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News for the period January 10 to January 16, 2000: * No consensus yet on UNMOVIC head (4-stories) * Update on five-year old Mariam Hamza <http://www.mariamappeal.com>: blindness appears permanent, but seizures under control. * Oil Prices Top $28, a 9-Year High * Aziz tour: MALAYSIA backs lifting of UN sanctions; China reaction (2-stories) * Iraq to allow IAEA inspections (2-stories) * Voices in the Wilderness begins fast in Washington, D.C. * Ex-U.S. Attorney General Leads 60-Person Anti-Sanction Delegation to Iraq (2-stories) * Attacks in no-fly zones continue; at least one civilian death reported * Iraq ready to cooperate over 'the missing' * Kurdish media reports, including ongoing human rights violations in Iraq (2-stories) * Iraqi government announcements Sources: AP, Reuters, AFP, NYTimes, Washington Post, and the Jordan Times. Thanks to Ben Rempel for the Kurdish Media items, and to Yasmena Samahy for the Jordan Times article. Thanks also to Nathan Geffen for the opportunity to fill-in for the next few weeks. - Drew Hamre ======================== http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/i/AP-UN-Iraq.html January 15, 2000 No Consensus Yet on U.N. Iraq Post By The Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan failed to get Security Council approval for his top candidates to lead the United Nations' new weapons inspection agency for Iraq, and more names may have to be considered, diplomats and U.N. officials said. Russia and China told Annan they opposed his top choice, Rolf Ekeus of Sweden, the first chief weapons inspector, to be executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, the diplomats said Friday. Annan's other main candidates, Brazil's former U.N. ambassador, Celso Amorim, and Finland's ambassador to Israel and Cyprus, Pasi Patokallio, similarly didn't receive the full support of council members, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity. Consultations were expected to continue by telephone over the weekend, and other names could be floated, diplomats said. U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard would only say: ``The secretary-general hasn't given up.'' U.S. officials, meanwhile, said they hadn't ruled out any candidates, including Ekeus, who is retiring in June as Sweden's ambassador to the United States. UNMOVIC was formed in December to replace the U.N. Special Commission, known as UNSCOM, which was charged after the 1991 Gulf War with uncovering Iraq's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. UNSCOM inspectors pulled out of Baghdad in December, 1998, ahead of U.S. and British airstrikes. Under the resolution that created UNMOVIC, Annan was given until Sunday to find an executive chairman for the agency. It wasn't clear Friday night if the council would meet Sunday to extend the deadline or let it simply pass without formal action if a candidate wasn't found. Several new names were floated Thursday and Friday, and others thought to have been passed over were resurrected, including South Africa's deputy director-general for multilateral affairs, Abdul Minty. The South African mission to the United Nations on Thursday had said Minty's services were required at home, but diplomats said Annan was asked Friday to approach the government and ask it to reconsider. New names proposed included two Indonesians: the former Indonesian foreign minister, Ali Alatas and the former U.N. ambassador, Nugroho Wisnumurti, both of whom were deeply involved in the U.N.-organized referendum in East Timor. It wasn't immediately clear if they received support of the key five permanent members of the council. --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/2000-01/15/070l-011500-idx.html Ekeus Won't Be New Iraq Arms Monitor By Colum Lynch Special to The Washington Post Saturday, January 15, 2000; Page A26 UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 14-Rolf Ekeus, the Swedish diplomat who oversaw the disarmament of Iraq from 1991 to 1997, has been ruled out as head of a new arms inspection agency because of opposition from China and Russia, according to senior diplomats. Ekeus, one of three candidates proposed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday, was blocked on the grounds that new blood is needed for the inspection agency and that Iraq would never agree to cooperate with him, diplomats said. Celso Amorim, a Brazilian with little disarmament experience, also was dropped from the running because of objections from Washington and London, they said. Pasi Patokallio, a Finnish arms control expert, was the last of Annan's informal nominees in contention. But China, backed by Malaysia, pressed Annan to search for candidates from Third World countries to head the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC. China's deputy representative at the U.N., Shen Guofang, said he hoped that Annan would appeal to South Africa to release Abdul Minty, a foreign ministry official, from his duties. The South African government declined an earlier invitation to nominate Minty. Malaysia's ambassador, meanwhile, proposed two Indonesians for the post: former foreign minister Ali Alatas and former U.N ambassador Nugroho Wisnumurti. Annan is scheduled to name a candidate for the Security Council's approval by Sunday. "It's been a bit more complicated than one would have expected," he said. --- http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000114/wl/iraq_un_8.html Friday January 14 6:09 PM ET Council Members Deadlocked on New Iraq Arms Chief By Evelyn Leopold UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Swedish diplomat Rolf Ekeus apparently has been ruled out as head of a new arms inspection agency for Iraq as U.N. Security Council members were stymied on choosing a candidate by their Sunday deadline. The discounting of Ekeus, who was the first chief U.N. inspector from 1991 to 1997, appeared to leave three other main candidates in the running but there was no agreement on them either, with lists changing constantly, diplomats said. Divisions in the 15-member body, especially its five permanent members appear to be as strong as ever with supporters and opponents of sanctions imposed on Iraq objecting to more than a dozen candidates proposed. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had hoped to announce on Friday his choice of a new executive chairman for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) created by the Security Council on Dec. 17 as a successor to the U.N. Special Commission or UNSCOM. But while diplomats have been told to be on standby for the weekend, many of them doubted a decision could be reached before Monday. The council, in the December resolution, had put a one-month deadline on choosing a chief inspector. Names frequently mentioned are: Pasi Patokallio, Finland's ambassador in Israel, Celso Amorim, Brazil's former U.N. ambassador, and Abdul Minty, a South African Foreign Ministry official earlier ruled out by his government but still said to be under consideration. Chinese and Russian envoys were reported to have told Annan that Iraq opposed Ekeus and therefore he would not enjoy any cooperation to get the job done. Iraq has had bitter arguments with all U.N. chief inspectors, especially Ekeus' successor, Richard Butler, who left his post in June after two years. Council members said Malaysia's ambassador, Hasmy Agam, floated the names of two Indonesians: former Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and former U.N. Ambassador Nugroho Wisnumurti. But diplomats expected both to be rejected. ``It's been a bit more complicated than one would have expected,'' Annan told reporters. ``We all knew that it was going to be difficult, but I am continuing my consultations today and I am still hoping to be able to meet the deadline.'' The new disarmament commission is to succeed UNSCOM, which has been in limbo for the past year. Baghdad has not permitted inspectors to enter the country since they withdrew in December 1998 shortly before the United States and Britain launched air strikes against Iraqi targets on grounds that Baghdad had failed to cooperate with U.N. weapons teams. To date, one or another of the five permanent council members has opposed about a dozen candidates Annan has submitted for approval. Russia was insisting that no one from a NATO member country be eligible, while China is advocating a candidate from a developing nation. Patokallio, 50, a Finnish disarmament expert, is among the few nominees who comes from a nation considered neutral on Iraq. He was a candidate for the post in 1997 when Butler was selected, with Iraq's approval, as UNSCOM chairman. Amorim, now at the United Nations in Geneva, chaired several panels on U.N. policy toward Iraq. Both the United States and Britain were said to have opposed him because he did not have a background in disarmament. Minty, a leader in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement who spent years in London unearthing the white-led government's nuclear program, had declined the post. His government said his services were needed at home but apparently some council members are trying to persuade Pretoria to change its mind. --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/2000-01/13/148l-011300-idx.html Iraq Rejects Ekeus as New Arms Monitor By Colum Lynch Special to The Washington Post Thursday, January 13, 2000; Page A12 UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 12-Iraq has told members of the U.N. Security Council that it will not accept Rolf Ekeus, the former head of U.N. disarmament efforts in Iraq and now Swedish ambassador to Washington, as the chairman of a new arms inspection agency, diplomats said today. The move by Iraq could complicate the vexing task of selecting a chairman for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, which the council voted last month to establish. But a senior U.S. official said that Iraq's views are irrelevant and that Washington would never favor a chairman who met with Baghdad's approval. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan floated the possible candidacy of Ekeus on Tuesday. Annan is scheduled to nominate a chairman for the Security Council's approval by Sunday. During his years as executive chairman of the former weapons agency, the U.N. Special Commission or UNSCOM, Ekeus oversaw the destruction of Iraqi facilities and equipment suspected of involvement in developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. He maintained cordial relations with the Security Council, but his relations with the Iraqi leadership were chilly. "The nicest thing I can remember the Iraqis saying about him was 'the damned Ekeus,' " said one U.N official. "That was his name in Iraq for most of his stay." UNSCOM's relations with Baghdad deteriorated even further under his successor, Richard Butler of Australia, and U.N. weapons inspectors have been barred from Iraq since they were evacuated in December 1998, on the eve of a U.S. and British air strike. China's deputy representative at the United Nations, Shen Guofang, said today Iraqi officials have told his government that they object to Ekeus's candidacy. Guofang added that China is trying to persuade Baghdad to cooperate with U.N. inspections. The Iraqi government, meanwhile, told the International Atomic Energy Agency that it could send a team to Iraq next week to inspect the country's stores of low-grade uranium. A spokesman for the Vienna-based agency, David Kyd, said that none of the nearly 2 tons of uranium stored in sealed drums at the Tuwaitha facility in Iraq is weapons-grade. ======================== http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/i/AP-Jordan-Iraqi-Cancer-Victim.html January 16, 2000 Sickly Iraqi Girl Out of Hospital By The Associated Press AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- A girl who became a symbol of the plight of Iraqi children under U.N. sanctions was discharged from an Amman hospital on Sunday after being treated for neurological disorders that followed leukemia treatment in Scotland two years ago. Five-year-old Mariam Hamza, her father and grandmother were scheduled to embark on a 12-hour overland trip back to Baghdad later Sunday. U.N. sanctions ban international flights to and from Iraq. Mariam looked healthy as she walked unaided in a corridor at Amman's al-Amal Center for Cancer Treatment. When she was admitted to the center three months ago, doctors said her disorders -- manifested as seizures, weakness and blindness -- were linked to the leukemia treatment she underwent in Scotland a year earlier. Dr. Maha Arnaoot, the Amman center's leukemia specialist, said Mariam's seizures were ``under control'' and will gradually fade, but the blindness and physical weakness were permanent. ``Unfortunately, Mariam will never see again in her life and although she is going to be permanently weak and will never regain her full strength, she will be active and mobile,'' Dr. Arnaoot said. She said Mariam underwent several chemotherapy sessions here to ensure there was no recurrence of leukemia. She said the girl will be given one last treatment at the end of the month in Iraq. Mariam was treated for leukemia in Scotland in 1998. Her treatment was initiated by British Member of Parliament George Galloway, who