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NEWS, 28/12/2/02 (2) see note at beginning of News, 28/12/2/02 (1) HIJACK INCIDENTS * Britons see mid-air hijack attempt fail * Trial of Yemen Hijacker Starts in Sanaa * Yemen Hijacker Testifies in Trial * Yemeni hijacker gets 15-year prison term [Yemeni justice doesnıt hang about PB] IRAQI OPPOSITION * Iraqi Foes To Get Aid From U.S. * Powell Expects Mideast, Iraq to Dominate U.S. Agenda [or maybe they wonıt get aid from US] * IRAQI INTELLECTUALS ESTABLISH PARLIAMENT [indicates the possibility of an Iraqi opposition interested in something other than large handouts from the murderers of the Iraqi people] * U.S. gives $4 million to dissidents for legal case against Hussein [the $4m is the sum already promised by Clinton. And does it really cost $4m to prove Mr Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity? We were under the impression that the case was already pretty well established. Are we wrong?] NEW WORLD ORDER * Facing Up to Iraq [the Clinton legacy of softness has left a heavy burden on Americaıs future] * POWELL FACES DANGEROUS ALBRIGHT LEGACY [the Albright legacy of toughness has left a heavy burden on Americaıs future] * THE NEW ORDER THAT SPLITS THE WORLD [excellent article by Simon Jenkins defending the principle of national sovereignty] * Cook Wants to Cement British Ties with U.S. * It's Now the Smaller Arab States That Lead the Way MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS * 'Saddam has blood cancer, war for succession open' * From Russia with love: 5,000 copies of 'The Big Breach' [short extract on MI6 proposal to infiltrate UNSCOM. But would that have been necessary?] * Hyundai Eng. soars on Iraqi payout * 'Convicting Kuwaiti govt head will please Saddam' [trial of the Kuwaiti head of state under the Iraqi occupation] * Iraqi girl to leave US after treatment * MuchMusic & War Child in Iraq HIJACK INCIDENTS http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000579381554028&rtmo=qxstRKt9&atmo=99999 999&pg=/et/01/1/29/nife29.html * BRITONS SEE MID-AIR HIJACK ATTEMPT FAIL by David Graves Daily Telegraph, 29th January BRITISH passengers witnessed a mid-air fight between a knife-wielding hijacker and crew members of a Gulf Air flight over the Middle East. The struggle, in which the hijacker was overpowered, was seen by many of the 202 passengers, who included 20 Britons. The man, an Iraqi, attempted to take over the Airbus A340 as it flew from Bangkok to Abu Dhabi, but was foiled by the co-pilot and the chief steward. Several of the female passengers screamed as the hijacker was wrestled to the floor by the crew before the knife was removed from him and he was tied up with restraint straps. All the passengers escaped injury. The Britons, who had been flying from Hong Kong and Thailand, arrived in London yesterday after catching a connection in Abu Dhabi. One said: "It was terrifying. I'm sure many people on board thought they were going to die." One of the British passengers took photographs of the hijacker as he lay tightly bound on the floor shortly after being overpowered. He said the inside of the plane was a scene of "complete devastation". The hijack attempt took place on Saturday, three hours before Flight GF 153 was due to land in Abu Dhabi. The man rushed towards the cockpit of the Airbus but was wrestled to the ground by the chief steward, Yunes Amiri. As the two men fought in front of the passengers, the Omani co-pilot, Khalfan Seif al Nahbani, joined the fracas. Both crew members suffered minor knife wounds to their arms and hands. They were taken to hospital in Abu Dhabi after the Airbus landed two hours behind schedule. The passengers and 14 crew were evacuated from the Airbus using the aircraft's emergency chutes as police and troops stormed on board to arrest the Iraqi, who had apparently attempted to divert the flight to a European destination. The hijacker was being questioned by police last night in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE's Akhbar al-Arab newspaper quoted the injured crew members as saying that they were surprised by a man with a knife demanding that the plane fly to Europe. The paper said: "They said the man was nervous and kept repeating that he did not want to return to Iraq." When the co-pilot told him that the plane did not have enough fuel to fly to Europe, the man attempted to enter the cockpit and stab the pilot, but the two crew members overpowered him, it added. The hijack attempt was the fourth in the Middle East by Iraqis or Iraqi sympathisers since October. Last week, an armed Yemeni and pro-Iraqi activist, Jaber Ali Sattar, tried to hijack a Yemenia plane to Iraq during a domestic flight which had the US ambassador to Sanaa, Barbara Bodine, on board. Sattar was overpowered by the crew and extradited back to Yemen. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010129/wl/yemen_hijacker_dc_1.html * TRIAL OF YEMEN HIJACKER STARTS IN SANAA SANAA (Reuters, 29th January) - A court in Yemen began on Monday hearing the case of a Yemeni man who hijacked a plane carrying 91 passengers, including the U.S. ambassador to the Arab state. Judicial sources said the prosecutor charged Yahya Ali Satar with ``kidnapping, carrying unlicensed weapons, forgery and terrorizing passengers'' and called for the maximum penalty, which is the death sentence. Satar and his lawyer were present in court when the charges were read, witnesses said. He appeared calm and occasionally smiled. The judge adjourned the trial until Tuesday. Satar, who claimed to be a supporter of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), was overpowered by crew members after hijacking the Yemen Airways flight on Tuesday and threatening to blow it up if it was not diverted to Baghdad, under a U.N. embargo since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Satar was arrested after the pilot of the domestic Yemen Airways flight landed the plane in Djibouti, where passengers disembarked safely through an emergency exit. The flight engineer was shot in the hand when trying to overpower him. Yemeni media reports said six Sanaa airport security officers and two employees of the Civil Registration Authority -- which issues identity cards -- were being questioned to determine how the armed hijacker managed to board the plane. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2001/jan/30/013000592.html * YEMEN HIJACKER TESTIFIES IN TRIAL Las Vegas Sun, 30th January SAN'A, Yemen (AP) -- A Yemeni man who hijacked a plane carrying 91 people, including the U.S. ambassador, said Tuesday he had not threatened the passengers but only asked to go to Iraq. Jaber Yehia Ali Sattar was testifying on the second day of his trial in the hijacking a Yemenia Boeing 727 just after it took off from San'a to fly to the southern city of Taiz on Jan. 23. "I did not have intentions to threaten or frighten the passengers. I only wanted to redirect the plane to Baghdad," he told the court. The state has charged Sattar with kidnapping, endangering the safety of passengers, forging official documents and carrying unlicensed weapons. If convicted, he faces the death penalty. Defense lawyer Mohammed al-Saqqaf asked the court to drop the charges. "He did not use threats against the passengers, and there was not a premeditated intent of hijacking. He didn't have any aggressive intention, and the proof is that the American ambassador was among the passengers. He only intended to direct the plane to Baghdad," al-Saqqaf said. The trial was adjourned to Wednesday. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=5593126&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * YEMENI HIJACKER GETS 15-YEAR PRISON TERM UPI, Sat 3 Feb 2001 SANA'A, Yemen, Feb. 3 (UPI) - The man who hijacked a Yemeni airliner carrying the U.S. ambassador and demanded it fly to Iraq was sentenced Saturday to 15 years in prison, authorities said. A judicial statement said that the criminal court in Sana'a issued the verdict and sentenced Jaber Sater following three court sessions. Sater, wielding a pen-like gun, took control of the Yemenia Boeing 727 during a domestic flight Jan. 23. The aircraft's crew overpowered him in Djibouti, where they had landed after persuading Sater the plane needed refueling to reach Baghdad. U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine and several other U.S. diplomats, as well as the Yemeni Ambassador to the United States Abdul Wahab al-Hajari, were aboard the aircraft, but were unharmed. Authorities found Sater had not even been aware of their presence. Djibouti authorities, who arrested Sater, extradited him to Yemen for trial the day after the incident. IRAQI OPPOSITION http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14265-2001Feb1.html * IRAQI FOES TO GET AID FROM U.S. by Alan Sipress Washington Post, 1st February The Bush administration has given Iraqi opposition groups permission to resume their activities inside Iraq with American funding, marking the first substantial move by the Bush White House to confront Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. By giving the go-ahead this week to a program with the benign-sounding purpose of "collection of informational materials in Iraq," Bush officials moved beyond the policy of the Clinton administration, which harbored deep reservations about the Iraqi opposition. The decision allows the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella organization for groups opposed to Hussein's government, to draw from $4 million set aside by Congress in September for gathering information relating to Iraqi war crimes, military operations and other internal developments. Some of the money has already been used by the London based INC for logistics and training outside Iraq. But this week's decision frees up funding for opposition operations inside the country for the first time since the United States cut off similar financial support five years ago. "We're saying to the INC, you're beyond the organizational phase," a State Department official said yesterday. "Now do something." The move to send U.S.-funded activists back into Iraq comes at time when top administration officials, including Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, have been trying to thrash out their strong -- and divergent opinions -- on how best to confront Hussein. State Department officials said the decision to order the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control to issue a license for spending the money inside Iraq -- which is required because of the economic sanctions on the country -- moves U.S. policy across a significant threshold. But these officials said the initiative does not yet reflect a wholesale reappraisal of Iraq policy. While more vigorous backing for the opposition has been endorsed by some -- including Cheney and Rumsfeld -- Powell and others have been more reticent in offering support, speaking primarily about reinvigorating the economic sanctions as a means to deter Iraq's weapons program. President Bush met at the White House on Tuesday with his top national security officials, discussing in particular Iraq policy. A senior State Department official said yesterday that the administration is seeking to develop a policy that combines support for the Iraqi opposition with maintaining the economic sanctions that were imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In remarks to reporters at the State Department yesterday, Powell said he had not determined whether it would be realistic ultimately to remove Hussein by funding opposition groups. "Iraq is a problem for its own people," Powell said. He said his focus would remain on Hussein's refusal to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors. "I think we have to keep reminding everybody that this is an arms control problem," Powell said. But the decision to renew U.S.-funded efforts inside Iraq was heralded by Ahmed Chalabi, a founding member of the INC, as "a major reversal" of U.S. policy. "For the first time ever, the INC has public U.S. funding to operate in Iraq, and for the first time since 1996 there's any U.S. support for operating inside Iraq," he said. The United States had provided covert aid to opposition groups in the years after the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. But those efforts came to a tumultuous end when Hussein's military rolled into the U.S.-protected "safe area" of northern Iraq, rousting the opposition. Critics said the INC's battlefield performance had revealed it as a paper tiger. Chalabi said a wide range of anti-government activities are permitted under the license granted this week. "What we want to do is bring out political information, information on the state of Iraq's military and enhance our contacts with our constituency inside Iraq," he said. While the opposition is already involved in gathering information, an adviser to the INC said the funding will allow it to beef up operations inside Iraq in as little as two weeks. He said the money could pay for the efforts of about 40 of the group's members to collect information and shuttle it out of the country. These activists would work with thousands of sympathizers inside Iraq, Chalabi said. A State Department official said funding is limited to the gathering of information, but the INC could put it to whatever use the group decides. This could include monitoring violations of the economic sanctions, providing evidence for any war crimes prosecution against Iraqi officials and building popular support for the INC's ultimate goal of overthrowing the Hussein government. The application for the license issued this week was put in the pipeline during the final weeks of the Clinton administration. It was approved, following consultation between State Department and National Security Council officials, only after Bush took office two weeks ago. "It is a step forward but it's not the whole deal," a senior administration official said. The INC is still looking for at least two more licenses that would allow it to broaden efforts further. One application, pending before the Treasury Department, would permit the group to use American funds to open a permanent office in northern Iraq, where it could publish a newspaper and collect intelligence. A second application that has yet to be filed would allow the INC to tap another $12 million in approved American funding to distribute food, medicine and other forms of humanitarian relief inside government-controlled areas of Iraq. Administration officials consider each step to be increasingly ambitious and likely to provoke a violent response from Hussein. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010201/pl/mideast_powell_dc_1.html * POWELL EXPECTS MIDEAST, IRAQ TO DOMINATE U.S. AGENDA by Jonathan Wright WASHINGTON (Reuters, 1st February): [.....] He [Powell] said he had not yet decided whether it would be wise to back the Iraqi opposition against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and did not have any appointments with Iraqi opposition leaders who will be in Washington over the next few days. The opposition Iraqi National Congress has high hopes that the Bush administration will be more supportive than the Clinton administration, which gave the group little money. An adviser to the INC said on Wednesday that Bush and his national security heavyweights had an internal meeting on Iraq at the White House on Tuesday. The meeting included Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Central Intelligence Director George Tenet and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, he said. ``Cheney and Rumsfeld are in our corner, Powell hasn't made up his mind,'' he added. http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=157211 * IRAQI INTELLECTUALS ESTABLISH PARLIAMENT by Hussain Hindawi LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A number of Iraqi intellectuals who have mainly sought refuge in Western Europe plan to establish a special parliament-in-exile in a symbolic move to demonstrate their independence, but the initiative -- the first in the Arab world -- faces strong opposition from the Iraqi regime and deep silence from Iraqi opposition groups, each for their own reasons. The intellectuals called for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to be tried before an international court on charges of crimes against humanity, and especially against his own people. They stressed the need to replace the Saddam regime with a democratic one based on respect for freedom, civil society and human rights in a unified and independent Iraq, free of international sanctions and wars. At the same time, they expressed distrust of the United States for its "craziness in giving priority to its own interests at the expense of everything and at any price," the intellectuals declared. Their proposed parliament-in-exile, which would be similar to the European Writers' Parliament, immediately drew strong threats from the Iraqi authorities. Baghdad accused the intellectuals of collaborating with foreigners, and Saddam's son, Uday, published the names of some 200 Iraqi artists and writers who recently left the country, accusing them of desertion -- a charge punished by death in Iraq. On their part, Iraq's traditional opposition groups were not welcoming either, apparently because of concern that the cultural parliament might become an effective parliament, which could turn into a rival political movement. With the exception of the Kurdish parties controlling northern Iraq, the opposition preferred to remain silent. Despite opposition fears, the intellectuals' parliament was not expected to exceed "its symbolic dimension," even though the intellectuals are always concerned with politics, often criticizing opposition groups for losing their popular base and for their dependency on one or more foreign countries, mainly the United States, Iran, Syria and Russia. The intellectuals' initiative was first launched in London, where a great number of them live, and then moved to Detroit, Berlin, Paris and Sydney. Included in the group are the most important contemporary artists and writers, notably the opposition poets Saadi Yousef and Muzaffar Nawab, who fled Iraq when Saddam first came to power and are considered the greatest poets of the Arab world, besides Syrian Adonis and Palestinian Mahmoud Darweesh. The importance of their initiative lies in the fact that the majority of the intellectuals are now living abroad due to their forced exodus from Iraq, which did not stop during the past decade as their hopes for a political breakthrough in the near future dissipated and the economic and social difficulties as well as isolation increased. According to estimates, there are some 4 million Iraqis, including thousands of intellectuals, living in the diasapora, with a big concentration in Britain as well as in a number of Western European countries, the United States, Iran, Australia, Jordan and Syria. Some 250,000 Iraqis form the biggest Arab community in Britain, including 5,000 doctors, a similar number of wealthy businessmen and hundreds of journalists, writers and artists who have reached high posts in media institutions and universities. But in the past few years some of Iraq's most prominent intellectuals of the past century have died in exile. The poets Mohamed Mahdi Jawahiri, Bulent Haidari and Abdel Wahab al Bayyati, the religious scholar Mustafa Jamaleddine, Hadi al-Alwi the philosopher, novelist Ghaib Furman and painter Ahmed Amir have all been laid to rest in burial places in London, Damascus, Berlin and Moscow. The regime's repression of intellectual life added to the toll. Reliable sources confirm that Baghdad authorities executed a number of writers and artists, mainly on trumped-up charges: Riad al-Bakri in 1978 and economist Safaa al-Hafez in 1979, while the Palestine Liberation Organization accused the Iraqi intelligence of assassinating at least three Iraqi intellectuals in Beirut in 1981, including Adel Wasfi who ran the PLO's central organ, "Palestine Revolution," and the journalists Tahseen Shaikhali and Abdel Jabbar Abdallah. In 1980, in the days prior to the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi authorities executed a prominent Moslem Shiite religious scholar, Baker al-Sadr, founder of the al-Daawa group, along with his sister Bint al-Hoda. The Iraqi opposition accused Saddam's intelligence of assassinating a number of his former colleagues, including former president of the Arab Writers' Union, culture minister and poet Shafik Kamali and writer Aziz Seyyed Jassem, who was the Iraqi president's speech writer during the 1980-1988 war with Iran. Culture has a special importance for exiled Iraqis as the connecting link with their country, and a boost to their pride in a long and rich heritage at a time when they are saddened by the state of their homeland. They mock President Saddam's poor Arabic and lack of knowledge of other languages. The Iraqi government argues that the international sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990 were the reason for the exodus of the intellectuals and scientists. In a recent lecture in Amman the Iraqi ambassador in Jordan said Iraq was under "cultural siege." Demand for newspaper copies had dropped from 750,000 to 180,000 meaning that only 25 percent of the Iraqi people now read the Iraqi daily press. The ambassador said, "U.S. aggression destroyed more than 70 percent of radio and television stations, which became the daily target of the U.S. warplanes so that the voice of Iraq does not reach the world." But according to reliable information from Baghdad, freedom of expression of any kind has been suppressed in Iraq and Iraqi media are virtually controlled by Saddam's oldest son, Uday. Apart from the four government-controlled newspapers, Uday runs practically every other outlet of importance. He is the owner of a fifth newspaper, and a sports daily, a radio station and two television stations, and 15 magazines and periodicals. Uday also heads the Writers Union, the Artists Society, Cultural Grouping, Olympic Committee and many other institutions. President Saddam has never had much success in gaining the support of Iraq's prominent intellectuals for his major adventures, whether it was his large-scale military campaigns against the Kurds in the 1970s, his eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s, his 1990 invasion of Kuwait or the subsequent Gulf War against the United States and its allies. But the major Iraqi opposition groups, whether religious or national, have had similar lack of success in attracting prominent intellectuals. Marxism and the left enjoyed an intellectual following during the long years of struggle against British colonialism in the 1940s, but the Iraqi Communist Party lost their sympathy when it joined the Baghdad government in the 1970s. The Iraqi government has had some success with Arab intellectuals from other countries by financing media institutions and publishing houses, and even offering homes to journalists loyal to Baghdad. For example, an Egyptian and a Lebanese writer were both generously rewarded for writing flattering biographies of Saddam Hussein. One book entitled "Saddam Hussein: Commander and Thinker" was translated to several languages and printed in hundreds of thousands copies to be distributed free. Saddam also financed several movies on his life, such as "The Long Days" and "al Qaddissiya" on the Iraqi war, both directed by an Egyptian film maker at a cost of $10 million each, and another $30 million was recently allocated for another movie, "The Mother of all Battles," about the U.S. "defeat" by Iraqi forces in the Gulf war. (Hussain Hindawi is the director of United Press International's Arab News Service. His weekly commentary is published in English and