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How attractive socialism might have become if properly rationed and restricted, accessible only to the most worthy, an exotic intermittent presence in Soviet life whose hidden riches were only to be glimpsed. The works of Marx and Lenin could have been stored only in the spetskhran the restricted section of libraries , released only to those with a high level of ideological purity.
The Iraq War: Bush's Biggest Blunder
Socialist realist paintings could have been locked away in the basement of the Tretyakov Gallery, with Cubists and Abstract Expressionists on constant display. It was a missed opportunity for Soviet propagandists, remedied only after the collapse of the Soviet Union made them obsolete superseded by Western-style advertising and PR people and paved the way for Soviet nostalgia. For me, it opened up a new world of Russian culture. I learned the language and, just as important, became lifelong friends with a family from Leningrad.
Fitzpatrick writes that the KGB set up surveillance on locals who established questionably close ties with foreigners during the festival, but that was not my experience. My monthly correspondence with Leningrad throughout the communist period, and my annual visits from onwards, were never interfered with.
As a year-old girl, I was part of the British cultural delegation that travelled by train to Moscow. The train was packed with musicians, singers, artists, actors, writers and dancers. The journey took four days and we kept ourselves amused with badinage and impromptu jazz and folk sessions. We had a taste of the welcome ahead after we crossed the border from West to East Germany, and travelled on through Poland.
Each time the train stopped, there were brass bands, and excited crowds greeted us with fresh fruit and packages of food. For the first three days we sat and slept on slatted wooden benches, but when we arrived at the Soviet frontier to board the train to Moscow, we were astonished to find luxurious cabins with full-sized bunk beds, complete with crisp white sheets and a proper pillow, and a box of fresh food on each bed. On our arrival in Moscow we were carried on lorries through streets lined with cheering crowds.
We responded equally passionately with the same phrase — in Russian, of course. At the opening ceremony, the London Dancers were part of the British delegation that paraded around the packed Luzhniki Stadium as the spectators roared their enthusiasm. Throughout our stay everything was free, including the travel to and from venues, all food and drink and cigarettes , medical care, laundry, even the use of photographic darkrooms.
Mascots: The secret weapon in Japan's soft power arsenal Soft power. For a long time, the concept was used to refer to when a country used its pop culture exports as a way to improve its image on the global stage. Japan is proficient in the art of soft p Animals of all stripes and spots found their 15 minutes of fame in the s In the beginning, there was doge. Much laughs, such influence.
When kindergarten teacher Atsuko Sato snapped some photos of her Shiba dog, Kabosu, and posted them on. Allied trust in America was eroded, and attitudes about the United States in the Muslim world were poisoned. Some 4, American service personnel were killed and more than thirty thousand wounded.
Largely because of Iraq, the U. Major errors included misinterpretation and misuse of intelligence on Iraq's WMD capability, unwillingness to give WMD inspectors time to conclude their work, peremptory diplomacy that damaged the Atlantic Alliance, and failure to properly anticipate what would happen in post-conflict Iraq.
Introduction and summary
During the s, the United States would have preferred regime change in Baghdad, but it settled for containment. The Gulf War ended after one hundred hours of combat with Saddam still in power. Afterward, President George H. Bush signed a covert-action "finding" authorizing the CIA to topple the Saddam regime. During the Bill Clinton administration, no-fly zones in the north and south of Iraq kept Saddam's aircraft grounded in an effort to protect the Kurds and Shias.
When the George W.
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Bush administration entered office, its initial focus was on China and military transformation. CIA threat briefings concentrated on al Qaeda, not Iraq,8 though efforts to have the new administration deal with al Qaeda failed. Well before the September 11 attacks, officials at the Pentagon, led by Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, quietly began to consider military options against Saddam. Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley developed a policy of phased pressure on Iraq, which included ratcheting up many of the measures used by the Clinton administration, such as sanctions, weapons inspectors, and aid to the opposition.
That all changed on September 11, It became clear that this was not the case, as Bush finally revealed,12 but for many this connection stuck. The first order of business was to destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but the case against Iraq moved rapidly to the front burner.
Bush indicated that as soon as the Taliban were driven from Afghanistan, he would turn his attention to Saddam. The case for invasion resembled a layer cake. At the base was the acute sense of imminent national danger caused by the September 11 attacks. A rogue regime with WMDs and ties to terrorists aroused fear of a much more devastating attack on the U. Saddam had shown himself for the ruthless villain he was. He had used chemical weapons against his own people and against Iranian troops in the s. He had invaded Kuwait and started a bloody war against Iran.
He perpetually threatened Israel. He refused to implement at least ten UN Security Council resolutions aimed at ending his WMD programs and had expelled weapons inspectors in The director of central intelligence, George Tenet, revealed eight ways that Saddam might develop a nuclear capability and called the WMD case against Saddam a "slam dunk. The CIA had missed several indications that might have given specific warning about the September 11 attack and was not about to be caught off guard again. This sense of immediate and extreme danger was amplified in the wake of the September 11 attacks by two other events that cemented the link between WMDs and terrorism.
Soon after September 11, anthrax spores were mailed to the U. Congress and others, killing five people. Intelligence reports indicated, wrongly it turned out, that Saddam had weaponized anthrax, although he was not suspected of initiating these particular attacks. If the US could change the regime in Baghdad, it might create a new model of democracy in the Middle East. In considering war on Iraq, the sibling of danger was opportunity.
They had seen efforts at regime change work when the United States invaded Panama to topple Manuel Noriega in , when Eastern Europeans cast communism aside that same year, when the Soviet Union itself collapsed in , and when the Bulldozer Revolution toppled the Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic in the wake of the Kosovo War.
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Emboldened by these successes, this group now saw the opportunity to press for forcible regime change in Iraq. Meanwhile, there was growing recognition that U. The United States had developed new military technologies and tactics that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld championed as defense transformation. These included data networking, accurate and voluminous intelligence, instantaneous command and control, and precision strike.
Developed in the s and s, they had been on display during Desert Storm and more recently in Afghanistan, where this "military transformation" technology toppled the Taliban regime effortlessly and created a sense of total American military dominance. By contrast, the Iraqi military had suffered contractions of 35 percent in its army and 60 percent in its air force since before Desert Storm. The thinking went that if the United States could change the regime in Baghdad, it might create a new model of democracy in the Middle East.
After all, democracy was on the rise globally in what the political scientist Samuel Huntington called the Third Wave. Just as it was flourishing throughout Eastern Europe and Latin America, it could take hold in Iraq and serve as a model for the Arab world. Democracy in the Middle East would be a geostrategic game changer, foster stability in that strife-ridden region, and provide America's ally Israel with a much more secure environment.
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The fact that Saddam "tried to kill [his] dad" weighed on Bush's decision making. In addition, a new regime in Iraq would allow the United States to remove its troops from Saudi Arabia, where they fueled extremism, and to have another friendly source of oil. A third and related line of thinking that led to war was a prevailing sense of unfinished business with Saddam—namely, his removal—that needed closure. The United States had been waging a low-grade undeclared war against Saddam since Desert Storm ended as part of its containment strategy.
Air Force flew daily missions over 60 percent of Iraqi territory and was often fired upon, though never hit.
Other anti-Saddam options seemed to be failing. France and Russia were not cooperating with international sanctions and funds were being diverted by Saddam from the Oil-for-Food Programme to buy arms. In January the CIA presented Vice President Dick Cheney with an assessment that Saddam had created a nearly perfect security apparatus that made the prospects of a successful coup nearly impossible.
This unfinished business concerned Bush directly.