New York Times
A federal judge in New York attacked the Bush administration recently for defying his order to allow Jose Padilla, who is accused of being part of a plot to set off a "dirty bomb," to meet with a lawyer. In case after case, the administration has taken the position that if it accuses someone of being a terrorist, he can be prevented from communicating with a lawyer. The right to counsel is a cornerstone of the American legal system, and the administration must realize that it has not been repealed by the war on terrorism. ...
The Bush administration should let Mr. Padilla meet with his lawyer, and it should start respecting the right to counsel guaranteed by the Constitution.
Journalists are preparing to go to war if and when the U.S. launches an attack on Iraq. The reporters, photographers, TV crews -- and, who knows, maybe a cartoonist or two -- are being put through their grueling paces by the Pentagon to make sure they can cut it out there. They are enduring this because it will help them to tell the story of soldiers at war.
None will do it quite so well as William Henry Mauldin, who died Wednesday at age 81 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Bill Mauldin wasn't a newsman who tried to peek behind the military curtain in World War II. He was a soldier first, an enlisted man.
During training in the early days of World War II, he got a job drawing cartoons for the U.S. Army's 45th Infantry Division newspaper. Eventually, Stars and Stripes began publishing his work. Thus was America's military introduced to the world of Willie and Joe, two hapless GIs trying their darnedest to do their jobs, stay dry and get home alive. ...
Gen. George S. Patton once tried to intimidate Mauldin into spiffing up his depiction of dogfaces. Patton lost that battle because his superior, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a Mauldin fan who understood why Willie and Joe were so appealing to the troops. It's no wonder the prickly Patton was bothered by Mauldin's worldview. In one cartoon, Mauldin drew an officer gazing at the spectacular Alps. "Beautiful view. Is there one for the enlisted men?" he asked.
That about sums up Mauldin's views of authority figures. They were clueless. The GIs knew it and they loved him forever for it.
President Bush's impatient tenor puts the United States in increasingly dangerous isolation. While Bush says the United States won't stand alone when it goes to war in Iraq, in reality he will have ignored the thoughtful advice of several close allies. Worse, he will have run roughshod over the very international institutions -- primarily the United Nations -- Washington needs to help solve other global crises, particularly in North Korea.
Our allies aren't defending Saddam Hussein, nor are they saying "no" to war under any circumstances. They are, however, saying that war right now is unwise. "What's the rush?" they asked, without getting a satisfactory answer. ...
Bush should listen to what U.N. inspectors have to say in the report they will give the Security Council on Monday. He should not let the military momentum he created by rushing U.S. troops into the Persian Gulf region become its own reason for starting a war. Most of all, he must not make the United States look like a trigger-happy warmonger.
The United States could, on its own, attack Iraq -- but that doesn't mean it should. Bush needs strong international support for any war.
The U.N. Human Rights Commission's election Monday of Libya as chairman of its 2003 annual session has interesting implications for Libya, Africa, the commission and U.S. policy toward Libya and the commission itself. In sum, the choice probably constitutes a world thumb in the eye of the Bush administration for its tendency not to resolve old problems and to try to deal with countries by isolating them. ...
America's official distaste for (Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi and his regime in Libya is well-founded. At the same time, countries change policies. Opposing the Africans' choice for UNHRC chairman and then losing, holding a 30-year-old grudge on oil company nationalization -- as the United States also does against Saddam Hussein and Iraq -- and rejecting Libya's apparent olive branch may not make sense.
There are too many countries across the world where we haven't had or don't have offices, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Somalia and Libya. An analysis of U.S. foreign policy over recent years to see whether that approach is to America's benefit or not -- exactly what advantage that kind of effort at isolation gets us -- is probably in order. Such a review could start with Libya.
(Compiled by United Press International.)