Weekly Review — July 11, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

North Korea launched six rockets over the Sea of Japan, including a Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile, which apparently was aborted after just 40 seconds. One thing we have learned, said President George W. Bush, who strongly dislikes North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong Il, “is that the rocket didn’t stay up very long.” The president, who expressed annoyance when a reporter pointed out that Kim Jong Il had on all accounts increased his nuclear potency since Bush took office, claimed that his antimissile system, which has failed repeated tests, had a “reasonable chance” of intercepting the Taepodong.New York TimesIndia tested its long-range nuclear-capableballistic missile, the Agni-III, in the Bay of Bengal. That test also failed.San Francisco ChronicleNew York TimesGuardianAirliners crashed in Russia and Pakistan, killing hundreds, andAssociated Pressa British military report concluded that Trident nuclear missiles, which are regularly transported on public highways in the United States and Britain, are vulnerable to terrorist attacks or even severe traffic accidents that could trigger a nuclear explosion.New ScientistIsrael continued its push into Gaza in search of an abducted soldier. “We want to use an iron fist,” said Isaac Herzog, a Labor Party minister, “but cautiously, with a lot of consideration.” Palestinians, who did not cease to fire missiles into Israel, were busy counting their dead.International Herald TribuneNew research confirmed that smoking and obesity increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.New York TimesReutersU.S.tax revenue was up.New York Times

The Iraqi civil war continued to escalate as Shiite militiamen invaded a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad and executed at least 36 young men, apparently in response to the bombing of a Shiite mosque; later that day, two car bombs exploded next to another Shiite mosque, killing 19 and wounding 59. Los Angeles TimesSaddam Hussein’slawyers decided to boycott their client’s trial,Reutersand Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki denounced the immunity of American soldiers in Iraq in connection with the rape and murder of a teenage girl and three of her relatives, including another child. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said that there was no apparent connection between the rape-and-murder case and the killings of two soldiers from the unit under investigation.Detroit Free Press“I’m going to make you this promise,” President George W. Bushtold a crowd of soldiers in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, “I’m not going to allow the sacrifice of 2,527 troops who have died in Iraq to be in vain by pulling out before the job is done.”New York TimesPresident Bush also said that he was “willing to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court” in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which held that the administration’s scheme to try prisoners at Guantánamo in military tribunals is illegal. “It didn’t say we couldn’t have done??couldn’t have made that decision, see?” Bush added. “They were silent on whether or not Guantánamo??whether we should have used Guantánamo. In other words, they accepted the use of Guantánamo, the decision I made.”New York TimesFive more American soldiers were charged in the Iraqirape-and-murder case;ABC Newsan Army reserve colonel offered to plead guilty to charges that he engaged in bribery, conspiracy, and money laundering while he was stationed in Iraq;New York Timesand it was reported that SenatorOrrin Hatch intervened to get a record producer out of a Dubai jail after he was sentenced to four years for possession of cocaine.New York TimesThe FBI and the Department of Homeland Security claimed to have foiled a plot by foreign terrorists, in Lebanon, to bomb the Holland Tunnel in New York,Washington Postand three people were arrested for plotting to sell Coca-Cola secrets to PepsiCo.Voice of AmericaPresident Bush denied that the closing of the CIA’sBin Laden unit was significant. “We got a lot of assets looking for Osama bin Laden,” he said. “It’s a matter of time, unless we stop looking.”ReutersProsecutors declined to press charges against Rush Limbaugh for possession of Viagra.Associated PressKen Lay died.Houston Chronicle

A megachurch called the World Overcomers congregation in Memphis, Tennessee, unveiled a 72-foot-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty (with the Ten Commandments under one arm, a tear on her cheek, and “Jehovah” inscribed on her crown) holding a cross of gold.New York TimesFelipe Calderon, the candidate of Mexico’s conservative National Action Party, was apparently elected president, though Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist mayor of Mexico City, refused to concede and demanded a complete recount.Washington PostItaly won the World Cup after France’s Zinedine Zidane was ejected from the game for head-butting Marco Materazzi,Associated Pressand an Italian judge ruled that former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi should stand trial for fraud.BBCThe prime minister of Spain snubbed the pope,Times Onlineand a sheikh in Mogadishu said that Muslims who do not pray five times a day should be put to death.ReutersA United Nations official in Sudan lamented that violence in Darfur has gotten worse since the signing of a recent peace accord.Associated PressIt was reported that Melinda Gates is more comfortable than her husband Bill when it comes to holding AIDS babies in Africa or talking to male prostitutes in India.New York TimesThe world’s oldest crow died in Bearsville, New York,Associated Pressand astronomers observed what they said might be a strange glowing blob of dark matter sucking in gas.New ScientistThe high courts of Georgia and New York both upheld bans on gaymarriage.ForbesPoland’s president appointed his twin brother to serve as prime minister.BloombergPresident Vladimir Putin of Russia explained that he had recently kissed a young boy on the stomach because he “wanted to stroke him like a cat.”Agence France-Presse

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

Chance that a teenager in a New York City jail has a history of traumatic brain injury:

1 in 2

Altruistic children tend to be healthier but from poorer families.

The prosecution told the jury that the officer, Philip Brailsford, was a “killer” for forcing Shaver, who was unarmed and intoxicated, into the hallway and then shooting him as he crawled on the floor crying and asking not to be shot.

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