Thursday, April 28, 2005
Croatia offers Serb minority home rule in ind Croatia. Croatia calls up the reserves. Fed troops & Serb guerillas attacked a Croat police station, killing 80
Ex-customs Commissioner says he & others were stopped from investigating BCCI
Israel accepts conf, conditional on not only no PLO, but none from Palestinian diaspora or E Jerusalem and (possibly) that Palestinians not allowed to speak
Croatia admits being outgunned by Serbs, fires Defense Minister
Bush in Ukraine talks of “suicidal nationalism”. “Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism. They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred.” (This is the famed “Chicken Kiev” speech)
Senate authorizes military force to destroy Iraq nuclear capability 97-2
Bush rejects Danforth’s compromise civil rights bill, saying employees should be able to impose unnecessary ed. requirements
The recent CA extension of sales tax to newspapers inc the free weeklies [Update: but not for long]
Seems Quayle is doing the job as Competitiveness Czar as Bush did as paperwork reduction. He can overrule heads of EPA & others. And does so on behalf of industry. Changes in regs on air pollution affecting refineries, factories etc changed to allow comps to write their own permits, effective if state environmental agencies don’t respond in 7 days. Objected to EPA requiring muni incineration operation to set aside 25% waste for recycling; suspicious that rule “primarily because recycling has enormous popular support.” & cite industry as saying recycling costs higher than usually thought, so Quayle killed it as too costly w/out proof. Ditto on EPA plan to ban incineration of lead batteries. Quayle is overruling Congress-mandated programs w/no authority, no oversight & in secret
Bush wants to redefine wetlands to open 10m acres to building
Bush expected to veto bill passed by both Houses to extend unemp beyond 6 mos for duration of recession
Milosevic rejects UN peacekeeping force
Voice says US gov keeping back & repressing evidence that burning oil wells in Kuwait are not localized as gov claims
Dept Commerce falsified & altered 68 Iraqi export licenses subpoenaed by Congress Sep90; this admitted by the Dept. Changed an inventory of $1b in military trucks from “vehicles designed for military use” to “commercial utility cargo trucks.” And removed comments & conditions made by depts of Energy, Defense. A high-tech furnace maker (could be used for plutonium for bombs, titanium for missiles) told Commerce about possible military use but Commerce insisted on approving
PLO says it has no objections to coming to peace conf not as members per se [Update: taken back]
Cheney defends idea of gays in civilian jobs at Pentagon. Says doesn’t find exclusion wrong, but doesn’t strongly defend it. Voice & Advocate have both failed to name the top aide of Cheney who he is said to know is gay, but they have done so rather loudly
Shamir says would walk out of peace conf if Syria insists on getting Golan back
Turkey invades Iraq to attack Kurdish refugee camp from which they claim raids launched
USSR warns West not to intervene militarily in Yugoslavia
During Gulf War, 120,000 Palestinians in Occupied lost jobs — under ½ have been reissued passes to enter Israel
Br lifted automatic ban on gays in security-rated jobs in dipl service & MI6, not military
Last week Baker went to Morocco to get it to agree to peace conf. This week it resumes military ops in W Sahara
Former E Ger unemp up to 12% (W Ger 6.3%)
“Betrayal at Pearl Harbor” by James Rusbridger & Eric Nave, the latter an Australian who worked at GCCS during war, says Churchill chose not to inform US of forthcoming Pearl Harbor
Pol Pot is not retired, but directed Khmer Rouge’s reps in peace talks Jun91
US sending >50 military advisers to Peru. US insists Sendero Luminoso is drug trafficking
US Atty joins Operation Rescue effort to get Fed District Judge to lift court order against blockading clinics. The Atty says the judge’s stopping US marshals’ “clearing” area by allowing protestors to move by baby steps intrudes on Marshals’ prerogative to decide how to enforce court orders. Justice claims it isn’t taking sides. Claims it’s just arguing fed court has no jurisdiction. The statute the clinic is using is an 1871 anti-Klan one. The US gov says the protestors are not prejudiced against women because they’re against men & women having abortions. Bush refuses to say protesters should obey the court.
Ontario, still under lefty gov, recognized Indian self-gov
An Australian human rights delegation visited China. Denied access to Tibetan jails. 1990, 16,000 criminal cases filed Shanghai, under ½ had lawyers. 30 acquitted.
