Newswire

Newswire

  • What Really Happened

    The one word nobody in the Bush administration wanted to use last week was "decapitation." Last fall the U.S. Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Michael J. Dugan, was fired in part for suggesting that Saddam Hussein himself was a legitimate target of allied air power. After last week's raid on the Amiriya shelter in Baghdad, at the cost of several hundred civilian lives, it seems that Dugan was not exactly wrong. He was merely indiscreet. NEWSWEEK has learned that allied intelligence previously identified the bunker as one of perhaps two dozen meant to shelter Saddam's inner circle, the leaders and families of the Revolutionary Command Council and the ruling Baath Party. "There is space in [the city's] air-raid bunkers for just 1 percent of the population of Baghdad," said an allied government source. "We know that because we've mapped the bunkers. Now, which 1 percent do you think is allowed in those bunkers?" ...
  • Hoping To Build A New Kuwait

    More than 10,000 Kuwaiti refugees are slowly getting cabin fever in a high-rise housing project in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. "We tell the children that they'll be going home soon. But we warn them that the country is damaged, that their schools have been destroyed," said Nada Aloraifi, who fled with only the clothes on her back and a handful of sand as a memento. ...
  • Gorby's Case Of Nerves

    Is Mikhail Gorbachev beginning to crack under the strain of political turmoil in the Soviet Union? NEWSWEEK has learned that a top-secret intelligence report circulated among senior Bush administration officials last week warns that Gorbachev is suffering from "acute emotional and psychological tension." The joint CIA-DIA report says the mental tension is caused by constant attacks from military and Kremlin critics and worry that his international standing is being eroded. U.S. intelligence officials believe that Gorby is still firmly in control but "under great strain and great pressure."
  • The Mechanics Of Peace

    George Bush was not about to let Saddam Hussein off the hook. At a Friday session in the Oval Office, the president and his war planners offered Saddam little more than humiliation to look forward to. If Saddam wants to end the war before ground combat begins, the president insisted, large numbers of Iraqi troops must abandon their tanks and walk or ride trucks out of Kuwait. And they will not retreat under the protection of a total cease-fire: they will hear allied bombs exploding around them. Pentagon spokesmen said coalition forces will give safe passage to enemy soldiers who signal clearly that they are withdrawing. But the allies are determined to orchestrate Saddam's retreat so that he cannot come out a winner. ...
  • Soviets: Stopping Start

    NEWSWEEK has learned that a last-ditch effort by the Bush administration to salvage the crumbling START arms-control negotiations has failed. A team of top U.S. arms-control officials returned empty-handed last week from a trip to Geneva. "The Soviets walked back even further" from agreements reached in December, a well-placed U.S. source said. The administration is publicly calling the problems "technical," but behind the scenes there is "really profound concern, and at the highest levels" over the impasse. ...
  • Moscow's Gulf Game

    It was no coincidence, as orthodox Soviets used to say. Yevgeny Primakov, the Soviet special envoy to Iraq, returned to Moscow last week after talks with Saddam Hussein, reporting "glimmers of hope" for a resolution of the gulf conflict. Two days later, Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council issued its condition-choked offer of withdrawal from Kuwait. The preamble acknowledged "appreciation of the Soviet initiative conveyed by the envoy of the Soviet leadership." ...
  • Old Tensions, New Order?

    It was a mistake Washington pledges it won't make twice. Long before Iraq moved on Kuwait, the balance of power in the Persian Gulf was overturned - mainly because Iraq, with Western help, had emerged from its eight-year war with Iran in possession of a vast army and sophisticated weapons. But the United States hardly noticed; its Middle East policy had another focus. Secretary of State James Baker spent 14 futile months trying to bring Israelis and Palestinians together - an effort in which the State Department saw Iraq and the pro-Saddam Palestine Liberation Organization as potentially helpful. Even if the allies win the gulf war, the fact they had to wage it at all shows the dangers of selective inattention. Building a durable postwar security structure in the region now will consume much of the rest of George Bush's presidency. ...
  • What Parents Need To Say

    War always means painful separations for military families, but the gulf war has brought new and disturbing farewell scenes: mothers leaving their newborn babies, young children waving goodbye to both parents, single parents frantically seeking care for their youngsters. These poignant images have fueled the ongoing debate about mothers' roles in combat. A NEWSWEEK Poll showed that Americans are evenly divided on the question of whether mothers in the military should be able to refuse assignments that take them away from their children. Both Sen. John Heinz and Rep. Barbara Boxer have introduced legislation that would exempt one parent from combat duty in two-soldier families. Children of soldiers aren't the only ones suffering. Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton thinks youngsters across the country are deeply troubled by the fighting. In an interview with NEWSWEEK, Dr. Brazelton, the author of best-selling child-care books and a contributing editor to Family Circle magazine, endorsed...
  • Whose Real Life Is This, Anyway?

    Amy has a problem. She desperately wants to be elected her high school's homecoming queen, but the buzz in the corridors is that Colleen is a shoo-in. Marlon has a problem. His girlfriend Helen just found out he's made two dates for the prom. Roy's problem is bad grades, Tee's is membership in a wild gang and Heidi's is her suspicion that she's been stigmatized as a flake for playing goalie on the hockey team ("But, hey, that's me!"). None, however, totes a heavier load than Donna. Tim's gotten her pregnant and now he's sending her alarming signals about his intentions. "I don't know if I'm gonna be a good father," he chokingly confides. "I don't know what else to say." As Donna looks stricken, the scene abruptly dissolves to a gymnasium rocking with adolescent hysteria. Colleen is about to be crowned homecoming queen. ...
  • A Blast From Christmases Past

    Industry analysts will gag if this gets around, but anyone who can't answer their eternal question - What will be hot next Christmas? - ought to be living in a five-gallon tank equipped with a light, filter and plastic ferns. One 30-minute meander through the American International Toy Fair, a trade show that began a 10-day run last week in New York, is enough to provide even some Etch A Sketch era dolt with enough savvy to become the Nostradamus of Ninja Turtles, the Jeane Dixon of Baby Alive dolls. Here is how things work: ...
  • Under The Bombs

    The first, sketchy news reports reached Washington at dawn last Friday. Iraq had said the magic word: "Withdrawal." Suddenly it seemed possible that the Persian Gulf War would end quickly, that Iraqi forces would pull out of Kuwait and eliminate the need for a costly ground offensive by U.S. and allied troops. Many Americans gave thanks. In Baghdad, jubilant Iraqis celebrated what they believed was the end of the war, firing pistols and rifles into the air. Shortly after 7 in the morning, Washington time, George Bush and his advisers crowded into the president's private study to consider the Iraqi proposal. The optimism faded well before 8. The full text of the offer contained numerous old preconditions and even some new ones, a set of demands so unacceptable to any of Iraq's adversaries that there was finally nothing to talk about. "When I first heard the statement, I must say I was happy that Saddam Hussein had seemed to realize that he must now withdraw unconditionally from...
  • After The Dust Settles

    America's most potent act in this high tech war may have been the production of something as old as armies - a cloud of dust. Dust churned up by armor moving into position for the ground war may have provoked Saddam's first peace gambit. Of course Saddam's second thoughts about the beauties of the "mother of battles" may have been influenced by 80,000 virtually uncontested allied sorties. These sorties may have made scrap metal of his ability to make a bloody stand. ...
  • Murky Maneuvers In A Lethal Law Firm

    What Robin Cook did for hospitals, John Grisham does for a law firm in his highly entertaining thriller, "The Firm" (Doubleday. $19.95). What evil lurks within the file drawers of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, a private tax outfit in Memphis? You'd think a bright fellow like Mitchell McDeere, third in his Harvard Law class, might be suspicious when the partners offer him $80,000 to start, plus bonuses, a BMW, low mortgage, two country clubs and his school debts paid off. He'll work 100 hours a week at first, they tell him, but he'll be a partner and a millionaire in 10 years - and as for job security, nobody ever leaves the firm. No, but five associates have met odd deaths in the past 15 years. Mitch, numbed by greed - so much money in Memphis! - signs on. ...
  • Quel Drag

    Even Woody Allen never put Diane Keaton through this. To get her Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year award last week, Keaton had to submit to the traditional open-car ride around Harvard Square escorted (and kissed) by Pudding members in drag. (Clint Eastwood gets Man of the Year next week. How will he handle this?) Keaton received a pudding pot, a live lobster and a Mr. Goodbar from Pudding veep Jason Tomarken, who wondered why her Goodbar search took so long - he just waited in line at the store. Keaton called the event "insane." The proof is in the pudding.
  • Johnny B. Goody-Goody

    On Feb. 1, Sinead O'Connor pulled out of Wednesday's Grammy Awards ceremony. "As artists," she reasoned, "I believe that our function is to express the feelings of the human race - always to speak the truth, and never to keep it hidden, even though we are operating in a world which does not like the sound of truth. I believe that our purpose is to inspire and in some way guide and heal the human race, of which we are all equal members." And that was just by way of clearing her throat. ...
  • The 'Zelig' Of Wall Street

    After wrapping up a big Wall Street deal, investment banker Jeffrey Beck would celebrate by buying a horse and naming it after the deal. On weekends he would climb into a chauffeured limousine and drive to his country home, where he would ride and jump the horses. It was a life anyone could envy. Except for a funny thing. Beck was scared witless by horses. ...
  • Tower Power

    At 6 feet 4, Heidi and Heather Burge, the tallest female twins in the world, have a leg up on the competition. The twin towers of basketball have helped take their team, the Virginia Cavaliers, to No. 1. The Cavs have yet to take home an NCAA championship, but this year they're doubling their bets.
  • The Boom Of Cannons

    Buy on the cannons, sell on the trumpets. That's an old Wall Street adage whose first half has once again proved its worth. From the day the United States dropped the first bomb on Baghdad, disbelieving investors watched the Standard & Poor's 500-stock average shoot up by nearly 18 percent. The gain since the October low: an admirable 25 percent. ...