The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Hello all: Please note the following message from Colin Rowat: I've got a backlog of documents piling up that I'd like to convert to HTML. Is there anyone on the list who has the time, interest and equipment to help? The equipment needed would primarily be scanner software so that the scanned pages can be recognised. In some cases I have scanned pages, in other cases just pages. If anyone is interested, they should contact me at: email@example.com Thanks, Hathal ________________________________________________________ News for 29 May '00 to 4 June '00 · Sources: AFP, AP, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Reuters, Washington Post · British, French Issue Dueling Proposals on Iraq Humanitarian Program (AP) · UN Urges Iraq to Spend More on Food and Medicine (Reuters) · U.N. Arms Inspector Says Iraq Still Not Cooperating (CNN) · Iraq to Wait on U.N. for Next Phase of Oil Deal (Reuters) · In Saddam's Future, A Harder U.S. Line (Washington Post) · Qatar Proposes Initiative to End Iraq Embargo (Reuters) · EU Deputies Start Iraq Fact-Finding Mission (Reuters) · UC Berkeley Convocation Addressee Speaks Of Iraq · Albright Commencement Address at George Washington University Protested by Students and Peace Activists · U.N. Frees $143 Million in Farm Equipment for Iraq (Reuters) · Iraq Urges League Chief to Drop Link Between Embargo, Kuwait's Missing (AFP) · Where is Our Shame? (Commentary -- Chicago Tribune) Only links provided for the following reports: · Minister: Iraq Won't Deal With New U.N. Arms Body (Reuters) · Traders Bank on Only Minor Gap in Iraq Oil Exports (Reuters) · Saudi Denies Plans for Diplomatic Ties With Iraq (Reuters) · U.S. Jets Bomb Iraq Military Sites (AP) ________________________________________________________ · UC Berkeley Convocation Addressee Speaks Of Iraq, 10 May '00 http://www.berkeley.edu/news/features/2000/05/11_convoc.html The student speaker honored to address graduates at UC Berkeley's graduation ceremony last Wednesday (which included commencement speaker Madeline Albright) took it upon herself to talk about Iraq. In attendance were a large number of protestors who disrupted Madame Albright's speech. This student speaker, a Palestinian woman named Fadia Rafeedie, tossed out her original speech (which she worked so diligently on and which had already been approved by the University) and began to speak from the heart regarding the situation in Iraq. Her text follows........ Berkeley Convocation Address By Fadia Rafeedie Chancellor Berdahl: Please join me in congratulating our 2000 University Medalist, Fadia Rafeedie: Fadia: Thank you, that was way too generous, Chancellor Berdahl. It makes me sound, you know, a lot better than I am. I had a speech and it's right here. It took me so long to draft it and I kept re-drafting it, and this morning I changed it again, but I'm just going to put it to the side and I'm going to talk from my heart because what I witnessed here today, I have mixed feelings about. I don't know why I'm up here articulating the viewpoints of a lot of my comrades out there who were arrested, and not them. It's not because I got, you know, straight A's or maybe it is. Maybe that's the way the power structure works, but I'm very fortunate to be able to give them a voice. I think that's what I'm going to do, so if you give me your attention, I'd really appreciate it. I was hoping to speak before Secretary Albright, but that was also a reflection of the power structure, I think, to sort of change things around and make it difficult for people who are ready to articulate their voice in ways they don't usually get a chance to. So I'm going to improvise, and I'm going to mention some things that she didn't mention at all in her speech but which most of the protesters were actually talking about. You know, I think it's really easy for us to feel sorry for her, and I was looking at my grandmothers who are actually in the audience - my grandmother and her sister - who weren't really happy with all the protesters, and I think they thought that wasn't really respectful of them, and a lot of you didn't, I don't think, because you came to hear her speak. But I think what the protesters did was not embarrass our university. I think they dignified it. Because secretary Albright didn't even mention Iraq, and that's what they were here to listen to. And I think sometimes NOT saying things not mentioning things - is actually lying about them. And what I was going to tell her while she was sitting on the stage with me, I was going to remind her that four years ago from this Friday when we were freshmen, I heard her on 60 Minutes talking to a reporter who had just returned from Iraq. The reporter was describing that a million children were dying [died] due to the sanctions that this country was imposing on the people of Iraq. And she told her, listen, "that's more.. children than have died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do you think the price is worth it?" [Albright] looked into the camera and she said, "the price is worth it. Since that time, 3 times that number of people have died in Iraq. And I was going to tell her, "do you really think the price is worth it?" We are about 5000 here today, next month, by the time we graduate, that's as many people who are going to die in Iraq because of the sanctions. This is what House Minority Whip David Boniors calls 'infanticide masquerading as policy.' Now, I don't want to make the mood somber here because this is our commencement, but commencement means beginning, and I think it's important for us to begin where civilization itself began, and where it's now being destroyed. [applause] Let me talk to you a little bit a little bit more about the sanctions, because I think it's very important. Now, I'm a Palestinian, I would really love to talk about the struggle for the liberation of my country, and to talk about a whole bunch of other things and I see some people maybe rolling their eyes, and other people nodding these are controversial issues, but I need to speak about Iraq because I think what's happening there is a genocide. It's another holocaust. And I'm a history major, and sometimes I look back at history and I see things like the slave trade, the Holocaust you know, I see I see people dropping atomic bombs and not thinking what the ramifications are, and I don't want us to think about Iraq that way. It's already a little too late because 2.5 million people have died and yet these sanctions continue. For the last 10 years, you wouldn't imagine the kinds of things that aren't being let into this country: heart machines, lung machines, needles, um infrastructural parts to build the economy. Even cancer patients sometimes some of the medicine will be let in, but not ALL of the medicine. It's very strategic what's let in at what time, because what it does is it prolongs life, but it doesn't save it. In Iraq, the hospitals they clean the floors with gasoline because detergent isn't even allowed in because of the sanctions. These are all United States policies. And Secretary Albright - I have no conflict with HER, as an individual. I don't happen to RESPECT her, but she belongs to a larger power structure. She's a symbol. And when the protesters are protesting, it's not because they want to pick a fight with the woman who you guys all happen -well, many of you - happen to love. She was introduced as the 'greatest woman of our times.' Now see, to me that's an insult. [applause] This woman is doing HORRIBLE things. She's allowing innocent people to suffer and to die. Iraq used to be the country in the Arab World that had the best medical services and social services for its people, and NOW look at it. It's being OBLITERATED. And a lot of times you might hear it's because of Saddam Hussein and I'd like to talk a little bit about that. He's a brutal dictator - I agree with her, and I agree with many of you. But again, I'm a history major, and history means origins. It means beginnings. We need to see who's responsible for how strong Saddam Hussein has gotten. When he when he was gassing the Kurds, he was gassing them using chemical weapons that were manufactured in Rochester, New York. And when he was fighting a long and protracted war with Iran, where 1 million people died, it was the CIA that was funding him. It was U.S. policy that built this dictator. When they didn't NEED him, they started imposing sanctions on his people. Sanctions - or any kind of policy -should be directed at people's governments, not at the people. The cancer rate in Iraq has risen by over 70 percent since the Gulf War. The children who are dying from these malicious and diseases, weren't born when the Gulf War happened. The reason that the cancer rate is so high is because every other day our country is bombing Iraq STILL. We're still at war with them. They have no nuclear capabilities. In fact, just last week, the United Nations inspectors found [again] that Iraq has no nuclear capabilities and yet WE are BOMBING them every other day with depleted uranium. And what this does is it releases a gas that the people breathe. It's making them ill, and they're dying and they don't have medicine. I saw some of my friends, even, being arrested here today. One of them was Lillian. Her aunt did a documentary about this depleted uranium, and it showed that it's being MINED by Native American populations in the United States. THEY'RE getting sick. Their children are getting sick. And that depleted uranium is going from HERE, to our MILITARY, to Iraq, and it's decimating populations. This is a big deal. And I'm embarrassed that I don't even get to talk about Columbia, because I saw a few signs about that, too. And my colleague here, Darren Noy, who's also a Finalist, is very interested in these issues. We don't stand alone. I'm on stage with allies, I'm looking out at allies, we need allies, my allies have been taken away [today]. But in general, I mean, I'm speaking to a crowd that gave a standing ovation to the woman who typifies everything against which I stand, and I'm still telling you this because I think it's important to understand. And I think, that if I achieve nothing else, if this makes you think a little bit about Iraq, think a little bit about U.S. foreign policy, I've succeeded. I don't want to take too much of your time, but I want to end my speech with a slogan that hangs over my bed in Arabic. It says, "La tastaw7ishu tareeq el-7aq, min qilit es-sa'ireen fihi" and that translates into, "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." I think our future is going to be the future of truth, and we're going to walk on that path, and we're going to fill it with travelers. Thank you very much. [Standing ovation from the stage, with the faculty members, the senior class council, and the student award-winners. And, of course, standing ovation from a cheering section in the crowd.] ________________________________________________________ · Albright Commencement Address at George Washington University Protested by Students and Peace Activists, 21 May '00 VIDEO AVAILABLE FROM: David Russo 202-387-8367 firstname.lastname@example.org and Kobi Snitz 202-546-7846 email@example.com In a repeat of the protest at UC Berkeley's commencement Address, GWU students turned their backs and walked out during Albright's address. Other protesters called Albright a murderer and demanded she explain why she condoned the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Stephen Trachtenberg GW president introduced the secretary of state-who readily admitted on a "60 minutes" interview (May 10, 1996) that the sanctions on Iraq have killed as many as 500,000 children and that this was acceptable to her. Tracktenberg described Albright as a "high minded public servant" who dedicated her life to making sure that the holocaust she escaped as a child in Europe never happens again. Albright seemed to have gotten the message at Berkeley: she can not speak publicly on an American campus without being challenged on the sanctions policy. Both the University Administration and the Park Police seemed also to realize that a speech by Albright means that there will be a demonstration. When protesters first arrived at the Ellipse area early Sunday morning they were met by Park police who threatened to arrest them for standing on the sidewalk with signs (which is legal D.C as long as there are 25 people or less in the demonstration.) The Park Police officer eventually admitted that the protesters were within their rights but threatened that they might all be arrested if there were 26 protesters. As guests walked in, about 40 protesters handed them "unofficial programs" and held signs and banners reading "Let Iraq Live" and "Sanctions are a weapon of mass destruction". One sign which got much attention had a portrait of Madeleine Albright and the words "KILL! KILL! KILL!" coming out of her mouth. As it turned out, the ushers did not check for invitations and some of the protesters used the opportunity to invite themselves and wait for Albright's address. As soon as Albright began to speak about 10 students turned their back and walked out in protest of her invitation and that of James Wolfenshon, president of the World Bank. At the same time Management Sciences professor Tom Nagy who was seated on stage tried to interrupt Albright and then walked off the stage in protest. A few seconds later, protesters started yelling from the audience. One woman called Albright a murderer and a liar and another protester yelled for Albright asking "Can you give us an explanation of why you justify the killing of a million Iraqis. How many more people have to die before you give us an answer." George Washington sophomore Husna Ali-Khan who was sitting about 40 meters from the stage got up and held up a sign which read "Albright is a C- O- W-" Under C-O-W vertical letters read: "Criminal Of War." Husna was then violently grabbed by D.C police and pulled out. The police officer was pulling Husna by the back of her sweater and choking her as he was taking her out. Two audience members, who were not aware of the demonstration beforehand, saw Husna being taken out got up and followed Husna and the police officer acting as her legal observers to monitor the actions of the police. Husna's legal observers managed to persuade the police to release her and she was allowed to join The cheering demonstrators who waited for her outside. With most protesters taken out, Albright finished her prepared speech which was identical to the one delivered in Berkeley down to her joke about once being the age of the graduates. Contacts: Husna Ali-Khan, GW sophomore 202-424-2360 Tom Nagy, GW professor: w 202-994-7090 Kobi Snitz, University of Maryland Student, 202-546-7846 Pierre Habshi: 202-588-9670 ________________________________________________________ · EU Deputies Start Iraq Fact-Finding Mission, Reuters, 29 May '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000529_1244.html BAGHDAD -- Three members of the European parliament began a fact-finding mission to Iraq on Monday to see the impact of almost 10 years of economic sanctions. "We have come here to look and to listen to the situation in Iraq so that we can see for ourselves...what impact the embargo has had on the people of Iraq," Bashir Khanbhai of the British Conservative party told reporters. "We would like to take this information back to the European Parliament, report to our respective political groups in the Parliament and hope that there will be further dialogue," he said. "We all feel that Europe and the European Union should take the initiative and open this door for dialogue," he added. Khanbhai said the three deputies were making the visit in a personal capacity after informing the European Union and Baghdad. "This is an initiative from each one of us individually because we are interested in Iraq," he said, adding that Baghdad had given them carte blanche to go anywhere to probe the impact of sanctions imposed for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Another European Parliament deputy, Niall Andrews of Ireland, condemned continuing sanctions, saying they amounted to war. "I believe that the sanctions on Iraq are a continuation of the war and more severe continuation of the war because the civilian population has been devastated," Andrews said. "We are not taking sides believe me. But we would like to see Iraq and the United Nations sitting down and negotiating as equals and ending the sanctions as quickly as possible for humanitarian and common compassionate reasons," he said. The third MP visiting Iraq is Italian Luisa Morgantini. They were received on Monday by Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz. The official Iraqi News Agency quoted Aziz as "calling on the European states to take positions based on their interests and historical friendly relations that link them with Iraq." . . . . . ________________________________________________________ · U.N. Frees $143 Million in Farm Equipment for Iraq, Reuters, 29 May '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000529_697.html BAGHDAD -- The United Nations has released $143 million in farm equipment for sanctions-bound Iraq in a bid to alleviate the impact of a severe, two-year-long drought, a senior U.N. official said on Monday. Iraq bought the equipment under the U.N. "oil for food" programme, a key part of the sanctions regime imposed over Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Iraqi troops were ejected from Kuwait by U.S.-led multinational forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Amir Khalil, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) representative in Iraq, warned that the drought would wreak devastation on Iraqi agriculture and livestock if swift measures were not taken. "I am glad to report that we managed to release $143 million for agriculture and irrigation inputs," Khalil told Reuters. He said the contracts were approved after his visit earlier this month to New York where he briefed the U.N. sanctions committee on how important equipment, materials and spare parts were to soften the effects of the drought. He said the FAO and Iraq's ministries of agriculture and irrigation answered all queries raised by the sanctions committee about the purchased equipment and supplies. A few weeks ago Baghdad complained that $188 million worth of items for the agriculture and irrigation sectors were still being kept on hold by the sanctions committee. Khalil said the remaining contracts in question would be "released as soon as we provide the committee with clarifications." 'MOST SEVERE DROUGHT IN 100 YEARS' . . . . . The released equipment includes irrigation pumps, water spraying machines, water trucks, machinery spare parts and animal health supplies. The oil-for-food programme allows Iraq to use revenues from oil sales to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies to ease the effect on ordinary Iraqis of the economic sanctions. Khalil said that for two consecutive agricultural seasons, "Iraq has been hit by the most severe drought ever recorded in the past 100 years. "The total (water) flow into all Iraqi rivers recorded during 1998-99 and 1999-2000 was as low as 40 percent of the normal annual average before the drought." The drought has also cost 75 percent of harvests, he said. "Iraq is importing 800,000 tonnes of barley for the first time." Khalil said the approved contracts included spare parts to repair a fleet of helicopters used by the FAO and Iraq to spray crop pests. "About 20 helicopters will be sent to Russia, rehabilitated and sent back to Baghdad," he said. He said this year's spraying campaign covered only 7,200 hectares in northern Iraq. A total of 62,200 hectares were sprayed with pesticides in the north in 1998 to offset drought. Iraqi authorities say more than half a million head of livestock have died over the last year because of drought and foot and mouth disease. Khalil said a U.N. team had visited Iraq to assess how to rebuild an animal vaccine factory which was ordered destroyed by U.N. arms inspectors on the suspicion that it was used to produce biological weapons. ________________________________________________________ · Where is Our Shame?, Chicago Tribune, 29 May '00 http://chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/article/0,2669,SAV-0005290 138,FF.html Salim Muwakkil E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org During the period when Americans were hotly debating the fate of one 6-year-old Cuban castaway, thousands of Iraqi children died due to economic sanctions maintained in the name of those same Americans. "Approximately 250 people die every day in Iraq due to the effect of the sanctions," according to a 1998 UNICEF report, which noted the high proportion of children in those grim numbers. That report is one of many that have documented the enormous damage caused by the U.S.-sponsored embargo on the crippled nation. August marks the 10th year of the sanctions. Two veteran UN officials (Germany's Hans von Sponeck and Britain's Denis Halliday), who served as humanitarian coordinators for Iraq, resigned in succession to protest the sanctions as what Halliday called "the genocidal destruction of a nation." In the words of a resolution introduced in the House in March, Iraqis have suffered under "the most comprehensive economic sanctions ever imposed on any country." And that's just the tail end of what Iraqis have suffered at the hands of the U.S. The Gulf War itself was a showcase of high-tech brutality. The number of bombs ("smart" and dumb) dropped on Iraq by U.S.-led forces was unprecedented in modern warfare; despite Iraq's inability either to protect itself or retaliate. A UN report observed the assault had flung Iraq back into the "pre-industrial age." American forces dropped anti-personnel cluster bombs in direct violation of Geneva Convention regulations against civilian targeting; remember those fuel-air bombs that ignited the very atmosphere Iraqis had to breathe. And then there were those depleted-uranium shells we rained on Iraq's countryside to penetrate "hard targets?" It was an electronic turkey shoot; media reports often characterized the war as a deadly video game come to life There was no doubt we hated the Iraqis, all of whom were personified in the scowling visage of Saddam Hussein. Apparently, that's why we still allow such wanton destruction of the Iraqi people in our name. How else could a nation that became so caught up in the travails of one vulnerable 6-year-old named Elian Gonzalez, be so callous concerning children who have the misfortune only of being born into a country led by someone we hate? Saddam is hard not to hate. And surely within Iraq there are many who hate him. But with an enemy like us pushing such a ruinous form of economic warfare, how can any self-respecting Iraqi rally a revolt against the leader. And in addition to the economic warfare, the U.S. and Britain have been carrying out conventional warfare, with routine--almost daily--bombings of the so-called "no-fly-zones." These zones have no justification in international law nor in UN resolutions; they exist only because the U.S. and Britain have imposed them. They are blatantly illegal but we get away with it because the American people think all Iraqis are Saddam. And Britain's Tony Blair is a Clinton-clone. The public metamorphosis of Saddam from ally to demon in less than a year was a lesson in public hypnotism that provokes both admiration and anxiety. It sparks admiration by revealing the government's persuasive powers; it triggers anxiety for the same reason. That power is probably why so few Americans are protesting our murderous policies in Iraq. But that may be changing. In February, 70 members of the House called on President Clinton to "lift the economic sanctions." Following up, U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) introduced H.R. 3825 in March urging major changes in the sanctions regime. Titled, "Humanitarian Exports Leading To Peace Act of 2000," the bill seeks to provide Iraqis with access to food and medicines. A less celebrated but perhaps more significant marker of change occurred when a group of students from Benet Academy, a Catholic high school in Lisle, made a symbolic attempt to mail banned medical supplies to Iraq. This open expression of discontent with U.S. policy on Iraq is a sign that Americans finally may be cutting themselves free of the social hypnotism that magically transformed the vibrant Iraqi people into one scowling dictator with a thick mustache. ________________________________________________________ · Iraq to Wait on U.N. for Next Phase of Oil Deal, Reuters, 31 May '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Business/reuters20000531_1443.html BAGHDAD -- Iraq said in remarks closely watched by oil markets on Wednesday that it would await a U.N. resolution authorising further humanitarian crude sales before deciding whether to accept the terms and continue exports. "Our stand on this subject would be similar to that taken in previous phases that we will wait until a (U.N. Security Council) decision is taken, then we will consider it," Oil Minister Amir Muhammed Rasheed told a news conference. Baghdad has often suspended exports for a matter of weeks between previous six-monthly phases of the U.N.-monitored oil- for-food programme, halting sales for just over three weeks last November. But Rasheed did not state clearly whether Iraq would suspend exports when phase seven of the deal expires on June 8 or not. "We do not know whether a decision will be issued or not and what the decision is. We will act in accordance with what comes from the (U.N.) Security Council," he said when asked whether Iraq would suspend exports when the current phase expires. Rasheed later added: "We will wait until the Security Council issues a decision and then we will consider it as we had done in previous phases. We have to wait for the next eight days to see what is going to happen." Tight global oil supplies have made oil traders sensitive to any possible delay in Iraqi exports, as has often happened before, as terms for the new phase are worked out. . . . . . In New York, diplomats said a new U.N. resolution for the eighth stage would be presented this week amid signs the exports should avoid disruption when the seventh phase expires. While the draft resolution may provoke debate by calling for the next phase to last for a year rather than the usual six months this should not be a significant stumbling block, they added. In Baghdad, Rasheed said Iraq's total exports during the current six-month phase would be 350 million barrels that would make a total value of $8.5 billion. IRAQ TO RAISE OIL OUTPUT BY YEAR-END Rasheed also told the news conference that Iraq would increase its oil production from a current 3.1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 3.3 million bpd by the end of this year. "Our current oil production is around 3.1 million bpd and we hope to raise that to about 3.3 million bpd at the end of this year," he said. "We will be exporting 2.7 million bpd by the end of this year." He said Iraq is currently exporting an average of about 2.5 million bpd. Rasheed said U.S. and British representatives at the U.N. sanctions committee were still blocking spare parts contracts for the Iraqi oil sector. "We have signed contracts worth $1.5 billion to buy oil spare parts and equipment, only $770,000 worth of contracts were approved by the sanctions committee," he said. Under the oil deal, Iraq is allowed to buy spare parts in order to upgrade its oil industry which was heavily bombed during the 1991 Gulf War. On the next OPEC meeting, Rasheed said: "Now there is not any justification to increase production and this is our stand that we will express during the OPEC ministerial meeting which will be held in Vienna on June 21." ________________________________________________________ · British, French Issue Dueling Proposals on Iraq Humanitarian Program, AP, 2 June '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20000602_1451.html UNITED NATIONS -- Britain and France circulated dueling proposals Friday to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq, which the United Nations reported was still dire despite some recent improvements. The draft resolutions were designed to extend the U.N. oil-for-food program, which lets Baghdad sell its oil to buy food and medicine for its 22 million people living under U.N. sanctions. But they also contained controversial suggestions for other changes to the program _ such as the French call to use oil-for-food proceeds to pay Iraq's OPEC dues _ that merely served to reinforce the divisions in the council. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, meanwhile, issued a report Friday on the overall humanitarian situation in Iraq, saying the nutritional and health status of Iraq's people continues to be a "major concern." He urged Iraq to use excess proceeds from the oil-for-food program to reduce malnutrition levels and called for the council to speed up its approval of contracts for vital equipment to repair Iraq's oil sector. Annan issued a separate report Friday from the new arms inspection agency, saying it had made a "good start" in recruiting new arms experts but noting that Iraq would have to start cooperating in order for them to resume weapons searches. The British draft proposes a one-year extension for the program, compared to the regular six-month phases that have defined oil-for-food since its inception in 1996. Britain and the United States have argued that the yearlong extension would enable U.N. agencies and companies doing business with Iraq through the program to better plan and coordinate aid deliveries. But there was little indication Iraq would agree to a modified extension since it would imply at least symbolically that sanctions would remain in place for another year, council diplomats said. France, one of Iraq's allies on the council, circulated a rival draft resolution that calls for a regular six-month extension and proposes other amendments that drew immediate opposition from the United States. The French draft, for example, suggested that the council agree to a longtime Iraqi demand to let the government use money from its oil sales to pay the dlrs 34 million Baghdad owes the United Nations and OPEC in back dues. The United States ruled out such a proposal, saying aid money shouldn't be used to finance Iraq's diplomatic budget. Washington also criticized a key proposal in the rival British draft resolution that was intended to speed up delivery to Iraq of badly needed water and sanitation equipment. The United States has placed about $1.6 billion worth of contracts for such equipment on "hold" out of concern that they might be used for military purposes. While Washington has objected to the British call for speedier deliveries, the United States has released $720 million worth of contracts since March 1 that have been on hold, U.S. diplomats said. ________________________________________________________ · UN Urges Iraq to Spend More on Food and Medicine, Reuters, 2 June '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000602_3223.html UNITED NATIONS -- Iraq now has enough funds to increase significantly food and medicine but a dearth of clean water and sanitation still leaves its 22 million people vulnerable to disease, the United Nations said on Friday. Complaints have been frequent throughout the world that a U.N.-Iraq humanitarian falls far short of Iraq's needs and 10-year old economic sanctions have pushed a once-thriving economy back decades. But a new report from Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that Iraq now was "in a position to reduce current malnutrition levels and to improve the health status of the Iraqi people." This could be achieved by increasing funds Iraq allocates to its food and health sectors, organising its contracts more efficiently and improving its distribution systems. At the same time, however, he said that Iraq's electricity water and sanitation systems needed rehabilitation and contracts to do this have been delayed, presumably by the United States. Until this is done, "the Iraqi people will be vulnerable to disease and hardship," Annan said in the report. The report surveys the current six-month phase of the U.N.-Iraq humanitarian programme that ends next week, under which Baghdad can sell unlimited quantities of oil to purchase food, medicine and other goods. . . . . . The United States has been in the forefront of putting contracts on hold and then not releasing them for years. In recent weeks however, Washington has expedited its review of contract appreciably, the report indicated. It said the total number of contracts blocked was now $1.6 billion compared to $2 billion at the end of April. Diplomats said the U.S. share of this amount was some $1.4 billion. Iraq is expected to sell about $8 billion worth of oil over the past six months, leaving it $5 billion to spend on humanitarian projects. . . . . . ________________________________________________________ · U.N. Arms Inspector Says Iraq Still Not Cooperating, CNN, 2 June '00 http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/06/02/iraq.inspectors/index.html UNITED NATIONS -- Iraq is not cooperating with the U.N. commission charged with inspecting its weapons, according to a report from the chief U.N. arms inspector. Hans Blix, in his first quarterly report to the U.N. Security Council, said Iraq has not notified his U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) of any "dual use" items it has imported -- goods that could be used either for peaceful purposes or to produce weapons. Security Council resolutions require Iraq to notify the commission of such items. Secretary-General Kofi Annan submitted the report to the Security Council on Friday, praising the commission's work but saying the panel needs Iraq's cooperation to do its job. The report said UNMOVIC continues to receive notifications from governments and international organizations of exports to Iraq of dual-use goods, the report said. But despite its obligations under Security Council resolutions, it said Iraq has not provided UNMOVIC with any information about such items. "UNMOVIC has made a good start under the leadership of its very capable and experienced new executive chairman," Annan wrote in a note that accompanied the report. The five-page document is a brief status report on the workings of UNMOVIC since it was formally established March 1. Blix informed the council that he is interviewing potential staff members for his organization and that he intends to first employ a core staff in New York before expanding. He said a training program has been set up to create a pool of qualified field inspectors for UNMOVIC with a curriculum that includes "political issues related to weapons inspections and monitoring activities in Iraq, as well as the historical and cultural background of Iraq." . . . . . ________________________________________________________ · Iraq Urges League Chief to Drop Link Between Embargo, Kuwait's Missing, AFP, 2 June '00 BAGHDAD -- Iraq's ruling Baath party urged Arab League chief Esmat Abdel Meguid on Friday to drop any link between Kuwait's missing from the 1991 Gulf War and a lifting of UN sanctions. Abdel Meguid must "recognise that the whole world, including public opinion in the United States and Britain, is acting in favour of lifting the embargo," said the party's mouthpiece, Ath-Thawra. "But the Arab League continues to link any such action to a favourable response from Iraq to the secretary general's request on Kuwait's missing," it said. "In other words, Mr. Secretary General is putting what he calls Iraq's cooperation on the missing on an equal footing with (UN) Security Council action for a lifting of the embargo," in force since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. During a visit to Kuwait in April, Abdel Meguid said the issue of the missing was a priority "because it is a humanitarian rather than political issue". Baghdad admits it took prisoners after its occupation forces retreated from Kuwait in the 1991 conflict, but says it lost track of them during an uprising in southern Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War. It also says 1,037 Iraqis went missing or were held by Kuwait, a charge denied by the emirate. ________________________________________________________ · In Saddam's Future, A Harder U.S. Line, Washington Post, 3 June '00 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/world/mideast/A54986-2000Jun2.html By John Lancaster Washington Post Staff Writer At the governor's mansion in Austin last year, a top foreign policy adviser to George W. Bush casually suggested to the Republican presidential candidate that "we ought to have been rid of Saddam Hussein a long time ago." The adviser instantly regretted his words. "A light went off in my head that maybe this would be taken amiss," recalled the adviser, who feared that Bush would interpret the comment as criticism of his father, President George Bush, for halting the 1991 Persian Gulf War with the Baghdad regime still intact. The adviser need not have worried. While avoiding specific commitments, Bush has vowed publicly that he would adopt a more aggressive posture than President Clinton has taken toward Iraq. Several of his top foreign policy advisers have publicly advocated a plan by Iraqi opposition groups to overthrow the regime with a U.S.-backed offensive from enclaves carved out of southern and northern Iraq. Their views suggest that the opposition plan--which has been embraced by Republicans and some Democrats in Congress but derided by critics as a recipe for an Iraqi version of the Bay of Pigs fiasco--almost certainly would win renewed attention in the early months of a Bush presidency. "We eventually have to undermine [the Iraqi leader's] position within his own country . . . and that means slowly taking away pieces of his territory," Robert Zoellick, an undersecretary of state in the Bush administration who is advising the Texas governor's campaign, said at May 19 forum sponsored by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "We have started to do that in the north. I believe we could do that in the south. I believe that in part this involves [American] air power. It might involve more." Despite its stated policy of "containment plus regime change" in Baghdad, the Clinton administration's support for the Iraqi opposition has been modest. In 1998, Clinton reluctantly signed legislation authorizing the Pentagon to give the Iraqi National Congress (INC)--an umbrella organization for opposition groups--$97 million in goods and services. Thus far, however, the administration has made good on only about $20,000 of that sum, the cost of a two-week course for three Iraqis on civil-military relations. The opposition also has received $64,000 in direct economic aid, mostly to rent, staff and equip a London office. But administration officials have ruled out arms deliveries as premature. There are now signs that Vice President Gore is trying to distance himself from the administration's Iraq policy. He has agreed to meet with INC representatives in Washington on June 26 and recently told an audience of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, "It is our policy to see Saddam Hussein gone." An adviser to the Gore campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Democratic candidate is eager to communicate that "although there may be hesitations" within the administration about the wisdom of aggressively backing the Iraqi opposition, "he doesn't share these." The adviser emphasized, however, that Gore is under no illusions about the difficulty of dislodging Saddam Hussein and regards the opposition plan as but one of a number of potential avenues for doing so. "It's important to create . . . many elements in the equation," the adviser said. "Some elements may be more viable than others, but there's no way of knowing that until they're tested." The emergence of the Iraqi opposition as an issue in the campaign coincides with mounting fears that Iraq is renewing efforts to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the absence of U.N. arms inspectors, who left the country on the eve of U.S. and British airstrikes in December 1998. At the same time, growing Arab and international concern about the extent of human suffering in Iraq has eroded support in the U.N. Security Council for the far-reaching economic embargo at the heart of the administration's containment policy. "Iraq is unfinished business," said Lee H. Hamilton, director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "One of the difficulties our policy confronts is that it's very difficult to reconcile our goals. On the one hand, we want to resume inspections of Saddam Hussein's weapons facilities. In order to do that, you have to have a lot of cooperation. But at the same time, we want to overthrow him. It's hard to reconcile those." Administration officials defend their approach as the best among bad options. They say that their support for the opposition is genuine, citing progress in helping the INC to organize and heal internal rivalries, and that they do not rule out eventually providing the group with arms. They note that they have supported U.N. efforts--such as removing the ceiling on Iraqi oil sales--to ease the effect of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis. Gore's national security adviser, Leon Fuerth, told the Washington Institute forum that the continued threat posed by Saddam Hussein is, "to be fair, a legacy bequeathed to us by the last Bush administration, which had a sword at his throat at the end of the Gulf War and elected not to use it." Fuerth was referring to the decision by President Bush and his senior advisers--including Gen. Colin L. Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff--to permit Saddam Hussein to withdraw his forces from Kuwait and southern Iraq with half his Republican Guard intact. Baghdad later used those forces--including helicopters that the allied commander, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, had granted permission to fly--to smash a rebellion by Iraq's Shiite Muslim and Kurdish populations. The Bush administration had encouraged the uprising. At the time, Bush and his advisers said they did not want to be seen by Iraq's Arab neighbors as "piling on" and feared that continuing the war would cause the breakup of Iraq. They also said they expected Hussein's regime to collapse on its own in a matter of months. Several of those aides have since gone public with their misgivings about Bush's decision to end the war when he did. They include Paul Wolfowitz, who served as the Pentagon's undersecretary for policy in the Bush administration and now advises the Texas governor's campaign. Whatever his regrets, Wolfowitz, like others on the campaign team, has defended the elder Bush's overall conduct of the war while faulting the Clinton administration for permitting the Iraqi leader to grow stronger than he was when Bush left office in January 1993. In a Feb. 25, 1998, open letter to Clinton, Wolfowitz joined fellow Bush campaign advisers Richard Armitage, Dov S. Zakheim and Richard Perle--as well as other conservatives--in urging the administration to recognize a provisional government of Iraq headed by the INC. Among other measures, the letter called on Clinton to "help expand liberated areas" in southern and northern Iraq "by assisting the provisional government's offensive against Saddam Hussein's regime logistically and through other means." That, in effect, is the same plan that has long been advocated by Ahmed Chalabi, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated banker and founding member of the INC who is the group's most visible spokesman in Washington (Chalabi lives in London but travels here frequently). Asked during a Jan. 26 candidates' forum about Saddam Hussein's staying power, George W. Bush warned that, "If I found in any way, shape or form that he was developing weapons of mass destruction, I'd take 'em out." Bush has not tipped his hand on whether he thinks the INC plan is a good idea, although, said Condoleeza Rice, the former Bush administration official who heads the governor's foreign policy team, "There's a widespread belief that the administration has not been as supportive as it might be to the opposition." Said another Bush foreign policy adviser, "We have every reason to expect the worst of that man. . . . I think we're maybe in the process of losing the war we seemed to have won." Such language has helped create expectations within the Iraqi opposition that a Bush presidency would be considerably more hospitable to its goals than the current one. But an administration official who deals with Iraq policy said that Bush advisers may be getting ahead of themselves by suggesting that the United States should provide arms and air cover for an opposition military campaign. "The preponderance of opinion among military experts seems to be that more U.S. military support would be required than proponents of the idea admit," the official said. "I don't dismiss it out of hand as crazy, but I'm not satisfied that the debate has been resolved." ________________________________________________________ · Qatar Proposes Initiative to End Iraq Embargo, Reuters, 4 June '00 http://www.latimes.com/wires/winternat/20000604/tCB00a6622.html DUBAI -- Qatar has proposed to its Gulf Arab partners a regional initiative to help lift United Nations sanctions on Iraq, still isolated a decade after invading Kuwait. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani presented the proposal at a meeting on Saturday of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. A statement issued after the meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah said the Qatari proposal would be discussed by the GCC members, Gulf news agencies reported early on Sunday. The agencies did not give details of the proposal. ``The ministers listened to an explanation by the Qatari foreign minister...on ideas to end the humanitarian suffering of the brotherly Iraqi people and these ideas would be submitted in a working paper to the council members so each could prepare observations and suggestions,'' the statement said. Qatar last month called for an initiative by the oil-rich Gulf Arab states to normalize ties with Iraq and lift the sanctions, imposed over Iraq's 1990 invasion and seven-month occupation of Kuwait. Qatar is seen as a maverick among conservative Gulf states and had in the past vexed its partners for forging a trade relationship with Israel and restoring ties with Iraq. It also went against the tide when in 1999 it criticized U.S. and British air strikes on Iraq's no-fly zones. Any reservations on the Qatari proposal would probably be made by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the two GCC states that refuse any direct dealings with an Iraq ruled by President Saddam Hussein. Other Gulf Arab states have preserved or rehabilitated ties with Iraq to some extent. Bahrain and the UAE reopened diplomatic missions in Baghdad recently while Qatar and Oman have continued to host an Iraqi ambassador. Asked about the Iraqi proposal, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said: ``The (Qatari) minister proposed some ideas that will be sent to council members for comment. The minister said that before any measures are taken regarding these ideas Qatar wanted to listen to the opinions of council members.'' Prince Saud made his comments to reporters after the meeting of the foreign ministers, the official Saudi Press Agency said. The GCC foreign ministers statement reiterated the alliance's position blaming Iraq's failure to comply with U.N. resolutions for the continued suffering of the Iraqi people. All six states, which participated in the 1991 U.S.-led Gulf War which ended the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, are united in their call on Iraq to meet all U.N. resolutions. ________________________________________________________ Only links provided for the following reports: · Saudi Denies Plans for Diplomatic Ties With Iraq, Reuters, 29 May '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000529_165.html · Minister: Iraq Won't Deal With New U.N. Arms Body, Reuters, 31 May '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000531_1126.html · U.S. Jets Bomb Iraq Military Sites, AP, 1 June '00 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20000601/aponline153308_000.ht m · Traders Bank on Only Minor Gap in Iraq Oil Exports, Reuters, 2 June '00 http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Business/reuters20000602_265.html -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi