The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

News, 8-14/7/01

News, 8-14/7/01

Another selection of rather out of date news sent for the record.


*  Iraq Flays Europeans, Sees Oil-For-Food Soon
*  'Smart sanctions' fiasco [comment from Pakistani paper, ŒDawn¹ arguing
that Iraq is no longer a threat and should be allowed to engage in normal
commercial relations. On the ŒSmart sanctions¹ proposal it points out,
rightly, that ŒWhat ... the US-UK move really aimed at was to deny Iraq the
right to sell oil beyond the specified "oil for food" quota.¹]
*  The smartest sanction [comment from the Jerusalem Post arguing for a
military solution - support for internal terrorism. Interesting quote from
Chalabi to the effect that "So long as you have no policy to remove the
regime, sanctions are immoral and cannot be defended."]
*  Iraq price proposals indicate illegal surcharge remains [ie they¹re still
charging below the going market rate]
*  Iraq to give Russian firms priority in new crude deals [and who could
blame them?]


*  Iraq ready to cooperate with U.N. Human Rights Commission
*  UN angrily denies Iraqi charges of corruption


*  Iraqi MP delegation hold talks in Morocco
*  Saudis arrest 750 Iraqi smugglers in past year
*  The Israeli-Turkish entente [from the Jerusalem Post. Includes some
interesting insights on things Israel and Turkey have in common, such as
that ŒTurkey and Israel refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs of
their neighbors¹ and Œtheir usefulness in checking aggression in their
immediate neighborhood is a goal shared by their ally - the US.¹ You learn
something every day.]
*  Lebanon informs an Iraqi delegation facilitation of entry visas
*  Kuwait draft bill calls for switch to Sharia penal code [refers in
passing to the important fact that Kuwait is a Œstate of some 825,000
Kuwaitis and 1.4 million foreigners¹. So it seems they haven¹t learnt a lot
from the Iraqi invasion - except that a far smaller proportion of the
Œforeigners¹ - ie workers - will be Arab]
*  Ferry services flourish under Iraq sanctions
*  Iraq accuses Iranian regime hireling of rocketing Baghdad


*  West Studies Iraq's Ballistic Firing of Missiles
*  Baghdad says U.S., British jets bomb southern Iraq
*  Anzac crew to enforce Iraq sanctions [crew of Australian frigate, Anzac.
New Zealand, to its credit, isn¹t implicated]

NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN [hopefully a rather more interesting
selection on this subject will be coming shortly, taken from the Kurdistan
Observer ­ PB]

*  Iraq condemns Turkish push into north [see above piece on Israel and
Turkey and their opposition to aggression in the neighbourhood]
*  Iraqi president sends books in the Kurdish language to north Iraq
*  A No-Fly, Yes-Democracy Zone: Iraqi Kurdistan Offers a Model for a
Post-Saddam Future [a rosy picture of life in Iraqi Kurdistan where Œthe
oil-for-food money that has been misused in the rest of Iraq¹ is put to good
effect (no mention of the moneys that come from the sale of Iraqi oil
outside the Oil for Food scheme and the threat that was therefore posed to
the Kurdish economy by Œsmart sanctions.¹)]


*  Iraq Flays Europeans, Sees Oil-For-Food Soon

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq is in talks with the United Nations on a memorandum
that would enable it to resume oil exports under the existing
``oil-for-food'' program for another five months, the official Iraqi news
agency said on Sunday.

INA quoted Iraq's U.N. envoy as saying he hoped the deal could be signed
early this week. Iraq halted oil exports June 4 in protest at U.S.-British
efforts to revamp the scheme with a new ``smart sanctions'' regime.

The U.N. Security Council last week approved another routine five-month
extension of oil for-food without mentioning the U.S.-British scheme, which
Baghdad took as a political victory.

INA quoted Iraqi U.N. ambassador Mohammed Aldouri as saying talks were
continuing between the United Nations and Iraq to sign the oil-for-food deal
and he expected to sign a memorandum of understanding at the beginning of
the week.

Britain and the United States shelved the bid to reconfigure the sanctions
-- easing Iraqi purchases of civilian goods but stiffening controls on oil
and goods with military uses -- after Russia threatened to use its Security
Council veto to kill a draft resolution.

Iraq and Russia believed the U.S.-British plan would mean more sanctions,
not fewer. Iraq has long demanded the abolition of sanctions imposed for its
1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had harsh words for countries that backed the
U.S.-British scheme.

``Malice toward Arabism and Islam makes policies of some European countries
short sighted policies and makes them neglect even their interests with the
Arab nation,'' the official Iraqi news agency quoted Saddam as saying during
a cabinet meeting.

He was referring to French support for ``smart sanctions.''

``As a result they throw themselves into the arms of the Americans and
Zionism and agree to their hostile plans,'' he said. ''But it seems that
some Europeans have recently realized that when America gains control it
will grant them only the crumbs.''

On Saturday, an Iraqi oil industry source had played down the significance
of any delay in signing a memorandum of understanding, which must be signed
to allow Iraq to sell oil despite being under U.N. sanctions.

``We will be on (exporting oil),'' the source said. ``There are some
logistical matters that need to be addressed...but practically there is no
problem and we are ready for export.''

INA quoted a trade ministry source on Sunday as saying contracts worth $4.72
billion signed under the oil-for-food program have been blocked by the
United States and Britain.

*  'Smart sanctions' fiasco
Dawn (Pakistan), 10 July 2001, 17 Rabi-us-Saani 1422

The collapse of the Anglo-American move for "smart sanctions" for Iraq
should help inject some realism into the perverse policy that governs the
eleven-year-old embargo against that country. The sanctions against Iraq
were imposed in August 1990 following Baghdad's invasion and occupation of
Kuwait. Since then the valid part of the aim behind the sanctions has been
more than achieved. All of Baghdad's facilities and installations connected
with the production of weapons of mass destruction have been dismantled.
Besides, Iraq has been unable to launch new armaments projects or to import
arms and ammunition. However, what the UN (actually US) sanctions have done
is to punish the Iraqi people to no end. The effects of the sanctions border
on genocide. The scarcity of food and non-availability of life-savings
drugs, especially for infants and for women in the pre- and post-natal
period, have had horrendous effects on Iraqi society. As UN statistics show,
the sanctions have caused the deaths of 1.5 million people, including half a
million children.

