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    World News
5/31/04 - 6/6/04

Sunday  6/6/04

Venezuela 2004 - Nicaragua's Contra War Reprised  6/6/04 Counterpunch 

Militants strike at Saudis' weakest point  6/6/04 Independent: '"Although Saudi Arabia has more than 80 active oil and natural gas fields and a thousand working wells, half its proven oil reserves are contained in only eight fields," said Robert Baer, who served for 21 years with the CIA's Directorate of Operations in the Middle East. "Confidential scenarios have suggested that if terrorists were simultaneously to hit only a few sensitive points from these eight fields, they could effectively put the Saudis out of the oil business for about two years." That could conceivably mean crude oil, which has been trading at more than $40 per barrel, doubling or even trebling in price. Recent Saudi assurances that the oilfields are well protected are sceptically received by expatriates who had also been assured of their personal safety."

Massive U.S. Prison Population Jumps By 57,000  6/6/04 New Standard: "The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country and the US prison population represents almost a quarter of all the world’s prisoners, according to figures compiled by the British Government."


Saturday  6/5/04

topPro, anti-Chavez forces begin recall referendum fight  6/5/04 AFP 

US navy plans 'show of force' off oil-rich West Africa  6/5/04 AFP: "An Abuja-based US diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity that the Gulf of Guinea was "a place where there is not normally an American presence" and described the operation as "a show of force." "Operation Summer Pulse '04 aims to demonstrate the capabilities of the US navy; before we only had two or three operations involving aircraft carriers at any one time," he said, adding that seven carrier groups are to be deployed in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Guinea."

Economistas alemanes vislumbran triunfo de Chávez en Revocatorio  6/5/04 Aporrea 

HAITI & VENEZUELA--COUP & EMPIRE  6/5/04 From the Wilderness: by Stan Goff - "Many people continue to believe that the US supported Aristide's return to the Haitian presidency in 1994 because the Clinton administration supported democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The intelligence summaries we received during his reinstallation were violently anti-Aristide, and the policies pursued from Day One were designed to ensure Aristide's neutralization as the leader of Haiti. He spent three years in talks with the United States trying to gain support for his return, and during that time the United States placed increasing pressure on him – especially by allowing the body count of the Cedras-Francois coup government to increase at the expense of Aristide activists from the Lavalas movement he founded."

Toll from deadly floods tops 3,300 on Hispaniola  6/5/04 Globe & Mail, Toronto 

Beating Specialist Baker  6/5/04 NYT: "Then in January 2003, an officer in Guantánamo asked him to pretend to be a prisoner in a training drill. As instructed, Mr. Baker put on an orange prison jumpsuit over his uniform, and then crawled under a bunk in a cell so an "internal reaction force" could practice extracting an uncooperative inmate. The five U.S. soldiers in the reaction force were told that he was a genuine detainee who had already assaulted a sergeant… [beating described] ...But Mr. Baker began suffering seizures, so the military sent him to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for treatment of a traumatic brain injury. He stayed at the hospital for 48 days, was transferred to light duty in an honor burial detail at Fort Dix, N.J., and was finally given a medical discharge two months ago. Meanwhile, a military investigation concluded that there had been no misconduct involved in Mr. Baker's injury. Hmm. The military also says it can't find a videotape that is believed to have been made of the incident."


Friday  6/4/04

topMore Imperial Intrigue as CIA Director Resigns  6/4/04 AntiWar 

The Haiti Crisis: Aristide Is Not the Issue  6/4/04 Bella Ciao: by Bill Fletcher, Jr. "Following the coup, many progressives reacted, understandably, by defending President Aristide-the- person. But this misses the point about the coup’s upending of constitutional rule. It also fails to address the complications that President Aristide found himself facing as a result of the conditions that he accepted when he was returned to power in 1994. At that time, the U.S. government imposed on President Aristide a set of conditions that were the equivalent of handcuffing him. He was expected to adopt, almost wholesale, the economic approach that has come to be known as the Washington Consensus. This included the elimination of thousands of civil service positions and the advancement of a privatization agenda. The United States and multilateral lending institutions demanded this approach of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, one emerging from a history of political despotism and neo-colonialism. For better or for worse, President Aristide accepted these parameters."

