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UK Daily Telegraph 16th Jan - PLEASE WRITE IN

Pasted below are 4 articles from todays Telegraph. Please respond if you
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Voices UK.

Saddam back on the warpath
By Anton La Guardia

IRAQ is back on the warpath, despite suffering two debilitating wars and a
decade of sanctions. That, at least, is the impression that Saddam Hussein
wants to give.
Television pictures of military parades, soldiers marching in serried ranks,
and Saddam firing his gun in the air are interspersed with pictures of the
Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and set to the tune of a song that proclaims
"The anger is coming, coming, coming!"
The message is clear: Iraq's armies will liberate Palestine. To redouble the
point, the propaganda includes film of Iraqi Scud missiles striking Israeli
cities 10 years ago. In the official Iraqi view, the 1991 Gulf war was not
an unparalleled disaster for Iraq but the prelude to the momentous battle
for Jerusalem.
As Iraq prepared to mark the tenth anniversary of the war tonight, the main
headline in Al-Thwara declared: "By the leadership of President Saddam
Hussein, Iraq has crushed the biggest imperialist aggressive campaign." A
cartoon in the daily Al-Joumhouriyya yesterday depicted soldiers proudly
raising the Iraqi flag over the Dome of the Rock.
On the streets of Baghdad, normally sensible people profess that they are
ready to die fighting alongside the Palestinians. One Iraqi, who in past
years would whisper his loathing for the devastation that Saddam had brought
to the country, said: "You have to die some time in your life. Jerusalem is
very important,"
Foreign Office diplomats scoff at the empty rhetoric. One said recently:
"It's easy for those who are far away from Israel to threaten war. Iraq does
not even have a common border with Israel. It would first have to invade
Jordan or Syria."
The problem for London and Washington is not whether a militarily weakened
Iraq may go to war with Israel. The challenge is that Saddam's
sabre-rattling against the Jews has strengthened him both at home and in the
wider Arab world.
His building of sumptuous palaces signifies to many Arabs defiant
reconstruction, his nasty brutality is seen as strength and toughness of
character, and his attempts to build weapons of mass destruction would be,
if successful, a huge military asset for the Arab cause.
Just a few years ago, a few brave Iraqis would complain in whispers that
both the Americans and Saddam were to blame for their misery. The man who
presides over what one exiled critic calls "the Republic of Fear" had, after
all, bloodily put down all opposition, whether real or imagined, and led his
country into two devastating military adventures.
The fear remains everywhere, but it is mixed with new respect for Saddam.
Today it is the Americans who are usually blamed, even in private
conversations. One former critic of Saddam said: "Ten years of sanctions is
too much. The Americans don't understand that they are pointless."
Iraq has erased the physical damage of the war in Baghdad. The bridges and
buildings have been rebuilt by home-grown engineering skills. Construction
includes a new double-deck bridge over the Tigris, the Saddam Tower with its
revolving restaurant, and a string of new palaces, sorry, "guest houses".
There are ever more statues of Saddam.
Abdel-Razek Hashimi, a former ambassador to France and now president of the
Organisation of Friendship, Peace and Solidarity which nurtures links with
foreign sympathisers, said: "Iraq is not a refugee camp where people just
eat. Iraq is a society. It needs schools, medical facilities, electricity
and, yes, guest houses for foreign dignitaries."
The sanctions economy has created two faces to Baghdad. One is the beggars
and the parlous state of the hospitals, where doctors say there are
shortages and erratic supplies of everything from spare parts for equipment
to modern drugs. Infant mortality rates have more than doubled in the past
decade as a result of war and sanctions. Academics abandon the country by
the week, and those who stay have to sell their books.
Yesterday Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister, said critics of sanctions
were playing into Saddam's hands and reiterated Britain's support for the
measures while Iraq continues to refuse to co-operate with United Nations
arms inspectors.
He said: "This anniversary should be a reminder to us all of why it is as
necessary to contain the Iraqi threat now as it was 10 years ago." Yet in
the past year there has been an explosion of visible wealth in Baghdad. The
streets are rich with goods, from piles of fruit on stalls to stores packed
with consumer goods, jewellery and clothes. One Iraqi said: "If you have
money there are no sanctions,"
Privatisation, usually encouraged as the means to attract western finance,
has been adopted in Iraq in the name of foiling western sanctions. Private
merchants have been given carte blanche to import a range of goods and get
around the UN by means fair or foul. The liberalisation has, in turn,
allowed the "war millionaire" oil smugglers and other beneficiaries of the
regime to recycle their money on luxuries at home.
The sharp rise in oil prices, which at one point tripled in two years, has
brought a flood of new money into Iraq, and this purchasing power has given
it new leverage with its neighbours. Jordanians, Turks, Iranians and even
the oppressed Kurds take their cut of Iraq's oil wealth.
Sajjad Al-Khasaki, the owner of a sweet shop, said: "According to Saddam
Hussein, we should live and we should break the sanctions. We have to make
our own happiness. It is not going to come from abroad."
For years, when sugar was strictly rationed, sweet shops were forced to
close. Now they are richly stocked with syrupy sweets like baklava, cookies,
cakes and a white-powdered bun called "Gifts from Heaven". For rich Iraqis,
life has indeed become sweet.

Our forgotten fight against Saddam
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent

TEN years after Desert Storm the RAF continues to fight a forgotten war
protecting Iraq's Kurdish and Shi'ite minorities from Saddam Hussein's
repression, preventing his aircraft and helicopter gunships from attacking

 Saddam has not hesitated to attack the country's minorities to shore up his
own power, most notably using helicopter gunships to attack Kurds with
chemical weapons at Halabjah in March 1988, causing thousands of casualties.
When the Gulf war ended, the repression of the Kurds restarted and the
allies set up a northern no-fly zone, covering the area north of the 36th
parallel, in April 1991 to protect them.
The American, British and French patrols preventing Iraqi incursions into
the no-fly zone were justified under United Nations resolution 688.
Prevented from attacking the Kurds, Saddam turned his attention to the Shia
population in the southern marshes area, driving 150,000 people from their
homes with aerial attacks by helicopter gunships and fixed-wing aircraft. As
a result, the southern no-fly zone was imposed in August 1992. It originally
covered the area south of the 32nd parallel, but was extended northwards to
the 33rd parallel in September 1996 because of Iraqi incursions.
The RAF fly out of four air bases around Iraq. There are four Jaguar ground
attack aircraft based at Incirlik in eastern Turkey, with two VC10 tankers
for in-flight refuelling. Six Tornado F3 fighter aircraft are based at
Al-Kharj in Saudi Arabia, eight Tornado GR1 ground attack aircraft are at
Ali Al-Salem in Kuwait and two Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft and one VC10
tanker are based in Bahrain.
RAF pilots flew a total of 2,683 sorties in the no-fly zones during the
period from April 1999 to March 2000, of which 2,233 were in the southern
zone. There are 1,000 British personnel stationed in the region at a cost of
30 million a year.
Their main role is deterrence and reconnaissance and they attack only in
response to attempts by Iraqi air defences to engage them, either by locking
on to them with radar or firing at them. Figures for the southern no-fly
zone show that Iraqi air defences threatened US air force or RAF aircraft on
more than 320 occasions between December 1998 and May 2000. The coalition
aircraft responded only 74 times.
Apart from Iraqi fighter aircraft, their main targets have included
anti-aircraft artillery, surface-to-air missiles and mobile air defence
radar systems. The biggest operation mounted was Operation Desert Fox, begun
in December 1998, when American and British forces tried to destroy Saddam's
chemical and biological weapons capability.
RAF pilots from 12 Squadron based at Ali Al-Salem and flying Tornado GR1s
flew a total of 32 sorties during the operation. Iraq has repeatedly
criticised American and British operations in the no-fly zone. But
photographic intelligence continues to show evidence of houses being
bulldozed and even whole villages flattened.

Labour MP fights trade embargo
By Anton La Guardia

A LABOUR Left-wing MP is fighting for the right of British capitalists to do
business with Iraq.
Captains of industry are losing an invaluable Arab market because of
Britain's slavish adoption of America's sanctions policy, George Galloway
said yesterday. So he is founding the Great Britain-Iraq Chamber of Commerce
to promote trade with Iraq and open "a door" for British businessmen to do
deals in Baghdad.
Mr Galloway said: "This is not a field I am very familiar with, or a field I
am even comfortable with as a man of the Left. But business is legitimate.
Everybody is trading with Iraq." Mr Galloway's support for Iraq has made him
a famous figure there. He is on kissing terms with senior Baghdad officials.

West claimed moral high ground with air power
By John Keegan, Defence Editor

TEN years ago, at just before midnight on Jan 16, 1991, the air phase of the
Gulf war began. It was a beginning in more than one sense - the beginning of
an unusual punishment operation, for breach of international law, but also
the beginning of an experiment in the use of air power.
The air commanders did not declare an intention to bring the Iraqis to heel
by bombing. Wisely so, for "air control" of Iraq had failed in the Twenties.
There is no doubt that the airmen were confident of severely depressing both
the Iraqi means and will to resist before the ground offensive was launched.
Their confidence was to be justified.
There were failures in the air campaign. The targeting of Iraq's Scud
missiles, for which much was claimed, achieved not a single hit. Mounted on
mobile launchers and constantly moved between hiding places - underpasses
were a favourite - the Scuds survived.
The RAF's attacks on runways with its JP-233 penetrator bomb were too costly
to sustain. Much old-style, non-smart ordnance was wasted, as it always had
been in strategic bombing effort. However, even non-smart weapons worked
when used against the targets Saddam laid out for the B-52s.
Saddam, who gave currency to the phrase "the mother of all battles", seems
badly read in military history. Had he even bothered to follow the
newspapers during the l967 Arab-Israeli war, he ought to have grasped that
to park an army, unprotected by air power when the enemy has plenty, in the
open desert is to invite its destruction.
The Egyptian army was devastated in Sinai by the Israeli air force in three
days. In the Kuwaiti desert in 1991, the unfortunate low-grade divisions of
the Iraqi army lay out for five weeks, deluged each night by hundreds of
tons of explosive.
By the end, the main thought of most reservists who had survived was how
soon they could surrender. Smart weapons, less than 10 per cent of the
ordnance expended, were destroying the Iraqi infrastructure - bridges, power
stations, telephone exchanges, other communications, and the headquarters of
Saddam's political and military apparatus.
"Supersmart" missile interceptors drew the sting of his last threat, the
Scuds launched against American targets in Saudi Arabia. By the time the
coalition's armoured divisions crossed the start line, Saddam had already
lost his "mother of all battles" - the air war.
His air force had fled to the territory of his old enemy, Iran. His air
defence weapons had not worked. His soldiers had given up the ghost. That is
not to minimise the achievement of the ground forces, whose penetration and
encirclement of the Iraq positions set a model of how a modern military
operation should be conducted.
Nevertheless, it must be recognised that the Gulf war was a new sort of war,
because for the first time the 20th-century vision of a justified war, won
almost without casualties, had been realised.
Had the Gulf war been an isolated phenomenon, its tenth anniversary might
not seem to demand commemoration. However, those who fought and won it - the
Americans foremost, with the British as their most active allies - won
another air war, even more strictly defined, in Kosovo.
The Serb army, bent on expelling a million long-settled Albanians from their
homes, in conditions of great suffering, was forced to desist and to
withdraw. A pattern seems to be emerging. The Western world has, since the
beginning of the 19th century, sought to define itself by two measures that
distinguish it from less evolved parts: its superior technology and its
higher public morality.
For much of that period, it has sought to put the first at the service of
the second. The story of the Second World War, as recounted in American and
British schools, tells how Anglo-American industrial might, allied to
democracy, overcame Nazism, fascism and the imperialism of Japan.
The Gulf and, even more so, Kosovo suggest a sequel: that technology and
international morality now march in step. If so, and if the rhythm can be
maintained, there is hope that Saddams and Milosevics may be deterred from
their crimes before bad intention becomes action.
One hard-line Serb nationalist has given herself up for trial to the
International Court of Justice. It is not impossible that Milosevic, despite
his fear of punishment, may open a plea bargain with the court.
Saddam is a harder case. Yet even he is being given reason to fear the long
arm of the law. Air power plus war crimes legislation is a new and novel
brew. Few have the means to survive forever beyond its reach.

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