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News Supplement, 3-10/12/00


*  Platform: The sanctions boomerang [an Indian warning that the sanctions
imposed on Pakistan may not have the desired effect]
*  The IDF is taking lessons in communication skills [secrets of the MoD's
success in managing the media]
*  US Officials Should Look Beyond The Terrorist Pawns Deployed By Bin
Laden And Take Action Against The States That Support Him
*  How Helms is sparking a real crisis [the 'American Servicemembers
Protection Act' aimed to ensure that no American serviceman will ever go
before an international tribunal]
*  Israel Launches Observation Satellite From Siberia
*  Pentagon Shapes the Bush Policy Team
*  The wrong man to run the State Department [On Colin Powell: 'After the
irresolution of the Christopher-Albright years, the next secretary of state
must be someone who is not uneasy with the assertion of US leadership or
nervous about the projection of power abroad.'  This seems very unjust to
Madeleine Albright.]
*  Putin makes a political misstep in trip to Cuba
*  Saddam Wins, America Sleeps [the selection of US foreign affairs hysteria
I am offering in this supplement comes to its shuddering climax]
*  CIA warns US faces biggest threat since World War II [though this runs it
*  The Biggest Robbery of the Century [about the UN Compensation Commission.
But its just a rewrite of the Monde Diplomatique article circulated to this
list by Sandeep Vaidya on 18th October]
*  Iraqis on the list [letter to the Observer commenting on 'Saddam's
executioner' which featured in last week's supplement]

by Ramesh Thakur
Hindustani Times, 4th December

India should temper its delight at the imposition of US sanctions on
Pakistan. The use of sanctions as a tool of foreign and international policy
increased dramatically in the 20th century. Yet, as the crumbling sanctions
on Iraq show, their track record in ensuring compliance is pitiful. They
have a bad reputation and a worse history.

The target country can choose from a range of sellers in the international
market place. It is virtually impossible to secure universal participation
in embargoes and difficult to police their application in participating
countries. The incentive to make large profits by circumventing sanctions is
more powerful than the motive for enforcing them, and a variety of means and
routes exist to camouflage sanctions-busting contacts.

Sanctions imposed on India and Pakistan in 1998 were especially egregious
because both had already crossed the nuclear threshold and announced
unilateral moratoria on further testing. Not a single country has been added
to the proliferation-sensitive list as a result of those tests. The nuclear
arsenal of the Big Five is more of a proliferant than a deterrent.

Sanctions are counter-productive through two effects: political and
economic. Politically, their goal is to reduce the support for sanctioned
leaders by their own people. But sanctions offer an easy scapegoat for
ruinous economic policies: economic pain is simply blamed on hostile and
ill-intentioned foreigners. Bearing pain in order to cope with sanctions is
portrayed as the patriotic duty of every citizen. Dissent is stifled and
political opposition muted, silenced or liquidated.

Economically, sanctions create shortages and raise prices in conditions of
scarcity. The poor suffer, the middle class shrinks, the ruling class
extracts fatter rents from monopoly controls over the illicit trade in
banned goods. We have enough credible evidence to suggest that family
cliques surrounding dictators under international sanctions have monopolised
the black market spawned by the imposition of sanctions and the resulting
shortages of goods in the open market.

The more profitable the trade, the richer the leaders become and the greater
the vested interest they have in perpetuating sanctions while using
State-controlled media to plausibly scapegoat the West or the
ŒWestern-controlled¹ UN for the peoples¹ misery. In addition, scarcity
increases the dependence of the population on the distribution of
necessities by the regime, so that sanctions give leaders yet another tool
with which to exercise control and leverage over their people.

The motives for the imposition and maintenance of sanctions are often rooted
in domestic politics. Rivals for office seek to reap electoral advantage by
depicting opponents as Œsoft¹ on the enemy. No US presidential candidate
dares to offend the Cuban-American lobby by calling for the removal of
sanctions on Fidel Castro, despite the clear demonstration of their failure.

Sanctions on Cuba remain in place, not because they serve any purpose, not
because they are achieving their original goals, but because of the power of
a domestic electoral lobby. The geographical concentration of the exiles in
Miami gives them a crucial swing vote role in determining the outcome of
Florida¹s electoral votes, which in turn is important in influencing the
outcome of presidential elections ‹ as we all learnt only too well this

Having imposed sanctions on India and Pakistan, Washington finds itself
imprisoned in the classic termination trap: how to lift sanctions without
appearing to back down, on the one hand, or reward Œbad¹ behaviour, on the
other. Having already paid the international price for testing, India sees
no reason to revert to the status quo ante on high technology access in
return for signing the CTBT and joining the global non-proliferation regime.
The longer Washington vacillates, the more time other countries have to fill
in the commercial void.

Sanctions can damage producer-groups in the countries imposing them, for
example farmers. In addition, because of the frequency with which a country
resorts to sanctions, the long term reliability of its suppliers becomes
suspect, with the result that foreign purchasers may not switch back to its
products even after sanctions are lifted.

They inflict pain on innocent countries in the neighbourhood. The readiness
of the international community to impose sanctions is not matched by a
willingness to defray the costs of adjustment of those among the
non-targeted group for whom the pain is the greatest. Very quickly these
countries conclude that their economic interests are better served by
continuing economic exchanges with the targeted regime, if by other names
and through alternative channels.

US sanctions against the former Soviet Union, for example, with respect to
the construction of a gas pipeline between the Soviet Union and Western
Europe, often strained relations between Washington and other NATO capitals.

Public and hence political support for sanctions rests in their image as a
humane alternative, and perhaps a necessary prelude, to war, which is
increasingly regarded as a tool of the very last resort. The imposition of
sanctions is frequently accompanied by sentimentality and sanctimony in
Western countries. Yet they cause death and destruction, sometimes on a
large scale, through Œstructural violence¹: starvation, malnutrition and the
spread of deadly diseases.

In contrast to wars, sanctions shift the burden of harm solely to civilians,
and solely on one side. The degree and scale of death and suffering
inflicted by the Œstructural violence¹ of sanctions exceeds the Œcleaner¹
alternative of open warfare. And their primary victims are innocent
civilians, mainly women and children. In a provocative essay in Foreign
Affairs (May/June 1999), John Mueller and Karl Mueller argued that sanctions
have caused more deaths in the 20th century than all weapons of mass
destruction through-out history.

