Archived News Articles: NMD and Global Policy - 2nd Qtr. 2003
From CNN: Thursday, April 3, 2003 Posted: 5:02 PM EST (2202 GMT)
Ex-CIA director: U.S. faces 'World War IV' From Charles Feldman and Stan Wilson
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Wednesday the United States is engaged in World War IV, and that it could continue for years. In the address to a group of college students, Woolsey described the Cold War as the third world war and said "This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War." ...
He said the new war is actually against three enemies: the religious rulers of Iran, the "fascists" of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists like al Qaeda. ...
"As we move toward a new Middle East," Woolsey said, "over the years and, I think, over the decades to come ... we will make a lot of people very nervous." ...
Singling out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the leaders of Saudi Arabia, he said, "We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march and that we are on the side of those whom you -- the Mubaraks, the Saudi Royal family -- most fear: We're on the side of your own people." ...
From Baltimore IMC: Commentary: Civil & Human Rights: 04 Apr 2003
In Terms of Human Rights, US Is Big Fat Black Pot Calling the Iraq Kettle Black
by Cheryl Seal
US Government Is a Big Fat Human-Rights-Violating Pot Callng Iraq's Kettle Black
On April 3, I heard part of NPR's "Talk of the Nation," with guests Ken Anderson Professor of International Law at American University's Washington College of Law. and Scott Silliman, Director Center for Law, Ethics & National Security: talked on International law pertaining to war. The information they presented was eye opening, to say the least. According to International law:
- Bush, not just Saddam, is a legitimate military target because he is the Commander-in-Chief of the US armed forces.
- Shooting civilians without clear evidence that they are an imminent threat to soldier is against Rules of Engagement and Geneva convention. Thus the soldiers who killed the women and children in the Toyota van at the checkpoint are, technically, war criminals.
- Cluster bombs - Cluster bombs are only allowable under extremely strict guidelines, only in a military-to-military situation - absolutely not within a city. (observers say there is mounting evidence that cluster bombs are being used repeatedly on Baghdad targets).
- The US is conducting this war as a nation that rejected the 1977 Geneva Convention Protocols.
Thus, while Bush is trying to present himself and the US government as "great liberators," insisting on a kinder, gentler regime - our stand on international law has made us Earth's biggest hypocrites. The U.S. is one of the only "advanced" nations on Earth not to ratify the Protocols (I and II) of the Geneva Convention. These protocols, first proposed in 1977, are designed SPECIFICALLY to reduce civilian suffering and promote humanitarian goals. Yet they were not ratified by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, because, he claimed, it would give leftwing uprisings too much of an edge - in other words, running CIA-style operations aimed at overthrowing "inconvenient" governments, like Allende's in Chile or Sukarno's in Indonesia, would be hampered by having to adhere to a code of humanitarian ethics. The Protocols were turned down again by the Republican-dominated Congress in the 1990s when Clinton submitted them for reconsideration. Now with a rightwing president AND Congress, the chan(c)es of humanitarian protocols passing is nil.. Among the things that the Protocols ban and the rightwing hawks continue to fight to retain the right to do:
- Using children under 18 as soldiers - the UK and the US are two of the only developed nations on earth to permit the use of 16 and 17-year olds as soldiers, requiring only parental permission (any parent who gives their permission is grossly irresponsible - that act should constitute child abuse.).
-using landmines and other weapons that induce excessive suffering and damage.
- blinding civilians with high tech lasers
- insisting that fighting parties in international armed conflicts to distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians to ensure that the only legal targets of attack are military.
Oh, and if anyone has any illusions about how Iraqis will be treated in the post-war era, one of the clauses of the Protocol the rightwingers (who will be Iraq's "rulers") refused to accept is the right of noncombatants, especially children to be given the care and aid they require for a normal childhood, including education and reunion with their families, should the conflict tear them apart.
The US also was the only country besides Somalia to NOT ratify the Convention for the Rights of the Child, which prevents children from being abused, used as soldiers, sexually exploited or used for labor. About 200 other nations ratified the Convention - immediately and without question.
The US was also the only developed nation to refuse to ban anti-personnel land mines.
The US was one of the only developed nations to refuse to recognize the international criminal court (thus trying to avoid ever having to face the music for acts the rest of the world condemns as war crimes).
The average American, if they had been given a say, would ABSOLUTELY have made sure that all of these things were adopted, from the Protocols to the International Court. But then, the average American is a decent, compassionate person without any ulterior motives for want(ing) to retain the right to commit atrocities or abuse the rights of children.