spotted her in a Baghdad hospital during a trip designed to publicize the effects of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis. Sanctions were imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. In an effort to ease the impact on ordinary Iraqis, the United Nations allows Iraq to sell $5.2 billion worth of crude oil every six months to buy food, medicine and humanitarian supplies. Iraq insists on a total lifting of the sanctions. ======================== http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/f/AP-Commodity-Rdp.html January 14, 2000 Oil Prices Top $28, a 9-Year High By The Associated Press Oil prices roared 5 percent higher to a new nine-year high Friday, topping $28 a barrel for the first time since 1991 and the Gulf War. The gain came after OPEC removed virtually all doubt it will extend its agreement on lowered production for several more months. Frigid weather in the northeastern United States also contributed to a sharp rise in crude as well as gasoline, heating oil and natural gas futures. In other markets, coffee prices sank to a six-week low and soybeans moved significantly higher for a third consecutive day. Crude climbed as high as $28.10 a barrel, the highest since Jan. 16, 1991, before the Allied military strikes on Iraq that brought about an end to the Gulf War. <...> ======================== http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/newspapers/mbt/article.html?s=asia /headlines/000113/newspapers/mbt/KL_backs_lifting_of_UN_sacntions_o n_Baghdad.html Thursday, January 13 11:40 AM SGT KL backs lifting of UN sanctions on Baghdad MALAYSIA has reiterated its support for the lifting of the 10-year-old United Nations sanctions on Iraq following Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in expressing Malaysia's support to visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz for the lifting of sanctions, underlined the importance of continuing discussions at the UN. "These sanctions have been imposed for a long time and caused suffering to the people of Iraq and all efforts must be made to lift these sanctions," he told reporters after meeting his Iraqi counterpart at Putrajaya yesterday. Tariq, who is on a four-day visit to Malaysia, is accompanied by six senior officials. He arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. His visit is aimed at developing closer ties with Malaysia and explaining Iraq's stand on the sanctions imposed since the Gulf War. Malaysia, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, has often criticised the sanctions. "Malaysia supports Iraq in that sanctions be lifted and we understand that Unscom (UN Special Commission) did not give hope that sanctions will be lifted," said Abdullah. Iraq has rejected the resolution adopted last December 17 which called for the setting up of a new arms inspection agency. A Wisma Putra official who attended the meeting yesterday said that Tariq expressed doubts over the new agency and referred to its as "old wine in a new bottle". Malaysia abstained in the vote which sees the setting up of a new arms inspection commission named the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic). Prior to Kuala Lumpur, Tariq visited Beijing which was one of the three permanent members of the UN Security Council which also abtained in the vote. The other two are Russia and China. Abdullah pointed out that Iraq too has a role to play and Iraq is prepared to cooperate as long as its sovereignty and security are not jeopardised. "But for the moment, the Iraqis reckon that there are matters relating to Unmovic that do not help Iraqi interests," he added. --- http://asia.biz.yahoo.com/news/asian_markets/dowjones/article.html?s=asiafin ance/news/000107/asian_markets/dowjones/China_Asks_Iraq_To_Cooperat e_With_UN_Weapons_Inspectors.html Friday, January 7 7:37 PM SGT China Asks Iraq To Cooperate With UN Weapons Inspectors BEIJING (AP)--China on Friday urged Iraq to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors to speed the lifting of sanctions against the country, Chinese state-run media reported. Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz that China was opposed to sanctions but Baghdad needed to respect U.N. Security Council resolutions, the Xinhua News Agency said. Attempting to end a year-old standoff with Iraq, a divided Security Council last month demanded Baghdad resume working with weapons inspectors before the United Nations would suspend sanctions imposed after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In coaxing Baghdad, Tang also told Aziz that the council should "be fair and objective" in assessing Iraq's cooperation and "gradually ease and eventually lift the sanctions," Xinhua reported. China and Iraq have drawn closer in recent years for strategic and commercial reasons. Baghdad is keen to find friends and emerge from the isolation brought on by the Gulf War, while Beijing wants to expand its influence in the region and secure access to Iraqi oil. China has often championed Iraqi interests in the Security Council, seeking an early end to the sanctions. But Beijing abstained rather than veto December's resolution, pushed by the U.S. and Britain, which, along with China, Russia and France, are veto-weilding council members. Before his meeting with Tang, Aziz said Iraq appreciated Beijing's support. "China has always taken a principled position vis-a-vis the question and Iraq and many international affairs. And we are satisfied," Aziz told reporters. ======================== http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/011300iraq-inspections.html January 13, 2000 Iraq to Allow Nuclear Inspections Again By BARBARA CROSSETTE NITED NATIONS, Jan. 12 -- Iraq said today that it would allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the country next week to check its uranium stockpiles, ending a monthlong standoff between the agency and the government of President Saddam Hussein. The inspections, however limited, will be the first by any outside agency concerned with clandestine weapons programs to take place in Iraq since December 1998. Inspectors from the atomic agency were withdrawn then in advance of American and British bombing raids, along with United Nations inspectors who monitored biological, chemical and missile programs. The new inspections are not related, however, to the monitoring systems imposed on Iraq after the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf. Next week's inspections are related solely to the 1968 nuclear nonproliferation treaty, which Iraq signed and which demands annual inspections of materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons. Iraq has 