Grave Prognosis: A Novel by Daniel Kalla, Chapters 34 & 35 “He considered his options as he followed the Jeep over the Burrard Bridge and into downtown Vancouver. He desperately wanted to alert Trevor, but knew that losing the Jeep could prove fatal for Monica. Reluctantly he decided his only option was to follow this car until it reached its destination. Once there he would find help . . .”
Fact Checking Harper’s Magazine by Randy Geller Harper’s Magazine recently published what seemed like a devastating article about Israeli treatment of Palestinians. It would have been — if it had been true . . .
Iran: The Forgotten Challenge by Sam Vaknin Iran’s march towards ever greater openness is inexorable. Whether this is achieved through reform or through bloody mayhem is up to the citizens of this tortured country — and to sensible decision making elsewhere . . .
How the Media Missed the Airline Security Story by Reese Schonfeld “Last Wednesday, I spoke in Virginia Beach as a continuation of my book tour. I concentrated on the need for the media to make life difficult for liars . . . After lunch a woman in the back of the room asked in mournful tone, ‘If I can’t rely on The New York Times where can I turn?’ I shrugged off the question and said, ‘I don’t know . . .'”
CHAPTERS: Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad ” Washington began to mobilize against germ attacks in 1942. President Franklin D. Roosevelt publicly denounced the exotic arms of America’s foes as ‘terrible and inhumane,’ even while preparing to retaliate in kind. The man chosen to lead the secret U.S. program was George W. Merck, the president of a drug company. Merck was a household name, and generations of physicians had come to rely on The Merck Manual as a trusted guide for diagnosing and treating disease. But the new effort was designed to be nearly invisible, its degree of secrecy matched only by America’s project to build the atom bomb . . .”
We Must Enlarge the Circle of Human Freedom by Paul Wolfowitz “Perhaps the greatest asymmetric advantage with which weíve been blessed is the one that the terrorists tried to attack on September 11th. That is the power of a free democratic people, whose government is based on universal ideals . . .”
We Can Make a Promised Land into a Land of Promise by Shimon Peres “Bin Laden claims that he wants to help the Palestinians in their conflict, but he is an obstacle to a resolution, not an aid. Israel made peace with Egypt and returned all the land and water without Bin Laden. We did likewise with the Jordanians. Not because of terror, but because of the end of terror . . .”
Kabul Diary: May, 1960 by Alice Goldfarb Marquis Our embassy friend dropped us off at the “American Club,” a ramshackle caravanserai that he deemed superior to the downtown hotel. In a huddle of mud buildings, we were assigned a dark and musty chamber, its only concessions to American obsessions air conditioning and a minimal bathroom. At dinner, we met a young man from a small town in California’s San Joaquin Valley, a place that, minus water and will, would much resemble the Afghan landscape. He wanted to be a film maker, he said, and was now at work on his first documentary. His name, just another fellow-wanderer then, was James Ivory . . .
Letter From Jerusalem: How Yasser Arafat Gets Away with Murder by Arlynn Nellhaus In 1973 Yasser Arafat’s voice was recorded on tape personally ordering the murder of the two American diplomats. Yet, he has never been brought to justice by the American government . . .
Pakistan’s Nice Little War by Sam Vaknin. The Taliban are a creation of Pakistan. Nevertheless, Pakistan stands to benefit greatly — economically as well as politically — from the destruction of the Taliban at the hands of the anti-terror coalition . . .
Muslim Soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan: To Fight or Not to Fight? by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) “As soon as the U.S. geared up for the war against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan . . . Army Chaplain Capt. Abd Al-Rasheed Muhammad, the Imam of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. sent an inquiry on the matter to the North American Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) Council, which in turn referred the matter to clerics in the Arab world. The clerics issued a Fatwa permitting Muslim soldiers to take part in the fighting if there was no alternative . . . But on October 30, the editor of the Arabic London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that the clerics who signed this Fatwa had changed their minds and abrogated their previous Fatwa with a new one prohibiting participation of Muslim soldiers in the war in Afghanistan . . .”