Here's an excellent overview of the Protocols and the US's sorry history in humanitarian issues
Utilitarian vs. Humanitarian: The Battle Over the Law of War
ERIC S. KRAUSS and MIKE O. LACEY
... The Geneva Protocols
The United States has yet to ratify either of the Geneva Protocols of 1977. President Ronald Reagan enunciated our objection to ratification of Protocol I in a letter to the Senate in 1987. Although he did ask the Senate to give its advice and consent to Protocol II, the Senate has not done so because it has treated the Protocols as a package.
President Reagan refused to endorse Protocol I because of concerns that it would legitimate various liberation movements that would upset, from his point of view, the balance of power, and endanger the security of some of our allies, like Israel and South Africa. Because of the “perception of Protocol I as proterrorist, and . . . because of military objections by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President concluded that the Protocol was ‘fundamentally and irreconcilably flawed.’” ...
The United States now refuses to participate in the establishment of a permanent international criminal court unless promised that such a court could never exercise jurisdiction over Americans. The United States refuses to sign or ratify a treaty banning anti-personnel land mines because we deem them necessary to defend against an invasion by North Korea to South Korea, as well as because of our desire to remotely deploy anti-armor minefields interspersed with anti-personnel mines. The United States continues to refuse to sign the 1977 Protocols to the Geneva Conventions almost universally ratified otherwise. ...
From The Nation: [from the April 21, 2003 issue] Posted April 3, 2003
The Reason Why by GEORGE MCGOVERN
Thanks to the most crudely partisan decision in the history of the Supreme Court, the nation has been given a President of painfully limited wisdom and compassion and lacking any sense of the nation's true greatness. Appearing to enjoy his role as Commander in Chief of the armed forces above all other functions of his office, and unchecked by a seemingly timid Congress, a compliant Supreme Court, a largely subservient press and a corrupt corporate plutocracy, George W. Bush has set the nation on a course for one-man rule.
He treads carelessly on the Bill of Rights, the United Nations and international law while creating a costly but largely useless new federal bureaucracy loosely called "Homeland Security." Meanwhile, such fundamental building blocks of national security as full employment and a strong labor movement are of no concern. The nearly $1.5 trillion tax giveaway, largely for the further enrichment of those already rich, will have to be made up by cutting government services and shifting a larger share of the tax burden to workers and the elderly. This President and his advisers know well how to get us involved in imperial crusades abroad while pillaging the ordinary American at home. The same families who are exploited by a rich man's government find their sons and daughters being called to war, as they were in Vietnam--but not the sons of the rich and well connected...
The invasion of Iraq and other costly wars now being planned in secret are fattening the ever-growing military-industrial complex of which President Eisenhower warned in his great farewell address. War profits are booming, as is the case in all wars. While young Americans die, profits go up. But our economy is not booming, and our stock market is not booming. Our wages and incomes are not booming. While waging a war against Iraq, the Bush Administration is waging another war against the well-being of America.
Following the 9/11 tragedy at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the entire world was united in sympathy and support for America. But thanks to the arrogant unilateralism, the bullying and the clumsy, unimaginative diplomacy of Washington, Bush converted a world of support into a world united against us, with the exception of Tony Blair and one or two others. ...
During his presidential campaign Bush cried, "I'm a uniter, not a divider." As one critic put it, "He's got that right. He's united the entire world against him." In his brusque, go-it-alone approach to Congress, the UN and countless nations big and small, Bush seemed to be saying, "Go with us if you will, but we're going to war with a small desert kingdom that has done us no harm, whether you like it or not." This is a good line for the macho business. But it flies in the face of Jefferson's phrase, "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind." As I have watched America's moral and political standing in the world fade as the globe's inhabitants view the senseless and immoral bombing of ancient, historic Baghdad, I think often of another Jefferson observation during an earlier bad time in the nation's history: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."
The President frequently confides to individuals and friendly audiences that he is guided by God's hand. But if God guided him into an invasion of Iraq, He sent a different message to the Pope, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the mainline Protestant National Council of Churches and many distinguished rabbis--all of whom believe the invasion and bombardment of Iraq is against God's will. In all due respect, I suspect that Karl Rove, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice--and other sideline warriors--are the gods (or goddesses) reaching the ear of our President. ...
I most certainly do not see God at work in the slaughter and destruction now unfolding in Iraq or in the war plans now being developed for additional American invasions of other lands. The hand of the Devil? Perhaps. But how can I suggest that a fellow Methodist with a good Methodist wife is getting guidance from the Devil? I don't want to get too self-righteous about all of this. After all, I have passed the 80 mark, so I don't want to set the bar of acceptable behavior too high lest I fail to meet the standard for a passing grade on Judgment Day. I've already got a long list of strikes against me. So President Bush, forgive me if I've been too tough on you. But I must tell you, Mr. President, you are the greatest threat to American troops. Only you can put our young people in harm's way in a needless war. Only you can weaken America's good name and influence in world affairs. ...
