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]
TROOPS REACH BAGHDAD'S AIRPORT AND THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY
should be euphoric that now that we are on the edge of Baghdad this thing
is just about over," General Richard B. Myers said. "That's
To the south-east of the capital, US marines are advancing on the south-eastern
outskirts of Baghdad after pushing up the River Tigris from Kut overnight...Baghdad
was plunged into darkness overnight by its first blackout of the war which
cut in as the assault on the airport began .
Despite the call to arms by President Saddam Hussein, there remain few
defences, no real troop movements and a brittle air of business as usual,
the U.S. may take over part of Baghdad and set up a parallel government.
(BBC April 5, 2003)
WANTS OIL PIPELINE FROM IRAQ TO HAIFA
in Ha'aretz that Israel has U.S. support to push for restarting an oil
pipeline from Mosul in Iraq to Haifa on the Mediterranean coast, has fueled
speculation that the U.S. plans to restructure the Middle East. The pipeline
would bypass Arab emirates on the Persian Gulf. (Asia Times, April 3,
background on original plan for Mosul-Haifa pipeline
March 31, 2003)
IN WASHINGTON VS. WAR IN IRAQ
Hersh reports on the behind-closed-doors battle between the President's
neo-conservative advisors and Pentagon professionals that preceded the
invasion of Iraq. As Hersh tells it in the New Yorker, Donald Rumsfeld's
over reliance on high-tech ordinance and airpower left U.S. commanders
with a force that was too light on the ground, and insufficiently equipped.
The most egregious blunder may have been Rumsfeld's decision to ignore
the "tip-fiddle," short for "Time Phased Force Deployment
List," an elaborate check list of requirements for major military
operations. According to Hersh, Rumsfeld badly underestimated the demands
of a protracted war and then tried to shift the blame by insisting that
the plan had been drafted by the general staff and CENTCOM. Hersh's report
was generally confirmed by similar, although less detailed, reports in
the New York Times and Washington Post.
(Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, March 31, 2003)
Richard B. Meyers
AND MYERS COUNTER ATTACK
a blistering press conference on Tuesday, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, General Richard Myers responds to criticisms reported in the
New York Times, Washington Post and the New Yorker: "...My view of
those reports -- and since I don't know who you're quoting, who the individuals
are -- is that they're bogus. There is -- I don't know how they get started,
and I don't know how they've been perpetuated, but it's not been by responsible
members of the team that put this all together. They either weren't there,or
they don't know, or they're working another agenda , and I don't know
what that agenda might be. It is not helpful to have those kind of comments
come out when we've got troops in combat, because first of all, they're
false, they're absolutely wrong, they bear no resemblance to the truth,
and it's just -- it's just -- harmful to our troops that are out there
fighting very bravely, very courageously..." Myers' denunciation,
clearly prepared in advance, ran to nearly 1,000 words, and seemed aimed
as much at sending a message to active U.S. officers as at the press.
Myers is in the Air Force, and much of the criticism is coming from army
staff officers in the field. (Department of Defense briefing, April 1,
Rumsfeld responds to the allegations on Fox News
an earlier reaction, on Sunday, the Secretary tells Fox that"...The
plan is a good one -- and I would be happy to take credit for it because
it's an outstanding plan and it's going to work and we're going to win
-- but the reality is it's a plan that was developed by General Franks..."
(Donald Rumsfeld on Fox TV, Department of Defense, March 30, 2003)
CENTCOM BRIEFING (MARCH 30, 2003) Franks
says only a few people saw the entire invasion plan which was a work in
Washington Post Reports on Sunday that Some Officers Are Definitely Concerned
Loeb writes: "More than a dozen officers interviewed, including a
senior officer in Iraq, said Rumsfeld took significant risks by leaving
key units in the United States and Germany at the start of the war..."
Loeb quotes one officer as saying: "The civilians in [Rumsfeld's
office] vetoed the priority and sequencing of joint forces into the region
-- as it was requested by the war fighters -- and manipulated it to support
their priorities. When they did this, it desynchronized not only the timing
of the arrival of people and their organic equipment, but also the proper
mix of combat, combat support and combat support units."
