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Friday, October 25, 2002

-A Darker Shade of Blue-

The term ‘white-collar crime’ was originated by US sociologist Edwin Sutherland in the late 1930s. The type of criminal that Sutherland must have referred to, need not actually have been dressed in a white collar and/or tie. Nowadays society is accustomed to ‘white collar crime’ being committed by CEO’s, top executives, and generally well respected people. Abuse of power, misuse of trust, and general breech of confidentiality, committed by professionals of any description, be they doctors, lawyers, clerics or charity workers has become widespread, and is on the rise.

A list of most prevalent offenses in the US

1. Credit Card Fraud
2. Embezzlement-State
3. Income Tax Fraud
4. Corporate Crime
5. Mail Fraud-Federal
6. Computer Fraud
7. Bank Fraud-Federal
8. Embezzlement-Federal
9. Defrauding Insurer
10. False Advertising

Every year an average of $160 million is stolen or embezzled from schools and colleges all over the US
Credit card fraud amounts to $3 billion per year
Dishonest lawyers pocket $14 billion annually
Charities are robbed of $21 billion per year.


-Faux execs-

During the short history of the current age, so many scandals have surfaced fed by the steroids economy of the 90s that Michael Milken’s and Ivan Boesky’s stock manipulation, insider trading and client de-frauding scheme of the 80s has become a mere record in an ever intensifying fraudulent climate. What’s next after Enron and Arthur Andersen, ImClone, WorldCom and Tyco?


‘Kozlowski and Swartz were charged in early September with enterprise corruption and grand larceny for alleged stealing some $600 million from Tyco International Ltd. They face up to 25 years in prison on each of those charges if convicted.
The commission said Kozlowski used $242 million from an employee loan program, established to help workers buy Tyco stock, to pay for yachts, fine art, jewelry, luxury apartments and vacations. Kozlowski had already been indicted in June on charges of evading New York sales taxes on $13 million in art, including works by Renoir and Monet.’

-Associated Press-


From the NYT article- ‘True tales of capitalist punishment’


E x p o n e n t I a l

Assume you are a major corporate executive accused of a securities fraud that has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in investor losses. Maybe you will be acquitted. But what if you are convicted? How long will your sentence last? Where will you serve the time? And will there be tennis?

Under the previous sentencing guidelines before November 2001, a first-time nonviolent offender who committed a fraud that caused 50 or more people to lose $100 million or more faced a prison sentence of five years to six and a half years in a federal institution. Under the mathematical formula used by the sentencing commission in the 2001 guidelines, the same individual faces a minimum of 19.5 years and a maximum of 24.5 years.

-A note to take heart-

‘What a riot…stop, stop…my ribs hurt…I can’t catch my breath. Thank you, Ms Hwang, for this gem of a column.’

An ecstatic reader commenting on a Wall Street Journal column on the future prospects of former WorldCom Chief Financial Officer Scott Sullivan. The column drew a strong rsponse from it’s readers, one of them, an ex white-collar-con offered a comforting personal account of his ‘incarceration.’ Others may not be so lucky though. Proceed and shiver.


Having been a white-collar "guest" of the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) system for two years, I agree with your recommendation to Mr. Sullivan and any others out there in hot water: Get into a minimum security camp! I spent time at Boron, Calif., as well as Lompoc, the latter being far superior in amenities and a relatively loose security environment. Lompoc also has lots of activities from which to choose, and the guys are a lot of fun.

But my best advice is, "Don't flunk jail," that is, learn something from your time. Get involved in activities, clubs and sports and have FUN!!! Use your time to learn the guitar, paint, write, whatever. A good attitude will make your time go by faster, and most importantly you will enrich yourself and those around you.

Richard Ceniseroz


B u s i n e s s S h u t t l e

You may want court permission to self-surrender, which means having family or friends drive you to the prison and leave you at the gate. Otherwise you will ride what convicted felons call the “super shuttle from hell’ dressed in a jumpsuit, shackled, loaded on a van with up to 15 other prisoners and making stops at several prisons on a trip that could take hours or even days.

