Sunday, September 18, 2005


Around the world

Thanks to Information Clearing House, I stumbled across Foreign Policy in Focus, with a number of interesting articles: Sonali Kolhatkar and Jim Ingalls say "The United States has supposedly created new “democracies” in Afghanistan and Iraq, but these endeavors give democracy a bad name. " Best quote: According to the magazine Stars and Stripes, “the recent surge in fighting could be attributed more to American aggressiveness than anything al-Qaida is doing.” U.S. troops have conducted “a series of operations in areas where U.S. presence has been minimal or nonexistent” to try to provoke attacks on themselves and thereby catch “terrorists” in the act. “I think we’re initiating the overwhelming majority of the actions,” said Brigadier-General James Champion. Colonel Daniel Smith sees significant repercussions from the apparently accidental death by helicopter crash in Sudan of the vice president. He also mentions that the National Intelligence Estimate now has Iran as 10 years away from a bomb. Bennis and Leaver say Iraq is more expensive than Vietnam, with operating costs of $5.6B/month. That makes the cost $727/American man-woman-child. There are 25,000 contractors in Iraq, and 106 bases. Four permanent bases, one at each end of Iraq, are planned. Ten percent of the troops are under stop-loss.
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