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Journalists' Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan
by Edward Girardet
DO WE GET TO THE REAL WAR?
Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon does the numbers and concludes
that the U.S. would need a quarter of a million troops and at least three
months to make a move. That could place the invasion sometime in February.
By Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings, August 30, 2002
BRACES FOR THE AFTERMATH
Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon has reportedly told his cabinet that the window for a U.S.
assault against Baghdad will open in November. While no one admits to
having inside information, the message is clear: Israel had better get
ready for an Iraqi attack once the missiles start flying. Ha'aretz, September
MAY BE RUNNING OUT
Syed Saleem Shahzad, writing in the Asia Times, notes that while the Bush
administration has been busy sending out mixed signals on Iraq, an alliance
is forming to counter U.S. power in the Middle East. The instigators:
Iran and Saudi Arabia, among others.
By Syed Saleem Shahzad in Asia Times, August 23, 2002
Galal Nasser suggests that Iran has plenty of reasons to feel nervous.
Besides its support for Hizbullah, its ballistic missiles can reach anywhere
in Israel. And if that is not enough to put Iran at the top of Washington's
hit list, the Russians are forging ahead with plans to give Teheran a
functional nuclear reactor.
By Galal Nasser in Al-Ahram, August 29-September 4, 2002
INTERNET: YOU'VE GOT DISSENT!
The Internet has taken
China by storm and dissidents are becoming surprisingly adept at getting
around government attempts at controlling the public's access to the outside
world. The RAND corporation's latest report indicates that Beijing still
has the upper hand, but that may not last for long.
REFUSAL TO DEAL WITH AIDS TAKES A NASTY TURN
Dr. Wan Yan
Hai was due to fly to Canada this month to accept a human rights award
for his work at AIDS prevention in China. Wan had run China's only AIDS
hotline until authorities fired him from his government job. He then ran
an internet website providing medical information on AIDS. Rather than
applaud Wan's work, Chinese police abducted him several days ago and have
been holding him incommunicado ever since. By silencing Wan, Chinese authorities
apparently hoped to avoid international publicity for China's AIDS epidemic
which has been exacerbated by government mismanagement. HIV infection
has reached alarming proportions in some provinces due to the absence
of effective government safeguards against contaminated blood supplies.
Rights Watch, August 30, 2002.
COOLING THE RELATIONSHIP
House spokesman Ari Fleischer accused Russia of lying about recent bombing
raids against Georgia, he was signaling that Washington has deeper concerns.
Despite Vladimir Putin's friendly chats with George Bush, Russia is finalizing
plans to give Iran a nuclear reactor, and it plans to carry through with
a $40 billion cooperation deal with Iraq. To add insult to injury, the
Russians may veto any U.S. efforts to get the U.N. Security Council to
back an attack on Iraq. By Pavel Felgenhauer in the Moscow Times, August
TRIES TO PULL ITS ACT TOGETHER
After the Russian
bombing, Georgia has tried to accelerate its plans to send troops after
alleged Chechen terrorists in the Pankisi Gorge. So far, the Russians
don't seem very impressed.
By Giorgy Kupatadze in Pichkhovani , The Institute for War & Peace
Reporting,August 29, 2002
TO THE COLD WAR?
As the U.S. flexes
its muscles around the world, Russia is also on the lookout for potential
allies. Not surprisingly, many of the most promising candidates are the
alleged rogue states that Washington seeks to control. By Ehsan Ahrari
in the Asia Times, August 28, 2002
LADEN: AFTERSHOCKS STRIKE AT FREEDOM
first casualty of the War on Terrorism may be freedom itself. The Economist
points out that while most world governments denounced the events of 9/11,
they wasted no time using the fear created by the attack to clamp down
on domestic liberty. In a survey of the damage so far, the Economist points
out that democracy is being rolled back in a number of places, and as
for the United States, that famous crack in the Liberty Bell looks a bit
wider these days.
The Economist, August 29, 2002
DOUBLE STANDARD FOR AMERICAN JUSTICE
of the attractions of the Patriot's Act, which became law after 9/11,
was that it targeted immigrants and outsiders at a time when the U.S.
felt particularly vulnerable to foreign threats. But broad-brush guilt
by association is a poor substitute for targeted actions directed at guilty
parties. In fact, the awkward law may be obscuring the information that
we need to track down the true terrorists. Of the up to 2,000 people arrested
under the Justice Department's massive preventive detention campaign,
not a single suspect has been directly linked to the events of September
11 (Massaoui was arrested earlier). By David Cole, Professor of Constitutional
law at the Georgetown University Law Center (In Foreign Policy in Focus),
to knockout offensive ballistic missiles in flight? Sounds like a great
idea, but what happens when an intact warhead from a disrupted missile
detonates over a country that was not the original target. If the U.S.
proceeds with current systems it is developing, Europe and Turkey could
soon find themselves on the firing line.
By Geoffrey Forden in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/October
POWELL GETS SHOUTED DOWN
Bush had strong reasons for not attending the Johannesburg summit on sustainable
development. Given the administration's dismissive approach to nearly
any initiative aimed at saving the planet, he might have been lynched.
Instead of Bush, Colin Powell was offered up as a sacrifice. When the
Secretary of State gamely tried to defend the administration's record,
he was shouted down. The real surprise was the courage and composure which
Powell showed while trying to hold his ground in a battle that was clearly
lost from the start.
The BBC, September 4, 2002
CASE YOU MISSED IT, the Text of Powell's speech
AS "BUBBLE AND SQUEAK"
On second thought,
the conference wasn't all bad.
The Economist, September 4, 2002
Summit Website [click here]
British Council's Daily Wrap of Summit News Events
Copy of the Summit Report (65 pages in pdf format)
Johannesburg Coverage, click on the photo
OUT OF LOVE
task force, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, concludes that
the U.S. now has a global image problem of disturbing proportions. The
growing distrust of Washington's motives extends beyond the Middle East's
growing uneasiness over the Bush administration's confusing signals on
Iraq. Even Europeans are beginning to question American values on topics
ranging from the environment to nuclear disarmament. The administration
is increasingly characterized as arrogant, self-indulgent, hypocritical,
inattentive, and unwilling or unable to engage in cross-cultural dialogue.
The Council on Foreign Relations' Independent Task Force Report on Public
read the report, click here]
THE MESSAGE OUT
Public diplomacy obviously counts for a
great deal in a global world, but dropping crude leaflets and wind-up
radios over Afghanistan is not going to hack it. A little more Britney
Spears, empathy and understanding might help. And while we're at it, why
not try the truth.
By Mark Leonard, Director of London's Foreign Policy Centre, in Foreign
Affairs, September 2002.
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