четверг, 4 октября 2007 г.

specialrpt (in quicknews): Thursday, October 4, 2007 News Update

President Bush warned Wednesday of a nuclear-armed Iran but did not rule out that the United States would negotiate with its provocative leader if he gives up his suspected nuclear weapons ambitions. Bush said it's important for the United States to stay engaged in neighboring Iraq to convince the Iranians that the U.S. is committed to democratic reform in the region. "There would be nothing worse for world peace than if the Iranians believed that the United States did not have the will and commitment to help young democracies survive," Bush told businessmen and women where he took questions after a talk on government spending. "If we left before the job was done, there would be chaos," Bush said about withdrawing U.S. troops prematurely from Iraq. "Chaos would embolden not only the extremists and radicals that would like to do us harm, but it would also embolden Iran. What you don't want is to have a nuclear arms race taking place in the Middle East." "In Iran, we're dealing with a country where the leader has said that he wants to destroy Israel," Bush said. "My belief is that the United States will defend our ally Israel. This is a leader who has made very provocative statements. And, we have made it clear, however, that in spite of that, we are willing to sit down with him, so long as he suspends his program." "In other words, it's his choice, it's not mine anymore. So I believe that's the best way to achieve an objective," the president added. "If your question is, will you ever sit down with them? We've proven we would with North Korea. And the answer is yeah, just so long as we can achieve something, so long as we are able to get our objective." After a successful test last week, the tracking radars and interceptor rockets of a new American missile defense system can be turned on at any time to respond to an emerging crisis in Asia, senior military officers said Tuesday. General Victor Renuart Jr., the senior commander for defense of United States territory, said that the antimissile system could guard against the risk of ballistic missile attack from North Korea even while development continues on a series of radars in California and the Pacific Ocean and on interceptor missiles in Alaska and California. While the new system is limited, it is the most extensive anti-ballistic missile system the Pentagon has fielded since the Safeguard ABM system near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota was briefly operated, starting in 1975. Congress immediately voted to shut it down, and it operated for only a few months. Renuart spoke during a Pentagon news briefing on Tuesday that offered a recap of a missile defense test held on Friday that was deemed a success. Lieutenant General Henry Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said the target missile was launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska, and tracked by radar at Beale Air Force Base, near Sacramento. The interceptor missile was fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, California, scoring a direct hit on the dummy warhead. "Does the system work? The answer is yes to that," Obering said. "Is it going to work against more complex threats in the future? We believe it will." Obering acknowledged that no decoys were flown in the path of the interceptor on Friday as might be expected in a real missile attack. Skeptics have challenged the Missile Defense Agency to conduct more realistic tests that would include even primitive technologies designed to fool the interceptor. These include balloons and chunks of metal that separate from the missile along with the warhead. The general said the next test, which is expected in the first half of 2008, would include countermeasures to gauge the interceptor's ability to differentiate between the real warhead and decoys. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are scheduled to meet up in Moscow later this month for joint talks with their counterparts on Russia's objections to American proposals for missile defense in Central Europe. American plans call for 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic to defend against a possible missile attack from Iran. Obering said Friday's successful test would help make the Bush administration's case with allies. Former President Jimmy Carter confronted Sudanese security services on a visit to Darfur Wednesday, shouting "You don't have the power to stop me!" at some who blocked him from meeting refugees of the conflict. The 83-year-old Carter wanted to visit a refugee camp in South Darfur but the U.N. mission in Sudan deemed that too dangerous. Instead, he agreed to fly to the World Food Program compound in the North Darfur town of Kabkabiya, where he was supposed to meet with refugees, many of whom were chased from their homes by militias and government forces. But none of the refugees showed up and Carter decided to walk into the town, a volatile stronghold of the pro-government janjaweed militia, to meet refugees too frightened to attend the meeting at the compound. He was able to make it to a school where he met with one tribal representative and was preparing to go further into town when Sudanese security officers stopped him. "You can't go. It's not on the program!" the local security chief, who only gave his first name as Omar, yelled at Carter, who is in Darfur as part of a delegation of respected international figures known as "The Elders." "We're going to anyway!" an angry Carter retorted as a crowd began to gather. "You don't have the power to stop me." However, U.N. officials told Carter's entourage the Sudanese state police could bar his way. Carter's traveling companions, billionaire businessman Richard Branson and Graca Machel, the wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, tried to ease his frustration and his Secret Service detail urged him to get into a car and leave. "I'll tell President Bashir about this," Carter said, referring to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Omar, the security chief, said Carter had already breached security once by walking to the school and would not be allowed to breach security again. In an interview with The Associated Press, Carter later played down the encounter, saying the security chief was only doing his job. "But it's true that I'm not accustomed to people telling me I can't walk down the street and meet people," he told the AP after returning to a United Nations compound in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state. Branson said some refugees had slipped notes in his pockets. "We (are) still suffering from the war as our girls are being raped on a daily basis," read one of the notes, translated from Arabic, that Branson handed to the AP. Carter accused the international community with neglect for taking too long to mobilize over Darfur. Long, but excellent article about IED jammers. In an unlikely marriage of desire to secede from the United States, two advocacy groups from opposite political traditions — New England and the South — are sitting down to talk. Changing Of The Guard At The Joint Chiefs Editorial Cartoon Commentary: The unspeakable American culture; Journalism's elite don't dare speak of the patriotism that holds this country together. “Courage... is the universal virtue of all those who choose to do the right thing over the expedient thing. It is the common currency of all those who do what they are supposed to do in a time of conflict, crisis and confusion.” —Florence Nightengale

Комментариев нет: