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US State Department's Report on Patterns of Global Terrorism
DECLARES VICTORY, AND STARTS TO GO HOME
is considered the last major combat in the war. Some ships and aircraft
will be redeployed. The remaining U.S. troops will aim at consolidating
power. U.S. sees no humanitarian crisis. (New York Times, April 15, 2003)
listen to this week's Pentagon briefings in Real Audio, click here
of Forces to change (DefenseLink, April 14, 2003)
CALLS IRAQI OPPOSITION TOGETHER TO DISCUSS ESTABLISHING CIVIL AUTHORITY,
BUT SHIITES REJECT U.S. INVOLVEMENT
meeting at an airbase outside Nasriya was snubbed by the Supreme Council
for the Islamic Resolutionone of the largest Shiite opposition groups
which until now has been based in Teheran. A crowd of SCIRI militants
chanted "No to America, No to Saddam." (BBC, April 15, 2003)
STRATEGY WHERE TO GO NEXT FOR IRAQ
military victory was practically the only thing that nearly everyone agreed
on about Iraq. The real question is: what comes next? The Economist Intelligence
Unit analyzes the administrations 3-phase strategy: 1) Military
occupation leading to 2) Transitional Iraqi administration, which ends
in 3) A permanent representational government elected by Iraqis. Everyone
agrees on the steps, but how do you get there. As the Economist sees it,
giving the Pentagon overall authority may make sense. It has the most
experience in managing large administrative operations and in getting
concrete results. To make the plan work though, the Administration will
also have to defuse the Arab-Israeli problem.(Economist Intelligence Unit,
April 11, 2003)
MADE IRAQ COLLAPSE SO QUICKLY
Brookings Institution briefing concludes that Iraq planned for the wrong
war and expected to have more time to make decisions. Saddams over
confidence also helped. Kenneth Pollack, James Dobbins, Michael OHanlon
and Israeli Major General Shlomo Yanai dissect recent developments in
a wide-ranging panel discussion. Transcript in pdf format.
(Brookings, April 10, 2003)
INTELLIGENCE HUNTS SADDAMS SECRET FILES
records should reveal once and for all whether he really did have any
weapons of mass destruction. They may also reveal cooperation by U.S.
companies and government agencies with Saddam over the years. When Iraq
produced its report on its own weapons to the U.N. last year, the U.S.
reportedly censored more than 1000 pages before letting the U.S. document
be circulated to other countries. The reason for the censorship was never
explained. (Ian Urbina, Asia Times, April 15, 2003)
THE ADMINISTRATION: DEFINING A NEW FOREIGN POLICY
administration believes that the speedy victory in Iraq is only the first
step in redefining U.S. foreign policy. "The world is changing,"
says one administration official. "There are consequences to this
behavior". The Washington Post links to an analysis of the new administration
position on each of the most critical foreign policy areas in the Middle
(Glenn Kessler and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post, April 13, 2003)
looting of Iraq's national museum in Baghdad eliminated an important segment
of the collected history of the human race, including artifacts dating
back to Biblical times. The wanton destruction was a particularly bitter
blow because the U.S. command had been warned of the danger months in
advance. While half a dozen U.S. tanks secured Iraq's Ministry of petroleum,
alone tank manned by U.S. Marines briefly frightened off looters, and
then decided that it had better things to do. A day later, Baghdad's national
archives were burned to the ground under similar circumstances.
Fisk on sacking the Museum (The Independent, April 13, 2003)
on the national Archives
THE VICTORS THE SPOILS
$4.8 million contract for managing the port of Um m Qasr has already gone
to an American company. USAID is asking for bids from American companies
to rebuild highways. A California Congressman wants the Pentagon to endow
Iraq with a cell phone system that works on American standards and is
incompatible with European phones. By the time, Iraqs citizens get
to express themselves, buying American will very likely be the only option.
(Naomi Klein, The Nation, April 10, 2003)
IN THE ADMINISTRATIONS SITES
THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE'S MICHAEL LEDEEN, THERE IS ALREADY SUFFICIENT
CAUSE FOR REGIME CHANGE
was never the most pressing danger, Ledeen insists. that title goes to
Iran which has three times the forces, and to Syria, which is a co-sponsor
of Lebanon's violent Hizbollah terrorists.
(Michael Ledeen, The Spectator, April 14, 2003)
THE WHITEHOUSE ALREADY VETOED ATTACKING SYRIA?
Guardians Julian Borger reports that Donald Rumsfeld had been studying
a contingency plan for extending the war to Syria, but he was overruled
by President Bush.
(Julian Borger, The Guardian, April 15, 2003)
DESTRUCTION OF IRAQI PIPELINE CUTS SYRIAS OIL EXPORTS IN HALF
has been exporting twice its expected oil surplusroughly 437,000
barrels a day. That has stopped. Ten days after U.S. troops blew up an
Iraqi pipeline suspected of sending 200,000 barrels a day to Syria illegally
, Sytrol, the state-owned oil company announced that oil exports will
be cut in half.
(MENA Report, April 10, 2003)
REALLY GOING ON WITH SYRIA?
