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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

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lchic - 05:12am Apr 3, 2002 EST (#1020 of 1026)

Israeli tanks take war into Manger Square


lchic - 05:23am Apr 3, 2002 EST (#1021 of 1026)

Israeli tanks take war into Manger Square : Bethlehem : Israeli helicopters fired deliberately for the first time into the square itself

    Christians call on US president to rein in Sharon as army launches huge ground and air attack near holy sites
    nun .... was shot and injured as she tried to bar the door of her religious foundation to Israeli soldiers
    64-year-old woman and her 38-year-old son - were killed by Israeli fire at their homes in downtown Bethlehem
    Israeli tank had been parked across the entrance to the Red Crescent's ambulance station
    "But we cannot get to the injured. One family called me screaming down the phone that a relative had been shot and they were worried that he was bleeding to death. All I could do was apologise and explain that we could not reach them."
    Bethlehem residents were deprived of water, electricity, food and medical supplies, and that several religious institutions had been occupied by troops and damaged.
    "We call upon your Christian conscience. You are the only one who can stop this tragedy immediately," the church leaders wrote to Mr Bush. "We in return will play our part in mediating for the peace and security of all the people of this land, both Israeli and Palestinian." http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,677840,00.html
---

Israeli tanks put shrapnel into the belly of an Aussie lady .. they don't care - they just fire on peace protesters.

lchic - 05:28am Apr 3, 2002 EST (#1022 of 1026)

Dubya at a loss as crisis worsens By Roy Eccleston, Washington correspondent April 03, 2002

GEORGE W. Bush claims he's fully engaged in the Middle East process, but many scratch their heads.

Last Friday, for example, when the world reacted with horror to the murder of 22 Israelis and tourists by a suicide bomber and the retaliatory Israeli invasion of Palestinian territory, Bush worked around his Texas ranch.

It is true there have been many bombings. But what made the deaths at a Passover feast last week even more distressing was that they derailed negotiations for a ceasefire that were very close to fruition.

Did Mr Bush hit the phones to other world leaders? No. Secretary of State Colin Powell did the talking, and the US backed a UN resolution early on Saturday morning calling for an immediate ceasefire and the pullout of the Israeli forces.

By the time Mr Bush did reach for his phone list, the crisis was two days old. And then, rather than backing the US's own position in the UN for an Israeli pullout, he defended the decision to go in: "I fully understand Israel's need to defend herself."

No wonder Jimmy Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski says the Bush administration's policy has been one of "strategic incoherence".

Yesterday it was on display again. The White House and State Department are only a few Washington blocks apart, but judging by their statements they might have been in different countries.

America's diplomats urged Israel forcefully to withdraw its forces from Palestinian territory while Bush's spokesman said Israeli forces should stay until there was peace in the region.

"We are gravely concerned at the situation in Ramallah and other areas where Israeli forces are moving," said State Department deputy spokesman Phil Reeker. "We deplore the killing and wounding of innocent Palestinians. The risks of unintended confrontation and escalation are significant."

The UN Security Council resolution at the weekend, Mr Reeker noted, "calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces, and those are critical steps that should be undertaken now".

Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer had a different view. He was quizzed on apparent inconsistencies in the US support for the UN resolution and Bush's weekend endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's incursion.

Did the US want Sharon to withdraw or not? Fleischer said the resolution required a meaningful ceasefire as well as a withdrawal.

"So that's perfectly consistent with the President's view about what needs to happen to create peace in the region that will allow for Israeli withdrawal," Fleischer said. In other words, Israel could stay until the terrorist bombings stopped an interpretation immediately rejected by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The mixed messages underlined the lack of a cohesive view in Washington about the best way to end the crisis in the Middle East. Bush is facing a chorus of critics, including some Republicans, who say he simply has to do more.

Bush rejects that, but he has devoted little political capital to the issue. It almost seems as if he sees his mission as dealing with the black-and-white evil of Osama bin Laden. The murky greys of the Palestinian question are too vague, absorbing, and probably impenetrable.

"The problem," says Washington foreign policy analyst Jim Lindsay, of the Brookings Institution, "is he has declared war on terrorism. You can't always go out with B52s."

And that's the issue. It's one thing to apply the Bush doctrine under which those who support terrorists are terrorists to al-Qa'ida and another to try applying it to Yasser Arafat and suicide bombers.

How can he criticise Sharon for attacking Arafat when the US has just bombed Afghanistan to strike back at Osama bin Laden? While Arafat may not be engineering the suicide bombings, there are very strong

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