Skip to comments.***Operation Infinite Freedom - Situation Room - 5 JUN 03/Day 78***
Posted on 06/04/2003 11:04:33 PM PDT by null and void
Welcome to the daily thread of Operation Infinite Freedom - Situation Room.
It is designed for general conversation about the ongoing war on terror, and the related events of the day. Im addition to the ongoing conversations related to terrorism and our place in it's ultimate defete, this thread is a clearinghouse of links to War On Terrorism threads. This allows us to stay abreast of the situation in general, while also providing a means of obtaining specific information and mutual support.
June 4, 2003 -- GERALDO Rivera, who covered the Iraqi war for Fox News Channel, says it's "embarrassing" that weapons of mass destruction - the primary reason given for attacking Iraq - haven't been found. In fact, Geraldo says, they don't even exist in that country.
"The weapons of mass destruction apparently do not exist, so our main justification [for going to war] was probably not true - it was false, not intentionally false but, I think, a failure of intelligence," Rivera said yesterday on "Live with Regis & Kelly."
"It's going to be more and more embarrassing as time goes by, both to the Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, and to our own secretary of state," Rivera said.
"Remember, Colin Powell made that impassioned presentation to the United Nations, 'Here's where they [WMDs] are . . . I think that will be very embarrassing."
"You believe [Saddam Hussein] had [no WMDs] at all?" host Regis Philbin asked Rivera.
"None," Rivera answered. He did say, however, that he feels the war was totally justified.
"What we did was rid the world of a hideous dictator who was in a constant, murderous rage," Rivera said to wild applause from the "Live" audience.
Freedom of information in American society is in danger because corporate media needs to maintain access to official sources of news. Consolidation of media has brought the total news sources for most Americans to less than a handful and these news groups have an ever-increasing dependency on pre-arranged content.
The 24-hour news shows on MSNBC, Fox and CNN are closely interconnected with various governmental and corporate sources of news. Maintenance of continuous news shows requires a constant feed and an ever-entertaining supply of stimulating events and breaking news bites. Advertisement for mass consumption drives the system and pre-packaged sources of news are vital within this global news process. Ratings demand continued cooperation from multiple-sources for on-going weather reports, war stories, sports scores, business news, and regional headlines. Print, radio and TV news also engages in this constant interchange with news sources.
The preparation for and following of ongoing wars and terrorism fits well into the visual kaleidoscope of pre-planned news. Government public relations specialists and media experts from private commercial interests provide on going news feeds to the national media distributions systems. The result is an emerging macro-symbiotic relationship between news dispensers and news suppliers. Perfect examples of this relationship are the press pools organized by the Pentagon both in the Middle-East and in Washington D.C., which give pre-scheduled reports on the war in Iraq to selected groups of news collectors (journalists) for distribution through their individual media organizations.
Embedded reporters (news collectors) working directly with military units in the field must maintain cooperative working relationships with unit commanders as they feed breaking news back to the US public. Cooperative reporting is vital to continued access to government news sources. Therefore, rows of news story reviewers back at corporate media headquarters rewrite, soften or spike news stories from the field that threaten the symbiotics of global news management.
Journalists who fail to recognize their role as cooperative news collectors will be disciplined in the field or barred from reporting as in the recent celebrity cases of Geraldo Rivera and Peter Arnett.
Journalists working outside of this mass media system face ever-increasing dangers from "accidents" of war and corporate-media dismissal of their news reports. Massive civilian casualties caused by US. troops, extensive damage to private homes and businesses, and reports that contradict the official public relations line were downplayed, deleted, or ignored by corporate media, while content were analyzed by experts (retired generals and other approved collaborators) from within the symbiotic global news structure.
Symbiotic global news distribution is a conscious and deliberate attempt by the powerful to control news and information in society. The Homeland Security Act Title II Section 201(d)(5) specifically asks the directorate to "develop a comprehensive plan for securing the key resources and critical infrastructure of the United States including 'information technology and telecommunications systems (including satellites), emergency preparedness communications systems'."
