(click on image to see a larger copy at the
the Buck Still Stop Here?
George Bush faces a firestorm over FBI warnings that
some critics feel might have predicted the 9/11 attacks. Mark Shields
and David Brooks discuss the political implications on Jim Lehrers
Newshour. (PBS, May 17, 2002)
All The Calls for an Investigation Are Coming From Democrats
Conservatives, William Kristol and Robert Kagan call for an independent
investigation to determine why "the system did not work."
(The Weekly Standard, May 27, 2002)
David Corn in the Nation, asks whether there is anything else the
administration has neglected to tell us. (May 17, 2002)
Ed Vulliami comments
in the Observer on
why George Bush should feel nervous (Observer,
May 19, 2002), and Mark Lawson explores
the rapidly changing assessment of
White Houses comportment after
9/11 (The Guardian, May 18, 2002)
WERE A WEAPON OF CHOICE BACK IN 1995
R ead Philippine
investigators 1995 interrogation of Abdul Hakim Murad, in
which Murad discusses plans to blow up a commercial airliner over
the U.S. Asked the purpose of the attack, Murad replies:"To
Kill Americans." Why?"This is my the best thing.
I love it
we shall liberate all Muslims from the United States,
" (Smoking Gun, May 17, 2002)
HAPPENS TO INFORMATION ON TERRORISM
Three experts discuss how the CIA and FBI handle
tips about impending threats. (Jim Lehrer newshour, May 17, 2002)
ON THE UPCOMING BUSH-PUTIN SUMMIT
Center for Strategic and International Studies held a one-day seminar
to explore both Washington and Russias agenda at the summit.
A key Russian priority: Putin needs the arms control agreement with
the U.S. so he can reform his military to face its real threats
which are most likely to emerge from the south and east.
Backgrounder at Arms Control Association
RUSSIAS NUCLEAR MISSILES
Chapter 6 of
the Carnegie Endowment for World Peaces latest book on keeping
tack of Russia's weapons of mass destruction is available free on
line in PDF format.
David Brooks notes in the Atlantic that blowing yourself up is becoming
the terrorists version of crack cocainean addictive
high which has disastrous consequences for the neighborhood.
GETS UNEXPECTED VICTORY BY FIRING ULTRA-ORTHODOX SHAS CABINET MEMBERS
up to Shas gains Sharon points, but it's also risky. the party took
enough votes from the Likud, the National Religious Party and other
factions in 1999 to capture 17 seats in the 120-seat parliament.
Had Shas secured only a few more votes, it would have tied the Likud
as the second-largest party in Israel. Ha'aretz analyzes impact
on Israeli politics.(Ha'aretz, May 22, 2002)
FOUR CANDIDATES IN ISRAEL'S ELECTIONS AGREE ON REJECTION OF ARAFAT
The leading candidates hoping to replace Ariel Sharon began their
campaign last week. Each has a different approach to restoring peace.
The one point they agree on is a rejection of yssir Arafat. (Aluf
Benn in Haaretz, May 20, 2002)
U.S. Sends Jerusalem More Mixed Messages
The U.S. wont cry "if Arafat collapses
on his exercise machine," a senior U.S. official recently told
his Israeli counterpart. Another U.S. official warned the Israelis
that attempts to get rid of Arafat simply increase his stature.
(Aluf Benn in Haaretz, May 20, 2002)
TO HOST HIGH-LEVEL MIDEASTERN INTELLIGENCE MEETING
CIA chief George
Tenet plans to invite top Israeli, Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi and
Palestinian intelligence officials for consultations on a new security
plan. Tenet has been planning to go to the Middle East to discuss
Palestinian security, but has delayed his trip for two reasons.
First, he has not yet hammered out a complete concept of what he
wants to do. Second, Israel has adamantly opposed the idea of his
meeting with PA leader Yasser Arafat (Aluf Benn in Haaretz,
May 20, 2002).
Department Briefing: Richard
Boucher discusses Tenet's trip and what the President knew about
Leaders Miss the Real Question
Palestininans are clearly at a crossroads. Everyone recognizes the
need for reform, but in what direction? After Sharons offensive,
the only option left may well be national resistance.
(Azmi Besharah in Al-Ahram Weekly, May 23, 2002)
RATHER TELLS BBC THAT, U.S. JOURNALISTS ARE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP
an overabundance of patriotic fervor, Rather told a BBC interviewer,
many U.S. journalists have been afraid to ask probing questions
of just how far George Bush is going in the War on Terror. Rather
includes himself in the group that has pulled its punches. "Milatainment"on
TV has largely replaced critical reporting on the rapidly expanding
U.S. military support for a number of questionable regimes.(BBC,
May 17, 2002)
Guardian reports on the Rather interview (Guardian,
May 19, 2002)
TAKES THE EDGE OFF THE HONG KONG PRESS
First The South China Morning Post fired Willy Lam, Hong Kongs
best informed political analyst, then Jasper Becker, Posts
China correspondent was let go. Chinas leaders clearly dont
like outsiders or anyone else asking embarrassing questions. If
Hong Kong is the equivalent of the canary in the coal minean
early warning detector of toxic atmosphere, the prognosis for Hong
Kong's survivability as a dynamic incubator for Southeast Asia,
doesn't look very promising these days. (The Far Economic Review,
May 23, 2002 )
Side Were They On Back Then?
extraordinary documentary, WGBH's Frontline illustrates how many
of the administration hawks calling for an attack against Iraq today
share a heavy responsibility for having left Saddam in power after
The Gulf War. The strict orders given to U.S. aircraft to hold fire
while Iraqi gunships flying beneath them bombed and straffed thousands
of civilians led to a succession of massacres which are largely
responsible today for the U.S. being seen as a less than trustworthy
ally--especially since Washington had encouraged Iraqis to rise
in revolt against Saddam. While the documentary is powerful, Frontline's
website has pulled together an even more impressive series of interviews,
analyses and documents, including revealing interviews with Brent
Scowcroft, James Baker and former CIA director R. James Woolsey
and a number of Iraqi officials.
THE PROBLEM SOLVED
Seven weeks of negotiations have led to a partial agreement between
Kabila and Mobutus son-in-law, Jean-Pierre Bemba, leader of
the former revolutionary movement, the Mouvement pour la Liberation
du Congo. The agreement leaves Kabila in charge and effectively
aligns the government and a major part of the opposition against
the pro-Tutsi RCD, supported by Rwanda. A summary of this report
by the International Crisis Group is available in English. The full
report is also on the website in French, and will be soon be released
in English shortly.
(International Crisis Group, May 14, 2002)
PEGS IN ROUND HOLES: RUSSIAN-AMERICAN CULTURE CLASHES OVER BUILDING
THE CASPIAN PIPELINE
disputes are a thing of the past, but do we really have to do it
this way? The Russians rely on extra bulk to compensate for poor
workmanship. Americans go crazy over cost overruns and construction
delays. (Christopher Pala in The Moscow Times, May 20, 2002)
The meeting of Afghanistans tribal chiefs, slated for June
10-16, will provide an indicator of whether Afghanistans fractious
ethnic groups can actually work together towards reconstruction.
The International Crisis Group offers a 20-page background summary
of the issues that will have to be resolved. (ICG, may 16, 2002)
PRESIDENT AKAEV UNDER PRESSURE FROM MOUNTING PROTESTS
arrest of a political opposition leader and a prefabricated verdict
lead to violent demonstrations.
(Sultan Jumagulov in Bishkek, and Ulugbek Babakulov in Jalal-Abad--Institute
for War&Peace Reporting, May 17, 2002)
THE DISENFRANCHISED LIVE OFF RUBBISH FROM 1800 U.S. SERVICEMEN STATIONED
AT MANAS AIRBASE
"It was good when the Americans brought their rubbish,"
a thin, dirty teenager, who gave his name as Marat, recalled. "There
were delicious things there. I was trying pate, preserves, powders
you could mix with water...
"They may have been past their sell-by date, but they were
just what the doctor ordered. There was delicious sausage and various
delicacies which I'd never seen the like of before."
"The authorities would not even let us have American rubbish,"
a young man named Almaz said indignantly. Calming down, he asked
conspiratorially, "You don't know, by any chance, where they're
taking their rubbish now?"
(By Kubat Otorbaev in BishkekInstitute for War&Peace Reporting,
May 17, 2002)
SAMARKAND OLD BOOKS BECOME TOILET PAPER
Nina Ivochkina, 70, a teacher and intellectual from Samarkand, watches
in anguish as a worker at a pulping plant rips her favourite books
The destruction of books has been accelerated by a ministerial decree
in 1998. This ordered the withdrawal of all titles that failed to
comply with Uzbekistan's "national ideology". For the
most part, this affected those of an ideological nature published
during the Soviet, as well as school textbooks brought out before
Half a million volumes a year are pulped. The books are bought for
2 US cents per kilogram, taken to a recycling warehouse and then
to the Angren paper factory, which turns them into cardboard for
egg cartons or toilet paper.
(By Artur Samari from Samarkand, Institute for War & Peace Reporting,
May 16, 2002)
BOEING LOST THE CONTRACT TO BUILD THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER
to win a critical defense contract can make or break an aviation
manufacturer. Not so long ago, Boeing seemed unbeatable. James Fallows
explains why this time it lost. (in the Atlantic Monthly,June 2002)
AND PAKISTAN ON THE VERGE OF OPEN WARFARE
Indian PM Vayjpee tells
troops to prepare for the "decisive battle " (May 23,
OF INDIA: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee warns
that Pakistan should not underestimate India. (May 22, 2002)
THE DAWN: Pakistan
ready for war. (May
KASHMIR TIMES: LONE ASSASSINATION
NATION: Abdul Ghani Lone,
a senior separatist leader, who was seen
as a moderate voice in held Kashmir, was shot dead by unidentified
gunmen on Tuesday, (May 22, 2002).
TIMES: CONSEQUENCES OF
LONE MURDER (May 22, 2002).
Indian think-tank believes that Jammu strike is part of Musharraf's
"New Game" (May
stir the flames (May 17, 2002)
hopes International pressure will calm situation (May 20, 2002)
A RETIRED INDIAN
ARGUES THAT INDIA SHOULD HIT PAKJISTAN "HARD" (May 20,
PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTER warns
of nuclear danger (May 20, 2002)
BBC PROFILES THE
ISSUES AND THE KEY PLAYERS