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Another report from Stratfor, again asking questions about an Iraqi diplomatic offensive. Colin Rowat Coordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/casi *********************************************** * Support the: * * NATIONAL PETITION AGAINST SANCTIONS ON IRAQ * * http://go.to/iraqpetition * * or: 12 Trinity Road, London N2 8JJ * *********************************************** King's College Cambridge CB2 1ST tel: +44 (0)468 056 984 England fax: +44 (0)1223 335 219 ---------- Forwarded message ---------- STRATFOR.COM Global Intelligence Update August 26, 1999 Iraq: The Leopard Changes His Spots, But Not His Stride Summary: Diplomatic sources in Amman, Jordan, have confirmed that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has given new roles to his son, Qusay, and Iraqi Vice President Taha Yashin Ramadan. While the moves may have been made due to Izzat Ibrahim's deteriorating health, there appears to be a deeper meaning. Saddam has also replaced a number of ambassadors in an effort to present a new face to the international community. The changes are likely cosmetic, aimed at repairing Iraq's international image so that the UN will lift economic sanctions. Analysis: A report by the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat on August 22, citing diplomatic sources, confirmed an earlier report that Qusay Hussein, Saddam's son, has been appointed deputy commander of the Iraqi army and commander of the Northern Military Region. The posts were previously held by Izzat Ibrahim, one of Saddam's most trusted aids. Vice President Taha Yashin Ramadan took over Ibrahim's position as deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. Saddam may have divided up Ibrahim's posts due to his poor health. Ibrahim was rushed to Austria for emergency cancer treatment but had to flee before the treatment was administered. Reports indicate that Ibrahim was about to be "Pinocheted," arrested for human rights abuses committed in his own country while abroad to receive medical attention. Unwilling to face the international legal process, he fled. At last report, he was at a Baghdad hospital continuing his cancer treatment. The attempt to present a new face to the world began with the appointment of a new Iraqi ambassador to the UN in February. Since then, Iraq has moved to solidify support for lifting sanctions in the UN, working to enlist international investment in its oil infrastructure as soon as sanctions are lifted. These changes were made in the hopes that the international community would discuss the Iraqi sanctions regime in a new light. A light that shows Saddam is willing to share power. The UN Security Council is currently debating the future of sanctions against Iraq, which cost the country up to $20 billion annually. [ http://www.stratfor.com/SERVICES/GIU/081799.ASP ]. China and Russia want to immediately lift the sanctions without ensuring that the UN resurrect its monitoring of Baghdad's suspected weapons of mass destruction. France has called for a similar plan but will likely support a token weapon monitoring team. Both the U.S. and Britain have called for only a partial lifting of sanctions - after Iraq agrees to a reformed UN monitoring team. Saddam's maneuvers do not imply that he is preparing to retire to one of his many elegant palaces. What they do imply, however, is that Saddam wants the sanctions lifted with him still in power while appearing to prepare a transition. We do not believe he needs them lifted to export oil. As we have said before, in almost every sense the sanctions are virtually irrelevant at this point [ http://www.stratfor.com/MEAF/commentary/m9908170057.htm ]. Additionally, Iraq is currently pumping oil at close to its capacity, although the lifting of sanctions would allow Saddam to use the Saudi pipeline to increase exports. Saddam's goal in this apparent redistribution of power, and the real reason he wants sanctions lifted, is to be able to receive direct foreign investment. He cannot do that with sanctions in place. He needs them lifted in order to develop new wells and rebuild his military, whose conventional might has suffered since the 1991 Gulf War. Many units are suffering for lack of spare parts. Iraqi armored divisions have been slashed in their effectiveness. And the daily battering by the U.S. Air Force - while lacking any larger strategic impact - is taking its toll on the country's air defense network. The U.S. and Great Britain have held up the sanctions debate by continually underscoring Saddam's leadership. Their argument, though, is increasingly falling on deaf ears in the international community. European companies are regularly breaking the sanctions while black market trade allows Iraq to continue to export oil along both overland and Persian Gulf routes. Washington and London are in precarious positions. They have essentially given up on UN-led arms regime inspections; Operation Desert Fox in December effectively ended the work of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). The United States has taken half-hearted steps this year to increase enforcement of economic sanctions. But even increased Maritime Intercept Operations (MIO) by Special Operations Forces and the U.S. Navy have yielded only moderate results. Instead of changing the nature of his government, Saddam is merely trying to undercut the final U.S. and British-led support for the final set of sanctions - the economic ones - in the hope of reviving his economy on a broader scale, and rebuilding his military might. _________________________________________________ SUBSCRIBE to FREE, DAILY GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE UPDATES (GIU) http://www.stratfor.com/services/giu/subscribe.asp or send your name, organization, position, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address to email@example.com UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE UPDATES (GIU) http://www.stratfor.com/services/giu/subscribe.asp ___________________________________________________ STRATFOR.COM 504 Lavaca, Suite 1100 Austin, TX 78701 Phone: 512-583-5000 Fax: 512-583-5025 Internet: http://www.stratfor.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ___________________________________________________ (c) 1999, Stratfor, Inc. -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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