RECRUITMENT-OFFICE PROTEST - If only he’d put women’s underwear on his head instead  6/4/04 Boston Phoenix: "So if Previtera didn’t mention a bomb, what exactly constitutes a bomb threat? "It can be implied, with fingers and wires — especially in a heightened state of alert, as we are," says Officer Michael McCarthy, Boston Police Department spokesman. And McCarthy thinks this is common knowledge, even if the wires are accessories to a costume. "Mr. Previtera should know better. He’s a young adult educated at Boston College from a wealthy suburb. I’m sure he knows wires attached to his fingers, running to a milk crate, would arouse suspicion outside a military recruiters’ office [when he’s] dressed in prisoner’s garb." [Except for a detail - the article shows a photo of Previtera with the wire clearly not connecting with the milk crate, which is empty anyways, so that no one should have reasonably mistaken it for a bomb.]

Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides  6/4/04 Capitol Hill Blue: "Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now." Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will."

Boston Protester Faces Felony Charges For Protesting Abu Ghraib Abuse  6/4/04 Democracy Now: "A 21-year-old college student could spend years in jail on bomb threat charges after he stood silently outside a military recruitment office dressed like an Iraqi prisoner: in a black cape, hooded, wearing stereo wires hanging from his fingers. The police charged Joseph Previtera with making a bomb threat since the stereo wires resembled wires to a bomb."

Ex-Haitian police commander pleads innocent to Miami drug charge  6/4/04 Miami Herald 

Brazil´s ambitions in Haiti  6/4/04 Radio Netherlands 

El imperialismo está jugando una de sus cartas finales contra Venezuela  6/4/04 Rebelion 

Legislators defend ban on copying names from voter lists  6/4/04 Sun Sentinel: "...a Florida law that legally prohibits individuals from copying or writing down names of the state's registered voters -- which is now being challenged in court -- is needed to protect voter privacy, state election officials and key state legislators insist. Groups such as the NAACP, eager to avoid a repeat of problems in the 2000 presidential election in which thousands of people in Florida were mistakenly purged from voter rolls, have demanded state election officials release the names of more than 47,000 suspected felons who may not be allowed to vote this fall."


Thursday  6/3/04

topFirst in the World in the Deranged - Insanity in America  6/3/04 Counterpunch: "The study, led by a Harvard Medical School researcher, found evidence of mental problems in 26.4% of people in the United States, versus, for example, 8.2% of people in Italy. The researchers were concerned with matters such as lack of access to treatment and under-treatment, but for those concerned about a safe and decent world, I think the salient finding is simply America's high percentage. The world is being led by a nation where more than one-quarter of the people have genuine mental problems."

All-out war between Al Qaeda and house of Saud under way  6/3/04 CSM: "Analysts like Mustafa Alani, a Middle East security analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in London, say that the attacks inside Saudi Arabia have turned a broad swath of Saudi public opinion against Al Qaeda, creating the conditions for the kingdom to pursue an "open war" against the group. Until the past year, the kingdom was afraid of inflaming popular sentiment with an all-out campaign, but Al Qaeda operations have given the government a freer hand. It began with the May 12, 2003, suicide attacks on three housing compounds for foreigners in the capital, Riyadh, which killed 36 people, most of them Saudis."

OPEC Has Already Turned to the Euro  6/3/04 Gold Money: "Note that the price of crude oil in terms of euros is essentially unchanged throughout this 3-year period. As the dollar has fallen, the dollar price of crude oil has risen. But the euro price of crude oil remains essentially unchanged throughout this 3-year period. It does not seem logical that this result is pure coincidence. It is more likely the result of purposeful design, namely, that OPEC is mindful of the dollar's decline and increases the dollar price of its crude oil by an amount that offsets the loss in purchasing power OPEC's members would otherwise incur. In short, OPEC is protecting its purchasing power as the dollar declines."

'We're paying the mujahideen not to shoot at us'  6/3/04 Telegraph, UK: "In Fallujah, the most restive city in the Sunni Triangle of Iraq, anti-American feeling is white-hot. Jack Fairweather is smuggled inside the city that is a no-go area for Westerners.. Abdul Razzak is a civil engineer who has spent the past month assessing the war damage for compensation claims. So far he has a bill running into the multi-millions with thousands of claimants. The US military has agreed to hand out £650 million."

Already with 15,738 more than the required, the National Elections Council (CNE) reveals that a recall referendum against President Hugo Chavez Frias will go ahead  6/3/04 Vheadlines 


Wednesday  6/2/04

topHonduras: 'Homies Were Burning Alive'  6/2/04 Alternet: "In first-ever interviews, representatives of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) gang in Honduras this week described how security forces were to blame for the May 17 prison fire that killed 105 of those they call their homeboys. In addition to starting the fire, police and prison guards allegedly kept the facility's gates locked for over an hour while trapped inmates were burnt alive or died from smoke inhalation. Human rights observers, children's advocates, and MS members say the tragedy is a direct consequence of Honduras' mano dura (strong fist) policies. These policies employ suppression tactics based on New York City's "zero tolerance" police strategies of the '90s, and were instituted on the advice of the Manhattan Institute think-tank and the Giuliani Group, which have exported the New York model to Latin America."

