to the Global Beat?
Send an e-mail to:email@example.com
the word "subscribe" in the subject line.
unsubscribe, send an e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the
problems, comments or mail, click here:
quick access to the Global Beat, set your bookmark to:
IS THE MIDDLE EAST HEADED?
mourn slain Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi
Ariel Sharon’s decision to kill Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantissi,
last weekend, may have been motivated by domestic Israeli politics, but
the fact that the assassination came only days after Sharon conferred
with President Bush has convinced many Arabs that Sharon received a greenlight
for the hit from Washington. As a result, the U.S. is even more deeply
implicated in a bloody struggle that many Arabs feel is being influenced
by U.S. policy. The immediate reaction from Hamas was to go underground.
There is growing concern in Israel that Hamas may now try to rebase its
command elements in Syria. Jordan's King Abdullah has indefinitely postponed
a visit with President Bush. Lebanon's president has publicly blamed the
U.S. for Rantissi's death.
Rita Boustani reports on Lebanese reactions in Beirut's Daily Star (Monday,
May 19, 2004)
expect more Israeli attacks (Al Jazeera, Monday May 19, 2004)
leader, Khaled Mashaal
Beaumont in the Guardian: Rantissi was an intelligent man, who understood
the meaning of humanity, and chose to reject it.
speculates that theassassination achieves two of Hamas' chief objectives:
permanently derailing the U.S. peace plan and insuring that Hamas will
be part of the new administration in Gaza.
hardliner Khaled Mashaal emerges as new Hamas leader
most explosive news in Bob Woodward's new book may be the allegation that
Saudi Arabia offered to use its power to manipulate gasoline prices in
order to manipulate the U.S. elections in favor of the Bush administration--an
October surprise at the fuel pumps. The Saudis have already denied the
charge. Woodward also provides graphic portraits, including one in which
Colin Powell advises the president on Iraq, that he is on "Pottery
Barn" rules: if he breaks it, it is his. Powell has denied that he
was the last to be informed about Iraq, but Woodward based his reporting
on interviews with 75 administration officials. CBS editors listened to
tape recordings of sources not directly named in the book before interviewing
Woodward for 60 Minutes. (Bob Woodward on CBS 60 Minutes, April 18, 2004).
The book is excerpted in five parts in the Washington Post.
Whether or not the Saudis planned to use oil prices to help manipulate
elections in President Bush's favor, there is no question that Saudis
who had close ties to the Bush family, were allowed to secretly exit the
United States immediately after the 9/11 attack against the World Trade
Center. Craig Unger, author of "House of Bush, House of Saud,"
notes that the Saudis who left included the late Prince Ahmed bin Salman,
who was suspected of having acquaintances connected to Al Qaeda. Unger,
who previously edited Boston Magazine and reported for Esquire, explains
his findings on Tom Paine.com
SHIITE UPRISING BRINGS IRAN INTO THE PICTURE
Sieff, writing for In The Public Interest, notes that a former Iranian
intelligence officer quoted by a London-based Arab newspaper reports that
Iran may now be financing the Shiite resistance in Iraq to the tune of
$70 million a month. The Shiites supporting Muqtada al Sadr are also believed
to be getting support from Lebanon's Hizbollah, which has close ties to
Iran's revolutionary guards. (Martin Sieff, the Public Interest, April
TO LAUNCH A DEAL WITH IRAN FELL THROUGH AFTER DIPLOMAT'S ASSASSINATION
The assassination of Iran's top diplomat in Baghdad, Khalil Naimi,
appears to have dealt the final blow to U.S. efforts to get Iran to help
negotiate a peace in Iraq. Naimi's care was riddled with machinegun fire
as it left the Iranian compound. But by then, high ranking officials in
Teheran had already made it clear that they wanted nothing to do with
the U.S. occupation. Ardeshir Moaveni details recent developments in Eurasianet.