From Reuters at The NYT: April 9, 2003 Filed at 11:08 a.m. ET
U.S. Tells Iran, Syria, N. Korea 'Learn from Iraq'
ROME (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday warned countries it has accused of pursuing weapons of mass destruction, including Iran, Syria and North Korea, to ``draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq.'' John R. Bolton, U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, also appealed to Syria and other countries in the Middle East to open themselves up to ``new possibilities'' for peace in the region. ... Bush, after meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday, promised to turn his focus to settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once Saddam was removed from power.
From AFP: Fri Apr 11, 5:53 AM ET
Indian defence minister joins Pakistan pre-emptive strike chorus
JODHPUR, India (AFP) - Defence Minister George Fernandes reiterated Indian warnings that Pakistan was a prime case for pre-emptive strikes. ... Fernandes said he endorsed Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha's recent comments that India had "a much better case to go for pre-emptive action against Pakistan than the United States has in Iraq." Sinha also argued that Pakistan was "a fit case" for US military action, because it had weapons of mass destruction and terrorists. ...
From The Observer: Sunday April 13, 2003
Syria could be next, warns Washington Ed Vulliamy in Washington
The United States has pledged to tackle the Syrian-backed Hizbollah group in the next phase of its 'war on terror' in a move which could threaten military action against President Bashar Assad's regime in Damascus.
The move is part of Washington's efforts to persuade Israel to support a new peace settlement with the Palestinians. Washington has promised Israel that it will take 'all effective action' to cut off Syria's support for Hizbollah - implying a military strike if necessary, sources in the Bush administration have told The Observer. ...
Hawks in and close to the Bush White House have prepared the ground for an attack on Syria, raising the spectre of Hizbollah, of alleged Syrian plans to welcome refugees from Saddam Hussein's fallen regime, and of what the administration insists is Syrian support for Iraq during the war.
Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz - regarded as the real architect of the Iraqi war and its aftermath - said on Thursday that 'the Syrians have been shipping killers into Iraq to try and kill Americans', adding: 'We need to think about what our policy is towards a country that harbours terrorists or harbours war criminals. There will have to be change in Syria, plainly,' said Wolfowitz.
Washington intelligence sources claim that weapons of mass destruction that Saddam was alleged to have possessed were shipped to Syria after inspectors were sent by the United Nations to find them.
One of the chief ideologists behind the war, Richard Perle, yesterday warned that the US would be compelled to act against Syria if it emerged that weapons of mass destruction had been moved there by Saddam's fallen Iraqi regime.
NOW With Bill Moyers, Commentary - April 18, 2003
Bill Moyers on Money and Politics
" ... What's emerged full-blown is the military-industrial complex famously predicted and feared by President Eisenhower fifty years ago. It's no longer possible to tell where the corporate world ends and government begins. ... America's corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own, and they are privatizing democracy. All the benefits — the tax cuts, policies, and rewards — flow in one direction: up. ... "
At Counterpunch: April 22, 2003
Bush's "Christian" Blood Cult Concerns Raised by the Vatican by WAYNE MADSEN
From The BBC: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
US signals action against France
American Secretary of State Colin Powell has said France will suffer consequences for having opposed the US over the war with Iraq. He said the US would be reviewing all aspects of its relations with France in light of its decision to veto any UN Security Council resolution authorising war against Iraq. ...
From AFP: Thu Apr 24,10:59 AM ET
Taliban "criminals" believed to be in Pakistan: Afghan FM
KABUL (AFP) - Top Taliban leaders wanted for crimes in Afghanistan are believed to be in Pakistan, Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah told AFP. ... Kabul had asked Islamabad to hand them over as they were trying to destabilise Afghanistan, he said in an interview after visiting Pakistan with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. ... Several Afghan officials have accused Pakistan of allowing sanctuary for fugitive extremists in its remote tribal border regions, from where they are believed to be mounting attacks on Afghan and US troops. Officials in Islamabad note that Pakistan has in the past 18 months arrested more than 440 al-Qaeda suspects believed to have fled Afghanistan, underlining its contribution to stamping out terrorism.
From AP at newindpress.com: April 25, 2003
Pak nukes will deter any pre-emptive strike says Musharraf
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is enough of a deterrent to dissuade any country from launching a pre-emptive strike against it, President Pervez Musharraf said. His comments follow threats from India's Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha earlier this month that India would be justified in taking pre-emptive action across the Pakistan border since it has a much better case against Pakistan than the United States has in Iraq. ... "Let me tell you that Pakistan's turn will not come after Iraq," Musharraf said at a news briefing in Islamabad. "No one can launch a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan because we are a nuclear power, we are a missile power." ...
From Business Week: Fri Apr 25, 6:10 PM ET
The Physicist Gunning for Star Wars By Ben Elgin in San Mateo, Calif.