in the Arab media and does not necessarily reflect the views of UPI.) http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/printedition/article/0,2669,SAV 0102030222,FF.html * U.S. GIVES $4 MILLION TO DISSIDENTS FOR LEGAL CASE AGAINST HUSSEIN by Barry Schweid Chicago Tribune, February 3, 2001 WASHINGTON (Associated Press): The Bush administration, showing a hard-line position on Iraq, has cleared $4 million to help dissidents opposed to President Saddam Hussein build a legal case against him. Cheered by the Treasury Department's action, Sharif Ali, spokesman for the London-based Iraqi National Congress, said Friday: "We will use that to enhance our own network there, to penetrate the Iraqi regime and to expose the crimes of the regime." The $4 million in grants approved by the Treasury Department on Thursday is designed to help anti-Hussein groups gather information to prove that the Iraqi president has committed crimes against humanity. The Iraqi National Congress is an umbrella organization of groups opposed to the government in Baghdad. Historically, however, opposition groups have been fractured, often prevented by infighting from acting effectively against Iraqi leaders. In July, the resistance group the Iraqi National Accord quit the Iraqi National Congress, partly because of the London-based group's close association with the United States. Secretary of State Colin Powell has characterized Hussein's government as a threat to the region and promised to make sure Iraq adheres to its promise to get rid of any weapons of mass destruction. As chairman of a working group within the Bush administration taking a hard look at Iraq, Powell has a big stake in shaping policy toward the regime he helped fight against a decade ago as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Officials in several agencies have discussed how to deal with the Iraqi leader, who has defied all U.S. efforts to oust him. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher pointed out that the application to the Treasury Department to provide $4 million to the Iraqi National Congress was submitted by the Clinton administration. The move was announced in September. "I know everybody is looking for new and different policies and announcements of new and different policies, particularly on a subject as important to all of us as Iraq. This ain't it," Boucher told reporters. Even so, President Bush has been talking tough on Iraq, saying he would use military force against Hussein if there was proof the Iraqi leader was rebuilding his arsenal. "Provision of this assistance is consistent with President Bush's support for the Iraqi opposition," White House spokeswoman Mary Ellen Countryman said. President Clinton ordered bombings of Iraq in 1993 and in 1998, and with help from Congress provided surplus military supplies, but not weapons, to Hussein's political foes under a $3 million program, plus military training under a parallel program. NEW WORLD ORDER http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59873-2001Jan29.html * FACING UP TO IRAQ Washington Post, Monday, January 29, 2001 OF ALL THE booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous -- or more urgent -- than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade's efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf: intelligence photos that show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons; reports of massive illegal Iraqi exports of oil through Syria; a stream of planes landing at Baghdad airport in violation of sanctions, carrying passengers from France, Russia, Turkey and Italy, in addition to Arab states; Turkey and even Britain signaling that they may no longer be willing to support U.S. air operations over Iraq. And, in case there is any doubt about Saddam Hussein's intentions, he recently presided over a bellicose military parade in Baghdad featuring 1,000 tanks and scores of mobile missile systems. The Clintonites had one clear reason for trying to ignore this worsening threat: It is hard to know what to do. Efforts to tighten sanctions on Iraq in the U.N. Security Council, or even to maintain the ones that exist, are blocked by France, Russia and China, which are eager to do business with Iraq. Arab states -- and in particular the wobbly new leaders of Syria and Jordan -- have no interest in supporting a U.S. effort to crack down on Baghdad. On the contrary, Arabs throughout the Middle East are angry at the United States for its perceived support for Israel during recent clashes with the Palestinians, and that mood is likely to grow still uglier in the months ahead. The Iraqi opposition remains weak and divided; even its latest, modest plan to mount clandestine aid and propaganda operations inside Iraq, reluctantly funded by the outgoing Clinton administration to satisfy a congressional mandate, seems like a reach. In this light, the two-word prescription for Iraq that Secretary of State Colin Powell has so far repeated -- "reinvigorate sanctions" -- is more ambitious than it sounds, while the hugely aggressive plan endorsed two years ago by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his likely deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, which involved recognizing an alternative Iraqi government and providing it military cover to set up a headquarters in southern Iraq, sounds just as ambitious as it is. Both ideas would require radical reversals by unhappy allies such as Turkey and Jordan, and Secretary Powell would have to win over non-allies such as Syria and Russia too. Other options are more plausible but far weaker: The United Nations is due to resume talks with Iraq next month and could try to broker a deal that would end sanctions in return for Iraq's acceptance of new weapons inspections; some Europeans are suggesting a refocusing of sanctions on essentials, such as controlling Iraqi oil exports and stopping the import of militarily useful materials. In all this, the option the Bush administration can least afford is Mr. Clinton's inaction. Saddam Hussein -- who tried to assassinate Mr. Bush's father after losing the Persian Gulf War to him -- is likely to challenge the administration soon; among other things, Iraq has been laying the groundwork for an attempt to disrupt world oil markets by withholding its production as OPEC tightens supplies. To be sure, it will take considerable time and effort to roll back Saddam Hussein's gains. But in the short term, some steps can be taken. Pressure can be focused on Syria, as well as on Turkey and Jordan, to stop the illegal export of Iraqi oil. And the administration can take a clear stand: If new Iraqi production facilities for weapons of mass destruction can be identified, the United States quickly will take action against them -- with or without its allies. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=5552938&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * POWELL FACES DANGEROUS ALBRIGHT LEGACY UPI, Wed 31 Jan 2001 Secretary of State Colin Powell looks out from his spacious office in the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington at a world where the United States is more isolated and more challenged by rising, aggressive foreign powers than at any time in the past 60 years. This is not the conventional way of looking at things. Hawkish, young, congressional conservative Republicans and do-gooder, human rights championing liberal Democrats alike proclaim that if history has not ended, as Francis Fukiyama maintained in a now notorious article, with the permanent victory of democracy and free markets, it has at least reached a comfortable plateau where those ideals can reign supreme for a century or two. But the cautious, war veteran Powell knows differently. Russia is the one nation that still has sufficient nuclear arsenals and Strategic Rocket Forces to pose a truly mortal threat to the United States. But it is rapidly evolving from a proto-democracy eagerly courting the United States into a reintegrating, authoritarian great power whose leaders blame America in large part for impoverishing their nation. Even worse, Russian leaders see the U.S.