SPEECH IN CUBA "The hard truth is
that neither the United
States nor Cuba has managed to define a positive and beneficial
relationship. Will this
new century find our neighboring people living in harmony and friendship?
I have come here in search of an answer to that question..."
CASTRO HANDLE CARTER?
Nothing Jimmy Carter does is likely to prevent the tightening of
the U.S. embargo on Cuba in the short term, but there may be deeper
implications for both Cuba and America. U.S. business interests
clearly want to see Cuba open to the outside world, and Carter's
publicizing of Cuba's home-grown democracy movement is something
that even Castro will have to acknowledge.
Tony Karon analyzes the implications of the visit and the shrewdness
of Carter's strategy. (Tony Karon, Time.Com May 14, 2002)
CUBAN BIO WEAPONS:
AN ANGRY REBUTTAL FROM FIDEL CASTRO
"...the idea of destroying Cuba, an obsession that
has lasted more than 43 years, has lead and still leads U.S. policy
down a tortuous path filled with lies, mistakes, failures and crimes..."
(Fidel Castro, May 11, 2002)
ORIGINAL SPEECH TO THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION ACCUSING CUBA "...
The United States believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive
biological warfare research and development effort. Cuba has provided
dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states. We are concerned that
such technology could support BW programs in those states...."(Heritage
Foundation, May 6, 2002)
GUARDIAN:"The Axis of Nonsense"
PULLS CLOSER TO THE WEST
BRIEFS REPORTERS ON WHAT IT MEANS "The
bottom line is at the end of this treaty period, both sides will
be able to verify that the other side only has between 1,700 to
2,200 deployed warheads on launchers. It does not talk about missile
defense, it does not constrain missile defense activities in any
way..." (U.S. State Dept. May 13, 2002)
WITH NATO PART OF LARGER STRATEGY
decision to create an association between Russia and Nato fits in
with Nato's efforts to redefine itself after the end of the cold
war and with Russia's determination to connect economically with
the West. From NATO's perspective, terrorism has replaced intercontinental
warfare as the threat that gets the most attention and globalization
means including more countries to the mix. By the end of the Year,
NATO will have added more new members than ever before in its history.
The BBC's Defense Correspondent Jonathan Marcus analyzes the new
NATO strategy. (BBC May 14, 2002)
Fact Sheet on its relations with Russia
links to key documents (NATO,May 14, 2002)
U.S. Agrees To Two Thirds Reduction in Warheads
gets a binding treaty. Bush hopes to launch a new era liquidating
the legacy of the cold war and drawing Russia closer to the U.S.
(Patrick Tyler in the New York Times, May 14, 2002)
The Federation of American Scientists provides an
to previous arms agreements.
to expect at the Moscow Summit
The Brookings Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill discuss the issues.
(Brookings Institution, May 2002)
Council on Foreign Relations has prepared a comprehensive
list of background papers, news clippings and internet links to
get everyone up to speed on what to expect.
Sharon and Netanyahu see differenly
Defeat Changes the Equation
victory over Ariel Sharon means that Netanyahu is well placed to
take over the Likud Party. But the victory may be an empty one.
Most Israelis want peace, and closing the door on a future Palestinian
state could lead to the Likuds eventual defeat. The more serious
consequence is that from now on, Israels domestic politics
will take precedence over critical negotiations that should reflect
larger considerations. (Haaretz, May 13, 2002)
of the voting...
Danger of Giving Up On Diplomacy
Deense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer warns of new terrorist attacks
if both sides lose faith in diplomacy as a way to reach a final
KING ABDULLAH TAKES THE LEAD IN TRYING
TO FIND A WAY OUT IN THE MIDDLE EAST
In an important
interview, King Abdullah says the time has come for Arabs to put
an end to terrorism, and to demand more realism from the Palestinian
side. Abdullahs remarks may have shocked the Arab street,
but they received a favorable reception from other moderate leaders,
including Saudi Arabias Prince Abdullah. Transcript and streaming
audio. (King Abdullah, Lehrer News Hour, May 10, 2002)
MINI ARAB SUMMIT AT SHARM EL-SHEIK
between Saudi Arabias Prince Abdulla, Egypts Mubarak
and Syrias Bashar Assad reasserts Arab willingness to exchange
land for peace and focuses on defusing the situation. (The Daily
Star, Beirut, May 13, 2002)
ARABIA'S PRINCE NAIF
against public appeals for anti-U.S. boycott, pointing out that
the volume of U.S. imports is already too small to make it effective.
(Arab NewsJeddahMay 13, 2002)
Some of the
strongest support for Israels confrontation with Palestinians
isnt coming from the Jewish lobby; it is coming from the American
Christian right, who feel that they share fundamental values with
Ariel Sharon. BBC Washington correspondent Steven Sackur provides
a concise analysis on who the key players are and what motivates
them. (transcript and streaming audio) (Steven Sackur, BBC May 7,
ARMS ASSISTANCE TO ISRAEL
The U.S. may
look at itself as a neutral bystander when it comes to events in
Israel, but massive U.S. arms sales to Israel mean that Washington
is deeply implicated in whatever happens there. Israel now receives
roughly 17% of all U.S. foreign and has purchased more than $7 billion
worth of U.S. weapons over the last decademuch of it financed
by grants from the U.S. government. The weaponry includes more than
200 F-16 fighters, with 100 more on order. The Bush budget for 2003,
will raise the military finance grants to $2.1 billion and toss
in another $28 million to buy U.S. manufactured anti-terrorism equipment.
Foreign Policy in Focus William Hartung and Frida Berrigan
provide a detailed accounting of the U.S.-manufactured firepower
that is likely to show up in the next confrontation. (Foreign Policy
in Focus, May 2002)
THE SKIRMISHING OVER CRUSADER
rid of an outdated 80-ton behemoth that cost $11 billion to develop
should have been a no-brainer. That didnt stop the Crusaders
manufacturer, United Technologies, which is controlled by the Carlyle
Group, from mounting a major campaign to keep the relic of a different
era alive. Crusaders backers counted on the fact that Carlyle
has the presidents father on the payroll as a senior adviser.
As it turned out, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made the
right choice. The Nations David Corn details the infighting
that went on behind the scenes in Washington. (David Corn, The nation,
May 6, 2002)
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz explains
rationale for killing Crusader on CNNs Moneyline. Crusader
was a slight improvement, but the money can be better spent elsewhere.
U.S. DEFENSE STRATEGY
a "Senior Defense Official" introduces a geometric chart
attempting to define where U.S. defense is headed, the future is
reduced to little boxes with slogans like "Lesser contingency,""defer
fwd", "swiftly defeat". And "win". The
explanation about how these objectives are to be accomplished remains
a bit opaque, but this background briefing for Pentagon reporters
is worth reading for the fly-on-the-wall insight it provides into
the process itself, starting with the senior officials opening
remark:" Oh, man. Yeah, really, it's a nice day."
(Senior Official, U.S. Department of Defense, May 10, 2002)
Passes FY03 Defense Authorization Bill
of the Houses military budget is a heavy emphasis on nuclear-tipped
missiles for the ABM program. A number of critical amendments are
up for debate. (Council for a Livable World, May 10, 2002)
In a generous mood,
the House boosts military spending $4 billion
beyond Bushs request. (Council for a Livable World, May 10,
Over Russian Tactical Nukes
tactical nuclear weapons were intentionally ignored during the Cold
War strategic arms negotiations between the U.S. and Russia. Now
the smaller Russian nukes have become a proliferation hazard and
should be a major topic for Bushs talks with Putin. (By Alistair
Millar in Arms Control Today, may 2002).
Is John Bolton?
of State for Arms Control, John Bolton, raised a ruckus when he
suggested that Cuba might be developing biological wapons. It was
only one of several provocative stands that Bolton has taken in
the last few months as he tries to steer U.S. foreign policy towards
the right. Boltons personal popularity with the Bush administration
also seems to have gotten him safely past a minor scandal after
it turned out that had been on Taiwans payroll for three years
(at $10,000 a year), but had neglected to mention the fact during
confirmation hearings. Bolton wants Taiwan recognized as an independent
state. Boltons popularity is now so high on the right that
Jesse Helms remarked that Bolton was the man with whom he would
like to stand at Armageddon.
Foreign Policy in Focus'
a concise guide to Bolton's recent history. (FPIF, May 2002).
The Nation Magazine
and the fact that the potential conflict of interest failed to raise
red flags. (David Corn in The Nation, April 10, 2002)
Williams provides an
portrait on Salon.com. (
a subscription to Salon is necessary to read the full text.)
Mountain Lion' on Dangerous Turf
more than 1,000 British and American troops committed to "Operation
Mountain Lion" are searching the mountains on the Afghan-Pakistan
border for the last remnants of Al-Qaeda. For obvious reasons, the
U.S. doesnt trust Pakistan to do the job, but committing foreign
forces into sensitive tribal areas risks stirring up a hornets
nest. There are already ominous rumblings from extremists.
(By Nadeem malik, Asia Times, May 14, 2002)
Threatened By Nuclear Waste Left over from the Soviet Era
earthquakes and unexpectedly harsh rainfalls, Bishkek has put out
an urgent appeal four outside help, warning that a mudslide or another
earthquake could unleash nuclear pollution from 23 uranium-tailing
pits and 13 slag heaps left over from the Soviet era. According
to Bishkek, the area likely to be affected extends far beyond Kyrgyzstan.
(Institute for War and Peace Reporting, May 1, 2002)
Police in Need of Policing
In Bosnia, 14
separate police forcesmany of them staffed with suspects in
war crimes-- spend most of their time looking out for their own
ethnic and tribal interests. In the meantime, organized crime is
enjoying a free run of the country. The police badly need to be
policed themselves. (International Crisis Group, May 10, 2002)
Saying Good Bye To The Last SS-23 Missiles
be small in size, but it has large ambitions. It is determined to
join NATO by the end of the year and the European Union by the end
of the decade. To strengthen its case, it will 8 operational SS23
missilesthe last remaining in its arsenal, and the last SS23s
left in the world.
Discusses U.S. Visit
leaving the U.S., Chinas Vice-President Hu Jintao, who is
expected to replace President Jiang Zemin next fall, talked freely
about what he expects from U.S.-China relations. Among other elements,
China plans to import $1.5 trillion in U.S. goods over the next
five years. With a population increasing at 10 million a year, China
will be too large to ignore. (National Committee on U.S. - China
Relations, May 1, 2002)