1.8 tons of low-enriched uranium and 13 tons of natural uranium. Both could be transformed into bomb-grade material with the right equipment. By refusing visas to the atomic agency's inspectors, Iraq had violated the treaty. Iraq's decision to admit the inspection team comes at the same time that efforts are being made here to resume other United Nations arms inspections. This week, Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to name a chief arms inspector for the new monitoring commission that the Security Council created in December to replace the United Nations Special Commission, known as Unscom, which has been unable to return to Iraq after the American-led bombing. Unscom's executive chairman, Richard Butler, resigned last year. The Security Council, which has been consulting with Mr. Annan as he makes his choice, has yet to agree on a nominee. Several lists of candidates have come and gone, and sometimes come again, as one nation or another rejects them. In recent days, the leading compromise candidate has become Rolf Ekeus, the Swedish diplomat and arms control expert who set up Unscom in 1991 and led it until 1996. Mr. Ekeus, now Sweden's ambassador to the United States, has remained in touch with Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, with whom he worked when she was the American representative here. Mr. Annan is likely to name the new chief inspector on Friday, officials and diplomats said. The deadline set by the Security Council is Sunday. As the new inspection system begins to take shape, Iraq is finding little diplomatic support in its threats to defy monitoring. Although Russia, China, France and Malaysia abstained in the voting for the new surveillance and disarmament panel, to be known as the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, neither Russia nor China was prepared to veto the plan, as the Iraqis had hoped. In recent weeks, the Russians have been very active in persuading the Iraqis to end their defiance of the atomic energy agency, a senior European diplomat said. Furthermore, on a visit to China this week, Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz of Iraq apparently did not receive much encouragement as a long diplomatic battle to force Iraqi compliance with new inspections begins. Today in Malaysia, a nonpermanent Security Council member with a reputation for voting against the United States, Mr. Aziz was more or less told to get in line with the program, although the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said it understood some of Iraq's grievances. -- http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000113/ts/iraq_un_2.html Thursday January 13 10:39 AM ET Diplomats say Baghdad Flexible on U.N. Inspections By Hassan Hafidh BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Diplomats in Iraq said on Thursday that the Iraqi leadership appeared to be showing some flexibility in an attempt to find a solution to its impasse with the United Nations over arms inspections. The diplomats said Iraq's announcement that it would allow a team from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out routine inspections could be intended to increase pressure on the United States and Britain to find an acceptable solution to a standoff between Baghdad and the U.N. over a wider resumption of arms inspections in Iraq. ``The message that Baghdad wants to communicate to the world is that its position can be changed if it sees some signs of softening from the opposite party,'' one diplomat said. ``Baghdad is engaged in an indirect dialogue with the United Nations Security Council to find a solution acceptable by all parties to the return of U.N. weapons inspectors,'' he added. The United States and Britain, permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, want Iraq to accept a new U.N. resolution which calls for sending arms inspectors back to the country and an easing of sanctions if Baghdad cooperates with a new disarmament agency. Baghdad has rejected the resolution adopted on December 17, 1999. Russia, France and China, also permanent members of the Security Council, abstained from voting on the resolution which was adopted by 11-0. ``Iraq has been also advised by friendly states like China, Russia and France to implement the resolution,'' another diplomat said. Wednesday, Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohammaed Saeed al-Sahaf said the resolution was ``not practical, not realistic and cannot be implemented.'' But Sahaf repeated that Iraq had complied with previous U.N. resolutions, and added: ``We want a neutral party to decide whether we abided (by previous resolutions) or not...We are not in conflict with the Security Council. Everybody knows that the Security Council is in the hands of the Americans followed by the British.'' Iraq's Foreign Ministry undersecretary Nizar Hamdoon said in remarks published Tuesday that his country would have accepted the resolution if it had been practical. Wednesday, Hamdoon said Iraq had agreed to allow a team from the IAEA to launch routine inspections to check whether Iraq possesses nuclear weapons. The team would arrive in Iraq on January 21 and consist of four or five experts. It would be the first inspection to be carried out in Iraq since December 1998 when U.N. weapons inspectors departed Baghdad a day before Washington and London launched attacks against Iraq in mid-December 1998 for failing to cooperate with a previous arms inspection body. The December 17 U.N. resolution sets up a new arms inspection body -- the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) -- to replace the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) charged with dismantling Iraq's prohibited weapons. ======================== [From Kathy Kelly and others in 'Voices in the Wilderness'] January 13, 2000 Dear Friends, Tomorrow, several of us leave for Washington, D.C., where we will undertake a month-long fast. We officially begin the fast on January 15, the birthday of Martin Luther King and the 9th anniversary of the Gulf War. Our agenda and motivation - quite simply - is to engage in an action that approaches being commensurate to the crime committed every day in our names against the Iraqi people. The fast is carried out in the nonviolent tradition of King and Gandhi. We believe that by forsaking food for one month to focus our energies and minds, we are taking a step towards elevating the level of action to end the sanctions. This fast, we hope, expresses our resolve to bring this issue into the hearts and minds of mainstream America. It is a moral question - the imposition of humanitarian deprivation towards a political end - and we want it to be considered one. Quite honestly, we have tried many things - writing, actions, arrests, and protests - and sense again and again when we visit Iraq that the hopes and dreams of children are continually being beaten to death by political and economic whims of powerful nations and players. During the fast we will visit with members of Congress, bother the State Department, and visit likeminded organizations in D.C. to ask for their support in our campaign. We'll gratefully welcome your support in: i-contacting your congressional representatives: The Campbell-Conyers letter to President Clinton has gathered 34 signatures. Hopefully this number will reach 100 by the deadline, January 27. Please if you have not already done so, call your representative, and urge that he or she not only sign the letter, but also call for hearings on the sanctions, and sponsor legislation that will end them. ii -- notifying your local media about the fast iii - if at all possible, coming to D.C. to visit your congressional representatives and other influential organizations Fasters include Kathy Kelly, Nicholas Arons, Simon Harak, S.J., Bert Sacks, Mark Maguire, Ramsey Kysia, Raed Battah, Ruthy Woodring, Phil Runkel, Erik Yandell, Anne Montgomery, and Joe Morton. Over the course of the month, we will sustain a daily vigil on the Capitol Steps. There are also many people fasting in solidarity with us, who cannot make it to Washington, but who are working locally for this month on Iraq organizing. One exciting element of the fast will be a blood drive, in which we will give our blood symbolically in the name of an Iraqi child who has died. We plan to be joined at this event by several members of Congress, Arab-American and Muslim organizations, religious leaders, and the press. Finally, we ask for your thoughts and prayers during this month. Please help us focus on how to best use the next few weeks as a time of massive education and compassion for the people of Iraq. About one year ago, VitW received the pre-penalty notice from the Treasury Department, informing us that bringing medicine and toys to Iraqi children was a crime punishable by extraordinary fines. And nine years ago, a firestorm of bombs and weaponry shattered Iraq to its core, paving the way for the misery that we find there today. The US political leaders - with the widespread support of our people - targeted civilian infrastructure, sought "long-term leverage" by bombing electrical grids and water sanitation plants, used weapons coated with depleted uranium establishing a toxic legacy in Iraq, and succeeded in the presaged mission: bombing Iraq "back to the stone ages." Should you decide to join us in Washington, D.C. during this time, know that we will warmly welcome you to fast, lobby, and organize with us. Jeff Guntzel and Ken Hannaford-Ricardi will be in Chicago for this period, manning the offices, and they will know how to reach us. Our last delegations met with Hans von Sponeck, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. He said in closing, "In twenty years, your fine universities will be using the sanctions on Iraq as an example of how not to pursue foreign policy... Your nation is trying to cage a wild tiger. But you are killing a rare and beautiful bird." We bring this information with us to Washington, D.C. But we have with us also the truth. The truth is 500,000 children who are no longer with us. The truth is 143 people who have been bombed to death during the last year in what is now the longest bombing campaign since the Vietnam War. We look forward to remaining in touch with you. Sincerely, Nick Arons, Kathy Kelly, Jeff Guntzel ======================== http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000116/pl/iraq_clark_1.html Sunday January 16 12:52 PM ET Ex-Attorney General Supports Iraq Against Sanctions BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark, a long-time opponent of U.N. sanctions against Iraq, led a delegation to Baghdad Sunday to show solidarity with Iraqis. Clark, heading a 60-member delegation representing humanitarian organizations that oppose the sanctions, arrived after travelling the 600-mile road between Amman and Baghdad. ``Now for nine and a half years, the people of Iraq have been deprived of essentials -- medicines for the sick and food for the hungry,'' Clark told Reuters Television. ``It's a tragedy, and I feel very ashamed that my country has done this,'' Sue Kelly, a member of the delegation from the United States, said. The visit coincided with the ninth anniversary of the Gulf War. Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and were driven out again in a brief but violent offensive by a U.S.-led coalition in early 1991. Clark opposed the war and the sanctions imposed on Iraq for the invasion and has visited the country several times. Sunday, Clark brought with him some $2 million worth of medical supplies. Last year, he had offered medicine valued at $4 million, saying the aid was in defiance of Washington's support for continued sanctions --- http://www.access2arabia.com/jordantimes/Sun/homenews/homenews7.htm 'Sanctions most dangerous weapon of mass destruction' By Amy Henderson AMMAN - A former U.S. official on Saturday said that economic sanctions are the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction on earth. "The principle excuse that the U.S. uses to maintain sanctions is that of preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction," said former U.S. attorney General Ramsey Clark. "Never doubt that sanctions is the weapon of choice for people in power. [Sanctions are] cheap, silent and like a bomb, but better, because they only kills people; they don't destroy property. So they can steal what's left when everyone else is dead." Clark, in open defiance of U.N./U.S. sanctions and U.S. federal law, departed Amman for Iraq on Jan. 15, along with a 60-person delegation, known as the Iraq Sanctions Challenge (ISC). The ISC will transport approximately $2 million of medicine and medical supplies to Jordan's eastern neighbour. All American citizens on the delegation could be fined up to $1 million in fines and 12 years in prison for violating the sanctions. While in Iraq, the delegation will visit hospitals, schools and other institutions weakened by the sanctions. The delegation is composed of students from seven U.S. colleges, members of Plowshares, the International Action Centre, New Hampshire Peace Action, American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice, and Save the Children as well as delegates from Italy, Japan, England and Canada. Clark, who is on his tenth trip to Iraq, where ten years of sanctions