But the Bush administration’s policy of “strike first” is more like “Talk loudly and get in everyone’s face.” For America’s allies, the new Bush Doctrine of attacking people before they attack us, known as “first strike,” is another example of a bull-in-a-china shop approach to world affairs.
Heavy Words or Heavy Actions: Stop U.S. Weapons Sales to Israel
The Bush administration has sharply criticized Israel’s latest attack on a densely populated neighborhood in the Gaza Strip, calling it a “heavy handed action that will not contribute to the peace.”
Dirty Bomb Investigation Targets Central Asia and The Caucasus
The May arrest of Jose Padilla, the Brooklyn-born Muslim accused of planning to build a radiological “dirty bomb” within the United States, has helped focus attention on the issue of access to radioactive materials. The Caucasus and Central Asia have emerged as a particular area of concern, as reliable controls over radioactive materials in those regions have broken down. U.S. officials are now pushing for better monitoring of such materials.
The BUSHARON Global War
The BUSHARON Global War By Lev Grinberg July 8, 2002
Venezuela’s Failed Coup, the U.S.’ Role, and the Future of Hugo Chávez
On Monday, April 15, the day after his dramatic return to power, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez called for a “national dialogue.” He acknowledged the “large number of Venezuelans who were in disagreement with the government, and who would continue to demonstrate peacefully,” and he called for a lowering of the levels of confrontation in Venezuela. The current polarization, he said “is not positive. There has to be communication among the different sectors” of Venezuelan society.
Fallacies of U.S. Plans to Invade Iraq
In the months following the September 11 terrorist attacks, there were leaks to the media about alleged evidence of a meeting in Prague between an Iraqi intelligence officer and one of the hijackers of the doomed airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Subsequently, however, both the FBI and CIA have declared that no such meeting occurred. It is unlikely that the decidedly secular Baathist regime–which has savagely suppressed Islamists within Iraq–would be able to maintain close links with Bin Laden and his followers. Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal, his country’s former intelligence chief, noted how Bin Laden views Saddam Hussein “as an apostate, an infidel or someone who is not worthy of being a fellow Muslim.” Much of the money trail for Al Qaeda comes from U.S. ally Saudi Arabia; none has been traced to Iraq. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudi; none were Iraqi. Admitting that there was no evidence of direct links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the best that CIA Director George Tenet could come up with in testimony before Congress was that the “mutual antipathy” the two have for the U.S. “suggests that tactical cooperation between the two is possible.” Most observers consider this to be an extraordinarily weak justification for war.
America’s Nuclear End Game
With India and Pakistan poised on the edge of war, it is hard to focus on much other than preventing a nuclear holocaust in South Asia. But even if the rounds of shuttle diplomacy manage to ease the tension between the two countries, any respite promises to be temporary unless the major powers finally fulfill a pledge they made 34 years ago to abolish nuclear weapons.
Military Training Programs: A Need for Oversight and Human Rights Courses
Beginning the first week of June, the Senate is debating an “emergency” supplemental budget bill to fight terrorism–and part of that White House request should be rejected. President George W. Bush is asking for a sharp increase in foreign military aid–including an extra $1 billion for training programs and other forms of military assistance–and he also wants Congress to lift all aid restrictions based on human rights concerns.
Nuclear War in South Asia
There is a history of war in South Asia. India and Pakistan fought in 1948, 1965, 1971, and 1999. There is good evidence that in no case was there the expectation of a war on the scale and of the kind that ensued. Rather, war followed misadventure, driven by profound errors of policy, political and military judgement, and public sentiment. Nuclear weapons do nothing to lessen such possibilities. There is even reason to believe they may make them worse in South Asia. One lesson of the 1999 Kargil war is that Pakistan saw its newly acquired nuclear weapons as a shield from behind which it could fuel and stoke the conflict in Kashmir, safe from any possible Indian retaliation. During this war, nuclear threats were made publicly by leaders on both sides. It took international intervention to stop the slide to a larger, more destructive war.
Supporting Indonesia’s Military Bad Idea Second Time Around
As part of the war on terrorism, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently called for rebuilding military relations with the Indonesian army. In a joint May 13 press conference with his Indonesian counterpart, Matori Abdul Djalil, Rumsfeld said the Bush administration intended to work with Congress, “to reestablish the kind of military-to-military relations which we believe are appropriate.”