Last week David Kay updated the American government on his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "We have not found at this point actual weapons," Kay told congressional committees. Kay's 1,200 member team has spent three hundred million dollars in the past six months searching Iraq for evidence of Saddam's alleged WMD program. So far, they've found one vial of botulinum, a poison that can be used as a weapon.

Despite Kay's failure to find any WMDs, the Bush administration has put a positive spin on the report. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the administration was pleased with the findings. According to The New York Times, McClellan claimed, "This detailed interim report documents how Saddam Hussein's regime was in clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441."

Bush also seemed positive about the report, despite the lack of WMD evidence. Bush said that Kay's search "made clear that Saddam Hussein had deceived the international community and was a danger to the world."

International media outlets reveal some different perspectives on the search for weapons of mass destruction. To Reuters, a nuclear expert on the condition of anonymity, criticized Kay's report as "filled with the use of the words 'belief' and 'may' and 'could have."

On the BBC, former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said that "the US-led coalition had failed to prove Iraq posed a manifest and imminent threat."

The Daily Times in Pakistan reminded readers that before invading Iraq, the White House administration claimed Saddam had a nuclear weapons program and might have a nuclear bomb within a year. With no nuclear weapons discovered in Iraq, Pakistan's Daily Times posed questions about the future. "Will the CIA know when a threat is next developing? And when Mr. Bush says such a threat exists, will other nations or his own people believe him?"

A news analysis in the Russian Pravda argued that the White House doesn't care much about the WMD report. "This is not the issue on which the White House is particularly focused today…. Elections are to take place in the US."


In the Omani Al Watan newspaper, Mohammad Amayreh didn't seem surprised by Kay's report. "Everybody knows that the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, cooperation between the former Iraqi regime and Al Qaeda network and the absence of democracy are not the real reasons behind the American war on Iraq."

Musa Keilani shared his disinterest in the WMD report in an editorial for The Jordan Times. "We in this part of the world do not need explanations, since we knew from the word go that it was not concern over weapons of mass destruction that prompted the US…to go to war against Iraq."

Even the Iraqis have little interest in the WMD report according to the Chinese newspaper Eastday. The paper reports that a member of the Iraqi Governing Council claims, "Iraqis are more concerned with reconstruction of their country than with the issue of WMD."

 

The connection between the current Bush administration and Halliburton Oil, their interests in the Middle East and particularly in the war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq are well documented. However, Vice President Cheney and his former boss, George H.W. Bush, have a stake in more than just oil in the Middle East, and a reason to keep the world's attention on the relationship between Dick Cheney and Halliburton's oil interests, rather than some of the company's other investments, like military bases in sub-Saharan African countries.

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Crayola already has the color, "Burnt Sierra" under its belt. I wouldn't be surprised to find a Burnt Ventura in the next Crayola crayon box I open. Burnt San Bernardino, Burnt Angeles, Burnt Big Bear: If the palette of blistered hills, smoke filled skies, and unearthly sunsets is what Crayola is trying to capture next, look no farther than California.

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On September 15, The New York Times reported that the World Trade Organization talks…. collapsed. According to the Times, an agreement at the WTO talks would have jump-started the economy and "inject(ed) hundreds of billions of dollars into international commercial activity." Why did delegates from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America walk out on an opportunity to help our ailing world economy? The newspapers of several developing countries offer a different perspective than the mainstream American press.

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On March 20, 2003 the United States invaded Iraq as part of the War on Terrorism. According to American officials, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which he could potentially sell to Al Qaeda. Saddam posed an imminent danger to the American people, and for this reason the United States began bombarding Baghdad last spring. Perhaps ironically, terrorism seems to have increased since Americans arrived in Iraq. Four American soldiers and close to forty Iraqi civilians died in FIVE suicide car bombings in Baghdad on Monday, October 27th.

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