Corporate media today is perhaps too vast to enforce complete control over all content 24 hours a day. However, the government's goal is the operationalization of total information control and the continuing consolidation of media makes this process easier to achieve.
Freedom of information and citizen access to objective news is rapidly fading in the United States and the world. In its place is a complex entertainment-oriented news system, which protects its own bottom-line by servicing the most powerful military-industrial complex in the world.
For the majority of Americans who depend on corporate media for their daily news, this monolithic news structure creates intellectual celibacy, inaction and fear. The result is a docile population, whose principal function within society is to simply shut-up and go shopping. The powerful would like us quiet and consumptive and the corporate media is delivering that message on a daily basis.
Peter Phillips is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored a media research organization.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A woman suicide bomber blew up a bus carrying Russian air force pilots in a southern region bordering rebel Chechnya on Thursday, killing at least 15 people, interior and defense ministry officials said. A defense ministry spokesman said the attack occurred in the region of North Ossetia when the bus carrying the pilots and a group of civilians attached to the air force slowed down at a railway crossing.
"Just as the bus was going over a railway crossing the woman walked up to it and blew herself up," the spokesman said in Moscow.
Coming a week after an Australian, armed with sharpened wooden sticks, allegedly tried to hijack and crash a Qantas plane, police and security staff reacted quickly and took the man off the Melbourne to Brisbane flight as it taxied before takeoff.
''There's no indication that there was any weapon on board. We're going to conduct a search of the plane as a precaution, but there were no injuries sustained or anything like that,'' a police spokeswoman said.
MOSCOW: The Russian foreign ministry on Wednesday welcomed the upcoming return of UN nuclear inspectors to Iraq.
The IAEA is the only international authority endowed with special powers to assess any states observance of its obligations in the nuclear non-proliferation field, spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were due to leave for Iraq Wednesday to search the Al-Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre south of Baghdad.
One of Iraqs main nuclear complexes, the site was pillaged in the looting that followed the fall of Baghdad, raising fears that radioactive material went missing.
Sat May 31,10:22 AM ET VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia - A rebel ambush and other attacks killed five Russian soldiers and wounded 11 others in and around the breakaway republic of Chechnya, officials said Saturday.
The latest bloodshed in the region which nearly every day sees small but deadly rebel attacks came as Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to convince world leaders gathered in St. Petersburg that his policies would bring peace to Chechnya.
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Are the terrorist in Chechnya a small percentage like the Ba'aths in Iraq. Or are they most of the Chechnians? Anyone?
Gen. Tommy Franks, center, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, introduces President Bush to Command Sgt. Maj. Dwight Brown, left, as the president arrived at Al-Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday June 4, 2003. Bush will visit American military servicemen based in at the U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Doha on Thursday.
DOHA, Qatar - President Bush argued Thursday the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was justified and pledged that "we'll reveal the truth" on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
"We've made sure Iraq is not going to be used as an arsenal for terrorist groups," Bush said, his coat off and shirt sleeves rolled up as he spoke to a sea of tan camouflage-clad U.S. soldiers at the command center for the Iraq war.
An Iraqi university student walks over stencilled paintings of toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein at Baghdad University. University students emblazoned Saddam headshots on the floor in an act of recall of the famed tiled floor showing former US president George Bush at the entrance of the Rashid Hotel, once host to VIP guests of Saddam's regime.(AFP/Timothy A. Clary)
Also glad to see they have AK's and not the small handguns they were waving and complaining to Molly Henneberg about. WAY TO GO!!
SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Up to 40 Taliban guerrillas and seven Afghan government fighters have been killed in what officials said was the hardline group's biggest defeat since it was driven from power in late 2001.
The battle between Taliban fighters and government forces occurred on Wednesday in the Loi Karez area of southern Afghanistan, about 20 miles northeast of the border town of Spin Boldak, and lasted about seven hours, Syed Fazal Din Agha, a senior government official in Spin Boldak, told Reuters.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - One soldier was killed and five were wounded early on Thursday in the Iraqi city of Falluja when an unknown assailant fired at them with a rocket-propelled grenade, U.S. Central Command said.
