default.html Issue 139
Table of Contents

Bird Experts Warn Against Culling Wild Birds To Control Flu

by George J. Annas The world's top bird conservation organization warned today that attempts to control the avian influenza virus by culling wild birds could spread the virus even more widely

Bush's Risky Flu Pandemic Plan

by George J. Annas Plans to militarize quarantine miss the point in a pandemic. The enemy is not sick or exposed Americans -- it is the virus itself. And effective action against any flu virus demands its early identification, and the quick development, manufacture, and distribution of a vaccine

Bird Flu Is The Monster At Our Door

by Mike Davis "People just don't get it," Dr. Michael Osterholm, the outspoken director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota recently complained. "If we were to begin a Manhattan Project-type response tonight to expand vaccine and drug production, we wouldn't have a measurable impact on the availability of these critical products to sufficiently address a worldwide pandemic for at least several years."

"Suicide" Of Syria Interior Minister Questioned

by Ferry Biedermann Prominent journalist and MP for the ruling anti-Syrian bloc, Gebran Tueni, said it was not certain that Kanaan had committed suicide. Speaking on the Arab satellite TV station Al-Arabiya from Paris, where many prominent Lebanese politicians are waiting for the security situation in their country to improve, Tueni said: 'In Syria there are some people who want to hide the facts and don't want everything about the Syrian period in Lebanon to be known'

The Ironies Of Conquest: How Bush Brought Iran And Iraq Together

by Michael Schwartz The toppling of Saddm opened the way for a huge influx of pilgrims and cash from Iran, where entrepreneurs began to negotiate building projects for hotels and other tourist-oriented facilities in the holy cities. Iranian financiers offered to support the construction of a modern airport in Najaf to facilitate tourism. Soon after the January elections, the new government made deals with Iran that affected almost every economic realm in depressed Iraq. Among the many projects settled upon were substantial improvements in Iraq's transportation system; agreements for the exchange of products ranging from detergents to construction materials and carpets; a shift of Iraqi imports of flour from the U.S. to Iran; the Iranian refining of Iraqi crude oil pumped from its southern fields; and a billion dollar credit line

Banned In Baghdad, And Other Troop Locations

by Steve Young Schultz's show had been under the Pentagon's microscope for quite a while, leading Ed to believe the last minute cancelation is, um, questionable

Tsunami Recovery Aid Still Hasn't Reached Many Victims

by Thalif Deen Tsunami recovery efforts in five countries -- Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and the Maldives -- remain hampered by incompetence, corruption, discrimination and lack of public accountability, according to a new report

Iran's President Calls For Israel To Be "Wiped Off The Map"

Ahmadinejad's comments at the Tehran 'The World Without Zionism' conference came two days before the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, which Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared in 1979 to be Qods Day (Jerusalem Day). Qods Day has been celebrated faithfully since then, not only in Iran but in countries with sizable Shiite Muslim minorities, and it has become a ritualized outpouring of hatred directed at Israel

Foreign Workers In Iraq Paid Poverty Wages

by David Phinney Called 'third country nationals' (TCNs) in contractors' parlance, these laborers hail largely from impoverished Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan, as well as from Turkey and countries in the Middle East. Once in Iraq, TCNs earn monthly salaries between $200 and $1,000 as truck drivers, construction workers, carpenters, warehousemen, laundry workers, cooks, accountants, beauticians, and similar blue-collar jobs

FBI Killing Of Puerto Rico Nationalist Expands Terror War

by Roberto Lovato The death of 72-year-old Filiberto Ojeda Rios in a shootout with the FBI shows the dangerously vague, politicized and expanding definition of "terrorism" employed by the Bush administration

Chile Appears Set To Investigate, Not Prosecute Pinochet

by Gustavo Gonzalez Chile's Supreme Court dropped charges against former dictator Augusto Pinochet in one human rights case just one day after it stripped him of immunity in another case. The controversial Supreme Court rulings came amid protests from leftist factions and human rights groups accusing the government of President Ricardo Lagos of trying to get the ex-dictator and other suspected human rights violators off the hook

Milosevic Trial Is Must-See TV In The Balkans

by Vesna Peric Zimonjic All of Serbia seems glued to television screens, watching live broadcast from the trial of Milosevic, who stands accused of genocide and war crimes. The trial is being watched in homes, in shops, cafes, restaurants, just about everywhere

Foreign Investment In Latin America Not Helping: UN

by Diego Cevallos Foreign direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean grew by 44 percent in 2004, following four consecutive years of decline, according to a report released Thursday by a United Nations group. But many observers say this growth will merely serve to boost the profits earned by transnational corporations in a region still mired in poverty and inequity