(Vernon Loeb, the Washington Post, March 30, 2003)
U.S. OFFICERS WANT TO ADOPT A NEW WAR STRATEGY
A number of
officers in the Gulf reportedly now feel that the current strategy should
be reassessed, and that the war strategy should essentially be redefined.
A key issue is that political and military demands are beginning to diverge.
Atkinson and Thomas Ricks, Washington Post, March 30, 2003)
SOUGHT TO RADICALLY CHANGE THE NATURE OF AMERICA'S DEFENSE. MORE IS AT
STAKE THAN THE WAR IN IRAQ
While Rumsfeld's concept of substituting high tech weaponry for infantry
on the ground has already run into serious problems in Iraq, there is
no question that the nature of war is changing. The question is whether
the Secretary has the right answers for that change.Michael
Gordon analyzes the debate.( the New York Times, April 1, 2003)
ARNETT FIRED FOR DISCUSSING IRAQ INVASION PROBLEMS ON IRAQ TV
veteran correspondent's statements to an Iraqi journalist reflected the
view held by a number of news organizations. Arnett's mistake was to speak
freely about the situation on Iraqi television. NBC, MSNBC and National
Geographic decided to sever any connection. In segments shown on American
television, Arnett said:"Now America is reappraising the battlefield,
delaying the war, maybe a week and rewriting the war plan. The first plan
has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another
March 31, 2003)
Cronkite: Mr. Arnett hangs by a rope of his own weaving
New York Times, April 1, 2003)
PERLE HOLDS ON TO HIS SEAT ON THE DEFENSE POLICY BOARD, ALTHOUGH HE IS
GIVE UP THE CHAIRMANSHIP
last week, membership on the secretive Defense Policy Board, which ostensibly
advises the Pentagon on policy issues, was one of the fastest routes to
lucrative defense contracts. 9 of the 30 members have ties to companies
that won more than $76 billion in defense contracts from 2001 to 2002.
four are registered lobbyists. One of them represents two of the three
largest defense contractors. Richard Perle, who stepped aside as the Board's
chairman last week, showed just how profitable membership on the board
can be. Perle had hoped to earn up to $725 million for convincing the
Pentagon to authorize the sale of the communications giant, Global Crossing,
to a Chinese-owned company. The Pentagon had balked because of the company's
access to sensitive technology which might have an adverse impact on American
security if it fell into the wrong hands. Perle's sales pitch pointed
out that his position as chairman of the group made him particularly well
positioned to overcome the Pentagon's reluctance. Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, a close friend, saw no reason to drop Perle from the Board,
but it did seem to be time for Perle to adopt a lower profile, especially
with House and Senate committees calling for investigations. The Center
for Public Integrity has called for transparency concerning other members
of the Board. The CPI provides links to members and a sample agenda of
(Center for Public Integrity, March 2003)
POWELL CHOOSES AMERICA ISRAEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MEETING FOR WARNINGS
TO SYRIA AND IRAN
Following a similar warning from Donald Rumsfeld on
Friday, the administration seems to be signaling "red lines"
that Iraq's neighbors will not be allowed to cross. There is some concern
in Washington that supplies may move through both countries to reinforce
Iraqi forces, but there has also been a suggestion that the U.S. may move
against what it considers to be terrorist elements in Syria and Iran,
once Iraq has been brought under control.
(Analysis by the BBC, March 30, 2003)
COMPLETE TEXT OF POWELL'S SPEECH TO AIPAC
REACTION TO POWELLS REMARKS (IRAN PRESS SERVICE)
Nuclear Ambitions (IISS, March 2003)
believe Iraq hid weapons in Syria
REPORTS THAT THOUSANDS OF ARAB VOLUNTEERS ARE NOW CROSSING INTO IRAQ
started as a trickle with dozens of volunteers from Lebanon has now swelled
to a steady stream from several Arab countries.
(Ze'ev Schiff, Ha'aretz, March 31, 2003)
AZHARS FATWA ON IRAQ
Azhar is the oldest university and one of the most respected authorities
on Islam in the world.
