|April, 2002 link archive
High above the Church of the Nativity, Israeli snipers have the birthplace of Christ in their crosshairs.
"Poll: U.S. Sympathy for Israel Prevails."
"More Britons support Palestinians, says poll."
Robert Fisk watches a savage Palestinian mob turn on its own.
Thomas Friedman writes that the U.S. must get Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat to face up to what each wants to ignore: "Abdullah wants to ignore yesterday, Sharon wants to ignore tomorrow, and Arafat wants to ignore today."
Ahmad Faruqui refutes the popularly-held notion that Arafat walked away from a sweet deal when he rejected the Clinton-Barak peace proposal.
Why Mr. Bush's tongue is Mr. Powell's worst nightmare.
President Bush is at a 69% approval rating in the latest Zogby poll, as Gore doubles his lead over Hillary Clinton for the 2004 nomination.
How conservative philanthropies and think tanks use money and op-ed clout to frame an issue.
Robert Young Pelton is an adventure writer with an "affinity for war zones and rebel causes." In an interview with Salon, he talks about outmaneuvering traditional journalists in Afghanistan to come back with an unsanitized version of the "war on terrorism" story.
Take a trip to Hezbollah country.
Sex scandal meeting highlights the cultural chasm between the Vatican and U.S. Catholics.
The U.S. has engineered the ouster of a second international agency head in four days. One wanted Iraq to submit to new weapons inspections and the other advocated action against global warming.
U.S. tactics offer "fascinating insight" into country's diplomatic conduct.
After having his headquarters trashed by Israeli troops, the Palestinian security chief says that "I don't think it's possible for us, after this sea of blood, to talk about security coordination or any kind of coordination with Israel. It's over."
In an interview with the New York Times, an Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades' commander says that the group won't be sending more bombers into Israel to kill civilians, but that suicide bombings are being planned against Jewish settlements and Israeli military targets.
Reporters Without Borders documents the "grim toll of attacks on press freedom" since Israel began its occupation of Palestinian towns and cities on March 29. A Lebanese and an Israeli journalist critique coverage of the conflict.
A U.S. financier blames Yasser Arafat for scotching Palestinian development projects.
Who are Uncle Sam's dirtiest business partners?
Former stockbroker, caterer and multi-level marketer, Kingsley Barham, on his decision to launch a series of trading cards profiling 9/11 victims: "It took me a week to realize that the nation was swimming to the right real fast and I wasn't going to be selling any more hemp cards."
Cable news networks poised to turn Robert Blake story into the O.J. Simpson case of the new millennium.
The American invasion of Le Monde.
As anti-Jewish attacks sweep across Europe, the French Interior Ministry has recorded nearly 360 crimes against Jews and Jewish institutions in April alone.
Secretary of State Powell says thanks, but no thanks to offers by Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter to insert themselves into the Mideast peace process.
Is Hamas controlling the Israeli government?
Critics say that inexperienced U.S. interrogators are no match for the tight-lipped prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. A linguist stationed there tells the Washington Post: "The detainee is in full control. He's chained up, but he's the one having fun."
Gore Vidal writes that "the awesome physical damage Osama and company did to us on Dark Tuesday is as nothing compared to the knockout blow to our vanishing liberties."
The U.S. government is testing the limits of the expanded authority Congress provided when it passed the Patriot Act, as law enforcement agencies make unprecedented demands on the telecommunications industry to provide information on subscribers.
Spinsanity's Brendan Nyhan on how a Republican National Committee e-mail, trashing Senator Patrick Leahy for "disrespecting" the heroes of 9/11, disrespects the truth.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee seeks documents detailing contacts between U.S. officials and Venezuelan military officers.
Is the U.S. changing its policy on coups?
Al Gore blasts the Bush administration's energy policies in an Earth Day op-ed.
Arab Americans and their supporters steal the show at D.C. protest rallies.
The circus returns to town following arrest of has-been actor.
Canada to U.S.: "Thanks guys, we're your allies aren't we?"
U.N. approves a U.S.-drafted resolution to send a "fact-finding team" to Jenin, after Washington threatened to veto an Arab states measure calling for a formal U.N. "investigation" of "massacres" in the camp. Plus: "Brutal, yes. Massacre, no."
As hawks come to dominate the debate on U.S. Middle East policy, administration officials concede that President Bush is "changing tactics." On Thursday, he backed away from earlier statements concerning Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
Marc Cooper interviews Robert Fisk on the history of the Middle East conflict, Israel's one-time coziness with Hamas and Fisk's disdain for both Sharon and Arafat.
A UN envoy calls the Jenin devastation "horrific beyond belief."
A six-month investigation by The Nation, PBS's "NOW With Bill Moyers" and the Center for Investigative Reporting, uncovers the tobacco industry's multi-billion dollar global smuggling network. Read "Big Tobacco" and watch "Tobacco Traffic," which airs tonight.
The Nation also reports how the White House and GOP whip Tom DeLay, under pressure from the tobacco lobby, got an anti-money laundering provision scrubbed from the Patriot Act, because it would have made tobacco companies accused of smuggling cigarettes overseas more vulnerable to legal challenge.
Media Coup After blanket coverage of anti-Chavez protests last Thursday gave way to a weekend blackout, Venezuela's media are being charged with supporting the coup and suppressing coverage of its collapse.