The imposition of sanctions on India and Pakistan for their nuclear tests in
1998 also begged the question of moral equivalence. India and Pakistan
breached no international treaty, convention or law by testing. For the five
nuclear weapons states, to impose sanctions on the nuclear gatecrashers is
akin to outlaws sitting in judgment, passing sentence and imposing
punishment on the law abiding.

by Sharon Sadeh
Ha'aretz, 4th December

LONDON - In an attempt to strengthen its shaky international image, Israel
has turned to Great Britain for advice in a field where, thus far, it has
not excelled - the IDF's public information apparatus. The study tour
undertaken three weeks ago by IDF spokesman Brigadier General Ron Kitri,
firstly in the British security establishment, and afterwards in Brussels,
with the heads of NATO's information apparatus, provided him with an
abundance of food for thought.

The visit was planned half a year ago, but became much more pressing in the
wake of the violent clashes in the territories. In spite of the problematic
timing, the British did not rescind their invitation. They prepared a
comprehensive schedule, which included meetings with senior officials and
officers in the Ministry of Defence in London, and at the headquarters of
the ground forces in Salisbury.

Kitri met with the highest echelons, including the head of communications in
the Defence Ministry, John Pitt-Brooke, the head of news, Martin Howard, and
the chief of the Ministry of Defence Press Office, Simon Wren. He also met
with the head of Corporate Communications (Army), Brigadier Sebastian
Roberts. Kitri explained to the British the difficulties confronting
Israel's communications hierarchy in recent weeks, in the wake of the
terrible scenes of aerial bombings and dead children, and the limitations of
the spokesman in dealing with the local and foreign media. The British hosts
listened, but refrained from expressing criticism.

The spokesmen in the British military operate within a different structure
and with different conventions to military spokesmen in Israel. While the
IDF operates with regular army officers or reservists, the British
information service uses a team consisting of civilians and officers, who
work as a unit. In contrast to the situation in Israel, there is no
separation in Britain between the army spokesmen and those of the Ministry
of Defence. The army's information hierarchy is subordinate to the Ministry
of Defence, and its staff works within that ministry. Thus, the military
information service is headed by civilians, top officials who constitute
part of the bureaucratic establishment, and whose subordination to the
political echelon allows for the uniformity of the message, in accordance
with the needs of the government.

In addition to the main Ministry of Defence offices in Whitehall, the
British government's headquarters in London, there are countrywide and
regional communications offices located at various bases. The British have
come a long way - both conceptually and in terms of technology - since the
era of censored reports from the battlefield on the Falkland Islands.

Before the era of communications satellites, the British defense
establishment ruled with an iron fist over the information given to the
press, since it knew the media could get to the battlefield only under the
aegis of the army. In the Falklands War, the British government allowed a
handful of journalists to observe the operation from British warships,
assuming, correctly as it turned out, that in this way it could better
influence public opinion. The military journalists had to obey the
instructions of military personnel, and information was carefully doled out.

This arrangement no longer obtains. The British security network today works
on the initial assumption that in the era of communications satellites and
the Internet, it is impossible to prevent the transfer of information to the
media. In Britain, military censorship, as it is known in Israel, does not
exist and editors are free to make their own decisions about publishing
military information, although they sometimes receive specific requests to
demonstrate sensitivity on certain subjects; (only in the field of
intelligence does the establishment exhibit great sensitivity, and often
asks for and receives writs prohibiting publication). The outdated assertion
that "the information comes from us, and we own it," has made way for an
alternative approach to media relations: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

An official in the Ministry of Defence told Ha'aretz that their relationship
with the media is based on principles of maximum openness and cooperation.
He said that they avoid manipulation - which almost always leads to
undesirable consequences. Instead, it is important to the British security
establishment to preserve a relationship with the media based on credibility
and trust, as this enables them to maintain a certain degree of influence
over the editors and senior columnists. The Ministry of Defence may not be
able to prevent the publication of juicy information, but with the help of
pressure and connections with the right people, the damage to its image can
be kept to a minimum.

The British told Kitri that they consider the media to be an essential
component in the success of military operations. The media not only serve to
strengthen the tie between soldiers at the front and their families at home,
but are also considered vital for gaining public support for sending
soldiers on dangerous missions which serve international goals, rather than
immediate British interests. The military is also interested in having
immediate access to media newsrooms and editorial nerve centers, in order to
feed them information in real time, and prevent manipulation by the other
side. These efforts don't always succeed; the British media are suspicious
of the security establishment, and are not willing to make do with
information which originates from the government alone.

When no such military events are taking place, the security establishment
has to deal with newspaper reporters and editors in the same way as would
any other public relations firm seeking to ensure that the media will
publish information which is important to it. The British media are not as
willing to publish military information as they used to be; one reason for
this is the public's lack of interest. The indifference - a direct outcome
of economic prosperity and the absence of any existential threat for about
half a century - is clearly reflected in the position of the Minister of
Defence within the cabinet: he is only fifth in the pecking order, after the
heads of the treasury, the Foreign Office, the Home Office, and the
Department for Education and Employment.

The areas of activity and responsibility for spokesmen and information
officers in the British security establishment also differ from those in
Israel. Military service in Britain is not compulsory and the army relies
heavily on publicity campaigns to recruit young people - these include
advertisements, propaganda films, and assistance in preparing school
finishing programs - alongside the usual information activities. One of the
gimmicks shown to Kitri was a set of postcards bearing the picture of the
new soldier, which is sent to parents with the caption: "We happened to meet
your daughter/son and s/he sends regards." Furthermore, significant
resources have been allotted to encouraging and preserving ties between
military units and residents of outlying areas and distant towns and
villages, who feel cut off from the bustle of life in London, by means of
direct information supplied to local and regional newspapers. Investing in
this relationship is worthwhile, since the army enjoys a high percentage of
recruits from these places.

Another difference between arrangements in the two countries is the physical
area of military operation: While in Israel only a few kilometers separate
the home front from the battlefront, Britain has worldwide political and
military interests, and plays a significant role in NATO. During the past
decade, the British have participated in dozens of operations, virtually all
of them far from home - from Iraq, to Bosnia and Kosovo, from East Timor to
Sierra Leone. The distances involved have led them to set up a portable
communications system which includes backup for satellite communications, to
serve military needs, but which is also available to representatives of the
media when it is deemed necessary. The British allow journalists from all
areas of the media to accompany them on military operations - during the
battles in Kosovo, for instance, there were 3,000 registered journalists in
the region.

