Country Joe Band, 2004: "Uncle Sam Needs Your Help Again"
 + Jim Lehrer Needs To Set The Record Straight
 + Like Vietnam Era, Media Justifying Iraq Violence
 + Memo To George And Dick

 } Norman Solomon

 + Stupid Leaders, Useless Spies, Angry World
 + Clouds Loom Over Kerry Challenge
 + Bush, Kerry, And Empire
 + Pulitzers And Prozac
 + Kerry In Vietnam II

 } Alexander Cockburn

Albion Monitor graphic
Powerful images. Powerful words. Powerful propaganda


Operation Resolute Sword. That's what the U.S. military in Iraq is calling its effort to crush rebellious Shiite forces. Osama bin Laden could not have chosen a more inflammatory name. And as if a name dripping with the blood of history were not enough, the Pentagon completed the Crusader symbolism by using its 21st Century sword to smite the occupants of a mosque: dropping a 500-pound laser-guided weapon on the compound surrounding a Sunni Muslim house of worship, leaving some 40 dead. Iraq has become Osama bin Laden's wet dream. His goal was to unite the Muslim world against the U.S. With the historic enmity between Sunnis and Shiites being -- at least temporarily -- set aside to face the common enemy in Iraq, and rising outrage among Muslims from West Africa to Southeast Asia, bin Laden must be watching with wonder and joy

Albion Monitor
Issue 121

Editor: Jeff Elliott (
Publisher: Darryl Trujillo (

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