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News for 1 May '00 to 7 May '00

Hello all:

As I have not received any complaints about the last two news clippings, I
will adopt the same approach from now onwards.

One of you mentioned the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
document of December '99. That and other important documents can be accessed
from CASI's ''Info Sources'' page which can be found at:

Also, note the Dallas Morning News editorial which came to my attention just



News for 1 May '00 to 7 May '00

Sources: AFP, AP, ArabicNews, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas
Morning News, The Lancet, National Public Radio, The New York Times,
Reuters, Stratfor, The Times

 Former Senior UN Officials Denounce Iraq Sanctions at Congressional
Briefing (ArabicNews)
 Denis Halliday's Congressional Briefing
 Some In Congress Approve Of Lifting The Economic Sanctions Against Iraq To
Help The Iraqi People While Keeping Military (National Public Radio)
 Iraqi Suffering -- Rep. Hall adds Noteworthy Support for Keeping Sanctions
(The Dallas Morning News - Editorial)
 Iraqi Medical Education Under the Intellectual Embargo (The Lancet)
 Baghdad Hit by Rockets (BBC)
 U.N. Iraq Inspection Head Ready for August Start (Reuters)
 Death Sentence Upheld on Kuwait Occupation Leader (Reuters)
 An American Ally Becomes Iraq's Chief Trading Partner (Stratfor)
 Iran Releases 480 Iraqi Prisoners (AP)
 Iraq Prefers Second Gulf Oil Terminal to Syrian Pipeline: MEES (AFP)
 Iraq and Kuwait Clash at Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference (AFP)

Only links provided for the following reports:

 Iraq Seeks Compensation for 1998 U.S.-U.K. Attacks (Reuters)
 Iraqi Kurds Enjoy a De Facto State (Christian Science Monitor)
 Serbia and Iraq 'In Dangerous New Alliance' (The Times)
 Some Iraqi Opposition Groups to be Allowed Back (Reuters)
 Mossad Snatches Sacred Jewish Texts from Saddam (The Times)
 At Rehearing, Iraqi Doctor Wins Round In Deportation (The New York Times)
 Fifa Inquiry Into Iraqi Team Torture (The Times)

 Iraqi Medical Education Under the Intellectual Embargo, The Lancet, 25
March '00

Volume 355(9209)
pp 1093-1094

Richards, Leila J; Wall, Stephen N

Brooklyn, New York (L J Richards MD MPH), and Department of Pediatrics,
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA (S N
Wall MD SM)

Iraq's health services have declined substantially since the Gulf War and
the imposition of United Nations sanctions. (1-7). However, the impact of
sanctions on the flow of medical and scientific information has received
little attention. Iraq was essentially cut off from all outside medical
information in 1990 when United Nations Security Council Resolution 661
froze Iraqi assets abroad and banned all trade with Iraq after the invasion
of Kuwait. Unlike previous sanctions imposed by the United Nations against
member states, Resolution 661 provided no exemption for the transmission of
medical and scientific literature. The resulting intellectual embargo has
isolated Iraq from the international medical community for the past decade.
In the USA, this intellectual embargo has been enforced through
postal-service regulations, licensing requirements for goods sent to Iraq,
visa restrictions, and a ban on travel to Iraq by Americans.

We were members of a public-health delegation to Iraq in May, 1999, to
examine the impact of the intellectual embargo on medical education. Our
trip was sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, with
assistance from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, the Middle East Council of
Churches, and the Mennonite Central Committee. In Baghdad we met with
officials from the Iraq Ministry of Health, who granted us unrestricted
access to all sites we requested to visit. We were also briefed by senior
members of WHO, UNICEF, and the Office of the United Nations Coordinator of
Humanitarian Affairs in Iraq.

We visited six of Iraq's ten medical colleges, meeting with more than 30
physicians and academicians. At each medical college we talked to deans and
senior faculty staff, visited hospitals, and toured medical libraries.
During hospital tours, we held impromptu meetings with clinical faculty
members and house-staff physicians. Unfortunately, medical students were not
available to meet with us because of examinations. We asked the physicians
we met how their working and teaching environment compared with the
pre-sanctions period, and how they were coping with 9 years of scientific

Iraqi medical education

Iraqi medical education is based on the 6-year British curriculum and is
carried out in English. Medical education is free, and before sanctions were
imposed all required textbooks were provided free to students. Postgraduate
residency training is required for both Iraqi and Arab board certification
in each specialty. Before the Gulf War, the government funded subspecialty
training abroad, and most members of the senior faculty we met had been
trained in British or American hospitals. Academic physicians in Iraq, most
of whom are specialists, are expected to publish their research in
peer-reviewed journals to be eligible for promotion to the highest levels.

After United Nations sanctions were imposed in 1990, the delivery of
European and American medical journals to Iraq abruptly stopped. US
government regulations enacted since 1990 have explicitly prohibited the
export of such printed matter to Iraq. The US Postal Service stipulates in
its International Mail Manual that mail sent to Iraq must weigh less than
340 g and contain only "personal communications". (8). All other categories
of mail, including regular printed matter, books, periodicals, and sheet
music have been "suspended until further notice".( 8) US Treasury Department
regulations explicitly state, "except as otherwise authorized, no goods,
technology (including technical data or other information) or services may
be exported from the United States ... to any entity owned or controlled by
the Government of Iraq, ... or operated from Iraq". The only exceptions are
"donated foodstuffs in humanitarian circumstances, and donated supplies
intended strictly for humanitarian purposes".( 9) Our conversations with
Iraqi doctors and librarians indicate that European nations have issued
similar regulations.

Since the imposition of sanctions, Iraqi medical students have no longer
received British and American textbooks, which had been the basic texts used
in all classes. WHO is now the major supplier of Iraq's medical literature,
and has provided a limited number of medical textbooks, journals, and
CD-ROMs to Iraqi medical college libraries, but must receive approval from
the United Nations Sanctions Committee for each item sent.

Iraq's other major supply of medical literature is from visiting delegations
that hand-carry medical textbooks and journals into the country. Isolated
editions of these medical journals, or photocopied versions, are prominently
displayed on the shelves in medical libraries, often bearing the original
address label of the donating physician. Donated medical textbooks are
reproduced as bound photocopied versions by the Ministry of Health or by
medical school libraries. These were often the only recent textbooks
available in the libraries we visited. Although the quality of the copied
text was often good, the illustrations were undecipherable.

Some medical schools now provide photocopied textbooks for free to their
senior medical students. Most of the recent medical literature we saw, both
original and photocopied versions, were in the libraries of Baghdad's three
medical colleges. Few medical libraries in north or south Iraq had new
textbooks or journals, even photocopied versions. There was no cataloguing
system to help physicians find journals in the random assortment of donated
medical literature in Iraq's medical libraries. Such a system would be
difficult to implement in any case since Iraq's medical colleges are not
linked by computer, and the telephone service between regions of the country
is erratic because of bombing damage to the telecommunications

Travel, infrastructure, and research

The intellectual embargo also restricts travel to and from Iraq. Travel to
Iraq from the USA is punishable by a fine and a prison term.(10). WHO has
sought the United Nations' permission to bring consultants to conduct
training conferences in Iraq, and to arrange for Iraqi physicians to take
courses abroad, but to date without success. Iraqi physicians who wish to
attend international conferences also face travel restrictions. Several
physicians spoke of being denied visas to European countries or the USA to
attend medical conferences, even when invited as guest speakers by
conference organisers.

The physical breakdown of educational and health facilities also contributes
to the declining quality of medical education. Frequent power blackouts shut
off lights and audiovisual equipment in classrooms and laboratories. Broken
or obsolete equipment needed for teaching cannot be replaced; the United
Nations' oil-for-food programme does not include funds for training and
teaching supplies. Educational facilities have few computers, and no access
to the internet. Hospitals are filled with aging and broken medical
equipment (eg, cardiorespiratory monitors, ventilators, and radiography
machines) and wards still lack basic items such as soap and bed linens. To
make the best use of remaining resources, some medical colleges have cut
their class sizes by as much as 30%.

The academic physicians we spoke to had been forced to curtail all basic and
most clinical research. Those who still carried out clinical research had to
contend with a dearth of recent specialty journals, limited access to
computers, and medical records lacking basic diagnostic studies and
therapeutics. Iraqi academic physicians frequently expressed doubt that any
international journals would be willing to consider their papers written
under these conditions. As one Iraqi physician stated, "If I sent my work
outside for evaluation I would never get an answer." Nevertheless, Iraqi
medical colleges have continued to publish their own national specialty
journals in English, and some doctors told us of getting their work
published in Arab language journals.

Faced with poor working conditions and dwindling salaries, thousands of
experienced Iraqi doctors have left the country in recent years. The dean of
one medical college told us that he was the only remaining faculty member in
his department who was a member of the Royal Society of Physicians, whereas
before the Gulf War there had been 12. Even recent graduates have left
medicine to pursue more lucrative jobs in the local cash economy, such as
driving taxis or taking menial jobs with United Nations agencies. At a
prestigious Baghdad medical college, the dean described his students as
depressed, demoralised, and anxious about their future.


Iraqi doctors we talked to offered the following suggestions for
international physicians and organisations who desire to assist medical
education in Iraq: provision of current textbooks (in English) for students,
recent journal abstracts on CD-ROM, and teaching materials (eg,
undergraduate and continuing medical education) on videocassette or CD-ROM;
organisation of conferences on medical updates in each specialty, to be held
in Amman, Jordan, should travel bans preclude lawful entry into Iraq; and
advocacy to end the intellectual embargo of medical information by the
United Nations and member states.

Infrastructure damage, a failing economy, and a 10-year intellectual embargo
have affected every level of medical education in Iraq, leaving the
country's next generation of doctors ill-equipped to inherit the country's
health crisis. We believe that there is no justification for this
intellectual embargo against Iraqi physicians. Restricting the flow of
scientific information to Iraq ultimately serves to undermine the care of
patients, and denies Iraqi doctors the right "to share in scientific
advancement and its benefits", as stated in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. 11 We hope that international physician groups will organise
efforts to support Iraqi colleagues, and to advocate an end to the
intellectual embargo.


1.  United Nations. Report of the Second Panel Established Pursuant to the
Note by
the  President of the Security Council of 30/12/99, concerning the current
humanitarian situation in Iraq. S/1999/356, New York, 30 March 1999

2.  Living with sanctions: the oil for food program and the intellectual
embargo. American Friends Service Committee, September 1999

3.  United Nations Security Council. Report of the secretary-general
pursuant to paragraph 6 of Security Council resolution 1242 (1999).
S/1999/896, 19 August 1999

4.  Special Topics on Social Conditions in Iraq. An overview submitted by
the UN system to the Security Council Panel on Humanitarian Issues. Baghdad:
24 March 1999.

5.  UNICEF. Situation analysis of children and women in Iraq. (Baghdad:
UNICEF, 30 April 1998).

6. Richards L. et al. Child and Maternal Health, Nutrition and Welfare in
Iraq under the Sanctions. American Friends Service Committee, February 1999

7.  Hoskins, E. Public Health and the Persian Gulf War. In B. Levy and V.
Sidel, War and Public Health. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997,

U.S. Government regulations mentioned in this paper:

8.  Re: postal restrictions governing mail sent to Iraq: U.S. Post Office
International Mail Manual, p. 573.

The regulations below can be found in the U.S. government's Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR).

9.  The regulation governing export of information to Iraq comes from CFR,
Title 31, volume 2, (revised as of July 1, 1998) page 665, section 575.205,
entitled "Prohibited exportation and reexportation of goods, technology, or
services to Iraq." The URL for this is:

10.  Re: prohibition against travel to Iraq: this appears in CFR, title 32,
Section. 575.207, entitled "Prohibited transactions relating to travel to
Iraq or to activities within Iraq." The penalties appear in section 575.701.

11.  Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 27. Quoted in
"Universality of  Science," handbook of ICSU's standing committee on the
free circulation of scientists. Stockholm: International Council of
Scientific Unions, 1990-91, p.10.

 Iraq and Kuwait Clash at Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference, AFP, 30
April '00

AMMAN - A row broke out between Iraq and Kuwait at an Arab delegation
coordination meeting Monday for the 103rd conference of the
Inter-Parliamentary Union, a source close to the meeting said.

The row between the parliamentary speakers of the two countries started when
Iraq's Saadoun Hammadi called on Arab delegations to adopt a resolution
calling on their parliaments to visit Iraq to "demonstrate their solidarity
with the Iraqi people and children," the source said, reporting their

Hammadi's Kuwaiti counterpart Jassim al-Khorafi immediately opposed the
motion, saying "we are all concerned by the suffering of the people of Iraq
but the call to visit the country does not require an Arab resolution."

Hammadi then said he had already received "positive responses from the
speakers of Arab parliaments."

The Kuwaiti speaker replied: "Should we not ask ourselves what is at the
root of the suffering of these people?" in a reference to the Iraqi regime,
adding "let us not therefore shed crocodile tears."

Hammadi tried to respond but the president of the Arab parliamentary union,
Abdel Qader Ben Saleh of Algeria, suggested ending the debate and the other
Arab delegations agreed.

The meeting occurred shortly after the official opening of the IPU
conference, at which the international embargo of Iraq, in force since its
1990 invasion of Kuwait, will be considered.

The Arab countries decided to call on Algeria to ask for an additional
debate to "study parliamentary support for the rights of refugees and
displaced people as a result of war and occupation, along with help for
their repatriation."

The motion would be aimed primarily at the 3.5 million Palestinian refugees.

Earlier a Jordanian committee of support for Baghdad called for a sit-in
Monday in front of the centre staging the IPU conference in protest at the
interational embargo against Iraq.

The committee of national mobilisation for the defence of Iraq, made up of
political parties and professional unions, called in a communique for a
90-minute sit-in in front of the hotel where the conference opened Sunday.

A total of 1,400 delegates from 123 countries, including 70 parliamentary
speakers, will take part in the IPU conference, the highest number ever to

 Iraq Prefers Second Gulf Oil Terminal to Syrian Pipeline: MEES, AFP, 1 May

NICOSIA - Iraq prefers to repair a disused oil terminal on the Gulf rather
than reopen a pipeline through Syria to boost its UN-controlled oil exports,
Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) said Monday.

The Cyprus-based specialist newsletter said the Khor al-Amaya terminal was
the favoured option "because its recommissioning would be faster and cheaper
than that of the Syrian pipeline".

Also, the terminal close to Iraq's southern oilfields was "well-placed to
provide an additional outlet to serve the Asian and US markets, and Baghdad
does not have to pay transit dues to a second country," it said.

But MEES said Iraq was still likely to push for reopening of the Syrian
route, although it would add only a maximum of 300,000 barrels per day to
export capacity as the pipeline is already being used by Syria for its own

"In the case of Syria, there is a political agenda. The reopening of the
pipeline ... would signal a thaw in relations between the two countries," it
said, adding Iraqi authorities wanted "to open up as many export channels as

On March 1, Iraq's oil ministry undersecretary said that the pipeline,
including Iraq's part which has been disused since 1982, had been repaired
on both sides of the border.

It could be operational "in the coming weeks, once the Syrian side has taken
the decision to bring it back on stream", said Fayez Shahin.

Baghdad and Damascus signed an accord in August 1998 to repair the pipeline
which links the Kirkuk fields in northern Iraq with the Syrian port of
Banias on the Mediterranean.

Iraq, which aims to boost exports, currently uses the Gulf terminal of Mina
al-Bakr, west of Khor al-Amaya, that is in need of repair and a pipeline
running from the north through Turkey to the Mediterranean.

. . . . .

The UN Security Council has lifted a ceiling on the dollar value of Iraq's
oil exports and doubled the amount of spare parts it can import for the
sanctions-hit oil industry to 1.2 billion dollars a year.

Iraq plans to raise output from its current level of around 2.6 million
barrels per day, of which nearly two million are exported.

 Baghdad Hit by Rockets, BBC, 2 May '00

Iraq has blamed Iran for a rocket attack on the Iraqi capital Baghdad which
it says injured eight civilians.

The area targeted was Baladiyat in eastern Baghdad where the capital's
Palestinian community, including refugees, is concentrated.

The official Iraqi news agency INA said "agents in the pay of the Iranian
regime fired six remote-controlled missiles at homes in Baghdad, injuring
eight civilians who have been hospitalised".

One rocket hit a bedroom of a Palestinian-owned apartment, hurting six
members of the same family.

An Iraqi security source said the attack happened at 2335 (1935 GMT) on
Monday, but did not name the exact location.

"Iraq holds the Iranian authorities responsible for this cowardly attack and
reserves the right to respond at the opportune time," INA said.

It came the same night as a mortar strike on the Iranian capital Tehran
injured six people. That attack was claimed by an Iraq-based Iranian armed
opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen.

On 22 March, four people were killed and 38 injured in a mortar attack on
Baladiyat district.

That attack, in apparent retaliation for a Mujahedeen-claimed mortar strike
on March 13 near the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran that
wounded at least four people, was also blamed on Iran.

The Mujahedeen, which has its headquarters in Baghdad and bases around Iraq,
have condemned the "new savage crime by agents of the Iranian regime" and
said the attack had "no link" to its latest operation in Tehran.

The presence of the Mujahedeen in Iraq is a stumbling block to a
normalisation of ties between Baghdad and Tehran.

. . . . .

 Former Senior UN Officials Denounce Iraq Sanctions at Congressional
Briefing, ArabicNews, 3 May '00

Three former senior UN officials denounced economic sanctions against Iraq
and called for their lifting at a congressional briefing on Wednesday, May
3, said the Arab Anti Discrimination Committee.

Former UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq, Hans von Sponeck and Denis
Halliday, and former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, called on the US
government to abandon its policy of economic sanctions against Iraq.

Despite their diverse backgrounds, all three agreed that economic sanctions
are the major cause for the humanitarian disaster in Iraq, and dismissed
claims that American policy is not to blame. US Representatives Dennis
Kucinich, John Conyers and Cynthia McKinney also called for the lifting of

Former UN weapons inspector in Iraq Scott Ritter debunked what he called
"the myth" of a threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which were
typically cited as a reason for maintaining sanctions. Calling himself "an
unlikely ally in this matter," Ritter said that, "A lot of the blame for
this perception can be laid at my doorstep." But, Ritter said, "The reality
is that when you judge Iraq's current weapons of mass destruction
capabilities today, they have none."

Hans von Sponeck, who resigned in March in protest of the effects of
sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq, said that the "oil-for-food"
program which he was administering was not meeting the most basic needs of
the Iraqi population. He said that because of sanctions, Iraqis simply do
not have enough to eat. "The conditions in hospitals are atrocious," he
added. "Diseases that had disappeared from a country with one of the best
infrastructures in the Middle East have reappeared and have become a major
killer of children under five," he said.

The UN estimates that about 5,000 Iraqis die every month as a result of
economic sanctions.

Denis Halliday was von Sponeck's predecessor as UN Humanitarian Coordinator
in Iraq and who resigned in September 1998 in protest of the effects of what
he called "the human calamity going on in Iraq today on account of
widespread deprivation caused by US-driven economic sanctions."

Halliday presented a plan calling for the lifting of economic sanctions, an
end to US bombing of Iraq, renewed weapons inspections, a dialogue between
the Iraqi and US governments, releasing the oil production equipment on hold
in the UN sanctions committee, private investment in Iraq and postponement
of reparations payments, MAP reported.

 Denis Halliday's Congressional Briefing, 3 May '00

Denis Halliday for a Congressional Briefing on Wednesday 3 May 2000, in 2203
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC at 3.00 p.m.

Distinguished Members of Congress,
Ladies and Gentlemen

We are all aware of the letter signed by some 72 courageous members of
Congress to President Clinton calling for the de-linking of economic from
military sanctions, and for the lifting of economic sanctions on the people
of Iraq. We have heard the statement of Congressman Bonior lamenting the
economic sanctions-caused deaths of Iraqi children which he characterized as
infanticide. More recently we have listened to Congressman Hall, just
returned from witnessing the situation in Iraq, expressing his concern for
the humanitarian crisis. And this afternoon, we have heard Hans von Sponeck,
until last month the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad,
describe the human calamity ongoing in Iraq today on account of widespread
deprivation caused by U.S. driven United Nations economic sanctions.

What these sources have confirmed, is that economic sanctions are a blunt
and deadly instrument, and that the devastation is felt by the people, not
the leadership. Prolonged economic sanctions directly and indirectly cause
death, malnutrition and social destruction in respect of the innocent, the
children and others who are blameless for the bad decisions of government.
The case of Iraq is the most glaring failure of this otherwise legitimate
device provided for in the UN Charter, under Chapter 7, Article 41, to
enforce standards of behavior consistent with the requirements of the
Charter itself. Sadly, in the case of the children and adults of Iraq, we
find that the results of Security Council decisions as impacting on the
ground are incompatible with the spirit and intent of the Charter, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other instruments of international
law. The Iraq crisis is uniquely prolonged, unjustified by the laws of
proportionality and unacceptable to millions around the world, to many
member states of the General Assembly, and not surprisingly to millions of
Americans who are informed. Not surprisingly, as this great country has a
history of reaching out with enormous generosity of resources and spirit to
other peoples in need. The very basic human needs that are no longer
available to the children and adults of Iraq. Iraq does not want American
charity. Iraq needs the opportunity to restore the standard of living
enjoyed by its people as of 1990. The unfortunate reality is that not enough
of your constituents are informed about the deadly impact of economic
sanctions to demand your focus on policy change. Thus, distinguished members
of Congress, as you are fully informed, the burden of positive change is
primarily yours.

We know that there has been some terrible decision making in Baghdad. We
know of risings north and south in 1991, and of civil war before that, which
have been suppressed with brutal efficiency. And Americans above all know
the cost and pain of civil war. We know of the tragic loss of life on both
sides in the Iran-Iraq conflict. We also know of Western and other support,
including that of the United States via war material and intelligence to
Baghdad in these various military actions.

As to the deadly human cost of UN economic sanctions today, we may be
tempted to allocate all responsibility to President Saddam Hussein. That is
an easy way out, but we also know that that is simplistic and less than
honest. The Security Council has known full well for more than nine years of
the famine and other deadly consequences of this UN economic sanctions
policy. Following the total UN embargo on importation of all food for six
months as of August 1990, and after some unacceptably modest offers of
relief via Iraqi oil sales, the UN and Iraq established the so called
Oil-for-Food program in 1996. While the program has been well monitored by
the UN, its design faults (under funded, lack of buffer stock and UN
Sanctions Committee constraints inappropriate to a humanitarian crisis), and
its qualitative failures reported by the Secretary-General, we have,
nevertheless, continued it, albeit with superficial adjustments, as Mr von
Sponeck has just outlined. It has done little more than sustain high child
mortality levels and widespread malnutrition. We have done this in full
knowledge of these unacceptable consequences, apparently as a means to
punish the government and coerce the President of Iraq to step down. As many
members of Congress and Administration officials know full well from U.S.
bilateral experience, economic sanctions targeting a people, are not likely
to bring down a head of state, or produce the fullest cooperation. Thus,
given the mutual lack of Washington/Baghdad confidence, and despite very
substantial progress made by UNSCOM in collaboration with the Government in
regard to inspection and demolition of weapons of mass destruction , about
which I believe Mr Scott Ritter will speak shortly, we have today the signs
of an apparent impasse with regard to UN Resolution 1284.

