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New World Order Supplement, 17-24/12/00

[Articles not directly dealing with Iraq but with related issues, such as
sanctions and Œinternational law¹]

*  Japan divided over call to contribute more to U.N. Peacekeeping
*  Britain in N-missile summit [Britain¹s role in proposed US National
Missile Defence system.]
*  The dilemma of intervention criteria [by Yasushi Akashi, former head of
the U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia and special representative of
the U.N. secretary general to the former Yugoslavia]
*  Taliban bashing by another name [sanctions on Afghanistan]
*  Arbitrary & ill-advised [sanctions on Afghanistan. NB: ŒAs Mr Kofi Annan
put it before the vote was taken, "it is not going to facilitate peace
efforts, nor is it going to facilitate our humanitarian work."¹]
*  Talented Ms Rice will play a new tune [account of new US national
security adviser, Condoleeza Rice]
*  Port visit for U.S. warship diverted after terrorist threat [in Naples,
AND Suspect in Cole bombing identified]
*  Albright highlights importance of foreign policy continuity [ŒShe said
the Clinton Administration "picked up a lot of issues from the first Bush
administration." One of those issues was the Bush's policy of unifying
Europe under democratic governments, a theme her policy team continued in
involvement in the Balkans. Albright said the aim of a Bush policy on Europe
was that it "be whole and free and the missing piece was the Balkans. I
think as a result of our policies that piece is now in place."¹]
*  Test of trust between nations [on intelligence sharing among EU countries
and between the US and the UK. NB: ³Two years later (after 1994)President
Clinton launched a salvo of cruise missiles against Iraq after Saddam
Hussein moved into the northern Kurdish area of the country. France said
that imagery from its Helios satellite showed the troop movements to be
insignificant and refused to support the strikes. The Americans insisted the
French were wrong and their satellite was not as good as the US.²]
*  If Bush means what he says [editorial from Pakistani paper, Dawn, hoping
that Bush will, as he claims, be more Œhumble¹]

*  'Safe hands' that could lead America's retreat from the world
by Rupert Cornwell, The Independent, 18 December 2000
[Is Powell an isolationist? (We should be so lucky)]
*  U.S. intelligence report predicts threats to 2015
CNN, December 18, 2000
[Why the US needs to spend lots of money on the military-industrial complex
despite the lack of any credible threat to its security]
*  Israel's enemies and the Œmilitary option'
New York Post Online,December 20,2000
by Daniel Pipes
[On willingness or otherwise of Arab countries to go to war with Israel]

by Hisane Masaki
Japan Times, 17th December

Japan always looks before leaping. Nearly a decade after the Persian Gulf
War, the nation remains highly averse to taking risks and is even timid
about participating in international peacekeeping efforts in regional

The border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea is a good example. The two
countries on the impoverished Horn of Africa on Tuesday signed a
comprehensive peace agreement that formally ends the two-year conflict that
cost tens of thousands of lives.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki
signed the accord in a ceremony at a government-owned resort outside the
Algerian capital of Algiers in the presence of U.N. Secretary General Kofi
Annan and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

About 4,200 U.N. peacekeepers will be deployed along the Ethiopia-Eritrea
border to monitor the ceasefire. The deployment is expected to be completed
by February.

Annan said earlier this month that the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia
and Eritrea, with military personnel from 27 countries, would work with both
sides to build confidence.

According to Japanese government sources, the U.N. has informally asked
Japan to participate in the UNMEE by sending at least several Self-Defense
Forces personnel to patrol the Ethiopia-Eritrea border, as individuals,
instead of as a unit.

Despite the U.N. request, however, it is unlikely that Japan will send SDF
personnel, due to sharp differences of opinion within the government,
especially between the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Agency.

The sources said that the Foreign Ministry strongly insists that SDF
personnel be dispatched to the UNMEE, claiming that it would not violate the
five principles set down in 1992 for Japan's participation in U.N.
peacekeeping operations.

The Ministry believes that active participation in U.N. peacekeeping efforts
is essential for Japan's bid to win a permanent seat on the powerful U.N.
Security Council, the sources said. The current five permanent council
members are Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States.

The Defense Agency is reluctant about sending SDF personnel, however. This
is partly because it thinks Japan's participation in the UNMEE -- which is a
relatively low-profile mission, unlike the U.N.'s missions on the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and some other regions -- will get little
recognition from the international community, the sources said.

During the Gulf War, which was triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in the
summer of 1990, the U.S.-led multinational force launched a fierce bombing
campaign against Iraq.

The U.S. administration of then President George Bush described the Iraqi
invasion of its neighbor as a serious threat to efforts to create a new
global order in the wake of the Cold War.

Although Japan donated well over $10 billion to the multinational forces to
avoid damaging ties with the U.S., its most important ally, it did not
dispatch SDF personnel, citing constraints under its peace-loving,
post-World War II constitution.

Japan's "check book" diplomacy invited a barrage of international criticism.
The U.S. said that the world's second-largest economy, which was -- and
still is -- heavily dependent on the Gulf region for its oil, was not making
enough of a contribution to ensure international peace and stability.

The Gulf War stirred up a hot debate in Japan over how far the country
should go in "sweating" for -- or contributing personnel to -- international
peacekeeping efforts, instead of just chipping in money.

After months of raucous discussions, the Diet enacted a landmark bill in
June 1992 enabling SDF personnel to join limited U.N. peacekeeping missions.

Under the new law, Japan sent noncombat SDF personnel to Cambodia to join
U.N. peacekeeping operations in the runup to the war-torn Southeast Asian
country's elections in the spring of 1993. It was the first time since World
War II that SDF personnel have been dispatched on such a mission.

