Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Democracy Now!: Palestinian Elections, US back in the Death Camp biz?

Democracy Now! is LWR on all segments (listen, watch read):
Headlines for January 10, 2005

- Widespread Problems Reported in Palestinian Elections
- Iraq: Deputy Police Chief Killed, US Kills 19 Civilians
- New Ukraine President Says He'll Pull Troops from Iraq
- U.S. Helicopter Crashes in Indonesia
- Billionaire to Bush: Give Inaugural Funds to Tsunami Victims
- Michael Moore Wins People's Choice Award

Ali Abunimah: Palestinian Elections "Taking Place Under Continued Heel of Israel's Military Tyranny"

Mahmoud Abbas has claimed victory in the Palestinian presidential elections this weekend. We speak with Ali Abunimah, founder of Electronic Intifada, who says, "Many Palestinians fear this is another setup so when the inevitable failure brought about by Israeli intransigence occurs, this will be another opportunity to blame the Palestinians, and accuse them of missing an opportunity once again." [includes rush transcript]

Historic Sudan Peace Accord Marred by Ongoing Violence in Darfur

The Sudanese government and southern rebel groups signed a comprehensive peace agreement Sunday, ending Africa's longest-running civil war. The treaty did not cover a separate conflict in the western Darfur region, which has left some 70,000 people dead and 2 million displaced. We speak with Salih Booker of Africa Action. [includes rush transcript]

Is the U.S. Organizing Salvador-Style Death Squads in Iraq?

According to Newsweek, the U.S. government is considering "The Salvador Option" - setting up assassination squads to target leaders of the Iraqi resistance. We speak with journalist and activist Allan Nairn whose 1984 article in The Progressive Magazine titled "Behind the Death Squads" exposed the CIA's backing of El Salvador death squads and led to an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee. [includes rush transcript]

Indonesia Flies al Qaeda-Linked Groups into Aceh

As Jakarta seeks U.S. military aid on the grounds of fighting terrorism, the Indonesian military is now bringing al Qaeda-linked groups into Aceh, ostensibly to help with tsunami relief. [includes rush transcript]

Natalie sends this in from CJR: "Time Does It's Us Weekly Imitation" by Brian Montopoli

Today in the New York Times, Elisabeth Bumiller gives new White House communications director Nicolle Devenish the kind of scrutiny one might expect from Us Weekly in a hard-hitting expose of Hillary Duff. (As an aside, we can picture that piece now: "Duff's friends sometimes wonder if she isn't too accommodating to her many fans. 'I just try to be there for them,' said Duff, her flawless lips breaking into a shy -- and sly -- smile. 'I'm just so lucky, you know?'")

Bumiller's profile of Devenish actually centers on the fact that, well, she's just so darn nice.

To read more of Montopoli's critique, click on the link above.

Francisco sent this link in and wanted this highlighted -- Juan Gonzalez's "Latino Pride? Look Again" from the New York Daily News (

Powell challenged Gonzales on some key facts. "Any determination that Afghanistan is a failed state would be contrary to the official U.S. government position," Powell wrote.

To Powell, one of this nation's most respected soldiers and statesmen, and to generals like Cullen and Myers, no nation, not even the United States, can simply ignore international law when it wants and act on its own - not even after 9/11.

But to Gonzales, the smart young lawyer from Texas and loyal friend of the President, all the rules had changed.

This was before the world had heard of Abu Ghraib prison.

Before we lost the hearts and minds of so many in Iraq and the Arab world.

Before the federal courts demolished the White House prisoner policy.

To the Republicans in the Senate, none of this matters right now. Powell is on his way out. Bush has been reelected. The White House has all the votes it needs to confirm Gonzales.

The guy who sought to evade laws against torture will now be in charge of enforcing all of our laws.

And for that, we Hispanics are supposed to feel proud.

Francisco asks that "everyone make time to read the full column."  (Juan Gonzalez, along with Amy Goodman, hosts Democracy Now!)

Francisco also notes that it's "Juan Gonzalez" not "Juan Gonzales."  Our apologies to Juan Gonzalez.  Francisco asked that I correct his spelling of it in the Year in Review (which I'll do gladly and I should have caught that myself so it's not Francisco's error).  I know Juan Gonzalez has been mentioned at other times so if you know of one those times, please e-mail the site ( and I'll fix it.