L e g e n d o f y o u r f a l l

Former convicts say many illusions are broken the first day. ‘They expect either ‘The Shawshank redemption’ or the myth of ‘Club Fed,’ says David Novak, who spent nine months at the prison camp in Eglin, Florida in 1997 for purposely crashing his aircraft and filling a false insurance claim.
The term ‘Camp conjures images of horseback riding, swimming, and hot dog roasts. Novak said some Wall Street executives showed up thinking they could wear their own clothes, go home on weekends, play golf and bring their laptops- all wrong.

A n h o n e s t j o b

Almost no personal property is allowed, not even contact lenses. Inmates are allowed only one religious text, one pair of eyeglasses, dentures and dental bridge, one solid wedding ring with no stones, $20 in change for vending machines and cash or money orders for an inmate account

An inmate can put unlimited funds in the account but is allowed to spend only $175 a month. Inmates can buy from a small selection of athletic shoes, toiletries and snacks in the commissary, but most money is consumed on telephone calls, which are monitored. All prisoners are required to work, in jobs that pay 11 cents an hour – tax free.

R o y a l F l u s h

Living conditions are tight. At most camps, bunk beds are cramped into small cubicles that holfd two to six inmates. As a newcomer, you get the top bunk. That’s no privilege: your bunkmate is unlikely to let you hang your legs over the side. Savvy inmates try to avoid a cubicle ‘on the waterfront, ‘ across from the bathrooms, where the flushing can be heard all night

D o w n s h a k i n g

Barry Minkow, who served seven and a half years after using his Carpet Cleaning Company to defraud investors, predicted that some inmates would tryto ‘shake down’ any big name Wall Streeter who ends up in prison, for money or favors. ‘They’ll tell them, you shook down investors, I’m going to shake you down: you better pay me to protect you,’ he said.

P r e s u m e d I n n o c e n t

According to Novak, many inmates have kids at home, wives who might be cheating on them, pending divorces, bankruptcy proceedings,’ Novak said, ‘Everyone has their own troubles, so shush up,’ Nobody, he said wants to hear you’re innocent.

From the NYT article-‘True tales of Capitalist punishment’-


Deceptive schemes- and how to curb them

New York- ‘Lie detectors’ those controversial assessors of the truth, are making their way into everyday life. Insurance companies use them to help catch people filing fraudulent claims.
Polygraphs, which have been used for decades, have been joined by new systems that purportedly analyze a person’s voice, blush, pupil size and even brain waves for signs of deception.
The devices range from costly experimental devices that use strings of electrodes or thremal imaging to $19,95 palm-sized versions. No studies have ever proven that lie detectors work. Many show that they assess truth as accurately as a coin flip.

Mankind has looked for centuries for a physical indicator that would expose a liar. The Romans studied the entrails of suspected liars. In China, rice was shoved into the mouths of interviewees to measure how dry they were- the drier the mouth, the more likely the person was lying, it was thought. Other cultures tried various concoctions or ’truth serums,’ but they worked no better than chance.’

-Washington Post-



posted by Walter at 10/25/2002

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Under a full moon

As I got off the tram wagon dressed in black, coming straight down from the barber’s wearing a zero-tolerance haircut, I rushed home eager for a beer and dinner. As I passed the furniture shop on my way I peeked inside quickly to salute the proprietor, an acquaintance. Noticing he was not there, I walked on seeing a group of children approaching me accompanied by a parent and two dogs.

The agile, medium-sized dogs were both attached to long-leashes. One was walking on the outside and the other on the inside. The dog closest to me had a long bony face, a sharp grin and protruding eyes. His skeleton-like agile body, looked more like a Doberman’s then a Greyhound.
I could only guess as to its breed; as I had never seen that type of dog before. As I passed him by, he suddenly lunged out at me sideways, biting my lower arm with a vengeance. Due to my thick coat, and passing speed he had to let go instantly, and the bite caused no significant damage. I resumed my way leaving the angry parent to the task of disciplining the dog.

I’m well experienced with dogs since early youth. As a fisherman, I have been confronted by territorial dogs of different size and breed. My rule of thumb has always been, not to look at them straight, and to continue whatever I was doing. I did not provoke the dog’s attack, and hardly paid him attention. I guess he momentarily considered himself an Alpha, commanding a makeshift pack. Or perhaps, he may have perceived a metaphysical phenomenon surrounding me?

It made me wonder why dogs do bite, either under stress or at play, and why they sometimes fail to contain their hyper-perceptive awareness. As I was looking for answers to my question, I found some clues in the Manila Times web pages.


Why do dogs bite?
Dr Roberto Constantino, D.V.M

There are two primary causes why dogs bite: A medical reason and provocation.

A good-natured canine that suddenly starts biting may well be suffering from certain illness. These are hypothyroidism, lead poisoning, and other diseases related to epileptic seizures. Such illnesses cause dogs to bite inadvertently.

In some cases where a dog is suffering from diseases such as ear infection, traumatic injury, or cancer, severe pain and discomfort caused by such illnesses instigate reflexive bi-ting. And anyone (even an owner) who attempts to touch a dog in pain should take more caution.

Circumstantial reasons also trigger dog biting, most common of which is provocation. Also, a harshly disciplined dog has a greater possibility to bite because of fear.

In certain confrontational situations, a dog bites to defend itself or to show dominance and aggression. For instance, dogs that immediately bite in response to a gentle pat on the head perceive the friendly gesture as a challenge to their

Moreover, a dog at play could also bite fortuitously to express playfulness (play aggression), while a dog that bites a pas-serby, a bicyclist, or any other stranger is being summoned by its natural predatory instinct—a canine’s way of defending its territory.

The type of a bite could also help you determine the biter’s intentions. A quick, snapping bite intends to warn the adversary to “back off.” Multiple bi-ting (with the jaws tightly fastened onto the bitten area) means the dog really intended to attack and seriously injure its aggressor.



Close encounters/Lunar cycles

To what level are dog attacks determined by cosmic conjunctions and overwhelmed senses?


Do dogs bite more during a full moon?

The power of the moon is often used to explain a wide range of events – from human insanity to traffic accidents – but do animals feel more inclined to bite humans during the full moon than at other times? Two new studies have come up with different answers.

This week's British Medical Journal (BMJ) carries two studies - one from the UK which finds that you are more likely to be bitten by a dog when the moon is full, and a study from Australia which finds that you're not.
A study by Professor Simon Chapan and Stephen Morrell of The University of Sydney showed no positive relation between the full moon and dog bites requiring hospital treatment. They compared dates of admission for dog
bites to public hospitals throughout Australia with dates of the full moon, over a 12-month period.

Overall, full moon days were associated with slightly lower admissions (4.6 compared with 4.8 per day). Of 18 peak days (more than 10 admissions per day) the maximum peak centred on the New Year break. Full moons coincided with none of these peaks.

A study by a team in Bradford, UK on the other hand, has found that animals do have an increased propensity to bite humans during the full moon periods. During 1997 to 1999, they identified 1,621 patients attending the accident and emergency department at Bradford Royal Infirmary after being bitten by an animal.

The chance of being bitten was twice as high on or around full moon days, indicating that an association exists between the lunar cycles and changes in animal behaviour. However, the authors suggest that further
experiments are needed to verify these results.

So why the difference between the UK and Australia? Are dogs in the UK more aggressive?

"The only explanation I have is that maybe because of a general drabness in England more people take pleasant walks under the full moon and are therefore more available to be bitten by dogs," speculates Professor Chapman who submitted his article to the BMJ without any idea that the other paper was being submitted.He decided to do the study after a comment from a farmer on randomised controlled trial he had done on the use of school programs to prevent dogs biting children.

"Don't you scientists know anything?," the farmer said to him. "You should be looking at why they bite - it's because of the full moon!"




posted by Walter at 10/23/2002

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

The Model and the Muse


‘I received the spectacles from Germany and much to my surprise the results are very good. I can see green again, red and, at last an attenuated blue."
-Claude Monet-


‘How awful it is not being able to see clearly any more! I have had to give up drawing and painting and for years now content myself with sculpture ... But if my eyesight continues to dim I won't even be able to model any more. What will I do with my days then?’


Thus deplores Edgar Degas his waning eyesight. Degas looked at the world from an observer’s viewpoint, contrary to contemporary painters and artists who excavate their own minds and probe the common psyche. No matter what needs artists may have, an unobscured eyesight remains the pivotal requirement for an enduring resume. ‘Action painter’ Jackson Pollock summons the phenomenon matter of factly, while British naturalist painter Lucien Freud explores an arresting viewpoint.


‘Today painters do not have to go to a subject matter outside of themselves. Most modern painters work from a different source. They work from within.’
-Jackson Pollock-

‘Since the model he so faithfully copies is not going to be hung up next to the picture ... it is of no interest whether it is an accurate copy of the model. Whether it will convince or not, depends entirely on what it is in itself, what is there to be seen. The model should only serve the very private function for the painter of providing the starting point for his excitement. The picture is all he feels about it, all he thinks worth preserving of it, all he invests it with. If all the qualities which a painter took from the model for his picture were really taken, no person could be painted twice.’
-Lucien Freud-


In search for Polyhymnia

Personally I prefer draftsmanship to painting, during all my life I have tried to perfect my drawing, forging it into a veritable stamp of my persona. My drawing subjects are ‘psychological’ and introspective, whether commissioned or personal. Drawing constitutes an instinctive and urgent process for me, an individual realm that I’m keen not to compromise. As I read the anecdotes about ‘the masters and their muses’ I took the initiative to revive my drawing class experience while enrolled at AKI, School for Art and Industry in the Netherlands in the 70s, during which the institute of applied drawing skills was on the brink of a revolutionary overhaul. Currently drawing skills are rescrutinized at Dutch artschools, becoming once again the sophisticated and essential craft that they constitutes for me.

As I return to the ‘model’ room, what muse will I encounter, what challenge will she pose? Is the muse the safeguard to keep an artist from floating off on 'apathy’s wing’, as Byron puts it in the second stanza of ‘Farewell to The Muse’?


Farewell To The Muse

Thou Power! who hast ruled me through Infancy's days,
Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis time we should part;
Then rise on the gale this the last of my lays,
The coldest effusion which springs from my heart.

This bosom, responsive to rapture no more,
Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing;
The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar,
Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing.

Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre,
Yet even these themes are departed for ever;
No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire,
My visions are flown, to return,---alas, never!

When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl,
How vain is the effort delight to prolong!
When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul,
What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song?

Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone,
Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign ?
Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown ?
Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine.

Can they speak of the friends that I lived but to love?
Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain!
But how can my numbers in sympathy move,
When I scarcely can hope to behold them again?

Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done,
And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires?
For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone!
For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires!

Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast---
'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavors are o'er;
And those who have heard it will pardon the past,
When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no more.

And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot,
Since early affection and love is o'ercast:
Oh! blest had my Fate been, and happy my lot,
Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last.

Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet;
If our songs have been languid, they surely are few:
Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet---
The present---which seals our eternal Adieu.

George Gordon, Lord Byron


posted by Walter at 10/22/2002

Monday, October 21, 2002

-The Last Post-

The Forum pages on Pravda BBS are worth looking into. Several BBS are available on topics like ‘America’- ‘The world will end in five years’- ‘Beware what you’re told about Iraq’- ‘Where are the 10 lost tribes of Israel’- and ‘Armageddon’- (-) It’s tough fare- fed by scholars and cranks alike, but it sure beats an AOL chat-room. I selected- randomly- two posts from the ‘Iraq’ topic, Pravda editors provide this lead:

‘Say anything you want about the war - whether it is the anti-terrorist or anti-human operation, who gains profit from
it, who loses and why it actually happened.’


Topic: Beware What You're Told About Iraq...

Posted 09-19-2002

-America's War Record. Littered With Lies
Remember Vietnam? Remember The Gulf War? Beware What You're Told About Iraq... By Kenneth Davidson

Before Australians get sucked into the Bush administration's war with Iraq on what appears the flimsiest excuses, they should remember the excuses Americans offered the world to justify their involvement in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. President Lyndon Baines Johnson got Congress to approve US military intervention in Vietnam based on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, based on the claim that North Vietnamese torpedo boats made unprovoked attacks on two US destroyers. Does anybody believe this story now? If it is true, why hasn't the US released the archives relating to the incident?