Greg Palast writes that the "resignation myth" capped a year-long disinformation campaign in the Western media against Chavez. Palast profiled: "The best investigative journalist you've never heard of."
How Chavez fell foul of the "original" Bush Doctrine: "Those who do not supply us with the energy we want are against us."
The White House blames "environmental extremists" for pressuring senators to vote against ANWR drilling, as three of President Bush's potential Democratic challengers in 2004 engineer the defeat.
The GAO prepares to release the findings of its 15-month investigation into the "trashing" of the White House by departing Clinton staffers, an investigation that Democrats say cost $200,000. The damage? Freepers are relishing this latest opportunity to bash Clinton.
Michael Kinsley on what you can learn about a president from how he chooses to deceive you.
Why MSNBC's hiring of Phil Donahue is less stupid than critics think.
"Colossal Blunder" Toronto's Globe and Mail reports on the four Canadian soldiers who died in Afghanistan after a U.S. fighter jet mistakenly bombed a training exercise.
On March 18, General Tommy Franks pronounced the U.S. offensive against al-Qaeda and Taliban forces at Shah-i-Kot "an unqualified and absolute success," but just one month later, the presence of British troops there suggests otherwise.
The head of the international chemical weapons watchdog agency accuses U.S. "hawks" of undermining multilateral diplomacy by seeking to fire him, and suggests that Washington sees his agency as an obstacle to its campaign against Saddam Hussein. More on the chemical coup d'état.
Is camelpox on Iraq's biological weapons menu?
"Demolishing the homes of Arab civilians, shooting handcuffed prisoners and forcing local Arabs to test areas where mines may have been planted." Guess who?
Read a first-hand report from a presidential guard stationed inside Arafat's compound: "The first real sleep I got was during Mr. Powell's visit. These were the only three hours that we knew the Israelis wouldn't invade."
The war on marijuana costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $9.2 billion annually. The National Review's Deroy Murdock thinks the money would be better deployed against al-Qaeda sleeper cells than nonviolent potheads.
Jenny Jones' "boot camp" for drug- and drink-abusing teens.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell responds to concerns that the proliferation of media giants can stifle the diversity of ideas: "I think to the average consumer this is too sublime a concept for a lot of them to be agitated by.''
Howard Kurtz on the consolidation of media giants: "The trend toward more and more outlets owned by fewer mega-conglomerates is clearly troubling, in part because these giant companies don't much care about news."
Letters to J.D. Salinger may go unanswered, but there are enough of them to fill a book.
The Washington Post reports that the Bush administration has concluded that bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora and that the failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al-Qaeda.
Philip Smucker concluded as much in early March with "How Osama bin Laden Got Away."
After watching the "new" video tape, Ranan Lurie has concluded that bin Laden no longer exists.
Tony vs. Osama The creator of the U.S. Web site Hero Builders.com, reports that in six weeks he has yet to sell one action figure doll of Tony "The Ally" Blair, while sales of the company's bin Laden dolls (no doubt bought to defile) are approaching 5,000.
With reports of renewed fighting at Shah-i-Kot, against al-Qaeda and Taliban units that are reportedly crossing the border from Pakistan in groups of five to ten, British officers predict a guerilla war that could last at least five years.
Robert Fisk tours America and finds a much greater understanding of the Middle East than U.S. media coverage, or Osama bin Laden, had led him to believe.
Fisk encountered a Los Angeles rabbi who explained how he intends to close down the bingo and gambling operations of Irving Moskowitz, one of America's greatest Jewish settlement builders. Mother Jones profiled Moskowitz and his operations in the "The Bingo Connection."
Ari & I Russell Mokhiber asks Ari Fleischer if he believes "that the Israeli Defense Forces committed murder in the Jenin refugee camp last week."
Was the "massacre of Jenin" a big lie?
Berlin officials have launched an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against a man who was photographed carrying a young girl -- with a mock belt of explosives attached to her body -- during a pro-Palestinian demonstration. Photo and reaction here.
An increase in the hacking of Israeli Web sites mirrors the escalation of Middle East violence.
Ralph Nader vows to displace the Commission on Presidential Debates, after settling a lawsuit that contested his exclusion from a televised viewing of a 2000 debate on the University of Massachusetts campus.
As the war of words rages over what happened at the Jenin refugee camp, one reporter finds evidence of what he calls a "monstrous war crime," another finds no evidence of a massacre and the International Red Cross finds the situation "horrendous." Jenin images.
Robert Fisk calls on Secretary of State Powell to go to Jenin and see for himself.
Two Middle East observers discuss Israeli and Palestinian perceptions of Powell's mission.
Uri Avnery predicts that the myths of Jenin and Arafat's compound in Ramallah will form the consciousness of the new Palestinian nation: "In the end, only one thing will be remembered: our giant military machine assaulted the small Palestinian people, and the small Palestinian people and its leader held on."
The New Republic's Peter Beinart writes that "wars on terrorism" being conducted in Chechyna, Kashmir and Palestine are different from America's and that the difference is not moral, but strategic: You can't crush a war of national liberation in the same way you can crush al-Qaeda.
