Weekly Review — July 6, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: The Wire Master and his puppets, 1875]
The wire master and his puppets, 1875.

In a furtive ceremony held two days ahead of schedule in order to pre-empt violence, the United States transferred “sovereignty” to Iraq. About 140,000 American troops remained in the country, with no mechanism in place between the two countries to govern the troops, and 150 Americans stayed on in Iraqi ministries as advisers.New York TimesOf the 2,300 construction projects promised by coalition forces, fewer than 140 were underway at the time of the transfer of power.New York TimesOutgoing proconsul L. Paul Bremer warned that Iraq’s path to democracy would be messy, and noted, “It wasn’t very pretty around here either between 1776 and 1787.”SalonIn response to a note from Condoleezza Rice announcing Iraq’s new status, President Bush wrote: “Let Freedom Reign!”New York TimesThree days later, insurgents fired rockets from a bus and a pickup truck that hit two central Baghdad hotels, and a mortar attack on a military base near the city’s airport wounded eleven U.S. soldiers.ReutersCourt proceedings began at “Camp Victory,” the American base near Baghdad, against Saddam Hussein, who identified himself as the current president of Iraq, and eleven members of his administration. “You know that this is all a theater by Bush, to help him win his election,” Hussein observed. He was read criminal charges covering thirty years, including the 1988 gassing of Kurds in Halabja, which he recalled hearing about “on the radio.” The U.S. said that Hussein had not provided any useful information while in custody, though he explained that he had his army invade Kuwait in 1990 to keep them busy.New York TimesObserving that “a state of war is not a blank check for the president,” the Supreme Court ruled that both foreign prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay and so-called enemy combatants held in the United States can use the American legal system to challenge their detention.New York TimesFour American soldiers were charged with fatally pushing an Iraqi off a bridge in January for breaking a curfew.New York TimesScientists found that the sneakiest primates have the biggest brains.New ScientistPresident Bush’s approval rating fell to its lowest point, 42 percent.New York Times

In Afghanistan, Taliban fighters killed fourteen unarmed men for registering to vote.New York TimesPresident Hamid Karzai begged NATO to send security troops to the country, and to “please hurry” in advance of September elections, but his request was rejected.New York TimesMore than 2,100 Florida residents were found to be wrongly included on a list of ineligible voters.Miami HeraldNine members of the House of Representatives asked the United Nations to monitor the November elections, andAgence France Pressetwo conservative groups were caught illegally promoting Ralph Nader’s presidential candidacy in Oregon.CNNThe Bush-Cheney campaign asked church-going volunteers to provide church membership directories to state campaign committees, raising questions about whether the directive violates the separation between church and state.ReutersA Mexican farmer upset about not getting his party’s nomination to run for the state legislature put on a crown of thorns and nailed himself to a wooden cross outside the state’s electoral office.Local6news.comWhile in Turkey for the NATO summit, President Bush met with religious leaders and thanked them “for being so faithful to the Almighty God.”New York TimesThe pope expressed outrage over the sacking of Constantinople by Christian crusaders in 1204.BBCThe FDA approved the use of blood-sucking leeches for medicinal purposes.ReutersLonely people were buying robotic fireflies.Wireless Flash

Hillary Clinton promised that if John Kerry wins the election, Bush’s tax cuts will be eliminated: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”Associated PressThe Supreme Court ruled that a federal law designed to shield children from Internet porn cannot be enforced, because it likely violates the First Amendment.Associated PressAmerican military officers were worrying that promotional cans of Coca-Cola including cell phones and global positioning chips could be used to eavesdrop on classified meetings.YahooThe Cassini spacecraft orbited Saturn and transmitted the first pictures of the icy rings circling the planet, andNew York Timesthe Hubble Space Telescope discovered a hundred new planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way.BBCChiquita was busy engineering bananas that taste like different fruits.BBCThe French government reported that the number of cows infected with mad cow disease in the past thirteen years is 300 times higher than previously suspected, with nearly 50,000 infected animals entering the food chain because the epidemic had gone undetected.TelegraphA 132-pound Japanese man ate 53 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. “I think he has proven, once again, that he is one of the finest athletes of any sport in the world,” concluded a spokesman.WNBC.comA dead woman was suing the late Dr. Robert Atkins for giving her inadequate cancer-treatment advice.New York Daily NewsLittle boys in Utah were selling lemonade for $250 a glass to offset a potential $14 million judgment against the Boy Scouts for starting a wildfire.Associated PressExperts warned that witches’ broom disease and frosty pod disease could devastate chocolate supplies in coming years, andNews.scotsman.comfemale rice farmers in Nepal were plowing their fields in the nude to please the rain god.Associated PressColin Powell sang and danced to “YMCA” for foreign ministers at a conference on Asian-Pacific security.Associated PressA Hindu ascetic was busy rolling his way 800 miles from India to Pakistan to promote world peace.Los Angeles Times

Share
Single Page

More from Margaret Cordi:

Weekly Review May 10, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review March 15, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review February 1, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

June 2016

The Improbability Party

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Trump’s People

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Old Man

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Long Rescue

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

New Television

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Helen Ouyang on the cost of crowd-sourcing drugs, Paul Wood on Trump's supporters, Walter Kirn on political predictions, Sonia Faleiro on a man's search for his kidnapped children, and Rivka Galchen on The People v. O. J. Simpson.

The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

Photograph (detail) © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos
Article
Trump’s People·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"All our friends are saying, load up with plenty of ammunition, because after the stores don’t have no food they’re gonna be hitting houses. They’re going to take over America, put their flag on the Capitol.” “Who?” I asked. “ISIS. Oh yeah.”
Photograph by Mark Abramson for Harper's Magazine (detail)
Article
The Long Rescue·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

He made them groom and feed the half-dozen horses used to transport the raw bricks to the furnace. Like the horses, the children were beaten with whips.
Photograph (detail) © Narendra Shrestha/EPA/Newscom
Article
The Old Man·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

Illustration (detail) by Jen Renninger
Article
New Television·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

With its lens shifting from the courtroom to the newsroom to people’s back yards, the series evokes the way in which, for a brief, delusory moment, the O. J. verdict seemed to deliver justice for all black men.
Still from The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story © FX Networks

Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:

$62,000

Kentucky is the saddest state.

An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.

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