28
Jun
2004

The Disaster of Failed Policy

Here it is at last. An editorial in a major mainstream newspaper (LA Times) completely condemning Bush, his lies, the war, the lives and money spent, the squandering of goodwill towards America... Linda

Go to Original

The Disaster of Failed Policy

Los Angeles Times | Editorial

Sunday 27 June 2004

OWEN E. DELL

In its scale and intent, President Bush's war against Iraq was something new and radical: a premeditated decision to invade, occupy and topple the government of a country that was no imminent threat to the United States. This was not a handful of GIs sent to overthrow Panamanian thug Manuel Noriega or to oust a new Marxist government in tiny Grenada.

It was the dispatch of more than 100,000 U.S. troops to implement Bush's post-Sept. 11 doctrine of preemption, one whose dangers President John Quincy Adams understood when he said the United States "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."

In the case of Vietnam, the U.S. began by assisting a friendly government resisting communist takeover in a civil war, though the conflict disintegrated into a failure that still haunts this country. The 1991 Persian Gulf War, under Bush's father, was a successful response to Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait - and Bush's father deliberately stopped short of toppling Saddam Hussein and occupying Iraq.

The current president outlined a far more aggressive policy in a speech to the West Point graduating class in 2002, declaring that in the war on terror "we must take the battle to the enemy" and confront threats before they emerge. The Iraq war was intended as a monument to his new Bush Doctrine, which also posited that the U.S. would take what help was available from allies but would not be held back by them. It now stands as a monument to folly.

The planned transfer Wednesday of limited sovereignty from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to an interim Iraqi government occurs with U.S. influence around the world at a low point and insurgent violence in Iraq reaching new heights of deadliness and coordination.

Important Arab leaders this month rejected a U.S. invitation to attend a summit with leaders of industrialized nations. The enmity between Israelis and Palestinians is fiercer than ever, their hope for peace dimmer.

Residents of the Middle East see the U.S. not as a friend but as an imperial power bent on securing a guaranteed oil supply and a base for U.S. forces. Much of the rest of the world sees a bully.

The War's False Premises

All the main justifications for the invasion offered beforehand by the Bush administration and its supporters - weapons of mass destruction, close ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq, a chance to make Baghdad a fountain of democracy that would spread through the region - turned out to be baseless.

Weeks of suicide car bombings, assassinations of political leaders and attacks on oil pipelines vital to the country's economy have preceded the handover.

On Thursday alone, car bombs and street fighting in five cities claimed more than 100 lives. Iraqis no longer fear torture or death at the hands of Hussein's brutal thugs, but many fear leaving their homes because of the violence.

The U.S. is also poorer after the war, in lives lost, billions spent and terrorists given new fuel for their rage. The initial fighting was easy; the occupation has been a disaster, with Pentagon civilians arrogantly ignoring expert advice on the difficulty of the task and necessary steps for success.

Two iconic pictures from Iraq balance the good and the dreadful - the toppling of Hussein's statue and a prisoner crawling on the floor at Abu Ghraib prison with a leash around his neck. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln in May 2003 to a hero's welcome and a banner declaring "Mission Accomplished."

A year later, more than 90% of Iraqis want the U.S. to leave their country. The president boasted in July that if Iraqi resistance fighters thought they could attack U.S. forces, "bring them on." Since then, more than 400 personnel have been killed by hostile fire.

Iraqis hope, with little evidence, that the transfer of limited sovereignty to an interim government will slow attacks on police, soldiers and civilians. Another goal, democracy, is fading. The first concern remains what it should have been after the rout of Hussein's army: security. The new Iraqi leaders are considering martial law, an understandable response with suicide bombings recently averaging about one a day but a move they could hardly enforce with an army far from rebuilt.

The new government also faces the difficulty of keeping the country together. In the north, the Kurds, an ethnically separate minority community that had been persecuted by Hussein, want at least to maintain the autonomy they've had for a decade. The Sunnis and Shiites distrust each other. Within the Shiite community, to which the majority of Iraqis belong, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and the violent Muqtada Sadr are opponents. Sadr was a relatively minor figure until occupation officials shut his party's newspaper in March and arrested one of his aides, setting off large protests and attacks on U.S. troops.

The U.S. carries its own unwelcome legacies from the occupation:

* Troops are spending more time in Iraq than planned because about one-quarter of the Army is there at any one time. National Guard and Army Reserve forces are being kept on active duty longer than expected, creating problems at home, where the soldiers' jobs go unfilled and families go without parents in the home.

* The Abu Ghraib prison scandal has raised questions about the administration's willingness to ignore Geneva Convention requirements on treatment of prisoners. Investigations of prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay must aim at finding out which high-ranking officers approved of the abuse or should have known of it. The U.S. also must decide what to do with prisoners of war. The Geneva Convention requires they be released when the occupation ends unless they have been formally charged with a crime. The International Committee of the Red Cross says fewer than 50 prisoners have been granted POW status. Thousands more detained as possible security threats also should be released or charged.

* The use of private contractors for military jobs once done by soldiers also demands closer examination. Civilians have long been employed to feed troops and wash uniforms, but the prevalence of ex-GIs interrogating prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison raises harsh new questions. For instance, what, if any, charges could be brought against them if they were found complicit in mistreatment?*

Investigate the Contracts

The administration also put private U.S. contractors in charge of rebuilding Iraq. Congress needs to take a much closer look at what they do and how they bill the government.

Halliburton is the best-known case, having won secret no-bid contracts to rebuild the country. A Pentagon audit found "significant" overcharges by the company, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney; Halliburton denies the allegations.

Iraqis say they want the Americans out, but most understand they will need the foreign forces for many more months. A U.S. troop presence in Iraq should not be indefinite, even if the Iraqis request it. By the end of 2005, Iraq should have enough trained police, soldiers, border guards and other forces to be able to defend the country and put down insurgencies but not threaten neighboring countries.

The Bush administration should push NATO nations to help with the training. Once the Iraqis have a new constitution, an elected government and sufficient security forces, the U.S. should withdraw its troops. That does not mean setting a definite date, because the U.S. cannot walk away from what it created. But it should set realistic goals for Iraq to reach on its own, at which time the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad becomes just another diplomatic outpost. It also means living up to promises to let Iraq choose its own government, even well short of democracy.

France, Germany and others that opposed the war seem to understand that letting Iraq become a failed state, an Afghanistan writ large, threatens them as well as the U.S. and the Middle East. But other nations will do little to help with reconstruction if Iraq remains a thinly disguised fiefdom where U.S. companies get billion-dollar contracts and other countries are shut out.

A Litany of Costly Errors

The missteps have been many: listening to Iraqi exiles like Ahmad Chalabi who insisted that their countrymen would welcome invaders; using too few troops, which led to a continuing crime wave and later to kidnappings and full-blown terror attacks. Disbanding the Iraqi army worsened the nation's unemployment problem and left millions of former soldiers unhappy - men with weapons. Keeping the United Nations at arm's length made it harder to regain assistance when the need was dire.

It will take years for widely felt hostility to ebb, in Iraq and other countries. The consequences of arrogance, accompanied by certitude that the world's most powerful military can cure all ills, should be burned into Americans' memory banks.

Preemption is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster. The U.S. needs better intelligence before it acts in the future. It needs to listen to friendly nations. It needs humility.


"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

President Abraham Lincoln (R)
November 21, 1864

Anti-Bush Ad Overstates Case Against Halliburton

//factcheck.org/article.aspx?docid=201

Sizing Up the Earth's Glaciers

//earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/GLIMS/


Informant: NHNE

The Nuclear Arms Race

The administration of George W. Bush has restarted the nuclear arms race. It did so by abandoning the START II treaty, by withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and by expanding NATO to the borders of Russia...

//reese.king-online.com/Reese_20040628/index.php


From Information Clearing House

Billions of Iraqi Funds Missing

Reports

Billions of dollars belonging to Iraq is not accounted for by the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was given responsibility by the United Nations for the country's finances, British lawmakers and aid activists said Monday...

//www.timesdaily.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040628/API/406280628


From Information Clearing House

Iraq chaos a result of blinkered arrogance

This is my third trip to Iraq since the war, and the situation is the worst I've seen...

//www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/news/editorial/9031657.htm


From Information Clearing House

Former terrorism czar calls Iraq invasion 'enormous mistake'

The invasion of Iraq was an ''enormous mistake'' that is costing untold lives, strengthening al-Qaida and breeding a new generation of terrorists, former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke said Saturday...

//www.boston.com/dailynews/178/nation/Former_terrorism_czar_calls_Ir:.shtml


From Information Clearing House

U.S. Readies for Draft

Despite denials that the U.S. plans to re-institute the draft, the Pentagon has stepped up preparations for a new Selective Service System that could allow for a full-blown draft by next year...

//www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/6/24/104815.shtml


From Information Clearing House

The Logic of Torture

I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them. He did not promise them their liberty. He promised them -- if they signed -- uninterrupted sleep!"...

//hrw.org/english/docs/2004/06/28/usint8967.htm


From Information Clearing House

Terror Suspects Win Right to U.S. Courts

The court refused to endorse a central claim of the White House since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 2001: That the government has authority to seize and detain suspected terrorists or their protectors and indefinitely deny access to courts or lawyers while interrogating them...

//www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4254778,00.html

//www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=5531739


From Information Clearing House

Mother Allows Photos Of Soldier's Coffin To Protest Media Ban

The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq summoned news outlets to photograph her son's flag-draped casket arriving at Sacramento International Airport to protest a Pentagon policy banning media coverage of America's war dead...

//www.nbc4.tv/news/3467974/detail.html


From Information Clearing House

A rush to join the insurgency

U.S. commanders acknowledge that military might alone cannot defeat the insurgency; in fact, the frequent use of force often spurs resistance by deepening ill will...

//www.iht.com/bin/print.php?file=526961.html


From Information Clearing House

Arabs unimpressed by Iraq power transfer

The transfer of authority to an Iraqi government has failed to impress Arab analysts, who predict violence against U.S. troops will continue and Arab governments will withhold full diplomatic recognition...

//uk.news.yahoo.com/040628/325/ewua8.html


From Information Clearing House

Iraq's problems passed on

Legal niceties, are unlikely to cut much ice with the insurgents - so long as foreign troops remain, they will provide both a sitting target and a rallying point for discontent...

//www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1249241,00.html


From Information Clearing House

A Pseudostate Is Born

With nearly 140,000 American troops on Iraq's soil, plus tens of thousands of additional foreign soldiers and civilian security guards armed with everything from submachine guns to helicopters, most military power will not be in Iraqi hands, nor will the power of the budget, largely set and paid for in Washington...

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6400.htm

THE CORPORATION

One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today’s dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The corporation is unlikely to be the first to defy history. In this complex and highly entertaining documentary, Mark Achbar, co-director of the influential and inventive MANUFACTURING CONSENT: NOAM CHOMSKY AND THE MEDIA, teams up with co-director Jennifer Abbott and writer Joel Bakan to examine the far-reaching repercussions of the corporation’s increasing preeminence. Based on Bakan’s book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, the film is a timely, critical inquiry that invites CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits on a graphic and engaging quest to reveal the 4corporation’s inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. Featuring illuminating interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Howard Zinn and many others, THE CORPORATION charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this apparently invincible force...

//www.thecorporation.com/


Informant: Romy



The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
//omega.twoday.net/stories/501787/

If an Agent Knocks

Federal Investigators and Your Rights

Center for Constitutional Rights

//bcn.boulder.co.us/environment/vail/ifanagentknocks.html

The Neutralizers

It is VERY simple.

Those who spend their time fighting tyranny are patriots.

Those who spend their time fighting patriots are advancing tyranny.

The message to which this is a reply, is a good example of one or more of the common strategies of disinformers. A brief discussion is listed below.

The items of relevance, in the message, to which this is a reply are:

2. Dividing patriots into fighting each other by creating strife among patriots

6. ABOVE ALL: Accusing the most effective patriots of being false opposition.

THE GOLDEN RULE OF DISINFORMERS:
Always accuse your adversary of whatever is true about yourself.
How to recognize false opposition (NEUTRALIZERS)

NEUTRALIZERS are people who distract patriots from defending freedom. AMONG MANY OTHER TACTICS, they do this by:

1. Deceiving patriots into supporting hoaxes.

2. Dividing patriots into fighting each other by creating strife among patriots

3. Deceiving patriots into creating class struggle by promoting ethnic hatred.

4. Attempting to waste the time of patriots, by forcing them to respond to personal attacks.

5. Using multiple aliases to create the appearance that there is someone, who believes them to be credible.

6. ABOVE ALL: Accusing the most effective patriots of being false opposition.

THE GOLDEN RULE OF DISINFORMERS:
Always accuse your adversary of whatever is true about yourself.

Any person, who does ALL of the above is certain to be a NEUTRALIZER.

Rather than wasting time responding to personal attacks, it is better to respond quickly to this foolishness, basically by sending a "form letter", which addresses anything worthy of comment.

Then go back to work opposing tyranny.

IN THIS WAY Neutralizers ACTUALLY DO NOT waste the time of patriot activists. Just dispense with them, with a standard response
(This is also a standard response).

Those who seek truth can use facts. Those who argue fiction must resort to insults.

It is unusual to find adults who resort to name calling in the place of addressing issues.

Making personal attacks does not evade the responsibility to provide facts about issues.

Those who seek truth can resist the tempation to shift the discusion from the message to the messenger.

If you have a point to make, about some issue of relevance I would be happy to discuss it with you.

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.

I am not here to talk about you. I am not here to talk about me.
I am here to talk about ideas, if there is anyone else here, who has that type of intellect.


Informant: John Perna (excerpt from his message)

Pentagon to Show Memos Rumsfeld OK'd Interrogation Methods

//www.truthout.org/docs_04/062304B.shtml#1


Informant: Planttrees

A Pentagon memo undermines the US Constitution

//www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=5498
//www.truthout.org/docs_04/062304B.shtml


Informant: Planttrees

The Resistance Always Increases

//www.lewrockwell.com/wiggins/wiggins9.html


Informant: Deborah Sobwick

Omega-News Collection 28. June 2004

Avoidable health crisis
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250472/

Record 600,000 Protest Bush Plan to Weaken Mercury Emission Controls
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251799/

Victory on Arctic Refuge
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250543/

FRANCE, BRITAIN IN JOINT WARNING ON DANGER OF CLIMATE CHANGE
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250764/

Climate experts urge immediate action
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250773/

Western Shoshone Payoff Bill Passes Both Houses of Congress
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250548/

Anti-logging activists prepare for national forest loggers
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250995/

CHEMTRAILS OVER AMERICA
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250600/

KEYS to the CHEMTRAILS
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250673/

CHEMTRAILS-CULLING THE USELESS EATERS
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250684/

Patent for Contrail Generation Method
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250685/

The Mind Altering Abilities of Chemtrails
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250687/

FIERY HELL ON EARTH, Pt. 3
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250767/

Nuclear Power 'Can't Stop Climate Change'
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251543/

The US Has Lost Its Moral Authority
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250636/

Ron Reagan criticizes Bush administration's handling of war in Iraq
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250641/

Iraq war 'will cost each US family $3,415'
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250643/

Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250644/

Militarism and the American Empire
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250645/

GIs to Testify in CIA Prisoner Abuse Case
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250646/

Testimony: Leaders knew of abuse
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250647/

Officials: Abuse probe must hit brass
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250648/

End the EU's embarrassing silence on US torture
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250649/

Congressional report warns CIA is heading over 'proverbial cliff'
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250652/

Cheney obscenity shocks senators
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250654/

Ashcroft’s big con
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250935/

The news media's political "F" word
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250759/

Bush in trouble
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251910/

'Embedded Patriots'
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250656/

The multibillion robbery the US calls reconstruction
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250932/

Indians carry horror tales from US camps
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250934/

Irish President Warns Bush Over Torture Of POWs
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251413/

’Torture in a good cause’
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251414/

Memo lists acceptable "aggressive" interrogation methods
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251883/

Washington Renews War Crimes Immunity In “Sovereign” Iraq
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250996/

White House Counting on Public Apathy
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250933/

The neo-cons' manufactured case for war
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251898/

Racism at Core of Iraq Invasion
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251864/

Promises vs. Real Costs for the Iraqi People
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251868/

Iraq and global victim disarmament
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251892/

US to Employ Surveillance Drones
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251420/

Liberation Will Come Only When the US Leaves
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251871/

Iraq Occupation Erodes Bush Doctrine
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251879/

Realism takes root in Washington
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251920/

The View From America: Responses to Fahrenheit 9/11
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250923/

Activists Using Fahrenheit 9/11 as an Organizing Tool
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251094/

What `October Surprise' might be in store for Americans this fall?
//omega.twoday.net/stories/250991/

Call to action on electronic voting
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251091/

White House Tries to Rein In Scientists
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251383/

No right to remain silent
//omega.twoday.net/stories/251927/

No right to remain silent

by Sheldon Richman

Future of Freedom Foundation

06/25/04

You have the right to remain silent -- unless you're asked your name
when you aren't even charged with a crime. That's right: it can now
be a crime to refuse to tell a policeman your name. What's happening
to America? Nevada and 20 other states have criminalized remaining
silent in the face of a policeman's question 'What's your name?...

//www.fff.org/comment/com0406j.asp


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Realism takes root in Washington

by Jim Lobe

Asia Times

06/26/04

The Bush administration has gotten America into its worst foreign-policy debacle since the Vietnam War, the kind of crisis that creates a moment when you realize you can't continue this way,' said John Ikenberry, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University. 'We are as close to an open rebellion against American leadership in the world as we've seen since after World War II,' he told IPS. 'The costs of a unilateral, hardline, go-it-alone
approach are much greater than those who championed that style have anticipated.' Indeed, the tilt to the realists has been driven by the convergence of Washington's steadily growing diplomatic isolation and its patent failure to cope by itself, or with its dwindling number of allies, with the situation in Iraq...

//www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FF26Ak02.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Bush in trouble

by David Hogberg

The American Spectator

06/28/04

Some of the erosion in Bush's numbers comes from a rather surprising cohort. While Iraq has undoubtedly hurt Bush, he is also facing trouble among his base. Bruce Bartlett recently speculated that Bush has lost the support of fiscal conservatives with his betrayal on a number of issues: tariffs, higher spending on education and agriculture, support for the National Endowment of the Arts, and, of course, the prescription drug bill. A look at the historical numbers from the Washington Post/ABCNews poll suggests this is true...

//www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=6759

The neo-cons' manufactured case for war

by Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke

Cato Institute

06/28/04

In 2001, an America largely disinterested and uninformed about foreign affairs was convulsed by terrorism from abroad. ... This was the moment when a small, largely unknown group of neoconservatives injected itself decisively into the foreign policy process. These neoconservatives, with origins among formerly left internationalist Democrats, tend to be characterized by a Jacobin, uncompromising set of values. In retrospect, one could not know how susceptible an inexperienced president and a less informed polity would be to the policies that have brought about the risky positions in which the nation now finds itself...

//www.cato.org/dailys/06-28-04.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Iraq and global victim disarmament

by Anthony Gregory

The Libertarian Enterprise

06/27/04

If World Government comes, it will not only be the U.N. taking over the world, as the Right fears, nor will it be the U.S. doing so, as the Left suspects. It will be a combination of both: the most powerful government on earth working with the other powerful governments to expand and centralize global authority over everyone, using international law to legitimize its activity. And this of course includes taking away our guns, as well as monopolizing the larger weapons, keeping them in the hands of the politicians who can
most be trusted. Want to talk about international victim disarmament?

Read the papers and see how U.S. soldiers are being directed to disarm Iraqi civilians. Put blue caps on the soldiers and imagine the project on a grander scale...

//www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle277-20040627-02.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Memo lists acceptable "aggressive" interrogation methods

USA Today

06/27/04

The Justice Department spelled out specific interrogation methods that the CIA could use against top al-Qaeda members in a still-classified August 2002 legal memo, issued as the spy agency pressed terrorism suspects about possible strikes on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, current and former Justice officials said. CIA officials had demanded specific guidance for handling 'high-value al-Qaeda captives,' said a former Justice official who worked on the memo."

//tinyurl.com/2o4af


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Iraq Occupation Erodes Bush Doctrine

Analysis

by Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, June 28, 2004; Page A01

The occupation of Iraq has increasingly undermined, and in some cases discredited, the core tenets of President Bush's foreign policy, according to a wide range of Republican and Democratic analysts and U.S. officials.

When the war began 15 months ago, the president's Iraq policy rested on four broad principles: The United States should act preemptively to prevent strikes on U.S. targets. Washington should be willing to act unilaterally, alone or with a select coalition, when the United Nations or allies balk. Iraq was the next cornerstone in the global war on terrorism. And Baghdad's transformation into a new democracy would spark regionwide change.

But these central planks of Bush doctrine have been tainted by spiraling violence, limited reconstruction, failure to find weapons of mass destruction or prove Iraq's ties to al Qaeda, and mounting Arab disillusionment with U.S. leadership.

"Of the four principles, three have failed, and the fourth -- democracy promotion -- is hanging by a sliver," said Geoffrey Kemp, a National Security Council staff member in the Reagan administration and now director of regional strategic programs at the Nixon Center.

The president has "walked away from unilateralism. We're not going to do another preemptive strike anytime soon, certainly not in Iran or North Korea. And it looks like terrorism is getting worse, not better, especially in critical countries like Saudi Arabia," Kemp said.

As a result, Bush doctrine could become the biggest casualty of U.S. intervention in Iraq, which is entering a new phase this week as the United States prepares to hand over power to the new Iraqi government.

Setbacks in Iraq have had a visible impact on policy, forcing shifts or reassessments. The United States has returned to the United Nations to solve its political problems in Iraq. It has appealed to NATO for help on security. It is also relying on diplomacy, with allies, to deal with every other hot spot.

"There's already been a retreat from the radicalism in Bush administration foreign policy," said Walter Russell Mead, a Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow. "You have a feeling that even Bush isn't saying, 'Hey, that was great. Let's do it again.' "

Some analysts, including Republicans, suggest that another casualty of Iraq is the neoconservative approach that inspired a zealous agenda to tackle security threats in the Middle East and transform the region politically.

"Neoconservatism has been replaced by neorealism, even within the Bush White House," Kemp said. "The best evidence is the administration's extraordinary recent reliance on [U.N. Secretary General] Kofi Annan and [U.N. envoy] Lakhdar Brahimi. The neoconservatives are clearly much less credible than they were a year ago."

The administration would not make a senior official or spokesman available for quotation by name to support its policy. But top administration officials insist the Iraq experience has not invalidated Bush doctrine, and they contend its basic principles will endure beyond the Bush presidency.

Policy supporters argue that current realities will keep some form of all four ideas in future policy. "Despite all the problems of implementation and despite mistakes made by the Bush administration, I don't see many other choices," said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and chief of staff for Vice President Dan Quayle.

"No one thinks the Middle East pre-September 11 is acceptable, or that we should work with its dictators. No one says in a world of weapons of mass destruction we can rule out preemption or that they're not worried about the linkage between terrorism and states producing weapons of mass destruction," he said. "So I don't see much of an alternative to the Bush doctrine."

Challenges to its four central tenets, however, are likely to influence U.S. foreign policy for years, some analysts predict.

The Preemptive Strike

The most controversial tenet of Bush doctrine was also the primary justification for launching the Iraq war. In the president's June 2002 address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Bush said deterrence and containment were no longer enough to defend America's borders. The United States, he said, had the right to take preemptive action to prevent attacks against the United States.

"We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act," Bush told cadets.

In the policy's early days, its supporters hinted that preemption could eventually justify forcible government change in Iran, Syria and North Korea as well as in Iraq. But that sentiment is evaporating, because Iraq showed the "pitfalls of the doctrine in graphic detail," said Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Preemption has been "damaged, if not totally discredited," and the outcome in Iraq may prove to be "an inoculation against rash action" by the United States in the future, Carpenter said.

The administration is working overtime to reduce the sense of alarm that Washington is posed "on a hair trigger" to launch a new offensive against governments it does not like, said James F. Hoge Jr., editor of Foreign Affairs magazine. White House officials are relying on diplomacy to defuse confrontations over nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, the two other countries with Iraq that Bush labeled the "axis of evil."

The administration now contends its decision was discretionary, not preemptive, because Saddam Hussein had a decade to meet several U.N. resolutions. U.S. officials also say that after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, they had to learn to deal with threats faster -- and proactively.

"The notion that preemption has been discredited is entirely mistaken," said Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has argued for a muscular approach to international affairs.

"It's a fact of life in the international system, because of the reality of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Kagan said. "The normal lead time that a nation has to protect itself is not what it used to be, so preemption will have to be part of the international arsenal."

Unilateralism

Bush has repeatedly made clear his intent to act alone or with a U.S.-led coalition when the international community balks at confronting perceived threats.

"I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons," he said in his 2002 State of the Union address.

Later that year, he told the U.N. General Assembly that Washington would work with the world body to deal with the "common challenge in Iraq" but stressed that action would be "unavoidable" if Hussein did not comply. "The purposes of the United States should not be doubted," he warned.

Yet Washington has made a grudging retreat after its limited coalition could not cope with all the problems in Iraq, analysts say. The shift was evident when the administration turned to a U.N. envoy to form an interim Iraqi government after two failed U.S. attempts. It has also deferred to the United Nations to oversee elections and to help Iraq write a constitution.

"Going it alone doesn't really work in the world as it exists today," said Mark Schneider, senior vice president of International Crisis Group, a nonpartisan Brussels-based group that tracks global hot spots. "We need allies. We become more vulnerable and exposed when we don't have them."

The administration counters that its coalition included more than 30 countries, including the majority of NATO members, and that the idea is far from new. "Every administration reserves the right with respect to protecting vital American interests to act alone, but every administration seeks to avoid it," said a senior administration official involved in Iraq policy.

The War on Terrorism

Bush turned his sights on Iraq within weeks of the war in Afghanistan. "Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror," he said in the 2002 State of the Union address. He added later: "The price of indifference would be catastrophic."

Whatever the merits of deposing Hussein, foreign and domestic polls now consistently show that the failure to find concrete evidence of significant ties or joint actions between the Iraqi leader and al Qaeda has dissipated international support for the United States and generated skepticism at home about the benefits of the Iraq war.

The Iraq war may even have hurt U.S. efforts to combat terrorism, analysts say, noting the increase in car bombings, hostage abductions and beheadings in Iraq as well as oil-rich Saudi Arabia. "We have assisted al Qaeda in recruiting fresh adherents by the war in Iraq and the antagonism it's generated," Hoge said.

The administration is "drifting," Carpenter said. It "clings to the idea of state-sponsored terrorism as a motive for the Iraq war, but it was wildly off the mark," he said. "Afghanistan continues to be the real central front, to the extent there is a front at all."

U.S. officials say waging war in Iraq was vital to eliminate a refuge for extremists after Afghanistan.

Early supporters of administration policy also say the problem is not with the principles, but with their implementation. Any government has limited chances to enact policy, and early setbacks in execution can lead the public or policymakers to back away even if the ideas remain valid, Kristol said.

Promoting Democracy

The most ambitious aspect of Bush doctrine is pressing for political and economic reform in the Islamic world, the last bloc of countries to hold out against the democratic tide that has swept much of the rest of the world. Iraq was to be the catalyst of change.

"Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution," Bush said in a November 2003 speech to the National Endowment for Democracy.

Although the administration is still pushing its new democracy initiative for the wider Middle East, Muslim disillusionment with the United States over Iraq has deeply hurt this goal, analysts warn. Democratic and Republican foreign policy experts almost unanimously predict that progress will be much slower than expected even six months ago.

"The idea that the Middle East can be repaired by external intervention has been seriously damaged. And the ideas of reform are going to be a much harder sell after Iraq," said Moises Naim, editor of Foreign Policy magazine.

After six decades as the main mediator in the region, the United States may also be losing its standing as an honest broker because of Iraq and the U.S. failure to fulfill promises to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Naim said.

The Iraq intervention also discredited the president's approach to regional peace. "The administration argued that if you removed the security threat in Iraq, you'd improve the chances of solving the Arab-Israeli conflict -- that the road to Jerusalem went through Baghdad. If anything, we learned it's just the other way around," Hoge said.

Supporters of the administration's efforts argue that promoting democracy is the oldest goal in U.S. foreign policy worldwide, dating back more than 200 years. Whatever the current problems, they contend, it will remain a top goal -- particularly in the Islamic world as a key to countering extremism.

The overall impact of policy challenges in Iraq, analysts say, is that the Bush White House has been forced back to the policy center or scaled back the scope of its goals. They cite the president's appeal for NATO assistance and cutbacks in the democracy initiative.

"It's a lesson in hubris," Carpenter said. "The administration thought it had all the answers, but it found out through painful experience that it did not."

Yet administration supporters say Iraq has not produced backtracking or policy reassessment. "Enormously sharp distinctions are being made between different policy views, which are largely artificial," Kagan said. "There was an enormous consensus going into this war and there's a consensus now about what needs to be done. So we are having a huge, vicious debate, and yet I'm not sure what the debate is about."


Informant: M Jenny

Liberation Will Come Only When the US Leaves

Jonathan Steele / The Guardian

June 18th, 2004

With less than two weeks until the much-vaunted transfer of power from the Americans to an Iraqi government, a few hints of the limits to Iraqi independence have emerged from the men Washington has "approved" to participate in the new government. Last week America passed an order banning the radical cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, from taking part in Iraq's first democratic elections in January. It was an odd decision for a country which claims to be bringing democracy to Iraq...

//mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85703:740526,2763,1241809,00.html

Promises vs. Real Costs for the Iraqi People

Glen Rangwala / The Independent

June 27, 2004

Tony Blair's message to the Iraqi people, 8 April 2003 promised: "Coalition forces will make the country safe, and will work with the United Nations to help Iraq get back on its feet." What happened: Coalition military leaders now recognise that a substantial sector of the Iraqi population has been engaged in fighting an insurgency against them from the start of the occupation. At first, it was thought that stability could be achieved simply by taking out the leaders of anti-coalition paramilitary groups in "mopping-up operations". From September 2003, however, the occupation authorities began to think of the violence as a broadly based insurgency...

//mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85702:740526

Promises vs. Real Costs for the Iraqi People

Glen Rangwala / The Independent

June 27, 2004

Tony Blair's message to the Iraqi people, 8 April 2003 promised: "Coalition forces will make the country safe, and will work with the United Nations to help Iraq get back on its feet." What happened: Coalition military leaders now recognise that a substantial sector of the Iraqi population has been engaged in fighting an insurgency against them from the start of the occupation. At first, it was thought that stability could be achieved simply by taking out the leaders of anti-coalition paramilitary groups in "mopping-up operations". From September 2003, however, the occupation authorities began to think of the violence as a broadly based insurgency...

//mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85702:740526

Racism at Core of Iraq Invasion

Firas Al-Atraqchi / Freelance Columnist

April 17, 2004

The popular perception in the US is that Iraq is a country of uncivilized criminals and terrorists raised to hate America because common people hate freedom and liberty, ragheads and sand niggers who brought down the Twin Towers in New York City and attacked the Pentagon. US columnists have taken to calling Iraqis lazy and ungrateful. Take Coalition Provisional Authority head L. Paul Bremer who issued Order 39 (September 19), which declares that 100 percent ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories is allowed to be foreign-owned and 100 percent of profits from these Iraqi institutions is allowed to be moved out of the country. Where do Iraqis fit in? Is it any surprise they feel cheated and robbed? Does a robbed man stand by and watch his possessions dwindle?...

//mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85700:740526

Burgerbewegung

Möglicherweise sind Sie schon informiert, aber falls noch nicht, möchte ich Sie gerne persönlich zur Teilnahme an der "Burgerbewegung" einladen. Sie hat das Ziel, McDonald's zu überzeugen, Hamburger anzubieten, deren Fleisch von Tieren stammt, die mit gentechnikfreiem Futter gefüttert worden sind .

80 Prozent (!) aller gentechnisch veränderten Pflanzen gehen in die Futtermittelproduktion. Zwar müssen Futtermittel gekennzeichnet werden, jedoch nicht tierische Erzeugnisse (Fleisch, Milch). Die Verbraucher werden deshalb zu Zwangsunterstützern der neuen Technologie. Sie können sich beim Kauf nicht gegen oder für die neue Technologie entscheiden. Der Verbraucher wird entmündigt.

Die Entscheidung über eine echte Wahlfreiheit für Verbraucher fällt im Futtermittelsektor. McDonald' s ist als bedeutender Nachfrager von Rindfleisch in der Lage, von seinen Lieferanten den Einsatz von gentechnikfreien Futtermitteln zu verlangen und damit die Wahlfreiheit der Verbraucher zu stärken. Vorausgesetzt: Die Verbraucher wollen das.

McDonald's hat angesichts der von foodwatch organisierten Kundenwünsche bereits signalisiert, dass der Konzern in Deutschland auf gentechnikfreie Futtermittel umzusteigen bereit ist. Also müssen wir jetzt den "Druck" auf McDonald's aufrechterhalten, damit aus Worten Taten werden!

Deshalb meine Bitte:

Gehen Sie auf //www.burgerbewegung.de und mailen Sie den versandfertigen Kundenbrief an die Konzernzentrale!

Und noch etwas:

Bitte empfehlen sie den Link weiter! Das wäre großartig!

Für Rückfragen stehe ich gerne zu Ihrer Verfügung!

Herzlichen Dank und beste Grüße,

Thilo Bode

//www.burgerbewegung.de

Die Burgerbewegung ist eine Mitmach-Aktion für Wahlfreiheit bei Gentechnik - auf zur Burgerwahl bei McDonald's!

Dr. Thilo Bode
foodwatch e.V.
Brunnenstr. 181
10119 Berlin
Tel. 030 - 240 476 - 0
Fax 030 - 240 476 - 26
E-Mail: bode@foodwatch.de
Internet: //www.foodwatch.de

Jetzt neue Aktion zum Mitmachen: //www.burgerbewegung.de


www.burgerbewegung.de

Record 600,000 Protest Bush Plan to Weaken Mercury Emission Controls

June 28, 2004

Tomorrow marks the last day for the public to comment on the highest-profile battle in years between the Bush administration and advocates of public health. The administration is under court order to finalize the first-ever federal regulations to reduce poisonous emissions of mercury from power plants--the largest uncontrolled source of mercury pollution in the U.S.

The battle is marked by an unprecedented public protest against a Bush administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would allow power plants to emit six to seven times more mercury into America's air--and for at least a decade longer--than would be the case if the current Clean Air Act were simply implemented in good faith.

An EPA analysis earlier this year stated that 630,000 American newborns are at risk each year of having unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. Mercury can cause serious developmental and neurological problems in children. It is a highly toxic chemical whose effects on the central nervous system are comparable to those of lead. Many people are exposed to mercury by eating tainted fish. Currently, more than 40 states have issued advisories against eating mercury-contaminated fish from their rivers, lakes and streams.

Properly implemented, the Clean Air Act would bring about a 90 percent reduction of mercury emissions over three years. But the Bush administration has stubbornly defended its plan to reduce mercury emissions by only 70 percent--and over a period of 13 years. As a result, over 600,000 citizens have submitted comments opposing the Bush plan. This is more than twice the highest number of comments EPA has ever received on a rulemaking--greater even than the outcry when the administration tried (unsuccessfully) to fend off stronger controls over arsenic in drinking water.

Two months ago 45 Senators and 10 attorneys general called on EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt to abandon the EPA proposal and instead finalize a rule that complies with the Clean Air Act. And this week 184 members of the House did the same.

"It seems the only people applauding the administration's mercury rule are the people who wrote it: power companies and the Bush administration," Angela Ledford, director of Clear the Air, an environmental health advocacy group, told BushGreenwatch. "Today's Washington Post reports that mercury releases are up 10 percent. This underlines the need to require power plants to reduce emissions as much and as fast as technology allows."

Critics of the Bush plan note that a combination of 25 mercury-emitting utilities have donated nearly $6 million to President Bush's campaign, and that they would share a savings of $2.7 billion under the administration proposal.

TAKE ACTION
Submit a comment to EPA through MercuryHurts.org :
//www.mercuryhurts.org

Source: //www.bushgreenwatch.org/mt_archives/000144.php

World Without Waves (WWW) debuts in Moscow to packed theatre

Moscow report

Dear friends,

Thanks to all of you for your support and kind words. I'm sorry to send a group letter.

It's difficult for me of course to give a completely objective account of yesterday evening, but I am pleased to report that last night was really a pretty big success. I was really surprised that the screening was sold out..people were turned away, and actually people were standing in the theater. I estimate the theater holds about 250..maybe more.

I was given a generous introduction by the head of the film museum of Russia, a really great and famous man of cinema here named N.I. Kleiman.

I made short introductory speech, then Will Stewart, the actor made a few comments. Will and I were presented flowers. Then I found a seat and the film rolled on.

It went really well. I felt the audience was brought into the film and
stayed with it. Afterwards we got a really good round of applause. I'm told that audiences here are very honest about their reactions.in fact I attended films here where there were no applause afterwards.

I was approached afterward by many people asking lot of questions and giving great feedback. I was surprised how insightful the comments. One woman actually recited word for word the Doug dialogue about electricity..I was shocked.

Another young man very much wanted a sound track cd..he thought the music was great.

Another commented that the reason the film is great for the Russian and European audiences is that is shows that American people have the same problems which they have....that the film was honest and didn't use a grandiose story, technical tricks, or other distractions to entertain.

We have not yet been written covered by the Moscow times, so this has been so far a goal not met. More about this later. Monday we'll see if nick holdsworth comes through. I'm hoping.

In summary, I think we're now on the map, and that the festival organizers will hear good things about this evening.

Mitchell Johnson


Informant: David Jones

Mobile phones can cut a man's fertility by a third

Hi Klaus: The article below on research evidence that cell phone radiation can cause male infertility appeared on the front page of yesterday's print edition of THE SUNDAY TIMES. Best, Imelda, Cork


THE SUNDAY TIMES

June 27, 2004

Mobile phones can cut a man's fertility by a third

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

(excerpt)

RESEARCH into the fertility of men who regularly carry and use mobile phones has suggested their sperm count can be cut by up to 30%, reducing chances of conception.

The study is the first to indicate male fertility may be damaged by the radiation emitted by mobiles. Men who carry the phone in a belt holster or trouser pocket are thought to be at the highest risk and could one day be advised to put the mobile in a bag or briefcase and away from vulnerable areas.

Details of the research will be released on Tuesday at an international scientific conference of fertility experts in Berlin. The researchers studied 221 men for 13 months comparing the sperm of those who used their phones heavily with others who did not.

They found that heavy users of mobile phones, those who carried their phone around with them most of the time, had their sperm counts reduced by nearly 30%.

Many of the sperm that did survive showed abnormal movements further reducing fertility.

While the research suggests an effect on the sperm, the scientists say further work will need to be done to confirm the finding and establish the mechanism by which it might happen.

In the paper, Dr Imre Fejes of the obstetrics and gynaecology department at the University of Szeged in Hungary concludes: “The prolonged use of cell phones may have a negative effect on spermatogenesis (sperm production) and male fertility, that deteriorates both concentration and motility.”

Unlike previous studies, the researchers believe that phones may cause damage while in stand-by mode. Although not in use, they make regular transmissions to maintain contact with the nearest radio masts. It had been assumed such transmissions were too short to cause harm.

The findings will be presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual conference.

BGH billigt Grenzwerte für Mobilfunk-Strahlen

"Weiterkämpfen"

Der Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) in Karlsruhe hat eine Klage von Bruchköbeler Mobilfunkgegnern gegen eine Sendeantenne im Kirchturm zurückgewiesen. Dazu heißt es in zwei Leserbriefen:

Dieses Urteil des BGH bietet keinen Anlass zur Resignation. Leserbriefe Frankfurter Rundschau 24-02-04 zum BGH Urteil. Immerhin ist doch jetzt höchstrichterlich festgestellt, dass die untergeordneten Gerichte aufgefordert sind, nach eigenem Ermessen die Beweise Recht suchender Bürger für durch Mobilfunksendeanlagen zu befürchtende Gesundheitsgefährdungen zu prüfen und zu einem eigenen, individuellen Ergebnis im Einzelfall zu kommen. Die Vorgaben des Bundesgerichtshofs sind insoweit eindeutig.

Danach haben die Grenzwerte der 26. Bundes-Immissions-Schutzverordnung (BImSchV) zunächst die Indizwirkung, dass Bürger durch in der Nähe ihrer Wohnungen befindliche Mobilfunksendeanlagen diese nur "unwesentlich" beeinträchtigen. Diese Indizwirkung kann jedoch bei wissenschaftlich begründeten Zweifeln und dem fundierten Verdacht bestehender Gesundheitsgefährdungen, die nicht ins Blaue hinein von betroffenen Bürgern vorgetragen werden, durchaus erschüttert werden, und zwar durch Vorlage neuerer Forschungsergebnisse, die die Grenzwerte in Frage stellen und deshalb dazu führen, dass die untergeordneten Gerichte auf eine Umkehr der Beweislast dahingehend zu erkennen haben, dass nunmehr die Mobilfunkbetreiber die Ungefährlichkeit der von ihren Anlagen ausgehenden Strahlung nachweisen müssen.

Genau dies war bisher nicht der Fall. Nur allzu gerne haben sich bisher die untergeordneten Gerichte auf die Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts zurückgezogen und diese dahingehend interpretiert, dass ihnen eine eigene Beweisaufnahme verboten sei, solange die Grenzwerte der BImSchV noch gelten. Von Recht suchenden Bürgern vorgelegte, neueste wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse und Beurteilungen unabhängiger Wissenschaftler weltweit wurden unter diesem Gesichtspunkt einfach nicht beachtet.

Dies ist nach dem Urteil des Bundesgerichtshofs nun nicht mehr möglich. Vielmehr ist jeder einzelne, mit einer Mobilfunkstreitigkeit befasste Richter aufgerufen, nach seinem eigenen Gewissen und Ermessen die ihm vorgelegten wissenschaftlichen Ergebnisse zu prüfen und zu entscheiden, ob diese begründete Zweifel und den fundierten Verdacht bestätigen, dass die Grenzwerte der BImSchV die Bürger gerade nicht vor gesundheitlichen Beeinträchtigungen durch Mobilfunksendeanlagen schützen. Keineswegs fordert der Bundesgerichtshof also den Beweis für eine Gesundheitsgefährdung durch Mobilfunksendeanlagen, sondern von den betroffenen Bürgern nur noch den Nachweis wissenschaftlich begründeter Zweifel und den eines fundierten Verdachts derartiger gesundheitlicher Beeinträchtigungen.

Nach alledem bleibt es den untergeordneten Gerichten vorbehalten, in Einzelfällen künftig unabhängig von politischen und wirtschaftlichen Erwägungen bürgergerechter die ihnen vorgelegten Beweismittel zu entscheiden. Dies setzt allerdings den grundsätzlichen Wissen unserer Gerichte voraus, die Gesundheit unserer Bürger den wirtschaftlichen Interessen der Lobbyisten und Politiker voranzustellen, denn der Unterschied zwischen einem demokratischen Rechtsstaat und einem Bananenstaat ist und bleibt die Unabhängigkeit der Justiz!

Jürgen Ronimi, Rechtsanwalt, Oberursel


Leserbrief Frankfurter Rundschau 24-02-04 zum BGH Urteil (Auszug)

Weiter im Internet zum Thema "Recht und Mobilfunk unter:
//www.buergerwelle.de/body_recht.html

History of New World Order

//www.pushhamburger.com/bin/wwwboard/messages/397.html#postfp


Informant: kat

Nuclear Power 'Can't Stop Climate Change'

by Geoffrey Lean

Published on Saturday, June 26, 2004 by the lndependent/UK

Nuclear power cannot solve global warming, the international body set up to promote atomic energy admits today.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which exists to spread the peaceful use of the atom, reveals in a new report that it could not grow fast enough over the next decades to slow climate change - even under the most favorable circumstances.

The report - published to celebrate yesterday's 50th anniversary of nuclear power - contradicts a recent surge of support for the atom as the answer to global warming.

That surge was provoked by an article in The Independent last month by Professor James Lovelock - the creator of the Gaia theory - who said that only a massive expansion of nuclear power as the world's main energy source could prevent climate change overwhelming the globe.

Professor Lovelock, a long-time nuclear supporter, wrote: "Civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear - the one safe, available, energy source - now or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet."

His comments were backed by Sir Bernard Ingham, Lady Thatcher's former PR chief, and other commentators, but have now been rebutted by the most authoritative organization on the matter.

Unlike fossil fuels, nuclear power emits no carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change. However, it has long been in decline in the face of rising public opposition and increasing reluctance of governments and utilities to finance its enormous construction costs.

No new atomic power station has been ordered in the US for a quarter of a century, and only one is being built in Western Europe - in Finland. Meanwhile, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden have all pledged to phase out existing plants.

The IAEA report considers two scenarios. In the first, nuclear energy continues to decline, with no new stations built beyond those already planned. Its share of world electricity - and thus its relative contribution to fighting global warming - drops from its current 16 per cent to 12 per cent by 2030.

Surprisingly, it made an even smaller relative contribution to combating climate change under the IAEA's most favorable scenario, seeing nuclear power grow by 70 per cent over the next 25 years. This is because the world would have to be so prosperous to afford the expansions that traditional ways of generating electricity from fossil fuels would have grown even faster. Climate change would doom the planet before nuclear power could save it.

Alan McDonald, an IAEA nuclear energy analyst, told The Independent on Sunday last night: "Saying that nuclear power can solve global warming by itself is way over the top." But he added that closing existing nuclear power stations would make tackling climate change harder.

© 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

//www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/headlines04/0626-05.htm


Informant: Chris
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