have ravaged the economy and devastated infrastructure and healthcare, spoke on Saturday at the Professional Associations Complex in Shmeisani ahead of his departure. "Sanctions weaken and permanently debilitate the strongest of a society and kill the weakest and most vulnerable," he said, alluding the often-repeated expression by leaders of the sanctions regime that the U.S. and U.N. have "no grudge" against the Iraqi people, but against the Iraqi regime. "Everyone knows that these are precisely the people that sanctions kill first. "These sanctions say that our international community, our United Nations, the people of those nations [who support the sanctions] have so little awareness or understanding or caring that they permit that to happen. "Sanctions are the most direct and immediate means to impoverish a whole people," Clark said. "These sanctions are a severe abuse of human rights," Clark said. "Since they were first imposed in 1990, more than 1.7 million Iraqis have died. The most vulnerable members of Iraqi society have suffered catastrophic conditions due to U.S. policy. There is no sign that these conditions will abate in light of the recent U.N. vote." Clark was referring to the Dec. 17, 1999, Security Council vote, in which four members of the council abstained, three from the five permanent members and one from rotating members. "This insistence on new weapons inspection is a ruse to violate the sovereignty of Iraq," Clark said. "Punishing Iraq for rejecting new weapons inspections is nothing more than U.S. sanctioned genocide." "The `oil-for-food' programme is the best example of this. `oil-for-food' was the U.N.'s provision to relieve mass starvation in Iraq. However, 50 per cent of the escrowed proceeds from oil sales are never used for food. The money is paid to U.S./British oil companies, the Kuwaiti royal family and even Israeli El Al Airlines as war reparations. The remainder pays for the administration of the sanctions. This is the thin edge of the wedge of neo-colonialism." Meanwhile, Mariam Hamza, who caught the world's attention when British MP George Galloway flew her from Iraq to Scotland for cancer treatment two years ago and who returned to Amman's Al Amal Cancer Centre late last year after her health deteriorated, will again return to Iraq. A press release from the National Jordanian Mobilisation Committee in Defence of Iraq said doctors will release the child today, after stabilising her health. They said her eyesight will be permanently damaged. Galloway, who travelled to Iraq in November, announced during the Holy Month of Ramadan the launch of a campaign to collect funds for a suite to treat cancer at the Saddam Hospital in Baghdad, the press release said. According to the United Nations, more than 1.5 million Iraqis have died as a direct result of economic sanctions, the vast majority of them children under five years of age. ======================== http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000113/wl/us_iraq_3.html Thursday January 13 3:08 PM ET U.S. Jets Hit Iraqi Defense System ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - U.S. warplanes bombed an Iraqi air defense system Thursday after Iraqi artillery fired at the planes as they patrolled the no-fly zone over northern Iraq, the U.S. military said. The planes dropped the bombs after being fired on from a site near Bashiqah, 250 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. European Command said in a statement. None of the warplanes was hit. The planes are based at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. The official Iraqi News Agency, quoting a military spokesman, confirmed the attack and claimed that civilian and residential areas were targeted. The agency also said U.S. and British warplanes flew over southern Iraq, but reported no conflict. On Wednesday, Iraq reported one civilian was killed and another was wounded in a raid by U.S. and British warplanes. The allies have denied attacking civilian targets. Iraq does not recognize the no-fly zones that were set up shortly after the 1991 Gulf War to protect Shiite Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. U.S. and British planes have frequently targeted Iraqi air defense installations since Iraq began challenging the patrols in December 1998. ======================== http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000110/2000011004.html Iraq is ready to cooperate over the missing Iraq, Politics, 1/10/2000 Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahaf has expressed his country's readiness to work with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in order to learn the fate of hundreds of missing since the Gulf War in 1991. In a statement issued in the United Arab Emirates daily al-Bayan on Sunday, al-Sahaf, currently visiting Qatar, said that a team including Iraqi and Saudi experts may start work shortly in order to return the remains of an Saudi pilot who was buried in an Iraqi minefield after his plane was downed in 1991. Al-Sahaf added that Iraq may shortly start a sort of cooperation with Saudi Arabia. He continued that Iraq informed Saudi Arabia through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that it had found the ruins of the Saudi plane in 1991 and that the Iraqi army officer who had buried the Saudi pilot told the Iraqi authorities about the information he had in this respect. Al- Sahaf added that the Iraqi army officer had endangered his life and entered the mined area once again to show the place where the Saudi pilot was buried. Al-Sahaf stated that Iraq does not keep any prisoner from Kuwait or from other nationalities. He indicated that the Kuwaitis deny that there are 1,500 Iraqis who are missing in Kuwait, and therefore, his country calls for joint cooperation between it, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia under the supervision of the ICRC and in line with UN Security Council resolution 687 in order to learn about the fate of all missing among the Iraqis, Saudis and Kuwaitis. But the Iraqi minister stated that Baghdad refuses the participation of each of Britain, the US and France in this issue, saying that the fate of missing persons from these countries has been settled and that the three countries have political inclinations behind their participation in the talks. ======================== Iraq's Reap of 1999 - Ordeals, Disasters and Resistance! Kurdish Media - Jan 4, 1999 By: Saîd KAKEYÎ - Kurdish Media Analyst TORONTO, Canada (Kurdish Media) - On 1 Jan 2000, Issue 96, the News Of Iraq - a news bulletin issued by the Iraqi Communist Party's (ICP) Foreign Information Office - had published the same opening editorial of TARIQ AL-SHA'AB, ICP's official organ, which it had appeared in its 1/1/2000. The ICP editorial had went through the reap of Iraq for the year 1999, stating that the Iraqi people had accounted another year paying the price of Iraq's dictatorship madness. In a balanced panoramic style, the aforementioned editorial had indicated that the Iraqi people had lived through all kinds of ordeals in between the UN economic embargo and the Iraqi state terrorism. The editorial maintained that the living standards, social, medical and psychological levels of the Iraqis had been deteriorated, and adding, that the gap between the social classes have vastly widened because of on going governmental tax extortion policies that had been drawn to benefit the power circles of the Iraqi regime. It has emphasized that aside from members of the ruling Ba'ath Party, members of the other killing governmental instruments, namely the military, security and intelligence were the beneficiaries of extortion and bribe. Counting for disorder within the ruthless circles of power, the ICP editorial furthers that Saddam Hussein's had revived the Iraqi tribal institutions in order to balance his grip of power on the one hand, and to use them for the purposes of propaganda, security and political advantages on the other. Thereafter, the editorial portrays the terrible images of the Iraqi regime in mass executing its opponents, widely destroying the houses of those who have ties with the Iraqi opposition and mass deportation of people (500,000 Iraqis) from Baghdad to the southern and northern provinces of Iraq, by which it had topped the list of those countries which regularly violate human rights according to the records of international human rights organizations. Adding to the above miseries of the Iraqis, the ICP editorial is accuses the USA and the UK for their War of Exhausting Iraq. It claims that the Allied Forces air petrol over the Northern and Southern no fly zones "had weakened our people's abilities to recover from the madness of destruction, be it by hitting a civilian or a military target in Iraq." "It was a bitter reap that our people had gained in 1999", goes on the editorial, adding that the reality of the Iraqi picture has another face which can be seen through the endless will for change. It furthers that by resisting, combating and getting rid of the terrorist rulers in Baghdad, Iraq would be saved and brought back to row of the civilized nations of the world in order to preserve peace, human rights and democracy. --- ICP: Iraq executed 40 armed forces members Kurdish Media - Jan 6, 2000 SHAQLAWA, Kurdistan (Kurdish Media) - In a press statement, the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) stated that the Iraqi regime in Baghdad executed 40 members of the armed forces. The statement listed the names of 10 of the victims. The ICP accuses Ali Hassan al-Majeed, a cousin of Saddam Hussein and a member of so-called the Revolutionary Command Council, for the executions. Al-Majeed is known to Kurds as 'Ali chemical' for gassing Kurds in Kurdistan, in particular in Halabja, where 5000 people were killed on March 16, 1988. Ali Chemical was also responsible for the operation codenamed 'Anfal' in which over 180 thousand Kurds, men, women and children, were disappeared. It is believed that they are in mass-graves in Southern Iraq, where they were executed and buried, most of them alive. This was a campaign of Kurdish genocide that was clearly stated in government documents captured by Kurds during the uprising of March 1991, after the Gulf-War. However, despite having a mandate, the UN has never shown any interest in this genocide. Executions in Iraqi are a daily routine and only a limited number of the incidents leaks out of Iraq. The UN resolution 688 (1992) gives UN the mandate to investigate human right abuses in Iraq, but hardly any investigation has been carried out. It appears that UN is more concern about returning its arm inspectors to Iraq than human right abuses by Saddam. ======================== http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/afp/article.html?s=asia/head lines/000116/world/afp/Defiant_Iraq_prepares_victorious_Gulf_War_ce lebrations.html Sunday, January 16 11:37 AM SGT Defiant Iraq prepares victorious Gulf War celebrations BAGHDAD, Jan 16 (AFP) - A defiant Iraq on Sunday prepared "victorious" celebrations to mark the ninth anniversary of the Gulf War as it vowed to continue the fight against its enemies and their plots at the United Nations. Some 45 days of festivities are to be launched Monday, the anniversary, and "reflect Iraq's determination in the face of the US, British and Zionist aggressors who continue to harm our people," the Ath-Thawra newspaper said. Rallies are to be held "to denounce the US-British aggression and demand the immediate lifting of the unfair embargo" imposed on Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Although the Gulf War against Iraq, waged by a US-led international coalition, ended in February 1991, Baghdad maintains it is still fighting the battle against the "savage imperialist aggression". Iraqis "inflicted a defeat on America during the 'Mother of All Battles'," the Al-Qadisssiya newspaper said Saturday in a reference to the Gulf War that drove occupying Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. "The battle, which continues, was a victory for the Arab nation and for humanity as a whole in the face of the savage imperialist aggression which aims to control the world and bring its people to its knees," the daily said. Iraq continues to be regularly bombed by US and British warplanes patrolling no-fly zones over the north and south of the country, in a war of attrition that Baghdad says has cost more than 150 Iraqi lives. But Iraq maintains the key battle has switched from the field to the United Nations, where Washington has been "hatching new plots which will allow them to achieve their illusions". The latest target of Iraqi vitriol has been a new UN resolution approved in mid-December covering sanctions and arms inspections in Iraq. Baghdad has attacked the resolution without rejecting it outright. Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf last week suggested Baghdad might accept the resolution if parts of it are altered. The new resolution offers Iraq a temporary lifting of sanctions if it cooperates with a new arms inspection body, UNMOVIC, whose chief was due to be appointed by Sunday. Differences within the Security Council have continued to hinder the appointment and Baghdad has repeatedly predicted that "this body is still-born and doomed to fail because it will be no better than what preceded it." The previous arms body, UNSCOM, was dissolved in December. Baghdad regularly accused it of being a vehicle for spies. In a January speech Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said Baghdad could not rely on the Security Council to lift the embargo, since it was controlled by the "forces of evil", a reference to the United States and Britain. Iraq has instead launched a diplomatic offensive to win support for its opposition to the resolution, with top-level visits to China and the Gulf state of Qatar. "The best attitude to adopt is to wait for developments at the United Nations and take adequate measures after that," an Iraqi official told AFP, asking not to be named. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people mostly continue to live miserably under sanctions, with only minor relief coming from an expanded UN oil-for-food programme, allowing oil sales in return for humanitarian aid. Baghdad says that some 1.25 million people, mostly infants and the elderly, have died as a direct result of the sanctions first imposed a decade ago. A team of aid workers led by former US attorney general Ramsey Clark and a delegation of Spanish MPs and trade unionists are due in Baghdad for the anniversary to draw attention to the sanctions' impact. ======================== http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters01-15-104540.asp?reg=MIDEAST Iraq blames U.S., Britain for environment disaster REUTERS BAGHDAD, Jan. 15 - Iraq accused Western powers on Saturday of inflicting a creeping health and environmental disaster on the country by blocking medical and humanitarian supplies. ''The environment in Iraq is still in dire need of improvement because of lack of requirements,'' Health Minister Umeed Madhat Mubarak told reporters after opening a meeting on the environment. ''What we need in Iraq are the spare parts to rehabilitate water supply and sewerage systems,'' he said. Mubarak said an oil-for-food deal with the United Nations had done little to improve Iraq's environment. The oil deal allows Iraq to sell $5.26 billion worth of oil to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian needs for the Iraqi people. Iraq welcomes the deal but says that, in practice, it does not function properly because of Western obstruction. Mubarak accused U.S. and British representatives at the U.N. sanctions committee on Iraq of blocking contracts to purchase humanitarian needs. ''The American and British envoys are still creating problems in order not to approve contracts signed with the Iraqi side to supply needs. ''Still the electrical power, the sewerage system and water supplies are not adequate despite more than three years since the imposition of the memorandum of understanding (with the U.N.),'' he said. With its health services devastated by almost 10 years of sanctions imposed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq says it cannot afford expensive drugs to treat its people let alone the huge cost of preventing diseases from areas described as the poorest and worst-hit by the sanctions. ''The genocide (against the Iraqi people) which has been continuing for the last 10 years is still having impact and producing much more mortalities,'' Mubarak said. Health Ministry statistics published two weeks ago said that more than 1.25 million Iraqis had died because of the embargo. The United Nations Children's Fund said in a report in August last year that deaths among under fives had doubled over the past decade in central and southern areas controlled by the government. Iraq blames sanctions while the United States says Baghdad is responsible for the sharp rise in deaths. Several officials who spoke in the meeting, organised by the ministry to mark Iraq's environment day, blamed environmental disaster in Iraq, particularly in its southern provinces, on depleted uranium ammunition used by the Untied States and Britain in the 1991 Gulf War. Iraqi officials say allied forces estimated they had used 300 tonnes of depleted uranium munitions against Iraqi forces. According to a U.N. document based on Iraqi government figures published in 1998, cancer cases soared as much as six-fold in parts of southern Iraq after the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. ======================== http://www.accessme.com/jordantimes/Wed/news/news6.htm Iraq says U.N. plan to ease embargo impractical BAGHDAD (R) - Iraq would have accepted a U.N. resolution to suspend sanctions but found the proposal to ease sanctions in return for resumed arms inspections impractical, Iraq's deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday. "If it did not harm our independence and if it was practical and a step toward lifting the embargo, we would have accepted it," Nizar Hamdoon told Al Rafideen monthly magazine, which is owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday. Hamdoon said his country would have agreed to the proposal easing of sanctions had it been a step towards a complete lifting of the embargo imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Security Council narrowly adopted a resolution on Dec. 17, which could lead to U.N. weapons inspectors being sent back to Iraq and an easing of sanctions if Baghdad cooperates with a new U.N. disarmament agency. Baghdad rejected the resolution saying it wanted no part of measures seeking to return weapons inspectors to the country in return for the suspension. "There is no guarantee that these (inspection) teams would come to Iraq without provoking us in this or that site and then saying Baghdad has not cooperated with us," Hamdoon said. The issue of who would chair the teams and how they would be formed were also unanswered questions, he added. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has floated the names of a Hungarian and a Canadian to head a new U.N. weapons inspection agency for Iraq, Security Council diplomats said on Monday. But diplomats in New York said the two, Mark Moher of Canada and Istvan Gyarmati of Hungary, both of whom have experience in disarmament affairs, would not remain the only candidates that the 15-seat Security Council, particularly its five permanent members, would have to approve. Iraq, which says it has long been rid of any weapons of mass destruction, has not allowed U.N. arms inspectors back into the country since mid-December 1998. They left shortly before the United States and Britain launched air strikes against Iraq for failing to cooperate with the inspectors. But the Security Council is setting up the new weapons commission anyway as its first order of business on Iraq this year. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi