Albion Monitor Issue 176 DECEMBER 2008
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PHOTO: Al-Quds

What are Israel's goals? Despite the temptation to take the 'smash 'em to bits' option all the way and to oust Hamas from power "once and forever," that does not seem to be on the cards. There is simply no answer to the question of who would take charge of Gaza in place of Hamas: Israel is not interested in re-engaging Gaza and, in the present circumstances, it is unimaginable for the Palestinian Authority to be carried back to Gaza on the shoulders of the Israel military. Israel has been through that in 1982 in Lebanon after they routed the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and tried to install a friendly regime in Beirut.

A second option would be to go all the way with the Gaza disengagement policy -- leaving Israel no longer responsible for any developments in Gaza. That too, however, is unfeasible, at least in the short term, since it would mean permanent Hamas entrenchment in Gaza and allowing it to argue -- as Hezbollah did in Lebanon two years ago -- that it has beaten Israel in battle. It would in effect transform the two-state solution into a three-state solution -- between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza separately


Does Israel Actually Have an Objective In Gaza Attack?

Media Banned From Gaza as Humanitarian Crisis Escalates

Timing of Gaza Attack Linked to Upcoming Israeli Elections

After 19-Month Israel Blockade, Gaza Civilians Were Already at Subsistence Level

Gaza's Main Hospital Flooded With Casualties FREE!

Israel Kills Hundreds in Gaza Attack

Gaza Carnage Sets West Bank Aflame

Security Council Mildly Rebukes Israel's Gaza Attacks

Israeli Attack Becomes Obama's Other Main Crisis

Bush, Israel, Push Myth That Hamas is Iran's Puppet

To Present Assault on Gaza as Proxy War With Iran

Tennessee Coal Plant Spill Buries 400 Acres, Damages Homes FREE!

One of 12 damaged in the spill (Photo: TVA)

Largest environmental disaster of its kind in U.S. history

Where Have the Bailout Billions Gone?

"The money was given to financial institutions in return for those institutions to lend to small and medium enterprises. There was an explicit quid pro quo"

Greek Riots Fed by Years of Anger

Not enough simply to blame some Anarchists, or youngsters with an appetite for destruction

Iran Faces Crisis as Oil Prices Collapse

Budget counting on oil prices at $90/barrel

Taliban Choking Off NATO Supply Convoys

Even as U.S. vows 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan by mid-2009

Prank Call Almost Brought India, Pakistan to Nuclear Brink

Hoax sent Pakistan into a state of 'high alert'

EU Again Delays Global Warming Controls

Industry wins bid to continue coal pollution without penalty until 2019 or beyond

Scientists Hail Obama Returning U.S. to Fact-Based Policies

Leading biologists, physicists, to replace political hacks in top posts

Steven Chu: Obama's Smart Pick for Energy Dept.

Nobel laureate physicist Chu has been busy promoting the need to combat global warming by shifting away from dependence on fossil fuel


The Imperial Transition
© Patrick Chappatte 2008

FREE! The Bush administration has gone out of its way to lend a hand to Obama's transition team and, in the process, help institutionalize the imperial transition itself. Like the new money arrangements pioneered in the 2008 elections, it surely will remain part of the political landscape for the foreseeable future. From such developments in our world, it seems, there's never any turning back.

There's nothing strange about all this, of course, if you're already inside this system. It seems, in fact, too obvious to mention. After all, what president wouldn't move into the political/governmental house he's inheriting as efficiently and fully as possible?

The unprecedented size of this imperial pre-presidency signals that what is to come -- quite aside from the specific policies adopted by a future Obama administration -- will be yet another imperial presidency. (And, by the way, those who expect Congress to suddenly become the player it hasn't been, wielding power long ceded, are as likely to be disappointed as those who expect a Hillary Clinton State Department renaissance under the budgetary shadow of the Pentagon.)

On January 20th, Barack Obama will be more prepared than any president in recent history to move in and, as everyone now likes to write, "hit the ground running." But that ground -- the bloated executive and the vast national security apparatus that goes with it (as well as the U.S. military garrisons that dot the planet), all further engorged by George W., Dick, and pals -- is anything but fertile when it comes to "change."

Cloak-and-Dagger, Inc.

When Barack Obama visits the Virginia headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in the not-too-distant future, he might want to scan the room to see how many of them sport green badges, the telltale sign that they are contractors and not federal employees.

