The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

News Supplement, 5­12/11/00


*  Misunderstanding Sanctions [a summary of the argument in favour of
maintaining sanctions]
*  Iraqi nuclear arms specialist tells of a CIA snub as he fled [more of
Kidhir Hamza]
*  Oil is one thing - unity is another [Israeli view of Arab attitudes to
*  Western style of democracy proposed [Kuwaiti intellectual on democracy
and Islam in Pakistan]
*  What Game Are We Playing in Yemen? [on differences in attitude towards
the Gulf between the US Defense Departtment and the State Department]
*  Yemen, Islamic Jihad, bin Laden and Iran's hardliners
*  His file of threats to his people [Full text, I think, of Foreign Office
report on atrocities in Iraq]
*  Upon his return from a gulf tour [Full text of P.Hain's address to the
Royal Institute of International Affairs]
* Federalisation of Iraq [Kurdish view on how Iraq could be reorganised to
prevent domination from Tikrit]
*  Not an alliance - yet [Israeli view on relations between Iraq and Syria]
*  Commentary: US emerging as defacto world government? [US feeling that the
rest of the world is ganging up on them]

by Daniel Byman
Hartford Courant, November 05, 2000

The debate over the morality and efficacy of sanctions on Iraq - so vividly
displayed in the Oct. 22-25 Courant series "Between Sanctions And Saddam" -
suffers from considerable confusion that overstates sanctions' evils and
obscures many of their benefits.

The first mistake that many critics of sanctions make is to uncritically
accept various statistics on Iraq. On the surface, the toll of sanctions
appears heavy indeed. The Courant cites figures that blame sanctions for the
deaths of more than 1 million Iraqis, including 500,000 children.

But how accurate are these figures? The unfortunate answer is that we do not
know. These numbers are impossible to verify because the government of Iraq
will not allow independent outside organizations to collect data on the
health and welfare of the Iraqi people. This reluctance should give
observers pause. After all, if the magnitude of innocent suffering is as
high as Iraqi propaganda claims it is, why not invite in reporters, aid
workers and others to document this crime in detail?

The credulous, including several U.N. agencies, simply accept Iraqi
government data. Baghdad, however, has every incentive to exaggerate and
lie. Amatzia Baram, one of the leading scholars of Iraq, notes that the
government has consistently exaggerated the suffering, to the point that it
counts individuals never born as among the "dead" - the embargo is blamed
for their nonexistence. More cautious experts estimate that children's
deaths are between one-fifth and one-half of the Iraqi government figures.

Even this reduced burden is heavy. Every innocent death, particularly that
of a child, is a tragedy, and clearly Iraqis suffer tremendously. Critics of
sanctions err, however, when they place the responsibility for Iraq's
devastation on the United States. The obvious culprit is Saddam Hussein and
his cronies.

When the Persian Gulf War ended, no one believed sanctions would last more
than a few months, let alone a decade. Sanctions would stay in place until
Iraq complied with the relevant U.N. resolutions, particularly those
regarding the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction and missile

Saddam, however, refused to comply, and sanctions have dragged on for years
in various forms as a result. Experts underestimated Saddam's commitment to
developing and keeping weapons of mass destruction. He has surrendered more
than $100 billion in revenues rather than give up on his weapons of mass
destruction programs. Had he worked with the United Nations and abandoned
these programs, suffering associated with sanctions would have been avoided.

Indeed, Saddam rejected compromise measures that would spare his people.
Iraq's mortality rates increased, and the country became impoverished,
largely during the six years after the gulf war. Yet the international
community, encouraged by the United States, had long offered a way out. The
Iraqi government would be allowed to sell large amounts of oil; under U.N.
supervision, the money generated would buy food and medicine. Yet Saddam
rejected the "oil for food" deal for almost six years. He hoped to exploit
the suffering of the Iraqi people to have U.N. control over Iraqi spending
lifted. Freed from U.N. control, Iraq could then purchase whatever it
wanted, particularly military items. As the United Nations reported in 1998,
tremendous suffering would have been alleviated had Iraq accepted this
compromise when it was first proposed.

Only the risk of total economic collapse led Saddam to accept the
oil-for-food deal in 1996. But even then he did not try to alleviate the
suffering of his people. The United Nations has had to constantly press his
regime to buy high-calorie items and appropriate medicine. Iraq has at times
even smuggled medicine out of Iraq in order to sell it on the black market.
Not surprisingly, even poorly governed countries that take in less revenue
than Iraq, such as Syria and Yemen, do not suffer from the malnutrition
levels reported in Iraq.

Despite this poor record, critics of sanctions would free the Iraqi
government from U.N. control over its spending. The United Nations is hardly
perfect, but would Saddam do a better job caring for his people than would
the United Nations? Saddam's regime has murdered hundreds of thousands of
Shi'a and Kurds in an effort to stay in power. This is hardly the mark of a

The contrast between U.N. and Iraqi government control is best understood by
comparing the status of the northern Kurdish parts of Iraq outside Saddam's
control with the rest of the country. Infant mortality rates and nutrition
levels improved in the north as the rest of Iraq suffered because the United
Nations spent the dollars earmarked for this area wisely. In the remainder
of Iraq, where Baghdad has more influence over what is purchased and how it
is distributed, suffering has grown.

This same pattern of neglect is evident in how Saddam spends the hundreds of
millions of dollars that Iraq gains from oil-smuggling money outside U.N.
control. Saddam buys palaces for himself and his cronies and tries to
acquire components for his weapons of mass destruction. He spends only a
pittance on food and medicine. The Iraqi people are ignored.

The evidence is too clear to ignore: If sanctions are lifted, it is likely
that the regime will devote fewer resources to the health and welfare of
Iraqis, spending the money instead on weapons systems and perks for Saddam
and his henchmen.

Critics also neglect what sanctions have accomplished. Sanctions are
correctly criticized as having failed to force Iraq to give up its ambitions
for its weapons of mass destruction program, and they provide little
leverage in ousting Saddam. They have, however, prevented Iraq from
rebuilding its conventional military forces. In 1990, Iraq had the strongest
army in the Arab world. Since then, Iraq has not made any major weapons
systems purchases. It has not recovered from the damage of Desert Storm,
much less improved its forces in the last decade. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and
other U.S. regional allies are far more secure as a result. The United
States does not have to greatly expand its military presence, and U.S.
airmen who fly over Iraq do not face advanced air defense systems, which
Saddam would have imported had Iraq not been under sanctions.

Dire predictions about an Iraqi nuclear weapon also have not come true,
largely because of sanctions. At the end of the gulf war, many experts
estimated that Iraq could build a nuclear weapon in less than five years if
left to its own devices. Because the United Nations controls much of Iraq's
spending, Saddam has not been able to purchase many of the dual-use items
that could be used to build a nuclear infrastructure. Smuggling in the parts
and the infrastructure needed for a nuclear weapon is difficult, to say the
least. As a result, Iraq's nuclear ambitions have been frustrated.

As long as most of Iraq's oil revenues are spent under U.N. control, Baghdad
will remain militarily weak and have difficulty acquiring and expanding its
weapons of mass destruction programs. If Iraq remains aggressive (which it
will as long as Saddam remains in power), then keeping these weapons out of
Baghdad's hands should be an international priority.

Weighing sanctions' benefits against their humanitarian and political costs
is difficult but essential. It is naïve to assume that lifting sanctions
will cure Iraq's humanitarian ills, and dangerous to ignore the real
military threat that a sanctions-free Iraq will pose. Doing so would risk
courting disaster while doing little to help end the suffering of the Iraqi

Daniel Byman is research director at the RAND Center for Middle East Public
Policy. He is based in Washington.

by Vernon Loeb Washington Post, 11/5/2000
(This story ran on page A14 of the Boston Globe on 11/5/2000.)

WASHINGTON - After escaping from Baghdad in 1994, Iraq's chief nuclear
weapons scientist thought he was safe when he offered to tell the CIA
everything he knew about President Saddam Hussein's weapons program in
exchange for asylum.

But in the satellite telephone call, the CIA said it was not interested.
This forced the scientist, Khidhir Hamza, onto a desperate flight from
Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, which took him to Turkey, Libya, Tunisia,
and Hungary.

After Hamza turned up at the US Embassy in Budapest in 1995, the CIA
realized its mistake, began debriefing Hamza, and smuggled his family out of

''I held secrets no one outside Iraq, and only a handful of people inside
the country, could know,'' Hamza wrote in a book coauthored with a
journalist, Jeff Stein, called ''Saddam's Bombmaker: the Terrifying Inside
Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda.'' ''Not even the
aggressive UN inspectors ... knew what we still had and how dangerous the
situation was. None of them knew that Saddam had been within a few months of
completing the bomb when he invaded Kuwait.''

Speaking on Thursday to nonproliferation experts at the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace, Hamza said Saddam probably possesses a crude, 2- to
3-kiloton atomic bomb, and could begin limited bomb production within two to
three years if sanctions are lifted.

Later, in an interview, Hamza said that he had long ago forgiven CIA
officials for the way in which ''they rebuffed and even ridiculed my pleas
for help in 1994,'' as he put it in the book.

''They did redeem themselves,'' Hamza said. ''They went through a large
operation to save my family, with a five-man planning team here and a
nine-man team in the north of Iraq. They saved my family's lives literally;
they all would have been killed. For me, that's a lot. That's everything.''

The CIA does not agree that Iraq possesses a crude nuclear weapon. ''We
don't believe they have the fissile material required for a nuclear
weapon,'' a senior US official said, adding that Hamza has been away from
the Iraqi program for six years. ''Nor do we believe they currently have the
infrastructure to build a nuclear weapon.''

The agency does not minimize what Hamza has contributed to its understanding
of Iraq's nuclear capabilities. ''He is viewed as valuable,'' the official
said, ''and his insights have been valuable.''

Now living in Virginia with his wife and three sons, Hamza, 61, received a
master's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate
in nuclear physics from Florida State University. He was teaching at a small
college in Georgia in 1970 when he was ordered home to work in Iraq's
fledgling atomic energy program.

