23 September 2003

State of the Department

Newt Gingrich "lays down the smackie":http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/story.php?storyID=13742&PHPSESSID=39b4cd785a7c1b396c6aa63fba7411c1 on the State Department, which now serves its overseas clients, not the USA. Beyond being basically hostile to President Bush's foreign policy, Gingrich also notes that the old state to state diplomacy is inadequate in a globally wired wordl:
One of the areas most urgently in need of reform is the State Department’s global communication strategy. To lead the world, the United States needs to communicate effectively. This crucial capability must receive adequate resources, and the State Department must learn to fulfill this role. As the world’s only superpower, largest economy, and most aggressive culture, the United States inevitably infringes on the attention and interests of other peoples and nations. A country this large and powerful must work every day to communicate what it is doing. The world does not have to love us, but it must be able to predict us.
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Arafat: KGB agent

Before I [Ion Mihai Pacepa] defected to America from Romania, leaving my post as chief of Romanian intelligence, I was responsible for giving Arafat about $200,000 in laundered cash every month throughout the 1970s. I also sent two cargo planes to Beirut a week, stuffed with uniforms and supplies. Other Soviet bloc states did much the same. Terrorism has been extremely profitable for Arafat. According to Forbes magazine, he is today the sixth wealthiest among the world's "kings, queens & despots," with more than $300 million stashed in Swiss bank accounts.[…] In 1972, the Kremlin put Arafat and his terror networks high on all Soviet bloc intelligence services' priority list, including mine. Bucharest's role was to ingratiate him with the White House. We were the bloc experts at this. We'd already had great success in making Washington -- as well as most of the fashionable left-leaning American academics of the day -- believe that Nicolae Ceausescu was, like Josip Broz Tito, an "independent" Communist with a "moderate" streak. KGB chairman Yuri Andropov in February 1972 laughed to me about the Yankee gullibility for celebrities. We'd outgrown Stalinist cults of personality, but those crazy Americans were still naïve enough to revere national leaders. We would make Arafat into just such a figurehead and gradually move the PLO closer to power and statehood. […] Right after that meeting, I was given the KGB's "personal file" on Arafat. He was an Egyptian bourgeois turned into a devoted Marxist by KGB foreign intelligence. The KGB had trained him at its Balashikha special-ops school east of Moscow and in the mid-1960s decided to groom him as the future PLO leader. First, the KGB destroyed the official records of Arafat's birth in Cairo, replacing them with fictitious documents saying that he had been born in Jerusalem and was therefore a Palestinian by birth.
Ah, the heart warming life story of the independent nationalist leader.
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UN thwarts the French judiciary

[source, source]
A key suspect in a French corruption case was confirmed yesterday as Luanda's ambassador to Unesco, securing him an Angolan diplomatic passport and immunity from prosecution. The appointment allows the suspect, Pierre Falcone, who is at the centre of an arms trafficking scandal, to travel freely despite a judicial ban on leaving France.
Imagine that, the UN intefering with the prosecution of someone accused of illegal arms trafficing. It certainly shows how well the International Criminal Court would work.
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