As conservatives bash President Bush over his Middle East peace initiative, their bottom-line issue may now be how aggressively he pursues Iraq. One right-wing think tanker tells David Corn: "That could be the linchpin. Iraq has become the means by which the entire war is judged a success or failure."
Administration hawks have already induced the president to take a position on invading Iraq from which he cannot extract himself, writes Immanuel Wallerstein. "Bush's incredibly high approval ratings reflect his being a 'war president.' The minute he becomes a peace-time president, he will be in grave trouble -- all the more so because of failed wartime promises."
The Guardian's George Monbiot opines on U.S. plans to oust the diplomat who heads the organization charged with enforcing the chemical weapons convention, and who could take away its pretext for war with Iraq.
The Washington Post reports that U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz ordered the CIA to investigate the chief U.N. weapons inspector in an apparent attempt to boost the case for an attack on Iraq.
Wolfowitz was booed when he told Israeli supporters at a DC rally that "Israelis are not the only victims of the violence in the Middle East, innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying in great numbers as well. It is critical that we recognize and acknowledge that fact."
In the same way that TV coverage brought the Vietnam War war home to the U.S., the current Israeli offensive is, for the first time, playing out live in Arab living rooms, with support for the Palestinian cause becoming a programming staple.
In an interview with Salon, Todd Gitlin, discusses the cluelessness of the TV networks and why conservative viewpoints thrive on TV and radio.
Read a review of Gitlin's new book, "Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives," and parts 1 and 2 of an e-mail exchange between Gitlin and The Atlantic's James Fallows.
The New York Times reports that senior Bush administration officials met several times in recent months with leaders of the coalition that ousted Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
Ha'aretz's Amira Hass writes of the profound contempt that Israeli authorities have for the Palestinians.
Powell for President? A BBC correspondent contends that neither George Bush or Al Gore should be in the White House.
Secretary of State Powell is paying dearly for his boss's failings.
Slick Spot Robert Reno writes that the U.S. "now confronts the excruciating problem of having a president who is virtually owned by the domestic oil industry and is, at the same time, a virtual hostage to foreign oil producers."
Hey, Big Spenders A Washington Post analysis finds that the Bush administration is poised to complete the biggest increase in government spending since the 1960s' "Great Society."
Mercenary, Inc. Business is booming for private military contractors that are hired to train foreign armies, with a big deal looming for the training of the new Afghan army. The stock price of the company that owns one of the industry leaders, MPRI, has doubled since 9/11.
Pentagon's "happy talk" obscures military's problems in Afghanistan. (4/8)
Time reports that U.S. officials are convinced that bin Laden is hiding out in the borderland territory of Pakistan, but Pakistani President Musharraf hasn't given the U.S. permission to pursue him. Plus: "Osama" cleans up.
Lawyers for Daniel Pearl file contempt of court motion against Musharraf.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez on his brief exile: "I began writing some poems and I didn't even have time to finish the first one." More on the "coup de theatre" and the chances that the CIA was involved.
British protesters prepare to hound Henry Kissinger as a Chilean judge seeks to extradite him to Chile.
The War Resisters League disputes the government's claim that only 17 percent of federal tax dollars go to the military.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's public relations tour of the U.S.
PR war intensifies as reporters enter devastated Jenin refugee camp.
Israeli soldiers defend Jenin actions: "We did what we had to do."
With the majority of Israelis supporting military action, the army calls the shots in its relations with the media.
Text of Arafat's statement condemning terrorism.
It may prove easier for the Israeli army to bury the bodies than to hide the evidence, as refugee camp refugees provide documentation of atrocities to aid workers and reporters.
Barbarity of language used to describe Middle East crisis is a reflection of the crudeness of the conflict itself.
A court-ordered computer search finds "souvenir" photos of U.S. special forces posing with John Walker Lindh. A legal affairs analyst says that the photos could further complicate the prosecution of Lindh.
Frank Rich wites that "President Bush, who once spoke of rigid lines drawn between 'good' men and 'evildoers,' has now been so overrun by fresh hellish events and situational geopolitical bargaining that his old formulations - 'either you are with us or you are with the terrorists' - have been rendered meaningless.
White House changes terminology to "homicide bombing."
As the Israeli army ups its estimate of the number of Palestinians killed in the Jenin refugee camp, it is denying residents' claims that it buried dozens of bodies in a mass grave and used bulldozers to cover them up.
In assessing the visible destruction throughout the West Bank, the New York Times' Serge Schmemann writes that "it is safe to say that the infrastructure of life itself and of any future Palestinian state - roads, schools, electricity pylons, water pipes, telephone lines - has been devastated."
"We Israelis watch the growing outrage against us and wonder whether the world has gone mad," writes Yossi Klein Halevi. "How is it possible, we ask each other, that after suffering an unprecedented terrorist campaign, we're portrayed as bullies for finally trying to uproot the threat?"
Foward editorializes for fencing off the West Bank, contending that most Palestinians and Israelis favor the idea, but that the powerful lobby of settlers and their political allies have kept it from happening.
As Palestinian sympathizers call for a war crimes investigation of the Israeli government, Rep. Cynthia McKinney wants an inquiry into whether President Bush and other U.S. government officials had advance notice of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
Pakistani officials say that after al-Qaeda official Abu Zubaydah was captured, he told the FBI that he had no idea who was behind the 9/11 attacks.