By 1985, he had become Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons adviser, charged
with directing a crash program to make Iraq a nuclear power. The country had
25 kilograms of bomb-grade uranium from a French-built reactor, Hamza wrote,
and volumes of nuclear weapons technology from the World War II Manhattan
Project that produced the first US atomic bomb. Hamza discovered the
declassified Manhattan Project reports on a shelf in Baghdad, a gift, he
wrote, from the US Atomic Energy Commission in 1956.

But by 1994, with Iraq close to enriching its own uranium through diffusion
technology, Hamza plotted his escape and found himself at the headquarters
of the opposition Iraqi National Congress in Kurdish-controlled northern
Iraq, talking on a secure satellite telephone to CIA officers 10,000 miles
away in Langley, Va.

''I wasn't a low-level official,'' Hamza writes. ''I had designed Saddam's
bomb. That should be easy enough for them to confirm. I also knew about the
chemical and biological programs.''

But after 15 or 20 minutes, Hamza came to believe that his long-distance
debriefers had never heard of him, and that they knew little about Iraq's
bomb program, headquartered at Al-Atheer. Hamza wrote that a CIA officer
chuckled at the notion of a weapons plant at Al-Atheer, and closed the door
on his only demand: asylum.

Warren Marik, at the time a CIA case officer who was present at CIA
headquarters at the time of the call, said Friday that he was ''appalled''
at the way his colleagues had dismissed Hamza. ''They blew him off, and you
don't do that to a walk-in,'' Marik said.

Marik said part of Hamza's problem resulted from his intermediary, Ahmed
Chalabi, the Iraqi National Congress leader, who had by then fallen out of
favor with the agency. But Marik also faulted Hamza, saying he had been
testy and demanding with the CIA officers, and had refused to give them
enough information to establish his bona fides.

The CIA further heard of Hamza a year later, when he showed up at the US
Embassy in Budapest. Part of the difference then, Marik said, was that
Hamza's approach had been coordinated through a different Iraqi opposition
group, the Iraqi National Accord, which had much closer ties to Langley.

''In fact, with every passing hour of my arrival in Germany, where I was
first debriefed, the attitude of the CIA grew more trusting, friendly and
respectful,'' Hamza wrote.

Once they had flown him back to Washington, Hamza called his oldest son,
Firas, in Baghdad and set the CIA's plan in motion.

Soon afterward, a beggar, actually a Kurdish smuggler working for the CIA,
approached Firas Hamza in a Baghdad coffee shop, whispered his name and
signaled him to walk outside onto the street.

The Kurd handed Firas Hamza a letter from his father and told him to bring
his mother and younger brothers the following day to Mosul, north of
Baghdad. From there, the Kurd drove Hamza's family over the mountains to the
Kurdish-controlled north of Iraq, where they waited in a safe house to be

by Zvi Bar'el, Ha'aretz, Israel

"The leaders in Baghdad have become a gang instead of a government and the
revolutionary regime is a regime of exploitation and domination. From a
regime that worked to serve the Arab nation they have developed into a gang
that threatens it and is wasting its resources. This is what the Iraqi
regime has given the Arab nation: It has committed aggression against its
Muslim Arab neighbors; it has ignored the Zionist enemy; it has wasted the
economic resources of the Arab nation and has spilled oil in Kuwait's
drinking water; it has set fire to Arab oil wells - not Israeli ones; it has
harmed human rights ... It suffices to say that the Arab nation was on the
brink of complete unification until the Iraqi regime rose up against it and
smashed this opportunity when it invaded Kuwait and since then the fate of
the Arab nation has changed and not gone back to where it was. Toppling the
Iraqi regime is the first step not only in the liberation of the Iraqi
nation but also the liberation of the Arab nation as a whole, which because
of this regime has fallen captive to Israel and Zionism.".This is not a
quotation from the annual report of the Kuwaiti or Saudi government. Dr. Abd
Alathim Ramadan is one of the most important publicists in Egypt, who
publishes his column in the weekly "October." This strong attack on Iraq, in
which he described in two closely printed pages all of Iraq's sins, was
written before the events on the Temple Mount, before he imagined that Egypt
would host the Arab summit conference, in which one of the participants was
the deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Council, Izzat Ibrahim, who invited
the Arab states to embark on a jihad (holy war) against Israel.

Attacks in the Arab press on the Iraqi regime are nothing unusual, even in
Egypt, which tries to keep up the appearance of being fair to all the Arab
states. But when such things are published at a time when Jordan has
announced its intention to renew its trade agreement with Iraq, and when in
the month in which the article is published the prime minister of Jordan is
making the first visit by an Arab head of state to Iraq and calling it
"Jordan's strategic rear," when Syria is planning to re-open the oil
pipeline from Iraq that was shut down in 1982, when Turkey is talking about
repairing the railroad line to Baghdad and when Iranian Foreign Minister
Kamal Harazi is visiting Baghdad for the first time - it is possible to cast
doubt on that Arab unity that tried to look so good at the summit

The case of Jordan is the most interesting example. Jordanian Prime Minister
Ali Abu al- Ragheb returned last week from his historic visit to Baghdad
with a fistful of contracts that will bolster the kingdom's shaky economy.
Among other things, Iraq will sell Jordan oil for $20 a barrel (as opposed
to the market price of about $33 a barrel); Jordan will get an oil grant
worth $300 million; the extent of trade between the two countries will
increase from $300 million a year to about $450 million; an oil pipeline
will be built from Iraq to Jordan that will end at Zarqa in Jordan; Iraq
will make greater use of the Aqaba port, where the Jordanian authorities
have already ordered a cut in port taxes and service charges for Iraqi
goods, and in the meantime Jordan is also planning to operate regular air
service between Amman and Baghdad with the Jordanian national airline.

A large portion of these agreements were made according to the rules
stipulated by the UN sanctions committee. At the time, Jordan was granted
special permission as compensation for the large debts that Iraq left in
Jordan. Before the Gulf War, the Jordanian government had acquired Iraq's
debts to Jordanian merchants and manufacturers. It compensated the merchants
from the state coffers and it is charging this to Iraq in oil and other
benefits. Jordan also got special permission for the flight of the plane
carrying the Jordanian aid mission and it informed the United States of its
intention to hold the visit of the Jordanian prime minister to Iraq.
However, even though these are legitimate agreements, or at least agreements
that do not constitute real violations of the sanctions policy, the
grandiose way in which they were executed carries an unambiguous message:
Not only will Jordan pursue its interests to the full in its relations with
Iraq, it is also the country that will serve as an example to other Arab
states. While the others are demonstratively sending airplanes to test the
limits of violating the sanctions, Jordan is sending its prime minister.

And this is the healthy anomaly in the Middle East. A week before this visit
to Baghdad Jordan signed a free trade agreement with the United States and
thus became the fourth country in the world that is partner to such an
agreement, along with Israel, Canada and Mexico. This agreement could well
be of great commercial significance if European or Japanese firms decide to
transfer production to Jordan to enjoy preferential trade conditions with
Jordan along with the cheap work force. The Israeli manufacturers who are
operating in Jordan will also no longer need to transport raw material and
finished products back and forth from Israel to Jordan and back to Israel
again in order to export to the United States and benefit from the free
trade agreement with Israel. The United States saw no contradiction between
the trade agreement it has signed with Jordan and the trade agreement Jordan
has signed with Iraq. The American consideration was a diplomatic one and
was aimed at supporting a country that has signed a peace agreement with
Israel, in a situation in which the United States needs every Arab vote that
will support its policy in the region.

The interesting aspect is that Iraq, too, did not see any contradiction
between signing a trade agreement with Jordan and the fact that Jordan has a
peace agreement and a trade agreement with Israel. According to Jordanian
sources, Jordan was not asked to make any political concessions in return
for the agreement in Iraq, "which evinced understanding for Jordan's special
status." Iraq, the representative of the Arab jihad against Israel, is
imposing limitations only on Jordanian companies that operate jointly with
Israeli companies, but the Jordanian businessmen have found ways to bypass

"It may be argued of course that were the trade agreements between Jordan
and Israel operating at a higher volume, and Jordan were able to export more
to Israel and the territories of the Palestinian Authority, we would not
need this connection with Iraq. But this is a ridiculous claim," says a
Jordanian businessman with extensive trade connections to Israel. "Jordan's
connection with Iraq is a historical relationship, but beyond this Iraq has
advantages that the Israeli and Palestinian markets don't have. Quality
control, the easy passage without security checks and the possibility of
making barter deals for goods in exchange for oil with government
guarantees, all make the Iraqi market into an especially attractive one, and
when a country has to make and provide a living you bypass political
considerations if they constitute an obstacle. Jordan has made its
contribution to the Palestinian issue, like all the Arab states, and now it
has to feed the two million Palestinians who live in its territory. If this
living will come from Iraq, so be it, and if it will come from Israel or
from the furthest corner of the world, so be it. You can talk from today to
tomorrow about Arab unity, but when Lebanon imposes a tax of 107 percent on
imports of Jordanian flowers into its territory, and the economic
cooperation agreement between Jordan and Egypt is practically meaningless,
the Arab states have no business telling us whether or not it is moral to
cooperate with the Iraqi regime."

"It's true that there is seemingly a paradox here," says a source at the
Jordanian Diplomatic Institute, who read Ramadan's article in the weekly
October. "How is it possible to cooperate with a regime that led to the
great split in the Arab nation when it attacked an Arab sister-state? But it
must be recalled, if it may be said, that thanks to Saddam the great
unification of the Arab states took place. This was the first time such a
large Arab coalition was created on an Arab issue. Furthermore, thanks to
that war most of the Arab states agreed to adopt the peace strategy and
participate in the Madrid conference. Today, after Iraq has signed the trade
agreement with Iraq and is wanting to expand its trade with Turkey, it may
be said that it is indirectly joining the states that do not oppose the
peace process. It has even adopted the decision to cancel the boycott of
countries and firms that have relations with Israel, even if it is not
declaring this outright."

