Hard Time in the Heartland

by Ian Urbina | published September 30, 2003

On April 16, 2003, George W. Bush visited the shop floor at the Boeing plant in St. Louis, Missouri. His 90-minute appearance drew several hundred men and women who help make the military's $48 million F-18 Hornet fighters, 36 of which were deployed during the Iraq war. The purpose of Bush's visit was twofold: to offer thanks to the blue-collar workers equipping US soldiers for their foreign adventures and to provide reassurance in an atmosphere of climbing unemployment.

The Kurds' Secret Scenarios

by Chris Kutschera
published in MER225

 Never have the gardens of Sarchinar and the slopes of Mount Azmar welcomed so many Kurdish families fleeing the heat of Suleimaniya than during the exceptionally long Indian summer of 2002. Squatting on the ground or sitting around tables, grilling shish-kebabs on improvised barbecues or unpacking home-cooked dishes, women dressed in colorful robes mix with men in traditional attire, listening to the last cassette of the Kurdish crooner Omar Dizai, drinking yogurt mixed with water, tea, beer or raki, while children run around nearby. The crowd revels late into the night, seemingly without a care in the world. "For once," says Azad, an engineer, "we Kurds are on the right side of the fence."

Using and Abusing the UN, Redux

by Marc Lynch
published in MER225

On September 12, 2002, George W. Bush delivered a forceful address to the United Nations General Assembly to rally support for an American campaign against Iraq. Challenging the UN to enforce its own resolutions, Bush warned the assembled delegates that failure to back the US war against Iraq would condemn the institution to irrelevance. While the speech contained little that was new -- most notably, it failed to offer the long-promised evidence of Iraqi nuclear weapons -- it did succeed in returning the UN to the center of the developing US-Iraqi showdown. Bush received numerous plaudits, even among those who oppose war, mainly for the simple fact that he approached the UN at all.