March 28, 2003
World Media Watch
by Gloria R. Lalumia
BUZZFLASH NOTE: Once again, these are the views and perspectives of the individual papers, not of BuzzFlash or Gloria. They offer BuzzFlash readers a way of reading what other nations are saying about the crisis, whether we like it or not. We repeat: This is not an endorsement of their viewpoints.
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1//Foreign Policy in Focus, USA--NEOCONSERVATIVES ENLIST
DEMOCRATS FOR POST-WAR GOALS (In apparent anticipation of Rumsfeld
and other Republican right-wingers wanting to get out of Iraq relatively
early, the neoconservatives are recruiting Clinton veterans to press
for a longer and more comprehensive U.S. commitment to transforming
Iraq and the greater Middle East.)
4//Mail and Guardian, South Africa--ANGOLA REAPPEARS ON PRO-WAR COALITION LIST (White House officials declined to explain the return of Angola, which had first appeared on the coalition list on March 20th, only to vanish from its ranks a day later. They also refused to comment on an official statement from Solomon Islands Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza disassociating his nation -- which appears on the list -- from the coalition.)
5//Daily Times, Pakistan--NORTH KOREA BOOSTS MILITARY SPENDING (North Korea boosted its budgetary expenditure this year by 14.4 percent, on Wednesday requiring the sale of state bonds for the first time since the 1950-53 Korean War, said the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday. North Korean Finance Minister Mun Il-Bong said the increase was needed to develop defence industry and train troops "as an invincible army." Top priority will be given to the production of materials needed for boosting military power and "turning the whole country into a fortress," he said in a report to the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA).)
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Policy in Focus March 24, 2003
NEOCONSERVATIVES ENLIST DEMOCRATS FOR POST-WAR GOALS
(Jim Lobe is a political analyst with Foreign Policy in Focus (online at www.fpif.org). He also writes regularly for Inter Press Service.)
But while Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bolton are traditional right-wing Republicans, most of PNAC's backers are neoconservatives--mostly former Democrats, or even Trotskyites, who moved to the right in reaction to the anti-Vietnam War movement and the UN's denunciations of Israel in the late 1960s and 1970s. While they share the unilateralism of Republican right-wingers, they tend to be much more committed to the idea that the United States has a global mission to fulfill, and that the U.S. political and economic "model" should be exported to the rest of the world, by force if necessary.
During the 1990s, for example, they excoriated right-wing Republican lawmakers who opposed Clinton's interventions in the Balkans and even in Haiti for neo-isolationism and for betraying Washington's mission to export democracy and protect vulnerable minorities. And, despite their influence within the Bush administration, they have loudly criticized it for failing to devote more resources--particularly in security and reconstruction aid--to Afghanistan after ousting the Taliban regime in late 2001.
Those same criticisms have been voiced by Democrats in Congress who continue to complain that the administration's reliance on military power in the conduct of foreign affairs has been far too narrow. The failure to provide more economic or security support, according to this view, could result in Afghanistan returning to its previous status as a "failed state" in which terrorists could flourish. Within the administration, however, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice have rejected these arguments, insisting that the United States should not be in the business of "nation-building" or "social work."
A similar split appears to be developing over Iraq. "For the hard (Republican) right, this is really about getting Saddam Hussein and these weapons of mass destruction and taking out what they see as a threat to American security, and then they're really going to want to come home," says Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations. "I think Rumsfeld just doesn't want to re-make the Middle East; he probably approaches that task with revulsion." Liberals, on the other hand, "might back a kind of Good Samaritan, let's-occupy-and-change-or-pacify-Islam (project)," Kupchan says.
That appears to be the tack the neoconservatives at PNAC are now taking. In apparent anticipation of Rumsfeld and other Republican right-wingers wanting to get out of Iraq relatively early, the neoconservatives are recruiting Clinton veterans to press for a longer and more comprehensive U.S. commitment to transforming Iraq and the greater Middle East.
Thus, among the signers who have never before been associated with PNAC, are Robert Asmus, a former deputy secretary of state for Europe; Ivo Daalder, a prominent member of Clinton's National Security Council staff; Robert Gelbard, a former U.S. ambassador to Chile and Indonesia; Martin Indyk, Clinton's ambassador to Israel; Dennis Ross, his chief adviser on Palestinian-Israeli negotiations; Walter Slocombe, Clinton's top policy official at the Pentagon; and, most important, James Steinberg, Clinton's deputy national security adviser who now heads foreign policy studies at the influential Brookings Institution.
SOLDIERS BUILD SECRET CAMP TO INTERN THOUSANDS OF IRAQI CAPTIVES
British and American soldiers are building an internment camp at a secret location inside Iraq to hold thousands of prisoners of war from Saddam Hussein's forces. So far they have not disclosed the location, even to the Red Cross which has a right under international law to visit prisoners.
About 500 British soldiers from the Queen's Dragoon Guards are among
those troops involved in building the camp close to the Kuwaiti border.
It will have feeding stations, washing facilities and
Earlier this week, General Tommy Franks, the officer overseeing the US-led war, said American and British forces had taken about 3,000 Iraqi prisoners of war. Iraq is holding at least seven Americans.
According to the Geneva Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has the right to visit PoWs and speak to them in private. In the build-up to the current conflict, represent-atives from the ICRC met senior officials from both Washington and Baghdad to discuss arrangements for any PoWs and access for the independent visitors.
In addition to allowing PoWs access to visitors from the ICRC, the Geneva Conventions state that PoWs should have adequate food, water and tobacco. They are to be housed in the same conditions available to their captors and they are to be released at the cessation of hostilities.
Rations provided to the Iraqi prisoners have included two bottles of water, a large box of processed cheese, canned stuffed aubergines, a carton of chocolate milk, sweet biscuits, two tins of chicken luncheon meat, a can of orange juice, a tin of tuna steak in sunflower oil, a tub of honey and two spoons.
IVANOV RIDICULES 'WAR OF LIBERATION'
Thursday, Mar. 27, 2003
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov warned the United States on Wednesday not to start a propaganda war against Russia and ridiculed Washington's efforts to portray the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq as a war of liberation.
As well as that outburst of criticism reminiscent of the Cold War, Ivanov called for the ratification of a U.S.-Russian arms reduction treaty to be delayed until the flare-up in tensions between the two countries over Iraq subsides.
The treaty needs to be ratified by both houses of parliament. Just last week pro-Kremlin lawmakers such as Mikhail Margelov, the chairman of the Federation Council's international affairs committee, were expressing hope that it would be ratified within days despite the tensions over Iraq.
Those hopes faded Wednesday as the more reserved Federation Council followed the Duma's lead and passed a resolution condemning the war. After Ivanov's critical speech, senators even amended the resolution to include stronger language such as the word "aggression" -- despite a protest by Margelov that the word should be used only if the war was condemned by the UN Security Council.
In his speech, Ivanov reiterated Russia's position that by waging war without the UN Security Council's blessing, the U.S.-led coalition is "in violation of international law."
He also said the war has become a threat to international stability.
Ivanov then slammed the United States for growing civilian casualties in Iraq and mocked Bush's pre-war pledge that the day of liberation for the Iraqi people was coming.
After condemning the war, Ivanov criticized the Bush administration for airing allegations that Russian companies had supplied Saddam Hussein's regime with defense equipment in violation of a UN arms embargo.
"We are seriously concerned about attempts by certain circles in the United States to drag Russia into an information war over Iraq by making unfounded allegations that Russian companies have supplied Iraq with some defense equipment," Ivanov said.
A recent poll, meanwhile, shows a drastic rise in anti-U.S. sentiment over the war. Some 45 percent of those questioned said they sympathize with Iraq, and 55 percent voiced a negative attitude toward the United States.
0nly 5 percent of 1,600 respondents in a nationwide poll completed
earlier this week by VTsIOM said they sympathize with the United
States. The poll had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
ANGOLA REAPPEARS ON PRO-WAR COALITION LIST
Four days after Angola vanished from the US-led "coalition of the willing" supporting war against Iraq, the African country has reappeared on the White House list of nations publicly supporting the effort.
According to the latest version of the list, available on the official www.whitehouse.gov Internet site since late on Tuesday, Ukraine has also agreed to be named as backing Washington's push to disarm and topple Saddam Hussein.
The latest additions brought to 48 the total number of nations that have agreed to be named as members of what US President George Bush has called the "coalition of the willing."
White House officials declined to explain the return of Angola, which had first appeared on the coalition list on March 20th, only to vanish from its ranks a day later.
They also refused to comment on an official statement from Solomon Islands Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza disassociating his nation -- which appears on the list -- from the coalition.
"The government is completely unaware of such statements being made, therefore wishes to disassociate itself from the report," said Kemakeza.
NORTH KOREA BOOSTS MILITARY SPENDING
SEOUL (AFP): North Korea boosted its budgetary expenditure this year by 14.4 percent, on Wednesday requiring the sale of state bonds for the first time since the 1950-53 Korean War, said the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday.
North Korean Finance Minister Mun Il-Bong said the increase was needed to develop defence industry and train troops "as an invincible army." Top priority will be given to the production of materials needed for boosting military power and "turning the whole country into a fortress," he said in a report to the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA).
South Korean Unification Minister Jeong-Se-Hyun said the bond issue highlights North Korea's economic woes aggravated by a five-month nuclear standoff with the United States. North Korea has recently stepped up propaganda to hype its people in preparation for what they fear is an impending US attack.
The impoverished country has been hit by food and energy shortages since 1995, with natural disasters exacerbating its struggle for survival and its energy crisis has deepened after the US and its allies withdrew fuel aid after Pyongyang admitted a secret nuclear programme breach of a 1994 accord with Washington. Pyongyang has vowed to fire up a nuclear power reactor mothballed under the 1994 accord to meet its energy needs.
North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-Il and top military officials missed the crucial SPA session for the first time in five years, monitors in Seoul said. Kim's public activities have not been reported since his last publicised appearance on February 12 for his 61st birthday, but Kim has made frequent visits to military units ever since the nuclear crises erupted October last year.
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© 2003, Gloria R. Lalumia, email@example.com
Radio for the Left at http://www.zianet.com/insightanalytical/radio.htm
otherwise noted, all original