(Ardeshir Moaveni, Eurasianet.org, April 16, 2004)
SEARCH OF HIZBOLLAH
Anyone who wants to know what to expect with the Shiites in Iraq should
look at the history of the Hizbollah in Beirut. Initially, Lebanese Shiites
welcomed Israel's intervention in Beirut, expecting protection from Palestinian
incursions. The mood changed quickly, and Israel was forced to beat a
hasty retreat. Adam Schatz offers background on the movement in the current
issue of the New York Review of Books.
(Adam Schatz, New York Review of Books, April 29, 2004)
International Crisis Group briefing on Hizbollah
TRAINING FOR THE U.S. IN IRAQ
Israel's brutal but effective tactics directed at controlling rebellious
Palestinians have apparently inspired the Pentagon. The BBC's Defense
Correspondent, Jonathan Marcus, reports that Israeli military advisors
have been invited to U.S. training exercises and that U.S. commanders
are drawing on Israel's experience in the occupied territories and Gaza
for ideas on how to pacify Iraq. (Jonathan Marcus, BBC, April 14, 2004)
NURI SAID PASHA?
Britain's puppet ruler of Iraq in the 1950s did not last long, but
his wry comment on governing the ungovernable has endured: "You can
always rent an Arab," Said remarked,"but you can never own one."
Said's point was demonstrated clearly when his mangled body was dragged
through the streets by rebellious Iraqi army officers. John Helmer, writing
in Russia Journal, notes that Iraq's defense forces will remain loyal
to Washington's vision only as long as U.S. troops remain on the ground
in Iraq. Russia is concerned that a long, drawn out war, will lead to
gradual U.S. expansion in the region. For that reason it wants an international
solution as quickly as possible.
(John Helmer, Russia Journal, April 19, 2004)
The U.S. now has 15,000 civilian contract personnel doing military
duties--essentially mercenaries --assigned in Iraq. As with the 600 detainees
held at Guantanamo, these people are essentially outside the rules of
war. Peter Singer explores the implications of a situation which appears
to have grown spontaneously.(Peter Singer, Brookings Institution, April
COST OF EMPIRE
David Isenberg notes that the War in Iraq is now costing the U.S.
roughly $4 billion a month, or around $48 billion a year, and that amount
is likely to climb in the near future. Invasions, it turns out, are relatively
cheap compared to occupation. The heavy drain on U.S. finances could eventually
destabilize the U.S. economy and is already having a dramatic impact on
U.S. defense capabilities. The military wants to increase active duty
personnel by more than 80,000 personnel at a time when enlistments are
down. Possibly even more dangerous is the tendency of empire builders
to sink into a kind of paranoid self-delusion in which those who criticize
empire-building are denounced as anti-patriotic. (David Isenberg, The
Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, April 20, 2004)
REVIEWS IRAQ DEVELOLPMENTS
The Center for Strategic and International Studies' Anthony Cordesman,
Bathsheba Crocker and John Alterman, discuss the evolution of the situation
in Iraq. Essentially, the U.S. now finds itself confronting four concurrent
wars: the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the Middle East, the War
on Terror, and a potentially explosive situation in Pakistan.
(CSIS, April 14, 2004)
STRANGE CASE OF MORDECHAI VANUNU
Eighteen years ago, Mordechai Vanunu published evidence in the London
Sunday Times that Israel had launched a top-secret nuclear weapons program
at Dimona. Mossad agents kidnapped Vanunu while he was in Rome, and then
subjected the Israeli scientists to a trial in secret. Vanunu is now due
for release, and apparently no more repentant than he was when he first
opposed the Israeli program. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists provides
a guide to background information on the case. (Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists, April 19, 2004)
DIVERSIFIES SECURITY APPARATUS
with a series of destabilizing terrorist attacks, Uzbekistan's authoritarian
regime is beefing up its secret police. Igor Torbakov reports in Eurasianet.
(Eurasianet.org, April 19, 2004)
closes offices of George Soros' Open Society Institute.(Eurasianet.org)
The 18-year war in Uganda, which involves the Lords Army, staffed
partly by child soldiers, is still carrying out atrocities. The International
Crisis Group has just published a new analysis of one of Africa's most
barbarous wars. (ICG, April 19, 2004)
question an Iraqi suspect
QAEDA'S MASTER PLAN FOR IRAQ?
Norwegian Defense Research Institute has translated a strategic
document that it believes may be the master blue print for Al Qaeda's
strategy against the U.S. occupation in Iraq. the document, which
circulated on extremist websites on the Internet last September,
calls for isolating the U.S. occupation in order to make the war
prohibitively expensive. An analysis of three key coalition members
indicates that Spain is the most vulnerable to pressure. The document
recommends three or four sharp blows against the Spanish timed to
the March elections. The document reasons that a Spanish withdrawal
will increase pressure on England and Poland to also pull out. The
war will then become too expensive for the U.S. to pursue on its
own. The Norwegian analysts were particularly impressed by the sophisticated
political analysis of each country involved in the coalition.
read the Norwegian analysis, click here
Carnegie Endowment's Husain Haqqani comments on the document
ATTACK ON IRAQ PRISON INTENDED
TO SHOW U.S. LOSS OF CONTROL
U.S. currently detains nearly 4,000 Iraqi civilians who may or may
not have been involved in insurgent activities against the U.S.
occupation. In order to control the situation, the U.S. has reopened
the prisons once used by Saddam Hussein. At least 22 detainees were
killed and another 100 wounded in a lethal mortar attack on one
of the most dreaded prisons just outside Baghdad. The attack seemed
designed to show that the U.S. is unable to guarantee protection
of detainees in custody. In a perverse way, the attack may stiffen
resistance to U.S. troops attempting to make sweepiung arrests.
University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole analyzes the strategy
in "Informed Comment." (April 20, 2004)
A JUNE 30 DEADLINE MAKE SENSE FOR THE TRANSFER OF SOVEREIGNTY?
U.S. transfer of sovereignty in Iraq will leave more than 130,000
U.S. troops in the country with no direct control over the political
process. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, yet anti-American
sentiments are now running so high that a turn-over may be the only
option. Nancy Soderberg, vice president of the International Crisis
Group, Michael Rubin, a former staff assistant in the office of
the secretary of defense,and Adeed Dawisha, a professor of political
science at Miami University of Ohio, discussed the options on PBS's
News Hour. (Jim Lehrer News Hour, April 19, 2004)
Foreign Relations Committee's ranking Democrat, Joseph Biden is becoming
increasingly outspoken on Iraq. The following is an excerpt of Biden's
recent presentation to the Center for Strategic and International
Studies: "I come here today out of a deep and abiding frustration
hardened by a nagging belief that time is rapidly running out on getting
it right in Iraq. Time is running out and there is a glaring need
to be brutally frank about the challenge we face and completely honest
with the American people about what will be required of them in this
war....there are certain basic choices this Administration has made
over the past year that were seriously flawed and further reduced
the odds of success. My critique is not the product of 20/20 hindsight.
In the lead up to the war... during the war... in its aftermath...
and today... thoughtful people of both parties... from John Kerry
to Bill Kristol... urged the Administration to correct course...This
Administration is full of bright, patriotic, well-meaning people.
But they began this undertaking with one fundamentally flawed assumption:
that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to America's security.
And they compounded that mistake by failing to apply, as Fareed Zakaria
has put it, sufficient power and sufficient legitimacy. These deficits
- of power and legitimacy - have cost us the visible support of the
majority of Iraqis who reject a theocracy and support a pluralistic
Iraq. And they have cost us the help of the major world powers. The
result is a vacuum... filled now by Sunni malcontents and Shia extremists
and Jihadists... who are rising up against the American "occupiers."
To understand where we must go from here, we have to understand the
missteps we've already taken...
(Senator Joseph Biden, speech delivered to the Center for Strategic
and International Studies, April 15, 2004)
text, click here)
Daily News flashes
in English on developments in the Republic of Georgia (click on logo)
weekly on-line magazine in English and Armenian on life in Yerevan (click
SIGN UP FOR GLOBALBEAT'S WEEKLY E-MAIL ADVISORY, SEND AN E-MAIL
TO firstname.lastname@example.org with "SUBSCRIBE" IN THE SUBJECT HEADING
(or click here to subscribe)