Sunday, July 10, 2005

Quick blurbs

* As the BBC provides running updates on the fallout from the London attack, Jason Burke, the esteemed expert on Al Qaeda and reporter for the Observer, addresses the lingering questions: "How was this done? Who did it? Why? And what happens next?"

* The Independent relays speculation that the attacks were carried out by "white 'mercenary terrorists.'"

* Robert A. Pape, the author of the new book, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, has an opinion piece in the NY Times on the bombings. He argues that they're likely part of a targeted campaign to undermine support for the American occupation of Iraq. See more on Pape's research, here and here.

* An AP survey of terror and security experts notes concern that "al-Qaida is mutating into a global insurgency, a possible prototype for other 21st-century movements." Of course, this sort of analysis has been foreshadowed for some time.

* In related commentary, analysts remain very pessimistic about Iraq.

* Reuters reports, "A leaked document from Britain's Defence Ministry says the British and U.S. governments are planning to reduce their troop levels in Iraq by more than half by mid-2006." More on this story from The Independent and the original source, the Mail on Sunday.

* John Pilger contrasts media coverage of the recent World Tribunal on Iraq in Istanbul with the run-up to the G8 meeting in Scotland. "Reading the papers and watching television in Britain," he observes, "you would know nothing about the Istanbul meetings, which produced the most searing evidence to date of the greatest political scandal of modern times: the attack on a defenceless Iraq by America and Britain."

* "Melting ice and warming waters have raised average sea levels worldwide by more than an inch since 1995," Knight Ridder reports. If such trends continue, "the world's seas will rise at least a foot by the end of this century, causing widespread flooding and erosion of islands and low-lying coastal areas." Much of Florida, for example, would be underwater.

* David Corn sees the potential of frogmarching for Monsieur Rove in the not-too-distant future.