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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to email@example.com. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. Washington Post: "Investigating the U.N." (Colin Rowat) 2. Hold Iraq death probe, Blair told (Jonathan Stevenson) 3. Hunger and misery in Iraq (CharlieChimp1@aol.com) 4. No Vichy near Baghdad (CharlieChimp1@aol.com) --__--__-- Message: 1 Subject: Washington Post: "Investigating the U.N." Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 17:55:07 -0000 From: "Colin Rowat" <c.rowat@DELETETHISbham.ac.uk> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Investigating the U.N. Washington Post Tuesday, December 7, 2004; Page A24 IT IS HARDLY shocking to discover that competition has arisen between Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who is leading the Senate investigation into corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program, and Paul A. Volcker, who is leading the United Nations' own investigation into the allegations. Not surprisingly, the staffs of both inquiries want to ferret out the same documents and speak to the same people. Even less surprising, the United Nations has better access to its own documents and people. Mr. Volcker says he is reluctant to share that access or to lift anyone's diplomatic immunity until his investigation is complete. Mr. Coleman has accused him, in effect, of hiding information from the Senate. Mr. Volcker has given no reason for suspicion that he does not intend to carry out the most thorough investigation possible or that he will not eventually reveal documents and make any final report public, as he has promised. He should be granted a reasonable amount of time to gather information. Certainly it is far too early to dismiss Mr. Volcker's investigation altogether or to call for the resignation of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, as Mr. Coleman did last week. That sounds to us like U.N.-bashing for political gain rather than responsible criticism. It is also misleading to portray the oil-for-food program as a slush fund for Saddam Hussein while ignoring the far larger riches he reaped through illicit trade that was entirely unrelated to the United Nations. Most of the billions amassed by Saddam Hussein for weapons and palaces during the 1990s came through sanctions-busting trade in oil and other goods with such countries as Jordan, Turkey and Syria. The United States knew about this business but either condoned it, as in the case of Jordan, or did little or nothing to stop it. The oil-for-food program at least ensured that most of the revenue from Iraq's official oil sales was used to purchase food and other humanitarian supplies for Iraqi citizens. If Congress wishes to assign accountability for Saddam Hussein's ability to pay the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, it would make more sense to investigate why and how the non-U.N. trade was tolerated. The importance of the U.N. investigation lies in holding accountable officials who may have been corrupted, regardless of the scale of the crime or the connections of the official. In particular, the nature of the relationship of Mr. Annan's son to a Swiss company hired to oversee the oil-for-food program needs to be clarified; the shifting accounts provided so far by U.N. officials compound what were already legitimate and troubling questions. There is also an issue of consequences: If Mr. Volcker uncovers evidence of corruption or criminal incompetence, it isn't clear what happens next. Is the United States going to file criminal charges against U.N. employees, who have diplomatic immunity, working at the U.N. Secretariat in New York? That seems unlikely. Will their own countries do it? That seems even less likely. If they choose to ask constructive questions, rather than score political points, Mr. Coleman and his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), can help ensure that the U.N. internal investigation is rigorous and that its findings are followed up on. Still, the most important task is Mr. Volcker's. For the United Nations to maintain the credibility it needs to carry out the important tasks delegated to it, the organization's integrity must be beyond doubt. A failure of accountability will only leave the organization susceptible to U.N.-bashing of a far more serious nature. --__--__-- Message: 2 Subject: Hold Iraq death probe, Blair told Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2004 11:20:51 +0000 To: email@example.com From: "Jonathan Stevenson" <jjjstevenson@DELETETHISfastmail.fm> Hold Iraq death probe, Blair told Wednesday 8 December 2004 http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4076993.stm Forty-six eminent figures including military men, ex-diplomats and bishops have written to Tony Blair urging a inquiry into civilian deaths in Iraq. It comes after a study in medical journal the Lancet said nearly 100,000 died following the invasion. The study, by US and Iraqi researchers, suggested the risk of violent death was higher after the war than before. UK ministers rejected October's Lancet figures, but have offered no alternative estimate of their own. Independent inquiry The letter's publication marks the launch of