Weekly Review — February 25, 2003, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspector, ordered Iraq to destroy all its Al Samoud 2 missiles after U.N. tests determined that the missiles exceed the 150-kilometer range set by the Security Council. The lightest version of the missile, Blix said, has a range of 193 kilometers. “If Iraq decides to destroy the weapons that were long-range weapons, that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said President Bush. “So the idea of destroying a rocket, or two rockets, or however many he’s going to destroy, says to me he’s got a lot more weapons to destroy.” United Nations weapons inspectors complained that the intelligence tips they’ve been getting from the United States have been “garbage after garbage after garbage.” Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, traveled to Iran to inspect a nuclear facility that American officials claim is part of a secret nuclear-weapons program. The United States Air Force was studying the feasibility of a nuclear-powered drone aircraft that would be able to “loiter” in the air for months without landing or refueling. Bush Administration officials, apparently concerned that the war in Iraq might not go smoothly, told reporters that Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, has a five-page list of “war risks” that he keeps in a desk drawer and refers to constantly. Hippies from around the world began to arrive in Baghdad to act as human shields against American bombing. President Bush dismissed last week’s worldwide antiwar protests, which some estimate were the largest in human history, and said they would have no effect. “Size of protest â?? it’s like deciding, well, I’m going to decide policy based on a focus group.” The president said that he was unwilling to give Saddam “another, ‘nother, ‘nother last chance,” and observed that “evidently, some of the world don’t view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace.”

France, Belgium, and Germany agreed to let NATO make preparations for defending Turkey in case of an Iraqi attack. Turkey settled for a $15 billion aid package from the United States, down from its initial “firm” demand of $32 billion, after the Americans indicated that the smaller sum could be made available this year. U.S. and Turkish officials were still discussing Turkey’s plan to send troops into northern Iraq to prevent the Kurds from establishing an independent state. President Jacques Chirac of France berated Central and Eastern European countries for supporting the United States‘ war plans; he told them that they were “badly brought up” and that they were jeopardizing their chances of joining the European Union. Two French tourists were run over by a police SUV as they sunbathed on Miami Beach; the officer drove over the tourists, who were sisters, then backed up and ran over them again. One of the women died. The head of Pakistan’s air force died in a plane crash. Three Venezuelan soldiers who called for civil disobedience against President Hugo Chávez and a protester were found dead with their hands tied and faces covered with tape. They had been tortured. Chávez was delighted that a judge issued arrest orders for two of his most prominent opponents. “These people should have been arrested a long time ago,” Chávez said. “At one in the morning, I sent for the sweet cooked papaya from my mother, to savor it, because it’s not about hate, but justice.” He said that all the leaders of the recent general strike should be tried as terrorists and saboteurs. The Nicaraguan government was trying to decide whether to force a pregnant nine-year-old girl to carry her baby to term; “I don’t want to share my toys with other children,” said the girl, who was raped and has requested an abortion. I take care of my toys.” “Animal-rights activists were organizing opposition to a bill in the Texas House that would define many of their activities as acts of terrorism. A German court convicted Mounir el-Motassadeq on 3,066 counts of accessory to murder for helping to plan the September 11 attacks, and sentenced him to 15 years in jail. The British man who decapitated a marble statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher was sentenced to three months in jail despite his explanation that the vandalism was an artistic expression of his opposition to global capitalism.

Seven states announced that they will file suit against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to enforce the Clean Air Act, which requires the EPA to review and update its standards every eight years. The suit contends that this requirement has not been met for 20 years and that carbon dioxide, possibly the single most destructive pollutant, has been improperly left off the list of regulated emissions. An American geologist speculated that some of the large gullies on Mars were caused by melting snow. At least 96 people died and almost 200 people were injured at a Great White concert in Rhode Island after the band’s pyrotechnic display set the club on fire. At least 120 people died in an arson attack in a South Korean subway. Many of the victims, who were trapped inside the burning cars, used their cell phones to call family members to say goodbye. “Forgive me for leaving before you,” one boy told his mother. Twenty-one people died in a stampede at an illegal nightclub in Chicago. The Pentagon unveiled an “escape hood” that will be issued to all its employees. Defense Department officials told reporters that their psychological tactics were more sophisticated than ever; the Air Force, for example, has been broadcasting programs that mimic the style of local Iraqi programming: “Do not let Saddam Hussein tarnish the reputation of the soldiers any longer,” a recent broadcast said. “Saddam uses the military to persecute those who don’t agree with his unjust agenda. Make the decision.” The officials were hoping to learn from their mistakes in Afghanistan, where 500 radios were air-dropped to civilians. None survived impact. It was reported that Bahrain is planning to build an indoor ski resort. A Toyota salesman murdered a British defense worker in Saudi Arabia, and three journalists were imprisoned in Jordan for libeling the Prophet Muhammad. Three more detainees at Camp X-Ray in Cuba tried to kill themselves. The surgeon who branded the initials of the University of Kentucky into a woman’s uterus before he removed it defended his actions and said he was simply marking the midline of the organ. “I felt this was honorable since it made reference to the college of medicine where I received my medical degree.” Nine other women asked to join the lawsuit after discovering that they too had been branded. David Miller, a Republican state senator from Iowa, called for a creation of a “Commission on the Status of Men” to figure out what has gone wrong for the American male. A Hong Kong man died of a chicken-borne flu. U.S. Marines, in what has been called Operation Kuwaiti Field Chicken, are planning to use “Poultry Chemical Confirmation Devices” as part of an early-warning system against chemical weapons; the devices, which consist of chickens in cages, will be installed on top of the Marines’ Humvees before they roar off into battle. A chemist in Australia finally succeeded in mixing oil and water.

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2016

Atlas Aggregated

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Origins of Speech

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Verse

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Sigh and a Salute

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Prose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Don the Realtor

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Martin Amis on the rise of Trump, Tom Wolfe on the origins of speech, Art Spiegelman on Si Lewen, fiction by Diane Williams, and more

In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Don the Realtor·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"If you have ever wondered what it’s like, being a young and avaricious teetotal German-American philistine on the make in Manhattan, then your curiosity will be quenched by The Art of the Deal."
Photograph (detail) © Polly Borland/Exclusive by Getty Images
Article
The Origins of Speech·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"To Chomsky...every child’s language organ could use the 'deep structure,' 'universal grammar,' and 'language acquisition device' he was born with to express what he had to say, no matter whether it came out of his mouth in English or Urdu or Nagamese."
Illustration (detail) by Darrel Rees. Source photograph © Miroslav Dakov/Alamy Live News
Article
A Sigh and a Salute·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Si told me that various paintings had spoken to him, but he wished they had been hung closer together 'so they could talk to each other.' This observation planted a seed that would come to fruition years later in his mature work."
Artwork (detail) by Si Lewen
Article
El Bloqueo·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Amid the festivities and the flood of celebrities, it would be easy for Americans to miss that the central plank of the long-standing cold war against Cuba — the economic embargo — remains very much alive and well."
Photograph (detail) by Rose Marie Cromwell

Estimated temperature of Hell, according to two Spanish physicists ‘ interpretation of the Bible:

832°F

The ecosystems around Chernobyl, Ukraine, are now healthier than they were before the nuclear disaster, though radiation levels are still too high for human habitation.

A TSA agent in Seattle was arrested for taking up-skirt photos of women in the airport, a Maryland police officer was arrested for taking up-skirt photos of an off-duty colleague, and the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that taking up-skirt photos is legal in the state.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”

Subscribe Today