But the main difference highlighted by Kitri when he compared the
information services of Britain and Israel lay in the way officers are
prepared for their work with the media. Unlike their Israeli counterparts,
future officers in the British army learn how to deal with the media as part
of their basic training.

According to a British official, the security establishment cannot know in
advance who will have to stand opposite a microphone without prior notice,
and therefore the ability to deal with journalists' questions on the spot,
while taking into account the circumstances on the ground, is one of the
basic qualifications demanded of an officer, even if he is not from the
official spokesman's office. Kitri was present at a lecture at the military
college in Sandhurst, part of which was devoted to testing the ability of
officers to appear before the media. In a kind of variation on "The medium
is the message," the British devote a great deal of thought to training
officers in communicating effectively with anyone they meet. If the
commander knows how to get his message across effectively - whether to a
journalist or to one of the soldiers under his command - it will contribute
to his success at his job. The journalist will attribute greater importance
to the information he receives, and the soldier in his squad will carry out
instructions more obligingly.

by James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation
BridgeNews, December 4, 2000

WASHINGTON--There have been several arrests, but U.S. officials still don't
know who bears ultimate responsibility for the bombing of the USS Cole in

Oh, there are the usual suspects: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan.

But the fact that there's such a thing as "the usual suspects" when it comes
to terrorism just goes to show America must develop a more sensible way to
fight it.

By all accounts, the Oct. 12 bombing appears to be the work of the loose
terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden, an exiled Saudi now based in

Bin Laden is known to have followers in Yemen and has launched terrorist
operations there in the past. Worse, he may have had Iraqi government

The sophisticated nature of the bomb--which was placed within a metal
container to channel the blast into the Cole's hull--suggests state

Iraqi officials are known to have made contact with bin Laden in
Afghanistan, and Iraq has used terrorists-for-hire in the past. Saddam
Hussein shares bin Laden's goal of expelling American forces from the
Arabian peninsula, and the Cole was bound for the Persian Gulf to help
maintain the naval blockade of Iraq.

Iran may also have played a supporting role in the Cole bombing. Like Iraq,
it has long supported terrorist groups operating against the United States
and seeks to expel U.S. forces from the Persian Gulf region.

Bin Laden is known to have entered into an agreement with radical regimes in
Iran and Sudan to work together against the United States, Israel and the

And bin Laden has sent some of his followers to Lebanon for bomb- making
training from the Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian terrorist group.

In fact, one of bin Laden's associates, a terrorist who pled guilty on Oct.
20 to the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, has
linked bin Laden with Hezbollah's terrorist chief, Imad Mughniyah.

This means Iran may be cooperating with bin Laden's terrorist network by
using the Lebanon-based Hezbollah as an intermediary.

Finally, the radical Taliban regime in Afghanistan has cooperated with bin
Laden and even given him sanctuary, because bin Laden joined the Afghan
jihad, or "holy war," against the Soviet army after moving to Afghanistan in

He enjoys close relations with Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who reportedly
has married one of bin Laden's daughters. The Taliban's support for bin
Laden led the United Nations to impose economic sanctions on Afghanistan
last year.

But the Clinton administration has largely failed to penalize the Taliban
regime for its support of terrorism and has yet to persuade officials to
turn over bin Laden.

Yes, a U.S. cruise missile attack in August 1998 on bin Laden's camp in
eastern Afghanistan destroyed a few easily replaced facilities and killed a
score of Islamic militants from Pakistan and Kashmir.

But this "chuck and duck" policy has helped the Taliban by alienating
Afghans from their former American ally, including many who oppose the
Taliban's harsh rule.

To effectively punish the Afghan government for supporting bin Laden, the
next administration should support the opposition forces fighting to replace
the Taliban with a government that doesn't export terrorism, Islamic
revolution and illegal drugs.

Washington should build an anti-Taliban coalition that embraces all the
states that have suffered attacks from Muslim militants supported by the
Taliban. These states include Russia, China, India and Afghanistan's
northern neighbors Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Bin Laden's brand of Islamic terrorism is like a virus that has been
incubated in the Afghan jihad. To fight it, the United States needs to
destroy the incubator--the Taliban regime.

If Iraq and Iran also are found to be implicated in the Cole bombing, the
United States should redouble its efforts to work with opposition forces
inside those countries to oust hostile regimes.

It should also seriously consider retaliating with American forces. U.S.
officials are trying to hunt down the culprits behind the Cole bombing and
bring them to justice.

But they should look beyond the terrorist pawns deployed by bin Laden and
take action against the states that support him--the Taliban regime in
Afghanistan and possibly Iraq or Iran.

The United States must remove these regimes, not merely contain them. As
long as they remain in power, the United States and its allies face a
heightened threat, and the "usual suspects" of international terrorism will
continue to enjoy a relatively free ride. End

JAMES PHILLIPS is a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. a
Washington-based public policy institute. His views are not necessarily
those of BridgeNews, whose ventures include the Internet site

by James Carroll
Boston Globe, 5th December

Worrying about a potential constitutional crisis coming out of Florida, we
hardly noticed a creeping constitutional crisis that showed itself in New
York last week.

At the United Nations, representatives of more than 100 countries are at
work, until this Friday, on negotiations aimed at implementing the 1998 Rome
Treaty on the International Criminal Court. Arising from American-backed
tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the ICC will adjudicate
genocide and other crimes against humanity. Replacing vengeance with law,
the court represents a major step toward a new world-structure of peace.

Recall that, out of concerns for sovereignty, the United States has yet to
sign this treaty, a demurral that puts us in the company of Iraq, Libya,
China, and a few others. The Clinton administration, which supports the
court in principle, has been working in a delicate process to obtain side
agreements that address its concerns, and there have been hopes that the
president would sign the treaty by the Dec. 31 deadline that would keep the
United States actively engaged in the shaping of the court, even without
full ratification.

But last Wednesday, in a clear violation of the American way, Republican
Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina preempted the administration's
transcending responsibility to conduct foreign policy by dispatching his
press spokesperson to the United Nations, where he held a press conference
to spotlight his diehard opposition to the treaty. (An Associated Press
story, my source, reported on this event, but it was not covered in the
Globe or The New York Times.)

Helms will make his ''American Servicemembers Protection Act'' a ''top
legislative priority,'' the spokesperson said, referring to a bill that
would not only spike US participation in the court, but would punish
countries that ratified the treaty, and would severely restrict future
American support of UN peacekeeping.