Rice Doesn't Rule Out Attacks On Iran, Syria

by Andrew Tully Three senators -- including two Republicans -- pressed Rice about possible military strikes against Syria and Iran, and whether Bush would seek authorization from Congress before taking such action. Rice avoided answering the questions directly

Quake Toll Skyrockets As India, Pakistan Bicker

by Praful Bidwai Rather than efficiently helping survivors in divided Kashmir, the two governments are squandering a valuable opportunity to cooperate in providing relief. They have already missed the chance to coordinate their early rescue operations and save tens of thousands of lives. Meanwhile, time is running out. It has started snowing in the Pir Panjal range that runs through Kashmir. In another two weeks, the worst-affected areas will become more or less inaccessible

Scowcroft Joins Conservatives Attacking Neo-Cons, Cheney

by Jim Lobe One week after a top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell issued a blistering attack on foreign policy-making in the Bush administration, Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser under Bush's father, assailed neo-conservatives who persuaded the president to go to war in Iraq

Cheney Loses His Right-Hand Man As Libby Quits

by Jim Lobe Libby's ties to Cheney go back to when the vice president served as defense secretary during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. A constant companion of Cheney and a frequent guest at Cheney's Rocky Mountain retreat, their closeness raises the question of whether Libby, in exposing Valerie Plame's identity, was acting at his boss's behest -- a question that remains unanswered by Friday's indictment

Ballot Results In Crucial Iraq Province Suspicious

by Gareth Porter The final official figures for the province, obtained by IPS from a U.S. official in Mosul, actually have the constitution being rejected by a fairly wide margin, but less than the two-thirds majority required to defeat it outright. Both the initial figures and the new vote totals raise serious questions about the credibility of the reported results in Nineveh. A leading Sunni political figure has already charged that the Nineveh vote totals have been altered

The Shrimper Mom Who Became An Unreasonable Woman

by Molly Ivins Going up against all that can make you feel slightly outmanned and outgunned. But Diane Wilson has discovered a weapon I believe is the greatest strength of many women: pure, cussed stubbornness. She is an unreasonable woman. God bless her. Unreasonable women may yet save the world

How To Make Things Right, Part 2

by Molly Ivins Believe it or not, there is a certain charm to simply telling the truth, and even to telling the truth simply. This emperor isn't wearing any clothes, and the people who are pointing that out now that Bush's approval ratings are at 37 percent, but who were nowhere to be heard when he was at 60 and better, are maybe not the people we should be looking to now

How To Make Things Right

by Molly Ivins You can only sit around wringing your hands and moaning about what a mess the Bushies have made of America for so long. Sooner or later, even the gloomiest doom-meisters are bound to get beaned by an acorn on the noggin

China Divided Between Those With Autos, Those Without

by Philip J. Cunningham The world is quickly being split into two hostile camps: those with cars, and those without. Nowhere is this division more apparent than in Beijing, a city of 14 million people, where cars are pushing bicycles onto the sidewalk and people up against the wall

Thomas Friedman's Glass House

by Drew Hamre The atrocities that Friedman ascribes to the Sunni are tactics he himself has advocated in the New York Times. Friedman has urged terror bombing to force regime change in Serbia and arguably in prewar Iraq. Friedman has advocated bombing electrical grids, knowing full well the mortal damage that results when refrigerators and filtration pumps die

What Did Bush Know, And When Did He Know It?

by Joe Conason These days, however, leading Republicans in Washington seem wholly unconcerned with lying in the White House, even about issues far graver and more consequential than oral sex. Perjury and obstruction of justice -- once regarded by the Republican leadership as terrible threats to the moral fiber of the nation -- are now dismissed as technicalities scarcely worthy of public attention, let alone indictment

George W. And Warren G.

by Michael Winship Bush, Rove and Cheney also would find pragmatic resonance in Harding's simple declaration: 'I don't know much about Americanism, but it's a damn good word with which to carry an election'

Himalaya Earthquake Worse Than Asia Tsunami, WHO Says

Leading international agencies believe the devastation caused by the earthquake that struck Pakistan last Saturday is still being underestimated. No roads were destroyed by the tsunami, destruction took place mainly within a few hundred metres along coastlines and it was far easier to assess the damage and plan relief

Old Boys' Club Hates Harriet

by Joe Conason Miers worships at an evangelical church and has donated to the anti-abortion cause, but she has also expressed support for gay civil rights. What the disgruntled conservatives dislike most is that she doesn't belong to their exclusive club. She lacks connections with the Federalist Society, their cabal that seeks to impose its ideological test on judicial nominations. Insufficiently zealous and partisan by their yardstick, she certainly isn't a member of their 'movement'

Pensions Are Going, Going...

by Molly Ivins Making your pension disappear is a new corporate art form

The Right-To-Torture President

by Molly Ivins According to the Bushies, if the United States is holding a prisoner on foreign soil, our soldiers can still subject him or her to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment -- the very forms of torture used by the soldiers who were later prosecuted for their conduct at Abu Ghraib. Does this make any sense, moral or common?

