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News, 29/4-5/5/01 (2)

News, 29/4-5/5/01 (2)


*  Iraq seeks Gulf war uranium check
*  Iraqis mourn victim of US-British raids
*  Iraq says Gulf War bomb kills eight children


*  Iraq denies testing radioactive bomb in 1987 [refers back to article
given in last weekıs mailing]


*  Iraqis redeem trust in President [Festivities on S.Husseinıs 64th
*  Iraq Says Stolen Relic on Sale in London
*  Verdict of Iraqi gunman in anti-UN attack put off [ŒThe court has already
put back the ruling five times to allow more lawyers to join a defence team
that is now at least 20 strong, 15 of whom were appointed by the Iraqi
parliament.ı Who says you couldnıt get a fair trial in Iraq??]
*  Iraq Is Thwarting Aid Projects, UN Charges [which is to say that because
the US and Britain wonıt allow Iraqis to fly planes in the No Fly Zones, the
UN wants to employ non Iraqis to fly crop dusting planes to keep the date
plantations - not allowed to export dates. I hope other list members like
myself have been refusing to eat dates for the past ten years - in
exsistence. But the Iraqis donıt recognise the no fly zones, quite rightly,
and therefore insist that Iraqis should fly the planes. Any reasonable
interpretation of this story would say that it is the US and Britain that
are thwarting aid projects]


*  Look-a-likes taunt Cook over 'lies'
*  Protest Targets Iraq Deployment
*  Catholic Groups Join Chorus Against Iraq Embargo


*  U.S. report details global religious persecution
*  U.S. names N. Korea in state terrorism list [on the grounds that they
have been allowing members of the Japanese Red Army Faction to live in the
country - in retirement - since 1970]
*  Bush Commits U.S. to Missile Defense
*  US gets Security Council presidency sans envoy
*  Washington's enemies deliver snub at UN [by refusing to re-elect a US
candidate to the Human Rights Commission. ŒSome diplomats said they believed
the Bush Administrationıs opposition to the Kyoto climate-change treaty as
well as its insistence on building a missile defence system contributed to
its failure. Other nations may have been trying to punish Washington for
failing to support the abolition of landmines, or recognise an International
Criminal Court, and its opposition to cheap drugs being made available to
Aids sufferers in the Third World.ı Quite a lot of possible reasons, in
*  NMD brings 'space Pearl Harbour' scare [makes the very necessary point
that the NMD isnıt about the threat that the US, with its 7,200 -see above,
ŒBush commits US to missile defenseı - long range nuclear warheads, faces
from Iraq or North Korea, but about getting a monopoly control of space -
and, though the article doesnıt mention this, keeping the arms industry in
business. Its obvious, but no-one is saying it]

COLLATERAL DAMAGE,3604,480439,00.html

by Paul Brown in Kosovo
The Guardian, 30th April

Iraq and Kuwait have separately asked for an independent assessment of the
health hazards to local people and soldiers of the depleted uranium
ammunition, used in battle for the first time in the Gulf war 10 years ago.

The requests were revealed yesterday by Pekka Haavisto, head of the Balkans
depleted uranium assessment team, who has been asked to take on the job

His team has just completed an investigation for the UN Environment
Programme of the nine tonnes of depleted uranium used in the Nato assault on
Serbian forces in Kosovo. The mineral is used to reinforce the tips of
armour-piercing munitions.

In the Gulf war, 350 tonnes were used in attacks on Iraqi armour, but no
independent study of its dangers has ever been made, partly because of Nato
resistance. Both Iraq and Kuwait have a potentially deadly problem of
uncleared DU ammunition.

Iraq asked the UN secretary general Kofi Annan to help, and Kuwait
approached the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

US and British veterans of the war to expel Iraq from Kuwait suspect that
depleted uranium is the cause of Gulf war syndrome, the unexplained
illnesses suffered by many of those who served in the conflict. Iraq has
blamed it for a rash of childhood cancers.

The team's findings in Kosovo have gone a long way to dispel fears that the
mildly radioactive ammunition will have a long-term effect on the health of
local people.

But in the Gulf it may be a different story. The hot, dry climate and the
volume of ammunition used may mean there is a far greater and continuing

Dr Haavisto gave his final report on the Kosovo study at the Djakova
garrison, near the Albanian border, where 300 DU rounds were fired. The
garrison is one of 120 sites in Kosovo where such ammunition was used.

Criticising Nato for delays in telling his team where DU was used, he said
it was clear that some shells had been found and removed before it arrived
on the scene.

Some rounds had penetrated concrete foundations and were buried deep in the
soil beneath. Even so, detectors at the point of entry registered 15 times
the normal level of background radiation.

Dr Haavisto said research in Kuwait and Iraq would be hampered by the
passage of time. The large number of tanks destroyed in the Gulf war by
depleted uranium rounds meant that a great deal of toxic dust had been
released. Since there was virtually no rain, the dust could still be blowing
around, he said.

Until the team arrived it was impossible to tell how much of a threat
remained. "But radioactivity does not go away," he said. "We should be able
to find enough evidence to try and assess the present risks to health, and
something of the past."

There was no such dust to worry about in Kosovo because the team had not
found no armour had actually been hit with such rounds. Most of the
armour-piercing rounds had burrowed into the ground, probably as much as two
metres deep.

Where ammunition was known to be buried, as at Djakova, any risk could be
removed by covering the area with concrete.

He recommended the local authorities to test the water supply routinely to
see if there was depleted uranium present. It was not known how long the
uranium would take to seep through the soil but it could appear in the water
supply in 10 years.

This summer Dr Haavisto's team hopes to investigate Bosnia, where three
tonnes of the ammunition was used five years ago. The main purpose was to
assess claims of a higher incidence of cancer in some villages, and to check
the water supply.

He also criticised the US because traces of uranium 236 - an isotope found
only in spent nuclear fuel - and plutonium had been found in the Kosovo
armour-piercing rounds. The tiny amounts did not increase the risk to local
people, but it was "a little bit alarming".

Times of India, 30th April

NAJAF, Iraq: Several hundred mourners turned out in the mainly Shiite Muslim
town of Najaf on Sunday for the funeral of a young Iraqi who Baghdad said
was killed in a raid by US and British warplanes.

The crowd paraded the body of Fadel Taha around the streets of the town
before offering a prayer in his memory at the mausoleum of Imam Ali,
venerated by Shiites, and burying him in the adjoining cemetery.

Witnesses said that Taha, a 26-year-old contractor, was blown to pieces on
Saturday as a bomb dropped in a raid by US and British planes hit his car on
a desert road 30 kilometres west of Najaf.

Strips of flesh and fingers were still visible Sunday in Taha's green South
Korean-built car close to an area of sand quarries, one of which belonged to
the deceased, originally from Diwaniya, 100 kilometres further south.

Two other people in the car were slightly wounded but were released from
hospital on Sunday, family members said during a press visit organised by
Iraqi authorities.

An Iraqi military spokesman told journalists the bomb that hit Taha's car
was a laser-guided missile usually launched in selective strikes.

Britain's defence ministry has denied the Iraqi claims, saying that aircraft
enforcing a no-fly zone over southern Iraq came under attack from Iraqi
anti-aircraft batteries, but did not return fire.

"We heard planes and an explosion. Arriving at the scene, we found the body
of the martyr blown to pieces but it was too late," said Zahra Hanuf, a
bedouin whose tribe was camped just metres (yards) from the bombsite.

"May God get rid of Bush!" she raged against US President George W.Bush.

"What did Fadel do in his life to deserve such a death?" asked one of his
cousins, Jassem Mohammad.

The Iraqi military said that US and British planes had targeted "civilian
and service installations in Najaf province, killing one civilian and
injuring two others, and also damaging a civilian vehicle."

"The aggressors committed this latest crime just as our valiant people were
today celebrating the birthday of our much-loved leader Saddam Hussein," it

Popular ceremonies were organised Saturday in Iraq to mark the 64th birthday
of the Iraqi president, who has been in power since 1979.

Almost daily incidents have pitted Iraqi air defences against US and British
planes enforcing exclusion zones over both northern and southern Iraq since
the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

According to Baghdad, raids by the allied forces have now left 327 dead and
1,000 wounded since the end of 1998. (AFP)

CNN, May 2, 2001

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Eight Iraqi children were killed when a cluster
bomb dropped a decade ago during the Gulf War exploded in the southern city
of Faw, the news agency INA said Wednesday.

"The explosion of a cluster bomb dropped on Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War
has caused the martyrdom of eight children in Faw city," INA reported,
quoting a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan from Iraq's U.N.

"Iraq deactivated 194 cluster bombs and other types of explosives including
missiles, different munitions, anti-armor and anti-personnel mines during
the period from Feb. 1 to March 31," the letter said.

INA said the letter was circulated as an official document at the U.N.
Security Council. It did not say when the children died.

The official press carries occasional reports of people being killed or
wounded by such bombs, dropped during the U.S.-led campaign to oust Iraqi
troops from Kuwait.



BAGHDAD: Iraq denied a report in the 'New York Times' newspaper that it had
tested a radioactive bomb in 1987 designed to provoke lingering and possibly
fatal illnesses in enemy units.

"These lies have to do with the allegations of the spies with the UN special
commission on disarming Iraq (UNSCOM) and the campaign waged by the Zionists
against Baghdad for over 10 years," the Iraqi state news agency INA said on

"Iraq never conducted any test of such a bomb, and not even the
international atomic energy agency makes any mention of it in its reports,"
it said.

In its Sunday edition, 'The New York Times', citing a report it obtained
from a private group, the Wisconsin project on nuclear arms control, that
said it had acquired it from an unnamed UN official, alleged Iraq had three
times tested a radiological bomb, a poor cousin to a nuclear weapon known as
a "dirty nuke", which emitted a cloud of radioactivity designed to
debilitate enemies.

The Wisconsin project on nuclear arms control said in the article that the
tests were disappointing to Iraq because of the low levels of radioactivity,
and that the project was abandoned. But the newspaper intimated that it
showed Iraq's willingness to research and design weapons of mass

The United States, which has insisted that Iraq is pursuing such a strategy,
thus warranting a continuation of the sanctions against it, reacted to the
article Monday by saying it was concerned by Iraq's nuclear capabilities.


Bangladesh Independent, 30th April

BAGHDAD, Apr 29: The Iraqi government Saturday organised a mass wedding
party in the capital Baghdad for Iraqi youths who cannot afford paying
wedding expenses. The wedding of 250 couples was organised to coincide with
the Iraqi President Saddam Husseinıs 64th birth day, reports AFP. Reuters
adds: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein received groups of singing and dancing
children, cut a giant cake and enjoyed parades on Saturday as part of
celebrations to mark his 64th birthday, the state news agency said. The
festival opened with groups of men, women and school girls in brightly
coloured outfits representing provinces of Iraq, dancing and chanting songs
in praise of Saddam. There were also some Palestinian costumes.

The celebrations, which included Saddam cutting a giant cake to the tune of
"Happy Birthday," climaxed with a huge show of support for the man Iraqis
see as the leader who "will liberate Palestine," the official Iraqi News
Agency said (INA). Tens of thousands of Iraqis chanting "with our soul and
blood we redeem you Saddam," paraded at a festival in the Iraqi leader's
home town of Tikrit, 110 miles north of Baghdad as Iraqi helicopters staged

The INA said some of the children attending the pageant had come from the
northern provinces of Arbeil, Duhouk and Suleimaniya to sing of their
affection for Saddam at the "Celebrations of Love and Victory." The
mountainous enclave of northern Iraq has been outside Baghdad's control
since the end of the 1991 Gulf War and is ruled by Massoud Barzani's KDP and
a rival Iraqi Kurdish group. Buses loaded with people from southern and
northern provinces were lined up along the road leading to the site of the
festivities. Large tents were set up along the way from Baghdad to Tikrit
serving Arab coffee and soft drinks. After a brief parade by air force
cadets, thousands of people carrying banners and pictures of Saddam filed
past the officials stand, vowing allegiance to Saddam.

Members of the Baath party and chiefs of tribes paraded in front of top
brass of the Iraqi leadership and ruling Baath Party officials. In power
since 1979, Saddam maintains a solid hold on Iraq despite two wars -- the
1980-88 war with Iran and the 1991 Gulf War, which saw Iraqi forces driven
from Kuwait by an American-led international alliance. Despite more than 10
years of United Nations sanctions, imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait,
Saddam remains in power.

An INA report on Saturday quoted Saddam as saying to a visiting member of
the Belarus government that Iraq would remain out of United States control,
"undefiled by the West." Recently, the Iraqi leader has called for a Jihad
(holy war) to liberate Palestine and opened training centres for volunteers
to join Palestinians fighting against the Israeli occupation of their lands.
A Palestinian uprising against the Israelis began in September of last year.


BAGHDAD (Reuters, 30th April) - An ancient stone head stolen from Iraq is on
sale at a London exhibition, an Iraqi official said in a newspaper report on

"Interpol has notified Iraq that it found a head made of stone from a statue
which dates back to the Babylonian era on sale at an exhibition in London,"
acting head of Iraq's Antiquities Department, Mahmoud al-Qaissi said in the
Al-Ra'i weekly newspaper.

The report gave no further details.

The Babylonian period spanned nearly 2,000 years and ended in the 7th
century BC.

Iraq says 4,000 antiquities went missing in the confusion that followed the
1991 Gulf War. It believes many have already been sold abroad.

Another Iraqi weekly said Iraqi archaeologists have discovered a haul of
artifacts dating from the Sumerian period at a site in Wassit province, 170
km (105 miles) south of Baghdad.

The collection ranged from pots to fired clay tablets, head of the
excavation team Salim Younis was quoted as saying in the al-ittihad weekly

"The clay the earlier stages of writing," Younis said. He
said they dated from the third Ur dynasty and the Akkadian era, which ended
about 4,200 years ago.

Pottery toys, human and animal figures, jars and cups made from pottery and
copper, and inscribed cylindrical seals were also discovered.

Times of India, 1st May

BAGHDAD: The verdict in the trial of an Iraqi gunman who carried out a
deadly attack on UN offices in Baghdad was postponed for a sixth time on
Monday to allow yet more lawyers to join the defence team.

The court has already put back the ruling five times to allow more lawyers
to join a defence team that is now at least 20 strong, 15 of whom were
appointed by the Iraqi parliament.

"It is legitimate to give the new lawyers time to consult the file on this
affair," presiding judge Sami Qader Mustapha told AFP.

The court rescheduled the verdict for May 14.

The prosecution has repeatedly called for the death penalty since the trial
opened on November 6.

The defence has argued for Fuad Hussein Haidar's release on the grounds that
he was "not responsible for the crime attributed to him."

The 38-year-old Iraqi allegedly burst into the Baghdad offices of the UN
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) armed with a Kalashnikov rifle on
June 28 and shot dead two UN employees.

The Somali deputy head of the FAO office, Yusuf Abdullah, and an Iraqi
computer expert were killed. Seven other people were wounded.

After surrendering to Iraqi authorities, Haidar said he had wanted to draw
attention to the "genocide of thousands of Iraqis" under the UN embargo
which has been in force since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. (AFP)

by Barbara Crossette New York Times Service
International Herald Tribune, Wednesday, May 2, 2001

UNITED NATIONS, New YorkThe government of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq
is slowing crucial aid work by refusing or delaying visas for international
experts, UN officials said Monday.

Experts assigned to Iraq's "oil-for-food" program - to work on electricity
projects and the removal of land mines in the Kurdish north - have been
singled out, officials say.

More than 270 visa requests have been rejected or have gone unanswered: 143
for electricity generating work being done by the UN Development Program and
93 for mine-removal teams.

Iraq also has effectively commandeered several Russian-built crop-dusting
helicopters from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in the south,
including an area in one of the no flight zones patrolled by the United
States and Britain.

The organization had received permission for foreign pilots to fly in the
prohibited area on a routine basis because of the urgent need to attack
pests in date-palm plantations and other sites. Recently Iraq said it wanted
Iraqi crews to fly the planes, in violation of a long standing agreement.

The organization refused and Iraq responded by barring a group of Bulgarian
pilots who were coming to the country to take over operation and maintenance
of the aircraft.

Russian and French diplomats have tried without success to persuade the
Iraqis to cooperate, officials said. Last week, the Food and Agriculture
Organization offered a compromise: Iraqis could pilot the planes but agency
staff members would be aboard. The Iraqis refused.

"Iraq used to be the No. 1 world exporter of dates," a UN official said
Monday, "and their crops have been affected severely by pests. If this is
not stopped there, there is no telling how far it could spread to
neighboring countries."

On Monday, the Security Council committee on Iraq sanctions met to approve a
letter asking the Iraqi government for a resolution of the crisis.

In the "oil-for-food" program, Iraq may sell unlimited quantities of oil to
pay for a wide range of civilian goods, but the United Nations has the right
to send its experts to Iraq to monitor activities. In practice, Iraq
controls visas and, therefore, has a kind of silent veto over personnel.


London Evening Standard, 29th April

Protesters have dressed up as Pinocchio in Whitehall to brand the Foreign
Secretary a liar over sanctions on Iraq.  

The 70 demonstrators - from campaign group Voices in the Wilderness -
sported long rubber noses and fake ginger beards and waved placards in
protest outside the Foreign Office.  

Voices in the Wilderness has been campaigning since February 1998 to lift
import sanctions which are estimated to have cost several thousand
childrens' lives.  

In the rally they have handed out leaflets refuting claims by Mr Cook that
the suffering in Iraq is of its dictatorships own making.  

The group has broken the law several times by taking medicines to Iraq
without an export licence.  

On one occasion volunteers were arrested but there have been no

Voices in the Wilderness spokeswoman Andrea Needham said: "We want the
Government to lift the economic sanctions on Iraq. Robin Cook is telling
huge numbers of lies about what is happening in Iraq and not accepting
responsibility for the situation.  

"We want the British Government to stop the lies and accept that its policy
has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children."  

Ms Needham says Iraq has not managed to recover from the devastation caused
by the Gulf War because the sanctions mean it cannot rebuild its

She said: "Iraq has to give all the money it makes from oil to the UN and
then make requests if it wants to buy anything. The UN is preventing the
country from importing what it needs. Most of the objections over what it
can import come from Britain and the US.  

"Water borne diseases are one of the main killers. The country has no money
so it cannot repair water pumps so sewerage is leaking back into the

A UNICEF report in August 1999 estimated that half a million deaths of Iraqi
children under five were partially due to economic sanctions.

By Matthew Hay Brown,
The Hartford Courant, 29th April

EAST GRANBY - The blue dye and red ink of Jackie Allen-Doucot's banner has
faded, but the message is still clear. The handmade sign depicts an Iraqi
woman sheltering three frightened children in her robes, with the legend:
"We arm dictators then bomb their people."

"It's pretty sad when your banner is still appropriate 10 years after you
made it," said Allen Doucot, a resident of the St. Martin de Porres Catholic
Worker House of Hospitality in Hartford. "Our bombs are killing civilians.
We're not at war against a horrible dictator. We're at war against women and

With airmen of the 103rd Fighter Wing preparing to patrol the southern
no-fly zone over Iraq, more than a dozen veteran peace activists returned to
the Bradley Air National Guard Base Saturday to protest the deployment this
fall and U.S. policy in Iraq in general.

"It was one of the most advanced countries in the region," said Dennis
Hamilton of New Haven, a former city health director in New Britain. "To
take that away from them, to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of
people, is unconscionable. I never gave my approval for these actions."

Communicated to discussion group. No URL given.


GENEVA, MAY 1, 2001 ( A group of Catholic groups, reporting on
children's rights in Iraq, called for an end to a decade of postwar economic

The nongovernmental organizations, among them Franciscans International,
presented a joint declaration at the 57th session of the U.N. Commission on
Human Rights, held here from March 19 to April 27.

The declaration states that Articles 38 and 3 of the U.N. Convention on the
Rights of the Child are being systematically violated, "as a result of more
than 10 years of economic sanctions against the people of Iraq."

Dominican sisters and friars from the United States visited Iraq three years
in a row, to see the ravages of the sanctions on the people. At the end of
their visit to Iraq last month, the delegation declared in a statement:
"During our 10 days in Iraq, we have witnessed the destruction of a land,
people and culture, an action more insidious and far-reaching than any in
the history of the United Nations."

The statement continued: "Every aspect of Iraqi society and culture has been
adversely affected by the sanctions. In the 1980s, Iraq possessed an
effective universal health care system and universal free education, modern
telecommunications technology, and adequate power resources. The country had
sophisticated water treatment systems that met the needs of most of the

"Now, after 10 years, the Iraqi infrastructure can no longer bear the weight
of human need. Women of childbearing age and especially children continue to
suffer from high levels of malnutrition, resulting in arrested development
and diminished capacity to reach their full potential. The air and the water
are toxic. Those who suffer most are children, an entire generation who have
known nothing but war. ... What hope is there as a nation when sanctions
deprive them of clean water, adequate nutrition, medical treatment, and

John Paul II has repeatedly called for an end to the sanctions.


CNN, April 30, 2001

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
criticized China and Sudan, among other countries, for religious persecution
in a report released Monday.

The report condemned what it termed violations of religious freedom in
China, Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, as well as
other nations. Those portrayed as the most serious offenders were listed as
"countries of particular concern," or CPCs.

The report, which contends U.S. policy does not often reflect "the gravity
of the situation," was the second for the commission, created by the
International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. That law is meant to promote
religious freedom in U.S. international policy and combat religious
persecution in other countries.

China, listed as a CPC, has expanded its crackdown on unregistered religious
groups in the last year, the report said, and has tightened its control on
unofficial religious organizations.

"The government has intensified its campaign against the Falun Gong movement
and its followers," the report said. "Government control over the official
Protestant and Catholic churches has increased."

China exercises tight control over Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists, the
report said, and reports of torture by government officials were on the


One of the most sharply criticized countries was Sudan, where religious
freedom is threatened by an overall worsening humanitarian situation, the
commission said.

"The government of Sudan continues to commit egregious human rights abuses
-- including widespread bombing of civilian and humanitarian targets,
abduction and enslavement by government-sponsored militias, manipulation of
humanitarian assistance as a weapon of war, and severe restrictions on
religious freedom," the report said.

The report urged the Bush administration to mount a "comprehensive,
sustained campaign" against the Sudan's alleged abuses, and suggested U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell be appointed to bring about an end to
Sudan's war and the "atrocities" committed there.

Commissioners wrote they were disappointed that former Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright had not acted on their recommendation to name four new
countries -- Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan -- to the list
of CPCs. They said the governments in each of those countries have engaged
in "particularly severe" violations of religious freedom.


The commission wrote that religious freedom in North Korea "is nonexistent
... The government has imprisoned religious believers and apparently
suppresses all organized religious activity except that which serves the
interests of the state."

"Since July 1999, there have been reports of torture and execution of
religious believers, including between 12 and 23 Christians on account of
their religion."

The commissioners recommend that the U.S. make improvements in religious
freedom a prerequisite for normalization of relations between Pyongyang and
Washington, and for the relaxation of sanctions.

The report contained little, if any, praise for efforts to promote religious
freedom in the countries mentioned. But the least stinging comments were
directed toward Russia, which "has yet to articulate a policy" on
registration for religious groups, leaving some 1,500 such groups subject to
"liquidation" by the state.

President Vladimir Putin's "government appears to be committed to the
principle of religious freedom, and, like the government of Boris Yeltsin
before it, has taken several steps to mitigate religious-freedom
violations," the report said.

"Nevertheless, it is uncertain how vigorous the Putin government will be in
dealing with Russia's many religious-freedom problems."


The report also featured recommendations on financial dealings -- including
those in capital markets and with U.S. foreign assistance -- with CPCs.

International companies seeking U.S. investments should disclose to the
Securities and Exchange Commission, among other things, whether they do
business in a CPC and whether U.S. investor money would be used in their
business dealings there, the report recommended.

The commission said it found "significant" violations in some countries that
receive U.S. aid. It recommended Washington bar the transfer of any aid to
countries -- or programs -- that discriminate against the aid recipients on
the basis of their religion.

"Foreign aid can be an important tool to promote religious freedom either
directly or indirectly," and as such, should not be abused, according to the

The report also expressed concerns about sectarian violence in Nigeria and


WASHINGTON April 30 Kyodo (Japan) - The U.S. State Department on Monday
named North Korea as a ''terrorist-supporting'' state, citing its sheltering
of a group of Japanese radicals who hijacked a Japanese jetliner to
Pyongyang in 1970.

North Korea was one of the seven countries the department identified in an
annual report on global terrorism as states sponsoring international
terrorism. The six others are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Cuba.

All the seven countries were also cited in the State Department's
antiterrorism report last year.

The report said North Korea engaged in three rounds of antiterrorism talks
with the United States in 2000 and that led Pyongyang to issue a statement
pledging to oppose terrorism and supporting global action against such

North Korea, however, continued to provide safe haven to the Japanese Red
Army faction members who participated in the 1970 hijacking, it said.

''Some evidence also suggests North Korea may have sold weapons directly or
indirectly to terrorist groups during the year,'' the report said, adding
Philippine officials publicly confirmed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
had purchased weapons from Pyongyang.

Edmund Hull, acting coordinator for counterterrorism at the State
Department, said Pyongyang's pledge against terrorism was ''an important

''We're now watching to see how those are put into practice,'' he said.

The report said Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in
2000 by providing increased support to groups opposed to peace between
Israel and its Arab neighbors.

The State Department says its designation of state sponsors of terrorism and
the imposition of sanctions are meant to isolate nations that use terrorism
as a means of political expression.

''State sponsors of terrorism are increasingly isolated. Terrorist groups
are under growing pressure. Terrorists are being brought to justice,''
Secretary of State Colin Powell told a news conference.

The report said terrorism turned more rampant worldwide in 2000, noting the
number of casualties surged to 405 from 233 in the preceding year.

The number of anti-U.S. attacks rose from 169 in 1999 to 200 in 2000, a
result of the increase in bombing attacks against an oil pipeline in

''The year 2000 was certainly not a year without the scourge of terrorism
upon the face of the earth,'' Powell said.


WASHINGTON (Associated Press, 2nd May) ‹ President Bush offered few details
in committing the United States to building a defense against ballistic
missile attack, but said enough to stir critics and require him to tend to
unsettled allies.

``We fear the president may be buying a lemon here,'' said Senate Democratic
leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. ``There has not been a shred of evidence
that this works.''

``It's really hard to tell what he means and what his strategy really is,''
Sen. Joseph Biden, D Del., said. If Bush finally comes down in favor of a
multiple-defense system using land, sea and space, it could cost up to $1
trillion, said Biden, who is the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee.

``If the president wants us to continue research and development on a
theater missile defense that enhances regional stability, I support him,''
Biden said. ``But we should not head down the Star Wars road again.''

Former President Reagan also envisioned a missile shield and proposed the
Strategic Defense Initiative, which critics derided as ``Star Wars'' because
of its futuristic concept. SDI never got off the ground.

Russia has vigorously opposed a U.S. missile defense, and Bush said he would
like to meet soon with President Vladimir Putin to ``look him in the eye''
and persuade him that such a system does not threaten Moscow.

Bush said he was sending top Pentagon and State Department officials to
European and Asian capitals to listen to their views on missile defense.

The British government welcomed Bush's pledge to consult but stopped short
of an outright endorsement of the missile plan. In Sweden, Foreign Minister
Anna Lindh said America could trigger a new arms race.

There was no immediate comment from Russia or China on Bush's plan.

Bush committed himself to a missile defense during the presidential campaign
and has said he favored a system that would protect not only the United
States but U.S. allies in Europe and Asia as well. Senior officials at the
Pentagon and other government agencies assessed potential programs during
the president's first 100 days in office.

Some U.S. officials are pushing to deploy at least a minimal missile defense
system by 2004, the final year of Bush's term. In his speech Tuesday at the
National Defense University, Bush said an anti-missile weapon aboard a ship
or aircraft might provide a ``limited but effective'' defense that could be
expanded and strengthened later.

This might, for example, be a laser mounted on a Boeing 747 that could zap a
hostile missile as it rises upward in the early phase of its flight. The Air
Force is working on such a system, which it calls the airborne laser.
Critics call this a ``scarecrow'' approach: erecting an ineffective defense
in hopes that its mere existence will dissuade potential aggressors from
challenging it.

Bush gave no hint Tuesday which option he would choose. And, in condemning
the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty as a Cold War relic, he did not
specifically say the United States would pull out of the treaty reached with
the Soviet Union.

Many supporters of arms control consider the ABM treaty a bedrock accord. By
banning national missile defenses it is designed to make a potential
attacker vulnerable to counterattack ‹ and therefore inhibit a first-strike

Bush said the treaty prevents the United States from defending itself.
Presumably he had such regimes as those in North Korea, Iraq and Iran in

Spurgeon Keeny, president of the Arms Control Association, said ``in his
speech Bush underscored his intention to turn his back on 30 years of
progress on arms control and did not make a case for abandoning the ABM

If the United States abandons the accord and deploys a robust missile
defense, Russia will not make deep reductions in its nuclear arsenal, and
China will build up its small nuclear force, Keeny said.

``If the administration is serious about protecting Americans from missile
threats they should negotiate with North Korea to end its missile program,
fully fund nonproliferation programs in Russia to help prevent the spread of
nuclear arsenals to unfriendly nations and engage in bilateral reductions
with Russia to prevent accidental launches,'' said John Isaacs, president of
the Council for a Livable World, an arms control advocacy group.

Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear
Dangers, said the president seems ready to bet on an unproven and costly
approach that has the potential of setting off a dangerous action and
reaction cycle involving the United States, Russia and China.

At the same time, Kimball said, by offering to reduce the U.S. arsenal of
some 7,200 long range nuclear warheads Bush is taking a first step toward
revitalizing the stalled arms control process.

The United States and Russia are committed under the 1993 START II treaty to
reduce to 3,000 to 3,500 warheads. Russia has signaled it would be willing
to make deeper cuts, but negotiations are frozen.

Bush did not say whether he would cut U.S. arsenals without a new agreement
with Russia. He telephoned Putin on Tuesday and said afterward he had ``told
him we would work to reduce our own nuclear arsenal.''

Without offering specifics, he said his administration would change ``the
size, the composition, the character of our nuclear forces'' in ways that
``reflect the reality that the Cold War is over.''

Times of India, 2nd May

UNITED NATIONS: The United States takes over the Security Council presidency
on Tuesday but still lacks a permanent ambassador to the United Nations and
hasn't decided its policy on major international issues, from Iraq to
peackeepers in Africa.

President George W Bush nominated longtime diplomat John D Negroponte as US
ambassador on March 6, but the White House has not sent his nomination to
the Senate.

That means acting US Ambassador James Cunningham, a career diplomat, will be
council president during the one-month stint in May, a role that involves
setting the agenda for the Security Council, presiding at its meetings, and
overseeing any crises.

"We don't have any theme or headline this month," Cunningham said at a
briefing to outline the US calendar for its presidency. He explained that
the council will look at the problem around the globe - which inevitably
means "there is a heavy focus on Africa."

The last time US held the rotating council presidency was January 2000 - and
the then-US ambassador Richard Holbrooke had a clearly focused agenda,
declaring it "the month of Africa."

This time, the US agenda is less focused because the Bush administration's
policies have not yet been honed.,,3-124288,00.html

by Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor and Damian Whitworth
The Times, FRIDAY MAY 04 2001

THE United States said last night that it was ³very disappointed² at its
surprising failure to win re-election to the United Nations Human Rights

James Cunningham, the chief US representative and acting Ambassador to the
UN, said: ³It was an election between a number of solid candidates. We very
much wanted to serve on the committee.²

Such diplomatic language is unlikely to be echoed among the sterner critics
of the UN on Capitol Hill.

Some diplomats said they believed the Bush Administrationıs opposition to
the Kyoto climate-change treaty as well as its insistence on building a
missile defence system contributed to its failure. Other nations may have
been trying to punish Washington for failing to support the abolition of
landmines, or recognise an International Criminal Court, and its opposition
to cheap drugs being made available to Aids sufferers in the Third World.
The US may also have lost support from Arab countries during the Israeli
conflict with the Palestinians.

Singaporeıs UN Ambassador, Kishore Mahbubani, called the vote ³a stunning
development. When I heard it, I couldnıt believe it².

The Human Rights Commission meets for two months every year in Geneva;
members can raise human rights issues and put diplomatic pressure on
repressive states to improve their human rights record. America is often one
of the most outspoken voices at the sessions and usually becomes involved in
acrimonious disputes with countries such as China, Cuba and Iraq, who will
doubtless be celebrating last nightıs setback.

The involvement of non-members is limited.

There were fears that Americaıs defeat could produce a reprisal from the
Bush Administration. Many Republican members of Congress are hostile to the
UN and have in the past withheld Americaıs contribution, the largest in the
world, to the organisationıs budget. The United States has been a member of
the 53-nation commission since it was established in 1947.

The State Department had no immediate reaction but the move is certain to
inflame opinion on Capitol Hill, especially among conservative critics of
the United Nations. More than $580 million (£400 million) in past dues owed
by the US is still held up in the House of Representatives.

Every year since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 the US has used the
commission to condemn Chinaıs human rights record. Every year China has seen
off the resolution with the help of other countries, many in Asia, who have
claimed that Beijing was being unfairly singled out.

The House recently supported the resolution in Geneva by overwhelmingly
passing a resolution condemning Chinaıs human rights record. At the time
Christopher Cox, a Congressman, described the detainment of US airmen on the
island of Hainan ‹ after they were forced to land there ‹ as underscoring
³anew how harsh the policies are by this Beijing dictatorship and how they
have continued to worsen and deteriorate with each and every passing year².

Joanna Weschler, who represents Human Rights Watch at the UN, said that
Washington should have anticipated the move because Western and developing
countries bore grudges against the US. ³They should have seen it coming
because there has been a growing resentment towards the US and their votes
on key human rights standards,² she said. Other nations the US has held up
to the spotlight in the Geneva commission, such as China or Cuba, resented
US actions on the committee and ³made their feelings known in their
speeches², she said.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the British Ambassador to the UN, said he hoped that
the defeat was an aberration but noted that elections at the UN often
involved doing deals. ³The US has tended not to be keen on doing deals,² he

³There are always some who want to strike out at the United States as the
only superpower but most UN members recognise its importance. We canıt do
anything without them,² Sir Jeremy said.

by Brad Knickerbocker
Dawn (Pakistan), 5th May (from Christian Science Monitor)

WASHINGTON: The Bush administration's push for a missile- defence
capability, though couched in the language of reducing the threat of nuclear
war or defending against a lesser attack by a "rogue state" such as North
Korea or Iraq , is part of a much broader interest in holding the high
ground of military superiority in space.

A congressionally mandated commission headed by Defence Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld recently warned of a "space Pearl Harbour" in which US satellites
and other assets could be disabled or destroyed, severely harming the
nation's ability to gather military intelligence and direct its forces on
land and sea. It is a "virtual certainty," the Rumsfeld group asserted, that
war will be fought in space one day, just as it has been on land, at sea,
and in the air. "Given this virtual certainty," the commission reported,
"the US must develop the means both to deter and to defend against hostile
acts in and from space. This will require superior space capabilities."

The long-range plan of the US Space Command states that "In 2020, if not
sooner, adversaries will essentially share the high ground of space with the
US and its allies." As a result, "the US must be prepared to ensure our
space advantage over an enemy." Proponents of this view point out that
earlier this year Russia reorganized its armed forces to create a new
military service for space warfare. Also, China is developing what it calls
a "parasite satellite" that would attach itself to and disable other

Among its recommendations, the Rumsfeld group said the president should
"have the option to deploy weapons in space to deter threats to, and defend
against attacks on, US interests." Does this represent a "military
revolution," as some experts put it, akin to aircraft-carrier warfare and
blitzkrieg? Or is it merely a rehashing of Ronald Reagan's 1983 Strategic
Defence Initiative (SDI), dubbed "star wars" by critics, with its vision of
space based lasers blasting enemy warheads? Would it prompt a new arms race
in space? Is it technologically feasible? Is it affordable?

Rumsfeld's overall military review, expected in another month or so, will
reveal more details. But there is no doubt that he, and other senior
administration officials, see the possibilities and perhaps the necessity of
space-based military systems. Pentagon analyst Andrew Marshall, one of the
main figures in the Rumsfeld review, sees the need to defend against enemy
missiles in space. He was one of the key witnesses before an earlier
commission, also headed by Rumsfeld, established by Congress in 1997 to
assess ballistic missile threats to the US.

While missile-defence research and testing has moved slowly and somewhat
fitfully over the 18 years since Reagan launched SDI, advances have been
made. "This is rocket science, and it is difficult, but not impossible,"
says Air Force Lt-Gen Ronald Kadish, head of the Defence Department's
missile-defence programme. "We are now on the threshold of acquiring and
deploying missile defences, not just conducting research. We are, in fact,
crossing over from rhetoric to reality, from scientific theory to
engineering fact to deployed systems."

Current planning is moving beyond the limited, ground-based missile-defence
system financed by the Clinton administration to a "layered defence,"
including the Navy's Aegis battle-management system soon to be deployed on
cruisers and destroyers, airborne lasers, and eventually space-based
elements. Daniel Goure, a Rumsfeld adviser and senior defence analyst at the
Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia, suggests that "the US should
consider pursuing an aerospace-centred strategy" of national defence.

"Aerospace power, deployed on land, at sea, and in space, provides a unique
set of operational advantages," Dr Goure asserts in a recent issue of
National Defence magazine. "A revolution in aerospace power is in the
offing." The new administration faces congressional critics on missile
defence, particularly space-based elements. "We fear that the president may
be buying a lemon here," says Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South
Dakota. "I don't know how you support the deployment of a programme that
doesn't work." The extent to which Rumsfeld will follow his apparent
inclinations toward the militarization of space in the name of protecting
the homeland is unclear.

*  Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000
Asia Times, 5th May
Transcription of report released by the US Office of the Coordinator for
Counterterrorism, April 2001. {at least of those parts uinder the headings:
The report seems somehow not to mention terrorism sponsored by the US state,
which is, worldwide, on an incomparably greater scale than that of any other
country, or indeed of all other possible candidates combined.
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