Betreff: Bush 'most hated' American leader
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Datum: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 18:13:33 +0300
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Spymaster calls Bush "universally hated" bully
Hindustan Times - AFP - October 22

British spy novelist John Le Carre branded US president George W Bush as America’s most “universally hated” leader and urged voters to kick him out of office next month.

The author of global best sellers such as The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy launched the stinging attack on the US leader and his war in Iraq in an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.

“Probably no American president in history has been so universally hated abroad as Bush: for his bullying unilateralism, his dismissal of international treaties, his reckless indifference to the aspirations of other nations and cultures,” Le Carre wrote in the online article.

He also accused Bush of having “contempt for institutions of world government, and above all for misusing the cause of anti-terrorism in order to unleash an illegal war — and now anarchy —upon Iraq.

“Maybe there’s one good reason — just one — for reelecting George W Bush, and that’s to force him to live with the consequences of his appalling actions and answer for his own lies,” Le Carre fumed.

In the piece published on the internet less than two weeks before the closely-contested November 2 presidential election, the author urged Americans to come in from the cold by kicking out Bush.

“Give us back the America we loved, and your friends will be waiting for you,” he said.


Bush 'most hated' American leader

October 22, 2004

BRITISH spy novelist John Le Carre has branded US President George W. Bush America's most "universally hated" leader and urged voters to kick him out of office next month.

The author of global best sellers such as The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy launched the stinging attack on the US leader and his war in Iraq in an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.

"Probably no American president in history has been so universally hated abroad as Bush: for his bullying unilateralism, his dismissal of international treaties, his reckless indifference to the aspirations of other nations and cultures," Le Carre wrote in the online article.

He also accused Bush of having "contempt for institutions of world government, and above all for misusing the cause of anti-terrorism in order to unleash an illegal war - and now anarchy - upon Iraq.

"Maybe there's one good reason - just one - for reelecting George W. Bush, and that's to force him to live with the consequences of his appalling actions and answer for his own lies," Le Carre fumed.

The editorial also slammed British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his support for the war in Iraq and lashed Bush for eroding US civil rights through the Patriot Act.

In the piece that appeared less than two weeks before the closely-contested November 2 presidential election, the author urged Americans to come in from the cold by kicking out Bush.

"Give us back the America we loved, and your friends will be waiting for you," he said.

Agence France-Presse


U.S. Air Bases Forge Double-Edged Sword
* Deployment: Presence in nine countries ringing Afghanistan enhances capability but also fuels Islamic extremism.

By WILLIAM M. ARKIN, Times Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON — Behind a veil of secret agreements, the United States is creating a ring of new and expanded military bases that encircle Afghanistan and enhance the armed forces' ability to strike targets throughout much of the Muslim world.

Since Sept. 11, according to Pentagon sources, military tent cities have sprung up at 13 locations in nine countries neighboring Afghanistan, substantially extending the network of bases in the region. All together, from Bulgaria and Uzbekistan to Turkey, Kuwait and beyond, more than 60,000 U.S. military personnel now live and work at these forward bases. Hundreds of aircraft fly in and out of so-called "expeditionary airfields."

While these bases make it easier for the United States to project its power, they may also increase prospects for renewed terrorist attacks on Americans.

The new buildup is occurring with almost no public discussion. Indeed, it has passed virtually unnoticed outside the region--in part because of operational security and force protection considerations in Afghanistan and in part because of agreements between Washington and host governments not to discuss the bases in public.

But the reasoning behind these agreements underscores the risk: Though Washington has obtained the support of the ruling regimes, including some inside the former Soviet Union, virtually all the bases are in countries where an American military presence stirs resentment among Islamic extremists.

"I swear to God that America will not live in peace before all the army of infidels depart the land of the prophet Muhammad," Osama bin Laden said in his first video recording released after Sept. 11.

U.S. policymakers have tended to dismiss such statements as propaganda, but some analysts think they reflect widespread Muslim sensitivities that the United States has been slow to appreciate.

In the view not only of Bin Laden but also of many Islamic sympathizers, the continued presence of American forces in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states after the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 constituted "defilement" of Muslim holy places.

Without accepting this view as a justification for terrorism, some analysts believe U.S. officials underestimate the impact that prolonged stationing of American forces may have in the Muslim world--especially since it is highly visible there, though it has attracted little attention in the West. The Arab press in particular is filled with speculation and conspiracy theories about the ultimate purpose of the U.S. presence.

Many see it as evidence of an American desire for hegemony and control.

"The old basing structure, honed to fight the Soviet Union," is gone, says defense analyst James Blaker, author of a seminal Pentagon study of overseas bases. "But does the new one open us up to counteractions?"

The American buildup in the region began long before Sept. 11, and it has been paralleled by a shift in the focus of terrorist groups.

As the United States built a network of facilities in a half-dozen Persian Gulf states after the Gulf War, terrorism increasingly focused on large U.S. targets, from the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and the destroyer Cole in Yemen to the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

In the words of novelist John le Carre, who has studied the Muslim world extensively and set some of his stories there, "What America longs for at this moment, even above retribution, is more friends and fewer enemies."

Instead, "what America is storing up for herself is yet more enemies," he said in an essay that appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "Because after all the bribes, threats and promises that have patched together this rickety coalition, we cannot prevent another suicide bomber being born--and nobody can tell us how to dodge this devil's cycle of despair, hatred and, yet again, revenge."

Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. military presence overseas has changed profoundly. A 1999 Army War College study found, "While permanent overseas presence has decreased dramatically, operational deployments have increased exponentially."

The Pentagon pulled out of 700 facilities in Europe and abandoned the containment ring of bases around the old Soviet Union. In sheer numbers, it reduced the overseas presence to about 60% of what it was when Ronald Reagan took office.

Most of the numerical reduction took place in Germany, as forces were demobilized and the military shrank its Cold War size there by fully two-thirds.

The far more significant change, however, came in the way troops were used abroad. In earlier times, members of the armed forces were routinely "stationed" overseas, usually for tours of several years and often accompanied by their families. Now they are "deployed," with the length of tour more uncertain and dependents almost never allowed.

The deployments are both frequent and lengthy, however. On any given day before Sept. 11, according to the Defense Department, more than 60,000 military personnel were conducting temporary operations and exercises in about 100 countries.

While the mammoth European installations have been cut back, Defense Department records show that the new operational mode calls military personnel away from home about 135 days a year for the Army, 170 days for the Navy and 176 days for the Air Force.

For the Army, each soldier now averages a deployment abroad once every 14 weeks.

Beyond the burdens it places on those involved, the new system draws the military into situations that are murkier and potentially riskier. Consider the case of Master Sgt. Evander Earl Andrews, the first American casualty of Operation Enduring Freedom. Andrews, an 18-year Air Force veteran, died in a construction accident. He was one of more than 2,000 civil engineers currently deployed in the region building and fixing up bases.

The Defense Department initially said Andrews was at a "forward deployed location" supporting the Afghanistan war. Eventually, it divulged that the location was Al Adid in the tiny state of Qatar on the Arabian Peninsula.

Al Adid is a billion-dollar base. Its 15,000-foot runway is one of the longest in the Gulf region. Construction began after an April 2000 visit by Defense Secretary William S. Cohen. Qatar already housed equipment for an Army brigade and, in 1996, hosted 30 Air Force fighters on an "expeditionary" deployment.

Though the original justification for Gulf bases such as Al Adid was preparedness for renewed action against Iraq, a senior defense official said last year that the Qatar facilities were "not focused at one particular country or another, but part of a system we would like to have in place."

Issues of decision-making, jurisdiction and authority held by the host country are spelled out in documents called status of forces agreements. As of Sept. 11, according to Pentagon documents, the United States had formal agreements of this sort with Qatar and 92 other countries.

