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]
BUSH STARTS THE WAR
10:16 p.m. Wednesday night, President Bush went on television to announce
that hostilities against Iraq had begun. "The people of the United
States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw
regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder," said
the president. "We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air
Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it
later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets
of our cities. ...Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit
its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not
be a campaign of half measures..."
full text of the speech, click here.
ATTACK AIMS AT KILLING 5 LEADING IRAQI OFFICIALS INCLUDING SADDAM
on intelligence information, the attack misses Saddam who responds with
a defiant speech on Iraqi television. Most observers who had been expecting
"shock and awe" were surprised by the mildness of the strike.
(BBC, March 19, 2003)
APPEARS ON IRAQI TELEVISION SOON AFTER MISSILESTRIKE AIMED AT KILLING
criminal little Bush has committed a crime against humanity," the
beleaguered Iraqi president told the camera. "We pledge to you in
our name and in the name of our leadership and in the name of the Iraqi
people and its heroic army, in the name of Iraq, its civilization and
history, that we will fight the invaders. God willing, we will take them
to the limit where they lose their patience and any hope to achieve what
they have planned and what the Zionist criminals have pushed them to do.
They will be defeated." (Reuters, march 20, 2003)
BUSH ORDERS SADDAM TO LEAVE IRAQ
the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein
and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will
result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. For
their own safety, all foreign nationals -- including journalists and inspectors
-- should leave Iraq immediately..."
(Full text of speech and on-line video, the White House, march 17, 2003)
AND THE U.S. BLAME FRANCE FOR U.N. DEBACLE
its last efforts to get the U.N. Security council's authorization for
a war, Britain's ambassador, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, left no doubt about
who he holds responsible."Having held further discussions with council
members over the weekend and in the last few hours," Greenstock said
curtly,"we have had to conclude that council consensus will not be
possible in line with Resolution 1441. One country in particular has underlined
its intention to veto any ultimatum "no matter what the circumstances."
That country rejected our proposed compromise before even the Iraqi Government
itself and has put forward suggestions that would row back on the unanimous
agreement of the council in resolution 1441 and those suggestions would
amount to no ultimatum, no pressure and no disarmament.
Given this situation the co-sponsors have agreed that we will not pursue
a vote on the draft UK-US-Spanish resolution in blue... The co-sponsors
reserve their right to take their own steps to secure the disarmament
text of Greenstock's U.N. Statement
text of joint news conference in the Azores(From the White House)
AND BRITISH FORCES MOVING INTO IRAQ WITH MUCH LESS FORCE THAN DESERT STORM
strategy relies on massive bombardment, new technology and the hope that
Iraq's population will immediately turn against Saddam. Although 225,000
troops are in the region, most will be used for logistics. Only 120,000
will actually take part in the invasion force. Despite the fact that Iraq
is roughly the size of France, the invasion force will have a third less
tanks than the force used to liberate Kuwait. The Defense Department decided
to disregard the classic formula that an invasion force needs to be three
times larger than the defending army.(Michael Evans, Defense Editor(The
Times of London, March 17, 2003)
THE DIPLOMACY WENT WRONG
New York Times gives the administrations version of why diplomacy
didn't work. While pushing for a compromise U.N. resolution in September,
the administration thought it had Frances support to follow up with
a declaration of war. As it turned out, Washington miscalculated. Not
only was France against war, but it managed to convince the rest of the
Security Council to vote against armed conflict as well. That left the
Bush administration isolated, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfelds
awkward comments about Europe further exacerbated the situation.
(The New York Times, March 17, 2003)
COST OF RECONSTRUCTION
U.S. could find itself obliged to pay the salaries of some 2 million Iraqi
civil servants, in addition to footing the grocery bills for up to 60%
of Iraq's 23 million population, not to mention up to 70,000 U.S. troops
who may have to be stationed in the country on a semi-permanent basis.
The cost has been projected at up to $20 billion or more a year. The Pentagon
has been understandably nervous about talking about the war's projected
costs. The man in charge of reconstruction, retired Lieutenant General
Jay Garner, ducked a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in which
he would have been forced to respond to tough questions, and opted instead
to field softer questions in a more controlled setting at a Pentagon news
conference. The director of USAID also sidestepped a request to answer
the Senate's questions.
Washington Post reports currently circulating details of the plan
Pentagon briefing on reconstructing Iraq (March 11, 2003)
SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE LOOKS AT THE COST
NSC aide, Eric P. Schwartz, estimates costs at $20 billion a year (using
congressional Budget Office's estimate at $1.4 billion a month). Schwartz
warns that it's unrealistic to expect to pay costs with Iraq's oil..
