to the Global Beat?
Send an e-mail to:email@example.com
the word "subscribe" in the subject line.
unsubscribe, send an e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the
problems, comments or mail, click here:
on Patterns of Global Terrorism for 2002
US State Department's Report on Patterns of Global Terrorism for 2001
Occupation is nothing new for Iraq
IRAQ: CAN AMERICA AFFORD THE OCCUPATION? The White House defends its Iraq achievement amid growing public criticism. A new PR campaign includes a booklet on '100 Days of Progress in Iraq.'
Despite President Bush's insistence that much has been achieved in the first 100 days of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, last week's car bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, the ongoing attacks on U.S. troops increasing in variety and sophistication, the fuel riots in Basra and the painfully slow quest for consensus in the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council are reminders that the prospects for near-term stability in Iraq remain remote. The fact that those 100 days saw 56 U.S. troops killed and more than 400 seriously wounded, and cost America upward of $1 billion a week, has raised questions over whether Washington can sustain the commitment of blood and treasure necessary to remake Iraq on its own terms, or whether it should compromise and turn the political process over to the UN in order to bring in military and financial aid.
(The Economist, August 7, 2003)
The administration's record in Iraq is now fair game for the Democrats, following last week's speech by former Vice President Al Gore in which he accuses President Bush of misleading the nation into war.
AP reports that the cost of rebuilding Iraq will exceed the cost of the war, with some analysts projecting a bill of up to $600 billion.
The cost of U.S. unilateralism in Iraq may be as high as $1,000 per American household, warn Brookings Institution fellows Michael O'Hanlon and Lael Brainard. They argue for bringing in the UN and compromising with the Europeans to share the load.
That view remains fiercely unpopular among the hawks who promoted the war. American Enterprise Institute scholar Ruel Marc Gerecht argues that bringing in the UN will only further fracture Iraq's already divided polity .
COMMITTING A GENERATION OF AMERICANS TO REMAKE THE MIDEASTMeanwhile, Newsweek finds that the insurgents believe they're winning because they're forcing the U.S. to retaliate, and that's deepening Iraqi resentment.
Even as it projects confidence in its ability to prevail in postwar Iraq, the Bush administration is also preparing the American public for the idea of an open-ended commitment there. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice recently told journalists that the U.S. needs to make a "generational commitment" to transforming the Middle East, along the lines of that made after World War II to the reconstruction of Germany and Western Europe. Rice makes her case by way of extensive comparisons between today's Iraq and postwar Germany, although the analogy may be troubling to scholars of Iraqi and Middle Eastern history.
(White House Press Office, August 7, 2003)
Germany, despite the fragility of its democracy, had emerged organically as a relatively homogenous nation state during the 19th century; Iraq was invented by the British after World War I and miscalculating the politics of its complex ethnic mix has been the downfall of most who sought to govern there, warns an Asia Times commentary.
The security problems facing the occupation forces aren't limited to former Baathists and Islamists. The Washington Post reports that the confrontations between British troops and the residents of Basra signal that shortages of resources will bring forward new elements to challenge the occupation.
WHAT KAY WILL SAY
With Democrats starting to question President Bush's honesty in making the case for war, the administration is hoping that the investigation of Iraq's weapons programs by former UN inspector David Kay will underscore its picture of Saddam as a threat. And Kay, having energetically endorsed the administration's case for going to war, has reason to oblige. The Guardian reports that Kay will reveal that Iraqi Republican Guard units were ordered to fire chemical shells at the advancing Americans. The only problem is that he can't account for the absence of such munitions in postwar Iraq, and the scientists in U.S. captivity are sticking by their story that banned weapons were destroyed long before the war.
(The Guardian, August 12, 2003)
The Washington Post alleges that the Bush administration knowingly exaggerated its claims of an Iraqi nuclear program despite scant evidentiary basis. The aluminum tubes that formed such an integral part of the case appear to have been used in a rocket, as the Iraqis and IAEA inspectors claimed, after all.
Lucky for the U.S., argues Juan Cole, political divisions among Iraq's Shiites over how to relate to the Americans are preventing the emergence of a unified challenge to the occupation.
THE BAD NEWS FROM JAKARTA The L.A. Times notes that the escape from a Philippines prison of a Jemaah Islamiya master bomb maker underscores the scale of the terrorist challenge in Southeast Asia.
The Jakarta Marriott bombing and the statements that followed suggest that the radical Islamist movement in Indonesia is feeling confident, even cocky: Their terror networks may be small, but their supporters represent a formidable challenge to Muslim moderates in the archipelago's battle of ideas.
(Asia Times, August 12, 2003)
CDI analyst Mark Burgess notes that the Jakarta bombing was a reminder that despite the media's tendency to focus on more exotic threats, the the simple car bomb remains one of the most devastatingly effective weapons in the terrorist arsenal.
The Economist questions whether the government of Megawati Sukarnoputri can prevail against the Islamists, warning that its handling of challenges such as the Aceh secessionist insurgency don't bode well.
LIBERIA AFTER TAYLOR
The former president and indicted warlord has left for exile in Nigeria, but Charles Taylor did depart with a promise to return. Fighting continues, however, and with it pressure for direct U.S. intervention. With no economy left to speak of, ending the fighting in Liberia requires a long-term development program, without which military intervention may provide little more than a temporary band-aid.
(The Economist, August 12, 2003)
Analysts remain gloomy over the prospects for peace in Liberia, both because of the wider social conditions that the war has created and which reinforce it, but also because the West African peacekeeping force on which the U.S. is relying may not be up to the challenge. (PBS Newshour)
WHAT WASHINGTON WILL OFFER NORTH KOREA
The Bush administration may have to hold its nose, but it looks set to offer a few lifelines to the North Korean regime the President loves to hate. The Sydney Morning Herald reports from Beijing that having pushed for six-party talks as a way of building pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program, the U.S. also faces considerable pressure from the other five parties to assuage North Korea's fears of U.S. led efforts to topple its regime. That means security guarantees and possibly some form of economic assistance, in exchange for a strictly verifiable nuclear disarmament.
(Sydney Morning Herald, August 12, 2003)
One potential irritant to progress at such talks has been removed by the U.S. with the announcement that Undersecretary of State for Non-Proliferation John Bolton will not be part of the U.S. delegation. Arch-hawk Bolton had infuriated the North Koreans with a blistering attack on the regime and person of their leader Kim Jong Il, and Pyongyang had warned that his presence at the table would jeopardize the talks. Although the U.S. responded by insisting that it would choose its own delegation, keeping Bolton away from the talks may be a move to avoid giving Pyongyang pretexts for time-wasting histrionics.
BLOWING UP THE ROADMAP
Hamas militants strike a pose
Two suicide bombings on Tuesday ended Israel's most peaceful month since the beginning of the armed Palestinian intifada in September 2000, immediately raising questions about the future of the Palestinian cease-fire and the Bush administration's "roadmap" to Middle East peace. The BBC's Paul Reynolds argues that the blasts may test the truce, but they're unlikely to break it: The latest attacks come in response for Israeli operations against Palestinian militants, and both sides are likely to avoid returning to full-scale combat just yet, for fear of antagonizing the Bush administration. Still, a breakdown appears inevitable, because the differences between the two sides over issues ranging from how the Palestinian Authority deals with terrorist groups to Israel's West Bank security fence appear to be intractable. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians believe the "roadmap" is going to get them to a peace agreement, and both sides are negotiating with the Bush administration rather than with each other. Regional analysts believe the Israelis and Palestinians are simply doing their best to position themselves to take maximum advantage of the eventual collapse of the "roadmap" process.
Veteran Israeli peace campaigner Yossi Sarid warns that the government of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is about to collapse, and that the U.S. must share the blame. He argues that the Bush administration has been all-too-willing to embrace Ariel Sharon's rhetoric rather than examine his actions.
The failure of the Oslo and the gloom and doom on all sides over the "roadmap" have prompted some in Israel's peace camp to a startling conclusion: The idea of a single, bi-national state for Israelis and Palestinians is making a comeback on the Israeli Left. Then again, the Israeli Left is increasingly marginal in the politics of the Jewish State.
The renewed confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel over the Lebanese border may be settled through the complex back-channel negotiations that have previously been used to establish rules to manage that conflict, but Lebanon's Daily Star warns that the Shiite militia may be planning something more spectacular than cross-border mortar and rocket attacks to avenge the recent slaying of a key operative in Beirut.
information, but having trouble with a broken link? Send an e-mail to
We may be able to help
quick access to the Global Beat, set your bookmark to:
SIGN UP FOR GLOBALBEAT'S WEEKLY E-MAIL ADVISORY, SEND AN E-MAIL
TO firstname.lastname@example.org with "SUBSCRIBE" IN THE SUBJECT HEADING
(or click here to subscribe)