Weekly Review — June 13, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

United States forces succeeded in killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, with two five-hundred-pound bombs that were dropped on a safe house north of Baghdad. Zarqawi reportedly survived the bombing at first and even tried to get away but was strapped to a stretcher, where he died. The U.S. military denied reports that American soldiers had beaten the dying terrorist. “He died while American soldiers were attempting to save his life,” said General George Casey. Al Qaeda promised to respond with “major attacks.”New York TimesBloombergNew York TimesTom DeLay, the former Republican majority leader who was forced to resign because he is corrupt, said farewell to the House of Representatives. Dozens of Democrats walked out during his speech. “I did a good job,” DeLay said. “I helped build the largest political coalition in the last 50 years.”UPITexasexecuted an axe murderer, andReutersit was reported that scientists have created a new type of synthetic snakebite antivenom.New ScientistFlorida’swildlife officials decided to remove the manatee, which has a mild taste that readily adapts itself to recipes for beef, from the state’s endangered-species list.New York TimesA new Gallup poll found that Muslim women are generally happy with their lot and think that Western values lead to moral decay, pornography, and promiscuity.Washington TimesNew computer viruses were exploiting World Cup fever,The Business Onlineand Britishscientists claimed that men drink heavily at sporting events in order to compensate for their masculine shortcomings.Economic & Social Research Council

President George W. Bush traveled to Artesia, New Mexico, to address the Border Patrol Academy and suggested that immigrants had better learn to speak good American. “I knew I was in pretty good country when I saw all the cowboy hats,” he said. “And I think I saw one guy spitting in a can.”San Francisco ChronicleThree detainees at the American prison camp at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, committed suicide using nooses made from clothing and bedsheets. “They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own,” said Navy Rear-Admiral Harry Harris. “I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us.” All three men had been in the camp for about four years and had recently engaged in a hunger strike.ScotsmanThe attorney for Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, one of the marines charged with the Haditha massacre, asserted that the massacre, though “tragic,” was nonetheless “lawful” and was the result of following “the rules of engagement and standard protocol.”Associated PressIt was reported that the Pentagon has decided to remove a reference to Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions from a new edition of the Army Field Manual on interrogation. That article bans torture and cruel treatment as well as “outrages on personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.” The change, which would reverse decades of military policy, follows President Bush‘s declaration in 2002 that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to “unlawful combatants” such as terrorists.Los Angeles TimesA report by the Council of Europe charged that European countries (including Germany,Spain,Sweden,Greece, and Italy) served as a “global spider web” for the CIA’s secret abduction and unlawful transfer of terrorism suspects to its network of torture camps around the world.New York TimesThe United States issued a report on the global sex trade and rebuked Germany for being “a source, transit, and destination country” for prostitutes.New York TimesDonald Rumsfeld, the American secretary of defense, traveled to Vietnam, where he complained that Russia is a bully and China is secretive; he also observed that when Vietnam’s first university was founded in 1070 American Indians were still living in mud huts. “That’s impressive,” he said.New York TimesIndonesia’s defense minister scolded Rumsfeld for being overbearing.New York TimesPresident Vladimir Putin of Russia had lunch with Henry Kissinger, who said afterward that he has confidence in “Russian evolution.” “What if my grandmother had certain sexual attributes?” Putin asked a reporter. “Then she would would be my grandfather.” New York TimesA new study found that the quality of men’s sperm deteriorates as they grow older and could lead to an increase in dwarf babies.AP

Armed gunmen abducted more than 50 bystanders at a Baghdad bus stop, and it was announced that May was the deadliest month for Baghdad residents since the beginning of the American occupation. A total of 1,398 bodies were found throughout the city, alongside roads, in garbage dumps, and in abandoned cars, though many others have been abducted, never to be seen again.Los Angeles TimesBritish special forces were being trained to use strap-on “batwings” rather than parachutes; the lightweight carbon wings permit the soldiers to be dropped at high altitudes and then glide for more than 100 miles before landing.Daily MailThe Senate failed to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage,Globe and Mailand Macy’s removed two gay-pride mannequins from a Boston display window after the store received complaints.Boston HeraldIt was reported that the United States carried out 750 air strikes in Afghanistan last month and thatFox Newsplans were being made to send United Nations troops to Darfur.UN.orgSerbia declared itself to be a sovereign state.Associated PressJavier Solana, Europe’s foreign-policy director, formally offered Iran a package of incentives designed to persuade the Islamic state to give up its nuclear ambitions; that same day, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran restarted its uranium-enrichment program.New York TimesNew York TimesAn Israeli artillery shell killed at least seven civilians, including five members of one family (including young children aged ten, three, and one) who were picnicking on a beach in Gaza. Israeli officials expressed regret and said that the shell had been aimed at a target 400 yards away from the picnic. Hamas declared that it would no longer abide by a 16-month-old cease-fire and fired a rocket into Israel.New York TimesThe Army Corps of Engineers admitted that its incompetence was largely to blame for the destruction of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.New York TimesThe Food and Drug Administration asked restaurants to help Americans eat less. “We must take a serious look at the impact these foods are having on our waistlines,” said a health-promotion official named Penelope Slade Royall.MSNBCWhole Foods was concerned about the well-being of its fresh lobsters, andNew York Timesthe New York Times reported that tar-paper shacks have been selling briskly in South African shanty towns.New York TimesA group of high school students in Florida found a real corpse at a fake crime scene.ReutersAmerican conservationists were airlifting endangered frogs out of Panama in their luggage.New York TimesSurgeons in Shanghai successfully removed a baby boy’s third arm.AP

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

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

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today