Albion Monitor Issue 155 MARCH 2007
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  Bush Musharraf

Since the earliest days after 9/11, the White House has called Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf a key ally in the war on terror, even though he acts against the Taliban and other jihadists within his country only when forced to by the U.S. And predictably, shortly before Dick Cheney landed for talks on Feb. 26, Pakistan announced the capture of Mullah Obaidullah, a senior Taliban leader and deputy of chief Mullah Omar.

But the White House signaled its growing impatience with his failure to crack down on Islamic extremists. The vice president made it clear: American military assistance to Islamabad is at risk unless Bush certifies that the Pakistani government is making all possible efforts to curtail Taliban activity on its soil.

There is little chance Musharraf will make substantive changes. Three strands of jihad converge and feed off one another in Pakistan's radicalized Sunni mosques, madrasas and other religious institutions. This rather arbitrary division of jihadists into the good (regional), the bad (domestic), and the ugly (global) has led the Musharraf government to adopt incoherent, conflicting policies. It has also meant that the crackdown on militant groups is selective, reactive, and sporadic. Whereas the "ugly" -- al-Qaeda and the Taliban -- are pitched against the 70,000 or so troops stationed in the tribal areas, their ancillary domestic outfits have only faced cosmetic bans and partial, on-off police action. The leaders of the "good" jihad meanwhile lead an active and highly visible public life, appearing in the electronic media, running radical madrasas, and regularly issuing calls for jihad from the pulpit. Their organizations, too, remain as active as ever, and almost all the jihadi organizations banned by the government are plying the trade by other names.

 TB drugs
Protesters fight police following the firing of Pakistan's Supreme Court chief justice   PHOTO: Pakistan Times
At the same time, Musharraf is facing his biggest domestic political crisis because of his abrupt March 9 suspension of Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. Attorneys protested and fought police in the streets for days afterwards. Why was he fired? The official charges listed minor corruption offenses, such as family use of a government car, but the real reason, critics say, is that he could not be trusted to rule in Musharraf's favor on important cases about to be heard by the court, including the legality of Musharraf running for another term as president


Does Bush - and Pakistan - Need Musharraf? FREE!

Banned Madrasas Operating Freely in Pakistan's Capitol

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

Musharraf Cracks Down on Pakistan's Newsmedia

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

Taliban Rule Unchallenged in Pakistan Mountains

  Press overlooks its own role in Gonzales, Walter Reed scandals   -   Disney and the honeypot 404 reports

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

More important to White House than stabilizing Iraq

Iran Could Repair Image With Diplomatic Solution to Brit Sailor Arrest

Alternative is using incident as excuse to humiliate Bush ally

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

Appears to be effort to force Bush, Blair, to engage in talks

Fate of Iranians Arrested in Iraq in Jan. Still Unknown

5 in U.S. custody and still not formally charged with a crime

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

But only about ways to keep lid on Iraq

Hopeful Signs That Realists Now in Charge of Bush Foreign Policies

Although end of cowboy diplomacy was also declared last summer

Rice Picks Prominent Neo-Con as State Dept Counselor

Led the neo-conservative attack on the bipartisan Iraq Study Group

Bush Inviting New Cold War With Plan for New Nukes

New generation of weapons will also require potentially dangerous testing

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

Kurd leaders expecting a Turkish military invasion in spring


U.S. Army Spc. Cory Barton relaxes before going on a joint foot patrol with Iraqi army soldiers in Buhriz, Iraq, on Feb. 15, 2007. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, U.S. Air Force

Protesters Mark 4th Anniversary of Iraq War

2 of 3 Americans say war going badly

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

4 in 5 oppose presence of U.S. and coalition forces

For Iraqi Women, Survival is a Daily Struggle FREE!

Women of all ages now forced to comply with dress codes, restrict their movement

House Ties Iraq Withdrawal to War Funding

Bush vows veto of bill requiring pullout by Aug. 31, 2008

Protesters Pressure Pelosi to Cut War Funding

Camped out at her home and office, angry over watered-down Iraq pullout legislation

Democrats Seek Iraq Withdrawal by 2008 Election

But would add $4 billion to Bush's requested money for wars


FREE! Foreign observers of Israel tend to focus so intently on the dangers the country faces from its Arab neighbors that they have largely missed an astonishing story that has been accelerating over the past few months: that of the Jewish state's possible move toward internal collapse. If you consider this an exaggeration, just take note of what the past couple of weeks have brought about. A few days ago the chief of the Israeli police resigned after an investigation that found several of Israel's highest police officers guilty of corruption and negligence. This came within a week of the forced resignation of Israel's Chief of Staff from the military because of the fiascos of the second Lebanon war. It was also some ten days after Israel's minister of justice was convicted of sexual assault while on duty, and a couple of weeks after Israel's president -- who holds a largely symbolic position -- resigned temporarily following charges of rape and sexual misconduct. It was also the same day that the head of Israel's tax authority resigned because of possible corruption charges. In the meantime, several other investigations are still pending, not least two or three directed at the Prime Minister himself, Ehud Olmert, concerning corruption and favoritism.

There certainly has never been such a deep crisis of leadership in the country that touts itself as the only democracy in the Middle East. The leader of the ruling parliamentary coalition, Avigdor Yitzhaki, said so publicly a few days ago. And the Minister of Education has suggested that all schools devote special classes to the "government crisis," so that children can speak out about what might well seem to them like a total collapse of all systems that control their lives. Suddenly the Palestinians and the Hezbollah, and even Iranian nukes, have taken a back seat: Israel does indeed seem in danger of imploding from within, at least as a viable democracy

House Panel Investigates White House Meddling With Climate Science FREE!

Repubs charge respected scientist "clearly dislikes" the Bush administration

Gore Warns Congress of "Planetary Emergency" FREE!

"This shouldn't be seen as a partisan issue or even a political issue," Gore said. "It is a moral issue"

Bush Reading List Heavy on Islamophobic, Apocalyptic Books

Urging others to read book that predicts upcoming "new Dark Ages"

Christian Right Cheers on Iran Attack

Believe an "end-time" confrontation with Iran will lead to the Rapture

Religious Crusaders Cranking up for Political Holy War FREE!

Comparing the array of countries opposing the Bush doctrine to what Churchill called the "gathering storm" before WWII

Afghanistan Gives Warlords Amnesty for 25 Years of Crimes

In deal for support of government

Taliban Apparently Holding Journalist Hostage for More Balanced Reporting

Or maybe to seek release of 2 Taliban reporters held in jail

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

Worst rated nations all top U.S. allies in War on Terror

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

Winds carrying particles across America and eventually, most of the world


Maliki's Peace Summit a Bust

But no shortage of accusations

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

U.S. troops, Iraqi forces working executing people, residents say

The Problem of Building an Embassy Fit for an Empire FREE!

Are we to believe that Iraqis will not take notice of this massive complex in the heart of Baghdad?

Iraqis Hoping Strong New Leaders Emerge

And without any ties to occupying forces

Violence Driving Iraqi Women to Suicide Bomb Revenge FREE!

Many have lost immediate family to terror or military

Iraqi Women Facing Unprecedented Levels of Attack

Systematic violence by theocratic militias on both sides of the sectarian divide

Iraq Rape Cases Emerge From the Shadows

Maliki's office called victim a liar, recommended that the 3 accused policeman be commended

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

Sunnis fighting back fiercely because they fear government intends to 'de-Sunnify' Baghdad

Iraq's New Oil Law Seen as Cover for Privatization

Specifies that up to two-thirds of Iraq's known reserves would be developed by multinationals, under contracts lasting for 15 to 20 years


Interior Official Admits Obstructing Justice in Abramoff Case FREE!

Former lobbyist met with Abramoff just 5 weeks after Bush inauguration

Congressman Traded Iraq Vote for Spinach Bailout, Groups Charge

Part of millions of porkbarrel projects attached to war appropriations

Congress Doing (Part of) Its Job FREE!

Democrats must assert themselves, not just react to Repubs

Tancredo Planning White House Run as Anti-Immigrant Champ FREE!

Positioning himself as the only true conservative

Enough With the Snarky Attacks From Repubs FREE!

Ann Coulter not the only conservative throwing schoolyard insults

Obama, Viewed from Abroad FREE!

European and Latin conservatives fear successful mixed-race leader

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

Youngish conservatives embittered by defeat at the hands of the Democratic Party in November

Handouts at a Mar. 10, 2007 protest in Uruguay. Dan Mitrione Sr. was a U.S. military advisor during the 1960s to the regimes in Brazil and Uruguay, where he taught torture techniques.   PHOTO: Indymedia


"Too little, too late" appears to be the consensus of Bush's six-day, five-country tour of Latin America, followed by questions about what the hastily-arranged visit was intended to accomplish. There were no announcements of new policies, and few pledges of additional assistance. Many believed that the trip was a desperate move to undermine the growing popularity and power of Venezuela's Chavez, who provides far more aid to his neighbors than the U.S.