The five principles set down in 1992 for Japan's participation in U.N.
peacekeeping operations include the existence of a ceasefire agreement among
warring parties and the neutrality of deployed U.N. forces. The use of
firearms by SDF personnel is also strictly limited to purposes of

Under the 1992 law, Japan has dispatched noncombat SDF personnel to other
U.N. peacekeeping missions, including the Golan Heights. But under the
constraints of the five principles, no SDF personnel were sent to join U.N.
peacekeeping operations in East Timor, which is now in transition to full
independence from Indonesia.

The Defense Agency may also be worried that it might become entangled in
domestic politics by sending SDF personnel to the Horn of Africa, at a time
when Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest
opposition party, is staunchly advocating a more active Japanese role in
U.N. peacekeeping efforts.

Apparently reflecting on Japan's failure to send SDF personnel to join U.N.
operations in East Timor, Hatoyama has called for revising the five
principles, claiming that Japan should be allowed to participate in such
efforts even if no ceasefire agreement exists among warring parties.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners -- New Komeito and
the New Conservative Party -- have discussed a possible expansion of Japan's
role in U.N. peacekeeping operations under the 1992 law, including a
revision of the five principles.

But no decision has been made yet, largely due to New Komeito's reluctance
about expanding Japan's role, particularly ahead of next summer's Upper
House elections.

While the Diet has dragged its feet on legislative changes necessary for a
greater Japanese role in U.N. peacekeeping efforts, international pressure
on the country to expand its role is expected to increase.

A special advisory panel to U.N. Secretary General Annan compiled a report
this summer calling for the strengthening of U.N. peacekeeping operations,
which is expected to be high on Annan's agenda when he makes a planned visit
to Tokyo in late January.

A nonpartisan group of U.S. experts also recently released a report calling
for Japan to play a greater role under the U.S-Japan bilateral security
treaty and participate more actively in U.N. peacekeeping operations by
revising the five principles.

The new U.S. administration of George W. Bush, while placing more importance
on ties with Japan than the current administration of Bill Clinton, is
expected to call on Japan to play an even greater role in ensuring global
security, including taking a more active role in U.N. peacekeeping efforts.

Daily Record and Sunday Mail, December 17, 2000

BRITAIN is to open talks with US President-elect George W Bush over plans
for a hi-tech missile defence shield.

Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain yesterday said that the British
Government recognised US concerns over the threat of missile attack by rogue
states such as Iraq.

But the UK was also sensitive to Russian and Chinese anxieties that a shield
could upset the global nuclear balance.

Bush is a supporter of the proposed National Missile Defence, a system which
would shoot down incoming ballistic missiles. This is likely to require US
radar stations being based in Britain.

by Yasushi Akashi, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 18th December

Issues involving humanitarian intervention in armed conflicts are the
greatest among the challenges facing the United Nations at the threshold of
the 21st century, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has said.

To put it differently, there is an urgent need "to forge unity behind the
principle that massive and systematic violations of human rights--wherever
they may take place--should not be allowed to stand," according to Annan.

In the 1990s, after the end of the Cold War, the number of wars between
states has markedly decreased.

In contrast, the number of civil wars and other armed conflicts within the
boundaries of states has dramatically increased, because of ethnic,
religious, cultural, tribal and other differences.

As a result, the lives of more than 5 million people have been lost in such
conflicts during the past decade.

The international community has no grounds for turning a blind eye to such
tragedies simply because they have been taking place within the boundaries
of the states concerned.

An exodus of refugees from one country is bound to create problems for
surrounding countries. When images of civil war victims and refugees are
broadcast on TV and information concerning their plight is reported in the
media in many countries, public opinion often surges, pressing strongly
their governments and the United Nations to take measures to prevent further
tragedies from occurring, and for dispatching U.N. peacekeepers.

The United Nations has based its existence on the principle of the sovereign
equality of all member states. The world body has therefore taken the
position of noninterference in respective countries' internal affairs.

In recent years, however, the international community has begun to monitor
more closely various aspects of the behavior of individual states toward
their citizens.

The Millennium Declaration adopted at the end of the U.N. Millennium Summit
in September referred to the importance of all governments' responsibilities
to their respective peoples and the concept of what was referred to in the
declaration as "good governance" in each country.

The Millennium Declaration is symbolic of the magnitude of change the world
has undergone since the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations 55
years ago.

The current of the times in favor of putting a higher priority on human
rights than individual state sovereignty is undoubtedly irreversible.

However, the process of movement toward adopting and implementing this
position can never go in a beeline. Instead the tension and conflict between
citizens' demands for "justice" and their governments' insistence on "public
order" will certainly continue in the future.

Although the trend toward universalism and respect for human rights
definitely points to the future direction of humanity, it is impossible to
disregard as negligible the self centeredness of the major powers or the
problems stemming from differences in cultures, historical backgrounds and
stages of developments among members of the international community.

Responses from different governments to Secretary General Annan's call for
U.N. member states to take concerted action in dealing with humanitarian
tragedies have varied widely.

The United States and West European countries are fully in favor of his
initiative. Many countries in Asia and Africa, however, are cautious about
Annan's appeal, while such countries as China and India have explicitly
expressed alarm.

In the eyes of countries that are wary of championing humanitarianism, their
utmost priority is to keep intact their independence and national unity,
which they have obtained at the expense of much blood and sweat.

Should the principles of territorial integrity and noninterference in
internal affairs be weakened, multiracial countries--for instance China with
the Tibetan separatist problem and India with the Kashmir conflict--could be
placed in jeopardy of disintegration. These countries in this connection
have been very critical of European countries and the United States over
their records of colonialism and imperialism under the guise of such
euphemisms as civilization and modernization.

