Thursday, June 09, 2005

NYT: Bully Boy's "Team Appears to End Effort to Oust Atomic Chief" (David E. Sanger & Steven R. Weisman)

Within the administration, and also among Europeans and others involved in trying to influence the atomic energy agency, the end of the effort to oust Dr. ElBaradei was seen as a defeat for John R. Bolton, until recently the under secretary of state for arms control and international security and now the nominee to be United Nations ambassador.
Mr. Bolton had convinced his colleagues at the State Department and the White House that Dr. ElBaradei should be ousted, but administration officials said he had failed to win international backing or to persuade anyone with comparable credentials to step forward to replace him.
A senior administration official said that Mr. Bolton's efforts "never got enough altitude" and that more recently he had been involved in getting himself confirmed for the United Nations job, with no one else in the administration ready to step in and push what he started.

The above is from David E. Sanger and Steven R. Weisman's "Bush Team Appears to End Effort to Oust Atomic Chief."

Rod e-mails to call attention to C.J. Chivers' " 6 Senators Urge Reassessment of Ties With Uzbekistan Ruler:"

The senators - four Republicans and two Democrats - also asked if the administration knew whether American-trained troops or American military equipment were used in the deadly crackdown, in Andijon, in northeastern Uzbekistan.
The senators' statement, in a letter sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, exposed growing unease about ties between the United States' military and Uzbekistan's president, Islam A. Karimov, who emerged in 2001 as an important ally in the fight against Islamic terrorists. Copies were obtained by The New York Times from the staffs of two of the senators who signed the letter.
Mr. Karimov's government has long been criticized by the State Department, private aid organizations and the United Nations for its poor human rights record, repression of political opponents and use of torture. Yet it has managed to maintain strong ties with Washington, in part by granting the Pentagon access to an airbase near the Afghan border.

Brenda e-mails to note Thom Shanker's "Rumsfeld Says Guantánamo Isn't Being Considered for Closing:"

"I know of no one in the U.S. Government, in the executive branch, that is considering closing Guantánamo," he said at a news conference.

Francisco notes that the littlest Judy Miller has an article on Bolivia in the paper today and pronounces it not worthy of reading (I'll take Francisco's word for it). He asks about an article offering perspective, so from Open Democracy, we'll note Nick Buxton's "Bolivia in Revolt: The campaign by poor, indigenous Bolivians against utility privatisation has become a political insurrection:"

"While the poor don't have food, the rich won't have peace," reads the graffiti scrawled onto the wall adjoining the dual carriageway that sweeps breathlessly from one of the world’s highest airports into Bolivia’s Andean city of La Paz.
In front of the graffiti lie six smashed-up tollbooths, destroyed by
protestors who have marched almost daily in May 2005 the eleven kilometres from the impoverished city of El Alto towards the seat of government in the capital, La Paz.
Suddenly the traditional centre of power has been full of those excluded from power for centuries – indigenous women with swirling skirts and bowler-hats,
Aymara men in deep-red ponchos with mouths bulging with coca leaves, rural farmers with weathered faces shaded by faded baseball caps, miners with sticks of dynamite ready to storm the congress building.
The resounding call by the largely indigenous protestors is for nationalisation of Bolivia’s gas reserves, currently controlled by six multinational companies, including British Gas and BP. Their march has profoundly shaken Bolivia's political elite; late on 6 June, President Carlos Mesa
offered his resignation – a decision yet to be accepted by congress, which meets in the comparative safety of the southern city of Sucre on 8 June to consider the political options (including early elections) that might defuse the crisis.

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