The Midwest, Iran and a Great Piece on John Bolton

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I am struggling with a computer crash — an APPLE G4 17″ Powerbook — that I thought would never go bad, but it has. The computer won’t even boot from the disk. The apple just appears and a little whirling circle just whirrrrs. I don’t have time to sit for hours in the Apple store — so, I’m temporarily using my old Dell, which I grew to dislike long ago.
That said, I thought I would post three short pieces for your perusal.
The first is a nice write-up by John Farrell of the Denver Post of our Iran conference last Thursday.
The second is from the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal with some comments on Khatami and Iran by yours truly in a very good piece by Douglas Savage.
The third is a comprehensive round-up by Stephen Schlesinger of the many reasons to oppose John Bolton. I still think the nomination is dead in committee and cannot move to the floor, but Lazarus and Bolton do have a few things in common. And while I think it would be complete political suicide for Chafee to re-open this matter, I see signs that the administration is cobbling something together on Israel-Palestine, though its still very embryonic and Chafee would be mistaken to get seduced by the talk of action.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

32 comments on “The Midwest, Iran and a Great Piece on John Bolton

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    Reply

  2. nitro says:

    I would like to know what the final outcome is(was) of the computer issue…

    Reply

  3. margaret says:

    Dead Computer, do this: Shift/Power/Option/Control (simultaneously). Hold for 5 minutes. Works on G4 12″. Should, on yours, too.

    Reply

  4. ahem says:

    The ‘circle keeps circling’ thing can mean a hard drive about to fail, or something as trivial as a background check that the filesystem isn’t corrupted, which will resolve itself in about ten minutes. Not booting from the optical drive is more problematic, though.
    You can tell what’s going on in the background by holding down ‘apple-V’ when you start up the machine. That’s a good guide when talking to support.
    I just hope you’ve got a backup of your files. Hardware does fail.

    Reply

  5. vachon says:

    Eh, I looked into an Apple when I was buying my laptop. I would have loved one but the price was $2k. For 1.1K I got a 15″ Toshiba. The only thing that bugs me (no pun) is that the battery doesn’t last 3 hours like they claim. More like 45 minutes. Other than that, it’s perfect.
    I’ll buy an Apple when it’s priced for mere mortals.

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    19 September 2006 02:40 Home > News > World > Middle East
    Deadly harvest: The Lebanese fields sown with cluster bombs
    Lebanese villagers must risk death in fields ‘flooded’ with more than a million Israeli cluster bombs – or leave crops to rot
    By Patrick Cockburn in Nabatiyeh
    Published: 18 September 2006
    The war in Lebanon has not ended. Every day, some of the million bomblets which were fired by Israeli artillery during the last three days of the conflict kill four people in southern Lebanon and wound many more.
    The casualty figures will rise sharply in the next month as villagers begin the harvest, picking olives from trees whose leaves and branches hide bombs that explode at the smallest movement. Lebanon’s farmers are caught in a deadly dilemma: to risk the harvest, or to leave the produce on which they depend to rot in the fields.
    In a coma in a hospital bed in Nabatiyeh lies Hussein Ali Ahmad, a 70-year-old man from the village of Yohmor. He was pruning an orange tree outside his house last week when he dislodged a bomblet; it exploded, sending pieces of shrapnel into his brain, lungs and kidneys. “I know he can hear me because he squeezes my hand when I talk to him,” said his daughter, Suwad, as she sat beside her father’s bed in the hospital.
    At least 83 people have been killed by cluster munitions since the ceasefire, according to independent monitors.
    Some Israeli officers are protesting at the use of cluster bombs, each containing 644 small but lethal bomblets, against civilian targets in Lebanon. A commander in the MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) unit told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the army had fired 1,800 cluster rockets, spraying 1.2 million bomblets over houses and fields. “In Lebanon, we covered entire villages with cluster bombs,” he said. “What we did there was crazy and monstrous.” What makes the cluster bombs so dangerous is that 30 per cent of the bomblets do not detonate on impact. They can lie for years – often difficult to see because of their small size, on roofs, in gardens, in trees, beside roads or in rubbish – waiting to explode when disturbed.
    In Nabatiyeh, the modern 100-bed government hospital has received 19 victims of cluster bombs since the end of the war. As we arrived, a new patient, Ahmad Sabah, a laboratory technician at the hospital, was being rushed into the emergency room. A burly man of 45, he was unconscious on a stretcher. Earlier in the morning, he had gone up to the flat roof of his house to check the water tank. While there, he must have touched a pile of logs he was keeping for winter fires. Unknown to him, a bomblet had fallen into the woodpile a month earlier. The logs shielded him from the full force of the blast, but when we saw him, doctors were still trying to find out the extent of his injuries.
    “For us, the war is still going on, though there was a cease-fire on 14 August,” said Dr Hassan Wazni, the director of the hospital. “If the cluster bombs had all exploded at the time they landed, it would not be so bad, but they are still killing and maiming people.”
    The bomblets may be small, but they explode with devastating force. On the morning of the ceasefire, Hadi Hatab, an 11-year old boy, was brought dying to the hospital. “He must have been holding the bomb close to him,” Dr Wazni said. “It took off his hands and legs and the lower part of his body.”
    We went to Yohmor to find where Hussein Ali Ahmad had received his terrible wounds while pruning his orange tree. The village is at the end of a broken road, six miles south of Nabatiyeh, and is overlooked by the ruins of Beaufort Castle, a crusader fortress on a ridge above the deep valley along which the Litani river runs.
    Israeli bombs and shells have turned about a third of the houses in Yohmor into concrete sandwiches, one floor falling on top of another under the impact of explosions. Some families camp in the ruins. Villagers said that they were most worried by the cluster bombs still infesting their gardens, roofs and fruit trees. In the village street, were the white vehicles of the Manchester-based Mines Advisory Group (MAG), whose teams are trying to clear the bomblets.
    It is not an easy job. Whenever members of one of the MAG teams finds and removes a bomblet, they put a stick, painted red on top and then yellow, in the ground. There are so many of these sticks that it looks as if some sinister plant had taken root and is flourishing in the village.
    “The cluster bombs all landed in the last days of the war,” said Nuhar Hejazi, a surprisingly cheerful 65-year-old woman. “There were 35 on the roof of our house and 200 in our garden so we can’t visit our olive trees.” People in Yohmor depend on their olive trees and the harvest should begin now before the rains, but the trees are still full of bomblets. “My husband and I make 20 cans of oil a year which we need to sell,” Mrs Hejazi says. “Now we don’t know what to do.” The sheer number of the bomblets makes it almost impossible to remove them all.
    Frederic Gras, a de-mining expert formerly in the French navy, who is leading the MAG teams in Yohmor, says: “In the area north of the Litani river, you have three or four people being killed every day by cluster bombs. The Israeli army knows that 30 per cent of them do not explode at the time they are fired so they become anti-personnel mines.”
    Why did the Israeli army do it? The number of cluster bombs fired must have been greater than 1.2 million because, in addition to those fired in rockets, many more were fired in 155mm artillery shells. One Israeli gunner said he had been told to “flood” the area at which they were firing but was given no specific targets. M. Gras, who personally defuses 160 to 180 bomblets a day, says this is the first time he seen cluster bombs used against heavily populated villages.
    An editorial in Haaretz said that the mass use of this weapon by the Israeli Defence Forces was a desperate last-minute attempt to stop Hizbollah’s rocket fire into northern Israel. Whatever the reason for the bombardment, the villagers in south Lebanon will suffer death and injury from cluster bombs as they pick their olives and oranges for years to come.
    The war in Lebanon has not ended. Every day, some of the million bomblets which were fired by Israeli artillery during the last three days of the conflict kill four people in southern Lebanon and wound many more.
    The casualty figures will rise sharply in the next month as villagers begin the harvest, picking olives from trees whose leaves and branches hide bombs that explode at the smallest movement. Lebanon’s farmers are caught in a deadly dilemma: to risk the harvest, or to leave the produce on which they depend to rot in the fields.
    In a coma in a hospital bed in Nabatiyeh lies Hussein Ali Ahmad, a 70-year-old man from the village of Yohmor. He was pruning an orange tree outside his house last week when he dislodged a bomblet; it exploded, sending pieces of shrapnel into his brain, lungs and kidneys. “I know he can hear me because he squeezes my hand when I talk to him,” said his daughter, Suwad, as she sat beside her father’s bed in the hospital.
    At least 83 people have been killed by cluster munitions since the ceasefire, according to independent monitors.
    Some Israeli officers are protesting at the use of cluster bombs, each containing 644 small but lethal bomblets, against civilian targets in Lebanon. A commander in the MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) unit told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the army had fired 1,800 cluster rockets, spraying 1.2 million bomblets over houses and fields. “In Lebanon, we covered entire villages with cluster bombs,” he said. “What we did there was crazy and monstrous.” What makes the cluster bombs so dangerous is that 30 per cent of the bomblets do not detonate on impact. They can lie for years – often difficult to see because of their small size, on roofs, in gardens, in trees, beside roads or in rubbish – waiting to explode when disturbed.
    In Nabatiyeh, the modern 100-bed government hospital has received 19 victims of cluster bombs since the end of the war. As we arrived, a new patient, Ahmad Sabah, a laboratory technician at the hospital, was being rushed into the emergency room. A burly man of 45, he was unconscious on a stretcher. Earlier in the morning, he had gone up to the flat roof of his house to check the water tank. While there, he must have touched a pile of logs he was keeping for winter fires. Unknown to him, a bomblet had fallen into the woodpile a month earlier. The logs shielded him from the full force of the blast, but when we saw him, doctors were still trying to find out the extent of his injuries.
    “For us, the war is still going on, though there was a cease-fire on 14 August,” said Dr Hassan Wazni, the director of the hospital. “If the cluster bombs had all exploded at the time they landed, it would not be so bad, but they are still killing and maiming people.”
    The bomblets may be small, but they explode with devastating force. On the morning of the ceasefire, Hadi Hatab, an 11-year old boy, was brought dying to the hospital. “He must have been holding the bomb close to him,” Dr Wazni said. “It took off his hands and legs and the lower part of his body.”
    We went to Yohmor to find where Hussein Ali Ahmad had received his terrible wounds while pruning his orange tree. The village is at the end of a broken road, six miles south of Nabatiyeh, and is overlooked by the ruins of Beaufort Castle, a crusader fortress on a ridge above the deep valley along which the Litani river runs.
    Israeli bombs and shells have turned about a third of the houses in Yohmor into concrete sandwiches, one floor falling on top of another under the impact of explosions. Some families camp in the ruins. Villagers said that they were most worried by the cluster bombs still infesting their gardens, roofs and fruit trees. In the village street, were the white vehicles of the Manchester-based Mines Advisory Group (MAG), whose teams are trying to clear the bomblets.
    It is not an easy job. Whenever members of one of the MAG teams finds and removes a bomblet, they put a stick, painted red on top and then yellow, in the ground. There are so many of these sticks that it looks as if some sinister plant had taken root and is flourishing in the village.
    “The cluster bombs all landed in the last days of the war,” said Nuhar Hejazi, a surprisingly cheerful 65-year-old woman. “There were 35 on the roof of our house and 200 in our garden so we can’t visit our olive trees.” People in Yohmor depend on their olive trees and the harvest should begin now before the rains, but the trees are still full of bomblets. “My husband and I make 20 cans of oil a year which we need to sell,” Mrs Hejazi says. “Now we don’t know what to do.” The sheer number of the bomblets makes it almost impossible to remove them all.
    Frederic Gras, a de-mining expert formerly in the French navy, who is leading the MAG teams in Yohmor, says: “In the area north of the Litani river, you have three or four people being killed every day by cluster bombs. The Israeli army knows that 30 per cent of them do not explode at the time they are fired so they become anti-personnel mines.”
    Why did the Israeli army do it? The number of cluster bombs fired must have been greater than 1.2 million because, in addition to those fired in rockets, many more were fired in 155mm artillery shells. One Israeli gunner said he had been told to “flood” the area at which they were firing but was given no specific targets. M. Gras, who personally defuses 160 to 180 bomblets a day, says this is the first time he seen cluster bombs used against heavily populated villages.
    An editorial in Haaretz said that the mass use of this weapon by the Israeli Defence Forces was a desperate last-minute attempt to stop Hizbollah’s rocket fire into northern Israel. Whatever the reason for the bombardment, the villagers in south Lebanon will suffer death and injury from cluster bombs as they pick their olives and oranges for years to come.

    Reply

  7. Pissed Off American says:

    Screw these bastards, they have turned US into the evil empire. The whole odorous ball of wax stinks to high heaven. Oh, what we could have been….
    I’m going to bed. Do me a favor, give it an hour, than pinch me.
    (Hey, its worth a try.)

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    Is anyone else tired of financing this crap? ..we are all idiots aren’t we? Pay for arms, pay for wars, not to mention dying ..we get poorer, the war profiteers get richer and many get deader. If you want to really get pissed off go over to fas.org where the arms sales data base is and take a look around.
    Ways and Means
    This chapter decodes the alphabet soup of US weapons sales and military aid programs, providing background on them and on other arms industry buzz words. Pointers for researching each of these programs are included, as well.
    Weapons made in the USA are sold, leased and given to governments the world over. In 1996, more than 160 of the earth’s 190 independent states took delivery of US military equipment or training. To help you effectively intervene against arms sales and the subsidy programs which underwrite them, the different mechanisms used to export American arms are explained here. While this chapter contains tips for gathering data on each of these programs, chapter 7 is wholly dedicated to helping you find information on these issues. Full citations and ordering information for all of the reports listed in this chapter-and throughout this book-can be found here.
    Decoder Key
    AECA Arms Export Control Act
    BXA Bureau of Export Administration
    CCL Commerce Control List
    DCS Direct Commercial Sales
    DELG Defense Export Loan Guarantee
    DSAA Defense Security Assistance Agency
    DTC Office of Defense Trade Control
    EDA Excess Defense Articles
    EAA Export Administration Act
    EAR Export Administration Regulations
    FAA Foreign Assistance Act
    FMF Foreign Military Financing
    FMS Foreign Military Sales
    ITAR International Traffic in Arms Regulations
    LOA Letter of Offer and Acceptance
    PM Bureau of Political Military Affairs
    SAO Security Assistance Organization
    USML United States Munitions List
    The Law
    Three principal laws, and two sets of implementing regulations, govern American arms transfers. The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) of 1976 is the primary law establishing procedures on sales and transfers of military equipment and related services. Created by congressional reformers in the aftermath of the Vietnam war and Watergate, this law stipulates the purposes for which weapons may be transferred (self-defense, internal security and UN operations only) and establishes a process by which the executive branch must give Congress advance notice of major sales. The AECA also requires a series of quarterly and annual reports from the Defense and State Departments to Congress on overseas sales activity. These reports are a critical source of information for public interest researchers and activists.
    The Office of Defense Trade Controls, located in the State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs, develops and updates the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which implement this law and guide the arms trade activities of government bureaucrats and weapons dealers. The ITAR include a listing of all categories of equipment considered “munitions,” which are subject to export controls by the State Department. The arms industry continually seeks to move items off of this list, and on to the control list maintained by the Commerce Department (see below), which has a more lax licensing procedure. The ITAR also name those countries which are ineligible to receive American armaments.
    The Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961 is the law of the land on the provision of economic and military assistance to foreign governments. This act establishes that the executive branch and Congress may give funds (either as a grant or as a loan) to foreign governments to purchase newly-manufactured US arms. Generally, the United States provides this type of financing only to close, long-standing military allies, or to governments fighting the production and trafficking of drugs intended for the US market. The authority for the Pentagon and the President to give away-or sell on the cheap-stocks of surplus arms is also found in this law. The FAA includes language barring military aid or arms sales to any country that shows a “gross and consistent” pattern of human rights abuse. Finally, the law bars arms transfers and aid to some specific countries, like Pakistan, for its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Congress has sought in the past few years to rewrite the FAA in light of the end of the cold war, but thus far it has failed to achieve consensus on any substantive revisions.
    Barred From Business
    The following 24 governments and one insurgent group are currently ineligible to import any American weapons. The State Department imposed these restrictions due to U.N. Security Council-mandated arms embargoes, chronic warfare, a determination that the government sponsors terrorist activity, or some other foreign policy reason.
    Source: State Department Embargo Reference Chart (www.pmdtc.org/country.html)
    Afghanistan Cuba Nigeria Vietnam
    UNITA (in Angola) Cyprus North Korea Yemen
    Armenia Haiti Rwanda Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)
    Azerbaijan Iran Somalia Zaire
    Belarus Iraq Sudan
    Burma Liberia Syria
    China Libya Tajikistan
    The Export Administration Act (EAA) of 1979 governs shipments of dual-use goods-technology and information with both military and civilian applications. Technically, the EAA lapsed in 1994, but it continues to be implemented under emergency powers of the President. The Bureau of Export Administration at the Commerce Department administers this law through the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These regulations, which govern the sales activities of both Commerce Department personnel and US exporters, function similarly to the ITAR. The EAR contain the Commerce Control List (CCL), which includes technologies useful for the production of ballistic missiles, ingredients which could be used to make chemical weapons, certain computers, shotguns and police equipment. Companies wishing to export these items must obtain an export license from the Commerce Department. Since the end of the cold war, US industries and their allies in Congress and the executive branch have worked to loosen the controls found in the EAR, remove many items from the control list and speed the review process for export licenses. Congress will likely revamp the Export Administration Act soon, further easing restrictions and decreasing oversight on exports of dual-use goods.
    Researching the law
    While these three laws are permanently on the books, they are tinkered with yearly through legislation passed by Congress. The annual foreign aid and defense authorization and appropriation acts, which set the levels of assistance and weapons procurement for the upcoming fiscal year, often amend the sales programs and financing mechanisms contained in these laws. (Chapter 4 discusses the legislative process in more detail.) Both the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended, are published annually by the congressional foreign relations committees. The most recent version of the joint committee print is entitled Legislation on Foreign Relations Through 1997, and it is available for purchase from the Government Printing Office (see p. 110).
    Because the laws are always amended, the regulations implementing them are also updated continually. These specific changes are printed in the Federal Register, the daily bulletin of the executive branch, which is available at most libraries and over the Internet. The most up-to-date version of the ITAR and quick links to recent amendments printed in the Federal Register are available on-line at http://www.pmdtc.org. Information related to the EAR is published at bxa.fedworld.gov. Printed versions of both sets of regulations are also on sale at the GPO. While these volumes are not exactly page-turners, you do not need legal training to understand them-just perseverance.
    The Process
    The five principle (legal) means by which America exports weapons and military services abroad are foreign military sales (FMS), direct commercial sales (DCS), leases of equipment, transfers of excess defense articles (EDA) and emergency drawdowns of weaponry. To get the most accurate picture possible of US weapons exports in a given year-to the whole world or to a particular destination-you must compile transfers made through all of these channels.
    Most arms deals begin with contact between a foreign government and a US security assistance organization (SAO)-US military personnel located in diplomatic posts and embassies abroad. SAOs help foreign militaries define their needs, provide them with data on American military equipment and function as the primary in-country point of contact for US weapons contractors. These offices produce annual military assistance assessments, which form the basis of the upcoming year’s military aid and arms sales programs. SAO personnel determine which form of transfer best suits the recipient-sale, joint production of the weapon, lease or grant transfer.
    Government-Negotiated Foreign Military Sales
    Foreign governments may purchase new and used weapons and related services directly from the US government. These agreements, negotiated by the Pentagon and known as foreign military sales (FMS), are package deals. In addition to the weapons, the Pentagon usually contracts to deliver the goods, provide training in the operation and maintenance of the weapon, supply spare parts and give performance assurances. The military articles being sold through this program can come from either Pentagon stocks or new production. In the latter case, the Defense Department contracts with U.S. arms manufacturers to actually build the weapons and, in some cases, provide related services. But the Pentagon takes care of all of the paperwork.
    An FMS deal is initiated with a request for equipment from the U.S. embassy in the customer country to the “implementing agency”-the Army, Navy, Air Force or the Defense Logistics Agency. Sales of fighter jets that were originally developed by US arms contractors for the USAF, for instance, would be implemented initially by the Air Force’s sales agency; similarly, transfers of frigates would be handled by the Navy. Copies of the request are also sent to several relevant government agencies, including the State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs, the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and the unified military command responsible for the region where the customer country is located.
    The State Department, DSAA and ACDA have about one week after receiving copies of the letter of request to determine whether the deal should go forward, be rejected or be put on hold, or whether additional information is needed. If no objection is raised, the implementing agency, in conjunction with the DSAA, begins to prepare the contract for the arms package, known as a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA). But 15-30 days before the Pentagon can offer the LOA to the purchasing government, it must notify Congress of the proposed sale, if the sale is valued at $14 million or more. (For more on this process, see p. 49.)
    When measured in dollar volume, the bulk of US weapons transfers occur through this channel. As a result, most official (US government) statistics on arms exports count only FMS, overlooking the other types of transfers listed below.
    Researching FMS
    Quite a lot is publicly knowable about FMS. The Pentagon publishes press advisories about proposed sales on its Internet site (www.defenselink.mil/news) at the same time that it notifies Congress of its intention to offer a contract to a foreign government. This press release usually discloses the weapon make and model, the principal manufacturer, the quantity to be delivered and the price. A more detailed version of the notice is published a few days later in the Federal Register (also available on-line). This four-page notice includes the official justification for the sale. Several specialty publications and their associated web pages-such as Arms Control Today, Arms Sales Monitor, Arms Trade News and Defense News-also report these sales notifications. Even the mainstream press sometimes reports on congressional notifications of major government-to-government sales. Keep in mind that the preceding sources report on potential sales-not on signed contracts.
    To find out how much (in dollar terms) the US government actually contracted to sell and/or delivered to a particular government in each of the preceding ten years consult Foreign Military Sales Facts, published annually by the DSAA. This report also provides aggregated data on FMS from 1950 onward. So, from this source, you can find out that the US government has contracted to sell $284 billion of weapons to countries around the world since 1950. You can also discover (for example) that in fiscal year 1996 the US government sold Thailand more than $500 million of arms.
    To find out which specific weapons were delivered to a particular foreign government through FMS in the previous fiscal year, look to a new annual report prepared by the Defense and State Departments known as the “Section 655” report. (Section 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act mandates preparation of the report.) From this document you can learn (for example) that Israel took delivery of 4,698 rifles from the United States in 1996.
    If none of these sources fills your particular information need, you can always file a specific request with the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act (see p. 112). The Pentagon is usually responsive to requests on FMS, although specific data on quantities of weapons shipped abroad is sometimes withheld (on alleged national security grounds). Quarterly reports from the Pentagon to Congress which are required by the Arms Export Control Act (Sections 25(a) and 36(a)) are another rich source of information. We routinely file FOIA requests for these reports, which cover a variety of arms sales activities.
    photo: Department of Defense
    As of October1997 the Pentagon had sold 1,720 F-16 “Falcon” fighter jets to air forces around the world through the FMS program.
    Industry Direct Arms Sales
    Direct commercial sales (DCS) are negotiated by US companies and foreign buyers, without the involvement of the Pentagon. These sales must be approved by the State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls, through the provision of an export license, and they are subject to the same congressional notification procedure as FMS. Most public and policy attention focuses on FMS, since this program is much more visible and has accounted for the majority of US arms exports over the years. But industry-direct shipments surpassed government-negotiated transfers in 1989 and have been valued at several billion dollars annually during the 1990s.
    In general, the choice of whether to use the government-to-government channel or to deal directly with the arms manufacturer is up to the purchasing country. The Pentagon is technically neutral about which method foreign governments use to make their purchases, although there are some weapons systems that the Pentagon will not permit the industry to sell directly. The decision about which route to use depends on several variables, including the complexity of the equipment, the savvy and experience of the purchasing government in negotiating complicated procurement contracts, the customer’s training and support needs, price, financing and delivery.
    The commercial route is usually quicker, sometimes cheaper and always entails less government oversight than do FMS. In addition, the State Department is much less transparent about DCS than the Pentagon is about FMS. Minimal information about price and quantity is classified as “confidential business information” and kept from the public. This secrecy undermines the ability of Congress and the interested press and public to exercise proper oversight on industry-direct arms transfers.
    The existence of these two separate programs also makes gaining an accurate count of arms exports in a given year exceedingly difficult. Delivery data for commercial arms exports is gathered from shippers’ export documents collected at ports of departure by the US Customs Service and eventually passed along to the State Department. This process is cumbersome and slow, resulting in incomplete or inaccurate tallies of exports. Oftentimes governmental reports on the arms trade omit DCS exports entirely, resulting in a significant undercounting of the U.S. share of the market.
    US Market Share, 1989-1996 (all figures in thousands)Notes: All figures are in current-year dollars, representing the value of weapons delivered in that year. Industry export figures are for fiscal years, while government-negotiated FMS and worldwide totals are for calendar years. *These figures still under-count total US exports by omitting free transfers of surplus weaponry. **This figure will undoubtedly be revised upward in the coming year(s), as export data trickles in. Sources: DSAA, Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Military Assistance Facts as of September 30, 1996, pp. 56-7; Congressional Research Service, Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1989-1996, p. 81.ion
    fiscal year
    US industry arms exports
    US government arms exports
    total US arms exports*
    total world arms exports
    US market share
    1989 $8,446,535 $7,478,000 $15,924,535 $45,378,000 35.1%
    1990 $6,215,959 $9,034,000 $15,249,959 $42,734,000 35.7%
    1991 $5,165,782 $9,557,000 $14,722,782 $30,857,000 47.7%
    1992 $2,667,219 $10,669,000 $13,336,219 $27,169,000 49%
    1993 $3,808,085 $11,119,000 $14,927,085 $27,119,000 55%
    1994 $2,098,686 $9,943,000 $12,041,686 $25,043,000 48.1%
    1995 $3,620,117 $12,782,000 $16,402,117 $29,482,000 55.6%
    1996 $705,851** $13,791,000 $14,496,851 $30,091,000 48.2%
    1989-96 $32,728,233 $84,373,000 $117,101,233 $257,873,000 45.4%
    Researching DCS
    It is much more difficult to obtain information about DCS licensed for export, or actually exported, than it is to track FMS. The State Department currently interprets a provision of the Export Administration Act (Section 12(c)) as prohibiting it from disclosing any information about items which it is licensing for export.
    A 1996 act of Congress requires that the State Department publish the notices sent to Capitol Hill of proposed export licenses in the Federal Register, the same as for FMS. The level of detail in these notices, however, is very sparse comparatively. Moreover, the State Department usually delays publishing information on DCS until several weeks after it has notified Congress of the proposed export license. Some specialty publications, like the Arms Sales Monitor, record and publicize these proposed licenses in “real time” when possible.
    To find out how many of which types of weapons at what value the State Department licensed for export to a particular country in the preceding year, consult the State Department’s annual “Section 655” report. From this document it is possible to determine (for example) that the State Department approved $26.7 billion of munitions exports from US industry to countries around the world in 1996. Using this report, one can figure out how many assault rifles and grenade launchers (for example) were authorized for sale to a particular destination, or to the whole world. This document does not provide any information on actual weapons deliveries, only export approvals.
    To determine the dollar value of commercially-negotiated weapons deals actually delivered to a particular country in each of the preceding ten years, see the DSAA’s annual report Foreign Military Sales Facts.
    Sporadic congressional hearings and internal State Department reports (usually by the office of the Inspector General) provide some additional information on DCS. But if these sources don’t give you what you are looking for, you are probably out of luck. In most cases, requests under the Freedom of Information Act on industry-direct sales authorized by the State Department will be unsuccessful, unless you are prepared to file a law suit.
    Lease to Own
    The end of the cold war left the United States with-literally-a surplus army (and navy and air force) of weapons. While the Pentagon usually sells excess arms to foreign governments (through FMS) or gives them away (see below), in recent years it has loaned large quantities of equipment to foreign militaries.
    The Arms Export Control Act authorizes the Pentagon to lend weapons out, as long as the Defense Department guarantees that the articles are not required for use by U.S. military or civilian agencies for the duration of the lease. Typical reasons for leasing are to provide a weapon for testing purposes; to allow the Pentagon to respond to an “urgent” foreign requirement while still retaining ownership of the equipment as a hedge against possible future needs; or to provide equipment on the cheap when the recipient cannot afford to purchase the weapons outright. The customer pays a rental charge which equals the depreciation of the equipment during the lease.
    Government-negotiated leases are sealed with a contract (called an LOA), the same as government-negotiated sales. The LOA covers costs incurred in upgrading or conditioning the equipment, delivery, training and restoration or replacement if the weapon is damaged. Leases run for a fixed period, capped at five years, but they can be renewed. The US government maintains title for the leased weaponry, and the Defense Department may terminate a lease and require the immediate return of the equipment at any time. The Pentagon must notify Congress of any weapons lease that will run for more than a year, as well as any lease surpassing the $14 million threshold established for notification of FMS and DCS.
    The widespread use of leasing also leads to undercounting U.S. arms exports, since dollar-based determinations of the arms trade count only the rent, as opposed to the value of the weapon being transferred. In recent years, the value of weaponry being leased to countries around the world has doubled-from $300 million in 1994 to nearly $700 million in 1996. Since most leases run for several years, it is reasonable to assume that the United States currently has well over one billion dollars worth of lethal equipment on loan to foreign militaries.
    Researching leases
    The only current source of public information about new lease agreements being proposed by the Pentagon is through the House International Relations Committee’s weekly Survey of Activities (available on the Internet at http://www.house.gov/international_relations). In its regular “Deals in the Works” table, the Arms Sales Monitor publishes additional information about leases obtained from congressional staff, such as duration of the lease and specifics on the equipment being provided.
    To find out the value of equipment leased and the rent being charged to individual countries during the preceding year, consult the annual Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations. This document does not, however, indicate which actual weapons were leased. A Freedom of Information Act request to the Defense Department for documents on leases (to a particular country or to all countries for a particular time period) would probably be successful, but you might have to wait many months for the information.
    Excess Defense Articles: Everything Must Go!
    The Pentagon has been running a giant garage sale throughout the 1990s to unload its large overstock of dated, but still lethal, weapons and spare parts. Not wanting to pay the costs of storing or destroying the surplus, the Department of Defense dispenses most of it for free or at deep reduction through the excess defense articles (EDA) program. The Foreign Assistance Act defines EDA as surplus equipment owned by the US government, but not originally procured for anticipated sale or assistance programs.
    Militaries interested in obtaining free EDA must go through a process similar to that for purchasing new weapons under the FMS program. Through the US embassy’s security assistance office, the foreign government or organization submits a letter of request to the Pentagon. The application is referred to the Army, Navy, Air Force or Defense Logistics Agency, depending on the type of equipment desired, and the services’ sales offices determine if EDA will satisfy the request. By law, the Department of Defense must avoid undercutting U.S. arms companies seeking to sell newly- manufactured equipment. If transfers of surplus weapons are deemed appropriate, the DSAA must give Congress 30 days to consider the export of major items before going forward. Gifts or sales of surplus ships are treated differently; for naval vessels less than 20 years old, Congress must pass a law (usually drafted by the Navy) approving the export sale or grant. These laws usually pass without controversy.
    Since 1990, the Pentagon has offered approximately $8 billion of excess military equipment to foreign militaries, including nearly 4,000 heavy tanks, over 500 bombers and more than 300,000 pistols, rifles and machine guns. Free shipments of surplus arms are regularly omitted from official statistics on the overall value of U.S. arms exports. Even when surplus arms are included, the value ascribed to them is often heavily discounted, thereby further undercounting total levels of US arms transfers. One government investigation found that EDA sold through the FMS program are routinely priced at 5-50 percent of their original acquisition cost.
    In 1996 the executive branch authorized over $525.8 million of grant EDA transfers. Due to a law passed by Congress during the same year, beginning in 1997 the government will be limited to giving away no more than $350 million of surplus arms annually. This cap is counted in terms of the current value ascribed to the equipment, which-as stated-is often unrealistically low.
    Originally, only the poorer members of the NATO alliance were cleared to receive EDA, but following the 1991 Gulf war, many Middle Eastern and North African states were added; the “Partnership for Peace” program made most Central and Eastern European governments eligible for free surplus arms; and South American and Caribbean countries were authorized for free weaponry as part of counter-narcotics efforts.
    Among the leading recipients of free weapons through this program in 1996 were Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Bahrain and Turkey-all countries where serious political repression and/or human rights violations were reported.
    Researching EDA
    Because of concern by the arms industry that these giveaways might cut into their business, the Pentagon has been more transparent about EDA than any other export program. In 1993, the Defense Department set up a computerized bulletin board on excess weapons sales and freebies, open to the public. Through this system, anyone with a computer and modem can find out exactly what the Defense Department has offered to give to a particular country during fiscal years 1992-98. The database includes information on deliveries of the equipment in some cases.
    Unfortunately, the archaic EDA bulletin board technology was rendered obsolete by the Internet. As a result, the Pentagon has been lax about keeping it up-to-date and operational. Nevertheless, to access the bulletin board, go into your communications software and dial 703/604-6470 instead of your normal Internet provider. The bulletin board will ask you for the user’s name. If you are a first time user, call 703/604-6615 to establish a new log-in name and password. In the near future (1999), the Pentagon’s Internet site (www.defenselink.mil/news) will host an EDA homepage containing this same information.
    Meanwhile, the House International Relations Committee’s weekly Survey of Activities provides another source of timely information on EDA authorizations (www.house.gov/international_relations). Each week’s bulletin includes a listing of EDA notifications Congress has received from the Defense Department in the preceding week.
    To find out how much (in dollar terms) excess weaponry the United States actually shipped to a particular country in the preceding year, consult the Congressional Presentation Document. This report provides the value of surplus equipment offered and the value of that actually accepted by each country. To find out which specific equipment was offered to each country in the preceding year, look in the State Department’s “Section 655” report.
    Drawing on Pentagon Stocks for ‘Emergencies’
    In a pinch, the executive branch may also provide military equipment, services or training from Department of Defense, State, Treasury and Justice stocks on a grant basis to meet emergencies that it cannot meet through other aid channels. The FAA authorizes the President to “drawdown” up to $100 million of defense articles or services from the Pentagon for “unforseen emergencies.” Another $150 million may be drawn from US weapons stocks to aid counter- narcotics efforts in Latin America, disaster relief in Asia and Africa and UN peacekeeping operations throughout the world. Much of the equipment transferred under this authority is non-lethal (like tents, blankets, radios, uniforms, food or medicine), and only half may come from Defense Department resources. In recent years, though, quite a bit of lethal combat equipment has been shipped for free under this authority.
    A recent transfer included $100 million in tanks, personnel carriers, rifles, machine guns, ammunition and communications equipment to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Similar types and amounts of equipment have also been drawndown for Jordan. Israel, Mexico and Colombia each have received military helicopters through this back-door program.
    Researching drawdowns
    Each time the President taps into the drawdown account, the White House publishes a notice in the Federal Register. Typically this notification simply tells which country or countries are to receive equipment, why (the nature of the emergency) and the value of equipment authorized to be exported. On some occasions these blurbs also list out specific types of equipment being shipped. Sections 506 and 552 of the Foreign Assistance Act, which authorize drawdowns, compile in one place all of the Presidential notifications to Congress of emergency transfers during the previous year. Each volume of Legislation on Foreign Relations, published by the foreign relations committees of Congress, prints this information for the preceding year (that is, look in the 1991 volume to find out which countries were authorized to receive an emergency shipment of arms in 1990). To find out which specific items were approved for transfer to a particular country (or to all countries) during the preceding year, look in the “Section 655” report.
    How Would You Like to Pay for That?
    There are several ways to finance arms deals, including direct grants or loans through the foreign military financing (FMF) program, fungible cash transfers through the economic support fund (ESF), grant aid for international military education and training (IMET) and assistance related to the war on drugs. If these aid programs fall short, customers can use commercial loan guarantee programs and/or barter.
    Foreign military financing refers to congressionally appropriated funds (in the form of grants and loans), given to foreign governments to finance the purchase of American-made weapons, services and training through either FMS or DCS. Since 1950, the US government has provided over $91 billion in FMF to militaries around the world. During the cold war, this aid was directed toward three principal goals: building up the militaries of the poorer members of the NATO alliance, countering Soviet military influence in the developing world and rewarding Israel and Egypt for making a cold peace in 1979.
    The majority of FMF is in the form of outright grants, which in 1998 will total $3.2 billion. This military assistance primarily benefits Israel and Egypt, which receive $1.8 and $1.3 billion, respectively, in FMF annually as a reward for their peace effort at Camp David almost twenty years ago. Since 1980, successive American administrations have given Israel nearly $28 billion and Egypt over $19 billion in grant FMF to purchase US-made weaponry. (Israel is allowed to spend $475 million of its annual allotment to purchase weaponry made by its own industry.) Jordan has recently been added to the regular recipient list, also in return for making peace with Israel.
    In addition to grant FMF, Congress appropriates money to the Pentagon to underwrite loans to foreign militaries for the purchase of American arms. Until the early 1980s, almost all FMF was provided in the form of loans, rather than grants. But many U.S. allies became mired in military debt, so the Reagan administration shifted to providing the bulk of FMF in grants. In addition, many of the previously made “loans” were effectively converted to grants, to reward key allies and ease their debt burden. In 1990, for example, the US government “forgave” more than $7 billion in weapons loans owed by Egypt (in the lead up to the Gulf war). Several years later, the Clinton administration zeroed out $400 million of Jordan’s military debt. In other cases, the Pentagon has written off loans when the recipient country broke down into total warfare and chaos (as in Liberia and Somalia). As of October 1997, the Pentagon had $13.2 billion of loans outstanding, with several countries nearly $900 million in arrears.
    Throughout the 1990s, Greece and Turkey have been the principal recipients of new FMF loans for arms. In 1998, though, the administration ended the FMF program for these two countries. In their place, with the development of NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” and the planned expansion of the alliance, former Warsaw Pact and Soviet states are now receiving both security grants and loans for weapons purchases and military training.
    Financing Foreign Militaries
    In November 1997, Congress passed into law the foreign aid appropriations act for fiscal year 1998 (H.R.2159). The law appropriated $3.2 billion in grant military aid and $60 million to underwrite $657 million of military loans. Congress directed the money to be allocated as follows:Source: H.R.2159
    Egypt $1,300,000,000
    Israel $1,800,000,000
    Jordan $75,000,000
    Baltics $18,300,000
    Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic $50,000,000
    Greece (loan) $105,000,000
    Turkey (loan) $150,000,000
    administrative costs $23,250,000
    Researching FMF
    The annual foreign aid appropriations act, passed by Congress, sets the overall level of FMF and “earmarks” certain amounts for certain countries (principally Egypt, Israel, Greece and Turkey). This legislation is easy to obtain, either in electronic form via the Internet (search for it at thomas.loc.gov or at http://www.house.gov/appropriations) or in published version from the House documents room.
    To research past or cumulative FMF levels to a particular country, region or the whole world, consult Foreign Military Sales Facts. The most recently-published volume covers each of the ten preceding years. Prior volumes can be used to research earlier time spans. In addition, the Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations (prepared annually by the State Department for Congress, with a limited quantity available to the public) includes a detailed description of, and justification for, the administration’s FMF request for the coming fiscal year. This document provides the basis for Congress’ foreign aid funding bills. It also shows dollar amounts of military aid actually allocated in the preceding couple of years.
    Section 25(a) of the Arms Export Control Act requires the Pentagon to submit to Congress an annual report on outstanding weapons loans. You can request this report, as well as other specific information, from the Defense Department under the Freedom of Information Act.
    Cash Transfers
    Congress established the economic support fund (ESF) to promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. Historically, these are untargeted cash transfers, not designated for any particular purpose. Although not intended for military expenditure, money is fungible, and these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs. Moreover, ESF grants to Israel-at $1.2 billion annually-are explicitly provided to allow repayment of Israel’s military debt to the United States. And Egypt’s annual dole of $815 million is tied to Israel’s aid, again because of the Camp David peace agreement. Other leading recipients of ESF-although paling in comparison to Egypt and Israel’s haul-have been Cambodia, Haiti, Palestine and Turkey. Congress appropriated $2.4 billion in ESF for 1998, roughly the same amount as in the preceding couple of years.
    Researching ESF
    As with FMF, the administration’s request and justification for ESF levels is submitted to Congress in the Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations, which contains the most detailed information available. Using this request as a starting point, Congress determines the overall level of funding for this program in the annual foreign aid appropriations act. Again as with FMF, the House and Senate often “earmark” certain levels of funding for certain countries.
    Military Training
    For each of the last several years, the administration has requested, and Congress has approved, nearly $50 million in grant assistance to provide professional education in military management and technical training on US weapons systems to foreign military personnel. In fiscal year 1998, 123 governments are slated to receive international military education and training (IMET) grants.
    Over 2,000 courses are offered, including some on human rights and civil-military relations. This program is said by its proponents to promote positive military- to-military contacts, thereby familiarizing foreign officers with “US values and democratic processes.”
    But IMET grants also serve a clear-cut marketing function. Testifying before Congress in 1994, then-Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Alexander Watson gave the usual rationales for the military training programs: they promote American values, build relationships, provide access to future leaders… But he candidly added, “they bring certain economic benefits for the United States as well; they give Latin and Caribbean officials experience using American hardware, and thus can influence their future procurement decisions.”
    There are several other military training programs which are funded out of the Department of Defense Operations and Maintenance budget. Some of these training programs are part of US counter-narcotics programs, and some are considered “peacekeeping” training.
    Leading Recipients of US Military Training, 1998
    Source: Cong. Presentation for Foreign Operations for FY 1998, pp. 123-6. All totals are estimates
    Colombia $900,000
    Egypt $1,050,000
    Hungary $1,500,000
    Indonesia $800,000
    Jordan $1,700,000
    Mexico $1,000,000
    Philippines $1,350,000
    Poland $1,500,000
    Russia $850,000
    Senegal $675,000
    Thailand $1,600,000
    Tunisia $900,000
    Turkey $1,500,000
    Researching training
    The State Department’s Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations, which contains past, present and projected future levels of IMET funding as well as the number of students taught per country is the best source of information on that program. Foreign Military Sales Facts also contains information on the dollar amount of IMET provided and the number of foreign military students trained, by country, for each of the preceding ten years.
    Through its annual appropriations acts, Congress often sets some programmatic limits on the grant military training program, including which countries may receive IMET funds. The General Accounting Office-Congress’ investigative arm-has evaluated the IMET program several times in the 1990s, publishing many relevant reports.
    It is much more difficult to obtain information on other Pentagon-funded military training programs, as the Department of Defense is not currently required to report to Congress on all of its training activities. You can request information from the Special Operations Forces under the Freedom of Information Act.
    Counter-Drug Aid
    Through International Narcotics Control programs, the US government provides funds for military equipment and training to overseas police and armed forces to combat the production and trafficking of illegal drugs. Resources-appropriated by Congress and administered by the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs-fund anti-narcotics programs worldwide, but primary emphasis is on Latin America and the Caribbean. In recent years, human rights abuses by military and police units receiving this aid have intensified criticism of the program. As a result, Congress has passed some substantive restrictions on its distribution.
    These funds are generally dedicated to the export of firearms and the refurbishment of surveillance aircraft, transport planes and helicopters. In 1998, Congress approved $230 million of counter-drug military aid through this program. Additional counter-narcotics training and equipment is provided by the Department of Defense, the Drug Enforcement Agency and other agencies.
    Researching drug aid
    The Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations is the place to start. This document will provide you with the amount of aid requested, program descriptions and policy explanations for each country. Also useful, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs provides financial, program and other details via the Internet (www.state.gov/www/global/narcotics_law/index.html). Available at that web site is the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released annually, with regional and country profiles.
    Military Aid for Narcotics Control Requested Levels for 1998
    Source: Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations for FY 1998.
    Latin America/Caribbean $150,600,000
    Interregional Aviation Support $21,000,000
    Law Enforcement, Other Training $11,500,000
    International Organizations $11,500,000
    Asia/Near East $7,500,000
    Program Development, Support $6,500,000
    Europe/Former Soviet $4,400,000
    Defense Export Loan Guarantees
    In 1995-96, Congress created the Defense Export Loan Guarantee (DELG) program, through which the Pentagon can guarantee up to $15 billion of commercial bank loans for approved customers to purchase or lease US weapons or services. The loan guarantees may be used for either government-to-government (FMS) or industry direct arms sales (DCS). The guarantees mean that the US government (read taxpayers) are responsible for payment of the loan principal and interest in case of default. Countries eligible for the program include NATO members, major non-NATO allies (such as Israel, Egypt, South Korea and Argentina), most countries in Southeast Asia and the new democracies of Central Europe.
    Meanwhile, as noted above, many Defense Department loans made for weapons purchases during the 1970s and 1980s have gone bad in recent years. Since 1990, the Pentagon and White House have written off-or “forgiven”-nearly $10 billion of military debt. Some safeguards were built into this program to protect taxpayers. For instance, the DELG program is not currently subsidized with appropriated funds; the borrowing country must pay a required “exposure” fee, as well as an administrative fee to fund the operation of the program. The arms lobby is trying to change this, however, by obtaining public funds to cover the risk insurance.
    As of May 1998, only Romania had received a loan guarantee under the DELG program (for approximately $17 million), but applications for over $500 million of loans were filed in the first quarter of fiscal year 1998.
    “will there be any need to check my credit history?”
    Researching the DELG
    To find out which governments are using the program to finance weapons purchases, check out the quarterly reports on the DELG website at http://www.acq.osd.mil/icp/delg/defexploan.htm. Alternatively, you can write or phone the Acquisitions Office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (703/697-2685) to request copies of the reports.
    Export-Import Bank Financing
    The DELG is meant to mirror the US Export-Import Bank, which provides loans and loan guarantees to foreign governments to underwrite major purchases of principally non-military, American-made goods. Generally speaking, sales of weapons are prohibited from receiving Ex-Im Bank financing, since previous Ex-Im Bank loans for arms resulted in a high number of defaults and arrearage in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, though, an exception has been made for sales of “dual use” products-those with both military and civilian utility-but which will be used primarily by the importing government for civilian purposes. The Ex-Im Bank may use up to ten percent of its resources to finance such sales, including military equipment used for drug interdiction, radar/air traffic control equipment and surveillance satellites used to monitor natural resources. In the past three years, the Ex-Im Bank has financed dual-use military purchases by Romania, Turkey, Chile, Indonesia and the Bahamas.
    Researching Ex-Im Bank loans
    To find out which governments are using the Ex-Im Bank to finance military purchases, check out the organization’s website at http://www.exim.gov, where you can find minutes and decisions of weekly meetings of the loan and financing board. These briefs disclose the destination country, the product, cost and other pertinent information for loans and loan guarantees approved.
    Offsetting Deals
    Offsets are the side deals cut between the weapons manufacturer and the purchasing government as part of an arms sale (either FMS or DCS). They are both a marketing tool-a way of sweetening the deal to entice the customer to buy, and also a financing tool-a means of making the deal affordable to the customer. In today’s market, where buyers have the leverage, arms customers are demanding higher and higher levels of offsets, and sellers are complying. (Other terms which are often synonymous with “offset” are coproduction, barter and countertrade.)
    Offsets are sometimes directly related to the weapon being sold (for instance, production of components or final assembly of the weapon in the buying country), or they may take the form of investment in unrelated industries or marketing of unrelated goods and services in the United States or elsewhere (in direct competition with US providers of the same goods or services). For example, in order to make a sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, Lockheed Martin helped create an arms industry in Turkey to produce the F-16 locally. This and similar deals obviously impact American workers, but they also have security implications: Turkey now produces and exports weapons to other countries, sometimes to governments the United States will not sell arms to.
    There is rising concern among the knowledgeable public, government and media about the effect of these side deals on domestic industries and employment. Offsets are not a government sponsored program, per se, but the US government does not currently hinder corporations from using them liberally or require that information about offset deals be made public, so that their impact can be more fully monitored.
    Researching offsets
    Currently, the only sources of information on offsets are the military and business press, which frequently report on the terms of arms sales, and the Bureau of Export Administration at the Commerce Department, which publishes an annual survey called Offsets in Defense Trade. To order a coy of the report, phone BXA at 202/482-4060.

