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Impeach Bush

Blix doubts authority of US-British inspectors
ABC News Online (AU)
Friday, June 6, 2003. 6:22am (AEST)

Chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix has cast doubt on the authority of the US-British team of experts searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The United States and Britain have refused to let UN inspectors back into Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime on April 9.

But they have been unable to produce evidence of the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs which they used to justify the invasion.

The countries have sent hundreds of extra experts to Iraq to step up the hunt.

"I do not want to question the integrity or the professionalism of the inspectors of the coalition but anybody who functions under an army of occupation cannot have the same credibility as an independent inspector," Dr Blix told reporters after addressing the UN Security Council.

Dr Blix told the Security Council "there remain long lists of items unaccounted for" in the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs which Iraq claimed to have dismantled more than a decade ago.

"But it is not justified to jump to the conclusion that something exists just because it is unaccounted for," he said, adding that the UN Monitoring and Verification Commission should still have a role in Iraq.

Dr Blix highlighted the doubts, however when he told reporters later, "What was the reason for the conduct of Iraq going through the hardship of sanctions if they had destroyed their WMD?"

He added: "It is important to retain the view we all want to see the truth on the situation in Iraq. We wish the inspectors and the people who are there the best of luck. They have not found very much so far."

© 2003 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), AAP(International), APTN, Reuters, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.>

Commentary:
Blix says; "..anybody who functions under an army of occupation cannot have the same credibility as an independent inspector." Yet, in the US there doesn't seem to be a problem with the US doing it alone. UN Resolution 1441, which Bush said he was enforcing, demands that the UN do the inspectors, not the US. Bush remains in violation of UN Resolution 1441.

The second problem with the Bush approach is he turned over the search for WMD from the military to political appointee's. Who would you trust more, the military or those hand-picked by Bush?

But above all else, Bush went to war without the evidence to prove Iraq was a threat to our national security. There are few crimes higher than this. He must step down or be impeached.


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Anger at US deepens since war
The Christian Science Monitor
By Howard LaFranchi
June 05, 2003

WASHINGTON – While visiting relatives in Egypt, Hassan Ibrahim was sent to a market to buy provisions for a family party. "Get some apples," the party's host told him, "just not any of the American apples. Those we boycott."

That was in 2001, but Mr. Ibrahim, director of the Washington office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, says if anything, the anti-American sentiment he sees in contacts with his native region has intensified - particularly since the war in Iraq.

"It has to do with the way people see America acting in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with America supporting the dictators they live under ... and now with the US occupying an Arab country," says Ibrahim. "They see no avenue for venting their frustrations."

If President Bush was hoping to address America's poor standing in one of his longest and certainly most ambitious overseas trips, he has a long way yet to go.

Already having plunged after a blip of global sympathy due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, America's global image is falling further in the wake of the second show of military might in less than two years. In short, disdain for America is only deepening, especially in Arab countries - according to a new global poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Majorities in a growing number of Muslim countries fear an American military invasion, while many Europeans prefer an even more distant relationship between their country and the US.

Chance at redemption?

Yet while the news from the front in the US battle for the world's hearts and minds isn't good, there is also a budding enthusiasm: Some hope that Mr. Bush's new talk of international cooperation - and especially his assurances of personal involvement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - will help return the shine to America's image in the world.

"Bush's new vision for peace in the Middle East and his putting his personal prestige on the line to see that progress is made is a very positive development in this effort to refurbish America's standing in the world," says Minxin Pei, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. "It shows there is an awareness of the loss of moral authority America has suffered, particularly as a result of the war in Iraq."

The pictures of Bush bringing the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers together Wednesday for joint steps toward peace, plus Bush's earlier meeting in Egypt with Arab leaders, can't help but salve some of the deep skepticism about American intentions. But at the same time, hardened opinions like those revealed in the Pew poll suggest how arduous the road ahead for American diplomacy will be. "If you put the numbers the poll finds up against what [Bush] is trying to do, you see the difficulty of it," says Madeleine Albright, who was secretary of state in the Clinton administration and now chairs Pew's global attitudes project.

The post-Iraq-war poll of 16,000 people in 20 countries follows similar surveys last March and another last summer. Taken together, the surveys show opinions of America's role in the world falling like a roller coaster on the descent.

"The very bad news is that there is a great deal of collateral damage to public opinion from the war in Iraq," says Andrew Kohut, the Pew Center's director. "Most dramatically, the bottom has fallen out of support for America in most of the Muslim world. Antagonism toward the United States has both deepened and widened."

Bin Laden scores well

In addition to a heightened fear of a US military attack in countries ranging from Indonesia and Pakistan to Turkey and Jordan, large numbers of Muslims expressed confidence that Osama bin Laden, the Islamic extremist suspected of planning Sept. 11, does "the right thing" in world affairs.

The poll found softening support worldwide for the war on terrorism. And in addition to the US specifically, international institutions symbolizing the world's efforts at collective security - such as the United Nations and NATO - have also lost esteem.

Yet while the reputation of those institutions has suffered, at the same time people around the globe continue to aspire to such values as democracy, universal human rights, and the rule of law.

Those aspirations provide an opportunity for the US to win support by promoting values it considers its own, experts say. But how to do that while working with some of the very regimes people reject as authoritarian - as is the case with some of the Arab countries whose leaders Bush embraced in Egypt this week - presents the US with a minefield.

"It's a real conundrum for the administration," says Hurst Hannum at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. "But it's essential they find a way to be critical of these regimes - in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt - to promote change without alienating them entirely."

Copyright © 2003 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.

Commentary:
Bush has failed.

The US is either feared or hated by most of the world. Since terrorism is fed by fear and hate Bush has made the world far more dangerous for US interests..

I don't believe we need to go to war to find those who hate us. All we have to do is find them. Instead, Bush drops bombs on defenseless countries with his made for TV wars and then he and his advisors wonder why they hate us.It's simple, they hate us because we slaughter their children.

With so many Muslims thinking bin Laden does the 'right thing' and conversely that Bush does not, this war had done irreparable damage to the image of the US. Bush must step down or be impeached.


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The New York Times lied. What's New?
By LARRY McSHANE
Newsday.com/AP
June 5, 2003,

NEW YORK -- For Howell Raines, the rise to the top of The New York Times eased across a quarter-century, from bureau chief in Atlanta to White House correspondent to executive editor at the newspaper's West 43rd Street headquarters.

His fall was the complete inverse, a precipitous tumble that followed five weeks of turmoil leading to his sudden resignation on Thursday.

Raines, along with managing editor Gerald M. Boyd, finally stepped down after the controversy created by reporter Jayson Blair's lies and national writer Rick Bragg's work habits enveloped the Times and would not dissipate.

The resignation, announced in the very newsroom where Raines had celebrated the Times' unprecedented seven Pulitzers a year earlier, was an ending so dramatic that not even the imaginative Blair could have conjured it.

There was little argument about Raines' qualifications when he ascended to his position in September 2001. After working at several newspapers in his native Alabama, and in Georgia and Florida, he joined the Times in 1978 as a national correspondent based in Atlanta.

In 1992, he captured a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, for a Times Magazine piece titled "Grady's Gift" _ a reflection about his life growing up in the South.

He wrote three books _ "Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis," a novel "Whiskey Man," and an oral history of the civil rights movement titled "My Soul Rested."

At the Times, he moved from Atlanta bureau chief to White House correspondent, national political correspondent and editorial page editor. He replaced retiring editor Joseph Lelyveld just days before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center; the Times' coverage, under his leadership, was universally hailed.

In accepting the Times' seven Pulitzers last March, Raines made much of the newspaper's efforts toward excellence.

"The Times' awards reflect not just our efforts, but the strength we draw from the Times' traditions, our mentors and our enduring standards," he told the newsroom.

Editor & Publisher, a trade magazine covering the newspaper industry, selected Raines as its editor of the year.

But over the next 18 months, Raines' style came under fire by his staff. Reporters complained of a star system and Raines' imperious attitude; one of those stars was Jayson Blair, a mistake-prone reporter who seemed to fail upward.

Raines had his eye on Blair even before taking over as editor, citing the young reporter by name in an August 2001 speech before the National Association of Black Journalists. He held Blair out as an example of the Times' new commitment to hiring promising young journalists.

"In recent years we have broadened the way we identify and recruit talent, and have worked harder to spot the best and brightest while they are still on their way up," Raines said.

Less than two years later, Blair helped bring Raines down.

The 27-year-old reporter resigned on May 1 for plagiarizing a story. The Times quickly discovered three dozen stories, all on the Raines watch, that included fabrications, plagiarism or errors.

At a staff meeting on May 14, Raines conceded the complaints about him were justified.

"You view me as inaccessible and arrogant," Raines told the assembled staff. "Fear is a problem to such an extent that editors are scared to bring me bad news."

He also acknowledged that race may have played a subconscious role in his treatment of Blair, particularly in naming him to a high-powered team covering the Washington-area sniper case.

"You have a right to ask if I as a white man from Alabama with those convictions gave him one chance too many by not stopping his appointment to the sniper team. When I look into my heart for the truth of that, the answer is yes. It was a terrible mistake that harmed our paper, and I apologize for it."

He added: "Where I come from, when it comes to principles on race, you have to pick a ditch to die in, and let it come rough or smooth, you'll find me in the trenches for justice."

Still, Raines said he had no intention of resigning, and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. expressed his support for the embattled executive editor.

And then another problem, this one involving Raines' friend and national correspondent Bragg, stirred up more trouble. Bragg acknowledged using a stringer to do virtually all the reporting on a story about Florida oystermen.

The stringer received no credit, and Bragg took the byline _ a violation of newspaper policy that led to a two-week suspension. Raines accepted Bragg's resignation on May 28.

At a certain point, the newsroom's loss of confidence in its leader apparently became too great.

"Howell had covered Washington enough, and covered enough administrations long enough ... to know that in circumstances like this, the person at the top has to take the hit," said Mitch Blumenthal, editor of the Times' New Jersey section.

