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Archive for June, 2004

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

CALLING JIM BAKER, ROGER AILES, DAVID GERGEN, MIKE DEAVER…THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION BADLY NEEDS YOUR HELP !

Is there any doubt that the absolute worst aspect of the Bush administration is their inability to even try to put forth a positive image of their policies ????

A depressing report from the Mideast with commentary by Collounsbury.

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Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

GURKHAS IN SADR CITY ?

Will the United States seek the assistance of Nepal’s fabled warriors ? Jodi at the Asia Pages has the story.

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Monday, June 28th, 2004

SCOTUS OPINION ON THE HAMDI CASE

The Supremes tinker with the status quo. Detainees are entitled to a ” meaningful hearing ” to dispute their status as ” enemy combatant ” before a ” neutral ” venue but their detention without charge is Constitutionally authorized by the U.S. Congress during a state of war.

This would seem to overturn Johnson v.Eisentrager but as far as I have read ( I am not finished yet ) O’Conner hasn’t made such a claim ( Hamdi is of course a U.S. citizen but most Guantanamo detainees are not ). My guess is that the Bush administration lost a vote or two because of Abu Ghraib ( Justices take ill to being deceived or misinformed during oral arguments) because the precedents – Ex Parte Quirin, Johnson v. Eisentrager- had been more on their side than that of Hamdi and Padilla. The costs of stupidity and cruelty can be high.

Eugene Volokh’s preliminary comments here. Mithras has a good post up here. Brad DeLong’s is short and references Lincoln.

UPDATE: Arthur Silber’s post here.

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Monday, June 28th, 2004

SAUDI ARABIA’S THIRD MAN IN THE STATE VIEWS THE UNITED STATES AS THE ENEMY OF ISLAM

Saudi Arabia’s powerful Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, the rival of Crown Prince Abdullah, has gone on record agreeing with at least some of the radical pan-Islamist views of al Qaida.

“We must be aware that Islam is now a target of the superpowers “

The prince was alluding to American calls for democratic political and social reform in KSA and the wider Arab world. The al Qaida terrorists who carried out bombings and beheadings in KSA were merely ” deviants ” in the view of Prince Naif.

Naif and Abdullah are struggling for power in the wake of the physical decline of King Fahd. In all previous royal successions the Crown Prince has moved up to become the King of Saudi Arabia but one monarch, the erratic and unpopular King Saud was later deposed by the royal family and replaced by Crown Prince Faisal when a power-sharing arrangement failed to end struggles over KSA policy. Naif’s obvious manuverings against Abdullah and his reaching out to Islamist extremists could indicate that the Crown Prince’s succession is by no means assured.

ADDENDUM:

De Borchgrave on Islamism in the KSA.

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Monday, June 28th, 2004

IRAQ’S INSURGENCY – MORE NETWAR THAN GUERILLA WAR

RAND corporation has a gloomy though tightly written assessment of American Counterinsurgency policy in Iraq. Reader’s digest version:

1) The CPA and ground command failed to initiate any kind of tactics known

to be effective in countering insurgents in classic guerilla warfare situations.

2) Iraq’s insurgency does not resemble or function like a classic guerilla

resistance. It’s the Netwar, stupid.

It is absolutely imperative the American policy makers, military leaders and analysts get an intellectual grip on what is happening on the ground in Iraq and provide operational space for military commanders and civil affairs officers to make innovative and systemic adaptations to tactics, policy and political message. Iraq presages an era asymmetric combat for the United States across all domains until we demonstrate the ability to retain the initiative and use our disparate power effectively.

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