Albion Monitor Issue 127 OCTOBER 2004

Monitor archives:


Albion Monitor
Next Issue Previous Issue
The Failure
FREE! Most voters opposed to Bush target a single topic such as Iraq or health care, but it is easy to overlook the forest for the trees -- the sheer scope of the Bush Administration's many failures that has made it far and away the most dangerous presidency in this modern era

Did Bin Laden Really Offer Kerry Voters A Deal? FREE!
Blue states are safe from terror, Limbaugh and others claim Bin Laden said

Both Bush, Kerry Endorse Return To The Braceros
"Guest worker" programs easily led to rights abuse
Cell Phone Use Linked To Brain Tumor FREE!
But study finds no increased risk for under 10 years of phone use

Iraq Christians Ask Bush For Special Protection Zone
Want 5% of total reconstruction aid for Iraq "for the safety of the Christian population"

Neo-Cons Plot Groundwork For World War IV
All eyes on Iran

Did Saddam Really Try To Kill Bush Sr? Apparently Not
Duelfer Report casts doubt on reason for Bush vendetta
Saddam's Nuclear Weapon Toolbox Is Missing, UN Says FREE!
Entire buildings, high-precision equipment, has vanished since Iraq invasion

Duelfer Report Debunks Last Excuse For Iraq Invasion
No WMD, no effort to rebuild them

Why Iran Wants Four More Years FREE!
Iran has exactly what they wanted: Saddam is gone and Iraq is up for grabs

Haitian police are targeting supporters of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ransacking homes and churches, making arbitrary arrests and taking part in extra-judicial killings. Former military men and death squad members control parts of Haiti. UN "peacekeepers" stand by passively while chaos reigns and in some cases actively work with ex-military personnel. On any given day over the past three weeks, the capitol has seen headless bodies, handcuffed corpses, rotting piles of cadavers at the morgue, battles with automatic weapons and generalized terror. More than 55 people, among them nine police officers, have been killed here since Sept. 30 Yet the United States is blaming the victim for Haiti's troubles

 + Violence-Torn Haiti Again Becoming U.S. Crisis

 + U.S. Lifts Haiti Arms Embargo As Violence Grows

 + Haiti's Ex-Military On Rampage

 + Both Sides Blames The Other For Haiti's Bloody Violence

Australia Made Secret Deal With Oil Company To Sue Greenpeace
Howard government even more hostile to enviros than Bush Administration

Russia Endorsement Of Kyoto Treaty Adds Pressure On Bush
Will now become international law if ratified by Russian Duma

Russia Gains Economic Boost By Ratifying Kyoto
Stands to profit when emissions trading market opens after Protocol active
Kidnapping Becomes Iraq's Growth Industry FREE!
Hundreds of wealthy Iraqis kidnapped since U.S. invasion, ransomed for up to $100k

Fate Of Hostages Becomes Wildcard In Iraq Crisis
Number of groups taking hostages in Iraq has mushroomed, but most are somewhat obscure

Should The Media Broadcast Iraq Hostage Videos?
Images of abducted westerners begging for their lives have become standard fare
U.S. Rejects Saudi Plan For All-Muslim UN Force FREE!
Offered 20-30,000 soldiers from Muslim states to serve under UN control

500 National Security Experts Say Bush Policies Spur Rebellion
Call Iraq invasion "most misguided" policy since the Vietnam War

UN Unions Want Staffers Out Of Iraq
"One staff member is one staff member too many in Iraq"

Bush No Champion Of Afghan Women, Groups Say
Bush "Discount nation building" had stranded aid groups and left women vulnerable

Bush Sends Anti-Feminist Group To Iraq For 'Women In Politics' Project
No global experience for group funded to visit Iraq with anti-equal pay, anti-childcare message

U.S. Has 'Disappeared' 11 Terror War Prisoners
Hidden away in CIA or military jails overseas

FBI Seizes Indymedia Servers In UK
Chilling implications for global speech freedom
Bush Admin Pleads For Other Nations To Fund Iraqi Water, Power Reconstruction FREE!
As U.S. shifts $3.46 billion from reconstruction to security in unstable Iraq

Afghanistan election called sham
Karzai was also the only candidate who enjoyed access to U.S. military aircraft for campaign travel as well as round-the-clock protection by a private U.S. security firm. The report also found ambient suspicion that the U.S. had allocated $30 million for the registration of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, who are primarily Pashtun, to enhance Karzai's chances for reelection. But the election was marred by Karzai's rivals, who said the vote should be halted because of irregularities. Voters initially excited and spoke of high expectations. But that mood turned to anger when voters discovered that the ink used to mark their thumbs and prevent multiple voting could be easily wiped off

The only prevention of fraud was ink marked on voter's thumbs, although the ink could be easily wiped off
 + High Afghan Vote Counts Don't Predict Democracy FREE!