A recent federal survey identified some 37,000 private employees in the intelligence sector who work side-by-side with civil servants as analysts, technology specialists and mission managers. About a quarter of this number are involved in the cloak-and-dagger activities of intelligence collection and operations. Indeed, well over half of the $66 billion spent on intelligence in the United States is believed to go to private military contractors

Bush Pushing Through Dozens of New Rules to Cripple Obama

Some will be difficult for Obama to reverse

Blame Game over Mumbai Massacre Could Doom Kashmir

Conservative India politicians seize upon Mumbai attack to discredit the nationalist revolt in Kashmir

Kashmir Leaders: We had Nothing to do With Mumbai Massacre

Both separatist and mainstream groups condemn terror

Thai Elites Install Their Man as Premier

Controversial politician backed by right-wing royalists and corrupt party

Thailand Government Falls As Court Bans Ruling Party

Right-wing forces from previous military junta have rival leader ousted

Only 66 Nations Sign UN Resolution on Human Rights for Gays

Counter declaration to keep homosexuality illegal gets 60 signatures

Drop Cuba Embargo, Obama Told by U.S. Commerce

Obama has said political reforms a precondition to normalized relations

U.S. Still World's Largest Arms Supplier

Top buyers are Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq

Bush Gets "Peace" Award

Minister awards "P.E.A.C.E." prize for efforts to fight AIDS, though no mention of condoms


Iraq Kurds Deeply Divided Over Security Pact With U.S.

Tensions between Kurds and Baghdad have dramatically increased in last year

U.S. Contractors no Longer Immune for Crimes in Iraq

Could even be charged for abuses before the new agreement with U.S.


Rick Warren is a Foreign Policy Blunder for Obama

Symbolic spiritual leader repeatedly describes the Iranian government as evil

Rep. Jefferson Voted Out for Scandal, not Race

Jefferson subtly played the race card by hinting that he was a political victim

"Right-Wing MoveOn" Loses Its Angel, Closes

Rocky history of Freedom's Watch ends after tensions with Christian right, main funder backs out

Christian Right to Hold Major D.C. Rally 2 Days After Inauguration

"There is only one way to end this war. Tell your friends to repent or surrender"

Clarence Thomas Forces Supreme Court to Consider Obama's Citizenship

Using Bush vs. Gore case as precedent


Al Capone soup kitchen
Privatized soup kitchen operated by gangster Al Capone, 1930


Obama to Inherit Free Market Free Fall

With Stake in AIG, U.S. Can Now Probe Its Offshore Tax Evasion

Financial Crisis Pits Vatican Against Offshore Bankers

Bush Bails Out Automakers, Not Auto Workers

Exodus of Mexican Migrants From U.S.

1,500 believed returning to Mexico every day

Colombia Gays Face Murder in Civil War Crossfire

Particularly victimized by "social cleansing," a Colombian tradition of eliminating undesirables

Palestinian Town Encircled by Israeli Wall Struggles to Survive

Only one narrow gate guarded by Israeli soldiers allows access into the W Bank town of Qalqilya

Current mayor held in Israeli prison under "administrative detention" without charges

Palestinians Released as Israel "Goodwill Gesture" Describe Abuse

Most prisoners were small-time political detainees due for release anyway

Israeli Extremists Riot After Court Rules Against Them

Muslim graves, mosque desecrated, Israeli soldiers attacked

Israel Deports Rights Observers on Palestinian Fishing Boats

Fishermen in game of cat and mouse with the Israeli navy in their attempt to eke out a living

Sri Lanka Could Lose $1+ Billion as Bet on High Oil Price Collapses

Hedge deal with Citibank, others, worked as long as price stayed high

Iran Understands U.S. More Than We Know Them

Iranians regularly watch Hollywood blockbusters, U.S. television and international news on illegal satellite dishes


Joe Conason

What Nixon Admitted (and Cheney Won't)

Should She Be Senator Kennedy?

Dangerous Bias Against Detroit

Not a Team of Rivals At All


Robert Scheer Cheney Wielded the War to Deceive

Bush's Mideast Legacy: Shoes

Republicans Brought Socialism to America

Will Obama Stay the Course?


Alexander Cockburn A Giant Ponzi Scheme

Honeymoans from the Left

U.S. Media Missed out on the Mumbai Attack


Steve Young If It Walks Like a Duck

All I Want For Christmas Is Rudy and...

Billy's Radio Factor Flares Out

Can Chris Matthews Handle REAL Hardball?

In 1968, Lady Bird Johnson invited Kitt to a celebrity women's luncheon and in an innocent moment asked Kitt what she thought about the problems of inner city youth. Kitt didn't mince words and lambasted the Johnson administration for not doing more about poverty, joblessness, and drugs in black communities. Kitt didn't stop there, she tied her outburst directly into an attack on the Vietnam War, a war she said was without reason or explanation.

Kitt's verbal assault on the war and racial problems made headline news. A badly shaken first lady and an enraged LBJ denounced her. The next few years she was hounded and harassed by the FBI, the IRS and Secret Service agents. The CIA even compiled a gossipy, intrusive dossier on her that attempted to paint her as a sex starved malcontent. The public storm and the negative press proved too much for Kitt. Kitt's career was effectively dead in the United States. But she stuck by her guns and did not apologize, retract or soften her criticism of Johnson's war and racial policies

Albion Monitor
Issue 176

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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