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Iraqi Women Facing Unprecedented Levels of Attack

by Mithre J. Sandrasagra Iraqi women are enduring unprecedented levels of assault in the public sphere, including widespread abductions, public beatings, death threats, sexual assaults, honor killings, domestic abuse, torture in detention, beheadings, shootings and public hangings, said the report

Iraq Rape Cases Emerge From the Shadows

by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily Stories of rape committed by both U.S. and Iraqi soldiers have appeared since the early days of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The first stories emerged from inside Abu Ghraib prison. These, along with photographic evidence of sexual humiliation, provoked widespread anger across Iraq. Rape victims in Iraq rarely come forward because they fear public scorn and humiliation. A Muslim woman who acknowledges being raped risks death at the hands of male relatives seeking to restore family honor

The Problem of Building an Embassy Fit for an Empire

by Adil Shamoo Why are we building such a mammoth embassy in the heart of Baghdad? The embassy complex is on 104 acres, with 21 buildings and facilities. It will eventually house a U.S. staff of 5,000. According to a recent report in The Washington Post, it has more than twice the staff and 20 times the budget of our Beijing embassy. The embassy will surpass all others in terms of size and staffing

U.S. Immigration Crackdown Returning Migrants to Country Without Jobs

by Laura Carlsen The reason for this massive out-migration is clear. Mexico is not producing enough decent jobs for its people -- and the United States is hiring. Between 2000 and 2005, Mexico lost 900,000 rural jobs and 700,000 in industry. President Felipe Calderon got off to a bad start in his attempt to reverse this trend. Government statistics for the first two months of his administration showed a loss of 178,370 jobs in the formal sector. The future doesn't look any rosier

That Was an Antiwar Vote?

by Alexander Cockburn Although nothing of any significance actually happened on March 23, to read liberal commentators one would think we'd witnessed some profound upheaval, courtesy of Nancy Pelosi's skillful uniting of the various Democratic factions. What she accomplished in practice was the neutering of the antiwar faction

Four Years Later

by Alexander Cockburn The United Nations says that in the two months before this last Christmas, 5,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. The months since have probably been as bad. Saddam dragged his country into ruin. Then the United States took it from ruin to the graveyard, plundering the corpse as it did so

Here Comes Another 'Crime Wave'

by Alexander Cockburn Will any candidate in the months to come have the moral and intellectual fortitude to shun the lock-'em-up grandstanding that has given us the American gulag? Will such a candidate connect crime abroad to crime at home?

Welcome to the Lame Duck Tours

by Alexander Cockburn Even by the rushed standards of these presidential jaunts, Bush's current outing to Latin America is a pell-mell affair. Bush got to say hello to President Lula and visit a slum. Then it was Uruguay on Saturday, with Colombia scheduled for Sunday, Guatemala on Monday, Mexico on Tuesday. It's this kind of rushed travel that prompted Bush Sr., in his presidential jaunt around Asia, to mix too many shots of sake with his Ambien and throw up into the lap of the Japanese prime minister, Kiichi Miyazawa

Poll Shows Iraqis Increasingly Pessimistic, Anti-U.S.

by Jim Lobe Four years after the U.S.-led invasion, Iraqis have never been more pessimistic about their lives and antagonistic toward their purported liberators, according to a major new poll

The Persecution of Sami Al-Arian

by Alexander Cockburn The six-month trial featured 80 government witnesses (including 21 from Israel) and 400 intercepted phone calls (the results of a decade of surveillance and half a million recorded calls). One bit of evidence consisted of a conversation a co-defendant had with al-Arian in his dream. The defense rested without calling a single witness or presenting any evidence since the government's case rested entirely on First Amendment-protected activities

State Dept. Annual Human Rights Report Glosses Over Terror War Abuses

by Eli Clifton As in past years, this year's report does not address rights conditions in the United States or in U.S.-controlled facilities overseas, such as detention centers at the Guantanamo Bay naval base and in Afghanistan where Washington has been holding suspects

Hundreds of Argentina Towns to Vanish in Soybean Megafarms

by Marcela Valente At risk of disappearing are 602 towns of fewer than 2,000 residents, another 124 that haven't seen population growth in a decade, and 90 that no longer figure in official statistics. Although a total of about 270,000 people still live in those towns, there is a steady flow of migration to more urban areas, where they face marginalization and poverty

Light Sentence Won't Dampen Gitmo Controversy

by William Fisher As Australian David Hicks was sentenced to seven years behind bars as the first Guantanamo detainee convicted under the Military Commissions Act, human rights groups, legal scholars and some lawmakers are condemning the entire MCA process and again challenging its constitutionality both in the courts and in Congress

O'Reilly: No Decency Left

by Steve Young Oh, Bill's used the Nazi name-calling before, but this past week it seemed like he had nothing else left in his quiver of sophomoric blasphemes. Of the many on the hit list were George Soros, MediaMatters, The New York Times and Peter Lewis. The nazification of Soros, a Hungarian Jew who himself escaped the real Nazi killing camps is probably the most shameful of them all

Crazy Like a Fox News Guy

by Steve Young In deftly critiquing what I had written, Bill told his radio audience that I was 'a crazy guy.' I had worked for years trying to keep that quiet so to say I was traumatized... well, you know how crazy people can get

Fox: We Were Wrong on Plamegate, and We're Real Sorry

by Steve Young One of those Foxperts has been Victoria Toensing, a Bush apologist who was one of the drafters of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, which she said proved that Plame could not be covert; that she could not be because in the five years before she was outed she did not work out of the country for the CIA. That would be taken as gospel by Fox enthusiasts and any media outlet who brought Townsing on until Friday when Toensing admitted UNDER OATH, that she came to her conclusion without asking Plame or the Agency

Johnny Gets His Gun Again: Walter Reed Reveals Right's Bloody Secret

by Steve Young Expect to hear feigned indignation hit the airwaves this week. Anna Nicole's been buried and the Secretary of the Army has been transformed into collateral damage. The Right's demagogues cannot ignore it any longer, but don't be shocked to find that this has all been the fault of Nancy Pelosi's first sixty days or by some skip of the Bill Clinton space-time-blame- continuum, a result of the blue dress that was stained some time during the late nineties. Certainly the Washington Post, The New York Times, the ACLU and Frank Rich, will feel the wrath of an outraged O'Reilly for some incoherent connection to the scandal

Time For Dennis Miller To Put Up Or Shut Up, Chachi

by Steve Young To call half of America 'America haters' based on anecdotal evidence is a conscious effort to split America. And that I submit, is a true hatred of everything America stands for. Or what I like to call, 'talk radio'

Banned Madrasas Operating Freely in Pakistan's Capitol

by Eli Clifton Musharraf's plans to crack down on Karachi's religious schools and the violent sectarian and jihadi groups many of them support has been an outright failure, says a report released Wednesday. Banned jihadi and sectarian groups, along with the madrasas -- Islamic religious schools -- and mosques which support them, continue to operate freely in Pakistan's capital city and to train and dispatch jihadi fighters to Afghanistan and Indian-administered Kashmir

Immigration Reform Going Nowhere on Capitol Hill

by Dan Restrepo Bush's swing through Latin America should have helped the cause for immigration reform here at home. Unfortunately, events in Washington suggested the path forward was becoming more complicated, not less

Bush Tour Leaves Latin Press Puzzled

by Daffodil Altan and Elena Shore Newspapers carried the story of his visit on their front pages, often creating multimedia packages with photos, videos and several reports. But in the editorial pages writers seemed irritated by the hoopla and disruption caused by his motorcades. Many editors were disappointed that talks between Bush and their country's president often yielded nothing tangible when it came to their gravest concerns: immigration, trade and drug trafficking

Violence Driving Iraqi Women to Suicide Bomb Revenge

Um Abdallah, 41, has a difficult task ahead of her -- she has to learn how to use a gun and begin preparing for a day she believes is going to be one of God's forgiveness and revenge against foreign forces occupying her country

Musharraf Cracks Down on Pakistan's Newsmedia

by Zofeen Ebrahim On Mar. 16 television audiences in Pakistan were stunned when cameras panned from lawyers demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court in Islamabad, against the Mar. 9 suspension of Pakistan's chief justice, to a police raid on the nearby premises of GEO Television. Widely-aired footage showed policemen smashing furniture and glass panes and roughing up the staff

Congressman Traded Iraq Vote for Spinach Bailout, Groups Charge

by Aaron Glantz Rep. Sam Farr, a Democrat from the hippie college town of Santa Cruz, originally voted against the Iraq war and has voted against proposals to fund it each of the last four years. This time, though, he's singing a different tune -- and critics say his change of heart has more to do with the spinach industry than anything else

West is Boosting Taliban by Backing Musharraf, Say Former Pakistan Leaders

Analysis by Sanjay Suri Military forces from Western powers are fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, but it is the policies of these very governments that is boosting the Taliban. Western powers 'praise the democracy in India on the one hand and support dictatorship in Pakistan on the other'

Many "Guest Workers" Held Captive by Employers

by Eli Clifton So-called 'guest workers' in the United States are routinely forced to handover the deeds to their homes to recruiters, cheated out of wages, held captive by employers who seize their passports and visas, and denied basic standards of living conditions and health care, according to report released March 12 in Washington

Christian Right Cheers on Iran Attack

by Bill Berkowitz While the Bush administration and beltway neo-conservatives doggedly crank up the volume against Iran, they are again being joined by a number of significant conservative Christian evangelicals. Hagee, pastor of the 18,000-member San Antonio, Texas-based Cornerstone Church and head of a multi-million-dollar evangelical enterprise, seems to believe such a conflict is both inevitable and necessary, The Jewish Week noted

China's New Property Law Ignores Farmers' Rights

by Antoaneta Bezlova In Beijing where the government is proudly preparing to host the 2008 Olympic games, the building boom is blamed for depriving thousands of people of their land. As the capital is expanding its airport, building a new futuristic terminal to enable it to handle 60 million travellers annually, peasants on the city outskirts have been forced out of their land and cheated of their compensation

China Reveals Space Plans Include Manned Moon Mission

by Antoaneta Bezlova China has invested in developing its lunar program, government officials often like to emphasize the fact that many of its milestones were achieved single-handedly. The stress on doing it alone is because for years the United States has barred China from participating in any space launch that involves U.S. technology and from work involving the International Space Station

Obama, Viewed from Abroad

by Alvaro Vargas Llosa While mainstream America is discussing how acceptable the black candidate has become in the eyes of so many whites, other countries, particularly in Europe and Latin America, are keenly interested, for their own domestic reasons, in how difficult many American blacks are finding it to identify with Sen. Obama

Federal Judge Rules Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Illegal

In his ruling, Judge Chambers determined that stream destruction caused by mountaintop removal coal mining cannot be fixed through mitigation. The Corp's witnesses ... conceded that the Corps does not know of any successful stream creation projects in the Appalachian region, the judge wrote

Health Experts Call for Forced Isolation of Victims With Deadly New Strain of TB

Unease is mounting in South Africa after reports that patients with the deadly strain of extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) are not being isolated in hospitals. The public health risk is staggering: anybody coming into contact with patients with XDR-TB is at risk of infection, but people living with the HIV virus are even more vulnerable

Falluja Fears U.S. Forces Conducting a 'Genocidal Strategy'

by Ali al-Fadhily Iraqis in the volatile al-Anbar province west of Baghdad are reporting regular killings carried out by U.S. forces that many believe are part of a 'genocidal' strategy

Ecuador Tribes Press for Fraud Probe of Top Chevron Execs

by Emad Mekay The alleged operation involved bulldozing soil and organic debris on top of waste pits rather than cleaning them of poisonous toxins in the 1990s. The letter asserts that both lawyers oversaw this remediation. Later, Chevron tried to use the action as a defense in various lawsuits arising out of the ecological disaster in Ecuador

NAACP President Resignation Another Sign of Group's Troubles

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson NAACP leaders are sandwiched between the shifting upward fortunes of the black middle-class, and downward of the black poor. A tilt by them toward a hard-edged activist agenda runs the risk of alienating the corporate donors and the Democratic politicians that the NAACP leaders carefully cultivate

Protesters Pressure Pelosi to Cut War Funding

by Aaron Glantz Peace activists entered their 10th day camped outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home March 21, the latest in an almost daily barrage of demonstrations, vigils and local government votes designed to convince Pelosi to refuse President Bush's 100-billion-dollar war funding request

U.S. Splitting Immigrant Families, Deporting Small Children

by Camille Taiara Immigrant advocates suspect that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is deporting a growing number of unaccompanied minors who've been caught trying to reunite with their parents already in the U.S., even when the parents have status, as in the case of one 9 year-old Honduran girl. The child is under deportation orders as an undocumented alien

Bush Admin Seeking Big Hike in Citizenship Application Fees

by Rene P. Ciria-Cruz Is the Bush administration trying to slow down the surge in potential new Democratic voters by tightening access to U.S. citizenship through drastically higher application fees?