Bush Scandals Everywhere You Look

by Molly Ivins It seems to me what we are looking at was put best by noted journalist Billy Don Moyers, formerly of Marshall, Texas, who was home last week and observed that the Republican right came to Washington to start a revolution and stayed to run a racket

Judy Miller's Deals With The Devil And Scooter Libby

by Joe Conason Of all the evidence that has emerged so far in the CIA leak case, perhaps the most troubling is the bargain struck in July 2003 between New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Scooter Libby: He would provide the covert smears, and she would mislead the public about her source. Miller essentially volunteered to continue what she already had been doing for many months, in articles that eventually had to be disowned by her newspaper. She would again serve as an instrument of government propaganda and official malfeasance

Pro-Constitution Vote Changes Little For Iraq, Much For U.S.

Analysis by Ferry Biedermann Unable to tackle the insurgency by military means, much hope was pinned on the political process, possibly as a face-saving way of extricating the United States from Iraq

Oil-For-Food Scandal Involved 2,000+ Companies

by Haider Rizvi A staggering 50 percent of the 4,500 companies involved are being investigated for making illegal payments under the program, according to the Independent Inquiry Committee's 623-page report. The committee, led by Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said it discovered nearly $2 billion in bribes from prominent companies, including German manufacturing giant Siemens and the German-U.S. carmaker DaimlerChrysler

Rosa Parks' Triumph And Tragedy

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson There were two defining moments in Rosa Parks' life. One was monumental and heroic, and the world honors and cherishes her for it. That of course, was her refusal to budge from her seat in the white section of a Montgomery bus in 1955. The other moment was tragic, a day in 1994 when a drugged-out young black man beat her in her Detroit home and stole $53

Bush Admin Spending Heavily To Keep Secrets

by William Fisher During 2004, the Bush administration issued more secret court orders, spent $148 creating new classified documents for every dollar spent releasing old ones, invoked the 'state secrets' privilege in court cases more frequently than ever before, and received 25 percent more requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act

Don't Yet Count On Sunni Joining Political Process

by Gareth Porter Even as the votes in the constitutional referendum were still being counted on Oct. 16, Khalilzad had said the high Sunni voter turnout 'was a good indication that our approach to the Sunnis is producing results.' U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed the same theme, declaring, 'The Sunnis are joining the base of this broad political process.' This view of the relationship between the Sunni population and insurgency is politically convenient for the administration. However, the evidence indicates that the overwhelming majority of Sunnis went to the polls on Oct. 15 not because they had been urged to do so by Sunni politicians, but because Sunni clerics and armed organizations had agreed on a campaign to defeat the constitution.

Bush: We Fight In Iraq To Stop A Radical Islamic Empire

by Jim Lobe Despite fading public -- and Republican -- confidence in his performance in Iraq and the wider 'war on terror,' President George W. Bush Thursday raised the stakes by warning that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a takeover by al Qaeda and the subversion of its pro-western neighbors

Dengue Epidemic Overshadowed By Bird Flu Fears

by Marwaan Macan-Markar Malaysia is on the verge of declaring a dengue epidemic after 752 cases were reported in the last week of September, and has recorded more than 27,000 cases this year, of which 70 were fatal. But the numbers are still lower than in 2004, when there were 33,000 reported cases and 102 deaths

Factory Farms Spreading Quickly In Third World

by Stephen Leahy Factory farms are dominating meat and egg production worldwide, creating environmental and social problems as well as conditions that promote illnesses like avian flu and mad cow disease, researchers say. Factory farms, or concentrated animal-feeding operations, account for more than 74 percent of the world's poultry and 68 percent of the eggs

Iran's Ancient Forests Felled For Timber

by Saloumeh Peyman Northern Iran's famed rolling meadows and charmed forests are rapidly disappearing because of commercial lumbering and degradation from less than eco-friendly tourism

Bird Flu Threat Grows In Indonesia

by Fabio Scarpello Indonesia said all of its known fatalities involved poultry raised close to homes -- indicating the virus had not mutated but pointing to dangerously unhygienic farming practices which needed to be urgently attended to. In Indonesia, a country spread over 17 thousand islands and inhabited by 230 million people, most of whom rear hens in their backyards and eat chicken three times a day, the risk of the virus spreading to large swathes of the population is high

Mountain Tsunami Rattles Fragile Peace In Himalayas

by Sandip Roy Though it rocked aquariums in New Delhi and collapsed buildings in Islamabad, the earthquake's real punch was reserved for Kashmir, the contested Himalayan territory over which both Indian and Pakistan have fought wars and which remains an emotional minefield for both sides, almost six decades after independence

Pakistan Leery Of India's Quake Assistance Offer

by Ranjit Devraj The quake's epicenter in Kashmir, one of the most heavily militarized areas of the world, presents a test for India and Pakistan, which have contested the divided Himalayan territory for more than 55 years but are now on a path of reconciliation

Bush, God, And Palestine

by Ira Chernus There are lots of people who have recounted things they heard Bush say about how his religion affects his political decisions. There's lots of documentary evidence along these lines. This is the only case where Bush says anything close to claiming a direct pipeline from the deity

Dick Cheney's Covert Action

by Larry C. Johnson The attack on Valerie Plame Wilson was not an isolated incident. It was part of a broader pattern of manipulation and deceit. But this was not done for the welfare of U.S. national security. Instead, we find ourselves confronted by an unprecedented level of terrorist attacks and a deteriorating military situation in Iraq. At the same time, we now know that the Bush administration gladly sacrificed an undercover intelligence officer in order to keep up the pretense that the war in Iraq was all about weapons of mass destruction

Top French Officials Linked To Oil For Food Scandal

by Julio Godoy Former UN French ambassador Jean-Bernard Merimee faces accusations of 'influence peddling' and 'corruption of foreign officials' through the oil-for-food program in Iraq during the sanctions before the 2003 invasion. Among the private companies whose executives face corruption charges is the French oil giant Total. Tracfin, the French agency to counter money laundering, reported in 2002 that Total paid up to $5 million in illegal commissions to Iraqi officials through a network of bank accounts in Switzerland.

The Face Of New New Orleans Is Latino

by Roberto Lovato 'How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?' Mayor Nagin asked at a meeting with local business leaders last week. The fact that Moran, an almond-eyed, Mayan-faced, 4-foot-2-inch undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and Lopez, a shaven-headed, tattooed, 6-foot-3-inch U.S. citizen and former Chicano gang member are described as 'Mexicans' reflects a profound lack of understanding in this city about its new population. U.S.-born and foreign-born workers are coming to the Gulf Coast from the Southwest, Florida, the Carolinas, Mexico and Latin America

European Panic Stirs Over Bird Flu Cases

by Julio Godoy Alarm and a run on anti-flu medications are taking off across Europe after the first cases of avian influenza in poultry and other birds were confirmed in Romania, Greece and Turkey, and suspected in the Balkan countries

The Meeting That Never Was: Pat Tillman And Noam Chomsky

by Dave Zirin This was the real Pat Tillman: someone who, like the majority of this country, was doubting the rationale for war, distrusting his Commander in Chief and looking for answers. The real Pat Tillman, the one with three dimensions, must stick in the throat of the Bush-Coulter gang, a pit in the cherry atop their bloody sundae

1918 Killer Pandemic Was Caused By Bird Flu, Researchers Find

by Jeremy Bransten In just one year, from 1918 to 1919, as many as 50 million people around the world succumbed to the flu pandemic. For decades, speculation abounded about what exactly caused the catastrophic outbreak

China's Yuan Becoming World's Currency Of Choice

by Franz Schurmann President Bush wants to rebuild New Orleans without taxing the American people. He has so far not said how he will do so. But former President Clinton explained how his successor is already doing it. In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos he said the United States depends on Japan, China, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Korea. 'Never in the history of our republic have we ever financed a military conflict by borrowing money from somewhere else,' Clinton said. He pointed out that the Chinese keep loaning us money 'for Iraq, Afghanistan, and Katrina'

Sudan's Civil War Is Over, But Oil War Starts

by Noel King 'The war is not over...It is not necessarily going to be fought in the bush of southern Sudan anymore. But another war has just started, with other tools. And that is the war of tricks.' At the heart of that conflict lies Sudan's coveted oil resources

Lodi Muslim Community Torn After FBI Probe, Media Glare

by Clayton Worfolk Muslims in Lodi, Calif, still feel under siege. Four months after the government launched a highly public terrorism investigation that ensnared five Pakistani men here in June, the community is still reeling, not just from the pressures stemming from the federal probe, but also from a pre-existing split in the community that some say the FBI exploited

Bush Nominates Another Unqualified Crony For Key Post

by Jim Lobe A coalition of 10 women's health and rights groups Tuesday urged Bush to withdraw the nomination of Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey as assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration (PRM), calling it 'yet another in a long string of crony nominations of unqualified individuals for critical positions'

Abuses Feared As Indonesia's Army Called To Fight Terror War

by Fabio Scarpello Indonesia's renewed war on terror in the wake of the latest round of bombings in the tourist destination of Bali, could pave the way for renewed politicization of the country's military, say analysts

Outing CIA Agents: Valerie Plame Meets Philip Agee

by Steve Weissman As despicable as this White House treachery may have been, those of us who oppose it need to regain some lost perspective. Being bashed by Team Bush does not turn the Central Intelligence Agency into the home team or necessarily make Valerie Plame a modern-day Joan of Arc; nor should her outing stop journalists or anyone else from blowing the cover of her fellow agents when they are found engaging in kidnappings, torture, or attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments

Bush Would Use Military to Quarantine U.S. Public In Avian Flu Pandemic

Bush signaled that the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act is up for review in a nationally televised address from New Orleans on September 15 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He said 'a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces.' White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan later said revision or repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act is an issue that 'needs to be looked at' by Congress and the administration, saying that officials are in the 'early planning of discussing it'

Right's Got The Wrong Objections To Miers

by Robert Scheer Know them by their enemies. The more I read of the vituperative right-wing attacks on Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, the more sympathetic I become. Anyone who has incurred the wrath of Trent Lott, Gary Bauer and George Will can't be all bad

Gun Industry Buys Bulletproof Political Protection

by Robert Scheer Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami-Dade County, New York state and 28 other cities, counties and states have also filed civil lawsuits against the gun industry. But the president is now prepared to deny a day in court to the victims of gun violence and the local governments that must deal with the financial and societal costs and mayhem that plague our cities, claiming that the new legislation 'will further our efforts to stem frivolous lawsuits'

NY Times Squandered Its Credibility Defending Miller

by Robert Scheer The paper, led by publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, waged a nonstop public crusade not just to protect Miller in the courts but to make her an outright heroine -- obscuring the fact that she was not protecting the public's right to know but was abetting the Bush administration in its shameless and possibly criminal attempt to discredit a whistle-blower

Schwarzenegger Threw Away Leadership Chance

by Robert Scheer Unfortunately, leadership has turned out not to be Schwarzenegger's forte, despite rolling into office two years ago on a surge of popularity. Currently sitting on a paltry 33 percent approval rating, he has outpaced even President Bush in the severity of his post-election free fall. Typical of his fecklessness has been his handling of the gay-marriage issue, which has seen him tell TV host Jay Leno that he supports it and TV host Chris Matthews that he doesn't -- without explaining his position either time

Bush Picks Another Cypher For Supreme Court

by Jim Lobe As counsel, Miers reportedly played a key role in the nomination of Roberts, who eventually gained the support of about half of the Democrats in the Senate, in part by reassuring them that he regarded Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that included a woman's right to abort a fetus in the first three months of pregnancy as part of a constitutionally recognized 'right of privacy,' as 'precedent'

No Question That Miers Is Anti-Abortion Fundamentalist

by Molly Ivins Miers, like Bush himself, is classic Texas conservative Establishment, with the addition of Christian fundamentalism. What I mean by fundamentalist is one who believes in both biblical inerrancy and salvation by faith alone. The slightly feminist tinge to her credentials is a plus, but she is quite definitely anti-abortion

U.S. Airstrikes Killing Women, Children In Ramadi, Dr. Says

Two days of U.S. air attacks against insurgents in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi have caused heavy casualties among the city's civilian population, a doctor and a senior Iraqi government official in Ramadi said

China Cracks Down On Bloggers With New Internet Limits

by Eugenia Chien New Chinese government restrictions on the Internet have sent a chill throughout the online community in China. Some analysts say the regulations are another step in Beijing's attempt to control information on China's fast-spreading news sites and weblogs

Aid Not Reaching 200,000 Himalaya Earthquake Survivors

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said up to 30 percent of affected villages have yet to be reached. Tens of thousands of people cut off by landslides and other quake damage from relief operations could become part of a second wave of deaths from the quake as the harsh Himalayan winter approaches

Quake Aid Donations Far Below Goals

by Stefania Bianchi Oxfam, a leading Britain-based aid organization, says less than a third -- $90 million -- of the UN's original target of $312 million has been pledged. By comparison, the UN flash appeal after last December's Asian tsunami was more than 80 percent funded within 10 days of the disaster

"A Question Of When, Not If"

by Andrew Lam It almost certainly will behave just like all the influenza viruses before it, meaning that it will be aerosol-transmitted. In fact, the current human-to-human flu viruses that we all experience each winter are more transmissible than SARS. They actually become transmitted easily through fine-particle aerosols, person to person. SARS required large droplets or even direct contact

Congress Needs To Take War Powers From President

by Susan J. Tolchin The war in Iraq has brought a new dimension to the president's power to wage war without Congress. Only the president, goes the reasoning, has the intelligence reports and the leadership capacity to act militarily to protect the nation against these security threats. This gives the president too much discretion, leaving Congress far behind as the rubber stamp it has become

Four Years Later, Afghanistan A Fractured Nation

by Jim Lobe Nazif Sharani, an Afghan-born anthropologist at Indiana University, who noted that the country has really ended up with three or four governments, including the UN office in Kabul, the U.S. embassy there, international non-governmental organizations that administer most of the international aid, the Karzai government, and now, the fifth, the parliament, which he described as a hodge-podge of conflicting ideologies and interests

Nobel Peace Prize Award Seen A Rebuke To U.S.

by Thalif Deen The speculation at the United Nations was that the Norwegian Nobel committee was sending its own message to the U.S. administration for its refusal to take meaningful steps on nuclear disarmament and for its continued militaristic policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. That didn't stop U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack from giving a political twist to the IAEA award when he told reporters Friday that the Nobel Prize was a 'warning to Iran and other countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of civilian nuclear programs'

Can The U.S. Military Stop An Iraq Civil War?

by Jim Lobe The growing spectre of a full-scale civil war in Iraq -- and the likelihood that such a conflict will draw in neighboring states -- has intensified a summer-long debate here over whether and how to withdraw U.S. troops. Some analysts believe that an immediate U.S. withdrawal would make an all-out conflict less likely, while others insist that the U.S. military presence at this point is virtually all there is to prevent the current violence from blowing sky-high, destabilizing the region, and sending oil prices into the stratosphere

Two Octobers: Bush 2005, Nixon 1973

by Ray McGovern When the Watergate scandal reached a similar stage in October 1973, President Richard Nixon, ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the intrepid special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson resigned rather than carry out Nixon's order; and so did his deputy William Ruckleshaus. So Nixon had to reach farther down into the Justice department where he found Robert Bork, who promptly dismissed Cox in the so-called Saturday Night Massacre

Chavez Boots U.S. Evangelicals From Indian Zones

by Humberto Marquez Venezuela will expel the U.S. evangelical group New Tribes Mission, which has been active in Native communities along the southern border with Colombia and Brazil since 1946, President Hugo Chavez announced

Bali Bombings Expected To Be Start Of New Terror Wave

by Fabio Scarpello With experts fairly certain that the Oct. 1 bombings were a repeat of the October 2002 attacks on this tourist resort by the Jemaah Islamiyah, the big question is when will the group, said to have links with the international al-Qaeda network, strike next

Bush Deficit, Tax Cuts Threaten America, Says CFR

by Jim Lobe A combination of huge tax cuts, an insatiable appetite for foreign imports, especially oil, and record government spending is steadily eroding U.S. independence, according to a report released Sept. 29 by the influential Council on Foreign Relations

Only 500 Of 60,000 Mozambique AIDS Children Get Treatment

by Ruth Ansah Ayisi AIDS is increasingly emerging as one of the most important causes of illness and death among children in Mozambique. Of the 97,000 people who died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2004, 17,500 were children under the age of five

Mexico's Crime Lords Run Empires From Prisons

by Diego Cevallos Jailed criminals are able to remain active though the use of both cell phones and regular land lines. In recent weeks, the Mexican police have waged a campaign through the media advising the public how to tell if phone calls involving threats or extortion have come from inside a jail

Et Tu, Mel Laird?

by Michael Winship Although not on this scale, Wilkerson and Scowcroft have been critical of the administration before -- Wilkerson in a profile of Powell in GQ Magazine, Scowcroft in a somewhat notorious Wall Street Journal op-ed before the Iraqi war. The surprising addition to the chorus is Melvin Laird, Richard Nixon's bullet-headed Defense Secretary

Red Cross Charged With Discrimination Of Latino Hurricane Victims

by Elena Shore Reportedly asking family members to show social security numbers and birth certificates, which violated official Red Cross policy, participating in race-based police raids on shelters

Powell Aide Blasts Rice, Cheney- Rumsfeld 'Cabal'

by Jim Lobe "You've got this collegiality there between the secretary of defense and the vice president," he said. "And then you've got a president who is not versed in international relations -- and not too much interested in them either. And so it's not too difficult to make decisions in this, what I call the Oval Office Cabal, and decisions often that are the opposite of what you thought were made in the formal (decision-making) process."

Is Iraq Facing A Lose-Lose Referendum?

by Jim Lobe Five days before Saturday's referendum on Iraq's proposed constitution, the U.S. foreign policy elite appears both anxious and gloomy, increasingly worried that win or lose, the process will bring Iraq one step closer to civil war and, with it, the possible destabilization of the wider region

Who's Not On Trial With Saddam

By Jack Random How did the authorities arrive at this charge? First and foremost, it predates the Gulf War. The American president's father will not be called to testify. Former commanders Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf will not take the stand. Second, they have found a charge that does not admit American involvement or complicity. Had they chosen almost any other atrocity they would have risked making a star witness for the defense of the current Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld

Disaster Relief Pours Into Himalayas

by Zofeen T. Ebrahim The round-the-clock buzz of activity on the tarmac of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) museum here could be mistaken for war mobilization. But the enemy is a Himalayan winter setting down on the stunned survivors of Saturday's earthquake, which may have killed 100,000 people in disputed Kashmir

Reverse Brain-Drain As China's Best Return Home

by Jun Wang Chinese call them 'sea turtles.' In the typical clever Chinese play on words, the word 'turtle' has the same pronunciation as the word for 'coming home.' Like turtles migrating across the ocean, they arrived in America either as international students or even as young children half a century ago

Today's Edward R. Murrow

by Steve Young Today's targets are no longer as weaponless as the victims of McCarthy. Advanced technology has come up with the remarkable ability to record audio, and unfortunately for Bill there are young, traitorous whippersnappers, probably French, who have figured out how to run the play-it-again gizmos so that we can actually hear what it is that Bill said that he said he did not say. For some reason, ever-modest Bill has yet to figure out that much of the ammo his adversaries use against him is unwittingly supplied by the spinmeister himself

Pakistan's Villages Of The Dead

In some communities all the children and almost all the women, are reported to be dead. The fact that many men from the area work in bigger towns or cities, returning to villages only during holidays, accounts for the profile of victims

UN Predicts 3 Billion Slum Dwellers By 2030

by Martin Schuijt Unless adequate financial resources are invested in the development of urban shelter and services, including clean water and sanitation, billions of people will be trapped in poverty, deplorable housing conditions, poor health and low productivity, making today's enormous slum challenge even greater

I. "Scooter" Libby - The I Stands For Indicted

by Jim Lobe and Katherine Stapp Libby's departure is particularly damaging to the administration's hawks, whose influence has appeared on the wane since late 2003 but who remain a major factor in setting policy. Libby played a key role in the drive to war in Iraq and has consistently favoured a hard line toward Syria, Iran, North Korea and China

Faith-Based Groups Snag Katrina Relief Money

by Bill Berkowitz A month after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, FEMA declared that it would use taxpayer money to reimburse faith-based organizations for the services they rendered in the aftermath of the hurricane

Egypt Seals Gaza Border At Israel's Demand

by Adam Morrow The border was sealed Sept. 20 following a chaotic influx of an estimated 100,000 Palestinians shortly after Israeli withdrawal from the territory. The Palestinians crossed into Egypt to visit relatives, buy cheap goods, and celebrate their freedom of movement after almost four decades of border closure. Israel responded angrily to the unregulated traffic, citing its view of the border as a conduit for smuggling arms to Palestinian resistance groups

Saddam Trial Begins Under Doubts Of Fairness

by Jim Lobe While international human rights groups have long wanted former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to face trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, they have serious reservations about whether proceedings that got underway in Baghdad Wednesday will meet international standards of fairness

Iraq Government Says Vote Fair, Sunnis Call For Recount

In the wake of the October 15 referendum on the proposed Iraqi national constitution, government officials say that voting procedures were fair and that a recount is unwarranted. Nevertheless, Sunni communities are demanding a revision of ballots, pointing to allegations of voting irregularities in certain Sunni districts

Is The U.S. Creating A New School of Assassins?

by Tanya Snyder As the solidarity movement prepares for another protest and vigil against the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security and Cooperation (nee School of the Americas) this November, another threat to peace and democracy in the Americas lurks behind the curtain. On September 21, the United States and El Salvador ratified the establishment of a new police academy for Latin America, to be built on Salvadoran soil

Strong Iraqi Sunni Voter Turnout Forecast

by Gareth Porter Despite last-minute maneuvering by Shiite and Kurdish leaders to offer the possibility of further changes in Iraq's draft constitution, and warnings by foreign jihadists against participation, all indications are that Sunnis will turn out in large numbers Saturday to cast ballots in the country's referendum

Israel Offers U.S. Evangelicals A Piece Of The Promised Land

by Bill Berkowitz In a move geared toward solving northern Israel's unemployment crisis, increasing tourism to the country and solidifying relations with U.S. evangelical Christians, the Israeli government has offered 35 acres of land on the shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) for development by Christian evangelicals

Police Beating Caught On-Camera - This Time

by Norman Solomon By now, millions of TV viewers have seen the video numerous times on television: Two police officers are beating a man on the pavement. It's big news -- because a camera was there. Robert Davis' ordeal was unusual, and caused a national uproar, because an Associated Press Television News crew happened to be near. But for every exceptional incident that exposes official misconduct to national view, there are countless deplorable events that never see the light of media day

At The White House, The Spin Doctor Is Ill

by Norman Solomon Fifty weeks ago, when President Bush hailed him as the political strategist who made a second term possible, Rove was the toast of Washington. Now -- even though he hasn't been indicted -- it seems he's toast

Media At Crossroads, 25 Years After Reagan's Triumph

by Norman Solomon A quarter of a century ago, conservative Republicans captured the White House. Today, a more extreme incarnation of the GOP's right wing has a firm grip on the executive branch. None of it would have been possible without a largely deferential press corps

Military Spending Up, But Armed Conflicts Down

by Thalif Deen Contrary to widespread popular belief, the number of armed conflicts, genocides, human rights abuses, military coups and international crises has dropped significantly since the early 1990s, according to a study released Oct. 17

U.S. Not Seriously Investigating Terror War Prisoner Deaths, Group Says

by Jim Lobe The group said criminal investigators have routinely failed to interview key witnesses or collect and maintain usable evidence, such as body parts or basic ballistics evidence, for possible prosecution. In addition, commanders have often either failed to even to report deaths of detainees in the custody of their command, or delayed reporting them for days or even weeks after they occurred, greatly complicating efforts to collect relevant evidence

New Evidence Of Fraud In January Elections

by Gareth Porter In the January election, the Kurds dealt with the problem of being a relatively small minority in the province by stuffing the ballot boxes, according to Maj. Anthony Cruz, an Army Reserve civil affairs officer assigned to work with the province electoral commission

Bill Would Permit HeadStart Religious Discrimination

by William Fisher Under the amendment, religious groups that sponsor Head Start programs would be able to restrict their hiring to members of their own faith. This would principally affect Head Start teachers, administrators, parent volunteers and support personnel

New Anti-War Movement A Silent Majority

by Sanford Gottlieb As mainstream support for the Iraq war dissolves, antiwar activists find themselves in a very different position from their Vietnam War counterparts. Can this momentum be sustained, and focused into concrete demands on when and how to pull out from Iraq?

Death and Disease Stalk Quake Survivors

by Zofeen T. Ebrahim With thousands of bodies buried and rotting under the rubble of what was once their homes, the survivors of Pakistan's worst earthquake now risk disease as they search vainly for signs of life and go about burying the dead they can retrieve

Ayatollahs Of The Apocalypse

by Alexander Cockburn The sobering part of all this is that all the same words could have come out the mouth of the president, whose relationship to Jesus and expectations of the End Time are probably more intense than Robertson's, since the latter is a seasoned professional rather than an inspired amateur

Screw Oil Worries, Fill Up At Citgo

by Alexander Cockburn Even if you can't pump Citgo gas, guzzling keeps up overall oil demand, and hence oil prices, thus helping not only Venezuela, but also Russia, which needs every rouble it can get

NY Times Distances Itself From Judy Miller

by Alexander Cockburn It's way too late in the game for Times editors to start whining that Judy misled them. They printed her rubbish because they were disposed to believe it, and for Keller to turn on her now in an 'internal' memo designed for public consumption is cowardly and despicable. The gentlemanly thing for Keller to do would to keep a stiff upper lip, let Dowd and the reporters toss Miller on their horns and, if circumstances warrant, fall upon his sword, accompanied in this act by the publisher, unless the Times' shareholders shoot him first for presiding over the 53 percent drop in profits this year

Bill Bennett A Latecomer To Eugenics

by Alexander Cockburn In the mid-1990s, liberals florished the same basic hypothesis as Bennett. They said there was a cycle of poverty and welfare dependency that bred crime. In 1994, Arizona and Nebraska prohibited welfare increases for recipients who had additional babies while on the dole. Connecticut in the same year gave serious consideration to a bill providing additional subsidies for welfare mothers who accepted a contraceptive implant

Dear Mr. President: You Made Me Love You

by Steve Young Aw, gee, Mr. Bush, I don't wanna bother you! I guess a lot of lawyers write and tell you the same thing. And if you don't wanna read this, well, you don't have to. But I just had to tell you about how I feel, and stuff

Oddie & Harriet

by Steve Young When the Dems ask for the only paper trail there is, H.M. is lathered up good in executive privilege. Can't give you that. If we did we'd have to tell you what Ken Lay said to Darth at the energy conclave. Then we might as well scrap the Constitution.

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