Weekly Review — August 1, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A grasshopper driving a chariot, 1875]

After an Israeli bombing raid killed 54 people, including 37 children, in the Lebanese village of Qana, Beirut residents set fire to a U.N. headquarters.Daily Star (Lebanon)Israel agreed to suspend some bombing operations for 48 hours in order to investigate the deaths, though Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ruled out a ceasefire.BBCIsraeli bombs struck a U.N. post in southern Lebanon, killing four peacekeepers. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said the targeting was “apparently deliberate,” and Olmert called Annan’s comments “premature and erroneous.”BBCAl JazeeraThe United Nations began relief operations.ReutersHezbollah guerillas fired several hundred rockets into towns in northern Israel, hitting a laundry detergent factory and a cemetery, and injuring at least 31 people.CGGLNine Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush, and Israeli officials claimed to have killed some 200 Hezbollah “operatives” since the outset of hostilities.APAP via Dispatch OnlineBBCLebanese were receiving late-night phone calls from the Israeli government. “I just wished I could talk back to the voice,” said one woman, “but it was a recorded message.” Hezbollah responded by sending mobile-phone text messages to dozens of Israelis.SFGate.comHaaretzReuters via thestaronlineThe Israeli military deployed llamas in southern Lebanon.YnetnewsJTARadical Sunni groups usually hostile to Shiites urged support for Hezbollah,Ynetnewsand Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, condemned Israel’s military actions; Howard Dean called al-Maliki an “anti-Semite.”APThirteen U.S. soldiers died in Iraq, where the U.S. military was planning to deploy 5,000 more troops. icasualties.orgAt least 34 gunshot bodies were found in Baghdad, all showing signs of torture.local6.comReutersShiite militia groups in Baghdad were setting up checkpoints, demanding that passersby provide identification, and shooting Sunnis on the spot. “The gangs also raided houses and shouted at the people there, ‘You pimps, Sunnis, we will kill you,'” explained an eyewitness. “And they did.”ReutersNewsweekGunmen in Mosul set fire to government-run food-ration shops. ReutersA marine sniper who has killed as many as 60 insurgents in Iraq said of his work, “It’s like hearing classical music playing in my head.”USA TodayIt was reported that Private Steven D. Green, who is charged with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then killing her and members of her family, had said that, in Iraq, “killing people is like squashing an ant, I mean, you kill somebody and it’s like, ‘All right, let’s go get some pizza.'” Washington PostThe coach of the Iraqi national soccer team resigned and fled to Kurdistan. ABC (Australia)Saddam Hussein demanded that he be shotâ??not hangedâ??if he is found guilty of murdering Shiites in Dujail in 1982. “This case,” said Hussein, “is not worth the urine of an Iraqi child.”Scotsman.comIn Minnesota people in zombie costumes were arrested for carrying “simulated weapons of mass destruction.local6.com

Hot weather killed 141 people (as well as 25,000 cattle and 700,000 fowl) in California, at least 170 people in France, Italy, and Spain, and dozens of racing dogs in Oregon, and shut down MySpace.CBSTwo people in England were killed by a giant inflatable sculpture named Dreamscape.USAgNet.comAFP via Taipei TimesCape Timeslocal6.comlocal6.comBBCRadiologists announced that many Americans were becoming too fat for X-rays,Reutersand a man in Sumatra was squashed by an elephant.news24.comDoctors in India removed a 15-year-old dead fetus from a woman’s womb,Times of IndiaPresident George W. Bush apologized to British Prime Minister Tony Blair for improperly shipping bombs to Israel via Scotland,BBCand Britain considered legislation to establish $1,859 fines for cyber-bullying.Daily MailBaboons were harrassing construction workers in Liverpool,Washington Postand a school headmaster in China burned down 10 classrooms when the dogmeat he was cooking burst into flames.The AustralianAn American scientist claimed that parrots are as intelligent as five-year-old children,ABC (Australia)and Georgian soldiers were injured in a battle in a gorge in Georgia, according to government official Georgy Arveladze.Reuters via tvnz.co.nzIt was reported that detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison have attacked their guards with spit, feces, semen, and a bloody lizard tail.AP via Breitbart.comSenators Hillary Clinton and John McCain held a vodka-drinkingcontest,New York Timesand in Maryland one U.S. Senate candidate said he did not knowingly pay for 20 heroin addicts to come to his campaign rally, while another was arrested for raping his 19-year-old mail-order bride. Washington TimesOfficials in Mississippi claimed to have their beaver problem under control.wjz.comNortheast Mississippi Daily Journal

Geneticists were optimistic about their plans to sequence and compare the genomes of such primate species as the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla). medicalnewstoday.comA Tennesseeelephant named Winkie was found not to have killed her handler on purpose,AP via Forbesand a British jockey apologized for headbutting his horse.Daily MailA large praying mantis statue was frightening children in Tokyo,NDTV.compoisoned pigeons rained down in Schenectady, New York,AOL Newsand Texas was overrun by butterflies.New York TimesA man in Prey Veng province, Cambodia, killed a 76-year-old nun by strangling her with a krama, then attempted to assassinate a monk, while the victims slept at a wat.Phnom Penh PostAn influential Italian banker and member of Opus Dei was found dismembered under a bridge in Parma,Independent (U.K.)and Mel Gibson was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. “Are you a Jew?” Gibson is reported to have asked a sheriff’s deputy. “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?” he demanded of a female sergeant.TMZChinese scientists were preparing to test an artificial sun.UPILubbock, Texas, prayed for rain,KCBD.comand fish fell from the sky in Manna, India.Mail&Guardian

Share
Single Page

More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:

From the March 2020 issue

Findings

From the February 2020 issue

Findings

From the January 2020 issue

Findings

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2020

The Old Normal

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Out of Africa

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Waiting for the End of the World

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In Harm’s Way

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Fifth Step

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A View to a Krill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Old Normal·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Addressing the graduating cadets at West Point in May 1942, General George C. Marshall, then the Army chief of staff, reduced the nation’s purpose in the global war it had recently joined to a single emphatic sentence. “We are determined,” he remarked, “that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.”

At the time Marshall spoke, mere months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. forces had sustained a string of painful setbacks and had yet to win a major battle. Eventual victory over Japan and Germany seemed anything but assured. Yet Marshall was already looking beyond the immediate challenges to define what that victory, when ultimately— and, in his view, inevitably—achieved, was going to signify.

This second world war of the twentieth century, Marshall understood, was going to be immense and immensely destructive. But if vast in scope, it would be limited in duration. The sun would set; the war would end. Today no such expectation exists. Marshall’s successors have come to view armed conflict as an open-ended proposition. The alarming turn in U.S.–Iranian relations is another reminder that war has become normal for the United States.

Article
Waiting for the End of the World·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1.

A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.

I rose long before dawn, too thrilled to sleep, and set off to find my tribe. North from Greenville in the dark, past towns with names like Sans Souci and Travelers Rest, over the border into North Carolina, through land so choked by kudzu that the overgrown trees in the dark looked like great creatures petrified in mid-flight. The weirdness of this scene would, by the end of the weekend, show itself to be appropriate: my trip would be all about romanticism, and romanticism is a human collision with place that results, as Baudelaire put it, “neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in a way of feeling.” My rental car’s engine whined as it climbed the mountains. Day was just breaking when I nosed down a hill to Orchard Lake Campground, where tents were still being erected in the dimness.

Article
The Fifth Step·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Harold Jamieson, once chief engineer of New York City’s sanitation department, enjoyed retirement. He knew from his small circle of friends that some didn’t, so he considered himself lucky. He had an acre of garden in Queens that he shared with several like-minded horticulturists, he had discovered Netflix, and he was making inroads in the books he’d always meant to read. He still missed his wife—a victim of breast cancer five years previous—but aside from that persistent ache, his life was quite full. Before rising every morning, he reminded himself to enjoy the day. At sixty-eight, he liked to think he had a fair amount of road left, but there was no denying it had begun to narrow.

The best part of those days—assuming it wasn’t raining, snowing, or too cold—was the nine-block walk to Central Park after breakfast. Although he carried a cell phone and used an electronic tablet (had grown dependent on it, in fact), he still preferred the print version of the Times. In the park, he would settle on his favorite bench and spend an hour with it, reading the sections back to front, telling himself he was progressing from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Article
Out of Africa·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1. In 2014, Deepti Gurdasani, a genetic epidemiologist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in England, coauthored a paper in Nature on human genetic variation in Africa, from which this image is taken. A recent study had found that DNA from people of European descent made up 96 percent of genetic samples worldwide, reflecting the historical tendency among scientists and doctors to view the male, European body as a global archetype. “There wasn’t very much data available from Africa at all,” Gurdasani told me. To help rectify the imbalance, her research team collected samples from eighteen African ethnolinguistic groups across the continent—such as the Kalenjin of Uganda and the Oromo of Ethiopia—most of whom had not previously been included in genomic research. They analyzed the data using an admixture algorithm, which visualizes the statistical genetic differences among groups by representing them as color clusters. The top chart shows genetic differences among the sampled African populations, in increasing degrees of granularity from top to bottom, and the bottom chart shows how they compare with ethnic groups in the rest of the world. The areas where the colors mix and overlap imply that groups commingled. The Yoruba, for instance, show remarkable homogeneity—their column is almost entirely green and purple—while the Kalenjin seem to have associated with many populations across the continent.

Article
In Harm’s Way·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Ten yards was the nearest we could get to the river. Any closer and the smell was too much to bear. The water was a milky gray color, as if mixed with ashes, and the passage of floating trash was ceaseless. Plastic bags and bottles, coffee lids, yogurt cups, flip-flops, and sodden stuffed animals drifted past, coated in yellow scum. Amid the old tires and mattresses dumped on the riverbank, mounds of rank green weeds gave refuge to birds and grasshoppers, which didn’t seem bothered by the fecal stench.

El Río de los Remedios, or the River of Remedies, runs through the city of Ecatepec, a densely populated satellite of Mexico City. Confined mostly to concrete channels, the river serves as the main drainage line for the vast monochrome barrios that surround the capital. That day, I was standing on a stretch of the canal just north of Ecatepec, with a twenty-three-year-old photographer named Reyna Leynez. Reyna was the one who’d told me about the place and what it represents. This ruined river, this open sewer, is said to be one of the largest mass graves in Mexico.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

The commissioner of CPB admitted that “leadership just got a little overzealous” when detaining hundreds of U.S. citizens of Iranian descent in the wake of Qassem Soleimani’s assassination.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

Subscribe Today