THEY HATE US
[a Global Beat Exclusive]
seen the future, and its not pretty. We saw it clearly through the
media-soaked eyes of more than 1,200 teen-agers in 12 countries from all
parts of the world whom we surveyed for a project entitled The Next Generations
Image of Americans. "
SEARCH FOR A NUCLEAR WEAPON FOR LIMITED CONFLICTS
Bromley and David Grahame report on the Pentagon's search for a nuclear
FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL
an interactive assessment
of nuclear disarmament after the Moscow Summit,
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Journalists' Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan
by Edward Girardet
by The European
Center for War,
The News Media
OR LITTLE? THE U.S. PONDERS THE FORCE NEEDED TO OUST SADDAM
department civilians have long favored a highly mobile lightly armed strike
force for the attack on Iraq, while the more experienced professionals
in the U.S. command favor a massive deployment of overwhelming force.
The Brookings Institutions Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst,
reports that the Bush administration now wants to have it both ways via
a somewhat muddled compromise. The invasion, according to this scenario,
will kick off with heavy air attacks and lightly armed probes by small
groups who will secure bases inside Iraq for a more massive deployment
that could eventually reach 300,000 troops. Pollack admits that his information
comes from yet another leaked battle plan currently circulating through
Washington. In favor of the massive deployment, Pollack notes that the
military wont get points for style and that a massive deployment
has the advantage of being able to cut through an opposing army more quickly.
Recent experience in Afghanistan has shown that deploying lightly armed
special operations units in full scale battle doesnt work, and even
the special operations officers dont like it. Moreover an over reliance
on small unit tactics may unintentionally lead to a prolonged war of attrition.
By Kenneth Pollack, the Brookings Institution, December 18, 2002
RUMSFELDS PRESS CONFERENCE: U.S. CAN FIGHT TWO WARS SIMULTANEOUSLY
Secretary of Defense discusses recent losses of predator unmanned drones
over Iraq, North Koreas decision to block international monitoring
of its nuclear operations and the U.S. capacity to fight two major wars
at the same time.
Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Dept. Briefing. December 23, 2002
AGENCIES TOLD TO PREPARE FOR WAR
Times of London reports that a number of UN agencies have been ordered
to start preparing for a U.S. invasion of Iraq. According to the Times,
the U.N. expects the heaviest fighting to be in the three governates around
Baghdad, with the Kurdish north left relatively untouched.
Times, December 23, 2002
COMPANIES LESS SURE ON IRAQ FALLOUT
critics accuse the U.S. of using Saddam as a pretext to secure control
of Iraqs rich oil reserves, oil company executives are much less
sure of the outcome. The U.S. will undoubtedly get preferential treatment
if it controls the post-Saddam government in iraq. Britain feels it has
a claim on Iraqi oil, since it developed the Anglo-Persian oil claims
in the first place. Russia and France stand to lose their monopolies on
Iraq oil at the moment. The U.S. State Department insists that it is not
orchestrating the spoils of war quite yet, but oil leverage may be a fact
of life. Former CIA director James Woolsey has suggested that France and
Russia be advised that cooperating with efforts to move Iraq towards "decent"
government is a sine qua non to having the U.S. work for close relations
with American oil companies and Iraqs next government.
By Anthony Sampson in the Guardian, December 22, 2002
LAST TIME THE U.S. EXPERIMENTED WITH ASSASSINATION
in the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh recalls that time during the Vietnam
War when the CIAs "Phoenix" program started as a relatively
innocent effort to identify, and then to "neutralize" suspected
communist sympathizers. By 1969, the top-secret program, run by CIA and
U.S. Army officers, had targeted 21,000 suspect individuals. By 1971,
death squads operating under the auspices of the program had, according
to Saigon's figures, killed an estimated 40,000 people, Hersh says that
the CIA claimed that 20,000 was closer to the mark. Many of those killed
were targeted because of local grudges that had nothing to do with the
war, but because of secrecy, there was no way for the American public
to know who had been murdered in order to further Washington's concept
of democracy or why.
Seymour Hersh's interview is in The New Yorker, December 23, 2002.
may never actually launch a biological attack against the U.S. , but in
the current atmosphere of war fever, no one wants to take chances. Unfortunately,
RAND now reports that vaccinating 60% of the population against a hypothetical
small pox attackjust one of the possible weapons of mass destruction
open to a terrorist-- is statistically likely to kill at least 500 people.
Not only that, but a candidate whose vaccination with a weakened, but
live virus, goes horribly wrong may spread the disease to others who havent
been vaccinated. Of course, the odds of actually becoming a fatal victim
of the program are relatively small-- unless you happen to be one of the
people testing the vaccine, which explains why some of the potential testeesnotably
doctors and health professionals-- are beginning to have second thoughts
about the idea. The administrations compromise is likely to be to
inocculate 10 million U.S. health workers at a projected cost of only
25 deaths. RANDs multi-part study will be published by the New England
Journal of Medicine on January 31, 2002. The articles are currently available
ON THE TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS PROJECT
Gross of NPRs Fresh Air talks with Georgetown University law professor
David Cole about the implications. Cole, the author of the recent book,
Terrorism and the Constitution, Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name
of national Security, points out that earlier Republican administrations
had a nasty record of using this kind of information to strike back at
their enemies in the past. President Nixons enemies list is a case
in point, and the Watergate break-in was intended to get information which
Republicans could use against Democrats in the upcoming election. Of Course,
Nixon was not the first. In the bad old days, the FBIs J. Edgar
Hoover, routinely kept intimate dossiers on people he didnt like
and then used the information to blackmail political figures into doing
what he wanted. Hoovers targets included Martin Luther King and
Charlie Chaplin. Gross also interviews former Reagan chief counsel, Douglas
Kmiec, who thinks the dangers are being exaggerated.
(Click on image above to go
to the TIA site)
Terry Gross, Fresh Air, December 2002 (requires RealAudio player)
TOOLS FOR TOTAL INFO ARE ALREADY IN PLACE
to the Internet, which incidentally, was also developed by DARPA, the
defense Departments advanced research agency, all that is needed
to tie billions of bits of information about each of us together is a
greenlight to override arcane privacy protections. Thanks to Osama Bin
Laden, many Americans now seem ready to opt for total transparency in
the interests of personal safety.
John Markoff and John Schwartz outline the situation in the New York Times,
December 23, 2002.
SLAP AT RUSSIAN OIL CONSTITUTES "PETTY BLACKMAIL"
decision to break a $3.8 billion development contract with Russias
giant Lukoil corporation has been seen in Moscow as little more than a
pressure tactic. The contract, signed in 1997, called for the development
of the wester Qrna Oilfield, which has estimated reserves of 7.3 billion
barrels. Lukoil was due to receive 54% of the profits under a production
sharing agreement. The only rub was that actual development hinged on
U.N. sanctions against Iaq being lifted. Since Saddam may not be around
long enough to see that happen, the value of the contract was beginning
to look increasingly hypothetical.
By MENA, December 15, 2002
SPECTER OF UNCONTROLLED PLUTONIUM PRODUCTION IN PYONGYANG
Korea confirms that it is back in business again as a budding nuclear
bogeyman. Some experts think the Koreans could come up with a bomb if
they have the right technical expertisesome of which they have managed
to get from Pakistan.
The New York Times, December 23, 2002
NEW BALL GAME IN SOUTH KOREA
election of Roh Moo Hyun as the new president of South Korea is likely
to complicate U.S. efforts to forge a common policy towards North Korea.
Roo makes no secret of the fact that he intends to pursue Seouls
"sunshine policy" towards the north.
The Council on Foreign Relations explores the implications.
IS SOUTH KOREA TREADING SO LIGHTLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE NORTH ?
is unlikely to ever use a nuclear weapon itself, but its past record indicates
that it would be more than willing to sell one for a price to someone
else. Given the threat, American policy experts have had a hard time understanding
why South Korea is so determined to keep channels open to the North. A
new RAND study argues that Seouls approach is intimately tied to
domestic politics, and more specifically to Seouls efforts to consolidate
political support at home.
RAND December 2002.
TO DO WITH VENEZUELAS CHAVEZ
wants the inept president to go, except the desperate poor who still cling
to the hope that he might eventually change their lot. Barry Lynn, a former
AFP correspondent in Venezuela, outlines the dynamics of Venezuelas
passion play in the upcoming issue of Mother Jones.Barry
Mother jones, Jan/Feb 2003
carries a comprehensive list of recent news stories from papers around
the country on Chavez and the Venezuelan crisis. NewsTrove.com
NEWS TAKES ON THE A.P.S CARRACAS BUREAU
certainly unfortunate that the Associated Press former bureau chief
in Bolivia resigned after allegedly moonlighting as a lobbyist for an
$80 million water pipeline project, but does that make the rest of APs
reporting on Latin America suspect? Narco news evidently thinks so. The
trouble is that Narco News is so tendentious that it is hard to know how
much of its criticism to take seriously.
DEMOCRACY: CAN'T KARZAI TAKE A JOKE?
Itiqad, editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper, Farda, thought he was
just doing his job when he ran a cartoon showing Afghan president playing
the piano, with his finance minister, Ashraf Ghani, on the drums. Its
hard to tell whether the music offended, or the fact that the cartoon
also showed the head of Aghanistans National Bank tossing wads of
money at representatives of the United Nations and assorted NGOs.
There has been a rising tide of criticism lately over how the U.N. and
the NGOs are spending the $1.3 billion international aid that is flowing
through Kabul, and some people feel that Karzai, who still appears in
public surrounded by hulking U.S. Special Forces bodyguards, should pay
more attention to where the money is actually going. Afghan defense minister,
Mohamed Qaseem Fahim, was not amused, and the hapless editor has now been
assigned to a tiny cell with eight other inmates including a convicted
By Rahimullah Samandar , Institute for War & Peace Reporting. December
20, December 2002, 2002,
REALISTS VS THE CHICKEN HAWKS
war with Iraq now looks pretty much like a foregone conclusion, the administration
remains split over how to handle Iraqs post-Saddam future. The neo-conservative
unilteralists are rallying around Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, while
the political realists including the CIA, senior U.S. military commanders
and the most experienced career officers in the State Department are relying
on Colin Powell to act as their champion. They count in their camp, most
of the top officials in the administration of President Bushs father,
who despite the fact that they defeated Saddam, do not seem to carry much
weight in the current euphoria over going to war.
By Jim Lobe, Foreign Policy in Focus, December 20, 2002
YOU MISSED IT:
THE REALISTS VERSUS THE RADICAL NEO-CONS
Lemanns piece in the New Yorker last spring presciently identified
the lines of conflict that have split the administration over the future
of the world as defined by Washington. Now that we are in the thick of
what Lemann predicted, his analysis is well worth giving a second reading.
By Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker, March 25, 2002.
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