But even while Bush was trying to win Latin American friends, harsh new policies on illegal immigrants were being enforced at home, including Operation "Return to Sender," one of the largest such operations in U.S. history. The program, supposedly designed to target "fugitive aliens," has resulted in the indiscriminate round up of over 13,000 undocumented migrants in cities throughout the United States. And a report issued during Bush's trip found "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


Bush Latin Tour Ends With Some Relations More Strained Than Before

Bush Tour Leaves Latin Press Puzzled

Bush Gets Chilly Reception Even in Mexico

Bush Latin Tour Too Little, Too Late

Immigration Reform Going Nowhere on Capitol Hill

Many "Guest Workers" Held Captive by Employers

U.S. Splitting Immigrant Families, Deporting Small Children

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

Bush Admin Seeking Big Hike in Citizenship Application Fees

Prominent Latino Orgs not Backing Gonzales During AG's Crisis

No comment, no public position, or passing responsibility to board

Light Sentence Won't Dampen Gitmo Controversy

"Australian Taliban" David Hicks gets 9 months, after being held for years with no charges

Fate of Many "Ghost Prisoners" Still Unknown

Possibly moved to foreign prisons where they remain under CIA control

Federal Judge Rules Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Illegal FREE!

Overturns U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policy allowing massive water pollution from mines

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

 TB drugs
Patients with Multidrug-resistant TB have 50-50 chance of survival   PHOTO: World Lung Foundation

But rights groups say it's "criminalizing those unfortunate enough to breathe at the wrong moment"

Japan Split on Plans to Create Home for Unwanted Infants

Conservatives say it might encourage an increase in the number of babies abandoned by parents

China's New Property Law Ignores Farmers' Rights

750 million rural residents cannot own farmland

China Reveals Space Plans Include Manned Moon Mission

Program moving ahead quickly, with landing expected withn 15 years

Women, Girls, Given Away to End Pakistan Feuds FREE!

Compensation for a crime committed by a male relative

Ecuador Tribes Press for Fraud Probe of Top Chevron Execs

Allegedly conspired over "false laboratory tests" to make the environmental damage look far less threatening

Hundreds of Argentina Towns to Vanish in Soybean Megafarms

Unregulated expansion will leave over 250,000 homeless

Will NYC Cops be Convicted of Sean Bell Killing?

Indicting cops is one thing, convicting them is another

NAACP President Resignation Another Sign of Group's Troubles

Part of ongoing internal battle for its leadership to regain legs as the voice of black America


Joe Conason Ignore the Pundits and Bark Louder

Backward "Progress" in Iraq

Partisanship at Justice Isn't New

A Partisan Purge Too Far

Last Throes of Cheney's Credibility


Robert Scheer The Tillman Cover-Up Continues

Saddam Has the Last Laugh

His Own Worst Enemy

Coluter's Slur Puts Spotlight on Edwards

Going Back to North Korea, Hat in Hand


Alexander Cockburn That Was an Antiwar Vote?

Four Years Later

Here Comes Another 'Crime Wave'

Welcome to the Lame Duck Tours

The Persecution of Sami Al-Arian


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

O'Reilly: No Decency Left

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

Crazy Like a Fox News Guy

Johnny Gets His Gun Again


FREE! In bad weather -- hot, cold, or wet -- most of the homeless have nowhere to go but public places. The local shelters push them out onto the streets at six in the morning and, even when the weather is good, they are already lining up by nine, when the library opens, because they want to sit down and recover from the chilly dawn or use the restrooms.

It's a chicken-or-egg world for the mentally-ill homeless. Are they on the street because they are immobilized by severe depression or is deep depression the consequence of being on the street? Any tendency towards a psychological problem is aggravated and magnified by the constant stress, social isolation, loss of self-esteem, despair, and relentless boredom of street life. Imagine the degradation of waiting an hour in the cold rain to get into a soup kitchen for a meal; the hassle of hunting endlessly for an unpoliced spot to sleep; the constant fear of being robbed or attacked by other street people; or the indignity of defecating in a vacant lot. It's a combination that would probably drive a mentally healthy person to psychosis and substance abuse

Albion Monitor
Issue 155

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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