IS BACK IN STYLE
University professors Margaret and Melvin DeFleur have updated their study
of attitudes about America in different countries of the world. Click
here to see the an interactive guide.
here for the full report as a pdf file
Isenberg's critique of Homeland Security and recommendations for improvements
[click on image to go to the executive summary]
SEARCH FOR A NUCLEAR WEAPON FOR LIMITED CONFLICTS
Bromley and David Grahame report on the Pentagon's search for a nuclear
FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL
an interactive assessment
of nuclear disarmament after the Moscow Summit,
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BATTLE PLAN FOR IRAQ? THINK HIROSHIMA
strategy is nicknamed "Shock and Awe." The idea stems from early
work done by an academic military strategist, Harlan Ullman. Ullman advocates
opening the attack with enough force to traumatize the other side into
rapid submission. The concept calls for using conventional weapons to
create an effect similar to the shock value of the atomic bombs dropped
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The drawback is that to work, the attack must
have a shattering psychological impact on an entire societynot just
the military leadership. What Ullman does not discuss is the post-traumatic
effect that that kind of violence is likely to have on an unstable region,
and how it is likely to shape attitudes towards the United States in the
future. It has taken more than 50 years to recover from the horror of
the first use of atomic bombs, and even now the scars are not completely
Ira Chernus less than flattering appraisal of Ullmans ideas
Harlan Ullmans SHOCK AND AWE:ACHIEVING RAPID DOMINANCE
(co-authored with James P.Wade), published by the National Defense University,
CONFIDENTIAL INTERNAL U.N. DRAFT MEMORANDUM EXPLORES THE HUMANITARIAN
SCENARIOS FOLLOWING A U.S. INVASION
prediction is a devastating attack that results in humanitarian catastrophes
likely to leave lasting wounds on the Middle East, and an enduring bitterness
towards the United States.
Read Megha Bahrees report on the contents
of an early draft of a memorandum circulating internally in the U.N. about
coping with the day after Armageddon(Barwee is a graduate student in Middle
East Journalism at New York University)
a transcript of the memorandum in html (the document was
obtained and put on the net by UK-based CASIthe Committee Against
Sanctions on Iraq)
the original document in Adobe Acrobat Pdf format
BIN LADEN ON TAPE?
Colin Powell told the Senate Budget Committee that he had read the latest
broadcast from Osama Bin Laden on Tuesday morning, hours before it was
aired on the Arab TV network, al Jazeera. Powell argued that the tape,
which seems to match Osama's style, is proof that the elusive terrorist
is still dangerous, and even more so because of Iraq's efforts to develop
dangerous weapons. As Powell puts it,"... we see these non-state
actors, terrorist organizations -- Al-Qaida, bin Laden, others -- terrorists
that are trying to develop weapons of mass
weapons of mass destruction.
This morning, it was brought home to me once again when I read the transcript
of what bin Laden, or who we believe to be bin Laden, will be saying on
Al-Jazeera during the course of the day -- and you'll be seeing this as
the day unfolds -- where once again he speaks to the people of Iraq and
talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq. This
nexus between terrorists and states that are developing weapons of mass
destruction can no longer be looked away from and ignored. As the President
has said, 9/11 changed things."
Osama, in fact, said:"All those who co-operate with the Americans
against Iraq are hostile to Islam. The United States is seeking, by occupying
Iraq, to achieve the Zionist dream of establishing a Greater Israel."
While Powell took the words as proof of collusion with Iraq, others were
not so sure.
account in the BBC, Feb. 11, 2003
Powell's address to the Senate Budget Committee
in the New York Times
ADMINISTRATION IS GETTING READY TO ASK FOR DRAMATICALLY ENHANCED POLICE
POWERS IN A CONFIDENTIAL SEQUEL TO THE PATRIOT ACT
new law as described in a confidential memo, marked "not for distribution,"
will significantly reduce judicial protections for American citizens when
it comes to government wire taps and surveillance. In a marked change
from current laws, it will also authorize the president to engage in espionage
against American citizens despite the fact that Congress has not made
a formal declaration of war. The administration plan will also authorize
the Justice Department to treat suspects as terroristseven when
they have no visible connection to an international terrorist movement.
The Center for Public Integritys Charles Lewis and Adam Mayle discuss
the climate in which the draft memorandum is circulating, and they provide
a photocopy in pdf format of the original 120-page confidential document
(this is downloadable as one file, or in separate segments from the CPI
(Charles Lewis & Adam Mayle, The Center for Public Integrity, Feb.
AND BELGIUM USE THEIR VETO
who thinks France is going to give in graciously to U.S. war fever over
Iraq needs a fast rethink. The French veto for upgraded NATO assistance
to Turkey constitutes a diplomatic shot across the bow. Belgiums
support is not inconsequential. Brussels may not have much impact when
it comes to geostrategy, but it houses NATOs headquarters and it
is where the ambassadors assigned to NATO have to live. Now that the French
have shown that they are not afraid of angering Washington, the crucial
question is whether Paris is ready to go all the way and veto further
U.N. support on the Security Council.
the basic story in the Guardian, Feb. 10, 2003
Washingtons reaction in the Independent, Feb. 10, 2003
New York Times on the background (Feb. 10, 2003)
Rumsfeld reacts to NATO events at a press conference with the prime minister
the planning's going to go forward outside of NATO if necessary,
the plan to see that Turkey's circumstance is at it should be. It's an
important ally in NATO. It's a moderate Moslem state. And it seems to
me that those three countries taking that position prevents NATO from
fulfilling its obligation to a NATO ally. And I'm sure that they'll find
-- NATO will find a way to do it eventually. "
(Donald Rumsfeld, Def. Dept. Feb. 10, 2003)
Official" background briefing in Munich, Feb. 8, 2003 (Defense Dept.)
IDEA WAS IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
the U.S. finds itself seduced into a war that much of the rest of the
world does not really want, it will be thanks to a small group of dedicated
conservative radicals who were on the fringes of the U.S. foreign policy
establishment until the arrival of George Bush. The groups messianic
dream: force democracy on Iraq and bring peace to the Middle East by offering
the region an example of the American dream. The Nations Jason Vest
explored the roots of an audacious but potentially extremely dangerous
AND GERMANY PROPOSE A PEACEFUL ARMED OCCUPATION OF PARTS OF IRAQ
if a European initiative could get Iraqis to accept occupying troops at
weapons sites without combat? Washington doesnt think that the idea
will fly, but the fact that it is being suggested shows the lengths some
people to go to head off allout war.
Mick Hume in Spiked (A British journo website), Feb. 10, 2003
cat-and-mouse with the UN inspectors and stall long enough, and Washington
may lose the momentum it needs to oust Saddam. Saddam has played the game
successfully before, and these days it may be the only option he has left.
In the confusion of day-to-day events its necessary to be very clear
about Saddams ultimate objectives.
By anthony cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies,
December 31, 2003
CUTS RUSSIA OUT OF OIL CONTRACT AGAIN
as it seemed that Moscow was going to be able to renew its contract to
exploit the potentially lucrative Qrna oil fields in Iraq, Baghdad pulled
the plug againostensibly as retaliation for Moscows insistence
on stricter arms inspections.
Moscow Times, Feb. 11, 2003
AND THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT OPTION
in Washington or the Middle East who is counting on Saddam opting for
political asylum at the last moment should think again. Amatzia Barqam,
a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, explains why.
(Amatzia Salam, Brookings, Feb. 4, 2003)
CONCERNED THAT U.S. FORCES ARE RESTRICTED FROM USING DISABLING GAS AND
OTHER NON-LETHAL RIOT AGENTS IN IRAQ
some cases," says Rumsfeld,"our soldiers are authorized to kill
people, but not to use non-lethal riot agents that might incapacitate
them." Rumsfeld voiced his concerns to the House Armed Services Committee
on February 7, and said that short of a presidential decision to the contrary,
troops are bound by treaties not to use gas in combat situations. Rumsfeld
says he has had great difficulty drafting "rules of engagement"
for Iraq which will allow soldiers freedom of action. (Rumsfelds
testimony is in audio, either MP3 format or AIFF).
(Recording made available via Sunshine Project, Feb. 7, 2003)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AND DOMESTIC POLICE GETS FUZZIER
U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is now open for business,
and in its first hearing, three justices listened, behind closed doors,
to complaints from the Bush administration that the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act is hampering the presidents efforts to keep America
safe from terrorism. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olsons complaint:
FISA separates the functions of foreign intelligence collectionthe
kind carried out by the CIA against foreigners -- from those of domestic
police organizations such as the FBI that deal with American citizens
at home. Olsen argues that the differences between the two types of activity
are inconsequential. Proponents of due process are not convinced. (this
is a transcript of the closed-door presentation, US Foreign Intelligence
Court of Review, September 9, 2002).
PLACE TO HIDE
television cameras can theoretically track nearly anyone with automatically
with new pattern recognition software which analyzes facial featuresan
efficient tool for police operations or totalitarian control. Do we really
want to live in an Orwellian vision of the future? RAND analyzes the new
technology which promises to turn the sci-fi novel 1984 into a reality,
and also discusses the ethical considerations.
RAND, February 2003.
LIBERAL IS THE MEDIA ?
the complaints of conservative commentators, even the magazines and newspapers
considered to be left of center are experiencing a tectonic shift. The
Nations Eric Alterman points out that formerly liberal leaning publications
ranging from the New York Times to the Washington Post, the new Republic,
the New Yorker and even the Nation are peppered with right-leaning conservative
pundits these days.
(Eric Alterman, The Nation, Feb. 6, 2003)
MORE FIGHTING IN NILE OIL FIELDS
signing a ceasefire, the Sudanese government in Khartoum has renewed fighting
in the Nile oil fieldsthis time relying heavily on militias which
receive support from the regular army. The violations raise questions
about just how committed Khartoum really is to ending the fighting.
(International Crisis Group, Feb. 10, 2003)
ELECTRIC CONFRONTATION IN TIBLISI
Constitutional Court decided last December that abnormally high electricity
bills violate the constitutional rights of a GEORGIAN population that
is distressingly mired in economic hardship. The decision seemed generous
enough except that AES, the company that provides electric power, is American-owned.