Theodore A. Postol is a 56-year-old missile scientist who has worked for the military Establishment throughout most of his career. He's also one of its prickliest critics. A tenured physics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Postol has accused his employer of a coverup regarding the effectiveness of a missile system being designed to protect the U.S. from attack. The accusations are being taken quite seriously and have made Postol unpopular in many quarters. ... Postol is going after the Pentagon's national missile-defense program, a complex system of rockets and sensors designed to shoot down missiles before they can reach U.S. soil. While lambasting the plan as a pipe dream, he also claims to have evidence that MIT's Lincoln Laboratory issued a fraudulent report in 1998, concluding that an initial test of the system was a success. ... Now, he's convinced that Defense is wasting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. Postol argues that the shield could be circumvented by any attacker launching decoys along with a warhead. ... A report by Lincoln Laboratory validated results of a preliminary test of sensors built by defense contractor TRW in which the system's ability to distinguish a warhead from a decoy was deemed a success. An investigation by the General Accounting Office completed in 2002, however, discovered that the sensor had overheated during the test and provided erroneous readings. Postol claims MIT merely rubber-stamped TRW's results. "We're acting as a war profiteer, propagating technology we know won't work," he says. And although the controversial TRW sensor has been replaced, Postol argues that MIT's top brass are involved in a coverup. ...
From The TimesOnline: April 28, 2003
Paris and Berlin prepare alliance to rival Nato From Charles Bremner in Paris
EUROPE’S self-inflicted wounds over Iraq will be on display tomorrow, when the leaders of France and Germany — dubbed the “Axis of Weasels” in America — start to try to lay the groundwork for a European Union military alliance that would compete with Nato.
At a meeting in Brussels with the Prime Ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg, President Chirac and Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, want to clear the way for a common European defence system that would start with a core of volunteer states. Although the Germans have qualms about a confrontation with Nato, the French are not hiding their aim to achieve their long-standing goal of unhitching the United States from European defence. ...
Despite denials from Paris and Berlin, the session looks like a manoeuvre by French-led “old Europe” against the pro-Atlantic axis, led by Britain and Spain and featuring new EU states, which Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, called “new Europe”.
Britain, which has the EU’s most powerful Armed Forces, was not invited. Nor were the leaders of the EU’s other main pro-Atlantic states — Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. ...
Extending the defence concept over the weekend, Michele Alliot-Marie, the French Defence Minister who was visiting Moscow, sought to involve Russia, the ally of France and Germany in the anti-war front over Iraq, saying that “Russia should be associated with the planning work that we are carrying out”. ...
Also from the BBC: 'Anti-war' four boost euro-role
From AP at FOX News: Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Bush Names Former CIA Official as New Homeland Security Adviser
WASHINGTON — President Bush named a former deputy CIA director, Air Force Gen. John Gordon, to be his new homeland security adviser, the White House announced Tuesday. Gordon will help coordinate White House policies with the recently created Department of Homeland Security and other defense and intelligence agencies, said presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer. ... The job does not require Senate confirmation. ... Gordon, a four-star general, also worked for the first President Bush as a staff member of the National Security Council.
From MSNBC: NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE:
The Secrets of September 11
The White House is battling to keep a report on the terror attacks secret.
Does the 2004 election have anything to do with it?
April 30 — Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks, administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks. ...
From NewsMax.com: Wednesday, May 7, 2003 12:02 a.m. EDT
Prez Wannabe Graham Eyeing Evidence That Bush Blew 9/11
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Graham is reportedly sitting on damaging evidence that the Bush administration could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks - but he hasn't released the information yet because it's classified. ...
From AFP: Sat May 10, 8:27 AM ET
US Senate committee agrees to lift ban on development of small-scale nukes
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Senate Armed Services Committee has voted to lift a ban on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons in the United States.
A provision repealing the 10-year-old ban was included in the 2004 national defense authorization bill, which the Senate committee passed Friday. The bill must still pass through the US House Armed Services Committee, the full House and the Senate and can be amended at each stage. ... The panel also approved 15 million dollars for development of Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, also known as a "bunker-buster" for its ability to penetrate and destroy underground bunkers. ... The Senate committee's version of the bill authorizes 400.5 billion dollars in military spending in fiscal year 2004, including 9.1 billion dollars for ballistic missile defense research, development and procurement, and a 3.7 percent across-the-board pay raise for uniformed service personnel. The panel also backed a provision requiring the US Energy Department to "achieve and maintain the ability to conduct an underground nuclear test within 18 months, should it become necessary for the president to order such a test." ...