Secrets of Israeli Airport Security by Reese Schonfeld “From what I’ve learned, four out of five of the security functions at Israeli airports are performed by government employees . . . Given all this, it seems to me that the plan to privatize U.S. airport security is exactly the opposite of the Israeli system . . .”
Is America’s Afghan War in Trouble? By Alvin Z. Rubinstein Things are going better than they look. The strategic target of Mazar-I-Sharif is ripe for retaking. It requires only a reordering of current Air Force target priorities, and a political decision, to strengthen the Northern Alliance significantly . . .
CHAPTERS: Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America by Yossef Bodansky Osama bin Laden says he is inspired by the plight of Muslims “in a medieval society besieged by a twentieth-century superpower. . . . In our religion, there is a special place in the hereafter for those who participate in jihad,” he added. “One day in Afghanistan was like one thousand days of praying in an ordinary mosque.”
The CIA Fails Again by John LeBoutillier “The CIA has failed us. Their intelligence work is a failure. They are only good at ‘debunking.’ Let us hope our brave soldiers and airmen are not relying solely on this ‘debunking’ agency for their lives . . .”
Bin Laden Calls for a Muslim Uprising (from the BBC) “Those who distinguish between America and Israel are the real enemies of the nation. They are traitors who betrayed God and His prophet, and who betrayed their nation and the trust placed in them . . . Fear God, O Muslims and rise to support your religion. Islam is calling on you: O Muslims, O Muslims, O Muslims . . .”
Bin Laden’s Grand Miscalculation by Tom Grant “Bin Laden has miscalculated. He may or may not yet prove able to foment a Muslim uprising of great breadth, but, by inadvertence, he seems to have made a far more potent alliance nearly inevitable. Only a strategic blunder even greater than his own will prevent the United States, China, and Russia from joining now in common cause to protect the order and security of which they uniquely are guarantors . . .”
Letter From Jerusalem: Why are the American Media Lying about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? by Arlynn Nellhaus “When will they ever call them what they really are: murderers, thugs, and terrorists? I’m not holding my breath . . .”
Letter from Behind the Arras by Polonius With official and unofficial Washington reeling from recent anthrax attacks, questions are increasingly being raised about President Bush’s conduct of the war against Osama Bin Laden, at home and abroad . . .
Why the CIA is Losing the War Against Osama Bin Laden by John LeBoutillier Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s accidental admission that America might never find Osama Bin Laden means the CIA is working poorly. And if our intelligence is bad, then all subsequent actions based on that information will be less than optimal. And that means America is in trouble . . .
Grave Prognosis: A Novel by Daniel Kalla, Chapters 32 & 33 “Mike was having one of those relatively rare straightforward shifts where the pace was right and the diagnoses simple. No one died. No one spilled bodily fluids on him. No one screamed profanities or had to be physically restrained. Patients were polite and grateful. In short, he knew it couldnít last . . .”
The Taliban’s Secret Heroin Weapon by Sam Vaknin The Taliban have some 3000 tons of raw opium. The Afghani-Arab fighters another 2000 tons. Even at the current, depressed, prices, this would fetch well over 2 billion US dollars in next door Pakistan. It represents 5 years of European drug use and a (current) street level value in excess of 100 billion US dollars. The Taliban intends to offload this quantity in the next few months and to convert it to weapons. Destablizing the societies of the West is another welcome side effect . . .
Profiles in Cowardice by Reese Schonfeld On Wednesday night, after anthrax had been discovered in the office of Democratic Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives closed up shop — and Congressmen headed for the hills . . .
Letter From Zimbabwe: It is Up to the European Union Now “At around midnight a black Zimbabwean woman in Chegutu was woken by men banging on her door saying they had come with a message. The woman, alone and frightened, was reluctant to open her door. When she finally did so she was lashed on her shoulder with a whip. She immediately closed and locked the door. I can only imagine her terror as she then heard the men get up on to the roof of her house and smash a hole through it. The men poured paraffin through the hole in the roof and dropped in a burning missile. The woman could not get out as the men were still there, waiting for her with sticks and rocks. She could not protect any of her posessions and had to wait until at last the men ran away. Priscah emerged with only the thin nightdress on her back, her home was burnt down, all her possessions lost . . .”
Grave Prognosis: A Novel by Daniel Kalla, Chapters 30 & 31 “On Monday morning at 7:00 a.m., the members of the task force crowded into the Homicide conference room. At the meeting were ten detectives, four Forensic Identification Squad members, a forensic pathologist, two deputy chiefs, two transcriptionists, and Mike . . .”
To Stop Bin Laden, Follow the Money by Sam Vaknin The corrupt and inept governments of Asia are to blame for not regulating their banking systems, for over-regulating everything else, for not fostering competition, for throwing public money at bad debts and at worse borrowers, for over-taxing, for robbing people of their life savings through capital controls, for tearing at the delicate fabric of trust between customer and bank (Pakistan, for instance, froze all foreign exchange accounts two years ago). Perhaps if Asia had reasonably expedient, reasonably priced, reasonably regulated, user-friendly banks – Osama bin Laden would have found it impossible to finance his mischief so invisibly . . .
Saul Bellow in Love by Leon Aron Bellow’s interest in Ravelstein’s “Great Politics” was fueled by an understanding that making the world safe for democracy meant, first and foremost, de-clawing the beast of anti-Semitism, one of the deadliest products of tyrannies?Left and Right?and of the vulgar passions they whip up and parasitize . . .
“Poets Demand Peace” Goes to War by Eric Yost What’s the point of “Poets Demand Peace”? Certainly a benefit called “Poets Demand Courage” would make more sense intellectually, morally and artistically . . .
The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling “He fumbled in the mass of rags round his bent waist; brought out a black horsehair bag embroidered with silver thread; and shook therefrom on to my table–the dried, withered head of Daniel Dravot!”
Letter from Behind the Arras by Polonius The key to peace in the Middle East, as well as to the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, may be the return of the Arabian lands belonging to the Hashemite Kingdom, lands stolen from the Jordanian Royal family by the Saudis . . .
On the Outside Looking In: An Appreciation of V.S. Naipaul by Alice Goldfarb Marquis The Nobel prize winner insists on describing himself as “the world’s writer,” but he inhabits a realm that must prevail over shrill religion and aggressive nihilism . . .
Grave Prognosis: A Novel by Daniel Kalla, Chapters 28 & 29 “Sandy, do you ever think about your own death?” Trevor asked. “Not if I can help it . . .”
Castro’s Role in Bio-Terrorism by Agustin Blazquez In the face of renewed anthrax attacks, why have Americans been kept ignorant about Castro’s factories of bacteriological and chemical weapons in Cuba?
V. S. Naipaul’s “Incorruptible Scrutiny” by the Swedish Academy Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature because he is a modern philosophe, carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide . . .
What Is At Stake Today? by Benjamin Netanyahu “This is how the Allies rooted out Nazism in the twentieth century. They did not look for the ‘root cause’ of piracy or the ‘root cause’ of Nazism — because they knew that some acts are evil in and of themselves, and do not deserve any consideration or ‘understanding’. They did not ask if Hitler was right about the alleged wrong done to Germany at Versailles. That they left to the historians. The leaders of the Western Alliance said something else: Nothing justifies Nazism. Nothing! . . .”
Colin Powell’s Pakistan Dilemma by Reese Schonfeld The war for Afghanistan has begun — in Pakistan . . .
An Open Letter to President Bush by Raymond Lloyd We must break our link with undemocratic Saudi Arabia, and our dependence on Saudi oil. Let me suggest two ways in which this could be done . . .
We Did Not Choose This Conflict by Tony Blair “It was an attempt to substitute terrorist atrocity for deliberative policy; to see the world run by the chaos consequent on terrorist outrage, rather than by disciplined and calm debate . . .”
Every Nation Has a Choice to Make by President George W. Bush “On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan . . .”
Letter from Behind the Arras by Polonius President Bush might do well to follow the example of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau . . .
Grave Prognosis: A Novel by Daniel Kalla, Chapter 27 “They reached Cyber Latte fifteen minutes after receiving the e-mails. From the outside it looked as if a botched bank robbery was in progress . . .”
Evidence Against Osama Bin Laden The case against Osama Bin Laden, from UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s website . . .
How Some Journalists Help Bin Laden by Andrea Levin That at this painful moment pundits blame Israel for anti-American hostility in the Middle East is unprofessional and dangerous . . .
America’s War Against Terrorism by Alvin Z. Rubinstein This war must be brought home to the Taliban early, unequivocally, and in sustained fashion. Once the United States engages militarily, the Taliban should be made to understand that it waited too long . . .
The Kaleidoscope Has Been Shaken by Tony Blair “If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000 does anyone doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it? There is no compromise possible with such people, no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror. Just a choice: defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must . . .”
Poetry After 9-11, by Dennis Loy Johnson In times of trouble, it seems, people are turning to poetry. Maybe after all the cant an chatter on TV, it seems somehow more to the point . .
We Will Achieve Unconditional Victory Over Terrorism and Terrorists by Rudolph W. Giuliani “On one side is democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human life; on the other is tyranny, arbitrary executions, and mass murder. We’re right and they’re wrong. It’s as simple as that . . .”
Letter from Jerusalem: What About Arafat? by Arlynn Nellhaus Why would the United States seek to organize an international coalition against terrorism by inviting terrorist countries and the father of airplane hijackings, Yasser Arafat, to join . . .?
Grave Prognosis: A Novel by Daniel Kalla, Chapter 26 “Jake Gold and his Forensic Identification Squad arrived next. This was the closest they had come to a useful scene to examine. However, Jake reacted predictably when he saw the body. “I suppose she dragged herself by her head along the floor,” he remarked to Sandy. He indicated the blood-soaked trail from where she had fallen to the middle of the rest room, where the paramedics had placed her . . ”
The Fall of Byzantium: A Cautionary Tale by Sam Vaknin When not at war with Byzantium, the Ottomans were often used by this contemporary superpower to further its geopolitical goals, as the Afghan Mujaheedin or the Albanian KLA collaborated with the USA and its sidekick, the European Union. Not unlike the Muslim Afghan warriors, the Ottomans turned on their benefactors, bringing about the demise of Byzantium, after 1000 years of uninterrupted existence as a superpower . . .
Letter from Behind the Arras by Polonius Despite the rhetoric of battle from President Bush, and the welcome sight of Old Glory flying from homes, cars, and businesses, the Capital seems shrouded in fear and uncertainty after Bush’s rousing speech, though this may dissipate once military action begins . . .
Eyewitness to Mass Murder by Dennis Loy Johnson In the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack, eyewitness accounts reveal deep feelings among those who were there . . .
The U.S. Will Emerge Victorious by Ariel Sharon “The war against terrorism is also a war against incitement, the terrible daily incitement in the official media and in the mosques. It is the incitement that leads to attacks, that dispatches suicide-bombers, that pulls the finger on the detonator trigger. In this war, every state that supports terrorism – is guilty, every body that encourages terrorism – is guilty, every person who incites – the same judgment. A differentiation must be made between the forces of light who sanctify life and the forces of darkness who sanctify death . . .”
Grave Prognosis: A Novel by Daniel Kalla, Chapter 25 “The media scrum outside the VPD building the next morning was bigger than ever. Trevor had already read both dailies and heard the news broadcasts. From the media’s point of view the story was at a standstill. As a result, the assembled reporters were in a foul mood . . .”
President Bush: “Patient Justice” “Fellow citizens, we’ll meet violence with patient justice — assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come . . .”
Bleak New World by Harvey Sicherman September 11, 2001 ended a unique era of American optimism. The United States is now in a state of war with those who attacked New York and Washington. It may soon be at war with those states that harbor them . . .
General Powell’s Rules For years, reports of General Powell’s Rules have circulated through Washington, DC . . .
9-11 by Dennis Loy Johnson It seems ludicrous to be writing a column about books this week. As I write this on deadline day –September 11 –outside my window a plume of billowing black smoke has assumed Biblical proportions over lower Manhattan . . .
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