In March last year, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization intervened
militarily in the Kosovo region of the former Yugoslavia. The intervention
was aimed at putting an end to tragedies of huge numbers of refugees
resulting from the ethnic cleansing policy of the administration of then
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, which targeted ethnic Albanians in

The intervention, however, was carried out without obtaining approval of the
U.N. Security Council. The result is that controversy still lingers over the
legitimacy of NATO's military actions in Kosovo.

However, the military intervention by multilateral forces that subsequently
took place in East Timor came after consent was given for the operation by
the Indonesian government of President Abdurrahman Wahid. The mission was
also approved by the U.N. Security Council. Accordingly, no dispute arose
over the legality of the intervention.

The U.N. Charter stipulates the general principle of banning the use of
force for settling disputes. But it also provides for two exceptional cases
in which the use of force can be permitted.

According to the U.N. Charter, individual states are allowed to use force
for the purpose of exercising the right of self-defense or collective
self-defense. The use of force is also permitted in accordance with
resolutions made by the Security Council for U.N. sanctions for the purpose
of stopping or preventing infringements of peace.

As the air strikes by NATO against Yugoslavia fall into neither of these two
categories, they are considered by many as illegal in the light of
international law.

It should be noted, however, that there is considerable room for ambiguity
in international law when compared with domestic legal systems. There is a
body of opinion that holds that the NATO air strikes, even if questionable
from a legal perspective, should be considered acceptable in view of the
realities of international relations and the moral position the
international community should hold.

In other words, such a viewpoint maintains that the air raids on Yugoslavia
should not be deemed as unjustifiable even if they run counter to
international law.

The NATO air strikes have also been brought into question in terms of their
ultimate effectiveness. Some observers have pointed out that even though the
NATO strikes lasted 89 days, they failed to yield any major military effect.

Skeptics note that a large number of ordinary citizens were killed and
injured by bombings by mistake. They also express doubts about whether the
strikes actually helped to alleviate the Kosovo refugee problem, while
indicating that even after the massive NATO air strikes, there have yet to
be signs of reconciliation among the ethnic groups involved in the conflict.

Reasons and motives of major powers for deciding on military intervention
for humanitarian causes can be considerably diverse.

In 1994, for instance, the Security Council, in response to strong
insistence by the United States, decided on intervention by force in Haiti
for the purpose of helping restore democracy to the Caribbean island
country. Criticism mounted, however, against the action, questioning the
wisdom of forcing democracy upon a country from outside.

In 1991, the United Nations embarked on humanitarian intervention for the
first time in its history for the purpose of protecting the human rights of
Kurds in northern Iraq, imposing economic sanctions on the Iraqi government.

The sanctions, however, fell short of leading to any policy change in Saddam
Hussein's dictatorial rule. Instead, the U.N.-imposed sanctions ended up
bringing serious hardship on the Iraqi people.

In 1997, Albania experienced political unrest because of a popular
insurrection sparked by the collapse of fraudulent get-rich-quick pyramid
investment schemes. It is doubtful, however, whether the Albanian political
turmoil was really taking on proportions grave enough for it to be
considered a humanitarian crisis.

But the Security Council, in quick response to suggestions made by Italy and
some other countries on the opposite shore of the Adriatic Sea, gave swift
approval to the dispatching of multilateral forces to the Balkan state.

In contrast with the Albanian problem, the ethnic war in the Chechnya region
of Russia that has been far larger in scale and far more tragic than the
situation in Albania, has been left untouched by the United States and other
Western powers in the United Nations, due largely to their fears of
offending Russia.

The United States, for its part, has been extremely wary of sending its
ground troops overseas for U.N. peacekeeping activities and other
humanitarian causes ever since 18 U.S. soldiers were brutally killed in
Somalia in 1993.

It was the United States that was the most boisterous in opposing the
proposed sending of U.N. peacekeeping reinforcement troops to Rwanda in the
wake of the massacres of about 800,000 Tutsi people by the Hutu

On the occasion of the subsequent crisis in eastern Zaire, Washington was
particularly negative about playing a role in restoring peace in the central
African country.

Given this situation, African countries have understandably been critical of
the United States and European countries for their inconsistency in showing
reluctance to intervene in humanitarian crises in Africa on the one hand and
their willingness to intervene on a massive scale in conflicts in part of
Europe, the Balkans.

Secretary General Annan notes that the fact that it is impossible to save
human lives in all places of the world never provides individual countries
with an excuse for not taking actions that they can afford to take.

If and when crimes against humanity are being committed and no peaceful
means can be found to put an end to such crimes, the Security Council should
then perform its moral obligation of taking action against the crime's
perpetrators, Annan says.

However, even if Annan's calls for intervention from a humanitarian
viewpoint are accepted as legitimate by the international community, a
clear-cut yardstick is yet to exist with which to determine what kind of and
what scale of infringements on human rights should be subject to such

There is undeniably a possibility that humanitarian interventions by
individual states will be affected by their own subjective judgments and

This is the root cause of the dissatisfaction felt by African countries with
respect to the United States and European countries. Furthermore, the
Africans even have felt a smack of hypocrisy regarding "double standards"
for humanitarian interventions. Their question is: Are the lives of Africans
of lesser importance than those of whites?

Prof. Adam Roberts of Oxford University has warned that the term
"humanitarian intervention" might give the impression that military
intervention in another country could be "humanitarian."

Such a way of thinking is nothing more than a reflection of the arrogance of
Western powers, which Roberts says is bound to lead to a hostile reaction on
the part of countries subject to their interventions.

Contradictions are possible between the principle of impartiality essential
to humanitarian intervention and political, partisan nature of U.N.-imposed

Prof. Roberts appears pessimistic about the possibility of all countries
concerned reaching a consensus over criteria for governing humanitarian

In addition, looking back over the 1990s, little consistency can be found in
U.N. actions dealing with specific civil wars and other armed conflicts.

The Security Council has so far taken the position of deeming its own
actions for humanitarian interventions as exceptional measures used to cope
with emergency situations. However, the council's decision making has
followed a zigzag path of movement from one position to another.

The council should redouble its efforts to cope with future conflicts in a
way as flexible as possible and in a manner well suited to the realities of
each particular situation, while paying due attention not to swerve from the
course of world history toward the establishment of human rights and
humanitarian assistance.

It would be oversimplistic to consider the issue of humanitarian
intervention as a bipolar one with the United States and European nations in
favor and developing nations in Asia and Africa against.

In reality, views are varied among countries in Asia, which is why the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) regional forum (ARF) finds
it extremely difficult to reach any agreement on the issue, since its
discussions are based on a formula of unanimous consent.

It is encouraging that China, after many years of placing absolute
significance on national sovereignty, has begun to show some, if not much,
flexibility on the issue.

Japan's interest in the humanitarian intervention problem cannot be
evaluated as sufficiently high.

This country should be more active in joining international discussions on
this problem.

Japan has shared with the United States and European nations such values as
democracy and human rights. So this country should take every opportunity to
have straightforward discussions with them about what specific measures must
be taken to have such basic values and purposes also shared by other Asian
nations in spite of the complexities of their realities.

Japan is better advised to invigorate such efforts with the aim of, for
instance, helping facilitate the democratization process of Myanmar.

I believe it is worthwhile for this country to try to come up with a third
approach in addition to the existing two patterns of humanitarian
interventions, which are either approved by the Security Council or are made
by individual organizations other than the United Nations.

By the third approach, I mean that Japan may be better advised to work on
the task of having the U.N. General Assembly more prepared to adopt
resolutions in defense of the moral commitments of the international

Although such resolutions will have no binding power, they, as the
expression of the resolve of the world body, would certainly be conducive to
eliminating the gray area under which humanitarian intervention takes place
under the existing framework of international law.

Japan, by encouraging such an approach, will be able to clarify its
international role in in the 21st century as the cement that binds together
the Asian region, the rest of the world and the United Nations.

(Akashi has served as U.N. undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs,
head of the U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia and special
representative of the U.N. secretary general to the former Yugoslavia. He
currently is chairman of the Japan Center for Preventive Diplomacy.)

by Shameem Akhtar
Dawn, 18 December 2000 - 21 Ramazan 1421

The American-Russian draft resolution at the UN Security Council calling for
the imposition of total embargo on the Taliban government in Kabul with
exemption for the Northern Alliance is partisan, to say the least. The
resolution virtually seeks to reduce the established government of
Afghanistan to a pariah by prohibiting its leaders, diplomats and officials
from visiting other countries or having normal dealings with them.

Afghan missions abroad will be closed down and the assets of Osama bin Laden
will be frozen by the host governments. The United Nations observers will
inspect Afghanistan to inquire into the allegations regarding the presence
of terrorist training camps there. These are the harshest measures to be
applied to any state after Iraq. In case of Afghanistan these could be
enforced only by the accompaniment of an effective military force since the
Taliban would never allow any UN inspectors to enter their territory.
Unfortunately for the UN, its inspectors in Iraq have been engaged in
espionage and destruction of its infrastructure, especially public
utilities. The next step would then be to raise some multinational force or
a joint US-Russian force to secure compliance by Kabul with the prescribed
prohibitions. These are dangerous portents of a possible military conflict
in the region with spillover effects going further afield.

While the Security Council will be tightening the noose around the Taliban,
the world body will allow the rebel northern alliance regime to equip itself
with the weapons supplied by Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and India
and finally invade Kabul. This policy contradicts the professed UN efforts
to broker peace and reconciliation between the Afghan government and the
Northern Alliance.

In fact, the United Nations never adopted an even-handed policy towards the
Taliban and their opponents in the north. It still recognizes the ousted
government of Burhanuddin as the legitimate authority in Afghanistan
although it holds only ten per cent of the territory and excludes Taliban
who control the rest of the country. That is the reason the UN peace efforts
did not make any headway. The UN envoy, Francesc Vendrell, has been trying
to involve the Indian government in the peace process in Afghanistan.

This will be outside the existing format of negotiations known as the
six-plus-two involving Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan,
China and the US and Russia. India had no role to play in the Afghanistan
affairs during the war nor was it a party to the 1988 Geneva Agreement so
there is no reason it should be involved in the matter. Pakistan has warned
the big powers that if India gets involved in Afghanistan there will be
complications. India has been trying to link the Taliban with Kashmir
insurgency in an attempt to enlist the support of Russia and the US in its
war against the Kashmiri freedom fighters.

If these powers side with New Delhi in its counter-insurgency operations,
the ensuing conflict may spread to Kashmir, Afghanistan and the Central
Asian states. Moscow has its hands full in Chechnya, and has also
underwritten the defence of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and
Uzbekistan against the perceived threat of religious extremism. In fact
Moscow and the authoritarian central Asian rulers have been raising the
Taliban bogey to justify their repressive measures against their political

The joint American-Russian move against Kabul runs counter to the UN peace
efforts which are flawed any way. Of the six plus two peace-makers Russia,
China and Tajikistan are party to the Shanghai Five, an anti Taliban
alliance while Uzbekistan has also signed a defence pact with Moscow to
combat the Taliban threat. Turkmanistan, of course, has fallen out of line
since it does not think that the Taliban have any designs on the Central
Asian states.

It is indeed surprising that Russia, China, India and central Asian states
should be fearful of the Taliban believing them to be an expansionist force.
One may ask: whether they feel threatened by the army and the arsenal of the
Taliban, or is it their obscurantist ideology that is making inroads into
those states? If it is the ideology, then it should be resisted by a
superior ideology and not the gun.