A statement said the U.S. military was withholding names of the soldiers, who were assigned to the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, until their next-of-kin has been notified.
Sad to hear about the Afgan soldiers but good job. Way to go.
The Afgan soldiers have been kicking butt lately. I think they killed/captured 25 Taliban last week.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military has said that its forces had captured the commander of one of Saddam Hussein's paramilitary forces who is on Washington's list of most-wanted Iraqis.
The U.S. Central Command said in a statement late on Wednesday that Ayad Futayyih Khalifa al-Rawi, number 30 on the list, was now in custody. It gave no details.
AQABA, Jordan--Everyone talked about Israeli-Palestinian peace at the summit staged here by President Bush on Wednesday, but the unanswerable question seems to be whether Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas will be able to use Bush's proverbial road map to reach that destination.Click on link to read the rest.
The Palestinian Authority's Abbas committed himself to several way stations that may prove very hard to reach. One is to bring the 33-month "intifada" against Israel to an end.
Within minutes of Bush's carefully worded declaration carried live on radio and TV worldwide, the Islamic militant Hamas organization announced it will not disarm until a Palestinian state comes into being and Israeli forces are withdrawn from its territory.
Israel's Sharon promised to dismantle and remove all unauthorized Jewish settlements from the areas due to be handed over to the projected state and to make sure they are contiguous rather than a polka dotlike layout of isolated sectors reminiscent of South Africa's Bantustans.
These are the most operative aspects of Bush's peace plan. Their swift implementation will determine whether his "dream" of two states existing side by side in peace, which has been adopted by Sharon and Abbas, can be realized.
Bush raised one of the bitterest aspects of the Jewish-Arab conflict when he repeated his dedication to "Israel's security as a vibrant Jewish state." The deliberate implication of those words is that the United States sides with Israel in opposing the return of Palestinian Arab refugees--their sympathizers say there are 6.3 million of them--to the cities, towns and villages they fled in 1948. Political insiders in Israel contend that Sharon virtually dictated that passage to Bush and made acceptance of the road map conditional on the public enunciation of those words.
Consciously and deliberately, Bush led the United States into an unprecedented involvement in Middle Eastern affairs, expanding his armed forces' control of Iraq to include monitoring of Israeli and Palestinian adherence to the road map's political and geographical guidelines.
Not since President Harry Truman embraced the UN General Assembly's decision to partition Palestine into adjacent Jewish and Arab states has an American chief executive played such a crucial role in trying to wind down the centuries-old dispute between Jews and Arabs over the Holy Land.
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush flew over Baghdad, Iraq, on Thursday in Air Force One, escorted by four fighter jets, on his way back to the United States from Qatar.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters Air Force One flew over Iraq and Baghdad at an altitude of 31,000 feet (9,500 metres) and at a ground speed of 467 mph (751.5 km). Bush entered Iraqi air space and flew over the Iraqi capital at 12:55 p.m. local (5:55 EDT/0955 GMT).
As the U.S. president flew over the city, once the headquarters of toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the pilot tipped one of the jet's wing to improve the view.
The weather was clear and from his window, Bush would have been able to make out the Tigris river, Baghdad International Airport, streets, bridges and parks.
JERUSALEM Tens of thousands of rightist Israelis, many of them Jewish settlers, rallied Wednesday night in the center of Jerusalem and vehemently denounced the prospect of a Palestinian state as set out by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. .
And in the volatile Gaza Strip, militant Palestinian groups said they were not prepared to lay down their arms and strongly rejected the latest Middle East peace plan as an American concoction being forced upon Palestinians..
Really now, Georgie, wipe the drool off your chin!
WASHINGTON -- This week, President Bush embarked upon a far-flung royal "victory" trip that had all the accoutrements of a conquering Roman Caesar and boasted of all the daring accomplishments of a modern-day Columbus or Alexander the Great.