The series of new agreements between Jordan and Iraq gives Jordan a new
dimension as the leader in the process of reconciliation between the Arab
world and Iraq. After the Jordanian prime minister visited Iraq, he set a
precedent that other Arab leaders can imitate. No one will be able to
complain if the president of Tunisia or the president of Yemen, Algeria or
Lebanon, decides to visit Baghdad. Jordan has taken a step here that even
the president of Egypt has not dared to take, and even with tacit American
permission, without sanctions on the part of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, and in
coordination with Syria

by Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Nov 7: An ex-Kuwaiti minister has proposed that all Islamic
countries should adopt Western style of democracy to give their people due

This system alone is democratic while other systems in the Islamic and Arab
countries have been "fabricated" or are "semi-democratic", Sayid Yusuf
Hashim Al-Rifai said while talking to Dawn here on Tuesday.

The Kuwaiti dignitary had come to Pakistan to participate in the three-day
Islamic conference at the Aiwan-i-Iqbal.

Mr Rifai opposed the rulers' authority to dissolve parliament at will as by
doing so they bring the democratic process to halt whenever they feel that
it is becoming a headache for them or is a cause of annoyance.

Mr Rifai said democracy and human rights was the motto of the day and people
could seize the opportunity to mount pressure on their respective rulers to
give them their due rights and the best democratic system. In his opinion
the Western democracy was the best system which all Islamic countries could
adopt without any difficulty. "In the beginning, maybe some bad rulers come
to power due to illiteracy and poverty in various countries - because such
people use money to purchase votes. But later on, we'll get ideal people to
run the system."

The Kuwaiti dignitary said immediately after switching over to the Western
democratic system the rulers of the Islamic countries might not be having an
Islamic mentality. But, he was optimistic that the situation would change
after some time when the ulema and Islamic scholars played their role for
the renaissance of Islam and rekindled the love of religion in the hearts
and minds of people.

Answering a question, Mr Rifai said it had taken countries like USA and
Britain several hundred years to have the kind of system they were
practising now. But, he believed that because of the present-day revolution
in the information technology and the increase in the literacy rate, the
Islamic countries would have an ideal democratic system in a very short

When it was pointed out that many people, including religious leaders, were
of the view that the Western democracy was not in harmony with the Islamic
system, the Kuwaiti scholar did not agree with the suggestion. He said what
he was proposing was also the best way to keep the "secular-minded educated
people" with their countries. He said such people might be allergic to the
word "Shoora" because the West had brainwashed them and misled them about
the Islamic code of life. But, he said, they would have no irritation in
playing their role in a 'parliament'.

He said the Islamic system of government had not been practised for a long
time and there had been a sea change in the situation now because of which
the Western system was easy to implement. He said in the days when the
Islamic system was in practice, there was no foreign office or the
intelligence agencies - both of which were important components of the new

He said in the prevailing situation the Muslims would have to study afresh
as to how much authority could the caliph or the head of government be given
to run the state in the prevailing situation. The authority which was
available to the four Caliphs after the life of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
could certainly not be given to the rulers of the present times, he said.
Responding to a question, he said there was no real will in the minds of the
rulers of the Islamic countries to work sincerely for the unity and the
dignity of the Ummah. "If there is no will, there's no way."

In his opinion, there are three possible reasons behind their lack of
interest in the Ummah's unity: Majority of the rulers don't have an Islamic
mentality; there is a wide gap between people and the rulers because the
rulers did not come to power through a democratic process; and some of the
rulers have political or other interests tied to the United States and the
West. Mr Rifai, who has a large number of followers here and is abreast of
the situation in Pakistan which he regards as his second homeland, said his
arguments in favour of a democratic system did not mean that he supported
the system which was in practice in Pakistan before Gen Pervez Musharraf
took over about a year ago. He said it was obvious to the observers - both
in Pakistan and abroad - that the PML government was following wrong
policies. Changing the weekly holiday from Friday to Sunday or yielding to
the will of the United States to leave strategic places in the mountains of
Kargil were wrong decisions, he said.

He said he knew it very well that before the military takeover, the
situation in Sindh was also very bad and important people like Hakim
Muhammad Saeed had been killed.

Mr Rifai claimed that he was the person who had convinced the late Zulfikar
Ali Bhutto in the seventies to change weekly holiday form Sunday to Friday.

He proposed that Pakistan and Afghanistan should sign a defence treaty to
save each other from the possible external aggression. In the presence of
such a treaty, he said, India would never dare commit an aggression against
Pakistan nor could the United States, Russia or any other country think of
striking at Afghanistan.

Mr Rifai said the pact would also give Pakistan a strategic depth to defend

He made a strong plea for the Islamic countries to get a permanent seat of
the UN Security Council. He pointed out that at present the doors of the
council were being opened for the sake of Germany and Japan. India, he
pointed out, was also seriously lobbying to get the seat.

This, he said, was high time the OIC used its influence to get a seat for
the Islamic countries. If it could not, it would mean that Christians,
Buddhists and possibly Hindus would have representation on the Security
Council wile Islam - which is the religion of one-third of the world
population - would remain outside.

Answering a question, Mr Rifai said people of Kuwait still felt a threat
from Iraq partly due to the Western propaganda - and maybe it's true as well
- that Baghdad is still producing ballistic missiles which can hit Kuwait,
and weapons of mass destruction.

He said Iraq was still insisting that it would not apologize for its
aggression against Kuwait and, instead, was asserting that whatever it had
done was justified. He pointed out that the people of Kuwait by temperament
were opposed to the US. However, he said, they had to accept the US help to
drive away invading Iraqi forces when some Arab countries stood on the side
of the aggressor. Mr Rifai said since the coalition which had helped Kuwait
regain its sovereignty was led by the US, Kuwait transferred the name of the
US from the list of its enemies to that of its friends. However, he made it
clear that Kuwaiti people knew it well that the US had not come to their
help for any love for them but for its own interests. He said the day
President Saddam Husain quit, Kuwait would say goodbye to the US troops on
its soil.

by Rachel Bronson, Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, November 8, 2000

The attack on the U.S. guided missile destroyer Cole points to a dangerous
disconnect between the State and Defense departments about what constitutes
a threat to the United States, how to manage the threat and what our Persian
Gulf strategy should be. The Monday morning quarterbacking over whether it
was a safe operation and who was responsible for safety misses the point.
The real problem is that State and Defense are operating from different game
plans in the Persian Gulf, and the White House is not reconciling them
sufficiently. Our partners in the region have picked up on this, leading
them to conclude that U.S. policy is not serious. Washington is deadly
serious, but in contradictory and confusing ways.

The Defense Department is pursuing a multilateral strategy, trying to link
our six Gulf partners into a coherent unit to confront regional threats.
Every time Defense Secretary William S. Cohen visits the region, he visits
each partner: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and
Oman. This is because U.S. military posture in the region depends on each of
them. Qatar, for instance, supports important Army resources. Even though
each of the six states pursues its own interests, and generally fears the
other, the Pentagon seeks out every opportunity to link each state into
broader, regional arrangements. To this end it has held environmental
security conferences that have included all states, and it proposes an early
warning program that includes each state to identify missile attacks.

By contrast, the State Department is pursuing purely bilateral objectives in
the region. It works with each country independently on issues such as
economic and social reforms. It provides no vision for how the region could
cooperate more effectively, largely because it believes the goal to be
unrealistic. State views efforts at multilateralism with skepticism because
past diplomatic efforts, like the 1991 Damascus Declaration--which
envisioned a coalition of Arab forces providing security--have failed.

When the secretary of State visits the region, she visits only one country.

Yemen's centrality to U.S. interests depends on which department's view one
subscribes to. In the Pentagon's strategy, Yemen is important and hence the
warship Cole's visit. If Yemen, with its population of 17.5 million, could
play a more active regional role, small Gulf countries would not be as
skeptical about Saudi Arabia's domination of multilateral arrangements.
There would be less need for the Gulf partners' historical reliance on Iran
or Iraq to balance the Saudis and each other. The Defense Department also
recognizes that virulent anti-Americanism and terrorism brewing in Yemen
could spill into neighboring countries. Led by its recently retired regional
commander, Gen. Anthony Zinni, the Pentagon decided that helping Yemeni
President Ali Abdullah Saleh modernize his country and control terrorist
elements is in the long-term security interests of the U.S. and regional
stability. Finally, having Yemen as a refueling option makes U.S. military
movements less predictable. The State Department is more circumspect when it
comes to Yemen. It has not embraced military engagement as enthusiastically.
It sees Yemen as a dangerous place moving in an unpredictable direction.
Because of its bilateral outlook, the role of Yemen in the region is of
somewhat less importance. While State is interested in assisting Yemen move
forward, its timetable is not as compressed as the Pentagon's. State
maintains a reasonable concern that large Navy ships refueling off the coast
are not the best way to engage developing states. But without a vision for
how Yemen fits into the larger regional picture, State has provided few
engagement alternatives.

So who is right? Is engaging Yemen a critical U.S. interest? Our troops and
diplomats are there every day, in a country lax and inefficient in enforcing
security measures. Notwithstanding the recent attack, the U.S. has done a
remarkable job protecting them. But the immediate question of Yemen is
unanswerable until the deeper one is addressed: What strategy should the
U.S. pursue in the region?

The problem is that competing State and Defense department approaches have
not been reconciled. The different approaches confuse our embassies as well
as military personnel. They limit the tools available for engagement while
sending contradictory messages to our regional partners. The White House,
the ultimate and only possible arbiter of this debate, has left policymaking
up to the different branches of government, which have come up with very
different solutions.

Ten years after the Gulf War, the White House still has not designed a
coherent vision for the Persian Gulf. The debate over the Cole and Yemen is
another tragic reminder of this fact.

Rachel Bronson Is a National Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign

UPI, Thu 9 Nov 2000

Islamic Jihad, blamed by Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh for the
murderous attack on the USS Cole, appeared in Yemen in the early 1990s. It
joined a plethora of terrorist organizations that had found shelter in a
country much of which is beyond the control of the government. Yemeni Jihad
was suspected in two 1992 bomb attacks on hotels in Aden that accommodated
U.S. servicemen on the way to Somalia. When Yemen slipped into renewed civil
war, Islamic Jihad distinguished itself in fighting on the side of President
Saleh, thus putting him under obligation to it.

Made up of "Afghanis," Yemeni and foreign Muslims who had fought or trained
in Afghanistan, it had at least one camp in the mountainous Abyan region,
about 250 miles south of the Yemeni capital, Sana'a. Some 200 militants were
based there, funded by the Saudi exile, Osama bin Laden. Starting in 1995,
the government began expelling non-Yemeni "Afghans." This followed on a
failed attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, blamed by
Egypt on Islamists based in Yemen. In 1998, despite its intense fighting on
behalf of his government four years earlier, Saleh sent troops to try and to
close down the Islamic Jihad base. The clashes that followed were capped by
an action that brought the Yemeni Jihad to the world's attention. This was
the kidnapping of 16 Westerners in December 1998. One of the kidnappers
killed by government forces freeing the hostages was an Egyptian, wanted by
Cairo as an Islamist militant.

At this time an Aden-Abyan Islamic Liberation Army announced itself.
Believed to be an offshoot of the Yemeni Islamic Jihad, it declared it would
attack American targets in Yemen in retaliation for the 1998 American
missile attack on a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan and bin Laden affiliated
training camps in Afghanistan. Bin Laden has been involved in Yemeni affairs
for many years. He is Yemeni by descent, with a father and family from the
Hadramaut, a part of southern Yemen that was the scene of intense conflict
between Marxists and Islamists.

As the Egyptian Islamist Ali Mohamed, testified in a New York federal court
last September, Iran, like bin Laden, has provided the funds and other
support for terrorists' attacks in the Arab and Western world. Iran and bin
Laden match each other in their vituperative rhetoric about Israel. Yet
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has unquestionably sought to better
relations with the West. On a visit to Japan at the start of November, in a
radio interview, he said in measured tones, "the United States continues to
take unreasonable measures against us, including economic sanctions and
freezing Iranian assets in the United States. The United States has the key
to improve the relationship. The door can be opened through concrete U.S.
actions." In a later interview with a Japanese newspaper, he complained of
Iran being on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Khatami's mild words were in stark contrast with those of other Iranians,
the hard-line anti Americans who dominate intelligence and security
operations, whether carried out by government agencies or through religious
bodies. These are the people who influence relations with Hezbollah,
al-Qaida and Islamic Jihad. Some ten days before Khatami spoke on Japanese
radio, members of Iran's Basij, a hard line organization, sent a letter to
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i. The letter said, "America is
striving to extinguish the fire of the Islamic Intifada [in the Palestinian
territories] and to delay the definite victory of God's soldiers against
Satan's party [the Israelis.]"

A few days earlier, Basiji explained that "all sufferings of Muslims come
from the arrogant United States." The Basij's young members were a force
noted for blind valor in the eight year war with Iraq. Subsequently Basij
became a morals enforcement agency, terrorizing Iranians it found wanting in
its idea of proper Islamic conduct. A few days after the Basij letter,
Khamene'i, who is Khatami's superior in the structure of the Islamic
Republic of Iran, told officials and ambassadors from Islamic countries that
in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the partner in Israeli "crimes is
undoubtedly the government of the United States of America." When Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright made a conciliatory speech last spring saying
that Iran had legitimate grievances against the United States, Khamene'i's
response was: "The Iranian nation and its authorities consider the United
States to be their enemy."

American support for Israel is not the only reason Tehran opposes
Washington's policies. Another, strategic one is the powerful U.S. military
presence in the Persian Gulf and surrounding areas. Iran wants that presence
reduced, or, better still, eliminated. This would free the way for Iran to
become the dominant regional power, an ancient and perennial ambition.
Islamist Sudan, which also supports Islamic Jihad, wants the American
presence out of East Africa. As for bin Laden, he has vowed to drive the
Americans out of the Arabian peninsula of which Yemen, his forefathers'
homeland, is a part.

The attack on the Cole served the common interests of bin-Laden, Islamic
Jihad, and Iranian hardliners. It struck at U.S. support for Israel and it
was a blow against the U.S. presence in Arabia. This does not mean that Iran
was directly involved in planning and executing the attack on the Cole. No
evidence of that has emerged. But there is reason to believe that as well as
bin Laden, Iranian hardliners are aiding and abetting terrorists, like
Islamic Jihad, who share their anti-American intentions -- and who act on
them. --
Ain-Al-Yaqeen, 'weekly arab political magazine', seems to be Saudi, 10th

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman declared that the British
government has acquired trusted information about the crimes committed by
the Iraqi regime against humanity that would obstruct the UN review to lift
the sanctions imposed on Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Following are the main points of the report:

Human Rights abuse in Iraq:

Despite the fact that Iraq has ratified Human rights Treaties the current
regime systematically continues to abuse its citizens Human Rights.

Torture and Execution

The eighth floor of the Ministry of Interior's main building houses hundreds
of boxes and sacks in the Cafeteria area which hold the execution and
torture orders, (including pictures) for victims of the regime. The cover
for this storage facility is that it contains the offices for the Branch of
political parties.

Each execution or torture order is signed by an immediate member of Saddam
Hussein's family or his closest advisors. Saddam, his two sons Udai and
Qusai, Ali Hassan Al Majid, the late Hussain Kamil, Saddam's half brothers
Watban Ibrahim Al Hassan, General Abid H'moud (Head of the Presidential
Secretariat) and Rukan Abd Al Ghafur al Majid have all signed these
warrants. The orders allow the signature to record how they want the victim
to be tortured, or die.

The papers are not arranged systematically. They are kept in case they are
needed for reference. The files guarded by members of the (Ministry of
Interior Intelligence and Security Service). None of the normal lifts in the
building stop at the eighth floor. This is only accessible by its own
special lift.

Watban Ibrahim Hassan former Minister of the Interior had every execution
videod. Copies of the videos were kept in vault in Hassan's office on the
second floor on the Ministry of the Interior. The new Minister of the
Interior did not dare move them or take over Hassan's office.

Saddam uses execution as a means of controlling his military and security
forces. Executions of any army officers and party officials are routine.
Saddam has killed more of his own military officers than his opponents.

In mid February 99 Saddam ordered the execution of 38 senior military
officers including General Kamil Saachit Al Dulaimi one of Saddam's close
associates, and a member of the Iraqi military leadership, on suspicion of
planning a coup. Of the other officers arrested 10 of them held the ranks of
major and Lt. Col. the others were Captains and Lts. A large number of
junior officers were also imprisoned.

Prisons in Iraq:

Arrest and detention is often arbitrary, fear used as a means of controlling
the population. Charges are rarely bought and prisoners are often held
incommunicado. Many people inside Iraq have "disappeared" they are presumed
dead executed by the regime. Given the atmosphere of secrecy and fear it is
often difficult and dangerous to determine whether executions were judicial
or extra-judicial.

Mahjar (Sanctuary) Prison located within the Police College compound off
Palestine Street in Baghdad. It is in the area formerly used by the Police
dog training unit before it moved in Diyala in 1993.

The Mahjar is made up of a complex of 7 buildings, of these four of the
buildings hold 60 cells designated to hold between one to 4 people; there is
a detention center which can hold 50 people; a female prison; an office for
investigators (torturers) and the prison oversight committee.

The normal capacity of the Mahjar is 600-700 people but it can hold up to
2000. 30 cells are underground and another 30 cells are dog kennels which
are only used in an emergency.

The Mahjar houses men, women and children arrested on the direct orders of
Saddam Hussein or his immediate family. Most of the prisoners are held on
the direct orders of Abid H'moud (Head of Presidential Secretariat) and
Qussai Hussein (Head of the Amn Al Khas). Prisoners have included Ziyad Aziz
(son of the Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz) Ahmed Watban Al Hassan (son of
the former Minister of Interior Watban Ibrahim Al Hassan and Saddam's half

The high level prisoners were held in the cells for detainees rather than in
the prison itself and were only there for a number of days.

Most of the prisoners are political prisoners or prisoners of conscience,
many are Kurds, Shia or people suspected of anti-government activities. In
some cases people are arrested and detained purely because they are related
or associated with a person who has left the country or suspected of working
with opposition.

Normal prisoners are beaten twice a day and the guards regularly rape the
women. The prisoners receive no medical treatment. Some prisoners have
survived up to a year in the Mahjar.

There are contingency plans to destroy Mahjar prison during an emergency.

The execution area of the Hadiqa (the garden) is located near the women's
prison. The Hadiqa is an open area with sand bank covered by an awning.
Prisoners from the Mahjar are executed here by machine guns. A special
oversight committee decides on the executions. People are executed for a
variety of different reasons, the most usual ones are for the opposition
activities, trying to flee the country, of falling foul of the regime.

Between 1993 and 1998 about 3000 prisoners were executed at Hadiqa.

Sijn Al Tarbout (the Casket Prison) is located on the third underground
level of the new Amn Al Khas building in Baghdad. The prisoners are held in
extremely cramped and inhumane conditions and only receive liquids. The
Casket can hold about 0 [SIC] prisoners. Only male prisoners are held at
this location.

Quortiyya (The Can) is located in the Amn Al Khas compound in the Talbiyyah
area of the Saddam city district of Baghdad. The Can can hold about 60
prisoners in conditions similar to those found in the Casket. Only male
prisoners are held in the Can.

Abid H'moud plays a direct role in supervising these prisons and their
security. He and Saddam can sign death warrants.

There is a relatively new MIC (Military Industrial Commission) prison at
Rashdia on the outskirts of Baghdad. The bunkers and workshops of the old
centrifuge system have been turned into a prison. Prisoners can be detained
there for up to one year in very poor conditions. Hundreds of prisoners were
held in the prison, they were mainly MIC officials and traders who had
failed to deliver on contracts.

Udai Hussein opened a prison in the Olympic Stadium Garage.

A Security Directorate building located near the Saba' Al Boor clinic and
police station has many guards because the location is used as a
supplementary place to detain political prisoners who are still being
interrogated. This location holds special equipment used for interrogation
i.e. torture.

