flood of conflicting signals obscured the looming Al Qaeda threat
Seymour Hersh notes
The New Yorker,
that Al Qaeda was there to be seen, but there was no system in place
for seeing it.
Corn analyzes why intelligence warnings about Al Qaeda dating back
to 1995 failed to make an impression on the White House.
THE RELATIONSHIP WITH EUROPE
Jessica Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, thinks the Bush administration is out of sync with Europe
on many of the issues that count. Says Matthews, "Every European
that I've talked to over the last many months says that the relationship
is the worst that they can remember, and that stretches anywhere
from ten to forty or forty-five years
who served as Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, points out
that" roughing up American presidents" is a favorite European
passtime. Matthews and Schlessinger discuss the current state of
relations on Jim Lehrer's Newshour. (PBS, May 23, 2002)
Robert Kagan points out that the vast disparity of
power places the U.S. and Europe in very different places even though
both cultures share basic western values. (Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, June 2, 2002)
PUTIN MORE INTERESTED IN THE U.S. OR IN EUROPE?
The Moscow Times Nicholas Berry suggests that Putins
real goal in the Moscow talks may have been to get a green light
from Bush for closer ties to NATO and Europe.
By Nicholas Berry in the Moscow Times (May 24, 2002)
SHAD: When the U.S. Navy Tested Chemical Weapons On Its Own Ships
"Fearless Johnny", "Flower Drum",
"Easy Belle" "Shady Grove" the names sound
whimsical. In fact, they refer to chemical and biologicial warfare
experiments which the U.S. Navy performed during the 1960s, using
U.S. Navy sailors as test subjects. SHAD is an acronym for Shipboard
Hazard and Defense. After a growing number of sailors complained
of health problems in the years following the experiments, the U.S.
Defense Department now provides details of the various operations.
(U.S. Defense Department, May 2002)
CRUSADER MAY BE DEAD, BUT ITS CREATORS WON'T BE LEFT EMPTY HANDED
the contract to build the Crusader self-propelled howitzer wont
be quite the disaster for United Technologies that many expected.
Most of the start-up costs will be footed by U.S. taxpayers, and
the politically connected Carlyle Group, which controls United Technologies,
has plenty of other deals up its sleeve. Will Rumsfeld be able to
stand the heat? (By William D. Hartung, Foreign Policy in Focus,
May 21, 2002)
RICH MAN'S CLUB WITH POLITICAL CONNECTIONS
Carlyle Group not only counts ex-Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci,
James Baker and a gaggle of politically connected former generals
and influential Republicans on its payroll, it is also an extremely
profitable investment. Walter Pincus explores Carlyles dealings
in the Washington Post, Former U.S. government officials put up
a mere $173 million in cash and borrowed another $700 million to
set up Carlyle in 1997. It cost United Technologies a mere $1 million
a year to lobby for Crusader. That is less than 1% of the $400 million
that Carlyle has already extracted from the failed program. And
with George W. Bush increasing the Defense Budget by $48 billion,
Carlyle promises to be a sure-fire money-maker. (By Walter Pincus,
Washington Post, May 14, 2002)
ELECTION VICTORY JUST THE BEGINNING
His landslide victory gives Alvaro Uribe Velez a clear mandate to
use force to end Colombia's civil war, but fighting Colombia's real
problems, its social and economic distress and public frustration
at an interminable civil war, won't be easy. The international Crisis
Group provides a detailed background paper on the situation(ICG,
Questioned On Associates
It is difficult to be involved in Colombian politics and not come
close at one time or another to someone alleged to be involved in
drug trafficking. Uribe caused a minor ruckus when he walked out
25 interview with Newsweeks Latin American
bureauchief, Jospeh Contreras, who asked what Uribe believed to
be overly pointed questions. Al Giordano analyzes the key sections
in a three-part series in Narconews, a web site that tracks Latin
American narcotics connections. No allegations were made against
Uribe personally, but Newsweek did raise questions about past actions
of members of his staff. Uribe angrily dismissed Newsweeks
questions as an attempt to throw mud at his election campaign.
Giordano's article on the
Press vs. Uribe (Al
Girodano, Narco News, March 25, 2002)
of the same series.
DEEPLY IS THE U.S. INVOLVED IN COLOMBIA?
The Center for International Policy provides a detailed
breakdown of past U.S. military aid to Colombia and the names of
the contract companies involved. Dyncorp, for instance, provides
the pilots to fly helicopters and aircraft provided by the U.S.
state Department. Then there is Virginia-based Military Professional
Resources International, although its employees are technically
civilians, many are former U.S. military officers. (CIP, May 2002).
TWO BROTHERS, DIFFERENT PATHS
Federman (right) was a hero last Thursday, when he stopped a suicide
bomber from attacking a Tel Aviv night Club. Noam Federman (left)
is on trial for allegedly belonging to israel's underground which
seeks to drive out Palestinians with its own brand of terrorism.
