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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #59 - 3 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. The truth trickles out (
   2. GAO: United Nations: Observations on the Oil for Food Program (Nicholas Gilby)
   3. Arrest Warrant For Sadr 'Illegal': Iraqi Judges (Dirk Adriaensens)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 02:26:58 EDT
Subject: The truth trickles out

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

March 31, 2004

Iraq was invaded 'to protect Israel' - US official

By Emad Mekay

Front Page

Iraq was invaded 'to protect Israel' - US official

By Emad Mekay

WASHINGTON - Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the
United States, but it did to Israel, which is one reason why
Washington invaded the Arab country, according to a speech made by a
member of a top-level White House intelligence group.

Inter Press Service uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is
now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the
terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001 - the 9/11 commission -
in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one
year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch US ally in
the Middle East.

Zelikow's casting of the attack on Iraq as one launched to protect
Israel appears at odds with the public position of US President
George W Bush and his administration, which has never overtly drawn
the link between its war on the regime of Saddam and its concern for
Israel's security.

The administration has instead insisted it launched the war to
liberate the Iraqi people, destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) and to protect the United States.

Zelikow made his statements about "the unstated threat" during his
tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the
President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which
reports directly to the president. He served on the board between
2001 and 2003.

"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us?
I'll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and actually has been
since 1990 - it's the threat against Israel," Zelikow told a crowd at
the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel
of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of September 11 and
the future of the war on al-Qaeda.

"And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the
Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you
frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on
it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell," said Zelikow.

The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked
to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so
far cost the lives of nearly 600 US troops and thousands of Iraqis,
was motivated by Washington's desire to defend the Jewish state.

The administration, which is surrounded by staunch pro-Israel, neo-
conservative hawks, is currently fighting an extensive campaign to
ward off accusations that it derailed the "war on terrorism" it
launched after September 11 by taking a detour to Iraq, which appears
to have posed no direct threat to the US.

Israel is Washington's biggest ally in the Middle East, receiving
annual direct aid of US$3-4 billion.

Even though members of the 16-person PFIAB come from outside
government, they enjoy the confidence of the president and have
access to all information related to foreign intelligence that they
need to play their vital advisory role. Known in intelligence circles
as "Piffy-ab", the board is supposed to evaluate the nation's
intelligence agencies and probe any mistakes they make. The unpaid
appointees on the board require a security clearance known as "code
word" that is higher than top secret.

The national security adviser to former president George H W Bush
(1989-93) Brent Scowcroft, currently chairs the board in its work
overseeing a number of intelligence bodies, including the Central
Intelligence Agency, the various military intelligence groups and the
Pentagon's National Reconnaissance Office.

Neither Scowcroft nor Zelikow returned numerous phone calls and e-
mail messages from IPS for this story.

Zelikow has long-established ties to the Bush administration. Before
his appointment to PFIAB in October 2001, he was part of the current
president's transition team in January 2001. In that capacity,
Zelikow drafted a memo for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice
on reorganizing and restructuring the National Security Council (NSC)
and prioritizing its work.

Richard A Clarke, who was counter-terrorism coordinator for Bush's
predecessor president Bill Clinton (1993-2001) also worked for Bush
senior, and has recently accused the current administration of not
heeding his terrorism warnings. Clarke said that Zelikow was among
those he briefed about the urgent threat from al-Qaeda in December

Rice herself had served in the NSC during the first Bush
administration, and subsequently teamed up with Zelikow on a 1995
book about the unification of Germany.

Zelikow had ties with another senior Bush administration official -
Robert Zoellick, the current trade representative. The two wrote
three books together, including one in 1998 on the United States and
the Muslim Middle East.

Aside from his position on the 9/11 commission, Zelikow is now also
director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs and White Burkett
Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His close
ties to the administration prompted accusations of a conflict of
interest in 2002 from families of victims of the September attacks,
who protested his appointment to the investigative body.

In his university speech, Zelikow, who strongly backed attacking the
Iraqi dictator, also explained the threat to Israel by arguing that
Baghdad was preparing in 1990-91 to spend huge amounts of "scarce
hard currency" to harness "communications against electromagnetic
pulse", a side-effect of a nuclear explosion that could sever radio,
electronic and electrical communications.

That was "a perfectly absurd expenditure unless you were going to
ride out a nuclear exchange - they [Iraqi officials] were not
preparing to ride out a nuclear exchange with us. Those were
preparations to ride out a nuclear exchange with the Israelis,"
according to Zelikow.

He also suggested that the danger of biological weapons falling into
the hands of the anti-Israeli Islamic Resistance Movement, known by
its Arabic acronym Hamas, would threaten Israel rather than the US,
and that those weapons could have been developed to the point where
they could deter Washington from attacking Hamas.

"Play out those scenarios," he told his audience, "and I will tell
you, people have thought about that, but they are just not talking
very much about it".

"Don't look at the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but then ask
yourself the question, 'gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide
bombings in Israel?' Easy question to answer; the evidence is

To date, the possibility of the US attacking Iraq to protect Israel
has been only timidly raised by some intellectuals and writers, with
few public acknowledgements from sources close to the administration.
Analysts who reviewed Zelikow's statements said that they are
concrete evidence of one factor in the rationale for going to war,
which has been hushed up.

"Those of us speaking about it sort of routinely referred to the
protection of Israel as a component," said Phyllis Bennis of the
Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies. "But this is a very
good piece of evidence of that."

Others say that the administration should be blamed for not making
known to the public its true intentions and real motives for invading
Iraq. "They [the administration] made a decision to invade Iraq, and
then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision
in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it,
people are trying to read something into it," said Nathan Brown,
professor of political science at George Washington University and an
expert on the Middle East.

But he downplayed the Israel link. "In terms of securing Israel, it
doesn't make sense to me because the Israelis are probably more
concerned about Iran than they were about Iraq in terms of the long-
term strategic threat," he said.

Still, Brown says that Zelikow's words carried weight. "Certainly his
position would allow him to speak with a little bit more expertise
about the thinking of the Bush administration, but it doesn't strike
me that he is any more authoritative than [Deputy Secretary of
Defense Paul] Wolfowitz, or Rice or [Secretary of State Colin] Powell
or anybody else. All of them were sort of fishing about for
justification for a decision that has already been made," Brown said.

(Inter Press Service)


Message: 2
Subject: GAO: United Nations: Observations on the Oil for Food Program
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 09:29:39 +0100
From: "Nicholas Gilby" <>
To: <>

April 7, 2004

The General Accounting Office (GAO) today released the following
reports, testimony, and correspondence:


United Nations: Observations on the Oil for Food Program. GAO-04-651T,
April 7
Highlights -

Printed copies of any of these items are available from GAO's Document
Distribution Center, 202-512-6000. Members of the press may request
copies from the Office of Public Affairs, 202-512-4800.

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Message: 3
From: "Dirk Adriaensens" <>
To: <>, <>
Cc: <>
Subject: Arrest Warrant For Sadr 'Illegal': Iraqi Judges
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 00:36:40 +0200

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Arrest Warrant For Sadr 'Illegal': Iraqi Judges

By Aws Al-Sharqy, IOL Correspondent

BAGHDAD, April 7 ( - As the Iraqi Governing Council Wednesd=
ay, April 7, urged investigations into the American military use of "delibe=
rate" force against civilians, the Iraqi Jurists Association said the arres=
t warrant against Shiite leader Muqtada Sadr is "illegal and based on a lie=

"The arrest warrant is illegal and incorrect, as the occupation forces issu=
ed it in disregard for sovereignty of Iraq's justice system," the Associati=
on said in a statement a copy of which was obtained by

A U.S. military spokesman said two days ago the warrant had been issued "in=
 the last several months" by an Iraqi judge investigating last April's murd=
er of a pro-Western Shiite leader one year ago.

"What justice are you talking about? You have dismissed 170 justices of the=
ir offices and violated the independence of justice here," read the stateme=

Iraqi Minister of Justice Abdel-Rahim Al-Shibly had told national press tha=
t he had not been aware of the arrest warrant against Sadr.

Sadr is known for his fiery speeches against U.S. occupation forces, callin=
g for the continuum of resistance operations until ejecting them out of the=
 oil-rich country.

U.S. civil administrator Paul Bremer had called Sadr an "outlaw", drawing c=
ounter-accusations from the Shiite leader's aides.

"If he means that Sayed Moqtada is an outlaw according to Sharia (Islamic l=
aw) and the laws we know, then Bremer knows nothing about these laws and it=
 is he who violates these laws," said one aid.

"We reject all kinds of occupation and hegemony. Everything is going to be =
changed," he added.

Sadr said Tuesday, April 6, he ended his sit-in at a mosque in Kufa and tra=
veled to the holy city of An-Najaf to prevent "more bloodshed".


In another related development, a number of the IGC members voiced outrage =
over the use of "unjustified" force against Iraqi civilians during the last=
 four days.

Member Abdel-Karim Al-Mahmadawy threatened to resign if the U.S. occupation=
 forces did not pull out of areas they are sealing off.

"There should be an investigation into force used by occupation forces agai=
nst unarmed civilians," Mahmadawy said.

At least 52 Iraqi civilians, including women and children, were killed and =
some 100 others injured overnight in continued American bombardment of dens=
ely-populated areas in the besieged town of Fallujah.

The town had been sealed off at dawn Monday and U.S. troops were only letti=
ng cars with Fallujah license plates enter or leave the town.

Fallujah residents appealed to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan =
and the international community to intervene and end the crippling U.S. blo=

The U.S. occupation commanders have vowed a painful response after Iraqis k=
illed four American security contractors in the city on Wednesday, March 31=

An Iraqi mob afterwards dragged their corpses through the streets and hange=
d two of them from a bridge in scenes that showed the depth of anti-occupat=
ion sentiment in the conflictive city.

Occupation forces also "deliberately used force and opened fire on peaceful=
 demonstrators," said another council member, Ragaa Al-Khazey.

Shiite scholars have warned that U.S. troops of acting "irrationally" after=
 up to 52 Iraqi protesters were killed on Sunday, April 4, in the worst con=
frontations between Iraq's Shiite majority and the U.S.-led occupation troo=
ps sine the start of the invasion one year ago.

The protesters were denouncing the crushing of two fellowmen by a U.S. tank=
 on Saturday, April 3, the arrest of Sadr's top assistant Sheikh Mostafa Al=
-Yaqoubi and a ban on Al-Hawza newspaper, Sadr's mouthpiece.

"We deem those fallen dead at the hands of occupation forces martyrs," said=
 Abdel-Aziz Al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revoluti=
on in Iraq (SCIRI).

Hakim said he had earlier warned against "closing papers and muzzling" peop=
le in the country.

The offensive on Fallujah coincided with deadly clashes between Shiites and=
 U.S.-led occupation troops across the country, which killed at least 100 p=
eople and injured some 400 others.

'Military Solution'

Also Wednesday, the Islamic scholars association - the highest religious au=
thority in the country, lashed out at the occupation forces.

"They insist on enforcing a military solution as if they are in facing an e=
nemy in battleground not isolated civilians," Harith Al-Dari, the council's=
 secretary general, said in a press conference.

"Occupation forces want to wreck havoc all over Iraq," Dari said.

A member of the council said at the opening of the conference that "Iraqis =
have waken up and realized conspiracies contrived against them".

"Ordinary people were killed, hospitals were paralyzed and mosques demolish=
ed by those criminal atheists," he said.

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