Study of 14 countries finds mental illness is prevalent  6/2/04 AP: "Mental illnesses including anxiety disorders and depression are common and under-treated in many developed and developing countries, with the highest rate found in the United States, according to a study of 14 countries."

Aftermath of Haiti's floods  6/2/04 Baltimore Sun 

Danny Glover expresses support for Intellectual Congress in Caracas  6/2/04 Granma: "Popular U.S. actor Danny Glover has expressed his support for the World Congress of Intellectuals and Artists convened for the defense of humanity and scheduled to take place in Caracas from November 30 through December 3 of this year."

Prevalence, Severity, and Unmet Need for Treatment of Mental Disorders in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys  6/2/04 JAMA: "The prevalence of having any WMH-CIDI/DSM-IV [mental] disorder in the prior year varied widely, from 4.3% in Shanghai to 26.4% in the United States, with an interquartile range (IQR) of 9.1%-16.9%."

Brahimi: Bremer the `dictator of Iraq' in shaping Iraqi government  6/2/04 Knight Ridder 

U.S. Is Sued Over Records of Military Prisoner Abuse  6/2/04 NYT: "Civil-rights and veterans groups on Wednesday sued the U.S. government for what they said was illegally withholding records about American military abuse of prisoners held in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and other locations."

Former Haitian senator to face cocaine-smuggling charge  6/2/04 Sun Sentinel: "The U.S. investigation into drugs, money and corruption under Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide stretched Tuesday from the ranks of the Haitian National Police into the upper echelon of the Senate and ruling political party. Fourel Celestin, a former president of the Senate and member of Aristide's Famni Lavalas Party, was taken into custody Tuesday at the Miami offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He is being held without bail." [Meanwhile, industrial strength traffickers continue to roam Haiti, supported by the new government.]

Propaganda and Destabilization in Haiti  6/2/04 Znet 


Tuesday  6/1/04

topU.N. peacekeepers take command from U.S.-led Haiti force, face uncertainty with few troops on ground  6/1/04 AP 


Monday  5/31/04

topIraq: Disintegration  5/31/04 Dahr Jamail: "A man has been selected by the IGC as the president whom every single Iraqi I know thinks is an absolute bastard. One man I know, when asked what he thought about Alawi, said frankly, “He will be killed, insh’allah.” Another Iraqi friend said, “If he lasts a month, he’ll be very lucky.” So as the Bush and Blair camps race about trying to paint a picture of stability and structure in Iraq, with June 30 is now just a month away -- this place is coming apart at the seams. For each step forward the coalition makes, two disasters occur... whether they take the form of deadly attacks on the occupying forces, more mortars blasting into the CPA, sabotage of a pipeline or powerplant, a murder, another SUV of secret service or security mercenaries taken out by an RPG, or something less obvious... A child being raised to fight. A woman dying of breast cancer from depleted uranium exposure. A highly trained engineer, without work, sweating in his car, which he drives as a taxi, which means waiting for hours in a fuel line. A family home raided in the middle of the night by the military. Women not being able to leave their homes in safety. Nor men, for that matter. A soldier who has lost his legs in an IED blast goes home to his country. He and his family having to learn to live with his disability. An Iraqi war veteran begging on the street -- has no family. Iraq has been shattered. And now, today, over a year since the horrible regime of Saddam Hussein was overthrown, what is left of the country seems to be unraveling more and more with each passing day."

Khobar Attack Further Divides Saudi Royal House  5/31/04 Debka, Israel 

Mexico: After the Revolution Lázaro Cárdenas and the Movimiento de Liberación Nacional  5/31/04 National Security Archives: "But Mexico faced an equally perplexing problem at home, where new political extremes emerged in the wake of Castro's triumph. Most notably, Cuba prompted a revitalization of the Mexican left for the first time since the sexenio of President Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-40). And while the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) continued to speak the rhetoric of revolution after the fall of Batista, its leaders considered the resurgence of the left a serious threat to PRI hegemony. The regime's dilemma was made all the more complicated by the fact that a leading proponent of the new activism was none other than Lázaro Cárdenas himself, champion of Mexican farmers and the force behind the country's nationalization of its oil industry. Inspired by Fidel Castro's victory, the former President broke the cardinal rule that demanded total loyalty to the PRI by founding, in 1961, the Movimiento de Liberación Nacional (MLN), a "civic organization" designed to bring together the disparate efforts of the Mexican left under one umbrella."

"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes


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