Afghanistan Gives Warlords Amnesty for 25 Years of Crimes

Analysis by Dad Noorani A new law granting amnesty and legal protection from prosecution to Afghan commanders accused of committing war atrocities has shifted the burden of proof for the two and a half decades of grave abuses to the Afghan public

Kurds Fear Turkey About to Start War on Border With Iraq-Iran

by Mohammed A. Salih A new threat of war is looming in this mountain range in the north of Iraq, cutting into Turkey and Iran. All three countries have large Kurdish populations, and the governments of all three are worried about a Kurdish uprising for a separate homeland. Only in Iraq do Kurds have an autonomous region of their own

Partisanship at Justice Isn't New

by Joe Conason The Whitewater case didn't save the first President Bush, although it was later revived as a costly pseudo-scandal. More pertinent today is what happened to Banks and Lewis -- and the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock

Tancredo Planning White House Run as Anti-Immigrant Champ

by Tom Barry Tancredo has nothing to lose and everything to gain from a presidential bid. Although the firebrand politician from an affluent Denver suburb hasn't managed to make restrictionism the core principle of U.S. immigration policy, he and other nativists in Congress have over the past several years shifted the immigration debate toward their terms -- national security, cultural unity, and border control -- at the national, state, and local levels

Interior Official Admits Obstructing Justice in Abramoff Case

Deputy Interior Secretary James Steven Griles pleaded guilty March 23 in federal court to one count of obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation. Griles, a former lobbyist for mining and oil industries, is the highest ranking Bush administration official caught in the Washington lobbying scandal

Scenes From the (Asylum) Public Library

by Chip Ward Although the public may not have caught on, ask any urban library administrator in the nation where the chronically homeless go during the day and he or she will tell you about the struggles of America's public librarians to cope with their unwanted and unappreciated role as the daytime guardians of the down and out. In our public libraries, the outcasts are inside

Maliki's Peace Summit a Bust

by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily International media were invited to show that the meeting was intent on bringing security to Iraq. That plan backfired after mortar shells landed within 50 metres of the conference center, shattering glass panes in the building

Fate of Iranians Arrested in Iraq in Jan. Still Unknown

by Khody Akhavi As the Western media turns its attention to the fate of 15 Britons detained for allegedly trespassing into Iranian waters over the weekend, the status of five Iranian officials captured in a U.S. military raid on a liaison office in northern Iraq on Jan. 11 remains a mystery

Bush Latin Tour Ends With Some Relations More Strained Than Before

by Diego Cevallos Most analysts saw Bush's tour as an attempt to counteract the influence in the region of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who seemed to see the visit in a similar light. On Tuesday, Chavez said he dealt Bush a 'knockout' blow with his own simultaneous tour in the region, which took him to Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Haiti

Bush Latin Tour Too Little, Too Late

by Jim Lobe 'Although Chavez is not scheduled on the tour, he's the reason why the trip is being made,' said Birns. 'After years of neglect, the administration finally realized it had a rather durable enemy in Chavez and began to upgrade the attention it was giving to the region. But it has really all come too late'

House Ties Iraq Withdrawal to War Funding

by Eli Clifton The new Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a $124 billion war spending bill with an explicit deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, in one of the most vocal challenges yet to the Bush administration's policy in the country

Bush Gets Chilly Reception Even in Mexico

by Diego Cevallos Even before the U.S. leader arrived, Calderon had called on the U.S. government to do more about drug trafficking, lashed out at the new fencing along the border, and said he would never be used as a 'battering ram' against left-leaning governments in Latin America that have less than warm relations with Washington

Pakistan Outrage Over Judge's Firing Adds Domestic Crisis to Musharraf's Woes

by Praful Bidwai The crisis precipitated by Musharraf's summary sacking of Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry shows no sign of abating. The resignations of a number of judges and of deputy attorney general Nasir Saeed Sheikh seem to have strengthened the agitation launched by Pakistani lawyers. This is Musharraf's biggest domestic political crisis since October 1999. It comes on top of heightened tensions in his relations with the United States as a result of his ambivalence in combating the Taliban in Pakistan's border region abutting Afghanistan

