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FWD: Another 'use' for 661 holds: Security Council bargaining chips

The manipulation (see below for article)
 re: holds on dual use items, shows conclusively that
the Security Council can't be trusted with
implementing any kind of  "humanitarian
dual use list" as put forward by some anti-sanctions activists,
that would be plainly unworkable. 
I think it's time we ask that the dual use list is ditched
completely and that the 661 Committee is disbanded as well as
the UN Compensation Commission that Israel etc has
profited from, and which as WILPF points out, has no legal precedent
in UN history. Anti-sanctions activists also should raise the
demand for an arms embargo regionally/globally
, beginning at the supply level. 
Philippa Winkler

>===== Original Message From "Hamre, Drew" <> =====
A brilliant piece by the Washington Post's Colum Lynch, who today cites
leaked Security Council documents showing that the U.S. bartered with 661
Committee holds during the negotiations over 'smart' sanctions.

The deal "wasn't a quid pro quo" says a U.S. official.   Well then, quid pro
quid, surely?

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MN USA


Trade Deal Won Chinese Support of U.S. Policy on Iraq

By Colum Lynch
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, July 6, 2001; Page A17

UNITED NATIONS, July 5 -- The United States released more than $80 million
in frozen Chinese business deals with Iraq last month as it sought China's
support for a Security Council resolution that would have overhauled U.N.
sanctions on Baghdad, according to diplomats and U.N. documents.

The package included a $28 million Iraqi contract to buy mobile telephone
equipment from Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese firm previously accused by
the Pentagon of violating the sanctions by providing fiber-optic cable for
Iraq to upgrade its antiaircraft missile batteries.

The joint U.S.-British effort to revamp the 10-year-old sanctions failed
this week because Russia threatened to use its veto in the 15-member
Security Council. But before Russia blocked the resolution, the United
States and Britain succeeded in winning China's backing for a key element of
the proposal -- a list of items that Iraq could import only with the
council's approval because they have military as well as civilian uses.

The horse-trading that was involved in winning China's assent is now
becoming clear.

Under the U.N.'s oil-for-food program, Iraq can sell oil and use the
proceeds to buy humanitarian supplies and spare parts to keep its oil
industry running. But the United States and other Security Council members
can place "holds" on contracts for items they suspect are really intended
for the Iraqi military. The United States has frozen about $3 billion in
contracts, despite vociferous criticism from China, among other countries.

On June 28, the Bush administration informed the United Nations that it was
lifting its holds on nine Chinese contracts in the telecommunications and
oil sectors valued at nearly $60 million, according to diplomats. Earlier
that week, the United States had unfrozen $20 million worth of Chinese

On June 29, the United States and China announced that they had reached
agreement with Britain and France on the list of "dual use" items as part of
the broader attempt to revise the sanctions.

"The U.S. has promised to take care of some of our concerns," China's deputy
ambassador to the U.N., Shen Guofang, said after the agreement was

Administration officials denied that they were buying China's support,
although they acknowledged that the relaxation of the holds was designed to
help win broad backing for an overhaul of the sanctions.

"There wasn't a quid pro quo," a senior U.S. official said. "But we wanted
to demonstrate not just to China, but to other members of the Security
Council, that the new system we are proposing would involve a real change of

U.S. officials also said American technical experts had conducted a thorough
"assessment of the relative risk" before approving the Huawei contract.

Early this year, when the United States bombed Iraqi radars and antiaircraft
batteries, Pentagon officials said the main reason was that Huawei was
upgrading those sites with fiber-optic cables. China denies the allegation.

Although the details of China's commercial dealings through the U.N.
oil-for-food program are kept confidential by the United Nations, The
Washington Post obtained internal U.N. records that describe the deals
unfrozen by the United States last week.

They include two Iraqi contracts to buy nearly $15 million of microwave
radio equipment from Cmec International Engineering Co., a Chinese firm.
Another deal involved a $15.5 million sale of telecommunications equipment
by China National Technical Import.

The United States also gave the go-ahead for a sale of $34,000 in "cable" by
Guizhou New Era Union Import and Export Corp. When the United States
originally blocked that sale, it had cited "biological weapons/chemical
weapons dual-use applications," according to U.N. records.

Last week was not the first time that the Bush administration has approved
contracts at critical stages in negotiations over Iraq. On June 1, for
example, Moscow dropped its objection to a British resolution that extended
the oil-for-food deal for one month and committed the Security Council to
negotiate new "arrangements." Hours later, the United States announced that
it would lift holds on $800 million in deals between Iraq and various firms,
including more than $200 million for companies in Russia, China, France and
Tunisia -- all key Security Council members.

Philippa Winkler
Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
"kiss the mountain air we breathe"

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