Albion Monitor Issue 157 MAY 2007
Albion Monitor
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Who Counts the Dead?

In order to gauge progress, President Bush has asked for the use of benchmarks, and the benchmarks Americans care most about are the number of American fatalities and casualties in the war. Yet, given that war is always wrapped in deception and disinformation, nothing lends itself to greater obfuscation in the fog of war than the count of the dead and wounded. The numbers are tricky. So is their interpretation.

As for the Iraqi civilian toll, no one wants to know the numbers, let alone be held responsible for their consequences. Regardless of how they are labeled, 50 Iraqi civilian deaths per day, the lowest common denominator, is a certain count. As a rule of thumb, for every American soldier killed in Iraq, at least two Iraqi soldiers and 20 Iraqi civilians are killed, seven American soldiers are wounded, 14 Iraqi soldiers and 100 Iraqi civilians are wounded

    Revising the pre-Iraq invasion story 404 reports

It may be Bush's War, but it's now the Democrats Funding it FREE!

Despite claims to the contrary, Pelosi and the Democrats apparently want the war to continue unabated

Dems Give in to Bush on Iraq War Funding

Peace movement outraged that no strings attached on war money

U.S. Approval of Iraq War Hits New Low

Even most Repubs now say it's going badly

 arctic ice
Pregnant and mother of three, Rweida Awad flees Nahr al-Bared refugee camp   (Photo: Hugh Macleod/IRIN)

Declassified Reports Show Intel Agencies Clearly Warned of Post-War Risks

Predicted rise in Islamist sentiments, emergence of local al-Qaeda

At 3 Months, Few Say Troop "Surge" is Working

U.S. casualties clearly on the rise, but Maliki government has stopped releasing casualty figures

Admiral Told Bush: No War on Iran on his Watch

Explains shift away from military threats in Feb.

Lebanon Refugee Camp Left Devastated FREE!

"Nahr al-Bared is a ghost town. The only thing you can smell is death"

30,000 Trapped in Palestinian Refugee Camp as Lebanon Fighting Rages

Lebanese Army pounding densely populated camp with artillery rounds and tank fire

Lebanon in Worst Violence Since 1990 End of Civil War FREE!

Lebanese army attacking Palestinian refugee camp

MORE coverage of the Wolfowitz scandal

Paul Wolfowitz finally bowed to pressure and is due to step down as World Bank president on June 30. Wolfowitz may insist that his staff and the Bank's directors ganged up on him because of his role in the Iraq war, but a World Bank source said that the Iraq war was indeed a pretext -- not for Wolfowitz's opponents, but for Wolfowitz himself, who was trying to draw attention away from a poor management style that bred resentment over the past two years he served in the Bank.

Critics see Wolfowitz's removal as a reluctant damage control exercise by an institution on the ropes because of his misguided leadership. The Bank's decisions to block funding for essential projects in India, Chad and Kenya on the basis of suspected corruption drew sharp criticism and its move in 2005 to suspend $800 million in loans for maternal and children's health in India because of potential graft provoked an outcry. "On the surface, his campaign against corruption linked to World Bank loans sounded good. But he went about it in a high-handed way," independent Malaysian political analyst and writer Fan Yew Teng said. "You cannot have this holier-than-thou attitude and stop essential projects such as medical, water supply and food production -- because it will kill people"


Mr. Hardball Goes to the World Bank FREE!

After the Zealot Wolfowitz Comes Zoellick

Wolfowitz Appoints New World Bank Director for Iraq

Wolfowitz World Bank Projects Also Under Scrutiny

Wolfowitz Has Only Himself to Blame for Bank Ouster

Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank

Wolfowitz Scandal Spotlights U.S. Reign at Bank

Wolfowitz Top Aide Quits World Bank

Wolfowitz Led Efforts to Cut Women's Health Programs at World Bank

Charges of Dishonesty Fly at World Bank

Combative Wolfowitz Slams "Circus-like" Process

Palestine Ripping Apart in Hamas, Fatah Civil War

Israel jumps into fray with attacks on Gaza

Southern Ocean Nears CO2 Saturation Point, Say Researchers

First evidence of the long-feared positive feedbacks that could rapidly accelerate the rate of climate change

Pentagon Doles Out Post-9/11 Aid With Little Oversight

Mostly new military funding for countries deemed allies

Bush Seeks to Shift Aid Programs from State Dept. to Pentagon

Proposed bill would bypass provisions for human rights standards

Pakistan Threatens Martial Law as Situation Turns Grim

Will military or Islamic militants try to overthrow Musharraf?

Deadly Pakistan Riots Blamed on Musharraf

Karachi residents say president incited riots that left 45 dead, over 150 injured

Bush Risking Another Terror State by Supporting Musharraf FREE!

Given Musharraf's unenthusiastic pursuit of al Qaeda in Pakistan, why does Bush continue to support him?

Stressed, Suicidal Soldiers Facing Another Tour in Iraq

New Pentagon polilcy allows troops with PTSD to be sent into combat

House Panel Tackles Bush Meddling With Science-Based Policies FREE!

"Unprecedented" political interference with Endangered Species Act

Bush Holds Iranian Officials as Bargaining Chips

Cheney vetoed Rice in White House internal debate on captives held by U.S. since Jan.

Deadly Tornado Brings Iraq War Home

"You name it, we are short of (it)," the National Guard's top officer told Congress just last month

The Other Bush Legacy: A New Cold War With Russia FREE!

U.S. missiles in Poland have nothing to do with Iran, N Korea nuke threats
LA police attack marchers (Telemundo video capture)

Hate Crimes Against Immigrants Rise Following Rights Marches

Authorities arrested groups and individuals caught stockpiling grenades, semi-automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition in preparation for attack on immigrants

LAPD Blinks in Confrontation With Immigrants

The LA police, famous for blaming demonstrators for violence, apologize for cop attacks

Immigration Rights Protests Marked by Police Violence

Video shows LA riot squad attack peaceful marchers, TV crew

Immigration Raids Ripping Apart Families

Anatomy of ICE raid raises questions about rights


Sadr Fighting Kurds for Power in Baghdad

Kurdish units placed in Baghdad by U.S. orders

Sadr Building Sunni-Shiite Coalition to Fight U.S.

Insurgents developing alliances inside U.S. detention centers

Iraq's Root Problem: Nobody Is Accountable

Even at highest level, U.S. denies accountability to International Criminal Court

Iraq's Journalists Face Death From All Sides

19 of the 31 journalists killed this year were slain by U.S.-made bullets

Iraq's Ethnic Minorities Face Obliteration

Small religious groups targeted by all sides

Iraq's Tigris Becoming a River Graveyard FREE!

At least 800 bodies pulled from iron nets across river since 2006

Pentagon Had Plans to Take Over Iraqi Media After Invasion

Portrayed required use of U.S.-approved material as return of free, independent media

Harry Fodder: An Open Letter to England's Prince

Inevitable race to cash in on his capture or death


Religious Right Rejects Giuliani FREE!

James Dobson also warns followers against McCain

Romney Can't Escape Questions About Mormon Church

Can't plead bigotry while refusing to address Mormon's shameful past

Immigration Bill: The Compromise Everyone Hates

Complex, confusing, and expensive requirements for applicants

Florida Angers Dems and Repubs With Plans for Earliest Primary in Nation

May push some states to move up primaries to end of this year

The GOP Plan to Keep Out the Vote FREE!

All signs point to a continuing, concentrated GOP campaign to curtail voting rights

Women's Vote a Risk for Hillary

Clinton can't assume that even all women Democrats will vote in big numbers for her

Bush Political Agenda Behind Immigration Raids

Puts pressure on Congress to pass pro-business 'guest worker' programs

Fish & Wildlife Top Official Resigns in Ethics Scandal FREE!

Head of endangered species program gave internal memos to businesses suing the government

Presidential Hopeful Bill Richardson Courts Ethnic Media

Would appoint "ethnic cultural ambassadors" if elected

The Neo-con Media Machine

FREE! Although many of the core Bush neo-cons, including Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, have been pushed out of the administration, and recent weeks have witnessed the emergence of a more conciliatory posture toward America's "enemies" that is the antithesis of neo-conservative policy proposals, neo-cons remains a force to contend with. So how do they do it? One partial answer to this puzzle is the continued strength of neo-conservatism and its standard-bearers in the nation's media, a point made recently by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times. "The problem is that so many of them are journalists."

Calling neo-conservative media pundits "journalists" is a stretch -- the fact is, most don't report, they spin -- but Rachman's point is a good one. From top to bottom, from tabloid TV like FoxNews to powerhouse newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, neo-conservatives have extraordinary presence in the nation's media. And Washington always seems to be listening

Cartoon adapted from Rube Goldberg

Iraq's oil
U.S. Army Sgt. Sammy Burkett stands guard after a rocket attack on an oil pipeline near Kirkuk, Nov. 27, 2006. (PHOTO: USAF/Samuel Bendet)

FREE! Before he ascended to the Vice-Presidency, Dick Cheney told the Institute of Petroleum Engineers in 1999 that, when it came to satisfying the exploding demand for oil, "the Middle East, with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies." The mysterious Energy Task Force he headed on taking office in 2001 eschewed conservation or developing alternative sources as the main response to any impending energy crisis, preferring instead to make the Middle East "a primary focus of U.S. international energy policy." As part of this focus, the Task Force recommended that the administration focus on convincing Middle Eastern countries "to open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment" -- in other words, into a policy of reversing 25 years of state control over the petroleum industry in the region.

While we cannot be sure that this planning itself was instrumental in setting the U.S. on a course toward invading Iraq, we can be sure that plenty of energy was being expended in Washington, planning for the disposition of Iraq's massive oil reserves once that invasion was successfully executed. And the prize in Iraq is certainly worthy of almost any kind of preoccupation. Indeed, Iraq could someday become the most important source of petrochemical energy on the planet.

On March 3, the Cherokee Nation voted to expel many black members, some from families dating back to the Trail of Tears

Her Majesty and the Commander Guy FREE!

"Capital Goes Gaga over the Queen for a Day," read the Washington Post headline

Blair Leaves With Legacy Tied to History's View of Bush

Iraq shadow falls over Blair, Britain's historic triumphs

France Elects Nationalist, Anti-Immigrant Sarkozy

Centrists join far right-wing voters to make controversial social conservative president

Black Freedmen Expelled From Cherokee Nation

Had full rights under famous 1866 treaty

Melamine-Tainted Feed Now in Human Food Chain FREE!

FDA creates new post after discovery contaminated wheat gluten given to hogs, chickens

Darfur Activists Target Wall St. Investors

Protesting against companies buying Sudan's oil exports

Darfur Activists Say Bush Sanctions on Sudan Will do Little

Nothing more than a" bookkeeping inconvenience" for Khartoum

Retrial for Mumia Abu-Jamal?

Supporters pack Federal Appeals Court hearing

Another Leader in a Former Soviet Republic Poisoned FREE!

As UK seeks extradition of ex-Russian agent for murder of Putin critic

Executions Down Worldwide -- Except Iran

177 prisoners put to death in 2006

Fumbled Execution Puts Lethal Injection Method on the Hot Seat

Death row inmate took 34 minutes to die

Underground Moscow
Developers hope to turn nuclear war bunker into bomb shelter chic
Stalin's Bunker to Become Putin's Mall FREE!

Once top-secret bunker 22 floors beneath Moscow to become giant leisure complex and hotel

Guest Workers Fired After Protesting 'Slave' Conditions

Ship workers brought from India to work for Mississippi company

African Americans Losing Faith in Public Education

Latinos, Asians least pessimistic

Hate Radio Uses U.S. Muslim Poll to Stir Fears

After 15% of youth said suicide bombing "often" (2%) or "sometimes" justified

Falwell Leaves Legacy of Intolerance, Christian Zionism

Also played major role in coarsening the political dialogue in this country

Study Finds Bill O'Reilly Bashes Every 6.8 Seconds FREE!

Name-calling more than once every seven seconds in 'Talking Points Memo'

Media Loves Using Religious Soundbites, Study Finds

The religious right is known for short answers that fit in a soundbite

Chavez Nationalizes Venezuela's Top TV Station

"This is not a closure of the station; it is non-renewal of the license"

Mexico Drug Crackdown Spreading Organized Crime

Deployment of federal troops is pushing drug trafficking from hot spots into other areas of the country.

Pope Endorses "Miracle Pills" by Naming New Saint

Ill still hopeful of cure by swallowing rice paper with enscribed prayers


Joe Conason Bush Breaks Neo-con Taboo With Short Iran Meetup

Apocalyptic Times for the GOP Faithful

Beware Murdoch's 'Necessary Promises'

GOP's Reaganesque Tall Tales

Tenet's Share of the Shame


Robert Scheer Welcome to Grandpa's World, Baby Cheney

Worse Than Watergate, Part II

Bush has to Ignore Iran's Nukes to Bailout Iraq

Bush Alums Reap Their Reward

After Thousands Have Died, Tenet Comes Clean


Alexander Cockburn Ron Paul, Last of the Texas Outsiders

The Greenhousers Strike Back

Al Gore, Merchants of Fear

Trying to Catch Up with the Voters


Steve Young Republicans Eating Their Own

SPIRD: Smartest Person in the Room Disorder

Jon Stewart and Satire Destroying Society

Mr. 6.8 Seconds

Bad Luck Can be the Best Luck of All

FREE! The final nail in Blair's coffin came the moment at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg last year when Bush was overheard calling to the prime minister with a belittling "Yo, Blair!" It was the senior class bully ordering the class nerd to hand over his lunch money, intolerable to the citizens of a former empire on which the sun never set

Albion Monitor
Issue 157

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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