ISSUE 159 TABLE OF CONTENTS
by Mohammed A. Salih Kurds have been running their own affairs for the past 16 years, but without a constitution. Divisions have surfaced now that they are going to write one. Islamists are fervent in rejecting a secular constitution, which they see as ignoring the will of the Muslim people of Kurdistan
by Marwaan Macan-Markar Many reports touched on the sense of unity in a team made up of Iraqis from the Sunni, Shia and Kurd communities at a time when the three groups have been torn apart by the on-going war back home. Equally difficult to ignore was the personal pain the team carried due to the bombs and bullets in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. On the eve of the team's departure, Anwar Jassim, the team's physiotherapist, was killed in a bomb blast in Iraq as he was heading to pick up his ticket for the flight to Southeast Asia
by Ali al-Fadhily Shula and Hurriya in western Baghdad, and most areas on the eastern bank of Tigris River are now purely Shia after years of killings by death squads. It has been known for over a year now that Shia death squads have been operating out of the U.S.-backed Ministry of Interior
by Alexander Cockburn Visit a captain of commerce or industry in San Francisco in his corporate HQ in San Francisco and you will most likely find him practicing his juggling act or ordering adjustments to his drag assemblage with grotesque bust bodice, designed to have world governors rolling in the aisles. Acquisition of membership comes by birthright or sedulous lobbying and the usual blackballing obtains
by Alexander Cockburn A simple question: Has the end of America's war on Iraq been brought closer by the recapture of the U.S. Congress by the Democrats in November 2006? The answer is that when it comes to the actual war, which has led to the bloody disintegration of Iraqi society, the deaths of some 3,000 Iraqis a month, the death and mutilation of U.S. soldiers every day, nothing at all has happened since the Democrats rode to victory in November courtesy of popular revulsion in America against the war
by Ashfaq Yusufzai This year, Pakistan has seen 21 suicide attacks that have killed 225 people. Going by the record the suicide bombers have targeted police, army and other paramilitary personnel with some degree of precision. Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has time and again accused Pakistan of being covertly involved in training and sending suicide bombers into his country, but increasingly targets are being sought within Pakistan
by Ashfaq Yusufzai and Zofeen Ebrahim Pro-Taliban rebels operating close to the Afghan border have, through a series of suicide bomber attacks on security forces over the weekend causing some 80 deaths, signalled the end of a peace deal with the government and determination to avenge the July 10-11 army raid on the radical Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad
by Alexander Cockburn Three violent elements in American popular culture Š- football, gangsta rap and dog fighting -- have intersected in the sensational case involving Michael Vick, the black football star
Analysis by Jim Lobe Just 25 months after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denounced sixty years of U.S. support for authoritarian governments in Arab world, she and Pentagon chief Robert Gates are on their way to the Middle East bearing arms and an uncannily familiar strategic vision to the same regimes
Analysis by Jacques N. Couvas The timing for the green light to move into Iraq remains unclear. Launching the operation before the elections -- actually, a few days or hours before Jul. 22 -- could increase Erdogan's popularity. At the same time, it could lead to a postponement of the elections, due to a national emergency, an outcome favorable to the opposition
by Bill Berkowitz Giuliani's Republican primary gamble -- that his position on national security issues could override his liberal positions on abortion rights and other social issues -- was dealt a severe blow last Thursday, when James Dobson, the Republican Party political kingmaker and founder of Focus on the Family, declared that 'the jig is up' for Giuliani, announcing that he wouldn't vote for him should Giuliani become the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nominee -- under any circumstances
by Steve Young Omigawd. The NBC element that diminished the event was that they had a guest who said something Bill found event-diminishing. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, to build his case, yet he was able to turn it around and make himself the easy target of ridicule. Take that, Professor Irwin Corey!
by Steve Young If teachers teaching a class 'have a responsibility to tell the truth,' then someone who has a broadcasting soapbox nearly as big as his gonads has an even larger responsibility. Yet even though your lies have been well documented, you wouldn't dare own up to one. Admit it, Bill, if you and Fox News didn't see the "hey, look at them there liberal professors" possibilities, Ward Churchill's words would have dissolved into thin air. But you made Churchill's situation a cause celebre for the Folks and your own corrupt and imaginary Culture War
by Steve Young Commingling Bush, his administration and its policies as a condemnation of the collective we-as-a-nation has long been a killer tactic by those on the Right. You know, like questioning Bush's failed policies is 'underming the troops.' Crazy, huh, that Independent Bill fell into the moonbat Right-wing trap?