Azhar's fatwa on the Iraq War stops short of advocating a violent jihad,
but the fatwa warns that the attack against Iraq may be only the first
skirmish in a larger war aimed at the rest of the Arab countries and Islam
itself. The goal, Al Azhar predicts is to divide up the Arab world in
a way that suits American and Israeli interests, and which ends Palestinian
The fatwa may have ominous implications for the way the war in Iraq is
likely to be interpreted by the rest of the Muslim world.
(Al Azhar, via Islam on-line, March 11, 2003)
THE U.S. CONSIDERING USE OF NON-LETHAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS?
Rumsfeld has expressed frustration at not being able to use non-lethal
chemical agents in combat situations. If the U.S. finds itself facing
house-to-house fighting in Baghdad, the temptation will increase to resort
to a variety of gases--including the kind of incapacitating gas used to
end a Chechen hostage taking in Moscow. The problem is that the use even
of riot agents is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention. As the
Russians discovered, even supposedly non-lethal incapacitating agents
can kill if they are used in real-life situations. Despite the dangers,
the administration could try to use a presidential directive to get around
current legal limitations. David Isenberg analyzes the U.S.'s highly secret
non-lethal weapons program.(David Isenberg, Basic Papers, March 2003).
DRAWS A COOL RESPONSE FROM ENGLAND
British concern is that even the use of non-lethal tear gas or pepper
spray is likely to set a precedent that could weaken the chemical Weapons
Convention and lead to the use of lethal gases in the future.
(Geoffrey Lean and Severin Carrell in the Independent, March 2, 2003)
SURVEY OF NON-LETHAL CHEMICAL WARFARE
Sunshine Project provides a comprehensive primer on U.S. attitude to non-lethal
incapacitating weapons so far. Included are photocopies of bidding contracts
to university researchers and other documents.
CONCERNED ABOUT ULTRALIGHT FLIGHTS OVER U.S. POSITIONS IN IRAQ
Iraqi ultralight aircraft flew over U.S. positions in Iraq during the
weekend creating a sense of unease among troops who spotted them. The
aircraft had not triggered U.S. air defense systems, and by the time clearance
was obtained to shoot them down, they were already long gone. The aircraft
appeared to be on a spotting mission, but they raised the fear that Saddam
might try to use pilotless drones, or other small craft to deliver chemical
or biological weapons, passing through U.S. airdefenses without detection.
(the Army Times, March 29, 2003)
THE WAR IS OVER, WHAT COMES NEXT?
International Crisis Group analyzes the requirements for constructing
a new government in Iraq once the current fighting ends. (ICG, MARCH 25,
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION STILL PROMISES TO BE DRAMATIC
Iraq depends on having a civilian population that is functional. Secrecy
and suspicion have made it difficult for international aid organizations
to be effective, and there are questions about the suitability of the
military to provide relief and fight a war at the same time. The International
Crisis Group assesses the situation. (ICG March 25, 2003)
MUCH IS IT ALL GOING TO COST?
expects the war to have a dramatic impact on the U.S. deficit, but many
countries in the Middle East are even more concerned about the spill over
effects in their region.
(Middle East Economic Survey, March 30, 2003)
DECEPTIVE TACTICS AND U.S. EDGINESS LEADS TO CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
600 Iraqi civilians have already died as a result of what the Pentagon
calls "collateral damage" in Iraq--mostly from the air war,
but increasingly from mistakes made on the ground. In the worst incident
so far, U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division opened fire with
high explosive rounds on a vehicle which refused to stop. When the shooting
was over, the horrified G.I.'s realized that they had just killed five
small children who appeared to be under five years old. Two women also
died. A wounded woman refused to leave the car. She cradled her two dead
babies on her lap. Moments earlier, Captain Ronny Johnson roared into
a radio at his forward sentries;"You just killed an entire family
because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough."
shooting came two days after an Iraqi suicide car bomb had killed four
G.I.s near the same location, and the Iraqi government had promised a
new wave of terrorist suicide bombers.
The soldiers involved
"absolutely did the right thing", General Peter Pace, vice-chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. Somehow
that didn't ring quite right.
Brannigan reports the incident in the Washington Post
BBC on the Fog of War.
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