Bush Inviting New Cold War With Plan for New Nukes

by Eli Clifton Although part of the Bush administration's rationale for the RRW is a need to have a more flexible arsenal to engage and deter so-called rogue states, such as North Korea and Iran, the DTRA report concludes that Russia and China's future decisions about their nuclear arsenals will be dependent on 'their perceptions of U.S. strategic intent, plans, and commitments'

Taliban Rule Unchallenged in Pakistan Mountains

by Ashfaq Yusufzai The district of Tank, located on the border with South Waziristan Agency has slipped into the control of the Taliban. There is a total collapse of the civil administration. Police stations remain closed after sundown, and the Taliban fighters patrol the streets and the bazaars riding on their favorite Datsun pickups

Taliban Apparently Holding Journalist Hostage for More Balanced Reporting

Analysis by Ricardo Grassi The Taliban accusation might be a ploy to justify a far more elaborate political operation, as the voice presumed to be Dadullah's said on the tape that Westerners gave freedom to their own media, but not to the Taliban's, showing that they wanted unilateral press freedom, which the Taliban rejects: 'either it is total, or it is forbidden.' The speaker said it was unacceptable that Taliban reporters were in jail while Westerners were free

Iraqis Hoping Strong New Leaders Emerge

by Ali al-Fadhily Many Iraqis are now looking to local political leadership to fill wide gaps in a fractured government that is failing to provide security and basic needs

Iraq's New Oil Law Seen as Cover for Privatization

by Emad Mekay The U.S.-backed Iraqi cabinet approved a new oil law Monday that is set to give foreign companies the long-term contracts and safe legal framework they have been waiting for, but which has rattled labor unions and international campaigners who say oil production should remain in the hands of Iraqis

House Panel Investigates White House Meddling With Climate Science

by J.R. Pegg White House documents released Monday by a House committee offer further evidence that Bush administration officials with no scientific training edited federal scientific reports to inflate uncertainty about humanity's role in global warming

A Partisan Purge Too Far

by Joe Conason The credibility of Gonzales -- which was never very great -- is diminishing further as the facts behind the controversial round of firings continue to emerge. While his excuses and explanations for those dismissals evaporate under scrutiny, what can be seen instead is a familiar pattern of partisan misconduct

Last Throes of Cheney's Credibility

by Joe Conason Responsibility for the Iraqi quagmire rests squarely with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who have spent nearly four years, thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to create catastrophe. Today every policy alternative, including a phased withdrawal, is likely to impose costly consequences on us, on the Iraqis and on the world. So perhaps the Democrats deserve more than a month or two to determine how best to extricate our troops from that complex and perilous trap

Ignore the Pundits and Bark Louder

by Joe Conason The Washington press corps is just as remote from American views and values as when it was howling for President Clinton's head. By now, the Democrats should know that when these soothsayers warn against your present course, it is best to keep going straight ahead

The Tillman Cover-Up Continues

by Robert Scheer The family points out that Rumsfeld was very familiar with the case. He had written Tillman a personal letter thanking him for enlisting. Rumsfeld was obviously aware that this was the most high-profile death in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The family noted it is inconceivable that the Pentagon would have been able to coordinate a carefully orchestrated campaign of lies converting Tillman's death as a result of friendly fire into a Rambo-like assault on Taliban guerrillas, while keeping the secretary of defense and the White House in the dark

Saddam Has the Last Laugh

by Robert Scheer According to an authoritative poll sponsored jointly by ABC, BBC and USA Today: Only 38 percent of Iraqis believe that the country is better off today than under Hussein, while nearly four out of five oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq

His Own Worst Enemy

by Robert Scheer The argument for troop withdrawal is that, after four years of occupation, the presence of U.S. troops on every street corner in Baghdad is part of the problem, not the solution. As the French learned in Algeria, the Russians in Afghanistan and the Israelis in the Palestinian territories, foreign occupation is the mother's milk of terrorism

Coluter's Slur Puts Spotlight on Edwards

by Robert Scheer No wonder Coulter hates him: Edwards is a Democrat who believes in the progressive heritage of his party and is not afraid to tell the world

Going Back to North Korea, Hat in Hand

by Robert Scheer Five years and an outlaw nuke test after President Bush blew up the peace process with Pyongyang so he could look tougher than his predecessor, he capitulated completely earlier this month in accepting a negotiating framework that tacitly accepts the huge surge in the communist state's estimated nuclear arsenal

Prominent Latino Orgs not Backing Gonzales During AG's Crisis

by Roberto Lovato The recent scandal involving the firing of eight U.S. attorneys by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has yielded mostly silence from the country's pre-eminent Latino organizations

Asian Air Pollution Fueling Stronger Pacific Storms for U.S.

