Albion Monitor Issue 172 AUGUST 2008
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Biden, Iraq, and Obama's Betrayal

FREE! It is difficult to over-estimate the critical role Biden played in making the tragedy of the Iraq war possible. More than two months prior to the 2002 war resolution even being introduced, in what was widely interpreted as the first sign that Congress would endorse a U.S. invasion of Iraq, Biden declared on August 4 that the United States was probably going to war. In his powerful position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he orchestrated a propaganda show designed to sell the war to skeptical colleagues and the America public by ensuring that dissenting voices would not get a fair hearing.

As Scott Ritter, the former chief UN weapons inspector, noted at the time, "For Sen. Biden's Iraq hearings to be anything more than a political sham used to invoke a modern-day Gulf of Tonkin resolution-equivalent for Iraq, his committee will need to ask hard questions -- and demand hard facts -- concerning the real nature of the weapons threat posed by Iraq."

It soon became apparent that Biden had no intention of doing so. Biden refused to even allow Ritter himself -- who knew more about Iraq's WMD capabilities than anyone and would have testified that Iraq had achieved at least qualitative disarmament -- to testify. Ironically, on Meet the Press last year, Biden defended his false claims about Iraqi WMDs by insisting that "everyone in the world thought he had them. The weapons inspectors said he had them"



Who Will Lead in Post-Musharraf Pakistan?

Army, coalition government both wary of confronting extremists

White House Turned Blind Eye to Musharraf's Terror Links

Bush administration covered up the Musharraf regime's involvement in the activities of the A. Q. Khan nuclear technology export program and its deals with al Qaeda's Pakistani tribal allies

Musharraf's Exit Leaves India Confused

Fears that extremists will now have a free run "on our side of the border"



Russia Georgia

The conflict started after Georgian troops tried to take control of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russia responded by launching an extensive military operation, repelling Georgian forces and then advancing into Georgia itself.

Russia's parliament unanimously approved a resolution early this year urging the Kremlin to consider recognizing both of Georgia's breakaway regions, and said Russia should consider speeding up recognition of the rebel regions as independent if pro-western Georgia moved closer to NATO membership. When Bush pushed to "fast track" Georgia's candidacy at the NATO summit in Bucharest last April, it was a calculated affront to Moscow, which obviously saw it as a threat to its strategic interests.

Georgia lies at the heart of the Caucasus -- which hosts a major pipeline pumping oil from Asia to Europe -- and is at the center of a battle for regional influence between the U.S. and Russia. In recent months hawks have gained the upper hand in Georgia, making the military option more realistic, in spite of Western warnings to abstain from aggressive rhetoric and military action against the breakaway regions. Georgia also buys arms from Israel, France, and the U.S.

Also eager to promote a confrontation are U.S. neo-cons, who have analogized Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, and the Russian incursion to Germany's 1938 annexation of the Sudetenland. In the Georgia conflict they see a final hope that a President McCain will declare it WWIII even if Bush won't


Neo-Cons Compare Russia Actions in Georgia to 1938 Nazis

Did Russia Provoke Georgia Crisis?

Russia Agrees to Cease Attack on Georgia

South Ossetia Survived on Smuggling, Russian Aid

Israeli Arms Sales to Georgia Raise Concerns

Oil and Natural Gas Fuel Conflict in Georgia

Russia Escalates Conflict in Georgia

Taliban Close on Kabul With Ambush of 10 NATO Soldiers

Worst battlefield loss for western forces since the war began

White House Flips on Defending U.S. Contractor Crimes in Iraq

Did not file any defense of Blackwater in critical court case

White House: Endangered Species Experts are Obstacles FREE!

Asking experts deemed not worth the hassle

Hamdan's Future Remains Unclear Despite Light Sentence

White House to ignore sentence from first Gitmo military tribunal

Food, Fuel and Water Crises Converging

Urgent need for R&D into water infrastructure

Remittances to Mexico Dry up in Tough U.S. Economy

Construction labor incomes slashed, plus 100,000 Mexicans have returned home

Anti-Terror Security Paralyzes Kabul

High alert following a summer of rising insurgent activity is wearing on Kabul citizens

Little Hope of Peace With Palestine After Olmert Leaves

Successor likely to be even more of a hawk

Israel a Major Center for Sex Slavery, Other Human Trafficking

Foreign workers forced into indentured labor, women smuggled in for prostitution

Israel's Secret Police Demand Gaza Residents Become Spies in Exchange for Medical Care FREE!

"You will not be able to receive treatment in Israel if you don't give us additional information"

Despite Pledge, Israel Pushes Ahead with Expansion Into W Bank

1,761 more housing units for Israeli colonists in East Jerusalem alone

Germans Sue Bayer Over Pesticide Honey Bee Deaths FREE!

Bayer accused of flawed studies playing down risks

German Beekeepers Move Hives Into Cities for Protection

Fearing widespread pesticides, GMO crops that could contaminate honey

Tempers Flare in Arab World Over Soap Opera

"The show is un-Islamic. It's a secular show and it's making people do bad things"

South American Squabbling Over Who Owns Rights to Potatoes

Rushing to register the national varieties in genome database


Kidnapping a Thing of the Past, Baqouba Declares

"All of us know that several people are still being kidnapped every week"

U.S. Officials Admit Worry over Maliki "Emerging Overconfidence"

"You get a sense they are concerned that the al-Maliki regime has an inflated sense of his power"

Baqouba's "Little Saddam" Finally Ousted

Surprise removal of main Diyala police chief

Iran, Not U.S, Solving Iraq's Electricity Crisis

Iran now selling more reliable power to Diyala province

Maliki Giving Grudging Support to Sahwa Militia

Sunni militas have long been at odds with the regular Iraqi forces


McCain's VP Pick a High-Stakes Gamble For Far-Right Support

"We all know that the highest priority [as a VP selection] is someone who can take your place," McCain said earlier this year

No Matter if Repubs or Dems, it's a Cash Register Convention FREE!

AT&T just one mega-corp throwing big parties to celebrate friends in Congress

Biden Helps Obama Plug Key Gaps in Electorate

Choice strongly suggests that Obama believes his electoral fortunes rest on wooing so-called "Reagan Democrats"

McCain's Plan to Privatize Veterans' Health Care

VFW and virtually all other veterans groups oppose McCain's plan

Obama, Meet the Swiftboaters

Mostly just rewriting the 2004 Kerry smears

Race is Key Issue in Election, no Matter What Voters Tell Pollsters

Study finds widespread hidden racism

McCain and Obama Make Reparations a Campaign Taboo

Social justice aside, the last thing Obama needs is anything that smacks of race

Marketing Obama to Evangelicals

Obama has not benefited from evangelicals' concerns over McCain's religious authenticity

How Tenet Betrayed the CIA on Iraq

Journalist Ron Suskind's revelation that Saddam Hussein's intelligence chief was a prewar intelligence source reporting to the British that Saddam had no WMD adds yet another dimension to the systematic effort by then-Director of the CIA George Tenet to quash any evidence -- no matter how credible -- that conflicted with the Bush administration's propaganda line that Saddam was actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

According to Suskind's new book, 'The Way of the World,' the disappearance of all that credible evidence reflected a deliberate decision by Tenet. The White House Iraq Group had just rolled out its new campaign to create a political climate supporting war in early September 2002, and Tenet knew what was expected of him. As an analyst who worked on the NIE told the Los Angeles Times, "The going-in assumption was that we were going to war, so this NIE was to be written with that in mind." That means Tenet's account of the CIA's role in the WMD issue in his 2007 memoirs completely ignored the credible evidence from the former Iraqi specialists that there was no active program, as well as his own role in suppressing it

Afghanistan Hopes Saffron Will Replace Opium Trade FREE!

Saffron crocus is described as a "gold crop" because it can generate high income for farmers (Photo: Khalid Nahez/IRIN)

Taliban in awkward position of opposing crop more in accordance with Islamic law

Rock Star's Expulsion Signals Change in Asian Child Sex Tourism

Praise from child rights activists who have been campaigning for years to protect the region's youths

Muslim Charities in U.S. Struggle to Avoid Government Shutdown

Teaming with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance to prove legitimacy

Fatah, Hamas Edge Closer to Civil War

48-hour-long battle left 11 dead and much of Gaza City neighborhood in ruins

Extinction Closes in on Half the World's Apes, Monkeys FREE!

Some "literally being eaten to extinction"

Book Explores 'Descent Into Chaos' in Afghanistan, Pakistan

Bush policies fundametally ignore the problem is the region, not individual countries


Joe Conason

Questions for Hillary's Zealots

McCain's Cut-and-Paste Foreign Policy

John McMouthpiece for Big Oil


Robert Scheer McCain Can Win Only as a War President

McCain's Campaign: Appeal to Patriotism, Hope for Ignorance

Georgia War Is a Neo-con Election Ploy

Weapons Too Dangerous for Others


Alexander Cockburn Joe Biden, Candidate of Not Change

Georgia Didn't Know Lessons From Bay of Pigs

An Anthrax Conspiracy?

Mainstream Media Snobs Scooped by Enquirer


Steve Young Obama Bad. Palin Good

Obama Forces Voters To Read Book Perverting The Truth About Obama

The Nature of Contrary Action

The Price of American Hubris


FREE! The fighting between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia is an unnerving reminder of how quickly the balance of global power can be tilted from unexpected directions with barely a warning. Some hawks and neo-cons called for NATO intervention or even suggested we send in Stinger missiles or the 82nd Airborne as a peacekeeping force. But now Russia is key to our efforts in the Middle East and our European allies are dependent on Russia for energy. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have both our military strength and our international credibility stretched perilously thin at a time when oil-rich Russia is reemerging as a superpower. We've boxed ourselves in

Albion Monitor
Issue 172

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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