As Pakistan receives the second installment of a $1.3 billion IMF loan -- part of its agreement to support U.S. military action in Afghanistan -- its intelligence officers are among those being blamed for fomenting a wave of Afghan violence.
A proposal for a blogger's "Code of Ethics."
Michael Moore is coming under ethical fire for a technique that he used in researching "Stupid White Men."
Cable news ratings laggard MSNBC is rebranding itself as "America's NewsChannel" and hoping to convince viewers that it is more "uniquely American" than CNN, and that unlike Fox News, it is "fiercely independent."
Instead of differentiating itself from its competitors' strengths -- CNN's international coverage and Fox's partisanship -- MSNBC might have been wise to adopt this approach.
To promote its "uniquely American and fiercely independent" position, MSNBC has installed former Twisted Sister lead singer Dee Snider as its official voice. When the move was announced in February, an MSNBC executive dismissed critcism that Snider's image might tarnish the channel's news credibility and explained the fit: "What we're trying to create are news anthems."
Citizens Against Government Waste's recently released "Pig Book," includes a federal expenditure of $273,000 to combat Goth culture in western Missouri, with psychological testing, therapy sessions, training sessions and town hall meetings.
Hair Schröder German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is suing the country's DDP news agency to permanently prohibit it from repeating a statement that DDP carried in an interview with an image consultant, who said that Schröder would be more convincing "if he didn't dye his grey hair".
The Washington Post reports that the White House is losing faith in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. In addition to doubting that Sharon is the man to make peace, aides fear that his intransigence could make the president appear ineffective and erode his standing in the world.
Last December, Robert Fisk predicted that Yasser Arafat would not crack down on terror, but rather, "will gamble on a simple equation: that America's anger with him will eventually be outweighed by America's embarrassment with Mr. Sharon."
Horse Sense: "Since Israel ran the PA horses out of the barn and put its own horses in place, if the U.S. forces Sharon to pull them out, Powell best make sure that American horses replace them because otherwise wild horses in the form of Hamas and Islamic Jihad will take their place."
Sheikhs pony up millions for Palestine during Arab telethons.
What does the street think of Arafat now?
After twelve years of waiting for the "Tiger supremo," journalists are forced to cool their heels a little longer.
Newly-released documents detail the U.S. Energy Department's last-minute solicitation of environmental groups.
Mexican Senate grounds presidente, refuses permission for trip to the U.S. and Canada.
That Hurts! A new report by Amnesty International calls the U.S. a safe haven for torturers.
What if all Americans adopted Donald Rumsfeld's 20 questions style of talking?
Drug smugglers devise novel methods to thwart post-9/11 security increase.
Acknowledging the ferocious resistance of Palestinians defending the Jenin refugee camp, Israeli newspapers are calling it a "Palestinian Masada," a reference to the Dead Sea fortress where Jewish rebels held out for three years against a Roman siege before committing suicide in AD 73.
Ha'aretz reports that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is privately calling Jenin a massacre, and that both he and IDF officials worry about the expected reaction when the world learns the details.
Palestinian men who were rounded up in Jenin before being released to a nearby village, describe the invasion and their interrogation.
A Palestinian official claims that at least 500 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its military offensive in the West Bank on March 29.
Analysts say that U.S. military aid has created an "800-pound gorilla," allowing Israel to thumb its nose at Washington, and that in an all-out war, where civilian casualties were of no concern, Israel "could roll up the West Bank in 36 hours."
Column of Support How William Safire functions as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's U.S. press secretary.
With friends like these, President Bush needs no enemies.
The president isn't making any friends among Israeli reservists in the West Bank, who are roiled by his call for a pullback. Said one soldier, as a runt dog sniffed in the dirt: "This is our useless pit bull. We call him George Bush."
In a provocative interview with New York Press, writer and filmmaker Tariq Ali, -- inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" -- offers his post-9/11 world view and discusses the death of Daniel Pearl, who he believes was killed because he got too close to the story of al-Qaeda's links to the Pakistani secret service.
Ali charges the U.S. with ignoring the evidence in Pearl's death: "The notion that Pearl, setting up contacts with extremist groups, was not being carefully monitored by the secret services is unbelievable -- and nobody in Pakistan believes it."
Pakistan is criticized for "backsliding" on its commitments to the U.S.
An Islamic group linked to al-Qaeda has sent a letter to the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat, claiming that bin Laden is "safe and well" and planning new terror attacks.
A Pakistani newspaper reports that the FBI narrowly missed bin Laden in the raid where associate Abu Zubaydah was captured.
Dozens are dead in Afghanistan as poppy farmers battle officials trying to eliminate their lucrative crop. The government is offering $500 per destroyed acre, but farmers claim that their costs alone are $800.
The Taliban's fiercest opponents, Bamian's Hazaras, have returned to their battered homeland, where they are dwelling in caves near the site of the destroyed Buddha statues.
An Iraqi man who owned four businesses, tells of escaping the country -- walking seven days through Iraq and nine through Turkey -- after being hit-listed for belonging to the Iraqi National Congress.
A "low plains drifter" tours down and out cities in the Western U.S. and finds a surprising optimism among the ruins, along with contempt for corporate carpetbaggers.