Turks still raiding Iraqi Kurds, w/warplanes & helicopter gunships
Fed dist judge strikes down Louisiana abortion law
#1 advice book is on self-euthanasia
The last Iranian PM under Shah assassinated in Paris
US says “friendly fire” got 20 of the 148 killed in Gulf War (60-70% of those wounded). They can tell because of the radiation left by depleted uranium US uses in anti-tank rounds
Jap. PM Kaifu the 1st major leader to visit China since 1989
Br proposing to eliminate legal aid for immigration cases, inc refugees & instead subsidize a voluntary group, UK Immigrants’ Advisory Service, which didn’t ask for this honor. That means changing it from an entitlement to a fixed budget, subject to cuts, & coming from HO, which it will have to fight in court
Anthony Lewis notes that Thornburgh’s concern w/federalism in the Wichita abortion fight (see 8/6-7/91) contrasts w/his silence when Senate turned all state crimes committed w/guns into fed crimes
A Hohenzollern wants his job back. Frederick the Great just reburied in Potsdam
SA fascist AWB beginning to act violent & talk about guerilla resistance. Have already fought police
NYT says more cocaine seized in US can be traced to Panama than before the invasion
Macedonia to hold referendum on ind Sept. 8.
-Milosevic proposed Serbia, Montenegro & Bosnia-H. form a new Yugoslavia, inc parts of Croatia now held by Serbs, possibly under Bosnia-H., part of which would go to Croatia. Bosnia is not amused & the proposal quickly died.
Cath Church in US now testing potential priests for AIDS
“Friendly fire” now up to 35 of 148. Americans engaged Amers. 28 times, 16 on ground. No one’s mentioned deaths caused by Saudis, Qataris, etc
US policy now officially that UN chemical arms treaty should not have full & immediate inspections, as was the previous position and still is for Iraq, but countries can keep facilities entirely closed & demand 1-week delay before inspection
USSR ain’t gonna get shit from US business & banks, which refused to subscribe a $600m — US-backed — loan for grain purchases. So US guaranteed for Eur banks
In Serbia, branches of Slovenian & Croatian enterprises expropriated (not by gov). Bank branches don’t accept checks written out of republic, etc.
Grenada commutes death sentences of 1983 coup leaders
And 27 of the 35 tanks & armored vehicles damaged in Gulf War were by Amers.
Ch. provinces ban retarded people marrying unless sterilized 1st. If this is evaded, abortions mandatory
US admits START treaty doesn’t require destruction of the missiles covered. They’ll be used for... research.
Israel again deporting Palestinian women & children related to men in Occupied. Evidently, they are not automatically allowed to live together.
A judge in Ohio ordered the phone comp to turn over names of anyone who called a Wall St Journal reporter over a 3½ mo per. from 513 area code (655,000 numbers, 45m calls) to catch someone Procter & Gamble says leaked comp. info
Oh, the gay in the Pentagon is spokesman Pete Williams, who I grew to despise during the war. NYT hasn’t named him
SA & UN plan to allow pol exiles back. Involves 1st UN presence in 30 yrs. Amnesty excluded those who committed common crimes. Basically, SA reserves right to decide who is covered. ANC releasing SA spies.
-Meanwhile, CA has started training Zairian Army
Bush won’t veto the bill giving extended unemp benefits to the 3m out of work more than 6 mos, just will block actually paying them. Rates would be different depending on unemp rates of the indiv state. Bill will also give people who leave military the normal unemp of 26 weeks (now 13) & paid in 1 week instead of 4
Coup in Soviet Union. Union treaty was to be signed tomorrow. At the G-7 summit, Gorbachev proved he was unable to gain W. aid, thus losing his last case for indispensability at home.
-Officially, Gorby is too sick to continue or evidently to step down by himself, since the VP did it for him. Power seems to reside in a “committee” & there will be martial law at least 6 mos. Cmte inc rightist Min Interior Pugo, KGB, Defense Minister, PM Pavlov
-My note on choice of Vanayev (12/27/90 & 1/10/91) said Gorby virtually made his election a vote of confidence.
-Soviet troops have stopped broadcasts of ind tv station in Lithuania & a Moscow radio station & tv. & Latvia
-Yeltsin calls for gen strike
Yugoslav tanks & army units move into Croatia — just to keep peace of course. Death toll in Croatia 200+ since June 25, over 20 since cease-fire.
Last yr Japanese comps spent $35b on gifts & entertainment
Soviet military has closed port of Tallin
US ending econ aid to USSR, as have Br, Sp...
-Mayor of Leningrad arrested.
-The State of Emergency is confined to the 6 republics which did not intend to sign union treaty.
-The military commander for Baltics says he’s in charge & ordered Lithuanian forces to give up arms
-Indeed everyone must give up weapons.
-Reimposes state control of media. And strikes & meetings banned as well as pol party activity. Izvhestia is not being published, its printers protesting orders not to print Yeltsin’s words — Vremya & Tass did carry
Bush finally says anti-abortion people should obey court order
Yanayev says Gorby just too exhausted to continue, but Y. wants his return in a few mos. Reporters chortled.
-Only support for coup is from Iraq.
-Thatcher is 1st to say defense cuts should be rethought
-Dec. Emergency in Moscow gives military commander right to issue orders on anything.
-The defense minister flew to Crimea to see Gorby a few hrs before the coup, possibly to arrange for his arrest, possibly to try to get him to lead the coup
Yeltsin demands: end state of emergency, disbanding of emergency cmte, WHO to see Gorbachev, free press, etc. State tv is showing Yeltsin’s demonstration, & world criticism of the coup.
-Soviet troops took over telephone building Lithuania & cut off republic’s communications w/other republics & outside world — but only for 1 hr ???
-Coal miners to strike in coalfields of Siberia & Uktaine
-Yanayev says the Soviet Parl would approve this on August 27
-Bush is sending off, as due, the new ambassador to USSR, Democrat Robert Strauss. He will not present credentials.
-Jun91 attempt by PM Pavlov to get Parl to expand his power now looks more significant. Pavlov was then backed by heads of military, KGB, interior & Gorby did not retaliate.
-Yeltsin ordered Soviet gov agencies under Russian control
The retired foreign affairs adviser to Thatcher & Major, Sir Charles Powell says Br also wanted to cont. Gulf War until Saddam defeated, but deferred to US
GAO study of Fed job training says women & blacks channeled into lower-paying jobs than white men
The coup leaders’ rather detailed statements about solving the housing crisis, closing all papers but 9, ending crime, etc etc would rather seem to contradict the talk about Gorby’s health
-Rumor says local KGB in Crimea tried to free Gorby about the time of rumors he was being flown out
-Moldavia & Ukraine have rejected coup.
-Estonia dec full ind.
-It got lost, but Georgian prez, who is or was a lefty, & might now be a demagogue, fired his PM, deputy PM & foreign minister Sunday
-Rumor has it that PM Pavlov, defense minister & KGB chief have all “taken ill.”
The SA spies released by ANC (30+) talking about torture
Latvian PM arrested
CP Of USSR asks Yanayev to meet Gorbachev
-Yeltsin to send his VP & PM & doctors to see (try to see) Gorby. Says he has permission from KGB chief, who may or may not even still be in coup. I do believe Yeltsin is clawing back the upper hand.
Community health clinics are cutting services & having difficulty recruiting because of malpractice insurance, which runs 15X what is paid out in claims
Prez of Kazakhstan denounces coup
Yeltsin’s Foreign Min in Fr. w/instructions to form gov-in-exile if necessary
6:34 am. Just as well Bush didn’t let it foul up his vacation. Coup is over, the coup leaders are on a plane for Central Asia. And Yeltsin (w/the help of the coup’s failure to shut down the media) did it. Defense Ministry orders troops out of Moscow, and they are leaving. On the anniversary of the invasion of Czech.
7:02 am Tass says the Emergency Cmte has dissolved
US to allow in 1,000 Tibetans over 3 yrs. In last 30 yrs, only allowed in 500
Doesn’t look like more than 5 killed in Moscow — drunken hooligans, of course.
5:00 pm Gorby back in Moscow
-Speaking of sick people, the foreign minister showed his head again, evidently he was too ill to comment on coup until now. And the dog ate his homework.
-Oh, Latvia dec itself ind at some pt
October 1988 Surprise? Washington Jewish Week says Bush went to Damascus several times 1986+ to negotiate arms for hostages in Lebanon, but wanted to control the timing — & failed 1988 to reactivate the deal.
Gore not running for president
October Surprise evidently involved Br arms to Iran Oct-Nov80. Br arms dealer Ian Smalley arrested 1982 & evidently got out of it by blackmail about his role in sales.
10 pm 5 of coup leaders arrested. Gory in Moscow & on tv
Watching Gorby giving long account of his ordeal &, gosh, how brave he was. It’s like the story of the coup that got away.
-Yeltsin dec that CP behind the coup — no real evidence for that, surely.
-PM Pavlov in hospital with hypertension
-At some pt, Yeltsin decided to consider the union Treaty which Gorby would have signed Tuesday to be in force
-By the way, the coup leaders took the red button from Gorby
-Interior Min Pugo committed suicide
-The huge statue of Derzhinsky (14 tons) taken down.
-Billboard: “Welcome back Gorby! Next time vacation in Michigan”
-Latvia outlaws CP & trying to arrest the party leader, who Gorby condemned by name
-Mayor of Moscow ordered utilities shut down for apartments of junta members
-Seems the coup may have started a day early, possibly because Gorby found out, thus the rolling of tanks only 4 hrs into coup & use of Russian troops, commanded by Yeltsin supporters used. & failure to arrest Yeltsin
The persistent rumor is that Gorby planned this all along, most importantly voiced by president of Georgia. I still think it possible that Gorby was asked to lead the coup. Lots of people dismiss this out of hand, but that is to mistake the coup — it was against democracy, not Gorby, and Gorby ≠ democracy.
Moscow city council has sealed hq of CP & suspended CP activities. & Yeltsin orders CP organizs w/in army shut down in Russia
-Those out of power because of coup (KGB, Interior, Defense heads, etc) all replaced by their deputies
-The Baltics want to retain ind & asked US for recognition. Lithuania bans CP. By the way, troops have left Vilnius tv, occupied since Jan.
-Ukraine also to retain control of police, military, etc in its republic
-Latvia considering removing Parl indemnity from 2 leaders of Soyuz faction in Soviet Parl for supporting coup
-Gorby sticking w/CP. As above shows, he is it. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode — man comes 3 days forward in time & reveals himself hopelessly antiquated.
-Actually, it’s just like Bush dealing w/his enemies: he doesn’t object to military dictatorship in Iraq, Panama, just to Hussein, Noriega
-The Interior Min was fired as Russian Interior Min by Yeltsin & is right-winger. The new interior min & KBG both opposed to Baltic ind
-The foreign minister who failed to speak out has been fired
-Yeltsin fired heads of 4 provinces that supported coup
-Head of Uzbekistan has left Soviet CP
Croatia says if Yug. army & Serb rebels do not honor cease-fire, or rebels fail to surrender weapons by August 31, army to be treated as an occupying force
GATT says environmental concerns can’t be used to ban imports. In this case US ban on Mexican tuna because of dolphin deaths. Of course, Congress would still have to repeal it
CNN says Robert Gates participated in interagency group on Contras that inc Ollie North, who told of his activities, though not source of funding
New head of KGB bans CP activity in KGB
-Everyone still chanting “Yeltsin.” No one saying “Gorby”
-And Yeltsin has changed the Russian flag
The new defense minister already fired. The interior min of Russia now interior min USSR. And the ex-Interior min, the liberal Gorby fired some mos ago, now in charge of KGB. Gorby is taking orders from Yeltsin, I believe
1990 1.3m left ex-Comecon countries for W.
Yeltsin signs decree ending activity of CP in Russia in KGB, army, gov. Yeltsin suspends 6 party papers inc Pravda & head of Tass
-Gorby to sign decrees confirming everything Yeltsin did during coup & giving control of Russian resources to Russia
-All this during Gorby meeting Russian Sup Soviet. I think I just saw the intro of Question Time in USSR
-Gorby & Yeltsin now share the gov. Yeltsin is making appointments in the Soviet gov, all of which will be changed
-Military participation in the coup minimal, only a few units — Air Force & Navy did nothing
2 coup leaders interviewed by tv. Defense minister apologizes, KGB chief does not
Presidents of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan withdrew form Party Politburo
-In Moscow, crowds stop CP officials removing documents concerning foreign business deals
-Moldavia arrests CP leaders in Gagauz, a separatist territory. Dec party illegal. Bans CP newspapers
-Acting party sec in Russia resigns party
Ukraine dec ind. Referendum December
Gorbachev quits as head of CP. Wants CP Cent. Cmte disbanded. Seize CP property
Yeltsin has recognized ind of Estonia, Latvia (Lith. already was)
-Tadzhikistan bans all pol party activities in Justice Min, prosecutor’s office, etc. Kazakhstan similar
-Lithuania suspends publication of papers of USSR & CP
-Tass kicks CP out. Staff of Izvestia fires editor
China embarrassing Bush again. After all the fight about most-favored nation status, Ch. refusing to deal w/unfair trade — scarce licenses, banning of products produced domestically, not publishing trade rules.
Spring, Bush admin said reducing children’s exposure to lead is urgent. Now says fed gov will do nothing about it
Lithuania calling for Nuremberg trials
-Moldavia, Georgia & Armenia have dec ind. 8 to go
Russia says until a new union treaty signed (fat chance), USSR has no authority in Russia
US oil efficiency ½ that of Japan, its cars get fewer MPG and less tax income than in any indust country
Lithuania to start guarding its borders & issuing visas Monday.
-Denmark to send ambassador to Baltics. Ditto Ger
A personal aid to Gorby suicides — the military adviser
Byellorussia dec ind. 7 to go. & suspended CP activity. & president, who supported the coup, resigns
-Norway & Denmark recognize Baltics. Fr next. Finland
80% of Soviet military command to be replaced
Black Berets, which have been raiding throughout Baltics for mos, allegedly under no one’s command, to be w/drawn
-Military commander of Baltics fired
Yeltsin says coup plans called for stemming Russian Parl & arresting him, but crowds forced troops to refuse
Knew it couldn’t last. Yeltsin says if neighboring republics leave, can’t take areas of large Russian pop (exc Baltics). He mans Ukraine, Kazakhstan
-Lots more countries recognizing Baltics. But Bush doesn’t want to contribute to anarchy by doing so.
-Moldavia (I think it was) not only republic to use aftermath to attack minorities. Estonia to dissolve 3 city councils in Russian areas...
-Kazakhstan & Khirghizia reject union treaty. Kazakhs, at least, worried about being dominated by Russians.
-Indeed the 8 new appointments to Soviet cabinet are all not only Russian, but from Russian republican gov. Yeltsin colonizing the center?
Greek & Port. CPs supported coup. And Marchais of PCF under attack for failure to oppose more strongly
Moldavia ind. Long-term goal reunification w/Romania. It is now called Moldova. 6 to go.
EC to recognize Baltics
Gorby threatens to resign if unity not preserved.
-Some of this separatism may be a way for local CPs to maintain themselves & their property intact
Croatia to intro general mobilization. Civil war has escalated. Yug army using cluster bombs
KGB shakeup: military units removed, leaders of Directorate for security of officials all under arrest. Indeed, all leaders fired
New ind Ukraine also dec itself nuclear-free. Its nukes to be transferred to Russia
ABA pronounces Clarence Thomas “qualified.” No one considered him well qualified
Let’s clean up some rumors. Defense minister & KGB chief did not ever leave the coup
-Troops only used force where they were used to doing so, meaning the Baltics. Ukraine avoided a state of emergency by staying neutral, though Rukh organized rallies. Georgia got them not to deploy troops. Leningrad mayor (I guess not arrested) got local military commander to allow demonstrations by promising not to call for a strike
The new head of KGB says it should be disbanded
Russia & Ukraine to form econ & military alliance in order to keep Union together. Whatever that means
-Yeltsin backed down from trying to demand approval of foreign exchange operations in Russia
Sup Soviet of USSR bans CP activity (283-29-52)
Gorby proposed a bunch of liberals for the Security Council. Shevardnadze again refused to have anything to do w/Gorby. And Sup Court said Gorby must consult republics 1st
Sup Soviet strips Gorby of his emergency powers
Soviet gov to stop conscripting Lithuanians & release those now in Soviet army (presumably Estonia & Latvia too)
Les Aspin wants to give USSR $1b off the defense budget
US Court of Appeals in SF said there is no right to a write-in vote. Write-ins are barred in Hawaii, Indiana, Ok, Nev. 8 others ban it in primaries, Texas for run-offs. NM, Ohio, Wash ban candidates who failed primary
Kazakhstan orders nuclear test range closed
I think the danger of Yeltsin taking over & Russifying Soviet Union is checked. He’s had to backpeddle rapidly after that nonsense about redrawing borders
The head of elite Soviet black berets & 80 of his men, who have been terrorizing Lithuania for mos., asking for asylum in any Eur country that respects human rights
Azerbaijan dec ind. 5 to go.
Head of Yugoslav presidency says army is “out of control”
Kazakhstan joins agreement w/Russia, leaving borders & for closer integration
Head of KGb Bakatin to ban use of informers
Moscow police tried to shut down right wing Russian Writers Union
Moldavian ethnic Russians pissed at arrest of their leader allegedly for supporting the coup; they now plan to cut off power & gas to the republic
Mexico tried to steal yet another election under cover of Russian coup, but so blatantly that now have to reverse it in 1 state, Guanajuato, in holding op
Kirghizia & Uzbekistan dec ind. 3 to go (BBC says 4)
-Tirgizian president refuses Gorby offer to become Soviet VP. And other liberals have refused to join security council
Guess what party won in Singapore elections. Actually, Lee Kuan Yu is supposed to be retired. Opposition right up there to 4 seats of 81. Significantly, I’d think opposition ran in *exactly* a minority of seats
Speaking of elections, of 392 opposition elected in Burmese elections last yr but never put in, 62 in prison (3+ died there), 15 fled country, 100+ in hiding
David Owen leaving politics