Albion Monitor Issue 129 DECEMBER 2004

Monitor archives:


Albion Monitor
Next Issue Previous Issue

The Passive Press The Passive Press
FREE! Our annual list of bad journalism highlights the "passive press," and how it fails to serve the public interest. Like the heroes in The Wizard of Oz, the passive press is easily misled -- that big glowing head will say many interesting things, but its purpose is to entertain and distract visitors from what's taking place behind the curtain

AP Picks Terror, Iraq As 2004 Top Stories
Ignores Darfur in selective list heavy on mayhem

How Bush Can Show America's Not Stingy
How should the U.S. act in the face of a historic tragedy?

U.S. Lays Out Plans To Hand Over Iraqi Oil Fields To Corporations
U.S. oil companies expected to get access to most oil under new law

Largest Relief Operation In World History Underway In Asia
UN disaster experience warns women and girl survivors to be most at risk

Bush Defensive as Aid Effort Lumbers Into Action
U.S. throws in another $20M for earthquake relief after UN aid chief implies Bush 'stingy'

Reaction To Quake Disaster Shows India's Divide
Swamis vs. engineers as first tsunamis strike India in recorded history

Christmas Quake Spotlights Risk To Coastal Nuclear Plants
Thirty killed by Tsunamis at India's 440-megawatt atomic power plant

A Year After Saddam's Capture, Iraq Chaos Worsens
Promised light at end of the tunnel didn't appear

Prisoner Abuses Continue In Iraq, Guantanamo
Memos also show Bush signed previously undisclosed Executive Order authorizing torture

U.S. Military Blocking Medical Care From Reaching Iraqis
"We were tied up and beaten despite being unarmed and having only our medical instruments"

Growing Discontent Over Rumsfeld Among GOP, Military
Repub Senator Hagel calls defense chief "irresponsible," McCain says he has "no confidence"

Despite Iraq Quagmire, Neo-Cons Demand Actions Against Syria
Part of evidence much cited by the hawks of terrorism was simple handheld GPS
New Study Links Risk Of Autism To Mercury In VaccinesFREE!
Autistic children unable to cope with effects of small amounts of toxic metals in their bodies

U.S. Has Mishandled Billion$ In Iraq, Audits Show
Lost oil money, corruption, bogus contracts, and, in some cases, outright theft

Bush Ignoring Darfur Genocide, Groups Charge
"100 days of failure" since Powell and Bush called killings "genocide"
Putin Says Russia Developing New Breed Of Nuclear Missiles FREE!
New Cold War, or bluff to shore up nationalism?

Iraq Contractors Spending Heavy on Private Armies, Armor
Many spending one-third of budget on security, and still may not be able to do work

Bush Wants To Cut Aid To Key Allies For Backing International Criminal Court
U.S. poised to slap down close friends who won't exempt Americans - and Bush - for war crime consideration

Bush Narrowly Wins Intelligence Reform
Congress passage turned into surprising fight between the GOP and White House

Super-Hawks Sending Bush Their Wish Lists On Next Country To Attack
Rove ordered the hawks to shut up lest they scare the hell out of the electorate and Bush would lose the election, and so, having bottled it up inside all this time, they are now bursting forth

Ukraine's Orange Revolution
Yushchenko summer 2004 poster Summer 2004 Yushchenko Dec. 2004 rally December 2004
Yushchenko's physical transformation over the past two months has only confirmed his supporters' contempt for the government and elevated their leader to near martyrdom
There are few leaders in the world capable of drawing hundreds of thousands of supporters into the streets, day after day, for the cause of democracy. Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko is one of them. According to Kataryna Wolczuk, a Ukrainian affairs specialist at Britain's University of Birmingham, Yushchenko is neither a latter-day Vaclav Havel -- since he lacks communist-era dissident credentials -- nor an apparatchik-turned-populist, and thus does not fit the typical model for an Eastern European leader.

His disfigurement from dioxin poisoning -- the second highest dosage ever recorded in a human -- has galvanized his supporters. "He certainly evokes sympathy. And in almost a physical sense, he manifests what is wrong with Ukraine," Wolczuk said. "If the current elites could resort to poisoning, as Yushchenko has claimed, this really shows their moral degradation, their moral corruption. And from that point of view, turning Yushchenko from quite a handsome man into someone who looks 20 years older, with distorted facial features, almost visually represents what's wrong with Ukraine."

'Our Ukraine' party led by Yushchenko embraces mostly "reform"-minded liberals, but also various nationalist movements with a strong anti-Russian stance, which might prove difficult to restrain in the future. These radical factions have alienated many Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Yanukovich's support base in industrialized eastern Ukraine on the other hand fears losing its financial stability, and fears that the opposition's liberal reforms will hit it most harshly.

 + Despite Election Defeat, Yanukovych Wields Considerable Power FREE!
 + Ukraine Runoff Election Goes Smoothly FREE!
 + Opposing Wings Of Catholic Church Take Sides In Ukraine Election FREE!
 + Ukraine Revolution Inspired By Neighbors, Sponsored By U.S. FREE!
 + Eastern Ukraine Views Yushchenko's Party With Suspicion FREE!

 + Serbs Teaching Ukraine Protesters Civil Disobedience
 + Ukrainian Devotion To Yushchenko At Core Of Election Crisis FREE!
 + Yushchenko Victim Of Massive Dioxin Poisoning FREE!

FBI Again Spying On Domestic Organizations In Name Of Terror War
After 9/11, Ashcroft scrapped an FBI guideline that blocked spying on groups and individuals unless they were investigating a crime

Iraqi And U.S. Forces Ignored Falluja Injured Following Siege
Doctors struggled to reach refugees outside of city, civilians trapped in warzone

Total Clampdown On Falluja Media Coverage
Journalists attempting to enter city detained

UN, Kofi Annan Dismiss Right-Wing Calls For His Resignation
Attempt to smear secretary-general with corrupt oil-for-food program during Iraq embargo

Right Wingers Target Kofi Annan And UN
All neo-con, Repub gunslingers firing away at diplomat and legitimacy of world body

U.S. Army Deserters Seek Canadian Asylum
"Are we going to offer up these guys on the altar of making nice with President Bush ... or is Canada going to do the right thing?"
Afghans Angered, Sickened by Anti-Drug Spraying FREE!
U.S. officially denies aerial spraying of opium fieldds

Arab Leaders See Iraq Vote As Sham, But Back Election
And don't see any effect on other Middle East countries

U.S. Denies Red Cross Charge Of Guantanamo Torture
Report says Pentagon failed to act even after Abu Ghraib abuses revealed

U.S. Troops Pile Into Iraq In Record Numbers
With massive desertions from Iraqi police and army, weary U.S. soldiers expect stay until at least March

Allawi Viewed As New Saddam By Many Iraqis
Revival of secret police, anger at role in spreading misinformation before war began

Iraq Debt Relief Puts Country In IMF Hands
Deal will mortage Iraq's future to new IMF loans, where they will dictate economics

Iraq Hospitals Still Waiting For Basic Medical Supplies
Largest hospital in Baghdad has fresh coat of paint, but lacks medicine

UN Reverses, Agrees To Send More Staff To Iraq
Personal pressure on Annan from U.S. cited as main reason

Bush Denied New Generation Of Nukes
Congress cuts funding for bunker busters, mini-nukes

AIDS Pandemic In Asia Could Match Africa's
Where even prosperous societies are collapsing and economic growth is disappearing

Fight Against Terrorist Money Laundering Going Nowhere
International task force with small budget, 10-member staff ineffective

Bush Losing War For Muslim Hearts And Minds, Pentagon Finds
Report calling situation "crisis" finished in September, but held until after election

Japanese Forces To Stay In Iraq For Another Year
Bush has given Japan excuse to shift militarization into high gear

Pinochet Indictment Cheered By Regime's Survivors
TV interviews convinced judge he was fit for trial, after all

After Pinochet's Trial, Kissinger's Should Follow
Until only a short time ago, Pinochet in Chile was like Kissinger in the United States. -- he was the Teflon man. Human rights abuse charges against him could not be made to stick

Investigative reporter uncovered CIA-Contra drug deal
FREE! On Friday, December 10, investigative reporter Gary Webb died of an apparent suicide. Whatever the details of Webb's death, American history owes him a huge debt. In 1996, Webb wrote a series of articles that forced a long-overdue investigation of a very dark chapter of recent U.S. foreign policy -- the Reagan-Bush administration's protection of cocaine traffickers who operated under the cover of the Nicaraguan contra war in the 1980s. Webb also exposed the cowardice and unprofessional behavior that had become the new trademarks of the major U.S. news media

Haiti Wants To Extradite Aristide From S Africa
Accusing him of being mastermind behind chaos in country
Time For Bush To "Get Serious" About Prosecuting Soldiers, Rights Group SaysFREE!
HRW says Pentagon waits for groups to catch them on prisoner abuses

Muslim Scholars Seek To Rein In "Sheikhs Of Death"
Renegade imams issuing fatwas harms Islam, conference agrees

Neo-Cons Target N Korea Regime Change
Also warns S Korea contaminated by graduate-school 'peace studies' desiderata"

Kosovo Prime Minister Charged With Murder
One of over 108 crimes allegedly committed when he was a KLA commander in 1998-99

First Trial Of Albanians For War Crimes Against Serbs
Ethnic Albanians not only atrocity victims in Kosovo

Pakistan's Musharraf Lobbies To Be Middle East Peacemaker
Won credibility be calling Iraq situation a "mess" during U.S. visit

Australian Conservatives Vow To Battle Enviros
Think tank seen as start of Australian version of "Wise Use" movement

As Dollar Drops, China's Yuan In Line To Be Next World Currency
Turning point will be when China has significant share in the world's fossil fuels

Bush Loses Out As China, Iran, Draw Close
Plans to develop Iran's giant natural gas field in largest Iran deal in 8 years

Convicts React To Scott Peterson Death Sentence
Something about the whole deal looks more like vigilante justice

Laci Peterson's Murder Not Unique
Murder #1 cause of death among pregnant women

Palestinian Economy Crushed After Four Years Of Israeli Crackdown
World Bank says army sieges have smothered Palestinian future

Caterpillar Pressured To End Bulldozer Sales To Israel
Human rights, religious groups join campaign against U.S. company

Palestinian with uprooted olive tree
Israeli occupying forces have uprooted almost 400,000 olive trees in the last 4 years
Israel's War On Palestinian Olive Trees
What petroleum is to Saudi Arabia, olive oil is to Palestine

Human Rights Watchdogs Increasingly Face Attacks Themselves
Police increasingly using terror war as excuse for arrests, seizure of evidence

India Court Tells Coke And Pepsi To Include Toxic Warning Label
Tests found drinks contained DDT, Malathion, and other pesticides

Central Asia Using Terror War To Justify Human Rights Abuse
As U.S. ignores repression in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with vast natural gas and oil reserves
U.S. Negotiators Try To Justify Bush Global Warming Position FREE!
"I'm not sure why we are considered the bad boys," Bush spokesman says

Hard Times For Afghan Women, Children
1 out of 5 children in Kabul scavenge in streets to help support family

Foreign Student Numbers At Lowest In 3 Decades
Perception that outsiders not welcome in America

Half Of World's Workers Make Less Than $2/Day
About 1.4 billion people below poverty line

Target Iran
FREE! If you believe Bush's adventure in the Middle East will end with the conquest of Iraq, think again. Shortly after 9/11, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and his ideological cohorts in the Pentagon began planning to take the administration's "global war on terrorism," not only to Baghdad, but also to Damascus and Tehran. It now appears that while Feith was creating dubious intelligence rationales for the Iraq war, his office was also establishing a covert national security strategy for regime change in Iran -- most likely through a combination of preemptive military strikes. This covert operation is now the subject of an FBI espionage investigation and inquiries by the House Judiciary Committee and Select Senate Intelligence Committee -- inquiries that were postponed until after the election

Central America In Bloody War On Gangs
"There is a veritable war raging in the streets of Central America"

Big Tobacco's Plans To Lure New Asian Smokers
A stark picture of the plots hatched by tobacco multinationals to lure Asians to smoke

Anti-Smoking Is Discrimination, Big Tobacco Ad Campaign Says
Chile under pressure from Big Tobacco to weaken already weak laws

India Moderates Want Hindu Temples To Account For Huge Donations
Recent arrest of a top Hindu cleric for murder has exposed vast financial empire

Brazil's Hit Soap Opera Traces Nation's Class Conflict
Set in the densely populated shantytowns on the outskirts of Rio

Politics As Usual
Family Planning Groups Fear Impact Of Four More Years Of Bush
Rio conference finds little room for optimism

In addition to being the constitutional officer in charge of the election, Ken Blackwell also served as co-chair of the Ohio campaign to elect Bush/Cheney, and as the spokesman for the state ballot initiative to ban gay marriage. He intends to run for governor of Ohio in two years, no doubt with significant help from the Bush machine
Congress Back To Business As Usual: Bait And Switch FREE!
Playing up the values of middle-Americans while quietly wreaking economic chaos on them

Battle Over Future Of Civil Rights Panel Looms
Fears that Bush will pack it with conservative hard-liners

States Give Up Waiting For Bush Leadership On Global Warming
Even though programs are wasteful to develop individualy

Brazil Threatens To Ignore Patents On New AIDS Meds
Under Brazilian law, patents can be ignored in case of health emergencies

U.S. Wants Rights To Patent S America Genetic Biodiversity
U.S. wants treaty that does not acknowledge Native use of medicinal plants

Native People's DNA Being Illegally Sold On Internet, Brazil Charges
Brazil Indian cells now incorporated into a major tool for immunology research

"Hobbit" Humans May Have Lived Recently, Southeast Asians Say
Mysterious cave part of local legend about monkey-like people

New Rules Would Protect GM Seed Makers From Crop Contamination Suits
"The government is allowing the contamination of our food supply with experimental material"
Philippine President Blames Storm Deaths on Illegal Loggers FREE!
At least 1600 dead or missing

With Afghan Government In Place, Long-Stalled Pipeline Project Moves Forward
And suddenly, long-shot American company is front runner for project

Oil-Rich Arab Nation Looks To Renewable Energy
UAE wants half of energy to come from renewable sources

Millions Of Child Deaths Unreported Every Year
World health authorities have no info on most deaths in Africa or Americas

Iraq video game
Based on the Iraq and Afghan wars, "Kuma War" allows players to re-enact scenes of actual battles. The game includes clips of actual video news footage, satellite pictures of Iraq and publicly available reports from the military, including the killing of U.S. soldiers

Hmong Angush Over Hunting Tragedy
Fears of renewed discrimination against isolated refugee group

Blacks Who Oppose Gay Rights Shame Rev. King's Legacy
Black evangelicals' hostility to gay marriage is much stronger than that of white evangelicals

Earthquake Disaster Underscores Rich Nation Aid Shortfall
Wealthy countries, particularly the U.S. has repeatedly broken promises to help

Death By Homeland Security
Why did 81 year-old Rev. Joseph Dantic, a respected Baptist minister in Haiti, die shackled to a hospital bed in Miami?

Iraq War Shouldn't Be A Video Game - But It Is
Based on the Iraq and Afghan wars, "Kuma War" allows players to re-enact scenes of actual battles

MIT's Role In Missile Test Fraud FREE!
Has tried to cover up role in scientific fraud for almost four years

Remembering Che And The Gueveras
Che's parents were down-on-their-luck aristocrats and eccentrics


MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + Was 2004 That Terrible, Or Did It Only Seem That Way?
 + Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
 + Blame For Iraq Settles On Rummy, For Now
 + Bush Shuns The Reality-Based Community
 + Bush Upfront About Plans To Kill Social Security
 + Speak Out Against U.S. Torture, And Do It Now
 + Please No, Not Gramm

 + A Devil's Island For Our Times
 + The GOP's Sabotage of Social Security
 + Kerik's 'Nannygate' Was The Least Of It
 + Pakistan And The True WMD Threat
 + Red States Love Their Sleaze, Too

 } Robert Scheer

 + Tailgated by Media Technology
 + The Limits Of "Man Bites Dog" Stories
 + Media In The Winter Of Our 'Disremorse'
 + Myths Of 'Good' And 'Bad' Nuclear Weapons

 } Norman Solomon

 + Plenty Of Reasons For Moral Outrage
 + Gary Webb And The Art Of The CIA Coverup
 + Soldier's Debt
 + Politicize The CIA? You've Got To Be Kidding

 } Alexander Cockburn

 + A Listen Back At The Lords Of Loud
 + Talkers Circle The Wagons For Rummy
 + Please Don't Let Us Kill Christ Again
 + A (Slightly) Humbler Bill O.
 } Steve Young

Falluja, 2004, Guernica, 1937


In 1935, Nazi General Erich Luderndorff argued in his "The Total War" that modern war encompasses all of society; thus, the military should spare no one. That doctrine became practice in late April 1937. Nazi pilots dropped their deadly bombs on Guernica, the ancient Basque capital. Almost 1700 people died that day and some 900 lay wounded. Franco denied that the raid ever took place and blamed the destruction of Guernica on those who defended it, much as the U.S. military intimates that the "insurgents' forced the savage attack by daring to defend their city and then hide inside their mosques. Where is the new Picasso who will offer a dramatic painting to help the 21st Century public understand that what the US Air Force just did to the people of Falluja resembles what the Nazis did to Guernica?

Albion Monitor
Issue 129

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