Newswire

Newswire

  • Getting Ready To Rebuild

    The Kuwaitis are already making plans to rebuild their oilfield operations once the conflict is over. "Anything that had any value was stolen by the Iraqis--street lamps, stop signs, window shades--and all the equipment," says Larry Flak, of Houston's OGE Drilling Co. The Kuwaiti-owned Santa Fe International Corp. has reportedly purchased wellhead equipment from Ingram Cactus Co. and stored it in Houston warehouses for shipment to Kuwait when the war ends. Kuwaiti officials have also had discussions with several Texas firms about supplying consultants, oilfield workers and equipment for the recovery effort. "We've been asked for quotes, but we haven't any orders yet," says a company official.
  • Buzzwords

    The military jargon used by American servicemen and -women in the gulf is always changing. Here's some popular slang: American fighter pilots' derisive term for the Iraqis' antiaircraft artillery.A deep valley in the desert, from the Arabic.Civilian casualties.Iraqi commanders. As in Homer Simpson, the bumbling cartoon character.An Iraqi attack plane.Flight suit.Pilot talk for the hectic confusion of air-to-air dogfights.Helmets, which used to be all white. Now they're camouflaged.
  • Terror: Iraq's Second Front

    "Let the aggressors' interests be set on fire, and let them be hunted down wherever they may be in every corner of the world." Declaring that "there is no longer any room for delay," Baghdad radio called on Muslims last week to attack the "interests, facilities, symbols and figures" of the United States and its gulf coalition partners. "The time has come," blared the broadcast, "to crush the enemy and erase the disgrace." ...
  • A Recovery As Early As Spring?

    The first days of war sent an unexpected message of hope to the flagging American economy. If the Saudi Arabian oilfields can be defended, then most of the conflict's economic damage is behind us. ...
  • Missing Missiles

    Following the Iraqi Scud missile attacks on Tel Aviv and Haifa, the United States hurriedly sent several batteries of American Patriot anti-missile missiles to Israel. Patriots could have stopped the incoming Scuds, but Israel rejected the Patriot in favor of its own anti-missile missile, called the Arrow; more than $150 million has been spent on development. Israel banked on the Arrow because it covers a much wider area than the Patriot. The Arrow's first test launch this fall was less than successful: its was destroyed when it turned toward the test site. After Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Israel decided it couldn't wait and secured two Patriot batteries in October. Before the last shipment, Israeli technicians were taking a crash course in how to operate them. But American experts have come along to handle the new Patriots, which will be immediately operational.
  • Early Losers

    After the first, apparently successful days of war against Iraq, Democratic strategists are glum about the party's chances in the '92 presidential campaign. The big short-term losers, these insiders say, are New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt. Before the war, Cuomo took no stand on the issue of attacking Saddam Hussein. Gephardt first argued for cutting off funds if President Bush didn't seek congressional authorization and then voted against the immediate use of force. But the strategists see the Dems suffering only if the United States avoids a protracted conflict with heavy casualties. ...
  • A Record-Breaking Tv Audience

    Aside from sending George Bush's approval rating soaring, Operation Desert Storm has also made the president the most popular television attraction ever. His address to the nation Wednesday night was seen by nearly 79 percent of all Americans with televisions in their homes. Only once has such a huge percentage bee surpassed: John F. Kennedy's 1963 funeral attracted 81 percent of all viewers. But because there are far more homes in the country today, many more people saw Bush's speech. ABC's 16.1 rating led the prime-time numbers battle the first night of fighting. NBC followed with 15.7; CBS trailed with a disappointing 13.4. CNN's 11.1 was remarkable for a cable channel that normally averages under 1 point in prime time (each point represents 931,000 homes).
  • Caught In A Cross-Fire

    Fate put Yasir Arafat at a funeral when the war started. As Desert Storm thundered over Baghdad, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization was far away in Tunis, laying to rest a murdered comrade. Before a PLO bodyguard killed him, Salah Khalaf had warned that all Palestinians "are really in the cross-fire." He appreciated Saddam Hussein's efforts to dedicate the war to the Palestinian cause, Khalaf told a French newspaper. "But at the same time, I don't want my own cause to be associated with the destruction of the Arab region." The PLO could only watch Khalaf's worst fears take shape. As in the past, chaos and conflict threatened to leave the Palestinians helpless and alone. ...
  • 'One Big Family' In Crystal Springs

    Just hours before the United Nations deadline ran out, 700 residents of Crystal Springs, Miss., gathered at the local high-school auditorium to pray. Heads bowed and hands clasped, they sang hymns, saluted the flag and joined the Rev. David Williams in an emotional rendition of "God Bless America." As the crowd blinked back tears, National Guardsman Richard Belding read a message from S/Sgt. Charles Barranco of the 162nd Military Police Company of the National Guard, now awaiting combat in Saudi Arabia. Replying to a letter from a sixth grader named Kristie, Barranco wrote, "I tell you this so you will always know as you are growing up: the price of freedom and democracy is high." ...
  • Profit Politics