Copyright © 2003, The Associated Press

Commentary:
This story is ripe with hypocrisy and shows how utterly corrupt the media continues to be. When the Times printed false stories about Whitewater, lies created solely to advance the republican agenda, did the Times force its top people to resign? Nope.

When the Times printed endless stories about Iraq having WMD and a president wanting to go to war to protect our national security and advancing the republican agenda, did they force their top people to resign? Nope.

Lies permeate every newspaper and every television broadcast in the country.

If I was god for a day, I'd fire every reporter, every broadcaster, every news editor etc. in the country. None of them are fit to tell us the truth, so the sooner they fall, the better off the country will be.

Don't let the media get away with telling you there's just a few bad apples out there. The whole system is corrupt from the top down. Fact finding is something they used to do? Verify? What's that? Truth, well that a variable?. But most of all, try to be fair by saying democrats say this and republicans say that. Forget truth. The media needs to stop trying to be fair to both parties. It needs to tell the truth. When it starts doing that I'll respect these bozo's again.


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Canadian PM assails U.S. deficit
Globe and Mail (CA)
By SHAWN McCARTHY
Wednesday, May. 28, 2003

Athens — Prime Minister Jean Chrétien criticized the massive deficits being posted by the "right-wing" Bush administration in the United States yesterday, while boasting of his own government's economic management.

"The Americans will have a deficit of $500-billion [U.S.] this year, and it is a right-wing government," Mr. Chrétien told reporters travelling on the plane with him to Europe. "If we were to equal that, it would be a $75-billion [Canadian] deficit because we're 10 times smaller. Imagine!"

He bragged about Canada's economic performance under his Liberal government, and noted that he has been asked by leaders of the Group of Eight to report on the state of the world's economy at their summit next week in Évian, France.

"Why? It is because we seem to have a good recipe," he said.

The Prime Minister made the remarks in a free-wheeling talk with reporters who gathered in the aisles of the government's Airbus to hear him over the roar of the engines. He spoke of his relations with U.S. President George W. Bush, his record on immigration, international affairs and even about professional baseball.

While insisting he gets on well personally with Mr. Bush, to whom he spoke this week, the Prime Minister listed a number of differences with the Republican President.

"I'm a Canadian Liberal; he is a southern conservative," Mr. Chrétien said, adding that he is pro-choice on abortion, while Mr. Bush is not; he supports gun control, while Mr. Bush does not, and he opposes capital punishment, which Mr. Bush supports.

"But that has nothing to do [with relations] with him personally," Mr. Chrétien said. He said he has "good personal rapport" with his American counterpart, and he is one of the few world leaders who can talk baseball with Mr. Bush, a onetime part owner of the Texas Rangers.

He commiserated with Mr. Bush, he said, that Texas has three of the top hitters in the American League but are cellar-dwellers in the Western Division. "It's their pitching," he said.

Still, his comments seemed to underline the rift between the two men since Canada refused to join the U.S. war on Iraq.

Before this week, Mr. Chrétien had not spoken to Mr. Bush since Feb. 26, when the United Nations Security Council was still struggling with proposed resolutions on Iraq.

Mr. Chrétien said he had gone for long periods of time without speaking to Mr. Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton, with whom he does have a close friendship.

"When I don't need to talk to them, I don't. Right from the beginning, that was my style," he said.

Mr. Chrétien landed in the Greek capital last night to begin an 11-day European visit, beginning with meeting with the European Union in Athens and culminating in the opening of a Juno Beach memorial commemorating the Canadians' landing at Normandy on D-Day.

He said Canada is now the envy of the world, with a strong economy, political stability, and a diverse and tolerant population. He chided Canadians — and the media in particular — for failing to celebrate the country's successes.

The Prime Minister said Canada is the only country among the G8 industrialized nations to have put its public pension system on a sound financial footing.

He also said European leaders are envious of Canada's ability to absorb roughly 200,000 immigrants a year without the kind of political backlash that is roiling their countries. Italy, for example, expects to see its population decline from 60 million people to 40 million in a few decades, he said, but has trouble winning public support for higher immigration levels.

"How can you run a country with social programs when you have a population that is decreasing?" he said.

He added that his "failure" was that he was unable to achieve the target immigration level of 1 per cent of the Canadian population, or more than 300,000 new arrivals a year.

"For them, the question is how to accept a few."

As he prepared for his last G8 summit as Prime Minister, Mr. Chrétien defended his own record in international affairs, despite some gaffe-prone trips abroad.

He said last year's meeting in Kananaskis, Alta., had produced a significant and tangible agreement on aid to Africa, though some non-governmental organizations complain that financial support has been slow to flow.

He took credit for initiating a global land mines treaty at a G8 summit in Italy in 1994. He added that, in midnight phone calls to Mr. Clinton several years ago, he nearly succeeded in winning U.S. support for the global ban on land mines, but the U.S. military vetoed the proposed treaty.

Mr. Chrétien also said he had been one of the first Western leaders to seriously raise the issue of human rights in China.