Increasing levels of air pollution from Asia are affecting global weather patterns by intensifying clouds and storms over the Pacific Ocean, according to new research published March 6. The findings are more worrying news for the Arctic, which the authors of the research contend will warm more quickly due to the stronger Pacific storms

Congress Doing (Part of) Its Job

by Michael Winship The executive used a provision of the Patriot Act allegedly designed to keep our legal system running during 9/11-like acts of terror to attempt petty partisan gain. Because the White House and Justice Department were rating U.S. attorneys -- including Scooter Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald -- not on the basis of their skill and effectiveness but their obeisance to the administration (Fitzgerald was ranked beneath 'strong U.S. attorneys... who exhibited loyalty')

Religious Crusaders Cranking up for Political Holy War

by Tom Barry Rather than regarding his overwhelming electoral defeat last November as an indicator that his own extreme notions about domestic and foreign policy were misguided, Santorum concluded that Americans are slumbering while at the gates gather barbarians

Gore Warns Congress of "Planetary Emergency"

by J.R. Pegg Lawmakers should stop bickering about the science of global warming and take aggressive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, former Vice President Al Gore told members of Senate and House committees March 21. There is a clear scientific consensus that human activities are changing the climate, said Gore, who characterized global warming as a planetary emergency

Iran Only Joining West in 'Hostage Diplomacy' With Captive Brit Sailors

by Trita Parsi Rather than an act of desperation resulting from the onslaught of Western pressure, as some in Washington have interpreted Iran's actions, the arrest of the British sailors may have been a calculated measure to fight fire with fire -- but without targeting the U.S. directly (which surely would have caused things to escalate out of control)

Does Bush - and Pakistan - Need Musharraf?

by Najum Mushtaq Bush's Pakistan policy is based on two dubious and misplaced assumptions. One, that Pakistan's military -- and therefore General Musharraf -- is the only viable option to govern the country. Musharraf and the military remain indispensable in the Bush administration's war on terror. Two, American policymakers tend to put an excessive emphasis on al-Qaeda and the Taliban: capture and kill so-called al-Qaeda operatives and Taliban leaders, and the war on terrorism will have been half won. This simplistic approach ignores other strands of religious extremism in Pakistan that run parallel to, and often in concert with, the international network of terrorism

Rice Picks Prominent Neo-Con as State Dept Counselor

Analysis by Jim Lobe In a move that has surprised many foreign policy analysts here, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has appointed a prominent neo-conservative hawk and leading champion of the Iraq war to the post of State Department Counselor

The Right's New Strategy: Building an Anti-MoveOn.Org

by Bill Berkowitz Most of the pieces for a rejuvenated conservative movement were already in place by 1994, including a highly-functional infrastructure of right-wing foundations, think tanks, advocacy organizations, media outlets -- conservative talk radio and Christian television -- and an army of grassroots volunteers. But a little over a decade later, youngish conservatives are again restless. Embittered by defeat at the hands of the Democratic Party in November, which they attribute to the Republican leadership 'selling conservatives out,' these new activists are calling for a new conservative movement

Backward "Progress" in Iraq

by Joe Conason Each year he assures us that we are making progress, even if we don't seem to have gotten anywhere except deeper into the sectarian quicksand. And each year he promises that we will see more such progress in future months, if only we possess the steely character required to send other people's children to war

Rice Says U.S. Ready to Talk With Iran, Syria

by Jim Lobe Two weeks after making major concessions for a nuclear accord with North Korea, the Bush administration said Tuesday it was prepared to sit down with Iran and Syria as part of a regional conference to stabilize Iraq

Hopeful Signs That Realists Now in Charge of Bush Foreign Policies

Analysis by Jim Lobe One Democratic election landslide later, Rumsfeld's departure, and the longest-running record of sustained low public approval ratings for any U.S. president in more than 50 years, conventional wisdom has again concluded that the realists have indeed taken the reins of power

Democrats Seek Iraq Withdrawal by 2008 Election

by Jim Lobe The measure, which will take the form of an amendment to a pending $100 billion supplemental defense appropriations bill, also requires Bush to begin such a withdrawal as early as July of this year unless he certifies that the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is making progress toward achieving national reconciliation and ending sectarian violence there

Bush Reading List Heavy on Islamophobic, Apocalyptic Books

Analysis by Jim Lobe Accounts of a Feb. 28 'literary luncheon' at the White House suggest that President Bush's reading tastes -- until now a remarkably good predictor of his policy views -- are moving ever rightward, even apocalyptic

Japan Split on Plans to Create Home for Unwanted Infants

by Suvendrini Kakuchi Dubbed 'cradle-of-storks,' the baby hatch would allow infants to be deposited anonymously. It was proposed by the Jikei Hospital, a Catholic facility that does not perform abortions and is located in Kumamoto city, southern Japan. Opposition is based mostly on the grounds that a baby hatch might encourage an increase in the number of babies abandoned by parents

Iran Could Repair Image With Diplomatic Solution to Brit Sailor Arrest

by Kimia Sanati Whether or not the 15 British Royal Marines in Iranian custody actually trespassed into the country's territorial waters, the incident has provided Tehran with an opportunity to build up an image of a peaceful, non-aggressive nation set upon by Western predators

"Surge" is Ploy to Increase Pressure on Iran, Say Pentagon Sources

by Gareth Porter The administration's decision last month to increase U.S. military strength in Iraq by at least 22,000 troops is related more to a strategy of increased pressure on Iran than to stabilizing the situation in Baghdad. The troop decision was described as putting the U.S. military in a better position to respond to attacks by Shiite forces on U.S troops in retaliation against a possible U.S. strike against Iran

Will NYC Cops be Convicted of Sean Bell Killing?

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The killing of unarmed African American Sean Bell in a hail of 50 bullets by New York City police officers has resulted in indictments against three police detectives. But going from indictment to conviction of police officers will be an uphill struggle, if history is any indication

Protesters Mark 4th Anniversary of Iraq War

by Haider Rizvi Despite cold temperatures, at least 40,000 people took part in the New York rally, with women's participation more visible than ever before at anti-war events. Elsewhere outside the United States, huge rallies also took place in many European cities and Australia. Some estimates suggest that the turnout in Spain was close to 100,00

Enough With the Snarky Attacks From Repubs

by Michael Winship A comparison between Ms. Coulter and Mrs. Roosevelt Longworth is risible at best (although Mrs. L was a lifelong Republican and in her youth, her bursts of sour petulance were legendary). There's a genuine wit and a certain acuity to Longworth's barbs lacking not only in Coulter's words but the pettiness of Hume and Gingrich as well. Where's nuance, where's flair, where's, well, style?

Sunni Rebels Targeted as Shiite Rebels Lay Low During "Surge"

Since 'Operation Imposing Law' was launched by U.S. and Iraqi forces on February 14, the number of those thought to be victims of Shia death squads has dropped dramatically in Baghdad, but there has been no respite in violence blamed on Sunni insurgents

Women, Girls, Given Away to End Pakistan Feuds

by Stephen Zunes Tribal leaders maintain this practice averts the kind of blood feuds between rival clans seen all too often in the region -- and consequently saves hundreds of lives. However, the women involved are often treated as little more than slaves in the homes of their in-laws, facing constant humiliation as a reminder that they are there to pay for a crime committed by their fathers, uncles or other relatives. In some cases, they are murdered

For Iraqi Women, Survival is a Daily Struggle

by Dr. Nadje Al-Ali By 2007, the threat posed by Islamist militias as well as the mushrooming Islamist extremist groups has gone far beyond imposed dress codes and calls for gender segregation at universities. Despite -- or even partly because of the U.S. and U.K. rhetoric about liberation and women's rights -- women have been pushed back even more into the background and into their homes. Women who have a public profile, either as doctors, academics, lawyers, NGO activists or politicians, are systematically threatened and have become targets for assassinations

Fate of Many "Ghost Prisoners" Still Unknown

by Eli Clifton On Sept. 6, 2006, President Bush said that all CIA prisoners have either been released or sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but HRW claims that many other prisoners were simply 'disappeared' by the CIA

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