Albion Monitor Issue 150 OCTOBER 2006
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Maliki and Sadr
Maliki's political clout in Iraq hinges upon support from cleric Muqtada al Sadr, whose large voting bloc in parliament elected him Prime Minister. Maliki also depends upon Sadr's "Mahdi Army" militia, now a major target for U.S. forces trying to rein in Shiite death squads

FREE! The clock is ticking for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the hapless, feckless leader of the Shiite fundamentalist party Al Dawa. From Washington, London, Baghdad, and other capitals come rumors that Maliki's government will soon be overthrown by a nationalist general or colonel or that he will resign in favor of an emergency "government of national salvation." A coup d'etat in Iraq would put a period -- or rather an exclamation point -- at the end of the Bush administration's bungled experiment with democracy there. And it would open an entirely new phase in that country's post-2003 national nightmare. Would it result in the creation of a Saddam-like strongman to rule Iraq with a heavy hand? Or would it force the warring parties (Sunni insurgents, Iranian-backed Shiite militias, and Kurdish warlords) to intensify the bloody civil war that is tearing Iraq apart? No one knows

Cheney and Bush

FREE! Not only are Cheney and Bush saying that they are the only ones who can be trusted to protect the nation's security, but they are also trying to burnish their own security credentials by tarnishing those of the Clinton administration. The irony is that despite all the current rhetoric about how Democrats have failed to take terrorism seriously -- a failure that purportedly goes back to the early days of the Clinton presidency -- hawkish Republicans and their neo-conservative allies spent the better part of the 1990s advocating policies that doubtless distracted key policymakers from paying adequate attention to real security issues. Conservatives were raising the alarm over space weapons, China, Iraq, North Korea -- not terrorism, a threat they chose to ignore

Cold-War Mentality Skews Coverage of North Korea

The voice of the main players, Kim Jong-Il and others in N Korea, not heard in Western media

Bush Bluster Led to Korea Nuke Threat

Bush policy toward Iran and North Korea has vacillated between threats and negotiations for years

Bush Outsources Diplomacy to Jim Baker

Being put forward as someone who can lead Bush out of Iraq quagmire

W Bank Palestinians Desperate Under Israel's Lockdown, UN Says FREE!

 Palestinian woman
A Palestinian woman carrying a bundled infant looks through a small hole in the bars at an Israeli checkpoint (PHOTO: Edward Parsons/IRIN)

Israel dividing W Bank into smaller and smaller regions

Doctors Finding High Rates of Delayed PTSD Among Iraq Vets

About the same rates injured or not

Iraq Endgame Approaching, Bush Ready or Not

Iraqi and British government both walk away from 'stay the course' plan

Direct Evidence Links Global Warming to Antarctic Icemelt FREE!

Warmer winds raising temps at bottom of the world

Like Baghdad, Kabul Now a Capitol Under Siege

Public terrorized by suicide bombers, IEDs

Musharraf's Memoir Generates Anger, Controversy

Presents himself as an indispensable Western ally in the war against terrorism

Afghan Schools Shut Down on Taliban Orders

Schools closing because families fear death unless children sent to madrassas

British Army: We'll Stay in Iraq 2 More Years, Max

Days after U.S. Army says occupation will continue to at least 2010

Neo-Cons Call For Japanese Nukes, N Korea Regime Change

Desire to "punish China" for its failure to bring Pyongyang to heel

Terror Suspect Held in U.S. Caught in Legal Limbo

4 years in Florida county jail with no charges filed

North Korean Nuke a Big Bargaining Chip for China

Beijing likes Western view that it's the only country that can talk to madman's government

War Spending Undermines U.S. Economy

World Economic Forum cuts ranking from #1 to #6

Murdered Russian Journalist Was Outspoken Critic of Putin FREE!

 anna politkovskaya  protest
Demonstrators in Moscow on October 8: 'Kremlin killed freedom of speech' (PHOTO: EPA)

"There's no doubt that this murder was tied to her professional work as a journalist...[and] it is the signature of a professional hired killer"

Fear Iran, Bush Tells Mideast Allies

Revival of 1950s "strategic consensus" plan to make Arab countries friendly to Israel

Boston Will Be As Hot As Charlotte By End Of Century FREE!

Frequent temperatures over 100 every summer

Afghanistan is Hub for Secret U.S. Torture Centers

UN barred from these jails, as are human rights activists, journalists, and even the Afghan government

U.S. Suspends Million$ in Military Aid After Thai Coup

Thailand also a significant buyer of U.S.-made weapons systems

Thailand Military Withdraws Troops, But Maintains Iron Grip

Reserves power to check its chosen prime minister

El Salvador Profits From Kyoto by Selling "Carbon Credits"

Broad spectrum of renewable energy paid for by polluting nations

Cancer Fears Emerge From Old French Nuclear Tests

Up to 150,000 people inhabited the Polynesian islands in the region

U.S. Won't Charge "Mastermind" Who Downed Airliner As Terrorist

Blew up plane bound for Cuba with 73 aboard

FEMA Ground Zero
APPO supporter in Oct. 30 march. APPO is the Spanish acronym for over 350 activist groups under the name of the Popular Assembly of the Oaxacan People. PHOTO: Indymedia


The conflict in Oaxaca is part of a larger movement of demands for wider democracy in Mexico, often spearheaded by Native groups, the most well-known of which is the Zapatista movement in the Lacandon jungles and other areas of Chiapas, south of Oaxaca.The Oaxaca stand-off has been a hidden story, largely ignored by the U.S. press. What has been silenced with the death of an independent reporter like U.S. journalist Brad Will, unfunded by any large organization, was one of the few voices that has tried to tell the story to the world. Teachers began the strike in May by requesting a salary raise and peacefully occupying the city center. In the following weeks Gov. Ulises Ruiz ordered the teachers forcibly removed, which drew other demonstrators to join the occupation and eventually paralyzed the city. Paramilitary and off-duty officers have shot at the demonstrators -- at least 13 deaths, including Will's have been counted. Residents called for the resignation of Ruiz, an iron-fisted governor blamed for the deaths, and for a corrupt administration


Oaxaca Tense After Police Crackdown

At least 3 dead, more than 50 under arrest, several 'disappeared'

U.S. Journalist's Death Bringing Oaxaca to World's Eye

Brad Will was shot with a camera in his hand, and photos taken by others show him lying on a sidewalk, bullet holes ringed with red blood on his solar plexus, as if targeted by a sharpshooter

Mexico Sends Federales To Oaxaca As Protesters, U.S. Journalist Slain

Gunmen open fire on protest camp, kill 4

Oaxaca Protesters Reach Mexico City

Thousands march, vow to stay in capitol until political prisoners released and police punished

Revolutionaries Near Takeover of Oaxaca

Radio stations taken over, all public officials expelled from local government posts

Ahmadinejad and Basij Militia
President Ahmadinejad sits front and center May 7, 2006 with members of the feared Basij Militia which enforces Islamic law in Iran. PHOTO: Fars News/Hosein Fatem


While the West stays focused on Iran's nuclear intentions, fear and discontent is growing in the country over the rightward turn of domestic policies. Instead of making good on election promises to crack down on corruption and improve the dismal economy by distributing Iran's vast oil revenues more equitably, Ahmadinejad is bending to the will of religious extremists, enforcing for the first time a 1994 ban against satellite dishes that allow Iranians to pick up foreign TV stations. Provincial publications and journalists also face mounting official pressure, especially among those dealing with minority affairs. And in May, the government announced that will identify Internet users and keep a record of the sites they visit. Most alarming, however, is the increasing number of children put to death for moral crimes. Amnesty International has documented at least 10 youths executed by the state in the last two years


Waiting for Ahmadinejad to Deliver on Election Promises

Hardliners Seek To Lock Control Over Iran In Key Dec. 15 Elections

No One too Young for Execution in Iran

Seven Women Face Death by Stoning in Iran

Iran Extends Media Clampdown FREE!

Iran Bans Satellite TV

Iran Filtering 10 Million Websites, Official Says FREE!


Sex Traffickers Target Iraqi Women FREE!

UAE, Syria, often destinations for trafficked Iraqi women

Iraq Government Using Death Penalty With Rising Frequency

UN estimates at least 250 executions in last two years

Three Million Iraqi Refugees Face Bleak Future, UN Says FREE!

In Syria alone, some 450,000 Iraqi refugees (PHOTO: © Hugh Macleod/IRIN)

Even as more Iraqis are displaced, funds to help them are reduced to trickle

Baqouba a City Under Siege

"Each day I wake up I don't know who is in control of my city"

Women-Only Gas Station Opens In N Iraq FREE!

Introduced to spare women the ordeal of waiting a day or more waiting in line

Over 2 Percent of Iraq Population Killed During Occupation, Study Finds

655,000 -- on average more than 500 deaths a day

Anti-Qaeda, Anti-U.S. Sunni Rebels Now "Third Force" In Iraq

Want Bush to set date of withdrawl in exchange for joining government

Iraq Chaos Blocks Revival of Marshlands FREE!

Was to be showcase of Iraq reconstruction projects

U.S. Now Backs Sunni Militias in Iraq

Shocks moderate Iraqis who reject militias in any form


Neo-Cons Face Setbacks After Election Day

Invasion of Iran won't be nearly so easy now

Repubs Change Campaign Theme to Iraq Referendum

"Do You Want us to Win in Iraq?" hotter than "Stay the Course"

U.S. Jews Give Bush, Republicans Failing Grades

Significantly more negative than the general population as a whole on a range of Bush's policies

Rep. Curt Weldon, Poster Boy For A Grimy Congress

The Weldon family and friends are not a mere lobbying firm, but an industry unto themselves

Don't Expect Obama to Win White House in 2008

Despite what Oprah says, Obama isn't the right tonic for Democrats

Repubs Must Lose Now to Win Later: Viguerie

Whenever candidates soundly defeated, conservative movement gets stronger

Foleygate: The GOP Fumble and Mumble

Sometimes Hastert remembers being told about Foley, sometimes he doesn't. In either case, he accepts no responsibility

Congress Legalizes Bush's Right to Ignore Rights

Senate passes bill to suspend habeas corpus at whim of government 65-34

Congress Fences Off Hope For Immigration Reform

Senate passes bill for 700-mile Mexico fence 80-19

World's Aquifers Being Drained For Wasteful Grain Crops

Middle East and North Africa now world's fastest-growing grain import market

Raw Sewage, Plastic Debris Creating Massive Ocean Dead Zones

Huge amounts of untreated human waste dumped directly into open waters

Bangladesh's Dirt-Poor Workers Behind Multi-Billion Garment Exports

Minimum wage is $14/mo

U.S. Labor, Industry Groups Slam Jordan Sweatshops

Want Bush to impose sanctions

Lax Guatemala Laws Encourage Child Sex Tourism

Exploitation of minors is not even a crime

Sudan Officials Escaping Prosecution For Darfur Genocide

Sudan legal system under Shari'a law, emergency decrees, create loopholes for Khartoum government

American Drug Habits Fuel Mexico's Violent Gang Wars

U.S. plays key role in the distribution of tech, ingredients for manufacture



Molly Ivins A Campaign of Sleaze

The Good Economy Myth

Demos Victory no Sure Thing

Iraq War Despair is not an Option

Dear Leaders

The Not-So-Great Texas Gubernatorial Debate

Where There's War, There's Kissinger


Robert Scheer Enron's Enablers Go Unpunished

The Killing Fields of Iraq

Dear Leader Brings It On

Rice Scandal Trumps Foley Scandal Any Day


Alexander Cockburn The Myth of Microloans

The Perils of Criticizing Israel

Our Sex Scandal Safety Valve


Steve Young Rove's October Surprise: Phony Porn, Real Money

RIP O'Reilly?

The "Hate America Crowd" Has To Go

Happy Birthday, Fox, Damn the Rest of You

Channeling Thomas Friedman

Traveling the world as I do, I understand that the world is best understood by people who travel the world as I do. The future is innovation across borders. The entrepreneur who finds a good Web designer on another continent really impresses me. Let's face it -- at this point I'm a rich guy, and I work for a newspaper run by guys who are even richer than I am. They're gaga about what we like to call globalization. So am I. We're a perfect match.

Albion Monitor
Issue 150

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

The Albion Monitor is currently published as an ongoing newspaper by Wayward Press Inc, POB 1733, Sebastopol, CA 95473

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