Global Fair Trade By James Hall
From The Guardian (UK): Tuesday May 13, 2003 7:29 AM
Bush Putting Trial Lawyers on Defensive
From Democracy Now!: Amy Goodman interview with Gore Vidal, May 13, 2003
Gore Vidal on the "United States of Amnesia," 9/11, the 2000 Election and the War in Iraq
GORE VIDAL: "The United States is not a normal country. We are a homeland now under military surveillance and military control. The President asked the Congress right after 9-11 not to conduct a major investigation. "As it might deter our search for terrorism wherever it might be in the world." So Congress obediently rolled over. ...
Were we defended? No we were not defended. Has this ever been investigated? No, it hasn't. ... That to me was the end of the republic. We no longer had a Congress which would ask questions, which it was in place to do of the executive. ... So I ask these questions, which Congress should ask, does not ask, which the press should ask, but is too frightened. It's a reign of terror now. ..
"Well isn't it pretty clear that the dictatorship is in place. We're not supposed to know certain things and we're not going to know them. ... the election of 2000 was the end of the republic. ... This is corporate America, as one, putting in place a president who was not elected. ...
"I would impeach him (Scalia) and in a well-run country the Senate should make a move toward the trial of Justice Scalia. ...
"The Europeans at least have a free press which we don't, or most of the countries there do. ...
" ... I think that we haven't a chance of winning in the Middle East ... "
From the San Francisco Chronicle: Wednesday, May 14, 2003
MILITARY MIGHT by William O. Beeman
The man behind 'total war' in the Mideast
Most Americans have never heard of Michael Ledeen, but if the United States ends up in an extended shooting war throughout the Middle East, it will be largely due to his inspiration. A fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ledeen is a former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council. ...
Ledeen's ideas are repeated daily by such figures as Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. His views virtually define the stark departure from American foreign policy philosophy that existed before the tragedy of Sept. 11. He basically believes that violence in the service of the spread of democracy is America's manifest destiny. Consequently, he has become the philosophical legitimizer of the American occupation of Iraq. Now Ledeen is calling for regime change beyond Iraq. In an address entitled "Time to Focus on Iran -- The Mother of Modern Terrorism," for the policy forum of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs on April 30, he declared, "The time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free Syria and free Lebanon." ...
Ledeen has become the driving philosophical force behind the neoconservative movement and the military actions it has spawned. ... "Total war not only destroys the enemy's military forces, but also brings the enemy society to an extremely personal point of decision, so that they are willing to accept a reversal of the cultural trends," Ledeen writes. "The sparing of civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority. . . . The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people." ...
From T V PARASURAM at Outlookindia.com: May 15, 2003
Rice voices tough US policies on Iran, Syria, N.Korea
WASHINGTON, MAY 15 (PTI) The US has given clear signals that it's going to follow tough policies in dealing with Iran, Syria and North Korea, asking the three countries to change their "troubling" behaviours. ...
From The New York Times: May 20, 2003
Bush Affirms U.S. Is Ready to Send Troops to the Philippines
By ELISABETH BUMILLER
WASHINGTON, May 19 — President Bush reaffirmed Washington's commitment today to send American troops to help root out Muslim militants in the southern Philippines, but he did not provide any details of how or when they would be sent. ... Mr. Bush said that the Philippines would be considered a "major non-NATO ally," which would give it greater access to American defense equipment and supplies. Nations like Israel and Australia already have such status. ... In his remarks, Mr. Bush said the extent and nature of the American troop commitment was up to Ms. Arroyo. "We will be involved to the extent that the president invites us to be involved," Mr. Bush said. ...
At The White House: May 20, 2003
National Policy on Ballistic Missile Defense Fact Sheet
From AP: Wed May 21, 4:37 AM ET
Bush Eyes Easing of Missile-Export Rules By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is looking into whether stiff controls over missile-technology exports should be relaxed so U.S. missile defenses can be more easily shared with certain other nations. ...
From AP: Wed May 21, 5:21 AM ET
Official: Russia Eyes Missile Cooperation
MOSCOW - Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia is ready to start talking with the United States about cooperation on a missile defense system, the Interfax Military News Agency reported Wednesday. ...
From Reuters: Wed May 21, 2:56 PM ET
Bush Criticizes Europe for Impeding U.S. Policies By Adam Entous
NEW LONDON, Conn. (Reuters) - With transatlantic relations still strained by the Iraq war, President Bush on Wednesday opened a new front by accusing Europe of impeding American efforts to combat famine and poverty in Africa and beyond. Bush did not mention the bitter opposition spearheaded in Europe to the U.S.-led military campaign that removed Saddam Hussein from power. But he made clear that other disputes, including one over genetically modified crops, clouded U.S.-European relations, and said he would step up the pressure when he tours the continent starting next week. The White House said he would visit Poland, Russia and France, beginning May 30. ...
Less than three weeks after declaring aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier that "we have seen the turning of the tide," Bush said al Qaeda's "treachery continues" despite wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. ... "The national interest of America involves more than eliminating aggressive threats to our safety," said Bush, whose tenure has been marked by two wars and transatlantic tension over Iraq. "America's national ambition is the spread of free markets, free trade and free societies. These goals are not achieved at the expense of other nations." Hoping to ease suspicions of U.S. intentions, Bush said he would send more American volunteers overseas and touted rewards for developing countries that combat corruption, respect human rights and open markets. ... But he also derided European nations, urging them to "match their good intentions with real resources" to combat the spread of AIDS in Africa. Bush touted his own $15 billion plan to combat the pandemic, which he said he would sign into law next week.
The U.S. president also accused Europe of undercutting efforts to feed starving Africans by blocking the use of genetically modified crops, which he said would "dramatically" boost productivity and provide food across the continent. "Our partners in Europe are impeding this effort. They have blocked all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific fears," Bush said one week before his European trip. "This has caused many African nations to avoid investing in bio-technologies for fear that their products will be shut out of European markets. European governments should join -- not hinder -- the great cause of ending hunger in Africa."
The United States plans to sue the European Union unless it quickly opens its market to millions of dollars of genetically modified products. The European Commission has been trying to get the ban lifted, but some member countries, led by France, have blocked the effort. Biotech crops are engineered to repel predatory insects and better withstand weed killers. Critics say they could endanger human health and cause unforeseen damage to the environment.
From EE Times: May 22, 2003 (1:26 p.m. ET)
U.S. 'negation' policy in space raises concerns abroad By Loring Wirbel
From Reuters: Thu May 22, 2003 05:12 PM ET
Bush Says He Will Sign $350 Billion Tax Cut Plan By Donna Smith
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress prepared on Thursday to pass a $350 billion tax cut plan that President Bush says he will sign even though he once derided that amount as too "little bitty" to boost the economy. ...
Thu May 22, 2003 06:49 PM ET
UN Votes 14-0 to Lift Iraq Sanctions By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 on Thursday to end 13-year-old crippling sanctions on Iraq and gave the United States and Britain extraordinary powers to run the country and its lucrative oil industry. ...
Thu May 22, 2003 07:04 PM ET
United States Imposes New Sanctions on China, Iran
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has imposed sanctions on China and Iran for ballistic missile cooperation and the penalties will deprive one of China's largest conglomerates of more than $100 million in exports to America over the next two years, according to U.S. documents and U.S. officials. ...
Thursday, May 22, 2003 8:09 p.m. ET
Lawmakers Pass $400.5 Billion Defense Bill By Vicki Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $400.5 billion defense bill that ends a decade-long ban on research and development of small nuclear weapons, a step critics said may heighten risks of nuclear war. ...
From AP: Friday, May 23, 2003 09:09 PDT
Senate moves toward letting government boost its borrowing by nearly $1 trillion
by ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican-led Senate neared passage Friday of a bill letting government debt grow by a record $984 billion, overcoming Democrats' attempts to spotlight the federal IOU's that have resumed piling up under the Bush administration...
Looking to intensify pressure on lawmakers to approve the bill without amendments, Republican leaders did not bring the bill to the Senate floor until the House had left town for a weeklong Memorial Day recess. The House had avoided a direct vote on the debt limit by reviving a rule that made its approval of a borrowing increase automatic when Congress finished its annual budget last month. ...
After running annual surpluses during the last four years of the Clinton administration, federal deficits have returned. This year's is expected to well exceed $300 billion, a record, and huge future shortfalls are expected with no end in sight.
Bush's certain signature would boost the government's debt limit to $7.38 trillion, enough to let it borrow money until sometime next year.
The Treasury Department had warned it needed the extension by next week "to preserve the confidence in the U.S. government and to prevent uncertainty that would adversely affect our economic recovery." The current $6.4 trillion limit was breached earlier this year, and Treasury paid its bills by shifting money from government retirement and other funds, maneuvers it said it could not make again.
Failure to extend the borrowing limit could lead to a first-ever federal default -- something neither party wants to be blamed for. ...
From The Washington Post: Saturday, May 24, 2003; Page A04
Congress Sends Bush $350 Billion Tax Cut By Jonathan Weisman
Cheney Casts Tie-Breaking Senate Vote For Plan to Shift Taxes from Investments
Vice President Cheney cast the deciding vote yesterday on a $350 billion tax cut plan, handing President Bush a hard-fought domestic policy victory that Democrats say will only saddle the nation with ever-expanding debt. ... The Senate's 51 to 50 passage of the measure came hours after the House approved it, 231 to 200 ... Just after Congress passed the 10-year tax cut, it was forced to raise the government's borrowing limit by $984 billion, the largest one-time increase ever and one necessitated by an imminent government default on its debts. ...
From the Herald Sun, at News Limited (Australia): May 26, 2003
US plans death camp
THE US has floated plans to turn Guantanamo Bay into a death camp, with its own death row and execution chamber. Prisoners would be tried, convicted and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury and without right of appeal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported yesterday. The plans were revealed by Major-General Geoffrey Miller, who is in charge of 680 suspects from 43 countries, including two Australians. ... The US has already said detainees would be tried by tribunals, without juries or appeals to a higher court. Detainees will be allowed only US lawyers. ...
From BuzzFlash: May 27, 2003
Hate Speak 101 by Maureen Farrell
From ASSOCIATED PRESS at The Toronto Star: May. 28, 2003. 09:23 PM
Anti-U.S. Russo-Chinese alliance may be in works
MOSCOW — Chinese President Hu Jintao called today for a "multipolar world" and a strategic partnership with Russia to counter U.S. dominance while oil executives signed a preliminary deal for a pipeline to carry Siberian oil to China. "The trend toward a multipolar world is irreversible and dominant," Hu said in a speech at a Moscow university specializing in international relations. A joint call for a "multipolar world," the term Russia and China used to describe their shared ambition to offset U.S. global dominance, has cemented the post-Soviet friendship between the two former rivals. ...
From CNN: May 29, 2003: 3:46 PM EDT
The $44 trillion hole? By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money Staff Writer
Recent study says Social Security, Medicare shortfalls could be far bigger than previously thought.
Treasury denies report that deficit paper was 'shelved'
And From AFP: Thu May 29, 6:16 PM ET
Study says real US deficit is 44 trillion dollars
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A study applying rigorous accounting standards to the US budget suggests that the true fiscal deficit -- counting long-term pension and health care liabilities -- is a whopping 44 trillion dollars. ...
From AP: Thu May 29, 5:34 PM ET
Canada, U.S. to Talk Missile Defense By EMMA TINKLER, Associated Press Writer
TORONTO - Canada announced Thursday it will enter formal talks with the United States about joining a proposed missile defense system but only if the program meets the Canadian national interest. ...
From Reuters: Mon Jun 2,12:45 PM ET
FCC Loosens Media Ownership Limits By Jeremy Pelofsky
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. communications regulators on Monday narrowly approved sweeping new rules that will allow television broadcasters to expand their reach, despite fears about reducing the diversity of viewpoints. ...
"FCC Sets Limits On Media Concentration"
"Statement Of Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein Dissenting"
"Statement Of Commissioner Michael J. Copps, Dissenting"
From Reuters At The Cape Argus (S.Africa): June 02 2003 at 10:40AM
US will destroy its enemies, says Cheney
The United States will not pursue deterrence or containment policies in its so-called war on terrorism but would instead seek to utterly destroy its enemies, said US Vice-President Dick Cheney. ... "The battle of Iraq was a major victory in the war on terror but the war itself is far from over," said Cheney. ... "If there is anyone in the world today who doubts the seriousness of the Bush doctrine, I would urge that person to consider the fate of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein's regime." He hailed the US victory in Iraq as proof that the American military is the best in the world.
(Also, at Defense Link:)
Vice President Tells West Point Cadets "Bush Doctrine" Is Serious
From NewsMax: Wednesday, June 4, 2003
Administration to Announce 'Rollback' Strategy for WMD by Phil Brennan
The Bush administration will tell Congress in open hearings Wednesday that the threat of weapons of mass destruction remains so real the U.S. may have to use military force again to stop their proliferation. In the strongest policy statement yet made, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton will reveal to the House’s Committee on International Relations the administration’s "roll back" doctrine in dealing with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Bolton will use his testimony to not only justify the U.S. war on Iraq, but also explain why the U.S. may engage in military conflict with other rogue states in the near future. ...
From AFP (France): Thu Jun 5, 4:44 AM ET
US to eliminate WMD in all rogue states, by force if necessary
From The Boston Globe: 6/8/2003
Expanding role of Defense Department spurs concerns By Robert Schlesinger
Some say officials overstep bounds, limit other agencies
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Defense's responsibilities have grown beyond anything that military commanders had imagined at the end of the Cold War, according to national security specialists; some have voiced worry that the department's expanding roles could tax the Pentagon's resources or compromise some civilian authorities. ...
From the Telegraph (UK): (Filed: 08/06/2003)
Now the US wants control of space By Julian Coman in Washington
The United States is planning to take control of parts of space and develop patrolling military aircraft in orbit as part of a revived Star Wars proposal for an American military empire above the ozone layer. According to James Roche, the US Air Force Secretary, America's allies would have "no veto power" over projects designed to achieve American military control of space. The key theme of the ambitious plans is described as "negation" - the denial of the use of space for military intelligence, or other purposes, without American endorsement. The plans come after the successful use of global positioning satellites (GPS) and other space technology during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the intelligence agency that is responsible for US spy satellites, is to develop a strategy that ensures America's allies, as well as its enemies, never gain access to the same space resources without Washington's permission. Recent proposals that have been circulated at Space Command and NRO briefings suggest that access to "near-earth space" may be refused to other nations.
All GPS satellites are located within near-earth space, which covers the orbital distance from Earth to the moon. A fleet of spacecraft will be developed, designed to attack and destroy future satellites of enemies and rivals. The rapid-launch "military space plane," the potential cost of which has not been disclosed, would also be used as a mobile "bodyguard" for US space installations. It would be the first "space plane" in history with a directly military function. A prototype is expected by 2005 although military deployment is not expected before 2014. "It will hopefully be a new kind of vehicle, equipped for the challenges of the future," said a Pentagon official.
After the recent military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, US Air Force Command claimed that American forces on the ground had a decisive advantage in gathering intelligence and targeting enemy troop positions. As a result, the Pentagon believes that the struggle to control space will form the next stage of a global arms race. Its plans confirm that America expects space to be "weaponised" in the medium-term future, and is determined to take an unassailable technological lead. ...
From The NYT: June 12, 2003
O.A.S. Votes Against U.S. Candidate for Human Rights Group By LARRY ROHTER
From OneWorld: Thu Jun 12,11:00 AM ET
U.S. Conservatives Take Aim at NGOs by Jim Lobe
Some Recent Commentaries: June 13, 2003
The CFR - NeoCon Connection By James Hall
Winning Hearts and Minds With Rifle Butts By Thomas W. Chittum
Bush Family Whitewashing in Iraq and Nazi Germany By CHRIS FLOYD
Midnight Ride of the Rabble by Thom Hartmann
Pinter blasts 'Nazi America' and 'deluded idiot' Blair
David Rozelle: Drifting toward fascism
Hawks turned media into parrots By ANTONIA ZERBISIAS
'Some Crazy Guy' By PAUL KRUGMAN
From Reuters at The Washington Post: Saturday, June 14, 2003; 1:29 PM
France Chides Washington Over 'My Way' World View By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) - France's defense minister took a double swipe at the United States on Saturday, accusing her counterpart Donald Rumsfeld of American supremacism and U.S. industry of waging "economic war" on Europe. ...
From the St. Petersburg Times: published June 14, 2003
Graham quiet about his role on Patriot Act By BILL ADAIR, Times Staff Writer
On the campaign trail, he isn't bringing up that he co-wrote the controversial bill in the Senate.
WASHINGTON - When Sen. Bob Graham campaigned in Iowa last weekend, at least two Democratic activists complained that the USA Patriot Act threatened civil liberties. They asked what he planned to do about it. The Florida senator replied that he was unhappy with Attorney General John Ashcroft's implementation of the antiterrorism law, but Graham neglected to mention an important fact: He co-wrote it. ...
From AlterNet: June 18, 2003:
The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney By Greg Palast
From AFP: Thu Jun 19,11:08 AM ET
Sea-based missile defense test fails
WASHINGTON (AFP) - An interceptor missile fired from an Aegis cruiser failed to intercept its target over the Pacific in the first unsuccessful test of a sea-based missile defense system that the United States hopes to deploy by 2005, officials said. ...
From CBS News: June 25, 2003
Bush: Hamas Must Go
JERUSALEM, (CBS/AP) President Bush said Wednesday that Hamas and militant Palestinian groups like it must be dismantled in order to achieve peace in the Mideast. ...
From the Telegraph (UK): (Filed: 27/06/2003)
Hamas leaders caught off guard by Bush's divine mission By Alan Philps in Jerusalem
From the Telegraph: (Filed: 27/06/2003)
Bush threatens to pacify Liberia By Tim Butcher, Africa Correspondent
From AP: (06-26) 15:46 PDT WASHINGTON (AP)
Bush calls for Liberia's Taylor to step aside by SCOTT LINDLAW
From Ha'aretz (Israel): Saturday, June 28, 2003 Sivan 28, 5763
`Road map is a life saver for us,' PM Abbas tells Hamas By Arnon Regular
Selected minutes acquired by Haaretz from one of
last week's cease-fire negotiations between
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and
faction leaders from the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and
the Popular and Democratic Fronts, reveal some of
the factors at play behind the scenes in the
effort to achieve a hudna. ...
Abbas said that at Aqaba, Bush promised to speak
with Sharon about the siege on Arafat. He said
nobody can speak to or pressure Sharon except
the Americans. According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush
said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I
struck them, and then he instructed me to
strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am
determined to solve the problem in the Middle
East. If you help me I will act, and if not,
the elections will come and I will have to
focus on them."
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