-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia two years to end ethnic cleansing activities in Kosovo as the first act in a deliberate policy of imposing American hegemony and values on every major nation on the world, whether they like it or not. The U.S. government, pushed hard by Powell's predecessor, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, launched and led the bombing campaign without getting any prior approval to do so from the United Nations Security Council. Russian leaders at the time made clear they saw this as a dangerous shattering of the restraints of international relations and law that had maintained peace between the superpowers for more than half a century since the founding of the UN itself at the 1945 San Francisco Conference. Albright visited Moscow seldom, and was not liked or respected there when she did. Russian leaders privately -- but not too privately -- complained that she never listened to them but only lectured them. Chinese leaders felt the same way, and shared many of the same fears. Albright, almost never visited Beijing, except when literally towed there by President Bill Clinton, who usually seemed far more aware of China's vast potential and growing power than she was. The 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia proved disastrous to Sino-American relations too. Several Chinese journalists were killed when a U.S. Stealth fighter accidentally bombed the Chinese embassy in the Yugoslav and Serbian capital Belgrade. To this day, many top Chinese leaders are convinced the attack was a deliberate one, intended to intimidate them. The Russians and Chinese have not simply sat on their resentments and kept them to themselves. Russian-Chinese strategic cooperation has been systematically pursued for at least two years at a greater level than at any time since the death of Josef Stalin and the end of the Korean War in 1953. China has just taken delivery of its second Sovremenny class destroyer to threaten Taiwan and neutralize the operations of U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups in the Taiwan Strait. Russia continues to sell hundreds of ground-to-air missiles and state-of-the-art Sukhoi-27 and Sukhoi-30 aircraft to China, building up its capabilities to eventually match U.S. carrier-projected air power in any conflict over Taiwan. Even democratic India, despite President Clinton's visit last March, has moved firmly and decisively into the Russian-Chinese camp because it too fears unilateral U.S. pressures -- both diplomatic and even military. India is determined to hold on to historically strategic Kashmir despite a Muslim insurgency that has cost at least 35,000 lives over the past decade. It fears that U.S. power could be sued against it to force it to let go of Kashmir, just as U.S. power was used to free the similar Muslim majority province of Kosovo from Orthodox Christian Serbia two years ago. Also, India is determined to push ahead with its civilian and military nuclear programs. The arms control enthusiasts and environmentalists who strongly influenced U.S. foreign policy in the Clinton era were fiercely opposed to these programs. By contrast, Russia has signed $6 billion worth of nuclear development deals with India and is eager to undertake many more. In the Middle East, as in Asia, Powell inherits from Albright a situation where traditional bitter enemies now make common cause to overthrow an U.S.-imposed order and policies. Syria under young President Bashar Assad has abandoned the rivalry and distrust of Iraq that directed it for the previous 30 years under Bashar's late father, President Hafez Assad. Now, with Syria as broker, Iraq and Iran are mending their differences, little more than a decade after fighting the most bloody war in modern Middle East history, in which half a million troops died on both sides. And what now unites Syria, Iraq and Iran -- just as it does Russia, China and India -- is mutual opposition to the U.S.-imposed order in their part of the world. Even America's traditional Western European allies are now divided and uneasy among themselves. Germanyıs Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has allowed himself to be courted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. French diplomats working out of the Quai d'Orsay in Paris toil ceaselessly to derail U.S. diplomatic and military policies in Europe. Albright was fond of describing the United States as the "indispensable" superpower of the world. But the problem with being "indispensable" everywhere is that you then find yourself in a position of strategic over-stretch, forced to confront challengers in every part of the globe who want you to be dispensable. This was the dilemma that faced the British Empire in the 1930s, when it was challenged simultaneously in Europe -- by Nazi Germany; in the Mediterranean and the Middle East -- by Fascist Italy; and in the Far East -- by Imperial Japan. Britain survived. But its empire, and its world power, did not. A quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union appeared to be winning the Cold War against the United States. But it was tempted into strategic over-stretch as well. Soviet wealth and resources were sucked into Angola and Mozambique, Yemen and Vietnam. Finally, a long, costly unwinnable war in Afghanistan proved the final straw. Efforts to rescue a collapsing economy at home failed and the entire system disintegrated, taking Soviet global pretensions with it. Powell is cautious where Albright was reckless, cool where she was self-righteous, and an experienced ground combat soldier who has seen war at first hand where she lived the life of a sheltered academic. He listens where she lectured and is respected where she was not. But the foreign policies of global superpowers cannot be reversed over night. It takes time to turn them around, and rebuild goodwill and trust which were squandered for years before. In all his years of acclaimed, decorated and heroic military service, even Powell never faced such an awesome challenge before. His fellow Americans can only wish him well. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,248-76352,00.html * THE NEW ORDER THAT SPLITS THE WORLD by Simon Jenkins The Times, 31st January I cheered when I heard that a Chilean judge had ordered the arrest of General Pinochet. I cheered not because I regard the general as a villain (although I do). I cheered because the judge was Chilean, the court Chilean and the crimes Chilean. A nation is never so mature as when it holds its own past to account. Yet I fear I am losing friends. A new political divide is opening, as wide as the Cold War polarity between hawk and dove, Left and Right. The divide is between the champions of the ³new world order² and those who regard such global intervention as dangerous and rarely justified. The dispute is ideological and deep. I cannot pretend to be on the winning side. Despite their defeat in the Pinochet affair, the champions of intervention are on the march. They have taken up Kiplingıs white manıs burden and his demand that ³a courthouse stands where the raw blood flowed². They are abetted by a potent coalition of soldiers, aid donors, charity bosses, lawyers and United Nations plutocrats. Under their banner, America and its proxies (mostly Britain) are bombing Iraq, colonising the Balkans, and bloating Africa with aid and the Middle East with arms. Since there is dictatorship and killing everywhere, there is always work to be done. Kofi Annan, the Innocent III of our age, blesses every soldier of philanthropic fortune. He declares that, under globalisation, human rights are more important than state sovereignty. The International Herald Tribune, house journal of the new imperialism, carries articles almost daily by think-tankers and lobbyists explaining ³what we must do² in some benighted corner of the globe. The cast of hobgoblins is devastating, from Saddam Hussein to North Korean communists, Latin American drug barons and African mass murderers. Yesterday a vice-president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace claimed American credit for democratic advances in Mexico, Serbia, Ghana and Peru. He asserted that US-funded ³non-governmental groups² had a ³critical role² in these elections. He seemed blind to the irony that the same euphemisms excused past American meddling in elections in Vietnam and Lebanon, with disastrous results. This movement is similar to the final decades of the British Empire, now celebrated on the centenary of Queen Victoriaıs death. After the decades of military and commercial supremacy came a last great burst of morality. To Joseph Chamberlain, Lord Milner and the Round Table, ³imperium² brought with it ethical obligations. John Buchan wrote of nations that had lost their nerve, and thus their sovereignty, as The New York Times talks of ³failed states². Imperial rule was ³the endless adventure², as young people now regard a stint with a UN agency. To Milner, foreign affairs was the one dignified pursuit of the political elite, a phenomenon noticeable today in America. Pax Britannica did not last and many of its wiser heads tried to foresee the endgame. Lord Lugard, one of its great administrators, held that the goal of intervention should be a people that ³in due course of time . . . was robust enough to stand by itself². Lugardıs problem was that the ³due course of time² was unspecified. British imperialism developed a potent lobby for its everlasting extension. It ignored Lugardıs concept of indirect rule and created permanent colonies: colonies that required costly defence. The new imperialism is no different. From Cyprus and Gaza to Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor and Sierra Leone the world is dotted with blue flags. Since the new imperialism never colonises, it need never decolonise. Its outposts are office blocks in every Third World capital. Its viziers live in hotel registers, club-class lounges and conference centres. This is an empire of virtue on which the sun never sets and in which any First World graduate can find a tax-free job. If Lenin were alive today he would find his ³Imperialism as the Highest State of Capitalism² more pertinent than ever. The British Empire gave way to the concept of national self-determination that underpinned the new United Nations. Decolonisation and the integrity of sovereign states was the ethos of the age. It was the ethos in which I was educated. Never did an ethos pass so quickly. Last month the charge was revived against former President Bush and his Gulf War commanders that winning Kuwaitıs territorial integrity in 1991 was ³only half the job². The other was to topple Saddam Hussein, which they unaccountably failed to do. Seeking to topple foreign regimes, whether drug-supported in Latin America, genocidal in Africa or merely ³destabilising² in the Middle East, is now considered a commonplace of foreign policy. Its morality is that of the arch-imperialist, Bernard Kouchner, former lord of Kosovo, who asserts that those who stay silent during a massacre are thereby its ³accomplices². You will encounter few articles or speeches in Britain or America these days espousing national self-determination. You will hear only the language of ³something must be done². It may involve the overthrow of a government (Iraq), or intervention in a civil war (Colombia), or the capture of a leader already declared guilty (Serbia), or merely the dislike of an election result (Austria). But something must always be done. In his 1999 Chicago speech Tony Blair made a brave attempt to systematise this philosophy of interference. He spoke of wars not to defend territory but to enforce ³globalised values². He cited Kennedyıs vacuous maxim, ³When one man is enslaved, who is free?² Mr Blair then listed five criteria for armed intervention, all of which ignored self-determination. The truest was ³Are we prepared for the long term?² With British military action continuing in Iraq, the Balkans and Sierra Leone, the Prime Minister was at least under none of the illusions of the new Bush regime. This imperial age is for real. The new Washington may plead an aversion to the short-term adventurism of Bill Clinton, but America has a huge military-industrial-NGO interest in its prosecution. Not since the 13th century has the Christian North had so many fortresses bestriding the Balkans, and so large a clergy back home arguing their necessity. The other side of this Great Divide is harder to define. It has no good battle themes. It is not ³non-interventionist², let alone isolationist. It supported the Falklands conflict and Gulf War as guarding the United Nations principle of border sovereignty. But it subjects interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states as requiring more than Mr Blairıs ³might is right². Relief for the victims of civil wars in Ethiopia, Sudan and Croatia was until recently a matter for the Red Cross. Military intervention ³to avert a humanitarian disaster² must pass a far tougher test of effectiveness and legality. It rarely does. The bombing of civil targets in Belgrade and Baghdad came near to being a war crime, as might Natoıs supervision of continued ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. But nobody cares. The new imperialism answers to nobody but itself. Chileıs difficult struggle with its past was hijacked three years ago in London by a group of international lawyers. They did not dare to confront anyone from America, true architect of the Pinochet atrocities. America is too powerful. Instead Chile was confronted and its sovereignty infringed. Britain first abused the generalıs immunity and then refused to let his own Government try him before his own people. For once the interventionists failed. General Pinochet will be tried, if he lives long enough, by his own. In Lugardıs terms, Chile has proved itself robust. This has been a small victory for non-intervention, but one not likely to be repeated. Ranks of lawyers and soldiers are eager to become global ³untouchables². At present they refuse to tolerate the democracy that toppled Serbiaıs Slobodan Milosevic trying him or otherwise holding him to account at home. He is their crook, not Belgradeıs. Yugoslavia is therefore ordered to surrender its past leader out of its jurisdiction to the absurdly partisan war crimes tribunal at The Hague. If doing so undermines Serb democracy, nobody cares. In the new world order there is no accountability and no doctrine of proportionality. Dislike its edicts and Nato can always drop more bombs. That is the new divide. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010202/pl/britain_usa_dc_3.html * COOK WANTS TO CEMENT BRITISH TIES WITH U.S. by Dominic Evans LONDON (Reuters, 2nd February) - British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook hopes to cement London's role as Washington's ``closest ally'' when he meets officials of President George W. Bush's administration next week. Cook, the first European foreign minister to travel to Washington since Bush's inauguration last month, will try to smooth over potential sources of transatlantic tension including Europe's defense plans and Middle East policy. He told reporters his talks with Secretary of State Colin Powell on Tuesday will aim to ``confirm the United Kingdom as the United States' closest ally.'' ``The vital national interests between the United Kingdom and the United States coincide as much as ever. We have the same values to protect and security interests to defend,'' Cook said. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who will follow Cook to Washington later this month, was very close to former President Clinton, a Democrat. But he has said it is his duty to have good ties with Bush, a Republican. Officials say Cook will try to ease U.S. fears over plans for a European Defense Force, which critics say will weaken the NATO defense alliance. A senior Foreign Office official said there was a ``synergy'' between Bush's wish to reduce defense commitments in Europe with an EU drive to increase its own crisis management capability. ``The key is to demonstrate to the Americans that it will result in an increased security capacity in Europe, which has long been part of U.S. strategy,'' he said. NATO's 1999 Kosovo campaign relied overwhelmingly on U.S. air power, driving home the extent of Europe's dependence on U.S. military might even in a conflict on its own doorstep. But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked about the plans for a European force, warned ``anything that damages NATO cohesion would be unwise for Europe, for the United States and for our ability to contribute to peace and stability'' in Europe. MISSILE SHIELD OFF TALKS AGENDA? The two sides are likely to skirt around Bush's commitment to a controversial missile defense shield, which would require upgrading early warning radar stations in northern England. British officials, fearing public opposition to the plans, insist there is no need to take a public position until they get a formal request from Washington -- a request they expect now will be delayed by Bush's review of the project. ``Until they have made progress on the review...I don't imagine they will want to discuss it in detail,'' the senior official said. Cook and Powell will also discuss demands on Iraq and Libya before U.N. sanctions on the two Arab states can be lifted. Britain has been Washington's most steadfast ally in its efforts to contain Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But the two hawks face growing international unease at the humanitarian impact of 10 years of economic sanctions on Baghdad. Britain last month said the international community would show ``flexibility'' toward Baghdad if it was ready to discuss resumption of weapons inspections in Iraq. Britain has also broken with Washington in restoring diplomatic relations with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. But it insists, like Washington, that Tripoli accept responsibility for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and pay compensation before U.N. sanctions suspended two years ago are formally lifted. A special Scottish court in the Netherlands on Wednesday found a Libyan intelligence agent guilty of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland which killed 270 people. http://www.iht.com/articles/9518.htm * IT'S NOW THE SMALLER ARAB STATES THAT LEAD THE WAY by Thomas L. Friedman The New York Times, 3rd February DOHA, Qatar There's an interesting trend in the Arab world that is easily detectable from here in Qatar, the small Persian Gulf emirate off the coast of Saudi Arabia. It is this: Almost all the innovation happening in the Arab world today - politically, economically and technologically - is happening in the small states on the periphery, while the least innovation is happening in the big traditional Arab powers - Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia - that always dominated this region. Just go around the crescent: Morocco and Tunisia have taken the lead among Arab states in joining the global economy by forging free-trade agreements with the European Union. Over the next decade both countries will become associate members of the EU, which will force them to raise their competitiveness in industrial goods and harmonize their laws, standards and regulations with the organization. This will gradually take them out of the Arab world. At the same time, little Jordan just became the first Arab state to sign a free-trade accord with the United States. Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite TV station, which is the freest in the Arab world, has stolen Arab TV audiences from every one of the big powers in the region with its freewheeling debates, uncensored news and, lately, online polling - which is a total no-no in the Arab world, where people are never asked what they actually think about governments or policies. Kuwait's big National Bank of Kuwait is by far the best private bank in the Arab world, and Bahrain's service sector - lawyering, insurance and consulting - is the most globally competitive in the region. Meanwhile, the new Internet City in Dubai has attracted Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and 200 other high-tech firms for their regional headquarters, because Dubai's combination of low taxes and good governance is so much better than the old power centers of Damascus, Cairo or Baghdad. Where is the World Trade Organization holding its summit meeting next year? In Riyadh? No, in Qatar. Where will the International Monetary Fund and World Bank hold their 2003 summit meeting? In Damascus? No, in Dubai. And where are the freest elections? In Jordan, Morocco and in the gulf. Bahrain will hold a referendum on becoming a constitutional monarchy next month. In March 1999, Qatar held the first free municipal elections in the region, in which women were allowed to vote and run for office. The only known political prisoner in Qatar is a man jailed for denouncing Qatar's progressive Emir, Sheik Hamad, because he let women vote. By contrast, the big boys - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria - have been much slower to bring their nonenergy industries into the global economy, get wired and reform politically. Why is this? To begin with, globalization. With globalization, the big don't eat the small, the fast eat the slow. And the little Arab countries, many of which are now led by young new kings, can see what's happening in the world and are much quicker to adapt than big bureaucratic countries such as Egypt or police states such as Iraq and Syria. Second, the farther an Arab state is from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the more its leaders do not have their energies, focus and economies diverted and distorted by it. Third, many smaller Arab states were not cursed with large amounts of oil, so they have had to live more by their wits and by learning to trade with the rest of the world. "We diversified out of oil early, because we had to," said Bahrain's innovative Crown Prince Salman. "We really concentrated on developing our human capital." Fourth, in the Arab world today almost all the small, peripheral states are led by kings who are progressive and relatively close to their people, while the big central states - Syria, Egypt and Iraq - are led by army officers who are autocrats and afraid of their people. Generally speaking, the Arab states on the periphery, with their small populations, are also much more open to foreign influences. "I have 26 different nationalities working for me in Kuwait," remarked a Kuwaiti banker. "That would not be possible in a lot of other Arab countries." For decades it was the big, central Arab powers that set the tone for the Arab world and led innovation. But today the region is being led from the outer edges. It is the little guys who are doing the most interesting stuff, and it is the big guys who will be left behind if they don't wake up. MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS http://www.timesofindia.com/280101/28mide2.htm * 'SADDAM HAS BLOOD CANCER, WAR FOR SUCCESSION OPEN' Times of India, 28th January TEHRAN: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is gravely ill with blood cancer and the battle to succeed him in Baghdad is now out in the open, an opposition leader alleged in a Tehran newspaper on Saturday. Ayatollah Mohammad-Baqer Hakim, head of the opposition Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), told the Jomhuri-Eslami paper Saddam collapsed during a recent military parade in Baghdad. "He collapsed in front of about 70 politicians who were present and was urgently transferred to hospital," Hakim said, adding that the "war of succession is open" between his two sons Uday and Qussay. "All the reports that we have confirm Saddam has blood cancer and is currently under the care of French doctors," he told the conservative daily in an exclusive interview. Saddam attended a huge military parade on December 31 where he was seen by journalists, including from AFP, repeatedly firing a rifle held in one hand. "Saddam appeared strong and in good health," a diplomat present also said. "He was smoking big cigars as usual." But SCIRI said he had suffered a stroke after the event and the London-based Iraqi National Congress said it had many second-hand sources saying the Iraqi strongman had collapsed afterwards. Iraqi dissidents have suggested that subsequent footage of Saddam on Baghdad state television could have been doctored or pre-recorded. Syrian actress Raghda (eds: one name) told the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper earlier this month that she had just met with Saddam and that he was "lucid and dynamic." The 63-year-old Saddam has held power in Baghdad for 30 years. In September, Iraqi officials denied a detailed Arab newspaper story that he was to undergo chemotherapy for lymph cancer. (AFP) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/UK/Politics/2001-01/mi5book280101.shtml * FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: 5,000 COPIES OF 'THE BIG BREACH' by Patrick Cockburn in Moscow and Raymond Whitaker Independent, 28 January 2001 [.....] Among Mr Tomlinson's more plausible allegations is the suggestion that in 1994 MI6 was proposing to infiltrate one of its agents into the UN team looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. His claims back up repeated Iraqi allegations that foreign intelligence services used the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (Unscom), established in 1991, as a vehicle for sending spies to Baghdad. http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/current/hyehf.htx?source=htx/http2_mw * HYUNDAI ENG. SOARS ON IRAQI PAYOUT by Vivian Chu SEOUL (CBS.MarketWatch, 29th January) -- Shares of Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. soared 15 percent Monday after South Korea's biggest construction company announced it will receive $29.4 million in war damages from the Iraqi government. Hyundai Engineering's (HYEHF: news, msgs) shares soared by their daily limit to close at 2,690 won. They were the most actively traded stock on the Seoul Composite Index, which closed up 0.81 percent. The payment represents war reparations for damages sustained by the contractor in 1990 during the Gulf War. "We had many projects in Iraq and Kuwait which were damaged in the war, and had to evacuate all our staff from those countries," said a company spokesman in Seoul. South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade notified the company that it would receive the money on Monday. It's the remainder of total reparations sought from Iraq, on top of $5 million received last September, he added. Hyundai Engineering, the flagship company of South Korea's biggest conglomerate Hyundai Group, desperately needs the money. The company is still trying to recover from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and barely escaped bankruptcy last year. Its debt level stood at 950 billion won ($745 million), said the Korea Herald earlier this month. Domestic creditors have agreed to extend the terms of its debt, and the South Korean government will buy a large part of its maturing bonds later this year. http://www.timesofindia.com/300101/30mide14.htm * 'CONVICTING KUWAITI GOVT HEAD WILL PLEASE SADDAM' Times of India, 30th January KUWAIT CITY: A former Kuwaiti colonel facing the gallows for heading a puppet government after Iraq's 1990 invasion is innocent and his conviction will please only Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, his lawyer said on Monday. "Alaa Hussein Ali is a victim like the rest of the Kuwaiti people. His conviction will prove there are traitors in Kuwait and will please Saddam," Nawaf Sari told Kuwait's cassation court in his closing argument. Verdicts issued by Kuwait's highest court are final, but any death sentence needs to be approved by the emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who has the power to commute sentences. Ali was sentenced to death in absentia in 1993. The criminal court reconfirmed his conviction last May on charges of treason, collaboration with the enemy, and undermining Kuwait's security and sovereignty. And an appeals court upheld the sentence in July. Chief Justice Abdullah al-Issa, who chaired Monday's court session, adjourned the trial until Wednesday when Ali's second lawyer, Kateb al-Shemmari of Saudi Arabia, will present his closing argument. Sari said Ali should be treated as a prisoner of war and be granted the benefits under the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs. A large number of Ali's family, including his three sons and daughter, parents and sisters were present in the courtroom and repeatedly broke in tears during the session. Charges against Ali's eight-member puppet government were dropped after their return to Kuwait in March 1991, shortly after the Gulf Arab emirate was liberated in the Gulf War. Ali, who continued to live in Iraq until 1997, flew back to Kuwait voluntarily along with his three sons and daughter last January from Norway. (AFP) http://www.dawn.com/2001/01/31/int5.htm * IRAQI GIRL TO LEAVE US AFTER TREATMENT by Tahir Mirza WASHINGTON, Jan 30: Six-year-old Mariam Hamza, who has become a symbol of the suffering of Iraqi children under UN-imposed sanctions against Baghdad, will return to Iraq on Friday after six months in the United States receiving medical care and physiotherapy. In 1998, as a four-year-old child suffering from leukemia, Mariam was flown to Britain by Mr George Galloway, a member of the British parliament and senior vice-chairman of the Labour Party's foreign affairs committee. Mariam arrived in London in a blaze of publicity and was treated for leukemia in a Glasgow hospital. Subsequently, Mr Galloway founded the Mariam Appeal, a campaign whose principal objective was to bring an end to the sanctions on Iraq. The sanctions prohibit the importation of the parts necessary to maintain the equipment used to determine correct dosages for treating leukemia patients. As a result Mariam, during follow-up treatments in Iraq, became blind. Recent tests in the US proved that the damage to her eyes is irreversible. Six members of the Bruderhof Communities of Pennsylvania who hosted Mariam during her stay in the US, will accompany her and will reunite her with her family in Baghdad. They will be hosted by the General Federation of Iraqi Women. While in Iraq they will conduct various humanitarian activities, including the cleaning of the leukemia ward of the Saddam Hussein Pediatric Hospital, the ward in which Mr Galloway first met Mariam Hamza in 1998. http://www.muchmusic.com/muchmusic/rapidfax/ * MUCHMUSIC & WAR CHILD IN IRAQ MuchMusic, 2nd February Chantal Kreviazuk, and Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace recently travelled with War Child Canada to Iraq. Since the Gulf war, 10 years ago, Iraq has been under sanctions by the UN Security Council, which has affected food, medical and educational supplies for the entire country. UNICEF has estimated that over half a million children have died as a result of the sanctions. YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO CHAT WITH RAINE AND CHANTAL ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES ONLINE AT WWW.WAR2MUSIC.COM ON MONDAY FEBRUARY 5TH STARTING AT 9 PM EST. Pictures and diaries can also be found on the site. Stay tuned to Much later this spring to see the full special. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk