Weekly Review — January 20, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

Five military lawyers who represent detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that President Bush has exceeded his constitutional authority in setting up military tribunals for their clients and the other detainees. “Under this monarchical regime,” they wrote, “those who fall into the black hole may not contest the jurisdiction, competency or even the constitutionality of the military tribunals.”New York TimesOne hundred seventy-five members of the Britishparliament, including five former law lords, also filed a brief attacking the administration’s detainment policy. “The exercise of executive power without the possibility of judicial review,” they wrote, “jeopardizes the keystone of our existence as nations, namely the rule of law.”New York TimesThe Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal challenging the government’s post-September 11 policy of secretly seizing and imprisoning Muslim men.Associated PressItaly’s constitutional court struck down a law that gave Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution, a ruling that will revive the corruption charges the law was written to nullify.Washington PostThere were reports that Berlusconi had a bit of work done around the eyes, and some liposuction to the abdomen.London TimesPrime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is also the target of a corruption investigation, said that Israel might decide to change the route of the wall it is building around the West Bank but not because of any demands made by Palestinians, the United Nations, or the International Court of Justice.New York TimesA 22-year-old Palestinianmother killed herself and four Israelis. “I was hoping,” she said in a videotaped statement, “to be the first woman where parts of my body can fly everywhere.”ABC NewsThe Israeli ambassador to Sweden attacked and damaged an artwork at the Historical Museum in Stockholm; the work, by an Israeli artist and his Swedish wife, consists of a portrait of Hanadi Jaradat, a Palestinian suicide bomber who killed 19 people at a cafe in Haifa, on a boat floating in a pool of red liquid. The ambassador ripped electrical wires out of the piece and threw a light into the pool.Reuters“There will be a purge on God’s orders, and evil will be eliminated like shadows,” said the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the cult leader and owner of the Washington Times, in a recent speech. “Gays will be eliminated, the three Israels will unite. If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the Communist purge but at God’s orders.”New York Press

It was revealed that the U.S. military found a directive in the possession of Saddam Hussein telling his followers not to cooperate with foreign Arab jihadists who might enter Iraq to fight the Americans, because their agendas are incompatible.New York TimesThe Bush Administration, worried that it might not be able to hand over Iraqi sovereignty before the U.S. presidential election, decided to ask the United Nations for help.Globe and MailL. Paul Bremer, the American proconsul of Iraq, said he was willing to compromise with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (who has declared that only direct elections will legitimize a new government) but said any changes would be very limited, and that direct elections would not be considered.New York TimesA U.S. Army study concluded that the tactics of the Iraqi guerrillas are getting more sophisticated; officials said that they feared the guerrillas were studying the flight patterns of American helicopters and other aircraft.New York TimesAn Apache helicopter was shot down near Habbaniya.ReutersThe Army War College published a report concluding that the conquest of Iraq was a “detour” that undermined the war on terrorism.New York TimesAl Gore denounced President Bush as a “moral coward.”Los Angeles TimesPresident Bush changed his mind and decided to let Canada bid on Iraqi reconstruction projects, and he announced a new plan to spend $1.5 billion to promote heterosexual marriage.New York Times“You got a pretty face,” President Bush told Scott Reid, a senior strategist for Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada. “You’re a good-looking guy. Better looking than my Scott, anyway.”Globe and Mail

President Bush ordered NASA to build a permanent base on the moon and and to make preparations to send men to Mars; NASA responded by abandoning future maintenance missions for the Hubble Space Telescope, thereby condemning the telescope to a premature death.Space.comKing Mswati III of Swaziland ordered nine palaces to be built for his wives, even though many people in his country are starving.Associated PressPolio was spreading from Nigeria to other countries in Africa.AllAfrica.comDisease experts warned that the bird flu infecting humans in Vietnam could combine with the human influenza virus and start a global pandemic.ReutersThe United States placed an import embargo on civet cats, which apparently carry SARS, andNew York TimesTanzania banned the importation of used underwear.New York TimesSpanish bordello owners were protesting a court ruling that the owner of an “alternative club” in Seville must pay social-security tax on the prostitutes who work there. The owners, who claim that the women are technically freelance marketing consultants, said that paying such taxes would turn them into pimps.New York TimesSeveral communities in California were competing to host the murder trial of Scott Peterson.New York TimesAfghanistan’s supreme court reimposed a ban on television images of women singing on TV, just a few days after the Taliban-era ban was lifted.ReutersGermany said that it accepted “moral responsibility” for the 1904 massacre of 65,000 Hereros in Namibia, its former colony.ReutersMississippi was declared the most corrupt state in the nation.Associated PressSouth Korea was incinerating tons of American beef products.New York TimesPeople in Indiana were still eating deep-fried cow brain sandwiches. The brains puff up nicely when cooked.Associated Press

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

Document of Barbarism

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

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

Factor by which single Americans who use emoji are more likely than other single Americans to be sexually active:

1.85

Brontosaurus was restored as a genus, and cannibalism was reported in tyrannosaurine dinosaurs.

Moore said he did not “generally” date teenage girls, and it was reported that in the 1970s Moore had been banned from his local mall and YMCA for bothering teenage girls.

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