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on Patterns of Global Terrorism for 2002
US State Department's Report on Patterns of Global Terrorism for 2001
SUICIDE BOMBER WAS RECRUITED IN PRISON UNDER NOSE OF SHIN BET
of the male suicide bombers who struck Israel over the weekend were photographed
together before leaving for their respective assignments. One of them
had been in administrative detention just before the attack. What has
Israeli intelligence agencies most concerned is the fact that a lethal
suicide cell was able to function openly on Israeli territory without
anyone being aware of its existence.
(Ha'aretz, May 19, 2003)
NOT GETTING THE MESSAGE
Hamas' latest bombings were intended to send a message to the Palestinian
Authority that a stamp of approval from Washington is not enough. As Hamas
sees it, there can be no peace without a suitable payoff for everyone.
For the Palestinians, that means pressure on Israel to halt to aggressive
measures in the occupied territories. (Danny Rubinstein, Ha'aretz, May
MILITARY RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS
has no intention of going soft on Palestinian hardliners, but so far,
Ariel Sharon's get tough approach has only turned out to be an incentive
for increasing the will to resist while the suicide bombers have refined
their techniques. Ha'aretz analyzes the growing concerns among the IDF,
that there may not be that many more options left. (Ha'aretz, May 19,
ELON'S NOVEL SOLUTION TO MIDDLE EAST PEACE
a rabbi and leader of Israel's Moledet political party, voices what many
Israelis feel, but few dare say aloud: why not move all the Palestinians
to Jordan. The Jordanians can always move to Iraq. Elon was in the U.S.
recently selling the idea to his erstwhile allies on the Christian right.
A faction in Congress is beginning to think that Elon may have a good
idea. (Claire Tristam reflects on Elon's vision in Salon, May 14, 2003)
IRAQ EDGING TOWARDS CIVIL WAR?
New Republic reports that in the wake of the the political vacuum created
by Saddam's collapse, competing groups are arming their own militias for
a showdown over who gets to define Baghdad's next government. (Hassan
Fattah, The New Republic, May 20, 2003)
WILL TRY TO DISARM IRAQI CIVILIANS
an effort to control the chaos in Baghdad and other cities, the U.S. plans
to demand that Iraqis turn in their AK-47s and other weapons.
(The New York Times, May 20, 2003)
TROOPS LEARN THE REALITY OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN IRAQ: FORGET ABOUT REALITY
Shiite cleric lecturing to a crowd of 30,000 over the weekend delivers
a wild sermon accusing U.S. troops of using nightvision goggles to peer
through the clothes of Iraqi women, and of passing out candy to Arab children
with pornographic pictures on the wrappers. The sermon's bottom line:
throw the Americans out of Iraq. Senior Shiite clerics have apologized
for the performance and are now demanding that future sermons be cleared
(Warren Richey in the Christian Science Monitor, May 19, 2003)
NEEDS U.N. DRAFT RESOLUTION
earlier confrontations, the U.S. still needs the U.N. Security Council's
authorization to formally switch Iraq's oil assets over to American control
in place of the "Oil for Food" program currently being administered
by the U.N. An early U.S. draft resolution encountered resistance because
it left U.S. control over Iraq open ended, and it left U.S. management
of Iraq's oil pretty much open ended as well. Other Security Council members--notably
France and Russia--feel there should be some international input into
(The BBC, May 20, 2003)
REPORTS AL QAEDA'S AIM IS TO OVERTHROW SAUDI REGIME AND INSTALL HARDLINE
reports that last week's attack had revolutionary overtones that are targeted
directly at Saudi rule. The terrorists want nothing less than their own
hard line Islamic government and control of the Holy sites in Mecca and
Medina. (Janes, May 19, 2003)
DOCUDRAMA ON HITLER BANNED IN TEXAS
dramatization of Hitler's rise to power was hardly groundbreaking, but
two CBS affiliates in Texas decided not to run the broadcast. One station
manager said that he was afraid of giving ideas to viewers who belong
to the Aryan Nation, the other said that it might give encouragement to
viewers who already have Nazi tendencies, and there are certain lines
you just don't want to cross.
News Service, May 19, 2003)
Rosenbaum reported in the New York Observer last week on comparisons
between 9/11 and the Reichstag Fire
TRIES TO END CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT
the interests of streamlining, the Pentagon has drawn up a list of nearly
100 reporting and notification requirements that it would like to dispense
with. The changes would substantially reduce oversight by Congress. Four
Democrats resisting the move, include Henry Waxman, the California Congressman
who has been questioning the military about its decision to secretly award
a contract with a ceiling of $7 billion to Halliburton, the company formerly
headed by vice-president Dick Cheney. Halliburton was the subject of a
GAO investigation on previous contracts for failing to control costs.
If the current changes go through, the Defense Department could cease
most of its current reporting to Congress within 5 years.
(Federation of American Scientists, May 14, 2003)
INFORMATION WAS NOTHING. TAKE A LOOK AT "LIFELOG"
latest brainstorm involves nothing less than documenting every waking
moment and thought in a person's life. Think of it as a computer-assisted
second memory. Except that this memory will be searchable by government
technicians. The idea may sound a bit nutty, but DARPA is already putting
out contracts to Universities and research institutes to bid on contracts.
(Wired, may 20, 2003)
MOVES TO CHANGE THE LAW PERMITTING SUITS AGAINST U.S. COMPANIES FOR HUMAN
rights groups have been suing the giant energy company, UNOCAL, for allegedly
collaborating with Burma's military junta which allegedly relied on forced
labor to build UNOCAL's natural gas pipeline. UNOCAL denies the charges,
of course, and now it is receiving an added boost from the Justice Department.
A number of similar human rights suits over the last 20 years have been
based on the Alien Tort Claims Act, passed in 1789, which allows American
companies to be sued in the U.s. if they violate "the laws of nations"
while operating overseas. Despite the fact that a number of precedents
have already been set, the Justice Department is now arguing that the
law is arcane, rarely used, and should be disregarded. Not everyone agrees
with that interpretation. TomPaine.com outlines the recent debate.
Roth, Human Rights Watch, on TomPaine.com, May 19, 2003)
argues that it's Yadana Project, is helping the local natives (click here
for the company's version of events).
FEINSTEIN ON U.S. IMPACT ON NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION
to the Center for Defense Information, Diane Feinstein sees unilateralism
as a major threat to world peace. Feinstein traces the president's deviation
from traditional U.s. diplomacy to Four key documents released in the
year following 9/11 laid out the President’s unprecedented new policies:
the Nuclear Posture Review, January 2002; the Doctrine of Preemption,
at West Point in June 2002; the Administration’s National Security
Strategy in September 2002; and the National Security Policy Document
17 , signed by the President in September 2002.(Diane Feinstein, Center
for Defense Information, May 2003)
LAUNCHES ALL OUT ATTACK IN NORTHERN SUMATRA
to end resistance by GAM, the Aceh independence movement, Indonesian military
troops parachuted into the airport near Banda Aceh. while Indonesia far
outnumbers the guerrillas, the territory in Aceh is so impenetrable that
it is doubtful that Indonesian troops will be able to achieve a decisive
victory. On the other hand civilian casualties are highly likely.
(Sydney Morning Herald, May 19, 2003)
ARE FIRST CASUALTIES
Summary executions and government opaqueness characterize the opening
days of the offensive. (BBC, May 20, 2003)
all went wrong --the BBC
Indonesia's military option won't work--International Crisis Group
ANTI-TERRORISM CHIEF PREDICTED ANOTHER SURGE FROM AL QAEDA
week before the attacks in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, Jean-Louis Bruguière,
France's chief of anti-terrorism warned that Al Qaeda is still very capable
of action. In that context, the War in Iraq was largely a distraction.
Luckily, despite public French bashing, relations at the level of intelligence
and police agencies, cooperation is still very good.
(The Brookings Institution, May 12, 2003)
experience fighting terrorism
French have been learning how to handle numerous Middle Eastern terrorist
organizations since the early 1980s when Paris experienced dozens of terrorist
bombings. French intelligence on the Middle East is noticeably better
than anything the U.S. can offer. We could learn from their experience.
(Brookings May 12, 2003)
THE RESCUE OF
rescue of U.S. Army private Jessica Lynch, last month, was presented as
one of the most daring operations in the War in Iraq. In fact, doctors
in the hospital where Lynch was being kept report that enemy troops had
pulled out a day earlier. Iraqi doctors say they tried to return Lynch
to U.S. lines in an ambulance, but were forced to turn back when they
came under American fire. Far from being mistreated, Lynch reportedly
received excellent medical care for injuries she received when the truck
she was on crashed. Lynch now claims to have amnesia about the entire
incident. While U.S. forces may not have known the full circumstances
before the rescue attempt, the failure of the Pentagon to correct the
record has raised serious questions about the U.S. Central Command's penchant
for spin control. The BBC's John Kampfner reports on the fracas.(John
Kampfner, BBC, May 15, 2003) Click
here for the BBC's story
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