World News Headlines
PRESIDENT BUSH IN GERMANY
The Los Angeles Times reported on May 22, that President Bush was greeted on Wednesday in Berlin, Germany, by tens of thousands of anti-war protestors. He warned that Europe may be terrorists’ next target, and added that “we must continue to fight against global terror.” The LA Times continued that “Bush is trying to build a case at home and abroad for widening the war beyond Afghanistan to other terrorist hot spots, primarily Iraq.”
President Bush only stayed 20 hours in Germany, before flying to Moscow on Thursday, to sign an agreement reducing Russia’s and the USA’s nuclear arsenals to 1,700 to 2,200 warheads from the current 6,000. Following this trip, Bush is scheduled to fly to France and Italy where he plans to visit Pope John Paul II.
As the LA Times points out, Europe and the Bush Administration differ strongly on foreign policy issues. “Already wary of Bush’s anti-missile defense plans, his scrapping of the Kyoto environmental treaty and his reputation as a go-it-alone foreign policy novice, European leaders have a list of post-September 11 complaints. Those include the treatment of Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the perceived rejection of NATO’s offer of military support, Bush’s rejection of the International Criminal Court and new American tariffs on steel. ‘Military action against Iraq is not justified as it isn’t certain that Saddam supports or shelters al-Qaida terrorists,’ said Peter Struck, the leader of [German Chancellor] Schroeder’s Social Democrats… U.S. officials privately complain that Europe is soft and unreliable now that early war successes have yielded to tougher tasks.”
As Focus, a German weekly magazine reports, President Bush declared in an interview to the German press that the war has not yet ended. In a German TV interview, he explained that it is his goal to see Saddam Hussein gone, but that there are no concrete plans against the Iraq.
As Der Spiegel reported, in his 30 minutes speech before the German Parliament on Thursday, Mr. Bush welcomed a United Europe, as this would increase the security in the world. The stronger Europe gets, the closer Europe and the United States grow together, Mr. Bush said. He also stated that he will try to incorporate Russia into the European family and bring it in this way closer to the United States.
Mr. Bush was interrupted in his speech through several German members of Parliament who voiced disagreement with his politics on terrorism. Four members of Parliament left the building in protest.
Before his speech, Mr. Bush implied that Germany is a necessary partner in any war against Iraq. Mr. Schroeder refused to state whether Germany would actively participate in a war against Iraq.
Another suicide bomber killed himself and at least one other person on Wednesday night in a Tel Aviv Suburb. Since Israeli-Palestinian violence erupted in September 2000, there have been nearly 60 suicide bombing incidents. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is under pressure to put an end to terrorist attacks against Israelis. At the same time, it is recognized by some, including Secretary of State Powell, that it is impossible for Arafat to control countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria or Libya, which are charged by the US. State Department to support terrorism and militant terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Jihad. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham agreed Monday with Vice-President Cheney, stating that further terrorist attacks in the United States are a certainty. Graham had pointed out previously that the most dangerous and powerful terrorist group is the Lebanese guerilla group Hezbollah, the “party of God,” as the name is to be translated from the Arabic. (Sources: AP, May 20, 21, 22).
WORSENING DROUGHT IN THE UNITED STATES
In the May 14, 2002, National Drought Summary, the following excerpt demonstrates the frightening reality of drought in much of Western America:
“There is a great deal of concern about elevated fire danger, soil moisture shortages, low streamflows, and declining reservoir stores in much of the Rockies, Intermountain West, Southwest and Great Basin. Problems related to these drought impacts are likely to increase as spring and summer progress.”
The impact is already widespread with crops not being planted, cattle herds being reduced, cities going to water rationing and many affiliated businesses starting to revamp for disastrous sales projections.
Without substantial rainfall in the future, the boom town population growth in the Sunbelt regions of the Southwest is facing dire water shortages. Regular mention is now made that this is the WORST drought in recent history–even surpassing the infamous dust bowl years of the 1930’s.