Want to subscribe
to the Global Beat?
Send an e-mail to:email@example.com
with the word "subscribe" in the subject line.
To unsubscribe, send an e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
Any problems, comments or mail, click here:
Iraqis survey damage from the latest U.S. airstrikes
Two Iraqi boys, wounded in the recent U.S. bombing in Fallujah, wait to be taken to a hospital
THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ IS GROWING IN INTENSITY
The Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran reports on a study by the international security firm, Kroll, indicating that Iraq is averaging up to 70 incidents a day. So far, U.S. airstrikes and ground offensives have been ineffective in reducing the tempo of the insurgency. (Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post, September 25, 2004)
• Kroll's Middle East Risk Monitor
Investment throughout the Gulf faces increased risk because of instability in Iraq, and questions about the future direction U.S. policy in the region (Kroll, September 23, 2004)
•Allawi visit analyzed at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Cordesman, Barton, Alterman, September 22, 2004)
JORDAN'S KING ABDULLAH SAYS IRAQ ELECTIONS WON'T WORK IN CURRENT CHAOS
Abdullah is concerned that partial elections which exclude Sunni strongholds will lack credibility and will intensify the pressures leading to outright civil war. The result will be to hand Iraq over to extremist factions which will turn the country into a breeding ground for terrorists. (BBC, September 28, 2004)
ON-LINE VIDEO OF A U.S. AIRSTRIKE
A U.S. pilot spots a large group of unidentified Iraqi individuals walking across a street in Fallujah. The crowd is not in a hurry. There is no sign that it is armed. The people are walking in the open, not seeking cover. The pilot asks for instructions and is told to "take them out." Ten seconds later, the people on the ground are vaporized by a U.S. bomb. What is revealing about the tape is that the pilot has no idea of whether the people he is killing are a threat or not, and he is looking straight at them. The officer who gives the order to kill, has no way of knowing who or what they are. (Newsgateway, September 25, 2004)
ARREST RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT IRAQ TROOP LOYALTY
The arrest of Iraqi Brigadier General Talib Abid Ghayib al-Lahibi for associations with the insurgency raises questions about the reliability of other forces being trained by the United States in Iraq. (Edward Wong, The New York Times, September 26, 2004)
•Canadian journalist says Taliban operating in Northern Iraq
THE OIL LOBBYISTS ON K STREET
Influence in Washington does not come cheap. The Center for Public Integrity has just published a comprehensive guide to who is working for whom in the corridors of power. Bob Dole may be working for the Indonesians, but the Saudis are still paying the most. (Center for Public Integrity, September 22, 2004)
CHINA'S NEW ALIGNMENTS IN ITS CIVILIAN AND MILITARY POWER STRUCTURE
With Jiang gone, and Hu firmly entrenched in power, a new group of power brokers is rising to prominence. The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has just made a 371 page study available on line. (SSI, September 2004)
•Willy Lam on factional infighting resulting from China's latest campaign against corruption
(Willy Lam, The Jamestown Foundation, September 20, 2004)
CHECKING IRAN'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
Part of the concern over Iran's attempts to turn itself into a nuclear power is that it doesn't need a nuclear weapon to protect itself against any of its neighbors. Given Iran's oil resources, investing in nuclear power doesn't make financial sense. On the other hand, Iran has a long history of trying to exert influence abroad by supplying and financing terrorist organizations, such as the Hizbollah in Lebanon. The Strategic Studies Institute analyzes western concerns over Iran's nuclear development. (SSI, January 2004)
•IRAN CONCERNED THAT THE U.S. MAY WANT TO AZERBAIJAN AS A MILITARY BASE AGAINST THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
(Mahan Abedin, Asia Times, September 28, 2004)
IS AL QAEDA OUTGROWING BIN LADEN?
Al Qaeda appears to be evolving into a loose ideological movement which no longer reports to Osama Bin Laden. A growing number of critics feel that the White House is focusing on the wrong threat. (Douglas Frantz, Josh Meyer, Sebastian Rotella and Megan K. Stack, Los Angeles Times, September 26, 2004)
DEATH OF A SUSPECTED AL QAEDA OPERATIVE IN PAKISTAN RAISES NEW QUESTIONS
The death of Amjad Farooqi, suspected of involvement in the death of Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl, has some critics questioning police motives. In Karachi's supercharged environment, the immediate suspicion is that Farooqi's death conveniently cuts short a source that might have led to more highly placed figures. (Syed Saleem Shahzad, Asia Times, September 28, 2004)
COLOMBIA'S CAMPAIGN AGAINST REBELS LIKELY TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON NEIGHBORS
Colombia's counter insurgency has driven rebels of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) towards the borders of Venezuela and Ecuador. Already fragile relations with both countries are likely to further deteriorate from increasing combat in the region. (International Crisis Group, 23 September 2004)
IS THE U.S. GETTING READY TO DEVELOP A NEW GENERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Bret Lortie, writing in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, warns that new environmental changes being approved for the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories appear to point ominously towards a new resurgence in nuclear arms development. Among other innovations, pits to hold twice the current amount of plutonium and ten times the tritium. (Bret Lortie, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 2004)
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL START DEPLOYING A PARTIALLY TESTED ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE SYSTEM
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a panel discussion on the merits and problems of deploying an inadequately tested system. This is available in audio only. (Joe Cirincione, General Eugene Habiger, Phil Coyle, CEIP, September 20, 2004)
President Bush campaigning
Naomi Klein,writing in the current issue of Harpers, notes that the plans to rebuild Iraq never really got off the ground. Writes Klein: "It was only after I had been in Baghdad for a month that I found what I was looking for. I had traveled to Iraq a year after the war began, at the height of what should have been a construction boom, but after weeks of searching I had not seen a single piece of heavy machinery apart from tanks and humvees. Then I saw it: a construction crane. It was big and yellow and impressive, and when I caught a glimpse of it around a corner in a busy shopping district I thought that I was finally about to witness some of the reconstruction I had heard so much about. But as I got closer I noticed that the crane was not actually rebuilding anything—not one of the bombed-out government buildings that still lay in rubble all over the city, nor one of the many power lines that remained in twisted heaps even as the heat of summer was starting to bear down. No, the crane was hoisting a giant billboard to the top of a three-story building. SUNBULAH: HONEY 100% NATURAL, made in Saudi Arabia.
Seeing the sign, I couldn’t help but think about something Senator John McCain had said back in October. Iraq, he said, is “a huge pot of honey that’s attracting a lot of flies..." (Naomi Klein, Harpers, September 24, 2004)
WATCHING ALLAWI'S SPEECH FROM BAGHDAD
River Bend, the young Iraqi woman, who is the author of the web log "Baghdad Burning," found herself mesmerized by interim Prime Minister Allawi's speech to the U.S. Congress. "He stood there," she writes, "groveling in front of the congress- thanking them for the war, the occupation and the thousands of Iraqi lives lost... and he did it all on behalf of the Iraqi people. It was infuriating and for maybe the hundredth time this year, I felt rage. Yet another exile thanking the Bush administration for the catastrophe we're trying to cope with. Our politicians are outside of the country 90% of the time (by the way, if anyone has any news of our president Ghazi Ajeel Al Yawir, do let us know- where was he last seen or heard?), the security situation is a joke, the press are shutting down and pulling out and our beloved exiles are painting rosey pictures for the American public- you know- so everyone who voted for Bush can sleep at night. Allawi actually said "thank you" nine times. Nine times. It really should have been more- at least double that number of Iraqis died yesterday... and about five times that number the day before. Looking back on the last month alone, over 350 Iraqis have been killed either by American air strikes, fighting, or bombs... only 9 thank yous?..."
(River Bend, Baghdad Burning, September 25, 2004)
THE PRESIDENT AND THE SUPREME COURT
Vanity Fair's investigative article on the Bush administration's relationship to the Supreme Court is remarkable due to the number of Supreme Court clerks who were willing to talk. (pdf files in two parts)