The "smart sanctions" move by the US and Britain was superficially an
improvement on the existing embargoes. Abandoned because of Russia's veto
threat, the "smart sanctions" resolution would have eased restrictions on
civilian trade but would have tightened restrictions on Iraqi arms import.
It would also have introduced stricter measures against the so-called
"illegal" sale of Iraqi oil to its neighbours and to Russia. Baghdad hailed
the defeat of the Anglo-American move and, by implications, felt relieved at
the usual extension of the existing sanctions for another five months.
Normally, one would have expected Baghdad to welcome the easing of the
sanctions on civilian trade. What, however, the US-UK move really aimed at
was to deny Iraq the right to sell oil beyond the specified "oil for food"
quota. At present, Iraq continues to sell oil to its neighbours - Jordan,
Syria and Turkey - at a low price. The "smart sanctions" would have hurt
these countries, besides causing loss to many Russian oil firms. (Jordan
alone would suffer a loss of nearly one billion dollars).

The real issue is the sheer inhumanity of the continuation of the punitive
sanctions more than a decade after Iraq's defeat and the liberation of
Kuwait. As an oil producer, Iraq has every right to export oil, and the
US-led UN has no right to interfere with it. After all, Iraq is no more a
regional military power as it was before the Gulf war. President Saddam
Hussein's war machine has been defanged, and this means Baghdad poses no
threat to Israel - for that is what the unexpressed Anglo-American concern
is all about. The question then is: why should the eleven-year-old sanctions
continue to heap misery on the Iraqi people? If the hope was that the acute
and widespread suffering caused by the sanctions would make the Iraqi people
rise and throw President Hussein out, that expectation has been sadly
belied, for the Baathist leader was never more secure than he is today. The
situation demands an honest and objective reassessment of the sanctions
philosophy. The abortive "revamping" of the sanctions, frustrated by Russia,
was no solution to the problem. The real and only solution is the withdrawal
of the sanctions so as to end the suffering of the Iraqi people.

*  The smartest sanction
Jerusalem Post, 10th July

Lenin is dead and so is communism, but his prediction that "capitalist"
countries would "sell the rope" needed to hang them is alive and well. Last
week, the United States and Britain lost an uphill battle against Iraq's
financial clout in the UN Security Council, backing down on their "smart
sanctions" resolution rather than face a certain Russian veto. This episode
proves that Western nations will happily finance Saddam Hussein's race to
rearm, particular when Washington is not presenting them with a policy
alternative that has a prayer of success.

>From 1997 until last year, Baghdad's oil revenue surged from $4 billion to
$17 billion. Iraq makes no bones about using its trade policy to keep UN
Security Council members in line. Last year, France lost half of its export
trade with Iraq, presumably as punishment for supporting some aspects of US
policy. Iraqi UN Ambassador Mohammed Douri helpfully explained to The
Washington Post, "If the French and others will take a positive position in
the Security Council, certainly they will get a benefit. This is Iraqi

As for Russia, the possibility of cashing in on some of the $8 billion in
old Iraqi debts evidently speaks louder than whatever rapport developed
between Presidents Bush and Putin in Washington. Even the Netherlands,
thinking perhaps of lucrative contracts for Royal Dutch/Shell, has pressed
the Security Council to lift the ban on investment in Iraq's oil sector.

All of this drooling over Iraqi petrodollars became so pronounced that
British UN Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock openly appealed to Security Council
members not to "allow national economic self-interest to hold up positive
measures for the Iraqi people." With a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"
spirit, Greenstock added, "There is no intention ... [to harm states] doing
legitimate business with Iraq. We expect to see an expansion of civilian
trade, which will benefit all."

The embarrassing US defeat in the Security Council is a sign that Secretary
of State Colin Powell's "smart sanctions" plan is not being taken seriously.
America's allies know that calling sanctions "smart" does not change the
fact that Iraq will use its increasing revenue to obtain embargoed items by
hook or by crook. Two sides of the box that Saddam was in - intrusive UN
inspections and a comprehensive embargo - are now wide open. American allies
are asking themselves, why should we risk our economic interests when you
cannot show how it will prevent Saddam from continuing to rearm?

The US defeat in the Security Council will have been a blessing in disguise
if it awakens the Bush administration to the futility of its current
non-course of action. In the current issue of Commentary, non-proliferation
experts Gary Milhollin and Kelly Motz summarize the situation succinctly:
"The ['smart sanctions'] proposal - whether adopted by the UN or not - has
little hope of stopping the Iraqis from sneaking in what they need to
rebuild their weapons sites and sneaking out the oil to pay for it. For the
truth is that, even when the UN inspections regime was in place, the Iraqis
had figured out how to do just that."

Even Achmed Chalabi, the leader of the democratic Iraqi opposition, has come
out against sanctions divorced from a coherent policy. "So long as you have
no policy to remove the regime, sanctions are immoral and cannot be
defended," Chalabi said in a speech at Tufts University.

As the US searches for a policy following its UN defeat, it should pay
attention to the country sitting at Ground Zero of the threat from Saddam:
Kuwait. In a recent front-page editorial, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai
al-Aam claimed that Saddam Hussein had "greatly benefited" from
international sanctions and stated: "Lift the siege on the Iraqi people...
The Iraqi regime must be punished, and the Iraqi people must be liberated."

The Iraqi opposition movement, the Iraqi National Congress, is often
disparaged because its leaders are in exile. But in 1994-95 they fought
inside Iraq, destroyed an Iraqi division, and succeeded in attracting mass
defections from the Iraqi army. It is only when the Clinton administration
reneged on promised support that Saddam was able to force the opposition
into exile. As the recent defections of Iraqi diplomats at the UN indicate,
the vulnerability of Saddam to defections is no less than it was six years

The most humane, prudent, and realistic policy is for the United States and
Britain to build upon its current "no-fly zones" to help provide the Iraqi
opposition with an internal base of operations. In 1998, now-Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld, along with others who now hold senior positions in
the Bush administration, advocated just such a policy. The smartest sanction
is not to just keep trying to piece together what Bush called "Swiss
cheese," but to help the Iraqi people liberate themselves.

*  Iraq price proposals indicate illegal surcharge remains
New York, Reuters, 11th July

Iraq's price proposals for its crude sales to Europe suggest that Baghdad is
still insisting on an illegal surcharge outside United Nations control, a
Western diplomat said yesterday.

Price proposals by Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) for July
10-20 Kirkuk crude shipments bound for Europe are expected to be rejected by
the UN Iraqi sanctions committee on advice of the UN's in-house oil
marketing experts, the oil overseers, several diplomats said.

"Iraq's still up to tricks, and the overseers are sharp to those tricks
which is unfortunately the way the game is going to continue," a diplomat on
the sanctions committee said.

Iraq is seeking to set Kirkuk prices lower than competitive Russian Urals
crude in the Mediterranean market to enable Baghdad to take under-the-table
payments from buyers and still allow buyers to resell the crude at
competitive prices,  diplomats said.

The price rejection is a potential hitch in Iraq's resumption of exports
after halting sales since June 4 to protest a British-U.S. effort to revise
sanctions placed on Iraq in 1990 when it invaded Kuwait.

The U.S. and Britain had to scrap that plan after Russia threatened to veto
it and Iraq has signaled that it will resume exports imminently. Yesterday
it reopened a pipeline that carries Kirkuk crude from northern Iraq to
Ceyhan, Turkey that had been shut since June 3. 

A similar row over prices to European destinations - where most Iraqi crude
ends up, often in the hands of Russian trading houses - in late November and
early December was the reason behind an oil export halt at that time.

Although Iraq has accepted the new 10th phase of the oil-for-food programme
passed July 3 by the UN Security Council, it wants to assert itself, said
Raad Alkadiri of the Petroleum Finance Co.

"The Iraqis want to make sure that the old system works and there are those
at the UN, particularly the Americans and the British, who want to ensure
that doesn't happen," Alkadiri said.

U.S. and British diplomats have led the effort to quash the surcharge since
Iraq began demanding them last fall. Iraq has consistently denied it is
collecting illegal payments, and oil industry sources are just as consistent
in saying that Iraq is doing so.

SOMO price proposals for Asian- and U.S.-bound crude are expected to be
approved by the UN Iraqi sanctions committee, diplomats said on Tuesday.

The overseers in a Tuesday note to diplomats on the committee said that the
SOMO proposal to set July 10-20 Kirkuk shipments to Europe at Dated Brent
minus $2.90 a barrel is "20 cents below fair market value at this time, and
need to be adjusted."

All of the proposed crude oil prices are to be either rejected or accepted
by the committee by 2pm today. If any price is rejected, Iraq may still
export that crude but no payments may be made to a UN escrow account that
holds Iraqi oil revenues, diplomats said.

The overseers advised the committee to approve prices for Asian- and
U.S.-bound crude oil grades. The committee rarely strays from the overseers

Here is a rundown on the prices proposed by SOMO yesterday:

- July 10-20 Basrah Light crude to the United States: 2nd-month West Texas
Intermediate (WTI) minus $7.55.
- July 10-20 Kirkuk crude to the U.S.: 1st-month WTI minus $6.85.
- July 10-31 Basrah Light to Asia: Oman/Dubai plus 20 cents.
- July 10-20 Kirkuk to Europe: Dated Brent minus $2.90. (This is seen as 20
cents too low by UN overseers and expected to be rejected.)
- July 10-20 Basrah Light to Europe: Dated Brent minus $3.85.

*  Iraq to give Russian firms priority in new crude deals
Baghdad, Reuters, 13th July

Iraq will give Russian firms first priority in concluding deals under the
new phase of an "oil for-food" deal with the United Nations, an Iraqi
industry source said yesterday.

The source said that Iraqi Oil Ministry officials had been instructed to
favour Russian firms in selling oil and buying other goods under the new
tenth phase of the oil-for-food deal. He said that the move was in return
for Russia's rejection of a U.S.-British proposal to revamp the 11-year-old
trade sanctions on Iraq.


Russian companies are already the largest lifters of Iraqi crude under the
oil-for-food programme and some executives said they were hoping for
increased quotas this time. "We lifted six million barrels during the last
phase and this time we are hoping our quota will be doubled," Andrei
Shtorkh, vice-president of Slavneft, told Reuters.

"Russian support for Iraq in the revised sanctions dispute was a very
positive signal for oil business," he said. "What is wrong if Russian
diplomacy benefits Russian business?" Russian oil executives have been
busily flitting in and out of Iraq. Last week a delegation comprising
executives from Slavneft, Lukoil and other firms visited Baghdad.

"We supported Iraq all along and our relations date from Soviet times, so we
do hope Iraq will stay loyal and give Russian firms priority when sanctions
end," said Dmitry Dolgov, spokesman for Lukoil, Russia's biggest oil

Russian-Iraqi bilateral trade currently stands at $2.5 billion a year, and
Russian contracts with Iraq are so far valued at $1.2 billion. While Western
oil majors are greedily eyeing Iraq's reserves - the second largest in the
world - Russian firms, armed with cash from high oil prices and Moscow's
friendship with Baghdad, are jostling for a toehold before foreign rivals
move in.


*  Iraq ready to cooperate with U.N. Human Rights Commission

BAGHDAD, July 10, Kyodo - Iraq, for the first time in over a decade, said
Tuesday it was willing to have a dialogue with the U.N. Human Rights
Commission on claims that the Baghdad government was violating the human
rights of its population.