    While French fighter-bombers have participated in allied air attacks over Kuwait, they won't be flying any missions over Baghdad. French officials have decided their forces will not fight deep inside Iraq as the war progresses. They say this decision is in keeping with President Francois Mitterrand's claim that the war is strictly "a question of liberating Kuwait," not punishing Iraq. But many experts guess that, by backing off, France is angling for good postwar relations with the Arab world--major customers for French weapons.
  • Desert Storm Awesome Air Power Opens Up T

    With the thunderous razzle-dazzle of a Tomahawk missile launch, America unleashed the full fury of modern warfare on the Middle East last week. The first results were spectacular and terrifying. As Baghdad's baffled defenders filled the night sky with futile pyrotechnics, the combined forces of Washington's anti-Saddam coalition steered their precision-guided munitions into the bunkers and command posts of Iraq's outgunned military establishment. It all seemed effortless, antiseptic and surreal: casualties were very light, at least among the attackers, and the high-tech gadgets in America's multibillion-dollar arsenal seemed to work with surgical lethality. Like a day at the office, one pilot said. This one's for you, Saddam. ...
  • Facing A Medical Challenge

    In the heady hours that followed the first bombings of Iraqi military installations last week, war almost seemed fun: no grim images of Americans dying in the desert, just a lot of deftly demolished machinery. "We went out there and ran our first play," a fighter pilot told TV camera. "Scored a touchdown. There was nobody home." Unfortunately, airstrikes are not the whole game plan. Should U.S. and other ground troops move to reclaim Kuwait, the scorekeeping will center increasingly on casualties--and given the ferocity of modern weapons, the sound-bite similes won't concern sporting injuries. Says Dr. John Beary, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs: "It's potentially the biggest medical challenge we've faced since World War II." ...
  • Mismatch In Kuwait

    As an old doughboy who spent the last 45 years bitching about the flyboys, often standing knee deep in mud and leeches as they flashed overhead in air-conditioned comfort, I have to say: this time they deserve their air conditioning. They've delivered the most impressive demonstration of air power in history, and the effect on Saddam Hussein's ground forces cannot help but be profound. The U.S. military's Central Command briefers here in Saudi Arabia keep saying how formidable the Iraqi Army is, how well entrenched. I doubt it. ...
  • In The Know

    Ronald Reagan may be out of office, but he's not out of the loop. He was on a short list of people to whom President Bush gave advance word of the air attack on Iraq. Reagan's son Michael, who hosts a daily radio show in San Diego, called Dad before air time on Wednesday afternoon for his opinion on the prospect of war. But Nancy refused to put her husband on the phone. A few hours later, war began. After the show, Michael confirmed with Nancy that Bush had in fact called to brief Reagan about the action.
  • After War, Geopolitics

    Since the first Operation Desert Shield deployment, the Bush administration has been grappling with the problems of a postwar Middle East, "Newsweek' has learned. Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell's staff has met weekly with Mideast experts to consider the political repercussions of different war scenarios. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, head of the U.S. Central Command in the gulf, has had his staff poring over think-tank papers on the political impact of his war tactics. And the State Department has held "war gaming" sessions where staffers have practiced responding to simulated postwar situations. Aids to Jim Baker, for example, have played the roles of Arab leaders reacting to political turmoil after the war.
  • From Bayonets To Tomahawks

    Saddam is learning a lethal lesson about the links between militaries and societies ...
  • Coming Soon: Iraq, The Sequel

    Hollywood's always quick to exploit the news, but last week art came too close to reality. ABC postponed an episode of its new TV show "Under Cover" because the subject was "too sensitive." It was about an Iraqi plot to attack Israel with chemical weapons. But filmmakers are cranking out other gulf-ploitation features. "Target U.S.A." tells of a U.S. town attacked by Iraqi terrorists. "Desert Shield," originally about the Iran-Iraq War, is being reworked as a tale of Navy SEALs sent to take out Iraqis before they invade an oil-rich neighbor. And the Libyan villains in "Shield of Honor" are now Iraqis.
  • The Killing Ground

    The allied strategy for the war's next phase calls for a blitzkrieg in Kuwait--and Iraq ...
  • Blinders For Iraq's Defenses

    Navy Cmdr. John Leenhouts expected the worst. The radar flickered with the symbols for approaching Soviet-made MiG jets as his A-7 Corsair streaked through the darkness toward Baghdad. Through years of training and months of waiting, the 40-year-old fighter pilot had readied himself for this moment. Then, before it started, it was over. "They acted as if they were overwhelmed," he said later of his would-be foes. "In some cases I don't think they had a very clear picture exactly who was out there." He was right. One reason for Iraqi impotence in the early gulf war was U.S. mastery of the electronic battlefield. Moments before each bomb run, Navy and Air Force jets packed with powerful jamming transmitters cleared the way by throwing a high-tech shroud over Iraqi radar and antiaircraft missile systems. "You're talking about an environment that was electronically obliterated," says one Air Force officer. ...