Thus Helms was not only inserting himself into an international forum,
contemptuously intruding upon an American president's delicate and
time-sensitive effort to shape foreign policy. He was threatening other
nations with retaliation - a military aid cutoff - if they go forward with a
court he doesn't like.

And that is not all. Against the present administration, Helms produced a
chorus of former officials to echo his intervention at the UN. On that same
Wednesday - a coincidence? - a letter supporting the Helms bill was released
by a dozen foreign policy heavy hitters, including Henry Kissinger, Jeane
Kirkpatrick, George Shultz, and James Baker III - a sad demonstration of how
far we've come from the post-World War II generation of internationalists
who, in fact, gave first expression to the idea of an international war
crimes tribunal.

Helms and his supporters claim to be speaking for ''American
servicemembers,'' but how do the military men and women who might find
themselves subject to the ICC feel about it? In a phone conversation last
Friday, I put the question to retired Major General William L. Nash, who
commanded Task Force Eagle in Bosnia, a multinational division supporting
the Dayton Peace Accords, and who has just returned from a stint as a UN
administrator in Mitrovica, Kosovo. These responsibilities have given
General Nash a clearer view of these complexities than almost anyone.

He said, ''My experience from Vietnam to Desert Storm to Bosnia tells me
that you behave within the laws of war. The treaty does not change that. It
is an endorsement of what we believe in.'' Indeed, by deterring war crimes,
the ICC would be the true protection of Americans, along with everyone else.

General Nash is author of ''The ICC and the Deployment of US Armed Forces,''
a chapter in a study of the court published recently by the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences. The academy's program director for international
security studies, Martin Malin, watched events unfold last week. The Helms
intervention, he told me, ''was timed to sharpen the divisions between the
United States and other nations, threatening them by saying, in effect, `If
you support this court, you put your military relations with the US at
risk.' Senator Helms is way overstepping the right of Congress to exercise
authority in foreign policy.''

That James Baker is a party to the Helms campaign signals that an incoming
Bush administration would prefer to be shackled by a xenophobic Congress
than to be constrained by multilateral and equitable agreements with other
nations - a preference here for the old cycle of violence to a new structure
of peace.

Jesse Helms is an exact epiphany of the mindset, at once parochial and
triumphalistic, that will guarantee not America's supremacy, as he so
foolishly thinks, but its irrelevance. If, growing impatient, you thought
there was nothing serious at stake anymore in whether Al Gore prevails in
Florida, think again. 

by Steven Scheer

Tel Aviv (Reuters December 5, 2000) - Israel launched the first of a series
of observation satellites Tuesday designed to take high-resolution
photographs of any spot on earth.

The launch, in Siberia, came almost two years after Israel's Ofek-4
satellite, which was widely reported to have been meant to spy on Iran, Iraq
and Syria, malfunctioned and burned up after liftoff.

Israel's Ofek-3 reconnaissance satellite has been in space for more than
four years and is reaching the end of its life.

The 550-pound, $100 million EROS-1 satellite from ImageSat International NV
was launched in Siberia using a Russian Topol or SS-25 ballistic missile. It
has enough fuel to stay in orbit for six years.

Netherlands Antilles-based ImageSat said the satellite was meant for
commercial purposes, such as mapping, urban development and fishery. But
Israel's Ha'artez daily reported on Tuesday the Israeli Defense Ministry
would be a customer.

State-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), with 31 percent, holds a
majority stake in ImageSat. Israel's Electro-Optical Industries, United
Mizrahi Bank (MZRH.TA), the Challenge Fund and Core Software Technology also
own stakes.

"We expect to commission up to eight high-resolution satellites in the
coming years," said Jacob Weiss, chief executive officer of ImageSat.

EROS-1, at nearly 300 miles above earth, will orbit the earth every 90
minutes, company officials said.

"It will cover every place on the planet," said ImageSat vice president
Yifrah Haim, a retired Israeli general. "When we have more than one
satellite, the ability to cover the same area more often will improve."

He noted that EROS should be ready within days to start taking photos, while
all eight satellites should be operational within six years.

Israel accelerated its spy satellite program after the 1991 Gulf War when
Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles at Israeli cities. The current Palestinian
uprising against Israeli occupation has heightened tensions in the Middle
East and raised war fears.

Experts put the cost of detailed, high-resolution photos at about $1,500
each and Merrill Lynch forecast the commercial satellite imaging market
reaching $6.5 billion in revenues by 2007, anticipating the annual growth
rate to be about 35 percent.

by Jim Mann
Los Angeles Times, 6th December

WASHINGTON--No one's noticing, but American foreign policy is about to be
turned over to the Pentagon Alumni Assn.

If George W. Bush becomes the next president, as seems increasingly likely,
the foreign policy team he is assembling will have a distinctly
defense-oriented cast--much more so than in any recent presidency, including
the last Bush administration.

The flavor of U.S. foreign policy, it seems, is about to shift. Over the
last eight years, the leading figures in the Clinton administration have
come from the world of trade law and investment banking (Samuel R. "Sandy"
Berger and Robert E. Rubin).

Now we're going to see a return of The Commanders, the team that won the
Persian Gulf War nine years ago.

The trend starts near the very top. Bush's choice for vice president, Dick
Cheney, spent his most recent years in government as Defense secretary.
Bush's probable secretary of State, Gen. Colin L. Powell, was a career
military official and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Richard L. Armitage, a powerful figure in the Pentagon during the Reagan
administration, is expected to end up in a senior post, probably deputy
Defense secretary. Paul Wolfowitz, formerly one of Cheney's top Pentagon
aides, is likely to join the administration's senior ranks too.

And the Pentagon orientation of the new administration, it seems, may filter
down through the ranks to the working levels.

Take Asia. The leading candidate to be Bush's assistant secretary of State
for East Asia is said to be James A. Kelly, a Navy veteran who served as a
Pentagon aide and later on the National Security Council in the Reagan
administration. The Defense Department's Asia policy job may go to Torkel
Patterson, another retired Navy official who worked in the Pentagon and on
the NSC in the last Bush administration.

In some respects, the Pentagon origins of many of the Bush foreign policy
advisors may prove beneficial.

Certainly the Bush administration would be in a strong position to cut out
unneeded weapon systems and waste in the Pentagon budget, if it chooses to
do so. Few people would be in a better position to say "no" to the Joint
Chiefs of Staff than Cheney and Powell.

