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Asia Times Newsletter - 04/03/2003



Title: Asia Times Newsletter


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www.atimes.com
April?3, 2003
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ANALYSIS
Baghdad: Outside in and inside out
After being written off by many as a failure when the US advance on Baghdad paused, General Tommy Franks, the University of Texas drop-out and "muddy boots" soldier who never made it to West Point, appears to have carried out a maneuver to outflank the Republican Guard on the outskirts of Baghdad that military historians will write about for years to come. - Marc Erikson

In the pipeline: More regime change
Israel, with apparent US support, wants to revive a pipeline that once carried oil from the Iraqi city of Mosul to Israel's northern port of Haifa. Such a link would not only secure Israel's oil supplies, it would also go a long way to easing the United States' as well. For it to work, though, there would have to be compliant administrations in both Iraq and currently hostile Syria, through which the?oil would pass. - Hooman Peimani

Changing gears
After a short period in low gear, brought about by unexpected ground realities rather than by any change in strategy, the US has moved into a higher gear as the march on Baghdad proceeds. Given the nature of war, though, one should not expect the campaign to remain in top gear at all times. - B Raman

THE ROVING EYE
Cluster bombs liberate Iraqi children
Reports from the Hilla region of Iraq, 80 kilometers south of Baghdad, say that scores of civilians, many of them children, have been killed and hundreds more injured by cluster bombs. Gruesome images of mutilated bodies are being shown on Arab television stations. But for Western viewers, this ugly side to the war has been sanitized. - Pepe Escobar

Kirkuk: A disaster waiting to happen
Turkey and the United States have taken a step toward patching up their relationship, with Ankara agreeing to the transit through Turkey of fuel and other supplies to US armed forces stationed in northern Iraq. But it is in this sensitive region that urgent issues need to be tackled if catastrophe is to be averted. - K Gajendra Singh

Iranian reformists fall in line with hardliners
As a part of its "active neutrality" policy, Iran has encouraged its people to demonstrate against the US-led war in Iraq. And the rallies have thrown up a surprise - the strong participation of reformists, who are taking the same position as many of the country's hardline Islamists.

ANALYSIS
Rumsfeld under three-pronged attack
US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is under fire on the home front over three issues: the military conduct of the war; his plans for the postwar occupation of the country; and his resistance to any meaningful role for the United Nations, with the latter being potentially the most dangerous. - Jim Lobe

For France, Dr Strangelove comes to life
Freedom fries and toast. Cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Comparisons of President George W Bush's administration to fictitious figures in Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove. What has happened to the trans-Atlantic alliance?


KASHMIR IN FOCUS
Massacre exposes 'healing touch'
The massacre of 24 Hindu Pandits in Indian-administered Kashmir has put the brakes on the state's attempts to woo back those Pandits who fled the region in the face of a terror campaign more than a decade ago, and has also placed in serious doubt the "healing touch policy" of the local government. - Sudha Ramachandran?

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As the snow melts, militaries mobilize

Japan's local politicos eye national spotlight
As Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's popularity plummets and Japan's economy lags, governors and local politicians - such as Shintaro Ishihara, the hawkish governor of Tokyo - are positioning themselves for the opportune moment to be catapulted into the national arena. - Purnendra Jain



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?(Apr 2, '03)


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?(Apr 2, '03)

???
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 (Apr 2, '03)

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 (Apr 2, '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.


There's no business
like war business

To date, the US has rained more than 8,700 bombs, including more than 3,000 missiles, on Iraq and has also fired millions of rounds of ammunition?at military and civilian targets. These will have to be replaced at some stage, and they don't come cheap.

Malaysia: Mismanagement under fire
As Kuala Lumpur braces for a backlash from a United States angered by Malaysia's opposition to the invasion of Iraq, critics are pointing to home-grown economic problems. Even the normally compliant Malaysian press is speaking out against poor economic management. - Arun Bhattacharjee

Market Indices? ??????? ??
Stock Market Report


Business in Brief

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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.


SPEAKING FREELY
An occasional column in which guest correspondents have?a say.

Superpower politics:
National interest first
When push comes to shove, international politics comes down, regrettably, to national interest, not moral ideals. And it is decidedly in South Korea's best interest to show its unflinching support to the United States in order to reaffirm the faltering ROK-US alliance and to forestall any North Korean adventurism. - Sung-Yoon Lee

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FROM OUR MAILBOX

You guys are so far out in left field you must have not heard the dinner bell. Disinformation abounds on your site. Saddam [Hussein] is a murdering child killer. Any excuse to rid the world of his DNA is appropriate.
RLS

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