THE PEACE PROCESS WENT OFF TRACK
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yehud Barak muses
on Arafat's missed opportunities and historical revisionism about
the Middle East, in an interview with Benny Morris in the New York
Review of Books (NYRB, June 13, 2002)
BARAK HAVE IT WRONG?
Hussein Agha and Robert Malley argue that Barak's
analysis is based on a series of false premises which have had a
disastrous impact on the peace process.
(New York Review of Books, June 13, 2002)
MOHAMMED IN THE KINDERGARTEN OF HATE
Wright, in Cairo on assignment for the New Yorker, reports that
Americans living in Egypt are encountering a rage that has rarely
been seen in recent years. (The New Yorker, May 20, 2002)
WASHINGTON TO THE ARABS
Charlotte Beers, Under Secretary of State for Public
Affairs, discusses her ideas for convincing the Middle East to accept
Washington's policy ideas in the wake of September 11. --pdf file.
(Center for Strategic and International Studies, May 15, 2002)
BANS SPECULATION ON BETTER RELATIONS WITH THE U.S.
have been ordered not to discuss improving relations with the U.S.
The ban comes just 48 hours after Iran's Majlis opened its own debate
on the subject.
UNDER GROWING PRESSURE FOR DEMOCRATIZATION
The debate raging nowadays in Iran regards the possibility
of the leader being converted into a kind of constitutional theocrat
- so the elected President Mohammed Khatami may really govern and
the 290-seat majlis (parliament) legislate with no constraints.
Iranian democracy in this case would function smoothly - without
any need to alter the constitution. Third in a 3-part series. By
Pepe Escobar in Asia Times (May 25, 2002)
MAJLIS WANTS EQUAL SHARE IN CASPIAN PROFITS
Kazakhstan plans to ship oil through Russia, effectively bypassing
Iran and cutting the Islamic Republic out of the formula for future
profits. Debate in the Majlis, Irans parliament has focused
on President Khatamis failure to effectively identify Irans
leverage for claiming its share of what promises to be the richest
new oil fields since the North Sea. (Radio Free Europe, May 20,
Nailing a decapitated dog to a newspapers front door is one
way of telling an editor that asking indelicate questions is not
appreciated. (Institute for War & Peace Reporting, May 24, 2002)
GAMBLE OF KAZAKHSTAN'S NAZARBAYEV
Kazakh president is betting that the U.S. cares more about oil than
it does about freedom of the press or civil rights. (Institute of
War * Peace Rpeorting, May 25, 2002)
is Europe's biggest supplier of heroine. Now its northern neighbor
is beginning to feel the impact of the traffic passing through its
SPEECH TO THE NATION
Minister says he wants peace, but is ready for war: "
As you know the enemy is at our borders. Our forces are now facing
them. Our people are behind our forces. We will not let an inch
of Pakistan be damaged. The situation is grave
... We want
peace but if war is imposed on us we will fight. As muslims we will
say Allah-o-Akbar and fight if we have to... to become a Ghazi or
a Shaheed. Such is the situation now. We are ready, the whole nation
" (The Dawn, May 27, 2002)
WASHINGTON MISSING THE POINT? KASHMIR TRUMPS KABUL
Forget about trying to control Pakistans extremist Islamic
factions. As long as Kashmir is boiling Musharraf will be outvoted
by his own constituency.
(By Navnita Chadha Behera in the Asia Times, May 25, 2002)
POLITICIANS RELUCTANT TO RALLY AROUND ARMY
Ahmed Rashid in the Far Eastern Economic Review notes that not only
is Musharraf threatened by the Indian Army, he also has to deal
with his own contentious warlords in the West, and hes getting
only limp support for an all-out confrontation. (By ahmed Rashid,
Far Eastern Economic Review, May 26, 2002)
U.S. SUPPORT FOR THE WAR ON TERRORISM IN DANGER OF TRIGGERING A
BROADER WAR ON THE SUBCONTINENT?
India and Pakistan stand by the U.S. in the war on terrorism. As
a result the U.S. has been pumping cash and benefits into both countries.
Washington needs to be careful that the new largess doesnt
destabilize the region. On the other hand the U.S. is caught in
a delicate balancing act. It cant help Pakistan without compensating
India. (Center for Defense Information, May 24, 2002)
BLUSTER BUT NOT MUCH FOLLOW THROUGH
Indias Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
said for the first time on Sunday that India should have given a
befitting reply immediately after the terrorist attack on Parliament
last December. Despite the aggressive declarations, the Indian parliament
remains surprisingly calm and that includes Vajpayees own
party. (Hindustan Times, May 27, 2002)
OF INDIA: PAKISTAN HAS INCREASED NUCLEAR OUTPUT
(May 27, 2002)
contemplates the nuclear scenario
(Times of India,
May 19, 2002)
EXPRESS:A FORMER AMBASSADOR RECOMMENDS ABROGATING THE INDUS WATER
(May 27, 2002)