by Steve Young Bill didn't call for socialism. He called for anarchy. Lawlessness. Criminal activity
In Adhamyia District, one of the main places for fishing, policeman Col Ayad Jamil said many bodies had been found in the past two months on the riverbank. They had been killed while trying to fish. Some bodies were found inside boats with fishing gear
Analysis by Khody Akhavi The Afghan government, human rights groups, and humanitarian aid organizations say that more than 300 civilians have died this year as a result of Western operations, mostly when air power was called in to help allied troops in trouble
by Daniel Luban Analysts in both the pro- and anti-war camps regard the bill as a primarily symbolic measure that will have little impact on the U.S. government's practical ability to maintain military installations in Iraq
by Najum Mushtaq The storming of the Red Mosque is not the victory that General Pervez Musharraf and his supporters in Washington proclaim. Rather, it represents the abject failure of the Pakistani presidentÕs policies. The shaky military junta seems to have few answers to the central question of containing religious extremism in the sect-ridden Pakistani society. With a growing number of citizens challenging the authoritarian system, U.S. support for Musharraf is more and more out of touch with Pakistani reality
by Peter Hirschberg It was the achievement Hamas had been waiting for ever since it vanquished the Fatah movement in Gaza and seized control of the coastal strip last month. Now, the Islamic movement is hoping that the release Wednesday of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, held captive in Gaza for almost four months, will convince the international community that it is a serious partner and is able to impose order on the chaos-ridden, lawless streets of the densely populated strip
by Peter Hirschberg Right-wing lawmakers in Israel are fuming over a decision by Israel's education minister to permit use of a textbook in state-run Arab schools that includes the word 'nakba' -- Arabic for 'catastrophe,' the term Palestinians use to describe the founding of the Jewish state
by Gareth Porter The growing crisis over Islamic extremism in Pakistan is drawing attention to the complicity of that country's military government in the rise of the biggest haven for Islamic terrorism in the world
Almost two years after a powerful earthquake ripped through parts of northern Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, there are over 13,000 people still in tented camps across the quake zone facing a number of problems, including food aid and land to relocate to.
Businessmen in Gaza speak of over 30,000 layoffs as a result of the lockdown on the Gaza Strip initiated after fighting between the Islamist group Hamas and Fatah last month, which ended when the former seized control over the strip
by Suvendrini Kakuchi Kyuma told a public gathering that, but for the bombing, World War ll would have dragged on, leaving Japan vulnerable to deeper penetration by the Soviet Union
by Ali al-Fadhily The Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni political group in the Iraqi cabinet, issued a statement Jul. 1 alleging that more than 350 people had been killed in the U.S. military operation in Baqouba. The group called the operation 'collective punishment' and said 'forces shelled these neighborhoods with helicopters, destroying more than 150 houses and killing more than 350 citizens. Their bodies are still under the wreckage. And they have arrested scores of citizens'
by Jim Lobe Most analysts said Bush's speech -- including his pledge to provide some $190 million to support Palestine Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and convene a regional conference to support renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks -- was too little, too late and included too many conditions to rally strong Palestinian or Arab support
by Claudia Ciobanu 'We are relieved that the nurses' and the medic's imprisonment is over,' Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of the U.S.-based group 'Physicians for Human Rights' told IPS. 'But this is really an outrageous case, in which the lives of these nurses and medic were literally ransomed for $400 million'
by Ali al-Fadhily The U.S. military dropped 437 bombs and missiles in Iraq in the first half of 2007, compared to 86 in the first half of 2006. This is also three times more than in the second half of 2006, according to Air Force data. The Air Force has also been expanding its air bases in Iraq and adding entire squadrons
Analysis by Khody Akhavi The Bush administration appears to be increasingly depicting the conflict as a struggle between the U.S.-led Coalition forces and the archetypal terrorist threat posed by the shadowy "radicals and extremists" of al-Qaeda, often to the exclusion of other political actors in the mainly Sunni insurgency
by Ahmed Ali Morgue officials told IPS that a local U.S. military commander recently ordered them to bury all bodies within three days. Families are often unable to identify and collect the bodies, morgue officials say. It is still extremely dangerous to travel around the city. Also, most bodies are never brought to the morgue at all to be identified or counted