Jim Lehrer New2s Hour presents conflicting opinions from California State
Universitys Asad Abu Khalil and Danielle Pletka of the American
Enterprise Institute. Says Pletka: "
What we are doing is seeing
a reaction to terrorists coming across the Syrian border, armed with Syrian
carrying Syrian-provided documentation, some of them with
leaflets in their hands saying that there will be a reward for the killing
of American soldiers. .." Responds Asad Abu Khalil: "
question we should face is this: Does the United States think that it
can really take a case to the international community on the basis of
some illegal flyers and night vision goggles that they found across the
(Jim Lehrer News Hour, April 14, 2003)
MOOD IN DAMASCUS
is increasingly torn between maintaining its image as a champion of pan-Arab
independence and growing concern that U.S. troops are mopping up its next
door neighbor and growing increasingly angry at the attitude in Damascus
towards the war. (Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times, April 15, 2003)
SEE SYRIA PLANNING TO TURN IRAQ INTO A NEW BEIRUT
U.S. sudden reversal of its policy towards Syria follows Damascus
readiness to continue sending weapons and men into Iraq. Haaretz
reports that the previous policy of quiet operations was led by the CIA,
which apparently got intoxicated by information that the Syrians had provided
at some stage about Al-Qaida's operations in various countries, including
Germany. Washington, therefore, was reluctant to publicly censor Syria
when it learned that the Syrians were acquiring equipment and arms for
Iraq in various countries in Eastern Europe. That policy has now changed,
although the administration may try to bring Damascus around by applying
diplomatic pressure rather than military force.
Zeev Schiff in Haaretz, April 14, 2003)
sending two envoys to Washington to discuss Syria
AND EUROPEANS DELIVER WARNING
says that there are no plans to invade Syria. Russia and the European
Union say that by racheting up the rhetoric against Syria, Washington
is further complicating an already dangerous situation.
(BBC, April 15, 2003)
DOES U.S. POLICY COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW, AND WHO DECIDES ANYWAY?
one doubts that Saddam Hussein violated all known standards of civilized
behavior, but did the U.S. break international law in ousting him? The
answer is more complex than it looks.
(Kenneth Anderson, The New York Times Magazine, April 13, 2003)
responsibilities in southern Iraq's water shortage
(Center for Economic and Social Right, April 2003)
RESTORING SECURITY TO THE PERSIAN GULF
Rand Corporation argues that neither an externally imposed "democracy"
nor a return to the old balance of power strategy will work. The current
heavy dependence on a forward U.S. military presence and a readiness to
fight increasingly risky expeditionary wars should be avoided. What is
needed is a coordinated strategy involving both the U.S. and Europe.(
Andrew Rathmell, Theodore Karasik, and David Gompert, RAND, April 2003)
INTERVIEWS ISRAEL'S ARIEL SHARON
Iraq war has created an opportunity with the Palestinians we cant
miss." In a surprising interview, the Prime Minister appears ready
to open a dialogue.
(Ari Shavit in Haaretz, April 13, 2003)
THEN, HE HEDGES HIS OPTIMISM
a subsequent clarification, Sharon explains that his sudden willingness
to advance the peace process hinges on a precondition that the Palestinians
drop their demands for "right of return" for the hundreds of
thousands of refugees driven from the Occupied Territories. (Aluf Benn
in Haaretz, April 15, 2003)
THAN IT LOOKS
U.S. has been involved in "nation building" 16 times since 1900.
Only four of the attempts have actually produced lasting democracies (Japan,
West Germany, Grenada and Panama). In Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua, brutal
dictatorships, albeit friendly to Washington, emerged in the wreckage
of botched U.S. nation-building efforts. In Cambodia, a genocidal regime
gained power after the departure of American troops and perpetrated one
of the worst crimes against humanity in history. The Carnegie Endowment
for International peace charts the history of U.S. efforts, and explains
why some of the best intentioned efforts have failed in the past. (Minxin
Pei and Sara Kasper, CEIP, April 2003)
WHAT ABOUT PYNONGYANG ?
North Korean flexibility is understandable in the wake of the destruction
of Saddams regime, but with Seoul held hostage because of its vulnerability
to North Korean artillery, the most likely response from Washington is
likely to be increased attention. The U.S. is pondering moving its troops
away from the DMZ could lower the risks of an accidental confrontation,
or it might actually increase them by making a preemptive strike more
palatable to Washington.
(Economist Intelligence Unit, April 10, 2003)
TO ACCESS 40,000 TREATIES?
W. Bishop, writing in Foreign Policy, notes that the Internet has made
research a snapalthough occasionally a costly one. Bishop lists
links to the best sites.
(Christopher Bishop, Foreign Policy, April 2003)
IN BAGHDAD BOOSTED AL JAZEERA S AUDIENCE BUT BRUISED ITS CREDIBILITY
Doha-based TV channel gained high marks among Arab viewers for showing
the footage that you couldnt see on CNN, but it lost on its analysis.
Al Jazeera pundits readily swallowed Iraqi claims that the U.S. was bogged
down. As a result, Saddams total collapse took much of the region
by surprise. Analysis in Arab News, April 13, 2003.
TV NETWORKS DID NOT DO SO WELL, EITHER
with too much advertising, trivialized by ratings hungry executives and
decimated by an emphasis on celebrity rather than reporting, Network News
no longer defines how Americans see the world. The war should have triggered
a surge in viewers, instead, a growing number of Americans looked elsewhere
to find out what was happening.
(New York Times, April 14, 2003)
ARABS LOOK TO AL JAZEERA
of Israeli Arabs switched to the Arab TV channels to get their version
of the Iraq War, while only 31% watched Israeli channels. Not surprisingly,
the Arab view was much more skeptical about the final outcome. Most concluded
that the Middle East will experience reverberations. 83% felt that Arab
political leaders had done nothing to try to stop the war.(Yair Ettinger,
Haaretz, April 14, 2003)
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