Schlessinger and Thomas Pickering discuss the 'Day After' victory at the
Council on Foreign Relations.
it all up, Paul Krugman predicts a fiscal "train wreck"
THE ARABS SEE IT
number one priority is the imminent foreign occupation of an Arab state,"
says Walid Khadduri, editor-in-chief of the Middle East Economic Survey."This
is a catastrophe on a scale no less than the one that occurred in Palestine
in 1948. And the tragedy is that the occupation this time is being carried
out by the most powerful state in the world, partnered in the operation
by other foreign states with a variety of claims and aspirations in the
Arab world. Despite the welter of explanations and pretexts relating to
the nature of the forthcoming foreign military rule in Iraq, there will
be only one outcome. From that moment on, the operative words will be:
resistance to foreign occupation, with all that this implies
(MEES Editor-in-Chief Walid Khadduri In al-Nahur, March 7, 2003)
AT U.S. THREATS AGAINST IRAQ IS TURNING INTO A BONANZA FOR AL QAEDA'S
ACCELERATING RECRUITMENT DRIVE
against U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm provided
Osama Bin Laden with a powerful recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. Intelligence
officials fear that the U.S. invasion of Iraq may inspire a new generation
of terrorist activists.
(Don van Natta and Desmond Butler in the New York Times, March 15, 2003)
COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT THE DIRTY BOMB THREAT
technically a weapon of mass destruction, the so-called dirty bomb uses
conventional explosives to spread radioactive material around a specific
area. It won't kill masses of people instantly, but it can terrorize and
urban population, prove economically disruptive and it can make large
tracts of a city temporarily uninhabitable. David Isenberg examines one
of the more unsettling weapons in the new terrorist arsenal. (David isenberg,
GEOSTRATEGY, OIL MARKETS AND TERRORISM
U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles Freeman, former chief of the
CIA's Near East and South Asia Division, Fareed Mohamedi, Chief Economist
of the Petroleum Finance Company, Ltd., and Leon Hadar of the Cato institute,
discuss the ramifications of a U.S. takeover in Iraq (The Middle East
Policy Council, January 10, 2003)
Dick Cheneys former company, Halliburton, is likely to win $3-5
billion in contracts to refurbish Iraqs petroleum industry. Halliburton
was on the verge of landing a contract with Saddam in 1998, but was blocked
from proceeding at the time by U.S. sanctions. A Halliburton subsidiary
has already won the contract to put out oil fires expected from Saddam.
The losers in the war are likely to be Frances TotalFinaElf, which
had $7 billion in contracts, and Moscow, which is still owed more than
$8 billion by Saddams regime.
(LA Times March 12, 2003)
U.S. COMPANIES ENJOY AN INSIDE TRACK
Group Inc., Fluor Corp., Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg, Brown &
Root, Louis Berger Group Inc., and Parsons Corp have all been invited
by the USAID to give advanced bids to play a role in reconstructing Iraq.
The prize: a cool $900 million.(CapitalEye.org--The Center for Responsive
politics-- March 12, 2003)
by these companies to last two election campaigns total $2.8 million:
Click here for a breakdown on who gave what to candidates)
GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT:SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERING AMERICA'S CONCEPT OF JUSTICE
a nuanced profile, the New York Times notes that Ashcroft has proven himself
to be a wily political infighter while making radical changes in the legal
rights and liberties which many Americans have previously taken for granted.
In the process, Ashcroft has deftly sidestepped Senate oversight and run
roughshod over his own prosecutors whom he deemed too liberal. Friendly
to the NRA, Ashcroft has balked at renewing a ban against civilians owning
military assault rifles and he has argued that the right to bear arms
should apply to individuals as well as groups like the National Guard.
While he has tried to limit the kind of information law enforcement agencies
can have access to about gun ownership, Ashcroft has argued forcefully
in favor of giving police agencies the right to invade the privacy of
individuals with reduced judicial oversight.
(Eric Lichtblau and Adam Liptak in The New York Times, March 15, 2003)
ACLU analyzes Ashcroft's proposed "Domestic Security Enhancement
other things, the act shelters federal agents who practice illegal surveillance
on orders from higher ranking officers in the Executive Branch. It gives
the government secret access to credit reports without judicial process
and it allows the cataloguing of genetic information without permission
of the subject. It also permits wiretaps, searches and surveillance of
U.S. citizens on behalf of foreign governments and authorizes secret arrests
without criminal charges. It allows the Executive branch to strip the
citizenship of a native-born American if he is accused of providing support
to an organization the Justice Department deems to be aiding terrorism.
