Albion Monitor Issue 166 FEBRUARY 2008
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  U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Saladin leads the rear element as he patrols an alleyway in the Rusafa neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, on Feb. 17, 2008. Saladin and his fellow soldiers are from the Armyis 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.    DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Jason T. Bailey, U.S. Air Force

FREE! Think of the top officials of the Bush administration as magicians when it comes to Iraq. Their top hats and tails may be worn and their act fraying, but it doesn't seem to matter. Their latest "abracadabra," the president's "surge strategy" of 2007, has still worked like a charm. They waved their magic wands, paid off and armed a bunch of former Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists (about 80,000 "concerned citizens," as the president likes to call them), and magically lowered "violence" in Iraq. Even more miraculously, they made a country that they had already turned into a cesspool and a slagheap -- its capital now has a "lake" of sewage so large that it can be viewed "as a big black spot on Google Earth" -- almost entirely disappear from view in the United States.

Of course, what they needed to be effective was that classic adjunct to any magician's act, the perfect assistant. This has been a role long held, and still played with mysterious willingness, by the mainstream media. There are certainly many reporters in Iraq doing their jobs as best they can in difficult circumstances. When it comes to those who make the media decisions at home, however, they have practically clamored for the Bush administration to put them in a coffin-like box and saw it in half. Thanks to their news choices, Iraq has for months been whisked deep inside most papers and into the softest sections of network and cable news programs. Only one Iraq subject has gotten significant front-page attention: How much "success" has the president's surge strategy had?

Conspiracy Questions Raised Over Man Arrested as Bhutto's Assassin

Was released from prison just 3 months before Bhutto's return to Pakistan

Bush War Vets Planning "Winter Soldier II"

Say evidence of atrocities will be presented

Satellite Shootdown Viewed as Space Weapons Test

White House originally said falling satellite posed only a negligible threat

White House Wins Claim That Renditions Flight Plan is "State Secret"

Might reveal locations secret prisons that officially don't exist

Assassination of Top Hezbollah Commander Could Ignite Region

Iran more likely now to defend Lebanon from attacks

Raul Castro's VP Pick Shows Old Guard Still in Charge

One of the foremost from country's hard-line communists

Fidel Officially Steps Down

Cubans not surprised, say decision was best for nation

Despite Defeat, Bush Sticks by Dictator Musharraf FREE!

Appears to hope that the newly elected Pakistani opposition will take pity on the dictator by entering a power-sharing arrangement with him

Big Losers in Pakistan Election: Bush and Bin Laden

U.S. top ally, Islamists, both rejected by voters - leaders who publicly denounced U.S. policy elected

Pakistan Voters Stand up Against Musharraf

Despite Pakistan's attorney general heard on tape saying election will be 'massively' rigged

Bush Hopes for Victory Lap With Visit to 5 African Countries

Avoiding hot spots where U.S. won't help pay for peacekeeping missions


  Kenya police
Anti-riot police brought in to control demonstrators during a funeral service for victims of post-election violence in Nairobi, January 2008. (PHOTO: © Julius Mwelu/IRIN)

At the end of December, hell came to the garden of eden.

Immediately following the Dec. 30 announcement that Kenya president Mwai Kibaki had been reelected in a vote widely believed rigged, blood began to flow in the great Rift Valley, often claimed as the inspiration for the biblical tale of the fabled garden. The first victims were mainly members of Kibaki's community, the Kikuyu. Then revenge attacks by Kikuyu youths against communities they perceive to be rivals began. And now, the killings have spread to Nairobi and areas not initially affected by the unrest. The violence has claimed over 1,000 lives and displaced over 250,000 people. U.S. envoy Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, has called it "ethnic cleansing."

Contributing to the problem are arms sales, including ammunition made in Kenya by a European company. The plant has been blamed earlier for providing supplies to armed factions in the genocide that swept through Rwanda in 1994. Now Amnesty International has documented human rights violations by Kenyan forces using weapons manufactured at the same site. The EU has a decade-old code that stipulates that licences to export weapons cannot be issued if there is a threat they will be used for internal repression or in armed conflicts. But because these bullets are made outside the EU, they are not covered by the code.

Media bias also played a central role. A commissioner with the Media Council of Kenya said that long before the elections were held, local radio stations had ignited ethnic consciousness among the listeners "making them support leaders from their own tribe and harbor bad feelings about people from other communities." Media owners were likewise encouraging violence. "They had vested interests in either camp of the political divide," a reporter with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) said, adding that he and his colleagues wanted to tell the real story but they couldn't because the stories could portray the government in a bad light. "We had beautiful clips and stories from the field, but we went back to the newsroom knowing that the story would never be used," he said.


Kenya's Version of Hate Radio Stirred Ethnic Tensions
250,000 Kenyans Flee Homes FREE!

European Arms Sales Fuel Violence in Kenya



albanian kosovo Pro-independence graffiti in Prishtina (PHOTO: epa) serb kosovo A billboard in Belgrade: "Kosovo is Serbia!"
INDEX to MONITOR coverage of the Kosovo War


How Kosovo 'Success Story' Became Such a Mess

Serb minority kept out of leadership even in Serb region

Security Council Deadlocked Over Kosovo

China, Russia will likely keep breakaway state from ever joining UN

Serbians Protest, Riot Over Kosovo Independence

Serbian authorities have threatened to cut economic ties with the province in retaliation

Kosovo Serbs Not Celebrating Independence

Now only 4% of Kosovo population

Independence - the Last Battle of Kosovo

Serbs bitter as Albanians declare ownership with aid of EU

Kosovo Grows as a Problem for European Union

Persecution from ethnic Albanians driving minorities into Europe

6 Gitmo Prisoners to be Tried for 9/11 Terrorism

Face death sentences with none of the guarantees of trial by jury

Unprecedented 143 Million Pounds of Hamburger Recalled FREE!

In a still frame from the HSUS video, a downer cow is shown being shoved along with a forklift

Risk that some animals may have had Mad Cow disease

China News Blackout of Spielberg Olympics Snub

Beijing deeply uncomfortable as Hollywood points out human rights issues

E Timor Shooter Buried Amidst Flurry of Questions

President Horta was in reconciliation talks with army rebels


Despite Claims of Iraq "Calm," Bodies Piling Up

Many of the killings have taken place in the most well guarded areas of Baghdad

Massive Unemployment a Key Factor in Iraq

60-70% out of work

Iraqis Chatter Through Winter With Little or no Electricity

Some homes get electricity just an hour or two a day and sometimes, none for a week

Anger, Hatred of U.S. Follows Airstrikes on Iraqi Villages

B1 bombing of suspected militant hideouts left Sunni families scrambling for their lives

'Sunni Awakening' Forces Walk Out in Baqouba

U.S-backed militia charge U.S-backed police force acting like militia


Right Painting Obama as Manchurian Candidate

Anonymous e-mail, whispering campaign picks up

John Lewis' Endorsing Obama Worth More Than One Vote

A real and symbolic passing of the civil rights torch

Hillary, Where's the Firewall? FREE!

There are complicated scenarios in which Senator Clinton could emerge victorious, but it would be an ugly, ugly win

Some in Congressional Black Caucus Fear Obama Victory

Old-school career lawmakers feel threatened by demand for change

Latinos The Most Desired Voters in Texas

Hillary benefits from the senator's decades-long friendships in the state

Will Democrats Decide Candidate by Undemocratic Superdelegates?

The disconnect between rank and file democrats and the "superdelegates" brings all of the worst concerns of race, class, and gender inequalities to the forefront

Media Loves McCain, Mercurial Maverick

But platform of mixed realist and neo-con positions give everyone in GOP something to hate

Did Asian Americans Swing California for Clinton?

Hillary campaign began reaching out to Asian community before other candidates

Super Tuesday Turned Into Stalemate Tuesday

As Repubs feud, Obama rakes in cash, and Hillary writes herself a $5 million check


FREE! No greater challenge will face President Obama or President Clinton II than repairing the shambles of U.S. foreign policy. But what direction will (s)he take? Voters on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party are rightly disappointed by the similarity of their foreign policy positions, including proposed directions on Iraq.

As a result, the kind of people the next president appoints to top positions in national defense, intelligence, and foreign affairs is critical. Such officials usually emerge from among a presidential candidate's team of foreign policy advisors. So, analyzing who these two finalists for the Democratic presidential nomination have brought in to advise them on international affairs can be an important barometer for determining what kind for foreign policies they would pursue as president. But who have they picked to help them deal with Iraq war and the other immensely difficult foreign policy decisions that they'll be likely to face as president?

Trio Claiming to be "Ex-Terrorists" Appearing at Conferences, on TV

Feeding Islamophobia to Christian Right

E Timor Coup Attempt Tied to 2006 Crisis

UN peacekeeping forces also delayed ambulance for severely wounded President

E Timor Mystery: What Was Behind Assassination Attempt? FREE!

