Albion Monitor Issue 161 SEPTEMBER 2007
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TOP: Monks march towards the Shwedagon pagoda as onlookers join and form a human chain to protect the monks from government forces. BOTTOM: By Sept. 25, an estimated 100,000 had joined the peaceful protests, but in the following days Burma cracked down, killing up to 200 demonstrators and arresting hundreds more.

(PHOTOS: Narinjara News, Myo Khin/Mizzima News, civilian photographer)

Burma's Buddhist monks have turned an on-going protest against steep hikes in fuel prices into a religious and moral showdown with the country's oppressive military regime. The protests took root September 21, as hundreds of monks, clad in their distinct dark orange robes, marched through a heavy monsoon downpour and flooded streets to the most sacred Buddhist temple, the Shwedagon pagoda.

Five days later, the confrontation turned deadly. A scene unfolded near the pagoda as a group of monks marching down the street were stopped by armed riot police. The men in robes responded in a peaceful gesture, kneeling before their adversaries and asking permission to enter the pagoda. The retort the monks got was a blunt one from a member of the armed riot squad: "We have orders to shoot"


China Has Much at Stake in Propping up Burma Regime

Burma's "Whiteshirt" Storm Troopers

Burma's Monks in the Tradition of Buddihst Activism

Burma Troops Attack, Kill Monks Protesting Junta

100,000 Join Burma's Monks in Rights Protest

Buddhist Monks on Collision Course With Burma's Junta

Did the Senate Just Authorize War on Iran?

Lieberman-Kyl amendment designates part of Iran military as terrorist group

New White House Spin is Iran Seeking "Dominance"

Any Iranian role in Iraq war now said to have a "very specific strategic purpose"

Ahmadinejad's Message to UN: Don't Try to Manipulate us With Sanctions

Nukes aren't an issue, but if they were, they shouldn't be, 'cause they aren't for you

Ahmadinejad Stuns With "No Gays in Iran" Claim

2005 execution of Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, both gay teenagers

What he meant to say is "we have no (more) gays"

Ahmadinejad, Traditionalists Really Don't See Gays in Iran

"Gay" is viewed as Western perversion, different from accepted long-term same-sex relationships

Afghanistan Near Social Collapse, Study Finds

Increased poverty, widespread corruption, a breakdown in the rule of law and a paralyzed judiciary

Taliban Wants Talks With Afghan Government

Question if negotiations with "moderates" could actually aid hard-core Taliban

Taliban Taunt Musharraf by Capturing His Soldiers

Militants mostly control Afghan border area

Protests Follow Taser Use on Student

"Don't Tase' me, bro!" instantly became catchword for abuse

What if you Threw A Global Climate Summit and Nobody Came?

Bush's party fizzles, although it was meant to trump UN's summit earlier in the week

UN: After 15 Years, Top Nations Have Done Nothing to Slow Global Warming

Bush doesn't even attend summit

Get Out of Iraq, Blackwater Told

After Baghdad firefight that left 8 civilians dead

Sheikh's Assassination a Blow to Bush

Was a fixture in Pentagon-escorted Congressional and media tours of Anbar

Neo-Cons Stage Show to Insist Troop "Surge" Working

"No Middle Way" campaign aims to block U.S. pullout

Haditha Massacre Probe Limps to a Close

Marine rampage slaughtered 24 civilians, including children as young as 2

Putin Appears to be Plotting Return to Power in 2012, Analysts Say

Dismisses government, installs unknown as prime minister

Selling the Surge

FREE! The launching "Brand Petraeus" and providing Bush with some upbeat Iraqi news (Sunnis in al-Anbar Province ally with U.S.) and numbers (violence down in August) were the two necessities of the summer. In July, the celebrity surge general, who had already shown a decided knack on earlier tours of Iraq for wowing the media, was loosed. Petraeus, in turn, loosed all his top commanders to enter vociferously into what previously would have been a civilian debate over U.S. policy and the issue of "withdrawal." This campaign, by the way, represents a significant chiseling away at traditional prohibitions on U.S. military figures entering the American political arena while in uniform.

