..THE CENTER FOR WAR, PEACE AND NEWS MEDIA AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY April 12-19, 2004


ORIGINAL MATERIAL PRODUCED BY THE GLOBAL BEAT SYNDICATE

Ehsan Ahrari: on how Pakistan's Musharraf could be the key to a Bush election victory by aiding in the capture of bin Laden



New York University

 

Want to subscribe
to the Global Beat?
Send an e-mail to:wtd2@nyu.edu
with the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

To unsubscribe, send an e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

Any problems, comments or mail, click here:
CONTACT:
GLOBALBEAT

 


For quick access to the Global Beat, set your bookmark to:
http://globalbeat.org


NEARLY LOSING CONTROL


A Sunni woman confronts U.S. Marines in Fallujah

PRESIDENT BUSH: "THE CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE IN IRAQ WOULD BE UNTHINKABLE..."
Speaking in prime-time, President Bush promised more troops if U.S. commanders need them. He also made it clear that he intends to hold to the June 30 deadline for turning sovereignty over to Iraqis, although it is unclear which Iraqis will chosen to receive it. On 9/11, Bush said that he had seen nothing new in the August 6 PDB warning of the likelihood of an attack in the U.S. from Osama Bin Laden. (White House transcript, April 13, 2004; also viewable in streaming video)

AYATOLLAH ALI SISTANI WARNS U.S. AGAINST ATTACKING NAJAF OR KARBALA
Iran's Mehr News Agency speculates that U.S. military operations in either of Iraq's holy Shiite cities could lead to a general mobilization of all Shiites in Iraq against the U.S. occupation. (Mehr News Agency, April 13, 2004)

DID THE USE OF FORCE PLAY INTO THE HANDS OF IRAQI EXTREMISTS?
Although U.S. forces appear to be bringing the situation back under control, last week's violence has radically changed how the U.S. occupation is perceived in Iraq. The BBC's John Simpson reports that many Iraqis--including members of the Provisional Governing Council--blame U.S. tactics for letting Muqtada al Sadr's violent splinter movement take the initiative as defender of the faith. While Muqtada has pulled his troops back from positions in three key cities, the U.S. command appears determined to use even more force to arrest or kill him. A request is in for 10,000 additional U.S. troops to bolster U.S. firepower. Nearly 40 foreigners have taken hostage at one time or another, including 9 Americans (see Washington Times). Sporadic attacks continue.
•John Simpson analyzes dissatisfaction with the U.S. strategy on the BBC World Service (April 12).
• The U.S. Coalition's General Abizaid briefs Pentagon reporters (April 12).
•Al Jazeera: shaky cease fire extends in Fallujah
•British military commanders unhappy with U.S. use of excessive force.
(Sean Rayment in the London Daily Telegraph, April 11, 2004)
NO ONE IS PULLING OUT YET, BUT NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ARE CONCERNED
After a number of close calls, some reporters would rather stay in Baghdad and do their reporting off the wires. Others have risked being taken hostage by random groups, recalling the risky days of covering the civil war in Beirut. (Julia Angwin,Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2004)
•The Globe and Mail on the fear of being kidnapped (April 12, 2004)


President Bush on vacation in Crawford, Texas, the day he received the Presidential Daily Briefing warning that Osama Bin Laden was likely to target the United States

THE AUGUST 6, 2001 PDB WARNING: "OSAMA BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE THE UNITED STATES"
The text of the declassified Presidential Daily Briefing begins with a stark warning: "Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yussef and "bring the fighting to America."
•Photocopy of the PDB
•Bush was unconcerned in August 2001
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Mike Allen look at the prevailing atmosphere when the warnings were given. As a senior White House aide put it: "It wasn't just the president who was on vacation. It was the whole government. It was the Bureau [FBI] and the Agency [CIA], too. The attention to the threats was above and beyond normal, but it obviously wasn't enough."( Dana Milbank and Mike Allen, The Washington Post, April 11, 2004)


Showing off the ranch in Crawford last Thursday. Guests included thehead of the National Rifle Association (White House photo)
•A president enamored of working holidays
President Bush had already raised eyebrows when he took an unprecedented month-long working holiday at his ranch in Crawford, Texas during the critical buildup to 9/11 in August 2001 (See ABC News' report at the time). When Iraq was blowing up last week, the President was back in Crawford on a pre-Easter break. Part of it involved showing off his ranch to assorted sportsmen, including Wayne La Pierre, Chief Executive of the National Rifle Association. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were left behind in Washington to handle details of the war in Iraq (Washington Post, April 9, 2004). The Nation's Matt Blivens notes that the President has spent an unprecedented 500 days on working holidays--roughly 40% of his first term. (Matt Blivens, The Nation's Daily Outrage, April 12, 2004)•Bliven's adds up the numbers

FBI TRANSLATOR SAYS THE WARNINGS CAME MUCH EARLIER
The White House went to considerable effort to try to silence FBI translator Sybil Edmonds on the grounds of "state secrets privilege." Edmonds, who was interviewed behind closed doors for three hours by the 9/11 Commission says that the FBI was receiving information concerning the dangers of an attack in the spring of 2001. The warnings continued throughout the summer. (Edmonds interviewed in Britain's Independent and the New Zealand Herald, April 3, 2004)
•Interviewed on Democracy Now with Colleen Rowley, (April 9, 2004)
•The Washington Post on why the press missed the Edmonds story (April 9, 2004)

•9/11 HEARINGS: TRANSCRIPT OF TESTIMONY ON WHAT THE FBI KNEW BY LOUIS FREEH, JOHN ASHCROFT, JANET RENO, THOMAS PICKARD
(Washington Post, April 13, 2004)

THE MAN WHO KNEW
FBI agent John O'Neil tracked Osama Bin Laden obsessively for six years, much to the annoyance of his superiors in Washington who thought that he had gone overboard. O'Neil came close to uncovering Al Qaeda's intentions after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, but his investigation was blocked by the U.S. ambassador there. O'Neil was in frequent conflict with FBI director Louis Freeh. After finally resigning from the FBI in despair, O'Neil signed on as chief of security for the World Trade Center. He died on 9/11. PBS Frontline is rebroadcasting O'Neil's story. The complete broadcast is viewable on line along with comprehensive background notes and interviews. (PBS Frontline, April 2004)
-The New Yorker on O'Neil and the FBI.
The New Yorker's Lawrence Wright profiled O'Neil in 2002. Ironically, Wright's story begins with an anecdote from Richard Clarke. Both men were on the trail of Ramzi Yousef, the initial World Trade Center bomber. (Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, January 14, 2004)

REFORMING THE FBI
The Congressional Research Office has made detailed suggestions on how the FBI might be improved. (Federation of American Scientists, April 6, 2004)

LEARNING FROM ALLIES ABOUT TERRORISM
Both the British and the French have had considerably more experience than the United States in dealing with terrorism. The RAND Corporation's Peter Chalk and William Rosenau have written a detailed study on lessons learned and how they might be applied to the U.S. Available online in pdf format. (Peter Chalk, William Rosenau, RAND, 2004)

IRAQ AFTER THE FIRST YEAR
The Center for Strategic and International Studies' Anthony Cordesman provides a mixed status report: "When Iraq is given sovereignty on June 30 th, it will acquire this sovereignty without a popular government and with almost every major issue affecting its future political structure still in flux..." (Anthony Cordesman, CSIS, April 2004)

IRAQI SHIITES AS ADVERSARIES OR FRIENDS
The U.S. Army War College's W. Andrew Terrill notes that Iraq's Shiites are divided into different groups who do not always agree with each other. Keeping the Shiites with the coalition depends on understanding the differences. (W.Andrew Terrill, Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, February 2004)

PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS COMBINING FORCES
Hizbollah has been mounting what some Israeli intelligence experts see as a hostile takeover of the Palestinian al Fatah movement's Al Acqsa Martyr's brigade. At the same time there are signs that Fatah and Hamas have also been combining forces. (Haaretz, April 12, 2004)
•Fatah and Hamas involved in foiled attack

KHALILZHAD DISCUSSES AFGHANISTAN
U.S. Ambassador and special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzhad, insists that progress is being made in reconstruction, but security is still a key issue, and Khalilzhad is even more disturbed by Pakistani lethargy at tracking down Al Qaeda elements that have sought refuge on Pakistan's border. The Pakistanis must act soon, says Khalilzhad, or the U.S. will act for them. Zbigniew Brzezhinsky presided over a forum discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (CSIS, April 5, 2004)

AFGHAN LEADER URGES UPRISING AGAINST THE U.S.
Gulbudeen Hekmatyar once received substantial support from the U.S. Not anymore. These days Hekmatyar is on America's "Most Wanted" list. The radical Islamist Afghan warlord's latest venture is to call for a Muslim rebellion against the U.S., copying the example set by Iraq's Muqtada. (Janullah Hashimzada, The Guardian, April 12, 2004)

MYSTERY SURROUNDS RELEASE OF AIDWORKER KIDNAPPED IN CHECHNYA
Arjan Erkel, the former head of the Medecins sans Frontiers' (Doctors without Borders) office in Dagestan was released after being held for 20 months by unknown kidnappers. Police claimed that the release came after a special commando operation, but it seems more likely that a deal was arranged. No ransome was ever asked for Erkel. while Russian authorities blamed Chechen guerrillas, MSF had suspected comlicity by Dagestan officials. A Dagetan gangster had also been a suspect. One theory was that officials might have backed the kidnapping to discourage foreigners, in order to reduce independent observation of government activities. Osana Yablokova reports in the Moscow Times, April 13, 2004.

ROBOT WARS
Conn Hallinan points out in Foreign Policy in Focus, that the recent robot vehicle competition sponsored by DARPA in the Mojave Desert might seem like a Max Sennett farce. None of the robots, which were supposed to cover a 142-mile course, managed to get more than 8 miles. But the motives behind the $1 million competition are considerably darker. With the success of the unmanned predator as a remote control hit man, the Pentagon is looking for new automated killing machines. (Conn Hallinan in Foreign Policy in Focus, April 7, 2004)




 

 

 


A supply truck burns on the Baghdad-Fallujah highway

BLOGS FROM BAGHDAD
Dear Raed writes: "...You have to be careful about what you say about (Muqtada) al-Sadir. Their hands reach every where and you don't want to be on their shit list. Every body, even the GC is very careful how they formulate their sentences and how they describe Sadir's Militias. They are thugs, thugs thugs. There you have it.
I was listening to a representative of al-sadir on TV saying that the officers at police stations come to offer their help and swear allegiance. Habibi, if they don't they will get killed and their police station "liberated". Have we forgotten the threat al-Sadir issued that Iraqi security forces should not attack their revolutionary brothers, or they will have to suffer the consequences.
Dear US administration,
Welcome to the next level. Please don't act surprised and what sort of timing is that: planning to go on a huge attack on the west of Iraq and provoking a group you know very well (I pray to god you knew) that they are trouble makers..."
(http://dear_raed.blogspot.com)

RIVERBEND'S BLOG
"...We've taken to sleeping in the living room again. We put up the heavy drapes the day before yesterday and E. and I re-taped the windows looking out into the garden. This time, I made them use the clear tape so that the view wouldn't be marred with long, brown strips of tape. We sleep in the living room because it is the safest room in the house and the only room that will hold the whole family comfortably.
The preparations for sleep begin at around 10 p.m. on days when we have electricity and somewhat earlier on dark nights. E. and I have to drag out the mats, blankets and pillows and arrange them creatively on the floor so that everyone is as far away from the windows as possible, without actually being crowded.
Baghdad is calm and relatively quiet if you don't count the frequent explosions..."
(http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/)

ZAYAD'S BLOG
"...There is talk of negotiations between the Hawza and Muqtada Al-Sadr, with Mohammed Ridha Al-Sistani (the Grand Ayatollah's eldest son) and a son of Ayatollah Mohammed Ishaq Al-Fayadh together with other representatives of Shi'ite clerics as intermediaries. A spokesman for the delegation said that they would later name a renowned Iraqi figure (from outside the GC) to act as an intermediary between them and the CPA. He also announced that an important statement is to be issued tomorrow by Sistani on behalf of the Hawza alilmiyyah that would be to the effect of a warning to coalition forces if they ever tried to attack Najaf or arrest Al-Sadr. This in response to Gen. Sanchez' remarks that Al-Sadr would be arrested or killed and that American troops are moving to Najaf. If that is true, it would mean a full scale Jihad against Americans by Shia followers of Sistani in the event of any movement against Sadr. A telling sign that Sistani and his colleagues are losing patience..."
(http://healingiraq.blogspot.com)

JO WILDING'S FALLUJAH DIARY--APRIL 11
The following account has been circulating by email on the internet: "... The reason I'm on the bus is that a journalist I knew turned up at my door at about 11 at night telling me things were desperate in Falluja, he'd been bringing out children with their limbs blown off, the US soldiers were going around telling people to leave by dusk or be killed, but then when people fled with whatever they could carry, they were being stopped at the US military checkpoint on the edge of town and not let out, trapped, watching the sun go down..." (Jo Wilding, Fallujah, April 11, 2004)

THE VIEW FROM INSIDE FALLUJAH
Anti-War activist, Rahul Mahajan, observed the shaky truce in Fallujah from the vantage point of the Iraqis trapped there. "To Americans, 'Fallujah' may still mean four mercenaries killed, with their corpses then mutilated and abused; to Iraqis," notes Mahajan. From where Mahajan was stationed at an overcrowded emergency clinic, the view was quite different. “'Fallujah'" means the savage collective punishment for that attack, in which over 600 Iraqis have been killed, with an estimated 200 women and over 100 children." (Rahul Mahajan, Empire Notes, April 12, 2004)

 



Daily News flashes in English on developments in the Republic of Georgia (click on logo)

A weekly on-line magazine in English and Armenian on life in Yerevan (click on logo)

TO SIGN UP FOR GLOBALBEAT'S WEEKLY E-MAIL ADVISORY, SEND AN E-MAIL TO wtd2@nyu.edu with "SUBSCRIBE" IN THE SUBJECT HEADING
(or click here to subscribe)