a new campaign by health charity Medact and the Iraq Body Count project. Names on the letter include retired General Sir Hugh Beech, the Bishop of Coventry, and an ex-ambassador to Iraq. It also includes the former assistant chief of the defence staff Lord Garden and writer Harold Pinter. The signatories urge the prime minister to set up an independent inquiry to establish just how many people have been killed or injured in Iraq along with reasons for the casualties. Lord Garden told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have taken it [Iraq] over and we are going to try and make it a democratic country. "We need to show the rest of the world that we are doing it in a proper, legal, moral way and one that can get the hearts and minds of the Arab and Muslim world. "If we appear to be discarding the people there and saying they are not really important we are going to lose that battle." Human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger, who is also a signatory, said: "Since they don't want to catalogue the deaths, they are giving the impression that ordinary Iraqi lives are worth less than those of the soldiers and that life is expendable." "No figures in a war zone are going to be perfect - but that's no excuse for not trying." The letter to Mr Blair says: "As you know, your government is obliged under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population during military operations in Iraq, and you have consistently promised to do so. "However, without counting the dead and injured, no-one can know whether Britain and its coalition partners are meeting these obligations." The letter's publication marks the launch of a new campaign by health charity Medact and the Iraq Body Count project challenging the government to count casualties. Co-founder of Iraq Body Count John Sloboda said: "Having made no effort to count Iraqi casualties at all, the British Government now says that reliable figures are not available. Tally "We know from our work and the research of others that information from Iraqi hospital, mortuary and other official sources is available and this should be combined with media reports, military contact data and active on-the-ground research to establish the most accurate figures possible." Medact director Mike Rawson said: "We need casualty estimates to assess the effect of weaponry on the population and to plan health care for the injured. Without information, everyone is working in the dark." He added that the Iraqi health system should not be left to keep a tally on its own and he argued the US-led coalition had a responsibility to "commission and resource this work themselves". Foreign Secretary Jack Straw last month said the government believes the most accurate data comes from the Iraqi Ministry of Health which estimated 3,853 civilians killed and 15,517 injured between April and October 2004. VARYING IRAQ DEATH ESTIMATES Iraq Body Count: 14,000-16,800 since March 2003 Iraq-based People's Kifah: 27,000 March-October 2003 US-based Brookings Institute: Up to 27,000 to August 2004 Foreign Secretary Jack Straw 10,000 to March 2004 Lancet study 100,000 since March 2003 --__--__-- Message: 3 From: CharlieChimp1@DELETETHISaol.com Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 13:41:02 EST Subject: Hunger and misery in Iraq To: Intelligentminds@yahoogroups.com, firstname.lastname@example.org [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] =E2=80=9CIraq is burning with wrath, anger and sadness=E2=80=A6the people o= f Fallujah are dear to us. They are our brothers and sisters and we are so saddened by wha= t is happening in that city.=E2=80=9D There are no words better to describe the situation in Iraq, and particular= ly Fallujah, than these of Dr. Wamid Omar Nathmi, a senior political scientis= t at Baghdad University. With over 300,000 homeless residents of Fallujah scattered about central Iraq, daily life for these refugees is a reality filled with _searching for= food_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum22&i= d=3Dfoo d) , medical attention, warmth and clean water. Mohammad Ali is a refugee _at a camp on the Baghdad University campus_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum22&i= d=3Dtents) . _He was crying_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum21&i= d=3D100_3339) when I interviewed him, his large body shuddering as he lamented his situation. =E2=80=9CWe did not feel that there is Eid after Ramadan this year because = of our situation being so bad. All we have is more fasting.=E2=80=9D A man with one leg sitting near the mosque nodding while he smokes his cigarette while Mohammad continues, =E2=80=9CI would like to ask the whole = world-why is this? I tell the presidents of the Arab and Muslim countries to wake up! Wa= ke up please! We are being killed, we are refugees from our houses, our children have nothing-not even shoes to wear! Wake up! Wake up!=E2=80=9D He was weeping even more when he added, =E2=80=9CI left Fallujah yesterday = and I am handicapped. I asked God to save us but our house was bombed and I lost everything.=E2=80=9D Another man, Khalil, pointed to several nearby children at the camp and sai= d, =E2=80=9CEid is over. Ramadan is over-and the kids are remaining without e= ven a smile. They have nothing and nowhere to go. We used to take them to parks = to amuse them, but now we don=E2=80=99t even have a house for them.