During the Cold War, the agreements were usually public documents. Many of the newer ones are classified, including those with Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates as well as certain supplements for Saudi Arabia. "Host nation sensitivities" require that the arrangements be secret, officials say.

To lower the U.S. military profile further, in most Gulf countries, permanent U.S. military and contractor personnel nominally work for organizations with innocuous-sounding names like the "Executive Coordinating Agency."

That may blur the picture for Americans, but not for the local population. On Nov. 7, an attacker was shot and killed after exchanging gunfire with two U.S. military and one Qatari guard at Al Adid.

Since Sept. 11, new classified arrangements have also been established with Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the four "stans," as they are sometimes called. The United States had no military facilities or appreciable presence in these places before the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

Typical is Uzbekistan, which very early on extended use of its Kandabad air base at Karshi for military and CIA operations. Journalists have descended on Uzbekistan since early October, but most report that the obvious American presence is not much of an issue for public discussion.

In this former Soviet province, national security secrecy is a way of life. The state-controlled press of President Islam Karimov has said the base is a staging area for search-and-rescue missions and humanitarian work in Afghanistan. The Pentagon sidesteps discussion of Uzbekistan's human rights record or the implications of the U.S. presence, saying that it leaves it to the host nation to describe its cooperation with the United States.

Central Command chief Tommy Franks and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld have been frequent visitors to the "stans." They are like the hood ornaments on a big truck:

In November a Central Command assessment team landed in Tajikistan to examine three military installations as possible areas to base U.S. troops: Kulyab, Khojand and Turgan-Tiube. Tajikistan is about 85% Muslim.

Just prior to Christmas, engineers arrived at Manas airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to open the airfield for U.S. use. Facilities for up to 3,300 personnel are being created. Kyrgyzstan also has a largely Muslim population.

How long will the United States remain? The answer, officials suggest privately, recalls the old wartime song, "Over There." The song ended, "And we won't be back till it's over over there."

No one inside the Pentagon or at Central Command headquarters has a timetable or master plan for when U.S. forces will withdraw, but it may be instructive to recall that the Persian Gulf bases have now been occupied for more than a decade. They were constantly upgraded and improved during the 1990s, setting the stage for the current deployments. The process went forward on a largely ad hoc basis, focused on practical arrangements and conditions in each country.

Then, as now, what seems to have been missing was a broad conceptual view of what the whole effort might add up to, or what its more distant implications might turn out to be.


Le Carre's latest: an angry novel on U.S.-led war

By Alan Freeman
LONDON - He speaks slowly and calmly. He has the soft accent and intonation of an Oxford graduate and onetime teacher at Eton, and he uses the language of a master wordsmith. But John le Carre is a very angry man.
At 72, David John Moore Cornwell is probably the world's best-known spy writer, though his novels have a literary quality few others can match. Since writing his first novel more than 40 years ago as a young diplomat and intelligence officer in Germany, le Carre has published 19 titles, including such classics of the genre as "The Spy Who Came in >From the Cold" and "The Russia House."
His latest book, "Absolute Friends," combines le Carre's fascination with the Cold War and his current bête noire: a burning conviction that the war against terror unleashed by the United States is a threat to world peace as great as the evil it's supposed to be fighting.
The novel goes back to a familiar theme and old territory: Germany during the Cold War. His descriptions of people and places are as evocative as ever. But le Carre denies suffering from a case of what contemporary Germans call "Ostalgie," nostalgia for the old East Germany.
"I'm much more interested in the organic procession of history. I'm not wishing for the good old days of the Cold War," he says. "The reverse: What I find extremely upsetting is the speed with which the one hyperpower has re-created an atmosphere of terror."
His views on the Iraq war are peppered throughout the novel, which was completed in June 2003.
"The war on Iraq was illegitimate. . . . It was a criminal and moral conspiracy. No provocation, no link with al-Qaeda, no weapons of Armageddon. . . . It was an old colonial war dressed up as a crusade for Western life and liberty, and it was launched by a clique of war-hungry Judeo-Christian geopolitical fantasists who hijacked the media and exploited America's post-9/11 psychopathy."
Le Carre shares his time between his principal home in Cornwall and a Victorian brick house on a private road near Hampstead Heath, an oasis of villagelike gentility just a few blocks from London's bustle.
The sitting room is filled with comfortable furniture, and le Carre is dressed in a simple sweater and trousers.
For a novelist who long eschewed interviews, le Carre can't stop talking about Bush, Blair and the war on terror.
Yet, "Absolute Friends" did not start off as a book about the war against terror. Le Carre started blocking out his plan for the book prior to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and planned to write a book about the emerging wave of anti-globalization protests.
But after Sept. 11, his focus switched to the U.S.-led war against terror.
He is disappointed with the decision of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to lead Britain into war alongside the United States.
Le Carre clearly senses the fact that in "Absolute Friends" he has crossed a line and written much more than a thriller.
"One of the reasons I stick out is that nobody else is writing political novels. Some of my readers will walk away from it in disgust," he admits.
His publishers don't seem overly worried. The first U.S. printing was a cool 310,000 copies.


Le Carre on the Lost Crusade

Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit

Toronto Globe and Mail - Oct 13, 2001

We Have Already Lost
by John Le Carre

"The Bombing Begins!" screams today's headline of the normally
restrained Guardian. "Battle Joined," echoes the equally cautious
International Herald Tribune, quoting George W. Bush. But with whom
is it joined? And how will it end? How about with Osama bin Laden in
chains, looking more serene and Christ-like than ever, arranged
before a tribune of his vanquishers with Johnny Cochran to defend
him? The fees won't be a problem, that's for sure.

Or how about with Osama bin Laden blown to smithereens by one of
those clever bombs we keep reading about that kill terrorists in
caves but don't break the crockery? Or is there a solution I haven't
thought of that will prevent us from turning our archenemy into an
arch martyr in the eyes of those for whom he is already semi-divine?

Yet we must punish him. We must bring him to justice. Like any sane
person, I see no other way. Send in the food and medicines, provide
the aid, sweep up the starving refugees, maimed orphans and body
parts -- sorry, "collateral damage" -- but Osama bin Laden and his
awful men, we have no choice, must be hunted down.

Unfortunately, what America longs for at this moment, even above
retribution, is more friends and fewer enemies. And what America is
storing up for herself, and so are we Brits, is yet more enemies.
Because after all the bribes, threats and promises that have patched
together this rickety coalition, we cannot prevent another suicide
bomber being born each time a misdirected missile wipes out an
innocent village, and nobody can tell us how to dodge this devil's
cycle of despair, hatred and -- yet again -- revenge.

The stylized television footage and photographs of this bin Laden
suggest a man of homoerotic narcissism, and maybe we can draw a grain
of hope from that. Posing with a Kalashnikov, attending a wedding or
consulting a sacred text, he radiates with every self-adoring gesture
an actor's awareness of the lens. He has height, beauty, grace,
intelligence and magnetism, all great attributes, unless you're the
world's hottest fugitive and on the run, in which case they're
liabilities hard to disguise.

But greater than all of them, to my jaded eye, is his barely
containable male vanity, his appetite for self-drama and his closet
passion for the limelight. And, just possibly, this trait will be his
downfall, seducing him into a final dramatic act of self-destruction,
produced, directed, scripted and acted to death by Osama Bin Laden

By the accepted rules of terrorist engagement, of course, the war is
long lost. By us. What victory can we possibly achieve that matches
the defeats we have already suffered, let alone the defeats that lie
ahead? "Terror is theatre," a soft-spoken Palestinian firebrand told
me in Beirut in 1982. He was talking about the murder of Israeli
athletes at the Munich Olympics 10 years before, but he might as well
have been talking about the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The late
Mikhail Bakunin, evangelist of anarchism, liked to speak of the
Propaganda of the Act. It's hard to imagine more theatrical, more
potent acts of propaganda than these.

Now Mr. Bakunin in his grave and Mr. bin Laden in his cave must be
rubbing their hands in glee as we embark on the very process that
terrorists of their stamp so relish: as we hastily double up our
police and intelligence forces and award them greater powers, as we
put basic civil liberties on hold and curtail press freedom, impose
news blackouts and secret censorship, spy on ourselves and, at our
worst, violate mosques and hound luckless citizens in our streets
because we are afraid of the colour of their skin.

All the fears that we share -- Dare I fly? Ought I to tell the police
about the weird couple upstairs?  Would it be safer not to drive down
Whitehall this morning? Is my child safely back from school? Have my
life's savings plummeted? -- are precisely the fears our attackers
want us to have.

Until Sept. 11, the United States was only too happy to plug away at
Vladimir Putin about his butchery in Chechnya. Russia's abuse of
human rights in the North Caucasus, he was told -- we are speaking of
wholesale torture, and murder amounting to genocide -- was an
obstruction to closer relations with NATO and the United States.
There were even voices -- mine was one -- that suggested Mr. Putin
join Slobodan Milosevic on trial in The Hague: Let's do them both
together. Well, goodbye to all that. In the making of the great new
coalition, Mr. Putin looks a saint by comparison with some of his

Does anyone remember any more the outcry against the perceived
economic colonialism of the G8? Against the plundering of the Third
World by uncontrollable multinational companies? Seattle, Prague and
Genoa presented us with disturbing scenes of broken heads, broken
glass, mob violence and police brutality. Tony Blair was deeply
shocked. Yet the debate was a valid one, until it was drowned in a
wave of patriotic sentiment, deftly exploited by corporate America.

Drag up Kyoto these days, you risk the charge of being
"anti-American." It's as if we have entered a new Orwellian world
where our personal reliability as comrades in the struggle is
measured by the degree to which we invoke the past to explain the
present. Suggesting there is a historical context for the recent
atrocities is, by implication, to make excuses for them: Anyone who
is with us doesn't do that; anyone who does, is against us.

Ten years ago, I was making an idealistic bore of myself by telling
anyone who would listen that, with the Cold War behind us, we were
missing a never-to-be repeated chance to transform the global

Where was the Marshall Plan? I pleaded. Why weren't young men and
women from the U.S. Peace Corps, Britain's Voluntary Service Overseas
and their continental European equivalents pouring into the former
Soviet Union by the thousands?

Were was the world-class statesman and the man of the hour, with the
voice and vision to define for us the real, if unglamorous, enemies
of [hu]mankind: poverty, famine, slavery, tyranny, drugs, brush-fire
wars racial and religious intolerance, greed?

Now thanks to Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants, all our leaders
are world-class statesment, proclaiming their voices and visions in
distant airports while they feather their electoral nests.

There has been unfortunate talk -- and not only from Silvio
-- Berlusconi of a "crusade." Crusade, of course, implies a delicious
-- ignorance
of history. Was Mr. Berlusconi really proposing to set free the holy
places of Christendom and smite the heathen? Was George W. Bush? And
am I out of order in recalling that we (Christians) actually lost the
Crusades? But all is well: Signor Berlusconi was misquoted and the
presidential reference is no longer operative.

Meanwhile, Mr. Blair's new role as America's fearless spokesman
continues apace. Mr. Blair speaks well because Mr. Bush speaks badly.
Seen from abroad, Mr. Blair in this partnership is the inspired elder
statesman with an unassailable domestic power base, whereas Mr. Bush
-- dare one say it these days? -- was barely elected at all.