 + Lack Of Observers, Ink Fiasco Puts Afghan Vote To Question
 + Afghan Voters Charge Fraud, Ask Election Halted FREE!
 + Afghani Women Threatened Over Vote FREE!

 + Afghani Men Control Whether Or Not Women Vote
 + Afghanistan Covered In Election Posters FREE!
 + Very Few International Observers Will Monitor Afghan Election FREE!

Billion$ Needed To Stabilize Afghanistan
But "corruption in the country still runs 99.99 percent," said an Afghan diplomat

Israel Split Over Gaza Withdrawl Plan
Religious right threatens civil war, tells troops to disobey orders

Who - Or What - Comes After Arafat Leaves The Scene?
Anything can happen if 75-year old Yasser dies or is incapacitated

Israel's Attack On Gaza Aims To Stop Peace Process FREE!
Sharon's plan to show the world that Israel alone calls the shots

Rumors, Conspiracy Theories Swirl Around Beslan Tragedy FREE!
Exotic weapons used by Russian troops, doubled casualties among gossip

Nepal Nearing Collapse As Maoists Winning Civil War
While world attention is preoccupied with the Middle East, Nepal is falling apart
"Fahrenheit 9/11" Plays Cairo FREE!
Don't understand emphasis on Saudis, while no mention of Palestinian conflict

Arms Buyers Shun UN Registry
Largest customer was Saudi Arabia, buying $33.5 billion of U.S. weapons

Persian Gulf shipwreck
Rusting shipwrecks, many loaded with hazardous pollutants, litter the Gulf
FBI Again Collecting Info On U.S. Muslims
More political questions in this round, including opinion of Bush

U.S. Bars Moderate Muslim Scholar From Teaching
Writings focus on building bridges between Islam and the West
Iraqi Ports Blocked, Polluted by Hundreds of Shipwrecks FREE!
282 sunken vessels prevent Iraq from full sea traffic
Bush Trying To Scrap Laws That Bar Export Of Toxics FREE!
Plans to export "ghost fleet" of toxic, obsolete naval vessels to England

Argentina Using Ad Money To Squeeze Local Media
Ads abruptly yanked in a bid to pressure, or even destroy, a newspaper

Gays Still Being Booted From Military, Report Says
"You're living in this quasi-legal status. So anyone who finds out has power over you"

Breakthrough Anti-Malaria Drug Begins Tests
Non-profits developed drug affordable for poor countries

New California Law Allows Domestic Violence Defense
If they can prove their abusers coerced them into committing violent crimes
Belarus Election Surprise As Voters Get Discount Booze, Food FREE!
Lured to polling stations with vodka, beer, sweets, and sausages

Wal-Mart: Mega-sales Trump Culture, History FREE!
Although store near treasured site may be legal, the company has ignited intense anger

Central America Death Squads Murder Teens Suspected Of Gang Membership
Mostly off-duty police officers trying to carry out a "social purge"

Central American Migrants Ride "Train Of Death" To U.S.
Number of migrants from the region could double in the next six months

Schwarzenegger Gets Failing Grade On Immigrant Issues
Vetoes 11 of 13 bills affecting immigrants' rights

Burma's Hardline Generals Now In Control Of Country
"[Burma's supreme leader] Than Shwe is clearly pulling down the shutters to the outside world"

Colombia's Paramilitaries Quietly Taking Over Government
Wiretaps find plans to move into state finance, health services, and military intelligence

U.S. Military Presence To Double In Colombia
Twice as many military advisors, plus more U.S. pilots, intel experts, and security pros
Dick Cheney's El Salvador Lie FREE!
75,000 killed not by guerillas, but by the government that Cheney supported

India Outsourcing Centers Hiring Hi-Tech Workers From West
Number of legal foreign nationals working in India has doubled in last year

Unions Prohibited For Airline Baggage Screeners
Civil service's grievance procedures and whistle-blower protections also suspended

Spain At The Forefront Of Gay Rights
Will be first major nation to recognize 1 in 10 of its citizens is gay or bisexual

House Repubs, Demos Unite Linking Iraq To 9/11FREE!
Not the first time that the House has joined to support Administration lie

Will California's Harsh 3-Strikes Law Finally Be Fixed?
Voters get chance to reform get-tough-on-crime law widely criticized as unjust

Berkeley Looks To Decriminalize Prostitution
Will allow prostitutes to openly visit doctors and get regular tests for STDs

Most Bush Supporters Still Believe His Story On Iraq
Saddam had WMD, had ties to al-Qaeda

Black Voter Registration Breaking Records
Up 250 percent over the same period in 2000

Absentee Voting Too Easy, Too Much Fraud
Has the election already been decided -- and was it fair?

Politics As Usual
Bush, Kerry Make Last-Minute Pitch For Latin Votes
Poorly spoken Spanish promising new immigration laws and work permits

Sour U.S. Economy Could Be Factor In Tight Election
Economy even ahead of terrorism in recent poll

Deserting GOP Moderates Could Sink Bush Hopes
Party stalwarts from Reagan, even Eisenhower era come out for Kerry

New Voters Face ID Demands, Intimidation At Polls
Group most likely to be intimidated by authority, especially since Sept. 11

Soldiers Also Caught In GOP Voting List Purge
U.S. Army soldier in Iraq almost blocked from voting by blanket challenges of voter registration
The Hundredth Phone Call FREE!
This election will be won with presence and persistence
An American Future In The Balance FREE!
The damage President Bush has done to America is immense

International Election Monitors Here To Scrutinize U.S. Voting
Focus on possible problems in Florida

Voter Intimidation Will Be Factor In U.S. Election
Groups charge GOP with working to suppress the vote and trying to intimidate minority voters

 dirty trick poster
In what appears to be a classic dirty trick, Republicans in Tenn. are claiming that Democratic Rep. Craig Fitzhugh created an insulting poster. Fitzhugh's office insists that the flyers were dropped off at campaign HQ by an unknown person and promptly thrown away, where it was fished out of the trash and publicized by his opponent. Groups such as the Traditional Values Coalition and TeamGOP are using the flyer to attack Democrats
Campaigns Braced For Last Minute Dirty Tricks
GOP want to suppress vote, Demos want to do anything to increase size of vote

Fears Of Military Draft Draws New Generation Of Voters
Both sides threaten foe will reinstate draft as panic begins to settle over younger voters

527 Groups Nearly Match All 2002 Political Donations
Most 527 money comes from individuals not corporations, in contrast to "soft money"

Kerry Learned From Gore's Mistake: Don't Take Blacks For Granted
Simply hammering Bush as the archenemy of blacks wasn't enough

The Expert Class Abandons Bush
Narrow-minded "faith-based" administration shuns facts

Swing Voters Hunted By Both Parties
Kerry and Bush almost colliding with each other as they crisscross smaller and smaller areas

There's Something About Mary (Cheney)
Both Repubs and Demos should be ashamed of themselves for furor over VP's gay daughter
Kerry:Bush Contest A Replay Of Humphrey:Nixon FREE!
No wonder it feels so damn frustrating -- it's 1968 all over again

"Granny D" Fights Uphill Battle For Senate Seat
94 year-old New Hampshire Democrat fights the good fight
The Scandals Of Tom DeLay FREE!
Not half as amusing and harmless as Wilbur Mills' dalliance with a stripper

No immunity for Pinochet

Former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet is once again in the hands of the justice system, after the Chilean Supreme Court ruled Aug. 26 to strip the former U.S.-backed dictator of immunity from prosecution. The path is now clear to establish his share of responsibility in Operation Condor, the strategy by which South American de facto military regimes coordinated the repression of political opponents in the 1970s and 1980s. Over 5,000 survivors moved quickly to freeze his offshore bank accounts, which U.S. investigators believe are hidden in a network of offshore banks

 + Pinochet Once Again In Court

 + Pinochet's Victims Seek To Freeze His Secret Bank Accounts

 + Uruguay Won't Extradite Ex-Generals Tied To Operation Condor

 + Fears In Chile That Pinochet's Allies Making A Comeback

Pinochet protesters
Rally for those who disappeared during Operation Condor and the Pinochet dicatorship

Nuclear Experiments In South Korea Raise Concern
UN agency has "serious concern" over South Korea's failure to report its experiments

Iran Gas Pipeline Could Ease India-Pakistan Tensions
Long-planned natural gas pipeline has promise to help forge lasting peace
Native American 'Shadow Wolves' Helping Train Easterm Europe Guards FREE!
Special Customs unit teaching traditional tracking methods

Illegal Gold Mining Ruins Nigeria Farmlands
Drinking water polluted, farmland ruined, local officials are powerless to stop
Polluters Face Fewer Lawsuits Under Bush EPA FREE!
36 lawsuits against violators in first 3 years, compared to 152 suits in Clinton's last 3 years

Endangered Animals Ending Up In Asia's Cooking Pots
Luxury food item with a supposed medicinal benefit
Many Fish Headed For Extinction Unless Action Taken Now FREE!
Third World produces over 70% of fish consumed, but few regulations or controls

Global Warming Will Decimate Arctic, Scientists Warn
Thawing permafrost is already collapsing roads and buildings

Plan To Bury Greenhouse Gas Won't Work, Experts Say
Australian government's "long term solution" simply unworkable

What To Do With Iraq "Garden Of Eden" Marshlands?
No easy solutions to restore lands destroyed by Saddam

The New York Times vs. Michael Moore FREE!
Can't reprint Times' mea culpa on Iraq, claims it doesn't want to be "part of a political battle"

With Cassini's Orbit, Science Trumps Ignorance FREE!
When science is misunderstood, wild exaggerations can be hard to dispel

Italy's Berlusconi Problem
Controversial Prime Minister manages to hold onto power

Could Truce After Intensifying Iraq War Be October Surprise?
Deal with Shi'ite leader Ayatollah Sistani could quiet most attacks

Kerry, Bush, Ignore The Core Issues In Terror War: Israel And Palestine
A concerted effort to avoid discussion for what has been a hallmark of diplomatic efforts for the last 30 years

A 21st Century Book-Burning FREE!
Mrs. Cheney, there's more to U.S. history than heroes

MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + A Nation Of No Meek Opinions
 + The New Know-Nothing Party
 + The Bait And Switch, Photo-Op President
 + The Scandal Of Sinclair
 + How Dumb Does Bush Think We Are?
 + The Bubble President
 + Running In The Wrong Direction On All Fronts
 + Wishful Thinking Doesn't Make It True

 + It's Cheney's Administration, And It's Shameful
 + CIA Won't Release Damning 9/11 Report Until After Election
 + Kerry Most Liberal Senator? We Wish
 + The Skeptic's Election - Or Not
 + The Dangers of a 'What the Heck' Vote

 } Robert Scheer

 + Democracy Could Use Some Real Journalism Right About Now
 + The Mr. President Beauty Contest
 + Preview of the Bush Campaign's Media Endgame
 + Beyond The Debates, A Bleak Future For Iraq

 } Norman Solomon

 + U.S. "Diplomat" Killed In Iraq No Good Will Ambassador
 + Why On Earth Is He Losing?
 + Anybody But Bush Crowd Forgets '60s Movement
 + There Are No Innocents
 + Typefaces, Forgeries, And Why The Nazis Banned Fractura

 } Alexander Cockburn

 + When Bullies Squeal
 + Who's Looking Up Your Skirt For You?
 + Terrorist Polls Show They Want Kerry To Win
 + Fox News Shows How Satire's Done
 + Talk Radio Moderates Lose A Legendary Voice
 } Steve Young

Journalism today


Journalism Today: Ken AulettaFREE!
The problem in journalism that has been worsened by two things: First is the corporatization of the media. These giant companies own journalistic entities but are run by businesspeople who are concerned about stock price or margins or declining ratings. For much of its existence, journalism had often been treated differently than other businesses. It was a public trust, but that has diminished. And increasingly people's attention is diverted, so newspaper circulation and television ratings go down, and the businesspeople behind those channels or networks or newspapers become alarmed. They say, "how do I get those ratings up or circulation up?" They resort to O.J. Simpson or Laci Peterson coverage

Journalism Today: Orville Schell FREE!
The Bush Administration had little esteem for the watchdog role of the press, in part because its own quest for "truth" has been based on something other than empiricism. In fact, it enthroned a new criterion for veracity, "faith-based" truth, sometimes corroborated by "faith -based" intelligence. For officials of this administration (and not just the religious ones either), truth seemed to descend from on high, a kind of divine revelation begging no further earthly scrutiny. For our President this was evidently literally the case. The Israeli paper Ha'aretz reported him saying to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Prime Minister of the moment, "God told me to strike Al Qaeda and I struck, and then he instructed me to strike Saddam, which I did"

Albion Monitor
Issue 127

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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

Subscriptions $9.95 per year, prepaid