Saturday, March 29, 2003

America's Credibility, from the Arab News
Why do Arabs and Muslims sympathize with an oppressive regime like that of dictator Saddam Hussein? (commentary)

Friday, March 28, 2003

Monkeys do our bidding
Moroccans may send monkeys to help fight the war.
Top officials shift on war
Then:"I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." [Adelman, Feb 2002] "Because it was basically over before anybody touched Iraqi soil, as a result of the air campaign. And our abilities today are by orders of magnitude better than they were then." [Perle, April 2002]
"Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991." [Perle, July 2002]
Now: "I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war." [Ledeen, March 2003]
(salon, weblog, and worried commentary)
Whose war?
Andrew Sullivan asserts U.N., Clinton among architects of the war in Iraq.
California Energy Crisis: how did officials get it so wrong?
Paul Krugman answers: 'incestuous amplification,' defined by Jane's Defense Weekly as 'a condition in warfare where one only listens to those who are already in lock-step agreement, reinforcing set beliefs and creating a situation ripe for miscalculation.'
Miscalculations with Turkey cost lives
...[the administration] undercut its own efforts to broaden international support for war by allowing its war plan to dictate the pace of its diplomacy and commentary suggests that this isn't the first time.
Unemployment, uncertainty stall consumer spending
Consumers are growing increasingly cautious in their spending and the income to support future spending is weakening...
Radical nonproliferation strategy makes U.S. less secure?
To administration radicals..., nuclear weapons per se are not the problem -- "bad guys" with them are. Rejecting the fundamental premise of the NPT, these officials seek... to eradicate the bad guys or their weapons while leaving the 'good guys' free of nuclear constraints.
Eight years of scholarship on Iraq
Eight articles from Foreign Affairs offer a historical perspective on our relationship with Iraq.
After Iraq, Syria?
Rumsfeld said that Iraqi forces were being helped by shipments from Syria..."These deliveries pose a direct threat to the lives of coalition forces." (Or has this been the place all along?)
'No matter what you think, they're following... orders.'
Parents are proud - and scared. Katy Hall didn’t sleep Wednesday night. She spent the hours with 'my new family member, CNN.'

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Spiritual Help Following Military Intervention
A conservative Christian organization is working with the government to help with the humanitarian effort. We understand that the individual people of Iraq have done nothing to hurt us. We want to help them to have true freedom in Jesus Christ. (A few months ago, the organizer called Islam "a wicked religion").
Iraqi Telephones and American Jobs
If the U.S. government deploys U.S.- developed CDMA in Iraq, then American companies will manufacture most of the necessary equipment here in the United States and benefit from the associated royalties, wrote Rep. Issa
Ashcroft plan would authorize DNA database, secret searches
Under the mantle of 'national security interests,' Attorney General Ashcroft is crafting 'Patriot' Act II, to give the Attorney General the right to revoke citizenship, build a national DNA database, and give law enforcement the authority to perform secret searches of private property.
A view from Baghdad
Just or not, war is brutal. More than 20 Iraqi civilians, torn to pieces before they could be liberated... (commentary)
U.S. makes post-Iraq plans
"We didn't take on this huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have a significant dominating control over how it unfolds in the future"
U.S. Walks Out of UN Debate
Negroponte had heard enough from the Iraqi delegate: He said he was fed up with hearing preposterous allegations against the US.
U.S. faces curses as well as welcomes in Iraq
This was no welcome. Same village that last week greeted U.S. troops as liberators this week charge 'You brought us chaos.'
Tax cuts won't help the economy, says CBO
WSJ:The Congressional Budget Office said that President Bush's tax and spending proposals will do far less to spur economic growth in coming years than the White House suggests -- and might not provide any kick at all. (Partially reprinted here).
Military names depots after oil companies
...the 101st Airborne Division had named one central Iraq outpost Forward Operating Base Shell and another Forward Operating Base Exxon....
FERC catches up to Enron 2 yrs later
December, 2000:"The California market structure and rules provide the opportunity for sellers to exercise market power when supply is tight."
March 2003:"It took two years for FERC to confirm what we knew all along: there was widespread market manipulation and a massive rip-off of California ratepayers."
U.S. Officials now say war could take months
Dick Cheney, March 10: my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators
Washington Post, March 27: If [the Iraqi people] don't turn, and so far they haven't, we have a very different strategic problem facing us than when we went in.
In interviews, Cheney said he learned it from exiles: "Such is their extreme desire to return to their homes that they naturally believe many things that are not true, and add many others on purpose." (Machiavelli, Discourses, II, 31; NY Times Q&A)
Picking fights with the neighbors
What about Canada, or Mexico? Canada doesn't support U.S. military action in Iraw. But if the tables were turned,"There would be no debate. There would be no hesitation. We would be there for Canada, part of our family, and that is why so many in the United States are disappointed and upset that Canada is not fully supporting us now."

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Coalition contributes few arms
The coalition of the willing is short on military might. It's rather symbolic," said Hersey Kyota, Palau's ambassador to Washington. One might question Uzbekistan's commitment... (and more on Uzbekistan )
Senate concerned about wartime tax cut
The Senate unexpectedly reversed itself Tuesday, voting to slash more than half of President Bush's proposed $726 billion tax cut.
Halliburton gets Iraqi oil contract
The US army said it gave the main Iraqi oil well firefighting contract to a unit of Halliburton Co., a firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, without any bidding.
Does flag waving boost news ratings?
"We Report, You Decide." Despite CNN's overwhelming advantage in reporting manpower, more Americans -- at least so far -- want to watch the war unfold on Fox. Is Fox's morale-boosting style winning over viewers?
House approves call for day of prayer and fasting
House of Representatives HR 153 IH: A resolution ...to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities. Some legislators express concern over interjecting religion into a war that others already see as jihad.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Leading unemployment indicator at 4-month high
The number of workers continuing to file for benefits rose to 3.55 million in the week ended March 8, the latest week for which data were available, from a revised 3.48 million the previous week and was at its highest in four months.
Organized crime moving into Afganistan
Remember Afghanistan? Local bosses and drug traffickers are entering the vacuum created by the Karzai regime. The U.S., eager to bring the message of the West to Iraq, seems to be turning a blind eye.
The U.S. supported Iraq under Reagan
Donald Rumsfeld, now Secretary of Defense, was sent to improve relations with Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
U.S. Senate: Record deficits make tax cuts unwise
"The wavering centrists heeded the orders delivered by the White House and Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to support the president while he waged war in Iraq. They, however, made it clear they voted for the budget only because they expect a more acceptable version to emerge from negotiations between the House and Senate. "
Are we liberators or conquerors?
The U.K. says "We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them." The U.S. says "Let's put it this way-- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies."
Bush administration strengthens document secrecy
Under a Clinton order, government documents were to be declassified quickly. A new executive order "signals a preference for secrecy."
The Whitehouse comments on the beginning of the war
"Americans ought to be prepared for loss of life," commented Ari Fleischer. Caught on camera before the televised speech began, George W. Bush says, "Feels good."
Budget plan may double deficit, but cuts funds for kids
An ounce of prevention can seem expensive when you've got other spending priorities. ...the most effective anti-crime strategies -- and the least expensive -- are early childhood education, after-school programs and serious mentoring of at-kids. But funds for these programs are cut in Bush's budget proposal. (commentary)
Moderate Republicans fail to halve tax cuts
On the ballooning deficit... "We're on the edge of a fiscal crisis in this country if we keep going the way we are, particularly with this war that's hanging over us today," Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio).
Turkey may occupy Northern Iraq
Over U.S. objections, Turkey makes plans to send troops to Northern Iraq.. "Speaking loudly and carrying a big stick wins you tactical victories from time to time, but not a strategic victory."