AES established itself in Georgia in 1998, and invested $300 million in
Georgias grid. That seemed generous at the time, except that Georgians
who had been paying $0.03 per kilowatt hour, soon found themselves being
billed for more than double that. Since the average Georgian earns roughly
$30 a month, the price hike has hurt. Now AES claims that the controversy
centering on its rate hikes is really just a pretext for another local
company to move in on its franchise.
(Nata Alapishvili in Tiblisi, the Institue for War & Peace Reporting,
6 February, 2003)
AGAINST THE WAR
Bush sent poet Sam Hammil an innocent enough invitation to an evening
at the White House on "Poetry and the American Voice."When
I picked up my mail and saw the letter marked "The White House,"
I felt no joy," says Hammil. "Rather I was overcome by a kind
of nausea...Only the day before I had read a lengthy report on George
Bush's proposed "Shock and Awe" attack on Iraq, calling for
saturation bombing that would be like the firebombing of Dresden or Tokyo,
killing countless innocent civilians. Nor has Bush ruled out the use of
nuclear weapons." Hammil decided to start an on-line protest:
Poets against the war. As more poets signed on, Laura Bush canceled
the White House evening. poetry, she insisted, should not be political.
ROAD BETTER NOT TAKEN
Beatty writing in Atlantic Unbound, the on-line supplement to the Atlantic
Magazine, notes that victory in Iraq may be the beginning of a dark odyssey.
Says Beatty: "The imminent U.S. attack on Iraq will be the first
war in our history in which success is as fearful a prospect as failure.
When we "win," our troubles will just begin. How we win will
determine their gravity.
According to a recent CBS news report, the Pentagon plans to strike Bagdhad
with 300 cruise missiles in early March, to be followed twenty-four-hours
later by 300 more. American land forces will ring Bagdhad, holding it
under siege while tank detachments probe into the city to engage Saddam's
praetorian guardthis according to informed military analysts. We
reserve the right to use nuclear weapons against the Iraqis should they
attack our forces with chemical weapons, Andrew Card, the White House
chief of staff, recently warned. The Pentagon says it might use nuclear
weapons in any case, to blow up deep Iraqi bunkers. These leaks and statements
may be a form of "psy-ops," calculated to foment a military
coup to topple Saddam Hussein. If they do indicate how we will "win,"
however, then Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institute may be conservative
in estimating that Gulf War II could inflict from several to twenty-five
thousand Iraqi civilian casualties and from several hundred to five thousand
U.S. casualties. "The nightmare scenario," retired General Joseph
Hoar, the former commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate
committee in September, "is that six Iraqi Republican Guard divisions
and six heavy divisions with several hundred artillery pieces defend the
city of Bagdhad. The result would be high casualties on both sides as
well as in the civilian community. U.S. forces would certainly prevail
but at what cost ... as the rest of the world watches while we bomb and
have artillery rounds go off in densely populated Iraqi neighborhoods?"
A leaked UN contingency planning report predicted that as many as 500,000
Iraqi civilians could be injured or have their health impaired by city
read the rest of Beatty's essay, click here...
VILLAGE VOICE ADDS UP THE NUMBERS FOR THE COMING WAR
precision-guided missiles and bombs that the United States plans to launch
per hour at Baghdad during the war's first 48 hours: 63
Number of days it is expected to take for Baghdad residents to become
"physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted": 2
Percentage of U.S. bombs and missiles dropped during the first Gulf War
that were precision-guided: 9
Percentage of U.S. bombs and missiles ready to be dropped during the coming
war that are precision-guided: 75
Number of U.S. satellite-guided bombs stockpiled in the Gulf region: 6700
Number of U.S. laser-guided bombs stockpiled in the Gulf region: 3000
Number of Americans killed during the first Gulf War: 148
Number of Iraqis and Americans who, doctors say, might die in the next
war: 48,000 to 260,000
Number of additional deaths expected from the civil war within Iraq following
an invasion: 20,000
Number of additional deaths expected from "post-war adverse health
Number of total deaths if nuclear weapons are used: 3,900,000
Percentage of Americans who believe that oil best explains why the U.S.
would use military force against Iraq: 22
Ranking of Iraq among countries with proven reserves of oil: 2
Number of barrels of oil in Iraq's proven reserves: 112,000,000,000
Year that U.S. oil companies were prohibited from investing in, or buying,
Iraqi oil: 1991
Year that Dick Cheney, as head of oil field equipment manufacturer Halliburton,
called for the end to sanctions against Iraq: 2000
Number of U.S. Army soldiers ready to decontaminate corpses and send them
back home for burial: 700 ...
U.S. military spending, in billions of dollars per day: 1.08 ...
Date that the Nuclear Posture Review (signed by Secretary of Defense Donald
H. Rumsfeld), describing contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against
China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya, and Syria, was delivered
to Congress: January 8, 2002
Ward Harkavy , The Village Voice, February 5-11, 2003.
full text click here
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