The official Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry
spokesman as saying Iraq ''would like to assert that it is endeavoring to
deepen the principles of human rights on all levels regardless of the
difficult economic and political situation it is facing.''

''Iraq is ready for a constructive dialogue (with the commission) and hopes
that the commission pays more attention to the violations targeting the
Iraqi people because of the ongoing sanctions and the Anglo-American air
raids,'' the spokesman said.

The spokesman was commenting on the commission's recent issuance of a report
in which Iraq was accused of ''grave violations of human rights.'' The
report cited the alleged arbitrary execution of five officers of the elite
Republican Guards recently as an example of such violations.

''Such claims are baseless. The names of these officers were checked and we
affirm that they are false names that do not exist except in the minds of
those who propagate for them,'' the spokesman said.

He said that commission was basing its information on ''reports by countries
hostile to Iraq,'' and accused the humanitarian body of ''regretfully
ignoring the crimes committed by the British and American governments
against Iraq.''

The spokesman added that the U.N. sanctions and the air raids by the two
countries have ''murdered over 1.5 million Iraqis so far, mainly children
and women.''

The Iraqi move to have a dialogue with the commission comes after the United
States was voted off the 53-member international panel in early May.

*  UN angrily denies Iraqi charges of corruption
United Nations, Reuters, 13th July

A senior UN official yesterday angrily denied Iraqi allegations that the UN
humanitarian programme was corrupt and spent more on sniffer dogs than
feeding Iraqis suffering from 11 years of sanctions.

Benon Sevan, the U.N. coordinator for the Iraqi program, said the
"oil-for-food" plan was audited regularly. He flatly rejected allegations
officials were skimming off and wasting funds, according to his speaking
notes to the Security Council's Iraqi sanctions committee.

In a two-hour address to the Security Council two weeks ago, Riyadh Al
Qaysi, an undersecretary in Baghdad's foreign ministry, had demanded an
audit of the program.

Al Qaysi said the program had spent more on sniffer dogs sent to uncover
mines in the north than Baghdad was able to spend on food per ordinary
Iraqi. He said the 28 dogs needed trainers, two guides, a vet and "bitches
so they can allay their sexual desire" after "suffering from inertia."

But Sevan said that 140 dogs had been deployed under the program between
July 1999 and June 2000, each of which was fed 0.8 kilo of imported dog good
"enhanced by local food such as chicken and fat."

The average cost of feeding each dog during this period was $408 a year "and
not $1,248 per year as was stated in the council recently," Sevan said. "I
very much regret going into such details. I have been given no alternative
in view of the remarks made."

Sevan said the UN Iraqi escrow account was analyzed by an external auditing
board twice a year since the start of the oil-for-food programme in December
1996, with a copy of the audit routinely sent to the Iraqi government.

UN internal auditors also regularly looked over the program's accounts and
the UN equivalent of an inspector-general did likewise, he said. The
oil-for-food programme allows Baghdad to sell oil, an exception to the
sanctions imposed when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The oil revenues
are used to purchase food, medicine and a host of other supplies for
ordinary Iraqis.

But the council vets the goods and the United Nations pays suppliers from
oil sale money deposited in escrow accounts, which can hold as much as $12
billion a year. Al Qaysi had also charged that UN staffers were eager to
sign up for duty in Iraq.

"Is Iraq the French Riviera? Or is it the beautiful seashores of Jamaica?"
he asked. "It is the money, gentlemen. Commissions taken by UN officers."
But Sevan said he found it odd to hear that a mission to Iraq was a
cherished assignment.

"It has always been difficult to find staff to come and work in the
country," he said, adding that pay and benefits were about the same, and in
many cases considerably less than that offered in other duty stations.


*  Iraqi MP delegation hold talks in Morocco
Arabic News, 7th July

A delegation from the Iraqi National Council (parliament) which arrived in
Rabat Friday held on the same day talks with deputy-speaker of the House of
Representatives, Abdelaziz Alaoui Hafidi, to explain Iraq's stance on
international sanctions.

The Moroccan official renewed Morocco's backing to the lifting of the

The Iraqi parliamentary delegation also met with chairmen of the
parliamentary political groups who renewed the Moroccan people backing to
the Iraqi people.

Ahmed Rachid Raoui, vice-speaker of the Iraqi Council and head of the
delegation, deplored the "intelligent sanctions" as a conspiracy, aiming to
impose a permanent tutorship on the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi delegation will also review with Moroccan officials means to
upgrade Moroccan Iraqi relations.

*  Saudis arrest 750 Iraqi smugglers in past year
Riyadh, Reuters, 8th July

Saudi Arabian border guards have arrested more than 750 smugglers on the
Iraqi border and seized around three tonnes of hashish in the past year, a
newspaper reported yesterday.

The director of the guards, General Talal bin Muhsin al-Anqawi, told Al
Riyadh newspaper that patrols also confiscated more than 5,700 bottles of
alcoholic beverages, which are banned in the kingdom,

Almost 69,000 narcotic pills, more than 450 weapons and thousands of rounds
of ammunition were also seized. Anqawi did not give comparative figures. He
said a total of 777 Iraqi smugglers were arrested, but did not specify how
they were punished. Drug smugglers can be beheaded in Saudi Arabia.

*  The Israeli-Turkish entente
by Efraim Inbar
Jerusalem Post, 9th July

As Israelis are myopically focusing on the Palestinian issue, the most
important event of the last month in Middle Eastern international affairs
passed by almost unnoticed. Dozens of American, Israeli, and Turkish pilots
engaged in mock aerial battles over central Turkey as part of a burgeoning
trilateral relationship, which has come to be one of the most formidable
ties in the region, much to the annoyance of the Arab countries and Iran.

The Anatolian Eagle air exercise, the first of its kind, lasted for two
weeks and was aimed at creating a realistic training environment. The war
games included combat maneuvers and ground-attack sorties with live
ammunition. The militaries of the three countries upgraded their military
cooperation by adding an important air element to past trilateral naval
search and rescue exercises.