Tajikistan accuses Taliban of training the militants and sending them into
its territory to join the United Tajik Opposition. The Taliban deny the
charge, saying that the insurgency in Tajikistan erupted in 1992 - that is
before the birth of Taliban movement. In fact, as the erstwhile constituents
of the former Soviet Union, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan were very much part of the 1979 Soviet invasion
of Afghanistan, and since most of the Central Asian states are still under
the influence of Moscow, their hostility towards Afghanistan still persists.

The passage of the Russian-American resolution at the security council would
put the UN in a self-contradictory role: on the one hand it will be engaged
in peace-making in Afghanistan and, on the other it will be engaged in
punitive action against the dominant ruling entity in that country.

In toeing the American line on the issue, an immediate purpose is to
increase pressure on Kabul for the extradition of Osama bin Laden from
Afghanistan. The law is very clear on this point. There has to be an
extradition treaty between two states for the handing over of fugitives.
Again, it is the court of a country where the offender resides which has the
jurisdiction to decide whether or not a case has been made out against the
accused, warranting his extradition. In the case of the Taliban, there is no
extradition treaty between Afghanistan and the US. How can the US - and much
less the Security Council - demand the extradition of Osama by the Taliban?
By doing so the world body would open itself to the charge of acting
illegally and out of partisan political motive.

If the Security Council were to intercept the flights of the Afghan Airlines
in the exercise of the embargo, it will be deemed an act of piracy. From a
legal point of view, the last resolution on Afhanistan and the present one
are devoid of any validity since they are based on illegal premises.

Taliban have been victims of terrorism themselves as manifested in the
cruise missile attack by the US on August 20, 1998, the bomb attack on the
state guest house and the official residence of Mulla Umar, the
assassination of the governor of Kunduz, bomb explosion in the car of the
Afghan information minister last year and another explosion near the
ministry of information in November last and the hijacking of Ariana
Airlines at the beginning of this year. What measures has the Security
Council taken against those responsible for these outrages? On the contrary,
the world body has so easily forgotten the commendable role of the Taliban
in rescuing the hijacked Indian passenger plane without any bloodshed.

If the UN really wants to bring peace to Afghanistan, it cannot do so by
ostracizing the Taliban, the only stable government in the country, which
can be expected to meet its international obligations. It should be given
its rightful place in the world organization.

Dawn (Pakistan), 20th December

IT IS doubtful if the sanctions imposed by the Security Council on
Afghanistan will have the effect the movers of the resolution have in their
minds. Jointly sponsored by the US and Russia, both known for their
hostility towards the Taliban, the resolution bans the supply of arms to the
Taliban regime and slaps other sanctions, including a freeze on Kabul's
assets abroad. The details of the sanctions are not yet available, but from
whatever has appeared in the press, it is obvious that it is a blatantly
one-sided resolution that would do anything except promote the cause of
peace in Afghanistan. The biased nature of the resolution is evident from
the position it has adopted on arms supplies to the war-ravaged country.
Broadly speaking, there are two parties to the conflict, the other being the
Northern Alliance headed by Ahmad Masood, but the US-Russian resolution
targets only the Taliban regime.

This reminds one of the UN arms embargo imposed on Bosnia during the Balkan
conflict. With Serbia and Croatia free to get arms from their friends,
Bosnia defended itself with one hand tied. The result was a colossal human
tragedy in the form of a slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Bosnian
civilians. In Afghanistan, by targeting the Taliban regime and letting the
Northern Alliance get arms from wherever they can manage, the resolution
would serve to prolong the civil war and add to the people's miseries. If
the aim was to end the fighting, the best course would have been to slap a
blanket ban on all parties to the conflict. Instead, by Tuesday's embargo,
the UN has once again proved that, whether it is Iraq or Palestine, the
United States considers the UN as an agency for promoting its geopolitical

It is doubtful if the US will achieve the aims behind the resolution it has
made the UN pass. If Washington thinks the sanctions will force the Taliban
to hand over Osama bin Laden to it, then it better do some research on the
Afghan psyche and tradition. Throughout history, the Afghans have put up
with foreign pressures - even occupations - but never surrendered. The
British attempt to take over Afghanistan in the nineteenth century and the
humiliation the USSR suffered in the twentieth suffice as examples. A deal
on Osama bin Laden could have been worked out. However, by challenging the
honour of the Afghan people so crudely, the US will learn to its cost that
the Afghans do not bend so easily.

One immediate result of the sanctions will be the departure of the UN relief
staff. This will only add to the Afghan people's sufferings and contribute
to a widespread feeling of hostility towards the United States. As Mr Kofi
Annan put it before the vote was taken, "it is not going to facilitate peace
efforts, nor is it going to facilitate our humanitarian work." As Pakistan's
foreign minister told a press conference in Islamabad, unless a major
international effort was mounted to nullify its effects, the UN embargo
could lead to "one of the gravest human tragedies of our time." One
immediate problem for Pakistan will be an increase in the inflow of Afghan
refugees, putting further strains on its meagre and over-stretched
resources. It is time Pakistan told the UN that the powers responsible for
the new wave of refugees should accept their responsibility for their
ill-advised action and help Pakistan materially in relieving the burden of
feeding, sheltering and medically caring for the incoming refugees.

by Steven Mufson, (Washington Post)
The Age (Australia), 19 December 2000

There are many ways to view Condoleezza Rice, whom George W.Bush named as
his national security adviser on Sunday.

There is Condoleezza Rice, 46, a poor Alabama cotton farmer's granddaughter,
who became an accomplished classical pianist and ice skater and graduated
from college at the age of 19.

Then there is Condoleezza Rice, a Cold War product who speaks Russian, wrote
her doctoral thesis about ties between the Soviet and Czech militaries, and
did a two-year stint as the National Security Council's Soviet expert just
before the Soviet Union crumbled.

And then there is the Condoleezza Rice who at 38 became Stanford
University's youngest, first female, first African-American provost, making
her the chief operating officer of a billion-dollar-a-year institution with
competing faculty, student and community interests in the heart of Silicon

Now this multi-faceted woman faces a more-daunting challenge: setting
American foreign policy priorities for a president who has virtually no
foreign policy experience and who has rarely travelled outside the United

She will be grappling with problems from Beijing to Baghdad, Moscow to
Monrovia - most outside her own area of expertise. And she will be the
president-elect's point person in an administration stacked with heavy
hitters like Colin Powell, Vice-President-elect Dick Cheney and others with
strong, and often contradictory, views on how to deal with the world's

"Condi would bring to the role of national security adviser the same set of
skills that served her well as provost at Stanford: the capacity to absorb a
lot of information, process it quickly, and ascertain what's important and
what isn't, what's real and false," said Coit "Chip" Blacker, a Stanford
professor who served on Mr Clinton's National Security Council and advised
Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. "She's lightning-brained."

One asset she has is a close relationship with the President-elect, whom she
met during the elder Bush's administration. During the campaign, Ms Rice
coordinated an eight-member foreign-policy advisory group and she helped
prepare the Texas Governor on potentially treacherous foreign policy issues
that his Democratic rival knew much better.

Unlike Mr Gore's gnome-like national security adviser Leon Fuerth, Ms Rice
is a politically savvy operator who delivered an effective prime-time speech
during the Republican national convention and raised money for Mr Bush's

"She can walk into a gathering of almost any kind and instantly find a
poised way of handling herself, whether in a one-on-one meeting with a
Russian marshal or a church group in Palo Alto or a corporate group," said
former NSC colleague and book collaborator Philip Zelikow, now a professor
at the University of Virginia.

Fellow Stanford faculty member and Russia expert Michael McFaul adds, "I've
seen Clinton and the way he handles a room. She has a lot of those kind of

However, this is the first time she has specific authority and some people
wonder whether Dr Rice can handle her new mandate. She has been cramming on
China. She recently made her first trip to Israel. Her knowledge of Africa
or Latin America is limited.

During the campaign, she riled European allies by saying the US should pull
its troops out of the Balkans. "That didn't go down well in Europe," said a
senior European diplomat. "Europeans wonder whether Americans realise that a
large part of the burden is already on the shoulders of the Europeans."

Ms Rice articulated what some have called a "neorealist" or "realpolitik"
line of attack on the Clinton administration. She said it had frittered away
American power and influence on marginal issues and ill-conceived
humanitarian ventures while paying insufficient attention to allies and the
"big powers," particularly Russia and China.

On some issues, her quarrels with Clinton officials seem stylistic. She's
called the Clinton administration too "romantic" in its approach to Russia.
Like Mr Clinton, she favors containing Iraq and arms talks with Russia. She
criticises the outgoing administration for failing at both.

Ms Rice also supports continued engagement and trade with China. She says
economic change will "lead to sustained and organised pressures for
political liberalisation". In promoting human rights, she said, "it is wise
to remember that our influence through moral arguments ... is still limited
in the face of Beijing's pervasive political control." She favors
preservation of the status quo in the Taiwan Strait until China and Taiwan
can reach a political agreement, the policy followed by US administrations
since the 1970s. She doesn't see China's nuclear missiles as a strategic

What is more muscular is mainly her tone. "Cooperation should be pursued,
but we should never be afraid to confront Beijing when our interests

A key to Ms Rice's success will be how she fits into a team including
players like Mr Powell and Mr Cheney.

in Cole bombing identified]

WASHINGTON (CNN, 19th December) -- The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS
Harry S. Truman canceled a port visit to Naples, Italy, when the threat of
terrorist attack forced stepped-up security measures, CNN has learned.

Officials increased the threat condition in Naples to the military's
second-highest state of alert, CNN learned Tuesday.

In addition, some Navy personnel in the southern Italian city have been
moved from vulnerable off-base housing to more secure locations, and
security has been visibly increased at the NATO base there.

Navy personnel also have been advised to wear civilian clothes in public
until the threat assessment changes.


Threatcon Normal -- No threat of terrorist activity is present.

Threatcon Alpha -- There is a general threat of possible terrorist activity
against installations, building locations, and/or personnel, the nature and
extent of which are unpredictable.

Threatcon Bravo -- There is an increased and more predictable threat of
terrorist activity even though no particular target has been identified.

Threatcon Charlie -- An incident has occurred or intelligence has been
received indicating that some form of terrorist action is imminent.

Threatcon Delta -- A terrorist attack has occurred or intelligence has been
received that action against a specific location is likely.


The decision to divert the Truman and take the other steps was based on U.S.
intelligence reports suggesting increased terrorist activity in the area,
according to officials who asked that they not be identified.

The stepped-up security measures in Naples were implemented Friday,
according to officials who said the decision to divert the Truman to a port
visit in Greece rather than Naples was made over the weekend.

U.S. Defense Secretary William S. Cohen was aboard the Truman on Saturday
for a USO show and to take part in a Fox Sports football show that was taped
aboard the giant warship.

"There was a level of (suspicious activity) in the region that caused an
increase in concern," one Defense Department official told CNN.

He said the measures taken were "prudent" and were not "cause for alarm."

"We get these kinds of threats all the time," he said. But he acknowledged
that the terrorist attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen in October had
heightened sensitivities to threats of terrorist attack.

The aircraft carrier will make a port visit in Souda, Greece, with its crew
of about 5,000, before sailing to the Persian Gulf to provide aircraft to
the ongoing enforcement of the southern no-fly zone in Iraq.

The United States and Britain have enforced no-fly zones in Iraq since the
end of the Persian Gulf War to protect Shi'ite Muslims in the south and a
Kurdish enclave in the north from possible attacks by Baghdad troops.

Iraq says the allied patrols are illegal violations of its airspace.


Meanwhile, U.S. and Yemeni officials released the name on Tuesday of a
suspect in the October 12 suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Aden harbor.

The suspect, identified as Yemeni national Hussan Saeed Awad Al-Khamri, was
the man in glasses who was described by a boy as having launched the boat
used in the attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors and wounded 39 others, the
officials said.

Yemeni police have a picture of the man that was received when he registered
the boat, but they have not released further details about him.

Authorities in that country have questioned dozens of possible suspects in
the attack, including at least six who are still being held pending a trial
that could start as early as next month.

Other key suspects remain at large, including the alleged planner of the
bombing, an explosives expert who is believed to have fled to safety in

That man is a Saudi citizen of Yemeni origin named Mohammed Omar Al-Harazi,
known to U.S. intelligence officials as Abdul Rahman Hussein al-Nashari.

CNN National Security Producer Chris Plante and National Security
Correspondent David Ensor contributed to this report. --->

by Eli J. Lake

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in the
midst of the first week of the presidential transition, stressed Wednesday
the importance of continuity in foreign policy.

Albright said American foreign policy was "a continuing story." She said the
Clinton Administration "picked up a lot of issues from the first Bush
administration." One of those issues was the Bush's policy of unifying
Europe under democratic governments, a theme her policy team continued in
involvement in the Balkans.

Albright said the aim of a Bush policy on Europe was that it "be whole and
free and the missing piece was the Balkans. I think as a result of our
policies that piece is now in place."

The reference to the President-elect's father may signal Albright's
confidence that Secretary of State-designate, Colin Powell, and incoming
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will embrace a policy agenda in
line with her own. Both played a key role in forming the first Bush
administration's foreign policy, which she credits with setting the table
for the Clinton years.

"General Powell and I have been friends for a long time and we share the
interest in making sure that America's foreign policy is well represented,"
she said, "I have benefited a great deal from the friendship and advice from
my predecessors.... I think we all owe each other friendship and support."

Albright would not go into detail about the specifics of her conversation
with the retired general, former national security adviser and architect of
the 1990-1991 Gulf War against Iraq. She did, however, say that she found
him to be a "forward looking person."

Albright met with Powell for three hours on Sunday and saw him again Tuesday
when he showed up at a State Department presentation unveiling a new
initiative to bring more diversity to the Foreign Service. Also on
Wednesday, Rice went to the State Department in the late morning to meet
with some officials, although State Department officials would not say with
whom she met.

While Rice has been tight lipped on what direction she would like to take
foreign policy, Powell was surprisingly frank on Saturday, saying he
supported current sanctions against Iraq and hinting he may arm rebels

In the last week, outgoing State Department staff members have prepared
numerous transition briefings for Bush's incoming foreign policy team on
issues ranging from the Middle East peace process to a potential deal with
North Korea on missile proliferation.

On the latter issue, Albright reiterated that President Bill Clinton and his
foreign policy advisers would make a decision on a possible presidential
visit to Pyongyang. Albright added that this question, like many foreign
policy matters, should be viewed in the context of "continuity and
sustainability," a theme in her remarks attempting to draw a line.

Clinton Tuesday hinted, "we may have a chance to end" the North Korean
missile crisis, prior to meeting with President-elect Bush. There has been
some speculation that Clinton may need to get the incoming president's tacit
approval for reaching a broad missile deal with North Korea because it would
be his administration that would have to fill in the details of that.

GOP foreign policy hands have already complained about a 1994 arrangement
with North Korea that commits U.S. investment in a nuclear power reactor.

When asked about tying up loose ends before she left office, Albright
saidshe hoped to reach some kind of peace deal in the Middle East before her
tenure at the State Department ends and that if some agreement could be
reached "I think (the incoming Bush administration) would be delighted."

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are currently involved in two-way talks
at the White House on what may be the last such peace talks under a Clinton
presidency. Albright stressed that both sides suggested coming to Washington
and left open the possibility that some agreement could still be reached.

by Richard Norton-Taylor
Dawn, 21 December 2000, 24 Ramazan 1421. Article apparently originally in
the Guardian.

LONDON: The British prime minister Tony Blair says that he wants the
European Union to be a "superpower" and member states are planning a joint
rapid reaction force capable of operating autonomously. One key area of
cooperation is rarely mentioned, a common intelligence policy, the ties that
would really bind, the ultimate test of mutual trust.

Intelligence is an essential tool of military policy-making. As Charles
Grant of the Centre for European Reform puts it: "the projected security and
defence policy will be handicapped unless there is a high degree of
intelligence-sharing among EU governments". The International Institute for
Strategic Studies concludes that "the pledge to conduct EU-led military
operations necessitates an integrated European intelligence architecture".

This call strikes at the heart of the UK's special relationship with the US,
and it is nowhere more special than in the field of intelligence, military,
political, diplomatic and economic. GCHQ, the British government's
eavesdropping centre, has a symbiotic relationship with its American big
brother, the US National Security Agency. The Americans give more than
Britain gives in return. However, an internal GCHQ staff manual notes that
the agency's contribution to the relationship must be "of sufficient scale
and of the right kind to make a continuation of the Sigint (signals
intelligence) alliance worthwhile to our partners".

The alliance is spelled out in a secret UK-US treaty signed in 1948 to
provide for privileged sharing of signals intelligence between the US, the
UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This Anglo-Saxon club and its
worldwide surveillance network, code-named Echelon, makes the French
suspicious. Yet the NSA has given France technological help with its network
of listening stations, dubbed "Frenchelon".

The US wants to preserve its pre-eminent position in satellite imagery and,
according to the IISS, is insisting on the legal right to execute unilateral
"shutter control" to block the gathering of images.

Even the UK cannot rely on the US. While France gave the UK key intelligence
during the Falklands war, the US, seeking a diplomatic solution, held back.
And in an episode which left Whitehall officials trembling with shock, the
US stopped passing relevant intelligence to London in December 1994, when
the senate voted to lift the UN arms blockade against ex Yugoslavia.

Two years later President Clinton launched a salvo of cruise missiles
against Iraq after Saddam Hussein moved into the northern Kurdish area of
the country. France said that imagery from its Helios satellite showed the
troop movements to be insignificant and refused to support the strikes. The
Americans insisted the French were wrong and their satellite was not as good
as the US.

Spy satellites are expensive. British intelligence officials ask why they
should start paying for European satellites when they can get more accurate
imagery from the US for free. France argues that Europe will not be able to
have an independent foreign policy so long as it is dependent on the US for
satellite intelligence.

France is the only European country with its own delivery system, capable of
putting satellites into space. Spain and Italy have contributed to the
programme. Germany, is developing a high-resolution satellite in response to
US reluctance to share intelligence during the Kosovo war. Intelligence from
Helios and SARLupe will be shared among EU partners.

There is also the unsung work carried out by the Western European Union
(WEU), now to be subsumed into the EU. The WEU provided valuable
intelligence on Kosovo. Its satellite centre at Torrejon in northern Spain
is unique in providing collective, supranational, intelligence assessments.
Satellites are not only vital in giving up-to-date military intelligence for
EU troops on the ground. They provide decision-makers with early warnings,
crucial to the EU's future role as crisis preventer and manager.

Satellites are not the only intelligence tool and the military not the only
customer. The security and intelligence agencies of EU member states
increasingly exchange material obtained from informers, terrestrial
surveillance, or electronic eavesdropping, on terrorists, drug-traffickers,
money-launderers and on immigration. Many of the EU's perceived threats,
notably terrorism, are also regarded as priorities for action by the US and
Russia as well as candidates for EU membership in central and eastern
Europe.-Dawn/The Guardian News Service.

Dawn editorial, 24 December 2000, 27 Ramazan 1421

IN a country where foreign policy has traditionally been bipartisan, the
coming of a new president has seldom meant a radical departure from the
past. Whether during the worst days of the cold war or later after the
demise of the Soviet Union, American foreign policy has maintained its
essentially bipartisan character, the difference here and there being mostly
of shades, nuances and emphasis. Against this background, one should not
hold high hopes that the Bush administration would in any way be much
different from the Clinton presidency. However, Friday's remarks by the
president-elect that he intends to follow a 'non-interventionist' foreign
policy call for attention. More important, he said in its external relations
America would be "humble" and added, "we should not be prescribing
prescriptions for others." Indirectly, these remarks constitute an apt
criticism of the eight years of Democratic foreign policy that had been
characterized by interventionism, prescription of unwanted nostrums for
other nations, meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and a
lack of humility bordering on arrogance.

It goes without saying that many nations do not see eye to eye with America
on issues of international import. Even America's partners in the Atlantic
community have reservations about aspects of US foreign policy on such
issues as the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq and Iran and the sanctions against
China. So far, both Republican and Democratic administrations have used
sanctions brazenly as an instrument of chastisement - though with little
effect. Rather, in most cases, sanctions evoked feelings of widespread
hatred against the US and boomeranged on Washington because the victims of
the sanctions stayed on course. For instance, nuclear and missile
non-proliferation is a major concern of American foreign policy, but US
sanctions against Pakistan, India and China have failed to deter them from
following a course which they think is in their best interest.

More important, sanctions on an issue like non-proliferation are laughable -
even immoral - given the fact that Washington has done everything possible
to not only condone Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons but to actively
help and encourage it. Similarly, far from applying sanctions against
Israel, the US has exercised its veto whenever the UN Council tried to
censure Tel Aviv for its illegal occupation of the territories and its human
rights' violations against Palestinian civilians. One brutal example of
America's sanctions strategy is evident in Iraq where the US-led UN
embargoes have led to one of post-war world's biggest humanitarian
disasters. Babies are dying for a lack of medicines because of the
sanctions, even though all of Iraq's clandestine projects for weapons of
mass destruction stand destroyed.

Terrorism is also one of America's obsessions, yet Washington has been
selective in its opposition to it, for it has ignored or even encouraged
state terrorism - as in Indian-held Kashmir and occupied Palestine - but
called as terrorists those fighting for freedom as in Kashmir and Palestine.
The latest example of America's sanctions-oriented strategy is Afghanistan,
where the US has decided to deny arms only to one side in a six-year-old
civil war. These aspects of US foreign policy had anything but humility and
circumspection in them. If, therefore, Mr Bush decides to follow a humble
and non-interventionist foreign policy, one only hopes he will abide by his

By its biased and skewed policy America has not gained any friends in this
part of the world. Its blindly pro-Israeli policies have alienated it from
people from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic, while in South Asia it is
perceived by many to be on the wrong side on Kashmir by denying itself a
constructive role in bringing Pakistan and India to the negotiating table
for a solution of the Kashmir dispute. Overall, America will itself be the
gainer if, under the Bush administration, it manages to curb superpower
chauvinism and sheds the arrogance it usually displays in dealing with other
nations and governments.
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