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US State Department's Report on Patterns of Global Terrorism
TROOPS OPEN FIRE ON IRAQI DEMONSTRATORS IN FALLUJA
U.S. Command in Qatar insists that American troops from the 82nd Airborne
were forced to open fire on an approaching crowd of about 200 demonstrators.
According to the U.S. account, about 25 armed agitators mingled with the
protesters and opened fire on the Americans from within the crowd. The
obvious goal appeared to be to get Americans to shoot at unarmed civilians.
The tactic worked. Iraqis say that at least 13 people were killedthree
of them small boys under ten years old. Another 75 were wounded. The U.S.
central Command insists that it has no way of determining how many people
were killed or wounded since everyone dispersed after the shooting started
and the crowd took the wounded with them.
(Ian Fisher, New York Times, April 20, 2003)
Jim Lehrer NewsHour provides a concise summary of the events.
CENTCOMs statement concerning the incident
FUTURE FOR THE U.N.?
dreams of establishing order through binding international law have largely
failed, Michael Glennon notes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs.
Glennon maintains that the invasion of Iraq demonstrates that nations
do not have to consider whether armed intervention is legal, merely that
it is preferable to other alternatives. "The Structure of the U.N.
Security Council," Gelnnon says,"reflected the hopes of its
founders, more than reality. Those hopes were no match for American hyperpower."
It is in fact, the end of a grand illusion. (Michael Glennon in Foreign
Affairs, May/June 2003)
THE U.S. FINDS IRAQ PERPLEXING, IT'S WORTH REMEMBERING ISRAELI'S EXPERIENCE
Myre, writing in the New York Times, recalls that Shiite villagers tossed
flowers at Israeli troops when they entered Lebanon to drive the PLO out
in 1982. Within months the Israelis were being pelted with bombs and fired
at by snipers. David Kimche, who headed Israel's foreign ministry at the
time, noted that Israel's biggest mistake was to let security considerations
take precedence over its contact with the population. Checkpoints and
curfews led to an increasingly ugly mood which culminated in the creation
of the Hizbollah,one of the most vicious terrorist threats menacing Israel
(Greg Myre, The New York Times, April 27, 2003)
BOMB IN TEL AVIV
Israeli security guard tried to intercept the suicide bomber at Mike's
Bar in Tel Aviv, but was unable to prevent him from detonating a bomb
that killed three and wounded 40. The real target of the bomb appeared
to be the new administration of the Palestinian Authority's new prime
minister, Abu Mazen, as well as the U.S. and British-backed peace "roadmap".
(BBC, April 29, 2003)
DON'T EXPECT SERIOUS HELP FROM ABU MAZEN
Israel's military intelligence warned the government
at the beginning of the week that Abu Mazen is not likely to do more than
talk to Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders about stopping terror. The reason
is that he controls only a third of the Palestinian Authority, and the
other two thirds, controlled by Arafat and the various terrorist movements
still see violence as an effective strategy.(Amos
harel, Ha'aretz, April 30, 2003)
is going to take a considerable effort to piece Iraq back together again.
The Brookings Insitution analyzes the situation up to now in a panel discussion
with Kenneth Pollack, Shibley Telhami, Seyom Brown, Martin Indyk, Roberta
Cohen and Eric Schwarz.
(Brookings, April 23, 2003)
SCIENCE CORP. AND THE POLICING OF IRAQ
this year, Computer Sciences Corporation bought DynCorp International,
a PMC (private military company) which has just won a contract that could
go as high as $50 million over the next year. DynCorp's mandate is to
provide 1,000 advisors to help form Iraqs police department, judicial
branch and prison system. The U.S. State Department will foot the bill
for housing and food. The civilian police advisors will earn $63,000 to
$74,000 a year, tax free. For the moment, the administration is asking
Congress for $25 million to get the project moving, and planning to take
part of the money from the anti-drug operations in Afghanistan. The end
fee for DynCorp could add up to $250 million. DynCorp may also get the
State Department to fork over $22 million as a stop gap operation to hire
150 former policemen for immediate duty in Iraq. Their salaries are likely
to range from $46,000 to $96,000 a year. Given the budget cutbacks in
American cities--New York expects a deficit of up to $4 billion--finding
candidates should not be difficult.
(David Isenberg, Asia Times, April 30, 2003)
JORDANIAN "INCONVENIENCE" OF AHMAD CHALABI
Saddam Hussein, Iraqi opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi once found it prudent
to escape across a border dressed as a Bedouin woman. The Middle East
News Agency reports that In 1989, Jordan accused Chalabi of embezzling
$30 million while he was chairman and general manager of the Petra Bank.
Prosecutors claimed that Chalabi had adopted a financial plan to fit his
personal interests and those of his relatives at the expense of shareholders.
He was also accused of using forged documents to hoodwink investors and
of smuggling large sums of money outside the country disguised as "investment
decisions." After a 2-1/2 year investigation, he was convicted in
absentia and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
WILL STOP MAKING PLUTONIUM, BUT WHAT DOES IT WANT IN EXCHANGE
Kaplan, writing in Slate, provides a guide to the latest developments.
The North Koreans will stop processing spent nuclear fuel, but in exchange
they want security and financial concessions which Washington finds unacceptable.
War looks pretty unacceptable too. The answer, Kaplan suggests, may e
an agreement that allows the U.S. to destroy Koreas nuclear stockpile
once and for all.
KOREA WAR SCENARIOS
the U.S. is forced to go to war with North Korea now, it will confront
a 1.2 million-man armythe worlds fourth largest fighting forceand
it will have to contend with 11,000 pieces of artillery targeted against
the 10 million people who live in Seoul. CDI examines the likely war scenarios
(pdf file, 22 pages).
(Center for Defense Information, April 2003)
KOREA TALKING POINTS
Kim Jong Il crazy or stupid? Dont count on it. Does he violate international
agreements? You bet. Did the Clinton policy fail? Thats a matter
of opinion. So far, the U.S. State Departments strategy has kept
Pyongyang from building up to 30 nuclear bombs. Victor D. Cha and David
C. Kang examine the fine points of dealing with North Korea in Foreign
(Victor D. Cha, David Kang, Foreign Policy, April 2003)
Research Service-Library of Congress, 16 pages, pdf)
THE HOME FRONT
Civil Defense reached its highpoint in the early 1960s when private citizens
equipped their homemade bomb shelters with tear gas and assault rifles
to keep the neighbors out when Armageddon hit. It looks like the average
American is on is own again. Despite the fact that a tenth of the $41
billion budgeted to Homeland Security is earmarked for civilian defense,
the most innovative idea the agency has come up with is the infamous "Duct
Tape" strategy. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists argues, nevertheless,
that a few precautions can go a long way.
(Peter Amacher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2003)
the U.S. was going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, it promised substantial
aid to the neighboring countries in Central Asia. Then Iraq came along
and those early promises of development assistance were largely forgotten.
As a result, Tajikistanone of the worlds 20 poorest countrieshas
become a hotbed for drug traffickers and a potential breeding ground for
Islamic extremists. (International Crisis Group, April 24, 2003)
across the desert in Egypt, and you are likely to trigger a landmine left
over from World War II. At the current rate that governments and NGOs
are demining former combat spots, it could take 400 to 500 years to undo
the explosive pollution of the last centurys conflicts. But the
RAND Corporation notes that innovative new solutions may shorten the process.
(Downloadable book in pdf format)
(RAND, April 2003)
World Economic Forum plans to hold an unusual extraordinary annual meeting
in Amman, Jordan on June 21-23, with 1,900 business and political leaders.
The objective: open a new page in international relations. Klaus Schwab
translates that as working to "overcome the negative atmosphere which
is prevailing in today's politics and which creates so much pessimism
in the global economy." (Middle East News Agency, April 29, 2003)
FORCES TO PULL OUT OF SAUDI ARABIA
of the arguments for invading Iraq was the insistent pressure from Riyadh
which would eventually have forced U.S. troops to withdraw from Saudi
territory. It is not that the Saudis dont want U.S. help. They do.
But the presence infidels on the sacred sand of the guardians of Mecca
was becoming an explosive domestic issue. It was one of the main reasons
that Osama Bin Laden used for marshalling support against the Al Saud
family and against the U.S. With Iraq neutralized, the Pentagon has announced
that it will mothball its operations at Prince Sultan airbase and move
to Qatar. (BBC, April 29, 2003)
RICH ON THE LOOTING OF IRAQ
the U.S. decided to send half a dozen tanks to protect Iraqs Ministry
of Petroleum, and none to protect Baghdads National Museum said
as much about the administrations priorities as it did about Iraq.
Notes Rich: "The tragedy for America is not just the loss itself
but the naked revelation of our worst instincts at the very dawn of our
grandiose project to bring democratic values to the Middle East
We may have been unable to protect tablets containing missing pieces of
the Gilgamesh epic. But somehow we did manage to secure the lavish homes
of Saddam's hierarchy, where the cultural gems ranged from videos of old
James Bond movies to the collected novels of Danielle Steel
(Frank Rich, New York Times, April 27, 2003)
WAXMAN ON THE LOOTING OF WASHINGTON
Dick Cheneys former role as CEO of Halliburton had anything to do
with it or not, the Vice-Presidents former employer stands to profit
enormously from the War in Iraq. The Pentagon awarded Halliburtons
subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root Services, a contract with a ceiling
of $7 billion over the next two years to put out oil fires and provide
support to U.S. operations in Iraq. So far, Halliburton has only received
orders for $50 million on the contract. The Army argues that Halliburtons
subsidiary was the only company qualified to do the work because it had
compiled the contingency plans for reacting to the Invasion of Iraq as
part of a contract, LOGCAP, which the Pentagon had awarded it back in
2001. Competitive bids could not be put out, because the plan was classified
and only Kellogg Brown and Root had the security clearance to know its
details. Congressman Henry Waxman, ranking minority member of the House
Committee on Government Reform has asked the GAO for an investigation.
(Henry Waxman, House Committee on Government Reform, April 2003)
letter requesting an investigation from the GAO
Response form The Army Corps of Engineers
index of Waxmans correspondence.
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