=E2=80=9D He continued while pointing at the children, along with some women nearby, = =E2=80=9C _What about the children?_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum22&i= d=3Dkids) What did they do? What about the women? I can=E2=80=99 t describe the situation in Fallujah and the condition of the people-Fallu= jah is suffering too much, it is almost gone now.=E2=80=9D He then explained, =E2=80=9CWe got some supplies from the good people of Ba= ghdad, and some volunteer doctors came on their own with some medicines, but they ran out daily because conditions are so bad. We saw nothing from the Ministry = of Health-no medicines or doctors or anything.=E2=80=9D He said those who left Fallujah did not think they would be gone so long, s= o they brought only their summer clothes. Now it is quite cold at night, down to 5 degrees C at night and windy much of the time. Khalil added, =E2=80= =9CWe need more clothes. It=E2=80=99s a disaster we are living in here at this camp. = We are living like dogs and the kids do not have enough clothes.=E2=80=9D It=E2=80=99s a situation similar to that in most of the refugee camps I=E2= =80=99ve seen here. But there is a small light amidst this darkness. One international organization in particular, which shall remain nameless, managed to raise f= unds to support many of the refugees of Fallujah. Speaking on condition of anonymity, two of the doctors who are receiving financial donations from the organization have told of their accomplishment= s to date. Under their supervision and assistance, small relief groups have work= ed tirelessly to distribute the supplies provided with the international donations. At the aforementioned camp alone, thanks to donations this group managed to send to Baghdad, over $500 worth of blankets, sweaters for children, and ga= s heaters were provided. Over $1,500 worth of blankets, heaters and portable stoves were distributed to another four refugee camps in Baghdad as well. A team of volunteer Iraqi doctors was quickly organized to purchase needed medications to treat refugees. The most common problems in the camps are influenza, pneumonia, colds, diarrhea and other water borne diseases. Water tanks, pipes, water pumps, and water purification materials are neede= d desperately in most refugee camps. Over $3,000 of donations have been used = to supply a refugee camp in Baghdad with what they need to provide potable water. Of course, much more is needed. Now, well over $9,000 of _general antibiotics_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum26&i= d=3DPICT0006) like cipro, tagamet and amoxicillin have been distributed. Needles, sterile gloves, pain medications, gauze and basic first aid materials have also been provided t= o three different refugee camps and used to treat suffering refugees by small grou= ps of volunteer doctors. Relief volunteers have even managed to get _trunk loads of medicines_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum26&i= d=3D100_3472) and supplements to camps outside of Baghdad. A doctor in Amiriyat al-Fallujah who received _much needed medicines and supplies_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum26&i= d=3D100_3477) was brimming with gratitude. The main hospital there where he works, is struggling to treat 1,500 patien= ts each day. Before the small city was inundated with refugees, the hospital saw just 300 patients per day. =E2=80=9CWith hundreds of refugee families here, we have not been able to t= reat the people. I can=E2=80=99t thank you enough for this. These are _exactly the s= upplies_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_photo.php?set_albumName=3Dalbum26&i= d=3D100_34 78) we need,=E2=80=9D he told the volunteers who brought the medicine, = =E2=80=9CIt is a good start, but of course we can use more, because we are running out of medicines every day.=E2=80=9D In addition to this, volunteers have plans in the works to make a another delivery there soon. Over $1,500 was used to purchase 250 warm blankets and 50 gas heaters for a large refugee camp near Fallujah. Another $5,000 has provided portable kerosene heaters, cooking stoves, and fuel. These have been distributed mainly at the Al-Amiryah mosque-the main = one there that is next to the bomb shelter memorial-which is where they are distributing these supplies to refugees staying in that area. These have be= en critical with the cold weather now in Baghdad. Some of the last refugees to leave their homes are in Husabe, a small city not far from Fallujah. 234 refugees there who arrived 11 days ago received $2,000 worth of blankets, heaters, food and jackets. While needs are assessed, more of this money is being spent in camps where there continues to be little or no relief from the Ministry of Health. With most NGO=E2=80=99s having left Iraq because of the security situation, thi= s grass-roots effort has filled some of the huge gaps left in their absence. =E2=80=9CI=E2=80=99ve been praying for someone to help us here,=E2=80=9D sa= id Suthir, a mother of six small children at a refugee camp in the Amiryah district of Baghdad. = =E2=80=9CAnd God has taken care of us now. We=E2=80=99ve been so cold at night, but now= we finally have a heater.=E2=80=9D Posted by Dahr_Jamail at December 8, 2004 10:00 AM _http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000152.php#more_ (http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000152.php#more) --__--__-- Message: 4 From: CharlieChimp1@DELETETHISaol.com Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 07:44:01 EST Subject: No Vichy near Baghdad To: email@example.com [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Iraq's Democracy: The El Salvador Model By Ghali Hassan 12/10/04 "ICH" -- The Bush administration is preparing Iraq for "democratic elections". The aims are to consolidate the Occupation, "legitimise" those who serve US interests in Iraq, and hence prolong the suffering of the Iraqi people. The Central American nation of El Salvador has been chosen as the best model of `democracy' to be implemented in Iraq. It seems that the Bush administration is in a dilemma trying to find a Vichy regime to install in Iraq. In 1940, in Nazi-occupied France, German leaders were able to create a regime that was acceptable to many French. By contrast, in Iraq no one seems to be able to fulfil the criteria of France's General Philippe P=E9tain, and provides an Arab "fa=E7ade" for the Bush administration. It was assumed that the best regime that could form the fa=E7ade in Baghdad is the current US-appointed Iraqi Interim Government (IIG). However, this is not the case. The Allawi's "government" is far less popular among Iraqis than the regime of Saddam, and Allawi is the most hated individual in Iraq today. Iraqis see all members of the IIG as collaborator with the Occupation against Iraq interests. Most of them spent decades outside the country and hold no loyalty to Iraq. The core of the IIG are: The Allawi's group of exiles (INA), the Chalebi's group of exiles (INC), the Peshmergas of the two Kurdish parties, and the Badir Brigade (Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI), mostly of Iranian origins. Furthermore, each group has its own mafia-style death squad, and links to the CIA or the Israeli Mossad agents. As I wrote earlier, since they entered Iraq with the US invasion, the four groups have taken the law into their own hands and have killed many innocent Iraqis, including hundreds of Iraqi scientists and community leaders. The Occupation authority has never investigated their crimes. They entered Iraq on the backs of US tanks. Their relations with the Occupation are fully symbiotic relations. They co-exist in a mutually beneficial relationship with their US master. They are participating in the upcoming elections, because they want the Occupation to continue. In 2003, UN own findings have shown that Iraqis accept free elections under UN control, and that US troops be replaced by UN troops from neutral nations. The US and its "coalition of the willing" were able to hold elections six months after the invasion, but they refused because they were not interested in a democratic outcome that could end of the Occupation. UN officials and Iraqi officials argued at that time that elections were feasible and possible within six months, but they were intentionally dismissed by the US. The Bush administration "stifled, delayed, manipulated and otherwise thwarted the democratic aspiration of the Iraqi people". It is not possible to hold free elections under martial law and illegal foreign Occupation. Most Iraqis view the upcoming elections as a US fig leaf to consolidate the Occupation. The process is very untransparent. According to Dahr Jamail of The New Standard, Iraqis are saying: "The Americans won't allow a legitimate election in their own country, so why would they have one here"! As it stands, Iraqis do not put great hope on these fake elections, because the outcome of these elections is a forgone conclusion. The Bush administration is relying on sectarian forces in order to create a dependent Iraq and role it indefinitely. The upcoming elections are not for the sake of establishing democracy in Iraq; they are being prepared to add another fake legitimacy to the US Occupation and marginalize the Iraqi people. In fact, elections are very minor thing of democracy. Democracy is a collection of institutions that govern an entire nation, and the purpose of elections is to evaluate the democratic processes. Elections were the last thing the Bush administration needed. The best solution is for the US to completely withdraw its armed forces from Iraq. All Iraqis are in favour of elections as long as the Occupation forces withdraw from Iraq. According to recent polls, 98 percent of Iraqis want the Americans to leave their country. Meanwhile a poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (CCFR) has reveals that more than two-thirds of both the US public and US leaders agree than the US should withdraw from Iraq if a clear majority of Iraqis want it to do so. The US Occupation of Iraq is the most unpopular occupation in history. It is a violent occupation where innocent women, children and unarmed men have been massacred. More than 100,000 innocent Iraqis have died; thousands are imprisoned and tortured; the lives of millions more have been wrecked. The conditions of child health in US-occupied Iraq are now even worse than during the genocidal years of sanction. Despite that, those who are responsible for this wanton destruction of human lives have not been indicted for war crimes or been held accountable by prosecutors. A devastated nation and broken defenceless people are forced to prepare for an old- fashion colonial dictatorship, which has its echoes in other foreign countries under the tutelage of the US administration. US history of preparing elections in foreign countries is full of bad examples. In 1984, the US was involved in the El Salvador elections that brought an assassin (Roberto d A'ubuisson) and a friend of the US to power. Roberto d'Aubuisson, leader for life of the ARENA party, that ruled El Salvador since, was named by the UN Truth Commission report to be implicated in the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. The Archbishop of El Salvador was assassinated in March 1980, while giving a mass in a church and just before sainthood. The 1984 elections in El Salvador "were little more than a farce designed to give democratic respectability to a regime that was perpetuating some of the worst human rights abuses in the hemisphere", wrote Mark Engler of Foreign Policy in Focus. Those who seized power in El Salvador with the help of uncle Reagan have murdered more than 75,000 people. In 1993, the UN Truth Commission report found that the army and its death squads committed 90% of the atrocities in the conflict. Among their heinous crimes were the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, and the slaughter of hundreds of villagers. The rebels, led by the FMNL party were responsible for 5 %, and the other 5% remained unknown, said the report. In the March 2004 elections, the US used fear and threat against the Salvadoran people to promote its preferred candidates, members of the ARENA party. The Salvadorian people voted with a gun pointed to their head. The big loser of the elections are the majority of people of El Salvador, wrote Joe DeRaymond of Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad who monitored the elections. During the 2004 US elections, Vice President Dick Cheney praised El Salvador dictatorship as a model for `democracy-building' in Iraq. One wonders why the US is interested in the El Salvador's model of democracy and not a Western model of democracy for Iraq? Now, as it happens, this is something I know quite a bit about. I, for some reasons have experience living in good democratic nations. I spent some years in Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Australia. All these major democratic countries have fairly decent models of democratic elections. Indeed, the Swiss model of democracy is the best I have experienced and is very suitable for a heterogeneous country like Iraq, which has no similarity to El Salvador. In 1993, the American analyst, Noam Chomsky commented on the US approach to `democracy-building' in El Salvador. Chomsky wrote, "[b] y and large, our approach in El Salvador has been successful. The popular organizations have been decimated, just as Archbishop Romero predicted. Tens of thousands have been slaughtered and more than a million have become refugees. This is one of the most sordid episodes in US history-and it's got a lot of competition". It is this successful approach that the US administration is using to promote America's `democracy-building' posture in Iraq. The US is more interested in empire-building rather than `democracy-building'. It should be borne in mind that, the US interference in election processes around the world is illegal and hypocritical. "The terror bombing of homes, hospitals and religious buildings by hundreds of airplanes and helicopter gunships is described by the media as `securing the city [of Fallujah] for free elections'", wrote James Petras. The US message for Iraqis is; vote for the Occupation or you will die. Can you imagine Iran is preparing for a "democratic elections" of a puppet regime in Iraq with a massive terror campaign against the civilian population? Instead of finding an exit strategy to end the violence in Iraq, the Bush administration is increasing it; using the pretext of democracy. An exit strategy to end the US Occupation of Iraq is not impossible. The UN General Assembly, which is less influence by the US and Britain, is the most preferable body to take over the Iraqi affairs and helps the Iraqi people achieve sovereignty and freedom. The UN has an obligation to condemn an act of aggression an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation. There is no Vichy near Baghdad; there is Fallujah. The US-sponsored undemocratic elections in Iraq are against the long-term interests of the Iraqi people. The upcoming elections will not help achieve democracy and sovereignty for Iraq. The best solution for Iraq is the end of US Occupation and the true liberation of the Iraqi people. This will allow the Iraqi people to gain their freedom and organise their country for free and fair elections. Ghali Hassan lives in Perth Western Australia: He can be reached at e-mail: G.Hassan@exchange.curtin.edu.au http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7441.htm End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk