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News, 28/1­2/2/02 (2)

NEWS, 28/1­2/2/02 (2) ­ see note at beginning of News, 28/1­2/2/02 (1)


*  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 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?]


*  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


*  '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

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

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.


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

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

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.

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.

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.


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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.),2669,SAV

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

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.


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.

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.,,248-76352,00.html

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.

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

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

``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.


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

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.

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

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.


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)

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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
Pictures and diaries can also be found on the site. Stay tuned to Much later
this spring to see the full special.
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