But what exactly does Mr. Blair, the elder statesman, represent? Both
he and the U.S. President at this moment are riding high in their
respective approval ratings, but both are aware, if they know their
history books, that riding high on Day One of a perilous overseas
military operation doesn't guarantee you victory come election day.

How many American body bags can Mr. Bush sustain without losing
popular support? After the horrors of the Twin Towers and the
Pentagon, the American people may want revenge, but they're on a very
short fuse about shedding more American blood.

Mr. Blair -- with the whole Western world to tell him so, except for
a few sour voices back home -- is America's eloquent white knight,
the fearless, trusty champion of that ever-delicate child of the
mid-Atlantic, the "Special Relationship."

Whether that will win Mr. Blair favour with his electorate is another
matter because the Prime Minister was elected to save the country
from decay, and not from Osama bin Laden. The Britain he is leading
to war is a monument to 60 years of administrative incompetence. Our
health, education and transport systems are on the rocks. The
fashionable phrase these days describes them as "Third World," but
there are places in the Third World that are far better off than

The country Mr. Blair governs is blighted by institutionalized
racism, white male dominance, chaotically administered police forces,
a constipated judicial system, obscene private wealth and shameful
and unnecessary public poverty. At the time of his re-election, which
was characterized by a dismal turnout, Mr. Blair acknowledged these
ills and humbly admitted that he was on notice to put them right.

So when you catch the noble throb in his voice as he leads us
reluctantly to war, and your heart lifts to his undoubted flourishes
of rhetoric, it's worth remembering that he may also be warning you,
sotto voce, that his mission to mankind is so important that you will
have to wait another year for your urgent medical operation and a lot
longer before you can ride in a safe and punctual train. I am not
sure that this is the stuff of electoral victory three years from
now. Watching Tony Blair, and listening to him, I can't resist the
impression that he is in a bit of a dream, walking his own dangerous

Did I say "war?" Has either Mr. Blair or Mr. Bush, I wonder, ever
seen a child blown to bits, or witnessed the effect of a single
cluster bomb dropped on an un�protected refugee camp? It isn't
necessarily a qualification for generalship to have seen such dread
things -- and I on't wish either of them the experience -- but it
scares me all the same when I'll watch uncut, political faces shining
with the light of combat, and hear preppy political vices steeling my
heart for battle.

And please, Mr. Bush -- on my knees, Mr. Blair -- keep God out of
this. To imagine God fights wars is to credit Him with he worst
follies of [hu]mankind. God, if we know anything about Him, which I
don't profess to, prefers effective food drops, dedicated medical
teams, comfort and good tents for the homeless and bereaved, and
without strings, a decent acceptance of our past sins and a readiness
to put them right. He prefers us less greedy, less arrogant, less
evangelical, and less dismissive of life's losers.

It's not a new world order, not yet, and it's not God's war. It's a
horrible, necessary, humiliating police action to redress the failure
of our intelligence services and cur-blind political stupidity in
arming and exploiting fanatics to fight the Soviet invader, then
abandoning them to a devastated, leaderless country. As a result,
it's our miserable duty to seek out and punish a bunch of modern
medieval religious zealots who will gain mythic stature from the very
death we propose to dish out to them.

And when it's over, it won't be over. The shadowy bin Laden armies,
in the emotional aftermath of his destruction, will gather numbers
rather than wither away. So will the hinterland of silent
sympathizers who provide them with logistical support.

Cautiously, between the lines, we are being invited to believe that
the conscience of the West has been reawakened to the dilemma of the
poor and homeless of the Earth.

And possibly, out of fear, necessity and rhetoric, a new sort of
political morality has, indeed, been born. But when the shooting dies
and a seeming peace is achieved, will the United States and its
allies stay at their posts or, as happened at the end of the Cold
War, hang up their boots and go home to their own backyards? Even if
those backyards will never again be the safe havens they once were.

[John le Carre is the author of 18 novels, including his most recent,
"The Constant Gardener."]

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