Bully magazine interviews a pony girl.
NORML is launching a $500,000 ad campaign that features New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his response to a reporter's question asking if he had ever tried marijuana: "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it."
A visiting academic finds herself in a New York Lotto ad, but with someone else's words in her mouth.
The Colorado Supreme Court refuses to order a Denver bookstore to give police the name of a customer who bought "how to" books on making illegal drugs, and the owner of a bankrupt mini-chain takes on Borders and Barnes & Noble for demanding secret discounts from publishers.
The Palestinian Information Minister calls Israel's withdrawl from two West Bank cities "a new Israeli lie, because as they pulled back they tightened the siege on the two cities and entered new areas."
In a major shift, Palestinians close ranks behind Arafat.
Is the Israeli offensive responsible for the halt in suicide bombings?
The Times of London's "13 Days of Bloodshed" graphic comprehensively maps the conflict.
Is there more criticism of Sharon's policies in the U.S. or Israeli media?
Does America have too much power for anyone's good, including its own?
"Despite the efforts of his inner circle to paint the post-9/11 president as the second coming of Teddy Roosevelt," writes Arianna Huffington, "the events of the last six months have actually revealed him to be the anti-Teddy -- a politician who speaks very loudly while, more often than not, carrying a very small stick."
Molly Ivins sees hope for the Middle East, but only if the president stops thinking with his gut.
An ultranationalist slated to join the Israeli Cabinet advocates sending the more than three million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Jordan -- a plan favored by 46 percent of Jewish Israelis in one recent poll.
Jordan's King Abdullah says that's three million more than his country -- which already hosts 1.6 million Palestinian refugees -- is willing to accept.
Even Bill O'Reilly is flummoxed by the Middle East crisis.
Navel-gazing in Los Angeles, the city that made it an art form.
Israeli and Palestinian spokespeople blanket TV screens in the battle for U.S. hearts and minds.
Palestinian negotiator caught lying on CNN.
Reporters covering the Middle East tell of vitriolic attacks from both sides.
Green Light Special Morocco's King Mohammed asks Secretary of State Powell: "Don't you think that it would be more important to go to Jerusalem first?"
Firefights rock the casbah in Nablus and Apache helicopters fire directly into Jenin refugee camp houses, as the Israeli military attempts to strangle what "Sharon's men call the 'cobra's head' of Palestinian terror."
Day of rest turns into day of fear in Bethlehem.
Newsweek's "Inside Suicide, Inc." examines the mechanics of martyrdom. Dr. Jerrold Post discusses his interviews with 35 incarcerated Middle Eastern terrorists on their attitudes toward suicide bombings.
Elijah Wald argues that both suicide bombers and conventional armies "pursue their aims by killing and demoralizing civilian populations. The imbalance is not one of virtue, but of power and technology."
"Globe Boy" explains modern weaponry.
A BBC reporter details Palestinian's commuting nightmare.
Chris Hedges, former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, visited the refugee camp of Khan Younis for his "A Gaza Diary" that appeared in Harper's. Plus: Gaza residents brace for an attack.
Who's running America's policy in the Middle East?
The Arab world must "change or wither away" warns an editorial in Lebanon's Daily Star.
Spinsanity's Brendan Nyhan examines the "lumbering" print media's increasing vulnerability to nimble online critics.
Salon's Eric Boehlert on the Wall Street Journal's op-ed page smear campaign against a rival paper that's competing for a Pulitzer Prize.
A Sacramento man's obsessive investigation reveals who and what are behind the ubiquitous "Work From Home" and "Lose Weight Now" signs and flyers.
How Google's geeky culture makes for a better search engine than a business model.
Molly Ivins bids a not-so-fond farewell to fellow Texans Phil Gramm and Dick Armey, "the masters of mean."
Zbigniew Brzezinski cautions that in pursuing its Middle East policy, the U.S. has to be guided by a strategic awareness of all the interests involved, and not by the claims of any single party.
Brzenzinski and Henry Kissinger debate Middle East policy.
Israeli soldiers and West Bank Palestinians talk about their plight.
In handicapping the current fighting, Robert Fisk writes that "the Israeli army, meanwhile, is proving once more as it did in Lebanon that it is not the 'elite' force it's cracked up to be."
In analyzing the Bush administration's contradictory statements about post-Taliban Afghanistan, Spiked's Brendan O'Neill finds that U.S. policy is driven less by concern for democracy and human rights, than by political expediency.
In "The Strange Battle of Shah-i-Kot," O'Neill masterfully dissected the U.S. military's spinning of Operation Anaconda.
Bin Who? U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman says "The goal has never been to get bin Laden."
U.N. peacekeepers left in dark about Afghan "coup."
Israeli novelist Amos Oz writes that there are two Israeli-Palestinian wars, and that much of the worldwide bafflement about the Middle East stems from the overlap between them.
Read the transcript of a PBS "NewsHour" interview with Oz.
Hussein Ibish on why previous U.S. peace missions have failed and what must be done to make this one succeed.
Robert Fisk writes that in a speech laced with "war on terror" obsessions -- applying September 11-speak to the Middle East -- President Bush proved that he fails to understand the tragedy he is supposedly trying to solve. Plus: Why Fisk is a better live act than Dan Rather.
Wall Street Journal warns "bending" Bush: "Now he'd better break Saddam."
An Electronic Intifada debunking of the "smoking gun" documents produced by Israel to link Yasser Arafat to terrorism, doesn't speculate on whether or not they're genuine: "This point is irrelevant for the simple reason that the documents do not prove what the Israelis say they prove."
In an April 4 posting, Debka contends that U.S. Special Forces are involved in the Israeli invasion, targeting Hizballah and al-Qaeda fighters that Arafat has smuggled into the country from Lebanon.
NBC's Dana Lewis reports on how the Israeli army is cracking down on news media.
Aryan Nations find common cause with suicide bombers. (scroll down)
As the Daniel Pearl murder trial opens and adjourns, Tariq Ali charges that the U.S. is ignoring evidence implicating Pakistan's secret service: "The notion that Pearl, setting up contacts with extremist groups, was not being carefully monitored by the secret services is unbelievable -- and nobody in Pakistan believes it."
The reverends -- Jackson and Falwell -- mix it up on Crossfire over Middle East policy.
Europeans fear that Jews and Arabs living there will become proxy combatants in the Middle East conflict.
A New York Times article on Hamas is headlined, "Bombers Gloating in Gaza as They See Goal Within Reach: No More Israel," while the same article in Europe's International Herald Tribune is titled: "'Mood is good,' Hamas leaders assert."
How U.S. hawks are calling the shots on Mideast policy.
A new CBS poll finds respondents backing Israel by a five to one margin, with Yasser Arafat's 2% approval rating "among the lowest ever recorded."
Truth is a scarce commodity on both sides as the propaganda war hits its stride.
U.S. challenge is to get inside the head of captured bin Laden aide Abu Zubaydah.
Heard any good corporate anthems lately?
High schooler accused of death threat over Web site poll asking if an assistant principal most closely resembled a witch, Big Bird, or a dead body.
Israel is at war with Palestine, not terror, writes Pat Buchanan, and the Palestinians are winning.
Life amidst the debris of war, in a city under seige.
As Israel threatens legal action against CNN and NBC for ignoring military orders and broadcasting from Ramallah, the Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemn Israeli media policies.
You can't tell the players without a Middle East scorecard.
The Israeli military claims that during its assault on Arafat's headquarters, it found smoking gun documents that link him to Palestinian suicide bombings.
The public relations strategy behind girl suicide bombers.
As the killing mounts and both Sharon and Arafat have nowhere to go, who'll blink first?
President Bush's good vs. evil approach to terrorism gives way to a murkier reality in the Middle East.
Poll Tacks Although candidate Bush criticized the Clinton White House for its polling jones, the Washington Monthly's Joshua Green finds that "while Clinton used polling to craft popular policies, Bush uses polling to spin unpopular ones -- arguably a much more cynical undertaking."
Maureen Dowd writes that "the cheesy Clinton obsession with polling seems positively uplifting compared with the black arts of the Bush polling operation."
More rudeness, from Washington Post reporter Sue Schmidt, who has taken to smearing readers who disagree with her.
In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, an Iranian smuggler, now jailed in Kurdistan, describes an Iraqi plot to blow up a U.S. warship. Plus: Why Arab nations hope Saddam Hussein will create the long-awaited "Arab bomb."
Greatest Ally? Michael Lind says it's time to recognize that Israel's interests do not always match up with America's.
"Israel looks like an isolated media island," writes Ha'aretz's Aviv Lavie, "with most of the reporters drafted into the cause of convincing themselves and the reader that the government and army are perfectly justified in whatever they do."
Israel launches "image management" campaign, invokes Pentagon's Afghanistan policy to justify curbs on reporters.
U.S. officials say that recent suicide bombings were instigated by disaffected loyalists of Yasser Arafat, to sabotage an intelligence-sharing agreement with Israel worked out by Anthony Zinni, and Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
How the CIA is putting U.S. reporters in harm's way by not adopting an ironclad policy against using journalists as spies.
A reporter finds lax security at border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Russia's TV and film industry is selling a Chechen war that is dramatically different than the real one.
In a new report, "Yucca Mountain Bought and Sold," Public Citizen charges that nuclear industry money and lobbyists may have biased Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham¹s controversial recommendation that a nuclear waste dump be developed in Nevada.
Energy policy documents show the elaborate planning that goes into feeding Abraham, who is said to have his own chef on staff.
The Bucks Stop Here John Nichols writes that "If there is any realistic hope of exposing the extent to which Enron's machinations corrupted U.S. policy at home and abroad, then the Office of the Vice President is not only a good place to start, it is the essential beginning point."
A harrowing photo of a woman being sexually assaulted by an out-of-control crowd during a Seattle Mardi Gras celebration, has won a National Press Photographers Association award.
In an analysis of the media wars, Ha'aretz's Roger Alpher writes that "Sharon is a politician who doesn't know how to lead via television. He wants to come across as an authoritative leader, but looks like an angry stuffed bear."
Read excerpts of interviews that Yasser Arafat has done with leading Arab television networks since the Israeli army entered his headquarters in Ramallah. Plus: If assassinated, Arafat really would be an "enemy" to be reckoned with.
"Old, ruthless and cynical.": Sharon or Arafat?
Appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Tom Friedman discusses coverage of the Middle East and journalist's weariness in writing about the continued death toll. Freidman argues that Palestinians have adopted suicide bombing as a strategic choice, not out of desperation.
A 14-year-old Palestinian girl talks about her desire to become a suicide bomber, and a leader of the al-Aqsa Brigades says that "We have 200 young women from the Bethlehem area alone ready to sacrifice themselves for the homeland."
The Bush administration is under fire from all quarters for missing its chance in the Middle East. Robert Novak writes that President Bush "has seemed lost in coping with the Palestine question." Is the Middle East Bush's Yugoslavia? Will Colombia be his Vietnam?
Media Research Center (MRC), the conservative watchdog with an income of $15 million dollars in 2000 -- 18 times as much as liberal counterpart FAIR -- boasts of "training our guns on any media outlet or reporter interfering with America's war on terrorism or trying to undermine the authority of President Bush." More on MRC's fundraising machine.
MRC's Brent Bozell refuses to appear on TV with anyone from FAIR. (2nd Item)
April Fools? Enron moves from No. 7 to No. 5 on the FORTUNE 500.
When AOL and Time Warner annouced their merger in January 2000, the two companies were worth more than $300 billion. Now, AOL Time Warner's market value is $105 billion and the biggest corporate merger in history is looking more like the biggest blunder.
"The Frightening Fraud," a "bizarre" book claiming that the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 never existed, and that the U.S. establishment was at the heart of the New York and Washington attacks, has shot to the top of the French bestseller lists.
The White House has postponed a PR tour of Afghanistan designed to shore up support among women voters, after Oprah Winfrey declined to participate. In a recent profile of Winfrey's $1 billion media empire, a longtime friend tells Fortune: "Everybody's thinking, 'I gotta get a piece of that Oprah brand.'"
Tony Blair executes last-minute U-turn on Iraq, will delay publishing "dossier" indicting Sadaam Hussein due to domestic political pressure and weak evidence.
Iraq attack on shaky legal ground.
The Wimps of War Frank Rich asks: "Where is the debate?"
It's a day at the beach for Palestinians bent on avoiding roads blocked by Israeli tanks.
The Saudi peace plan makes for strange bedfellows, with Bush, Arafat and the Arab nations aligned against Sharon, Hamas and bin Laden.
Eric Alterman names names, listing U.S. pundits who support Israel and those who side with Palestine.
The Taliban is reportedly planning a spring offensive, with 300 suicide bombers ready to attack U.S. installations in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon prefers "pockets of resistance" to "guerilla" or "guerilla warfare."
Aghan stone eater breaks silence, compares taste for pebbles to an addict who craves tobacco or drugs.
Anti-war vote pays off for Rep. Barbara Lee.
Making little headway in the real West Wing, activists lobby the fictional one.
Winners of the Peabody Awards for broadcast excellence are announced.
Nicholas Lemann reports on how the Bush administration is seizing the opportunity presented by 9/11, and moving beyond its initially stated goal of combatting terrorism to forge a new foreign policy doctrine of American supremacy.
Bush Comes to Shove The Guardian's Simon Tisdale writes that a U.S.-directed expansion of NATO, "proceeding in tandem with its equally unabashed move into central Asia, may represent the true dawning, after a decade of false starts, of the age of the solo superpower."
Former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange claims that when Dan Quayle was vice-president, Quayle threatened to have him "liquidated" because of his anti-nuke policy. Lange mixes it up with the New Zealand press over the claim.
"With Enron bankrupt, and Ken Lay no longer able to generously support those who made him what he is today," Kenny's Kids "offers hope to the many poor, sorrowful politicians who have been left horribly deprived."
How oil companies managed to put words in President Bush's mouth.
Are you driving for a better world?
U.S. Special Forces promised the moon to Afghan villagers in exchange for their cooperation in defeating the Taliban, with no apparent intention of delivering.
A London-based Arabic newsaper says it has received what it thinks is an authentic e-mail from bin Laden, denouncing the Saudi's Mideast peace plan. Plus: The ease with which terrorists use the Internet to communicate, including jihad-friendly sites such as alemarh.com, azzman.com and the jihad news page.
Delegates at Arab summit applaud as Saudi crown prince and Iraqi presidential envoy kiss and make up.
Slate's Timothy Noah says of "Blinded By the Right" author David Brock: Once a liar, always a liar.
French shooter leaps to death from his jail cell after telling police that he went to the city council meeting, where he killed eight people, "to end his life but that he did not want to die anonymously."
A New York Times analysis of Energy Department documents finds that Energy Secretary Abraham was much busier meeting with representatives of energy industry companies and trade associations than initially reported.
Open Secrets has just added a resource page to accompany the documents release. It includes a list of the top 50 political contributors among energy companies since 1999.
The Energy Department has lost track of small amounts of potentially dangerous plutonium that were sent to foreign countries under the 1954 "Atoms for Peace" program, which one critic describes as "designed to put a good spin on the atom."
The Guardian reports that the U.S. Air Force has begun preparations to move its Gulf headquarters from Saudi Arabia to al-Udeid air base in Qatar, to bypass Saudi objections to military action against Iraq.
Jeffrey Goldberg's controversial New Yorker article on Kurdistan is now available online. He interviewed captured members of the terrorist group Ansar al-Islam, who claimed ties with al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's intelligence service.
Goldberg also investigates the charge that Hussein gassed Kurds in 1988. In an open letter to Bush administration adviser Karl Rove, supply-side economics guru Jude Wanniski contends that it never happened.
The Moscow Times' Chris Floyd imagines a world stood on its head following the Second Gulf War.
Pakistan flip flops on troop invite.
A Boston Globe post-mortem on the Afghan food drops finds that the exercise accomplished neither of the Pentagon's stated goals of feeding starving residents and winning their loyalty.
The challenge that terrorism poses to the legal system is revealed by the fact that out of 1,400 people arrested since 9/11, only one has been charged in connection with the attacks.
Bully magazine takes Time to task for the PR journalism of "Can Bono Save the World?"
Fresh aftershocks drive Afghan earthquake toll higher.
Afghan military officials working with U.S. forces in Khost claim that Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri have been spotted in the area over the past eight days.
Salman Rushdie tells Der Spiegel that bin Laden shares a flaw that Richard Nixon had -- an obsession with making recordings of himself -- and that it will lead to his downfall. Rushdie interview auf deutsch.
The White House takes time out from fighting the war on terrorism to micromanage the annual correspondent's dinner. Plus: Administration policy becoming consistently inconsistent and the return of Ari & I.
Whether you're liberal, conservative or libertarian, John Scalzi hates your politics.
As a new USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll finds that most respondents consider removing Saddam Hussein from power to be a high priority, the three organizations are under fire from poll watchers for an earlier survey of Muslim' attitudes toward the U.S.
Online Iraquis are voting for a new leader.
Geov Parish on the right-reading opinion pages of daily newspapers.
Unnamed magazine is a "finalist on any list of Shamelessly Cynical Journalism Ploys."
Playboy offers women of Enron a "part-time job, or what might turn into a new career."
As ecstasy users turn to Prozac as insurance against brain damage, scientists have discovered that Prozac and other SSRIs may stimulate the growth of brain tumors by blocking the body's natural ability to kill cancer cells.
A new ruling under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act could raise the royalty fees paid by Internet radio stations from $1,000 a year to $1,000 a day!
According to Department of Energy documents released Monday, Energy Secretary Abraham met with 36 representatives of business interests while developing President Bush's energy policy, but held no meetings with conservation or consumer groups. The DOE tells its side of the story.
As environmentalists cry "polluter hijacking" of Senate energy legislation, Time reports on GOP fund raisers' targeting of the energy industry and the New York Times examines how White House support for the development of a new nuclear reactor benefited Exelon, a major contributor to Republican campaigns.
Arguing that corporate power is the enemy of democracy, Robert Jensen writes that in a nation where corporations dominate the political sphere, there is no distinction between a business scandal and a political scandal.
Army Secretary burned up phone lines to Enron before selling his stock in the company.
DNA Meets MP3 A biotechnology company is trying to circumvent the need to patent a DNA sequence by converting it into a piece of digitally encoded music that can then be copyrighted like a song.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources," Frank Rich, Ken Auletta and Aaron Brown discuss media bias and cable news coverage, and FAIR releases a must-read report -- "Fear and Favor 2001: How Power Shapes the News."
An analysis by "Fresh Air" commentator Geoffrey Numberg convincingly debunks Bernard Goldberg's "Bias" claim that the media pointedly identify conservative politicians as conservatives, but rarely use the word liberal to describe liberals.
In the heart of the militia belt, a Montana shock jock hosts talk radio for people who think Rush Limbaugh has gone soft.
Palestinian and Iranian officials deny a claim by U.S. and Israeli intelligence that they've forged a new alliance.
In analyzing the contradictory claims surrounding "the strange battle of Shah-i-Kot," Spiked's Brendan O'Neill raises the possibility that more than 3,000 bombs were dropped on territory that the enemy had already vacated.
Shah-i-Kot escapees are reportedly readying for a confrontation with U.S. and allied forces in the Kandahar region, where they hope to garner support from anti-U.S. warlords.
A British official is accused of falsely claiming that al-Qaeda terrorists had built a "biological and chemical weapons" laboratory in Afghanistan, in order to justify the deployment of 1,700 troops.
Retired military generals take center stage, crowding out second opinions.
Son of Blowback Since the 1980s, the core curriculum of Afghanistan's school system has been textbooks filled with violent images, militant Islamic teachings and talk of jihad -- paid for by the U.S. as part of a covert plan to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.
Eric Alterman blasts Andrew Sullivan for his obsession with the "crushing of any hint of democratic debate about the war" and a Web site that "sets a standard for narcissistic egocentricity that makes Henry Kissinger look like St. Francis of Assisi."
As a U.S. Senate committee subpoenas Enron board members to determine their contacts with the Bush and Clinton administrations, another round may be issued to force the company to disclose names of partnership investors.
When it comes to campaign finance reform, it's never too soon to start the next war.
New York Times reporter gets too close to suicide bombing.
Former commander of Nato forces in Europe warns of unwinnable guerrilla war in Afghanistan.
Quotes by anonymous "U.S. officials" often fed to reporters en masse.