ISSUE 147 TABLE OF CONTENTS
by Ronald Bruce St John From the perspective of more than a half-century, the Algerian War might seem to some as a precursor to the amorphous struggles now raging in Afghanistan and Iraq, conflicts in which religious faith, imperialism, nationalism, and terrorism reach unimagined degrees of intensity, instead of what it was, the last colonial war. This may explain in part its popularity in the Bush administration
Based on investigations in Kerbala and Baghdad, drugs are coming in from Afghanistan through Iran, creating what local officials are calling a major new drug route to neighboring countries and Europe
To understand the health effects of the World Trade Center attacks on people who lived through the events of 9/11 at close range, New York City and federal health officials will conduct another survey of the 71,000 people who enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry
Sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims -- which came to the fore in the wake of February's bombing of a revered Shiite shrine -- has even impacted athletics, with some players being targeted because of their origins. 'In some cases, if a Sunni sportsman wins a game, he automatically becomes a target for Shiite militias or gangs,' said ISU spokesman Sami al-Nahren. 'And vice-versa'
by Tom Engelhardt Zarqawi was the most minor of minor figures, used by the Bush administration mainly as bogus "evidence" of the Saddam/al-Qaeda connection until he made himself conveniently available to step into the explanation gap left open after Saddam had been captured and things in Iraq only got worse.
by Raul Zibechi, translated by Nick Henry/IRC In reality, Evo Morales had little choice. Either he nationalized his country's natural resources, or his administration faced getting caught on a one-way street to serious political crisis -- the same path his predecessors found themselves on before popular pressure forced them both to step down over the issue of nationalization. The people of South America's poorest country understand that it is the last strategic resource for keeping afloat their national project.
by Alexander Cockburn Could America desire any more potent evocation of virtuous capitalism at work? Surely not. And is this not a good time to evoke such virtues? It surely is, because it's clear, as we head into the summer of 2006, that the world capitalist system is out of control. Literally so. In the older order of things, international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the central banks and kindred bodies could claim to have some purchase on the overall situation. Not anymore
by Alexander Cockburn The situation is desperate. Since the new Hamas-dominated government took office in January 2006, record levels of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, malnutrition, movement restrictions and social unrest of all kinds have been reported
by Diego Cevallos The United States is facing an 'invasion' of illegal immigrants, so the border should be fenced off and large numbers of soldiers deployed to intercept them, the national executive director of the Minutemen movement, Al Garza, told IPS. If these measures are not taken, 'we'll do it ourselves,' he warned
by Steve Young This is not about politics. This is about the security of the American people and is the very reason our founding fathers opened this country. The Founders never showed up on any radio show and revealed Washington's attack on the Hessians sleeping in Trenton. If it were up to Hannity and Santorum, they would have had the Hessians stay up to watch Fox News warning them of the coming assault. If to were up to Hannity, we would be speaking Hessian today
by Steve Young Coulter is the horrific fifteen-car pileup we sit impatiently in a ten-mile long line of traffic, damning whatever caused the thirty-some minute delay, then when reaching the crash site, slow down to see every gory detail -- adding to our own delay -- all the time shaking our heads in despair at the blood and twisted metal strewn over the highway
by Steve Young To date, it doesn't seem that registered voters have yet to grasp the concept that democracy works much better if you actually participate or so says the ever-deepening pockets of Simon Cowell. Perhaps registering for the party and then actually having a party might be enough of an incentive to drive a bit of interest into selecting the best people to do the job in November
by Steve Young The sooner we stop gays from marrying the sooner we can bring the troops home; the sooner we stop desecrating the flag, the sooner that the Homeland Security Department become competent and keeps bureaucracy from desecrating the safety of Americans at home
by Peter Hirschberg What is not in dispute is that Ali Ghaliya, his wife Raisa, and three of their children aged 1, 3 and 10, as well as two other people on the beach that day were killed in an explosion while they were picnicking. Initially, evidence pointed to an Israeli artillery shell fired from just north of Gaza. But Israel now denies that the deaths were caused by a wayward shell -- a claim contested by the Palestinians and by an international human rights organization that has inspected the scene of the explosion
by Diego Cevallos Maturino's execution, originally set for May 10, was postponed so that psychiatric and psychological tests could be performed. He claimed to be 'half angel and half man,' and said he had been impelled to murder by an 'evil force,' and at the same time by 'the will of God.' Last week judge William Harmon, of the 178th district criminal court in Houston, Texas, heard the medical evidence. Although four of the five experts were of the opinion that Maturino was insane, the judge ruled that he was 'sufficiently competent' and would not be spared the death penalty
by Sanjay Suri The Taliban are beginning to regain influence in the south of Afghanistan, according to an independent nonprofit group working in the region. "What our latest report shows is that the perception of the local people has changed too," Reinert said. "And they now see the Taliban as acceptable. So actually the Taliban are about to win the battle for the hearts and minds of the local population."
by Fariba Nawa Most of the $15 million for the project was siphoned off for overhead and after the expenses, salaries and profits have been taken out, there isn't enough money to build a decent road. Without maintenance -- which has not been funded -- the road will not last more than five years, according to one of the engineers
by Bill Berkowitz From Canada to Britain, from Iowa to Washington, Luntz has been racking up the frequent flyer miles these days. Luntz hammered away at the corruption of Canada's previous Liberal government and he suggested that Harper and comrades should not be afraid to repeatedly remind Canadian voters about that corruption
by William Fisher As human rights groups expressed skepticism that detainees recently transferred from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabian custody could receive fair trials and escape torture, the oil-rich kingdom put the finishing touches on its new human rights commission
by Fariba Nawa Texas-based DynCorp's first contract in post-Taliban Afghanistan, awarded in 2002, was worth $50 million, but ballooned to more than $82 million by the middle of 2003, according to the Center for Public Integrity. A subsequent renewal was worth $290 million over three years for police training, efforts to curtail the heroin trade, and guarding Karzai
by Paul Weinberg Ten out of 25 ministers in the Afghan cabinet, he says, support his proposal for a national-level process of dialogue and national reconciliation leading to the resolution of regional grievances and a peace agreement. As one Northern Alliance leader, Mohammad Yunus Qanoni, confided to him recently, 'Good or bad, we may have to live with [Taliban leader] Mullah Omar'
by Peter Hirschberg The kidnapping this week of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants and the ground invasion of Gaza it has triggered have undercut the plan the Prime Minister placed at the center of his election campaign and which he has now made his main policy goal. For months, Olmert deflected calls within the defense establishment for a more vigorous response to the hundreds of rockets that Palestinian militants have been firing from Gaza into Israel. With the makeshift rockets causing more psychological than physical damage, he could afford to ignore growing public pressure for him to respond
by Diego Cevallos Mexico's Zapatista guerrillas are no longer thinking in terms of armed conflict, despite the state of 'social indignation and rage' in the country, the group's leader said
by Joe Conason Too vicious is the only way to categorize Coulter's attempted assassination of the 9/11 widows known as the Jersey Girls, whom she accuses of 'enjoying' the horrific deaths of their husbands in the World Trade Center inferno. She goes on to complain that the widows, by telling their personal stories of loss, were able to shut down their critics with sentimentality. But that charge, too, is obviously false, since she is now reaping profits and publicity by savaging them
by Molly Ivins It occasionally occurs to me that if I could understand the Bush administration's foreign policy, I might like it. After months of threatening Iran with everything up to and including nuclear war, we are now full of Sweet Reason and offering to have diplomatic talks with the very people we have been denouncing as Beyond Vile
by Molly Ivins You didn't know hundreds of flags were being burned daily? Actually, you can count on your hand the number of incidents reported over the last five years. For instance, there was one flag burned in 2005 by a drunken teenager and one by a protester in California in 2002. This appalling record of ravishment must be stopped. You're clearly not worried about what matters.
by Molly Ivins So, Haditha becomes another of the names at which we wince, along with Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and My Lai. Tell you what: Let's not use the 'stress of combat' excuse this time. According to neighbors, the girls in the family of Younis Khafif -- the one who kept pleading in English: 'I am a friend. I am good' -- were 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1. What are they going to say? 'Under stress of combat, we thought the baby was 2?'
by Molly Ivins I'm not attempting to make this a partisan deal -- only 73 percent of Enron's political donations went to Republicans. But I'll be damned if Enron's No. 1 show pony politician, George W. Bush, should be allowed to walk away from this. Ken Lay gave $139,500 to Bush over the years. He chipped in $100,000 to the Bush Cheney Inaugural Fund in 2000 and $10K to the Bush-Cheney Recount Fund. Plus, Enron's PAC gave Bush $113,800 for his '94 and '98 political races and another $312,500 from its executives. Bush got 14 free rides on Enron's corporate jets during the 2000 campaign, including at least two during the recount. Until January 2004, Enron was Bush's top contributor
by Emad Mekay A nation of 9 million people who are mostly low-income subsistence farmers, miners and small traders, Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. And for a nation whose average annual per capita income is only $900 -- or one-fortieth that of the United States -- any extra revenues from gas nationalization would be welcome. Still, the benefits are not expected to be immediate.
by Sandip Roy In the end it came to the gays to be served up as the sacrificial lamb for the nation to gather around. It's been a hard year, divisive for the Republican base -- Iraq, immigration, the ballooning budget. It's a good thing gays were around to heal the wounds. The president, in effect sent an old-fashioned telegram out to his runaway base: Party sick. All forgiven. Come home at once. Gays getting married
by Brian Conley Reports from Ramadi have been few and far between in recent months, and always filed by reporters embedded with U.S. troops working in the area. Ramadi is nearly impossible to enter. Against the backdrop of the Haditha massacre, IPS has received reports of civilians killed by snipers, and homes occupied with American snipers on their roof, while families were detained downstairs.
by Brian Conley and Isam Rashid Baghdad's central morgue received more than a thousand bodies each month this year. Before the war this morgue received only about 200 to 300 bodies a month, Dr Kais Hassan who has worked at the morgue said. Bodies arrive at the morgue in the custody of the police convoys many times throughout the day. After a few minutes of chaos, one man began shouting, 'This is my son! He was tortured and killed, I lost him forever!' Many people gathered around to comfort him. The body showed many holes. One of the eyes had been removed
by Jamal Dajani, with Brian Shott It was a major surprise that he managed to stay alive for three years. Because he was not a popular guy. He never made a clear mission statement about attacking, say, only American convoys. He attacked everyone. Police, the students, foreigners, locals, everyone
by B.Younus, Ilyas Wahdat, Naeem Kohistani-Pajhwok Almost daily armed attacks on government officials by the Taliban may have prompted President Hamid Karzai to renew his amnesty offer to supporters of the ousted Afghan regime
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Why delay renewal of hugely important civil rights legislation that Republicans themselves say they support? By stalling, the GOP is throwing a bone to conservative Southern whites
by Jim Lobe Positive views held by Muslims of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and terror tactics associated with him have declined over the past year, quite substantially in Pakistan and Jordan, where suicide attacks killed more than 50 people in Amman hotels over the last year. At the same time, the percentage of Muslims who believe that Arabs did not carry out the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon has increased. Majorities in Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and among the Muslim community in Britain doubt that Arabs had any role
About 20 percent of the oil products that Iraq imported last year, worth $4.2 billion, were smuggled to neighboring countries
by Molly Ivins If you think the 'military standoff' with North Korea sounds silly, wait'll you hear about the diplomatic maneuvering. As you may recall, the United States refused to have bilateral talks with North Korea on the grounds that A) Kim Jong-Il is a nutcase and B) we were already committed to multilateral talks, including South Korea and China
by Molly Ivins And then along comes Cut'n'Run Casey. We spend all last week listening to cut'n'run Democrats talking about their cut'n'run strategy for Iraq, and the only issue is whether they want to cut'n'run by the end of this year or to cut'n'run by the end of next year, and oh, by the way, did I mention that Republicans had been choreographed to refer to the Democrats' plans as cut'n'run?
by Molly Ivins In case you haven't been following this, the Superfund is broke and has been largely inactive for four years. The fund was allowed to run dry when Congress failed to renew the tax on polluters. You may not believe this, but the oil and chemical companies complained mightily about being asked to pay for the cleanup of messes they had created. What a concept
by Molly Ivins Where is the CEO administration that was supposed to straighten out government? It may be that Bush deserves credit for having initially opposed a DHS, knowing that Republicans would make a giant new federal agency. But he later changed his mind and supported the thing. The rest us thought we were getting an agency that would provide homeland security, but what an endless saga of misspent money, stupid decisions, waste, fraud, abuse and political logrolling -- and still no port protection
by Molly Ivins Do we even know if the cultural significance of 'looking someone in the eye' is known or accepted in the Middle East? Even if Middle Easterners are kindly disposed toward looking one another in the eye -- say it's not considered rude or worse -- would they know what to make of Bush's declaration to U.S. troops that he came to look at 'Prime Minister Maliki in the eyes and determine whether or not he is as dedicated to a free Iraq as you are.' Who knows if Iraqis think this is determinable by the deep-eye look. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it is
by Molly Ivins You know what? This is getting silly. The debate over this war is unrealistic and even ludicrous. A) It is not going well. B) It keeps getting worse. C) Yes, it is possible that if we stay there long enough, it will get better eventually. D) There is no evidence suggesting that beyond hope
by William Fisher Democratic members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate are viewing President Bush's signing statements as a dangerous over-reach of presidential power -- and a campaign issue for the congressional elections in November
by Fariba Nawa Few expected the international community to fix all Afghanistan problems in five years, but taxpayers do expect their aid money to be spent responsibly. Instead, millions of dollars of international aid money have been mismanaged, misused and wasted. International aid agencies have designed a system that is efficient in funneling money back to the wealthy donor countries without providing sustainable development in poor states
by Michael Winship So the big money lobbyists get to continue to wine, dine and bribe with few if any new constraints. And you wonder why it's so hard to get a minimum wage increase through Congress. Or to legislate restraints on government waste, compounded by corruption in the dealing out of contracts. Or to pass environmental restrictions on industries slowly choking and parboiling us to death
by William Fisher The U.S. government sought to distance itself Tuesday from an official's statement calling the suicides of three Guantanamo Bay prisoners a 'public relations move,' as human rights groups, legal experts and newspapers in the Middle East renewed calls for the prison's closing
by Jim Lobe Five of the Supreme Court justices upheld Hamdan's claims, finding that, in Steven's words, Bush lacked the authority to take the 'extraordinary measure' of setting up special military commissions for detainees in which they were denied due process protections available to defendants under either U.S. criminal law or a key section of the Geneva Conventions
by Jim Lobe Amid growing tensions between the United States and Iran, leaders of the U.S. Jewish community are expressing concern over President Bush's recent statements that his main concern in any possible military action would be protecting Israel
by Norman Solomon Reserved yet personable, he could banter with ease. His arguments, while larded with propaganda, did not lack nuance. Whether speaking with a member of the U.S. Congress, an acclaimed American movie actor or a former top UN official, Aziz seemed acutely aware of his audience. He would have made a deft politician in the United States
by Dr. S. Amjad Hussain Despite rather successful elections, much of Afghanistan remains unsecured and there is an increase in the influence of the Taliban in the Afghan countryside. The writ of the government is severely limited and is for all practical purposes confined to the capital Kabul and its environs and to a lesser degree in some of the major urban centers of the country. The climate of uncertainty where loyalties are at best temporary and prone to shifts has been a perfect milieu for the Taliban resurgence
Today, even access to clean drinking water is limited to 10 to 15 minutes a day. And while 300 students are currently enrolled in the village school under a tent, it is questionable whether they will ever be able to rebuild. Villagers told IRIN that not a single government official had come forward with a plan and there was increasing concern that they had been forgotten. Throughout the region, many villages face similar circumstances and despite admirable efforts by the government and international community to rebuild in some areas, many other areas have been less fortunate. In short, conditions in Kahori, like many other villages in the area, remain grim and the casual observer could be forgiven for thinking nothing was happening
The report estimates that two mid-sized vehicles emit more than nine metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year into the atmosphere. The authors present the image of a coal train that stretches 55,000 miles, long enough to circle the globe twice, carrying 314 million metric tons of carbon -- the amount of CO2 emitted by U.S. cars and trucks in the year 2004.
by Sandip Roy When you're talking $31 billion, rivers change course. You can be sure that if the Gates Foundation makes clean drinking water a priority over HIV/AIDS tomorrow, a thousand NGOs in Kinshasa and New Delhi will switch course as well. They know an all-you-can-spend buffet when they see one
by Jim Lobe With the decision by mega-investor Warren Buffett to contribute some $31 billion of his personal fortune, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, already a major player on the global health scene, is set to become even more powerful
by Inga Kiderra The language of the Aymara, who live in the Andes highlands of Bolivia, Peru and Chile, has been noticed by Westerners since the earliest days of the Spanish conquest. A Jesuit wrote in the early 1600s that Aymara was particularly useful for abstract ideas, and in the 19th century it was dubbed the 'language of Adam'
by Suvendrini Kakuchi Pro-whaling votes came from countries like Mongolia that is landlocked. Supporting the declaration were IWC members such as Cambodia and several African countries that receive large amounts of Japanese aid
by Conn Hallinan While the government of President Hamid Karzai is quick to blame Pakistan for the current fighting, Pashtun coming across the border from Pakistan is hardly a new development. Every day some 15,000 people cross from Pakistan to Afghanistan through Chaman alone. It is a "border" drawn up in Whitehall, not Lahore or Kandahar
by Jim Lobe A long-awaited report by the Council of Europe on European complicity in 'extraordinary renditions' secretly carried out by the CIAagainst suspected terrorists was hailed here Wednesday by human rights groups, even as the U.S. State Department tried to cast doubt on its finding
by Aaron Glantz and Alaa Hassan 'There are many, many, many cases like Haditha that are still undercover and need to be highlighted in Iraq,' Dr. Salam Ishmael, projects manager with the organization Doctors for Iraq, and former chief of the junior doctors in Baghdad's Medical City Hospital told IPS. In Haditha itself, he said, the U.S. military cut electricity and water to the entire city, attacked the hospital and burned the pharmacy. 'The hospital has been attacked three times. In November 2005 the hospital was occupied by the American and Iraqi Army for seven days, which is a severe breach of the Geneva Conventions,' he said.
by Ramesh Jaura Even as the number of child laborers around the world has fallen by 11 percent over the last four years, the problem of child labor in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is rapidly growing, a senior International Labor Organization official says
by Emad Mekay Major U.S. companies, including Wal-Mart, Gloria Vanderbilt, Target, Kohl's, Victoria's Secret and L.L. Bean, are buying apparel from sweatshops in Jordan under a three-way trade deal that binds the Arab nation to Israel and the United States, according to a new report
by Sanjay Suri Danish Muslims were taken aback by the violence publication of the Prophet Muhammad caricatures triggered around the world. But many say the controversy has prompted new discussion and acceptance of local Muslims
by Gareth Porter By refusing to comply with a June 29 deadline, Tehran was communicating to Washington and the three European states (Britain, France and Germany) that it is not intimidated either by threats of force or plans for economic and diplomatic sanctions. The Iranian timetable also appears to be aimed at showing the Europeans and U.S. that Tehran can play the same game of delaying that it believes the Europeans played in their negotiations with Iran a year ago.
by Franz Chavez 'If you agree, sign the decree!' Bolivian President Evo Morales told his ministers on the morning of May 1, as he got ready to announce the renationalization of an industry that will bring in $200 billion over the next two decades to South America's poorest country. Morales was ready to reassert state control over the country's natural gas reserves -- the second largest in South America
by Jim Lobe The takeover of Mogadishu this week by Islamic militias marks a major defeat for the Bush administration, which had secretly backed a coalition of warlords that has reportedly been routed from the Somali capital
The revised proposal allows concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to define what constitutes pollution discharge and to decide if they should apply for a Clean Water permit. If the operators that land apply manure, litter or processed wastewater decide the discharge from their facilities is only "agricultural stormwater," they do not need to apply for a permit
by Robert Scheer What a pity that Tom DeLay gave up his congressional seat just when things were going so well. Reading the list of political achievements he recited in his farewell speech to thunderous applause from his GOP colleagues, one is perplexed as to why he is walking away from it all. Surely the FBI agents and Texas prosecutors who are hounding him following the guilty pleas of former top DeLay associates are unaware that he is doing the Lord's work
by Robert Scheer The Bush family consistently acted to put Enron and its longtime CEO, Ken Lay, into a position to rip off investors and taxpayers. Why are the mass media ignoring that fact now that Lay has been convicted in arguably the most egregious example of white-collar fraud in U.S. history?
by Robert Scheer The stakes are very high here. We've already been told that we must put up with official lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the unprecedented torture of prisoners of war, and a massive electronic-eavesdropping program and other invasions of privacy. Now the target is more basic -- the freedom of the press to report on such nefarious government activity
by Robert Scheer If your priority is to support an inspiring female presidential candidate to break America's ultimate glass ceiling, why not draft U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer? Not electable? Nonsense: The California senator thrashed her conservative GOP opponent in a 2004 re-election campaign that shunned the failed strategy of Democratic hacks and instead emphasized principle over opportunism. She proved her political integrity again this past week by voting alongside Kerry and Feingold to set a date for getting out of Iraq. Not so Sen. Clinton, who seems determined to revise the Cold War liberalism that gave us the Vietnam War
by Robert Scheer In the now infamous racial profiling of Lee, the media were in cahoots with government leakers, who were bizarrely determined to prove that Lee was a dangerous spy whose freedom would profoundly jeopardize national security. Amid this manufactured hysteria, a frail, middle-aged Lee was forced to spend nine months in solitary confinement, chained even in meetings with his attorneys and under 24-hour video surveillance during his every private moment, because the government claimed that, if he were released on bond, the lives of 'hundreds of millions of Americans' would be endangered
by Valentinas Mite Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week ordered the country's security service to hunt down and 'destroy' those responsible for the slaying of four employees of the Russian Embassy in Iraq. But some analysts say fulfilling the task is easier said than done, and that the president's demand is more a political move intended for domestic consumption
by Joe Conason Last week, Chertoff suddenly reminded the nation of his manifest incompetence, after his department released a bizarrely skewed list of security grants to cities and counties. Municipalities that confront the most significant threats will lose many millions in funding, while those least likely to face attack will receive additional millions
by Elena Shore Can Republican candidates win on an anti-immigrant platform? And did the immigration protests translate into more Latino voters? Hispanic media, analysts and community organizations say the results of Tuesday's elections mean different things to different people. Some in the media say there is no question that the anti-immigrant backlash is alive and well. Others predict the anti-immigration tactic could backfire and Republicans could lose votes from the growing and coveted Latino electorate
by Dahr Jamail and Ali Fadhil Despite the horrible conditions here, with armed resistance groups controlling vast swathes of the city, and other areas subject to frequent shooting from U.S. snipers on the rooftops of houses, she said that people should be grateful to their god whatever happens to them, adding, 'Those Americans will leave'
by Dannie Martin About one-third of county jails in the United States charge inmates for their time behind bars, according to a May 23, 2004, Associated Press report. In Minnesota, Olmstead County suspended its "pay-to-stay" program after losing close to $6,000 in four months. The state of Missouri did better, gouging inmates for a total of $384,000 over several months
by John Springer California public high schools were briefly barred from using the High School Exit Exam as a requirement to graduate, but private schools already enjoy that privilege. A high school senior who attended a public middle school and a private high school believes the preparation he received in private school far exceeded what students receive in public school. Is it fair, he asks, to then subject only public school students to the exam?
by Joe Conason The House of Representatives already has passed the same legislation by the required two-thirds margin, and enough state legislatures would vote for the amendment to assure its approval. So the final bulwark against this historic assault on freedom of speech consists of 34 senators with enough courage to stand up for the substance of the nation's ideals and to resist transforming the beloved symbol of those ideals into an authoritarian fetish. That is the real danger to the flag, whose spirit the Republican majority is desecrating with a cynical partisan zeal
by Joe Conason How comforting for the hacks, who tend to feel insecure about their mental and moral shortcomings, when the august editors of The New York Times decided to publish a tabloid-style review of Bill and Hillary Clinton's private life on the May 23 front page. And how much nicer still when the 'dean' of Washington political reporters, David Broder of The Washington Post, ratified that decision with a column in which he expressed a discreet yearning for more salacious details
by Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed According to an earlier account, Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, a 35-year-old mother of two, was killed in firing along with her 57-year-old cousin Saliha Mohammed Hassan on May 30 when they were being transported to Samarra General Hospital for Nabiha to give birth. What was not reported, according to an Iraqi human rights investigator who spoke with IPS on condition of anonymity, was that both women were shot in the back of the head by U.S. snipers
by Gareth Porter Despite Ahmadinejad's clever exploitation of the nuclear issue to strengthen his domestic political position, he is a second-stringer on the issue. As David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, the most experienced non-governmental expert on Iran's nuclear program, said Ahmadinejad doesn't have much to do with the nuclear issue. Albright observed that the policy on Iran's nuclear program is run by the Supreme National Security Council directly under the supreme leader
by Gareth Porter Despite claims that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has regained the diplomatic initiative from Iran with a conditional offer to join multilateral talks with Tehran, the real story behind the policy shift is that the administration failed to get international support for sanctions and possible military action against Iran
by Jim Lobe Bowing to weeks of growing pressure from European allies, Rice announced that Washington was willing to join ongoing talks between the EU-3 -- Britain, France and Germany -- and Tehran provided, however, that the Islamic Republic first 'verifiably' freeze its uranium-enrichment efforts
by Marty Logan Nepal's capitol felt like one of the country's thousands of villages -- overwhelmed and anxious -- as Maoist rebels rode into town, Friday. The rebels, who teamed up with opposition parties to chase King Gyanendra from power in April, and now swear they have given up their decade-long guerrilla war, pulled (and pushed) tens of thousands of people into Kathmandu for their first rally here in three years
by Aaron Glantz and Alaa Hassan Violence against civilians is 'common among many of the multinational forces,' the new Iraqi Prime Minister said. Many troops had 'no respect for citizens, smashing civilian cars and killing on a suspicion or a hunch.' That the occupation forces do this is well known. 'We describe this kind of incident as 'normal' because it has happened over and over, not because it is normal or because the Iraqi people accept it,' Iraqi lawyer Nezar al-Samarai told IPS. 'It's happened a lot and there has been no reaction from the U.S. government to stop it. So people will say it's normal'
by Ashfaq Yusufzai In a remote valley that rises high in the Hindu Kush mountains, a loya jirga (grand council of village elders) has decided that anybody reporting so-called "honor" killings or filing a police complaint must also be put to death
by Gareth Porter Despite the constant invocation of a possible military attack on Iran, however, a little-noticed section of the administration's official national security strategy indicates that Bush has already decided that he will not use military force to try to prevent Iran from going nuclear
by Stephen Leahy Financed by huge U.S. agribusiness corporations like Cargill, soybean farming is now one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
Analysis by Jim Lobe In the absence of an official announcement and the failure since late last year of a live person to answer its telephone number, a Washington Post obituary would seem to be definitive. And, sure enough, the Post quoted one unidentified source presumably linked to PNAC that the group was 'heading toward closing' with the feeling of 'goal accomplished'
by Jim Lobe Security in much of the countryside has virtually collapsed, and humanitarian workers are being pulled out, leaving more than 350,000 people -- both refugees from Darfur and local Chadians -- beyond the reach of international assistance, according to UN relief officials and human rights groups
by Emad Mekay The mammoth Three Gorges dam in China is attracting renewed calls for an independent financial and environmental audit, as concerns mount over the hefty costs and social and environmental impact of the world's largest dam
A male fetus exposed to low doses of environmental estrogens, including a plastic commonly used in baby bottles, toys, pacifiers and baby teethers, has a higher risk of prostate cancer later in life
by J.R. Pegg The 155 page review of surface temperature research by the U.S. National Academies of Science provides additional evidence that "human activities are responsible for much of the warming," the authors said. The study, written by a panel of 12 climate experts, assesses the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for the Earth over approximately the last 2,000 years
by Alexander Cockburn I would have thought that to ask whether there's an Israeli lobby here is a bit like asking whether there's a Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor or a White House located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.
by Alexander Cockburn Rove has swollen in the left's imagination like a descendant of Pere Ubu, Alfred Jarry's surreal monster. There was no scheme so deviously diabolical but that the hand of Rove could not be detected at work. Actually, the man has always been of middling competence. He makes Dickie Morris look like Cardinal Richelieu. Since Sept. 11, where has the good news been for the administration? It's been a sequence of catastrophes of unexampled protraction. Under Rove's deft hand, George Bush has been maneuvered into one catastrophe after another
A Satire by Ann Coulter (as told to Steve Young) Prior to getting leukemia or malignant tumors -- or whatever it is they say they have -- these children didn't seem to have a single problem with disease, much less expecting the rest of America to take time away from creating a strong economic base for healthy kids to take advantage of
Analysis by Jim Lobe With less than six months before the mid-term Congressional elections, Bush and his top aides are gambling heavily -- some would say recklessly -- that Iraq will not be the political liability for Republicans that most pundits have believed it would be.
With most of Mogadishu under the control of the Islamic courts, the residents of Somalia's capitol were cautiously optimistic on Tuesday that the days when warlords held sway over the strife-torn Horn of Africa country were, at last, coming to an end
In a bid to curb relentless sectarian violence in the once peaceful province of Basra, the prime minister declared a month-long state of emergency on May 31, vowing to disarm militias that have taken control there
by Aaron Glantz and Alaa Hassan Mathona al-Dari, spokesman for the hardline Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars told IPS: The issue is not the capture of Zarqawi. It's not related to one person. It's that the occupation wants to destroy anyone that's resisting them -- armed group and political groups alike. (This killing) is meant to hide the fact that the occupation is not meant to help Iraqi people.' Al-Dari's father, Hartih al-Dari, is imam of a mosque near Abu Ghraib prison that has been a centre of anti-American rhetoric. He once issued a fatwa against any Iraqi helping the U.S. or British military, and spoke of armed resistance as a religious duty.
by William Fisher Bush's terror war has produced the unintended consequence of bringing the United States ever-closer to some of the world's most repressive regimes. Egypt provides a classic example. Last week, over the objections of the country's human rights advocates, Egypt extended the 20-year-old 'emergency' law that gives the government power to arrest and detain people without charges, and refused to moderate its campaign to further compromise the independence of an already weak judiciary
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed that booting scandal embroiled Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson from the House Ways and Means Committee proved the Democrats meant business in assailing corruption. It was tough talk, but based on past practice, that's all it may be
by Norman Solomon Two years from now, Hillary Clinton might be pleased to hear the kind of boos and antiwar chants that greeted her days ago when she spoke at the annual Take Back America conference of Democratic activists and argued against a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. But so much of politics is about timing. And right now, Clinton is facing a serious problem of premature triangulation
Albion Monitor Issue 147 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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