As for his own future, he joked that he may follow his friend Mr. Clinton on the speaker's circuit, where the former president earns an average of $200,000 (U.S.) a speech. "Maybe I can get his leftovers," he said with a grin.

But he rejected any suggestion that he might accept a post at an international institution, such as the United Nations or World Bank.

"I'm not a candidate for any job, anywhere. I don't want to be a bureaucrat; I want to be a freelancer. I want to be able to say what I want."

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Commentary:
The Canadian Prime Minister attacks a US president and the policies of his party. I don't think I've ever seen that before .He also says his Liberal Party is far more successful at running his government than the conservative regime in the US. Two very good points.

But I think the oddest part about this article is the willingness of world leaders to take on this president---to malign him, mock him, put him down etc. The credibility of the US has been shattered by this moron and the sooner Bush resigns the better off we'll be.


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U.S. Dollar May Fall as Investors Focus On Widening Deficit
Bloomberg
June 03, 2003

June 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. dollar may drop against the euro and the yen in London trading amid speculation that the world's largest economy won't grow fast enough to attract the investment needed to offset its record trade deficit.

"The dollar has further to fall,'' said Haydn Davies, who helps oversee the equivalent of about $913 billion at Barclays Global Investors in London. "The U.S. deficit is widening, which is fine if you can finance it, but overseas investors are reluctant to do that." Barclays expects the euro to move through $1.20 toward $1.25 in coming months.

The U.S. currency traded at $1.1726 per euro at 11:15 a.m. in London, from $1.1748 late yesterday. It fell to an all-time low of $1.1933 on May 27. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 118.65, compared with 118.58.

About $133 billion of overseas capital flowed into U.S. assets in the first quarter, compared with $150 billion in the fourth, according to Morgan Stanley. The inflow was led by demand for U.S. Treasuries, the bank said in a note to clients.

The U.S. posted its second-largest trade deficit on record in March, importing $43.5 billion more than it exported. The record, in December, was $44.9 billion. The dollar has dropped 21 percent against the euro and 5 percent against the yen in the past year as the country struggles to attract the $1.5 billion of overseas capital a day it needs to offset the shortfall.

Federal Reserve holdings of U.S. securities on behalf of foreign official accounts surged $31 billion in the last two weeks of May, Morgan Stanley said. Holdings are anonymous but "the Bank of Japan is the most likely culprit," as it tried "to stem the dollar's fall," said Rebecca McCaughrin, an analyst at the bank's offices in New York.

Yen Sales

Japan's government sold a record amount of yen in May to prevent gains in the currency that could undermine Japanese exports. Foreign-exchange transactions in the Bank of Japan's current account balance rose by 3.98 trillion yen ($33.5 billion). That's 24 percent more than its previous record sale of 3.21 trillion yen in September 2001.

The dollar pared its declines in recent days after reports suggested the U.S. economy may grow faster in coming months, boosting demand for the country's assets. The Institute for Supply Management reported yesterday its factory index rose more than analysts expected to 49.4 in May from 45.4 in April.

"The recent data have been showing signs of recovery, but it's not strong enough to push up the dollar, or reverse the basic trend," said Kikuko Takeda, a manager at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. in Tokyo.

The dollar may also decline, analysts said, amid skepticism over the commitment of the U.S. government to its "strong dollar policy." While President George W. Bush said on Saturday that the dollar's decline ran counter to U.S. policy, the U.S. hasn't bought the dollar since August 1995, after the currency hit its lowest against the deutsche mark and yen since World War II.

"America's strong dollar policy is dead," said Paul McCulley, a managing director at Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., which manages the world's largest bond fund. "The Fed will privately bask in the dollar's fall."

Last Updated: June 3, 2003 06:18 EDT

©2003 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved.

Commentary:
A falling dollar is good when the US doesn't need foreign money to prop up our ballooning deficits. However, with record deficits for as far as the eye can see, we need a strong dollar, but a strong dollar makes it harder for us to export and causes our trade deficit to go up.

The solution, get rid of the borrow and spend policy of Bush and return fiscal sanity to Washington by voting against every republican.


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Political appointees replace military search team
MSNBC/Reuters
June 09, 2003

WASHINGTON, June 9 — The team assembled by the Pentagon to reinvigorate the hunt for Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction includes dozens of former U.N. arms inspectors and a big intelligence component, U.S. officials said on Monday.

THE IRAQ Survey Group will take charge as early as this Saturday of the search for Iraqi chemical and biological weapons and evidence of a nuclear arms development program.

It will replace the U.S. military's 75th Exploitation Task Force, which has failed to find any banned weapons and officials said it would take a more investigative approach.

President Bush cited Iraq's alleged stockpiles of such weapons as justification for toppling President Saddam Hussein. The failure to find weapons has prompted critics to suggest Bush exaggerated intelligence reports about them.

While the United States opposes a U.N. role in the hunt, up to 50 former U.N. weapons inspectors who worked in the effort in Iraq over the past 12 years have been recruited to join the Iraq Survey Group, said a defense official.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not identify the inspectors, but called them "individuals who have unique expertise that we certainly could use.'

Terence Taylor, who served as a chief U.N. arms inspector in Iraq from 1993-97 and helped uncover Iraq's biological weapons program in 1995, said it was "hugely important' that the Iraq Survey Group include "a large number of people with all the historical experience with previous inspections.'   

Taylor said military personnel with limited knowledge of Iraqi weapons programs would be at a disadvantage in questioning, for example, Rihab Taha, the microbiologist dubbed "Dr. Germ' who spearheaded Iraq's biological arms development.

"She will find it more of a challenge to speak to people with a deep knowledge' of the Iraqi programs, Taylor added. She and other figures associated with banned weapons programs were taken into custody by the U.S. military after the war.

Officials said the Iraq Survey Group had a staff of about 1,400, mostly Americans but with some British and Australians, adding that a Briton may be named as its No. 2 official.

It is headed by Army Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, director of operations for the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. It will include more intelligence experts than the military force now hunting the weapons.

Top officials have rejected suggestions that the Bush administration slanted intelligence about Iraqi arms programs to bolster the case for war. At the White House on Monday, Bush said he was "absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program' but did not predict the discovery of any actual weapons.

Dayton was in Qatar, where an intelligence-analysis center will be located, on Monday and earlier visited Baghdad, where his group will be headquartered, the defense official said.

The official called the 75th Exploitation Task Force "a combat support organization' that relied heavily on a fixed list of suspected weapons sites.

"We haven't found the large caches of weapons which we had hoped to be able to do,' the official said. "Given that, now the analytical side really needs to get involved. Think of it as a criminal investigation,' the official added.

On Sunday, U.N. nuclear experts in white protective suits surveyed a looted storage facility at Iraq's main nuclear site.

A Reuters cameraman said the seven-member International Atomic Energy Agency team was working under tight U.S. military escort at the vast Tuwaitha site, about 12 miles south of Baghdad.

U.S. soldiers confiscated the cameraman's video, saying no media coverage was permitted near the nuclear research compound. The nuclear experts arrived in Iraq on Friday on a limited mission to check on looting from the site where low-enriched uranium, known as yellow-cake, was stored in barrels.

The inspectors are operating under strict guidelines from the Pentagon, which does not want to open the door to a renewed role for the agency in postwar Iraq.

Looters emptied some of the barrels and sold them to local people for $2 each. U.S. forces say they paid $3 a barrel to recover the stolen items and five radiological devices.

Some locals who unwittingly washed clothes or stored food in the barrels say children are falling ill, but IAEA and U.S. military officials say they believe the health risk is low.  

2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

Commentary:
When political appointees replace the military search team, this should set off alarms for anyone who's not addicted to conservative propaganda.

First Bush won't let the UN inspectors into Iraq, then the military people are sent home, so now we have political appointee's doing the search for Bush. Why? And more important, why doesn't anyone in the media see this as a major problem?


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War With Iraq Further Divides Global Publics
The Pew Research Center
Released: June 3, 2003

The speed of the war in Iraq and the prevailing belief that the Iraqi people are better off as a result have modestly improved the image of America. But in most countries, opinions of the U.S. are markedly lower than they were a year ago. The war has widened the rift between Americans and Western Europeans, further inflamed the Muslim world, softened support for the war on terrorism, and significantly weakened global public support for the pillars of the post-World War II era – the U.N. and the North Atlantic alliance.

These are the principal findings from the latest survey of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, conducted over the past month in 20 countries and the Palestinian Authority. It is being released together with a broader survey of 44 nations conducted in 2002, which covers attitudes on globalization, democratization and the role of Islam in governance and society.

While the postwar poll paints a mostly negative picture of the image of America, its people and policies, the broader Pew Global Attitudes survey shows wide support for the fundamental economic and political values that the U.S. has long promoted. Globalization, the free market model and democratic ideals are accepted in all corners of the world. Most notably, the 44-nation survey found strong democratic aspirations in most of the Muslim publics surveyed. The postwar update confirms that these aspirations remain intact despite the war and its attendant controversies.

The new survey shows, however, that public confidence in the United Nations is a major victim of the conflict in Iraq. Positive ratings for the world body have tumbled in nearly every country for which benchmark measures are available. Majorities or pluralities in most countries believe that the war in Iraq showed the U.N. to be not so important any more. The idea that the U.N. is less relevant is much more prevalent now than it was just before the war, and is shared by people in countries that backed the war, the U.S. and Great Britain, as well as in nations that opposed it, notably France and Germany.

In addition, majorities in five of seven NATO countries surveyed support a more independent relationship with the U.S. on diplomatic and security affairs. Fully three-quarters in France (76%), and solid majorities in Turkey (62%), Spain (62%), Italy (61%) and Germany (57%) believe Western Europe should take a more independent approach than it has in the past. ?

The British and Americans disagree – narrow majorities in both countries want the partnership between the U.S. and Western Europe to remain as close as ever. But the percentage of Americans favoring continued close ties with Western Europe has fallen – from 62% before the war to 53% in the current survey. In fact, the American people have cooled on France and Germany as much as the French and Germans have cooled on the U.S.

In Western Europe, negative views of America have declined somewhat since just prior to the war in Iraq, when anti-war sentiment peaked. But since last summer, favorable opinions of the U.S have slipped in nearly every country for which trend measures are available. Views of the American people, while still largely favorable, have fallen as well. The belief that the U.S. pursues a unilateralist foreign policy, which had been extensive last summer, has only grown in the war's aftermath.

In Great Britain and Italy, positive opinions of the U.S. increased considerably since just before the war (see page 19). Of the 21 publics surveyed in the new poll, overall support for the United States is greatest by far in Israel, where 79% view the U.S. favorably. Israelis also express near-universal support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism, with 85% favoring the fight against terrorism. Majorities in Western Europe and Australia also back the war on terrorism, but support has slipped since last summer in both France and Germany (15 points in France, 10 points in Germany).

In addition, the bottom has fallen out of support for America in most of the Muslim world. Negative views of the U.S. among Muslims, which had been largely limited to countries in the Middle East, have spread to Muslim populations in Indonesia and Nigeria. Since last summer, favorable ratings for the U.S. have fallen from 61% to 15% in Indonesia and from 71% to 38% among Muslims in Nigeria.

In the wake of the war, a growing percentage of Muslims see serious threats to Islam. Specifically, majorities in seven of eight Muslim populations surveyed express worries that the U.S. might become a military threat to their countries. Even in Kuwait, where people have a generally favorable view of the United States, 53% voice at least some concern that the U.S. could someday pose a threat.

Support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism also has fallen in most Muslim publics. Equally significant, solid majorities in the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia and Jordan – and nearly half of those in Morocco and Pakistan – say they have at least some confidence in Osama bin Laden to "do the right thing regarding world affairs." Fully 71% of Palestinians say they have confidence in bin Laden in this regard.

More generally, the postwar update survey of 16,000 respondents finds, in most countries that are friendly to the United States, only modest percentages have confidence that President Bush will do the right thing in international affairs. People in most countries rate Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair more highly than they do Bush. The president also ranks slightly behind Blair in the United States, mostly due to political partisanship. Nearly all Republicans (95%) express confidence in Bush, compared with 64% of Democrats.

War Views Entrenched

The war itself did little to change opinions about the merits of using force in Iraq. In countries where there was strong opposition to the war, people overwhelmingly believe their governments made the right decision to stay out of the conflict. In countries that backed the war, with the notable exception of Spain, publics believe their governments made the right decision. In Great Britain, support for the war has grown following its successful outcome. A majority of Turks oppose even the limited help their government offered the U.S. during the war, while Kuwaitis largely approve of their government's support for the military effort.

Opinion about the war is strongly related to perceptions of how the U.S. and its allies conducted the war and are managing its aftermath. In countries opposed to the war, there is a widespread belief the coalition did not try hard enough to avoid civilian casualties. By contrast, solid majorities in most of the coalition countries, as well as Israel, believe the U.S. and its allies did make a serious attempt to spare civilians. Eight-in-ten Americans (82%) feel that way, the highest percentage of any population surveyed.

A somewhat different pattern is apparent in attitudes toward the postwar reconstruction of Iraq. Americans generally believe the allies are taking the needs of the Iraqi people into account. But there is less support for that point of view elsewhere, even in Great Britain, Australia and Israel. Muslim publics generally believe the United States and its allies are doing only a fair or poor job in addressing the needs of the Iraqi people in the postwar reconstruction.

There also is widespread disappointment among Muslims that Iraq did not put up more of a fight against the U.S. and its allies. Overwhelming majorities in Morocco (93%), Jordan (91%), Lebanon (82%), Turkey (82%), Indonesia (82%), and the Palestinian Authority (81%) say they are disappointed the Iraqi military put up so little resistance. Many others around the world share that view, including people in South Korea (58%), Brazil (50%) and Russia (45%).

Still, even in countries that staunchly opposed the war many people believe that Iraqis will be better off now that Saddam Hussein has been removed from power. Solid majorities in Western Europe believe the Iraqi people will be better off, as do eight-in-ten Kuwaitis and half of the Lebanese. But substantial majorities elsewhere, notably in Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, say Iraqis will be worse off now that Hussein has been deposed.

The postwar update shows limited optimism for a surge of democratic reform in the Middle East. Substantial minorities of Muslims in many countries say the region will become somewhat more democratic, but only in Kuwait do as many as half predict the Middle East will become much more democratic. Expectations of major political changes in the Middle East are modest in countries that participated in the war. Just 16% in Great Britain, 14% in the U.S. and 10% in Australia think that the Middle East will become much more democratic.

Commentary:
The two most troubling numbers are the rise of bin Laden "doing the right thing" and a fear that the US will attack other Muslim countries.

Obviously fear is an emotion and emotions make people do really weird things, like flying planes into buildings. Since fear (and hate) against the US contines to rise, Bush's policy of endless war (with defenseless counties) doesn't seem to be having the desired result.

It's time to change coarse.


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Probe Urged for Interior's No. 2 Official
By PETE YOST
The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 3, 2003; 5:49 PM

WASHINGTON - Environmental and other advocacy groups asked the Justice Department on Tuesday to have a special prosecutor investigate the No. 2 official at the Interior Department, a former lobbyist, to determine if he violated conflict of interest laws or lied to Congress.

A former independent counsel called for a criminal investigation.

The groups also sued the Bush administration for withholding records about more than $1 million being paid to the official, J. Steven Griles, by his former lobbying firm over a four-year span.

The organizations want to know whether Griles made decisions at the Interior Department that helped his former lobbying clients.

"The energy industry's huge political contributions, combined with the direct payments to Mr. Griles, make ... an investigation imperative," former U.S. attorney Whitney North Seymour said at a news conference with the private organizations.

As an independent counsel in the 1980s, Seymour, a Republican, investigated former White House aide-turned-lobbyist Michael Deaver for possible violations of conflict of interest laws. Seymour's office won a perjury conviction against Deaver.

In an interview about the Griles matter after the news conference, Seymour criticized the Interior Department, saying it "really stonewalled most of the inquiries" seeking documents about Griles's "very irregular financial arrangement" with his ex-lobbying firm, National Environmental Strategies.

The federal lawsuit says the Interior Department withheld 352 pages of records about Griles, including 84 pages of drafts of a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, which oversees ethics rules governing the conduct of top federal officials.

As a lobbyist at NES starting in the mid-1990s, Griles represented an array of oil, gas, coal and other energy industry interests.

Interior Department spokesman Mark Pfeifle said, "These are baseless charges from partisan special interest fund-raising groups that look like they were written by ambulance chasers who sponsor late-night infomercials. Steve's agreement with his former company was approved by the Government Ethics Office and in a bipartisan manner by the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources."

Asked to comment on the request to the Justice Department for a special counsel, Marc Himmelstein, Griles's old lobbying partner who runs NES, laughed and said, "I'll talk to the attorney general if he is stupid enough to waste money."

"The Justice Department is reviewing the request and has not made a determination," said department spokesman Blain Rethmeier.

In a memo to Attorney General John Ashcroft, private attorneys Melanie Sloan and Sharon Buccino say that the rationale for the ongoing annual payments of $284,000 to Griles from his former lobbying firm is largely a mystery. Griles has said the money represents the value of the client base he has built for the lobbying firm over the years.

"How the value of the client base was assessed, and exactly what NES received for its $1.1 million remains unknown," wrote the lawyers representing the various groups.

Groups filing the lawsuit are Friends of the Earth, Defenders of Wildlife and the Endangered Species Coalition. Other groups involved in the request for a special counsel are Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Campaign, Sierra Club and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Citing reports in The Washington Post, the lawyers said Griles attended at least 16 meetings with administration or industry officials to discuss air pollution issues. The lawyers also stated that Griles has been involved in decisions related to coal bed methane development in Wyoming's Powder River Basin; wetland permit rule changes affecting coal mining; and oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The request for a special counsel also said that a grand jury should delve into whether Griles made a false statement at his Senate confirmation hearing when he said he knew of no financial interest that could constitute a conflict. The groups' said Griles did not qualify his answer by describing the nature of his agreement with NES that pays him $284,000 a year.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
Griles received $1 million in bribes while serving the US people. Why exactly do we need to invesigate this? Does he deny he took these bribes, does the company deny they gave him the money?

The Interior Department should be held in contempt for witholding documents from the Office of Government Ethics. Griles must resign.


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Detainees get boost from Justice review
The Christian Science Monitor
By Seth Stern
from the June 04, 2003 edition

The US Justice Department and its top officials could be open to lawsuits by former immigration detainees for everything from wrongful detentions to physical abuse - and the best evidence may come from the Justice Department itself.

For nearly two years, the Justice Department has rebuffed attempts by outsiders to obtain information about the detainees - even fighting requests to release their names.

But now the department's own Inspector General's Office, which functions as an internal watchdog unit, has shed light on what it characterizes as a flawed process under which 762 foreigners were detained without bond or any criminal charges being introduced against them.

As a result, Attorney General John Ashcroft is likely to face tough questions about whether Congress has ceded too much authority to the Justice Department over surveillance and immigration since Sept. 11. It will give ammunition to critics who are trying prevent the department from further expanding its powers - and may bring at least more attempts at legal action against DOJ.

"It's a very damning report," says David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor, who is co-counsel in a class action suit on behalf of former detainees.

The report charges that the Justice Department failed to distinguish between those detained due to terror-related leads and those arrested by "virtue of chance encounters" with law enforcement.

It confirms some allegations previously made by detainees' lawyers: of detentions for days or weeks under the highest security conditions without any individual risk assessment; of being locked in cells 23 hours a day with lights always on and virtually no contact with lawyers or relatives; of physical and mental abuse ranging from being slammed against walls to ethnic taunts and interrupted prayers.

In addition, the report suggests that the Justice Department was aware its actions might violate legal strictures. The inspector general, Glenn Fine, finds INS lawyers had warned that delays in releases were creating an "increased risk of litigation." When detainees did challenge their detentions, the Justice Department avoided addressing the substantive legal issues surrounding its policies by quickly obtaining FBI clearance for their release, the report suggests.

The Justice Department defends its actions, saying in a statement that the "most difficult of circumstances" were "fully within the law and necessary to protect the American people." "The law was scrupulously followed and respected while aggressively protecting innocent Americans from another terrorist attack," said spokeswoman Barbara Comstock.

But critics say the report could give new credence to allegations of civil rights violations. "It confirms what we were claiming: They had a conscious policy to hold people without sufficient showings they were dangerous or connected to terrorism, and a conscious policy to hold people long after an immigration case was resolved," says Mr. Cole.

The ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project says it's "actively assessing claims" that might be brought as a result of the report.

Any such lawsuits may be complicated by the fact that most of the detainees have already left the country, either voluntarily or via deportation for overstaying their visas, says Crystal Williams of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

For instance, David Leopold says he represented 11 Israeli 20-somethings who were rounded up from their apartments at night by armed federal agents. They were held in county or municipal jails for three to five weeks before being allowed to leave. Mr. Leopold says his clients initially considered a civil rights suit but instead jumped on a plane. "These kids were so traumatized ... they were just relieved to get out of here and go back to Israel," he says. Cole says the detainees' status as foreigners may limit the political impact of the report as well.

Copyright © 2003 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.

Commentary:
Ashcroft should resign. Clearly he's done everything in his power to obstruct justice for those he's accused, including denying them access to lawyers and all the other goodies listed in this article. When the US respected the rule of law, before the current regime, such actions were condemned by the US. Today, our government does what it used to condemn and it seems down right proud of doing it.


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Where's the WMD?
DJ Fuller
No holds barred
June 03, 2003

According to decision theorist Philip Tetlock, when confronted with choices, decision-makers take into account not only the potential ramifications of their actions, but also how others will perceive them. The easiest way of dealing with this social accountability "is by making decisions that one is reasonably confident will be acceptable to others."

The United States and Britain sold a preemptive attack of Iraq by invoking the imminent threat of Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is unlikely that any motive other than the elimination of these weapons could have convinced Congress and Parliament to assent to war.

So was the elimination of WMD an authentic casus belli, or was it an easily digestible rationale cooked up by administrations intent on deposing Hussein for other, less justifiable reasons? This question becomes more pressing with each day we fail to find WMD, the search for which has now stretched into its third month.

It appears that the consensus on the WMD story is fraying at the seams. Early last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested that Hussein may have destroyed his WMD before the war began. He later retracted this comment.

Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in an interview with Vanity Fair, alluded that the Bush administration pushed the WMD issue because it was "the one reason everyone could agree on."

Meanwhile, across the pond, a senior British intelligence official has murmured that a government dossier on Iraq -- which claimed that Hussein was capable of deploying biological and chemical weapons within 45 minutes of deciding to use them -- was altered to make Tony Blair's case for war more compelling.

BBC News reports that the dossier, which was "presented as the work of the intelligence services," was actually compiled by junior aides of Blair's. They apparently mistrusted their own expertise, for "long passages were copied almost verbatim -- and sometimes exaggerated -- from a paper written by a Ph.D. student in California," while "other information came from Jane's Intelligence Review."

Whether or not the Bush or Blair administrations actually believed there were WMD in Iraq, the failure to find those weapons would reflect on them equally poorly. If no WMD turn up, we can postulate a number of reasons for their absence, all of which make the coalition of the willing look bad.

If WMD were never there, then the coalition either acted on poor intelligence or lied outright. If the weapons had been there but were smuggled somehow to Syria or Iran, then the war failed in its purpose of nullifying the proliferation of WMD.

Rumsfeld's suggestion that Iraq may have destroyed its weapons before the war is patently ludicrous. Why would Hussein have done such a thing without telling the United Nations?

The only reason for him to have destroyed his WMD, in the face of imminent attack by a superior military, would have been to prevent the attack from happening in the first place. For Hussein to have publicly destroyed his WMD would have been purposeful; what function could secretly destroying them have served, except to expedite his own demise?

It doesn't really matter which way you look at it -- if no WMD turn up, the Bush and Blair administrations' preemption policy will look either disingenuous or poorly conceived.

Which is why they are still insistent that the weapons will be found, in light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. As Tetlock writes,""the need to justify policies that have worked out badly can place great pressure on decision-makers to increase their behavioral commitments to these failing policies."

The Pentagon announced Friday that it is sending a new team to Iraq to hunt for WMD. This, after the first team, the Army's 75th Exploitation Task Force, has dismantled its operations after a fruitless search. Why a new team will be more successful than the first isn't all that clear. Why the Pentagon would send one anyway is quite a bit more so.

© 2003 Oregon Daily Emerald

Commentary:
War with Iraq and WMD sold newspapers and filled our broadcast news with something to talk about. Who cares if it was all a lie. It did what it was supposed to do, get their ratings up. Bush's ratings also went up, so everyone is a winner. Too bad American is hated by the world and is no longer trusted. Oh, well--who cares?


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