And now we have the full-scale media spectacle of testimony to Congress by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Thus we have the most political general in recent memory has been asked to assess his own work (as has our ambassador in Iraq), and then present "recommendations" to the White House in a "report" that is actually being written in the White House

Petraeus Contradicted Self on Iran Involvement

"Quds Force" not even in Iraq, he later tells Congress

Petraeus Tells Congress: No Exit

As Bush presses Congress for $200 billion to continue military ops

CENTCOM Commander Opposed "Surge," Called Petraeus a Suck-Up

Considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit"

Cable News Can't Get Enough of Bin Laden Video

"Thinking of you, O.B.L."

FOX News: 1+ hour continuous coverage - Al Jazeera, 10 minutes

U.S. Losing "War of Ideas" in Mideast

"That we are on the losing side of a PR campaign against a mass murderer is astonishing"

Repubs, Lieberman, Kill Senate Bid to Restore Habeas Corpus for Gitmo

Similar measure soon to be before vote in House

Mystery Surrounds Israeli Airstrike on Syria

Dress rehearsal for a possible future strike on Iranian nuclear facilities?

Arab Media See Israeli Raid on Syria As More Psy-War Than Proxy-War

Aimed at influencing Bush's much-heralded regional peace summit in November

Musharaff Foe Returns to Pakistan, is Immediately Deported

U.S. and Saudis support phony show of Pakistan democracy

Pakistan Passes Law to Curb Trade in Selling Kidneys to Saudis

Pakistan's main objection was that the poor are coerced into selling organs cheaply

Neo-Cons Compare Iran to James Bond Supervillains

Ahmadinejad is like Goldfinger, "they want us to die, they want to destroy us"

Cuban Father Fights for Custody of Daughter in Miami

Replay of the Elian Gonzalez case

Immigrant Parents of Dead Soldiers Now Facing Deportation

Before his death, Soriano promised his parents he'd help them get green cards. He only succeeded partially before losing his life

Jailed Immigrants Face Conditions Worse Than U.S. Prisons

Persistent neglect, lack of accountability in treatment of detained immigrants

FBI Fails to Understand Nature of Terrorism, Says Former Undercover Agent

"I've peeked behind that curtain and it's an Unholy Mess"

Poor Kids Left Behind as Schools Focus Just on Passing Required Tests

Stuck in schools that have dropped science, art and music classes in favor of round-the-clock test preparation

Scholar Compares Iraq to Napoleon's Disasterous Invasion of Egypt

19th century colonial politics just don't work anymore

Extradition of Fujimori Sets International Precedent

But deal with Chile limits the number of charges for Peru's former president

Few Satisfied With Arrests for Murder of Russian Journalist

Following claims that killers were intending to destabilize Russia


Brain Trauma the "Signature Injury" For Iraq Vets

About 1 in 5 have some brain damage

Iraq Border Village Under Fire From Iran, Turkey

Civilians flee as two armies try to bomb Kurdish independence fighters

Back to School, Back to Horror in Iraq

800,000+ children may now be out of school

No Slowdown of Refugees Fleeing Iraq

50,000 entering Syria every month

Selling Blood a Vital Income Source for Many in Baghdad FREE!

Continuing violence in Iraq is making it difficult to store blood safely and demand remains high

Rival Shiite Militias Behind Pilgrimage Violence

Increase in Shiite rivals fighting over all southern Iraq


Far Right Forms New Group to Sell Iraq War to "Values Voters"

Pitching crusade against 'islamo-fascism' as religious and family value issue

Bush Chooses Moderate as Attorney-General

A long-time supporter of Giuliani

Who's Hsu? Wonders China Media

While mainstream media speculates how this saga will affect Hillary's campaign, the Chinese press just trying to figure out who he is

Rumsfeld Redeploys to Right-Wing Thinktank

Part of task force of scholars and experts studying post-9/11 ideology and terror

Oprah's Star Power Won't Help Obama

Almost no one pays any attention to what celebrities have to say about politicians

Univision Debate Underscores Latino Voter Clout

2008 swing states all have major Latino voting blocks

Clash with Cheney over Iran Likely Prompted Rove Departure

Whatever else Rove has been, he served as a counterweight to Cheney's clear desire to expand the Middle East quagmire into Iran

Oil and Corruption in Iraq
Iraqi fire fighters attempt to control a blaze following a rocket attack on an oil pipeline in Kirkuk, Nov. 27, 2006. (PHOTO: Sgt. Samuel Bendet/USAF)

FREE! In the first few years after the fall of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's government, Sunni insurgents -- many of whom as former soldiers had guarded oil routes under the old regime -- blew up the oil pipelines in north Iraq to wreak havoc. Since then, insurgents have realised that stealing oil is also damaging, and is far more profitable than pure destruction. Today, Kirkuk's oil wealth is evaporating, with an estimated 800,000 gallons of oil lost every month.

In southern Iraq, a lucrative oil smuggling business run by clans and overseen by militia groups in Basra have divided up control of the city's resources -- including the country's only seaport as well as its largest oilfields. Assim Jihad, spokesperson for the oil ministry, denied that large-scale smuggling is taking place in Basra. But he conceded that of the 1.6 million barrels a day exported by Iraq through Basra harbors last April, 100,000 barrels -- worth about five million dollars -- went missing each day

Texas Gov. Commutes Death Sentence at 11th Hour

Mother of the victim grateful she will not be "forced any more to relive his death"

Anger Grows Among Israel's Bedouins

Desert people are Israeli citizens, yet live in 'unrecognized' villages and are harassed daily by the army

Mexican Catholic Church Lashes Out at Sex Abuse Victim

Mexico City Archdiocese retaliates after victim sues
500,000 Latinos fought in WWII but are barely mentioned in epic documentary (PHOTO: Univ of Texas/Austin)

U.S. Refuses to Drop Banned Pesticide

Methyl Bromide: The chemical that must not be named

Mine Tragedies Spur Calls to Renew Oversight

Federal inspections of all mines required 4x a year, but many cancelled

As Ahmadinejad's Star Fades, Rafsanjani is the Man to Watch

Iran reformist now has more support than he has ever had in many years

Where are the Latinos in Ken Burns' "War?"

As the future of today's U.S. military depends on young Latinos


Joe Conason How to Deal with Iran

Hillary's Healthy Turnaround

The Illusion of Iraqi Progress

Bush's Baghdad Shell Game


Robert Scheer More Money Down the Iraq Drain

Checkbook Imperialism: The Blackwater Fiasco

The General Lies

Another $50 Billion Down the Rat Hole


Alexander Cockburn In Sickness and in Health with Hillary

Greenspan Wants the Credit, not the Blame

The General Came to Washington

Will Bush Really Bomb Iran?


Steve Young More Fear Than Racism

It Wasn't Just the General That Betrayed Us

Six Degrees Of Undermining The Troops

O'Reilly Demands Propaganda To Stop...Sort Of

FREE! What do Marcel Marceau, Andrew Meyer, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have in common? The power of speech. Free speech.

By now, you probably have seen the video of student Meyer being roughed up and tasered -- tasered! -- by campus police after he refused to relinquish the audience microphone at an appearance by John Kerry.

As The Orlando Sentinel editorialized, "Mr. Meyer spoke only for about a minute and a half. Mr. Kerry, moreover, said he'd take his question. The answer Mr. Meyer received -- getting taken from the hall and tasered by police -- proved more disruptive than anything Mr. Meyer had to say.

"And like other schools' attempts to stymie speech invariably do, it now is the only thing people want to talk about." Which is just one reason Columbia University was wise to allow Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak on its campus

Albion Monitor
Issue 161

Editor: Jeff Elliott (

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