Ausgabe 13/2003

English Summaries

Cover story: Detailed report on the Gulf War.

“Just a Matter of Days”

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with Saddam Hussein’s former general chief of staff and personal adviser Nisar al-Chasraji about Baghdad’s defence strategy and the risks facing an American invasion:

“Saddam has learnt from the 1991 Gulf War. So he won’t offer invading troops any resistance on a broad front and by traditional means. He’ll withdraw his troops rapidly and concentrate particularly on defending Baghdad and maybe a few other important cities. … Weeks of bombing would be fatal. They would reduce the country to rubble. It would be hell. Iraqis would view this as an attack on the people and would not welcome the Americans as liberators. … Saddam wants another Stalingrad. … The loyalty of the elite troops is totally overrated. They may be patriots, but their loyalty is to the country, not to Saddam. Once the Americans are outside the gates of Baghdad, Bush will have almost won. However much Saddam digs himself in there, even in the capital his defeat will only be a matter of days, at most of weeks. … There are no serious signs of any hidden arsenals of chemical weapons, which would have to be deployed from the air over large areas. But I think it likely that he has biological agents. If Saddam has biological weapons, he will use them.”

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with foreign minister Joschka Fischer about the consequences of the Gulf War for the world order in the 21st century.

Chronicle of diplomacy. Report tracing how relations between Germany and America have developed in different directions since September 11.

“The Young Home Front”

Policemen are carrying gas masks, the mayor is demonstratively mixing with the people on the street, television is broadcasting images of the war round the clock, and safety drills are being carried out in schools – yet most New Yorkers still appear to be unimpressed by the war.

Bugs in Brussels: Report about the bugging of the European Union and the German government’s anxieties about surveillance.

“Setting Things Straight”

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with the new board chairman of Deutsche Telekom, Kai-Uwe Ricke, 40, about his strict economy drive and the future strategy of the group, the anger of the small investors, and the confusion over his appointment as the successor of the luckless Ron Sommer:

“What’s new is that we are on an economy drive which has absolute priority, in order to drastically reduce the group’s debts. … Starting with salaries, through to cuts in investment. If everything takes effect – which I’m assuming it will – we should have screwed back our debts to a bearable level of 48 to 52 billion euros by the end of the year. … Not everything that Ron Sommer did was wrong – starting with the privatisation of Telekom through to the establishment of the four-pillar strategy, consisting of T-Com, T-Mobile, T-Online and T-Systems. Last autumn, we subjected this strategy to a detailed examination and looked into it from every possible angle. In the end we were certain that the strategy was right and that we wouldn’t have to sell off any of the family silver. … I understand the scepticism of the investors. For months allegedly new and explosive information has been leaked to the public, in some cases being taken completely out of context. That’s bound to produce a fatal impression. … However, we have nothing to reproach ourselves for in any of the proceedings. That’s why we will do everything we can to clear up the allegations and restore lost credibility. … The events surrounding the replacement of Mr. Sommer were totally unprofessional. After his spectacular resignation it was almost impossible for the supervisory board to carry out an orderly search for candidates without a great deal of public fuss.”

“The Fear Will Never Go Away”

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with writer and lawyer Louis Begley about America’s war against Iraq, his search for an identity as a US citizen of European origin, his time as a soldier in Germany, and his first approach towards the Wild West:

“War is pure horror. But that doesn’t mean I reject war on principle as a means of doing politics. I’m not a pacifist. Removing Saddam Hussein, disarming Iraq is on principle not a bad thing. But President Bush and his administration have not succeeded in enlisting international support for this. Instead they are in the process of destroying all those structures and institutions which have made the world a slightly better place to live in after the Second World War. … I came here as a foreigner, I’ve been an American citizen for fifty years, and I’m ardently patriotic. That’s never going to change. I am only very critical towards the Bush administration – not only in terms of its Iraq policies, but also on many other issues. … In my childhood I was an avid reader of Karl May – without realising, of course, that unlike him I would myself one day come to America. Incidentally, there’s nothing in my novel that I haven’t seen with my own eyes, or that other people haven’t seen and told me about. In the end it was simply a matter of finding the right tone.”

“A Great Love between Brother and Sister”

Composers: The diaries of Fanny Hensel, which have been published in full for the first time, tell the moving story of her emancipation from her famous brother, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, but an emancipation that came too late. The relationship between Felix and Fanny keeps capturing the interest of art historians. These grandchildren of the influential philosopher Moses Mendelssohn were both highly talented, and they were joined by an exceptionally close, almost symbiotic love. Musicologists who have in recent years begun to study the fate of Fanny Hensel, creating a space in the history of music for her considerable oeuvre, have found out that it was in fact Felix himself who was responsible for Fanny’s being unable to fully develop her talent. His countless interventions ensured that his sister did not dare to publish her songs, cantatas and piano pieces.

“Weimar Lacked the Time”

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with historian Heinrich August Winkler about the fundamental defect of the Weimar Republic, the handicap posed by the Treaty of Versailles, the German fear of a civil war, and the role of the political clique surrounding President Paul von Hindenburg in the rise of Adolf Hitler:

“More could indeed have been done in the way of preventative reforms to safeguard democracy, than what the social democratic “people’s representatives” – as the members of the revolutionary government were called – tackled between November 1918 and the election of the constituent National Assembly in February 1919. This was partly because the SPD considered itself a democratic party which didn’t want to create a fait accompli over the heads of the majority. It was afraid of harming the Socialist idea by resorting to undemocratic means. … The reparations became a permanent problem. Nevertheless: if the economy had developed favourably, the instalments would have been manageable. … The so-called “camarilla” – consisting of lords from the Eastern Elbe and other conservatives surrounding the former Chancellor Franz von Papen, Hindenburg’s son Oskar and permanent secretary Otto Meißner – strongly urged the president, Paul von Hindenburg, and ultimately they were successful. They viewed Hitler’s chancellorship in a conservative context as ultimately being the least dangerous solution to the crisis.”

“Cloning Goes to the Dogs”

Biotechnology: The dream of being reincarnated in a cloning laboratory is over. The genetic copies of mice, pigs and cats often scarcely resemble the original creature. It is becoming increasingly clear that the idea of clones being perfect copies is in fact wrong. Though clones share all the same genes in their cell nuclei, each individual appears to make something else of its genes. Cloning is a form of reproduction, not a resurrection. The original animal and the clone may have the same genes, but they vary because different genes are active. Since the living conditions of mammals already differ during pregnancy, variations between clones and the animals they come from are inevitable.

“Duelling over the Child Prodigy”

Basketball: In the United States, the 18-year-old high-school player LeBron James is considered the greatest talent since Michael Jordan. Two manufacturers of sports equipment are courting him with million-dollar offers. There are no limits to the fuss being made over him. The teenager, whose biography includes a father who disappeared and an overtaxed mother, is loved because he is the way the whole of America would like to be: laid back and superior to everyone else. In June, he will be joining the pros of the National Basketball Association, NBA, where he is to take on the role of global hero, the man who keeps the NBA a world-wide topic of conversation. Because he fosters a cool mannerism of talking about himself in the third person, it seems certain that a generation of kids will buy his brand of sneakers. And so a bitter battle is raging between the sport shoemakers Nike and Adidas to win the favour of the potential superstar. James is to generate business as an advertising medium.


© DER SPIEGEL 13/2003
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