Meantime, the children of Iraq are dying in their thousands every month.

The focus this afternoon should not be the past, but the immediate future.
In short, how does the Congress get out of this moral, humanitarian and
legal quagmire, so damaging to the leadership of the United States? And to
get out in a manner that is acceptable to the Administration here in
Washington without international and domestic loss of face. And yet viable
for the leadership in Iraq that also has to consider the realities of
domestic politics in a volatile environment of social collapse and great
anger. Anger directed at the UN and the United States and Britain, not as
some might wish here in Washington, at the leadership in Baghdad. As almost
always with punitive embargoes, the leadership is strengthened and the
status of the people diminished. However, anger and frustration with, and
alienation from, the outside world dangerously thrives. And that is
certainly the case of Iraq today.

Setting aside the current difficulties surrounding last December's
Resolution 1284, and the double standards of the Security Council with
regard to countries of the middle east, and taking into account the
continuing fears of neighboring governments and perhaps the concern of the
United States for the well being of its regional allies (despite the
comprehensive work of UNSCOM), I invite members of Congress to consider the
following, which (although I speak with no authority whatsoever) might be
broadly acceptable to Iraq :

a) re-establish inspections and monitoring with regard to weapons of mass
destruction within Iraq, as well as on its borders, including means for
period review under existing non-proliferation agreements;
b) impose "smart" sanctions on the Government in Baghdad in respect of
weapons purchasing, and in respect of those profiteering from civilian
c) re-open a U.S. dialogue with Baghdad, just as President Clinton has done
with apparent success in respect of North Korea, thereby applying the
principle that isolation leads to alienation whereas dialogue and
communication can lead to influence and positive change.
d) lift economic sanctions on Iraq essential for the economy, including
capital investment in infrastructure, and by this means provide the
"carrot", necessary for effectiveness in all cases of sanctions regimes, in
response inter alia to: considerable, if imperfect, Iraqi collaboration with
UNSCOM over many years; for acceptance of the new Kuwait-Iraq border; and
for cooperation with the UN in regard to the Oil-for-Food program, as
reported by the Secretary-General;
e) release the oil production equipment on hold in the Sanctions Committee
of the Security Council to enable Iraq to put more oil on the world market
and enhance its much needed earnings capacity;
f) facilitate American and other private sector capital investment in Iraq
to begin the task of rebuilding the civilian infrastructure and refurbishing
the environment so severely damaged during the Gulf War, to: produce and
distribute electric power so essential for
health care, clean water treatment and distribution, sanitation systems,
irrigated agriculture, food processing and storage; rehabilitate transport
and communications requirements; introduce modern technology for education
and management of a modern economy, needed to end unemployment, salvage the
value of the dinar and restore to families and individual citizens their
economic and social (human)rights;
g) postpone payment of reparations, thereby allowing Iraq full access to its
oil revenues, excepting payment to those individuals who have yet to be
compensated for lost homes, employment and/or residency in Kuwait, until
such time as the mortality
and malnutrition crisis in terms of Iraqi children has ended;
h) encourage overseas visits of Iraqi professionals and study by Iraqi
graduate students to begin to close the gap created by almost ten years of
intellectual and technological isolation;
i) invite Iraqi participation in the regional process for middle-east peace
to enhance expectations of a middle-east community of nations in the years
j) establish with Baghdad arrangements for the semi-autonomy of the Iraqi
Kurds of the northern provinces until such time as they work out with the
central government a modus vivandi that is mutually acceptable;
k) respect the constraints of Security Council resolutions, including the
termination of US/UK bombing of the so called "no-fly zones" plus regular
incursions by the Turkish military into Kurdish Iraq, for which there are no
legal provisions in any
existing UN resolution.

Many will see risks inherent in these proposals. However, it is difficult to
make progress without risk. As for the fear of resurgence of any Iraqi
military threat to its neighbors, it is expected that proposals a) and b)
will succeed and that American military presence will remain in the Gulf,
and in the countries of the region, for as long as necessary. In reality,
Iraq today is surrounded by highly armed and more powerful neighbors. As for
military potential, inspections and monitoring should address that concern,
particularly when backed up as described.

Were these proposals, or some modified version thereof, considered viable by
all concerned, the resulting impact would certainly: be in the immediate
best interests of the children and of the people of Iraq; enhance the world
leadership of the United States; restore some of the lost credibility of the
United Nations Security Council; and demonstrate some respect for the rule
of (international) law as per the Charter. It would also immediately begin
to address the loss of fundamental human rights as set out in Article 25 of
the Universal Declaration under the impact of economic sanctions. And it
would set in motion the lengthy task of restoring prosperity to the Iraqi
people at the levels, or better, that they enjoyed back in 1990.

Based on discussions with Iraqi exiles in the European Union, including the
UK, and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and in the United States, an end
to economic sanctions would bring home many economic refugees of the middle
and professional classes, so important for the economy, but also for social
well being and possible change in governance towards a more participatory
and democratic system, were that to be the choice of the Iraqi people.
Nothing can be more dangerous and volatile for the middle east region than
the present uncertainty, human deprivation combined with the economic and
social despair within Iraq. To think of peace in the middle east without
Iraqi participation is naive.

In conclusion, distinguished Members of Congress, after almost ten years of
uniquely comprehensive economic sanctions and blockade, surely it is time
for the United States, the Congress and Administration, to attempt to find
an alternative way to live with Iraq, without punishing its innocent
populace, not involved in the bad decisions leading to the invasion of
Kuwait, nor in government policy-making and actions before 1990, or since.
Setting aside the American desire for moral and democratic leadership, and
even if only to protect its positive place in history, the United States
needs to make positive policy changes in respect of Iraq. The member states
of the United Nations will surely follow.

Denis J. Halliday, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General and
Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq 1997-98.

 Iraqi Suffering -- Rep. Hall adds Noteworthy Support for Keeping
Sanctions, The Dallas Morning News - Editorial, 3 May '00

It would be fair, if somewhat pejorative, to describe Rep. Tony Hall as
Congress' leading bleeding heart on hunger issues. The Ohio Democrat's
passion is combating hunger. The former Peace Corps volunteer and two-time
Nobel Peace Prize nominee sometimes even seems to elevate his cause above
other important issues like national security.

So after Mr. Hall visited Iraq last month to study the impact of United
Nations economic sanctions for that country's failure to keep its promises
to disarm, one might have expected him to urge that the sanctions be lifted.
He did not. That surprised many people, perhaps even him. It was
heartbreaking to see Iraqis' pain, but lifting the sanctions would be
irresponsible, he said.

Mr. Hall correctly ascertained that the sanctions are still necessary to
prevent Saddam Hussein from obtaining or using weapons of mass destruction.

The United Nations Security Council appropriately imposed the sanctions
because of Mr. Hussein's intransigence. However, to spare innocent Iraqis,
it allowed Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil to buy food and medicine,
among other nonmilitary essentials.

The food-for-oil program worked poorly in large measure because Mr. Hussein
hoarded much of the food and medicine for his supporters and kept much of
the rest in stockpile. There always seemed to be enough trucks on hand to
transport Iraqi soldiers but not always enough to deliver humanitarian
supplies. As a consequence, hunger and early mortality grew (except in the
north, where private groups, not the regime, direct aid distribution).

For its part, the United Nations has improved the food-for-oil program to
allow unlimited oil sales, to speed the process by which it considers Iraqi
purchase orders and to expand the list of nonmilitary goods that Iraq could
purchase. Today, the situation is much improved. The United Nations approves
90 percent of Iraqi purchase contracts, a U.S. State Department official
said. The United States puts "holds" on Iraqi purchases only when it
suspects that the goods could have a military application, such as when Iraq
ordered parts for kidney-therapy machines that could also be used to
manufacture high-explosive shells and nuclear bombs. "The U.N. is telling us
that the food is getting to the people," the official said.

The United Nations should continue to search for ways to alleviate Iraqis'
suffering, but it should maintain the sanctions so as to deny Mr. Hussein
the opportunity to replenish his arsenal of chemical, biological and nuclear

 Death Sentence Upheld on Kuwait Occupation Leader, Reuters, 3 May '00

By Roland Rahal
KUWAIT - A Kuwaiti man who returned from self-exile believing he would be
pardoned lost his appeal on Wednesday against a death sentence for heading
the puppet government set up in Kuwait by Iraq after its 1990 invasion.

The head of the Gulf Arab state's criminal court rejected the attempt by
defendant Alaa Hussein to reverse the death sentence passed on him in
absentia in 1993 for treason and cooperation with Iraq during the
seven-month occupation.

Defense lawyer Khaled al-Abdaljellil told Reuters Hussein would appeal,
adding that Hussein could challenge the ruling twice before the sentence
would go before Kuwait's leader, Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who
must ratify the execution.

``We plan to lodge an appeal Saturday with the court of appeals,'' the
lawyer said. Kuwait has executed 35 people, usually by public hanging, since
introducing the death penalty in 1964.

The lawyer and a Western diplomat said the case in the criminal court was in
effect a retrial since the original ruling had been made by temporary
security courts set up after the end of the Gulf War in 1991. These courts
were later dismantled.

Witnesses at the court said the 41-year-old Hussein looked at the ground
after the judge read out the decision. He was led away by guards immediately
after the verdict. His parents were visibly shocked as they looked on, the
witnesses said.

Abdaljellil said his client remained composed after the sentence, but his
reaction was one ``of deep sadness and pain.''

``I had been preparing him for such a possibility,'' the lawyer said.

Hussein said he returned to Kuwait in January from self-imposed exile in
Norway to stand trial only after he was promised amnesty by Kuwaiti
Information Minister Saad bin Tiflah.

Tiflah denied in court that he had promised him a pardon.

Public Opinion Divided

Analysts say public opinion in Kuwait has been divided over the fate of
Hussein, although most welcomed the public hearing.

``I think at the grassroots level, in certain quarters, there is a desire to
see him hanged,'' one Western diplomat said, adding that in some
``diwaniyas,'' private evening gatherings of Kuwaiti men, there is a
``string-him-up attitude.''

The diplomat said the Kuwaiti government had sought to ensure a transparent
trial in the criminal courts so justice would be seen to be done. This gave
Hussein the right like ``any other criminal'' to appeal his sentence, he

Hussein, a former Kuwaiti army officer, said he was forced to head the
puppet government set up by Saddam Hussein after his troops stormed into

His government lasted about a week after the invasion. Saddam later annexed
Kuwait and declared it an Iraqi governorate.

Several witnesses called by the defense declined to give evidence when one
of the three Kuwaiti judges hearing the case traveled to London last month
to allow them to testify outside the Middle East.

Iraq's former intelligence chief Wafiq al-Samerai and the former head of the
Iraqi News Agency, Saad al Bazaaz, declined to give evidence while the
former secretary of Saddam's eldest son, Uday, and an Iraqi journalist
failed to show up.

Abdeljellil said he was still puzzled by the failure of Iraqi dissidents
living in exile to testify.

``What made those symbols of the opposition shy from exposing the Iraqi
regime?'' he said.

 An American Ally Becomes Iraq's Chief Trading Partner. Stratfor, 3 May '00


Egypt, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, has signed contracts worth $400
million to become Iraq's leading trade partner. While such moves could worry
Washington, no public objection has materialized. In fact, the United States
has recently approved a deal to upgrade Egypt's air defenses. The United
States appears to be using Egypt to open yet another back channel to Iraq in
order to gain economic leverage over Baghdad and pressure the regime.


Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh announced April 30 that his
country signed contracts with Egypt to purchase products worth close to $400
million, making Egypt its biggest trade partner, according to BBC. The
signing of the contracts, mainly for construction materials, was announced
at the opening of an exhibition of Egyptian products in Baghdad.

Ties between Cairo and Baghdad have improved significantly since mid-March
when Iraq's foreign minister expressed a desire to restore full diplomatic
ties with Egypt. On April 14 a London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat
reported that Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Obeid sent a letter to Iraqi Vice
President Taha Yassin Ramadan seeking to improve relations with Baghdad. On
April 29 an Egyptian state minister arrived in Baghdad to promote trade
ties, according to The Iraqi News Agency. Subsequently, Saleh announced the
Egyptian contracts.

On the surface, it would be expected that Iraq's improved ties with Egypt -
the second largest recipient of U.S. aid and military equipment - would
disturb the United States. However, relations between Egypt and the United
States still appear strong. Continued approval of arms sales to Cairo
indicates tacit support from Washington, if not sponsorship, of the
strengthening relations between Egypt and Iraq.

Throughout the period in which Cairo improved ties with Baghdad, Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak had two meetings with top U.S. government officials.
In late March, Mubarak met with President Bill Clinton, the secretary of
state, the secretary of defense and prominent U.S. congressmen in
Washington. It would be difficult to believe that the subject of Iraq never
came up during this meeting.

Several days later, on April 4, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen met
with Mubarak in Cairo and announced the United States had approved the sale
of a short-range surface-launched version of the AMRAAM missiles to Egypt.
Iraq made an offer of improving ties in mid-March. Then two high-level
meetings between the United States and Egypt took place, and finally Egypt
responded positively to Iraq's offer. Meanwhile, Egypt was careful to
publicly appear as though it had not moved too close to Iraq. On April 28
the government banned an Egyptian magazine, Al-Tadamon, which had run a lead
story favorable to the Iraqi regime.

It appears that Washington and Cairo have worked out a deal, allowing a
close U.S. ally in the region to obtain a significant economic lever in
Iraq. After all, Egypt has little to gain economically or strategically from
Iraq. The lack of opposition from neighboring U.S. allies in the region
further indicates that Washington and Cairo worked out a deal. Neither
Israel nor Saudi Arabia has voiced opposition or even concern.

If Washington and Cairo have reached an agreement over Iraq, it would not be
unprecedented. The United States appears to be pursuing similar goals with
the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Washington is working to sell the UAE 80
advanced F-16C/D Block 60 fighter aircraft, despite the fact that Abu Dhabi
has reopened its embassy in Baghdad. This is not to say that the United
States is rewarding these countries for befriending Iraq - rather Washington
is simply not punishing them.

The United States is attempting to use its allies as diplomatic proxies to
improve its ability to strong-arm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime.
Allies inside Baghdad will cooperate with Washington if properly motivated
through certain concessions. U.S. policy toward Iraq is in the opening
stages of a subtle shift. Rather than pressuring Iraq militarily from the
outside - a tactic that has repeatedly failed and locked Washington into an
unsuccessful military campaign - the United States will start trying to
manipulate Baghdad economically and politically from within.

 Some In Congress Approve Of Lifting The Economic Sanctions Against
Iraq To Help The Iraqi People While Keeping Military, National Public Radio,
4 May '00


In Congress, support for economic sanctions against Iraq is slowly eroding
as evidence mounts that the sanctions have caused extreme suffering among
the Iraqi people while President Saddam Hussein continues to thrive. Seventy
members of Congress have signed a letter calling on the United Nations
Security Council and the council's most-powerful member, the United States,
to lift economic sanctions against Iraq while keeping military sanctions in
place. Last year a similar letter garnered just over 40 signatures. Members
opposed to the economic sanctions invited three experts to Capitol Hill
yesterday. All of them have recently quit senior UN posts to protest current
policy toward Iraq. NPR's Ted Clark reports.

TED CLARK reporting:

Hans von Sponeck resigned as the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in
Iraq in February. He did so because of the ineffectiveness of the
oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell oil and use the resulting
revenue to buy relief supplies.

He said the revenue is far too little, about $ 252 per person per year. That
has never provided the food intake, 2,200 calories per day, that the UN
promised. Von Sponeck said, 'It has not bought enough medicine and has not
rebuilt all the water-treatment facilities destroyed in the Gulf War 10
years ago,' which is when sanctions were first imposed.

Mr. HANS VON SPONECK: Diseases have reappeared, like, for example, diarrhea,
and have become a major killer of children under five. Cholera, typhoid are

CLARK: The sanctions have stifled intellectual life in Iraq, von Sponeck
argued, and have driven out much of the educated middle class.

Mr. VON SPONECK: Instead, today sanctions have beautifully managed to bring
fixers, operators, black marketeerers who are praying, if they have a god,
to that god to let sanctions continue as long as possible because they
profit from that kind of condition.

CLARK: Dennis Haliday was von Sponeck's predecessor as the UN's humanitarian
coordinator in Iraq. He resigned in 1998 because economic sanctions had
caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, a conclusion supported by several UN
surveys. At yesterday's briefing he called economic sanctions 'a blunt and
deadly instrument.'

Mr. DENNIS HALIDAY: Surely it is time for the United States, the Congress
and administration to attempt to find an alternative way to live with Iraq
without punishing its innocent populace.

CLARK: Haliday proposed an alternative to current policy, an alternative
that might, he said, 'be acceptable to both Iraq and the United States,' the
strongest advocate of sanctions in UN Security Council debates.

Under Haliday's plan, economic sanctions would end and Iraq would agree to
renewed weapons inspections, which have not occurred since a US-led bombing
campaign against Iraq in 1998. The UN would impose so-called smart sanctions
affecting just the Iraqi government and profiteers. The United States would
reopen a dialogue with Iraq, encourage overseas travel by Iraqi
professionals and allow foreign investment in Iraq, among other provisions.

The third expert at yesterday's congressional briefing was Scott Ritter, who
resigned as a senior weapons inspector in Iraq in 1998.

Mr. SCOTT RITTER: I sit before you as an unlikely ally in this cause. I'm
very conservative, Marine Corps trained, a Republican.

CLARK: Ritter took on one of Washington's principal arguments for
maintaining economic sanctions against Iraq: Saddam Hussein's effort to
develop weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. RITTER: The reality is that, from a qualitative standpoint, when you
judge Iraq's current weapons of mass destruction capabilities today, they
have none.

CLARK: 'Iraq's long-range missiles have been destroyed,' Ritter said.
'Missile production facilities were dismantled or placed under strict
monitoring prior to December 1998. The same is true for chemical weapons,
biological weapons and nuclear weapons facilities,' he said.

Ritter argued that Iraq could not reconstitute its program to develop
weapons of mass destruction under a plan that allowed UN inspectors to
resume their work in exchange for lifting the UN's economic sanctions. Ted
Clark, NPR News, Washington.

 Iran Releases 480 Iraqi Prisoners, AP, 4 May '00

AL-MUNDHARIYA, Iraq -- With hugs and jubilation, dozens of relatives
welcomed home 480 Iraqi prisoners of war released Thursday by Iran despite
its strained relations with Iraq.

Soldiers on both sides of the border smiled and cheered as the weary
prisoners in gray suits, who were captured during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq
war, were ushered into Iraqi territory.

Mohammed Zaki walked with the aid of a stick and had an amputated arm. "What
you see is a human tragedy," he said.

Faiq Mahmoud, who had spent 20 years as a prisoner, knelt down and kissed
the ground while Fawziya Araibi threw herself at her brother, Fawzi Araibi.

Tariq and Saleh Askar held their brother Mudhafar Askar high as relatives
showered them with chocolate and other sweets.

"For us he has been resurrected. For 20 years, we thought he was dead," said
Thursday's release -- the second in less than a month -- came amid mounting
tensions between Iran and Iraq over recent explosions that have rocked their

. . . . .

Iran has expressed hope the prisoner releases would improve relations.

But a senior Iraqi official at this border crossing, 160 kilometers (100
miles) northeast of Baghdad, said Iran was only fulfilling a duty under
international obligations and that the prisoners should have been released a
long time ago.

"Their freedom has taken a long time," said Fahmi al-Qaysi of the Iraqi
Foreign Ministry.

Iraq and Iran have repatriated nearly 100,000 prisoners of war since the end
of the war. Both sides accuse the other of giving false reports on how many
prisoners are still being held.

Florent Cornaz of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which
arranged Thursday's repatriation, declined to discuss detailed figures. But
he said 4,900 Iraqi prisoners have decided to stay in Iran.

Al-Qaysi said his government believes more than 13,000 Iraqis are still
being held by Iran. He has said Iraq holds no Iranian POWs on its soil.

Iran insists that Iraq still holds 2,806 of its prisoners.

U.N. Iraq Inspection Head Ready for August Start, Reuters, 6 May '00

STOCKHOLM - Hans Blix, the new chief United Nations arms inspector for Iraq,
said on Saturday he would be ready to start work there in August if Iraq
allowed his inspectors in.

Blix, a Swede, said in a radio interview he would have enough trained staff
by August for his agency, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).

"My working assumption has got to be that the Iraqis will accept us. In
August we will have trained about 40 staff and could be ready to start. But
so far Iraq has not cooperated," he added.

. . . . .

Blix was asked in the Swedish state radio interview about the prospects of
sanctions against Iraq being lifted.

"It takes two to tango, and it takes two to keep sanctions in place," he

"If I can report that the Iraqis have cooperated for 120 days and we have
made progress on the outstanding questions, the Security Council could
suspend sanctions at the end of this year or early next year," added Blix,

Blix, former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency which
monitored Iraq's nuclear weapons programme, indicated he would take a
different approach from that of UNSCOM, the previous inspectorate headed by
fellow Swede Rolf Ekeus.

"We will have a professional, correct style. UNSCOM was set up differently,
it had staff paid by member governments, and there was less of a U.N. stamp
on the operation," he said.

Blix denied a suggestion that he had a reputation for being soft. "I reject
that. We will see in future how we get on with the inspection," he said.

Blix said he wanted his team to combine a fresh approach with the experience
of Iraqi procedure and weapons development which UNSCOM had built up.

"I don't suppose (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein likes any of the U.N.
weapons inspectors," he said. "But we will not accept any interference in
the choice of the inspectors."

Only links provided for the following reports:

 Iraq Seeks Compensation for 1998 U.S.-U.K. Attacks, Reuters, 1 May '00

 Iraqi Kurds Enjoy a De Facto State, Christian Science Monitor, 3 May '00

 Serbia and Iraq 'In Dangerous New Alliance', The Times, 5 May '00

 Some Iraqi Opposition Groups to be Allowed Back, Reuters, 6 May '00

 Mossad Snatches Sacred Jewish Texts from Saddam, The Times, 7 May '00

 At Rehearing, Iraqi Doctor Wins Round In Deportation, The New York Times,
7 May '00

 Fifa Inquiry Into Iraqi Team Torture, The Times, 7 May '00

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