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

Weekly Review

President George W. Bush traveled to Great Britain, along with 650 companions, including five personal chefs, but was unable to move freely in the country because of massive protests. At Buckingham Palace the president dined on roasted halibut with herbs, free-range chicken, potatoes cocotte, salad, and a sorbet bombe but presumably skipped the Puligny-Montrachet and the Veuve Clicquot, Gold Label, 1995. Truck bombs blew up the British Consulate and a British bank in Istanbul, killing at least 27 and wounding hundreds. Bloody victims ran screaming through the streets. Two hotels in Baghdad used by Westerners were bombed as was the headquarters of a pro-American Kurdish group in Kirkuk.New York Times, Daily TelegraphIraqi guerrillas were using homemade rocket launchers pulled by donkeys and concealed by piles of hay.New York TimesThe Pentagon was planning to launch a 24-hour satellite television channel based in Baghdad to make it easier to circumvent the news media “filter” that Bush Administration officials believe is misleading the public by emphasizing bad news about the occupation of Iraq.Washington PostPresident Bush was asked to comment on the contradiction between “all [his] talk of freedom, justice and tolerance” and the treatment of the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. “Justice is being done,” he replied. “These are illegal noncombatants.”New York TimesRichard Perle, a Pentagon adviser and one of the architects of the conquest of Iraq, admitted to an audience in London that the invasion was illegal: “I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing.”GuardianCounterterrorism officials said that all the recent Al Qaeda attacks were a sign that the organization has been weakened.New York TimesA rocket hit a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan.Associated PressAn animal-rights group fed ham to 70,000 sheep that were destined to be eaten in the Middle East.Agence France-PresseL. Paul Bremer, the American proconsul of Iraq, said that Saddam Hussein is “a voice in the wilderness.”New York TimesLondon banned the feeding of pigeons in Trafalgar Square.Reuters

Judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan heard arguments over the indefinite detention of Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was arrested in Chicago last year and declared an “enemy combatant.” A government lawyer said that “Al Qaeda made the battlefield the United States”; an opposing lawyer said that “the president seeks an unchecked power to substitute military power for the rule of law“; Judge Rosemary Pooler observed that “as terrible as 9/11 was, it didn’t repeal the Constitution.”New York TimesThe Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that homosexuals have the right to get married.New York TimesThe House of Representatives voted to ban keeping lions, tigers, and other “big cats” as pets.Agence France-PresseMichael Jackson was arrested and booked for being a child molester; he then made bail and went to Las Vegas. His lawyer, who also represents Scott Peterson, an accused double murderer, said that the charges are “a big lie.”Fox NewsMexico fired its ambassador to the United Nations for saying that the United States treats his country as a backyard. “We never, ever, in any way would treat Mexico as some backyard or as a second-class nation,” said Colin Powell, the secretary of state. “We have too much of a history that we have gone through together.”New York TimesThe Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released a study concluding that Nafta has failed to create jobs for Mexico and has hurt thousands of rural Mexican farmers. The report also said that the net effect on U.S. jobs had been “minuscule.”New York TimesTen thousand people demonstrated in Miami against a meeting of trade officials who hope to set up a free-trade area among 34 countries in the Western Hemisphere.New York TimesPresident Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia was forced to resign in the face of massive protests, andNew York TimesMuslims across the Middle East celebrated Jerusalem Day by demonstrating and chanting, “Death to Bush! Death to Sharon!”Associated PressThe Department of Homeland Security was reportedly planning to abandon its program requiring most Arab and Muslim foreign men to register with the government. Sources said the program was expensive, inefficient, and useless.New York TimesThe United Nations war-crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia heard testimony from Miroslav Deronjic, a former Bosnian Serb politician, that Radovan Karadzic gave the order in 1995 to slaughter the Muslim men and boys of Srebrenica: “At one moment, he said the following sentence to me: ‘Mirsolav, all of them need to be killed â?? whatever you can lay your hands on.'”New York Times

Conrad Black, the right-wing Canadian press mogul and British lord, was caught receiving large “unauthorized payments” from his company and announced that he was resigning as CEO and that he will sell his company, Hollinger International, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Jerusalem Post, and other media properties.New York TimesIt was reported that Arnold Schwarzenegger wore a Prada suit to his inauguration as governor of California; his wife, Maria Shriver, wore a cream skirt and shell by Valentino.New York TimesKrist Novoselic, the former bassist for Nirvana, was thinking about running for lieutenant governor of Washington.New York TimesThe big mutual-fund scandal continued to unfold, andNew York TimesSenate Democrats and moderate Republicans used a fillibuster to block a $30 billion energy bill that would have given immunity from lawsuits to petrochemical companies that have polluted water supplies with MTBE, a carcinogenic fuel additive.ForbesThe Russian Orthodox Church denounced the Mormons for buying the names of dead Russians so they can baptize their dead souls. “Our ceremony is not rebaptism,” said a spokesman for the Nizhni Novgorod Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “it only gives the soul of the deceased person the freedom of choice to accept our belief or to reject it.”GuardianA German cannibal named Armin Meiwes said he was sorry for killing and eating another man, who supposedly agreed to be eaten and shared a meal of his own penis with his killer. Prosecutors have charged Meiwes with “murder for sexual satisfaction,” because cannibalism is not a crime in Germany.BBCThe Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency began preliminary research into the development of a “hypersonic cruise vehicle” that in theory will be able to take off from a normal runway in the United States and within two hours striketargets more than 10,000 miles away.New ScientistAn American warship docked at Ho Chi Minh City.ReutersIsraeli researchers successfully used DNA to create a functional self-assembling electronic nano-device.New ScientistBritain’s Royal College of Surgeons said that face transplants, though technically possible, probably should not be performed.New ScientistGiant pouched rats were being used to sniff out land mines in Mozambique.Guardian

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2017

Destroyer of Worlds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Crossing Guards

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I am Here Only for Working”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dear Rose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Year of The Frog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dead Ball Situation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Destroyer of Worlds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

Illustration by Darrel Rees. Source photographs: Kim Jong-un © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo; Donald Trump © Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom
Article
Crossing Guards·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Ambassador Bridge arcs over the Detroit River, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, the southernmost city in Canada. Driving in from the Canadian side, where I grew up, is like viewing a panorama of the Motor City’s rise and fall, visible on either side of the bridge’s turquoise steel stanchions. On the right are the tubular glass towers of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, and Michigan Central Station, the rail terminal that closed in 1988. On the left is a rusted industrial corridor — fuel tanks, docks, abandoned warehouses. I have taken this route all my life, but one morning this spring, I crossed for the first time in a truck.

Illustration by Richard Mia
Article
“I am Here Only for Working”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

— Karl Marx

Photograph from the United Arab Emirates by the author. This page: Ruwais Mall
Article
The Year of The Frog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

“Horse 1,” by Nine Francois. Courtesy the artist and AgavePrint, Austin, Texas
Article
Dead Ball Situation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City © Heidtmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Chances that a gynecologist in Italy refuses to perform abortions for religious reasons:

7 in 10

A newly discovered microsnail can easily pass through the eye of a needle.

Moore’s wife published a letter of support signed by more than 50 pastors, and four of those pastors said they either had never seen the letter or had seen it before Moore was accused of sexual assault and asked to have their names removed.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today