Recent postings on Supporting facts
marvin.gandall at sympatico.ca
Fri Mar 14 10:33:05 MST 2003
The following items have been posted during the past two weeks on
www.supportingfacts.com. The full text of each article is preceded by a
The global economy is in worse shape than many thought before this winter
began, and the economic and financial headlines could get worse before they
get better, says the Economist.
Tony Blair thinks all will be forgiven when images are shown of Iraqis
cheering their British and American liberators, but Seumus Milne of the
Guardian thinks he and his Labour government will never recover.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the US, anticipating large-scale
destruction, is inviting bids from American companies to rebuild the Iraqi
infrastructure it intends to bomb.
Under the guise of press freedom, the Pentagon is “embedding” hundreds of
journalists into combat units on the assumption they will bond with the
troops and serve as instruments of US war propaganda.
Fortune magazine says employees counting on company pensions to help fund
their retirements may be in for a rude awakening when corporations renege on
their commitments and slash benefits by as much as half.
US CHEMICAL WARFARE
The Independent reports the US is preparing to use pepper spray, CS gas and
other toxic agents in Iraq, including ones similar to the chemical that
killed 120 Moscow hostages last year.
SIEGE OF BAGHDAD
The US is continuing to deploy its forces for a sprint to Baghdad, writes
military historian John Keegan in the Daily Telegraph, but he may be overly
optimistic that the city will fall without a fight.
HAMAS SUPPLANTS PLO
Hamas has displaced the PLO as the leading Palestinian faction – with no
small assist from the Israelis, according to an analysis in Ha’aretz.
Provoked by US unilateralism, governments everywhere are having to choose
between elite anxieties and an aroused public opinion – including in France,
where the outcome is still uncertain.
Perry Anderson argues that contemporary antiwar movements lack staying power
because they have illusions about the UN and the possession of nuclear
weapons by smaller states.
Post-9/11 restrictions on civil liberties are under scrutiny in the US,
reports the New York Times, and if they are loosened, it will have more to
do with economics than liberal morality.
It will be interesting to see whether UN diplomats react with cynicism or
outrage to revelations by Britain’s Sunday Observer that US intelligence is
monitoring their confidential communications.
Unami, says the London Times, stands for United Nations Assistance Mission
in Iraq – a secret group established by the UN in violation of its own
charter – charged with forming a new post-invasion Iraqi government.
NOT ACCORDING TO PLAN
The war hawks not only expected the US’s reluctant allies to have fallen
into line by now, but also the first signs of an Iraqi coup or uprising to
have emerged. Neither has yet transpired.
An article in the Washington Post describing reform efforts in Saudi Arabia
points to the dilemma confronting US foreign policy: democratization is
likely to bring to power forces hostile to its interests.
The resistance to US war plans by the leading European powers is intended as
a warning they can’t be ignored, but whether they will veto an American
resolution at the UN remains an open question.
TURK REVERSAL LOOMS
Defying public opinion, the hard-pressed Turkish government will likely
succeed in reversing a parliamentary vote denying access to US forces to
launch an invasion of northern Iraq.
Time magazine says White House officials publicly talk about liberation but
privately concede the aim is to “take over Iraq, plain and simple” and
impose strong military control over the country.
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