HSL / Newsletter Sample

War & Peace
May 2003

(Didn’t someone write a book about that?) ••People are still uptight re war views, but it’s starting to cool down now the war is over. But pro-war NYT columnist Thomas L. Friedman notes extremism still exists. Says: “When U see the way war critics— from the DixieChicks to Tom Daschle—have been savaged by conservatives, it feels as if some people want to use this war to create a multi-party democracy in Iraq & a 1-party state in the USA.” He adds “The challenge to Bush is not to take the good thing he has done & cast it into an ideological framework that will make many people resent it—at home & abroad.”

This war was advertised as: Shock & Awe. 1st was shock & Oh! Then shock & Oye! Then shock & err? Then shock& ah. ••Boston Globe reports: “US already looks to re-arm Iraq. White House seeks to open door for US defense firms. Some say the war is amounting to an advertisement for US planes & tanks.” I guess that will help pay for the war. but U can see hackles rising. ••FT headline: BBC chief accuses US media of bias in Iraq war. Mr Dyke said no news operation in the US “is strong enough or brave enough to stand up against the govt-influenced all powerful networks.” Said many “US networks wrapped themselves in the flag. The BBC cannot afford a mix of patriotism & journalism as is happening in the US, which undermines the credibility of US TV.” Everyone outside the US knows this but I printed that for those who don’t access worldwide press. I urge U do, for financial, social & political balance, all the time. In the US U can buy the Financial Times or IHTribune in big cities or watch BBC World via a limited TV svc it provides, & BBC radio. Some web sites can help. Spread your wings.

Press coverage of the Iraq war was all over the place— some too blinkered & patriotic, some too critical & unsympathetic. One unfair aspect was nicely described by Victor D. Hanson, contributing writer for National Review. On April 14, he wrote: “I turned on NPR. No surprise. Its coverage was fixated on the looting, & aired several stories re the shortcomings of US efforts. Forget that a war was still waging in the north,& Baghdad was still not entirely pacified. No, instead there must be furor that the US had not in a matter of hours turned its military machine into an instantaneous police, fire dept, water, medical, & electric power corps.” U can read the full version at:
www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson041403.asp

U may be amused to know that the French are being extra polite to tourists, especially Americans. Partly this is to show they distinguish between Americans as individuals & the Bush govt which they feel has lost its way. Some hotels are 1/2 empty for lack of tourists. Prices are down & dickering can be done. Ironically, many say it’s the best time ever for Euro travel. No crowds, better prices & service & plenty of taxis.

Maybe I’m quite wrong, but IMO this entire global disconnect could have been avoided if the Azores meeting of US/ UK/Spain had not taken place, or if they hadn’t decided, trilaterally (on behalf of the world), that they would not go back to the UN (as planned) for a resolution backing a war if UN conditions not met. They should have put it to a vote. IMO, when it came right down to it, the nations opposed to war would not have vetoed at the last minute, despite the huff&puff. Not Russia, China, Germany or France. Or if 1 or more nations did veto, we’d have that on record, with no doubts. But we will now never know if they were serious or bluffing or speaking politically to their home audience. We won’t know as the self-anointed trio deprived us of that knowledge. There might well have been a broad coalition. As it is, we have the Disunited Nations & ill will. The trio meant well, but they took too much on themselves, without a global right to do so. To me this missed opportunity is obvious, but nobody seems to have thought/said it.

The Iraq war is having geopolitical repercussions Mr. Bush could not have imagined. The future is being redesigned. The world’s oldest & one of best intelligence reports, DeCourcy, notes: “It will create a European military/political counterweight to the US; it’s driving Russia to consolidate its presence in Central Asia & forge closer links with China; it’s driving India to rapprochement with China (& its determination to build up its nuclear capability); it’s driving Brazil to create a regional defence with Argentina; it’s driving Iran to create an Iran-Turkey-Syria axis; it’s driving No. Korea to further arm itself with nuclear weapons, & it’s giving Tony Blair sleepless nights as the development of this multi-polar world will force him to the one decision he’s desperate to avoid: choosing between Europe & the US.” www.courcyint.com

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