This trilateral demonstration of airpower follows the visit of the US
Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, to Turkey in early June, which marked
another breakthrough in the triangular relationship. The higher priority
awarded to ballistic missile defense by the current Bush administration
seemed to have led to an understanding on trilateral cooperation regarding
the incorporation of the Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile in the
deployment of an anti-missile system in Turkey. Ankara has been pressing
Washington since 1988 for formal missile defense cooperation with Israel
based on the Arrow system.

The closer American-Israeli-Turkish military cooperation has a positive
effect on the peace process, which amounts to a reluctant acceptance of
Israel as a regional player by most Arab states. It reinforces the notion
that Israel is militarily strong and cannot easily be removed from the map.
Moreover, this relationship has a moderating effect on Arab ambitions and
revanchism, which are still nurtured in the region.

Indeed, the coordination among Ankara, Jerusalem and Washington is
beneficial in deterring rogue states such as Iraq, Syria and Iran (all
bordering Turkey). Such coordination is necessary for acquiring better
offensive options in dealing with the Weapons of Mass Destruction programs
of these revisionist states. Moreover, the collaboration in the intelligence
area is useful in fighting international terror, which the rogue states
encourage. In an era of globalization, with more freedom of movement, there
is greater need for intelligence cooperation in order to engage in effective
counter-terror policies.

The cooperation between the US and its two most loyal allies in the Middle
East also provides limited deterrence for Jordan should Syria and/or Iraq
attempt to invade it. It also allows Hashemite Jordan a somewhat freer hand
in dealing with domestic challenges from Palestinian nationalists or Islamic
radicals, having less to worry about foreign military involvement. Damascus,
Baghdad and Teheran, who have all been engaged in subversion against the
Hashemites, face a stronger Jordan - one equipped with an American-Israeli
Turkish umbrella.

The trilateral strategic partnership is useful also in Gulf-related
contingencies. Projecting force from the eastern Mediterranean to Baghdad,
rather than from Saudi Arabia, has many advantages. The so-called "northern
strategy" for the defense of the Persian Gulf could bring US, Turkey and
Israel even closer. So far Israel was reluctant to play a supportive
military role in US engagements, but this may gradually change, as it would
like to upgrade its value as an American ally. Some Gulf states, such as
Qatar and Oman, do not object to a Turkish and Israeli presence to counter
the weight of Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The triumvirate between the US and its two strongest and most reliable
Middle East allies may also encourage democratization and the liberalization
of the economies in the region, values cherished by the three countries.
Turkey and Israel refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs of their
neighbors and are fully aware that the ripening of the socio-political
conditions necessary for the emergence of democratic regimes may take a long
time. Yet, the success of their societies in achieving far more freedom and
prosperity than any other country in the Middle East is a constant reminder
that democracy is not a feature found exclusively in Western Europe and
North America. This fuels the hope that their neighbors can emulate such a

The recent trilateral air exercise is also an indication of the resilience
of Israeli-Turkish relations. Turkey has continued to maintain good
relations despite the prolonged Palestinian armed confrontation with Israel
that started in September 2000. Moreover, Ankara capitalized on the crisis
to increase its diplomatic involvement in the region, by making efforts to
facilitate a dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel welcomed
the more active Turkish approach as it felt that its interests and dilemmas
are well understood in Ankara.

The Israeli-Turkish relationship has become mature enough to concentrate on
the main issues of common interest and to ignore the different perspectives
on marginal issues. Various irritants in the bilateral relations have not
changed the calculus of expediency that brought about the strategic
partnership between the two states. Above all, their usefulness in checking
aggression in their immediate neighborhood is a goal shared by their ally -
the US.

(The writer is the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies,
Bar-Ilan University, and the author of the forthcoming The Israeli-Turkish

*  Lebanon informs an Iraqi delegation facilitation of entry visas
Arabic News, 9th July

The Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al- Hariri has informed an Iraqi economic
delegation, currently visiting Lebanon instructions given to offer entry
visas to the Iraqis as well as giving businessmen, doctors and engineers for
11 months valid for several visits (multi-entry visas ).

The Iraqi delegation is led by the chairman of the chamber of commerce in
Iraq Abboud al Tufeili. Present at the meeting was the chairman of the
chamber of commerce and industry in Lebanon Adnan al-Qassar who explained
that the meetings were good as members of the delegation were acquainted
with the capabilities of the Lebanese markets and gave a description on the
possibilities of the Iraqi market. He added that al-Hariri told them that
the government is serious in the issue of signing a free trade agreement
between Lebanon and Iraq. He continued that signing a free trade agreement
with any Arab state like Syria and Egypt is very useful for Lebanon.

Al-Tufeili stressed that Iraq's markets are open before " our brothers in
Lebanon the same way the achievements realized with Syria- Iraq, Egypt-
Iraq, and Tunisia and Iraq."

*  Kuwait draft bill calls for switch to Sharia penal code
Kuwait, Reuters, 11th July

Two Kuwaiti politicians have presented a controversial draft bill to
parliament to amend the state's penal code to meet Islamic Sharia law, a
legislative official said yesterday.

The draft law, presented by Islamist MP Waleed Al Tabtabai and tribal
Islamist MP Mikhled Al Azmi, is not due before full parliament until after a
summer recess from June to October.

Amendments in the draft law include amputation of limbs for convicted
thieves and flogging or stoning to death for adultery in the small country
which already enforces capital punishment for murder and drug smuggling.

Strict measures and punishments are also in place to implement a ban on the
sale of alcoholic beverages in the state of some 825,000 Kuwaitis and 1.4
million foreigners.

"The draft law proposes amending the penal code to comply with Sharia,"
Legislative Committee chairman Abdallah Al Roumi told Reuters. "It is a
large draft law and the review process will take a long time."

"We have not really started yet, we are still in the ABC of the draft law.
The sub-committee has to review it, then send it to the full Legal and
Legislative Committee which has to review it and then send it to the (full)
parliament," Roumi added.