Over the years, the Defense Department often has proved less addicted to
conventional wisdom about foreign policy than the State Department or CIA.
Among the few senior military leaders to serve as secretary of State was
George Marshall, the revered architect of the Truman administration's
Marshall Plan for Europe.

"He was one of the great" secretaries of State, says historian Warren B.
Cohen. "He reorganized the department and set up policy planning. When the
Joint Chiefs came to him and said if we send 10,000 troops to China, we can
turn around the Chinese civil war, Marshall said, 'Bull----, it'd take a
million.' "

Of course, the other side of this argument is that a military background may
be of less help today than in Harry S. Truman's time. America is not
fighting the Cold War any more, or for that matter the Persian Gulf War.

It's unclear yet whether the Pentagon alumni who would return to government
in Bush II are prepared to deal with a new challenge--a world where
international economic issues loom larger than they did a decade ago.

Moreover, even on security issues, these former officials may find, like Rip
Van Winkle, that the world has changed since the glory days when the United
States assembled the Gulf War coalition against Saddam Hussein.

Back then, Mikhail S. Gorbachev's Soviet Union stood solidly with the United
States in dealing with Iraq. Now, Vladimir V. Putin's Russia doesn't--and
neither do France or China.

Some within the Bush team (notably Wolfowitz) have advocated a tougher
policy toward Iraq; they have pushed for stronger U.S. support for the
exiles seeking to overthrow Saddam. By contrast, most Arab governments now
seek an easing of the embargo against Iraq.

The last Bush administration didn't draw so heavily on the Defense
Department for its foreign policy team. Indeed, the patron saint of Bush I
was, in some ways, Henry A. Kissinger.

Two top-level officials (Brent Scowcroft, the national security advisor, and
Lawrence S. Eagleburger, the deputy secretary of State) had been top aides
to Kissinger; so had the assistant secretary of State for Asia, Richard

To be sure, not everyone in the new Bush team has a strong Defense
Department pedigree. Condoleezza Rice, Bush's likely choice for national
security advisor, gained most of her experience as Scowcroft's protege on
the NSC--although even Rice worked briefly in the Pentagon in 1986-87.

If there is any single guiding spirit behind Bush's incoming crew, it would
appear to be not Kissinger but Caspar W. Weinberger, who was President
Reagan's Defense secretary.

Both Powell and Armitage rose to prominence in Weinberger's Pentagon. And it
was Weinberger who enunciated a doctrine for strict limits on deploying U.S.
forces overseas--a caution that Powell largely embraced as chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Under the Weinberger doctrine, set down in 1984, American troops should be
sent into conflict only in cases vital to U.S. national interests and only
where there is overwhelming public support and a well-defined objective.

George W. Bush voiced similar ideas during this year's campaign--thus
setting the tone for the Pentagon mind-set of the incoming administration.

by Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 7th December

GEORGE W. BUSH has made it all but official that - assuming he becomes
president - Colin Powell will be his nominee for secretary of state. It is a
nomination sure to generate much applause. Herewith a dissent.

In many ways, of course, Powell would be an admirable addition to any
president's Cabinet. By all accounts he is a man of fine character. His
reputation could hardly be more lustrous. When he considered running for
president himself five years ago, both parties vied for his favor. He is
dignified, tough, patriotic, and - not a small thing after two terms of Bill
Clinton - manifestly an adult.

But would he make a good secretary of state?

Bush, it is clear, has no more of ''the vision thing'' than his father did;
when it comes to foreign affairs, he has even less. More than most
presidents, he will depend on his secretary of state for insight into
international developments and for guidance in setting America's course in
the world.

After the irresolution of the Christopher-Albright years, the next secretary
of state must be someone who is not uneasy with the assertion of US
leadership or nervous about the projection of power abroad. Bush's senior
Cabinet official will need to assist him in making hard decisions - even
unpopular or dangerous ones, if that is what the national interest and the
pursuit of world peace require. He will have to be unshakable when it comes
to first principles and able to recognize at once when they are threatened.

And when the United States has to rally reluctant allies or face down
menacing foes, the incoming secretary of state will need the skill to make
America's case, as Thomas Jefferson once put it, ''in terms so plain as to
command their assent.''

That is not a job description Powell can meet. He has many terrific
qualities, but strategic vision and innovation have never been among them.
He is a company man who plays by the rules - the company in his case being
the Army, in which he spent nearly all his adult life. He is a classic
consensus-seeker, a cautious insider who rarely moves until he knows that
everyone is on board. Thinking ''outside the box'' is not a Powell
trademark; his instinct is always for the status quo, and time and again it
has occluded his judgment.

No chapter in Powell's life illustrates the problem better, ironically, than
the one that made his reputation: the Gulf War.

To this day he is routinely described as a ''hero'' of that war, and yet if
his advice had been followed when the crisis with Iraq erupted, the result
would have been disaster.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Powell was prepared to
let him keep it. As Michael Gordon and retired General Bernard Trainor
reported in ''The Generals' War,'' their detailed account of the war in the
Gulf, Powell was adamant that Kuwait was not worth fighting for. ''The
American people do not want their young dying for $1.50-a gallon oil,'' he
insisted to then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. ''We can't make a case for
losing lives for Kuwait.'' Only if Saddam attacked Saudi Arabia did Powell
think America should act. When President Bush bluntly vowed that Saddam's
aggression would be rolled back - ''This will not stand'' - Powell was

Even when the decision was made to confront Iraq, Powell opposed the use of
military force. He was convinced, he told Britain's air chief marshal in
October 1990, that economic sanctions would bring Saddam around, and he was
willing to wait 12 to 15 months, and maybe as long as two years, for them to
work. In Powell's view, wrote Gordon and Trainor, ''war with Iraq ... would
be politically damaging to Western interests in the Middle East.''

And as soon as Iraqi forces were out of Kuwait, Powell called for ending the
war at once. Saddam's Republican Guard was allowed to escape - and then to
brutally cut down the countless Iraqis who rose up in desperation to topple
the dictator.

This reluctance to act in the face of Saddam's aggression was not an
uncharacteristic lapse. Powell has repeatedly counseled passivity and

During the Reagan administration, he was against arming the Afghan rebels
with Stinger missiles - weapons that would prove critical in driving out the
Soviet occupiers and beginning the end of the Cold War. In 1989, he opposed
the use of US troops to help Panamanian rebels depose strongman Manuel
Noriega. The result was that the coup failed, resulting in a massive and
costly invasion 10 weeks later.

And as Serb killers were slaughtering Bosnians by the tens of thousands,
Powell rejected any American use of force to stop the bloodshed - or even,
at first, to airlift food to civilians. ''When the fighting broke out,
should the West have intervened militarily?'' he asked in 1995. ''Nobody
really thinks it has a vital interest.''

A US general who cannot discern a vital Western interest in stopping
genocide in the heart of Europe is not the man to run the State Department.

Once the crucial decision to act has been made and a leader is needed to
carry it out, Powell is superb. But to make that decision - especially in
the absence of strong public support - takes vision, boldness, and clear
strategic judgment. Powell's gifts are many, but those are not among them.,2669,SA
V 0012080075,FF.html

by Jim Hoagland, Washington Post Writers Group.
Chicago Tribune, December 8, 2000

WASHINGTON -- Russia's President Vladimir Putin will travel to Cuba next
week on a journey that underlines the "assertive but positive" attitude he
will adopt with the next president of the United States, according to a
senior Russian official.

The timing of the trip--initially disclosed by U.S. sources--is ruffling
feathers in the outgoing Clinton administration. Putin seems to some to be
taking advantage of the long post-election limbo in Washington to poke a
thumb in Washington's eye.

There are also questions about Putin including the head of Russia's atomic
energy ministry on the trip. The Russian president will fly across U.S.
airspace after visiting Havana to start a visit to Canada on Dec. 15.

The timing of the North American trip is unrelated to U.S. politics, the
visiting official and other Russian sources insist. It was agreed on in
September after Putin saw Cuban President Fidel Castro at the United Nations
and postponed when Cuba needed more time to prepare.

Putin's biggest interest in the trip is described not as geopolitics but as
finding ways to get Cuba to pay large Soviet-era debts.

Putin's decision to go ahead with the politically sensitive Cuba trip now
nonetheless is an unintended signal of its own.

Russia and other nations are factoring into their own policies the effect of
the contested American presidential election and the advent of a more evenly
divided Congress. Inevitably, foreign powers see room to pursue their
interests with more assertiveness. Among those openly intensifying
challenges to U.S. power during the limbo are Iraq, which has shut off oil
exports, Iran, which has intensified support for Islamic guerrilla
operations against Israel, and Libya, which has increasingly flouted an
international travel ban backed by Washington.

In his year in power, Putin has worked to deepen Russian ties with those
three countries and with other Soviet-era clients. In his quest to collect
back debts and open new markets for the Russian economy, he seems
unconcerned about appearing to President Clinton to revive problems of the
past rather than cooperate with the United States on the world's regional

Putin's outlook on future cooperation with Washington is "assertive but
positive," the visiting official countered, insisting that Putin's active
Third World diplomacy is not directed against the United States.

The Russian president used a visit to North Korea "to introduce Kim Jong Il
on the world stage as a different person," he continued. During her recent
visit to Pyongyang, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pursued proposals
Putin originally made to restrain North Korean missile development.

Moscow and Washington resumed talks at the expert level this week on
Russia's conventional arms sales to Iran, even though Russia on Dec. 1
formally canceled a secret U.S.-Russia understanding that sought to restrain
those sales, the official added.

"Our attitude is not based on a memorandum. We can find ways to cooperate
without that," the official said. "We continue to talk to Washington about
U.S. concerns and try to understand them. We may not agree on all points,
but we want a full and continuing dialogue with the next administration on
this and other points, including arms control."

His comments, delivered with an unusual authority and precision for such
semipublic utterances, sought to emphasize common points of interest as he
sketched a rationale for Russia's constructive engagement with troublesome

"After all, President Clinton seemed at one point in his presidency to hope
to visit Cuba, and maybe North Korea. When he was secretary of state, Jim
Baker discussed how Moscow might help the United States normalize with Cuba.
This is not intended as a signal."

But the Russian official acknowledged that the U.S. presidential campaign
and the Nov. 7 election results create new questions abroad about
Washington's attention, and intentions.

"With dialogue, we can get past" the campaign stereotype "that this
relationship was conducted by a bunch of crooks in the Kremlin and a bunch
of romantics in Washington. We averted more crises than is known, and
created a basis for cooperating with the next administration."

But there is a new risk created by the disputes of the presidential election
and the nearly even partisan divisions of the Senate and House, he
concluded: "Foreign policy is always an easy target in time of domestic
troubles, in any nation."

That is one reason Putin should have considered delaying the Cuba trip
again. It may not be intended as a signal to Washington. But it will be an
early window on a relationship that seems headed for rockier times.

New York Daily News, Friday, December 08, 2000

Americans are so mesmerized by the Bush-Gore struggle for the presidency
that they are making a historic mistake. They think of it as the only
important event taking place in the world.

But something else is happening that will shape the next President's place
in history and the destiny of all nations within range of Iraqi missiles.
The presidential candidates have not discussed that; it might upset us.

The reality is that Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq, has won the war
against the United States and most of the world. No piece of paper says so,
but every country knows it.

The U.S., with United Nations help, defeated Saddam in the Persian Gulf War
of 1991 in 100 hours of land warfare following a few weeks of missile
attacks. Nine years later, that desert victory has been overturned at
Saddam's headquarters in Baghdad, at the UN's skyscraper in New York, at the
State Department and White House and in countries that used to be our allies
but now prefer the profitable betrayal of oil trade. Saddam is not only out
of the box, but owns it. On Tuesday, he nailed America in it, tighter.

When our former allies saw that the Clinton administration had neither the
plans nor the ability to protect the victory it had inherited from President
George Bush, zip ‹ they were Baghdad-bound to destroy the economic sanctions
imposed by the U.S. when Iraq collapsed. The sanctions could have controlled
Iraq's boundless military plans for future conquest and terrorism.

Saddam pays off his new partners ‹ led by Russia, China and France ‹ in oil
profits and Middle Eastern influence.

He had fought to add Kuwait's oil fields to his own. After he was defeated,
the Bush administration kindly left him with an army, but did get one
important pledge. Saddam agreed to international inspections to make sure he
was no longer on the road to the weapons he had been preparing to produce ‹
the chemical, nuclear and biological weapons that would give him dominance
over all the Mideast, most of Islam and any other part of the world within
his radius.

If he did not cooperate with the inspections, the agreement said, he would
be subject to sanctions, chiefly preventing him from selling oil to buy
anything that might have military use. As soon as he made the pledge, he
just said no. He shoved international inspectors around and threw many out
of the country.

Still, under Richard Butler of Australia, the inspectors were getting closer
to his plans and materials for weapons of mass destruction. So he ordered
the inspectors out. For two years, there have been no ‹ repeat, no ‹
inspections at all. The U.S. and the UN have done nothing about it.

None of Saddam's elite goes without a Mercedes or caviar, while children of
the poor suffer from lack of decent food and medicine. The UN has allowed
him $37billion to buy both. But if the conditions are not to his taste, he
just refuses the money to buy food and medicine for the children and sick of
Iraq. Observing the sanctions is Saddam's choice, and he prefers to have
Iraqi children die rather than allow unhindered inspections ‹ or even allow
the inspectors back.

In criticizing the sanctions recently, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan did
not bother to point out Saddam's deliberate choice. Neither do any of the
nations now frantically appeasing him, nor do they tell the world that if
Saddam ever let inspectors discover and destroy the factories of his weapons
of mass destruction, the sanctions would be lifted.
There are other sanctions in place, like the one prohibiting civilian
airplanes from flying in and out of Iraq. President Clinton just looks blank
when that is violated, something that is becoming internationally chic.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council gave Saddam more leeway to raise and
spend oil billions as he chooses. Soon, it will approve international air
traffic to Baghdad. Saddam will be able to smuggle in weapons and technology
not only by land, but aboard "civilian" planes from Russia and other U.S.

The Tuesday decision, like all by the Security Council, was taken in a
closed meeting. The U.S. did not use its veto power. Fake "consensus" was
announced. James Cunningham, the American diplomat who has the nasty job of
dealing with Iraq, said it was really "not a bad outcome."

What would George W. Bush or Al Gore do about Iraq? They didn't say during
the campaign. They don't say now. Could it be they don't have a clue?

Saddam's power mania will bring on another war ‹ count firmly on that.
People will probably call it Gulf II. But in deference to the current
winner, we really should call it Saddam II. And hope we don't have to count

Dawn (Pakistan), 09 December 2000, 12 Ramazan 1421

LOS ANGELES, Dec 8 (Reuters): The 'wild card' of technology - from nuclear
proliferation to the information revolution - has left US interests more
susceptible to terrorist attack than at any time since the end of World War
Two, CIA Director George Tenet said on Thursday.

Tenet said America's technical superiority in intelligence gathering was
under threat from such rapid advances, while the "evil mix of fanaticism and
flexibility" behind the October attack on the USS Cole made the next strike
"not a question of if, but of when and where."

Tenet, addressing a Los Angeles luncheon in a rare public speech, declined
to talk in detail about the Oct. 12 apparent suicide bombing of the Cole in

But he said the attack was a grim reminder of the "terrorist foe without
heart or pity" that threatened US interests around the world on a daily

"We are in an environment where we are literally inundated with threats and
warnings all the time," Tenet said in response to a question about the Cole.

"Making sense of disparate threats is sometimes very difficult to do in the
time available. We have deterred a great number of terrorist events. But you
will not bat 100 (percent) with these people."

US officials have said Saudi Arabian exile Osama bin Laden is considered a
prime suspect in the planning of the Cole attack but they have not
established a definitive link.

Seventeen American sailors were killed when a small boat filled with
explosives blew up alongside the USS Cole in the port of Aden in Yemen.

Tenet said the destabilizing effects of ethnic conflicts, easy access to
information such as satellite imagery, and the proliferation of nuclear
weapon technology made for a world without front lines.

"We in the intelligence community believe the chances for unpleasant - even
deadly - surprise are greater now than at any time since the end of the
Second World War," Tenet said.

The CIA chief called rapid advances in technology the "wild card" in the
volatile equation surrounding the military, commercial and diplomatic
dominance of the United States since the end of the Cold War.

"I will be blunt with you: the pace of technological change threatens to
erode America's technical advantage in intelligence - an advantage that has
long been a pillar of our national security," Tenet said.

He said the CIA was pushing for investments in technology and in people to
ensure that the United States does not fall "totally behind the curve."

Despite issues ranging from drug trafficking and cyber warfare to
humanitarian crises which he said had stretched the capabilities of US
intelligence to their limit, Tenet said the CIA had a long list of

- More than two dozen terrorists - more than half of them linked to Osama
bin Laden - brought to justice around the world since July 1998.

- Support of US government efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.

- Zero US casualties in daily American air patrols of the no-fly zone in
Iraq in the past 10 years

by Rafiq A Tschannen ['The writer is a Swiss Muslim.']
Daily Star (Bangladesh), 9th December

DURING the gulf war 1991 the USA has destroyed the water distribution system
of Iraq and thereby violated the Geneva war convention. Only recently an
American High School teacher submitted a study which proved that the wilful
destruction of a whole country was carried out with a strategic calculation.
Nearly ten years later the whole population of Iraq continues to pay the
price of the stubbornness of the USA and Iraq's leader Saddam Hussain. There
is no end in sight in this situation. On the contrary during the US election
campaign both candidates were eager to outdo each other in their anti-Iraq
feelings. And quietly the robbing of Iraq continues as the work of the UNCC
United Nations Compensation Commission shows, an obscure entity, which sucks
off one third of all Iraqi export earnings.

The UNCC has existed for the last ten years and remains nearly unknown to
the public. But actually this discretely operating institution is one the
most important instruments in the destruction strategy against Iraq. The
economic sanctions against Iraq are being covered by the media. We see on TV
malnourished children and hospitals where the most basic items are missing.
We see a whole country and a whole culture being permitted to deteriorate
further and further. But hardly any journalist seems to be interested in the
work of the UN Compensation Commission and in their doubtful legality and
their dubious practices. And this in spite of the fact that since December
1996, 11 billion dollars, approximately one third of the export earnings of
Iraq, have flown into the coffers of this commission.

In April 1991, shortly after the defeat of Iraq, the UN security council
decided that according to international law Iraq will be liable for all
losses, damages.... which other states, individuals, or foreign corporations
have had as an immediate result of the Iraqi invasion and occupation of
Kuwait. For the determination of such damages the UN compensation commission
was created. The board of this commission is made up of representatives of
the 15 members of the UN security council. The executive council, which has
been dominated by its US members right from the start, is supposed to inform
the commission, although disinform would be the more appropriate term.

The method chosen by the Security Council is without parallel in history at
least not since the Versailles Agreement at the end of World War I, which
laid the foundation for the Second World War. In article 231 of the
Versailles agreement Germany was made to pay. Hitler took advantage of this
agreement that went too far. It was easy for him to point out that "enough
is enough". The United States had not ratified the Versailles agreement, but
today is carrying on in the same way "Iraq will pay!" How will this time?

Iraq is not even recognized as a defendant party". Every petty criminal has
the right of defence but the country of Iraq has no say in how and how much
the country is bled. Every year 50 million dollars are being deducted from
the Iraqi export earnings to finance the activities of the commission.
Excellent salaries of the commission members and their travelling
arrangements in business class are financed. For the first time in the
history of countries since the Second World War a state has absolutely
nothing to say about a juristic case that directly relates to it.

Iraq has no right to vote at the UN because it did not pay its dues. At the
same time the USA is in arrears for over one billion dollars. Just another
small example of the double standards prevailing today. One law for the
super power and another law for the rest of the world.

No doubt Iraq does have a duty to provide compensation. But how can a law
case be fought and presented without giving the other side a right to
present their own case? For instance: The state of Kuwait had presented a
claim for 21.6 billion dollars in 1994. Baghdad was given a summary of the
claim five years later in 1999. The Iraqi Government was given a dateline of
19th September 2000. Iraq requested permission to use some fund out of the
commission's funds actually Iraq's own export earnings! to pay for a legal
office to scrutinize all the documents. The commission refused. After a long
discussion finally Iraq was given one hour on 14th December 1999 to present
its point of view. One hour to treat a 20 billion dollar claim! In spite of
Russian and French reservations the compensation was fixed at 15.9 billion

The UN Secretary General had recommended in 1991 that Iraq "be informed
about all claims and to be given the right to present to the commission
their point of view." The commission did not follow the Secretary General's
directive (or probably thought they could claim to follow him by giving that
one hour to Iraq to discuss a multi billion dollar claim...).

The UNCC justifies these practices through the necessity to process hundreds
of thousands of claims. In fact 2.6 million claims relate to individuals.
These amount to 20 billion dollars, a small part of the total claims of
approximately 320 billion dollars. The amount of 15 billion dollars approved
for the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation amounts to about the total compensation
approved for the 2.6 million individual persons. And it is double of what
the Iraq central government was given from December 1996 to July 2000 for
food and medicines of 15 million Iraqis.

In the C-category, individual compensation, the US citizen Michael F. Raboin
is the key figure. He brought along another American Norbert Wuhler. This
team is of course highly biased. Staff members were shocked to continuously
hear such instructions as the criteria should be interpreted in such a way
that maximum approvals can be given, and doctoring the samples. It was made
easy by the fact that most persons could not provide proof of their claims
and as such mere statements of claimants were considered sufficient.

Even more scandalous was the direct intervention of the US government to the
executives of the commission to reinterpret the parameters in which the
commission works. The practices of Washington remind one of the work of the
UN special commission for the destruction of arms which were infiltrated by
the CIA and totally manipulated by them (UNSCOM).

The largest claims are still under consideration. As at 16th June 2000 a
total amount of 267 billion dollars in claims was still outstanding. A large
number of them are totally absurd and might well be rejected. Friends of the
USA, such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel, are receiving preferential
treatment. A good example how the commission works may be given in these
instances: Many Israeli shops and businesses were compensated for lack of
business during the war as for instance th were able to sell less flowers or
less cinema tickets due to the political tensions of the Gulf war. Who would
have got the idea that Great Britain could have claimed from Germany
compensation for cinema tickets not sold during the Battle of Britain from
1939 to 1945?

The total value of claims amounts to 320 billion dollars. Out of this amount
180 billion are claimed by Kuwait, that is 9-fold of the gross national
product of Kuwait for 1989. Considering that for these claims one third of
the export earnings of Iraq is being confiscated it would mean that Iraq
might have paid off these claims by the year 2060. What will be left of the
hospitals and schools by then?

Is it justified to make a country pay without regard to its ability? In
article 14 of the peace agreement between Japan and the United States dated
1951 it is stated: Japan must pay reparations to the allied powers for all
damages occurred during the war. We however note that the resources of Japan
and the economy will not be sufficient to pay for all such claims... and at
the same time meet all their other obligations. It may be reminded that at
that time the Japanese Emperor was also considered a war criminal just like
now Saddam Hussain. UN resolution 687 does specially state that the
requirements of the Iraqi people and the possibility to pay should be

Many jurists deny that the UN Security Council has the right to fix the
amount of a compensation. In several cases the Israeli attack on the
airport-of-Beirut in 1968, the Portuguese attack on Guinea in 1970, the
South African excursion into Angola in 1976 did the Security Council state
that compensation should be made. However for instance in the case of Angola
the British Ambassador stated that. The Security Council is not a court, and
therefore not the right place to decide about compensation claims.

Shortly after the UNCC meeting of 28th September 2000 the Security Council
decided to slightly amend the more scandalous points of the rules. As from
December of this year the quota of the export earnings that will be
confiscated by the commission will reduce from 30 to 25 pre cent.
Furthermore, the commission should consider the interest of Iraq a bit more.
As a compensation to this improvement France and Russia agreed to the claim
of 15.9 billion dollars, which is mostly going into the coffers of the
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. A deal which proves once more that it is the
United States that plays the tune in the commission.

The above mentioned actions of a UN commission bear ill for all other UN
activities. How can we believe that other UN agencies have the welfare of
the people as a whole at heart when the same UN permits itself to be
manipulated in this way?,6903,409382,00.html

Observer Letters Page, Sunday December 10, 2000

Your article on Saddam's executioners (World, last week) must be malign
propaganda. The Home Office, (Immigration and Nationality Directorate) has
only recently decided to place Iraq on the 'white list'. This means that
asylum seekers from Iraq fall to be treated under the expedited procedure as
the directorate is satisfied that the conditions of law and order, treatment
of prisoners, and civil liberty is such that it is unlikely that Iraq will
produce genuine refugees. I appreciate that you give UNHCR as a link, but
surely in terms of veracity, there is no contest when comparing UNHCR's
opinion with that of Jack Straw and his driven minions.
Francis Deutsch
Saffron Walden

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