Nation in shock after renegade army officer shoots renowned president

Petraeus, Gates: Risk of Losing Iraq Gains if Drawdown of U.S. Troops

Also: real stage for "war on terror" isn't Iraq at all, Congress told

Mukasey Refuses to Consider Legality of Waterboarding

CIA waterboarding was "legal at that time," Attorney General claims

Pakistan-Based Al-Qaeda is Top Threat, Says U.S. Intel Report

Also concerns about global energy security, including possible "major oil supply disruption"

Neo-Cons, Bush Backers Spending Million$ on "Grassroots" Org

May spend $250 million just on elections

NATO Winning Afghanistan Battles, Losing the War

3 reports find resurgent Taliban, weak central government

Senate Seeks to Restrict Bush "State Secrets" Abuse

Used to block politically embarrassing suits from ever coming before a judge

Investors Warned Against Coal-Fired Power Plants

Stricter pollution regulation likely coming

Greek Neo-Nazis Step up Attacks on Migrants, Media, Left

Video of police joining in attacks

Egypt-Gaza Border Incident was Major Victory for Hamas

Big defeat for Bush, Olmert playbook to weaken Palestinians

Israel Resumes Turning the Screws on Gaza

Gaza child fleeing an Israeli raid   PHOTO: Mohammed Omer

"If this enforced starvation of one and a half million people was happening to Americans, would they accept it?"

Mexico Draws Tourists With Controversial Dolphin Aquariums

Only about 5% of dolphin deaths due to natural causes, say researchers

Founder of Right-Wing Catholic Order Dies - Charged With 3 Decades of Molestation

Accused of molesting boys since the 1940s

Mexico Border Fence Condemns Jaguars to Extinction

Highly endangered species based in north Mexico

Canada's Oil Sands Become Election Year Hot Potato

Oil would go to U.S. but not to Eastern Canada

Biofuels Worse Than Fossil Fuels, 2 Studies Find

Emissions from ethanol 93% higher than gasoline

Biofuels Taking Crops, Funding, From Food Production

In most cases, the only green part of biofuel is the profits


 Chauncey Bailey
GRAPHIC: Pacific News Service

Persistent Cop Cracks Yusuf Bey Assault Case

Fear, Abuse Trapped Women in Your Black Muslim Bakery

Israel Report of 2006 War Ignored Civilian Deaths

Even argued that cluster bombs were legal

Neo-cons Seek New Way to Spin Iran Threat

Even without the nuclear issue, Iran exerts a negative impact

Arab Media Question U.S. Motives in Darfur

Don't want Sudanese oil to go to China and Malaysia

Women a Growing Force in Mara Gang Culture

Guatemala study also finds half of public think police are in cahoots

Nutrition Programs Reach Children Too Late

No surprise: Preventative efforts better

Pakistan's Child Suicide Bombers Created by Religious Schools FREE!

"These young boys are as much the victims of terrorism as those they kill"


Joe Conason McCain's Political Quagmire

McCain Avoiding "Straight Talk" on Iraq Cost

What's Waiting for Obama

What Will McCain Do Now?


Robert Scheer McCain More Complicated Than Times Portrayal

To U.S. Dismay, Fidel Retires as Revered Icon

What's Good for Exxon ...

No Candidate Will Battle the Military Budget


Alexander Cockburn The Race Card

McCain: Loose Cannon, Not Maverick

The Sun Sets for Hillary Haters

Super Tuesday Plunges Both Parties into Civil War


Steve Young The McCain-Cunningham Con

O'Reilly: It's Hate Speech if it Comes from the Left

Tip to Dems: Play the Jon Stewart Card

O'Reilly Tries to Steal Decency

FREE! On March 28, 2003, just nine days after the President launched his invasion of Iraq, William Kristol made a two-hour appearance on C-Span's Washington Journal. Opposite Kristol on the segment was Daniel Ellsberg, famed for leaking the Pentagon Papers in the Vietnam era. Their discussion jumped back and forth across 40 years of U.S.-Iraqi relations. When Ellsberg raises the possibility of the new Iraq war coming to resemble Vietnam in some fashion, Kristol insists that this is utterly preposterous: "It's not going to happen. This is going to be a two-month war."

No one remembers the broadcast today. You can't even fish it out of LexisNexis. It's not there. Yet it's a masterpiece, a double album of smarm, horrifying ignorance, and bald-faced deceit. While you've heard Kristol play those instruments before, he never again reached such heights. It's a performance for the history books -- particularly that chapter about how the American Empire collapsed

saddam hussein bill william kristol fox
Impressed with the broad knowledge of Iraq shown in his fair and balanced interviews with Saddam Hussein, The New York Times rushed to offer William Kristol a job as a regular columnist
Albion Monitor
Issue 166

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