by Bill Berkowitz That it happened at all was a major feat. That not much was resolved was not surprising. That those involved are determined to meet again is fascinating. That it was organized by a controversial faith healer has made it that much more noteworthy. In early July, a historic meeting took place at the Egyptian embassy in Washington, the Washington Times' Julia Duin recently reported. The two-hour meeting, between mostly conservative U.S evangelical Christian leaders, and ambassadors and advisors from several Middle East countries, was 'orchestrated' by the flamboyant Pentecostal evangelist Benny Hinn
by Emad Mekay The Middle East and North Africa region has become the fastest-growing area for investments from the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which surpassed one billion dollars for the first time last year
by Joe Conason For the first time in a long time, encouraging news is emanating from North Korea. On July 16, the International Atomic Energy Agency verified earlier reports that the Kim Jong Il regime has shut down the Yongbyon nuclear reactor and stopped producing the plutonium used to build atomic weapons. Yet the Bush administration so far has drawn little attention to this happy achievement by its own diplomats
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson As Democratic candidates prepare for a televised debate on the largest Spanish language network, Bill Richardson -- the only Latino in the race -- has to walk a thin line to have any hope of getting elected
by David Cronin A famine is looming in Darfur, according to members of the European Parliament who have just returned from a visit to the war-ravaged Sudanese province
by Suvendrini Kakuchi Reports of radiation leakages at a nuclear power plant following the Niigata earthquake have raised widespread public alarm and dealt a devastating blow to the government's plans to boost the nuclear power industry, both domestically and abroad
by Larry Jagan Burma's top generals have just finished their quarterly meeting in the country's new capitol of Naypidaw. As usual there was no official announcement following the meeting, but there are signs that the regime is about to ditch its roadmap to democracy in favor of a Chinese-style system of government
by Khody Akhavi Growing numbers of Muslims in the Middle East and in predominantly Muslim countries in Asia and Africa are rejecting 'Islamic extremism' and the use of suicide bombing, according to a new 47-nation global attitudes survey released by the Pew Research Center on Tuesday
by Barin Masoud Chiquita Brands International, the banana giant based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is being sued for its alleged role in the murders of nearly two dozen Colombian workers killed by paramilitary groups between 1997 and 2004. Drummond Company, a major coal producer based in Birmingham, Alabama, is facing similar charges of complicity in the murders of three trade union leaders near a Drummond mine in La Loma, Colombia in 2001
by Humberto Marquez The announcement that Venezuela is buying five Russian submarines triggered alarm that a conventional arms build-up is occurring in a country that has adopted the defense doctrine of asymmetric war, or one involving 'all of the people'
Analysis by Jacques N. Couvas It seems now certain: No invasion of Northern Iraq by the Turkish army before the legislative elections scheduled for Jul. 22. Disappointed? Many in Turkey are, not least the military. Surprised? Not a bit
by Zofeen Ebrahim According to Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri, news editor at Geo TV, the Lal Masjid standoff was a 'masterpiece of intelligence agencies' to deflect attention from issues of national importance, such as the Supreme Court hearing of the petition of Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who Musharraf summarily suspended as chief justice
by Ali al-Fadhily A new phenomenon has emerged: Sunni and Shia families are swapping houses. Estate agents are providing lists of available properties, facilitating swap arrangements. 'It is hard to leave the house you built and in which you spent your life raising your children, and which contains memories in every corner, but death is dreadful,' said a 52-year-old Shia pensioner and father of six boys
by Ahmed Ali Heavy U.S military operations, sectarian death squads and al-Qaeda militants have combined to make normal life in Baqouba all but impossible. Movement from the city to another destination is extremely dangerous. Kidnappings have become rampant in a lawless city where government control is only a mirage. Lack of security and mobility have meant severe shortages of fuel, food, medical supplies and other necessities
by Michael Winship Yes, it's a sop to George Bush's conservative base at a time when part of the reason for his basement-level approval ratings is vast right-wing dissatisfaction, but that's not the real story. Nor is the story the crimes for which Libby was going to prison. It's not even the original outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent by Libby, Karl Rove and others. It's the continuing effort to hide the truth behind the Iraq war
by Joe Conason The latest episode involves Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana), another conservative Christian moralist, whose name just turned up in the D.C. madam's phone book. (He once said that Bill Clinton deserved to be removed from office for his sexual infidelity, but shows no sign of resigning his own seat.)