    Reply

  9. Easy E says:

    Hungarians have chutzpa. RIOTS sparked by government lies should be happening here.
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/09/18/hungary.riots/index.html

    Reply

  10. Easy E says:

    OUTLAWED
    I defy you to watch this short documentary and still say “I’m proud to be an American.”
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14989.htm
    Torture is a manipulative tactic designed to elicit a response that will perpetuate fear in the American public. Wake up people.

    Reply

  11. elementary teacher says:

    FORCED LABOR FOR PALESTINIAN CHILDREN IN PRISON
    … A total of 376 Palestinian children are currently imprisoned in Israeli prisons and detention camps…
    http://tinyurl.com/gtxrv

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    I suggest they speed up their Israel Palestine plans.
    From the UK Independent:
    Names of children under the age of 18 killed during the operations mounted by the Israeli military in Gaza since July.
    Bara Nasser Habib, 3 (hit by shrapnel to the head and body, Gaza City, 26 July)
    Shahed Saleh Al-Sheikh Eid, 3 days old (bled to death after airstrike, Al-Shouka, 4 August)
    Rajaa Salam Abu Shaban, 3 (died of fractured skull in air raid, Gaza City, 9 August)
    Jihad Selmi Abu Snaima, 14 (killed by a shell, Al-Shoukha, 10 september)
    Khaled Nidal Wahba, 15 months (died of wounds from an airstrike, 10 July)
    Rawan Farid Hajjaj, 6 (killed with his mother and sister in an airstrike, Gaza City, 8 July)
    Anwar Ismail Abdul Ghani Atallah, 12 (shot in the head, Erez, 5 July)
    Shadi Yousef Omar 16 (shot in the chest by IDF, Beit Lahya, 7 July)
    Mahfouth Farid Nuseir, 16 (killed by missile while playing football, Beit Hanoun, 11 July)
    Ahmad Ghalib Abu Amsha, 16, (killed by missile while playing football, Beit Hanoun, 11 July)
    Ahmad Fathi Shabat, 16 (killed by missile while playing football, Beit Hanoun, 11 July)
    Walid Mahmoud El-Zeinati, 12 (died of shrapnel wounds, Gaza City, 11 July)
    Basma Salmeya, 16 (killed in Israeli airstrike, 12 July, Jabalia)
    Somaya Salmeya, 17 (killed in Israeli airstrike, 12 July, Jabalia)
    Aya Salmeya, 9 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
    Yehya Salmeya, 10 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
    Nasr Salmeya, 7 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
    Huda Salmeya, 13 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
    Eman Salmeya, 12 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
    Raji Omar Jaber Daifallah, 16 (died of shrapnel wounds from missile, Gaza City, 13 July)
    Ali Kamel Al-Najjar, 16 (killed by Israeli tank shell, Al-Maghazi refugee camp, 19 July)
    Ahmed Ali Al-Na’ami, 16 (killed by Israeli tank shell, Al-Maghazi refugee camp, 19 July)
    Ahmed Rawhi Abu Abdu, 14 (killed by drone missile, Al Nusairat refugee camp, 19 July)
    Mohammed ‘awad Muhra, 14 (killed by Israeli bullet to the chest, Al-Maghazi refugee camp, 20 July)
    Fadwa Faisal Al-‘arrouqi, 13 (died from shrapnel wounds, Gaza City, 20 July)
    Saleh Ibrahim Nasser, 14 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 24 July)
    Khitam Mohammed Rebhi Tayeh, 11 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 24 July)
    Ashraf ‘abdullah ‘awad Abu Zaher, 14 (shot in the back, Khan Younis, 25 July)
    Nahid Mohammed Fawzi Al-Shanbari, 16 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 31 July)
    ‘aaref Ahmed Abu Qaida, 14 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 1 August)
    Anis Salem Abu Awad, 12 (killed by airstike, Al-Shouka, 2 August)
    Ammar Rajaa Al-Natour, 17 (killed by drone missile, Al Shouka, 5 August)
    Kifah Rajaa Al-Natour, 15 (killed by drone missile, Al Shouka, 5 August)
    Ibrahim Suleiman Al-Rumailat, 13 (killed by drone missile, Al Shouka, 5 August)
    Ahmed Yousef ‘abed ‘aashour, 13 (killed by missile fire, Beit Hanoun, 14 August)
    Mohammed ‘abdullah Al-Ziq, 14 (killed by drone missile, Gaza City, 29 August)
    Nidal ‘abdul ‘aziz Al-Dahdouh, 14 (killed by rifle fire, Gaza City, 30 August)
    Jihad Selmi Abu Snaima, 14 (killed by artillery fire, Rafah, 10 September)

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    PLEASE EMAIL THE FOLLOWING TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW..
    “The Senate must not pardon President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping innocent Americans. Instead, Congress should be holding him accountable.”
    “This week, the Senate is planning to quietly hold a vote that would pardon President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping innocent Americans. So far, Democrats and some Republicans are holding strong against the bill, and there are good chances to stop it if enough of us speak up.”
    http://pol.moveon.org/dontpardon/

    Reply

  14. Jacob Matthan says:

    Thank God, Steve, you are in a better position than me. I have 5 Macs running 24/7 online and with no virus protection software for many many years. I had a small “sound out” problem on one of my Macs last week. As I was busy I thought I would try to find a repair shop. I went to every computer repair shop in our “high tech” town and not one had a Mac technician. I finally landed up at the shop I had bought my last Mac from. The owner said, pointing around the repair shop to many tens of PCs in for repair, that he had not received a single Mac for repair for 2 years! So his Mac repair technician pushed off to another bigger town. I repaired the “sound out” problem in less than 10 minutes using online data and help! (The minimum cost of looking at a PC here is Euro 103. So you can guess who wants you to buy a PC!)

    Reply

  15. Michael P says:

    What — a visit to Milwaukee and no cheese or Laverne & Shirley comments?
    I’m so bummed I missed your visit to our fair city. Why can’t 4 year olds pick more convenient times to be ill.

    Reply

  16. Edward Nashton says:

    Steve,
    Apple is so 1984. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to a PC…Preferably one that doesn’t explode.
    As to Iran, I very much enjoyed your conference last week. My only criticism, Harry Reid. If the democrats want to appear serious about real security/foreign policy issues, they ought to advise their minority leader to drop the politics in a serious forum about a serious topic.
    Just my two cents.

    Reply

  17. Easy E says:

    GEORGE SOROS: Democrats Should Subpoena President
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Billionaire_speculator_Soros_says_Democrats_should_0918.html
    Should be pre-requisite of all dems in power and running for office!!!!!
    IMPEACH…..then INDICT monkey-boy and the rest of the criminal cabal.

    Reply

  18. Punchy says:

    Chaffee or no Chaffee, Bush always gets what he wants, seemingly. I cannot foresee how he’ll allow his good friend and fellow neocon to be hung out to dry.
    Until I see the “help wanted–UN Ambass” on Craigslist, I refuse to believe that Bolton is DOA. So my sleeves, so many tricks….I really wish someone could talk me out of this paranoia…

    Reply

  19. Cliff Butter says:

    while holding down the option and command keys…AND the letter p and the letter r, restart the computer…keep holding it down while you hear it restart 4 or 5 times (the chime). you have just zapped your pram, and the computer will probably start just fine.
    call me if you have questions,
    cliff butter
    801-545-5597

    Reply

  20. marky says:

    I forgot where I read this, but a couple days ago I ran across an article which suggested Bush is planning to start a naval blockade of Iran in October. Anyone else see this? Thoughts?

    Reply

  21. daCascadian says:

    Jeff >”…DO NOT DO an archive and install initially. This is overkill for a possibly minor problem.”
    Certainly possible but then I selected the quickest most likely solution instead of suggesting to Steve to do 3 or 4 different things thereby spending valuable time on possible non-solutions (requiring software he may not have – every Mac owner needs to own DiskWarrior)
    While computers are not “rocket science” they are close in many ways & simpler is usually better
    Good Luck Steve !
    “Mac OSX is Linux with quality assurance and style” – JP Rangaswami

    Reply

  22. chicago dyke says:

    i just had the same problem steve, and my repair guys told me it was “kernel panic” and they fixed it easily for 75$. they told me to get more RAM as well.
    and i just found another reason to respect you- i’m so glad your with the Enlightened and aren’t afraid to say so. 😉
    /scampers away after starting mac. v pc flame war/

    Reply

  23. jinny says:

    Its well worth purchasing ProCare on Macs. Then you can dial in and speak with a Tech who will walk you through any problems you may be having. Have always purchased this, along with extended care coverage on all Macs that i’ve purchased – desktops for my business and Powerbook for personal use over the past twelve years. When something occasionally goes really wrong, Mac have sent new hardware overnight and we have returned the defective hardware imediately in their packing box and never heard anything further.

    Reply

  24. profmarcus says:

    my thought is, before you can be an effective ANYTHING, you first have to be a decent human being, a test i suspect john bolton has neither studied for nor could ever pass…
    http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  25. just john says:

    I sometimes have a problem with symptoms similar to the ones you describe, with a desktop G4 of mine, and I stumbled upon a temporary fix purely by accident.
    As you may know, if you boot a Mac while holding down the T key, that puts into a mode where it acts as a FireWire disk for some other system. I was trying that in order to see if I could get data off the disk. Well, not only did that work, but after doing that (booting w/”T” and hooking to another system,) the machine worked again when I rebooted afterward! It’s relapsed a few times, but each time, it seems the act of mounting the Mac onto another machine as a remote FireWire drive has remedied it. I don’t know why.
    You may have a totally different problem, but one upside of trying this out is that it shouldn’t make anything WORSE, and it may fix your problem.

    Reply

  26. Jeff says:

    Do Boot from the install CD. Restart and hold down the “c” key to boot up from the CD. Once there run Disk Doctor (check the menu choices to get into Utilities and run Disk Doctor).
    The best utility program for the Mac to deal with issues like this is Disk Warrior.
    http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/index.html
    DO NOT DO an archive and install initially. This is overkill for a possibly minor problem.

    Reply

  27. Matthew says:

    Romney wouldn’t even provide security for Katamai? And he is taking a position similar to Santorum? Great, another flat-worlder on the ascendancy.

    Reply

  28. Ron says:

    I thought folks might be interested in this. Al Gore will give a “Major Policy Address at NYU On a Bipartisan Approach to Solving the Climate Crisis” today 9/18 at 12:30 PM EST at NYU. There will be a live webcast, which you can find at http://www.nyu.edu. It’ll also be archived, so you can watch it later. Also attending, World Resources Institute Managing Director Paul Faeth and Steve’s favorite Former Director of the CIA R. James Woolsey.

    Reply

  29. lisainVan says:

    To avoid waiting for hours to see someone at the genius bar, you can actually reserve an appointment spot online. Typically they run a little behind, but the wait should only be about 15 minutes. To make the appointment, find the location of the store on line (go to the ‘Visit an Apple Store’ pull down menu at the bottom of apple.com) and pick the time you want to go.

    Reply

  30. Caitlyn says:

    You can also take it in to one of the Apple stores and talk with the staff at the Genius Bar. I’ve gotten good help from them with several odd problems.
    Cait

    Reply

  31. daCascadian says:

    Boot the machine from the Restore CD, do an Archive & Install (be sure and select the restore files that have changed option)
    DO NOT format the drive under any circumstances
    “Mac OS X: Because making Unix user-friendly is easier than debugging Windows.” – anon

    Reply

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