Until July 2000 prisoners held in Abu Gharib prison on death row could pay
the Governor of the Prison a sum of more than $ 5000 to buy their freedom.
The sum required depended on the wealth of the family. This money would be
collected from the extended family of the condemned man. In order to meet
the quota of people executed and to avoid this scam being uncovered someone
would need to be executed. The prison governor devised a scheme whereby he
would take a patient from Al Shama'eel mental hospital to be executed in
place of the released prisoner. About 50-0 people died in this way until the
families of the mental patients realised there was something wrong. In July
the governor of the Abu Gharib prison was transferred to a different prison
and the director of the hospital was also transferred, but neither were


In September 2000 a special court in Baghdad issued a death sentence in
absentia against Ghassan Al Atiyah and Mustafa Al Ani on charges of meeting
Israelis in the margins [of a] gathering in Cairo held in August to examine
the prospects of the peace process.

This followed an earlier announcement that the blood of Ghassan Al Atiyah
spokesman for the opposition Democratic Centrist Tendency, could be shed
with impunity. Dr Al Atiyah was disowned by his tribe the Al Humaydat from
the Shamiyah district following Al Atiyah's appearance in a television
programme in which he stated his opposition to Saddam Hussein.

In October 2000 the Iraqi authorities executed eight prisoners on charges of
forming an opposition organisation and defacing several murals depicting
Saddam Hussein. Muhammad Al Naji an engineer from Baghdad province was the
first to be charged with leading the organisation. His body together with
those three of his companions were handed on to their families on October 2.

The victims were arrested on 1 August on charges of setting up an
organisation called "Iraq's Companies". They were subjected to a special
investigation until a special court sentenced them to death.

In October 2000 Ali Hassan Majid was in Mosul supervising an operation
against prostitutes. A number of them were killed. In Baghdad the Young
Lions (Ashbal Saddam) who are controlled by Udai had beheaded prostitutes at
the Baba Sherji and left their heads on display as a warning to others.

Fadayyeen Saddam have also beheaded about 30 prostitutes in Baghdad, Basra
and other major cities. The heads of the prostitutes were left on the front
door steps of the prostitutes' homes as a deterrent. The Iraqi authorities
last cracked down on prostitution a few months after the Iran Iraq war. The
usual sentence for prostitution in Iraq was 78 [SIC. 7-8?] years in prison
but this is increased to 15 years if working in a group. A pimp receives the
death sentence if she is supervising 3 or more women.

Ethnic cleansing:

The current Iraqi regime has a well-established track record in ethnic

IMPOSITION OF THE NORTHERN NO-FLY-ZONES. [My emphasis, PB. This seems to be
a slightly condensed account)

This campaign continues today there are repeated numbers of reports of a
general Arabisation of northern Iraq. The Iraqi government runs a systematic
programme of ethnic cleansing and displacement. Kurdish and Turkomen
citizens of Kirkuk, Khanaqin and other areas under the Iraqi control
continue to be forced our of their homes. These are areas of economical and
strategic importance to the Iraqi regime. As recently as October 2000 the
Iraqi government forced 10 families (78 people) from Kirkuk and sent them to
PUK controlled areas of Kirkuk and Al Sulaymaniyah. Another 32 families in
Imam Qasim and Iskan districts in Kirkuk were registered for displacement.
One member of each family is held in Muthanna prison until the date for the
relocation. One family member detained is the sole breadwinner of four
families, which have already been forced to relocate against their will in

Thousands of Kurdish families have been forcibly expelled from their homes
in northern Iraq by the security forces. They have to move to the areas
controlled by the Kurdish political parties in Iraqi Kurdistan purely on the
basis of their ethnic origins.

The Iraqi regime as part of its Arabisation plan has re-distributed most of
the land in Shwan area (Kurds are forbidden from living in this area) to
Sheikh Dahham Obais Al Hassan (one of Saddam's relatives).

Censorship and Press Freedom.

The press is highly restricted in Iraq. Iraq's main media outlets including
the national TV, radio, and main newspapers are government owned and
controlled. Udai Hussein runs one of these newspapers "Babel". The private
media is subject to heavy restriction and severe penalties. Most foreign
publications and the ownership of satellite dishes are banned.

On the other hand Reuters news agency announced that death threats have been
sent to the French film director Joel Saulier who produce a film titled
"Uncle Saddam". The film director said that he received several death
threats amongst which a letter he found in his letter box in Hollywood in
Arabic saying "burn the film or die".

The matter was referred to the local police who did not comment, but Saulier
said he would contact the FBI.

Saulier was offered a rare opportunity to film a documentary about Saddam in
which he appears using a hand grenade to fish and in a lecture to his aids
telling them how many times they should bathe.

The film was shown at the Vancouver Film Festival where it was commended by
David Sheiffer the US Ambassador as evidence for war crimes.

Saulier said that he felt he was facing problems at the end of his visit to
Iraq when he repeatedly asked to see the palaces of Saddam and he was led
for a blood test which he stopped with his screams. He said he left Iraq
through the desert borders.

Also the defected Iraqi nuclear scientist Khadr Hamza declared that Iraq has
the equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb but the only element missing
is Uranium. Khadr Hamza a former head of the Iraqi nuclear programme said;
"I wish to say that Iraq is capable of developing a nuclear bomb weighing
several thousands of tones. He added that the bomb would be very large and
would not be launched with a missile but could be airlifted and dropped on
the target.

Hamza who published his book "The maker of Saddam bombs" said that producing
a nuclear bomb in Iraq would take few months. He added that If Saddam
Hussein starts his programme to acquire splitting elements like Uranium he
would complete the bomb in two or three years. He pointed out that Russia
could be the supplier for the needed Uranium.

He said that Iraq started its nuclear weapons programme in the early
seventies and in 1974, Hamza and other scientists traveled to France from
which Iraq bought a nuclear reactor, which should have been monitored by the
French Agency for Nuclear Weapons.

Hamza said that all nuclear components were moved a week before the allies
started bombing Iraq. 

Ain-al-Yaqeen, November 10, 2000

FCO Minister of State in charge of the Middle East Peter Hain declared that
Saddam Hussein is still the long-term biggest threat to the region. He said
[that a] few weeks ago Saddam repeated his threats against Kuwait and
insulted other Leaders in the region. He is still defying the international
legitimacy and refuses to abide by UN resolutions.

This was underlined in a speech titled 'BRITAIN AND THE GULF 2000' delivered
at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House after the
Minister returned home from a tour to the Gulf states where he held talks
with officials in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.

Following is the text of his speech:

I welcome this opportunity to speak about Britain and the Gulf. It is
particularly timely as I have just returned from a further visit to the
region and was again struck by the amazing juxtaposition of the ultra-modern
with the traditional. The skylines of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, like a time-lapse
film sequence, appear to grow overnight. This is all the more extraordinary
when you compare photographs of the Gulf States now with the way they were
not so very long ago. And the dynamic growth of the infrastructure has been
accompanied by an equally dramatic shift in worldview. This is partly due to
oil wealth and easy travel, but also to the growth in instant communication,
the ubiquitous mobile phone, satellite television, the Internet, e-mail. The
wealth, regional influence, involvement in the global markets and oil
resources of Gulf states brings with them a responsibility to play an active
and stabilising role in world events and makes our continuing and evolving
relationship of paramount strategic importance.


In 1999 UK exports to the GCC countries were worth over £3.75 billion.
Imports were over £1.8 billion. It is our most important market outside the
OECD. The figures do not, of course, include invisibles. Our exports span
the spectrum: equipment for the oil and gas industry, construction, soft
furnishings, food, aircraft, vehicles, books. I am also told that our
Scottish expatriate communities there have little difficulty in tracking
down the odd haggis or two. The UK is also a major investor in the region
and over 86,000 British citizens live and work in the Gulf. The region
contains 64 per cent of the world's known oil reserves and Britain's Armilla
Patrol has maintained its presence in the Gulf ever since the 1980s. Our
allies in the Gulf welcome our presence as a symbol of our commitment to the
security of the region. It remains our largest military commitment outside


Britain has consistently defended the independence and territorial integrity
of our friends and allies in the Gulf, most recently when Iraq invaded
Kuwait in 1990. That commitment remains as strong as ever. All three
elements of our armed forces are in the Gulf. Our aircrews risk their lives
patrolling the skies above southern Iraq. Our sailors are involved in
activities to curb the illegal export of Iraqi oil. Our soldiers advise,
train and exercise with their counterparts from the GCC. This commitment
costs, politically, economically and tragically occasionally with lives. But
the security and stability of the Gulf is vital not only to the region but
also to the rest of the world.

Although the invasion of Kuwait was reversed, the biggest long-term threat
to the Gulf remains Saddam Hussein. He has demonstrated over and over again
his ambition to dominate the region and at the same time has shown a callous
disregard for the lives or welfare of his own people.

Hundreds of thousands died in a ten-year war with Iran, which achieved
absolutely nothing. He invaded and looted the country of his Arab brother
and continues to refuse to give any information on those Kuwaitis taken back
into Iraq. Not only did he develop weapons of mass destruction but also he
has been prepared to use chemical weapons against his own people. In recent
months he has repeated threats against Kuwait, insulted other Gulf rulers
and continued to defy the UN. I firmly believe that he remains determined to
develop his nuclear chemical and biological weapons capability, which could
threaten the countries of the region and beyond. He should be in no doubt,
however, that we remain equally determined that he should not succeed.

Of course we are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Iraq.
Last year we devoted eight months of painstaking diplomatic effort to bring
together the UN Security Council to pass UNSCR 1284 which represents the
collective will of the Security Council, and has the force of international

The resolution contained a raft of humanitarian provisions. Crucially,
resolution 1284 removed the ceiling on the amount of oil Iraq is allowed to
export to fund the purchase of humanitarian relief. Iraq's oil reserves are
second only to those of Saudi Arabia. And recent increases in production
mean that Iraq is now back among the world's top oil exporters with its oil
revenue now at an all time high of almost half a billion dollars per week.
All of this means that that over $16 billion will be available for the 'oil
for food' programme this year alone.

With this large amount of revenue available, one cannot help but ask why we
still see pictures of malnourished and sick Iraqi children - pictures which
rightly provoke our sympathy and compassion. There is absolutely no need for
these children to want or for them to suffer. So why do they? With the $16
million Saddam has available - three times the amount per head that every
Egyptian spends on food and medicine each year? It is an outrage that the
Iraqi Government willfully denies food and medicine to those children and
plays politics with their suffering. It hopes that by doing so, it can play
on our emotions until we abandon the Security Council's resolutions and lift
sanctions, leaving Iraq free to redevelop its weapons of mass destruction
and once more pose a threat to the region.

Contrast the situation with northern Iraq, where the same sanctions apply
but Saddam's writ does not run. That is because in northern Iraq the UN is
implementing the 'oil for food' programme, not the Iraqi authorities. And it
is doing so in a manner designed to bring maximum benefit to the Iraqi
people. As a result, the programme is making vast improvements to people's
lives. Life is better in the North than it was even before sanctions were
imposed. New homes and hospitals are being built. School attendances are up.
Minefields are being cleared. Food and medicine is being delivered. All this
could be happening in the centre and south of Iraq too. If only the
Government in Baghdad wanted it to.

The truth is that Saddam Hussein has no interest in putting his people's
needs first. He chooses to reject offers of humanitarian assistance from
other countries additional to the 'oil for food' programme, including
assistance specifically targeted at children's needs. And this at a time
when he is encouraging journalists and campaigners to come to Baghdad to
tour the children's wards in its hospitals. It is a scandal that the doctors
cannot get the drugs they need. But the fault lies with the Iraqi
Government. They fail to order enough medicines under the UN programme. Then
they fail to deliver them. We have even recently discovered hundreds of
emergency asthma inhalers consigned to Iraq under 'oil for food' on sale in
Lebanon for the benefit of the Iraqi regime and its stooges. Right now there
is over $5 billion in a UN account available for civilian goods if Iraq only
ordered them.

I am extremely impressed with Hans Blix, the Executive Chairman of the new
arms inspection body, UNMOVIC. His UNMOVIC is a new, independent body made
up of UN professional staff drawn from a wide geographical base. There is no
hidden agenda. We have been encouraging those who have contacts with Baghdad
to urge Iraq to take the genuine opportunity on offer here for afresh start,
and to work with Dr Blix and his staff. The Iraqi Government is fond of
claiming that it has given up its weapons of mass destruction and has
nothing to hide. If that is so, then it has everything to gain by allowing
UNMOVIC in. I call on it to do so. I must say at this point that we have
been very encouraged that some of our friends in the Arab world are working
with us in our efforts to encourage Iraq to co-operate.

Were Iraq to allow UNMOVIC into Iraq today sanctions could be suspended in a
matter of months. We want to see that happen. Suspension would offer Iraq an
enormous advantage, opening the door to the reintegration of Iraq into the
international community and allowing economic regeneration to begin. This is
a real opportunity to which, I repeat, we are wholly committed, and we urge
Iraq to take it. For as long as it does not, there can be no progress on
sanctions. And Iraq must be left in no doubt that there is no room for
initiatives outside the resolutions. To suggest otherwise only encourages
Iraq in its intransigence, thereby prolonging sanctions even further.

That is not what we want. We want to see sanctions lifted as soon as
possible. We want a law-abiding Iraq, respecting its international
obligations and pursuing good relations with all its neighbours. We
recognise the historic and cultural importance of Iraq in the Arab world,
and its enormous potential. We understand the strong desire in the Arab
world for it not to be excluded indefinitely - but the fact is that the
present regime's refusal to co-operate with the UN and meet its obligations
and its repeated challenges to the international community are the major
obstacle to this.

Compliance would bring major benefits. Governments, international financial
institutions and companies would be ready to help Iraq rebuild its economy
and infrastructure. The institutions would, I am sure, look creatively at
the help that might be given. Many of the thousands of patriotic and
talented Iraqis who have fled Iraq would return. Iraq could return to its
rightful place in the international community. Regional stability would be
put on a sounder foundation. That is an aim, which I believe we should all


In all my travels around the Gulf and the Middle East, I have heard plenty
of people express their sympathy with the Iraqi people and I agree with
them. But I have never heard anyone in any position of authority show any
sympathy for Saddam Hussein or his regime. Quite the opposite. They distrust
him and despise what he has done to the Iraqi people. They even tell me that
their support for the Iraqi people does not suggest support for Saddam. I
have to say that however unwittingly, there are those who are giving great
comfort to Saddam by undermining sanctions and challenging the authority of
the UN. Some have become instruments of Saddam's manipulative propaganda.

So-called humanitarian flights to Baghdad in contravention of the relevant
UN Security Council resolutions do little to bring humanitarian help to the
Iraqi people. They do a lot to support Saddam's policy of sowing discord
amongst the members of the UN and undermining international law. We do not
object to flights that go through the proper procedures, and most that do so
are approved by the 661 Committee. We acknowledge that there may be
different understandings of what is required under the resolutions, but the
answer is not a free for all which only gratifies Saddam's long term aim of
achieving sanctions lift without compliance on his part. We are working with
our partners on the Security Council to find a mechanism agreed by all in
accordance with existing resolutions which will allow bona fide flights to
Iraq. In the meantime I would urge those who are tempted by commercial gain
or gesture politics to consider seriously the damage to the credibility of
the UN that they are risking.

The same applies to those who turn a blind eye to the smuggling of Iraqi
oil. Revenues from the sale of Iraqi oil under the 'Oil for Food' programme
go to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq. Revenues from oil
smuggled out of Iraq go straight into the pockets of Saddam Hussein and his
cronies. Those who ignore this trade or encourage it when they could take
action to prevent it are contributing to Saddam's ability to ignore his
international obligations. With no control over the illegal revenue, there
is a strong risk of it being channeled into Saddam's arms programme,
conventional or otherwise. Those who tolerate his actions now may have cause
to regret them later.

For those who don't know, it is instructive to see how the illegal oil
revenues are spent. None of it is spent on food or medicine. It is spent
instead on luxury items for those closest to Saddam, whose loyalty he wishes
to retain. It is spent on building new palaces and theme parks.

For example, Saddam City is a massive luxury resort complex for Saddam's
cronies contains stadiums, an amusement park, and 625 homes for Saddam's
favourites. Some reports even suggest the resort has a safari park with deer
and elephants which graze on lush vegetation grown with the latest
irrigation systems. For his birthday this year, Saddam held spectacular
celebrations. His birthday cake was three metres high and its ingredients
could have fed 100 orphans for 30 days. In a typical month Iraq imports over
300 million cigarettes, 28,000 bottles of whisky, over 115,000 litres of
beer, 40,000 litres of vodka and 19,000 bottles of wine. By our estimates,
illegal exports of Iraqi oil outside the UN programme will reach an
estimated half a billion dollars this year. We and other members of the
Security Council are making serious efforts to limit this trade. I want to
encourage all the States in the region to do the same.


Iran has traditionally been seen by Gulf countries as a threat. Historical
suspicion of Iran cannot be overcome overnight. But I believe that the only
way to address these concerns is through dialogue and constructive
engagement. Experience has shown the benefit of being able to raise our
concerns, however difficult and sensitive, quietly and directly and well
away from the forum of megaphone diplomacy. Three years ago it would have
been hard to imagine the progress that we have made in our bilateral
relationship. This has been made possible by the reformist policies of
President Khatami and Iran's desire to reintegrate with the international
community, including her Gulf neighbours. I believe that President Khatemi
recognises that it is not in Iran's interests to provoke instability in the
Gulf or the wider region. However, the path of reform has not been smooth in
Iran and there are many who continue to argue against engagement. But I
believe that it is right to respond to the overwhelming majority of the
Iranian people who have time and again at the ballot box shown their support
for reform. The reintegration of Iran into the international community can
only be to the further benefit of regional stability. It is encouraging to
see a number of the countries in the Gulf responding to Iran's overtures.


The recent terrible clashes between Israel and the Palestinians are another
major source of potential instability in the region. The easy availability
of CNN, Sky News, BBC World and satellite television in the Gulf mean that,
for the first time, ordinary men, women and children in the Gulf are seeing
live, round the clock coverage of the violence. And they are appalled. In
the past it was possible to filter their access to what was happening, and
therefore to an extent control their reaction. This is no longer the case.

Saddam Hussein's posturing as a champion of the Palestinians is an
unsettling ingredient. No one should be taken in by that. Saddam's disregard
for his own people makes him a wholly unreliable and dangerous partner for
the Palestinians. True to form he is cynically manipulating their own
sufferings in an attempt to rehabilitate himself with the rest of the Arab

I would like to pay tribute to the Arab League Summit in Cairo, which backed
the peace process. But history has shown that peace between Israel and the
Palestinians will not be easy to achieve. It came tantalisingly close before
this recent descent into violence. But despite the renewed commitment on 2
November to implement the Sharm Agreement, we remain close to the brink. A
further upsurge in violence could take us over the brink and into more years
of instability, terrorism, economic downturn and suffering. Too many people
have died.

Britain supports Palestinian rights to self-determination, including the
option of a state. However, any Palestinian state declared in defiance of
Israel and outside negotiations would be severely handicapped.

Britain has been working to encourage the parties to end the violence and
return to the negotiating table. In contacts with the Israelis, Palestinians
and Arab states we have sought to concentrate on the way forward rather than
apportioning blame for recent events. We have throughout worked closely with
EU partners, the US and the UN Secretary-General.

The UK played a leading and constructive role in helping to shape United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1322 adopted on 7 October, and the EU
statements of 9 October in Luxembourg and 13 October in Biarritz. We have
made statements appealing for an end to violence and urging restraint. Robin
Cook visited Israel, the Occupied Territories, Egypt, Syria and Jordan from
11-13 October for intensive talks with regional leaders as well as with the
UN Secretary-General and the EU High Representative. I also visited Egypt on
16-18 October.

There is a role here for our friends in the Gulf. Continuing violence and
instability in the Middle East risks spreading. It is also holding back the
social and economic development of the whole region. I believe that there
will be a peace dividend. New markets will open up and the concerns of
potential investors allayed. It will not just be those the parties to the
Peace Process that will benefit. The Gulf countries need to exert any
influence they have to avert further bloodshed.

Lebanon and Syria also hold keys to peace and have improving relations with
the Gulf.


There are, of course, those who regard protection and promotion of economic
interests as being incompatible with promoting human rights. But we live in
a global community that needs universal values. Creativity and innovation,
which are so necessary for a modern, knowledge-based economy, flourish in
societies, which make full use of the resources of their people across the
board. We support human rights, transparency and accountability for other
people because these are the values we demand for ourselves. Increasingly we
are able to work on human rights in close co-operation with the countries of
the region, whether bilaterally or with those on the UN Commission on Human
Rights. Not by shouting, but by dialogue.

We will continue to work together with all our friends across the Gulf for
peace, justice and prosperity.

After the speech Minister Hain answered few questions amongst which the

Why are the Arab states not allowed to acquire modern weapons while Israel
possesses nuclear weapons? Minister Hain said: "We deal with the world as it
is, not necessarily as we want it to be. I do not deny that Israel has
nuclear weapons and we are and have always been calling on Israel to endorse
the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The fact and the
truth are that Israel for known and historical reasons is in a strong
military position. I am not defending this or justifying it or supporting it
all what I am saying is that this is a fact."

On the possibility of employing UN forces for the protection of Palestinians
Hain said: "the situation resembles that of the Congo where there are two
groups shooting at each others, for this reason the work of such forces will
be very difficult, indeed impossible. Bearing in mind that I understand the
Palestinians desire, to have a line separating between them and the
Israelis, the fact remains that this is not a practical policy, but if this
is discussed and approved by the UN, Britain will not stand as an obstacle.
I think ultimately this might be possible if both sides reach a peaceful

On the more assertive role Europe could play in the Peace Process in the
future Hain said: "the problem with the European role is that Israel does
not show any enthusiasm for it, on the contrary. This is an obstacle facing
us as Europeans. Besides that the Americans administration accords great
importance to the Israeli-Palestinian file. It has concentrated on it since
seven years. The US President himself has great knowledge and has acquired
unique expertise in dealing with this file. For this reason, I think that
there is a special role for the US to play and especially President Clinton.
Perhaps the president elect will decide before he takes office to support
President Clinton in solving this issue, that would mean that there is hope
and a chance for peace in the near future."

Minister Hain added: "with regard to the British role if all parties
involved in the conflict - including the Palestinians, the Israelis, the
Americans, the European Union with which we share our foreign and security
policies, as well as the Arab states ask us to play such a role we will be
ready to do so. The US does not exercise pressure on us to distance us from
this file. The fact is that this is a difficult file and the US is more
experienced in it. On the other hand we have a great credibility in the
region, we are keen on what we say and declare to keep our credibility and
our friendships with the different parties. This includes all the countries
I mentioned. For this very reason we could play a greater but paralleled
role to the American."

* Federalisation of Iraq by R.M.Ahmad, The Kurdistan Observer, Sep 20, 2000

During my forum discussion on Iraqnet BBS with Iraqis about federalisation
of Iraq, I have received only supporting ideas and not one constructive
objection. Each one supported federalising Iraq on his/her own innovative
different proposals.

My idea was to federalise Iraq to three free democratic federated states,
North (Kurdistan), Central and South, reflecting conscience of the major
Iraqi social segments and the distribution of natural and industrial
resources. Furthermore for other reasons, I thought these three federated
states should be changed to four by changing Central Federated State to two
federated states separated from each another by Dijla River. Another idea
was to leave Iraq as it is made up of its existing 18 administrative areas,
each area to be raised to a federated status. Another idea was to change
Iraq to five federated states made up of Liberated Kurdistan, Mosul/Kirkuk,
Baghdad, Najaf/Karbala and Basra/Safwan. One of the novel ideas was to let
Kurdistan becomes independent with the inclusion of Kirkuk, Mosul and
Tickrit, vaticanising both holy cities of Najaf and Karbala and leaving the
rest of Iraq as it is.  The reasons for vaticanising both holy cities are to
keep clergies away from politics.

I think the reason he wants Ticktrit joins Kurdistan is to cause all
Tickritis get heart attack. This man must be hating Tickrit and Tickritis a
lot. These are good enough as ideas but practically may not be so. Because
none of them finds the solution for the problems which have put Iraq into
present messy situation.  Iraq suffers from  three major messy problems
which are major ethnic/diversity injustices, misuse of resources and the
moral degradation of the ruling elite of the small Iraqi social segment
which may not exceed as much as 20% of Iraqi population, but has monopolised
power and brutalised Iraqi people since the birth of Iraqi state.  So the
basic plan of Iraqi federalisation must naturally lead to the elimination of
the major ethnic/diversity injustices, equitable share of natural and
industrial resources as much as practical and restraining and taming the
ruling Iraqi social segment against causing more damages to Iraqi lives and

To eliminate major ethnic/diversity injustices, we have to change Iraq to at
least three federated states; each one reflects the character and conscience
of one of the three major Iraqi social segments. In line to this, the
concept of three federated states, North, Central and South, has to be
introduced. Each federated state reflects the major geographical position of
a major Iraqi social segment. This means Northern Federated State reflects
the character and conscience of all people of Kurdistan with all their local
diversities. Southern Federated State represents the largest Iraqi social
segment, which is at least 60% of the Iraqi population. Central Federated
State reflects the present ruling smaller Iraqi social segment. All
populated areas, like cities and villages, have to be given free choice,
which federated states to join depending on geographical possibilities. Each
populated area can vote in a referendum and a simple majority of 50%+ has to
be accepted as a deciding vote. It is predicted that Mosul joins Central
Federated State, Kirkuk joins Northern Federated State and all other
populated areas, South Baghdad, join Southern Federated State. After that,
Southern Iraqi Federated State can consult people of both holy cities of
Najaf and Kerbala about the idea of vaticanising both holy cities provided
they could be protected by an International Rapid Reaction Force so that no
one can violate them again

Taming and Restraining the Present Ruling Elite

There are important things which have to be mentioned and cannot be avoided.
All of them have to be brought to the open. We need to talk a lot about the
elite of the Iraqi small social segment, which has monopolised power and
brutalised Iraqi people since the birth of Iraqi state.  We need to talk
about them to find ways to tame and restrain them to make them develop and
advance to fit to the modern world where universal values of fair and
justice have become the rule of the game, and to protect Iraq from their
self-destructive behaviour.

The ruling elite of this small Iraqi social segment has a very dark side
against Iraqi people in the history of Iraq. If it had not existed but we
read it in fictional stories we would have fallen unconscious. Their
behaviour can be described as evolutionarily directed towards self
destruction and extinction because of which they want to take Iraq down with
them. They are liabilities on Iraq. They have not contributed anything to
Iraq except putting a knife on it and enforcing their darkest culture on
Iraq. Anfal-driven lust to commit atrocities by the strongest against the
weakest boils in their blood inherited from their forefathers thousands of
years ago when they were burying newly born baby females alive.

Their dark culture is a shame on the history of Iraq and Mankind.
Discrimination, prejudice, Tickriti culture, military coups, back stabbings,
violation of innocents, wife beatings, abusing children and murdering women
for trivial reasons are their trade marks. Please go to,
Arabic discussion page, women¹s section, report No 9 by Um Farah to read
Anfal Tickriti law of 18th March 1983 which is an indirect invitation to any
man to rape a relative woman and then murdering her.They have changed Iraq
to a hell where every one wants to run from. They have changed family life
to a battlefield by allowing a man to marry more than woman.

To see how far they are morally and ethically degraded, we have to go to
Lebanon during civil war when Israelis went there to support Falangists
against Palestinians. An Israeli commander made a mistake by allowing armed
falangists enter a Palestinian refugee camp to deal with armed Palestinians.
But the falangists had a different agenda. They massacred every one in the
camp, from children to wounded, unarmed, men, women, old and young.

They spared no one. When the news came out and reached Israel, it shocked
Israelis. Almost all of them came out demonstrating and protesting  against
massacring Palestinian refugees by Israeli allies. They were about to start
a civil war in Israel because of massacring refugees by Israeli allies.
Because of the guilty conscience, the Israeli commander ended up in
psychiatrist hospital. But when the news of anfalling Kurdistan and gassing
Halabja came out, no one came out to demonstrate and protest in Iraq or
outside Iraq, Tickriti cousins. No Muslims or Muslim Imams in Iraq or
outside Iraq spoke out or protested or demonstrated. The commanders of
anfalling Kurdistan and gassing Halabja are still alive, healthy and proud
[of] what they did.

These people are going to be in charge of  Central Iraqi Federated State.
Obviously, they represent a threat on Northern and Southern Iraqi Federated
States in the short term in certain circumstances especially if they keep
monopolies on natural and industrial resources. They cannot be reformed in
24 hours. For example, they may unexpectedly declare independent and hold
other federated states in ransom by taking and controlling on all natural
and industrial resources. To tame and restrain them, at least these few
things have to be done: Many industrial resources have to be relocated from
central to the north and south proportionately to the population number.
There are many natural resources (oil fields) in the Central and South.
There is only one natural resource in the North, which is Kirkuk oilfield.

Kirkuk with all its oilfields has to join Northern Federated State for the
sake of long-term peace and stability. If Kirkuk joins Central Federated
State it will lead to two serious consequences: 1- One thing for sure,
either the Central Federated State declares independence or dictates terms
on the Northern and Southern Federated State. 2- It carries on alienising
and tickritising Kirkuk against Kurds, Turkmen and Assyrians, taking over
their properties and making them refugees in the land of their forefathers.
Obviously, these refugees to run from abuse, go to Kurdistan to find
shelter. This leads to friction between adjacent Iraqi federated states and
may put back Iraq onto another round of anarchy.

Accordingly, Kirkuk with all its oilfields has to join Northern Federated
State even if people vote solidly to join Central Federated State. This is
because voters some times cannot recognise what is good for them. For
irrational and emotionally charged reasons, they vote against their own
interest.  Germany before 2nd WW is a good example of this.  Before 2nd WW,
German voters elected Hitler solidly. But that was a vote against their
interest. It caused 2nd WW and Germany paid for it very heavily. Had that
vote been invalidated 2nd WW would have been prevented. In any case, People
of Kirkuk are going to vote solidly to join Northern Federated State. No one
votes to become refugee and give up his or her properties for aliens.

The next thing to tame and restrain Central Federated State is to divide it
to two different federated states separated from each another by Dijla
River. This means Baghdad is going to be divided between them.  This is
necessary for long term peace and stability although the objection may be
very strong for irrational and emotionally charged reason.  Legally this may
mean previous Iraqi state becomes defunct. So the newly reborn Iraqi Federal
Government may not be responsible for the liabilities (debts) of the
previous Iraqi Government. In any case the newly reborn Iraqi Federal
Government must not repay any military related debts. The owners of these
debts knew their debts (military means) going to be used against Iraqi
people and it¹s neighbours. So they cannot be rewarded and they have to bear
the consequences.

Finally, the newly reborn Free Democratic Federal Iraq has to be made up
from federated states; each reflects the character and conscience of a major
Iraqi social segment. Dividing Iraq into federated states must also take
into account the question of distributing natural and industrial resources
between federated states and the question of internal security, stability
and peace on the long term.

*  Not an alliance - yet [on relations between Iraq and Syria]
by Zvi Bar'el, Ha'aretz (Israel), Friday, November 10, 2000

The visit by Iraqi Vice-President Ezzat Ibrahim al-Duri to Damascus, the
first by such a senior figure in some 20 years, could lead to a strategic
shift in the region if Syria agrees to restore full diplomatic relations
with Iraq as a result.

In February the two countries renewed relations, which were severed in 1980.
Syria allowed Iraq to open a commercial interests section in the Algerian
embassy, in exchange earning a slice of Iraqi oil exports in the framework
of the oil for food program overseen by the UN.

Last week Iraq and Syria announced the planned reopening, later this month,
of the oil pipeline from Iraq to Syria, which was shut off in 1982, and the
countries are expected to declare the restoration of diplomatic relations

The tactical advantages offered by the restoration of relations to both
states include an increase in bilateral trade, which is very important to
Syria, and another target for exports and relief from the sanctions, which
are so important to Iraq . The move also completes a new strategic step.
This step will create a new closeness, although not yet an alliance, between
Syria and its historic enemy, Iraq.

Jordan is also involved in this budding friendship. Its prime minister, Ali
Abu al- Ragheb, went to Baghdad last week, the first Arab head of state to
visit Iraq since the Gulf War. On Monday, Egypt turned its commercial
interests office in Iraq into an embassy, appointing a diplomat who is not
an ambassador to head it. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Harazi also visited
Baghdad recently.

The new flowering of relations between Syria and Turkey are also part of
this strategic change. This week, Syrian Vice-President Abd el-Halim Khaddam
visited Ankara, where he was received by Turkish President Ahmet Sezer. The
two countries soon intend to sign a memorandum of understanding that will
redefine the relations between them. Turkey, for its part, intends to
develop its economic and diplomatic relations with Iraq, and even declared
its intention to renew the operation of a train service to Baghdad.

It can also be assumed that the promotion of relations between Iraq and
Syria is not being done in opposition to the wishes of Iran, a Syrian ally,
but rather is part of a regional understanding that Iran must be an integral
part of the Arab strategic alliance, even though it is not an Arab country
and is not a member of the Arab League.

This shift, which is beginning to erase historic rivalries between Arab and
Muslim states in the Middle East, could have implications for the
capabilities of the Arab states to formulate a unified policy toward both
Israel and the United States, especially at a time when Russia is attempting
to re-establish its position in the Middle East.

This is not yet a close alliance between these states, especially when it
comes to Iran's relations with Arab states, and there is still no cause to
fall back on old terms such as the creation of a new eastern front, but even
a friendly front that will attempt through non violent means to implement a
unified Arab policy is liable to create new international difficulties for

*  Commentary: US emerging as defacto world government?
By Arnaud de Borchgrave, chief executive officer of United Press
UPI, Fri 10 Nov 2000

Is the United Sates emerging as a de facto world government and the rest of
the world as the opposition party? Sounds nuts, but that is how a growing
number of world leaders are beginning to see their roles as they search for
ways to counter-balance American omnipotence and omnipresence. There is much
for the 43rd president to ponder. The French are not alone in warning about
the dangers of the "hyperpower," as they refer to the world's only
superpower. They are simply more vocal in venting their frustrations. France
is crafting a new ideology that is designed to spearhead a covert global
opposition movement to U.S. hegemony. There are two different opposition
groups. The "Official Opposition" consists of France, Russia, China and
several EU members only too willing to let France do the running.

They resist the colossus of Washington, for example, by opposing and then
breaching sanctions against Iraq; engaging in competitive diplomacy in the
Balkans and the Middle East; weakening U.S. control of the international
financial system; undermining America's global crusade for democracy and the
economic "neo-liberalism" of the Anglo-American world. The second opposition
is a blend of neo-Marxism and the autocratic regimes of the developing world
-- Iraq, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Venezuela and their silent admirers. From the
Battle for Seattle in November 1999 to similar cyber-organized
demonstrations and riots against the IMF and the World Bank in Washington
and Prague; to the visit of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez to Baghdad, the
first head of state to confer with Saddam Hussein since the end of the Gulf
War 10 years ago; to Castro's state visit to Venezuela to anoint Chavez as
his successor as Latin America's troublemaker in chief (in return for which
Castro got 100,000 barrels of oil a day at discounted prices), the common
thread is a worldwide movement against what they perceive to be America's
winner-take-all strategy.

Globalization, seen by many malcontents as a manifestation of U.S. economic
imperialism, has spawned a worldwide web of discontent. Chavez makes no
secret of his plan to morph OPEC into a champion of the developing world. He
told OPEC's first summit meeting in 25 years, "together we will be
invincible." The United States imports 15 percent of its oil needs from
Venezuela. This was the same Chavez who went to China last year and
embarrassed his hosts by raising his glass to Mao Zedong. No sooner back
from China than Chavez went on to Cuba„È¿1†éo as Latin Aƒí­ca's
man of the century. Chavez argues that Latin America must forge alliances
with the Middle East and Asia to counterweigh the United States. His
posturing finds favor in Paris, Moscow and Beijing. His denunciations of the
$1.3 billion Clinton plan to support Colombia's government in its war
against Marxist led guerrillas and drug dealers are echoed throughout Latin
America. Chavez also sides with the FARC guerrillas and supports their
incorporation in the Colombian government. This, he hopes, will bring the
northern part of Latin America and Panama under his anti-Yankee sway.

Meanwhile, Saddam has used the anti-Israeli fervor generated in the Arab
world by the Aqsa Intifada to restore his image in the streets of Arab
capitals from Marrakech to Muscat. The Iraqi dictator is reaching for the
mantle of the late Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser whose picture was an
icon all over the Arab world in the 1950s and '60s. Moderate Arab regimes --
Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states --
feel compelled to refrain from moderate pronouncements as they monitor their
own streets where citizens and subjects are lining up to give blood for
Palestine. In normally placid Amman, some 40,000 Jordanians, mostly
Palestinians, rioted against their government's peace treaty with Israel.
The Jordanian prime minister, Ali Abu Ragheb, got the message; he became the
first Arab head of government to call on Saddam in Baghdad since his defeat
in 1991. Erstwhile rivals Iraq and Iran have found common ground in their
support for the Palestinian intifada. Iraq signed the final communiqué at
the Oct. 22 Arab summit in Cairo and thus returned to the Arab fold, U.S.
opposition notwithstanding. Even Kuwait, the victim of the Iraqi invasion in
1990, did not object.

Pax Americana, a near certainty in the early 1990s following the twin
victories in the Cold War and the Gulf War, is being challenged on many
fronts. Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV network that has the largest
viewership in the Arab world and encourages radical spokesmen to take on the
moderate status quo regimes, has rehabilitated Iraq. The network's talking
heads remind the Arab world's "downtrodden masses" that half the world's
population of 6 billion is existing on $2 a day or less and that about 1
billion of them are Muslims, stretching from Morocco to Indonesia. CNN and
other networks now watched by millions of Arabs show the Palestinians being
killed in the West Bank and Gaza and their daily funeral processions. Al
Jazeera encourages the growing conviction that the United States can never
be even-handed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because Israel is an
integral part of the American body politic. Washington's reluctance to
condemn what other Western countries see as Israel's excessive use of force
has triggered demonstrations in front of U.S. embassies throughout the
Middle East. Intifada II and the terrorist attack against the USS Cole
prompted security concerns that led to suspending normal diplomatic

America's European and Asian allies can see how U.S. Middle Eastern policy
is largely dictated by domestic political considerations and how this
pro-Israeli tilt could trigger the Arab oil weapon again. By simply
withholding two million barrels of Iraqi oil a day from world oil markets,
Saddam could provide the spark. In early 1973, Israeli intelligence
dismissed as laughable the notion of an Arab oil embargo. Conventional
wisdom in Jerusalem at that time was, "What are the Arabs going to do with
their oil? Drink it?" On Oct. 16, 1973, at the height of the Yom Kippur War,
when Gen. Ariel Sharon punched his way back across the Suez Canal and
President Anwar Sadat faced military defeat. Saudi Arabia then ordered an
oil embargo and the balance of geopolitical power between Arabs and Israelis
was established for the first time.

The two terrorists who committed suicide when they disabled a $1 billion
guided-missile destroyer are viewed as cowards in the United States. Among
the Arab masses, they are martyred soldiers of holy war against the United
States and its Israeli ally. On CBS' "60 Minutes" program, religious leaders
in Pakistan described their presumed leader, Osama bin Laden, as "Islam's
Abraham Lincoln." When the Soviet empire imploded and the United States
emerged victorious from a four-decade-long Cold War, Washington assumed that
the whole world was applauding. But behind the cheers were countless
millions of disappointed militants throughout the developing world, and not
an insignificant number in the developed world as well. They lied low
through most of the 1990s and they are now crawling out of the woodwork.

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]