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Asia Times Newsletter - 04/02/2003



Title: Asia Times Newsletter


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www.atimes.com
April?1, 2003
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Detecting disinformation, without radar
How does one tell genuine reporting from an article manufactured to produce the desired propaganda effect? Take a recent item claiming that Shi'ites in Basra were staging a revolt against the Saddam regime ... - Gregory Sinaisky


Iran stakes its Iraq claim
Officially, Iran and Iraq are in a state of no-peace, no-war, and there is certainly little love lost between the neighbors. But since the conclusion of the eight-year war between them in 1988, Tehran has desisted from advocating a regime change in Baghdad. This week that changed - and the United States had better take note. - Hooman Peimani?

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Tehran tests the military waters

Pentagon squares off against Powell, Europe
The issue of who will be in charge of the post-Saddam Hussein occupation of Iraq pits the Pentagon against Secretary of State Colin Powell and the State Department and its allies in Europe, notably British Prime Minister Tony Blair. And like the fighting in Iraq, the battle promises to be a protracted one. - Jim Lobe

THE ROVING EYE
Shifting sands, shifting alliances
The shifting sands of the Middle East's deserts are being matched by shifting alliances in the Arab world, where neutrality can mean intervention (as per Iran), and where loyalties can change overnight - witness the Iraq opposition in exile. One constant remains, though. Every day, more and more Arabs are committing to fight for Iraq. - Pepe Escobar

SPEAKING FREELY
An occasional column in which guest?writers have their?say.?
The myth of the 'bogged down' war
Much is being made of tactical errors, the Iraq war grinding to a halt, and US-led forces meeting "fierce resistance". It's nonsense. General Douglas MacArthur's miscalculation that the Chinese would not enter the Korean War was a tactical error. Four million soldiers dying over three years in that war was fierce fighting. Snappy soundbites and clever cliches don't necessarily reflect the reality in Iraq. - Geoffrey Sherwood

West vs East, daggers drawn
Conflict between West and East in the Mesopotamia heartland is nearly as old as the land itself, and in these age-old battles there are lessons to be learned - for anyone who cares to take the time to study them. - K Gajendra Singh

Coming to terms with the 'great equalizers'
As United States and British forces in Iraq face up to the harsh reality of suicide bombers, they could do worse than turn for guidance to Israel, which has had to deal with the threat for many years. But in comparison to the Israelis, the coalition troops have several key advantages.



Pakistan prepares for the worst
Pakistan, increasingly concerned that it might be on the US hit list, is not standing still waiting. President General Pervez Musharraf is attempting to put a more acceptable stamp on his government with overtures to former premier Benazir Bhutto, and he's also ringing the changes among the top brass of the armed forces. - Syed Saleem Shahzad

HEY JOE
Philippines sits on HIV time bomb
While the Philippines Department of Health reports that only 1,503 Filipinos have contracted HIV, a new book challenges that low figure and shows how conditions are ripe in this very Catholic nation for AIDS to spread viciously. - Ted Lerner



Russia warns of Iraqi fallout
Moscow has sounded a clear warning that North Korea and Iran could - given the events unfolding in their fellow "axis of evil" member Iraq -?be pushed further down the path towards using weapons of mass destruction. And if anyone should know, it's Russia. - Sergei Blagov (Apr 1, '03)

Sun Tzu: The real father of shock and awe
As the phrase "shock and awe" becomes part of the media's lexicon, the roots of the military strategy are found in a book by?5th century BC Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu. Sun's work on war has punctuated the debate under way since it emerged that Washington's initial battle plans have not produced the desired results. (Apr 1, '03)

The new Iraq-bin Laden connection
Al-Jazeera's?broadcast last month of a speech made by Osama bin Laden was immediately used by the Bush administration in its attempt to link Iraq and al-Qaeda. Now, Iraqis are using the very same speech as motivation for resisting US-led forces in their country. - B Raman (Mar 31, '03)
ANALYSIS

Could Saddam still win?
Saddam Hussein's strategy, as is now evident after more than a week of fighting, is to sacrifice open spaces but hold urban areas and conduct guerrilla-style harassment operations in coalition rearguard areas. This promises a long and bloody war. But defeat under such circumstances could turn out to be Saddam's ultimate victory. - Marc Erikson (Mar 28, '03)
REFERENCE
DESK
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All the war action
Maps


ALL THE WAR ACTION
ATol keeps abreast of events in Iraq in?graphic detail.
Click here for our interactive map.
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SARS CRISIS
1.3 billion Chinese in the dark
The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome is making East Asians in particular quite nervous about the illness that has infected more than 1,800 people worldwide and killed more than 60. The tragic irony is that the country where?it originated - China - has told its people, and the World Health Organization, next to nothing.


Euro could outshine dollar
in Indonesia

As a US-led war rages in Iraq, the almighty US dollar is under fire as the international currency of choice in Indonesia. Businesses, the central bank and some in government are eyeing the euro as an international transaction medium that could be less volatile in the long term and might carry less political baggage. - Tony Sitathan

A watershed moment in India
The Indian government's plan to link 31 of the country's major rivers is ambitious in the extreme, although the potential benefits match the grandeur of the venture. Just one detail. How on earth is New Delhi going to pick up the US$150 billion tab? - B S Nagaraj?

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(Advertorial)
WSI Internet?s Asian franchise expansion soars
WSI Internet continues its rapid Asian franchise expansion - amidst record levels of Internet use in Asia-Pacific.


FROM OUR MAILBOX
I am outraged by the bias that American TV channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News show in their coverage of the war with Iraq. My American friends are just and well-meaning people. Opinions about the war are almost equally divided between the for and against camps. Unfortunately, the American media are portraying a one-sided picture of American opinion.?
Krishna
Oregon?

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