The accused can then be imprisoned indefinitely as an "undocumented
read the ACLU's memorandum, click here
read a draft of the proposed law, click here (The Center for Public Integrity)
ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME HAS HEALTH AUTHORITIES WORRIED
mysterious disease is not only potentially lethal, but it also demonstrates
how quickly a biological agent can spread with modern air travel. For
BBC's account with a map of recent cases, click here.
a background briefing at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, click
PEACE ACTIVIST KILLED BY ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES
Corrie, 23, tried to stop an Israeli bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian
home by standing in front of it. The tactic did not work. A bulldozer
covered her with sand and then drove over her as other peace activists
shouted to the driver to stop. The driver then backed up, driving over
her body a second time. She died from chest and skull fractures. The Israeli
Defense force said it was a regrettable incident, but that the peace demonstrators
were engaging in a dangerous activity. Corrie's death followed another
incident in which an Israeli helicopter mistakenly opened fire on an Israeli
security guard and killed him as he ran across an empty field.
Corrie reported by the BBC, March 17, 2003-click here
report in Ha'aretz, March 16, 2003-click here
security guard shot by IDF helicopter(Ha'aretz, March 16, 2003)
(Ha'aretz, March 16, 2003)
IRAQ, IS IRAN NEXT?
Institute of Strategic Studies points out that Iran may be more of a nuclear
threat than Iraq, but the U.S. is not positioned to do much about it.
THE PRESIDENT'S WARNING, SADDAM MAY TARGET HIS OWN OIL FIELDS
explosives already installed near Kirkuk, oil fires expected to be set
by Saddam could be twice as environmentally dangerous as the Kuwait fires
that followed Desert Storm.
(Environment News Service, March 10, 2003)
CONSIDERED USING TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN VIETNAM WAR
Nautilus Institute releases a previously classified Pentagon document
discussing the arguments for and against using tactical nuclear weapons
during the Vietnam War. The study concluded that the weapons were not
necessary, and that using them would increase the risk that similar weapons
might be used against American troops. The document was obtained by the
Freedom of Information Act.
Nautilus Institute, March 2003.
STORMY AND VIOLENT PAST
much of Baghdad understandably on edge these days, the New Yorker's Jon
Lee Anderson spends the city's last hours in search of a relic from Iraq's
turbulent history. Anderson writes: "...At the Triumph Leader Museum,
which houses a collection of gifts given to Saddam Hussein over the years,
curators had removed things from the display cases and squirreled them
away for safekeeping, although it was doubtful how safe anything would
be anywhere in Baghdad once the bombs began to fall. I went to the museum
to take another look at the gun that had been used in 1920 to assassinate
Colonel Gerard Leachman, a British officer who spent the First World War
in the deserts of what was then Mesopotamia, leading Bedouins in skirmishes
against the Ottoman Turks. By 1920, after the League of Nations gave the
British a mandate to govern what was now referred to as Iraq,
Leachman was trying to subdue restive Arab tribesmen. He advocated wholesale
slaughter as the only really effective method, and in present-day
Iraq his assassin, Sheikh Dhari, is remembered as a hero and a patriot.
The Sheikhs descendants gave his gun to Saddam as a birthday present
a few years ago..."
(Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, March 24, 2003)
read Anderson's complete report, click here.
OUT THE ANIMAL IN US
Despite the current trend favoring embarrassingly brainless anti-French
jokes on TV talk shows--not to mention Congress' courageous decision to
offer "Freedom Fries"--a surprising number of Americans suspect
the French might be right. Frances Mission to the United Nations
has been overwhelmed by a flood of emails expressing support for its opposition
to the war. (The French mission received a record 12,000 positive emails
in one week, including 5,000 the day Colin Powell addressed the Security
While Washington insists that the French are duplicitous, Paris sees it
differently. The U.N.s equivocally-worded Resolution 1441 was sold
largely on the argument that a united front in the Security council would
bluff Saddam into letting arms inspectors do their job. When it became
clear that the bluff had failed and that the administration really did
not care about inspections, and would accept nothing less than Saddams
ouster, the French and Russians decided to make their opposition to the
war unequivocal. What started as a difference in opinion over geostrategy
has since degenerated into an unprecedented wave of unseemly name calling
and ethnic slurs that have little to do with the situation in Iraq. Justin
Vaisse, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution describes the difficulties
of being typecast if you happen to be a Frenchman in Washington during
a period of heightened jingoism.
(Justin Vaisse, The Financial Times, March 16, 2003)
read Vaisse's essay, click here
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