War & politics: Sept 11th, bin Laden, Middle East news, from my own perspective.
"In the weeks before the war, a coalition of Arab states - including Egypt, Syria, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and Kuwait - united against Israel. As Egyptian President Nasser said on 30 May 1967, "The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation.... the critical hour has arrived." War frenzy was sweeping through the Arab world."
For sure it has a "what me, I didn't do nuffin" feel of Israeli propaganda, but useful for background.
"Bush's week of heavy diplomacy includes a meeting Wednesday in the Oval Office with NATO Secretary General George Robertson. On Saturday, at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., he will consult with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, and the two will hold a joint news conference."
Bush also met the Latvian President today. Jeez, this geezer is clutching at straws. I know Spain's a pal of Blair's, but who cares what they think? Well, guess I'm looking from a UK perspective.
"Maximum temperatures range from 104 F/40 C to 122 F/50 C during the hottest season in July and August."
Fighting in such heat? Would this be like the Russian Nazi, or Napoleonic winter defeats? If I remember my history, it was the failure of the Nazis to supply themselves, and food I believe was Napoleon's downfall.
Still. Such heat will have its complications for non-natives.
"In addition to serving as a diplomatic gesture, a second U.N. resolution would buy time for U.S. and British military forces to get into place. The Times reports troops en route now won't be in position to fight until the end of February or the beginning of March."
The rumours are getting shorter. For nearly a year, now, I've been hearing the "it'll happen x months." It was 4 months, then three, now one and a half.
"His list includes a "concern about Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction against his own people and blaming it on us, which would fit a pattern," Mr. Rumsfeld said. He said the document also noted "that he could do what he did to the Kuwaiti oil fields and explode them, detonate, in a way that lost that important revenue for the Iraqi people.""
It goes on... It could be an absolutely horrible war.
"The first, a high power microwave (HPM) burst delivered via a cruise missile or other guided munition, would act like an electronic lighting bolt to disrupt computerized command facilities as well as guidance systems aboard enemy missiles. The second knockout punch would be what the military calls an agent defeat weapon (ADW) that uses an incendiary explosive to first burn any harmful chemicals and biological toxins and then further inactivate them with chlorine and acid cleansers. The U.S. military won't comment on these weapons, but defense analysts note that high-powered microwave and agent defeat weapons have been in development for some years and it is probable that their development has been accelerated in recent months as the crisis with Iraq has intensified. Experts point to the rapid development of the bunker-busting thermobaric bombs used in Afghanistan as a precedent for using weapons still in the development stage."
It goes on:
"The HTI-J-1000, as it is called, would be the fill inside the penetrating warhead used on the massive 2,000-pound GBU-24 laser-guided bomb and BLU-109 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) used to attack underground bunkers. The titanium boron lithium perchlorate intermetallic fill would ignite to become a high temperature incendiary (HTI) that relies on a series of chemical reactions to increase the temperature inside the targeted bunker to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing storage tanks to explode. The intense heat destroys biological and chemical agents inside the tanks. In addition, the HTI-J-1000 chemical reactions produce byproducts like chlorine, fluorine and a variety of acids that neutralize chem/bio agents much as disinfectants would. All these reactions occur at very low pressure to prevent the chem/bio agents from dispersing into the surrounding area before they can be eliminated."