He said a sub-committee held a single meeting on Monday and was not due to
revisit the draft law until after the recess. Previous legislative attempts
had failed to bring the Gulf state closer to what some politicians see as
full adherence to Sharia.

Roumi said it was premature to speculate on the chances of the draft law
being passed by parliament. Kuwait's parliament is made up of Islamist MPs
from various groupings, including members of the minority Shi'ite sect,
traditionalist tribal politicians, independent and liberal MPs representing
a range of political schools of thought and un-elected government ministers
who are ex-officio members. Parliament's four-year term ends in mid 2003.

Roumi said the government had not been sounded out yet by the committee on
the draft law.

Western diplomats and some Kuwaiti politicians doubt Kuwait will in the near
future move to fully copy more strict laws in other Muslim states like
neighbouring Saudi Arabia where women are not allowed to drive and have to
meet a strict dress code in public. The extent of Sharia implementation
varies among Muslim states.

*  Ferry services flourish under Iraq sanctions
by Saifur Rahman
Gulf News, 13th July

Passenger ferry services from Dubai and other Gulf ports to Iraq have
increased significantly in recent months and industry sources predict it
will increase further if the sanctions continue.

Currently, two Dubai companies are operating four vessels carrying
passengers to and from Iraq. A Bahrain-based company, Tylos Ferry, has also
begun operating another ferry service to Iraq from Bahrain.

Naif Marine Services (NMS), which was the first to receive permission from
the UN to operate a passenger service to Iraq, is operating three ships -
Jabal Ali 1, 2 and 3.
It runs twice-weekly services from Dubai to the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, one
via Qatar and Bahrain, and the other a nonstop express service. The total
passenger capacity of the three ships is 2,800.

A new service by Al Thuraiya Marine Services was launched in January with
the introduction of Al Manar - a Panama-registered ship with a 750-passenger
capacity and 58 crew. However, the current weekly passenger traffic between
Dubai and Umm Qasr is 1,400 to 1,700, with the Jabal Ali ships taking the
lion's share.

Michael Nye, General Manager of NMS, said, "The passenger traffic between
Dubai and Umm Qasr is increasing. Currently, we have a weekly passenger
volume of 1,200 to 1,400."
Dr Mohammed Hamdan Abdullah Al Shamsi, Director of Al Thuraiya Marine
Service, said, "In view of the increased traffic between the two
destinations, we begun our services last January by acquiring Manar.

"We are currently offering a weekly trip to Iraq, carrying 200 to 250
passengers, and will introduce a second ship within two months." Meanwhile,
the increase in the number of ferry operators comes as a boon to Iraq-bound
passengers who are expected to benefit from a price war once the competition
hots up. Ticket prices have fallen to a comfortable level.

NMS has reduced its ticket price from Dh1,100 to Dh600 for economy class,
while the price of luxury cabins has been cut from Dh1,400 to Dh885.
However, Nye denied that the reduction had anything to do with competition.
"We began our services with 25 passengers and, for some time, we didn't have
enough passengers. So the pricing of tickets was at a different level then.

"Now that the number of passengers has increased and we have introduced new
ships, we can afford to reduce the price. This has nothing to do with the
competition," he said.

Al Shamsi noted that his company charges Dh650 for economy class travel,
while the luxury class ticket is priced at Dh1,800.

*  Iraq accuses Iranian regime hireling of rocketing Baghdad
Arabic News, 13th July

Iraq on Wednesday accused what it called the " hireling of the Iranian
regime" by launching three missiles at a residential area on Tuesday evening
resulted in wounding one Iraqi civilian.

The Iraqi news agency quoted a security source as saying that " puppets for
the Iranian regime had committed another crime in the series of ugly crimes
committed against Iraq's people and civilization."

The same source held the " Iranian authorities the responsibility of this
brutal operation which is considered as a flagrant violation to its security
and sovereignty," stressing that Iraq "preserves its right to retaliate to
this aggression."

Later in the day, the higher council of the Islamic revolution in Iraq, a
main Iraqi opposition groups which takes Tehran as a headquarters, claimed
responsibility for launching three missiles of three caliber against

The Iranian Tulabeyah news agency quoted the representative of the higher
council for the Islamic revolution in Iraq Hamid al-Bayati as saying that "
in the mid on Tuesday, the Islamic revolution attacked Iraqi important
positions." He added that " these attacks came as a retaliation to the
increased repression against the Iraqi people by the Iraqi regime and to
break the siege imposed on the homeland." According to the Iranian agency
the attacks targeted the Iraqi general security department, the presidential
palace, the radio and TV building and the Cabinet.

No response was released by the Iranian authorities on these accusations.
Tehran radio considered these Iraqi accusations as " groundless." Tehran
radio commentator said " Iraq addresses these accusations without showing
evidences." Worthy mentioning that differences on several issues stand
against the normalization of relations between Iraq and Iran who launched a
war lasted for 8 years ( 1980- 1988) and resulted in killing thousands of

Meantime, an Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad said that the Iraqi army on
Wednesday launched ground to air missiles at American and British warplanes
while flying over southern and northern Iraq areas and forced them " to


*  West Studies Iraq's Ballistic Firing of Missiles
Los Angeles Times, 8th July

KUWAIT (Reuters): Western forces are studying Iraq's use of ballistic
missile technology to test-fire surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) last week, a
senior Western defense source said on Sunday.

"On July 2, Iraq fired SAMs ballistically, which we watched with great
interest," the source told Reuters. The missiles were fired close to the
Kuwaiti border in southern Iraq where U.S. and British warplanes fly almost
daily patrols.

"No one is naive, and with United Nations inspectors absent from Iraq for
almost three years, Iraq is getting more and more dangerous. This latest
development is being assessed," he said.

The inspectors were forbidden from returning to Iraq after the United States
and Britain launched the four-day Desert Fox bombing campaign against Iraqi
targets in December 1998.

The source was commenting on a report in Kuwait's daily al-Rai al-Aam
newspaper on Sunday.

Quoting Western defense sources, the daily said Iraq tested "advanced" SAMs
ahead of their deployment against U.S. and British warplanes that patrol
no-fly zones over southern and northern Iraq.

Western sources told Reuters Kuwait could be concerned that former occupier
Iraq would fire SAMs into its territory using ballistic technology.

Although the range of SAM weapons appears to fall within limits imposed on
Iraq after its defeat in the Gulf War, Baghdad's foes are exploring
violations of an arms import ban and looking into whether some countries are
secretly abetting them, another Western defense source told Reuters.

In February, American and British warplanes launched a brief bombing
campaign against Iraqi targets in retaliation for what Western officers said
was increased firing at their aircraft.

The latest development is of concern to pilots patrolling the no-fly zones.
"It is no secret that Iraq is trying anything to get an aircraft down," a
defense source said.


*  Baghdad says U.S., British jets bomb southern Iraq
Baghdad, Reuters, 8th July

Iraq said U.S. and British planes flying from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
attacked targets in the south of the country on Saturday, but no casualties
were reported.

"At 8:50am on Saturday U.S. and British warplanes carried out 20 sorties
from Saudi Arabia and 27 sorties from Kuwait...over the provinces of Basra,
Dhiqar, Qadissiya, Muthanna, Najaf and Meisan," a military spokesman said,
according to the official Iraqi News Agency.

He said the planes attacked civilian installations but were forced to return
to their bases by anti-aircraft fire. There was no confirmation from the
United States or Britain, whose aircraft patrol no-fly zones set up to
protect a Kurdish enclave in the north of Iraq and Shi'ites in the south
from possible attacks by Baghdad forces.


*  Anzac crew to enforce Iraq sanctions
The Advertiser (Australia), 9th July

THE frigate HMAS Anzac has left Darwin for a three-month tour of duty in the
Persian Gulf.

The ship and its 164 crew will help support the United Nations embargo
against Iraq.

A Defence Department spokesman said: "She works with the American task group
and, as necessary, they board ships entering the area to do routine checks.

"(They'll) make sure there's no contraband or weaponry carried. It's as laid
down exactly by the UN resolutions."

Defence Minister Peter Reith earlier said it was the 10th time an Australian
Navy vessel had undertaken operations with the UN Security
Council-sanctioned Multinational Interception Force.

The previous deployment occurred in 1999 when HMAS Melbourne did its tour.


*  Iraq condemns Turkish push into north
Baghdad, Reuters, 9th July

Iraq yesterday condemned what it called repeated aggression by Turkey on its
north, the official Iraqi news agency INA said. "Turkish troops have
launched a new military aggression on northern Iraq," Deputy Prime Minister
Tareq Aziz said in a letter to Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa
carried by INA.

"Fifty (Turkish) tanks mounted on vehicles had entered the north over the
period from June 17-19 and moved towards Arbil and across the same point 40
tanks entered Iraq and headed towards Dahuk and Zakho and a number of them
were stationed at Bamarni," said Aziz who is also acting Foreign Minister.

"Repeated aggression (in the north) represents a violation of the
sovereignty of Iraq's land...and runs contrary to good neighbourly
relations," Aziz said. "It is regrettable that the Turkish government is
still justifying its continued aggression on Iraq by flimsy pretexts
alleging that its troops are chasing groups threatening Turkey's security,
which is incorrect," he added.

Aziz urged Moussa to intervene and ask the Turkish government to stop such
provocative and irresponsible practices and respect Iraq's sovereignty and
territorial integrity. The remote mountainous enclave of northern Iraq has
been outside Baghdad's control since the end of the 1991 Gulf War and is
controlled by two rival Iraqi Kurdish groups.

Turkey allows NATO military aircraft to use its soil as a base for patrols
of northern Iraq's post-Gulf War no-fly zone and in return its forces
regularly cross the border to pursue Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
guerrillas with little Western opposition. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
(PUK) and the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have controlled much of
northern Iraq since wresting the region from Iraqi control after the Gulf

*  Iraqi president sends books in the Kurdish language to north Iraq
Arabic News, 14th July

The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has ordered to send three million school
books to the students of Kurdistan which is out of the control of Baghdad
since 1991, besides his decision to approve studying in the Kurdish language
in all school curricula until the secondary stage of learning.

The Iraqi daily "Iraq" quoted the director general of the Kurdish teaching
at the Iraqi ministry of education Hussein Muhammad Qaddouri as saying
that:" at the directives of the Iraqi President the ministry of education
will start as from July 21st the operation of shipping the books and the
curricula to the students of the self- rule " Kurdistan district" for the
school year 2001-2002.

*  A No-Fly, Yes-Democracy Zone: Iraqi Kurdistan Offers a Model for a
Post-Saddam Future
by Carole O'Leary
Washington Post, 15th July

While conducting research in Iraq last month, I visited an academy where law
enforcement trainers were trying to mold a kinder, gentler police force. In
Saddam Hussein's Iraq, this would be a doomed venture. But I was in Iraqi
Kurdistan -- where a safe haven for Kurds was created by the Western allies
after the 1991 Gulf War, and where democratic institutions are beginning to
flourish as Saddam's influence shrivels.

Though largely unintended, this crucible of democracy is a welcome byproduct
of the military arrangements that followed the Gulf War. Yet in recent
months Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been contemplating a cutback of
the U.S. sorties over the no-fly zone north of the 36th parallel. The
argument for doing so is that sooner or later, Iraqi anti aircraft gunners
will get lucky and shoot down a U.S. plane, and our military will be forced
to retaliate.

But any reduction in patrolling the no-fly zone would be wrong. The impact
of the U.S. and British flights extends well south of the 36th parallel,
throughout the Kurdish-controlled areas. Kurds I visited in such cities as
Sulaymaniyah believe their safety is dependent on the nearby allied
presence; and indeed, despite occasional taunting advances, Saddam's troops
have left the Kurds essentially alone since 1991. One day historians just
might view Iraqi Kurdistan as the precursor of the post-Saddam Iraqmany of
us would like to see: a democratic society with a stable, federal

Even if this bright future never dawns, Iraqi Kurdistan's people -- mostly
Kurds, but also Turkomans and Arabs -- deserve credit for nurturing an
increasingly robust civil society in spite of Baghdad's obstructionism.
Moreover, they deserve America's respect, since history has mostly denied
them any form of self-governance. In the nasty game of musical chairs that
followed the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been left
standing. Though the fourth-largest ethnic group in the region, the Kurds
havenever been able to establish and maintain their own country, and have
remained powerless minorities wherever they lived.

The U.S. government, however, has paid no attention to the impressive things
that have been happening in the area. Furthermore, there seems to be a
blackout in the media as well. In late May, Iraqi Kurdistan's Dohuk andIrbil
provinces held elections in which 15 political parties participated;
Sulaymaniyah held its municipal elections in February 2000. International
non governmental organizations provided technical advice to the observers,
and U.N. staff served on the monitoring committee. These are the first free
and fair electionsheld in Iraq since 1957 -- and they were ignored in the
Western media.

Similarly, few foreigners are aware of the progress being made in Iraqi
Kurdistan toward building a civil society. In Irbil, I visited the Runahee
("Light") Foundation, a women's organization that provides care for people
who are blind or visually impaired -- in some cases, by Saddam's chemical
weapons attacks. At the University of Sulaymaniyah, students are conducting
a census of the areas devastated by Iraqi forces during Saddam's 1987-88
genocidal attack on the Kurds. As well as counting residents, they will
serve as oral historians, recording the testimonials of the survivors and
the families of those killed.

Meanwhile, the oil-for-food money that has been misused in the rest of Iraq
is being put to good use in Iraqi Kurdistan. There are no starving babies
there; satellite dishes, banned in Saddam's Iraq, sprout from the roofs of
mud-brick houses in Kurdish villages; and Internet cafes are proliferating
as the populace gamely embraces globalization.

To put these scenes in perspective, one must contrast them with what
happened here before the intervention. In the spring of 1987, as the
Iran-Iraq war ground to a stalemate, the Baghdad regime turned its attention
to collectively punishing Kurds for their support of Iran. A military
assault, led by Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan Majeed, was launched to
depopulate rural areas whose residents were believed to be disloyal. Iraqi
forces routinely used chemical weapons against men, women and children,
killing thousands in one attack on the town of Halabja; they are also
suspected of having used biological weapons. By the winter of 1988, more
than 4,000 villages had been destroyed, more than 100,000 civilians had been
slaughtered, some 180,000 others had disappeared, and Iraqi Kurdistan's
infrastructure had been devastated.

While in Sulaymaniyah last month, I entered the burned-out remnants of a
former prison that, a decade ago, had swarmed with Saddam's intelligence
officers and torturers. In one cell were six precisely aligned meat hooks.
On the wall of another was a pencil sketch of Superman, scrawled in a
childish hand; age clearly presented no barrier to a regime determined to be
an equal-opportunity killer.

The horror came to an end in 1991, when the general uprising that followed
Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War led to the establishment of the no-fly zones,
and the safe haven for Kurds.

The political and educational accomplishments of Iraqi Kurdistan in the 10
years since then deserve to be preserved and enhanced. At the universities
of Dohuk, Salahaddin and Sulaymaniyah, the faculties are thirsting for
up-to-date curricula and teacher training to reinforce the political
progress. Each of these universities is desperate to establish ties with
faculties and schools in the West. Public health workers are particularly
needed to deal with the aftermath of years of chemical, biological and
traditional warfare.

Many institutions that might help have all but given up on trying to get
into the area, however, because of the difficulty of the journey. There are
no local airports (and, in any case, the no-fly zone prohibits civilian
flights as well), so American educators, journalists and public health
experts must enter overland, relying on the goodwill of the neighboring
Turkish, Iranian and Syrian governments. The United States should put
pressure on these neighbors -- particularly Turkey, as a NATO ally -- to
provide easy access for journalists, educators and non-governmental
organizations. At the Turkish border crossing, visitors are often denied
permission to enter, or may be forced to wait at checkpoints for hours, even
during these blistering summer months.

In contrast, I learned from a British reporter that his crossing from Iran
at Haj Umran had been speedy and uneventful. Since Americans still find it
difficult to get visas to Iran, that access point is less useful to us --
but the ease of the Haj Umran crossing should be applauded by U.S.
officials, as should every other access point that offers the same
flexibility and efficiency.

Conversely -- and even more importantly -- the no-fly zone must be
maintained, reinforced and arguably expanded into a no-drive zone, formally
prohibiting Iraqi tanks from crossing the36th parallel. (Currently, the
United States might choose to intervene if Saddam's forces moved in by land,
but is not obligated to do so.) Should the Iraqi army ever violate this safe
haven, no part of which is any farther from Republican Guard positions than
Washington is from Richmond, it would not only crushthis experiment in
democracy, but destabilize the entire region, sending as many as 3 million
refugees into Iran and Turkey.

I'm no military expert. But it seems common-sense that a reduction in air
patrols over the no fly zone would only make it more difficult to keep track
of Saddam's emplacements and troop movements. Such a reduction would
embolden Iraqi troops -- putting U.S. and British forces in more danger, not
less. What is needed is an unequivocal and muscular U.S. presence in the
region, a projection of power, the only language Saddam comprehends.

Iraqi Kurdistan represents the futurethe United States should want for all
of Iraq. It has become the leading edge of liberty there. As long as Saddam
Hussein remains in power, our no-fly zone is the protective hand cupped over
the Kurds' flickering experiment in cultural and political pluralism. If
this democratic flame is to be fanned and possibly spread throughout Iraq,
the United States must not let it be snuffed out.

Carole O'Leary is a scholar in residence at the American University Center
for Global Peace, where she oversees the Mustafa Barzani Global Kurdish
Studies program.
This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]