After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, a group backed by the Kuwait government-in-exile hired a US public relations firm to devise a campaign to win American support for the war. The high point was the use of the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the US as a star witness to a congressional hearing into the Iraq invasion. Under an assumed name, she said: "I saw Iraq soldiers come into the hospitals with guns, and go into a room where 15 babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the babies on the cold floor to die." She later admitted she had lied. But this lie, and others, worked. So why did Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait? Before the invasion, the US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, said the US would not interfere. It was a reasonable expectation. Saddam was a US ally against Iran, so much so that between 1985 and 1989, dozens of
biological agents were shipped to Iraq from the US under licence from the Commerce Department, despite the fact that Iraq had been reported to be engaging in chemical and possibly biological warfare against Iranians, Kurds and Shiites since the early 1980s.
And Iraq had real grievance against Kuwait. According to Saddam, Kuwait had been exceeding its OPEC oil production quota and this was depressing the price of oil and Iraq's revenue, which was needed to pay for its war with Iran. Saddam believed Saudi Arabia and Kuwait owed part of Iraq's debt for its war against Iran because Iraq was protecting both these countries against Iran. And to add insult to injury, Kuwait was drilling into Iraq's share of the Rumaila oil field which straddles both countries.

Saddam is a monster. Arguably the murderous concoction of ethnic and religious rivalries which constitute the population of Iraq can only be held together by a monster. The oil interests which direct US policy in the Middle East believe this. They want Saddamism without Saddam. He is no longer their man. That is why they call for "regime change". But Saddam is no religious fanatic. According to Alex Standish, editor of Jane's Intelligence Digest: "Saddam's Ba'ath Party regime, despite its Islamic trappings, is a deeply secular and fundamentally socialist ideology. "You can think whatever you like about Saddam but he is not so foolish that he would threaten his own region's stability by financing the extreme and violent likes of al Qaeda."
It is possible to imagine that a religious fanatic would be prepared to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in a first strike against the US, which would invite massive retaliation that would vaporise most of the population of Iraq.

But in this respect Saddam and his generals are as sane as the Russian communist leadership during the Cold War who understood the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction. They are not likely to adopt a policy of mass suicide, either directly by launching WMD or indirectly by arming al Qaeda, which could conceivably use WMD irrespective of the consequences. This week's report by the London-based Institute for Strategic Studies has been used by the hawks in Whitehall and Washington as "proof" that Saddam is close to having a WMD capability, yet it contains no factual information that undermines informed opinion tha Iraq is far weaker in WMD than it was before the Gulf War. So why did Saddam expel UN weapons inspectors in 1998? He didn't. The head of the inspection team, Richard Butler, ordered the inspectors to leave Baghdad in anticipation of an attack. The Russian ambassador, Sergei Lavrov, criticised Butler for withdrawing the inspectors without seeking the permission of the UN Security Council.
It has since been shown that the Iraqi charge at the time - that the weapons inspectors had been used as spies for the US - was the truth, not propaganda.

According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter: "There is no way the Iraqis are going to let in the inspectors now . . . why would they let in the inspectors to spy on them, target them more effectively and then be used to manipulate justification for war?" So far, neither George Bush nor Tony Blair have come up with any reason that could justify a first strike against Iraq - except the unstated (because it is unacceptable) reason that "regime change" would give America control of Iraq's 100 billion barrels of oil reserves.

Kenneth Davidson is a staff columnist of 'THE AGE' Melbourne's daily newspaper © 2002 The Age Company Ltd


Posted: 10-16-02

George F. Kennan (The Original Cold Warrior) At 98, veteran diplomat declares Congress must take lead on war with Iraq- By Albert Eisele

George F. Kennan, the chief architect of the containment and deterrence policies that shaped America foreign policy during the Cold War, said Sunday that Congress, and not President Bush, must decide whether the United States should take military action against Iraq. In a wide-ranging interview at a Georgetown senior citizens home where he spent the past month, the 98-year-old historian and former top U.S. diplomat repeatedly warned of the unforeseen consequences of waging war. Architect of Soviet containment policy sees fresh risks. Speaking out even as the Bush administration unveiled a new national security strategy calling for preemptive strikes against hostile states and terrorist groups suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction, Kennan said, “This decision should really rest with Congress.”

He added, “Congress is there for the exercise of that responsibility. I think our Constitution and our tradition are quite sufficient here. [Bush] should not do what he’s planning to do without a clear congressional mandate. This is against all American tradition. “Anyone who has ever studied the history of American diplomacy, especially military diplomacy, knows that you might start in a war with certain things on your mind as a purpose of what you are doing, but in the end, you found yourself fighting for entirely different things that you had never thought of before,” he said. “In other words, war has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it. Today, if we went into Iraq, like the president would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end.”
Kennan is the author of the history-making 1947 essay in Foreign Affairs, which he signed as “X” and enunciated the policy of containment that helped define American foreign policy after World War II. In the interview, he also:

• Characterized the new national security document issued by the Bush administration last week as “a great mistake in principle”;

• Voicing the same view that Vice President Albert Gore would take a day later, he warned that launching an attack on Iraq would amount to waging a second war that “bears no relation to the first war against terrorism”;

• Declared that efforts by the White House and Republicans in Congress to link al Qaeda terrorists with Saddam Hussein “have been pathetically unsupportive and unreliable”;

• Said Bush “shouldn’t speak contemptuously” of the inspection teams that previously worked in Iraq, “because they succeeded in destroying and removing from Iraq very, very sizeable quantities of dangerous arms”;

• Called the failure of Democratic congressional leaders and the party’s would-be presidential candidates to question Bush’s war plans as “a shabby and shameful reaction”;

• Insisted that there is no evidence that Iraq has succeeded in developing nuclear weaponry, and even if they had, it would be targeted on Israel and not the United States;

• Said the Israelis almost certainly possess nuclear weapons, and would be “quite capable of mounting a devastating retaliatory strike” if Iraq ever uses weapons of mass destruction against Israel;

• Praised the diplomatic skills of Secretary of State Colin Powell, whom he called a “man of strong loyalties in a difficult position [who] has been much more powerful in his statements than” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; and

• Cautioned that the United States, even as the world’s sole superpower, cannot “confront all the painful and dangerous situations that exist in this world. … That’s beyond our capabilities.”

Kennan, who was in Washington with his 93-year-old wife this month while the couple that lives with them in Princeton, N.J., was on vacation, appeared vigorous and alert — although arthritis has confined him to a wheelchair.
The interview took place in the apartment of former Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.), whose anti-Vietnam War candidacy in 1968 was endorsed by Kennan. Reminded that some people are comparing Bush’s request to Congress for broad warmaking powers with the 1964 congressional approval of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which allowed President Lyndon Johnson to escalate in Vietnam, Kennan said such resolutions “lead to no good.”
He concluded, “You have to look at things all over again, every day, every week, every month, and adjust what you are doing, but do it in the light of the experience of the past.” Asked what advice he would give Bush and his national security team in dealing with Iraq, Kennan replied, “First, I would say consult with the Israelis, who stand in the line of fire.”
He added, “But also, there is a very, very basic consideration involved here, and that is that whenever you have a possibility of going in two ways, either for peace or for war, for peaceful methods of for military methods, in the present age there is a strong prejudice for the peaceful ones. War seldom ever leads to good results.”
Declaring that Hussein “is not the only horrible, evil dictator in the world” who might have weapons of mass destruction, Kennan said the United States made a great mistake in backing out of the nuclear test ban agreement.
“If we had stopped testing, the greater part of the nuclear weaponry of all the countries who had signed the test ban treaty would have become inoperable in 20 or 30 years.” Shown a New York Times article describing Bush’s new national security document as a “doctrine” and “strategy” that declares the ideas of containment and deterrence “are all but dead,” Kennan said, “I don’t care what you call it. I don’t have any use for either word.
“A doctrine is something that pins you down to a given mode of conduct and dozens of situations which you cannot foresee, which is a great mistake in principle. When the word ‘containment’ was used in my ‘X’ article, it was used with relation to a certain situation then prevailing, and as a response to it.”

He said the only relevance between containment and deterrence on the one hand, and the new Bush approach on the other, would be “a very general one, because it rests partly on the theory, and I think the correct theory, that if you ever had a chance to do something without the use of military force, by all means choose it rather than put military force into the picture.” Kennan was particularly critical of congressional Democrats for failing to oppose Bush’s request for a blank check on Iraq. “I wonder why the Democrats have not asked the president right out, ‘What are you talking about? Are you talking about one war or two wars? And if it’s two wars, have we really faced up to the competing demands of the two?” He added, “This is, to me, as a very old, independent citizen, a shabby and shameful reaction. I deplore this timidity out of concern for the elections on the part of the Democrats.”

Whether you agree with him or not, this man was more responsible for the present day structure of US foreign policy than anyone with the possible exceptions of Acheson and Marshall. Talk about gravitas.




posted by Walter at 10/21/2002