The "Man Called W" rode away from our nation's capital in an elegant plane -- in place of the fancy-dress horses and gallant galleons of his predecessors -- while his bards and minstrels sang robust songs of victory in Afghanistan and Iraq to inspire the masses. En route, the president embraced small, relatively poor countries and drew them to his expansive bosom, even while he coolly pretended, with an apparently new form of Texan noblesse oblige, to make peace with the big countries he had never felt equal to.
Finally, even as we speak, the new American emperor has set up his court on the south of the Arabian peninsula in Sharm el-Sheikh and Aqaba to play (with many serious hopes) the grand role of "W of Arabia" in the sands of the ancient courts of Saladin, Harun al-Rashid and Ibn Saud.
The first reports from along the royal tour, which made their way back to this anxiously awaiting capital through the awed words of the poets and minnesingers of CNN, Fox and MSNBC, were not by any means all negative.
Washington -- Frankly, when I heard that Hillary Rodham Clinton had signed a deal to write a book for $8 million I doubted that she would write a word of it. For one thing, whenever Hillary testifies she lies. Any prosecutor who has ever pursued her knows that, and any publisher willing to fork out $8 million for a book wants it to be at least plausible. For another thing, when she published her last book, It Takes a Village, she did not write the book -- and, of course, lied about that. She claimed the mawkish little monograph was from her pen and her pen only, when actually it was written by Barbara Feinman. Everyone suspected Hillary had lied about writing the book. It was simply too free of lies for it to be her work. Angered by Hillarys insistence that she alone had written the book, Miss Feinman leaked the news that Hillary held séances with Eleanor Roosevelt. Naturally, Hillary then lied about that too.
With this new book, Living History, an account of her life in the White House during the late scandals, again there is speculation that others did the writing. I have yet to read the book so I do not know if it contains a sufficient number of lies to sustain her claim of authorship. From what I have read I do believe that she wrote at least some of the book. Apparently in Living History she claims that from January 1998 to August 1998 she believed her husbands claim that he had not had sex with the White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. That is a sufficiently implausible lie to conclude that it is a genuine effort by Hillary.
Lewinskys relationship was precisely the kind of relationship Bill Clinton had been having for years, right down to the trademark Clinton Biblical exegesis about oral sex not being adultery. Just four years before the revelations about Monica, the Arkansas state troopers in the pages of The American Spectator described assignations between Clinton and women, some of them being government employees, that involved precisely the same sex acts that Monica revealed. Moreover those of us familiar with the Clintons know that through all her years in Arkansas Mrs. Clinton had been engaged in propitiating the victims of her husbands active libido. Surely when the story came out of the White House intern servicing her husband Hillary knew it was true.
Hillary probably also wrote the lines she claims to have uttered on August 15, 1998, after Bill told her in the White House that he had been lying about his blameless relationship with Lewinsky and that there had been intimacy. I could hardly breath. Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him . That sounds like Hillary to me, particularly the yelling.
In fact the very nature of this lie is pure Hillary. Hillary and, for that matter, Bill, lie when there is no reason to lie. Who would blame her, if she were now to write that, yes, when the Lewinsky story broke she began to suspect it was true? Or for that matter why could she not now maintain a decorous silence about the whole embarrassing matter? No one would blame her for not bringing it up again. The country was supposed to move on, she told us. The country has, but here Hillary is again lying when she does not have to. And the lies keep coming.
According to the Associated Presss report on the book, Hillary claims that during the six months when her husband was lying to her, to his staff, and to the nation about Monica, For me, the Lewinsky imbroglio seemed like just another vicious scandal manufactured by political opponents. There were no vicious scandals manufactured by political opponents. Or at least there were very few.
Most of the scandals were acts Bill and Hillary actually committed. They did not need political opponents to manufacture them. All that was needed was a free press to report them and federal prosecutors to pursue them. In the end Clinton paid fines, gave up his license to practice law, and agreed to a huge financial settlement with Paula Corbin Jones. I have always thought that other women such as the abused Kathleen Willey and raped Juanita Broaddrick deserved settlements too.
As for Hillary, Independent counsel Robert W. Ray, in his last report on the Clintons, asserted that though there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute she had given factually inaccurate testimony and Whitewater involved criminal activity. Well, that is what we have come to expect from her, dishonesty. She is now the most popular Democrat in the country.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The afterglow of a U.S.-led Middle East summit faded on Thursday, with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat saying Israel had offered nothing "tangible" and hard-liners on both sides vowing to oppose a road map to peace.
Arafat, who was excluded from Wednesday's landmark talks in Jordan but apparently played a behind-the-scenes role, dismissed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's pledge to uproot some settler outposts in the West Bank as meaningless.
"Unfortunately he has not yet offered anything tangible," the Palestinian leader told reporters at his battered West Bank headquarters in Ramallah.
"What's the significance of removing a caravan from one location and then saying 'I have removed a settlement'?"
Brought together by President Bush, Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas committed to set in motion an international plan to end 32 months of violence.
Aides to Arafat, a longtime icon of Palestinian nationalism, said he was not happy about being frozen out of the summit at Washington and Israel's insistence, but worked the phones and followed the proceedings on television.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "Multiple" visits to the CIA by Vice President Cheney and a top aide over the past year created an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make assessments of Iraq data fit the administration's policy objectives, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.Doncha love unnamed sources.
The report cited an unnamed senior CIA official as saying that the visits by Cheney and his chief of staff to question the analysts "sent signals, intended or otherwise that a certain output was desired from here."
The disclosure comes amid growing concern that the administration exaggerated -- either deliberately or due to faulty intelligence -- the threat posed by Iraq's weapons.
The assertion by the Bush administration that Iraq possessed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and had a program to develop nuclear weapons was a prime justification for the war but no such weapon has been found since President Saddam Hussein was toppled.
The Washington Post said it could not learn the exact number of visits by Cheney to the CIA but it reported that one agency official described them as "multiple."
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) The United States and South Korea agreed Thursday to withdraw U.S. troops from the tense Demilitarized Zone separating South Korea from communist North Korea.
The troops will be moved farther south, a joint statement said after two days of talks. The redeployment will remove U.S. military bases from the Korean front line for the first time since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
The statement gave no timetable for the withdrawal. Even after the redeployment, U.S. troops will continue to train north of Seoul and close to the DMZ, it said.
In April, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said U.S. troops stationed near the Korean DMZ could be shifted south, moved to other countries in the region or even brought home under a global realignment of U.S. troops.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - As the United States and Britain try to explain why they have not found unconventional weapons in Iraq, chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix wants the Security Council to utilize a decade of arms research and allow U.N. experts to finish the job.
Blix, who is retiring after his contract ends on June 30, on Thursday gives an oral version of his final report to the council, whose members, including ally Britain, have made clear to the United States they do not consider the inspection commission's work finished in Iraq.
"I would expect this to be his last appearance before the council before he returns to Sweden at the end of June," said Blix's spokesman Ewen Buchanan. "He is making an assessment of all our activities in Iraq in the three months we are there."
But there is little doubt that council members, who will meet in a private session after hearing Blix in an open meeting, will want to discuss the future of his U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC.
This time the exaggerations (and the lies and the distortions and the out-of-context quotes and the bogus statistics and all the rest) are in service of the Times' latest "flood the zone" attack on the President Bush -- trying to make it seem that Bush lied about non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Krugman states,Please read the rest!
"The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra."
Was Bush lying when he told the public that Saddam was an imminent threat? David Hogberg says "no" on his blog, Cornfield Commentary -- because Bush never said it!
I'm sure our guys are in there in the shadows.
BRIGHTON, England (AFP) - Britain's post office is not amused that a hip art gallery in the south of England is selling posters of mock stamps featuring Queen Elizabeth II (news - web sites) in a gas mask.
"Our legal services have just written to the gallery and informed them that they are infringing our copyright and to please stop," a Royal Mail spokesman told AFP.
But the Artrepublic gallery in the seaside town of Brighton said it had no intention of withdrawing the silkscreen anti-war posters by local artist James Cauty either from its walls or its Internet site.
"We are very surprised by the reaction from Royal Mail," said Artrepublic's owner Lawrence Alkin.
Styled like genuine stamps, with the monarch's head in silhouette and a gas mask over her face, the posters titled "Black Smoke, Stamps of Mass Destruction" come in first, second and third class denominations.
They sell for 470 pounds (767 dollars, 655 euros) each.
"The thing to do is to compare a stamp next to the actual image that James Cauty has done. They're actually completely different," a spokeswoman from the gallery told AFP.
Cauty, former leader of the 1980s rock band KLF, or Kopyright Liberation Front, which in 1987 had an album destroyed after it heavily sampled the ABBA hit "Dancing Queen," said: "I am just an artist doing my job."
SINGAPORE (AFP) - A hi-tech scanner deployed by Singapore to screen cargo containers for dangerous weapons that could be used by terrorists has turned up an unusual discovery: Russian vodka disguised as fruit juice.
Custom officials found 23,520 bottles of Starorusskaya Vodka worth 700,000 Singapore dollars (406,976 US) on Wednesday in a container after their suspicions were aroused.
The scanner's image of the cargo "was atypical of fruit drinks," the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said on its website.
"Officers then decided to conduct a thorough check of the container. Upon physical check, the contents were confirmed to be vodka," it added.
The cargo came from the Middle East and was likely to have been meant for sale to the local pubs and clubs here.
Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US and the Bali bombings last year, Singapore has been on a heightened state of alert, beefing up its defences against potential threats to foreign missions, government buildings and other facilities.
Hillary Memoir Says Work, Faith Saved Her [Har, har, har]Ya got that right...primarily, of the stinking variety.
"Honest to God, she didn't know," Caputo said. "The president unfortunately misled everybody, including his wife and daughter."
There were many other persistent, if less sensational, burdens. She says she got through them with hard work, religious faith [channeling Eleanor], trusted friends and travel. Ireland was her favorite foreign destination.
She recounts the six "brutal" months after Inauguration Day in 1993: Her father died. White House aide and friend Vincent Foster killed himself. Her mother-in-law was dying. Critics were making hay with the missteps of a new administration.
"I did what I often do when faced with adversity," she says. "I threw myself into a schedule so hectic that there was no time for brooding."
Asked Wednesday about her book's account of the Lewinsky episode, the senator said, "I hope people will read the book. This book is about many things."
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) - A Dutch court on Thursday acquitted 12 men accused of plotting a "holy war" against the West and helping to recruit al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the Netherlands.
The Rotterdam district court said there was no evidence to convict the men on charges of membership of an unspecified criminal organization that provided support to al Qaeda and the Taliban in their fight against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan (news - web sites).
Prosecutors scaled down some of the charges against the group -- four Algerians, a Frenchman, a Moroccan, a Libyan, an Iraqi, an Egyptian, a Turk, a Mauritanian and a Dutch citizen -- during the course of the three-and-a-half week trial.
The men were arrested last year in raids across the Netherlands.
RIYADH, 5 June 2003 - A Saudi sociologist has warned that the number of single Saudi women could more than double to four million by 2007 because of social problems spawned by the Kingdom's economic and social growth.
More than 20 percent of marriages last year ended in divorce.
Professor Abdullah Al-Fawzan, a sociologist at King Saud University, has cautioned that polygamy is responsible for up to 55 percent of divorces. He said that changing times impacted on relationships and led to a loss of honesty, sincerity, love, compassion and cooperation. There are now 1.5 million single Saudi women.
He expressed concern that more than 18,000 out of 60,000 marriages solemnized in 2001 ended in divorce. One of the strongest statistical findings was that the higher a man's income, the greater the chance of the couple staying together, said the Saudi sociologist, adding that changes in a couple's economic circumstances have an enormous effect on marriages.
A large difference in age, he said, was also a risk factor for the marriage.