Albion Monitor Issue 146 MAY, 2006
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All the presiden't tyrants
President Bush welcomes Azerbaijan President Aliyev to the Oval Office, April 28, 2006. Aliyev's ruling party stole the November 2005 parliamentary elections by stuffing ballot boxes, arresting critics and using police to break up political rallies of other parties. The State Dept. and international observers denounced Aliyev's own election in Oct. 2003 when pro-democracy forces were beaten and arrested in mass protests against his claimed win of the presidency. (White House photo: Paul Morse)

From North Africa to Central Asia, top U.S. officials are busy embracing dictators -- and their sons, where appropriate -- even as they continue to mouth the pro-democracy rhetoric that became the hallmark of the administration's foreign policy pronouncements. Whether due to the ever-tightening oil market, the sweeping electoral victories by Islamist parties in Egypt, Iraq and the Palestinian territories, or geo-strategic manoeuvring against Iran, Russia and China, the administration now appears to have all but abandoned its "freedom agenda" in favor of a new "realism" not much different from that practiced by successive U.S. administrations during the Cold War

Iraq Atrocities, Afghan Attacks Set Grim U.S. Mood For 2006 Memorial Day

Plans to bring home at least 30,000 troops appear to have been put on hold

Indonesia Worries: Quake Is Also Bird Flu Epicenter

Confirmation of a large cluster of bird flu deaths days before quake hit

Indonesia Quake Death Toll Rising By The Hour

6.2 quake strongest ever reported felt in area

May Was Afghanistan's Bloodiest Month Since Taliban Rout

Most directed against U.S. and NATO forces

Karzai Charges Pakistan With Sponsoring Taliban Training Camps FREE!

Says youths are urged to join jihad, fight infidels in Afghanistan

Iraq, Afghanistan Among Top 10 "Failed States"

Iraq ranks #4 behind the top-ranked country, Sudan

ACLU Files For Public Hearings On Phone Record Privacy In 20 States

End-run around expected Bush attempt to quash suits in federal courts

Cheney Launches New Cold War With Blistering Attack On Russia

Effort to weaken Putin's support for Iran?

Neo-Cons Spread Phony Story Of Iran Forcing Infidels To Wear Badges

Classic example of psy-ops to stir up hatred

Did Ahmadinejad Really Call To "Wipe Israel Off The Map?" FREE!

No, but mistranslation makes Bush's "threat from Iran" sound scary

Iran Activists Fear U.S. "Help" Could Spur Crackdown

$75 million to inspire "regime change"

Bush Admin Shuns Historic Letter From Iran

First attempt at diplomatic contact since 1979

Talk To Iran, Allies Tell Bush

"The Europeans are jumping up and down telling the U.S. it's time to engage"

U.S.-Iran Conflict Is Neo-Con Last Stand For Mideast Control

Neo-con think tank Y2000 paper found Iran as a nuclear power would impede the larger U.S. ambitions in the Middle East

White House Approved, Then Ditched Iran Talks In March

Rice abruptly dropped plans to open diplomatic channel

Iran Offered Peace With Israel In 2003

But Bush admin shunned back channel offer for breakthrough settlement

Israel Lobby Uses Olmert Visit To Flex Muscle In Congress

House votes to impose strict conditions on aid to Palestinians, as demanded by AIPAC

Mr. Olmert Goes To Washington

Congress, Bush, embrace apartheid

Bush, Congress Throw Lovefest For Israel's Olmert

Enthusiastic support, despite comment that he may unilaterally draw borders

Palestinians Rumors Swirl Of Possible Israeli Takeover Of Gaza

Threats in Israeli press from current and retired top military brass

Immigrant rights marcher in San Francisco, May 1, 2006   PHOTO: PNS

On May 1, over a million people filled the streets of Los Angeles, with hundreds of thousand more in Chicago, New York, and cities and towns throughout this country. Immigrants feel their backs are against the wall, and are coming out of their homes and work places to show it. The protests seem spontaneous, but they come as a result of years of organizing, educating, and agitating -- activities that have given immigrants confidence, and at least some organizations the credibility needed to mobilize direct mass action.

But these immigrant rights demonstrations sweeping the country are more closely akin to the enduring and powerful mass mobilizations in Latin America, not the U.S. civil rights movement of old. Mainstream America lacks the language and frame of reference to describe and understand the new movimiento that's upon us. This movement is the legacy of Bert Corona, immigrant rights pioneer and founder of many national Latino organizations. He trained thousands of immigrant activists, taught the value of political independence, and believed that immigrants themselves must conduct the fight for immigrant rights


"This Movement Is Big, And It's Ours" - Roundup Of Ethnic Media On Immigrant Protests

Immigrants Reclaim Their Voice In May 1 Protests

The Latinoization of U.S. Politics

Right-Wing Whips Up Anti-Immigrant Backlash

¡Si, Se Puede! Immigrant Movement Lost in Translation?

 Bush's Borderline

Despite the recent showy raids Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement made on a few employers, there is still no evidence that federal officials will mount a massive crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants. The figures point in the opposite direction. In 2004, a grand total of three employers were sanctioned for hiring illegals. That was a steep plunge from five years earlier, when the feds served "intent to fine" notices on more than 400 employers for hiring undocumented workers. Federal officials, in defense, say that they have shifted their focus from fines and raids to criminal prosecutions. Criminal prosecutions, however, haven't done much to stop the flow either. The issue is still jobs and poverty

English-Only Laws Don't Work, and Bush Knows It

Supported bilingual education when Texas governor

Too Late For Bush Good Intentions

A panicked political response to issue long neglected by Repubs

Bush Militarization Of Border Will Lead To Militant Resistance

Expect emergence of an "immifada" pushback against anti-immigrant, anti-Latino politic gripping the United States

Bush's Border Folly

Bush's tough talk on border security might cool some of the anger of conservatives, but it's a fool's paradise measure that won't put a dent in the illegal immigrant problem

Latin Americans Divided Over U.S. Troops on Border

Mexico says troop deployment not militarization of border

Blacks and the Minutemen: Two Views

Minutemen's pitch to blacks is a shrewd, cynical ploy to capitalize on the split among blacks over illegal immigration

Gore's Global Warming Film Generates Huge Buzz FREE!

Hollywood gives boffo rave to veep disaster flic
Gore's global climate crisis film, "An Inconvenient Truth" to help fund new bipartisan climate effort

Nepal To Strip King Of Military Powers, Downsize Monarchy

Riots in streets of Katmandu after politician suggests throne retain control of army

Police Kill 100+ In Sao Paulo Riots

Police claim no innocent bystanders killed, but refuse to release names of the dead

Falun Gong Protest At White House Part Of Group's Rising Media Clout

"Epoch Times" denies direct ties, but many in the overseas Chinese community see it as a Falun Gong newspaper.

Bush Snubs Taiwan's President - Complete Flip From Earlier Support

Wouldn't even allow his plane to land in U.S.

U.S. Unfairly Shut Down Muslim Charities, Government Watchdog Says

No charges that groups were aiding terrorist organizations

U.S. Never Charged 141 Gitmo Prisoners Being Released

Setting free one-third of those Rumsfeld called "the worst of the worst"

Bush Fails To Gain Torture OK From UN Panel

26-member U.S. delegation defended Washington's treatment of prisoners

Argentina Biofuel Project Comes With Heavy Environmental Costs

Fuel made from soybeans introduced GMO crop, wiped out small farms and seasonal work

China Prepares To Sue Japan Over WWII Slave Labor

Japanese companies using labor include top corporations today

For Rwanda Survivors, Genocide Was Just The Beginning

Still waiting for reparations, justice against genocide leaders

Chile Court Indicts Members Of Ex-Nazi's Sect For Child Sex Abuse

Pinochet and Chile's right-wing protected group for decades

EPA To Approve Neurotoxic Pesticides Despite Its Own Scientists Protest FREE!

Agency under political pressure from industry to declare high tolerances safe


Iraqi Women Say Conditions Better Under Saddam FREE!

"When U.S. troops entered Iraq, we thought it would be a great opportunity for Iraqi women to begin having their voices heard, but we were wrong -- the opposite has happened, and we're losing ground by the day"

Basra: Things Fall Apart

One of the most peaceful areas of Iraq, until recently

No Shortage Of Guns In Iraq

Viewed as important as food

Mixed Iraqi Reaction To New Government FREE!

Under heavy pressure to immediately improve electricity, security

Iraqi Parliament Forms Divided Government

Thorny issues are simply not being dealt with

Iraqi Families Still Waiting On Reparations For Wartime Destruction FREE!

Will be major issue for eventual Iraqi government

Iraq's "Islamic Army" Says It Will Never Negotiate Ceasefire

Believes occupation cannot be ended either by a political process or by other peaceful means

Amid Chaos, Baghdad Residents Hire Private Security Companies FREE!

To protect them from other private security contractors and Iraqi forces

Iraq's Reinstated Death Penalty Raises Deep Moral Questions

Most war-weary Iraqis make no distinction between executions under the newly elected government and those carried out under Saddam

1 In 3 Iraqi Children Malnourished, UNICEF Finds FREE!

Even worse than conditions under Saddam during UN sanctions

Peace Talks With Iraq Sunni Rebels Stall Over Bush Admin Fumbling

Rumsfeld reportedly pressured White House to back away from negotiations

Baghdad Down To One Hour Of Electricity Daily FREE!

After April 30 attack on major power plant

After 2 Years, Still No Accountability For Abu Ghraib From Bush Admin

Not a single CIA officer indicted, no military officers charged with accountability


Congress Rushes To Protect Its Privacy FREE!

This suddenly chaste embrace of constitutional ideals smacks more of the country club seeking loopholes in its bylaws to keep out the riffraff than the halcyon days of the Federalist Papers

Rights Groups Wary Of Both House, Senate Immigration Bills

"This does not reflect the immigration reform called for by millions of immigrant communities marching the streets"

Turmoil At Top Of CIA Shows Agency Adrift

Intense speculation over what is really going on behind the scenes

Repub Nay-Sayers Owe Gore A Big Apology

Now that nearly everyone else acknowledges Al Gore's point, however grudgingly, those who attacked him so viciously owe him copious apologies

Louisiana Rep. Jefferson at Center of Political Storm

Repubs, Dems united in concern of uprecedented FBI raid of congressional office, seizure of papers

Dozens Of Vets Running For House As "The Fighting Dems" FREE!

Focus on Bush performance makes all races national more than local

McCain Makes Up With Evangelicals Ahead of 2008 Run

Outreach to Falwell, who he denounced in 2000

Shift Defense Money From Pentagon To Homeland Security, Groups Say

Current budget is $1 spent on Homeland compared to $6 given to Pentagon

Bush Threatens 1st Veto Over More Money For Katrina Relief FREE!

But wants $68 billion more for war fighting

Coming Home
PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Bill Lisbon/USMC

FREE! While national deficits soar, thanks in part to skyrocketing war costs, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are flooding into the increasingly underfunded VA system. But neither Pentagon, nor VA figures for the wounded include estimates of those soldiers or veterans who don't show up at a Department of Defense (DoD) or VA facility. Among these casualties are post-combat-tour suicides (who obviously can't show up) and the victims of diseases like leishmaniasis, caused by the ubiquitous sand flies in Iraq, who often suffer on their own. Nonetheless, the VA has admitted -- and it's been confirmed by an Army study -- that a staggering 35 percent of veterans who served in Iraq have already sought treatment in the VA system for emotional problems from the war. Add this to the older veterans, especially from the Vietnam era, pouring into the VA system as their war wounds, both physical and emotional, deepen with age or as, on retirement, they find they can no longer afford private health insurance

China Strips Other Asian Forests To Save Its Own

Logging in the forests of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Burma

Burma Refuses To Cooperate With Bird Flu Prevention

Also major source of spread of AIDS

Europeans Panic Over Feline Link In Bird Flu Chain

Cats sick from eating infected birds can pass disease to other cats, but not humans

World Bank Global Warming Plan Lets Rich Nations Off The Hook

Promoting large projects such as dams and nuclear power plants in poor countries to help reduce climate change

Human Organ Traffickers Prey On Poorest Countries, Report Says

Either stolen or with permission from naive family members of brain-dead donors

Organ Trafficking Turns Poor/Rich Into Supply/Demand FREE!

Exploitation of the poor as organ suppliers for middle- and upper-class recipients
The rich flying around the world in search of a kidney on the black market

China's New Rules On Organ Transplant Won't Stop Questions About Executed Prisoners

Regulations supposed to end prisoners' organs being removed without their consent or that of their families

Tensions High In German Schools Over Immigrant Children

Pressured to learn language, accept German values

Charles Taylor: Liberian Ex-President And Africa's Least Wanted Man

No country wants to offer jailhouse to UN, whether Taylor is innocent or guilty

Colombian Novel Shines Light On FARC Rebels' Secret World

Some troubled by doubts and weaknesses, some actually driven mad by the conflict

Pakistan's Quake Children Tell Their Stories Through Pictures

20,000 children with serious injuries and amputations

Rights Groups Fear Peru's Election Prelude To Return Of Fujimori

Fujimori loyalists won an extraordinary number of seats in Congress, considering widespread hatred of his authoritarian regime


Molly Ivins Repubs Keep Finding Wrong Solutions For The Right Problems

Hold the Corrupt Jerks Accountable

Guards On The Border Just Bush's Latest Lunacy

Cheers And Jeers For The Blogosphere

Oh, What A Scandal Is Hookergate

Repubs Wake A Sleeping Giant

"Lobby Reform?" Oh, Please


Robert Scheer Bush Still Promising Milestones And Turning Points

What Bush Got Right On Immigration

Hayden is a "Perfect" Pick For CIA

Treat Them Like My Mother


Alexander Cockburn The Red Flag Waves In West Bengal

The Uproar Over The Israel Lobby


Steve Young Shocker: O'Reilly Calls For Bush To Step Down

The American Idolization Of Democracy

The Funniest Voice On Right Radio

The Compassionate Attacker

Naked Guy
Andrew Martinez being arrested at UC Berkeley in 1992
PHOTO: Rory Merry by permission


Andrew Martinez, famous as 'The Naked Guy' on the UC/Berkeley campus in the early 1990s, died in jail May 18, an apparent suicide. A soft-spoken idealist, Martinez was unprepared for the media spotlight, as the press and TV commentators used images of him to tell their own story. Rumors reformatted his words into political statements about our prudish American culture. I don't want to speak for Andrew, but all I ever understood was that he didn't want to wear clothes when it was warm out. His message wasn't "Ef you, I'm gonna walk around naked!" It was quieter, an invitation. When I heard rumors later about his mental illness, I wondered what came first -- craziness, or fame?

Albion Monitor
Issue 146

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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