BlueHummingbird News - Archive

Archived News Articles: NMD and Foreign Policy - 1st Qtr. 2003

From The NYT: January 2, 2003
M.I.T. Studies Accusations of Lies and Cover-Up of Flaws in Antimissile System
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is looking into accusations that its premier laboratory lied to cover up serious problems with the technology at the heart of the administration's proposed antimissile defense system. The university was prodded to act by Theodore A. Postol, a tenured M.I.T. physicist in security studies and a prominent critic of the antimissile plan. In letters to Congress and elsewhere, Dr. Postol has said M.I.T. appeared to be hiding evidence of serious flaws in the nation's main antimissile weapon, a ground-based rocket meant to destroy incoming enemy warheads by impact. His accusations center on a 1998 study by Lincoln Laboratory, a federally financed M.I.T. research center, and have grown over the years to include the institute's provost, president and corporate chairman. ...

From AP: Jan 3, 1:59 PM (ET)
U.S. Reserves Right to Enter Pakistan By TODD PITMAN
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The U.S. military said Friday it reserves the right to pursue fleeing al-Qaida and Taliban fighters into Pakistan after an American soldier was wounded at the border earlier this week. ...

From Reuters: Jan 4, 10:42 am ET
Pakistan Denies US Military Claim of Right to Enter By Mike Collett-White
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan on Saturday strongly refuted U.S. claims that American troops had the right to enter Pakistan territory in pursuit of suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters crossing from Afghanistan. ... Pakistan Foreign Minister Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri said on Saturday: "Operations within Pakistani territory would be conducted solely and exclusively by our own forces and in response to decisions taken by Pakistan. Our forces are fully capable of securing and protecting Pakistan's borders," he added, reading from a prepared statement. ...

From AP: Thu Jan 9, 1:27 PM ET
Russia Proposes Plan on Missile Defense By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW - The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Moscow has proposed a plan to work with United States on missile defenses, but a top Russian general warned that U.S. plans to build a missile shield were a threat to Russia. The United States has said the two nations could cooperate in developing defenses against ballistic missiles, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko expressed hope Washington would agree to a draft "political agreement" on missile defense submitted by Russia. ...
In an interview published Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow said the two countries have good prospects for cooperating on development of such systems and are trying to define areas of possible joint work. ...
Col.-Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, the first deputy chief of the General Staff, told the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets that the United States wants to obtain some Russian military technologies but remains reluctant to accept Russian proposals of joint research. "We believe that we should work together to develop a joint product," Baluyevsky said. "But the Americans would like to establish direct contacts with our industries to get a 'product' they need and forget about them." ... "I absolutely disagree with the claim that the (U.S.) missile defense is not a threat to Russia," Baluyevsky said. "A missile defense is intended to engage any missiles or warheads that would fly toward a target or the country it protects," Baluyevsky said. "Therefore, it's illogical to say that a missile defense isn't a threat to one country or another."

From Monday , January 13, 2003
Study: Missile Defense System Could Cost $1.2 Trillion

From Reuters: Wed Jan 15,10:31 AM ET
Britain Says 'Yes' to U.S. on Missile Defense By Mike Peacock
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain gave a thumbs up on Wednesday to the United States' planned missile defense shield, allowing Washington to use a key radar base in northern England despite widespread opposition in the ruling Labor Party. ...

From AP: Wed Jan 15, 9:59 AM ET
Russian defense minister places conditions on missile defense cooperation with U.S.
By JUDITH INGRAM, Associated Press Writer
MOSCOW - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday that Moscow must place strict conditions on its cooperation with the United States in developing missile defense systems, including protection of Russian intellectual property, and that it would pursue its own such systems. "We have technologies in the sphere of missile defense that no one else in the world has," Ivanov was quoted as saying by the Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies. He said that the U.S. missile defense plans "do not threaten our national security, but individual elements of these plans provoke certain questions." He singled out plans to deploy warning systems on the territory of Britain and Greenland. "No one has ever been able to clearly answer one question: Why have missile attack warning systems there and connect them to your missile defense system if the rocket trajectories of the so-called rogue states cannot by definition pass by there?" Interfax quoted Ivanov as saying. ...
During a tour of the existing Russian missile defense system in the Moscow region, Ivanov said Wednesday that Russia would "definitely" develop theater missile defense and space defense systems. He said that the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty had untied Moscow's hands. "Russia is formally free from the limitations that this document places on the development of strategic missile defense systems," Ivanov was quoted as saying. "But we are going to proceed, of course, from common sense, technical possibilities and the state of the economy." ...

From UPI: Published 1/15/2003 7:14 PM
Israel to kill in U.S., allied nations By Richard Sale
Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International. ...

From AP: Thu Jan 23,11:30 AM ET
Official: Americans not allowed to look for terror suspects in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan - Americans, or foreigners of any kind, will not be allowed to hunt for suspected al-Qaida terrorists in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, a senior regional official said Thursday. Only Pakistani security forces will carry out anti-terrorism operations in Kashmir, the speaker of Pakistani Kashmir's legislature, Sardar Sayyab Khalid, said in response to reports that Pakistani officials for Kashmir have met in Islamabad with U.S. FBI agents. ...

Editorial at Friday, January 24, 2003, 12:00 a.m. Pacific
The 'axis of evil' gets a Latin beat By Froma Harrop/Syndicated columnist
This is the month to mark, but not celebrate, the first anniversary of "axis of evil." President Bush tossed out this catchy line during a State of the Union speech. To everyone's lasting regret, the phrase lumped Iraq, Iran and North Korea together as troublemakers that America would deal with sternly.
Now the axis goes Latin. Rep. Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., so liked "axis of evil" that he has had one customized for the Southern Hemisphere. Into that brotherhood, he has placed the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil. At close inspection, the four seem as different from one another as the mambo and the waltz. All they share is the "leftist" label.
Why care what Hyde, a man of simple thoughts, has to say? Because Republicans made him chairman of the House International Relations Committee. When Hyde talks, the world listens — heaven help us. ...

From the L.A. Times at Council for a Livable World: January 26 2003
U.S. Considering Use of Nuclear Weapons in Iraq By William M. Arkin

From The Project Against The Present Danger: January 28, 2003
Pump Up the Pentagon, Hawks Tell Bush By Jim Lobe
While public opinion polls show that most of the U.S. public is concerned about the economy, hawks in the Bush administration see another problem as more urgent: the Pentagon is poor. Last week a group of influential right-wing figures close to Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney complained that the current military budget of almost $400 billion--already greater than the world's 15 next-biggest military establishments combined--is not enough to sustain U.S. strategy abroad.
In a letter to the president released on the eve of his State of the Union Address, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), whose alumni include both Rumsfeld and Cheney, as well as most of their top aides, called for increasing the defense budget by as much as $100 billion next year.
"Today's military is simply too small for the missions it must perform," said the letter whose signatories included mainly key neoconservatives, former Reagan administration officials, and a number of individuals close to big defense manufacturers like Lockheed Martin. "By every measure, current defense spending is inadequate for a military with global responsibilities."
The letter, which also suggested that Washington should prepare for confrontations with North Korea, Iran, and China, was published Monday in the Weekly Standard, the Rupert Murdoch-financed neoconservative journal edited by William Kristol, PNAC's cofounder and chairman. ... "In sum, there is an increasingly dangerous gap between our strategic ends and our military means, and the Bush Doctrine cannot be carried out effectively without a larger military force," it asserts. ...

From the National Post (Canada): Wednesday » January 29 » 2003
U.S. trades arms for friends By Jan Cienski
Military aid: War on terrorism has redefined America's interests
WASHINGTON - Unlike the empires of Rome, Spain and Great Britain, which were built on conquest and force of arms, United States' dominion is based not just on its military but on the economic muscle that supports it. The United States can afford to spend more on its military than the next 25 countries combined. But beyond the troops and the vast technological advantage they enjoy, the United States can bring to bear a treasury able to cajole countries into co-operating with U.S. interests in a way simple force may not achieve.
As friends of Washington, Israel and Egypt have received billions of dollars in U.S. aid. As Washington's concern over the drug trade in Colombia escalates, it has sent hundreds of millions of dollars Bogota's way. While those three countries have been long-standing U.S. interests, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks U.S. foreign policy has been increasingly supported by the promise of financial support. "Arms sales have always been an important foreign policy tool," said Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at Washington's Center for Defense Information, a leading defence think-tank. "What's new or different since Sept. 11 is that the United States is willing to give, sell or offer great packages on weapons to countries that in the past may not have so readily received them." ...
"America encourages and expects governments everywhere to help remove the terrorist parasites that threaten their own countries and peace in the world," George W. Bush, the U.S. President, said last year. "If governments need training or resources to meet this commitment, America will help."
With the ruins of the World Trade Center still smoldering, the United States waived restrictions on arms exports to Pakistan, which had been blacklisted for testing nuclear weapons in 1998 and a military coup a year later. Pakistan saw its military-related aid from the United States skyrocket from US$3.5-million before Sept. 11 to US$1.3-billion afterward. India, which also tested nuclear weapons in 1998, also saw the arms embargo against it lifted, as did Tajikistan, banned for its human rights record and civil war but reinstated last January for its part in the war on terrorism. Yugoslavia, Azerbaijan and Armenia also had their embargoes lifted. Other countries that had received little or nothing from the United States in past years, such as Yemen, Nepal and the Philippines, also found themselves on the receiving end of U.S. largesse.
Some of the biggest beneficiaries were the the former Soviet bureaucrats who hold sway in Uzbekistan, a corrupt police state. Although it has a nasty human rights record and few vital natural resources, Uzbekistan is conveniently situated on Afghanistan's northern border, which made it a natural ally when the United States was getting ready to destroy the Taliban regime and its al-Qaeda terrorist guests, especially after Uzbekistan allowed Washington to base troops and aircraft just a few kilometres from the Afghan frontier. In an emergency bill passed by Congress in late 2001 to deal with the terrorist threat, Uzbekistan was granted US$25-million in loans to buy U.S. weapons and equipment, US$40.5-million for economic and law enforcement assistance and US$18-million for anti-terrorism, de-mining and non-proliferation programs. In last year's budget, Uzbekistan got another US$11-million in military loans -- called foreign military financing -- and this year it is slated to get US$8.7-million more.
In other post-Sept. 11 deals, the United States sold US$1.2-billion in fighter jets and missiles to Oman, one of the few Arab countries willing to countenance a U.S. invasion of Iraq, US$400-million worth of Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles to Egypt and US$40-million of the same missiles to the United Arab Emirates. U.S. military trainers fanned out across the globe, giving the Philippines about US$100-million in planes, helicopters, patrol boats and other arms, including 30,000 M-16 rifles, to hunt down members of the Muslim Abu Sayyaf gang, linked to al-Qaeda. Washington also spent US$64-million to train special forces in the former Soviet republic of Georgia to tackle rebels from neighbouring Muslim Chechnya. Congress has been asked to lift restrictions on Indonesia's military, which committed bloody atrocities in East Timor, to help it fight Muslim radicals. ...
"Since Sept. 11, the war on terrorism has become the new rationale for doling out military assistance to repressive and politically unstable governments," says Tamar Gabelnick, director of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists. "And just like during the Cold War, the millions of dollars slated for our new allies in the war on terrorism have more to do with promoting American geostrategic interests than with protecting U.S. territory from external threats," he adds. ...
Poland, which has been one of Washington's most enthusiastic backers in Europe, signed a deal in December to buy 48 F-16 jet fighters, paid for by a US$3.8-billion loan below market rates, one of the largest such loans ever granted, as well as an additional US$10-billion in "offset" investments promised by Lockheed Martin, which builds the F-16. "I have got no better friend in Europe today," Mr. Bush announced while welcoming Aleksander Kwasniewski, Poland's President, to the White House this month for a second visit in six months. ...
The United States straddles the world economy in a way that no power has before -- with only 1/20th of the world's population, it is responsible for 22% of the world's economy. It is by far the world's largest arms dealer, accounting for 45.8% of the US$26-billion global market, and much of that weaponry is used as a geopolitical carrot. ...
The United States also effectively wields veto power in organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, which effectively govern much of the economic management of 80 of the world's poorer nations. After Sept. 11, Washington leaned on the IMF and the World Bank to forgive more than US$1-billion in loans to Pakistan. ...
In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the United States contributed 3% of its GDP to foreign aid, much of it to the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. At the height of the Cold War, during Ronald Reagan's presidency, the United States earmarked US$27-billion -- or about 0.2% of its GDP -- for foreign aid. With the ideological struggle for the world over, U.S. giving has withered. Now the United States spends only about US$11-billion a year on aid, about 0.1% of GDP, the lowest level of any wealthy country. Much of that money is spent not to put water pumps in African villages or to combat tropical diseases, but on hard-nosed programs that reward U.S. allies and further U.S. foreign policy goals, dovetailing with weapons sales.
The top recipient of U.S. aid is Israel, which gets US$2.1-billion a year in military assistance, mostly used to buy U.S.-made weapons, and US$600-million a year in economic support. Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1978, gets about US$1.3-billion a year in military aid and US$615-million for social programs. The Palestinian Authority, which the Bush administration says has ties to terrorism, gets no U.S. aid. ...

From The Center For Public Integrity: Feb. 7, 2003
Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act
Center Publishes Secret Draft of ‘Patriot II’ Legislation
By Charles Lewis and Adam Mayle
(WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2003) -- The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information. ...
Dr. David Cole, Georgetown University Law professor and author of Terrorism and the Constitution, reviewed the draft legislation at the request of the Center, and said that the legislation “raises a lot of serious concerns. It’s troubling that they have gotten this far along and they’ve been telling people there is nothing in the works.” This proposed law, he added, “would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive ‘suspicion,’ create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups.” ...

From U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd: Feb. 12, 2003
Senate Remarks: Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences
" ... this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world.
This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to take nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible attack against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than this type of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has tied the vital economic and security interests of many nations so closely together? There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored alliances, and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust, misinformation, suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is fracturing the once solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11.
Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.
This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.
In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration's domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition, under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth. This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration has been reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.
In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.
Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on. ...
... we hear little about the aftermath of war in Iraq. In the absence of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize Iraq's oil fields, becoming an occupying power which controls the price and supply of that nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we propose to hand the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?
Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks on Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will the Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals, bolstered by Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than Iraq?
Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a world-wide recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even more lucrative practice for nations which need the income?
In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous consequences for years. ...
Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.
Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under age 15 -- this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent. On the eve of what could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.
We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings. ... "

From The Observer (UK): Sunday February 16, 2003
US to punish German 'treachery' by Peter Beaumont, David Rose and Paul Beaver
America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros. The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's 'treachery'. The hawks believe that making an example of Germany will force other countries heavily dependent on US trade to think twice about standing up to America in future. ...

From Haaretz (Israel): Tuesday, February 18, 2003 Adar1 16, 5763
EU warns Iraq it faces a 'last chance' to disarm peacefully
By Aluf Benn and Sharon Sadeh
" ... U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials on Monday that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq, and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterwards. ... "

From The Guardian (UK): Wednesday February 19, 2003
US plan for new nuclear arsenal by Julian Borger in Washington
Secret talks may lead to breaking treaties
The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", "bunker-busters" and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document. The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary. The leaked preparations for the meeting are the clearest sign yet that the administration is determined to overhaul its nuclear arsenal so that it could be used as part of the new "Bush doctrine" of pre-emption, to strike the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of rogue states. Greg Mello, the head of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear watchdog organisation that obtained the Pentagon documents, said the meeting would also prepare the ground for a US breakaway from global arms control treaties, and the moratorium on conducting nuclear tests. ...

From The Times Online (UK): February 21, 2003
United States must dig deep to pay the price for loyalty
From Roland Watson and Elaine Monaghan in Washington and Suna Erdem in Istanbul
AMERICA faces a bill running into many billions of dollars even before the first missile strike against Iraq as it tries to coax, pressure and, if necessary, buy allied support. ...
Rewards for backing Bush:
Russia - Gives: Support in UN Security Council vote; Gets: Guarantees on $10-$12bn of Iraqi debt and possible oil contracts
Hungary - Gives: Facilities for training the Iraqi opposition; Gets: Enhanced international status and financial support
Bulgaria - Gives: Vote on UN Security Council; Gets: US support for entry to EU and increased military co-operation within Nato
Chile - Gives: Vote on UN Security Council; Gets: Strengthened position in talks on US trade tariffs
Jordan - Gives: Access for US air defence, radar and special forces; Gets: $1bn in direct aid and military assistance
Egypt - Gives: Arab support to campaign; Gets: $1bn and promise of increased US support for Middle East peace process
Israel - Gives: Behind-the-scenes assurances they will not retaliate; Gets: $12bn in direct aid and loan guarantees. US promises of defence
Mexico - Gives: Vote on UN Security Council; Gets: Improved immigration regulations
Angola - Gives: Vote on UN Security Council; Gets: Future co-operation with US companies in developing offshore oilfields
Guinea, Cameroon - Give: Votes on UN Security Council; Get: Development aid and increased international status
Turkey - Gives: Key military facilities for US invasion from the north and a regional ally; Gets: At least $26bn in direct aid and loans

From USA Today: Posted 2/24/2003 7:36 PM
U.S. builds war coalition with favors — and money By Barbara Slavin
WASHINGTON — President Bush keeps warning that if the United Nations Security Council will not back a war in Iraq, he will assemble a "coalition of the willing" to depose Saddam Hussein. But the more than two dozen countries that have offered some measure of backing to the United States have complex motives that in many cases have more to do with placating the world's only superpower — or trading their support for huge sums in U.S. aid — than with a desire to rid the world of Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. ...

From the Los Angeles Times at The Boston Globe: 2/24/2003
Bush seeks to bypass weapons system tests By Esther Schrader
Wants missile defense deployed by 2004
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is proposing to exempt the Pentagon's controversial missile defense system from the real-world operational testing legally required of every new weapons system so that it can be deployed by 2004. Buried in President Bush's 2004 budget, in dry, bureaucratic language, is a request to rewrite a law designed to prevent the production and fielding of weapons systems that don't work. If the provision is enacted, it would be the first time a major weapons system was formally exempted from the testing requirement. The proposal follows administration moves to bypass congressional reporting and oversight requirements in order to accelerate development of a national missile defense system. ...

From The Washington Post: Tuesday, February 25, 2003; Page A01
U.S. Officials Say U.N. Future At Stake in Vote By Karen DeYoung
Bush Message Is That a War Is Inevitable, Diplomats Say
As it launches an all-out lobbying campaign to gain United Nations approval, the Bush administration has begun to characterize the decision facing the Security Council not as whether there will be war against Iraq, but whether council members are willing to irrevocably destroy the world body's legitimacy by failing to follow the U.S. lead, senior U.S. and diplomatic sources said.
In meetings yesterday with senior officials in Moscow, Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton told the Russian government that "we're going ahead," whether the council agrees or not, a senior administration official said. "The council's unity is at stake here."
A senior diplomat from another council member said his government had heard a similar message and was told not to anguish over whether to vote for war. "You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not," the diplomat said U.S. officials told him. "That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the council will go along with it or not." ...

From Reuters: Thu February 27, 2003 02:01 AM ET
Australia Eyes Missile Shield Amid N.Korea Threat By Belinda Goldsmith
CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia said Thursday it was looking at joining the United States in developing a missile defense shield because of the threat posed by North Korea, further cementing Canberra's military ties with Washington. ...

From the Independent (UK): 07 March 2003
America admits suspects died in interrogations By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
American military officials acknowledged yesterday that two prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while under interrogation at Bagram air base north of Kabul – reviving concerns that the US is resorting to torture in its treatment of Taliban fighters and suspected al-Qa'ida operatives. A spokesman for the air base confirmed that the official cause of death of the two men was "homicide", contradicting earlier accounts that one had died of a heart attack and the other from a pulmonary embolism. ...
US officials previously admitted using "stress and duress" on prisoners including sleep deprivation, denial of medication for battle injuries, forcing them to stand or kneel for hours on end with hoods on, subjecting them to loud noises and sudden flashes of light and engaging in culturally humiliating practices such as having them kicked by female officers. While the US claims this still constitutes "humane" treatment, human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced it as torture as defined by international treaty. The US has also come under heavy criticism for its reported policy of handing suspects over to countries such as Jordan, Egypt or Morocco, where torture techniques are an established part of the security apparatus. Legally, Human Rights Watch says, there is no distinction between using torture directly and subcontracting it out. Some American politicians have argued that torture could be justified in this case if it helped prevent terror attacks on US citizens. Jonathan Turley, a prominent law professor at George Washington University, countered that embracing torture would be "suicide for a nation once viewed as the very embodiment of human rights". ...

From TimesOnline (UK): March 10, 2003
Bush Sr warning over unilateral action From Roland Watson in Washington
THE first President Bush has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity. Drawing on his own experiences before and after the 1991 Gulf War, Mr Bush Sr said that the brief flowering of hope for Arab-Israeli relations a decade ago would never have happened if America had ignored the will of the United Nations. He also urged the President to resist his tendency to bear grudges, advising his son to bridge the rift between the United States, France and Germany. ...

From The NYT: March 11, 2003
Growing Number in U.S. Back War, Survey Finds
Americans are growing impatient with the United Nations and say they would support military action against Iraq even if the Security Council refuses to support an invasion, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. The poll found that 58 percent of Americans said the United Nations was doing a poor job in managing the Iraqi crisis, a jump of 10 points from a month ago. And 55 percent of respondents in the latest poll would support an American invasion of Iraq, even if it was in defiance of a vote of the Security Council. ... The nationwide telephone poll of 1,010 adults was conducted from Friday night through Sunday night. It had a margin of sampling error of three percentage points. ... Over all, Americans support using military force to remove Mr. Hussein by 66 percent to 30 percent. But that sentiment breaks down sharply along partisan lines that could have ramifications for next year's presidential election, depending on the outcome of a war. The poll found that 86 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of independents supported military action to oust Mr. Hussein, while 51 percent of Democrats said they supported it. ... Although Mr. Bush's statements at his news conference last week appear to have increased the nation's support for a war, he apparently did not succeed with one argument: convincing more Americans that Mr. Hussein had a role in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The poll found that 45 percent of Americans said Mr. Hussein was "personally involved" in the attacks, a number essentially unchanged from a month ago.

From UPI: Published 3/19/2003 5:37 PM
Top White House anti-terror boss resigns By P. Mitchell Prothero
WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- The top National Security Council official in the war on terror resigned this week for what a NSC spokesman said were personal reasons, but intelligence sources say the move reflects concern that the looming war with Iraq is hurting the fight against terrorism. Rand Beers would not comment for this article ... Beers has served as the NSC's senior director for counter-terrorism only since August. ... "Hardly a surprise," said one former intelligence official. "We have sacrificed a war on terror for a war with Iraq. I don't blame Randy at all. This just reflects the widespread thought that the war on terror is being set aside for the war with Iraq at the expense of our military and intel resources and the relationships with our allies." ... "This is a very intriguing decision (by Beers)," said author and intelligence expert James Bamford. "There is a predominant belief in the intelligence community that an invasion of Iraq will cause more terrorism than it will prevent. There is also a tremendous amount of embarrassment by intelligence professionals that there have been so many lies out of the administration -- by the president, (Vice President Dick) Cheney and (Secretary of State Colin) Powell -- over Iraq." ... "It is absurd that the president of the United States mentioned in a speech before the world information from phony documents and no one got fired," Bamford said. "That alone has offended intelligence professionals throughout the services." ... "If it was your job to prevent terror attacks, would you be happy about an action that many see as unnecessary, that is almost guaranteed to cause more terror in the short-term?" said one official. "I know I'm not (happy)." ...

From The Guardian: Friday March 21, 2003
Thank God for the death of the UN By Richard Perle
Its abject failure gave us only anarchy. The world needs order
Saddam Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him. Well, not the whole UN. The "good works" part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat. What will die is the fantasy of the UN as the foundation of a new world order. As we sift the debris, it will be important to preserve, the better to understand, the intellectual wreckage of the liberal conceit of safety through international law administered by international institutions. ...

From Intervention Magazine: March 2003
Article & Essay: The War At The United Nations
A potential General Assembly action for peace prompts the US to launch a preemptive attack against the United Nations.
All over the world, governments and civil society groups are proposing to take the US-led attack on Iraq to the UN General Assembly under a procedure known as “Uniting for Peace.” The US is so alarmed that it has launched a preemptive attack with a letter to all countries in the world which “demands” that they avoid “calls for an emergency session of the General Assembly.” ...

From Reuters: Tue, Mar 25, 2003
U.S. Raps Canada on Iraq, Says Should Quiet Critics By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to Canada took the unusual step on Tuesday of openly criticizing Ottawa for not backing the war on Iraq and urged Prime Minister Jean Chretien to muzzle anti-U.S. sentiment in his government. ...

From Reuters: Thu Apr 3, 6:34 PM ET
French PM: U.S. Made Triple Mistake Starting Iraq War By Jon Boyle
PARIS (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said on Thursday the United States had made a moral, political and strategic mistake by launching war in Iraq, risking further damage to already strained ties with Washington. ... "The Americans made a triple mistake: first of all a moral mistake, and I think we have to say this: there was an alternative to war. We could have disarmed Iraq differently." That was clear by Washington's failure to secure a U.N. resolution authorizing military action should Iraq fail to destroy its alleged weapons of mass destruction, he said. "Also, (they made) a political mistake, because we know very well the difficulties of this region of the world," he added. "We see how serious the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, and at any moment it can set the world ablaze. It's a serious political error to start trouble in this region. And then, there is a strategic mistake: that today one country can lead the world," he said, arguing that Europe should be one of the major poles of influence in the world. ...

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