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From: SALAAMG@aol.com George Capaccio --------------------- January 31, 1998 UNSCOM: "DOING THEIR JOB" We often ask, "Why don't the Iraqis just let the inspectors `do their job'?" One reason may be that the inspectors have the say about keeping the sanctions on, and the sanctions have stayed on now for over 7 years, and nearly 1.5 million Iraqis have died during that time. That may give the Iraqis some reason to resent the United Nations Special Commission [UNSCOM] inspectors. We need, however, to examine that statement, "doing their job" a little more closely. The following are some examples we discovered in our journey to Iraq, of UNSCOM inspectors "doing their job." We spoke to Bishop Emmanuel Delly, of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq (largest Catholic Community, very ancient, dating from about 100 AD or so). He said that he received a panic call from the nuns at the diocesan convent next door, because the UNSCOM people were there, searching the convent. They also intended to dig up the graveyard of nuns, exhuming the bodies to check for biological and chemical weapons. He went over there and stopped them. They only used Geiger counters over the graveyard. He went on Iraqi TV to protest, then sent a letter of protest to Bill Clinton and to the Pope. The next Summer (August 10, 1997) he was denied a visa to the US to join a conference of Chaldean Catholic prelates. We spoke to the Press Club in Baghdad. They told that at one point, UNSCOM went by a building that was a school for children. Although they were told that children were there, they wanted to go in to "verify." Their Iraqi counterparts explained that their presence would terrorize the children - could they wait until classes were over. But UNSCOM insisted. They went in, and searched all four floors to determine that they were all school children. It seems the children were frightened, but they responded by chanting "Down, down America" over and over until UNSCOM left. This is on video. They also told us that an UNSCOM investigator (from Sri Lanka - ? They weren't sure). went to a farm (UNSCOM, remember, has access even to private homes), and asked the farmer, "What are these?" "Cows," he responded. "What are their names?" "They have no names, they're cows." The inspector said,"You must name the cows." This is also on video. The point, of course, is to show power over, and to humiliate. A university professor, Donny George Youkhanna, told me about this, and it was verified at the Press Club. UNSCOM went to the University of Mosul (about 250 miles north of Baghdad), went up to the library there, and broke the window. Then they threw the chemistry books (at least, maybe the physics books, too) out the window into a ditch and burned them. The Press Club has this on tape as well. The point here is (and we should listen for this word in the news) that the sanctions stay on until Iraq no longer has the capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction. And that would mean that UNSCOM would be within its rights to destroy books, too, which preserve all the chemical/biological knowledge. [Of course, when you think about it, this means the destruction of any PERSON as well who might have the knowledge. This strategy seems to have support in the maintenance of the sanctions, which attack the people, and keep them from going to school, because of disease or hunger, or physical/mental stunting from malnutrition, or just plain death. It also finds support in a recent New York Times article. Gary Milhollin said that even though the Iraqis no longer produce weapons of mass destruction, they still have the capacity to do so, because their scientists are still alive and doing research. He followed it up by saying, "You can't destroy weapons research and development unless you kill people" (NYT, 11/11/97, A10:6). So . . . watch for that word, "capacity," huh?] Please also note that if any of these actions had been resisted (as they were in Delly's case), the report would have gone back to the UN in New York that the Iraqis were in a "pattern of non-compliance" - and the sanctions would stay on. We also spoke to Denis J. Halliday, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. He told us that the Iraqis had a number (5, I think) of helicopters that they were using for crop dusting. As the sanctions stayed on and on, the helicopters fell more and more into disrepair. Finally, there were only a bunch of spare parts that the Iraqis were keeping in a UN office, so that they could reclaim them when the sanctions were lifted. UNSCOM went into that office (where, Halliday said, the spare helicopter parts were kept literally under a desk), took the helicopter parts, and then ceremoniously destroyed them. [UNSCOM inhabits a different part of the building, and is sometimes a bit antagonistic toward the "humanitarian" UN people: once they all had T-Shirts ridiculing "bunny huggers," i.e., the humanitarian people. When we went up there, the deputy director, Jaakko Ylitalo (Finnish) was very accommodating, but I could not help noticing a prominent 8-1/2 x 11 Laser-printed sign, "None of your dirty [Iraqi] dinars here" next to a concession machine.] By the time you read this, we may have bombed Iraq again. And if so, we will most probably have used the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. With its nearly 700 mile range, its 550 mph speed, and its virtual undetectability, the Tomahawk is the "preferred solution" to the problem of killing people without suffering casualties ourselves. It can be equipped with a nuclear warhead, but now is generally equipped with a 1,000-pound conventional warhead, or possibly with a half-ton of anti-personnel "bomblets" which kill, maim or cripple people. It is also possible for those bomblets to be left unexploded, so that later people can be injured in trying to clean up, to rescue their wounded, or to recover their dead. The Tomahawk is guided to its target in three ways. First, it has inertial guidance. Then, it has internal "terrain contour matching" (TERCOM) guidance. That means, it has an internally stored map which a computer compares to the actual terrain as the missile flies. Finally, as the Tomahawk approaches its target, in the final seconds, it is often guided by an actual photographic image of the target rather than the map. Suppose we put two and two together. Scott Ritter was working for United States Military Intelligence during and after the Gulf War. He is a chief inspector in UNSCOM. In order to guide this missile to its point of maximum destruction, the US needs an actual close-up photographs of the target. So, where might those photographs come from? Would you let these guys with their sophisticated monitoring equipment have "unrestricted access" to your "sensitive sites"? I do not think UNSCOM is evil, ofcourse. I think they have been told they have absolute power [Albright used the word "unconditional" yesterday], and that tends to corrupt, especially if you're an inspector that comes from a poor nation, or one that is bent on humiliation. Another point is that UNSCOM has almost nothing to do. There are 111 permanent members there. They are always bringing in additional teams (from 10 to 30 each) of inspectors from other countries. According to Ylitalo, they have destroyed 817 Scud missiles, and they THINK there may be two more. When I challenged him, "So, for the sake of perhaps two missiles ...?" he responded that "there was a `warhead gap.'" They claim to be missing some warheads, which they claim were once carrying biological or chemical weapons. Ylitalo also said that the International Atomic Energy Agency has left Iraq, because there are no nuclear weapons there. We asked about the palaces, and he responded cheerfully, "Oh we know there's nothing in the palaces." "You know?" I asked, incredulous. "Yes," he responded. They have U2 and other spy plane flights, they have satellite photos (which can read license plates), and they also have lists from all countries which sold weapons to Iraq, of what they sold. And they've been watching the palaces being built. They knowthere's nothing there [please note that a month ago, Hussein allowed dozens of reporters into the "palaces," allowing them to film whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted. It was a "compromise" rejected by UNSCOM. He is presently allowing diplomats in, for the same reason. That has also been rejected by UNSCOM. Even though they know there's nothing there.] When I challenged him on why they were doing that, he said, "It's the principle of the thing." "Well," I responded, "They have principles, too - like sovereignty and honor. And for the sake of your principles, three or four hundred people will die today." "I'm only following orders," he said. So the bottom line is that you've got scores of UNSCOM people (and 5 helicopters with 35 Chilean pilots, and planes and satellites, etc.) that are paid TONS of money (over and above their salaries, for example, theyreceive about $US 100.00 a DAY just for EXPENSES - and THAT is something like 40 times what an Iraqi DOCTOR earns in a MONTH), to look for no nuclear weapons, a couple of missiles (maybe), and maybe some kilograms of chemical/biological stuff, in a country the size of California. Then, of course, they have to be sure that Iraq doesn't have or ever acquire the capacity . . . G. Simon Harak, S. J. Jesuit Residence Fairfield University Fairfield CT 06430-5195 ho: 203-254-4000 x.2949 wk: 203-254-4000 x.2363 Fax: 203-255-5947 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html