An underground lake the size of Lake Erie has been discovered beneath the windblown sands of Sudan's Darfur region. The newly mapped water source may help to alleviate the conflict between Arab nomads and the African farming population
Foods such as corn, lettuce and potatoes have been found to accumulate antibiotics from soils spread with animal manure that contains these drugs. The study results indicate that organic foods are most likely to contain these drugs because manure is often the main source of crop nutrients for organic food production
by Robert Scheer Two news stories this week underscore the extreme irrationality and utter moral depravity of the Bush administration in exploiting the 9/11 attack to justify the invasion of Iraq. They both concern Pakistan, the close ally of the Taliban government in Afghanistan when it hosted Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist network. And, as opposed to Iraq, Pakistan did have WMDs and facilitated their proliferation to 'rogue nations.' Both examples provide damning evidence that Bush cared not a whit about WMDs or about preventing another 9/11 attack because the danger of both existed in Pakistan, which he befriended -- rather than in Iraq, which he invaded
by Robert Scheer Once again, we have an example of politicians championing the slogans of law and order -- until the criminal is one of their own, at which point they suddenly become bleeding-heart liberals eager to ease the pain of the misjudged underdog. Blame the victim for Libby's troubles -- it was that outed CIA agent, Valerie Plame, who made him do it. Who told her to be married to a guy who dared to publicly criticize Libby's boss?
by Robert Scheer Just how does a president descend from a 92 percent approval rating one month after 9/11 -- the highest of any president since modern polling began -- to the two-thirds disapproval score that has stalked him through the last year, thanks to the Iraq debacle, without getting the message?
by Robert Scheer George W. Bush is the imperial president that James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about. He lied the nation into precisely the 'foreign entanglements' that George Washington feared would destroy our experiment in representative government, and he has championed a spurious notion of security over individual liberty, thus eschewing the alarms of Thomas Jefferson as to the deprivation of the inalienable rights of free citizens. But most important, he has used the sledgehammer of war to obliterate the separation of powers that James Madison enshrined in the U.S. Constitution
by Alexander Cockburn Now, undeterred by McCain's impending political extinction as a the prime pro-war candidate, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is seizing the battle standard from the senator's stricken hand. Giuliani named his list of foreign policy advisers last week. This is an important political ritual, whereby political commentators can run their eyes down the list and assess at a glance what sort of headway the candidate is making in winning the support of the political establishment. Giuliani's list was heavily freighted with pro-war types, including the apex neo-con, Norman Podhoretz
Analysis by Jim Lobe Most analysts believe that Republicans who stick with the president and his Iraq policy are likely to face heavy retribution at the ballot box, just as they did in last year's mid-term elections which returned Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. That calculation appears to have contributed to Reid's decision to suspend debate on the defense bill without permitting votes on the more bipartisan Lugar-Warner or ISG amendments, according to political observers
'The threats are clear. [The insurgents are saying:] Women should stop fighting for their rights, and should only look after their children and husbands. We are also held responsible by the extremists for the spread of 'incorrect behavior' by women in Iraqi society. Our situation is critical. We asked the government to take more interest and raise the issue in parliament, but the government has the same old answer -- that the violence is general and not just about women'
by Louis Nevaer For more than a decade, Mexico has had military checkpoints on all northbound highways leading to the United States. It's part of the campaign to crack down on the flow of drugs to the United States. This summer, things have changed, and Mexico's military is inspecting vehicles traveling on the southbound lanes, checking for shipments of weapons
by Hilmi Toros Turkey's governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), with its roots in Islam but professing to be secular and conservative, won a landslide victory in general elections
by Gareth Porter Contrary to the impression conveyed by the Bush administration, Iran's ties to Shiite militias do not represent a new development. They have been a constant in Iranian policy since the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime opened the way for Shiite militias to return from Iran in 2003. Iran specialists and regional analysts agree that Iran's ties with militias who attack U.S. and British forces as well as government targets is essentially a way of ensuring that Iran will be on good terms with any future regime in Baghdad. 'They're trying to hedge their bets because they're not sure who's going to prevail'
by Jim Lobe According to the report, which represents a consensus judgment of Washington's 16 intelligence agencies, the group's resurgence has been made possible primarily by the 'safe haven' it has enjoyed in the tribal areas of western Pakistan and also by its association with al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which has helped to 'energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives'
by Joe Conason To listen to O'Reilly -- who has publicly urged the destruction of San Francisco and Iran, among thousands of other equally charming remarks -- is to hear corrosive hatred distilled into a nightly dose of poison. The occasional outburst on a liberal blog, almost always in the anonymous comments section, cannot compare with the daily outpouring of vitriol on Fox
by Khody Akhavi Its success in attracting attention to the ostensible nuclear threat posed by Iran is another demonstration of the power of the Israel lobby to influence U.S. foreign policy and affect the policy debate in Congress. TIP's press conference was striking for the strong written statements of support issued by more than 13 presidential candidates, including Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The moment the mostly black jury acquitted O.J. Simpson in 1996 a leading Simpson trial commentator pithily quipped that blacks would catch hell for that verdict. The quip seemed like over the top hyperbole at the time. But a decade later attorneys for convicted murderer Allen Snyder, an African American, say that it's no exaggeration. They have asked the Supreme Court to toss Snyder's conviction in Louisiana
by Ashfaq Yusufzai The growing Talibanization of the porous border areas has meant that girls' education has been under attack as it was under the Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan when women's education was deemed un-Islamic and women banned from even being seen in public without male escorts
by Jim Lobe In the face of a critical Senate debate on future U.S. strategy in Iraq, neo-conservatives and other hawks are trying to rally increasingly skeptical -- and worried -- Republicans behind continued support for Bush's five-month-old 'surge' strategy
by Peter Hirschberg The vast majority of those freed Friday were from Abbas' Fatah movement. The prisoner release is part of a series of gestures by Israel aimed at bolstering the Palestinian leader in the wake of the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip last month, during which the Islamic movement vanquished the more moderate Fatah forces. In recent weeks, Israel -- encouraged by the West, which also wants to see Abbas, not Hamas, in the ascendancy -- has agreed to other measures meant to strengthen the Palestinian leader
by Adrianne Appel A U.S. health agency has made research subjects of people in tiny Mossville, Louisiana by repeatedly monitoring dangerously high levels of dioxin in their blood while doing nothing to get the community out of harm's way, residents say. Further, the agency failed to release important test results for five years, and made it difficult for the community to obtain the actual data
by Mithre J. Sandrasagra The resolution calls for a force of up to 19,555 soldiers, including 360 military observers and liaison officers, plus 3,772 police, alongside 19 police units of 140 people each
One response to sudden and violent death which has become commonplace in Iraq's turmoil, is the emergence of a new subculture -- the etching of tattoo identities on people who fear becoming an unclaimed body in a packed morgue
by Eli Clifton Food prices have surged for other reasons over the past year, including increased demand from China and bad weather. However, the growing global demand for biofuels in the U.S. and a proposal by the European Commission stipulating that all petrol and diesel in the European Union must contain 10 percent biofuels could spell serious environmental and economic consequences
by Feizal Samath The dramatic reprieve for a condemned Sri Lankan housemaid won by lawyers, beating a July 16 deadline for filing an appeal in the Saudi Arabian courts, has focused the international spotlight on a closed justice system which condemns people to death without legal representation at their trials
by Emad Mekay and Jim Lobe The United States and the World Bank have announced a new plan to fight poverty in Latin America by removing obstacles to the flow of private investments, in an apparent attempt to weaken the rise of anti-capitalist sentiment in the region
Albion Monitor Issue 159 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
All Rights Reserved.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to use in any format.
All Rights Reserved.
Contact email@example.com for permission to use in any format.